Tag Archive: graphic novel


Boys Don’t Cry, out of our hands

Our first graphic novel, Boys Don’t Cry, now has a life of its own. Last year a student from Edinburgh contacted us to ask about using BDC as the basis for a project, he wanted to produce an animated version of some sort. Being generally agreeable sorts in favour of educational pursuits, we said yes. I hadn’t mentioned it here because I didn’t know if it would work out and didn’t know if he’d want it broadcast in advance (piling on the pressure, perhaps) but I’ve recently found out he has a blog about the project, which you can read here (he does say nice things about us, but that’s not the only reason I’m telling you. Honest). Interesting to see the thought processes behind it all as it progresses, and the enthusiasm. Also quite entertaining to realise I was wrong when I thought he’d partly chosen BDC because of where it was set (apparently the Edinburgh connection didn’t occur to him till later). I will keep you posted on how it all goes.

While we’re observing the BDC-shaped ripples in the wider world, I’ll mention this review that was pointed out to me fairly recently, from April 2013. Gratifying to know that someone has spotted the ‘Hunter has no face’ idea and the link to depression and social expectations/stigma (it may well be that everyone who’s ever read it has spotted these, but I don’t recall anyone mentioning it before. If you have, whether in writing or when meeting one of us, point it out and I’ll happily correct myself here…)

If you haven’t read BDC and have no idea what I’m talking about, you can download the pdf for free by clicking here. In the past you could have bought a printed copy from us but we’ve run out, sorry.

Friend of Ostragoth, Chaz Wood of Fenriswulf Books, has just released the first print edition of his The Sword and the Ring series, full of Norse gods and heroes. He describes it as darkly humourous, and quirky, both of which sound good to me, and you can’t go far wrong with Norse myths.

Since the dawn of the Nine Worlds, the gods of Asgard, led by all-wise Wotan, have enjoyed prosperity and power. Wotan’s noble house of Aesir rules the heavens and all Middengaard, the realm of men and monsters; yet on this peaceful stage will be wrought curses, war, treachery and ultimately, disaster. The two-faced trickster Loki, once a blood-brother of Wotan, seeks to spawn an unholy dynasty to rival the Aesir, while gold stolen from the River Rhein sets in motion a tide of torment that will drown all who come into contact with it. Sensing doom, one-eyed Wotan broods and begins to gather warriors of Middengaard to serve as his private army, while struggling to repair the growing cracks in his marriage to Fricke, and his relationship with his thirteen unruly daughters, the Valkyren…

It’s available (along with some of his other books) at lulu.

I’ve also come across Tracy J Butler’s Lackadaisy recently, and I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here; the comic’s online, but also collected in print. It’s a sort of 1920s gangster story starring cats, with art deco and art nouveau stylings, but maybe I should leave the description to those who know it best:

St. Louis – 1927. Times change. Laws change. People still want booze. For the better part of a decade, hidden beneath the inconspicuous Little Daisy Café, the city’s best-kept secret has slaked the thirst of a prohibition-wearied populace.

Lackadaisy.

Unfortunately, the once raucous and roaring speakeasy now rests at a crossroads, its golden age seemingly at an end. Lackadaisy’s remaining loyalists are left with few options. But with all the cunning, tenacity, and sly ingenuity they can muster, they might just have a chance.

And if that doesn’t work, fire does.

I hope you enjoy those, and don’t forget you can download a pdf of our graphic novel Boys Don’t Cry for free now, though you can still buy print copies of that, and the more recent comic The Moon of Endine at our online shop.

We’ve decided to make our first graphic novel, Boys Don’t Cry, available to download for free under the Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND, though the print copy can still be bought from our online shop if you prefer that route.

Teenage goths, bereavement, Edinburgh, families… What more do you need to know?

BoysDon’tCry_ebook

Boys Don't Cry cover

Creative Commons License
Boys Don’t Cry by Jacqueline Saville, Mark Pexton, Andrew Woods is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Thought Bubble 2011 round-up

I’ll be honest, I would have been happier if Thought Bubble had been Saturday-only; Sunday’s emptiness put a downer on a good weekend. However, we sold a fair few copies of our new comic, The Moon of Endine (now available in our online shop, as well as in Leeds at Travelling Man and Forbidden Planet), and some of our year-old graphic novel Boys Don’t Cry.

If we hadn’t been there on Sunday we wouldn’t have met Brian Gorman (and he wouldn’t have bought a copy of The Moon of Endine). Sadly I rolled in rather late to the conversation, having had a bit of a break in the Royal Armouries to look at the fencing swords, but Mark reliably informs me that I missed an enjoyable chat with a purveyor of fine anecdotes. Who also happens to be doing a graphic novel about Joy Division – what’s not to like?

I also indulged my geekier side and in a quiet moment asked a bemused Dr Geof to sign one of his physics cartoons from long ago. Yes, I did cut a cartoon out of Physics World and keep it for several years. Yes, I did used to read Physics World.

I saw some amazing art by Kev Crossley, and met a few people who’d bought and enjoyed Boys Don’t Cry either at or since the last Thought Bubble, which was reassuring, to say the least. One of those was Lani Irving who does rather snazzy embroidery and unique artistic books; I’ve also just noticed she said some lovely things about us on her blog <blush>.

