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SHADOW OF MORDOR, the new action-adventure game set in JRR Tolkien’s Middle-Earth, is now on sale, and already garnering rave reviews.

If you’re the sort of person interested in this game, you already know what it is. So what I’ll tell you is that it absolutely lives up to its promise; from the moment I saw an early gameplay sample, I knew this would be a game that would shake things up — and that I wanted to work on.

And I can say how great it is without too much fear of bias, because while I did indeed work on the game, I was just one small part of a large team.

I worked on the ‘Nemesis system’, a major feature whereby enemies all have unique personalities, and the capability to remember their previous encounters with you. Suffice to say, if you get insulted by an Uruk before or after a fight — or even after they kill you! — there’s a good chance I wrote it. It was a lot of fun… and so is SHADOW OF MORDOR. Enjoy.

 

Last week, I was honoured to be invited on Comicosity’s The Hangout, a long-running video chat feature that’s played host to just about everyone who’s anyone in the industry in its time.

We were mostly talking about THE FUSE and UMBRAL, but — as anyone familiar with my podcast appearances over the years could probably guess — we wound up discussing a whole host of other topics, including my genre-hopping career, reactions to the recent discussions around feminism and representation (and why I write so many female lead characters), and more.

You can watch the whole thing on YouTube, via Google+, or you can download it from iTunes.

 

Issue #9 of UMBRAL, titled ‘Twisting the Knife’, goes on sale this week.

The Redguard are closing in, the Kin are on the trail, and the Wodelings aren’t letting their new prisoners out of their sight! But even a simple trip through the forest is anything but simple in the world of UMBRAL — as Rascal is about to find out!

This is the midpoint of Book Two, ‘The Dark Path’, as Rascal and her band of unlikely companions encounter the Wodelings in the mysterious Bulaswode, and Rascal begins to wonder just who she can trust…

UMBRAL #9 is available from all good comics stores with the order code JUL140585, or you can buy it digitally from Comixology and Image Comics.

You can also read a six-page preview on tumblr.

 

WASTELAND #57 goes on sale this week.

‘Ash & Debris’ continues the book’s final story arc with a major episode, as the Big Wet draws ever closer:

THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT! A hundred years ago, the Big Wet destroyed civilization. Now, at last, the truth can be revealed, as an ancient power awakes to remind mankind of its weakness… and to take back the Children!

Regular readers may also have noticed that there was no new song for the WASTELAND Official Soundtrack at the start of this story arc. My fault entirely; my workload was a bit crazy, and I was focusing on scripting the very final issues of the series.

But with issue #60 now finished, I’ve taken some time to record the penultimate song, and “Time is Short” will be available from TheBigWet.com on Wednesday. EDIT: It’s now available.

(Yes, penultimate. There’ll be one more track to close out the series, working title “Fire”, and it’ll be available when we publish issue #60 early next year. We’ll then compile everything into a proper CD-like download.)

As for WASTELAND #57, you can read a preview at Comic Book Resources, and it’ll be available from comic stores with the order code JUL141346. Digital readers can find it at Comixology.

 

THE FUSE Vol 1: The Russia Shift goes on sale this week, collecting the first case for our sci-fi detectives in a single 160pp volume for just $9.99:

“Hits fast and hard, with unapologetic wit and a no-nonsense attitude” — Bloody Disgusting

“Space cops investigating space murders is the sort of synopsis that gets my attention.” — Wired

“A crime procedural in space with fantastic characters… Antony Johnston has kind of popped to the top of my list of favorite creators.” — Fantastic Fangirls

To celebrate, we’re also RELEASING ISSUE #1 FOR FREE on digital, both at Image’s store and on Comixology. So if you haven’t read THE FUSE yet, you can try it out for free and see if sci-fi cops solving murder mysteries is your kind of thing.

If it turns out it is your kind of thing, you can order your copy of THE FUSE Vol 1 from comic stores with the order code JUN140504, or from bookstores with the ISBN 978-1632150080.

(If it isn’t your kind of thing, what the hell is wrong with you?)

• Finally, if you’re going to be in south-east England this weekend, remember that I’ll be SIGNING LIMITED EXCLUSIVE BOOKPLATE EDITIONS of both THE FUSE and UMBRAL at London’s Forbidden Planet Megastore on Saturday. Click that link for a peek at the bookplates, and more details on the signing times. Hope to see you there!

 

Issue #8 of UMBRAL goes on sale this week, with the enigmatic title ‘What Whispers in a Wode’:

What indeed! But don’t worry, you’ll find out soon enough — after some sword-fighting, horse-stealing, spooky-forest-riding, soldier-tracking, nightmare-enduring, and corpse-finding, of course!

