Ian McDonald let the cat out of the bag on this one a while ago in his Rothland Tribune, so I suppose it's time for me to make it official and get this train rolling.
The first publication from this fledgling imprint will be "Bruno the Bandit", reprinting the webcomics of Ian McDonald from his long running strip of the same name. The book will be magazine-sized, in black and white with color covers. It will contain some original and new material from Ian and other guest artists (including my humble self). The first volume will be available in both print and digital download editions from a number of sources (more on that as it develops). The release date is not set yet, as we're still gathering work for the first volume, but keep watching this space for news as it happens.
We've got a couple of surprises lined up for the first issue that I think will please fans of Bruno and of comics in general. I don't want to say too much just yet, but we've got a brilliant guest cover from a well-known and classic comic artist, an introduction from a very recognized name in webcomics, and even a few words of praise from a writer who is, frankly, a living legend in comics.
I'm not fond of the sort of hyperbole that goes along with any new comic book launch; I find that all too often the product fails to live up to expectations. However, I will say that we have really pulled out all the stops for the first issue of this magazine to make the best it can possibly be. I think that when it's done, it will be a piece of work that is as collectible as it is enjoyable.
As for me, this is a labour of love, as much as anything. I have long been a fan of Ian's work, and have followed "Bruno the Bandit" since its pre-webcomic days when Ian was trying to get it syndicated. I have created fan art for Bruno for years, and even gotten Ian to let me create a couple of stories in his universe. I took on this project because I think the work deserves to be seen and enjoyed by a much larger audience than it currently has, in the best formats available. I am thrilled that Ian's trusted me with his work like this, and am dedicated to doing the best job I can of presenting it. I am looking forward to the end result of this project as much as anyone, and even if the book only sold two copies, I would be thrilled to know that I have one of them sitting on my bookshelf.
As I mentioned earlier, there'll be more news about the project as it moves forward. We're taking our time with this first one to make sure we get everything right, so the release date is months off yet, but in the meantime, watch this site for updates and previews.
And if you haven't already done so, don't forget to visit "Bruno the Bandit", Ian's official website, where you can read all the latest adventures of Bruno and company. That site will be undergoing a bit of a makeover shortly, so it will be worth keeping an eye on.