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Preview: Winter's Wonderland

Winter's Wonderland

Andy Winter's comics writing workblog

Updated: 2017-09-04T15:00:51.571-07:00


Pendragon: The Quest For King Arthur


Now then, where were we?Oh yes, I'm still alive and writing comics.To that end, here's the cover of my latest graphic novel for Markosia...It's called Pendragon: The Quest For King Arthur and here's everything you need to know about it in the form of the press release we'll be sending out to comic news sites...MARKOSIA PROMISES KING ARTHUR AS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN HIM BEFORE IN A BRAND NEW GRAPHIC NOVEL UK indie publisher unleashes Pendragon: The Quest For King Arthur [24 May, 2017] UK independent graphic novel publisher MARKOSIA today announces details of PENDRAGON: THE QUEST FOR KING ARTHUR, a brand new graphic novel that offers a comic, outrageous and utterly iconoclastic take on the Arthurian legends.The book is released by Markosia on Monday, 19 June and receives its official launch on Saturday, 24 June, at the Birmingham Comic Art Show. It is written by Andy Winter, drawn by Jim Lavery (who also did the cover), coloured by Aljosa Tomic and lettered by Robin Jones. The full-colour graphic novel contains 104 pages and retails for £11.99/$16.99. It will be available on Amazon globally, and most other online retailers such as BOL and Chapters. The book will also be available digitally on ComiXology and most other digital platforms such as iBooks, Kindle, and DriveThru.Here’s the solicitation copy… Failed singer Art Bright is an unremarkable young man, except for one thing – he might just be the reincarnation of King Arthur. His stalker Derek Border certainly seems to think so. But then Derek has taken to calling himself 'Merlin' and has even assembled a new Knights of the Round Table and tracked down a former porn star, who he reckons is Lady Guinevere.But if Derek is mad, why have he and Art attracted the attention of the real Morgana Le Fay and her new best friend, a dragon named Crueltooth? And, while all this is going on, what is Mordred up to, and why does the Lady In The Lake seem to harbour a grudge against Art? All will be revealed in Pendragon: The Quest For King Arthur, a mad, bad and breathless updating of the Arthurian legends that is sure to delight and infuriate in equal measure.Writer Andy Winter commented: “Pendragon is a kick up the bum for all those po-faced and supposedly radical re-imaginings of classic stories. When it came to taking on the story of King Arthur, I wanted to do something that had action and adventure, but was also a lot of fun and irredeemably silly. It certainly has more in common with Monty Python and The Holy Grail than it does King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.  “I take all sorts of liberties and not everyone will like it; some may even call it sacrilege. If so, that’s something which makes me very happy indeed.”* I shall be attending the aforementioned Birmingham Comic Art Show on 24 June so please come along to the Markosia table to say hi and buy a copy of the Pendragon book. I haven't attended a comic event as a creator since last year's London Super Comic Con so am very much looking forward to it.* The Tim Skinner: Retconned webcomic probably isn't going to happen now. Having gone through artists on the project at a similar rate to Aston Villa going through managers, I've decided to put it on the back burner. It's a shame because the script was complete and I reckon it was pretty funny (not to mention offensive and transgressive, too). If I ever return to the character, it will probably be from scratch. Perhaps at some point I can convince Markosia to publish a Giant-Size Tim Skinner Compendium featuring all the stories so far as well as some new material. Well, it's certainly a thought...* I'm working on two other graphic novels for Markosia which are at various stages of production. The previously-announced Robin Hood book was started again from scratch after an artist change but is now back on track. The other one I'll talk about in due course. * I'm also currently writing a short story for something related to Defiant: The Legend Of Brithnoth, the Viking book I did with Steve Tanner's Time Bomb Comics a couple of years ago[...]

