Friday, 15 October 2010

The Ineffectual Unleashed

Many and odd are the roads a story can take from weird little idea throbbing at the back of your brain to full-on published goodness.

The Unleashing of the Ineffectual began life as a short story about four years ago.  The idea - of a bunch of teenage Lovecraft groupies trying to summon something the master might have been proud of and getting less than they bargained for - was definitely fun, but it just didn't work the way I first wrote it.  I sent it out a couple of times and realised it didn't have much of a future.  But I still liked the concept, I just felt like I'd slipped up on the execution.

Some time after that I was looking around for an idea for a follow-up comic script to my first attempt, Fleshworld, as published in Futurequake #10.  It occurred to me that the problem with Unleashing was that it needed too much exposition to get it moving. That isn't so much of an issue in a comic, you just write instructions like "It’s a surreal landscape, with an extra sun or two, huge distorted trees, strange crystalline towers, and vast mountains in the background" and shift the problem onto your poor artist.  So I hacked Unleashing up, turned exposition into panel notes, and sent it to the Futurequake guys, who also happen to publish a horror comic imprint by the name of Something Wicked.

 This time it got accepted straight away, and the artist who got landed with the unenviable task of interpreting those instructions was none other than the phenomenally talented Duncan Kay. I try not to throw around phrases like 'phenomenally talented' too much, so to put that in context, I now have two pieces of Duncan's work framed and sitting on the bookshelves in my study.  Not only is Duncan a fine artist, he was a spot-on choice for this particular story, and I really couldn't have got much luckier.

Anyway, things went from there.  Duncan and I got the comic strip version of Unleashing finished a little over a year ago, for the 2009 issue of Something Wicked, and then for behind-the-scenes reasons it didn't appear in that issue - at which point, what with having the memory of a confused marsupial, I mostly forgot about it.  But now, finally, it's out, and I should soon have my contributor copy.  In the meantime, there's the entirely neat cover in the top-left - and the full TOC can be found here.

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