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Twitter: @MrRiktus. André May After briefly attempting to work with digital painting, André. May's interest in sequential art made him pursue comic coloring, which ...

First  published  2014 by  Improper  Books   An  Imprint  of  Read  Publishing  Ltd Home Farm, 44 Evesham Road, Cookhill Alcester, Warwickshire, B49 5LJ www.improperbooks.com ©  Benjamin  Read  &  Chris  Wildgoose  2014   Story:  Benjamin  Read   Illustrator:  Chris  Wildgoose   Colours:  André  May   Lettering:  Jim  Campbell   Managing  Editor:  Matt  Gibbs       All  rights  reserved.  No  part  of  this  book  may  be  reproduced,  stored  in  a  retrieval   system,  or  transmitted  in  any  form  or  by  any  means,  electronic,  mechanical,   photocopying,  recording  or  otherwise,  without  the  prior  permission  of  the   publishers.     ISBN:  978-­‐1-­‐4733-­‐2027-­‐7   Printed  and  bound  in  the  United  Kingdom.

HA! YOU MUST THiNK I’VE GOT SQUiD FOR BRAiNS, ColONEL!

COLONEL, GENERAL, YOU ALL WEAR THE SAME DAFT HAT, SO WHAT’S iT MATTER?

THAT’S… THAT’S ‘GENERAL’, M’LADY, AS I HAVE ALREADY POiNTED OUT.

WHAT I BELiEVE MY COMMANDiNG OFFiCER WAS ABOUT TO SAY, M’LADY, was THAT WE HAD ALREADY MADE A HANDSOME OFFER.

WHY YOU…

WE HAD NATURALLY TAKEN YOUR SiLENCE AS ACCEPTANCE.

MY SiLENCE WAS BECAUSE I LAUGHED SO HARD THAT I NEARLY WET MY KNiCKERS AND HAD TO CLENCH ACCORDiNGLY.

BUT M’LADY…

BUT NOTHiNG. I’VE NAMED ME PRiCE FOR THE HORCELAiN AND I’LL SPiT ON iT OR YOUR SHOES. YOUR SHOUT.

THE DAMN HORSES ARE NOT THE iSSUE. iT iS THE PORCELAiN MEN, THE SOLDiERS, THAT I WANT.

iF iT’S A CASE OF MORE MONEY, WE’LL PAY. THE AMOUNT iS OF NO MOMENT.

ALREADY TOLD YOU, THEY AiN’T FOR SALE ANYMORE. THiNGS HAVE CHANGED.

YOU DEAF iN THAT EAR? iT’S A CASE OF ‘NO’. NOW, DO YOU WANT THE HORSES OR NOT?

MEN ARE DYiNG! MY MEN! WHiLST YOU SiT HERE—

GeNERAL! HOLD, PLeASE.

MAY WE CONFER? YOU CAN HOLD EACH OTHER TiGHT FOR ALL I CARE. I AiNT GOiNG NOWHERE.

DEAL WiTH THiS OR I WiLL!

WE'LL TAKE THE HORSES. BUT I BEG YOU TO RECONSiDER ON THE PORCELAiN MEN.

SHE'S ONLY ANGRY BECAUSE OF OUR LOSSES iN THE EAST, YOU KNOW. NOT UP FOR DEBATE.

SHE FEELS EACH ONE PERSONALLY.

YOU'LL GET ME BiLL.

THERE'S NOTHiNG I CAN DO FOR HER.

AS YOU WiLL, M'LADY.

THERE'S AN iCY, ANGRY, FRONT BUT A WARM HEART BENEATH, I SUSPECT.

LiKE I SAiD, SHE'S NOT MY PROBLEM. OFF YOU TROT.

WHO SAiD I WAS TALKiNG ABOUT HER?

GoOD dAY.

URGH.

OH, LADY, BUT YOU ARE UNKiND. THOSE POOR SOLDiERS LOOKED QUiTE DiSTRESSED. DiD YOU USE THE VOiCE?

I’VE NO iDEA WHAT YOU MEAN, MARiEM.

I FiND THAT THE MORE RiDiCULOUS THE HAT, THE MORE AWKWARD THEY FEEL WHEN THEY HAVE TO DEAL WiTH A RANTiNG GUTTERSNiPE.

OH, you diD! YOU wiCKED WOMAN.

PROPER WRONG FOOTS 'EM, iT DOES.

YOU GAVE THEM YOUR BEST URCHiN, DiDN'T YOU?

ANYWAY, iN THE EYES OF POLiTE SOCiETY, I’M STiLL A STiNKiNG URCHiN. MiGHT AS WELL TALK LiKE ONE.

AFTER PAYiNG ME ALL THAT LOVELY MONEY SO THAT YOU DON'T? A WASTE. WE COULD HAVE SAVED TiME AND sPENT iT ON FUN iNSTEAD.

ON THE TOPiC OF FUN, THERE'S A PARTY TONiGHT AT—

NO, MARiEM. ABSOLUTELY NOT. NEVER AGAiN, iN FACT.

I HAVE NO DESiRE TO MEET LORD 'TOUCH YOUR BUM' OR HiS FRiENDS AGAiN. THEY'RE TORN BETWEEN GETTiNG THEiR HANDS UP MY DRESS OR iN MY PURSE.

YOU SHOULD COME. YOU HAD THREE PROPOSALS LAST SEASON.

FROM FAT MEN WiTH GAMBLiNG DEBTS.

SO iT'S NOT ALL BAD, THEN?

SO COME OUT WiTH ME. FiND A PRETTiER, MORE SOLVENT ONE.

THEY'D ALL HAVE SEEN US ON THE STREET AS SOON AS THEY WERE iN CHARGE OF THE MONEY.

HAVE SOME FUN!

NO. I’LL HAVE NO PART OF iT.

SO WHAT, YOU'LL STAY HERE AND MOULDER?

THEiR PARTS HAVE OCCASiONAL USES iN MY EXPERiENCE.

EXACTLY THAT.

YOUR BEAUTY WiLTiNG AS YOU STAY LOCKED AWAY WORKiNG ON YOUR SECRET PROJECT.

YOU'RE A DiSGRACE TO THE PROFEsSiON OF CHAPERONE. WHEN WiLL YOU TELL ME WHAT YOU'RE DOiNG iN THE GLAZE ROOM? I’M BURNiNG TO KNOW.

WHEN I’M READY. STOP BEiNG SO ACQ…iNQUiSiTiVE, YOU DREADFUL NOSE.

BAH.

iF YOU WON'T COME OUT, THEN AT LEAST PROMiSE ME YOU'LL NOT WORK TONiGHT. YOU NEVER STOP ANYMORE.

VERY WELL, MARiEM, I PROMiSE. I’LL READ iNSTEAD. NOW, BUGGER OFF.

GAH!

CHiLD.

DEViLS, YOU SCARED ME. TOMORROW?

ARE YOU iN HERE AGAiN?

TOMORROW, I PROMiSE.

ALL WiLL BE AS WAS BEFORE?

YES. YES, DA, iT WiLL.

HRRMM.

I’LL GET THERE, CASSANDRA, I PROMiSE. I’VE MADE SUCH ADVANCES ON THE OTHERS.

MAKE HiM BETTER.

iT'S JUST BETTER TO SAY TOMORROW BECAUSE HE FORGETS.

I WiLL MAKE HiM BETTER.

HE FORGETS.

DAWN. UNDERSTAND.

THANK YOU. I KNOW YOU UNDERSTAND.

Stay, Ruffles. GOod boy.

AND ONE FOR YOURSELF.

EVENiNG, SATTA. HOW DO, GAL?

AHH, I GET BY. YOU KNOW HOW iT iS.

NO DOUBT YOU ToO ARE DECLARiNG AlL THiS iNCOME To THE FiNe GENTLeMEN OF THE REVeNUE?

DON'T MiND iF I DO. YOU MUST BE DOiNG ALRiGHT!

PiNT OF THE USUAL?

HAH! YOU'RE A SAUCY LiTTLE KiPPER, AiNT YOU?

THAT'S WHY YOU LOVE ME, AiN'T iT?

I’M OFF TO DANCE.

FiNE FOOTWORK. CAN I GET YOU A DRiNK, PRETTY?

I CAN GET ME OWN, HANDSOM—

YOU!

AH! WELL, THiS iS A VERY UNEXPECTED PLEASURE.

ERRM… A DRiNK, M'LADY?

GAH! HOP iT!

DEViLS!

EVENiNG!

SQUiD SUCKiNG, FOX CACKiNG, UTTER C—

ARGH!

OUT AFTER CURFEW ARE WE, MY BEAUTY?

GOOD EVENiN', OFFiCER.

OH, DEARY, DEARY ME.

