Thursday, 3 May 2012

The Atom Twins and The Mirror

If you've been reading this blog, you'll probably already have heard of the Atom Twins. They started life as a stupid idea in a bored moment at work, but came back years later when Underfire Comics conceived of a grand plan to write a ten issue superhero graphic novel that was also a story about a comic company falling apart. In classic style, we actually managed to write the entire thing, including making up an entire superhero universe to set it all in including fake back issues and story arcs, but in the course of it have so many arguments and tantrums and so on that not only did we not even manage to start drawing it, we basically stopped functioning as a comic publishing collective.

Actually, that's not really the reason we've basically stopped making comics as a collective, it's more that Underfire has actually succeeded in it's original goal, which was to be a springboard to real paid comic work (at least for some of us). Meanwhile, the small press scene has changed an awful lot in the last ten years and the publishing model we had, while never hugely successful, is now completely obsolete and there is much more value, traction and accessibility (to both readers and creators) in stand alone titles under your own name. Basically, when we started Ka-blam! didn't exist and a pirate copy of Photoshop took days to download and was just as likely to be a virus that trashed your computer as a functional piece of software. (I know, software piracy is a Bad Thing, but the small press as it is today probably wouldn't exist without it. The comics industry expects you to be able to use Photoshop etc., but they aren't about to pay for your copy to train with - they aren't about to pay you enough to live on for your first couple of jobs either.)

Anyway, enough of that. Have a read of the Atom Twins issue from that Superhero Graphic Novel. It's got lizardmen in it, although it's really about siblings and watching your life slip out of your control. As this is a working document, the first page is spoilery though.

(picture by Iain Buchanan)

The Atom Twins

And have another issue, The Mirror - which I am vaguely considering attempting to paint myself, but who knows if I'll ever manage to do that. This one is hugely over-ambitious, full of backwards narrative, tarot imagery and an attempt at a meta-narrative about the second generation immigrant experience (i.e. mine). God help me.

The Mirror

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