Dan’s Blog: Looking Ahead to 2013

Dan Banner

Well, we have a new site so I thought it was about time I set about populating it a little bit. 2012 was a bit of an odd year for me all in all. On the one hand delays on all the books I wrote meant that almost nothing with my name on it actually came out while on the other Jim Eaton and I found our comedy writing partnership really start to take off.

The comic delays were frustrating at the time but ultimately that’s life in Indy comics. I’ve always felt that I’d rather see a book done well than done fast and while it sucks having disappoint fans at a convention when they come to pick up the new book, I’d rather they go away empty handed than go away with something that’s not as good as it could be. While it’s fun to maintain the fantasy that we all make comics 24/7 the reality is that these artists have lives (and jobs) outside of comics and life can be crushingly unsympathetic when it comes to giving you the time you need to get that page finished.

comedyeditsThe comedy success really came out of the left field if I’m honest. Jim and I have been writing together since Devil’s Fork (initially because it seemed like a good excuse to meet up and drink port) but it was never more than a hobby. We weren’t even going to enter a competition last year but I thought of a couple of Shakespeare jokes one morning and gave Jim a call, he came round and an hour later we’d pretty much written A Comedy of Edits. We knew the script made us laugh (especially after the cast added their own tweaks) but we certainly didn’t mean for to do as well as it did when we put it in for the 2 Days Laughter competition. We won Best Script as well as the Grand Prize and were suddenly left wondering whether we should be taking all this silliness a bit more seriously.

So where does that leave us for this year? Well if you’re kind enough to have read this far then here’s a few bits and bobs that have got me particularly fired up for 2013:

  1. I have an Unseen Shadows comic called “Ashfall” in the pencil stages at the moment. It’s got Peter Mason on pencils which I’m extremely pleased about as I’ve been a fan of Pete’s work ever since meeting him at Demoncon last year. The book is a 23 page story set in Rio and it was a tonne of fun to write so I hope you enjoy it.
  2. Moon #2’s fist London showing. Moon #2 came out in November last year but it occurred to me yesterday that Moon Launch and a couple of comic shops aside, the book as actually not appeared in London yet. It’s a London-centric book and a lot of its fans live here so I’m really excited about taking it to Super Comic Con next month and seeing what the response is like.
  3. Moon #3. Steve’s clearing his in-tray of other comic work at the moment so that he can devote all his efforts to getting #3 out as quickly as possible. For the first time, I’m not twiddling my thumbs either as I’ve decided to take the chance to rewrite the script for #3 (the original script was penned in early 2009!) and hopefully apply a few of the things I’ve learnt in the past few years to make it sing a bit more. After years of basically just promoting Moon, it’s nice to be writing him again.
  4. Moon #4. Erm…not sure. Steve says it could happen this year, we’ll see. If it’s done, it’ll be out.
  5. Jim and I are working on a new comedy project that we can’t really talk about but it’s very exciting and taking up most of my free time. If it turns into something, you’ll be the first to know.
  6. More live music nights. We’re working on ways to put on more nights like the Moon Launch. They’re a boatload of fun and it’d be great if we can make them happen on a semi-regular basis. No firm plans yet but we’ll see what can be done.
  7. Oh and I have a mini-comic comic out digitally at some point in the year. It’ll be through the Unseen Shadows site and I’m stoked about the person who has agreed to pencil it (secret for now).

Shades banner

Plenty to keep me busy and I’m sure there will be a few more bits cropping up along the way. The plan is to update the website less often that in the past (we were on a daily posting schedule for a while) but for the stuff we do post to be more interesting and not just any old random stuff we find (though there will probably be a wee bit of that too).

Hope to see as many of you as possible at cons during the year.

D
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The Mad Tree – A Ghost Story In Ten Silly Minutes

 

Those of you who follow me on twitter will know that my writing partner, Jim Eaton and I have been working on a new short film over the past couple of months. Well here it is.

The Mad Tree is our homage to the ghost stories of M. R. James, with a little bit of our own silliness plugged in for good measure. It is the story of Mr Darcy Woodwind, a writer from London who falls afoul of a malevolent shrub. No real departure from our usual brand of daftness then.

The film is our latest attempt to inflict ourselves upon the 2 Days Later Horror festival. It’s the 10th anniversary of the event so it’d be really lovely if we get picked for the screening. I shall keep you posted on how things go.

As is often the way the edit was a total pain in the bum and after blowing a firewire port and having to run all over London, searching for someone who could capture the footage, I finally wrapped the edit up at 6AM the following morning. As a reward we’ve taken this week off from writing but we’ll be back into it after the weekend. The subject of the new project…radio. More soon.

As a final side note. It’s worth mentioning that Jack Gavin (who plays the lead role in this film as well as several of our other projects) is getting married today. Our best Bunker wishes to him and his lovely wife-to-be.

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The Lady In The Grove – A Ghost Story

Jim Eaton and I are heading off to Reading in a couple of days to shoot our latest short. It’s a ghost story spoof about…well I won’t spoil it but it’ll probably be fairly silly. The film’s been written for this year’s 2 Days Later competition and will be (including competition’s comedic sister 2 Days Laughter) our 8th film for the festival!

It’s been fun working on a ghost story as they’re a particular passion of Jim’s and he has a far better eye than me for them. To help prove that I thought I’d throw up a ghost story that Jim did with Griff Jameson a few years back. It’s a “proper” ghost story rather than one infused with silliness and it’s very good. If you’re a fan of the old M. R. James TV adaptations from the 70s then you’ll dig this.

Enjoy!

D
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