Ted and Rosy and Jamie
Not Just A David Bowie Album
Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar was announced last week by Marvel, with myself and my old friend Jacen Burrows turning up the volume. They asked me for a quote, and I gave them this.
"I am venerable enough to have bought Rogue Trader in 1987. Since then, I like to think every hastily dry-brushed Necron, every badly edge-highlighted Marine, every ignored Harlequin (as painting Motley petrified me) has prepared me for writing the first Warhammer comics for Marvel. If I said, ‘Getting to explore the roots of Marneus Calgar and setting the stage for Marvel's Warhammer comics is a dream come true,’ I would be betraying everything this grim future should be since ‘dream’ implies the possibility of hope. But getting to do this is the sort of thing Slaanesh would wave in my direction if she wanted me coming over to the tentacle-y side.“
“Or to translate for those less indoctrinated in 40K, I'm excited."
I’ve been approached to do Warhammer things in relatively recent years before. I’ve turned them down for various reasons – which are less relevant than the reasons I said yes this time. With the resources that Marvel can bring to bear on a project, it’s a chance to do try and do Warhammer comics with a different sort of scope. I basically pitched a set up where I write the first mini, consult on the line and generally give them fun connective tissue to play with. It’s not the Full Hickman Age Of X, but a chance to be more involved in a development of a line is certainly one of the reasons I said yes. It’s also been fun to act as a sort of Warhammer Whisperer, translating ideas in Warhammer to Marvel Speak, and back again (“Like, Guilliman is kind of as if Captain America fell asleep, and woke up in The Hight Castle.”) It’s been interesting stuff, and also new stuff.
As I’ve alluded to in other mails here, if I’m to do stuff that isn’t creator owned, I want to do stuff I haven’t done before. Not in terms of the characters, but the whole process. This is definitely that.
I also suspect it’s not a surprise to many people that I’m launching this. I’m told when it was mentioned they had the licence at the Marvel Summit, the room basically went “So Kieron, right?” My brand is remains my brand.
Marneus Calgar is our entry way into the world of 40k. My inspiration is very much Batman Year One. As in, do a book which works both as an introduction to a character and a world while also absolutely hitting the notes a fan of the world would like to see. If you’ve always wanted to know more about 40k, this is a place to join us. If you always wanted to see how a power fist turns people into mist, this is also the place to join us.
(This was Project Brighter Shade of Blue for those who follow this newsletter’s codes, which is a clear nod to the fact it’s a book about the Ultramarines. No, the other Project titles aren’t as connected to their name as this one was, so I wouldn’t recommend trying to go guessing.)
More details to come, obv, including release date.
We’re doing a second printing of issue 2 of Ludocrats, as the first one sold out. Look at Ro Stein and Ted Brandt’s amazing cover, which they turned down with ludicrous speed and skill.
We extended the deadline on this so more folks could get a chance to order, so there’s still time. Speak to your retailer. Its code is APR208635 if you require such things.
Actually, talking about Ted and Ro…
They did a short comic with Jamie McKelvie for Aftershock’s SOS anthology, in aid of retailers. Available from your retailer now. This is Jamie’s comics origin story, and I love that he’s put it down on paper with Ted and Ro.
WRITER: Kieron Gillen
ARTIST / COVER A: Stephanie Hans
COVER B: Mike Del Mundo
SEPTEMBER 02 / 32 pages / FC/ M / $3.99
“THE GREAT GAME,” Part Three “War isn’t a game” seems obvious. Let one of DIE’s most aggressive masters explain: i) why that isn’t true ii) that war being a game only makes it worse. Can our heroes save the world? Can they save anything?
Back after a gap month, with this clearly being One Of Those Episodes. Plus, I finally manage to get a Mike Del Mundo cover on one of my creator owned books. I purr.
THE LUDOCRATS #5 (OF 5)
WRITER: Jim Rossignol, Kieron Gillen
ARTIST: Jeff Stokely, Tamra Bonvillain
COVER A: Jeff Stokely
SEPTEMBER 30 / 32 pages / FC/ M / $3.99
CONCLUSION! LUDOCRATS ends as it began, with the release of a 32-page comic pamphlet. We leave you with fond memories and longing. Forevermore, LUDOCRATS will be the comic whose name you accidentally moan when having sex with other lesser comics.
I fully admit to having enjoyed writing the Ludocrats solicits, and Jeff has outdid himself with the cover.
C’s second book of Poetry has just been announced, showing the new Tom Humberstone cover. It’s called Low and it’s out in May. It’s been an honour to watch her pull this one together.
Hey – Karama has a new show. The Blerdgurl Live’s debut episode was on Tuesday, and you can go watch it on Twitch. First episode she’s talking to April Reign. Go watch.
I did a big interview with I Freaking Love Comics about basically my whole career. Have a listen and watch here.
Digging out Brighter Shade of Blue reminds me of this playlist of a bunch of Kenickie B-sides and rarities. I am now listening to Catsuit City, which is still a agreeable little mess of an EP and it keeps it up, in all manner of modes. I loved almost all the Kenickie B-sides.
I’ve been watching bits of the Glastonbury, and Adlai points me at this 1998 Bad Seeds set, which I’d told him about previously. The hyper-slow version of From Her To Eternity that Nick Tries to do was disturbed by a gentleman to my right howling the chorus at double speed throughout. This proceeded to escalate into a conga to the front, which I joined, in transit stepping on the foot of someone who latter stormed the stage during CD:UK. The zine scene was a time.
If you’ve nuzzled into the modern RPG scene, you’ll likely be looking at the no-prep games. If you’re coming from a more traditional background (or even no background whatsoever) you may just be worried. This is a useful article about prepping no-prep games, that brings together a lot of good practise.
Work wise, I’ve decided to spend this week trying to get scripts in a finished and over to editors state. Once & Future 13 went over on Monday, and I’m trying to get DIE 14 and 15 written up across the rest of the week – Stephanie is wrapping up 13, so she’ll need it, and as the pair are tightly wrapped, I may as well do it.
I also want to finish compiling the names that have popped up after the Warhammer announcement, of creators who are interested in doing Warhammer comics. I don’t have hiring power or anything, but I want to try and make sure the widest range of people who know the property are brought to Marvel’s attention. If you’re an artist or write who knows Warhammer, do wave at me.
Months of this, I have finally reached the point most people were two weeks in. I’ve baked something.
Banana bread, done in an unconventional tin, as we don’t have a loaf one. I used this recipe (which my mum lobbed at me) but used 3 bananas instead of 2 (as they were smallish and I had bananas to get rid of, which is why I was baking banana bread), 90g of Butter instead of 100g and about 60g of sugar instead of 175g, because I looked at that amount of sugar, and suspected I’d die. I also threw in some chocolate chips, because I’m not a total puritan.
Turned out great, so I recommend.
We also bought a car. I have never owned a car. The last time I drove a car, I was 18. I will be having more lessons before I get anywhere near the car, clearly. I’m hoping all those years of videogames will have kept my skills in line, which does bring to mind Gorman in Aliens, talking about how many combat drops he’s been on.