Spilled Blood - video trailer

Monday, 11 February 2019

From desert plains I bring you love...

Meant to post this a few weekends ago, when I was idling and at a bit of a loss as regards coursework...so to keep my creative hand in, I found myself turning back to that genre I thought I'd binned a year ago: namely comix...and, the old Russian crime series, Spilled Blood, in particular.

Watching a couple of recent westerns this New Year somehow, in some strange way, got me inspired to develop a scenario I'd sketched previously, a point in some future (or alternative - e.g., a dream) timeline whereby the Uzbek and Sonya find themselves in the middle of the Uzbekistan desert, free and far from the reaches of Moscow, Putin and the law. It was one of those things that felt very cathartic at the time, as it was exactly what I felt like doing at that moment, and I was really happy with the results. The characters look like their old selves, and in terms of a rebirth for this series, when time and energy allow, it looks like it's back on the cards again, as this is now simply I want to tell, for myself if nobody else.

Page 1 (left) and page 2 of the 'Desert Plains' story

I had previously baulked at drawing horses in action in an earlier flashback sequence to Tamurlaine (issue #1) but this time around there was no excuse. I read up on horse anatomy and proportions and I reckon it wasn't too bad for a start - future practice will probably help.

The original inspiration for this story arc came from Hergé. and one of my favourite Tintin sequences - from The Crab with the Golden Claws - which I thought was very well recreated in the Spielberg movie. There's something about the empty vastness of a desert which opens great storytelling and character development possibilities...

Haddock and Tintin - less well-prepared for their trek than my duo...

Monday, 7 January 2019

Axe-Age, Cat-Age

Most writers and creators, I guess, have one or two of those 'pet' projects which they continue to nourish and dabble with over years or even decades of development, adding bits here and there until they either give up on it or finally see it through to fruition. Chaz is no exception, with this Dark Age/Old Norse fantasy cycle he began exactly 32 years ago! It features a rich world of monsters and myths, epic battles and heroes, informed by original sources such as extant Anglo-Saxon poetry (Beowulf and The Battle of Maldon) as well as the Norse sagas and mythological poetry.

Into this age of axes and wolves steps the most unlikely hero(ine) imaginable - a middle-aged, rather overweight member of Chaz's invented race of wee cat people, who makes her living by healing and reading palms. Womba doesn't even know which end of a sword to wave at a dragon, never mind how to deal with one when a real-life example burns her entire village to a cinder, leaving her as possibly the only survivor... thrown into a world of turmoil and clashing armies, vengeful gods, magic and glorious deeds, our feline heroine has to use all of her wisdom and cunning to even survive, never mind fulfill whatever strange destiny awaits her...

Womba reads a friend's hand
Womba portrait sketch
Finished lines of Womba in cave-home, holding healing herbs
In the past few weeks Chaz has gotten inspired to dig out all the fragments and scraps again, and knock together some brand new illustrations and sketchesin order to inspire a renaissance of this sometime project. Originally conceived as a mammoth volume prose epic, he's now binned that concept as unworkable and is now redrafting the whole thing in heroic blank verse, cutting the language down to its essentials and using the Old English forms of alliteration to add colour and imagery. Here's an excerpt from one of the early battles, which he rewrote as a bit of an experiment in this new form:

As a huge, klunky project in transition (yet again!) this'll take some time to bring up to scratch, but it'll be exciting to see how it proceeds...

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Welcome to 2019!

Whoops, so we kind of missed a year - thanks to being massively busy with classes during term time, and other things over the summer. Needless to say writing and comix haven't been big on the agenda lately, but Chaz is currently working on a couple of things which will soon see the light of day - some new cover art for at least one Fenriswulf title (and possibly a few interior illustrations, depending on time...) - and a very old, long-standing project which finally seems to have matured enough to become a serious going concern, namely an illustrated fantasy tale for older kids. More of that to come...

If there's anybody still out there who cares, stay tuned ;o)

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Blood is Thicker than Water

Well it's been a very busy few months, and a lot has happened - mainly Chaz pushing through the first semester of his second year of Fine Art & Philosophy. That all went very well, and over the Xmas break, work has recommenced on the abandoned issue 3 of 'Spilled Blood' - with a vengeance! Three new pages are in the bag, taking us up to page 15 of the new issue, which at this rate may be finished by early 2018. Here's an overview of a couple of the last pages, presided over by the first appearance of the mysterious patriarch, 'Father', the head of the Moscow crime family:


Plenty of twists, turns and back-stabs are scheduled for the forthcoming plotlines as things thicken in Russian crime land, with a bit of a shock ending planned for the issue, too.

We also ended up pulling the online pages from Smackjeeves, as we don't feel there's sufficient interest or audience as yet to treat the series as a bona fide webcomic. It was an experiment that failed, and moving on, Chaz is focusing simply on producing the storylines that he wants to tell, without any immediate thought of promotion or sales. Everyone has reassured him that this mindset is what tends to produce the best, and most honest, work - so we'll see what happens...

In the meantime, we're offering Issue 1 of the series for free at Comix Central. Grab a free issue before the end of 2017!

Looking ahead to Issue 4 (!), which features Sonya in a difficult tale of persecution at the hands of the Russian special crime team, Chaz also turned out this rough cover concept in the run-up to Christmas:


Proof that the more you think things are dead and buried, the more they will come back stronger and more invigorated than before. We hope everyone has a great festive season, and here's to 2018.

Don't forget, you can catch us on Twitter: @_ChazWood_

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Halloween Freebie Treats

For the Halloween week only (until November 2nd), we're offering the three darkest, creepiest titles in our back catalogue for free, namely:

The first two books in the 'Trinity Chronicles series':




and also


Grab a free eBook now for those long winter nights that are just about to start!





Monday, 4 September 2017

'Spilled Blood' debuts on Smackjeeves




Following on from the last post regarding the future of the Spilled Blood series, we've now begun uploading the entire collection to Smackjeeves.com.


This is something we always said we'd never do - giving away a complete work for free online - but the success (or otherwise) of this experiment will ultimately determine the future of the work. At the moment pages are being updated at 1 per day, and at that rate the whole archive will be online by the end of October.

So, we'll see how this goes...

Friday, 1 September 2017

'Spilled Blood' Latest


For various reasons over the recent summer, Chaz has quit working on comix for the foreseeable future, a decision that was not taken lightly or made overnight but only reached after several months of thought and consideration. The upshot is that the 3rd issue of 'Spilled Blood' will remain incomplete, half-way through the 6th story 'Dissident Aggressor'.

As a result, we've now published the last complete chapter, 'Interlude in Constantinople', as a free digital download exclusively at ComixCentral.com. We cannot say if or when the series will ever continue, but it'll be no time in the near future as Chaz's fine art and philosophy degree course continues in just over a week's time. The final part is free to download here.

Who knows, the unpublished panels or pages may yet turn up in a new form, Liechtenstein-style, in an exhibition in months or years to come...

Underground British Metal for Discerning Listeners

Underground British Metal for Discerning Listeners
Because Chaz is a fan of these guys and their music. Help support the British metal music scene!

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