Calling all iPad and iPhone owners – La Belle Dame Sans Merci (1 of 4) is now available to buy via the Emanata app. Increasing avenues of distribution often feels like as much work as creating the comics themselves, so this is a big step for the LBDSM team. Emanata host some great content, and where I first discovered the fantastic Vera Greentea, so take some time to browse before reading the free LBDSM preview.
Starburst Magazine issue 388 is now on sale, featuring my monthly column about comic-books, Adventures On Alternative Earths, in which I recommend the art of Cassandra Jean, Umineko: When They Cry and Btooom! from Yen Press, and S J Harris’ blackly comic graphic novel Eustace. All are worthy of your time, so whether you read my column or not, try to check out some of these great new comics.
Due to a clash of schedules I don’t have a comic strip in Starburst 388, but you’ll be pleased to hear that I’ve been working with artists James Lawrence and Trystan Mitchell for subsequent issues. The results so far have been suitable macabre, and I can’t wait to see them printed.
I also reviewed Exposed #1 from Geeky Comics, written by Victor Wright and Nino Cajayon. Honestly, it wasn’t for me, because it felt too much like they were trying to make a mainstream American comic, without the slick art or polished writing that the mainstream demands, BUT, if a blend of war, horror and crime sounds like your thing then you should definitely give it a look. There are moments in there when the dialogue begins to soar and times when the execution matches the ambition, so if they stick together as a team the subsequent issues are sure to improve.
Regular readers (all two of you!) might notice unheralded brevity in this update. I finally started work on my second novel, and there’s a distinct possibility that all the research and groundwork is paying off, because this is much less painful than I thought it would be. When you enjoy writing, that’s when things are going well, right? We’re also making headway on pretty much all the projects I’ve previously announced, with a new added story for children thrown into the mix. Busy doesn’t quite cover it, but I love every one of these projects with all of my heart, and I’m working with some of the most talented people that I’ve ever met, so this is a good time to be me. Not an award-winning, financially-rewarding time, but creatively satisfying at least!
Last week Michael Caines at The Times Literary Supplement wrote about the first issue of our Gothic-Horror comic La Belle Dame Sans Merci on the TLS blog. This is my first real brush with literary respectability and I like it!
Caines said about LBDSM: “intriguingly, and on some pages wordlessly – this graphic Belle Dame draws on Keats’s poem for its power” and “The first issue merely sets up the story, but I’m hoping its creators are considering a sequel”. Read the full article at The Times Literary Supplement blog.
Given that LBDSM is self-published and a work of love from all the creative team, it means a lot to us all that we’re gaining recognition like this. The world is full of direct adaptations of classic literature, but I’m infinitely more interested in reading work inspired by the greats than I am straight adaptations. Hopefully the response to LBDSM indicates that I’m not alone in my fondness for the Romantics or for new stories inspired by their work.
News that we’d made it into The TLS came the same day that I planned to share a review of LBDSM by New Orleans-based journalist Brett Schwaner. Punk cartoonist Schwaner contacted me by e-mail after asking a friend to pick him up a copy of LBDSM at Thought Bubble last year, and has published part of our conversation about what’s in store for the second issue later this year.
Of the first issue of LBDSM, Schwaner says: “Beautiful and brutal, elegant and eerie, Buchan and Lusted have crafted one of the most horrible, wonderful terror tales to debut in recent memory.”
“Set in the dithering shadow of hard economic times, Buchan’s tale opens mundanely enough with an expecting father heading down to the unemployment office in search of work. There’s a sedate sense of normalcy to LBDSM’s opening pages that offers little hint to the unbelievably horrifying twists laid bare by Buchan’s disarming script, so I won’t go about spoiling them for you.”
We all want to extend massive thanks to both Brett Schwaner and Michael Caines for supporting LBDSM. We’ve all given up our time to support other creators before and know that there’s always something more pressing you could be doing, somebody else that needs the exposure, so we never take coverage like this lightly.
