Friday, 31 December 2010

A Brief Morphology of 2010...

As I sit down to write out this blog entry, 2010 is close to its demise. I'm sitting here, alone, a few minutes before the Witching Hour. Wife's deployed in Afghanistan, so no kiss for me tonight. Kids are in bed, unable to make it to midnight. Bad horror movie is on, Demons 2 if you must know.

As much as I might try to avoid the fact that a 'New Year' is crashing down on me, I can't help but reflect a little bit on the year that is short in ending. Yeah, I could use this space to ramble on about personal thises and thatses - but really, why should I force you to pretend to care? - or I could spout out all the resolutions I won't bother to make therefore saving myself later regrets for not keeping to them.

No.

I'm going to cut to the chase and compile a list of comics and prose projects I've worked on this past year, point you to where you can buy them, or - for you cheap bastards - can read them for FREE. Enough of this blah-blah-blogging - here's that list:

Red Sands for Starscape Comics: A grim and violent sci-fi western, Red Sands is "Mad Max meets Strontium Dog meets the Dollars Trilogy". Cover by Alex Ronald, interior art by Bruce McLaren and letters by Bolt 01. Episode one is available for FREE via MyEbooks or Clickwheel. And I should mention that episode two is on its way in early 2011!

Rek Fen-Birn in Temple APA Issue 7: Rek Fen-Birn (with artist Antony Rothwell and letterer Bolt 01) is a four-page strip depicting a skirmish between several species of strange little creatures...where else can you find Beebeluns, Creeplings, Cactopillars and Rok-Shahs all in one strip (or anywhere else)? Temple APA issue 7 is FREE to read at MyEbooks or Clickwheel and will see print later in 2011 in Krazybov Comics!


Glubbleblugg (with artist Conor Boyle and letterer Bolt 01) tells the tale of ‘an evil thing that lived under a rock…’ and that thing is Glubbleblugg, a vicious beastie with an appetite for children matched only by its rotten disposition.

In A Pleasing Symmetry (with artist Matt Soffe and letterer Jim Campbell) a man hunts the sinister creature that killed his wife – a creature that is ‘evil in its purest form, a being that feeds on the essence of others and in doing so postpones its own end'.

Lastly, Third World/Fourth World (also with artist Matt Soffe and letterer Jim Campbell) finds benevolent Martians arriving on Earth to deliver 'the secrets of the stars’...to a tribe of African headhunters

Order your copy of Something Wicked #6 at the FutureQuake Press website here.

A Monster Morality Tale in Space Squid Magazine #9: Monster kills, eats, kills, eats, learns a hard lesson. There may be a few print copies of Space Squid #9 left (contact the magazine to find out) but if not, you can view it online for FREE on the Space Squid website.

Little Yelena and the Golligugs in Back From the Depths' annual Hallowscream horror anthology: Little Yelena and the Golligugs (with artist El Chivo and letterer Bolt 01) is a short strip about the evil little creatures that deliver Night Terrors to children...view it for FREE via Clickwheel, Dropbox or MyEbooks - and look for it in print in a future issue of Krazybov Comics!

Muties on the Bounty in Tales From the Emerald Isle #0: In Muties on the Bounty (art and letters by Brigonos Mac Giolla Chomhgaill aka Professor Byah) a band of mutants stows away on a cargo ship bound for Emerald Isle in hopes of escaping the ongoing Mutant Persecution in Mega-City One; when one of the mutants kills the ship's crew, Judge Joyce is called in to hunt him down...order your copy of Tales From the Emerald Isle from Hibernia Comics.

Lugal in Temple APA issue 8: Lugal (with artist Louis Carter and letterer HdE) - a tale of terror and teleportation, aliens and alternate universes! This issue also features a small press write-up on Paragon Comics - here's your first look at my new ongoing series The Mekko-Sapiens Uprising! View Temple APA issue 8 for FREE via Clickwheel, Mediafire or MyEbooks.

An anthology comic couldn't hold him! Hacking his way out of the pages of Paragon Comics, the comic world's only inter-dimensional demon-hunting ronin has arrived in his own graphic novel - 'The Chronicles of Jikan'! Editor Davey Candlish has stitched together 99 pages - that's right 99 pages - of blood-drenched, gore-soaked demon-disembowling fury sure to have your bloodlust on the rise.

I've written three strips for the collection - Jikan: Witchfires (with artist Filip Roncone), Jikan: Cave of Death (with artist James Corcoran) and Jikan & the Kappa King (with artist Davey Candlish) - and several other writers and artists have contributed to the volume; visit the Paragon Blogspot for the entire lineup and art samples.

And click here to order your copy.


