You are viewing mrtonylee

Lone Samurai of the Pen and Paper
30 April 2011 @ 12:00 pm

As well as writing a variety of comics and graphic novels, I'm also know for my adapting work, where I would take a book (like Pride & Prejudice and Zombies, or Raven's Gate) and turn them into a comic or graphic novel. But one of the things I'm less known for is my adapting inside a book work - primarily the G.P Taylor Dopple Ganger Chronicles books.

I've known G.P Taylor since 2006 when I adapted Shadowmancer into a series of comics and, in the same year we took a book, then called The Tizzle Sisters And Erik, written by G.P Taylor - and ripped large chunks of it out, adapting them into sequential pages and then putting them back in - the term 'illustronovella' was used quite a lot. It wasn't an original term or even original idea, but the merging of both author prose and sequential comic throughout the book was a great success. So much so that Tyndale Press came on board and everything changed.

Now called the DoppleGanger Chronicles, these stories have now been released as three books, the third coming out this week - each one with story and text by G.P Taylor, and sequential pages adapted by me and drawn by Dan Boultwood.

Now, you might be surprised to hear that we've done this, as the PR for Tyndale prefers to ignore us, as G.P Taylor is the name on the book - which is fine, as long as we get credit for what we do. G.P Taylor himself is very good on this and always makes sure that we're in the loop, and Markosia (who produce the books for Tyndale) always provide the back end support for the book.

But it's one of those things that people simply don't know that I do. Even Amazon keeps flitting on whether I am or am not involved with it.

Either way, it's a great story, Dan's art is brilliant and it's well worth a read.

The Dopple Ganger Chronicles Book 3: The Great Mogul Diamond comes out on the 1st of May. You can order it on Amazon.

 
 
Lone Samurai of the Pen and Paper
19 April 2011 @ 10:27 pm

I have a memory. It's my first memory, actually, of sitting on my father's lap, as the whole family huddled around our tiny colour television to watch a show's finale.

It wasn't any show, it was Doctor Who, a very important show, although at the time I didn't know or understand this. All I knew was that some old white haired guy had some altercation with a giant spider (and, being three years old I certainly didn't use the word altercation) and was dying. Everyone was crying, as he seemed to be changing into someone else, someone with more teeth and curls than he had. Which wasn't death, and was instead something rather confusing. And then, the show over, we all got up and went our separate ways. But I wanted to know what happened next, what happened to that crying girl, Sarah Jane, who seemed to know this Doctor fellow so well?

Several months later I learned what happened - he hadn't died, he'd regenerated. And that crying girl? She was going to travel with him still. And although it was the Doctor who the show was named after, it was Sarah Jane Smith that I followed.

Even after the Hand of Fear, and a departure in Aberdeen of all places, you couldn't keep Sarah Jane Smith down. First there was K.9 and Company which, well, let's just say should be left in peace as well. But then there was The Five Doctors, where Sarah was once again reunited with her white haired Doctor. Then there was a long hiatus, bar a trip to Albert Square for a Children In Need special, with sparse radio plays and stories - and then a triumphant return to form and show, the Tenth Doctor's School Reunion.

I was in St Davids when that show aired, I was at a friend's birthday weekend and I remember, mildly drunk, sitting down with fellow Doctor Who fan Craig Andrews and watching it, silent, for the entire show. And, at the end, when the Doctor and Sarah Jane truly said their final farewells, I'm not ashamed to say that there were tears sliding down my face. Because I had seen my companion again, the one I remembered from the very first time, the one I'd loved like a sister.

And then came The Sarah Jane Adventures, and a whole new cast of adventures. Old Sarah Jane was ready for anything, and she became a regular visitor to the Doctor's TARDIS, foiling evil wherever she saw it with her 'son' Luke (really a clone) and his friends. K.9 appeared every now and then and she even had a 'sonic lipstick', still hoping for that last trip in the TARDIS, but happy with the lot that life had dealt her.

And now she's gone. No regeneration, no season ending cliffhanger.

