Thursday, 19 June 2008

Ex Astris: Part Five

I've been involved in some online discussion on creating WebComics over the past few days on a couple of comic creator forums, so I've done a bit of digging around and compiled a brief article for my web site, downthetubes, about Creating WebComics.

It includes some other links I found along the way which may be of interest to would be or indeed existing webcomic creators.

If you've got any thoughts on the subject yourself, please feel free to leave your comments here.

And talking of webcomics, in addition to Ex Astris appearing on ROK Comics, we're also going to be doing a version for the Bulletproof web site, to complement EA's appearance in Bulletproof #2 soon!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Ex Astris Part Four

Trouble below decks aboard the spaceship Armstrong...

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Secrets of Ceres: Character Design

Here's one of Mike's early designs for Sarah Blake, a major character in our three-part story Secrets of Ceres, which will be published later in the year in the brilliant SF comic magazine, Spaceship Away.

The story is set in an earlier time period than the main story running on ROK Comics and as featured in the Homecoming story that will run in Bulletproof #2. Here's the promotional copy for the tale...

By the mid 21st Century, the race to space has been rekindled, borne from both the need for raw materials and a desire to explore. With bases on the Moon, Mars and the asteroids, humankind has truly expanded beyond the confines of home planet Earth... but is this fast expansion driven by other needs, unknown to the general public at large?

By 2040, the major asteroid Ceres had been selected as staging post for the mineral exploitation of the Asteroid Belt, with big corporations paying for the base in return for property rights. By 2050, Ceres base is fully up and running -- moved using giant ram jets into Mars orbit to better exploit its resources.

But beneath the surface of Ceres secrets are about to be uncovered - secrets investigator Sarah Blake may not live to reveal!

John Freeman (writer of The Science Service, and once group editor at Marvel UK) and Mike Nicoll (artist of top adult comic Saffyre Blue) bring their space odyssey Ex Astris to the pages of Spaceship Away, with a tale that sets the scene for a story that spans not just space - but centuries!

Ex Astris Part Three

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Ex Astris Part Two

Ex Astris Part One

• More information on this strip at

About Ex Astris

Ex Astris is a new science fiction adventure created by Mike Nicoll, scripted by John Freeman. The strip will feature in Bulletproof and Spaceship Away later in 2008. It also features on the comics on mobile service ROK Comics.

In the 22nd century it was finally accepted that the Earth was dying due to a combination of factors including global warming, breakdown of the ozone layer, depletion of natural resources and a recent "flipping" of the planet's magnetic fields which will leave the surface open to the solar winds - as scientists now believe happened on Mars.

In response, a global conglomerate funded the construction of the ARK, a city-sized space ship in which is stored genetic samples of all life on Earth, together with the brightest and best of the population - 100,000 of them - all cryogenically frozen. The plan was to launch the ship into a vast eliptical orbit around the solar system, in search of a new habitable planet to colonise.

It is now the 24th century. The Ark is at the end of a 200 year journey, having found a new homeworld for its precious cargo, and is heading back to Earth in order to collect more survivors and transport them to the new world. They have sent a scout ship ahead - THE ARMSTRONG - a military-style ship, about the size of an aircraft carrier.

Her mission is one of reconnaissance - to check the status of Earth and report back to the ARK where decisions will be made about the next stage of the programme.

As the story opens the crew of the "Armstrong" are entering the Solar System on a heading for Earth...