A long lost Mythical 9th Division story…

I’ve done some digging and discovered this first chapter of a new Mythical 9th Division story. It was an aborted beginning for book 2 – Terror of the Deep. I still love Timonen and his niece together.

I hope you like it…

Huffy - Timonen's niece - from an unused Yeti story

Huffy – Timonen’s niece – from an unused Yeti story

Chapter 1
Meet the Family

“I’m so bored I might eat my own feet,” said Timonen, thumping his head with his huge hands.
Albrecht continued to upload new books onto his RoAR.
“You’ve already chewed your toenails,” he replied. “I’ve been waiting for you to go further.”
Albrecht and Timonen had spent the past three months living in the secret caves of their ancestors, high in the Himalayan mountains. They’d planned to rest and have a spot of ‘yeti time’, but Timonen was feeling the strain of having nothing to do. He’d exhausted the possibilities of herding yaks. He’d learnt to make momos, which were supposed to be dumplings, but in his hands ended up the size of footballs. He was definitely ready for a new mission.
“It’s alright for you to sit there fiddling with gadgets,” said Timonen gruffly. “You don’t have my powerful body. I have muscles to keep in shape.”
Albrecht snorted with laughter.
“I’m sure you do,” he said.
Suddenly a chain of small bells rang out above his head. Attached to a thin cord on the ceiling of the cave they were an early warning system, triggered by someone or something’s approach.
“Saar back already?” said Timonen.
Albrecht shook his head.
“Too soon,” he replied. “He’s gone for days when he meditates.”
Timonen rubbed his hands in excitement.
“You wait here then,” he said, pushing Albrecht back to the ground so he could beat him to the entrance.
Albrecht threw his backpack into place, returned the RoAR to its compartment and waited.
“Uncle Timley,’ cried a young yeti’s voice.
The echoes reverberated down through the cave, shooting back and forth through Albrecht’s ears. He covered his eyes. Peace was over.
Timonen stomped back through the cave with an expression as dark as bat droppings. Hanging from his shoulders was a tiny yeti, a red bow tied to her head.
“Timonen?’ asked Albrecht. “Who’s this?’
The giant yeti mumbled something bleak and unrepeatable.
“Is this Albrecht?” asked a voice from further down the cave.
“Yes,” grumbled Timonen. The young yeti on his back stuck her fingers in his ear.
Albrecht moved to see past his friend and was confronted with the sight of a yeti even larger than Timonen. He had always thought Timonen was the biggest yeti of all. He had clearly always been wrong.
“Hello…” said Albrecht cautiously. He held out his hand in greeting, and it was soon engulfed in an enormous, paddle-like palm.
“Tumtum,” said the enormous yeti.
“She’s my sister,” said Timonen.
“Sister?’ said Albrecht. “Since when did you have a sister?”
Timonen shrugged.
“I’m heading north,” said Tumtum. “I thought Timonen could look after Huffy while I’m gone.”
“Here?” said Albrecht.
Timonen nodded sadly.
“But we’re soldiers,” said Albrecht, “we could be called away at any time.”
“My daughter can look after herself in combat,” said Tumtum.
Huffy was now pulling Timonen’s cheek skin in and out.
“By slightly annoying the enemy?” said Albrecht. “Look, we can’t be responsible for her in the middle of a battle.”
“Timonen’s already agreed to it,” said Tumtum.
“You have?’ said Albrecht.
Timonen nodded meekly. Big sisters can turn their brothers to jelly when necessary.
Tumtum pointed to the cave entrance.
“There’s a bag of toys at the front,” she said. “Whatever you do, don’t lose Baboo…”
“Baboo?” said Albrecht.
“Her favourite toy,” said Tumtum. “A cloth yak. She won’t sleep without it.”
“Right,” said Albrecht.
“And she eats on the hour, every hour…”
“She does?”
“A mix of vegetables and yak butter. I’ve prepared a few meals…”
“Timonen,” said Albrecht, “I take it you’re listening to all this.”
Timonen’s eyes drifted to the wall. He knew Albrecht would be better prepared for receiving orders.
“And her nappy needs changing at least four times a day,” continued Tumtum.
“Nappy?”
As if on cue, the waft of a rancid full nappy blossomed to fill the cave. Albrecht sighed and looked to Tumtum.
“I’ll show you what to do,” she said, smiling.

