Thursday, August 30, 2007

SFX review

NICE review of Blood Psi, courtesy of "Charlie Hodge", in this month's SFX (#161). I'm particularly pleased as the mag doesn't often feature UK indie books - in fact the last one I seem to remember them reviewing was the Brodie's Law trade. I reckon Blood Psi has now been better reviewed than Hero Killers which is saying something as HK got some very good press

* I'VE been getting a lot of enquiries recently about publishing other people's comics and graphic novels, including one from illustrator Phill Evans, who is one of my oldest and dearest friends.

Unfortunately, I've had to say no to all of them for the simple reason that I've barely got enough time to devote to writing, publishing and marketing my own stuff let alone making space in my schedule for the work of other people.

It's a real shame as there's a lot of good stuff out there and I feel a bit of a git for turning people down. Sadly, other than pointing creators in the direction of Barry Renshaw (Engine Comics) or Shane Chebsey (Scar Comics), there isn't much I can do about it...

* ABOUT five years ago I was contacted by a fella called Matt Yeo. Matt had recently set up a comics news and reviews website called on which he wrote a lovely review of the first Devilchild volume (he gave the book 10/10). Matt also planned to self-publish a regular anthology title, even getting to the stage of sending out a dummy edition.

Then it all went quiet. I checked the Bullet Proof website occasionally to see if it had been updated but quickly assumed Matt had simply lost interest in all things comicy and moved on. Imagine my surprise then, when, a couple of weeks ago, I received an email from Matt saying that issue #1 of Bullet Proof was not only finished, but printed and ready to be sent out into the world.

Having now had a chance to see a copy, I heartily recommend it. There's a really nice mix of styles and genres that brought to mind the kind of feel that Warrior was going for way back when. Highlights from the first issue include "Funguys" by Alans Grant and Burrows (two sentient, time-travelling mushrooms gatecrash the Last Supper); "Occultus" (gorgeous art by David Hankin); "Armageddon Patrol" (superheroes in the Vietnam war); "Magpie" (super-powered females kick the crap out of each other in a dystopian future), and "Out Of The Box" (a self-contained short set in the world of boxing with a pleasing twist). All in all there's something in Bullet Proof #1 for comics fans of every stripe.

The Bullet Proof website is in desperate need of an update but you should be able to order a copy there.

* THE mini-series I mentioned in my last post now has an artist. We're going to meet up at the Birmingham International Comics Show (BICS) in October, by which time I should have written up character descriptions and plot outlines of all three issues. Rather excited about this one as it's completely different to anything I've done before.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

"Look, they're ninjas!"

Five cool things about my week holidaying in Wales...

1. North Wales is bloody lovely - particularly enjoyed Conwy Castle, Llandudno and the steam train ride up Yr Wyddfa (that's Mount Snowdon to those of us who don't speak Welsh).
2. Came up with a nice idea for a new mini-series while I was away and am hoping one of the people I met at Bristol will be up for drawing it. It would certainly suit his style.
3. After the first two days in which it did nothing but piss down with rain, the weather brightened up and was gorgeous for the rest of the week.
4. The Twilight Zone at Chester Zoo. It's full of bats and you're in there with them as they swoop and dart only a few feet from your head.
5. My son Dylan gave me the biggest laugh of the week when three Muslim women dressed in black burqas walked past us. Very loudly and within only a few feet of them, he exclaimed: "Look, they're ninjas." Oh, how they chuckled...

Five crap things about my week holidaying in Wales...

1. Our children - Dylan and Connor - were appallingly behaved. My wife Jen is one of the most level-headed and patient people I've ever met and even she wanted to wallop the pair of them by the second day!
2. The journey to North Wales was utter hell - torrential rain at some points and we narrowly avoided being in a nasty accident when some fucktard took a corner too fast and hit the car just behind us.
3. The journey back to Southend was utter hell - no torrential rain or nasty accidents this time, just loads and loads of delays on the M1.
4. Our accommodation for the week came courtesy of a holiday camp (a freebie I got through the day job). Let's just say the place confirmed every negative stereotype I've ever had about such places and leave it at that.
5. A week away meant a week without email, the internet or comics - however did I cope?

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I'M off on holiday for a week tomorrow - just North Wales, we can't afford anywhere grand.

It'll be the first holiday I've had in three years and our first holiday as a family. When I get back, I've got a couple of tough weeks at work but then I'm off for another fortnight. Not that I'll be sitting on my arse drinking tea and watching DVDs (well, there will be a fair amount of that) as I've got shed loads of comics-related stuff to get on with.

