"You don't put out intimidating vibes..." The Geeks at the Gates Episode 46: An interview with Sarah Millman

October 21, 2019

As the Thought Bubble convention draws ever closer, Regie chats with Cardiff based comic creator Sarah Millman over Skype - which is why his voice sounds a bit fuzzy at first. (Don't worry, audio quality improves.) Click the image below to go to the download page or subscribe to The Geeks at the Gates wherever fine pods are casted.

Because he likes to make everything about him, Regie starts by explaining his route into comic shop ownership, and drops a few names non-comics readers won't recognise.

 

First is the UK Comic Art Convention, or U.K.C.A.C. (pronounced "you-kak"). This was once the main comics convention in the UK, helf annually in London from 1985-1997, with one last hurrah in Manchester in 1998.

 

He mentions meeting Terry Wiley and Dave McKinnon at one of these cons - they were responsible for the excellentblack and white indie comic "Sleaze Castle", a dimension hopping comedy featuring Jocasta Dribble, an awkward Newcastle University Student. Terry went on to co-create "Petera Etcetera", a spin off about Jocasta's little sister, and also to create "Surreal School Stories", a sort of prequel set in Jocasta's schooldays and "Verity Fair", a comedy drama about an unsuccesful actress of a certain age.

 

-o0o-

 

Both Regie and Sarah use the term "floppies" in relation to comics. This is the term used to refer to a regular comic as opposed to a graphic novel or trade paperback collection - simply because when you pick up a 22 page regular comic, it's floppier than a 100 page card bound book. The term "Singles" is used in the same way.

 

-o0o-

 

Regie mentions that a 90s U.K.C.A.C. would get lost inside an MCM. This is a reference to the MCM Conventions held in the ExCell Centre in London and the NEC in Birmingham. Easily the largest comic conventions in the country in terms of the amount of space they take up.

 

-o0o-

 

Regie mentions Kev Sutherland in relation to the Bristol Comics Festival. Kev is a comedian and comic artist who ran the Bristol Comics Festival for several years in the early 2000s.

 

While talking about (alright "going on about") Bristol Regie drops a few more names.

 

Bevis Musson is a Manchester based comics creator, best known these days for his comedy "Dead Queen Detectives" series.

 

Tony Lee is a writer of comics, novels and screenplays.

 

Jay and Selina Lock are two very well figures in the UK self published comics world, perhaps best known for editing "The Girlie Comic", an anthology of stories by and/or about women.

 

The Etherington Brothers are comics creators and all around forces of nature. Possibly the two most enthusiastic men on the planet. 

 

The Goodman Brothers are quieter than the Etheringtons, but are stalwarts of the UK self published scene.

 

-o0o-

 

Finally they got to talking about Sarah's work, starting with "The Heart of Time", examples of which can be seen below:

 

 

 

And then they spoke about her more recent work NPC Tea. Examples of which can be seen here. Note the use of colour, becasue that came up too...

 

 -o0o-

 

Sarah then mentioned Princess Jellyfish. Which is this: https://mangarock.com/manga/mrs-serie-143659

and looks like this:

 

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In a discussion about Cardiff as a location for the NPC Tea comic, mention was made of Doctor Who, Torchwood and Ianto's shrine.

 

Well. If we have to explain what Doctor Who is, you're listening to the wrong podcast - but you might not know that it is largely filmed in Cardiff. Torchwood was a more adut oriented spin off series, explicitly set in Cardiff. Ianto Jones was a character in the Torchwood show who came to be much beloved by the fan base. The character died in the mini series "Torchwood: Children of Earth" and fans created a shrine in the centre of Cardiff. That was years ago. It's still there:

 which is kinda cool, and also a measure of how terrifyingly dedicated fans of the whoniverse are...

 

-o0o-

 

Mention was made of the comic "Battle Pug" by Mike Norton. That would be this:

 And yes. It's every bit as brilliant and bonkers as you're thinking...

 

The Geeks at the Gates is a copyright feature of Venus Rising Media and features music by Steven G. Saunders. All rights are reserved.

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