Who the frakk is Neroy Sphinx? In a nutshell, he sprang to life as part of a (failed) pitch to classic UK comic 2000AD way back in 2002, hammered out in a North London kebab shop on an ancient laptop while writer Daniel Whiston was waiting for a band practice to kick off.
A lot’s happened since then, but odds are you’ve still never heard of the guy, so let’s piece him together with a few choice quotes taken from some of the reviews for ‘Back in the Game’, his debut graphic novel from the ever-radiant FutureQuake Press.
The man himself is, in the words of one reviewer: ‘…a devious and irredeemably self-serving chancer with the fate of humanity unhappily piled on his shifty, unwilling and mostly uncaring shoulders…’. So not the square-jawed hero I’d originally intended, then.
And although someone else left it at describing him as: ‘…a Houdini bad-boy who likes treasure, and drinks too much…’ the general downward trend was picked up by the site which commented: ‘…Sphinx’s only consistency is that he’s a self-serving asshole. Just when you think you know him, he’s still full of surprises.’
But moving on from Mr Sphinx, what about the book as a whole? In that regard, folks have been a mite kinder:
‘Ambitious, gloriously engaging and exceedingly well-executed… contemporary space-opera with a broad scope and a deft touch that will delight lovers of edgy but light-hearted fantastic fiction.’
‘…Neroy Sphinx is fun, in a way modern comics often forget to be.’
‘Irreverent, witty and a joy to read…Neroy Sphinx feels like the classic 2000AD saga that never was.’
‘A sci-fi roller-coaster with a brilliant central character and a sense of humour. Fabulous graphics. History in the making.’
‘…a cocktail made with science fiction, a touch of heist, and garnished with a sly twist. The comic slides into a niche of mystery crime sci fi that feels wholly unique.’
But most importantly, one perceptive literary analyst judged that it was ‘…pleasingly reminiscent of the Karma Sutra’. I should probably just have left it at that, to be honest.
A Word from my Publisher…
Bolt01 is the elusive publishing genius who (along with partner-in-crime Richmond Clements) puts out Neroy Sphinx – and a whole lot more. Who better to answer a few basic questions, from a completely objective POV?
Who is Neroy Sphinx?
Neroy Sphinx is a self-serving, calculating son-of-a #### but he's also the best bet we've got at avoiding the death of everyone on the planet.
Why should someone want to read the graphic novel?
In a world where Marvel & DC trades will routinely cost you £10-£15 for a 6 issue run of a title that may not have a beginning, middle, end or even make sense it is refreshing to find not only a complete story, but also a complete story for only £5.00 plus post! Add to that the superb scripts and art and this is a hidden gem of a book that deserves to be read by everyone.
What’s the reception for the collection been like?
On the whole it has been very well received. We have had nothing but positive, constructive feedback. Sales have been steady and I believe that in a crowded market, the book is head and shoulders above most of the product available.
What’s the weirdest thing anyone’s said about the book?
Ah, that will be the comparison to the Karma Sutra. A comparison that, once you read the full review, makes total sense.
Who should play Neroy, Griffin and Fenris in the movie?
Dream casting IMO: Neroy would be Christoph Waltz, Griffin would be Denzel Washington and Fenris would be Uma Thurman. I'd also throw Charlize Theron in as Carver.
What’s your favourite Neroy scam so far?
It's always the next one.
So what does the future hold for our boy and his pals? With Book 1 having been such a success, FutureQuake have big plans to follow-up with the yet-to-be-titled Book 2.
The scripts have been written and the (expanded) art team are already hard at work producing new concept art, including these gorgeous sketches from Dave Thomson and George Coleman.
Watch this space…and for frakk’s sake keep an eye on Neroy…
Vejby Strand, Denmark
Daniel Whiston is a writer of stuff who has a shamefully-minimal online presence. In fact, zero. Which is something he really should do something about. But in the meantime, Back in the Game can be purchased for a stunning Five English Pounds at http://www.futurequake.co.uk/shop.php