Monday, May 31, 2010

Commodus Voke

Just had to share this great image with you all. Drawn by Eisenhorn fan Anna Kirsanova as a gift for her husband Kirill Leonov, it features the venerable inquisitor Voke. The Russian publication of the Inquisitor books has been a little delayed, so Anna and her husband still have the humdinger of Ravenor Rogue to look forward to (out in Russia any day now, she tells me).

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Of the teaser, and Pulse, and other matters

Well, there was teasing. There was certainly teasing.

The first small but perfectly formed piece of the Ultramarines movie went on show yesterday at the London MCM event, and went live on the website at the same moment. Let me linger on that latter theme for a second - if you’re remotely interested in the movie and its release, go to the website and REGISTER and you’ll be kept appraised of all developments.

As for the MCM show itself, what a great turn out. It’s a huge event, with massive levels of ambient background noise. Once we were up on the stage, we could barely hear our own amplified voices, though this was due in particular to the ceremonial drumming taking place somewhere else in the arena. Nevertheless, people claimed to be able to hear us. All in all, I thought it probably made up in sheer rousing atmosphere what it lost in clarity.

Big turn out at the stand too - nice to see you all. And I hope I answered the questions about "why the Ultramarines?" well enough. We want to welcome people into the extraordinary Universe of 40K, and convert them to its faith, so we need to establish the definitive concept of Space Marines very effectively, so that people ‘get them’ quickly and easily. Ultramarines do that superbly well. They are a great starting point, and it’s pretty daft to think we’d be better off going for something more obscure or specialist. Besides, has anyone thought to tell the mighty Mister Graham McNeill that Ultramarines aren’t (whisper it) popular? Thought not.

Anyway, I had a great time. Cherry on the top of the cake was talking to John Noble of Fringe in the green room. Nik seems to be very good at just saying hello to these awesome people. John was such a gent, he kept a photoshoot waiting so he could chat to us for a little longer.

While I’ve got your attention, let me urge you to watch Pulse (9.00pm, Thursday, BBC3), Paul Cornell’s new medical thriller, which, if there’s any justice, should become a series.

Finally, something Nik found for me, and which makes me smile a lot.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ultramarines at MCM Expo: take 2!

Keep the splendid questions rolling in, on this thread or the previous one. Like I said, it's only for funsies right now, but we're going to do a Q&A session to camera during the course of the day, so I may get the team to answer some of them then, all official like.

The reason for this extra post is to revise the timing for the event - I've just been told it will now be at 2 pm, that's 2 pm, and it will be followed by a half hour signing at the Ultramarines stand.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Ultramarines at London MCM!

The London MCM Expo is next weekend! Are ya going? Are ya? Here's one good reason why you should - on the Saturday (that's the 29th) at 11am, I’m taking part in a main stage panel about the Ultramarines Movie, where we'll be talking and teasing its sheer awesomeness face to face for the first time. Events details can be found right here.

Preparations are underway at Ultramarines Towers to make this panel as special as possible, and I'll be joined for the Q&A by some very important people.

When I’m not on the panel, or, who knows, manning the Ultramarines stand, you’ll probably find me queueing up for John Noble’s autograph. Asshat fanboy? Moi?

I realise, of course, that not everyone who wants to attend Expo will be able to, so, just for fun, if you could be there, what movie-related questions would you ask me, or the other Ultramarines panellists?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bring On The Bad List

Monday’s Tropic Of Conversation got you all nice and chat-tastic again - keep it up, and keep posting those hero choices too. Comments so far:

Christian - Good call. I had completely forgotten about Dominic Fortune and how much I like him.

Mob - Both Iron Fist and Union Jack are just outside my top five. Iron Fist and Warlock are characters who have featured in two of my all-time favourite single pages in comics. I’ll dig out the issue references sometime. And why is Wanda Maximoff such a big surprise? I love magic characters, and when I was a kid she was my first comic book crush.

lendosan - Yes, Nick Fury, if it’s classic Steranko.

narratavium - Funny, funny, funny, funny, funny.

Anonymous - I love wine, though I can’t drink it anymore because of my epilepsy. The offer is appreciated, however, as is the information.

Ambrose - Thanks for supporting your choices with such good commentaries and spreading the word. 616 Cap (who would make my top ten) would, however, wipe all kinds of floor with Ultimate CA ;)

HiWayRobry - Sleepwalker? Really? I don’t know if that’s crazy or genius. I think it’s probably cranius. Or gezy.

Mr Swallow - Damn you, nice list. We’re men of a certain demographic, I feel. Hawkeye, Captain Britain, Rom...mmmm....hero-y...

BigWill - I want to see a story where a drunk Iron Man voms with his visor down.

Very cool comments all round. So here’s the inevitable follow up Tropic Of Conversation for Thursday: “Top Five Marvel Villains”.

Mine? Given the Thanos Imperative series I’m working on for Marvel right now (what do you mean, you haven’t seen the advance publicity!?), we can take Thanos and Adam Magus as read. After them:

a) Kang
b) Mysterio
c) Bullseye (Frank Miller era)
d) Proteus
e) The Abomination

Your turn. Gentlemen and ladies - start your list-engines!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday's Tropic of Conversation

And so to Monday.

If it wasn’t weird enough to have Gaunt’s name popping up all over Brasil, here’s another old friend too.

Today’s point of contention is going to be “Top Five Marvel Heroes”. Right now, this morning, mine are:

a) Iron Man
b) Adam Warlock
c) Doctor Strange
d) Scarlet Witch
e) Colossus

Quite apart from the Freudian analysis field-day that list undoubtedly invites, what about you? Who are your Marvel heroes?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

What have you got for us today, Dan?

Well, many things, as it goes.

As much as SFX give good party, and believe me, they do, they’re also quite the institution when it comes to magazines, which means they don’t just throw parties, they also take pictures of them, and talk to their party guests.

So, here you have it all. They invited me to a party, they took pictures of everyone, and they interviewed me. Splendid stuff.

Now that SFX has treated me in such fine fashion, I’m hoping they’ll also celebrate “Ultramarines”. Yes, I know I bang on about, but it is my first film, and it is exciting! Now they want you to get involved. All you model-makers and budding artists get your kit out and come up with a standard design, and you could win original storyboards from the film. Find details of the competition here and be advised I'm one of the judges. Plus, there's a chance to hear me, director Martyn Pick, and producers David Kerney and Bob Thompson talking about the movie at the London MCM Expo on the 29th. Details here or here.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What a swell party (followed by a Dwell party)

And so to Waterstone’s Picadilly, for the SFX Summer of SF Reading launch party.

Thanks, SFX for a very stimulating evening. Good talk, a great venue, and some illustrious company. Nik got her hands on Sir Terry Pratchett and didn’t know when to let go; she’s still heaving with embarrassment for being such an asshat fangirl, but it was fun to watch. Just to balance things out, I managed to make a screaming cock-up of introducing myself, Graham and Nik to Adam Roberts. In some American states, we may now all be married to one another. Luckily, the panel went well, and I don’t think I covered myself with bibble-shame. Thanks also to everyone who came and asked probing questions.

On a sadder note, I’d like to remove my hat for Frank Frazetta, and for Patricia Wrightson. Mr Frazetta’s art has already inspired more than one generation (he was, after all, 82 years old when he died), and, I suspect, will inspire many more. Patricia Wrightson, who was an Australian writer of children’s fiction, died in March. I’ve been meaning to mention her death for weeks. Her contribution to fantasy literature was particularly distinctive and often overlooked. I especially enjoyed her memorable novel “The Nargun and the Stars”, which was published the year I turned eight.

In other news, there’s a chance to listen to Andy and me bantering on about all things comic-related in this week’s podcast from Where Monsters Dwell. It’s there one hundredth episode, so we’re feeling quite celebratory about the whole thing. You can listen live on Wednesday, or download the podcast over here.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Par... Tay!

It seems like weeks ago that I was invited to the SFX Summer of Reading Party, and I was quite looking forward to it. Now that it is just around the corner, and Nik is wondering what to wear, I’m really looking forward to it.

It’s always a treat to be out in public, especially these days when I’m not often allowed to play outside on my own (I don’t know what Nik thinks I’m going to do, vomit on someone, probably). In particular, it’s a very special treat to be in a room with other writers. Accountants spend lots of time with other accountants, teachers have whole rooms given over to them, and doctors and lawyers have the Rotary Club (and very fine work they do, too). It isn’t very often that a writer gets to spend time with others of his stripe. We tend to be solitary individuals, often rattling around in our houses or offices with barely another soul to talk to all day, apart from our various pets: cats in my case, and, of course, the hussar. It’s an extra specially fabulous treat to be in a room with writers whose work and achievements I admire.

So, I just wanted to remind you all that I will be at at Waterstone's Piccadilly store in London on May 10th. The book signing in the early evening will be open to all, and will be followed by an exclusive, ticket-only function where the fortunate few can mingle with the likes of Adam Roberts, China MiĆ©ville, Michael Cobley, Stephen Hunt, the mighty Graham McNeill and SFX editor Dave Bradley, and, of course, me! There might even be what SFX describes as 'some surprise guests'. I'll also be on a panel with some of the distinguished gentlemen, where the topic for discussion will be: “Millions of people watch SF on TV and at the cinema – why don’t more people read SF books too?” You can find all the glorious details, including how to get your mitts on one of the exclusive tickets, here.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Avast behind!

Things should also be spliced, I believe. Fell Cargo, my Warhammer pirates novel, is now available again from the Black Library. It was written a little while ago, long enough for it to have become somewhat uncanonical, but it's still a rollicking pirates-and-sorcery adventure (the technical term is yarn) and it has a devoted band of followers. When it came out, it never found an audience on the scale of Gaunt or Eisenhorn, but everyone who did read it seemed to rate it very highly indeed. If you want to know what the fuss is all about, you need to go here.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Living Forever

If you want something to stir you on this rainy Bank Holiday Sunday, and you're a long time reader of the Ghost books, you could do a lot worse than this rather wonderful, bittersweet compilation, though the words spoiler and warning definitely apply to anyone who is not up to date with the books. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Everyone else, hankies at the ready. Some great art here too, BTW.