Gabriel Cushing: Demon Hunter - Visit the official site

TGE News – Convention Appearances in 2015

Posted by Chrissey - 20th May 2015

Over the rest of 2015 we’ll be attending a few comic conventions. If you’ve got tickets to any of the following, make sure you pop by our table and say hello!

Cardiff Comic Expo – Saturday 27th June

For one day only we will be celebrating and sharing our love of comics. Cardiff Expo is all about showcasing the very best in independent comics from South Wales and beyond, their creators and their talent. Tickets are on sale now.

Melksham Comic Con – Sunday 30th AugustMelksham Comic Con logo

Melksham Comic Con – the little convention with a lot of power!

Melksham Comic Con is a non-profit event that celebrates and promotes comic books and sequential art in its many forms, from web comics, independent works, publishers, printers, retailers and so much more! We’re the perfect convention for people who have never been to one, or want to see what it’s all about – taking place in the heart of Wiltshire, surrounded by beautiful countryside!

Bristol Con – Saturday 26th September

BristolCon is a one-day convention organized by the BristolCon Foundation, a charitable foundation set up to support and promote speculative fiction writing, art and related activities in the South West.

Guests of Honour in 2015 will be writers Jasper Fforde and Jaine Fenn, with a possible artist GoH to be confirmed.

The convention will consist of panels and talks, an art show and small group sessions including kaffeklatsches and workshops. Books, comics and merchandise will be available in the dealers’ room and authors will be available for book signings. There will also be a games room and other entertainment in the evening.

We’ll be unveiling the first novel tie in to the Gabriel Cushing Series: Mime by Chrissey Harrison. Get a sneak peek and pre-order before the official release a few weeks later at Bristol Horror Con.

Bristol Comic and Zine Fair – Saturday 3rd October (TBC)

The Bristol Comic and Zine Fair celebrates the world of DIY and independent publishing. The fair brings together artists, writers, and publishers from across Bristol and further afield for a one-day market. 2015 will be their fifth year.

Bristol Horror Con – Saturday 17th October

The expo will celebrate horror in literature, film, music, games and art. Expect traders, guests, cosplay competitions, workshops, gaming and more! Early Bird tickets are currently on sale at £6.66.

Join us for the launch of Mime by Chrissey Harrison. There will (fingers crossed) be drinks, nibbles and freebies.

Bristol Horror Con

Also watch out for announcements about video screenings at our convention appearances and elsewhere later in the year.


Film Industry News – The new YouTube Subscription Model and the Indie Filmmaker

Posted by Rich - 18th May 2015

YouTube logoYouTube logo

YouTube have recently announced a new initiative to offer subscriptions to users to watch content, in return for viewing YouTube ad-free – akin to their music subscription offer ‘Music Key’. This was announced in a letter to all YouTube content creators, and was widely publicised in the media. But will this new scheme benefit the content creator, or undermine the already unreliable revenues YouTube creates?

Replacing adverts with subscriptions is nothing new: Spotify notably has offered the option to go ad-free since their public launch back in 2008, so it seems no surprise that YouTube are offering such a deal to their users.

Also, as many people use YouTube as an alternative music player – essentially queuing up playlists of music videos and using them as a way of listening over using a music streaming service or radio – it seems to make sense that having a system akin to Spotify would be the perfect solution to listening interruption-free.

Letter from YouTube to Content Creators

The letter from YouTube announcing to Creators the subscription plan

Whilst music videos may be the bread-and-butter of advertising revenue for YouTube, and so Music Key is a logical idea, the question some in the indie film industry wonder is what effect this will have on money coming into the service with a subscription-based YouTube, and more importantly to the content creators.

YouTube have repeatedly assured creators that this method is positive; there will be more money available to creators and there will be assured revenue, as there will be a fixed income for batches of views unlike the current mechanism of advertisers paying every time an advert s shown (which is not perfect due to a combination of adverts not always being shown before every view, some advertisers only paying per clickthrough, and a percentage of users using advert-blocking software such as AdBlock Plus).

