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Hi fellow Deviants,

Having completed my final story for Jimbot - a prose story called Don't Read This, scheduled to appear in a future issue of Amazing and Fantastic Tales - I am now up to date on all contractual obligations. This means I can concentrate on my own projects for the foreseeable future without the threat of looming deadlines.

I have several self-penned comics on the go at the moment: Figments - a psychological sci-fi (psy-fi?) about a girl trapped in her own nightmare subconscious, Progeny of the Lost - a steampunk fantasy, and Blood - a family drama disguised as a vampire story. In addition to these projects, I am also beginning to outline a story about a girl whose imaginary alter-ego becomes a separate person with psychotic tendencies. The WIP title is simply Alter-Ego for now.

Due to problems beyond my control, Hollow Girl will not be published through either Blackline or Evil Moose. While I wish all concerned with those companies good luck in the future, I found my time working with them frustrating and dissatisfying. I should stress that the problem was not with the book, which was completed on time and seemed to get everyone very excited, but with the publishers' inability to deliver what they'd promised. I am currently negotiating with British small press companies to find new homes for Hollow Girl and future projects. Figments and Progeny of the Lost have already generated interest, but I'll keep the identity of the potential publishers under my hat for now. I've been burned before, as you know.

Luke Cooper
  • Listening to: Galadriel
  • Reading: Seize The Night by Dean Koontz
  • Watching: Penny Dreadful
  • Playing: Guitar
  • Eating: Too much cheese
  • Drinking: Tea
So I've returned to DeviantArt to find a stack of messages and unviewed images from friends. Sorry about that, everyone. I don't come around these parts too often. These days, I tend to show off my art on my website, midwintercreations.weebly.com, and communicate with fellow creators in Facebook.

Here's the news in brief: 

GoodCopBadCop has been snaffled by Rough Cut and has been collected as a graphic novel called Casebook #1 with an introduction by the mighty John Wagner, co-creator of Judge Dredd. It has been getting good reviews and we are all very happy with it. Work on book 2 is underway and I think the art is even better, but perhaps I'm not the one to judge.

Deadlines ended up being published in Amazing and Fantastic Tales #1, published by Planet Jimbot, but the version on my website has been given a bit of a polish and so is still the definitive one.

Hollow Girl was completed on deadline for a halloween 2013 release, but problems at Blackline comics has delayed the release until February - March 2014. If this doesn't happen for whatever reason, I will find a new publisher when the contract expires at the end of June.

I have started work on a new comic called Figments with an eye to serialise it through Evil Moose. They have a great anthology title called Moose Crossing which would be perfect. I've already had The Bounty Hunter published in its pages. I'm not sure about the collected edition of Figments. I'm thinking of doing an Evil Moose version for American readers and a British version.

And that's pretty much everything. Thanks for reading and for the generous positive comments and notes.

Luke Cooper 
  • Listening to: Tesseract
  • Reading: The Milkweed Triptych
  • Watching: The Ricky Gervais Show
  • Playing: PS2
  • Eating: Less
  • Drinking: Tea
Not too long ago, I was working on a horror serial for Murky Depths magazine called A Glimpse of Hell. Thematically a mixture of crime and horror, it was essentially one long story made up of three arcs: The Dark Gospel, The Wrath of God and The Last Precinct. To break up these arcs, I wrote a few one-off Glimpses that were intended to simply be fun, action packed incidents. Murky Depths, as a mixture of prose and comic strip, was aimed at an audience that craved more substance in their reading material and so was probably not the best outlet for these kinds of stories. While A Glimpse of Hell had its share of dramatic twists and shocking revelations, I didn't feel it was necessary for every story to be told that way. Sometimes I just wanted to draw a pretty girl with guns fighting monsters.

I decided to write a comic that would allow me to concentrate on the elements that didn't fit so well in Murky Depths. Because I was working on several other projects, it took a while for the strip to take shape. Finally, I came up with Deadlines...

"Nicola Huddleston is a reporter for The Sunday World News, one of Britain's most notorious rags. While her fellow journalists are content to print lies and fantasy, Huddleston actively investigates the most bizarre and terrifying stories, daring to confront the monsters that lurk in the shadows of human comprehension. Motivated by dark memories and armed with a dry sense of humour and an SLR camera, Huddleston lives the stories that no one will ever believe."

