The latest chapter in Cumbria-based comic creator Mal Earl‘s Bulletproof Nylon saga – a comic strip titled “Hope Road” – will feature in David Lloyd’s terrific digital anthology comic, Aces Weekly, in November.
Bulletproof Nylon is an ongoing creative project, informed and inspired by pulp magazines, hard-boiled crime literature, and underground fetish culture of Mid-Twentieth Century America. Mal’s hope is that the project will grow through text and illustration to explore the denizens and environs of an alternative America of the late 1950s, in a series of interlocking, convergent tales – some of which are available on the project’s official web site.
The city of Dores Rib on the Eastern seaboard of the United States is the backdrop to a thousand stories in a world where Japan did not feel the terror of the atomic bomb, the space race is on the brink of being won, atomic batteries power the needs of civilization and the ‘Newton Gear’ has revolutionized the fundamentals of travel across the globe. In the alleyways of ‘The Rib’, the vigilantes stand side by side with the cops in the fight against increasing lawlessness across the city, and in the shadows above and below the machinations of evil and corruption gather like an unstoppable storm cloud.
Mal originally self-published Bulletproof Nylon (you can buy #1 from Lulu here) and releases have included limited edition 50 copy ‘companion’ which he launched at last year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival.
“Since I first conceived of Bulletproof Nylon in 2010 the story has gestated and morphed and grown far beyond the two dimensional pulp pastiche that I had originally planned,” says Mal, a self taught author and illustrator who, after a decade long sabbatical from the field of illustration, returned to his enduring interest in 2011. “It now has a fully populated timeline, and ‘Hope Road’ will air the first strip story in David Lloyd’s Aces Weekly, Volume 19.
“I’m currently three quarters of the way through the first novel as well,” he reveals, with a target date of Christmas for self publication.
“It’s not what I envisaged initially… It’s far more. And the freedom of self publishing allows the story to call the shots… Unhindered.”
Alongside Bulletproof Nylon, his other work includes a contribution to Igor Goldkind’s experimental project Is She Available? and Bound, a 72 page retrospective collection of small press comic work.
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.