Monday, 24 December 2012

Elf Harm




So this was the submission to the 2000ad Forum's 2012 advent calendar, written by me and drawn by Jon Taylor.

He hasn't said anything to me, but a little helper elf mentioned that John REALLY enjoyed drawing all the elves on the second page.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Alcohol! Adultery! Poverty! Servitude! It's Christmas, innit?

You know the worst thing? That's yellow snow.

I've written a script for the 2000ad message board's Advent Calendar. It's being posted on the 19th.

Jon Taylor is drawing it. He's worried it's not festive enough. I don't know why. It's got Santa in it and everything.Then again, so did last year's entry.


Monday, 3 December 2012

Prickly...

Big stompy robots: improving fiction since 1951

When is it a good thing that the folks at Zarjaz say they don't want a six page script? When they tell you it's because they want it to be twelve!

It's been a long time coming this one - I wrote it two and a half years ago (June 2010 - yes, that is two and a half years ago!). Looking at the script now, I can hardly remember it and the way I lay them out now is defintely better. But, you know what, I love this story.

What is it, I hear you ask? Well, I'm not telling. Not a word. I don't know when it will be published but I guess it is ages and ages away - I think the art deadline is the end of next year. So I don't want to spoil it.

It's going to be drawn by Mike Bunt and the snippet above is from a sketch of the eponymous lead in the strip.

One clue: I'd love to say it's like nothing you've read before. But it is!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Oooh. Pretty.

I'd see a doctor about that, mate.


See that, up there? That's the cover for Dogbreath 26. In which I have not one, but two, stories. So, um, go to the Futurequake Press shop and order two. It should be out in November, at Thought Bubble. You can find out more at the Dogbreath and Zarjaz site.

And did I mention the cover is for a story written by little old me? It is, you know.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

I'm not dead - but I do have have deadlines.

The cheap eye exam turned out to be a false economy

Can't seem to find time to scratch at the minute. I'm busy at work, and am tired when I get home, so I have a huuuge backlog of writing stuff to get through. Scripts to re-do, prose to fix and promises to keep.

Anyway, here's a snippet of something drawn by Leigh Kuliboer. It's called Skin Deep and is for Dogbreath, although I don't know when. I'm guessing 2013 sometime, given that I have a 10 page strip already in the next one. That's out in November and has a stunning cover (but more of that another time).

I'm quite chuffed that I've got two or three stories accepted by the chaps at the Futurequake press: Conflagration (Zarjaz); Riley's Collar (Dogbreath); Skin Deep (Dogbreath); and, Schrodinger's Hat (Something Wicked).

I do need to re-write some of the Hat script, though, so enough procrastination...



Monday, 13 August 2012

A hankie full of colour...

My first Zarjaz and first Dredd strip can be seen at the Zarjaz blog, right here:

Rich Pickings - 6 pages of Dredd, not to be sniffed at!

I'll probably post the whole thing here later - I need to figure out if I can re-size them.

Anyway, I hope you like it! This was in Zarjaz 14 in B&W. You all bought that, didn't you?

Written by me, drawn by George Coleman, coloured by Owen Watts, lettered by Bolt 01.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Sick kids, sick wives and splash pages: A crisis of confidence

Head-shot!

By Jon Taylor, from a story I've written and to appear in Dogbreath sometime soon.
 




Leg-shot!



Owen Watts's colouring of George Coleman's art of Rich Pickings, which was in Zarjaz 14. This colouring is done and it should be on the Zarjaz site in a little while.



Cause of death? Let's just say, Dredd and Alpha REALLY don't like helmet gags.

A panel from Spike, which will appear in Futurequake, by Jon Taylor again. I feel kinda bad as this page was re-written and this panel was dropped.


This stuff has been posted because my wife and one of my children have both been sick (that is, "in hospital sick" rather than "got a snivel sick") over the last few months. I'm therefore using that as an excuse for not writing as much as I want - well, that and Mass Effect 3 and Diablo 3. As a result, I'm suffering a crisis of confidence. I've got three scripts and a 10,000 word story sitting on my computer that need edited and submitted to somewhere (anywhere!) but I've not shown them to anyone and feel quite nervous about it.

So, these pictures are here to prove to myself that I can still write stuff that people will draw and print. Although getting paid for it seems somewhat harder.

Writing is not like riding a bike. It's less fun, harder, and if I stop then I fear I may never start again. Also, if you put a playing card between the keys on your keyboard it doesn't make a cool noise that lets you pretend you're on a motorbike.

Monday, 11 June 2012

What's it worth to you?

June couldn't understand why she failed her driving test

Just found out that The Price, a story I wrote and Dan Cornwell drew, is going to be in Futurequake 21. Yay!

But, kinda, boo! It was supposed to be in Something Wicked, and there's been a last minute substitution. Bah. I've never been in that.

Still, that's churlish. It's always great to see a story in print.

Go. Buy. Futurequake. 21 (In July, when it's out. You'll get funny looks if you try sooner.)

Monday, 21 May 2012

Zarjaz colouring

High five, punk!


I'm entering the Judge Dredd Megazine short story compo. Me and every other aspiring writer, I guess.

The deadline is a day away. I should be polishing my turd story until it shines. Of course, it'd need to be finished for me to do that...

But instead of writing, I'm grinning at the colouring done by Owen Watts to my recent Zarjaz story as drawn by George Coleman. This is part of a Master Plan. Seriously, if I had a long Dali-esque 'tache then I'd be twirling it now.

But I don't so, um, better stop time-wasting and crack on.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

I'm in Zarjaz. Yay me!

I'm talking to you, punk!


Did you know that if you have something in the small press then there's a legal requirement to post about it on your blog? s'true, that. Why else does everyone do it, mm?

And as I'm in the current Zarjaz with Rich Pickings, sublimely illustrated by George Coleman, then I better do mention it here - hadn't I? Especially as it's a story featuring the ultimate Lawman, Dredd himself!

I've never been in Zarjaz and never written a Dredd before, so I am proud of this. I'm gonna try to get it coloured, too.

Also, credit where credit is due: the idea of the story (well, the future-sport of competitive nose-picking) came from a boozy get together of some 2000ad fans in 2010. That said, the idea from the get together earlier this year, well, that is unlikely to get written by anyone any time soon.

Friday, 2 March 2012

He watches from the cracks behind your eyes

Clearasil isn't going to cut it this time.

So I blunder on.

Sometime I write stuff and sometimes artists make it into pretty pictures. Then you get something like this.

Jon Taylor can draw. He says his "hand just took over". What he means is that he was possessed and must be watched for signs of inter-dimensional madness.

This is from a 10 page strip coming later this year to a small press mag somewhere in your insignificant world, mortals! I dare not say more for fear of tearing apart the veil over your puny minds.

Monday, 30 January 2012

2-in-1

Warning: Don't let invading aliens stick this in your head

I've just finished a five page script: Spike.

I'm chuffed with it. Not because it's particularly original or especially good. No, the thing that pleases me about it is that I have learned a lesson: you need two ideas to make a decent short story.

What do I mean? Well, I've come to the view that one idea is not enough. I'm re-doing a lot of half written scripts to combine their ideas into one story, and I think this approach has mileage. In fact, I think it recognises that some of the old ideas were not strong enough on their own - which is why they were never finished. Now, though, they can be boiled down to their constituent parts and remade into something new and monstrous. And better, too.

Have a story about  mind control? And another about the internet? Why not combine the two? It's still cliched, but it's got more going on in it.

The result is something that I know is better than its two predecessors. Of course, I still need to convince an artist and editor that's the case.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

The Subtle Art

The ketchup factory nights out were legendary.

I'm trying to be more subtle in what I write. Blood and violence is all well and good, but the idea is to have a story too. It takes time and somehow feels less fun. That makes me a terrible person, I know.

Meantime, I've had a couple of scripts accepted by Dogbreath. Riley's Collar is ...um... not subtle. Skin Deep is a bit more thinky. But still has mutants and people getting shot. One step at a time, eh?

Edit: I should add that the above picture is by Dan Cornwell, for Cloudbusting, a three page strip we did and then abandonded. I'm recycling the idea in something else.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Everything I know I learned from Alec Trench

You said it, Alec!


Tharg rejects a script shocker!

It took 18 months (May 2010 to December 2011) for the Green Jobby to say "no." I wonder if that's a record? Regrettably, there was no feedback - just an "unsuitable for 2000ad at this time." Still, he's a busy alien so you can't expect too much.

Now my proposed FutureShock, Schrodinger's Hat, will become a prose story. The title is too cringe-worthy to be allowed to die.

Hopefully the next rejection won't take as long.