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 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.
And so, now that Alan has made sure his ribs aren’t broken, they conclude hiring negotiations and get down to business. If only all hiring was this awesome.
This concludes side story one. Now what seems to be on people’s minds recently is whats happened to German?! Well I can answer that question!
He’s been hard at work on issue 3 and on Friday and next Monday I’ll have some stuff to show you from what he’s done so far which has been absolutely superb. On top of this he’s been doodling the covers for the Hard Graft limited edition minibook and he also worked overtime to deliver the Kathy needed for the Comic Creators Alliance wallpaper.
Obviously though we all need our Hard Graft fix and at the same time we can work on explaining parts of the story which would otherwise be left to the sidelines. This is where Jules comes in.
In the end its a win win situation. We all get more Hard Graft from two top quality artists. Whats not to love about that?
Also got a few nice things to point out to readers!
We’ve got a Hard Graft Fan Map! If you like Hard Graft and want to tell the world where you are in the world follow the easy instructions to put your mark on the map! Its good fun but I can’t do much about the tiny map size :/
Next we have the formspring.me Hard Graft question widget! Got a question to ask either Prestwick, German or the cast? Then dump it here and we’ll do our best to get back to you. Also listed are previous questions and answers.
The start of a new era! Makes one tear up with excitement!
Meanwhile, Alan seems to be taking exception to being hit around the ribs with bar stools while Bernadette jokes sarcastically/pervs over looking after Alan. The locals however have an altogether different view of the situation.
These Czech bars are awesome. The locals are old and surly and most usually have an angry Scottie or Westie growling at you from his own seat. Something that would send Antoine over at the Drunken Fools into raptures I’d no doubt suspect.
I do apologise for the really late running but I’ve been to Italy over the weekend for a dazzling few days of sights, food, wine and rugby including me dancing like a muppet:
Claaaang indeed! Well if we see a bar stool shaped scar on Alan’s chest we’ll all know where that came from.
Look at that number. Its beautiful isn’t it? It was so beautiful that I went down to Oddbins (a wine shop) and picked up a H Upmann coronas major, poured myself a lovely Highland Park 15 year sat and down to watch the snooker. There I savoured the feeling of a job well done and as I puffed away happily and sipped the taste of sweet success I thought that if anyone had told me this time last year that I would have been the catalyst for a top quality 50 page webcomic I would have laughed, laughed in their faces and told them to pull the other one.
Anyway thats the reason why the comic is an hour late! Fifty pages! Woo!
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