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Norman is a mess -- a washed-up ex-rockstar snorting the drugs he's supposed to be selling. But in Sparko by Karl Stephan, a new webcomic from SLG Publishing, a brush with death leads him into a strange underground London, where his unintentional guide, a pick-pocketing girl named Belle, keeps him a step ahead of ghosts, monsters, psycho grannies on scooters and their killer Chihuahuas. In this strange journey, Norman will have to confront the truth about his girlfriend's death and face the evil that dwells in the river Thames.

Sparko creator Karl Stephan drew his inspiration from the real-life London. "Anyone who has ever lived in London will know it has this enveloping gloom that permeates absolutely everything," he said. "I could well imagine that if someone were to give into the misery, it could suck them in and turn them into one of those creepy glue-sniffing bin people.... I imagined myself in that situation, wasted and on rock bottom, completely consumed by the tragedy that is my own existence. I then proceeded to give my character hell, kicking his pathetic needy arse as much as and as often as possible and every conceivable opportunity."

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The setting, which Stephan describes as "a weird, alternative reality," was influenced by Neil Gaiman's mini-series and novel Neverwhere, while the "relentless nosebleed-inducing staccato" action has its genesis in Stephan's affinity for Alan Martin's Tank Girl.

Sparko joins Java Town by Scott Saavedra and Serenity Rose by Aaron Alexovich on the new webcomic section on SLG's website. The first seven pages are already available, and it will be updated every Monday. For more information about SLG Publishing, visit their website at www.slgcomic.com.

Tags: slg publishing, Sparko

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