November 2022: Stratospheric

Hey, folks!

I suspect this month’s newsletter is going to turn into a long one, given that it’s been a busy month, so apologies for that in advance – strap in, let’s get to it!

The Usual

Let’s do a Thought Bubble recap, shall we? This month saw me yet again in attendance at (in my opinion) the UK’s premier comic convention, Thought Bubble in Harrogate. As with every year, it was a delight to see so many pals that I spend a lot of time chatting to/interacting with online in person, and I managed to squeeze in enough socialising to keep me going for at least the next 6 months. Some highlights of the weekend:

  • Initiating several people into the Cult of the Majestic Toilets (and deciding, perhaps against my better judgement, to try and put together a toilet anthology for next year’s convention…)
  • Meeting Gail Simone, who I’m pleased to confirm is not a bear and is in fact a lovely human being
  • Drinks and good times with the Dangerous Nights crew
  • Making more money than I ever have at TB before, to the extent that I covered my hotel and table fees and got into (whisper it) actual profit! …profit which I then promptly spent on buying stuff from other tables. Oh well!

I know I say this every year, but comics people are the best people, and it’s a mantra that’s proven true every time. It’s truly a vibrant, welcoming, creative environment, and as is always the case I came home buzzing with the desire to make more comics! I don’t have space to shout out everyone who made it an incredible weekend, but you know who you are and I appreciate the heck out of each one of you 😤🖤

Since I finished sending out all of the Kickstarter packages (except for the three people who haven’t completed their surveys yet) in the first week of November, Thought Bubble also saw the official debut of Brigantia Volume 1 and it was extremely gratifying being able to show it off to people. Now that I’m out of the fulfilment woods I’ve taken a step back and can appreciate how much work we’ve put into it – I think the book looks beautiful, and I’m very proud of it. I’ve been reaching out to various comic shops (so I believe it’s now available in Gosh! Comics down in London, Travelling Man in various branches, and Destination Venus in Harrogate) – plus I’ve added the book to my online store and Comixology, so it’s officially available to the general public! If you’d like a copy (or you’re after gift ideas), it’ll be posted out in plenty of time for Christmas:

The Record

Even though I haven’t sat down and actually scripted many pages this month, it’s felt extremely busy! Part of that is lettering work, part of it is trying to get ducks in a row for some other projects. Anyway, here’s the count:

  • 8 pages outlined for The Black Rubric II
  • Prose piece written for a one/two-pager
  • Initial notes/plans/ideas for ‘Secrets of the Majestic’ (the aforementioned “toilet anthology”)
  • 8 pages lettered for The Phoenix
  • 3 pages lettered for Sharp Wit & The Company of Women

Phew! The lettering workload is likely to continue into next month as I need to finish the pages for “Let Justice Be My Axe“, and I’ve also agreed to letter some anthology stories for my good friend Owen Watts. Space Cowboys #4 and #5 have also gone off to my mighty editor Claire Napier – the last two issues of the story, so once those come back with notes on I can tweak them accordingly and we can start actively hunting for an artist (and try to come up with a proper title for it..!)

On top of that, one of the bands I’m in (Ba’al) have now finished writing new material – we’ve got 9 new songs, most of them epic-length ones, and the next step is to tweak/refine them and figure out any extra bits we want to add in. It’s a very different creative process to writing music or comics solo, but just as satisfying – especially when just throwing riff ideas around in the room results in an extremely heavy/catchy/atmospheric song!

Lastly, it doesn’t count as comics work, but I’ve done a load of wallpaper stripping this month and I’m getting ever closer to being able to bring in a professional to replaster/redecorate the spare room and the stairs. The tyrannical reign of the awful, textured, 80s wallpaper which fills most of the rooms in my house is almost at an end!

The Tunes
This month’s playlist runs the gamut from “tracks which link to stuff I did” to “heavy shit I’ve been enjoying”. We start things off with a blast from the past – the World Map theme from the phenomenal Final Fantasy Tactics by Masaharu Iwata. I was struck by the sudden urge to play this game again, and overjoyed to find that my tablet will run the Android version – it remains wonderfully written and fun. Next up is a track from the recent re-release of the Dredd soundtrack, remixed by Mogwai – I went over to Leeds the night before Thought Bubble to get my hands on the vinyl for this and it was very worth it, since I got to hang out with pals Rik Worth and Alfie Gallagher and watch Jock live-paint an amazing Dredd piece! Continuing the “comics” theme, here’s a heavy metal version of the famous Batman theme by Powerglove – the tragic news of Kevin Conroy’s passing hit while we were socialising at TB, and I think my Christmas break will be spent binging the animated series in tribute. Public Service Broadcasting are up next – I go back to this album a lot (and have put this song in playlists before) but it’s just so, so good! One more nerd song before we get to the heavy shit – Steel & Silver by Visigoth is based on the Witcher and has a very catchy power metal chorus which WILL get stuck in your head. Next up are a couple of big atmospheric black metal tracks I’ve been exposed to this month – An Abstract Illusion with a monolithic song, then the phenomenal Molten Gold by Toadeater. Weird band name, incredible album! Next is a classic Borknagar song – again, I’ve been listening to them a lot this month just because they’re great and fill me full of nostalgia for my college days. Penultimately we have a track by Brazilian prog-black-metal band Papangu recommended by my pal Adam who was an excellent table assistant at Thought Bubble, and rounding things off is a new MASTER BOOT RECORD track which showcases their unique blend of chiptune and heavy riffs.


The Links

I know that Twitter is on fire and slowly sinking beneath the waves thanks to a certain edgelord techbro, but here’s something delightful for you to get your teeth into – artist pal Jordan Collver, going through his process for researching and producing scientifically-rigorous comics which play with the form (and look beautiful, to boot!):

And that’s all for this month! Thanks for sticking with me, and I hope you have a lovely December – next month’s update will probably take the form of a yearly round-up with some recs for various things I’ve enjoyed this year and you may have missed.

All the best!


October 2022: All Aboard

Howdy, folks!

It’s been a busy old month, so without further ado:

The Usual

It’s funny how having a project unfinished makes you feel like you’re in a kind of suspended animation – it’s tough to allocate brain space to anything else because you have that lurking, lingering spectre of “you need to finish this first” squatting up there. With that said, earlier this month I finally got the (beautiful) printed copies delivered for Brigantia Vol. 1, and as of this going out, I’ve made a start on the postage! Overseas postage is going to be a nightmare because since I ran the campaign, costs have increased exponentially and the UK government decided it would be a great idea to force small creatives like me to jump through a million flaming hoops in order to post things outside the UK… but I’m committed to getting these packages out as swiftly as possible, because I’m very aware of how delayed they are. And once that’s done, maybe I can clear brain space for something else… right?

