Friday, 30 September 2011

Final September Preview: Cancertown 2 Cover!

Okay, to finish up September I thought I'd post something I've been holding back for a couple of weeks. Here are the pencils for Graeme Howard's most recent candidate cover for Cancertown 2. I've been pretty much blown away by every single page Graeme's turned in on this book, so I thought I was prepared for his take on the cover image. How naive I was...So that's me staggered, then...

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Fractured Realities: Two Mind-Altering Markosia Releases in November

It’s not often you get to release a book that causes people to worry about reality and feel unstable after reading it. It’s almost unthinkable, dangerous even, that you might release two such subversive creations at once. That, however, is just what Markosia Enterprises is planning to do this November. Stay tuned to find out what will be left standing when these monsters collide.

Broadcast: The TV Doodles of Henry Flint

“The mind of Henry Flint is a galaxy of beautiful atrocities – a nightmare factory where the bestial becomes benign, the mundane magical. Henry Flint is at once a full-service doodling savant and a one-man alien zoo, and this never-before-seen collection of his personal work is an attempt to chart a single, crooked leg of the artistic journey he takes daily. Welcome to the best of the bestiary.”

Broadcast offers something very different from Henry Flint’s narrative artwork, familiar to fans worldwide from his books for 2000AD, Vertigo and Dark Horse. With writer Cy Dethan acting as guide to the reader the book is at once a treasure map and an open invitation to explore Henry’s personal work and zen-like experiments in art.

The Indifference Engine: A Holographic Novel

“Responding to a strangely specific job advertisement, Alan Blake, a distinctly ordinary twenty-something suburban slacker finds himself in the middle of an inter-dimensional task force staffed entirely by superhuman alternate versions of himself. Struggling to fit in, he uncovers a conspiracy that strikes at the very heart of the organisation – a conspiracy that only he can stop.”

“Being a science fiction fan,” says Wayne Hall of Sci-Fi Pulse, “I sometimes ache for a comic that will challenge my perceptions of the world, of the universe, of my way of thinking...The Indifference Engine scratches that itch spectacularly!"

This is Cy Dethan’s third original graphic novel from Markosia and he is joined this time around by hot-shot new artist Rob Carey, along with colourist Mel Cook and letterer Nic Wilkinson. Following the convention-busting performance of the horror- noir Cancertown and the surreal gangland thriller Slaughterman’s Creed, it already looks as if Dethan’s first creator-owned sci-fi story, described by John Freeman as "a gripping, nihilist alternate reality adventure" will be enjoying the same levels of success. Dethan first explored the genre for Markosia as writer of their Starship Troopers line.

The digital version of the book has already been incredibly popular. "Cy Dethan's script is superb on this book," said John (Sci-Fi Art Now) Freeman on Down The Tubes, "This [is a] tightly-written multi-universe-spanning adventure tale and it's...definitely a book to look out for."

A free preview can be found here.

Preorders can be made through the Markosia website.

For review copies, artwork samples, more information or interview requests for any of the team, please contact in the first instance.

Friday, 23 September 2011

September Preview Part #4: Bayou Arcana

The Bayou Arcana anthology was something I first heard about through the Small Press Big Mouth website and since the book's originator, James Pearson, called me out by name in the article I decided to look into it. The anthology's concept is a powerful one, and the list of contributors represents an exceptionally strong cross-section of international independent comics talent. There are scripts from guys like Corey Brotherson and Matt Gibbs and art from the likes of Valia Kapadai, Jennie Gyllblad and Vicky Stonebridge.

My contribution, entitled Swamp Pussy and the Hanged Man, features art from the always-intense Nic Wilkinson, who has previously drawn my Starship Troopers: Extinction Protocol strip for Mongoose Publishing and several of my short stories. Nic is primarily known in the industry as a letterer these days, so it's great to see her flexing her art-muscles again. Here's a work-in-progress page from our story:
Bayou Arcana is currently set for a 2012 launch, and there ought to be many more previews on display at Thought Bubble in November.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

September Preview Part #3: White Knuckle

White Knuckle, for me, represents an opportunity to create something very different from my previous books. I've taken a crack at big-noise sci-fi with Starship Troopers, horror-noir with Cancertown and crime with Slaughterman's Creed, while The Indifference Engine is a nihilistic identity crisis in a bottle. White Knuckle isn't any of those things. Above all else, it's a story about self-delusion and regret - and as such it needed a careful balance of subtlety and power in the artwork.

Valia Kapadai is an artist with a strong internet following already and is one of the most over-worked names on the indie circuit, so it was nothing short of a miracle that I managed to get her interested in working with me. Having seen the intense poetry of her work on the upcoming Snow graphic novel from Markosia (written by Rich McAuliffe) and her self-published Tw1sted Vision anthology, she was literally my first choice for the book. Now, with White Knuckle's launch date hovering somewhere around early 2012, we're starting to have pages we can show around.There will be a lot more on display at this year's Thought Bubble convention in November, along with the launches of both The Indifference Engine and Broadcast: The TV Doodles of Henry Flint.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

September Preview Part #2: Wrath of God

UK podcaster, Barry Nugent, has taken several steps toward his ultimate goal of total trans-media domination recently, so it's worth taking a moment to recap the story so far.

Barry's Fallen Heroes novel has been in production as a comic for a little while now. The first issue is out and the second is well under way. By all accounts it's been a very successful experiment - enough so that Barry started looking into expanding the universe a bit. This is where I enter the picture.

Teaming with the artists behind the main Fallen Heroes comic adaptation, Steve Penfold and Gat Melvin, I've written a backstory for the character of Jonathan Bishop, AKA The Reverend. This 22-page story is to be part of the first Tales of the Fallen anthology of expanded and spin-off material from the main novel. Here's the breakdown:

The Reverend: a holy weapon forged in tragedy and flame – a murderous martyr whose cold judgement strikes with the force of a vengeful God. Despair, for the Reverend walks among you. He is the right hand of vengeance. He is Wrath.

The anthology will contain stories from several powerhouse teams, with full details currently on the Unseen Shadows website. For the moment, here's a quick four-page preview of Wrath of God, with letters by the incomparable Nic Wilkinson:Tales of the Fallen is tentatively scheduled for a November release, hopefully to launch at the Thought Bubble convention in Leeds

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

September Preview Part #1: Cancertown 2

A month or so back, I had the pleasure of welcoming new Cancertown 2 colourist, Peter Mason to the Cancer Cell, joining Graeme Howard, Nic Wilkinson and myself on the book's creative team. In the few intervening weeks, Peter has set what must be a record time for colouring an entire chapter of one of my books - at times turning in multiple pages in a single day! What's more, the quality is first rate. Impressed doesn't begin to describe it.

Just so you can see what I'm raving about here, I figured I'd slot a couple of preview pages your way. For my money, Peter's colours really nail the evolving tone of this Cancertown volume, and suit Graeme's inking style so cleanly that it's hard to believe they've never worked together before. Peter's got a serious future in comics, and I'm already looking forward to working with him on future projects.
Take a look at more of Peter's work here. In addition to his beautiful colouring style, he's a talented artist in his own right so it's well worth the visit.
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