Literary Death Match and The Stripped Comic Fair

During the the last week, I was asked by the Edinburgh International Book Festival if I'd like to take part in Jura Unbound's special "comics edition" of the infamous Literary Death Match, a literary death bout with three other competitors and judged by Craig Silvey, Dawn O'Porter and none other than Neil Gaiman...

Too good an opportunity to pass up, I spent the next two days in a flapping state of dread and terror attempting to pull together something decent, and come Friday night I attempted "spoken word" performances of some of my comics to a packed out Spiegeltent....

To my great surprise it went down really well with the crowd, who gave me such a great reception. I performed "The Landlocked Sea Shanty" from Roachwell, followed by the trilingual English / French / Dutch strip "House of Mercy", and ultimately finished with the appropriately literary "Seamus Heaney's Heinous Penis".

When you write a strip like that, you don't really expect to be performing a few years later, grinding on stage to crowd of 200 or so while your mobile plays "I Like To Move It"... but there you go.

In any case while I didn't win, the crowd's reception was fantastic and the judges comments were so exciting to hear, which included Neil Gaiman saying my performance was "shocking, astonishing and delightful". Which was oh, pretty nice, and Dawn O'Porter severely embarrassed me. The other competitors were all lovely people, and congratulations to Amy Mason who struck down all her opponents and drank from our skulls as a true victor!

So it was a really exciting and pretty astonishing experience. I had a great wee chat with Neil afterwards, and gave him my books for the bus home. It was really cool to speak to people in the following days who saw the show and complimented me on it, and to show them the strips I performed. I have to thank the Edinburgh International Book Festival for asking me to take part, pals who made it along to watch and also the astonishing Adrian Todd Zuniga who was the most electrifying and hilarious host. If you get chance to see a Literary Death Match, go for it!

* Update - write up on the Literary Death Match site here! *

* Update again! - Video below! I come on about 42 minutes in... *


Onward to the Stripped Mini Comic Fair! My first shot at tabling my own comics and in the lovely environs of 5 Charlotte Square, a National Trust for Scotland building and surely one of the nicest places a comic fair has been held.

There was a really impressive and diverse range of talent on show, and I had a really nice time chatting with some new pals. All in I had an excellent weekend of it, with great sales and plenty of interesting chat with people who were in to check out the comics on show. Here's hoping Stripped as part of the Book Festival goes on to even greater success in future years!


  1. I am in awe of your testicular fortitude. Is there video of this somewhere?? (One to show the kids when they're older.)

  2. Yep, updated above now. See my shambolic and sweaty stylin's!


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