Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Severe Plumbing Event

The last couple of weeks have not been about writing comics but what can only be described as a 'Severe Plumbing Event' here at Winter Acres. Instead of bashing out pages and wrestling sentences for the graphic novels I'm writing, I've been dealing with rotting joists, 'damp specialists' and excess payments to the insurance company. It's quite a drag, to be honest, and the next person who suggests we be relocated to 'alternative accommodation' while they sort it all out is going to be told, politely but firmly, to fuck right off.

The upshot of all this leak-related madness is that I won't be able to attend The Birmingham Comics Festival one-dayer at Edgbaston Cricket Ground on Saturday. This makes me rather sad because I had great fun there last year and was looking forward to catching up with friends, who I only really see a couple of times a year. You should definitely go, though; they have a great bunch of guests, including David Hine, Leigh Gallagher, and Ryan Brown, a ton of impressive exhibitors (Nostalgia & Comics, Markosia, and Futurequake amongst them), and the cricket ground is a surprisingly decent venue that's only a short taxi ride from the city centre. You could even swing by the Markosia table and pick up a copy of my graphic novel, Hushers, if you're so inclined. You'd be doing an old man in the middle of a plumbing crisis a big favour, believe me.

Knackered: My kitchen floor, right now

In other news, the planned return of Tim Skinner has hit the buffers once again as I find myself without an artist. The whole 30+ page book/web comic/whatever has been completely written and is ready to go. It's as funny, rude and pathologically unpleasant as you'd hope it to be, too. So, if you're a comic-book artist - or know of such a beast - give me a shout. I'm still very keen to get Tim Skinner: Retconned out there, preferably before I'm old enough to draw my pension.

Rather more encouragingly, Markosia last week released a cover image (albeit unfinished) for my next project with Hushers artist, Manuela Bassu Lebrino. We're teaming up to do a version of Robin Hood - simply called Hood - and my intention is to try and offer a very different take on the character, inspired by real-life villains such as the Krays, Jacques Mesrine and John Dillinger. It's really about the attractiveness of criminality and how criminals - despite committing terrible acts - can become folk heroes and legends. It will still contain plenty of swashbuckling and derring-do, though, so don't worry...

Anyway, better go, there's someone at the door who wants to get at my joists...

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

It's 2016? Already?

I'VE become one of those people who only updates their blog twice a year - oh, the shame. I'm going to try and do better in 2016, I promise. It isn't as if I've been idle though. I've had two graphic novels published in the last 12 months - Defiant: The Legend Of Brithnoth and Hushers: A Very Victorian Apocalypse - and both were well received. This stuff is also happening...


* I shall be attending the London Super Comic Con over the weekend of February 21-22. I will be signing copies of Hushers at the Markosia table on both days (3pm Saturday, 3.30pm Sunday), along with artist Manuela Bassu Lebrino, who is coming over from Milan.

* I am currently writing a new book for Markosia and hopefully signing the contract for a second at LSCC. The former features art from Jim Lavery, the latter is another team-up with Manuela. Both books will offer a very different take on well-known characters. 

* On the subject of Hushers, there have been a couple of positive recent(ish) reviews of the book. Writing over at Bleeding Cool, Olly MacNamee compared it to James Bond and said it was "fast-paced, action-packed [and] thrill a minute", while Jason Wilkins of Broken Frontier said: "Hushers is a fun, rousing diversion full of inventive world-building and lush illustrations". A hard copy of the book is available here (£13.99) or digitally here ($3.99/under £3).

* According to Time Bomb Comics publisher Steve Tanner, the first print run of Defiant has sold out. He's looking to do a second run a bit later in the year. In the meantime, you can buy a digital copy of the book from here for a very reasonable $7.99 (about £5.50). Steve - and the book - were also featured in the recently relaunched Comic Heroes magazine in an article about indie publishing. We've also started talking about a sequel...





* When time allows, I'm still writing a film blog - As Human As The Rest Of Us - which you can find here.

I think that's everything for now. Thank you for continuing to read my blog, despite its erratic schedule. Your support is very much appreciated.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hushers on ICE

ARTIST Manuela Bassu Lebrino and I will be at the Markosia table, signing copies of Hushers: A Very Victorian Apocalypse, at the International Comic Expo (ICE) in Birmingham. The event is happening on Saturday, September 5 and you can find out more details from their website, right here

Manuela is flying over from Milan to do the signing so please come and say 'hi'. I'll be sticking around on the Sunday, too, for the Comics Uncovered event at which I will be trying and almost certainly failing to pitch Image Comics' head honcho Eric Stephenson an idea for a limited series. Wish me luck!

If you can't wait until then to get your hands on Hushers, you can either buy a 'hard copy' direct from the Markosia website or go to Drivethru Comics to buy a digital copy for the offer price of $3.99 (just over £2.50).