***

Huffy danced playfully around a clump of trees at the edge of the forest, swinging her cloth yak back and forth by its legs.
“At least she’s being quiet,” said Albrecht, as he brushed dried yak butter out of his fur. Huffy had enjoyed smearing it all over his face. “We haven’t had a break in days.”
“Funny,” said Timonen, “I was just the same at her age.”
“That doesn’t surprise me,” said Albrecht. “Looking after her is about as difficult as looking after you now.”
“Well, you’re doing a great job,” said Timonen. “You’ll make a wonderful parent some day.”
“I’d hoped that day was a long way away.”
“I can tell you love it,” replied Timonen. “You’re so good at it.”
Albrecht collapsed down at the base of a tree.
“Yeah, I love it so much,” said Albrecht angrily, “that I’m not moving another inch.”
“No,” pleaded Timonen, “don’t say that.”
Albrecht defiantly switched on his RoAR and scrolled through its options to find a story about homesick penguins.
“It’s your turn,” he said, his eyes not leaving the screen. “She’s due a nappy change too.”
Timonen growled.
“You wouldn’t do this to a friend,” he said.
“I would and I have.”
The young yeti charged out of the forest and out of sight. Albrecht pointed in her direction.
“You should probably go after her,” he said.
Timonen clenched his fists, growled at Albrecht and stomped off. Luckily, she hadn’t gone far.
“Oi, Huffy,” he shouted, seeing the young yeti hurtle down the mountainside.
“Come get me, Uncle Timley,” she shouted back, bundling ever onwards.
Timonen rolled his eyes. “Why me?” he muttered.
He ran through the trees, branches snapping as his wide shoulders caught hold of their ends. Out of the cover of the forest, the mountainside dipped into lush green hollows and the two yetis were bathed in bright sunlight. Each mammoth step counted for forty of Huffy’s and he soon caught her, scooping her up in one of his giant hands.
Timonen threw his niece into the air, her gurgles of joy splurting out as she landed happily back in his arms. She giggled and poked him in the eye.
Timonen laughed aloud, even though he was in quite a lot of pain. But suddenly Huffy’s joy turned to tears. Her wide smile slumped and transformed into an angry howling open mouth.
“Shhh,” said Timonen, trying desperately to calm her. “What’s up?”
“Baboooooooo,” she wailed, her piercing cry echoing down into the valley.
“Shh, shh,” he said.
“Baboooooooo,” she cried.
Timonen finally realised her toy yak was nowhere to be seen.
“Okay, okay. I’d be crying if I lost a yak too,” he said, warmly. “I’ll find it for you, just calm down.”
Huffy sniffled.
“Baboo,” she said, her eyes red with tears.
Timonen lowered her to the ground and crouched down to ask her a serious question.
“Now where did you leave it?” he asked.
Huffy’s bottom lip trembled as she shook her head. She couldn’t remember.
“Right…”
Timonen took Huffy’s hand and walked back into the forest.
“It must be somewhere around here,” he said, scouring the floor.
Huffy led him through the trees as though she remembered where she might have left it. He let go of her hand, thinking she was much closer to the floor than him and more likely had far better eyesight.
Before she’d gone too far, Timonen caught scent of something incredibly tasty.
“Wait,” he said, opening his nostrils wide. “You smell that, Huffy? That’s lunch, that is.”
She was digging around at the base of a large pine tree, flicking pine needles back and forth.
“Baboo’s hiding,” she said.
“Is he…” said Timonen, his focus drawn towards a large piece of meat hanging from a low branch. It was calling to him in a way that only food could. His eyes misted over and not once did he question why a prepared piece of meat was lying waiting for him. But he was Timonen, after all.
As he lifted the meat from the branch, a thick metal rope snapped tightly around his leg. With great aptitude and an amazing grip, Timonen kept hold of the food while he shot upwards into the air, not coming to rest until he was dangling upside down at the top of a very tall tree.
“Not ideal,” he said dizzily. He sniffed the meat in his hand and took a bite. “Could be worse though.”
“Timley,” cried Huffy from the forest floor a long way below. “Uncle Timley…”
“Go and get Albrecht,” he shouted.
“Why are you up there?” she replied, peering upwards.
“Just get Albrecht.”
Huffy started to cry, and even up in the top of the tree, Timonen winced at the sound.
“Albrecht,” he shouted. “Go to Albrecht.”
Huffy didn’t want to stop crying. She wailed and bawled and screamed and choked.
Timonen clutched his face. Blood was rushing the wrong way through his body and a screaming toddler was the last thing he wanted. At that moment the screaming stopped.
“At last,” he muttered.
He looked down again and his heart stopped. Huffy was gone.

Yeti Poo Biscuit Recipe and the launch of Alien Moon

Wow, what a night!

I took a step back from Death’s door, nearing Death’s conservatory, and ventured out to my Alien Moon book launch. What a great night, and I even got the chance to give my yeti suit an airing.

It was hot inside, I hasten to add, and it was a launch party, so a beer was the only option. I think I only managed to scare one child, but that was only a little and he was soon poking me to see that I wasn’t scary. I was, however, asked to manhandle a few guests for photo opportunities. This one taken by the lovely @deadlyknitshade and featuring the yeti-tastic @gnorthfield is one of the best.

Thank you to everyone who came, The Bookseller Crow for having us, and of course to @Talljamesnixon for spinning the gramophone wheels of ancient pop.

So now then, onto the Yeti Poo Biscuits, which I think were a hit, as they vanished without a trace. They are super easy to make, the only complicated bit is squirting them with a piping bag (but that’s easy after the third try – and ace fun with kids.) It’s basically a doctored version of this Viennese Whirl Recipe by the Hairy Bikers, and makes about 15/20 biscuits.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

125g very soft butter

23g icing sugar

2g/teaspoon of cocoa powder (This is just for colouring. USE NO MORE!)

125g plain flour

25g cornflour

½ tsp vanilla extract

Large bar of chocolate (and maybe some Weetabix dust for sprinkles)

 

RECIPE:

Very simply, put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl (except the chocolate and sprinkles), and mix it all thoroughly. I used an electric mixer thingy, as it can be quite firm otherwise. Then tip it into a piping bag (using a circular nozzle), and for each biscuit squirt it onto a greased baking tray in one spiral motion (from outside to in) allowing the final tip to rise into the air like a real poo. I aimed to make the biscuits about 4cm in width, but you can make them as big or little as you like.

Heat the oven to Gas Mark 5, and cook the little poos for about 13 mins in the middle of the oven. Keep an eye on them, as the tips may burn if you’re not careful. They should brown very lightly at the edges.

Once they’re done, let them cool, and while that’s happening melt your chocolate bar in a bowl over a pot of hot water. Oil up a piece of greaseproof paper, and once the chocolate’s melted, dollop half a teaspoon full per biscuit onto the paper, placing the biscuit firmly (but gently) on top. I like to turn the biscuit to ensure the chocolate fully covers the base.

If you want to be fancy, and have left over chocolate, you can drip some all over your biscuits and them sprinkle with Weetabix dust for a truly authentic poo look.

Once that’s done, stick them in a fridge for an hour to set the chocolate, and you’re done!

The Way of the Yeti Poo Biscuits is now with you.


Thanks @jabberworks for this pic!

How to make a Yeti mask

Yetis form a major part of my life. But until now I didn’t have my own suit. I was only half a man. So, with the launch of my 4th Mythical 9th Division book, the Alien Moon, just around the corner on 3 May, it was time to rectify the matter.

Now all the available suits out there are pretty nasty – both in their angry nature, and in their finish. But I had to start somewhere, so I bought this suit for the body, hands and feet. They’re actually pretty good, and the inflatable shoulders are a winner.

BUT, and this is a big but, the mask was quite horrible to wear. It was really claustrophobic and sweaty. It also wasn’t really suitable for use in school visits. I want the kids to think it’s smart (or to use the correct terminology, ‘sick’), not terrifying.

So, where to start. This is what I wanted the mask to look like – my yeti, Timonen.

The face is simple, for ease of drawing, and Timonen has a massive beard, which is perfect for hiding the costume joins. To sculpt the face I bought some Sculpey and, with a wire mesh support…

…I got cracking. From there I built up the clay until it looked right, and then baked it to set it hard. And here it is, the positive impression of a yeti face.

Now, to make a rubber version of the face, I’d need to turn that positive impression into a negative. I needed to make a mould. There are many options you could choose, but I wanted the easiest possible method. I picked Alginate. This stuff is used for taking casts of teeth, so it’s very friendly and quick setting. As the mask was just one side, I could create a sort of Alginate bath and push the yeti face into it until it set.

That’s exactly what I did, as you can see here.

[Read more…]

Alien Moon Launch Party

Dear people! At 7pm on Thursday, 3 May we shall be having a launch party to celebrate the release of The Alien Moon, the fourth Mythical 9th Division book. It’s at the Bookseller Crow bookshop in Crystal Palace, which is one of the nicest places in the world.

There will be all sorts of exciting stuff, including a REAL LIFE YETI!

So please come along, it’ll be lovely to see you all.

The Alien Moon book trailer

And here it is! What the world’s been waiting for…

Yetis on the moon.

Yeti Shop Poll!

I’m in the process of making a shop of all things Yeti and Mythical 9th Division. And so I’m looking for some feedback on what you’d most like to see in a Yeti shop.


If you can think of anything else, please say in the comments. Thanks, you lovely people!

The Alien Moon comic blasts off!

The first panel of the fourth Mythical 9th Division book is coloured in. And we’re off to the moon!

You may not see me for a while. Only 50 pages to do…

The Magma Conspiracy video

I was wondering what to do as a video to celebrate the new Mythical 9th Division book, and settled on a bit of reading. So here it goes: sit back, check out my living room doors, and hear me read the first chapter of the Magma Conspiracy.

The Yetis on the Guardian website

Mythical 9th Division Guardian

I’m very excited to say that a guide to drawing yetis has just gone live on the Guardian children’s books site. The Guardian has always been the paper my family read. As an art school teen with my sights set on something or other (does anybody know what they want to do until they’re doing it?), I had a goal of one day getting my work into the Guardian in some shape or form.

I’ve written a couple of blogposts for their website, but to have my characters feature there is that goal finally achieved. I feel all emotional. And I think I now need to set a new goal.

Go Yetis!

Read all Alex Milway’s Guardian articles.

The Magma Conspiracy arrives

Excitement is in the air here as a finished copy of the Magma Conspiracy has arrived. I’m so pleased with how it’s turned out, and I think the comic section of New York is some of the best work I’ve done.

It’s in the shops at the start of July, so go Yetis!