Next month also sees me stalking the halls of my favourite comic convention, Thought Bubble in Harrogate! It’s always a fantastic weekend of meeting up with comics friends I don’t see that often, and I’m hoping it’ll be a good year with Brig Vol. 1 finished and ready to go. Even planning ways to dress up the table so it’s a bit more visually appealing..!

You’ll find me in Comixology Hall at table 136 (handy map below):

I’ll have prints from the campaign with me, and several of the artists who drew those prints (Chris Wildgoose and Will Kirkby) will be tabling so you can pop over to their tables afterwards and get them scribbled on if you fancy – Harriet will also be at the con so if you have a Kickstarter copy of Vol. 1 that you want signing, don’t hesitate to bring it along!

The Record

As a consequence of being very depressed and sad after last month’s news, and the business of Kickstarter fulfilment/playing gigs/etc, I’ve written a grand total of zero pages this month. And that’s okay, because I’ve got a lot on my plate and I need to clear some of it off before I can prioritise anything!

I did, however, get up early on a Sunday morning and spend several hours recording/mixing a little piece of music for an upcoming Kickstarter campaign being run by my good friend Alfie Gallagher. You’ll find out more about that soon, but I had a lot of fun doing it (and I think I absolutely nailed the brief!)

The Tunes

CM: Oct 2022 – playlist by Chris Mole | Spotify

Chris Mole · Playlist · 10 songs

We’re kicking things off this month with a Halloween-related track – the theme from Prince of Darkness, by horror maestro John Carpenter. I’m a big fan of his music (especially his “Lost Themes” albums) and he’s in fine form here. Taking a sudden left turn, we’re into post-black metal country with Aquilus – these guys traverse a lot of ground in one song, but never lose sight of how to craft a vast atmosphere in the process. Oceans of Slumber were a revelation when I saw them at Damnation Festival a few years ago, and they’ve gone full ‘Southern Gothic’ on their new album, capped off by this phenomenal cover of old-time classic ‘House of the Rising Sun’. Cammie Gilbert is an extremely good vocalist! Speaking of good vocalists, Devin Townsend is back with new music – I couldn’t get into his last release, the extremely experimental The Puzzle, but this is definitely more my speed, starting as it does almost chiptune/videogame-like before climbing into something bigger. Ayreon (from the mind of the mad hippie Arjen Lucassen) are one of my favourite bands, so I was delighted to see the announcement that one of their best albums is getting the full remix/remaster treatment – these songs are like a warm hug for me, and I can’t wait to hear them sounding even better and polished up. Brutus are a new discovery – I saw people on Twitter talking about their new album and decided to check it out. I’m very into it – it reminds me of bands like Ithaca, with huge sludgy riffs overlaid by a female vocalist with great range. Recommended! Borknagar are another old-time favourite, and I’ve had this track off their last album stuck in my head for the past few weeks – it’s an ode to nature and the northern landscapes from one of metal’s finest vocalists (ICS Vortex), and it’s extremely catchy to boot! New Taylor Swift was obviously going to be on this list because I’m very predictable – the new album hasn’t grabbed me as instantly as Folklore/Evermore did, but it feels like it’ll be a sneaky grower. I’ll report back next month..! Sometimes I like listening to choral music to calm myself down or while I’m writing, and Miserere Mei, Deus is truly beautiful – lush harmonies and an overwhelming sense of peace. It also flows thematically into the next track, which is what I would consider the modern pinnacle of music & worship – Florence + The Machine, live in New York, pouring her heart into an absolute disco banger. One day I’ll sell a kidney for Florence tickets, and then I’ll try not to have a spiritual/emotional breakdown at her in public and look like a complete weirdo..!

I’ll call it there for this time – next month will probably consist mostly of a Thought Bubble recap (once I’ve recovered from the convention hangover…)

Thanks for reading, and enjoy what remains of your Samhain!

All the best,


September 2022: Cherish Every Moment

Hey folks,

I had a whole bunch of stuff I wanted to write about in this month’s newsletter (what with taking last month off for an actual holiday), but then a thing happened, and as a result I’m afraid this is going to be a rather sombre edition:


This is (was) my beautiful Rottweiler rescue princess, Tia. Due to old age (she was pushing 12/13) and the rapid onset of kidney failure, we had to make the gut-wrenchingly difficult and awful decision to have her put to sleep yesterday.

Right now I’m still firmly in the denial stage – I keep expecting to see her in one of her spots (curled up on a bed in my studio or at the bottom of the stairs) or hear her pitter-pattering around the house. It doesn’t feel real that she’s not here any more.

It’s going to take a while before I can think about her without crying – the way she used to bounce up and down in excitement about going out for WALKIES, the Paddington hard stare she’d give us every time we ordered pizza to try and guilt us into giving her a slice, how she’d roll on her back and be the silliest, most lovable creature alive. The world is a darker, colder place for her absence.

If you have a pet of your own, please give them a big hug and cherish every moment you have with them. You never get enough.

The Usual

I’ll keep the rest of this short because I have an (emotional) dehydration headache – big news this month is that I had a story announced in a new anthology which is currently funding on Kickstarter. The anthology is called Sharp Wit & The Company of Women, it’s being run by the wonderful Extra Pages Press and the premise can be boiled down to: SWORD LADIES from LGBTQIA+ creators. My story is with the phenomenally talented Lauren Knight and coloured by the wonderful JP Jordan, and here’s some more about it:


It’s 6 pages long and intended for anyone who likes a) tattooed guitar girls, b) heavy metal or c) misogynists getting their shit ruined. And if you don’t like any of those things, why are you even reading this newsletter??

You can back the campaign at – we’re currently just over 50% funded with 27 days remaining, so plenty of time to hit that target (and maybe some stretch goals)!

The Record

  • 6-page story for Sharp Wit & The Company of Women written
  • Print prep work for Brigantia Vol. 1
  • 1 page of lettering/skills hub for The Phoenix
  • 4 pages lettered

The anthology story came together remarkably quickly (the only editorial note I received on my first draft was a “Hell yeah” about one of the more dramatic pages) so most of my time has been taken up getting Brigantia Vol. 1 ready for printing. At time of writing, I’ve received the prints and bookplates from the wonderful Comic Printing UK and I believe the book itself is currently in the printing forge being created! It won’t be long now…

The Tunes

Predominantly heavy stuff on this month’s playlist – we’re kicking things off with Wormrot, a grind act from Singapore. 1 minutes and 15 seconds of fury, doesn’t fuck around. Nice. Next is Chat Pile – there are some truly haunting tracks on this release (in particular the last one, grimace_smoking_weed.jpeg) but this track turns a baleful eye on how broken our society is and pummels you with it. Heaviest song I’ve heard this year. Blackbraid is an atmospheric black metal project from an indigenous American musician – I always appreciate people bringing their culture into a genre and it’s even better when the music is this good. Couple of tracks from Japan next – BAND-MAID are a very recent discovery and truly the most insane, Japanese thing you can picture. Basically, they’re a group of cutesy girls who dress up like anime maids, but play heavy rock/metal with some excellent riffs? Similar vibes to Babymetal, except they play the instruments themselves. Wild. They’re followed by Asunojokei, who put out this very unique Japanese spin on atmospheric black metal which I’ve listened to a few times already. Tribulation, one of my favourite bands, are up next with a new track, and they’re followed by a complete 180 turn into classic crooning with Bobby Darin and Beyond the Sea. I binged season 3 of Marvellous Mrs. Maisel earlier in the month – it remains truly fantastic, and also got this track stuck in my head. Faith No More are next with Midlife Crisis – we watched a Youtube video where a classically-trained singer analyses rock/metal vocals and she didn’t know what to make of Mike Patton on this song, hence it’s inclusion here. Falkenbach are a band I’ve liked for a very long time – big, atmospheric synth-metal with similar vibes to Bathory and Summoning, this album soundtracked a very scenic drive I took over to the other side of the country a few weeks ago to buy a new guitar off a private seller. Lastly, we have Cluster, described by Matt Berry (of What We Do in the Shadows and Toast of London fame) as “early electronic nightmares” – I couldn’t not listen to it with a review like that, and I’m pleased to report that he was 100% accurate. It’s also the perfect soundtrack to a horror story I’ve been dabbling with so… thanks, Matt!

The Links

Just one link in here this month, an interesting longer read about visual effects and the way that the film & TV industry has completely and utterly fucked them:

The next time you find yourself tempted to complain/laugh about the CGI on a particular show or film – spare a thought for the poor bastard who’s had to spend hours upon hours working on it, only for a fickle director to ask them to scrap it completely and do something different in a quarter of the time with a sixth of the budget..!

That’s all from me this month – take care of yourselves, cuddle your pets, and have a good weekend.

All the best,


July 2022: Hottest on Record

Hey folks – July is over, and with it one of the fastest (and hottest) months I remember in a while. Some nice bits of progress this month, scattered in with everything else – let’s get into it!

The Usual

After last month’s “no pages, only V I B E S” situation, I have managed some more productivity this month. Chief amongst those is managing to secure a (truly fantastic) colourist for the next three issues/second volume of BRIGANTIA, which means that the creative team is set, apart from a letterer:

Line art: Alaire Racicot
Colours: Rebecca Nalty
Editor: Claire Napier

We’ve got less than a handful of pages left to go for issue #3, and Hass has been keeping right on track with the lettering despite a brief bout of COVID, so I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to get it off to CPUK in the first half of August and I’ll have plenty of time to check the proof before we do the full run. And then we can dive headfirst into issues #4-6! I’m very excited to see how this absolutely killer team interprets the script, which has already been polished and primped by the wonderful Claire.

The Record

  • 4 pages written (SPACE COWBOYS)
  • 17 pages outlined (BLACK RUBRIC II: BACK II BLACK)
  • 4 pages lettered
  • 2 pages of secret design work

Definitely a healthier-looking section this month! I finally found the energy and words to finish off the last issue of SPACE COWBOYS; now I just need to put issues #4 and #5 for that in front of Claire and start thinking about who could draw it. I’ve also made solid progress outlining the BLACK RUBRIC sequel – I wanted to make sure I could build on the first one and have something to say as well as continuing to take the piss out of the black metal scene, and I think I’ve come up with a hook that makes it worth writing. Aiming for something around 50-60 pages long, so double the length of the last one, but we’ll see how it goes!

The Tunes

This month’s list follows a bit of a bell curve; we’re starting off with some weird experimental ambient courtesy of SUGAI KEN, a Japanese artist I read a fascinating interview with this month. This isn’t my usual sort of thing but it’s a good soundscape to write to! Next up is JAMBINAI, who make instrumental post-rock with lots of interesting sounds and big crescendoes – definitely check out the rest of their material. They’re followed by the start of our climb into “heavy shit” territory, with a new track from one of my favourite bands, Tribulation – this yet again showcases their brand of “harsh vocals/bouncy as shit riffs” and I love it. They’re followed by Uneven Structure from France, with some huge, atmospheric prog-djent – I got into this album before I knew what djent was or cared about it, so I don’t really consider them under that label. Next up is VLTIMAS, a blackened death supergroup made up of members of Morbid Angel, Cryptopsy and Mayhem – my band played a support slot for them this month which was a fun time! They’re followed by Watain with a classic (and cheesy-named) slice of black metal – I don’t have a specific playlist for writing The Black Rubric, but I like to throw on the most OTT Satanic shit I can find to get myself in the mood. Cellar Darling have a bit of a silly name, but they’re formed of members of Eluveitie (one of few very good folk metal bands) and I found them interesting – there’s a lot going on here but it all works. Gilmore Trail are local to Sheffield and friends of mine – their album launch was this month which featured a live performance of this monolithic track. Most oppressively hot gig I’ve ever been to but a good experience nevertheless! At the bottom end of the bell curve, we’re closing out with a couple of electronica/pop songs – new material from The Midnight who are always a delight, with almost frustratingly catchy vocal hooks, and a new track from Metric which is equally earworm-y and will get stuck in your head.

The Links

Not a particularly long read this month, but I want to use it as a springboard to rant a little:

As somebody who’s half-deaf, I rely heavily on subtitles when I’m watching/playing things at home – to the extent that if a show or movie doesn’t have subtitles as an option, I will struggle to follow what’s going on and will probably just decide not to watch it. This line in the article particularly hit home for me:

“What I’ve noticed quite a lot online are people who don’t really understand the subtitles are for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. I’ve seen a lot of, ‘Why are the subtitles so overly descriptive? We don’t need these.’ And I know you don’t, but you weren’t the main audience for subtitles from the start.”