The Librarian, who was in attendance on Sunday, found and purchased a publication called The Green Bean that mentioned libraries, and was very, very happy. I got lots of random ideas for stories and comics that may never see the light of day.

See some photos from the day at Flickr. I’m off to drink more tea.

 

A guest post from OneMonkey: lettering guru, editor, publisher, salesman and all-round comics linchpin here at Ostragoth.

I get to do most of the technical part of putting our graphic novels and comics together.  Most recently I’ve finished preparing the print-ready pdf for Moon of Endine.  I was initially going to use OpenOffice for the page layout as I’d done before, but once I’d generated the pdf there were some odd visual artefacts in the pdf which I’m sure were just antialiasing rendering problems in the pdf viewer, but which I didn’t want to risk being visible in the final copy.

That’s when I remembered a dtp package I first played around with on Linux many years ago, but never had real occasion to use.  I soon had the excellent open-source desktop publishing programme Scribus installed.

I spent a couple of days learning how to use it and putting together the Moon of Endine using Mark’s artwork and Jacqueline’s script.

With the exception of one minor niggle (greyscale pngs being imported in the rgb colourspace – I thought by exporting everything to a greyscale pdf the black would be uniform, but apparently not.  The black for the text and text boxes of the comic is different from the black of the artwork, but I can live with that – it actually looks quite good in the context – I’ll know for next time to keep a closer eye out for that) everything went well.

I will be using Scribus more in future.

The wrap-round cover of The Moon of Endine, as put together by OneMonkey

He has in fact put together our cartoon mini-comic The Episodic Adventures of Bentley the Rabbit in Scribus this week.

Available in Leeds…so far

Our new comic The Moon of Endine arrived from the printers (and rather good it looks too – thanks, Inky Little Fingers) and is already available at the Leeds branches of both Forbidden Planet and Travelling Man. As I write, it isn’t in our website shop, but just as soon as OneMonkey has some spare time (in between putting together our other new comic, which is a cartoon – quite a departure for us) it will be there, so do check back soon if you’d like a copy and don’t happen to live within shopping distance of Leeds.

And don’t forget we will be at Thought Bubble next weekend, in the Royal Armouries hall. Hope to see you there.

This blog’s been untended even longer than my main writing blog, but as well as me getting back into the writing groove, Mark’s pressing ahead with the art for the next Ostragoth publication. At the moment, he’s aiming to have a first draft by the end of the month, but art doesn’t always go to plan. This one’s more of a standard comic length (hence cheaper – doesn’t it sound more appealing already?) and yes it does have a werewolf in it, but this is Ostragoth – you know it’s not going to be that straightforward.

Two announcements, one is that if you’re a member of Bradford libraries, you can now borrow a copy of our graphic novel Boys Don’t Cry (see the catalogue entry for details). The other is that Ostragoth (in the form of artist Mark Pexton) will be at Bristol Comic Expo next week (Saturday 14th May).

I urge and encourage you to borrow Boys Don’t Cry if you can, both to support the library and to make us slightly excited when we see that someone’s taken it out (we don’t get any money, so don’t go thinking that’s why I’m asking. If we were in this for the money, we wouldn’t be in this at all).

For those living further south who are getting tired of all these parish notices about local libraries and comic shops, get yourself to Bristol next Saturday and not only can you buy a copy of Boys Don’t Cry or one of Mark’s prints or postcards, but you get to meet the artist himself. What could be a better reason for attending? (surely not the impressive list of guests?). Admittedly I’m not going along this year, but hopefully next year.

To those of you nowhere near Bristol or Yorkshire, I can only apologise. But have you seen our fine online shop?

In our continuing quest for new audiences, we’ve ventured to comic shops in other parts of Yorkshire, specifically Sheffield. Our literary graphic novel Boys Don’t Cry (why not read the synopsis) is on sale at Sheffield Space Centre – it’s completely non-genre (macabre in places perhaps, but not horror. No scientific or fantastical elements. Just a teenage goth with shallow friends) so it does seem a bit weird in a way, but I’m not about to complain.

One day we might leave the county boundaries, but for this weekend we’ll be sticking around as it’s the Leeds Alternative Comic Fair tomorrow and all 3 of us will be heading along to check it out after lunch.

Or, if you prefer, we’ve now got the graphic novel (Boys Don’t Cry) in Forbidden Planet in Leeds. OneMonkey quietly goes about his organisational business and then announces these things. Oh, and Travelling Man should have more stock by Friday morning.

Phew! In between all of this, and my ridiculous blogging challenge over at my writing blog (a post a day for a month, how hard can that possibly be? Very, would be my current answer. And it’s only the 9th), I do have a finished first draft of the main follow-up to BDC (which might follow an in-between, lighter comic which is half-written). OneMonkey’s legendary editing skills will come into play just as soon as he’s emerged from the Jeff VanderMeer book I got out of the library.

Ideas are also starting to crystallise for the comic script I’m hoping to write during ScriptFrenzy in April. Watch this space.