Popquiz, hotshots: What do Mos Def, Kevin Spacey, former Blur front man Damon Albarn, musician Ian Brown, comic writer and publisher Sean Michael Wilson and Japanese cartoonist and illustrator Michiru Morikawa have in common with Insomnia Publications?
Answer: the fledgling British publisher has just announced all of the above are involved in some way in with Jeymes Samuel‘s multimedia Buskers project: some with the comic, some with the music, some with the independent film.
Buskers is an offbeat tale set in contemporary London with an array of odd but realistic characters. The comic book is based closely on a screenplay written by singer and writer Jeymes Samuel (who might be tired of being refered to as the brother of the singer Seal, but just so those not familiar can get an idea) .
It’s written by Sean Michael Wilson and is illustrated by Michiru Morikawa, an incredibly talented Japanese artist who won the International Manga and Anime Festival Award a few years back.
Jeymes is currently working on the film version of Buskers and the different versions will complement each other.
“I was a comic geek since I’ve been able to read,” he says, “so it was an absolute necessity for me to have a graphic novel of Buskers, whether I was making a film or not.
“I liaised with Mike Lake [co-founder of Forbidden Planet and now engaged in several top secret comic projects – Ed], who then introduced me to the the cult pen-man Sean Michael Wilson, who in turn brought on the IMAF Award winning Manga artist Michiru Morikawa. Thus began the creation of Buskers: The manga graphic novel.”
You can find out more about the film version, and its soundtrack, on the Buskers Movie Blog, but this is how Jeymes summarises the story:
“Timothy Book is considered a big success amongst his peers – a high ranking job in banking, plush city apartment and trophy girlfriend to top it off. He’s on top of the world – until he crashes back down to earth with an almighty bang!
“After underhand dealings at work lead to a police escort off the premises and a botched suicide attempt on the Thames, he turns up on the doorstep of ex best friend Cabbage, a streetwise busker who Timothy fell out with many years ago.
“Cabbage inhabits the exciting underbelly of London’s colourful busking scene and Timothy is introduced to a side of life that he has never experienced.
“As he tries to claw his way back to his previous self he becomes embroiled in Cabbage’s eventful and often dangerous lifestyle and begins to fall for the lovely Variniana – Cabbage’s beautiful girlfriend.
“Timothy falls deeper into the busking scene and is forced to re-evaluate his former existence, friendships and relationships while embarking on an eventful journey back to the real Timothy Book.”
Buskers the comic will be launched at British International Comic Show 2009 in Birmingham in October, where Insomnia will have a very special edition of the book (signed and limited to 100 copies), including a “Buskers Demo CD”, with previews of a number of songs from the incredible soundtrack by The Bullitts.
If you can’t get to the show this year there will a number of books set aside for pre-order by Paypal. You will need to email Insomnia at nichola[at]insomniapublications.com for details.
Also, if you want to be sure of getting your hands on one at the show, you can reserve your copy for pick up on the day.
The creators will be on the Insomnia stand at various points throughout the weekend: Sean is a special guest of the show and will also be speaking on a panel showcasing his AX: Alternative Manga work for the godfather of indie publishers, Top Shelf.
• Insomnia Publications Official Web Site: www.insomniapublications.com
• Insomnia Publications Blog: theredeyed.blogspot.com
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.