Sunday, May 26, 2013

Member Showcase

Park Cooper of Austin, Texas, is a member of SASS, and he's penned a graphic novel, called Swipe, about an evil cyborg pimp that's forthcoming from Angry Viking Press. Here are his words about the project. Check it out, and we hope you pre-order it!


There's barely over a week left to pre-order Swipe to make our Diamond pre-order deadline. I've decided to post a version of the letter I've been sending to retailers, in case it helps convince people to take an interest. Anyone want to help make this go viral?

More than just your usual comics pimping: SWIPE from Angry Viking Press

SWIPE is a cyberpunk graphic novel in Previews this month with an evil cyborg pimp!

>pant gasp pant< Sorry to throw a pimp at you all suddenly like that, but I had to try to get your attention somehow.

Let's back up: I'm Park Cooper, and I'm a writer. And one day, I met an artist who was looking to draw a story. His name was Bryan Randall, and he was between military hitches serving in the Middle East. Bryan specifically wanted to draw a story with a villain he'd always dreamed of drawing: a cyborg pimp.

...A... cyborg pimp, you say? Well, pimps are, traditionally, rather unsavory fellows... who was to say that pimpery and villainy couldn't go hand in hand? And as for the cyborg part…

I loved cyberpunk in its heyday. Neuromancer and the rest of Gibson's stuff, Omni magazine, and then later Snow Crash, Ghost in the Shell... But I didn’t just like the cyberspace thing, but the rest of it, too, Shadowrun and so on, Gibson's Sprawl, the Panther Moderns, all of it.

It wasn't pretty, but it wasn't exactly post-apocalyptic-- things just turned into a dystopia of mega-corporations and poverty and desperation but still with futuristic technology, and everyone still had to live in it. And there was this awareness that hard as the rules were, if you were really smart, you could maybe game the whole system...

But let's face it, the "heyday of cyberpunk" kind of died down after a while. So to have this opportunity now, when things like Google Glass have just become available...?

I myself had a cyberpunk-type pair of heroes I'd thought up, a hacker who meets a robot dancer whom he realizes is a one-in-a-million self-aware robot... Bryan was happy with whatever I did, as long as he got to draw an evil cyborg pimp...

“Is it okay if I do this story with this artist that involves an attractive female robot and an evil cyborg pimp?” I asked my wife.

“Of course it is!” she said. “This artist is serving our country! What, you’re going to stop him from living his creative dream? So she’s a sexy-looking robot! You’re the one writing it, and you’re not a perv! Help the artist out and go ahead and write it!”

I called it SWIPE, and Bryan drew it—some of it while off-duty in the Middle East during his second tour there. And the level of detail that went into every panel Bryan did, wow! Like if Moebius had microscopic vision! Now and then Bryan would offer a suggestion: "Now cyborg babies should attack!" Cyborg babies? Sure, why not, Bryan. The plot will now contain dangerous cyborg attack-babies. Knock yourself out, man.

Well, when Bryan was just about done drawing SWIPE, Jason Canty at indie comics publisher Angry Viking Press saw it and wanted to publish it. In fact, he wanted even more of it, so we just continued the story with more chapters after the initial 44-page one-shot we’d planned. For the later chapters, Bryan only had a couple of suggestions: the hacker and the robot should get to save the world, and he should get to draw even weirder-looking bad guys. Done and done, my tiny-detail-drawin' friend. Diamond liked SWIPE, reacting with enthusiasm.

Now people just have to pre-order SWIPE from PREVIEWS.

Here’s what it’s going to be like. Click on the pages to turn ‘em:

SWIPE, as you can see, will be a really, really fantastic-looking graphic novel, all gorgeous and well-colored and everything, but it’s also actually an entertaining read. It's funny, it’s violent, and it has an attractive female robot in it, Karina. If you like feminine robots... they don't do that much for her partner Ray, the world's most underrated hacker. But Karina does get more and more human as the threat to the planet increases... and boy, does she hate becoming human.

Please pre-order SWIPE from this month's PREVIEWS—we’re on page 242 (spotlight!). The order code for Swipe is STK613565 ...Enough of you ordered Angry Viking's EVIL DIVA earlier this year, so that was very nice of you... now you get a cyberpunk-genre tale of hackers and robots and cyborgs and pimps.

People who love awesome art will love this.
People who love attractive comic book females will love this.
People who love books where the writing isn't phoned in will love this.

Since you've read this far, we think that YOU will love Swipe.

Please pre-order Swipe, either from Diamond or through the link on the page found above, and tell other people about it.

That way, everybody wins.

--P. Cooper
May 23rd, 2013

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