Small Press Spotlight: Stutter, Erol vs. Evil, Wine and Zine Anthology

We take a look at some of the exciting new small press titles being released at Thought Bubble at the end of the month, including: John Stone’s personal account of his life with a speech impediment in Stutter; Darrell Thorpe’s latest wierd and wacky new adventure in Eroll vs. Evil; and the first full collection from the Wine and Zine team in the aptly titled Wine And Zine Anthology!


Mental health has been well represented in comics in recent years (Wired Up Wrong, Brain Shoodles etc), but Joe Stone’s Stutter takes a highly personal look about how his speech impediment has impacted his life. Looking at how a childhood incident brought on the stammer, via his uni days attempting to cure himself with arrogance through to his present day battles with impersonal phone calls. Joe’s book manages to balance personal reflections and stories with informed insights into how stammers and stutters work and affect the sufferers life. He uses visual metaphors like broken speech bubbles to get this across brilliantly and is another great example of how comics can help explain complex issues with simple visual language. With a cartoony style that is more polished than your average slice of life, but not so slick that it looses it personal tough. Stutter tells a really important story in a engaging and entertaining way. It is never self indulgent or asking for pity, instead it tackles prejudices with facts and humour as well as very personal and very well written emotional moments. While it may not seem like the kind of book for everyone. It is so readable and informative that we encourage people to check it out, because you won’t be disappointed.

You can find Joe at Table 51A in the ComiXology Marquee
You can pre-order Stutter from John’s Online Store

Eroll vs Evil

How do you even begin to accurately describe this latest book from Darrell ‘Forpe’ Thorpe?! Attempting to capture the crazy raw energy and ridiculous amount of creativity and imagination on every page in simple words just wont do it justice. Suffice to say it is another bat shit crazy adventure from the man who brought you sub aquatic skulls and all powerful goldfish in Sub Diablo. This time around though it’s more of a quest based story as our hero Erol goes on a quest to ‘level up’ and find the piece brigade, and on the way perhaps get some tacos. On the way he meets Grobbar the Cruncher, demonic dawgs and even his long lost dad Skelebore (who bears an uncanny resemblance to a blue 80s cartoon villain), to name but a few. The whole book reads like some kind of graffiti inspired sideways scrolling video game from a creator that’s been sniffing at the paint fumes for just a little too long. Although the artwork continues to be spectacular, much more polished and detailed than Sub Diablo, the story is a little lacking and it can get a bit repetitive as you meet weirdo after weirdo after weirdo. However when those weirdos look as great as they do in this then you don’t really mind a lack of coherent plot as you are just swept along for the ride and are drawn into the mental role of Freedoom never to escape again!

You can find Darrell at Table 166 in the ComiXology Marquee
You can purchase Erol vs. Evil from Darrell’s Online Store after Thought Bubble here

Wine and Zine Anthology

This first full anthology from the all-female, all Welsh, Wine and Zine collective and follows in the foot steps of last year’s gender swap anthology Swap and Care Spiller’s wonderful debut Lost Light. It features stories from all five members of the collective with each creator bringing something unique and different to the table. It starts with Zara Williams’ tale of Roy and Reilly getting ice cream which is as bright and colourful as a Baskin Robins drip tray and sees a unlikely couple attempt to get ice cream while one looses their cool. Meanwhile, Jessica Leslau creates a dreamy world for a young girl with long flowing hair in Rise. Gemma Roberts looks at what it means to be bisexual in an intelligently written and very personal piece about sexual identity. This is followed up by Clare spiller doing a beautiful piece about a young South American woman dealing with the grief of loosing her son, which features some exquisitely Incan inspired artwork and is set in a very unlikely setting and has a very poignant story. But perhaps our favourite of the 5 is Bryony Evans’ Leap which is like a techno colour sugar rush (as befits the most flamboyant member of the group) about a fairy going on an adventure. It’s a fantastic showcase of these interesting and diverse creators and is another excellent read from this exciting collective.

You can find the Wine and Zine Collective at Table 58 in the Ask For Mercy Marquee
You can pre-order the Wine and Zine Anthology here