CURRENT SOUNDTRACK: Finn Brothers: FINN, 'Only Talking Sense'
While the AUK and Engine sites are undergoing a massive update and restructure (ooh tease), its easier to post updates here for the time being on where we're going for 2005 projects, and what people can expect to see on both site in January. This is a long one, get a cup of tea.
The AUK site will be updated with more info on latest releases and projects from members shortly, including some gorgeous preview art of the next anthology, 'TWELVE'. I have to say I saw some of the art today in our AUKGM and it's kicks arse. It's great to see not only AUK growing but also the artists and writers continuing to develop their style. PIRATES has recently had great reviews at http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/real/, among other places, and 'TWELVE', due for a May 2005 will be even bigger and better. By the way, be sure to look out for the hidden easter eggs in the preview pages; have you found them all? Are you sure?
Discussions also on how to build upon the success of REDEYE magazine, keeping to a regular schedule, and more frequent issues. More on that soon, but in the meantime, exclusive content including a downloadable video of the Comics 2004 State of Independents talk, reports on the Copenhagen and London Comics Festivals are in the process of being added. Copies are ready to buy online of REDEYE 3 or if your quick enough, at your local comic shop.
While FUSION 3 has been selling rather well, FUSION 4 suffered from a printing mishap that meant the first run ready for October's London Winterfest were pretty much unsellable. As such, I’ve had to go back to the printers again (incurring obviously more time and money) to get it right and to the high standard normally expected. The remastered F4 will be now available to order in January and includes the opening chapter of RAINBOW ORCHID BOOK TWO, by the critically acclaimed Garen Ewing; THE FREAK by James Fletcher; MR GLEE AND THE UNDERWORLD EXPRESS by Adam Bealby and Ed Traquino; THE CORPSE by Steve Causer and Jamie Baker; as well as previews from FUSION 5. F4 will also feature a special section dedicated to the aborted ANTHOLOGY 05 project. Originally proposed as an annual anthology featuring the best in UK indie creators and received with a lot of excitement by the community, only a handful of people contributed by the deadline. Those that did, including Lee Kennedy, Mardou, and John Freeman, have kindly agreed to print their work in there. Well worth checking out.
Although things have been quiet on the web front, behind the scenes things have been moving apace. HOGWEB and RABID artist Marc Olivent has been hard at work on a new sci-fi oneshot, the first in a potential series of tales in a post-invasion Britain. Another long developing project, Scott Claringbold’s THUNDERHIDE onshot, has finally found itself an artist in the form of Argentinian José Luis Gaitán. The extensive process of designing the elaborate characters and the search for a dedicated artist will be available to see in a special ‘making of’ section closer to the time of the titles release. Previews will soon be available.
Over time visitors will have noticed talk of several series that have yet to materialise. Here’s a quick roundup of where we are with stuff:
-THE ROUGH GUIDE TO SELF PUBLISHING (4TH EDITION)- Thanks to the overwhelming response to the last request for material, the all-new and expanded Guide will be now available in May 2005. We are however still looking for more articles, tops and advice from creators young and old, amateur or pro, big or small, to include. You can never have too many. Contact me at email@example.com with your ideas.
-THE PANTHEON PROJECT: Divided into four two issue miniseries, VRIL, QUETZACOATL, SEPPUKU and EMPIRE, scripted by Adam Bealby, Stu Young and BJR respectively, are currently on hold while suitable artists are found.
-TRIBUNUS: The Roman Empire-era series pitched by Andy Parsonage has postponed development until the writer can be contacted. Andy, if you see this, please drop us a line.
-TITAN CITY BOOK ONE: Scripted by Gary Simpson with art by BJR, this is currently in the design stage, and still tenatively scheduled for a May 2005 release.
-LAST ORDERS- A contemporary domestic horror oneshot written by Adam Bealby with art by BJR has been pushed back to a November 2005 release.
We’ve had a number of submissions from potential writers, a lot of really great stuff being produced out there, and I owe apologies to those who I have yet to reply to, but I hope to be getting round to them all shortly with feedback. However, as with everything else, there are limitations in the budget for what gets published under ENGINE or AUK. As good as any 12 issue maxi series may be, we need (as any other publishers) shorter examples of your work, for inclusion in FUSION first before progressing to anything larger. In the indie comics field, writers need to take into account the length of time involved in illustrating, which is always a lot longer than it takes to write it. As such many artists are understandably reluctant to take on big projects with no payment.
I’ve also had a lot of requests as to formats, etc. I’ll be amending the SUBMISSIONS page with advice for both potential artists and writers that should answer most queries and hopefully guide future submissions both to ourselves and to other companies.
As a way to attract potential artists to future scripts, I’m inviting writers to pitch their idea in the form of a 50 word synopsis, and with 5 pages of sample script. These will then be added to the ENGINE UPDATE yahoo group http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/enginecomicsupdate/ for artists to read and to come back with appropriate samples. We’ll then move forward as a team to bring the project to publication.
I've a few commissions for Christmas I really need to be starting, so a quick roundup of recently found cool links:
Ben Dickson's self-publishing venture FALLING SKY is one to look out for, and so is myinterview with him shortly to be added to the Engine site. Have a readthrough here first.
New London based publisher of Euro books
US based indie comics online shop.
Scrawl with a big marker with this bizarre page
Excellent artist Al Davison's site
Mignola-inspired excellent artist Ryan Sook's site
Believe me, the links page will be practically doubled with the amount of new stuff to add.
Off to change the cd and start drawing some killer robots.