Always Write

Peter Rogers – Writer

Month: April, 2011

Interactives update

It’s been a really busy week in the world of The Interactives this week.   New pages have been coming in thick and fast and there are three pencilled and inked pages to go, and 5 left to colour.  I’ve been working on a pre-lettering rewrite today and I’m about 40 pages in, mostly reducing dialogue to give the fabulous art room to breathe.

I’ve also received two more pin ups as well, one from Lee Grice, artist on books such as Sugar Glider Stories and co-host of the Small Press Big Mouth podcast and the other from Dave Clifford, one half of Bearded Skull Comics the team behind Dexter’s Half Dozen.  Sadly I can’t share them here as they reveal characters and situations that don’t become apparent until quite a way into the story.

The third bit of news is a change to the release date for the direct market and you may have noticed we weren’t in the May edition of Previews.  We will now be in the June edition and hitting comic store and book shop shelves in August,  and of course I’ll be posting the Diamond Previews code as soon as I have it.

Get ready for some Inter action.....

Three is the magic number

It’s been an interesting year in the world of UK comic conventions, with notable  additions and omissions to the calendar for 2011.  We’ve had the added goodness that was Cardiff International Comic Expo and  Millarfest Kapow! Comic Con.  And the sad news that Hi-Ex won’t be happening this year and that Brumcon  BICS is not going ahead either, well until it morphed into Birmingham Comic Con that is.

And 2011 has also sparked a change in my own convention plans.  When I was on the other side of the table I only used to do one convention a year, namely Bristol.  Over the years as Orang Utan Comics started to take off I’ve added a second con appearance to my schedule, initially Birmingham and for the past two years London MCM Expo in October (The May one being too close to Bristol).

This year Cardiff was my second convention back in February which left a gaping hole in my comics and in turn social calendar.   With “The Interactives” due out in a few months it was more important than ever that this wasn’t the case.  If I could afford it I’d be at all the conventions, but realistically I can only make it to one more.    And the 1 in 2011 is going to be Thought Bubble.  For lots of reasons it was the obvious choice.  It’s in Leeds, probably the only major UK city I’ve never visited, it’s oop North so I’ll get to see people who don’t make it to the other cons I attend, it’s in November so I can pay myself back with Christmas money, and most importantly it’s the con that everyone keeps telling me I should go to that I’ve never been to before.

Looks like my new convention mantra will be Cardiff + Bristol + 1 and I quite like the idea of rotating that third convention.  So now I have an old favourite to look forward to and something totally new, so if you’re going to Bristol or Leeds I’ll see you there.  Right then I’m off to buy a scratchcard in the hope of adding at least one US con to the mix, wish me luck.

I love Bristol

As seen in "The Interactives"

If I’m married to Cardiff then my geographical mistress would have to be Bristol, my second favourite city in the UK.    I’ve worked there, I had my stag do there, I nearly went to Uni there, I’ve got some good friends who live there and it always seems to be sunny whenever I visit.  I love the city for its buildings and its atmosphere, its got a laid back, independent arts vibe to it and it’s a real creative media hub too.

And it’s got comics…in less than one month, I’ll be one of thousands of creators and fans who descend on the jewel in the West Country’s crown for BICSPE (Bristol International Comic & Small Press Expo).

That one weekend in the middle of May is one of my favourite weekends of the year every year (being the weekend before my birthday just makes it even better).     I have some brilliant memories of Bristol related  over the years, my first pre convention mini show where I got advice from Paul Grist and Andy Diggle, my first con proper where I met Joe Quesada, my first writer’s pitching session where I was terrible and my second which I won (although I never did finish the book).   Orang Utan Comics was formed there, when I finally got to meet Ian Sharman in person having become friends on message boards.   A year later we launched an ashcan of our first (delayed) book, well Ian did as I missed Bristol as I was being best man for my cousin in Ireland.   Bristol was my first convention as a fan, I went to my first panels in Bristol and appeared on my first panels in Bristol.   Even away from the con itself Bristol is also where I used to meet up with Rob Williams for a coffee and some advice. Usually near St Nicholas Market (as seen in “The Interactives”).

I’m really looking forward to this year as I get to see lots of friends that I only see at conventions, but if I’m honest BICSPE 2012 has already got my interest even more.  It’s a return to the Railway Shed, the spiritual home of the con and hopefully a return to the sun burning the top of your head, the sandwich bar in the corner, Hypotheticals, drunk Jamie Boardman and all the other things that make Bristol cons so memorable.  Here’s hoping.

Interactives Collaborators #3 – Ian Sharman

Ian is very much the UK comics renaissance man, I met him on message boards in 2006 and we’ve been friends ever since.   We met in person at the Bristol Comic Expo that year right at the time I was hatching a plan to put our some of my stories under the Orang Utan Comics banner I’d created.  The rest, as they say is history, 5 years later Ian is the driving force behind Orang Utan Comics as well as being Group Editor for Markosia.