I honestly love this whole approach – subtitles shouldn’t just be a boring, passionless thing added to a show to ensure that you get the bare minimum of information required to understand it, they should absolutely try to bring you into the world of whatever you’re watching. Obviously there are certain occasions where you’ll just need to indicate what’s being said (quickfire dialogue scenes, etc) but when you have the opportunity to communicate the emotion or feeling that everything audible in the show (like music, foley and other sound effects, tone of voice) is working towards – do that, every damn time. Don’t deprive deaf or hard-of-hearing people of the same overall aesthetic enjoyment that you get from it.

There’s a crossover here with comics lettering, I feel – very basic comics lettering will absolutely communicate the information that you require to understand the comic, in that there will be words and you’ll grasp what the story is as a result of them. But if you can, why not fancy it up a little? Have the lettering work in tandem with the rest of the story to really communicate unease, or joy, or whatever else. If you’re not giving it some zazz, what’s the point?


Anyway, that’s all from me. Have a great August – I’m finally going on holiday (for the first time in about 4 years) at the very end of next month, so I’ll be giving the monthly update a miss while I cram every slice of pizza and every cannoli that exists in Naples into my gaping maw. Molto bene!

All the best,

June 2022: Bear Down For Midterms

Hey folks, it’s the end of another month (somehow!) Plus, it’s the midpoint of another goddamn year on this hellsphere – let’s try and stay positive, shall we?

The Usual

Definitely managed to do less writing this month – I don’t really have anything that needs finishing, since all the projects on my docket are either written or still in the planning stage. On top of that, the crushing financial pressures of the current cost-of-living crisis are really very good at dissuading me from finding the cash to kick off any more projects at this point – “sorry love, no money to pay the electricity bill this month because I used it to pay a colourist” is not a conversation I’m particularly keen on having..!

That said, I did manage to pull together an anthology pitch which I’m quite excited about – I’ve convinced a couple of frighteningly talented artists to team up with me on this one. Submissions open tomorrow so fingers crossed the editors like our idea! And I’ve also started work on a fun little something for The Phoenix – got some positive feedback on it already so that’s nice. Small steps..!

Moving away from writing progress, this month also saw my first trip up to Glasgow for Glasgow Comic Con. It was a delightful day full of great, friendly punters and post-con banter with pals – I especially want to shout out Fraser Campbell for his hospitality along with Tony Vanraes and Oliver Gerlach for their humour and company – Dangerous Nights crew represent!

Lastly, here’s me sprinkling some salt on a spicy riff with Ba’al last Friday:

(photo by Savannah Bagshaw)

It’s been a while since I did two gigs in three days (Friday and Monday) but these were a blast, supporting a band from Seattle called Pound on their UK tour. If you like technical, extremely downtuned instrumental RIFFS made by two very nice blokes, check them out immediately!

The Record

*1 anthology pitch/synopsis
*First draft scripts for a secret Phoenix thing

This section should be a bit fuller next month (he says, optimistically…)

The Tunes

Straight in with the heavy shit this month, brace yourselves! Allegaeon are a band that I first encountered years ago, and they’ve gone from strength to strength since – their latest album of prog-tech-death absolutely slaps. Der Weg Einer Freiheit are a favourite band of Ba’al’s bassist, Richard – the album this is from makes his top-4 all-time list, so I decided to give it a spin. Sprawling atmos black metal is definitely my shit, and this provides it in spades. Anaal Nathrakh are my go-to when I need a short, sharp shock – but despite the unrelenting vitriolic/nihilistic violence of their sound, their recent albums occasionally feel like they’re reaching for a brighter tomorrow. There’s a sense of bloody-minded, stubborn hope mixed in with the despair, as the title of this track (“Create Art, Though The World May Perish“) suggests. Danimal Cannon is a guitarist/chiptune/electronica artist of depressing skill, and I found out this month that he’s friends with friend of mine from Sheffield – it’s a small world! I knew nothing about Celestial City Symphony Orchestra before I heard this song – apparently it’s another one-man project with various other musicians collaborating, and it sounds huge. Next are a couple of perennial faves – this is the best Faith No More album for my money (sorry, Angel Dust fans) and fully shows off Mike Patton’s versatility. It’s followed by some lush acoustic folk from Agalloch – I did a listen through their entire discography this month which was a delight, and this track remains one of my faves. Changing gears dramatically, here are Pound – their song titles are impossible to write or say, but who needs a catchy title when you have riffs this girthy and titanic? New Spiritbox was a delight this month – only one album in and they’ve become a firm favourite band of mine, so I’m excited to hear more of what they have coming. And lastly, I make no apologies for liking Oasis – growing up in the vicinity of Manchester means it was illegal not to like (or at least tolerate) them, and I remain steadfast in my belief that they have some excellent songs. This is one of them (and a choral cover of it was used to devastating effect in the final episode of Lucifer – definitely got a few tears out of me!)

The Links

Just the one link this month; I found this article (about Hong Kong and the continuing shitshow that is China trying to take full control of the city) to be an interesting read:

I also want to take this section to shout out another newsletter that you should definitely be subscribed to: Letters From Limbo, written by the excellent Ritesh Babu:

His latest was a deep dive into Indian cinema inspired by the recent release of the movie RRR, which I watched this month – it’s a wild film, and his analysis really helped me to contextualise it given my lack of knowledge around Indian politics/history/mythology. Highly recommended if you like an occasional very interesting read!

And that’s all from me for this month! Thanks for reading and take care of yourselves.

All the best,


May 2022: Moloch the Terrible

Hey folks,

I’ve spent the last week or so positively vibrating with rage at the wider world, and it’s a curious contrast to things actually going pretty well on a personal level – the joy of low-grade anxiety! Either way, I’ll try to keep myself fairly even-keeled for this month’s newsletter…

The Usual

It’s been a quietly productive month, I think – I finally sat down and powered through the last of the bonus content pages for Brigantia Vol. 1, so the only thing left to do is plug in issue #3 once Harriet’s finished work on it, do some final proofreading and checking and then it should be good to go to print. There are only about 14 pages left and she’s keeping me updated on progress – so we’re definitely getting there, as long and stressful as the road has been. I’d been hoping for a little bit of a break from Brigantia before rolling into the second half of the story (with Alaire) later this year/into 2023 but that’s looking unlikely at this point – so I guess I’ll just stay on the train until we finally finish issue #6 and then have a breather! On that topic, here’s a coloured (but not lettered) teaser page from issue #3 I haven’t shared elsewhere:


In other project news, we sadly got our first rejection for the HOCKEYTOWN pitch – it was understandable (it’s a fairly niche sport and setting, and while one editor was enthusiastically on board with the hockey theme, others weren’t so keen) but definitely knocked me back for a weekend – coupled as it was with one of my bands losing out at a competitive show we played to try and win a slot at a massive UK festival called Bloodstock. Still, I’m choosing to take the positives from both experiences (we have some good feedback and can shop the pitch around some more, plus I’ve established a good professional contact with the editor; I got to play on the big main stage of my city’s most famous metal club) so I can get up and back at it! I’ve almost finished scripting SPACE COWBOYS, with just a few pages left of issue #5 to get through, so might be time to build that up into a solid pitch for this particular editor…

The Record

  • 3 pages scripted (SPACE COWBOYS)
  • 4 pages lettered (THE PHOENIX)
  • Assorted other stuff (see above!)

