Friday, April 19, 2013


I've had a number of messages from people struggling to get the Bad Machinery book outside the USA, particularly in the UK and Australia. Here's what to do:

1. If you have a local comic shop, they can order it for you if it's not in stock. Just ask! It's in the system.
2. In the UK? has it. If you use this link, I get a little bit of extra cash that way. Hate Amazon's tax-dodging ways? Use Foyles.
3. In Australia? Kings Comics has it.

I'm afraid you can only get the hardcover direct from Topatoco or direct from Oni Press. If you want a personalised book, I will be selling adhesive personalised bookplates from the beginning of May.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

He found in the world without as actual what was in his world within as possible

For the last fifteen years I've thought it a criminal waste that no one really took notice of Scott Miller, the polymath frontman of Game Theory and the Loud Family. He released ten albums of varying ambition but relentless quality. Albums that I found it hard to pass on to others but that, to me, felt like a precious roadmap to the emotional tundra of a man's early twenties, just as Scott's carefully compiled album charts unlocked huge swathes of music for me and encouraged me to compile my own.

With the exception of a brief collaborative return in 2006, Scott stopped making records in 2000 - two years after I first heard his music. Through second hand shops, Amazon, kind friends and music blogs, I was able to plug all the catalogue gaps left by bad deals. The further away we became from this music being made, the easier it was to actually hear it.

But it was Scott's writing on, which never went away, that was his greatest influence on me. Answering fans and allies' questions with exacting precision, he treated pop music, art, literature and science with the same rigour and humour. His answers were gracious, thought-out and kind. When people began to write to me about my own work, I used Scott as my template. I didn't have to think about how to relate to "fans". It was easy. You treated them like smart people. You wrote back to them the way Scott Miller did.

His writing on music in recent years was arguably, even better. In a field where drift and posture often stand in lieu of knowledge and perspective, he made the rare distinction of having both.

Of course it would take his awful, early passing at 53 for voices to unite in support of this great, thoughtful man. Some of his answers revealed a painful self-deprecation in his awareness of the rock career arc, his withdrawal from the game to avoid pressing on to minimal return. To be told today that he was just about to come back to music was heartbreaking. But that's a selfish feeling. With the words he wrote, with the records he made, he'd done enough. He'd done more than most.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Bad Machinery vol 1 is OUT NOW!

I'm very proud to announce that the first Bad Machinery book, The Case Of The Team Spirit, is now available from Topatoco! Published by Oni Press, it contains the first Bad Machinery case (and the pre-amble). Running to about 140 pages, it features many new pages of story and loads of extra material, including an in-depth guide to the fake history of English football that I can only describe as "dense", "nutty" and "extremely time-consuming to write".

The book is available in standard paperback and strictly limited hardback editions. Unlike my Scary Go Round collections, it is not a bijou volume. It's HUGE - 9 x 12 inches - and beautifully designed.

As I've said before, these stories were meant to be read as books, and I'm grateful to Oni for giving me the chance to put them out in such lavish fashion. I hope to collect all the stories this way and get them to the widest audience possible - and needless to say, I can't do that without your help. Recommendation to friends, a Goodreads review, a mention anywhere that you can tell someone that something pretty reasonable is going on here.

A NOTE FOR PEOPLE OUTSIDE THE US/CANADA: The book is also available from your local comic shop. You can just walk in, give them some money, and walk right out of there completely satisfied. Give it a go! What's to lose? Good comic shops in England: Page 45 (Nottingham), Gosh!, Orbital (London), Dave's (Brighton), Travelling Man (Leeds, York, Manchester, Newcastle). But wherever you go - comic shop or normal bookshop, if they don't have it, they can get it for you.

If you have any questions about this volume, post them in the comments section and I'll do my best to answer them.