Jumbo Press releases second volume of Bubblegum – a risograph book featuring 30 international artists
Expect comics, adverts and artworks from the likes of Florencia Pernicone, Aaron Gonzalez, Haein Kim, Genie Espinosa and Aysha Tengiz.
- Ayla Angelos
- 26 January 2021
Three years ago, Jake Lucas and Marta Font were volunteering at a community cinema in Deptford, London. As Marta’s work involved programming the films there, they decided to make a rack to distribute free zines from friends, and a monthly one of their own containing a film programme, illustrations and reviews of the films currently showing. They invited friends and other volunteers from the cinema to contribute to the zine.
Soon the pair found a more economical way of producing the zine to replace their standard ink-jet printer. It was by means of an old risograph printer in Elephant and Castle’s DIY Space For London – a volunteer-run social centre, music venue and creative hub – that they realised an opportunity. “After printing a few of the issues there and experimenting,” says Jake, “we found it was a super cool method of print and decided to get our own.”
That’s when Jumbo Press first started taking things into its own hands. A few broken printers later, the duo finally got a reliable machine and started making publications. The first was Bubblegum Volume 1 – a small fanzine with around 10 illustrators included. This broadened the landscape for Jake and Marta as they were introduced to countless international illustrators off the back of it, and started attending art fairs like BIF, Cozi, DIY art market and Shake Bristol. “The real fun bit for us,” Jake continues, “is the magic collaborative part between printer and designer. We love working with artists to help make something physical that may have never existed.”
Jumbo Press tends to work with illustrators who are at the start of their career, who don’t quite fit into the mainstream or don’t have a huge online following. Bubblegum Volume 1 was published as a way to support and compile the work of Marta and Jake’s favourite artists at the time. Volume 2 is a larger-format, collaborative risograph book that the team first started working on at the beginning of the pandemic. Covid-19 has of course caused all manner of project cancellations and postponements, but this has also meant that artists who would usually have had their calendars filled have had a bit more time to dedicate to passion projects.
As such, Bubblegum Volume 2 features 30 international artists from all corners of the world, including Florencia Pernicone, Aaron Gonzalez, Haein Kim, Niall Breen, Pablo Orrego, Dares Restrepo, Tyler Nueve, Genie Espinosa, Tess Smith Roberts and Aysha Tengiz, to name just a few. Each artist has contributed to a wider exploration into the spot colours of riso, all the while adding a hint of personality to the publication’s theme of “cute but evil”. The idea to theme the contents in this way came from some recent deliberation – “those reoccurring moments when we realise everything’s not what it seems up-close,” Jake explains. “We felt the idea of deception and the double-sighted view is super relevant to the time we are living in and the idea of artworks that make you look has been a real underlying influence for us with projects at Jumbo.”
Within Bubblegum’s splashy pages, there’s a whole host of mediums, including comics, adverts and artworks – each amounting to 150 pages of risograph where each artist has contributed roughly six pages of work. Using all nine risograph colours available at Jumbo, the cover is screen printed and made from responsibly sourced papers. “Expect toilet nightmare cover-ups by Jan Soeken, deceptive Tinder dates by Tess Smith Roberts, spider-web friends from Haein Kim and pandemic survival stories by Genie Esponosa,” says Jake. One of his favourite pieces is the eight-page comic by Niall Green: “Although he’s normally known for his amazing dog comics, he’s made a super cool alternative comic where a man dressed up in a Bart Simpson costume leads a crew of friends to a cave, which might be a trap.”
We’ve seen many a quarantine project emerge over the past year. And frankly, there’s nothing more comforting than knowing that even in the midst of a pandemic, artists will continue to make good work. Jumbo’s recent offering has had a positive response so far and the team has achieved its goal of making something, as Jake puts it, that “people will treasure”.
GalleryJumbo Press: Bubblegum, Volume 2 (Copyright © Jumbo Press, 2020)
About the Author
Ayla is a London-based freelance writer, editor and consultant specialising in art, photography, design and culture. After joining It’s Nice That in 2017 as editorial assistant, she was interim online editor in 2022/2023 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. She has written for i-D, Dazed, AnOther, WePresent, Port, Elephant and more, and she is also the managing editor of design magazine Anima.