Everyone Head To Booth 1839 At New York Comic Con & Pick Up The Theory

Fancy a Theory? Neil Gibson is the owner and lead writer for TPub, a British-based comic book publisher. He is also an extraordinary salesman for comic books, the greatest pitchmeister and hustler on the comic con aisles of Britain. The question is, how will he come in the home of the hustle, New York City? Please go past TPub booth #1839, see how he is doing, and try to get drawn into one of his games that will see you walk away with free comic books…or find yourself handing over cash for them. If nothing else you can be entertained by his erudite English accent for a few minutes.

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You might call him the British Brian Bendis – when Bendis wrote crime and thriller comics, that is. But Neil Gibson has a greater focus on sci-fi twists in the tale, somewhere between 2000AD's Future Shocks and Black Mirror, and he will have volumes of anthologies on display. Best known for the Twisted Dark collections, which included early work by the White Noise boys, Dan Watters, Caspar Wijngaard and Ryan O'Sullivan. they've also published adaptations of the Stan Lee TV show Lucky Man, as well as volumes such as Tabitha, Transmissions, Transdimensional, Turncoat, Theatrics, The Traveller, Tortured Life… they do like a comic book that begins with the letter T.

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Talking of which,  one such volume is The Theory, and I have my copy on the shelf next to me. Indeed, I have two copies, and thereby hangs a tale for another day. The Theory, in full colour, is a series of hard conceptual sci-fi vignettes, closer in feel to those Oats Studios short films by Neill Blomkamp with their tone of ennui. Several writers and artists work on this anthology, with Neil Gibson creating the stories, with others helping to tell them, including David Court, Forrest Helvie, Amrit Birdi, Atula Siriwardane, Cem Iroz, Davide Puppo, Jake Elphick, Jim Terry, Phil Buckingham, VV Glass and Liezi Buenaventura.

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When Douglas Adams created Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy as a radio series, it was an accident. He was actually writing a series called The Ends of The Earth, with the Earth meeting its end in a variety of different ways, each episode. But the first idea he had, the Earth being demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass, and the investigative journalist from the Guide trying to hitch a lift off the same people trying to destroy the planet, stuck – and became the whole thing.

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But the Ends Of The Earth is still a good idea. And it is here in The Theory, with different alien planets being examined by an archaeologist to find out what killed their dominant sentient species, from viral outbreaks engineered in a lab for love, to AI that feasts on its hosts, to genetic engineering destroying a species. But each story has a coda, an external viewing point, each indicating another level behind it, and we see the real politics play out. First, a military interest in what these species may offer. And beyond that, another coda from another group indicates that something else, somewhere else, is going on and we are all being manipulated, both the characters in the story and maybe even you, the reader reading it. We are all part of one meta-narrative and we can take our place in it. What is the point of the choice and decisions we make if someone else can always supersede them? And that's The Theory, the concept, the canon, the lore, all wrapped up to eat its own tail.

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There also are some wonderful little tricks that comics can only pull off as well, such as the scenery grinning, I know that sounds weird, it's just a use of dietetic commentary to make one of the landings hit harder than any other medium could provide.

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The Theory, currently on sale at New York Comic-Con at TBub's stand at Booth 1839. Or, you know, Amazon and comic books stores as well. But then you won't get the full Neil Gibson experience, and I'd hate to deny anyone that.

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The Theory volume 1: Neil Gibson's Twisted Sci Fi 

Humans have achieved the seemingly impossible – faster than light travel.
Despite discovering hundreds and hundreds of planets that once contained intelligent life, not a single planet has been found where that life still remains. All these planets have one thing in common – the civilizations have been wiped out, either by accident or by design.
Linda is an Astroarchaeologist and her job is to find these dead civilizations and learn from them, so humans avoid the same fate.
Jemm-r is a time traveller, part of a group whose mission is to reduce human suffering.
Common belief is that any small changes in history would adhere to the Chaos theory, with massive differences down the line.
The actual mathematics behind it show this is not the case. Incredibly, a few hundred years later, almost no difference appears in the timelines. With this knowledge, Jemm-r's team's mission is to travel in time and do minimal alterations to reduce human suffering throughout history. It is a truly noble profession.
Or is it?

Everyone Head To Booth 1839 At New York Comic Con & Pick Up The Theory

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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