Sign of the Hammer!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

A Stay of Execution

Or at least, that's how Dustin Hoffman describes a good review. Yes, Paragon #9 gets reviewed over at the Forbidden Planet blog, and I'm pretty happy with the comments on 'Spencer Nero'. The review begins:

  • Really liking the cover this time round – good pulp hero feel, and very fitting, as it’s featuring the new strip in Paragon 9, the pulp adventure Spencer Nero. Something of a tongue in cheek Doc Savage style thing, following an old style adventurer, always ready with a quip to take on a thrilling adventure. He travels the world, sorting out all those who need sorting, with a nod, a wink, and a never ending stream of pulp hero clichés. But I like tongue in cheek pulp hero clichés.

    There’s two episodes here – Nazi Aztecs in the middle of the ocean first up and then a werehyaena in East Africa. Two artists as well, but I didn’t enjoy David Broughton’s necessarily cartoon-ish style for The Last Laugh anywhere near as much as Dave Candlish’s more stylised moments of the Island Of The Naztecs storyline. But the art serves the stories well, and it’s not a bad intro to a character all concerned may enjoy playing around with.

All told, a decent appraisal, and little to argue with. I'll be honest, I think the script suffers from my frequent crime of excessive dialogue, but though it was only recently published, it was actually written before my first Dogbreath story, during the submission of which I got invaluable advice from the editorial team on paring it all down.
The rest of the review is unfortunately not as enthusiastic about Paragon as a whole, but I do hope Dave C. won't be put off by that. From my perspective, Paragon gets better and better every issue, and, my own contributions aside, I think the run from #7 onwards has seen the comic at its strongest. Onwards and upwards!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Pictures At An Exhibition

Who are these chaps? Well, they're part of a special project Davey Candlish and I are working on, to be published at some future point in Paragon comic. What's the story? Can't say yet... strictly hush hush... suffice to say it has a historical setting, takes place in Europe, and is big on banter. But I can say that this strip marks the first time I've tried to write an extended episodic comic story, rather than a done-in-one. (I've made a conscious decision, for instance, that Spencer Nero stories will always be complete in any given issue, though they'll occasionally and briefly reference previous instalments.) It's definitely a different kind of challenge, making sure each episode has its own quota of action, comedy, plot movement and character development, while maintaining a consistent tone and flavour across the story.

So what can I tell you? Well...
  • One of these men is a perfectionist - the other thinks he is perfect.
  • One of these men is a heavy sleeper - the other is often up all night.
  • One of these men drives people up the wall - the other just drives women crazy.
  • One of these men does not wear socks - the other is wearing very well, thank you.
 And without both of these men... polite society may not survive.