Saturday, November 25, 2006

Got a 'Dexter's Laboratory' strip in the latest issue of CNBP. Y'know you complete a script and send it off, but you're never quite sure if you've quite pulled it off until you read the thing in newsprint in front of you. Dexter has to hunt down one of his cleaner robots gone rogue (as opposed to rouge, which I found myself originally typing - maybe that would have been a better idea). The robot's called Al and draws his inspiration from Al Capone, or at least the version of that infamous historical figure that bounced around my mind at the time.

I have this sequence revolving around Dexter blowing his whistle. Not sure if it totally comes off, but the strip reads better second time round.

Anyhoo Happy Thanksgiving to all our good friends across the pond. And thank you in particular for Battlestar Galactica. I still maintain the person who came up with the idea of a Cylon attack every 33 minutes (going a wee way back there) should be given a medal.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Well I finished 'The Last Posse' and dutifully sent it off to Joe Gentile at Moonstone and after all this time devoted to getting it done I'm feeling kinda strange now that I've come at last to that point when it's done. Mind you while initial feedback from the publisher is good I have been promised comments, so it looks like the story'll be back on my lap pretty soon.

Anyhoo in the interest of posterity, here're the first two paragraphs of the story.

HE had been riding hard for three days and nights. Pounding through the shit hole desert, the dust filling the cracks in his creased leather skin. His mount kept a steady gallop. Mustang was the horse’s name. He’d been meaning to think up a better one, but never quite getting round to it. The sound Mustang’s hooves made upon the ground measured time like the beating of a heart. It instigated another chapter of the rider’s life in the shit and dirt and dust of the Wild West.

Time may be chronological, but life is a map of events in search of whatever connection it may find. Like the time he’d risen for a late breakfast of horsemeat and whisky, then made his way to Old Man Jessop’s for a dry shave. He sat slumped in the barber’s chair as Jessop caressed his neck and chin with sure fine strokes. Steady, Jessop was sure steady. In another life the old man would have been an artist or a gunslinger.

The 'he' in question above is Wyatt Earp. Around 16000 words later and we're done. More later.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Hullo. Was interviewed recently for 2000 AD. Its starting (and ending) point were letters I'd written to the comic as a young(ish) fan. One such letter appeared in Prog 494 and it went:

Tharg, It won't be long now until 2000AD reaches its mega 500th issue - that's 500reasons why the thrill-sucker is as extinct as the Dodo...

And Lord how it goes on. Please don't ask me to tell you how old I was when I wrote it. Did receive a fiver for getting it published, though. (Which is more than I get for most stories these days.) Nowadays you get a letter in 2000 AD and they send you a Strontium Dog tea towel.

Anyhoo back to the interview. Here's one of the answers, to the question 'How did you get that first commission, and how did it feel to work for Tharg for the first time?'

I met David Bishop, editor at the time of Judge Dredd Megazine, at a Glasgow Comics Convention and our discussion ended with me sending in a proposal, which became my first commission, 'Calhab Justice'. One of the Bishop's comments on the initial proposal was that the warring Clans structure felt very 2000 AD. After that I was commissioned pretty regularly for the Meg for a couple of years. It was a great feeling, truly a light headed affair. Although looking back I wish I never took it too much for granted and worked more on my writing, especially from the structure side. But it was a great bohemian life, in my twenties winding my way in coffee shops, plotting Ed MacBrayne and Judge Dredd and generally spouting all kinds of nonsense.

As it happens I only did the one strip for 2000 AD. A Future Shock - some of my family still talk about it.