While I was lettering the other day, I decided to sit down and listen back to the BLACK RUBRIC tracks I wrote/recorded for that comic. And you know what? I’m still genuinely very happy with them, there are some beefy riffs in there and their overall feel is a great match for the comic. I’d better push the graphic novella-length sequel to that comic up my to-do list…

The Tunes

Not a huge amount of metal on the list this month – I’m branching out! First up is a new track from Karl Sanders (the guitarist of Egyptian-themed tech death metal band Nile, a huge favourite of mine) – his solo stuff is dark ambient/atmospheric which maintains the Egyptian mythology/history theme, and I love it. Following that is another track from the new Florence + The Machine album, which may already be my album of the year – just rammed full of great tracks and I will not shut up about it! Wet Leg are apparently in the zeitgeist at the moment – I don’t know why, but this song popped up on Spotify and I enjoyed it enough to include it. The slightly mumbly vocals aren’t usually my thing, but they work here! I’m always up for new Rotting Christ, and this track is definitely a different feel to their usual stuff – more anthemic and with more of a focus on the clean vocals. I guess this month is a “solo artists” month, because here’s Kirk Hammett of Metallica with his new solo album – and again, it’s pretty different to his day job, with a lovely Ennio Morricone vibe that matches the cowboy movie title. Couple of synthwave/chiptune-type tracks up next – Dita Redrum, which caught my eye because I love the SNES isometric RPG game Shadowrun (and this evokes that!) and then chiptune hip-hop from the superlative Supercommuter, one of my favourite acts. Their first two albums are laden with bangers and the third is also very good! Taking a bit of a turn, we have the metal corner of this month’s playlist: first is Nechochwen, a folk/atmospheric black metal project made by an indigenous American musician and drawing on his cultural heritage. I love this kind of stuff! Next is Desolate Shrine, who are just filthy, heavy death metal with a sludgy, apocalyptic edge. And finally, to close things out: an obligatory Eurovision track, courtesy of France’s Alvan & Ahez. I didn’t manage to watch the event this year (I was playing a ceilidh for a friend’s birthday) but caught this one on the highlights and enjoyed it!

Movie Talk

I’m going to change up the format here, and rather than give you a link, I want to expound a little bit about a movie I watched this month!


I picked up a blu-ray of Metropolis (1927), the German silent movie which is responsible for a lot of the science fiction we know and love today – the full movie was lost soon after it was shown, and it’s only in recent years that archivists discovered some reels of the full thing and have been able to restore it to (almost) it’s original form. I’ve never actually seen it before, and I’m glad I waited for the “full” version, because I was struck by how well a movie from 95 years ago worked. We’re immediately thrust into a strange world that nevertheless looks very familiar – a huge city, of impossible proportions, maintained by an army of nondescript workers who trudge down long corridors to their cramped, brutalist housing blocks beneath the earth. Above them are the wealthy, living in gorgeous art deco luxury. This movie is very, very clear on it’s politics, at least to begin with, and that message has only continued to be relevant in today’s brutally inequal world. By the point that Freder (the son of the city’s overlord, Joh Fredersen) has fantastic visions of the workers being marched into the gaping maw of the terrible machine demon Moloch, I was enthusiastically on board.

As the movie unfolds, we meet Maria (played incredibly by Brigitte Helm) who is inciting the workers to rebellion – interpreting the story of the Tower of Babel as a conflict between the wealthy intellectuals who conceived the tower and the workers tasked with building it. Maria is truly a fascinating role – Helm is tasked with being a religious symbol of inspiration and purity for the workers, a love interest for Freder and, in stunning fashion, the human face of a Machine Man crafted by the inventor Rotwang. In the last one, she’s an evil creature of wickedness, sin and temptation, inciting the wealthy to bloodshed over her and manipulating the workers into self-destruction. Helm is given the most varied role that I’ve seen in a long time, and she manages it with aplomb.

On top of the stunning (even by modern standards!) set design and staging, there are some huge set pieces in the movie, requiring hundreds of actors – it has the feel of a true cinematic epic. I’d highly recommend it!

Anyway, that’s all for this month – we have a long bank holiday coming up in the UK courtesy of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. I will (obviously) not be celebrating it, because I have absolutely no interest in flag-waving nationalism, but I intend to make the most of my time off work with a trip up to Scotland for Glasgow Comic Con! If you’re heading along, I’ll be on table H04 – come and say hello!

All the best,

April 2022: Second Winter

Hey folks,

Apart from a brief burst of sunny weather a couple of weeks ago, we seem to have been stuck in winter’s grip all through April and I’m beginning to get entirely sick of it – give me sunshine and warm temperatures! I want to wear shorts, feel self-conscious about my knees and complain about the heat (because I am British, after all..!)

The Usual

It’s been a quietly productive month on the scriptwriting front – the first draft of the first chapter of CYBERCLIMBERS (which I’m working on with the delightful Rosie Packwood) is written and met with her approval, so hopefully our editors will like it too. We also got a sneaky peek at the anthology our first collaboration is appearing in, and I can say with certainty that we’re in fantastic company – some excellent artwork in there!

The next thing on my list is to finish polishing up the scripts for Brigantia #4-#6 so Alaire can start on those later in the year. Progress is slow but steady on issue #3 – at this point I’m absolutely wracked with guilt about the wait our KS backers have endured on an almost daily basis, even though it’s largely out of my hands… I’m doing my best not to let it sour my feelings towards getting the second half of the story done!

