Monday, 25 August 2008

Ragamuffins: Stitches In time

This was our first title, a one-shot that debuted at the 2007 BICS. It features the first appearance of the Ragamuffins, a disparate group of unusual individuals that repair problems with time. I'd had the idea of the Ragamuffins for a number of years and it seemed the ideal concept to set out the Time Bomb Comics stall with. It's a complete mind-bend of a story, with some great time travel art effects that artist Andy Dodd did a phenomenal job on that really showcases his talents.

We also wanted to set the quality bar quite high in terms of the product itself, so it could quite easily sit alongside the shelf in the comics shops with the latest releases from Marvel, DC and the rest. A nice glossy cover and good paper stock was a must, and has made a difference at the convention tables and in getting the shops to stock it. Quite simply, sales for a small-press comic are much more likely the less small-press it looks.

As for the concept itself I guess the biggest and most obvious influence to the book was the late-Seventies TV show "Sapphire and Steel". Featuring Joanna Lumley and David McCallum as the title characters this series played with the whole notion of time and both baffled and terrified me as a 11 year old. As with that bizarre series Ragamuffins share a cast of characters that are very individual and operating on a very different plane to the rest of us. The intention was that the Ragamuffins had a history and an ultimate purpose but it's not something we were to be privy to, instead we were to be caught up in the weirdness of what they do without understanding why and how they do it.

What's interesting is that the feedback we've so far received - and one of the things about self-publishing is that feedback is few and far between - is that people seem to love the characters and want to see more of them, but also want to know the whys and wherefores that we made such a point of ignoring. Maybe it's the "secret origin" fixation that comics fans have with characters that pique their interest, but if the Ragamuffins revealed their secret origin then it wouldn't be much of a secret anymore would it?

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