In which we are associated with the Skelton Crew

Hello people! (and others)
This is going to be longish-apologies.
When we started Hopeless, Maine, more than ten years ago, we decided that if it took off (and there was much daydreaming about this. We haven’t got to the “riches” end of the spectrum, but this was definitely a “rags”time for me) We decided that there would be no mass produced tat associated with the story. (Sal would be cross) We thought maybe we could invite crafters and other makers to make things and mention where the things came from, sort of a thing. Moving ahead in time to last year, I spotted a company who was making *very* cool lovely things in limited editions around some comics I very much admire (Hellboy, BPRD, Locke and Key etc.) These are the sort of things that would be kept and treasured (and not end up in landfills) So, I sent a rather cheeky message to them on Twitter saying that I was pretty tight with the people who make Hopeless, Maine if they were at all interested. They were! (Squee) and I had to admit that it was me. Better still (if such a thing can be imagined) they are based in MAINE as it turns out. This is the start of what we hope will be a long collaboration, as they are unspeakably cool. The first strange fruits of this relationship are now real and out there in the world. Enamel pins with Drury and a Spoonwalker tentacle over a Hopeless, Maine town sign. “Yes” you say, “But do they glow in the dark?” you ask with uncanny intuition. Yes! Yes, they bloody do! (The twelve year old me is pretty much beside himself at this point)

The name of the company is Skelton Crew Studios (Perfect, yes?) and you will probably love everything they make. You might be especially interested in this pin set.

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Something novel and full of magic

Fast Food at the Centre of The world…is back!

Druid Life

Those of you who have been with me for a long time may recall the Nerdbong podcast and a 22 episode serialisation of my novel Fast Food at the Centre of the World. Many of you have started following this blog far more recently, so this may be news. Twenty two episodes of a strange and speculative novel, read and recorded by me. The British amongst you will discover that I sound like a West Country yokel. For you Americans… I have one of those sexy British accents! (I never cease to be amazed by how much Americans seem to like my voice, because to me I sound like girly Hagrid).

Fast Food at the Centre of the World is based on a handful of ideas and characters Tom Brown came up with but does not have the time to do as a graphic novel. The premise is that a…

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The Life and Times of Angel Evans: Behind the Scenes

More of Angel Evans! Behind the scenes….

Meredith Debonnaire

Hello, and welcome!

I’ve not had a lot of time this month, so rather than a neatly planned out post, I’m simply going to give you a few of the drawings I did of Angel while I was writing. Hopefully, back with a full feature next month.

Illustration of Angel Evans, talking to a smoke demon

This first one is a moment right at the beginning of the story – Angel Evans chatting with a being made of smoke. I really like how this one came out, especially Smoke-Face. Perhaps one day I’ll even give my sketches settings.

Angel Evans running through grass

And this one is from a moment at the end of the story, when we get a glimpse of Angel Evans as a child on the day she ran away from home. I almost never think about what my characters are wearing, so sometimes when I draw them there’s just this moment of “Oh damn, what clothes would they wear?” I…

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Hopeless Creatures

The Hopeless Vendetta

This is a video taken at the start of our gallery exhibition in Lansdown, Stroud, as part of Stroud Book Festival. There are lots of the kinds of small creatures you find in rock pools and on the corners of pages, plus Hopeless Maine arts and crafts, and a tiny domestic scene…

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The Life and Times of Angel Evans: Behind the Scenes

Dragonboats!

Meredith Debonnaire

Welcome back! This month, I’m exploring Dragonboats, Featherboats and worldbuilding.

Dragonboat sketch by Meredith Debonnaire Art by Meredith Debonnaire

So, dragonboats. They are, as you will (I hope) know, mentioned in the story. As are featherboats. And they’re one of those things that’s actually quite important to Angel Evans’ world. As you can see from the sketches above, I imagine dragonboats to resemble viking longships with figureheads. They’re mainly made out of wood, with the scales being added on later (if you imagined them differently, I would love to know how). And it’s the scales that allow them to travel the way that they do. Angel Evans’ native world has a lot of natural magic, including really big currents of it that are known as marivers. Dragonboats travel by tapping into the magic of the marivers and using it to float. They are fast, reliable transport. They tend to be used more for cargo and…

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The Hopeless, Maine arts and crafts movement.

Further sprawling tentacles…

The Hopeless Vendetta

This is a rather grand title for a thing that we are doing. We are combining the philosophy of Wombles ( “Making good use of the things that we find, things that the everyday folk leave behind”) and a cottage industry/arts and crafts movement. It began because we are having a week-long exhibition as part of the upcoming Stroud Book Festival. We thought it would be much more interesting to create a Hopeless, Maine environment than just to have pictures framed and stuck on a wall. (There will be those too, but the things we have done to the frames make them the sort of thing you might actually find on the island in a home) All of the best things we have made so far (I think) have been things that Nimue and I passed back and forth, so it’s great fun to find a new sort of collaborating…

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The Life and Times of Angel Evans: Behind the Scenes

One of our favorite writers on one of our favorite stories!

Meredith Debonnaire

Welcome! This is a new monthly thing that I will be doing, taking you behind the scenes of The Life and Times of Angel Evans. It’s going to vary as to what exactly that means; I might take you behind the scenes to the process of writing, worldbuilding and editing, or I might take you to bits of the world that didn’t make it into the story and characters who I would have loved to give more page space. If there’s anything specific that you’d be interested in seeing, do ask! Also, if you’re reading this and wondering ‘how do I get my hands on this story?’, you can buy The Life and Times of Angel Evans through Amazon or directly from the Booksmugglers (it will cost you about £1.50 or $1.99 USD). You can get it as a Mobi or an Epub file.

Now, onwards! Let’s start by…

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