I didn’t actually post about this week’s comics, which is only DARTH VADER #16, which starts a whole new arc. The Shu-Torun War is basically us doing a proper war comic. So far Vader has been working on a relative small scale. Shu-Torun is about getting the AT-ATs out. Who doesn’t like AT-ATs? Rebels, that’s who.
Once again, we return.
The third volume drops, which is basically WicDiv’s experimental blue period. It features some of the most challenging and best reviewed work we’ve put out so far.
Clearly, the next one is full of pop songs.
Shall I give the title now? Why not.
THE WICKED + THE DIVINE Vol 4: RISING ACTION.
Christ, this cover is violent.
Er… a new arc for MERCURY HEAT, which turns away from the harder Sci-fi angle of the first arc, and leans more into the satirical 2000AD ultraviolence side. I plan to write more about it down the line, as I wanted to do a letter in the back but never got around to it.
I think you’ll laugh at this a lot. It’s very action comedy with a full barrel of meta.
Available at your local shop or digitally.
Plus if you’re only checking in now, I posted about ALAN MOORE’S CINEMA PURGATORIO KICKSTARTER early, giving my first talk about my new comic in it, MODDED.
You may have seen this announced yesterday. Alan Moore’s CINEMA PURGATORIO is running a kickstarter. Here’s how Alan describes it…
In a world of used ideas spun out into unending single-premise sagas and told in full cyber-enhanced Technicolor, unapologetically we offer up CINEMA PURGATORIO, a black and white horror anthology which reaches for something both new and startling beyond the endlessly recycled characters and concepts of the 60s and the 70s. An anthology, to let its authors exercise the discipline and the invention that only short stories can provide – and out of which the vast majority of today’s memorable franchises were created – and black and white in order to impose that selfsame discipline upon its artists by removing the alluring camouflage of colour and requiring the same values that the classic comic illustrators made their byword. Why shouldn’t the 21st century enjoy the craft and quality that the E.C. and Warren luminaries managed, but with an originality and freshness born entirely of our anxious present and uncertain future? Why shouldn’t the world once more have horror stories which compel their audience to tremulously tell themselves “It’s just a movie; just a film”?
And, being Alan, he carries on in full on Alan Moore. Click through, and at least watch the film, so you can see Alan’s awesome hair. Seriously, look at the hair.
That roughly translates as “Alan Moore running a black and white comic weird horror anthology featuring stories by awesome folks. As well as Alan and Kevin O’Neill, the stories at the start are… Code Pru (Garth Ennis/Raulo Caceres) The Vast (Christos Gage/Gabriel Andrade), A More Perfect Union (Max Brooks/Michael DiPascale) and Modded (Ignacio Calero/Kieron Fucking Gillen).
Go click through to read more about them. I’m particularly excited by A More Perfect Union, where Max Brooks applies his brain to make a credible incredibly detailed American Civil Story featuring Giant Ants. Brilliant. My hat is off.
I was going to do a big post about Ig and my story – MODDED or THE MODDED – but I’ll save that for the standard solicitation of the book. For now, have a nose at this image…
Which I describe as R-Rated Pokemon in the style of the Fast And The Furious, in a Mad Max universe. It’s the videogame-influenced comic that anyone from my previous life would have probably expected me to have done by now. I’ve been gone for 5 years, and I’ve things to say, and I’m doing so in this gleeful horror comedy of a book.
Oh – that’s BLOODY SUSAN and MISTER BOOM on the cover, who are a big part of our sprawling cast of fuck-up Daemonatrixes who like nothing better than fitting overloaded cybernetics to their extra-dimensional entities and making them fight. It’s a metaphor, probably.
As I said, I’ll write more when the normal edition is solicited.
(We’ve hit the target, so you can assume that’ll happen.)
Should you donate? The Kickstarter seems an extension of part of Avatar’s business model, which rests on special editions for collectors and extremely passionate devotees. Avatar do some very limited edition con exclusives, and this is basically pre-selling them to pay for what is clearly an expensive project.
Basically, if you’re the sort of person who thinks “You know, I’d love a unique edition of a book signed by Alan, Kevin, Garth and Kieron” it’s for you, and you should donate. If you’re a “I just want to read the fucking thing” you can wait for a normal edition, which I’ll be hyping in good time.
(That said, there is a six dollar pre-order for the digital version for the second buyer. Your call, obv.)
Anyway – go nose, and see what you think. Writing MODDED is making me laugh more than anything else I’m currently writing, so I hope you’ll find it amusing.
To all good things, an ending, and to this too.
Phonogram debuted in August 2006. We managed three series in the decade between now and then, and with this issue is complete. I think when everyone’s read this, they’ll see the grander design of the thing. Phonogram is basically my 90s and 00s in a book, which Jamie, Matt, Clayton and (especially) Chrissy put up with. I suspect I’ll do writer notes for the whole series at some point – there’s certainly a bunch to talk about. There’s also more than a little oddness in terms of what happens in the issue and the timing of its release. Hope you find it interesting.