Severe Plumbing Event


The last couple of weeks have not been about writing comics but what can only be described as a 'Severe Plumbing Event' here at Winter Acres. Instead of bashing out pages and wrestling sentences for the graphic novels I'm writing, I've been dealing with rotting joists, 'damp specialists' and excess payments to the insurance company. It's quite a drag, to be honest, and the next person who suggests we be relocated to 'alternative accommodation' while they sort it all out is going to be told, politely but firmly, to fuck right off.The upshot of all this leak-related madness is that I won't be able to attend The Birmingham Comics Festival one-dayer at Edgbaston Cricket Ground on Saturday. This makes me rather sad because I had great fun there last year and was looking forward to catching up with friends, who I only really see a couple of times a year. You should definitely go, though; they have a great bunch of guests, including David Hine, Leigh Gallagher, and Ryan Brown, a ton of impressive exhibitors (Nostalgia & Comics, Markosia, and Futurequake amongst them), and the cricket ground is a surprisingly decent venue that's only a short taxi ride from the city centre. You could even swing by the Markosia table and pick up a copy of my graphic novel, Hushers, if you're so inclined. You'd be doing an old man in the middle of a plumbing crisis a big favour, believe me.Knackered: My kitchen floor, right nowIn other news, the planned return of Tim Skinner has hit the buffers once again as I find myself without an artist. The whole 30+ page book/web comic/whatever has been completely written and is ready to go. It's as funny, rude and pathologically unpleasant as you'd hope it to be, too. So, if you're a comic-book artist - or know of such a beast - give me a shout. I'm still very keen to get Tim Skinner: Retconned out there, preferably before I'm old enough to draw my pension.Rather more encouragingly, Markosia last week released a cover image (albeit unfinished) for my next project with Hushers artist, Manuela Bassu Lebrino. We're teaming up to do a version of Robin Hood - simply called Hood - and my intention is to try and offer a very different take on the character, inspired by real-life villains such as the Krays, Jacques Mesrine and John Dillinger. It's really about the attractiveness of criminality and how criminals - despite committing terrible acts - can become folk heroes and legends. It will still contain plenty of swashbuckling and derring-do, though, so don't worry...Anyway, better go, there's someone at the door who wants to get at my joists...[...]

It's 2016? Already?


I'VE become one of those people who only updates their blog twice a year - oh, the shame. I'm going to try and do better in 2016, I promise. It isn't as if I've been idle though. I've had two graphic novels published in the last 12 months - Defiant: The Legend Of Brithnoth and Hushers: A Very Victorian Apocalypse - and both were well received. This stuff is also happening... * I shall be attending the London Super Comic Con over the weekend of February 21-22. I will be signing copies of Hushers at the Markosia table on both days (3pm Saturday, 3.30pm Sunday), along with artist Manuela Bassu Lebrino, who is coming over from Milan.* I am currently writing a new book for Markosia and hopefully signing the contract for a second at LSCC. The former features art from Jim Lavery, the latter is another team-up with Manuela. Both books will offer a very different take on well-known characters. * On the subject of Hushers, there have been a couple of positive recent(ish) reviews of the book. Writing over at Bleeding Cool, Olly MacNamee compared it to James Bond and said it was "fast-paced, action-packed [and] thrill a minute", while Jason Wilkins of Broken Frontier said: "Hushers is a fun, rousing diversion full of inventive world-building and lush illustrations". A hard copy of the book is available here (£13.99) or digitally here ($3.99/under £3).* According to Time Bomb Comics publisher Steve Tanner, the first print run of Defiant has sold out. He's looking to do a second run a bit later in the year. In the meantime, you can buy a digital copy of the book from here for a very reasonable $7.99 (about £5.50). Steve - and the book - were also featured in the recently relaunched Comic Heroes magazine in an article about indie publishing. We've also started talking about a sequel...* When time allows, I'm still writing a film blog - As Human As The Rest Of Us - which you can find here.I think that's everything for now. Thank you for continuing to read my blog, despite its erratic schedule. Your support is very much appreciated.[...]

Hushers on ICE


ARTIST Manuela Bassu Lebrino and I will be at the Markosia table, signing copies of Hushers: A Very Victorian Apocalypse, at the International Comic Expo (ICE) in Birmingham. The event is happening on Saturday, September 5 and you can find out more details from their website, right here

Manuela is flying over from Milan to do the signing so please come and say 'hi'. I'll be sticking around on the Sunday, too, for the Comics Uncovered event at which I will be trying and almost certainly failing to pitch Image Comics' head honcho Eric Stephenson an idea for a limited series. Wish me luck!

If you can't wait until then to get your hands on Hushers, you can either buy a 'hard copy' direct from the Markosia website or go to Drivethru Comics to buy a digital copy for the offer price of $3.99 (just over £2.50).

Here's another page of Manuela's art from the book...

Hushers - we got it covered!


