Always Write

Peter Rogers – Writer

Month: March, 2014

London calling

Last Saturday I spent the day at the London Super Comic Convention at the Excel Centre. Despite the early start needed to do the show in one day, I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I’ve previously been to the Excel for the MCM show, and it was really good to see a whole world of comics, rather than just a village on the outskirts of the rest of pop culture.  Although seeing so many cosplayers on the DLR and Tube did remind me of writing Issue 2 of The Interactives, which was inspired by the journey from Paddington to the Excel for an MCM show. On the pop culture front, fresh from the ridiculous Hugo Awards nonsense, Jonathan Ross was there, but rather than taking part in wrestling, as he was at Kapow! when I went there, he was at this event very much in his guise as a successful comic writer.  

The Hat Decides Comicbook Crappy Cardboard Cosplay Competition.

I got to spend some time with my old Orang Utan Comics colleagues, being at their booth for a while and signing copies of The Intergalactic Adventures of Zakk Ridley. Seeing that book in print, 8 years after I originally started shaping Ian’s plot into a comic script was extremely rewarding.  At this rate I’ll have more new books in print during 2014 than in any other year. I caught up with lots of old friends, far too many to mention here, although it was particularly good to see Si Spurrier for the first time in ages and to finally meet Glenn Moane and Magnus Aspli in person as well.  When I wasn’t catching up with people, I made good use of my time getting to speak to various editors about existing or future pitches and projects. I did manage to squeeze in one panel, which was IDW INVADES! which was in danger of being drowned out by the London Super Costume Competition (although I was pleased to hear my friend and uber talented colourist Yel Zamor came 3rd as Hypergirl).  Dave Gibbons joined Chris Ryall and Dirk Wood on the IDW panel to talk about the Watchmen Artefact Edition, and there were some very interesting audience questions about what else the publisher has on the horizon. 

Before I knew it my time was up, and I was hightailing it back across London to catch the train back to Cardiff. All in all a very productive and enjoyable day, here’s hoping I can make it back next year for the whole weekend.  I live in hope. 

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Yel Zamor is Hypergirl

 

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Comic Book Projects Update

Here’s what I’ve been up to with my writing partner Steve Aryan.

Stephen Aryan

It’s been a while since I posted about my current comic book projects, so I thought a quick update would be appropriate. Maysam Barza is still hard at work on the art on Flux, a 4 issue mini series I am co-writing by Pete Rogers. Below is a page that is currently in progress, and you can see how Maysam builds it up in layers. Absolutely fantastic stuff. Wonderful attention to detail.Flux2

I’m also co-writing a fast paced thriller mini series, again with Pete. We are working with a wonderful artist called Simone Guglielmin​i whose work I first saw on Near Death from Image comics, written by Jay Faerber. Below is a rough sketch for a dramatic moment in issue 1 of our comic. Even rough we were both very impressed by Simone’s ability to capture the mood so well. I’m really excited to see what he comes up with…

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Dapper Chimp reunites with Orang Utans to go Ape in London

One week today I’ll be getting the (very) early train Eastwards, for London Super Comic Convention at the Excel Centre. The show is in its third year, but this is the first time I’ve been able to attend. I’ll be roaming the floor rather than sitting behind a table, but I’ll also be spending some time with my old Orang Utan Comics colleagues and the Markosia crew.

This show sees things go full circle, as one of the first books I ever wrote is being released there. I met Ian Sharman (Hero 9 to 5, Alpha Gods) back in 2006, on both the Markosia and Visionary Comics Studio forums, and he asked me to take on the scripting duties of a space opera that he’d plotted out.  8 years and many artists after I handed in my first draft of the script, The Intergalactic Adventures of Zakk Ridley is being launched at the show.  With new art by Ewan McLaughlin, and following a rewrite by Ian last year, you can pick up the whole mini series at the show, as a graphic novel from Markosia.

As I did with Kapow! in 2012, I’ll be heading up and back in one day rather than spending the whole weekend.  I’ll be trying to meet up with as many people as I can on the Saturday, including artists Marc Laming and Luca Pizzari who are both taking part in the anthology project I’ll be launching on Kickstarter very soon.   It’ll be my first convention of 2014, and I’m very much looking forward to it.

15-Minute Heroes WIP

I’ve been working with artist Cheuk Po on a mini series/graphic novel called 15-Minute Heroes ever since we finished work on the short story Blood Dolls together.

He’s competed pencils and inks on the first issue, and is now working on colours for the pitch pages. Here’s a sneak preview of  work in progress version Page 13. Looking forward to showing you more.

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Lady Mary in the shadows

I picked an interesting day to post about my latest foray into the Unseen Shadows universe, with so much online chatter today about the validity of which medium stories and worlds begin in. Writer Barry Nugent created Unseen Shadows initially as a trilogy of novels, but over the years it has expanded to include comics, audio drama and even a choose your own adventure book.

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Having read and loved the first novel, Fallen Heroes, I was honoured to become part of the wider creative team that Barry assembled. My first contribution to Unseen Shadows was a one shot called Fragments of Fate, centring on occult expert and adventurer Professor Napoleon Stone. When I was asked which other character I’d like to focus on for my next story, I knew it had to be cult leader Sir Oliver Cademus.

A knight of the first crusade and founder of the Book of Cademus, a cult it is said that continues to exert its influence today, long after Oliver’s supposed death. His return has been prophesied for several centuries by his followers.

The story I came up with was entitled The Lament of Lady Mary, and it focusses on Oliver’s relationship with his parents and in particular his Mother, the Mary of the title.  Working on this one-shot meant I was able to read sections of the as yet unpublished second novel Forgotten Warriors, and it also meant I had the chance to work with artist Conor Boyle, who I’d been wanting to collaborate with since I first saw his work.  It also meant I got to write a period piece, with the story being set around the time of the first crusade, which scratched a major writerly itch for me.  I did lots of online research into the period, watched plenty of Game of Thrones episodes, sat in Cardiff Castle grounds making notes and listened to the Kingdom of Heaven and Robin of Sherwood soundtracks as I pulled the story together.

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I worked very closely with Barry, who edited the story, and it was great to be working with the person who created the characters and universe I was playing with, a bit like writing Spider-Man under Stan Lee’s watchful eye. Barry pushed me to ditch my initial quite obvious idea that skirted around some of the plot points raised in Fallen Heroes, giving me the confidence to dig deeper to find a more personal, and far more potent narrative that felt like an integral part of the Cademus legend.  I proof read a PDF of the one-shot earlier this week, and I’m extremely proud of the story, it’s quite possibly the happiest I’ve ever been with my own writing.  I feel I got the balance right here, offering a first time reader an interesting story, while also having  the potential to have a real impact on someone who is already firmly immersed  in the world that Barry and the other associated creators have developed.  I can’t wait for it to be released, so people can see a different side of my writing and feast their eyes on Conor’s truly stellar work.

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