Wednesday, 30 December 2015

The 42nd Post.

Looking back at last year's The 42nd Post it seems so log ago. A lot has happened this year. My new job has changed a bit under new leadership and I'll admit to it being a little rocky for a bit. We seem to have come through though and a late change has brought my immediate team back together under a new boss, and I'm a lot more comfortable with it all.
I also noticed that last year I set myself a number of goals,
  1. Published Strange Times Book 2
  2. Publish Kane Mesmer, more Westernoir and Stephenson's Robot comics
  3. Publish From Super-Zeroes To Super-Heroes
  4. Work with Andy Bloor on Wolfmen 3, he has told me that he wants to make this his next book, and
  5. Try to finish that book I've been playing with for quite a few years now...
so how did I do ?
  1. Well, I actually have finally finished Strange Times Book 2, and just need to pull the cash together for printing. This book has been a long time coming and I'm really happy to finally be able to look to get it on the Convention Table in 2016.
  2. Kane Mesmer is complete, but I've decided to print it as part of a Collection of my Blessed/Cursed books. Combining it with Fastest Man, Invisible Man, a Fastest Man prequel and three new stories. It make sense to do this as it'll be much simpler at Conventions having the one book to focus on. WesterNoir and Stephenson's Robot are getting into a good print schedule which is great.
  3. I didn't do too well on From Super-Zeroes To Super-Heroes, but I've been in touch with artist Seba Velez and this is my personal focus for next year.
  4. Andy and I have had to accept that Wolfmen 3 isn't going to happen. Andy is fully committed to his great Midnight Man comic, which he co-creates with Mo Ali, and any time he has to do comic stuff will need to be spent in this. Completely understandable but a shame none-the-less.
  5. OK, the book is still a work in progress, but I have managed to add to it, so it's not been forgotten.
next year ..
  1. I will finish From Super-Zeroes To Super-Heroes.
  2. I will complete the Blessed/Cursed Anthology, ready for printing in 2017.
  3. I will publish at least two WesterNoir books.
  4. I will publish at least one Stephenson's Robot comic.
  5. I will try to finish that book I've been playing with for quite a few years now... again.
All in all they seems pretty achievable, I'll see how I get on.
We attended more conventions this year than any previously and our books are certainly finding an audience, which is great. At each and every Con we've found a lot of new customers and also had a lot of people returning to our table to pick up our new books. The highlight I guess has to be the Copenhagen Con, it's always great to go back and catch up with a lot of our Danish friends. This year we printed Martin Flink's new book, The Troll, and also got to hang out with our friend Garen Ewing.

For me the film I most enjoyed was probably Ant-Man which was a surprisingly great little (sorry) film. I kinda expected second The Avengers film to be good, and it was, but it wasn't as good as the first (it was a tough act to follow) and the second Captain America film was better I think. Jurassic Park was a bit too similar to the earlier ones for me and didn't do much to move things on. I think the dinosaurs need to get onto the mainland somewhere to make this interesting again for me.
I've not found as much time to read this year, but did pick up Derek Landy's new book, Demon Road. Not as good as Skulduggery Pleasant but an enjoyable romp, I'll be following future books to see how it all progresses. Following a recommendation from a work colleague I'm now reading The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie and am enjoying it.
Comic-wise I did manage to meet Matt Kindt again at Thought Bubble and now have all the Mind Management books printed to date. I also got him to do a sketch in my copy of Pistolwhip. My other Thought Bubble purchase was Farel Dalrymple's The Wrenchies. I've been a fan of his work for ages and it was great to chat to him whilst he sketched in the book.
All in all a great year creating stuff and selling them around the UK and Europe.
Looking forward to doing it all again next year :o)

This made me laugh ...

My collaborator on Robot Shorts, Steve Holder, sent me the link for these T-shirts ...
all I need now is print TO THE WORLD'S FASTEST MAN ? under it and I have just the T-shirt for Conventions. Thanks for spotting them Steve :o)

If you're interested in buying this as is of course then just then pop over to H&M. :o)

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

My annual iPhone photo clear out.

I'm forever running out of space on my iPhone, I know I should have bought one with more storage, but hindsight is a wonderful thing. 
Anyway, you can't keep all the photos on there forever and letting iCloud store them somewhere means I'll probably never look at them again, so I think from now on I'll pop them up on the blog at the end of the year, and then delete them from my iPhone.
I see this tree whenever I walk my dog
and love looking up at its twisting branches.
and of course, play with them a little in photoshop, putting a frame around them and the like.

