Changes Afoot!

You may be noticing a few changes over the next few days, folks!

For one, a brand new all singing and all dancing website will be going live, replacing our current faithful one. We’d love to hear your feedback on what you think of it, where we have made mistakes and how we can improve it. So please do get in touch when you have had a chance to review it. We should add that it wil not be up to date immediately and that new and recent titles will be added over the coming weeks to get it completely up to date.

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We have recently partnered with Ave Fenix in Spain to have all our books translated into Spanish for both the digital and print market around the world, so watch out for some announcements regarding this as we have high hopes of success.

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We are also currently working on a new global distribution strategy which will allow a simpler ordering system and quicker shipping of all orders from around the world, and we will announce the full details on the new website any day now.

We have made great strides to improve everything that we do, especially for you!

So please bear with us over these next few days as we try and bring you these important changes in the best possible fashion, and again accept our gratitude for your amazing support!

‘Serial Artist’ – spectacular review!

A review of Rob Randle and Kevin Storm’s amazing ‘Serial Artist’ by the eminent New York Journal of Books!

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Reviewed by:

“A crawl through the wreckage of modern society and life, Serial Artist fascinates, repels, and moves the reader with each panel.”

Serial Artist is more than a standard graphic novel, it is thunderous, explosive noise on paper—thoughtful, literate, cacophonous, irksome, beauty as disease, squalls of feedback as the opening into Jean Genie by Bowie noise.

With layered, complicated art that shimmers with beauty and hidden delights, Serial Artist is a brutal but still very delicate take on modern media, the artist, the audience, and the powers that hide in proper daylight.

An artist has gone viral with paintings and drawings that feature the body (or body parts) of victims that he may or may not have murdered himself. As he lives in isolated comfort from the profit that his website creates for him, as well as the astronomical prices paid for the actual paintings, the Serial Artist mines the attention for all it is worth.

The 24-hour news channels go wild for his antics. Those who are convinced that he actually murdered a loved one picket his apartment in the sky. Religious groups attack what he says and stands for.

Old friends doubt his sincerity, claiming they know that he is engaging in a deliberate ruse while sycophants and fans line up to be abused. Or even worse, his next possible victim. The gallery that the Serial Artist sells through rakes in record setting prices for his work.

All of this happens while the FBI works around the clock to put the Serial Artist behind bars.

What keeps our attention throughout it all is that Mr. Randle anchors the narrative, one not far removed from the possible in today’s world, to a template of conventional storytelling. As much as the art propels us in a somewhat unconventional direction, he keeps us engaged with the recognizable.

There is a reporter sucked into the exhibitionistic world of the artist. The FBI agent on his case becomes obsessed and moves into his own world of belief. The roommate and once best friend of the Artist is recruited to possibly become the Judas.

We know these people. We have seen them in the skimpiest of outlines and clichés on TV procedural crime shows.

Where those shows work from the shorthand of stereotype and the familiar, Mr. Randle moves the reader into a much deeper place, one filled with philosophy, debate, greed, exploitation, and real consequences. His time line, jumping from one era to another and sometimes doubling back while jumping into a third, never loses its cohesiveness. He trusts us to follow and as we do, the challenges make the rewards that much richer.

The art by Mr. Storm is, like the subject matter of the Serial Artist, alternately thrilling, uncomfortable and frighteningly beautiful. The convention of the traditional allows him and Mr. Randle the room to experiment grandly.

Where a traditional graphic novel moves through hand-drawn panels, Serial Artist utilizes altered photographs featuring actors. Working with Photoshop as his palette, Mr. Storm gives us a movie in frame by frame.

Among other advantages this allows him to layer a single page on top of another page of images, each level reinforcing the meaning of the other while also opening up the story on both a metaphorical as well as a physical level.

At one point the Serial Artist fears being shot in public. He outlines how his attacker will be a killer that can’t be traced back to those who really want him dead. Underneath the story are the slightly out of focus images of Oswald being shot by Ruby. The idea of a patsy as executioner for the powerful becomes more powerful and real.

