This editorial, “Strange Maven’s Diary,” originally appeared in Strangehaven issue #15, May 2003.
Another year, another issue of Strangehaven.
Yeah, I know, I shouldn’t joke about it. All I can say in my defence is that I have been far more productive during the past few months than I have been since the early days of my illustrious career in cartooning. Not only will you find an additional two – that’s two, count ‘em, two – additional pages of Strangehaven in this very issue at no extra charge to the consumer, but in addition, I’ve been heavily involved with a huge tribute charity project (more on which later) and have also been commissioned to write and draw a small but very interesting freelance project (which will be announced in due course – and it’s probably not what you might think).
I’ve also managed to squeeze in several illustrations for a number of British-based comics magazines – including a cover for the anthology Nucomix, plus negotiating the Italian language editions of Strangehaven with my chums from Black Velvet Editrice and facilitating the production of a couple of features which should be appearing around about now in print magazines Headpress and International Studio.
The tribute charity project of which I mention in passing above is called, (for want of a more concise title) Alan Moore: Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman, and is, unsurprisingly a homage to the genius of comics writer extraordinaire, Mr. Alan Moore. Less obvious is the book’s charity mission, which is to benefit sufferers of Alzheimer’s disease. More to the point, I have not only been co-editing, coordinating and undertaking production and design work on the book, I am also contributing a concise and entertaining twelve-page biography of the great man himself. More information on this fantastic and very worthy project can be found in the features section at the rear of this fine magazine.
Yes, Abiogenesis Press has moved to larger, cleaner and more modern premises in a sunnier, more picturesque and more exclusive part of the county. Those of you who insist on reading the small print in the indicia every issue and who also have a photographic memory will no doubt have already noticed a change of the Abiogenesis Press address (and try saying that three times quickly after several pints of Old Speckled Hen). This new address supersedes the old address, although the old PO Box will be run in tandem for a little while, so anything sent recently will still reach me, but now’s the time to update those address books, for those technophobes who still use regular mail.
All these rather exciting developments have conspired to create yet further uncertainty in the future scheduling of the rather spiffing publication that you hold in your hands. However, if you’re one of the growing number of tech-heads who subscribe to the Internet community, a quick check of the official Abiogenesis website, situated at the not unreasonably-named www.millidge.com (or requesting the occasional e-newsletter by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org) will present the very latest news of all things Millidge in an entertaining yet informative fashion.
In addition to the very latest Millidge-related news, the website is has new features added on a irregular basis, with digital reproductions of rare artwork, texts and most excitingly a new resource area for budding self-publishers. Well worth a visit next time you’re in hyperspace.
But still, rather than dwell upon the possible scheduling permutations of future editions, let’s celebrate the arrival of this current issue.
A brief perusal of our contents will reveal that due to this issue’s additional story pages, the reintroduction of this editorial and our “story so far” recap pages (back by popular demand), there’s less feature pages than usual and a severely truncated letters column. By way of compensation, I’ve added colour to the inside covers in order to bring you the full Technicolor experience of my first San Diego comic con in five years. All in all, I hope you’ll find this package as great value as usual.
Unfortunately, there’s no room for my usual smattering of small press and comic reviews, but these will return, hopefully next issue, so please keep sending me your stuff. Even if I can’t individually respond to everyone that sends me their work, I attempt to read everything that I receive and the effort put into actually publishing these things is very much appreciated.
There’s just space here to single out for special recommendation just a couple of efforts, many of which I was gifted at last summer’s Bristol festival;
Nik Neocleus’ fine Graphic Eye Magazine, a flashback to the days of the heyday of the articlezine, complete with colour covers and a Bryan Talbot interview.
Underground by Matthew Bellisle is a slight, landscape format, metallic silver “comic” which looks a bit like an art student’s silkscreen project. Cool, weird, interesting stuff.
Colin Mathieson, the man that brought us his insanely detailed retelling of the water cart rescue scene from the Zulu movie has also published an A5 zine, M56 Comics, with a very amusing autobiographical strip about his meeting with Eddie Campbell.
And finally, Vince Danks, he who self published Sapphire many moons ago is back with an ambitious new anthology project called Raven, and has two issues out already.
Unfortunately, my professionalism has deserted me for a moment in that I don’t have the addresses or ordering details for the above, as most of my possessions remain stored in a number of corrugated boxes, awaiting the eventual completion of my new studio office. I’ll endeavour to post the info to my oft-mentioned website when available.
So, in the immortal words of Amanda Lamb from Channel 4’s A Place In The Sun, “See ya next time”