Not actually a book by me, but a big enough one for anyone following the X-line that I want to plug it. This is the official star of Fall of X, and a huge issue, in every way. The Gala is the annual in universe fashion party of the Marvel Universe, and this is the third. It's a lot. It really is a lot.
In two weeks time, you'll see what all this means for Immortal X-men.
In short: uh-oh.
In less short: I hope to bring you all up to speed quickly, whether or not you've read the Gala. I do try to make sure books which are outside my purview aren't 100% necessary to follow what I write – I know that down the line, someone just reading the trades of my run likely wouldn't have it. But there is significant catch up. I think I've done it in a fun way, but it is a whole new glorious, petrifying status quo. It's very much a period I'm looking forward to giving my high concept pitch for, which I'll only be able to do several months into it.
I think it's all good. Falling is petrifying. It's also exhilarating.
One week to Gencon, my first US con since before Covid. And it's not even a comic con.
This is my schedule...
Signing (Rowan, Rook & Decard Booth, Exhibit Hall, Booth 2937) 4pm-5:30pm
Signing (Rowan, Rook & Decard Booth, Exhibit Hall, Booth 2937) 4pm-5:30pm
Signing (Rowan, Rook & Decard Booth, Exhibit Hall, Booth 2937) 10am-11:30pm
Kieron Gillen & Grant Howitt Chat DIE: THE RPG with Lin Codega (Marriott : Tennessee Room) 4pm-5pm.
Signing (Rowan, Rook & Decard Booth, Exhibit Hall, Booth 2937) 2pm-3:30pm
All the events are ticketed, including the signings are ticketed – I'll sign without a ticket, but getting tickets is appreciated, as it's making sure wRRDe know how many people will be around when. My usual signing rules will be in effect – I'll sign 5 or so things, but you can queue again if you want more. These may change, depending how things go.
Looking forward to seeing folks. It's been a while, right?
I'm also running games on Thursday, Friday and Sunday at 10am, but they're all sold out. I dunno if tickets return or anything, but here's their listing so you can nose.
Wait – RRD have me running games at 10am on 3 days! And signing at 10am on the other! What fresh hell is this?
This came out last week, and I'm delighted by it. Saxey is a friend, and seeing their debut novel was a joy. I provided a blurb...
“An exquisite gothic piece. Wrap yourself up and try and decide whether it's warm like bedsheets or cold like a shroud.”
Which captures it, as much as a blurb can. It's set towards the end of the 19th century, and is about relationships, longing, death, loss, lies and all the good stuff. Go gets.
Tom Humberstone's journalism as comics work has always been great, but I think this is his strongest piece for the Nib. It's him doing a history of Luddism. It's angry, illuminating and useful. Essential reading.
This is extract from David Stubb's book about the history of British Comedy is really strong stuff, hailing the current generation of comedians. “It was as if to counter the pain and division, at times seemingly deliberate political callousness and strife, that comedy made its dialectical shift from cruelty to kindness as the 00s gave way to the 2010s. At its best it has become not merely banally escapist but a genuine and humane haven. It is a world away from our broken world, and yet British comedy has never been in a better moral state. It has been strengthened by its inclusivity, its diversity, its neurodiversity, all the embedded values of political correctness.”
I loved this Vulture interview with Samuel L Jackson – lots of the real stuff here, a great lack of bullshit and some real stuff about the work. It's also very funny. This bit made me laugh myself sick. “Q: The idea of there not being any small parts — I think some movies have used that aspect of your persona really well, like Deep Blue Sea. You’re one of the bigger names in the cast, so it’s a real surprise when you get eaten so early. A: I was in that movie way longer than I intended to be. Because Renny Harlin told me, “You are going to be the first person to die, which means anybody can die.” I was like, “Okay.” I thought I was going to show up. The shark was going to show up. I was going to get killed in the movie. And next thing I know, I’m soaking wet for a month and a half in Mexico. “What the fuck, man? When am I going to die?””
Gareth Powell's piece on getting into Iain M Banks is a great intro. Ten years on from his death, it's certainly on my mind. Banks, with and without the M, was one of the biggest influences to my teenage mind. Any time I do some operatic piece of structure, I'm almost certainly trying to do The Use Of Weapons.
Still chewing over what to do about moving back to Substack or not – and sorry that I've not written back to the folks who have reached out. One sent me this piece talking about their recent FFS, which is worth chewing over.
Eisners week! Congrats to everyone who win or was nominated. Zoe Thorogood got nominated for 5, and won best newcomer, and the Guardian did a profile of her. I provided a few quotes, as I will be Comics Paul Morley, or I will be nothing. They didn't use the one where I noted that another sign of her being a true artist is that she's nominated for two books, and one of them spends a significant amount of time saying how much she hated doing the other one.
Cory Doctrow is on a strong one here. The piece is called Autoenshittification, and it's a roaring journey through capitalim's collapse into feudalism, specifically with an eye on the automobile industry. “Digital feudalism hasn’t stopped innovating — it’s just stopped innovating good things. The digital device is an endless source of sadistic novelties, like the cellphones that disable your most-used app the first day you’re late on a payment, then work their way down the other apps you rely on for every day you’re late.” I have been thinking recently about how the internet just has got worse. Not in terms of the war of it – but simply not working as well. I haven't managed to make a google image search work for months.
I didn't do anything yesterday, and kind of beat myself up over it. I just got caught up in distractions. I couldn't work out why. I may have worked it out today, but only as I sat down to write this and did a little math.
Yesterday was the 10 year anniversary of burying my Dad.
The anniversary of the death itself was a week ago yesterday, and I spent the day with family. With my brain – ADHD in full effect – I hadn't really put anything else together in terms of the timeline of the aftermath. It's perhaps logical that I'd be off yesterday because, on some subconscious level, I knew. Any distraction works, and work isn't a distraction.
It was different back then. I absolutely worked the day I buried my dad, because of course I did. I wrote the final five pages of Young Avengers – which, due to me writing out of sequence, meant I finished was the America Chavez pages in issue 15 drawn. As in, the bit where we finally see America's origin. As in, where she loses both her parents.
I think of the person I was then, and want to shake him.
A recent Red Letter File, Nick Cave got a question from someone whose father had a stroke and dealing with people looking at him to be a point of strength, and wondered how Nick handled it when it happened to him. Nick's answer is good but one line hit me.
“These painful upheavals always provide us with the option for self-destruction or for transcendence. Heartbreak can be the engine of obliteration or growth. The choice is ours.”
This is true. I chose poorly. I spent a couple of years annihilated, before crawling for the light, hoping it wasn't a train.
I'm in a better place now. I spent a long time in therapy, which was lucky, because otherwise WicDiv would be the definition of the “men will write a 45 issue comic series about death rather than go to therapy” meme. I'm not at always peace, but I'm much comfortable with the turmoil, and know how to ride it a bit better.
And today, at least, I can write about it in the newsletter.
Love to you all. Life can be very hard, but I swear, it's better than the alternative, and I'll go to the grave believing that.
Heh. Now Nina Simone's Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood comes on shuffle, which remains the song I want played at my funeral. It's a better choice than my 21 year old's option, Of Walking Abortion, anyway. Fuck that guy, the posturing ninny.