Today's music is Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, which comrade Rossignol forwarded to me. Their GNT is delightfully Calligulan rock.
DIE DIE DIE (2nd)
Old Man Shouts At Cloud
Er… DIE 3 sold out, so we’re doing a second printing. DIE 2 2nd printing sold out, so we’re doing a third printing. Orders for issue 4 came in, and they’re up on issue 3. Yes, it seems we’re doing well, which is both a shock and a relief. Thanks to everyone. I’m glad it’s working for folks. Key details?
Die #2, third printing (Diamond Code JAN198202) and Die #3, second printing (Diamond Code JAN198203) will be available on Wednesday, March 13. The final order cutoff deadline for comic shop retailers is Monday, Feb 18.
Look at me cut and paste. Oh - while it says “Not Final Cover” above it means “Because they haven’t got the logo on” rather than anything else.
The issue seemed to have gone well. There’s been quite a bit of the sort of writing which you’d hope something like it would provoke – this was particularly good in terms of trying to chart the multiple double thinks the issue is trying to do and this looking forward to the Brontes is also strong (though you’ll have to wait a little longer than next issue for them.)
Issue 3 was, I hope, the best attempt at something I’ve been trying to wrestle down since MURDER PARK in Rue Britannia, right at the start of my career. As in, the critical essay as genre story that uses fantastical setting to externalise a concept. That Murder Park was normally where people get turned off Phonogram, I was worried about it, so the rave reviews help me breathe a little easier.
Of course, issue 4 is something completely different, once again, as we are not good at this comic thing.
I thought I had nothing out this week, but Jordan White on twitter tells me they’re collecting my Uncanny run in a big ol’ paperback. Or rather, two, as this is the first half of it. It includes – cut and paste again! - S.W.O.R.D. 1-5; Uncanny X-Men 534.1, 535-544; X-Men: Regenesis 1; Uncanny X-Men (2011) 1-3. SWORD being in there makes me smile especially, as it’s something that absolutely should be in any big collection of this (as it’s the start of a bunch of threads in my run) but also something I never thought would be in a big collection for obvious Not A Huge Financial Success reasons.
It’s interesting timing as well. I was trying to arrange my bookshelves to I could fit the latest WicDiv trade on there, and realised I had two SIEGE trades. Flicking through that, and and I was struck by the pure excitable hot mess of it (It was written to be febrile, to say the least), the barely-contained bitterness and the deliberate sign off on the MU of it all. It’s a weeeeiiirddd book. Amongst all of that, it was also an AU-version of all the SWORD stories we didn’t get to tell because the book was cancelled. Which is… what? What? Why on earth do that?
Anyway – Abigail Brand was always one of my favourite characters to write over at Marvel, and writing her was odd preparation for how I wrote Cyclops, who was essentially the lead character of Uncanny (and, arguably, the X-men franchise) for all the time I was writing it. There’s writers who have Cyclops blasting down walls in frustrations. Cyclops, for me, was always someone who if he broke a pencil it’d be a huge deal. He and Abigail had a lot in common, which I only really realised with this panel in my first solo arc.
And then basically imagined an alt dimension where they got together. Which ended up being SIEGE. Two emotionally distant people finding a way to each other is something I just love.
(Art by Terry and Rachel Dodson, who were a dream to work with.)
Waxing nostalgic. If I’m not careful, I’ll start talking about the joy of Emma Frost, a character whose dialogue’s first draft always wants to be in a MAX book and is deeply frustrated she must be suitable for teens. It was a weird time, and not a run I ever thought would be collected like this.
Jamie and I are off to TCAF. Jamie’s been many times before, but I’ve never actually managed to. It’s one I’ve always wanted to – early in my career, there’s no way I could afford to go. In the middle of my career, I felt I was insufficiently indie to be there, and would be shunned and mocked. And lately I’ve just been busy.
Anyway – Toronto, May 11th and 12th. Jamie and Me. Adventures. Come say Hi.
My good friend Ellis Saxey made a word-cloud of the responses to that What 5 Games Are Genuinely New in the last five years. No, Dawn of War hasn’t made a big comeback. It’s God of War and Horizon Dawn Zero. So if you want to know what The Internet thinks of the last five years of games, have a nose at the above and squint.
I smile a little. The only time I have a negative loss of followers on this newsletter is when I talk, at any length, about game stuff. I’m going to have to work out a way to circumvent that one. Of course, that’s exactly what issue 3 of DIE tries to do, in terms of looking at gaming through the filter of the fantasy genre generally, and its modern origins. Hmm.
WicDiv 42, out next week. Volume 8 of WicDiv, out the first week of March. Post is fun as a creator.
On a personal level, this week has been rubbish, and I’ve basically just been keeping myself vaguely together and wishing I could bunk off and paint Slaneshi demons. To be fair, there has been a considerable amount of daubing things in hot pink, but I’ve basically kept vaguely on an even keel. Vaguely. It says a lot that I managed to finish THUNDERBOLT 4 in a draft state, but took me until Wednesday to actually get it over to the rest of the team.
Issue 4 is (er) something else, building on the conclusion of issue 3. I’ve just seen it, and it makes me so happy that I immediately wanted to show it to you all, but that sort of breaks the point of a crossover. Seeing what Hassan and Caspar have done there is hugely, gleefully humbling, and the whole book just delights me. Occasionally horrifies me – issue 3 is unpacking that side of Watchmen’s influence – but even then it’s an awful cackle.
I also managed to finish a first draft of Star Wars 57, my final issue, which clears the space in my head to dive further into PROJECT OH CAROLINA. Which, I’m informed, is going to be announced before next week. I meant to write about RUSSIAN DOLL which I devoured in a day, but I have quotes to write for OH
CAROLINA’S announcement. Let’s go with “It’s really good. It manages to mash Groundhog Day into Fleabag, while not compromising the latter’s sharpness and the former’s capra-esque heart. Plus, how it shifts between modes is just masterful. Also, A+ curly hair.”
Back to e-mail. Look after yourself.