Sunday, 13 February 2011

Buildings, and jumping across them.

It's been a while since I've worked in a city, and I find myself looking at the buildings around me as the train draws into Manchester and I put my book away.
There are some really interesting buildings all around us. I tend to get drawn to the older ones myself, the ones with the interesting shapes, strangley constructed and yet functional rooves. Windows that stand proud of the walls, floors that cover a slightly larger area the higher they get. The names of their original purpose carved into their stonework, rather than being fastened to the outside by rust prone screws. There's a real permanence about these buildings that I just don't see in the newer ones.
So as those around me rush to their workplace with their heads down, I rush to mine with my head raised, enjoying these buildings and wishing that we still built structures like them, rather than the boxes of steel and glass that is the current fashion.
And then I spot some strange marking, drawn in chalk next to an old door on one of these old buildings and I find myself looking for others. Is this some kind of code ? Is there some society moving around amongst us using their own language ? Signalling safe houses to each other ? Or maybe it's nothing more sinister than a workman indicating the depth and position of a water main, running beneath the building at some unexpected depth or angle. It certainly isn't Bobby Doyle marking cleared buildings.
Strange then that this appeared on Monday's desk calendar...

OK ... so I changed the diagram a bit, but good advice for any would be superhero, who hasn't the ability to actually fly.

And it occurred to me that a masked character running across the rooftops of old Victorian or Edwardian buildings has so much more visual excitement to it than the same character trying to leap from one skyscraper to another, even if the latter would by much more perilous.

Maybe I need to write a story about a Victorian Superhero and get it out of my system.

Friday night Andy, Colin and I got together to discuss where Accent UK is going and what we need to do to keep growing. We meet every now and then in a local pub, an old building with a very low ciling, full of character... and characters.

We have a lot of projects in various stages of development, and we have that side of things pretty well managed I think. OK, we'd like to publish more books every year but in the declining market we're sticking with our model.

I guess the two things that we did agree we need to look at, and have been discussing with Owen Johnson the last few weeks, is that we need to get into the Digital Comics market with our books. ZOMBIES has pretty much sold out, we're keeping a few copies back for Mocca in April but apart from that the comic is done. It'll be a shame not to keep it in print but there are risks with doing that, in that we've already sold a lot of copies at Conventions and stores and so it'll take much longer to sell another 1000 copies or so, which ties up a lot of our cash. The result of not re-printing is that the creators who contributed to it will have reached their total audience, with no new people enjoying their work. Going digital seems a good way or keeping the books available to new readers without the extra print costs and storage problems that paper copies bring. I'll be looking into this over the coming months, but any advice or guidance anyone has will be greatly appreciated, just add your comments or thoughts to this posting.

The other thing is that we need to freshen up our website. I'm no web-designer or coder so this is something that will take a while to manage I think. Again if anyone has any suggestions then I'm all ears.

As far as the EAGLE awards go, it's great to see that someone has nominated Andy Bloor for Best Newcomer Artist, I wish I'd thought of that. If you haven't voted for your favourites of 2010 then pop over to and cast your votes. It's one of our institutions over here in world of UK comics, the more votes all round the better.


  1. Ooh goody, a website redesign! Please don't use frames :-)

  2. Ah .. you and frames :o) I'm no expert on this stuff, I think we'll end up paying someone something to get the basics down ... Andy is up for doing the images etc ... I like the menu down the side though ... can this still be achieved without frames ?