I should also probably take the plunge and try to find an artist for the sci-fi story, but given the low ebb my self-confidence is at for this stuff, it’s difficult to think about. The Kieron Gillen joke about writers being parasites was obviously meant in good humour, but I’ve definitely internalised it – I rarely feel like artists would be excited to work with me, and it makes it very hard to try and pitch stories to people. I need to suck it up and get over myself, basically!! 😤

The Record

-11 pages written (for CYBERCLIMBERS)
-12 pages lettered (for The Phoenix)

Please enjoy this message I sent to Rosie about CYBERCLIMBERS, which encapsulates just how on the nose we intend to be:

What’s the point of a fun cyberpunk manga story about climbing if you can’t also make it about class warfare, huh??

The Tunes

It’s a big ol’ mishmash of new and old this month – some of my perennial classics that have come back into rotation for various reasons along with some new stuff. Let’s crack in:

First up is a band that I struggle to categorise, Wolfhand – essentially “Wild West doom”? This album is fantastic though, definitely worth a listen if you like BIG ATMOSPHERES. Next up is a cut from the new Carpenter Brut album, which oozes a different (more synthetic) kind of atmosphere and has some great collab appearances – like Norwegian post-BM titans Ulver on this track. After that we’re going more lo-fi with Japanese riot grrl punk from Otoboke Beaver – my punk-loving friend Helen recommended this band to me and I’m very glad she did! After that we have band who are impossible to do a Google search for, ΛΔΛΜ – this was a Spotify discovery and it’s great, but I can’t find anything else out about them. Nice, chilled track though! That leads us into a couple of oldies – Lower Norfair by my favourite videogame metal covers band Metroid Metal, which was part of my playlist for a 10K I ran last weekend (and therefore partly responsible for me managing an impressive 50:33 personal best!), followed by Amon Amarth. I came out of the Northman with this song blasting in my head so I had to include it! A trio of new tracks from old faves up next – the new Ghost album isn’t as good as their previous release for me, but it has some catchy ones, and the chorus of this track has been running around my head recently. Nick (my fellow guitarist in Ba’al) was the one who mentioned that the new Korn album is actually surprisingly enjoyable, so I gave it a go, and… he’s right, it’s decent (and nowhere near as embarrassingly painful as that new Limp Bizkit album…) I’m a fairly casual Meshuggah fan, in that I like some of their stuff but don’t think they’re messianic beings like some people seem to, but I enjoyed this track off their newest release. I have no intention of trying to understand how complex the riffs are – I’ll just nod along and enjoy the vibe! Lastly, some atmospheric black metal from Sylvaine to close us out – an easy way to make me like your band is to name a song Mono no Aware, after the Japanese concept of impermanence and transience of life. It helps that they also know how to craft big atmospheres!

The Links

Just the one link for you this month, but I want to talk about it a little bit. Have a read:

Some mild spoilers for The Northman abound below (although tbh, if you’ve read Hamlet you’ll know the story already..!)

I really enjoyed The Northman when I went to see it earlier this month – I’m a big fan of Robert Eggers’ previous work (The Witch and The Lighthouse are both fantastic movies) and while this movie is less overtly weird, it’s got plenty of visual stylishness and a muscular, powerful feeling that suits the “roaring rampage of revenge” narrative. The article above was an interesting read for me because of the way that Eggers, Sjón and their collaborators like Neil Price approached the idea of authenticity – there are some things that we can draw from the historical and archaeological record (Viking longships, brooches, etc) and some things that we can really only guess at (the thoughts and feelings of a Viking living in a world suffused with divinity and magic). What’s important is to take what we do know and weave it together with educated guesswork to serve the story you’re trying to tell – like the Tree of Kings in the movie, which is drawn from a real tapestry. The meaning of the tapestry is unknown, but as a symbol of fate it’s a throughline for the whole story.

I’ve also seen some commentary around how the white supremacists love The Northman (unsurprising, given the number of brainless right-wing morons who latch onto Viking runes and imagery), and criticism of Eggers for not doing more to dissuade them. My starting point for that debate is: neo-Nazis latched onto My Little Pony, seemingly the most innocent cartoon anyone could possibly make. They desperately try to claim any kind of cultural property and poison it for others. Eggers could certainly have tried to cast more diversely (it’s a myth that the Viking world was entirely white, after all) but I’ve no doubt that even if he had, the Nazis would have found a way to lay claim to it regardless – they spent most of the 20th century perverting ancient symbols which had existed for a thousand years before modern fascism cropped up. Maybe we should just… stop letting them do that?

That aside, anyone who watches the movie and thinks “hell yeah, so badass” is drastically missing the point – it’s a tragedy wherein the protagonist loses his entire family to murderous treachery, spends his life miserable and thirsting for revenge, is poised to start a new life then throws that away for the sake of vengeance. It’s not supposed to be aspirational!

That’s all for this month- take care, everyone!

All the best,

March 2022: Cresting the Wave

Hey folks,

It’s going to be a short one this month – I once again lost track of the days, and there’s been a lot of LIFE happening which has made it hard to find time for anything more involved. Let’s get to it!

The Record

– 9 pages written for CYBERCLIMBERS (with Rosie Packwood)
– 9 pages lettered (4 for Big Hype, 4 for The Phoenix)

Not the most productive month on the comics side, and I need to make some more substantial progress on the to-do list, but there’s a good reason for that – I spent a large chunk of the month filming/editing/preparing video content for BA’AL (the atmospheric post-black metal band I joined last year) in order to get our YouTube channel up and running. I really love doing this kind of video stuff because of the problem-solving aspect of it (how can I make this look the way it does in my head?) Anyway, you can see some of the fruits of that labour here (including my face getting technical about my amp/pedal setup):

There’s plenty more to come, so hit the subscribe button if you’re interested!

Oh, and the CYBERCLIMBERS pitch I mentioned in last month’s update got accepted (whee!) – so I’ve broken ground on scripting the first chapter for that. We’re aiming for a fun sports/tournament manga with a strong anti-capitalist message, let’s hope we can pull that off!

