To the delight of new British indie comics company Insomnia Publications, top British comics creator Bryan Talbot (The Adventures of Luther Arkwright, Alice in Sunderland) has written the foreword for their upcoming title Cancertown, written by Cy Dethan with art from Stephen Downey.
“This is seriously the best thing that has happened to us since we began our adventures in comics,” Insomnia’s Creative Director Nichola Wilkinson told downthetubes.
Cancertown – previewed on myebook, click image right – centres on Vince Morley, a man with big problems and a brain tumour like a baby’s fist, living with one foot in a monstrous alternate world he calls Cancertown.
When the lost and dispossessed of London start tripping over the same cracks in reality he spends his life avoiding, Morley realises he must confront the residents of Cancertown – and risk finding his place among them.
“For a first graphic novel from a new creative team, Cancertown is remarkable,” says Bryan. “Cy Dethan’s concept alone is brilliant. Is the protagonist, Vincent Morley, a cynical knight in tarnished armour battling unspeakable monsters in a gonzoid Chapel Perilous or a dying sad bastard besieged by visions generated by his terminal brain tumour?
“… Moreover (do people still say that?) Cancertown actively embraces horror, the genre of horror fiction,” he adds. “It’s not trigger-shy… It sets out to horrify, and it succeeds. Although Cancertown owes more to Clive Barker than Ramsey Campbell, it still, like Campbell, has its roots in H.P. Lovecraft and its evocation of genuine creepiness is undeniable. This is in no small part due to the visceral, hallucinogenic art of Stephen Downey working in tandem with the hard-bitten script, the atmospheric colours of Melanie Cook and inventive lettering of Nic Wilkinson.
“We’re seeing here the first outing of creators who will make their mark on the future comic industry.”
“The eye-opening experience of reading Luther Arkwright as a kid was one of the key reasons I wanted to start writing comics in the first place,” says Cancertown writer Cy Dethan, “so to have an introduction from its creator is simply unbelievable.”
• If you’re going to be at the Bristol International Comic Expo and the Small Press Expo 2009, you’ll be able to pick Cancertown up (along with its Insomnia brethren, Layer Zero 3 and Cages) at special convention prices or by pre-ordering directly from Insomnia before 9th May (either to pick up at the convention or to be posted to you if you can’t make it). Just email Nichola at firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know what you need.
• You can read Bryan’s full foreword here on the Insomnia Publications official blog.
• Insomnia’s website: www.insomniapublications.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.