Days of Past Future Issue (recent one)
Solicits for November have started to drop, including teasing issue 17 of Immortal with this beauty of a Mark Brooks cover. Solicit in the link too, if you're interested. I normally think better to wait.
It's our Jean Grey narrator issue. Yes, she's dead, so you can assume things are up. And things are up! I've just spent a minute leaning back on my chair and trying to work out what to say at this early stage. Probably best nothing, right? It can wait.
I mentioned this being imminent last time, but CBR ran an interview with me about Immortal X-men in fall of X. In it, I'm walking a thin line by trying to talk about the two sides of the story I'm telling without saying what the other side of the story is – as that's only revealed in the issue itself. I didn't realise it'd be published after the issue dropped, or that the preview art would include stuff from the side of the plot I was trying hard not to mention. So – er – I probably should have? Hindsight is 20-20 and all that.
Anyway, here's a quote...
As we said in Issue #13, Xavier sold out his dream to try to get this to work. Now, after all the sacrifices, it's come to nothing. He believes he's killed everybody. For everybody who's been following Immortal, you saw that Xavier had decided he needed to let go. He couldn't let go, though. In that final moment, Xavier decided to hold on to the controls and did what he did. He knows it too.
I think about that side of the story like the film Castaway. It's Xavier by himself on an island, being really, really depressed. And, of course, people won't leave him alone. Because on the other side, we have Sebastian Shaw and Selene, new members of Orchis, who are trying to exploit Krakoa. Xavier doesn't really want Krakoa to be exploited because he thinks of it as a grave.
That's half the plot; the war between Shaw and Selene fitting into Orchis and trying to get what they want, and Xavier trying to stop them. Then there's this whole separate plot about, "What does leadership mean, and can we have a better form of it? What is government? What do we owe each other? Why do we protect each other?" I really want to tell you more about that stuff, but it would ruin the fun. [Laughs]
Here's some more preview art, and there's some more preview art to ruin the aforementioned fun in the full article.
That Selene! What is she like?
A few notes on Gencon – basically, it cements my thoughts about gaming cons. I haven't done many big gaming cons, simply as there's only so many cons I can do, and until I had a reason to prioritise one, comic cons get dibs.
To put it simply: comic cons are primarily about commerce. Gaming cons are primarily about games. The “primarily” is a key thing there – god knows there's enough commerce at the gaming cons (and certainly much more than the WorldCon-model cons, which is a whole different conversation). But Gencon 0 was at Gygax's house, and about as many people as he could cram into his basement playing games, and that's still here. Any surface which one can play games on is having games played on. This stretches out to the area around the con. Sure, there's an intensely busy hall where you can buy anything gaming related, but there's also being there and doing stuff.
Take this shot...
That's the Indianapolis Colts' stadium, which is part of the con. All those tables are gaming tables. People come here to game. The three games I ran had a waitlist of nearly 100 each (which has me thinking of how to run a weird-ass bigger game if I go next year – I've already got the high concept, so we'll see if I can make it work). The day after the con, I went to grab some mall food at a con nearby and there was signs saying that gaming was welcome there. These gamers sure do like gaming.
(I am speaking tabletop gaming, I'll stress – in my previous life I've been to enough videogame cons to know what they're like. They're primarily about marketing, and people coming to be marketed to.)
Cons are always about community – a gathering of people with a similar interest – but the focusing of the actual experience which they all love gives these cons just a nice vibe. I didn't get a chance to wander the corridors as I'd like, but the little dérive I managed picked up a number of images which will stick with me. The guy face first on a bench, snoozing. The crafting room, where people quietly gathered to work on a project together. The medieval dance tutor. But most of all, the moments when I got up high and saw the tables stretching out, and I imagined the worlds they were conjuring together.
Though there really was a bunch of commerce too. Here's what I picked up – primarily hard copies of games I already had in PDF. Plus I continued my tendency for being in a con hall to make me think “Maybe I want to get a historical wargame?”
I'm back home after my travels – and I think I define “home” as “When I get 5G”. I'm back in the office, and starting working my way through the things one can only really do in the office (suffice to say, there's some printing things to sign in the afternoon). But I've also been aiming at this moment at the point where I refocus – I was reading a transcript of the big interview I did over at Off Panel recently, and was reminded how I described the September after I fell out of the huge work crush of Judgment Day/DIE RPG as a deliberate period to be explorative and work out what to do next. That was born of necessity – I simply didn't have the brain to look up and work out “what next?” – but it was still me clearly delineating the end of one period and the start of the next.
I've been planning the same with this getting back from my travels – a bunch of things I was waiting to solidify have solidified, and means I can start a direction again. It's a little turn over a new leaf, but also having a course. This is what I'm doing, this is how I'm doing it, let's do it.
So while I didn't have to do a newsletter this week (no releases) I felt it'd be a good thing to start with. Next is seeing if I can do a tighter issue by issue plot breakdown of my remaining X-work, and making the bible of the new big project. I've promised to get the character profiles over by the end of the month so the artist can dig into the designs properly.
I'm going to give it a working title so I can talk about it easily – TPF. Or Project TPF. Yes, it's the acronym of the title. I could have gone with Project SAVING THE INDUSTRY but I'm way too old for that kind of posture.
So better get to it. I've got a couple of weeks of notes and scribble for both the X and TPF to assemble, which I'm really looking forward to. There's stuff which brought tears to my eyes, which is always a good sign. Honestly, me walking into the Colts stadium at Gencon and trying to hide the fact I was close to weeping is very much Me As Writer energy.