This week, I started work on a new comic book series named Onna Bugeisha, which is in fact based on one of the core-members of super hero team the Fenders in Magpie.
‘Onna Bugeisha’ (女武芸者) is the name given to real-life historical female warriors belonging to the Japanese nobility, such as Tomoe Gozen (巴 御前) in the late 12th century.
Susan Spann wrote at Murder is Everywhere that, “The term ‘female samurai’ isn’t exactly correct, because all women born to samurai families were considered samurai – whether or not they wore swords and rode into battle like a man. Women in samurai households were usually literate and received at least minimal training in hand to hand combat, often with the naginata, a type of Japanese halberd” – also called the ko-naginata [小薙刀], a pole-like spear/blade.
The Onna Bugeisha archetype is not exactly new to fiction, but with this series we’re pitching a pastiche of both traditional Japan culture and Wonder Woman.
I think the lo-res graphic above gives some idea of what to expect.
And I do say “we’re”, as I’m working with fellow Australian artist Gareth Colliton, who I previously collaborated with in Tales to Admonish (see to the right).
Anyway, more info soonish, or keep an eye on the Facebook page here.
Meanwhile, episode 2 of Magpie by myself and artist Frantz Kantor is out over the next week in better newsagencies across Australia, inside Oi Oi Oi! #8… with Maggie herself gracing the cover.
Frantz and I are close to nipping episode 3 in the bud (her origin tale), and may have further news to share in coming months.
You can find out more at Comicoz.
Books-wise, Black Sails, Disco Inferno has now been available for about 2 weeks, and is doing seriously well, especially in terms of critical response.
We’ve also had nice support from Elizabeth A. White, Bleeding Cool, Pulp Pusher, Meta-Punk, Spartantown, Comic Bastards and Digital Riot, some wonderful readers who shared their thoughts, and our kids – like Cocoa below!
Fellow writer Renee had the fun idea of including a bookmark and limited edition Rosie Killjoy key-chain (featuring Trista as depicted in the comic) with her sales.
And I wrote about the hack world-building going on in most of my novels and comics, which Cultured Vultures kindly indulged and published.
We have more propaganda bombs in the pipeline – these things are necessary, I swear, but also fun.
Finally, two other projects currently in the works, which are pretty much on the fast-track to unveiling.
I’ve talked previously about Crash Soirée, the comic series I’m doing with Aussie artist Graeme Jackson.
It’s set in the same world as Magpie and Onna Bugeisha (kind of!), as well as my 2013 novel Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?, and the 12-issue comic book series I did across 2014-15 called Bullet Gal.
Although stand-alones, they do all interconnect, and dots can be joined between them.
Hence, the commingling of Crash and Bullet Gal (plus Heropa newspaper, the Port Phillip Patriot) in this pretty damned superb mock-up newspaper clipping by Graeme.
The article therein relates to both Crash Soirée (in a major way) and a seemingly random incident early on in Bullet Gal.
Which brings me to the final piece of news, reported last entry – namely, that Bullet Gal has now been novelized and accepted for publication later this year via Roundfire Fiction in the UK.
In case you missed it, here’s the mock-up front cover art for that baby.
Snatched from the cover of #4 of the comic run, and beautifully adapted by Nick @ Roundfire.