Here is the cover to the Hushers: A Very Victorian Apocalypse graphic novel which is published by Markosia on Monday August 3. I wrote the book, Manuela Bassu Lebrino drew and painted it, and Ian Sharman lettered and designed it. It retails for £13.99/$17.99 and for that you get 124 pages; that's 100 pages of story, a section dedicated to Manuela's unused art and sketches for the project, plus a bonus tale - The Comeback Kid - courtesy of me, artist Jim Lavery, colourist Aljosa Tomic and letterer Nikki Foxrobot. Bargain or what? You'll find more details at www.markosia.comHushers is influenced by a heap of things, but most notably the stories of HG Wells (my story is, at heart, a "scientific romance"), disaster-from-space movies (Lars von Trier's Melancholia and Don McKellar's Last Night, especially), and The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec. Most of all, though, Hushers sprang from a desire to write about an "invisible" woman who gains in strength, confidence and power the more the story proceeds. I also wanted to be rude about the British establishment so there's a fair bit of that in there too. Despite its subject matter, Hushers isn't nearly as grim as Defiant: The Legend of Brithnoth - in fact, in many ways, it's a throughly eccentric madcap romp. Here's a slightly extended version of the blurb you'll find on the book's back cover...England, early 1848: Despite the revolutions sweeping Europe and unrest at home, the British Empire is seemingly stronger than ever as Queen Victoria prepares to celebrate 10 years since her coronation as monarch. It all seems a million miles away to Sarah Buckman, who just wants to pack up her recently-deceased sister’s house and return to her rich, factory-owning husband. But, alone in the late Grace’s country retreat, Sarah is attacked by a mysterious and mute intruder. Her sister knew a big secret… the biggest secret of them all, and now Sarah knows it too. The British government and their terrifying agents – the sadistic Mr Goodluck and his Hushers – want her dead before she can tell anybody.A huge, civilisation-ending meteor – Astraea – will strike Earth in only a few weeks and the government is determined no one finds out until it’s too late. Desperate and alone, Sarah teams up with enigmatic Frenchman Jacques and a band of anarchists and criminals called the Lambeth Rats. Their plan is to reveal the truth but what they uncover is a massive conspiracy that goes all the way to the very top of the British establishment.Hushers is a fast-moving, sci-fi adventure story from Eagle Award-winning writer Andy Winter and artist Manuela Lebrino Bassu.And, finally, here's a page of Manuela's unused art that we couldn't fit into the book's backmatter...[...]

A damn fine book


THERE was a lovely review of Defiant: The Legend of Brithnoth over at the Forbidden Planet blog last week. Highlights from Richard Bruton's piece included: "It's a damn fine book, the pacing the thing that really stuck with me" and "This is a thrilling tale, well told, writer and artists really getting over the legendary nature of the history here". 

You can read the whole review here.

And you can buy Defiant for a little over a tenner from the FPI store here.

While I'm encouraging you to buy the book, we also have digital copies available through DriveThru Comics - it's a snip at $7.99 (a fraction over £5). Get it here.

* HUSHERS - my collaboration with Italian artist Manuela Lebrino Bassu - is being released by Markosia on August 1. The book - a tale of Victorian apocalypse - will retail for £12.99p/$17.99 and I shall be doing a proper blog post about the whole thing next week. In the meantime, here's some of Manuela's art. This isn't featured in the story itself but will appear in the book's back matter, along with a ton of other stuff...

Defiant hits Previews


Defiant: The Legend of Brithnoth appears in Diamond's Previews catalogue this month (page 5 of the UK section). Fifteen quid for 92 full-colour pages filled with death, destruction, madness and betrayal seems pretty reasonable to me. Please order it from your local comic store and support independent creators!

Next stop for the Time Bomb Comics Viking Brigade (that's me, artist Dan Bell and publisher Steve Tanner) will be the Cardiff Independent Comic Expo on June 27. Tickets are only a fiver with under-12s going free with a ticket-holding adult.

Bleeding Cool say nice things about Defiant


Defiant: The Legend of Brithnoth received a perceptive and complimentary review over at Bleeding Cool this week. 

Writer Olly Macnamee said of the book: "[Winter and Bell] create a well realized and believable, living breathing facsimile of Essex, Maldon and Anglo-Saxon England; its society, its people, its clothing and customs. I felt drawn into each page, the artwork is clear, with an eye to the details of life in 10thcentury Essex."

You can read the whole review here.

The Defiant bandwagon next appears at the Birmingham Comics Festival, on Saturday April 18th, at Edgbaston Cricket Ground. Hope to see you there!

Defiant launch details


THERE are only three days left to the launch of Defiant: The Legend of Brithnoth at the London Super Comic Con this weekend.

Artist Daniel Bell and I will be signing copies of the book at the Time Bomb Comics table both days so please come along, say hello and buy a copy for the special launch price of £12. 

You can find us in Artist Alley on table A118 (Aisle 9); just look for publisher Steve Tanner's brightly-coloured jacket and you won't go far wrong! If you're still unsure here's a map with a very big arrow pointing the way on it...

The book will also be appearing in the UK section of Diamond's Previews catalogue towards the end of April (cover-dated May). I shall have more details about this nearer the time. There will also be further con appearances to promote and sell the book, starting with the Birmingham Comic Festival on April 18. Again, more details to follow.

