Erudite Waffles (2/4/23)
THE PANCAKES OF WRATH ARE WISER THAN THE WAFFLES OF ERUDITION.
What I’ve Been Up To
I finished up the script for Britain a Prophecy #7, at least to the point where I need to hand it off to Bob for edits. Past that it’s been a research week—I’ve been working through Storm Constantine’s first Wraeththu book for a piece that’ll probably be out to Patrons early next week, and doing some other reading for LWIA v4. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Nine Inch Nails, which is once again Lexi’s malign influence, and am musing on serializing a Halo by Halo review series through these newsletter posts.
Penn’s been doing character designs for Britain a Prophecy #5, which continues apace. Here, let’s give a preview of the uniforms for the fae army.
We also got a new scene out for $10 Patrons, and a new behind the scenes post out for all patrons.
Also, I just sold my first piece of fiction writing. No details I can share yet, but if you asked me “El, what would be your absolute top choice of ways to break into professional fiction writing” I’d be hard pressed to come up with a better one than this. I can’t wait for this one to come out.
Some Movie Reviews
Man, it’d be *great* if I could post these here, but I actually gate my media reviews to my $2+ Patrons so you’ll have to go there to find my reviews of Cruising and Manhattan Baby.
Some Tumblr Asks
These I don’t gate! My asks remain open, and so, for what it’s worth, do Penn’s.
Favourite Kibble track? (Alex’s goofy project)
“What Time Is It?”
How long do you think it will take for you to reach the present day in Last War in Albion? Another ten years? More?
There are way too many variables to even begin trying to predict that. What I’ll say is that it’s a project I generally enjoy working on, and that I regret leaving it fallow as long as I did, even as I recognize those years were not actually ones I was in a place to devote it attention. But also, it’s a lot of work, and there’s other stuff I want to do too, and, like, if I sell a novel or get an ongoing comic series that work is going to come out of LWIA time. So I can’t promise full time work on it for the next year/five years/ten years. Hell, I don’t like to promise full time work on it for the next month, because, as January showed, sometimes it turns out I really need to write 8000 words about 90s singer songwriters.
But I like Last War in Albion and I want to do right by the project. So I’ll do the best I can, but wouldn’t want to estimate any sort of timeframe beyond “well, hopefully before I’m dead.”
How much of Britain a Prophecy do you plan in advance vs write as you go along ?
I have a broad outline of all four arcs and what the interstitial issues between them will be. I know how each arc ends, and broadly what its tone will be. I broke the first arc down issue by issue before starting it, and will do the same for the second, and then individual issues get broken down to the scene level when I start them. Generally at each level I’m trying to make sure I know what the unit is doing, because that lets me answer the question of what the sub-unit needs to be doing, all the way down to the panel.
Any classic Who companions you feel like could be read as trans or NB? I feel like Vicki has some she/they energy
I’m not especially drawn to this sort of reading of texts that blatantly aren’t intended to support it, but Mel is obviously a nightmarish tenderqueer whose programming job was for Lockheed Martin.
I Am The Law, by Mike Molcher
I did, however, want to give a quick public review of this, since Mike was kind enough to furnish me with a review copy after we met at Thought Bubble in November, and it’s absolutely stunning.
The book is in effect a parallel history of Judge Dredd and of policing since the mid-1970s (Molcher, quite reasonably, begins his story with Action and “Kids Rule OK!”). Some critics, including my friend Sean Dillon, have criticized this as feeling like two books, and I can see the point, but to my mind what happens is much more of a third mind effect, in which two stories are interleaved to form a new story that is implied in the space between them. Molcher weaves adroitly between his topics, painting how Dredd emerged out of the “war on crime” politics of conservatives in the 1970s and 80s, and how its satire successfully anticipated most of the actual consequences of those politics.
It is in many ways an eerie and unsettling book, horrifying and fascinating in equal measures. You can practically see Molcher getting radicalized on the page as he traces the awful nature of modern policing, and there’s a real sense of appalled outrage that comes through even as Molcher is scrupulously well-cited and even-handed in his accounts. Molcher’s approach also lets him write a book that both serves as an engaging introduction to police abolitionist arguments for comics fans and as a fascinating cultural history in its own right. An absolutely phenomenal piece of comics scholarship.
I Am The Law is out February 16th in the UK and on the 21st in the US.
The Part Where She Leaves You With a Song
February 4, 2023 @ 4:03 pm
I’m booked to go to an event for the launch of the Molcher book at the UK Cartoon museum. Can’t wait.