Wednesday, April 25, 2007


So, let’s see now...Seems the Alpha Legion book, my next Heresy opus, will be called (drum roll) Legion. Which may confuse the arse off anyone who knows me for my DC work, but stuff happens.

Just now been writing a couple of episodes of the Kingdom strip for 2000AD. Kingdom’s first run was a hit, and I’ve heard very positive things from the readership. Most of that is undoubtedly due to Richard Elson’s amazing artwork, but the strip does seem to have something. You can’t beat a bit of hack and slash heroic fantasy dressed up in a post-apocalypse milieu. And, oddly (seeing as I’m absolutely a cat person), I seem to write good dogs.

All of which, on reflection, will make no sense to anyone who hasn’t read Kingdom. So let me just add... it’s so very easy to subscribe to the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic (Ker-ching! Oh, my pleasure, Tharg!).

So Ian Edginton, my ‘other’ partner in crime (‘other’ as opposed to Andy, yeah, yeah, I’m a collaborating hussy). Let’s leave aside for a moment the fact that the Warhammer 40K comic Ian and I are co-writing for Boom! (“Damnation Crusade!”) is selling like a hot selling thing, and our follow up Warhammer comic (“Forge of War!”) is about to launch (available, like Damnation Crusade, from all good comic shops, not GW stores), the thing I really want to mention here is that Ian has just got himself nominated for TWO Eisner awards.

TWO. Tuh-woo.

And all I can say is, it can’t have happened to a nicer, more talented, more deserving person. I’ve plugged his work with D’Israeli for Dark Horse before. That’s what he got his nominations for. Go find it, buy it, read it.

The Angel of Coincidence has been round my place again, as usual. I’ll spare you the boring the details. But I am growing worried about my ghost. Not a peep out of him in a fortnight.

Maybe I should leave some food out. What do ghosts eat?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Random Box of Horns part II

Games Day France, April 15 2007.
"Let's get this party started!"
Spontaneous jubilation breaks out as the crowd is told that
Dan and Graham have entered the building.

Le shopping.


Blood Pact!

Sigmar Queues.

A blue man.

A French ork.

Dan and Natalie, Madame le translator.

Dan and Julien, Monsieur le translator.
Nik and Mathieu, Monsieur le Publisher,
Bibliotheque Interdite.

Dan and Graham, the Look of Destiny!

A random box of horns, earlier.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Random box of horns

Previously on Dan’s blog...

I found out today that issue one of Nova has sold out. Andy and I are jolly pleased and so, I imagine, is Marvel. Thanks to all who bought it. I hope you liked it. It’s great to get a new series off to a healthy and robust start.

Spent the day at the Black Library today, discussing ideas for my next Horus book with Primarch Alan Merrett. No, I can’t tell you what we talked about and what we decided, but I will express my delight and slight disbelief about what BL/GW is going to let me do. Talk about being given the keys to the executive wash room (creatively speaking). This book is going to elicit gasps. I’ll go as far as to say it’s going to be the Marmite Horus Heresy book - people are either going to love it or hate it. And I haven’t even written it yet. I just hope I can pull it off.

While I was there, I got my cloned hands on a copy of Brothers Of The Snake for the first time. It’s a lovely thing (wonderful Clint Langley cover) and I think you’re going to like it. Hell, it’s a Space Marines book. And it might, just might, have orks in it too.

I (and when I say I, I mean we - me, Nik and the girls, along with Graham McNeill and his girlfriend Rebecca) attended Games Day in Paris last weekend. The response was amazing, almost overwhelming, and we had a fantastic time. We met Sigmar, for a start. On behalf of us all, I’d like to thank everyone who came along to ask a question or get something signed, and thank our host, Matt, and our translators (who were doing in person what they usually do to our books) Dju and Nathalie.

Nik and Lily took lots of snaps, so as soon as I can, I’ll post up a little pictorial of the highlights: Sigmar, crowds, looks of destiny, and a random box of horns. You’ll see.

I see you’ve been posting comments about Miss Kys. Well, she isn’t very likeable, I suppose, though that was part of the point. She’s always been very polite to me. That said, she still won’t let me call her ‘Patti’.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Nova Day

Today, I am reliably informed by both the Diamond Previews catalogue and my esteemed editor at Marvel, Bill Rosemann, is Nova day.
The first issue of Nova hit the stands in the US this morning. Written by myself and my long time partner in crime Andy Lanning (collectively DnA), it’s drawn by Sean Chen, and is an ongoing series arising from the success of the Nova mini series Andy and I wrote last year as part of Marvel’s Annihilation event.
Nova the character has been around since the early seventies. A teenager from Long Island who becomes a member of an alien-sponsored galactic ‘police force’ (the Nova Corps) and gets amazing powers as a result, Nova was always a little bit... naff.
I’m not dissing the poor guy, it’s just that, compared to Cap or Iron Man or Spider-Man, he was always a bit second rate and try-hard, a third division player, an ‘if wet’ hero. As in “featuring The Mighty Thor! (if wet, Nova)”.
But, he was a cosmic hero with cosmic powers (he’s a human rocket, don’cha know?), and Andy and I lurve cosmic heroes. Warlock! Captain Marvel! The Silver Surfer! The Legion of Superheroes! (if wet, Nova). When we wrote the Nova mini, we made that ‘if wet’-ness part of the riff. Nova was painfully aware that he WASN’T Cap or Shellhead or Spidey. He had become a second stringer because that’s how he saw himself.
It seemed to work. Nova ended up saving the galaxy and becoming one of the most potent characters in the Marvel Universe. He’s first rank now, premiere division. “Featuring Nova! (if wet, the Fantastic Four)”.
Okay, not quite, but you get my drift.
The new series kicks off by taking Nova back home, so that the rest of the Marvel Universe can collectively gasp, then propels him into this year’s cosmic event, Annihilation: Conquest!, which Andy and I have also been left in charge of.
It’s the most fun Andy and I have had without laughing for ages. I say without laughing, that’s a lie. When we get together for plot-bashing sessions, Andy and I regularly end up in a fit of giggles. This is most often due to the fact that a) we tend to act out, in improvised format, various parts of the story, and b) during said actings out, unlikely casting choices seem to influence the lead roles (Ray Winston IS Galactus! Dick Emery IS The Silver Surfer! Goldmember from the Austin Powers movie IS Drax the Destroyer! Professor Stephen Hawkings IS the artist formally known as Prince!).
We might have gone off on a bit of a tangent that day, admittedly. Although, you try reciting the lyrics of U Got The Look in a voicebox monotone and see if you don’t crack up.
I’ve lost the point, if I ever had one. Oh yeah, Nova day! Huzzah! Get thee hence (he says, using his best Stan Lee cover blurb voice) and purchase Nova #1. If only to read it aloud in the most inappropriate celebrity voices.
I’m off to Paris this weekend, to attend the French Games Day, so if you’re in the vicinity of the Stade De France on Sunday, drop in and say hello. The part of Harlon Nayl will be played by Hulk Hogan (if wet, Bob Hoskins).

“Oi, Ravenor! There’s bin an eruption!” Like that, you see, but in French.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Easter rabbit

So, Happy Easter. I hope you get all the chocolatey egg related loveliness you need.

At what seemed like an almost leisurely pace, I’ve been working on the Horus Heresy exclusive short for Games Day, my half of a double header with Graham, like a brace of pistols*. It proved to be an excellent way of easing myself back into all that Horusy goodness after long sojourns with the Ghosts, the Inquisition and, uh, Torchwood.

It’s sometimes hard to get back into the right mindset when starting a fresh project. The sheer number of characters in Gaunt, for example, makes it quite a demanding exercise when you sit down and think “Right, where was I?”

I began to assemble material for Horus work and was struck by how dense and complex the Heresy strand has become, after only a few books. It’s partly because it’s 30K and not 40K , and they do things differently there, but it’s also down to the fact that the Heresy is about main players and cosmic events. Writing 40K, you can (in a manner of speaking at least) occupy a little corner of your own and allow the 40K Universe to just BE as a backdrop. Any, shall we say, aberrations, can be chalked down to it being just one incident in the middle of a billion billion world scheme of things. In 30K, one false move and you’ve rewritten history. I’m consulting a different source book, note pad, post it or manuscript every couple of lines.

In the next week or so, I’m going to GW HQ to present my pitch for the next Horus book. I’ll let you know what their verdict is. Let’s hope it’s not “Are you off your chuff? You can’t do that!”

Now let’s all join hands and sing a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday” for the Black Library, ten years old this past week. Which means that, at some point last year, I became the freelance equivalent of a ten year veteran. How time flies when you’re burning the galaxy.

An Easter Joke (in the spirit of all things chocolatey)

Q: What do you call a hobbit’s thingy?
A: A hobnob.

Today’s joke was brought to you courtesy of Lily’s friend Hannah Lloyd. So do not be taking issue with me.

* Hmm... just got a ‘battery low’ warning on my Simile-O-Meter.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Life after (Only in) Death

So OiD is done. Well, it’s gone to Lindsey at BL, and her word will be final, but I finished it at the weekend, and I’m feeling pretty happy with it. “Are you feeling pretty happy with it because it has a happy ending?” I hear you ask. Well...

... that would be telling. And defeating the purpose of writing a book designed to intrigue and surprise. Oddly, I haven’t heard a peep out of my ‘ghost’ since I finished. Maybe it was a creatively generated poltergeist. I’ll let you know.

No rest for me. Nova, Annihilation: Conquest and - hey hey! - Superman awaits, along with my next Horus novel, plus a special little thing Graham McNeill and I are working on for Games Day. Oh, and yet another Secret Project I can’t blog about just yet. Busy busy busy.

Games Day Paris awaits, the weekend after Easter. Both Graham and I will be there, so if you’re around, come along and say ‘bonjour’.

Let me, once again, thank you for the ongoing comments and remarks - great stuff as usual (Jesse’s turn of phrase once again made me laugh, and Toymachine’s list of Gaunt’s previous ‘demises’ was truly funny), and I’ll just take on the chin any less than glowing remarks about AoC (which I’m very proud of, and which was deliberately written to show a view of 40K combat quite different to the other Ghosts books). For those purists out there (Xhalax?), OiD is a return to the ‘all the Ghosts together in one hell of a bad situation’ format. So I hope that’ll make you happy.

Making me happy was the movie Stranger Than Fiction. It’s a sort of Adaptation lite, but extremely entertaining (plus Will Ferrell in bearable lead role shock). Like Adaptation (which I also recommend), it’s a story-within-a-story story about writers and their characters. Can’t imagine why it appealed to me.

Oh, my Torchwood novel just came out on audio, read by Eve Myles. Which was nice.

Right, which notebook did I write those ideas about Alpha Legion in..?