Finishing the Tim Skinner script is going to be top priority, but I also want to bash out my story for the Robots anthology, catch up on Carson City lettering for Nat and Ryan, and put a serious dent in the pile of unread comics currently cluttering up the study. I have a horrible feeling I'm about two years behind on Hellblazer and 18 months behind on The Punisher. I never even started 52.

I'm also hoping to get into central London for an afternoon/evening to see Joel, Nat and Sean, none of whom I've laid eyes on since Bristol.

* ON the subject of the story for Robots, it looks like I've finally got an idea that might work quite nicely and contain some interesting stuff for artist Mikey Ball to draw.

* ALL being well I'm going to be submitting three completed new projects to Diamond late this year or early next - Septic Isle (graphic novella), Brothers (two-part mini-series) and Tim Skinner: Total Scumbag (one-shot). The idea for 2008 is to try and get something new out at least every couple of months which would be a massive increase in productivity for Moonface Press. It's eminently do-able though as I'm writing quicker than ever and am working with some cracking artists who want to see these projects out there as badly as I do.

* AFTER Skinner wraps the aim is to write two more one-shots before the end of the year. First up will probably be KURSS which I've been promising to artist Duncan Nimmo for over a year.

* AND FINALLY... you know you're getting old when your heroes start dying. First Strummer, then Peel and now Factory Records' boss Tony Wilson. Ferociously intelligent and a genuine cultural innovator, his legacy speaks for itself really - Joy Division, New Order, Madchester, Happy Mondays, The Hacienda and A Certain Ratio. Rest in peace, you pretentious old sod.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Tripwire etc.

THE Tripwire annual featuring my interview with Alan Moore hit comic stores in the US and UK this week. It's nowhere near the strongest piece I've ever written (I put off transcribing it for ages and then had to get it all done in a big hurry) but trust me when I say Alan waxing lyrical about The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, his new novel Jerusalem, his appearance on The Simpsons and his pull-no-punches views on The Watchmen movie make the 132-page book well worth splashing 10 quid (15 bucks) on. The annual also features great stuff on Hellboy, The Simpsons, Heroes, Hellblazer and 2000AD. That's Duncan Fegredo's cover above.
* I'M having enormous fun with the Tim Skinner script. The titular character has already done some thoroughly unspeakable things and I'm not even halfway through yet. It's quite theraputic to write such an utter, utter scumbag with no redeeming features. In fact, other than making it funny, the biggest challenge so far has been to stop myself reigning in Skinner's more excessive behaviour. He works best when he's bad to the bone.

I guess it would be easy to turn such a project into one big snark-fest, using it to stick the boot into those comics and creators for which I don't especially care but that isn't the way it's turned out at all. Oddly enough, everything being mercilessly lampooned in Skinner is something I have genuine affection for. Let's hope the book's numerous targets see it that way too.

There won't be much time to work on Skinner in the next couple of weeks as I'm off on holiday next weekend. It'll be wrapped up in September, though, and then it'll be time to revisit my currently stalled short story for the Robots anthology before making a start on either Kurss or Razor Snakes...

* IT looks like Blood Psi artist Keith Burns and I will be working together again in the new year. I've got an idea for a one-shot graphic novella that would suit Keith's "abstract noir" art style perfectly. I'll reveal more about the project later in the year.

* ARTIST Mick Trimble is zipping through the pages now on Septic Isle. He has around a quarter of it done and I think we'll be good to go for January when I plan to submit a fully lettered dummy of the book to Diamond.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Lovely review

There's a very generous and positive review of Blood Psi by Tonya Crawford right here:

Highlights include: "Winter does a wonderful job with this story. He crafts an entire world for these supernatural creatures within just a few pages and he does it without ever being heavy handed or overly expository" and "Keith Burns, the artist for this title, also brings in a unique style. He utilizes angles and planes to give many panels the appearance and feel of abstract art."

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Megazine mention

There's a nice mention of Blood Psi in this month's Judge Dredd Megazine (Meg 261, August 2007), above.

* Artist Declan Shalvey and I have just started work on a new one-shot project together. I'm prepared to say no more at this stage other than that it definitely isn't a follow-up to the Eagle Award-winning Hero Killers. That said, I do now have a story in place which would act as a kind of sequel to HK and will probably tackle it at some point in the new year.

* Took my eldest son to see the Transformers movie yesterday. It's stupidly long, the amount of product placement is obscene and hardly any of the humour works at all. But the CGI on show is little short of astonishing - there's a sequence towards the end when Optimus and Megatron are kicking the crap out of each other and they plough right through the middle of a skyscraper that actually made me want to jump out of my seat and cheer so impressive is it.