Twitter: @MrRiktus. AndrÃ© May After briefly attempting to work with digital painting, AndrÃ©. 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.
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 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?
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.
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.
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.
DEViLS, YOU SCARED ME. TOMORROW?
ARE YOU iN HERE AGAiN?
TOMORROW, I PROMiSE.
ALL WiLL BE AS WAS BEFORE?
YES. YES, DA, iT WiLL.
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.
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—
AH! WELL, THiS iS A VERY UNEXPECTED PLEASURE.
ERRM… A DRiNK, M'LADY?
GAH! HOP iT!
SQUiD SUCKiNG, FOX CACKiNG, UTTER C—
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?
OH, FOR THE LOVE OF…
AND I SAY, GET YOUR FiLTHY HANDS OFF HER.
ENOUGH OF THiS!
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
Suggested for Young Adults and above.