Tales from Tantamount: January of the Year of the Sad Plastic Bag, part one

Tantamount is one of the best things in the world-ever.

Meredith Debonnaire

Being a continuing found record of the town of Tantamount. May contain newspaper headlines and humour in bad taste. Trigger warning for mention of suicide (remarkably brief).

Headlines in Tantamount, January 1st
The Tantamount Herald
Surprise triumph of Heathens over Anglo-Saxon forces in History Battle: all time losses! Story on p2
Tantribune
Auspicious end to the year with ascendance of local choir, photos on p12
Oakshade Primary shock at first year in Battle: headteacher statement here!
The Tantamount Life
Journalist spots big cat on towpath – cat was wearing a cravat and bowler. Are cats no longer fashionable? p9

RE:RE: Chef required
TO: laurallovelace@hotmail.tan
FROM: management@pinprickcafe.tan

Dear Laura Lovelace,

Following your email and perusal of your references, as well as some intense stargazing, we would like to invite you for an interview at Pinprick Cafe. Please bring any totems that you feel are appropriate, as well as your past life…

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Tales From Tantamount: December of the Year of the Abandoned Shopping Trolley

Tantamount is amazing, and clearly some sort of sister town to Hopeless, Maine.

Meredith Debonnaire

This post is a story! A strange story, but a story! The first installment of Tales From Tantamount. Don’t worry, I will still do book reviews as well. Enjoy the weirdness. I’d recommend readers be 13ish and up – there’s going to be the occasional swear and some “mature themes”.

Tales from Tantamount

Being a found record of the town of Tantamount, starting in December of the year of the Abandoned Shopping Trolley and continuing into the Year of the Sad Plastic Bag.

TANTAMOUNT, adj: equivalent in seriousness to. Italian ‘tanto montare’= ‘amount to much’

noun: a small, strange town somewhere near the Severn, known to move about.

Welcome to Tantamount!

Population: undefined/nebulous.

Visitors to Tantamount are required to attend the orientation classes held at the Tourist Information Centre. Failure to attend these classes will be punished by Carrion. Tantamount takes no responsibility for injury, loss of life…

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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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