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By Pat Mills, Jun 4 2016 04:06PM

Olivier's new cover for Requiem 1: Resurrection
Olivier's new cover for Requiem 1: Resurrection

Hey Vampire lovers! Are you desperate to sink your fangs into digital editions of our best-selling graphic novel series, Requiem Vampire Knight?

I've heard from many of you guys on this issue, and some of you just aren't into signing up with Comixology (where we've been selling the series for a couple of years now).

So we decided to make your day gruesomely better - you can now get your talons on DRM-free editions of volumes 1 and 2 over at our Gumroad store! We've made Requiem available as a PDF or a CBZ file, which we hope will suit most readers' requirements, but if there's a demand for another format, we'll supply it.

These editions feature stunning new wraparound covers from Olivier Ledroit (included as a high res image in the digital pacakge).

The new releases are thanks to Editions Glenat, who took over the Requiem universe last year, and are doing a fantastic job reissuing and repackaging the series. To date, they have released the first three volumes in French print, with volume 4 due out in July.

Olivier's wraparound cover for Requem 2: Danse Macabre
Olivier's wraparound cover for Requem 2: Danse Macabre

Even more exciting is the fact that artist Olivier and I are finally able to complete the series after a hiatus of several years. The long-anticipated volume 12 is due for French publication at the end of 2017, and we are hoping for a same day, English language digital release. We'll then round off the series with volume 13 in the not too distant future…

Rebecca urges Requiem to avenge her death. From Danse Macabre
Rebecca urges Requiem to avenge her death. From Danse Macabre

Olivier Ledroit has to be among the top 10 living French fantasy artists. For readers who enjoy my work on 2000 AD and Marshal Law, and are looking for more of the same, you will find plenty of venom against the powers that be, and plenty of dark comedy, in Requiem Vampire Knight.

For example, in the series you’ll find:

A thinly-disguised Mother Teresa as Mother Terror – Pirate Ghoul (Volume 2). I originally chickened out and tried to censor my own script, but Olivier had more balls than me and insisted on putting my full abusive version back in.

J. Edgar Hoover, in all his transvestite splendor on Earth and also appears as the Obergrosse Pirate Mitra – who out-Jabbas Jabba the Hutt

Well, that's religious hypocrites for you. Mother Terror in Danse Macabre
Well, that's religious hypocrites for you. Mother Terror in Danse Macabre

Aleister Crowley at his very darkest as Black Sabbat – the Chancellor of the Bank of Blood.

Cute demonic characters, like the Devil’s Dictionary, in the tradition of Grobbendonk from Nemesis The Warlock.

Robosaurs knocking hell out of each other in a future war.

Bizarre Baroque weapons, such as the Piano Gun, reminiscent of similar crazy weapons in my story Defoe (17th Century Zombie Hunter.) Not to mention the holy water bullets, reliquary grenades and an Angelic missile, with “an authentic Seraphim inside”, for those with fond memories of the battle scenes in Nemesis The Warlock.

And 2000 AD fans will enjoy the reappearance of Torquemada, this time as a crazed werewolf. Yes, he's still a religious maniac. I'm surprised you had to ask.

Everyone's favourite religious maniac. From Requiem 4: Vampires Ball
Everyone's favourite religious maniac. From Requiem 4: Vampires Ball

All in all, Requiem has a very Anglo-American/2000 AD quality about it – in fact, it was originally going to be bought by 2000 AD, but that’s another story...

Check out Resurrection and Danse Macabre at Gumroad, and see what you think.

P.s. If you want to see more pages from the Requiem series, I've set up a gallery here.

By Pat Mills, May 18 2016 11:21AM

Talking to Stephen Reid for the Everything Comes Back To 2000 AD podcast reminded me of the songs that inspired me on Cursed Earth. One such song was Barry McGuire's Eve of Destruction which still holds up well today. But the other one, Come Away Melinda, led directly to the story of Novar, my mutant survivor of nuclear war in the Cursed Earth. I even adapted some of the lyrics as they moved me so much.

