News

Incredible time at Lucca Comics 2017 April 08 2018

Incredible time at Lucca Comics 2017

(plus several big news!)

Hey souls,
here so many things to say, so I will try to be brief to avoid mileage emails.
2-3 weeks ago we came back from Lucca Comics and Games 2017festival, as always the most stressful event for my press, five days of hell and hard work. But I really want make some thanks:

- first of all infinite thanks to all fans that assaulted Hollow Press stand, you all are always more, year by year, and thanks to you all, this year we have almost quadrupled the sales in this festival with just four meters of booth... I will never forget those first two hours at the stand... where I was steadly with my head down to write, sign, consign stuff etc, a sort of long trance, if I remember well 30-40 people in front of me for two hours with no stop...
I obviously thanks my two assistants, Antonio Lo Muzio and Paolo Vigneri, two true hollow spartans, one of this guy can hold a booth alone, can do anything, no enough words to thanks them. And I will never forget Paolo Vigneri sentence after a couple of days "I really think I have never worked so hard in my life".
Here the full team:


- ah special thanks go to Juan Scassa, the interpreter for Shintaro Kago, he made an incredible work letting the master to 100% enjoy the festival and the experience, no doubt about that just seeing how much they have related each other establishing a strong friendship.

- great thanks to all the artists guest at my stand, this year we got 7 guests, Shintaro Kago, Paolo Bacilieri, Paolo Massagli, Spugna, David Genchi, Danilo Manzi, LaurenceEngraver, they sketched a lot... and I'm so proud that the young italian artists are growing up a such friendship, I discovered with my pleasure they now call themself as "coinquilini del male".


just some curiosity:
- I'm so proud that Paolo Bacilieri won one of the most prestigious award in Europe, he won the Gran Guinigi as "best short story" with the book published with us, Palla!
I made it in live with him but I really want thanks again him for the wonderful words he spent for me on stage during the prizegiving.


- the italian artist Spugna put a sort of record in italian underground comics (I guess), with just this festival he sold out all boxes of The Rust Kingdom we brought there... we are speaking of an half satan, 333 copies! Sold out in the early morning of the fifth day of the festival... congratulation to our Spugna for his amazing comic book, for many critics book of the year yet!
Yeah, Spugna went slaved, see the picture

* we printed 1500 copies of this book and probably it will go sold out within a couple of months, so if you want the first edition, hurry up to order it!

- also we are superproud to have organized a live painting with Shintaro Kago during the festival, this was a particular event, because Kago made about 80% of painting and the rest (all the trashing details from the head) was made by the young italian hollow artists! So a painting at 10 hands!
Finally, they all signed the painting and it went to a charity auction after some hours to help the local pediatric hospital.



NOW SOME NEW ABOUT NEW STUFF ON THE STORE!

- we have on the store a new Paolo  Massagli comic! A minicomic!
it is Chain and is printed in black and grey, don't miss it if you are a fan of his unmistakable style!



BUY IT NOW HERE!!!

- we have tons of news about Shintaro Kago, the series Day of the Flying Head go on with his second issue:

AVAILABLE HERE!!!

also we have made a special and limited box (very high quality printing) to collect all the four issues as soon as complete, the box is for sale with no books BUT with an original artwork completly at random of the series, it's launch price is only 70€ (price will rise up in time), we have prepared 64 boxes at the moment, 32 for the 32 pages of first issue and 32 for the 32 pages of second issue, we sold about 35 copies during the Lucca Comics festival, so are left very few copies available, hurry up to get your one!
Pease read carefully the desciption in the inserction, 

YOU CAN BUY IT HERE!!!



* I swear that the artworks inside are completly random I just kept for me 1 page from first issue and 1 page from second issue (watch the picture).

Also we have printed a couple of huge limited and signed prints by Kago, one for eahc issue of the series, they are large, 35x50cm, printed in offset, and with a very low and collectible price, 19€ each, and 25€ the couple, yeah crazy price, hurry up to buy them, last copies will be heavly overcharged in price.
find them HERE!!! 


Also we have some sketch study and sketch layout for very cheap prices, from 15€ to 65€, if you want start to collect original artworks but you cant effort expansive prices this is the right chance to get some HERE!!!

and have two new incredible artworks, ink and watercolor on thick paper, they both are huge, 35x50cm, giant size, are the same artworks of the posters (so, published artworks!). These are for true underground and prestigious walls, ready to be framed! I show them with some detail:


 
 
AVAILABLE HERE!!!


 
 
AVAILABLE HERE!!!


OK, end of newsletter, I promised to be shortest possible, and as always we have a long newsletter, sorry for that, these are just the main things, of course I forgot tons of important informations to write.

From now a bit of relax, see you soon souls, for next year with another dozen of killer/hollow books.
See you soon in December newletter with important news about U.D.W.F.G. vol.4 and Chaosholder series.

I will say bye you through this small treat that surprised me, the mother of one of hollow artists, "David Genchi" stitched for me the Hollow Press logo! It wasn't requested by me but a fantastic and unexpected surprise, of course an item I will preserve with jelousy, size is about a real head!


Eating some mushroom with Gabriel Delmas at Fungus God's Shrine December 04 2016



Eating some mushroom with Gabriel Delmas at Fungus God's Shrine

Michele Nitri VS Gabriel Delmas

MN: Hey Gabriel! So, what kind of mushroom do you suggest me to eat?
GD: Mushrooms in my comics are metaphorical. They are like the ancient greek Chorus in theatre. The scenery is very important, it’s a special character. That's why my sceneries often move, and mushrooms sometimes have tentacles, like octopuses or sea anemones. Surely, they are sexes, both female and male, they are penises and vaginas.

