I’m joined by David Hine and Shaky Kane to talk about the cut-up Burroughsian excess and glory of 84, the fourth issue of their Bulletproof Coffin: Disinterred. Once again, it’s a stand alone issue, so can be consumed alone if you can find a copy (it’s available digitally), but I’d recommend you hunt down the trade. It’s just out so your local shop will have it, but it’s available from all the usual online retailers.

You can download the podcast from here. Its webpage RSS page is here. And you can find it on Itunes here.

Or there’s always an embed, isn’t there?

There’s always a embed.


Worth noting that for Shaky’s colours, both the PDF and Jpgs are poor mediums. You really want to see the original images to make them SCREAM!

Page 2, Panel 4.

Here’s Hine’s original from his notebook…

And here’s the finished image from Shaky.

Pages 10 and 11

Page 18, Panel 4

Page 20 and 21.

Page 24

Page 25

Some things we mentioned:
Dear Esther.
The Mindless Ones.
Robert McKee.

Our theme tune? Los Campesinos’ We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed.

The card game Dixit (in summary, watch this: sort of looks like a free-associatey scramble comic. If there isn’t a card game where players are tasked with assembling a complete narrative – a war, a zombie apocalypse, a human lifetime – out of picture cards dealt and traded, then there certainly should be.

When I were a lad, I was given one or two Marvel comics that had been printed on card and cut up into separate panels. The object of the toy was to get the kid to assemble the comic themselves. The backs of the cards were numbered, I think by page and panel, rather than straight sequential. One was defo Spider-Man (bien sur), and I think the other was The Hulk. These could easily have been used to create a scramble comic, were it not for the dialogue (although, hell, disjointed is my speciality) and the pages where the regular old-fashioned grid was bollocksed by a half-page vertipanel biased to the left/right. Man, there may even have been an Arrow of Shame in there somewhere.

I had wanted to drop in a link here to the Doctor Who Comic Maker, as an example of the sorts of tools that are out there for the new/learning writer, but it has been taken down. Clearly bullhonkey. Marvelkids has one, as does Homestar Runner. (3-panel & magazine comics – check those layout templates!) (more or less the same, I think. May be an earlier/pared-down model)

Being able to rough stuff out for oneself is an essential tool for the writer, I think – perhaps especially where dialogue/captions are concerned. I have a vague memory of Harvey Pekar writing scripts that way when he started out. Just don’t do what I did, and spend a clockload o’time trying to do it all yourself, only to wreck your hands. Heartbreak!

Oh, hey: here’s a thought for all you futuremensch. You could also make table templates in your wordprocessor of choice – 4-panel grid, 6-panel, etc. – and drop in your dialogue and panel descriptions that way.

Narrative captions: once again, I have to refer to Commando comics (and similarly-formatted titles passim, A5/1-3 panels per page) as something that still makes extensive use of them. This month’s Wonder Woman 0 also uses them in gentle pastiche of the Silver Age style (or so I hear). They definitely run the risk of redundancy, but they’re a great way to trim the fat out of a story – why show Peter Parker having his lunch when you can handwave it in a caption, then skip to the scene where Doc Ock punches it clean out of his belly?

Colours: yes. Podde that! I feel like colours can be something akin to music in comics. Or, to be even more poncey, like something autonomic, that really draws attention to itself when it goes wrong. I do think our whizbang modern colourists have worked out and through most of the kinks in digital colouring, though. There’s more subtlety, certainly, which is what you want in your stories about seven-foot radioactive radgemachines battering each other with fists the size of housing estates.


I have a vague memory of Harvey Pekar writing scripts that way when he started out.


Let me rephrase that: I have a vague memory of seeing either Harvey Pekar or Paul Giamatti as Harvey Pekar roughing out stick figures and text on A4 copy paper and handing them to Robert Crumb/holy crap, James Urbaniak?.



We’re from Brighton, London, Glasgow and Dundee! Bobsy originally hails from the West, tho’.

Thanks for the shout out, folks.

Woah. Bobsy made the comics he wanted to happen… actually happen?!?

Just for the record, the Mindless Ones hail from London, Brighton and Scotland. None of us live in Bristol. Though Bobsy is from Glasto.

My pleasure for the plug. And I did think it was a London/Brighton/Scotland axis, but I’ve never met/don’t know about Bobsy, so – y’know – I wasn’t going to COME IN HARD.

Also, I wouldn’t correct Shaky Kane. Madness.