150: I won’t be Donald-ducking

Hullo.

Easter week, and I’m still thinking Jesus has to be a little bit miffed it’s called Good Friday. “Yeah, I’ve had better, to be honest”

Our go
Future Present
The Baron
Links
Byyyyeeee!!!

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The 2020 Hugo shortlists were announced, and I got my first Hugo nomination. Also, my second. Which is obviously an enormously touching thing. I understand WicDiv has been inching closer to a Hugo nomination for a few years now. In fact, if we had one more nomination we’d have been in the shortlist for last year. It’s an enormously strong field to be included in.

I mean that across the board. The announcement video is here, and a run down of all the categories is here. It’s also telling the impact of the Eastercons and World con I’ve attended in the last few years, in that I own the better part of the best novel nominations. I’m looking forward to exploring as many others as I can.

The con is running at the end of July to the start of August, and will be running in a solely virtual capacity, so making it significantly easier to attend. I will be wearing one of my fancy skull jackets in my house, and I promise I won’t be Donald-ducking.

Who am I kidding? I in no way promise that.

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In terms of supporting shops, Once & Future’s trade is out there, in comic shops and book shops. There’s also a special edition which is available from Big Bang and Forbidden Planet. It’s got the above lovely David Lafuente cover and the tale of Arthurian horror and adventure. It’s a volume we’re hugely proud of.

At some point I’m going to have to ask Dan permission to show his roughs in one of these, as I just spent today going through his ones for issue 10, and they basically give me a whole bunch of life.

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Juan Giménez’s passing was a huge one. He was an enormous talent – his particular opulent brand of science-fiction was hugely influential on me as I came into the medium, and it was a huge honour when he did a cover for Salva and my last issue of Star Wars. Let’s show it here.

<IMAGE>

Just look at that. I still can’t believe it exists on one of my things.

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  • C’s latest volume of her online poetry anthology Perverse is going out. You can sign up to receive them weekly, or see the poems go up on twitter.

  • Sarah Jaffe’s newsletter is always good, and this one was particularly so. Always an expert eye on both life and labour disputes.

  • Publisher’s Weekly reviewed Once & Future, and liked it, which is always an excellent deal.

  • These are going to be an excellent series of interviews to watch when they’re broadcast. I had a lot of fun doing mine.

  • #NCBD is a regular hashtag as folks tweet about their new books. In time of no new comics, Matt Rosenberg wrote trying to encourage folks to tweet with the hashtag #NTYCBD. As in, New To You Comic Book Day. As in, highlighting books that already are out there you want to draw attention to, and ideally have folks be able to order. That sounds like a good idea, and I’m going to embarrass Matt by recommending FOUR KIDS WALK INTO THE BANK which remains a definitive 10s cult crime book, one of the few post-Hawkeye books worthy of active inclusion in the lineage.

  • As said a couple of weeks back, I’m trying to use my forward-facing presence to basically be a source of comfort where I can. Trying to lighten when I can, and keep the knives in the sheaves. So I retweeted the immaculate pop-music-through-the-decades thread when it crossed my timeline, as it may be my fave twitter thread of all time.

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I wasn’t going to send this out today, thinking that I’d leave it to tomorrow, but I just wrote that bullet entry for #NTYCBD and I figure I should get it out on the actual day, right? It was going to be a light one anyway, even if I gave it another day. Motivation is low, and remaining motivation should be spent on what I need to be doing.

This week that is PROJECT COWBOY, which has had more art arrive, and it’s painfully good. It’s an artist whose work I know well, so the insert-short-story I wrote today is explicitly inspired by having an image I know they will nail, and then building the rest of the story to provide that moment of beauty. The thing about writing: you start wherever you start.

PROJECT BRIGHTER SHADE OF BLUE is also deep into the work, meaning I’d likely slide to the next issue after I finish the second issue of Cowboy. Stephanie is just wrapping up 12, so issue 13 was edited by C (“There’s only one bit where it reads as “Oh, I’ve read all these books” but bar that, great!”) and passed to Stephanie, who I’m sure will be excited to see there’s a chance to design another of the gods. As said, Dan is in the roughs for 10. Meanwhile, I’ve been doing lettering drafts of 9. Oh – I wrote up the first of the interviews for the back of the new series of DIE and am wrestling with Jeff and Jim about what to do with the final cover for Ludocrats.

I am also now signed up for 3 RPG groups a week, one of which I’m actually playing in.

It’s also Easter, and C tells me she hid some chocolate to prevent me eating it so we could celebrate the only way I know how.

Right, back to it. Be careful. Speak soon. And, as Sarah Gordon has just mentioned Billy Ocean on twitter, let’s go out on Red Light Spells Danger.

Kieron Gillen
London.
8.4.2020

149: Comewithmecomewithmewelltravel

Hullo.

A friend of mine was mocked at school because everyone said that he thought spam came from an animal called “a spamial”. He didn’t. Bullies are just shits.

Ludocrats
Links
June, whenever that is
Comics with no artcred
Byyyyeeee!!!

****

I hope your hangover has cleared.

The Ludocrats launch party was something else. Jim and I even got a bit choked up, and Jim is far from an emotional human. We hugged, and looked around our friends and thought… we did it. We combined with Jeff, Tamra and Clayton, formed a fleshy devastator and constructed this beast. Seventeen years and it’s finally a comic that is here, and in so many hands. We raised our glass and cheered as Brian Blessed gave a toast to all assembled.

It was the big reveal, with Brian having signed up for the Ludocrats movie where he’ll be playing Otto. We livestreamed the news to all the other midnight openings. Openings. That’s lunacy. One midnight opening is a big deal, but the idea that shops on every continent on Earth would be throwing their doors open in the witching hour to celebrate the coming of the age of Lud is hard to believe. But thinking about as Ludocrats is all about hard to believe things, I guess it actually makes perfect sense.

Oh wait – you’re in Earth 2926226262626. I’m on Earth 2926226262625.

Ludocrats is available to buy in every single dimension, except yours.

Sorry.

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Stephanie just lobbed this online yesterday, saying folks should colour it for fun. I think that’s a lovely idea.

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June Solicits went up a couple of weeks back and I haven’t mentioned yet. Or at least I don’t think I’ve mentioned it. I may be somewhat loopy today. I am basically in the state of mind where I may refer to the fridge as the “Cold Oven” as I can’t remember the right word.

Anyway, my stuff from Image and Boom.

DIE #12
WRITER: KIERON GILLEN
ARTIST / COVER A: STEPHANIE HANS
COVER B: JUSTINE FRANY
JUNE 10 / 32 PAGES / FC / M / $3.99
“THE GREAT GAME,” Part Two
Designer Sid Meier described games as a series of interesting decisions. “May you live in interesting times” is a curse. Both things are true, and both are true here.

THE LUDOCRATS #3 (OF 5)
WRITER: KIERON GILLEN & JIM ROSSIGNOL
ARTIST: JEFF STOKELY & TAMRA BONVILLAIN
COVER: JEFF STOKELY
JUNE 3 / 32 PAGES / FC / M / $3.99
LUDOCRATS, the comic that makes its whole creative team shout, "Oh God. What have we done? Why didn't anyone stop us?" on a monthly basis.

ONCE & FUTURE #10
Publisher : BOOM! Studios
Retail Price : $3.99
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Dan Mora
Cover Artist: Dan Mora
Synopsis: Revenge is the greatest motivator and Gran and Duncan have awakened the ire of the mother of all monsters…

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It’s only in the last week that I’ve settled into the isolation enough to actually do any significant reading. It’s been prose, but I’m planning on attacking the near infinite backlog of trades and comics shortly.

There was a moment when I thought “All I want to do right now is read novellas” after devouring a couple. The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion was already on my reading list and jumped to the front when I realised writer Margaret Killjoy was also recording as Feminazgul. A traveler comes to find out about the suicide of a friend, and discovers a Murderous deer protector spirit turning on the anarchist squatter community that summoned it. This fascinated me as a mix of a genre standard transformed by the specificity of the setting and cast. People like this rarely get to have adventures and horrors like this. I also treated myself to the dark, sharp confectionery of Seanan McGuire’s third Wayward Children novella, Beneath The Sugar Sky. I’ve written about my delight and fascination with these before, and how I’ve been deliberately saving them. The series’ concept of a school of children who went Alice-style to another world, and then were kicked out and long to return seems particularly close to home in these locked in times. Her mastery of marrying a fairytale prose rhythm to distinctly non-fairy tale characterisation is the charm, but the emotional core remains cast of people who feel wrong in the world finding that there is a place where they can be themselves, only to lose it. The mix of melancholy and hope seems truer now than ever. Also, as I am in the middle of a Ghost binge, I realised I’d never read any of the Age of Sigmar fiction, and corrected that with Josh Reynold’s Soul Wars which was exactly what I was looking for in the battle between the undead and definitely-not-undead-no-really heroes. I could very happily read the Mortarchs of Death snipe at each other all day.

Hmm. Looking back, The Undead has been a theme. I started Tuesday by finishing The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix, which I basically inhaled over the previous two days. Early-nineties set horror where, as the title suggests, a Dracula faces off against a prim group of Southern Ladies determined to protect their community. In a sentence single sentence, you could take it as campy fun. It’s not campy fun. There’s a lot of wit here – I almost quoted some of my favourite stuff, but it’s near the end, and felt a little too much showing its best tricks – but the repeated theme is about how a community accepts a predator and how women’s concerns are dismissed. It has strong period detail, and affectionate but merciless characterisation of its women (and is utterly merciless to its good for nothing men). I’ve always been fascinated by the fingernails-on-glass we-couldn’t-possibly Southern Politeness, and when those fingernails are scratching politely on the inside of a coffin lid, I couldn’t turn away.

Out on April 7th, so a good time to preorder.

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I pressed on and wrapped up the the second arc of ONCE & FUTURE by Monday, then spent a whole day fighting with the DIE 13 script to take it to final draft, in a process which I picture like Gandalf and the Balrog at the bottom of Khazad-Dum in that epic tolkieneque fuckfest. I presume they were fucking. I hope they were fucking. That’s off my plate, which leaves me to set my eyes on Project Cowboy’s second script. That will be fun. I haven’t mentioned that I’ve seen the first pages from Project Cowboy, and they’re as startling as I hoped. It’s one of my favourite artists in the industry.

I also did a bunch of interviews – three in three nights, which mainly reminds me what a dodgy interviewer I was. I suspect I’ll write about this another time, as I want to do it properly. My problem always is that I can’t just ask questions. Instead, I want to talk about ideas, and that is not exactly conducive to the best results. These were for the backmatter of the third arc of DIE, whose first issue I’m flicking through longingly. DIE! It exists.

In short, I’m working and it remains an anchor. I hope you’ve got your anchor, and if not, one finds you soon.

And to end… did I mention may original theme for Ludocrats? Picture me in 2006, stomping through picturesque graveyards while living on a sofa, and first thinking about trying to bring Jim and my running jokes to the world.

Comewithmecomewithmewelltraveltoinfinitycomewithmecomewithmewelltraveltoinfinitycomewithmecomewithmewelltraveltoinfinity rushing out into the clear space, and out.

One day.

Kieron Gillen
London
1.4.2020

148: the Escape of the Prisoner

Hullo.

Since I last wrote I have learned how to make similes in Italian, so can now can be pretentious in two languages.

Pre-Abstractly
Abstractly
Links
Byyyyeeee!!!

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Okay. Let’s try and do the basics as well as we can, before we deal with the fact that there’s nothing but Elephants in this room.

Once & Future first collection is abstractly out today in comic shops. The trade follows into the book trade next week. The second arc of Once & Future also starts with issue 7, and abstractly should be in shops now. You can see a preview here.

It’s a book about a retired monster-hunter grandmother who drags her entirely confused grandson into the family business, all against a horror Arthurian background and none-too-subtle of screaming about Brexit. In terms of my current books, Once & Future is my big-thrill book. If you wanted to file it next to another of my earlier books, you’d be looking at Doctor Aphra – both are attempts to rethink the classic Indiana Jones Adventure story for the 21st century.  Dan Mora and Tamra Bonvillain are simply destroying the page with their art. It’s just a masterclass in pop comics from the pair of them. It’s also reviewed phenomenally well.

It’s a lot of fun, and god knows we all need fun now.

Also, I’m told the DIE T-shirts abstractly have made their way to shops now.

