Want to be part of a super awesome idea?

At the moment I'm putting together a proposal for something super awesome and I need your help.

It's a community business / social enterprise to help small press comic book publishers and also help to educate and encourage others to make comics or self publish.

That's the concise version.
Okay, here's the longer version:

Ideally we'd have a physical space (Sunderland currently seems the most likely place) that could house an archive / library, education space, gallery area and studios. Perhaps a cafe/bar and a shop too. The main purpose would be to promote publishing, so as well as comics we'd include small press books, poetry, artists books, zines, blogging etc.

The education program would have two main aims, to provide workshops, lectures and debates for practitioners and also to get other people in the community to start publishing by providing them with the skills needed. We could run outreach programmes for schools and community groups, which would also provide work for artists and writers who would like to teach.

The studios and gallery would provide a space for a community of practioners to build and work together, and hopefully allow for a mixing of different disciplines. It's pretty clear that communities are vital to the small press as they allows for the sharing of expenses and the dissemination of information. We could also look in to research initiatives, such as eco friendly printing methods or using new media.

The archive would be useful for reference, it's hard to study small press as some books have such a small print run you often can't get hold of them. It would be nice to get a properly documented collection going.
The library is an easy way to engage new readers by allowing them to see what's out there for free. The cafe /bar could be a source of income and would be a great meeting place as well as providing a space for events.

The shop would, of course, help everyone sell their work. A good online presence would ensure that we could reach outside the region and work with other groups and practitioners. We could also organise group trips to events/ shows and work on travelling exhibitions and residencies elsewhere.
Running it as a community business or social enterprise would allow for any profit to be put back in to the business and could potentially allow us to give out grants (as a lot of arts grants really don't cater for small press creators, it would be good to have our own).

I've talked to quite a few people who are all very excited by the project, and I've talked to some people who really know a lot about this sort of thing and they seemed to think it was not only viable but much needed. Yay!

If you want to get involved at this early stage email me: leonieomooreATgmailDOTcom
comments and ideas would be great. I'll build up a mailing list, so even if you may not want to get involved but just like being nosy, you can sign up and find out what's happening. And you don't have to be someone who makes comics, we need to hear from non-comics people too if this is going to really work!
I would like to start a seperate blog for the project as the ball is rolling now and I want each stage of the process to be up for discussion. So, if you can think of a name for it, let me know!


  1. Supercool, I'll be sure to mention this to the PJCC at the meeting tonight.


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