Small Press Big Mouth: Interview with Lee Grice and Stacey Whittle

Small Press Big Mouth

Lee Grice and Stacey Whittle are the talents behind the Small Press Big Mouth blog that focuses on Indie and Small Press titles.

How did Small Press Big Mouth start?

STACE: I met Barry Nugent and David Montieth from Geek Syndicate a few years ago at Bristol Expo and Barry emailed me a few days later to tell me that they were looking to add to their podcast output and they thought I’d do a good job. I decided I wanted to review just small and indie press books as there seemed to be an area very overlooked at the time. I’d met Lee through the SFX website forums and dragged him into it.

LEE: For me it started when Stace asked me if I’d fill in as co-host for the first couple of episodes as her original choice for co-host (who was far more knowledgeable about the small press scene than I was) wouldn’t be able to start for a few weeks, but once I was inside the SPBM mansion I peed on the furniture and changed the locks so she wasn’t able to get rid of me. Heh heh heh sucker.

What are some upcoming titles you are looking forward to?

STACE: I have just picked up Deadbeats by Chris Lackey and INJ Culbard and I’m really looking forward to reading that. I am desperate to read Snow by Richard McAuliffe and Valia Kapadai – I hope this happens soon. There’s actually too much to mention – check out our blog though, Lee keeps it brilliant up to date with all things independent and awesome.

LEE: Oh there’s so much good stuff on the way, but off the top of my head:

Babble, Porcelain, Night Post, Razarhawk, Midnightman, Elysia, whatever Cy Dethan does next, whatever Valia Kapadai does next, whatever Emily Carroll, Faith Erin Hicks, Becky Cloonan, Sally Jane Thompson, David Wynne, Jamie Smart do next… I could go on… but that’s why we have a blog: (see what I did there?)

From what you’ve seen over the years, what advice would you give to new Indie creators?

STACE: Take constructive criticism, something I think everyone struggles with. Take help where you can get it. Network, this really is essential these days and the creative community is incredibly supportive and helpful.

LEE: The internet is an amazing and essential tool – use it. Make sure you have a website, an online portfolio, an online shop – you can publish your comics online as a webcomic for nothing. As a champion of indie and small press comics its so frustrating to me when we have a great comic we want to rave about but then are knobbled because the creator of the comic has no online presence. Learn to network and learn to promote yourself. Twitter is great for this – there’s loads of comics creators on there happily sharing advice.

Are there any projects you are currently working on?

STACE: I am building myself up to produce another anthology comic, I am so proud of Into The Woods and found it a really rewarding experience.

LEE: I’ve a few comics projects I’m diddling with – some as writer and some as artist – but nothing I can say anything about at the moment I think.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

STACE: We’ve both had such exciting things happen since we started this podcast and I’m very proud of both it and all the things we’ve done over the last three years, long may it continue – and hopefully, slightly less sporadically.

LEE: If you out there reading this only read mainstream superhero comics you’re really missing some great stuff – expand your horizons. The depth and breadth and scope and imagination and passion of the small and indie press is astonishing. Check out the stuff from publishers like Image, Markosia, No Brow, Accent UK and Self Made Hero. Have a good nosey on Comicsy and IndyPlanet. I promise you your next favourite comic is on there somewhere. If you need any pointers just ask, both Stace and I are on Twitter: @stace_w & @LovelyLee_G

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