Arrangements: Underwater Billiards

Underwater Billiards of the Courageous Mayhem anthology has, our editor Gar tells me, been well received.

Not wishing to spoil it for those who have not bought the book, arrangement is very important in the strip.

Hey, why not buy the book now? Read it and return. And if you’ve done so, just scroll past this advert.

Buy Courageous Mayhem Euro Link for iPad format eBook  (£2.43) and Deluxe Print Editions (£20+)

Courageous Mayhem (UK Link) – Regular Print Edition, £5 plus 50p postage,

PDF Format – £2.53 / 3 euros – takes you straight to download page.

So yes, I’m glad people said they liked it. Just as well really, as I worked my nuts off on it. I  used photos lifted from Flickr users, guerilla explorers and crap tabloids, and through study managed to approximate a map laying out where each photo went. I then tried to use the map (below) as my main reference so the  first two pages of the story could sit together. The tale didn’t run across the way in print, our editor preferring to offer the pages up as separate steps for turning on the journey around the estate. Check out the similarities with the finished strip.

The House to The Island - Map E

Sludge Culture [Photo Comic]

religion? i’m a post-atheist agnostic advocating for christianity (small c), i appreciate your patience, especially given the weight..

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Sludge Culture Page 1

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Fun coincidence: While putting this together, my nose and left ear started bleeding. Yeah. Huh?

The zombies are from the Make your own Zombie Movies produced by Paladone, the kit a christmas present from my niece Katrina.

Ayatollah Dracula and The Doctor finger puppets created for Olga’s birthday yesterday.

If you’re new to my websitey blog, I’m sharing a new creative piece here every day up until December 6th when I’ll be forty and scotched most likely. Why not stand out from the crowd by leaving a comment below? Yes. No, I don’t know why people don’t comment more.

Kick!

When I was preparing for the Belfast Comics Fayre last year I put together three issues of a comic. It was modelled on Willie Hewes’ Goth Boy –  one sheet of paper becoming 16 pages. My usual mistakes: too much detail, and printed on poor stock.

Oddly, Kick! works brilliantly as a digital comic, and so I’m pleased to offer the first three issues as PDF files. And I think some of you will get quite a rise out of the contents.

(Despite the colour cover below, these pieces are black and white)

kICK 1 COVER

KICK #1

CONTENTS as above, including, “The A-Team” (reprint), “Cobra Commander Says” and “Allergy“.

BUY IT NOW 25p/38c

KICK #2   – BUY IT NOW 25p/38c

Includes “The Bill Have A Gun Siege At Xmas“, “The Youth of 2042“, and “Sounds Round Ere

KICK #3 – BUY IT NOW 25P/38c

With Automan (reprint), Transformers at Glastonbury, Morrissey watches Irish Corrie, Noam Chomsky’s Cardigan, and Jessica Fletcher Is Innocent!

Sorry, there’s no option for all three. When you’ve made the Paypal payments, you’ll be taken through to the PDF were you can “Save as”. They’re small 2-3MB files, but this is some good work. I even inked it.

Reviewers can get in touch for a freebie.

Morrison Symposium: Part 1/2 – Mayhem

Grant Morrison And The Superhero Renaissance was an academic symposium held at Trinity College Dublin on 14-15 September 2012. The conference was organised by Dr. Greene (UCD) and Dr.  Roddy (Trinity) In the first of a two part column, tutor and transcriber Andy Luke plucks a series of references from his rowdy notes. Turn back now if you only want to read the words,

 “This stuff, it’s fookin easy!” 

Powerpoints were loaded, the hosts welcomed us, and Dr. Greene decided he would forego the accent to read a surprise welcome from the big yin of zen who wished us a scholasticism interesting and entertaining through to sore sat butts, in keeping with the the best university conferences.

Morrisonposter

 

Renaissance

Arno Bogaert’s opener, ‘From Superfolks to Supergods’ raced through US comics history: from the war-time golden-age of good Vs evil, Captain America Vs Hitler, in defense of the normal, to preserve society; to the silver age, were Lee’s The Thing indicated being a superhero isn’t always something some-one would want. The hyper-history reminded me to read Robert Meyer’s Super-Folks, and proposed a theory of interest.Arno suggested that DC’s characters were age-less, while Marvel’s characters did age, until sometime in the mid 1980s. This was the Watchmen era were superheroes became more realistic and pro-active, whichArno noted was “a slippery slope”.
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I found that latter pro-Morrison conclusion contentious: certainly some aspects of early Animal Man stories would be in emotive discord with it.Arno interestingly suggested Morrison’s role at the end of the series was akin to an anthropologist and cited other views of authors in their work. Lee and Kirby’s comics’ appearances were among them: the Marvel offices in the pages of Fantastic Four as “constituting an embassy of deities”.Philip Bevin of Kingston University examined the portrait All-Star Superman and stories of Action Comics, as part of DC’s New 52. In these, Morrison creates a spectrum of Superman/men and the villains become different hyper-states of Superman with their own perspectives. In All-Star, Superman tries to get his enemies (and friends) to change their outlooks (to be more like him.) Action contains a more pro-active, socialist ‘blue collar rough and ready’ Superman. Not a re-boot, but rather a re-packaging of established authorial ideas, and as ‘Superman Beyond Binaries’ effectively suggested, seems to be a valuable case study in brand Morrison at DC Comics. Bogaert and Bevin created interesting primers, laying out many of the themes and areas key to the conference.
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Superworlds

Ulster-man Dr. Keith Scott of de Montfort Uni inLeicesterwas an active talker through much of the event, and I was all the richer for it. His was the cleverly titled, ‘Let me slip into someone more comfortable: Fiction suits/Semantic shamanism and Meta-Linguistic Magic.’ The work primarily took in The Invisibles and Gnosticism. I didn’t understand much of what was said but learned. There was talk of McKenna, Philip K. Dick and Michel Bertiaux. Morrison’s works concern meta-, inter- and trans- and The Invisibles contains all three aplenty, “stretching potential in expressing philosophy, AND IT’S FUN!” It’s ludic, designed to be re-read over read. A Karl Rove quote on journalists and the nature of reality is similar to the villainous Sir Miles. The alphabet of Invisibles has sixty-four letters, and Keith ended by comparing it with the alphabet of Dr. Seuss.

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Symbolism

Dr. Darragh Greene presented “The Jungian Stuff”, examining the solar Christ Clark/Kal-el God of humanity and divinity, and his death and resurrection in All-Star Superman. The ego (neo-consciousness) transcending being the point, cut short by death but the addition of that transcending death, beats, trumps it. Superheroes in an envelope (Flex Mentallo) Dan Jurgens’The Death of Superman also came up in comparison, as did Furman’s returning resurrections of Optimus Prime,  the shameless Transformers fan that Darragh is.

Co-host Dr. Kate Roddy presented a piece on Morrison and Bathos entitled, ‘Screw Symbolism and Let’s Go Home’. Bathos was Alexander Pope’s attempt to shame the poetic bunglers of his day, often used by accident. When used consciously by a writer it can expand the limits of a genre and test reader expectations. Kate measured Animal Man and the Dadaist and absurdistDoom Patrol in relation to Morrison’s feelings towards post-Crisis editors, before looking at the less pervasive use of bathos in All-Star and Batman RIP, which Kate considered more up-lifting and conclusively, sublime. Therefore, Morrison, meaningfully challenges Pope.

 

Keynote

 

The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Chris Murray from the Universityof Dundee. Chris pointed out that recursion is a central motif in Moz’s comics, allowing him to explore linguistics (Chomsky), and the recursive patterns of fractal geometry (Benoit Mandelbrot), which develops recursively natural structures, moving us between time and space to collapse and reform distance. This was related to Morrison’s playing up of his identity as part of the ‘acid house culture of comics creators (Peter Milligan, Brendan McCarthy etc, those appearing in Deadlineand Revolver particularly) Douglas Hofstadter’s “strange loops”  disappear hierarchy into heterarchy – these overlaps, repetition, multiple and divergent relations were originally part of Warren McCullough’s 1945 studies in neurology and revolutionised cybernetics. Murray spoke then of a work by Groensteen called A System of Comics (1999) Groensteen talks about not just page recursivity, but one narrative-based. Panels braid or weave together, a metaphor for how the reading of comics works. Morrison manipulates space-time of the multi-frame (or hyper-frame), using immersive strategies, a recurring motif being that of a character looking at their own hand. Another was The Droste Effect of an image within an image within an image (mise en abyme) Recursion links the physical world (fractal geometry), with cognition and communication theory. Using Hofstader, Godel, Escher and Bach, we get an eternal golden braid, to enjoy logic and abstract maths. Murray concluded showing us some cool pictures of other fractals, such as the Fibonacci Spiral and Sierpinski Triangle.

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Booze

The wine reception was held in the the upstairs Ideas Space, which Keith suggested might be more of aMoorething than Morrison. I suggested referring to it as Ideas Pace might be more appropriate.

 

(Sidenote: When I was in a crappy teenage band I wrote a song called ‘Ideaspace’, summarising the conceptual consciousness and it’s universality of access by all of us through synchronistical claiming. I later discovered that at the same time,Moorehit upon the same name and properties independently of me. I’m never sure if anyone believes me – perhaps they originated the name and properties independent of both of us?)

I couldn’t stay though, as my man arrived. Two nights in Dublin were spent with Gar Shanley, the funniest blogger in Ireland, and writer-producer behind Foxes, a short film which won a 2011 O’Emmy type award and is touring internationally. We left for a walk and talked about Morrison’s relationship to recurrence and to what extent he was guilty of plagiarism. I recounted what I’d learned about Morrison’s approach to Zenith, that of a DJ, mixing panels from other strips into a new narrative.  But the real reason Gar didn’t like Moz? The DisinfoCon lectures,

“This stuff, it’s fookin easy. It’s easy like. Magic is easy, anyone can do it. It fookin works!”

“It works! It works!”

A restaurant meal: cheap, suave and secret. Then, Pub. Going away party for Elida Maiques, of Slow, and Irish comics anthology Romantic Mayhem, which Gar edited and published, and won a milky bar and rave reviews. Other Irish comics alumni were out: Archie ‘Layout King/Forger’ Templar, Phil ‘The Cap’ Barrett, Paddy ‘Listener’ Lynch, and Katie Chaos Blackwood. Katie demanded to find out what was on at the Van Morrison Symposium. Elida’s pizza ended up on my list of abstracts, making this a very real possibility. The night ended in another bar with Paddy and I trying to retcon Katie and Gar’s versions of historical learnings in a Crisis on Infinite Irelands.

Andy Luke only wrote this because Elida Maiques and Will Brooker told him to. “Lightning”, the second part of the report is much shorter, and appears later this week. Andy would like 1,000+ readers to check out his great comic, Optimus and Me. In return he’ll publish the beautiful colour sequel, The Moods of Prime on his website, for free.  Like a meme machine.

Workshop / Bacon Sammich of Doom

TitanCon, Belfast’s premier Game of Thrones festival starts tomorrow, with a drink andbook readings at McHughs. As noted, I’ll be trying out an idea I’ve been working towards for a while, The One Day Magnicent ComicBook Factory. (link courtesy of Hilary Lawler, ICN)

The Facebook group for The Magnificent Factory is here. Please don’t tick the yes box if you’ve no intention of going to the con. We recognise the neediness of people like that, but it doesn’t mean they get fresh custard.

There’s also a new edition of the rewarding 2d podcast up. Last weeks featured an interview with my wing-man, Factory assistant, and Irish comics nexus, Paddy Brown. This time, you can hear an interview with me, as Ciaran Flanagan and I talk about the most important issue facing the country right now: Will I and Ger Hankey be working on IDW’s Transformers comic?

Now, What do you get when ten plus comixers from different backgrounds put together a silent story about a fight past deliriums and pop obsessions to prevent oneself from dying?

All words and pictures copyright their respective creators. Thanks to the ADF people for accommodating.

BACON SAMMICH OF DOOM creators at the Arts and Disability FOrum

Optimus and Me

Calendar date: Next weekend – Dublin Zine Fair, 10th-12th August. The SupaFast Building on Great Strand Street, Dublin 2. [Time]

Suspected comixers in attendance: Patrick Brown, Gar Shanley, Deirdre de Barra, Phil Barrett, Paddy Lynch and Hilary Lawler. Plus others I don’t know and hope to interview during the week for IrishComicNews.com

I’ll be premiering a new comic I’ve written, ‘Moods of Prime’. It’s the sequel to a story I came up with in 2003, and published in 2008. It’s not been available for free until now. Well, nothings for free. If you like this, tell five people. If you don’t like this, tell five people.

 

The Titanic Troubles Theme Park

I’ll be appearing as a guest at Q-Con, the Belfast Gaming and Anime Festival this weekend. The job is to assist PJ Holden and Stephen Downey with a 2000AD Comics Workshop. PJ has written a post here preparing his students for the Sunday morning session.

Gareth McKnight and Debbie McCormack of East Belfast run an enjoyable lo-fi comic called Don’t Panic!

With every mad jack hurling money around anyone with the sinking ship motif, I suggested they produce a Don’t Titanic comic.

Small press being what it is the projects running a spot late for an anniversary (although the spin-off shares scandal involving the Liberal government, ran for the better part of the year)

Anyhow, here’s the entry drawn by me, and co-written with Danny Pongo, adapted from his original blog post.

By Andy Luke and Danny Pongo

Comics and Cartooning: UK Election 2010

A re-blog from the archives of my regular column for (now extinct) Alltern8; Comicking.

With the UK general election happening this week, democracy gets opportunity to curtail the taint destructive politicians have left on the world stage. I thought it might be interesting to deliver a round-up of what some British cartoonists have been saying on the matter.

Labour or the Conservatives (or ‘Unionists’, as they used to be known, and sometimes are in Northern Ireland) have held power for 65 years. So, care of Sean Duffield, a four page look at the Labour leader, David Cameron,

Cameron Taxi Driver

Ah yes, Cameron’s friendship with Rupert Murdoch, Google-fearer and owner of the British registered Newscorp (BSkyB, The Sun, The Times), which avoids paying tax in Britain.

Might we be seeing this sort of thing in a Murdoch-Cameron Britain?

Dave Brown The Independent 2009

Um, sorry? Dave Brown, 2009

Marc Roberts of Throbgoblins,
“I’ve been playing around on PhotoShop (other image manipulation programmes are available) and have come up with the following. It’s mostly a tad sinister – UK politics and the pending ecological debacle”

Here’s his ApoCameron-lypse,

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Crazy internet-fearing Murdoch, drawing threats on the BBC, a public service broadcaster funded by the public since 1933 with it’s aim to present fair impartial reporting.
Here’s a cartoon on favourite LibDem Clegg’s victory by Rich Johnston from the 26th April as originally posted to Guido Fawkes.

RichandMark 26 April

And of course, the always admirable Steve Bell in his work for The Guardian,

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So, really a televised leadership election debate should have taken place at the BBC rather than being relegated to third place after the commercially funded ITV and Murdoch’s private BSkyB.

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Above: Two more from Steve Bell and The Guardian.

Now the UK have a chance to lock Murdoch out of UK politics and cut the propaganda that has seen the nation’s Green Parties, the welsh Plaid Cymru, the Scottish National Party and others locked out of these debates.

Oh, and this guy too.

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Source: Duffield

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Source: Bell

The image above by Holocaust-denying racist Nick Griffin, parasite to re-opened multi-party politic talk. It’s another by Sean Duffield: Go and donate a few pounds towards War – The Human Cost, a brilliant BRILLIANT anthology he’s hoping to get out.

The BBC brought us the iconic kids show Bagpuss, and here’s Sean take on Gordon Brown.

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Marc Roberts goes for high pitch animals too,

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This will be the first UK election since Web 2.0 has fully worked it’s way into British culture. Hopefully we’ll not get any Votergate-type scandals and see elected tolerable agenda for the job.

Murdoch isn’t the only unelected dictator we need to get rid of, after all.

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Source: Mark and Rich, Guido Fawkes

And what of this man?

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By Steve Bell

He may very well be the UK’s new Prime Minister.

Modern politics is driven by who you can’t vote for, rather than who you’d like to. Still, being cooped up in Westminster talking only to other politicians is an uneconomical reality to face.

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The above cartoons are by Steve Bell. There are some more of them here.

Dave Brown, then Peter Schrank (The Independent) as to how they’re not really of the same thinking state as many of us,

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Some things are just too prescient. Morland Moreton from The Times way back in 2006..

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Please vote on Thursday. Sure they’re all crap, but not voting helps keep them in power. Remember, ‘Hung parliament’ is code for greater democracy.

If you’re interested in similar, less conservative attitudes to British political cartooning try the works of BRICK (aka John Stuart Clark), Kate Evans,Polyp and Kate Charlesworth.

Scroobius Pip – Poetry in (e)motion

A re-blog from the archives of my regular column for Alltern8; Comicking.

http://titanbooks.com/products/uk/10750-poetry_in_emotion_the_illustrated_words_of_scroobius_pip/ scroobius - back cover intro

Artists across the Atlantic picked up their instruments to accompany Hip-Hop poet Scroobius Pip and lay new dimensions to his range of pieces. The illustrations largely draw from the language of comic strip, although only CJ McCracken’s work employs speech bubbles, and they’re quite suited. In his introduction, Scroobius recalls being shown a comic book on philosophy and finds the subject matter accessible because of the form it was presented in. As fair a testament as any to the excellent alchemy at work within this book. Each of the artists bring very different styles to very different works.

scroobius - intro

The scribbly scrawly of beserk and abandon of Cowfree relating Scroobius’ head time in ‘Rat Race’.

