The Obligatory 2017 Round-up Blog Post!

Ugh...

OK, so... I missed this last year, due to an avalanche of shit that swamped me over the course of those twelve months (which I'm not getting into, because no), and, given the extra piles of shit that were thrown my way at the beginning of this year, I wasn't sure about doing this again, but things have - slowly - started to turn around over the last few months, so, I thought: why not tempt fate?

My reluctance to talk publicly about any of this does kind of mean that this is going to be a stupidly short post (and more work focused), compared the previous ones, but, hey.

Anyway, let's get this started.

In the beginning...

This hasn't exactly been a banner year writing wise, it has to be said. Over the last twelve months, I've managed to complete... *counts on fingers* six scripts (and some prose pieces, a load of story outlines and some proposals, too, I should add). At least one of those scripts won't be seen until the end of 2018 and there's a 50/50 chance another two won't see the light of day.

God, I'm just full of optimism.

And I still haven't seen the new Star Wars.

Words without pictures

I know there's the whole "write it and they will come" school of thought, but the next time I hear that, I'm going to point them to this:


And then point them to the sales of said story. Which - as of writing this sentence - total zero.

I'm strangely OK with that, though. Nursery Rhyme is a weird, personal  story that I've been struggling to write for a long time, but it was something I had to do. The more I got into it, the more it made me face up to a lot of things from my own life, and how I really need to move past them and look to the future. Basically, I'm saying it was a pretty cathartic experience writing it, and I'm pleased I did.

Anyway, if you, dear reader of this blog post, are interested in reading the story, it's available for 99p from:




Oh, yeah: I also snuck out a short story collection earlier this year:


It was more of an excuse to release some uber-short prose pieces, really, but there's also a brand new, longer piece in there, too, in the shape of Dead Drop.

You can grab a copy for the paltry sum of £1.99 from these fine online retailers:


I do love writing prose, and it's something I plan to do more of in 2018. I came closer than I've been in a while to actually writing a novel this year, and I kind of wonder if it's time to make a start on The Novel in the next twelve months...

"Comics will break your heart..."

Comics wise, I was pretty happy to land something in Aces Weekly earlier in the year, but I was more happy to be able to do something completely different, and write an unashamedly pulp adventure story.


I'm proud of The Devil's Breath, and I'm proud of the fact we - that is Bryan Coyle and I - came up with such a great character in Velicity Jones. The format of the anthology dictated a lot of story beats, but I think it worked in our favour when it came to the central character. She isn't your atypical female spy either: she isn't weighted down with guilt over her actions or by a murky past; she's young, she's progressive and she loves her job. And, y'know:


Fingers crossed, Agent Jones will return in 2018...

Last year, I did something I never thought I'd ever get the chance to do and wrote a script for Zarjaz featuring one of my favourite 2000AD characters, and this year I got the completed art (from Steven Denton). I don't want to say too much about it, but I'm stupidly giddy about the chance to do it.

Also on the Zarjaz front, I did some more "daily" strips, this time featuring Johnny Alpha:


And Mean Angel:

Both of them were fun to write, and both of them kinda made me want to do a "deep dive" on the process behind writing them (hopefully with Bolt-01 providing some insight, seeing as me and him kicked the whole thing off way back when).

Oh, and, I got the chance to revisit the ABC Warriors in The Ballad of Tubal Cain, with James Newell. Looking at it again, I wish I had more space to really stretch the story out and play on the characters some more, but, hey.


Zarjaz #28 - which features that very story - is available from the FutureQuake site, priced £3.00 (+ P&P).

In other comic news, there's also a big, secret comics project that kinda got derailed this year, but it's on track for a 2018 release, so watch this space...

"Inspection! Check one!"

On a personal level, this year has been...strange. I've been making a conscious effort to change and grow as a person, and it's led me down some interesting paths: I've reconnected with old friends, tried new things and places and actually managed to get to more gigs this year than I have in...a long time.

One personal highlight were getting to see The Cornshed Sisters play twice (including their album launch). I'm lucky enough to count one of them as a friend, and I was really made up for her that she, and the others, of course, got their second album, Honey & Tar out into the world.

Anyway, just because, here's the video to the first single from said album:


Another personal highlight of the year was getting to see Leftfield play live in Newcastle - after getting given a free ticket. The band were touring Leftism 22, so they stuck with the old stuff, but, man it was so, so good - and, of course, they played their best track last:


Yeah, clearly, Open Up is their best track. Followed by Swords. Fight me.

"I hoped there'd be stars..."

As I said at the top of this post, some things have slowly started to turn around for me over the last few months, and I'm going into 2018 with a tiny wee bit of optimism about the future.

I'm also going into 2018 with some trepidation, as this feels like a "make or break" year for me. I feel like I've come too far and sacrificed too much to give up without a fight, but at the same time, I'm really fucking tired of fighting.

So, I dunno. Maybe this will be it for me, or maybe I'll get through the next twelve months in one piece. What say we reconvene here next December and find out?