One of the most striking images comes early in the tale. The Artist’s companion stands stubbornly in the snow while he sits inside a car begging for her to return. As with many memories, the scene occurs through the slight fog of both selfish rationalization and the distance of time.

The details in the panel aren’t sharp, but the effect of the image is chilling as well as deeply touching. Especially for anyone who has been disappointed in love or had to distance him- or herself from someone once beloved.

We have all been either inside the car or standing outside of it. Mr. Randle and Mr. Storm help us to feel such empathetic moments frame by frame. This ability to touch the reader is one of the main reasons everything holds together so easily.

Some will find the story’s occasional dip into the grotesque hard to handle. The depictions of S&M, the cuttings, the exhibitionism, the verbal assaults, the diatribes that alternate between being insightful and being sophomoric ramblings of the deluded—this is all integral to the story. Nothing portrayed is done for shock; it is all part of life.

Many of these things are part of the world around us that many choose to never see much less acknowledge. The amazing thing is that for all the tough imagery and tough-man dialog, the violence and the hurt, the story is about the most basic thing in life, love.

It is about being lost in the noise of the world around us.

There is a good amount of humor rippling throughout the story. The pretensions of the art world are only made more ludicrous by the hypocrisy of so many of its participants.

Those same qualities are also true of the general media. Each and every side stands revealed as fools—fools with grand intentions, but fools nonetheless.

A crawl through the wreckage of modern society and life, Serial Artist fascinates, repels, and moves the reader with each panel.

 ***

Mark Squirek has written for Comic Book Marketplace, Comics and Games Weekly, Hogan’s Alley, and other magazines, including book reviews for the weekly email newsletter Scoop. He has also published several short stories in the pulp fiction genre for Pro-Se Press. In 2006 Broadway World named him Playwright of the Year for his one-act play, SOD.

- See more at: http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-review/serial-artist#sthash.rO78Ccn2.dpuf

‘Terminus at Fenton’s Green’ – another great review!

Another great review, this time from ‘Word of the Nerd Online’!

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Victorian London, an era which filled the lands with thick fog and mystery.  A time where a sense of right and wrong were based on people’s moral being. Morals to a person were never taken lightly, they were what grounded people, they were what people based their lives upon. One person’s morals may be another’s nightmare. Meet Theodore Paulson, his morals are what has driven him, grounded him. They may be considered murderous to one, but to himself, they’re heroic.  Next stop: Hell. Enjoy your stay at Fenton’s Green.

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I had zero preconceived ideas about this book before I read it. The front cover tells you that it is quite obviously  horror, but nothing else, the mystery behind it was intriguing, alluring and petrifying at the same time. “What should I expect from this book?” “Should I be scared?” “Should I read this with the lights on full blast?” Many questions rushed through my head, but there was some certainty there, I was going to read this book, and I knew I was going to love it.

There are two words that explain this book perfectly – Disgustingly Brilliant. The use of characters and mystery that runs throughout really put the icing on the cake. The fact you do not know much about Theodore Paulson until later  in the story is a nice touch. It’s extremely refreshing to see a Jack the Ripper story done very well. The secondary characters such as Jayne Sheldon are pleasing. The thought that Theodore may have an ally teases the plot and pushes it along quite nicely.

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Usually, I’m a lover to all things puppies and rainbows. Yet every so often, darkness seems to creep its way in, although I do scare pretty easy. The basing of the main character Theodore on a historical villain is ingenious. Factually – nobody knows who Jack the Ripper really was. The only clue  ever found was that it was clear that he had surgical skills which would have made him a doctor at the time. To incorporate the non-fictional evidence into a fictional story was a wonderful touch. The point where you find out who Theodore really is in the storyline, the sense of familiarity flooded in. I was filling in gaps to ‘Jack the Ripper’s real life story and piecing them in with this, and it worked and it really bought a smile to my face. To use factual information to lead the story growth is very smart and adds more of a relationship towards the main character and the reader. Bravo Adam Cheal!

