February 2020: Admin Stuff

Howdy folks,

Month 2 of the recap posts, and this one will probably be a little shorter than last month’s since I didn’t have a Christmas break in which to write this month!

Here’s the (writing) record for February 2020:
*3 pages fully scripted (SPACE COWBOYS #1)
*Lettering pass on THE BLACK RUBRIC
*HOCKEYTOWN re-drafting (issues #3 and #4)
*Edits and redrafts on a comics-related article

It’s not as long a list this month because a lot of my creative energy has been spent on other things – most notably gearing up for the final stages of getting THE BLACK RUBRIC ready for the Kickstarter campaign and printing. Katie’s been churning out pages with incredible efficiency, the campaign page has been approved and we’re close to launch. Our goal was to have all the pages (inks, tones and any revisions or corrections we want to do) finished by the end of February, so we could get some pages to Hassan for a preview/potential press coverage and then he can aim to finish the rest of the lettering while the campaign is running. Katie’s now done all of her linework and is powering through the tonals/revisions part – hopefully we’ll have everything done today on February 29th, the unholiest of days! 💀

Harriet’s also been powering through pages for BRIGANTIA #2 – all her linework is finished and she’s moved onto backgrounds, flatting and colouring. There’s some big action sequences in the issue and she’s absolutely nailing the character action in those, so I’m excited for people to see the pages – it’s been a long road to get this second issue out but we’re getting there.

The most enjoyable thing I did this month was to shoot and edit a Kickstarter video for THE BLACK RUBRIC campaign (as mentioned above). I had a really strong concept in mind – a loving parody of Immortal’s seminal, self-aware and extremely low-budget music video “Call of the Wintermoon”, in which the band (in full corpse-paint) frolic around in a forest trying to look kvlt. I recruited three good friends to get dressed up and we headed for my favourite spot in the Peak District. Thanks to how committed to the joke the actors were, it only took a few hours to get some excellent (and hilarious) footage on my phone of them running around wearing capes and gesturing at things. The following day, I spent all morning holed up in the studio editing the footage together into a short video, and a chunk of the afternoon recording some frostbitten black metal music and vocals as a soundtrack – considering how quickly it came together, I’m extremely happy with it, and I think it perfectly captures the ridiculous but loving tone I was going for. I’m also hoping it’ll be distinctive enough to draw people’s attention to the campaign..!

Here’s the (<2 minute) video, for the curious:

You can also sign up to be notified when the Kickstarter campaign goes live at this link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chrismole/the-black-rubric-the-comic

Right at the beginning of February, I took a rare weekday excursion down to London for the purpose of attending Kieron Gillen’s Comics Writing Masterclass session. It was an excellent evening – the room was packed and I made a lot of notes, which is generally a good sign of an engaging talk. Afterwards, some of us headed to a nearby pub with Kieron to have a few drinks and natter about comics, which was a lot of fun. I also got a sneaky pub peek at the first issue of Kieron’s forthcoming new series (with Jim Rossignol, Jeff Stokely, Tamra Bonvillain and Clayton Cowles), Ludocrats, and it’s an absolutely beautiful, bonkers piece of work – definitely worth your time when it drops on April 1st!

This month’s playlist is a real mixed bag – Borknagar (and specifically this song, Colossus) were a huge favourite of mine years ago, and I was reminded of them on the way back from the video shoot. PIST were a recommendation from a very dear and long-term friend – Manchester locals whose new album mixes in black metal elements with their sludge sound. Audioslave are a band that I’ve always enjoyed, and the refrain of this track stuck with me during some of my more maudlin moments this month. Le Menhir is a one-man doom project by a good friend of mine – I’ll actually be joining him on stage with some other musicians for the first ever “full-band” gig he does with the project on March 7th, so I’ve been listening to this song a lot to memorise it. Anthrax are probably the greatest thrash band of all time, so this one needs no introduction! Ihsahn is black metal royalty, having written one of the most important albums in the genre (Emperor’s ‘In The Nightside Eclipse’) back in the ’90s – I wasn’t expecting to hear an Iron Maiden cover on his newest solo album, but it’s a solid one! There’s another new Myrkur track on here because everything she drops from the forthcoming album is utterly perfect (and it will be my album of 2020, I already know this), and the playlist finishes up with the indisputable best Elvis song – I watched Blade Runner 2049 (which features this song) for the first time a few weekends ago and again, feeling maudlin at the moment, it stuck with me.

Thanks for reading – next month will almost certainly be a busier one!