Monday, May 28, 2007

Brothers, Zombies and Small Press (spit!)

The second sweep through the Brothers script is now complete and I'm about 70 per cent happy with it. There are still bits of the plot and characterisation that need tightening up but it's definitely moving in the right direction. I'm now going to put it aside for a week or so to crack on with writing up the Alan Moore piece for Tripwire. I've missed a couple of deadlines for its delivery already.

To be honest, it'll probably be the last piece of comics journalism I do for the forseeable future; not because I don't enjoy it, but rather because there aren't enough hours in the day to devote to anything else beyond my full-time job, young family and comics writing. I want to get a minimum of three more one-shot scripts finished this year (plus a few shorts) and really don't need any more distractions.

* There's a glowing review of Blood Psi over at

Reviewer Joshua Pantalleresco gives the book 5 out of 5. The only problem is that for some utterly inexplicable reason the site is using the book's original cover to illustrate the review rather than Declan Shalvey 's new one. The review went up last Wednesday and, despite several requests to change it, the old cover remains defiantly in place five days on. Still, it's a hugely positive review so I'm not going to get too upset about it.

* There's an interesting debate going on over at the Quality Communications Yahoo Group forum about what constitutes a comic being "small press" or "Indy". The only thing I have to add to the argument is that "small press" is a term I've come to despise. It makes the UK self-publishing scene sound so bloody twee and inoffensive ("Where's the small press table, vicar?" "Between the tombola and Mrs Frobisher's cake stall."), rather than the thrilling underground DIY culture that I know it to be.

* In all the recent excitement I quite forgot to give Accent UK's Zombies book a mention, so I'll rectify that now (especially as it contains a story by Natalie Sandells and I called Pop Zombies about an undead boy band).

The first thing to say about the book is that it looks lovely - beautifully printed on thick glossy paper and all wrapped-up in a striking cover by former Swamp Thing artist Steve Bissette. It's massive too - with 41 stories filling out a bumper 166 pages. All for a modest six quid.

Of course, all of that would mean nothing if the material inside wasn't of the highest standard and Zombies doesn't disappoint in that regard. As you'd expect the best stuff comes from the pros and established indy creators like Laura Howell (her story has a hilarious twist), Kieron Gillen and Andy Bloor, Jason Cobley, Dave Baillie and Falling Sky's Ben Dixon.

Not all of it works - and there are a couple of real clunkers - but that doesn't stop Zombies being one of the most impressive anthology titles I've come across in years. The Accent UK boys are hoping to get it in comic shops through Diamond, so if you see a copy buy it and devour it!

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