The Edge Off: A Team Game

If you’ve been following my Twitter posts or the Kickstarter campaign for The Edge Off, you’ll have heard plenty about me and Iain’s vision for the book, our influences and process for working. But comics is a team game so I’m going to tell you a little more about the other creators who brought the comic to life, colourist David Cooper and letterer Colin Bell.

I met David Cooper (via Colin) in 2015 when I asked him to become involved in my first comic, Sleeping Dogs. When you are trying to make your own comics, you come to appreciate people who don’t bump your arm while you’re spinning a multitude of increasingly wobbly plates. People who make your life easier, who donate energy to a project rather than drain it. David is the perfect example of this kind of ideal collaborator. Quick, responsive and creative, he’s an absolute joy to work with and has the invaluable ability to pick up on the tone of a book and choose a pallet that suits the quality of the comic exactly.


As well as extensive top-level flatting work and colouring credits with the likes of Image Comics, David is also a talented artist and writer, creating comics such as The Brave and Handsome Squad, Dead Silence and his best work to date, Face Down in the Mud. FDITM is a brave and unflinchingly honest account of an assault David suffered some years ago and takes a hard look at his rage, shame, anger and efforts to process what happened to him. It deals with themes like emasculation and more subtly, with the external pressures that feed these feelings, looking at how others around him reacted and the expectations he encountered following his ordeal. For me it cut through a swathe of other excellent comics to easily make my top 5 of 2017. David is currently engaged in an experimental comic where he creates and posts a panel a day (at panel 82 at time of writing), just another example of the creative drive and energy that typifies him.


On the Edge Off, David worked closely with Iain to help him realise a very specific vision and produced results that delighted us both. I knew it wouldn’t matter that this wasn’t how David usually works and his flexibility and input were essential to the making of the comic. Follow David here @davidbcooper and buy his comics here

More or less everyone on the Scottish comic scene knows Colin Bell and his name is not unfamiliar to the best pros in the business either. Colin has helped me enormously to get started in comics not only by gracing my books with his second-to-none lettering, but also by doing a lot of background work to get books print ready, creating logos, interior and exterior design…the list goes on.

His lettering is thoughtful and massively creative and like David, he seems to have a great sense of exactly how to use the craft to enhance a book and accentuate the core tone.  He’s worked extensively with some of biggest names in comics on books like Godshaper, Arcadia, The Tomorrows and Kennel Block Blues but is also an accomplished writer who has earned kudos for his best-selling all-ages book with Neil Slorance, Dungeon Fun.

Colin and Neil sign copies of Dungeon Fun

A hugely entertaining comic, Dungeon Fun tells the tale of Fun Mudlifter, a little girl raised by trolls in the moat of a grand castle whose boring life is changed to one of high adventure when a sword falls into her possession. It’s a hilarious all-ages book that has won the creators fans and accolades all over the world.


Colin also teamed up with Neil to write back-up strips for Titan’s Doctor Who comics and he has more recently been involved in the enormously exciting revival of classic Alan Moore/Alan Davis 2000AD characters D.R. & Quinch with co-writer Owen Johnson and artist Indio. You’ll be able to read their new version in the all-ages 2000 AD: REGENED which will be part of Free Comic Book Day, so get down to your local comic shop and grab a copy on Saturday 5th of May. You can follow Colin on Twitter @colinbell

When it comes to making your comic, having people like Colin and David in your corner is invaluable. I can honestly say that without their help and know-how, I’d have been lost when I started making comics with Sleeping Dogs a few years ago. Thankfully, I lucked out then and remain fortunate to have them on The Edge Off. You’ll all see what I’m talking about when you see the finished book.

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