Come away Melinda

Come in and close the door

That someone is your Mommy

You had before the war

I think it was Tim Rose's version I must have heard. I played it today and found it very emotional, although I recall the voice differently. The voice I remember was appropriately dark, harsh and cruel. So maybe it was a more obscure version I heard back in the 60s. Or perhaps it was just how I heard it in my head? It was definitely not Uriah Heep's which is quite gentle by comparison, and let's not talk about Harry Belafonte's! The number of covers of this song suggests just how meaningful and important it was to kids at the time. A great example of how musicians can be polemical, entertaining and successful, despite today's bland brigade's desire to dismiss anything thoughtful in music, film, books or comics as 'getting on a soapbox'. I do my best to ignore them and retain in my stories that cutting edge these beautiful and savage lyrics have.

By Pat Mills, Feb 26 2016 07:04PM

When I first dreamed up Action, I saw the title changing every year: Action 76, Action 77, Action 78, and so on. The board turned down that idea. But now, we're looking at Action 2016.

Last night via Skype I really enjoyed reviewing Birmingham City University students' work on a Charley's War inspired radio play and film, plus stories for Action Reloaded – re-imagining Action comic for today's audience. Many of us would love to see Action return, so I was fascinated to read the students' new ideas for Dredger, Death Game 2016 and Kids Rule Okay. Plus some new Action story ideas they suggested. These involved computer viruses and the sinister power of the internet and, with their anti-establishment stance, they were spot on.

The radio play Red Dragon Crater was directed by Paul Hunt and based on a real and tragic event during the Battle of the Somme. The actors in the play were first-rate and transported the audience to the Western Front with a very moving story.

The film The Battle of Loos was directed by Ioan Banzourkov and used some great visual techniques to bring the battles of the trenches alive. Using grim and powerful images, many of which I'd never seen before, it was based on a soldier's authentic letter home – an approach I've also used in Charley's War.

Both the play and the film were very professional, dramatic and emotional. Like the Action ideas, they had mainstream commercial appeal which really gladdened my heart. Nothing arty and pretentious here. And not a bloody superhero in sight. So there's still that affection for realistic British comics and creativity, which Action stood for and is so missing from our newsstands.

I was particularly impressed by the quality of the work given the tight deadline the students had: one week! Students with different media skills – who had never met each other before – got together to make them happen and delivered on time! On time! That's unheard of in my world! And – presumably – had to get on with each other as well. Impressive! I'm just sorry Skype was having a bad night and the gremlins were out in force, but they couldn't take away from a great evening. Many thanks to Associate Professor in Film at BCU Xavier Mendik, and Lectuer in the School of Computing and Digital Technology Robert McLaughlin for dreaming up such an exciting project and inviting me to take part. It was a real privilege.

By Pat Mills, Feb 18 2016 03:05PM

I'm honoured to be speaking at the Creative Networks event held at Birmingham City University on Thursday 25th February. I'll be talking via Skype from 7-9pm about comics in general and in particular discussing Charley's War and Action Comic.

I've also been mentoring BCU students on a new ‘reloaded’ reinterpretation of Charley’s War, and this collaborative work - filming, recording and workshops - will be showcased at the event from 6.30pm.

A big thanks to Xavier Mendik, Associate Professor in Film at BCU for making all of this happen. I first met Xavier at last year's Cine-Exess, which was hosted at the School of Art, Design and Media at the University of Brighton, where I was a guest of honour and was delighted to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from Professor Martin Barker, author of Action - The Story of a Violent Comic (Titan Books, 1990).

The Creative Networks talk is held at the Curzon Building, Curzon Street, Birmingham, and is free - you just need to register for a place.

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Requiem Vampire Knight 1: Resurrection

Heinrich Augsburg, a German officer on the Eastern front, is killed and finds himself reborn into the corrupt world of Resurrection as one of the vampire elite.

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