Those of you with long memories may remember me announcing, quite some time ago now, that I was drawing a comic called Department of the Peculiar, written by Rol Hirst. Well, I did draw the first five pages last summer but then I got distracted by some other stuff and didn't really get back into it until earlier this year. Even then, I kept getting distracted by other stuff - including a couple of paid illustration jobs - and since February I have only been able to sit and draw for two or three hours a day most days, thanks to two prolapsed discs in my back, and a trapped sciatic nerve. However, I am pleased to announce that DOTP #1 is nearly done - I'm half way through pencilling page 23 (of 24) at the moment - and should be out in August. I am usually quite dissatisfied with my own work but Rol's great script has pushed me to draw a lot of things that I would normally avoid, and I think that this is the best art I have ever produced. I can't wait to see it in print, and to get started on #2! While I have been working on this, I have been going around telling everyone that I am working on a superhero comic, but that actually doesn't describe DOTP that well at all. Luckily, Rol wrote this for the FPI blog, who previewed the first five pages (and an early sketch I did of the three main characters) today:
From the writer of Too Much Sex & Violence, PJANG and The Jock (Rol Hirst) and the creator of Crisp Biscuit and Colin Comix (Rob Wells) comes a new British super-powered action/comedy/drama thingy about the government department established to investigate peculiar occurrences, people and phenomena.
You see, in Britain, super-powers are not seen as the next level in evolution… they’re something you go to the doctor about (if you can get an appointment). They make you feel, “a bit peculiar”.
Bitten by a radioactive daddy longlegs? Your average Brit doesn’t put on a costume to fight crime… he takes two weeks off work and writes a letter of complaint to his local MP.
Growing three indestructible claws out the back of your knuckles? Better get down the chemist and hope there’s a cream for it!
Suddenly able to run faster than a locomotive? You just know there’ll be leaves on the line.
Yes, we’re a sick nation… and we’re only getting sicker!
Into this weary world of whinge comes former American superhero Viral Mal, a man with a power that will sicken you. With just a click of his fingers, he can make you come down with anything from a sore throat to the bubonic plague… and he hates himself for it. You might think he’d fit in perfectly… but Mal has other ideas. Having left the States to get away from all the superhero slugfests and evil mastermind revenge plots, Mal wants nothing more than to disappear into a life of anonymous drudgery. But insidious, irascible and indestructible Department of the Peculiar director Lisa Cole has other ideas, enlisting Mal to join her elite squad of malingerers and misfits in the fight against the fantastic afflictions that threaten our once great nation…
Their very first case? High cholesterol gone bad. We guarantee: you’ll never eat a ready meal again…
Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? Watch this space (or Rol's space) for further updates...