Throw that second screen away!

Plus Union Jack the Ripper gets a second printing, Ty Yorrick returns, a sneak peek of a future treat and my daughter’s latest play!

Throw that second screen away!

Hello, hello, hello!

It’s Wednesday so I’m back for more musings, news and general geeky wibble! How are you doing? Well, I hope, especially after a long weekend on both sides of the Atlantic! It was also our 19th wedding anniversary so we hopped over the bridge into Wales for a night away in beautiful Chepstow, complete with one of the best Italian meals I’ve had in ages. If you’re ever in Monmouthshire, I recommend Panevino Italian Kitchen. I went for the Linguine Marinara which was bursting with king prawns, fresh mussels and squid. Absolute heaven!

But just in case you didn’t come here for restaurant reviews, let's get stuck into the newsletter which this week includes:

  • Today's new comic - Star Wars: The High Republic: Saber For Hire #2
  • Union Jack the Ripper heading back to the printers.
  • A cheeky little tease of a coming attraction.
  • A round-up of my latest online shenanigans and interviews.
  • My daughter's latest play!

But before all that, let's tackle the thorny topic of paying attention...


I've talked about my Talking Scared before, but now the podcast has added a new venture: Talking Scared: Off Book where host Neil McRobert talks to creators from the wider horror community, venturing beyond the show's usual author interviews.

‎Talking Scared: Off Book #1 – Phil Nobile Jr. & Fangoria on Apple Podcasts
‎Show Talking Scared, Ep Off Book #1 – Phil Nobile Jr. & Fangoria - 24 May 2024

First up is Phil Nobile. Jr., editor-in-chief of Fangoria, a magazine I've subscribed to for more years than I care to remember.

It's a fascinating conversation about the legendary horror mag, its legacy, and the current state of the genre, but one part of the chat caught my attention.

Neil and Phil were talking about how difficult it can be for a movie to make an impact these days, largely due to the way we now consume films at home. Phil describes this as 'Live Tweet Syndrome', where you watch a movie with one eye, the other firmly fixed on your social networks as you provide a running commentary. He believes that for many fans this has become more important than the movie itself, a production "a hundred people have spent a year of their lives making," a phenomenon he finds disrespectful:

"For right or wrong, you [should] revere talent. You see somebody doing something astonishing, whether that's a shot composition or a score or a performance, and you – pardon me on language – you shut the f**k up and you pay attention.

In Phil's view, such practices have other consequences, saying that the unfortunate side-effect of people half-watching movies is that "people are now starting to produce movies that are meant to be half-watched!" He's particularly wary about "anyone referring to their film as ambient"...

"I don't want to watch a movie that's meant to be background noise. I want to be transported and immersed and taken away, but there's a generation coming up behind me that does not share that sentiment."

It's like Phil was talking to me! I try not to watch movies or TV with a mobile phone in my hand because the lure of that screen is oh, oh so powerful. Yet, over recent weeks I've noticed the habit creep back. It's insidious!

And I should know better. I never do well if I multitask. My concentration becomes fractured and my anxiety rockets!

So Phil's words have come at just the right time. I pledge to leave my mobile phone in the next room when I'm watching or listening to something. The same goes for reading a book. I've found myself reaching for the phone halfway through a chapter recently. Shudder!

My family have my permission to throw a cushion at my head if they see me reaching for my phone mid-movie. (And yes, that goes for my youngest daughter who is watching Scream 4 with me tonight!)

Do you find yourself second-screening when watching movies? Do you agree with Phil or think it's no great shakes? Let me know in the comments below!


Break out the claret! Union Jack The Ripper #1, part of Marvel's Blood Hunt vampire event, has sold out, which means it's heading back for a second printing! Whoop!

Check out a cover that I reckon would get the Fangoria stamp of approval! I mean, look at all that blood!

The reviews are also going exceptionally well! The Beat said:

"Full stop: this Union Jack tie-in not only instantly nails the “Marvel heroes in a horror/disaster film,” but also establishes a proof of concept for Marvel’s next big creative team– and it ain’t just two creators this time... All this to state: Marvel better line this creative team up for a run afterwards. Woof."

While said:

"Union Jack the Ripper is an early contender for the best of the "Blood Hunt" tie-ins as it delivers a horror comic that could stand on its own but still benefits from playing in Marvel's universe."

It's fair to say I am over the (blood) moon! To celebrate, here is some of inker Craig Yeung's wonderful work on issue one as shared on his Instagram:

I mean... wow! I thought Kev Walker's pencils were gnarly before seeing what Craig brought to them!

Did you pick up issue 1? If not, race to your local comic book store to pick up the second printing before the bloodsuckers get you! And don't forget to let me know what you think of the story so far in the comments!

(Plus, keep scrolling for a sneak peek of a new horror comic coming from me later this year!)


Sticking with comics for a moment, I have another new issue out today, making a hyperjump from the Marvel universe to a galaxy far, far away:

The Nihil are kidnapping children with Force abilities. Can Ty Yorrick, former Jedi turned monster hunter, find them before it’s too late? And what will Ty’s frustrated apprentice do when he discovers that the villainous space pirates are also targeting the son of the Republic Chancellor? Plus: Ty has an encounter that will change her life forever!

There are lots of art previews online, such as this one from Flickering Myth, but my favourite comes from Broaxium where awesome you comic reviewer Keith previews the issue! Click that video to get his run-down!


Last week, I started a new project, even posting a little reel about it here. But what was it? Well, I can't tell you, but we also had a kick-off session with the entire editorial team on Friday.

Here's a sneak peek, although I've blurred out the title. A man has to have a few secrets, after all!

I always begin new series like this with a little personal note to the artist, reminding them (and most importantly, me!) that my script isn't a set of dictates or commandments but a springboard to the action we'll develop together. That's where the fun begins...


Over on the 'gram, I've:

Meanwhile, George Mann and I gave an interview to La Tribune de Coruscant at the recent Générations Star Wars et Science Fiction convention in Cusset, France. It was at the end of a mammoth eight-hour signing session, so we were a bit hysterical, although I think we just about held it together...

You can judge for yourself by watching the video:

(Oh, and don't worry about the intro. The actual interview is in English. Well, as near as we ever get!)


I wanted to sign off this week's newsletter by giving a shout-out to my eldest daughter, Chloe. I was lucky enough to be invited to the Acolyte premiere in LA last week, but couldn't go, primarily because it was the opening night of Chloe's latest play. I wouldn't have missed that for all the world.

The Sweet Science of Bruising is written by Joy Wilkinson, who Doctor Who fans may know as the writer of series 11's The Witchfinders.

The play follows the stories of four very different women who are drawn into the murky world of underworld female boxing in Victorian London.

Chloe had a double role as Nancy, a troubled ladies' maid, and Dr. Forster, one of the first characters on stage. She was also the Fight Captain for the play's many action sequences, covering both boxing and fencing.

The Sweet Science of Bruising was Chloe's last performance as part of her Professional Diploma course at Bristol School of Acting and I couldn't have been more proud. The entire cast was wonderful. Chloe’s godfather, Mark, came down from Halifax for opening night and commented that the quality rivalled any professional show you see on stage. He wasn't wrong! So much talent on display!


That’s it for this week! It turned out to be quite a packed edition one way or another! And I haven’t had chance to tell you how excited I am about going to UK Games Expo this weekend, how much I adored last week’s Doctor Who and how I‘m glad I saw Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga on the big screen, even though the noise and thunder of the prequel didn’t quite reach the heights of Fury Road for me. Maybe next time!

Check back for another Perfect Sunday this weekend, but in the meantime, as always, look after yourself and each other!