I was in LA yesterday. It rained. I have powers.
The wait is over. Thanks for your patience. Issue 44 dropped today, which ends the main story of WicDiv. Issue 45 is an epilogue. Someone asked me earlier when to re-read this arc – now, or after the final issue. I said that both serve a purpose, but it made me realise that I don’t really think of the epilogue as part of this arc. 44 is the end of this arc. 45 is the end of the series. It stands alone.
Twitter is full of people making the noises we hoped for. The issue is a lot. I’m still on the West Coast, and I spent last night having dinner with a friend, who I met through the book. She’d read the final issue, and we were both chewing over seeing people respond to it. It’s a strange book. It was like something we’ve all survived together. Clearly, this circles back to music – shuffle when I’m back leads me to Swift’s Blank Space, which is always a WicDiv song.
One issue to go, but by now I suspect you can answer her question: “You can tell me when it’s over, if the high is worth the pain.” I honestly don’t know.
This morning I set the playlist shuffling to see what it said. First was Fuck button’s Surf Solar. It’s eight minutes of beats and a machine that goes WOWOWOOWOWOWO which is a bit much for first thing in the morning, so I press forward and it’s Shake It Out. Which is startling. Nearly six years ago, on a flight back to the UK, I was listening to it, and gave me the opening image of the series – the girl on the stage, the girl on the crowd, the gap between them. It’s still one of the best spreads in the run.
I mean, all the songs on the playlist are loaded with memories. I’ve had them on loop for five years, and most of them have haunted me long before that. Whatever song that came up would be important, as they’re all important. Still – as we reach the end, to listen to a song that’s right at the start is something else. I think it may have been the first thing I added, before I moved Pink Summer above it.
And now it’s Belle & Sebastian’s If She Wants Me which is a whole universe of a song for me. It is a lot. Key WicDivian lyric: “If I could do one near perfect thing I’d be happy.”
I’ll tell you this: no, you won’t. But you’d be happy you did it.
Thanks for reading. Just the epilogue to go.
I actually wrote up the WicDiv 43 notes. You can read them here.
3000 words of me talking the usual nonsense.
I’ve done interviews with Benhameen before at cons, and have always been trying to do a larger one. We finally managed to get together with Karama on For All Nerds Show and spend an hour and a half talking everything WicDiv, and comics, and everything. This was both fun and genuinely intense. There’s some stuff in here which I haven’t said anywhere before now.
Once & Future went to FOC on Monday. It’s reported that the orders are really strong. Thanks for everyone who jumped on. There were advance copies being handed out at San Diego to press, retailers and people attending panels, so I suspect we’ll be seeing reviews sooner rather than later.
This is a lot of fun. Thanks for jumping aboard it.
Also, in O&F related news, this was one of my favourite moments of SDCC.
If you’re looking for a positive spin on the political situation in Britain, this section isn’t it. Skip it if you’re feeling depressed. This will only make it worse.
The Conservative Party has finally chosen our new ruler. I said over breakfast that that I suspect Johnson will either be Prime Minister for a week or for life. That’s mostly a joke. I don’t think he’s competent enough to pull off the latter.
The coming months will be an extended humiliation for him. As many have noted, he’s a man of with a surfeit of ambition and a complete lack of moral centre. His only vision for the country is a country with him as the leader. He will say anything to get it. He has said it. There is no conviction here. The bleakest joke I’ve thought is “I don’t worry about going full fascist, as fascism takes some kind of moral conviction” but that’s a lie. The sort of continuing neglect that’s effectively culling people with disabilities in the UK is entirely within his mandate. To be honest, I worry about a war in Europe. He’s the sort of opportunistic scum who may think it’s a good idea.
So for the fact that he has got what he wanted and it will destroy him isn’t enough. Schadenfreude is not nearly enough to sugar this pill. We are in uniquely dangerous times, and the best case scenario is still shockingly bad.
I’m told It’s going to be 38 degrees in London tomorrow. It’s going to be hell.
When people asked me how my San Diego was, I said sweaty. That I know it’s hotter in the UK right now makes that weird, but I wouldn’t be wearing a blazer if I was in the UK. I’d be wearing shorts, to everyone’s horror.
I was over on Boom’s dollar to primarily to hype Once & Future, but fit in a lot alongside it. Five signings, four panels, speaking to a room full of retailers about O&F and god knows how many interviews about WicDiv, DIE and everything else. I also went to a pool party and was introduced to the concept of “Frose” by a friend who had basically decided she wanted to marry Frose. I could see the appeal.
The real appeal of San Diego is simple – I get to see people I don’t otherwise, friends and readers both. So chatting, and shaking hands, hugging and then spraying myself in sanitizer in an attempt to try to avoid getting Con Crud was a joy. I even managed to do a couple of public events – Djing at the CBLDF party (where Tula Lotay dropped both the Christine & the Queens and the Sisters of Mercy, and I taught Will Dennis how to play his McKelvie-esque 1980s set of credible bangers) and a DIE game on Saturday night.
Thanks Jody Hauser, Jim Zub, Sam de Leve, Amy Dallen and Shaun Manning. It was a playtest for something I’m going to tidy up and put in the back of a DIE issue. I had an idea of how to make a fairly robust structure for something equivalent to a Scenario. It’s a game type I’ve played a couple of times before, so codifying it was fun. I won’t say more about the execution, but Jim did a tweet thread about the experience here, which is very kind.
Then it’s Jeremy Lambert driving me up to LA, staying in a fancy hotel with a creepy portrait, some meetings, and a flight to SF, where I am presently. I’m doing a signing at Comix Experience in (ooh) fifty minutes. Here’s the flyer again.
Get stuff signed! I’m also off to do an interview with now with Greg Miller at Kinda Funny, so I better get across town.
I return to the UK tomorrow, to abstractly do some panels and a signing at London Film and Comic Con on the Saturday – they don’t appear to be on the site just yet, but probably will be shortly. Say Hi if you’re around. Clearly, expect extreme jetlag.