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Hello. I'm Antony Johnston, and I write comics, graphic novels, and videogames.
I also make music and podcasts for fun.
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Today I launched a brand new podcast, UNJUSTLY MALIGNED, on the Incomparable network.

The UNJUSTLY MALIGNED podcast, or “UMP” for short, is a show about the sometimes strange things we love that everyone else hates. In each episode I chat with a different guest, as they explain why that thing you may think is terrible is actually really great.

My first guest is Jason Snell, tech journalist and head honcho of the Incomparable network itself. Jason talks about his love of the deeply uncool STARGATE SG-1, and explains why he feels it gets overlooked when people discuss great sci-fi on TV.

Future guests include Moisés Chiullan, Leigh Alexander, Emma Vieceli, Glenn Fleishman… and how could I do a show like this without inviting Wil Wheaton? I couldn’t. So I didn’t. And there are many more guests to come.

There are a few different ways you can listen and subscribe to the show:

• The simplest way is through iTunes

• On a podcast app, such as Overcast (which I use myself)

• Or, if you know how, you can use the direct RSS feed

And the show is on twitter at @umpfm.

I’ve been recording episodes of UNJUSTLY MALIGNED for a couple of months already, and it’s been a huge amount of fun. I hope you’ll enjoy listening to it as much as I’m enjoying making it.

 

Two big releases this week:

First up is UMBRAL Book Two: The Dark Path, collecting issues #7-12, in which pretty much everything that can change, does:

Rascal has escaped the city — and the clutches of the terrible Umbral shadow-creatures, disguised as humans! But danger also haunts the dark mist of the Bulaswode, and as betrayal prepares to stab her in the back, Rascal must choose whether to trust her friends… or an Umbral!

And then, for monthly readers, THE FUSE #10 is also on shelves with part four of ‘Gridlock’.

What does terrorism look like on a space station? Klem and Ralph are about to find out — and so are you. You lucky readers.

In which terrorists are raided, ‘facial dazzle’ is employed… and somebody else gets murdered. Of course they do.

UMBRAL Book Two is available from all good comic and book stores with the Diamond code DEC140700, or the ISBN 978-1-63215-204-6.

THE FUSE #10, meanwhile, is available from comic stores with the order code NOV140653, or digitally from Comixology and Image Comics. There’s also a five-page preview of the issue on Tumblr.

 

It’s increasingly difficult for me to talk about things I’m working on, these days.

In the case of videogames, I’m often legally bound through NDAs not to say anything before the developer does.

With comics, although I’ve returned to focusing almost exclusively on creator-owned works, I still don’t want to talk about things too early, because it would spoil the impact of an official announcement — and in the current market climate, every bit of PR needs to make as much impact as possible.

All of the above means most of this journal is taken up with on-sale announcements and con schedules, which is frustrating.

So I want to tell you that 2015 will be an interesting and exciting year for me, with lots of new things. No doubt some of the following won’t see publication before 2016, but this is pretty much my workload for the year:

Comics

A new dark fantasy series, a violent tragedy, with art by a familiar collaborator;

A new horror miniseries, part of a larger project that’s yet to be announced, and one of the most formally ambitious projects I’ve ever attempted;

And a modern pulp spy series, with a new collaborator, that I’ve been planning for some time.

(Those are all for different publishers, by the way.)

Videogames

Two large-scale games with major publishers, at least one of which will continue through 2016;

Two smaller mobile games, including one that’s been in the works for a couple of years;

And a very interesting and unusual small-scale project, working with some people I admire enormously, over which I’ll have more creative control than just about any game I’ve previously worked on.

Miscellaneous stuff

There’s always ‘miscellaneous stuff’, isn’t there? Well, for 2015 that includes:

A YA novel, which will hopefully be just the beginning of a wider project;

I plan to compile, revise, and expand my writing advice articles into an ebook;

And as the WASTELAND Original Soundtrack project draws to a close, I’m going to continue making music for its own sake, which will hopefully culminate in a new metal album by the end of the year.

(Notice how things get more vague and woolly the further down that list you go!)

So, yes. That little lot should keep me busy. Oh, and I didn’t even mention the podcast…

 

UMBRAL #12, ‘If It Bleeds’, goes on sale this week.

This is a genuinely climactic issue. Rascal discovers more about herself, and her destiny, than perhaps she’d like; Shayim and Munty are both revealed to have been harbouring secrets the whole time, and their fragile friendship is shattered; while Dalone begins to realise that maybe he isn’t as unknown to this world as he thought…

Oh, and there’s a big fight. And some magic. And even some Umbral-on-Umbral action. Don’t believe me? Check out the six-page preview on Comic Book Resources and see for yourself.

UMBRAL #12 is available from all good comics stores with the order code OCT140771, or you can buy it digitally from Comixology and Image Comics.

 

THE FUSE #9 goes on sale this week, with part three of ‘Gridlock’.

Feels like Klem and Dietrich can’t even interview someone without another two suspects popping up. But what’s this case really about? The billion-dollar future of gridlocking? Sibling rivalry? Everybody’s favorite motive, drugs? Or could it even be… SOMETHING ELSE ENTIRELY? Boom! Mind blown.

Also features part 3 of the backup thriller TABLOID, by Ian Mayor and Mack Chater.

THE FUSE #9 is available from all good comics stores with the order code NOV140653, or you can get it digitally from Comixology and Image Comics. You can also read a six-page preview at Tumblr.

ALSO: THE FUSE VOL 1 IN A HUMBLE BUNDLE

If you haven’t already seen it, and/or you’re not yet caught up with THE FUSE; Image Comics is offering a Humble Bundle of Volume 1 books, with around 20 (!) titles available as DRM-free digital downloads, and THE FUSE Vol 1: The Russia Shift is one of them.

All Humble Bundles are pay-what-you-want, which makes this bundle amazing value. And the comics charity benefitted, the Hero Initiative, is a great cause. If you’ve been thinking about reading even just one of the books featured in the bundle, now’s your chance.

 

WASTELAND #59 goes on sale this week. (Yes, on Christmas Eve…!)

‘Black Planet’ is the final part of the final story arc. The Big Wet’s secrets have been revealed; but will anyone survive to pass them on? And what does it all mean, anyway? Or, to put it another way:

Rocks fall. Everybody dies.

…Well, maybe not everybody.

This is what we’ve been leading towards, what we’ve been building up to, all these years. It’s pretty cathartic.

But! While this is the final issue of the story arc, it’s not the final issue of the series. Issue #60, ‘Before and After Science‘, will be a double-length epilogue issue that caps everything off with the tale of a young man named Marcus; a scientist locked in a bunker; and a certain talking machine…

WASTELAND #59 is available from comic stores with the order code OCT141576, and digital readers can find it at Comixology. You can also read a seven-page preview at Comic Book Resources.

 

THE FUSE #8 goes on sale this week, continuing the new story arc, ‘Gridlock’.

Turns out the gridlocker’s death was no accident, and Klem for one is shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you, to discover this is a murder case. But it won’t stop her going over The Wall, or even down into Smacktown, to find the killer!

This is where the case begins to hot up, as Klem and Ralph chase down suspects and try to figure out what the hell their victim was doing when she was murdered. It’s pretty intense.

We also have part 2 of the backup thriller TABLOID, and all the usual letter column shenanigans.

THE FUSE #8 is available from all good comics stores with the order code OCT140739, or you can get it digitally from Comixology and Image Comics. If you want a sneak peek, there’s a seven-page preview to read on Tumblr.

 

UMBRAL #11, ‘In Nobody We Trust’, goes on sale this week.

Only Rascal can save… Shayim and Munty?! But not before she decides it’s time for a pretty drastic change. And that’s not even mentioning what she sees in the blade, or who follows her into the woods. It’s time to stand and fight!

We’re on the home stretch of Book Two, ‘The Dark Path’, with this issue. In fact, this is the penultimate issue of the story arc, and there are big changes and revelations in store for everyone.

There’s a six-page preview on tumblr to whet your appetite.

UMBRAL #11 is available from all good comics stores with the order code SEP140759, or you can buy it digitally from Comixology and Image Comics.

 

This weekend is the Thought Bubble Festival convention in Leeds, and as usual I’ll be there.

You can find me at Table 32 in New Dock Hall, on the back wall between Rufus Dayglo and Ian Edginton & Disraeli. Just look for the white banner, with my name in big red letters.

I’ll be there all weekend, except for when I’m appearing on the ‘I is for Innovation’ panel of Image writers, Saturday at 3.30pm. That’s in the Royal Armouries theatre, and you can find details of all the panels here.

I’m also DJing once again at the legendary mid-convention party, this year being held at Leeds Town Hall, along with usual spinning suspects Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Al Ewing, Boo Cook, and others. But I’m kicking things off this year, so put on your dancing shoes and prepare to get down.

 

THE FUSE #7 goes on sale this week, beginning Volume 2, and a new case for the Midway City Homicide division — ‘Gridlock’!

22,000 MILES UP, THERE IS (STILL) NO BACKUP.

They call it Gridlocking — maglev-bike races across the Fuse’s vast solar arrays. Fast, dangerous, and very illegal. When a gridlocker turns up dead, Klem and Ralph begin their own race to catch a killer!

PLUS: Bonus backup strip ‘Tabloid’ starts this issue!

That backup strip is a new six-part thriller by young bucks Ian Mayor and Mack Chater, exploring the dangerous life of a Fuse journalist chasing the big stories. ‘Tabloid’ will run throughout Vol 2, alongside ‘Gridlock’.

And the gorgeous variant cover seen here is by the rather awesome Jenny Frison, of REVIVAL and RED SONJA fame. We love it.

THE FUSE #7 is available from all good comics stores with the order code SEP140719 (regular) and SEP140720 (Frison). Or you can get it digitally from Comixology and Image Comics. And before all that, you can read a six-page preview on Tumblr.

 

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