Do not adjust your reality…
SPACE WARP is coming!
If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to create a comic like 2000AD, now is your chance to find out. To experience the highs, the lows, the creative jamming with artists, the excitement of breakthroughs and the disappointments when things go wrong. Then the satisfaction of solving those problems, getting the art right, the stories right, the thrill of seeing amazing new artwork, and the knowledge that we are facilitating great new talent who, otherwise, might be stuck in some boring job. And finally, the thrill of viewing the finished awesome comic.
So pull up a ringside seat, because that’s what I’m intending to do with SPACE WARP.
Space Warp will be a one-shot, anthology, popular culture SF comic featuring new, or lesser-known (not established) artists.
Drawn to professional standard, it will be for the equivalent of 2000AD’s original core readership: a comic that was enjoyed by all age groups.
I want Space Warp to be a similar age-buster. Just like Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Who, Harry Potter and James Bond. Such great fiction can be enjoyed by anyone, any age.
It will be available as print on demand and digital, and it will be creator-owned by the artists and the writer.
It’s written and drawn on spec, but it will be monetised. It won’t be crowd-funded.
Space Warp is in the tradition of classic SF comics, like 2000AD in its early years, but updated for 2019. It’s not satire or homage to the past, it’s new stories with something new to say. It’ll be black and white. No colour. And the artists must be of the same high standard as the original 2000AD. Not cartoon style and not fanzine art
It’s inspired by Book Three of my Read Em And Weep thriller series (currently being written). If all goes well, Space Warp could be out later this year.
Theme-wise, Space Warp is a unifying and terrifying event that links the stories as it warps time, space, realities and people.
Introduced by alien robot editor Schlock, the comic is male-orientated, like 2000AD, but with modern female characters (no Marvel comics anatomy), modern sensibilities and varied ethnicity.
And stories like Jurassic Man (see below) can definitely be enjoyed by all genders.
The comic has two broad objectives:
First, to encourage new talent and prove the viability of a proper copyright deal based on the French comics industry standard: the best in the world.
As opposed to the archaic British ‘all rights’ model, which has nearly destroyed British adventure comics and continues to harm it by not attracting or retaining top talent, or encouraging creators to give of their very best.
Second, to show that it’s possible to recapture comics’ original core younger audience. The audience that the industry willfully deserted and that defeatists don’t believe can be catered for anymore (and don’t really like or understand, anyway, preferring supposedly superior ‘adult’ comics).
There’s also a third outcome. By sharing the creative process here on Storyteller, we’re providing an insight to the general reader, fan and interested creator, on how comic stories are written up, the relationship between writers, artists and letterers, how the story and art develops, how to indie publish, and – of course – to show all the things that can and will go wrong!
You will have a behind-the-scenes view of its progress like a ‘fly on the wall’ TV documentary. So we’re even going to have some video clips of creative discussions as we go along. We encourage creators to join in and share their experience of Space Warp.
Just as when I started 2000AD, I have no idea of the exact final outcome – what new superstar artists will emerge, which stories the readers will like the most, what awesome new ideas and personalities will emerge – and that’s, surely, the whole excitement of comics.
SPACE WARP One will be six stories of approximately six pages each story. Plus a Future Schlock story, a full-colour cover, and editorial pages. It will be British comic size, not American.
My ideal line-up for SPACE WARP One would be six out of the following seven stories:
Agent Impossible, Jurassic Man, Hellbreaker, Futants, Xecutioners, SF1 and Slayer.
With a Future Schlock bonus story.
Inevitably, at least one story will not work out and won’t make the final selection. So I’m also developing possible replacement stories.
Below is a list of the current line-up with a brief summary of what they are about. They will all be available for artists to try out for, apart from Jurassic Man and two of the Future Schlocks. New artist Simon Hodgkiss-Rogers has already made an excellent start on Jurassic Man. French artist Gregory Markles is drawing a Future Schlock that will also appear in Gryyym magazine, and a top art college wants their students to draw another Future Schlock.
SPACE WARP One – THE STORIES
AGENT IMPOSSIBLE – He doesn’t want to be a God. He wants the Warp powers for everyone. So they tried to kill him. But, covered in bullet-wounds, he just keeps on coming.
HELLBREAKER – The Dead escape from Hell and go to war with the Living. They’ve already suffered so much: ‘You can’t do anything to us anymore’.
FUTANTS – Future delinquent mutants shoplift in time and space and more, as their ruthless bosses hunt them down.
SLAYER – A Human Galactic Empire is challenged by one Alien: Schlock.
SF1 – Strike Force One. Future soldiers fighting in the Eternal War.
FUTURE SCHLOCKS – The robot editor shares his anti-human stories for his and your entertainment.
JURASSIC MAN – One man against a million dinosaurs.
XECUTIONERS – 62 moons. 62 realities. One police force.
I believe Space Warp will have considerable general readership, collector appeal and ongoing interest.
Although I’m not set up to produce the stories on a week in, week out basis, like 2000AD.
However, I can produce Space Warp One as a print on demand and digital anthology.
Then – after a suitable interval of say, six months, I could envisage a second one-shot print on demand comic: Space Warp Two.
We could continue with the same stories or combine them with a second different wave of stories that didn’t make the first selection.
It will depend on audience feedback, artists’ commitments and the talent that emerges.
And after that, who knows?
We’ve shared draft documents – explaining in comprehensive detail what Space Warp is all about – with a number of Storyteller readers for their thoughts. These include regular fans, writers, artists, a small press publisher, a school, an art college, universities, and parents with boys who’ve long, long looked for a suitable publication, like the fantastic comics they grew up with.
Once we’ve absorbed their feedback we’ll put all the final information on Space Warp on this blog: everything you want to know about price, copyright, monetising, deadlines and more, in approximately three weeks time. Together with summaries of the stories for new artists to select and draw a sample sequence. I will include a full artist briefing so they know exactly what I’m looking for.
Get ready for Space Warp.
It’s Schlock and Awe!