Sunday, February 26, 2017

Melanie's Week in Review - February 26, 2017




Hello! I hope you have had a good week. I was in a funk in the earlier part of the week. Unlike a number of my friends I am still reading the news and boy, it is depressing. Between Brexit and other things the news is as gloomy as the weather. I tried to get interested in my TBR but I just couldn't do it so I had a little spree on NetGalley and Amazon. By the time my spree was over it was already Wednesday before I started to read a book I hadn't read several times already (anything by Ilona Andrews is my 'go to' when I am feeling blue). Lucky for you and for me my choice of book was a cracker. So what did I read?


While I feel like I should apologise for only reading 1 book I find that I can't. Why you may ask? It's simple. Clovenhoof was fantastic. Fantastic and hilarious.

You may remember when I discovered Heide Goody and Iain Grant's Oddjobs and thought it was super funny? Well it doesn't hold a funny candle to Clovenhoof. Fired from his job as the Prince of Hell, Satan is cast down to earth to live as a human in the sleepy suburbs of Birmingham. Forced to integrate into society Jeremy Clovenhoof tries his best to act normal while hating every minute of it. Along for the ride are his neighours Nerys and Ben who try but fail miserably to keep Jeremy on the straight and narrow. Jeremy misses his old life and wishes the saying 'hell on earth' was actually true.

Clovenhoof is one of the funniest books I have ever read. Even the 'hubinator' who will barely smirk at the funniest books admitted to openly guffawing on public transportation (is that gol'ing?) I however, was lol'ing all the way through. Goody and Grant have obviously worked in the public sector as the scenes where Jeremy fails to meet his targets and participates in brain storming sessions to come up with a vision and mission statement were not only funny but true to life.

There are soo many funny lines and even funnier circumstances that Jeremy finds himself in I could end up quoting half the book. Clovenhoof is not just laughs as there is a story behind all the japes which you don't discover until the final chapters. If you want to be entertained then this is the book for you. I am already excited about book 2. Clovenhoof is already on my list for my fave book read in 2017.




Clovenhoof
Clovenhoof 1
Pigeon Park Press, July 2015
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 396 pages

Charged with gross incompetence, Satan is fired from his job as Prince of Hell and exiled to that most terrible of places: English suburbia. Forced to live as a human under the name of Jeremy Clovenhoof, the dark lord not only has to contend with the fact that no one recognises him or gives him the credit he deserves but also has to put up with the bookish wargamer next door and the voracious man-eater upstairs. Heaven, Hell and the city of Birmingham collide in a story that features murder, heavy metal, cannibalism, armed robbers, devious old ladies, Satanists who live with their mums, gentlemen of limited stature, dead vicars, petty archangels, flamethrowers, sex dolls, a blood-soaked school assembly and way too much alcohol. Clovenhoof is outrageous and irreverent (and laugh out loud funny!) but it is also filled with huge warmth and humanity. Written by first-time collaborators Heide Goody and Iain Grant, Clovenhoof will have you rooting for the bad guy like never before.

Curse Words' Paolo Rivera Cover Revealed


Press Release


CURSE WORDS' RIVERA COVER REVEALED &
MORE ISSUES RUSHED BACK TO PRINT

Image Comics is pleased to reveal CURSE WORDS #3’s Paolo Rivera cover in time to tease the legions of fans hooked on Charles Soule and Ryan Browne’s hot new series. CURSE WORDS #1 and #2 will also be rushed back to print in order to keep up with the rapidly growing audience.

From Charles Soule (Daredevil, Death of Wolverine, Star Wars) and Ryan Browne (GOD HATES ASTRONAUTS), CURSE WORDS is COMING FOR YOU! A wizard has appeared in New York City, and he's casting wonderful spells, getting famous, getting rich—it's great! But it's not. This wizard has everyone fooled. He is actually an EVIL WIZARD, and EVIL THINGS are on the way. CURSE WORDS is a gonzo modern fantasy, full of darkness, light...and MAGIC.

CURSE WORDS #1 and #2 remain available for purchase across all digital platforms, including the Image Comics website (imagecomics.com), the official Image Comics iOS app, Comixology’s website (comixology.com), iOS, Android, and Google Play.

