Grrr - some photos

I'm clearing out old inboxes, and abruptly come across mails from Elffriede and Cym, who I met at Grrr... in 2004. Ellfriede drew strange creatures, often directly on gallery walls. Left alone for a moment she would whip out her ink and dip pen and start drawing. I watched enthralled, pleased that there was a person who made my doodling look restrained. Cym took photographs, almost continually. It irritated her that people would ask her to record things, like weddings and events. Creating her projects was a separate task from recording for documentary purposes, more akin to creating a photo story of self. I remember spending hours afterwards, when I got back, poring over Cym's photo stories -- this is the one about Grrr....

Myself, Lee Kennedy, Elffriede, and Cym, behind camera.

zine fest, alternative press fair

New year, new excitement.

Details about the Zine Fest at the Women's Library on Jan 24th. Looking at the programme, the bit which will feature some work by me is the Comic Exhibition in the Cafe Space. From the Zinefest Myspace comes this list:

Carol Swain
Carolyn Alexander
Charlotte Percival
Ellen Lindner
Emma Welch
Erica Akerlund
Flo Brooks
Francesca Cassavetti
Heather Crabtree
Heather Middleton
Iro Tsavala
Isy Morgenmuffel
Jackie Batey
Jenny Linn-Cole
Jeremy Dennis <<<<<<
Jess Bradley
Karoline Rerrie
Karrie Fransman
Kate Dickinson
Kate Evans
Lady Lucy
Laura Stimpson - Lazy Soosan
Lee Kennedy
Leonie O’Moore
Liz Greenfield
Lizz Lunney
Lucy Sweet
Mireille Fauchon
Rachael House
Rosie Brice
Sally-Anne Hickman
Sarah Lippett
Sarah Lynch
Sarah McIntyre
Sarah Ray
Siobhan Bowers
Siobhan Britton
Susie Rumsby
Tanya Meditzky

Which looks like a great show. Hmmmm. I wonder if the Women's Library would like my old copies of Spare Rib? They probably already have them in mutiplicate!

Next up, on Feb 1st, is another of Jimi Gherkin's Alternative Press Fairs which I'll be attending with my Whores of Mensa hat on, selling that and various other minis and tiny-zines.

Happy New Year!

women's zine library exhibition

I'm moving house at the moment, and going through piles and piles of old zines and comics. For a few years, Damian Cugley and I ran QZ, which was a listings sheet for UK_based Queer-Fem-etc. zines, which was inspired by Larry Bob's Queer Zine Explosion. This was just before the internet really took off, but people were beginning to feel that there was a subculture out there for them, waiting. Zines were a stopgap measure, a way to reach out and network using existing methods (photocopiers, stamps, lists of addresses) and it was scrappy and messy but worked very well. I still have friends from those days, many of them still making zines.*

So when Melanie Maddison put out the call for comics zines for an exhibition at the Women's Library in January 2009, I said yes, of course, how much do you want? I put together a package of some comics, some photocopies from the really old stuff -- including "Panic Comics #1" recipient of my first good review EVER! (I'd got some (very) bad ones before that.) and some smaller recent stuff. Can't wait to see what she does with it all, the list of exhibitors looks very exciting!

I sound like an old fart. We were revolutionaries, damnit!

*This year I got contacted by the daughter of one of these zine-makers, now a cartoonist herself!

let loose the whores of mensa!

Check it out!

We did indeed get Whores of Mensa -- now 36 pages long, and possessed of one of the most ambitious covers I have ever seen on a comic -- finished in time for a low key launch at Comiket, a small press fair which is part of the ICA's Comica comics festival.

New printers (thanks to Andy Luke for the recommendation) this time, which worked out well, although comics this size don't make money. It's a struggle to stop losing too much on them, really! Speaking of which, you can buy them for £4 via the usual paypal (£6 if overseas). See them, how shiny they are!


.. although, actually, the busy grey and pale blue turned out less attractive than I'd hoped with the shoppers at Comiket. Back to screamin' neons next issue, I think!

We were doing Transatlantic paste-ups so naturally there was a lot of yousendit and fat zipped files scooting around. As a way of turning the masses of scanning involved from a chore to a pleasure, I knocked together this little gallery of Individual Pictures of my Parisian Ladies.

flat out to finish whores of mensa (but)

Whores of Mensa, the comics collection I am in with Sacha Mardou and Ellen Lindner has been overdue for a little while now. Not altogether our fault; it's a labour of love we fit in around other things.

