Slightly later than advertised (click HERE for the full gorey details and behind-the-scenes rundown on why) Issue 2 of Vanguard is now available, and there are a couple of ways you can read it, which I'll get to in a moment.
Vanguard 2 cover art by David Blankley
This second issue sees the continuation of the stories that began in issue 1. As before, art duties on International Woman of Mystery tale "Atomic Call" are by David Blankley, while Louis Carter continues to produce some brilliantly bizarre artwork on sci-fi, fantasy epic "Halo and the Gryphon". This issue's violent installment of 1800's "When Good Donkey's Go Bad" tale "Mammoth-Jack" features a change of artist however, as my good friend El Chivo takes over pencilling duties from Owen Watts. But fear not, Mr. Watts is still on board providing some fantastic lettering work for the 6 page tale...and that's not his only contribution to this issue, as you will see when you take a look.
Apart from this there is another Tucker story, featuring glorious, blood-soaked, full colour artwork by Bhuna. This tale features a change of direction for the psychopathic character originally created for Hallowscream, bringing a fantasy-based twist to proceedings in order to 'lighten' the serial-slashing tone somewhat. I've also got another two wonderful pages of art featuring the comic's fictional editor 'Redbats' by David Withers, who also provides lettering for two of the strips herein. And, of course, it would be remiss of me not to mention that lettering master Jim Campbell has also deigned to grace us with his presence lettering David Blankley's noir-tastic Atomic Call pages. It's 24 pages of cover to cover action, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, alien creatures, ass-kicking babes, angry donkeys, demons and deceased serial killers. Honestly, what more do you want from a comic? What's that? Free gifts? Oh alright then....but we'll get to that. First...have a look at some preview pages why don't you?
Page from Atomic Call - art by David Blankley
Page from Halo and the Gryphon - art by Louis Carter
Page from Mammoth-Jack - art by El Chivo
So, how do you get your hands on this? Well, there are two ways.
OPTION 1) READ ONLINE FOR FREE!!
Yes, that's right, I've decided to put this issue online to be viewed, in it's entirety, for free. Why? Well, because I would like a lot of people to read it, to be blunt. Although I practically sold my entire print one of issue 1 over the course of five or six months, that still only came to a small number of copies distributed (less than 50). Which means less than 50 people read the comic. I'd certainly like to have more of a readership than that but since it's difficult to persuade people to part with their cash for something they can't see in the flesh before they take a chance on, I thought this might be the way to go. That, and the fact that I will be in Japan for at least the next six months and the postage costs back to the UK would be ridiculous! So, with that in mind, you can, right this very minute, make your way HERE and enjoy the comic.
The only thing I would ask in return is that you throw a few comments our way upon reading. The beauty of that site is that you can comment on each page as you read, so if something comes to mind, if you like something or hate something, if you have suggestions for how we could improve things, you can very quickly make a note of it before going to the next page. I would love to know what you think of the stories/writing and I'm sure my collaborators would love to know how you find their art so please do take a few seconds to do this.
Note - only issue 2 is available to view. I didn't think it would be fair to those who purchased a copy of issue 1 to then make it available for free, so I haven't done so. However, there is sufficient recaps given in the strips themselves that this shouldn't hinder your enjoyment of the comic. If you haven't read issue 1 and what you see here intrigues you enough that you would like to, I still have a few copies left which I would be more than happy to sell to you - failing that, the issue is also available to view as a myebook for the ridiculously low price of 50p - click HERE to access it.
OPTION 2 - BUY A PRINT COPY - GET FREE GIFTS!!
If you are the type of person (like me) who prefers to read comics 'in the flesh', let me see if I can entice you into purchasing a print copy. For anyone who does decide to avail of this option, there are a couple of extras.
Firstly, you will receive - absolutely free - a copy of "Speed Date", a 16 page full-colour A5 comic that collects together both parts of slaser-serial killer story "Speed Date", which originally appeared in Hallowscream's 2010 and 2011 issues. Art on part 1 is by Ghostpockets and on part 2 by Bhuna. The story comes wrapped in a pair of beautiful covers rendered by Bhuna - check out his awesome "after Bill Sienkiewicz" homage:
Secondly, you will also receive a set of four, full-colour, gloss laminated artcards featuring art by some of the comic's contributors. There's an unlettered version of Liam Byrne's groovy issue 1 cover art, an unlettered version of David Blankley's issue 2 cover and brand new images by Owen Watts and Louis Carter, featuring 'Mammoth-Jack' and 'Halo and the Gryphon' respectively. They look really, really good, if I do say so myself.
So there you have it. If you would like to support us by purchasing a copy, you can order via paypal at the below rates:
For ROI orders, the cost is 3.50 Euros, including p&p.
For NI orders, the cost is 3.50 Sterling, including p&p.
For UK orders, the cost is 4.50 Sterling, including p&p.
Payments should be made to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are also copies of the comic on sale in Sub City, Exchequer Street, if anybody Dublin-based wants to check that out.
That's it! I hope you all enjoy the comic, whichever way you choose to read it!
And don't forget - let us know what you think!!!