These two are of a table at the art class I took earlier in the year. I want to learn how to paint with acrylics, and whilst the teacher made me use water colour I did learn a lot and certainly got the bug. Sadly events conspired against me though and I never made it to a second term.

The next three are things I just came across when out and about. That's the really great thing about having a camera on your phone. You see something, you can just take a photo.
Cotton Man.

Guano man
and this toy lizard seemed real when caught out of the corner of my eye, basking as it was in the sunlight.

And anyone with a teenage girl will know how difficult it is to get them to pose for the camera, or actually to allow a photo to be taken at all. So I take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself...
Jemma having a photo taken
for her Provisional Driving Licence.

Monday, 28 December 2015

No snow so...

I took some photos of spider's webs with frosted dew on them a while ago...
Kinda Christmasy...
just try to forget that they were made by spiders...

I'd forgotten all about this...

Back in 2008 when severe floods were quite new to us in the UK, I contributed to an anthology looking to raise awareness and money to help out.

John Freeman, having a better memory than me, posted about it over on and you can purchase the finished article in pdf form over at

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Strange Times Book 2 is ready for the printers.

Well, after a lot longer than I'd hoped, due mostly to me getting carried away with having too many projects on the go at the same time, Strange Times Book 2 is finished.
Andy Bloor has once again worked his design magic and also done a lot of tidying, despite me best efforts I always seem to leave dots here and there or pages with different sizes ... sigh.
I'm not sure when it'll actually see print, I'll need to get the necessary cash together, but it will be sometime in 2016.
It'll be great to have another of my little books on the Con table.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Tales Of WesterNoir #2 is at the printers.

Tales of WesterNoir Issue 2 will be available at the first Convention of 2016.
I've just received the proof copy from our Printer, Stuart Gould, and it looks great.
Cover art is from WesterNoir co-creator Gary Crutchley and is coloured as always by Matt Soffe.
This issue has two tales of Jim Wilson in the role of Monster Hunter with artwork from Mal Earl and Joe Campbell. Two very different styles both work very well with stories from myself and Gary respectively.
All wrapped up with the design eye and talent of Andy Bloor.
Should be a great start to the year.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Events of 2015 .... what a busy year.

We've had a really busy year from a Convention perspective this year, and have enjoyed all of them.
Some will disappear but most will continue and most of those that do will see us return.
There are some new ones that we have heard about and are looking to add, but before I update the list with 2016s dates, I thought I'd cut and paste the 2015 calendar here.

15th Feb - DemonCon9 - Maidstone
18th Apr - Birmingham Comics Festival
2nd May - MCM - Belfast
3rd May - MCM - Belfast
16th May - Warrington Comic Con
22nd May - MCM - London
23rd May - MCM - London
24th May - MCM - London
30th May - Granite City Comic Con - Aberdeen
6th June - Copenhagen Comic Festival
7th June - Copenhagen Comic Festival
13th June - Geekbox Comics Newcastle-under-Lyme
4th July - Glasgow Comic Con
5th July - Glasgow Comic Con
25th July - MCM - Manchester
26th July - MCM - Manchester
12th Sept - Comic Con - Blackpool
23rd Oct - MCM - London
24th Oct - MCM - London
25th Oct - MCM - London
14th Nov - Thought Bubble - Leeds
15th Nov - Thought Bubble - Leeds

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Thought Bubble 2015 - Last Convention of the Year.

It's always great to end the year on a high, and last year Thought Bubble was certainly that, with our best TB show ever from the perspective of sales made.
We are always a little nervous before a show, and looking around at the quality of comics on display on the many stalls around the New Dock Hall we were more nervous than normal. The quality of the whole independent comic book 'industry' just seems to get better and better. The concern is always one of, 'With so much to choose from, would customers actually have any cash left by the time they got to our stall ?'
Saturday the doors opened on a cold Yorkshire day and people quickly filled the hall. New Dock Hall being one of three, I wondered if the other halls were similarly busy and a quick dash around them later in the day actually proved this to be the case. The Convention has grown year on year and this year I actually felt that the number of halls and stalls were justified by the number of people looking to buy comics.
This year we were sandwiched between the very impressive Improper Books, who have a whole range of very nicely printed books of great quality, and Do Gooder Comics, with their great little Dungeon Fun comic.
For the first time I brought some of my own sketches to produce some limited Stephenson's Robot sketch and Tarot card packs and the sketches worked a treat, encouraging people to buy the first two issues. This works so well for WesterNoir I thought it worth trying.
During a busy day I managed to spend a few minutes catching up with Andy Bloor at his stall, selling copies of Midnight Man and his new 'Andy Thology', which includes along with some of his Accent UK anthology contributions, sketches and a couple of new Midnight Man pages. It's great to see Andy at his table enjoying the Cons.
Saturday ended with us looking at a very productive day, and we celebrated with what is becoming a traditional pub meal with Lucky Target Comic's Sumyra and whoever happens to helping at her stall. No Chris Dingsdale this year though, I hear he was out of the country on a Yak drive or some such, but we were joined by long time friend Tony Hitchman. A late night talking comics lead nicely into Sunday.
Scott and Colin acting out a scene
from Scanners....
Sunday is always more relaxed, giving me time to spend longer looking around, and spend some money. This year however my purchases were limited to The Wrenchies (which I queued to get signed (and a sketch)) from Farel Dalrymple (I've been a fan of his since Popgun War), 2 Sisters (which I got signed by Matt Kindt along with my copy of Pistolwhip) and the first three issues of Dean Beattie's great Random Trials. I have to limit spending at these events, which is really difficult, as I need to save as much as I can for the next WesterNoir and Stephenson's Robot print bills.
Sunday, whilst not as successful sales wise as Saturday, was a pretty good day. We got to meet a few great new artists who we may well work with us on some future books and I also got to chat to Dave Hitchcock and show him the colour effect I'd added to his pages for a future Stephenson's Robot back story, which he was very happy with.
I disappeared from the table for more than an hour and caught up with an old boss from my day job. Rosemary lives in Leeds and yet I've never mentioned the fact that I go there every year for TB. That is until this year. It was really great catching up and hard to believe that 15 years had passed.
Looking back over the two days it was great to have so many people buy the WesterNoir sketch packs but there is nothing more rewarding than have customers go straight to issues 5 and 6 (which weren't available at last year's event). People are really getting into the story.
So, another great Thought Bubble end to the comic con calendar on what has been by far our most successful year yet.
Thanks go out to everyone who has come to our stall over the year and talk comics and maybe try some of our books. Hope to see you all again next year.

Monday, 9 November 2015

WesterNoir Issue 5 has been reviewed over at Down The Tubes.

Just in time for this weekend's Thought Bubble, Jeremy Briggs has posted his review of issue 5 over at
With issue 6 just printed, there will be two new WesterNoir books available at Thought Bubble this year, I love it when a plan comes together.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Getting ready for Thought Bubble.

Next weekend Accent UK will have a table at Thought Bubble, our last convention of the year.
I've been busy doing some Stephenson's Robot sketches for a limited number of sketch packs and painting some of Gary's great WesterNoir sketches and as is the always the way, time is fast running out so there won't be a whole lot of either...
Where does the time go ?

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Skeletal wings.

I came across the remains of some poor bird whilst walking the dog.
Looks like a pretty grim end for it and the fact that the skeletal wings were about 5 foot off the ground in a hawthorn hedge seems to point at a bird of prey being the killer, not that I'm trying to pin the blame on anyone in particular.
Sad though, and I almost didn't spot it as it all seemed to blend in.
My dog was, of course, none the wiser as she's more interested in hunting for mushrooms these days. She's given up on rabbits that run across the road in front of us now and then as they move too fast, that and the fact that I'm on the other end of the lead making sure she gets nowhere near them. No, mushrooms move much slower.

Monday, 26 October 2015

MCM London - the last MCM of the year for us.

