Slow News and Delayed Gratification

Just got my comp copy of the first edition of the Slow Journalism Company’s quarterly Delayed Gratificationmagazine, which features me doing my best bad impression of the engravers of yesteryear and turning a news event into an illustration. They did that before cameras were invented, you know. Those were the days.

Delayed Gratification

Anyway, the news event in question was an Ernest Jones jewellery shop being robbed by a gang of organised thieves with sledgehammers on motorbikes, who were ultimately foiled by passing members of the public. Huzzah for community spirit!

Delayed Gratification

I even hand-lettered this. Well, ‘hand-lettered’ by freehand tracing a printout of a computer font. Cough.

Delayed Gratification

And here’s a pretty tight layout version I showed the Slow News peeps before I set-to on the finished art.

Delayed Gratification

The magazine itself is fantastic, the idea is it’s three months-worth of news slowly picked over and analysed, with connections drawn and themes brought forward, all the name of ‘Slow Journalism’. The design is fantastic too, and leads the entire product rather than just being the last coat of shine on top of the copy text, as it is with some magazines.

Copies are available to buy from the Delayed Gratification website!

Excellent. Release the Ravens.

August the 2nd finally sees the release of the Raven’s Gate Graphic Novel from Walker Books, in British bookshops, some two-and-a-bit years after I first put pencil to paper for it. A long time after Dom first started work on it, and even longer than when Tony first adapted the script! (Case in point: have a look at this old previewof Dom’s work on the book from March 2008!) Anyway, I digress. It’s here and thanks to Dom’s lovely painterly skills the cover looks like this:

Raven's Gate Graphic Novel cover

Chuffin’ nice, eh? It’s got 170 story pages wrapped in lovely design by Patrick Insole at Walker Books and a beautiful cover with spot embossed gloss inks.

It’s available to buy from Walker, Amazon UK (complete with a nifty preview of the first few pages!) and Amazon US, as well as proper, real-life bookshops that normal, unassuming people shop in. (And let’s not forget that getting long-form comics into that kind of environment is a real achievement.)

Thinking about it, given the supernatural nature of this title, we might even see a bit of cross-over from the Twilight crowd and those ‘Dark Fiction’ shelves that groan with vampire novels in the bookshops… We shall see!

Merry Metal

‘The Spirit and the Flesh’, the strip I illustrated for Heavy Metal, is in the issue out on the shelves right this very second, the January 2010 edition:

Heavy Metal

Heavy Metal

(Comp copies are the perfect Christmas present! Bit like getting the Beano annual when you’re wee, even!) I was steeling myself for the strip about hairy-arsed cowboys to be surrounded by images of sci-fi and barbarian girls in bikinis, but no amount of mental preparation can quite fortify you for the impact of the finished article… The cowboys are set-up next to the issue’s beautifully drawn and coloured long-form piece, ‘Mortemer‘.

I’m pretty sure I listed all the reasons why being in Heavy Metal magazine made my nerdy little heart sing like a canary in a previous blog entry, and having the finished object in my hands and on the racks is even better. It’s good to have a considerable number of colour pages in print in a self-contained story, most of the work I do for comics is monochrome… Anyway, if it’s not in your local shop you can buy it online here. Enjoy. And watch out for Baron Saturday.

No, It’s Not the Steve Irwin Fanzine

There’s a piece written by me about The Ayatollah’s Son in this month’s Crikey! – ‘The Great British Comics Magazine’:

Crikey!

John ‘Kinky’ Pertwee looking slightly perturbed at the prospect of many mini doctors on the cover there… There’s a bunch of top stuff in this issue, click through the link above to find out more, and even see Bryan Talbot attractively modelling a copy…

Crikey!

Crikey!

As you can see, it’s all rather impeccably laid-out, as is the the rest of the mag! In my time playing writer, I talk about how I came to be involved with the book, working with Pat, the different stages of researching and drawing the strip, and a load of other artistic polemic I managed to crowbar in.

