Pandragon Dan

Pandragon Dan

Author/Reviewer/Blogger

First Look: Amanda Moonstone: The Missing Prince

Check out this trailer for my forthcoming novel through Paper Crane Books - Amanda Moonstone: The Missing Prince.

 

I've mentioned it on my blog a couple of times, but this is the first official look at the story. Check out the video on Youtube here.

 

 
 
 
 
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PANDRAGON

 

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Sequentializing the Text - A guest post by Andrez Bergen

 

 

 

Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat is by far one of my favourite Sci-Fi novels and one of the most original stories I've ever read. I did a review about on the website Read 2 Review (which unfortunately I don't think exists anymore) and was amazed by the originality of the story. I will be reviewing the latest novel by Andrez Bergen Depth Charging Ice Planet Goth in a couple of months time - but for today I have some exciting news.

 

I recently heard that Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat was being released as graphic novel. And boy was I excited! So much so that I HAD to have Andrez come back to my blog to tell us a little about it. In actual fact, he's working on a couple of other comic books as well. So this post is for all you comic readers out there - you may want to check this out!

 

I'll say no more and hand it over to Andrez! Take it away my friend!

 

 

 

 

SEQUENTIALIZING THE TEXT

 

While I usually barge in here to hawk new novels — which Dan is always ready to support and encourage, bless him — today I'm going to deviate course a wee bit and talk up comic books.

 

I say "a wee bit" because I'm still doing the writing, and there're key moments in these comics that refer to the novels I've already written — all part of the subliminal (if not self-indulgent) world building I tend to potter away with beneath the fabric of what are, in essence, standalone yarns.

 

So, anyway, comics.

 

 

                            
 
 

I'm currently working on two different ongoing sequential projects named Bullet Gal and Tales to Admonish (this second one with an amazing fellow Aussie artist, Matt Kyme) while I just published a one-off graphic novel titled Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat.

 

The latter may be familiar to long-time readers of this blog as it's the same name as my first published novel, which came out through Another Sky Press in 2011.

 

In fact the graphic novel is a fairly faithful look at the first 90 pages of the original book, this time with images to bring the characters to life and visuals to set the scene of this hardboiled, acid rain inclined near future dystopia. But I also expand the story, giving better attention in particular to the supporting cast.

 

And I produced the artwork, with help from my daughter Cocoa.

 

 
 

For this exercise, covering 144 pages, I decided to lay aside paintbrushes, pencils and inks (though they remained within arm's reach) in order to better pursue a method of photomontage and digital iconoclasm. There are sights and faces you might recognize, and that's a deliberate step, a flashback to what the Dadaists were doing a century ago and Terry Gilliam chopped together for Monty Python, while paying homage to the classic noir detective stories of yesteryear.

 

The trick is making these essentially single images function as a sequential yarn, and doing the Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat graphic novel was a great exercise in how to achieve just that. The fact that the whole exercise was sponsored by a group of wonderful people via Kickstarter is the icing on this cake.

 

Straight after that I headed into production of a monthly comic book series: Bullet Gal. It debuted last month and I'm currently putting together #9 for February next year.

 

This is basically a retro-noir crime romp with token superheroes, very influenced by the 1940s and the words of people like Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, tempered by exposure to contemporary comic writers Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction, I guess. For the pictures I've also been inspired by Steve Epting, Jack Kirby, Sean Phillips, David Aja, Jim Steranko and Steve Ditko — though the Bullet Gal series is quite different again, and I do wish I had a single percentage point of these people's talent.

 

Bullet Gal herself is a character from my novel Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?, so this series is a prequel to that, but it also relates to my latest novel Depth Charging Ice Planet Goth.

 

What I love about this series is the fact I'm scripting and plotting on the fly... usually page by page as I organize the visuals. There's no long-term game plan I'm abiding by, but it's developing as it emerges, page by page — and then issue by issue. This process has been as liberating as it has been startling to me as an author of novels that can take years.

 

So... The next trick is to get back into writing those long-players.

 

Now there's the challenge!

 

 

ANDREZ BERGEN
 

 

Thanks for stopping by Andrez. And for you guys who want to check out these stories and other excellent comics, check out the website at:

 

IF? COMMIX

 

Have a great week guys.

 

 

 

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PANDRAGON

 

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An update on Pandragon Reviews

It is with deep regret that I announce that I will be putting my reviews on hold until further notice. Unfortunately, due to a number of factors (chiefly being work and the projects I have on the go at the moment) I have to be a bit more careful with my time. As such, I have decided to stop indie author reviews for the time being.

 

I understand this may come as a disappointment to all the authors that have submitted my book for a review - and I am really sorry that I cannot help out at present. However, I will gladly accept any author who wishes to do a guest post or something on my blog. If you wish to do this, please get in touch. I do have a couple of reviews outstanding that I will be posting over the next few weeks, but as of now I am not accepting any new review requests.

 

I apologise to any inconvenience this may cause. I hope you guys understand.

 

 

 

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PANDRAGON

 

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Totalitarian Warlords and Termination Squadron Episode 4

 

Episode 4 of my fan parody series Totalitarian Warlords and Termination Squadron is now up on Youtube!

 

In this episode, the Man in Shadow has to contend with angry fangirls, who seek to punish him for what he said about Elsa! Will he survive, or will they tear him a new one? :X

 

Featuring the voice talents of Mysti Parker, Morgan Straughan Comnick and Francine - thanks for all your hard work guys. :)

 

Parts one and two are below. Enjoy!

