February 2024: Island Time

Howdy, folks!

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!

The Usual

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 😤

A photo of palm trees against an ocean, at sunset
The view from the road next to our apartment

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!

The Record

– 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!

The Tunes

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!

The Links

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,


November 2023: The Neverending Pile

Howdy, folks!

It has once again been a hectic month and I’m rather feeling the strain of it – turns out that running a Kickstarter remains a stressful experience, and rather more so when a) it’s an anthology, so there are a lot more people you want to succeed for and b) you’re doing it in a climate where social media is utterly broken and there are at least two major conflicts currently going on in the world, so spending all your time shouting about toilets feels a little bit ridiculous..!

Add to that a general feeling of impending burnout on the band front (this year, with two bands, I’ve recorded an album and an EP, with another EP on deck next week; played several big festivals and done a UK tour) and I feel a little stretched… like butter scraped over too much bread.

Thought Bubble was also a weird one this year – I was forced to do a truncated appearance due to a family wedding on the Sunday, and it meant that I never really got into the swing of things. It was a fairly quiet day sales-wise, but I’m happy to attribute that to me not really having anything new on the table, and only a half-table at that as much as it’s down to the con being much more insanely busy than I remember it being the last few years. Still, my tablemates were a delight and it was lovely to catch up with friends, albeit for less time than I would normally do. Next year I should have both the anthology (more on that below) and Brigantia Vol. 2 to launch, so hopefully it’ll be a big one!

A large group of comics people cheering while sat on the bench in the toilets of the Majestic Hotel
Still managed to do this though – huge thanks to the contributors to Secrets of the Majestic (as many as we could round up) for indulging me!

Thankfully, my last creative endeavour of the year (an emotionally charged gig with Ba’al at the Heel Turn “For Absent Friends” all-dayer) is scheduled for the 16th of December, and after that I can take a bit of a break until 2024 rolls in. The current plan is to eat cheese, watch a lot of movies and do basically (pardon my French) fuck all. But before that, let’s crack in:

The Usual

November was toilet book month, with Secrets of the Majestic rolling along on Kickstarter. The campaign closes today, and I’m very glad that we’ve made it over the finishing line, with (at time of writing) 327 backers – a record high number for me! It’s been extremely gratifying as ever seeing people pull for this book – obviously the creative teams are all fully on board with the Majesticus Cultus, and their enthusiasm has buoyed me throughout a sometimes difficult campaign, but seeing other people who aren’t directly involved with the book wave the banner for it has been really touching.

Anyway, now that the funding hurdle has been passed, we get to do the fun bit – making a bunch of stupid toilet comics! I’m very excited to get stuck into that (and to see what kind of magic Chris Wildgoose can produce from our script). I’ll be sharing more as development progresses, of course!

The Record

  • 8 pages written – SENGOKU

I’ve made some more progress on SENGOKU, the samurai story I’m putting together with Andrew Browne. Everything is in place for the last act of the story, I just need to dive in and get the first draft nailed down. It’s a much more contemplative, character-driven story overall than you might think given my love of samurai action and katana duels, but the last act is where we get to cut loose and have some ridiculous Takashi Miike-esque fight scenes. I’d also like to get it finished and written before the new FX adaptation of Shogun (one of my favourite novels) comes out in February so I don’t end up accidentally cribbing from that…

The Tunes

This month’s playlist is fairly short and sweet! We kick things off with a cut off the new Gunship album, featuring Power Glove – not to be confused with the videogame metal band Powerglove, but a great collaboration nonetheless. Next up is some synthwave gorgeousness from Ocoeur, which I picked off the excellently named “POV: ur in an 80s film driving at night” playlist on Spotify. We then take a turn into some upbeat thrashy metal, with new Gama Bomb up first (I haven’t listened to a lot of their stuff, but I appreciate throwback thrash now and then) followed by Singaporean grind monsters Wormrot (who are apparently playing Sheffield next year with Napalm Death, Pig Destroyer and Primitive Man, a bill designed with surgical precision to reduce the entire city to nothing more than smoldering ashes). Next up we take a trip into atmospheric black metal country with Blaze of Sorrow and their viola-heavy blastbeats, followed by a new track from the king of BM Ihsahn where he’s leaning very heavily on the orchestral elements (and I dig it). Michiru Aoyama is a mini-swing back to lighter territory with a laidback, wintry ambient piece, followed by Canadian royalty The Tragically Hip. I learned at Thought Bubble that my Canadian pal Jordan Collver, a phenomenal artist, is actually from Bobcaygeon and I was truly blown away by the news – it’s a small world! Lights is next with a big blast of synth pop and soaring vocals, before the playlist closes out with the immense and undeniable riffs of Pijn. Pijn’s guitarist (Joe Clayton) is also an incredibly talented producer, and Ba’al worked with him this summer to record a huge chunk of music, so it was a must for some of us to head down and catch up with him when his band played Sheffield earlier this month – as you might expect given his ear for great tones, they sounded incredible, and this track got the whole crowd moving.

A picture of a frame from The Lighthouse with Willem Dafoe's character saying "Look at ye. Postin'"
Thanks, Rogue Print Co

No links this month – I’ve spent the whole of November spamming people with the Kickstarter (and checking it incessantly) so I’m going to take at least a week off postin’ after today. Thanks for reading, and for backing the campaign if you did – and have a great weekend!

All the best,


October 2023: Toilet Season

Howdy, folks!

First off: a happy All Hallow’s Eve/Samhain to all who observe it! I’ll be spending this evening in a spooky ghoul mask playing ceilidh tunes with Powerhouse at a new venue in Sheffield, so that should be fun, as gutted as I am to miss out on the usual tradition of watching a horror movie and welcoming trick or treaters. A few things to cover in this month’s edition, so let’s crack in:

The Usual

October has been an extremely busy one for me, what with the Lakes Comic Convention (which was a delight, albeit somewhat soggy and cold – one particular highlight was a Saturday night gig in a scratch covers band with Michael Lark, Shane Chebsey, Nick Rossert of Sloth Comics, my pal Tom Ward and Charlie Adlard on drums) and then two weekends of touring up and down the country with Ba’al. It’s also primarily been a month where I’ve been trying to drum up interest and hype for my next comics endeavour, SECRETS OF THE MAJESTIC. I’ve mentioned it in here before, but I’ve now announced all the creative teams and pin-up artists over on social media (Twitter/Bluesky) and we have a truly stacked line-up:

Kieron Gillen | Benjamin AE Filby | Tula Lotay | Laura Jones | Dave Cook | Laura Helsby | JP Jordan | Rik Worth | Jordan Collver | Owen Watts | Gavin Mitchell | Adlai McCook | Asa Wheatley | Sammy Ward | Rob Jones | Sam Chase | Paul Carroll | Lane Lloyd | Chris Wildgoose | Gary Moloney | Colin Craker | Aaron Thompson | Dan Bell | Aaron Eamer | David Cousens | Fraser Campbell | Craig Munro | Rob Luckett | James Lawrence | Ria Grix | Rob Burton | Sarah Peploe | George Joy | Mark Granger | Liam ‘Pais’ Hill | Umar Ditta | Paul Tonner | Matt Hardy | Jon Scott | Erika Price | Matt Simmons | Liana Kangas

Goddamn, right? What a group of established names and emerging creators. I’m thrilled to see what they come up with, now we just need to raise the funds so I can pay them and print the book!

Cover by Laura Helsby, colours by Dearbhla Kelly

The Kickstarter page is here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chrismole/secrets-of-the-majestic-anthology

We’ll be launching tomorrow, on November 1st! Please do hit the notify button, check it out, tell your friends – I firmly believe it’ll be a fun book of stupid toilet comics and well worth your time.

Oh god, I haven’t mentally prepared for the Kickstarter campaign stress 😬 I will probably be a hollow husk of a man by the time December 1st rolls around, especially if we’re struggling to reach the goal…

The Record

3 pages written for an anthology short

8 pages lettered for The Phoenix

I had hopes of doing more writing this month, but it’s amazing how much being on tour demands your attention – even with various very long car rides to and from Scotland I didn’t have the spare brain capacity to sit down and work on anything. On the plus side, no notes back for the anthology short so that’s all good to go. Next month can be a writing month – I have the final act of SENGOKU planned out (and came up with what I think is quite a neat way to dovetail the two strands of the plot together, wrong-footing the reader slightly in the progress) so I just need to knuckle down and finish the first draft.

