Sunday, December 5, 2010

Piss off 2010, you've been a crap, frustrating year and I'll be glad to see the back of you!

AS my rather unsubtle title implies, the last 12 months have been somewhat difficult. This has been especially true when it comes to my writing.

As you may remember, my plan for 2010 was to team up with a variety of artists to pitch story ideas to comic-book companies such as Image, Markosia and Insomnia (of whom, more in a minute). I had several ideas that I duly worked up into pitches and wrote sample scripts for. Unfortunately, not a single one of my collaborators actually completed - or in several cases, even started - the work. There are many reasons for this (one guy simply had a better offer) and I'm not one for recriminations, but it still put a major crimp in my game plan and left me feeling rather disillusioned.

I also came close to getting a project off the ground with British indie publisher Insomnia - or more specifically their historical imprint, Vigil. Martin Conaghan, who was the editor of the company's Vigil line, loved one of the two pitches I sent him and was keen to take it on. Unfortunately, it was very shortly afterwards that the company imploded. I'm still hoping to place one or other of my historical pitches with another company so fingers crossed...

There is another possible light at the end of the tunnel, too. I was contacted by a film producer in May and have been working on something for him that I'm hoping will pay off in the new year. If it does work out, it will make all the frustrations of the past 12 months more than worth it. If it doesn't, I shall probably go and sit in a dark corner somewhere and sob...

Due to a profound lack of cash, I haven't attended a single comics-related event this year. I missed BICS for the first time since its inception and Bristol for only the second time since 2001. I still haven't attended Hi-ex or Thought Bubble. I've even missed the MCM Expo events in east London that are a short train journey from my home. Hopefully this is something I'll remedy in 2011. I still have a few boxes of Moonface Press stock (Hero Killers, Blood Psi etc) knocking about the place so I may even book a table at a couple of events. Probably not Mark Millar's new Kaboom! event in London though as the price of table space there is extortionate.

In the new year I shall also continue my search for artists to collaborate with. I have a few cracking ideas for graphic novels and mini-series and I'm not going to let them fall by the wayside.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010


VARIOUS sources on the net (Bleeding Cool, Down The Tubes etc) are reporting the demise of Comics International, the long-running British comics news magazine.

CI seems to have breathed its last after the magazine's publisher - Cosmic Publications - was closed down. Admittedly, CI hadn't published a regular monthly issue in over a year, but I for one will still mourn its passing.

Not only was it a great source of information for me when I returned to comics fandom after a decade away in the late '90s, but it was always very supportive of my writing and publishing. I remember being elated when they gave the first Devilchild volume 8 out of 10 and even more so when they ran a big news story on Blood Psi. Such positive coverage gave me a real confidence boost and definitely helped hike my order numbers with Diamond.

Despite the huge amount of comics stuff on the net, I genuinely miss having a cheap and cheerful British-flavoured print magazine full of news, gossip and reviews to read every month. But maybe I'm just old fashioned.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Reader, I eviscerated him...

THOUGHT it was high time I got hip to the latest literary sensation - classic novels with a horror/sci-fi twist. You know the ones I mean - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Android Karenina and lots of others that clog up the shelves in Waterstones forcing out immeasurably better books written by proper authors.

I've decided to adapt Charlotte Bronte's classic Jane Eyre for my purposes, reimagining wilful Jane as a depraved serial killer (perhaps she hosts the same demonic spirit that possessed Charles Manson and currently resides in Vernon Kay).

Hilariously, I've decided to title my rewrite Jane Scare and I think you'll agree it's an inspired - not to mention jolly clever - play on words. Because 'Eyre' rhymes with 'Scare', do you see?

Anyway, here's the cover (I laboured long and hard for all of 10 minutes to knock it up on CorelDraw) and an exclusive preview of the book's first page...

There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner (Mrs Reed, when there was no company, dined early) the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, and a rain so penetrating, that further outdoor exercise was now out of the question.