I’VE JUST COME FROM THE HALLOWED BEAR. I BELiEVE THERE'S AN ARRANGEMENT?

AH, THAT'S A DiFFERENT STORY THEN, MiSS. YOU'LL BE AWARE OF THE CUSTOMARY DONATiON? OF COURSE, LET ME FiND THAT FOR YOU.

UNHAND THAT WOMAN! SHE iS A GREAT LADY.

UNHAND THAT WOMAN.

'ERE, WHO'S THiS PRAT, THEN?

UNHAND HER NOW, OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES. I’VE NO iDEA WHo THiS iS.

YOU BE SHUSH, LASS.

AND I’M THE DUKE OF SEVEN VEiLS.

AND WHY SHOULD WE DO THAT, THEN?

OFFiCER, THE ARRANGEMENT. I’M SORRY FOR THiS iDiOT.

BECAUSE I’M A CAPTAiN OF THE REGENT'S GUARD. OH, WE'RE WELL PAST SORRY.

A LARGER DONATiON, PERHAPS?

REALLY? I THiNK YOU'LL BE COMiNG WiTH US.

WELL, BiTS OF YOU ANYWAY.

I DiSAGREE. BEHiND ME, M'LADY.

WHAT WERE YOU SAYiNG, CORPORAL?

iT'S CAPTAiN.

OH, FOR THE LOVE OF…

AND I SAY, GET YOUR FiLTHY HANDS OFF HER.

ENOUGH OF THiS!

Thorn!

I DO NOT WALK ALONE AT NiGHT.

Benjamin  Read  writes  comics  and  makes  films.  He  wrote  the  multiply   award-­‐nominated  PORCELAIN:  A  GOTHIC  FAIRY  TALE,  the  silent  comic   BUTTERFLY  GATE,  and  children’s  book,  NIGHT  POST,  as  well  as  the  TRUE   GRIT  and  SUPER  8  comic  adaptations.  He  also  wrote  and  produced  the  films   ARMISTICE  and  500  MILES  NORTH.  He  is  one  of  the  founder  members  of   the  Improper  Books  comics  collective,  and  is  fuelled  principally  by  tea  and   whimsy.  He  is  currently  working  on  the  rest  of  the  Porcelain  sequence,   alongside  writing  his  first  novel.     Website:  benjaminread.co.uk   Twitter:  @Bookpirate       Chris  Wildgoose  is  an  illustrator,  and  conceptual  and  storyboard  artist.   Northern  born,  but  London  based,  Chris  made  his  comic  debut  with  the   official  TRUE  GRIT  and  SUPER  8  comics  and  has  been  working  towards   doing  some  good  in  comics  ever  since.     Website:  christianwildgoose.blogspot.co.uk   Twitter:  @MrRiktus       André  May  After  briefly  attempting  to  work  with  digital  painting,  André   May's  interest  in  sequential  art  made  him  pursue  comic  coloring,  which  led   to  his  participation  in  series  such  as  PORCELAIN  (Improper  Books),  SIX   GUN  GORILLA  (BOOM!),  and  LA  LEGENDE  DOREÉ  (Vents  d'Ouest).  Other   than  that,  his  life  story  is  pretty  uninteresting.  He  does  hope  people  enjoy   his  work,  though.     Website:  saerus-­‐coloring.deviantart.com       Jim  Campbell  is  an  Eagle  and  True  Believer  Award-­‐nominated  letterer   whose  work  can  be  seen  in  titles  from  BOOM!  Studios,  Black  Mask,  Dark   Horse,  Image,  Madefire,  Renegade  Arts,  Titan  and  Zenescope.  He  lives  and   works  in  darkest  Nottinghamshire  and  maintains  a  blog  on  matters  relating   to  comics,  lettering  and  other  random  musings.     Website:  jimcampbell-­‐lettering.com   Twitter:  @CampbellLetters         Improper  Books  is  a  comic  and  graphic  novel  studio  focusing  on  stories   that  have  a  touch  of  the  fairy  tale,  the  Gothic  or  the  macabre.     Website:  improperbooks.com   Twitter:  @ImproperBooks  

Ten years have passed, and Child has grown into a Lady. Sole inheritor of Uncle’s secrets and wealth, she has become isolated behind the high walls she once climbed. Set within a world that’s a magical echo of our own, Bone China is the story of Lady, an alchymist, who must forge her own path through the complexities of love, politics, and war.

FREE PREVIEW www.improperbooks.com

@ImproperBooks

Suggested for Young Adults and above.

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