Monday, 6 April 2009

Happy Birthday to Insomnia

Hooray - today is Insomnia's birthday - and oh my, haven't we grown since this time last year?

Cake all round.

And for a present we got...a beautiful looking Layer Zero Choices all done and dusted and a well earned rest!

Layer Zero: Survival

No, this section is not called that because we have just sent Layer Zero:Choices off to the printers at 4.30 on Sunday morning and emerged a little shellshocked from the process - although it could be.

In true "The King is dead, Long live the King" spirit now that Choices is all done it's time to start thinking about the next one with hardly a pause to catch our breath.

So, the topic for next year's collection is Survival.

We are looking for writers and artists - independently or as teams.
Submissions should be:
  • stories on the theme of Survival
  • 2-8 pages long
  • Black and White or Greyscale
  • Scripts should be submitted by 31st of September 2009.
  • Art will need to be complete by 1st of Feb 2010
Artists, please let me know if you are submitting to work on sequential pages, or to provide pin ups.

The pieces that come in before this will be published online initially at, where we will show a selection of stories in rotation, and then collected for publication as an album in May 2010, as well as being made available on Drivethru comics.

There is no payment for inclusion in Layer Zero, you should think of it as an opportunity to showcase your work, but you retain all rights and may reuse the work elsewhere.

Stories in Layer Zero may also work as "pilot episodes" for longer works that we could expand into full length books if they are successful. If you would like to know more about this before you make a submission please drop us a line at

I already have several submissions in from contributors to Choices, and one completed story, so don't wait too long before sending your ideas.

We have a table at the upcoming SPExpo in Birmingham in May so you can come along and talk to us about your pitch or your portfolio there as well.

Yes - we are still accepting submissions for full length books, writers and artists, as well.

If you would like to buy copies of Layer Zero: Choices we will be doing some "convention specials" on the stand:

  • Layer Zero Choices RRP = £9.99, Con Special = £7
  • Cancertown + Layer Zero for £15
  • Cancertown + Cages + Layer Zero for £20
If you can't make the con and want to get any of these offers you can email me at before the 9th of May for details on how to buy direct by cheque or paypal.

You can order it from local book or comic shops:

  • ISBN-10: 190580816X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905808168

Or pre-order on Amazon

And Now a Word From Our Sponsor

It is with great pleasure that I present to you Manny and Debe Armario: Proprietors of Whatever Comics, sponsors of both Cancertown and Layer Zero:Choices.

Way back in 1992 I was first lured, by Cy Dethan, into the four coloured web that is a specialist comic shop. In fact it was Whatever Comics, in Canterbury in the UK, where I was at university. It was all a bit overwhelming and for several months I was too shy to speak to the people who ran it.

Now, 17 years later we are great friends and even though they are not our "local" shop by about 150 miles we would not even think of buying our comics anywhere else. We are not the only ones, either.

Maybe it's because they go so far above and beyond the call of duty to help all their customers old and new. Manny does more than anyone I know to bring lesser known titles (whether because they are older, from indy publishers, tranlsations from other languages or whatever) onto the radar of his customers, and he has never steered us wrong yet. Whatever the book he always has the tastes (and budgets) of his customers in mind. Oh - and it's not all Indies and esoteric back issues - no one knows American comics like Manny, 20 years in the business and 40 as a fanboy himself have seen to that.

Not only is Manny concerned with the selling and reading of comics though he is a well respected voice in the retail industry and has contributed to many organisations, events and publications over the years.

Being able to have the people who sold me my first comics as sponsors of the first creator owned project I have worked on is just phenomonal.

The shop also runs a great, lively forum alongside their shop site.

Sharing the Love

Some news about other publishers this week as well - yes we are happy to do that as we believe in quality of our creators' work and it deserves to be seen as widely as possible.

  • Westerns, the new anthology from Accent UK shares quite a few creators with Layer Zero:Choices, as well as some people who are working on full length Graphic Novels for us. Westerns will be on sale at the Bristol Expo, can be bought now from the Accent site and will be in shops very soon.

    The Accent books are beautiful, and the guys there are great to work with. Dave West, the co-owner and publisher was also incredibly helpful to us when we were looking for a new printer for our books. Their next book is Predators and I think they might still be looking for artists.

    While you are on the Accent UK site take a look a Wolfmen - for my money one of the best Indy books out last year.
  • Chris Lynch writer and co-founder of Monkeys With Machine Guns, and contributor to Layer Zero, is trying a mad experiment at the Bristol Con this year: Live comic making.

    Chris says: "Any of you who have attended one of my signings will be familiar with this setup - woefully unable to cede the limelight to artists and jealous of the constant requests they receive for sketches and shows and signings, I have gotten into the habit of writing flash fiction & short stories at shows, often based on random words, phrases, objects etc. thrown at me (figuratively) by whoever is around. It’s a sort of “Whose Line is it Anyway”, but with horror fiction. So, this year, visitors to the Small Press Expo will be cordially invited to challenge the creativity of the Monkeys with Machineguns team with some random objects, places, people, and points in time from which to create a short story. Once I’ve written the short, Stu will be providing a sketch illustration or two and, after we’ve scanned the result to go into the new book, you will be able to buy the original artwork.

    By the end of the day we are hoping to have enough content to complete the upload to our POD publisher of all the stories and artwork, resulting in a brand new issue of Monkeys with Machineguns on sale at the end of the show.

    If you have ever wondered exactly how we make Monkeys with Machineguns … this is your chance to find out. Or watch us crash and burn horribly, which will probably be equally entertaining."

    So stop by his stand and reward his ingenuity.
Now some sleep as I as have come to realise over this weekend that "Insomnia" is actually a requirement of the job and not just the company name.

See you all soon.

1 comment:

adam grose said...

Happy Birthday! ;)