Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I've been doing stand-up comedy for the last couple of years, and one of the first things I learned was something that you probably already know - the rule of three. Basically, if you have something to say, it makes sense to deliver it in three bits.

Okay - bit one - I wrote a book.

Last year Amazon approached me about coming up with something for their new Kindle Worlds venture. They were looking for an e-book set in the recently relaunched Valiant comics' universe. I was already reading, and loving, Bloodshot and X-O Manowar and I'd been mumbling something about writing a novel for ages and so I jumped at the chance. Fast-forward a few months and Bloodshot: Portal 666 has just gone on sale.

You can read a sample chapter or buy it here for your Kindle or Kindle-enabled device. (Actually at the moment you can only buy it if you're in the US, but Amazon are working on rolling the Kindle Worlds platform out to all other lands soon.)

I had an incredible time writing Portal 666 and I'm really proud of the final work. Bloodshot's a fascinating character and it was enormous fun writing someone whose defining characteristic is that he's thoroughly relentless. I wrote a piece about the whole process for BleedingCool.com and I'll talk some more about it here as soon as I get the chance.

Bit two: Tomorrow is your last chance to pick up this month's Judge Dredd Megazine (before next month's issue goes on sale). It's packed full of great stuff, including a cracking Dredd tale by Rob Williams and Scalped's RM Guera, the penultimate episode of Rob and D'Israeli's Ordinary and Mike Carroll and Steve Yeowell's Demarco P. I. It also features Magical Matt Badham's interrogation of yours truly. If that sounds like your cup of tea then it's Megazine #344 you're after and the cover looks something like this:

Unless you're a narcissist it's a rare thing to read an interview with yourself that doesn't make you wince every couple of sentences, but Matt's really managed it. (Either that or I'm a narcissist.) Someone remarked last week that the interview made me sound unexpectedly grown-up - which probably means I owe Matt a pint. And now to undo all that hard work I should admit that my favourite bit is the paragraph where I talk about my dislike of violent resolutions in stories, which hangs above a blow-up of a cyborg monkey punching a robot pirate in the face. (For the record, that wasn't a resolution - it was a scene from the middle of a chapter.)

Bit three: My blog posts receive about ten times as many visitors when I also post a 2000AD script. This situation doesn't appear to be broke so I won't attempt to fix it - and here is the script to a Future Shock I wrote last year called Time is the Only Enemy. This one was drawn by the uber-talented Graeme Neil Reid (who write a cracking blog post about his work here) and recently described by the Megazine's Matt Badham as 'one of [his] favourite Shocks ever'. It featured a comics-writing protagonist called David Baillie (oh no - I AM a narcissist!) leading to a confusing entry on the 2000AD wiki which seems to suggest that I was killed during an alien invasion.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it!

Before I go (which probably makes this bit four) I have a couple of reading recommendations (you know - for after you've read Bloodshot: Portal 666, right?)

The Girl with all the Gifts by  M. R. Carey -
This was recently raved about by none other than Joss Whedon so it probably doesn't need my help to promote it, but it's honestly brilliant. Go get!

The Giant Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins -
This gorgeous book bucked the trend of me hating everyone's else's favourite new graphic novel of the year. I finished it the other day when I should have been working - which either tells you how absorbing a read it is or betrays how work-shy I'm getting in my old age.

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THE BLOG IS DEAD (I mean the blog as a medium. This blog is merely sleeping.) I really miss writing the blog so I'm determined ...