At long last I can finally say this, Age of Savagery is complete, off to the printers and is available (for pre-order at least) on Deadstar Publishing's webstore. Ten stories, 22 Creators and a butt load of heart & soul, this has been a saga for me since the initial submissions call almost a YEAR ago!. I could not be happier with the awesome work people have submitted.
Way back early last year, before I approached Kev with the rather grand idea of open submissions, I was just struggling to get Issue 4 of New Wasteland Fairy Tales off the ground.
I just couldn't get into the story I had written and the whole theme had seemed to take a rather grim turn. I wasn't board with the title, far from it, NWFT will be getting new installments, but something was nagging me. An itch at the back of my mind that needed to be scratched. I didn't want big pink robots and have silly-slap stick in this story, I want something a bit more... savage.
And so began the doodles, I was scribbling ideas and designs for a about a month every chance I could get. Reading old Conan comics, looking up old-school fantasy novels and re-watching 80's fantasy movies to get a feel for what I wanted. Eventually I had a world and a short story that I was happy with, but it was to short a story to publish alone and I had sunk too much time and effort into the World building to let it collect dust on the shelf, so I talked to Kev about it. Initially I thought we'd just drum up other stories from else where and just publish a mixed anthology, but I think it was showing him the sketches and ideas I'd come up with that got him excited.
We took the idea to CFCC last year and told anyone that would listen. We asked artists and writers, old and new until I'd exhausted my ability to speak at volume. (to those who know me as "Shouty Dave" this was a big deal) Within the first 2 months we had our first completed submission from Josh Sommerville-Jacklin and soon after we had prose and art submitted from people I hadn't heard from in years.
It was all shaping up until the printer botched the deadline. We were scheduled to release in October, but without a big event between CFCC and Xmas that we could attend, Kev and I made the hard choice to delay release until the New Year.
Going into 2018 and we had our events calendar set up and ready to go. We were hoping to get everything ready for Swansea Comic and Gaming Con, but between an exploding hard drive and the printers once again making a mockery of our time table, it was looking tight. That said, we can confirm that AoS has gone to print and we will be launching (if not this weekend in Swansea) then certainly the weekend 12th-13th at Cardiff Film and Comic Con. We made it folks, a year in the making and the efforts of over twenty talented people, but we made it.
I feel it fitting that an anthology of Barbarian short stories should have it's own saga about it. From humble begins to the heady rush of early success with the initial submissions. Onto trials and woe of the first failed printer deadline and then the limbo of additional editing leading into Xmas. But on the horizon was the hope of a grand release, we merely had to conquer our long standing foe... The Printers. Through many angry phone calls, sleepless nights and an uncooperative computer system, Kev battled this nemesis with all the energy a sleep deprived editor could muster. Right now he stands victorious upon a pile disgruntled emails and invoices ready to strike at The Printers again should they present a threat to our CFCC release date a third time....
I, his chronicler, once asked of Kev, "What is best in life?"
He responded "To get eight hour sleep. To have the printers do as they're told first time. To hear the lamentations of their manager."