It’s only a few weeks now until the start of the UK comic convention circuit and our annual trip to Cheltenham for the True Belivers’ Comic Festival 2019. Consistently one of our favourite events of the year, we take a look at some of things on offer at this year’s event, including some of the amazing small press comics that will be launching on the day itself!

As well as celebrating the best indie and small press comics of 2018, we also wanted to celebrate the UK and Small Press Community, with our first ever Community Champion Award. Community is such a thriving part of the UK comics scene. (In fact we have called it ‘the beating heart of the UK comics scene on several occasions!) and so to help celebrate this, we have teamed up with our friends at ComicScene to nominate those in the UK comic scene who we think have done the most to encourage this wonderful community which we are a part of.

It’s been an incredibly strong year for Avery Hill Publishing in 2018, with critically acclaimed books like Follow Me In, The Great North Wood and On A Sunbeam joining their already stellar line up on titles. With 2019 just around the corner, we’ve had a sneak peak at some of the books scheduled for release in the new year and it looks set to continue their strong pedigree of interesting and exciting titles from new creators as well as new work from some familiar names.

Having made a name for themselves with books like Rok of The Reds, Killtopia, Freedom Bound and Full Colour, Scottish indie publishers BHP Comics are set to have an even more exciting 2019 thanks to acquiring the rights to publish two of our favourite small press titles along with a new international publishing deals.

After the hectic release fest that was this year’s Thought Bubble it was time for a more serene event this weekend as we headed to Bristol for the annual Bristol Comics and Zine Festival, one of our favourite events on the indie and small press friendly convention circuit.

That time of year where the great and the good of the comics world congrgates on Leeds for the Thought Bubble 2018 Comics Art Festival. Running over the weekend of September 22nd it’s the event of the year for launching and showcasing new work, so here we highlight some of our favourites which will be debuting! (We’ll keep updating it as we get closer to the event!)

Although we don’t usually cover Image Comics books here on the site, we are making an exception for their new anthology 24 Panels. Not only is it for a fantastic cause, as it is intended to to honour those who were affected by last year’s Grenfell Tower tragedy here in the UK. But it also features new work from a stellar cast of UK comic creators, from big names like Alan Moore and co-curator Kieron Gillen, but also some of the stars of the UK small press scene, many of whom will not have been published by Image before.

As well as writing stellar small press comics like white NOIR, The Ether, Chunks and the recent Red Rocket Comet, Matt Garvey has turned all altruistic and offered to self finance a small press anthology – called Gotta Start Somewhere – for creators who have never been published before which he will help get into comic shops in the UK. The criteria for entering was originally published over at the MillarWorld forum but he has given us permission to repost it here in an attempt to get more people involved in this excellent project. So keep on reading and if you have ever wanted to make a comic, perhaps this is your way to get started!

“Wailin’ and a screechin’ like a banshee stuck in a blender comes the Mega Meaty Monster Comics Giveaway.” This was the message which greeted our inbox from 100% Biodegradable Editor David Hailwood who has compiled a new FREE indie comics anthology via a service called Instafreebie and is available only from August 12th – 26th!.

With it’s unique location in a medieval friary, and it’s chilled out atmosphere, the True Believers Summer Variant was one of our highlights of last year’s convention circuit. With only a week to go until the big day this year (August 5th at Blackfriars Priory in Gloucester), we caught up with organiser Stuart Mulrain to find out more about what’s in store and the pros of running an event in a quirky venue!