Fri, 28 November 2014 2014 Laydeez do Comics meeting

Lynda Rucker and I are organising another Laydeez do Comics meeting from 2pm onwards this Saturday in the Odessa Club in Dublin.

Our guests will be C.E. MurphyPhilip Barrettme, and Paul Bolger.

We’re also celebrating being on the cusp of the holiday season, so bring along a wrapped comic book for our blind comic book swap – come with one comic and leave with another!

Everyone is welcome!

Pop along, listen to the speakers, meet the Irish comic book community, and get your comic book fix on!

Sun, 23 November 2014 GoH at Octocon 2015

Octocon

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been invited to be Guest of Honour at Octocon 2015, which is taking place in the Camden Court Hotel from 10 – 11 October 2015.

So far the other GoH who has been announced is young adult novelist Emma Newman.

I started attending Octocon as a fan, and then progressed to running the convention for a period, so all these years later it means a great deal to me to be a GoH at the convention which was my foundation for sf/fantasy/horror appreciation.

The convention seems a long way off at this point, but I’m already looking forward to it.

Mon, 10 November 2014 In Conversation with Posy Simmonds

It’s been a wonderful experience to be on the selection committee for this year’s British Comics Awards, as I’ve experienced first hand the variety and talent in the British comic book scene.

The BCA jurors have been reviewing our shortlists, and will deliver their results at the 3rd Annual British Comic Awards ceremony, which will take place at 6pm on Saturday, 15 November at the Thought Bubble Sequential Art Festival in the Bury Theatre, Royal Armouries, Leeds Dock.

The 2014 BCA Hall of Fame entrant is British comic book legend Posy Simmonds, who will be on hand to receive her award. I also have the honour of interviewing her at the event about her career.

The awards ceremony is free to attend for any Thought Bubble ticket holder, but seats are limited so please arrive early.

Sun, 09 November 2014 Irish Comics News Awards 2014

The 4th Annual Irish Comic News Awards has opened for voting, and I’ve been nominated in two categories:

  • Best Irish Writer Published Outside of Ireland
  • Best Irish Creator Comic Published Outside of Ireland

Both of these nominations are for my work on Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland, which I co-wrote with Kim Newman, with art by Tyler Crook, coloured by Dave Stewart, covers by Julian Totino Tedesco, lettered by Clem Robins, and edited by Scott Allie. All set in the Hellboy universe created by Mike Mignola, and published by Dark Horse Comics.

Creating comics is a collaborative activity, and of course I’m deeply indebted to everyone on the team for making such a terrific comic book.

Voting closes in all categories on 22 November.

Fri, 17 October 2014 BCA Nominees 2014

As I mentioned on Tuesday I’ve been serving on the selection committee of the British Comic Awards this year. It’s been a pleasure to become acquainted with the sheer range of comic book titles being created in the UK.

This meant it was tough to select a mere five titles in each category from such a competitive field, but we have picked our nominees, and they have been announced:

Best Comic

  • Dangeritis: A Fistful of Danger – Robert M Ball and Warwick Johnson-Cadwell (Great Beast)
  • In The Frame – Tom Humberstone (New Statesman)
  • Raygun Roads – Owen Michael Johnson, Indio!, Mike Stock and Andy Bloor (Self published)
  • Tall Tales & Outrageous Adventures #1: The Snow Queen & Other Stories – Isabel Greenberg (Great Beast)
  • The Wicked + The Divine #1 – Kieron Gillen, Jaime McKelvie, Matt Wilson and Clayton Cowles (Image Comics)

BestComic-nominees-2014

Best Book

  • The Absence – Martin Stiff (Titan Books)
  • Celeste – I.N.J. Culbard (Self Made Hero)
  • The Encyclopedia of Early Earth – Isabel Greenberg (Jonathan Cape)
  • Lighter Than My Shadow – Katie Green (Jonathan Cape)
  • Sally Heathcote: Suffragette – Mary Talbot, Kate Charlesworth and Bryan Talbot (Jonathan Cape)

BestBook-nominees-2014

Young People’s Comic Award

  • Bad Machinery Vol 2: The Case of The Good Boy – John Allison (Oni Press)
  • BOO! – Paul Harrison-Davies, Andrew Waugh; Warwick Johnson-Cadwell, Jonathan Edwards, James Howard, Gary Northfield and Jamie Smart (Self published)
  • Corpse Talk: Season 1 – Adam Murphy (David Fickling Books)
  • Hilda and the Black Hound – Luke Pearson (Flying Eye Books)
  • The Beginner’s Guide to Being Outside – Gill Hatcher (Avery Hill Publishing)

YPCA-nominees-2014

Emerging Talent

  • Alison Sampson (Genesis, Shadows (In The Dark) – artist)
  • Briony May Smith (Tam Lin, The Courting of Fair Spring and Red-Nosed Frost, The Mermaid)
  • Rachael Smith (House Party, One Good Thing, Flimsy, Vicky Park (Leicester Mercury), The Amazing Seymore (Moose Kid Comics))
  • Becca Tobin (Eye Contact, Peppermint Butler’s Peppermint Bark (Adventure Time #30), numerous short comics)
  • Corban Wilkin (Dreams of a Low Carbon Future – artist, Breaker’s End, If Not Now Then When (Offlife #6))

EmergingTalent-nominees-2014

Hall of Fame

The third entrant to the BCA Hall of Fame will be the one and only Posy Simmonds.