So that’s happening. Abstractly.

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Let’s go into the aforementioned abstractly.

I’m going to write about how the last two weeks have impacted comics here, and move onto the personal and human stuff later. I’d like to keep it tight.

All forms of retail, in many territories operating under at the least social distancing and increasingly likely (and 100% definitely in the UK) to be closed for anything other than mail order. If I wrote this a day or two ago, I’d have likely have shown a link to Skottie Young’s excellent comic describing how to start a pull box and talked about various publisher’s initiatives to try and support shops.

However, on Tuesday Diamond revealed they would no longer be distributing comics in the direct market. This weeks’ comics are the last ones they’ll be distributing in the US, and they’re not doing that in the UK. As such, even though mail order may be working in your shop, they won’t be receiving new stock, as there will be no new weekly comics for the foreseeable future.

It’s unsure what this means going forward. Everyone is – I tell my collaborators that basically it’s a case of sitting and waiting to see what shakes down in the next week.

I would like to be able to beat an optimistic drum and say comics will survive, but comics aren’t what I’m worried about. Comics are an artform, and artforms will survive. Artforms are ideas, and ideas, as a comic once noted, are indestructible.

My worry is on a much more human, material level – as in, all the comic shops who the weekly turnover of books is absolutely what keeps the lights on. That is a huge number of workers whose livelihood is threatened, and if those businesses are lost, speaks to what the market looks like when we come out the other side of this.

As such, if you are mail ordering anything in comics, do check if your local shop is doing mail order. If they’re not, there’s plenty that are. This is true for any local shop, but with the specific situation of comics, doubly worth it. I’m not saying go out and spend, because everyone is in a tight situation finically, but if you are looking to buy, I’d urge you to buy from the places which need it. They will appreciate it.

To state the obvious, all my forthcoming signings are cancelled for now and I’m not sure what will be happening with any of my books’ releases. As soon as I know, I’ll let you know.

So that’s the abstractly, so let’s play out this bit with the relevant Frank Black track.

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A bumper set of links, I think.

****

In short: oof.

I haven’t written to you for two weeks, and it’s a chasm. A recap doesn’t necessarily help, especially as it’s a situation which is likely similar to yours. The last of these started with the I’m-a-writer-I’ve-been-isolating-all-my-life joke, and the joke was new, rather than the song on the radio that’s so overplayed it makes people punch their fingers through their keyboards.

We are all tense, and you can see it creeping out into the conversation. That’s one of the quietly worse things about a situation like this – that almost everyone is in a variation of a bad place means that everyone is tetchy and sitting in the same room. When everyone is physically isolated, there’s an obvious irony.

It says a lot about me as a human that I wrote a worry first. That’s not the whole story. Simultaneously, there’s so many people coming together, trying to support one another. You see it on the macro level. You see it on the micro level. My friendship groups have so supportive it’s important. The virtual pub we ran on Friday was a roaring success, or at least that’s what my Hangover suggests.

But still – I’m aware this is two weeks in and this goes on until it doesn’t. None of us have gone though anything like this.

At the moment I am trying to follow a social media version of the Hippocratic oath: first, do no harm. Prior to this, for various reasons, I barely used social media for anything other than plugging, retweets and deeply terrible jokes. I’ll add trying to do more communal stuff too. While I applaud folks releasing art for people’s entertainment, I’m thinking I should save releasing stuff for week eight or whatever, just to spread it out a bit.

(That said, if you haven’t, the DIE RPG is out there and 100,000 words of stuff. Playing RPGs online is also very of the moment – I link to Allie’s thread here, with some notes of my own.)

Work wise, it’s basically “we continue.” Jeff is working. Stephanie is working. Dan is working. BRIGHTER SHADE OF BLUE artist is working. Whenever the books can come out, they will. Obviously this is most sharp for Ludocrats, which was meant to be out next week, and as of writing, I’m unsure whether it’ll be delayed, or just out on digital or what. I would presume delayed, but (as said in the notes-on-abstract above) I just don’t know. The first reviews are in, and are delighted. I hope it’ll delight folks whenever it emerges, resplendent and sticky.

Have I been working much?