I only ever met Elisabeth Sladen once, at a UK convention almost two years ago. Doctor Who: The Forgotten was out, and I'd been invited as a guest, and she was there for one day only. She'd been doing the photo parade, for those who don't know that's when the guests stand in front of a camera and one by one the fans who have paid for the privilege walk up, have a photo taken and then walk off. It's quite a tough thing to do, as many of the fans don't even give eye contact, but Liz was a trooper and allowed every single one of them her biggest, brightest smile. And, when this was done she asked if anyone else wanted a picture - and, standing at the front was me, Tony Lee, the boy who remembered the girl with the white haired old man. Shyly I raised my hand, no longer a guest, now back to being that fan, that four year old boy and with a smile she waved me next to her.

I still have the photo. I never scanned it, or uploaded it to the Internet. It was too personal, something from my childhood that was too precious to share with just everyone. Every now and then I'll find it, smile and then put it aside. I even considered getting her to sign it, once.

Today, Liz Sladen passed away after a lengthy and quiet battle against cancer. The fact that so many people didn't know that she was even ill is a credit to the dignity that she faced this fierce illness up until the very end. And even though the computer tells me so, that the Internet tells me so, I won't believe that she's dead.

Because Sarah Jane Smith cannot die. The Daleks, Sontarans, Cybermen, Robots of Death, Tricksters, Slitheen - all of these Earth-destroying creatures failed to do this.

So goodnight, Sarah Jane, back with your white haired Doctor, out there in the TARDIS.

Rest In Peace, Liz.

x

 
 
Lone Samurai of the Pen and Paper
07 April 2011 @ 11:07 am

A while ago, around September in fact, while discussing a story I was pitching for my Doctor Who IDW series, BBC script editor Gary Russell asked 'do you want to write a Benny play?'

Now, to those in the know, a 'Benny play' is actually a Bernice Summerfield audio drama by Big Finish, and it's something that I've wanted to do now for a very, very long time.

A character created ny writer extraordinaire Paul Cornell, I first met Doctor Bernice Summerfield back in the nineties, when she became one of the Virgin 'New Adventures' companions of the Doctor. I read many (but not all) of her novels, I read the spin offs that Virgin did after the BBC grabbed the Doctor Who book rights back and I've listened to her audios - that is, I've constantly listened to her audios because when I shared a house with my good friend Craig Andrews, he is the biggest Benny fan in the world - he actually likes Bernice more than the Doctor - and he played these stories constantly.

(Flash fact - about six years ago I asked Ade Salmon, the one time artist of the Bernice Audios to draw Craig a Benny sketch - it's on pride of place on Craig's wall. And, when he met Paul Cornell at my wedding in January, Craig was too scared to tell him how much he loved the character.)

Fast forwards to late last year and I'm suddenly writing one of four stories set in a new universe. Nobody knew the ground rules and, to make it worse, I was following Jaqueline Rayner who, apart from Paul is probably THE definitive 'Benny' writer. Big shoes indeed to follow.

I can't say much about the story, apart from the fact that I wrote the treatment at two in the morning on my iPad while at the New York Comic Con last October, and that I managed to throw a couple of 'fan lines' in while I was writing. It was unfortunately recorded on the weekend of my Wedding, and Tracy understandably banned me from missing the latter to watch the recordings, but I've been told that it sounds brilliant, which is good enough for me.

My second audio for Big Finish, I found this was a little easier to write as I think I re-found my audio book 'sea legs' on this one. Hopefully I'll do more audios down the line, and tell more stories.

I'd definitely write Bernice again. It was great fun.

The box set that I'm in, The Epoch, comes out in September.

3. PRIVATE ENEMY NO. 1
Written by TONY LEE

The Great Leader is dead… Long live the Great Leader!

Atlantis is in disarray. The Historians are hiding Bernice, Leonidas and Ruth within their safe house – but the world is changing more than they could have ever imagined.

People are being erased from existence, their memories wiped clean and replaced with those of others. Entire buildings are altering, times are changing… and the Hierophants are on the move.

