Thursday, 28 April 2011

"Part Hostel, Part Eastern Promises" - AICN on Slaughterman's Creed

Bit of a general round-up today as preparations for this year's Bristol International Comic and Small Press Expo reach their crescendo. First things first, the following review of Slaughterman's Creed has gone live over on Ain't It Cool News:

Markosia Enterprises

Part HOSTEL, part EASTERN PROMISES, SLAUGHTERMAN’S CREED is a fantastic miniseries which follows a torturer for the mob who suddenly develops a conscience and decides to save one of his pregnant victims. On his tail is a bizarre green man who is looking to replace the slaughterman and more gun-toting mooks than you can shake a meathook at. This miniseries is filled with smart and quick dialog by Cy Dethan, reminiscent of a Guy Richie film with tough-guy talk amped to the nth degree. The story is very cinematic and unfolds patiently, leading to a powerful confrontation between an evil man who is trying to redeem himself for his life of horrible acts of violence against others. The heavy drama and action is drawn wonderfully by Stephen Downey, who has an eye for cinematic angles and nice panel compositions. This is a very strong and engrossing miniseries and worth seeking out.

So that's pretty cool.

I was recently interviewed (with unnecessarily huge accompanying photo) on Comic Bits Online, with questions about how I got into comics and what I hope to achieve. I actually quite surprised myself by having at least half-way sane answers for most of it. Anyway, for those who enjoy watching a writer struggle with relatively simple enquiries, you can watch me screw myself into the ground there.

On the subject of interviews, I just recorded one with "Decaptitated Dan" Royer for his Dark Discussions podcast. Here's hoping he's a world-class editor so I don't sound like a complete ranting psychopath when the thing comes out. More on that soon.

You know what? That's about it for now. Off to spend a long weekend assiduously avoiding the media saturation efforts of fatuous rich people and their pointless, frivolous lives.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Remission Impossible: Cancertown Epidemic Goes Global

For Immediate Release.

Diamond Order Code: APR11 0745

When the multi-Eisner award winning writer/artist Bryan Talbot (Sandman, Fables, Batman, Grandville, 2000AD) says of a creator-owned graphic novel from British Independent publisher, Markosia:

“Cancertown will disorientate you, suck you in, chew you up and spit you out and you might well be in need of a change of underwear by the end.

“Don't say I didn't warn you."

It's time to sit up and take notice.

Cancertown is the story of Vince Morley, a man with big problems and a brain tumour like a baby's fist, who lives with one foot in a monstrous alternate world he calls Cancertown. When the lost and dispossessed of London start tripping over the same cracks in reality he spends his life avoiding, Morley realises he must confront the residents of Cancertown - and risk finding his place among them.

Written by Cy (Starship Troopers, Slaughterman’s Creed, The Indifference Engine) Dethan and pencilled by Stephen (Torchwood, Slaughterman’s Creed) Downey, Cancertown: An Inconvenient Tooth achieved a cult following on its UK print debut, and the digital version of the book consistently elbowed its way into top-ten status on the Sony PlayStation Network download charts, alongside its more respectable cousins from Marvel and DC.

Now the indie outsider hit that punched far above its weight is being released worldwide as a trade paperback in June 2011.

Harry Markos, the book’s publisher, says:
“I am delighted to have signed Cancertown. It is a great book with a solid and loyal following, so I am looking forward to working with the team in getting it out to a wider audience. We have big plans for it! Cy and the team have done a great job and they have already promised a sequel, Cancertown: Blasphemous Tumours, so we have exciting times ahead!”

A free preview of the first 14 pages is available to read at:, along with character sketches and additional background material.

Reviewers have said:

• "I described it to someone asking me what it was about as a "rip-roaring mindf***.”
John Freeman, Down The Tubes.

• "The book grabs you by the throat right from the start and drags you kicking and screaming into the vividly twisted world of Cancertown...what we have here is a well crafted, fantastical story that demonstrates what a comic book should be. I for one can't wait to read more tales from Cancertown.”
The Sidekickcast

• "Cancertown: An Inconvenient Tooth is one of those rare treasures in its originality, well written and beautifully drawn... Cy Dethan has scripted an exceptional story and Stephen Downey's pencils are a joy, whilst colourist Melanie Cook captures the tone brilliantly. If you like horror stories mixed with detective novels you are going to love it."
Comic Shop Voice

• "The short review is I bloody loved this graphic novel... It was a complex, dark and twisted fantasy with a heavy noir feel to it...Think Maltese Falcon crossed with Criminal Macabre and a dash of Alice in Wonderland. Trippy as hell (God knows what sort of dreams I'm going to have tonight!)...Seriously though, pick this up as it’s one hell of a read."
Barry Nugent, The Geek Syndicate

• "The thought put into the story was exceptional, the heart between Bugfuck (not really her name) and her father was real and Vince's predicament is never far from his mind and he knows it. The twist behind the origins of the leaders of Cancertown wasn't something I was expecting. Essentially, Dethan put together a hell of a book."
Comics Related

• "Cancertown leaps out of the page at you, grabs you by the jugular and doesn’t let you go. Simply put, it’s weird, disturbing and any number of other words that you’d associate with horror. It is also compelling and, in the tradition of the best horror comics, has just the right mix of action, adventure and mystery thrown in to keep you guessing."
Sci-Fi Pulse

• “From the story itself to the art, colours, letters and the cover this is an all round, well plotted series. This story would work well as a Vertigo title and Markosia have found themselves a real gem... I can’t emphasise enough what an amazing story this is – perhaps it’s because I’m from the 2000AD generation, but I’m sure that our friends in the US would enjoy this too. For those of you who read Hellblazer and the like – read this now!”
Three Million Years

So what are you waiting for? Hurl yourself into its nightmarish shadow-world and meet its population of grotesques and maniacs.