CURSE WORDS #1, 3rd printing (Diamond code: JAN178370), CURSE WORDS #2, 2nd printing (Diamond code: JAN178371), CURSE WORDS #3 Cover A by Browne (Diamond code: JAN170724) and CURSE WORDS #3 Cover B by Rivera (Diamond code: JAN170725) will be available on Wednesday, March 22nd. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, February 27th.









ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, Skybound and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit www.imagecomics.com.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Guest Blog by James Walley


Please welcome James Walley to The Qwillery. The Fathom Flies Again, Wink 2, is out now from Ragnarok Publications.







At the weekend, I threw caution to the wind and booked a vacation for later on in the year. The world is a sombre and fragile place at the moment, so I figured that could be tempered by the prospect of incoming shenanigans in the not-too-distant. My destination? Well, that much was set in stone from the moment I stepped off the plane back in Blighty last September, after a week in Orlando. Some more of that, please.

Spending a magical seven days with my other half, scampering around Universal Studios like excited children is something that left an indelible stamp on me. Some people love sun holidays, sand holidays, sangria holidays. Truth be told, I am fairly partial to all of the above, but what I got under the baking Florida sun this September past eclipsed all of that. Fun, and ultimate escapism. As a writer, I spend most of my time creating places to escape to, unlikely, larger than life vistas in which to lose myself even as I build them. This, however, was an opportunity to play in someone else’s sandbox, and they had left all of their toys out for me.

For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, the two theme parks hold everything from superheroes to wizards, giant robots to dinosaurs, and all so immersive that you catch yourself grinning every other minute, as something else that until now only resided in your mind, in a book, or a silver screen walks up and gives you a high five (No mean feat for a T-Rex). This was what I strive to achieve with the words I put into sentences, something so immersive and joyous, that people would want to explore these realms too, if only in their minds. Obviously this wouldn’t work in some genres, or so I thought until the sun went down.

You see, we chose to visit Universal in September, because that is when the nasties come out to play, after the kiddies have been ushered off home, and the attractions are much more likely to eat you. Halloween Horror Nights, they call it, and it put me in my place with regard to exactly how far escapism can take you.

Sure, I’ve harboured secret fantasies about loading up my boomstick and striding out into the zombie apocalypse to have some good old fashioned hijinks with the undead, who hasn’t? What lay in wait for us as we crept back around a transformed amusement park however, was so much more. Exorcists, serial killers, boogeymen, ghosts, banshees and demonic gingerbread men (Yes, that’s a thing) were around every corner, waiting to scare the snot out of anyone who had been brave enough to stick around.

And it was flipping incredible.

Again, meticulously created and flawlessly executed - We were actually there, being chased, lunged at, generally ooga-booga’d to ‘shriek like a pre-schooler’ levels. I don’t think anyone heard me though.

I don’t know why I was so surprised, having grown up on a diet of horror fiction and being utterly exhilarated by it. People love to be scared, as much as they love to be wonder struck or delighted, even if it is in an environment where you know you’re not really going to be possessed, gutted or otherwise horribly dispatched.

I put a little more of a creepy element into The Fathom Flies Again for that very reason. Even if it does stand beside silliness and folly, it serves as a reminder that we love to be given a poke in the feels, whether they’re comfortable or not so comfortable.

Last September, I’d never felt so connected to the things that I had until then only imagined, and it gave me motivation to go deeper down the rabbit hole, paint on a bigger canvas, and yes, use some darker colours where needed. Perhaps that will have a knock on effect in the, as yet untitled third instalment of the Wink trilogy, which I am working on at the moment. Maybe a second trip this coming September will serve to further stoke the creative fires.

At least then I can pass off charging around like a squealing kid on a sugar high as “Research”.





The Fathom Flies Again
Wink 2
Ragnarok Publications, February 1, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 286 pages

It's time to wake up and smell the carnage. Just as every night gives way to dawn, all dreams yield to the break of day. For Marty, that's kind of a problem. When you've fought killer clowns, sailed the seven skies, and generally laid waste to your own dreamspace, real life can be kind of a drag. At least, until your nightmares crawl through the cracks and shadows, and take a liking to your town.

When the jesters come a knocking, it's time to man up. When the unmentionables under your bed come a biting, it's time to grab your trusty, pint-sized pirate compadre and lead a charge against the night terrors.

What does this mean for Marty? It means the crew of The Flying Fathom are back, surfing on rainbows, swashing their buckles, and saving the world, one sleepy little town at a time.

Book one of this series, The Forty First Wink brought you a glimpse of utter, rum-swilling madness. Now& The Fathom Flies Again, pushing you over the edge and chuckling at your plummeting screams, before scuttling off to find something shiny to steal.

Remember, if you hear something under your bed, don't move. Don't make a sound. Draw your cutlass and think of something devilishly witty to shout, because things, my friend, are about to get all too real.




Previously

The Forty First Wink
Wink 1
Ragnarok Publications, June 16, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 214 pages

Marty is having a bad morning. Roused from slumber by a gang of polo mallet-wielding monkeys and a mysterious voice in his wardrobe, he must quickly come to terms with the fact that the world outside his door is now the world inside his head. Lying in wait amidst bleak, gloomy streets, deserted theme parks, and circus-themed nightclubs, lurks the oppressive shadow of a myriad of giggling, cackling pursuers, hell bent on throwing a custard pie or two into the works.

Assisted by a string of half-cocked schemes, a troupe of tiny unlikely allies, and (literally) the girl of his dreams, Marty sets out on a heroic quest to wake up and get out of bed.

Early reviews have compared it to Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. Equal parts epic, funny and dark, The Forty First Wink plummets headlong into the realms of askew reality, adding elements of the macabre, and squeezing in an unlikely love story for good measure. It will take you on a journey where not even the sky is the limit, and literally anything could be around the next corner. The question is, do you have the guts (and the sanity) to find out?





About James

Hailing from the mystical isle of Great Britain, James Walley is an author who prefers his reality banana shaped.

His debut novel, The Forty First Wink, released through Ragnarok Publications in 2014 scuttles gleefully into this bracket, with a blend of humour, fantasy and the unusual.

A clutch of follow up work, both short and long (including books two and three in the Wink trilogy) are in the offing, and have a similar demented flavour.

When not writing, James is partial to a spot of singing, the odd horror movie or ten, and is a circus trained juggler.

Facebook  ~  Twitter @JamesWalley74  ~ Goodreads

Image Comics' The Few Rushed Back to Print


Press Release


THE FEW RUSHED BACK TO PRINT AGAIN
Issues #1 and #2 get a third and second printing

Image Comics is pleased to announce that the first and second issues of the dystopian hit series THE FEW, written by Sean Lewis and drawn by Hayden Sherman, are being rushed back to print in order to keep up with customer demand.

Nothing is as it seems in this dystopian future, and everything is at risk. Two survivalist brothers, caught up in the fight for what’s left of America, stumble upon an injured woman in the woods, holding nothing but a gun and a baby wearing a gas mask. As their pasts—and their secrets—begin to come to light, it’s clear that their futures are muddier than ever.

THE FEW remains available for purchase across all digital platforms, including the Image Comics website (imagecomics.com), the official Image Comics iOS app, Comixology’s website (comixology.com), iOS, Android, and Google Play.

THE FEW #1, 3rd printing (Diamond code: JAN178372), THE FEW #2, 2nd printing (Diamond code: JAN178373), and THE FEW #3 (Diamond code: JAN170730) will be available on Wednesday, March 22nd. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, February 27th.


Select praise for THE FEW:

“THE FEW is a gripping post-apocalyptic tale with dynamite artwork to match.”
—HorrorTalk

“THE FEW brings together Cuaron and Carpenter—Children of Men meets Escape
from New York with amazing grit and visual sensibility. The best type of dystopian
brainchild only comics can offer, in the tradition of Tank Girl and Ezquerra's Dredd.”
—Steve Orlando (VIRGIL, Supergirl, Midnighter)

“A wonderfully written story, accompanied by brutally beautiful imagery and shocking
twists.” —Comics Verse

“Loved it! It was really cool, great pacing, interesting storytelling, tight dialogue. A great
blend of Mad Max, Lone Wolf and Cub, and Popbot."
—Riley Rossmo (RASPUTIN)





ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, Skybound and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit www.imagecomics.com.

Kodansha Comics's Newest Digital Mangas


Press Release


Kodansha Comics’s newest simulpub APOSIMZ, science-fiction manga
master Tsutomu Nihei’s follow-up to Knights of Sidonia, debuts
February 24th on Kindle and comiXology

More: new digital shojo manga series House of the Sun, Peach Heaven, and
The Full-Time Wife Escapist will hit February 28th

San Francisco, Calif. (February 23, 2017)—Kodansha Comics’s newest digital simulpub manga to debut on Kindle and comiXology is APOSIMZ, science-fiction manga master Tsutomu Nihei’s follow-up to his cult hit Knights of Sidonia (which was adapted into a Netflix Original series). Nihei is also the creator of the manga classic (and recently reissued) BLAME!

The first chapter of APOSIMZ will be available on February 24th as a digital edition only on comiXology and Kindle. New chapters will follow on the 24th of every month thereafter (the same day they appear in Japan). Chapters will be priced at $1.99 each.

With APOSIMZ, Nihei takes us into at-once familiar and disorienting territory: a towering “City” built upon the ruins of a mysterious device from the distant past, a “Country of Dolls” of people afflicted with a disease that slowly turns them into machines. A prologue chapter from APOSIMZ was previously available only through Tsutomu Nihei’s limited-time Humble Bundle offering, but can now be read at kodanshacomics.com.

Also, adding to Kodansha Comics’s digital manga ramp-up for 2017, a trio of highly anticipated shojo manga will make their debuts on February 28th.

House of the Sun (Taiyo no ie, in Japanese) is Taamo’s moving account of a young woman who reconnects with a childhood friend as she puts together the pieces of her life following her parents’ broken marriage.

Peach Heaven is a racy tale from Mari Hoshino, detailing the life of an ordinary high-school teenager with a secret identity as … an erotic novelist! What happens when the new transfer student/male supermodel discovers her secret?

Finally, The Full-Time Wife Escapist (aka Nigeru wa haji da ga yaku ni tatsu) brings us Tsunami Umino’s romantic comedy that was recently adapted into a hit Japanese television drama. Mikuri is a recent grad without a whole lot of job prospects, so out of desperation when her housekeeping gig is about to come to an end, she comes up with the idea of becoming the wife of her single salaryman boss—as a job!

Kodansha Comics has been steadily bringing out new manga series in digital format since the start of 2017. More announcements of upcoming titles for the spring will be made at the Kodansha Comics panel at Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle on March 4. The announcements will be made the same day on kodanshacomics.com.

Volume 1s of House of the Sun, Peach Heaven, and The Full-Time Wife Escapist are available for preorder across all Kodansha Comics digital book channels: BookWalker, comiXology, Google Play, iBooks, Kindle, Kobo, and nook.

More information and Chapter 1 previews of the aforementioned series can be found at kodanshacomics.com.


About Tsutomu Nihei

Born in 1971 in Japan's Fukushima Prefecture, Tsutomu Nihei has been drawing comics professionally since the mid 1990s. In 1995 he was awarded the Jiro Taniguchi Special Prize in that year's Afternoon Magazine Four Seasons Awards for his submission, Blame. After working as an assistant to veteran comic artist Tsutomu Takahashi, Nihei went on to launch his debut series BLAME! in Afternoon Magazine in 1998. Following the success of BLAME! he next penned BioMega (published in English by Viz Media) and Wolverine SNIKT (Marvel). In 2009 Nihei returned to Afternoon to launch his most recent series, Knights of Sidonia. In 2015 he won the Kodansha Manga Award in the General Comics category for his work on Knights of Sidonia.

About Kodansha

Founded in 1909, Kodansha Ltd. is Japan’s leading publishing house, based in Tokyo, Japan. Under the leadership of Yoshinobu Noma, company president since 2011, Kodansha continues to play a dominant role in the media world, producing books and magazines in a wide variety of genres including literature, fiction, nonfiction, children’s, business, lifestyle, art, manga, fashion, and journalism. Recently, the company has focused on creating and developing a wide range of digital businesses. Company profile can be viewed here.

Kodansha Comics is the manga-publishing imprint of Kodansha USA Publishing (KUP), established in New York in 2008. Kodansha Comics’s first works were Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira and Shirow Masamune’s The Ghost in the Shell. Kodansha Advanced Media is a digital-content distributor and producer established in San Francisco in 2015. More at http://www.kodanshacomics.com