You may remember that I was required to take my self-published comics The Red, White & Blue and The Trident off-sale, because it turned out the character of Sexton Blake was copyrighted after all. Well I’d hoped to have had them both re-launched by early September… some hope! I’d like to make some waffling excuse, but the actual fact is I’ve been far too lazy. The 3-page Speedway story in issue 4 of the old RWB took me almost 2 months, the time I’d set aside to do the entire issue in. Oh and each issue (once it gets underway) is intended to have 19 comic pages in! Plus a 10-15,000 word text story, a 2-3,000 word serial instalment, an editor’s page and illustrations for all of those… and still be bimonthly!
WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
Oh well, the new date for the debut of issue 1 of both publications is January 2012. Even I ought to have finished them by then! From then on, hopefully, the RWB will be bi-monthly, and the Trident intermittent but ideally about 3 times a year.
BUT in addition to that, I also hope to be emigrating to Japan sometime next year. That means I’ll be (to begin with anyway. Perhaps things will change if certain circumstances go well) on a work visa which will restrict the type of things I can do for money. “Making comics to sell on the internet” won’t be one of those things, and so they won’t be on sale, just tantalisingly have their covers previewed on the website. Still at least for a while people won’t notice if the issues are not finished in time, so long as the covers are!
Anyway In some other bad news, I have been working on a manga-style comic for a competition organised by the Japanese embassy. The closing date for the competition is November 1st, and I’m fully booked this weekend. So it looks like that won’t be finished in time. However I do have tomorrow off work, lets see just how fast I can draw eh?
If I don’t finish the comic in time I’ll instead finish it more gradually and upload it here in a rudimentary form (the screen toning will be more Gordon Livingstone than Takeshi Obata). At least then somebody will read it!
If I had been sensible I could have had the manga nearly finished by now, but “sensible” is not in my line. I decided my room needed a re-arrange, so that I could put my various books in some sort of order, free up some shelf space and most importantly put the bed closer to the heater. I thought that this re-arrange would take “maybe 2-3 hours” and started at 5:50 on Saturday. I finished at 7:00 today. Still it feels good to have a collection that looks like a collection!
This picture was actually taken after the furniture moving was mostly finished. The only book re-arranging that had been done was the fitting of the dark brown shelf and putting the books on it (which before were where the bed now is).
No more than 2-3 hours work, this(!)
The arrangement of the rest of the books got, er, a little complicated…
Still it’s no worse than the comic section in Smith’s…
Finally, though, some order started to emerge. All the Boys’ Friend, Chums, Union Jack, Chatterbox and Captain are together!
With a row of odds n’ ends in the middle.
Aand here we are, everything together with it’s companions. I even found room to put my volumes of Punch that I rashly bought on Ebay years ago and haven’t been able to shift since up there. Weirdly enough jokes about political scandals of 120+ years ago just aren’t funny today, especially if they are in French (which language Punch apparently expected it’s readers to know). Even the quality of the illustrations doesn’t save them!
Oh yeah as well as moving my desk I also freed up some space on it.
What will I do with all this? well, draw comics on it hopefully.
Oh well, Just to show I haven’t been totally idle, the back page of the first issue of the new RWB is going to introduce the first “Felneyverse” characters to make it into print. Here’s the rough artwork, which still needs processing, colouring, lettering and putting together.
Erm, quite a bit of processing…
Here we have Norman Saxon, the Sexton Blake replacement (but set entirely in the early 20th century). Xin Zhou, Norman’s assistant who will also feature in a series of boarding school tales. Eugene Manx, the secret agent hunting down escaped Nazi criminals, and the Tigers of Punjab, fighting for justice during Indian partition!
All my character’s faces look the same so I cunningly part-concealed one in a space suit
And here is Steve Gunn, a soldier in World War 3 which happens from 2020 – 2023 (this is set in a very different alternate universe, which diverged from our own history in a major way in 1985, with the discovery of zombies!). Sarah Millman, the future cop who features in the first colour strip (her arm looks bizarre, oops). Robert “Rocket” Redferne who will take to the space-lanes from issue 5 onwards. Finally there’s Mary of Middleford, who has a 4-page intro story on the website and ought to “kick off” (ha ha haaaa) in issue 7 or 8.
Oh and also I’ve created a new logo for The Trident too. The new version will be A4 sized and will feature a complete story of 15-25,000 words and a short story of 5-10,000 words and/or a serial installment. Not quite decided yet! Oh it’ll also have illustrations, unlike the A5 sized old version.