After an eight year hiatus, Gary Spencer Millidge’s Strangehaven will return next May with new episodes appearing in a revived bimonthly comics anthology Meanwhile… published by Soaring Penguin Press.
Originally self-published, Strangehaven is one of those eerie stories about a man who finds himself in a village where not everything is as it seems…the story spun out in a bizarre and delightful series of oddities and mysteries. (Three self published collections are setill available at Millidge’s website). Millidge was one of the hearty band of 90s self-publishers, but now he’s teaming up, as he explained in a press release.
As you read it, there is a happy takeaway, I think. hen Millidge launched his comic, publishers were so crappy that there was no place to go to get this kind of thing published. Now, we have a fleet of smart, dedicated comics publishers who put out all kinds of eclectic material, with a good chance of finding an audience of some kind. So, it’s all good.
It is anticipated that there will be 13-14 pages of Strangehaven content per issue, which after twelve episodes published over two years, will effectively comprise the fourth volume.
Self-publishing advocate Millidge, (originally following trailblazers like Dave Sim, Terry Moore and Jeff Smith) always intended to continue and complete the series as a self-published title, but due to various professional, personal and financial reasons was unable to do so.
Millidge said, “For the past year or so I have been actively preparing for its return and trying to find a way of delivering it to my readers. In a nutshell, I needed time to sit down and draw it – and in a freelancer’s world, time literally is money – and to do that I needed some sort of advance on royalties, and in the comics world this usually means surrendering at least some of the intellectual rights, which after already spending twelve years or so writing and drawing the series, I was not prepared to give up.”
The approach earlier this year by British independent publisher John Anderson of Soaring Penguin offered Millidge full creator ownership and a substantial advance.
“As John will testify, I still took a lot of convincing – temporarily at least – to abandon my self-publishing philosophy, and the contract took a long time to iron out. Ultimately, I had to choose between this opportunity to get the fourth volume of Strangehaven completed and out into my reader’s hands, or to let it remain in limbo while I continued to figure out a way of having my cake and eating it.”
“So, although this solution compromises my purest principles of independence, I figure that my readers would rather see new episodes however they were emerged, than to wait for some further unspecified period.”
Meanwhile… will be available in electronic format courtesy the SEQUENTIAL app, and the print version will be available in UK and US comics stores (full distribution details still under discussion) or direct from Soaring Penguin.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.