Small Press Publishers

The lil' guys! Don't ever forget the lil' guys! It might be a company just starting out, or someone who publishers something out of the norm, or a bunch of photocopied A4 sheets stapled together whatever it is, small doesn't mean they aren't mighty and worthy of you parting with cash for a quality read. Unfortunately I couldn't pick up something by everyone, though I did gather cards and contact details for several and I was impressed by the wealth of talent out there and the determination of people to push the things they lovingly created.

Semiotic Cohesion.


Speaking of pushing things, when we first arrived at BICS we were a bit over whelmed as people piled into this relatively small space filled with people behind desks, cosplayers and comic paraphernalia. We managed to traverse the first room, making it through the bright lights and flashing buttons of the Think Tank into the following room and into longbox territory. Meandering around the boxes and comics and toys and posters we still hadn't really spoke to anyone particular until someone spoke to us. A Mr. TOM McNally (I got his name wrong in an earlier post, I do apologise!). Stood behind a table filled with photocopied A4 comics laden with sharks and the more professional, colourful looking Semiotic Cohesion compilation comics, this smiling chap with an excellent hat gave me my first taste of small press pubishing. The South African based Semiotic Cohesion comics were an acquired sense of humour, yet the cartoony visuals of a walking, talking shark kept me intrigued as I flicked through. The issues on the table mostly created by Tom McNally and Sebastian Borckenhagen bring out a kind of existential humour, hat can be enjoyed on an as is level, much like some of the more obscure Adult Swim shows, 12 oz Mouse comes to mind, only funnier and with better artwork! With his laptop on display showing some of the off the wall Semiotic Cohesion splash screens you can collect from the website which gives you an immediate glimpse into the tongue in cheek, make you think twice humour which has constanly grown on me.

Would I purchase the comic in a store? The smaller Shark Of Wisdom and Ancient Shark Of Despair comics, despite the enthusiastic, delightful Mr. McNally, I probably wouldn't part with my cash. Though as a webcomic, or as part of a compilation, I would most definately keep up to date with the strip. Though I not only wish I'd picked up a copy of the Semiotic Cohesion compilation, I'm going to order them from the excellent website come payday.

Reaper Comics.


These guys mean business, which is great, because their business looks fantastic. From the mind of Hal Laren, this digital masterpiece looks fantastic. The covers alone are more than enough to get anyone to stop and have a look around and straight away see, that there's more than just enthusiasm and determination going on here, there's something truely special. So special, I was sold. I picked up every issue of their first extensive release B.ex, the story of a woman killed and brought back to life as a cyborg by a doctor claiming to be an ally, but to what ends? The art and concept work in harmony together as flicking through the clear, digitally enhanced I couldn't help but want more. Don't let the thought of digital art put you off, the idea made me cringe at first, thinking of late 90s kids TV that clearly tried to hard, the art here draws you in with a futuristic sheen and life like quality that has nods to the best animated manga, without leaving you dropping to your knees in confusion.

Reaper Comics has much more to offer, with numerous titles in the works, just looking at the website gives a list of 9 other titles, which I can't wait to hear more about with titles such as, Vena, Limbo Casino and the 9 Lives of Chat Noir. B.ex may be the most extensive comic so far, with 5 issues, but it wasn't the only one on display at BICS, as I also picked up a copy of The Elementals, to read a perspective of our world by the demigod like powers that created it. The other comic on display was robot team-up, Diba and Rock, two robots outside of society, one as scrap, one avoiding the army, singularly powerless, yet together more an irresistable force. Not being a robot fan I didn't bother with Diba and Rock, though reading the about the concept and the way I was so impressed with what else I saw, I may well have found something that would have really surpirsed me and really, that's what all this is about. Discovering new things, new comics and new publishers and hopefully the next big thing. That may be what I have found here, you will certainly be hearing more of Reaper Comics on here as I will be reading and reviewing B.ex issues 1-5 and The Elementals, so please, check back, you don't have to fear the Reaper here.

The DFC.


Comics, the term has meant many things to me over the years, but when I was younger it mostly meant comic strips, the only reason I'd pick up a newspaper that didn't involve building something on Blue Peter, Beano, Dandy...the stuff I had to shut me up in the supermarket. The DFC is comic strips, at it's finest. I just wish I had this kind of quality when I was a kid, you won't see this sitting in the supermarket as you have to sign up on the beautifully, innovatively designed website and subscribe so it will be delivered directly to you, on your doorstep in its specially designed envelope every single week. The fantastic brightly coloured strips of all kinds of stories, including John Blake written by acclaimed writer Philip Pullman, he of His Dark Materials fame and the hit movie The Golden Compass. Jamie Smart writer and artist of Bear, Neil Cameron writer of the excellent Classical Comics adaptation of Henry V...you will be hearing me go on about this alot more soon and the excellent Mr. Tony Lee who's wrote for the likes of Marvel, IDW, Rebellion and Markosia including the Hope Falls series I also picked up from BICS.


Yes, DFC has the colours it has the strips and it even has the big names, but working with the excellent website really makes this comic excel. With games, competitions, drawing guides and even a comic strip creator and the thing that impressed more the most, both website and comic is ALL done with absolutely no ads. Not a single one. Zero. No toy of the week forced down your childs throat, no new pair of trainers you will be incessently bugged for until an even newer pair is released, no pop ups, no epilepsy induicing flashing banners, just excellent, incredibly high quality comic strips from creators that everyone can appreciate. Go sign your kids up for a subscription now. Don't have kids? Get some, you need an excuse to read this comic.

Failing that, pick up an issue for FREE!

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