Putting this book down was incredibly difficult. Once I had read the main storyline, I placed it down carefully on the table, twiddled my thumbs for a few seconds and picked it straight up again. Reading it the second time, even the third and fourth times I was finding things that I had missed beforehand. The story by Russ Leach was addictive, and clever. I was really placed at the scene and engrossed in every single panel. I was watching this book come alive though the voices of Adam Cheal. Artwork by Russ Leach can only be defined as perfection. The detail down to the very last fang has depth and a story. I look at the characters drawn not just as props for the background as I do in quite a few other comics, I looked at them as stand-alone characters which where beautifully sinister in their own individual ways. Every piece incorporated down the incredible colours by Mike Summers and the detail in lettering by Mindy Lopkin quite literally blew my mind. Mike’s colours are such a compliment to everything else that is on the page. The transition in colours where necessary in the storyline is used to its highest abilities and allows the book to achieve what is absolutely beautiful to the eyes. Lettering by Mindy Lopkin topped the book off completely. Use of different lettering was imaginative. Using a range of typefaces throughout truly added another layer to the masterful complexity that is Terminus at Fenton’s Green.

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All in all this book read like none over I have ever come across. There was a lot of love put in to this, and I’m adding some love of my own. I only have one problem with this book, I want more. I quite literally want to pick this book up and scream “YES! THIS IS WHAT A GOOD GRAPHIC NOVEL CONSISTS OF!”. But, I’ve got to remain professional… so I’ll write it: This is what a good graphic novel consists of, if you’re even slightly hesitating on picking this up, do it, pick it up. Take a trip to Fenton’s Green, but I warn you – you may not be able to return.

Rating – 9.5 out of 10

 

Markosia books in Spanish folks – coming soon!

 

www.avefenixcomicsylibros.com

 

 

Geek Syndicate approves of Apollo LSCC Edition!

The recent London Super Comic Convention was a great success for Markosia and the numerous new titles launched at the event.

One book in particular caught the eye of Geek Syndicate - our super-limited LSCC Edition of Apollo!

This is what geek Syndicate had to say:

“The special ‘giant size’ edition of this book published by Markosia is a real treat. It’s an ambitious concept with some really stunning artwork from Douglas A. Sirois

For those unfamiliar with this greek fable. Apollo and his twin sister are desperately trying to protect their mother from a vengeful and powerful goddess Hera.

The artwork is really epic in scale and the battle sequences are really breathtaking. There’s so much detail on each page, you can spend hours soaking up all the sumptuous imagery.”

Apollo was chosen as one of the top ten books at LSCC, so it’s safe to say that thery liked it!

Our thanks go to Geek Syndicate and all those who supported us at the show.

Apollo Cover LSCC

Future Primitive – coming soon!

Here’s a teaser cover for ‘Future Primitive’, coming soon and one to watch!

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Devil Dealers coming soon!

Ross May and Brett Wood’s exciting ‘Devil Dealers’ will be launching here in the UK next month, so keep an eye out for it!

Click on the pinup below for more info.

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Apollo at LSCC 2014!

Less than two weeks to go folks! And then one of the most limited of all books will be available to those who move the swiftest!

The Apollo LSCC Limited Edition Exclusive is limited to just 50 copies worldwide! AND it is an oversized version, perfect to showcase the stunning visuals that uber-talented Douglas A. Sirois worked so tirelessly on, as per the instructions of ther equally talented Erik von Wodtke.

Don’t miss out on this spectacular book and don’t forget that we have other LSCC Exclusives on offer on the weekend of March 15th and 16th.

Apollo LSCC spread high res

Trailers Galore!

The Intergalactic Adventures of Zakk Ridley’ and ‘Hero 9 to 5: Quietus‘!

Rob Randle and Kevin Storm speak!

Read a great interview from the guys who brought you ‘Serial Artist’. Click on their pics below.

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