Saturday, 21 April 2018

Quite A Lot Of People Know That

Whilst I'm scrabbling around for reviews for my recently released 'Navel Navigators' novel, I thought it might be handy to come armed with some sales figures for my previous book 'Not A Lot Of People Know That' (written by myself and Frank Burton/F.J. Riley).

Up until this week, I hadn't a clue how many copies of the free humorous 'facts' book had been downloaded, and I don't think Frank had really looked into it either.  So it came as something of a surprise to discover that, to this date, we've had over a quarter of a million downloads.  That's, uh, rather a lot isn't it?  Especially since we did very little to promote it (my main attempt at promotion involved hollering 'Squirrels don't have knees!!!' out of a bus window at passers by).  Most of the downloads occurred in 2011/2012, which we like to call our 'viral' period, when we were getting around 100,000 downloads a year.  It's now slowed to a thin trickle, but the book still remains in the top ten 'free humour' books chart on iBooks.

Much as I'd love to share our recipe for success, I think a lot of it comes down to luck.  When Frank (who was the driving force behind the book, even though my name comes first) came up with the idea of writing a made up fact book, he wanted the majority of the facts to be almost believable (eg: 'The Amazon contains at least five lost tribes of television documentary crews, three of which were originally sent in to document the lives of the other two').  This created a very polarised audience for the book (as anyone who's read the praise/death threats on iBooks and B&N will be aware) and resulted in hundreds of reviews from people who were keen to either vent their frustration at the facts not actually being true, or praise the book for making them laugh.  NLPKT (as I shall abbreviate the title from now on) has received over 80 five star reviews, and just as many one star reviews; the front page for NLPKT on iBooks at this moment begins with a 5 star review that states 'The funniest book I have ever read', immediately followed by a 1 star review that states 'Worth reading - if you are five, or an idiot'.  There were people who stated they felt 'a little bit more knowledgable' after reading the book, and others who mentioned it was being used by teachers in certain US schools (huge apologies if we're in any way responsible for the rise of Donald Trump!).

We tried to leave many clues that the facts inside the book were blatant falsehoods; categorising it as 'fiction' and 'humour' was certainly a rather large hint (though I've noticed it's been accidentally categorised as 'factual' in some digital stores, which may have helped fan the flames of reader discontent).  The front cover has a picture of some 'pants' on fire, and many of the facts were just too damned ridiculous to be true (seriously, if you have a headache, please do not try and coax a monkey to urinate directly into your mouth.  This will NOT cure it).  Then again, life does have a habit of imitating art, and some of the more outlandish facts in the book - such as the one about the surgeon who keeps leaving rude messages on patients internal organs - have actually come true.

I'm curious as to whether NLPKT would have been such a success if we'd gone with the books original title of 'Made Up Facts' (which we sadly had to change, once we realised the abbreviation was 'MUF').  I mean, you can't really give the readers a bigger hint than that, can you?

Anyway, given the success of NLPKT, I've suggested to Frank that we perhaps get working on a special Amazon collected version which would combine the best 'facts' from books 1 and 2, and add a lot of new material (possibly illustrations, if I can find an artist who's up for the challenge).  I doubt the print version will be quite as successful as the free digital book, but it'll be nice to see how far we can push it.  With any luck we'll manage to get the collected works out before all the facts inside come true!

In the meantime, Frank has a 'Ragbag' comedy podcast that he's currently producing, which has a similar flavour to NLPKT (he's already successfully managed to enrage Bono fans, so he must be doing something right).  You can check it out here:

Saturday, 7 April 2018

100% Biodegradable 20 is out now!

Well, slap me with a ten tonne trout and call me Kenneth!  We've only gone and reached our 20th issue.  Champiooooon!!!
To celebrate that particular milestone, issue 20 is an absolute whopper; 48 pages, at the same low price of 69p/$0.99.  And it's jam-packed with more than 20 creators, and lashings of wonderful carnage!

And who better to kick off the carnage-fest than Alan ruddy Grant himself, alongside Alan ruddy Burrows, with their legendary 'Funguys'.  Watch them gatecrash the Last Supper, with sobering consequences! (based on a true story, no doubt)

Also inside issue 20: A lowly cleaner deals with major abandonment issues after everyone in the entire world leaves for a different time line, in 'Time Waits' by David Hailwood, Gary O' Donnell, Anne-Marie-Webb and Ken Reynolds. 
An alcoholic orc and his overweight companion attempt to tap into the unexplored market of Beer Beards in 'Rubbernorc: Vital Delivery' by Paul Eldridge, Brett Burbridge and Ken Reynolds. 

A caveman discovers the future's not all it's cracked up to be in 'Wrong Time, Wrong Place' by Chris Sides, Rory Donald and Ken Reynolds. 
Steampunk scientists attempt to cook up a popular new alternative to the Pseudo Lab Rat in 'Pet Peeve' by Ken Reynolds and Jordi Perez Estevez. 

Up against a deadly alien peril, the crew of the Skow unleash the full might of their secret Scottish weapon in 'Skowdogs' by John Freeman, David Hailwood, Dave Thomson and Ken Reynolds. 
On a vastly overpopulated earth, two government agents attempt to keep the population in check and rack up a hefty kill bonus in 'Supply and Demand' by David Hailwood and Tony Suleri. 

An android underdog bites off more than he can chew in 'Rumblebot Rampage' by Tim West and Edward R. Norden. 

A security operative on the late shift begins to suspect strange things are afoot in 'Elevator' by Tomek Kontny and Mikolaj Ratka. 

A nervous rabbit fears the universe is out to get him in 'Tense' by Pablo Iten and Ktaiwanita.

The digital anthology is 48 pages, colour and B/W, and suitable for readers aged 15+ (due to a hint of blood and gore)

You can buy it at the following places (with ComiXology soon to follow):





"A "must read" for all lovers of sci-fi and fantasy comics." - Haydn Hades, AP2HYC

"The kind of smart script and stylish art that would feel right at home in the pages of the galaxys greatest comic!" Alex Thomas, Pipedream Comics

"Good old fashioned sci-fi escapism, and the art of Tony Suleri is worth the entrance fee alone" Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Sales Galore!

Over the Easter period, you can grab a comic bundle containing issues 1-12 of the digital sci-fi comic anthology '100% Biodegradable' on Drivethru Comics for just $3 (or less, if you already own any of those issues on Drivethru)

If you prefer print to digital comics, issues 1-3 of the 100% Biodegradable Collection is available in a '3 for the price of 2' bundle. That's 350+ pages of sci-fi comic carnage!

Looking for something with more words and less pictures? My debut Children's Comedy Fantasy novel 'The Last Of The Navel Navigators' has been reduced to just 99p on Kindle in most Amazon stores (apart from USA, currently). 45,000 words of magical bellybutton poking hillbilly action! Just click the universal link below to be taken to your country's store.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

The Last Of The Navel Navigators is out now!

Once upon a time, there was a mad-eyed tea drinking Englishman who wrote down some crazy, feverish scribblings involving a young hillbilly with a magic bellybutton, who travels the universe with his goat, Brian.
Those very same scribblings were awarded a distinction at the university of Chichester, as part of a creative writing MA, which goes to show that even distinguished lecturers love a stinky old goat (and wizards. Let's not forget the overweight wizard whose beard is infested with pixies!)

Anyway, that same aforementioned mad-eyed tea drinking Englishman (with a rather dashing beard - no pixies in this one!) has finally managed to wrangle all the scribblings together into the form of a children's book, which goes by the title: 'The Last Of The Navel Navigators'. It is now available to buy (in print, and digital) on Amazon, Kindle, Kobo, iBooks, Nook and a few other places. You can even read a short sample taken from the first two chapters on some of those sites.

Here's the blurb...

"Discovered in a swamp and raised by hillbillies, Jellybean 'Gator Bait' Skratcher soon learns he has the astounding ability to open portals to other worlds, using his bellybutton.

