La Belle Dame Sans Merci, Blackout and Disconnected Press
On Saturday November 17th I’ll be exhibiting at Thought Bubble comic festival in Leeds, trading under the name Blackout Comics at table 169 in New Dock Hall.
This will be the first time that I’ve hired a table to sell comics at a convention, and it would be no exaggeration to say that I’m going all out to make a good impression on attendees. I’m essentially at a place in my life where full-time work occupies my days and children that won’t sleep occupy my nights. Around them I manage to squeeze in a column and one-page strip a month for Starburst, plus a bimonthly column for INFINITY and recently a half-hour film script, but beyond that I have to make a choice. I can either spend the remaining time writing comics and attempting to sign contracts that would get my work out to a wider audience, OR I could start writing my second novel, currently codenamed Death Cult Apocalypse. There isn’t time in my life for both. My solution has been to work flat out to prepare for Thought Bubble, getting as much published work as possible ready to sell there, plus some printed graphic novel pitches to target selectively at publishers. I’m taking this one chance to impress the right people, putting everything on red, and if things don’t go my way then I might just go into hibernation and write my next novel.
Enough about my personal life. On to the comics!
Launching at Thought Bubble will be La Belle Dame Sans Merci (1 of 4), my Gothic-Horror series based on the Keats poem of the same name. Illustrated by Karen Yumi Lusted, with cover colours by Kate Brown, pin-ups by Kate Ashwin and Kate Holden, an essay about the feminism of Keats by feminist pop-culture blog editor Miranda Brennan AND an original soundtrack by Brendan Ratliff. You can read more details about LBDSM at the British Fantasy Society website and I’ve also been fortunate enough to have the story picked up by Forbidden Planet International. Horror site Truly Disturbing were kind enough to preview the series and Jorge Solis also posted an advance review, though it’s quite in-depth so I’d advise you not to read it until after reading the comic itself. I’m also expecting a couple more websites to cover the story in the coming weeks. Not many people have read the first issue yet so I don’t want to post too much about their responses, but I’ve got feedback here from Matt Badham, Paul Duffield and David Hine queued up to put online after a little time has passed. If you want to preorder a copy of LBDSM then feel free to send me an e-mail on pmbuchan at hotmail dot com. I should also have some digital options for you to buy online within the next fortnight.
At Thought Bubble we’ll also be launching our obscenity-laced anthology Blackout. If booze, unrequited romance, death-by-misadventure, necrophilia, cannibalism and suicide are your thing then you’re going to LOVE Blackout. Co-created by Jack Fallows and Phillip Marsden, with additional contributions by Andrew Waugh, Mike Barnes and Harley Poe‘s Joe Whiteford, this is what we do for fun around here. And by fun, I mean that after this bad boy is released Phil, Jack and I will probably never talk to each other again, except maybe to hurl insults before knocking each other’s teeth out. Blackout hasn’t quite made it to the printers yet, so I haven’t circulated the news widely online or looked for any early reviews, but these are either the sickest or the funniest comic strips that I’ll ever work on. If we don’t inadvertently offend any pro-censorship groups then I have a good feeling about Blackout. Again, send me an e-mail if you want to preorder a copy and look out for it appearing in online stores and as a digital version sooner rather than later.
Your third and final chance to buy any of my work at Thought Bubble will be in Disconnected Press‘ new anthology Disconnected volume 2. They’ve posted an interview with me and the artist on their website and it’s pretty revealing about my writing methods and troubled past, so if you’ve ever wondered where my darker ideas come from then head over to read the interview. All Roads Lead To Hell has been illustrated by Martin Simmonds and when you see it you’ll understand why we have plans to continue working together as soon as Thought Bubble is over. So many of my collaborators urge restraint, not wanting to get too graphic, but when I write for Martin I feel like no amount of gore-soaked insanity will ever be enough!
At the festival itself I’ll have two pitches printed and ready to share with interested publishers. I don’t want to prematurely give away too much about them, but I posted the covers to Doomed Romantics and Life of the Dead earlier today and if anybody wants to talk to me about them before Thought Bubble you can reach me on pmbuchan at hotmail dot com.
There are a LOT of people that I want to see at Thought Bubble this year, including many that I’ve spoken to online but never met in person. If you’re in attendance come over to table 169 and introduce yourself. And wish me luck!