Once again, February has careened past me in a Dodge Viper with the top down, flipping me off aggressively as it screams away into the rear-view mirror. Which is to say: compared to the inexorable length of January, I am once again bemused by how quickly this month has gone past. It’s felt like a busy one!
Most of my “creative docket” this month has again been taken up by various bits of admin and not actual writing, which is a state of affairs that I need to try and improve on. Given the number of projects that are moving towards some state of fruition and are already written, though, it doesn’t feel as urgent – I got ahead of myself last year (and the year before that), and my logic-brain is reminding me that there’s no point having another series fully written and sitting on the backburner while I can’t guarantee the funds to make it happen. Let’s clear a few other things off the slate first!
First amongst those is a Kickstarter with my good friend Professor Elemental – over the past 10 years we’ve made a lot of comics together (over 200 pages’ worth, to be exact) and the time has come to finally put together a big artbook/collection of those stories so that they’re all accessible in one mighty hardback tome, alongside a ton of other artwork that the Prof’s mini-empire has spun off. I’ve been building the campaign page for that and we’re anticipating a launch towards the end of next month, so just a heads up that you may get additional emails from me when it goes live to encourage you to take a look! As usual there’ll be digital and physical copies available, and postage will be much more affordable within the UK (sorry, non-UK readers, but it costs an insane amount of money to post a hardback book these days..!)
Brigantia #4/Vol. 2 also continues to roll onwards, with pace – Alaire is doing a phenomenal job with the pages, and I’m very excited to share them with you all. Here’s a sneaky peek of an inked page to whet your collective whistle:
Realistically, given that I’m having to take a bit of a break from Thought Bubble this year (due to a family wedding, I’d only be able to do the Saturday, so I’ve only applied for a half table), we’ll not be able to launch it at TB this year – but I’m anticipating all the inks being finished by the end of the year, so come 2024, we can finish off Brigantia’s story (for now..!)
So, some solid progress being made on some fronts! Let’s keep it going 🙂
- 18 pages lettered for The Phoenix
- Yet more worldbuilding doc stuff for SPACE COWBOYS
Hot on the heels of the book-length story I lettered for The Phoenix last month, I was also tasked with lettering some in-between pages to fill the gaps between that story and the other ones that will be included in the collection. This was my first real experience of a very tight deadline, and it was not a fun time at all – I worked my regular 9-5 day job, but was doing extra hours before and after work trying to get all the pages done in time while not skipping band practices. I managed it (18 pages in just over a week!) but I was absolutely shattered on the Friday after I’d turned them in and slept for about 12 hours! Hopefully it’ll be a while before something like that comes around again…
Also, the recurrence of the SPACE COWBOYS worldbuilding doc should provide some clues to what’s going on with that – I’ve found an artist for the story, and we’ll hopefully be starting work on some character designs/pitch pages next month. It’s very exciting to get to this stage on a story that’s extremely personal to me (for a variety of reasons, it’s the most emotionally-charged thing I’ve ever written) so I’ll be looking forward to sharing snippets of that as they get drawn!
Let’s get some music in your lugholes! An eclectic mix this month – we’re starting off with the Tallon Overworld theme from Metroid Prime, reimagined by the fantastic Metroid Metal. I’ve been pouring hours into the remastered version of Prime that just came out – it’s a phenomenal achievement, and the game looks (and plays) wonderfully. Next, and continuing the alien theme, is the opening track from the newer version of Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds. I love the original as well, but Liam Neeson is a genius casting for the Narrator and this remains a certified banger. Orphaned Land are a great prog-metal band from Israel, who’ve put out some classic albums (like Mabool, which is just fantastic). Apparently they have a large Arab fanbase, and this track in particular hammers home their message of peace between different faiths with uplifting choruses and a pristine guitar tone. I spent a day at work listening to an AFI best-of – my partner is a huge AFI fan, and they have some great songs (like this one, which doesn’t fuck around!) New discovery up next – Pyramid Mass play space infused death-doom, and I was drawn in by the Moebius vibes of the cover art for this release. This track twists and turns a few times, with some weighty riffs scattered throughout.
Black metal time? Black metal time. Skeletonwitch’s last album remains a surprising but wonderful thing – fantastic-sounding atmospheric BM with some savage riffs sitting beneath the reverby guitar tone. Next is another new discovery, Hekseblad – my best description for this is “Witcher-themed raw dungeon synth BM”. It’s a fun listen! I’ve been fiddling around with some chiptune stuff this month again (I still have dreams of putting together a solo release of chiptune stuff), so this track from Zef & Danimal Cannon was on the inspiration list for that. Big, bouncy electronic riffs that will make you bang your head – similar vibe to Master Boot Record (except this came out first!) Another new The Ocean track next which highlights that this new album is definitely going in a more electronic direction – and I dig it. Lastly, hot off the presses is a new Svalbard track from their forthcoming album. It sounds great, but I feel like it ends too soon – give me more of those riffs please!
This isn’t a recent link, but we’ve finally started watching the most recent seasons of Letterkenny so I’m taking this opportunity to tell you that you should also watch it if you haven’t already:
And that’s all for this month – as ever, take care of yourselves and thanks for reading!
All the best,