Here's another page of Manuela's art from the book...




Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Hushers - we got it covered!

Here is the cover to the Hushers: A Very Victorian Apocalypse graphic novel which is published by Markosia on Monday August 3. I wrote the book, Manuela Bassu Lebrino drew and painted it, and Ian Sharman lettered and designed it. 

It retails for £13.99/$17.99 and for that you get 124 pages; that's 100 pages of story, a section dedicated to Manuela's unused art and sketches for the project, plus a bonus tale - The Comeback Kid - courtesy of me, artist Jim Lavery, colourist Aljosa Tomic and letterer Nikki Foxrobot. Bargain or what? You'll find more details at www.markosia.com


Hushers is influenced by a heap of things, but most notably the stories of HG Wells (my story is, at heart, a "scientific romance"), disaster-from-space movies (Lars von Trier's Melancholia and Don McKellar's Last Night, especially), and The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec. Most of all, though, Hushers sprang from a desire to write about an "invisible" woman who gains in strength, confidence and power the more the story proceeds. I also wanted to be rude about the British establishment so there's a fair bit of that in there too. Despite its subject matter, Hushers isn't nearly as grim as Defiant: The Legend of Brithnoth - in fact, in many ways, it's a throughly eccentric madcap romp. 

Here's a slightly extended version of the blurb you'll find on the book's back cover...

England, early 1848: Despite the revolutions sweeping Europe and unrest at home, the British Empire is seemingly stronger than ever as Queen Victoria prepares to celebrate 10 years since her coronation as monarch. 

It all seems a million miles away to Sarah Buckman, who just wants to pack up her recently-deceased sister’s house and return to her rich, factory-owning husband. But, alone in the late Grace’s country retreat, Sarah is attacked by a mysterious and mute intruder. Her sister knew a big secret… the biggest secret of them all, and now Sarah knows it too. The British government and their terrifying agents – the sadistic Mr Goodluck and his Hushers – want her dead before she can tell anybody.

A huge, civilisation-ending meteor – Astraea – will strike Earth in only a few weeks and the government is determined no one finds out until it’s too late. Desperate and alone, Sarah teams up with enigmatic Frenchman Jacques and a band of anarchists and criminals called the Lambeth Rats. Their plan is to reveal the truth but what they uncover is a massive conspiracy that goes all the way to the very top of the British establishment.

Hushers is a fast-moving, sci-fi adventure story from Eagle Award-winning writer Andy Winter and artist Manuela Lebrino Bassu.

And, finally, here's a page of Manuela's unused art that we couldn't fit into the book's backmatter...




Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A damn fine book

THERE was a lovely review of Defiant: The Legend of Brithnoth over at the Forbidden Planet blog last week. Highlights from Richard Bruton's piece included: "It's a damn fine book, the pacing the thing that really stuck with me" and "This is a thrilling tale, well told, writer and artists really getting over the legendary nature of the history here". 

You can read the whole review here.

And you can buy Defiant for a little over a tenner from the FPI store here.

While I'm encouraging you to buy the book, we also have digital copies available through DriveThru Comics - it's a snip at $7.99 (a fraction over £5). Get it here.

* HUSHERS - my collaboration with Italian artist Manuela Lebrino Bassu - is being released by Markosia on August 1. The book - a tale of Victorian apocalypse - will retail for £12.99p/$17.99 and I shall be doing a proper blog post about the whole thing next week. In the meantime, here's some of Manuela's art. This isn't featured in the story itself but will appear in the book's back matter, along with a ton of other stuff...

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Defiant hits Previews

Defiant: The Legend of Brithnoth appears in Diamond's Previews catalogue this month (page 5 of the UK section). Fifteen quid for 92 full-colour pages filled with death, destruction, madness and betrayal seems pretty reasonable to me. Please order it from your local comic store and support independent creators!


Next stop for the Time Bomb Comics Viking Brigade (that's me, artist Dan Bell and publisher Steve Tanner) will be the Cardiff Independent Comic Expo on June 27. Tickets are only a fiver with under-12s going free with a ticket-holding adult.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Bleeding Cool say nice things about Defiant

Defiant: The Legend of Brithnoth received a perceptive and complimentary review over at Bleeding Cool this week. 

Writer Olly Macnamee said of the book: "[Winter and Bell] create a well realized and believable, living breathing facsimile of Essex, Maldon and Anglo-Saxon England; its society, its people, its clothing and customs. I felt drawn into each page, the artwork is clear, with an eye to the details of life in 10thcentury Essex."

You can read the whole review here.

The Defiant bandwagon next appears at the Birmingham Comics Festival, on Saturday April 18th, at Edgbaston Cricket Ground. Hope to see you there!