After a couple months of hiatus due to various and difficult personal and professional circumstances, I’m hoping to get a bit more back on track this year, if possible. First, with a blog title change, as you can see. The past few months in particular have certainly felt like a rites of passage – for better and for worse – and while this title change is only temporary (as I hope these rites of passage are), hopefully it can represent a step in the right direction and the chance to emerge stronger.
Both Vampire Boogie and Magic of Myths: Faerie are coming together nicely, with both books due to launch sometime around June/July 2015, latest. Clockwork Watch: Tick Tock #3 is also due around the same time, meaning it’s going to be a busy year, and hopefully a productive one. Much of 2014 was laying the groundwork for these three titles, which has sometimes been exhausting, but it’s good to see them nearing their various stages of completion.
In the meantime, you can get a taste of each, one way or another:
Vampire Boogie – 3-page sample: http://vampireboogie.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/vampire-boogie-small-preview.pdf
Magic of Myths: Faerie – early pencils preview: http://magicofmyths.com/2014/12/31/new-year-new-and-first-magic-of-myths-faerie-artwork/
Clockwork Watch: Tick Tock #2 (in preparation for #3) – on sale at ComiXology: https://www.comixology.co.uk/Clockwork-Watch-Vol-4-Tick-Tock-IPA-2/digital-comic/164950
First up, Clockwork Watch creator Yomi Ayeni and I were interviewed a couple times, to talk about our projects, Vampire Boogie, Clockwork Watch and Magic of Myths.
– Geek Speak Videos interview:
– Magic of Myths was chosen as a highlight book for the Comics should be good blog for its Month of African-American Comics. (Yes, we’re aware it’s a mild misnomer given neither Sergio nor I are African American, but the column stated that black people from across the globe were eligible, and the mirror didn’t hold any surprises for me the last time I looked in it, barring a few more grey hairs, so…)
Naturally we’re delighted to have been picked among the many, many entries and the columnist, Brian Cronin, had lots of kind things to say about the series:
“In this series, Brotherson does a strong job with the concept of myths, especially modern myths, like the ones that we make up about ourselves and our lives. Are they any less powerful than the ancient myths? I suppose we will find out as the series continues.
“Calvet’s work evokes a nice Kirby-esque feel to it that lends the comic a good deal of charm. (…) This is an engaging series with charming artwork from the main artist. I hope to see more of Eve’s heroic journey in the future.”
So we’re happy bunnies indeed. Read more here: http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2014/02/11/month-of-african-american-comics-magic-of-myths-seasons-1-2/
– We’ve also announced a new Magic of Myths book, called Magic of Myths: Faerie. This is to help fill the gap of Magic of Myths: season three‘s delay (sorry). The story will be revealed in due time, but it involves William Shakespeare‘s A Midsummer Night’s Dream…
An artwork preview fresh from Sergio’s drawing table? Sure, why not:
– After January’s (seemingly successful) guest teaching slot at a Birmingham junior school, I’ve just been asked to do another in a secondary school, this time on creating comic books. Very cool. Also, scary. But mostly cool. Should be a lot of fun.
– A secret project I’m currently putting together is progressing. After a friend and very well respected creator/editor made a few edits/suggestions, it’s time for a re-write. Which is exciting – it frames the story in a new, refreshing way. Hoping to have something to actually *give* – yes, give – to you come San Diego Comic-Con…
– Oh, yes, San Diego Comic-Con. We (myself and Clockwork Watch creator Yomi Ayeni) have been accepted once again to grace their wonderful, busy halls. Which is bloody amazing as it seems even those who have attended a couple times haven’t got in this year. We may even get a panel. We’re super grateful. Hopefully we can drag our super talented artist friend, Jennie Gyllblad, along with us.
– Zombie anthology Dead Roots is on the verge of release [which includes my story ‘Black, White and Red (All Over)‘ – drawn and lettered by the talented Andy W Clift and Mike Stock, respectively] , with a launch party set for 22nd March at the Coach and Horses on Great Marlborough Street. Come on down for book signings and drinks!
That’s it for now. More to come soon. Promise.
More to come!
Let’s start with Clockwork Watch.
Since the launch of the first book (The Arrival) in 2012, we’ve managed to push the concept across the globe, launched a second event (Clockwork Underworld) and now two more books, Breakaway and Tick Tock IPA.
You can buy Breakaway – which is our The Empire Strikes Back to the shiny, clean optimism of The Arrival‘s Star Wars: A New Hope – here: www.comicsy.co.uk/clockworkwatch/store/
Tick Tock IPA launches at San Diego Comic-Con next week, but you’ll be able to get your hands on it soon after…
Like any other year, 2012 came with ups and downs (given how awful it’s been for some friends I really can’t complain by comparison). And in my comic book work, which is going to be the focus of this particular entry, it’s been mostly positives outweighing the negatives. Yes, there were long, horrible moments of destructive self-doubt, people who broke their promises to me, industry in-fighting and other disappointing things, but through that I became involved in several books, started new, exciting projects, worked with incredibly talented people, garnered some critical acclaim, overcome a couple of specific fears and managed to set up a massive 2013.
There were many creative-related moments which stood out for me this year, but one in particular became important to highlight, for my own sake.
Back in November 2012, at the Thought Bubble convention, I was going through something of an internal struggle. I’d spent the previous months toiling over Magic of Myths: 2013 preview, which had become a labour due to time constraints, rival work commitments and eventual fatigue. I was writing prose again for the first time in years, and after a good start, my confidence was ebbing away. Worse, trying to get people to take an interest in the project was a full time job in itself, and a thankless one at that. Feedback was non-existent and people, on a whole, didn’t really seem to care.
So, at Thought Bubble, this feeling was amplified. Tempered somewhat that Clockwork Watch was flying off the table at a ridiculous rate, but at the same time it polarized my thoughts. Magic of Myths – probably my most personal project to date – attracted minor attention but little commitment, selling substantially less than any other previous convention it attended. Even the card game Sergio and I created failed to draw the public-shy crowds to interact with the series. I felt pretty tired and downtrodden by it all. The convention had physically exhausted me and all I was getting from most people were inadvertent confirmation of fears which had been growing in my skull for a year.
Then something strange and amazing happened.
A young boy and his father ambled over to our table, noticing the Magic of Myths cards. A big smile erupted on the boy’s face. He picked up the cards, grinning, before leafing through the books. I introduced the general concept of the series to him and asked him if he liked playing card games, to which he nodded eagerly. Then he turned, said something to his dad (who then replied “ask your mum”) and he gleefully bounced over to his mother, dragging her back to Magic of Myths. While he wanted to buy a copy of Season one, I discouraged this, thinking he may be a bit too young for it compared to the much friendlier 2013 preview book, so explained to his mother that he could win a copy of the preview just by playing and winning the card game. I didn’t have the heart to ask him to pay the ‘admission fee’ so we played for free and he won, earning himself a free copy of the 2013 preview book and one of the giveaway cards I had for such an occasion. His face lit up. He flicked through the book once more and was off again, beaming.
Afterwards, I spoke to his dad as I was worried that his son was a bit too young (turns out he was nine-years-old) even for the 2013 preview book, but he reassured me that the word “bimbo” used in the comic wasn’t something any of them would be too bothered by, and his reading age was advanced. Relief.
Now, they may have gone home and hated the book. The boy may not have even got to read it all the way through.
But, regardless, the thought that someone could react like that to anything I’ve had a part in, is something I’ll always hold close.
Each creator undoubtedly knows the problem with creating: namely, it’s long, often draining and terribly lonely work. Regardless of how many people you know or are surrounded by, you are in a crowd all alone. By choice, naturally, but that doesn’t make it any less isolating at times. All the more so in the comic book industry, and doubly that for the relatively small (if growing) UK scene. Your voice can ring around an echo chamber, and through the long nights after hours at the day-job, lack of interest, crippling self-doubt and general complaints that no one gets to see you anymore or reply to their messages, it can all seem a bit much. Hell, I could be the only one actually reading this.
But then you see the smile on someone’s face when they pick up your book.
And if there’s any chance they went away entertained, happy, emotionally moved or even (whisper this one) inspired, then somehow, that possibility cuts through the blinkers of fog that any creator can, and often will be, blinded by.
A shining smile.
Sometimes, that’s all it takes.
Thanks for all your support. Here’s hoping 2013 is good to you, especially if 2012 wasn’t. Stay safe everyone, and have a wonderful Christmas.
– Launching and selling Magic of Myths: 2013 preview
– Selling Magicof Myths: season one
– Playing the Magic of Myths card game with showgoers
– Launching and selling the Clockwork Watch 2013 preview book
– Selling Clockwork Watch: The Arrival
– Talking at the Clockwork Watch panel on Sunday at Alea Cinema Room, 1.10pm – 2pm
– Supporting the launch of Tales of the Forgotten and Unseen Shadows: Year One
– Talking at the Unseen Shadows panel on Sunday at Alea Cinema Room, 12.10pm – 1pm
I’ll be in the Royal Armouries Hall (tables 81 -82) with Jennie Gyllblad andYomi Ayeni: http://thoughtbubblefestival.com/royal-armouries-hall-floor-plan/. Hope to see you there!
I couldn’t stop grinning. At 8 years-old I didn’t even think about writing my own comics. I was still toying with wanting to be a doctor and, at that time, the idea of being a journalist was starting to creep into my mind. I was reading Transformer comics every week like my life depended on it. And stressing about junior school. By the time I would reach 11 years-old, being a writer would be the only thing I’d ever want to be, but the idea of having my own books or titles that I’ve worked on, sitting on the shelf of a shop, wasn’t even close to being inside my little head.
Hopefully by the time you read this, Bayou Arcana will have joined these two books on Nostalgia and Comics’ indie shelf. And by the end of the year, a couple more books should be accompanying them. Fingers crossed.
My inner 11 year-old is doing cartwheels. My inner 8 year-old probably just thinks this is all a bit strange.
And me, right now, at 33 years-old? I’m just bloody grateful.