Coming Soon: Explosion High!

Our lovely cast of Explosion High! They’re all a total mess!

I’ve mentioned here before that I’m working on a comic called Explosion High. Well, it’s looking a lot more real now. The first issue’s script was written last year in a couple of sittings, the main one of which felt like I’d been struck by a manic energy lightning bolt. Hopefully that energy if visible here.

The project’s almost all done and I’m gearing up for the Kickstarter project which I’m aiming to get launched at the end of March. I’ll be sharing some more information about that as soon as I’ve nailed more details down. The good news is that the provisional details are all verified, which makes it feel worryingly real.

Mike Armstrong’s been on this comic with me since the early days. I think I came up with the concept and sat on it for a while before speaking to him, but Mike’s been pivotal to the designs of the cast. We were friends in sixth form when we were trying to be a comic company called Awesome Comics. We have similar foundational influences and while I’m sure our tastes have diverged over the years, we get each other with this kind of concept. I’ll be pulling down the old Explosion High site at some point, but we tried making this a webcomic back in the webcomic days. This is a quite different beast, but the core concept is still there. Mike’s drawing the third story in the book, and helped with the core cast designs.

Debora Lancianese is an Italian comic artist who I saw after most of a year of hunting for artists for projects. Her work was perfect for this kind of an energetic story, and her colouring was amazing. She both incredibly fast at drawing and incredibly good. There were a few changes which had to be made during the process which she took on board as she went. She also coloured Mike’s pages which added a real sense of continuity to the two stories.

After talking to Matt Hardy of Mad Robot Comics, he suggested something I never thought possible; hiring Norrie Millar and Faye Stacey of Vehi-Kill fame. I’m in the privileged position of being part of the Mad Robot Comics writer’s brain trust. I get to see some of the works in progress from the other writers and the art for Vehi-Kill always looked sumptuous. The bombastic art and gorgeous colours were perfect for Vehi-Kill’s chaos and actually also for Explosion High. Fortunately as Norrie and Faye were almost done with issue three of Vehi-Kill, I was able to get them on board for the first story in the issue. It’s bigger and madder than the others, so getting some folks like these is great. Norrie’s also made the cover which I’ve now seen and looks gorgeous.

For the first time, the Explosion High logo, against a suitable backdrop

In addition to the artists, Mad Robot Comics alum Rob Jones created the logo and has agreed to letter the comic, as well as handling the layout of the interior. I’ve dealt with Rob on my previous projects and he’s a real star. I admit I even wrote some of the sound effects in the script specifically wondering how Rob would handle them.

Then there’s Matt Hardy. He’s the brain behind Mad Robot Comics and the person who’s helped me actually focus enough on one project long enough to get it finished. Okay… two, but the other one’s still needing an artist. Alright, four, but one’s benched and the other’s still on the bubble. Either way, he’s pushed me onwards, given me encouragement when I’ve needed it and a poke with a stick when I’ve needed that, too.

If you check out the #explosionhigh hashtag on the social media platform of your choice (as long as it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or an alternate universe where Google Plus still exists) then you’ll be able to see glimpses of preview art for the project.

I’ll be posting a bit more over here about it, especially when we get closer to the launch date!

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