My zines are discounted at Pioneer’s Press for a great cause. Go snap them up!
UK comic Smoo, marked down from $5 to $2. One of the best comics we’ve ever read! Great art for fans of Nate Powell!
“Some of the very, very best in autobiographical comics are those that feel they have been written as much for the creator as they have for his or her potential audience. For me, Simon Moreton’s work falls firmly under that classification. Quietly uncompromising, it has a raw and admirable honesty to it that draws the reader in and fully absorbs them in the emotive and very personal slice-of-life episodes he recreates on the comics page”- Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier. Features in Andy’s “Ten UK Small Press Comics You Should Own 2012”
Simon Moreton is a cartoonist and academic based in Bristol, UK. He writes and draws comics and zines. His regular series, Smoo, is all about everyday life. He is one of half of Things in Panels, and also runs Better, Drawn, a blog where people can share stories about their experience of long-term mental or physical illnesses in the form of comics.
Bristol is great: DIY scene is hard but worthwhile. These people make it what it is. Get involved, make things, do things.
DIY VOICES is super happy to get to share this interview with Bristol’s very own Roxy Brennan; events coordinator at our vegan coop Cafe Kino, the talent behind Two White Cranes and generally awesome creative person.Hi Roxy. Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed for DIY VOICES! Can you tell me how long you’ve been involved in Cafe Kino and in what ways? Say lots your role at the moment too!I’ve been involved in Cafe Kino on and off for about 7 years. When it first opened in its Ninetree Hill premises I volunteered there. It was the summer before I went to university and I remember it being very quiet and mostly I’d just sit and read Middlemarch. My brother (Aaron) was good friends with all the Kino folks but I didn’t know them so well and I felt very shy of them all.So then I went away to university for a few years and sort of moved between Bristol and Oxford a bit. But when I came back I was much less shy and I knew that the Kino folks were the kind of folks I wanted to spend time with. First of all I was involved in helping out with events and I learnt how to do to sound because I thought it would be a good thing to do (which it is, but its also very very difficult)Then I got a job working in the cafe properly (making coffee, which is one of my favourite things) and since then I’ve been very involved. Its a workers co-operative so being a staff member there means you have lots of opportunities to get involved in running the cafe.
I’m now the events co-ordinator, which means I reply to people who want to use the space downstairs for cool events, as well as planning some of my own. Its a really really great job, because it means supporting the arts and creativity and its also really great for the cafe which means it supports my friends and colleagues and veganism, all my favourite things!What’s your relationship /connection with Bristol?Bristol is where I’ve lived for most of my life and I love it, largely because of the community that I am involved in. Everyone I know and love in Bristol makes something good. There are so many people working really hard to make it a better place and that is why I love it. I love The Cube and Cafe Kino so much. I was extremely lucky to grow up, as a teenager, around the people who make those spaces what they are, and that has really influenced me. I know that the things of value in this world are community and art, and that they don’t come from nothing - you need to work for them and that you can’t have one without the other.Can you say more about the DIY and Independent scene, not just in Bristol, and how it affected you growing up?DIY affected me immeasurably growing up. I remember going to Ladyfest and Bring Yourself Fest when I was 15/16 and it meant that I’ve always just assumed that people put on their own shows and play in bands. I really can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t, and even though I understand not everyone wants to, it means that for me DIY doesn’t at all feel like a political ‘choice’ as such but just the way that my life and my community works, which is great! This has really empowered me and made me feel quite strong.I see the DIY scene sometimes as part love/part activism as it goes against or across the dominant social structures and industries (art music etc) can you say whether you’ve seen and/or experienced any of the burnout /fatigue /etc that comes from passionate people expending lots of energy and time in things they believe in? Do you have any ideas in how we can avoid burnout?It easy to feel very tired and burnt out by DIY, and I know lots of people who do feel like that and I have at times just felt completely overwhelmed by putting on a show and felt that it totally wasn’t worth it. But then you go to a show, like the Pull the Strings event at Southbank earlier this month, that makes you feel completely inspired and privileged to be part of a creative community, even if it is hard work sometimes.I suppose the other decision I’ve come to regarding burn out, is the importance of supporting art you really believe in. Even though ideally I want everyone who makes art to have a platform to express that, I am not in a position to facilitate that, and in fact capitalism is a system that makes that impossible. I want to keep art, especially my own art, as far away from capitalism as possible but that is almost impossible. Even giving away things for free seems to become tangled up in this insane system where writing a song is equal to some stupid thing called money. Anyway, so because of that it is not possible to support everyone’s artistic endeavour’s so for now I try to only put on shows where I really love the bands. But if everyone did that DIY would work really well, because everyone would put on their favourite band, once a year and we’d all have a really lovely time!Lastly can you tell me about the creative projects and bands your involved in (time to blow your own trumpet etc)So at the moment I’m involved in lots of bands - many more than ever before which is really excitingtwo white cranes is my solo thing. I’ve been writing songs since I was 16 and I’ve been performing and recording under this name for two years now. I like not using my own name because it gives me the freedom to have other people be part of the project. at the moment I’m recording an album and I’m hopefully gonna release it on vinyl through stitch-stitch records which is real exciting.
trust fund is a band I play bass in at the moment. It is Ellis Jones’ band and I love playing in it so much. We get to play lots of fun shows and his songs are my absolute favourite things in the world, and he is basically my favourite person in the world so its pretty perfect. We’re on tour next week and generally playing tons of shows because Ellis is super popular (and rightly so).
I also write essays, I’ve written some stuff that’s on the Arnolfini Blog and I have a occasionally updated blog here http://twowhitecranes.wordpress.com/
Thanks again Roxy, I really love getting to hear more you and your life and DIY VOICES is super proud to have you as our first interviewee.
(Interview by Jen Steiner, Founder & Editor of DIY VOICES)