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How To Make A Monster

March 25, 2015

This site has been a desolate wasteland since a couple of big writing projects took off at the end of last year. I can’t reveal the main projects that I’m working on, BUT, I’m also collaborating with some insanely talented artists on a number of short and long-form comic-book projects that I hope will be ready to talk about soon.

Here’s a character sketch from an idea that I’m developing with Caspar Wijngaard, famous for his work on Tabitha, Tortured Life and other T-Pubs series. I don’t want to reveal too much, other than to say that it was born in part from my desire to create something that would play to Caspar’s dark side and flair for creating monsters.

Caspar Wijngaard concept art

The third chapter of La Belle Dame Sans Merci, co-created by Karen Yumi Lusted, is due for completion shortly and I’ll be announcing exactly where and when the comic will launch as soon as the pinups and backup material are complete. This is our longest issue yet, wrapping up La Belle Dame’s journey and delivering an ending, of sorts. You can buy chapters one and two in my online store.

LBDSM 2 cover by Karen Yumi Lusted low res

I’m also collaborating with Owen Johnson (Raygun Roads) on another project that’s still in it’s infancy. We’re holding regular meetings to hurl abuse at one another and conjure up a world that people will want to visit. Owen recently led a successful Kickstarter campaign with John Pearson, who I collaborated with last year on a series of Manson Family prints and adult horror anthology, Love Will Tear Us Apart (also available to buy online). Owen and John’s series together, Beast Wagon, is a thing of beauty, and I remember well the initial phone call with Owen early last year when he talked about his ideas to create a story about talking animals in the zoo and I egged him on to take the concept as far as it could go. As a result of his work on Love Will Tear Us Apart, John Pearson has recently completed some illustrations with my good friend Tomb Dragomir for Rue Morgue Magazine, which are well worth taking a look at.

The UK collected edition of The Object of My Affection, with co-creator Phillip Marsden (Kerrang!, Off Life), is currently being prepared for printing and will hopefully be ready to launch at a comic festival in the near future. The collected edition features a new pinup created by Gareth Brookes (The Black Project) and Asterinidae hand embroidery. Laura Sneddon (The Guardian, The Independent) said of Object: “Underground comics are often unfairly dismissed as misogynistic male fantasy fodder, but it’s fair to say that the particularly disturbing and on point look at misogyny within Object of My Affection is both incredibly welcome and a resounding success. The objectification of women is deftly turned into a weapon against sexism, and a genuinely terrifying morality tale. Hurrah for progressive filth!”

Object cover by Phillip Marsden and P M Buchan

I contributed to a series of State of the Small Press Nation columns written by Broken Frontier‘s Andy Oliver, analysing the market for independent comics in the UK. I discuss my views on the importance of expanding the readership for comic-books in the UK, choosing the right conventions to exhibit at and the ways that having a family can affect convention appearances. You can read the full series of columns here.

The talented Alasdair Stuart reviewed my adult horror anthology, Love Will Tear Us Apart, co-created with RGB, and said: “Buchan’s ear for dialogue is perfect and there’s something horrifically British about the extended silences and hunched, quiet children trying not to get in trouble.

“When the end times come, the story kicks up two gears and the result is extraordinary. There’s one page here that’s easily the nastiest thing I’ve seen done with a zombie in the last year and the ending is both emotionally satisfying and full of action catharsis. It’s a tough piece about a tough group of people and what may be their last actions but it’s also intensely compassionate and humane.

“That same compassion is on display in (short story) Drinking Bleach Instead. A couple, held together by politeness and necessity more than love, encounter the end of the world not threatening their children, but through them. This plays like classic ‘70s horror, the small cast and location creating a pressure cooker of tension. The ending is inevitable but no less horrific for that and the piece works as a carefully considered polar opposite of Love Will Tear Us Apart.

“This is a fantastic pair of horror stories from some of the best creators in the UK. It’s not easy reading at times but the best horror never is and this is certainly some of the best horror I’ve read this year.”

Love Will Tear Us Apart promo logo

I’ve also done a few Starburst Magazine reviews of my own in the past couple of months, namely the excellent children’s collected editions Pirates of Pangaea, Bunny Vs Monkey and Long Gone Done.

Speaking of reviewers, talented US reviewer Brett Schwaner, who has been a big champion of my work and UK comics in general, is preparing to release his first illustrated horror novel, Guignol – A Tale of Escalating Horror. You can read a free preview on his site an it’s well worth your time, illustrated by ‘New Orleans punk rock legend Keith Hogan’.

Finally, you can now read my savage three-page fantasy comic strip with Anna Fitzpatrick, My Heart Is Yours, online, as reported by Forbidden Planet International. Thanks as always to Joe Gordon and Rich Bruton for their support of comic creators in the UK.

My Heart Is Yours page 1 by Anna Fitzpatrick and P M Buchan

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