Friday, April 08, 2011

I love the sun.

Every now and then I think 'should I be doing something more honest and worthwhile with my life?' This usually happens after I meet someone who reminds me of the kind of stuff I used to do.

For example, last year I met an old lecturer from my University at a party in The House of Lords (no less). We got chatting about all sorts of stuff, not related to work, and guzzled the bubbly. Then he asked what kind of engineering I had finally decided to specialise in. And as I puzzled over how to break it to him, I wondered - is writing and drawing really any kind of job for a thirty three year-old man? Should I instead be elbow deep in grease, solder and resistors?

And then the sun comes out and I remember that I can do this job in the park.

This week I've been writing stuff for The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles magazine, which contains short prose stories and two-page strips featuring the billion-selling heroes. Two pages isn't a lot of space to develop a story and, since it has to be translated, I have to keep the scripts free of gags and wordplay that might only work in English. It also has to be snappy and interesting enough to captivate the younger readership. The restrictions are usually what makes a gig interesting and this one has been loads of fun.

Anyway here is one of the comics, drawn by the fabulous Abby Ryder:

I'm a bit hop-a-long this week as I injured myself running the Newham 10k last week. It hasn't slowed down my work at all (which is just as well as I have deadlines up the wazoo) but I'm feeling a bit blubberous after two weeks of little activity.

Is that how you spell wazoo?

Next item: Tripwire magazine goes all-digital with its next issue, which is out now and free to download at the official site. It has loads of great stuff in it, including a five-page spotlight article on the British comic 2000AD which Karl Stock and myself collaborated on.

Speaking of 2000AD - FunFact: I once appeared on a cover alongside Judge Dredd. Or at least a character based on me did. Or at least based on what I look like. Or at least what I looked like when I spent an evening drinking with artist PJ Holden in a dodgy downstairs bar in New York a couple of years ago.

PJ sent me the art for the first episode of the story as he was drawing it and I couldn't help but notice that he added quite a beer belly to my shirtless doppelgänger before it saw print.

I took up running shortly afterwards.
PJ talks about the process of creating the cover at the Uncovered Blog.

(And yes... Judge Dredd did shoot 'me' in the head in the final episode.)

And finally - if anyone is attending this weekend's KAPOW! Comicon, please swing past table 88 (two along from the Burlesque girls and Bleeding Cool and not too far from the Tardis apparently) where myself and my partner in crime Dan Lester will be selling our wares.

I'll have the last few hardback copies of Tongue of the Dead, BASTARDS 1 and 2 and maybe some original artwork.

I haven't done this for a couple of years so be gentle with me.
And don't mention the weight gain or the limp.

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