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This coming weekend is Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, and I’ll be there.

I’m sharing Table F-07 with my FUSE collaborator Justin Greenwood, where we’ll be only too happy to chat, sign, and sell you stuff.

I believe Justin’s con commission list is still open for the moment, too. So get in while you can.

Now, then: where to find us.

All weekend

- Table F-07 is in artist’s alley, and once you’re in that area, just look for the big red banner with the same design as the cover of THE FUSE #1 (right).

Friday

- 12-1pm: Both signing at Oni Press, booth # 419

- 3-4pm: Both signing at Image Comics, booth # 212

Sunday

- 10-11am: (I know, I know) Both signing at Oni Press, booth # 419

- 3-4pm: I’ll be on the Comic Writers on Writing panel alongside Jay Faerber, Jeff Parker, and Eric Stephenson. It’s in Room TCC 302.

This is my first time in the pacific north-west, and I’m really looking forward to it. Hope to see you there.

 

So I mentioned here a while back that we overprinted THE FUSE #1, to ensure any reader who wanted a copy could get hold of it.

If you follow me on Tumblr, you also know that we sold out of those extra copies within a week. Which was pretty crazy, and probably meant there were still readers out there who weren’t able to get a copy.

So if that’s you, don’t despair; we’ve decided to go back to press for a 2nd printing of THE FUSE #1 after all. It’ll go on sale April 2nd, and you can pre-order your copy by giving your retailer the order code JAN148309.

Before then, I’ll be appearing at Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle. My first time in the Pacific north-west (which is kind of crazy, considering how many of my friends and colleagues are based there, not to mention my love of grunge-era Seattle metal bands…) and I’m looking forward to finally getting there a great deal.

I’ll be sharing a spot in artist’s alley with my FUSE co-creator Justin Greenwood, at Table F-07, and I’ve also been invited on to a writer’s panel. More details on that closer to the time.

If you can’t wait that long to hear me gab on about comics, you can listen to Issue #30 of the Comic Corner podcast, on which I was a guest and rambled at length about things like the recent explosion of sci-fi comics, why I write female protagonists, my theory on the fantasy genre in comics, and more. It’s a good one.

Finally, WASTELAND #52 went to press recently, which necessitated writing the last ever Walking the Dust.

It’s fair to say I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so emotional as it turned out for me, but I guess when you’ve been writing a single character for 8 years — even if only for 800 words at a time! — you form an attachment. I’ll miss Ankya, and her intrepid travels.

 

It’s that time of year again — the Thought Bubble Festival 2013 is already underway in Leeds, and this weekend will host its usual two-day convention.

Of course, the most important thing you need to know is that I’ll be DJing at the Saturday night party again. Make way for this train, ’cos it’s an express.

[EDIT: We all did quite short stints in the end, to fit everyone in. A playlist of my shameless floor-filling set is now up on YouTube.]

Apparently there’s also some comics thing going on?
LOL NERDS IDK.

  • On Sat 23rd at 3.50pm I’ll be appearing on the Image Comics Presents: Independence in the UK! panel.
  • Ming Doyle, Fiona Staples, Ales Kot, Brandon Graham, Richard Starkings, Image publisher Eric Stephenson and myself will talk about our work, creative freedom in comics, and all that jazz. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if a few surprise guests, nudge nudge turn up for that one, too. It’s in the Bury Theatre venue.

    Any other time, you can find me behind a table on the con floor; and yes, I will have copies of UMBRAL #1 with me. If you missed getting a copy before the first printing sold out, you can pick one up directly from me instead. I may even run a special offer of some kind…

    My table is in New Dock Hall, table 174. There’s a floorplan of the hall here, or just look for the banner with my name at the top in big red letters.

    (Or, look for the gang of rollergirls crowding round the lovely Gary Erskine, who’ll be sitting right next to me all weekend…)

    See you there!

