Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley
A very inspirational story.]]>
Last weekend was the London MCM Expo where Sweatdrop Studios released “Telling Tales“, our newest anthology. It’s a little late I know. It’s taken me a week to recover from the Expo.
The gorgeous front cover was created by my better half, Faye Yong, who also has a 40 page comic adaptation of the Grimm Brother’s ‘The Three Feathers’ which I had the privilege of scripting for her. That was a really fun piece to do!
Sweatdrop Studios presents you with a collection of tales adapted from stories well-loved and time-tested. Contained within these pages you’ll find fables from near and far; some will shock, some will surprise and some will make you smile. Sweatdrop’s artists have scoured the globe for stories that have inspired and touched them in some way, and we hope that they’ll do the same for you.
Magic, greed, love, friendship, loss and punishment – fairytales have always encompassed a haunting mix of the fantastical and macabre. This anthology, perfect for bed-time reading, will capture all of that and more in Sweatdrop’s expected variety of styles and approaches; and the group are thrilled to be joined in this special book by guest creator Svetlana Chmakova (NightSchool/Dramacon).]]>
Back in early February, Faye and I flew to Malaysia for a 3 week break. It had been 3 years since she’d been back there and the trip was planned to coincide with Chinese New Year. Lots of food to be had that time of year and what better place to indulge than K.L. :)
It was a fairly pleasant, yet long flight there. Around 18 hours including the stop over. The weather was hot and humid, which as Faye had warned me many times prior, usually results in a sticky feeling if you wander around outdoors too long.
I got to not only meet Faye’s brothers for the first time, but quite a few of her extended family as well. I felt very welcomed by everyone there. I can safely say that I thoroughly enjoyed the trip! Lots of food consumed. Hotel banquets, family feasts, not to mention the many, many CNY sweets and treats that were offered at every residence we visited. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The first part of our trip saw us visiting the gorgeous Pangkor Island. Enough blabber, though. Let the photos do the talking. Here’s the first round from the trip.
Today Faye and I are heading back home to London after spending a lovely 3 weeks in Malaysia. I’ll blog about that with pictures in the coming weeks. I just wanted to note down a couple more reviews that came out during the month.
First, a lovely review from Kate Dacey at The Manga Critic, who also just this week wrote an article for her ‘Ten Great Global Manga‘ choices, where ‘Talking to Strangers‘ earned an honourable mention. I’m truly flattered by this! (warning: full review contains spoilers)
In the foreword to this short-story collection, author Fehed Said explains the genesis of its title. “In desperate or even just unfamiliar circumstances,” he notes, “we are more than willing to talk to anyone who will listen. We seek comfort in the company of strangers, often accept help without question.” That motif is developed, to varying degrees, throughout the six stories that comprise this anthology. [...] Talking to Strangers contains more hits than misses, offering readers an appealing and varied assortment of stories illustrating a simple theme: “Only connect!” – Katherine Dacey, The Manga Critic
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Next up is a very thoughtful review. Truth be told, I wasn’t expecting anything less from Michael May.
Like the other stories in Talking to Strangers, “Flowers” encourages readers to reach out to people. To share with them the things that make us happy. Or sad. To see beyond ourselves and look out for each other. Some of the stories do it better than others, but they all deliver the same message and – as a group – they do it powerfully. Don’t be scared, they say. Take a chance. Talk to strangers. It just might save your life. – Michael May, Robot 6 at CBR.Com
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I’m so chuffed at all these great reviews and the positive reactions I’ve gotten from readers. Really makes all the hard work put into this title worthwhile.
To buy the book, click here. As always, we ship internationally :)]]>
Recently, I’ve found myself thinking back fondly of my time reading ‘The Black Magician‘ trilogy and wanting to revisit the world. That rarely happens with books for me. I would say that this is probably the same reason the Harry Potter titles were so popular. It’s the world that they set which we miss, more so than the characters at times. Saying that, characters in the Black Magician are far more memorable to me.
So imagine my surprise this morning when I decided to do a little digging and discovered that there is a Prequel to the trilogy and a further planned Sequel trilogy that follows on years later from the original, bringing back a few of the lead characters! The first book due for release in early May.
I nearly squealed like a girl with joy :) Bless you Trudi Canavan! I have some unused book vouchers from my last birthday which will go towards picking these up soon.
In other news, there had been a couple more reviews pop up for ‘Talking to Strangers‘ -
The stories welcome second readings, and the darker tone here works very well with the short story medium. A great effort by the artists and author alike, with Flowers and Citrine’s confident work on Malignant feeling like particular high points. – Amanda Young, NEO Magazine
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#Note – The following (full) review contains spoilers. For people who’ve read the book, please click through to the full version. It’s like having a discussion with a friend at a book club.
Talking to Strangers is an impressive read. It’s a good variety of stories that are very well told and supported by great art. With the possible exception of “Hero” nothing herein is depressing. The stories are frightening, sad, and speak to our core beliefs and fears, but they also carry a message of struggling to live and realizing how precious life is (and how horrible some, including ourselves, can make it). It’s true such stories may not be for everyone, but I can highly recommend it as a powerful read you wont soon forget. – Sheena McNeil, Sequential Tart
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Available to buy from Sweatdrop Studios and yes, we do ship worldwide and accept Credit/Debit cards online. Thanks for dropping by.
You take care now!]]>
Recently got made redundant at my 8 year long IT job, but can’t say that I left on bad terms at all. I’m going to miss the guys there, but to be perfectly honest, it was time to move on as I was far too comfortable there and that comfort had made me lazy.
I was lucky enough, however, to find a job the very next day after being told about my redundancy. Had done a few freelance coding jobs in the past for Aleister’s company Angel London and they’ve recently decided they’d prefer to have an in-house coder. Got the job and started there the day after I left the old one.
It’s a cool position, as I’m left to my own devices as it’s project based. Which means there are constant deadlines that have to be met, so I don’t get much free time and I’m coding non-stop from 9am till 6pm when I leave and have even needed to keep going during the weekends. But I’ve really been enjoying it so far! It gives me such a great feeling of accomplishment.
In other news, got a few more reviews for Talking To Strangers. Here ya go -
These stories are gobsmacking in a few ways: they’re consistently good, which is very rare in anthologies, especially comics anthologies for some reason; they span a wide range of tones, styles, genres and themes; and they are, for want of a better word, chewy. – Katherine Farmar, Writers of Color 50 Book Challenge
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Overall, Talking to Strangers is a book of creative promise. I’m sure it says something about the interconnected importance of story and art that the two best narratives, “Static” and “Flowers,” have the top art. With both elements working together, the two stories stand out. When the art does not support the writing, the elements are left slightly askew, disjointed, leaving four shorts that offer glimmers of wit and humanity. With all that said, for fans of dark fantasy, I suspect that Talking to Strangers will have something to please you. – Michael C. Lorah, Newsarama
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And here’s a shout-out from our very own Emma Vieceli when she read the book -
Have you guys checked out ‘Talking to Strangers‘ from Sweatdrop yet? I don’t think I mentioned it here yet… good god it’s bloody gorgeous. Seriously impressive writing over several varying topics and moods…and the art is just breathtaking throughout. ‘Flowers’ especially (Faye Yong) just blew me away. It is an example of perfect, flawless comicking. The pacing, the layouts, the lovingly handled characters and dialogue. Fehed and Faye have made something very special with it. But yes, the whole book is just edible. – Emma Vieceli
Emma’s been working hard keeping Dragon Heir: Reborn updated regularly while performing a balancing act with her freelance projects. You should check out the comic then give the woman some love in the form of comments on her blog! There’s a healthy chunk of pages online now.]]>