Sunday, July 29, 2007

California scheming

At some point in the next couple of days, my good friend Tripwire editor Joel Meadows will be wending his weary way back to Blighty after attending the San Diego Comic Con. He goes every year and always seems to have a total blast. Of course I'm horribly jealous and would love to go myself, even if it's just once to see if it lives up to the hype.

The thing is though if I'm going to spend 1500 quid on a hotel, flight and other fripperies I might as well go the whole hog and get an exhibitor's table there too. I realise I wouldn't have a prayer of making my money back but it might be worth it for the increased exposure such a huge event could bring me and my work (SDCC attracts tens of thousands of punters rather than the 2,000-3,000 I'm used to at Bristol).

Recently I was talking to Daley Osiyemi (one of the creators behind the excellent Brodie's Law comic series). Daley exhibited at San Diego in 2005 and it was there that he and David Bircham were approached about making a Brodie's Law movie. Two years later, Reny Harlin's firmly ensconced in the director's chair and the likes of Jason Statham and Jonathan Rhys Meyers are being touted for the role of Jack Brodie.

I wouldn't be so naive as to suggest the same is likely to happen for Blood Psi or Septic Isle, but if San Diego is anything it's the biggest shop window a comic writer can ever hope to have in which to display his work. Things have taken off a bit in the last 12 months or so for me and Moonface Press so maybe it's time to stop pissing about and head over to the big boys' playground and see for myself how rough and tough it is there.

I was hoping to do a US convention next year anyway but had considered New York in April to be my most likely destination. Thing is, a lot of my new stuff (Septic Isle, Brothers, Tim Skinner) probably won't be ready until just after that so San Diego makes sense on that score too. To attend SDCC armed with copies of Hero Killers and Blood Psi would be cool, but to go armed with six or seven titles would, I suspect, be a hell of a lot more impressive.

As Warren Ellis wrote in his Bad Signal yesterday, "This is so clearly a record-breaking year for the San Diego con. And, interestingly, they seem to have stood the traffic increase without anything breaking." All in all, I don't think it's any longer a question of can I afford to go to San Diego, but can I afford not to?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Septic Isle

Here's an unlettered art page from the SEPTIC ISLE "graphic novella" Mick Trimble and I are working on for release next year. A flat packed to the gills with Nazi regalia - whatever can it mean?

* Around 400 people attended James Redington's funeral in Harlow, Essex yesterday (100 of them in Superman T-shirts) - I was there with artist Jamie Richards, another pal of James'. In fact there were so many people in attendance the church wasn't big enough to hold them all - instead, around half the congregation had to be accommodated in the church hall instead, watching the funeral on a large video screen. A great send-off for a genuinely great bloke.

Friday, July 20, 2007


I'm currently in the middle of a marathon stint at the day job - working eight out of nine days with each day involving a knackering nine hour shift. I generally get home around 10.30pm, eat, watch that evening's Daily Show on Sky+ and then crawl into bed cursing and aching. I then get around seven hours sleep before having to drag myself out of the pit to help bath Dylan and Connor who, at that time of the morning, only have two settings - loud and, er, louder.

The good thing is that it's late July and I'm yet to take a single day's paid holiday from work, meaning I have 28 to take between now and the end of the year. The family and I are disappearing to Wales for our first holiday together towards the end of August and then I'm off for two weeks in both September and October. There will be a big recharging of batteries but I'm also hoping to get a lot of work done. I still have three one-shots and a short story to get finished before the end of the year and I'm determined to stick to that schedule.

* Blood Psi hit comic stores in the States on Wednesday - a week before I expected it to. As ever I'd have liked to get more advance publicity for the book but we probably did better on that front than with Hero Killers. Still, it's the one area of the operation that could be a lot stronger and I'm going to be pushing like crazy to get coverage on CBR and Newsarama for Septic Isle, Brothers and Tim Skinner .

