Friday 27 December 2013


The Rough Cut Comics brand kicked off 2013 in a big way when many of our titles appeared prominently on the cult Channel 4 drama UTOPIA, which made its debut on British TV in January. The series opened in a comic-book store, Doomsday Comics, with a member of staff reading our ROSE BLACK title while the drama's sinister assassins arrive to begin their quest for the show's big McGuffin. Artwork for ROSE BLACK: DEMON SEED and FREEDOM COLLECTIVE adorn the walls as the villains terrorise the shop's staff and customers. One last little boy, seen cowering beneath a table of comics, is seen clutching THE SURGEON as the sinister hit-man closes in ...
The scene featured in the main promotional trailers on TV and also adverts in the cinema with our titles garnering prominent screen-time. The series' art director had gathered a number of indie titles from the UK, but the show's writer and director LOVED our books and gave them a huge show in the drama. We're delighted to reveal that the show's art director has used our titles again for another new sci-fi based pilot series being produced by C4 for screening in 2014. Watch this space.

Work was also completed on our FREEDOM COLLECTIVE book (pictured above, left), which was designed to expand our homage to Jack Kirby/Stan Lee era of Marvel Comics. Dom Regan brought his Kirby-esque style to the volume alongside art editor Colin Barr, but the talents of Dave Alexander, Kurt Sibling and Dave Golding were also added to the creative mix which was brought together in a parody of the House of Idea's 'Essential' series packaging. The book was distributed through Diamond Comic Distributors and quickly achieved the popularity of the original one-shot, which was a Top 300 title when originally released. 

Rough Cut Comics publisher Ed Murphy joined a creative panel on horror comics alongside industry icon Mike Ploog at Glasgow Comic Con 2013 (pictured right).
The city's annual comics festival made its debut in the CCA building and the Rough Cut stall featured in the main hall alongside organisers Black Hearted Press and 2000AD artist Alex Ronald, who has joined our stable of artists with his unique cover art for GOOD COP BAD COP, our first title for 2014. The Glasgow festival provides a genuine outlet for comic-book fans and this year featured a first-class array of guest writers and artists, including John Wagner, Alan Davis, Carlos Esquerra and Cam Kennedy.
Rough Cut's prominence in Italy was profiled in 2013 when the company was featured in the country's literary equivalent of Rolling Stone Magazine. Our titles sell around 1500 copies in the Rome capital and the popularity of FREEDOM COLLECTIVE was celebrated in the widely-read Il Mucchio magazine (pictured  left), featuring beside stories on Breaking Bad, Bret Easton Ellis, Nirvana, Throwing Muses and The Pixies. Pretty cool company, eh? 

Publisher Ed Murphy was also interviewed on Italy's GoldWorld site and the feature outlined the company's creative influence from Italian publishers:

Rough Cut Comics also celebrated the signing of Scottish writer Jim Alexander's GOODCOPBADCOP series, which features the artwork of Garry McLaughlin and Luke Cooper. The high-concept horror-crime opus is Tartan Noir at its finest; and re-establishes the traditional Scottish detective thriller into Jekyll and Hyde territory. Our new trade paperback brings in new art from Will Pickering and a startling new cover from Alex Ronald (pictured right). Judge Dredd co-creator John Wagner provides an introduction to our 68 page volume which will be released in January 2014.

The company is looking forward to celebrating its 13th year as an established independent comic-book publisher. We've been fighting falling sales in the indie market over the last two years; and we're proud to still be able to pay our writers and artists page-rates and maintain sizeable print-runs for our titles. 

This year, will see our fourth re-print of the original ROSE BLACK book and we expect to see more promotional appearances from our live-action statuesque model  (pictured left) at our booths for MCM and SHOWMASTERS events. Rough Cut Comics will also be making an appearance at Glasgow Comic Con 2014 and the Sci-Fi Comic Weekender in Edinburgh in April. We hope you all continue to stay on our side through Facebook and Twitter ... and support us in anyway you can. 
Best wishes for 2014. May all your dreams come true.

As usual, you can follow us on Facebook: or twitter:; or see all our titles on our web store: and Amazon:

Saturday 15 June 2013


IT has taken half a century for the talents of Moscow-based Kremlin Comics to be fully recognised in the western world.
Even as the Berlin Wall crumbled, the Iron Curtain was still being pulled across the alcove cupboard where writer Leiberski and artist Kirbov (alongside a plethora of State-authorised collaborators) created stories depicting super “communist” characters such as The Kremlin Kockroach, The Siberian Six and The Freedom Collective.
Within the pages of hundreds of publications produced by this dedicated group could be found an entire world of wondrous and dutiful heroes, all standing between the workers under the protection of their would-be capitalist conquerors lurking on the darker side of the Atlantic at the time.
The purchases of these titles were compulsory by all citizens of the States and Kremlin Comics flourished in the Eastern bloc right into the mid-seventies, at which time the decaying government controls eventually forced them into back-street stores and markets throughout Russia.
The early golden days of the comics had more or less been “wiped out” by the old regime … and many historians have spent the last thirty years working together to “unearth” the early pages of Kremlin Comics.
Rough Cut Comics’ Publisher Ed Murphy was an entertainment journalist back in the nineties when he stumbled upon a lead which took him to a contact that had discovered the original artwork of the early Freedom Collective stories.
He preserved this contact right through till he established his comic-book company at the beginning of the new millennium … and as the company rolled out its first roster of titles, Murphy signed an exclusive deal to license Kremlin Comics titles across the world.
Many salvaged comics would be “sweat damaged” due to them having been used by Communist military and civilians alike to pad out their clothing during their more severe winters.
The first title able to be fully restored was The Freedom Collective’s 22-page adventure called This Land … This Terror, which pitted the Super-Champions against an evil tyrant who had a passing resemblance to a certain American President of the sixties.
It was originally published as an “ashcan” and distributed at the Bristol Comic Expo in the UK back in 2004.
But Diamond Comics refused to distribute its first-run and many comic-book stores were reluctant to go with the title (there were some whispers in the corridors of power that a shadowy figure named ‘Bullet’; - a British agent known to have been trained by the infamous Lord Peter Flint – had visited some shop owners and dissuaded them from stocking the title).
But at a tremendous cost, Rough Cut Comics self-distributed in the UK and US and soon received reviews in The Jack Kirby Collector and Wizard Magazine back in the day. Over the following three years, it gained an incredible following from comic-book fans.
When re-submitted to Diamond in 2008, it became a monster-hit through its listing in their Previews Magazine … receiving orders which ran into the thousands.
Two of its biggest fans were artist Alex Ross and writer Grant Morrison.
If you haven’t yet stumbled across this fabulous slice of comic-book history, you are still able to purchase the last remaining copies of the 32-page Freedom Collective: This Land … This Terror from Rough Cut Comics’s online distributor UKonDisplay:
In the meantime, fans of “Communist’s Mightiest Super-Heroes” can stand-by for the brand-new trade paperback which collects a handful of stories into a 76-page book.
The collected edition – The Compulsory Freedom Collective – will bring to life the forgotten world of valiant character, including Ivan Karnage, Agent of KRUSH and the Siberian Six.
The book will be shipping into comic-book stores in August 2013 through Diamond Comics. It should be available from UKonDisplay after its first-run distribution. Spread the word … you just can’t beat these types of Freedom’s in the indie comic-book world. You can find out more about Rough Cut Comics and The Freedom Collective at:

Saturday 26 May 2012


BRITISH model Amanda Swan made her signing debut at London's KAPOW Comic Con with her new title AMANDA SWAN: THE HELLFIRE LEGACY.
Rough Cut Comics have built the action-adventure title around the performer who is best known as a photographic muse and featured artist on the Sky Arts network.
The comic portrays Amanda as a celebrity IT girl who masquerades as a masked vigilante determined to bring down a secret organisation which has originated from London's notorious Hellfire Club.
The creators amalgamated elements of Catwoman, Lara Croft and the cult fantasy film Highlander to create an original comic-book franchise.

SWAN LAKE: Amanda Swan at the Rough Cut Comics stand
at KAPOW with Stuart Gould (UK Comics) and Ed Murphy
 (Publisher and co-creator of the Amanda Swan title).
The Rough Cut Comics-title is a UK first - a licensed property based upon a popular photographic model personality.There are dozens of companies in the States who produce these successful comic-books, but none has been created in the UK until now."I'm honoured to be the first," said Amanda at last weekend official launch."This is a very exciting project for me and I'm glad to be part of it."
Amanda signed copies of the comic and had her photographs taken with dozens of fans at the event held at the London Business Design Centre.
We will be posting Amanda's live appearances throughout 2012 to promote the comic ... exclusively on Rough Cut Comics' Facebook page:!/pages/Rough-Cut-Comics/142598199129432
If you don't want to miss out on dates, special offers or competitions, then go "like" the page.
The comic-title will be distributed into shops through Diamond Comic Distributors and will be featured in the July edition of the company's Previews catalogue.
But don't listen to our unbiased blurb, here's industry experts DownTheTubes review of the title:

Monday 21 May 2012


EVERYONE who has read the ROSE BLACK series from Rough Cut Comics agrees it is the most original "new" take on vampire fiction.
Critically, writers from The Comics Journal to Britain's Down The Tubes have hailed the main character - a 600-year-old bloodsucker with a deeply-embedded religious zeal and a passion to rid mankind of evil - as a true original. Everyone has claimed the central twist at the end of the first book is something they just didn't see coming ... and has never been done before.
Since 2003, the Rose Black series has shifted around 10,000 copies (in its various presentations: whether it be mini-series, one-shot, collected trade paperback and recently, as an original graphic novel).Every year, Rough Cut Comics finds new readers who had never heard of the character ... and are more than pleased to make her acquaintance when they get their full pitch of the story.
SHE'S A VAMP: Rose Black at the
 Rough Cut Comics stand at KAPOW
Since launching the series, the publisher promoted the character with a live-action Rose Black model appearing at comic conventions and showcase events.As such, Rose Black has adorned the pages of national newspapers The Daily Mirror and The Sun, as well as magazines such as Naked and the now-defunct Wizard.
The latest "Rose Black" made her debut at this year's KAPOW Comic Con in London last weekend.
Celebrated British cosplay performer Jackie Kennedy (LadydChaos) took over the reigns in the Business Design Centre ... and made a huge impact bringing new readers to the Rough Cut Comics booth on Saturday.
If you attend any of the London Film and Comic Shows and the Showmasters events, as well as any in the fan-based calendar, you'll possibly know LadydChaos. She's been everyone from CatWoman to SheHulk; Battlestar Galactica's Six to Lara Croft.
Her painstaking dedication to costumes made her Chaos Comics' No 1 choice for their Lady Death character.
And the statuesque model, who is just under six-foot-tall in her flats, brought Rough Cut Comics' bloodsucking British secret agent alive with fine panache.Rose is adorned here in her standard issue M16 regalia ... a look that had been previously favoured by Dana Scully in the X-Files series and used in small portions of ROSE BLACK and DEMON SEED.The character's standard issue leather catsuit had always been a difficult image to pull off ... and the 'look' was originally favoured back in 2002 when the comic was being put together ... as a direct hommage to the old-fashion British action heroines and the Danger Girl series.
POISED: Rose Black in action
in the comic-book series.
A year after Rose Black was released in comic shops in the UK and the States, Kate Beckinsdale appeared in the big-screen in a similiar garb for the Underworld series of the movies.
We've maintained the catsuit image throughout the series, but for the next book - provisionally titled ROSE BLACK: THE GOD PARTICLE - she'll be settling more into the tightly-fitted suit we saw the live-action Rose fashion at KAPOW.We hope everyone enjoyed having their photographs taken with the character and hope all readers enjoy dipping into the series for their first time. If you're on Facebook, please feel free to share the photographs on our page. We may have a little gift for the best ones we see published.During the weekend, Rose brushed shoulders with Nick Frost and Jonathan Ross, comic writers Warren Ellis and Paul Cornell; and all our friends at SFX Magazine. (Later, as Jackie manifested as DC Comics Poison Ivy, she spent the afternoon with Avengers Tony Stark, Thor and Captain America; as well as The Thing and the Scarlet Witch).If you didn't manage to get along to see us at KAPOW, we hope you'll be able to join us at the Glasgow Comic Con on June 30 and July 1.
But if you're intrigued by what you've heard about Rose Black, take a visit to our online store and purchase any of the books currently available. We don't think you'll disappointed.Check out:
For all details on our future appearances, follow us on Facebook on Twitter @RoughCutComics