The Tunes

It is (as ever) a mixed bag of tunes this month, with a slight bias towards some of the bands we played with on tour. Kicking things off is some ultra soothing piano in this Ghibli cover from Spirited Away – perfect relaxation music if you’ve had a stressful day. Surprising nobody (given my well-publicised love of Taylor Swift), next up is the new version of Blank Space. 1989 was the first album of hers I listened to and it remains (IMO) her best, so you’d better believe I’ll have Taylor’s Version of it on loop the next few weeks..! It wouldn’t be an October playlist without some spooky tunes, so here’s master of horror John Carpenter with one of his synthwave tracks – he’s done a few albums of these and they’re all highly recommended! Hail Spirit Noir are next with their own disco/synth/theremin groove (which sounds very little like their previous album, but I’m here for it) and then we’re into a real 90s nostalgia blast with Fatboy Slim. You can thank an episode of Derry Girls for getting this song stuck in my brain this month..! Myrkur marks our turning point into metal territory – this is from her new album, which is great, but not as strong (for me) as the masterpiece that was Folkesange. Sulphur Aeon are a recent discovery but this album slaps – big cosmic death metal with a lot of interesting atmosphere. Defod opened for Ba’al at our show in Liverpool, and I was very impressed with their sound – hints of Saor, classic Dissection and Primordial but a unique mix. Hopefully we can share a stage again at some point! This Borknagar track from their latest album is an absolute earworm which was in my head for the entire drive up north (see what I did there..!) And lastly is a track from Ofnus, our Welsh touring partners and possibly the nicest atmospheric black metal band you’ll ever meet. They made the whole tour a delight (and they write excellent tunes as well!)

The Links

I’m just going to drop the one link this month, alongside my hopes for a ceasefire and for cooler heads to prevail. I don’t feel at all qualified to discuss the complex geopolitics of the Middle East but I know that what’s happening right now is truly horrific.


Sorry for ending this month’s entry on a bit of a downer, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable ignoring the situation outright! Thanks for reading, please check out the Kickstarter tomorrow and pledge if you’re able and have a happy (and safe) Halloween.

All the best,

May 2023: In The Toilet

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..?
Chris Traeger from Parks & Rec explaining his philosophy for avoiding despair

The Usual

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:
A spooky, glitchy video of someone walking into a very opulent bathroom...

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:
An extract from a page in Brigantia Vol. 2, showing a scroll with ancient artwork on against a more realistic background.

The Record

  • 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.

The Tunes

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.

The Link(s)

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,


April 2023: Raining, Pouring

Good morning, folks!

As is always the case – I’ve got not one but two things to shout about this month, so I’ll dispense with the customary preamble and get straight into it!

The Usual

First: Kickstarter campaign shilling time! At the start of this week, the good Professor Elemental and I finally (after several years of trying to get it off the ground) launched the Kickstarter campaign for The Art of Professor Elemental, a 220-page collection of almost all the comics we’ve made together. I’m talking the anthologies (Prof Elemental Comics 1-5), the tie-ins (Apequest, Nemesis) all the other stuff! Plus there’s a load of other art and text in there as we take you through ten years of steampunk silliness with, I hope, a nice dollop of charm and humour.

The campaign is located here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chrismole/the-art-of-professor-elemental

As of right now, we’ve raised 115% of our target (£6951), and we hit the funding goal in less than 5 days! Which is frankly ridiculous, and I’m intrigued to see how much higher we can go. Please do take a look and back if you’re interested – we have digital tiers as well if you don’t want to pay for the physical book and just want a solid collection of 10+ years of my comics-making life!

Anyway, next thing on the agenda: TOILETS!

Cover for the Secrets of the Majestic comic anthology. A checkerboard floor and an unusually grandiose bench.

Pitches close for the Secrets of the Majestic anthology which I announced TOMORROW, on May 1st. We’ve had a great spread of ideas so far, and I’m amazed that people actually wanted to pitch – we’ve also got a handful of BIG NAMES in the mix, who I’m not going to reveal just now, but… let’s just say it’s [Redacted] and [Redacted]. Exciting, yeah? You’ve still got time to send through your pitch if you’re interested, here’s the link!

