Put it like this: if your favourite bodily fluid is phlegm, have I got the newsletter for you.
Nooooooo (Jamie Edition)
The shipping schedule says this is out this week. Perhaps check with your shop before making a special trip, but some shops have it, so theoretically you should be able to buy...
This is the first seven (count 'em!) issues of Uber: Invasion. This was designed as a cold introduction to Uber, so you absolutely can just jump on here, though with the gap in publication I suspect that those who've read the first five trades will be grateful for the recap material. Uber is my alternate-history mode story, with art in this volume from Daniel Gete. It's a bleak, economic-graph of a book, and the closer I get to the end, the more I'm aware of this iceberg we've carved and set in motion. This issue includes two of my favourite issues from my work last year – issue two and issue seven. The first was based on the desire to do a whole issue just picking through the rubble of an attack. The second was an idea I had back in 2008, and is painfully executed by Daniel.
Oh – and issue Uber Invasion 11 is finally out on Comixology.
Wherein things explode and Star Wars: Rebels fans go I RECOGNISE THAT CHARACTER.
In Uber notes, Daniel got issue 15 of Uber. He wrote back.
In Aphra notes, Heather Antos spotted this in the flesh...
It's from Hasbro’s The Vintage Collection. It's a 3.75” model and was at Toy Fair '18. Apparently. I don't know. I know nothing about toys. Jamie's the part of the WicDiv team who knows about collectibles, and is presently assembling awesome robots. I just know about tiny orcs which I paint, which is obviously a completely different thing with no overlapping knowledge.
We released a preview for The Wicked + the Divine 34. Out February 12th.
Rest of the preview here. It escalates.
Christian Ward has started a mailing list. Will include his first reveals of prints and similar, so sounds useful to follow, rather than my list, which primarily exists for me to make bad jokes at you.
I was invited by streamer Wil Overgard to ExtraCredits to talk about the Deus Ex mod I worked on back in the early 00s, The Cassandra Project. I was mainly interested to see someone managed to get it working in 2018. Well, mostly working – texture, run-speed and text-size problems abound. It is basically the writer equivalent of turning up to a reading of your own fanfic. After a few drinks, I got past the shame of various sections, and ended up being oddly proud of what the team did with it. Also, I enjoyed spotting early incarnations of Gillen-y tropes and how much I clearly had just read Planetary.
I was also on Front Row as part of their coverage of Black Panther. I was basically there to provide comic-book context for Black Panther and comment on the adaptation, while Dreda Say Mitchell did the serious critic thing. Short version is: I dug it. I'm very happy to seeing it do as well as it is.
I did smile at Meeple Like Us doing a New Boardgame Journalism article. Apologies accepted. I still occasionally think that Travel Journalism To Imaginary Places would work as a comic pitch, but it would inevitably just segue into awful filtered stories from the days propping up the bar at the Garrick's Head in Bath and trying to start a fight with PC Answers.
I haven't had a chance to do the Writer Notes for WicDiv 1923 yet, but twatd have been doing a series of articles where they speculate on the influences on the gods. If you were left stroking your chin, it's a useful primer. Worth noting that they're not entirely right in terms of my influences, but that's not really the point. These characters are fiction. Oh - while we're talking about twatd, this piece on performance Re: WicDiv was on point.
Actually, as I did answer some questions on 1923, let's put one of the answers here, as it seems relevant.
Q: Going into the reading the 1923 special I was expecting something more along the lines of Matt Wagner 'Grendel: Devil by the Deeds' but that wasn't totally the case. What are some of the influences on the overall form of the issue in terms of the prose-comic hybridity. Also what like modernist art movement philosophies were each god dealing with and what not? Those are big asks and I'm sure you'll write about this in writer notes or somewhere else (if so link) but I'm curious.
A: Good question, and you’re right this is probably best left mainly for the writers note, as I’ll end up talking about the intent of what we’re doing. As these are by definition unusual issues, you’re building a machine for a set purpose.
In terms of comic/prose experiments which were on my mind when considering this, there’s two main ones, neither which are particularly visible. One was Cerebus’ Jaka’s tale, which alternates between pages of prose with single image, and normal comics, for different purposes. The second was the pulp issue of Planetary, where you get the main story told in comic form and these tiny vignettes illustrated by Cassaday in sepia. Both being comic/prose hybrids which turn the form towards their purpose.
Our aim was different, so we went another way - not least, the more rigid delineation between prose and comics, and the changing dynamic between it. However, in terms of things like the Splash Page With Single Caption you perhaps see some of the working.
It wasn’t all I was looking and thinking at though - there was some illustrated prose generally. There was also some thinking about how writers who write in short chapters do it - I obviously read a bunch of Christie, but I was thinking of Vonnegut in his Cats Cradle mode too. I had the thought that there’s a sort of vignette-form-prose which is more akin to comics, if you believe in the McCloud Understand Comics model of some-art-is-more-like-writing and some-writing-is-more-like-art. There is a lot of prose, perhaps obviously, but as much as I was able, it was atomic or dialogue driven.
In terms of the What Gods Embody What Philosophy, I’ll hit it more in the writers notes. The core is that they’re inspired by figures, and often multiple figures. 1923 is half way between 1831 (where the gods are clearly riffs on actual figures with some timeline bending and extrapolation) and 2013 (where the gods often have one main visual link, but actually take from many people of that type, and are really about being their own unique synthesis of those themes.) So to choose a basic one, Neptune is obviously Hemingway, but with his Spanish Civil War experiences moved to WW1, and a big splash of Captain Nemo. The latter one is also telling - there’s definitely more of fictional creations in the mix too, and occasionally not even those written by the main influence.
But I’ll talk anon. Some of them are much wider than others.
It would have been Terry Pratchett's 70th birthday this week. For some reason, this made me think of this pun, and I only went and posted it.
Don't worry about the intro. I'm not going to post about the things which are emerging from my body. That cold I had is basically doing the Columbo where it was nearly out of the door, before coming back and answering a few more questions, whose answers mainly seem to be “Green and sticky.”
Not that it's stopped me working. Star Wars 48's deadline crept up on me, so I abandoned the Ludocrats script I was working on to jump over to that, did it, then bounced back to the land of Ludo. That's been ripped apart to a molten state and passed to Jim for him to add some more jokes, while I've moved back onto WicDiv 36. Jamie will need this imminently, and the writing is going to be somewhat challenging. Put it like this: I'm writing it in a spreadsheet, which includes autocalculating sections.
It's also a lot of fun. This sort of geek technology weirdo writing is creating a story with a completely different shape to anything I'd ever done before. It's also nightmarishly difficult for the artist, so that it'll hurt Jamie as much as me will be motivation. Even better, it's the sort of difficult that people won't realise was hard to pull off, so it'll be underappreciated too. I never said we were smart.
Jamie's just mailed me the pages for issue 35, so I better stop and have a look. With Spangly New Thing artist mailing me the final PDF for the first issue's pencils, it's been a good week for cooing at the pretty. So leave me, and I will go coo.