Yesterday, Forbidden Planet International broke the news about a new UK publishing group for independent comics and graphic novels set up by myself and my comics wife Marc Ellerby, and thus the Great Beast was unleashed upon the world.
With this new imprint, Marc and I intend to get our self published comics into as many hands as possible, which means big print runs, wider distribution and fully embracing digital comics. We want to bring fun, poppy, heartfelt comics to anyone who may enjoy them. We also aim to publish more comics for children and teenagers too. There’s more about what Great Beast is all about in our first blog post which outlines a Great Beast manifesto, the Beast’s battle cry if you will.
Our first titles are Chloe Noonan: Monster Hunter by Marc and Blood Blokes by me. Both have been in print for a while but have been re-released as Great Beast editions and every new issue will be released digitally the same day. In fact, you can buy Blood Blokes #1 digitally for just 99p RIGHT NOW! 99p!
Later in the year we will both be releasing book collections of our previous web-comic work. Marc will release the Ellerbisms book (the beautiful cover has been revealed here) and I will finally collect all 200 comics strips from The Everyday into a nice, hardback book. Here’s the cover:
The response yesterday was overwhelmingly positive. Twitter went nuts and the Great Beast twitter account, @GreatBeastUK, got 100 followers in a matter of hours. Marc has also set up a nifty Facebook page where you can even buy items from our store directly! Check it out and click Like to follow us and keep up to date.
We’ve got a lot of plans for Great Beast which we will reveal in time. For now I can tell you we aim to add a few more creators to the roster before the end of the year and Blood Blokes #2 will be released in May, both in print and digitally of course.
To say it’s a relief that Great Beast is now up and running and out there in the world would be a huge understatement. Marc and I have been talking about this since the end of July last year. We could have had an actual human baby in that time (biology permitting)! It’s been a long road, and at times incredibly frustrating, mostly because we wanted to do everything right (choosing the name took months, oh god, the Google+ chats we had! *shudder*), but we got there and I couldn’t be more proud of our little Beast.
It’s going be a great show, it’s FREE entry for a start, there’s a ton of great cartoonists there like John Allison, Kristyna Baczynski , Tom Gauld, Joe Decie, Warwick Johnson-Cadwell and more, live drawing (that’s going to be fun), reading rooms, a bar, a coffee shop and most importantly an after party. ALL FOR FREE! Get down there!
Marc’s written a blog post about what he’ll be selling including original art (Muppets! He-Man! Turtles!) and a new Chloe Noonan tote bag. I’ll be fully stocked up with the Great Beast editions of Blood Blokes #1. I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out. I hope to see some of you there.