Good News For David Hine, Mark Stafford, And Graphic Novel Lip Hook

by Oliver MacNamee

Here in the United Kingdom we have the Arts Council, a government funding wing for the Arts, and while their coffers have been somewhat depleted in recent years (along with the systematic dismantling of the Arts in our equivalent of Middle and High School), there is sometimes some good news and some deserving winners.

In this case, it’s writer David Hine and his artistic collaborator, Mark Stafford, who have successfully landed funding to support the production of an all-new graphic novel, Lip Hook, from SelfMadeHero.

Their previous project, The Man Who Laughed, was a critical success, adapting Victor Hugo’s novel of the same name and one of the inspirations behind The Joker, and being shortlisted for the Best Book in the British Comic Awards of 2013. More recently, they contributed to the surprisingly best selling The Corbyn Comic anthology based on the Labour Party Leader, Jeremy Corbyn. Think Bernie Sanders with a beard, and you’re there!

Hine writes, on his blog, announcing the good news:

Part of the deal with the Arts Council is that the public get their money’s worth out of us. To that end we’ll be opening up our working process throughout the next year and beyond, starting with regular blogs and then moving on to talks, workshops, exhibition and eventually the printed book itself.

But what’s it all about, I hear you ask? Again, Hine has all the answers:

Lip Hook came about when Mark (Stafford) pointed out to me the true story of the murderous Magdalena Solis religious cult that sprang up in Mexico in the early 60s. We’ve shifted the location to an isolated, myth-steeped English village. The story is told through the eyes of an adolescent boy who is bemused and fascinated as he observes the conflict between traditional patriarchy and the powerful and mysterious women who gradually overturn the system, inflict chaos and ultimately take control of the village.

And, judging by some of the preliminary work towards what will be a 160 page graphic novel/album below, Hine and Stafford will be producing a suitably creepy contemporary horror story based on real life events, but set in deepest rural Britain. An appropriately Wicker Man like setting for such a tale. Once again proving that there are some really spooky, manipulative groups out there in the real world already, without having to dream them up too much. A right bunch of cults, you might say.

For more behind the scenes pages like these, hop on over to David Hine’s blog, waitingforthetrade.com.

Congratulations, guys! From all of us here at Comicon.com HQ.