Tales from the Plex Volume 2 has launched – on both the Editor’s birthday and, bizarrely enough, Earth day.
The lovingly created and slaved over anthology can be purchased here: http://www.lulu.com/content/760541
$4.54 (around £2.50) for a download version (PDF format)
$12.85 (around £7.05) for a proper, paperback version
For more info on the anthology on a whole, the press release is
And we’ve been running a series of creator interviews for the anthology over here: (http://www.futurius.com/tftp.html), where you’ll find behind the scenes scoops on many of the stories and get some insight into the creative process of how each tale came together.
Regarding my story, Bad Luck Inc., here’s a handy reference guide for all the stuff out there for it.
My creator interview and 3 page preview on Bad Luck Inc.: http://www.futurius.com/tftpv2_brotherson.html
Character profile 1: http://cbrotherson.blogspot.com/2007/03/back-luck-inc-character-preview-one.html
Character profile 2: http://cbrotherson.blogspot.com/2007/03/back-luck-inc-character-preview-two.html
Character profile 3: http://cbrotherson.blogspot.com/2007/04/back-luck-inc-character-preview-three.html
Soundtrack musings: http://cbrotherson.blogspot.com/2007/04/planet-telex-glastonbury-97.html
Thanks for your support and hope you enjoy it – feel free to pass by and let me know what you think of the whole thing once you get it.
Just one more pre-launch musing before everything kicks off.
Despite being happy with Bad Luck Inc., its ending is a tiny bit controversial in the sense it goes against established storytelling rules. In fact, it comes very close to breaking a very well known storytelling rule. However, I feel it’s something that works through a couple reasons. Firstly, it works within the theme of the story, illustrating the whole point of the tale which should become fairly clear ¾ way in. It tells you the backbone of what Neon is fighting against and why it’s ultimately so important.
Secondly, the format of the story allow for it. It’s only a relatively short tale, and as such the emotional and time investment isnt going to be as long as it would be for say, a 22 pager. So given the comparative brevity, there’s less time for a sense of commitment to set and create any sense of major outrage when you reach the final pages. It’s a fine line, I admit, but there’s a lot there to temper it and make the endeavor worthwhile for the reader, I think.
In coming up with a ‘soundtrack’ for the story, the first few pages which you read here (below) play nicely to Planet Telex by Radiohead.
It captures the sense of overbearing gloominess and sense of desperation that Neon is experiencing, with a tinge of hope layered to keep things moving. There’s a rawness to Radiohead’s live performance in the video above, as expected, but the album version is obviously a lot ‘cleaner’ to represent the rather anesthetic plastic wrap that the future is often presented in. This live version’s rawness adds another element to that; like a bit a grime hiding beneath the fingernail, showing Bad Luck Inc.’s dirty intent under its shiny cover.
When thinking of the soundtrack to the story, I tried my very best to find tracks that not only project the ambiance of the story itself, but also has a title that fits as well; or at least offers a clue to what’s happening. So Planet Telex is a clear offering of transition and movement through a world of chatting technology, if you will. Perfect for the opening of Bad Luck Inc.
The first fully complete page preview of Bad Luck Inc., for your perusal. Click on it to get the full size version (obviously all copyright laws apply and please only reproduce with my or artist Yui Marr’s permission).
I’ll really leave the page to speak for itself, with the next two pages to follow within the next week, leading into the release of Tales From the Plex Vol 2 (http://www.futurius.com/tftpv2.html).
Hope you enjoy!
Bad Luck Inc. Page 1
(Click to see the full size version)
And so we reach the final character preview from Bad Luck Inc., Democritus.
There’s less here on Democritus than the other two characters through the fact he’s the most enigmatic of the cast in both appearance and history. He looms by MinRep’s shoulder like an ominous cloud, only speaking when he needs to and what he often says is only what’s needed for the time. In a way, Democritus represents the core of Bad Luck Inc. as a company; remorseless, pragmatic and utterly by the book – very literally, in many ways.
One thing that should be pointed out as a clue to Democritus’ nature is his eyes. Passing inspection should show that they’re obviously not ‘normal’ by any means. His script description is as follows:
“…(Democritus) is the taller figure, a well dressed, sharply suited man of very pale white skin and silver hair. His eyes are totally white, no irises at all, and he wears a nonplussed expression. But his eyes change in every panel he’s in…”
I’ve cut out the reason why they change in each panel, but they offer significance on several levels through what they show, literally, symbolically, thematically and spiritually – the latter offering a question: if the eyes are the mirror to the soul, what does Democritus’ eyes tell you about his existence?
Character preview one – Neon
Character preview two – MinRep
That’s all that stands between now and the release of Futurius’ Tales From the Plex Anthology Vol 2.
Official release date is April 22nd, (which also happens to be the Editor’s birthday) so the promotional drive is building from a distant rumble to an inexorable storm for the end of the month.
At the moment I’m still slogged with a ton of stuff (yes, still), and the number of things that need to be done are growing. I’ll be doing interviews with some other writers on the anthology for the run-up, so that needs to be done as well as my own previews for Bad Luck. That said, I’m getting off quite lightly – the production for the anthology is MASSIVE and the poor Editor has been stuck doing 18 hour days trying to get it all sorted for release.
So, with three weeks to go, what I’m going to do is complete the final character preview as planned next week, follow by several fully lettered pages for the last 2 weeks. Having seen the final product now on my laptop, I’m very pleased with the whole thing. Of course, this doesn’t mean you’ll like it (although obviously I hope you do), but it’s a fairly big thing for me to see what started off in my head be transferred to someone else’s pencils and then back on to page for public consumption. Considering I’ve wanted to do this since I was about 13 -shortly after the realization that I wanted to be a games journalist/writer, and possible an animator (my artwork is sadly far too poor for the latter to ever be fulfilled)- I’m ecstatic. That I’ll see absolutely no money from this at all doesn’t really matter. I only hope the rest of my stories take off as well and this one is decently received.
That’s all for now, really. End of the month grind means I’m back to work as soon as I press ‘publish’ on this entry.
Final character preview next week and then you’ll be able to actually READ the first few pages of Bad Luck Inc. in their entirety.
Catch you in seven.