40 Years in the cubes

Usual apologies apply, here for not blogging. Much humble sorries.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago it was the official 40th Anniversary of 2000AD.

I tell people my first 2000AD was prog 1. It probably was, but I was seven and things are hazy. Pretty sure my first distinct memory of creating something 2000ad related was around 1980, when I was 10 – and 2000AD had been out for around 3 years.

I can trace this to the story “The Judge Child” – one of Dredd’s early sagas where, along with Judge Hershy and the unfortunately hirsute Judge Lopez (Dredd never approved of his moustache) when I sat with my uncle Paul and built a scale model of the ship Justice-1 out of computer punch card. Including a loading bay with three Bikes. (In my head this thing was a fantastic recreation of the actual ship, honestly can’t imagine it wasn’t just a terrible disaster of “sticky back plastic*” and cardboard)

I Kept reading until around 15/16 when school proved to much of an obstacle for me to remain a comic reader (no outright bullying, just a lot of raised eyebrows and “are you reading comics”)

Started again in the late 80s, dropped in the early 90s.

All through this time though, dredd filled every sketchbook I had. (Even the one noble failure of a sketchbook that begins “I vow not to put any dredd in this sketchbook”… later on that same page…)

Started reading 2000AD sporadically again in the late 90s.

But 2000AD – the year not the comic – was barrelling up towards me fast and I’d yet to make any sort of comic art career. Despite a couple of swings at bat (a graphic novel and comic for fantagraphics, and a short story with Mike Carey for Calibar) the dream was always to draw Dredd. The year was also when I turned 30, it all felt significant and do or die.

In about ’98/99 I contacted WR Logan who was running a small press fanzine of Dredd world stuff via the post and started drawing small press dredd stories. Through Mike Sivier I met Gordon Rennie (Mike was running a small press comic called “Violent!” of which Gordon was a contributor). Mike said “Hey, I have a couple of stories one by Gordon Rennie [ who was a well established 2000AD writer by this point already ] and one by ..” “I’LL DO THE ONE WITH RENNIE” was my immediate answer.

In ’99 I took on a new part time job in computers, hoping to properly pursue comic art in the time I had off and started this blog under the name “Creative Struggling” as a way to document my attempt to break in to comics.

Andy Diggle, then editor, got to see some of the small press stuff I did and at the first Dreddcon, in 2000, I turned up massive portfolio in tow hoping to convince him that even if what I was doing wasn’t good enough yet there was definitely an upward arc to my art.

I went to that first Dreddcon with a portfolio and my girlfriend (and readers, I married her) and came back with a promise of some work a pains in my cheeks from a smile that had stuck on my face the entire weekend.

Gordon was onboard and asked Andy if he could assign me to a dredd he’d written and by 2001 I was lucky enough to fulfil a life long dream and draw for 2000AD, and I’ve been an irregular regular for the comic ever since.

I’ve lost track of the amount of work I’ve done for 2000AD, hundreds, thousands of pages (at one point I counted about 300 pages of Dredd, but I’m pretty sure I’ve done far more than that now)

But it’s tough to accept I’m now part of that history. I imagine it’s the same for every person who’s part of it, right back to Pat Mills and John Wagner.

At the official 40th convention I shook hands with a lot of people, many of whom I think think of me as part of the comic and that’s something for which I’m grateful.

With a bit of luck 2000AD will continue long into the future and as long as I can, I’ll try and be part of that.

It’s here, boss! It’s here! The plane! THE PLANE!

Ok, not the plane, the computer.

Computer arrived last week, spent a few days setting it up and tweaking it, spec if on my previous blog post, so here’s some early thoughts (dedicated to those, like me, have had to make the switch from mac to pc).

The Good:

Man, this just flies. Clip Studio Paint, big(ish) painterly brushes, small inking brushes lagfree. I actually thought my previous system was ok for b&w ink work, but it turns out this is even nicer. Zero lag on the normal inks I’d use, nice precise line work. Dead good. And opening 22 page documents, with 600 dpi A3 sized artwork? Seconds. Incredibly fast. Saving a single image is so fast I have to sometimes double check I’ve done it.

3d Stuff, whoosh! Pretty spectacular! I used Sculptris before on the mac and it wouldn’t take too long before the fan kicked in, here it’s able to handle a lot! (before.. er.. it crashed).

Using sketchfab is amazing for hi res, hi detail models, and sketchup isn’t just as smooth as I’d like – but I put that down to the software – as it’s able to handle hi res renders without slowing down.

These are all pretty useful to me.

The bad:

Gah this thing is a monsterous size (and monsterously ugly) I’ve slipped it down the side of my desk so I never have to look at it ever again. It’s not silent, but out of the way the fan is quieter than my old MacBook and it’s far enough away I can’t hear it, so that’s a relief.

Man, I’d forgotten what a heartache windows was to find software that’s exactly what you want. iTunes is a dog on windows (it just doesn’t work at all most of the time) and I used it for listening to podcasts so now I have to find decent podcasting software and that a trawl that I really don’t want to waste my time on.

For all the macs (many) faults, generally you’d have less choice but it’d be the exact right choice.

Windows Movie maker doesn’t exist any more (so there goes and video editing).

My keyboard (I spent £80 on a decent keyboard, it’s wireless, has lights so you can look at it in the dark and a trackpad) works beautifully, except the play/pause buttons only seem to work in the windows “groove” program, which I presume is windows new audio player. That would be ok but the damn thing doesn’t handle podcasts.

I can live with the bad, and really, I still have my ipad for music/tv watching so it’s not awful. I’m existing in a weird in between world where my windows machine serves a single function and I use my mac kit for everything else.

Soon though… soon VR/AR – it’s something I’m desperate to explore, and something I intend to stuck in to at some point (er… when I can afford the rest of the kit!)

 

Computer Loopy

My macbook pro (which I love) has started to feel a little slow, so I decided it was time for an upgrade.

It works fine for digital drawing (though it can get noisy when the fan kicks in for painting at hi res) but it positively crawls when you try and do anything in 3d (as I have been doing lately – with sketchup, and using 3d models for tanks)

Looked around, but, sadly, like many of my peers in comics there’s a real struggle to find a new mac that fits – my ideal would be a mac mini with more oopmh, but it just doesn’t exist. So it was time to go back to PC. Having bought a surface pro 3, I’ve actually liked windows 10 – there’s things I HATE about it, but nothing I can’t work around in some way. Plus I’m keeping the mac for my day to day job stuff.

It’s been a long time since I’ve looked at buying PCs and I’ve sought advice from friends on this front, so ended up building a system from overclockers.com (it is a bewildering experience after going from apple’s clean limited options to an explosion in a tinsel factory layout of PCs, and god how can PCs be both boring looking AND gaudy? amazing). Anyway, it’ll be black box I’ll hide.

So here’s the system I ended up with and why, first I asked a good friend of mine Sean Doran for some suggestions and so, unless otherwise stated, he’s suggested the bulk of this device and I was happy enough to with him.

(I present this in full because either this is boring to you in which case you’d’ve stopped reading earlier or you’re thinking of doing the same..)

CASE: Phanteks Enthoo Pro M Window Edition – Black Full Acrylic Side Window

This is the dull but gaudy bit of windows. Give me a nice invisible case, who the hell wants to look inside your computer and have lights? Ugh, never mind, this is fine. It’s all fine. Has a single drive bay for DVD/Bluray.

MEMORY:Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 PC4-19200C14 2400MHz Dual Channel Kit – Black (CMK16GX4M2A24

Many of these numbers mean little to me, it’s fast and it’s 16Gb – I’m currently happily working within 8 on my mac, so 16 seemed a reasonable upgrade. Clip Studio Paint works very nicely on 4, photoshop and other apps want more.
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 64-Bit DVD – OEM (MS-KW9-00139) 
Gotta have an O/S. Windows 10 – NOT awful. It’s actually alright and if it’s my main machine I can probably tweak it for exactly how I want to use it. Part of me is tempted to not even connect it to the internet – leave it as a machine that just draws and works, but there’s too much useful stuff on line (like ..er.. twitter)
BLURAY: OcUK Value Blu-ray / DVDRW combi SATA – OEM
I rarely use the cd drive I have, but I’d like something I can throw a bluray on to. If I remember right there’s some question over decent software to watch blurays on on windows (which seems insane it’s not a standard thing, but what do I know…?)
MAIN DRIVE: Intel 600P 512GB M.2-2280 PCI-e 3.0 x 4 NVMe 3D NAND Solid State Drive (SSDPEKKW512G7X1)
Ok, here’s the stuff. M.2 drives are new technology to me, in fact when I left the IT industry SSD drives (a kind of hard drive built on memory) didn’t exist at a consumer level. M.2 are similair to SSD in that they use memory (so silent and very, very fast) but plug in more directly to the computer so they transfer data at ridiculous speeds. 512Gb is actually storage for me to do all my work from-my current storage needs for all of the art I’ve drawn over the last 15 years is about 100Gb (and even that could be halved if I ever tidied it up)
SECONDARY DRIVE: Seagate BarraCuda 2TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache HDD – OEM (ST2000DM006)
Secondary storage, mostly for storing backups of things and any over spill. TBH most overspill will probably be me accidentally creating multiple copies of the same documents.
Graphics Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 Mini 6144MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card
This is where I start flailing about looking for advice. Here I went for the best I thought I could afford on my budget. I’m interested in VR/AR stuff. I want to play with that. I’m convinced that’s our next big thing for entertainment (but I was also convinced by that in the 80s and the 90s, so I’m clearly on the optimistic end). Having played with Google Tilt (a 3d painter program for the HTC Vive) I really really want more access to that level of reality.
Processor: Intel Core i5-7600K 3.8GHz (Kaby Lake) Socket LGA1151 Processor – OEM
Ugh, this was a toughie, it felt wrong to go for an i5 processor when my current macbook pro has an i7 – but the i5 is quad core at 3.8Ghz and my current is dual core at 2.8Ghz so the spec was definately up. I’m still not entirely sure what the i5/i7 difference is, especially when measured over the years (is it just branding? suspect it maybe… 7 is definitely more than 5, but is 7 from 2013 more than 5 from 2017? stupid computers).
I have no keyboard (will, at least temporarily, use an older macbook keyboard). I’d like a small – no numerical key – keyboard with a backlight and the whole thing will be plugged into the 27″ cintiq (a second screen may be useful, but I’d like one with retina resolution so may hold off on that for a bit…)
Again, thanks to those online who were probably bored of my asking, and my pal Sean Doran. I’ll let you know when the computer arrives and what I actually make of it…!

Daily Read: Prophet Remission 1

So, my wife has decreed (and I agreed) we should sit down with the kids and read for half an hour a day*, from 7:00pm to 7:30pm. Not too much, right? Oddly it’s just about enough time to get through a graphic novel, so I figure since my tsundoku has gotten redonculous, I can start there.

(* It remains to be seen whether we’ll do this beyond one day, but my youngest loved the idea, and my eldest moaned about it wasting computer time – so it’s win/win)

Ok, first book up in the unread pile is Prophet Remission 1.

This collects the Image Prophet series issues #21-26. Though really, it’s more of an entire rethought reboot that bares very little relation (barring name and probably some visual ideas) from the previous Rob Leifeld created generic Captain America/Super Solider idea.

THIS series, launches us 10,000 years into the future when a disorientated Jon Prophet wakes up from suspended animation on an unrecognisable Earth with a mission he must fulfil.

It’s pretty great. I mean, it ticks all my future-war-fetish boxes, right down to list of equipment, bizarre future tech and weird alien customs. Great artwork throughout, and while the initial story sort of opens up the premise of a kind of Story of the week format (which would’ve itself been great) the final episode in this book adds a new dimension that could see things run entirely differently.

I loved it. I think it’s pretty much right up your street if you’re a 2000AD fan, mixing the future war of Rogue Trooper, with Bellardenelli style weirdness.

You can buy it here  and I can’t recommend it enough.

 

2016 Review Of the Year

Hi Chums, every year around this time, I post up my comic book drown review of the year. Something I’ve done, somehow for around 12-13 years or so. So here’s this years one.

 

Some notes: Nathan is in a grammer. He’s really thriving in it. If you’ve followed my blog for some time you may know that Nathan thriving in school seemed unheard of, but thrive he is. Tom is enjoying school (but not homework). And everything home related is going pretty well. Annette went back to school to study something sciencey (a thing she’s never previously done, so big culture shock and new challenges for her) and I went and did some acting, after a 20 year gap. And I really really loved it. So more auditions this year, I think.

Workwise, it was a funny year – I drew less than last year, in the region of 189 pages, but doing Dark Horse work and the post brexit pound plummet meant I did ok this year. All in better than any previous year. Self employment is a funny old game though, and the tax repercussions of a single good year followed by a bad year can actually be pretty severe, so careful careful going forward.

New years resolutions this year: less twitter more drawing. Less twitter more blogging. Less twitter more work.

I mean, obviously I don’t mean that – I’m sort of hopelessly addicted to twitter, but I can’t help feeling it’s not healthy. Certainly this year on twitter felt like it wasn’t. Maybe it’s the current political climate, maybe it’s the nature of any platform that expands to the size twitter has. Who knows. In any case, it feels like a boil that needs lancing in some way.

Anyhue, hopefully 2017 turns out to be the karmic rebalancing that 2016 feels like it needs. In which case we can all expect to wake up knowing the next lottery numbers. Good luck!

 

 

Brush Advice

Digging through old sketchbooks, I found some (solicited) advice on using a brush – specifically on cleaning a brush from Simon Fraser and Frazer Irving from May 2000. It was before my career as a comic artist and I felt sure I’d only get somewhere if I was using a brush.

The great thing is, unlike advice on digital drawing tools, this advice is NEVER out of date, so thought you might like to read it:

Simon Says

A good winsor & Newtown Series 7 Sable can last for years with constant use. Apparently some of the acrylic ones are as good now, but I like the sables.

  1. Never dip the brush all the way into the ink, only about half way up the bristles, this stops the ink going into the ferrule where it is hard to remove by cleaning. You can overload brushes for filling in large areas but use a different brush for this, noe you don’t expect to come to a decent point.
  2. Rinse the brush thoroughly in a jam jar of tap wate/
  3. Twist it a bit on the edge to remove the water, if there is still ink coming out of it then keep rinsing until only water runs from the bristles.
  4. Gently dry the brush on a piece of cloth, shape it back to a point.
  5. Stick it in your mouth and use your tongue to bring the thing to a good point and your spit will protect it until the next time you use it.

THIS is why you don’t use anyone else’s brush!

Frazer had this to say

D’oh! NEVER use that eeeevil windsor + newton shit on the brush… it’s WAY too thick with shellac for them, and should only be used with pens. I use Rowney Kandahar black indian ink, which is about as watery as I’m prepared to go… Also, if you use the brush mainly for spotting blacks and big lines, then the brush will clog quicker because it’s always loaded… When I use that much ink I generally clean the brush afterwards to purify the ferrul. Also: what brush you using? Could be that the brush is shit also. A tip I got for cleaning brushes was to dab off the exceess ink BEFORE dunking in water (always cold) and I find sloshing around in a jar more effective than the tap. The soap I tried, but was too much hassle, and may even contribute to wear and tear. And the sucking… I (rather disgustingly so0 load the brush wid spit and then gently lick it to a point… A tiny point I know, but you gotta Lurve that brush…

In the past 16 years I’ve generally stuck with Winsor & Newtown ink-clearly completely ignoring Fraz’s rather splendid advice.

That said, I’ve never done experimenting with traditional inks and you can now get all sorts of great manga focused inking tools from amazon – at the moment my preference is for Deleter Black ink (Number 4) which goes on Matt black and is pretty damn dark.

Anyways, apologies to Fraz and Si for digging up this old info (I’d printed it out from emails I think and cut it out and stuck it in a book that I was using to keep advice in – it has one page on Brush cleaning and… pretty much nothing else. C’est la vie.

 

Mask of the Red Death

Photoshop and Clip Studio Paint (and Manga Studio – since it’s the same software) share a number of features, one of them – the one we’ll talk about today is called “Quick Mask”

I’m sure you’ve used the Rectangular Marquee tool (a square tool that lets you select an area, with “marching ants” you can then resize, move or cut/copy from), the Lasso tool (to select an area you draw around) or some of the other selection tools.

 

Selection using Lasso Marquee

One difficulty is refining the selection, and that’s where Quick Mask comes in.

 

Quick Mask (Menu option: Selection->Quick Mask) turns your selection into a mask over the artwork – usually a red colour (now the blog post makes sense, right? RIGHT?)

 

This selection can then be refined with all of the standard drawing tools – you use the pen to draw red over the artwork and you use an erase to remove some of the red mask. And, get this, you can even use the selection tools to select bits of the mask to delete/fill/etc.

Refining the selection

Once you’ve finished you then hit the quick mask button again and your red mask is turned into a selection area, which is now yours to cut,copy,resize,rotate or otherwise futz around with.

 

Marching ants! (ants not pictured marching)

That’s it!

Go now and use this new found power wisely.

Super quick HINT!

Oh I find it best to add the quick mask option to the Command Bar settings – go to Preference->Command Bar, and then find the Selection->Quick Mask in the list of menu options displayed and click “Add” to add it, you’ll end up with a nifty little red dollar bill (Like this:Quick Mask Icon - looks like a red dollar bill ) looking icon that you can now click when you need to turn it off and on…

Customise your command bar!

-pj

 

 

 

Out out brief candle

macbeth_colour_001

In July, when I auditioned for Macbeth I was really pretty trepidatious – first bit of acting in decades and I’ve been ploughing a furrow of my own design for so long I’m not sure I had any people skills any more (then I remembered I never actually had people skills, I was always a bit of tactless blunderer).

It came right as I’d been asked to do three episodes of the five part World of Tanks with Garth Ennis (which only an idiot would’ve turned down) while also drawing a new series for 2000AD called Hunted*.

So I sat down and laid out a calendar for the next four months of work and just started. It was a daunting amount of work, but one experience has shown me is that when you have a solid amount of work all you’ve gotta do is figure out how to put your head down and do one thing at a time. That’ll get you through anything.


cx9famfweaeay94-jpg-large

Here’s the calendar as it looks now (Left hand page – Comics deadlines, Right hand page – scenes I had to learn). October to November was particularly interesting because I had one deadline per week, alternating between Hunted and World of Tanks.

Rehearsals weren’t too onerous, if anything, I suspect they were what kept me sane while I was working on producing roughly 32 pages per month for four months(!)hunted_ep8_001_001

As it happened, within a fortnight, I finished Hunted (which sports some spectacular colours from Len O’Grady – LOOK AT THE COLOURS!) finished World of Tanks (should be out soon)

And now the play is over. Four nights running last Wednesday to Saturday, four performances as Ross (who functions as much as Basil Exposition as anything). I hope to do more acting, it felt like 20 years of rust just sloughed off me. I think I was decent in it (who can tell, right?) I certainly enjoyed being on stage, I enjoyed milling about waiting to go on stage, I enjoyed hanging out with the cast and crew and, pretty much everything about the experience, so thank you Jo for casting me, for Heather (Lennox to my Ross), Graham and Rachel (The Macbeths), Barney, Roger, Mike, and every one else (it was a big cast/crew!).

macbeth_001

(That’s Macbeth – Graham, Ross – me, and Lennox – Heather, photo stolen from the Southbank facebook page.)

More auditions are happening in January, and with a bit of luck, I’ll go for them too – I definitely feel more able to audition than I did when I auditioned before, and everyone at southbank has made me feel welcome. And it’s really nice to have something other to do than sit in my room working.

-pj

 

 

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE!

Ok, headline calm down. Jeez.

Here’s is a very poor update.

  1. I’ve finished drawing all of HUNTED – the Rogue Trooper spin off written by Gordon Rennie featuring the adventures of everyone’s favourite eponymously named villain “The Traitor General” – I can’t help feeling his real name is something like Farquhour O’Hullohan, hence his nom-de-guerre. Brilliant Colouring by Len O’Grady. I’ll let you into a secret: I didn’t know it was being coloured so added digital zip-a-tone, then I saw some of Len’s colours (in a jpg preview) and the jpg mushed the zipatone and I thought “well, oh well, that doesn’t work, doesn’t need it though – it looks pretty damn good”. Then stopped using the zipatone, then saw the print version and thought “Oh bugger the zipatone looks great!”. So, if I get to do another series, the zipatone is coming back.
  2. Currently finishing up the last episode of the five part World Of Tanks for Dark Horse comics with Garth Ennis. Pew Pew! Tanks! Pew! Pew! Soliders! Pew! Pew! Research. SO.  MUCH. RESEARCH. Should finish that this week then going to take a little break from drawing for a week or two. Or more.
  3. Looks like I’m gonna be doing a couple more articles for ImagineFX. That’s fun. I miss writing stuff.
  4. MACBETH! Starts on the 23rd. I probably should be petrified, but honestly deadline after deadline after never ending deadlines mean I’m pretty relaxed about it. It’s gonna leave a hole in my life when it’s done, and I’m not looking forward to that. I’ve enjoyed heading off to rehearsals three times a week. It’s the least pressured thing I get to spend my time on, and entirely me time too.
  5. MALTA! Heading off to Malta Comic Con, hanging out with fellow comic creators in December. That should be fun.

And.. that’s it.

I’ve been pretty rubbish on the updates, been hard to know what more to say on the blog. So much of my time is spent on twitter, living in a political bubble where everyone I know leans left and suddenly finds themselves swept over by world wide lurch to the right.

I’ve felt a little beaten down by world events (this year, man, this year).

But look. Here’s what I believe:

I believe that AI is coming faster than any one realises (we’ve seen sudden leaps in AI in the last year that I’d’ve never expected) largely driven by google’s Deep Mind. AI will overturn pretty much everything if we let it. (I don’t buy the idea that AI is automatically bad, though I absolutely entertain the idea that bad people will use AI for bad things – at least to begin with).

Renewable energy is quickly reaching a point where solar is cheaper than coal or other mass pollutants. How cheap can it get? Once we start using giant tesla batteries to store the over produced energy it’ll get pretty damn cheap.

Electric vehicles, and self driving cars are coming down the pike as fast as AI (I mean they’re on the road right now!) and will have an utterly transformative effect on the world, in the way that the automobile did when it appeared.

And automation, more general skilled robots – powered by simple AI which can be reprogrammed with almost no actual programming are going to make millions of jobs vanish (not as many millions as self driving vehicles will, mind you).

All of this is going to have a massive impact on the world, and on jobs.

What’s interesting is there isn’t just one company pursuing any of these things, there are dozens.

And all of these pieces can lead to a utopian vision if you let them.

 

I can’t imagine that hunter gatherer societies could picture what farming would bring, and I can’t imagine that farming societies had any clue what the industrial revolution could bring. So us, here, in 2016, I don’t know that we can really predict where we’ll be when the AI revolution really kicks off, but technology is the one thing that’s constantly transformed society, and the next big transformation is coming, and I think it’s coming faster than we can imagine.

(*boy, I’ve really drank deep of the futurist kool-aid…)

-pj

 

Midwinter

Legendary game franchise Midwinter reborn as an official comic book.

Manchester, 15th September 2016, Dan Whitehead, veteran games journalist and author of best-selling retro gaming book Speccy Nation, is happy to announce today that legendary 80s game franchise Midwinter has been reborn in comic book form.

The game, originally released in 1989 for Atari St, Amiga and PC, has been hailed as a pioneering combination of post-apocalyptic story, cutting edge first person exploration, strategy and survival. The game was created by acclaimed designer Mike Singleton (Lords of Midnight, Dark Sceptre), who passed away in 2012.

The 4-episode comic series is set just before the events of the game, telling the story of how General Master came to take over Midwinter Island. Interior art is by PJ Holden (Judge Dredd) with an exclusive cover by Steve Pugh (Hellblazer, Animal Man).

60 years after a catastrophic asteroid impact plunges the world into a new ice age, the inhabitants of Midwinter Island have started the long slow process of rebuilding, uncertain if they are the last people on Earth.

In the small coastal town of Singleton Point lives Cassie, the headstrong daughter of Bryce, a former member of the Free Villages Police, now an injured and cynical recluse. Cassie dreams of a life beyond mere survival, if only her father would believe she can look after herself. When the island is invaded by the heavily armed soldiers of the mysterious General Masters, the people of Midwinter are plunged into a terrifying new way of life – and it’s up to Cassie to journey across this inhospitable wasteland to warn the rest of the island about the invasion, pursued every step of the way by a powerful military force she cannot hope to defeat.

“I’ve loved Midwinter ever since I first played it as a teenager way back in 1989, and the chance to expand Mike Singleton’s amazing world is a dream come true. In adapting Midwinter into comic form, I thought long and hard about what story I wanted to tell without treading on the toes of the marvellous novella that Mike wrote to accompany the game. When I realised that the villainous General Masters is only mentioned briefly at the end of that story, I knew that was what I wanted to explore – a post-apocalyptic riff on the journey of Paul Revere, a frantic chase across the frozen wasteland that would lead directly into the moment where the game begins,” says Dan Whitehead, writer of the comic book.

The first issue is on sale now, priced £4, at the below link:

www.comicsy.co.uk/midwinter/store/products/midwinter-1/

Digital review copies are available on request, and writer Dan Whitehead is available for interview.

About Midwinter

Originally published in 1989, Midwinter was one of the first ever games to offer a fully free-roaming 3D landscape to explore on skis, in snowmobiles and on a hang glider. Players were tasked with defeating the despotic General Masters by traversing the frozen island of Midwinter, recruiting more characters and using them, in turn, to sabotage enemy installations and destroy the many vehicles patrolling the wasteland. In 2009 Edge magazine described the game as “a sneak peak at the blueprint that showed how games were going to be. It was then, and is now, an enormous accomplishment”.

 

About Dan Whitehead

Dan Whitehead began his career in 1991 as a staff writer for Amiga Computing magazine. Since then he has written for outlets such as Planet PlayStation, N64 Pro, Retro Gamer, Official Xbox Magazine and Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition. He has also enjoyed a parallel career in comics and scriptwriting, working on properties such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Looney Tunes and Scooby Doo. He is the author of graphic novel adaptations of Jason and the Argonauts and Julius Caesar, and in 2007 was the editor of Self Made Hero’s Edgar Allen Poe anthology Nevermore. He also worked as a narrative designer on the games Ether One, Air Conflicts: Secret Wars and Wulver Blade. He most recently published Hex Loader, a horror comic set in the British computer games industry in the 1980s.

midwinter01_cover
Cover by Steve Pugh

midwinter_sample_page_01 midwinter_sample_page_02 midwinter_sample_page_03