Tim Bird incorporates his mother’s paintings into the stunning ‘Adrift on a Painted Sea’

Check out our exclusive preview of the new graphic novel, which Avery Hill is currently funding through Kickstarter.

Courtesy of Avery Hill Publishing, we’re happy to present a preview of Adrift on a Painted Sea, a new graphic novel by Tim Bird that also features the paintings of his mother Sue Bird. It’s currently up on Kickstarter, with a campaign that runs through June 21.

Bird is an award-winning illustrator and comic artist based in Winchester, England; his graphic novel From the City to the Sea a British Comic Award in 2015. He’s published a number of comics through Avery Hill, including The Great North Wood and Infrastructure, but this latest one may be his most personal work yet.

Adrift on a Painted Sea is about the life of Bird’s mother, who passed away during the height of COVID. She was an amateur painter who created countless works of art — botanical art, landscapes, still lifes and painting of the sea. She never sold her paintings, but would give them away to family and friends, and hang them in her own home. Bird has brilliantly combined his own comics work with her paintings to capture her life, and also showcase her incredible work.

You can find our preview below, along with more information on the graphic novel.

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Nicole Goux flies solo in the horror graphic novel ‘Pet Peeves’

Check out a preview of the new graphic novel from Avery Hill, which arrives in stores in May.

Nicole Goux has built a name for herself both as an independent force with comics like F*ck Off Squad and as a mainstream success with comics and graphic novels from DC Comics, Dark Horse, IDW and Simon & Schuster. Her latest graphic novel, Pet Peeves, started as an exercise in just creating something for herself, but has grown to be much more than that.

Pet Peeves was meant to be a break from big projects at big companies,” Goux said. “It was a chance to stretch my writing muscles and to tell a story with no edits, no one telling me what do. Honestly, it was supposed to be much shorter than it is, just a quick story to refresh and re-inspire me between jobs, but I found that the story I wanted to tell needed more space and it grew into the full book that it is today.”

Pet Peeves is described as a horror graphic novel about a woman whose life is slowly being stolen away by “more sinister (though adorable) canine forces,” AKA the stray dog she adopts. Any puppy owner can probably identify with that statement. Courtesy of publisher Avery Hill, we’re pleased to present a preview of Pet Peeves, which arrives in stores at the end of May.

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Flappers, forehands and infamy: A brief history of tennis fashion scandals

Tom Humberstone, creator of the graphic novel ‘Suzanne,’ offers a guest essay today on tennis and fashion.

Here’s something you probably didn’t expect to see on Smash Pages — a column on tennis and fashion. Today we’re pleased to present a guest column from Tom Humberstone, the creator of the recently released Suzanne from Avery Hill Publishing.

In Suzanne, Humberstone tells the story of Suzanne Lenglen, one of the unsung heroes of women’s sports. She became a championship tennis player at the age of 15, breaking records for ticket sales and match winning streaks, all while breaking societal norms with her playing outfits during the trailblazing jazz age.

In his essay, Humberstone traces the advances Lenglen made in both tennis and fashion to the present day. You can also check out a few pages from his graphic novel.

by Tom Humberstone

When Serena Williams stepped onto Arthur Ashe stadium for what could be the last time, the world watched with nervous anticipation, awaiting answers to a volley of questions. Having recently announced her “evolution” away from playing tennis, people were curious what this final US Open might look like for her. Would she make a fairy-tale run and secure that elusive, record-extending 24th major title? Or, given her recent form in Cincinnati, would she exit in the first round? Is it really the end? What will a tennis world without Serena Williams look like? And, perhaps most importantly of all, what will her final outfit be?

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Smash Pages Q&A | Taki Soma on ‘Sleeping While Standing’

The artist of ‘Rapture,’ ‘The After Realm,’ ‘Sinergy’ and more discusses her deeply personal new graphic novel, her creative process and more.

Taki Soma is a writer, artist and colorist best known for comics like Rapture, The After Realm, Sinergy, Bitch Planet, The Old Guard: Tales Through Time and many others. But her new book Sleeping While Standing, which is out now from Avery Hill Publishing, is a departure from what she’s done previously.

A collection of stories four pages or less, it’s a deeply personal work, as Soma explores her father’s suicide, moving to Minnesota as a child and her complicated relationship with her mother, among other events in her life. It also looks at the horrifying way she learned that she has MS, features laugh-out-loud stories about pets and children, and shows her deep and complex storytelling skills.

It’s an incredible work by a talented creator, and Soma was kind enough to talk about why she made the book, her creative process and why she makes comics.

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Fund Me Monday | Help bring Avery Hill’s Spring 2022 line to life

Fund new titles by Taki Soma, George Wylesol and Claire Scully.

London-based publisher Avery Hill needs about $16,000 to publish their Spring 2022 line-up, and they’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds.

Avery Hill Publishing came into being about 10 years ago, when Ricky Miller and Dave White began self-publishing comics like Tiny Dancing and Reads. Eventually their small-press efforts evolved into a full publishing house, bringing comics and graphic novels by Tillie Walden, George Wylesol, Zoe Thorogood, Tim Bird and more to press. They describe themselves as a publisher that “helps aspiring creators reach their potential and is a home to the geniuses that the mainstream has yet to recognise.”

Their Spring books include three titles: 2120 by Wylesol, Sleeping While Standing by Taki Soma and Outer Wilderness by Claire Scully.

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Comics Lowdown | RIP Takao Saito

Plus: DC does NFTs, the Uffizi opens its doors to comics, and small publishers discuss distribution.

Cover of Golgo 13, vol. 8, showing a man holding a gun and smoking a cigarette.

Takao Saito, the creator of Golgo 13, died on September 24 at the age of 84. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer. Saito made his manga debut in 1955 and launched Golgo 13, which follows the exploits of a taciturn hitman, in 1968. Volume 202 of the series has just come out in Japan, making Golgo 13 not only the longest continuously running manga series but also the one with the most volumes. Saito has said he would like the manga to continue after his death, and his publisher, Shogakukan, says the series will continue.

Comics at an Exhibition: The Uffizi Gallery, in Florence, Italy, is adding comics to its collection. The museum, which started out in the 1600s as the Medici family’s portrait collection, has commissioned 52 self-portraits by prominent Italian comics artists. The self-portraits will be on display in a special exhibit in Lucca from October 8 to November, 1, then moved to the Uffizio to join its permanent collection.

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Mail Call | Mark Waid named publisher of Humanoids

Plus: ‘Snake Eyes: Deadgame,’ ‘Dead Body Road,’ ‘Adventureman!’ and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we received from publishers in our mailboxes recently. Hit the links for more information.

Congratulations to Mark Waid, who has been promoted to publisher of Humanoids. Waid has served as Director of Creative Development for the publisher since 2018, and in his new role, will be responsible for “overseeing editorial, sales and marketing; expanding Humanoids’ relationships within the creative community; and deepening its ties to retailers and librarians.”

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