Potential best news of the week? The launch of Great Beast, a new independent publisher in the UK dedicated to “[providing] the most fun and creative stories to as wide an audience as possible. All of our titles will be creator owned and professionally self published; these are comics brimming with passion and imagination.”
The publisher is the creation of cartoonists Adam Caldwell and Marc Ellerby, and has the kind of manifesto it’s easy to stand behind:
- We want to build a new audience of comic readers. We’ll make comics aimed at a wide range of ages, including children and teenagers.
- We make comics that aren’t afraid to be funny and are proud to be cartoony. Our comics will be brimming with pop culture, but still retain their heart.
- We don’t think ‘pop’ is a dirty word.
- We will put as much thought into production values as any other publisher to make the best printed books possible.
- AND we fully embrace digital distribution. We want you to read our comics in the format you want to read them.
Between this and The Phoenix Comic, I love the new guard of British creators who are pushing for kids’ comics and all-ages material so strongly and proudly. I grew up reading things like Whizzer and Chips and Nutty, so I am (for my sins) partially a product of good kids’ comics and know how important a gateway they are/can be to everything else in the comic world; I hope that Great Beast is a massive success, and prompts similar projects from creators elsewhere.