Next step will be to trawl through the pitches with my co-editor Gary, send out the acceptance/rejection emails and get cracking on (another) Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds so we can pay everyone. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that we won’t be able to get it out for this year’s Thought Bubble (because it’d require a mad rush for all the creators, which I don’t want to do) so we’ll set the launch for next year’s event!

Speaking of Thought Bubble – very pleased to announce that I’ve been accepted for a table this year! However, because an inconsiderate relative decided to book their wedding on the same weekend as this year’s con, I’ll only be able to do one day and have thus only applied for a half table. It’s going to feel very weird not doing the full-power TB experience but hopefully it’ll still be a successful con! And I will of course make the sojourn to the toilets 😎

The Record

• 4 pages of second draft/notes on Serpent of the Deep (with Gustaffo Vargas, for Fractured Realms)
• Finished the page-by-page outline for The Black Rubric sequel, which currently stands at 50 pages
• Outlined my own pitch for Secrets of the Majestic

Bit of a quiet month on the productivity front, but I’ve made up for it by outlining a few things and advancing some other creative endeavours. I also bought a lute (after years of wanting to), which I’m counting as a massive achievement:

Chris with his new lute, looking wistfully off-camera.

The Tunes

This month’s playlist starts off very low-key, with some tracks that Spotify apparently categorises as “gloomcore” by Air Hunger and Tales Under the Oak. Forest vibes! They’re my shit! Next, Queen Florence is back with a new track which I love – no further analysis, it’s just her usual brand of gothic melodrama with catchy/soaring vocal lines and it’s AMAZING. Blood Ceremony are up next, a long-time favourite of mine with a new track – their last album was fantastic prog-psych-rock with a Jethro Tull feel, so I’m looking forward to more of the same. Afsky are our first step into the “atmospheric black metal” part of the playlist, with this lush track – they’re new to me this month and I’m mildly annoyed I hadn’t listened to them sooner. The same applies to Saidan, with their Japanese myth/horror take on black metal – the cover art is very Junji Ito, which is a good sign (to me, anyway!) Dawn Ray’d are a phenomenal band from the UK underground who couple fierce leftist/antifash views with black metal, and their new album is an absolute punch in the face – vicious, angry, but full of hope. Highly recommended. This month saw news that one of my favourite bands of all time (Agalloch) are reforming for “limited shows”, which I am extremely excited about it because I somehow never managed to see them live – wherever they play, I’ll be there with bells on. Couple of classic heavy metal bangers to see us out – new Sex Machineguns (Japanese speed metal, another long-time favourite) and the almighty Judas Priest closing the playlist with Hellrider, which is one of the top-5 most fun songs to play on my personal list!

The Links

Not a link this month, but a recommendation – we recently watched the Thai movie ‘Hunger’, freshly released on Netflix, and it was genuinely excellent:

Poster for the Netflix movie Hunger. A female chef stands in front of a wok which is dramatically on fire, while two other chefs loom in the background.

It’s not lost on me that two of my favourite films watched this year (the other being The Menu) both dig into the intersection between class and food, specifically fine dining. I like eating nice food, but I can say with some certainty that I’ll never be as awful as the rich people in movies like this who treat food like yet another status symbol – spending vast sums of money on “exclusive experiences” and culinary delights that they utterly fail to appreciate. Anyway, the film kept us guessing throughout and had some brilliant, tense scenes – it’s not as stressful as The Bear, or as dark and twisted as The Menu, but I will always enjoy seeing an arrogant, misogynist culinary school graduate humiliated for vastly over-complicating a simple and wholesome dish like fried rice, and the lead actress (Chutimon Chuengcharoe) is an absolute revelation in the role.

And that’s all from me for this month – thanks for reading! If you’re in the UK, I hope you enjoy an extra day off tomorrow as we celebrate May Day/Beltane.

All the best,


March 2023: Slowly, but Surely

Howdy, folks!

I’m writing this month’s newsletter on a train on the way down to London (for a tattoo session), in a rare example of “Chris decides to actually use his time productively instead of doing everything on Saturday morning” – long may it continue!