MN: In the past you have called your art "Mushroomic Art", do you need to take drugs during the creative process? Is it necessary to create psychedelic comics or is it possible to imagine an unreal world with a clear mind?
GD: Yes, It appeared to me that I like decay, punk stuff, ill foetuses and monsters, octopuses and mushrooms too much. They are characters and parts of the background at the same time. When I called my comics “Mushroomic Art“, my designs, my lines were very smooth, a bit like noodles or worms, like a troubled "art nouveau". After 2006, I changed my way of drawing but I kept these background characters. As I said, "mushroomic art" is a sexual obsession. Drugs don't change my
visions or ideas. And even if I have written fantastic dark stories and poetry, the main themes, often hidden, were sexuality and madness, together. Xuwwuu follows this obsession.

MN: Yeah! Let's talk about XUWWUU then. First and obvious question: can you explain me this terrible title? what's behind?
GD: Xanthochroid Ursine Witch Wunderkind Urchin Uranium. But maybe it means something else.

MN: I can‘t imagine something different from painting for this work. But why this choice?
GD : Boards are painted with acrylic. It dries fast and it's easier on paper than oil. The Face on the cover is painted with tempera with eggs. This is the ancient technique of painting. It was mainly used before the XVIIIe century. For this project, I thought it was better for me to use painting because this is not the same logic. With painting, I can feel flesh and blood, and limpness of monsters directly with color. And also lights, atmospheres are more complex, more subtle.

MN: did the story come out instinctively? Or is there some reason inside? I ask this question because you’ve already made some psychedelic comics, mostly short comics, instead there is a prominent story in Xuwwuu...
GD: I think, the best comics are the ones created instinctively, with few or no words, with dense images. I want to feed the reader’s imagination and sensations. I don’t want to explain and describe everything. I want to use drawings/paintings as they are: art, and not to use them as tools for narration. I don't want to help the readers to read the story. I want them to feel something with the drawings first. After that, of course, there is reason inside, there is always reason in my work. Fobo was also a sexual metaphorical story. Instinctive works are not opposed to constructed works. For me, it's the same. Drawing is both instinct and reason. Impossible to separate.

MN: So, let's go deeply in XUWWUU. I love the contrast between the black metal title font and the beautiful woman, or should I say the female. The whole comic seems to have this contrast between her very innocent appearence and the many monstrous creatures. Why this contrast?
GD: I always have this contrast in my works, because it is in me. I must express dark feelings, but I also laugh at myself, because I know how ridiculous I am, as a human. So my work is always dark and at the same time ironical. You know, it's like this painting of Goya (Saturn): it's like a child nightmare. It is horrible and funny at the same time. We will all die, it is sad. But at the universe scale, it doesn’t matter. Life is absurd, meaningless. We cry and laugh. We are both great and ridiculous, beautiful and ugly, clever and stupid. And there is no help, no way out, no gods, nothing except this funny vision of death devouring us. We can't escape. We can't forget this sexual obsession that kills us. We live for that. We are like slaves. We organize everything to survive through our children. This is so funny. We are funny. This is so beautiful and ridiculous. I can't chose only one way. I must express this contradiction.

MN: Besides, she is the only human in the story. Here, everything is far from the humans world, maybe the only links are those horsemen in the horizon of page #4...
GD: Yes the far background of the story is a war. In a dark devastated landscape. The horse is a chtonic figure.

MN: Just to be clear, Is the woman a result of some event linked to horsemen? Or is she a miracle by Fungus God in the first page? Or again, maybe are the weird guys just praying the God to thank him for this so unexpected and awesome apparition?
GD: Yes, in this nigtmare, she appears like Eve. The whole creation acclaims the witch. The comic begins with the horse head. In fact, this is a mare. The mare of the nightmare. Because Nightmare means mare. And this animal is chtonic, psychopomp. There is no separation between nightmares and reality, life and death, and everything is superposed. The door is open. This human witch has opened the gate between earth and darkness.

MN: The woman's beauty obviously gives birth to an incredible and aggressive conflict between all the biggest creatures. It's funny how every event is surrounded by smaller creatures. Are those creatures harmless because they are smaller? Or because you see them as an audience intended to observe your work?
GD: She destabilises this world of ugliness and ridiculous monsters. People always want a part of beauty, money, glory, and are ready to fight until death to have the better place. People are like spermatozoons with the ovule. This is instinct. But if you are not the strongest, it's better to pass by, and wait your death far from this stupid competition. There is so many things to discover in the nightmare of life.

MN: The conflict ends with another ambiguous scene, a giant hand with an eye on the palm smashing the one that seemed to prevail on the others, it sounds like the artist's hand, the artist's intervention, again like a divine act...
GD: Yes you can read it like this. Artist hand needs eyes.

MN: And then, the biggest creature mates with the woman/female, because it‘s the winner or the chosen one. Can we interpret the hidden red figures in the sexual scene page #10 like the metaphorical representation of the act? In fact after that, even if it is a monstruous creature, it stays there, crouched like a guilty human having surrended himself to his instincts. So what's the connection between creatures and humans in your art? Is there a tangible difference or is it only a particular taste for this esthetics?
GD : After ejaculation, it is not crouched because it feels guilty, but because it is dying. And its soul is joining the ghost, under the form of a skeleton. This giant creature is a funny monster, a mix of a furry plush fantasm and a lemurian god. All the scene could be a creepy cartoon scene. I thought of snow white forest scene when I wrote this. Of course, hidden red figures are sexual representations, something like prolapsus.

