New Book – The Light By Jim Alexander

TheLightCover
Cover by Alex Ronald

The Light is a new book by Jim (Good Cop, Bad Cop) Alexander and he sent me the press release for the new work:

The book explores a world where you wake up and know this is the day you die. How would such a world shape the way we think, our views on each other and society, how we conduct our personal and financial affairs; how we live and how we will die?

This is Alexander’s second novel after the award-winning GoodCopBadCop.

 

More on ‘the Light’:

On a daily basis, people are required to take the Light; a device that ascertains whether this will be their last day. The story alternates between showcasing and building up this new world and telling the story of an ordinary person having to cope in extraordinary circumstances. We will see through his eyes a world so achingly similar to our own, but different in one shattering, all-pervasive way.

When approaching death, whether it’s dying in your sleep or experiencing your whole life flashing in front of your eyes, in the end it is no longer a case of floating towards the light. The Light wants to find you first.

 

Alexander has not finished with comics. He is one of the writers on a new Marvel Graphic Novel, Uncanny Origins: Myths and Magic. He writes ‘The Song of Storm’ where we discover how a girl worshipped as a goddess became a wind-riding hero.

GoodCopBadCop is available now at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Etsy, and lots of other places.

Uncanny Origins: Myths and Magic is published by Marvel and out on 31st December 2019.

 

the Light, coming in at 320 pages, is on sale now. Some links to follow:

 

UK
Amazon (print): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Light-Jim-Alexander/dp/191645352X
Amazon (Kindle): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Light-Jim-Alexander-ebook/dp/B081BCLF1D
Kobo (ebook): https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-light-39
US
Amazon (print): https://www.amazon.com/Light-Jim-Alexander/dp/191645352X
Amazon (Kindle): https://www.amazon.com/Light-Jim-Alexander-ebook/dp/B081BCLF1D
Kobo (ebook): https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-light-39
Barnes & Noble:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-light-jim-alexander/1134879604

 

When the book reaches the top of my colossal reading pile – I’ll let you know what I think.

Good Cop Bad Cop

GCBC-Cover
Cover art by Alex Ronald

Long time readers may well recall the series of comics published by ‘Planet Jimbot’. Among them was Good Cop Bad Cop- written by Jim Alexander, which won a fair few awards for its first collection, returned for a second bout then all went quiet.

I asked around after Jim and was told he’d gone off to write books! Like you do.

Fast forward to this morning and what do I find in my inbox but the promo for Jim’s first book- and it is  a return to the world of Good Cop Bad Cop so fingers crossed this will be as good as the comics.

Here’s Jim’s promo text:

GoodCopBadCop is a crime novel with a twist. It is a modern crime take on Jekyll and Hyde where both ‘good cop’ and ‘bad cop’ are the same person. This is not a story about a good man turned bad, or a bad man turned good.  Both good and bad arrived at the same time.

GoodCopBadCop was originally released as a Graphic Novel, which went on to win the True Believers Comics Awards. The novel delves deeper into the psychological trappings, black humour and surrealist overtones that made the title such a hit with readers. It really gets into the gut(s) and mind(s) of the main character.

Jim Alexander is an award-winning writer who has worked for TV (Metal Hurlant Chronicles) and for DC (Batman 80-Page Giant, Birds of Prey) and Marvel (Uncanny Origins, Spectacular Spider-Man). GoodCopBadCop is his debut novel.

Book is available far and wide. Some links to follow:

UK

Amazon (print & digital)

Blackwell’s (print)

Kobo (digital)

 

US

Amazon (print & digital)

Barnes & Noble (print & digital)

Kobo (digital)

Good luck with the new venture Jim.

In Review: APP-1 #1


App-1 #1 by by Jim Alexander (Samurai Jack, Penguins of Madagascar) Eva Holder (Bad Tooth), Conor Boyle (Dead Roots) & Iella (The Ugly Duckling) underneath a cover by Hal Lauren.

Publisher stuff: “Planet Jimbot has a new book out; a super-hero comic with a difference. I know you’ve probably heard this a thousand times before, but…

In a world overrun by terror, despair and monsters, 3 kids cling on to the belief that there once existed a champion of good, a super-hero now gone and all but forgotten. Despite the dangers and sheer hopelessness of the situation, they decide to go in search of the super-hero known as App-1.

App-1 is a fun, family friendly series with I’d say – in terms of content – Dr Who sensibilities. The reader is taken through three different time periods (the Present, the Recent Past and the Past). Discover how all three stories are connected as we ask the question, how can a world protected by a super-hero at the height of his powers end up being taken over by monsters known as Bogeys?!”

FQP Review

The Good: An honest to goodness ‘all ages’ comic that does exactly what it says on the tin. There are three main story strands here, and all of them contribute to a feeling of a greater whole. Mystery abounds and the world very much needs to be saved. The stories all work well and are immediately accessible. Conor Boyle, in particular, does an outstanding job with the limited page count for his stories.

The Bad: As an anthology editor, I am always judging scripts by an artists strengths or weaknesses to try and help the script become the best version of itself I can. For Planet Jimbot I don’t know who takes that role, but I assume it is Jim Alexander himself. Of the artists on display in this first issue I think they all suit the style of tale they present, but of the three, Iella is the weakest link. Her work has a ‘raw’ quality that in places almost looks unfinished and lacking in finesse. A swift ‘Google’ reveals that Iella is a far from inexperienced artist so I’m hoping that this is merely a result of Iella moving into sequential art from illustration.

The Verdict: Fun, Capable and engaging. App-1 is a cracking addition to the Planet Jimbot stable and a title I will be eagerly waiting for the next chapter of.

Art By Conor Boyle

App-1 #1 is available at the Planet Jimbot shop:
https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/PlanetJimbot

In Review: Wolf Country 04

Art By Luke Cooper- Click to see larger.

Wolf Country 04 by Jim Alexander & Will Pickering (letters by Jim Campbell)

Wolf Country 03 review.

I’m getting closer to actually reviewing things when it is relevant, which is good for me as it means I’m getting to read some flippin’ good comics. I’ve said plenty of nice things about Planet Jimbot in the past, and this time is no different. The main plot of the book is carried on, as Settlement is under attack by a big ol’ force of Werewolves and the special forces lads step up to deal with things.

Art by Will Pickering- click to see larger.

Meanwhile in the city, Halfpenny, the leader of settlement has got his hands full in a street brawl that made me think of Deadwood (Where Dan takes on Herst’s man- yeah?) and the gore factor is as high as that might lead you to think.

For the new reader there is now a ‘previously’ box in the inside cover, so now there is almost no excuse not to get stuck in.

In fact, over at the Planet Jimbot store on ETSY, they are doing a combo pack of all four issues for a tenner. That is solid value and highly recommended.

Really looking forward to the next issue.

In Review: AMONGST THE STARS

Amongst The Stars by Jim Alexander, Mike Perkins & Will Pickering.

From the publisher blurb:
Following on from the success of GoodCopBadCop at last summer’s True Believers/Eagles awards, I’m delighted to say that ‘Amongst the Stars’ has made the Scottish Independent Comic Book Alliance (SICBA) shortlist for Best Graphic Novel 2015.

The 64-page trade is written by Jim Alexander (Metal Hurlant, Star Trek Manga) and drawn by Mike Perkins (Stephen King’s The Stand, Astonishing X-Men, Deathlok).

To celebrate we’ve put together a wee PDF sampler of the book, which features 5 pages of the story. This is absolutely free to everybody, so please feel free to publish/share/comment on as you wish. Also, the book is on sale at the Planet Jimbot online shop for a special SICBA price of £5.50 plus P&P.

For the Amongst the Stars PDF sampler, click on the following link
https://www.dropbox.com/s/1mcab4gr8utanu7/ATS_SICBA_Sampler.pdf?dl=0

Amongst the Stars is available at the Planet Jimbot shop:
https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/PlanetJimbot

For details of how to vote check out the official SICBA site:
http://www.sicba.org.uk/

Review:

As usual I’m ridiculously late at this (Jim sent me the press release a month ago for gosh-sakes) but having read the book a second time I feel better placed to actually talk about it.

As a high concept Sci-Fi this is as ambitious as anything I’ve read in the last few years. It boils down to (In my opinion) A race of beings who have transcended the physical to exist between the stars and live as beings of pure consciousness. They discover that rarest of things- life- on our planet. Of course our sheer chaotic physicality is too ‘alien’ for them and causes their very life support system to fail. Trapped inside the minds of human beings there is little hope for escape, unless we, the very humans who are unaware of their existence, can help them.

I hope that enough folk out there have read this book in time for the voting for SICBA, as I think it deserves to do well for Jim.

The story rewards paying attention, and Mike Perkins’ art is really well suited to the strip- able to convey the reality of the human world and the transcended reality of the Tchailling.

Also included is a short by Jim and Will Pickering featuring a one-shot about what happens when a father lets things get out of hand. Absolutely hilarious and well worth inclusion.

Highly recommended.

In Review: Amazing & Fantastic Tales Issue 05.

Amazing & Fantastic Tales Issue #05 from Planet Jimbot.

Cover by Glenn Fleming.

The Planet Jimbot anthology reaches its final issue with the bizarre situation that the two of the stories in this five part anthology are six episodes long! Both Kroom (Jim Alexander & Glen Fleming) and The Last Posse (Jim Alexander & Paulina Vassileva) have two episodes in this issue.

The only strip in this issue that is not part of the ongoing serials is Facts of Life by Jim Alexander and Jon Haward. A touching tale of life, love and fish. Jon has turned in a superb set of Black & White pages for this and his quality as an artist shines through.

From Facts of Life, art by Jon Haward.

As usual I’m not about to give spoilers for the stories here, but I want to give a little room to praise the series overall. We here at FQP are used to putting out anthologies, in fact that is pretty much our core, but we don’t do serials. The sheer length of time it takes to get new issues ready can be a massive negative for serials. 2000 AD is out every week- so they can maintain a blistering pace but FutureQuake is only out 3 times a year at best. Reader inertia is a huge obstacle.

Jim and the rest of the planet Jimbot team have juggled the number of ongoing stories well in my opinion. Each issue of the series has had at least one self contained strip as well as the serials and that helps greatly with new readers who will then hopefully be intrigued enough to go back and fill the gaps in the stories.

And this is really my only negative- Jim & co should have given the series a sixth issue. To be fair, they probably didn’t know they needed one when they started the book, but I think that they have missed out here by squeezing the last chapters of Kroom and The Last Posse into this issue. Of course, if Jim and the team had known they may have used the option to run the extra chapters earlier in the series as well, giving more room in this issue for a self contained work.

Do I think the series works as a whole? You bet. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the whole run and would recommend it to anyone.

Planet Jimbot now have a shop via the ETSY platform– and the full run of Amazing & Fantastic Tales is available as a single item. Highly recommended.

Review of Issue 04
Review of issue 03

In Review: Good Cop, Bad Cop Casebook 02

Good Cop, Bad Cop Casebook 02 published by Rough Cut Comics, written by Jim Alexander and with art by Luke Cooper and Will Pickering.

Cover by Joel Carpenter
Casebook 01 of Good Cop, Bad Cop (GCBC) won the True Believers award this year- and I was there to witness Jim Alexander accept his award, and very pleased I was for him to win. C
GCBC 01 is a really good book.
I enjoyed this second volume even more. There are two stories in this collection; ‘Tiny Facts Of Kindness’ with art by Luke Cooper and ‘Twisting the knife’ with art by Will Pickering. 
Art by Luke Cooper from ‘Tiny Facts’ of Kindess’
Casebok 01 was reviewed here. Casebook 02 gets straight into the action as DI Fisher, along with partner DI Spencer pick-up on a robbery at a supermarket and finish up with a very interesting visit from a local priest. The second story in this volume focuses on DI Spencer and highlights her thoughts on her partner and her relationships with those ‘further up the food chain’ in the police.
The second story- Twisting the knife- is my favourite of all the GCBC stories I’ve read so far. A cracking little study in storytelling.
My only real gripe would be that for new readers we don’t get to be reminded of names early in the stories. DI Spencer isn’t named until page 30 of the book. Every book is going to be somebodies forst, so while I’m not saying that the readers need to be spoon-fed the relevant data, an early heads-up for returning cast would be welcome.
Now for the science bit:
68 Pages/Original Graphic Novel/£7.99.  
The first copies of GoodCopBadCop: Casebook#2 will be on sale at Thought Bubble (the Rough
Cut Comics/Planet Jimbot table situated in New Dock Hall).  
It will be distributed through Amazon at this link and direct from www.roughcut-comics.com in December.