Oh, and Defiant now has its own Facebook page where we'll be posting art from the book and some of Dan's original character sketches amongst other things in the coming days and weeks. We need your "likes" so please come visit!

Defiant launches


Defiant: The Legend of Brithnoth will be launching not once but twice! Artist Dan Bell and I will be signing at the Time Bomb Comics table at the London Super Comic Con over the weekend of March 14-15, and then I will be at the inaugural Birmingham Comics Festival on April 18 (unfortunately, Dan can't make that one due to a prior engagement).

There will also be a Defiant Facebook page going live in the next few days where you can go for updates, art pages etc.

This book has taken so long to get together and I'm genuinely excited that we're nearly there!


There will be Blood Psi


Blood Psi will be available on ComiXology from Wednesday, January 28 and is being offered at the special knockdown price of 99c/69p. The book contains gorgeous black and white art by Keith Burns (Ex-Con, Aces Weekly) and an eye-catching cover by Declan Shalvey (Moon Knight, Injection). Personally, I think it's the best of the one-shots I wrote a few years ago and has always been a story I'd have loved to continue. In fact, when it looked like the comic was going to be optioned by a film producer a couple of years back, I actually wrote issues #2 and #3, and had further chapters sketched out. Maybe one day...* With Defiant: The Legend of Brithnoth out in a couple of months, Manuela busy illustrating the final chapter of Hushers (sample page below), and Tim Skinner; Retconned bubbling away quietly in the background, I've been having a think about what I want to write next. One idea I've been working on is for a sci-fi black comedy. I'm going to spend the next month or so plotting out the whole thing in some detail before approaching artists. When I saw Declan in Birmingham last year he made a suggestion about getting published that I've been eager to try out ever since. This will be the project that puts that suggestion into practise...* People have asked me what happened to a couple of projects I mentioned on here last year. Nothing good is the answer. Nix was going to be a graphic novel coming out through Borderline Press but the artist bailed (a shame because he was bloody good). This is a book I'd really like to return to at some point as I had the whole thing plotted out and had put quite a lot of work into it. I will probably try to find another artist again soon. I'd placed The Good Ship Otzi with a Dutch comics publisher but they had bugger-all money and closed a few months before Christmas. To be honest, Otzi is a project I won't bother returning to but I certainly intend to strip-mine it for the best ideas which I shall use elsewhere. * I've started a film blog - As Human as the Rest of Us - here. Come by and check out my recent reviews of superior low-budget horror flick Honeymoon, and offensively crappy kill-fest American Sniper. The blog also has its own Facebook page.[...]

Four months later...


Defiant: The Legend of Brithnoth is finished and should appear in Previews (at least the UK bit of it) early next year. There has been talk of launching the book at one of the country's multitude of conventions but nothing has been confirmed yet. Possibly the London Super Comic Con, in March, or The Birmingham Comics Festival (publisher Steve Tanner is one of the organisers) the following month. Perhaps even both. When I know, you'll know... 

I'm really pleased with how the story came out - artist/letterer Dan Bell and I spent a lot of time tweaking bits here and there to get it right and I think that has paid off. I think it's one of those stories that will need to be read more than once to really get the most out of it. I've tried some storytelling ideas that I haven't used before and taken some serious liberties with the original poem but hopefully it all works as it should. I'm very proud of it and can't wait to see it printed and published - Dan and I have spent the best part of two years on it!

* Most of my time this year has been spent working on Hushers, a graphic novel for another UK publisher being drawn by Italian artist Manuela Bassu Lebrino. It is all written and Manuela is due to start illustrating the final chapter any day now. It's looking good and will almost certainly be the thing I talk most about on here in the coming months.

* Working on Hushers meant that plans for the Tim Skinner: Retconned webcomic slipped down the schedule but I've now finished the third chapter and only have the fourth and final one to write. Artist Ruairi Coleman sent me the first few inked pages the other day and it looks brilliant. Ruairi is signed on for at least the first two chapters but might have to drop out after that to concentrate on his work for US publisher Dynamite, where he is currently drawing Turok: Dinosaur Hunter with the equally excellent Stephen Downey. One way or another, though, there should be new Skinner in 2015.

* And that's about it for now - we're nearing the end of another year in which this blog has been updated even less than usual. I'll try and make it one of my new year's resolutions to change that. In the meantime, have a lovely Christmas and a happy start to 2015.

Run for cover


Defiant: The Legend of Brithnoth now has a cover (above, click to enlarge), courtesy of Dan Bell and Aljosa Tomic.

The book itself is very close to being finished. I'm currently proofreading all 84 story pages while artist Dan busies himself designing various bits of backmatter.

Proofing a story is, I think, one of the most important parts of the creative process (but, then, as a professional proofreader and sub editor, I would say that). Having one last thorough read through what you've created is crucial because you almost always identify one or two things that haven't quite worked. Not just typos but maybe the odd scene in which the art and dialogue don't mesh correctly, a vital detail that has been underplayed, a misplaced speech balloon...

It will hopefully hit Previews before the end of the year and see actual publication through Time Bomb Comics early in 2015. We're also discussing launching it at one of the UK's many comic conventions but nothing has been confirmed as yet. More details as and when I have them...

* On the subject of Time Bomb Comics, they currently have a book out called Longship, by Lawrence Rider and Rebecca Teall. It's a clever and really quite touching tale of a Viking boat, a father and son, and a funeral. You really should buy it. Drop them a line at: or order the book through your local comic shop.

* And while I'm dishing out plugs, Defiant colourist Aljosa Tomic worked on the most recent issue of Veil (#4), by Greg Rucka and Toni Fejzula, through Dark Horse. It's a terrific and unusual supernatural mini-series from Lazarus and Queen and Country writer Rucka so well worth picking up.

Digital Bullet


HERO KILLERS - the Eagle Award-winning one-shot I did with Marvel artist Declan Shalvey - is now on ComiXology. You can buy it here for the very reasonable sum of 99c/69p. I now intend to submit a few of the other Moonface Press titles, starting with Blood Psi.

* DEFIANT! THE LEGEND OF BRITHNOTH is now about one-third coloured and - thanks to the excellent Aljosa Tomic - is looking very good indeed. I've also managed to get permission to use a fine translation of the original Battle of Maldon poem in the book which is great news. 

The plan as it stands is to bring Defiant! out early next year so Time Bomb Comics publisher Steve Tanner has a chance to submit it to Diamond and to get a bit of publicity going ahead of its release.

Here is one of the coloured pages; art by Dan Bell...

* I have two other major things I'm working on - one a graphic novel with publisher contracts already signed, the other a very intriguing webcomic with a name artist whose brilliance intimidates the hell out of me. Unfortunately I can't say anything about them until I'm given the green light to do so. Soon, though, hopefully...

* What else? Need to get on with writing more Tim Skinner very soon. It's slipped down the schedule a bit as other stuff has elbowed it out of the way... artist Jim Lavery and I have collaborated on a fun short story which has found a home in a very exciting anthology. I'm really proud of it, actually, probably the best short story I've written since... ever. Aljosa (again) and Nikki Foxrobot have turned in sterling work on the colours and letters for it too.

* I've reached that part of the year where I need to rush to get through as much stuff as possible before the kids break up for the summer. I love them both dearly but struggle to get any writing done when they're around, and there are deadlines I simply can't leave hanging until September. I really don't know how proper professional writers and artists cope with this stuff. I mean, I can't just decamp to a hotel for six weeks, can I? Hmmm...

* Finally, I now have a tumblr page here. At the moment I'm really just using it as a second home for this blog but plan to do a bit more with it soon. Feel free to follow me there, if you must...

Talk is cheap


HAVE I really not updated this blog since the middle of November 2013? Yes, that's exactly what has happened. How embarrassing.

It isn't that I haven't had a lot going on, because I have - bloody loads, actually. I am, however, trying to avoid talking about projects until something actually, properly concrete exists. Like finished pages, printed issues, viewable webcomics... that kind of thing. Because I've noticed that I come on here and jabber on about what I'm up to and then, more often than not, bugger all ever comes of it.

There are also things I won't talk about because I don't want to jinx them - after this morning, one thing in particular...

A few projects I will mention though, purely because they seem a bit more concrete than most of the half-arsed, airy-fairy nonsense I blather on about.

Firstly, I've finished writing the first episode of Tim Skinner: Retconned for Ruairi Coleman to draw. The idea - at least as it stands - is that we will finish all four episodes before the first one goes live and that the episodes will appear weekly for a month later in the year (September is favourite right now). I'm very happy with the first episode and had forgotten just how much fun it is to write Skinner.

I've also penned a one-shot for artist Henry Simon to illustrate. It's a pulpy sci-fi story featuring motorcycle gangs that runs to 28 pages. There's also a seven-page short story for artist Jim Lavery. I'm really proud of this one, actually, and I'll be going all out to get it into a decent anthology.

Thing is, though, I've mentioned those three projects and none of them actually properly exists yet. Any one of them could go tits up tomorrow, making me look foolish... again.

