Renegade Arts Entertainment has released a collection of Ben Clark‘s utterly bonkers – and wonderfully funny – The Spine Chillers later this month, a series inspired by the company’s audio books line.
The collection features guest strips from William Simpson, PJ Holden, Richmond Clements and Vicky Stonebridge.
Based on the premise that some of history’s greatest authors, including Charles Dickens, HP Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe share rooms in a guest house owned by a tyrannical land lady Mrs Parkinson, the strip has been delighting visitors to Renegade’s web site for a while.
The series is simply crammed with literary jokes of every kind, with plenty of bizarre, positively insane plot twists as it progresses.
(I wouldn’t want to spoil any surprises, but beware of badgers).
Marvel at HP Lovecraft’s inspiration for Cthulu, gasp as Ambrose Bierce struggles under the weight of his own creative output, and be a bit stunned as Edgar Allan Poe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle mud wrestle to determine once and for all who is the better horror writer.
“My idea for the comic strip is to take the writers from The Spine Chillers series, and have them all live together in a grotty, 1950s style boarding house, with an indifferent battleaxe of a Landlady called Mrs Parkinson,” says Newcastle-based Ben.
“I thought the boarding house backdrop provided the most scope for stories, conflict and most importantly, jokes.
“One thing I have to stress is that it is not my intention to belittle or insult these wonderful writers, many of whom are among my greatest heroes. I’ll be taking the Mickey, but in an affectionate way. What I always attempt in my comics is to be silly, and to make people laugh.
“The characters I am working on are of course not how these men were in real life, but a daft alternate version, which hopefully people will find amusing!”
• The Spine Chillers by Ben Clark is available now from all good book and comic shops (Amazon affiliate link)
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.