This is the online equivalent of the those Great News Inside, Chums! banners you used to see on the covers of British comics, which meant that two of your favourite comics were merging into one, and it was a dice roll as to which of your favourite strips and characters were going to survive the cull. Our news isn’t quite that bad, but Good News first.
West Book Two: Distance is being compiled as we speak in the hopes of having copies ready for the Bristol Comics Expo in May. The delay to this volume - and the paperback reprint edition of Book One - has been due to publisher interest which hasn’t come to anything. This book collects all of Volume II of the comics (that is, Distance Parts I and II, Stray Bullets, Confederate Dead, Points West and Autumn Dusk) as well as Tall Tales from Volume I, into a hardcover volume with additional behind the scenes material. (Tall Tales was held over to this volume as its stories dovetail into Points West.)
West Book One: Justice we are trying to reprint in an affordable paperback edition, and this will follow the hardback of Book Two.
The bad news is that, due to personal circumstances, Chris Doherty will no longer be able to continue as the artist of The Whale House. Nobody is more disappointed at this than I am (except possibly Chris himself), but the publishing schedule of The Whale House was always slow, and knowing the toll it put on Chris, I decided it was no longer reasonable to expect such a commitment from him. I hope that Chris finds his way back into making regular comics again as soon as he can (his excellent series Video Nasties is available from Lulu here, and comes unreservedly recommended).
The resultant good news/bad news (depending on your taste) is that, rather than trawling the internet and comic conventions for a replacement for Chris, I will be taking up the art duties on The Whale House from issue three. I have been drawing other people’s comics for a few years now, and contributing short strips to various anthologies (recently, Borderline Press’s Zombre) and websites (Electric Sheep's comic strip movie reviews), and have been wanting to write and draw my own series for a while. While I regret the circumstances, The Whale House is a very personal project, close to my heart, so writing and drawing it feels right - I hope you will continue to follow the story with me when it continues later this year.
(Secondary to this, but the series I was planning to start writing and drawing this year - the body horror giallo White Flesh - is on hold until I finish The Whale House.)
Thank you for reading.
- Andrew Cheverton