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Observant readers may have noticed I’ve rearranged and tidied up a few things on this site over the past few weeks.

This includes the For Writers section, which now has separate pages for Articles, my Setup… and the Sample Scripts, which I know are perennially popular, despite being rather sparsely populated.

In an effort to remedy that, I’ve just uploaded the script to UMBRAL #1, which will hopefully be of interest to the young writers out there.

(Part of the reason I waited was to ensure I didn’t have to redact too much from the script. But still, if you haven’t yet read UMBRAL Book One, you might want to do so before diving into this script. Spoilers ahoy — and then some. I’ll probably upload the script for THE FUSE #1 after the first volume of that is published, for the same reason.)

Anyway. UMBRAL #1 is now available for all to read, so check out the sample scripts page, and enjoy.

 

WASTELAND #55 goes on sale this week.

‘Blood of Eden’ continues the book’s final story arc, revealing more secrets about the origin of the Children… and their father.

Michael, Abi, and Thomas continue to discover the truth about the world before the Big Wet — a world on the brink of disaster! Will the arctic team’s discovery help them save the world… or bring about their doom?

You can read a preview of the issue at Comic Book Resources.

WASTELAND #55 is available from all good comic stores, with the order code APR141290. As always, digital readers can find it at Comixology.

 

UMBRAL Book One: Out of the Shadows, collecting the first six issues, goes on sale this week. If you’ve been ‘tradewaiting’, wait no more; now you can finally read the first part of Rascal’s epic journey through the dark nightmare of UMBRAL.

And if you’re still on the fence, we’ve got an offer for you:

• UMBRAL #1 is now FREE! Yep, you can get the digital version of our first, extra-long issue from Comixology or the Image website for zero of your earth dollars. And it’ll be free right through until UMBRAL #7 goes on sale, in July.

For comic stores, the order code for UMBRAL BOOK ONE is MAR140551. For bookstores, the ISBN is 978-1607069843.

(NB Bookstores will receive their copies of the book a week or two after comic stores, but you can still pre-order a copy at your local bookstore.)
[ADDENDUM: Bookstores and Amazon now have their copies.]

As I mentioned previously, we’re now taking a short break to catch up with our production schedule. Book Two, ‘The Dark Path’, will start in July with UMBRAL #7, ‘Killing the Sunrise’.

Meanwhile…

THE FUSE #4 also goes on sale this week, as The Russia Shift hits high gear:

The bodies are starting to pile up. None of this case makes a lick of damn sense. Klem has a mysterious lunch date, and Ralph is starting to get ideas… ideas that will kill him faster than you can say, “On your knees, cop.”

I’m especially fond of this cover, by the way. A concept I’d had in mind since the start of the series, and it turned out even better than I hoped.

There’s a preview of the issue on tumblr, and the order code is MAR140574.

 

If things have worked out right, this entry should post right as I go on stage at the Dublin Writers Festival to talk about games writing, and especially how it relates to my comics work.

I won’t have slides at the talk or Q&A, so instead I’ve decided to put notes and links here. If you’ve come here from the Festival, this is what you’re looking for.

• First, if you’d no idea who I was before today — welcome to my site. My bio is here, and there’s a big list of all my comics and games work here.

• The talk I gave at the 2010 GDC Game Narrative Summit was called Comics to Consoles, and you can watch it here.

• The cursed three-act structure.

DIE HARD, for the youngsters in the audience.

THE LOSERS, for the oldies in the audience.

• The novel SEVEN ANCIENT WONDERS. Seriously, read that synopsis and tell me it doesn’t sound like a game plot.

• More on some of the narrative devices we tried out in ZOMBIU.

Finally, if there’s something else you want to know about and it isn’t covered here, you can get in touch via email or twitter.

 

WASTELAND #54 goes on sale this week.

‘Ice Cold Man’ is the second part of our final story arc, in which Michael, Abi, and Thomas venture into the dark underground of A-Ree-Yass-I to finally uncover the truth about The Big Wet.

Michael, Abi, and Thomas explore the mysterious shaft — and find more than they could have ever expected! Unearthing the secrets of A-Ree-Yass-I will take everything they have, but at last the truth will be found… and the story of The Big Wet can be told!

