– 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.
It barely feels like a month since I was writing for this blog in January 2013. Somehow, a whole year as crept by and I’ve barely had time to update The Writer’s Block. I even had a title change all planned for it. That slipped through the net, too. At least, for now.
And, as always, things have been happening. Gratefully, my profile has continued to grow, and another story is on the verge of being published while several others are either being edited or written. And plans are afoot.
So, a quick update, as seen on my Facebook profile (so apologies if Facebook pulls this into a feed and you’ve already read it):
Andrew Girdwood has very kindly selected me as ‘one to watch’ in the comic book industry in Forbidden Planet’s Best of 2013 round up: http://www.forbiddenplanet.co.uk/blog/2013/best-of-the-year-2013-andrew-girdwood/
And I’ll be doing a guest teacher spot on fiction/writing on Friday 10th January at a good friend’s junior school. Should be interesting, to say the least… wish me luck.
And then there’s a six month hiatus where you didn’t even realise half a year has passed.
Sorry. Sorry sorry sorry.
Of course, the ironic thing is, I’ve been keeping the Magic of Myths site going with constant updates. In fact, in the last six months I’ve:
– Launched a graphic novel
– Finished another graphic novel and helped produce three separate editions of it
– Plotted out yet another graphic novel
– Edited a short story due for publication very soon
– Organised attendance to San Diego Comic-Con, coming this month
– Wrote a secret, short story due for publication later this year
– Organised plans for attending at least another UK based convention in October
– Attended E3 for my day job, along with a batch of other things that comes with my regular work
So I’ve not been slacking. Honest. I merely thought I would revamp the site and pick it up again…
…just not, you know, six months later than planned.
As it stands, the site will be changing. A new title, a new, more personal URL (hopefully) and more words than the last six months (badum-tish, thank ye, thank ye, tip your waitress…).
Be back shortly.
Hope you’ve had a good start to 2013 and it’s treating you well so far.
So, lots to announce in the coming weeks, with some exciting news to shape the coming year. But before all of that, The Writer’s Block will be going through a bit of a change. In fact, don’t be entirely surprised if it’s no longer ‘The Writer’s Block’.
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.
Two books I’ve worked on – Magic of Myths and Clockwork Watch: The Arrival – for sale. In a shop I’ve been going to since I was about 8 years-old.
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.
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.
Script editing, script writing and other new factors (PlayStation Vita, namely) have kept me away for a while, sorry – but I promise I’ll be back with some rather nice news, very, very soon… stay tuned…
Sorry for the lack of updates during December – the work is coming in thick and fast, and between that and Christmas, spare time suddenly became a thing of the (ghost of Christmas) past. But the good news is that 2012 will see the launch of several big projects that have been in the making during 2011, and represent an important milestone in my comic book writing.
I’ll create full blog post about it soon, but in the meantime have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Just a quick one, sorry – my planned updates for the past few weeks have been a bit waylaid, between Magic of Myths finally hitting the printers (more on that soon), lots of work, emergency babysitting for two days straight (which was actually a strange, and at times, life-affirming pleasure, despite the constant worry, lack of sleep, nappies etc) and also the same sodding illness which struck me nearly four years ago. To say it’s brutal would be an understatement. Sleep and food were pretty much a distant memory for the past three days.
And now my eyes ache from too much screen-time, so like a tired old man, I’m out of here.
Catch you on the flipside soon, hopefully.