Sorry – I couldn’t get to the shop yesterday, so I’ve not actually read anything this week save for WicDiv, which I didn’t want to wait for, and so pirated in advance of buying a floppy today when I actually do make it. If I make it today. Which I might not, because I have to go into NYC to record that Slate podcast. So, yes, it’s a rather busy week.
WicDiv is marvelous though.
In any case, I’ll either run reviews on Sunday or fold the highlights into next week’s reviews. Last War in Albion will be up tomorrow, and is a fun one – pretty much all John Constantine, and one of the most extended discussions of magic thus far in the War. I’ve started writing the next chapter now as well, and that’s proving fun as well. I’ve decided that the sort of standard “two or three posts of historical background followed by a more or less chronological working through of the comics interspersed with digressions” approach that I developed starting around the Doctor Who/Star Wars chapter, and really honed for the Captain Britain chapter has clearly become a crutch to be discarded, if only for the sake of clearly establishing for the umpteenth time that thinking you know what to expect from Last War in Albion is never entirely safe. So the chapter has all the right bits, but not in the most obvious order – instead, it’s very much structured to come right off the end of the Swamp Thing chapter, and to maintain the tone that ends with. It’s the first time I feel like I’ve really used the “continual essay” aspect of Last War in Albion well over a chapter transition.
More broadly, I’ve finally gotten to where I’m looking at this first volume as a book unto itself, and it seems pretty clear to me that the one-two punch of Swamp Thing and V for Vendetta is the climax of the book. The first seven chapters are an extended exercise in anticipation – the structure of the Captain Britain chapter writ large, in effect. They go through almost everything they can possibly justify going through before getting to one of Moore’s masterpieces. Then we do two in a row in a big, triumphant roar of one of the greatest writers of the 20th century announcing himself to the world. And then it shrinks back down for the final two chapters, to try to get back to a sense of quiet and calm so that when I finally face Watchmen in Book Two, it lands in a world prepared to be completely upended. I suspect Chapter Nine will be 10+ parts again, but that Chapters Ten and Eleven will both be <10. I fully expect to weep, remembering the days I was foolish enough to believe that.
One of these days, I’ll have to sit down and outline Book Two. I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to fulfill the promised structure on that, but I find myself weirdly confident that it can be done. It’s becoming increasingly clear to me that gratuitous structure is very much my comfort area in writing, for better or for worse.
Spoiler: Last War in Albion will end with Alan Moore standing over Grant Morrison’s dismembered corpse proclaiming that he has delivered the twenty-first century.
More or less.