2023 was quite a big year for me, writing wise. Here’s what I published:
1/ A full issue preview of Frankenstein Monstrance, my new comic with Tam Nation. This is a book about science, journalism, body autonomy, AI, and drone warfare, rooted in Mary Shelley’s creation. Tam is currently drawing #2 and I am writing #3. This will be a four issue series and should be in comic stores world wide in 2025 from IPI Comics.
2/ A short story “Contract Lore” in THIS FRESH HELL, edited by Narrelle M Harris and Katya De Katya de Becerra. This is a horror/comedy about a software startup and a deal with the Devil. A look at big data and surveillance capitalism.
4/ A chapter for the choose-your-own-adventure mystery MURDER YOU WROTE, edited by L.J. M. Owen.
5/ A two part story in THE PHANTOM called “The Pinstripe Wizards” with artist Kay. Set in the 1970s, this story sees the Phantom trying to stop terrorist attack on a rock concert. This story ran in issues #1956 and #1957.
6/ An essay describing Large Language Models in terms of Frankenstein’s monster, published in A VINDICATION OF MONSTERS, edited by Claire Fitzpatrick.
And finally, I ran a successful Kickstarter for my cannibal space opera graphic novel GOURMAND GO, which will be out next year.
Not a bad run, I think. I have my work cut out for me in 2024, although of course one never knows exactly what will be published when.
The other big thing I did in 2023 was… this Substack. Initially, I just wanted to do something a bit more interactive than my old mailing list, but I quickly came to love the platform and I spent a lot more time writing here than I had planned. I tried to be weekly, and was mostly successful at that. Many of the posts here, especially those that deal with the topic of AI, took many many hours to put together and I’m gratified that readers have enjoyed them.
Another side effect of starting this Substack was that I started drawing again, for the first time in many years. While I am unlikely to resume doing full art duties on any comics any time soon this is something I plan to keep doing indefinitely. I’ll write more about this next year.
Next In 2024
I have three short stories under contract, plus I will be printing and shipping Gourmand Go . I’ll probably run another, smaller Kickstarter for a Smiling Damned #2 (you heard it hear first, in the small print).
I’ll also be finishing off a middle grade Science Fantasy novel with Jason Banico, plus more Monstrance and continuing the teleplay-to-comicscript adaptation of a project called VALE OF TEARS, which is a historical fantasy story about Hannibal after he lost his famous campaign in Italy. I’ll talk more about this in future, too.
Finally, BLACKENED SKIES, the sequel to BLOODY WATERS, is just about ready to show around. So, uh, I’m not planning to let up the pace or anything.
It’s been a wild year and I just want to thank you for reading Franksly Speaking—it’s been an unexpected highlight and I’ve got lots more to talk about. I have the next post, which is about deanthropomorphising AI, lined up and ready to go, but I’ll probably keep that until after the holiday break.
I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing break and a happy New Year. See you killers in 2024!