Tuesday, 16 January 2018

LIFE SUPPORT!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/maximized/life-support-a-charity-scifi-comic?ref=nav_search&result=project&term=life%20support%20comic

Life Support is a wonderful idea to raise funds for Children's Hospices Across Scotland - the charity CHAS. It's the brainchild of Colin Maxwell, a Fife based comic creator who before Christmas made a request for comic creators to donate Sci-Fi themed strips and pin-ups to form a comic to be launched at Edinburgh's Capital Sci-Fi event in early February, which is also an important fundraiser for CHAS.

Many creators answered the call and I wanted to contribute but not having any existing 'Sci-Fi' themed material to hand quickly wrote a hopefully fun one-page comic strip which I drew over the festive period, completing in the New Year to get 2018 off to a creative start!

I won't reveal my finished strip but show instead a panel's progress from 'BOOM from the ROOM!', my wee homage to the Tin Tin & Oor Wullie strips of my youth!

Pencils

Inks & pencils (Uncleaned)

Cleaned Inks

Finished Lettered Version (Scots edition!)

I submitted the above finished black & white version but wondered how it would look in colour so turned to Matt Soffe, who has done an amazing job on several of my Moments of Adventure strips (and forthcoming ZULU!), who once again did a splendid job!

Matt's fantastic colours!
Complete coloured & lettered version

You can support the project and guarantee yourself a copy of the finished comic by backing the current Kickstarter campaign to cover printing costs here or at its launch in Edinburgh on 3rd & 4th February.You'll have to wait a little longer to see the full coloured version of my strip which may well be included in one of my future projects 😉

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Celebrating Bowie!


Welcome to 2018 which has already delivered a couple of positives and a memorable highlight in yesterday evening's wonderful celebration of David Bowie's music. Coming only a few days after the respective anniversaries of Bowie's birthday and loss, this was both a timely reminder of his musically legacy and a damn great night out in the January chill air!


The Manchester gig was the third date of a 2018 world tour Celebrating Bowie's music produced by guitarist and performer Angelo Bundini and featuring former Bowie band stalwarts including Adrian Belew, Gerry Leonard, Carmine Rojos and the legendary Mike Garson! In addition to Adrian Belew, lead vocals were provided by 3 - new to me - names, Joe Sumner (of Flight Plan band & son of Sting!), Paul Dempsey (of Australian band Something for Kate) and Angelo Moore (of Fishbone band).


The vocalists took turns singing the classic songs as the incredible band kept the powerful rhythms going, changing key and moods to fit the tracks. Surprisingly this musical merry-go-round worked incredibly well with each amazing track surpassed by the next, as musicians and singers swapped places, waited in the side wings and ably supporting each other.

From opening track, The Next Day's The Stars (Are Out Tonight) to of course the final strains of Heroes, the energy never relented and Karen and I, like so many others in the capacity audience danced the night away. The almost odd thing perhaps was that our enjoyment of the music and the moment was matched by the joy shared amongst the band as they smiled, encouraged and congratulated each other, it was a very special experience.

There were many highlights but the fairly early in the set performances of Joe Sumner singing Life On Mars, Angelo Moore's Ziggy Stardust and a very, very emotional Rock 'n' Roll Suicide by Paul Dempsey set the scene for a glorious evening. The set was interspersed with short chats and anecdote's of Bowie's long time cherished pianist Mike Garson which added to the credibility of the evening. Everything that followed was a highlight from perhaps lesser known tracks such as Stay, D.J, Little Wonder to sing a-along anthems as Ashes To Ashes,  Rebel Rebel, Let's Dance and a mesmerising Space Oddity.

 


A stand out performance of Hunky Dory's Quicksand by Angelo Moore included a crowd walk thru and stage dive which only cemented the occasion as memorable and respectful tribute to the great man himself. You could feel the emotion of the crowd as with the band we celebrated the music of a legend still dancing to Bowie's music even as the house lights came on. This was no tribute act but a genuine celebration of a legend's music by musicians and fans who were there the first time, embracing the occasion of shared memories and enjoyment.
 


Photos by Karen with the gig's face book page having even more to offer including further personal comments and if you're still not convinced check out the tour's official trailers here;   


And the previous evening's London gig highlights here!


Friday, 29 December 2017

2017 Comic Highlights

As we approach the end of the year I sometimes cast an eye backwards at what I've particularly enjoyed in the world of comics away from the convention circuit and actually, although there's been lots of great stuff out there, I've generally failed to keep up with it or at least make a dent in my reading pile, such is the life when you're being a busy bee yourself.

Here though are a couple of enjoyable graphic novels which stood out for me this year.

