Saturday, 17 October 2015


There are now three comic shops stocking my new book: Paradox in Poole, Dorset... Amazing Fantasy in Hull... And Jim and Dan's Collectibles in USA. Cut and paste the addresses and follow the links at:
ALSO, there are now four reviews for you to read. Again, cut and paste the address... "DESTINED TO BECOME A CULT CLASSIC IN ITS OWN RIGHT" - Starburst Magazine

Friday, 9 October 2015

New Octobriana Book!

John A. Short's Review of 'Octobriana: The Exotic Time Domina
Wait decades for an Octobriana book to come along… Then two arrive, almost, at once! Hot on the heels of my own 'Octobriana: The Underground History' comes Finnish comic creators' 'Octobriana: The Exotic Time Domina'! (Don't worry, this collection is in English, folks!) If you're not familiar with Octobriana, I should explain that she is a public domain comics character who first appeared in a book in 1971. The book claimed that she was from anti-establishment comic strips created behind the Iron Curtain in the 1960s… The truth is more complex… For the whole story see my book (buy it... Just click on the button to the right there...) This is a collection of strips about the Russian Devil-Woman, mostly written by Reima Makinen and illustrated by different artists. Under a handsome colour cover (by the Reima himself) we have five different black and white stories in total.
Firstly we have reprints of Reima's two rare, out-of-print Octo strips from the early nineties… 'Mission in the North' (with artist Petri Tolppanen) and 'The Tenth Circle of Hell' (with artist Timo Niemi.) It is 'The Tenth Circle of Hell' that is the backbone of this book, since it runs to 37 pages and is by far the longest strip in the collection. The story sees the Spirit of the October Revolution flying her time travelling Wonder Machine to Hell to take on everyone from Cerberus, Pluto (the God not the dog), Medusa, the Devil and her own evil sister (Decabriana!) This spoof of Dante's 'Divine Comedy' has some great humour and cracking action all in artist Niemi's macabre woodcut-style.
'Mission in the North' is a 6-pager that takes Octo, the Wonder Machine and her Native American braves to the oil-fields of Russia for a more serious adventure. Tolppanen's art is simple, but his storytelling is very easy on the eye and there are a couple of lovely perspective shots (especially the opening splash-picture.)
Reima himself illustrates two of the new strips. 'Origin' is a 1-page story that translates the creation myth of Octobriana (only spoken about in text form in the original 1971 book) into pictures for the first time. 'Wasted Time' is a 2-pager in which Octobriana goes babysitting (I kid you not!) To give away the ending of this strip, would be to rob you of the pleasure of discovering it yourself. A smile spread easily across my face as I realised where it was going. Probably my favourite story of the collection. Reima's art reminds me of classic book illustrators.
'From Cuba with Love' is the other new strip. This 9-page story is written by Vesa Vitikainen and illustrated by Sauli Jokinen and takes the communist heroine to Havana for a crazy, off-the-wall-style adventure. Jokinen's art is easy on the eye with a fine mix of American superhero-style with a humorous edge. This strip has lovely energy to it. Along with the strips themselves are features on the background of the cult, public domain, underground, communist comix character as well articles on the strips themselves and development sketches. No serious underground comix fiend should be without this book. OCTOBRIANA: THE EXOTIC TIME DOMINA ISBN 978-952-663009-0 Buy is from: ... Or look for the link down and to the right...

Wednesday, 30 September 2015


Brickman Begins!/Brickman Returns! Review by John A. Short At last! No longer will we have to hunt through mouldy back-issue boxes at marts and waste paper bins… Between them, these two publications collect every appearance of the Dark Brick together in one place (well, two places… well, you know what I mean!) Child genius, Lew Stringer, created the cretin crusader in 1979 in the pages of comic fanzine* 'After Image' (*the internet, before the invention of electricity.) Since then he has rampaged through his own photocopied publications through to full colour American adventures in Image Comics 'Elephantmen' (Brickman, not Lew Stringer… Well, both of them I guess.) When zillionaire Loose Brayne is hit on the head by a brick while reclining in his mansion in Guffon City, he intones the classic phrase… “It's an omen! I shall become a brick!” and a legend is born. He goes on to face the vile villainy of the Poker, Gnatwoman, the Diddler, the Ostrich, Mr. Cheese, Man-Brick and more. Lew is a bit of a legend himself, having written and drawn strips for everything from Oink!, Toxic, Beano, Viz to Doctor Who Magazine (where he currently gives us 'The Daft Dimension' Doctor Who spoofs.) The great thing about Lew's work is the way that he crams jokes into his work, often throwing away jokes every panel that the rest of us would save for the big joke at the end of the strip. If these two publications don't have you laughing out loud multiple times you must be a DC lawyer or something. Not only that but they contain art and strips drawn by Alan Davis, Dave Gibbons, Hunt Emerson, Tim Sale, Charlie Adlard, Mike Collins and more. (A personal favourite is the two page strip 'Brickman Goes to Hell' drawn by Kevin (code-killer) O'Neil. Do yourself a favour and buy these comics and treat yourself to over 170 pages of pure stupidity. Find it at:

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Calling all comic shop owners/managers

As you may have heard, we failed to get Diamond distribution for our new book about the cult, public domain, underground, communist super-heroine - OCTOBRIANA: THE UNDERGROUND HISTORY. That means that most comic shops won't be carrying the book. You can of course, still buy it direct from this blog (just to your right, there) or artist Gabrielle Noble's blog. However, if you happen to be the owner or manager of a comic shop anywhere in the world, why not get in touch with us and we can stock it direct to you. That way, you would be cutting out the middle-man (distributor) and getting copies for a better price. Email me, John A. Short, at: and let me know how many copies you would be interested in stocking and I will work out the best price we can do for you (I'm sure we can come to a good arrangement for both sides.) Of course the same goes for any of our other titles (as listed to your right.)

Monday, 14 September 2015

How Octobriana Was Made...

Cover artist Simon Breeze has posted on his blog about how the cover to 'Octobriana: The Underground History' was created. Go behind the scenes on how the image of the Russian Devil-Woman leading an hoard of yeti to defeat the Chinese army in Tibet was made. Check out:

Friday, 11 September 2015


For all those of you who can't get enough of Octobriana - the Russian Devil-Woman... we have produced a set of four glossy art prints featuring images of the Spirit of the October Revolution! Two are by artist Simon Breeze (featuring the cover of the 'Octobriana: The Underground History' freed from it's text, so that it can be viewed in all it's glory!) And two by artist Gabrielle Noble. They are A3 sized (that's 29.9cm x 41.9cm if you're outside the UK.) Who doesn't want a full colour poster of Octobriana and an army of yeti kicking the Chinese army out of Tibet on their wall?

Thursday, 27 August 2015

OCTOBER-FEST! - "Octobriana: The Underground History" launches!

Octobriana: The Underground History is now on sale! You can click and buy it now from the buttons on the right (using paypal or credit card.) Just select the area of the world in which you live (the UK, or the rest of Europe... or outside Europe) and click on the 'Buy Now' button. Full details of the content of the book can be found just below in my last post. It's a limited edition, so buy it now before we sell out! Here's the fantastic Simon Breeze cover revealed for the first time!!!!!