Always Write

Peter Rogers – Writer

Month: September, 2013

Forgotten Planet final days

As I type this we have 1 day and 15 hours left on the Kickstarter campaign for Forgotten Planet. We’ve had quite a surge of support in the last few days, some more media coverage courtesy of Robot 6 on Comic Book Resources, and some more big name creators helping us spread the word.  We sit on £4,502 against a target of £11,500, courtesy of 175 brilliant backers.  At this moment in time it looks highly unlikely that we will make our goal, but never say never. We already have some ideas of other ways to bring the story to the world, should the campaign not succeed. 

Today’s campaign update for backers included the original 5 pages of script I wrote back in 2008, when I was originally working with Azim Akberali and pitching the book to publishers. Back then, the book was called “Return to Pluto”, Cale Beckett was called Carter Beckett, my dialogue lacked finesse and my panel descriptions were too long. But, if you would like to look behing the creative curtain, then you can see my initial effort here and compare it to the first 5 pages of art here. 

We also received this pin-up by one of my favourite current artists Chris Wildgoose (True Grit, Super 8, Porcelain). Feast your eyes. 

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Word Balloon

On Sunday night I had the great pleasure to talk with John Suintres, host of the pop culture podcast Word Balloon, essentially the Michael Parkinson of comics interviewing.  As I told John when we were chatting after the recording, Word Balloon was the first podcast I ever listened to.  I can track my weekly listening as far back as 2006 and the 7th Episode of the show, featuring Mark Millar talking about Civil War.  So being able to appear on the show, to spread the word about the Forgotten Planet Kickstarter campaign and to talk about my writing, was a genuine honour.

You can listen to the episode here, I’m on from about 34 minutes in, just after the Matt Fraction Marvel press conference for Inhumanity. We only have 6 days left on the Kickstarter so feel free to share the episode, to encourage more people to help make Forgotten Planet a reality.

Kickstarter campaign update.

We have 14 days left on the Kickstarter and a long way still to go (currently on 26%, needing another £8461). Regardless of the outcome, I’ve been really pleased by people’s reaction to the concept and the preview pages.  Hopefully people aren’t quite sick of hearing about Forgotten Planet just yet, as we have more coverage planned to help us on the final run in.

On the weekend Bleeding Cool ran an article I wrote, unveiling a new reward level for aspiring writers. For £30 you can have one of your scripts critiqued by me, I give very honest feedback, answering the kind of questions that can help you shape your story and give clarity to your artist and in turn readers. Myself, Giancarlo and Shane were also interviewed about the book by the always excellent A Place to Hang your Cape.  There’s another interview we’ve done following very soon.

Tonight I recorded an episode of Nerds Assemble,  “a UK based podcast that deals with films, TV shows, videogames, comics/TPBs, graphic novels, anime, manga and much, much more.” The show should be out tomorrow, I get to talk about the latest nerdy news and then share some thoughts on Forgotten Planet and the Kickstarter campaign as well.

That won’t be the last of my podcast appearances  between now and October 1st, when the door firmly slams shut on the crowd- funding campaign.  I’ll be able to tell you more about that very soon.

If you have backed the campaign or intend to, please continue to share the campaign as every penny counts to help us reach our goal.  Even if the book isn’t for you, if you know someone who would be interested pass on the details.  We’re only 26 backers away from revealing the full colour, painted artwork for the Kickstarter Exclusive Dust Jacket hardback edition.

14 days, still not given up hope…not quite.

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Forgotten Planet 5 Page Preview

Forgotten Planet 5 Page Preview

Read the first 5 pages as a two artist mash up and get a feel for the book before you pledge.

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Calling America – Allegiance your pledge

I took part in an interview tonight about Forgotten Planet, the new sci-fi graphic novel I’m working on with artist Giancarlo Caracuzzo (Gorilla Man, Formic Wars, Jonah Hex) for Scar Comics.  A few of the questions related to the differences between European and American audiences.  It was really interesting to me that the fact I’m a British writer, our artist is Italian and our publisher is British was even something to consider.  So many US books have European talent on them, I’ve always considered the US and UK comic audiences as pretty interchangeable (we tend to think Saga’s rather exceptional too). But I guess things like Judge Dredd being printed by IDW rather than US readers picking up 2000AD or the Megazine disproves that theory.

Having said that, the number of backers we have for our Kickstarter campaign currently is heavily in favour (or of course favor) of this side of the pond.  The book begins in Boston, heads to Detroit, Tanzania in East Africa and a couple of other US locations before taking to the skies and returning to Pluto. So not matter what country you’re from, if you enjoy action adventure stories and sci-fi we think you’re really going to enjoy what we’ve put together.

One thing a few people have mentioned is that Kickstarter shows the campaign in the currency of the campaign creator and not your “home” currency.  So, based on today’s exchange rate at the time of typing, I’ve worked out what each reward is for US dollars. It’s easy to forget as I buy a lot of things online from the US, I’m more used to working out approximate amounts in my head when I back US projects.  Happy to do the same as this for Canada, Australia, in fact any country if you would like me to.

We’ll be adding more rewards in the next few days, possibly tweaking some of the larger value items and including some interesting opportunities for aspiring writers and artists at a lower entry point.  Don’t forget we’ll also be adding pin-ups from Chris Wildgoose (Porcelain, True Grit) and Mike Collins (Dr Who, Transformers, X-Men) and when we hit 150 backers we’ll be sharing Azim Akberali’s painted art for the Kickstarter Exclusive limited edition Dust Jacket cover. So please spread the word, 20 days to go and I haven’t admitted defeat yet.

 

  • The Stargazer’s Reward – You get a PDF preview of the first 24 pages of the book as soon as they are completed as well as our eternal thanks. (£1 or £1.57)
  • The Earthling’s Reward – As well as the preview you get a PDF of the full Graphic Novel as soon as the printed book is released.  (£5 or $7.87)
  • The Plutonian’s Reward – As well as the PDF you get a signed copy of the Printed Softcover of the entire Graphic Novel in glorious full colour. (£16 or more ($25.17) – Add $12.58 for International shipping.)
  • The Mercenary’s Reward – All the digital previews from previous rewards plus a signed copy of the mighty Hardback edition of the Graphic Novel, This sturdy edition will look great on your bookshelf. (£25 or $39.33 – Add $14.16 for International shipping)
  • The Area 51 Reward – Both Printed editions of the book so you have collectable edition and a reading edition, plus a special named “thank you” credit in the book acknowledging your support. (£45 or $70.79  Add for $18.88 International shipping)
  • The J Rod Reward – You get the Hardback Graphic Novel, the “thank you” credit and the Digital preview and you also get a unique signed and dedicated sketch from our acclaimed artist Giancarlo Caracuzzo. These are strictly limited! (£75 or $117.98. Add $31.46 for International Shipping)
  •  The Juneau Reward – Everything from the Area 51 Reward plus a groovy Forgotten Planet T-Shirt featuring the cover artwork and logo. Again this is a very limited. (£75 or $117.98. Add $31.46 for International Shipping)
  • The Beckett Reward – Everything from the Juneau Reward only your Hardback will be a special Limited Edition of the book, loaded with extras, including a signed Dust Jacket and 3 exclusive Art Cards featuring characters from the book This edition of the book is only available to Kickstarter supporters and will be a rare signed and numbered collector’s edition. There will only be a maximum of 100 copies printed EVER!! (£95 or $149.44. Add $47.19 for International Shipping.)
  • Retailer Reward – This one is for Retailers only (unless anyone really wants more than one copy). You get 10 signed copies of the soft cover and a free mention of your store in the book and a free listing on our website as an indy friendly retailer. We will also share a link to your website on our facebook page and give you a twitter shout out to our followers. On top of all this you get an exclusive Giant Poster to put in your window or on your wall featuring the art of Giancarlo Caracuzzo! (£100 or $157.3. Add $62.92 for International Shipping)
  • The 134340 Reward – This is a really exclusive option and limited to just 4 supporters – you get everything from the Beckett Reward plus the original Sketch featured in the J Rod Reward. This really is a bumper package of Forgotten Planet goodies. (£135 or $212.37. Add $62.92 for International Shipping)
  • The Creator’s Reward – This special bonus reward is for all the young aspiring comic writers out there. For this reward you get everything from the Beckettt Reward plus you get a personal on-line tutorial in comics script writing from writer Peter Rogers. He’ll review any scripts you have written and give you invaluable advice on how to write comics and how to submit your work to publishers. (£200 or $314.62. Add $31.46 for International Shipping)
  • The Never Forgotten Reward – This reward is reserved for that special Kickstarter supporter who wants to go down in interplanetary history. You get everything from the 134340 reward plus you get to be featured in the Graphic Novel with a special Cameo Appearance and a named credit as a character model. You also get an extra 5 signed copies of the softcover edition to give away to your friends so that they can bask in your glory as a famous comic character. (£500 or $786.55. Add $62.92 for International Shipping)

