Can folk here recommend any good British comic review sites - not just for mainstream titles but indie material?

It would be useful to have a list for creators here to know where to send stuff (so if you have addresses that would be useful, too.

I've now started a page for this here: http://downthetubes.ning.com/notes/Comic_Review_Sites. More info and contact details welcomed.

The ones I can think of off the top of my head are:

• downthetubes (obviously, but bear in mind it's just me for the most part - anyone want to review Brit5ish comics for the site?)

• Forbidden Planet International (http://www.forbiddenplanet.co.uk/blog/) - an absolute must, since FPI may also decided to sell your title

• Comics Bulletin (http://www.comicsbulletin.com) - what used to be Silver Bullets

• Bugpowder (http://www.bugpowder.com/trs2/)
Send a sample copy of your comic to Jez Higgins, 34 Forest Road, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 9DH.

I know I've missed some. What's the name of that UK indie review site?

Print-wise of course, Comics International also reviews indie titles but what about music press etc.? Anyone know?

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I'm not 100% on the following for your needs but have you tried :

Smallzone (100% Indie stuff and they have a few offshoots ie " Incoming Fanzine" etc althought I think they may be an indie distributor)- http://www.smallzone.co.uk/

There is the UK independent comics publishers' portal and community website IndieReview.co.uk. (not sure this is still operational as I can't access)


There's Indyworld the alternative on-line E-zine - http://www.indyworld.com/altcomics/index.html

Redeye online fanzine (possibly still a mag as well) - http://www.enginecomics.co.uk/redeye/redeye1/redeye1reviews.htm


Tripwire fanzine (Isn't printed that regularly, then again it's more regular than Comic International now, whcih is an option if it ever gets back on schedule)

Deathray magazine and SFX have also done the odd review (but I'm not a regular reader so these may be US indies etc)



Local /regional ideas:

The Glasgow and Edinburgh events Magazine The List does a few UK based comic revires (but not a lot)Possibly other events guides from other large citys/areas -

You could also check out the Skinny (free Scottish and excellent) pop/ culture paper (although I have only seen a couple of comics reviewed here; http://www.theskinny.co.uk/ - possible other UK free press books outht ere in pubs like the Skinny etc

Comic Book Review: http://www.comicbookreview.co.uk/2008/08/review-crossed-avatar.html

The Comic List (weekly): http://www.comiclist.com/index.php/newreleases/comiclist-for-this-week
Brilliant! Some great ideas, cheers. I've now started a page for this here: http://downthetubes.ning.com/notes/Comic_Review_Sites. More info and contact details welcomed.
John,

If you like you can add scifipulse to that list. Sadly I don't have time to review every comic or book I come across. But have been known to review the odd title.

May also work if you add Geek Syndicate as well given that Barry and Dave have done reviews on the air when they haven't been able to do some reviews on the site:) Not that am dropping the lads in it.

But I'd be happy to do reviews if I was able to fit it all in lol. I actually have two guys in America who love comics of many persuasions that will be starting. Sure were restricted to scifi and fantasy related titles. So not likely to do the Dandy or the Beano, which I never read as a kid anyhow. But we can cover quite a bit. We also have Nick Yanes on staff, but most of his reviews tend to be Marvel and DC centric, but he does cover the odd indi title.

I'm reading Cy Dethans Cancertown right now and have to say its an enjoyable somewhat weird and creepy ride thus far.

Ian
Thanks Ian, I've added those. Much appreciated, Your coverage of the US scene is always appreciated, not that I read many US comics these days and Nick's items are always illuminating!
I'll second Ian's recommendation for Cancertown. An excellent new graphic novel, particularly considering it's the artist's first full-length work.

The artist (Stephen Downey) and his crew - girlfriend Aimee, brother James, and friend (and Insomnia Publications associate) Andrew - were at the local 2D Northern Ireland Comic Festival 2009 here in my home town of Derry at the weekend. I nabbed a copy of Cancertown and was amazed at the truly professional quality of the production - the writing (Cy Dethan), pencils/inking (Stephen Downey), colouring (Melanie Cook), lettering (Nic Wilkinson) - it's all top notch, and a remarkable effort from such a young team.

Highly recommended.

Phil
http://comicmole.wordpress.com/
Comics Mole, which covers a lot of UK manga style work.
Thanks for this -- I'm pretty much of an absolute ignoramus when it comes to manga and manga-inspired comics so any links for that 'genre' are really helpful.
I just checked out the dedicated page you set up for these listings, it's very helpful. I'll be using it very soon. Brilliant!
Thanks for this - it should prove very useful and cut out a lot of wasted effort.

What might be handy is digging out details of the person to speak to and whether they are OK with PDFs (saves posting something to the US).

Dave Candlish has done the Paragon promotion but I note that it is Kelvin Green who has reviewed it every time at Comics Bulletin and also reviews other British small press comics (like Sgt Mike Battle). It is a good site to target as it is one of the big comics sites and, unlike Newsarama and Comic Book Resources, is happy to cover the smaller publishers (as they do a much wider range of reviews that either site).

