April 2018 Update: Let’s Rock!

Wowsers, somehow nearly five months have passed since I last blogged here, and I’ve no idea where those months went. Should you find them, please tell them that I love them and just want them to come home.

Actually, I do know where those five months have gone – on a community comic book celebration (not a festival!) that will hopefully be in a fit enough state to announce soon. For years I’ve avoided working with others, but this year looks to change that, with a fair few collaborative projects on the horizon. Maybe, at the tender age of 37, I’m learning to compromise. Well… just a little.

The comic project in question has proven a conflicted one for me, in that I’ve met some really interesting, enthusiastic creatives and comic creators, but it’s also reminded me why I declared long ago that I’d no longer collaborate unless serious money was involved. The project keeps stalling, often for weeks at a time, and I’ve exhausted countless hours on one particular element that it’s becoming increasingly apparent won’t bear fruit.

Oh well, onwards and upwards, and elsewhere things are galloping ahead. Earlier in 2018 I had the pleasure of editing my partner Emily Babb’s debut These Unnatural Men, a haunting dystopian novel set in a near-future where euthanasia is a controversial reality. It’s a fantastic read, with an ending that left me gobsmacked and pursued my thoughts for weeks. Emily is publishing it under the Bothersome Books imprint for now, but I can see a wily publisher snatching it up soon.

While I’ve worked as an editor for small magazines and marketing teams, this was the first full-length novel I’ve ever edited (that I didn’t write) and it was a far more grueling experience than expected. It’s tough to look at something with both passion and a critical eye – particularly when you know you’d enjoy the book in question far more were you not responsible for its quality control. Start enjoying yourself too much and you forget you’re supposed to be editing. Nevertheless, working on These Unnatural Men has certainly helped me greater question my own writing and publishing process – as doing graphic design for a living has made me a more confident artist. Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves of our own progress.

Anyway, not enough people visit bothersomebooks.com enough to notice, but the site is getting a bit of a revamp over the next few weeks, to accommodate the new author and a slew of works that I plan to publish throughout 2018. Welcome to The Fold and These Unnatural Men will be receiving physical copies soon, the former some three years after its digital release! I finally yielded and went halves on a 10-pack of ISBN numbers with Emily, so that’s another publishing hurdle overcome.

Those ISBNs will come in handy for future works, and I’ve got a 6,000-word short story (To See Beyond the Skyglass), at least one comic book anthology (Four Short Stories About Depression) and my second novel, vegan(Vn), all lined up for this year or the beginning of 2019. Exciting times indeed!

Yeah, 2018 will see the release of my first comic project, for which I recently bought a Surface Pro 2017. It’s an odd beast, a hybrid that does everything well albeit seldom without a hiccup, and illustrating on it has so far been an absolute joy. I never really got on with my Wacom Cintiq 12X, and the Surface Pro’s size and portability has upped my efficiency considerably in the fortnight that we’ve been together. This one’s a keeper.



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