More than you’d think. The week before last was a wash, but last week I was worryingly productive. A hard deadline with Dan needing a script tends to do that. It’s moved into this week, and I suspect I’m going to write to the end of issue 12 of Once & Future, before moving onto other projects. I even started a hefty new thing for the DIE backmatter of the next arc. In many ways the work is an anchor. I am sure that is not a purely good thing.

As I’ve said to anyone who’s asked, C and I are playing lockdown on easy mode. Our work already was from home. We don’t have an immediate financial pressure. We have no dependents. We like each other. But the wider worry about families and the world and everything is obviously a huge, Lovecraftian monster looming over our heads.

I have also been painting a lot of Warhammer ghosts. Running out of Milk is one worry, but running out of Black Templar is another. Not least because I keep on spilling it.

The active use of fantasy is on my mind, of how we’re consuming it, and how its sustaining us, and I’d be surprised if these weeks won’t impact any DIE sequel down the line. I found myself thinking of Tolkien’s On Fairy Stories, which I read when researching DIE. It’s one that’ll likely find its way onto the back of an issue, if I can find a way to cut it for space. It’s him talking around those who roll their eyes at escapism.

“Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if, when he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls? The world outside has not become less real because the prisoner cannot see it. In using escape in this way the critics have chosen the wrong word, and, what is more, they are confusing, not always by sincere error, the Escape of the Prisoner with the Flight of the Deserter.”

Escapism is never more crucial than when you literally can’t escape.

Find it where you can, cherish it and wash your fucking hands.

Kieron Gillen
London
25.3.2020

147: a ball of inertia with a collection of offal

Hullo.

I have a minor cold, but don’t worry, I strong suspect it really is just a cold, and I have been self-isolating my entire life.

Four
Vandalising
Ludochat
Prepping, but not the kind you’re thinking of
Byyyyeeee!!!

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This week the final hardcover edition of The Wicked + the Divine reaches comic shops. It should be in normal book shops the following week. This is the last Wicked + the Divine release presently on the slate. We’ve got no further plans for anything else – we talked about doing a Covers coffee table book, but there’s nothing firmer than an idea.

We get asked whether we’re considering an all in one omnibus, like Walking Dead and Saga, and the answer is basically “No”. We use spreads much more than either, and use the gutters more too. As such, we suspect it’d be rendered substandard, and we don’t want to do that. It’s possible we may find a way, of course, but at the moment, we haven’t got it.

Which leaves the four hard-covers, in their towering glory, the deluxe mode for reading WicDiv.

Here it is, out in the wild, courtesy of allwrongthink.

And here’s side on…

As you can see, the fourth one is especially going for it. It’s a two-book set. The larger of the two books is the three core volumes of 7, 8 and 9, ending with the last pages of 9. The smaller is the remaining two specials (The funnies and the Christmas special) which aren’t strictly speaking part of the reading order, plus all the supplementary making of material, and my writers notes. My edited writers notes, I stress. Not that stuff is removed – but that stuff is rendered readable by C, and not just downloaded in a document and released without a re-read. Also it includes my notes for WicDiv 45, which I haven’t released online, as I wanted to leave a gap for readers to breathe before putting my own things in the mix.

Basically, this is exactly how we wanted to do this edition. In a real way, when the 1-2-3-4 of the four spines are side by side on my bookshelf downstairs Wicdiv will be complete. This ritual we scrawled upon this world is done, exactly how we like it.

That’s so strange and lucky. Even putting aside everything else Image gives a creator in terms of rights, the level of control you can choose to deploy is above and beyond anything else in mainstream comics publishing. For a book like WicDiv where control has to be absolute, it’s the only place where it could come into existence. And now it has.

I have the WicDiv playlist on while writing this, and it’s been a while since I’ve done it. It’s already a little musty, as if I put it in a memory box and shuffling through.

Play With Fire drops, and Lucifer walks out through the wall, looking for caffeine and I salute her. Onwards. It’s been fun.

The Wicked + the Divine: Year Four is available from all good comic shops now, along with all other The Wicked + the Divine volumes.

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Signings!

Firstly, on Wednesday 25 March  2019 from 18:00 to 19:00 at the Forbidden Planet megastore, where we’ll be launching the first volume of ONCE & FUTURE. FP have an exclusive edition with a Lafuente cover too, which is lovely.

