Michael J. Weller
Founder-member of Beckenham Arts Lab (1969) Weller designed record sleeve for US David Bowie album after invitation to listen to tapes (1970). A partly imagined Beckenham based comic-book narrative makes up chapter five of Metrobolist bookwork (2015).
Weller subsequently produced drawings and artworks for Friends (of Rolling Stone UK) and Oz (London). As M. J. Weller his conceptual artwork was exhibited at Architectural Association (1972) at the behest of teacher Robin Evans. Weller designed cartoon poster for his show.
Publisher-turned-poet Felix Dennis printed over fifty pages of Weller’s drawings and cartoon-strips for his US-derived British underground comix series cOZmic Comics. Weller conceived comix artist character ‘Captain Stelling’ to author The Firm (1972). In 1973, a page by Stelling entitled 'Missile Crisis' was made part of Michel Choquette's comic book The Someday Funnies. Cap Stelling has featured in Weller’s narrative art since.
As Mike Weller he became best known for drawing cartoons for Chainsaw punkzine (1980-84). He began experimenting with self-publishing in the late 70s and early 80s. His early zine covers, poetry and social criticism were published by Jamming fanzine.
Weller used a period of post-graduate unemployment in the mid-80s to participate in local southeast London community initiatives and enterprises, including music collectives and writers’ groups.
Over fifty of Weller’s self-published ‘visual associations’ chapbooks were printed by Bob Cobbing’s New River Project (1989-2002). MJ Weller's work was included in influential Word Score Utterance Choreography edited by Cobbing and Lawrence Upton (writers forum, 1998). WF also published Weller's Idiotgram (2000), Climb A Free Wheeler (2001), Stem Harvest (2002) and contributions to issues of Cobbing's intermittent poetics anthology AND: no.11 (edited Cobbing/Adrian Clarke, 2002); no.12 (edited Clarke, 2004); no.13 (sans imprint artzine edited Clarke/Ulli Freer, 2010). During the noughties he contributed to print publications cul-de-qui (2002), yt communication (2006) and Veer Away, veer off (Veer Books, 2007-08). Weller also produced online work for 'Readings' (2004), Great Works (2005) and his digital poetics have been published and screened by Openned (2006-2009), Veer About (2010-2011) and London Poetry Festival Birkbeck (2014). Short monograph 'Home'Baked: literary artzines in the age of the internet' appears in Openned Zine #1 (2010). He has contributed to online/zine Herbarium poetry project in south London's Urban Physic Garden, and organized two ' bubble-vents' for Beckenham Literary Festival (2011). His London 'Poets for Pussy Riot' zine is reproduced in English PEN's eBook/print-on-demand Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot. Weller became more generally involved with newer (post e-reading tablets) D-I-Y print zines beginning with 'Poem Art Threat!' (Stinky Bear Press, 2013) and own home'baked 'Percy Bysshe Shelley's The Masque of Anarchy covered as a zine' introduced to Surrey Poetry Festival 2013. In 2014 zimZalla avant objects published minimus post ode poem, Weller's first bookwork consciously designed as 3D object. He read at Manchester's Other Room and recorded work as Michael Weller for the Queen Mary University of London's Archive of the Now.
Between 1997-99 Weller produced Space Opera – a 12-part narrative art pamphlet series. Four different ‘Mike Weller’ alterities are featured as 20th century autobiographical myth. The zines were collected and self-published as limited bookwork Space Opera: The Artist’s Book launched from Zybooks website (2000).
Beowulf Cartoon (writers forum/visual associations, 2004) is a choreographic bookwork dedicated to the memory of Bob Cobbing; and sadly, Bill Griffiths, who wrote the edition's introduction.
Three Part bookwork The Secret Blue Book (Home’Baked Books) explores relationships between literary, poetic, comic, and artistic depictions of sex. It was launched at Mike Weller the first thirty years exhibition, bookartbookshop, London (2005). Weller's 'Slow Science Fictions' (2006-2009) series, extending Space Opera themes with prose fiction and digitally-sourced graphics has been processed into printed bookwork 'Slow Fiction: twenty-three tales 2001-2010' and boxed Slow Fiction installation. Poetry bookwork Beat generation Ballads was published by Veer Books (2011) and Songs Our Teachers Learn Us, or, Lessons To Be Taught (Home'Baked e-edition, 2012-2016) has been published as docutrack supplement to BgB title. Free to view PDF here. Weller's narrative prose appeared in David Miller edited The Alchemist's Mind anthology (Reality Street, 2012). Pattern poem based on deactivated Twitter account #trending #pending #ending (2013) published as free-to-view PDF here and second Kindle Edition Sorry, that page doesn't exist (2015) here.
Ten years home'baked kitchen-table print publishing since 2005 with found apostrophe "'" lodged between hand drawn "home" and "baked", looking oblique when published digitally (see page header top), was celebrated in 2015 at SJ Fowler's Mahu Hardy Tree Gallery show. Following event Three Piece Bathing Suit was published by Blart Books.
In 2016 Weller added companion website homebakedbooks.uk for HomeBaked digital in process including free-to-view links for that year's Spurious Purple e-shots, 2017-2018's seriEzine, intermittent; and 2019's Old New Little Presses in the Age of Electronic Reproduction 'objectzine' published by Cardiff's LUMIN.
In 2020, as lockdown practice during Covid, using Storyboard That's cloud, Weller created online webtoon The Read Sea for fictional 'Daily Chronicle'.
Copyright M J Weller 2005-2021 This site was last updated 05-03-2021