Wednesday, 13 March 2013


One of the great thing about being a comics writer is the thrill you get when see a page of artwork that's been drawn from one of your scripts, or, in the case of a cover, features elements and characters from the story you've been working on, combining into a single striking, attention-grabbing image that will hopefully have the book flying off the shelves.

Jim's initial sketch for the cover of Drowntown certainly grabbed my attention when it arrived in my email box late last year - an early Christmas present.  

The bulk of the image features the shambling hulk of Leo Noiret, who, from the first page of the script - the very first panel, in fact - has become one of my favourite characters to write. 

I'm probably best known as the creator (along with artist Simon Fraser) of Nikolai Dante, a swashbuckling thief and adventurer in 27th century Russia, whose exploits were published in iconic UK SF comic 2000AD from 1997-2012, and subsequently collected as a series of 11 Graphic Novels. Dante was a young, sexy, handsome devil in the vein of Errol Flynn. 

Leo Noiret is almost the anti-Dante, a downbeat, down-at-heel, down-at-everything hard-luck hero a little too fond of his beer, more along the lines of battered, world-weary film icons like Robert Mitchum or Lee Marvin. 

Jim’s finished version of the cover, complete with logo and credits also offers us a glimpse of some of the book’s other characters, namely Gina Cassell, Aqua-Courier - seen speeding across the Thames at the bottom of the image - and London itself. We see a small part of the cityscape on the cover too, the palm trees of Noiret’s shirt becoming the blades of the wind-turbines that help power Drowntown, as London's come to be known.

Finally, we have the finished cover layout – front and back – combining a short synopsis of the story (see previous post) with a beautiful shot of the book’s most dangerous and enigmatic character - notorious underworld figure Alexandra Bastet.

Drowntown Book 1 is out in the UK in June. Pre-order your copy at your local book or comic shop, or at

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