No, it’s not a dream! Not a hoax! Not an Imaginary story! Gary Spencer Millidge’s acclaimed comic book series Strangehaven will return in May 2014 – after an eight year hiatus.
New episodes, written and drawn by Millidge will appear (starting in a new first issue), in a newly revived comics anthology bi-monthly, Meanwhile… published by Soaring Penguin Press.
This means that Strangehaven will no longer be self-published as a standalone comic, but Gary tells us it’s anticipated that there will be 13-14 pages of Strangehaven content per issue in the new anthology, which after twelve episodes published over two years, will effectively comprise the fourth volume.
The brilliant and highly acclaimed Strangehaven was originally self-published by Gary Spencer Millidge’s Abiogenesis Press between April 1995 and September 2005. Despite a sporadic publishing schedule, it gained critical success, was nominated for numerous US and UK industry awards (including Ignatz and Eisner) and won a National Comic Award in 1997.
The 18-issue run has been collected in three trade paperbacks; Arcadia, Brotherhood and Conspiracies. All three are available via Diamond Distributors and all good comics retailers, as well as from online booksellers and the publisher’s own site.
Gary Spencer Millidge, who “lives in a draughty old house in Leigh-on-Sea in England” is also the author of Comic Book Design, Alan Moore: Storyteller and other non-fiction works. A self-publishing advocate (originally following trailblazers like Dave Sim, Terry Moore and Jeff Smith), he always intended to continue and complete the series as a self-published title, but due to various professional, personal and financial reasons was unable to do so.
“For the past year or so I have been actively preparing for its return and trying to find a way of delivering it to my readers,” he tells us. “In a nutshell, I needed time to sit down and draw it – and in a freelancer’s world, time literally is money – and to do that I needed some sort of advance on royalties, and in the comics world this usually means surrendering at least some of the intellectual rights, which after already spending twelve years or so writing and drawing the series, I was not prepared to give up.”
The approach earlier this year by British independent publisher John Anderson of Soaring Penguin offered Millidge full creator ownership and a substantial advance
“As John will testify, I still took a lot of convincing – temporarily at least – to abandon my self-publishing philosophy, and the contract took a long time to iron out. Ultimately, I had to choose between this opportunity to get the fourth volume of Strangehaven completed and out into my reader’s hands, or to let it remain in limbo while I continued to figure out a way of having my cake and eating it.”
“So, although this solution compromises my purest principles of independence, I figure that my readers would rather see new episodes however they were emerged, than to wait for some further unspecified period.”
Meanwhile… will be available in electronic format courtesy the SEQUENTIAL app published by Panel Nine, and the print version will be available in UK and US comics stores (full distribution details still under discussion) or direct from Soaring Penguin.
• Visit Gary Spencer Millidge’s web site: www.millidge.com (currently under reconstruction, but there are plenty of social media links to follow)
• Soaring Penguin Press: www.soaringpenguinpress.com