I've just finished a bar of nougat so may be in a sugar-rush mode again. Don't worry, I'll be brief, to i) not annoy and ii) finish before I collapse into an inevitable crashy heap.
More More Covers
No comics out this week, but a lot imminent. For example, DIE launches next week. Cripes. The comps arrived. Cripes. Our comic actually exists. Here it is...
As it’s issue one, various retailers have done their own exclusive covers. Let’s have a walk around them.
Top Centre: The A cover by Stephanie, which is the main one you’ll see in the shops. It’s a standard $3.99 comic, but it’s got 35 pages of comics. So a fun intro, hopefully. Content is the same on all of these below, it’s worth stressing.
Top Right: Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson’s cover, who are two talented young creators who I hope to work with more one day. This is our alternate cover, and also available from all retailers.
Top Left: This is the Comic Mint cover, available directly from them. This is another Stephanie cover, and the only one which is a non-heroic character.
Bottom Left: This is Stephanie recolouring her work in a gothic mode, and is the Forbidden Planet cover (though it’s also available from Big Bang in Dublin) and available here. Stephanie and I will be signing comics (including this, obv) in the London Megastore on December 6th next week, with details here.
Bottom Centre Left: Queen of all things dice-based Emma Vieceli’s cover for One Stop Comics.
Bottom Centre Right and Bottom Right: These Mike Rooth’s variants for Sad Lemon comics, available from them with pre-orders starting at 9:30 GMT tonight. Mike does all of Sad Lemon’s variants, and does great stuff. We’ll be signing them at Limited Edition comics in Stevenage on Saturday December 8 from Noon until 2pm.
Issue ones really are a thing, right? But scanning the covers are fun, in terms of seeing our cast being interpreted by artists. It’s a different way of seeing them. Also, oddly, we almost manage to do one cover per our core cast. One is missing, who gets his spotlights soon enough.
Also, on the same day.
The Wicked + the Divine 40. The start of the final arc, called “OKAY”. It’s another emotional issue but… well, by this point you have to expect that, right?
The alt covers are by Ray Fawkes (top right) and Claire Roe (bottom right). All proceeds on Ray’s cover goes to the Hero Initiative – details on that here.
To the top left is my Light Box, which is me trolling McKelvie and Scroobius Pip.
Previews for February dropped, including PETER CANNON: THUNDERBOLT #2. The covers are above - by Paulina, Caspar and Chip Zdarsky
Here’s the solicits.
We are really having a fun time. I got the lettering for issue 1 just before crashing out, and cackled as I flipped through it. If DIE is the new big serious emotional honest mess, Thunderbolt is the one of the most gleeful things I’ve ever done.
In a Kid Loki blowing up Stonehenge kind of way.
Creators for Creators 2019 has gone live. As in, a cartoonist or writer/artist team has until March 18th 2019 to submit for a $30,000 grant. It’s one of my favourite things to be involved with. The quality every time has been astounding – Desvitio and M. Dean were incredible winners, and I can’t wait to see what arrives this time.
Neil Gaiman linked to this – Todd Klein on lettering prep for writers. This is all good stuff to internalise, and good stuff to be better on. Regarding the last point, it’s definitely a place where I’ve failed, especially on certain creator owned projects. I’d suggest at least offering paying for serious edits proportionate to the amount of work, and even that doesn’t help with their scheduling.
I saw Samira Ahmed link to this, which is on being interviewed for Oxford and how entirely unprepared her life made her for the experience. Powerful, insightful and interesting. Also got me thinking of my own botched Cambridge interview, which I’ve always taken entirely as my failing. This makes me see it through a class filter, and be a little more sanguine about it. I mean, I was pretty sanguine anyway – as bad as my process was, it did teach me Oxbridge really wasn’t for me. Also, can you imagine how fucking unbearable I’d be if I went to an Oxbridge college? I’m terrible anyway.
24 Panels is out, and seems to be going well. However, I was thinking this morning “it’s a shame no-one’s reviewed it yet.” And as I’m writing this, Broken Frontier drop a review. I’m really proud of what everyone achieved with this. Launch party next week, of course.
Let’s coo over some alternate covers which are in the new solicits.
It’s Jen Bartel’s DIE #3 cover!
It’s Vanesa Del Ray’s WicDiv 42 cover!
All out February.
If you want evidence that my workload has slackened, try this: I had the weekend off.
Worth being a little more precise with that. It’s not as if I didn’t write a bunch of stuff for my projects (a lot of DIE manual tweaking happened, for example) but I didn’t do my usual five pages of new comics. That’s the backbone of my work, and as I didn’t need to do it, I stepped away from it, in an official Return To What I Think Is Normal.
It’s nice. I have one script to polish and hand in for Friday (and an retrospective article I agreed to do for a games site), but bar that, I am blessedly deadline free until Christmas. As said last time, I’m just chipping away on WicDiv. I actually finished a draft of 42 today, and wrote a page of 43. In other words, all is going according to plan. I’m aware the next one is the real battle – I also know I may have to push the cliffhanger I want into 44 for space reasons, which will be a shame, but not as big a shame as making 43 feel cramped. If I have to do that, I suspect losing it as the climax won’t be a problem – with 42, I was aware that basically every scene ends with a beat big enough to end an issue. Wherever we stop is going to work. If WicDiv is a torture machine, this is where we start cutting the ropes and seeing what all that built up torque does. As it turns out, it sends things flying for miles.
I swear, the issue is better than that Metaphor. Clearly, all the emotions went into that. I was sniffling at every key beat, which is always a good sign. I am Joan Wilder from Romancing the Stone and someone pass me the tissues. No, Jamie, not like that, you mucky pup.
This week continues like that, as well as the prep for DIE’s proper launch next week, which (in the way of comics) includes working on next month’s issue of DIE. Obviously the comic itself is done, but I’ve written the back essay. I’m basically using the first five to talk about the various bits of development, both of the world of the comic, but also the game. Issue 2 is me talking character classes, and I put some teases of it a twitter stream. I spent a couple of hours yesterday doing an interview about DIE, and the theme I found emerge was how all the sides of the project feeds into one another and illuminates each other. The odd recognition was that that, formally speaking, DIE is one of the more stylistically conservative comics I’ve ever done. There’s very little formalism (in that which conspicuously brings attention to itself). At which point we realised that formalism experimentation? It’s the whole fucking RPG system hanging off the side in a 50,0000 words and counting extension.
I plan to get a draft together I can send to the first beta-gamers before Christmas – which may make you think “Kieron is deluded about his run into Christmas being easier than the rest of the year, especially because you always lose a week when a new book launches.” But if you do, don’t tell me, as I’ll file you with all those internal thoughts I’m trying hard to ignore.
TL;DR: DIE’s out next week, buy it.