Wed, 16 July 2014 Unland 2 out

Today issue 2 of Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland is out from Dark Horse Comics. You can buy it online, or in any good comic book shop.

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.

If you’re thinking of hopping onto the series, then here are reviews of issues so far:

I’ll add more reviews to this post as they come in.

Fri, 11 July 2014 ArcadeCon 2014

ArcadeCon is taking place in the Ballsbridge Hotel this weekend, and I’ll be dropping by for a couple of panels and to chat to people.

I was a special guest at ArcadeCon last year, and it was one of the friendliest conventions I’ve ever attended in Ireland – chock-full of fantastic cosplayers and fans who are passionate about genre media.

Here are the two panels I’m on:

  • 3pm on Saturday, Ballroom: Representing Geeks: Prejudice, Privilege, Power
  • 4pm on Sunday, Ballroom: We Are Irish Comics

It should be a fun weekend!

Tue, 01 July 2014 Laydeez do Comics, virtually

This evening I’ll be ‘beaming in’ to the London meeting of Laydeez do Comics in Foyles bookshop, 107 Charing Cross Road.

Laydeez do Comics is celebrating its 5th year running, and to showcase its network around the world it has created a bumper meeting with presentations from various LdC organisers:

  • Anna Brewer Visual storyteller – Glasgow LdC
  • Maureen Burdock: Artist and graphic designer – San Francisco LDC
  • Louise Crosby Illustrator, printmaker and teacher – Leeds LDC
  • MK Czerwiec Comics artist and educator – Chicago LDC
  • Paula Knight Comics creator, children’s author and illustrator – Bristol LDC
  • Sarah Lightman Artist, curator and scholar – London LDC
  • Maura McHugh Writer of comic books, prose, plays – Dublin LDC
  • Nicola Streeten Comics artist, illustrator and scholar – London LDC
  • Simone Lia Comics artist and illustrator - guest blogger for the evening

The event is taking place from 7pm – 9pm in the Auditorium at the new location of Foyles on Charing Cross Road

Tickets are free but you have to email events@foyles.co.uk to register for a place.

I’m aiming to Skype in for the second part of meeting, but if technology breaks down there should be a presentation available that will represent my work, and the Laydeez do Comics – Dublin meetings I organise with Lynda E. Rucker.

Fri, 20 June 2014 22 pages to go

Our artist on Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland, Tyler Crook, recently posted this image of the first 88 pages of Witchfinder artwork, with the caption, ‘22 pages left to go!’

It’s weird to see the combined work of 18 months condensed into a thick sheaf of pages. Kim and I finished writing the scripts over six months ago, but the project has been on-going because we’re involved in the proofing of covers, layouts, pencils, inks, and lettering. The job of the writer on comic books doesn’t end when the script is handed in.

Witchfinder is coming out on a monthly schedule, so the final comic book in this five-issue mini-series will be on the shelves in October. Which will make it exactly two years from when Kim and I had our first meeting about the project in his kitchen in London, and trashed out the core concept.

I’m off to Dublin today, and tomorrow I’ll be signing in Sub-City Comics at its new location at 62 Dame Street, Dublin, Ireland 2, from noon – 4pm.

Rob Curley, the owner of Sub-City Comics, informs me there will be Dark Horse goodie bags for the first 50 people at the signing… so buy the comic, get it signed, and snag some loot!

Thu, 19 June 2014 Tyler’s Sir Edward Grey

The reviews for issue 1 of Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland, have been rolling in and so far the team has been delighted with the response from the critics and the fans.

I’ll put up a blog post listing them all soon, rather than detailing every single review as it comes in. Although, I will note that the comic got a Pick of the Week from the DC Women Kicking Ass Tumblr, as that’s a site I’ve been following for years, and I’m thrilled our title earned a mention.

In the meantime, here’s an interview with me on ComicMonsters.com called Maura McHugh Discusses Witchfinder.