MN: It's rather strange how the woman holds a bouquet in page #12, like a married woman, as if the creatures of that world have taken care of her... and then a hand intimates her to give birth here. And she’s always surrounded by iconic creatures of death, guys with skull heads, hordes of microskeletons etc. It's interesting how this comic speaks of birth and death at the same time. I would like to know what's the connection for you, or what's your vision of the cycle of the life?
GD: She is like a married woman. Skull heads tell her what will happen. No hope. No magical possibility to survive.

MN: And then the birth. Interesting representation of the growth cycle within a couple of images, always surrounded by other creatures, as in real life, the ones that have an important part in our life, the ones that partly determinate what we will become.
GD: And like diseases. Surviving is difficult. In this world, everything participates in killing us. We should fight each day to survive, and we are always alone. The baby is cute and grotesque. Ridiculous. Seen without any love. Love transforms the vision. But in Xuwwuu, horror takes off the veil of love and reality seems weird.

MN: Last page, everything ends with the explosion of the baby. As always, it seems impossible to understand the meaning of life, can you tell us why you ended the story so compulsively?
GD: The Nightmare of Reason Produces Funny Monsters. And they explodes. This is once again the same vision. Life is short. Death can happen suddenly, with no reason. There is no explanation to look for, no god to pray, no punition to be afraid of.

MN: This work seems like just a small part of what we could see, do you think you will continue to explore this universe in future comics?
GD: Xuwwuu is short, but was very difficult to make. I think this is a step in my work. This is very close to Nefas Negator, another recent work. This is expressionnist, with superposed paintings/drawings. The style is "plastic arts", not graphic. I'm not sure if I want to go back to the "graphic" way of drawing. This consideration seems to be technical only, but it's not. Creating this way changes the things I see. Because I stay on images longer than before. Works are shorter but dense. Before, I needed a lot of drawings to say something, but it was fast, like handwriting.

MN: It was a pleasure for me to make this long and interesting interview with you and to analyse your work. I really want to congratulate you because with XUWWUU you have given me a feeling that is missing in the world of comics, that same feeling you have when you are observing a painting for hours to try to analyze the details of the work and the emotions of the artist.
XUWWUU is like an enormous and unique painting to me, divided in many images.
GD: Thank you. This is exactly what I wanted. I was inspired by Dix, Grosz and by Renaissance Painters like Bosch or Grünewald. Some works are polyptychs, on panels, and are like stories.

MN: So, this is the end of the interview, let's eat some more mushrooms!
GD: Yes, we always need sex.

Hollow Press news May 2015 May 22 2015

U.D.W.F.G. vol.3 preview!

(out in the middle of June!!!)

Mat Brinkman aka Fork Imp & Friend


Miguel Angel Martin aka DezXplorer

Tetsunori Tawaraya aka Mr. Rotten Donuts

Ratigher aka Lowest Note Keeper

Paolo Massagli aka Scar The Weaver

-----------------------------------------------

Some other news:
- all Shintaro Kago's artworks are officially sold out (sold 27 pages of 27)
thanks to all the customers!

- this is a long interview I made for Fumettologica about a month ago (italian version)
http://www.fumettologica.it/2015/04/fare-editoria-alternativa-di-fumetto-oggi-il-caso-hollow-press/
and here now, the ENGLISH version:
http://hollow-press.net/blogs/news/29296513-interview-english-version-published-in-23-april-2015-by-fumettologica
- a recent cool generic review about the last Hollow Press' publishings!
http://www.fumettologica.it/2015/05/fumetti-hollow-press/
- new US store acquired, the great http://floatingworldcomics.com/
- and acquired a distro for Portugal http://www.chilicomcarne.com/
- new ITALIAN review for U.D.W.F.G. presents: Shintaro Kago - Industrial Revolution and World War
http://insidetheobsidianmirror.blogspot.it/2015/05/industrial-revolution-world-war.html
- new ENGLISH  reviews for Tetsupendium Tawarapedia
http://trollskog.tumblr.com/post/117674764350/i-thought-id-add-a-quick-and-unrefined-review-of
and this
https://chriscoroner.wordpress.com/2015/04/26/king-tet-tawarapocalypse/
- new ITALIAN review for U.D.W.F.G. presents: Shintaro Kago - Industrial Revolution and World War
http://slowcomix.blogspot.it/2015/04/sei-solo-un-pezzo-di-ricambio-nella.html
- and finally a cool review about U.D.W.F.G. vol.2 from BASTONATE
http://www.bastonate.com/2015/03/31/in-sacrilega-lode-nitri/

-------------------------------------------------------------
I want notice you that are left only 150 copies + some copy for advertising (not numbered)
of U.D.W.F.G. vol.1, it will be available for distribution for the last bunch of copies, and 50 of them
will be not for sale, reserved for Hollow Press archive. So hurry up!

also only 100 copies left of U.D.W.F.G. presents: Shintaro Kago. Only 50 of them will be available
for sale, the other 50 copies will be reserved for next Lucca Comics and Games festival in the end of October.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Important update about the shipping policy:
the cheap ordinary mail is a good choice to save some money, but you HAVE to know that it is an ordinary mail (not trackable). I have studyed the results of the last hundreads of shippings done and this is the report: it usually take 5-10 days to deliver in Europe, 15-20 days to deliver in USA-CANADA, 20-30 days to deliver in all other countries like Australia, Sud America, Japan, China etc. (yeah! Hollow Press got several orders from China customers too!)
Considering an average of 100 shippings through cheap and ordinary way, 90 respect the time of delivery, 9 got a delay of 10-15 days, and 1 go lost. So it is a good way to order, but if you live in a particular place, or you are an anxious person, please choose the option that I have just set, the registered mail option (obveously more expansive), here the brackets:


International Registered Shipping 0-0.5 kg --- 0.00 kg - 0.50 kg = €10.00 EUR
International Registered Shipping 0.5-1 kg --- 0.50 kg - 1.00 kg = €14.00 EUR
International Registered Shipping 1-2 kg --- 1.00 kg - 2.00 kg = €18.00 EUR
-------------------------------------------------------------

more soon my souls! With the new U.D.W.F.G. volume shortly, and I want announce you that I'm yet working on about 4-5 new incredible books, most of them for September/October.


PS: keep in touch with the next newsletter, I will announce an incredible offer in the "state lottery" style to let you grab free original artworks!
(reserved only for subscribed souls)

INTERVIEW (english version) published in 23 April 2015 by Fumettologica May 22 2015

This is an interview directed by Matteo Stefanelli, manager of Fumettologica (probably the best italian web page for comics informations)
Published in 23 April 2015, here:
http://www.fumettologica.it/2015/04/fare-editoria-alternativa-di-fumetto-oggi-il-caso-hollow-press/
Translated by Gabriele di Fazio from http://justindiecomics.com/ soon will be published in english also there.

 

After a couple of years in the business, the indie label Hollow Press is emerging as one of the few - but certainly one of the most interesting - small presses strongly dedicated to alternative comics. And yes, "alternative" is the right word, and not a vague and blurry category used in opposition to popular or serial. Or at any rate not entirely.
The whole peculiar world of the small publisher is in the name (let's face it, rather unpronounceable) of its biannual magazine: U.D.W.F.G. is for underdarkweirdfantasygrounds, in other words a very radical vision of a darker and alienating fantasy. In a world where underground comics and - in general - underground cultural production seem almost dead, absorbed in large part by a publishing industry more open but also more opportunistically addressed to niches of "long line", it's a rare and paradoxically refreshing experience to delve into disturbing territories. And so we can remember that, at the borders of the "independent graphic novel" now governed by a predictable logic of marketing, the creative forces continue to boil.
The first artists published by Hollow Press were Ratigher, Paolo Massagli, Miguel Angel Martin, Tetsunori Tawaraya and Mat Brinkman, cartoonists who know the score about dark fantasy and underground comics. But the true surprise has been Industrial Revolution and World War by Japanese artist Shintaro Kago, one of the most creative mangaka in recent years. Among the new projects, there is a big news: Paolo Bacilieri, the eclectic author of Sweet Salgari, Fun and of several books for Bonelli Editore, will publish a never-before-seen work with Hollow Press in 2016.
The brand founded by the young Michele Nitri, born in Foggia 26 years ago, is one of the publishing houses to watch. And now it's reasonable to expect some surprises, because the identity he is building for Hollow Press is interesting not only in terms of content, but also for the model of (micro) business. In addition to printing books and a magazine, Nitri produces bizarre artoys (or action figures) designed by the same comic artists, as Ratigher or Mat Brinkman, and sculpted by one of the biggest European talents in the field, Marco Navas. Furthermore, he is selling directly the original pages of many of the comics he publishes. In his own small way, Nitri seems to embody the perfect example of those small publishers "of culture" who perform their mission with a free and modern approach, focusing on the books but not forgetting other areas of the culture industry, showing the versatility of the artistic personalities - and of their public.
We've asked Michele Nitri some questions about Hollow Press' new projects and future goals.


How was this first and a half year in the business?


I don't have a word to recap the whole story. We started badly, went on well and "finished" very well. As usual, when I decide to do something, I put myself to the test, like in a videogame: there are people who insert the disc and select the easy mode, others who want to enjoy a normal experience and then there is someone - like me - who is out of his mind and always chooses the HARDCORE mode. To put it simply, when I decided to start Hollow Press, I made a lot of questionable decisions: 1) I created a crazy email address, while usually the simpler is the better; 2) I invested 8000 euros without any editorial experience; 3) I focused mainly on a magazine - a format essentially dead - with an unpronounceable name, in English, underground, and expensive (18 euros).
With the first two issues of U.D.W.F.G. I always managed to break even within 6 months to invest in the next issue (paying everything in advance). In late February of this year I decided to register for VAT and to become a real publisher, printing a book entirely dedicated to Shintaro Kago and a  400-page "best of" Tetsunori Tawaraya, catching up with the only pre-orders (two weeks) the money to pay IN ADVANCE the typography, the graphic, the authors and so on. So, after so much effort and self-taught "study", I can say: very well!


Did you find your market, then?


You are right to say "your" market, because I'm not seeing something similar around. My market is and will definitely remain smaller than many others. But in its own small way it works, and it's always satisfying when you create something that works. The core idea of my market is about signing an alliance between "undergrounders" from all around the world. And since it's a fringe genre, most of the fans speak a bit of English ... so why don't make books in English for everyone? If the underground in Italy is doomed to die, it means that it doesn't have enough readers to survive with dignity. It makes no sense to print only 500 copies of a book to sell 50 or 100; instead it makes sense to print a book of 500 copies and sell 150 copies in Italy, 150 in the US, 150 in Europe and 50 in other countries in maximum one year, all direct sales!


