Alan Grant On His New Black Hearted Press Book, with John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra
Exciting news out of Glasgow, where independent comics publisher Black Hearted Press has announced an upcoming comic by creators John Wagner, Alan Grant, and Carlos Ezquerra.
The first official details will be released at this year’s Glasgow Comic Con in July, and the comic is scheduled for publication in July 2015.
I was lucky enough to obtain some background on this story from Alan Grant himself. He wasn’t able to reveal too many details, but did say that the scripts have been completed and that Ezquerra is now working on the art, and that we can expect the plot to be “a little off-beat”.
Grant’s considerable writing credentials include Judge Dredd (which he often co-wrote with Wagner), Strontium Dog, Ace Trucking Co., Shadow of the Bat, Detective Comics, and Batman.
However, although he’s worked on big-name titles for mainstream publishers for decades, Grant is no stranger to indie comics. His former publishing company Bad Press, founded with Wagner and artist Simon Bisley, printed such titles as Wasted and Shit the Dog which showcased the work of a variety of creators, including Ezquerra.
“I financed the whole thing out of my own pocket and can honestly state we never made a profit”, recalls Grant. This made things that much more difficult when Bad Press was hit with a bill for £20,000 in back taxes, “which was complete nonsense”, and a subsequent fine of £22,000 for non-payment of taxes. These hefty fines left Bad Press no choice but to enter into liquidation.
Getting back into the world of independent publishing was Wagner’s idea. The initial plan, according to Grant, had been to self-publish, but Wagner “realised it would make more sense to work with an established publisher who had letterers and colourists already sorted”.
How does it feel to work with Wagner and Ezquerra again after so long? “Like we’ve never been apart,” Grant says. “The three of us are friends as well as collaborators, so we always kept in touch even when we weren’t working together”.