Last weekend Accent UK had a couple of tables at the London MCM event in the Excel Centre.
We've been to a few of these events now and yet we still find ourselves somewhat stunned by the number of people who attend, dressed in costumes that range from Arthur Dent through all manner of Anime characters that I'm not familiar with to Galen from the Planet Of The Apes.
This event now spans three whole days in order to cope with the number of people who want to attend is without a doubt the most colourful event in the Comic book calendar,
But it's not just a media show. London MCM has a very impressive Small Press Village that has grown into a Small Press Town really with a huge array of great looking comics, fantasy art and all things in between.
Competition is fierce.  
So, we never really know how well we'll do at this event.
This time around I missed Friday, with Colin taking all the stock down on Thursday and setting up on his own. Joined by his son Scott later that night the two of them manned the stall all of Friday and sales weren't bad and slightly up on the previous year's, showing how the Friday attendance is steadily growing each year.
Jemma and I arrived on Friday night and were ready for a busy day on Saturday.
Like all Cons, Saturday is the busiest day and at the London MCM usually so crowded that it takes forever to get anywhere once you're inside the hall. This year was no exception. It was crazy busy. This year however the organisers had opened up another hall and so it didn't feel as oppressive as it has done, which was nice.
The interesting thing, as the day flip-flopped from quiet periods to very busy ones, was that once again we were meeting a lot of new customers. Maybe it's because there is so much for people  to look at or maybe this is the first time that they have been to the Event I don't know but we sold a lot of WesterNoir sketch packs, which contain issues 1 to 4, and Tales of WesterNoir 1 along with a great sketch from Gary Crutchley. It was also very rewarding when returning customers picked up later issues of WesterNoir and Stephenson's Robot, which quite a few did.
All of the titles sold well really, with the anthologies doing best, which they tend to do at the MCM events. By the end of the day we'd had a good day for sales, pretty much the same as last year, which is a good sign.
We ended the day with fish and chips and a cool beer in Greenwich with Steve Tanner of Time Bomb comics, talking about the UK comics industry, kickstarters and events we'd been to. A nice evening chilling out.
On the Sunday, refreshed by the extra hour due to the clocks going back, I quickly dashed over to the Walking Dead area to see if I could interest some Walkers in our ZOMBIES anthology...
I'll just say that they were tough customers, more interesting in eating the book than reading it, and I seriously doubted that they had the cash to pay for it anyway.
I had time to chat to Mike Garley, picking up the latest copy of his great Kill Screen and my only other purchase which was of an intriguing book called Skies of Fire which reads as good as it looks. I try to limit my spending at Cons to as few books as I can but couldn't resist those two. Another highlight was chatting to comic legend Bob Layton, and getting my Iron Man Omnibus signed. He's a very likeable person and was clearly enjoying himself at the event.
Sunday was a little quieter but we still had a good number of interested people at the table, I did manage to sell a copy of ZOMBIES to a Walker in the end, so maybe my earlier trip to see them hadn't been a waste of time...
A very tiring event.
A very enjoyable event.
An event full of people who put as much effort into their Cosplays as we do into our comics.
An event that we'll definitely look to book a couple of tables at next year.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Monday, 19 October 2015

WesterNoir issue 6 ... update.

All is on track for WesterNoir issue 6. I've reviewed and approved the proof copy, and Stuart Gould has agreed a delivery date of Wednesday. One of the little bonuses that Stuart gets is that he sees a lot of comics before anybody else, and he has given issue 6 his thumbs-up :o)
All of this means that Issue 6 will be on the table at this weekend's MCM event in London's Royal Albert Dock Excel centre.
This issue introduces a very significant couple of characters. I can't wait to hear what people think of them.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

WesterNoir... the saga continues.

I've just had it confirmed by Stuart Gould, our trusted printer, that WesterNoir #6 will be printed in time for the London MCM event in October.
The tale is really picking up pace now as Josiah Black faces... well... now that'd be telling.
As the sketch packs, which include issues 1 to 4 and Tales of WesterNoir #1 (what we call 'Season 1'), are selling really well, Gary has had to fit in drawing another batch for the London MCM event. I've been busy painting them whilst Gary gets on with art on Issue 7.
There are a limited number of these, so if you're interested then I'd recommend popping over to the Accent UK table sooner rather than later.
Of course ... I might keep some myself and hope that Gary doesn't notice...
And whilst you're looking at a picture of one of the 'Gator-boys' as we call 'em, check out a recent review over on Reading-with-a-flight-ring.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

When Giant Monsters Attack Beautiful People Die Podcast.

Colin and I were invited to sit in on an episode of the 'When Giant Monsters Attack Beautiful People Die' Podcast on Thursday.
We had a really enjoyable time, and had probably chatted for more than an hour before Dan and Dave actually started the session formally with their standard introduction.
They said it was set in a shed and it really was ...
The perfect little getaway from the house.
We were treated to biscuits, donuts and coffee, and I must say that I was very impressed with Bucky, the resident dog, as he never once tried to steal anything from me or even give me that ''You're not going to eat that whole biscuit yourself are you ?'' look.
Colin wolfs down some biscuits
whilst Bucky is away somewhere...
Yep, a very enjoyable evening.
Having listened to the podcast now, I'm amazed at how often I say 'Yeah' ... blimey ... I'll try to teach myself to just say it in my head in future.
Here's the podcast link...

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Janet Of The Apes.

I'm a big fan of the Planet Of The Apes movies.
I still remember my Dad taking me to see the first one at the cinema and that scene with the sunken Statue Of Liberty at the end.
So ... over the years I've provided little 'Janet Of The Apes' cartoons to a Planet Of The Apes fanzine called Simian Scrolls and you can now get these in PDF format from
A lot of love and attention goes into the issues of this Fanzine, if you like Planet Of The Apes, old, new or both then you'll really appreciate this magazine.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Giant Monsters Attack...but not Accent UK comics...

