Hard to believe, but yet another date has been squeezed into a humongously packed 2013 convention schedule. This coming Saturday – October 5th – I’ll be at the London Film and Comicon (Winter variant) at London’s Olympia. I’ll be there all day (though not the Sunday), signing and selling my wares (including super-rare Regeneration One script/comic packs), as well as chatting about the halcyon days of Marvel UK on a special panel to commemorate 25 years since Dragon’s Claws #1 hit the stands, heralding the beginning of Marvel UK’s US format comic publishing program. Tickets are still up for grabs or available on the day, so pop down if you can for a wallow in pure UK comics nostalgia. For more info, check out the LFCC website here. There’s even a rumour that Dragon’s Claws co-creator Geoff Senior might drop in too, and we may just drop a few hints about our new creator-owned project, which owes a few debts to Dragon’s Claws. Oooh!
A whole bunch of signed script and comic packs are now up for grabs, including (for the first time/not previously available at any convention) Regeneration One #0. You can check out the auctions over on my ebay page here.
This week (Wednesday 18th September) sees the much anticipated release of Transformers: Regeneration One #0, the kind of extra (and extra-special) issue we’re squeezing in between issue #94 & #95. Just how ‘much anticipated’ has surprised even us, despite the stellar line up of artistic talent involved, and the first printing has sold out in terms of its Diamond Distributors orders well ahead of its release. But don’t worry. Supply just equals demand, that’s all. And… there’ll be a second printing hot on its heels — with another variant cover by Casey Coller!! As is usual, even though this is a far from usual issue, my script (w)rap — a kind of writerly digression into everything that went into the planning and execution of the issue — follows, and (also as usual) inevitably contains some spoilers (though these tend more towards teases than out and out spoilers), so be warned. Okay, so, what’s with this extra issue, and why? Here we are on the cusp of the final story arc and suddenly we’re knee deep in a whole adventure in the time stream. Was this planned? Well, yes and no. Originally, much of what you’ll see in #0 would have been covered in some kind of recap fashion during the ongoing narrative. Hot Rod would still have been sent into Zero Space by Primus and emerged… well, that’s a might too spoilery… he’d have emerged anyway. But we wouldn’t have had the chance to really explore the four storylines (past, present & future… or rather, alternate future) that are going to come to bear on RG1 as a whole. Originally, #0 was pitched as an Annual and a chance to bring some more classic Transformers artists back into the spotlight. But it kind of morphed into #0 instead, and now has a very defined spot and role in the continuity. The intent, though, remains the same, and we’ve got Geoff Senior (doing his first interior strip work for I don’t know how long), Jeff Anderson, US TF mainstay Jose Delbo and (representing the newer wave of TF artists) Nick Roche and Casey Coller each providing simply gobsmacking pages, in a variety of styles, for the various segments. Stephen Baskerville provides inks (where and when necessary) and John-Paul Bove is on colour duty throughout (weaving different styles to fit the story and artist involved). Most of all, #0 gave me a chance to delve back into the rich history of the original Transformers comic (US and UK as it turned out) and bring yet more strands and loose ends into the seething mix of RG1. Everything now is thundering towards our final arc, The War to End All Wars, and everything in #0 is some facet or portend of where we’re going and what will happen next. Dare I say it… #0 is about as essential as it gets, and a whole of (retro-) fun in the process. Can’t wait to see what people think. You can check out the official IDW preview here and comment on the issue in this very thread.
It’s all systems go for my talk at the Bewdley Book Festival this coming Friday (13th – eek – September). Still don’t know how many of I’ll be talking to, but even it’s just an informal chat with a few people, prepare to be dazzled by secrets (and art) from Regeneration One that have yet to see the light of day otherwise. Oooh! You can pre-book or turn up on the door. Either way, it’s at St. George’s Hall, Bewdley, from 7.30pm, admission £5. Hope to see you there!
Okay, so, after my Bedford outing, my next port of call could be the Bewdley Book Week in (you guessed it) Bewdley (Worcs, near Kidderminster). At the moment, I’m down to do a talk on the Friday night (13th September), but honestly, right now, it’s looking a touch doubtful. Not enough bums on seats at this moment in time. If there’s enough of you out there who want to part with a fiver to hear me talk about the comics biz, my part in it, and the current wonder that is Transformers Regeneration One, then sign up soon. Otherwise, regretfully, I’ll have to pull out. Nothing worse for the old ego than talking to five people in a room built for much more. Oh, as an added incentive, there’s a book signing right after. I’ll have copies of both Transformers: Regeneration One trades (vols 1 & 2) to sign/dedicate according to your wishes. We’ll kind of look at numbers again on Monday and make a decision then, so if you want to come along sign up here, soon, and please spread the word via whatever social media networking options at your fingertips. Fingers crossed, I’ll see you there!
And the conventions keep coming… thick and fast. Freshly back from the wonderful (and very busy & buzzy) Melksham Comic Con (expanding to a 2-day event next year… which kind of shows just how well it went down), and I’m off again this coming weekend to NICE Con in Bedford (7th & 8th September), along with a host of other guests from the comics industry – some of its biggest and brightest, including guest of honour Garth Ennis. Just a word of warning that, if you want to track me down particularly, I’m going to be there for the Saturday only, but I’ll be on duty from doors open to doors close. As well as my usual table crammed with signed/rare goodies, I’ll be doing a little RG1 panel all on my lonesome, with some more reveals about what you can expect as we conclude our penultimate arc and we move into the final stretch to issue #100! For more details about NICE 2013, check out there website here.