The creative team from LBDSM is reuniting for issue 2 and work is already well underway. It’s always a struggle knowing what to leave in and what to take out of a script, with limited space at my disposal, but I’ve asked artist Karen Yumi Lusted to draw some truly upsetting scenes for La Belle Dame, and we believe that issue 2 will be the best comic we’ve created yet.
If you want to find out more about LBDSM, you can buy physical or digital copies of the first issue in my online store http://pmbuchan.bigcartel.com , download the original soundtrack by Brendan Ratliff for free on Soundcloud or watch the short film (or buy the DVD version) by Mitsuko Studios based on the first issue here. I must stress that the Mitsuko Studios film used 2/3 of the first issue as a storyboard and as such contains SIGNIFICANT SPOILERS! Basically, steer clear until you’ve read the comic. You can see more work by LBDSM artist Karen Yumi Lusted on her deviantart page. Read more about cover colourist Kate Brown on her website Danse Macabre. Read more about our graphic designer Michael Stock, creator of our brilliant logo. Check out feminist pop-culture blog Bad Reputation, created by Miranda Brennan, who provides all the back-up essays for LBDSM. Finally, find our more about our brilliant pin-up artists Kate Holden and Kate Ashwin!
Starburst Magazine issue 387 is now on sale, with our best cover yet and a shiny new foil logo! This new issue features my comic-book column Adventures On Alternative Earths, in which I recommend the manga sensation that is Bakuman, Brecht Evans’ brilliantly misanthropic The Making Of, Robin Hoelzemann’s 18th century adventure drama Curia Regis, Benjamin Read and Chris Wildgoose’ gothic fairytale Porcelain, and Vera Greentea and Laura Muller’s spooky-cute Nenetl of the Forgotten Spirits. This is a big month for recommendations of compelling, accomplished independent comics, so try to check out some of the above, whether or not you pick up a copy of the magazine.
Issue 387 also features my new comic strip The Wedding Suckers, illustrated by the deadpan monster-lover Jack Tempest. The Wedding Suckers features the return of recurring characters Frank and Fat Jackie, although they’re almost unrecognisable from past appearances. Jack’s minimalistic linework printed brilliantly in Starburst and his use of colour lends an otherworldly ambience to the strip, which features a stag party gone wrong, strippers, booze and numerous Lovecraft gags for the horror lovers among you.
I recently discovered that the fantastic British artist Kate Brown, who coloured the cover to La Belle Dame Sans Merci (1 of 4), has illustrated issue 6 of Kieron Gillen’s Young Avengers for Marvel! Kate is no stranger to the American mainstream, having previously coloured Freakangels for Avatar Press, but it’s great to see her beginning to get the kind of exposure that she deserves. If you haven’t read her dark, challenging graphic novel Fish + Chocolate then I advise that you pick up a copy and begin unpicking the themes of feminism and insecurity that are hidden behind her artwork. Let’s hope that more mainstream work is in her future after Young Avengers. It goes without saying that the first issue of La Belle Dame Sans Merci is still available from my online store, with work progressing nicely on issue two. I currently have a crack team adapting the files to be distributed in new and exciting ways, so let’s see if I have any new platforms to declare throughout Spring.
Last month, I made a public declaration that I would be cutting down on my extracurricular activities in order to focus more fully on a couple of stories close to my heart. To that end, my next INFINITY column will be my last, though I’ll still be working with Panel Nine and submitting reviews of digital comics, so keep in touch about any forthcoming digital releases. In the past fortnight I’ve also submitted a number of news items and reviews to Starburst, because of course that’s what happens when you start trying to keep a low profile!
Staring Into the Abyss by Richard Thomas is a collection of neo-noir and horror short stories from Kraken Press that marked the author out to me as a possible successor to Will Christopher Baer, no small praise given that Baer’s Kiss Me, Judas is my favourite novel of all time.
Odds & Ends by Dustin LaValley is a free digital collection of dark, brooding flash fiction from Raw Dog Screaming Press, juxtaposing the sentimental and the macabre to create a disturbing picture of modern man.
Manchester developers White Paper Games are working on an independent first-person adventure game called Ether One that looks pretty original and exciting, and the UK comics-powerhouse that is Jamie Smart is spearheading an anthology of original childrens’ comics known as Moose Kid Comics. I also spotted that Monty Nero, writer of the insanely brilliant and offensive superhero comic Death Sentence, is quoting one of my reviews to help sell his comics. Go and read Death Sentence immediately, you will NOT regret it.
As if all of that wasn’t enough, I’ve booked my table to exhibit at Thought Bubble in November this year. It looks pretty likely that I’ll be exhibiting at two northern comic cons towards the end of 2013, and with at least three new comics due for completion I’ll probably be debuting something new at each con. While you’re waiting for new comics, an independent reviewer on the Bleeding Cool forums recently called La Belle Dame Sans Merci issue 1 “one of the best horror comics of 2012” and Richard Bruton at Forbidden Planet International reviewed BLACKOUT and had the following to say:
“There’s plenty of stuff in here to laugh at, plenty to wince at, plenty of good art as well, a surprisingly high standard in this anthology all told. 11 tales of sick, nasty stuff.”
“I reckon there’s something for everyone, provided you’ve the stomach for this sort of thing. The already mentioned What’s Inside A Girl? is the worst night of a young kid’s life, that pretty much starts with a legendary knock back from his best friend and goes downhill so fast you haven’t time to draw breath. Slapstick horror at its best really.”
Read the full review to see what Richard had to say. What I liked most about this review is that he wasn’t entirely convinced by some of the more offensive strips and still reviewed us. BLACKOUT gets a lot of good coverage from people that love it, but in real life I get just as many conservative readers questioning what sort of artists would ever agree to illustrate material like this.
That’s me done for another month. I realise that these monthly updates are getting preposterously big and I should probably start updating the site more often, but I’ve just volunteered myself as a juror for a big British awards ceremony, research is going into overdrive for my second novel and the pitch for my first mainstream American comic series is reaching fruition, so unless you want to come to my house and babysit these updates will remain monthly for the near future!
Starburst Magazine issue 386 is now on sale, at newsstands across the UK, in stores overseas, directly through our website and in an interactive version for iPad. Issue 386 features my column about comic-books, Adventures on Alternative Earths, in which I recommend Kate Ashwin’s endlessly charming Widdershins, Andrew Wildman’s inspirational Horizon, the new iPad edition of The Phoenix and my favourite manga of all time, Higurashi: When they Cry.
This month’s issue of Starburst includes my two-page comic strip with the brilliant David Wynne, Kaiju Satan Undead Apocalypse, charting the decline of a man for whom wrestling dressed as a giant lizard was more than a vocation, it was a calling. Look for more examples of Wynne’s work at http://particlefiction.posterous.com/ and http://davidwynne.tumblr.com/.
Starburst 386 also includes my review of James Smythe’s dark sci-fi novel The Explorer, which I gave nine stars out of ten. There’s very little time to read prose around the myriad of comics that I review, so it probably says something about the quality of Smythe’s writing that I picked up a copy of his novel The Testimony to review for a future issue of Starburst.
This week saw the release of INFINITY issue three, the free digital comics magazine from Panel Nine, containing a column about my transition from print to digital comics. My focus this issue is on how many of last year’s award winners were available digitally, and I’m sad to report that a great many of 2012’s best comics weren’t available to read on the iPad at all. Comics that I did manage to review include Brendan Leach’s The Pterodactyl Hunters in the Gilded City, Dark Horse Presents, Daredevil by Mark Waid, Marcos Martin and Paolo Rivera, Love and Rockets by the Hernandez brothers and The Monkey in the Basement by Corrina Mucha. INFINITY is a free iPad magazine, but you can also read a stripped down version of the mag as a PDF if you don’t have access to an iPad.
In Starburst 385 I interviewed Steven Hall, author of The Raw Shark Texts, about his writing for Crysis 3. A lot of that interview can now be viewed online at the Starburst website in preparation for the game’s release, so do yourself a favour and see what one of my favourite authors has to say about writing in an interactive medium.