Also: a teensy bit of Mistwalker. See how nice we are to you?

This latest chapter continues Book Two, ‘The Dark Path’, as Rascal and her band of unlikely companions enter the Bulaswode — a strange, fog-filled forest where shining yellow eyes watch from within the mists…

UMBRAL #8 is available from all good comics stores with the order code JUN140585, or you can buy it digitally from Comixology and Image Comics.

You can also read a six-page preview on tumblr.

 

I’ll be appearing at the Forbidden Planet London Megastore on Saturday August 30, between 3-4pm.

(Don’t panic, British people — that’s the weekend after the August bank holiday.)

Eagle-eyed readers will note the date is just three days after THE FUSE Vol 1: THE RUSSIA SHIFT goes on sale, which is of course no coincidence at all.

But UMBRAL readers shouldn’t feel left out, because…

We’ve produced exclusive, signed and numbered limited edition bookplates for both THE FUSE and UMBRAL, featuring original art by Justin Greenwood and Christopher Mitten, for the event. We’ll give one away with each of the first 150 copies of THE FUSE and UMBRAL trade paperbacks sold.

If you can’t make it to the event, don’t worry — you can also order these “mini-print” editions online, although priority will be given to people actually buying in-store on the day. Nevertheless, if you want to order online, check the event page for details.

And of course readers of WASTELAND, THE COLDEST CITY, DAREDEVIL, whatever, are all welcome, too. Come one, come all. This will probably be the biggest signing I’ve yet done, so try and get there early, or at least on time, if you can.

Hope to see you there!

 

Issue #6 of THE FUSE goes on sale this week, bringing our first story arc, ‘The Russia Shift’, to its conclusion:

THEIR FIRST CASE — SOLVED! Klem’s got it all figured out. But will she live to tell anyone? Can Ralph get to her in time? Who’s gonna get shot? And can someone, anyone, please explain why it’s called the ‘Russia shift’? Well, if you insist…

This is where all the clues get put together, the truth is finally revealed, and Klem and Ralph get to close their first case.

You can read a preview of the issue on Tumblr (there’s a preview on the usual sites, too, but the tumblr one is longer). The order code for this issue is MAY140705.

Then, in a month’s time, THE FUSE Vol 1: The Russia Shift will go on sale. As you’ve doubtless figured out, this collects the first story arc in one handy-dandy volume, for the princely sum of just $9.99. (The way the exchange rate is going at the moment, I think that comes to about 50p.)

The comic store order code for Vol 1 is JUN140504, and the ISBN for bookstores is 978-1632150080.

• I’ll also be appearing at Forbidden Planet London on Saturday Aug 30 to sign copies of THE FUSE VOl 1 — and we’ll have some exclusive giveaways for readers (including UMBRAL readers, too). I’ll post more about that closer to the time.

Finally, in November THE FUSE will return with issue #7, and a brand new case; Gridlock!

‘Gridlocking’ is an illegal sport where racers speed across the Fuse’s vast solar arrays on magnetic bikes; and when the sport’s top racer turns up dead, Klem and Ralph find themselves drawn into a surprisingly murky world of speed, egos, and drugs…

Issue #7 is on sale November 5, and in addition to the fantastic regular cover from Justin that you see here, we’ll also have a special variant from the brush of the amazing Jenny Frison, of REVIVAL fame! We’re very excited about that, and we hope you will be, too. More soon.

 

UMBRAL #7, ‘Killing the Sunrise’, goes on sale this week.

Chapter seven kicks off Book Two, ‘The Dark Path’, as Rascal, Dalone, Shayim, and Munty seek safety at a farm far outside Strakhelm. From the solicit text:

Rascal has escaped the Umbral in the city (uh, spoilers?) and now she heads for the mountainous Sunrise homestead.

But even here not everyone is who they seem, and before the dawn a blade will flash in the dark…

It also features a new map, if you’re into that sort of thing. We most certainly are.

UMBRAL #7 is available from all good comics stores with the order code MAY140740, or you can buy it digitally from Comixology and Image Comics. Finally, there’s a preview (including that map!) at Comic Book Resources.

 

Books About Town is an outreach event where custom benches are decorated to look like books, to celebrate literature and encourage reading.

Well, BAT is in London for summer 2014, and it turns out there’s an Alex Rider bench — with a design based on the STORMBREAKER graphic novel cover. Nice!

(For those of you eagerly awaiting the next Alex Rider graphic novel, SCORPIA; it’s currently being finished, and you can follow its progress on Tumblr.)

 

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