UMBRAL Book One: Out of the Shadows, collecting the first six issues, goes on sale this week. If you’ve been ‘tradewaiting’, wait no more; now you can finally read the first part of Rascal’s epic journey through the dark nightmare of UMBRAL.
And if you’re still on the fence, we’ve got an offer for you:
• UMBRAL #1 is now FREE! Yep, you can get the digital version of our first, extra-long issue from Comixology or the Image website for zero of your earth dollars. And it’ll be free right through until UMBRAL #7 goes on sale, in July.
For comic stores, the order code for UMBRAL BOOK ONE is MAR140551. For bookstores, the ISBN is 978-1607069843.
(NB Bookstores will receive their copies of the book a week or two after comic stores, but you can still pre-order a copy at your local bookstore.)
[ADDENDUM: Bookstores and Amazon now have their copies.]
As I mentioned previously, we’re now taking a short break to catch up with our production schedule. Book Two, ‘The Dark Path’, will start in July with UMBRAL #7, ‘Killing the Sunrise’.
THE FUSE #4 also goes on sale this week, as The Russia Shift hits high gear:
The bodies are starting to pile up. None of this case makes a lick of damn sense. Klem has a mysterious lunch date, and Ralph is starting to get ideas… ideas that will kill him faster than you can say, “On your knees, cop.”
I’m especially fond of this cover, by the way. A concept I’d had in mind since the start of the series, and it turned out even better than I hoped.
There’s a preview of the issue on tumblr, and the order code is MAR140574.
I won’t have slides at the talk or Q&A, so instead I’ve decided to put notes and links here. If you’ve come here from the Festival, this is what you’re looking for.
• The talk I gave at the 2010 GDC Game Narrative Summit was called Comics to Consoles, and you can watch it here.
• The cursed three-act structure.
• DIE HARD, for the youngsters in the audience.
• THE LOSERS, for the oldies in the audience.
• The novel SEVEN ANCIENT WONDERS. Seriously, read that synopsis and tell me it doesn’t sound like a game plot.
• More on some of the narrative devices we tried out in ZOMBIU.
WASTELAND #54 goes on sale this week.
‘Ice Cold Man’ is the second part of our final story arc, in which Michael, Abi, and Thomas venture into the dark underground of A-Ree-Yass-I to finally uncover the truth about The Big Wet.
Michael, Abi, and Thomas explore the mysterious shaft — and find more than they could have ever expected! Unearthing the secrets of A-Ree-Yass-I will take everything they have, but at last the truth will be found… and the story of The Big Wet can be told!
WASTELAND #54 is available from all good comic stores, with the order code FEB141361. Digital readers can, as always, buy it from Comixology.
2nd May 2014 / Appearances
Well, now you can also familiarise yourself with me (if you’ll pardon the expression). I’ll be appearing and signing at The Big Bang on Friday May 16th from 6pm onwards.
We’ll also be giving away swanky exclusive THE FUSE posters (right) to celebrate the event, but I have no idea how many we’ll have, so be sure to get there on time to claim yours.
There’s a Facebook event page with more details, info, etc.
(And if you’re wondering where the beer in the headline comes in… well, come on. It’s Dublin. If there’s no beer involved, I’ll eat my flat cap.)
UMBRAL #6: Chasing Shadows goes on sale this week.
This is the final chapter of Book One, ‘Out of the Shadows’, as Rascal tries to escape the Redguard — and the clutches of the Umbral — once and for all, by fleeing the city of Strakhelm completely.
But where can she go, and who can she trust? Even her closest allies harbour secrets of their own…
Note that we’re taking a couple of months off after this issue, to put out the collection of Book One and catch up with our production schedule. Book Two, ‘The Dark Path’, will therefore start with UMBRAL #7 in July.
Meanwhile, the order code for issue #6 is FEB140640, and you can click here to read a six-page preview.
I’ve been invited to appear at the Dublin Writers Festival, on Saturday May 17th, for a talk and panel session.
