March 2020: A New World

Howdy all,

Well, things have certainly changed a lot in a month..! Since my last post (as you’re almost certainly aware) the world has been gripped by COVID-19 (or ‘coronavirus’) and the UK has now gone into full lockdown to try and slow/stop the spread of the disease. From a purely selfish perspective, it’s been pretty good for my creativity – I’ve had a lot more time to work on projects while quarantined/locked up at home!

Here’s the record for March 2020:
*22 pages fully scripted (16 for PROF ELEMENTAL: NEMESIS; 6 for Gail Simone’s COMICS SCHOOL)
*Two sets of interview questions answered (THE BLACK RUBRIC press coverage)
*Lettering pass completed on BRIGANTIA #2

Not a huge number of pages scripted, but two separate projects started and finished! For NEMESIS, I wrote the entire 16-page first draft in a day – it’s been a while since I’ve been hit with the inspiration bug that strongly! This story is intended to delve into the backstory of the villain for the next Prof Elemental album, Nemesis – it’s the Secret Origin of the character and will explain quite why he despises the Professor so much. It needs to both be a compelling story and also provide a springboard for the Prof and his collaborator Mos Prob to bear in mind when they’re writing the lyrics for the album – hopefully I’ve managed to achieve that.

COMICS SCHOOL is a very fun thing that writer Gail Simone did on Twitter this month – she ran a 5-day course over Twitter with the goal of teaching anybody who was interested how to write a comic script. Part of the course involved coming up with a springboard/outline for a short comic in either one or two of a list of genres and then writing the script over the 5 days. I rolled crime and fantasy, and my 6-page script (entitled ‘THE HELLFIRE DIVISION’) is available to read below if you’re interested. I might try and find an artist for it at some point..!

Script link: click here!

THE BLACK RUBRIC Kickstarter is launching today (March 31st), so we’re full steam ahead with trying to promote that and hopefully reach our goal. Given the current state of the world, I was very unsure about whether to go ahead with the campaign – there are obviously other things that people will be concerned about – but since our goal isn’t massively high I decided to launch it as planned and hope that people back it because they’d like something to look forward to. All the pages are now completely done and they’ve gone to Hass for him to work his lettering magic – please check out the campaign (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chrismole/the-black-rubric-the-comic) and pledge if you’d like a copy!

I probably need to retire the phrase ‘this month’s playlist is a mixed bag’, because at this point all my playlists are going to be a little eclectic… nevertheless, here’s the selection for this month! There are a couple of heavy tunes, notably Forgotten Paths by Saor (an excellent folkish black metal band), Tere Muur by Fluisteraars (a Dutch atmospheric black metal band recently recommended to me) and the aptly named Virus Bomb by Anaal Nathrakh (one of my favourite bands – nihilistic, brutal, uncompromising extreme metal that sounds like the world ending). On the slightly lighter side of the spectrum, some post-metal from Red Sparowes (this album, Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun, is an absolute masterpiece) and The Ocean (again, fantastic album, fantastic tune). Lighter still is Go! from the incredible Public Service Broadcasting; we watched the Apollo 11 documentary on Netflix this month which was riveting viewing, made entirely with archival footage captured during the mission, and this song makes fantastic use of sampled audio from mission control. Plus it has a straight-up groove! Finally, there’s some jazz (the Overture from Whiplash, an incredible movie that has stuck with me), an instrumental from the tranquil underwater videogame Abzu, some equally relaxed folk from the incredible Myrkur (whose Folkesange album is already my album of 2020) and a fresh country bop from an acquaintance of mine, Country Legend Roky Moon!

Enjoy the tunes, and thank you for reading! See you next month (when the world will certainly have changed even more…)

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