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In 2005 – in between Volumes One and Two – Martin decided to get an O Men anthology together. It was an exciting project and was set to be full of short stories based on the O Men supporting cast. It was also an opportunity for Martin to sit back and not actually do any work. However, a couple of months into planning the Anthology, Martin then got a mortgage and the Anthology was shelved. Also, a couple of people had to drop out, which was understandable as they were busy and weren’t being paid for this whatsoever.
However, a few people did supply their contribution and I think it’s only fair to showcase their hard work. So you can see some of the artwork and contributions below. First up, here is a list showing how the Anthology would have worked out (all agreed and everything!)...

O Men cast cover – Gary Spencer Millidge
Pathe story – Written by Nick Jones, drawn by Garen Ewing
Seraph pin-up – Drawn by Tim Doe
Frenzy story – Written by Leon Renshaw, drawn by Barry Renshaw
Anathema story – Written by Gary Simpson, drawn by Sean Azzopardi
UK Ultra Knights pin-up – Drawn by David Baillie
Blackie story – Written by Martin Eden, drawn by John Paul Howard
Vicious Circle story – Written and drawn by Mardou
Arachnid story – Written and drawn by Kelvin Green
Snow Leopard story – Written and drawn by Marcus Scudamore
O Men story – Written by Martin Eden and drawn by Grant Springford
Miss Scarlet pin-up – Drawn by Roger Mason

Each story or piece of art would have been preceded by an intro page with a new piece of art by me and a little intro to the character and creator.

Gary Spencer Millidge creates the phenomenal Strangehaven indie comic, which was actually one of the inspirations for starting up The O Men. I see Gary every year on his stall at comic cons and I think it’s only the last couple where I’ve been confident enough to think that he actually recognises me lol. I’m always like ‘er, hello, you don’t remember me, do you’. But he does. So anyway, I love his stuff and I fired off an email to ask him if he would do a cover for me, and was shocked that he said ‘yes’. I think it was gonna be a shot of Rob, Grace and Red in a field or something – I don’t think he made a start before I told him I had canned the whole idea. Would have been good though. You can find stuff on Gary and Strangehaven here: http://www.abiogenesis.co.uk/

Pathe story
My workchum Nick Jones I believe has a flair for writing, and loves indie comics and I think, if he had time, he’d probably have a go at his own. So I asked him if he’d be interested in writing something for the Anthology. He was quite familiar with the O Men and suggested a day-in-the-life-of Pathe story. It’s a top notch tale and I really wanted Garen Ewing of Rainbow Orchid fame to illustrate it. Garen is a really nice guy and his stuff is exquisite, and I was so glad he said yes, but I think he had reservations over the (utterly ridiculous) deadline and the amount of panels in the story. You can find Garen’s website here: http://www.garenewing.co.uk/
Click here for the story.

Seraph pin-up
A guy approached me at the London comic fest a couple of years back and showed me his portfolio. I really liked his stuff – it was very erotic and well done! I immediately saw him as the person who should do a Seraph pin-up for me, so here is his take on her. Oh, the guy’s name, you know, I think it was Tim. Maybe Tim Day. I can’t remember oops

Frenzy story
I know Baz quite well, and he volunteered to contribute something for me. I’m not actually that familiar with Leon the artist, but Baz wanted to use him, which was fine by me. I suggested a Frenzy story set just before O Men’s ‘Frenzy’ story arc, showing him in prison. I don’t think Baz had time to do much on it before I told him the Anthology wasn’t happening.

Anathema story
My good pal Gary (‘2000AD’) Simpson toils away on his own horror writing many hours in the week, and he enjoys The O Men, so I asked him to write an Anathema story for me. Around the same time I really started to like the art of Sean Azzopardi, so I teamed the guys up together. Provided here are Gary’s script and some design art from Sean. You can check out Sean’s work here: http://www.phatcatz.org.uk/

UK Ultra Knights
Good ol’ David Baillie sent me a UK Ultra Knights illustration out of the blue, which I was going to include. It was a nice li’l pic. I can’t actually find where I put it but I will pop it on here if I ever do find it. You can check David’s life, loves and universe at http://www.davidbaillie.net/

Blackie story
I met John Paul Howard a few years ago at a London comic festival and I really liked his artwork. His art was also showcased in a small press section of Comics International, and it was one of the few that really stood out. So I got John to draw this strip from a script that I popped together. He sent it in in record time and even added rude bits...! Here is the unlettered artwork and I have also included my script.

Vicious Circle story
The AMAZING Sacha Mardou was going to write and draw a Vicious Circle story for me. Apparently it was going to be a lot of fun and feature a song and dance routine. I was really excited but in the end Sacha had other commitments (I think getting married was one of them lol). A shame but I can imagine what it would have been like! Sacha, or I should really call her ‘Mardou’, does her own comic called Manhole and she contributes to the Whores of Mensa with Jeremy Dennis and another lady whose name escapes me. You can check Mardou out at mardouville.com

Arachnid story
Ah good old Kelvin Green. I haven’t quite known him since Day One on The O Men, but it’s pretty close. Maybe Day 31. Kelvin enjoys the comic and also, luckily enough, happens to be a reviewer for Comics International and silverbulletcomicbooks.com, and has given me many good reviews (including an infamous ‘10 out of 10’ which the CI editor knocked down to 9, boo hiss!). I actually think Kelvin worked on an Arachnid story without even knowing I was doing an Anthology, and when I found out, I wanted to include it. I like his story, there are some nice little extra elements to it about other characters. It’s cool to get someone who who knows the series because they can play around with it. I was a bit mean, by asking him to change the ending slightly, which he kindly did, but apart from that it is great.

You can read the story here.

Snow Leopard
My workchum Marcus Scudamore – who has also helped me out so much with the design/technical side of the O Men (boy, has he helped me on that side) - was also the creator of Snow Leopard, a hero he came up with when I think he was, like, eight or something, and which I gladly stole for the O Men. I wanted Marcus to do a one-page fun little Snow Leopard strip, and to this day I think he doesn’t believe I was serious so he never did anything. Ah well, it doesn’t matter now!

O Men story
I did actually do some work on the Anthology. I wrote a script which Pest Control’s Grant Springford was going to draw. Looking back, I am kind of glad it didn’t happen as I think the script gives too much away. In fact, I am not going to post the script here until O Men 2.2 is out lol

Miss Scarlet pin-up
Mostly the Anthology was a case of me chasing people for art, but I was really excited when Roger Mason approached me to do a pin-up of Miss Scarlet. Here it is. Roger draws his own indie comics, such as Mice, and has also had a lot of success in Europe with his published work. He also does storyboards for adverts. I am very jealous.