I’m paring right back on my usual in-store and convention appearances this year, just so many other demands on my time at present, but the first of those I have committed to — will soon be upon us. I’m bound for Belfast, where I’ll be attending the Transformers-centric Opticon 1 fan convention at Belfast’s wonderful W5 centre. It’s over the weekend of May 9th-10th, and I’ll be there alongside the ever-fabulous Nick Roche, chatting to fans, signing (and maybe selling) stuff and doing the odd panel/Q&A type thing. If you’re in the area and want to pop along and say hi, you can check out the Opticon 1 Facebook page for more details.
Another shout out for the great Hibernia Comics, who seem dead set on unearthing and breathing new life into every bit of comic strip published (and unpublished) by IPC’s late lamented Scream! comic (on which I cut my editorial and scriptwriting teeth those many years ago). This time (after two volumes of The 13th Floor and a Library of Death collection) it’s the turn of The Dracula File, a bloodsucking tale to which I contributed four episodes back in the mid-80s. Sadly, as with all things Scream!, the strip ended kind of abruptly after only 15 published episodes (with the cancellation of Scream!), but there’s still plenty to enjoy – all 15 core episodes, plus a few published later in Scream! Specials (including some very early Geoff Senior artwork for you completists out there) and rare scraps of unpublished episodes that would have appeared in Scream! #16-18 (or thereabouts). Follow the links to order. You can visit Hibernia here and here. Trust me, there’s plenty to sink your teeth into!
Quick shout out for a Kickstarter campaign that’s well worth a little bit of your hard-earned. Play With This Too is a start-up toy company developing its own line of fully interchangeable sic-fi action figures, under the headline banner of Lost Protectors. There’s a brimming barrel-load of pro toy and comics talent behind this highly ambitious and super-cool project, and I’m even onboard to help flesh out the story and the character bios – should we move on to phase two (if that’s any incentive). So dig deep and get yourself in at the (kick)start of what is sure to be the next big thing. You can read more about the project and PWTT here on their main site, and the Kickstarter campaign is right here. Only 25 days left! Don’t delay.
Last year, as a kind of sub-strand to Urban Species’ line of Transformers/Simon Furman signature T-shirts, I sat down with the Urban Species team to discuss all things Transformers and my career in general. That interview is now a fully edited piece over on You Tube. Enjoy.
Quick shout out for the latest issue of Eaglemoss’ excellent Marvel Fact-Files, a growing A-Z of every Marvel character, from the renowned to the obscure. To which, as it happens, I’m a regular contributor. The current issue (#97) is dedicated wholly to Marvel UK characters and strips from company’s rich history of publishing originated material, including The Hulk, Death’s Head, Dragon’s Claws, Captain Britain (the Parkhouse/Stokes era when he was teamed with the Black Knight) and Sleeze Brothers. I’ve duly contributed to the two I co-created (Death’s Head & Dragon’s Claws) as well as turning my beady eye on the fabulous Black Knight strip that co-starred Captain Britain (though before my time, I was later assistant editor on Captain Britain Monthly, and diligently read all that had come before). Some newsagents do stock Marvel Fact-Files, but it’s more a subscription thing or you can order direct from Forbidden Planet. Grab a copy while you can – it’s sure to be a collector’s item.
Quick shout out for an exciting auction that’s happening now over on ebay, one that’s in a great cause too. Up for grabs are copies of Transformers: Regeneration One #100, signed by a veritable host of Transformers creators. All monies raised will go to the care of writer Bill Mantlo, who was involved in an accident, suffering both physical and mental injuries, and left in need of constant care. As Transformers fans know, Bill was one of the first people involved in the comic, and also the creator of Rocket Raccoon and many more. You can check out the auctions here.
Those wonderful people at Hibernia Comics have just summoned up (from some infernal pit no doubt) another spine-tingling collection of stories from the late and oh-so lamented Scream! comic (the brutally short-lived ‘creepy’ comic published by IPC back in 1984). This time it’s the turn of Library of Death, a portmanteau collection of short horror stories from the cream of British (and European) comics creators… and me. The collection features all the Library of Death stories from the fifteen issues of Scream! and various Holiday Specials, plus rare shorts like Ghastly Tales, Tales of the Nightcomer and more. The array of talent is nothing short of spectacular, with art from Dave Gibbons, Steve Dillon, Steve Parkhouse, Brendan McCarthy, Ron Smith, Cam Kennedy and many more. Of special note (to this blog at least) are a very early story drawn by Geoff Senior (Castle of Death), that almost certainly predates his work on Transformers, and some of my earliest script work (including the very first bit of text to roll off my manual typewriter, Beware the Werewolf, drawn by Steve Dillon). It’s a sumptuous collection of very rare and hard to find material – so treat yourself to a chill and dive in. You can order it from the Hibernia site here.