Forgotten Planet-04 proof

Forgotten Planet artists assemble

So, it’s official our two guest pin-up artists for Forgotten Planet have been confirmed.

Here’s a taster of the amazing kind of work our two new artists Mike Collins and Chris Wildgoose are capable of.  I’ve wanted to work with Mike and Chris for quite some time, so I’m super excited to have them involved with the project.

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Forgotten Planet Pin-Up artists about to be revealed

I’ve been lucky enough to work with two exceptional artists on Forgotten Planet already, and that number is about to double.  As well as the original series artist Azim Akberali and my new co-creator Giancarlo Caracuzzo, backers of our Kickstarter campaign can get art by two other artists too.  We promised that we’d share their identities when we hit 100 backers, and as we did that today we’ll be making the announcement soon.

Hellboy by Azim Akberali

Hellboy by Azim Akberali

Gorilla Man art by Giancarlo Caracuzzo

Gorilla Man art by Giancarlo Caracuzzo

If you want to be among the first to know who the artists are, and to add their pin ups to your reward level make sure you back the campaign to get the exclusive update.  I’m extremely excited about working with both artists.  One of them is someone I’ve been a fan of since I first read comics and the other is an up and coming rising star whose name everyone will know very soon.  Can’t wait to tell you more….

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The first Cardiff Film and Comic Con

It seems crazy to look back at a time when Bristol was essentially the one and only British comic convention.  Nowadays not a week goes by without another new show or two popping up in various cities and towns across the UK.  As of last weekend, Cardiff, the city I call home,  can say it boasts two such conventions.

The existing show, Cardiff International Comics and Anime Expo, has been running for a couple of years.  Bristol Comic Expo stalwart Mike Allwood has helped grow the event around the strong comic community here in the capital city, with the support of a hard working and dedicated team. I’ve been lucky enough to attend each of the shows and have thoroughly enjoyed them, I’ve also been involved in panels as host and also guest.  The organisers next event is SCARdiff in October, the city’s first horror themed convention, which I’ll also be attending for Dapper Chimp Press.

The new event, which launched last weekend, is an entirely different animal, Cardiff Film and Comic Con  is run by Showmasters, who also run London Film and Comic Con and Collectormania in Glasgow and Milton Keynes.  The closest I’ve experienced to it previously was MCM Expo in London and my first trip to that show inspired a number of key scenes in my graphic novel The Interactives. Rather than a dedicated comics show, this was definitely a multi-media affair with autograph hunters seeking out the likes of David Hasselhoff, Robert Englund, Brian Blessed and one of my all-time heroes Lance Henriksen.  It was also the first convention that people outside of the comic world seemed to be talking about, with colleagues in work, non comic reading friends and parents in the school yard mentioning it prior to the event.

