131: where three stars should be.

Hullo.

It seems these newsletters are being primarily written in short breaks when travelling. At the moment, I’m flying between Boston and New York before a stopover. This isn’t quite true. I’m sitting on the runway at Boston, waiting to take to the air in my enormous metal bird.

Horizon
Necro
Links
Necromancer
Byyyyeeee!!!

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Jamie announced this during the WicDiv panel at NYCC, and I couldn’t be more breathless if I was floating in space in a hard vacuum.

Jamie McKelvie. Matt Wilson. Aditya Bidikar. It’s inevitable that the comic is set in space, as that’s exactly where three stars should be. The press-release is here, which also links to the first interview Jamie did over at io9. I’ve talked before about spending the last decade and change trying to encourage Jamie to write more while distracting him with more comics, so seeing him go full auteur makes me grin. Also, if you’ve followed Jamie on any social media, you’ll know what a fan he is of science-fiction – and you’ll also know how long he’s been circling and thinking about this project, and how to make it land.

In other words, this is one of the books of 2020, and we should all counts ourselves lucky that we’ve got sufficient warning to brace ourselves.

Sign up to McK’s newsletter to receive transmissions from Jamie’s head.

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So, yes…

i) we threw a wake for WicDIv in NYC. ii) Jamie now has a beard.

It was a lovely time, but despite the astounding work that Jazzlyn did with the astounding venue – an altar, slogan posters everywhere, animated videos of the wicdiv iconography, the lot -  there was a period we were worried it wasn’t just landing 100% in terms of shape-throwing. This happens occasionally. The dancefloor felt what I describe as soft – as in there’s people dancing, but there’s big turn-overs between song, and even the biggest bangers weren’t provoking a frenzy. I decided I’d be fine with that. In some ways, it was appropriate.

Then we hit 11:20, maybe 11:30 and the whole place kicked off and we had full Bachanalian glee and it was all an avalanche of human limbs until the traditional closing communal love song of Total Eclipse of the Heart, followed by a Bat for Lashes’ Laura. Normally we leave on Total Eclipse, as it basically leaves people up. With Laura, it was the wake, so we left it down. There was a lot of genuine tears, a lot of hugging and a lot of worrying sincerity from yours truly as I just told people individually how grateful I was.

To get a taste, the easiest thing is to look at the Instagram and twitter tags. We’ve got some video and photos of our own, which we’ll be compiling shortly. Everyone looked amazing. Everyone was amazing.

Jazzlyn asked to include a list of thank yous in it, which I include here: Tati Soutar. Liana Kangas. Tia Vasiliou. Chavon Coleman. Robyn Warren. Jordan Ellis. Ivan Salazar. Alex Lu. Greg Brown.  Matt Wilson. Nayoung Wilson. Chrissy Williams. Katie West. Alex Noble (LEX FX). And “The enthusiastic WicDiv fans that DM’d me niceties. …And the countless others that helped us throw this wake. You’re all lovely and I’ll save the last dance for any of you.” Plus the bunch of folks who arrived at the venue and set up the whole place in half an hour.

I did a zine for the event, which involved resurrecting my one-sheet photocopied format from circa-1995. I didn’t have my 1995 era logo, instead using the one from 1998 or so, but it’s still deep retro. I’ll likely have some to hand out in at Tbubz too, as I printed far too many.

In terms of music played, I was winging it, so have only the rough shape of my set. I am sad we didn’t remember to play Boom Boom Boom Boom, but most of the iconic songs dropped. In terms of other DJs, Jazzlyn’s is here and Ivan’s playlist is here. Jazzlyn’s has led to an obsession of Charli XCX’s I Blame It On Your Love and Billie Eilish bad guy, which is how WicDiv parties should go. Obsession in, obsession out.

In short, the WicDiv wake was the natural collision between Sandman’s The Wake and Wham’s Wake Me Up Before You Go Go. We’ll miss you.

Photographs by Savannah Lauren (instagram/twitter). We’ll be putting up more photos online in the next week. I was having more in this mail, but Airport Wifi is not being generous with the wifi.

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I finished Tamsin Muir’s Gideon the Ninth on the trip. I’ll admit, I nearly bounced off the meme-age Gormenghast of the first act but the second a generation’s best arrive at an awful, eternal tomb at the heart of an awful eternal empire, and the lead’s voice mashes up against some of the gathered charming and monstrous weirdos it first settles, and then accelerates and you just have to hold on. It brought to many things in terms of structure – And Then There Was None, Battle Royale, the Hunger Games, Cube, Warhammer 40k – but uses those elements as a bedrock to just pile up a baroque, funny, playful, brutal universe.

For a book that’s billed itself as Lesbian Necromancers in Space, I was a little surprised there was little Lesbians going at it. It’s actually a book which whose representation is actually one of simply making the cast who they are, and letting them live and die. That said, when the Necromancers go at it in the conclusion the pages are almost on fire. I can’t think of recent a book that’s done cataclysmic magic in prose as well. Magic is imagination, and this is magic.

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Can you excuse me breaking down NYCC in detail? It would be long and I’d like to send this before I board the plane. My metal bird has deposited me in NYC, and now I’m about to board a further, larger metal bird.

It was the most full on NYCC I’ve been at which I haven’t been tabling at. It turns out having a party is a lot of work, and when you’re working for multiple publishers it all adds up. It did everything I wanted to though – for all the physical exhaustion, a con is a rejuvenatory exercise. If I come away reminded of why I love comics and love the people in it, it worked. And so, NYCC worked.

And now to actually finish Once & Future 6, which has been 45 minutes work away from being done for 9 whole days.

Speak soon.

Kieron Gillen
NYC
10.10.2019