SF Signal

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I’ve got a post up at SF Signal, about the experience of switching (temporarily! – I do still have a new novel coming out this October, after all!) from prose to comics writing: What Happens When A Novelist Tries To Write A Comic?. Do go check it out if you’re interested.

Enough about what I think about things, though. It occurred to me I’ve got a chance here to do something I’ve not done in a looong time, so for nostalgic reasons as much as anything, here comes … A Review Round-Up!

What some folks have made of Rogue Trooper #1:

‘Rogue Trooper is off to a killer start and I can’t wait for more.’ IGN

‘This comic nails the atmosphere of the world and the voice of the title character.’ Adventures in Poor Taste

‘Checks all the first issue boxes while still giving you a great story.’ Comic Book Therapy

‘We have a winner here.’ Comic Bastards

‘This is an impressive opening issue for the series.’ Unleash the Fanboy

‘Well worth adding to your pull list. Final score: 8 out of 10.’ Rhymes With Geek

‘A great piece of apocalyptic pulp.’ Flickering Myth

All of which is very nice. If you haven’t already, there’s still time to pick up the first issue at your local comic shop ( if you have one), or at comixology if you don’t (where I’ve just noticed, in the course of finding that link, that it appears to be piling up 5 star reviews, which is also very nice).

Thanks to anyone and everyone who’s said nice things about this first issue, wherever they’ve said them.

Now I must go and do some preparation for my first trip to a convention in a while: Me and the Rogue Trooper artist, Alberto Ponticelli, will be at Newcastle Film and Comic Con tomorrow, Saturday 8th March, where I believe we may both be doing such things as signing stuff and talking about stuff. If by any chance you’re there, do say hello. Neither me nor Alberto will bite. Probably.

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I’ve brought the curtain down on my Words & Pictures column over at SF Signal, where I’ve been talking about comics I like – on a slightly irregular schedule – for close to two years now.  (Two years!  That thing they say about time flying isn’t just a thing they say).

So anyway, that particular adventure is done for now.  Might resurrect it one day, but for now it’s in semi-permanent retirement.  The full collection of my comics-related ramblings over those two years is right here, including a final column on the subject of Conan. And if anyone isn’t already keeping track of the whole SF Signal site, I’d highly recommend doing so.  Not just because they were kind enough to give me a platform, but because there’s something there for pretty much anyone who likes sf, fantasy, horror.

And as that comics-related thing draws to a close, I’m gearing up for the next: writing a Rogue Trooper comic for IDW.  The series launches early next year, but there’s already a lengthy and detailed interview with me up at the excellent Forbidden Planet International blog.  Go there if you’re curious about what I’m doing, how and why.  It may not have all the answers, but it’s got quite a few (plus some truly gorgeous covers by some very fine artists, which are going to be adorning my first issue).

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A round-up of comics-related stuff that’s on my ‘should mention on blog’ list.

First up, for those of you with the kit/inclination to read comics digitally, there’s a stupendously good sale on (for another couple of days) at Comixology, where a whole heap of stuff from the publisher Top Shelf is at up to 60% off.  Top Shelf is a high quality publisher of diverse, smart comics, with not a superhero in sight (except as parody, I suspect).

Me, I snagged myself digital copies of Infinite Kung Fu and The Underwater Welder.  You, if you were so inclined and have not yet sampled their delights, could try From Hell, Far Arden, Essex County, SuperSpy (all better than good imho) or any of the other great books too numerous to mention lurking in the sale listing.

Second up, quite a while back now, top comics blog The Beat ran a 24hrs of webcomics thing, churning out links to heaps of comics that are just a click of a mouse away from your eyeballs.  There’s a whole load of great stuff in there, worth having a browse through when you’ve got a few minutes (hours?) to kill.

Third up, I am still doing some comics talk over at SF Signal, in my Words and Pictures column there.  Since last mentioning it here, I think I’ve talked about:

Prophet, the most wonderfullest, crazy, 70s-ish sf comic you ever saw, anywhere.  Probably.

Daredevil, in three different incarnations; my favourite superhero, I confess, and one who’s been blessed with some very good writers and artists over the years.

Revival and The New Deadwardians, two recent ‘zombie’ comics that do interesting and entertaining things with a rather over-exploited sub-genre, and manage to come up with something fresh.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, the original manga not the movie, which is a fascinating, multi-layered sf epic loaded with ambition and imagination (and cool aircraft dog-fighting with one another).

And fourth and last up, I’ll just mention again, for anyone who missed it last time around, that Forbidden Planet International were kind enough to inflict their Desert Island Comics feature upon me, and I duly came up with a selection of eight comics (plus one luxury) that I’d take with me to a desert island.

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When talking about my SF Signal column yesterday, there was something I meant to say.  And didn’t, because I’m a forgetful fool.

It was this: congratulations to the SF Signal crew for their recent triumph in the Hugo Awards.  They won the coveted Hugo rocketship for Best Fanzine.  That’s quite a big deal, and having had just the tiniest glimpse of the effort that goes into making SF Signal run I think it’s deserved.

My column there post-dates the period for which SF Signal won its award, so it’s absolutely nothing to do with me.  I just thought I’d take this chance to encourage anyone who’s not a follower of SF Signal to go check it out.  It’s a lively, diverse and voluminous stream of conent, most of it produced by fans for fans, and judging by its new status as ‘Hugo Award Winner’ it’s doing something right.  The daily SF Tidbits posts alone are well worth the price of admission (which is zero, of course, making the whole thing even better value).

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