The Paper Jam Comics Collective is a collective and no one is in charge, and whatever happens happens by virtue of enough of the collective deciding that it's happening. I've been part of Paper Jam since it started (in January 2007 - gosh, I feel old), and, due to that, have become The Guy Who Sends The Emails. I have had the privilege of seeing Paper Jam do quite a lot of stuff (both directly and in adjacent projects like Canny Comic Con and Newcastle Science Comic), and though the exact constituent people vary over time - the stuff works on the basic principle of people getting stuck in and having a nice time.
Over the last year, Paper Jam has slowly got going again, new folk have got involved, and this culminated in making The Sea ...And That, our first anthology since 2019. Our launch party yesterday was A DELIGHT.
It's strange how much my sense of who I am is tied up with doing daft comics and arts stuff. The last few years have been tough for many people in many ways but one thing I'd missed more than anything is doing stuff like this. There have been points where I didn't think I'd' do them again. So it was genuinely moving to be at the launch yesterday and feeling the buzz of just people clarting about drawing and chatting and reading comics (and getting temporary tattoos of boats).
I'd like to thank everyone who attended, it was lovely to see so many folks getting along (travelling distance, amending other plans, dodging covid, dragging members of their family along, etc) to say hello, pick up our comics, draw some seamonsters. And huge respect to all fellow Paper Jammers who contributed to the anthology or helped with the running of yesterday, I am so proud of the comic and the event and you all. Apologies to anyone if I was flaky and didn't chat enough, I was a bit overwhelmed (and had had some beer), but I really do appreciate all of yous turning out, was wonderful to see everyone.
Anyone who came along or was involved in any way: it happened because you helped make it happen.
Anyway, some of the amazing results of the drawing games shenanigans:
(This is hard to represent, might do a video or something, come along to the meeting to see it!)
On the theme of things happening if people make them happen, here' a bit of info about us, and about places and groups we like:
Paper Jam meets monthly on the second Thursday of each month at the Split Chimp micropub in Newcastle (near the station). If you fancy getting involved, then just come along (or drop us a message if you have any queries). No artistic skill is required. Bring a pen. We generally chat, do a few drawing games and plan anthologies and events. No pressure to come every time - everyone's always free to be as involved as they feel like. More info about it all here.
You can buy anthologies at meetings or via our online shop https://paperjamcomics.bigcartel.com/ or (usually) from Travelling Man comic shop in Newcastle
Many of our older out-of-print anthologies can be read free online https://issuu.com/paperjamcc
Individual members generally have contact details in the anthologies, and their are links to current regulars on the right side of this blog.
Some local venues and events that we like and have been involved with at various points:
Laurels - our launch party hosts, they put on fantastic theatre, comedy, club nights in Whitley Bay https://www.laurelswhitley.co.uk/
Star & Shadow - cinema and arts venue in Shieldfield https://www.starandshadow.org.uk/
The Lubber Fiend - gigs and more in the west end of Newcastle https://www.thelubberfiend.com/
Split Chimp micropub - we meet here! good beer https://www.splitchimp.pub/contact
The Make & Mend Market - monthly craft and arts pop-up market in the Grainger Market https://makeandmendmarket.co.uk/
Readers of the Lost Art - Newcastle City Library graphic novels reading group https://readers-of-the-lost-art.org.uk/
North Tyneside Writers' Circle - monthly meetup for prose/poetry writers in North Shields Library https://www.facebook.com/NorthTynesideWritersCircle/
The Late Shows - annual Newcastle culture crawl https://thelateshows.org.uk/
Travelling Man (Newcastle) - comic shop (with a great small press section) - where Paper Jam started! https://travellingman.com/pages/our-shops
Finally, here's the aquatic-themed playlist we came up with, ideal listening for when you're reading the new anthology: