Spring seems to be in the air today, at least where I am in London. The sun is out, the birds are singing (you can hear them when the traffic stops) and little weeds are poking up their heads in the flower pots outside the office.
It is probably just a pratical joke on the part of the capricious English weather system - but I fall for it every year.
Adding to the general air of hope and expectation we have news on some new signings, the start of the Fallen Heroes adaptation, Layer Zero pages starting to flow in and the plans for the Bristol Comics Expo starting to get underway.
So, to begin at the beginning with the signings:
Dream Solver by Luke Foster
When 22 year old picture researcher Ione-Rose Young has a disturbing, recurring dream about seeing her own death, she doesn’t know whether to dismiss it as just another weird dream, or worry that it’s about to come true. Unable to shake the dream from her mind, she sets out to decipher its meaning.
Urban Legends by Steven Stone
A collection of short stories all based on the urban legends that everyone swears happened to a friend of a friend. The book's 15 stories range from the comical to the terrifying and all of them leave you with the uneasy feeling that it could happen to you. But they're only stories right? Right?
The Fallen Heroes adaptation now has a writer attached.
Martin Conaghan will be picking up the pen on this one and working closely with author Barry Nugent over the coming months.
I didn’t so much read the first scene of Fallen Heroes back in 2008, as see it come to life out of the page, so visually arresting is the writing. With the sharp, multi-layered plot and slick characters of modern crime writing juxtaposed against the shadowy agencies, ancient magic and bold dynamic characters of pulp adventure Fallen Heroes is going to be a truly striking comic
With any adaptation finding the best writer for the job was crucial. Given the book’s increasing cult status we had a lot of very good pitches from both known and new writers hoping to get involved with this project. Fallen Heroes will be a very complex adaptation, as those who have read the novel will know, and there is huge amount of work to be done on the structure and coaxing the characters over to a new medium before the writing even begins.
We asked Martin to do the honours as he is a very experienced writer and researcher and is making a welcome return to comics (with Burke and Hare, also for Insomnia) after a 10 year absence. Martin’s background as a journalist, his incredibly deep knowledge of comics, their creators and their history, and his ability to deftly re-structure disparate historical sources into gripping stories with vibrant, vital characters all make him the perfect person for the job.
Martin himself says:
"Fallen Heroes is jam-packed full of fantastic ideas and thrilling set-pieces. I’m looking forward to finding out where I can take Barry’s rich characters when I translate them on to the comic-book page; from the reluctant hero Jason Chen to the ruthless demon stalker Napoleon Stone. It has everything; a great blend of mythology, science-fiction, action and the supernatural - all told in a very visual style - it’s perfect for the graphic novel format."
If you would like to read the original novel before the adaptation then you can find it in Waterstones , Borders, or Barnes and Noble (if they can keep it on the shelves!), or on Amazon.
However the really lucky ones can get hold of one of a limited number of special editions from our table at the show in Bristol. These include some of the original sketches of the cover and some deleted scenes (which come with an explanation as to why they were cut).
We also hope to have Barry signing copies and talking about the story at the table at some point in the day, if his Geek Syndicate duties allow. If you want a signed copy and can't make the con then Waterstones around the country have Barry on a regular signing schedule, keep an eye on his website for dates and details.
Right then, I am off to try and sort out bowls of eyeball sweets for the table at Bristol. "Why eyeballs?" you say. Well, that is all to do with the Cancertown launch, but more on that later.
Until next week...