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!
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:
Have a great week guys.