All posts in comics

Out now: HYPERION #1, by Chuck Wendig

March was a cracker month for comic books, if only for the fact that my Shield co-writer and all-round chum, Chuck Wendig, made his Marvel Comics debut with Hyperion #1, which was out last week.

Hyperion1

I must admit, Hyperion is not a character I am familiar with at all (and in fact, I hadn’t even heard of the character until Chuck told me he was writing him!), which in a way makes me the ideal test reader for this new book.

And… it rocks. Seriously. It’s not only a great comic, but it’s a great Chuck Wendig comic. This is actually quite a feat, given that the part of a comic that the reader actually reads is nearly pure dialogue and, therefore, character. But Chuck does it – from Doll, Hyperion’s new companion, waking up with a “Wuzza? Woozo?” to a clown full of bees, this is absolutely recognisable as Chuck’s work.

And what a splendid thing it is. Chuck has written a little about it here, but my advice is: go get it, immediately!

Five favourite comics of the year

This year I read a lot of comics – so many, in fact, that my New Year’s resolution is to come up with some kind of tracking system. Because… erm, I like to track things? Blame the collector gene lurking somewhere inside me. I’m never happier when I have a nice ordered to-do list and a lovely big colour-coded spreadsheet.

Anyway, I’ve read a lot of comics! So what I can do is pick out my five favourites of this year.

Coffin Hill
Caitlin Kittredge, Inaki Miranda
Vertigo

Coffin_Hill_Vol_1_1_Textless

I’m going to say it: Coffin Hill is my favourite Vertigo series. Across twenty issues, Caitlin Kittredge wrote a dark, dark tale of modern day witchcraft in New England. The characters are complex, engaging, and full of secrets, and the story is mysterious and creepy and… did I say dark? Because it’s dark.

Anything written by Tom King

The_Sheriff_of_Babylon_Vol_1_1

Seriously, Tom King is living the dream – specifically, my dream. I first met him at WorldCon Chicago in 2012 – he’d just had a superhero novel (A Once Crowded Sky), published, and my superhero novel (Seven Wonders) was just out too. We swapped books and kept in touch.

347653_20151106034929_large

Three years later, we bumped into each other in a hospitality suite overlooking the main exhibit hall of San Diego Comic Con. We were both utterly exhausted, but managed a congratulatory fist bump. We’d both come a long way.

3944287-grayson+01

Of course, Tom has come much further than me in comics. He’s writing for DC, Marvel and Vertigo. His DC books are terrific. His current Marvel book – The Vision – is bizarre and kinda scary and quite brilliant. His new Vertigo series The Sheriff of Babylon calls on his experiences as a CIA operative to tell a brutal, sad story.

4602086-omegam_cv1_ds

The Omega Men is possibly the strangest and most intriguing DC title currently published.

349309_20151206180215_large

So yeah, Tom is doing well, and I’ll happily read every single book that has his name somewhere on it, and I’m not jealous in the slightest. Oh no.

*cough*

Justice League
Geoff Johns, Jason Fabook
DC Comics

4601905-justl_cv41_ds

DC Comics had a bit of a re-jig recently with the whole DC You pseudo-relaunch, where they basically let creators do what they want. The results were, actually, pretty great. My favourite of the new-style books is Geoff Johns’s Justice League. Now, I’m a fan of Geoff’s anyway, and I think Justice League might be one of his best books. Nobody quite understands DC superheroics like Geoff, and this book is pure, distilled, costumed superhero action, weaving hardcore DC continuity and fresh storytelling into something new and exciting. I also think it’s the best looking superhero book around – the art by Jason Fabook is also breathtakingly good, and there are pages and pages I just want to rip out and pin to my office wall.

Archie vs Predator
Alex di Campi, Fernando Ruiz
Dark Horse Comics

27991

Archie has undergone a revival recently, with the main comic relaunched, and their superhero imprint reimagined. Archie is also known for some crazy crossovers (Archie Meets the Punisher, Archie Meets Kiss), and the latest, Archie vs. Predator is… well, it’s insane. It’s also very, very funny.