Meanwhile, the Ctrl.Alt.Shift Book‘s getting some writeups in The Guardian, The Independent, Metro, Dazed and Confused and the Fade arts zine…

Pat reckons we might even manage to get a graphic novel out of this short story – I think the mileage in the characters and the stories we have left to tell is definitely there. Watch this space.

Ctrl+Alt+Shift

I am return’d from cavorting about the streets of the nation’s capital – much fun was had, old friends were met, new ones were made, and many baozi buns were eaten. It was top.

First of all, you can now buy the Ctrl.Alt.Shift Unmasks Corruption book online from the charity’s shop here while stocks last. The book’s 96 pages long and has a beautiful (as you can see) wraparound cover from Laura Oldfield Ford.

Ctrl.Alt.Shift Unmasks Corruption

Here’s the Lazarides gallery in Soho on the night of the Private View. Phono-chums Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie are somewhere in that crowd:

Ctrl.Alt.Shift Unmasks Corruption

Inside, the two-floor gallery has been deliberately made into a scraped-out concrete shell. It’s a pretty unique venue – Here are some prints from the Iraq book on the wall:

Downstairs, my original art pages for The Ayatollah’s Son are on the wall with prints of Dan Goldman‘s strip in the book to the right:

Facing my work on the opposite wall was original mixed-media artwork from, erm, some bloke called Dave McKean. Mental. (I hadn’t gotten around to mentioning he was in the book too yet, had I..?)

Dave McKean Originals

A few days later, it was off to the imposing facade of the Institute of Contemporary Arts on The Mall:

Dave McKean Originals

Good lord, there are comics everywhere.

While a whole bunch of us were loafing about in the bar, (Uncle) Pat (Mills) dropped into the conversation that his artist pal Kevin O’Neill had seen the strip and said he liked the art..! Will wonders never cease..?

And to round off the evening, I got to see Blood Orange, which involved yer man Dev Hynes here of Lightspeed Champion and The Test Icicles fame take command of every single inch of a stage with nothing more than a laptop, a guitar and a few monitors… Comics and music – what more do you need..?

Phonogram Singles Club #3

Ach, poor neglected blog! Apologies. I’ve got tons of stuff to update with but scant time to do it in, as I’m busy inking up an entire slab-like book (which I will tell you about later on) but this is a bit spesh’, so I’ll break radio silence to slide the following exciting fact under your collective noses:

Phonogram: The Singles Club Issue 3 is out from Image this earth-week in at least three continents.

Thanks to Jamie McKelvie, It looks this good:

Phonogram: The Singles Club Issue 3 Cover

Tasty, eh?

My Indie Dave backup strip is in there with a, err, summing-up of the first Phonogram volume, Rue Britannia, with wondeful art from cat etiquette guru Leigh Gallagher. I’ve had a sneaky peek through the issue and don’t you worry kids, this series does keep on restoring your Faith in Comics at every turn.

Along with the musical theme, these ‘B-Sides’ won’t be in the eventual collected edition, so make sure you snap up the singles in as fannish way as possible. Thankyou.

Short Stories, Troubled World

Short Stories from a Troubled World

A book cover commission, in which I continue to stick it to The Man – it’s from Iconoclast Publishing and is called ‘Short Stories from a Troubled World’, if you hadn’t noticed, and is a collection of the beautiful thoughts of one Tony Paul – who takes “a Humorous, yet heard-hitting swipe at some serious issues. Among the book’s targets are Ruling Elites, Globalisation, Dumbing Down, Think-Tanks and the unholy alliance between government, Big Business and the media.” Testify!
If you can guess who all the personalities are in this drawing – struggling against my representations of them is the challenge, you see – you get a fictional prize!

(Oh, and on a personal, limitation-of-space side note, I’ve just put a great swathe of heavy-weight Nerd Material for sale on eBay. Click here to see the glittering delights arrayed before you. Thankyou.)