Yes, I had a week off, in which I discovered that when people say “I’m looking forward to it like root canal surgery” they were actually being ironic.
Big release of the week is Thunderbolt 4, which nearly killed the whole team (except Mary, who it may have killed financially by basically stepping away for an issue.) Hassan actually handlettered the vast majority of the book. That is above and beyond. It’s likely the new issue delight, but I think it may be in my own personal top 10 comics I’ve ever written. Ones which are unlike other stuff always jump up the list. It’s definitely one of those “remember when they did XYZ” ones. I hope you like it. You may not.
There’s a preview here, but the whole team would encourage folk to just go and read it without warning.
Oh – I’ve just seen the complete Alec by Eddie Campell (“The years have pants”) is for sale for four quid on comixology. Er… if you don’t own it, this is incredible synchronicity. It’s well worth splashing out to have it in a physical form, but if you haven’t you need to grab it, grab it hard.
And the fifth printing of DIE 1! With the whole arc done, and reprints for the issues all incoming, it’s a good time to jump aboard.
Remember the Previews cover? Jamie said he may do a print of it. He’s done a print of it. It’s still available to order until April 23rd, and will never be available again. Order!
Fiction & Feeling’s new kickstarter is running. It’s called Better Than IRL and looks awesome.
I dunno how Katie would define it, but from about 1993 (Mosaic) to 2003 was the period when it was still possible to meet people who felt this whole thing was a fad, and a lot of people who felt it was the future. Around 2003, it stopped being both - neither future, nor fad, but present.
We all know what happens after this, but I think I agree it was a brief golden age, and I can’t wait to read the stories it describes, and how people found each other and what it gave them. It seems to me that the most powerful internet groups at the moment are closed groups – the discords, the slacks, the WhatsApp groups and so on. That is powerful, but also somewhat different from the more naïve open period where someone searching for a term was more trying to find people like them than finding people to fight.
There’s so many great voices in the book. I think it’s really worth supporting. Go nose and give them coins.
We’re getting close to the DIE trade release, which is getting exciting. A few shops are doing their own edition of the book, which look amazing.
Gosh has a book plate edition which shows the ever wonderful Mistress Woe. She has become my go-to Goddess when writing DIE, shall we say.
Forbidden Planet, Big Bang and Jet Pack are doing an edition with a bookplate (the first ever image of Ash we felt nailed her character, for the record) and its own cover (the 5th printing cover, seen here with the trade dress). You can order from Big Bang here, Jet pack here and Forbidden Planet here.
Elizabeth Sandifer is one of my favourite critics, and this week she made the mistake of saying if her patreon hit $500 a month, she’d quit her job. I think it was just over $100 or so before. It hit $500 instantly, and she had to go and quit her job the same day. Do consider giving her more, because one cannot live on endless examination of Doctor Who alone.
Around when DIE dropped, I interviewed Tim Sievert about his RPG-related The Clandestinauts and he interviewed me about the RPG-related DIE. It was a very long interview. It’s now tidied up and been put on the Comics Journal. This was lots of fun to do, and pretty candid about a lot of things. Go read!
In a previous life, I was a Games Critic. Among the various things I did, I co-founded the PC games site, Rock Paper Shotgun. I left in 2010 when it became financially stable, and it’s continued ever since. Jim left earlier, but this month the other founders – Alec and John – left to move onto other projects. John took his last week to do a huge five part piece about the founding of the site, and how we actually made a successful PC games site from absolutely nothing. It’s a fun story, not least because how awful we come across in it. Go read.
Which is always fascinating to see it come together. The step between 2 and 3 where she applies “Magic” is a big one, obv.
The DIE RPG Beta is actually in proper deep playtest mode. It’s with a bunch of folks who’ve given feedback on the book, and there’s folks actually running it. The first game (that I know of) actually completed, so I have 12 hours of videos to watch from them. Here’s Books and friends, gathered, Actually Playing The Game Which I Made Up and it Mostly Appearing To Work.
I honestly giggled a bunch at various bits, in a shy child way, at the impossible confusion of seeing folks do the weird bits of ritualistic nonsense I’ve made up.
I’m actually running a game tonight, which I’m going to integrate a few of the tweaks I want to add to the next version, which will likely be the final one Content Wise for the Beta, and then to proof-readers, the designers and lobbing it to the final round of pre-release playtesting.
How are the playtests going? It works. The testers are making lots of really good noises, but my key takeaway is This Actually Roughly Operates As Intended. Sure, it will hopefully end up better (this is a Beta, after all) but it is.
Oh – next week, WicDiv 43 arrives. It’s a big one.
As said, I’ve been without Hard Script Deadlines which has given me time to move my eye onto other stuff. I resisted the immediate urge to add another book to my schedule the second I finished Star Wars, which is an act of uncharacteristic willpower.
Really, this has been concentrating on catching up with a lot of necessary correspondence, some various things which I should likely give project names so I can talk about them indirectly and mowing the lawn. That is, I fear, the official Start of Spring.
In other notes. Er… wasn’t Fleabag good? And it only struck me five episodes in that Phoebe Waller-Bridge would be the dream casting for Emily Aster. Clearly she has better things to do, but still.
I keep on meaning to write more about television stuff. Perhaps another time.