Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Fun & Games

Big week so far. I've been proofing the coloured version of the first Company of Killers chapter, creating and updating a bunch of pitch packages and script-checking Russ Leach's amazing completed pencils for all four chapters of Indifference Engine 2: The Suicideshow.

In the middle of all this activity, Pete Mason has again managed to floor me with a page he's turned in - this one for our upcoming Torsobear short story, Some Assembly Required.

Couldn't resist sharing it...

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

The Devil's Plaything...

A couple of posts back, I wrote a short update about a project I was involved in that had served as a perfect and much-needed reminder of why I keep working in comics. I couldn't say a whole lot about it at the time, but the intensity of enthusiasm I was experiencing precluded any possibility of keeping my fucking mouth shut. Frankly, the torture was exquisite agony to me.

A few weeks on, the project's masterminds have released some details and given me the green light to do the same. First off, here's the official announcement from Brett Uren:

No tricks here, friends, just great news. Here are some of the new team members for Torsobear 'Yarns from Toyburg':

On writing duties we have the amazing Cy Dethan (Cancertown, Indifference Engine), Brockton McKinney (Ehmm Theory, Deathcurse), Janos Honkonen (Kaiken yllä etana, and materials for Iron Sky) and co-editor Glenn Møane (Fubar, Indie Comics Horror) & Grainne McEntee (Apes 'n' Capes).

Artists attached so far for stories and/or pin ups are - Peter Mason (Cancertown Blasphemous Tumours with Cy), Saoirse Louise Towler (beautiful illustrations, Jon Scrivens (Little Terrors), Randy Haldeman (The Jacket), Matt Rooke (Apes 'n' Capes) & the almighty Hal Laren (Reaper Comics).

More to be announced as we complete our assessment of the last few pitches, but we have a BOOK people! Thanks to all who pitched, we'll be back to you shortly.

We still have room for artists, so please get in touch with samples -

Emerging from the pages of the Outré anthology magazine, Torsobear began as a noir crime story set in the city of Toyburg. It's a hypnotic blend of child-like innocence and tragic reality, its inhabitants the playthings of unpredictable, capricious and often incomprehensibly cruel forces. Wide button-eyes gaze unblinking into the broken clockworks at the heart of Toyburg life and only the strongest emerge with their souls and stuffing intact.

I'm going to stop there while that's still an option. I'm in extreme danger of coming up with another Torsobear story even writing this post.

When Brett first hit me up with this, he accompanied his email with, flat-out, the most stunningly put together plot bible I've ever read. Everything about this world made glorious sense and every detail glowed with atmosphere and potential for exploration. By the end of the first few paragraphs I knew I was going to write a story for this anthology, and by the end of the first page that story had already been written in my mind. Literally hours after the first read-through, I had a functional set of characters and a page-by-page breakdown of the plot. That's when I hit up Pete Mason about the art and, true to form, the boy came through.

Pete, for context, combines the precision of a neurosurgeon with the overpowering enthusiasm of a six-foot Newfoundland puppy. He's got Swiss-army-knife versatility and a gift for navigating expressive body language in his work. Signing him up for this meant tearing him away from another project we're working on for a little while, but the first experimental character sketches he turned out proved more than worth it.

More updates to come as things roll forward. Meanwhile, if you're an artist interested in hearing more about the Tales From Toyburg anthology, contact Brett for details.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Suicide is Painless...

Cementing his reputation as one-man artistic apocalypse, Russ Leach barely drew a breath after the launch of Terminus at Fenton's Green (with rising-star writer Adam Cheal) before diving right back into the final chapter pencils for Indifference Engine 2: The Suicideshow.

To give potential readers a heads-up about the ride they'll be taken on in this book, here's the inked version of the chapter one cover, and sketches for parts two and three. Now you can't say we didn't warn you...

Monday, 3 March 2014

Remembering Why...

Once in a while, a project crops up that has you fisting the air and FUCK, YEAH-ing all over the place. Some kind of glorious gut-punch that comes out of nowhere and leaves you reeling. Moments like that serve to keep you alert, hungry and dangerously motivated.

Sometimes it's an idea you can't shake off, or a character that won't shut the Hell up until you get it out onto paper. I've had my share of those, and I've learned the futility of trying to suppress them. At other times, though, it's someone else's idea that lands on you - impacting with devastating accuracy out of a clear, blue sky.

So yeah - that's what just happened, pretty much.

Long story short, I've just read the best plot bible I've ever seen and turned in an eight-page script for the anthology project it came from. No idea what I can say about it just yet, but the editorial response has been enthusiastic and once I'm able to talk about it properly I assure you there'll be no fucking stopping me.

Every so often, you get the opportunity to write something purely for the sheer joy of it. When it happens unexpectedly like this, you instantly remember why you wanted to write in the first place. As a motivator, it's beyond valuable.

Side note: for those who can't handle so much unbridled optimism all in one post, I'd just like to inject a little balance to the piece by saying fuck the Robocop remake - because fuck the Robocop remake.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Incremental Updates

Last Sunday was our fifth trip to Maidstone for the Grinning Demon comic shop's increasingly popular Demoncon event. Had a great time catching up with the likes of Stephen Downey (Cancertown, Slaughterman's Creed), Kirsty Swan (Master Merlini) and Pete Mason (Cancertown 2). Demoncon keeps on getting bigger and wilder, with this iteration seeing large cosplayer invasions that ranged from the 501st Imperial Stormtrooper legion to a nearly full-sized Sauron (actually, in retrospect, a Witch King - a fantasy misidentification of which I am disproportionately proud). I literally didn't get to step away from the table more than once during the whole day, so missed out on a lot of what was going on, but in the plus column it was our most successful day at a Demoncon event yet, easily rivalling the kind of book sales we'd expect at any of the larger British cons. The Case Files of Harlan Falk was particularly popular, and Russ Leach's outstanding preview art for the upcoming Indifference Engine sequel drew a lot of interest.

Sunday also saw the unveiling of the interview I recently did with Wayne Hall for his Wayne's Comics podcast. Wayne's a big proponent of variety in comics, and always brings a phenomenal amount of energy to his show. We talked over some of my recent and upcoming releases, and discussed a few things I've got planned for the future. You can find the episode here.


Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Falling Into Shadow

Well, given that the last few months have been an exhilarating roller-coaster of cancer scares and Doctor Who specials (neither of which turned out to be anything important), it's worthwhile keeping one eye fixed on what's really going on here: comics exist, and they are happening. Example:

Luther Washington: Whatever the Cost
Published by Unseen Shadows
Writer: Cy Dethan
Artist: To Be Confirmed - Possibly You!

With Wrath of God and The Immaculate Abortion of Dina Leigh already in print, and both the short story Eye of Stone and the full-length graphic novel Blood Cries Out in production, this is actually my fifth journey into Barry Nugent's ever-expanding Unseen Shadows universe. Pretty soon, I'll have snaked my way into every corner of Barry's brain like a leucochloridium variae infestation (and, seriously, check that link out - it'll change the way you think about nature).

I can't talk too much about the story just yet, but the script's been approved and artists are being considered as we speak. More on this as things move ahead.


Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Very Bloge. Much Talking. Wow.

...aaand BOOM - we're up and running with an all-new MAGICAL COMPUTING ENGINE. I'm now busily restoring backups and waging Total War against Windows 8.1 in a noble and gloriously futile effort to get rid of all the ugly shit it comes lumped with and make it look and run like an actual desktop operating system.

Meanwhile, enjoy this podcast interview I recorded late last year in simpler, Vista-powered times with Ian M. Cullen of the SciFi Pulse website. In it, I discuss things that have happened, things that are happening and things that COULD NEVER, EVER POSSIBLY HAPPEN.

The interview starts at around the 35 minute mark in the show.
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