Wednesday, May 4, 2016

BAT AND SPIDER / TALES OF THE BLACK ROOT _____ Interview with digital comics publisher and legendary artist DAVID LLOYD (V For Vendetta)

Art by Koh Hong Teng. From TALES OF THE BLACK ROOT.
Appearing in ACES WEEKLY from May 16.

I've been working with Singapore artist Koh Hong Teng on a new comics story called TALES OF THE BLACK ROOT. (Mentioned earlier, with preview art, here and here.) It's a mix of suspense and horror and family revenge thriller. And inspired by Chinese weird fiction. In particular, the short story, Forging the Swords, written by the popular author Lu Xun in 1926. Our series will start in the May 16 issue of Aces Weekly, a digital magazine published by comic book legend David Lloyd (V For Vendetta, Dr Who, Hellblazer, etc). Do follow our series, you'll find links to the subscription information below.

I'm really thrilled to feature a short interview with David Lloyd himself, below. He talks about how he manages the digital publishing process, why he aims for diversity in every issue, and the exciting line up of stories in the coming volume of Aces Weekly, which will include TALES OF THE BLACK ROOT. Thanks to David for taking the time to do this interview.

– D


We know how print comics are produced. But what's the publishing routine for digital comics? What must you do to make sure a new issue comes out every week?
Just slot the work into the upcoming week's content. The files of pages are supplied by the creators to necessary but easily-produced tech specs. And, with no need for long lead times ahead of release to suit printers and distributors and all the paraphernalia of print, we can finalise every week's issue on the day it goes live if we need to. Easier than print, more flexible than print, better reproduction than print - and it's all done from a laptop, and goes directly to the reader.

Who are some of the more interesting talents you've featured in Aces Weekly? Any from Asia?
I don't focus attention on any creator ahead of others unless they're in the latest volume, or are being previewed, or are in specific need of that attention. All our Aces are very special people - they take time out to work in a very tough market that's battling against the ingrained habits of comic readers who love paper and collecting it, rather than just enjoying the experience of great comics storytelling - and so they all deserve as much attention as each other!

Asian creators? Well, we're about to be blessed with the work of Koh Hong Teng on Tales Of The Black Root - written by yourself, of course - which is terrific. Kat Layno from the Philippines contributed a beautiful story in Volume 2, The Cat That Came To Call. And Yishan Li is in the same volume with a story called The Kept Woman - though Yishan's been in Britain for so long now that maybe she doesn't qualify! We're always open to seeing more creators from Asia, or anywhere else in the world. We pride ourselves on having an international cast of creators, which we've had from day one, and there's nothing restricting us from having more.

What do you look for in a comics story, whether concept, writing or art?
Anything good. We give creators their heads once they show they're good. They can tell any story they want to, in the way that they want to, as long as it obeys some simple rules we have that keep our potential reader base as wide as possible. It's my job then to make sure there aren't too many stories of a similar kind or subject matter in any planned volume, so that the mix in each anthology is always a good variety.

What else would you like to do with Aces Weekly, that you haven't done yet?
Get lots more subscribers. Provide our content in other languages.

A quick pitch: some good reasons why readers should check out this coming volume of Aces Weekly in particular.   
Well, l'll give you the line-up: apart from Tales Of The Black Root, we have Deophonic, by Martin Hayes and Brian Corcoran; The First Gentleman of The Apocalypse from Batton Lash; Debbie Drake Of The SAS, by Tim Quinn and Paul Collicutt; Dungeons and Burglars, by Jok and Santullo; and W.E.S.T.E.R.N Incorporated by John Short and Alex Paterson. Six 21-page serials running for the 7 weeks of a graphic-novel-sized volume, plus Extras. JUST £1 per week secures that volume, and secures all of the following volumes we produce.  I think it's a bargain.


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