I’ll be a guest (along with a throng of much more talented folk) at the ComicCity con in Derry this September 12th and 13th. Info here.
Hope to see you there.
I’ll be a guest (along with a throng of much more talented folk) at the ComicCity con in Derry this September 12th and 13th. Info here.
Hope to see you there.
Nature again. You can read my story Like Buses in the latest issue of Nature Physics right here. And once you’ve read the story, you can read the story behind the story on the Nature blog, here. Find out what WB Yeats and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn have to do with Martian exploration.
Not much, to be honest, except in my head.
There’s an update to that story behind the story post: looks like the essay that is mentioned therein will be happening now. I’ve already written it so look for it this year, sometime.
What else is there:
You can read my story Notes From Some Other War in the latest issue of Wyrd Daze, the multimedia zine of fiction and music and art and weirdness. It’s a strange little story, even I’m not sure what it’s about. I’m pleased with it though. I’ve wanted to do a loose HPL mythos story set at some point during WWII for a long time. And I wanted to not do it in the usual way, so it’s weird and abstract and set in an unusual place and features an unusual man with an unusual task. It’s free to download here. Do check it out.
Things are slouching along in their usual unfocused, could-drop-dead-from-exhaustion-and-apathy kind of way. I’ve got a couple of comic series pitches just kicking into life, artists and letterers and colourists on board, sketches starting to come in. Pretty hopeful for both of these. They’re strong stories and the art will be really good. So let’s see what happens.
The secret project with Chris Askham and Bram Meehan will be announced soon. It’s launching in September. Can’t say much about it yet, but here’s one unlettered panel from the first instalment.
If that’s not the most handsome and dignified carp you’ve ever seen, then you’ve seen more carp than me, and I’ve seen a lot of carp, let me tell you.
I wrote and filed a long-ish essay on someone who is a bit of a totemic author for me. And I’m very glad that I did, as it scratched an itch that’s burned for many years. Again this hasn’t been announced so details must remain scarce. It’ll be appearing in a book about “lost books” which is due for publication either last quarter this year or first quarter next.
And I just heard that my story Green-eyed Monster will be reprinted in an anthology sometime soon.
Now I have to write an essay on the Abominable Snowman for a book not out for twelve or thirteen months. And I just got commissioned to write a five or six pager for a WWI comic anthology in aid of War Child.
Right, I’m off to do a bit of work. But look at the flowers in this window. How did they get there?
Should really have mentioned it ages ago but issue 16 of PUSH magazine is out now. Features my short story Amelia, plus lots of other interesting and worthwhile stuff.
All the previous issues have sold out, so this won’t be around for too long.
Back in March, Chris Askham and myself took time out from launching Abominable Glory at LSCC to have a chat with the always affable Chris Thompson of the Orbital Comics Podcast. Click through if you want to hear us banging on about comics and yetis and god knows what else (I was pretty hungover). Think we come on and bore everyone to death around the 48 minute mark.
Following on from last week’s tribute to my good friend Herb Trimpe (which you can still listen to here), this time I’m back with a series of interviews recorded *live* in the inaugural Podcast Alley at the recent London Super Comic Con.
First up, Alex Paknadel chats about his new series Arcadia from Boom! Studios, then I ‘find’ Sam Read to discuss his work with Comix Tribe, Martin Hayes & Chris Askham come by to talk Abominable Glory, and 2000AD‘s Mike Molcher pops in to hype their podcast & other activities.
As if that’s not enough, I’m also joined at the pub by Hunter Gorinson & Andy Liegl from Valiant Entertainment for a post-con drink. We chat about what’s happening in their world, where readers can start exploring the Valiant universe, and how they found their trip to London.
And never fear, you can still enjoy the Pop Culture Hound back-catalogue right here, as we continue to put out the same quality interviews and discussion with Orbital in Conversation going forward. It’s only gonna get better, folks!
Nothing happens for ages and then lots of little things happen all at once. It’s a feast or a famine round here.
Later this week you’ll be able to buy the latest issue of PUSH, a magazine edited by Joe England which continues to go from strength to strength, selling out its ever increasing print runs in record time. My story, Amelia, is in issue 16.
I’ll also have a story called Notes From Some Other War appearing in Wyrd Daze. No publication date yet. You could probably call it a very loose and vague HPL mythos story. Or maybe you couldn’t. I don’t know.
