Yes, this will be a pretty book. More images here.
The first press about Eternals happened this week, with an interview, which is a broad overview of some of the things we’re up to. Go have a read, and you’ll get the vibe. Let me pull out a quote.
This is one of the first things I have in my bible. “Eternal” doesn’t mean immortal. “Eternal” means unchanging. That’s a different thing.
[Neil] Gaiman and [John] Romita Jr. very much brought this aspect out, and we’re pushing it even further. There can be something comforting about the Eternals, but there’s also something fundamentally disturbing to it. The old superhero cliché of “The Never-ending battle against crime” is one of those lines which, if you take it out of context for a second and think about it, seems absolutely Sisyphean in its hopelessness. Yet, to lift a line from Camus, we must imagine Sisyphus happy – the Eternals have been doing this for so long, they must be accepting of it? Right?
Clearly not. The irony of the book, as we show the epic history of the Eternals, this hasn’t been true. The Eternals have been having arguments about what it means to be “unchanging” forever. They must remain, and their cellular programming demand they remain and continue… but it causes all manner of tensions.
This ties in with the present situation in the Marvel Universe, where they’ve just had a huge shock with the reveals of Jason Aaron’s first arc of Avengers, which (er) they took badly. Their purpose is over. Yet they still continue… and it’s increasingly hard to imagine Sisyphus happy.
I didn’t even quote the Jung Avengers bit.
The fun thing is that it’s the sort of expansive book that I could just keep on talking forever about it, at risk of sounding like I’m describing my homebrew D&D campaign. It’s a book that I’m trying to write to be bigger than the page, which is quite the task, when the pages are as big as Esad is making them.
Solicits are up. Image first!
THE LUDOCRATS TP
WRITER: Jim Rossignol, Kieron Gillen
ARTIST: Jeff Stokely, Tamra Bonvillain
NOVEMBER 18 / 152 pages / FC/ M / $16.99
The Ludocrats! The aristocrats of ludicrous! Defending reality from the encroaching forces of boredom while having a nice time. KIERON GILLEN (DIE, THE WICKED + THE DIVINE) and JIM ROSSIGNOL (Sir, You Are Being Hunted) write! JEFF STOKELY (The Spire) draws! TAMRA BONVILLAIN (Once & Future) colors! CLAYTON COWLES (Every excellent comic) letters! The universe screams in pleasure, writhing, finally satisfied, complete, joyous!
COLLECTS THE LUDOCRATS #1-5
As the cover puts it, being the first volume in a one volume series. This is something we’re enormously proud of, and it’s going to take people’s head off in a concentrate burst of everything. It’s an entirely self-contained trade. Grab it for a friend! Grab it for an enemy! Grab it!
WRITER: Kieron Gillen
ARTIST / COVER A: Stephanie Hans
COVER B: Bill Sienkiewicz
NOVEMBER 18 / 32 pages / FC/ M / $3.99
"THE GREAT GAME,” Part Five
The Great Game ends. The board is flipped. The pieces go to pieces. Can anyone play on?
Whereupon you can imagine Stephanie and I holding hands, crouching and whispering billsienkiewiczcoverbillsienkiewiczcoverbillsienkiewiczcover. Also, end of the arc.
ONCE & FUTURE #13
(W) Kieron Gillen (A/CA) Dan Mora
* Beowulf's arrival was an unexpected one and now that the smoke has cleared, Gran and Duncan are beginning to wonder what other surprises lurk around the corner.
* Meanwhile in the Otherworld, Merlin is up to his old tricks and crossing over with another story was just the beginning of his plan…
In Shops: Nov 18, 2020
Which is the start of our third arc, which is called something which I’ll reveal down the line. I’ve just remembered it probably shouldn’t be mentioned yet.
KIERON GILLEN (W) • ESAD Ribić (A/C)
Alt covers by many people.
NEVER DIE. NEVER WIN. ETERNALS.
What’s the point of an eternal battle?
