Monday, November 6, 2017

Pastures new...

The Paper Jam Comics Collective will no longer meet at Travelling Man comic shop.
The creation of Paper Jam was rooted in Travelling Man and it has been home for the collective for over a decade. However, it's only natural that things change and for a range of practical reasons, it's no longer a suitable place for Paper Jam to meet.

Paper Jam would like to thank Travelling Man and its staff for accommodating our meetings for the last ten years and wish it well with its other endeavours. It remains a tip top comic shop - and of course we'll continue to sell our anthologies in its small press section.

Bar Loco (bar/gig venue/arts hub/general cool place) is where we're trying out, at least for the rest of this year, so on Thursday 9th November and Thursday 14th December 2017 (still from 6.30), that's definitely where we'll be (upstairs - either first or second floor).

We'll see how that goes and decide about continuing that into 2018 (and whether the fourth Thursday pub jams will move there too, how that'll work, etcetera). Keep an eye here and on our Twitter account and Facebook group for up to date info about what is happening where and when.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Bad Decisions ...And That

The Paper Jam Comics Collective are proud to present their fifteenth anthology, Bad Decision ...And That!

A bumper collection of bad-decision-themed comics from: Anton Brand, K. Ben Clarke, Brittany Coxon, Jennifer Coxon, M. Duckett, Daniel Fitzgerald, Steven Flanagan, Michael Gonson, Dave Green, Brett Halliwell, Noah McKenzie, Janis Meißner, Gemma Moody, Eltje Müller-Stewart, Oscillating Brow, Paul Thompson, and Terry Wiley.

Job applications! Pheromones! Fish dirigible carnage! Unwise tattoos! Pop music! Existential angst! Cats! All this and more is explored within these highly (ehhh, maybe) insightful pages.

This kind of foolery:

We can't guarantee that after reading it, you'll be making good decision, but we feel you'll at least be slightly more knowledgeable about many and varied bad ones.

We're making the good decision to launch this beauty at the lovely Tyne Bank Brewery art/vinyl/comics market on Saturday (21st October) from noon.

As well as the new comic, we'll have our other comics anthologies (themed around food, history, making stuff, Newcastle and adventure), plus art and comics from creators including Britt Coxon (paper cut art geometric shape kits and mini-comic bundles), Jennifer Coxon (custom art masks), Eltje Müller-Stewart (expressionist Geordie kitchen sink adventures of the irrepressible Johnathan and his pyromaniacal best mate Declan) , Oscillating Brow (a bunch of tiny daft comics about cake, heartbreak, dance-offs, etc), Paul Thompson (monster-themed art book Invisible Beasts, fantasy noir comics), The Analogue Press (music-themed comics anthology Radio On), Gemma Moody (supervillain romance comics) AND we'll be running a bunch of drawing games for everyone to get involved with - PREPARE TO COMIC JAM!

This kind of quality stuff will be available:


It's going to be mint, get along!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Tyne Bank Brewery market shindig

You know what goes great together? COMICS and BEER. This is a proven fact.

On Saturday 16th September we'll be around at Tyne Bank Brewery. They make beer, we make comics. I mean, to be honest, they're a bit more professional about making beer than we are about making comics, but it still feels an excellent combination. Their brewery tap (just on the outskirts of Ouseburn) is a lovely space (with great beverages, obviously), so why not come and check it out.

As well as hawking a load of splendid comics, we'll be running drawing games and just generally chatting on to folks (mostly touting our very-nearly-complete-and-super-excellent new anthology Bad Decisions ...And That, out soon).

And you know what else goes well with COMICS and BEER? MUSIC, ART, and FOOD! That's all covered too! There'll be a Long Play Café vinyl sale and DJ sets, Mushroom Works and Nowt Special artists, and filthy burger specialists Fat Hippo.

All grand stuff - get it in your diary.

Ooh, also, our Amazing Adventure Comics Machine ...And That anthology was recently reviewed by Andy Oliver over at Broken Frontier - "a welcome reminder of the grassroots community spirit of the small press" YEAH! THAT'S HOW WE ROLL!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Pocket Geek / Small Press Day 2017!

Saturday 8th July 2017! It's Small Press Day! It's Pocket Geek convention at Gateshead Library!

Paper Jam will be celebrating the former by being at the latter!

