Deadstar Publishing is now accepting orders for Comics Experience alum and Workshop member Pete Rogers and artist David Clifford’s 7 Shades #1 and #2! Issues #3 and #4 will be available later in the year at the Independent Comics Expo in Birmingham this September.
Originally launched at the Cardiff Independent Comic Expo, the series merges supernatural thrills and chills with a western setting. It’s a story that’s been long gestating with the creative team, who live near one another and met on the UK convention circuit and the small press comics crowd in South Wales. Appropriately, they often meet at a nearby pub to build the story out, and work “Marvel-style” with Pete providing David with a rough outline of what he wants, then writing the final dialogue to the painting.
“The idea for the series actually came from Dave… the artist on the book. He mentioned a crazy supernatural western series concept to me in the bar at a comic convention about five years ago and asked if I’d be interested in collaborating on it with him,” Pete says.
“It took a few years after that until we were both available to work on it. Dave has enough ideas for this book to run for about fifty years! So my role on the project has been to pull together Dave’s relatively disparate and often abstract, but very clever thoughts into something cohesive for the reader.”
7 Shades follows protagonist Sammael Jehosephat Hicks’ attempts to separate himself from his six brothers, all criminals, and mixing up with madame Adixillo Sephera. The plot twists and turns to tie in all the madness to be found in the dusty old town of Seven Shades.
Pete says, “Samm has been an interesting character to write, as on the surface he’s quite two dimensional and the series definitely has its tongue firmly in its cheek. Much of my work on the book has been finding the hidden depths and finding ways to build empathetic characters in a world where anything goes.”
As a Workshop member and alumnus of Comics Experience courses, Pete drew from the lessons he learned and the relationships he forged to get inspiration for the 7 Shades story.
“I think my time with Comics Experience helped make me approach the project in the most realistic way possible and meant my inner voice was telling me the right things! Helping Dave to break the book into manageable arcs (not one long sprawling epic with no definite end), then constantly thinking about how easy it was for the reader to follow the story, did the multitude of characters get enough time on the page, did we need to make anything clearer, could we foreshadow things etc.,” he continues.
“It also gave me the discipline to stick with the plot first and not full script approach, as I don’t think that working in that way would have been right for this artist lead, painted project. I’m really proud of how the book has shaped up and the third issue in particular feels like Dave and I really found our stride working together.”
You can purchase issues #1 and #2 of 7 Shades here.