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Fiendish finish!

The Fiend in Five Dimensions

Well, some of you may be aware that a bunch of small press comics folks including myself have made a pilgrimage to a holiday cottage in Gloucestershire for the last few years in the cold of Winter, and spend a long weekend eating good food, drinking and socialising, and somehow, over the course of time, making a comic. The results of these weekends we put out under the banner "The Midwinter Comics Retreat" They rarely make a lick of sense, but there's a streak of insanity running through them that folks seem to enjoy, despite the fact that most of the gags rely on a lot of pop culture references and in-jokes between the participants.

In 2004 (IIRC), we produced The Seven Faced Badger of Doom!
Next up was Twelve Go Nuts in Gloucestershire.
Then was Hellspoon! which came out in a white heat period of just over a month, where Selina and I went to two conventions, produced a new issue of Violent!, two issues of The Girly Comic, wrote two novels (totalling around 160,000 words between them) and did a Midwinter Comics Retreat comic which we turned around in less than a week from start to finish, so we could sell it at the inaugural Birmingham International Comics Show. And then, we hibernated! : ) 
Last November, we had discovered the Comic Life programme, which lets you make photo-comics really easily, and decided that we'd incorporate an element of dressing up into proceedings, mixing live action and illustrated comic pages in The Fiend In Five Dimensions.

In hindsight, we might have bitten off more than we could chew, and several pages remained in a state of quantum flux for many months, until a critical mass of the original participants met up at last weekend's Caption convention, and sat in the bar, determined to finish the beast off.

After the best part of the last 24 hours assembling and tweaking pages written by two main writers and interpreted by a multitude of different artists, some of whom follow a script page to the letter, and some who "take the scenic route", shall we say? It's an interesting way to work, certainly, trying to solve continuity problems on the hoof, where characters appear in panels of pages before they are introduced into the story, and the like! Any continuity gaffes are usually circumvented by the disclaimer that the cottage where we stay (and which forms the main location in each story) is built over a rift where reality is a bit wobbly, and which manifests in all kinds of little (and large) ways.

With four of the Midwinter Comics Retreat comics under our belt, you'd think that by now we'd have given up any expectation of them making any sense at all, wouldn't you?

At the tail end of November, we'll be doing it all again, though I suspect we'll be scaling back the distractions a tad this time!

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