Monday, 25 January 2010

Creative Endeavors

This week we have more exciting news. With Insomnia growing and the number of books, channels and events increasing, we are bringing some new people on board the company.

We introduced Richard Murphy, Insomnia’s Business Development Director, a few weeks ago and it’s our pleasure to welcome our three new dedicated Sub-Editors: Matt Gibbs, Alex Willmore and Lauren Anne Sharp.

Matt will be taking on editorial duties for scripts of Insomnia Original Graphic Novels (aka The Insomnia Collection) in the same way as we have Martin Conaghan for Vigil, and Alex and Lauren will be our new art sub-editors. Insomnia’s newly expanded Editorial Team will be reviewing the mountains of new submissions closely so we’ll hopefully be able to reduce the time it takes to get back to creators.

Nic Wilkinson, Creative Director, has been tending to all our fantastic creators for the past year and has been an exceptional Group Editor. Not stepping away completely from this role, Nic will be focusing her energies more fully on Insomnia’s marketing and promotion activities. Earlier today she assured all of the creators they are in very capable hands and that she will still be actively involved with them and their projects. She said, “All of our editors came to us first as creators, so know what makes a good Insomnia book from the inside. I am delighted to welcome Matt, Alex and Lauren to the team.”

We asked our new Sub-Editors to share their thoughts on joining the Company.

Lauren, “When I joined Insomnia ten months ago as a creator, I was unsure of where the company was going. Since then I've watched it release success after success, with the busiest stand at a convention and a six week waiting list for submission entries. Hopefully Insomnia will continue to grow at this pace, and we can keep bringing on more talent and producing the same excellent Graphic Novels Insomnia Publications is renowned for.”

Matt, “I'm excited to be joining the Insomnia team as an Editor. Working with them and talking with fellow creators over the last year has been a delight.

Insomnia's approach is friendly and supportive, helping people make the most of the stories they want to tell - and I hope to do that too. For me this is an opportunity not only to work with talented people, but for us to learn and develop as writers together.”

Alex, “I'm delighted to be a part of the 'publishing side' of Insomnia. The publishing industry is something that I've always been interested in as I love seeing projects come together from an idea to a finished printed book.

Working on Kronos City has been a joy so far and to be able to see all of the other books take shape is something I'm very much looking forward to. Having seen some of the amazing artwork already posted up on the Insomnium forum, it looks set to be a great year of books.

I'm looking forward to working with more fellow artists and seeing all the submissions from potential Insomniacs - I'm sure I'll be able to offer helpful hints and tips to those hoping to join the Insomnia family.
With Insomnia growing and producing some of the best graphic novels I've had the pleasure of reading in a long time, I'm delighted to be a part of the team and hope to be a part of the company for as long as they'll have me!”

Creators & Projects

In creator and project news we are delighted to announce that Adam Bolton will be the artist on Stephen Arran’s book, Empyre. We’ll have more info and hopefully some artwork for you in the coming weeks.

As Alex mentioned above, the private creator forums, Insomnium, are now live and the community is being populated fairly rapidly. More content and information to follow soon.

We'll be able to show some of this fantastic artwork which is in production soon. Expect to see a new Ebook preview or two in the coming weeks.


As you all know, we have Burke’s hanging anniversary this Thursday (28th January) and to commemorate, Martin and Will are in Edinburgh attending Forbidden Planet for a signing event of their recent Burke and Hare Graphic Novel, there’s also a Talk from them at the Central Library and a chance to meet the creators after this. There’s also the option to attend the Burke and Hare tour absolutely FREE from West Port Tours. Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity!

We’ll have a full report of the events and pictures next week!

Monday, 18 January 2010

All Things Burke and Hare

Last week was a very busy week for Insomnia and the media with lots of wonderful coverage on Burke and Hare.

Brian Ferguson of the Scotsman wrote a fantastic article and Debi Edward from STV put together a lovely piece on the 6 o'clock news on Thursday night.

Richard and Crawford have been concentrating on arranging the Burke and Hare events for this month in the build up to the Forbidden Planet Signing in Edinburgh and the talk with Martin and Will at the Central Library.

Martin commented, "Being a native of Glasgow, I'm apprehensive about addressing the denizens of Edinburgh on a subject that forms part of the very fabric of such a magnificent city. However, both Will and I hope to provide some valuable insights into the Burke & Hare case, along with an enlightening guide to how we approached the production of our graphic novel; from the basic researching of the facts of the case, to the unearthing of maps, portraits and illustrations depicting some long-forgotten corners of Auld Reekie."

On Thursday, the first display for the Burke and Hare Exhibition at the Central Library was set up with the much appreciated assistance from Brenda, Andrew and Anne at the Library who very kindly provided additional Burke and Hare material.

Seconds after the display case doors were put back in place, Debi Edward, the reporter from STV appeared. Crawford said “I was hoping to at least have my nose powdered to experience the full glamour of TV, but there was just enough time to compose myself - so I wasn’t quite as much a ‘deer in headlights’ - and straight into the questions!”

After the features were published Martin said, "The Scotsman and STV coverage has been fantastic - it just goes to prove that over 180 years after the West Port Murders, there's still huge interest in William Burke and William Hare. Their story continues to fascinate and chill residents and visitors in Edinburgh and myself and Will are proud to have contributed another chapter in their story.
Our depiction of their tale is unique in its approach and should help continue to dispel the myths surrounding the case. In fact, it was a pleasant relief to see the story treated tastefully, without a mention of graveyards, bodysnatching or the re-animation of long-dead corpses."

A quick reminder of events next week on the 28th January:

Forbidden Planet Signing 4.30 - 5.30pm

Edinburgh Central Library, Edinburgh Room – Talk and Signing 6pm - 7.30pm (doors open at 5.30pm. Numbers are limited - book through the Central Library )

FREE Burke and Hare Tour 7.45pm at main door of Central Library. More info.

Hope to see you all next week!

Monday, 11 January 2010


Due to the bad weather, we’re experiencing lack of reception in some areas... please do not adjust your set... this program will resume shortly.

Psssssst! Look at this...

The next Chapters of Burke and Hare, Cancertown and Cages are on their way to Sony for release in the coming weeks on the PSP Digital Comics service. We’ve had a fantastic initial response to the first chapters which are currently available for FREE on Sony’s PlayStation Store, direct from your PSP or via their website!

Monday, 4 January 2010

And The Beginning Of Another...

Happy New Year and welcome to 2010!!

We’ve had a little break, enjoyed lots of good food, some of us have moved house, and most of us have been snowed in at some point. So, now that’s all out the way, we’re ready to go and make this an even more spectacular year than 2009 – although it’s going to be hard to beat with all we’ve accomplished in the past 12 months!

Since we ended the year with an assortment of artwork from books currently in production, I thought we’d start the new year by introducing our Business Development Director, Richard Murphy, in the time honoured tradition of a short interview.

Richard, welcome to Insomnia Publications – now you’re on the Red Eye its official – great to have you on board. Over the past couple of months, amongst other things, you’ve been working on ramping up the scale of the company, analysing how we’re working and how we can push forward even further in the industry.

Tell us a little bit more about your background?
Thanks very much, it's great to be a part of Insomnia and I'm looking forward to working with everyone. My main background is in product design and business studies, particularly business in and around creative industries, although, I studied everything from national economics to art and in my later years in education I studied in depth creativity, production quality and project management. What I enjoy most is to take all the briefs and tasks and apply my methodology of analysis and problem solving to secure the strongest possible end result.

What inspired you to join Insomnia?
Crawford’s vision, drive and motivation to succeed in such an interesting, diverse and growing industry; the potential of the medium and the Insomnia brand really drew me in. The opportunities these present for the company and creators are fantastic and I instantly wanted to be involved.

You’ve been working with the Insomnia Management Team for a couple of months now, getting a feel for what the company requires and what you can do to help make these things happen. What do you find rewarding in your new role?
Since I joined the company, everyone has been very responsive to what I’m looking to achieve. There’s not much of a lag and Insomnia is a very tight network which is great to work in.

What’s exciting is that there’s no limitation to the vision of the company. Crawford is keen to try new things, and isn’t afraid to dive in the deep end and get his feet wet and he’s happy for his management team and creators to do the same. Seth Godin, the business and marketing guru said:

“Please understand that book publishing is an organized hobby, not a business. The return on equity and return on time for authors and for publishers is horrendous. If you're doing it for the money, you're going to be disappointed.” (Seth Godin, 2005)

Insomnia is not someone’s hobby, it’s a proper business and part of Crawford’s vision is to change this view of publishing - Insomnia is very different to what publishing used to be - and it's very exciting to be a part of it.

I love creativity, the creative industry and enjoy this the most – Insomnia has hugely tangible products which is becoming a rarity now days and working differently to the current industry makes it hugely interesting and challenging.

How do you feel about Insomnia’s ethos towards creators?
I’m fascinated by how much control and creative freedom the creators are allowed – as I mentioned before, the lack of restrictions really allows everyone to push themselves and strive to produce something to the best of their ability, which is a completely different way of thinking. It involves a lot more trust than traditional publishing models from all parties. One of the elements we’re looking to build on is the community feel to the company – it’s completely unique – and we’re enhancing this so creators have more communication between each other enabling them to build up an even tighter network. In fact, the private forum for “Insomniacs” will be live very soon.

What are some of your plans for the company?
Ah, see I was hoping you’d ask that! Obviously I think Insomnia is a great publisher, offering some fantastic publications and I’m very excited to see that extend to more publications with wider styles and variety, pushing the medium to its full potential. New stories can be told in fresh, innovative and interesting ways, rather than conforming to traditional ideas of what a comic book is.

I’m really hoping to get a broader sense of the industry, to appeal to a wider audience and get them to appreciate the medium. I believe we can do this by providing them with interesting, engaging and enjoyable stories, which can help them get into reading.

Although the comic book has been around for decades, this medium is just at its first stages of evolution – the story of Graphic Novels has just begun.

Finally, what are your thoughts on the digital movement?
I think Graphic Novels are already well placed to capture peoples’ interest and imagination in the rich media world which we live in – we have interactive bus stops and even adverts on buses and trains are now full videos which include sound, so developing this form of literature and art for screen is a logical step. However, I believe that digital isn’t competition, it’s complimentary; it’s an opportunity to expand the experience and Insomnia is hoping to show this with forthcoming digital projects.

And so the development continues...

Later this month, our first event of the year will take place in Edinburgh with Burke and Hare... in fact 3 events on the anniversary of Burkes Hanging, the 28th January.

First, at 4.30pm there’s a signing at Forbidden Planet which Joe Gordon and Kevin O’Donnell have very kindly arranged, next at 6pm, there’s a talk from Martin Conaghan at the Central Library, Edinburgh Room, with another signing after if you miss the first one at FPI, and finally there’s an opportunity to attend the Burke and Hare tour after the Library which John Landis recently attended during his research for his upcoming Burke and Hare movie.

More information will be available on the Insomnia website and Facebook pages in the coming days.

See you next week!