(I popped in to sign some bookplates and stock on Saturday, and they got a little footage. It is a poor use of superpowers, I know.)

Secondly…

Jim and I will be launching Ludocrats on April 1st at GOSH from 6 to 7.

I feel a little bad that there’s no flier to link to for the FP one. Both will be great!

Of course, I have no idea if there will be signings in two week’s time, or we’ll all be just be covered in so much hand sanitizer that we all look like Blob Herman from the X-men.

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You know, we’ve only done one (count it!) Ludocrats interview. This is it, with Dynamic Forces. Let’s choose a random answer…

DF: Can you at least attempt to introduce some of the protagonists we will encounter in this 5-issue mini?

Jim Rossignol: The principles are Baron Otto Von Subertan and Count Hades Zero-K, which are my own and Gillen’s alter-egos from the original materials, respectively. Otto, a ball of inertia with a collection of offal, and Hades, the scion of a dynasty of sentient soundwaves. Each has their own approach to the mandate of ludicrousness, and their constant dynamic is that of an odd-couple partnership that solves not crime, but normalization.

Kieron Gillen: Our shorthand is that Otto is Obelix and Hades is Asterix. Otto is the force of nature and Hades is the one who is the smartest person in the room. This is very unlike our real natures, as Jim is the force of nature and the smartest person in the room. At least this room. Only we’re here, unless my cats have creeped in, then the order of smartness would be Bertha, Manny, Jim, me.

…but it’s worth reading. Partially as there hasn’t been many Ludocrats interviews, but mainly because it’s Jim and I doing our Jim and I routine.

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I did a thread on twitter where I asked GMs to post their preps for games. I included mine for the current DIE campaign. Yes, I lean minimalistic.

The last one is particularly threadbare. To choose one gnomic sequence “Get Mink To Map Shit” is as Mink’s persona is a children’s book author, and I was going to drop them into a deconstructed version of the book. Hence I could ask Mink “So – what’s meant to be north of here in your book?” and I’d build from that.

But that’s me. It was done in a mix of interest of seeing what what folks do and also to demystify the process to those who’ve never done it. The idea of the GM is a thing which can be intimidating for even those who play games, and look across the screen in wonder. Showing What Is Done seems useful, to underline how many different routes there are, and how small some of those are. The preparation is mainly for you, of course. It’s about making you feel equipped.

Go have a nose. It’s interesting and human. I love seeing the little scrawls that people are making their fantasy worlds from.

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I had a mouth ulcer, which is my normal tell it’s been a stressful week. It’s been a stressful week for everyone – with C’s family in Northern Italy that generalised worry is close for us too – but stressful for work reasons. It’s the pre-order cut off week for Ludocrats, which means there’s a whole bunch of extra work and drum-beating to do, plus the general worry about releasing a book into the direct market, let alone a book as left-field as Ludocrats is.

Still – that’s done, orders are in and the book is heading towards the printers. Issue 2 had the backmatter hammered into its final position and issue 3’s backmatter has all been written now. As said before, this is a monthly comic with a lot of stuff it. C will be getting to reading issue 5’s scripts shortly, so I’ll expect her coming to howl at Jim and me for what on earth we’ve done. Issue 4’s solicits are just going in, and Jeff’s cover is just something else entirely. The book as a whole will be unlike anything else on the stands, which has to be the aim. Given a blank canvas, use it. If not a better world, at least a more compelling terrible one.

Did some more tweaks on the first script for PROJECT BRIGHTER SHADE OF BLUE, and really need to get back to the diagrams I need to cook up for PROJECT COWBOY. As I’m ahead of my schedule today, I likely will try to do that. The actual new scripting work is DIE 13 this week, which has one half of the story written, and really just has the High Concept Historical Dive stuff written for it. It’s a question of editing as well – I suspect I could move some of the material to the fifth arc as well. It’s always editing.

Away from work, my plan to definitely not get a ghost army failed when Comrade Sheret offered to let me inherit his unpainted and partially unassembled ghost army. But as this ghost army has risen from the grave, which makes it doubly ghosty, so okay. My aim with these is to up my basing game, which has involved sawing hex-wraiths in half.

