La Belle Dame Sans Merci: Chapter Two and BLACKOUT II: YOLO are now on sale!
The second issue of my Gothic-horror series with Karen Yumi Lusted, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, and BLACKOUT II: YOLO, the satirical horror-comedy anthology that I co-created with Jack Fallows (Axolotl, The Newcastle Science Comic) and Phillip Marsden (Kerrang!, Off Life) are both now on sale in digital and print editions! They launched at the end of November 2013, at Thought Bubble in Leeds, which I wrote about in two MASSIVE columns for Bleeding Cool, which you can read here and here.
Comic-book journalist Laura Sneddon named BLACKOUT II runner-up for anthology of the year in her 2013 Comic Book Grrrl Awards, and said of the comic in her Thought Bubble rundown on The Beat: “The overall quality of the books, both in writing and art, is incredibly high. The Object of My Affection (is) a particularly disturbing and on point look at misogyny – a delight to see in such a collection!”
“Special mention goes to People Ain’t No Good by Buchan and Jack Fallows, a wonderfully rendered slice of insanity… Similarly Trystan Mitchell knocks it out of the park with Romance is Dead and The Frog King – those colours! Love.”
Reviewing the first and second issues of La Belle Dame Sans Merci, Sneddon said: “The story is strong, and I loved the essay at the back of the first chapter (by Miranda Brennan of Bad Reputation expounding upon this adaptation of Keats work) and the prose story at the back of the second chapter which expands upon the life of one side character. I’m looking forward to seeing more of both series.”
La Belle Dame Sans Merci: Chapter Two opens with La Belle Dame visiting her grave after the events of Chapter One, and reintroduces her to the lover that she escaped from hell to be with. Flashbacks to her childhood go deeper into the choices that led to her current predicament, continuing our deconstruction of the myth of the femme fatale. This issue also features pin-ups by the dazzlingly talented Anna Fitzpatrick (KORE, Between Worlds) and Jessica Monster (who I discovered after seeing her design for a recent Harley Poe t-shirt), as well as a short story giving fresh insight into the life of a major character from the first issue.
BLACKOUT II: YOLO is more of the sick filth that you’ve come to expect from the UK’s most abrasive underground anthology. This time we were joined by Chris Doherty (Video Nasties, The Whale House), Trystan Mitchell (Hairy Pothead and the Marijuana Stone, Black Star) and familiar faces Michael Barnes (Cornelius Blow, Potemkin 2205) and horror-folk-punk band Harley Poe’s Joe Whiteford (Herschell Goes to Heaven).
Forbidden Planet International and John Freeman’s Down the Tubes were both kind enough to blog about BLACKOUT II prior to the release. More excitingly, in his Best of the Year 2013 post for Forbidden International, Raygun Roads creator Owen Johnson named me a person to watch out for in 2014. He said: “His Starburst strips impressed me, his BLACKOUT anthologies appalled me, and his work in progress sickened me with jealousy. It will blow everyone away. Bucky’s propelling himself forward with uncompromising vision and a rock-solid work ethic.” Which is nice.
Finally, Starburst Magazine issue 396 is now on sale, featuring my original three-page comic strip, Meat the Parents, with LA-based horror artist D W Frydendall. Frydendall recently illustrated a strip for Dark Horse’s Creepy anthology, but is perhaps best known for his work on SLG’s Haunted Mansion anthology and his t-shirt designs for bands like Calabrese and Necro. Starburst 396 also featured my final column about comic-books, Adventures On Alternative Earths, in which I recommend Disconnected Volume 3, by a lot of talented creators, but most importantly Max Deacon, Raygun Roads, by Owen Michael Johnson and Indio!, and The Black Project, by Gareth Brookes. This will be my last printed column for Starburst for the foreseeable future, while I take time out from reviewing, to concentrate on macabre creative projects of my own.