Neil Gibson of Twisted Dark talks about the future of T-Pub

Twisted Dark

The Comic Village at this year’s MCM London Comic Con, was the biggest yet. Neil Gibson’s fantastic comic series Twisted Dark and Tabatha, have had their claws deeply hooked into my imagination ever since picking up Twisted Dark Volume One at MCM Comic Con three years ago. A fantastic writer, his ability to tell a story that draws you in is second to none and his Twisted Dark series is seriously not to be missed. So I simply could not resist having a chat with him at his ‘T Publications’ (TPub) table.

Neil GibsonNICK: Twisted Dark is currently on its fifth volume, and we have recently seen the arrival of Twisted Light. So what can we look forward to next?

NEIL: Twisted Dark Volume Six. By Volume Six it’s going to be a shift, as that’s the end of Season One, but in Season Two, although I will still be masterminding the whole universe, and how it all fits together, we are bringing in other writers. It’s both my ideas, and some other writers ideas, but that way there will be different voices behind it, keeping it fresh and different, as long as it all continues in the direction of the big ending that we have in mind.

NICK: You do have an ending in mind then?

NEIL: I wrote the very last story for Season One a while ago, and I wrote the very, very last story also, which is set in quite a few years’ time, but I can’t tell you why, but you’ll find out when you read it. If you follow the series, then it has already been hinted to in something that you have already read.

NICK: We have Twisted Dark and Twisted Light. Do you prefer to write the light stuff or the darker stuff?

NEIL: I find Dark, much easier to write. Twisted Dark outsells Twisted Light twenty to one. Most people who love Twisted Dark, tend to like Twisted Light, and most people who love Twisted Light, tend to hate Twisted Dark, because they want the happy stuff. There are a few who like them equally, but that’s rare, and those who do like them equally don’t tend to love either.

NICK: With Twisted Dark is a collection of short stories that link together. Do you prefer to write in that format, or do you prefer to write in a more drawn out ongoing story such as Tabatha?

NEIL: Of the time I have been working in comics, I have spent less than 2% of that writing, due to building the business and the brand, which means that the Twisted Dark style is easier for me. Like Twisted Sci-Fi, the first volume is already written, and I have a good few stories for Twisted Fantasy, but the longer stories are more satisfying, because as a reader you like to see characters developing, you like to see how things actually happen.

You do see that gradually in Twisted Dark, but it takes a lot longer to see it, whereas it’s more instantaneous with one long story. I do prefer to write the shorter stories, because it’s easier, but I get more pride from the longer stories.

NICK: You mentioned Twisted Sci-Fi, please tell me more.

NEIL: This is something that I’m really quite excited about. It’s like Twisted Dark in the way of it being a series of short stories with twist endings, but it’s set across many planets and many timelines. The connections are much tighter than they are in Twisted Dark. The quality of the art is much better, we’re going to bring in other writers and it’s in full colour. I think people are in for a treat, I’m cautiously optimistic about it.

NICK: You mentioned the company before, what new title can we look forward to coming out of TPub?

NEIL: We have Chub Chub, some people in the US are calling it the new Calvin and Hobbes… I wish! It was never meant as a comic, it was originally a gift to my mother, because it is a series of stories that I wrote about as a kid, that she liked telling people. I wasn’t the best kid, as you’ll see if you read some of the stories, but she liked it so much and she found it so funny, so I decided to make it into a comic book.

Then later this year Tortured Life is coming out. I started that two and a half, maybe three years ago, and when the first issue came out, what comic book shops told us is that it’s meant to be ten issues and to be combined into two trades, which is a big risk to take on an unknown writer. So, we put it on hold while I made Tabatha. Now we’re going back to Tortured Life. Dan Watters is going to be writing the bulk of it and I think it’s excellent.

Next year we’ll have Theatrics, that’s set in 1920s New York, the first chapter for which is already done. Then we have Traitor which is set in 1940s UK; that’s about a guy who wakes up in the middle of a field in the second World War, speaking both fluent German and English, not knowing what side he is on, and his actions will affect millions.

NICK: Let’s talk crowd funding. You used it before with your Tabatha and Tortured Life series. Do you have any intentions of going back to it?

NEIL: Yes, as soon as Tortured Life is finished, we will return to crowd sourcing, probably for ‘Theatrics’.

NICK: What does MCM mean to you as an event?

NEIL: I hate the interviews (giggles). I love coming here and seeing the fans, it’s getting busier every year. This year in particular we have been totally swamped as you can see. It’s great, I love how big the Comic Village section is growing, because our company mission is to get more people reading comics, we genuinely love the medium. I really love MCM and how it grows each year. The dedication they give to comics is fantastic.

 

Twisted Dark and other stories are available at www.neilgibsoncomics.com.

 

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