I also went to see Sasha Velour. I’m feeling run down, so don’t feel I can attack the page with energy to capture it. I’m deliberately shunting my work around so I am writing things which either have the been broken already or are mainly just a case of doing a bunch of work. To try and get the burst of ideas and emotion that Smoke & Mirrors was at the Palladium may beyond me. I could talk about how smart it was – not just in the art, but also the craft. For example, dropping your big hit early in the set speaks of the confidence of having other things to wow people, not wanting the possibility of it happening or not to distract people plus its up-beat catharsis not being in line with where she ended up taking the set – see, decisions within decisions within decisions. It also, as a performance, fucking killed. I couldn’t even keep my eyes open at the wig-lift moment. But really it was watching someone approaching a chosen form with the idea to try to do new things, do it with wit and emotion, to make me want to do it better, whatever “It” it is, and become aware of the possibilities in all things. I’d seen Sasha compare her Nightgowns before, but this was something else entirely, and made me wish to live my whole life over again, in the best possible way.

It’ll probably be the last gig I go to see for a while. That’s probably lucky for other gigs.

Speak soon.

Kieron Gillen
London
11.4.2020

146: Nod, nod, noddity nod

Hullo.

A short one this week, as I want to get it to you as soon as possible, but it also includes Fresh Exclusive New Content, so I hope you’ll forgive me.

LudoFOC.
Once & Future Print Collection
Links
Byyyyeeee!!!

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So, Ludocrats final orders cut off is this week. That’s Monday for folks in the Americas and (eeek) Friday for the UK folk (Strictly speaking I’m told it’s Sunday Night, but almost all retailers want it on Friday – and the sooner the better for everyone.)

Which means it’s perfect time to show the alternate cover. And we got a promising new up and comer by the name of Jamie McKelvie to do it. Ready? Here it is.

Coo. Admire Professor Hades Zero-K, and frown at her spilling the red wine. On these carpets? What is she thinking?

The press release will be going out later, with more details and the fine cover dress, but with time pressing, I wanted to show it you as quickly as possible. Speak to your retailer! If they need an order code, it’s JAN208731.

(If you want to order the original cover by Jeff, it’s FEB200052. If you want an explanation of how pre-ordering works, I direct you to a comic I made over five years ago)

We weren’t originally planning on doing alternate covers, but Jeff said how much he’d like to see folk take on his characters, so decided it was worth doing so. This is actually what happened with DIE as well. There’s definitely something in that when an artist gets to have the level of control they do with an Image book, this is a logical place to end up. It’s the only logical thing with the Ludocrats, right?

Oh – Image put up a trailer for the Ludocrats last night, which features music which I’m oddly obsessed by.

Smooth.

If you want more on the Ludocrats, here’s the preview material. We’ve deliberately released relatively little, as we want it to be a surprise and a joy. Underline that joy. Joy. There you go. Sometimes I do a thing, and it’s trying to do to other people what a work of art did for me, at a certain stage of my life. Basically, with Ludocrats, I’m hoping it’s going to be the ray of light Nextwave was for me in the bleak year of 2006. Can’t wait to share it with you.

Onwards, etc.

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Comps for Once & Future arrived last week. Out March 25th.

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Been working. On little ghosts.

I am mainly trying to avoid actually starting an army of these little folk, and my tactic of basically doing one test unit at a time is not exactly helping. By the time we next speak I may have bought 40 chain-ghost-things off Ebay or something.

Oh, real work? Just work. After this I’ve got to dive into polishing up the first script for PROJECT BRIGHTER SHADE OF BLUE, which I’m hoping to get in a state where I can show it to an editor by the end of play. I’ve been trying to find time to basically do some spreadsheets and diagrams for PROJECT COWBOY for two weeks now, and other things have taken priority. Writing the backmatter for Ludocrats 3 with Jim, while the fifth script is now in Chrissy’s hands. I’m ludicrously proud of this mess.

Next? Get the above out the way, and perhaps DIE 13, which is the issue 3 or issue 9 of this arc.

And now, lunch, which is the distinctly dissatisfying vegetarian chili I made to save what I could when I accidentally defrosted the freezer, as I am a fool.

Speak soon.

Kieron Gillen
London
4.3.2020

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