Another possible site is Broken Frontier. I notice they did a few reviews of 2000 AD trades but they seem to have disappeared following a site upgrade, although there is still the occasional prog review and the reviewer, Andy Oliver, has also covered Cla$$war recently. It might be worth someone contacting him and seeing what he is and isn't interested in.

It is also worth bearing in mind that an interview or feature might also be as useful as a review. I suspect you'd need to be getting a bit of a buzz around your comic first but if so some of the British sites might talk to you. Of the others Comics Bulletin has done the occasional interview, like this one (I suspect because Rob Williams was getting interested from Cla$$war, or perhaps he just dropped them a line), and Comicon.com also do interviews about British comics, there have been a few on Markosia titles (mainly Tony Lee's) as well as some 2000 AD stories, like this for Low Life. I am unsure if they have any specific criteria or whether it is down to creators being proactive (Tony Lee and Rob Williams seem to crop up most often). It is important to remember that most sites are on the look out for new material, so don't be shy about contacting them, they can only say no (and that doesn't reflect on your work - it may just be they are running at full capacity, for example ;) )

Also Comics Bulletin has a column, Comics Britannia, that covers British comics, although it has been a little infrequent recently. Still might be worth an email.

I dropped this into the 2000 AD forum where there are also other tips for creators - would it be worth a thread each for artists, writers and publishers? Collect some resources, see what areas people might want more information in?
Belated thanks for this, some terrific links and ideas which I've now added to the "Note". As for separate threads for links for individual creative 'sectors' I think it's best for people to post ideas here and I'll add as I can to the note, otherwise it gets hard for me to follow everything, hope that makes sense. Cheers!

That 2000AD forum link seems to have changed btw, it's now: http://2000adonline.com/forum/index.php/topic,25424.0.html
Ah yes, not long after posting that they moved the boards, I should have remembered and dropped in the changed one.

Anyway basic advice:

For artists, I think this is the minimum, the key is honing your craft:
http://2000adonline.com/forum/index.php/topic,24971.msg430094.html#...

There is also the artdroids Yahoogroup:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/artdroids/

Once you have got to grips with sequential storytelling (and getting some constructive criticism from the communities you have joined previously and if you ask then they will let you know) then you should drop a note to one of the British small press anthologies (or chat to them at a conference).

Perhaps the big one is to develop your own style - if you draw like everyone else then there is no reason for anyone to hire you ;) If you look at the 2000AD artists they almost always have their own distinctive style, and they are usually the ones who get snapped up by the American market.

For writers it can be a bit trickier. There are sample scripts you can look at to get the idea of what is needed (the 2000AD ones went missing when they redesigned the site but I think they are around, I'll dig them out) but I often find that reading comics with an eye on the pacing and storytelling is as good as a book on the topic. Getting feedback is tricky although I'm sure if you ask nicely in some communities folks will look a script over. There is also the scriptdroids Yahoogroup, which, while uite, should be useful:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/scriptdroids/

Once you've got a few stories under your belt it can be a bit trickier getting collaborators (although you may have met a few folks on the road who might be up for the next stage) and you'd usually be talking about a back-end deal if there is any possible money to be made (with that way of financing it you pay everyone when any money comes in).

It is an artists' market (as there are always more writers) so it if you are looking for artist for a project then you'll need to do some searching. DeviantArt is good and you could look through here:
http://www.digitalwebbing.com/talent/

I have also found Sweatdrop Studios to be useful for manga work (although bear in mind that most OEL manga creators writer their own material too so it can be trickier)
http://www.sweatdrop.com/forum/

This has a British slant on it and without an impressive combination of talent and luck it might not get you to the point of a paying gig. For that you need to keep honing your craft, pitching to companies (please read their guidelines carefully or your work could be binned or returned unread), networking, grapevining and getting your work out there and seen.

Also keep an eye out for opportunities to stand out and get your work seen.

There are also competitions writers and artists can contribute to. These change but there is Comic Book Idol and Small Press Idol. The manga ones are usually posted and discussed on Sweatdrop, like the RSOM (although check those terms and conditions as they got really controversial). There is also Zuda, which is a real chance to get some paid work for DC and it can get you serious attention, although because of this you really need to bring your A game because it attracts a lot of pro/semi-pro creators (and you should be in the position to put in heavy online promotion of your comic and if you can get into some local media all the better - the BBC is a good one, going via their regional divisions).

Anyway that is just bits and bobs off the top of my head, use what you like. I'll keep an eye open for other useful resources (and check my notes and bookmarks as there might be more in there).
OK, I've obviously completely not understood what you suggested earlier about separate threads for writers and artist advice: my apologies! I've cut and pasted the above to start to new threads to discuss creating comics for writers and links and advice for artists. Thanks very much for this information!

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