I was glad of it; I never liked long walks, especially on chilly afternoons: dreadful to me was the coming home in the raw twilight, with nipped fingers and toes and a heart saddened by the chidings of Bessie, the nurse, and humbled by the consciousness of my physical inferiority to Eliza, John, and Georgiana Reed. How I hated the fuckers.

The said Eliza, John and Georgiana were now clustered round their mamma in the drawing-room: she lay reclined on a sofa by the fireside, and with her darlings about her (for the time neither quarelling nor crying), looked perfectly happy. I was about to put a very permanent stop to that.

I moved quickly towards the sofa keeping my hands behind my back (I didn't want to ruin the surprise that awaited Mrs Reed and her reviled litter of shit-kittens). The old woman let out a pathetic rodent-like squeak as she saw me raise the knife once I'd reached her side. Eliza, John and Georgiana spun round as one, then scattered as I brought down the jagged blade and plunged it deep into their mother's chest. The impact of the blow vibrated up my entire arm leaving it numb. But I'm willing to wager any pain I may have suffered was tiny indeed compared to the eye-popping agony that then engulfed their indolent mamma.

The loathsome old bag howled like a kicked dog and crawled about on the floor, red pumping from her wound and pooling on the floor under her. The sight would have probably got me quite moist down below had I not already turned my murderous attention to her three ugly spawn, one of whom, Miss Lah-dee-dah Georgiana, had already soiled herself. I was going to enjoy burning her.

(Not) to be continued...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Something wonderful

TOMMIE KELLY (the creator of Road Crew and the artist on my Mongo, Music Critic strip) has recently launched a new webcomic.

You can find it here:

It's quite dark and very funny.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bristol no-show

I WON'T be attending the Bristol Comics Expo for only the second time since 2001.

I had thought about popping down for the day on Saturday, especially when I discovered my good friend and Blood Psi collaborator Keith Burns was going to be there signing copies of The Boys with John McCrea.

Unfortunately, I then discovered all the Saturday one-day tickets had sold out which rather put the kibosh on things. Never mind, it would have been a long way to go just for the day anyway and Birmingham's BICS event is only a few months off.

Hopefully, by then, I should have a pitch or two ready to show publishers.

* I'VE now completely sold out of copies of Tim Skinner: Total Scumbag. I don't even have a file copy for myself (anyone willing to sell one back to me can drop me an email – seriously).

The guy who bought the last copy was a Canadian by the name of Pete Skinner – he wanted it as a birthday present for his younger brother... Tim.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Jive turkeys

HERE'S the cover to Andy Radbourne's BritForce #2 which he's going to be launching at next weekend's Bristol Expo. If anything it's a stronger cover than the one by Glenn Fabry on the first issue, which, whilst being very pretty, didn't really reflect the book's contents.

I'm very much a fan of comic covers with speech balloons on them - DC used to do some crackers, like this hilarious but vaguely offensive Justice League of America one from 1979. Did black people ever use terms like 'jive bunch of turkeys' or had the white, middle-aged man who wrote the cover blurb just been watching too much Starsky & Hutch?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pucker up

HAVEN'T posted anything in a while so here's a three-page script I wrote for an artist last year - an artist I haven't heard from since. Oh, well.

Anyway, the idea was that it would be the first of a short series about a bloke - called Keith - who was trying to summon a demon to carry out some nefarious plan or other. Unfortunately, every diabolical creature he summoned was more eccentric and difficult to control than the last. I was quite pleased with it...

By Andy Winter


1. A man – we’ll call him Keith – is dressed in a hooded robe and is standing in the middle of a pentagram that has been drawn on the floorboards of his tiny flat (the carpet has been rolled up and his sofa moved out of the way). Keith is reciting incantations as he attempts to conjure a demon. Although he is far from expert in these matters, Keith is giving it his all – booming out the incantations and standing in as dramatic a pose as possible while he does so.

