Flying to Milan to launch the Italian edition of WicDiv seems very on brand, somehow.
The year was 455, when Vandals sailed the ocean blue
America: What Time Is Love?
Only one book of mine out this week – being CINEMA PURGATORIO #9, including the latest chapter of Modded.
Avatar have said they won't be collecting any of the comics until issue 18, which basically means this is half way through the story in that trade, which does make me sit and see what Modded has become. I think it's ending up as one of those interstitial projects, which is passing towards something else. I think when I conceived it, I was thinking it'd lean more heavily into the meta-homage criticism-in-comics stuff of Phonogram, and while it's there, it's also done in such a silly way that I suspect almost everyone will miss it.
(With the possible exception of my old friends on Rock Paper Shotgun, who I forward random issues to, just to show what horrible things I've done to their analogues.)
I was just doing notes on the art for the next issue yesterday, which included telling Nahuel “Adorable Penis.” This probably is a clue that this book is leaning towards the comedy.
It really is an adorable penis.
The big announcement was the solicit for WicDiv 455, which looks like this.
WICKED & DIVINE 455 AD #1 (ONE-SHOT) CVR A MCKELVIE & WILSON
(W) Kieron Gillen (A) Andre Araujo (CA) Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson
“CITY OF GOD”
Nothing lives forever, be it man, god, or empire, but that doesn’t mean you have to go quietly. Join us as Lucifer refuses to fiddle while the Roman Empire burns. The critically acclaimed THE WICKED + THE DIVINE inevitably vandalizes history as it turns to the Sack of Rome. Showcasing the epic art of ANDRÉ LIMA ARAÚJO (Avengers AI, Man Plus), the special is NOT included in the forthcoming fifth volume of THE WICKED + THE DIVINE.
I a rare example of Team WicDiv being organised, Andre has actually finished off his Inks this week. They’ll be a preview of the first page in the next issue of WicDiv that’s coming out.
The specials (almost certainly) will be collected in their own trade, which will be towards the end of WicDiv’s run, so if you want to read them at any point before then, they’re especially good ones to buy in single issues. They’re also extra long issues – I believe there’s 26 pages of comics in this one, as compared to the normal WicDiv-ian 20.
I think you’re going to like this one.
The real us-relevant big book of the week is America #1, by Gabby Riveria and Joe Quinones.
I’ll admit, when Will Moss sent me the PDF, I was twitchy around reading it. Not because I thought it was going to be bad. Just because how awkward it would be if I hated it. Not because of any sense of ownership of the book – Jamie and I didn’t create America, and are both all to aware of what Work For Hire entails, which means “people get to reimagine stuff other people have done to align with their own aesthetics.” But really because it would just be awkward dodging questions about the book, y’know?
And if not ownership, there was the sense we’d done a lot of work with her, in terms of the character design. We’d left a ten year gap in America’s life, expressly so that if America ever got a solo book, a creator would have lot of space to create and define core parts of America’s life. I mean, we never touch on who she lived with after she ran away from the Utopian Parallel. Between 5 and 15 is basically where America became America, and we wanted to leave that to another voice, ideally a more authentic one than ours.
So Gabby’s perfect, and Joe’s a friend and amazing artist, etc, etc.
But what if we didn’t like it?
Anyway, I was doing what I normally do when I’m worried needlessly about stuff – avoiding the problem directly, and sort of siddling up to it sideways. I flipped through the issue, not reading – just getting a sense of it. I smile as a character I wasn’t expecting to turn up, turn up. That’s good to see.
And then I hit the last pages, and laugh very hard.
Oh, I think this is going to be fine. I can’t ever imagine a creative take on America which chooses to end their first issue like that who I wouldn’t be on the side of. I read it from cover to cover, in the that knowledge, and all was well.
Well done, Gabby and Joe. I can only applaud.
Nested is an old game/generative project, but I fell in love with it this week – or rather, fell into it. It’s dizzying, and gives me that sense of vertigo of those moments when you realise exactly how large reality is.
London Book Week is in March, and we’re doing a bunch of events. I’ll collect them all in the next newsletter, but on March 15th, Jamie and I are being interviewed by Chrissy at Waterstones about WicDiv. Get tickets now.
Right. I’ve got a plane to catch. Speak soon.