February has rolled inexorably to a close (with an extra day this year, which really threw me off when I was typing this newsletter up!) and while I took a chunk of the month off for a very deserved break, some other stuff has been happening around the margins. Let’s get into it!
I’m conscious that I’m in the incredibly privileged position of having parents who are quite well-off, which is the only reason I was able to manage the holiday I did this month – I spent a week in Barbados staying at an apartment they own the lease on and therefore didn’t have to pay for any accommodation (big phew!) That aside, it was an absolute godsend for my stress levels – I’d reached what felt like a breaking point at the end of January, with the stress of day job/an additional data analysis course on top of the day job/two bands regularly practicing/comics stuff all conspiring to make me feel like an absolute desiccated husk. A week soaking up 30° heat and sunshine, eating lots of delicious seafood, drinking rum, splashing in the sea and sending a grand total of 2 emails (I tried to stop myself!) was absolutely what the doctor ordered, and I feel much, much better for it. The rest of 2024 needs to watch out because I’m back, baby 😤
That aside, I don’t have much to report on the project front – pages are starting to come together for SECRETS OF THE MAJESTIC, and I had a very exciting email relating to it last week which will be excellent if it all comes together, but BRIGANTIA VOL. 2 is still sitting with our hyper-talented letterer Hass to fit into his schedule. At the moment I’m still on course to have both books ready for Thought Bubble in November – the Brigantia KS will be in a few months once the whole book is finished, so I’ll spend about a month before launch date pushing the campaign link in everyone’s faces. Keep ’em peeled!
Also, because it’s a Leap Day today – I’m running a one-day-only sale on my webstore. Head to www.chrismole.bigcartel.com and use the code FEB29 for a 10% discount, today only!
– 4 pages lettered for The Phoenix
– 4 pages lettered for Secrets of the Majestic
– More emails than you can shake a stick at
Again, no writing progress this month – but that’s fine, I’m focusing on getting some of the projects which are already in motion cleared and out into the world before I start writing anything new. Know your limits!
Hell of a mixed bag this month! We’re starting off with something light from The Offspring, purely because “you gotta keep yourself hydrated” was stuck in my head for the entire holiday. Next up, it’s the ultimate cheesy power metal band Dragonforce covering Taylor Swift – A+, perfect, no notes. They’re followed by some heavy shit, starting with new solo material from black metal maestro Ihsahn (of Emperor fame) and followed by some antifa BM from Woe, a band that Ba’al have recently bagged a support slot for in London later this year. Next up is some excellent atmos black metal from Sunken who most of the band absolutely adore, and then we’re onto Ellende who also scratch that atmospheric BM itch. Last up in the run of heavy shit is a new track from Borknagar, one of my favourite bands and possessed of a distinctly unique sound. We then take a massive 180 – I finally watched Barbie on the plane over, so I now know and appreciate the song I’m Just Ken in all it’s glory. Finally, we’re closing out with my two favourite tracks featuring Barbados’ number one export, the mighty Rihanna (who they’re so proud of, they’ve made an “Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador”) – Bitch Better Have My Money, with a message we can all appreciate, and her cameo with The Lonely Island as a bank-robbing stunner saddled with Andy Samberg’s useless Shy Ronnie. Ha-haaa!
With thanks to Ritesh Babu who originally shared this one: https://vajra.me/2022/03/17/the-extractivism-of-setting-and-the-traitors-text/
It’s a bit of a deep read (and I’ll need to read it a few more times to fully grasp it), with a specific focus on speculative fiction and non-native authors playing in a jungle they can only lay claim to through colonialism, but I found this piece useful for interrogating the use of setting in your (my) own work. It’s something that has been at the forefront of my mind recently, with finishing the script for SENGOKU and the arrival two days ago of the new Shōgun series (which I am INCREDIBLY excited for) – how to tell stories set in a specific place/time that you have no inherent connection to without indulging that colonialist mindset? I hope I managed to arrive at the same conclusion as this article with SENGOKU, but time will tell (once I’ve found a suitable Japanese sensitivity reader to give me their take on it..!)
That’s all for this month – thanks for reading, enjoy your weekends and let’s hope spring starts to roll in properly next month!
All the best,