Placed on the five points of the pentagram are lit candles which drop wax on to the floor – the only light source in the darkened room. Keith has inexpertly marked out the pentagram with white chalk on his floorboards.

Keith isn’t a terribly attractive man – he’s a bit overweight and unshaven. He isn’t wearing anything under the rather baggy robe but does have a pair of white socks on and there is a hole in one of the toes.

KEITH: Appear fiery hell-spawn to carry out my directions, to carve up my enemies into neat tidy sections…

2. The air in the room seems to shudder and Swasokretch the demon appears before Keith in the pentagram. I don’t mind what the demon looks like just make him scary and at least a foot taller than Keith.

DEMON: I am Swasokretch the demon and I will do whatever you command me to. But first...

3. Swasokretch has puckered up his lips – such as they are – and stuck his face right next to Keith’s. Keith reacts with total shock and horror – his mouth hangs open and his eyes bulge.



4. Keep the composition of this panel roughly the same, only now the demon has unpuckered his lips and Keith has slightly recovered his senses. The demon points at his lips as if that is going to encourage Keith to kiss him.

DEMON: A kiss – go on, gimme a smacker right on the lips here!

KEITH: You haven’t got any lips.

DEMON: I think you’re mean.

KEITH: And I thought you were a demon.

5. His demon manhood challenged, Swasokretch puffs out his chest and tries to look as tough as possible. Keith has fully recovered his senses now and is actually making fun of the demon.

DEMON: Oh, I’m a demon alright, mate.

KEITH: A demon who likes kissing men?

6. The demon looks down at Keith and pokes him in his chest with one of his long fingers; he’s getting a little cheesed off now. Keith looks up at him, but suddenly not so scared; almost laughing at him.

DEMON: What are you implying exactly?

KEITH: That you are Swasokretch… the gay demon.


1. The demon puts his arm on Keith’s shoulder. Keith sticks out his arm and is pushing the demon in the chest to keep him at bay.

DEMON: I’m not gay, I’m curious – I’ve never kissed a real, live human before. Now, c’mon, pucker up – I promise not to use any of my tongues...

KEITH: I’d rather eat the gunk out of Michael Winner’s belly button.

2. The demon releases his grip on Keith and throws his hands up in despair.

DEMON: You’re a homophobe.

MAN: No, I’m not, my brother’s gay!

3. The demon points accusingly at Keith.

DEMON: Yeah and you haven’t spoken to him in three years.

MAN: That has nothing to do with his... gayness.

4. The two continue bickering like an old married couple.

DEMON: See, you don’t even know the proper word for it.

MAN: It’s you, you’re confusing me... shut up!

5. Keith and the demon have turned their backs on each other – both have folded their arms. There is tension and silence in the air.


6. The demon has turned around and is talking to Keith’s back which remains turned to him.

DEMON: Right, last chance. Are you going to kiss me or what?



1. Keith has turned around to face the demon.

DEMON: Fine, send me back then...

MAN: I’d be delighted to…

2. Make this panel similar to the very first one on PAGE ONE. Keith is once again standing in the middle of his pentagram. Most of the demon has disappeared but perhaps we can still see part of him as he fades away back to hell.

KEITH: Return this demon to the pit; I can really bear no more of it!

DEMON: See you in hell, bigot!

3. Keith decides to summon another demon straightaway so begins a new incantation.

KEITH (thinking): If at first you don’t succeed…

KEITH: Send me a demon who’ll do as I say, send me a demon but not one that’s gay…

4. Another demon appears before Keith in the pentagram. Again, I’m quite happy for you to make the demon look however you want just make him very different in appearance to Swasokretch. This new demon has one hand behind his back because he is concealing something.

NEW DEMON: I am Eggelthasgok and I am here to do your bidding. But first...

5. The new demon has pulled out from behind his back a box containing the game Twister. He holds it up in front of him as if to say, "Ta da!". The demon is smiling a big goofy grin.