The B-side is by Tom Humberstone, and is really one of my favourite things in Phonogram full stop.
THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #18
STORY: KIERON GILLEN
ART / COVERS A & B: JAMIE McKELVIE & MATT WILSON
APRIL 6 / 32 PAGES / FC / M / $3.50
NEW STORY ARC
An ideal jumping-on point. Persephone, live. The question is, will it be for more than one night? Don’t call it a comeback, as JAMIE McKELVIE and MATT WILSON return to THE WICKED + THE DIVINE for the most rock-and-roll everything-explodes arc of the hit series.
To stress the solicitation, this is a very good point to start following the single issues. Talk to your retailer, obv.
THE WICKED + THE DIVINE BOOK ONE HC
STORY: KIERON GILLEN?ART / COVER: JAMIE McKELVIE?APRIL 6 / 400 PAGES / FC / T / $39.99?
KIERON GILLEN, JAMIE McKELVIE, and MATTHEW WILSON return with an Eisner Award-nominated modern fantasy where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. Revel in the opulence of this oversized hardback! Revel in it! ?Collects THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #1-11
The cover will be in a fancy foil, btw. This is our first creator-owned over-sized Hardback, so we’re very excited by this. Talk to your retailer about getting a copy. You can also pre-order via places like Amazon if that’s your thing, daddio.
- Bowie passed last week, which was obviously enormous. I wrote a WicDIv microfic about Bowie and was interviewed by Five Thirty Eight about his influence.
- On Feb 6th I’m on a panel during S.M.A.S.H. which should be lots of fun
- I’m on Front Row tonight reviewing Stan Lee’s Lucky-Man.
- The WicDiv licenced nails are available to buy!
- I’m actually a guest of Panini at Angouleme this year, and will be doing some signings. First time at a European con, ever. Glad to finally lose my virginity. I’m also glad to finally be going to a European con.
- Team WicDiv is all going to Emerald City Comic Con in April again. We plan many exciting things.
- In March, I’m going to La Mole con in Mexico. Very excited by this too.
Oh – we’re also doing a signing tour soon…
Busy busy busy, in short. Thankfully, everything is being pretty productive and directed. Scripts are being written and – best of all – I managed to file 2 years worth of comics that have been sitting in piles in my office. This is progress.
One of mine out this week is the STAR WARS ANNUAL, which is a thirty page special and a done in one espionage story. I’ve been hitting the big archetypes in my Star Wars work, and this is very much hitting another one.
Odd route to how I came to write this one. It was originally going to be done by Jason and Dennis Hopeless, but scheduling meant they couldn’t. I had a slot in my time, so worked off their core story idea. Doubly oddly, the core story idea was quite similar to a story I was considering for Vader, so I worked some of that in as well.
Like my Darth Vader annual next week, this is setting up some stuff for the story arc that follows after VADER DOWN. In other words, while it may appear to be entirely its own thing, it does impact with Jason’s book in the near future.
It’s also a lot of fun to write the Emperor. I do like that evil man.
Oh – lots of other stuff out this week, but I want to give a plug for INSEXT by Marguerite Bennett and Ariela Kristantina…
It’s actually Marguerite’s first creator owned book, which makes it doubly exciting. Here’s an interview and here’s a preview. I read it last night, and it’s both horrific and delightful. In short: Victorian lesbian body horror. You’ll love it.
And we take a detour from the horror of Emily to check in on some of the extended cast in the Phonoverse, and see what they’ve been up to. This was fun, while being just as odd as most of Immaterial Girl. I suspect it may be bewildering to people who haven’t read a certain 00s indie comic, but as that indie comic sold about fifty million times as much as Phonogram ever did, I suspect that won’t be a major problem.
I didn’t actually script this one, but as it’s the first part of the story we plotted together, definitely worth mentioning. This is the big Star Wars event Jason and I are writing, where Darth Vader gets down and throws shapes in a nightclub, wait, I may have misunderstood.
It’s available from your local shop or digitally.
Here’s some other relevant things recently too!
My talk is called HISTORY AS WRITTEN BY THE LOSERS which is my own alternative and 100% true cultural history of British Games Development. An oral history, with a heavy stressing on Edge-baiting, class warfare and the word “oral”.
It will be funny. It will not be joking.
Due to travel, I haven’t been updating the workblog, rather using the tumblr. So here’s a round-up of stuff recently out you may be interested in grabbing.
Firstly, the big trade of the period…
The collection of the first six issues of STAR WARS: DARTH VADER.
Vader is set between A NEW HOPE and EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. It’s basically the fall and rise of Darth Vader. At the end of episode 4, he was one of the few survivors of the greatest military disaster of all time for the Empire – the destruction of the Death Star. At the start of Episode 5, he’s more powerful than he ever was before. This basically explores that character journey, as well as having all the meaty Vader moments that we’ve never actually seen. You know – realising that he’s got a son, that the last 20 years of his life has been a life, etc.