The artwork will be intentionally minimalist and the writing will attempt to recapture the instinctual style of my earlier work. That is largely because Deadlines is being written and drawn alongside other projects, a panel snatched here and there. That is why I have decided to follow the example set by 2000 AD's Simon Fraser and present the strip in page-by-page instalments on the Midwinter Creations website. Working in that way will allow me feel the progress of the story almost at the same time as the reader. I love the idea of not knowing exactly where the plot is going. The time consuming nature of comic work means that such spontaneity is rare. It will be an interesting experiment.
  • Listening to: Korn
  • Reading: Punisher
  • Watching: Life
  • Playing: PS2
  • Eating: Chocolate
  • Drinking: Tea
Hi all,

Just a quick entry, as the actress said to the bishop. I've finally got a website of sorts published. It is mainly concerned with my newer projects, largely because I think my recent artwork is better than my older stuff. Here's the address: midwintercreations.weebly.com/

Luke Cooper
  • Listening to: 36 Crazyfists
  • Reading: Judge Dredd: Necropolis
  • Watching: Lord of the Rings
  • Playing: Megadrive/Genesis Games
  • Eating: Chocolate
  • Drinking: Tea
Hi all,

Two stories, Hollow Girl and the newly completed Bounty Hunter, have now been sent to Blackline comics. They seem to like what I'm doing and have even offered me work on a new script: a 48 page one-shot with a supernatural horror theme. It looks like it could be fun and a challenge as it is to be presented in full colour. I am more used to working in black and white, but relish the opportunity to try something different. It was the ghost image that led them to believe I could do the job.

The new style I was working with has been abandoned in favour of the more familiar older style. There is something theraputic about the painstaking accuracy of it that I still enjoy.

The cartoon Were-whatever story has been put on the back-burner for a while until I hear whether or not the grant is forthcoming.

The novel continues slowly. Some days, I can write for hours and others I can barely stitch a sentence together.

Luke Cooper
  • Listening to: Dark Knight Soundtrack
  • Reading: Wolf In Shadow by David Gemmel
  • Watching: Tales of the Unexpected
  • Playing: James Bond: Bloodstone
  • Eating: Cola Bottles
  • Drinking: Tea
Hello all,

Hollow Girl - the five page supernatural revenge comic - is now in the capable hands of Blackline comics and I am awaiting news as to whether or not it will make it into their new anthology title. While I am confident that they like the story, the fact that they have extended their submission deadline is a little worrying. Could this mean that they haven't had enough submissions to fill the book? It's a long to wait to find out, the new deadline being January.

Were-Pup - now in danger of having its name changed once again, this time to Wolf-Boy - is proving to be hard work. We co-author and I have applied for a grant to make the title into an educational book for Slovak students that are learning English. I am still drawing the strip as we wait, confident that we will find an outlet even if the grant falls through, but with an eye on pursuing other projects at the same time.

I have been working on a new style of drawing - one that will be faster and better suited to my horror comic strips. Hollow girl will probably be the last strip I draw with the the old inking and shading styles. As nice as it is, I can't help but feel it is at odds with the subject matter. A rougher style feels like the way to go.

I have recently rediscovered an abandoned novel manuscript. I don't know what made me give up the first time because it reads well to me now. I rewrote what I had and am now continuing from where I left off previously. With only a few pages of the first chapter written, it's nothing to get excited about just yet, but I feel confident that it will be a nice piece of work once it is finished. The plan is to write a trilogy of novels, but that all depends on the length of this first story.

Thanks for reading,

Luke Cooper
  • Listening to: Machine Head - Unto the Locust
  • Reading: PunisherMax
  • Watching: The X Files
Hello all,

The pictures I have been bombarding you all with all recently come from a comic strip called 'Hollow Girl', a supernatural revenge story with ghosts, guns and a girl in a mask. The strip is eight pages long at the moment, but can be made a lot shorter as it is currently laid out in what I think of as a Marvel style; lots of big panels to show off the action. I have presented 'Hollow Girl' to the editors of a couple of anthology titles. If they don't feel the strip works for their publications, I may try to put my own title together using a few unpublished strips including 'Little Devil', which I am still extremely fond of.

Next, I am thinking of putting together a graphic novel to help younger readers learn English. This is an idea I have been playing with for a while, knowing that I would be moving to Slovakia. The hard part for me is to hold my usual instincts at bay. I can't fall back on the usual girls with guns stories that I love so much with this book. The first script has been written and I am quite pleased with it. The language is basic with even sound effects spelt correctly - "growl" instead of "grrrr" and "bang" instead of "blam". There is no word in the dialogue or effects that cannot be found in a good dictionary. Even so, the book will have a vocabulary guide in the back just in case. The first story is called 'Were-Cub' and, as the title suggests, is about a young boy who becomes a werewolf. Can he escape the werewolf tracker known only as The Huntsman? The school in which I teach English offers grants for personal projects that would benefit the school so I may even be able to get help financing the book's publication.

