Sunday, 27 January 2013

Close-Up MasterChef Volume 2

Avery Hill Publishing are in a veritable stew of aromatic emotion as they announce the publication of David White's Close-Up MasterChef Volume 2, a magnified photographic documentation of MasterChef: The Professionals series five.

Just as the fifth exploration of televisually tough cooking on a professional level made history by resulting in joint winners for the first time, so Close-Up MasterChef Volume 2 also marks it's place in the annals of time by being printed in A4 size. Twice as big. Twice as close.


Close-Up MasterChef Volume 2 is limited to a first print of 50 copies, with each copy individually numbered, and features 24 black and white A4 pages - get it here:


Sunday, 4 November 2012

Tiny Dancing - Issue 8

If I were to list the reasons why it's taken a loooong while for Tiny Dancing Issue 8 to appear, it would be boring. Real life, job related, boring. So please forgive me if I do not do that. Instead, I will tell you about the things that are not boring. These are the things that are in Tiny Dancing Issue 8.

Kicking off the massively unboring, we have a trio of illustrative debuts from a trio of gentlemen whose work I absolutely love. To say I'm delighted to have them all grace this issue would be a true thing.

The first of the heady trio is Rob Jones. I got in touch with Rob ages ago to see if he wanted to do something for issue 8, and he sent me his contribution back almost straight away. I've had it for ages, and it got to the point where it almost felt like a crime not to get it out into the world. I find it quite difficult to describe Rob's style, in fact I'm not sure I have it in me to do it justice, and that is a very good thing indeed. Have a look at his website to see what I mean. Or don't mean.

The next of the trio is Simon Moreton, who has contributed two pages of beautiful, individual introspection. Those who are familiar with Simon's work, not least in his outstanding self-published series Smoo, will know exactly what he's capable of, but Simon achieves more in two sets of four panels here than many creators achieve in pages and pages and pages and pages and pages. Smoo Issue 6 is on pre-order now, and you after you buy Tiny Dancing Issue 8, you should order Smoo 6. I have.

The final of the three is Owen D. Pomery. When I asked Owen if he wanted to do something for this issue, I was maybe expecting something along the lines of his architectural work, if not his comics work. I didn't expect what Owen sent in, and it is to my eternal joy that I didn't. I don't want to go into too much detail for fear of spoiling it - buy you'll see from the photo below that Owen's maintained his amazing, intricate line style. Just not in a way I'd seen before. Monkeys. There, I said it. Owen is working on a new project at the moment, bringing to life The Megatherium Club, which is very exciting indeed, not least for the possibility of some sequentially rendered taxidermy.

But there is more new! Steve Gregory has given us a short story about butterflies, which is kind of about butterflies, but probably isn't it. It'll make sense when you read it. Steve packs more into one idea than you'll find in thousands of words in any newspaper, or editorial or commentary, and it's surely time to hear more from him. And accompanying Steve's story is a wonderfully complimentary illustration from Rebecca Strickson, which is no more amazing than we've come to expect from her. Take a sneaky peek below.

And to counterbalance the new, we have contributions from Tiny Dancing favourites Megan Ancliffe, who has completely sussed out the future of academic furtherance (it will be based in Tilbury, obviously), and we find out what happens when Tim Bird thinks about something really hard - this time, teeth. And to round the issue out, there's a new short story from David White about a man called Toby Banoobe, and one or two other little bits that may or may not feature Kenny Everett.

But but but - that is not all! To keep your Tiny Dancing Issue 8 nice and uncrumpled and clean, it comes in a super special handmade fabric pocket, complete with name tag! Rebecca Strickson is making these for us, and they'll all be different, whether it be design, fabric, or sheer emotional content. She's currently making them out of cotton velvet. Nice.

So, Tiny Dancing Issue 8 - 40 pages of wonderful, with a colour card cover, that handmade unique protective fabric pocket, and a guaranteed release from the drudgery of real life, all for a bargain price of £2.50! I don't know how we do it! (I actually don't know how we've done it, I've still got to do all the adding up).

Get it from the Avery Hill Publishing online boutique, which you can find here.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Close Up Masterchef - Volume One

If, like me, you are a connoisseur of the finer things in life, your switches will be flicked by the following itemised listing:

1 - cooking approaching a professional standard
2 - human drama at its most intense
3 - witty repartee that would make Noel Coward blush

If you remain unaroused by these things, then I pity you. But if your cultural antennae is now twitching like a rabbit's nostril, may I introduce to you 'Close Up Masterchef Volume One' - a magnified, photographic documentary of the eighth series of Masterchef (not counting the Loyd Grossman years, of course).

