Comic creator and author Jason Wilson has a new novel out in March, a crime thriller drawing in his own life experience as the son of drug dealer.
The Old Man and Me, available in bookshops from 3rd March from Mirror Books, opens in Amsterdam, in 2001. A shoot-out in the city’s docklands leaves one man grievously injured and a rival drug dealer killed outright.
The injured man is Tony Spencer from Coventry. Aka The Old Man. Once a prolific businessman, he is now considered Public Enemy No. 1 by the National Crime Squad and the head of several smuggling rings operating between the UK, Holland, Morocco, and Spain. At the age of 50, with bank robberies, counterfeiting, and several fortunes gained and lost behind him, he is on the run and living abroad.
As Spencer’s life hangs in the balance, his son Jason arrives in Amsterdam. While he prays for a miraculous recovery, he ponders who his father really is. He has raced anxiously to be by his bedside and yet he is somebody he doesn’t know well at all.
Jason begins digging in earnest. He begins to piece together the story of The Old Man’s life. It’s a story that is riddled with contradictions: a man who makes millions but saves nothing, prizes freedom but spends years inside, works in a violent world but who – seemingly – avoids violence. Spencer was absent, often in prison, for much of his upbringing but now, as his father recovers from the shooting, Jason begins to wonder.
Maybe if he can come to understand his father’s life, he can begin to understand his own…
Jason Wilson is a married father of two, and no longer mixes in criminal circles. He took a degree in psychology and is now a mental health worker – but longtime downthetubes readers may remember him for his terrific adult humour graphic novels, Smuggling Vacation and Day of the Deal, which also drew on his life experiences.
The nature of his work requires 24 hour shifts, and The Old Man and Me was written between shifts. He works with people with conditions such as autism, Asperger’s, brain injuries, paranoid schizophrenia, and amnesia. Some of them are ex-offenders.
• Pre-order The Old Man and Me by Jason Wilson here from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link) | ISBN 978-1913406882
• Buy Him and Her’s Smuggling Vacation from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link) | ISBN 9780955917004
• Buy Him and Her’s Day of the Deal from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link) | ISBN 978-0955917011
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.