Fingers crossed,

Luke Cooper
  • Listening to: Sepultura
  • Reading: Dean Koontz - Cold Fire
  • Watching: 4400
  • Playing: Zero Tolerance
I have just moved to Slovakia to teach English! Not that that will stop me from drawing. I have several ideas that I am pursuing including a children's book and a new horror serial. Watch this space.
  • Listening to: Once (Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  • Reading: H. P. Lovecraft
  • Watching: The Crazies
  • Playing: Streets of Rage 3
  • Drinking: Smadny Mnich
Hi all,

I have just completed work on a three-page strip entitled Little Devil. Drawn in a cartoon-style, it is the story of a little girl called Hannah Fawn who finds herself able to conjure hellfire at will after the Devil's botched attempt at demonic possession. Now the Devil is trapped inside young Hannah, held by her superior strength of will. But his favourite disciple will stop at nothing to release his master and uses his dark energy to raise a mini-army to send against the self-dubbed Little Devil.

Now my Little Devil needs a home. If you know of an anthology title that this story may suit then please get in contact. In addition, I feel Little Devil could potentially be a good serial or comic series and anyone who decides to print this first adventure would of course have first-refusal on any further stories.

Low resolution versions of the completed pages can be found in my pictures.

Thanks for reading,

Luke Cooper
  • Listening to: Adam and Joe Podcasts
  • Reading: The QI Book of the Dead
  • Watching: Jekyll, Torchwood
  • Eating: Cheap chocolate
  • Drinking: Various ales
Recently, I decided to drop any potential projects for other writers and editors and decided to concentrate on my own projects. It is a risk, but a calculated one. The desperate need to get my work in print has faded now and I the weight of deadlines has been lifted. That means that I have been lazy over the festive period.

Despite this, I have not been entirely idle. I have started developing a comic aimed at all ages (which means children, but you don't want to alienate older readers with a fondness for gentler material). It is called Little Devil and is about a ten-year-old girls who is given the powers of a demon in a botched ritual. Mischief becomes heroism as she turns her new powers against her evil stepfather, the head of the cult that intended to use her as a vessel for the demon.

Meanwhile, the idea for a new horror comic continues to brew. I just need to scratch my cartoon itch first.
  • Listening to: Soundgarden, Fear Factory, Korn
  • Reading: Mark Gatiss
  • Watching: Primeval, Sherlock, X Files, The 4400, Due South
  • Playing: Guitar
  • Drinking: Various ales
I am lurching forward.

Attending the BICS event (British International Comics Show) was not as fruitful as I had hoped but I did meet a few people that could help provide outlets for my work. Now, if I can just get the buggers to answer their emails...

Regardless, I have submitted a script to Future Quake and am about halfway through a short story, my first piece of prose work. Sticking closer to the style I used for Murky Depths, I am planning a one-shot crime/horror comic. Because I am not a big vampire fan, I think I can write a very different take on the sub-genre, one involving drugs and cops.

And blood, of course. Lots of blood.
  • Listening to: Alice in Chains, Porcupine Tree
  • Reading: Dean Koontz
  • Watching: Futurama
  • Playing: Guitar
My Glimpse of Hell serial for the award winning Murky Depths magazine is about to come to end. It's been fun, but eventually it had to stop somewhere. In truth, after the graphic novel had been completed there wasn't really anywhere left to go. Still, I'm glad that we will get to see Holly and Eddie (a succubus and her pet human) epilogue after the b-movie tribute, Atlantean God.

I have found that a sudden flood of new ideas has hit me since I decided to call it a day on A Glimpse of Hell thereby proving that I was stifling myself by limiting my ideas. Creatively then, it is the beginning of something new and exciting, but equally terrifying and uncertain because I no longer have the guarantee of having my work appear in Murky Depths. The plan is to bombard other publications with my scripts and strips and, in doing so, ensure that different audiences get to see my work.

The problem with the serial was that I bludgeoned people into indifference with the same-old-same-old for three years. Also, it monopolised my time, pushing all of my other potential projects into an if-I-have-time indefinite holding pattern.

Am I scared?

Oh yes.

Delightfully so.
  • Listening to: Mudvayne
  • Reading: Dean Koontz
  • Watching: The Haunting in Connecticut
  • Drinking: Becks
My horror graphic novel, A Glimpse of Hell, and one-shot comic, Mengele's Brain, are still available. A chain-smoking, foul-mouthed angel takes on a host of demonic adversaries with Tim Bradstreet-style artwork.I have just uploaded examples of artwork from both titles. Check out murkydepths.com to order the titles. I think of Halo, the main protagonist in both titles, as the off-spring of Hellboy and Tank Girl with John Constantine as her babysitter. Or something.

Luke
  • Listening to: Nirvana
  • Reading: Dean Koontz
  • Watching: I Am Legend