Strange Matter’s George Mann announces new comic project, Engineward

Strange Matter is delighted to announce a new 12-issue science fantasy comic, written by George Mann, with art by Joe Eisma, colours by Michael Garland and letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. Engineward will begin publishing in June 2020 from Vault Comics.

The full press release follows:

Vault Comics is thrilled to announce Engineward, a zodiac-inspired, twelve-issue science-fantasy comic series written by George Mann, drawn by Joe Eisma, colored by Michael Garland, lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou and designed by Tim Daniel.
In Engineward, Earth is an ancient myth, long forgotten. Now, the god-like Celestials, who embody the surviving zodiac signs, rule with brutal efficiency. When Joss, an Engineward, discovers and reactivates the head of a fossilized Ghoulem, she learns all is not as intended. Her destiny—and the truth about her imperious rulers—lies somewhere far beyond the borders of her shantytown.

Every issue of Engineward will feature a special “Zodiac Cover” drawn by Joe Eisma and designed by Tim Daniel that portrays one of the twelve Celestials of Engineward, released according to the zodiac calendar and the sign they represent.

“I couldn’t be happier to be working with Joe and the team at Vault Comics on Engineward,” said George Mann. “This is a story that’s been brewing in my head for nearly a decade, and seeing Joe breathing life into these characters is something very special indeed. He’s bringing such a fantastic look to the series. I can’t wait for people to meet Joss, Ichabod, Kreek and Thrycia, and to delve deep into the mythology of the Celestials alongside us. It’s going to be a wild ride!”

“I’m so fired up about Engineward,” added Joe Eisma. “I have always wanted to work in this genre space since the beginning of my career, and I’m so excited about this book! George has crafted a thrilling and intricate story that I know will excite readers. Crafting this world with him has really energized my art, and I can’t wait for everyone to join us on this epic journey across our compelling world!”

Engineward #1 debuts with a Pulp & Paint B cover variant by Nathan Gooden and Tim Daniel. It hits store shelves in June 2020.

Sherlock Holmes: The Voice of Treason launches with associated Alexa Skill

Strange Matter is pleased to say that Sherlock Holmes: The Voice of Treason, the eight-hour original full-cast audio drama written by George Mann and Cavan Scott is now available exclusively from Audible

The official synopsis reads:

There is a plot to kidnap Queen Victoria and only Sherlock Holmes can stop it…or can he?

Investigating a crime seemingly unconnected to the Royal Family, Holmes & Watson uncover a conspiracy to kidnap Queen Victoria and destabilise the British Empire.

With a ticking clock to her next public engagement, Holmes and Watson must discover who is behind the plot and locate her majesty, while Mycroft tries to keep the monarch’s disappearance a secret from the British people.

At first, Holmes believes Moriarty is responsible for the abduction, but when the Napoleon of Crime is proved innocent, Holmes must work with his arch-nemesis to rescue the Queen.

An Audible Original drama starring Nicholas Boulton as Sherlock Holmes and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith as Dr. John Watson alongside a full cast.

Alongside the drama, George and Cavan also developed an interactive choose-your-own-adventure skill for Alexa, which can be enjoyed both as a standalone game as well as a prequel to the main audio drama. To play, all you have to do is fire up your Alexa-enabled device and say: “Alexa, start the Great Game!”

George says: “At Strange Matter, we have a deep love of both Sherlock Holmes and gaming, and experience working in the latter field through previous choose your own adventure or interactive storytelling projects, so this seemed like a great opportunity to write something that really got to the core of Doyle’s characters while deploying the skills we’d developed over recent years.”

Cavan in particular had experience in building interactive experiences for Alexa having previously worked on numerous Star Wars-based skills for Disney and Lucasfilm. 

“It’s an interesting challenge,” he says, “creating an adventure which is both a satisfying game and a full audio play. In this case we wanted to ensure that The Great Game is true to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s world, while also offering the player enough choices to drive the action. In the skill, you control the action, making decisions for the Great Detective and, of course, Dr. Watson.”

“Now it’s the turn of listeners to step in and guide these beloved characters through their adventure,” George adds. “Players just need to watch their step – Victorian London can be a very dangerous place!”



Wychwood, by Strange Matter’s George Mann, to be developed for screen by Black Dog Television

Strange Matter is proud to announce that George Mann’s popular supernatural crime series Wychwood has been optioned for television.

See below for the full press release:

London, 2nd March 2020 – Black Dog Television have optioned the novel ‘Wychwood’ by George Mann with a view to developing a television series.

‘Wychwood’, and its sequel ‘Hallowdene’, are the first two books in a crime series set in and around the historic Wychwood forest. The story follows journalist Ellie Reeves and local police detective Peter Shaw as they find themselves embroiled in the recreation of a gruesome piece of English folklore. The series will offer an original mix of crime and occult horror.

Black Dog Television recently created the acclaimed fantasy comedy series ‘Zapped’ for Dave, starring James Buckley, Paul Kaye, Sharon Rooney and Steve Coogan. Wychwood is one of a number of crime dramas they are currently developing.

George Mann says “I can’t wait to see what Dan, Paul and Will have in store for Ellie and Peter and their investigations in the sinister Wychwood. They’re bursting with great ideas, and I’m over the moon to be working with such an enthusiastic and talented bunch.”

The producers add “George has created an incredibly atmospheric world. Wychwood forest is home to dark mysteries, horror and occult magic. It’s a brilliant setting for a crime series where nothing is quite as it seems. We can’t wait to start realising this world for television.”

About Black Dog Television

Black Dog Television is an independent television production company founded by three writer/producers, Dan Gaster, Paul Powell and Will Ing.

They created and wrote three series of the fantasy sitcom Zapped originally broadcast in October 2016. They also devised and co-produced four series of
the BBC2 panel show Insert Name Here hosted by Sue Perkins. For Dave they devised and co-produced two series of the panel show Alexander Armstrong’s Big Ask.

Their many credits as writers, script editors and producers include:

The Last Leg, The Thick Of It, Miranda, Have I Got News For You, The Graham Norton Show, 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Top Gear, Al Murray’s Happy Hour, Mock the Week and Would I Lie To You?

They can be found on Twitter via @blackdog_tv

About George Mann

George Mann is a Sunday Times bestselling novelist and scriptwriter. He’s the creator of the supernatural crime series Wychwood, as well as the popular Newbury & Hobbes and Tales of the Ghost novel series. He’s written for properties such as Star Wars, Doctor Who, Sherlock Holmes, Judge Dredd and Dark Souls, and is currently part of the writers’ room on a forthcoming genre television show.

He can be found on Twitter via @George_Mann and on Instagram via @georgemannauthor

Further Information

Please contact:

Dan Gaster, Creative Director, Black Dog Television

Bentinck House 3-8 Bolsover Street London W1W 6AB