In just over 3 weeks time I’ll be heading back up to Leeds for the Thought Bubble Comic Convention. I went for the first time last year, and at this stage in proceedings I was hard at work pimping the books I’d written that would be on sale at the show. I contributed to anthology title Tales of the Fallen which debuted there, a book spinning out of the Unseen Shadows Universe (masterminded and spearheaded by author Barry Nugent). And it was the first convention where I was selling The Interactives, my debut graphic novel from Markosia, in person too.
This year, there won’t be anything new from me at the convention at all. In fact, I haven’t had any new work in print, or released digitally for that matter, for just over a year. A second Unseen Shadows anthology, the rather excellent Tales of the Forgotten will be launching at this year’s con, but I don’t have anything in it this time around.
To all intents and purposes it probably looks like I’ve turned my back on writing comics, but in reality nothing could be further from the truth. After The Interactives was launched I made the conscious decision to spend 2012 trying to stand on my own two feet, to establish myself as a writer in my own right. As part of this shift in mindset I’ll be attending Thought Bubble this year on the other side of the table, as I did at Kapow! in May . Spending the year pitching has meant nothing new from me to read, but it’s also helped me focus and regain my mojo too. In the last year I’ve written more pages, made more contacts, worked with more collaborators and had more fun writing than I have in years. I’ve also joined Scar Comics Agency, who now represent me in the UK, and I’ve become an active member of the Comics Experience Comic Creator Workshop (an online community I’d highly recommend).
So what exactly have I been working on in 2012:
I’ve revisited sci-fi story Forgotten Planet (working title), with the blessing of the original artist Azim Akberali. I’ve been joined on the graphic novel pitch by Giancarlo Caracuzzo (Jonah Hex, Gorilla Man, Formic Wars) and old friend John Charles (Spectacular Spider-man). Flux is currently under consideration with publishers via Scar.
I’ve been working on another sci-fi book called Flux, with co-writer Steve Aryan (Mythos, Empyre), for just over a year now. We’re currently working on the proposal for the mini series to go with the first 6 pages of art courtesy of Maysam Barza (who we met in the Facebook Small Press Commandoes group).
I have also been hard at work on another contribution to the Unseen Shadows Universe, which I’ll be able to tell people about very soon. I’m editing a new title for an extremely talented first time comic writer, and acting as British dialogue consultant for Eric Drumm ( Fear Itself: The Deep ) on his new project Long Live the King .
Largely thanks to Comics Experience I’m back writing short stories again as well. Working on the likes of Versus (with artist Dave Stokes), Teenage Kicks, Salesmanship and Blood Dolls (with artist Cheuk Po, another Small Press Commando) in recent months hearkening back to the good old Eleventh Hour days. I’ve also had my work critiqued by Bill Rosemann from Marvel, thanks to my participation in the workshop’s monthly writing challenge.
I’m also in the early stages of planning for a new action adventure title Tough as Steel, as well as returning to an old concept Viva Las Venus. There’s also another potential project in the offing, co-writing with my good friend Chris Lynch (The Dark). And I have an idea for a new imprint that keeps moving from the front to the back of my mind too.
So, despite having nothing on the shelves or iPads in 2012, I will definitely look back on this year as a very productive one indeed.