Finally, here’s a terrific drawing of a moody Sir Edward Grey, which Witchfinder artist Tyler Crook put on his Tumblr yesterday.

Wed, 18 June 2014 Witchfinder Day

Today is the publication day of issue 1 of Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland! Hurray!

This is the start of a five-issue Sir Edward Grey: Witchfinder story, with art byTyler 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.

It should be available to buy today in all good local comic book stores, but if not you can buy it as a digital comic.

Tue, 17 June 2014 Background and Review

Tomorrow is publication day for issue 1 of Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland, and it seems almost unreal.

Publishing can be a strange business: you work on a project for a long time and well ahead of its release into the world, and occasionally it feels like a Sisyphean task.

Suddenly, it feels like someone is collapsing a telescope and publication day zooms in!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Sir Edward Grey, the protagonist of the Witchfinder series, here’s his entry in the Hellboy Wiki. For the Mignolaverse scholars among you, check out the incredibly detailed and comprehensive Hell Notes column that Mark Tweedale recently dedicated to his favourite supernatural investigator.

Also, David Ferguson at Irish Comic News was kind enough to interview me about my writing so far, and my work on Witchfinder with Kim Newman, Tyler Crook, and the team.

Finally, I was delighted to read the first review of the comic on All-Comic by Joey Caswell. He’s very pleased with the work we’ve done, which is immensely gratifying.

Mon, 16 June 2014 Preview of Unland 1

The first three pages of issue 1 of Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland have been posted online, and on the Tumblr of our artist Tyler Crook (follow him!).

What’s cool is that along with the finished coloured/lettered pages, you can also see the original black and white inks beside for comparison. I’m replicating them below.

Not only do you see how well Tyler is drawing the comic, this also clearly demonstrates what a brilliant job colourist Dave Stewart is doing, and how much his work adds to the general atmosphere of the piece. Plus, let’s not forget the contribution of our letterer Clem Robins! (Click to embiggen.)

The comic is released on Wednesday!

Fri, 06 June 2014 British Fantasy Award nomination

I’m reeling from the news this evening that I’ve been nominated for a British Fantasy Award in the Best Comic/Graphic Novel category for my writing on the Jennifer Wilde mini-series Unlikely Revolutionaries, along with artist Stephen Downey, and writer Karen Mahoney (who wrote the stand-alone JW story The Wilde Hunt). The comics were published by Atomic Diner Comics in Dublin.

I’m honoured to be nominated in such talented company. Here’s the entire short list:

Best Comic/Graphic Novel

  • Demeter, Becky Cloonan (Becky Cloonan)
  • Jennifer Wilde, Maura McHugh, Karen Mahoney and Stephen Downey (Atomic Diner Comics)
  • Porcelain, Benjamin Read and Chris Wildgoose (Improper Books)
  • Rachel Rising, Terry Moore (Abstract Studio)
  • Saga, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image Comics)
  • The Unwritten, Mike Carey and Peter Gross (Vertigo)

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at FantasyCon in York on 6 or 7 September 2014, depending on the convention’s scheduling.

My thanks to those who nominated Jennifer Wilde for this award!

And a huge thank you to Rob Curley at Atomic Diner Comics for asking me to write the mini-series.

Sun, 01 June 2014 Solstice signing at Sub-City Comics

Thanks to Rob Curley at Sub-City Comics in Dublin, and the fabulous PR crew at Dark Horse Comics, I’ll be doing a signing of issue 1 of Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland at Sub-City Comics at its new location at 62 Dame Street, Dublin, Ireland 2, on Saturday, 21 June from noon – 4pm.

I’m looking forward to chatting to people about the comic book on the day! I only wish my co-writer Kim Newman, and our artist Tyler Crook, colourist Dave Stewart, and Letterer Clem Robins could be there!

The first issue will be hitting the shops on Wednesday, 18 June, so there should be plenty of time to buy a copy before the Saturday.