Accent UK's WESTERN and how all you non-UK people can get it...

OK, so I'm blogging about this a lot, but I do have a vested interest in the book being successful, being in it [and contributing to Accent UK's next two books] and all, so...

WESTERN, Accent UK's 2009 anthology, is available to order from Previews now (order code: JUN090671). If you haven't already ordered a copy, go and do it now and help the indie scene.

Pretty much every comic shop in the Western hemisphere uses Diamond to get their stock of US comics, and Diamond have a stranglehold on distribution of said comics. Recently, however, they've changed their order threshold, increasing the number of copies that a company has to sell to get their books listed in Diamond's monthly catalogue, Previews, and a lot of the smaller, independent publishers - like Accent UK - are finding it difficult to get their work listed in and therefore distributed. It's a pretty crappy state of affairs, to be honest, but it's one that you can do something about if you go to your local comic shop -either here in the UK, or over there in the USA - and get them to order a copy of WESTERN for you.

It's
$11.99 (or £7.99 if you're on this side of the pond) for 200 pages of Cowboy action provided by a mixture of established and emerging talent. Kieron Gillen (Phonogram), John Reppion & Leah Moore (The Complete Dracula, The Trial of Sherlock Holmes), Dwight MacPherson (The Surreal Adventures of Edgar Allan Poo) and Steve Bissette (Swamp Thing) line up with some unknowns - like me - and some rising stars of the future.

And, because, you know, this is my blog, here's a wee preview of the piece I wrote, A Fistful Of Steam Valves, with art by Bryan Coyle:


And here's a look at the original character designs by Billy Armstrong:


Hey, maybe Steampunk isn't your thing, but that's OK, you're bound to find something in the book that you'll like; the contents pretty much cover the whole spectrum of Western stories, from sci-fi to horror to straight up tales of the wild west. You can find a whole bunch of preview pages on Accent UK's website, and you can see the complete story The 7th Will Rise Again by Dwight MacPherson and Kirk Manley over at The Flickcast.

Even if the wild west ain't your thing, you might know someone who likes cowboy comics, and you can tell them to mosey on down to their local comic shop order themselves a copy of the book. More importantly, though, this is a chance to make your voice heard and tell the distributors what you want to read, not what they decide you have to read. And you can also bag yourself some bloody good stories in the process.

The main point of this blog post it to try and raise some awareness of the book, not just for me, but for all of the other contributors and especially Accent UK, who are a great indie publisher that deserves a lot of success. Dave West and Colin Mathieson pour a lot of their time into these books to make them as successful as possible - they really are a labour of love for these guys. From a personal point of view, it's been a pleasure and a privilege to be a contributor, and I hope to continue to be one for a long time to come.

Don't take my word for how good the book is, though. Here's a couple of reviews:
Remember, though, if Cowboys aren't your bag, Accent UK's 2008 anthology, ROBOTS, is also still available (order code: MAR083379). Featuring many of the same contributors as western, Robots is 204 pages of mechanical goodness, priced $15.99 (or £8.50). And it also features a piece called Loose Ends from me and Bryan Coyle. Which I had to plug somewhere...

You can see the Newsarama review of Robots here.

So, please, spread the word about these two books. Either pass on the link to this blog post to people or just literally go and tell them to get their copies of WESTERN and/or ROBOTS ordered.

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