May 2020: Banished From the Light

Hey everybody,

The Usual

What’s it like to go outdoors and feel the sun and wind on your face? I barely remember any more…

Joking aside (I’m responsible for walking my very good dog Tia once a day so I have been outdoors, albeit keeping a very safe distance from everyone), the world might be completely different to the start of the year but for me at least, it’s starting to feel like a new normal. At some point I’m sure it’ll get back to “business as usual” with people being able to go out and socialise, but I think it’ll take us all a while to get comfortable with hugging our friends.

Here is Tia, who is a very good girl.

I’m going to try and avoid getting on a soapbox on this topic (because nobody needs to hear from me on it) but I’ve been watching the protests in America over the last few days following the murder of George Floyd by police, and it’s been very hard to stomach the extent of the police brutality on show. Do what you can, amplify the voices of black people speaking out and try to educate yourself on your own innate prejudices – it’s not just in America, in Britain as well a staggering number of us (myself included) benefit from white privilege and we need to recognise and try to make up for that. #BlackLivesMatter

Anyway, here’s the record for this month:
*Begun rewrites on issue #1 of SPACE COWBOYS following editorial feedback – first 12 pages amended

Again, I’ve not done a huge amount of writing this month – I’ve been back to full-time working from home – but I’ve had some progress in other areas. At the time of writing, I’m just waiting on the last batch of BLACK RUBRIC rewards (t-shirts and patches) to arrive at my house so I can start posting out everybody’s stuff; I’ve been in touch with a potential (fantastic) artist for HOCKEYTOWN; and the aforementioned rewrites.

SPACE COWBOYS is (hopefully) going to be a very emotional sci-fi story, so I’m spending a lot more time on character backgrounds and how the cast relate to each other than I perhaps have done previously. It’s drawing from some of the HEAVY FEELS I’ve had in recent memory and marrying that with a hopeful sci-fi story, so hopefully that emotion will come through when it’s done. Claire (Napier) has given me some fantastic feedback on the first draft of issue #1, so I’m tightening that up (4 unnecessary pages chopped out already..!) and will then use it as a springboard to firm up and write the rest of the story.

One more bit of admin – I’ve finally set up a functional shop on my website, so every comic I currently have print copies of (Brigantia #1, Unusual Tales #1 and The Black Rubric) is now available at https://chrismole.bigcartel.com/. Please do go there and avail yourself of my wares if you’d like to/are able! We’ll be launching the Kickstarter for Brigantia #2 in a couple of months and there’ll be a catch-up tier for copies of #1 on there, but if patience isn’t your strong suit…

This month’s playlist doesn’t have a particular theme or goal, it’s just a collection of tunes I enjoy – I read an interesting article this morning ( https://pitchfork.com/features/article/listen-to-music/) about the struggles of listening to new music at the best of times, let alone during a global pandemic, so it’s not too surprising that a lot of these songs are the aural equivalent of “comfort food”.

The first couple are in the J-rock/metal sphere – the Trigun theme tune is a classic banger and instantly recognisable, and track 2 is a studio recording of the song ‘Mikan no Uta‘ by one of my all-time favourite bands, the very cheesy Sex Machineguns – this track hasn’t been on Spotify previously, so I’m making the most of it! Le Matos are a great synthwave band who provide some tranquil bleeps and boops, then there’s an unpolished new recording of a CHVRCHES song which is absolutely one of their best. ‘Right Back Where We Started From‘ is an unofficial hockey anthem, due to it’s repeated use in the cult 70s movie Slapshot, and it’s just great fun. Ernesto Schnack provides a bit of a calm break, then we’re into the heavier back-end of the playlist – experimental BM from Secrets of the Moon, powerful and misandric BM from Feminazgul (recommended to me by Kieron Gillen, of all people), Sinistral King who embrace the more theatrical and imperious side of the genre and then a long and crushing funeral doom track from Ocean (a band I discovered at the age of around 16, when I would buy CDs at HMV based purely on the cover art) to close things out.

Enjoy the tunes, and take care of yourselves – we’ll get through this if we support each other.

All the best,

Chris

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