Check out some top quality comics and art from Brittany Coxon, En Gingerboom, Paul Thompson, and more – including Paper Jam’s latest team anthology The Amazing Adventure Comics Machine …And That. In addition to having wondrous things for sale, we’ll be demonstrating our verbosity (or just making fools of ourselves) taking on the Anime Attacks crew in another session of daft panel game ‘Just A Comics Minute’, and we’ll be running collaborative drawing games throughout the day, hoping for participation from everyone – whatever your level of experience, everyone can do comics!

Of course, there's tonnes of other varied interesting stuff afoot at Pocket Geek - Gaming! Anime! Cosplay! Workshops! Including one on visual narrative by En, which is sure to be superb:

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Temporary relocation

NOTE! Due to circumstances beyond our control, the June meeting (8th June), as with the May meeting, will be in the Mile Castle pub, just down the road from Travelling Man. We'll try and book tables. Highly likely to be on the top floor.

Hopefully, back at Travelling Man for July meeting.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Amazing Adventure Comics Machine ...and that

It's true: our fourteenth anthology, in glorious full colour, is now out in the wilds.

The Amazing Adventure Comics Machine ...And That is our second foray into comics aimed specifically at kids (the first being the classic, and now out-of-print, Space Monkey).

This time we have a loose theme of 'adventure' (and perhaps 'mind-bending metaphysical comic-creation' too).

Featuring stories by Anton Brand, Brittany Coxon, Cuttlefish, Hannah Potter, Jenny Coxon, K. Ben Clarke, Mike Duckett, Oscillating Brow, Pauline Holland, Paul Thompson, and Terry Wiley.

It's got a dual launch at two of our favourite events: Canny Comic Con last weekend and Maker Faire on 1st and 2nd of April.

Get to it! If you want to check your puzzle answers or see the secret list of all the comic ideas depicted on the cover, you just need to... look very carefully.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Paper Jam's Spring Plans


The Paper Jam Comic Collective is ten years old.

Our new anthology - the Amazing Adventure Comics Machine - which will be A4 and in full COLOUR (a first for our anthologies) is almost ready. More info soon.

Paper Jam will be at:

Biblio-Con. Gateshead Central Library, 4th February, 2-7pm.

Dunfermline Comic Con. 11th March, Pittencreiff Park.

Canny Comic Con, 18th March, Newcastle City Library, 10.30am.-3.30pm.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Ten years of the Paper Jam Comics Collective

Making comics is, of course, a ridiculous endeavour.  Sure, with a combination of talent, dedication and business nous, some folks can make it a viable profession, but for many of us (and I have a creeping suspicion that I myself may in fact lack all three of those necessary qualities), there’s proportionally little financial recompense or artistic respect to be gained from small press comics. Which makes it all the more notable that quietly, without much fanfare, the Paper Jam Comics Collective has stuck around for a decade and is still meeting regularly and making small press comics.

Ten years ago, on Thursday 25th January 2007, I arrived at Travelling Man comic shop for the first meeting of what would, in time, come to be known as the Paper Jam Comics Collective. At that point it didn’t really have a name, and was still working out what it would be. Maybe a bit of a reading/discussion group? Maybe people would even like to put together a comic?

It was the project of youthful indie comics firebrand – and curator of the Travelling Man small press section – Jack Fallows. There hadn’t been an active small press creators scene in Newcastle since the demise of There Goes Tokyo / Bishi Bashi a couple of years earlier, so it was a bit of a leap into the unknown, but that first meeting attracted a solid turnout of intrigued persons (I must admit, though, that I don’t remember much of what was discussed).

Apparently, I drew this. Cutting satire.

Within a few months we’d made a comic. A5, black and white, a couple of pages per person. For many of us, myself included, it was our first printed comics work. The title And That was settled on, a nod to Geordie vernacular use of the phrase to mean "etcetera" or "and so on", a decision which has stuck with all twelve of the subsequent themed anthology titles, e.g. Food …And That, History …And That, Halloween …And That   ......... and that.

With Jack at the helm, and with the support of Travelling Man managers Jamie then Mike, Paper Jam grew. It attracted new members, made more anthologies, and started to run tables at events to sell those anthologies – along with the comics that its members were making individually themselves.

Despite many members being highly efficient, talented, productive people, Paper Jam itself has always been inherently a fairly slapdash kind of organisation. What are its ambitions? Fame? Glory? Riches? Well, I suppose we wouldn’t say no, but really the baseline is that we manage to sell enough comics to pay for the printing of the next one. You might sneer at that as a rather modest ambition, but it’s one that we’ve succeeded at.