Can Bernice and her friends save Atlantis from the end of existence? Or will they too be assimilated?</span></span>

 
 
Lone Samurai of the Pen and Paper
23 March 2011 @ 06:43 pm

So I'm off on holidays tomorrow - well, to be more accurate I'm actually off on my two-month delayed honeymoon, but while I'm away somethinbg important will be happening.

On Monday 28th of March, MTV Geek will be launching a new, weekly series to go alongside Dan Boultwood and yours truly's The Gloom, and it's a series that I've mentioned before, and that I helped create with Stargate Universe and Smallville actress Alaina Huffman and her husband John, and that's drawn by Dan Boultwood and coloured by Ciaran Lucas - Agent Mom.

It was first announced as an MTV book at the New York Comic Con back in October, but it's been on the net since the San Diego Comic Con, and I've been involved with this for almost a year now. And in just a few days it starts serialising weekly and I couldn't be more excited.

So keep an eye on the pages of MTV Geek over the next few days as I did an interview today that should go up, Alaina's done a few videos and on Monday? Agent Mom goes live.

Also, next week has the third installment of chapter two of The Gloom, as the Nazis dastardly plan is finally revealed, and on Wednesday the third issue of my 11th Doctor Doctor Who comics comes out, as Jack The Ripper stalks Amy along Whitechapel's streets! And if you can't make it to your comic store, remember that IDW now has it's very own iTunes Doctor Who comics app for iPhone and iPad that has pretty much all of my Tenth and Eleventh Doctor stories on - and Doctor Who: The Forgotten #1 and the 2010 Doctor Who annual are free to download!

So Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday - there's something to read by me! Go! Read!

 
 
Lone Samurai of the Pen and Paper
23 March 2011 @ 06:10 pm

You know, there's something immensly satisfying about opening a library. At a time when people are finding their local ones closing, to open a school library is an incredibly uplifting experience, and one I'm very honoured to have had this week at Thamesview School in Kent.


I spent a day there this week teaching kids how to create stories - although to be honest many of them managed to teach me a few things! The extent of imagination that came out of these classes was pretty extreme - at one point of my talk I create a tale, using a scene from Outlaw: The Legend Of Robin Hood as a basis, and then, asking questions, allow them to answer, each answer moving the story off in a different direction. Sometimes this works, sometimes it fails dismally - but this day it was magnificent, and out of three talks, I had three wonderful stories, so packed full of tales that by the time I'd reach the third one, I had problems remembering it.

I like school talks. And I have a ton of respect for any teacher, as I couldn't do it on a regular basis. I enjoy being the man who swans in, excites the pupils with tales of derring do and then leaves, because it means that they never see behind the curtain, they never realise that the great and powerful Oz is simply a jobbing writer, treading for water.

Except this jobbing writer has a plaque, on a wall in a library that sayd he's an author.

Sometimes there is no greater job in all the world.

 
 
Lone Samurai of the Pen and Paper
19 March 2011 @ 12:25 am

Well, we had been promising something exciting over the last couple of weeks, and this is it.

In June, Hope Falls: The Ultimate Edition finally comes out, and we're a bit excited by this, mainly by the fact that after the last TPB failed to set the world alight (due to poor marketing, distribution errors and low print orders that then ran out), you guys have another chance to read this book.

Over the last couple of years, Hope Falls has been the book that people us ask for at every convention that we've been at, and lately even retailers have started enquiring, retailers who have apparently been hassled for 'the Angel book by the guys who do the MTV comic' by their customers.

('the MTV comic' is The Gloom, updated weekly at MTV Comics.)

And so Hope Falls: The Ultimate Edition is being released, with an introduction by Ben Templesmith, more behind-the-scenes backmatter and a solid pricetag of £12.99 for 128 pages of Tony and Dan goodness.

HOWEVER.

We've had a chat with Harry, publisher of Markosia and we're able to offer something off our own backs. We're sorted out a LIMITED EDITION RUN of this book, each one signed and numbered by Dan and I, available a month early and at the bargain price of £10. That's right, a limited edition, signed, early release version that's actually cheaper than the actual release!