"Remember - nothing here is real, and everything can hurt you."


• A free preview of the first 14 pages is available to read at: along with character sketches and additional background material.

• Cancertown is listed in April’s Previews catalogue on Page 218 - order code: APR11 0745

• For retail and press questions please contact or visit the Markosia website at

• For review copies please contact

• Writer: Cy Dethan
Pencils: Stephen Downey
Colours: Mel Cook
Letters: Nic Wilkinson

• Published by Markosia Enterprises.
ISBN-10 1905692498
ISBN-13 978-1905692491

Friday, 15 April 2011

Broadcast News

Just a quick one today. I've been given the all-clear to show this brilliantly twisted cover to Markosia's upcoming Henry Flint art book, Broadcast (with finely judged verbal intrusion by me).

The book is at once an exploration of a deeply peculiar mind and an inspirational homage to the expressive power of what Henry refers to as "TV Doodles" - essentially a form of "automatic writing" applied to pictorial art. It's a going to be a thing of worrying method and beautiful madness and I'll be doing my best not to trail muddy bootprints all over it.

More as and when.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Stephen Downey vs. the World

Stephen Downey, my Cancertown, Slaughterman's Creed and "other yet to be revealed new project" collaborator looks like he is currently on track to conquer the world.

This coming weekend, 9th - 10th of April, he'll be attending the Kapow! Comic Con and will be at table 87 ("in the island beneath the Tardis and Dalek"). He'll be drawing custom £10 sketches and selling the prints that you can see in the shop section of his website.

As if that weren't enough, he'll also have previews of Slaughterman's Creed, Jennifer Wilde and other stuff on display, so if you're attending drop by for a chat. If you still want to place a pre-order for Slaughterman's Creed (out on 14th May) for the special price of £10, then you can get details or put your name down at either Stephen's table or at the Markosia stand during the event.

Speaking of Slaughterman's Creed, I saw the print ready files last night, and editor Ian Sharman has done a stunning job on putting the book together. He'll be at Kapow, too, wearing his other hat and manning the Orang Utan Comics table.

The listing problem for Slaughterman's Creed on Amazon has now been fixed and you can now pre-order both Slaughterman's Creed and the Cancertown re-release through both and If you prefer to shop in a comic store, Cancertown is on Pg 218 of the latest Previews catalogue for shipping in June and available to order in-store now. Slaughterman's Creed was in last month's catalogue, but if your comic shop still wants to get it in then retailers can contact Markosia directly to place an order through their website.

Just a week later on the 15th April, Stephen will be a guest at the free, one-day FanSciCon in Dublin. It will be held at UCD Students Centre from 9am and promises to be good fun. He'll be showing off some of his absolutely spectacular new Jennifer Wilde stuff.

Speaking of Jennifer Wilde, it's coming out from Atomic Diner and has just started up its Facebook page. where there's little a Preview of the gorgeous #1 cover. It's written by Rob Curley and Maura McHugh, so check it out!

On 15th May the rest of the team will get in on the action with The Task of Blood: Creating Slaughterman's Creed, a panel at the Bristol Small Press Expo. It will be held at 12pm on Sunday,15th May at the Mercure Hotel and will be hosted by Scott Grandison of Comic Book Outsiders. There's an events page on Facebook where you can keep up to date on plans for that, so let us know if there is anything you'd be interested to hear us to talk about.

...and that's me - gone!

Friday, 1 April 2011

The Task of Blood: Slaughterman's Creed Panel at Bristol

Okay, this is pretty cool.

The organisers of this year's Bristol International Comic & Small Press Expo just got in touch with us this week to offer us a Slaughterman's Creed panel. Leapt on that like a shot, as you can imagine. The entire "Chopping Bloc" of Stephen Downey, Vicky Stonebridge and Nic Wilkinson will be there, and we've even managed to rope in Scott Grandison of the terrific Comic Book Outsiders podcast to host the thing. We've been given a time slot, a room and a projector to play with, which is probably more responsibility than anyone with my history of pathologically poor impulse control should ever be given.

So, if you find yourself at the Mercure side of the Expo at 12pm on the Sunday, and you're remotely interested in witnessing the kind of moral and literal damage a book like Slaughterman's Creed can do, feel free to stop by. Here are the official details:

The Task of Blood: Creating Slaughterman's Creed

Join Cy Dethan, Stephen Downey, Vicky Stonebridge and Nic Wilkinson on the chopping block as they cut to the heart of their tale of meat and murder.

The panel will be hosted by Scott Grandison of Comic Book Outsiders and recorded for a special edition of the podcast.

Details: SPEXPO, Mercure Hotel, 12pm on Sunday 15th of May

The whole gang will be sketching and signing at table 46 in the Mercure, and at the Markosia stand throughout the weekend.

There will also be sweets, face painting and other surprises. to read a free preview of the book or Facebook Group for latest news.
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