San Diego, Me & Monsters

Necessary MonstersIt certainly has been busy on the news front lately, hasn’t it? Lot’s to get through in this update too, so let’s crack on. First the one bit of bad news – E-merl got hacked this week, which cost me a day of fretting and much annoyance as I patched and updated and repaired things behind the scenes. Fingers crossed that I’ve fixed all the problems and won’t be getting re-hacked anytime soon. Now on to more exciting matters – a whole chunk of San Diego panels got announced yesterday, including the two I’m going to be on. Here’s a quick cut-and-paste of the details of panel one:

Thursday 1:00-2:30: Comics Arts Conference Session #3: Digital Comics. Nick Langley and Ron Richards ask whether the move to digital comics will doom paper or help comics reach a new audience. Thomas Thrash and Tommy Cash discuss the balance that digital comics strike between being a necessity to continued publication of comics and an existential threat to comic book stores. Daniel Merlin Goodbrey considers the different directions potential explorers of digital comics – locative, sonic, generative, game, architectural, and AR comics – might pursue. Room 26AB.

Should be interesting, I hope. And coincidentally I just did an interview with Alex Fitch for his Panel Borders show on Resonance FM that covers some of the same territory as this talk. So for those unable to make it to San Diego, check out the podcastof the interview here. Now onward to panel two:

Thursday 5:00-6:00: First Comics: The First of the Great Independents Is Back with a Fury! Legendary ’80s independent publishing powerhouse First Comics is returning when the world needs it most, not unlike the promised return of King Arthur. And the assembled Round Table of extraordinary comics creators are here to tell you how they will once again be rocking your world with comics entertainment from the cutting edge. Panelists include Ken F. Levin, Joe Staton and Nick Cuti, Bill Willingham, Max Allan Collins, Brian Mullens, Alex Wald, Susannah Carson and Daniel Merlin Goodbrey. Moderated by Larry Young. Room 23ABC.

Well now. Why would little old me be on the First Comics panel? Here is a clue: Necessary Monsters. Yes, the Monsters website is back up and our long time in the wilderness without a publisher is almost at an end. Keep an eye on the Monsters site to see a special re-broadcast of chapter one, complete with writer’s commentary and the original script for each page. New pages will be going up daily through July and all the details of the new print edition will appear as soon as we’re allowed to release them.

And that’s your lot for now. If you’re in San Diego and want to say Hi, the best place to look for me will be at booth #2001, where First Comics have borrowed some space to setup shop from AiT. I’ll also be keeping an eye on e-mail, Facebook and Twitter throughout my stay, so do give me a shout if you’re at the show.

July 8, 2011 | 3 Comments

Jack’s Abstraction

Jack's AbstractionJack’s Abstraction is my first stab at making a hypercomic app for Android smartphones and pads. I built it in Flash via the wonders of Adobe Air and hopefully it’ll be the first of many more such experiments to come. Go to the Android Market for more details of the app, where you can also grab your copy gratis, free and for nothing. At some point there may be an iPhone/iPad version in the offing too, but first I’ll need to figure my way around Apple’s slightly less welcoming approach to app publishing.

For those keeping score, Jack’s Abstraction would be the first of the dark plots I hinted at last week. The next few revolve around what I’ll be up to at San Diego Comic Con in a month’s time.  Stay tuned for more news on that in the weeks to come.

June 26, 2011 | 1 Comment

Infamy, Infamy

inFamous 2Hi everybody! It’s been simply forever since I wrote a news post here, hasn’t it? So here’s one big post to bring you up to speed on stuff I’ve been up to since last November. In reverse chronological order and starting right now, the comic project I’ve been working on for Sony to promote their new videogame, inFamous 2 has just gone live. I was brought onboard by Margaret and John Doe to design the Flash interface for a series of comics written by the great Pat Mills and illustrated by a whole host of talented illustrators. Go take a look and be sure to check out the credits for the full list of everyone involved.

Next up is Comics Launchpad which I was at yesterday, delivering a talk on the new frontiers of digital comics. The talk went very well and the event as whole was a real eye-opener. Met a lot of new and interesting comics folk who I hope I’ll be seeing again somewhere soon around the scene. I also got lots of requests from people for a copy of the presentation that accompanied my talk – any interested parties I haven’t got back to yet should drop me a tweet and I’ll send on a copy of the pdf.

Turning the clock a little further back to April we have the release of Paper Science 4, for which I created a rather dark little tale entitled When She Sleeps. Copies should still be available for purchase via We Are Words + Pictures so do drop by for a copy if you haven’t picked one up already.

And lastly way, way back in December last year I was invited by the British Council to give a talk and presentation of my work to a visiting delegation of comics folk from the Strip Turnhout comics festival in Belgium. This was a great opportunity for me to get a window into the Belgian comics scene and should hopefully lead to another exciting project I can’t tell you about yet. But in the meantime if anyone’s interested, a full report of the delegation’s visit has been published here.

In between the above I have been busy learning ActionScript 3 and hatching various dark plots which will hopefully be coming to fruition over the course of the summer. Expect to hear a lot more on such matters soon.

June 19, 2011 | 1 Comment

Comics Consulting

Missing PiecesBeen doing some tidying up around E-merl today, including finally getting the new Consulting page up and running. It’s an area of my work I’ve wanted to draw a bit more attention to for a while now, so it’s good to finally have it out there. Anyone looking to engage my services as a Comics-Brain-For-Hire should hopefully now have a little more information to go on as to the kind of gigs I’ve tackled in the past.

