Friday, 12 October 2012

Cancertown 2 Pre-Orders: It's Now or Never

We've now had the call for final pre-order numbers from the publisher, so this is the last chance to confirm if you want a copy. Markosia won't have a table at Thought Bubble this year, so the number of extra copies we'll be taking to the show will be limited to what we can carry home with us without a car - meaning there won't be many.

The book was recently reviewed by Lee Grice for the Small Press Big Mouth podcast. You can listen to the whole episode here but, as a taster, here are a few of my favourite quotations:

"Cy's really set himself up as one of the best writers in Britain...

"It's kind of like Chinatown in Hell, is what it is. It's like Chinatown filtered through Clive Barker.

"I swear to God it gave me weird sensations behind my eyes when I was reading it. It gave me weird dreams. A couple of nights afterwards I dreamt my house was kind of like growing tumours, all very bizarre.

"Graeme Howard's artwork is fantastic... it reminds me of the guy who did the artwork for Shade the Changing Man [Chris Bachalo] back in the day.

"The colouring is brilliantly done by Peter Mason... this is his first professional colouring job which is amazing. He absolutely nails the atmosphere." 

"It's brilliant. Again, it's going to be one of the best of the year."

Here's one from Ian Cullen of the SciFi Pulse website:

Comic Review: Cancertown 2: Blasphemous Tumours

Due for release next month is the long anticipated sequel to Cy Dethan’s Cancertown. We reviewed the first book in this series back in 2009 when it was released. Cy sent me a copy of the sequel, which is appropriately called ‘Blasmphemous Tumours.’ Which is appropriate given how this story brings a close to Vince Morley’s traversing between two worlds. You can read the synopsis and my review below:

Synopsis: Six months after the events of Cancertown: An Inconvenient Tooth, Vince Morley is a dangerously sick man. Bugfuck is in a psychiatric hospital, sticky fingers picking through the darkest corners of the mind that brought Cancertown into existence. The crossing points between Morley’s two realities are wearing thin and all the rules are changing.

Review: First off, aside from some great writing from Cy Dethan (and I especially love his creative use of colourful metaphors) I have to give credit to Nic Wilkinson, who did a great job of the lettering, and of course artist Graeme Howard. They all did a great job and I particularly liked Howard’s art in this book, in that it made sense for the change in art especially given some of the narrative changes that have taken place in Cancertown since our first visit.

Nic Wilkinson does a brilliant job of giving each character, including the wonderful new characters that Cy has developed, their own voices. I loved how she made alterations to the text for the different characters.

But to the point: if you enjoyed the twisted, messed-up, drug-induced feel of the original Cancertown, which at the time was compared to Lovecraftian horror fused with the Wizard Of Oz, you’ll no doubt enjoy the second installment, which sees the stakes raised for Morley who is trying to figure out why the hell Cancertown is falling apart. The answers to that question alone will surprise you.

All the characters from the first book are back, but some don’t hang around for long. I especially enjoyed the witty banter that Morley has with some of these characters, which are so twisted and messed-up they can only really come from the mind of a deranged individual with too much time on his hands. And trust me when I say this - that was a compliment. :)

Each chapter in this book ends on a brilliantly twisted and, if you scare easily, scary cliffhanger, which makes you want to just keep reading. In fact, they hypnotize you into reading each individual page until your eyes bleed and foam spews from your mouth.

If you haven’t read the original Cancertown, you should start there because reading ‘Blasphemous Tumours’ on its own would be a bit of a struggle without reading the first book, but still makes for a good story.

To sum up, you have to buy this book when it comes out in November. If you don’t, the residents of Cancertown will likely torment you until you do. But if you are of a delicate disposition you’d most likely be better suited sticking to comics about caped superheroes, which this is not. Much like the original Cancertown, Cancertown 2 is one of those stand-out books I’d use to show people that there is a lot more to comics than the stereotypical stuff that you can read in Batman or Superman. I have to wonder if we’ll see a sequel to this, especially given that the ending was a bit ambiguous at best, but that works for this book.

Written By: Ian Cullen

Speaking recently about the book, former Marvel UK editor John Freeman had this to say:

"Dethan ably picks up the threads of the original graphic novel, weaving a heady unsettling mix of nightmares. This time out, the story is brought to life by the talented Graeme Howard, who ably takes Stephen Downey's original look to the world of Cancertown and makes it his own, with some amazing sequences of the bizarre and grotesque, juxtaposed with the 'normality' of Morley's 'normal' life."

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