Been a while since I posted & a busy while at that.
As evidenced by my last blog post, knight of the comic realm Colin Bell & I tabled at the truly super London Super Con, now a couple of weekends ago. Books were slung, friends both old & new were socialised with, & much merry was had all round.
Shout outs MUST go to the fabulous Owen Michael Johnson (of the fantastic ‘Raygun Roads’ fame), Robin Harman (he of the Orbiting Pod), Dave Stokes (Britain’s best kept comic art secret, hands down) & ‘Luscious’ Luca Pizzari, brilliant artist and even more gracious host. All these fine folk & many more made the weekend something special, & I can safely say I intend to hit that con again in future; lovely stuff.
Older, Unlikely Wiser
& as it turns out, London Super Con was the last convention I attended in my ‘roaring’ twenties (ok; less ‘roaring’, more ‘mewing’). Just a couple of days ago I turned the big ‘three-zero’, which I believe means I have to be (or at least act) ‘grown-up’ now. It also means I can not longer use the excuse of “oh, well’ I’ll have done THAT by the time I hit my thirties!” That excuse has quite literally expired. Expect many more declarations about stuff I’ll have done by my forties from now on…
Rejuvenation For The Nation
But… in the spirit of starting my third decade on this Earth in productive fashion, my first piece of ‘post-twenties’ work hits the (digital) shelves TODAY.
Collaborating with the phenomenally talented artist Leonie O’Moore (with whom I was also incredibly lucky to work with on Mike Garley’s ‘Dead Roots’ project), we have been part of a project for, oh… going on a couple of years now, with other members of the Glasgow League of Writers, where we had the opportunity to resurrect old characters from the DC Thompson archives.
If you are unfamiliar with DC Thompson, they are the company that brought the world the likes of ‘Beano‘ and ‘Dandy‘, but also used to produce action comics such as ‘The Victor‘ and ‘The Hotspur‘, right back into the 1930s. It is from these older publications the project drew, allowing creative teams free reign to re-imagine long-lost heroes, & giving us the chance to imbue them with a new lease of life.
Leonie & myself took on the character of Red Star Roberts/Robinson, who had seen two very different incarnations over the years, smashed these together, renamed (in order to sidestep the existence of another high-profile, but non-DC Thompson character with the same moniker) & re-framed the character in a modern setting as ‘The Scarlet Star‘.
The first, 6-page part of ‘The Scarlet Star’ is published today in Comic Review, the digital-only sister publication of Comic Heroes magazine. It is free if you are a subscriber to Comic Heroes, & can also be purchased now for just 99 pence via their app, which you can find HERE.
We hope you’ll go check it out, as both Leonie and myself really enjoyed the task of bringing a new spin to an old character, & I think Leonie totally knocked it out of the park with her art. In fact, it is all so good, you should all go right over to her site now (which you’ll find HERE) & gaze at all her excellent work. Like, right now. I’m serious. Also, shout out to aforementioned gentleman of funny books Colin Bell for providing ace letters too; love that guy.
& once you’ve gone read the story, & then given mad props to Leonie, please do drop me a line to tell me what you think. Always love hearing people’s thoughts on what I’m up to, especially something like this where I’m working with intellectual property not of my own making, so;’ please, come shout at me!
Follow The Yellow Brick Road…
Like I am sure many of you comic fans out there, right now I am crazy jealous, & I don’t care who knows it.
Why? Because this weekend, over in the US Pacific Northwest, a who’s who of comics is gathering for the Emerald City Comic Convention in Seattle, Washington.
& I’m not there. Which sucks.
But, heck; as I mentioned, this FANTASTIC convention has more stars that most night skies (note: this may not be an actual fact), including some great friends of mine & outstanding peers, who I think any of you folks out there who ARE going MUST go see.
While there are so, so many I cannot include here due to space issues, I’m gonna give a run down of the top three indie bods you should seek out like your comic lives depend on it, & say hello, but stuff from, & generally CHECK OUT!
First up, Mr Chris Lewis (exhibiting at JJ-14); I first met Chris at Thought Bubble 2012, after already ‘meeting’ online during his successful kickstarter campaign for his incredible book ‘Drones‘. Now, while you simply MUST go & see Mr Lewis for that fantastic work alone, he’s also debuting a new book ‘Mixmancer‘ at Emerald City, which is about (& I quote verbatim); “… a DJ who remixes pop-culture in order to fend off an alien meme that is intent on subduing Earth by means of a self-help memoir.” MIND. BLOWN. If THAT doesn’t get you rushing over to check out JJ-14, I’ve no idea what will. Get in on the ground floor. Now.
Next is Texan pulp-master Fabian Rangel Jr (exhibiting at P-01), writer of the excellent ‘Doc Unknown‘ series, which thrashed kickstarter when funding its first volume, & is already doing the same for volume two. A man who if you were to cut him, would BLEED comics (note: please don’t cut him), you should be at his table this weekend, just so in couple of years when they are adapting his stuff into summer blockbusters & he flies everywhere in a helicopter that makes Airwolf look like a microlight, you can say “man, I remember him when he tabling at P-01 at Emerald City, 2014…” Go! Make that memory! Buy this man’s stuff! Table P-01! Do it!
& last, but absolutely positively not least, the third dude you should be hunting down like a comicawesome-seeking missile is my friend, mentor & ‘Exit Generation‘ editor Adam P. Knave (exhibiting at C-08). Okay, okay; so, calling Adam (who is a special guest, for frick’s sakes) ‘indie’ might not be entirely fair, as the guy is rocking books like ‘Never Ending‘ at Dark Horse and the ever-amazing ‘Amelia Cole‘ & ‘Artful Daggers‘ over at MonkeyBrain.
But, whilst an established & recognised writer, every little helps, & the more folks who check out Adam’s brilliant work (often alongside co-writer Mr. DJ Kirkbride), the better for comics. FOR COMICS, PEOPLE. So, head on over to table C-08, tell him Sam sent you, & I imagine he’ll regal you with tales of how awful my first drafts are, & how my spelling make English teachers (& editors) cry at ten paces, or other such embarrassing ‘behind the scene’ gossip. Oh, & buy one of the awesome Amelia Cole T-Shirts, because the opposite sex will think your hot for doing so. I promise.
Right, I think that is me done. I’m away to continue being three decades old, & to drink too much coffee, which apparently is something my aging husk can still take, so there is at least that…