Thursday, 30 May 2013


Page 1 of Drowntown has just been posted (accompanied by a short interview) on the Jonathan Cape Tumblr - - so I figured it was only fair to put it up on the blog as well. 

Meet Leo Noiret, the undisputed King of Bad Luck in futuristic London town. From here on in, things only get worse for him...

Apologies to the great Bill Forsyth for borrowing the title of his first film for this post.  


This weekend, I'm appearing at one of the most enjoyable and hospitable events on the UK convention circuit - the 2D Festival in Derry.

2D, the Northern Ireland Comics Festival is an annual event that celebrates comic book culture and works to promote and support sequential art and storytelling. The festival is organised and supported by the Verbal Arts Centre, a unique and celebrated educational charity founded to promote the spoken and written word in Ireland. It's been going from strength to strength since 2007, and due to record attendances has this year expanded into a two-day event.

I'll be there on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd of June, and, as a sort of 'convention exclusive', will have a small number of advance copies of Drowntown with me. The book isn't officially released until June 20th, so come along for a sneak peek and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013


A brief excerpt from an interview journalist Stephen Jewell recently conducted for the excellent SFX Magazine, out today:

Q: How did you and Jim come to do Drowntown for Jonathan Cape

A: Cape have been producing an excellent line of graphic novels for some years now, championing the medium before it became 'trendy'. At first, we thought Drowntown might be too much of a departure for them in that it's a more commercial, genre-oriented project - mixing elements of science-fiction and crime fiction - than they're known for. If you look at their list, though, which is impressively eclectic, it's obvious that they just want to publish the best books possible.

We figured who dares wins and submitted the script and the first few pages of artwork for what became Book 1 to them via our agent. Cape Publisher Dan Franklin loved what he saw and wanted to take the book on.  

Also, as anyone familiar with the medium knows, it can take years to produce the artwork for a graphic novel, often resulting in a frustratingly long wait between books. To counter this, Cape had been considering the idea of releasing graphic novels in serialized volumes, similar to the European album format. The thriller aspects of Drowntown seemed to make it perfect for this approach and obviously Jim and I have a certain background in serial storytelling from our 2000AD days. 

And a wee bit more, as I just can't resist plugging the story:

Q: Tell us about the other characters and situations we can expect to see?

A: I don't want to drown anyone in a sea of spoilers, so won't say too much about the plot, beyond that it involves: The flooded city of London, or Drowntown as the locals know it; a young aqua-courier who learns young love can be a deadly game; a ruthless criminal haunted by the past and driven by revenge; a pair of genetically-engineered anthropomorphic assassins; an all-powerful corporation which manipulates the environment and aims to control human evolution; and, of course, Leo Noiret, who only hopes he has time for one last pint before one or all of the above gets him killed.

SFX Magazine #236 is out today. Stephen is also covering Drowntown in a longer article for the June issue of Comic Heroes. 

Drowntown Book 1 is out in the UK on June 20th. Pre-order your copy at your local book or comic shop, or at

Tuesday, 21 May 2013


While Amazon and other online retailers undoubtedly offer a great service, there's nothing like the personal touch of your local independent book or comic shop, who share the same passion for the medium as readers and creators.

The award-winning OK Comics in Leeds is offering an exclusive Limited Edition Drowntown Print, signed by Jim and me, to customers who buy or order a copy of the book from them.

The image shows Leo Noiret, one of the lead characters, enjoying a quiet pint in the Stag's Head sub-pub, with the sunken streets of London visible through the window behind him. 

If you're lucky enough to get your hands on one of the prints, you'll see from the gun he's holding under the table that Leo isn't fully relaxed. Drowning isn't the only way you can die in Drowntown...

Personally, I think they're being modest by calling their shop OK Comics. FAB Comics is more like it if you ask me.


As research for Drowntown, I've been trying to keep my eye on the latest developments and thoughts about climate change, global warming, rising sea levels and extreme weather. An article in Saturday's Guardian (18/05/13), focusing on the more immediate future of the flood threat to London, makes for interesting reading, to me at least.

A couple of choice quotes from the article seem to point to the usual government incompetence and lack of prescience:

'Government scientists acknowledge that the risk of flooding is rising every year due to climate change, and 2012 was the wettest year on record across England, with insurers reporting £1.2bn of damage from almost half a million claims. But coalition ministers oversaw a 26% year-on-year drop in investment in flood defences after entering office in 2010.'


'In 2009-10 in London alone, over £34m was spent on flood defence projects but this fell to less than £17m by 2012-13. Some boroughs were particularly hard hit, with funding in Hammersmith and Fulham falling 99%. In Richmond upon Thames, the borough with the most homes in the highest-risk category, funding has fallen from £1.5m in 2009-10 to zero in 2013-14.'

Ironically, for the next few weeks, I'm currently staying near Richmond. Serves me right for writing a story about a flooded city, I guess!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013


The groovy folks at GOSH! are hosting a launch party for Drowntown on June 21st at their brilliant shop in the heart of Soho. Be there or be square.

Gosh! is quite possibly the classiest place in London to buy a graphic novel, and has been for the last 25 years or so. They've gone from strength to strength since moving from their first shop across from the British Musuem, and stock a  range of graphic novels that is second to none, from translated European albums to mainstream superhero antics; vintage children’s books to contemporary graphic fiction; compulsively readable manga to cutting edge small press.

For more info about the Drowntown launch - as well as numerous other events - please check out

Of course, in Drowntown, Berwick Street is bang (or splash) in the middle of the flood-zone that futuristic London has become, submerged deep underwater. Will the distinctive GOSH! sign still be visible above the waves? 

Keep your eyes peeled for Drowntown Books 2 and 3. You never know what you mind see in the background of some panels...