I'm writing this on my flight for New York Comic Con, and I'm resisting the urge of posting it from here on the plane's wi-fi, if only because the idea of finding and uploading all the images for it will inevitably be a form of modern torture. But I smile at the idea that I could.
Also, the “x” key on this keyboard is acting up. That's this week's excuse for typos, anyway.
9/10ths Of My Brain Is Wasted
MOTHERING INVENTION is the seventh volume of The Wicked + the Divine, and where we decide there’s still time to find a few new gears on this machine. I suspect it’s the most demanding arc on the team in the whole run, and perhaps the most demanding arc for the readers as well. I also suspect it finds its natural home in the collected edition, where its velocity is going to make the connective tissue easier to see. But still: perhaps a good time to re-read the series. It will reward you, honest.
Out now. You can get it from your fine local comic retailer, or bookshop, or internet book shop, or Comiology, or stolen off your friend when they’re looking the other way.
STAR WARS 55, the final part of HOPE DIES. From what I’ve seen, it seems to have been going down particularly well. It’s one of the most action-set-pieces arcs of anything I’ve written – only RISING ACTION comes to mind as a comparison, and that had the depressed middle issue to act as the goth filling in the carby-bread of attack-nippled giant robot destruction of the rest of the arc.
Next up: THE ESCAPE. Our heroes, on the run, and obviously more than that.
I’m also told UBER INVASION 16 is out, which would act at the end of the trade if we were splitting the final year into two trades (which we’re probably not). This is a somewhat stately set piece which Daniel clearly had a lot of fun with, and where certain things become apparent. As strange as it is to hit beats I planned four years ago with WicDiv, it’s even stranger to hit scenes you worked out way back in 2008.
And this was announced yesterday at the Hollywood Reporter, which is clearly 2018 home for all Gillen-related news. I’ve been wanting to do something over at Dynamite forever, and Nicky and I got talking and ended up with this. I was getting an itch to do a Superhero book again, and this struck me as a good opportunity to play with the ideas. There’s more in the interview, but this is the key quote.
“I’ve been away from the genre for a few years,” he said. “This is me refreshed, grinning and more than a little bit angry. I want to try things. I want to have fun. Hell, we’ve created a whole new supporting cast of heroes for this series because we wanted to. I wanted to do a state of the art, state of the superheroic nation, and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt is it. High adventure, big ideals, epic destruction, heroism, despair, and nine-panel grids.”
Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt is one of the 1960s Charlton characters. It’s quite possible that you’re unaware of him. It’s more possible that if you are aware of him, you’re only aware of him due to the character he inspired. As in, Ozymandias. The Charlton characters were the original inspiration for Moore/Gibbons’ Watchmen, with the analogues who made up the cast created when DC decided they’d rather fold the characters into their main universe. That happened to Peter Cannon for a while, and then he left.
That would seem impossible, but Peter Cannon is all about the impossible.
It was possible because of one of the interesting things about Peter Cannon. He’s creator owned. He was created by Pete Morisi who kept the rights, which is now owned by his estate, and licensed to Dynamite. That’s a wonderful thing. I’ll spare you the rant, as you know exactly how it goes.
While I’ve read the whole (ahem) canon and will be feeding upon it, you don’t need to know anything other than this is a Superhero book and it exists to be our best take at the state of the art. You will pick it up and have the genre come at you with velocity. As I’ve said before, I fell into comics as a culture via the early-00s era Wildstorm, filled with superheroes I had no idea about and instantly fell in love of them despite that – no, because of that. They didn’t have to run on the implicit tracks of one of the big two universes. They could take you anywhere.
This is that. It’s me having fun. It’s also me being angry. It’s also this Watchmen geek finally doing a comic in the nine-panel grid, and interrogating that. I say Me? It’s really Us.
My partner-in-US is Caspar Wijngaard. I’ve known him for a few years now, and followed his work since his collaboration with Dan Watters, Limbo. He’s an adaptable, and fiercely ambitious artist. You see a Caspar comic and can see the conversations behind every panel. I idly described the comic to him outside London Film & Comic Con this year, and more fool him, he was excited. And double-more-fool-him, he still was in after he read the pitch where I describe exactly what I want to do with it, and how technically demanding it’s going to be. That’s the kind of artist I love.
Like Young Avengers, the idea is to do it like it’s ours. Dynamite have encouraged us to basically gather our team like the opening act of the Dirty Dozen. We’ve got our colourist and artist lined up, which I’ll talk about down the line. Oh – and there’s other covers for issue 1, which you can see over here.
While I’ll clearly be doing more press on this, I don’t want to say too much. The first issue is the pitch, and will hopefully leave people in a Oh God, They’re Doing That! giggling mess by its close.
Out January 2019.
Jamie and me and Stephanie will be at NYCC this weekend. This is primarily a press and marketing trip for Jamie and me, and definitely not born of terminal FOMO. Stephanie, being diligent and hungry to provide you with prints, has her table in Artist’s alley. You can likely go and buy stuff (Including DIE prints) over at H4 in artist’s alley.
If you want to see Team WicDiv, there’s less options, but all the public stuff is below.
Sci-fi Wire WicDiv Interview
NYCC Live Stage - Booth 174 - Javits Center
Friday, 2:45 – 3:45 PM
Image Comics: We Believe in Vision (Stephanie and Kieron)
Femme Magnifique signing
Kieron and Jamie Signing (Ticketed event!)
SciFi Wire DIE Interview.
NYCC Live Stage - Booth 174 - Javits Center
If there’s anything else public, I’d tweet it.
There’s tickets available for my Keynote at the Reimagining The Gothic conference in Sheffield on October 27th. They’re free, it seems, so yay for that. I am still chewing over what my angle will be, but I promise it will be none more both.
The heroic Jimmy Aquino interviewed me and Minkette on the train back from Leeds last week, and it’s in this episode of Comic Insider News. Go listen! Hear me be very tired and delirious.
Work has primarily been recovering from Thought Bubble, where an exciting plague descended upon all Comics Folks. I got it light – I felt shit and had a cough for the best part of the week. So work has been slowish.
Now that PROJECT BOOMBASTIC (“Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt”) has been announced, I guess I should have another codename to tease you with. Basically, I finally sent the first set of character notes for PROJECT OH CAROLINA to the artist. This is a little out – don’t expect to see it out until Fall 2019 – but I need to start on scripts soon for it. It’s creator owned, and more closer to the adventure-tone of something like Aphra. Not a genre I’ve ever worked in before either. I also managed to pull together my outline for the arc of Star Wars after THE ESCAPE, which seems suitably climactic.
After I finish this newsletter (and some DIE written interviews) I’ll be finishing a draft of WicDiv 41, and then immediately going onto DIE 5, which ends the first arc. Stephanie’s still on 4, but I want to get ahead, and this is something I’ve been looking forward to writing for a while. I need to polish Star Wars 60 when I’m in New York, but it’s written, and should be a relatively easy job unless past-me has fucked me over, the cad. I’ll also be doing a DIE RPG playtest on Monday, which will be the first time Stephanie has actually seen the ludicrous side-project I’ve been busying myself with.
Right – that’s enough for now. I have an appointment with some jetlag to get to.
Somewhere over the Atlantic