I will be part of this year's annual Springwatch in Malta. It's not watching when moles wake up like the TV one, but trying to do something to stop the wholesale indiscriminate shooting of any feathered creature passing up from Africa. It's all a bit of a messed up complex situation with the law, but in my opinion all migrants from Africa should be made welcome, and especially the good looking ones with spoon-shaped beaks and the ones that can hover in the air. I will be drawing a journal/zine thing as usual for the week I'll be there.
I would like to stay for longer, indeed join it up with other visits in the area - but instead I'm coming back early for the very exciting London Zine Symposium on 17th April. For those who know me, I've raved about the Zine Symposium before - it was the highlight of at least one year (I think 2009), that opened me up to so many unique and wonderful voices, genuinely expanding my world.
This year I'll be sharing a stall with the very lovely Peg Powler people of Teesside. It'll make a very refreshing change to be in a little north east gang and not just gangly old me shuffling about and muttering words like 'Newcastle', 'stotties', 'the proper North sea' & 'bothies' to people for whom these are rare and exotic concepts.
As always for DIY events I go to, I will produce a zine especially. It's possible the Malta one will be ready to go too, but my pre-planned offering will be a little more like the 'newcastle zine review' I did a little over a year back. I will keep it small and short (& therefore cheap!), but I intend to list EVERY SINGLE NORTH EAST ZINE THAT HAS EVER BEEN MADE, and include a single line describing it. I will fail heroically in this task, as you never really know what zines are out there. I hear about more than I see, and the ones I hear about are only a fraction of what we north east humans make. But it will be a pleasure to go through my zine box, and it will give me the opportunity to announce my collection of north east zines as the 'INSERT GRAND TITLE HERE Zine Library'. However, unlike the Canny Little Library, this is a reference library. In fact I guess I'd best call it an archive really, cos you need to know me to get to see it. But I care about this here zine culture and I think elements of it should survive into posterity, and be kept safe and shared.
Mention of the Canny Little Library reminds me: the day I leave for Malta is Mini Comics Day and I hope to have joined together the Canny Little Library with the Paper Jam Comics Collective to host an event at the Star & Shadow Cinema (Newcastle is the only place in the UK taking part!) The only spanner in the works is me leaving during the event, but they are two lovely local papery institutions that I'm proud to be linked to, and I intend to get the Paper Jammers to join the International Cartoonists' Conspiracy which is co-ordinating the day.
Before their involvement with International Mini Comics Day, Paper Jam are also presenting an exhibition at 'Made-in-Newcastle' on Grainger St. In part this is to launch the 'History ... and that' Anthology which we did, but it's also just to celebrate the art we do, and to be a part of the warm and loveable 'Made-in-Newcastle' shop.
So diaries out! To confirm:
March 19-26, Paper Jam exhibition at 'Made in Newcastle'
9th April, Mini Comics Day, noon till 5, Star & Shadow Cinema
9th-17th April, Springwatch Malta
17th April, London Zine Symposium