Friday 11 May 2012


SINCE last weekend's Free Comic Book Day, where we gave away ROSE BLACK#0 with all online sales, there's been a huge surge of interest in the company's longest running character. Rose is a 600-year-old bloodsucker … in a world where vampires don’t exist. Intrigued?
The titular character is an amalgam of Marvel’s Black Widow and 2000AD’s Durham Red; a statuesque beauty standing more than six-feet-tall who would be able to turn James Bond into a Vodka Martini Bloody Mary with a single blow
... leaving him shaken AND stirred.
But the heart of the series is reckoned to be a truly original 're-imagining' of vampire mythology … and critics believe it is unlike anything which has
gone before.
When we first encounter Rose, she has been hiding in a French monastery for two decades and is reactivated into the British Secret Service to track down the agents of a sinister cabal hidden within the Vatican … a group whose leader knows what Rose Black truly is.
And we don’t think you’ll see this coming!
The series was created in 2003 by Rough Cut Comics Publisher Ed Murphy and has been developed by a variety of writers and artists, but the key elements have been scripted by Murphy and writing partner Tom Campbell.
The character and style of the series harks back to the creators' love of 2000AD ... circa 1977. The early stories retain that true-Brit style and composition.
The first instalments were compiled into a trade paperback ROSE BLACK: BOOK ONE and last year, the publishers produced an original graphic novel ROSE BLACK: DEMON SEED.
Rough Cut Comics will be re-releasing the ROSE BLACK series at KAPOW Comic Con at the London Business Design Centre next Saturday (May 19).
Rose Black herself and creator Ed Murphy will be sited at Stand 180 in Artists Alley. For further information and more Rose Black artwork, follow Rough Cut Comics’ Facebook page:!/pages/Rough-Cut-Comics/142598199129432

Saturday 28 April 2012


ROUGH Cut Comics celebrated World Book Night at a special event held at Meadowbank Library in Polmont.

Organisers brought us together with fellow Glasgow publishers Metaphrog, ex-2000AD editor Dave Bishop and new Scottish outfit Emancipation Studios to promote comic-books and graphic novels within this annual promotion for the written word.

Q&A: World Book Night panel (from left to right) Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers (Metaphrog) Ed Murphy
(Rough Cut Comics Publisher), James Lundy (Emancipation Studios) and Dave Bishop (ex-2000AD Editor).
The event attracted an enthusiastic crowd on a Saturday evening … all of whom were keen to get a ‘behind the scenes’ view of comic publishing.

Metaphrog creators John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs always provide a fantastic peek behind that curtain with their highly imaginative workshops surrounding the creation of their hugely successful Louis books – Louis: Red Letter Day, Louis: Lying To Clive, Louis: The Clown’s Last Word and Louis: Dreams Never Die.

Metaphrog were commissioned to adapt The First Men of Mercury, a poem by Edwin Morgan into comic-form, and their work was distributed to secondary schools in Glasgow … and this emphasises their commitment to educating youngsters in the merits of the comic-book format as a means of communication.

Since 2008, Rough Cut Comics has concentrated on producing its artwork in the format of graphic novels … the cumulative effects of manufacturing comic-books for ten years now.

But it’s not only our collected works in its trade paperback form. We chose to produce ROSE BLACK: DEMON SEED as an original graphic novel; and although we missed out a three-issue mini-series in the marketplace, the book has made a bigger impact in terms of graphic novel presentation.

The World Book Night event gave us a unique opportunity to talk with “book readers” as opposed to “comic readers” … and unfortunately, there’s still a distinction.

But thanks to the influence of the library (Polmont has a large and varied selection of graphic novels) and Waterstones (who also had a stall at the World Book Night event) that distinction is becoming a little more blurred.

The Q and A at the end of the evening underlined the ever-growing influence of comic-books amongst library users.

And that’s something that must encourage further growth within the UK’s comic-book market.

Great new companies like West Lothian-based Emancipation Studios, run by lifelong ‘fan-boy’ James Lundy who also operates the Heroes and Idols site, is a perfect example of its growing form in the marketplace.  It was great to see youngsters get a ‘behind the scenes’ glance at the workings of comic-book writer/publisher … as James has just penned his company’s first title Wired.

Rough Cut Comics introduced many new readers to our graphic novel THE SURGEON, which received an introduction from Ramsey Campbell on its recent reprinting. In light of the new Avengers movie, youngsters also grappled on to our FREEDOM COLLECTIVE comic-book; a direct tribute to the legends of creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

These events are great opportunities to discuss the books we make with the people we are pitching to … and there are so many we haven’t yet reached.

I’d like to thank the organisers/staff who ran this hugely worthwhile comic-book event. They provided a great environment to talk “comics” and we were thankful to get the opportunity to promote Rough Cut Comics.

Friday 13 April 2012

BRITISH model Amanda Swan is being presented in her first comic-book title AMANDA SWAN: THE HELLFIRE LEGACY, published by Rough Cut Comics.

Amanda is known mostly for her sensational photographic work produced all over the world. She also featured as the ‘Modigliani’ model on the Sky Arts series in which notorious art forger John Myatt teaches aspiring artists how to paint in the style of the greatest artists.

For the new comic title, Amanda is recreated as a mysterious vigilante whose origins appear to date back to the Hellfire Club of Victorian London.

The dark thriller has been pitched as an amalgam of Highlander and From Hell … featuring an iconic heroine who is crossed between Cat Woman and Lara Croft.

Here, we interview Amanda about her work on the comic-book and her comic influences …

So Amanda, how did you manage to become a comic-book heroine?

 I was initially approached by Rough Cut Comics to portray one of their own comic-book characters at photographic shoots and live events. I’ve always thought of myself modelling ‘in character’, so this was something which really interested me. But during discussions for this, we brought up the idea of allowing me to be portrayed as a character in my own comic. We spoke about what kind of character I’d like to be and what my interests would be. They showed me a script, which I loved …and then, we were off and running.

How does it feel to be a comic-book character?

I’m used to seeing photographs of myself in all kinds of dynamic poses. But it’s really strange to see yourself drawn and coloured. I suppose if I was acting in a movie, I’d have been involved in ‘recreating’ these big action scenes in the story. So it was strange seeing me riding through the streets of London on a motorcycle at high speeds; climbing up tall buildings and fighting with guns and knives. It was wicked.

Did you read comics as a child?

You know, I was really more into books than comics. I was never out of the public library and if I had one wish as a child, it would have been to have my OWN library with thousands of books. I loved Enid Blyton and Hans Christian Anderson … lots of childhood folklore stories. But I used to get those comic-book annuals which would have been a collection of the weekly comic-book stories. They were always popular at Christmas-time.

What did you read? Anything we’d know?

I never read Marvel or DC Comics, which were very popular. I wasn’t really interested in the likes of Spiderman or Wonder Woman. I think my favourites would have comics which names like Bunty, Mandy and Judy. I liked ‘girlie’ comics, but there was one called Misty, which were slightly more supernatural stories. But these reminded me a lot of the Famous Five stories, which were a favourite of mine.

You definitely have a comic-book heroine’s figure. How do you maintain it?

Honestly, I don’t do anything. I think this is just my natural physique. I don’t exercise much these days, but I try to eat the right foods and maintain a healthy living. I’ve always been well-proportioned and when I do put on any weight, it seems to go to the right places. I think I am very lucky that way.

What would you like to see your character doing in future comics?

I like the idea of being a crime-fighter and standing up for the rights of the under-privileged. I think that’s something I really feel strongly about. But certainly, in comic-book terms, I’d like to perform more outrageous stunts and visit more exotic locations. The first one was set in London, but like a great James Bond movie, I’d like to see me somewhere like exotic India or Vienna. After all, it’s much cheaper to do these things in comics, isn’t it?

To purchase copy of AMANDA SWAN: THE HELLFIRE LEGACY priced £4.99, go to: