Last week was hectic. This week, let's just sit back and toast marshmallows. On the smouldering ruins of a democracy, admittedly, but you can't have everything.
Die Prints Again
This Fucking Country
I'm Kind Of A Big Deal
Only one new release week, which is HOPE DIES, which is the third volume of my Star Wars run. And while the stately Travis Charest is a wonder, this is basically the epic movie-on-paper centrepiece of the whole run, paying off the set off of the first twelve issues. It’s also me gleefully checking of my list-of-things-I-always-wanted-to-see as a Star Wars fan. If you had to characterise my work, I suspect “Punch the air” moments don’t exactly come up too often. This arc, amidst the horror, may be an exception. This was a lot of fun.
Also, in the excitement of last week, Cinema Purgatorio 16 came out, featuring episode 16 of Modded. We turn towards the conclusion, and I still can’t believe I’m getting away with this. Two more to go.
Here’s the cover of the second printing of DIE issue 1. Which probably gives away how the launch went, right? It went well. By the end of the first day on sale Image had mailed saying “We need to do a second printing.” If you want it, speak to your retailer – its order code is OCT188783 if you need such things. It’ll be out the same day as DIE 2 in January, which means that if you didn’t manage to pick up issue one, you can order it, and pick up both and jump aboard the machine that is DIE.
There was a lot of press. I’ve got a bunch of drafts in the tumblr, which I’ve yet to post, as losing the actual preview beneath twelve other posts in launch week isn’t a good idea. Here’s comic book round up’s list of reviews, which currently has twenty and an average of 9.0.
There’s a couple of things worth highlighting separately to what will appear on the tumblr though, as they actually involve talking some more about the game which we should be releasing around the trade. Polygon actually turned up to a playtest which I was running and wrote about the comic and the experience – I’d stress that there are some spoilers in there for issue 2, but they’re the class details – as in, “Spider-man has the powers of the spider” sort of spoilers. So if you want to be totally clean, best avoid until January, but certainly worth coming back to. Stephanie and me also did an interview with Graphics Policy, talking about a bunch of stuff, but certainly involving quite a bit about the game. Oh – and a Comicbook.com had some more concept art, as well as nice chat.
To stress, it’s an additive thing. I suspect some folks who don’t even like games will like it, solely in a “flicking through Tolkein’s appendixes, but with jokes” kind of way. And, like the appendixes, you don’t have to read ‘em. DIE is just very big indeed.
At the time of writing Stephanie is just doing the final tweaks on issue 5’s cover, which is looking like a monster. Also, our artist for the fifth alternate is just doing his. It’s all very exciting.
Here’s Stephanie and me on the way to the DIE signing on Thursday. Thanks for everone who turned up. It was lovely to see folks.
Here’s me, Rhona, Steve and myself at the 24 Panel signing, a few hours later. We scrub up well. This was also amazing, and Rhona spoke incredibly movingly about the project. Here’s a review that Multiversity did this week as well. It makes an excellent Christmas present. Hint.
I keep on thinking about the Tory Party growing ever more Jim Jones and Britain growing ever more Jonestown. This is all delusional, turning suicidal. I’d write more, but it feels like old man shouting at clouds. Mushroom clouds.
This interview about Peter Cannon actually went online when we were all in the pub after the 24 panel party. Hassan and Caspar were there, so it was fun. I wondered what I said, as people were messaging me saying how outspoken it was. This, clearly, is worrying. It was a taped interview, and I didn’t remember being outspoken. I remembered having fun. Here’s a random bit.
One of the things about Peter Cannon, when people read the issues, they’ll see different trends in superhero comics being reflected and critiqued and understood. The first issue is very much like how I came into comics full-time, kind of obsessive about stuff like the Wildstorm books andThe Authority. So in some ways, this is me doing a proper city-destroying epic in an issue. Then we take it elsewhere.
The interesting thing about The Authority is that it kind of gave birth to the current wave of superhero comics we’re dealing with, because it was clearly used as the inspiration for the Ultimates, and the Ultimates were basically superheroes as paramilitary.
Nrama: Right. The “widescreen” trend.
Gillen: Not just widescreen, but also the idea that you embed superheroes inside a government organization in a realistic and grounded way. There’s an idea across the 2000s, and into the 2010s as well, that heroes are less likely to have a private identity. The idea of having an alter ego, as mild-mannered Peter Parker, became a lot less common. Superheroes kind of became procedurals, like a cop show. In fact, superheroes in many ways became cops, or even military. That’s a trend that went through a lot of books, and you see it in the movies as well.
Well, when I have fun, it tends to read as being outspoken. It’s just ideas, innit? You can take the boy out of pop-criticism, but you can’t take the pop criticism out of the boy. Read the rest here.
(I think the Dream Daddy stuff is more fun.)
Talk to your retailer about getting a copy as well. Out January.
This was the point when I realised I’d done too many interviews recently.
When I got in on Friday morning around half one, I turned on my Mac to check out anything else about DIE. Stephanie asked me if I was actually going to work. I said no. She went to bed. Then I found that Pete Shelly of Buzzcocks had died, and was up for the next hour writing a drunken stumble of a tribute thread on tumblr. Alex P of the Guardian’s is a great overview of his career and the impact, reminding me of a bunch of things I’ve actually included in my work (especially Phonogran). A hell of a figure.
The first part of the Oral History of the Warren Ellis forum. Clearly, horror, in every single way.
Jacob Hill is doing annotations of WicDiv issues over at Multiversity. Here’s his ones for the latest issue.
25 years since 36 Chambers. The Tiny desk concert is amazing.
The week was clearly dominated by the DIE launch, including another signing on Saturday. Everything went well. We wrote our names a lot. This has also led to a bunch of other conversations I have to work into the day. But work?
This is my last week on WicDiv scripts before I turn to writing Thunderbolt 3 next week, and I’m flirting broadly with 43 and 44. 43 was always going to be hard one, in terms of space, but the first draft came out as the equivalent of 23 pages, and I’ve got ideas how to crunch that further (or even crunch some stuff enormously, and then use the space we’ve got back to extend some other moments). 44 is much more reasonable – I’ve written the essential scenes I’ve known well, and have seven pages for the writing challenge part, which I’ll be moving to next.
But, yes, by the end of the week I should have at least a draft of everything bar the epilogue. Cripes.