Well she’s had to slum it in the dust and mud with nothing but a jumpsuit and a bunch of guns for company, she’s battled her way through a burning building and now not only are there yet more bad guys to kill Alan is about to have his throat slit.
Brilliant. Just..brilliant. Those guys had better hope that Bernadette isn’t on her period right now!
Welcome to issue 3 and I got to say that I am so BLOODY EXCITED now that we’re back on the main storyline! Really looking forward to the next four or five pages as they are possibly some of my favourites thus far.
Uh oh! Do I detect a link to a previous wardrobe malfunction? I’m not one to drop hints but the evidence is pretty damning.
I think this side story is one of my best yet and Jules really is pulling out all the stops to make it as awesome as possible. This page thus in my opinion is really good. I’m a real big fan of it as you might be able to tell so I’m looking forward to the other five pages in this side story.
On the book front, I’m going to order the books in the next two weeks. I’m ordering through FAM who are based in Bristol and did a stand up job of my Webcomic Thing books back in February. They also allow any number of weird and wonderful orders from 1 to 100 which is nice for me and nicer for all you who have put down hard earnt dollars, euro or even Aussie plastic currency and suffered the indignity of having it all converted into Her Majesty’s monopoly money in order to pre-order.
The book is still in pre-order phase however so please if you want one let me know!
Ah the glorious sight of cowboy mercenaries and their untimely demise! There is no easier and quicker way of destroying local trust and respect than having a bunch of idiots driving around randomly shooting at people. It draws attention and also makes the people you’re trying to help hate you in the process. There are stories of rival mercenary outfits attacking each other from time to time in order to secure lucrative contracts.
It isn’t all like that however, the norm is usually some very good chaps who do their job successfully but I thought I’d seek to highlight the difference between the good and the plain bad.
Its been a few busy weeks here at Hard Graft towers and we’ve more or less finished it. I’m going to order ten books and when they’re all printed and sent out to me I’ll send them out to the nice people who ordered them!
And in true shambolic fashion Hard Graft is BACK!
Sorry but I forgot to do anything beyond adding the page which I did last week when Jules delivered the page to me. I’m making up for it now so chill winston. Happily we have another 7 pages of this arc to go yet
A lot of this advice is true. A lot of people think of chaps wearing mostly black with large flack/kevlar jackets with sunglasses toting expensive looking assault rifles screaming around in armoured 4x4s.
The reality is actually completely different. Competent private security people tend to be ultra low key, tend to spend days and sometimes weeks scouting their surroundings before the start of a job and many prefer to use whatever weapon they can get their hands on. The more expensive, the more likely someone (Taliban or Afghan Police) will want to kill you for it it seems.
If you want some advice, go pick up “The Circuit” by former SAS man Bob Shepherd. The man has spent a lot of time escorting various people around in the West Bank, Iraq and Afghanistan and knows exactly what he’s talking about.
And it isn’t looking too good for poor old Yuri now, is it? Alan probably wanting to put the guy out of his misery and considering the state of the guy’s knee I don’t blame him!
After this side story we’ll be going into a period of hiatus until June. The reasons for this are twofold:
- I am going on holiday to Japan and need to save some money.
- The current economic conditions are making the process of running a comic harder.
My aim is to go into a process of posting what we’ve been doing behind the scenes, some donation art and general filler. Also I’m going to be doing a caption competition which will start on next monday by the latest.
Also ALL BOOKS HAVE NOW BEEN SOLD! Please do not try and send me “moar moneys” as I will have to tearfully return it with a tear in my heart
Thanks to everyone who bought them online and at the Webcomix Thing 2010 on Saturday, especially the guy who bought the last one who looked down at me staring at him with sad-puppy-angel-in-the-snow eyes ;.;
If there is enough demand, I’d be up for doing another print run of about 10 books. Maybe. I have enough postcards, magnets and badges left to sweeten the deal anyway.
Now, the Webcomix Thing 2010! How did that go? Well…
Had a phenominal response at the Webcomix Thing 2010. Met lots of people such as Sarah Burrini, Veronika Mischitz & the Zwerchfell crew, John Jenkins, the venerable Noel Curry and many many more! I even managed to get (vaguely) near Tom Siddell and gave him a postcard which was sadly instantly taken away by a lackey. Such is life.
Friend and James May look-a-like Bill Boy is planning a webcomic apparently. Huge thanks to him and Steve Dismukes for helping out all day!
The other good news from the Webcomix Thing 2010 is that I SOLD OUT OF MY BOOKS! ALL OF THEM! HONEST! The bad news therefore is that there aren’t any books left. Sorry guys, I may start a pre-order for those who couldn’t get their orders in on time.
Edit (1PM the next day):
Wow, I was quite drunk earlier this morning. Still feel a little tipsy now but I’m still buzzing. Absolutely ecstatic that I sold out and even sold some buttons and magnets.
In other news because I’m amazing/a total spacker, I forgot to bring my stickers! This meant that when the people who had been given Dino-saw-us Passports passed by from time to time I had to improvise so I drew:
- A smiley face
- An angry face
- A head with a fez on it
- A head with a bomb on it.
- A head with a top hat and monocle on it
- A lumberjack baby seal cutting down a tree for a Canadian (arf! arf!)
- A stick man hanging onto a windmill with clogs on smoking cannabis for a Dutch lady.
- At least three blocks of steel for Sheffield people.
- Hacksaw Jim duggan smiley face (complete with 2 x 4 and “USA! USA! USA!”) for an American.
- Noel & Liam from Oasis having a brawl for a Mancunian.
All in all I think that went pretty well..
So we start to see more of the story emerge! Can’t be that hard to spot a blue cargo container surely?
Sorry chaps, currently at work but I may/may not have something to show you around 8pm GMT tonight
Update 21:00 GMT:
Yeah well here was the big announcement I was going to make aaaand:
…nobody was in, I was at work, etc. Tomorrow however people will be in and I’ll have some to show for all this waiting you guys have been doing! It’ll be worth it, promise. Also I’ve got a competition that will hopefully tie into tomorrow’s announcement and it’ll involve:
And so thats why you shouldn’t lie to ol’ Uncle Alan. Because he’ll make sure that you’ll be limping for the rest of your life.
Another week and another page in what is turning out to be my favourite side story yet! Its been really enjoyable so far but there is more joy (and woe) on the horizon. First the joy.
The books should be arriving either sometime this week or the beginning of next week. If you want a book you can either buy one from me in person at the 2010 Webcomix and Small Press expo in Mile End, London on the 27th of March or you can just e-mail me and we’ll sort it out. I’ve only got 35 so £2.50 in person or £4 to be posted abroad. All orders should (fingers crossed) get a free postcard, badge and fridge magnet! Everyone loves fridge magnets.
Now the bad news. Recently the UK has been buffeted by what can only be described as political indecision. And its this which has spooked the financial world which in response to this indecision has been gradually devaluing Sterling against the Dollar and the Euro. Last year the Dollar was worth about $1.65 to the Pound which was a great rate and enabled me to run this comic. Today however it is barely $1.48 to the Pound which is frankly hurting me.
Obviously despite being almost near parity, switching to the Euro is not an option as the exchange rate between the Euro and the Dollar is even worse at $1.30 to the Euro.
I’ve had a chat with both German and Jules and we’re going to wait until the 24th of March when the UK Budget is announced and see how the markets react. If there is serious action to deal with the UK’s economic woes and the markets give it a thumbs up and the pound gains strength against the Dollar then happy days. If not then I’m going to have to put the comic on hiatus until things improve.
In any case, because I’m flying off to Japan for three weeks I’m going to put the comic on hiatus in May anyway. This is all very tough for me as I really want to keep going with this and I look at the scripts every day and dream of how awesome they’re going to be when I share them with you on this site. I’m going to get my books and I’m going to show them to my Mum and Dad and say “look what I’ve been doing with friends” and they’re going to love it. So its killing me that I have to stop it because of the current situation.
