Every few weeks we sift through all the dozens of crowdfunding communications we receive here at BF each week to bring you a handful of the more intriguing, exciting, experimental and daring uses of the form that we spot, along with some interesting campaigns we’ve found ourselves. These are comics or related publications that both fit the Broken Frontier coverage ethos and that we think deserve your backing!
Usually we look to push a few worthwhile projects your way in this Crowdfunding Corner section but every so often we’re alerted to something that needs immediate coverage attention. Hence these ‘Crowdfunding Corner Extra’ updates. This time round it’s the collection of a true favourite over the years here at Broken Frontier as we take a return trip to John Riordan and Dan Cox’s Hitsville UK…
The who and what: Let’s start with the Hitsville UK team’s own description of this long-running small press comics series: “A surreal love-letter to the weirder corners of pop music, Hitsville UK is a 240-page graphic novel following the misadventures of a motley assortment of bands as they try to make it big. It’s the best, though possibly the only, musical-pop-art-soap-opera in comic book form. The ensemble cast is a carnival of angel-voiced grotesques, monster-hunters, imaginary robots, hip-hop agitators, faded 80s starlets, 60s throwbacks, drug-addled producers and demonic accountants. Full of sly digs and references to musical genres past and present, Hitsville UK appeals to music obsessives as well as comic fans.”
Bookplate and print by John Riordan and Jules Scheele
We first covered Hitsville UK on the old Broken Frontier site way back in 2012 (republished here) and closed up with series finale here last year. An annual favourite around Thought Bubble time where new issues were usually released, its send-up of the music biz was both ruthless and affectionate. When it first debuted we described it as “a riotous, frenzied whirlwind of a comic book” and on its conclusion last year said that “to anyone with a long-term investment in the characters Hitsville UK #7 gives us a conclusion that is entirely and satisfyingly appropriate.” At last we get to read the whole story in one handsome collected edition! Those wanting to risk spoilers can see all our Hitsville UK coverage over the years in one place here.
What’s on offer: Apart from the usual print and digital versions, reward tiers include bookplates, prints by John Riordan and Jules Scheele, postcards, badges, signed and sketched in copies and original art. And at the very top level a papier mache head of popular Hitsville UK character Gwillum!
Why you should back it: There is no hyperbole in saying that Hitsville UK has been a British small press institution over the last 8 years or so. Such is the nature of self-published serial comics, though, that those long gaps between issues can mean both attention and readers are lost. This complete edition is a long awaited one, then. Because whether you’ve never heard of Hitsville UK before, you’ve seen it on the shelves but never picked it up, or you’re looking to upgrade from the single issues, this is your chance to enjoy the whole story in one package!