This week's issue of The Phoenix features the story 'Emilie's Turn', written by me and drawn by Kate Brown. You can see the cover above. Please consider this me asking you nicely to PLEASE GO BUY A COPY. Look, I'll make it easy for you, I'll even tell you how and where to get a copy, and everything.
It's a bit of a departure for me - apart from anything else, it's pretty much my first attempt at writing a script for another artist to draw. And I have to say, if you're going to do this, you could do a lot worse than collaborating with Kate Brown, unquestionably one of the most talented comics creators currently working in this country. It has been an amazing and rather wonderful experience for me - I just write down what happens and then, as if by magic, these amazing pages of beautiful artwork appear! Crazy. Seriously, I could get used to this "being a writer" lark.
Anyway, I'm trying to do whatever I can to bang the drum and blow the horns and let people know about the comic, because - well, (a) because I'm really proud of it, but also (b) because I don't want to be having any conversations a month from now where you're all like "oh what, you did a ballet comic? That sounds really cool, I wish I'd heard about it." If you remember a couple of months back I wrote a couple of blog posts on the subject of old Girls' Comics / YA comics, etc - well, anyway, this strip is my best attempt to encapsulate what I was trying to say with all that. Please go and read it. Please go and tell all your friends to read it. Please make it a massive success so that every publisher in the world suddenly starts falling over themselves to make more ballet comics.
And look, without getting into the whole gendering argument: what it comes down to for me is this. We - the comics industry in general, the Phoenix in particular and me personally - tend to do quite a lot for those girls and boys who like stories about exciting adventure and outlandish fantasy and raucous comedy. It seems to me we could do more for those boys and girls who maybe want to read stories about the real world, and ballet, and having a bit of a cry.
Look, here is a lovely review of it already, and everything. See? Now please go buy it.
And if you already did: a massive, genuine, heartfelt: thank you. I hope you enjoyed it.