Prog inspired urban fantasy - Chalk

Back in 2016 I shared some art from a comic series I had in development entitled Chalk. Eighteen months on and the project is back on track, with a new artist Diego Simone. We've almost completed the first ten pages of Issue 1, with Diego providing pencils, inks and colours and Sean Rinehart pencilling. 

I've known Diego for some time, he worked on stories that appeared in our Eagle award nominated anthology Eleventh Hour back when I was part of Orang Utan Comics. He went on to take over as series artist on Starship Troopers (Markosia) and has worked on books like Alpha Girl (Image) and as a colourist on Dark Horse Presents. So I'm very excited to finally get to work with him myself, it's already proving to be a fruitful and inspiring collaboration. 

Screen Shot 2018-05-22 at 22.02.52.png

The book, which is set in and around Winchester in Hampshire, England centres around folklore Professor and former prog musician Howard Chalk. I can't say much more than that until we know the book has a home. More on this in the coming months. 

Screen Shot 2018-05-22 at 22.03.17.png



What I'm currently reading.

I often post about the comics I'm currently writing, but haven't shared what I've been reading as much lately so I thought that was rather overdue. I'm currently working my way through the 20 issue run of Fallen Angel by Peter David and David Lopez, from when that book was at DC.  The most recent things I read before that were The Fifth Beatle and the Blacksad series of books, both through Dark Horse and the full Locke and Key series from IDW. 

When it comes to ongoing books, I tend to stick with ones that I wish I'd written myself. The following books are ones I'm following, either in monthly issues or as collected versions, and they all meet that criteria. 

Lazarus (Image) This is the only book I read on an issue by issue monthly basis currently. Defintiely right up my street, as it's a futuristic sci-fi series, grounded in reality with a strong political and social commentary to it. Greg Rucka writes this one, with Michael Lark on art. Issue 20 is due out on Wednesday. 

Rocket Raccoon (Marvel) I was reading this monthly until the run finished, but I just found out that it's starting up again in December with Skottie Young writing and one of my favourite artists Filipe Andrade on art.  I didn't know the character prior to the movie, but read the full Abnett/Lanning Guardians of the Galaxy run earlier in the year before diving into this, and the Star Lord series. I love Skottie Young's sense of humour and characterisation and I'll be subscribing again when the book returns. 

Southern Bastards (Image) Jason Aaron and Jason LaTour have made something very special with this book, I got that feeling when I saw them both on panels at Thought Bubble last year and I was proven to be correct. Heartfelt and brutal, this small town thriller will live with you for a long time after you read it. I loved the second trade and can't wait for the third. 

Saga (Image) At the end of every interview on the Nerdist Writer's Panel the guest seems to say that they are reading Saga. Who can blame them? Brian K Vaughan is my favourite current writer (I need to find time for We stand on Guard and Paper Girls too)  and I'm crazy about Fiona Staples' art.  There's probably not much left to say about this heartfelt space opera, but much like in Y the Last Man and Runaways, it's the characters that make a huge connection with me as a reader. I'm a little behind on this series in trades and need to pick up Volume 5. 

Nailbiter (Image) I always say I'm not a horror guy, but seem to be gravitating to those kind of stories more and more. People kept telling me how good this is, so I decided to check it out. I've read the first two trades and need to pick up the third. It's an absolutely gripping series, written by Joshua Williamson with exceptional art by Mike Henderson.  This serial killer based smalltown drama has been compared to Twin Peaks and Se7en, and with good reason. 

Revival (Image) Probably my favourite book overall, because I absolutely love the way it's written and I often find myself trying to break down the creative process in this book to help with my own work. Tim Seeley writes this one, with Mike Norton on art. Another small town book and a horror/thriller with very well rounded characters, so it kind of ticks all the boxes the other books here do combined.  I've read the first five trades and the sixth is out in December. 

The Fuse (Image) A police procedural in a space station gives you the high concept here, but there's far more going on than purely what's on the surface. If the first two trades are anything to go by this series will be around for a while. It feels a bit like Mega City Undercover at times and that's no bad thing.  Antony Johnston writes the series working with artist Justin Greenwood

Sex Criminals (Image) Funny, warm and clever, this book was understandably a breakout hit for Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky. The central romance, between a couple who can stop time when they orgasm, is very believable from the first few pages. Saga is the other book where that's the case, they both give the film True Romance a run for its money for most believable couple in fiction. I'm two trades in and looking forward to the third. 


I think that's it, unless there is anything I've forgotten.  Image definitely dominates my reading currently and I'm certainly drawn more to creator owned books these days overall. There are lots of other books I'd love to be reading, but don't have enough time for many more titles.