I received a preview of the artwork for next month’s Starburst strip, which will be illustrated by the genius Jack Tempest (Thaddeus Mist, Afterlife Inc), and features the return of Frank and Fat Jackie, a couple of recurring drunks that crop up in my more disturbing comic strips.
After working on what seemed like a thousand projects at once I’ve decimated my workload to concentrate on four main projects in 2013 – La Belle Dame Sans Merci, Doomed Romantics, The Children of Samhain, and my next novel, currently going by the codename Death Cult Apocalypse. I should make explicit the fact that I have NOT started writing Death Cult Apocalypse yet, and that’s one of the reasons that I’ll be cutting down the amount of reviews, interviews and side projects that I take on in 2013. I’ve done a mountain of research and if I don’t make time to set pen to paper soon then I guarantee that these new characters will bleed into everything else that I write. Currently I’m working on the script for the second issue of LBDSM and by avoiding any over gore or graphic violence it’s proving to be more upsetting than I’d planned, but the conclusion (whenever we get there) will almost certainly be a satisfying one.
Finally, I’m going to be exhibiting at a craft fair at BrewDog Manchester on Sunday 24th February from 2pm onwards. I’ll be selling copies of BLACKOUT and La Belle Dame Sans Merci, and might even dig out some older comics from the days when I was still illustrating my own strips! Come along and say hi if you get a chance, and ask me to sign something if you really want to see me squirm. I’ve been selling signed comics through the website for a while now but have yet to master a signature that I feel happy with, so it’s always an uncomfortable moment. See you there!
Starburst Magazine issue 385 is now on sale, directly through the Starburst website, on newsstands across the UK and at retailers around the world, and through iTunes for iPad. My Starburst column designed to introduce new readers to comics, Adventures On Alternative Earths, has been a mainstay throughout this current incarnation of Starburst, a fact that never ceases to put a smile on my face. This month I recommend the criminally-overlooked horror graphic novel Adamtine by Hannah Berry, the universally-acclaimd (and rightly so!) The Hive by Charles Burns and Ashley Marie Witter’s adaptation of Anne Rice’s classic novel Interview With The Vampire. I also give my own work a few more column-inches than usual, as I discuss my experiences exhibiting at a comic convention for the first time. To compensate for my shamelessness I also devote a page of my column to the British Comic Awards, the first of what I hope will become a British institution.
This month’s Starburst strip, The Shoemaker’s Shame, was illustrated by M D Penman, creator of the Slave Labor Graphics title Peadbody & D’Gorath. A loveable lunk, part rockabilly and part Christopher Reeves-playing-Superman, Penman has just released a digital version of his latest comic D’Gorath of the Realm, and it’s a fantastically unhinged fantasy adventure, far better than I first gave him credit for. Our strip together is based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale The Elves and the Shoemaker, but of course includes transvestism, booze and suicide. Seeing the way that he illustrated those nose-picking, thong-wearing elves, I’d work with him again in a heartbeat.
Rounding out my Starburst contributions this month is a three-page interview with Steven Hall, author of my favourite British novel The Raw Shark Texts, about his writing for Crysis 3. I’ve been looking for a good excuse to interview Mr Hall for at least a year, and although the focus for Starburst was his new game, the focus for me has always been his mind-blowing prose. Check out the interview for more details about his eagerly-awaited second novel! Reading The Raw Shark Texts was a real turning point for me as a writer, so being able to give something back with this interview meant a lot to me.
In other news, I set up a Comicsy webstore this week to sell digital versions of my comics! Visit http://www.comicsy.co.uk/pmbuchan/ to buy BLACKOUT and La Belle Dame Sans Merci (in addition to my existing store at http://pmbuchan.bigcartel.com, where you can also buy printed editions). Comicsy sells itself as the Small Press Marketplace of the UK and I’d second that description. It’s completely free to sell your creations on Comicsy and the community there is already pretty representative of the breadth of comic creators in the UK, despite opening only a couple of months ago. If you make and sell your own comics then I thoroughly recommend it.
