Quite often you work on things not even thinking about what the end result will be, or what you’re going to do with it. Kochi Wanaba was one such thing for me, a real labour of love but with no clear end product planned, I just knew I wanted to do it. Once finished, I toyed with the idea of self-publishing but quality control put paid to that, so instead I decided to put the whole thing online. And I’m very glad I did, I was touched by how wrapped up in it people became, and there were a lot of calls to release the material as a book.
In my mind, the idea of it being a book was always a bit of a lost opportunity. I can’t say why, in case you haven’t read it yet and it spoils anything for you, but it would make sense. So I’m very pleased to say that Blank Slate will be publishing Kochi Wanaba. Blank Slate are really rising through the ranks as one of the best UK publishers, (check out some of their titles and artists here ), worth noting that their book Psychiatric Tales by Darryl Cunningham just hit number one in the amazon graphic novels list! Congrats!
So finally, yes, we’re making it a book. For release when, not quite sure. It’d be optimistic to say this year perhaps, but as soon as possible. Thing I learned with Kochi is it was rather tricky to print, and print well, while retaining the pencils properly, so there needs to be a bit of working out as to how best to do this. What I can say is for me, publishing Kochi as a book is a great opportunity to show all the work that didn’t make it online. There are a ton of pages and sketches which didn’t fit in, and I’d like to explain a few things in there too. We’ll make sure it’s a beautiful thing.
In the meantime, if you haven’t read Kochi yet, YOU CAN READ IT NOW(contains swearing and violence) or just wait for the book.
Phew, two book announcements in two days! Mental innit. One last mention, i’ll be at MCM Expo in London tomorrow (saturday), signing between 11 and 1. So do come along. Follow me on twitter and i’ll try and say where in the comics village it’ll be (as soon as i know), in case you want to be one of the first five to bring a copy of Find Chaffy and win a Chaffy toy!
So this afternoon, a comment came in for the final page of Kochi.
“wait! wut?! Ok I need a better explanation then what ever just occurred…
If that was truly the ending (which i hope it weren’t) you have just kicked something beautiful full on in the nuts and left it in a gutter to die.” – Jim
Actually a few people have been a little incredulous with how Kochi ends, so I wanted to reply. In fact, I’ll give you three (possible) replies.
1) Hey, you got a whole book to read for free. It can end how it wants.
This is, of course, utter bullshit. The fact that anyone is angry about the ending of Kochi means that they care, and they care because they’ve gotten involved in the story. So If you’ve been angry about the ending, I take that as a huge compliment about the book as a whole. However, you may need more than that…
2) The ending of Kochi is right and fits the book’s underlying message.
I have said Kochi is to be interpreted by the reader. That then leaves the ending to be interpreted in a number of different ways, depending on how you’ve read the book and what you think it means, so if it’s left you cold perhaps it requires some thinking. I don’t want to spell it out, so I’m not going to detail it. I will, one day, write out some of the ideas I was trying to weave underneath Kochi. But I’m not going to spoon feed you what it all means, never.
3) It’s not the end anyway, it’s the prologue.
Is this the end of the Kochi story? No. It was never intended to be. This book was meant to stand alone as a tale in itself, with its own message and subtexts, and I’m proud that it does. It is self-contained. But when I was writing this first book, I was also planning out the rest of the story, it continues where it left off and gets a lot more mental than this.
Whether I’ll ever get the time or opportunity to do it justice, I don’t know.
ALL comments are really appreciated, the feedback has been really humbling. Thank you!