New issues of Starburst and INFINITY, plus plans for 2013
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!