Speaking of my comics, a couple of great reviews have surfaced online recently. On the Bleeding Cool forums a poster called MechanicleClavicles reviewed La Belle Dame Sans Merci (1 0f 4) and gave it 4 out of 5 stars, saying that “this is a wicked little indie comic featuring some truly deranged, damned, and sadistic characters. You probably don’t want to know what happens inside the pages of La Belle Dame Sans Merci (“A Woman Without Mercy”) #1 and I’m certainly not going to describe it here, because it’s simply too awful to relate!
Karen Lumi Lusted takes readers on a minimalist-manga-style trip into a day when desperate lives and restless spirits cross paths on a horrifying date with destiny. P.M. Buchan introduces two parallel storylines of amoral characters destined for doom and damnation. It’s a wicked introduction to a spine-tingled premise and you’ll surely be left wanting more if you’ve got the guts to read all the way to the final page.” The feeling, that complete strangers are reading my work and responding to it in this way, is phenomenal, so thank you MechanicalClavicles, whoever you are!
Paipicks.blogspot.co.uk, a site to encourage new comic readers, also reviewed BLACKOUT, and had a lot of great things to say about it. “The stories in here have been dredged up from the filth of the creators minds and it’s wonderful. It’s depraved, it’s vulgar, it’s quite disgusting. It’s highly entertaining. If you want to read nasty fiction with no holds barred ideas, you’ll probably like this.” Again, being reviewed because I’ve submitted comics to be reviewed is one thing, but strangers responding to our creations is out of this world. Thank you!
That’s it for me this past month! I’m working on a pitch for a Folk-Horror series that will hopefully blister your eyeballs if all goes to plan, and then it will be time to write a script for the second issue of La Belle Dame Sans Merci. I’m hoping to do less interviews and writing that isn’t prose this year, but I say that to myself every month, and then the opportunity always presents itself to talk to people that I grew up reading. Just this morning I posted a letter to one of my favourite horror authors of all time, who just happens to have also directed one of my favourite films! It’s tough finding time for everything, but more rewarding than I could ever have dreamed. Wish me luck as I try to write to you nightmares!
Starburst Magazine issue 384 is now on sale, at newsstands across the UK and in stores overseas, directly through our website and in an interactive version for iPad. Issue 384 is an All Star Wars Special for the rest of Starburst, but I dubbed it the Nobrow issue, and from that visionary British publisher I recommended Jon McNaught’s Dockwood, Kyle Platt’s Megaskull, Luke Pearson’s Hilda and the Bird Parade and Jose Domingo’s Adventures of a Japanese Businessman. In case Nobrow aren’t doing it for you I’ve also recommended Mike Garley’s visceral zombie anthology Dead Roots, for all your horror needs.
This month instead of writing my monthly one-page Starburst strip I handed the space over to my good friend and BLACKOUT co-creator Andrew Waugh, who contributed a Star Wars illustration so cool that you’re going to need one framed on your bedroom wall.
Speaking of BLACKOUT, reviews have been rolling in for my first two self-published comics, both of which are available from my online store http://pmbuchan.bigcartel.com as either physical or digital editions. Stacey Whittle, one of 2012’s British Comic Awards judges, reviewed both BLACKOUT and La Belle Dame Sans Merci on her podcast Small Press Big Mouth episode 41, and had great things to say about both. Of BLACKOUT, she said:
“This is a really awful, depraved, sick book. It’s a series of short stories – each one sicker and more twisted than the one before… What this is, is beautifully produced…it’s gorgeous. The artwork throughout, by all of the different artists is incredible… And what it is, as well as being beautifully put together, beautifully printed, is hilarious. It really is. It’s that hilarious, y’know, when you’re laughing, and you feel really guilty that you’re laughing, and you know that you are a bad person. They’re kind of bringing that out of you – that you know you are a bad person, but you’re gonna laugh anyway. It’s that. And it’s done very very well.”
