Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The Borderline Press Blog #2 - Zombie Madness

There were a bunch of girls I used to fancy when I was at school. The thing was, even if they had a big neon sign above their heads that said 'Go on, ask me out!' that only I could see, I'd be so reticent that I'd never actually ask them. I've always had this fear of rejection...

Recently, I was talking to a teenager I know. There's this new thing amongst school kids and less old teens where they put 'Like for a rate' in their Facebook status and then people get rated on their looks and personality via their in-boxes from the person offering to do it. Jesus, I would never have done that. When I said to the person, aren't you scared that you'll get some rejection or people will think you're an ugly dullard, he said the following, "Rejection is rejection." He said this with an air of indifference - rejection is like having to go to the dentist, something we have to do (unless we want rotten tombstones in our gobs) and accept, because, you know, it's there.

One thing I've not had to deal with too much since the creation of Borderline Press is that R word. Most of the projects we either have lined up or are in advance stages of signing up have gone swimmingly well and there's been no need for me to have to grit my teeth and prepare for the 'sorry but I'd rather kill myself' rebuff. However, I have suffered some arrogance and ignorance. Would it surprise you to know that these things came from the USA?

I offered a young upcoming star, with no contracts or affiliations the chance of having his work reproduced for a wider audience. I explained the net profit deal that Borderline Press is offering everyone - whether they're pros or amateurs and he still wanted me to pay $100 per page of artwork that he drew three years ago and has no other publisher fighting to offer him a deal. To add insult to injury, he also wanted 70% of the net profit and virtually all of the reprint profit. I suggested, very nicely, that he publish himself and good luck in the future. I think he was lucky I spotted him; he might not be so lucky in the future and it's almost quite tragic that in ten or 15 years time he might look back on his greed and regret it...

I also offered a slightly more established small press or independent creator the chance of having his web comic collected into a very nice trade paperback collection. He admitted, when I first contacted him, that no one had shown any interest in his strip since 2007 when a now defunct company published the first issue. However, two offers of publishing it have been ignored and while I'd like to reproduce his stuff, it isn't likely to happen if he can't even acknowledge receipt of an offer. It's a shame because I think he would have benefited from a relationship with Borderline Press.

So that brings us nicely round to... Zombre, the working title for an idea Will Vigar gave me - a zombie anthology - that Borderline Press is going to be producing in the next few months and Will is going to edit!

It is, in many ways, a complete departure from the basic mission statement the new publishing house has been working under, because it is asking for new material rather than sourcing existing or nearly finished but homeless stuff. It is also something I have thrown open not just to my wannabe associates, it is something I have also thrown open to the host of well known and established comics creators I know.

This is the skinny - We’re looking for stories that are no more than 8 pages and in either comic format or illustrated prose. Any subject as long as it is zombie themed. For instance, an artist friend of mine suggested that he could do a story about a man who goes down the shop to buy some tobacco and gets eaten by a zombie with the moral being smoking can kill!

It can be bleak and apocalyptic; it can be humorous; it can be surreal, poignant or post-modern. It can be anything as long as it's as far removed from The Walking Dead or Shaun of the Dead as possible.

A post-modern zombie tale is preferable to a George Romero homage unless you have a good and unique angle (or just want to draw someone eating someone else's face).

If you are a writer that needs an artist or an artist in need of a writer, we’ll do our best to match you up with someone suitable. If anyone reading this hasn't seen all the other bits of promotion contact us at info@borderline-press.com and we'll sort something out... Well, Will will... [ouch]

Zombre will be out in November, just in time for the zombie-apocalypse-mas!


I mentioned somewhere that working on stuff for Christmas 2014 seems weird, especially as we haven't had 2013's version of events yet; but it is essential. I've been itching to release news about some of the things we've got lined up, but, you know, those final few details are still to be ironed out and I'm not about to say, "Hey, Borderline Press is doing something with ### ###," just in case something goes wrong or ### ### dies with two pages to complete!

This is completely normal. Honest. But it is terribly frustrating because I want to tell you ...


The Borderline Press web pages are currently under construction... Yeah, I know, it's really annoying when you see Under Construction on sites, but they really are! My web man - Glenn Carter, the man behind The Comics Village - is building it specifically for us. None of this off the shelf stuff; so (sticks neck out) expect something funky and functional!


In other news...

I'm starting to get Dennis Wojda's 566 Frames put together. It is a good book to cut my teeth on, after so long away, as it already exists in Poland. We've been discussing edits and slight changes to help people to understand what life was like under German and Soviet occupation. Most Poles, even younger generations, understand completely, while the rest of us have films to educate us.

Joanna Karpowicz assures me that she'll be completing Robotz sometime around June/July 2014.

I'm going up to the Lake District for the Lakes convention in Kendal at the end of October. I shall remember my mint cake. I am also going down to Kent for Demoncon6 and there's going to be an exhibition, curated by Paul Gravett, of Polish comics in London, after Lodz, so I'm hoping to bump into some old friends there, as well as make some new ones!

More next week!

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