Now, this is being done through Dan and myself and we know that many of our UK fans attend the main comic conventions, so we'll be arranging with Markosia to ensure that any copies purchased will be available to be picked up from the Markosia booth at both the Bristol Expo in mid May, and also the MCM London Expo at the end of May. If you can't make either event but would still like a copy, then we can post these out to you if you add an extra £2 for postage (or £4 if you're overseas) to your order.

So, even if you can't make it to the conventions, you can still recieve the Hope Falls: The Ultimate Edition limited edition, signed and several weeks early - and still at a reduced cost!

How do you buy this? It's simple. We'll be taking orders through hopefallscomic@gmail.com over the next few weeks - but please, be aware - we need to gain at least fifty pre-orders to be able to do this, so the sooner you email, the better! We'll be able to take payments by cheque, postal order and paypal - more details once you email us. If we can't manage to meet the fify copies deadline (and therefore don't manage to get the limited edition off the ground), all monies will be refunded by the end of May.

I WILL STATE once more that this is NOT by Markosia, this is purely arranged by Dan and myself, so don't buy off their site and expect it to be the same edition. All copies sold by Markosia.com are the solicited, standard ones that will be stocked from 1st June.

So what are you waiting for? Go launch your paypal account right now!

 
 
Lone Samurai of the Pen and Paper
09 February 2011 @ 10:50 am

In just under a week, next Tuesday in fact, I fly over to Los Angeles. And, after a couple of days of meetings, dinners, long breakfasts with producers and suchlike, I'm a guest at the 22nd Gallifrey One Doctor Who convention. This is my third year as a guest, and they keep getting better and better. This year Peter Davison is the main guest along side a ton of other equally as massive Whoinverse guests. It's quite insane, actually, the amount of guests that this convention actually has... It's one of the reasons, however why this is the largest US Doctor Who convention of the year.

And yours truly will be there, as ever, up on stage and in the bar, most likely throughout the weekend. IDW will also be there selling copies of the books, with editor Denton Tipton on stage with me to discuss the Eleventh Doctor's adventures, and I'll also be able to discuss my Big Finish Fifth Doctor audio, Rat Trap - with three of the cast there!

Anyway, my schedule for the convention is always busy, so I thought I'd let you know where to find me...

Friday:

1pm - 2.30pm: Signing in the Autograph Room with (depending on schedules)
Peter Davison, Richard Dinnick, Neill Gorton, Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Rob Mayor, Jason Haigh-Ellery, David J Howe, Paul Kasey, Courtland Lewis, Blair Shedd, Matthew Dow Smith, Sam Stone & Sarah Sutton.

3.30pm: The Hub: Tony Lee's Writing For Comics

4.30pm:
Second Stage: The Men Who Make the Mask: Neill Gorton & Rob Mayor Interview - Interviewer: Tony Lee

6.30pm: Main Stage: Opening Ceremonies.


Saturday:

10.00am:
Scottsdale Room: The Future of the Comics:
Scott Armstrong, Tony Lee, Lars Pearson, Blair Shedd, Arne Starr, David Wheeler, Richard Starkings

11.00am: Main Stage: 7-Eleven - IDW's Doctor Who Comics:
Denton Tipton, Tony Lee, Matthew Dow Smith, Blair Shedd

1.00pm: Scottsdale Room: The Perils and Pitfalls of Writing Doctor Who:
Phil Ford, Richard Dinnick, David Wise, Tony Lee, Clayton Hickman, Gareth Roberts, James Moran, Scott Alan Woodard

2.30pm - 4pm: Signing in the Autograph Room with (depending on schedules)
Richard Dinnick, Phil Ford, Courtland Lewis, James Moran, Gareth Roberts, Tracie Simpson, Matthew Dow Smith, Sarah Sutton, Len Wein, David Wise, Marv Wolfman

4.00pm: Scottsdale Room: Four Color Commerce:
Tony Lee, Matthew Dow Smith, Blair Shedd, Richard Starkings, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman


Sunday:

10.00am: Second Stage: The Liars Truthtellers Panel: The Silence May (Not) Fall:
Barnaby Edwards, Jan Fennick, Steve Hill, Jennifer Kelley, Tony Lee, Rob Warnock

1.00pm: Second Stage: Big Finish: The Year Ahead 2011 - A Preview:
Jason Haigh-Ellery, Philip Olivier, Tony Lee, Richard Dinnick

(Autograph signing is marked as 1.30pm - I might be a little late...)