The Tunes

This month’s playlist starts off lighter and transitions to heavier, hopefully in what feels like a natural progression! First up is Kyosuke Himuro – but if you’re a nerd like me you might know it better as the song that plays over the end credits of FFVII: Advent Children. We had some bright and summery weather last week and this kept popping into mind! Next up is the phenomenal CHVRCHES – I got to see them live for the first time this month and it was a truly soul-enriching experience. Very weird being in an audience full of non-metalheads though..! Sleater-Kinney are one of my favourites and have graced this playlist before – this track in particular really captures the tired/wired vibes of life at the moment. Sea Power are new to me, but this new album was a great discovery and this is a stand-out track. Black Hill are another Spotify discovery, and I enjoyed the relaxed atmospheric vibes of this – very foresty. Next we’re starting to move into metal territory with Khemmis – great vocals and tight riffs. After that is another track from Matt Heafy’s atmospheric black metal project Ibaraki, and this might be my favourite so far – featuring Gerard Way of all people on harsh vocals! Never thought I’d hear him on a black metal track, but it absolutely works. Conjurer are making waves in the UK scene – I was introduced to them by the Ba’al guys, and this new track is a banger. Like probably many of you, I absolutely loved The Batman when I saw it this month – it’s a visually stunning and immersive movie, and the soundtrack is perfect. I had to commemorate it here, but with a twist – this version of Something in the Way is covered by the fantastic Litany for the Whale, featuring my boy Michael W Conrad (of Tremor Dose/Double Walker/Wonder Woman fame) on vocals, and it’s an immense, intense, monolithic interpretation of the track. Finally, closing the list out, we have the pagan folk vibes of Wolves in the Throne Room as a nod to the approaching spring.

The Links

Only one link this month – it’s always nice when something you loved when you were younger turns out to hold up well to modern scrutiny, right? Please enjoy this analysis of the movie Wayne’s World (one of the foundational texts of my personality) and in particular it’s treatment of female characters:

And that’s all for this month – stay safe and thanks for reading!

All the best,

February 2022: Sneak Attack!

Hey folks,

Once again, the last day of February has snuck up on me – on the one hand, I appreciate a shorter month after the never-ending hellscape that is January, but on the other it’s hard to process that we’re already getting into March and the years keep coming (and they don’t stop coming)..!


The Usual

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week or two (and if you have, you’re probably not reading this), you’ll have seen the global news – specifically Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It’s an atrocious situation and seems to have really taxed the ability of some people to hold multiple thoughts in their head at once – for example, it’s possible to support the Ukrainian people in standing up against a violent, imperalist oppressor whilst also acknowledging that our government has been horrendously complicit in empowering and enabling that oppressor. On top of that, I’ve seen some truly clown-makeup takes from people suggesting that this conflict is worse predominantly because most Ukrainians are white and “look like us”… as though the suffering of black and brown people in the middle East and elsewhere in the world is a tragic but essentially inevitable thing, but white people aren’t supposed to fear for their lives.

I don’t really have anything useful or insightful to add to the conversation, beyond this: Putin is a complete fucking dickhead who’s been coddled and enabled by a massive string of bedroom fascists across the Western world, and the Ukrainian people deserve to make their own choices. Let’s all hope things cool down before too long!

The Record

  • Pitch document for CYBERCLIMBERS (with Rosie Packwood) assembled
  • 12 pages lettered (8 for The Phoenix, 4 for Big Hype)
  • 1 anthology rejection (wheee)

Took a break from actually scripting pages this month – partly because I’ve spent A LOT of time at band practice (my folk/metal ceilidh band POWERHOUSE had a big show at the “Inter Varsity Folk Dance Festival” to prepare for, which we smashed a few days ago) and partly in favour of putting together a detailed pitch/synopsis for something Rosie and I are working on. Our collaboration for Big Hype (now called Jumpstart Comics) has been delightful, so when she put out a call on Twitter for writers to work with on a story idea that she’s had, I was keen to throw my hat in the ring. Fast forward a bit, and we’re pitching a chunky YA climbing tournament manga with a cyberpunk vibe and some very relevant politics! It’s been a lot of fun fleshing out this world with Rosie and I hope that folks enjoy it once it exists for real.

To get real for a moment: I struggle with rejection when it comes to my creative pursuits, because a lot of my self-worth comes from being a person who Makes Things and is creative. Obviously rejection is par for the course in comics because there are a lot of people trying to eat a relatively small pie, but anthology rejections in particular hit me quite hard – especially when I see friends excitedly tweeting about how they got in. Intellectually, I know I should be happy for them and supportive, but it’s very hard for me to slide over to that from the negativity of being turned down. That isn’t a fault of anyone else’s – it’s entirely on me and my fucked up brain – but it’s something I’m doing my best to work on.

(Here’s a quick pro tip, btw: don’t spend a whole day brooding about an anthology rejection then try to help your partner with the Crash Bandicoot remake – because that game is brutally hard, and being bad at videogames, a thing you’re supposed to be good at, is just going to give you a full-on panic attack!)

Anyway, the HOCKEYTOWN pitch went off to one interested editor earlier this month and got a very enthusiastic response back – it’s apparently going in front of the whole editorial team later this week so keep everything crossed for us..!

The Tunes

This month’s playlist is definitely weighted towards the heavier stuff – we kick things off with The Mist From The Mountains, who do big, atmospheric, melodic black metal. No “4-track demo recorded in a cave on a Fisher Price tape recorder” vibes here! Next up is a one-two punch of death metal – The Spirit mine a more cosmic vein (reminding me a little bit of Iotunn and Mithras) for their riffs, while Venom Prison and vocalist Larissa Stupar have gone for Greek myth on their newest album (which is excellent from start to finish). Next up is a little bit of gritty synthwave from Author & Punisher‘s new release, and that’s followed by a cut from the new Cult of Luna which I need to listen to a few more times – Mariner is still the pinnacle of their releases for me but this new record is very well put together. New Zeal & Ardor is up next – the new album is extremely listenable and there’s more snarl and bite to a bunch of the tracks, including this one. Try not to shriek “DEATH TO THE HOLY” at full volume for the chorus, I dare you! Following on from the Satanic vibes of Z&A is Twin Temple, with their Satanic doo-wop – if you haven’t heard this band before, prepare to enjoy, because they are very fun indeed. It’s been a good month for new music – I wasn’t expecting to get a new Florence + The Machine song, but here it is, and it’s amazing as usual! High As Hope from 2018 is one of my all-time favourite albums, so I’m excited for more from Florence. In the penultimate slot is a lush, relaxing piano piece from composer Phamie Gow – I tend to have ClassicFM on in the car (because when I can’t be bothered to pick something to listen to, classical is quite soothing) and spotted her name which led me to hunt down this album. Highly recommended. Lastly, in a nod to current events, the Ukrainian experimental & progressive black metal band White Ward close the playlist out with this track from a 2021 single which runs the gamut of their expansive sound.

The Links

Just two links from me this month – in today’s world, where corporate elites gorge themselves on wealth stolen from their workers, may I interest you in a suitably brutal horror comic that addresses precisely those kind of inequities?

Tomb of the Black Horse is the latest in a series by my good friends Ian Mondrick and Ben AE Filby, ably assisted by a host of excellent collaborators. It’s extremely worth your time!

Secondly, here’s a very interesting read about what’s happening right now and what it means:

That’s all for now – thanks for reading, and onwards into spring we go!

All the best,


January 2022: Once More Round The Sun

Howdy, folks!

It’s the start of a Brand New Year, and once again, it feels like we’ve already had enough bullshit to last a full 12 months. The more things change, the more they stay the same..!

The Usual

Barely a January goes by that I don’t fall into a bit of a seasonal depression, largely linked to the tedium and dissatisfaction of my day job. On the one hand, I have a steady, boring job that doesn’t ask much of me (allowing me time outside of work to do the things I love, namely comics and music). On the other hand, we live in a society where you need money to live, and when every single headline is screaming at me about PRICE RISES and ENERGY CRISES and a host of other things that will make life much more difficult… it’s extremely difficult not to conflate my sense of self-worth with my (not especially large) salary. Couple that with the financial challenges of making comics (a thing I love to do!) and it’s a recipe for very stressful times indeed.

I’ll get through it (somehow), and I’m doing my best to focus on things that make me happy, but it gets harder with every passing year. Part of that is because the people in charge of my country seem to be taking every single opportunity to brutalise people in my earnings bracket and below because if you’re not rich, they don’t care whether you live or die – but that’s a political rant for another time!

The Record

Continuing my hot streak from last month, I’ve made a pretty strong start on the ol’ project list and actually done some writing (!!) this month:

  • Outline for Space Cowboys tweaked
  • 22 pages of Space Cowboys issue #4 written
  • 14 pages of Space Cowboys issue #5 written
  • 2 pages of Hadopelagic prologue written
  • 4 pages lettered for The Phoenix
  • 5 pages lettered for Big Hype Comics
  • Hockeytown pitch finalised

Couple of items of note in there – #5 is the last issue of Space Cowboys, so we’re getting to the point where all the emotional chickens come home to roost. It’s definitely something I haven’t tried before, as a sci-fi story built less around spaceships and aliens (although both do feature) and more around gut-wrenching emotional trauma and Big Questions. The back half of issue #5 is basically going to be me throwing everything into the mix and dreaming up chaotic page layouts that the eventual artist will absolutely despise me for…

The Hadopelagic prologue is a nice little wrinkle – Neil McClements and I did it as a three-part story ( for Aces Weekly some years back, and a brief DM conversation with Alfie Gallagher encouraged me to go back to my plans for the series. It’s a story that I’m still proud of, and given the ecological elements of the plot it remains pretty relevant! Neil and I have plans to add on a brief prologue and an epilogue, conjure up some bonus content and do a little “prestige” print edition. Where we’ll raise the money for the printing remains to be seen, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there!

The story with Rosie Packwood for Big Hype Comics is close to done – all Rosie’s art is finished and now it’s just on me to slap letters on it. She’s absolutely crushed the pages for this – they look wonderful, and I’m very excited to share it with people. In fact, here’s a very sneaky exclusive peek at one page of the story, hot off the lettering press:


On top of that, we’re already hatching plans for our next collaboration which will take things up a few notches, so watch this space..!

Then there’s the Hockeytown pitch, which is now in a fit state (IMO) to start wafting it in front of publishers. I’ve sent the PDF document out to a couple of friends to gauge their reactions (because peer review is always good), so assuming nobody picks up on any massive, glaring issues with it we might be able to get things moving on that! I’m genuinely extremely proud of this story – it’s probably the most mature thing I’ve ever written (not just because of all the swearing) and Russ Olson (art), Dearbhla Kelly (colours) and Kerrie Smith (letters) are an absolute dream team who’ve made the pitch pages look stunning. I appreciate that I’m not an expert, but it looks like something Image would publish to me! (P.S if you’re reading this and would like a look at the pitch, my DMs are open..!)

Lastly, we’re getting ever closer to done with issue #3 of Brigantia – Harriet is soldiering through the pages and getting them inked up and coloured to perfection. We’ve set the end of February as her hard deadline for getting the pages done so we can press on with getting the book printed and out to our extraordinarily patient and wonderful backers. On top of that, the lovely Claire Napier has sent me some notes back on issue #4 and will be casting her eyes over issues #5 and #6 as well – so the next few months are likely to be quite busy on the Brigantia train!

The Tunes

“Comfort listening” is the theme for this month’s playlist; even though it starts right off the bat with the heavy stuff, a lot of these are songs I’ve listened to and loved many times before. First up is a newbie from Show Me A Dinosaur (who might as well be called “We loved the Deafheaven album New Bermuda so we tried to sound just like that”!) which hits my sweet spot of colourful riffs and nasal shrieking. Next up is progressive, atmospheric, antifascist Dutch black metal from Fluisteraars who are v. good, and they’re followed by some classic Chthonic from the excellent album Mirror of Retribution. It’s Taiwanese black/death metal about the Buddhist underworld! What’s not to love?? With The Dead (fronted by the mighty Lee Dorian of Cathedral and Napalm Death) are staggeringly heavy, and I’m amazed that my ears still function at all after seeing them live back in 2016 – this song is on my writing soundtrack for Space Cowboys for reasons known only to me! Ibaraki is a new project from Matt Kiichi Heafy (guitarist/vocalist of Trivium, who I absolutely idolised in my sixth form days) and Ihsahn of black metal titans Emperor – atmospheric BM about Japanese mythology, something that Heafy has an ancestral connection to, is once again firmly in my wheelhouse and this track is a very promising start. Next we’re into cheesy power/folk metal territory, with Sabaton (I’ve been watching some very good/interesting WW2 documentaries recently, and this track always pops into my head whenever I think about D-Day) and Turisas (a recent podcast episode I listened to about the collapse of the Byzantine Empire discussed the Varangian Guard and reminded me of how good this album is!) Hail Spirit Noir are up next because the absurdly catchy hooks of this song kept creeping into my brain this month, and we close things out with a much lighter one-two punch of Japanese Breakfast (from the soundtrack of the game Sable, which I distressingly haven’t been able to play since it’s Xbox/PC only) and Taylor Swift‘s version of Wildest Dreams from the album 1989. When she releases her version of the full album, you will need to prepare for me listening to/talking about nothing else for a solid month – 1989 was the first T-Swift album I heard and it remains an absolute classic.

This has already gotten somewhat longer than I anticipated, so we’ll close it off there! Thanks for reading, and I hope 2022 treats us all better than 2021 did…

All the best,