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Quick Draw: Stool Pigeon Comic Exhibition Images
Phil Hebblethwaite , August 16th, 2011 09:10

Our friends at the Stool Pigeon have a comic exhibitions. Editor Phil Hebblethwaite tells us more

A couple of years ago, when The Stool Pigeon was printed in a larger format without a stapled spine, a woman was reading a copy on the 55 bus going into central London. At her stop she left the paper on her seat and a dude behind her grabbed it. He went to the middle eight pages — our comics section — shook them out, then gleefully discarded the rest of the issue. How dare this young man not pore over the expertly crafted music writing within! But, of course, it was a massive victory. I love it that some punters pick up The Stool Pigeon just to read our comics, and it's for those people, most specifically, that we're putting on an exhibition at Orbital in London starting with an opening party this Friday evening. Everyone's invited.

We didn't launch the paper with eight full pages of comics. We had smaller, two- or three-panel gags, fake ads and our art director Mickey always did a double page spread of nutty funnies. When we realised that other music magazines just aren't funny and there's so much more you can get away with in comics, we upped the quota and eventually added a specific section in spring 2008. Besides, we're a newspaper and newspapers and comics are old friends.

The hunt began for artists. Already doing strips were the Moochowski boys, but they were about to take off for Australia. Our old pal Andy Inglis, former manager of The Luminaire, put us onto Sweden's Martin Kellerman and, ever since, it's been an honour to be the only publication running Rocky strips — a huge deal across Scandinavia — in English. A Brighton-based Pigeon writer introduced us to Paul O'Connell and Lawrence Elwick who originally planned their Charlie Parker 'Handyman' as a one-off. It was an instant hit and, to date, they've done 13 others — all brilliant.

Unbelievably, the deranged and hilarious Krent Able had never had a comic published before he answered an ad in The Stool Pigeon, and watching how his style, drawing skill and humour have developed — dramatically — has been among the greatest pleasures of us running comics in the first place. His strips make you wince, gas yourself and they blow your mind. They're part of a long tradition in alternative comic strip writing and perhaps the primary reason why the paper's become recognised for producing some of the best underground comic art in Britain today. See the sketch of Doctor Cave at the top of this article.

Many other have great artists have graced our pages over the years, including the prolific Richard Cowdry, new star of UK comics and illustration Luke Pearson and our old pal Babak Ganjei of the bands Absentee and Wet Paint.

Babak's playing live at the launch of our exhibition and No Pain In Pop, us and Krent Able will be DJing. The exhibition itself, which is free and runs until September 18, will feature full-page strips from the paper, cartoons, fake ads and visual gags from throughout our six-year history alongside plenty of original artwork, line drawings, sketches and storyboards.

The Stool Pigeon Comics Exhibition Orbital Comics
8 Great Newport Street, London, WC2H 7JA
August 19 to September 18
Opening party, Friday August 19, 7.30pm
Visit the Stool Pigeon comic site
Visit the Orbital Comics site Visit the event Facebook page

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