Nick Bryan Dot Com

New Stock Photo Comic! About geese!

So, another comic is coming for you, only a couple of weeks after the last one. However, because I'm not made of money, this one does not have specially commissioned art. Instead, it is made of stock photos.

Specifically, as you may have seen from the image on the right, stock photos of geese.

Yes. Click here now to read my five page story about a goose having an identity crisis. Trust me, it's great.

If you particularly enjoy the story, or desperately want me to be able to afford to pay more artists so I do less weird stock photo comics, you can back me on Patreon and help make that happen. If you back at the necessary level, you even get a nine-minute podcast of me discussing my inspirations for this story.

Now, here's another sample from the goose comic.


Traitor's Hope by Virginia McClain - Review

This is part of the blog tour for Traitor's Hope, the new book from Virginia McClain. Much like myself, Virginia is a Jukepop Serials alumni who spun her webserial from that site off into a series of self-published novels.

She's good people, always very supportive of the Hobson & Choi series and her books are reliably fun (here's my Goodreads review of the first one if you like context) so I jumped at the chance to get involved with the sequel's release. Let's do this.

Traitor's Hope - a short essay

Here, then, we return to the pseudo-Japanese world of Gensokai, where lifelong friends Taka and Mishi - the heroes from the first book - are discovering that keeping the peace might be almost as hard as winning the war. Like many second-books-in-series, there's a greater focus on character-building here, a little willingness to let the people breathe and talk to each other rather than rushing headlong into the story.

It also provides a chance for more world-building and a greater sense of the wider universe, which helps contextualise some of the more out-there fantasy elements. The magic system remains one of the best parts, well integrated into the world, story and combat. But perhaps most importantly of all, it gives the author the chance to describe really cool stuff. One element that's definitely remained consistent between books is McClain's gift for a visceral action scene.

The characters other than Taka and Mishi also benefit a lot from the extra space, and supporting cast member Kusuko in particular gets a lot of interesting development - she's probably the break-out character of the series, at this stage. Certainly, I know seeing what happens next to her is probably my biggest incentive to come back for the next one.

This second-book task of expanding on the world means the plot isn't quite as propulsive as the first one, but I think that's expected. It means that when the faeces hits the fan again - and it definitely will - we care all the more about what happens to the cast. Mishi's worries over her violent nature become a little laboured over the course of the whole book, but if I had genuine reason to believe I might flip out and kill my friends at any moment, I'd probably worry about it a lot too.

In short - a strong continuation to a good series. Builds upon the strength of Blade's Edge, makes the world of Gensokai deeper and more interesting and keeps the characters moving forward. I'll definitely be back for book three.

Giveaway!

Want to win a copy of the book? There is a giveaway, and it is below. 1 winner will receive a signed paperback set of BLADE’S EDGE & TRAITOR’S HOPE, US Only. 3 winners will receive eBook sets of BLADE’S EDGE & TRAITOR’S HOPE, International.

(This is being run as part of the blog tour and not by me, just in case that wasn't crystal clear.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hot Chunky Information

Want to know more about the book and/or blog tour? Here's all the words you could possibly need, or click here to go to the website of the company running it.

About the Book:

Title: TRAITOR'S HOPE (Blade's Edge #2)
Author: Virginia McClain
Pub. Date: October 14, 2017
Publisher: Artemis Dingo Productions
Pages: 284
Formats: Paperback eBook
Find it: Amazon, Buy The Paperback, Goodreads

Traitors lurk around every bend. Mishi’s mind is betraying her, and she fears her kisō and katana will betray her next. Taka’s heart abandons her for a person she cannot possibly trust. Now that the two friends are obliged to help re-establish peace in the land of Gensokai, the only question is where the next betrayal will come from and if Mishi and Taka will have the strength to survive it.

About Virginia:

Virginia thinks dangling from the tops of hundred foot cliffs is a good time. She also enjoys hauling a fifty pound backpack all over the Grand Canyon and sleeping under the stars. Sometimes she likes running for miles through the desert, mountains, or wooded flatlands, and she always loves getting lost in new places where she may or may not speak the language.

From surviving earthquakes in Japan, to putting out a small forest fire in Montana, Virginia has been collecting stories from a very young age. She works hard to make her fiction as adventurous as her life and her life as adventurous as her fiction. Both take a lot of imagination.

She recently moved to Winnipeg with her husband (a Manitoba native) and their dog.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Tour Schedule

Week One:

10/9/2017- Two Chicks on Books- Interview
10/9/2017- Blushing Bibliophile- Review
10/10/2017- Arvenig.it- Guest Post
10/10/2017- Bibliobakes- Review
10/11/2017- Kati's Bookaholic Rambling Reviews- Excerpt
10/11/2017- Ashley M. Delgado- Review
10/12/2017- A Dream Within A Dream- Excerpt
10/12/2017- Don't Judge, Read- Spotlight
10/13/2017- BookHounds YA- Guest Post
10/13/2017- Adventures Thru Wonderland- Review

Week Two:

10/16/2017- Novel Novice- Excerpt
10/16/2017- Nick Bryan Dot Com- Review
10/17/2017- Books at Dawn- Guest Post
10/17/2017- YA and Wine- Excerpt
10/18/2017- Fire and Ice- Spotlight
10/18/2017- A Gingerly Review- Review
10/19/2017- My Nook, Books & More- Excerpt
10/19/2017- Jena Brown Writes- Review
10/20/2017- Seeing Double In Neverland- Interview
10/20/2017- Ramblings From An Alternate Reality- Review

New comics! New Patreon! New!

Yes, after a sparse year on the blog, I'm back with new fiction! And it's more comics, which should tell you something about where my head is this year.

But this time, it's not a comic story in an anthology - we now have a new 'Comics' tab at the top of this site, or you can just click here, where I'll be posting a few short stories I've been working on with some very cool artists. We've got three in progress, a fourth hopefully joining them soon.

As someone who likes his comics a lot - you may have noticed - I'm pretty excited. The very first story is called Transcendental Rental, with fun art by Chris Caesar (sample panel above, yes) and features a wizarding mishap. Basically, it's a short comedy bit. Subsequent stories will have beefier plots, but this seemed a fun start.

P-P-P-Pick Up A Patreon

All of which brings me on to our second bit of news - like many an internet creating person, I have now started a Patreon page, to help me hire still more artists and draw still more comics. I've got a few up-front to get us going, but if you'd like to see more without along wait - or if you just particularly like me and my work and want to chip in - there is now a way.

Patreon, for those who don't know, is basically a way of 'subscribing' to a creator you like, paying a monthly amount of your choice. In return, they provide a few perks - I've listed a few on the site, including a short commentary podcast about the process of making each comic. The first is up now!

But yeah, obviously, this is a service I'm providing, so if there's any further perks I can (reasonably) provide to encourage patreonage, do get in touch.

Or if you'd rather stick to a one-time donation than a full patreonisation, there is also this PayPal thingy.

Anyhow. I don't want this site to become a constant beg, but just FYI, the Patreon option now exists, there are perks available. If you enjoy the free comic stories especially, it will definitely make it much more likely that there will be more of them. We'll see how it goes.

"The Half-Baked Sacrifice" - new comic anthology story out now in print and digital!

My latest venture into comic writing is out now! It's called The Half-Baked Sacrifice, with art by Lukas Kowalczuk and features in the new anthology Something Wicked 2016 from Futurequake Press!

Basically, it's a four page story about a slightly unstable toaster and its important mechanical religious beliefs. There's also a rodent. I think the story's pretty fun by itself, but the the art by Lukas is absolutely excellent.

Seriously - buy the comic, look at it. Or there are a few small samplers available in this very post! (Yes, they are quite small samples, but it is a four page story. I don't want to give away the farm.)

And if you wish to buy it in print, you can go to Futurequake Press's website here for £6.50 (plus postage)!

Or, for digital comic readers, it's also up on popular digital comics platform Comixology for the knock-down price of £1.49.

My bit starts on page 74, if you wanted to know.

So yes, check it out. It may not shock you to learn that writing comics is a long-held dream for me, and seeing it realised in such a beautifully drawn way has come close to making my entire 2017 even though it's only just started.

Oh, and if you want to see more art from Lukas Kowalczuk (and fair enough), his website is right here. Cheers to Futurequake as well, for making the whole process fun and painless. If you're an aspiring creator and the chance comes up to work with them, absolutely do it.