So, let me turn my attention to Defiant! The Legend of Brithnoth, which is becoming more and more real with every passing week. Artist Dan Bell only has a few pages and the odd panel revision to go before pencils and inks on the book are finished. I suspect Dan will treat himself to a stiff drink when it's all done. Then it's just the colouring and lettering, the cover and backmatter to sort out. Easy.

There's other stuff - stuff I'm pitching, stuff I'm struggling to find reliable artists for... the usual. I'll talk about it when and if... or probably not at all.

Cut 'n' thrust


I finished writing Defiant! The Legend of Brithnoth a couple of months ago and artist Dan Bell is just under two-thirds of the way through drawing it. It feels like we've been working on it forever and there's still a long way to go (colouring and lettering for a start), but I'm confident it will still see the light of day towards the end of next year – Time Bomb Comics' schedule permitting of course...Dan's been a pleasure to work with and his stuff has just got better and better the further into the book he has gone (see a recent page above). He's always happy to take a second look at certain pages and panels when I've asked him to and, likewise, I've valued his opinions when it comes to what works and what doesn't in the script. We're a good team, I think, and hope we do more stuff together in the future.And while I'm talking about Dan, he has a couple of stories in the recently-released British Showcase Anthology graphic novel (published by Markosia). More details here: will also be at Thought Bubble, in Leeds, this weekend, where you can buy copies of his excellent comics The Goose and Psircus.* Next up for me, two new projects (which aren't actually new at all). The first is a one-shot called Razorsnakes for R-Comics, with artist Henry Simon. It was originally going to be a longer 'graphic novella' type thing but I've been keen to have a crack at a couple of shorter, sharper stories in the mould of Hero Killers and Blood Psi. It's only 26 pages of actual story so I'm going to be editing down and refining my original idea and hoping it still works. I first had the idea for Razorsnakes five or six years ago and always planned to do something with it. Anyway, its time has finally come...The second is the Tim Skinner: Retconned webcomic. I've been holding off starting on this because I really wanted to clear my schedule to get it right. I've also spent the last few months just thinking - soaking up all the comics silliness I can find and generally getting myself into maximum snark mode. Maximum snark mode has now been achieved...* Once those are out of the way, I shall start writing Nix. I produced 11 pages of script earlier in the year for a pitch sample, but now must get cracking on the whole 80+ page story. I've found a publisher and have been working with an editor to get the story absolutely right. The only recent drawback is that the original artist has decided to leave the project (to pursue a lifelong dream to ink Superboy. Or something). As a result, I'm looking for a new artist (when aren't I?) so if anyone fancies having a crack at a sci-fi black comedy in which a deranged time traveller has a threesome with JFK and Marilyn, before doing something unspeakable to Idi Amin, feel free to drop me a line at:* I was really hoping to make it up to Thought Bubble for the first time this weekend but life, it seems, has made other plans yet again. I've only actually managed one comics con this year (the London Super Comic Con) which is almost certainly my worst showing ever. It's something that needs to change, especially as there's a good chance I'll finally have some new stuff published next year.If you are lucky enough to be going to TB, be sure to check out Time Bomb Comics (their new Squadron of the Screaming Damned book looks fantastic) and Borderline Press (Dennis Wojda's excellent 566 Frames and the Zombre anthology are both worth a look).[...]

Tim Skinner: Retconned


Here's the first teaser image for the Tim Skinner: Retconned webcomic by artist Ruairi Coleman and myself (click to enlarge). It will be released online in three-four parts sometime in the first half of next year.

Ruairi's a terrific artist - you may have seen his work on Uproar Comics' award-winning Zombies Hi series - and you can check out his blog here:

Douglas Adams on meth


SUMMER'S over, the kids are back at school and that means I can put my feet up and watch one of the stack of DVDs that have been sat gathering dust under the TV. Oh, except that I can't do that because I have a shit-ton of writing work to catch up on. A shit-ton of writing work I should have been doing over the summer but couldn't because of the kids, or rather the noise they make. All the time. Even when they are supposedly in bed. In some ways, the lack of actual writing has been a good thing because I've been able to properly recharge my mental batteries. Which is just as well because I really have to hit the ground running today, right now, this minute.Work I need to attack includes...* One last pass through the final third of Defiant! The Legend of Brithnoth. (I say 'one last pass' when there will be several dozen more passes until I am 100 per cent happy with it).* A lengthy scene-by-scene breakdown for the editor working with me on Nix. Then, eventually, a script.* A 10-page sample script for Hushers, the project I'm working on with artist pal Manuela.* Detailed – but punchy – plot synopses for four more projects I'm going to be pitching around towards the end of the year. An international smorgasbord of brilliant artists has been busy producing sample art pages for these. * Writing issue #2 of The Good Ship Otzi, the 'Douglas Adams on meth' space opera I'm doing for R-Comics. The artist hasn't started drawing issue #1 yet so I have wriggle room here.* Web comics, including new Tim Skinner (teaser image on the way very soon), and a bizarro horror thing I'm doing with artist Nick Wright.That little lot should take me up to Christmas (and probably beyond). I'd better get on with it all then...[...]