Whilst I've been a fan of Masterchef for some years now, early on in this series I felt a provocation I'd never experienced before - although the dropping of the auditions round initially felt like a mistake, it quickly became apparent that the quality of what was on offer before me was at an all time high. Like a prima ballerina or virtuoso pianist, confidence seemed to flow from the very pores of all involved - I knew this was a different level of televised episodic competitive challenge based cooking. And so I felt compelled to document. To record. To celebrate.

After some searching for the most appropriate method of capturing the sights, the sounds, the smells of Gregg, John, Shelina, Aki et al in action (including but not limited to interpretive dance, slam poetry and animal puppetry), I settled on close up photography. It seems obvious now, but by my troth, many a pained evening was spent trying to express myself appropriately. Many a dark, lonely, pained evening...

And now I offer the fruits of my labour to you, my fellow connoisseur.

I would not be uttering a mistruth if I were to tell you that I captured literally hundreds of images across the fifteen episodes of series eight, but that kind of indulgence simply would not do. As anyone who knows anything about cooking will tell you, it does not do to gorge oneself. So I present a distillation of the very essence of the toughest cooking competition the known universe has ever seen. A photographic jus, if you will.

I present Close Up Masterchef Volume One. Bon appetit.

Get your copy of Close Up Masterchef Volume One from the Avery Hill Publishing Online Shop - it's here!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Tiny Dancing - Issue 7 (Real Version)

Cast your mind back, dear reader, to the days of the dim and distant past. To a time of civil unrest, political skulduggery, and international warmongering. To a time of uncertainty, despair, and anger. To a time when you couldn’t be sure that one day would follow another, and so lived every moment as if it were your last. Yes, dear reader. I speak of August 2011, when the last issue of Tiny Dancing made itself known unto this world of tumult. So much has happened since then. So much has come to pass...

But one thing happened of such import that the foundations of the very internet were ever so slightly wobbled. I shall remind you of this one thing – the comics left Tiny Dancing. You remember this, because I told you.

And now here we are. Older. Wiser. Bigger. And we are comic-less. What does this mean? What could this possibly mean?

It means that like Crazy Mel at the start of Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, a familiar yet strange figure is emerging from the smokes of the apocalyptic wasteland (well, Dartford – it’s a sad tale) to set the story straight. It means that Tiny Dancing 7 is here.
And we have so much to tell you.

Let us start with the basics, in bullet point format:

- 44 pages of captivation! More than ever before!
- Risograph printed on 100% Recycled Cyclus Offset paper stock! We’ve gone sustainable!
- Full colour cover! Beautiful and pretty!

The basics, then, fully covered. But what is contained within the plentiful, socially responsible, beautiful and pretty pages?

Well, we have a trio of illustrative debuts – firstly from Soju Tanaka, contributing two new, wonderful pieces. Soju has an exhibition in Japan over the next couple of weeks, and whilst I won’t be able to get there (living in London and that), if you find yourself over that way you must surely go and see it.

Edward Ward is a man who knows about the finer things in life – specifically Tom Selleck, David Bowie and birds of prey. It was only natural then, that he should bring them altogether in something that will make me happy forever. Check Edward’s blog on a regular basis, because it will make your world a better place.

And the final member of our trio is Lawrence Williams, who has given us some beautiful new work – I’m particularly chuffed that Lawrence agreed to contribute, as it was his zine that inspired me to start out on this crazy journey we call self-publishing, so it feels like some kind of full circle, self fulfilling… thing. You know? You know.

We’re overjoyed to welcome Tom Quinn back to our pages with a short story that only he could write (right), and equally overjoyed to be able to feature a new story from Germany’s favourite son Ulrich Haarburste. Ulrich of course needs no introduction, but it’s always worth being reminded of his seminal debut book.

But it’s not all about the new, we’re apoplectic with happiness at the returns of Megan Ancliffe detailing her ‘Open City’, the view from Steve Horry’s window, the latest ‘Tiny In Our Time’ from Michael Gosden and Ricky Miller (this time – Astronomy and Empire, and Lord Bragg on a bench with Captain Cook, of course), oh, and one more new – Spaceship Earth’s Free House Project, destroying the property bubble in one fell swoop.

So after all that, you want one, yes? Well friend, you need just mosey over to the all-new, all-shiny Avery Hill Publishing Shop, where you can pick up a copy without having to negotiate the traditional chaos of the shonky PayPal stuff I used to get so wrong. That’s the smell of progress. This is where the shop is:

The Avery Hill Publishing Online Shopping Experience

And so, it is time for us to part ways once again. To flog the Mad Max metaphor to death, we’ve taken on the crazy future punks, we’ve driven a massive lorry full of petrol around a desert, and we’ve come through the other side. Next time – Tina Turner in a brilliant wig. Can’t wait.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

The Life Of Hadley

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Another Tiny Dancing Christmas!

