Tuesday, October 02, 2018

A potted history of GCBC#1



The first issue of GoodCopBadCop the comic came out in 2012.  I came up with the idea a year earlier.  I was looking for an idea – a high concept even – for my next indie comics venture and I remember seeing an ad on a double-decker bus and suddenly it came to me.  It popped into my head more or less fully formed.  I have absolutely no recollection what the ad on the bus was.  I always assumed one day it would come back to me.  Now I’m not so sure.

GoodCopBadCop is a modern crime take on Jekyll and Hyde where the ‘good cop’ and ‘bad cop’ are the same person.

The same night I put together the pitch, everything came together beautifully, seamlessly.  On a wall in Sauchiehall Lane, I saw a piece of street art in the shape of a human-shaped chalk mark and I thought, that gives me an idea, and the opening story began to form.

 It was a Wednesday.  It had to be because I was attending Weegie Wednesday, a monthly networking event for Glasgow-based writers and all types of creative, held at Universal (as it was called at the time).  That was the night I bumped into artist Garry McLaughlin, who himself was catching a quick drink, having been to the cinema previously to watch Terence Malick’s ‘The Tree of Life’.  I knew of Garry, rather than actually knowing him, so I approached his table, introduced myself and sneaked in a quick pitch.  Garry was up for it and there it was.

Funny that, I can remember so much about that night, but not the ad on the side of a bus which in my mind sparked the whole thing off.

The comic featured three stand-alone stories.  It was a sort of ‘proof of concept’ issue.  I wanted to show I could take the idea and play it out.  Put some flesh on the bones.  Garry’s version of DI Brian Fisher remains the definitive one.  His version of BadCop is a brutish one, the character bulking up in front of your eyes.  His rendering of Mrs MacPhellimey with her ‘mushroom cloud’ hair (whose name I took from ‘At Swim-Two-Birds’ by Flann O’Brien) is just superb.  The cover he did for this issue remains one of my favourites.  It's a beauty...

 







Monday, October 01, 2018

Quit your jibber jabber…

…And tell us how long it took to write your first novel.

Okay good question, deep breath – 9 months writing it; 6 months in a drawer; another 6 months of rewriting it; 3 months of editing, proofing and publishing.  After a quick count of all my fingers, toes, and some other appendages, I make that 24 months in total.  Or 2 years, give or take the odd hastily eaten sandwich and dodgy haircut.

The book is still at the proofing stage, but once it’s in and the changes are accepted it’ll be good to go.  I’ve made myself promise myself there won’t be any hurried last minute changes.  I suppose it’s taking the adage to its logical conclusion that a novel is never finished, it’s just published.  Eventually you’ve got to let it go and unleash it onto an unsuspecting, but I hope deserving, world.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

I've got a novel coming out


I’m about to publish my first novel.  It’s called ‘GoodCopBadCop’.  Some of you might already recognise the title from the brace of graphic novels written by me a few years back, published by Rough Cut.  The novel has given me the chance to really get into the guts of the mind(s) of the main protagonist.  This for me will be the definitive version.  Now I’ve done it, I can move on and write something else.

For those who don’t know, GoodCopBadCop is a modern crime novel in the tradition of Jekyll and Hyde where the ‘good cop’ and ‘bad cop’ are the same person.

The plan is to use this blog to dip in and out and provide a commentary on various facets of the debut novel experience.  If I was to sum up the process in a few bullet points, it might read a little like this: 

- Write the thing
- Send it out to traditional publishers
- Decide to go the self-publishing rout
- Redrafts/editing/proof-reading
- Publishing
- Marketing
- Lessons learned (in case I want to write another one)

Like any creative process, the one above isn’t strictly a linear one.  You can, for example, start talking about the book (which could come under marketing) before you’ve even written a single word. 

Also, now I’ve decided to go down one publishing route rather than another, I’m treating ‘sending it out to traditional publishers’ as a by-word for putting your ‘finished’ manuscript in a drawer for six months before taking it back out again, ready with fresh eyes for the final redraft, which is itself a by-word for another six months of rewriting.

As I type, the manuscript is with a proof-reader.  I’m hoping the book will be out before the end of the year, probably when everyone is skint in the lead up to Xmas, but I see this project as a slow-burner.  People will still be finding out about the book in six months’ time.

If this is a road trip (bear with me), then feel free to climb aboard.  We'll see where it gets us.


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Wolf Country#8


Continue the journey and check out Wolf Country#8 out now.
Written by me, cover by Luke, art by Will, letters by Jim and edits by Liz & Eli.
On sale at the Planet Jimbot shop:


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Savant/Dark Horse Presents

Savant by Jim Alexander, Will Pickering, Fin Cramb & Jim Campbell appearing right now in the pages of Dark Horse Presents.



Wolf Country#7

Wolf Country#7 by Jim Alexander, Will Pickering, Jim Campbell & Luke Cooper on sale now at:








Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wolf Country#6







Award-nominated Wolf Country#6 is out now, written by Jim Alexander and drawn by Will Pickering; with Jim Campbell on lettering and Luke Cooper on cover duties.
 
You can grab a copy at the Planet Jimbot shop on Etsy (you won't be sorry).  You'll find the TPB and issue 5 there as well:

Zarjaz#27


Got a Dredd in the new Zarjaz#27. 

‘The Last Constable’ introduces Special Constables to Mega-City One; put in place to investigate low level crime, so freeing up the Judges to investigate the important stuff. Good idea or bad idea? You decide, but you might want to read the comic book first.

The strip reunites the Food Chain team of Jim Alexander and Pete Woods. Book also features the talents of Daniel Dwyer, Norrie Millar, Mike Lynch, Chris Askham and James A...lexander (different guy – absolutely no relation) with a terrific wraparound cover by Neil Roberts. 

£3 plus shipping. You can buy your copy here:

Calhab Justice collected by Hachette Partworks



On sale now is Calhab Justice/Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection#47 by Hachette Partworks.  Ah, dear old Calhab, the love, the hate, the comics equivalent to Marmite, it’s been there for most of my adult life. (I’m the writer, btw.) Most peoples’ opinions have been formed from reading an issue or two back when the story was first published and/or the bits and pieces reprinted over the last couple of years. This book, though, reprints the whole story arc, not ...available for the best part of 20 years, spanning the art of John Ridgway, Lol, Colin MacNeil (artist on a particularly scatologically-based one-shot) and Kevin Cullen. Keeping with the Marmite theme, one of the detractors is current Tharg Matt Smith who just happens to contribute as ungracious an introduction to the book as common decency would allow. Never mind Matt, at least it served as a temporary distraction from yet another e-mail from some Earthlet asking if you still eat plastic cups. Better is the interview between yours truly and Michael Molcher especially commissioned for the collection to be found at the end of the book.

Looking back, I was given the opportunity warts and all to tell the whole story beginning to end; the exploration of the Scottish stereotype as a source of humour before changing, as the story arc took hold, into something more sinister; the development of MacBrayne’s character into something more than a Scottish version of Judge Dredd; the relationship between the main three characters; some reflections at the time on the country of my birth, if not experiencing a full-blown identity crisis, not fully at ease with herself either. Also, there is ‘Family Snapshot’, which remains if I do say so myself one of the best things I have ever written. But it’s probably at its best when Judge Ed MacBrayne is running around waving his claymore in the air and calling everybody a mad bam! I mean, I doubt there is anything there that will change your opinion of Calhab Justice, you’ll still either love or hate it, but at least having read the collection you’ll be better informed.

And if none of that tickles your fancy the book also has a couple of strips featuring fellow Celt Judge Joyce of the Emerald Isles courtesy of Garth Ennis, Greg Staples and it pains me to write the late great Steve Dillon.

Full list of contents: 1.Calhab Justice; 2.Hogmanay; 3.Dounreay; 4.Casualty; 5.Unfinished Business; 6.Flashback: McTash; 7.Family Snapshot; 8.False Dawn; 9.When Irish Pies are Smiling; 10.Innocents Abroad

Available to buy here:

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Wolf Country Trade










Wolf Country 96-page TPB is out now, collecting the out of print introductory story and issues #1-4 of the award nominated comic.  Written by Jim Alexander with wunderkids Luke Cooper and Will Pickering on art.
 
Starburst Magazine has just this minute reviewed the book.  It says, 'The story first begins as a simple vampires vs werewolves tale within a Western setting, but soon develops into something far greater as its myriad intricacies become revealed.'
 
You can read the full review here:
 
The book is available to buy on the Planet Jimbot Etsy online shop: