Happy Valley #1 Double Page Spread

There’s previews of the first five or so pages of Happy Valley around the web, but, for some reason, they’ve all chopped this big ol’ double page spread in half. So here it is, glued back together again… hope you like it!

(Oh, and it’s out tomorrow in the US, and, I think, Christmas Eve in the UK… please let me know what you think of the book – and, even better, let Dynamite know!)

On your bookshelves right now(ish)!

So, this month everything seems to be coming up PJ. First out of the starters gate is:

Judge Dredd Megazine (which, strictly speaking came out last month…)

Link: http://www.2000adonline.com/vault/megs/291

I did a 9 page Tales from the Black Museum, about a Sov-blok warbot. Drawn in B&W, I thought, for extra credit, I’d add a neat green tone to it. It’s also got some of the more cartoonier artwork I’ve done for 2000AD – but, hopefully, that adds to a rather poignant story rather than distracting from it. Anyhue, if you see it and pick it up – please let me know your thoughts…

Coming this week – Phonogram Issue 6

I have a four page strip in this, written by Kieran and coloured by Steven Denton ( http://stevendenton.wordpress.com/ )
Link: http://www.phonogramcomic.com/blog/ (and a quickie preview – probably spoilers! http://phonogramcomic.com/iss6.html )

And a page from my strip

And… finally, this month will see episode 1 of Happy Valley … I’m not gonna show you anything, yet. But, when the first issue hits I promise some behind the scenes stuff …

Newsarama Link: http://www.newsarama.com/comics/091027-Ennis-Battlefields.html
CBR Link: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=23450

Battlefields: Happy Valley on the net

So the PR machine is ramping up and you can read some stuff about Happy Valley on the interwebs (which, I’ve taken the liberty of excerting the really flattering stuff about me below – for your, but more importantly, my pleasure)

Newsarama

Garth Ennis: Happy Valley is drawn by PJ Holden, a very talented artist from my native Belfast. Very dynamic, great storytelling, perfect sense of character- which, for a story involving six white guys all wearing helmets and oxygen masks in a gloomy bomber aircraft, is vital.

CBR

“I’ve been admiring PJ’s work for many years now, at first on Fantagraphics’ ‘Holy Cross’ with my old friend Malachy Coney, and more recently on British sci-fi anthology ‘2000AD.’ I think his stuff is firmly in the British and European tradition, strongly reminiscent of the war comics so many of us read as kids – but with a storytelling dynamism and sense of character that gives him a universal appeal. You can look at any one of the faces he draws and get an instant idea of what that particular guy is about, which is a strength PJ shares with guys like Steve Dillon and Carlos Ezquerra. Finally, he works hard to get the hardware right, which is, frankly, vital on stories like this one.”

(You know what, I AM great, aren’t I? all this and 6’2″ of sinewy muscle – compressed into the short stocky body of a fatman.)

-pj

St George’s Market

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Image by Andy Hares via Flickr

So, I’ve tried a few times to branch out what I’m doing. I think the thing with illustration is that a) it’s a solitary pursuit and b) your career is only as good as the client list you’ve got. And, I get the FEAR that that’s not really enough to make a living. So, I’ve hit St George’s Market for a few Fridays in a row. I’ve always lost money on this – to be frank the market on a Friday is full of little old biddys buying their shopping – not really the market place for people to buy original comic art or prints (or self published comics). Saturday, though, is tourist and families, and, I hope, people MORE likely to buy what I’m selling. We’ll see.

I’ve had to pay £88 for membership of the Market Trader’s Association (who then give you public liability insurance up to £5 million – a requirement of the market!) and £12 for the table per day. And, since the day runs 9-3pm I’ll probably need a couple of quid for lunch.

I quiet like the idea that, over time, I can turn one little section of St George’s Market into a mini-utopia for comic creators selling their own original comics, and, at some point, I may invite some people along selling self published work. Or, I might give up after I’ve been there for a couple of months and not earned a penny (not really looking forward to spending winters down there… ulp…)

Right now, the plan is to be there every week bar deadlines and comic conventions, so if you’re ever in Belfast of a Saturday – pop in and say hello (and then buy something, I’ll need the money…!)

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Coming up

So, it’s been quiet here, but, some finely tended things are, finally, starting to sprout. Let’s start with:

Phonogram – did a four page “B” side – here’s page 1 of it, lovingly coloured by Steven Denton

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Also, did a six page strip for Dwight L. MacPherson’s Interagents. Page 1 is full colour, the remaining are monochrome flashbacks…

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Next out of the gate are a couple of things for the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic, a six part Dredd strip called “interlude” (ok, it’s not actually got Dredd in it, and it is an interlude, from the main story, but still – it’s written by John Wagner and is important for Dredd continuity)

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Following that, is a 9 page Megazine story, part of the new series of Judge Dredd: The Lost Cases, written by Alan Grant. Everyone else is doing there’s greywashed (which I didn’t know… actually, not 100% sure of it, but it makes sense) – and I was asked to do that too, but, like a maroon, I wanted to do it differently … old school ! My episode is called “Contract on Grud”.

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Finally, and, most importantly, I’m currently doing a three part series for [Haha! Made You Look!] publisher, written by [Seriously? You looked again!?]. I’m pretty proud of the work I’m doing on it, and ticks a number of wish fulfilment boxes for me, personally. And I’m not showing any of it just yet! Sorry!

Sunnyside Comic Cast

So, I’ve been struggling for some time to get a podcast off the ground – lots of attempts, sometimes just me, sometimes me and a friend, and, finally, things have clicked (or at least they’ve clicked twice in a row, which is already a bit of a record on the podcast front.)

The Sunnyside Comic Cast is me, Ron Abernethy and Scott Ferguson and, eventually, whatever other individuals want to join in, sitting around a table and talking rubbish about comics. Usually. Sometimes we talk rubbish about other subjects and sometimes, for almost seconds at a time, a little glimmer of non-rubbish is talked, but we soon knock that on its head. We’re going to be introducing various features and, with a bit of luck, conducting some interviews too. Please leave some feedback! It’ll help convince us we’re not just vain idiots recording our conversations to laugh at our own jokes again (though that will still be true.)

Episode 1 we chatted about conventions – I keep trying to inject “how to be a comic pro” into every conversation, but I’m sorta outnumbered by normal people, so we only touched on that lightly. Episode 2 is up now, were the ground covered is somewhat astonishing in breadth (if not depth).

You can find it here. And subscribe to it, via iTunes here.

I think the glue that is binding this all together is Ron, he’s essentially become the de facto producer – keeping the wheels turning on the mighty Sunnyside Comic Cast Bus while I try and crash it into a wall. Scott mostly hangs around collecting tickets. This analogy has been stretched too thin now.

Shows have hit around 50/60 minute mark and… you know… I laughed when I did them and I laughed when I listened to them again, hopefully you’ll find something in there too…