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The Times Literary Supplement covers LBDSM

April 8, 2013

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.

LBDSM cover by Karen Lusted and Kate Brown

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.”

Read the full review on his website screen door revolution.

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 , 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!

La Belle Dame Sans Merci promotional image by Mitsuko Studios

La Belle Dame Sans Merci promotional image by Mitsuko Studios

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