As well as my ongoing short story anthology book, PJANG (People Just Ain't No Good), I'm currently working on two new comics: Too Much Sex & Violence (still in the planning stages, but it's the biggest comics project I've ever attempted) and Department of the Peculiar (which has sat in my drawer for some years before finally finding an artist brave enough to tackle it - the excellent Rob Wells).
I've chosen to post a page from Department of the Peculiar as that's currently being drawn. The book is a weird superhero title - the premise being that in the UK superpowers are treated as a disease you really need to go see a doctor about. (We must be the most hypochondriac country on the planet... except maybe Sweden.) Department of the Peculiar is the goverment taskforce in charge of finding and curing sick "peculiars". But they're pretty short-staffed, due to spending cuts, so they need to recruit new members.
On the page below, we meet one potential new recruit - Malcolm 'Viral Mal' Drake, a former US superhero now living in the UK. If superheroes really are a disease, Mal has the perfect power set... you get a clue about his special abilities below.
Manchester City Centre. Establishing shot. A tram moves quickly through the streets.
CAP (carried over from previous page - DotP member Karine has had a premonition): Bad, bad, bad – this afternoon - in Manchester.
Inside the tram. Close-up on a young couple (students), passionately kissing – lots of tongue.
Across the aisle from the couple, Mal watches the couple kissing. He’s not happy about this going on right in front of his face, so early in the morning. A couple of other commuters are frowning at the display also. (Mal is listening to music on his iPod.)
CAP (Mal): God, it's way too early for love's young dream...
He stares at his hand, stretching his fingers, considering whether to act.
CAP (Mal): Now I don't want to seem churlish, but..
He reaches out and flourishes his fingers in the direction of the kissing couple. Some kind of effect from the end of his fingers (not a major effect) as he uses his powers.
CAP (Mal): Hell with it.
CAP (Mal): They brought this on themselves.
Suddenly, the girl pulls away from the kiss, a look of revulsion on her face… a look that’s echoed in the face of her boyfriend.
Girl: God - your breath stinks!
Boy: My breath--!?
As the couple glare at each other, Mal appears satisfied with his work.
Boy: You been eating catmuck or what?
CAP (Mal): Yep. Back to full strength.
CAP (Mal): Look out, world...(!)
And to finish, as a special treat for those of you who don't want to waste time reading my script directions... here's the page as drawn by Rob. Like all great comic artists, he makes it SO much more entertaining than it originally was...
(Click to see it full-size.)