Monday, 31 December 2012

So that was 2012...

2012 was quite a busy year for me and Accent UK. I think we published more books, and attended more Conventions this year than every and have had a great year. We had to make some tough calls along the way, turning down some interesting books due to financial and space constraints but looking back they were the right call for us. We also decided to make Victoriana our last themed anthology for a while, and maybe forever. They just aren't getting the sales through stores, despite doing well at Cons, and we've decided to spend more money on producing one shots and mini-series. We had a lot of response to this, but people have been very understanding for which we thank you. Never say never, we may retunr to them one day.
Personal highlights for me are many (and I know when I read this later I'll remember some more), and in no particular order :-
WesterNoir - working with Gary Crutchley on this book has been great fun and he is certainly taking it somewhere that was never considered when Andy Bloor and I discussed a Western Detective story a year ago. It certainly is all the better for it and Gary's art is making it something special, as is Andy's cover design.
Missing - Have You Seen The Invisible Man? - I love how this book came to be. The script had passed artist's hands a couple of times and despite them liking the script something happened in their lives to cause them to have to step back from it. And then came along Joe Campbell and it just got done. Keeping the cover design, again from Andy, the same as Whatever Happened To The World's Fastest Man? was always the intention and they do look great on the table at Cons sat side by side.
From SuperZeroes To SuperHeroes - This is happening in the background and Sebastian Velez is doing a great job on the artwork, which is a pleasure to greyscale. The plan is for this book to come out sometime in 2013 as another little hardcover book.
Robot Shorts - speaking of hardcover books, this little gem came out early in the year and got some great reviews. Artwork this time from Steve Holder and myself it allowed me to tell a whole heap of robot tales and I really enjoyed creating it with Steve.
Stephenson's Robot - INDIO! is producing some wonderful artwork on this and as I colour the pages I'm always discovering something that jusst makes me smile. This will be a mini-series of 7 comics and the first issue is intended to come out early next year.
Belmat - the little paper mache robot getting great comments at Cons and also being selected for an Open Craft Exhibition was great.
Has Kane Mesmer Lost His Magic Touch ? - Marleen Lowe continues to stun me with how great an artist she is and this will be the third book in the Blessed/Cursed line.
Strange Times 2 - I'm still working on this in my spare time and it WILL be finished in 2013. There, that's a promise.
Who On Earth Was Thaddeus Mist? - How good is this book. All the hard work of Owen Johnson, driving the story, editing, worrying, nudging creators... Owen learned a lot from this book that I'm sure will put him in a good place for all of his future books and he certainly delivered a book that was worth the effort. I have a little story in there illustrated by the very talented Steve Howard.

And then there's the one that got away. Joe Campbell and I submitted a Future Shock to The Mighty Tharg, and it got returned with the comment that it wasn't what they were looking for in a Future Shock, which is fine. They know their market and whilst it's a shame, who wouldn't want to see their work in 2000AD, I understand and being an Editor myself I also reject books/scripts that just don't fit with what I'm looking for. I've attached them here for you to have a read of (hmmm ... it doesn't seem to show full size image when you select it ... let me know how I fix that and I'll update the page). It was fun to do but there you go... you can't win them all.

All the best to everyone for 2013.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Favourite film this year... it's a tough one...

I'm torn between Batman - Dark Knight Rises and Avengers Assemble.
Two very different films and both exceeding my expectations. I'd hoped for the Avengers movie to live up to its promise, the build up in the other related Marvel movies had us all eager to see it, and it didn't let me down. If I had only one criticism it was that Thor's humour was a little too human, but that was so minor in a film full of great scenes, characterisations and where the CGI just, well, worked.
Batman however I think clinched it, just. A fabulous way to end the trilogy. Drawing on the story told in the previous two movies and throwing in some surprises with a great ending. I loved the Tim Burton Batman movies but the latest three have been outstanding, I can't imagine how anybody is going to follow up on them but I hope we don't get a re-imagining as we did with SpiderMan (which wasn't that bad actually and deserves a second outing).
The new Dredd movie again was a completely different film and whilst it's budget was low, and it was in 3D (which I'm not a fan of), I really enjoyed it. Not in the same league as Batman and Avengers it did show a lot of promise and I'm really looking forward to the next one.
Lastly there's The Hobbit, which I also really enjoyed even if it did feel very similar to the Lord Of The Rings... yes, I know, it's bound to as it's got Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves and Gandalf in it, but it just had the feeling of watching the same film. The group get together and go on a quest which involves being chased by Orcs on Worgs, Goblins in mines and walking across mountains. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed it but I'm hoping that Mr Jackson mixes things up a bit in the next one, which I'll definitely be seeing.
Guilty pleasure confession time ... I'm quite enjoying the Twilight movies. There, I've said it.
So film of the year was the latest Batman movie for me, with the Avengers coming a very very close second.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Books I've read this year.

Well this year I finished the fabulous Malazan - Book Of The Fallen series by Steven Erikson. Not a set of books that you can, or would want to, dip into now and then, this series totally consumes any spare time that you have and really is best read from beginning to end, in my opinion, with no breaks for other books. It's a very rich, and consequently very complicated, world of characters, religions, politics and ... well let's just say it pretty much has it all. I loved it from beginning to end and once Erik has finished the trilogy that he's currently working on, and I've had a little time to invest in the work of some other writers, I'll be back for sure.
I've also read a couple of books by Glen David Gold, Carter Beats the Devil and then Sunnyside. I really enjoyed them both and the writing style reminded me of that of Michael Chabon and whilst Carter Beats the Devil was more accessible I found Sunnyside more intriguing and a little disturbing.
I also managed to sneak a few old favourites in there, A.E Van Vogt's Slan hadn't aged well, great story premise but the writing seemed a little tired following on from the books I'd already read this year. I also managed to fit a couple of R.E Howard's Conan stories in there, which read as well this year as they had when I first read them many years ago. The man could write.
Add to this the latest Skulduggery Pleasant story (I've been a fan since reading the fisrt few to my daughter at bedtime quite a few years ago) from Derek Landy and it's been a pretty good year's reading all told.
Amazon have finally managed to put the Wild Cards books in Kindle format. These books are to me what comic books should be. George R.R. Martin does a great job writing and editing tales of Jokers and Aces, previously normal people who have been altered by an alien mutagen cloud. Thanks to Chris Dingsdale for letting me know that they were now Kindleable, I'm two stories into the first books, Wild Cards, and really enjoying it. I'll read these until I run out of them and then maybe I'll be ready to dip my toe back into the Eriksonverse.
Having time to read is definitely the plus of now having to travel to work by train every day and 45mins must be a good length of reading time as I'm certainly getting through a good number of books.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Josiah Black and Invisible Man... in Lego.

A while back, and you can find them somewhere on this blog, I started reflecting our comic book titles in the form of Lego Men.
I'm not sure if I've posted this one up before but here's Josiah Black, central character in the WesterNoir comics that I'm working on with Gary Crutchley.
The other recent release from myself is Missing: Have You Seen The Invisible Man? illustrated by Joe Campbell. It would be wrong to miss him out of the Lego line-up and so here he is as well...
Hope you all had a great Xmas and are looking forward to what 2013 brings.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Missing: Have You Seen The Invisible Man? can be purchased online.

I've finally managed to get the time to both get some stock and also update the Accent UK website and so you can now purchase copies of Missing: Have You Seen The Invisible Man?, illustrated by Joe Cambell, by hitting the 'BUY' button on the website and pay through Paypal.
You can email me via the 'CONTACT' button if you prefer not to use Paypal and we can sort something out.
I've also got a short story in Who On Earth Was Thaddeus Mist? illustrated by Steven Howard, and that can also be ordered through the Accent UK website ...
... it may be late in the year but I finally feel that I'm getting on top of all those little jobs I've not managed to sort out already.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

The Last Stephenson's Robot coloured page before a break for XMas...

I'm going to have a short break from colouring Stephenson's Robot, going to be too busy eating chocolates and drinking mulled wine.. well... maybe the chocolate.. and probably some beer... regardless it'll not be the best frame of mind for approaching a page of artwork.
Here's the last page before the XMas break... I'll see if I can resist doing any more until after the 16th January 2013.
Artwork from Issue 3 by INDIO!.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Has Kane Mesmer Lost His Magic Touch ?

Marleen Lowe has completed artwork on the internal pages of Has Kane Mesmer Lost His Magic Touch ? and it's fabulous.
This is the third in our Blessed/Cursed range and will be available next year. It'll have the same look to it as Whatever Happened To The World's Fastest Man? and Missing: Have You Seen The Invisible Man?

Sunday, 9 December 2012

More Stephenson's Robot...

Still busy in my spare moments colouring pages of Stephenson's Robot.
I'm really enjoying studying INDIO!s panels in detail, there's some crazy, scarily good stuff in there.
I had a meeting with Andy Bloor last week and discussed the design aspects of the book, as a high level. Andy has already worked his magic on the cover design and as always it's very impressive. This is gonna be a very solid book I think.
Talking of great books, I've also been updating the Accent UK website with details of WesterNoir Issue 2 and today hope to have added it to the BUY page. It's a challenge for me as I'm no expert and the new(er) look website is more complicated to maintain than the old one, but looks so much better it's worth the effort.