Archive for the Science Fiction Category

Dead Girls – The Graphic Novel

Posted in Comics, Dead Girls, Murky Depths, Science Fiction, The House of Murky Depths on 1 November 2013 by Lucifal

Richard Calder had been one of my loved authors from Interzone so when he offered Murky Depths a comic story of his own back in 2007 I jumped at the opportunity. Death And The Maiden, with artwork from Richard too, lasted three episodes in Murky Depths before we moved it to a serialised comic of its own, but then we became sidetracked, so the story never passed Episode V (Episodes IV and V are therefore very collectable comics).

There were two things that came together in Richard’s mind just then; the work of mangaka Leonardo M Giron in several comics in Murky Depths and the film script based on his cult novel Dead Girls that had been sitting unused. He contacted me: How about serialising a comic version of Dead Girls in Murky Depths, and how about using Leonardo as the artist? Leonardo’s work suited the story setting, while the story starts in a dystopian London it’s mainly set in the Far East, and therefore complimenting his pseudo manga style. Leonardo jumped at the chance and we’ve not looked back. The first episode of Dead Girls appeared in Murky Depths #9 in 2009 and ran for four issues as Act 1, with a cliffhanger in Murky Depths #12. Leonardo then recoloured Act 1 and, with additional material, The House of Murky Depths published a limited edition hardback, numbered and signed by Richard and Leonardo, with the intention of publishing further acts in a similar way. While the limited edition was a big success and sold out very quickly we realised a flaw in our planning and decided against issuing further acts as separate entities.

Murky Depths #16 featured the start of the next series of episodes of Dead Girls but it was decided that after five years of hard work that Murky Depths would have to cease publication – at least in the form it then took – and that we would start again with Dead Girls as an eight-comic series, featuring guest cover artists. While our schedule has slipped slightly Dead Girl #8 – Just Like Heaven, with cover artwork from Jim Burns, will be published in February 2014.

So now the sixty-four-dollar question. Will there be a trade graphic novel? Yes there will be, and the plans are to launch it at next Summer’s Loncon, the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention. We need to raise funds to do this though and while the KIckstarter route is a possibility we’d like to try to raise the money by customers simply paying the cover price to reserve a copy. If we went the Kickstarter route we’d have the pre-order option amongst the pledges and we’d likely offer an ‘upgrade’ pledge for those who had pre-ordered but decided they’d like to be a part of a pledge that offered extra.

Dead Girls – The Graphic Novel is going to happen regardless of pledges or pre-ordered funding but knowing that we have guaranteed sales makes our tickers a little less susceptible to stopping. So what’s the damage if you pre-order? Well, we expect the cover price to be £24.99 for the full-colour 208-page graphic novel. Higher than you might pay with the big boys like Marvel and DC but they’re printing a mighty sight more than we will be and they reap the rewards of ‘the more you print the less it costs per copy”. There will also be an admin charge of just over £1 and a p&p charge in the UK of about £3. Expect international prices outside of Europe to add about 50% to the overall cost. But all we want for now are pre-orders for the cover price plus admin charge of £26.09 (with your name and address, of course) PayPal’d to Or if you prefer, send a mail to the same address and we can sort out an electronic transfer rather than PayPal.

Oh yes. If you’ve subscribed to the eight-comic series or purchased all eight issues online we’ll offer you the trade paperback at half price. Yep, just £12.49.


The Failed Cities

Posted in Murky Depths, Science Fiction, The House of Murky Depths with tags , on 14 March 2013 by Lucifal

I met – at least in a cyber way and later on Skype – Matt Wallace. In those days it was MySpace. Must have been circa 2005. I was impressed with his no-nonsense style, as much in non-fiction as his fiction, and eventually I took him into my confidence: I’m gonna publish a dark sci-fi anthology magazine mixing short stories with comics. It was Matt, in those early days, who gave me purpose and gave additional energy to my enthusiasm. His story The Dead Man and The Berserk that appeared in the promo Murky Depths #0 was exactly the type of short I was looking for and he rode Watcher editor to my Maven editorship to keep me on the crooked and broad (you’ll understand that if you’ve heard The Failed Cities monologues podcasts or picked up the Kindle edition). It was a dream ride. Although Matt eventually left the team his legacy remained in my mind with each issue and we never lost contact. I’ve never been one for podcasts, although I love listening to stories on the car radio – at home I always feel I have more important things to do – but I did follow the success of The Failed Cities. I knew it would be good, it’s Matt Wallace after all, and I wanted desperately to publish a solid hold-in-your-hand print edition of The Failed Cities. Matt was moving in circles that (I thought) negated me from having that chance, so I never put the proposition to him. It came as a bolt out of the blue therefore when Matt contacted me and said he wanted The House of Murky Depths to publish The Failed Cities as a limited edition hardback. I knew it would be good, like I said, it’s Matt, and I should have realised it would be very good, but this good! Thanks, Matt…

No, it’s not a graphic novel but if you order now you’ll also receive a free eight-page booklet featuring artwork from some of the artists that we used on Murky Depths. Such as Neil Roberts (2000AD covers), Kev Levell, Huy Truong, Neil Struthers, Donna Evans and Macabu. I commissioned them, with a free rein, to give us their interpretation of the eight main characters in the novel.

The Dog Faced Gods

Posted in Science Fiction, Uncategorized on 13 December 2012 by Lucifal

I’ve recently reserved my reviewing pen for the BSFA’s Vector magazine’s graphic novel and comics reviews column Picture This – yes, it’s also the title of a Blondie song (I guess you can see a link coming), so a little foray into literature.
I’ve met Sarah Pinborough (that’s the link) at several conventions but never read any of her books. I’ve heard good and bad things about her writing so I thought I’d make the effort to form my own opinion. So, free from spoilers, here’s what I thought of Sarah Pinborough’s The Dog Faced Gods trilogy.
The first book, A Matter of Blood, introduces us to a number of characters but Cass Jones is the main protagonist, a flawed London detective in a flawed world; ours but the double-dip recession is crippling the average family, jobs are hard to find and on top of that a more prevalent form of HIV is scaring the populace. Pinborough paints a bleak and depressing tomorrow (and I mean the day after this one as opposed to a far off future) that’ll make you appreciate your lot. Cass Jones is self-centred and job-focused, a copper willing to cut corners to resolve a case. Bribes are the norm in a police force decimated by budget cuts. It all starts to sound a little too real. And that’s one of the beauties of this and the following two books; you can’t deny the possibilities of what Pinborough conjures in her tale, and that makes the final revelation so much more powerful and, dare I say it, acceptable.
What starts out in the first book to be an almost straight detective mystery builds to something a whole lot more interesting. Sure, there are supernatural undertones to A Matter of Blood – Cass is forever seeing his dead brother – but these could all be purely psychological.
It’s difficult to cover the other books without giving away a consistently good plot that supplies enough twists and surprises to make you want to discover what makes Cass the person he is.
The trilogy does turn into something that’ll make you think, and being a sci-fi fan I’m inclined to say that at the end of the day that’s what The Dog Faced Gods trilogy is. Someone interested in other genres might disagree, and that’s another feather in the cap of this tale. It’s whatever you want it to be, and more.
I thoroughly recommend this trilogy to the top of your reading pile. It won’t be there long.