FutureQuake #27 - Now On Comixology!

Well, this is a bit of a pleasant surprise: FutureQuake #27 is now available digitally via Comixology!

And if that wasn't enough, that very issue features End Of The Road by me, The Mighty Jim Lavery and letterer extraordinaire Bolt-01:

In End Of The Road, a traveller by the name of Ward and his daughter, Chris, are about to reach the end of their long journey through a strange and bizarre post apocalyptic world...

As I said earlier in the year, I wanted to try and create a genuinely different post apocalyptic world with the story, something away from the usual desert-wasteland-Mad-Max thing that's so prevalent in those types of things, that had some texture and history, that lived and breathed on the page - and thankfully, Jim Lavery stepped up to add his own unique flair and bring the whole world to life.

I really love working with Jim, and it's great being able to watch him improve and hone his craft from strip to strip. He brings so much to the table, and just being able to let him loose on some weird and wonderful Sci-Fi stories is just an absolute pleasure.

Anyway. If you want to get your hands on this issue of the UK's premier small press anthology, it's now available in print from the FutureQuake Shop, priced £4.00 (+ shipping) OR as a digital edition, priced £1.49, from Comixology! So, really, you've got no excuse for not picking it up!


And, while you're at Comixology, why not pick up a copy of Babble by me and Bryan Coyle? It's still available priced only £3.99!

Out Now: Zarjaz #25

The latest issue of the Galaxy's Greatest Fanzine is finally here, I've got two strips lurking within their hallowed pages.

First off, myself and Alfie Gallagher (with Bolt-01) have cooked up something special for the issue...
In this untold tale of the Mars mission, The ABC Warriors are tasked with bringing down the The Crimson Brotherhood, a cult manufacturing the drug known on the streets of the Martian colonies as Red Spice. However, things take a dark turn as the cult leader - a mutant known only as The Abbott - enters the fray...

I have to give all credit to Alfie for pushing me to do this. I really wasn't sure when he suggested doing an ABC Warriors story together (I've never been completely happy with my previous attempts at writing the characters for Zarjaz), but something about scripting Red Spice just clicked neatly into place and it proved to be a ridiculous amount of fun - and the idea of setting it during the original Mars mission was just the icing on the cake for me. Being able to build this from the ground up with Alfie gave us, I think, a chance to put our own unique spin on the story and tell something that was uniquely ours.

I've talked before about how beautifully expressive Alfie's pencil work is, but he really raised his game for this one, producing one of the best looking Zarjaz strips I've been lucky enough to be involved in. His passion for the story and the characters shines through on the pages, making the Devil Planet live and breathe in every panel. It's testament to his skills that he manages to evoke a sense of the original series while at the same bringing something new and fresh to the mix. There's just so much good stuff in these pages (Deadlock's teasing of Hammerstein, The Mess in action and, of course, Mongrol's entrance) and I encourage anyone reading this to pick up the issue just to see Alfie's mastery at work.

As always, it was a pleasure working with Alfie, and I sincerely hope we can find something else to work on together in the very near future, but in the meantime, you can see more of Mr Gallagher's work in The Complete Charlatan Tales, available now via Comixology. You can follow Alfie on Twitter @AlfieGallagher and read his own blog entry on Red Spice here, which includes some of his process on the creation of the art.

And if that wasn't enough Thrill Power for you, myself and James Newell have something in the same issue, in the shape of Rogue Trooper: The Walking Dead...

When Rogue stumbles across a village populated by G.I.'s, he realises he may have a chance to give Helm, Gunnar and Bagman a second chance at life...

Oddly enough, The Walking Dead was my first attempt at Rogue Trooper (Infested was my second, but the way these things work out, it just happened to appear first), and, I have to admit, I was wary about the script when I was working on it - it's difficult to come up with a Rogue story that's different enough from what's come before, but also familiar. My doubts were lifted when I saw James pages, though...

This was my first time working with James - but not my last! - and I think it's fair to say I was pretty bowled over when I saw his work. He brings a distinct old-school feel to the pages that really would feel right at home on an actual Rogue Trooper script (and his lettering is just the icing on the cake); he captures the action sequences and the quieter story beats equally beautifully, and  makes this weird little corner of Nu-Earth we've created come to life on the page.

I'm pleased to say that James and I have something else in the pipeline for Zarjaz, which should be hitting sometime in 2016. Personally, I can't wait to see what he whips up for that... In the meantime, be sure and check out James' blog to see what else he's up to.

As always, Zarjaz boasts a rather scrotnig cover, and this time, it's courtesy of Daniel Dwyer:

Zarjaz #25 is available to buy now from the FutureQuake Shop and the FQ Comicsy Shop, priced £3.00 (plus shipping).

And, a whole bunch of back issues are available from those links, too, if you think you can handle the extra Thrill Power!

The Next Life

To celebrate Halloween tomorrow, myself and Bryan Coyle present a short wee tale called The Next Life...

Coming Soon...

You saw the b&w version on Tuesday...
Yep, it's true: The Mek-Nificent Seven ride again in ABC Warriors: Red Spice, by myself and Alfie Gallagher - which is heading to the very next issue of Zarjaz, available next week! Spread The Word!

Coming Soon...

For your viewing pleasure, a sneaky preview of Rogue Trooper: The Walking Dead, by me and James Newell...

The Walking Dead will be in Zarjaz #25, on sale next week!

Update: And, just because, here's a few previews of stuff coming to Zarjaz next year...

With Jim Lavery (and Bolt-01), I've got a brand new Dredd tale in the pipeline, The Boys Next Door...

With David Broughton, I've got a Strontium Dog story ready to roll, in the shape of No Choice At All...

And, finally, pulled from his blog, is a sneaky peek of a brand new piece I'm working on with Bryan Coyle...

All of these will available in 2016, but, for now, you can grab grab loads of back issues from the FutureQuake Web Shop now!

Coming Soon...

...from myself and Alfie Gallagher...
Spread The Word!


With Halloween just around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to dip my toe into the world of Kindle-based short fiction again, with a piece called Melody...

When his fiancée puts their engagement on hold, Paul Grant finds himself whisked off to the town of Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands for a short golfing holiday to try and get his mind off everything. But when he meets Melody, the wife of the hotel owner, Grant finds himself embarking on a strange and sinister affair...

It's difficult to talk about this one without giving anything away, but it's kind of a love story, and kind of an M.R. James homage... Because, y'know, Halloween. But, anyway, it's now available for your Kindle for a single quid, so, really, you've got no excuse for not grabbing a copy.

You can get Melody from Amazon UK:

The story is also available via Amazon US:

And, for all you non-Kindle owners, Melody is also available as a PDF via Gumroad:

So, y'know, buy, read and maybe even enjoy.

And huge thanks to m'colleague Bryan Coyle for providing that gorgeous cover (and the wraparound, which I might show off later) and Chris Rowland for tackling the editing chores.

Station Ident

This is Imaginary Stories, the blog of a writer who's taking a bloody long break from social media.

I'm the writer/co-creator of a critically acclaimed indie graphic novel (with Bryan Coyle), which you can buy in both print and digital editions, a mountain of short stories and those daily Zarjaz strips that have been popping up on the 2000AD Forums (complete archive here).

Let me disappoint you @lee_robson, random nonsense is on my Tumblr and I think I may actually still have a MySpace page somewhere.

Now go. Walk out the door. Don't turn around now, you ain't welcome any more.

Art by Jim Lavery

Video Nasties - Redux

One piece of advice I picked up from Kieron Gillen is that actually having a script turned into a comic by an artist is a valuable step in showing you - as a writer - what actually works and what doesn't. It's rare, though, to get a single script drawn by two entirely separate artists and see how its interpreted in two different ways, but that's what happened with an old Judge Dredd script I wrote for Zarjaz, Video Nasties.

The script was originally commissioned for the print edition of Zarjaz, with John Hutcheson providing the art. However it was also passed along to Alex Mines as a "try-out" - and his version has been serialised across the Zarjaz blog all this week.

For me, personally, it's been fascinating doing a comparison between the two versions and the original script, and I've learned a hell of a lot from the exercise.

The two images above are the same panel (page 2, panel 4, to be exact). While it's really unfair to compare the two panels out of the context of the rest of the page - and the strip as a whole, of course - they do provide a quick (and spoiler free) example of how the two artists approached the scene. On the left, we have John's more dramatic, exaggerated version, while on the right, is Alex's more restrained take.

It's also unfair to pick a favourite version, but both are now available to read, so you can make your own mind up; John's version is currently appearing in the latest issue of Zarjaz, and Alex's has now been posted in full over at the Zarjaz Blog. Lettering for both versions is provided by Bolt-01.

Zarjaz #24 - along with a whole host of back issues is available to buy now from the FutureQuake Shop, priced £3.00 (Earth Money), plus shipping.

Sneaky Peeks...

So, coming to the pages of Zarjaz and Dogbreath in 2016 are two brand new stories, written by little ol' me - and my collaborators have been posting some sneaky previews.

From Jim Lavery comes this rather tasty looking WIP image from our strip Judge Dredd: The Boys Next Door:

David Brougton has posted this wee peek at our story for Dogbreath, Strontium Dog: No Choice At All:

Both comics will be hitting the FutureQuake Web Shop in 2016, but in the meantime, lots of back issues are still available to buy right now!