I'm Awake, I'm Alive
At MCM Belfast Comic Con we had the great pleasure of meeting the guys from Turncoat Press. Turncoat Press is an independent Irish comic book publisher. Our first book, ‘I’m Awake, I’m Alive’, was released in 2014. It is an anthology book with 7 stories made by 10 creators. Borne of a love of the form and a desire to craft innovative and exciting stories across many different genres. We got to chat with Colin O’Mahoney and Emmet O’Brien and they told us about setting up their anthology “I’m Awake, I’m Alive.” Their anthology is definitely a product of passion. You can feel the passion the writers and artists have for their stories in every page of the anthology. It is made up of 7 separate stories and each has its own theme and original take on its genre.
What we felt to be one of the most predominant stories in the anthology was “Last Rebel” as written by Chris O’Halloran (who has previously done some work for Green Monkey Comics). We assume that the art was taken on by Chris too. The Last Rebel takes place in a world that has changed drastically. After a virus breaks out and kills half the population and mutates animals and people alike, the hero of the story, Jen, roams the streets like a kick-ass, no nonsense vigilante. With her trusty Hurley stick wrapped in barbed wire, Jen takes down mutated cheetahs and deals out justice to brutish gangs. The story has a distinct family feel to it when she has to go after her wayward, unstable, mutated sister but you soon find out that Jen and her sister Grace aren’t all that different. I won’t spoil the rest of the story for you but the links between the characters within the story is pretty awesome.
We also particularly liked “Naturally it’s a lie,” written by Emmet O’Brien and Roisin Hanley. There is no dialogue to this story, only the images and that’s all that’s needed really. Roisin has a beautiful drawing style and the limited use of colour (black and white with a hint of green) really works for the story making it feel natural, but eerie and creepy at the same time. The end of the story is just brilliant and wasn’t something that we were expecting!
A special mention to “The Drawing Room scene” is needed as it was a brilliant little gem amongst the other stories in the anthology. It too was written by Emmet O’Brien and the art was completed by Liam Cuthbert. We were quite keen on Liam’s drawing style and would like to see him drawing a few more stories for any future anthologies from Turncoat Press. The story is about Daniel Laureth, famed criminologist and all round sleuth and how he solves the crimes that he does. The story has a distinct Dexter/Sweeny Todd/Sherlock Holmes feel to it and it is deliciously twisted. We loved the ending to this little story and we would love to see more from the brilliant, yet evil Daniel Laureth.
All in all, “I’m Awake, I’m Alive” is a brilliant anthology and a really brilliant first publication by Turncoat Press. Their variety of stories was impressive and their endless pool of writers and artists was very welcome as it added so much more depth to it all. We would love to see more of “Last Rebel” and “The Drawing Room Scene” as they were the stories that excited us the most. My score out of 5? Well I couldn’t give it anything less. Loved the stories but not all were to our taste. The ones that were where little beauties! Some epic art work and some brilliant writing make “I’m Awake, I’m Alive” and anthology definitely worth getting.
For more information about Turncoat Press check out their website here