Across the Pond | A roundup of U.K. comics news

First, a heads-up on the British Invasion of Toronto: This weekend, Toronto Comics Art Festival will host a number of creators from the United Kingdom, including Sean Azzopardi (Necessary Monsters), Darryl Cunningham (Psychiatric Tales), Joe Decie (Accidental Salad), Tom Gauld (Goliath), Lizz Lunney (Depressed Cat: Nine Miserable Lives) and Luke Pearson (Hilda and the Midnight Giant). Publishers Blank Slate, Nobrow Press and SelfMadeHero will also be in attendance. I ran into some other British creators at MoCCA this weekend; you'll be hearing about that shortly.

Comics | Gary Northfield shows off some of the art from his comic Gary's Garden, which runs in the weekly children's comic The Phoenix:

Part autobiography, part made-up nonsense (well, mainly completely made-up nonsense to be fair), Gary’s Garden delves into my favourite thing ever – me spying on the comings and goings of all the little dudes and dudettes who dwell in my garden.

This makes me wish more fervently than ever that The Phoenix would get an app or somehow make itself available outside the UK, digitally or on paper. Adding to my pain: Jim Medway offers a peek at his new comic Chip Charlton & Mr. Woofles of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Comics | In other kids-comics news, Lew Stringer announces he's bringing Kid Cops to an end in the April 25 issue of The Dandy, but the good news is that he has another comic in the works, with a new character.

Events | Comica Comiket, an indy-comics spinoff of the larger Comica comics festival — think of it as London's answer to MoCCA — was two weeks ago, and Dan Berry writes about some logistical problems at the show. Organizer Paul Gravett shows up in comments with a quick response (via the Forbidden Planet blog). Sarah McIntyre has more coverage, including a lively photo set, at her blog.

Events | And just this past weekend was the Leeds Alternative Comics Fair, which must be pretty alternative because it took place in a pub. Oliver East writes about his experience of the fair and of doing his first con sketch.

Digital comics | ROK Comics has just released the iPad app Team M.O.B.I.L.E., a teen-team comic written by veteran writer John Freeman that includes an optional audio track. The app is free, so it's worth checking out if you like that sort of thing, and the audio is pretty basic — just voices, no music or cheesy stuff. There's more background at the Team M.O.B.I.L.E. website.

Creators | The Panel Borders podcast talks to two up-and-coming graphic novelists: Warwick Johnson Cadwell, whose Gungle will be published soon by Blank Slate, and artist Jennie Gyllblad, who is working with writer Corey Brotherson on a steampunk series Clockwork Watch.

Comics | The Dark Judges return to 2000AD:

Warped parodies of the Judges of Mega-City One, the Dark Judges are undead superfiends from a dimension where all life has been declared a crime. Originally led by Judge Death, who has since been sucked into Purgatory by the souls of his victims, the Dark Judges were created by John Wagner and Brian Bolland.

The evil begins with Prog 1781, on sale Thursday in print and Friday in digital form.

Comics | Marvel has renamed its Marvel Super Heroes comic as Marvel Super Heroes featuring The Avengers. This is not a homegrown U.K. version of the Avengers; the content is all supplied by Marvel HQ.

Review | Rob Clough reviews Luke Pearson's Hilda and the Midnight Giant for The Comics Journal.

Review | New Scientist has a mostly-but-not-entirely positive review of Darryl Cunningham's Science Tales. Andy Oliver also has a review at Broken Frontier.

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