Posy Simmonds

A huge congratulations to all the nominees!

The nominated titles will now be passed over to our Judging Panel who will decide the winner for each category except the Young People’s Comic Award which is chosen by reading groups of young people from schools and libraries around the UK.

The 3rd Annual British Comic Awards Ceremony will take place at 6pm on Saturday 15th November in the Royal Armouries Bury Theatre in Leeds as part of the Thought Bubble Festival, the biggest and best celebration of sequential art in the UK.

Wed, 15 October 2014 Unland 5 out now

Issue 5 of Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland is out from Dark Horse Comics today. You can buy it online, or in any good comic book shop.

Here’s the blurb:

Sir Edward Grey digs deeper into the shocking truth about Unland even as the city drowns in the rising waters. With the help of a mysterious woman, Grey faces raging waters and the eel assassins that have haunted his every step!

This comic is part of a five-issue Sir Edward Grey: Witchfinder story, which I have co-written with Kim Newman, with art by Tyler Crook, coloured by Dave Stewart, covers by Julian Totino Tedesco, lettered by Clem Robins, and edited by Scott Allie.

All set in the Hellboy universe created by Mike Mignola.

It’s both wonderful, and sad (for me), to see the end of this run. It’s been a pleasure to work within the Mignolaverse and with such talented people.

I count myself extremely lucky to have had this opportunity, and I hope Mike’s fans have enjoyed our take on Sir Edward Grey.

Tue, 14 October 2014 British Comic Awards 2014

I’m still in New York, recovering from an incredible, intense New York Comic Con.

I’m interrupting my time with friends here as It’s nice to be able to reveal finally that I’ve been a member of the British Comic Awards selection committee this year.

As part of the work I’ve read over 200 British comic book titles, and I have been very impressed with the vitality and diversity of work being created in the UK currently.

On Sunday this year’s judges, who will determine the winners in each shortlisted category, were announced:

  • Jonathan Entwistle – A film director currently developing a UK based adaptation of Charles Forsman’s comic TEOTFW.
  • Jessica Hynes – An award winning actor and writer known to many as Daisy Steiner from the influential sitcom Spaced.
  • Danny John-Jules – An actor, singer and dancer who has appeared in numerous musicals and films. Best known for his role as Cat in Red Dwarf.
  • Jonathan Ross – The infamous television and radio presenter and comic book writer.
  • Suzy Varty – Comics creator and tutor known for her work in the British Women’s Comic movement of the 1970s.

The shortlists for all the categories, chosen by the BCA Committee, will be announced on Friday, 17 October.

The winners will be revealed at the 3rd Annual British Comics Awards Ceremony on Saturday, 15 November as part of the Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds.

Sun, 05 October 2014 The Mysteries of Unland TPB Revealed

Up on The Beat there’s a lovely announcement: the reveal of the cover for the trade paperback of Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland, which is drawn by Mike Mignola.

It’s wonderful to have artwork by Mike on the book – it should be out early next year.

The announcement is part of the 13 Days of Hellboy festival that Dark Horse Comics is running currently.

Fri, 03 October 2014 Think of a City collaboration

Think of a City is a very cool on-going mass storytelling project told page by page by artists and writers from around the world. It’s essentially an exquisite corpse project that’s the brainchild of Alison Sampson and Ian MacEwan.

Think of a City contribution - by Alison Sampson

Here’s a description:

Our project is an opportunity for creators to bring the background to the forefront, and to delve into ideas of setting, place, design, geography, politics, architecture, materiality, mise-en-scène and much more besides, within storytelling. It will take time. Comics provide linear stories, but the urban environment is something different: non linear, multi-layered, complex, communal. We’d like to prove that cities are so much more than cityscapes. Every place has its story and every story has its place, but we can’t tell all the tales in this metropolis. If we have maps, they will be partial. This said, we can take you inside the most private rooms and fly above the rooftops, going from public to private in an instant.

I’m delighted to be part of this project and that I’ve been paired with the talented Marguerite Sauvage, who is an amazing illustrator and comic book artist.

She is currently killing it on the art/colouring duties for Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #7, which is written by Sean E. Williams.

Who doesn’t like seeing Diane rocking it out with her Bullets & Bracelets band?

Wonder Woman on stage with Bullets & Bracelets

It’s going to be quite a while before Marguerite and I get our turn at the project, but I’m already looking forward to it.

Wed, 01 October 2014 First NYCC

New York Comic Con is taking place from 9-12 October in the Javits Center in Manhattan, and this will be my first time attending.

I used to live in New York, so the city has a special place in my heart. It’s been quite some time since I’ve been back to visit, so I’m hugely excited at the prospect of catching up with my friends, as well as attending such a big multi-media/comic book event.

I’ll be doing a signing for Dark Horse Comics at the Fire and Stone Signing Stage at NYCC from 12pm – 12.50pm on Sunday, 12 October.

As far as I’m aware I’m the only one of the Witchfinder team who will be at NYCC so drop by if you want any comics signed.

Even if you just want to chat, please come to the Dark Horse signing stage on Sunday, 12 Oct at noon and say hello!