You can read a preview of the issue at Comic Book Resources, and while you’re there, you may want to read an extensive interview with Chris and I about ending the series.

WASTELAND #54 is available from all good comic stores, with the order code FEB141361. Digital readers can, as always, buy it from Comixology.

 

If you’re anywhere near Dublin, you’re probably already familiar with the excellent comic store THE BIG BANG, run by the ever-garrulous John Hendrick.

Well, now you can also familiarise yourself with me (if you’ll pardon the expression). I’ll be appearing and signing at The Big Bang on Friday May 16th from 6pm onwards.

We’ll also be giving away swanky exclusive THE FUSE posters (right) to celebrate the event, but I have no idea how many we’ll have, so be sure to get there on time to claim yours.

There’s a Facebook event page with more details, info, etc.

(And if you’re wondering where the beer in the headline comes in… well, come on. It’s Dublin. If there’s no beer involved, I’ll eat my flat cap.)

 

UMBRAL #6: Chasing Shadows goes on sale this week.

This is the final chapter of Book One, ‘Out of the Shadows’, as Rascal tries to escape the Redguard — and the clutches of the Umbral — once and for all, by fleeing the city of Strakhelm completely.

But where can she go, and who can she trust? Even her closest allies harbour secrets of their own…

Note that we’re taking a couple of months off after this issue, to put out the collection of Book One and catch up with our production schedule. Book Two, ‘The Dark Path’, will therefore start with UMBRAL #7 in July.

Meanwhile, the order code for issue #6 is FEB140640, and you can click here to read a six-page preview.

 

I’ve been invited to appear at the Dublin Writers Festival, on Saturday May 17th, for a talk and panel session.

Fellow games writer Rob Morgan and I will each talk a little, and then answer questions, about the process and challenges of game writing. I’ve also been asked to give some insight on how it compares to writing comics, a subject on which regular readers will know I have a fair amount to say.

Should be fun, and as an additional bonus, this is my first trip to Dublin for over twenty years. I imagine it’s changed a fair bit since 1992…!

The session is on May 17th at 4pm, in the Conference Hall (Dublin Castle). Click here to book tickets.

 

I’m very proud to announce that AFTER DAYS OF PASSION will feature in the digital comics section of Comics Unmasked, an exhibition at the British Library in London.

AFTER DAYS OF PASSION, which I created with Ben Templesmith in 2000, is a web comic that uses HTML technologies to present a nonlinear narrative in which the reader controls the navigation and experience, using only visual cues. It has no start, no end, and no set reading order. It’s a mood piece as much as a narrative (and is in fact based on the lyrics to a song I wrote in the mid-’90s).

As you can imagine, given its age, the ‘web technologies’ in question are somewhat primitive by modern standards. It’s basically just HTML and imagemaps. But it sufficed, and at the time it was quite unique.

Which is why Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, who’s curating the digital comics section of the exhibition, asked us if he could feature it, as “a significant piece in terms of hypercomics and interactive narratives.” Neither Ben nor I would presume to disagree.

(NB I’ve categorised this under Appearances because there didn’t really seem anywhere else to put it! But I won’t actually be appearing at the Library myself, sorry.)

Comics Unmasked, which will also feature lectures and workshops, runs from May 2nd to August 19th. More details at the British Library website.

 

THE FUSE #3 goes on sale this week, continuing the first story arc, ‘The Russia Shift’:

Whoever thought two dead bums could be such a pain in the ass? Now even the Mayor’s office is under scrutiny, but even an old Muscovite like Klem Ristovych knows that’s a whole new bag of hurt to be poking.

And why the hell is Ralph researching terrorist groups?

(Writing solicit text for a series like this is tricky, because it gets released to the public two months ahead of publication. This solicit, for example, went public shortly before issue #1 went on sale. So we have to be careful not to give away plot developments that haven’t even been published yet. If you’ve ever wondered why some series, especially mysteries, often have vague solicits, now you know.)

Once again, we’re overprinting this issue; so, along with the 2nd print of issue #1, and our overprint of issue #2, there’s still plenty of opportunity to catch up on the book from the very beginning. *Cough*

You can read a preview of the issue on the book’s Tumblr, and the order code is FEB140603.

 

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