For millions of years, one hundred Eternals have roamed the Earth, secret protectors of humanity. Without them, we’d be smears between the teeth of the demon-like Deviants. Their war has waged for all time, echoing in our myths and nightmares.
But today, Eternals face something new: change. Can they – or anyone on Earth – survive their discovery?
From the thought provoking minds of Kieron Gillen (The Wicked + The Divine, Uncanny X-Men, Thor) and Esad Ribić (Secret Wars, King Thor) comes a new vision of the classic Marvel mythology!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
The thoughts I mainly provoke is “is that meant to be dancing? Is he ill? Someone get him help.”
WARHAMMER 40,000: MARNEUS CALGAR #2 (OF 5)
KIERON GILLEN (W) • JACEN BURROWS (A) • Cover by JAMES STOKOE
Variant Cover by JACEN BURROWS
DESCENT INTO CHAOS!
• The untold origin of MARNEUS CALGAR continues as a startling discovery is made on the moon of NOVA THULIUM!
• But will the young Marneus face his first triumph…or a soul-shattering loss?
• A shocking revelation in the history of the legendary Chapter Master of the Ultramarines that will forever change what you thought you knew!
32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$4.99
Where James Stokoe joins us as a cover artist, which is just delightful. I’d seen James do Warhammer fanart before, which was very much my prompt to start prodding Mark at Marvel saying “Go on. Ask him! Ask him!”
Anyway, that’s November, and – oh my! – I am totally doing a lot of comics again. Speak to your retailer if you wanna pre-order anything.
Got DIE 13 comps yesterday. Mike Del Mundo alternate cover, which I adore – Mike’s always a surprise as an artist, as he’s so adaptable, and playful, and Sol is so awfully charming her. And awful.
Out next week.
Syfy on black creators responding to post-BLM-pushes for more diversity. As in, there’s attention now, but how long will it last?
Comics Book Case kicks off a series where Keigan Rea returns to a book which didn’t work for them, years down the line, and seeing if feelings have changed. The book in question is Rue Britannia, but it strikes me that idea is a strong one, for everyone to try. One of the things I've always liked about comics is that they're relatively quick to re-read. That's one reason why I write for the re-read so much - I am hoping people will come back to the work, and see more stuff. Also, value for money. But the ability to quickly re-consider work is a real opportunity. We shouldn’t get hung up on old hot takes.
For the last month, I’ve been hoping I’ll have enough energy when doing the work part of this newsletter to do some more capsule book thoughts. Every week I am broken. These capsule thoughts are piling up. Suffice to say, I’m doing some reading again, and it’s nice.
Weird week, and I’m not quite in a place to write about it. I’ll get back to you on that.
Still, it was weird in a few good ways – not least, that we’re pushing Ludocrats over to Image to be examined by their horrified staff before publication. Clearly, despite being 13 years in the making, we’re still in full on panic stations, with the final pages and colouring elements being throw into the back of the metaphorical van as it pulls away. In a series that’s done a whole bunch of very silly, experimental weird stuff, the last issue takes it even further. When the final pages arrived, showing this visual sequence that I had in my head since 2007, it’s something else.
Next, DIE 14, whose lettering draft I’ve just mailed over to Clayton after going through Stephanie’s pages. The opening page is one of my favourite things Stephanie has ever done – and she’s just been nominated for a Ringo Award as best Cover Artist, Clayton as best Letterer and (in an un-DIE place) Dan Mora as best inker. Only professionals can vote, and can do so over here.
Anyway – DIE 14. Stephanie’s done good, and I hope you’ll like it too. I’ll be finishing the interview off tomorrow, and I’m starting to think about whether I want to do it for next arc too. I think the answer is “Yes” despite it clearly being far too much work. I am very lazy.
After that, polishing up Once & Future 15, hopefully finishing a little eight page story I’m doing for a lovely artist and then straight into Marneus 5.
In other news, I’m exhausted.