He sets out on an epic adventure across a hostile universe, led by a scatterbrained stork who's made it his mission in life to deliver Jellybean to the right parents, or die trying.

But when your best friend's a goat, and your greatest hope for survival relies solely upon a talentless magician who can only do card tricks, nothing is likely to go as planned!" So, dust off your pyjamas, grab yourself a goat, and get poking that bellybutton! It's time to embark upon the ultimate hillbilly bellybutton odyssey!

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Hold on to your Time Hat, folks!

Coming to issue 20 of 100% Biodegradable (due out in March) - Time Waits by David Hailwood (Toxic, Sliced Quarterly) and Gary O' Donnell (The Thing art book, Something Wicked) with colours by Anne-Marie Webb and letters by Ken Reynolds.
Time Waits...for all your robo-donkey/rampaging dino needs!

Can't wait for March?  Then check out the back issues on Drivethru here:

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Navel Navigators Covered by Brett

Here's a peek at the three stages of artwork that went into the front cover design for the upcoming 'The Last Of The Navel Navigators' children's novel (in which a young boy with a magic bellybutton sets off on a madcap journey across the universe, without having a clue what he's doing, where he's going or how to get back).

Artwork by the ever brilliant Brett Burbridge.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Death Duty is out now!

Death Duty: Renegade from 100% Biodegradable - On Sale Now!

Death Duty: Renegade is available now in digital or print from DriveThru Comics

In a war-torn future, crime and disloyalty to the Terran Empire are punished with conscription into mercenary law enforcement squads: soldiers consigned to do or die in order to prove their commitment to the common good. 

Those who serve out a full year are entitled to a bonus and financial rewards for their work – and even the opportunity of early amnesty.

Of course, very few survive what is known as DEATH DUTY: the average life expectancy for a recruit is four months…in some cases, much less!

Dissidents in the Terran Empire are put on the infamous List – tracked down by Death Duty squads and terminated for their rebellion with extreme prejudice. 

Described by some as ruthless assassins working with the worst of intentions, Dutymen - and women - see themselves as simply being paid to kill to keep the Empire safe. For most of them, exactly who they kill doesn’t matter – until one of their number, Travis Wilson, begins to question the missions they’re assigned and goes AWOL...a wanted man.

Death Duty: Renegade, the first in a trilogy of stories starring Travis Wilson and Rourke (Rourke created by John Freeman and Liam Sharp) is written by John Freeman (Doctor Who, Judge Dredd Megazine, Black Ops Extreme) with David Hailwood (100% Biodegradable, TOXIC), drawn by Brett Burbridge (Octal, 100% Biodegradable) and lettered by Ken Reynolds (Cognition, Sliced Quarterly)

DEATH DUTY: RENEGADE collects the first full length Death Duty strip first published in 100% Biodegradable, and includes the “lost” first episode planned for an unpublished WarWorldz anthology comic, drawn by Alan Burrows (Dan Dare, Commando).

Edited by Dave Hailwood, the Death Duty: Renegade collection is published by Crucible Press, a new comic imprint established by the team behind the comics website, in partnership with Biomekazoik Press.


“ A ripping yarn that’s hitting all the right beats”
- A Place to Hang Your Cape

"Death Duty has a real throwback feel to it, like a cross between David Lloyd and vintage Alan Grant.”
- Pipedream Comics

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Biodegradable 19 out now on ComiXology!

100% Biodegradable 19 is out now on ComiXology for just 69p!

Featuring mutated Mods, devil-stalking autograph hunters, headless chocolate-addicted robotic assassins, mentally unstable government agents, steampunk traffic wardens, and an alien's close encounter with a Scotsman. Not to mention an eye-gouging crab-tastic cover by Lukasz Kowalczuk.

And in other news, Ken Reynolds currently has a Kickstarter running for the second collection of his experimental comic anthology, Sliced Quarterly.

Featuring contributions from Chris Sides, Simon Mackie, Lukasz Kowalczuk and many more.  Check it out here: