A really pleasant and unexpected addition – thanks to the wonderful people at Leeds West Academy for the opportunity.
– 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.
As mentioned in the last post, I’ve been working on a story for zombie anthology, Dead Roots. And now, Dead Roots‘ chief all all-round good guy Mike Garley has launched a Kickstarter campaign for the full book, which contains all the Dead Roots stories to date and a few extras as perks: www.kickstarter.com/projects/1668205146/the-dead-roots-comic-anthology
It’s doing wonderfully well so far, but you can still become a big part of the campaign and own a rather lovely looking hardback edition (as well as get an exclusive invite to the launch party) by heading over to www.kickstarter.com/projects/1668205146/the-dead-roots-comic-anthology and contributing. Every bit helps and it’s a fantastic anthology which should appeal to anyone of great stories, whether you’re a fan of undead tales or not.
And I’m not just saying that – my humble little story is rubbing shoulders with tales from big names such as Paul Alexander (Red Dwarf, My Parents are Aliens, Emmerdale), Eric Canete (Iron Man, Luke Cage, Superboy), Andrew Ellard (Red Dwarf, IT Crowd, Miranda), James Henry (Green Wing, Smack the Pony, Campus), James Moran (Doctor Who, Severance, Cockneys VS Zombies), Jason Arnopp (Doctor Who, Friday The 13th, Stormhouse) and Gordon Rennie (Judge Dredd, White Trash, Necronauts).
Be part of it and grab some goodies! www.kickstarter.com/projects/1668205146/the-dead-roots-comic-anthology
So, in-between writing Magic of Myths: season two, Clockwork Watch: Breakaway and other bits and bobs, I’ve been secretly working on another project which I’d been signed up to. A secret project I can finally talk about in the open.
Say hi to Dead Roots.
The site describes it as:
“… a bumper-sized zombie comic anthology, published quarterly throughout 2013. Dead Roots brings together top talent from the worlds of TV, animation, film, comics and games to provide an anthology of stories based in the initial outbreak of a zombie outbreak. The anthology focuses on the emotional state and experiences of everyday people and their journeys, as they search to find their loved ones in the apocalyptic setting of a zombie outbreak!”
Dead Roots has picked up some sterling reviews, and I’m pleased to say I’m contributing a short story towards it called ‘Black, White and Red (All Over)‘.
Dead Roots‘ editor and chief, Mike Garley invited me to pitch a story to him last year, and after missing the mark with my first pitch, my second idea struck a chord. So after I put the script together earlier this year, he teamed me up with the talented Andy W Clift (artist) and Mike Stock (letterer) and after a few months of hard work, the results are ready to go. A quick panel preview for you…
You can see this page preview on the site with the other stories in Dead Roots by visiting www.deadroots.co.uk/stories/.
I’ll have news on when the next Dead Roots is available to download but you can buy the current editions here: www.deadroots.co.uk/the-app/.
I’m also working on several other secret projects… but I’ll talk about those in the coming months…
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.
Following last year’s successful Unseen Shadows – Tales of the Fallen, this collection of stories features the talented works of creators including Richmond Clements, Alex Moore, Cy Dethan, Valia Kapadai and Nic Wilkinson. I’ve two stories in this: Stolen (with Cormac Hughes on art, Paul Mclaren doing the lettering and Vicky Stonebridge providing the colours) and Fight or Flight (with Jorge Oliveira delivering the art and Paul Mclaren again on the lettering).
Working on these stories has been great fun and I’m lucky (as always) to have worked with such talent. A release date for the book will be revealed soon, but you can check out previews of Stolen here: unseenshadows.com/2012/09/10/read-the-four-page-full-colour-preview-of-stolen and Fight or Flight here: unseenshadows.com/2012/10/04/fight-or-flight-is-finished.
You’ll see more of these characters – that’s Snow and her burly entourage – in the book, as well as next year’s Magic of Myths: season two. And we have a lot of things planned for the launch of both graphic novels, including the chance for you to win a copy of Magic of Myths: season two. Stay tuned…
It does mean that my plans to do a write-up from Bristol and Kapow have fallen somewhat by the wayside, but needless to say they were very fruitful, productive and successful shows for Clockwork Watch, Bayou Arcana and Magic of Myths. The typically awesome comic book crowd made the events as special as they were, and I can’t offer enough thanks to all those people there, new friends and old from all over, for a great time. So, it may be best to let the pics speak for me while I beaver away at a couple secret projects and announcements that have come to light in the past month.
…And has some very nice things to say about it:
“Possibly the greatest thing about the steampunk genre and aesthetic is that it pulls you in and almost forces you to interact and create. Exquisite craftsmanship or an outlandish device will catch your eye and often inspire you to put your own distinct spin on an idea. The Clockwork Watch does exactly this and to such a degree that seems insulting to simply be called ‘immersive’.”
Read more here: http://www.steampunkchronicle.com/ArticleView/tabid/238/ArticleId/228/A-Look-At-The-World-of-the-Clockwork-Watch.aspx
Don’t forget, tickets to our London event can be bought here: http://advancementofsciences.com/tickets.php.
Get yours before they sell out!
Our massive Victorian era steampunk thriller, Clockwork Watch, is on the verge of revealing some of its secrets, starting with the first part of the story – graphic novel, The Arrival.
The Arrival follows the journey of an influential Sikh family who have moved to England to help The Queen develop clockwork servants.
But how will this brave transplanted family deal with a world struggling with technological and social change amidst an atmosphere of prejudice and intolerance?
And what effect will this and the introduction of the new clockwork servants have on Britain – and a little boy who has been ripped away from his friends?
If you donated to the project on IndiGoGo last year, you may well see yourself in this tale of society going through a brutal, history altering change. And your involvement won’t end there…
We’re now taking pre-orders for this first graphic novel, which will be followed by a very special surprise on 6 May 2012…
To pre-order The Arrival or read more information on Clockwork Watch, please head over here: http://clockworkwatch.com/