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...