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Starburst Magazine issue 380

August 31, 2012

Starburst Magazine issue 380 is now on sale at newsagents across the UK, on iPads and directly through our website.  This month’s issue features my column Adventures on Alternative Earths, my comic strip Harajuku Poison Heart illustrated by the mysterious Pablo Vague and my interview with Menton3, Ben Templesmith and Steve Niles from art collective 44FLOOD.

My column this month covers the exemplary work of writer Scott Snyder in his Vertigo series American Vampire and Image series Severed, the pitch-black comedy comics of Craig Collins collected as Haunted Bowels, Craig Thompson’s breath-taking love story Habibi, the first issue of Andrew Cheverton and Chris Doherty’s Lynchian new series The Whale House and finally the frenetic violence and dolphin-sex of Simon Spurrier and Javier Barreno’s webcomic Crossed: Wish You Were Here.

Artist Pablo Vague illustrated this month’s Starburst strip at short notice after the intended artist pulled out, and Pablo did a fantastic job of translating my words onto the page in an explosion of psychedelic gore, but I swear that I’d have halved the dialogue and exposition if we’d known in advance that we’d be working together.  Far too many of my words bog down his kinetic illustrations but hopefully we’ll have the chance to work together again soon so that you can see what he’s really capable of.

The most exciting section of Starburst this month is undoubtedly the interview that I was lucky enough to conduct with menton3, Ben Templesmith and Steve Niles about the second planned release from 44FLOOD.  LUST will mark the first collaboration between Niles and Templesmith since their work together on the 30 Days of Night, coinciding with the tenth anniversary of the same series.  Because I work full time, have two children that never sleep and spend most of every night trying to get short stories and comics published I generally try to conduct all of my interviews by e-mail, but when the opportunity came to talk directly to three comic creators that I admire so much I couldn’t pass it up, and luckily they were all pretty patient with me!  I have 44FLOOD co-founder Kasra Ghanbari to thank for the interview, one of the most helpful and supportive people that I’ve met since I began writing professionally.

I’m posting about this new issue of Starburst a little later than I’d have liked because my first comp copy went missing in the post!  It’s funny, sometimes it seems like there’s a direct correlation between the amount of cool books I’m being sent to review and the regularity with which our post goes missing…

In non-Starburst news I recently completed the first draft of a script for Mitsuko Studios’ first planned feature-length film.  I resisted helping them out for as long as I could, knowing how many other commitments I have, but now that they’ve begun casting I find that I’m feeling pretty excited about getting involved.  This week I’m also starting to write what will potentially be a new column for an iPad-only magazine, more to come on that at a later date.  A couple of graphic novel pitches that I’ve been quietly preparing are finally reaching the stage where they’ll be ready to bludgeon publishers with.  And a couple more are just beginning.  When I reach Thought Bubble in November to sell my first self-published comics I want there to be no obstacles stopping publishers throwing contracts at me to turn all of these macabre ideas in my head into reality!

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