156: making tea in mugs that I would never normally use

Hullo.

Three weeks. That’s a big break, and likely says something.

#comicwriterschallenge
Eisners
LudoIIFuture
Links
LudoIVFurtherFuture
Byyyyeeee!!!

****

Gail Simone had an idea, which took the form of #comicwriterschallenge, where a writer auctions a piece of art they own. The winner then donates directly to Black Lives Matter, and the writer mails the winner the piece of art.

I’m presently auctioning the only piece of Young Avengers art I own, namely the above alternate cover by David Lafuente. Er… likely without the frame, to help with postage. David was very kind to give to this me, and is also very kind to let me auction it. As most people reading this will know, the book was a life-changing one for me.

At the time of writing, the top bid is $1500. Put bids in the thread, though if you’re not on twitter I believe you can reply to this and the bid will reach me. Bidding ends Thursday June 11th (i.e. tomorrow) at 6pm GMT.

Also have a look at the hashtag – there’s still auctions going on, and some other amazing pieces.

I haven’t written for three weeks, which has been a huge three weeks, and impossible to sum up in a few words, which means I’d much prefer to encourage action.

***

The 2020 Eisners were announced this week. It’s a strong selection of books, and Once & Future finds itself in the Best New Ongoing category, which is very kind, and it’s great to see Dan, Tamra and Ed’s work be recognised. Clayton is also nominated for Best Letterer, and Rian’s lovely collect of his logo design work Logo a Gogo gets nominated in best comics related book and best publication design. Hurrah for everyone.

Industry professionals can vote here, or register then vote. It’s definitely worth doing.

****

Ludocrats issue 2 is out next week. In the last two weeks I went into the archives, and discovered we wrote the first draft in 2007. 2007. I’ll write more next time about the whole history of it, but that discovery, more than anything else made me realise how long this has been going on for. I knew that first exquisite corpse with Jim dated from 2003, but I didn’t realise the basis of the script is nearly as old.

(It’s been reworked intensively, of course. I am no fool, except in good ways.)

Oh – and Jim and I were interviewed over at SyFy Wire, where we did our usual professionally smart-dumb routine.  For example…

Kieron, your recent work is steeped in both history and philosophy; where did this wacky gory story come from?

KG: I’d immediately raise an eyebrow at the false dichotomy in that question. Ludocrats is enormously silly but absolutely grounded in thought. Oh Jim, paint me with your words as if I were one of the "Philosophy of Boredom" girls.

JR: Well, the extent to which goofing off with pals should be sacred. I think if you read something like, say, a biography of Peter the Great, who once had a beheading competition with his drinking buddies, then you can see where our attempts to create caricatured lunacy are really just clutching at the straws of possibility.

Go read the rest.

****

****

The August solicits are out, which are…

THE LUDOCRATS #4 (OF 5)
WRITER: Jim Rossignol, Kieron Gillen
ARTIST: Jeff Stokely, Tamra Bonvillain
COVER A: Jeff Stokely
AUGUST 19 / 32 pages / FC/ M / $3.99

We were going to give away a free pen on the cover of this issue, as it’s the penultimate issue, but we costed it, and then our accountant attacked us, and then we decided to just do the comic instead. Hope that’s okay with you. I’m sorry. We’re disappointed too, but also bleeding from the accountant onslaught.

I am very fond of that cover, especially with the title.

You’ll note that we’re not releasing an issue of DIE this month. The world events impacted the production of DIE, so we’ve decided to be safe than risk being sorry and insert an extra month to help the deadlines. We’ll be back next month.

****

If we weren’t under lockdown, we’d be in Wales right now. Various British comics-related folk have a retreat we do, where we book a house in the middle of beautiful nowhere and go there for a weekend. This is what I was doing two years ago today…

I do miss the Alpaca.

We’ve basically been working in endless workweek for all of this year. My only break has been the few days in Philadelphia on work. As such, C and I decided to try and have a week off and treat this as a holiday. This has been not exactly 100% successful, as evidenced by the newsletter I’m writing you. We’ve done little things to try and make it feel different (Both large and small. For the latter, I’m making tea in mugs that I would never normally use) which have been good, but hasn’t quite succeeded in making it feel like a holiday. It feels like a slow week. That’s also fine, and necessary. I needed a moment to breathe, as there’s many things to think about.

I also obviously fill the space with some work anyway, as evidenced by the fact I’m writing to you.  I’ve written a first draft for a short-form RPG I wanted to write up for a while. I even wrote a fairly long actual piece of journalism about comics this week, with research and everything, and only when it’s all done do I realise that it’s not exactly a good idea for me to post it.

I’m aware that this quasi-holiday is an extension of various other rituals I’ve been doing since lockdown started, trying to find ways to re-conceptualise spaces I’m using  to often. As bits of social life end up on Zoom (especially online) I am deliberately changing how I sit to delineate it from my normal writing stance. Basically, I go full bisexual seating , which does mean the space feels different, because I am 95% sprawl. The cats likely think I’m one of them now.

As I said above, especially having not done a newsletter in three weeks, the BLM protests have been the main motif of the period. I can’t easily sum, it up, and don’t want to. I have mainly been angry and ashamed. The one moment when I’ve felt unreserved joy was seeing my old stomping grounds of Bristol do what should have been done decades ago, correcting something that should have never been done at all. Still: there is a hope there, that people are being reached here, and ideas that were inconceivable are being discussed and considered.

Work wise? I sent off the third script for PROJECT BRIGHTER SHADE OF BLUE, which now actually have a release date. PROJECT COWBOY’s first cover in progress. I’ve written a handful of short comics for charity anthologies, and have a couple more anthology shorts to do. I need to plot the third arc of Once & Future basically immediately after I return from the quasi-holiday. MILLIONARIE SWEEPER and PRIVATE BUKOWSKI are getting documents passed around, and there’s a call on Friday which may lead to me having to make up a new codename.

Anything else?

I saw this birb on my run yesterday.

Lovely birb.

That’s where I am. I hope you’re okay where you are.

Kieron Gillen
London.
10.7.2020