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.
June, whenever that is
Comics with no artcred
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.
DIE’s going to be published in France by Panini in July, where it will be called Le Die with Cheese or something. Clearly we’re very excited about this one, bringing our lovechild to the land of Stephanie.
Just breaking when I was writing this is the news of Comics Hub’s moves to help the Direct Market . Basic idea is you buy the comic from your real world shop on Comics Hub, and you gain access to an online shop, and then get physical copies from your real world shop when it’s possible to do so down the line. This seems a really good way to help the direct market in the short term. Big Bang would be the account I’d follow in terms of chewing over what it means and how it could work.
Oh – in passing, in last newsletter I was talking about the problem of distribution and Diamond aren’t getting any comics. Specifically, new comics. What is in stock is there, and Diamond are still getting copies of trades already in stock to retailers if they’re still open and willing to file a special order. Just in case you wanted something else.
Art cred round 3! Wanna draw a one pager by Mark Russel? Of course you do. Contact ‘em here for the script.
I did a big interview about Once and Future and Ludocrats over at Comicon. Rossignol did one about Ludocrats over at the Beat, which clearly I read to see what my collaborator was saying about me behind my back.
Free stuff? For the next 24 hours (less now) the comiXology Afterlift is available for free. Chip has the details here, as well as a picture of his lovey face.
The above is an April Fools, but really, it just made me think that would be an awesome thing for folks to do anyway, right?
WicDiv party Conga was a thing which happened, and I wasn’t quite sure it happened, but I’m glad that there’s evidence of its existence.
I somehow hadn’t heard the story about how Monopoly helped PoWs in WW2 escape, but it turns out the always good Christian Donlan has written a huge article about it.
This was a lovely review of Ludocrats 1 from our actual dimension. Over at Comics Beat reviewing the Once & Future trade too. I’ve said it before, but I wish there was more of a comics press that reviewed trades. I know why there isn’t, but it’s still a shame.
Stephanie just lobbed this online yesterday, saying folks should colour it for fun. I think that’s a lovely idea.
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.
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…
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.
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.