And for La Belle Dame, she said:
“It’s really beautiful…I love the way that the story is going, I can’t wait to pick up the next one…there’s a really interesting essay by Miranda Brennan, talking about the poem and the comic…I’m definitely back for issue 2, I really liked this a lot.”
That gives you a little taste of Stacey’s take on the comics, but there’s a lot more on the podcast, so check it out if you have time. We’ve been getting some responses on Twitter too, such as this one from @LadyGreentea “@PMBuchan sat down and read La Belle Dame, really beautiful and haunting story and art. I very much appreciated the “extra goodie” text too! “. @SarangaComics blogged about BLACKOUT here, saying “It is filthy! In a good way. It collects 11 stories and they are all, with the exception of the demonologies, incredibly crude. If you like Tank Girl, or Viz magazine, you’ll probably like this.” Harley Poe frontman, reformed Christian and BLACKOUT contributor Joe Whiteford also blogged about BLACKOUT here, which is awesome on many levels. The only reason that I know Joe at all is because I’m such a massive fan of his band, so this is a big deal for me.
Lastly, Dion Winton-Polak reviewed La Belle Dame Sans Merci over at Geek Syndicate, and had the following to say:
“I wasn’t familiar with the Keats poem before reading this, so I can reassure you that, whilst the theme is strong, it does not rely on any kind of pre-knowledge to work. The narrative and dialogue are modern, naturalistic and very engaging. What Buchan has done here which really impresses is to take the idea behind the story and explore it in greater depth, whilst shifting our perspective. Keats has La Belle Dame as a predator, the knight a pitiful victim. Buchan challenges our sense of morality by denying the ‘knight’ his innocence and exploring what actually drives this fatal woman. The second chapter of the comic takes us back two years to the events that shaped her current existence. It’s not pretty, but it is very engaging stuff.”
On a related note, the soundtrack to La Belle Dame Sans Merci chapter one is available to download for free, and composer Brendan Ratliff has been nominated this month for a Square Enix Award for Outstanding Achievement by an Independent Composer!
I recently reviewed James Smythe’s dark sci-fi novel The Explorer and gave it nine stars out of ten at Starburst, saying “The Explorer was easily my favourite sci-fi novel of the past year, possibly my favourite of all time, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.” I stand by that statement, and urge you to seek out The Explorer if you’re into dark, intense novels.
I also interviewed Anne Rice about the new graphic novel adaptation of Interview with the Vampire, subtitled Claudia’s Story. My favourite thing about Anne is that her Wikipedia page describes her as “an American author of gothic fiction, Christian literature, and erotica.” Isn’t that just the best description that you’ve ever heard? Well she was a great interviewee, and had things like this to say: “I remember when pedestrian realism dominated the “serious” fiction market, and there was no room for people like me. I’m glad now that it is a whole new world. “
That isn’t everything that I’ve been up to in December, but it’s all that I care to write about on Christmas Eve! I’m off now to read my new copy of The Satanic Bible and brush up on ideas for a harrowing new comic series that I’m writing.
Starburst Magazine issue 383 is now on sale in stores across the UK, directly with free shipping from the Starburst Magazine website and in an interactive version for iPads. This issue features my column Adventures On Alternative Earths and my new comic strip Krampusnacht, illustrated by the dancefloor-demolishing Simon Perrins.
In my column this month I recommend Lee Robson and Bryan Coyle’s Com.x graphic novel Babble, in which researchers trying to discover the forgotten universal language of Babel unearth something altogether more sinister. I also recommend the third instalment of British legend Bryan Talbot’s Grandville series, Grandville: Bête Noire, published by Jonathan Cape in the UK and Dark Horse in the USA. Since reading Accent UK’s graphic novel Whatever Happened To Thaddeus Mist?, created by a variety of writers and artists, I’d befriended the book’s editor Owen Michael Johnson, because I’m quite convinced that he’s one of a handful of writers from his generation that are going to break new ground with the medium of comics. Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Incognito: The Classified Edition was an easy choice to recommend, being the crime/superhero work from one of the finest team of comic-book creators ever to have lived! Finally, I recommend new street press comic magazine Off Life, subsisting of contributions by some of the UK’s most influential, talented and sometimes underrated comic creators.