This could likely mean that for content creators like ourselves, whose annual revenues from YouTube are barely in the double digits, could see a significant increase in the amount of money raised.

However, for some creators they may see their revenues decline as a result of this move – unsurprisingly, the revenues created for 100 advert streams is expected to be less than the revenue return for 100 views from subscribers. In addition, users repeatedly viewing the content on repeat (for instance, someone who really enjoys the musical stylings of Ylvis’ The Fox) only provide a fixed amount of content to the content creator per day, potentially less than someone seeing an advert every time.

Often schemes that YouTube introduce that claim to be for the benefit of the creators don’t work to expectations (such as their switch from view-based video ranking to engagement-based ranking, which caused a massive drop in views for many content larger creators as subscribers and searchers no longer saw some of the more popular content).

The Game Theorists discuss the effects of YouTube’s switch to engagement-based ranking which affected a large percentage of content creators

Only time will tell whether this scheme will be beneficial to creators. On the one hand, there might be a positive effect on revenue. On the other, it may turn out that the only one who benefits from this new deal is YouTube themselves.


Follow Friday – UK Comics Creative

Posted by Rich - 15th May 2015

UK Comics Creative ( UKComics )UK Comics Creative is an independent printing company specialising in the production of comic books, graphic novels, anthologies, art prints and magazines, as well as t-shirts, posters, flyers, badges and more.

What makes them special is they handle small print runs whilst maintaining their excellent print standards. As such, they have become a very big name in the UK Small Press Comic market with a very high percentage of comic creators using their services to handle all their printing needs. They also have exceptional turnaround rates, helping you to get to print faster than it’s European rivals.

They have also in the past delivered stock directly to conventions and events, allowing their customers to reduce the amount of stock being lugged through crowded train stations.

More recently, they have moved into the distribution and sale of content they print through their sister site, UKOnDisplay, which holds a fantastic stock of small-press and indie comics which can’t be beat!

Find out more at www.ukcomicscreative.co.uk, follow them on Twitter ( @UKCOMICS ), or Facebook ( facebook.com/UkOnDisplay )


Monthly Mention #3 – May 2015

Posted by Rich - 11th May 2015

Monthly Mention is our monthly featurette where we give a shout out to a bunch of great stuff and projects in the world of indie films, fiction and comics. It might be new, it might have been around for a while, but it is all cool.

Here’s some stuff we’ve come across recently that we think you should check out:

The Hellequin Chronicles: Prison Of Hope

Prison Of Hope (The Hellequin Chronicles Book 4) by Steve McHughSteve McHugh is a British writer specialising in supernatural fantasy, and is creator of long-running series ‘The Hellequin Chronicles’.

The latest book in the series, Prison Of Hope, was released last month and is already getting rave reviews on Amazon.

Long ago, Olympian gods imprisoned the demon Pandora in a human – Hope – creating a creature whose only purpose was chaos and death. Remorseful, the gods locked Pandora away in Tartarus, ruled by Hades.
Now, centuries later, Pandora escapes. Nate Garrett, 1600-year-old sorcerer, is sent to recapture her and discovers her plan to disrupt the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, killing thousands in a misplaced quest for vengeance.
Fast forward to modern-day Berlin, where Nate has agreed to act as guardian on a school trip to Germany to visit Hades at the entrance to Tartarus. When Titan King Cronus becomes the second ever to escape Tartarus, Nate is forced to track him down and bring him back, to avert a civil war between those who would use his escape to gain power.

You can read the prologue and first chapter on Steve’s site, and purchase on Amazon now.

Buy from Amazon US
Buy from Amazon UK


The Fetishman Filthology

Dr Geof is a comic artist, genuine physicist, steampunk aficionado and regular on the comic convention circuit.

He is well-known for his posters extolling the virtues of careful airship piloting, sew-on patches depicting the wearer’s allegiances with the mad sciences, and trying to conscript many into the First Tea Company by way of his travelling museum.

However, his whole empire started off with a simple comic: a gimp suit-wearing hero named Fetishman, along with his sidekick Lactose-Intolerant Boy, attempt to thwart the evil forces of Baron von Wagner, deal with various neer-do-wells and receive copious amounts of ‘punishment’ from Mistress Domination.

It’s been 13 years since the first part of Fetishman was launched, and to celebrate Dr Geof is creating the ultimate compendium of his exploits named… The Fetishman Filthology, over 500 pages chronicling the early history of the latex-clad crusader.

Currently funding on Kickstarter, which finishes on the 31st of May!

Check out the Kickstarter now!


End Of Days

End Of Days By Susan Ee (Part 3 of the Penryn and the End Of Days series)Susan Ee is a Young-Adult Fantasy author who, much like Steve, found fame through self-publishing and e-books.

Her first major series, Penryn and the End of Days, is coming to a conclusion this month with her book ‘End Of Days’.

After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.

You can read chapters and samples of the series on her website, SusanEe.com, and can pre-order the book on Amazon.

Buy now on Amazon US
Buy now on Amazon UK


Cirque Du Mort

Cirque Du Mort by Anastasia CatrisCirque Du Mort is a brand new gothic comic series created by Anastasia Catris, a freelance illustrator from Wales whose talents are constantly in demand. Her book ‘SuBo’s Cat’ – about the exploits of unlikely star Susan Boyle’s pampered pet – was a massive hit having been picked up by HarperCollins for publication. She has also produced illustration for some big names in comics such as DC Comics and IDW, and is a regular on the indie comic book circuit.

Her latest project, Cirque Du Mort, tells gruesome tales about the cast of a haunted circus – each story being told from the perspective of one of the cursed troupe who are treading the boards for one reason or another.

The book finally went to the printers this month, so check out Anastasia’s website and Facebook page to find out how you can secure your own copy!


Dawn After Dark: Kiss Me Deadly

Dawn After Dark: Kiss Me Deadly by Matt WarnerLong-time site contributors Hellbound Media have re-released their Dawn Keenan ‘Kiss Me Deadly’ comics into a new trade paperback edition, released earlier this year.

Collecting the original issues, and featuring a wealth of bonus artwork, this trade paperback features the début storyline of “Dawn After Dark”, the continuing chronicles of Dawn Keenan, Dublin’s premier vampire hunter.

You can find out more about Dawn After Dark on Hellbound Media’s website, or check out the comic book preview right here on TGE.

Buy Dawn After Dark on Hellbound Media’s site

 


Banjo

Banjo at Festival De CannesWe can’t have a Monthly Mention post without mentioning that we’re all excited that Banjo, a film we helped out on and starring several TGE cohorts and friends, is on its way to the Cannes Film Market next week!

Banjo follows the story of Peltzer Arbuckle, a bullied office worker humiliated daily by his fellow colleagues and cheating spouse.

When news about an embarrassing bedroom accident makes it’s way around the workplace, Peltzer decides to put up with his torment no longer, and conjures up his childhood imaginary friend “Ronnie” through the use of a Ouija board.

Peltzer’s world is soon turned upside down, as Ronnie attempts to manipulate him, to exact revenge on his tormenting co-workers in the most gruesome fashion.

As Ronnie starts wreaking havoc and ruining Peltzer’s life and relationships, Peltzer soon finds that the genie is out of the bottle, and no longer able to control his imaginary friend in this twisted tale of romance and revenge.

Liam Regan, it’s dedicated and amazing director, is Troma Entertainment alumni – and the film itself is a love-letter to the fun, gruesome and stylish genre that put that company on the map. In fact, it’s no surprise to see some familiar Troma and indie horror names on the bill.

You can catch market screenings for Banjo on Thursday the 14th of May at 4pm, and Saturday the 16th of May at 8pm at the prestigious Hotel Gray d’Albion in Cannes.

Massive, massive congratulations to Liam Regan and the Cincest Films team for getting Banjo to Cannes. We can’t wait to see it!

More information on the Banjo website


That’s all for this month’s mentions, but check out Coming Up In May 2015 to find out what’s going on for the rest of this month on TGE!

 


Follow Friday – Ravensbourne College

Posted by Chrissey - 8th May 2015

Ravensbourne CollegeRavensbourne College is an innovative, industry-focused university sector college located in the heart of London. Their focus is creativity and collaboration, with a dedicated to giving learners the specialist skills and opportunities they need for outstanding careers in digital media and design.

The college will play host to this year’s BECTU freelancers’ Fair on the 29th May.

They offer short courses as well as full academic courses in digital media and design. Recently they have posted some classes on YouTube and we definitely think these are worth checking out:

Script Writing for Beginners

Creating Memorable Characters

You can follow Ravensbourne College on Twitter (@RavensbourneUK) and Facebook (/RavensbourneUK).


Coming up in May 2015

Posted by Chrissey - 4th May 2015

Coming up this May on The Great Escape:

6th MayCamp GenX: Part 4 – We return to the post-apocalyptic summer camp for a new instalment. Two young members of the camp find some mushrooms.

13th MayChecking In video special – Find out more about the critically acclaimed British film. TGE’s Mark Adams, one of the directors of Checking In, joins cast, crew and fans for their April cinema screening.Checking In movie

20th May – TGE Convention Appearances – Check out our blog for details of the Comic Conventions we’ll be attending during 2015.

27th May Faith Healers: The Flesh Angel – a new instalment in our continuing tale of the nephilim nurses’ investigation of the mysterious flesh crafter. Read the story from the beginning.

Business Bear - web comic by Kristian GriffithsCatch new instalments of our new web comic, Business Bear, from comic creator Kristian Griffiths, on Thursday 7th and 21st May.

 

Friday Follows – every Friday we’ll be featuring a site, service or person we think is worth following. Check out our past suggestions here.

Monday is News day – Every Monday our blog will feature news and updates from the worlds of indie films, fiction and comics.


Follow Friday – Open Books

Posted by Chrissey - 1st May 2015

Open Books - Read it | Love it | Price it | Share it

Openbooks.com is an eBook distribution platform with a new approach; a pay-what-you-want transaction model. In other words, readers can download and read great fiction for free, and while authors and publishers can set a guide price, it is just that. Readers who choose to pay can adjust the price up or down.

Ebooks downloaded through Open Books include an end user licence agreement and links back to the site where the user can choose to pay. Because this information is embedded within the book itself, it travels wherever the book does. Readers are actively encouraged to copy, share and distribute the books they download.

Many independent and self published authors feel pressured to give their books away for free to build a readership. Open Books offers an attractive alternative to simply listing the book free on Kindle Direct, Kobo Writing Life or other services. Launched last week to coincide with The London Book Fair, Open Books have already accumulated a substantial and growing list of titles and authors.

Will an eBook site supported by the good will of readers work in the long term? Only time will tell. You can follow Open Books on Twitter (@openbookscom) and Facebook (/openbooks).

The Star Coin Prophecy by Chrissey Harrison is now available to download from Open Books and you’ll see more Great Escape fiction publications appearing there in the future.

Follow Friday is our weekly featurette where we highlight people and sites we think are worth following. Take a look at our past suggestions here.


Events News – May 2015

Posted by Rich - 27th April 2015

May is a busy month in the world of films, fiction and comics. Here’s a selection of the best events (in our opinion, of course) that you should check out across the UK!

Comic Conventions

MCM_ComicCon_London_vMCM London Comic Con – ExCel London – 22nd-24th May
http://www.mcmcomiccon.com/london/

One of the biggest comic events in the UK returns this May at the ExCel Centre in London. Set over 3 days, it features a big mix of big guests, small press, plus videogames, movies and pop culture!

 

Wonderlands Graphic Novel Expo, SunderlandWonderlands – University of Sunderland – Saturday 30th May
http://www.wonderlands.org.uk/

Unlike a lot of conventions that focus not only on comic books, but also everything surrounding it, Wonderlands is the first to be dedicated to the graphic novel.

Showmasters' Film and Comic Con ManchesterManchester Film and Comic Con – Event City, Manchester – 30th-31st May
http://www.filmandcomicconmanchester.com/

Run by Showmasters, one of the biggest names in film and comic conventions, this is the first comic convention of it’s kind in the area, and hopes to cater to everyone’s tastes!

Also, don’t forget that Saturday the 2nd of May is Free Comic Book Day, where names both big and small in comics get in on giving away free content! Visit your nearest comic shop for more details, or check out http://www.freecomicbookday.com

 

 


Film Festivals

Plymouth Film Festival 2015Plymouth Film Festival – Sat 16th May – Sun 17th May
http://www.plymouthfilmfestival.co.uk/

Run by the Plymouth Arts Centre and started just 2 years ago, the Plymouth Film Festival has rapidly grown into one of the bigger events on the South West film calendar. Featuring a mix of indie feature and short films along with awards and workshops, this is one to go to if you’re in the area!

Sci-Fi-London Film FestivalSci-Fi-London Film Festival 28th May – 7th June
http://sci-fi-london.com/

We’ve mentioned the associated 48 hour film challenge on previous occasions, but the last week of May is home to the annual London Sci-Fi Film Festival where many of the new and up-and-coming filmmakers mingle with premieres of some of the biggest films of the year.

Also, don’t forget that for a chance to be in the Raindance Film and Web Festival, the deadline for standard submissions is the 18th of May. Check here for more details: http://raindancefestival.org/submissions-2015/


Fiction Events

Twitter Fiction Festival LogoTwitter Fiction Festival: 11-15 May
http://twitterfictionfestival.com/

The Twitter Fiction Festival is  a 5-day event run by Penguin Random House, where authors create original fiction through the medium of Twitter. Anyone can take part, and people have the chance to be part of the author showcase beside big names in the industry.

 

Hay Festival, Hay-On-Wye: 21–31 May 2015
http://www.hayfestival.com/wales/

The Hay Festival has come a long way since it’s humble beginnings as a small literature festival in a small Welsh town, with events happening all year across the globe. However, the original Hay-On-Wye festival returns this month with hundreds of events happening over the 10 days.

 

Brighton Festival – 2nd-24th May
http://brightonfestival.org/

Happening all month and covering many different art disciplines along with literature, the Brighton Festival hopes to be  one of the biggest events in the South of England, and well worth checking out.

 


Local Spotlight

Spike Island Open 2015 - 1st to 4th MaySpike Island is a creative arts centre based in Bristol, named after the island it sits on (which is also home to the SS Great Britain).

They are a crucible of new talent in art and design, running art exhibitions, shows, events,  and more, as well as having rentable workshops, co-working and office space for people working in the arts.

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan - book coverThis month, Spike Island has it’s annual Spike Island Open studios event between the 1st and the 4th of May, where the artists of the centre open their doors for the public to see what they do. You can find out more about the event on Spike Island’s site.

In addition, Spike Island run a monthly event in association with the Bristol Festival of Ideas, where they get a debut writer to come talk about their new novel in a ‘relaxed, informal setting’. May’s event is with Kirsty Logan writer of new novel The Gracekeepers, the ‘magical story of a floating circus and two young women in search of a home’.

The event is on the 21st of May, and tickets are available from the Bristol Festival of Ideas website.


 

That’s all the events news for now, check back 25th of May for a look at June 2015’s events!


Follow Friday – Pond5, Marketplace for Creativity

Posted by Chrissey - 24th April 2015

Pond5 Pond5is one of several creative marketplaces out there where you can find stock footage, photos, video effects, audio clips, music and even 3D models.

What we found appealing about Pond5 was its great selection of public domain photos and videos, including some fascinating historical footage. If you’re working on a historical documentary, want some flashback footage for a short film or you just need a black and white picture of two cats in cannon barrel (right),  this is a great place to look.
The Ships Cats of HMS Hawkins (c1920)
What’s more, because it’s a marketplace, creators of content can upload their material for sale to other creatives. Definitely worth checking out this Follow Friday.

Follow Friday is our weekly featurette where we highlight people and sites we think are worth following. Take a look at our past suggestions here.


An Interview with Kristian Griffiths, creator of Business Bear

Posted by Rich - 22nd April 2015

Kristian Griffiths, creator of Business BearThis week we welcome new comic series Business Bear to The Great Escape, the latest creation by artist, software developer and former actor Kristian Griffiths.

Long time fans of The Great Escape may recognise Kristian from such seminal works as ‘Terror of the Killer Carnivorous Coat‘.

Small-press people may recognise him from his work with Fallen Angel Media, which produced three comics.

We caught up with Kristian to chat about himself, Business Bear and several questions that may appear off-topic, but actually delve deep into the psyche of the man who likes drawing bears.


Rich Jeffery: Who are you, and what do you do?

Kristian Griffiths: My name’s Kristian Griffiths. By day I’m a software developer, but by night I’m still a software developer as it never leaves you. I do, however, draw comics in my spare time.

RJ: Who is Business Bear?

KG: Business Bear is an honest, hard-working bear just trying to get through all the corporate nonsense that comes with working for a large company. He doesn’t really have need of a first name, or a surname, as his name’s just Bear. Who’s going to argue with him, he’s a bear in a tie.

RJ: How did you come up with the idea for Business Bear?

KG: I’m not going to lie, I find it easy to draw bears. I was doodling a bear wearing a tie on one of my pads at work. I then started going into meetings with said pads and filling in speech bubbles with business-y things that I’ve heard throughout my career. From there I started drawing them more seriously.

RJ: How did you get into comic drawing?

KG: This is a long story and a complicated one. I picked up a pencil and started drawing. There was a bit more to it than that: I started my first serious series (Adventures with Kristian) as filler for an old friend’s web comic. From there I decided to draw Further Adventures with Kristian, and then Brown Bottle Bear. From there my comics took a hiatus as I moved half-way up the country.

RJ: How does Business Bear get away with the fact that he is just a bear in a seemingly high-pressure human world?

KG: The hibernation is tough on him, as you can’t just take a few months off for that. I think he gains acceptance by being a talking bear that, somehow, manages to put on a collar and tie every morning. Also when he applied for the job he brought with him his own collection of Corporate polo-shirts.

RJ: What are your favourite comic series / web comics?

KG: I hate every else’s work as it’s substandard. No, just kidding. I’m a big fan of Dilbert, surprisingly. Also I’m a big fan of Batman, and get most of the Bat titles. On the web my favourites are Penny Arcade and also a series called Atland (by Nate Piekos).

RJ: How does Kristian Griffiths like to relax?

KG: Spending time with my wife. Playing with my cats, snakes, lizards and (when she behaves) dog. Also I love to play pen and paper RPGs and point and click adventure games. I also have a small collection of Board Games.

RJ: What is your special skill?

KG: You know, I don’t think I have one. Unless drinking cider and being able to stand up afterwards is a skill.

RJ: What advice can you offer to people starting out in drawing/writing comics?

KG: Do it! Put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard. I draw mine by hand (it shows). I’m not the best artist in the world but you don’t have to be. Mimic other people’s style and you’ll soon find you’ll

RJ: If you were stranded on a desert island, who would be your favourite Avenger?

KG: Batman. Yeah, he’s DC and not an Avenger, but I don’t have to play by your rules and I like Batman. At a push I’d probably say Iron Man. Thor’s an idiot with a hammer, the Incredible Hulk and I have issues after Marvel’s latest Hulk run, Captain America is a goody-two-shoes and Black Widow is awesome but not my favourite.

RJ: What’s your favourite thing on the internet RIGHT NOW?

KG: …*shamefully* the WWE Network…DON’T JUDGE ME!

RJ: If you could ask yourself one question, what would you ask? And what would you say in response to your question? Essentially, I’m just trying to make you do my job.

KG: Hmm…If you had £1,000,000 that you can spend on something non-essential, what would it be?

Well, Kristian, that’s a fine question and well thought out. I’d go to my local game shop and buy ALL THE BOARD GAMES.


 Big thanks to Kristian for taking the time out to be interviewed, and welcome back to The Great Escape fold.

Business Bear can be found right here on The Great Escape ( http://thegreatesc.com/tag/business-bear ), as well as being found on the Business Bear Facebook page.