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The Door Into Summer/Instant Karma!
Toy Soldiers, Tank Girl, and busting creative blocks...
The Door into Summer Poster Magazine. We’ve turned this around fast. I had the idea at the end of last week, I wrote the text and did the design work quickly, got it off to the printers, and we’re releasing it today. I didn’t want it to hang around so that I could contemplate what it was or what I was trying to say. I’ve been blocked, a creative block, this felt like a way of busting through. Blockbuster.
In 1970 John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band released the single “Instant Karma!” - ostensibly a song about the law of reaping what you sew in this life straight away, rather than waiting for your next incarnation to pay it back - but it was also borne out of Yoko Ono’s fascination with the immediacy of Beatles 7 inch singles, and how an idea could be had one day, recorded the next day, and be on the shop shelves within a couple of weeks. A mainline feed, channeling Zeitgeist-ian thought waves straight from artist to audience, with little or no impedance.
In the late Eighties/early Nineties, when Jamie Hewlett and I were in our initial burst of comic creation, we were lucky enough to find ourselves in a similar situation of production - we could have an idea in the pub on a Friday night, start (simultaneously) writing and drawing the comic the next day, work solidly day and night for the weekend, whisk the finished product off to the printers on Monday (bypassing any editorial process, as we’d left the delivery so late), and see the results on the news stands on the following Friday. We didn’t realise at the time (we just thought we were being naughty for winding up the editors), but we were invoking the same instant artist-to-audience magic that the Beatles had enjoyed.
Of course, these days we can transmit ideas across the world instantaneously through the power of social media, but physical products still take their time emerging into the world.
This is where self publishing comes into its own. Underground press, Zines, albums released on cassette tape, 3D printing, home-made shit. All these fast-products can speed the delivery of ideas, get us closer to the moment of conception, connect us us all together, now. I love these forms of communication, it’s how I started out and what I’ve naturally gravitated towards again. The world of tradition publishing can be a major drag, a frustrating, turgid process - planning months or years ahead of release removes a lot of the initial zest from a work or idea. The world moves on, ideas stagnate, mould grows.
The Door Into Summer Poster Mag is a personal publication, with a fold-out poster, a vintage toy soldier, and some bonus items, check out the listing here THE OFFICIAL TANK GIRL SHOP
We’ve made 100 of these poster magazines - a legion of plastic soldiers, ready to deploy.
I hope you’re all feeling fine and doing well. If any of you are feeling similarly blocked, we can all chat about it and throw some ideas around here in the comments section. Let’s get our stuff into the world.
Let’s move out
Major Alan C. Martin