* A few of my favourite blogs right now...
Jane Espenson used to write for Buffy and is now an executive producer type bigwig on Battlestar Galactica. She offers up loads of excellent advice for TV writers but many of her tips can be easily adapted for any type of creative writing, including comics.
Yep, the guy who wrote the Human Nature/Family Of Blood Doctor Who two-parter and Marvel's excellent Wisdom mini-series. A lovely bloke by all accounts.
David Bishop is the writer of the new Thrill-Power Overload book about the history of 2000AD. He also has lots of interesting stuff to say about writing, TV, film and comics.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Unfinished File Of Doom

Progress has been painfully slow on the writing front this week. The plan had been to finish the script for my story in the Robots anthology, but I came within a few panels of the end and decided the pay-off I'd got in mind just wasn't strong enough. I had a go at taking the story in a slightly different direction but that didn't work either. I'm now going to sit on the script for a few days and see if I can work out a better way to wrap it up, otherwise it will join a host of other ideas and script fragments in the "Unfinished file of doom" that sits on my desktop. It will also mean I need to come up with another idea for the Robots project smartish...

On a slightly more positive note, I've started work on the Tim Skinner: Total Scumbag one-shot. I'm only a few pages in but I'm already enjoying myself. For anyone who doesn't know, the story's premise is that Tim Skinner is an astoundingly horrible individual who owns a magic comicbook collection. From time to time, Skinner is physically sucked into one of the comics and, once there, can interract with the characters he meets. However, for Skinner, "interacting" usually means mocking, exploiting and brutalising them for shits and giggles.

The story gives me a perfect opportunity to satirise the comicbook industry. It was Superman, Lex Luthor and Lois Lane in the first Skinner story (in 2005's SHRIEK! one-shot) but this time I'm going to be casting my net of cheap shots and puerile humour a little wider to embrace a host of much-loved comics, characters and creators. Oddly enough, a lot of the best gags I've got in mind actually have people I rather admire squarely in their line of fire...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Rest In Peace, James

I didn't know James Redington very well but certainly well enough to call him my friend. We first met a few years ago at one of the Bristol Expos and I was immediately struck by his incredible enthusiasm and "can do" attitude.

He was soon channelling his energies and talents into his own indy publishing concern - Portent Comics - enthusing everyone around him with his ideas and passion. He was amazingly prolific, banging out new titles left, right and centre, many of them written by him and in a wealth of genres. It was impossible not to be impressed, and my wallet was always a little lighter after a visit to the Portent table!

Between conventions we'd keep in touch via email, usually to see what new projects the other had got on and to compare notes about the comics-related events we'd recently attended. Bizarrely, I'd emailed James only a few hours before finding out about his death (I was angling for a plug for one of my books in his new SBC column). One of those strange coincidences, I guess.

The British indy comics scene is going to be considerably poorer without James in it. He was a really lovely fella and I never met anyone with a bad word to say about him. Likewise, I never heard him say a bad word about anyone else. He had everyone's respect, admiration and love.

James' passing at the age of 28 has been a terrible shock. I looked at my own two beautiful sons this morning and wondered how on earth I'd find the strength to carry on if anything happened to either of them. I can only imagine then the torment James' parents are going through right now. For what it's worth, I offer them my sincere condolences.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Blood Psi interview

There's an interview with artist Keith Burns and I over at to plug the forthcoming release of Blood Psi. We're the second item down on the site's home page ("One And Done - An Interview With Andy Winter And Keith Burns").

In the interview, I reveal which obscure foe I'd bring back if I ever got to write a Batman story, and Keith waxes lyrical about his new home in Hong Kong.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


Got Blood Psi back from the printer on Monday and very nice it looks too. It's 32 pages, no ads, all for $3.50/£2.20. Comic stores in Britain seem to have it already (at least my LCS in Southend does). US readers have to wait until Wednesday, July 25 though.

* Take a look at this month's Judge Dredd Megazine (#260, 24 July). It contains a short story illustrated by Declan Shalvey, who you might just remember drew the Eagle Award-winning Hero Killers.

* Got a few days off work so, amongst other things, I will be finishing off my short story for Accent UK's Robots anthology. Mikey B will be illustrating it - check out his rather excellent work here: