Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Zarjaz!




Ever since I was a kid I've been in a relationship with the cult sci-fi comic 2000AD. Sure, we've had our difficulties – periods where we have grown apart or fallen out – but somehow we've always ended up back together again. It's impossible to quantify exactly how much impact characters like Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper, and Zenith have had upon my life, especially creatively. With it's weird British sensibilities and lashing of ultra-violence, it offered an insight into the world of comic creating that would have an enormous effect of me growing up. All I ever wanted to do as a kid was write or draw for my favourite comic and it was a passion which ultimately saw me creating my own stories.


I think you can see it in The Absence. The strange, slightly off-beat humour, a little experimental, bonkers sci-fi ideas, thick black line-work… so much of everything I write and draw today is influenced by a lifetime of reading 2000AD. And now, at (almost, ahem) 40 I'd still bloody love to write or draw for it.

But until that day should happen, I've done the next best thing and written and drawn a short story in the new issue of the 2000AD fanzine Zarjaz. Like it's parent comic, Zarjaz is an anthology comic and my story is about the Brit-Cit Detective-Judge Armitage, (imagine Judge Dredd crossed with Inspector Morse). I'm proud to be featured in a comic with so many other ace creators and it's a great opportunity to play in the 2000AD world.

You can buy a copy of Zarjaz #21 here. Let me know what you think of it.



In other, 'The Absence' news, I've been asked to do something rather exciting! As soon as I have more information I'll post about it, but suffice to say there should be some Official Absence merchandise along shortly…

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Yes, more reviews

Reviews for The Absence continue to come in, most of them pretty bloody great thanks for asking. One even goes so far to call me a 'literary genius' which is rather lovely/hilarious/bizarre/wrong.

http://www.fandompost.com/2014/05/07/the-absence-hardcover-graphic-novel-review/

http://portlandbookreview.com/the-absence/

http://www.fortressofsolitude.co.za/os_book/the-absence-review/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-absence-review

http://www.themacguffin.net/absence-review/

http://www.comicsbulletin.com/reviews/6689/review-the-absence-is-an-atmospheric-and-spooky-small-town-horror-gn/

http://www.atomicmoo.com/2014/04/20/atomic-moo-comic-book-review-of-the-absence/

http://www.thecultden.com/2014/04/the-cult-den-book-club-comic-review.html

Additionally, folk have been saying nice things about the book over on Good Reads, too.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18373418-the-absence?from_search=true

And just in case you think this blog has become nothing but a platform for me to plug the book, here's a sneak peak of something I'm working on at the moment. It's a little 7 page strip I've written and drawn for the 2000AD fanzine Zarjaz. As with The Absence I pencilled it all using, well, pencils, but as an experiment I'm inking it all on the computer. And for various reasons it's driving me absolutely batty, but I'll blog about that later…


Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Competitions, signings and awards…

Here's some things:

You can win a copy of my graphic novel The Absence, here. But be quick, the competition closes tonight at midnight:http://www.thecultden.com/2014/04/competition-win-copy-of-absence.html

On Saturday, I'm doing a signing at Forbidden Planet, London (3-4pm) for Free Comic Book Day (And no, The Absence ain't gonna be free – you gotta pay for that) Come along and say hi!:

https://forbiddenplanet.com/events/2014/05/03/martin-stiff-signing-absence/

And finally, if you have a spare moment, I'd be forever grateful if you could vote for The Absence as Best British Comic: Black and White in the Stan Lee Eagle Awards (here: http://www.stanleeeagleawards.com/nominations.html) and/or Best Book at the British Comic Awards (here: http://britishcomicawards.com)

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Ain't It Cool News reviews The Absence!

Lovely review for The Absence on top cult geek website Ain't It Cool:

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/66776#5

Some quotes:

"While it plays on many levels, the crux of THE ABSENCE is filling voids."

"The naturalistic dialog, intricate black and white pencils and Stiff's reverence for the time period from style to sayings are worth the price of admission, but it's the sci-fi twist that makes THE ABSENCE a true comic book as well as a great story."

While you're there, scroll down a bit for a review of Psycho Gran by my friend David Leach.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

New reviews and news

A couple more reviews:

http://www.popcults.com/book-review-absence-martin-stiff/

http://retrenders.com/2014/03/17/the-absence-by-martin-stiff/

Another Q&A (on the hugely influential cult comic and film website Bleeding Cool):

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/03/03/the-absence-is-a-dark-wwii-mystery-play-the-bleeding-cool-interview-with-martin-stiff/

And, bizarrely, here's a website that has made The Absence their April book club choice! How terribly flattering!

http://www.thecultden.com/2014/03/the-cult-den-book-club-aprils-book-of.html

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

A few more reviews and a signing

Nothing to see here - just a little more self-congratlatory back-slapping, move along, move along*…

(*LOOK, I WANT ALL THESE REVIEWS STASHED IN ONE PLACE FOR CONVENIENCE SAKE, ALRIGHT?! JEEZ.)

http://markclapham.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/ten-minutes-on-the-absence-by-martin-stiff/

http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2014/03/09/review-time-with-the-absence/

http://www.awkwardgeeks.com/absence-graphic-novel/

I did my first signing for The Absence at Forbidden Planet, London on the 5 March and had a great time. Thanks so much to everyone who turned up! Here's a photo of me looking terrified:


I'm doing another signing at the London Superhero Comic Convention on Saturday 15th March at 4pm on the FP stand (tables 115-121). If you're visiting the con, come along and say hi!

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Links to reviews, and some general self-congratulatory stuff

(Apologies in advance: I'm putting all this stuff on here mainly so I have it all in one place but the upshot of that is that it looks a bit showy-offy. Um, not much I can do about that, sorry.)

With The Absence graphic novel out shortly (this week, in fact!) the reviews have started appearing. Here's a few links. In an attempt to be as unbiased as possible, I've also put the more negative reviews here too…

On the whole people seem to be very kind about it, which is great! I'm really pleased with the response so far. I've had a few people drop me a line on Twitter as well, which is incredibly nice of them.

http://curiosityofasocialmisfit.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/the-absence-graphic-novel-review.html

http://www.brokenfrontier.com/the-absence-a-welcome-collection-of-martin-stiffs-dense-evocative-mystery-story/

http://www.existentialennui.com/2014/02/titan-comics-graphic-novel-roundup.html

http://hoopercomicart.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/titaqn-books-absence.html

http://www.clandestinecritic.co.uk/2014/02/comic-book-review-absence.html

http://www.capsulecomputers.com.au/2014/01/the-absence-review/

Here's a review from Comic Heroes (it's available on the Apple Newsstand, so I can't link directly to it. You should all be buying it anyway…)




I've also written a really long (rambling, self-indulgent) 'director's commentary' over at The Forbidden Planet International blog. Those guys have been supporters of The Absence since the beginning and I'm hugely grateful to them. Here's a link to that.

http://www.forbiddenplanet.co.uk/blog/2014/directors-commentary-martin-stiff-talk-the-absence/

And here's a Q&A I was asked to do (which included the curiously tough question, 'What was the most horrific thing that happened to you when you were working on this book?' Whatever happened to asking people the price of milk?):

http://decapitateddan.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/deep-discussions-with-decapitated-dan.html

Finally, here's a photo from the London Forbidden Planet store (which had The Absence on early release), showing it at #17 (!) in the graphic novel charts…



Jeez, slapping yourself on the back is harder than it looks! I'm off for a lie down. Next week I have a signing at Forbidden Planet on Wednesday (hey, you should come along!) and at least one more Q&A due for publication. Oh, and the small matter of the actual proper official publication of book itself…