Still feeling Sinister
A Date with the Night
No releases from me, but Sins of Sinister has been busy stomping on a human face forever without me. Last week was Al writing Storm & The Brotherhood. This week it’s Si writing Nightcrawlers. Paco Medina is on art for all three parts of the +10 era, and I think it’s helping us do an interesting trick. These are simultaneously a sequential narrative (as in, parts 2 and 3 of Sins of Sinister) and also both part 1 of a mini-series. That’s the aim, anyway.
To tease both: in Storm & the Brotherhood, we discover what happened to the Moiras. In Nightcrawlers, we get the first meeting of the three other Sinisters. It all goes well.
I take up the baton next week with Immoral X-men #1, which has at least one pun as powerful as the one on the cover inside. But more next week, which also has Si, Al and myself signing at Forbidden Planet on the Saturday..
If you’re interested in later in the Crossover, the solicits for April are here, including all the +1000 books, plus the concluding Sins of Sinister: Dominion.
And life continues after Sins of Sinister, with a series of four specials announced.
Fall of X is coming. These are called BEFORE THE FALL, and each is giving focus to an important part of what’s the come. I’m writing one, with Paco Medina on art.
Here’s the solicit…
X-MEN: BEFORE THE FALL – SINISTER FOUR #1M
Written by KIERON GILLEN
And four Sinisters plot their next move in X-MEN: BEFORE THE FALL – SINISTER FOUR #1, written by Kieron Gillen and drawn by Paco Medina. In the aftermath of SINS OF SINISTER, all four Sinisters have been unmasked. They’ve gotten a taste of universal control, but their true plans for mutantkind are just beginning…
It’s early, but I’ll say one thing: we’re clearly being very cagey with this solicit. Where the Sinsters are after Sins is a hugely different place than when we came in. That’s why we need the special, right?
I handed this over last week, and I’m really happy with it. It’s the sort of issue I love to do at Marvel – mixing the Marvel timeline with the real one, and trying to mine real emotional meat from stuff that’s always been there.
Out in July.
Okay – I promised you another 1990s covering letter.
This is to the Melody Maker for a Features’ editor job – something I was drastically underqualified. It’s clearly based upon my corrupted NME letter (a mistake – they were one floor apart, and I’d got to an interview at the NME). It’s also worse, I think? I can’t access the original one, but the first paragraph is hugely messy. I presume I didn’t put the effort in this remix, probably as I didn’t think I really had a chance.
That said, the back end still works as intended – paragraphs cascading to a punchline - though the period reference climax dates it hugely.
The NME version of this did get me a job interview for online editor. It was only at the end of the interview when I asked the wage, and they told me and it was over twice what I ended up being eventually paid at PC Gamer that I realised “Oh, this is a job way above what I should be going for and it’s a compliment I’m even being interviewed.”
Game Trade Magazine asked me to write a column for them about DIE RPG, and I did. And they put it online. If you want a short piece which nails down why I think the game’s interesting, this is the one.
Off Panel seems to have been having a My Comrades season. This week was Jamie McKelvie and two weeks back was Clayton Cowles, and both go into real detail about how they do what they do. I’m wondering if Harper is going to interview Manny about how I don’t stroke him nearly enough next. Er… stroke many the cat, not David Harper. Though I don’t stroke Harper at all, so maybe he’s angry too?
I really liked this interview with Harrison Ford over at the Hollywood Reporter. “No. I don’t have a social anxiety disorder. I have an abhorrence of boring situations”
I love Chip interviews. You never know if you’re going to get mask on or mask off. This one at CBR about Public Domain is complete mask off, and it goes for the throat. “What’s the incentive for giant companies to have better practices? Bad press? We’ve seen plenty of those stories, and the audience will still pay money to watch the movies and buy the toys. The general public just doesn’t care, or if they do care, they don’t care enough to deny themselves their entertainment.” The chef-kiss is him decrying the mining of interviews for clickbait stories, which immediately happens to the article. Hurrah!