Ellen's been beavering away at her online graphic, Undertow, and Mardou's been ... well, more about what Mardou's been doing later.

Anyway, the upshiot is that it's not going to be out in time APE (San Francisco comics convention). In fact, I'm not even sure if Mardou's still going! The revised launch is instead going to be at Comiket, at the ICA in London.

In other news, I dropped into a gig on the way home and drew a comic called Applique Everything. The band who were playing (and who star in the strip) are lovely, talented Megamoog.


rich johnston drops me a mail

Comics mover-and-shaker Rich Johnston got in touch at the end of August to ask me about contributing to an exhibition at Harrods. I'm not sure I even thought very hard before saying yes. I have a strange affection for huge London department stores, Selfridges and Liberties and Harrods. There was a brief movement back in my zine days, in the 90s, called anarcho-decadance, which advocated the enjoyment of luxurious spaces by traditionally disenfranchised or marginalised groups. It didn't last long, despite awesome rallying calls like "ban all chocolate of less than 70% cocoa solids", but for a brief while places like the cafe at Harrods and the Selfridges FoodHall and the foyer of the Ritz were full of punks blowing their benefits on posh tea and scones.

In that frame of mind I snatched the shiniest item from the wall of the Jam Factory and sent it off to Harrods, where it arrived, covered in shattered cheap glass (!). They reframed it and filed it next to pages from the Beano and Judge Dredd and Wired World and a lovely piece by Brendan McCarthy (who is surely overdue some grand coffee table book? I think I'd buy it).

E.T.A I made it along to the closing show. Here's a picture Paul Gravett took of me, stood by my piece:

artist mug shot

I think I can safely say that I should have gone for something A3 sized.

Caption Timewarp - back through the dismal fogs of time

Caption Timewarp -- light duties for me! I helped Jenni Scott put together a timeline of Caption, from its conception in 1991, to the present day. It meant going through a lot of old stuff, and I got ground down by revisiting old conflicts, failures and arguments. *sigh* It's odd how the good stuff never seems to hit you as hard! I'm put in mind of "It grows bitter with time", a strip I did back in April, and eventually have to leave Jenni to finish off on her own. I wonder if I could turn that idea around somehow, and write another strip to bring back the good things?

Other than that, it was just the exhibition, up all month at The Jam Factory:

hung out to dry

9 panel grid

In the end, we didn't do much in the way of events -- an opening and a closing. I got to do some live sketching at the latter, which was fun. I also didn't sell, but I'd priced to not sell, so that was OK.

planning for the caption exhibition

Much of this month was spent preparing for the Caption Comics Collective Exhibition. I decided early on to arrange nine of my comics into a nine panel grid, nine of nine.

Strips selected for an exhibition need to look pretty in and of themselves, so a lot of my odder masters don't make it. Here's the nine I decided on:

Visit to Hesseland, about visiting an Eva Hesse restrospective with a migraine.

Golden Years, written on the bus on the way back from a day of epic public transport fail.

The subconscious strikes back, one of my many morning strips.

Message to cleanskies: complay with me couch, about my ongoing obsession with spambots.

Rhapsody at 5.45, one of my many work strips.

Refrain, a strip about bad news stories.

An unpublished strip called "small", written for an anthology on that theme.

All this was sea, about childhood and fossils.

The End of the Party Season, about growing older.

comics currently available

owl is angry
Owl is Angry! - £1.50 (some left)
Minicomic, A6 16pp with hand-stitched, sequinned red tracing paper slip cover.

no! it's tiny tea comics!
Tiny Tea Comic - £1.50 (some left)
Teabag-sized comic, 16pp, tagged and individually wrapped. Ink is water soluble.

scattered leaves
Scattered Leaves - £2.50 (only a few left)
Anthology of shorter comics from The weekly strip, A5 24pp with hand-stitched sequinned two-layer full colour cover and full colour centre spread.

a primer in basic goose
A primer in Basic Goose - £1.50 (some left)
Minicomic, A6 16pp, full colour.

whores of mensa 3
Whores of Mensa - £3.00 (only a few left)
Longer stories from myself, Mardou and Ellen Lindner.
A4 32pp B&W with full colour cover.

the minicomic box
Minicomics, various - 50p/free with order/swap (some left)
Minicomics, A6 16pp, various titles.

Postage within the UK is included*, please add a note to your order saying which comic you want.

Swaps, other titles, postal orders etc., please direct to jrd @ jeremydennis.co.uk

*Add in an extra quid or something if you want a comic sent further afield.