I won’t bore people with an explanation as to why Edward Thomas and his poetry affected me so much when I was fourteen… suffice to say that this Chap Book of a selection of his poetry, with illustrations inspired by their gentleness, is the resolution of a long held wish to produce something through which to broaden appreciation of his works.
Limited to 300 copies:
DARK PASTORAL A5 16 page chap book/poetry pamphlet on 170gsm silk stock with an accompanying A5 mini print on 300gsm silk stock – signed and numbered. £15 inc. P+P
I was reflecting last week, as I trawled the shelves of a local second hand bookstore – for the first time in months… that it is just as much the covers of books I love, as much as the books they are wrapped around. The artists who graced the covers of the paperbacks of forty years ago have made bookshops nothing less than ‘shelved art galleries’ for anyone with a discerning eye, and it is a shame that too few publishers nowadays allow the painted interpretation of a tale to grace a cover.
Thankfully the trend is not completely lost, and I was humbled when Paul Bishop of Wolfpack Publishing approached me to help visualise something that he was putting together for the near future.
Being a huge fan of westerns in general, but specifically the Spaghetti Westerns, and the huge flurry of adult paperbacks in the vein of Terry Harknett’s EDGE that sprung up in the early 70’s, courtesy of the Piccadilly Cowboys, I was/am in my dream zone.
Hush, hush at the moment, but I guarantee that the concept of this new series will tick a lot of boxes for readers old and new … and as an early tease….
So… as I finish this piece of dabbling into the realms of mod-retro comic creation, trying to pin down the things that establish its particular stylistics – such as line, colour choice, saturation and layouts, I suddenly find myself bitten by an urge to do some more… even though the final product is nothing like I envisaged… funny how things develop from nowhere.
Many thanks to Norman Boyd for being in on this little project from the earliest sketches.
Back in the 70’s, when comics were plenty and not afraid to take chances in the anthology titles of the day… Tornado, Battle, Bullet, Action, Jet, 2000AD, Starlord, and more, filled many an adolescent heart with anticipation for, in my case, the Thursday morning rattle of the letterbox.
I have sat, sleep fogged and cold, on the bottom stair of my folk’s house and caught those little bundles of wood pulp wonder before they’d even hit the mat, eager to read the next instalment of Dredd, Strontium Dog, Codename Warlord, Facheache, Von Hoffman’s Invasion or Darkie’s Mob.
Those days have gone, and the mainstream Comics industry (machine) seems to be little interested in risking an easy dollar by giving room to the more experimental, traditional or simply original work that hovers, undiscovered, in the minds of creators across the globe.
That’s where David Lloyd’s Aces Weekly comes in… delivered to your (electronic) mailbox every Monday night, rain or shine…
I can’t promise you sleep fogged and cold, but the anticipation is there, just like the old days.
I get the feeling that the title is just hitting its stride. Some of the strips are simply phenomenal, and there is a temptation to say that they would be at home in any mainstream publishers catalogue but I’ll hold off from that – because often they are better than most of what is on offer elsewhere.
With creators like Shaky Kane, Herb Trimpe, David Hine, Henry Flint, Mark Wheatley, Phil Hester, Lew Stringer Marc Hempel, John McCrea and David Lloyd himself peppering it’s virtual pages, as a creator, I am honoured to be in such esteemed company.
It’s £1 a week… I don’t know how that equates to the price of a copy of Hurricane or Wizard back in 1974 but for the anticipation and joy of flicking through those six tales, I’ve been happy to be on board since issue one.
My own strip JIGSAW, which kickstarts a much bigger personal project, starts and completes in the pages of Volume 38, beginning on the 18th February; and as an aside marks my 100th page for the anthology.