I sold another story to the world’s premier science journal Nature. (Every time I sell a story to the “world’s premier science journal” I cackle at the sheer audacious absurdity of such an event ever transpiring) It’s my fifth story for those guys. God bless ‘em. It’s called Like Buses and will probably appear in a month or two.
What else, I’ve been navigating rivers in a vain and arrogant quest for enlightenment and a story. The river in question had to be walked in three stages, from sea to source, and I’ve currently written the account of the first leg only, which came in at 6000 words. Not sure what I will, or can, do with this. It’s going to be an awkward size – too long for some venues, not long enough for others. Perhaps some journal might serialise it. Who knows. It will appear though, even if I have to just bung it up on the web.
STOP PRESS! We’re getting the band back together. Fresh from the yeti-sized triumph that was Abominable Glory, the creative team of Martin Hayes (writer), Chris Askham (artist), and Bram Meehan (letterer/designer) are back at it with an all new comic project. Not out until September and all ultra hush-hush for now, but keep your eyes peeled because this is going to be good. A bit weird too, as it means I’m now getting emails from one of the real greats of the comic industry, whose work is one of the reasons I wanted to get into this lark in the first place. All will be revealed.
What else? I’ve been reading a lot about W.B. Yeats and his relationship with Aleister Crowley (oh fuck, not Crowley again) for a little article I’m writing. And George Russell, too, who went by the name AE. I’m beginning to see George Russell for what he really was: Ireland’s truest genius and visionary.
Work on another project had me reading both volumes of Austin Clarke’s autobiography and, indeed, a trip to the site upon which his house used to stand was called for, way out in Templeogue. The house is now demolished, wiped from the surface of the earth to widen a road and a bridge. Perhaps embarrassed at their own impudence, the authorities renamed the bridge in his honour, staged a grand ceremony and unveiling, but didn’t bother inviting any of his family members. Ireland, my Ireland.
Clarke had lived in England for many years with his wife and three children when, in 1937, he began to grow uneasy, fearful in his bones that another war was in the offing. He wired funds to his mother in Ireland with instructions to buy a house for him to return to. Several were looked at before Clarke decided on Bridge House in Templeogue.
Clarke’s mother, a god-fearing woman, had always been dismayed at her son’s lack of faith, at the fact that all his fiction had been banned in Ireland by the Censorship of Publications Board, and so, she took her son’s money and bought the house at Templeogue as he’d requested. But it was only when Clarke arrived back in Ireland, ready to move in, that he learned his mother had bought the house with his money but in her name, and arranged through an arcane legal mechanism known as usufruct that he would have only a life interest in it. Upon Clarke’s (and his wife’s) death, the house would pass, free of charge, lock, stock and barrel, into the hands of the Catholic Church. To the Propagation of the Faith, to be exact.
What a nice pious lady she must have been. To do that to her son.
Clarke’s poem, Usufruct, written at Bridge House, begins…
This house cannot be handed down.
Before the scriven ink is brown,
Clergy will sell the lease of it.
Do yourself a favour, go and read some of Austin Clarke’s work. It’s all well worth a look. Here, this’ll get you started.
I wrote a story a long time ago that was hellish and nasty in both tone and plot. I’m all for both those things in fiction, but this just felt too nasty and so, I left it sitting in the abandoned folder on my hard drive and did nothing with it. It was called Green-eyed Monster.
Even after I heard that PUSH were doing an “ultra-violence” themed issue, I thought long and hard about whether to submit it or not. But I did. And now it’s out there.
My next graphic novel is called Abominable Glory and will be launching at London Super Comic Con on 14th and 15th of March 2015. I’ll be there, as will the artist Chris Askham. Check the press release below for signing times and whatnot. There’ll be some reviews and such cropping up in the coming weeks.
Good to see this finally creeping into the daylight. It’s a story I’ve had knocking around the mouldering recesses of my brain for a good few years. A bit of a love letter to the cryptozoology books I read as a boy, and to the war comics I grew up with; Battle Action, Commando and the like.
As always with comics this was a real team effort. A yeti-sized round of applause goes out to Chris Askham for his amazing art, Bram Meehan for his top-notch lettering and design work, and Matt Soffe, for his superlative cover.
Bonus material includes concept sketches, script-to-art samples, an essay about how the books and tv shows of my youth provided the seeds for this project, and pin-ups by Jamie Chase and Marc Jackson.
Abominable Glory is published by Markosia and will launch at the London Super Comic Con in the Excel Centre on Saturday 14th of March, 2015.
Written by Martin Hayes, whose previous projects include the graphic novels Project Luna: 1947 and Aleister Crowley: Wandering the Waste, and with art by Chris Askham, who has illustrated for Siti’s Sisters, Zarjaz, and DogBreath, Abominable Glory is 80 pages of grey-scale monster mayhem.
Martin and Chris will be signing at the Markosia booth from 10-12 on the Saturday and Sunday of LSCC.
Published by Markosia
Art by Chris Askham
Letters/design by Bram Meehan
Cover by Matt Soffe
Here’s the first four pages…
Five days in London last week.
Touched down at Heathrow at about 11am on a dismal, drizzly bastard of a morning. Slept most of the flight away with Nina Persson warbling in my ears. Proper order, too. I hadn’t slept well the night before, hit the bed at one in the morning and had to be up at six. Tossed and turned most of the night through uneasy dreams (though nothing will ever come close in factors of uneasiness and terror to the dream I had on board a plane flying from New York to Dublin last year. I dreamt I was sleeping on a plane making that same crossing, but in my dream I awoke with a start to find the plane plummeting through a squall, free fall, the fuselage shuddering as it spiralled towards the ocean and, just before it hit the awful hungry surface of the water, I awoke with a start, but for real this time, to find myself on a plane halfway across the Atlantic. I will never forget that moment of utter dread, walloping like an anvil into the churning pit of my stomach, to wake in the dark from that too-real dream of plunging into the ocean and finding myself with four hours of a transatlantic flight still to sit through).
Sorry, got side-tracked there. Yeah, London. Been writing a thing with someone over there. What fun. (In’t that fun!) Met all the cool people. Drank all the cool beer. Ate all the warm grub. Doffed my hat to Selene’s horse, which I do every time I’m there – doffed it on three different days if I’m being honest, because it’s free and goose-flesh inducing.
Met a nice dog called Cujo. Saw Freud’s desk ornaments. Absorbed more coffee than any human should. Made tentative plans to be interviewed at LSCC in March. Was appalled by the price of a single biscuit. Didn’t get lost on the tube. Lied to a man in a souvenir shop in order to take a photo of a signed picture of Richard Burton.
Daytrip to Southend with Ellen Rogers. Nice walk on the pier. Encountered an odd man in a café who repeatedly told a book of coupons that “You’re out of date, son!” He also told a young woman to sew up the fashionable rips in her jeans and then claimed he could hear a helicopter, after which he lifted the teabag from his mug, spun it around on its string, helicopter style, and covered himself and Ellen in tea. He later claimed that his name was Sir David Francis Noble.
Trudged the streets in my freshly broken-in Doctor Marten’s. NPG to see the Engers-Kennedy portrait of Crowley. And nicely surprised to find plenty of Sickert in there too. Scoffed word-class falafel with two wonders. Bargains in the bookshops on Charing Cross Road. £8.50 for Monty’s Suffolk and Norfolk. Three quid for a nice Faber Endgame. Hung out at Orbital Comics for really not long enough. Forgot to pick up the back-issues of The Goon I saw going for a song there.
I can’t wait to go back in March.
Nice review of the Crowley book on Bleeding Cool. I’m very happy to see my good pal Roy getting the credit he deserves for the boundary-pushing artwork he produced on that book.
I’m writing this in the dark. The time has just clicked over to 3.20 pm and I’ve already drawn the curtains and turned the little desk lamp on, because I live in Ireland, and Ireland can be only one of two things on any given winter’s day: a crystal clear, cerulean-blue-skied paradise, or a dank, foggy, oppressively mildewed sinkhole, whose light levels never reach above what might optimistically be called twilight. Today is one of the latter days, there is no sky as such, and no light is given off from whatever burning orb might be glowing out there beyond the wall of grey, and yet the yawping idiot seagulls circle freely above me, so there must be something up there. But it is not sky. It is thick grey soup that starts ten feet above my head and is dissipated only by the Van Allen belts churning up there in the magnetosphere. I have not made this up.
Putting the WWII/monster graphic novel to bed this week, tucking the little shit in nice and tight and hoping it doesn’t piss the bed in the night. Still not announced, give it a week or two. Launching at LSCC in March. Which is good, because I love a trip to London.
I’m going there for a few days later this month, in fact, to work on a secret project with someone brilliant and to drink some beer maybe and visit friends and mooch the streets and see Barlach’s Angel. In that order.
