After my last post I thought I better give you all a wee health update since the number of folk I heard from in response was staggering. Thanks so much to everyone for all the kind wishes calls and cards, it really cheered me through some very dark moments.
There’s not much by way of bad news, but I’ll have a quick moan anyway. I’ve been recovering at home for about 2 weeks now. I’m on 30 pills a day, I’m retaining water at my ankles which causes me quite lot of pain and mobility problems (like almost falling over every time you get up and forget your legs are fecked) and my sense of taste is absolutely haywire. Water, of all things, now tastes disgusting to me and I’m off tons of stuff I used to enjoy. But all this will taper off and get better with time. I’m already on course to step down my steroid dosage. My kidney function is still poor by normal standards but slowly recovering and, most importantly, I’m very much out of ongoing dialysis range at this point in time. In short, I’m realllllly slooooowwwwly getting better. The pace of progress really messes with you, it can really feel glacial. And I think that’s the only area you really get let down sometimes – I’ve been treated brilliantly and diligently for my Vasculitis but it’s been a bit of struggle to get support for the mental impact of all this, which always flickers there or thereabouts but sometimes just cleaves you like a split maul. I’m hugely thankful then to my friends and family who have been visiting, chatting and generally keeping me going as I grump my way to recovery.
As I’ve started to feel a little less worn out, I’ve also been doing something else to help as well – making new comics! As you might have seen on Twitter, the brilliant Katie Fleming has finished the art for HEART OF STEAL, our off-world caper comic about a young thief who has to steal a transplant heart to save her dying brother (kinda ON TOPIC, hmm).
We’re planning it as a 4-issue-mini, here’s the pitch:
Desperate to save her dying brother, teenage cat-burglar Toni Doniel steals the only transplant heart available in the sprawling moon-based metropolis of Alpha City. However, the heart belongs to a notorious gangster, who’s not about to give it up without a fight!
Toni’s daring heist puts her on a collision course with two estranged friends, gang lieutenant Michael Roche and city cop Oscar Navarro, both of whom have their own reasons to get the heart back from their old friend in one piece.
In one crazy night, Toni, Michael and Oscar will discover what they are willing to risk for family, clan and aspiration in a city where you carve out your stake any way you can.
We have the brilliant Rebecca Horner on colouring duties for this one. Rebecca is a workshop leader at Dundee Creative Space, which encourages creative learning through comics and is also involved with Dundee based Ink Pot Studios. As you can see from the wee WIP snippets, she’s already doing a bang-up job. No letterer on board as of yet, but early(ish) days I suppose. You know I’ll be making much more noise about this when it’s ready!
In the meantime, you may have seen me pitching around for an artist for a project I’m very excited about that I teased the other day with this…
“Monsters are real. So how do we turn them into money?”
This is my most ambitious comic yet, a 6-part series blending horror and action with intrigue and conspiracy, set in a World that’s been saved by an ecological miracle but is now effectively run by the ruthless corporate entity that did the “saving”. Also, the miracle? Not quite as sold…
Joining me on this one is another Ink pot Studio’s alum, Norrie Millar on art. This one will be a while cooking, but I promise will be worth the wait!
In the meantime, the fantastic Iain Laurie is cracking on with House of Sweets, our off-kilter take on pastoral horror, James is beavering away on new Alex Automatic pages and other stuff is coming nicely along the pipeline.
Finally in this round up, if you are going along to Glasgow Comic Con on 29th June 2019 at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow, you will get the chance (among other things, like meeting huge guests like Brian Stelfreeze, Chip Zdarsky and Al Ewing) to say hi to more or less everyone involved in creating THE EDGE OFF (bar the brilliant Garry Brown & Igor Balabokhin) – so me, Colin Bell, David Cooper and yes, believe it, Iain Laurie!
Iain’s not big on cons and is basically coming along to help me as I’m poorly because he’s a brilliant mate, but this is a great chance to say hi and get some stuff signed by him in a con setting – it genuinely might never happen again! Also there? Only the best comic artist in the World, Frank Quitely, who contributed our monster-hit variant cover.
I know our wee comic isn’t that big of a deal, but if you liked it (and I know a lot of you did), you’ve a fair chance of getting it signed by pretty much everyone involved FOR ONE DAY ONLY! Thanks, happenstance! See you then!