10 YEARS OF THE BF SIX TO WATCH! Happy New Year, one and all!
And with a new year comes some news about our plans for 2024. This year marks the tenth intake of artists as part of our Broken Frontier ‘Six Small Press Creators to Watch‘ initiative and that seems something most eminently worthy of celebration! Of everything we have done with the site in my 17 years of writing for BF in my journey from reviewer to site owner, this is the one thing I am proudest of. Over the next twelve months we’re going to be marking articles with the tag ’10 Years of the BF 6 to Watch’ as we make a concerted effort to not just introduce this year’s tenth group of six (coming later in January!) but also to revisit the work of creators from the previous nine years and catch up with where they are now.
It has been such an absolute joy to see so many of those incredibly talented artists go on to work with publishers like Avery Hill Publishing, BOOM! Studios, Dark Horse Comics, Faber, Fantagraphics Books, Graphic Universe, Icon Books, Image Comics, Koguchi Press, kuš! comics, Myriad Editions, Rebellion/2000 AD, SelfMadeHero, Street Noise Books, Titan and Z2 Comics. For the sake of succinctness that list only includes publishers with book store distribution and/or ISBNs but there are countless micropublishers and small press imprints who have also promoted their work. If you visited our ‘Breaking Frontiers’ exhibition at Jam Bookshop in the summer you will have an idea of how we hope to return to BF in-person events this year. It’s going to be an epic celebration!
We will also be continuing to reach out to those involved in social activism in comics via our Broken Frontier Connects programme and you can expect another round of free one-to-one Zoom meetings in early February for self-publishing starters to talk about getting their work to a wider audience. And if you want to be part of this small group of comics commentators who believe in the importance not just of discussion of the medium but also in promoting social justice in our community then check out our Join BF page here.
One final note as we go into the new year… The running costs for BF and the significant loss the site is incurring each year (somewhere around the £2,000 mark annually) is becoming unsustainable. As a number of people have said they would welcome a Ko-fi link to donate to for one-offs I have a set up a Broken Frontier Ko-fi page here. I have been reluctant to do this in the past simply because things are tough for everyone and because I am mindful that any donations BF gets may be taking support away from actual comics creatives who need it. However, to safeguard our future we need to reduce some of our running costs and losses. If you can help out it is hugely appreciated as we look to continue our mission and our work with emerging voices.
Have an amazing comicky 2024, everybody! And we/I look forward to seeing many more of you in person at events this year. It’s been a long time coming.
Andy and the Broken Frontier Team