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?