If I don’t think about NYCC, it doesn’t get closer. That’s my plan.
Warcry me a river
Once & Future 2 is out today, where Bridgette and Duncan go to Glastonbury Tor, in hope of stopping the bad guys from doing bad things. I hope they don’t succeed, because if they did, the next four issues of the story would just be everyone sitting around and having a nice cup of tea.
Dan and Tamra are doing astounding stuff in this issue, plus there’s a scene in this which is what I inevitably tell people in the pub when they ask me what I’m working on, so hope you find it entertaining.
For those who are following the many reprints on the book, Boom talked to retailers about the reprint situation on Once & Future (and the also excellent, Something Is Killing The Children). TL;DR: Early prints are done with estimates of print runs so can get to shop quicker (hence underestimated demand), the latest one is based on actual orders.
As well as setting up his newsletter, Jamie’s been keeping himself busy. Clearly he’s not quite ready to wave goodbye to WicDiv as he’s taking orders for a limited edition print (i.e. the above). You’ve got a couple more days to get your order in, so do so, if you want one. Don’t if you don’t. That would be ludicrous. If you don’t want a print, spend your money on crisps instead. If you want crisps, of course. If you don’t, you can spend it on oh I don’t know I should stop writing.
Comps for “Okay” arrived. They’re a hell of a thing. Out the first week of October.
I also took them and put them into my Bookshelf Of My Stuff, to see the fade from white to black for the first time. Every time I’ve walked to book bookshelf, and looked at the WicDivs, I’ve been thinking about what that would look like.
Basically, it looks like a lot of work.
It’s a big week for excellent kickstarters, it seems. Kate Brown is returning with a second part of her genuinely creepy and inimate Faith Says You, and I’m very excited. The Spire Folk are getting deep-deep-down with Heart, an RPG I liked enough to give a ludicrous quote for. Finally, UK-indie comics institution Hitsville UK is getting a collected edition. This is something any of you Phonogram readers really should go and seriously consider.
When I was in San Francisco, I did a big interview with Brian Hibbs at Comix Experience as part of their Graphic Novel Club. This is mainly about everything, not least, me drinking on stage. I’m probably too honest. Again.
Did I link to the three part Actual Play of DIE over at the Gauntlet? I probably did, but I’m going to do it again. Oh – and the Gauntlet are running their online gaming convention for a week from October 24th, so go and have a nose at that.
Safety tools and ensuring consent are big parts of indie gaming, but has tended to be less so in the mainstream. As such, seeing Monte Cook release a free PDF which is an introduction to a lot of useful tools is a pretty great thing to see.
A couple more post-WicDiv decompressions. Firstly, Jamie and I join Multiversity to talk a whole bunch on their That’s The Issue podcast. Secondly, Newsarama gets us to talk about all things WicDivian too.
Warcry is Games Workshop’s new skirmish miniature wargame, set in their fantasy universe. I finished painted all the minis to a table quality level in a different 1980s-esque style (details in the Instagram post, along with more photos of the little ones.) This meant I could actually play it, and thus am relieved it’s a really nifty, tight little thing that motors, and makes a lot of smart choices – the initiative system, the back and forth of the turn system, the campaign-mode that runs on an individual than group level and so on. GW have done a few skirmish games across the last few years, and I think this is my favourite. I say that without even mentioning one faction have peeled their faces off and wearing it on their belts. That’s my kind of fashion power move.
I also ran a couple of games of Trophy. Perhaps more on this anon. Short-form one off game of doomed adventurers, seeking trophies, becoming trophies. If you like Narrative RPGs, I suspect you would get a lot from it. I should be running it for Coffin Bound and Lucicer’s Dan Watters next week too.
Once & Future 5 went over on Monday, which was very much a “This just isn’t working until it suddenly works” thing. This mode seems to be more common now I’ve started working on Scrivener. I’m writing more fluidly and loosely, across the whole issue at once, and then bouncing up and down the manuscript adding and tweaking stuff as I realise what a scene needs. I talk about it as a 3D Printer model, just putting down material until the script takes shape. It’d be nervewracking, but I’ve done so many single issues now that the real nervewracking thing is not doing it in a way which feels out of control. Creativity should scare you, I say, with my usual caveat that the word “should” is the enemy of creativity, as it closes down possibilities. I contain multitudes. You won’t believe the number of tudes I’ve got inside me. Packed with tudes. Bursting.
I moved onto Once & Future 6, which was in a nearly done draft state, and just finished it off before writing this. I’ll likely polish it up across the rest of the week… but once I’ve done that, that’s the last outstanding script I need for a while. I’ll move into smaller bits and pieces, and side-projects and the larger jobs of doing deep planning of DIE and Once & Future’s next arcs.
I also formally started the proper research on the former, working my way through a short monograph on Dave Arneson and a short biography of the figure who’ll be getting the focus arc in the third one. I’ll try to avoid mentioning who he is for a while. Maybe I won’t mention it until he arrives on the page. Except I’ve just written “He” which gives a clue. A small clue, but it’s still a clue. Ptth.
Also this may give enough space to go back to the DIE RPG Arcana. I’m doing a lot of gaming before NYCC, so my head will at least be in this space. I also got an idea that’s amused me terribly about how to do high level politics in a DIE campaign, so I’ll see if I can start putting some meat on that.
TV obsession has been Unbelievable, which is harrowing and well-observed in exactly the way you’d hope it would be, plus diving into a bunch of old albums. I tend to cherry-pick singles, so to actually obsess over albums I adored in certain periods is actually atypical. I think I’m trying to slow my thoughts down a bit, and think longer about a theme. I think that because, it hasn’t just been old stuff, but a deep dive on a couple of new albums – you could say there’s an obvious historical angle about the new gothic Pixies one, but Charlie XCX doesn’t exactly fit into that.
Pink Flag by Wire, Presidential Suite by Gonzales and Someone to Drive You Home remain fascinating documents. Pink Flag is well before my time, and one of the first art punk albums which I explored when I decided I wanted to be the sort of person who has opinions about art punk albums. Oddly, it was prompted by Ex Lion Tamer turning up on shuffle and me thinking, for the first time in my life, what a Tune it actually was. Presential Suite and Someone To Drive You Home are archetypal proto-Phonogram and Phonogram albums – the former was when I was more being David Kohl part time, and the latter being when I was just writing about him. The “Try living your life as a concept” brought all that back, and Long Blondes may as well be called That’s What I Call Fucking Up My Life (Volume 33).
I also found myself in a terrible indie club (the best kind, clearly) with a clientele of people as decrepit as I am. I went along with some of my oldest friends (in terms of time served rather than actual age) and threw shapes as if our bodies didn’t hurt, until they did.
Next week: who knows. See you then.