Fellow games writer Rob Morgan and I will each talk a little, and then answer questions, about the process and challenges of game writing. I’ve also been asked to give some insight on how it compares to writing comics, a subject on which regular readers will know I have a fair amount to say.
Should be fun, and as an additional bonus, this is my first trip to Dublin for over twenty years. I imagine it’s changed a fair bit since 1992…!
The session is on May 17th at 4pm, in the Conference Hall (Dublin Castle). Click here to book tickets.
24th April 2014 / Appearances
AFTER DAYS OF PASSION, which I created with Ben Templesmith in 2000, is a web comic that uses HTML technologies to present a nonlinear narrative in which the reader controls the navigation and experience, using only visual cues. It has no start, no end, and no set reading order. It’s a mood piece as much as a narrative (and is in fact based on the lyrics to a song I wrote in the mid-’90s).
As you can imagine, given its age, the ‘web technologies’ in question are somewhat primitive by modern standards. It’s basically just HTML and imagemaps. But it sufficed, and at the time it was quite unique.
Which is why Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, who’s curating the digital comics section of the exhibition, asked us if he could feature it, as “a significant piece in terms of hypercomics and interactive narratives.” Neither Ben nor I would presume to disagree.
(NB I’ve categorised this under Appearances because there didn’t really seem anywhere else to put it! But I won’t actually be appearing at the Library myself, sorry.)
Comics Unmasked, which will also feature lectures and workshops, runs from May 2nd to August 19th. More details at the British Library website.
THE FUSE #3 goes on sale this week, continuing the first story arc, ‘The Russia Shift’:
Whoever thought two dead bums could be such a pain in the ass? Now even the Mayor’s office is under scrutiny, but even an old Muscovite like Klem Ristovych knows that’s a whole new bag of hurt to be poking.
And why the hell is Ralph researching terrorist groups?
(Writing solicit text for a series like this is tricky, because it gets released to the public two months ahead of publication. This solicit, for example, went public shortly before issue #1 went on sale. So we have to be careful not to give away plot developments that haven’t even been published yet. If you’ve ever wondered why some series, especially mysteries, often have vague solicits, now you know.)
Once again, we’re overprinting this issue; so, along with the 2nd print of issue #1, and our overprint of issue #2, there’s still plenty of opportunity to catch up on the book from the very beginning. *Cough*
You can read a preview of the issue on the book’s Tumblr, and the order code is FEB140603.
WASTELAND #53 goes on sale this week.
‘Breath of Ghosts’ is the first part of the final WASTELAND story arc, and sees the return of Chris Mitten to monthly duties.
It’s the ultimate adventure for Michael and Abi, in every sense of the word. From here it’s full steam ahead to issue #59, before we close out the series with the issue #60 epilogue.
CHRISTOPHER MITTEN RETURNS to draw the concluding story arc of this truly epic saga! Michael, Abi, and Thomas have found The Golden Sea, just as the Oracle predicted. But will it lead them to A-Ree-Yass-I? And if it does, what will they find? Questions will be answered, secrets revealed… and not everyone will get out alive!
You can read a preview of the issue on Comic Book Resources.
WASTELAND #53 is available from all good comic stores, with the order code JAN141262. Digital readers can, as always, buy it from Comixology.
I have a piece in the new book CONVERSATIONS WITH WILLIAM GIBSON, a collection of interviews with one of history’s most vital and important SF authors, published by University Press of Mississippi.
Gibson remains an elusive influence on me; there’s no doubt his books have had an enormous, almost inestimable, impact on my life and work. But I find it impossible to quantify exactly how that influence manifests. Which feels appropriate, somehow.
If you’re any kind of Gibson fan, you should seek this book out. It features interviews right through his career; quite apart from my 1999 piece there are contributions from such luminaries as Cory Doctorow, Timothy Leary, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Charlie Jane Anders… even my old mucker Andy Diggle has a couple of pieces in there, which was something of a surprise when I opened it up.
CONVERSATIONS WITH WILLIAM GIBSON goes on sale today, and the ISBN is 9781628460155.