Ministry Of Stories Comic Workshops

The wonderful Lucy Macnab and Ben Payne have joined forces with Nick Hornby to open a London branch of Dave Egger’s 826 Valencia. If you’re unaware of the Once Upon A School project, or 826, you should watch this TED talk by Eggers as it’ll probably be the best thing you watch all day. If you’re already familiar with 826 then you’ll understand how exciting it is to have our own store in London.

The Ministry Of Stories is a wonderful thing – and, as with all 826 centres, comes equipped with a fake storefront selling themed products. The London variation? Why, a monster supply store of course (I would imagine Chloe Noonan and the Ministry have managed to establish an uneasy truce).

Solipsistic Pop are incredibly proud to announce that we will be teaching a two day comics workshop on the 11th and 12th December as part of the “re-opening” week of the Hoxton Street Monster Supplies store.

Several SP contributors will be on hand to help 8-11 year olds create their very own monsters. It’s going to be a lot of fun. And gives us a great opportunity to put our money where our mouth is and engage children with comics face-to-face. Hopefully, if this weekend goes well, this will be the start of a long collaboration with the Ministry. Be sure to get down there and show your support by volunteering or buying some Zombie Fresh Mints!


Solipsistic Pop: Year Two

With the Solipsistic Pop 3 launch party and Thought Bubble festival now over, I wanted to take advantage of being a little less busy and discuss the future of Solipsistic Pop. In light of Blank Slate announcing their exciting Chalk Marks imprint and John Allison writing a provocative, occasionally crudely articulated, but ultimately wise and timely comic manifesto – it feels like change for the UK comic industry is in air. What better time to take stock and plan ahead…

The release of Solipsistic Pop 3 marked the end of the first year of the anthology. Having worked on this project for fourteen months, three volumes of Solipsistic Pop now exist. I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve achieved in such a small space of time and it has been extremely heartening to read about or witness the positive reactions people have to the books.

However, having dedicated all my finances, time and energy to Solipsistic Pop I feel I’ve neglected my own work in the process. When I started this project I saw myself as a comic artist first and editor/publisher of Solipsistic Pop second. Having only managed to complete three short stories and the 100 Days comic in the past year, it is has gotten to a point where I’m now an editor/publisher who occasionally dabbles in drawing comics.

In an effort to refocus my energies, I will be working on two books which I intend to release in 2011. The first, Ellipsis, will be a book of six standalone but interconnected short stories that should be released in April/May. The second book – a collection of stories produced in collaboration with Anne Holiday – will be released later in the year.

Solipsistic Pop will be on hiatus during this time and go from being a bi-annual publication to an annual one. As such, Solipsistic Pop 4 will be released in November 2011. It’s possible, if things go well, that I may be able to return to the bi-annual schedule – or even experiment with turning Solipsistic Pop quarterly in 2012. I also won’t rule out a possible Solipsistic Pop 3.5 should a couple of fun ideas come to fruition during the summer.

A couple of reviews of the latest volume have suggested future editions dropping the “gimmick” at some point. I can only assume this is in reference to the themed and curated approach each book follows. This will not be changing anytime soon. Every edition of Solipsistic Pop will feature exclusive, unique content specially designed for that particular volume and the production of the book – the bespoke book-as-art-object design – will continue to experiment and evolve in much the same way as it has for the past year – demonstrating the joy and endless creative opportunities of the printed product.

Despite the release date being a year away, work has already started on Solipsistic Pop 4 due to the complex and ambitious shape the book will eventually take. The printers will need to source special inks, paper-stock and have new die-cuts made. Various other considerations are going to make this a project I’ll work on throughout 2011. As such, I plan to blog the progress and development of Solipsistic Pop 4 for those interested in the process.

The fourth volume will be published with a larger print-run and include a barcode so schools, libraries and universities will be able to order copies. I also intend to arrange a much wider distribution model than the one currently in place. As much as I’m happy with the progress Solipsistic Pop has made in addressing the agenda/roadmap that opened book one – the one major failure has been to get the books into mainstream bookstores and well-lit window displays. A problem that I hope Solipsistic Pop 4 will solve.

Essentially, 2011 is going to be a very busy year. I hope you’ll join me here and over at my own website for some of it.

Thanks to everyone who has supported Solipsistic Pop the past twelve months. Whether you have promoted it, bought it, attended the launches/exhibitions, gave a helping hand, or been one of the amazingly talented contributors – you’ve all made the first year an absolute joy.

–Tom Humberstone


Thought Bubble 2010

Solipsistic Pop Books have a table at the Leeds Thought Bubble this year. We’ll be situated next to the We Are Words + Pictures team and joined by John Cei Douglas with some of his own tote bags. Several other contributors to the book may stop by and join the table including Rob Davis who will have some beautiful Solipistic Pop 3 posters for sale.