There are two thing we like at Tiny Dancing; art and Christmas. We get art all the long year around - that's just the type of people we are - but Christmas, that's a different story. And we don't necessarily mean the one about the little fella in the manger with the cows.

Yes, we like Christmas very much, and have done ever since we got the Millennium Falcon as our main present in 1982. It's kind of been a bit downhill from there in all honesty, but it was a very high peak, and we're optimistic sorts.

So it's armed with that warm, gooey feeling that we bring to you our Christmas Offers. Just to break that down a bit, that's 'offers' that are exclusively related to 'Christmas', that involve us presenting you with the gift of value. Warm, gooey value.

'What are these offers?' the children cried. 'Why, they are thus!' replied the newly repentant Scrooge.

TINY DANCING CHRISTMAS OFFER NO. 1: Three Tiny Dancing's for the Price of Two!

That's right, until the end of December you can get issues 4, 5 and 6 of Tiny Dancing for only Four English Pounds! Now, stop for a moment - consider what that feeling is... that's right, it's warm, gooey value dripping down your chin. Enjoy it. You deserve it. And enjoy this special Tiny Dancing Christmas Offer No. 1 promotional image as well. The PayPal button works the magic.


But that's not all! There is more! This is the more!

TINY DANCING CHRISTMAS OFFER NO. 2: A Free TYTHCV1 with every Reads Issue 1!

Now, some lucky souls have already been on the receiving end of this particular offer, and the feedback has been... I'd like to say overwhelming, so I'm going to - overwhelming. Until the end of December, everyone who buys a copy of Reads Issue 1 gets a completely and utterly free copy of The Young Tony Hadley Chronicles Vol. 1. It just gets put in the envelope. Just like that. You get it. You read it. You ask some pretty searching questions. Christmas is saved. Arty TYTHCV1 photo now.


And with that we are spent. Our sack is empty, our cupboards bare. But we have a warm, gooey feeling about our person, and that's enough for us. Merry Christmas, one and all!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Reads - Issue 1 (Real Version)

Despite the best efforts of all involved, the return from Leeds was made with minds, bodies and souls mostly intact. Thought Bubble was excellent fun, and damned inspirational to boot. What more could we ask for? Erasure being played as requested on the Saturday night, that’s what, but then we are very difficult to please…

So we begrudgingly return to the real world. We playfully teased you last week with a mention of Reads Issue 1, the new home of all things comic-like in the world that was and will once more be Tiny Dancing. Now we are coy no more. It is time to let it all hang out.

We showed you the wraparound cover, dreamt up in a fever by Ricky Miller and realised in a storm by Rebecca Strickson, and we told you it was amazing. But we were wrong. It’s also great – and how do we know this? Because Jock told us, that’s how. A wise as well as very nice man - we suspected as much. Here it is again, because it really is amazingly great.

But what else is there? Well as this is a first issue we thought we’d give you a bit of hot value. That explains the 48 pages (48!) that contain the next instalments of Ricky and Steve Horry’s dinosaur infested Hilary Harper expedition, Tim Bird’s beautiful musings on youth in suburbia, Michael Gosden’s first glimpse of the fate that awaits Shelby Matthews (I even helped a bit with that one), and Ricky rounding things off with the final pieces of the Metroland puzzle he's been putting in place in order to introduce the band. Here are some temptingly arty photos of all that:

I’m really not being a mental when I assure you that everyone involved has produced their best work, and that for the bargain price of £3.00 you will be owning something that we really are rather proud of. Get your hands on a copy by doing the Paypals below, or by sending me an email to work out what we call in these parts a ‘solution’. It’s what we’re all about. Unless we’re in a casino in Leeds at 4am, when we’ve got to be up in about four hours to try and be retail professionals for an entire day. That one we still need to put some work into.


EDIT: We think we've worked out the problem some people have been having with the PayPal link. It's all a bit fingers crossed, but we believe it had something to do with 'masking' - that could be a technical term, or we could have made it up - that's the level of competence you're dealing with here.

So, if you can't get the PayPal button above to work go here and use the PayPal button on that page - it'll look exactly the same, but it should work.

If you're still not having any joy with the PayPal after trying that, send me an email at
, and we'll sort out another way of transacting. We won't let the machines beat us. Oh no.

ANOTHER EDIT: Or, get yourself down to Orbital Comics, because we've finally got our act together and got them stocked up with some hot copies, just in time for Christmas. Whilst there, check out the Solipsistic Pop exhibition, and Ryan Hall's Mr Freeze Takes Over Christmas and be amazed and inspired in equal measure.