“Bust 3: A Sackcloth Smile follows a group of misfits road tripping across a post-apocalyptic American wasteland to deliver a young girl to safety,” he tells us. “She hides a secret that can help save the world from a terrible cataclysm, but with psychos, raiders and beasts around every turn, the mission isn’t exactly going to be easy!”
This is the third entry to Dave Cook and Chris O’Toole‘s critically-acclaimed post-apocalyptic road trip series, which has earned its creators plenty of praise over the past year, with
This latest 44-page epic, we’re told, blends “the nihilistic carnage of the Mad Max movies, the grim wastelands of Bethesda’s Fallout franchise and the bare knuckle brutality of Fight Club.”
The series stars Jack, a former card dealer from Las Vegas who is forced into a life of violence and insanity to protect and provide for his family.
“In Bust #3 we’re now over ten years into Jack’s story,” Dave explains, “and things aren’t getting any easier for the old card shark. The world is beyond repair, and the mutant plague that once ravaged humans has now evolved to turn animals into terrifying monsters. Our heroes are alone, lost and being stalked like prey.
“The plot of this issue focuses on Dawn, a gifted young girl who holds the secret to saving what is left of humankind by halting a terrible cataclysm,” Dave explains. “Jack and his posse of survivors must deliver Dawn to the mysterious Station Bravo, where they believe she will be safe. It is a few States away, leading to an epic road trip across the ravaged, decayed husk of the old world.
“However, Jack’s being hunted cross the Free South by a savage gang of lunatics known as The Smilers and to top it off he’s losing his grip on reality. He sees people from his past, he can’t tell friend from foe and his lust for violence is growing. Can he keep his shit together long enough to outrun the Smiler’s crazed leader ‘Sackcloth’ and deliver Dawn from evil?”
Only by backing Dace and Chris’ Kickstarter will those of you who’ve already bought into the first two issues – available here for those who came in late – find out if if the the odds pan out in Jack’s favour.
Bust is the brainchild of Edinburgh-based comic writer Dave Cook (AKA Card Shark Comics). He’s also the creator and writer of the Dark Souls tribute series Vessels #1 – which was funded on Kickstarter in February 2016, and short series Feather, which launches in new anthology Comichaus this summer.
Chris O’Toole is the artistic force behind Bust‘s gritty apocalyptic madness, inspired by 2000AD and the works of Dredd’s John Wagner. He also shades and letters each issue of Bust and creates the project’s customer backer sketches.
The project’s covers are the work of Glasgow-based Craig Paton and his dark, realistic style regularly turns head at comic conventions from across the room, and has received heaps of praises since the series launched in July 2015.
“We’re lucky and honoured to have him back for round three,” Dave enthuses.
Fingers crossed, you’ll soon see the work he’s done once the project his its £2,400 goal – they’re not that far off!
“We’re delighted to have made it this far with our series,” says Dave, “and we couldn’t have done it without our incredible backers across Bust 1 and 2. We’re hoping we can get funded a third time and keep our story rolling.”
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.