Monday, December 12, 2005

That's No Lady...

Looks like DC are collecting the four-issue Hellblazer: Lady Constantine series I did with Goran Sudzuka. My first work for the US market, and a pleasant surprise - I didn't think they collected stuff shorter than 5 issues these days.

In stores March 29th.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Losers @ Pulse


I compeletely forgot to mention that Jock and I did a brief Q&A with The Pulse last month on the imminent finale of The Losers.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Punisher Preview


Newsarama have a sneak peek of my Punisher Christmas Special, on sale December 24th.

Scroll down the the bottom of the page.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

EMPIRE on THE LOSERS


I was just perusing the new issue of Empire magazine - the one with King Kong on the cover - and I nearly fell off my chair when I read this in the "Dear Santa" piece.

Nice to see Jock's iconoclastic syringe cover get the attention it deserves, as well!

A tip of Cougar's hat is due to editor Colin Kennedy, I feel...

Friday, November 11, 2005

FBI Research

I'm thinking of writing something featuring the FBI, and I could use some pointers to set me heading in the right direction research-wise. Can any of you recommend some good non-fiction books on the FBI, and/or answer some dumb questions for me... ?

For example, if a federal witness was murdered at a WITSEC safe-house along with his US Marshal bodyguards, who would investigate the murder - the Marshals Service or the FBI? Would a US Marshal be assigned to assist/liaise with the FBI investigation? How does the FBI chain of command work at a national and local level? Does God exist? Who invented liquid soap, and why... ?

Fourth Time Lucky


The fourth trade paperback collection THE LOSERS: CLOSE QUARTERS is out this week, featuring the stories LONDON CALLING by Ben Oliver and ANTI-HEIST by Jock.

And to shamelessly pimp-- er, I mean celebrate, Jock and I have just done a little mini interview with Jen Contino over at The Pulse.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Cap This


Before I signed my new DC exclusive, Marvel invited me to pitch a "What If" Captain America story set during World War 1. Unfortunately I didn't have time to take it on, but I did suggest it might be cooler to set it during the American Civil War.

I told 'em they were welcome to take the idea and run with it - and maybe include a Native American shaman named after his totem animal, the Falcon - and it looks like they did...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A Note To Artists


If you're drawing someone firing a gun right at us, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD don't compose it as a flat, side-on profile with the muzzle of the gun cut off by the panel border. Not only is it deeply undramatic; it's poor storytelling if we can't see that the gun is actually being fired. Plus, let's face it, there's nothing duller than a profile shot.

Check out Jock's work on The Losers to see how to do it right. Deep perspective reaching into the panel draws the reader in, puts them right in the thick of the action. Low angles, high angles, deep perspective, whatever it takes; just please, PLEASE don't give us dull-as-ditchwater left-to-right profile shots. Bring it alive!

And while we're on the subject, if the script asks for an intense close-up of someone's eyes, it's worth bearing in mind that a side-on profile shot giving us a close-up of his FUCKING EAR is somewhat less effective.

That is all.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Oil Crisis? What Oil Crisis?

Texas-based oil giant Exxon Mobil has just posted a quarterly profit of $9.9 billion (£5.55 billion) - the biggest profit in US corporate history - on the back of record oil and gas prices.

Bush's invasion of Iraq leads to chaos in the Gulf. Chaos in the Gulf leads to record high oil prices. Record oil prices lead to record profits for oil companies. Oil companies are among Bush's biggest financial backers.

Do I sound like a conspiracy theorist?

From Dow Jones:

"SAN FRANCISCO (Dow Jones) -- A week after Hurricane Katrina pounded the Gulf Coast, U.S. gasoline prices hit an all-time high of $3.06 a gallon. On that same day, the nation's top five oil companies pocketed $364 million in profit.

[snip]

Since higher crude prices in America spread quickly through the global energy market, their overseas operations swiftly benefited from the chaos in the Gulf..."
From ABC News:

"The huge profits are enormous because the public is drastically overpaying what it costs to produce," said Joan Claybrook, president of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen.

