Monday, 8 June 2009

Judging A Book By Its Cover

(Click on the image for a larger version)

That little beauty, ladies and gentlemen, is the Rian Hughes cover for Burke and Hare, by Martin Conaghan and Will Pickering, with letters by Paul McClaren who joined the team recently.

I've been almost at bursting point for the last week waiting until I could post this. Isn't it fantastic? The lettering you see on the front is actually an extract from Burke's original confession in his own handwriting.

Those among you with sharp eyes will have noticed some exciting words on the front that say:

"Introduction by Alan Grant". They do refer to one of the founding editors of 2000AD and the creator of Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog, and the writer of too many comics for Marvel, DC and Dark Horse to mention, among other things, yes.

And on the back "Bonus Gallery featuring art by" above the names:

  • Frank Quitely (All Star Superman, We3, The Authority)
  • Gary Erksine (Dan Dare, Jack Cross, JSA Strange Adventures)
  • Colin MacNeil (Dredd)
  • Stephen Daly (Ballykissangek storyboards)
  • Dave Hill (Gabriel)
  • David Alexander (The McBams)
  • Alex Ronald (Dredd, Lobo)
  • Stuart Beel (computer games)
  • Lynsey Hutchinson (Skeptic)

Next week I'll be posting Martin's answers to some Burke and Hare questions I put to him a short while ago where he says things like:

"We got to stare into the face of William Burke himself when the medical faculty at Edinburgh University granted us permission to view his skeleton"


"They murdered 16 innocent people in cold blood with and denied them the dignity of a proper burial. worse still, their victims suffered the ultimate indignity of being publicly dissected for the purposes of medical science"

Check back in 7.

Cancertown News

As mentioned last week the Northern Irish launch of Cancertown at Belfast Forbidden Planet was incredibly well attended, helped by this news article appearing in the paper just the day before.

(Click on the image for a version large enough to read.)

Not even pausing for breath Stephen was up and about again spreading the word at the 2D Northern Ireland Comics Festival in Derry, where he was a guest artist.

Huge thanks to Aimee (Stephen's girlfriend, better known as the inspiration for the mysterious and dangerous Babyface to Cancertown readers) and his brother James (the face of Crosshair!) for helping out on the stand all day and selling lots of copies to unsuspecting readers.

Andrew "Kronos City" Croskery was also on the Insomnia stand for the first time and beginning the promotion for his upcoming book with his flyers causing quite a buzz by all accounts. More about what Alex and Lauren, the art team, got up to recently and the first page of pencils, down below.

I am reliably informed that Cancertown was given a very complimentary (and completely umpromted!) mention in the Electic Micks panel.

Stephen got to hand Bryan Talbot his copy of the book, and apparently "boogie" with him later on. I have been promised pictures!

While all this was going on in Ireland, across the sea, at the very Eastern edge of England Cy and I were doing a signing at the shop of our sponsors, Whatever Comics.

We have known Manny Armario, the owner of Whatever, for many years, and as always it was great to visit. As well as signing new copies this time we had the the novel experience of people bringing back copies they had previously bought to be signed, and to chat about the book, which was a fantastic experience. We also signed some reserve copies for people who couldn't make it on the day.

The idea of a one shot prequel was floated, and as all the team are interested, watch this space! Huge thanks to Kim Britnell for the suggestion. You may be seeing more of Kim name around, as well, as she is an artist herself and we talked about "stuff". In a weird co-incidence it was Kim's grandmother, Councillor Iris Pummell, who organsied the Essex book festival where we ran the comics workshops a few months back. Small world.

Returning from our glamourous pasty lunch we even found a little queue waiting for us to get back. Not as big as Stephen's Belfast queue, but pleasing and surprising none the less!

Later in the evening we caught up with Oliver "Dead Goats" Masters, and had a brilliant in depth chat about his book, and discovered he and Cy had a very useful shared interest but I cannot reveal it for risk of spoilers at this stage.

We also caught up with Laurence "The Punisher" Campbell, and got him to sign our copies of "The Punisher: Naked Kill", which features Manny himself as a character, what with Laurence being a local boy, too. We also talked about a project, more news on that as and when.

Finally some interview and review links that came out just too late for last week's blog:

  • Stephen Downey inter interviewed on

  • A full review on Sci-Fi Pulse

    "Cancertown leaps out of the page at you, grabs you by the jugular and doesn’t let you go.

    One thing that grabs you right away about Cy’s writing style is that he is the absolute prince of darkness when it comes to one-liners"

  • Waterstones Bookseller review which says:

    "A fantastically dark and twisted tale that drags you through a strange and bizarre world that could be the product of one man's brain tumor. Gloriously written with punchy dialogue and arresting visuals"

The weekend of the 27th/28th of June will see a Cancertown Triple Header, as we have simultaneous events in 3 countries!

  • In England we have Cy Dethan signing at Waterstones in Chelmsford
  • In Ireland we have Stephen Downey at the QCon XVI
  • In Scotland we have Crawford Coutts at the Dundee Literary Festival

Kronos City News

While their writer was busy promoting at the 2D Festival Alex Willmore (penciller) and Lauren Sharp (colourist) were interviewed for the Resonance FM programme Strip! while visiting the Manhua exhibtion. They talk about their work on Kronos City, a short story called Wolf Like Me for the Accent UK Victoriana anthology they are doing with fellow Insomnia writer Michael Moreci, and about his upcoming Insomnia book, Quarantine.

Then they hurried home to send me the first pencilled splash page showing the city itself:

Andrew received it while still at Derry and was so pleased he said "I got very smiley and giddy, and I think my eyes teared up a little."



A huge congratulations and big round of applause for Monty Borror, Layer Zero contributor, who's work on Cold Blooded Chillers with Bob Heske just won a Bronze medal at the 2009 Independent Publisher Book Awards in the Horror category.

You can read more about it on his blog

Things seem to be going from strength to strength for Monty.

I hope to be working with him on a full length project very soon.

And that's me all typed out for this week.

See you in the funny pages.

1 comment:

David Baillie said...

Looks great! Can't wait to see the finished article.