The Fade Out
Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips
Image Comics

The-Fade-Out-1-cover

The latest series from Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips – sadly ending, I believe, with issue 12 in January 2016 – is, I think, my favourite of their ever-growing library. The Fade Out is a tale of 1950s Hollywood glamour and murder (you can probably start to guess why I love this series so much), and is a noir that is so characteristic of this writer/artist partnership.

And now to craft the ultimate comic reading tracking sheet..

The state of the writer, autumn 2014 edition

Phew. Not dead, just working. And maybe pining for the fjords just a little.

So, WorldCon (and Nine Worlds and Fantasy in the Court) happened about a million years ago and was Fun Times and included highlights such as seeing my book cover on a cake…

2014-08-15 18.55.57

2014-08-15 18.55.47

…then meeting David Tennant…

2014-08-17 19.18.13

…before escorting Gail Carriger to the Hugo Award ceremony…

©2014 John O'Halloran johno@tyedye.org(photograph ©2014 John O’Halloran, used with permission)

And with convention season a distant memory, it’s time to take stock of what I’m actually working on at the moment:

  • Writing the first book in The LA Trilogy, about a robot “detective” in 1960s Hollywood. I say “detective” because… well, you need to go read the prequel novelette, Brisk Money, which is up on Tor.com. The events of book 1 – which has a title, albeit one I shall keep to myself a little longer – follow from this, indirectly, and will be out in September 2015.
  • Copyediting The Machine Awakes, the second book in the Spider Wars sequence, following on from The Burning Dark. It’s not a direct sequel, but what happened in the first book certainly had repercussions. The Machine Awakes will be out in April 2015.
  • Writing The Shield with my co-conspirator Chuck Wendig. While everything is swathed in secrecy at the moment, I think we should be able to give you some more info and even show a little artwork very soon. And in the meantime, you can find us at our shared comics tumblr, Adam And Chuck Make Comics.
  • Editing the big secret novel. I’ve been dropping hints about this for about three months and it still hasn’t been announced, but hot dang, I’m looking forward to being able to talk about this book. It even has a secret cover. More on that when I’m allowed to spill the beans.
  • I’ve also got a comic short on the boil – this is something of a long-term project with a good artist friend of mine. Alas, nothing I can talk about yet. Again.

All of which is keeping me pretty busy, but in a rather exciting kind of way. I’m off to London tomorrow for two days of meetings, but I’ll be back later in the week to post more info on some of the above projects.

 

Say hello to THE SHIELD, coming from Dark Circle Comics in 2015!

TheShieldYou may have seen last week (also here, here, here, and hereArchie announcing that their superhero imprint, Red Circle, was rebranding as Dark Circle, with a slate of new titles and creatives teams ready to rejuvenate one of the oldest superhero universes.

Well, as USA Today has unveiled, I’m delighted to say that the secret comic project I’ve been working on with Chuck Wendig is part of Dark Circle – we are writing The Shield, with art by Wilfredo Torres, colours by Kelly Fitzpatrick.

And just take a look at that design – she’s amazing. She looks like a real woman.

She looks like she will kick your ass.

More to come over the next days and weeks, of course. The first issue of The Shield will drop from Dark Circle in early 2015. In the meantime, Chuck and I have a comic-related tumblr, and you can also follow Chuck on Twitter (which you should be doing already!) – he’s also given his thoughts on the project over at his blog. You can also find Archie Comics and Dark Circle on Twitter too.

So, it’s been a long time coming… but damn, I’m excited. Roll on 2015!

DEAD ROOTS zombie comic Kickstarter

Comic editor and writer Mike Garley is running a Kickstarter for Dead Roots, a deluxe print version of his acclaimed zombie digital anthology comic. The original four issues of Dead Roots – featuring stories from Paul Alexander (Red Dwarf, My Parents are Aliens, Emmerdale), Eric Canete (Iron Man, Luke Cage, Superboy), Andrew Ellard (Red Dwarf, The IT Crowd, Miranda), James Henry (Green Wing, Smack the Pony, Campus), James Moran (Doctor Who, Severance, Cockneys VS Zombies), Jason Arnopp (Doctor Who, Friday The 13th, Stormhouse) and Gordon Rennie (2000AD, Judge Dredd Megazine) – are a lot of fun, and the package Mike has put together for the Kickstarter looks pretty hot.

From the Kickstarter description:

5ded606c389383517d826b256a361a22_large

The Kickstarter needs £6,000 by October 31st, and it’s on track so far.

At £7,000, the first stretch goal is locked in – a brand new six-page zombie comic written by yours truly. It’ll be great to hit that target, and I can’t wait to get stuck into my story.

In the meantime, I was the focus of yesterday’s creator spotlight.

There are plenty more stretch goals after me – new stories by David Bishop, PM Buchan, Nich Angell and Dean Beattie – and some really cool pledge rewards.

Check it out!

New release: THE SENTINEL episode 1

VS Comics #4 is out now, and so begins my first comic, The Sentinel!

The Sentinel is a crime/urban fantasy set in Prohibition New York (you can probably sense a theme here), and is about a rookie cop who is killed and resurrected as an Egyptian god of vengeance. With art by Nathan Ashworth, letters by Mike Stock, and edited by Ned Hartley, The Sentinel is pulp adventure in 6-page bites, and alongside episode 1 there’s an interview with me where I talk more about my writing and the comic. All that, and three other stories, for £2. Grab it!

Couple of links have popped up recently:

This Saturday I’m on 89 Chapters, the book show on CityFM89 based in Karachi, Pakistan. Hosted by the wonderful Mavesh, we talked for an hour about books, writing and music, and I had a blast. The show airs 2pm local time, which is 10am Saturday in the UK – you can listen to it live on air, and afterwards the show will be available to stream from the 89 Chapters website. I’ll put the link up for that once I have it.

2012 leftovers, Angry Robot ebook sale, and the year ahead

Hello 2013! We’re back to an odd-numbered year, during which I will turn an odd-numbered age. I like odd numbers.

Anyway.

There are a few leftover bits and bobs from the end of 2012:

  • At WarpCoreSF, Empire State was named the Best Superhero Noir of 2012.
  • At The Founding Fields, Seven Wonders came in at number 9 of their best books of 2012.
  • Empire State came in at number 3 on Angel of Retribution’s list of best debuts of 2012, while Seven Wonders made it to number 3 on their Best of the Best list.
  • The Eloquent Page named The Age Atomic among their top ten books to look forward to in 2013
  • The Ranting Dragon have compiled a might list of 50 titles to look forward to in 2013, with The Age Atomic at number 19. Also featuring a shout-out to Hang Wire, although I’d argue whether one book is more important than the other!

Today is the last day of Angry Robot’s ebook sale, which features 25% off all their ebooks (including, of course, Empire State and Seven Wonders). You can find details of the sale here. All Angry Robot ebooks are DRM-free too!

Couple of award things – the BSFA Award nomination period is only open until January 11th (details here), and the Hugo Awards are now open for nominations until March 10th.

New Zealand’s Sir Julius Vogel Awards are also open from now until March 31st.- notably, anyone can nominate for these, regardless of membership of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand.

If anyone is so inclined, my list of eligible work is here.

And finally a quick update to my year ahead – actually, this is all likely to take me well into 2014. So my projects are: Shadow’s Call (to be renamed – now scheduled for publication in March 2014), Hang Wire (out in November 2013) Lucifer, Blackout 77, and an untitled urban fantasy project.

Um, yeah. That should keep me going! I should also have an update on my comic debut, The Sentinel, shortly. I’m looking forward to showing off some new art from that!

New interview with I Want To Be A Book and SFFWRTCHT transcript

Still editing – The Age Atomic is in the final batch of edits prior to be sent to the copyedit, and I need to hand that in next week. Once that’s done, it’s onto the next book… in fact, I’m going to be editing until June 2013, so from now on just consider my default state to be “editing” and I can cut straight to the chase.