Elsewhere on the site, I’ve also updated the Print Comics page so that you can all get your hands on my new mini-comic, Missing Pieces. The comic collects five of my harder to find short stories, plus a brand new tale entitled The Scorpion & The Bad Parable. Check out the full details here, then proceed directly to the relevant “Add To Cart” button to engage in acts of hearty consumption.

November 29, 2010 | No Comments

Bubbles, Pieces and Cells

So hey, it’s Though Bubble today! Yay! We here at E-merl towers heartily approve of Thought Bubble and will be heading off to Leeds to share a table with the lovely Paul Fryer. There’ll be copies of the new Necessary Monsters trade to be had, plus a brand new mini comic called Missing Pieces that’ll be making its debut at the show. As if that wasn’t enough excitement, We Are Words + Pictures will be unveiling Paper Science 3, which has a new full-colour strip by me hidden somewhere within its papery depths. More Yay!

Elsewhere and elsewhen (um… in Hatfield on Thursday) I’m also contributing a new hypercomic installation piece to the Cells Symposium being held at the University of Hertfordshire. My piece is called Cells: War On Weird and you can view the web version right here at E-merl by clicking on either of the links in this sentence. Even more Yay!

November 20, 2010 | No Comments

The Archivist

The ArchivistThe Archivist is now live on the web, with new updates to come for the Pop section throughout August and September. This is probably the most ambitious hypercomic project I’ve attempted since Sixgun back in 2001, so I’m pretty excited to finally see it out there. And of course this time the web is only the beginning – tonight The Archivist’s physical installation opens in London at the Pumphouse Gallery as part of Hypercomics: The Shape Of Comics To Come. The show runs until September 26th and I’ll be there in person for the opening tonight and as part of the Comica Comiket on Sunday 22nd August. See you all in Battersea!.

August 11, 2010 | 1 Comment

Hypercomics at the Pumphouse

I’m currently hard at work on a new comic called The Archivist, which is my contribution to the Hypercomics exhibition taking place at The Pumphouse Gallery in Battersea Park. The show’s being curated by Paul Gravett and will feature hypercomic installations by myself, Adam Dant, Warren Pleece and Dave McKean. The show will be running from August 11th to Septhember 26th and you can get the full low down here and here.

This weekend I’ll be taking a brief break from my frantic scribbling to head into London and sell some comics. The London Film & Comic Con is taking place on the 17th and 18th July at Earl’s Court and you’ll be able to find me there, sharing a table with Sean Azzopardi. We’ll have a wide selection of fine comic products with us that we will be more than happy to offer to you in exchange for small (but perfectly formed) sums of cash money.

(Oh, and for those unable to attend, the new 100 Planets mini comic is also now available right here at E-merl via the wonders of PayPal. Consume!)

July 16, 2010 | 2 Comments

Off to MCM

It’s sunny outside, the birds are singing in the trees and the London MCM Expo is almost upon us. This weekend I’ll be part of the Comics Village at MCM, sharing a table with my old pal and collaborator Sean Azzopardi. I’m going to have a brand new 100 Planets mini-comic for sale that features a whole bunch of strips that haven’t yet made it onto the web, plus the latest Rule Of Death mini for those that didn’t make it along to Uni Con. Surely there can’t be a better use of your bank holiday weekend than popping along to say hello? (Hint: there isn’t – see you there!)

May 26, 2010 | No Comments

Uni Comics & Uni Con

This week my employers, The University Of Hertfordshire are dabbling their feet into the world of comics with Hertfordshire’s first full fledged comics festival, Uni Comics. Starting today and running until Sunday, there’s a veritable gaggle of events taking place and if you’re nearby (hint: if you live in London you’re more nearby than you think) I’d say it’s well worth popping along to a few of them.

As our own little contribution towards event, myself and Sean Azzopardi have organised Uni Con, the festival’s very own comics convention. Taking place this Saturday at the university’s de Havilland campus in Hatfield, the con is running from 10am to 5pm and will cost you the grand sum of zero English pounds to enter. The great and the good of the British comics scene will be on hand to sell their wares and shoot the breeze, plus the esteemed Mr. Noble has been drafted to organise a series of panel discussions that are sure to both enlighten and entertain. And what’s more, there’ll even be a brand new issue of The Rule Of Death on sale as a further incentive to attend – what further reason could you possibly need? See you all on Saturday!

April 22, 2010 | No Comments

Blast Off for E-merl 7.0

100 Planets

So I think it’s time to make it official – Welcome ladies and gentlemen to E-merl 7.0! I know right now it may look a bit similar to the ol’ 6.0 design, but under the hood it’s an entirely different beast. Just one regular weekly webcomic series? Hell no! E-merl 7.0 is running three! Tune in on Mondays for the brand new 100 Planets, check us out on Wednesdays for the metafictional thrills of The Nile Journals and then pop back again every Friday for the latest episode of The Rule Of Death.

This new profundity of comics coolness was made possible by the excellent Webcomic suite for WordPress, which came via a recommendation from Jesus & Mo. It really leaves ComicPress in the dust in terms of functionality and ease of use – well worth a look if you’ve a webcomic site of your own to manage. I’m still banging around a bit behind the scenes so expect to see a few more changes and upgrades come online across the next few weeks. I might even give the old colour scheme a facelift if I can find a new one that takes my fancy – stay tuned!

April 12, 2010 | 2 Comments