HERE are a couple of pics from a project set in Victorian London I've been working on with artist Manuela Lebrino. It's called Hushers and is something very different from what I've done before. I'll post more of Manuela's lovely art on here soon.

* IN other news, Defiant! The Legend of Brithnoth is pretty much finished writing-wise. I have been going over and over the last third of the script, though, ensuring it all works. One plot point took me months to get right but I think I nailed it in the end. Dan Bell is 30+ pages into the art now. Look for the book at some point next year from Time Bomb Comics.

* I THINK we may have found a publisher for Nix. Still early days but I've just started work with an editor on it and will confirm things as soon as I am able.

Defiant!, Nix and other stuff


WORK continues on Defiant! The Legend of Brithnoth and I can finally see an end to the 80-page script now. I'm probably about two-thirds of the way through and pretty happy with how it is progressing.

I really underestimated just how tricky it would be to write an adaptation of something - especially an historical event in which few solid facts are really known but one that requires a certain amount of authenticity and accuracy to make work. I soon realised the original Battle of Maldon poem fragment (all 325 lines of it) gave me the spine of a plot and characters but not much else. I had to make up the rest.

At first I found it horribly daunting and there were a couple of times I just hit a big energy-sapping wall. But eventually I just said, 'Sod it' and decided to tell an entertaining story that incorporated the themes and events of the original poem but that took great big liberties elsewhere. I think it works, although I'm not sure about the car chase on page 42 or the alien invasion at the end (joke!).

* I'M also submitting more projects to various publishers. The latest of these is Nix (see above), a rude and rambunctious time-travel yarn illustrated by Taylan Kurtulus and lettered by Nikki Foxrobot. It's probably the most eccentric thing I've ever written and Taylan's off-kilter, European-styled art make it an even stranger proposition. I really hope it finds a home.

* BEYOND those two projects I probably have another six or seven on the go at various stages of development. These include one I've been trying to get off the ground for years - thankfully I found a cracking artist a couple of weeks ago and we're flying!

I also have a couple of new story ideas that require artists, so if there's anyone reading this who might be interested, feel free to give me a shout at

Pitch panel


A panel from a pitch I've been working on with Spanish artist, Jsm.

Skinner refuses to die


THE good folk over at the Irish Comic News website ( are currently serialising the Tim Skinner: Total Scumbag one-shot I wrote back in 2008. The first part is already up, with a second part going live later this week.I re-read Skinner for the first time in a year or so the other day and was surprised at just how many of the gags still hold up. Zombies rule the publishing world more now they did five years ago, character deaths have become ever more fleeting and meaningless. The more things change in comics, it seems, the more they stay the same.On the surface, Skinner is all about rude jokes, bodily functions, slapstick violence and childish digs at people far more talented and successful than me. But, believe it or not, the book did have a more serious purpose too. Skinner himself was meant to be the embodiment of the comic industries' worst excesses, particularly the way in which it uses and abuses beloved characters. In 30-odd pages, TS:TS only does what comics companies do to their characters all the time. They're killed, brought back, killed again, made to wear absurd costumes, given insanely convoluted backstories, burdened with ridiculous anatomies, retconned, rebooted, reduced to one or two defining characteristics... I could go on.I had a couple of people tell me they thought the book was "misogynistic" but that was kind of the point. Is the yobbish Skinner lusting after Spectaculass's large breasts really that different to the way in which Power Girl has been treated over the years? Her only distinguishing characteristics are that she has big boobs and displays them through a little 'tit window' in her costume. Not exactly empowering, is it?Besides, you aren't actually meant to like Skinner. The title of the story isn't Tim Skinner: Good Samaritan. He's a scumbag and while it's perfectly OK to laugh at the shit he gets up to, he's surely impossible to empathise with. He killed the Superior Seven's pet cat, Kenny the Kickass Kitten, for Pete's sake!I should, of course, mention that the Skinner one-shot was drawn by Declan Shalvey, the guy who now makes a living on the likes of Venom, Northlanders, Conan and The Massive. I'm not sure if it was the last project Dec drew before he landed the 28 Days Later gig with Boom! but it was certainly one of the last. He did a fantastic job and even coloured the book himself. I love this particular page set in 'Murda-City One' and was always a bit disappointed that no one spotted it was a homage to William Hogarth's famous Gin Lane engraving (which I've reproduced below it so you can compare the two)...Anyway, all this reminiscing brings me to the real purpose of this post. Skinner's coming back (you knew he wasn't really dead, right?). He'll make his return in Tim Skinner: Retconned either later this year or early next, probably as one of those new fangled webcomics. I have a sack load of new ideas, a heart black with sarcasm and scorn, and an artist ready to make it all happen. Watch this space...[...]



