Monday, November 18, 2013

Cut 'n' thrust

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:

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:

* 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

Tim Skinner: Retconned

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:

Monday, September 2, 2013

Douglas Adams on meth

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

Defiant!, Nix and other stuff

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

Friday, April 26, 2013

Pitch panel

A panel from a pitch I've been working on with Spanish artist, Jsm.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Skinner refuses to die

THE good folk over at the Irish Comic News website ( are currently serialising the Tim Skinner: Total Scumbag one-shot I wrote back in 2008. The first part is already up, with a second part going live later this week.

I re-read Skinner for the first time in a year or so the other day and was surprised at just how many of the gags still hold up. Zombies rule the publishing world more now they did five years ago, character deaths have become ever more fleeting and meaningless. The more things change in comics, it seems, the more they stay the same.

On the surface, Skinner is all about rude jokes, bodily functions, slapstick violence and childish digs at people far more talented and successful than me. But, believe it or not, the book did have a more serious purpose too. Skinner himself was meant to be the embodiment of the comic industries' worst excesses, particularly the way in which it uses and abuses beloved characters. In 30-odd pages, TS:TS only does what comics companies do to their characters all the time. They're killed, brought back, killed again, made to wear absurd costumes, given insanely convoluted backstories, burdened with ridiculous anatomies, retconned, rebooted, reduced to one or two defining characteristics... I could go on.

I had a couple of people tell me they thought the book was "misogynistic" but that was kind of the point. Is the yobbish Skinner lusting after Spectaculass's large breasts really that different to the way in which Power Girl has been treated over the years? Her only distinguishing characteristics are that she has big boobs and displays them through a little 'tit window' in her costume. Not exactly empowering, is it?

Besides, you aren't actually meant to like Skinner. The title of the story isn't Tim Skinner: Good Samaritan. He's a scumbag and while it's perfectly OK to laugh at the shit he gets up to, he's surely impossible to empathise with. He killed the Superior Seven's pet cat, Kenny the Kickass Kitten, for Pete's sake!

I should, of course, mention that the Skinner one-shot was drawn by Declan Shalvey, the guy who now makes a living on the likes of Venom, Northlanders, Conan and The Massive. I'm not sure if it was the last project Dec drew before he landed the 28 Days Later gig with Boom! but it was certainly one of the last. He did a fantastic job and even coloured the book himself. I love this particular page set in 'Murda-City One' and was always a bit disappointed that no one spotted it was a homage to William Hogarth's famous Gin Lane engraving (which I've reproduced below it so you can compare the two)...

Anyway, all this reminiscing brings me to the real purpose of this post. Skinner's coming back (you knew he wasn't really dead, right?). He'll make his return in Tim Skinner: Retconned either later this year or early next, probably as one of those new fangled webcomics. I have a sack load of new ideas, a heart black with sarcasm and scorn, and an artist ready to make it all happen. Watch this space...

Monday, February 18, 2013


An early cover idea for a project - called Nix - I've been working on with the fantastically talented Taylan Kurtulus. Taylan has one of the most unusual art styles I've come across and I love it! This is one of the projects I'll be pitching around to publishers later in the year.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


I'VE been extremely busy since the turn of the year and don't plan to take my foot off the accelerator any time soon. As any regular readers will know, I've been trying – and mostly failing – to get a number of projects off the ground for the last couple of years. All that hard work, anguish and frustration finally seems to have proved worth it though. I have a lot of stuff on the go at the moment and, for the first time in a long time, a roster of artists I trust to help me pull it all off. 

First up is Defiant! The Legend of Brithnoth, a graphic novel based on the famous(ish) Anglo-Saxon poem The Battle of Maldon. Dan Bell is the artist and it's coming out next year through Steve Tanner's excellent UK indie, Time Bomb Comics. It's been easily the most difficult thing I've ever written and it took me a long time to work out exactly how to adapt the original poem. I've tried to stick to the facts as they are known but have fictionalised and taken liberties a fair bit too. We're going to start publicising Defiant! at the London Super Comic Con next weekend.

Next up is a sci-fi project, called The Good Ship Otzi, which has found a publisher in the Netherlands. R-Comics is a small publisher with big ideas – just the sort of people I like in other words. I'm not sure as yet whether the book will be a mini-series or an ongoing but I'm about halfway through writing the first issue and reckon it would work pretty well as either. You'll hear far more about this in the weeks and months to come. The artist, Mike Harrington, is going to be creating a dedicated website for the project and I'll have more on that soon too.

Beyond these two projects I have five or six more that are at various stages of development. Most of them are with artists and I'm hoping to have stuff to pitch before the end of the year. Like I said busy, busy, busy...