Forbidden Planet has a long interview with Oliver East, on the occasion of the publication of the collected hardcover edition of the first three issues of “Trains are… mint”.

“I attempted to turn a two-man tent into a pinhole camera and take it to caravan parks to take pictures of caravans, but it didn’t work out at all” […] “over the course of a year, I read Dr Doolittle to a herd of cows in Stretford […] after the cow thing I wanted to do a walk. I didn’t want to wait to have to apply for money or be offered an exhibition anywhere. […] something that would get the work out there quicker seemed to be a comic” [ but ] “It’s always going to be difficult to sell psychogeographic comics about the North West of England to people”

The new book is one of the first from the Blank Slate imprint, set up by Forbidden Planet’s founders with their own money. You can be sure they know a great comic when they see it.

“Oliver East has produced one of the most unique works to come out of the UK small press scene” — Kenny Penman, director Forbidden Planet International and publisher of Blank Slate Books.

I have all the beautifully-produced “Trains are… mint” pamphlets (Oliver only has 50 copies of No.1, so get ’em now), and can tell you that the collected 122-page hardback will be £10 very well spent.

And I hope Blank Slate are sending review copies to the ramblers and walkers magazines, as well as the usual comics coterie. I’m sure Blueprint magazine would also review it.

Also — do I spot a possible “Trains are… mint” influence on this architectural drawing of Birmingham’s new BIAD? Note the fat people and the birds, and the faux-watercolour…