My comic strip with Simon Perrins, Krampusnacht, is an unofficial sequel to last year’s A Krampus Carol with Jack Fallows. I genuinely hope to create a Krampus strip every Christmas now for the rest of my life. Perrins, in addition to being a damned fine artist, is also excellent company on a night out. After meeting him, VERY BRIEFLY, for the first time at Thought Bubble comics festival recently, he messaged me the next morning to ask “Did you kiss me last night, or was that just a beautiful dream?” I can’t remember well enough to answer that question with anything resembling honesty, but the fact that I didn’t wake with two black eyes is testament to what a gent Mr Perrins is. Go hire him for illustration work, now. But don’t kiss him.
If you own an iPad you can now also read the second issue of INFINITY for free, from Toyko-based publisher Panel Nine. I contribute a Going Digital column to INFINITY and in this issue take a look at Panel Nine’s new app The Certified Hunt Emerson (which is brilliant!), Madefire’s kinetically-charged Mono and Treatment comics, and the Comixology version of Aaron Alexovich and Drew Rausch’s ELDRITCH!. I also interviewed Madefire founder and CCO about Madefire and their new brand of motion comics, of which he said: “You only have to see an iPad to know it’s a no-brainer, but convincing hard-core comic fans that’s the case is another story. In some circles Motion Comics is a term that provokes scorn, but mostly – we think – because it’s a passive watching experience. With Madefire you’re still reading, and interacting with the pages. You, as the reader, dictate the pace.”
You can now buy print and digital versions of my literary Gothic-Horror comic with Karen Yumi Lusted, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, and my Mature Readers horror-comedy anthology BLACKOUT, created with Jack Fallows, Phillip Marsden, Andy Waugh, Joe Whiteford and Mike Barnes. LBDSM is the first issue of a four-part series that combines Romanticism with feminism to ask the question of where femme fatales come from. BLACKOUT is intended for adults only and contains booze, death-by-misadventure, necrophilia, cannibalism and suicide.
Disconnected Press have published my comic with Martin Simmonds All Roads Lead To Hell in their anthology Disconnected 2, which you can buy here. The cover to Disconnected 2, by artist Matthew Soffe, is even based on All Roads Lead To Hell! Honestly, this 8-page strip probably represents my ambitions for the future better than anything that I’ve ever worked on, so I really hope that you’ll find a way to read it. Martin and I have BIG plans, the kind of plans where nobody gets out alive and nobody reads to the end without being scarred for life.
The Bleed magazine had nice things to say about La Belle Dame Sans Merci. You should now be able to pick up a print edition of The Bleed issue 2 in the North-East of England for free, hopefully with a digital edition to follow, containing my short story The Heart of Things. I also found this trailer online for a new horror film that I’ve been working on with Mitsuko Studios. Honestly, the teaser trailer gives away NOTHING, but I’m told that these are the best actors and filmmakers that we’ve ever worked with, so I’m looking forward to seeing the results. I took a couple of runs at an original idea by Antoni McVay, so the story isn’t completely my own, but from his vision I pretty much plucked the elements that I could identify with and rewrote the story into something that I could empathise with. That means unrequited romance, drugs, booze and unhappy endings. I’m sure the film has changed since my version of the script, but I think there’ll be a lot in there that I recognise.
Oh, and Thought Bubble was a massive success. Thanks for asking! I met everybody in the world that has ever created a comic, including the awesome Hannah Berry, whose disturbing graphic novel Adamtine was criminally underrated and you should seek it out immediately. The real highlight of Thought Bubble though was meeting Melinda Gebbie, artist of the awesome Lost Girls. We gave this controversial legend and creator of the pornographic and potentially obscene Lost Girls our own bastion of filth and controversy BLACKOUT, and she loved it! We spent the rest of the night drinking with her and hearing stories far too lewd to share with the internet. Here’s proof: