Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Freak Comic Book Day

For the avoidance of all conceivable doubt - fuck Christmas, Free Comic Book Day is the most magical time of the year. This year, Markosia has put together a showcase edition for the event and one of my upcoming books, The Case Files of Harlan Falk, is among the titles featured in it.

I've talked about this book in greater detail before so I won't recap the whole pitch here, but for the moment let's just call it Columbo meets Scooby Doo in Pan's Labyrinth so you have a rough idea what you're looking at. Look out for it in the Markosia preview book, alongside the likes of Project Luna: 1947 (Martin Hayes / Jim Boswell), Heart of War (James Pearson / Roland Bird) and Hero 9-5: Quietus (Ian Sharman / David Gray).

While we're on the subject of Harlan Falk, the art team of Scott James and Alex Johns have put together a Kickstarter project to help them complete the colouring of the second half of the book. Scott and Alex have concocted a number of exclusive extras for pre-ordering it this way, and it may be the best means of getting hold of a copy if you're in the US. Check out their project page for more information.

Monday, 15 April 2013

You Cannot Kill Merlini!

For me, the escapologist has always been the most primal archetype in all of magic and the allied arts.

In a field that derives the bulk of its drama through deception of the spectator, the escape artist instead stands with us, championing the defiant nature of human effort in the face of overwhelming and uncaring forces. In a world of sly winks and brightly painted boxes, the escapologist represents something altogether darker and more heroic. He spits directly in the eye of authority, of inevitability, of death itself.

Harry Houdini, of course, set this stage for us. The original self-liberator defined and embodied the character of the escapologist, and in doing so captured the imagination of the world so completely that his shadow is still seen throughout popular culture all over the world. In my opinion, few modern performers do such committed and comprehensive justice to the legacy of Houdini as David Merlini, whose pulp-influenced comic book alter-ego I was recently honoured to write.

On the 18th of April, Merlini will be attempting an escape drawn directly from the pages of Master Merlini #1. In character as the renowned crimefighter of the comic, Master Merlini will save both New York City and himself from destruction at the hands of his nemesis, Caligari. After being shackled to a modified WWII-era sea-mine and dropped into the East River via helicopter, Merlini will escape the chains and, as he rises to the surface, defuse the bomb.

This is a genuine first for me - a scene from a comic I've scripted playing out in real life. A character I've written for, and the man who both inspired and portrays him, now face a legitimately life-threatening situation in a scenario that I helped to set in motion.

It's out of my hands. Merlini is in the jaws of Caligari now and only his unparalleled skill and unfailing defiance can save him.

Where: Manhattan Heliport Pier 6, East River
When:  APRIL 18, 2013 at 10PM
  • Full length comic strip adventure starring Master Merlini
  • Full length accompanying soundtrack
  • Exclusive escape artist trick videos
  • Animated sequences offering alternate storytelling (selected pages)
  • Background feature on escape artist Merlini
Available now for iPad, iPhone and Android

Friday, 5 April 2013


April, 4 2013:

ROK Comics announces the release of Master Merlini, its latest interactive audio comic featuring an all-new incarnation of the real-life, world famous escape artist David Merlini.

Escape artist, crime fighter, adventurer, Master Merlini is all of these things and more, as he battles the villainous Caligari while a mysterious woman helps him discover an incredible truth about his world and his existence!

Written by Cy Dethan, author of the acclaimed Cancertown series and Starship Troopers, with art from Giancarlo Caracuzzo (artist on Marvel'’s Formic Wars and Gorilla Man), the debut Master Merlini audio comic plunges the hero into a strange world beyond our own, linked to a real world event in New York on April 18th 2013!

With full audio 'play' to accompany the comic and escape artist tricks revealed in exclusive videos as well as animations and extra background information on some of the characters, Master Merlini will leave you wondering... where does fiction end and reality begin?

Based on a concept by ROK Comics founder Jonathan Kendrick and David Merlini himself, who also voices his comic alter ego, Master Merlini merges the real world with a fiction that is all too real for its hero!


• Master Merlini Online at www.mastermerlini.com

• Full length comic strip adventure starring Master Merlini
• Full length accompanying soundtrack
• Exclusive escape artist trick videos
• Animated sequences offering alternate storytelling (selected pages)
• Background feature on escape artist Merlini

Script: Cy Dethan based on a concept by Jonathan Kendrick & David Merlini - Art by Giancarlo Caracuzzo - Colour by Kirsty Swan - Letters and Digital Mastering by Jim Campbell

Voice Artists: David Merlini, Shawn Curran, Kirstin Reitter and George Sanders

Available now for iPad, iPhone and Android
Visit Books That ROK at: www.booksthatrok.com

For iPhone and iPad

•The Beatles Story

•Team MOBILE #1
Also available for Android

•Team MOBILE #2
Also available for Android

•Houdini Adevntures #1
Also available for Android


•Rick Fury
Also available for Android

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Introducing Takakage Sanada...

One-page preview of The Company of Killers, a centuries-spanning "samurai noir" thriller I'm working on with Cancertown 2 colourist Peter Mason, and demonstrating just how great Pete's own artwork is. Letters, as always, are by the irrepressible Nic Wilkinson.
The script on this seven-part monstrosity is complete, so expect semi-regular updates on the book as and when there's news to tell.

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