By Joe Glass
I'm gonna start by prefacing this with a little disclaimer: many of these books may not have necessarily been released in 2015, that is just the year I got them and became aware of them. When I am at most UK comic cons it's to exhibit with my own books, The Pride and Stiffs. But I also go around and pick up books from my contemporaries, some of whom I'm friendly with. Still, I have tried to be as objective as possible with this list.
All are recommendations that you either pick up online or from the next UK show where you and these awesome creators are at (if you aren't based in the UK yourself, seriously consider getting them online, because oh man, there are some great comics being made in the UK).
1. PORCELAIN: BONE CHINA by Benjamin Read & Chris Wildgoose
This is the second volume in the series of Porcelain graphic novels, the first being Porcelain: A Gothic Fairytale. I picked that one up a year or two ago and thought it was fantastic: wonderfully written and realised and with some truly stunning artwork. It was this which made me aware of the art of Chris Wildgoose and asked him if he'd be up for doing some work on The Pride, which he graciously did take part in.
You might have seen their work in the DC Vertigo CMYK series, or Wildgoose's art in a back-up story (or B-side as they call them) of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie's Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl series.
Porcelain: Bone China is not only a worthy follow-up to the fantastic original, but also rather marvelously expands the world and sets it up for stories to come. I eagerly anticipate the third part of this series now.
This book is great for fans of fantasy and steampunk, romance and 'the feels' and just generally anyone who likes awesome comics. You can find where to buy the book here!
2. PANTHEON by Hamish Steele
Pantheon is an incredibly sweet, hilarious and fun retelling of the Egyptian gods myths. It's really lovingly handled, by a creator who evidently puts a fair bit of research into the source material even if he is going to tell it in his own way.
Funny and cute, the book was so hard to put down, and a great introduction to the work of the creator, Hamish Steele. Some may be aware of Steele from his Cartoon Hangover short Dead End, but he has a fair bit of indie comic work behind him too, and this is a fantastic example of it.
Great for fans of comedy, myths cycles and Adventure Time. The book is available here!
3. Deadendia by Hamish Steele
Another entry into my list, Steele also creates Deadendia, a comic series that spins out of and expands upon his own Cartoon Hangover short.
Deadendia is simply brilliant. It's fun, emotional and adventurous, and filled with twists and turns. Set in a haunted house that has a literal elevator to Heaven and Hell and following the people who work there and a magic dog, this short description cannot hope to describe all about the plot and misadventures of the characters of this series.
It is at times absolutely hilarious and completely heartfelt, and can seriously spin the reader on their head. Even better, the book is incredibly diverse, without it being soap-box-y or derailing the plot. Handling issues from sexuality, gender and mental health with ease and forthrightness and honesty, this book is a breath of fresh air.
Deadendia can be read for free by chunk as they become available on Tapastic, but it can also be bought here in traditional comic form!
4. THE KILL SCREEN by Mike Garley, Josh Sherwell & Mike Stock
The Kill Screen is one of those ideas I really wish I'd come up with first. A wonderful and creative twist on the post-apocalyptic, world-ending idea, the set up and execution is absolutely brilliant.
Following survivors in a world where computer errors, glitches and memes become real and affect the physical world, The Kill Screen is fun, powerful and filled with heart-stopping action.
The Kill Screen has a gorgeous collected edition coming out early 2016, but in the meantime you can get the comics here!
This list is far from exhaustive (been a busy year for me actually selling and making my own comics, so I've been a little behind on getting new ones to read….going to change that next year), but just a selection of some great comics being made in the UK right now. I highly recommend checking them all out, and many more of the wonderful, creative stuff on show at the many UK comic cons around the country.
Joe Glass is a Bleeding Cool contributor and comics creator. Writer of The Pride, about a team of LGBTQ superheroes fighting for representation and equality, the comic was one of the Top 25 Best Selling Comixology Submit Titles of 2014! The comics are all available on Amazon Kindle, Comixology and at The Pride online store. He is also the co-writer of Welsh horror comedy series, Stiffs, available on Comixology and their online store.