The aim of this is basically to appeal to anyone who’s ever loved Star Wars. If that’s you, I think you’ll dig it.
We’re joined by Stephanie Hans for Amaterasu, where the pantheon gather to deal with the (er) drama of issue 13. Look at me, trying to avoid spoilers. Good to finally get to Amaterasu – for a character that is a core image of the series, actually making it more explicit what she’s about has been delayed. Plus a back up by Jamie and Matt, where we finally get to see Brunhilde in costume.
Half way through THE IMMATERIAL GIRL, and we just basically get weirder and weirder. Includes a bit which was meant to come out before Young Avengers, so the sequence in YA which is a bit like it was meant to be a homage. Also, shouting. Lots of shouting. EVERY NOW AND THEN WE FALL APARt.
B-side by Christian Wildgoose and Andre Me, involving dancing to MCR, as you do.
Finally, the penultimate part of DARTH VADER’s second arc as the jaws start to close around Vader’s accomplices. Plus, Triple-Zero plays Holochess badly and/or murderously.
You can find us at X1 and X2 in Artist’s Alley. That is here…
We will be there as much as we can. There is specific signing times below when all of the Team will be there, which are good times to come and see us. Times outside of these, there’s likely to be someone from the team there. At the least, someone should be looking after the table and be willing to sell you stuff. We have books and similar. Plus…
Show exclusive Dionysus shirts. All common sizes, M/F cuts, $25.
(We don’t know what we’ll be doing with any left-over shirts. We’ll see after the con. If you definitely want one, try to speak to someone who is going. We honestly dunno what we’re doing with them, assuming there’s any left at all.)
Our signings can be really incredibly busy. As such, we have to walk a line between our gratitude towards any individual for supporting our work and everyone else who’s waiting. We find the following our best compromise…
- We’ll sign up to 5 books.
- If you want us to sign more, you can go to the back of the queue.
- If you go to the back of the queue enough times, we’ll sign literally anything.
- If the queue is short, we’ll probably sign more.
- If our time is short, we may sign less. Otherwise there’s a risk people may not get signed at all.
There’s no fee for signing.
Jamie doesn’t sketch at cons. It is sometimes difficult to stop Kieron doodling. This is perverse, we know, but we’re kind of a perverse team.
To stress what was stated above – there’s normally a fair chance that at least one of us will be at our table. The below are special times for getting all of us, or signings at other places.
9pm – Matt will totally be signing at Midtown Comics.
10:30 – 1:15: Signing at Our Table (Everyone)
2:15 – 3:30: Signing at Our Table (Everyone)
8:00: Signing at Forbidden Planet (Matt Wilson)
10:30 – 11:30: Signing at Our Table (Everyone)
12:00 – 12:45: Marvel Signing (Matt Wilson) – Booth 1354
1:00 – 2:00: Signing at Our Table (Everyone)
3:00 – 3:45: Signing at the Image Booth (Everyone) – Booth 1544
4:00 – 4:45: Signing at the Image Booth (Matt Wilson) – Booth 1544
4:00 – 4:45: Signing at the Marvel Booth (Kieron Gillen) – 1354
4:45 – 5:15: Signing at the Avatar Booth (Kieron Gillen) – 1920
10:30 – 1:00: Signing at Our Table (Everyone)
3:00 – 3:45: Signing at Image Booth (Matt Wilson) – Booth 1544
4:00 – 4:45: Signing at Image Booth (Everyone) – Booth 1544
5:15 – 7:00: Signing at Our Table (Everyone)
10:30 – 12:45: Signing at Our Table (Everyone)
1:00 – 2:00: Signing at Avatar Booth (Kieron) – Booth 1920
4:15 – 5:00: Signing at Our Table (Everyone)
PANELS AND OTHER APPEARANCES
Always good to list these separately.
5:30 PM – 6:30: Avatar Press: Creativity Unleashed (Kieron) - Room 1A18 Where Kieron presumably has a ramble about his Avatar stuff, and god knows what else.
We should be at the Image Afterparty at some point too.
1:30 — 2:30: Using Tumblr To Sell Your Idea (Kieron) – 1B031
Where Kieron probably do live Meme-Performance art.
2:45 – 3:45: Cup O’Joe Panel (Kieron) – Empire Stage 1-E
The big fancy Marvel Panel where Kieron will probably mumble about Darth Vader.
1:15 - 2:15: Image: Where Creators Own Craft (Matt) - 1A21 Where Matt talks about how he saves our asses on a monthly basis. 2:45 – 3:45: Horrific Visions of the Crossed! (Kieron) 1A01 Where Kieron talks about the horrific visions of the Crossed. Presumably.
9:00 – 6:00 Lying in a hole and just crying and crying and crying and swear we’ll never do this again.