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Daniel Bristow-Bailey

Daniels’s Portrait by Hannah Lee Miller

In the run up to the Catford Comic and Zine fair 2019 we’re asking participants a series of mildly interesting questions. Next up is a name that may be new to many. Daniels acerbic dead pan wit and scratchy lines are joy to behold and we are chuffed to bits to be to breaking his comic fair tabling duck this December.

CCZF What are you doing right now?

DBB Before I started writing this email I was actually making a sign for my table at the fair! (pic attached).

In terms of what I’m working on at the moment, I’m finishing drawing the last few pages of Anxious Comics #3 and starting to write the script for #4. I’ve also got a one-off comic called “the Screaming” , a sort of autobiography/horror thing, that I hope to get done before CCZF, and I’ve been doing a lot of artwork for a band, which should be out next year. I like working on several projects at once, particularly because some of the weirder / darker stuff I’ve been doing recently would be a bit much to work on solidly. 

CCZF I’ve been aware of your work through Instagram for some time. How long have you been drawing and making comics and stuff?

DBB It depends how far you want to go back! I was first introduced to comics beyond the Beano in the early nineties – when I was about twelve, and a comic shop (They Walk Among Us, Richmond) opened up near me. It was a pretty crappy time for mainstream superhero-type comics but the good effect of this was that it forced me to seek out small-press alternatives, which made realise that one could just have a go oneself… Both my parents were graphic designers so encouraged this, and just as  importantly, had unrestricted access to photocopiers and cool pens… 

More recently, I’ve got back into making zines and comics only in the last year or so. Coming back to the small press / indie comics scene in the age of social media etc has been an interesting experience! I think on balance it’s changed for the better. 

CCZF In order of preference what are your top 3 favourite soups? 

DBB My top soup is definitely that French fish one that’s often served with croutons and cheese and stuff. I don’t know how to make it myself and my favourite French restaurant in Richmond closed down recently, so I’m looking for a new source…

Posh French fish soup in a jar.

My second favourite soup is that French onion one, also served with cheese and croutons. I do know how to make that one myself and you’ve just reminded me that I’ve got some beef stock in the freezer so maybe I’ll pick up the other ingredients when I go to collect my daughter from school…

I don’t think I have a third favourite soup. Pea and ham, maybe? I’m perhaps not as passionate about soup as your question implies you are. Not that I’m knocking it. 

CCZF You recently contributed some work to the compilation zine You are not alone called ‘Portrait of the artist as a soup of conflicting neurotransmitters’ Whats going on there then?

DBB This year has been a bit rough in terms of my mental health and much of it has been coloured by trying to find an antidepressant that works for me. It’s a frustrating and at times profoundly disorienting process of trial and error – it’s easy to start seeing what I had thought of as my personality as just being a side-effect of whatever combination of chemicals my brain’s floating in at that moment. 

So I guess my third-favourite soup is human cerebro-spinal fluid, but I’m still tweaking the recipe. 

CCZF What is your condiment of choice?

DBB Salt.

Salt by condiment correspondent Hannah Lee Miller

CCZF Hmm. That’s going to have to go in for a stewards review. What can we expect from your table at CCZF?

DBB I’ve never done anything like this before so the short answer is I don’t know! 

I’ll definitely be selling Anxious Comics issues 1 to 3, in a larger-format edition than the ones I’ve been giving away, plus issue 4 if I can get it together in time, and “The Screaming,” which I mentioned before, and, I don’t know, a whole bunch of weird black and white comics with too much scratchy cross-hatching, basically. 

I also thought I’d bring a sketchbook so I have something to do if it gets a bit quiet, and if anyone wanted to join in with that, that would be cool. If the whole thing degenerates into a beer- and soup-fuelled comics jam session I’ll be happy. 

CCZF What are you listening to at the moment? 

DBB Skeletonwitch’s new album is really good.

Devouring Radient Light by the mighty Skeletonwitch

CCZF Stewards report is back… Salt is a condiment, a table condiment, phewWhere do you stand on the daytime quiz show Tipping point? Work of genius or complete waste of time?

Ben Shephard asking the questions. We think the answer is earth.

DBB Despite having had a lot of time off work in recent months, I’ve not succumbed to the lure of Daytime TV, so I’m pleased to say that I don’t have an opinion on this “Tipping Point” you speak of. I have been enjoying Mindhunter Season 2 recently.

Cameron Britton as Ed Kemper in Mindhunter

Before that, the last TV I really got into was the latest Season of Twin Peaks. I think Twin Peaks is the biggest direct influence on “Anxious Comics” that I’m aware of – layering mystery upon mystery and not being in a hurry to resolve anything. 

Follow Daniel on Instagram @danielbristowbailey
You can meet Daniel and buy his wonderful work at the Catford Comic and Zine Fair Saturday 8th December at the Blythe Hill Tavern