Arethea Franklin was just announced having died, and I tweeted: "I can't say anything to capture Aretha Franklin's greatness that isn't explained better within two seconds of just listening to her, and restated, reconfirmed rephrased in different ways with every further second of exposure". I'll repeat it here, and continue writing while listening to her. Hyperbole is too small for her.
I talk a lot but it's okay to ignore me
And The Wicked + the Divine 38 was out yesterday, the Penultimate issue of Rising Action. This issue has been nightmarishly hard, a topic I’m sure I’ll start talking about in the writer notes for this issue and continue in the next one. It’s a quieter issue, but a loud sort of quiet, if you see what I mean. The final few things we want to say in the arc before its denouement next time. Hope you enjoy it. Preview here.
Plus issue 15 of the Cinema Puragorio anthology , where in Modded continues being the strangest use of my years of a games journalist, while also turning towards its conclusion. Three parts after this one, and I’ve just remembered what things start appearing next time. Oh my, etc.
With WicDiv 38 out, it means WicDiv 39 is heading to press. It’s with image now, and we’re going through the final editorial processes. It’ll be out in early September.
It also means that the next WicDiv special – The Wicked + the Divine 1373 – will be released in the same month, in Late September. We’re doing the final steps on it now, and it’s… oh, it’s really bleak, even for WicDiv. Here’s the first page of Ryan’s inks…
Which is great. It’s been a while since THREE so it’s great getting the band together. Do speak to your retailer if you want a copy.
In other notes, we’re also pulling together the final few contributors to the next special, which will be out in November, before we return with our final arc in December. We’re… still deciding on the final arc’s title. I was going to mention it in the backmatter of issue 39, but decided to give a little longer to chew it over. You likely only get to name the final arc of a five-year signature series once, and we want to make sure it’s exactly what we want. It’s undignified to change it after saying it.
Oh – we’re also sending the Mothering Invention trade to press. Out November.
I forgot to actually include my screengrab of an example of script last time. While I’m sure a bunch of you saw it on twitter, here it is…
I actually started another script for another new artist in the last week as well, so this sort of line is getting a good workout. Except this one has a “Actually, no, really, I need it to work with these grids, so sorry” attached.
We mentioned there’s a WicDIv Immersive Event at Thought Bubble this year, right? Here’s the details…
Sara “Surgeon X” Kenney approached us with the initial idea, we consulted, and gave blessing for her and talented other folks to run off and create something which uses the WicDiv mythology to explore a bunch of stuff. We’re excited to see what they do with it.
Tickets for Tbubz here, obv.
On a similar Tbubz note, I’m in the final steps of locating the team of DJs to take over from us lot after our retirement. In fact, I should send an e-mail to Lisa and Clark about it after I finish this.
After prompted by Springer Apologist Nick Roche, I’ve given Chart Music a spin. It’s a conversational podcast between my generation of music journalists which uses an old episode of British TV Music show Top Of The Pops as its backbone. I started with the 1995 episode, which is clearly worryingly close to Core Gillen History. It also made me re-read Taylor Parkes’ piece on the long shadow of Park Life, which I’d forgotten referenced Rue Britannia in passing. This is the sort of things I have complicated feelings over.
This piece on the culture of sexism at Riot Games is enormous, well-researched and predictable depressing. Well worth your time.
I found myself thinking of my own history as a game critic, and found myself skimming through my review of a 7-in-1 magnetic family game pack which I wrote after a lovely holiday in Hydra. It’s about 8000 words and, as you may guess, isn’t just about reviewing Ludo. Even though, at one point, it absolutely does have a blow by blow account of a game of the blinde dice-rolling monstrosity. I smile. Nearly a decade old, but interesting to see what my mind was doing back then, and how I’ve changed and how I haven’t. Yes, I know, linking to my own crap is very eye-rolly. But still.
I wanted to write a little about both the anniversary signing at the Big Bang in Dublin AND Nine Worlds last weekend, PLUS the explanatory RPG I improvised with coins at closing time AND the horrific thing involving turning someone into a brainwashed bear at the end of my Blades in the Dark RPG campaign AND my continuing obsession with Idles’ Samaritans but I see a list of things I have to do before I can knock off and I see the amount of time I have left in the day, and I realise it’s best to stop now.
Time has been at a premium recently. Last Friday I got a call from one of my editors, amazed that I’d hit the pair of deadlines which they’d clearly presumed were impossible in the circumstances. That’s an unusual phonecall. I’m over that hump, plus have the fourth script for Spangly New Thing over to the Spangly New Artist. Work there is also intense – talking to other artists about covers, plus the wrestling with the design of the book. The early cover treatments are coming back, and we’re working on something that signals all the intents of book, which are complicated and manifold. It looks like nothing else on the shelves, so needs a design that underlines it.
Which is fun. Launching stuff while also doing older stuff is hard, because it’s always got more pressures on your time, but it’s also exciting, especially on something that I’ve been working on for over two years. The flip of that is another book I also started this week, which has come together much quicker, but born of something I know back to front. The pages are coming out there giggling.It’s a return to a terrain I haven’t explicitly touched in a while, and is exciting, as I’m deliberately changing up my methods as much as I an. Hell, I’m even using it as a chance to learn Scrivener. So yes - Busy, but often a self-inflicted kind of busy.
In short: I was washing dishes at 10pm the other night to relax.