This will be relatively brief.
I don’t just mean the coronavirus delay, but this is the longest a script I’ve written has gone between being written and being drawn. I only realised this when doing some research for an intro. I’d convinced myself that, logically speaking, the Ludocrats demo script probably only dated from the early 2010s, but going back to my original mails, I discovered that Jim and I had compiled the script in the winter of 2007. 2007.
I suppose this makes sense – I recall walking Bath graveyards, thinking about Multimedium (my other didn’t-happen project of the time) and running scenes of Otto and Hades’ during the end sequence of issue 5, to the soundtrack of the Klaxons’ Gravity Rainbow. We were talking to the amazing Lee O’Connor about doing it then, but the project drifted away in the chaos of 2008 (I only now realise that it’s likely one of the books which didn’t get pushed into reality due to the time I committed to launching Rock Paper Shotgun.) Some stuff just peters out, and there’s some of Lee’s early work on a VERY different take on Ludocrats over on his blog.
So, if you’re keeping track at home, issue 1 was written in 2014, issue 2 was written in 2007 and issue 3 was written in 2019. Nobody ever said it was gonna be easy.
In truth, the script has been reworked to be a considerably different, and more easily understandable beast. The story still flips over itself like the guts of the beast the story is set inside, but there’s much more space given to guide us through it – plus snipping the extraneous parts and characters to mean there’s less distractions. I write that, and I suspect people will be wondering how on earth it could possibly be more berserk.
Anyway – glad that this is finally with you and I hope you enjoy it. Links to buy it digitally compiled over at Image, which also has a preview. Yes, more Otto flesh. I swear, the next issue doesn’t start like this.
It’s been another week where people have bravely spoken out about predatory behaviour from pros. It’s bullshit that this happens and I believe the statements. Jules Scheele posted a comic they’d done a while ago (CW: Sexual Assault) about The Guy At The Pub. As with all of Jules’ work, it was really good, and while I’d seen it before, seeing it yesterday reminded me that I was in the pub that’s in the comic, and this specific stuff happens all around us. It makes me think what (if I was in a pub today) I would be more actively looking for and what I’d do if I saw it (friends and peers explicitly calling out behaviour isn’t a complete solution, but is required). Better is a direction, and we should try to head there. This means being aware and fucking doing something.
My old friend Merritt K and my new friend Eric Thurm had me as their first guest on Watch Anime, where Eric makes Merritt watch some Anime, and in this case, made me watch it too. This time Puella Magi Madoka Magica, which I was glad to finally watch some of and speak some of my words. Go listen.
Mink Ette is the main person I talk about RPG stuff with IRL (she’s my game design coach for the DIE RPG, being a fancy designer) and having heard it all come together, I’m excited to see her new project drop. It’s basically a whodunnit-cum-reality TV show where famous people (see above) are – I quote – “are vying for survival avoiding a murderous cultist in their midst - they need your help to solve the mysteries and tell them via 'magical scrying crystals'.”
I went “magical scrying crystals?”
She says “Instagram.”
Basically there’s a $10 donation to Red Nose Day to get access to the puzzle content and play, but all the videos are free to see on Instagram or the DnD Youtube channel if you like a more traditional relationship to your medium.
I get sent a mail this morning, and goes like this…
SPARTA LIVE! event: Sparta in Graphic Novels with writer Kieron Gillen (Thursday 18 June, 5-6pm UK time)
This week’s Sparta Live! event will bring to you ‘Sparta in Graphic Novels’ and in particular the graphic novel THREE that explores Spartan history and culture a century after the Battle of Thermopylae. The event will be hosted by Dr Lynn Fotheringham and will bring together writer Kieron Gillen, historical consultant Professor Stephen Hodkinson, and publisher of the Greek translation Lefteris Stavrianos, to discuss Spartan women, helots and balancing research with story-telling. The Centre for Spartan & Peloponnesian Studies is grateful to the University of Nottingham’s Faculty of Arts for the generous sponsorship of the Greek translation of THREE.
If you've read or are interested in reading THREE, Dr Lynn Fotheringham is also looking for audience-research participants - more info: www.nottingham.ac.uk/go/three-audiences
… this sounds like something worth sharing. See some folks tomorrow.
DIE 11 comps arrived yesterday. Out next week. It seems oddly ancient to me, with the various delays, but I’m glad it’s going to be with you soon.
Back at work properly. The week off wasn’t, but I attacked the week pretty hard, breaking the core of the third arc of Once & Future. The timeline is going to be tricky, but it hits some big Arthurian stuff I haven’t touched properly yet, brings certain characters more towards the spotlight and generally takes it where I want to go next. I even have a title.
There’s also a lot of other things outside work, meaning I’m busy, time is filled, and I’m rushing from one thing to the next. I also finished off the quasi-holiday by running my Come-Dine-With-Me-inspired RPG in a playtest, which went worryingly well (i.e. it worked and was very funny, while also immediately highlighting areas I need to fix, which we mostly did on the fly).
I need to go for a walk.