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Benjamin Read & Chris Wildgoose


First published 2013 by Improper Books

An imprint of Read Publishing Ltd, Home Farm, 44 Evesham Road, Cookhill, Alcester, Warwickshire, B49 5LJ www.improperbooks.com

Š Benjamin Read & Chris Wildgoose 2013 Story: Benjamin Read Illustrator: Chris Wildgoose Colours: Derek Dow Flatting: Alexa Rosa Letterer/Logo Design: Jim Campbell Managing Editor: Matt Gibbs Production Director: Rose Hewlett Production Design: Zoe Horn Haywood

To my publishing family; Matt, Rose, Sam, Mark, and the rest, without whom nothing would see the light of day. (And to the Pook, as ever.)  - Benjamin Read Thanks to my family for all the support. - Chris Wildgoose

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers. ISBN: 978-1-4474-4961-4

Printed and bound in the United Kingdom.


Thank you for picking up this book. It’s not quite like our other comics, so this isn’t a foreword so much as a statement of intent.

Butterfly Gate is one of the very first things of our own that Chris and I started work on. It was a silent (i.e. dialogue and sound- effect free) comic and told a simple, gruesome, little tale about two children being led into bad ways by something they met in the forest. It had always been silent in my head, and was a welcome change of pace for me from my usual wordy pieces. The problem was that when we’d finished it, it kept nagging away at me. The children, the gate, the butterflies; and then, as happens occasionally, blessedly, the rest of it poured out, the worlds beyond, the terrible, epic path they’d have to follow, and the prices they’d have to pay for their ambitions. Suddenly we had a series on our hands, and one that posed a question - was it possible to tell such an epic saga without ever saying a word?

I have, I admit, occasionally questioned the sanity of the venture; telling such a convoluted tale without words isn’t easy, and I worried about the central conceit overwhelming or compromising the story. However the end result, with Chris’ beautiful art, works as well as I could have ever hoped it might and, I trust, speaks for itself. So here’s our statement of intent. Butterfly Gate tells the story of our two enfants terrible, and their adventures through the Butterfly Gate and beyond. The only words in each issue are on the first page - “Six months later”. The story leapfrogs through time and rejoins them, without explanation, at wherever their adventures have taken them, at six month intervals. It will follow them through ten years of their lives, through an epic saga of bloody adventure in an unforgiving empire. Terrible things will occur, lives will end, and hearts will break. We don’t plan to explain or reveal anything that isn’t already on the page.  We sincerely hope you enjoy it.

Benjamin Read Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire 1st October, 2013


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Benjamin Read writes comics and makes films. He wrote the multiply award-nominated PORCELAIN: A GOTHIC FAIRY TALE, the silent comic BUTTERFLY GATE, and the children’s book NIGHT POST, as well as the TRUE GRIT and SUPER 8 comic adaptations. He also wrote and produced the films ARMISTICE and 500 MILES NORTH. He is one of the founder members of the Improper Books comics collective, and is fuelled principally by tea and whimsy. www.benjaminread.co.uk @Bookpirate

Chris Wildgoose is an illustrator, and conceptual and storyboard artist. Northern born, but London based, Chris made his comic debut with the official TRUE GRIT and SUPER 8 comics and has been working towards doing some good in comics ever since. christianwildgoose.blogspot.co.uk @MrRiktus

Derek Dow flirted with photojournalism, illustration and handheld/mobile game-art, before being so surprised to find out that you could get paid to colour comics that he promptly forgot how to draw. He’s determined that he’ll learn again eventually, but in the meantime takes great pleasure telling people he makes his living colouring-in. artmunki.deviantart.com

Alexa Rosa worked for many years in the corporate world, but decided to abandon it for the calm and schedule free universe of flatting. So far her work can be seen in titles from DC, Indie productions, Image, Mecha, Medikidz, and Zenoscope. alexasrosa.deviantart.com

Improper Books is a publishing studio focusing on creator-owned stories that have a touch of the fairy tale, the fantastical, or the otherworldly. www.improperbooks.com @ImproperBooks

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Butterfly Gate preview