“I’ve wanted to do something that hearkened back to the great British newspaper strips for years,” says Broxton, “and admitted as much to Guy who was as enthusiastic about the idea as I was.”
“There’s something really magical about the form,” agrees Adams, “three panels of rich, mad storytelling, slapped into the eyes of people who probably didn’t usually read comics outside their daily newspapers. They were mad, engaging and subversive.”
Adams and Broxton have been working together for the last year on THE ENGINE, a digital book released by the innovative new company, Madefire.
“Obviously,” says Adams, “Jimmy was already a solid name in comics after his work on books like KNIGHT & SQUIRE and SAUCER COUNTRY but Madefire gave me a chance to finally break into a medium I’ve loved for years. Working with Jimmy on THE ENGINE has been such fun that it was always going to be just a matter of time before we came up with something else we wanted to do together.
Adams is mainly known as a novelist, his books THE WORLD HOUSE and its sequel RESTORATION having been followed by brand new Sherlock Holmes novels for Titan Books, adaptations of classic movies for Hammer Books, weird westerns THE HEAVENS GATE CHRONICLES for Solaris and THE CLOWN SERVICE, a horror/espionage series forthcoming from Del Rey UK.
“It’s such a relief to only be doing half the work now I’m collaborating with Jimmy,” he jokes. “He suggested we come up with a ‘lost’ strip, something that had been devised as competition for MODESTY BLAISE but cancelled due to its content. Originally we were going to present it completely anonymously, the story of the strip’s creators, Antonio Barreti and Louis Schaeffer being as much a part of the overall effect as the newspaper strip itself. Having decided to go the Kickstarter route we’ve had to be a bit more open about it though…”
“God knows what the repercussions would have been otherwise,” agrees Broxton, “when people realised there never was a Goldtiger strip.”
“It’s a shame in a way,” says Adams, “it would have been fun to maintain the illusion. But the background to the strip’s creation, and the way it sent its artist mad is a major part of the overall story. We hope to do a series of these books and readers will realise that the fiction and ‘non-fiction’ elements will soon begin to blur, it’s all part of the one big story.”
Of course, if the Kickstarter project isn’t successful, life may imitate art. Could Goldtiger become ‘lost’ once more?
“We’re really hopeful,” says Broxton, “people have been amazing in their enthusiasm for the idea. But yeah, it’s all a bit nerve-wracking until the funding’s in place.”
To find out more about the project: http://www.kickstarter.com/