Ugly Mug #5, 6 & 7

By many and various aligned to The House of Harley, including Ed Pinsent, John Bagnall, Tom Baxter Tiffin, Marc Baines, Chris Reynolds, Savage Pencil, Jason Atomic, Patricia Gaignat, iestyn, Jim Barker, Masaman, Denny Derbyshire, Oxideguy, Vince Mancuso, Hal Weaver, Alberto Monteiro & various (House of Harley)

Win’s Christmas Gift Recommendation: Wild Fun and the Epitome of Sheer Creativity Perfection… 8/10

Comics may be a billion dollar business these days, but at its core remains all about doing something creative and waiting for people to say “Oi! Come and look at this!”

At that charged and dynamic pictorial coalface are folk who would draw strips and cartoons even if the act carried the threat of exile or death penalty (so, missed a trick there, Soo-Ella Slaverman and Mr. not-so-Cleverly!): crafting and self-publishing the kind of word-wedded images the industry and art form continually renews and reinvents itself with.

Every year The House of Harley unleashes an annual (well duh!) anthology of short stories, posterworks, tableaux, diagrammatic diatribes – even further continued characters and serials – via the ranks of the British Small Press movement (it’s really more of a tendency these days but riveting nonetheless).The project also invites international guests, and it’s well past time you knew more about their splendid efforts.

Available at the moment for your delectation are a trio of tomes, with issue #5 being a horror themed treat including, amongst many, dark delights from Marc Baines, Chris Reynolds, Savage Pencil, Denny Derbyshire and Niall Richardson, an instalment of Ed Pinsent’s ‘Windy Wilberforce’ serial, John Bagnall’s ‘Father Gilderoy Investigates’, Tom Baxter Tiffin’s ‘Berserker’, Pinsent’s ‘R.S.D. Laing, Record Detective’ and some sinister self-help advice from Ess “Strange and Wonderful Creature” Hödlmoser.

City and Country in contention are compiled for #6, with Jim Barker (‘Cardboard Cities’) and Masaman (‘Japanese Graphix’), supplementing the old lags’ regular fare which here includes ‘Seb’ (by House of Harley), PCSO Dan, Dora the Art Restorer, more Windy Wilberforce et al…

This year’s model is a bonanza edition sporting an iestyn pettigrew wraparound cover, with a bumper crop of wonders addressing Karma and Chaos and dedicated to Chris Reynolds (1960-2023). Here lurk fantastic beasts from Pinsent, Bagnall’s crucial ‘How a Comic is Made’, Chris Reynolds’ fumetti ‘Batlight’, prophetic ‘Take the Children Out of Town’ (House of Harley) and epic exploration ‘Otherweirdly’ (Denny Derbyshire). These are backed up by briefer bits, graphic one-offs and episodes of extended exploits for ‘Mark E. Smith: Music Teacher’, Jason Atomic’s ‘King Kong Memories’ and ‘Respecto/Kanyok Hunting Fetish’ by Hal Weaver.

As jammed-packed with beguiling thrilling stuff as any British X-mas Annual of yore, these curated creations brim with surreal narrative force and come overloaded with wry and witty visual oomph, an example of the compulsion to leave our marks wherever we can.
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3 Replies to “Ugly Mug #5, 6 & 7”

  1. Hello! Hal Weaver (aka WEAVERWERX) here, writer/artist of “RESPECTO!” in UGLY MUG #7. Thanks’ for reviewing Harley’s stuff and mentioning my work!


    OK HW

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