Monday, 3 November 2008

Milk Before Bedtime

So, time to spill the beans, but hopefully not the MILK on a project we have been in discussions over for a while: MILK by Stref.

Visuals that will blow you away..
Stories that will mess with your mind...
Welcome to the world of MILK!

Instead of me telling you about it, take a look at this:

"Coming from a virtually unknown artist, MILK contains some of the most beautiful, expressive art that I've seen in a long time. It deserves to be a huge commercial success".
ALAN GRANT, June 2008

Yes, that Alan Grant. One of my absolute heroes. The man who co-created Johnny Alpha, the coolest character to step out of British Comics. In fact he wrote a lot more than that about the book, and has been very supportive to Stref during the creative process, but you'll have to wait til it comes out to find out about that.

And yes, it looks like Mr Grant is right. This is, after all, the book that got its facebook profile page suspended for having too many people sign up to it!

What is MILK all about then, and why has it got the internet so excited?

The simple answer is that MILK is a collection of short stories, but unlike most anthology titles they are all the work of one man. Every story in MILK is drawn by the same artist, but unlike most art portfolio books each piece is masterfully executed in a completely different style.

The book will be about 100 pages long, and consists of 14 short stories (so far!), a gallery of artwork, and plenty of "back matter" covering Stref's extraordinary style, the history of the project, and his creative techniques and inspirations.

MILK is a book you need to bring your brain to, with a range of story telling styles to match the diversity of the art, but it will also make you laugh. The stories are a mix of b&w, full colour and two colour work, sharing a similar themes and a very British strand of dark humour. While the stories are all individually excellent, reading them as a collection elevates them to a whole new level.

We heard of the MILK project through SmallZone a social network for independent comic creators run by the wonderful and indefatigable Shane Chebsey. This is a fantastic example of how technology, the web in particular, is changing "the way the comics industry works" and just the kind of thing we are keeping our eyes open for. Talent will out and there are so many ways now to connect creators, publishers and readers (and many people are something of each) in a glorious, blossoming chaos (to quote Cancertown writer, Cy Dethan in a recent interview) that can only be good for the medium we love.

This is one glass of MILK that won't give you a peaceful night's sleep.

Until next week.

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