Do you think to carry on with direct sales, through the website and the festivals, or you're planning to use the channels of traditional distribution? Did you have an agreement with the authors about direct sales?


Only direct and, when it happens, we're taking part in the most important festivals. I say this because last year I experienced smaller festival and they aren't worth the hassle. If in Lucca's Self Area, in a marginal zone of the show, with books in English and difficult to sell, I managed to sell more than three times than in other well-known festivals that should be more appropriate to my publications, we can take stock of the situation and move on...
As for the distribution, I think it would be very difficult to survive through it: considering the promotion, I would have a 30% of the cover price, and with that money you can't pay anyone. The distribution is for the strong ones, is for the big publishers who have the strength to make it work, but it wouldn't be good for me. The small publishers trying to sell through distribution often delude themselves and then die.
At the bottom of the Hollow Press there is a fan who has always been interested in alternative stuff, and who was always looking for cool and hidden products... And now I want customers like me. I don't want to attract occasional buyers: my clientele has to be loyal, so that they can trust me, but above all I can trust THEM. And I'll do everything possible to don't ever disappoint their expectations.


How important is the foreign audience for your books, original pages and artoys?


Italian buyers are about 30%, the remaining 70% is foreign people and the most of them are from the United States or Canada. Then there is the fact that working with all the countries is anti-crisis, or almost.


Selling original artworks is for Hollow Press a way to support the printed production or a goal in itself?


Both things. With the advance purchase of the original artworks I can pay the artists fairly: I can assure you, with a story of 10-20 pages for me, they earn the same money they would earn with a small/medium publisher with a book of 100-120 pages (a year of work), with the only clause of losing all or most of the originals. After all we've to think up something to make things work...
Then there is another reason. I "am born'" as a reader and a collector of original pages. The market is fertile and ever-expanding, so why don't take advantage of this? Obviously it isn't easy. I'm collecting comic arts since I was 18 years old, I'm "studying" this field by many years, and I can say that maybe I still don't know all the tricks to get it going at the most. It is a complex thing, and you'll never stop learning. I have to offer fair prices, without looking for the big deal, but searching for honest transactions, so that the purchasers will come back to me time after time.


What projects are you working on at the moment?


I'll only tell the ones I'm sure of: the upcoming third issue of U.D.W.F.G. - it has been slightly delayed due to overwhelming commitments of a couple of artists. The next special book dedicated to young British talent James Harvey... and another special book due out by next year, this time from the great Paolo Bacilieri. And then a lot of other projects I prefer not to disclose at the moment. Despite I have big names in store, the space is little, many people are contacting me, and I'm doing my best to take the right choices ... Ok, I'm telling you this other: I'm trying to publish Mat Brinkman's masterpieces. It isn't easy but if I'll manage to do this, you'll never thank me enough (laughs). Seriously, any connoisseur of underground comics knows that Brinkman is the most influential artist of the last two decades.


Do you think we are in a good moment or in a difficult time for the small press scene?


Bah! Everyone is complaining but no one is doing anything to change the situation. Many blame the publishers (I don't mean everyone but a lot of people) and this is fair, but the real question is: are you playing at the cartoonist? Or are you a real cartoonist?
However, I'm enjoying so much watching new projects as Ratigher's "Prima o Mai". Apart from the numbers, it's the message that perhaps unknowingly he launched that matters: the publisher shouldn't be always seen as an arrival point, but we have to launch collaborations between artists and publishers. We have to grow together and - even if it could seem utopian - share the profits.


What does publishing underground comics means to you? Do you think there is still something we can call "underground" out there?


That's a frightful question for everyone... But from my point of view I don't care. The underground is "what CONTEXTUALIZED by CONTENTS goes against the mainstream". Now it's a worn-out word, someone uses it because he's from the squats, someone for promotion. But it's all about the contents...
Crumb is underground because it WAS underground for his time. Objectively, now it's like an excellent satire. Kriminal and Satanik were underground because they couldn't be exposed in the newsstands. Miguel Angel Martin and Mike Diana are underground because they were on trial for obscene contents. The comics I'm publishing are underground because they tell fantasy stories, but a reader of "normal" fantasy tales can describe them as a macabre or weird horror, because it's a new kind of fantasy, without elves, dwarves, gnomes and so on.
One day, "underground" will be so much a cliché that "artistic" and "alternative" comics will become "commercial", while Italian comics as Tex or Dylan Dog will be "underground"! The comics will be taken too seriously, and a lot of people will miss the lightness of comics of the past and they will search for them to live again those good old times.


An interesting thing is that authors like Ratigher or Bacilieri, to make two Italian examples, work also with publishers that have nothing to do with the underground in the matter of distribution as for imagination. Why are you still using this label, then?


In fact I think these authors aren't underground. In my opinion Ratigher made always art comics, very weird, beautiful, but - although multi-level - accessible to all. The same is for Paolo Bacilieri. Maybe I would call underground only his Zeno Porno. Now, inhumanly, he still manages to find time to develop his authorial vein publishing nearly a book a year, but he can be roughly defined more "commercial" because he works for Bonelli.
This doesn't absolutely preclude any collaboration with Hollow Press: I don't use the word "underground" as a rigid category because I would be arrogant, communicating a kind of stupid and exclusive feeling of superiority.
I still use this word because I feel I can do it with the kind of products I'm publishing. For example, I'm always seeing new comics or magazines about extreme sex: well, unlike the appearances, that isn't underground, it has already been done or said twenty years ago, now it doesn't tell anything. After Miguel Angel Martin, Mike Diana, Trevor Brown and others, there's nothing to tell about it. While I would like to point out that the same Martin, with his The Emanation Machine in U.D.W.F.G., has included his extreme sexual themes of alien characters in a fantasy context... And yes, this is original!
I'm telling it again, anyone can potentially collaborate with Hollow Press, because we have our roots in the "dark weird fantasy" - of which Mat Brinkman is definitely the pioneer - and this is a genre where there is still so much to say. No matter whether you're mainstream, good for a graphic novel or for an extreme magazine, because it's important what you can produce: underground is in the contents, not in the curriculum.


If I can, I'd like to conclude this interview with a true anecdote.
(my mother's friend): “I heard your son is now a publisher besides a detergent seller..."
(my mother): “Yes, he's a fan of underground comics since forever..."
(my mother's friend): “Ah... And what are they? Like Dylan Dog?”
(my mother): “Don't ask me, he showed me the first book he published for a whole day, he helped me to read it, but I still don't understand what it is.”
(my mother's friend): “Ah... Ok”.


Hollow Press news of November 2014 December 11 2014

 

first I want notice you about my new interview in "fucking english"
by the great BleedingCool
http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/12/talking-underground-dark-fantasy-comics-u-d-w-f-g-editor-michele-nitri/
and the new english review always for BleedingCool comics:
http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/12/u-d-w-f-g-returns-twisted/

we have a new Italian book distro in Milan:

https://www.facebook.com/Solovinililibri?ref=stream

new great review from Slow Comics:
http://slowcomix.blogspot.it/2014/12/ufag-247-udwfg-vol-1.html?spref=fb
hhd

short video italian review!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58C0ga-4FwI&feature=youtu.be

finally we have a Canadian distro, I think the best one:
http://www.beguilingbooksandart.com/
wonderfull quote from Justindiecomics:
http://justindiecomics.blogspot.it/2014/11/i-fumetti-di-lucca-comics.html

important informations:
- we are working hard to publish 2-3 special U.D.W.F.G. books in 2014,
hardcover books with 32 pages of story from some of the best underground comic artists
in the World as "U.D.W.F.G. presents special guest star"
so keep you updated about anynews! More soon more details.
- Our official US distributor EEE from Cave Evil has sold out the tons of copies of
U.D.W.F.G. vol.1, they will get more copies very soon + the copies of second issue and
some t-shirt, don't miss them if you live in USA!
- Thanks to all people come at BilBolBul U.D.W.F.G. presentation in Modo Info Shop
in Bologna, this later November. We really appreciate that!
- Hurry up! if you want grab a copy of U.D.W.f.G. vol.1, only few copies left of 700!
+ several just sold original artworks.

some picx about one of my last effort to ship all copies and artworks in your distros,
we are slow but we work hard!

 


 

oh, I forgot, in next prestigious festival FUMETTO in Switzerland
(http://www.fumetto.ch/de/)
will be present the Hollow Press stand with a secial guest star from Hollow Crew, Ratigher!!!
in 7-8 of March, don't miss it!


U.D.W.F.G. vol.2 is OUT!!! October 29 2014

Hello souls, I have no idea on how to get started, so many news...
First, I want really thanks all you lost souls to have supported the project, we had found with no difficult the money to launch the second issue. Now I have it in my hands, printed, enjoy a picture:

buy it from official webpage www.hollow-press.net or from one of our distro: http://hollow-press.net/pages/distribution , available new amazing original artworks at fair prices and extra stuff:
the new t-shirt by Miguel Angel Martin:

and the cool new OPAQUE pins! personally never seen pins in this printing:


for all people that still got any doubt about the quality of the project, we have reached great criticism results, here some of the most prestigious quotes among the dozens reviews, comments etc:

U.D.W.F.G.'s quotes:

"UDWFG is a perfect collection of dark and sinister shit. And most importantly, it contains some creepy comics from one of my favorite artists Mat Brinkman. Grab yourself a copy before they all sell out!" -Johnny Ryan

"Those stories shocked me. My sister used to bring me 'Paper Rodeo' when she was a student in Providence, those shocked me when I saw them, I couldn't believe it existed. I'm so glad I found this project. Thanks so much for your passion in making it happen, I didn't think I could have that reaction again reading Paper Rodeo over a decade ago but I had it reading this first work, incredible." -Joel S (collector)

“the dense use of black throughout reflects that sense that the reader has picked up some kind of forbidden, arcane tome.” –The Comics Journal

“It feels like the next Creepy or Eerie for a new generation, filled with raw talent and stuff of nightmares. In the end, I felt like I was being buried alive under dark, weird, fantasy grounds, and I loved every moment of it as the dirt filled my lungs.” –Bleeding Cool

*** VERY IMPORTANT, ALL ORDER WELL BE PROCESSED AFTER 2-3 OF NOVEMBER BECOUSE HOLLOW PRESS WILL BE OUT OF TOWN UNTIL THAT DATE TO KEEP PART AT LUCCA COMICS FESTIVAL HERE IN ITALY (next a photo of the stand)


a list of all news:
- new UK distro http://www.goshlondon.com/
- new Germany distro http://kunstkabinet.tumblr.com/
- new Japan store http://popotame.net/
- also I want notice you'l that there will be a presentation of the second issue in Sunday 23 November at 15:30 at Modo Infoshop in Bologna, powered by BilBolBul festival 2014.
- a preview of all the cover here: http://www.fumettologica.it/galleria/u-d-w-f-g-vol-2/
- Italian interview for Smokyland: http://smokyland.blogspot.it/2014/10/udwfg-nel-regno-di-michele-nitri.html
- prestigious english review by Bleeding Cool
- interesting review by a great italian collector (Marco de Giuli) originalmente
- another italian review by Lo Spazio Bianco

***** IMPORTANT NEWS!
 I have only 15 Hollow Crew sets left, so I have chosen to split 10 of these sets to sell the figures individually, choice due considering the several requests recived in past by the customers.
(now are available 5 complete sets and 10 splitted)

buy your favorite one for only 90 euro, in the link all details:

WHERE TO FIND OUT THE STATUETTES



at the moment it's all! go to sleep after 19 hours of work to update everything
see you soon in Lucca Comics or after 2 November.

thanks for your support

Time for preview. But first, some news August 08 2014

Time for preview

but first, some news

big italian mention/interview here!
http://xl.repubblica.it/articoli/il-surrealismo-cyber-pop-di-miguel-angel-martin/12126/

another mention for distribution in Spain
http://pasajeromusica.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/u-d-w-f-g-comic-underground-con-miguel-angel-martin/

U.D.W.F.G. announced in the official Mat Brinkman blog!
http://manifestedfestering.blogspot.it/


we are international! Japan review!
http://studio-tissuebox.net/?page_id=477

another Italian review!

http://osservatoriesterni.it/fumetti/under-dark-weird-fantasy-grounds-vol1-recensione

great Italinan review from the amazing "The Obsidian Mirror" blog!
http://insidetheobsidianmirror.blogspot.it/2014/07/udwfg.html

and
interesting interview for "The Obsidian Mirror" take a look!
http://insidetheobsidianmirror.blogspot.it/2014/08/parlando-di-fumetti-con-michele-nitri.html



I want notice all Italian customers that now U.D.W.F.G. is available for sale, in live in a very restriceted and selected bunch of comic shops (fumetterie), here all the contacts:

- FUMETTOSMANIA - facebook.com/fumettosmania (FOGGIA-PUGLIA)
- MODO INFOSHOP - info@modoinfoshop.com (BOLOGNA-EMILIA ROMAGNA)
- LATITUDINE42COMICS - info@latitudine42.com (LATINA-LAZIO)
- ANTANI - info@antaninet.it (TERNI-UMBRIA)
- MONDI PARALLELI - mondi_paralleli@inwind.it (PRATO/TOSCANA)
- BELLEVILLE COMICS - bellevillecomics@gmail.com (TORINO/PIEMONTE)
- IL BORSINO - borsino@borsadelfumetto.com (MILANO/LOMBARDIA)

3 on 10 places left, so be hurry to contact Hollow Press to request to be one of the selected comic shop


and here a list of Japan shops with the black zine for sale:

http://studio-tissuebox.net/
http://sweetdreams.shop-pro.jp/
http://lilmag.org/?mode=f5
http://losapson.shop-pro.jp/





Now the long awaited preview!

this time, the U.D.W.F.G. logo is by Miguel Angel Martin:





and a page as preview for each Hollow Crew member:
(Mat Brinkman one, is the first comic page for the new story, the others are all cover pages)
sorry for bad pix!


MAT BRINKMAN aka FORK IMP & FRIEND


MIGUEL ANGEL MARTIN aka DezXplorer


TETSUNORI TAWARAYA aka Mr. ROTTEN DONUTS


RATIGHER aka LOWEST NOTE KEEPER


PAOLO MASSAGLI aka SCAR The WEAVER




U.D.W.F.G vol.2 OUT IN THE END OF SEPTEMBER


U.D.W.F.G. vol.1 PREVIEW and INTERVIEW April 05 2014

Hey souls,

here an Italian interview to me:

http://www.fumettologica.it/2014/02/u-d-w-f-g-la-nuova-rivista-internazionale-che-nasce-in-italia/

and a preview:

http://www.fumettologica.it/galleria/u-d-w-f-g-di-ratigher-brinkman-missagli-martin-e-tawaraya/

here a preview for the young "JUSTINDIECOMICS"
italian version:

http://justindiecomics.blogspot.it/2014/02/brinkman-ratigher-massagli-martin-e.html

english version:

http://justindiecomicseng.blogspot.it/2014/02/brinkman-ratigher-massagli-martin-e.html

here, in the top ten creative of the week!

http://www.ninjamarketing.it/2014/02/21/top-10-fumetti-e-illustrazioni-i-migliori-creativi-della-settimana-25/

here, a short news on THE COMICS REPORTER:

http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/bundled_tossed_untied_and_stacked_publishing_news022514/



and finally I attach the english version of my interview for FUMETTOLOGICA

(translation by my friend Francesco De Meo)





- How did you come up with the fanzine idea?

I came up with it around a year ago, after reading again some great comics from Mat Brinkman. I was trying to identify Brinkman's genre but everything I came up with just felt wrong. In the end I came up with a really underground "dark weird fantasy" tag, "underdarkweirdfantasyground". From here I started thinking about the U.D.W.F.G fanzine and the authors that could be interested in working on the project.
Something else also made me come up with the idea. Right after discovering and reading the dark Zothique of Weird Tales from Clark Ashton Smith, I understood how a fanzine has to be done to be engaging and interesting, despite my personal dislike for this kind of publication format. I knew I could be able to make something as good as the stories created by Clark Ashton Smith by using certain themes, ideas and a good deal of originality. I wanted to include stories that manage to create a world that's both believable and coherent with itself, pretty much like Zothique, despite being presented in an episodic format. What I really wanted to achieve is to create stories that keep the readers hooked and always hungry for more, making them anxiously anticipate the next issue, something that no longer happens today due to the abuse of the Graphic Novel format and to modern fanzines being too similar to older ones. But this is another matter entirely.

