Friday, 9 December 2016

Gamebook Friday: Freeway Fighter - The Comic!

Fans of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks may well already know, but coming from Titan Comics in Spring 2017 is FREEWAY FIGHTER, a comic book based the Ian Livingstone-penned Mad Max-esque post-apocalyptic road-trip of a gamebook of the same name, written by Andi Ewington, with pencils and inks by Simon Coleby, colours by Len O'Grady, and letters by Jim Campbell.

Some FF fans may also have already been aware that such a project was in the offing, thanks to being members of the Facebook group or even because they read about it in YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks.

However, not many people know that I am actually the editor on the project, and it is a project that I am very proud to be a part of. There are many comic book creators I would love to work with, one day, and Simon, Len and Jim were three of them. In fact, thinking that I may never get a better chance to work with Simon, I commissioned him to produce the cover art for SHARKPUNK. And yet here I am, only eighteen months later, and I've worked with him again.

Although I dotted a few 'i's and crossed a few 't's here and there, FREEWAY FIGHTER the comic is really Andi Ewington's baby, and I thank him wholeheartedly for inviting me to join this project. A huge thank you must also go to Matt Mastracci, who has financed the project, and what makes him involvement all the more special to me is that he came on board after reading this passage in YOU ARE THE HERO!

If you have yet to, I would urge you to join the Ian Livingstone's Freeway Fighter: The Comic Facebook group, and check out more about yesterday's breaking news item here and here.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Christmas Explained: I is for Ice

Did you know...?
  1. The average snowflake has a top speed of 1.7 metres per second.
  2. For it to snow the tops of the clouds must be below zero degrees Celsius (or 32 degrees Fahrenheit).
  3. The largest piece of ice to fall to earth was an ice block 6m (or 20ft) across that fell in Scotland on 13 August 1849.
  4. The largest hailstone recorded fell on 14 April 1986 in Bangladesh weighing 1kg (2.25lbs). The hailstorm reportedly killed 92 people.
  5. The largest snowflakes in the world fell across Fort Keogh in Montana (USA) on 28 January 1887.
  6. Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the only permanent snowcap within sight of the equator.
  7. Permanent snow and ice cover about 12% (21 million square kilometres) of the Earth's land surface.
  8. 80% of the world's fresh water is locked up as ice or snow.
  9. A single snowstorm can drop 40 million tons of snow, carrying the energy equivalent to 120 atom bombs.
  10. There is not a law of nature that prohibits 2 snowflakes from being identical.
  11. In Australia, snowfalls are common above 1,500m in the Alps during the winter, but there are no permanent snowfields anywhere on the continent.
  12. The most snow produced in a single snowstorm is 4.8m (15.75ft) at Mt Shasta Ski Bowl, California (USA) between 13 and 19 February 1959.
At a thickness of two inches, ice will support a man. At a thickness of four inches, it will support man on horseback. At a thickness of six inches, it will support teams with moderate loads. At a thickness of eight inches, it will support heavy loads. At a thickness of ten inches, will support 1,000 pounds to the square foot.

Between 1400 and 1814 (which was the last time it happened) the River Thames froze over 26 times. And when it froze solid, Londoners made the most of it, holding Frost Fairs on the ice.

For more seasonal facts about ice and snow, and for more on the Frost Fairs of London, order your copy of Christmas Explained: Robins, Kings and Brussel Sprouts today!

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Christmas Explained: H is for Hats

As in party hats, or the paper crowns you find in crackers. But how far back do hats and their association with Christmas go?

Well you're have to read Christmas Explained: Robins, King and Brussel Sprouts to find out, but you might be surprised...

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Christmas Explained: G is for Grandfather Frost

Today, 6th December, is the Feast of Saint Nicholas, of whom you can find out all sorts of interesting things in Christmas Explained: Robins, Kings and Brussel Sprouts.

However, it is on this day that children in Poland, and other Slavic countries, are visited by Ded Moroz, or 'Grandfather Frost', an ancient Russian deity given a more secular twist by Russia's Communist regime during the 20th Century.

Check out the horns on that get-up!

You can find out more about Ded Moroz here and here.

Ded Moroz in his troika pulled by three steeds, accompanied by his granddaughter Snegurochka.

Ded Moroz and his granddaughter Snegurochka traditionally wear blue.

Ded Moroz gives Sputnik a run for its money, by the look of things.

Christmas Explained - The perfect stocking filler this Christmas!

The Good Book Guide described my book on the history and origins of Christmas as being, "As welcome as a warm glass of mulled wine on a wintry night, Green's guide to Christmas enhances the pleasures of the festive season, offering a witty cornucopia of Christmas facts and folklore."

It would make the ideal gift for a trivia fan, an elderly relative, or for your works Secret Santa. And what could be better than having is signed and personalised by the author too?

The book is in a hardback format and comes with a gold ribbon bookmark too.

For £15* I will send you a signed and personalised copy of Christmas Explained: Robins, Kings and Brussel Sprouts, via Royal Mail second class and signed for, to make sure it reaches you safely.

So don't delay, drop me a line today via!

* This price covers postage and packing within the UK.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Christmas Explained: F is for Figgy Pudding

What exactly is figgy pudding, and how does it differ from the more usual plum pudding? Read Christmas Explained: Robins, King and Brussel Sprouts to find out!

Happy Krampusnacht!

Today, or rather tonight, is Krampusnacht!

Krampus - from the Old High German word krampen, meaning claw - is a Christmas devil, the bad to St. Nicholas' good, whose purpose is to warn children to behave and to punish those children who've been bad.

In the Alpine regions of Austria and Hungary, young men still dress up as the Krampus in the first two weeks of December, particularly on the evening of 5 December, and roam the streets frightening children and women with rusty chains and bells. In some rural areas the tradition goes so far as to include the birching of young girls!

Images of Krampus usually show him with a basket on his back used to carry away bad children and dump them into the pits of Hell.

I was inspired by the legend to write my own story about Krampus and you can download a pdf of the story Claws here.

You can find out all about the Krampus, and other darker Christmas traditions, in my festive-themed book Christmas Explained: Robins, Kings and Brussel Sprouts.