Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Dark Arts

I hope everyone who celebrates it had a happy Easter and the inevitable chocolate sickness is fading now. Just in time as well, because you wouldn't want to be looking at our latest ebook preview if you are already feeling a bit queasy.

Although having said that it does feature a teaparty, a little girl and her toys, so it can't be all that bad, can it?

Myebook - Damaged Goods: Tea Party - click here to open my ebook

Althought the first people to see the finished pages did say:

"Very creepy and disturbing. Eerie."

"It freaked me the f@ck out!"

"That comic strip is fantastic. I'd comment on it more but Mr. Teddy Bear in the next room is being belligerent."

And to understand that last one you need to take a look for yourself.

Damaged Goods is a collection of horror shorts from the fevered brains of writer Richard MacAuliffe and artist Mark Chilcott.

We first discovered this deranged pair when a grubby, broken nailed, blood spattered hand thrust an idea for a Layer Zero at us last year. This story is Magpie, and you will be able to get your hands on it when Layer Zero:Choices launches at the Bristol Expo. You can also get it direct from Whatever Comics, the sponsor of this year's book, or pre-order it from Amazon.

And yes, for the last time we are sure that the pitch was just written on very old paper and the rumours of the use of human skin are merely wild exaggeration.

A cheerful, smiley, Rich says:

"I've done a fair bit of comic book writing in the past, but this has either been comedy or family friendly so it's been fun to let some of my darker side out without getting any grief for it."

At this point a strange, growly voice seemed to take over and added:

"Hey, it wasn't me, it was the character in the story. I wanted him to go and give that other person a hug, it was his idea to puncture one of their eyeballs".

Richard and Mark met through the comics networking site Comicspace where Richard saw some of Mark's work and left a comment. Before you knew it they had hooked up to produce a dark little 3 pager, and this, their first work together, will feature in the "Backmatter" of Damaged Goods, so you can see how it all began.

Richard mentions British horror master Clive Barker, and his Books of Blood, as an inspiration, which he says:

"...were all brilliant slices of horror which got in quick, fucked you up, then got out again before you had the chance to get used to them."

Which is very much the same experience you get on receiving the next set of Damaged Goods pages in your inbox!

Mark says:

"I try to imagine each story as a fucked up episode of the twilight zone with a twist of Se7en".

Talking about working with Mark, Richard continues:

"I build a story knowing in my head how Mark draws things and thinking "This is the one cool as hell panel I want to see him do". Just giving him an excuse to work his magic really."

As if that doesn't sound bad enough Mark says on receiving the scripts the next stage is:

"For me to digest the story and try to find a way to take it to a darker level."

Richard adds, politely:

"Insomnia have been really helpful and supportive so now we just want to prove their faith in us was well placed."

But then his eyes roll back and the growly voice takes over and spoils it all again:

"Although it might just be that they saw what me and Mark produced and thought "We might not want to piss these guys off. We could wake up chained in a basement somewhere if we dont put their book out".

Which could be fun, in its place, but for now we are far too busy getting ready for Bristol, where there will be a limited number of ashcan copies of Tea Party available from the stand. If you are there at the right time you might even be able to get them signed by the team. I can give no assurances as to what they might write or draw for you though.

You can see some of the humourous side of Richard's previous humour work in:
and you can read a recent interview with him about these books, Damaged Goods and porn stars and demonic chickens in Jazma Online while you can keep tabs on Mark via his art blog It's Chilly In Here.

Other News

In other news this week:

  • James Daniels (who provided a pin up for Layer Zero Choices, and will be providing art for the Twilight Cleaner in Layer Zero:Survival) has been signed up as artist on the Urban Legends book by Steven Stone (who also got his start in Layer Zero). This book promises to be a real treat with stories set across places and times, so a visual feast in store there.

  • Our beloved leader Crawford Coutts is interviewed in this month's Jazma Online. You can see what he has to say about how he came to found Insomnia, his views on the industry and his big plans for the future.
And Finally

No mention of Richard McAuliffe is complete without the obligatory nod to both his Tekken skills, and more importantly his hot wife, Iz.

Not only is Iz one of the co-hosts of the brilliantly funny Comic Racks podcast, but is taking part in this year's Race for Life.

Much to Richard's delight she has been dared to run it in a Wonder Woman costume!

The Race for Life is a 5k run to raise funds for Cancer Research UK - so get over there and sponsor her now.

No comments: