Wednesday, 30 November 2016

No sh*t, I’ve drawn another comic cover for Titan

My cover to Sherlock: The Blind Banker #2
The new Diamond Previews (a catalogue of forthcoming comics and related ephemera) is published this week and contains listings for two publications featuring my work. The first is the previously blogged-about Meanwhile…#5 (featuring episode 5 of Strangehaven: Destiny), while the second is my cover for Titan ComicsSherlock: The Blind Banker #2 (an English language edition of the Japanese manga comic adaptation of the British TV series featuring Benedict Cumberbatch, based on the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Got that? I’m testing you later).

Those of you with, quite frankly, an unhealthy interest in my work may note some similarities with this cover and my previous commission for Titan, Heroes: Godsend #4.

The basic layout for the Sherlock cover was actually only one of four or five rough sketches I submitted to the editor (as was the case with my Heroes cover), and in both cases, despite my defiant resistance, the chosen design was incrementally tweaked, twisted and tampered until it resulted in a remarkably similar composition of single-point perspective street view and full figure portrait with billowing scarf. Even so, I was pretty pleased with how it turned out.

So pleased in fact that I made a crude animation (apologies for the low quality, I’m a Premiere Pro noob) to demonstrate the way I’ve built up the Photoshop layers to create the various colour and rendering effects.

To recap: that’s two items in the new Previews, one with a fourteen page strip by me and a cover by someone else; and the other with a cover by me but the interiors by someone else. One day my friends, I shall be doing both again, I promise you.

If you’d like to pre-order either or both, you can simply ask your local comic shop, and giving them the following Diamond order codes would probably save them a little time.

Meanwhile...#5 (Soaring Penguin Press) [Jan 2017] DEC161883
Sherlock: The Blind Banker #2 Cover 'A' (Titan Comics) [Feb 8 2017] DEC161927

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Return of the Prodigal Anthology

Meanwhile... #5 cover art by Yuko Rabbit
New format Meanwhile... officially announced for January 2017
“If Cinema Purgatorio is the new Warrior Magazine, then Meanwhile… is the new Escape.” – Bleeding Cool

Following the recent specifics-bereft tease that Meanwhile... was being relaunched in January 2017, publisher Soaring Penguin Press has issued an official press release providing further details of the new format.

Meanwhile... #5 will be the first in its new incarnation, a quarterly 96-page full colour softcover graphic novel format featuring both the continuing strips of my own Strangehaven and David Hine and Mark Stafford’s splendid The Bad, Bad Place. It also features the start of a new series by the ├╝ber talented Sarah Gordon, the final instalment of Yuko Rabbit’s 10 Minutes and in addition the fine Ms. Rabbit provides the drop-dead gorgeous cover art for this issue.

As for Strangehaven: Destiny Part Five, this episode includes two significant plot reveals, both of which have been waiting to drop since the very first issue, as well as a terrible but well worthwhile pun for those who have been paying close attention.

Publisher John Anderson painstakingly explains the recent absence of Meanwhile... and its subsequent format change in his full press release (that you can read here: Relaunching Meanwhile) but essentially, sales were less than what were required to make the previous format financially viable.

The retail cover price for the new improved format may come as a slight shock to some – £17.95 in the UK and $23.95 stateside - but Anderson explains that he is offering substantial discounts to readers who purchase subscriptions directly from the Soaring Penguin Press website.
“The prices on the Soaring Penguin Press website will be about half that. And it’ll be even more economical if you order a subscription. Generally, it’ll be about 100 pages of comic for about a tenner. Ten pence a page. And no ads.”
Obviously this may not be a popular strategy with retailers, but I’m sure John has considered the various options and has concluded that this is the best route to ensure the book’s long-term survival.

Preview art from Strangehaven: Destiny episode 5 - Gary Spencer Millidge
Whether or not you consider the new price and format to be a worthwhile investment I imagine depends on how much of the other Meanwhile... content you enjoy, as I understand for a single episode of Strangehaven alone, the cost will be relatively steep. Fortunately, many of the other strips in Meanwhile... have been of exceptional quality so far, and with the promise of a new Sara Gordon series, this state of affairs promises to continue.

As John remarks in his press release, the current incarnation of Meanwhile... was at least in part created in order to help me complete Strangehaven, and I’ll be forever in his debt for that.
Rather generously, existing subscriptions will be honoured.

You can pre-order issue 5 here: Order Meanwhile...#5
Or you can jump in with both feet and subscribe here: Meanwhile... subscription

Meanwhile… will also continue to be available in digital format on SEQUENTIAL, Comixology and other platforms.

And of course, it will be available via the usual distributors, and will be available via your local comic retailer if you prefer to buy that way. Meanwhile... #5 will be solicited in the December 2016 Diamond Previews with the order code DEC161883.