6. Close up on Keith – he looks utterly deflated and ready to end it all. His expression is one of utter defeat.



Tuesday, February 23, 2010


TO promote the newly-available PDF download of Tim Skinner: Total Scumbag, artist Declan Shalvey has put this new sketch of Tim up at the Eclectic Micks blog he shares with Irish artists PJ Holden, Nick Roche, Stephen Thompson, Bob Byrne and Stephen Mooney.

Dec posts new sketches there every Tuesday so check it out here:

Dec is also the artist on 28 Days Later, which you can read every month from Boom! Studios.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Download Skinner for FREE

THE Tim Skinner: Total Scumbag one-shot is now available as a free download from - just click the banner at the top of the homepage and you'll be directed to the site's download page.

The download consists of two stories over 43 PDF pages (30MB, under a minute to download). The first tale is written by me and drawn - in glorious full colour - by 28 Days Later artist Declan Shalvey. The original comic came out in November 2008 and was launched at that same month's Dublin City Comic Con in Ireland. Scarily, few of its jokes are out of date!

The second - black and white - story is from 2005's SHRIEK! one-shot. It was Tim Skinner's first appearance (in a tale entitled Zardo Zapp Attacks!) and was written by me with art by Natalie Sandells (pencils) and Adrian Bamforth (inks).

I'd love to do more Skinner at some point - I had a story based around Phonogram all mapped out in my head - but Dec's super-busy with paid work these days so I can't see it happening any time soon.

And, finally, here are some nice things reviewers and comics pros said about the Skinner one-shot...

"Fucking hilarious!" - Jonathan Hickman, writer, Fantastic Four

"Delightfully, incredibly, enjoyably sick. Oh, I liked it." - Joe Gordon, Forbidden Planet blog

“Tim Skinner [is] a very self-referential, up-its-own-arse comic that I was destined to love. Even The Boys gets a good shoeing over with hilarious consequences.” - Rich Johnston,

"I don’t laugh out loud often, but I laughed out loud at this." - Regie Rigby,

Sunday, January 31, 2010

It's been awhile...

HELLO... anyone still here? Ah, there you are. Apologies to my half-dozen regular readers for not updating this blog in nearly four months but, to be honest, there hasn't really been much to report. Um, Happy New Year!

Because I've stepped back from self-publishing for the forseeable future, I don't have new releases or shipping dates to talk about any more but I have kept very busy. In fact, writing-wise, I've been rather more prolific in the last couple of months than at any time in the past two years. As I've mentioned before, all my efforts are now focused on collaborating with artists on projects to pitch to professional publishers in this country and the States.

As a result, I've got a few things on the go at the moment, including projects with Tommie Kelly (Roadcrew, Mongo: Music Critic) and Andrew Radbourne (BritForce, Brothers). The plan is to get 'pitch packs' together to show off to publishers and editors at the Bristol Expo and B.I.C.S events in May and October respectively. I'll reveal more the nearer we get to the events in question.

* ALTHOUGH I'm hoping to attend, I won't be exhibiting at Bristol for the first time since 2003 nor at the Birmingham show for the first time since its inception. Copies of all my comics will continue to be available through the Moonface Press website and I'm hoping to make at least some of them downloadable in the near future, starting with the full-colour Tim Skinner one-shot.

* AND on the subject of digital comics, there's a very positive review of mine and Tommie Kelly's Mongo: Music Critic webcomic here.

Comics Bulletin columnist Regie Rigby describes it as "a great, fast, funny comedy hit". Which is nice. You can still download Mongo for free at

* ANDREW RADBOURNE'S BritForce graphic novel is available for order in this month's UK section of Previews. You'll find it on page six of the catalogue, under Moonface Press, and the book's order number is FEB10 1756. It has a lovely cover by comics legend Glenn Fabry (Slaine, Preacher) and costs £4.50 for 64 pages.

* AND finally - I shall endeavour to update this blog a bit more regularly in future even if it's only a couple of times a month. Promise...