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.

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