Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Unseen Shadows

It seems there's a new Empire Builder out there in the realm of British indie and small press comics 'Bullwhip' Barry Nugent (aka The Nuge) is striking out like Hannibal himself. (When I say "Hannibal" I mean this guy. Well, maybe a little bit of this guy, but definitely not this guy

Faithful SPBMers will be aware of Barry's bestselling novel Fallen Heroes and the comics adaptation thereof and in the last SPBM we mentioned Barry's new website devoted to the spin-offs, multimedia and general expanded universe of Fallen Heroes - Unseen Shadows. From the introduction on the site:

Originally [the novel] Fallen Heroes was called Unseen Shadows but the more I worked on the story the more I felt that the title was a little too overarching to fit one book. I knew I was going to tell this one huge adventure spread over three books and so Unseen Shadows became the overall theme for that story.
Now with the ongoing work to expand the world and characters I’ve created via the mediums of comics, audio and live action  it made sense to bring the term ‘Unseen Shadows’ more to the forefront.

Things are fair cooking away there at the moment. Four spin-off comics have been announced so far. They are:

The Reverend: Wrath of God by Cy Dethan, Steve Penfold and Gat Melvyn

Napoleon Stone and the Fragments of Fate by Pete Rogers and Roy Huteson Stewart

Stephanie Conisbee in Operation: Solomon by Richmond Clements & Conor Boyle

Clancy Wallencheck: Band of Butchers by Dan Thompson, Robert Carey and Vicky Stonebridge

That's a damned impressive line-up of talent there I think you'll agree. But what are the spin-offs? Again I'll quote Barry from the site:

"The spin-offs expand and enhance the characters lives and relationships within the novels. Although the books and the spin offs can be read and enjoyed independently of each other you will get more insights into the characters by experiencing all the stories across the Unseen Shadows universe."

Barry is currently working on the sequel novel to Fallen Heroes - Forgotten Warriors - has this amazing group of talent working on his characters influenced his new novel at all? That's a good question and I'd ask him if he hadn't already answered it himself on the site. He says:

"I found myself subconsciously referencing events in the spin-off scripts as if they were canon and then the thought occurred to me ‘Why don’t I just make them canon’.  So now every member of the creative team knows that their material is 100% a part of the Unseen Shadows universe and not just a nice little side story with no impact on the events surrounding it."

Fascinating stuff! And for art whores like me there are regular treats and updates on the site including character posters by Steve Penfold and early character sketches by Rob Carey for Band Of Butchers as well as sneak previews of inked pages and cover art.

Barry plans for Unseen Shadows stretch beyond novels and comics and into live action and audio dramas too. In fact he just announced today that he is "Very excited to have have just co-written my first audio drama script which is an Unseen Shadows spin off with Alan White. Tales of the Fallen: Empire of Blood episode 1 is on the way." 

How cool is that? And from the sound of things The Nuge is just getting warmed up!

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