The Usual

There have been a couple of things on the creative ledger this month which I think are worth sharing – firstly, at time of writing there are precisely 12 hours left to go on the Kickstarter for Fractured Realms, a Norse horror anthology from the team at Limit Break Comics that I was very happy to be accepted into.

Cover for the Fractured Realms comic - a Draugr on the prow of a longship.

Here’s the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paulcarroll/fractured-realms-a-norse-horror-anthology

I’ve put together a tight little slice of psychological horror with my good friend (but somehow first-time collaborator) Gustaffo Vargas, and I’m excited to see how people react to it – I pushed myself a bit with this one and I hope it’ll show on the page when we’re done. The Kickstarter is fully funded, so at this point you just have a few hours to jump in and pre-order a copy of the book – and trust me when I say you will want to!

Next, but still in anthology territory – on Wednesday I announced/opened up submissions for an anthology that I’m running, entitled SECRETS OF THE MAJESTIC. It’s an extremely niche in-joke of a premise – basically, the men’s toilets at the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate (the location of the Thought Bubble mid-convention party for the last few years) are ridiculously ostentatious and grandiose, and I thought there was mileage in a collection of stories exploring some wacky and wild theories about why they’re like that. The reaction to my announcement tweet was huge, so it turns out there are a lot of very talented people in the Thought Bubble crowd who are keen to explore the mystery of the toilets!

The cover for the Secrets of the Majestic anthology - the famous toilets!

The (incredible) cover is by Laura Helsby and coloured by Dearbhla Kelly, and I already know that we’re going to have some fantastic creative teams in the book once submissions close – if you’re keen to take part, you have until May 1st to team up and get your submission sent in! Here’s the link: https://forms.gle/MpNTKA42U5Xj2fUk8

Lastly, my good pal Professor Elemental and I are embarking into the Kickstarter mines ourselves with a collected edition of “The Art of Professor Elemental” – a vast Hardcover collection of (almost) all of the comics we’ve made together and tons of other artwork besides. If you found my work via the Prof and are keen on a hardback collection of steampunk whimsy for your bookshelf or coffee table, please do sign up for the campaign here to be notified when we go live (which will be in the next few weeks!): https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chrismole/the-art-of-professor-elemental

In non-anthology news, Brigantia Vol. 2 continues at full speed – Alaire has been absolutely crushing the pages, and has now all but finished the first issue (of the 3 that will make up the next volume!) Her work looks beautiful, and I can’t wait to share more of it with you. Send her your prayers and blessings!

Lastly, a recommendation – don’t ever listen to Eve of the War from the Jeff Wayne War of the Worlds musical, because it’s far too catchy and it will be stuck in your head for a good few weeks (as it has mine 🙃)

The Record

  • 5 pages written, another story outlined
  • Logo design for SECRETS OF THE MAJESTIC

I had a pretty tight deadline for the Fractured Realms story this month, so that consumed a lot of my brain space – much as I dislike commuting to the office for the day job, never underestimate the usefulness of having roughly 90 mins a day walking/sitting on trams/walking some more when it comes to thinking of ideas and bashing a script around in your head. This was also the first month in a while where I didn’t have any lettering work lined up, and I’ll be honest – much as I enjoy being a “comics professional” on the side, it was nice to have a bit of a break! We’ll see if that changes next month…

Plus, now that Space Cowboys has moved into the very early production stages, I need to spin the wheel and decide which of my other longer story ideas I’m going to pick up and write next. There are a few in various stages of completion so it’s going to come down to which one I’m the most enthused about – which means I have to beat down my usual “all my ideas are terrible” self-doubt, and that’ll be a fun task!

The Tunes

We’re starting this month’s playlist off on the relaxed/light end of the spectrum, with (for my money) the best track off the Frozen 2 soundtrack – All Is Found. It might not have had quite the same seismic impact as the first film, but Frozen 2 was genuinely very good and the soundtrack is full of bangers, but this one always gets me in the feels. Next up is a chilled hip-hop classic courtesy of De La Soul, whose discography I had a dive through this month. We’re taking our first steps towards heavier ground with Lotus by Soen – I wasn’t familiar with the song before this month, but I’ve been asked by a friend to learn it for a recording project and it’s got some great melodies. Quest Master are a Spotify discovery – crunchy vapourwave/chiptune goodness for all your lo-fi adventuring needs! Chthonic have been one of my favourite bands for a very long time now, so new music from them is always welcome and this track promises great things from their next album. The same applies to Tribulation, who I love – although this song sounds like they’re taking a lot of inspiration from Ghost, it’s still great. REZN were new to me this month but my listening notes describe them as prog-doom and very good – this one is worth your time if you like big weighty riffs and soaring clean vocals! I was a rabid Trivium fan back when they burst onto the metal scene with Ascendancy, and while some of their albums after that left me cold, I’ve gone back to their later releases in recent years to re-evaluate them. This song in particular stands out – it’s not especially complicated but the refrain hits like a freight train. New Babymetal is a little less silly than their previous releases, but it retains all the hallmarks of their sound – epic J-pop vocals, crunchy riffs and polished production. I would still absolutely love to see them live, it’d be a hell of a show! Lastly, new Liturgy dropped a few days ago and it’s already making a strong push for AOTY status – glitchy, electronica-laced black metal with shrieking vocals, this won’t be for everyone but I love it.

The Links

Just the one link today, and it’s one I shared on Twitter a little while back – a piece published in the Guardian which looks at the links between the Guardian’s owners and the slave trade: https://www.theguardian.com/news/ng-interactive/2023/mar/28/slavery-and-the-guardian-the-ties-that-bind-us

The essential message of this piece (and the accompanying scholarship) as I understand it is that British people can’t claim that we abolished slavery earlier than the US and therefore don’t bear any responsibility for it – we as a nation continued to profit hugely from slavery, and need to be honest about that fact. Colonial history still isn’t widely taught in the UK (I didn’t learn anything about it in school, and I have two history degrees – it wasn’t until University that I had cause to do some academic reading on the subject) and we’re long, long overdue a reconciliation with the darker elements of that history.

I’ll leave it there for today – the wi-fi on this train is somewhat spotty! Thanks for reading, back Fractured Realms and consider submitting for Secrets of the Majestic if you have a toilet story to tell – and have a great April!

All the best,

February 2023: Pitter Patter

Howdy, folks!

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!

The Usual

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 🙂

The Record

  • 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!

The Tunes

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!

The Links

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,


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: https://chrismole.bigcartel.com/product/brigantia-vol-1

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!): https://twitter.com/JordanCollver/status/1597605358817931265?t=LRtnSYM-neP50WufEJ-rcw&s=19

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,


July 2021: What is Time?

Howdy, folks!

Somehow, 7 months have passed and we’re staring at the back end of 2021 – I don’t quite know how, but here we are, I guess!

The Usual

For once, I actually have something I want to cover in this space before I dive into the usual newsletter shenanigans. As many of you may be aware, this last week has been… somewhat fraught on UK Comics Twitter, but not for the usual artist vs. writer/other recurring discourse reasons. Basically, a storm kicked up around Thought Bubble (unquestionably my favourite convention) due to them inviting Frank Miller along as a guest for this year’s con – here’s a good summary of the chain of events: https://www.comicsbeat.com/thought-bubble-drops-frank-miller-in-wake-of-social-media-backlash/

I was surprised that Miller was announced as a guest in the first place – it’s hard to argue that he isn’t an important figure in comics history, but that’s the key word – history. His work hasn’t been relevant in years, and Holy Terror (released in 2011) scraped the absolute bottom of a horrifically racist barrel. It seemed like an odd choice, one that I suspect was driven by necessity (attempting to bring in a larger number of more mainstream/casual comics fans) after the impact of the pandemic, but it gave the impression that Thought Bubble value the past (Miller) over the future of comics (represented by Zainab Akhtar), an impression that is very much at odds with the brand they’ve built over the years.