The comic section of the show, run by another industry stalwart Mike Conroy,  was relatively small, but it boasted lots of well established indie creators.  People like the local guys behind Lou Scannon, Stiffs and The Pride, as well as Steve Penfold, the artist on highly regarded series Moon and Subversive Comics, home of Bearlands zombie bear series.  It also played host to a strong artist’s alley with local names like Simon Williams (whose who is currently working with The Hoff himself), Mike Collins and Dylan Teague, as well as Liam Shalloo and Lee Bradley.  Some big names from the other side of the pond had ventured to our fair city too, with Marvel Zombies artist Arthur Suydam (whose Predator v Batman print had sold out before I managed to get myself one), The Crow creator James O’Barr and ex-hairdresser turned superstar writer Gail Simone (Batgirl, Red Sonja). There was definitely a different vibe from any show I’ve been to before, especially as an exhibitor. There were people buying their first ever comic from us, people asking how comics were made, people asking how much extra is was to have the comic signed, people who wouldn’t buy a comic if their life depended on it and, of course, your more typical comic buyer. It was also extremely busy, with huge queues of people waiting hours to get in.  The upside of that was that footfall was pretty constant, we actually sold more books on the Sunday, which has certainly never happened to me before. The downside was that some people queued for so long, then waded through such a large volume of people on the Saturday, that they reached our table at 5.15pm, tired, weary and out of money!

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On Saturday one half of Monkeys with Machine Guns Stuart Tipples was with me, helping to man the Dapper Chimp Press stand, sketching and selling prints and original art. It wasn’t a convention where that many people wanted sketches done, and from talking to other artists their prints seemed to sell better.  I guess that’s the result of a less comic-centric audience.  The stand next to us was Soaring Penguin, whose energy and enthusiasm is definitely an inspiration.  Going to have to add their Peter Pan omnibus to my Christmas list I think.   Sales were good, the atmosphere was really positive and we had a very good first day. The unofficial After Show party in Porters was good fun and I got to spend a few hours with Stu, the Sidekickcast hosts Gavin Jones and Dan Marshall and Comic Book Outsiders’ Scott Grandison (the nicest man in podcasting) and his wife.  The comic based quiz was good fun and I was sad to leave before the superhero hip hop improvisation began.

On Sunday my daughter was with me, helping increase the amount of Forgotten Planet Kickstarter flyers we gave out.  Who can say no to a 6 year old?  Despite being petrified by the Red Skull cosplayer, she stayed for most of the day and was even sketching at one point. Her Zombie Panda was given to the Jeremy Biggs at Subversive Comics and she hand-delivered her Batgirl to Gail Simone, with far more composure than I did when approaching Gail later in the day (wish I’d taken a photo of that sketch now).  It was a case of Smith and Jones assisting on the table in the afternoon with Gavins of both varieties covering for me at different points in proceedings. One thing I am gutted about is the fact I missed Lance Henriksen, who walked around the comic section and had his picture taken with the Lou Scannon guys at the next table while I wasn’t in attendance. For them it was Bishop from Aliens, for me he would have been just as much Emil Bouchon from Hard Target and Chains Cooper from Stone Cold.  What would the world be like if James Cameron had stuck to his guns and cast Henriksen as the Terminator I wonder?  Anyway, instead of getting Lance’s autograph, or any of the other actors or sports stars for that matter, I used my time away from table to pop over and speak to Gail Simone.  As well as getting a Secret Six trade signed I also gave her my last copy of The Interactives, it was one of those rare occasions when I was rather tongue tied and I probably came across extremely awkwardly to her and her husband.

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So, what was the weekend like from an exhibitor’s perspective?  The crowd was a very different one than the one we are used to, but that didn’t hamper sales at all.  We had a good weekend, with enough copies of Chris Smith and the Nazi Zombies #1 sold to mean we’re very close to needing a re-print for Scardiff.  People were interested in the book, how it came about and what the story was, even those who didn’t end up buying a copy. There was also a lot of interest in Forgotten Planet and the premise seemed to really capture people’s imaginations.  All in all, I’d say the convention was a success, we had plenty of custom, things ran smoothly and the overall feeling was resoundingly positive and full of enthusiasm.  Would we attend again?  Definitely.  It’s really good to have two such truly diverse conventions in the same place, because for comics to thrive we need both the hardcore fans and those who are just passing by.  I sincerely hope that there’s room in Cardiff for both these shows, as they each scratch a very different itch. It also gives me a great excuse to catch up with lots of my favourite people without having to travel to London or Leeds to do it.