Friday 26 November 2010

Vlog Post: Mo Quicker

Wotcher chaps,

Quickie before I head off for the weekend. Check out the Mo!



Thursday 25 November 2010

Paul Kane's Signing Tour! (ish)

Wotcher all,

Quick post to announce that our very own Paul Kane, author of the Hooded Man trilogy (The Afterblight Chronicles: Arrowhead, The Afterblight Chronicles: Broken Arrow and The Afterblight Chronicles: Arrowland) will be doing a lightning-quick signing tour around the Midlands and the North in December.

He'll be at Travelling Man in Leeds on Thursday 9th December from noon until 2pm:

Travelling Man
32 Central Road

And will gladly sign and dedicate books and meet with fans during that time.

He'll also be at Waterstones in Nottingham on Friday 10th December from 6.30pm with Gary McMahon (of Tomes of the Dead: Hungry Hearts) and Joseph d'Lacey for an evening of horror discussion and more signings:

1-5 Bridlesmith Gate

Tickets cost £3 and are available in store, but the cost of the ticket counts towards a book you buy on the night, and the first twenty people to book get free books! Check out Horror Reanimated's blog post on the event, or the store's website for contact details if you have any questions.

He'll then be shooting around the Waterstones branches in Derby, Burton and Sheffield, and the Sheffield Space Centre in Sheffield, to sign stock on Monday 13th December. These aren't strictly signing-sessions - the idea is to put his signature on a load of copies for the stores to sell - but if you happen to pop alog to the store while he's around, he'll no doubt write a dedication and maybe have a quick chat with you. It's worth a shot...



UPDATE: I've just added Friday 10th above, which I didn't know about when I wrote this post but which the wonderful Marie O'Regan has just brought to my attention (Sorry, Paul).

Check out yet one more opportunity to meet Paul!

Tuesday 16 November 2010

Pye Parr Art Post

Hello again!

(Three times in half an hour! I suppose I should spread these out more, but you know how it gets when you got a bunch of blog material backed up and you take the opportunity to clear the decks...)

Mr. Simon Parr (or "Pye" to most) is one of our two talented designers, and occasionally the cover artist. He's responsible for, among other things, the No Man's World covers and the coming Malory's Knights of Albion covers.

Anyway, Pye is kind enough from time to time to throw up work-in-progress covers and tell a little bit of the story behind what he's working on, and has recently done so in a post about some of the covers he's put together for the coming catalogue.

These look fantastic. Thanks, Pye!


Ass-Kicking Review: Black Hand Gang

Hello everyone!

Okay, as much as possible I try to lump reviews together into reviewspam posts, this one deserves its own special post.

Author Keith Harvey in Dallas, on his blog Red Rook Review, has written a thoughtful, glowing review of Pat Kelleher's No Man's Word: Black Hand Gang, in quite detailed lit-crit terminology. It was a delight to read.

To pick up on a couple of quotes:

As I read I determined quickly that the prose is tight and well-honed, and that this guy Kelleher, who I have never heard of, has the chops. I surmise this isn't his first time out.

First, it is well-crafted, as I said; Kelleher structures each chapter to create suspense and take us onto the next, and the research spot-on. I believed the early chapters in no man's land implicitly, just as I did later when the
situs morphs onto a new world and the heroes find themselves in a hostile environment. This bump, this movement from the known world of France during World War I to the secondary world, makes the novel ultimately a portal novel in the grand tradition of Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Norman, David Lindsay, and even C. S. Lewis.

Good stuff, eh?



Graeme's Fantasy Book Winners

Wotcher all,

You probably all read our post last Monday about Graeme Flory (of Graeme's Fantasy Book Review) fantastic giveaways of our two omnibus editions (see, that's how you escape the plural debate), The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus and The Best of Tomes of the Dead.

If not, read it now.


Apparently, just shy of three hundred people emailed him with requests, which is a fantastic turn-out, and he announced the winners yesterday.

Check it out.

So congratulations to Carmen, Angie, Susan and Anna. I hope you enjoy the books (and get all your friends to buy them).



Friday 12 November 2010

Vlog Post Six: David Has Gone Beardless

Hello, one and all,

So the sixth bi-weekly vlog is now ready. Apologies for it being a little later than usual.



Monday 8 November 2010

Happy Monday!

We recommend you check out Graeme's Fantasy Book Review today. As well as the great reviews he writes every week, he's currently got an Abaddon-themed giveaway going on! You could win a copy of our first Pax Britannia omnibus, or maybe a copy of our first Tomes of the Dead omnibus! The competition is open until the 14th November.

These omnibuses/omnibi* are now out in all the shops - such weighty tomes - each comprising three Abaddon books, make a great Xmas present for anyone who loves their zombies and/or their steampunk fiction, so get buying!

Also, don't forget to check out our interview last week with an author who's written for both of those series, plus plenty of 2000 AD comics, the illustrious Mr. Al Ewing...


*Let the comments war begin...

Thursday 4 November 2010

Whee! Al Ewing Interview!


Well, we're pretty excited here at Abaddon Towers today. It's taken a lot of pleading, a certain amount of cajoling, a libation of raw meat, and your reporter... entering into certain offices he would rather not discuss openly, but we have finally persuaded notorious manimal Al Ewing - beloved 2000 AD comics writer, jobbing DJ, humorous Youtube movie maker, renowned star of karaoke and four-times critically-acclaimed Abaddon author - to emerge from his isolated fortress in Yorkshire to answer several questions. Rejoice!

Al graciously agreeing to an interview.

Hi, Al. Thanks for making time out of your busy schedule.

AE: Thanks, Dave, and sorry my schedule’s been busier than intended - I should have done this for you weeks ago.

Abaddon: It’s all good. You are, after all, a national treasure. Comics, novels, karaoke, short animated movies on Youtube. Is there no end to your talents? Do you sculpt? Dance the Rumba?

AE: I’m occasionally a panel guest on the Freaky Trigger show, Lollards Of Pop, on Resonance FM, as well as on its occasional ancillary shows. I’ll likely be a guest on the current season, so London listeners and visitors to might want to keep an ear out for that. Plus I’ll be doing some DJ-ing at this year’s Thought Bubble in Leeds, along with Phonogram creators Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie and a bunch of other folks.

Not to be confused with the fourteenth-century
followers of John Wycliffe.

Abaddon: You DJ-ed at Thought Bubble last year, didn’t you? Ever gone (or considered going) pro with the DJing? Or is it strictly cons and socially?

Taking a well-earned break from DJing to dance
to Take That at Thought Bubble 2009.

AE: All cons all the time at the moment - I occasionally DJ friends’ weddings, but there aren’t any on the immediate horizon, and since Poptimism breathed its last earlier in the year (hopefully to withdraw into a healing cocoon and evolve into something new and fresh) I’ve been lacking an opportunity to pretend to take requests for Disco 2000 into consideration with my lying face while cuing up yet another Robyn track.


Abaddon: So. Books. After six years’ writing credits for 2000 AD, you wrote your first novel for Abaddon, El Sombra. Talk me through that. Had fiction writing previously been a major ambition?

Cover One: Shirtless Zorro vs. Nazi steambot.

AE: In a way – I’d tried to do a couple for Black Flame, including a great idea for how to handle Chopper that I touched on in the 20th Anniversary Judge Dredd Megazine story I wrote recently, and one that eventually became my first entirely-written-by-me Dredd story. But I always figured writing novels would be boring, so I never gave them much thought. Two things changed - Sue Fletcher, an old friend from University, wrote a brilliant and critically-acclaimed novel called Eve Green that made me realise how much fun writing a novel would be, and secondly it became very clear to me very quickly that I can’t write novels at all to save my life. So what I do is write comics without any pictures in them, and pretend they’re novels, and don’t tell anyone the truth. And that seems to make all the difference.

Abaddon: But you’ve told us now. I guess you’ll have to kill me! Heh, heh.

...Ahem. So, er... what led you to put forward an idea for the Pax Britannia world, rather than any of the others? Did you start with Zorro and Nazis, and then work it into a steampunk world, or start with steampunk and populate it with Zorro and Nazis?

AE: The former. Originally, it was going to be a fantasy setting, with winged creatures preying on normal humans inside a giant Eyrie, and then I took a look at the bible for the fantasy world and realised that wouldn’t fly (Ba-dum tissch). Anyway, it kind of fitted better into the steampunk world – I’m not really a fan of steampunk as such, but out of the four possibilities, the four universes, that Jon Oliver was offering at the time, it seemed like the one where I could most easily explore that kind of pulp-action sensibility.

Abaddon: Then we had I, Zombie. In the foreword to the omnibus edition, you mention that John Doe first took shape in an unwritten comics epic called Bountyman that you outlined in your angst-ridden teenage years. Did Zombo spring from the same roots? Are talking zombies your “thing”?

Cover Two: Zombie gumshoe.
...Weird insect-guy thing.

AE: Zombo sprang from Henry – you’ll have to pick up the first TPB*, Can I Eat You Please, for an in-depth chat between me and Henry on the subject of his creation, but when you do you’ll see that Henry was the God figure who created the garden of Zombo and I’m the Satan who corrupted it and brought it around to my way of thinking.

Al corrupted this.

I prefer talking zombies to non-talking zombies, but zombies generally aren’t really my deal – both I, Zombie and Zombo take the idea of zombies and turn them around into something else that the average zombie punter might not recognise so easily. Again, it’s using the genre on offer to talk about the ideas I want to talk about.

Abaddon: I think most of the authors on Tomes have subverted the genre. Forty years after Romero, you sort of have to. To be honest, I’m always surprised at how much very traditional zombie fiction (both prose and film) is out there.

So, third book and third protagonist: Death Got No Mercy’s Cade. Forgive me, but you’re just about the mildest, most contemplative man-mountain I have ever had the pleasure to meet. What made you decide to write about a force of unstoppable human carnage, and how do you feel you relate to him?

Cover Three: A Man! Punching! A Bear!

I really wanted to write something incredibly violent, to be honest – I wanted to write the most violent thing I could imagine, and just have a load of fun with that. I don’t think it’s necessary for an author to relate completely to their character – you can see shades of my politics in Cade, but I certainly wouldn’t agree with how he handles most of his problems. It’s probably the least sympathetic protagonist I’ve written – he’s more of a spectacle than a character, really.

Abaddon: That helps. But why exactly did Scooby Doo have to die?

AE: He’s solving the Ultimate Mystery now.

Abaddon: Right. Er... And now you return to the scone of your first crime with Gods of Manhattan, the steampunk-superhero pastiche follow-up to El Sombra. Tell us a bit about it.

Cover Four: Super heroes and totty.

AE: It’s going back to El Sombra’s pulp roots. I basically got a little bored with the character – everything to say about him had been said in the first book, unless I wanted to cure him, which I didn’t. So I made him part of an ensemble cast.

In the third book – working title: Pax Omega – which I’m plotting as we speak, that ensemble cast is going to widen even further and I’m going to basically go to war with those nasty steam Nazis once and for all, so get ready for the final battle between man and mecha-fuehrer. There are possibilities beyond that - is it still steampunk in the year 1,000,000? How about the year 1,000,000,000? (Remember when a billion was a million million? I feel the humble billion has been devalued over the years, not to mention the trillion.) These are thoughts that have occurred to me. I’ll either take care of them in this book, if me and editor Jon Oliver can work out a way to make it sing, or I’ll chat with Jon Green about it in depth for an upcoming fourth volume. I’m still in plotting mode at the moment.

Today, the plight of the poor billion
is more relevant than ever...

But back to the second book, on shelves now! It’s all the wonderful energy of New York wrapped up into a high adventure package, with superheroes, pulp-noir detectives, dazzling ingenues, breakdancing, polygamy, BMX detectives, just a taste of pulp-cover naughtiness and what happens when Ebony White grows up… my own little attempt to grow a Wold Newton universe in Jon Green’s backyard. Buy it!

Abaddon: Excellent plug, and neatly worked in. So... Ah, yes. Noted reviewer Smashy McFace recently quashed (largely imagined) rumours about you by insisting that you have proven yourself a “real human man.”** Care to comment?

AE: Smashy is secretly one of my oldest friends and he’s well known for that sort of talk. He’s quite wrong, as the fleshy ones will soon discover - to their regret. Lock your doors.

Abaddon: Thank you. And I’ve just realised I have something I have to do, so we must wrap up. Any final comments?

AE: Thanks to anyone who’s written a glowing review, or even a semi-tolerant one. Like all writers, I pretend not to read my reviews while secretly craving the smallest scrap of appreciation and being crushed by the tiniest criticism. So please, don’t crush me! Love me! Love me, I beg of you!

At this point, Mr. Ewing had to be physically restrained and sedated, signalling an end to the interview. Out thanks go to him for very kindly providing these words.

Gods of Manhattan is out now in the US, and will hit the shelves in the UK in January. It will also be exclusively available at the Thought Bubble convention in Leeds on the 18th - 21st November, at the Travelling Man stand (if you track Al down while you're there, you can get him to autograph it right after you buy it!).



*For “Trade Paperback.” Al is part of the “Comics World,” and they have all kinds of cool acronyms and slang. I guess it’s hip, or something.
**No, seriously. Search for him now.

Tuesday 2 November 2010



Quick spot of reviewspam for you...

The Falcata Times has weighed in to the spate of brilliant reviews of Scott Andrews' The Afterblight Chronicles: Children's Crusade with this glowing review:

Great characters, and some intriguing plots... Scott’s writing fits this set up to a tee, it’s got great characterisation, it has some serious pace and above all else the way in which the story’s lead character interacts with the reader makes them someone that you really care about. Great stuff.

And in the meantime, Jared over at Pornokitsch just loved Pax Britannia: Gods of Manhattan:

Ewing has written, in just shy of 250 pages, one of the best superhero pastiches I've ever read. From his dry take on the old pulp heroes stories to his disturbingly sinister version of Marvel's flagship hero, this is not something I ever expected to find outside of an Alan Moore graphic novel. He's used prose to describe comics (already something tricky), done so with a great deal of rewarding satire, and, most importantly, written a bloody enjoyable book. Gods of Manhattan is a terrific, inescapable book - in which absolutely anything can happen and, quite often, does.



Pax Britannia Competition Winner!


You probably remember me starting the month of October with a massive post about Pax Britannia: covers, new commissions, and, of course, Jon Green's Lego-inspired competition...

If you don't remember, feel free to refresh yourself now. I'm cool with waiting for a bit. It's not like I have anything better to do.

Anyway, once you've done, you can jump over to Jon Green's Pax Britannia blog, where he has announced the winner!

Yes, that's right, Adam Sparshott, and/or Sparshott and Son - I'll admit I'm confused as to whether the Adam in question is Sparshott or Son - has created an awesome airship for Ulysses to fight on (I'm guessing Ulysses has the two pistols and the smarmy grin, rather than the katana and the top hat), complete with two massive balloons for carrying it through the skies of Londinium Maximum. It's frikkin sweet. Sparshott will be making an appearance in the upcoming Anno Frankenstein (Mark Harrison's cover art pictured, right).

And here to show you the kick-ass airship in question, is Sparshott himself. Or Son:

He loves it.



Monday 1 November 2010

Malory's Knights of Albion makes the news!

So this is seriously cool.

As I'm sure you're already aware, the new Abaddon series of Arthurian fiction, Malory's Knights of Albion, is actually modernised and updated from a previously-unknown manuscript written by Thomas Malory himself!

Anyway, the story's made it to a major news website.

I'm talking major.

Read the story here.