Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Exclusive Preview: Crossed & Disenchanted

Since February 2008, Avatar Press has been publishing a longform Mature Content comicboook online – in weekly instalments – entirely free of charge. It’s called Freakangels, it’s written by the mighty Warren Ellis, it’s drawn by the superb Paul Duffield, and it’s sincerely and completely brilliant. You can still read it in its entirety right HERE.

In a couple of weeks it will end. And verily, there shall be a great wailing and gnashing of teeth, because when you offer people a) Magnificent Material and b) No Cocking Charge, a whole seething bunch of them pay attention.

Freakangels, you see, has a lot of readers. Seriously. A lot. And that means a lot of broken hearts when it wraps-up.

Before I go further, let’s skip to the good news: Freakangels will be replaced. Avatar will be publishing more beautiful, wrong, sick, sleazy, sexy, delightful comickery very shortly indeed, in the same online format. 100% free-to-air.

The even Gooder news: we’re not just talking one completely-new, completely-original, completely-epic series here, no. There is another Skywalker.

The reason I know that there are two payloads of grown-up graphic literature sliding down the tubes like angelic torpedoes is this: they’re both written by me. And they’re two very, very different beasts.

The first is titled Crossed: Wish You Were Here. It’s set in the apocalyptic “Crossed” Universe created by Garth Ennis in 2008. Depending who you are, the new series is either an intelligent contemplation on self-meaning, self-validation and art… or a blood-drenched nightmare of survivalist horror, extreme violence and exploding cows. It’s drawn by Javier Barreno, inked by Gary Erskine, and looks gorgeous. Previews and whatnot HERE.

But… for all my Ironclad Guarantees that there’s a lot more going on in WYWH than rapey slasher nonsense, it would be dense to pretend it’s going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Yes, I hope everyone will give it a go, but… hey: square pegs, variable holes. I get it.

Back to Freakangels. At its broadest level, Ellis’s series was about the relationships between special people, all of whom have different ideas about how to approach “community” under difficult – and often madweirdcrazy – circumstances. Seen in that light, the second of my online babies isn’t actually a millions miles away from Freakangels at all. (There’s a little joke in that sentence, but you won’t get it until the series starts. That makes it a shit joke, yes, fine, BUT I’M STILL LAUGHING a-ha-ha-ha.)

The series will be called Disenchanted. It, and certain associated assets, will be massive.

I can’t say much more than that just now. But I’ll keep you informed - both here and on the Why-The-Hell-Aren't-You-A-Member-Yet Forum WHITECHAPEL, which a) is a blast, b) is bonkers, and c) was created specifically to serve Avatar's online projects - because there's a lot of interesting and unexpected stuff to be said about each of these new series, and I don't want to ruin the surprises early. Still, because I stickylove you, here are a few extraordinarily exclusive sneak-peeks of Disenchanted to keep you busy:

Friday, 22 July 2011

A SERPENT UNCOILED: News and Reviews

As we swiftly approach the launch date, here’s a roundup of news regarding A Serpent Uncoiled.

The novel doesn’t technically launch until August 4th, but I’m doing an exclusive signing event at Forbidden Planet in London the night before. That’s Wednesday August 3rd, 6-7pm.

I’d dearly love to deface a copy of my baby Just For You. Come say hi.

(Note: There will almost certainly be pub-action afterwards, boozefans.)


As is the way of these things, a whole bunch of Early Reader copies of A.S.U. were sent out to reviewers, journos and similar notable-types over the past month. Positive testimonials are the single most valuable marketing tool a writer has – just Eff-Why-Aye – so next time you’re on a crowded train a bit of high-volume blethering about this great book I just read wouldn’t go amiss.

To date, all the reviews I’ve received have been very positive. Bordering on the Stunningly Great, in fact. I’m still grimly awaiting the proverbial Other Shoe, but in the mean time here’s a few of the tasty goods:

>Quoth The Fantastical Librarian:
“A Serpent Uncoiled is a great book, not for the faint of heart, but very much recommended.” (Full review here.)

“With gargantuan literary flourishes, Spurrier evidently likes to roll his words around his mouth to test if they taste right before spitting them out onto the page. What you get are flashes of brilliance sodden by great gobs of wry humour.” (Full review here.)

>Quoth WarpCoreSF:
“…his London is black and desperate, shot through with unexpected flashes of brilliant colour… his dry humour and unique voice make Shaper's London dark and fascinating.” (Full review here.)

>Quoth Pornokitsch:
“A Serpent Uncoiled is a book about a man on the edge - of society, of self-destruction and of reality - but not over it. With it, Mr. Spurrier proves he's on the edge as well, taking the step from a promising talent to a great writer.” (Full review here.)

Another handy tool in the self-plugging shillbagging bastard’s kit is the “Guest Writer” slot. Essays, articles, blog posts: by saturating such things with a gravity-distorting mass of wit and insight – ha! – the plucky writer accesses new brains, and aims to persuade them that his most recent novel must be at least as splendid. And then BATHES IN MONEY.

I’ve written several of the things in the lead-up to A Serpent Uncoiled’s release. The first, pithily titled “Crime: An Irrational Rationale”, features on the brilliant Milo Rambles website. I’ll let you know as the others trickle out.

Not strictly about A.S.U., but I’ve just heard its weird-crime predecessor Contract – my first “proper” novel – is being released as an E-Book today. The Times called it a “tour de force", so you’d be crazy to miss a chance to test the tastes of News International. TOPICAL SALES PITCH NEVER FAILS.

More news as it comes.