Tag Archive: writing


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.

Sold out in Leeds

Well, actually, only in Travelling Man. Yes, today brings the exciting news that our graphic novel Boys Don’t Cry is (temporarily, i.e. until OneMonkey takes more copies along) out of stock at Travelling Man in Leeds. Still (as far as I know) available at OK Comics though (and of course via our website). Quite a thrilling feeling.

While I’m being so parochial, I’ll mention that there’s another Alternative Comics Fair at the pub (bar?) Nation of Shopkeepers (Great George Street) in Leeds on March 19th from 12-6pm. Free entry, and I assume the usual suspects will be in attendance (I confess I haven’t had time to check it out – just been given a flyer by OneMonkey who picked it up in town). We may well wander along if we’re not otherwise engaged (she says, as if there’s some kind of Ostragoth social life).

Now back to finishing off the first draft of the comic script I promised I’d deliver to Mark about 6 weeks ago. I’m on a roll now, or I was this lunchtime, so fingers crossed.

Those nice people at Travelling Man in Leeds have been busy selling Mark’s art prints and our graphic novel Boys Don’t Cry. OneMonkey called in this afternoon and it brightened his day considerably. So if you happen to be in Leeds in the near future, go support a supportive local comic shop by buying stuff – it doesn’t have to be anything of ours but obviously if you feel like it…

The soundtrack to our graphic novel Boys Don’t Cry is now complete – click on the link if you have spotify, but for those that don’t, here’s the list (one track per scene, as long as your definition of a scene matches mine):

  1. The Damned – The Portrait
  2. Ministry – Jesus Built My Hotrod
  3. The Mission – Wasteland
  4. NIN – Hurt (live version from Further Down The Spiral)
  5. Green Day – American Idiot
  6. The Smiths – How Soon Is Now?
  7. Patti Smith – Elegie
  8. Machines of Loving Grace – Butterfly Wings
  9. The Cure – Pictures of You
  10. Jefferson Airplane – Aerie (Gang of Eagles)
  11. Danzig – Cantspeak
  12. The Cure – Boys Don’t Cry

Of course, if this was a film I’d fade out of some of the longer ones, and Pictures of You and Aerie are for the two scenes that sort of cut back and forth so some kind of blending may be necessary, but you’ll have to imagine that. I hope it adds to your enjoyment of the book (or brightens your day, or makes you go listen to a forgotten album – it made me dig out Patti Smith’s Horses).

Pre-Christmas promises

It would be a great shame to waste the long break from work (2 weeks of mince pies and lie-ins) so I foolishly promised Mark yesterday that during this holiday I’d finish writing the story for our next ‘proper’ (serious) comic as long as he did all the art for the fun in-betweener comic we’re hoping to put out in the Spring. A tall order perhaps but aided by stollen, tea, marzipan, tea, amaretto, and tea I might manage. Or possibly just be sick.

Boys Don’t Cry in stock

Further excitement in the Ostragoth camp – Boys Don’t Cry is now available at the Travelling Man shop in Leeds! Not only that, but they have a selection of Mark’s prints on sale too.

Today Leeds comic shops, tomorrow the world.

Work has begun on two new comic projects, one of which might even be short enough to take less than four years (though knowing us, maybe not).

The Ostragoth website

There’s not much there yet, but we’ve registered a domain and now have a presence at http://www.ostragoth.co.uk (OneMonkey will be working on it just as soon as he’s finished ordering prints and postcards of Mark’s paintings). Eventually, that will be the place to buy things (including our graphic novel) from us, if you’re so inclined.

Lettering can be fun

OneMonkey is now finishing up the lettering and (fingers crossed) we’re nearly done. A few tweaks to layout etc when we get together later in the week, a couple of pages of credits and other mundanities to set out, approval of the back-cover blurb (I think I might have nailed it now) from Mark, and we can get a proof printed. And then notice a dozen changes we need to make, and start the ‘finishing’ process again (I’ve done this kind of thing before, though never with anything as exciting as a graphic novel). Definitely looking less like a dream and more like reality. Fingers crossed.

How do you write a synopsis? A catchy couple of sentences to whet the appetite of a potential reader/purchaser – how hard can that be? The answer, as I’m fast discovering, is ‘very’.

With a thin comic the title and the overall look of the thing have to do the work, but when you’ve got something that’s quite thick and bound like a book, it makes sense to have some enticing words on the back. I’m the sort of person that picks up a book and goes straight to the back cover – if it doesn’t tell me what it’s about (instead throwing quotes from reviews at me, which sometimes turn out to have been taken out of context, or taken from a review of a previous novel) I put it down again.

I’ve read plenty of back-cover synopses on novels that are misleading, and a few that are factually inaccurate (Who writes them? Have they read the book first? Why not?) so I know what I’m trying to avoid. However, being so close to Boys Don’t Cry I’m almost guaranteed to emphasise aspects of the story that other people wouldn’t see as so important, and words and phrases that I choose will probably conjure up different ideas for different readers.

So, I have to write a brief, memorable (for us to quote at anyone who asks what it’s about, to save being tongue-tied and waffly), enticing, accurate summary of the plot/theme/atmosphere/style of Boys Don’t Cry, which will mean similar things to most people who read it. Simple, I don’t know why I haven’t done it already.

This week’s Ostragoth get-together was a little bit more exciting than tea and custard creams: we went to see Scott Pilgrim vs the World. I’ve already written a bit about it at my blog, but the general consensus was that it was an entertaining film and we were glad we’d gone. Of course, thoughts of ‘if only we’d written a colourful action-packed graphic novel, preferably in a manga-ish style as that seems to be popular now’ did cross my mind, but would we really want a film adaptation anyway (we’ve all seen the Comic Strip film The Strike, after all)? Since I wrote Boys Don’t Cry originally as a short story, it’s already undergone one visual adaptation. All we need is a suitably moody, atmospheric soundtrack for the full film experience and that, I guess, is where spotify comes in. Maybe I’ll work on that as an extra feature.