Saturday, October 29, 2011

The things you should fear the most aren't necessarily the ones that are mad, screaming obvious...

Last year, one of the very first comics I wrote "Wonderful World of Delight" appeared online in the 7th edition of Temple APA. Almost two years on, and this story remains close to my heart as one of my favourite creations, which is odd, as it was originally conceived as a throw-away strip, a quick tale with a gimmick that would be done and dusted in a couple of pages and that would be the end of it. Thing is, in the process of writing it, I created this bloke called Robin Baskerville...a larger-than-life nutter who somehow took on a life of his own and refused to get out of my head and leave me be.

It was almost as if he had taken up residence in my imagination. I could hear him whispering to me in the night: "Whaddaya mean, I only got one story to tell, are you outta your frosty, freakin' mind? I got a gazillion stories to tell! You might think you know me, but you ain't got no idea, chump. I've got stories to tell that you would not believe!"

It's true. Robin has since filled me in on EVERYTHING about him, his entire life-story and history, who he really is, what he really didn't make for easy imagining. And I can't even tell anyone about it. Robin scares me. He's bad. The baddest of the bad. This guy, who created himself, is the nastiest, vilest creation that has ever popped into my head. I know I need to tell his story. All of it. I'm just not quite sure how I'm going to do it yet. I have made a start though. Robin's second adventure is ready for consumption and will appear in this year's edition of Hallowscream, just a couple of days hence. Here's a few panels from the story, with new artist Tony Rothwell more than filling the sizeable shoes left by Conor Boyle , who illustrated the original tale, and putting his own unique and darkly humourous stamp on things:

The new tale, Wonderful World of Serendipity, will give fresh insight into the depth of Robin's depravity...but it won't scratch the surface of the unthinkable horrors that are yet to be revealed. I didn't have the necessary gumption to get into all of that right away, thought it best to simply present another snapshot of Robin as he is in the here-and-now of his zombie-ravaged, apocalyptic Wonderful World, before delving into his past and opening up a Pandora's box of terror. That's for another time, another place, but Mr. Baskerville's tale will be told, and when it is, you may very well regret hearing it.

But not half as much as I regret being the one who has to tell it...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Mid-October Update

Well! Where to begin? It's been a while since I've posted anything here. You might think that's because I've been working on looooooooooooads of new projects but, in actuality, I haven't. Nothing creative at least. Real life has been keeping my civilian alter-ego busy and hasn't left much time for Van Dom to strut his funky stuff, taking down criminal masterminds, saving damsels-in-distress and writing strange and messed up comic scripts. Nothing new anyway, though I have been tinkering away at certain works-in-progres. Nevertheless, there are a few things that have been happening.

First and foremost - Vanguard! My self-published comic has gone down pretty well, I'm happy to report. I've sold nearly all my printed copies and had some very good feedback, and have also gathered up a few industry reviews, all of which were pretty positive. (Nobody told me to STOP anyway, and that's always a good sign!) You can get the skinny on all of that - with links to all the reviews and some info about the upcoming issue 2 - over on the Vanguard Blog. There's still a handful of copies left too if you haven't gotten around to picking one up yet. Ordering info can also be found on the Vanguard Blog.

As a result of putting Vanguard together, I also found myself in a position to be nominated for the inaugural Irish Comic News Awards. Seemingly, to my surprise, some people did indeed nominate me and - to my even greater surprise - my name now appears on the short list for voting, in not one but two categories. So you can vote for me as best self-published writer, or Vanguard as best self-published comic. Obviously, I'm not going to win, or even come close (just LOOK at who is on the short list --- egads, what kind of whippersnapper am I even daring to have my name in there?!?) but it's definately an honour to be nominated and I'm very grateful. So a big, big thanks to anybody who did so. And, of course, if you DO want to vote for me, I certainly won't tell you not to!

Over in Paragon, my ongoing adventure series Icarus Dangerous seems to be going down pretty well also. I got a few good reviews for episode 1 and managed to more-or-less keep it going for episode 2, although the Forbidden Planet reviewer was a little disappointed that this episode wasn't as simple-and-straightforward as the first part. Not quite sure what to make of that really as this story, as a whole, is far from simple or straightforward! Hopefully episode 3 will get him back on board. Meanwhile, over at Comics Bulletin, the reviewer thoroughly enjoyed it, so go figure! What do you think of the story? I'd love to hear your views!

Do you remember Speed Date, a short, gorey horror tale I wrote for last year's Hallowscream? Well, a few points of interest in relation to it. First of all, there is a sequel. Of course there is a sequel. I couldn't, in good conscience, leave it the way it ended, not with that vicious bastard Tucker still on the loose, a threat to honest-to-goodness, soulmate-seeking Speed Daters everywhere. Common decency demanded that I revisit the character and present a 'what happened next' type epilogue to the tale...a full colour (and what colour!) tale of love and romance that is now in the can, courtesy of the wonderful Bhuna, and being lettered as we speak. Speed Date 2:Cruz Control is, like all good sequels, everything the first part had but MORE. MORE violence, MORE blood, MORE death, MORE twists. It is, honestly, the bloodiest 6 pages of comic I have ever witnessed. They don't come much more blood-soaked than this people, so keep an eye out for this year's Hallowscream at the end of the month to find out if Tucker gets his come-uppance or not. (Hint - Tucker will continue to appear in a 1 page, ongoing strip in Vanguard from issue 2) (Anti-hint - that doesn't necessarily mean what you think it does. Or does it?!) In the meantime - here are some sneak peaks from this blood-drenched tale...

The second item of Speed Date related news is that the movie version of Part 1 (renamed SPEED KILLS as a short movie called 'Speed Date' already exists) is finally finished, and it looks bloody great. Audience reaction at a test screening recently was overwhelmingly positive, which was lucky, as both myself (as the writer of the original story) and Alan Rogers (director, producer and star of the movie) were sitting there in nervous anticipation of being run out of town for coming up with something so nasty and vile! Alan captured Tucker's 'charm' perfectly though, and somehow this made the acts he commits in the film just that little bit more palatable. The really big news though is that the movie has been picked to appear as part of the short film showcase at this year's Horrorthon festival in the IFI in Dublin. It's being shown on October the 31st at 11am (part of the Short Film Showcase) so if you are in the area and fancy checking it out, please come along. More info about this can be found on the Horrorthon website HERE. Be warned - you will be subjected to images such as this. Yikes!

That's pretty much about all I have for you at the moment. It's too early to start previewing images from all the stories in the next issue of Vanguard, and everything else I am involved in is still in the early stages of W.I.P. I will be back before the end of the month though with news on another strip due to appear in Hallowscream, which features the return of another of my nastier creations, the jolly, jovial, jingle-singing zombie feeder/killer Robin Baskerville, this time rendered by the wonderful Tony Rothwell. Sneak peak below rounds out this entry. Ta-ta for now!