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
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PANDRAGON

 

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Pandragon Reviews - The Turnarounders and the Arbuckle Rescue


I was kinda worried that I wouldn’t be able to get this review out on time this month – considering that this week has been really busy for me. But, I preserved and, as promised to my author, I have the review here ready to go.

 

Today’s book I thought was gonna be a nice light hearted children’s book – but I was amazed at how dark it was in places. But not so dark that I don’t think others couldn’t enjoy it. In fact, it had a very interesting concept.

 

So today, we take a trip back in time to WWII Kent and follow Ralf and the Turnarounders as they fight to protect the world from a great evil. So let’s delve into The Turnarounders and the Arbuckle Rescue by Lou Heneghan.

 

 

About the author

 

Lou Heneghan was born a long time ago in a very small house on the edge of a deep, shadow-filled forest.
Now living in a ramshackle building on the edge of London, Lou's front windows look out over shimmering spires and distant city towers. To the back of the house is a footpath that winds deep into the woods. At dusk, Lou often follows it into the promise-filled darkness of the trees.

 

Lou nods at black cats, salutes magpies and never, ever, walks under ladders.

 

Links are below:

 

THETURNAROUNDERS.COM

https://twitter.com/LouHeneghan

https://www.facebook.com/lou.heneghan.3

https://www.goodreads.com/profile/LouHeneghan

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lou-Heneghan/e/B00G8EELZ2/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

 

You can also see a trailer for the book at http://www.theturnarounders.com/#!trailer/c1pz

 

 

       

 

 

Cover

 

There are two covers for this book, one with a more darker, adult look (left) and a more child friendly look (right). Both work well and capture both the upbeat and dark nature of the story, but if I had to choose I’d choose the one on the left myself. However both work well.

 

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

 

Ever felt you knew what was about to happen?

 

Ever had a strange feeling that you've done something before?

 

Ralf Osborne just wants to be a normal boy but, as his twelfth birthday approaches, he starts to recognise people he’s never met and know things he can’t possibly know. He also suspects that the mysterious hooded man he keeps seeing is following him.

 

He is.

 

Why? Because Ralf Osborne is far from normal. He has lived before.

 

Ralf and his friends are Turnarounders. They have power. And a long, long time ago, they made a solemn vow to help if ever they were needed.

 

Soon the Turnarounders are plunged back in time to the start of the Second World War. At first, they are only concerned with getting back home, but then they uncover a plot that could alter the course of history.

 

It's time for the Turnarounders to keep their promise…

 

 

What I liked

 

With the group consisting mostly of kids, it’s clear that the writer is aiming this at the younger market – but don’t be fooled into thinking this is a standard children’s story. It has a dark subtext and some “nightmare fuel” places in it – especially with the main villain. I don’t really want to spoil anything about the plot, but let me just tell you – the scene in which you meet him is straight outta Lovercraftian horror!

 

The Turnarounders are an interesting bunch of characters, ranging from brainacs to tough, streetwise kids, so you get a good mix of characters and something for everyone. For me, nothing is more annoying that having a team where everyone has basically the same traits, so it was refreshing to have a group where they all had difference personalities. Ralf, of course, is the main protagonist, but he’s not the key problem solver – everyone plays their part in this story.

 

So the plot basically revolves around children that are sent back to a Kent village during WWII to stop an evil force from taking place – and no, it’s not the Nazi’s this time around. Here’s the twist – they all have special powers (ala Harry Potter) and they have lived before. Apparently a long time ago they made a promise to stop some evil dude from coming back and now he’s here – or something like that.

 

Actually, the plot isn’t as complicated as I’m making it out to be above. The story is very easy to follow and has a great balance between humour and action. I quite liked the character of Alfie with his modern expressions in WWII England – that was funny. There are also a lot of puzzles for the Turnarounders to solve so that adds a real sense of mystery to the plot. The story also has some genuine twists that shocked me on occasion. Again, I don’t want to say too much, but the story did keep me hooked the whole way through. I felt it was the right balance of action, story and mystery.

 

I mentioned it having some dark moments in it as well. Bearing in mind this is set during the Great War, it doesn’t skimp over the horror and fear that was in the country at the time – think Blackadder Goes Forth. The horror is toned down a little as this is a young persons story, but it certainly brings awareness to the plight of the country. On the whole, the dark elements are justified and still makes this books suitable for younger readers.

 

 

What I didn’t like

 

To be honest, there wasn’t a lot about this book I DIDN’T like. In fact, for the first time since doing these reviews – I’m actually struggling to think of any negative points.

 

I suppose if I had to pick something, though this would only be a nitpick, it’s that one of the puzzles the Turnarounders had to solve did have me shouting “Oh come on! Even Adam West couldn’t put that together!” But then, stories don’t have to be realistic.

 

 

Pros: (Turnaround – every now and then I get a little bit closer)

  • Young protagonists make this suitable for younger readers.
  • Perfect mix of humour, action and mystery.
  • Dark when it needs to be, but not too dark.
  • Great plot and twists.

 

Cons: (If only I could turn back time)

  • To be honest – none!

 

 

Summary

 

With a mix of action, humour, mystery and great storytelling, The Turnarounders andd the Arbuckle Rescue is one book that is guaranteed to capture the imaginations of child and adult alike. Move over, Potter – the Turnarounders are here to claim their throne!

 

FINAL SCORE: 5/5

 

 

 

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PANDRAGON

 

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