Out Now: Mercury Heat TPB

The Mercury Heat TPB is out today, which collects the first six issues and the FCBD issue of the series. Mercury Heat is, of all the books I’ve been doing, the one that’s most under the radar. Which is a little odd as “Sci Fi action police series set on Mercury” isn’t exactly me at my most pretentious.

Mercury Heat came from around 2008, when William and I were first talking Uber. He wanted a female-lead action story. Whatever genre you like. Go play.

I came up with a semi-hard sci-fi piece of ultraviolent satire, in the mode of 2000AD and Warren Ellis’ early-00s action-movie-on-paper with a splash of overthought out World Building. If it came out when I wrote it (in 2010) it would have been worryingly prescient, I fear, but even now you get to see the horror of a world where all jobs are basically ran by a glorified Uber app.

(As in, the taxi series. Not my other Avatar comic.)

I talk about it a bunch more here, and the FCBD book is also available to read online for free which includes a lot of yabber about the world-building and everything else.

You can get it via your local comic shop or whatever bookseller is your choice.

Out Now: Mercury Heat #8 and Darth Vader #17

And it’s a big sci-fi week, it seems.

MERCURY HEAT #8 is the second part of the second arc, and very much where we dive head first into the situation we set up last time. It’s (er) an unannounced crossover with another Avatar comic, except clearly not exactly that simple. How we walk the line between the content of that book and our one is where a lot of the fun is. There’s stuff in this issue which makes me laugh, just because how hilariously Nahuel has rendered it. Hope you like it. I suspect this is the most fun I had with an issue last year, in terms of writing.

Available at your local shop or digitally.

The second issue of Darth Vader’s THE SHU-TORUM WAR drops, where Vader deals with the fallout from his trying to crush pesky rebels beneath the Imperial Jackboot.

It’s available from your local comic shop or digitally. Preview here.

London Film & Comic Con

It’s London Film & Comic Con this weekend, and I’m popping along for a while.

Here’s my schedule…

SATURDAY 27th FEBRUARY

12-2pm: At Table.
3-5pm: At Table

SUNDAY 28th FEBRUARY

11pm: Writing for Star Wars panel: John Ostrander, John Wagner and me.
12:30 – 2pm: At Table.

Hopefully see some folks around.

Out: Siege TPB

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Steve Morris talked a little about it over at Comics Alliance this week.

It’s essentially a distillation of everything Kieron Gillen’s ever worked on at Marvel, blended up with a bunch of hallucinogenic items leftover from the third volume of Phonogram. Sounds interesting, right?

Which sounds about right.

I keep on meaning to make writer notes on this – I’ve started on doing some for Immaterial Girl, but Siege has lagged behind. There was a bunch of things I was playing with, which I suspect may be fun to talk about. Or maybe really annoying. Possibly both.

I think it’s a giggle, in my particular mode. It’s a swansong to my time with the Marvel Universe, consisting of a series of alternate takes on stories I never got to tell, and is a big massive metaphor of what it was like working in the MU. It features some of the worst puns I’ve ever written and an ending which made me tear up when writing it.

It’s been fun. Hopefully Siege shows that.

Siege is also available on Comixology.

Modded

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I wrote a little overview of MODDED over at Bleeding Cool, which is very much me in bumbling ramble mode. It also features an unfortunate metaphor involving a jar of wasps and a penis (mine). Probably best to read it all there, but I’ll pull out a few random quotes to go along with the art from the preview.

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“Modded is R-rated Pokemon in the style of the Fast & The Furious in a Mad Max universe. It’s written by me. I’m the Eisner-Award losing writer of various bits and pieces.

Like the art? Of course you do. Ig‘s a monster. You’re all going to fall in love with him. He’s got that level of inspired brutality and unleashed invention that a project like Modded demands. The creative process basically goes “Dude! I need a monster!” and Ig sends me a monster and I go “Dude! That’s a fucking monster!” and Ig gives me the thumbs up, and then we hold each other for a while.

Well, that’s all you need to know, right? It’s in Cinema Purgatorio, out soon, buy it.

Byeeeee!”

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It’s also a chance to play in a form I’ve got enormous fondness for which I’ve never really had a chance to actually do – namely, the serial short-form comic. I suspect I’ve written more short-form work than most writers who’ve worked recently in the American superhero-mainstream. While I ran a mile from the once-traditional British Writer2000AD Future Shock training programme, my own dirty black and white photocopied zines used the form exclusively. I’ve grabbed the chance to do any short comics I can, most regularly in the back of the single issues of Phonogram. But to do a pop, dirty, regular comic? Never. Which means I desperately want to do it. In writing terms, I’m the guy in the bar who ends up inserting a delicate part of their anatomy in a jar full of wasps just because they’ve never tried it before, and you’ve got to try everything once, right, right?

So Alan Moore comes up and offers me a jar full of wasps? You better believe my cock is going in.

Metaphorically.

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Modded is set in a world which fundamentally ended 37 years ago, with the Etheric Invasion which destroyed the world (aka the arrival of Space Invaders). Are you the sort of person who just went “Space-Invaders? What about Pong?” Well, I suspect this is the book for you, because the difference between Pong’s impact and Space-Invader’s impact is exactly the sort of thing we touch on. And hey, don’t stop at Pong. Go to Space Wars. Go to Turing’s first chess program. Go to HG Wells with his Little Wars. Go to Kriegspiel. Go to the first person who sat down, carved symbol on a bit of bone and realised you could do probably have some fun with these “dice” things…

I suspect many people in comics don’t know about my awful prehistory. For a very long time, I used to be a game critic. I worked for everyone, won awards and did literally anything a critic could do. I was moderately infamous, to a level where my name still turns up in textbooks. A lot of people hated me, which was a pretty good training level for dealing with writing comics. Point being: I love games, I love what games can do and I’ve missed having a place to publicly show that. And like anyone who really loves something, I understand the ambivalent and complicated feelings that should provoke. Don’t expect anything as comfort-food gee-aren’t-we-all-so-amazing-for-having-played-D&D as READY PLAYER ONE. I’ve been away for five years. I’ve been thinking.

This is mainly expressed in the form of jokes, because life is too short and I want to have some fun with you guys.

MODDED is fun. Is “fun” still a scarlet letter in comic? I don’t think so, but even if it was, MODDED isn’t that kind of fun. Most Fun books seem to be the all-ages stuff parents would buy for their kids. Modded is the sort of Fun book that kids buy and hide from their parents. It is, appropriately for Cinema Purgatorio, illicit.

That’ll do. Lots more over on Bleeding Cool.

MODDED is one strip in the forthcoming Cinema Purgatorio, which is a black and white anthology by Alan Moore, Kevin O’Neill, Garth Ennis, Raulo Caceres, Max Brooks, Michael DiPascale, Christos Gage and Gabriel Andrade.

Kickstarter is ongoing for those of you who like collectible malarkies. Keep an eye open for it come release. I’ll let you know when you can pre-order it.

Out: Darth Vader #16

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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.

It’s available from your local comic shop or digitally. Preview here.

Out Today: The Wicked + the Divine Volume 3 and Mercury Heat #7

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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.

It’s available from your local comic shop or bookseller. Here’s Midtown and TFAW for US folks and Page 45 for UK ones. And it’s on Amazon (US/UK) too, obv.

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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.

Cinema Purgatorio Kickstarter (Feat. 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…

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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.

Out Today: Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl 6. Plus Update!

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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.

You can buy from your local shop, or digitally from Comixology or direct from Image. Preview here.

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Also, April Image solicits are up…

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.

Also…

TWTDHCvol1-Cvr585x900-500c0

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.

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Other news!

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.

Onwards.

Out Now: Star Wars Annual #1

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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. 

There’s a preview here, and you can get it from your shop or digitally.

Oh – lots of other stuff out this week, but I want to give a plug for INSEXT by Marguerite Bennett and Ariela Kristantina…

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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.