I’ve said it before, but I really enjoy the NME videogames features. The latest is on the always-interesting Anna Hollinrake. Coming at creatives from a music press perspective warps things in a wonderful way, and the photo shoots are A+. Oh, I just noticed it was written by fucking Quinns. He’s not music press. He’s one of us! How dare he.
Great (as in, “petrifying”) article at GQ from Simon Parkin about the treatment of workers in the VFX industry. To get an idea of the tone, it’s called Pixel Fucked. Lots of source quotes from lots of people, strong.
Panel x Panel’s 2023 retrospective was released, which includes a bunch of fine stuff, including a hilariously long interview with yours truly about the construction of Judgment Day. It’s less how the sausage was made, and more me telling you the life stories of individual pigs we dismembered. Panel x Panel is always worth supporting. As in, financially. Thinking of the increase in disinformation an AI-web is going to generate, paying for sources worth a damn is increasingly important. You are what you eat, mentally as well as physically.
I’d somehow missed that Storm Constantine died in 2021. I wasn’t a devotee, but she’s someone who absolutely influenced my life. The moment I realised this credible gothic fantasy writer was actually from Stafford, it was a real reasliation moment. That was years after I’d picked up her Wraeththu books from the Stafford Library shelves – and it was only when discovering her passing that I discovered that’s where she worked back in the 1980s. The idea of me from 4-year old onwards wandering around in the same building as her is striking. We probably talked. I’ll never know for sure.
More recent deaths pop culture deaths hit me too. Burt Bacharach is always on my mind, to the point where I’d referenced him in the last panel of the story we did for Image! At 96, it wasn’t a surprise. David Jolicoeur/Trugoy the Dove of De La Soul at 54 was. He had also been on my mind over the last month, as I was thinking of how perfect the Daisy Age rap was to hit me as a teenager, so this was close to me too.
When there’s a few weeks gap in a newsletter, you should always imagine me tilting my head, trying to remember what I’ve done. I know I’ve done stuff. I must have done stuff. I’ve just made a cup of tea and ate a biscuit.
So, I have made a cup of tea, ate a biscuit and probably other stuff too.
Oh yeah! I broke my keyboard. I had to replace a key. The key was “I” which is the sort of thing that does my reputation for egomania no good.
We spent a few days in Bath, seeing what the old town felt like. It’s where C and I met, and I went to university there. We floated around the SW for slightly more than a decade, and one reason we left was because the memories were so thickly graffitied on the walls. Was it overwhelming to be back still, or had time done its job? It mostly had done its job. Bath has changed, as we had too. I always thought of Bath as a weird old grandeur – which mostly comes from coming from Stafford, but talking with friends who’ve been there almost the whole time, I can see how much the town had been polished up. I always thought of it as a tourist town, but now it’s explicitly a tourist destination.
I didn’t mind it too much. It’s Bath. It’s basically Rivendell, and that goes a long way.
While I don’t think I’m working at anything like full speed at the moment, I’ve become aware that I have moved from staying on top of deadlines to being comfortably ahead again. I just handed in Immortal X-men 13, setting up Fall of X. Lucas is on the back end of 11, which means I’m a comfortable 2 issues ahead of him. Paco is finishing off his part of Dominion, and then goes straight over to the Sinister 4. I could pile into 14, as I know what it should be beat for beat, but suspect I’m going to sit on it a little longer and let the whole arc simmer. You get too far ahead in the X-Office, and you’re risking coming unstuck from everyone else… plus we’re at the point in the story when I really want to make sure all the fine details are perfect. We’ve moved into the back half of my run, so things will start closing in, and you have less space to manoeuvre. Instead, I’ll probably go back to the OGN – the artist is still only just starting the first act, but getting it off my desk would likely be a good idea.
I’ve also decided to dabble in Marvel Snap and uh oh.