Always Write

Peter Rogers – Writer

Month: July, 2011

Stunning new cover for The Interactives digital release

It’s only one short week until The Interactives will be available in print and things are moving ahead for the digital release too.  The final piece in that part of the jigsaw arrived in my inbox a few days ago, the cover to Issue 2.

Ever since I started working with Luciano Vecchio and Yel Zamoron the book I knew that I had assembled a very special art team. My intention was always to create a book that held its own visually when compared to anything else on the shelf from any other publisher.  I think that we’ve most definitely achieved that aim.  As Sugar Glider creator and North East Geekfeast podcaster Daniel Clifford put it “One of the best looking, if not THE best, British indie books I’ve seen.”

For me this cover sums up the talent and commitment they’ve both put into the project, there are almost 50 individual characters on show here.  As a writer I never cease to be anything other than humbled when my thoughts and words are brought to life in such spectacular fashion.

Feast your eyes is an overused phrased but it’s the right one here.  Because for this cover you’re going to need to loosen your belt and take it easy on the sofa for the next few hours because Christmas has come early.

Issue 2

The Interactives Issue 2

The Interactives launches at The Comic Guru

It was confirmed this weekend that the official launch of The Interactives will be at The Comic Guru in Cardiff on Saturday August 6th. It’s your chance to pick up a signed copy of the exclusive variant cover version which won’t be available in print anywhere else.   And if you’re lucky I’ll even sign some of the out of print Eleventh Hour copies that they have in stock too.     A big thank you to Kristian for hosting the event and if you’re able to make it I look forward to seeing you there.

See you there

Flashback – Brothers in Arms

Two page story Brothers in Arms appeared in Eleventh Hour #1 drawn by Scottish artist Tom Walsh.  This wasn’t the first story I’d worked on with Tom,  but it was the first that saw print.  Previously we’d been developing two mini series, Grungehead (the trials and tribulations of a pub covers band) and Directive 16 (a sci fi team book pitched somewhere between Time Cop and I, Robot).

The short was my second attempt at pitching to End is Nigh, the official magazine of the Apocalypse. I was recommended to editor Michael Molcher (now PR bot For 2000AD) by mutual friend Si Spurrier (FX: namedrop clang).  Sadly Brothers in Arms didn’t find its way into #2 War, although my Dad did have some of his work in there (long story for another day).   It was still a story we were proud of so we decided to put in our first self published book at Orang Utan Comics.    And a few years after its initial release it found a new home, reprinted with fresh inks and letters in New British Comics #1 in English and also Polish.

It’s still one of my favourite stories for a number of reasons.  It meant something Tom and I worked on was being read finally and the British setting, tone and feel were far removed from my other work at that time.  The two page restriction meant I needed to completely compress my storytelling and its all the better for it.

A very British short

Flashback – Eye of the Storm

Having decided to look back on some of my previous work it made sense to start with the very first story of mine that saw print, Eye of the Storm.  It’s also the story that’s been printed the most, having appeared in three separate anthologies over the years.    Initially the story came out in Dimestore Productions Mysterious Visions Anthology #1 in October 2006, and then later after we launched Orang Utan Comics in Eleventh Hour 2 in 07 and in Eleventh Hour Vol 1 trade paperback from Markosia in 08.  The story was a collaboration with Tanzanian artist Azim Akberali, who I have worked with on a number of projects since.  It was originally created for another anthology which if my memory serves me correctly was called Gorilla Tactics.  This was at the time when I was pitching to small press anthologies left right and centre to get my work out there.

The story is set in the Vietnam war and follows a group of soldiers who are being picked off one by one by an unseen foe.  (Azim and I are both big fans of Predator, which definitely served as an inspiration).  In the grand tradition of 2000AD’s Future Shocks as well as the impending horror that the story built there was also a definite sting in the tail.    Thanks to Azim’s gorgeous greyscale art the atmosphere I was going for is there from the very first panel, and it’s a story I look back on with a real sense of pride.

Here’s what some of the reviewers had to say about it:

One of the better EC-style stories in there is also by their hands. ‘Eye of the Storm’ is drawn by Akberali with pencils and ink and sets a great mood for this Vietnam tale with a mystical twist. It has good character work from writer and artist alike and the short format serves the story well.” (Broken Frontier) 

Azim Akberali’s artwork reminds me all the way through of Alex Ross. Peter Rogers plot is decent and a nice twist ending ties it up nicely.(Cornish Sci-Fi Supplement)

Geek Syndicate reviews The Interactives

The latest episode of the popular podcast Geek Syndicate, which will sadly be ending later in the year, includes one of the first reviews of The Interactives.   To find out what Barry Nugent thought of the book you can download the episode here.

And you can also read the first 15 pages of the graphic novel on the Geek Syndicate iPhone app.

We out

Geek Syndicate Episode 187

Pushing forward back

While reviewing my site stats last week I noticed that a few visitors to the site had been reading my first post from back in January 2009.   Having re-read it myself it I thought it might be time to review the projects I listed as being in various stages of development back then.  As it turned out the idea for The Interactives arrived in my head in the Summer of that year and took over all my creative energies and leapfrogged its way to the top of my to do list.  It also got me thinking about what I should be working on next.

So here are the mini series I mentioned back then:

Forgotten Planet – sci fi with artist Azim Akberali.  (Whole thing plotted, Issue 1 scripted and the first 6 pages painted ready to pitch and a number of publishers interested.  The power rationing in Tanzania has meant Azim has been unable to work on anything outside covers and pin ups for some time.  I’d  really love to get this back off the ground.)

Slam Ridley – sci fi with co-creator Ian Sharman and artist Craig Yeung.  (Slam Ridley, which Ian plotted has been something we’ve worked on since about 2007.  Craig is no longer attached and I still think we’ll get it back on track one of these days.  Although Ian’s writing is at the point where he probably doesn’t need me any more.)

Valhalla – viking tale with artist Simon Wyatt.  (A standalone short story set in the Valhalla Universe appeared in FTL, we have plans for a longer story building from this.  Although Simon looks to be booked up for the rest of the year.)

5th Outlaw – modern day Western with artist J.C Grande. (The intro to this story with Megan Cittadino’s colours appeared in an issue of FTL, it’s one of those stories that I can’t quite get back into.  The plot needs a pretty big overhaul. (I was experimenting with following the exact Campbell Mythology structure via Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey at the time)  Be good to return to this at some point.)

Fifteen Minute Heroes – superheroes, artist TBA.  ( I initially plotted this for the Shadowline Who wants to create a superheroine competition and didn’t make it through sadly.  All three issues are written, I’d need to dust them off and give them a spit and polish and then start looking for an artist.)

Night Shift – superheroes, artist TBA. (This was such a high concept idea that I didn’t end up taking it any further.  Looking at it now there’s enough for a short and not much else, that might be what I do with it next)

I’ve also got some other min series/graphic novel ideas that were scripted a long time ago and haven’t been developed further such as  sci fi books Viva Las Venus and Directive 16 (with artist Tom Walsh).  Then there’s thriller Footsteps, which won me the 2004 Writer’s Pitching Session at Bristol and was the book I found Azim Akberali for.   It’s a story I loved at the time but I’ve found hard to write since being a parent because of the subject matter, again something I’d like to work on again.

Since that first post I’ve written a few other shorts, Show & Tell and The Eve should both be appearing in FTL before the year is out.   I was meant to be co-writing the story that became Zuda winner Sidewise with Dwight L McPherson, I couldn’t maintain the schedule back then and I’ve been kicking myself ever since.   Right now I’m batting ideas back and forth with Chris Lynch which could lead to us writing something together too and there’s My Monster Book that SI Wyatt and I have up our sleeves too.  And I need to pull something together for 10thology 2 as well.

There certainly isn’t a shortage of ideas, I just need to grab one of them by the throat and spend a good few months shaking it into submission. And then there’s always The Interactives 2 which is already taking shape.  So just like I said 30 months ago watch this space.

 

Listen again to my interview for BCFM

I appeared on BCFM’s Movies and Music show briefly last Saturday, if you missed it you can download some of the show including my interview as a podcast here.

BCfm

Radio Free Europe or Radio GaGa?

I’m doing a radio interview about “The Interactives” on BCfm (Community radio for Bristol) tomorrow afternoon on The Movies and Music show.    The show is from 12-2 and I’ll be being interviewed at around 12.20 if you want to have a listen, if you’re in Bristol it’s on 93.2FM  or listen live online here. Very grateful to the show’s host Mark Le-Leivre , who’s been a big supporter of Orang Utan Comics and Markosia over the years, for having me on.

I’m sure we’ll be talking about lead character scallywag’s shop “Killed the Cat” as it is located in St.Nicholas Market in Bristol.  If you want to find out what goes on in the store, simply follow scallywag on twitter.

The Interactives featuring St Nicholas Market