It's Midnight, it's Monday and here we are with the first of the Regular Red Eyes. This time the eyes are not red from sleeplessness, and, instead of burning, they glow.
With BICS 2008 now a fortnight in the past We are ready to announce our first signing from the show: Unbelievable (The Man Who Ate Daffodils) written and drawn by the Welsh Wonder that is Simon Wyatt.
Unbelievable: (Adjective: Not to be believed: inconceivable, incredible, unimaginable, unthinkable. Idioms: beyond belief, contrary to all reason).
The remote mining village of Bryn Boncath has its share of stories, of local legends, of half believed histories. It is a close knit community, with closely guarded secrets. It is home to the orphaned Ben Ellis and his grandfather, Emrys, and it has become the scene of a series of bizarre and mysterious deaths.
A new neighbour has moved in. A man long thought dead has returned. Livestock are missing. There are noises in the night. People are afraid to go into out after dark and sightings of a giant hound, or maybe a big cat are on the increase once again.
Suddenly it seems to Ben that what he took to be the tall tales of his grandfather may be more than just stories. It seems that something is stirring in the forests and the mountains around Bryn Boncath. It seems that ancient history is repeating and this time round Ben has an important part to play.
Unbelievable is a dark masterpiece that weaves strands of Welsh legend, modern murder mystery and horror with a dash of crytozoology that wonders: What if seeing isn’t always believing, but believing will allow you to see?
Nic Wilkinson, Creative Director says:
"I first saw Simon's work in progress on Unbelievable on his comicspace page back before I was working with Insomnia, and the art just blew me away. I love British mythology and we chatted about an earlier project of his, Mabinogion - Dawn of The Gods. He promised to draw me a sketch of my favourite Unbelievable character if we met up at BICS later in the year.
BICS rolls round.
I meet Simon in person at the launch party on the Friday night and he tells me he has my sketch. On Saturday morning I spot him sitting at the Orang-Utan table, drawing away and go to collect my picture. It is fantastic. Since we last spoke about Unbelievable things have changed. Under the table is a big black folder with the art almost complete and a spiral bound pitch book with character backgrounds, concept sketches, the full plot breakdown the whole works. I am now working for Insomnia.
If the samples in comic space looked good, the whole thing together was incredible - unbelievable, even. I hurry back to tell Crawford what I have found. They talk. We talk. BICS ends. There are lots of questions and emails and phone calls and things to work out. On Friday last week the deal was done.
I am very proud to be able to say this was my first signing for Insomnia, and it exemplifies everything we are looking for in a book and from a creator. In short, being able to bring out work like this is everything that we, as a company, are trying to do.
Simon has been illustrating books, comics and games for over 20 years and was National Young Cartoonist of the Year for Wales. He has worked for various indie comics publishers including Orang Utan Comics Studio, Angry Gnome Comics and Markosia. This is his first full-length graphic novel.
Part of me is hoping She-Wolf of St. Trinians will be his next, but you'll have to ask him about that."
Until next week.