Christ, it’s dark. Can you see me at all?
Back and finally recovered from a brilliant and bonkers Thought Bubble in foggy Leeds. Only took a week to get over it. So good to see old friends and make new ones and successfully avoid old enemies. Signing books at a con is almost as much fun as the vital pit-stops for sustenance in between.
A curious side-effect of spending many years (too fucking many) as a metal fabricator and welder and general steel-botherer is that you wander around new cities paying way too much attention to bridges and overpasses and handrails. You find yourself examining the quality of welds as you pass, silently tutting at the beams and channels in need of a good wire-brushing and fresh coat of rust-resistant paint, admiring the tasty rivet-work. But just look at what you see…
There’s a little reservoir not far from where I live where I sometimes go trout fishing with an old work buddy. A short almost-Victorian-looking steel pier runs for some few yards into the water. It’s a splendid construction, with fine ornate handrail uprights, and I always think of the people who built that pier and who they were, and if they are still alive; I even wonder what the weather was like – did they enjoy doing that work on balmy July days with bees and butterflies flitting past, or did they hate every minute of it, freezing and rattling in their steel-toe boots with the January sleet pelting their weary backs.
Still working on projects which cannot be mentioned. The new graphic novel should be launching at LSCC next March in London. I believe it should be announced either just before of just after Christmas. Really happy with it. Me writing, with the fine duo of Chris Askham on art and Bram Meehan on lettering/design.
I think this is my favourite panel so far…
Made some great contacts at TB. This week I send in a proposal for a six issue series to a rather large company. Fingers crossed and all that.
Also working on a project with someone who is so amazingly talented and whose work I admire so much that I can’t really believe that I’m working with her at all. But enough of that for now. Will post when it’s all kicking into life.
Unrelated: I never knew A Camp did a video for Stronger Than Jesus. It is crazy. Why did no one tell me?
Finally, some nice reviews for my story Echoes, which appeared in Dreams of Shadow and Smoke – Stories for J.S. Le Fanu. The first comes from David Longhorn on the always-worth-reading Supernatural Tales blog.
Very different in tone and subject matter is ‘Echoes’ by Martin Hayes. Here is a Dublin-set story of a haunted house, and that most Gothic of characters, the man with a dark secret. But this is no tale of a murderer unmasked. Hayes’ protagonist is the quintessential monster of modern society, a man who can’t begin to forgive himself, let alone expect forgiveness from others. And yet, thanks to insightful writing, the monster remains a man and is still pitiable.
And this is from Hunter Seitz’s review which appeared in issue 4 of The Green Book, just one sentence because I haven’t got the energy to type out the full couple of paragraphs.
To his credit he ably leads his readers through a sordid alley without spattering them with mud.
Nice. I’ll take that.
The clocks went back. It was pitch black and blowing a gale when I headed out to the pub at 7pm last night. Winter draws in. Yes it does, so it does. Need to buy some form of warm and waterproof jacket. I’m too old to be going around shivering for half the year. Maybe a hat of some sort. One that doesn’t make me look like a prick, ideally.
Related: Dublin Mean Time
I write this in a state of extreme lethargy and indolence. It’s 2.28 P.M. on Monday and I’ve been drinking heavily since 1 P.M. on Friday. Not able for three nights in a row any more. Not able for two. I drink Guinness. If I’m out for a night I might drink 8-10 pints of it. That means I’ve consumed roughly 27 pints of Guinness over the long weekend. That’s almost three and a half gallons. When I was in school I used to work part-time in a hardware store, we used to sell gallon drums of exterior masonry paint. I know how big a gallon is. That’s too much Guinness. And I like Guinness, but that’s too much. My guts—they’re not right at all. The acid sluicing up my throat is hotter than the sun.
Chris Askham has now uploaded 62 pages of completed artwork into our shared Dropbox folder. 62 lovely pages. That’s the next graphic novel almost in the bag. Bram Meehan will be working his lettering and design trickery over the coming weeks. The cover by Matt Soffe is complete. I’ve written a short essay for the backmatter about childhood preoccupations with the occult and Fortean—it’s called Phantasmagorical Foundations. (A little doff of the hat to the greatest kid’s tv show ever made.) We haven’t announced this book at all yet, but we’ve got a publisher and it should be out first quarter 2015. March, I hope. More soon. ‘Tis shaping up nicely.
