Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Beware! It's the Future - It Will Burn You!

Had an interesting email from Markosia top dog, Harry Markos this week. It looks like someone is finally taking the digital comics revolution seriously.

Markosia now have two apps available for free download from iTunes. These are Beowulf #1 and Kong: King of Skull Island #0. Also, Tony Lee and Dan Boultwood's Prince of Baghdad #1 is available for free on the store.

Most of Markosia's titles will apparently be appearing on iTunes, Blackberry and Google phones over the next few months. Harry describes this as a very important step forward for the industry in general and the company in particular. Digital releases are already attractive as a first-choice format for many self-publishers and new creators, and to see a major UK indie like Markosia throwing its support in like this is fascinating.

Friday, 24 April 2009

That's It - There's Now Officially Nothing More to Say About Me...

A while back Stephen Downey and I were interviewed for a site called Jazma, and I see that those interviews have just gone live. So, as the countdown to the release of Cancertown ticks down toward single digits, feel free to check out how its writer and artist struggled to explain their behaviour in creating this monster.

Also, while you're there, you might want to read Crawford Coutt's interview, too. As Insomnia's top dog, it's really all his fault...

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Spreading the Infection...

Had a surprise email from Mike Conroy of Comics International fame a couple of days ago. Apparently, and I'm actually pretty excited about this, he's looking to cover Cancertown in the next issue of the magazine. The list of questions he sent was pretty detailed, but I think I managed to blunder my way through them okay. I hear my co-creator, Stephen Downey has also been contacted, so it'll be interesting to see what the talented young scamp has to say for himself.

More on this as and when...

While you're here, check out these page proofs Insomnia MD Crawford Coutts recently received back from the printer. Apparently we'll be seeing the first actual copies of the book some time around the beginning of next week!

Friday, 17 April 2009

Cancerous Growth

Remember last week when I speculated on the possibility of a second Cancertown volume at some point in the future? Well, things were apparently moving faster than I knew because I received confirmation yesterday that the second book's been greenlit by Insomnia.

Cancertown: Blasphemous Tumours is currently looking like a 2011 release, and the best news about it from my point of view is that the entire creative team has immediately agreed to return. Stephen, Nic and I will be signing the contracts at Bristol this year, with Mel Cook sending hers in long-distance. I'm thrilled to have the band back together, and I'm already nailing down the finer points of the story.

While we're on the subject of Cancertown, Stephen and I just got mini-interviewed by ImagineFX magazine. ImagineFX is a fantastic resource for artists, and getting a mention in it of any kind is pretty awesome. We'll apparently be featured in the June issue.

So, yeah - my happy-face is starting to prove slightly inadequate to the circumstances.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Impeccable Waste

Thought it was time for a Layer Zero update, as the book is on the verge of publication. The more I've watched this anthology develop, the more impressed I've been by it. In my opinion, the quality of submissions, both in terms of art and scripting, has never been higher.

I always enjoy working on anthologies. Insomnia Publications has a strong "family" atmosphere among its creators, so it's a fantastic environment to meet new potential collaborators and to generally bounce ideas around with people who genuinely care about comics. As I've mentioned before, I've been incredibly lucky so far in the artists I've worked with, and Ben MacLeod is a perfect example. Take a look at some of the pages he turned in for Waste, my contribution to Layer Zero: Choices.

I know, right? When a guy with this kind of talent says he wants to draw your story you don't mull it over and get back to him tomorrow. You sign him up on the spot - and that's precisely what Insomnia did.

Again, for those who don't already know, Layer Zero: Choices is currently available for pre-order from Amazon, or you can always kick up a fuss at your local comics dealer. For anyone attending the Bristol International Comics Show and Small Press Expo this year, copies can be found at the Insomnia stand.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

1095 Sleepless Nights

Insomnia Publications, publishers of Cages, the Layer Zero anthologies and my own first creator-owned graphic novel, Cancertown, celebrated its third anniversary on Monday. Congratulations are due to co-founders Crawford Coutts and Alasdair Duncan, who in a few short years have seen their business explode into an extremely credible British publisher - due in no small part to the efforts of their Creative Director, Walthamstow's very own Nic Wilkinson.

With somewhere around twenty new creator-owned books scheduled for release over the next two years, all to be published as "instant trades", Insomnia is committed to producing "New Art, New Writing and New Concepts" for a long while to come. As I've mentioned before, I recently signed The Ragged Man and The Indifference Engine with them, and with pre-orders for Cancertown necessitating a 50% increase in the first print run, a second volume looks like a practical certainty. All I can say about that is I'm definitely up for it if Stephen is.

So, happy birthday to Insomnia, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the next three years bring. Also, thanks to all the Insomnia creators who have mentioned the upcoming release of Cancertown on their blogs. It's much appreciated, and that "family" atmosphere among creators is one of the great things about being involved with Insomnia.
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