Saturday 4 January 2014

2014 - The Year Of Longship

Happy New Year!

Nearly three years ago on 18th January 2011 Time Bomb Comics received a submission from writer Lawrence Rider. It was a short story and, following the feedback Lawrence received regarding that, later sent through to Time Bomb a pitch for a longer tale that could be developed as a one-shot.  That pitch was called "Longship" and I opened it up assuming it was something about Vikings. I was right, it was about Vikings, but other than that it was not in any way anything I had expected. I also knew that I really wanted it to be published by Time Bomb Comics.

Fortuitously, at roughly about the same time Lawrence had produced his final draft later that year we came across Rebecca Teall, a fine artist who had never worked in comics before but was looking for a suitable opportunity to do so.  Becs' style seemed ideal for Longship, she was as enthused about the story as Lawrence and I were and she began preparatory artwork at the beginning of 2012, pretty much a year to the day since Lawrence has first gotten in touch.

 Over the next two years Becs steadily put together the pages for the book.  Coming fresh to comics, she had no pre-conceived notions of what comics should be, and as she began to get further into the project her passion for it really began to show.  Ideas about format, layout and style were thrown in, pages were worked and reworked. Towards the end of production when a third-party letterer was being considered Becs locked herself away with a copy of the "Comicraft Guide to Lettering" to make sure she was able to letter the book herself. As I said, passion.
Three years on from that first email from Lawrence Longship is now completed and ready to go. If there's any more tweaks they'll be minimal - the size of the logo, the placement of the barcode box - the little things. At the moment Time Bomb Comics are planning to launch the book in August later this year (probably at the inaugural International Comics Expo that's being held in Birmingham on August 2nd). And with the book completed we're now about to start the most difficult part of publishing: the promotion and marketing!
So what is Longship actually about? As you'd assume from the title it's a story about Vikings, and a tale that Lawrence himself describes as 'a story of life, death, what you leave behind, and what we will do to honour those we love.' But as you can see from these opening couple of pages it's so much more than that. It's guaranteed to defy your expectations.
But you can expect to hear a lot more about Longship over the coming months...