Wednesday, 2 April 2014

The Devil's Plaything...

A couple of posts back, I wrote a short update about a project I was involved in that had served as a perfect and much-needed reminder of why I keep working in comics. I couldn't say a whole lot about it at the time, but the intensity of enthusiasm I was experiencing precluded any possibility of keeping my fucking mouth shut. Frankly, the torture was exquisite agony to me.

A few weeks on, the project's masterminds have released some details and given me the green light to do the same. First off, here's the official announcement from Brett Uren:


No tricks here, friends, just great news. Here are some of the new team members for Torsobear 'Yarns from Toyburg':

On writing duties we have the amazing Cy Dethan (Cancertown, Indifference Engine), Brockton McKinney (Ehmm Theory, Deathcurse), Janos Honkonen (Kaiken yllä etana, and materials for Iron Sky) and co-editor Glenn Møane (Fubar, Indie Comics Horror) & Grainne McEntee (Apes 'n' Capes).

Artists attached so far for stories and/or pin ups are - Peter Mason (Cancertown Blasphemous Tumours with Cy), Saoirse Louise Towler (beautiful illustrations https://www.flickr.com/photos/32581604@N06), Jon Scrivens (Little Terrors), Randy Haldeman (The Jacket), Matt Rooke (Apes 'n' Capes) & the almighty Hal Laren (Reaper Comics).

More to be announced as we complete our assessment of the last few pitches, but we have a BOOK people! Thanks to all who pitched, we'll be back to you shortly.

We still have room for artists, so please get in touch with samples - bretturen@hotmail.co.uk

Emerging from the pages of the Outré anthology magazine, Torsobear began as a noir crime story set in the city of Toyburg. It's a hypnotic blend of child-like innocence and tragic reality, its inhabitants the playthings of unpredictable, capricious and often incomprehensibly cruel forces. Wide button-eyes gaze unblinking into the broken clockworks at the heart of Toyburg life and only the strongest emerge with their souls and stuffing intact.

I'm going to stop there while that's still an option. I'm in extreme danger of coming up with another Torsobear story even writing this post.

When Brett first hit me up with this, he accompanied his email with, flat-out, the most stunningly put together plot bible I've ever read. Everything about this world made glorious sense and every detail glowed with atmosphere and potential for exploration. By the end of the first few paragraphs I knew I was going to write a story for this anthology, and by the end of the first page that story had already been written in my mind. Literally hours after the first read-through, I had a functional set of characters and a page-by-page breakdown of the plot. That's when I hit up Pete Mason about the art and, true to form, the boy came through.

Pete, for context, combines the precision of a neurosurgeon with the overpowering enthusiasm of a six-foot Newfoundland puppy. He's got Swiss-army-knife versatility and a gift for navigating expressive body language in his work. Signing him up for this meant tearing him away from another project we're working on for a little while, but the first experimental character sketches he turned out proved more than worth it.

More updates to come as things roll forward. Meanwhile, if you're an artist interested in hearing more about the Tales From Toyburg anthology, contact Brett for details.

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