What else? I finished up a collection of mostly new prose stories and sent them to one of my favourite publishers last Monday. Ten stories (two have been published before, eight are brand spanking new). So fingers crossed on that. Should hear back soon.
I’m halfway through writing the first issue of a new comic project. Just picking my way through the early section, trying to get the measure of it. Ideally, I’d like to do this as three 28 page issues. It’s a strong little story, I think. It saw a bit of interest from VERTIGO a while back, when I pitched it to those guys, but it was decided the project was too short to bring any further. I’m going to write the whole sodding thing and then see about getting an artist on-board. Pitch it to IMAGE.
Is it just me or does the onset of Winter always make you think of this?
It’s just me, isn’t it.
That public information film haunted my childhood. Even now, I find it truly amazing and affecting to watch. Just look at the colour palette they’ve used; the purples, the empty cosmic black of the stark, leafless trees, the intense yellow glow of the setting sun on the horizon. Even the Foley and soundtrack are haunting; the unexpected burst of static and cross-talk on the ambulance radio, the subtle, delicate sound of fresh snow being crushed beneath heavy boots, you can almost feel the stretcher bearers’ weariness as they trudge across the snow-covered field.
I think of winter. And I think of that short film. And then I think of mid-eighties Ireland and lazy sick-days off school, sitting on the floor in the living room in my pyjamas in front of the two-bar electric heater, watching that short public information film during the adverts before Superted came on S4C, in Welsh, and I would watch it anyway, because it was a cartoon, and they weren’t on much, and even though I couldn’t understand any of the dialogue, I could still kind of make out the gist of the story. And all through Superted I would feel bad for the little boy who fell through the ice and died. And I would think of how upset his mother would be when the policemen went to to tell her.
I’m sure there’s an interesting essay to be written on all this; hauntology, nostalgia as personal history, but I haven’t got the fucking energy.
I will leave you with Warpaint and Disco/Very. My new most favourite song.
Just returned from eight days in glorious New York. So good as to be overwhelming. New sights, beers, experiences, friends, and beers. Yes, sampling the unusual beers was good. Somehow managed to stumble into a bar where Mike Stern was playing a jazz set and sat not three feet from him while empty beer glasses slowly swamped the table.
Then a man in a pinstriped suit cycled past me as I waited to cross the street, he held a rolled up newspaper to his eye like a telescope and peered right at me as he drifted slowly past – we exchanged friendly waves as my friends laughed at the weirdness and I felt very at home.
While I was away issue thirteen of PUSH was published and, I believe, is now close to selling out. It contains my noir-love-ghost story Shattered Glass in Shingle along with lots of top-notch prose. Pick up a copy if you can.
Home now, wondering why my mutinous brain has made me dream of this. Twice.
Shall we dream of Chinatown? No.
Of drifting slowly beneath the Brooklyn Bridge on one of the most beautifully sunny afternoons we’ve ever experienced? No.
Of seeing a shitty rubber mask of Prince Charles in a toy shop on Lexington Avenue? Oh yes! Twice!
But really, what an amazing treat, to be in New York with your friends for eight days. I shan’t forget it.
Back to writing work on Monday. Need to write an essay of a crypto-zoological bent for the bonus material of the graphic novel I’m doing with Chris Askham and Bram Meehan. It’s almost there, just a few pages of artwork left to complete. Then some lettering and design. The brilliant Matt Soffe produced an amazing cover. We’ve secured a publisher and it should be on shelves early next year. Can’t wait to reveal all the details. Soon . . .
Next week will also be about putting the finishing touches to a new short story collection. Ten new stories with a supernatural and horror flavour. Once they’re at a place where I’m happy with them it’s time to submit the lot to one of my favourite publishers. And then wait. And keep the twitchy fingers crossed.
It’s been a great summer, one of the best. But Autumn draws in and I am listening to Warpaint a lot. Son, in particular.
It’s dark by 7pm now, and my favourite season, Winter, lurks just around the corner. And I’m fine with that.
Reading: I Was Dora Suarez by Derek Raymond.
This is brilliant, just absolutely bloody brilliant.
Was happy to hear yesterday that my short story Shattered Glass in Shingle will be appearing in the next issue of PUSH. Issue 13 should be out in around 3 weeks, I believe. All details at the link.
Pick up an issue if you can. If it’s good enough for David Peace, it’s good enough for me (and you, you slags).
Pic taken from PUSH editor Joe England’s blog.
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