So it's midnight now, and 2010 is washed away by all you've had to drink tonight. No doubt you've kissed a girl or guy or two or both (wait, who am I kidding - most of my followers are comics nerds). Why don't you start your 2011 off right and read some comics? My comics.

Happy New Year. May yours be better than mine.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Muties on the Bounty: Last Words.

'Muties on the Bounty' is a strip I'm very proud of, and I'm happy it seems to have gone down well with readers/reviewers so far; the first review of Tales of the Emerald Isle has been posted on the Everything Comes Back to 2000AD site and it's largely favorable:

Kerrin -

'A dark and moving work that extends the recent events surrounding Mega City 1 out into the wider world of Dredd. Matt McLaughlin does a fine job of weaving a tale of displacement and woe which echoes many current stories in our own reality. My only one gripe would be that I think some of the accent is a tad off but that’s probably more in the way I’m reading it. Bryan Coyle has done a lovely job on the artwork, brilliantly atmospheric exterior scenes and shadowy interiors. Great strip.'

Richard -

'FOUR PAGES! I’m re-reading this to write the review and can’t believe the story I remembered in my head from this was told in only four pages. A really nice little companion piece to the recent Dredd arc and packs a real emotional punch. Impressive stuff with suitably moody artwork.'


Also of interest, Pete Wells has posted Alan Nolan's step by step Tales of the Emerald Isle cover creation on his very cool 2000AD Covers Uncovered blog.

There are only a few copies of Tales From the Emerald Isle left - visit the Hibernia Comics site to order yours!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Hither Came Jikan, Inter-Dimensional, Demon-Hunting Ronin Warrior...

An anthology comic couldn't hold him! Hacking his way out of the pages of Paragon Comics, the comic world's only inter-dimensional demon-hunting ronin has arrived in his own graphic novel - 'The Chronicles of Jikan'! Editor Davey Candlish has stitched together 99 pages - that's right 99 pages - of blood-drenched, gore-soaked demon-disembowling fury sure to have your bloodlust on the rise.

I've written three strips for the collection - Jikan: Witchfires (with artist Filip Roncone), Jikan: Cave of Death (with artist James Corcoran) and Jikan & the Kappa King (with artist Davey Candlish) - and several other writers and artists have contributed to the volume; visit the Paragon Blogspot for the entire lineup and art samples.

And click here to order your copy.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Pulp(y) Sci-Fi in Templa APA Issue Eight...

The eighth issue of Temple APA (cover above by Simon Mackie) is now online and can be downloaded - for FREE - at the Temple APA website, or at CLICKWHEEL and MEDIAFIRE, and can be viewed online at MYEBOOKS. So you've got plenty of options and no excuses not to read it.

In this issue you'll find my tale of terror and teleportation entitled 'Lugal', one of the weirdest-looking comic strips you'll ever bump into (thanks for that compliment Van Dom), and a small press feature on Paragon Comics and my upcoming series 'The Mekko-Sapiens Uprising'.

Mekko-Sapiens Press Release...

Above is the official press release for my new (and first) on-going series, 'The Mekko-Sapiens Uprising', which kicks off in the next issue of Paragon Comics. Davey Candlish has drawn episode one, while James Corcoran is hard at work on episode two; I'm not sure if we're going to see and old-school ABC Warriors art jam in which every episode is rendered by a different artist, but the possibility is there...anyway, no need to go into great detail about the strip here because, well, that's what the press release is for!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Defoe: Spirits of Christmas...




'Defoe: Spirits of Christmas' is a four-page comic strip artist Conor Boyle and I put together for this year's2000AD forum 'virtual advent calendar' (organized by fine fellow Pete Wells). Enjoy!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The Dead of Winter, or Zombicicles...


Here's a sneaky peek at a comic strip artist Conor Boyle and I are currently collaborating on. Can't say anything about it yet, though. Not one thing, not even a hint, not even a hint of a hint.

Except that we'll reveal all in just five days, on December 13th. And that it's cooler than 'The Walking Dead', meaning something actually involving zombies happens before you read 'the end'.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Telling Some 'Tales From the Emerald Isle'...


Some news I'm really excited about: the first issue of Tales From the Emerald Isle, a fanzine featuring Irish 2000AD characters and only Irish 2000AD characters, is now available to purchase from Hibernia Comics!

Beneath the fantastic Alan Nolan (above) cover you'll find the further adventures of Judge-Sergeant Joyce in 'Muties on the Bounty', a strip I collaborated on with artist Brigonos Mac Giolla Chomhgaill aka Professor Byah. Other characters on display are: Sinister/Dexter, Slough Feg, Maeve the Many-Armed and Harlem Heroes - so order the comic here, then grab a pint or twenty-eight, a plate of 'taters and help celebrate the (2000AD) Irish!

(let it be known I resisted placing the groan-worthy but obvious joke, 'When Irish Isles are Smiling' somewhere in this post - er, oh wait...damn)

Friday, 26 November 2010

Burning on the Flames of Witch Fires...

View Blog

What exactly are the peasant-folk above burning on? I'm not certain, but I wish they'd share...

Well, where there's smoke, there's witch fire. 'Jikan: Witch Fires' is the third Jikan script I've written for Paragon Comics. Featuring everybody's favorite inter-dimensional demon-hunting Ronin, 'Witch Fires' has our hero flung from the time-space vortex and into a small English town terrorized by the sadistic Matthew Hopkins, Witchfinder General and Demon-in-Disguise.

Drawn by artist Filip Roncone, 'Witch Fires' is an epic 8-page sword fight which kicks into gear on the rooftop of a burning inn and climaxes amidst the swaying corpses decorating a gallows platform, and features spellbound peasants, reanimated corpses, spectral demons, lots of hacking and slashing, stabbing and gouging, and a whole bunch more violent-type action.

'Jikan: Witch Fires' will appear in an upcoming issue of Paragon Comics, as well as the Collected Jikan Volume 1 this Christmas, along with 'Jikan: Cave of Death' and 'Jikan and the Kappa King'.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Catching a Strontium Dogfish...


'Catch of the Day' tells the story of Mukky Mud Flapper, the perfect character for a Redemption Story if there ever was one - problem is, Mukky's not interested in redemption.

Mukky's only interested in gunning down Strontium Dogs.

Years ago Mukky himself was a young up-and-coming Strontium Dog bounty hunter. But then he got old. Got mean. Got drunk. Got drunker. Killed a few innocent people and then killed a few more. Now he's got a whopper of a bounty on his head and every SD agent is after it - but for Mukky, that's like shooting dogfish in a barrel!

'Catch of the Day' will appear in a future issue of the super-cool Strontium Dog fanzine, Dogbreath. Artist Ryan S. Thomason designed the characters above (that's Mukky in the middle).

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Madness of the God-Thing Lugal...


'Feel the warp-fields wash over you. Breathe the electricity, listen to it crackle in your lungs. Allow your body to drift as its particles accelerate, separate. A pleasant sensation, soothing, like dreaming awake. Like dying in your sleep - only to be reborn!' - Sergeant Adelaide describing a 'Jaunt' to her newest combat team member.

Terror and teleportation: the horror of 'Lugal' begins with a frantic distress signal broadcast from a scientific research colony on an alien world. The message, cryptically warning of 'creatures that prey on unwary travelers to the Other Side', terminates in screaming. Immediately, an Intergalactic Expeditionary Corps combat team is sent to planet Gvakin to investigate the call - and discovers that the colony has been laid to waste and the colonists disappeared without a trace. Soon it is revealed that the colonists were the victims of a scientific experiment gone horribly right...

And the Madness of Lugal has been unleashed.


Artist Louis Carter has taken my script and created from it a wonderfully alien landscape full of weird beasties and strange characters (both human and inhuman). Nothing about planet Gvakin is familiar to human eyes: trees wriggle like tentacles, vines slither across the earth like worms, bizarre rock formations rise from the oozing jungle floor like spines.

Letters by HdE.

Next step - finding 'Lugal' a home in print. I'll be sure to update the blog when that happens. Update: 'Lugal' will appear in Temple APA #8.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Hallowscream! and Hallowscream Again!


Looking for a fun way to kill, maim and torture a few hours of your night - really stick a knife in the gut and slowly twist it around? Yeah? Then you'll surely find yourself pleased that Back From the Depths' annual Hallowscream horror anthology is now available as a FREE download via Clickwheel or Dropbox, or viewable online at Myebooks! That's right, 84 blood-soaked pages sure to bring on the ultimate goregasm! Included in the collection is my eerie little tale, 'Little Yelena and the Golligugs' (art by El Chivo, letters by Bolt 01). Cover art by Andrew Milne.


Of course, if your carnal lusts aren't sated by a single serving of splatter 2009's issue (cover by Malcolm Kirk) is still available at Clickwheel or Myebooks, and features that little child-eating brute, 'Glubbleblugg'.

Almost 160 pages of FREE murder and mayhem? That's sharing the bloody love, that is!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Space Squid Magazine: Childish, But Not For Children...


Space Squid Magazine has published stories by Bruce Sterling (father of cyberpunk), Chris Roberson (Clockwork Strorybook), Jay Lake (John W. Campbell Award winner), Jennifer Pelland (Nebula nominee)...and me?

Guess so. Yeah, they did. For some reason.

I won't ask why they've allowed a short story of mine, a Monster Morality Tale, to ooze its way across the pages of their 9th issue, but I can only laugh that a mag that's published Bruce Sterling has now published someone as unworthy as myself. Cue 'Big Stupid, Cheese-Eating Grin'.

The print version of Space Squid #9 is long gone, but the tentacled editors have generously posted the entire issue online as a FREE downloadable PDF. Check it out and get ready for a bizarre journey into the weirder dimension of sci-fi. Remember, Space Squid is childish but not for children.

Above is the cover for issue 9 (art/design by David Chang).

Monday, 4 October 2010

Something Wicked This Way Comes...


The newest issue of FutureQuake Press’ annual horror comic anthology, Something Wicked, is now available! Issue #6 features an incredibly creepy cover by (favorite) artist Boo Cook, and a collection of stories that are sure to curl your toenails and scare the socks off your feet.


Somehow I’ve managed to sneak three strips into the magazine, past the usually vigilant eyes of editors Bolt 01 and Richmond Clements. Talk about the wardens looking the other way while the inmate runs amuck through the asylum!



Benevolent Martians arrive on Earth to deliver 'the secrets of the stars’ to a tribe of African headhunters in ‘Third World/Fourth World’ (art by Matt Soffe and letters by Jim Campbell). The one-page strip is presented in full glorious color on the magazine’s back cover!



In ‘A Pleasing Symmetry’ (co-story and art by Matt Soffe and letters by Jim Campbell) a man hunts the sinister creature that killed his wife – a creature that is ‘evil in its purest form, a being that feeds on the essence of others and in doing so postpones its own end'.



‘There was an evil thing that lived under a rock…’ and that thing is ‘Glubbleblugg’ (art and letters by Conor Boyle), a vicious beastie with an appetite for children matched only by its rotten disposition. ‘Glubbleblugg’ is a nasty little tale with an unexpected twist.


Order Something Wicked #6 – and FutureQuake #16 while you’re at it – at the FutureQuake Press website here.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

There Be Muties on the Bounty...


'Muties on the Bounty' is a short strip featuring Judge Joyce which will appear in the first issue of the 2000AD fanzine 'Tales From the Emerald Isle'.

I don't dabble much in fan-fiction (which seems almost funny to say at the moment, considering that in addition to 'Muties on the Bounty' I've recently had a Strontium Dog script commissioned by Dogbreath and find myself elbows-deep in a three-part Dreddworld script for Zarjaz) because a) I don't really feel comfortable writing characters others created and b) I have waaaaaaay too many ideas of my own - but when I had the opportunity to have a go at a Judge Joyce strip I couldn't say no. 'Why?' you ask (probably you didn't really ask 'Why?', but I'll tell you anyway).

You see, way back when and once upon a time, the little kid version of me wandered into a newspaper shop and picked up a comic called 2000AD. In it, Judge Dredd had to travel to Emerald City to investigate a crime - and found himself partnered with Judge Sergeant Joyce.

Judge Joyce immediately became my favorite character in the magazine. I liked his happy-go-lucky nature, his smile-in-the-face-of-death attitude and the fact that he was much more human - and therefore relatable - than Dredd. He laughed, he cracked jokes, he tipped the frosty mug during his shift; there was a lot of joy in Joyce.

So of course I went and ruined all of that.

'Muties on the Bounty' finds an older, more world-weary Judge Joyce. He's been beaten down by reality, killed one man too many, seen an awful lot of suffering. Fake smiles, hollow laughs; this isn't the Judge Joyce we remember.

When a group of mutants hijacks a ship sailing the Black Irish Sea, Joyce is the first Judge on the scene...and what he finds is not at all what he expected...the glimmer of humanity in a bunch sub-humans.

Brigonos Mac Giolla Chomhgaill aka Professor Byah is handling the art duties, and his work so far is stunning.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Krazy for Komics...


Two short strips I've written will appear together in Krazybov Comics issue #9 (due out next year).

'Rek Fen-Birn' (above) features a variety of weird alien creatures - Beebeluns, Creeplings and Rok-Shahs - battling over a herd of Cactopillars. Tony Rothwell is the artist responsible for bringing these critters to the page, and Bolt 01 proclaimed 'let there be letters'.

In 'Little Yelena and the Golligugs' (below) more nasty beasties are on display: attended by her minions, the Golligug Queen secretes her Nightmare Juices for consumption. The mysteriously-monikered El Chivo scribbled the things only nightmares can produce, and again, Bolt 01 lent the strip his divine lettering touch.


Krazybov comics is an incredibly cool little magazine filled with off-the-wall strips and general weirdness. Check it out here.