I don’t think there was any deliberate malice in the decision to book Miller, but honestly, that doesn’t matter – if they weren’t aware of his retrograde, Islamophobic views then they should have done their research rather than glossing over them and it should have been immediately apparent that inviting him was a mistake when Zainab and others first raised their concerns. The fact that the CG crowd have latched onto this as an example of “cancel culture” and “woke SJWs” (yawn) is entirely predictable but that doesn’t stop it from being very distressing for those targeted by them. I’m disappointed in Thought Bubble, and it’s absolutely going to overshadow this year’s event, so I sincerely hope they can take concrete steps to make up for this over the next few months (but that said, Chuck Palahniuk who has a lot of dodgy right-wing associations is currently still on the guest list, so…)

In less distressing news, the Kickstarter for Brigantia Vol. 1 closed earlier this month and we somehow raised a staggering £5k! It’s the highest number of backers I’ve ever personally had for a Kickstarter campaign, and the second-highest total funding amount, so I was bowled over by the outpouring of support. Now we get to the fun part – actually making the dang thing!

The Record

• Finished off the last few pages of my Big Hype Vol. 2 short (CRYSTAL DESERT BLUES) with Rosie Packwood
• 3 pages of STEEL KNIGHTS scripted, tons of worldbuilding done

Wrote some actual pages this month! It’s a lot easier when you force yourself to think of them as first drafts where the dialogue/etc will be tightened up later – my biggest challenge is that I’m a perfectionist, so I hate the idea of leaving a page half-done and moving onto the next one. The dialogue has to at least feel right – I struggle to just slap in a [placeholder dialogue] and move on.

Anyway, Rosie’s been hard at work on character concepts for our Big Hype story and they’re shaping up nicely – it’s a fun one where I think the influences are pretty visible on it’s sleeve, so it’ll be nice to see that take shape. I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned STEEL KNIGHTS here before, but my annoyance at being unable to watch the new Gawain and the Green Knight movie (starring Dev Patel) which I’ve been anticipating for well over a year spurred me into doing some work on my own Arthurian mash-up. The pitch is, very basically, A Knight’s Tale X Gundam – it’s a kind of manga story in which the Arthurian knights pilot huge suits of armour in battle, built around a tournament arc. I’ve been slotting in tons of Arthurian Easter eggs and there are giants, fae magic – it’s a lot of OTT fun, and it’ll be great to try and pull the pitch together for it!

The Tunes

This month’s playlist starts off a lot mellower before gradually building into the heavy stuff. Chvrches are consistently one of the best synthy pop bands out there, with a great ear for a catchy vocal hook, and this new track has me excited for their new album – I’ve booked tickets to see them for the first time in March next year, so that’ll be great. This month I discovered that Lola Kirke, the actress who played Hayley in the excellent show Mozart in the Jungle (and who I have a MASSIVE crush on) is also apparently a folk/pop singer, and has put out some very good stuff – here’s my favourite of her songs! My partner is our household’s huge Frank Turner fan – I’m less into him, but this track is undeniably excellent (and I appreciate his ideas on how his ashes should be scattered at the end!) Next up is Doris Wilson – those who’ve watched the wild/chaotic/polarising sketch show I Think You Should Leave will recognise it. It’s a very catchy tune that breaks up some of the funniest sketches I’ve ever seen – I’ve watched both seasons through about 4 times now, which is rare for me, and they keep getting funnier. Watch Coffin Flop! Metallica have been doing something pretty wild recently – they’ve recruited dozens of other bands/artists to do their own versions of songs from The Black Album across a variety of genres. A lot of them are… well, bad, but this Biffy Clyro cover is actually genuinely good to my ears. It’s still recognisably Holier than Thou, but different enough to make it stand out as their own. Here’s where we start to get into the heavier stuff with The Algorithm (chiptuney tech-death), Unter Massif (a sludgey, atmospherey, droney band I discovered this month) and The Odious (interesting prog metal, another Spotify discovery). Next up is one of my very favourite bands, Anaal Nathrakh, beloved for their ability to combine absolute hyperspeed blasting and aggression with huge, singable choruses and an overwhelming sense of armageddon. After that mushroom cloud has cleared, we finish things off with the haunting piano and vocals of Lingua Ignota, from her new album.

The Links

I greatly enjoyed this dive into the development of gunslinger Jonah Hex (one of my favourite characters, mostly because I feel like there’s a lot you could say/do with him) by Tom Shapira over at the Comics Journal: http://www.tcj.com/asshole-in-a-hat-the-early-days-of-jonah-hex/

That’s all for this month, I’ve waffled on a lot more than usual! Thanks for reading, and have a great August.

All the best,