Saturday 20 August 2011


IT strikes me that sending your new book off to the printers is a little like your young child's first day of school.
The little offspring ROSE BLACK: DEMON SEED was conceived by Tom Campbell and I about five years ago ... and we had all the usual late night "feeds" of ideas; creative "nappy changes"; its first steps and first words; leading all the way through various "design nursery" misdemeanors before finally being ready to be unleashed into the big-wide world without its parents.
We've been able to pick the best school (printers) for our child's needs; and after choosing the right uniform (cover and design) and sorting out transport (delivery), we settled down for an early night and an earlier rise.
While I'm pretty sure I've taken broad liberties with this metaphor, there is absolutely no doubt independent comic-book publishers view their books more like "children" than the huge mainstream outfits do.
If you're a parent, I'm sure you'll understand if your child's being excluded from the current curriculum or find the young one being picked on or bullied by the establishment, you'd be none too pleased.
This is the position that we find our young "children" in every term ... facing up against the 'Big Two' who all the young retailers crowd around to curry favour.
No one knows whether our kid is a tremendous football player or a fantastic athlete because he's stuck on the bench behind the 'popular elite' of the class.
I know many retailers who don't have much faith in independent product ... and, like school bullying, that's just wrong.
But here's a true story.
When we first solicited The Freedom Collective - one of our older children - to Diamond back in 2005, we were rejected by Previews' editorial committee as being 'poor quality'. We howked the youngster around the UK comic festivals that year and the well-turned-out infant achieved an instant following, gathering 3000 fans (Go look at if you HAVEN'T seen our little jewel).
When it was resubmitted to Diamond a few years later, it was accepted ... and attracted more than 1,000 invitations from retailers. It was applauded by Prefect Alex Ross and a head boy called Grant Morrison.  I guess, the 'poor quality' pupil had some merit after all.
I'm thankful our big family gets some kind of worldwide support, but I always think about our Freedom Collective child's first school outing .. punted to the back of the class only to become a star pupil as the term moved on.
I'm glad there are new moves afoot to promote these young stars in British retailer outfits. And I look forward to promoting that in a future blog.
Right now, I ask all comic-book retailers to invite any new indie-product into their gang. There are a healthy array of talent in this year's class which are packed with 'hidden depths'; and it would be a good idea to let them florish.
As for little Rose and her DEMON SEED, I have high hopes for the term ahead.
I think she's be a popular girl with a great personality and a fantastic dress sense. Oh God, before I know it ... she'll been married off and living in Hollywood.
She's available to order from and click on STORE.

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