Ben Williams, On Thou Shalt Not Kill, delivers meticulous AND free-form zine culture sigil art.

Damian Claughton’s Phonogram-esque designs, impressing style and warmth and class, at home with this piece of book: professional and managing simplicity.

Joe Cunningham’s contribution to “When I Grow Up” which approaches like your favourite dog: full of love, bringing belonging and an ounce of silliness. Cunningham is part-Herge.

Anthony Gregori and Michael Spicer on “1,000 Words”, underwater mysticism, with a fairytale quality which would have been at home in the DFC.

CJ McCracken’s shaped orange and greys, sliding and angular, going for that slacker webcomic feel.

Mister Paterson’s living tattoo man, frozen with animated arms, alike a comix real treatment of a DC character in “Shamed”, the empathic and undoubtedly stark relation to homelessness.

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Often from darkest places, Scroobius is and Co. are on missions to retrieve and return with insight and inspiration. This is most evident in “The Magician’s Assistant”, a love poem and hell rage on the subject of self-harm. It’s deeply compassionate in realism to the point. The most effective work I’ve seen on the matter. It’s an engaging survival call which illustrator translates perfectly the integrity of in sketchbook and scrapbook collage. Both artists come across as nothing less than genuinely important and brilliant.

From dark places also come delightfully frivolous works, which impart experiential wisdom. Matt Frodsham and Pip team up on a wonderful blend of these matters in “Waiting for the beat to kick in”. Poetry in the form of structured short story, Scroobius relates meetings with characters from some of his favourite old films. Elwood P Dowd (Harvey), Lloyd Dobler (Say Anything), Billy Brown (Buffalo ’66) and Walter Neff (Double Indemnity) are each encountered by the narrator on his journey through the city. Frodsham illustrates their attempts to offer advice in exemplary cine noir style. Like Pip, his senses have paid close attention to the screen and the record re-envoked here is a joy to see.

The theme of advice runs through the book, subject to scrutiny and so rarely annoys as preachy. Scroobius etc seduce, and employ the fine coffee table edition quality print to good effect. Titan Books have generously made this 104-page hardback accessible by putting it out for a tenner ($17.95 US/$21.50 CAN). The book’s (possibly uncredited) designers provide the collection a strong visual feel which give it an extra showiness.

The piece is lined with a great set of sleeve notes from Scroobius Pip to you, the reader. Decorated with a fine assortment of gig posters there to show off how pretty they are. And they are. On the whole, a well-rounded package and one I’ll return to. Built to last. Thanks guys.

Update: You can buy the paper-back edition of Poetry  in (e)motion from publishers Titan at the reasonable £9.99.

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scroob41 when i grow up scroobius pip joe cunningham

Interview with Lara Philips, Creator of Ministry

A re-blog from the archives of my regular column for Alltern8; Comicking.

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Lara Phillips is the creator of Ronin Studios’ Ministry, a book which takes its name from the central location, a magick industrial complex and research facility of the dark arts. Set on Crowley Island, it concerns David Hanson’s survival within the facility. Having been impressed with the first issue, I sat down to have a chat with Lara about the work and became more impressed.

Alltern8: I’ve read elsewhere zombie classics and modern works such as ‘The Waking Dead’ are influences. How about those that are not so readily apparent? What other media do you feast on, horrible or helpful?

Lara Phillips: Well, I find all my influences helpful even if they give me nightmares. Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is a classic that’s stood the test of time and of course, Clock Work Orange. Pink Floyd’s The Wall is something that influenced me in issue 2 when dealing with Hanson’s mental breakdown. But if Ministry can summed up in a few words it would be a quote from Blake’s Second Coming – “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.”

Alltern8: If I read right you’re based in Africa? What have been the opportunities in making comics and the response relating to The Ministry locally?

LP: South Africa is still coming into its own as far as horror’s concerned. Most of the comics here are humorous and political. Still I’ve had a great response from comic readers and have quite a strong following. I also very blessed to have my students at Style Design College as test readers. They’re always asking after my characters as if they were asking after old friends.

Alltern8: I’m looking at Page 15 of Issue 1, it’s well laid out, a marvelously brushed Renaissance engraver style beating scene. It seems you enjoyed drawing that. Do you think violence in narrative is over-employed? Surely there are many other great story devices…

LP: Hmmmm, that’s a tricky one. To be honest, I do think violence is too common in comics today. If overused, violence can definitely desensitise the reader. I’ve tried to build to the violent scenes – to use them as climatic moments rather then just titillation. Every act of violence in Ministry reveals something about the character committing it. With North, violence is just a means to an end, a form of control. With Hanson, it always intensely personal.

Alltern8: How much of The Ministry comes from reading about government figures involved in sex rings, black ops, Guantanamo Bay etc.? Where are the labs for research that make up a lot of the content of The Ministry?

LP: When I was born, Aparteid and racial segregation in South Africa was still a reality. The police were a force to be feared and the government had the power to make people vanish when they wanted. I think that has been one of my biggest influences.

The labs….hmmmm….the labs in Ministry are based on Crowley Island. Their sponsors wanted them in an isolated place in case of a occult fall out. Which of course, is exactly what happened.

Alltern8: Without naming names, I read on ‘Incoming’ you’d received some negative feedback about a rape sequence in The Ministry #3. There are some notes there about the context. Could you accurately re-present the feedback and how you feel about it?

LP: Oh, that scene….I’ve had a lot of feedback on that, locally as well. Most people thought that it was spot-on, violent without being titillating. Liam Sharp was very supportive and really gave me some comforting advice. Some critics were more upset by the nipples shown than the context. I don’t understand that – if someone’s shirtless, you’re going to see nipples. In the context of a rape, that’s NOT a turn-on for the reader and if it is, then that particular reader is a sicko. I was most concerned about the reaction of female readers but so far, a lot of women have related to the character being assaulted.

Alltern8: Talking about rape as part of a realistic horror narrative, if you’re a (spiritual) artist, seems okay to me. However, there’s no payoff, it’s a psychologically and socially fragmenting process. Without giving storytelling specifics away, how do you cope with that?

LP: Rape was one of the issues I wanted to deal with when I did Ministry. It’s more common in comics today than ever. Often once a women is raped in a comic, her life is shown as being over – she’s no use to anyone and she’ll never get over it. Bullsh*t! I wanted to show a character who is a survivor. She gets raped and still manages to overcome the trauma. In Ministry, the focus is not her rape but rather how she emerges triumphant from the trauma. I didn’t deal with this lightly – I based the scene on an experience that happened to a close friend of mine. She’s one of the strongest people I know and went on to become a black belt in kickboxing. At a later point in Ministry, I’m also going to deal with male-on-male rape. So that should stir up a hornet’s nest.

Alltern8: Talk us through the process of creating the average page of The Ministry. You’re an inking addict, but where does it start?

LP: Inking addict – that’s me. Well, I start with my rough thumb nails based on the script I’ve written. When that’s done, it’s onto neat pencils. I do my pencils in pale blue pencil so that I can ink straight over them. I really put the details in the inking. My biggest influences with shading has to be Sin City.

Alltern8: You frequently cite Lovecraft and Lynch, and the setting is named after Aleistar Crowley. Briefly say something about one aspect of your experiences with each of these three characters. Who are they and their works to you?

LP: I first discovered Lovecraft in a very dark time in my life – my mother had just died and my father was a nutcase. I loved the pessimism of his work – the concept of the cosmic abyss just beyond our sight. Many of his themes echo throughout Ministry. Lynch was discovered in a happier time – I had just met the man who would become my husband and he introduced me to Twin Peaks. The seedy underbelly of the American Dream is what I love about Lynch’s work. Twin Peaks is the kind of town I always imagine Hanson growing up in. As for Crowley, well, let’s just say I was the kind of kid who read everything and my normally conservative high school had a copy of his biography.

Alltern8: What can you tell me about Ronin Studios and the part they play in making The Ministry?

LP: Ronin has allowed me to interact with other independent comic professionals, especially Anthony Hary who has been very encouraging. My biggest professional support however would be my letterer Bernie Lee who letters Ministry from Issue 2 onwards. He’s marvelous.

Alltern8: What sort of frequency and narrative plans do you foresee for the book? Can folks buy the book in digital form, perhaps through Alltern8’s iDream facility?

LP: As Bernie and I are the entire creative team and both of us work, Ministry comes out 3 – 4 times a year. It’s available both at Indyplanet and the first issue is available through Alltern8’s (DEFUNCT) iDream facility (search ‘Lara Phillips’). As far as narrative is concerned, Ministry is filled with twists and turns. With the very gates of Hades opening, it’s going to be one hell of a joy ride.