In 2002 AUK released Remembrance Days – a 22 page anthology dedicated to those who lost their lives as a result of war. “Nothing too political, something about the little man caught up in the middle of it all, the one who would suffer the most … people like us had we be born decades earlier, and hopefully not decades later” according to Dave himself.
Since then AUK have released an anthology a year and the number of contributors, not to mention the page count, has increased steadily.
We first got involved with AUK in 2005 when we were still working on Albion with Shane Oakley and the father-in-law. I honestly can’t remember exactly how we got talking or precisely who were were talking to (I think it must have been a convention…?) but pretty soon we found ourselves signed up for their 2006 anthology Monsters. Our story “Lusca” was drawn by UK small press legend Dave Hitchcock whose series Springheeled Jack remains a huge favourite of ours.
For the 2007 anthology Mr. West had planned a theme of Time but, in his own words, “I let Colin and Chris [Dingsdale] go off to Komiks.DK 2006, where they spent too much time with John Reppion, Leah Moore and Steve Bissette, and so ZOMBIES was born. Still not one to give up lightly, I emailed the usual suspects and asked them to vote between the two titles, and let’s just say it was pretty unanimous“.
The line up for Zombies featured the likes of Steve (SWAMP THING) Bissette, Kieron (PHONOGRAM) Gillen and Matt (IMPALER) Timson along with dozens of other UK small press folks (including Mr. Hitchcock and ourselves once again).
Zombies received rave reviews and proved popular enough to be picked up by Diamond and distributed overseas. Not bad for a little UK indie publisher!
At the same time AUK brought out The Wolfmen – a stand alone comic set in South East London, in the 1960s. It’s the tale of Jack Grey’s chance at making something of himself, of becoming one of the most notorious gangs of the time …. of becoming one of The Wolfmen.
Written by Dave West with art by Andy Bloor the book proved popular enough to spawn a sequal which is currently in production (and being eagerly awaited).
After Zombies came Robots which attracted so many submissions that the page count finally topped out at 204 with many would be contributors being asked to re-submit for the next anthology.
The success of Zombies saw to it that Robots had a stellar line up – including a pin up from Mark (FABLES) Buckingham and another story from Steve (SWAMP THING) Bissette – and was once again distributed overseas by Diamond (see where this is going yet?).
In early 2009 Diamond Comic Distributors raised its purchase order minimum for all publishers from US$1,500 to US$2,500. What that meant in plain English was that smaller companies with titles selling considerably less than those published by the big three suddenly had to shift almost twice as many units in order to get into Previews. This was (and still is) bad news for small publishers. [see Google for more info]
So now it’s 2009 and the latest AUK anthology Western has arrived. The line up is just as good, if not even better, than those that have gone before but, chances are, you haven’t got a copy. Why? Because, if you’re outside the UK, the book probably hasn’t made it’s way to your part of the world yet. That’s because of Diamond Comic Distributors raising its purchase order minimum back at the start of the year – Accent UK now need to sell more books than ever before in order to get proper distribution. And this is where you come in…
If you’re outside the UK we want to you to head over to your local comic shop this weekend (or as soon as) and ask them for a copy of Accent UK’s Western – order code: JUN090671.
The book is 200 pages long and costs $12.99.
Accent UK deserve to have their books read and recognised the world over – they’re fantastic guys who do a brilliant job. We love writing for them and working with them and we do it for free! Yes FREE! We’ve been contributing to their anthologies since 2006 and we’ve already got stories lined up for the 2010 and 2011 books. We want you to be able to read those stories so get down to your local comic shop and make sure AUK books are distributed to your country.
Support AUK and do your bit to help save indie comics!