     

    Once again, I’ll be attending New York Comic Con this year for signings, panel appearances, the usual. If you want something signed, or just want to chat, this is where I’ll be.

    NB Oni Press will have a limited number of copies of WASTELAND: THE APOCALYPTIC EDITION, Vol. 3 available for sale at their booth (#1844) throughout the weekend.

    The book goes on general sale a week or two after the con, but if you want one signed, this is your best chance for a while — I may not hit the east coast again till NYCC 2014.

    Friday

  • 12.15 – 1.15 – “Image Comics: Behind the Creations” panel, Room 1A14. I’ll be talking about worldbuilding in general, and of course UMBRAL specifically.


  • 3.00 – 4.00 – Signing at Oni Press, Booth 1844

  • 4.00 – 5.00 – Signing at Avatar Press, Booth 1920

  • 8.00 onwardsImage Comics party, Houndstooth Pub Stitch Bar & Lounge, 247 West 37th. This is as good a place as any to grab me and interrogate me about UMBRAL. Especially after a few drinks.

    Saturday

  • 12.00 – 1.00 – Signing at Avatar Press, Booth 1920

  • 1.30 – 2.30 – Signing at Oni Press, Booth 1844

  • 3.00 – 4.00 – “Oni Press: RevolutiONIze Comics” panel, Room 1A03. Where I’ll make a couple of cool announcements about the approaching end of WASTELAND, and maybe even talk a little about the next COLDEST CITY book, THE DEADLIEST WINTER.

    Sunday

  • 4.00 – 5.00 – Signing at Oni Press, Booth 1844

     

    Well, we’re roughly halfway through the year (a year in which I’ve been working pretty flat out), and San Diego Comic-Con looms once again.

    Sadly, I won’t be there this year. I’m sorry if you were hoping to see me, but I really need some time off. I’ll almost certainly return to SD in 2014, but for this year New York will be my only American comic con.

    Back here in Blighty, however, it’s a different matter. And first up, after that time off, I’ll be at MCM Comic Con Manchester, Saturday July 20th at Manchester Central.

    (Yes, ‘MCM Comic Con’ is the same organiser as MCM Expo. As far as I can tell, nothing’s changed except the name of their conventions.)

    I’ll be there all day; come along and find me at Table CB13. I’ve only been given the number, so I have no idea where that will be located, but just look for the big white banner with my name in big red letters at the top. Yes, it’s a new banner. Time for a change.

     

    This time next week I’ll be in San Francisco for GDC, mainly to attend and speak at the newly-relocated Game Narrative Summit. I’m making two appearances this year:

    ZOMBIU: Creating an Undead Cult will feature myself and Gabrielle Shrager (game co-writer and Story Design Director) attempting to cram as much as possible about our work on the game into 25 minutes.

    We’ll explain how we created the story and mythology behind ZOMBIU, our thoughts behind some of the big decisions, and show how narrative influenced even the mechanics and marketing of the game. Should be a good ‘un.

    It’s Not in the Writer’s Manual: A Q&A Session for New Writers, on the other hand, is a roundtable with me and a bunch of other game writers, and if you can’t figure out the contents from the title, you’re in the wrong business.

    Although the Narrative Summit only lasts a couple of days, I’ll be there pretty much all week; I’m looking forward to catching up with old friends, and also just spending time in one of my favourite cities. Get in touch if you’re attending and want to arrange a meeting, or just catch up over a drink.

     

    You may recall that last year, as part of the Game City event, Kieron Gillen and I made an appearance in the “Mike Bithell Gets the Advice He Needs” series of panels.

    The idea was that Mike — an indie game designer, and creator of the sleeper hit THOMAS WAS ALONE — solicited feedback from game professionals, including designers, audio producers, and the like, and invited the audience to ask questions too. Kieron and I were there to talk to him about game narrative and writing, natch.

