Tuesday, 6 January 2009

The 2008 Round-Up

In the immortal words of the sadly-not-immortal Road Warrior Hawk, What a Rush!

By any credible standard, I've had a bit of a stormer over the last twelve months. It kicked off in January with the release of my first Starship Troopers issue for Markosia. It helped a lot that I already knew the territory (having worked within the Troopers universe on Extinction Protocol), so I was able to hit the ground running. It was also extremely lucky that I was teamed up with Paul Green, who has gone on to produce some equally stunning work on Ardden's Flash Gordon series. Paul captured the essential wildness I'd tried to inject into the story so beautifully that I was bowled over by every new page I saw.

The next major luck-bomb went off right in my face when Insomnia Top Dog Crawford Coutts found Stephen Downey on ComicSpace and secured him as the artist on Cancertown. In my short time in the industry, I've learned very quickly that the value of working with an artist who really understands what you're trying to accomplish is simply incalculable. With Troopers, I could send visual references for pretty much everything I was calling for in the scripts. In Cancertown, things should have been a lot more complicated. With only my written descriptions of the people, places and monsters to work from, Stephen managed to bring the story to life in a way that was every bit as insane as I'd been hoping, while maintaining the vital internal consistency. Deeply cool stuff.

With Markosia asking for more story ideas, I submitted Slaughterman's Creed and The Case Files of Harlan Falk in quick succession. These were stories I'd been putting together for a while so when the opportunity presented itself I was ready to go in a heartbeat. I'd recently met Scott James when we worked together on the Triple Threat story arc for Starship Troopers, and his style had exactly the right combination of aggression and tight storytelling for the Falk book. Similarly, Stephen Downey's gift for powerful and persuasive characterisation was a perfect fit for Creed, so I was pretty much stunned when they both agreed to work on the books.

Speaking of Triple Threat, I can't let 2008 fade into memory without a brief mention of this insane little project. Three writer/artist teams, three sets of characters and three intertwining stories spread over two issues. Logistically speaking, it was a lot like getting stuck between floors in an elevator for three months with the cast of The Usual Suspects. If the final product has a certain mad intensity to it, it's easy to understand why.

So much for looking back.

2009 is shaping up pretty well so far. Cancertown's into "coming soon" territory now, and there may even be a very exciting extra announcement to make about it before release. Harlan Falk and Slaughterman's Creed are also developing nicely, and I see that Insomnia have just announced both Cancertown Volume 2 and another graphic novel of mine on their blog, so expect an announcement about The Ragged Man fairly soon. As always, there are a few other projects at earlier stages of development, but I'll get to them when there's anything concrete to tell.

That's about it for now. Whatever your Winter festival of choice was, I hope you had a good one.

6 comments:

  1. Surprised me Irish Are!!!! you know I have a chubby fer your writing ...and think yer the next Garth Ennis! :) your just modest and inherently English...with a French last name for the life of me I'm still tryin' to pronounce without causin' internal bleeding! :) everything that has happened this year is due to the fact that your a FUCKING talented writer(...and the Spider Monkey worships Alice Cooper!)...I digress! Kudos and I'm glad ya like Me Chicken scratch!

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  2. Sounds like you've had a great year, 'grats on everything... i can only hope I have a fraction of the sort of success you've had in this coming year. :)

    See you an upcoming con. :)

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  3. Cheers, guys.

    Glad to hear you're still having fun on Harlan Falk, Scott.

    Prosody, best of luck on your upcoming stuff. I'm looking forward to reading it.

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  5. Nice to know I'm getting across on paper whats in your head Cy, even if it has given me nightmares :P

    And Scotts right, its your talent that keeps us coming back :)

    P.S I must take issue with Scott James pretending he's Irish. Stop giving us a bad name! lol

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  6. Boys, boys - Cy belongs to me, get to the back of the line ;)

    For the record:

    The spider monkey (or Catfang) worships Cy.

    Stephen, just want to add that not only has Cy's writing given me nightmares but your pictures have, too. The electric shock feeling I had when I saw how you had drawn Crosshair (exactly as he was in my head, too) was just scary! And now I have the original art I am worried it is going to crawl off the page in the night - and then where would we all be?

    Given how things from Cancertown have been bleeding into the real world the idea of what is going to happen when you draw Mr Green and the Slaughterman is terrifying ;)

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