The Black Pirate is part two in the Bad Moon series. It follows on from where Bad Moon leaves off. Were you wondering what happened next? Well, now you can find out! This installment has a similar look and feel to the first comic, but I'd like to think that it is different enough to keep things interesting. I've tried to raise the bar in terms of artwork and story-telling. Have I succeeded? I'll let you be the judge of that.
You can download The Black Pirate FREE from Lulu right now! Over the coming weeks I hope that it will become available in a heap of other places too. Keep your eyes peeled.
The stars of Bad Moon are back! They are a little older and a little wiser, but just as ugly! Ha ha!
If you'd like to go back to the start of the story then you can now get Bad Moon from pretty much anywhere. As of today it can be downloaded from Lulu, the Apple iBookstore, Barnes and Noble's Nook, Kobo and even Amazon! Best of all, I've made the book FREE!
When I first published Bad Moon I'd got it in my head that I wouldn't be able to get it published without charging for it. My thinking was that if I didn't place any value on my work, why would anyone else? It was a great idea, but actually, I really wanted to make it FREE, so this is what I've done. And because I'm basically a gaucho at heart, I'm making The Black Pirate FREE too! Am I being foolish? I guess we'll have to find out the hard way! ;-)
You will find many of themes in The Black Pirate that I introduced to you in Bad Moon. I've thrown in some new characters, but the story stays true to my original vision. And just like last time, I've totally immersed myself in this project.
Regular readers of this blog will know that I try my hand at writing music from time to time. Bad Moon actually grew out of a musical collaboration with the talented El Pancho. The comic opens with the lyrics to a song we sang together called Outlaw. For me, music is as much a part of this experience as the visual art. The songs below were written during the production of The Black Pirate. If you're paying attention then you might spot some of the lyrics and ideas in the comic. These recordings are rough and ready demos, but you know that I wouldn't have it any other way! ;-)
Here you can see me imagining what a full wall of Black Pirate artwork might look like. I'm pleased with how the artwork turned out in the new comic. In some ways I think that it's a bit more accomplished than in Bad Moon. I haven't been afraid to experiment with different ideas and styles. Hopefully it enhances the mood.
Before I forget, I want to call out the great little free App that I used to do the storyboarding for both of my comics. It's called Comic Maker HD and I've been using the iPad version. The process wasn't without incident however. I had a bit of a panic towards the end of the project as the makers completely broke the App! I was left hanging with the final chapter yet to draft! What a disaster! After email exchanges with the good people at Bugunsoft I was reassured that a fix was on its way and sure enough they were true to their word. Thank you! Now you can see what I was up to! ;-)
My final words are to thank all the people who inspired and supported me whilst I wrestled with The Black Pirate. I'm certain that I wouldn't have done it without your help.
I'm going to leave you with a snippet of an email I received last week from Lee Davis of MONDO. Lee was kind enough to give my comic the once-over and provided me with some fantastic feedback. I'm really not worthy of some of the comparisons he makes, but thank you for the ego boost Lee! You obviously know a lot more about comics than I do! ;-)
"The Black Pirate has all the trappings of a Spaghetti or old-skool Western but shot through with an attention-grabbing psychedelic/surreal quality, with echoes of El Topo and the recent Ichabod Azrael strip in 2000AD, with your impressive and memorable artwork striking similar notes as Matt Wagner, Mike Mignola and Dom Reardon in composition and accomplished execution.
The tale entices and lures the reader in and rewards your patience as the narrative slides and slithers into your perceptions, like a stealthy rattlesnake on a sun-baked crag of rock.
There's also a definite leaning toward the 'frozen moment' artistic approach of Oriental prints, Aubrey Beardsley and European woodcuts as you develop as a storyteller, with a tip of the hat to the likes of Banksy, Charles Burns and even Ian Miller, and you capture and retain the reader with the bold interplay of solid inks on unforgiving white, this lends a dangerously alluring incandescent quality to the work." ~ Lee Davis
Well that's it folks! I hope you enjoy the comic. Please write me a review. Good or bad, I'd love to hear what you have to say. You never know... you might even inspire me to finish the trilogy. Ha ha.... no... I couldn't go through it again...