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The best of the cult comic series collected together for the very first time.
A  228 page retrospective collection of the cult comic series.
A  228 page retrospective collection of the cult comic series.
61 backers pledged £1,272 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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£1,272

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The Sound of Drowning brings together the very best of the iconoclastic cult comic series into one deliciously dark, glossy and fantastically wrong 228 page retrospective collection. Cherry picking highlights and fan favourites from the comic's 15 year history and with a foreword by award winning author Benjamin Myers, this is 'The Sound of Drowning: The Directors Cut'...

I would massively appreciate your help to make this happen and I'm sweetening the deal with a select serving of rewards to hopefully further entice you to pledge your hard earned cash. Keep scrolling down for more details on these...

The book is ready to roll, the goodies are good to go, the rest is up to you. I've always been terrible at selling myself so here's what some other people have to say about The Sound of Drowning:

 "The straw men and sacred cows of Anglo-American culture are slashed, burned and made meatloaf of in ‘The Sound of Drowning’, but somehow – and I have no idea how – O’Connell reminds us that we all still belong to the same human race.

The Sound of Drowning is like a fever-dream of the twentieth century. The ACME world shifted on its axis and peopled with wise and solitary children; white supremacist toddlers; strutting millionaires; hootenannies, luaus, jazz shamans and devil dolls.

It is impossible to convey just how funny this comic is. Just read it. In the world of ‘The Sound of Drowning’, innocence – sometimes – triumphs over experience. But (I say, through cackles of barbaric laughter) I can’t be sure which side we’re on."

- Hannah Eaton, Naming Monsters

"The Sound of Drowning is the 3am phone call with no-one on the end. The Sound of Drowning is rain smeared across the black glass of a car windscreen. It’s the glint in the eye of a ventriloquist’s dummy, as it whispers in your ear how it’ll ruin your life. The Sound of Drowning is the taste on the lips of a Hollywood star, as the cigarette butts and crisp packets whorl around your feet. It’s the roll of a dice, where every side means a bad decision. It’s the acrid smell of singed puppet fur. The Sound of Drowning is the realisation that at the end of it all, laughter is probably all we have.

The Sound of Drowning is one of the finest comics of the last 20 years and this collection is long overdue. Paul O’Connell is a genius of word and image who definitely hates the fact that I just used the word ‘genius’. If you've read it before, you know that this book already has a place in your bookshelf. If you haven’t read it, prepare to have the world fed back to you in a new and different shape.

The Sound of Drowning isn't like anything else."

- Dan White, Mindless Ones

"I effing love Paul O’Connell’s slick and fiendish fumetti. His cut-ups just cut me up. Mirthful 'n’ malicious mismatches; marriages unmade and refashioned in unholy Hell. No one is more artful with the digital scalpel blade. What the SOD achieves from the raw materials of base reality is ascension to a next level, elevation to the surreal. Relax back into your bath-chairs and revel in these Sounds of Drowning."

- Ilya, Mammoth Book of Cult Comics

"O'Connell desecrates modern life like a surgeon with a meat cleaver in one hand and a rubber chicken in the other...these comic strips disturb and amuse, mock and condemn. Part Lynch, part Coen, part Biff, part God-knows-what, there is something fantastically original going on here and it's really quite addictive. Theatre of the absurd writ large in words and images."

- Charlie Williams, Deadfolk

"Ooerr - what is that strange sound? It's the sound of the synapses sparking in Paul O'Connell's brainbox as they bypass sense and sensibility to unleash another of his unsettling, innovative experiments. They're comics, Jim, but not as we know them."

- Paul Gravett, Great British Comics

"Equally alarming and amusing, creepy and poignant...like the nightmares other comic books have after too much cheese and bad medication. Highly recommended and bloody funny too."

- Mark Stafford, The London Cartoon Museum

"Like Willy Wonka's everlasting gobstopper: a gift that keeps on revealing new flavours and tones."

- Benjamin Myers, Beastings

"A devastatingly funny, misanthropic and strangely beautiful carnival of delights."

- 3 a.m

Rewards

Charlie Parker "Handyman" 88 page ebook (PDF)

Imagine if the genius of Charlie Parker had never found a home in music. Imagine if Charlie Parker had never given up his day job, but everything he touched still turned to jazz. This is the premise behind Charlie Parker "Handyman", the surreal silent comic strip by myself and illustrator Lawrence Elwick that appeared in The Stool Pigeon from 2009-2014.

Collected here together for the first time are all the Charlie comic strips along with never before seen original artwork, sketches and storyboards.

'Titania (Theme for The Sound of Drowning)' CD by Blue Spectre

An exclusive instrumental by psych-surf band Blue Spectre (it's the music in the video) in a limited edition gatefold digipak with original artwork.

Screen Print Poster

A three-way collaboration between myself, illustrator Nelson Evergreen and graphic artist Rhys Wootton based on one of the comics in the book (clue: think bad puns, paganism and the smell of burning felt). This very collectible three colour A2 screen print will be sure to find pride of place in any lounge, bedroom or w.c. Check out these guys' other work if in any doubt at all.

Signed Original Charlie artwork by Lawrence Elwick

Lawrence has very kindly offered to give up some of his very precious original artwork for Charlie Parker "Handyman". For the lucky few he'll even draw one anew and put you in it. Just imagine...you and Charlie together at last...

Risks and challenges

I'm extremely grateful to everyone for their time, talent, enthusiasm and encouragement in supporting this project and helping to create some very special rewards - my way of saying a big thank you to all the people who have enjoyed, championed and supported The Sound of Drowning over the past 15 years. Thank you!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About $1.46

    Pledge just £1 and I'll personally send you a Sound of Drowning postcard of thanks!

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    Pledge £5 or more About $7

    A copy of the 88 page Charlie ebook and a postcard of thanks from myself and Lawrence!

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    Pledge £10 or more About $15

    A digital copy of The Sound of Drowning book plus the Charlie ebook. You want a postcard too? You got it.

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    Pledge £15 or more About $22

    A signed print copy of The Sound of Drowning book plus the Charlie ebook.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £20 or more About $29

    A signed print copy of The Sound of Drowning book + the Charlie ebook + a copy of 'Titania (Theme for The Sound of Drowning)' gatefold digipak CD.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £25 or more About $37

    A signed print copy of The Sound of Drowning book + the Charlie ebook + a limited edition A2 screen print poster.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £30 or more About $44

    A signed print copy of The Sound of Drowning book + Charlie ebook + CD + A2 screen print poster.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £40 or more About $59

    A signed print copy of The Sound of Drowning book + the Charlie ebook + original signed Charlie art + CD + poster.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About $73

    A signed print copy of The Sound of Drowning book + brand new original Charlie art (with you and Charlie together if desired!) + the Charlie ebook + a copy of 'Titania (Theme for The Sound of Drowning)' gatefold digipak CD + a limited edition A2 screen print poster.

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Funding period

- (32 days)