    I went into the event with a certain amount of trepidation — I’d played THOMAS, but didn’t know Mike at all, and I’d certainly never before given that kind of feedback outside the closed doors of a game development team. The prospect of talking about this stuff in front of a room full of random people was a little nerve-wracking.

    I needn’t have worried. Not only is Mike a great, smart guy (who has now gone freelance, by the way), but the whole event went really well, and turned out to be one of my favourite things we did that week.

    Happily, you can now enjoy it too, because the panel was recorded. Watch it here…

    …or if that’s not working for you, click through to see it on YouTube.

     

    I’ve been waiting for this to get an official announcement: I’m giving a lecture at GDC in March, alongside ZOMBIU story design director Gabrielle Shrager. We’ll be explaining how we came up with the game’s mythology and narrative, and how those decisions influenced the gameplay, visuals, and even marketing of the title.

    Since last year’s GDC Online was the last to be held in Austin, the Game Narrative Summit has now become part of the main GDC event in San Francisco. I love SF, but haven’t had the chance to go back since WonderCon in 2008, so I’m really looking forward to this.

    In general news, seeing as I haven’t posted here in almost a month… well, I haven’t posted here in almost a month. That kind of tells you all you need to know. Lots of exciting stuff; new games projects underway, new comics in development, nose to the grindstone, I can’t talk about any of it yet. So, just the usual, then.

    (There is one thing I can tell you; I just finished scripting WASTELAND #48, and it’s a doozy. It’s right in the middle of the final Newbegin story arc, and writing it is a weird combination of over-excitement and constant trepidation. So far, though, it’s all working out nicely.)

     

    Another day, another public outing; at Thought Bubble this year, Matt Sheret organised an event called 1000 WORDS, bringing together creators from comics and other media to talk about what, how, and why we do what we do.

    Everyone did a 10-15 minute piece (apart from Kieron Gillen, who closed the day out with a final keynote), and by all accounts they were very well received. Well enough that I suspect the format may be revived and perhaps even expanded for next year.

    Never one to turn down a chance to lecture people into submission, I agreed to do a slot, and this is what I came up with; a little confessional called “Antony Johnston’s Massive Ego”. Long-time readers of this journal are by now sagely nodding their heads, I’m sure.

    (If you can’t see the video above, view it direct on Vimeo.)

    To see other talks from the event by Hannah Donovan, Anne Hollowday, Si Spurrier, Emma Vieceli, and Kieron, just click on through to the Thought Bubble blog.

     

    Thanks to everyone who came out to Thought Bubble. It was, once again, a great convention and a great weekend.

    Part of that weekend was of course the now-legendary Saturday night party, and this year’s was surely the best yet. The venue, at the Leeds Corn Exchange, was superb; and the dancefloor was rarely less than packed. Kieron, Jamie, Boo, Al, and Clark & Mikey (two of the con organisers) all did sterling work.

    And then there was me. If you were there, you know that I basically closed out the night with a two-hour selection of the cheesiest, most shameless floor-filling pop music I could summon from my iPad. I’m not even going to try and remember that setlist, it was nuts.

    My earlier “official” setlist, however, is right here:

    Sweet Soul Music Arthur Conley
    Le Freak Chic
    Disco Inferno The Trammps
    Can You Feel The Force? The Real Thing
    Knock On Wood Amii Stewart
    Get Down On It Kool & The Gang
    Can You Feel It The Jacksons
    Play That Funky Music Wild Cherry
    I Don’t Believe You Wanna Get Up And Dance (Oops!) The Gap Band
    You Sexy Thing Hot Chocolate
    The Who Who Song Jackie Wilson
    Too Late Larry Williams & Johnny Guitar Watson
    Breaking Down The Walls Of Heartache Johnny Johnson And The Bandwagon
    Don’t Leave Me This Way The Communards
    It’s Not Unusual Tom Jones

    I’ve taken a leaf out of Jamie’s book, and made a YouTube playlist of the whole set for your edification. Enjoy.

     

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