Things I’ve written: a few novels, a few short stories, a column on this very website extolling the virtues of comics as a medium for speculative fiction. Now, for better or worse, I’ve written an actual comic too: Rogue Trooper, published by IDW, issue #1 of which is in comic book shops and digital outlets including but not limited to Comixology this very week.
So what happens when a novelist tries to write a comic? Herewith, a select few of the very many things that have occurred to me as I’ve begun to learn this new craft.
In its mere fourteen or so years of existence, IDW has become one of the success stories in US comics, having already established itself as the 4th biggest publisher of comics sold through comics specialty shops (the top two are obvious, the third’s Image, for anyone who’s curious).
Amongst lots of pretty well-received material based on licensed properties, like Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Star Trek, the company’s also produced two of my very favourite comics of the last few years: Locke & Key, which I’ve talked about here before and hope to revisit when the final collected edition is published; and Darwyn Cooke’s graphic novel adaptations of the Richard Stark Parker novels, which I’ll sadly never discuss here because they’re pure crime fiction, but I can assure you they’re very, very good.
Now, IDW has launched a full frontal, no-holds-barred assault on my affections by directly targeting my childhood. Using a Judge Dredd comic. As it turns out (says he coming back to edit the intro, having discovered that what follows didn’t turn out quite as expected), that means I’m about to mostly talk about my childhood, the oddities of Dredd as a character, US vs UK sensibilities and various other odds and ends. But I do talk the comic itself a bit too, so all is not lost.