Just launched on Kickstarter is a campaign to fund a comics anthology, ES*EF, a collection of short SF and futuristic stories all drawn by Phil Elliott, written by Darryl Cunningham (Psychiatric Tales, Graphic Science) and Aces Weekly contributor, film historian and TASCHEN editor Paul Duncan (whose credits include the James Bond Archives and the The Charlie Chaplin Archives).
I’ve been treated to a sneak peek of the strips in this – they’re wonderful! Darryl Cunningham’s story has some smashing Moebius nods thanks to Phil Elliott’s art, but he’s taken a different approach to each story that suits them each.
Darryl Cunningham is an acclaimed British author and cartoonist who has written the books Science Tales, Psychiatric Tales, Supercrash and Graphic Science.
Paul Duncan wrote the graphic novel, Second City and adapted Damon Runyon’s short story, Princess O’Hara for the online comic, Aces Weekly both of which Phil illustrated. Paul is also a film historian whose TASCHEN books include The James Bond Archives, The Charlie Chaplin Archives, The Godfather Family Album, Taxi Driver, Film Noir, and Horror Cinema, as well as publications on film directors, film genres, movie stars, and film posters.
Also on board is novelist, screenwriter and comics writer David Thorpe, a name older downthetubes readers will recognise as an early writer of Captain Britain for Marvel UK but who these days better known for his books such as the YA novel Hybrids, and the futuristic romantic tragedy/fantasy, Stormteller.
Phil Elliott has written one of the stories. “Death on the Beach”, himself. Active in the comic book industry since the mid-1970s, he launched and co-edited the Fast Fiction fanzine in the 1980s where he introduced his bequiffed character, Gimbley. (A 184-page collection of his Tales From Gimbley, titled was published in August 2014).
He’s worked in some capacity for most of the major comic publishers in the US and UK. His other work includes Illegal Alien and Bluebeard written by James Robinson; Lucifer with Eddie Campbell; writing Absent Friends for Paul Grist; Tupelo with Matt DeGennaro; The Real Ghostbusters; illustrating Glenn Dakin’s Rockpool Files; and he worked with Dave Thorpe and Lawrence Gray in projects such as Doc Chaos in the 1980s.
Seeing this gripped me with nostalgia for the days of Westminster Comic Marts of the 1980s, and excitement at the freshness of the work at the same time… so I had no hesitation when it came to backing it myself!
• You can back the project here on Kickstarter – backing it for just £10 earns you a “a postcard-sized sketch of some kind of robot(s), doing some kind of stuff” and the examples on the page look great fun!
• Darryl Cunningham will be be appearing at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on 14th August, speaking about his book, Graphic Science. Buy a ticket
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.