184: the elusive bumblebird

Hullo.

40,0005
Going Underground
Let me be your (British) Fantasy (Award Winner)
Links
Byyyyeeee!!!

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Marneus Calgar 5 arrives via drop-pod in shops today, completing the mini. This has been just a lot of fun, in the bleakly horrific way you’d hope it would be. Jacen outdoes himself to the end, joined by Guillermo Ortego on inks – there’s just a world of brutal stuff, and I manage to cram in a whistlestop tour of other things I wanted Jacen to draw. Also, murder. Java Tartaglia paints everything in red and horror and Clayton deals with yet more lettering challenges with skill.

I think it’ll make a lovely trade, and is my potted introduction to all things 40k. Well, not all things. It’s 40k. 40k is huge. Some things, mostly things involving power fists.

Oh – and Games Workshop are doing their own exclusive-cover runs in their own shops. Details here.

It’s in comic shops now, you can buy digitally here and the preview’s here. Actually, here’s the first two pages…

…as I like the transition. You can read the rest here.

Looking at that reminded me of one of my favourite bits in the Crown of Destruction Mini I wrote for boom, back in the 00s when I was breaking into comics and I used to basically start to learn to write American-format action comics. It’s the only beat in that whole series I can really remember at all, so it’s nice to see a sort of echo here.

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Die’s in the May solicits for Image, and as it’s the start of the final arc, Image lobbed out a press release. Here it is.

PORTLAND, Ore. 2.18.2021 — Bestselling series Die by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans will kick off its final story arc—ominously titled “Bleed”—beginning with Die #16 out from Image Comics this May. The highly anticipated conclusion for the series will be revealed in Die #20.

To go into the dark, you have to get to the dark. They never put a dungeon anywhere accessible, do they? Past sins haunt our party, and future sins permeate the landscape. Die’s closing arc begins as we began: with regrets and screaming.

Die has consistently held a seat as one of the top selling Image Comics series with multiple sell-outs at the distributor level and regular reorder activity that’s skyrocketed with each new installment’s release. Perhaps best described as Jumanji with goth sensibilities, the series has stolen headlines since its launch for ushering in a new trend in RPG themed storytelling.

“The concluding arc is always bittersweet,” said Gillen. “Sad that the adventure is coming to the end, but the wicked glee of finally being able to reveal all the bleak secrets we've been keeping.”

Die #16 Cover A by Hans (Diamond Code MAR210062) and Die #16 Cover B by Alberto Varanda (Diamond Code MAR210063) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, May 5.

Die #16 will also be available for purchase across many digital platforms, including Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play.

Coo! If you Coo! too, speak to retailer to order.

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This was a lovely thing. The British Fantasy Society selected DIE as the British Fantasy Awards 2020 winner for Best Comic/Graphic Novel. Stephanie and I were completely delighted…

The full award show is here…

…where you can see Jody Houser virtually present our award, and see our own virtual acceptance. Also, all the other awards. Tor has a good round-up of all the short lists and winners here.

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There’s a lot this week. Hence, brevity. Never my natural mode.

The easy part is just my standard pages. I’m working on issue 20 of Once & Future, which I should finish the first draft off tomorrow and polish up on Friday. It’s very much still exploring and establishing the new status quo, as well as bringing in some myths we haven’t seen yet. It also strikes to me that Once & Future really leans into my occasional tendency to have arc titles be absolute spoilers – so far all of them have been spoilers for the arc, with only Parliament of Magpie being at all borderline. In this case, it’s the most gives-it-all-away title since the first arc’s THE KING IS UNDEAD. So it’ll have to wait a bit to give details.

(And a bit more – I mentioned we’re going to have a gap between issue the third and fourth arc – likely three months, but I’ll confirm when we know for sure.)

Then there’s a couple of other things I’m co-writing I need to do a turn-around as quickly as possible – I’ll go straight from this to one of them, to try and get it off my desk, so I can then get onto the other intensely pressing thing, which is basically a big planning document for what’s next on Eternals. There’s also significantly more than the usual amount of conference call stuff to do.

Basically, I’m in a deep depressing but productive work groove, and I’m aware the only thing which is breaking this cycle is the Band of Blades game I’m running on Thursday. That’s something, and I’m trying to be grateful for it. This is a useful thing.

Speak soon.

Kieron Gillen
London.
24.2.2021

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