Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Falling Sheep and Dead Goats

It seemed that every time I went back to the Insomnia stand at the Bristol Con I overheard some variant of "...I love the sheep!".


In fact the reactions were to the beautiful work of Simon Wyatt, creator of Unbelievable, the first pages of which were on show at the table.

The book does indeed have a very beautiful sheep right there on page one, and for those who could not make the show the pages are now available to see as an ebook.

Myebook - Unbelievable by Simon Wyatt - click here to open my ebook

While on the subject of Bovidae (not a sentence I ever really thought I would be called to write on a comics blog) I am delighted to announce our latest signing:

Dead Goats by Oliver Masters

The first casualty of war is truth, it’s said, but next up against the wall is sanity.

The First Earth Battalion, was established in 1979 and entrusted with defending America from all known adversaries. In 2001 Private Tyler Jones wakes screaming from the most vivid dream of his life.

Suffering a nightmarish descent into a world of absurdity and violence, the horrors of which can strip a man of his humanity, Jones is about to discover what happens when warfare is no longer about winning hearts and minds, but weaponising them.

Cool, right? But wait, this isn't just a neat idea for a story. Perhaps more terrifying than the idea of a man who can stop a goat's heart with his mind is the idea that it's based on a real, and on-going reasearch program.

While you're waiting for the book ask yourself this: Have 100 de-bleated goats really been secretly placed inside the Special Forces command centre at Fort Bragg, North Carolina?

This one was a case of seeing the submission and knowing the idea was so strong that we had to snap it up as quickly as we could.

Being able to spot the best new talent, and pouncing on it as it emerges blinking into the light is what is making Insomnia "The One to Watch" as they kindly said on the Forbidden Blog.

I had been talking to Ollie about various ideas since accepting his poignant and unusual submission for Layer Zero: Survival earlier in the year. Oh, sorry, was that a teaser? Well, it's called Uberleben and you will be able to see it in the next anthology.

The story of meeting Ollie in person for the first time deserves to be told so it can take it's place in the book of convention legends.

Ollie was just in the middle of politely introducing himself and his girlfriend to me at Bristol when I became suddenly aware of a ripple of creator excitement from behind me. You develop a sense for these things as time goes on. Stephen Downey and Cy Dethan had caught sight of him, and his fanstastic hair, and seen the perfect model for Mr Green, the villain from their next book (Slaughterman's Creed, from our friends at Markosia) standing before them.

So the next step was to find a way to nicely ask him if he would model for some reference shots. As Cy wrote on his blog:

"If you've never watched an artist attempting to get a model to mime urinating into another man's mouth, you've obviously never been to a UK comics convention"):

And that was his initiation into the world of comic creators!

What happens at the initiation of Private Tyler Jones in Dead Goats, and the dark places to which that leads, though, will make that seem like a picnic. Or is that the wrong phrase under the circumstances.

You will also be able to see work from Ollie in the upcoming Victoriana from Accent UK as well.


Two more creator interviews are live this week at Jazma:

You can read the thoughts of Mel Cook and Martin Conaghan about both of their many and varied projects with Insomnia, and what else they have on the go with other publishers and production companies. Marvel over how they find the time!

Small Press Idol

The Small Press Idol competition (ike American Idol but for comic book creators) is currently in full swing and Christopher Barker, writer of Shiver, is through to the third round with his story Hometown Heroes.

You can see more samples over at Chad Cicconi's (the artist) blog.

If you'd like to get involved and even cast a vote then you need to get over there by the 8th of June.

Chris says:

"If we make it through to round four, there is no voting. All three of the final entries are set up to publish a 12 issue sample story, and the winner is the one that sells the most through the contest's online ordering system."

Following Orders

We know that due to the runaway success of Cancertown, and it's sales being greater than predicted (yay!) the book has been showing up as almost permanently out of stock at amazon.

However, you can still order the book, and you will still have your copy in a couple of days.

We are sending them almost daily consignments of stock, which they are using to fulfil orders already taken on the previous days.

This is just a quirk of how the book inventory system and ordering systems work for amazon in relation to smaller publishing houses. Amazon very sensibly accepts maximum numbers of books in one delivery depending on the size of the publisher. Normally it works very well for the volumes of orders involved from smaller publishers.

We are victims of our own (well, Team Cancertown's) success.

You can also order the book direct from our sponsors at Whatever Comics.

Until next time...

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