Tuesday, December 27, 2005

A good time to look back n’est pas? How was 2005 for you? Good, bad, indifferent, a little strange? Invariably it’s the last option that applies to me. And don’t you think things seem that more important, magnified, when you measure them in years? The highlight from a publishing point of view was seeing ‘Whisky in the Jar’ in print in Metal Hurlant # 14. The book was scheduled for November 2004 but a delay saw it sneak gloriously into 2005. Had been worried it wouldn’t make it at all. It was written the best part of two years previously and had already been printed in the French MH. And I don’t think Metal Hurlant # 15 saw the light of day, so it just got in right at the death.

The eight-page Whisky in the Jar is set in the Old Western town of Totem where a sheriff fights a terrible war of wills with a supremely gifted but deluded surgeon in the backdrop of escalating violence ripping the town apart. It not only boasts glorious elegiac painted artwork from Gerald Parel, but I love my writing on this one. I love the voice I found for the piece. I found out later that this was the strip the editor sent out to prospective writers to demonstrate the perfect Metal Hurlant short story.

The title comes from the Thin Lizzy version of the song. Gerald assumed it was the Metallica version (I think there might have been a generation gap thing going on between writer and artist). In fact Gerald based the Murphy’s – the bad guys of the story – on the hirsute lads of Metallica. Sorry Phil, I’ll get you in something sometime in the future, promise. Maybe even 2006.

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