Monday, 24 August 2009

All Aboard for Kronos City

The last week has been incredibly busy with 3 new books to get to press, and a trip to Birmingham to launch the first ever comics/quilting crossover (more on that later).

But we are not the only ones working hard. The first chapter of Kronos City (and much of the second) is now complete and in celebration of that fact we have put the first 16 pages up as a free ebook preview.

Myebook - Kronos City - click here to open my ebook

Writer: Andrew Croskery
Pencils: Alex Willmore
Colours: Lauren Anne Sharp
Letters: Jim Campbell

And here is what they have to say about seeing it all come together as a book for the first time:

Andrew says:

"I’ve really been enjoying writing Kronos City. It started off as one short story inspired by a throwaway comment from my housemate and then snowballed into a big story as it absorbed a couple of other ideas and characters and it’s been great being able to bounce ideas around the Kronos City team and have it all come together.

Alex, Lauren and Jim are doing a great job at the art and lettering. That first page is awe-inspiring and they’ve really made the characters and the city itself come alive.

My scripts can be pretty lengthy as my mind starts to spew details into the scene descriptions, and Alex and Lauren are amazing at capturing all the little background touches. There are some scenes coming up that I’m really exited to see how they come across on paper, particularly when the city gets hit by a time storm, and the poor wee pigeons get turned into skeletons and eggs.

Seeing the final coloured lettered pages has been truly staggering, with Lauren’s colours adding a great sense of atmosphere and Jim’s European style lettering fits really well with the art.
And there’s a real buzz telling people I’m writing a graphic novel, so thank you Insomnia for that. This has just upped the excitement quotient by a large degree!!"

Alex says:

"Working on Andrew's script has been great fun so far! The world Andrew has created is surely an exciting and original one. When Lauren and I first read the script we were blown away by the diverse and original world of Kronos City and it's bizarre residents. Andrew's scripts are so insanely detailed that sometimes trying too fit everything into a frame can seem daunting but once that's been achieved it becomes apparent that all these small details make the city and characters really come alive!

Kronos City is the first graphic novel Lauren and I have worked on and it's been a real learning experience, I'm continually picking up on little ways to improve as I go along. It's also really useful that Lauren and I share a house as it makes the whole process a lot quicker and easier than if I had to send off my inked pages. Which is nice.
Working on Kronos City is a real joy! Despite working on a number of other illustration jobs it's always Kronos City that I'm excited to drop everything and get stuck into! Cheers Insomnia!"

Lauren says:

"My favourite thing about Kronos City has to be the water. Working digitally makes life so much easier, especially with the 'edit-undo' function. However there's something so free and spontaneous about working traditionally in watercolour, so when it comes to the scenes viewed in the Kronos Water, it's fab. And luckily for me there is more of that to come!

I love being a colourist! Even when I find my role being compared to the activities of 3 year olds (sigh). Every day I see Alex painstakingly studying the correct angles and figures to get everything perfect. Colouring is such a relaxing thing for me. So thanks Insomnia for giving me a stress free job that I actually enjoy!"

Bad Rain Hits Birmingham

This weekend saw the unveiling of Bad Rain, the immense "double page bedspread" from Cancertown by the award winning maverick quilter and textile artist Ferret.

The finished piece is 90" by 70" (that is about 15 times the size of the original art, and half as long as me again!) so to see it for real was nothing short of incredible. People's mouth's were literally dropping open as they came around the corner in the gallery where it was hanging.

It makes the Badmouths at the front of the piece actual size, which is somehow very upsetting!

Seeing the scene done in fabric, scale aside, adds other interesting dimensions to the art. The tension of the thread against the different fabrics, and the fact that it is hanging up, cause slight ripples and fluctuations in the surface, which in turn cast different little shadows depending on the angle of viewing. This, combined with actual physical texture, really brings out the nasty, mutable, "everything's alive" quality of the Cancertown locations.

The reactions of the quilters at the show (The Festival of Quilts - think of it as the San Diego Comic Con equivalent for textile artists) were incredibly positive. We really had no idea how this kind of thing would be received by the traditional quilting world. It was not only the handful of existing comics readers who happened to be there who were into the work, either, and we found ourselves discussing magic realist horror noir with fascinated elderly ladies who had never read a comic (although they might now!) as much as the younger textile and fashion students who were around.

As always the fascinating conversations you find yourself in at art based event were wonderful, but I did particularly enjoy getting chatting to an American visitor about "needle based art" and the really quite short distance between textile art and tattooing (prompted by the fact that Ferret had some pieces done on leather and skins and also a huge quilted piece of the dragon from her own tattoo).

The Forbidden Planet blog has already suggested a Mega City One piece, and Tank Girl was also proposed by a visitor to the show. Ferret is keen on doing more comics based work, so keep an eye on her blog. If you're an artist or publisher interested in working with her, drop me a line and I can put you in touch.

We had copies of the book with us to show the origin of Bad Rain and not only did sales go into double figures, but 2 visitors had even seen Cy was going to be there and had brought along their own copies to be signed - which was not really what we expected at a quilting convention!

At dinner on the Saturday night I found myself sitting next to an incredible lady by the name of Jennie Bowker. Now, not being familar with the names of quilters I did not know that this was as if I was sitting next to the Alan Moore of this medium! In addition to doing great and very thought provoking work in fabrics, she is an amazing photographer, and, as it turns out a reader of graphic novels - so we had a great time talking about the power of comics and the expansion of the art form. She also taught me a great psychological experiment to do with drawing a cartoon face :)

Ferret will be updating her blog over the coming days with other work that was on display at the show including her dragon, the amazing Phoenix Rising and the nude portraits for which she very well known.

We are hoping to be able to get Bad Rain on show at BICS - watch this space.

Crawford Coutts Under The Spotlight

This week Crawford was interviewed by Bob Heske for his column Indie Creator on Invest Comics.

Find out about the past, the future and what comics he thinks would save us in the face of an alien invasion.

Sharing The Love

A message from Barry Nugent of The Geek Syndicate

Geek Syndicate meets Jonathan Ross!

In this special episode join Dave and Barry as they chat with celebrity geek and comics fan Jonathan Ross.

During the interview Jonathan tells the lads where his love for all things geek ,especially comics, started. He also reveals why he would never own a comics shop again.

Jonathan explains why is unable to attend comic conventions as much as he would like.

There's some talk about the adaptation of Mark Millar's Kick Ass that Jonathan's wife, Jane, is working on as well his view on comic to film adaptations.

Jonathan has his feet firmly placed in the Marvel comics camp. He explains why and shares some of his favourite creations. He also tells a very interesting story about his encounter with Steve Dikto.

The guys discuss with Jonathan why he decided to write his own comic. He reveals the title and gives us a few details on the project.


So now I have lots of emails to read having been away for 4 days - and I know one of them contains the music files for the CD for the special edition of Buskers. More on that next time.

Until next week

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