Many of these companies long ago bought oil reserves at prices of $10 to $25 a barrel. With prices peaking near the $67 mark, the profit margin has been enormous.

Even more eye-opening is the profit in Saudi Arabia. Saudis are making an average of $208 million more each day since the increase in crude oil prices first began in December 2003..."
And I haven't even started on Bush's multi-billion-dollar tax breaks for the "crisis-stricken" oil industry. Straight from your pocket to theirs...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

New and Exclusive!


I've just read on The Pulse that my new DC exclusive agreement has finally been announced, so I guess I'm safe to talk about it (I actually signed a month ago).

I'd sworn I was going to stay a free agent once my previous exclusive expired, but by that point I already had a hefty chunk of new work lined up at DC - including my Big Shiny New DCU Project That I'm Not Allowed To Talk About Yet - so I figured, why not? DC have gone out of their way to keep me happy; I'm already doing the work; I don't have time for anything else on the side anyway; and renewing my exclusive contract meant I could wangle myself a nice pay rise. No-brainer!

The only thing that stings a little is not being able to do any more Marvel work beyond my PUNISHER CHRISTMAS SPECIAL - which is, after all, the entire point of an exclusive (although I'm still free to write for games and movies).

Mark Millar lobbied hard for me to follow him on WOLVERINE (cheers Mark!), but the Powers That Be wouldn't go for it. So they invited me to pitch a certain other character - someone I'd pay them to let me write - but they didn't go for that either. They were very welcoming and enthusiastic, but the project they did offer just didn't click with me. DC were putting a lot more on the table, both project- and money-wise, so I just thought fuck it, why not... ?

Anyway, here's the official press release:

WRITER ANDY DIGGLE RENEWS HIS EXCLUSIVE AGREEMENT WITH DC COMICS

Andy Diggle, writer of Vertigo's THE LOSERS, the DCU miniseries ADAM STRANGE, and the WildStorm miniseries SILENT DRAGON, has extended his exclusive agreement with DC Comics by one year.

"DC has been good to me, and the opportunity to play with some of their shiniest toys was too good to pass up," says Diggle. "I'm having fun, so why stop now?"

"Andy's sharp, smart and suspenseful writing on THE LOSERS gave the series the well-deserved reputation as the thinking man's action book," says Karen Berger, VP - Executive Editor, Vertigo. "We're delighted that Andy has signed with us for another year, and we look forward to working with him on some new and exciting projects."

Some of Diggle's work may be found in these collected editions, all available for reorder:

* ADAM STRANGE: PLANET HEIST TP (JUN050355)
* THE LOSERS: ANTE UP TP (DEC030316)
* THE LOSERS: DOUBLE DOWN TP (SEP040391)
* THE LOSERS: TRIFECTA TP (MAR050484)
* SWAMP THING: BAD SEED TP (OCT040365)

Also, THE LOSERS: CLOSE QUARTERS TP (SEP050310) is available for advance reorder and is scheduled to arrive in stores on November 9.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Pod Person


You can download an mp3 podcast of my Fanboy Radio interview here.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Radio Daze


I'll be chatting live with those kerrazy cats at Fanboy Radio tonight. Not quite sure what to expect, but it's 6pm tonight Central U.S. time, i.e. midnight out here in the Land of the Greenwich Mean Timers.

And I've been baby-wrangling and cranking out THE LOSERS since the crack of sparrowfart this morning, so the chances of me remaining awake/sober/compos mentis that long are not good.

But hey! What's the point of live radio if you can't make a total jackass of yourself, right? You can add to my ritual humiliation by phoning in your questions/abuse/dirty limericks to U.S. (817) 257-7631.

All y'all Texan types in and around Fort Worth can check it out on KTCU 88.7FM, while everyone else can listen in live over the web.

Or, y'know, find something more worthwhile to do with your Sunday...

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Catching Up

Blimey, has it really been a month since I last blogged? Apologies - deadlines. I've been struggling to keep my head above water, but now that I've finally clawed my way to the top of the hill there's light at the end of the tunnel. Or something.

