Some Words from Mr Stan Martin

Originally, I wrote Terrible Sunrise for someone else's comic. A bloke whose name I don't remember wanted to (wait for it) publish a whole line of small press comics, the dazzling richness and variety of which would make grown men weep hot, salty tears. So he said.

Intrigued, I wrote and drew a rather perfunctory, though perfectly serviceable five-page strip about some soldiers about to go over the top in WWI, a subject I'd been obsessed with as a small boy. I got in touch with ex-'Help! Shark' writer/artist Gavin Butler and fellow comic creators Darryl Cunningham and Jonathan Edwards, and got them to send some samples to the bloke, who wrote back, actually pretty sharpish, saying that didn't we realise he was going to write the strips, all of them, we'd just be drawing them! What a bloody fool I was.

The boys were suitably disgusted by this display of arrogance, and rather sensibly lost interest, and, unsurprisingly, no more was heard of the bloke. Or his line of small press blah blah blah...
In the meantime, I'd picked up a general history of The Great War in the library, and become curiously fascinated with the account of the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, the incident which precipitated the war itself. I drew some pages detailing what I thought was the truth about the awful events of that calamitous day in June 1914. I became even more interested when, those pages completed, I discovered that further source material (nothing too grand, mind - the next two books on the shelf, in the library, right next to the one I picked out in the first place) directly contradicted what I already knew. Nothing major, you understand - the Archduke and his wife were still dead - but I came away finding it hard to believe Big Proper History Books would be antagonistic to each other over any aspect of such an explosive and far-reaching event.

Given then, that I felt what I'd done so far was inaccurate, (as far as one source was concerned, anyway) and despite the fact that I felt I should strive for scrupulous accuracy, I felt duty-bound to write two or three chapters either side of the one I'd already done.
This time using people and places of my own invention, which would not only deliver me from the trauma of researching the lives of 'real' people, but also give me the opportunity to inject some lo-fi humanity into the proceedings

Before I knew it, I'd done sixty pages, read all the books in the library, and planned a sequel. What a bloody fool indeed.

Terrible Sunrise 1
Terrible Sunrise 1
Terrible Sunrise 2
Terrible Sunrise 2: Rapid Fire
Terrible Sunrise 3

Terrible Sunrise 3: Hearts & Flowers

You may also wish to view:

A selection of Terrible Sunrise Sketchbook Pages

Ordering details:

Terrible Sunrise issues 1, 2 and 3 are currently available at £3 each including post, cheques payable to:
S Martin

Write to:
Betsy Heavens Comic Strip Co.
40 Gloucester Street
Chester CH1 3HR


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