So this week, two interviews, of sorts. A couple of weeks ago I was on the VS Comics panel at Thought Bubble, where VS Comics was launched and I talked a little about my ongoing Prohibition crime urban fantasy, The Sentinel, which is about a dead policeman, an Egyptian god of vengeance, and a secret cult of magicians who worship the New York subway system. You can see some photos from the panel here. Afterwards, I did an interview for I Want To Be A Book, which contains one or two snippets of info about The Sentinel and the two books coming out after The Age AtomicHang Wire (Angry Robot, November 2013) and Shadow’s Call (Tor, winter 2014). It’s also a good moment to mention that Shadow’s Call is going to be retitled, just as soon as I/my agent/my editor can figure out what to call it!

Also last week, I took part in #sffwrtcht, a 1-hour Twitter interview/discussion, hosted by Bryan Thomas Schmidt. A properly written-up interview will appear online soon, but in the meantime a transcript of the interview is up here. I had a blast doing it, and I look forward to making a return appearance.

Finally, The Age Atomic is starting to appear in various places for pre-order – there is a list of links here, and you can find the book on Goodreads here, if you are so inclined.

[Edit] Bonus blog content!

Someone just pointed me to a nice review of Seven Wonders that I’d missed – you can check it out over at The Oracular Beard.

 

THE AGE ATOMIC cover, VS Comics launch, and interview round-up

As it happens I’m the last person on the internet to post it, but here’s the gloriously green cover for my next novel, The Age Atomic, due out from Angry Robot in April 2013. Behold, and be-click for a bigger version!

Pre-order links, etc, will go up shortly. I’ve taken so long to post the cover because I’m still editing the book, which is due in next week. It’s been a busy couple of weeks, which also means I’ve missed this lot of interviews and podcasts (thanks to Angry Robot for collating):

This weekend sees the wonderful Thought Bubble comic con take place in Leeds – unfortunately I’m going to miss all of it except the launch of VS Comics on Sunday 18th November, 2.10 – 3.00 pm, Alea Cinema Room. According to the blurb:

James Moran & Mike Garley introduce their new monthly, creator-owned, all-genre initiative VS comics! They’ll be previewing some of the stories, along with contributors Ned Hartley, Patrick Walsh, Martin Simmonds, Nich Angell, & Adam Christopher.

The panel also features previews from stories by other VS creators, Q&As & details on how new & established creators can join the VS team, for us to feed off like sexy vampires*.

*Caution: Panel may** include sexy vampires!

** But probably won’t.

There are some bits and bobs of my comic debut, The Sentinel, which we’ll be showing, and I might be tempted to throw out a spoiler or two about the story. Ticket information is available here. Do come and say hello!

And finally, speaking of VS Comics, the website is now live. You can also find them on Facebook.

 

 

Announcement: THE SENTINEL, coming soon from VS Comics!

Phew! I can talk about something new!

Today I’m pleased to announce I am writing my first comic!

The Sentinel is an ongoing Prohibition crime/urban fantasy series debuting this December as part of VS Comics, a new monthly digital anthology created by Mike Garley and James Moran. The Sentinel has art by Joe Ward, colours and inks by Mike Bunt, letters by Mike Stock, and is edited by Ned Hartley.

Click on the banner to see the full-size art, which is pretty amazing. Here’s the official blurb:

New York, 1929. A city torn apart by Prohibition, corruption, crime. Rookie cop Harvey West is determined to make his mark, but his career is cut short when he is tragically killed, leaving his new wife alone in the city.

In the subway tunnels beneath Manhattan, something stirs; a dark power from an ancient, extinct civilization rekindled by a cult of insane magicians determined to plunge the world into a new Dark Age.

As the power awakens, a mysterious newcomer appears in the city: a man seeking vengeance, a man searching for answers about himself and his past. A man searching for the secret of The Sentinel.

The Sentinel will run as monthly six-page episodes, starting December 2012. VS Comics has a page on Facebook – head over, give it a like, and you’ll be able to see more updates and previews of my story and many others.

So… OMG! You might know that I quite like comics, so maybe it’s no surprise that I’d write one eventually. And I must say, writing The Sentinel has been the most fun ever. Thanks to Mike and James for giving me a break!

And that’s not all! VS Comics is being launched at the Thought Bubble comic con in Leeds, on Sunday, 18th November, 2.10pm in the Alea Cinema Room. The programme for VS Comics, including our panel and information on tickets, etc, is available here.

I hope to see you there!

And…OMG COMICS!