The Marquis of Anon - Isle of Brac & The Black Virgin


Although a long time BD fan I'd not come across this series until the always reliable Zainab Akhtar mentioned it on her blog a couple of years ago ahead of its English language release through those fine folks at Cinebooks. Well I picked up the first couple at last year's Thought Bubble Festival and completed the 5 issue set (so far) at this year's event. I've only read the first two so far but they don't disappoint with their mystery, charm and real sense of peril to make for a thrilling read!


Delilah Dirk and The Turkish Lieutenant

I'd actually been looking for this for years without realising it had finally come out! There had been a really enjoyable Delilah Dirk one shot comic years ago by the talented Tony Cliff and his blog had teased the forthcoming release of a longer form graphic novel but last time i checked it had only come out in France. So I had a pleasant surprise when browsing the English language shelf at Fantask during our Copenhagen trip earlier this year to find not one but two graphic novel collections - yay!


The other is called Delilah Dirk and the King's Shilling which I've not yet read but the first one - The Turkish Lieutenant is an enjoyable historical fiction romp with a little steampunk, humour and good ol' honest adventure making for a great read. Annoyingly on catching up with Tony Cliff's blog I discovered that he had made a very rare UK appearance the year before at Thought Bubble in a hall next to Accent UK but I totalled missed him! Ah well maybe next time!

Lady Mechanika 

I'd been aware of the Lady Mechanika comic series from writer & artist Joe Benitez for a little while but it was only this year that I picked up the first couple of collected volumes, recently finishing the first. This really follows our own recent 'discovery' of steampunk which is having quite an influence on our approach to not only comic events but comic making - more to come!


I was more than happy to immerse myself in the world of Lady Mechanika and enjoyable it was with good portions of mystery, action and suspense. The story in this first volume was perhaps more of a 'set-up' of her world and the players in it and for my tastes was a little unsubtle in places, lacking a little of the charm that we have experienced ourselves in the steampunk community and the art, while accomplished was a little too 'cheesecake' and stylish for me, but then I am British and blush easily!

There were a couple of others I enjoyed but the above are the ones that probably made the most impression this year and may influence or inspire my own comics storytelling!

Thursday, 7 December 2017

"An Enjoyable Collection of Tales!"



Aha, I think I've a lot of catching up to do still in what has been a busy but enjoyable comics year! In between my travels I was delighted that Starburst Magazine's Kieron Moore again found time to post an online review of my Moments of Adventure comic, this time the recently released second collection. You can read Kieron's always thankfully honest and constructive reviews here and see how it compares with his earlier review of the first collection.





Again I'm happy with this review as I know I've developed from when the strips were first produced but pleased that the stories still hold up and are enjoyable to read and what more can any creator ask for really.

Thanks for taking the time Kieron and hope to catch up with you at next year's conventions, hopefully with some new material!

 


Monday, 13 November 2017

Robert Louis Stevenson Day!


Today, 13 November is Robert Louis Stevenson's birthday and has in recent years been marked by Robert Louis Stevenson Day with events in and around his Edinburgh birthplace.

Since I've currently no plans to visit Edinburgh before next year's highly anticipated Edinburgh Comic-Con, I'll mark the occasion with this short comic strip I did based on RLS's interrupted conceivement of one of his most famous creations Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde!


The strip is included in my first (mainly) historical fiction comic, Moments of Adventure: Collection One, which also features a ghost hunter on Edinburgh's streets! Leave a comment below if interested in ordering a copy :) 



Saturday, 4 November 2017

New Interview with Gary Crutchley!


Time has flown here at Accent UK Towers with much happenning these last few weeks so I'll try catching up starting with this recent and well deserved spotlight interview with WesterNoir's artist and co-writer, Gary Crutchley!

Once again its the hard working 'G-Man' of Comics Anonymous who does the honours and its revealing, touching on Gary's artistic process and new projects - read it in the link here!

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Returning to The Asylum!


No we're not going mad! Well I don't think so but busy prepping for tomorrow's warmly anticipated return to Lincoln for Asylum IX, the world's largest steampunk festival - yay!

It was only a year ago that we made our debut but the festival made quite an impression on us see last year's report and pictures here. This team the full Accent UK creative crew will be there with Gary Crutchley joining Dave and I. We're delighted to be invited back as guests and this time are participating in the programme with two separate panels:

Comics  for Big Kids! - A discussion on why adults do (or don't) read comics!  
Sunday 11-12 at the Cathedral Centre

The Murky Truth of Comics! - Revealing the secrets behind independent comics publishing curtain (with Sloth publishing's Nick Rossert)
Monday 2-3 pm at the university's Constance Stewart Hall

Accent UK are also exhibiting our wares in 'pop-up' shops across three market venues, Lincoln Castle on the Saturday, Cathedral Centre's Steampunk Embassy on the Sunday and at the university's Steampunk Campus Market on the Monday, so it's all go!

We may even have a couple of new releases available, watch this space!