Feels good to finally be crossing some projects off the To Do list. I've finished my Punisher one-shot for Marvel and the final issue of Silent Dragon, and I've only two more issues of The Losers left to write. I've also just completed the first issue of my Big Shiny New DCU Project That I'm Not Allowed To Talk About Yet, which was an absolute hoot to write and I can't wait to get started on the rest.

Plus I've some more DC-related news which I'm waiting for them to announce, otherwise you'd be the first to know. COME ON DC, SPILL THE BEANS!

It feels like time to start simplifying my life, so it'll be one project at a time for me once The Losers wraps. It'll be bliss to just concentrate on consecutive issues of my Big Shiny New DCU Project That I'm Not Allowed To Talk About Yet instead of jumping between Losers for Jock, Losers for Colin Wilson, Silent Dragon and Punisher like a rabbit in a minefield. There's only so many plates I can keep spinning at once, y'know... ?

The question is, what should I write next, after my Big Shiny New DCU Project That I'm Not Allowed To Talk About Yet? I don't have anything definite lined up for next year, and at the moment I'm quite happy to keep it that way. DC and Wildstorm have offered me some high-profile relaunches, but none of them really sounds like my kind of fun. And if it's not fun, why bother?

I'd quite like to do another creator-owned mini, but nobody buys 'em, and I've been toiling away in the Nobody Buys 'Em ghetto for long enough. I guess I'd probably sell more if I wrote some of those navel-gazing, hand-wringing, "My Tights, My Burden!" spandex continuity misery-fests where everyone stands around and WHINES. They seem to be all the rage these days, but... frankly I'm not sure I could live with myself.

When did superhero comics stop being fun?

I tried to convince Dark Horse to let me do a retro "Han And Chewie Smuggle Shit And Get Into Scrapes With The Empire" caper, but I could never get a clear answer out of them. Not even a clear No. Same with my Aliens pitch - it's like pissing down a well with those guys. Oh well. Maybe I'll just wait for the license to lapse and do it myself.

Hmm, I wonder how much the Indiana Jones comic license would cost. Now that would be fun...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Road To Hollywood


Well, it's official: Warner Bros are making THE LOSERS into a movie, with Peter Berg attached to write and direct.

From today's Variety:

'The Losers' wins its way to WB
Berg to pen screenplay, co-produce


By PAMELA MCCLINTOCK

DC comic 'The Losers,' about a rogue CIA unit, will get a shot at the bigscreen.

A double-crossed CIA black ops team known as "The Losers" is the latest DC Comics property to be tapped for the bigscreen by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Peter Berg and Akiva Goldsman will produce the pic for the studio, with Berg to pen the screenplay with an eye to direct. Also taking producing credit are John Cameron and Sarah Aubrey for Berg's Film 44, and Kerry Foster for Goldsman's Weed Road.

Film will follow the exploits of the highly skilled CIA team members as they are attacked by their own agency and left for dead. They set out to learn why they were betrayed, and to avenge the wrong, as well as other injustices they encounter.

DC Comics, a subsid of Warner Bros., and home to numerous comicbook heroes including "Batman" and "Superman," revived "The Losers" strip several years ago under the Vertigo imprint after a 30-year hiatus.

Warner Bros. Pictures' Dan Lin and creative exec Matt Reilly are overseeing "Losers" for the studio. Gregory Noveck is the development exec at DC Comics.

Berg, also an actor, is set to direct upcoming projects "The Kingdom" and "Bran Mak Morn." He penned and directed "Friday Night Lights" and helmed "The Rundown" for Universal Pictures, where he has a deal.
I've know this was brewing for a while now, but my natural pessimism refused to let me believe it would actually happen until I read it in Variety. Well, there it is.

Pete got a lot of respect for FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, and his being a successful actor-writer-director has made THE LOSERS that much easier to "package" and has given it some real momentum. Jock and I met up with him a couple of months ago in London, and we both got the sense that he gets it.

This is going to be fun!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Moving Stories


I'm gonna be offlline for a few days while we move house. For some reason BT have to disconnect my broadband for 5 days just to switch it from House A to House B. Fuckwits.

Have to say, I'm not missing London one bit. I haven't even moved into my new house yet and I already know more of my neighbours, and have had longer, friendlier conversations with them, than the entire five years I lived in Surrey Quays. It's true: London really is one miserable town.

This isn't exactly ideal timing, moving while I've got four comic scripts on the go (apologies to Jock, Leinil and Kyle!) but hey, that's showbiz. It'll all be worth it in the long run. I mean, just check out my new pad!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Inspiration Strikes!


People keep telling me that my comics read like movies (if only they paid like 'em!), and I'm starting to wonder whether it's time I dipped a tentative toe in the shark-infested waters of Hollyweird. The question is, where to start... ?

The other day I was struck by something I read in Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott's excellent Wordplay site:
"Sometimes the thing, the item that's sitting right in front of you, can make for a great film idea... I guarantee you, as you sit there reading this, there are at least two items within your line of sight that would make fantastic topics for films. Million-dollar ideas that Ted and I plan on writing and selling, ideas we think are as good as TOY STORY."

Well, I've got a lot of time for these guys, but are they serious? I wanna write about exploding helicopters and rampaging dinosaurs and cyborg ninja assassins from the future and, y'know, grown-up stuff like that - not staplers and telephones and drifting swathes of paperwork (which I really must get round to filing at some point). But I thought I'd give it a go, as much as a creative exercise as anything else…

And my eye lit on an object lying not three feet in front of me. It had been sitting there on the desk for weeks, ignored. And the best idea I have ever had for a movie instantaneously downloaded itself into my brain, just like that.

"Tank, I need a premise for a high-concept Hollywood action thriller." ZZZZAP!

Now I'm not usually one of those guys who's afraid to tell people my ideas in case they steal them. There's nothing I like better than pitching my harebrained stories to an audience - preferably down the pub - and watch their eyes, see if I've got them hooked. What's the worst that can happen? I figure it's easier - and cheaper - for Hollywood to just buy your story and change it than to steal it and risk a lawsuit, right?

But this is such a good idea, I'm not gonna risk it. This idea's gonna put my daughter through university.

And it's got a great title.

I'm not gonna tell you that either. You might steal it.

Backtrack a little. I keep a list of random story titles in a Word document, add to it whenever I get inspired. A good title's worth it's weight in gold. (I still wish SILENT DRAGON was called HAMMERHEAD, or ZETSURIN, or SHURIKEN). And most of the time I have no idea what these titles might be for - they just hang around, waiting for a concept to attach themselves to.

And my absolute favourite of all these unused titles just happened to fit this new idea perfectly; so much so, it was as if my subconscious had known it all along, and was just waiting for the rest of me to catch up and put the pieces together.

I also like to keep a file of whatever random story ideas might occur to me; often little more than "what if" premises. Most of them are too thin, too one-dimensional, to grow into a fully-fledged story. They're just dry seeds, unfertilized. But occasionally, two unrelated concepts floating around in the murky depths of my subconscious will suddenly glom together in a completely unexpected way, and something magic happens. They fertilize each other. Two one-dimensional ideas suddenly combine to form a three-dimensional whole; greater than the sum of its parts.

I love it when that happens. I wish I knew a way to control it. (Alan Moore probably does).

And that's the very next thing that happened. The idea inspired by the object on my desk, the great unused title, and an old idea that I hadn't known what to do with ("What if a hitman didn't actually kill his victims?") all suddenly fused together into a little cracker of a story. It had a great hook, structure, mystery, action, twists and reversals that come out of nowhere and yet make complete sense in hindsight, making the audience hungry for answers and drawing the protagonist deeper and deeper into a strange and dangerous world.

And unlike some of my movie ideas, it would be cheap to film. Real cheap.

I was so excited, I couldn't stay in my chair. I ran downstairs and cornered Angela in the kitchen and babbled at her for a full fifteen minutes. I was hopping. I couldn't stand still.

Then I pitched it to my new manager. She was kind of "meh."

