I’m writing this in a plane next to a nose-drooling man who I hope has allergies as otherwise I’m sitting next to a plague-bearer and will be patient zero for the inevitable con crud outbreak in Seattle. Don’t shake my hand. Don’t approach me. Shun me hard. In other words, treat me like usual.
Out of the country
Out in the shops
Hold Steady, Raise Uneven
Jamie and me are at Emerald City Comic Con this weekend. This is, as best as I can tell, our schedule. As you can see, we’re only signing at our table at certain times.
10-1: Signing at our table! J-14!
1:45-2:45: Help Teen Comics Readers Grow Into Adult Comic Readers Panel at the Seattle Public Library, Microsoft Auditorium (Kieron)
3:30-4:30 – Signing at the Image booth
5-6: Signing at our table J-14
10-11:30: Signing at table. Still J-14.
12-1: Signing Leggings at our friends bombsheller! They’re 117, I believe.
2-3:30: Signing at our table, which is J-14.
4-5: Our spotlight panel! Jamie and me, in full effect, in TCC L3-R3.
5:30-6:30 Signing at our table, if we are physically capable. J-14.
10-11: Table signing! As well as tables, we will also be signing comics at J1-14.
11:15 - 12:15: Paladins, Pantheons, and Private Eyes: Reimagining Fantasy Comics. TCC L3-R4 Panel! Kieron!
2-:4:30 - Signing at J-14.
5-6: Hail to the goths panel! Kieron! TCC L3-R2
8-1: The WicDiv/Bombsheller party at the Fred Wildlife Refuge. Sign up for the password via here.
10-11:30: Signing at J-14. I may be around a bit longer than that, but we’ll be all packed up by 1.
Come say hi, we miss youuuuu.
The third reprint for DIE 2 and the second for DIE 3 are out. DIE 1’s fourth and final printing is out next week. DIE 4 was out last week. DIE 5 went to press this week. I can’t stop writing the word DIE. Send help. I am trapped in a plane and words keep on bleeding out my fingers.
This was fun. I was interviewed by Orbital the week that Thunderbolt 1 came out, just before DIE 3 dropped, and is a wide-ranging and oddly optimistic conversation about everything I’m up to right now.
I went to see the Hold Steady on Friday, thanks to the kindness of the always excellent Sarah Gordon. It was also excellent, and ends a weirdly long stretch of Not Actually Going To Gigs. I missed Ezra Furman due to them changing the dates and me being double-booked. I missed Art Brut a few weeks back when I – get this – bought tickets for the gig in the wrong town, and then was just too broken to face a treck over and back to Oxford.
Oddly, The Hold Steady are of the bands who I’ve never actually listened to significantly before, though I’ve made up for lost time by looping them ever since. They were, in that weird way, exactly how I presumed they’d sound, and that was in no way a disappointment. Their literary bar room gleeful racket was exactly what I required.
Despite the lack of familiarity, they’re unusual in terms of having actually said something which always stuck with me. Back in the Plan B days, there we ran a large feature on them, and there’s a quote which stuck with me, and I’ve occasionally paraphrased. Finally hooking up with the Hold Steady made me dig it out. Craig Finn was being asked about how much, despite being much older, they romanticise and value the teenage period in retrospect. The quote was…
“I think it’s funny that you somehow understand 17 better when you’re 35, than you did when you were 17”
Which I read when I my early thirties, and felt interesting, and stuck with me when I was writing Young Avengers a few years later, and tried to bring forward into WicDiv. It’s useful thing to consider, and against a lot of critical and aesthetic stances people take, and also forgets the variety in ways which people approach and use memory. There’s people who forget and there’s people who don’t. and spend years chewing over everything. You lose the urgency of fiction in a moment, but you gain the strength of simple iteration and perspective. Which isn’t solely a strength, but nothing is.
On the short list of things I like about getting older includes: I have been more people. I have been 17 and 25 and 35 and 43, and each opened things up to me born of that moment.
Heading into a con week and inevitably work gets chewed alive, especially with the excellent panel at Waterstones on Monday night (the Father/Son routine of the Phillips is a joy in the flesh). I finished a first draft of Once & Future on Friday, and am at work on Thunderbolt 5 this week. I suspect I’ll get a chunk nailed down on this flight, and wrap it up next week, along with a polish of Once & Future 2, a polish of WicDiv 44, a pass on Star Wars 57 and then likely try to break ground on DIE 7. Hmm. I think that “likely” may be a bit optimistic.
The odd thing about that list above is how many endings or near endings there are in it. Even with Once & Future. When I had one script written, it seemed the project stretches on. When you have two, you’re a third done, and it just feels different. It’s a fun book to do, and hopefully Dan and me will come back to the universe. It’s an Arthurian inspired book, and I’m amazed at the major players I’m not even including, which leads to much more material to play with.
Also, as issue 4 is out and issue 5 is at the printers, I pushed the DIE RPG playtest to the next set of folks. This is mainly people I know off the Internet who I know are big RPG-heads, so I’m getting the first wave of feedback. A lot of what I’m looking for is primarily structural stuff – where to include what information to make it work, and what to do to make it less intimidating. There’s various catch-22s to untangle, in the “You need to know X to understand Y but you need to know Y to understand X” way. I’m sure it’ll be fiiiiiiiine. I’m looking forward to hear how folks get on with running a game, especially people who haven’t actually seen me run one. “Can the manual actually teach you to play the game?” is one of the core concerns, though I’m also aware that I should record a session of me running it.
There’s been a bunch of interesting work conversations, which hopefully you’ll get to hear about soon. Well, relatively soon. They’re too early to be given a shaggy-record project codename, but perhaps soon. I also think I’ve used up all the Shaggy records I wanna reference. I suspect I’ll slide into early 90s rave hits. PROJECT ON A RAGGA TIP has a certain something.
In The Fucking Sky