HAVE I really not updated this blog since the middle of November 2013? Yes, that's exactly what has happened. How embarrassing.
It isn't that I haven't had a lot going on, because I have - bloody loads, actually. I am, however, trying to avoid talking about projects until something actually, properly concrete exists. Like finished pages, printed issues, viewable webcomics... that kind of thing. Because I've noticed that I come on here and jabber on about what I'm up to and then, more often than not, bugger all ever comes of it.
There are also things I won't talk about because I don't want to jinx them - after this morning, one thing in particular...
A few projects I will mention though, purely because they seem a bit more concrete than most of the half-arsed, airy-fairy nonsense I blather on about.
Firstly, I've finished writing the first episode of Tim Skinner: Retconned for Ruairi Coleman to draw. The idea - at least as it stands - is that we will finish all four episodes before the first one goes live and that the episodes will appear weekly for a month later in the year (September is favourite right now). I'm very happy with the first episode and had forgotten just how much fun it is to write Skinner.
I've also penned a one-shot for artist Henry Simon to illustrate. It's a pulpy sci-fi story featuring motorcycle gangs that runs to 28 pages. There's also a seven-page short story for artist Jim Lavery. I'm really proud of this one, actually, and I'll be going all out to get it into a decent anthology.
Thing is, though, I've mentioned those three projects and none of them actually properly exists yet. Any one of them could go tits up tomorrow, making me look foolish... again.
So, let me turn my attention to Defiant! The Legend of Brithnoth, which is becoming more and more real with every passing week. Artist Dan Bell only has a few pages and the odd panel revision to go before pencils and inks on the book are finished. I suspect Dan will treat himself to a stiff drink when it's all done. Then it's just the colouring and lettering, the cover and backmatter to sort out. Easy.
There's other stuff - stuff I'm pitching, stuff I'm struggling to find reliable artists for... the usual. I'll talk about it when and if... or probably not at all.
Monday, March 17, 2014
Monday, November 18, 2013
I finished writing Defiant! The Legend of Brithnoth a couple of months ago and artist Dan Bell is just under two-thirds of the way through drawing it. It feels like we've been working on it forever and there's still a long way to go (colouring and lettering for a start), but I'm confident it will still see the light of day towards the end of next year – Time Bomb Comics' schedule permitting of course...
Dan's been a pleasure to work with and his stuff has just got better and better the further into the book he has gone (see a recent page above). He's always happy to take a second look at certain pages and panels when I've asked him to and, likewise, I've valued his opinions when it comes to what works and what doesn't in the script. We're a good team, I think, and hope we do more stuff together in the future.
And while I'm talking about Dan, he has a couple of stories in the recently-released British Showcase Anthology graphic novel (published by Markosia). More details here: www.markosia.com/titles/british-showcase-anthology
He will also be at Thought Bubble, in Leeds, this weekend, where you can buy copies of his excellent comics The Goose and Psircus.
* Next up for me, two new projects (which aren't actually new at all). The first is a one-shot called Razorsnakes for R-Comics, with artist Henry Simon. It was originally going to be a longer 'graphic novella' type thing but I've been keen to have a crack at a couple of shorter, sharper stories in the mould of Hero Killers and Blood Psi. It's only 26 pages of actual story so I'm going to be editing down and refining my original idea and hoping it still works. I first had the idea for Razorsnakes five or six years ago and always planned to do something with it. Anyway, its time has finally come...
The second is the Tim Skinner: Retconned webcomic. I've been holding off starting on this because I really wanted to clear my schedule to get it right. I've also spent the last few months just thinking - soaking up all the comics silliness I can find and generally getting myself into maximum snark mode. Maximum snark mode has now been achieved...
* Once those are out of the way, I shall start writing Nix. I produced 11 pages of script earlier in the year for a pitch sample, but now must get cracking on the whole 80+ page story. I've found a publisher and have been working with an editor to get the story absolutely right. The only recent drawback is that the original artist has decided to leave the project (to pursue a lifelong dream to ink Superboy. Or something).
As a result, I'm looking for a new artist (when aren't I?) so if anyone fancies having a crack at a sci-fi black comedy in which a deranged time traveller has a threesome with JFK and Marilyn, before doing something unspeakable to Idi Amin, feel free to drop me a line at: email@example.com
* I was really hoping to make it up to Thought Bubble for the first time this weekend but life, it seems, has made other plans yet again. I've only actually managed one comics con this year (the London Super Comic Con) which is almost certainly my worst showing ever. It's something that needs to change, especially as there's a good chance I'll finally have some new stuff published next year.
If you are lucky enough to be going to TB, be sure to check out Time Bomb Comics (their new Squadron of the Screaming Damned book looks fantastic) and Borderline Press (Dennis Wojda's excellent 566 Frames and the Zombre anthology are both worth a look).
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Here's the first teaser image for the Tim Skinner: Retconned webcomic by artist Ruairi Coleman and myself (click to enlarge). It will be released online in three-four parts sometime in the first half of next year.
Ruairi's a terrific artist - you may have seen his work on Uproar Comics' award-winning Zombies Hi series - and you can check out his blog here: http://swinginglead.blogspot.co.uk
Monday, September 2, 2013
SUMMER'S over, the kids are back at school and that means I can put my feet up and watch one of the stack of DVDs that have been sat gathering dust under the TV. Oh, except that I can't do that because I have a shit-ton of writing work to catch up on. A shit-ton of writing work I should have been doing over the summer but couldn't because of the kids, or rather the noise they make. All the time. Even when they are supposedly in bed.
In some ways, the lack of actual writing has been a good thing because I've been able to properly recharge my mental batteries. Which is just as well because I really have to hit the ground running today, right now, this minute.
Work I need to attack includes...
* One last pass through the final third of Defiant! The Legend of Brithnoth. (I say 'one last pass' when there will be several dozen more passes until I am 100 per cent happy with it).
* A lengthy scene-by-scene breakdown for the editor working with me on Nix. Then, eventually, a script.
* A 10-page sample script for Hushers, the project I'm working on with artist pal Manuela.
* Detailed – but punchy – plot synopses for four more projects I'm going to be pitching around towards the end of the year. An international smorgasbord of brilliant artists has been busy producing sample art pages for these.
* Writing issue #2 of The Good Ship Otzi, the 'Douglas Adams on meth' space opera I'm doing for R-Comics. The artist hasn't started drawing issue #1 yet so I have wriggle room here.
* Web comics, including new Tim Skinner (teaser image on the way very soon), and a bizarro horror thing I'm doing with artist Nick Wright.
That little lot should take me up to Christmas (and probably beyond). I'd better get on with it all then...
Monday, August 26, 2013
HERE are a couple of pics from a project set in Victorian London I've been working on with artist Manuela Lebrino. It's called Hushers and is something very different from what I've done before. I'll post more of Manuela's lovely art on here soon.
* IN other news, Defiant! The Legend of Brithnoth is pretty much finished writing-wise. I have been going over and over the last third of the script, though, ensuring it all works. One plot point took me months to get right but I think I nailed it in the end. Dan Bell is 30+ pages into the art now. Look for the book at some point next year from Time Bomb Comics.
* I THINK we may have found a publisher for Nix. Still early days but I've just started work with an editor on it and will confirm things as soon as I am able.
Thursday, May 30, 2013
WORK continues on Defiant! The Legend of Brithnoth and I can finally see an end to the 80-page script now. I'm probably about two-thirds of the way through and pretty happy with how it is progressing.
I really underestimated just how tricky it would be to write an adaptation of something - especially an historical event in which few solid facts are really known but one that requires a certain amount of authenticity and accuracy to make work. I soon realised the original Battle of Maldon poem fragment (all 325 lines of it) gave me the spine of a plot and characters but not much else. I had to make up the rest.
At first I found it horribly daunting and there were a couple of times I just hit a big energy-sapping wall. But eventually I just said, 'Sod it' and decided to tell an entertaining story that incorporated the themes and events of the original poem but that took great big liberties elsewhere. I think it works, although I'm not sure about the car chase on page 42 or the alien invasion at the end (joke!).
* I'M also submitting more projects to various publishers. The latest of these is Nix (see above), a rude and rambunctious time-travel yarn illustrated by Taylan Kurtulus and lettered by Nikki Foxrobot. It's probably the most eccentric thing I've ever written and Taylan's off-kilter, European-styled art make it an even stranger proposition. I really hope it finds a home.
* BEYOND those two projects I probably have another six or seven on the go at various stages of development. These include one I've been trying to get off the ground for years - thankfully I found a cracking artist a couple of weeks ago and we're flying!
I also have a couple of new story ideas that require artists, so if there's anyone reading this who might be interested, feel free to give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org