Broken Voice Comics Presents Shades, Volume 1


From the press release:

Shades – Volume 1
Available now from

Broken Voice Comics is pleased to announce that a print version of Volume 1 of its two-part graphic novel Shades is now available at online comics retailer

Written by David A J Berner and illustrated in full colour, Shades is a contemporary action/adventure fantasy, asking the question “what makes a hero?” while examining the traits and characteristics which have come to define the British national character.  In this first volume, the story follows retired tailor Stanley Miller as he finds himself trying to reunite a motley group of quasi-historical heroes against a growing, shadowy threat to the nation.

“Although he is no super hero himself, Miller is at the very heart of the story,” Berner told us. “All he really wants to do is to spend his retirement mending the somewhat fractured relationship he has with his daughter.  Unfortunately for him, Stan has a lot of traditional British decency about him, compelling him to do the right thing, and events therefore conspire to draw him back into the affairs of his former, larger-than-life acquaintances!”

Those “acquaintances” include the First Century warrior queen Boudicca, a WW2 fighter pilot and a Druid-like shaman. Not your common or garden super heroes, then!  “For me, the important thing with characters like these,” explained Berner, “was to give each of them a real personality.  To be aware of their symbolic and historical significance, but to make them the kind of people you or I might actually know in real life.”

Much of the credit for making the characters seem as though they’ve been drawn from “real life” must go to Harsho Mohan Chattoraj, the artist for this volume.  As Berner puts it: “Harsho’s grasp of body language and facial expressions is hugely important in bringing these characters to life.  Unlike many mainstream super heroes, the characters in Shades react to each other and to the unfolding story in a way which is very human – the same way, in fact, that you or I might.”

Previously serialised online, some readers have already dubbed Shades “a Watchmen for a modern audience” and “a British Watchmen”.  Berner is understandably flattered by the comparison.

“I’m a huge fan of Alan Moore’s work,” he says, “so those kind of comparisons are fantastic.  My intention when I began work on Shades was to write a “high concept” graphic novel (i.e. an examination of the British national psyche) which could also be enjoyed by fans of mainstream super hero comics.  When readers compare it to the likes of Watchmen, therefore, it makes me think we must have been at least partially successful!”

Shades Volume 1 is available now at Indy Planet (  Readers in the UK and elsewhere outside the U.S. may be able to save on shipping by ordering direct from the Broken Voice Comics website (

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Broken Voice Comics

Broken Voice Comics was founded in February 2006 by David A J Berner, formerly the Senior Editor of webcomics studio Midnite Comics which ceased operations at the end of 2005.  His adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Oval Portrait” was included in the anthology “Nevermore”, published by Self Made Hero in 2007.  His original short story “Speakeasy was included in Wes Huffor’s “Charnel House” anthology in 2008.

Since its official launch in March 2006, Broken Voice Comics has been home to Berner’s own comic projects, notably his online graphic novel “Shades” and his two 4-part fantasy mini-series, “The Spires” and “Hunted”.  The site also hosts a small number of Guest Titles.

Guest titles

Initially, these comprised three titles previously featured at Midnite Comics (Rob Jones’s “Perfect Storm” and two titles by E.C. Nickel, “Immortality” and “The Long Vigil”).  The site now also features Lee Munday’s “The Lumbering Dead” and “Thy Will Be Done” another title by E.C. Nickel, this time created in collaboration with Alexandre Lobao.  Established fan favourite “G.A.A.K.” by Darryl Hughes and Monique McNaughton is the most recent addition to the line-up.  BVC does not actively seek to add to its list of Guest Titles but is prepared to consider hosting other comics if they are of a sufficiently high quality.


The graphic novel “Shades” is the flagship title of Broken Voice Comics (  It has also been serialised at the Graphic Smash ( and Drunk Duck ( hosting sites.  Since 2009 it has won nine Drunk Duck webcomic awards, including the awards for Best Writing and Best Overall Story Comic in 2011.  A print edition of Shades Volume 1 was published in February 2011 and is available from Indy Planet (

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