An early cover idea for a project - called Nix - I've been working on with the fantastically talented Taylan Kurtulus. Taylan has one of the most unusual art styles I've come across and I love it! This is one of the projects I'll be pitching around to publishers later in the year.



I'VE been extremely busy since the turn of the year and don't plan to take my foot off the accelerator any time soon. As any regular readers will know, I've been trying – and mostly failing – to get a number of projects off the ground for the last couple of years. All that hard work, anguish and frustration finally seems to have proved worth it though. I have a lot of stuff on the go at the moment and, for the first time in a long time, a roster of artists I trust to help me pull it all off. First up is Defiant! The Legend of Brithnoth, a graphic novel based on the famous(ish) Anglo-Saxon poem The Battle of Maldon. Dan Bell is the artist and it's coming out next year through Steve Tanner's excellent UK indie, Time Bomb Comics. It's been easily the most difficult thing I've ever written and it took me a long time to work out exactly how to adapt the original poem. I've tried to stick to the facts as they are known but have fictionalised and taken liberties a fair bit too. We're going to start publicising Defiant! at the London Super Comic Con next weekend.Next up is a sci-fi project, called The Good Ship Otzi, which has found a publisher in the Netherlands. R-Comics is a small publisher with big ideas – just the sort of people I like in other words. I'm not sure as yet whether the book will be a mini-series or an ongoing but I'm about halfway through writing the first issue and reckon it would work pretty well as either. You'll hear far more about this in the weeks and months to come. The artist, Mike Harrington, is going to be creating a dedicated website for the project and I'll have more on that soon too.Beyond these two projects I have five or six more that are at various stages of development. Most of them are with artists and I'm hoping to have stuff to pitch before the end of the year. Like I said busy, busy, busy...[...]

The Next Big Thing


My old friend Garrie Fletcher (check out his blog here: has tagged me as part of something called The Next Big Thing wherein writers get the chance to tell the world of their current writing project by answering 10 questions about it. I then get to tag three other writers in to do the same thing, which I'll take care of at the end. So, Andy, what’s your next big thing?I'm working on a graphic novel retelling of a real-life event from England's Medieval past, the centre-piece of which is a massive, bloody battle. Unfortunately, I can't talk too much about the specifics (even previous retellings) as I'm keen not to give the game away. What I will say is that turning something that actually happened into fiction has been quite a challenge. I did a ton of research but was still unprepared for how much you have to shape facts, timelines and characters to make something work as an interesting, proper story. 1) What is the working title of your book?That's another thing I won't be giving away just yet.2) Where did the idea come from for the book?A couple of years ago I was pitching ideas to a UK-based graphic novel publisher (now sadly defunct) and getting nowhere. The editor I'd been speaking to suggested this particular historical event to me but I have to confess it was something I'd never heard of before. But I started researching the subject, visited the site where it took place and quickly became obsessed with it. I wish I could say more because it's a fantastic, fascinating story.3) What genre does your book fall under?It's an historical action/adventure tale.4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?There are three main characters, so let's see... Liam Neeson to play the lead, Viggo Mortensen to play his nemesis, Tom Hardy to play his trusted lieutenant (as long as he promised not to do his weird 'Bane voice').5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?Blood, guts, honour, betrayal, death and Vikings. Lots of Vikings.6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?I have a publisher although contracts haven't been signed yet. It's pencilled in for a 2014 release giving me enough time to write it and artist Dan Bell enough time to draw it.7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?I'm still battling through the first draft. What I quickly realised is that just because you have a list of events it doesn't mean you have a story. It took me a while to find a genuine 'hook' to hang the narrative on but I've found that now and the writing has been a lot smoother and considerably less frustrating since I did. The maxim about writing being '90 per cent perspiration, 10 per cent inspiration' has been particularly true in this case.8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?Brian Wood's Northlanders series for Vertigo would probably be the closest thing to what I'm doing but the tone of my project is very different.9) Who or What inspired you to write this book?The story's main character was a truly amazing man - a bloody lunatic but an amazing man. It seems bizarre to me that he isn't better known in this country for his extraordinary bravery and heroism. I think he has a bad rep that he doesn't deserve. It also seems strange to me that the event itself hasn't been adapted into fiction more often. It woul[...]