I got a tweet yesterday from Giant Monsters Attack...
I remember the two guys buying some books at last weekend's Manchester MCM, and I remember them saying that they did a local Podcast ... it's always really interesting to hear what people think of our books and I used to love listening to the Tales From the Parent's Basement, Burnt Weiners and Small Press Big Mouth podcasts a few years ago, but one after another these all ended.
So... armed with my iPhone, which makes all of this a lot easier, I followed the link...
Turns out I had to download a new App onto myPhone, PodBean, but as usual this was pretty painless,and then a quick search and I was subscribed.
I decided to dive straight in and listen to Episode 39 - Love Interest as I was keen to hear what the guys thought of our efforts. 
Wow, they really enjoyed them and are very respectful in that they call out all the creators involved in the books, which is really nice. 
I listened to the whole episode in the end and it was good to hear their very positive comments about Mike Garley's very interesting The Killscreen and to find throughout the podcast that they had pretty balanced views and were quite willing to say they didn't like something if that was the case.
We've been invited into their Shed (which I think is their secret lair) for an interview, which we'll be sorting out in the very near future. 

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Manchester MCM

We're really getting into the whole 'MCM' things these days.
The comic village is growing its own identity as a regular section of the event and attracting a good number of people, whether these are bemused Cosplayers, mainstream comic customers or fans of independent comics.
It has quiet periods but it also has completely hectic 'can't deal with all the customers wanting to buy stuff' periods.
The sea of people in strange costumes seems never ending and it's fun working out who they are dressed as... or trying to in some cases (due to my poor knowledge of Manga and Anime, my daughter Jemma always had to explain those to us).
Two days stood on your feet, when you're not sat at the table painting or sketching, can be pretty tiring but you only notice it at the end of the day and it's a good kind of tired.
On a personal note the highlights for me were :-

  • Stuart Gould (our printer) driving all the way up to the event from Birmingham JUST to deliver copies of Stephenson's Robot #2. It was great to have them on the table and very good of Stuart to put himself out in this way.
  • The customers who pounced on Issues 5 of WesterNoir and Issue 1 of Tales Of WesterNoir, as it wasn't on the table at last year's event.
  • Watching Gary Crutchley pitch the WesterNoir concept to a number of people, he's a far better salesman than I'll ever be.
  • Catching up with some great friends from my days working in Manchester :- Neal Morrow, Alan Rigg with his son and Claire Smith with her daughter Olivia.
  • Seeing Olivia (dressed up in Frozen Princess costume) walk up the stall with her face painted like The Hulk. Not a princess then ? Not for Olivia :o)  Frozen-Hulk Smash !!
  • Meeting and chatting to so many new Customers
  • Sitting at the stall and painting some of Gary's great sketches for the WN Sketchpacks.
  • Watching my daughter Jemma look so at ease explaining the comics to potential customers.
  • Catching up with some of our comic creator friends.
  • Selling a record number of books, yep, this Con took us over any previous record ... by about 20%.
My water colours on top of Gary Crutchley's great sketches.
The MCMs are quite an event. I only got to wander around a little on the Sunday and it is incredible how it has grown. On the logistics side, the queue system has been improved, the space between the stalls is about right, the food area is big and out of the way and the car parks are close. And more importantly everybody seemed to be having a great time.

Being our local MCM meant that we drove in each day, so there were no hotel bills and no hangovers. We did miss the socialising that comes with staying over but it is nice not to have all the hassle with sorting out hotels (and also the cost). As an Independent Comic creator, who needs to make enough money selling comics in order to be able to afford to print the next one, this is all important stuff. Which makes the fact that we sold more in Manchester than we did at the London MCMs all the more significant. 

This MCM event also say one of the great mysteries of Comic Cons solved at last.
When Colin goes to get the tea, why is it always cold ?
Colin chatting with Adam Cadwell for 10 minutes ...
holding my cup of Earl Grey Tea, so close and yet...
A great two days and a great Con.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Stephenson's Robot #2 and Manchester MCM.

I've received the proof copy of issue 2 of our alternate history steampunk comic, Stephenson's Robot. I must say it looks great sat next to issue 1...
Andy Bloor's choice of colour for the surround works perfectly with Jon Ayre's colouring of INDIO!'s great illustration.
I can't wait to see these two sat side by side on the Convention table and this weekend's Manchester MCM. If you're at the Con then do pop over, Colin has reported on his blog that we have 6 new titles since last year, which is hard to believe. One of these is The Troll by Martin Flink, you can find out more about that lovely little comic over on