See some of you there!

 
 
Lone Samurai of the Pen and Paper
23 January 2011 @ 08:45 pm

So yesterday I got married. And it was indeed the happiest day of my life, as I managed to convince Tracy, the most beautiful woman in the world to become my wife. The day was great and the weather wonderful, my Ushers and Best Man were on form, Tracy's Bridesmaids and flower girls were beautiful, both families got on like a house on fire and everyone who turned up were total stars.

During the wedding speeches, Michael, my best man read out a message of congratulations from a variety of people including my best mate Tanya, Pia Guerra, Kim Newman, Noel Clarke, Dan Didio, Elizabeth Miller, Rich Starkings and Leslie Klinger to name (drop) but a few, while I also read out a letter to Tracy from Ben 'Prince Caspian' Barnes. But it was the message from recently married superstar Neil Gaiman that received a massive cheer. Since then, the one question I've been asked most is 'what did it say?'...

So, with grateful thanks to Neil for allowing me to reprint it, here is his note to me.

Dear Tony

I hear you're getting married.

I'm shocked.

I remember, when we were sweating in the endless sun of Devil's Island, between -- it must have been between your second escape attempt and your third, because you still had all your fingers then, you saying to me, "Women. If it was not for women, my friend, I would not be here."
And I said, "Tony, I thought you said you were here because little Eddie mistook the gelignite for play-doh, because One-eyed Achmet did not drive fast enough. Because the bank had modernised their security systems."

And you said, "Women!" And that look came into your eye, the look that even the guards were afraid of, "I will never marry!" you said. "Or if I do, it will only to be to take my revenge on all women, a revenge I swear I shall take... one woman at a time!"

And I said nothing, because we had a saying on Devil's Island. "If Tony Lee says something and you are not sure if he is joking, shut up. Or you will end up the same way as Pierre No-nose."

Well, how times change. I'm sure that you and your bride will be incredibly happy together and that she has nothing at all to worry about. My felicitations to you both.

Neil Gaiman

And that's why the man is one of the best loved people in the business.

Me? I'm off for a few days with my wife. I have a wife now. Wives are cool.

 
 
Lone Samurai of the Pen and Paper
19 January 2011 @ 09:52 pm

So as you can see on my site's top banner, The Gloom was supposed to start in November. Obviously it didn't happen, but this was for good reasons. You see, MTV Geek have been sorting out their programming to ensure that when the comics go up, they're as easy as can be to read, and now this has been achieved.

With this now in place, we can finally announce that The Gloom will début every Tuesday from February 1st on MTV Geek. Each chapter will take five weeks, with a small break in between, but Dan and I promise to not only keep the fun and action moving but, if the book is popular, to continue on after the first story ends sometime in September / October. At four / five pages a week, you're effectively getting a full comic each month, and this is something we want to carry on for a long time. So join us in less than two weeks as The Gloom starts it's run - and help us strike a blow against the Nazi's atomic menace...

 
 
Lone Samurai of the Pen and Paper
19 January 2011 @ 09:43 pm

Today most of the US gets their hands on the brand new Doctor Who #1, featuring Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor as well as his companions Amy and Rory as they start a new series of adventures through IDW Publishing.

It's been a long time coming, we first spoke about this a year ago at Gallifrey One, and I've been working with Matt Smith's Doctor since before David Tennant's one said goodbye on our television screens. But here it finally is, and I'd love to know what you thought of it!