Good afternoon, folks!
It’s been what you could charitably call an “extremely busy” month over here – the day job has kicked up a notch or so, and I’m in the middle of preparing for a huge recording session with Ba’al next month so I’ve been bouncing from project to project like a pinball with anxiety. Still, it’s good to keep busy, right..?
Big news this month is that we finalised the list of stories/creators for the Secrets of the Majestic anthology that I mentioned in a previous newsletter, and we’re well into the planning stages! I’m very happy with the list of people involved – there’s a good mix of established creators and some newer up-and-coming talent, plenty of very good friends of mine, plus some names that I frankly cannot believe I get to put in the credits section 🤐
We’re planning a Kickstarter campaign for the book in the next month or two, so will do a big reveal of all the creators soon – given how niche the project is (comics about a very specific toilet beloved by Thought Bubble attendees!) we’re really going to have to hammer the pre-launch to ensure we can meet our target and get this thing made. Here’s a very sneaky peek at something I spent my bank holiday Monday putting together for it:
I’m hoping KS will let me set up another campaign this soon after the Art of Professor Elemental smashed it’s way to a hugely successful conclusion (£13k raised, over double our target!) but I guess we’ll see – very glad I’ll have the capable assistance of the Prof with fulfilment for that one, doing it all on your own is somewhat stressful!
Lastly, Brigantia work continues apace – Alaire is about midway through Volume 2 now, working on issue #5 (the second volume will contain issues 4, 5 and 6) and the pages she’s turning out are absolutely phenomenal. Here’s a sneaky peek to show you what I mean, I raved about this on Twitter but I’m doing it again:
- 4 pages written for my SotM story
- 6 pages written for the Mad Cave Talent Search
- 8 pages lettered for The Phoenix
Actually did some writing this month! Obviously having a few short things to work on was helpful – I decided to have a crack at the Mad Cave Talent Search because I had an idea for a story set in the Nottingham universe, and thought it’d be worth rolling the dice. I’m not expecting anything to come of it but if nothing else it’ll be helpful to put my name on their radar! I should also have a bit more lettering to do over the coming months – both lettering my own stories and working for other people.
I love The Muppets unreservedly, and the new show Muppet Mayhem (which landed this month) is utterly delightful – chaotic, funny and heartfelt. So of course I had to open this month’s playlist with the Electric Mayhem’s biggest hit! From there it’s a sharp turn into atmospheric black metal land with Fires in the Distance and Non Est Deus – I’ve been listening to a lot of new music in May and these two albums stood out. Eyes of Argus have done the heaviest, sludgiest Steps cover imaginable (yes, really) and then we’re into trippy psych-doom territory with Lunar Chamber. I look forward to every new album from The Ocean (my favourite band) eagerly, and their newest doesn’t disappoint, mixing their signature proggy/heavy riffs with a lot more electronic elements to great success. From there we’re going down synthwave street with Warrington Runcorn New Town Development Plan (yes, that is a real band name) and their concrete 70s dystopia version of the Blade Runner soundtrack. They’re followed by some chiptune/vapourwave hip-hop courtesy of Kill Bill: The Rapper, and then a very weird (but good) track I discovered on Bandcamp – Whatitdo Archive Group essentially soundtrack movies that don’t exist, and this one sounds like it could be from an imaginary Moebius adaptation. Lastly, how about some righteous fury? Benefits are a sort of hip-hop/grind/noise/garage collective from north-east England and this song hit me like a lightning bolt, a sneering takedown of flag-waving “patriots” who are happy for the country to turn to shit as long as they can lord it over people who don’t look like them. “Wave yer fucking flag” as a snarl of absolute derision – it’s powerful stuff.
Like the rest of the planet (seemingly) I’ve been pouring hours into the new Legend of Zelda game, Tears of the Kingdom, since it was released. It’s an absolute masterpiece – somehow expanding on the wonderful Breath of the Wild, refining it and presenting tons of new mechanics. Most importantly, it very much feels like a game where you can solve puzzles however you want – there might be one “right” way to get past this pool of lava, but you can try a bunch of things and one of them will probably work. It’s intellectually stimulating and satisfying in a way that most games have forgotten how to be. Plus Link hums snippets of classic Zelda songs when you toss ingredients into a cooking pot and it is ADORABLE.
Anyway, here’s an interview with the developers which delves into why it’s so good: https://www.polygon.com/legend-zelda-tears-kingdom/23720150/zelda-tears-of-the-kingdom-abilities-eiji-aonuma-hidemaro-fujibayashi
And here’s an article about the fashion and how you can absolutely turn Link into a gender-bending twink if you want to: https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/zelda-tears-of-the-kingdom-style
And that’s all from me for this month – thanks for reading and have a good rest of your week!
All the best,