I know, I know. It’s been two years since Adamtine came out and there’s still no sign of this ‘Livestock’ book. You suspect that it should probably be on the shelves by now, and you know I’m not dead because you keep seeing me at comic events, drinking up the free wine.
The truth is I’ve been distracted quite a bit over the last year. Firstly I’ve spent a lot of time making a nuisance of myself in the UK comics scene – evidenced by my appearing at events and drinking up the free wine – and working hard to promote the finest horror graphic novel no one’s ever heard of. Honestly, you’d be amazed how much time that takes up.
Secondly, I’ve been around the world, sort of. You can see that from my events page, because I keep everything on there like a digital Mr Trebus.
But thirdly and most splendidly I have actual work coming out in actual books which can be owned in the near future!
In order of release date:
(Well I lied. This one is not a book, it’s an exhibition. But you can still read the work online, so.) REFRAME was an international exhibition on the theme of contemporary attitudes towards Europe, featuring original artwork created by artists from the UK (myself, ILYA and Dan Locke), Algeria (Sofiane Belaskri, Mahmoud Benameur and Soumeya Ouarezki) and Turkey (Naz Tansel, Murat Mıhçıoğlu and Cem Özüduru). It was exhibited in London, Algiers, Istanbul, Brussels and Thessaloniki, so it got around a bit. You can read all of the comics by clicking on the artists’ face here, or scroll down and be impressed by all the sponsors. Fun game: guess which way I’ll be voting if there’s a referendum on EU membership! (Hint: Farage and friends can ram it.)
Hoax: Psychosis Blues is the creation of Ravi Thornton, who you may remember from such graphic novels as the terrifying Tale of Brin & Bent and Minno Marylebone. A collaborative graphic novel tying in with this play, and featuring work from other comics greats Bryan Talbot, Mark Stafford, Karrie Fransman, Jade Moss, Ian Jones, Rian Hughes, Rozi Hathaway, Julian Hanshaw and Leonardo M. Giron. Sales of the book support mental health charities and there’s a great first review from Andy Oliver at Broken Frontier here. The book is being launched in Manchester on the 7th June and there’s a Facebook page for the event. Or if you can’t make that but want a copy hot off the press, it can be pre-ordered right here
IDP:2043 is another collaborative project, a near-future dystopian graphic novel commissioned to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Edinburgh Internatioal Book Festival. The project was overseen by Denise Mina, and I worked on a chapter with Pat Mills (no pressure there, then…!) while the others were created by Kate Charlesworth & Mary Talbot, Adam Murphy, Will Morris, Barroux, and Dan McDaid & Irvine Welsh. Yes, that Irvine Welsh, you heard me. You can read an early article about it in the Guardian here, and it’ll be launched on the last weekend of the festival so if you want to learn more, keep an eye on the EIBF website.
Above the Dreamless Dead will be published by First Second to tie in with the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War. The book is a collection of war poems illustrated in comic format by comics people, including Eddie Campbell, Isabel Greenberg, Pat Mills (again), Luke Pearson, Garth Ennis, Peter Kuper and Hunt Emerson to name a few, and edited by Chris Duffy. There’s a nice feature on it on USA Today with (conveniently) a couple of my pages on, and it should be out in September. I’m not sure yet if there are any launch events taking place in the UK, but I’ll keep you posted.
Sadly, never saying no to worthwhile projects got me into a bit of trouble with my fourth project when I realised that I just didn’t have enough time to do the work, which meant dropping out of a fantastic and rather important book. The Courage to be Me, created by Nina Burrowes, the Cartooning Psychologist, is about the impact – and overcoming the impact – of sexual abuse, featuring artwork from Katie Green, Jade Sarson and Alexander Bertram-Powell. Follow that link to read the book in its entirety online for free, download the ebook or buy the paperback to support their work.
So now I’ve run out of distractions: it’s full steam ahead with Livestock…
(If it’s not on the shelves in the next few years then I probably am dead. Send help.)