Tuesday, 2 June 2009


was a strange, and ultimately short-lived, british magazine that seemed to come out of nowhere. It was produced by a bunch of cartoonists calling themselves Artpool, among them Mal Burns & Phil Littler. I guess it was a kind of showcase for those guys and other artists, as it more often read like a collected portfolio than an actual comic. There was no real strong editorial bent, and each issue varied wildly from page to page, in both art styles and genres .

pssst! ( which inevitably became known as pissed ) did have an exciting, freewheeling feel to it tho', and there was the occasional gem. Like this brilliant piece of religious guilt from Andrew Cannons.

And there was always Phil Littler's back cover pieces, drawn in his classically british cartoon style.

They even printed this piece from Barry Wilson, who at the time ( and may still be, for all I know ) was Head Honcho & El Presidente of The Rancid Beavers, the major biker gang in my home town of Haverhill.

Alas, pssst! passed on this legendary piece from El Presidente, which hung on everybody's wall in Haverhill at one time or another.

There was also the odd longer piece, like Angus McKie's The Plan, and some early chapters of Bryan Talbot's The Adventures Of Luther Arkwright. And there was this beauty by king of the airbrush Bob Wakelin, who also did a few strips for the early Epic Illustrated. Always thought this one would've fit nicely in Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction.

I doubt anyone but me remembers pssst! I 'm not even sure it was sold outside of London, as I remember getting the first issue by mail order, and I guess Barry gave me the one he appeared in.
It was doomed to fail really, as it was just too all over the place to get a real audience. Fun while it lasted tho'.


  1. You've done it again. I do remember Pssst, and had at least one copy - though I don't rmember how I acquired it - I assume from a convention or comic store.

  2. It's weird, isn't it? No one can remember how they came across this thing. I think Dr. Wertham snuck 'em in our collections in the dead of night.

  3. Funnily enough I can remember exactly where I bought my one-and-only issue of Pssst. Sad or what? As a teenager I had a few holidays in Bournemouth and there was a little corner newsagent there that was good for Marvel/DC mags like X-Men, Teen Titans and even stuff like Heavy Metal and Cerebus. Of course, it's long gone now. I thought Pssst would have made a good British alternative to HM or Epic but it obviously didn't last. In a similar vein, does anyone remember Near Myths?

  4. Vaguely. Did it have something to do with Bryan Talbot?

  5. You've been raiding my comic boxes again, pete :)
    Yeah i think I had all of the issues of pssst (4 or 5 I think?)
    I originally bought them either from Titan distributors (My-self and older brother were selling comics at marts etc) or Odyssey seven in Manchester.
    I hung on to them mainly for Arkwright so once that appeared in graphic novel format (well album really...48pgs ...waited years for it to Finnish in two other books) sold my copies off.
    I think Paul Gravett used to drive psst's "promo" bus around advertising the mag

  6. Near Myths pre dated psst by a couple of years.
    The first issue was cover dated Sept 1978.
    Published by Galaxy Media out of Edinburgh
    The early chapters of Arkwright appeared in Myths first.
    Also Grant Morrison's first comics (Writing and art work) appeared here and introduced his character Gideon Stargrave.
    I've four issues which I think was all that were published.
    Very similar to Psst but I'd say slightly more "underground"
    If you want scans of the covers just shout.

  7. Definately, sir, let's see those covers! I knew Near Myths was something to do with Arwright. And pssst! only lasted 5 issues? In my mind it went on much longer than that. Love the idea of a 'pissed' bus by the way...

  8. It had 10 issues & a "cocktail mag", they all had a poster in them,I have them all but not all the posters. The double decker bus had a movie show upstairs,I remember it at all the festivals. Crazy lovely people.

    1. My mother Fiona Wright worked For surge the owner of the company and arranged a lot of their shinanigans got up to some pretty crazy stuff trying to convince her to write a book

  9. I was published in Pssst magazine in 1983. Ten issues were produced and they were sold at Menzies Book shops throughout the UK.

    Adly, WH.Smith would not sell the mag as it often published a piss-taking strip of Charles and Diana and other strips too alternative at the time for this old and traditional book seller. It packed up after the 10th issue through a lack of enough sales.

    The magazine was inspired by a french guy - Serge - who loved graphic novels and believed he could revive interest in them in the UK.

    mol smith


  10. I was an art student in Brighton when it appeared, there was a bus parked outside the Grand Parade site with the first cover painted on the side. I still have all 10 issues.