If the exchange rate improves over the next 10 days I’ll keep you updated and so on. Until then, lets hope things improve eh?
As we all know, Yuri wouldn’t like it when Alan is angry but of course we’d love it. Go on Yuri, tell him where to go I dares ya!
I’ve got some good news for those who want to be in the know: I’ve ordered the books. A very limited run but the cost is quite low so if the demand were there and I had taken pre-order moneys I could be tempted to order some more. I must stress also that these are primarily for the Webcomix Thing 2010 convention however and if I sell out then I will need to see a serious show of faith from the fans if they want a taste.
When they arrive I’ll explain futher and add photos.
In other news, webcomic writing idol Krazy Krow has started a new story and this time he’s crossed into superheroing with Spinnerette featuring a heroine in a very dapper Spider Woman-esque outfit. Krow states that this is just a one off but may continue it if he builds a big enough readership. Guys give the man a hand!
Recently I’ve been watching some superb television such as:
- Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979): the original and best and probably the best thing Sir Alec Guinness ever appeared in. Most people remember poor Sir Alec as the elderly Obi Wan (something which dogged the Shakespearian Actor until his death) but he really made the mild mannered, ultra intelligent and calm English gentleman spy George Smiley. The entire series is on YouTube if you want to watch it.
- Red Riding (2009): very easy to write this off as yet another crime drama but this three part-er covering muder, police brutality and corruption in Yorkshire between 1974 and 1985 is really underrated and holds possibly some of the best acted, directed and emotionally charged scenes in 2009 including a scene where a mentally disabled man stands in a courtroom being charged with murder, barely unable to understand or even comprehend what exactly is going on. Really gripping and powerful stuff and Sean Bean’s part is absolutely epic.
- The Thick of it (2007 onwards): Probably agreed to be the anti-West Wing. As depressing and hilariously cynical as its American counterparts are hopeful and positive it continues to enthral me with the swearing and the deceptive and subtle plots which show a serious political web ever-changing underneath all the witty and bunker-busting one liners.
Yes, well, we all saw that coming.
Well manipulating traffic lights, paying off the local police and trapping him between a rock and a hard place are all part of the job for these two although their methods do diverge slightly depending on their backgrounds. As for our Bratva man his day has gone from bad to worse. I hope his car is still there when/if he gets back.
Here in the UK, snow has given way to grim reality: rain. Things are pretty damp at the moment with all those lucky, lucky guys up north in Scotland getting all the snow and the 2,000m avalanches that come with it. Apparently Glencoe has more snow than any other resort in the world right now! All great fun. I could imagine people in Kent skiing on the South Downs back when it was really snowbound a couple of months ago.
Fan map update! Yet more people flood onto the map like they’re trying to get the last ‘chopper out of Saigon! So hello to Omegus in Iowa USA, HP & Jeff in Berlin Germany and Luke in the capital of billiards: Sheffield.
Alan likes his cars but Alan likes Jags the most. I remember yeaaaaaars ago when a mates Dad had bought himself a 1991 Jaguar XJS convertable and it was a triumph of hope and ambition over grim reality (i.e. reliability) and it even included this HAL-esque road distance computer which apparently could calculate how far the car could go on its current tank of fuel at its current speed. In practice however if you even looked at the accelerator pedal with a full tank the computer with its orange 1980s analog display would blurt out “0 MILES REMAINING” or something like that. Hilarious.
Thankfully things have improved at Castle Bromwich but it was those hilarious 20 odd years which probably defined Jaguar and the British motor industry in the modern age which is sad because look at any list of the highest quality and most productive car plants in the world and you’ll see Honda’s plant in Swindon, Nissan’s plant in Sunderland and BMW’s plant in Oxford.
In other news, if all goes well there should be a new Pond to Pond up on the site and this week we welcome back Alan Evans from Rival Angels!