How I Spent November 2017

I don’t do Thanksgiving, what with being English and all. But even so, I’ve found myself feeling very thankful this month. I’ve recently been touching base with old friends, and getting closer to my current pals as well. I feel blessed to have such a lovely band of people around me.

After taking a bit of a break last month, I’ve got cracking on my book Monster Hunters, Dinosaur Lovers once more. My research involves deep-diving into the fantasy and science fiction published between 2013 to 2016, and I’d like to take the opportunity to offer my sincerest gratitude to all of the SF/F magazines that have made their stories available as podcasts, thereby allowing me to research and draw at the same time. Kate Baker’s Clarkesworld readings have been the soundtrack to my evenings.

Speaking of drawing, the first issue of my comic Midnight Widows will be finishing its serialisation in Belladonna next month, and work is well underway on issue 2. Marcela’s been pencilling, and I’ve been inking (while listening to Kate Baker). If all goes to plan then there should be a crowdfunding campaign early next year, so that I can afford a colourist, cover art, print runs and more. Watch this space.

Articles of mine published elsewhere this month:

Article topics for December and beyond:


November 2017 Belladonna Issue Now Available!

DPF8aKwUEAA3qYi.jpg-largeWe of the Horror Honeys have unleashed Belladonna upon the world again this month! This issue is another joblot of delights: Slasher Honey Chass looks at the recent releases Happy Death Day and Jigsaw, Classics Honey Samantha talks about the gender politics of Stephen and Owen King’s novel Sleeping Beauties and revisits the Universal horror-comedy The Old Dark House, Monster Honey Sarah dives into The Shape of Water, Head Honey LinnieSarah celebrates the underappreciated women of the erotic thriller genre, Supernatural Honey Kim has list of horror films guaranteed to convert even the most sceptical non-fan, Sci-Fi Honey Katie interrogates Blade Runner 2049, Gamer Honey Jess has a go on the retro-toon adventures of Cuphead and Bendy,

Once again, this is a themed issue, with a special focus on celebrating women in comics. Our cover star is Bitch Planet creator Kelly Sue DeConnick, who talks about her career past and present in an exclusive interview; also grilled is fellow comic author Leah Williams. Kim talks about Edward Scissorhands: Parts Unknown, while Guest Honey Laurel reviews Shade: The Changing Girl. My own contributions are a retrospective of Nancy A. Collins’ vampire comics and a review of Kore Yamazaki’s Frau Faust.

This was also a big month for my comic, Midnight Widows, which is currently being serialised in Belladonna. As well as a bumper-sized instalment, this issue has an in-depth introduction to my all-woman team of collaborators: Rosie Wigg, Marcela Hauptvogelova and our newest recruit, Delia Mihai.


To celebrate, here are some of Rosie’s very, very early drawings of Edith and Gabriela. Haven’t they grown?

The issue can be downloaded from the official website and MagCloud. Up and at ’em!

Space Opera Archeology: Philip Francis Nowlan and Buck Rogers

“Then there flashes into my memory the picture of Wilma as, screaming in an utter abandon of merciless fury, she threw herself recklessly, exultantly into the thick of that wild, relentless slaughter; and my mind can find nothing savage nor repellent about her.”

—Anthony Rogers,  “The Airlords of Han”

amazing_stories_192903In the previous posts in this series I covered Edmond Hamilton’s Interstellar Patrol stories and E. E. Doc Smith’s The Skylark of Space, two seminal works of space opera that, coincidentally, were both published in magazines cover-dated August 1928. Now it’s time to look at another work that commenced publication that month, Philip Francis Nowlan’s two-part saga that started with “Armageddon 2419 A.D.” and concluded the following year with “The Airlords of Han”, both in Amazing Stories.

Now, it’s a bit of a stretch to call either story a space opera. While they have a lot of deadly rays and flying machines, they take place entirely on the planet Earth, and space travel turns up only at the very end of “The Airlords of Han” in a rather oddball plot revelation. That said, Nowlan’s yarn did play a part in the development of space opera as a genre. “Armageddon 2419 A.D.” was the basis of a syndicated newspaper strip that started in January 1929. Here, the main character Anthony Rogers was given the nickname Buck, and his adventures ran under the title of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. The comic version of the character went on all manner of interplanetary adventures (story titles include “Tiger Men of Mars” and “Depth Men of Jupiter”) and established space opera as a viable genre for comics.

Continue reading “Space Opera Archeology: Philip Francis Nowlan and Buck Rogers”