Adding forthcoming titles to the graphic novels site this week I found a new range of graphic novels from Dark Horse (home to Hellboy among others) coming in collaboration with Harlequin, the romance novel specialists (that’s basically Mills & Boon to those of us in the UK)! The previous week I had added on some other romantic graphic novels aimed at women readers from the Manga imprint Blu, which included – are you ready for this, a title about gay ninjas in love! Heh! Oh, you have to love the comics industry!

And yes, I added them all on to the catalogue – they don’t really look like my cup of tea – I’d rather read the new Alex Robinson, Tricked and I’m dying to read The Fountain by Dan Aronofsky, who directed Pi (this is his own adaptation of his own Hugh Jackson and Rachel Weiz movie) – but I want to be able to offer as diverse a range of titles as possible. I think the mix is getting better every month, with more unusual entries getting represented as well as the more obvious titles from major publishers of graphic novels. I’ve even had a few of the indepedent publishers sending me details of new titles to add, so it looks like this approach is working.

I know as a reader I want to be able to browse the unusual and offbeat new material as well as works by my favourite established authors (and on that score I’m glad to say Richard Morgan is working on a second Black Widow mini series for Marvel). I suppose its the difference between running the site merely as a job and being a reader of much of the material I’m posting to it. It’s also rewarding to be able to support new writers and artists and hopefully bring them to a bigger audience.

Nova Scotia

On the book front one my Book Picks in the new FPI magazine from Scottish independent publisher Mercat Press was getting much attention this week. Nova Scotia, an anthology of new Scottish speculative fiction, was, my Glasgow colleagues tell me, our stand-out bestselling book at the FPI tables in the dealer room at the Worldcon last weekend – it fairly flew out the door, which was superb to hear. I suspect a lot of attendees had bags over the weight allowance at the airport on the way home! Perhaps airlines could help promote health by offering larger baggage weight allowances if the passenger loses weight between arriving and departing?

On Thursday I was at Blackwell’s (what was once James Thins) Edinburgh bookstore near the FPI branch I’m based in for the Nova Scotia evening. Great turnout for the launch and a great collection of the contributing authors were present – obviously not all of them could get to read from their short stories, but it was great that so many of them came along to sign books and talk to the readers. Ken MacLeod, Charlie Stross, Jack Deighton, Neil Williamson, Andrew J Wilson, Mike Cobley and Debbie Miller were just some of the writers present (and Hugo-winning Charlie’s attempt at an Edinburgh accent had to be heard!). It also gave me a chance to catch up with my mate Matthew and see Fiona and Adam who have just come back home for a few weeks before returning to Taiwan where Fiona is teaching English and performing death-deying stunts on a scooter on Taiwan’s roads.

Naturally I had to get my copy of Nova Scotia (thanks to Vikki at Mercat for that) signed for my collection (must be the single book with the most author signatures in my collection) and as I had Accelerando in my bag with me Charlie signed that for me too. Great evening and a good week for Nova Scotia – always good to see an indy publisher doing so well with a good book (which I heartily recommend) and I’m really happy we’ve been able to give it some support.