Pandragon Dan

Pandragon Dan

Author/Reviewer/Blogger

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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Reynard City Issue 24 Review

 

 

Reynard City is an online comic that I’ve followed quite closely (where I can) for the last few years. Described as being “mad as a box of frogs. And it is all the better for it.”, Reynard City is somewhere between a Saturday Morning Cartoon show and a superhero comic, featuring three kick ass foxes – Hyper Rob, Ak Girl and Supervixen. It has its fair share of craziness and insane stories – but I have been quite impressed at the darker themes it covers and the way it delves into the psychology of the main characters. Not only that, but each issue has different artists at the helm (some better than others if I’m being honest), meaning that you almost get a different story each time.

 

The Rise of Balloon Boy was originally put across as a Kickstarter project, which I was only too happy to sponsor. And I’m glad I did because the end result was an enjoyable – if heartbreaking – read. I’ll keep spoilers to a minimum for the sake of this review, simply because I’d have to go into great detail about what has gone before – and that would take too long. However, I should just warn you that the odd spoiler may appear here and there.

 

So, after the Perfect Platinum story arc, the team are trying to get their lives back on track. But the sinister Mega Fox (who is one of the most badass and evil villains ever) has a plan that will strike at AK Girl – by turning her lover into a machine known as Balloon Boy! It is the classic “lover/best friend gets turned into monster” storyline that we’ve seen in a few cartoons and comics (Harvey Dent springs to mind here) but it definitely works well here. And the ending is pretty heartbreaking to say the least.

 

The art is really nicely drawn and has a real cartoony feel to it. And aside from the Lovers Torn Asunder storyline, we also delve a little deeper into AK Girl’s psyche and learn a bit more about her unstable powers. My only minor criticism with the story, which I’ve found with a few Reynard City comics is that sometimes the story moves a little TOO fast for my liking. It tends to jump from one scene to the next and leaves me wondering what’s happening. But that’s not to say that the story isn’t enjoyable in its own right. Plus this story has an interesting twist at the end, somewhat similar to the post credit scene of Marvel’s The Avengers. It will be interesting to see where the story goes from here.

 

And not only that – but yours truly gets a cameo in this comic! I appear at the end in the crowd, which is pretty nice!

 

This is a good story overall, a little bit depressing at times, but sets it up nicely for another possible trauma that AK Girl and the others may have to deal with. You can read this online, as well as the other Reynard City comics at:

 

REYNARD CITY

 

Check this series out if you get a chance! It’s a run read and something a little fresher than other comics out there. I recommend this series highly. :D

 

 

 

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PANDRAGON

 

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The Reynard City Cartoon Project

Hey guys. Just taking a moment today to ask if you all would do me a MASSIVE favour and head on over to Kickstarter - so that you can check out my friends project!

 

The Reynard City comic series (a series which I have been following and reading for a while now) is trying to get some money together to make their own cartoon series. They would really appreciate it if you would sponsor them so that they can make their project come true. Reynard City is one of the most unique comic book series I've read in a long time and if you enjoy dark humour (with a little bit of real life issues mixed in) then this is for you!

 

They have 16 days left to go as of this post, so please click on the link below and sponsor them if you can.

 

 

THE REYNARD CITY CARTOON PROJECT

 

 

Thanks guys! Please also be sure to share this post to let more people know about it.

 

Have a great weekend.

 

 

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PANDRAGON

 

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Legacy of the Dragonkin Campaign enters it's closing days

Just to let you guys know that my Sponsume campaign for Legacy of the Dragonkin is nearing the end of it's run this week. It's been fun to do and I had a blast - but there is STILL time to get your sponsorship in for those who haven't done so already.

 

Even if we don't hit our target, we STILL get to keep the money that we make from this (unlike most crowdfunding sites whereby you only get your money if you hit your target). The downside is that I will be charged a fee if I don't hit my target - therefore the more sponsorship I can get, the less that fee will matter. I can assure you that EVER penny I make from this will go towards my project and look to make it the best it can possibly be.

 

For those who have already backed this project, you have my enternal gratitude. For those who are looking to back it, please do so asap. The project ends at midnight on the 19th August - so the LATEST you should try and donate is the 18th August to avoid disappointment.

 

Even if you do not feel like sponsoring, it would REALLY be a help if you could share this post on your Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc as I am really going for a final push this week for this campaign. Like I say, the more we can get towards it, the better I can fund the necessary costs to make this book a success. Me and the artist are also going to be putting together an animated video to advertise this book as well, so your costs will go towards that as well.

 

The link to the campaign is below:

 

Sponsume

 

 

Not only that, but for teaser information on some of the story and characters in Legacy of the Dragonkin, go to:

 

Legacy of the Dragonkin Wiki

 

 

Again, thank you so much for all your support and if you could just let people know about this project, then I would appreciate it. If you have any questions, please contact me on any of the ways below.

 

Thanks!

 

 

Pandragon

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Please help Sponsor my Crowdfunding Campaign - Legacy of the Dragonkin

Legacy of the Dragon - More Teaser Artwork!

Hey guys. Hope you are all enjoying the extended Bank Holiday Weekend (those in the United Kingdom that is). Today I thought I'd treat you guys to some more teaser artwork for Legacy of the Dragonkin, which is gradually getting prepared for the 2012 release.

 

Below is a little piece that is actually a completed piece of artwork (i.e inked) for your viewing pleasure. This is a new idea for some "comic book" layouts that will be appearing in the next book. Artwork is by Alexis M Centeno.

 

 

You may be wondering what's going on here. Basically, in the scene, Zarracka (in her "black ice" form - it will make sense in the book) is using her new and improved ice breath against Mordak and pummeling him with ice shards. And for those who thought that Mordak was dead in Trapped on Draconica - you may be wondering how he survived. Well all will become clear in the next book!

 

There will be a few pages like this in the next book as a way of adding a bit more action orientated pictures in it. The single pics will still be used, but this is a new thing that I'm trying out.

 

Please feel free to leave a comment below to let us know what you think. I'll be posting some teaser chapters for it very soon. In the meantime, you can also check out my other works at the following links (don't you just love shameless self promotions?

 

Trapped on Draconica, The Wandering Valkyr and All Hail Emperor Gothon

 

Thanks for reading. Check back on Wednesday when we'll be having a VERY special guest blog from a talent author. Check back to find out who!

 

 

 

Pandragon

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