After a stellar run with the first four issues of Merrick: The Sensational Elephantman the gods of good indie comics (can’t remember his name) nudged creators Tom Ward & Luke Parker back into the world they had created for a new one-shot…….and Kickstarter beckoned to get the issue into print.
Now the kickstarter is already off to a phenomenal start and something I was quick to jump on-board with given that they were also offering a collected edition of Merrick. It’s win-win and looking at what we’ll be seeing in Treves:A Restless Night……it should be another success.
A RESTLESS NIGHT is a 40 page (approx) prestige format one-shot, perfect bound (with a spine) printed on high quality paper. Set in the same world as MERRICK: THE SENSATIONAL ELEPHANTMAN, this pulp horror one-shot can be read as part of the main series or enjoyed as a complete stand alone story.
Set before the events in MERRICK: THE SENSATIONAL ELEPHANTMAN, A RESTLESS NIGHT is loosely based upon a true story taken from Treves’ journals of his experience travelling through India. It recounts his first encounter with the unexplainable as he fights for his life against a vengeful curse.
Before he met The Elephantman, before he came to be one of the most talented surgeons at the London Hospital, a young Frederick Treves travelled throughout India with a fellow doctor. One night as they set camp in a barren wasteland Treves’ travelling companion recounts the tale of a previous encounter with a local who put his faith in a witchdoctor over modern medicine…
I caught up with writer Tom and fired a few questions in his direction too:
What can we expect from the Treves one-shot?
A Restless Night is a pulp horror one-shot that’s going to come in at around 40 pages, the physical copies are going to be printed on the same heavy stock quality paper as the main Merrick series but this book will be perfect bound so it has a spine. The first 500 are also going to have a limited edition bookplate designed by series artist Luke Parker.
It’s a self contained story set before the events of Merrick: The Sensational Elephantman. This time we focus on a young Dr Frederick Treves and his travels in India where he fights for his life against a vengeful curse. It’s based on a true story taken from Treves journal, but obviously we’ve put a bit more of a twist on it and taken it further. You can expect lots more gorgeous art from Luke parker and some thrills and scares, hopefully it should leave you feeling uneasy and reveal a little more about Treves character.
What’s been the main draw towards Kickstarter for you?
Kickstarter is incredible, without it these comics simply couldn’t get made. Not only is it a thriving community of people interested in independent comics who are willing to take a chance on something new but it allows creators the absolute freedom to do exactly what they want to do. There’s no rules for us, no compromises. We can do whatever we want to make sure these comics are exactly how we envision them, from the high quality, almost boutique like limited numbered print run (that publishers would probably consider financial suicide) to breaking up the main series with a one-shot spin off that tells a longer story. It also gives us the flexibility on things like release schedules to take into account that unfortunately we can’t work full-time on this, we’ve still got to pay the bills!
Will we see more Merrick and more one-shots in the future?
Possibly, after this we’re definitely going to want to plough on with the next couple of story arcs of the main Merrick series though. I’ve got the start of an idea for a Thomas Hardy one show and I’d like to do something with Bert & Harry from the Penny Gaff though, they have to be two of my favourite characters. I’m not ruling anything out, the world’s our oyster!
Do you think you’ll bring in other characters or even have other characters exist in their own stories but part of the same universe?……could this be the start of the Wardiverse?
No plans for anything like that currently. Everything else I’m piecing together are in very different tones and time periods so there’d be no cross over potential but I have considered possibly doing some easter egg type things, just little things people might notice.
What else are you currently working on?
Well I’ve got a couple of things going on. I’ve written a short 7 page slasher horror thing for The Grime anthology that James McCulloch (City of Lost Souls) has put together, the art on my story is going to be provided by the fantastic Dan Charnley and there’s a lot of other great talent involved in the first issue (which is also on Kickstarter now and has just sailed right past 50% funded) James has said his intention is to create “the 2000AD of horror anthologies” which is a lofty goal. He’s starting open submissions for future issues to give new writing and art talent a chance to be presented next to more established small press creators which is definitely a positive thing.
The other thing I’ve been working on is DOC DINO, a 60 odd page emotional rollercoaster of a medical procedural drama about a dinosaur who is the world’s greatest surgeon (on paper). I co-wrote/created this one with Chris Welsh (Wart). Mac Radwanski has been working hard on pencils and inks for a 12 page preview, we’re just waiting on the last couple of pages and then we’ll be having it coloured and lettered before putting it to the people of Kickstarter to see if it sinks or swims. We’re hoping to launch that Kickstarter during the weekend of Thought Bubble!