The History of Soaring Penguin Press

Soaring Penguin Press (then Soaring Penguin) was formed in 1998 to publish Meanwhile…, a comics anthology featuring a mix of established comics creators and emerging new talent, for which an Arts Councils Grant was provided for 4 issues. Soaring Penguin went on to publish the comic Space Babe 113 by John Maybury, and the comics magazines Spooky The Warren Fanzine and From The Tomb. Soaring Penguin provided publishing services for Comics Forum, the quarterly magazine of the Comics Creators Guild.

In 2004, Soaring Penguin incorporated in order to separate the publishing business from the personal business of John Anderson.

In 2012, in an effort to take the efforts of Soaring Penguin from that of a hobbyist to a more professional level, Soaring Penguin rebranded as Soaring Penguin Press. The publisher, John Anderson, joined the Independent Publishers Guild (IPG) and attended the London Book Fair (LBF) as a member. At the LBF, Soaring Penguin Press initiated negotiations for the English Language Print Rights for Loisel’s Peter Pan, a 6-volume bande desinnée originally published by Glenat from 1990 to 2004. That same year, Soaring Penguin Press published Undertow, Ellen Lindner’s graphic novel, and Little Death, originally a German graphic anthology by Thomas Kriebaum. These two publications cemented the company’s reputation of bringing quality graphic novels to an English audience, as well as publishing stories by emerging UK talent.

Recognising the enormity of the efforts required to be successful, Nora Goldberg was engaged on a freelance basis as Publishing Assistant.

In 2013, Soaring Penguin Press published the omnibus edition of Peter Pan; this was the first time that the series had been seen in its entirely in English, and the first story by Loisel to be published in English. Also that year, Soaring Penguin Press published the collected edition of The Lengths, Howard Hardiman’s challenging graphic novel of a male prostitute in London.

In 2014, Soaring Penguin Press published To End All Wars, the Graphic Anthology of the First World War to both critical and popular acclaim. The anthology featured 26 stories by over 50 different creators from 13 different countries. Having secured the print rights, Soaring Penguin Press also brought Peter Pan to a North American audience, launching the book at the Montreal Comic Con with creator Loisel as Guest of Honour.

Also in 2014, Soaring Penguin Press relauched Meanwhile… featuring the return of Strangehaven by Gary Spencer Millidge, a series that had been left incomplete since 2005. Unlike the previous series, this run of Meanwhile… would have a mixture of on-going series as well as self-contained stories. The creators would still be a mix of established comics creators and emerging new talent.

Having tried to engage a Press Officer since 2012, Soaring Penguin Press were delighted in 2014 to gain the services of Jon Purves, on an ad hoc basis to provide Marketing and Press support.

Already in 2015, Soaring Penguin Press has entered into a contract with Quebec, Canada-based publisher Editions Mecanique Generale to publish two of their graphic novels in English later in the year. They have also entered into negotiations with French publisher Lombard to publish the entire Notes series by best-selling French author Boulet, as well as a second series l’ostie d’chat.

Soaring Penguin Press will be attending Angouleme, the world’s premiere comics festival, in France to meet with other publishers and to discuss foreign language rights.