Ian’s coloured comics, inked comics, lettered them, done pre press, designed logos and edited them and in the last few years really flexed his muscles as a writer with Alpha Gods (which he’s sold the movie rights to) and especially Hero 9 to 5 ( A book I wish I’d written).   The scary thing is he’s really good at all those things and I think a lot of people felt that inking would be where he’d get his big break but it looks like it’ll be writing, which is definitely his passion.

Having Ian on board as letterer and editor is perfect, it’s the culmination of 5 years pushing each other’s writing and keeping each other going.  His lettering is subtle when it needs to be and packs a punch when required too.   His encouragement and belief in me and this project have kept it going over the last 2 years.

Ians work on Alpha Gods

Interactives Collaborators #2 – Yel Zamor

As a reader quite often the colouring on a book can really make or break it for me.    I’ve seen great stories ruined by muddy colours and lesser ones elevated thanks to crisp, clean use of colour that suits the mood and tone.

I’d wanted to work with Yel for some time having been wowed by work she’d done on other projects for us at Orang Utan Comics and also seeing her colouring big two pages as samples on her deviantart page.  Yel’s based in London now but her Latvian and Russian roots do come through in some of the fantasy characters we’ve used.

She’s been the perfect collaborator for this book because as well as having an amazing eye  she’s also as invested in the characters and their adventures as I am.  The input I’ve had on the story from her, as well as Luciano, has made the project even more interesting to work on.  I love it when she tells me the team are acting out of character in a scene and quotes my own dialogue back to me as reference!  She’s also a great sounding board especially whenever I’m caught in a downward spiral of self doubt too.

And when it comes to her colouring itself I love her use of light, her colour choices and the extra little things she adds that you’d never have thought of but wish you had.  I’ve watched her colouring get better and better as we’ve worked together and she’s definitely one to watch.

Yel’s other work includes graphic novel Hero 9-5, with Ian Sharman and David Gray which is also available from Markosia (if you haven’t read it make sure you do, it’s really very good).

Yels work on Hero 9 to 5

Interactives Collaborators #1 – Luciano Vecchio

As The Interactives nears completion I thought I’d use this opportunity to showcase the very talented people working on the book with me.

Argentinian artist Luciano Vecchio is pencilling and inking The Interactives and he’s become my George Perez on this project as I’ve tried to squeeze more action and more characters onto every page as we’ve progressed.   Working with him has been an absolute pleasure, he’s taken my script and made it something far better than I could have imagined.  Whenever I see a page land in my inbox it really does make my day without exception.

His characterisation is perfect and his page composition is dynamic but the thing I like most about his pages is the acting.  I get a sense of what every character is thinking and feeling on every single page, from main characters to incidental people in the background.    I’m really pleased I’ve had this opportunity to work with him as I predict very big things for him in the not too distant future.

Luciano’s previous work includes Sentinels (Drumfish Productions) and Cruel Thing (Heavy Metal).  He was a Zuda Comics finalist in late 2009 for Unseen Tribes and he has been working with DC drawing Ben 10 for Cartoon Network Action Pack 57 (as seen below).

Luciano Vecchio's work on Ben 10

The Interactives Myth and girl7 pin up

Another pin up for The Interactives and another artist taking the chance to draw girl7, this time alongside Myth.   This time art comes courtesy of Steve Broomes.   I met Steve thanks to Dwight L McPherson and his Indie Comic Alliance #NDCA twitter promotional tool, reinforcing the power of a good retweet.  And it’s great to have him on board.

Pre-Order The Interactives

The public are obsessed with reality and the creatures from fantasy fiction fear extinction. Dragons, giants, orcs, goblins and trolls one by one they’re all breaking through from The Realm to The Real. War is coming to Britain and only geek blogger scallywag and his online followers stand in their way. Let your imagination run wild and get ready for some inter action….

You can now pre-order The Interactives from amazon.co.uk , written by me and with art by Luciano Vecchio and Yel Zamor.  And it will also feature the first printing of the whole of Seniors, a retro superhero tale beautifully painted by Azim Akberali (you may have seen the first half in Eleventh Hour Vol 1 a few years back).

Get ready for some inter...action.

Another take on girl7

The latest pin up for The Interactives comes courtesy of animator and fellow 10thology contributor Jenny Clements (Dai Hard).

Girl7 is certainly proving to be a popular character with artists so far.  And I’m loving every single version.

Jenny's take on girl7

The Interactives Girl7

I’ve been friends with Stu Tipples, who is one half of Monkeys with Machineguns, for a good few years  but only got to work with him for the first time recently.  As well as putting 10thology together he was also the artist on my suburban horror Red Cave that was the final story in the book.

When I asked Stu if he’d like to do a pin up for The Interactives he decided to choose girl7 as he hasn’t been called upon to draw female characters very often.  He also decide to take the term pin up very literally.

It’s a really interesting take on the character, enjoy.

Girl7 pin up