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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Another One Down

On the face of it, 2015 is one of the least productive years I've had in a while in terms of just getting stuff out there. About the only thing of any substance that you might have seen is Abigail and the Snowman, which came out at the beginning of the year; there should be a collected edition of that in 2016, I understand (for those of you who have asked). The Mandrake the Magician series I wrote for Dynamite in 2014 came out this year as well, lest I forget (with art by the fabulous Jeremy Treece and Felipe Cunha).

I did quite a few things that aren't on the shelves yet: The Iron Duchess, the Fred the Clown long-form story currently being serialised at ZCO.MX (completely drawn now but still being coloured); a script for a four-part series for Boom!, The Baker Street Peculiars, which Andy Hirsch is currently in the middle of drawing (beautifully!); a script for a work-for-hire thing, a four-part series that I'm supposed to be drawing that at first did have a publisher, then didn't, now is supposed to be getting a new one, but I've not heard anything more about that yet. And I've written and (mostly) pencilled a Doctor Who story for Doctor Who Magazine, which I'll be inking in January and which should be out shortly thereafter. None of these saw print this year (although the Fred stuff is online and going up as fast as I can colour it).

Around the edges of that lot were a number of smaller things: a strip in Moose Kid Comics, a piece in the Peanuts tribute book, a Garbage Pail Kids story, a piece for Cartozia Tales, some commissions. I suppose it all adds up, but it feels as if I haven't done as much as I should... which is weird. I mean, it wasn't as if I was taking days off or anything.

So I'm thinking about ways to be more productive in 2016, to just have more stuff coming out and feel better about myself. I'm toying with the idea of four daily online panels, just something dashed off in an hour at the start of each day before I start work on whatever pays the bills that month. If I want to start this on January 1st (and I kind of do) I'd better decide what that's going to be pretty damn fast. Or maybe it should just be a rotating thing with whatever I feel like doing that day... but some boundaries would definitely make things easier.

Proper work coming out in 2016 that I know about so far: both of the aforementioned four-part series, the Doctor Who story, and ideally the Fred the Clown story. I'm thinking that might be a self-published effort, officially Fred the Clown #6, with a possible crowdfunding campaign to get it done; but I need to finish it first, really. I want it to be ready to send to the printer before I start messing with any Kickstarter malarkey. And I could change my mind about crowdfunding entirely before then, because it does sound like a hell of a lot of work...

There's talk of doing new stories of an old property of mine. It's something I'm excited about, though right now it's just talk, and some notes on the back of a cigarette packet (as it were). No dotted lines signed just yet. But the idea I have for it is a pretty sound one, I think. I hope that comes together.

In terms of just trying to be a better writer: I attended a workshop this year on writing for radio, run by Paul Bassett Davies, which was really good. I don't know how serious I am about writing for radio, as I already write quite a bit and it's another thing to fit in, but I'm glad I did it. I feel like I learned a few things... not least that I'm not ready to write a sitcom, which is something I've long had a hankering to do (whether as a comic or an actual radio or TV sitcom). I'm not there yet. Good finding that out, though, and something I'm working on.

So... yeah. Bit of a weird one, 2015... but I'm feeling positive about next year and looking forward to it. Hope you all have a good one yourselves.


  1. All these sound very promising! Thanks for everything you put out on 2015 and I am looking forward to an even more productive year. I am enjoying The Iron Duchess whenever I get to it but I would really appreciate it on a more "hard" form. I am looking forward to support your work through crowdfunding :)

    And the four daily online panels sounds great! I'll be happy to read it as long as you can keep it going. Best wishes for the new year!

    1. Thanks very much – another few hundred like you and we'll be good to go!

  2. I've been watching the recent Criterion edition of an old William S. Burroughs documentary and I couldn't help thinking that he could easily have been one of your characters. (Now THERE'S your sitcom!)

    1. Yawp! Too much responsibility! I suspect Burroughs' fans would be very quick to tell you if you get it wrong...


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About Me

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London, United Kingdom
Eisner and Harvey Award-winning cartoonist responsible for The Muppet Show Comic Book, Thor the Mighty Avenger, Snarked! and Fred the Clown. Would like to save the world through comics.