What else does Paper Jam want? To embody the idea that everyone can make comics. This isn’t quite officially enshrined anywhere (the rules, such as they are, are basically just to be nice to each other), but this is the heart of Paper Jam: it is open to anyone, regardless of skill, and its contributors range from professional artists who’ve drawn hundreds of pages of comics to folk who’ve never even considered drawing a comic before.

Pretty simple stuff. Yet despite all the blown deadlines, all the aversion to formal structure, all the nobly shambolic ‘just for craic’ attitude, the Paper Jam Comics Collective has proven implausibly durable. At various points I’ve wondered whether it might finally run out of steam, but somehow it persists. There’s no money in it, there’s no recognition. It’s just a bunch of people turning up and drawing, talking, supporting, collaborating, having a laugh and occasionally putting out a comic together.

What has it achieved though? What am I doing with my stupid life??

Well, there’s the thirteen – soon to be fourteen – anthologies; hundreds of pages of comics. And whilst the level of artistic finesse is naturally variable, there’s masses of inventiveness and variety. There are some really really good comics in all of those anthologies which still stand up to scrutiny now.

"A substantial and subtly influential corpus that would retrospectively be pored over by art historians, cultural theorists, and other weirdos" - Encyclopedia of Like Art And Stuff (2050).

We’ve collaborated with interesting people, like Durham’s Empty Shop Gallery, the Holy Biscuit Gallery, the Late Shows, and the Star & Shadow Cinema; we’ve appeared at many comic festivals (and zine fairs, book festivals, craft fairs and all kinds of other places). We’ve run all kinds of events ourselves. Paper Jammers have organised (and survived!) 24-hour comic marathons, gallery exhibitions and projects like the Canny Comic Con (first comic festival in the North East since the 90s) and the 10,000-copy National Science Week comic Asteroid Belter. Paper Jammers have become professional kids' comics workshop facilitators, comics academics, art market organisers, and, of course, they have made loads of amazing comics.

I’m not saying none of that would have happened without Paper Jam’s existence ... but I’m not not saying that either.

This is beginning to feel like it could get a bit slushy, so let’s wrap this up.

I’d like to tip my hat to everyone who’s supported Paper Jam over the last ten years – to anyone who’s come to a meeting, or who has drawn a 24-minute comic or a jam comic panel, to all the Travelling Man staff who’ve patiently allowed us to ramble on late into the evening in their basement, to anyone who’s sold our comics, to anyone who’s ever bought our comics, and of course to anyone who’s contributed to the comics over the years (take a bow: Adam Fallows, Agnes Ole, Al Summerscales, Andrew Arrowsmith, Andy Waugh, Anton Brand, Art Wellden, Becca Swainston, Ben Clark, Bill Armstrong, Bobby McPherson, Brett Halliwell, Britt Coxon, Callum Costello, Chris, Chris Hately, Chris Jones, Christian Kerr, Cj Reay, Clio Isadora, Cuttlefish, Daniel Clifford, Dan Gilmore, David Weir, Dennis J Reinmueller, Duncan Watson, Ellen Anderson, Emily Lambert, En Gingerboom, Evelyn Hewett, Faye Stacey, Gary Bainbridge, Gary Brown, Gavin McPhail, Georgia Campbell, Hannah Potter, Holly Davis, Iain Milne, Ian Cairns, Ian Mayor, Ingi Jensson, Jack Fallows, James Cornell, James Kerr, James Wilkinson, Jamie Smith, Jenny Coxon, Joe Douglas, K. Ben Clarke, Kerry Angus, Kit Goode, Kwan Li, Lawson, Lee Robson, Leo Hunt, Lily Daniels, Lonny Chant, Lucy Dorothy, Lydia Wysocki, Matt Bovingdon, Matt Deacon, Michael Gonson, Michael Jeffries, Mike Duckett, Mike ‘Skippa’ Thompson, Nigel Maughan, Natasha Kerr, Oscillating Brow, Paul Regan, Paul Thompson, Pauline Holland, Phil Cuthbertson, Peter Vine, Sigmund Reimann, Simon Cavanagh, SJ Boulton, Sophie Newman, Steve Galloway, Steven Howard, Terry Wiley, Thomas Spence, Tom Bonin, Tom England, Tom Graham). You’re all mint.

Money? Respect? Ehh, who needs it. I've had the good fortune to help make some pretty great comics and to make friends with some outstanding people. I can think of worse things to have done over the last ten years.

The January 2017 PJCC meeting is Thursday 12th January, from 6.30pm, Travelling Man Newcastle.