169: Everything to play for

Hullo.

D14
Words
Links
Colours
Zoe
Byyyyeeee!!!

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DIE 14 drops. Penultimate issue of the most WicDiv-y arc of DIE, and does what a penultimate issue tends to. After all the structure and history of the last couple of issues, this goes right at it. Everything to play for.

Unlettered Preview and links to digital purchases here. Also available in fine, radiant comic retailers. And oh…

Isn’t Sana Sakeda’s cover just lovely?

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Very much back in interview season, as you’ll see in the links below, but I think this one at CBR needs highlighting, as it’s another big one about Eternals, where I talk about a bunch of stuff I haven’t talked about before. Random quote…

“One of Kirby's original ideas was, “The Celestials arrive. They made 100 Eternals and a hundred Deviants and then left.” That's the core creation myth, and I forget who originally wrote this line, but the Deviants are a species of one. They're all individuals. They're rapidly changing. They bred enormously, and there're millions of them.

So, one of my ideas for the Eternals is they've never bred. There's only ever been a hundred of them. In Marvel history, it’s been described as generations of Eternals. So, they get rebooted often, but they've always been. They've just been in stasis. There’s familial relationships, but they’re static family relationships. Thena is Zuras’ daughter, but there was never a procreative act which led to her. Each reset allows them to change bodies or looks, but fundamentally there's only ever been a hundred Eternals and that's why they're the opposite of the Deviants. The Eternals are set, and the Deviants change.”

Read the rest here. More art in there too. Fight! Fight!

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Stephanie’s anatomy of her colours in DIE is fascinating, as a portal into how she works. There’s also gradients if you click through.

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I just saw Avery Hill tweet my short three word take about The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott by Zoe Thorogood, because my full one is TOO LONG FOR TWITTER. This is that.

"The best debuts radiate an energy born of the knowledge that they may also be a creator's last work. This is that, to the nth degree, incandescent with the excitement of having a stage, the fear that they will lose it and the wisdom to know that life is more than that stage. Inspiring, beautiful, human."

You can order it from here.

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I was actually away from home last week, and only back to work this week. An actual break, which never works out like that. There’s always some plate spinning. And, just because I’m not working, doesn’t mean my head is going places, prompted by whatever and wherever I am. We were driving a lot, and basically went through most of The Fellowship Of The Rings audiobook. Audiobooks are unusual for me so approaching a formative text for both me and C in a different format was interesting. Partially it was the fact neither have read it properly for 20 years, while having seen the movies a bunch – the familiar-unfamiliarity of elements which had been taken different ways. Partially is that the narrator’s even pace means I’m forced to linger at places where my eyes would move on – I am very much a song-skipper, so sitting and listening to the lyric sections  being sung at me made me think intensely on its purpose. In many ways, Lord of the Rings and Phonogram aren’t that far away from one another – the world is hidden in the songs.

Perhaps this inevitably led to game thinking rather than comic thinking, from various angles. Part of this is necessary, and fruitful. I managed to wrestle down the Master in the DIE RPG to a state which I think I can write up fairly simply. For those who haven’t nosed at the Beta, while the five other classes are in a developed state, the Master (solely played by the GM) is much more a sketch. The Master is mainly off-stage, so less essential, which meant as long as it does the reality-warping GM-mage thing, it’s fine to release. The problem in developing him further was twofold – partially that each class is to feel fundamentally different (and so five sets of ideas have been taken, which I won’t repeat, so limiting options) and partially that as the Master has been off-panel in the comic, the second-to-second reality of the Master is less solid in my head. How does Mastery work? I know it’s the push between playing by the rules and cheating, the nature of GMs and so on. So what does that actually look like?

In short: I have something which should work, so I’ll get it ready for a playtest and a 1.4 beta release at some point. This will also allow you to run another class as an antagonist now, because the Master being playable by players is 100% necessary to allow that. And more stuff. Only a little, but some.

That can wait for another time. Stephanie’s pages for DIE 15 have just uploaded into the dropbox and I need to do a lettering pass on the script so I can settle in and read Fraction/Dodson’s Adventureman 4, which is out today and needs my attentions as soon as possible.

Speak soon.

Kieron Gillen
London.
7.10.2020