Spilled Blood - video trailer

Friday, 24 October 2008

"A Surfeit of Mandrake": The Latest

Been having a lot of fun putting together the new Fenriswulf publication, "A Surfeit of Mandrake". The title comes from a strange comic-strip submitted by Frang McHardy, featuring a gruesome humanoid plant-like being who recruits the narrator as his messiah, in what may or may not be a self-induced hallucination. I completed the story in prose, and the Mandrake character intrigued me enough to put him on the back cover as well. Short stories, poetry, little comic strips and artwork proliferate and far from being the random-access hodge-podge that I had originally feared it would become, there are actually several similar threads running through a lot of the works. Kit Marlowe the playwright turns up not only in an old and half-forgotten little play of mine, but also in one of Lesley-Anne's short stories. Celtic and Scottish references abound through all of our work. Dark quirkiness sniggers at every corner, as do some pretty brilliant and beautifully-depicted personalities.

It'll also be interesting to see how Lulu's outsourced printers handle the grayscale tone of a lot of the artwork. Frang and I have a tendency to work in pencil, so fingers are decidedly crossed on that score. I'm expecting to have to re-jig the tones on some of this following the first preview copy, but not too much, I hope. I really don't want to have to take anything out, although I have a few emergency pieces standing by to fill in any gaps that may possibly arise as a result.

Currently the basic .doc file for "Mandrake" is sitting at 150 MB, and that's without the 8-page comic strip "Godz Almighty" (a soap opera of ordinary Old Norse folk). Being drawn on big shiny art boards makes it a beggar to scan, but I reckon the results will be worth it (assuming the printed copies can do justice to our delicate biro pen work). It also happens to feature our old friend the Fenriswulf, he whose dark slobbery chops adorn this very page, and inspired the whole publishing venture in the first place - so the inclusion of this piece really was a no-brainer.

We're still most definitely on for a release of "Mandrake" before Christmas. So it's been a fairly eventful few months for the old wolf. Just keep watching this space!

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