I don't care. I'm writing it anyway.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Brian Wood's DMZ

Brian Wood's DMZ
When I first heard about this and saw Brian's map of Manhattan Island designated "Sniper Heaven", I had that little sting of jealousy - "Damn, I wish I'd thought of that." New York as Kosovo. This looks like my kinda comics.

Go check out the preview.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Front Toward Enemy


Stuck in a dead-end office job? Looking for something to while away those endless stretches of mind-numbing, soul-crushing tedium between cigarette breaks? Then why not build your very own Claymore Antipersonnel Mine from everyday office stationery supplies.

You know it makes sense!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Losers Update

THE LOSERS # 30 cover art by Jock
Get a load of Jock's cover to THE LOSERS # 30. One of my favourites so far.

Meanwhile, here's the solicitation copy for THE LOSERS: CLOSE QUARTERS, the fourth trade paperback collection, due in stores 9th November:

THE LOSERS: CLOSE QUARTERS TP

Written by Andy Diggle
Art by Ben Oliver and Jock
Cover by Jock

The fourth volume of Vertigo's explosive espionage thriller THE LOSERS collecting issues 20-25 of the hit series. An unpleasant but informative reunion with the traitor Roque in the Company-created bank Cayman Credit Internationale then leads them to a cargo ship just off the Azores - and a discovery that raises the stakes higher than anyone could have guessed...

On sale November 9 | 144 pages | Full Color | $14.99 US | MATURE READERS

Monday, August 15, 2005

Close Quarters

It's official: Close Quarters, the fourth Losers trade paperback collection, is due in stores on November 9th. Hurrah!

More details as I get 'em.

Buzzworthy

The Losers has been named one of the "Best Comics of the First Half of 2005" over at Buzzscope:

"Hollywood Blockbuster done right. The A-Team with a Three Kings edge, Andy Diggle writes intelligent action entertainment better than anyone, and Jock's jagged, bombastic artwork evokes the hyperactivity of a Jerry Bruckheimer movie. This is my high-octane, not-feeling-the-least-bit-guilty pleasure every month."

So many people have said my comics read like movies, I'm starting to wonder why I don't just write movies. Hmm...

Thursday, August 11, 2005

You Don't Know Jock

BATMAN cover by Jock
Jock's just done a cool little interview with Comic Foundry to talk about the process of creating his covers for Batman and Detective Comics

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Al Swearengen on George W. Bush

Al Swearengen from HBO's DEADWOOD

Priceless.

"What else, Neddie asks, are we to make of the intelligence eructed in Monday's Washington Post, wherein Hooplehead Bush declares -- more or less accidentally, just off-the-cuff like -- the equal intellectual standing of Darwinian science and cocksucking Creationism -- that the two should be presented side-by-side, let the student decide the relative merits. Thus in one fell (and I do mean fell!) swoop, 150 years of science, during which enormous exquisitely balanced, peer-reviewed and battle-tested biological wedding-cakes of scintillating scientific discovery were erected to the wonder and admiration of educated people everywhere, are placed, willy-fucking-nilly, in direct competition with a retrograde piss-take of a brain-dead idea that was laughed at by serious thinkers a hundred years before Darwin ever heard the word Beagle!"

There's more. Do yourself a favour and check it out.

On The Ball


My mate Iain has a new blog, so why not head over there and laugh at his enormous moustache?

Strange Days, Take 2

Adam Strange: Planet Heist now has a listing on Amazon. Although I guess it's better for the comics industry if you it from your local comic shop instead.

Close Quarters


Although a publication date hasn't been officially announced yet, Amazon Canada have a "placeholder" listing for the fourth trade paperback collection of The Losers, provisionally entitled Close Quarters (geddit?).

You should take most of the information listed there with a large pinch of salt - it's all likely to change - although it's interesting to see the book's already been allocated an ISBN number: 1401207197

This volume will collect issues 20-25, featuring "London Calling" illustrated by guest artist Ben Oliver, and "Anti-Heist" illustrated by Jock.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Playing It Safe


Am I the only one who thinks the current bout of arse-covering and playing it safe being displayed by NASA is a little bit, well, unmanly? Space travel should be a bold adventure, not a bland commute. It's supposed to be dangerous, dammit!

I mean, fair enough, a record-breaking spacewalk to do repairs is kind of cool. But when the "repairs" turn out to be pulling a piece of junk the size of a credit card out from between two tiles, I can't help feeling like, "Is that it? Damn, how would these guys cope if the negative power coupling needed replacing... ?"

This is what happens when you let the bureacrats take over. It's like - they could build a functioning heat shield back in the 1960s. Did they forget how?

And now they've delayed the landing by 24 hours because the weather is "a bit cloudy". What would the steely-eyed missile men of Mercury and Apollo make of that, I wonder... ?

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Punishing Schedules


Now that my DC Comics exclusive contract has come to an end, I'm doing a Punisher Christmas Special for Marvel Knights. I just wrote the first nine pages yesterday, and I'm happy to report that I haven't had this much fun on a script for a long, long time. There's something about writing a completely stone-hearted, irredeemable, psychopathic fuck like Frank Castle that just brightens up your whole day.

The story's not as out-and-out comedic as some of Garth's later Marvel Knights stuff, but it's nowhere near as dark as his wonderful Max stuff either. Somewhere in between, I guess. It's a 32-page one shot, illustrated by Kyle Hotz, who did The Hood with Brian K. Vaughn.

Of course, if I was smart, I'd have waited until I'd finished writing The Losers and Silent Dragon before taking on any new work. But clearly I'm not smart. As it is, I find myself in the unenviable position of writing three different scripts simultaneously, feeding five-page chunks to Jock, Leinil and Kyle in rotation. As a working practice, I really wouldn't recommend it. Still, all three projects should be wrapped up within the next couple of months, at which point I'll be able to concentrate all of my time and effort into--

Oh wait, that hasn't been announced yet, has it?

Nation Building For Fun And Profit

The Principality Of Sealand
I occasionally get interesting questions from readers, and I thought it might be fun to share some of my answers on the blog. First up is Jacob Esselstrom, who asks about Max's grand plan, as revealed in The Losers # 26 - so beware spoilers if you haven't read it! - and the Ukrainian ghost-town of Pripyat...

First, did you ever read G.I. JOE (or Action Force reprints maybe?) #40 & #41 from 1985 where Cobra tricks the Joes into bombing a fault line, causing a seismic event that raises "Cobra Island", giving Cobra a sovereign state and all the benefits?

Nope, never did. I guess the inspiration for Max's plan came from various different sources, including the concept of "data havens" from Bruce Sterling's ISLANDS IN THE NET (which I haven't read) and Neal Stephenson's CRYPTONOMICON; The Principality of Sealand, a thinly-disguised version of which appeared in The Losers # 21, and which coincidentally featured on the BBC show How To Build Your Own Country earlier this week; and, believe it or not, Lex Luthor's cunning plan in SUPERMAN THE MOVIE. "Otisburg...?"

Let's face it, all the really nasty shit done in the this world seems to be done by nation states, not individuals; so if you really want to be a world-class shithead, you need your own country, right?

Second, I have to assume that you have seen this site:
http://www.kiddofspeed.com/

Yep, that is indeed one of the links I sent Colin Wilson for visual reference of the real-world Ukrainian ghost town of Pripyat. In fact, it's referenced in The Losers # 26 (albeit somewhat obliquely) when Roque's henchman says the intruders might be "those bikers again."

There are a couple more good Pripyat sites here and here ; and an amazing panoramic cityscape photo of Pripyat here.

I'd never even heard of Pripyat until my good friend Rich McTighe told me about it and suggested it'd make an excellent location for a Losers story. And he was right! Cheers Rich!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Endgame For The Losers


Well, the cat's finally out of the bag - The Losers will officially be ending with issue 32.

Jock and I owe DC big time for supporting the title right through to the ending we always had planned for it. We designed it as a finite story which, as I said in an interview with Heidi Macdonald back in 2002, would take "two or three years to tell."

Jock spilled the beans in an interview he's just given at The Pulse, so head over there and check out his beautiful Batman and Catwoman covers!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Andy @ Newsarama

I've just done an interview with Newsarama, talking about the origins of Silent Dragon.

Action Schmaction


Ain't It Cool News just called me "easily the best action writer in comics today". Crikey!

The reviewer does say he wishes there was more action in the first issue of Silent Dragon, though.

It's funny - I've always tried to throw as much wall-to-wall action as possible into The Losers - and as a result, a few readers have said they'd like to see a bit more character development in there. With Silent Dragon, I spent most of the first issue setting up the characters and their relationships, and now people want more action. What's a poor writer to do... ?

But don't panic; the action is coming. Boy, is it ever. Silent Dragon has far and away the most dynamic action scenes I've ever written. You just don't see very much of them in the first issue, any more than the first twenty minutes of Die Hard or Aliens could be described as a "white-knuckle thrill-ride".

Silent Dragon is the first story I've consciously written "for the trade". That's not to say I haven't designed the story to work as a monthly; quite the opposite. I've very much tried to use the kind of pacing and cliffhangers that drive a monthly book. But I'm also acutely aware that the first issue is only Act One of a six-act story... and I'm deliberately saving the best - the most spectacular scenes - 'til last. And if you think that means the story's just gonna end with Reizo/Renjiro going head-to-head with that samurai droid, think again. That's just the warm-up act.

Writing for the trade doesn't necessarily mean glacial pacing and lots of padding; at least, not when it's done right. It means you write in acts which build up into a cohesive whole, but still work as stand-alone chapters. Hey, it worked for Dickens, and what's he got that I haven't got, right? (Kidding! Kidding!)

I'm sure there'll be some people out there who'll whine about it. But that's okay. The reality is that each issue is on sale for a month, whereas the trade collection will hopefully be on sale for years. The vast majority of people who read Silent Dragon over the course of its lifetime will read it as a trade paperback, and to pretend otherwise would be folly.

So don't panic. The action is coming. Don't believe me? Then check out Leinil's issue three pencils above...

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Strange Days


I just got my freebie copes of the Adam Strange: Planet Heist graphic novel this morning, and I must say I'm really pleased with how good it looks. Nice thick paper stock that really brings out the colour work, and no fecking adverts on every other page! It's also a nice fat read, weighing in at 192 pages.

There doesn't seem to be a listing on Amazon yet (it's not due on sale until Wednesday next week), but the ISBN is 1-4012-0727-8.

Silent Dragon @ Buzzscope

Silent Dragon # 1 gets an A-grade review at Buzzscope:

"In this modern age of decompression, where most first issues do little more than introduce the cast and maybe a plot point or two, Diggle offers up a veritable buffet of a story that demands you return for seconds, setting the stage for what appears to be yet another exciting action adventure tale on his impressive resumé..."

Aw shucks, now I'm blushing!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Absent Dragon


I'm hearing from people who've been looking for Silent Dragon # 1, only to find their local comic store hasn't ordered it and "doesn't know much about it".

Which is kind of irritating, considering they should at the very least have received one of these nifty retailer posters...

Friday, July 29, 2005

So What Are The Other Eight... ?

Looks like Silent Dragon # 1 just made Book Of The Week over at Ninth Art:

"SILENT DRAGON is recommended for anyone who likes crazily big fights, tormented characters, gunplay, swordplay and killer cliff hanger endings. And that includes you, ya big faker..."

Rumour Control: Take 2

I can, as the saying goes, neither confirm nor deny the assertion on Ain't It Cool News that "Hollywood screenwriter Peter "COLLATERAL" Berg is looking at possibly adapting Vertigo’s THE LOSERS."

What I can say is that Peter Berg isn't just a screenwriter; he's an actor-screenwriter-producer-director. And he didn't write Collateral, although he did have a bit part in it.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Silent Dragon # 2 Sneak Peaks



Issue 1 goes on sale in the US today, so here's a sneak peek at a couple of pages from issue # 2, just to keep you hungry for more.

Is Leinil Yu a goddamn force of nature or what?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

More Shameless Self Promotion


I've just done a short interview at the Comic Foundry about the genesis of Silent Dragon, which goes on sale in the US today... as if you needed reminding.

No, really.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Kevin Spacey As Lex Luthor


Like Christian Bale as Batman, this is another bit of dream comic-book casting. I swear these Hollywood types are psychically tapping my brain. Hollywood, if anyone's listening - Russell Crowe as Colonel Clay, please. Cheers.

Still, you'd think an evil genius billionaire industrialist could afford a better wardrobe than a left-over 1990 Dick Tracy trenchcoat...

The New Who


The BBC have just posted some pics of David Tennant as the new Doctor Who. I love this look - it's contemporary and yet timeless, scruffy and eccentric without, y'know, looking like it's trying too hard ("Paging Colin Baker!").

I'm already liking this guy more than Christopher Ecclestone and he hasn't even started yet.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Nothing To Lose


I'm not sure where John Voulieris is getting his information from (although I'd kinda like to know, to be honest), but he's just posted a rumour on All The Rage claiming that Peter Berg is in discussions to make a movie based on The Losers.

Now this is one of those things I'm not really supposed to talk about, despite not owning or having any official stake in The Losers myself. But Greg Noveck (DC Comics' answer to Avi Arad) has told me before now that he gets more expressions of interest from Hollywood regarding The Losers than for any other DC property. Make of that what you will.

The only downside is that Warner Bros have first dibs on any feature versions of DC properties, and there are already several heavy-hitters with production deals at WB (people you've heard of, trust me) who supposedly want to make the Losers movie. Which sounds great, until you realise that until they stop squabbling over who gets the biggest slice of the pie, nobody's even going to option the damn thing.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying, don't believe anything until you read it in the trades.

Still. Fingers crossed, eh?

Aim For The Head

Recent events in my dear old hometown of London are making me wish I'd kept that "AIM FOR THE HEAD" badge I was given by a kindly passing Shaun Of The Dead promo guy at SDCC last year.

Terrorists and zombies - not so different after all, apparently.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

So What's The Verdict... ?

Should I replace the Andy Diggle Forum and andydiggle.com with this blog? 'Cause I just don't have the time any more (or the inclination, for that matter) to moderate an "online community", whatever that is.

Let me know what you think...

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Silent Dragon # 1 On Sale Next Week


I could just re-post the solicitation copy, but suffice it to say it's got GIANT ROBOTS! SWORD FIGHTS! REALLY BIG GUNS!

... And, y'know, probably some grown-up stuff about love and death and loyalty and giri-ninjo, whatever that is.

But never mind about all that! What's important is that it looks this pretty. Check out the interview with Leinil Yu over at Silver Bullet Comics for more.

A Bit Of What You Fancy Does You Good


I couldn't make it to San Diego Comic Con this year as it clashed with our fifth wedding anniversary and, bizarrely, Angela didn't seem to think that spending it in a giant, overheated, toy-filled hangar with 100,000 sweaty fanboys sounded suitably romantic.

Weird!

Fortunately we had a much better idea, which was to spend it at The Witchery in Edinburgh. Cheap it ain't, but boy, do they know how to look after you in this place. It's a 16th century building overlooking the Royal Mile, literally a stone's thrown from Edinburgh Castle, and they only have seven guest rooms, each with its own style and theme (we stayed in The Armoury one night and The Library the next).

Unbelievably over-the-top decor, food to die for (both at the Witchery's Garden Restaurant and the Thai Orchid round the corner), champagne on tap, and many fine pints of Caledonian 80 Shilling ale at The Malt Shovel down the road. All in all, just what I needed to recharge the old creative batteries. Life is good!

Testing, Testing...

AndyDiggle.com is in dire need of an overhaul, and I'm thinking of wiping out my Delphi forum in favour of a blog. One-way communication just seems so much less tiresome.

Of course, it's all really just displacement activity when what I'm really supposed to be doing is writing...