The majority of the Solipsistic Pop 3 contributors have their own tables at Thought Bubble so it will be possible to have your copy signed and/or pick up longer works by any of the artists who piqued your interest.

There are an overwhelming amount of interesting workshops and panels throughout the weekend – many of which involve Solipsistic Pop artists as guests/speakers/tutors. Be sure to look at the full programme and plan your weekend accordingly.

We look forward to seeing you there and saying hello in person – Thought Bubble is one of our favourite festivals to attend and – due to it’s place in the convention calendar – provides a perfect opportunity to look back at the year, take stock, and plan the year ahead.

On that note, this will mark a year since Solipsistic Pop 1 was launched. As such, there will be an anouncement here this time next week regarding the future of Solipsistic Pop and the plans for year two.


Solipsistic Pop 3 Launch

On Friday 12th November, we will be celebrating the launch of Solipsistic Pop 3 with a party in Camden’s Black Heart (NW1 0AP). Entry is £3 and the doors open at 8pm.

The book will be on sale for £12 and will come with a free bag of penny sweets from the Solipsistic Pop Tuckshop (while stocks last). For maximum enjoyment, you are encouraged to consume your sugary treats while digesting Solipsistic Pop 3.

The fantastic comedians Bec Hill and Terry Saunders will be performing, as will the wonderful MJ Hibbett. We’ll also be joined by DJ Bitter Fingers who’ll see us through to the 12.30 close.

There are plans to teach several comic workshops for children and young adults – run by Solipsistic Pop contributors –  at the end of November/early December to coincide with the launch. The workshops will be run in collaboration with The Ministry Of Stories. More details about this nearer the time.

We hope to see you at the launch!

Flyer artwork by David O’Connell. Design by Tom Humberstone


Solipsistic Pop 3 Cover

An 80 page comic extravaganza for the discerning sequential art fan.

30 original and exclusive stories from 26 of the finest comic artists living in the UK.

Every imaginative, inventive and inspiring graphic tale within Solipsistic Pop 3 is uniquely tailored to be accessible to readers of all ages. An alternative comics primer for adults and children alike.

Includes a free Solipsistic Pop pencil for readers to create their own comic!

Plus! An A3 poster & re-peelable set of stickers designed by Philippa Rice.

Limited print-run of 500 copies.

Launch party and related comic workshops for children in early November. Further details to be announced soon.

Pre-order your copy today to avoid missing out!

If you’re a retailer and would like to stock Solipsistic Pop 3 please email solipsisticpop*at*gmail*dot*com.

Cover artwork by Marc Ellerby

Solipistic Pop logo designed by Sarah Gordon


Solipsistic Pop 2 reviews and coverage

Solipsistic Pop continues to set the bar high for other British comics anthologies, and it seems as though this community of artists is committed to the anthology’s future success.  It’s the rare anthology where I wanted to see more work from virtually everyone included, and that sort of quality and effort reflects the commitment it took to make this such an engaging read”
Rob Clough, The Comics Journal

“This is a carefully considered, lovingly crafted and utterly covetable compendium, a confirmation of the pleasure of comics in printed inks on quality paper stock [...] Don’t have any second thoughts about purchasing this”
Paul Gravett

“I loved SP2, it’s brilliant. It’s so beautifully put together and it makes me proud to think all of those artists come from the UK right now!”
- Josie Long

“An incredible collection of comic art from some excellent artists [...] absolutely head and shoulders above so much of what’s available”
- Forbidden Planet International

“Everything about SP2 improves upon the original volume in some way or another. The design is tighter, the content is higher in terms of overall quality, and everything from the cover to the credits page is better, brighter and bolder. Recommended highly, it’s an immensely solid collection that offers an essential look into one of the most underrepresented alternative scenes in the English-speaking comic world today”
- Avoid The Future

“A good collection of people who seem on the verge of really hitting their stride with comics, kinda like the early Kramers Ergot books”
Jeffrey Brown

“Like good pop music, all of the comics in the anthology are short – some sweet, some bittersweet but all with great force [...] In an age of free-digital, it’s of importance that a paid-analog thing impresses itself on your hands. Solipsistic Pop gets this right. Very right”
- Ben Gwalchmai

“A British version of David Eggers’ McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern to showcase our best comic artists”
- The Independent

“I’m a lover of anthologies, and will be the first to admit, most of ‘em are more miss than hit. This puppy is almost all hit”
- Top Shelf


Solipsistic Pop 2 is still available from selected stores and the online shop.