Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Exclusive Preview: Crossed & Disenchanted

Since February 2008, Avatar Press has been publishing a longform Mature Content comicboook online – in weekly instalments – entirely free of charge. It’s called Freakangels, it’s written by the mighty Warren Ellis, it’s drawn by the superb Paul Duffield, and it’s sincerely and completely brilliant. You can still read it in its entirety right HERE.

In a couple of weeks it will end. And verily, there shall be a great wailing and gnashing of teeth, because when you offer people a) Magnificent Material and b) No Cocking Charge, a whole seething bunch of them pay attention.

Freakangels, you see, has a lot of readers. Seriously. A lot. And that means a lot of broken hearts when it wraps-up.

Before I go further, let’s skip to the good news: Freakangels will be replaced. Avatar will be publishing more beautiful, wrong, sick, sleazy, sexy, delightful comickery very shortly indeed, in the same online format. 100% free-to-air.

The even Gooder news: we’re not just talking one completely-new, completely-original, completely-epic series here, no. There is another Skywalker.

The reason I know that there are two payloads of grown-up graphic literature sliding down the tubes like angelic torpedoes is this: they’re both written by me. And they’re two very, very different beasts.

The first is titled Crossed: Wish You Were Here. It’s set in the apocalyptic “Crossed” Universe created by Garth Ennis in 2008. Depending who you are, the new series is either an intelligent contemplation on self-meaning, self-validation and art… or a blood-drenched nightmare of survivalist horror, extreme violence and exploding cows. It’s drawn by Javier Barreno, inked by Gary Erskine, and looks gorgeous. Previews and whatnot HERE.

But… for all my Ironclad Guarantees that there’s a lot more going on in WYWH than rapey slasher nonsense, it would be dense to pretend it’s going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Yes, I hope everyone will give it a go, but… hey: square pegs, variable holes. I get it.

Back to Freakangels. At its broadest level, Ellis’s series was about the relationships between special people, all of whom have different ideas about how to approach “community” under difficult – and often madweirdcrazy – circumstances. Seen in that light, the second of my online babies isn’t actually a millions miles away from Freakangels at all. (There’s a little joke in that sentence, but you won’t get it until the series starts. That makes it a shit joke, yes, fine, BUT I’M STILL LAUGHING a-ha-ha-ha.)

The series will be called Disenchanted. It, and certain associated assets, will be massive.

I can’t say much more than that just now. But I’ll keep you informed - both here and on the Why-The-Hell-Aren't-You-A-Member-Yet Forum WHITECHAPEL, which a) is a blast, b) is bonkers, and c) was created specifically to serve Avatar's online projects - because there's a lot of interesting and unexpected stuff to be said about each of these new series, and I don't want to ruin the surprises early. Still, because I stickylove you, here are a few extraordinarily exclusive sneak-peeks of Disenchanted to keep you busy:

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