Sequential picture narratives
And lo, I’ve somehow found a way to monetize me leaning over in the pub and talking to someone about Warhammer. Muhahaha.
I think if you read one interview, this is likely the one which captures most stuff. The Batman: Year One comparison is one I’ve gravitated towards, and it does speak to intent. It’s about introducing a whole world to a new reader while also acting as a exemplar for what the world actually does. With Warhammer that means taking a segment of the frame, because to tell all Warhammer stories simultaneously is to tell none.
Warhammer is basically an awful place to be, but a fascinating place to watch, and this is me and Jacen trying to share that with folks. For a brutal, monstrous, world where the word “heroes” always has invisible quotation marks around it, I think we’ve ended up with something that’s got a lot of bleak bonhomie powering it.
My influences here were Garth Ennis’ war comics, a quiet post-Hickman use of graphics as context generators, Pat Mills grotesquery satire and – now I think of it – Ennis/Dillon’s lighter Punisher works too. We don’t ever wink at the camera like Punisher did, but the unflappable protagonist with a lot of mordant wit is there.
Anyway – first issue of this, which is always hardest, and can’t wait until the rest is unleashed. Jacen’s work gets better and better, and the reviews and discussion so far seem really enthused, which is a good omen.
There’s a preview from the middle of the issue here. Available from your local comic shop or digitally.
Also Once & Future 12 is out today, which ends up our second arc, OLD ENGLISH.
I’d forgotten a certain beat lands this issue until last night. I remembered it and then just snorted in laughter. Oh me, oh my. Bar its American comics pacing, this is definitely my most 2000AD influenced work since Mercury Heat, and I cackle.
Stephanie and I put this in the backmatter of DIE’s latest issue, and I wanted to highlight it here.
Coo. We’ve decided to end the competition at the end of November, so you’ve a little time to have a think and do something fun. We’re going to do a video about it soon too. We’ve had some lovely entries already, and want to see more. Art! Doodles! Closet Cosplay! Whatever!
Eternals has been delayed until the first week of January. Which is obviously a shame in terms of “I’d have wanted to get it into your hands ASAP” but there’s always a certain something to starting a new book at the start of a year.
The Jamie and me and friends’ humble bundle enters its last week, so you have seven days to basically pay what you want to get an enormous amount of stuff. All of WicDiv, the first two trades of DIE, all of Phonogram and a bunch more. Pay what you want! Help charity! Buy it for your friends. Buy it for yourself. And so on.
Ludocrats’ trade is at the printer this week, and we’re setting the print run, which is always a fun time. Still time to pre-order a copy if you want to speak to your retailer or book shop. This was a lovely review of Ludocrats as a whole which popped up if you need encouragement.
My friends over at Rook, Rowan and Deckard are doing a new kickstarter for a second printing of their Unbound, and I joined a session zero actual play to show how its world generation work. This was so much fun that I am actively sad we’re not playing the campaign, but it does show exactly how strong it is cooking up interesting places. I’m told you can hear me getting more and more excited as the recording continues.
In the wake of another “Alan Moore Hates Superheroes” interview which derailed twitter chat for days, Leah Moore did a powerful quick four minutes of chat with the Comics Cube about why interviews tend to go like this. The headline says a lot: "9 times out of 10, he's being sarcastic."
Forbidden Planet TV did a handful of short interviews with me. Here’s the Warhammer one, but there’s the Eternal and Aphra one in the stream too.
Oh – just did a twitch interview with the Honest Wargamer, which you can watch here. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s mainly about Marneus Calgar.
Godbotherer linked to this a while back in the DIE discord – HG Wells in conversation with Orson Wells, just before Citizen Kane, in the wake of the War of the Worlds radio play. Clearly, this is just great.
I actually managed to hack into my comic back log a little this week, in terms of PDFs lying around. Here’s some quick takes and thoughts…
A Dark Interlude by Ryan Sullivan and Andrea Mutti is a definitely-not-a-sequel to last year’s Fearscape, which was one of my favourite minis of the year. I believe there’s still time to pre-order. On twitter I said “it's just the most gleeful fuck you of a book. Exquisitely funny in its vivisection of art, the audience, creators, itself, everything.” but it’s the sort of book that makes you want to rant about it. Were I still a critic, this is one of the things I’d be writing an essay about.
Miskatonic is Mark Sable, Gio Pontrelli and Pippa Bowland doing an exquisitely researched Noir-Lovecraft period piece – it’s going to get some Providence comparisons in some of the games it plays, but its research is significantly covering different areas and its genre is hugely different. Pontrelli and Bowland work really well together, creating a real glamourous Phil Noto-esque effect – have a look at the pages here. FOC is on Monday, so still time to pre-order.
I haven’t actually had a chance to finish the whole graphic novel, but I read the opening third of THE GLASS WALL and it’s got that sort of bleak literary Ballardian take on the London Arts scene which sort of touches on similar areas to the most cocaine-tired parts of Phonogram. It’s kickstarter is on right now, and folks may want to nose. William Robertson and Yulia Lapko are doing interesting things.
Also, a quick plug for Remy Boydell’s 920London – the solo ogn debut after drawing The Pervert, and had the misfortune to arrive on the shelves just as lockdown hit, so I suspect missed many critics’ attention. It’s a slice of life and meditative journey through a bleak few months for a couple of emo kids haunting London in 2005. This is dream like, all frozen moments, and queer in the worn, lived in way. Remy’s work in full watercolours is beautiful, and the phrase “Apocalypse Romance” did come to mind. It’s available now.
Just at this point of the newsletter, C arrived back with chocolate hob nobs, which provoked a yelp of excitement.
Today’s busy. I’ve had 3 hours of zoom stuff, and due to another couple of hours first thing for a meeting, basically leaves a highly compressed day. I broke the back of the Eternals issue that is the main task on this plate – a standalone thing which is just plain sad and epic – leaving a handful of pages to do tomorrow. This newsletter, and then clearing my inbox of a bunch more mail. The bright side is an important call cancelled, which means that I can find time to order takeaway. I was planning on cooking, but that would mean I couldn’t write this newsletter, and I love you, you understand, I love you very much.
I may be on the chocolate hob nob rush. Again.
I wrote up the 1.3 DIE Beta notes, and am chewing over whether I should write the new standard scenario to go with it. I’m resistant, as I’d have to playtest it, and that’s work. Conversely, I really should playtest the new Master rules before I realease ‘em, so I should playtest them anyway. I also need to work out which of my pro friends I need to invite to play a streaming game for a con I’ve promised to organise about six months ago and clearly haven’t organised yet.
Oh no. The chocolate hob nob crash is upon me.