Give us more details: authors, how many stories, price and total number of pages.

The authors will work on self-contained dark weird fantasy stories. Among the international authors are Mat Brinkman from the United States, who I consider the founder of the genre, Miguel Angel Martin from Spain and "psychedelic" Japanese author Tetsunori Tawaraya. The talented Rathiger and a really good emerging Italian author called Paolo Massagli will also be part of team, dubbed The Hollow Crew, that has been created just for this publication.
Each one of these authors is going to pen a single story per issue. I can't say precisely how many pages each story will be since this will change depending on each author's needs but I can confirm that it's going to be a high quality 96 A4 pages release, with high quality thick paper that will make each drawing truly shine. Some more surprises will also be in.
The price is going to be 18 Euros, which we feel is in line with the market for this kind of product and a quite fair price as well, considering we're only going to print 700 copies.
It will be released every 6 months and there won't be any delay, I guarantee it! I hate delays!
It's something I really care about and I won't make any compromises on this. I am a reader myself and during the years I have decided to stop reading quite a few series due to delays and general lack of professionalism from several publishers and authors.

How did you fund the project?

The way I funded the project is a quite risky way, something bold that required a lot of planning. I can assure you that every customer will be able to support all the authors by buying the fanzine, since all of them have been payed beforehand with me buying all the original drawings.
I'd also like to add that everyone involved in the project has total faith in it. I hope that all our readers will be able to understand how all authors gave their all in these stories, creating something that even goes beyond what they have created so far.
Having said this, we're going to actually sell the original drawings alongside the publication. I feel the market for these is getting bigger and bigger, with many people preferring to buy art instead of other high-priced items. To speak frankly, I think owning an original drawing created by an author we love is something truly priceless.
We'll try to keep prices low in the beginning. They will only be raised once production will no longer be able to meet the demand. This is actually more rewarding for authors too, as the more they will become popular, the more prices will rise and the more they will be payed. It's a method that will actually reward their own merits and even motivate them further.
We'll also try to release other related merchandising like t-shirts and limited edition figurines. One of the best European sculptors wil be creating them from us, the same one who created the figurines for the French comic Blacksad.

It's been over ten years since Mat Brinkman worked on a comic. How did you manage to convince him to work again?

I didn't convince him. It's impossible to do so because he's a really special guy and even money can't move him if he doesn't want to. I still remember when I tried buying some of his original drawings. It took me over 6 months and several mails and even then I wasn't sure he was going to sell them to me, fearing he could be changing his mind at any time. Brinkman is as far removed as possible from anything related to money and far from any external influence. He's a true artist, in every sense of the word.
Knowing how hard this could have been, I originally tried to get him onboard only to draw our covers. After a while I learned that he was in a really inspired period, something that didn't happen in over ten years. I just told him about the whole project and, after another really long mail, he just answered with a "count me in!"
In the end, only Mat can really answer this question. I feel, however, that he made his decision after understanding my passion and my desire to do things properly. Or maybe, just like Tetsunori said, "he noted your will".

How do you think the Italian and international markets will react to the fanzine?

I wasn't going to invest so much of my time and money ( it's not easy to manage five different authors) if I wasn't sure about it. I think this is going to be a great chance to let more people all over the world know and appreciate these authors and their unusual stories. For this reason, the fanzine is only going to be in English. I'm sure that even a basic understanding of English will be more than enough to understand the stories fully. We're not talking about Alan Moore here, after all: all the authors place greater care on the visual aspects rather than intricate dialogues.
Mat Brinkman is also very well known in the United States, so I'm sure many of his fans will buy our product even just to have a cover made by him.
Tetsunori has his own small following in Japan, and so does our Martin. The same can be said for Spain and Italy, from where I expect some good result.
Let's not forget that the whole project began in Italy and includes Italian authors so I expect word of mouth to be quite effective over there.
I'd also like to point out that both Brinkman and Tetsunori are quite successful in France, thanks to their collaborations with Demier Cri.

Where will we be able to buy the fanzine?

You will be able to buy it right from our website, which is currently in the works. No one will distribute it in Italy but I'll try to find someone for the rest of the world, so that we can make shipping costs less of a problem. Right now I'd like to distribute the fanzine in USA, Japan, France and the Nederlands. Those who are interested in our project would do well in keeping an eye on each of the author's Facebook pages. An official page for the project will be coming soon. Our official site, www.hollowpress.net, it's still under construction.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/udwfg

Can you tell us anything about the stories?

I can tell you that even the most critical reader will be able to enjoy the stories, even if they don't like the fantasy genre.
We're talking about a really dark, cruel fantasy with some really strong themes like obtaining power and all its implications, something that it's quite easy to relate to. It's not going to be helplessly dark, as the smallest of hope will allow the characters to keep going, despite the hardships. The most important thing is fighting but, in the end, who knows how it's going to end. That's pretty much the same as in life.
The most charming aspect of the dark weird fantasy genre is that its tales make the line between real and fantasy quite thin and almost merge them like in a nightmare.

How do you feel like being an editor?

It's something that comes with a lot of responsibilities, not counting all the time and money one has to invest. To be honest I don't really feel like an editor at all, I feel more like I am the authors' agent for this particular project. It's really satisfying because I feel like I've got more responsibility towards these friends rather than towards the customers. They may be authors, sure, but they're first and foremost friends.





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