How I Spent March 2019

Dorismarch19March 2019 was the month I started a new endeavor: I’ve begun writing a novel. I’ve just hit the 9000-word mark, so it’s already the longest piece of prose fiction I have to my name.

The idea for the book’s been floating around my head for a while now, but after having the chance to talk the plot over with a couple of friends, it’s now clear enough for me to finally start putting pen to paper. I must say, it’s a good feeling, and I have quite a bit of optimism about the way the book’s heading.

My other projects are coming along well. I’ve added a bit more polish to Midnight Widows prior to rolling out the crowdfunding campaign. And it shouldn’t be long before I can finally announce a particularly awesome gig that I’m currently obliged to stay silent about…

Articles of mine published elsewhere this month:

Article topics for April and beyond:

April19Beyond

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Deconstructing the Vampire

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The latest instalment of my year-long blog series on the history of vampire literature is now available to read at WWAC. My overview has reached the 1850s and 60s, and I’ve taken the opportunity to look at how writers from this period were using the vampire motif in a more deconstructive manner.

My case studies are Paul Féval’s novel Le Chevalier Ténèbre and a novel by Charles Wilkins Webber called (deep breath) Yieger’s Cabinet: Spiritual Vampirism, the History of Etherial Softdown, and Her Friends of the “New Light”. Judging by a cursory Google search, I may well be the first person on the Internet to write in detail about that second volume, so hopefully even the most scholarly horror buffs will find something new in my post…

On Amazing Stories Issue 24

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Ring-ding-ding-a-loo — it’s time for another journey back into the world of 1920s magazines about science fiction! Or scientifiction, as we called it in that roaring decade. This time I’m looking at the March 1928 issue of Amazing Stories (the first time, I believe, I’ve talked about  an issue the same month as its cover-date, if such matters interest you). Inside we find the end of the world, voyages to the moon, deadly plants, a Fu Manchu knockoff and more!

Midnight Widows: Progress Report

widows_illustration-cropA couple of months ago I said that I aimed to make 2019 the year of Midnight Widows, and so far things have been going mainly according to plan.

I still aim to launch the comic’s crowdfunding campaign this spring, hopefully in April. There are still a few things that need to be done beforehand, but only a few. Seven, in fact: I’ve put together a to-do list that includes seven little things that I and my lovely artistic team need to sort out before we’re ready to roll.

So, get ready to meet Edith, Kateryna and Gabriela, set to be unleashed upon the world some time soon…

 

Is the Captain Marvellous?

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I went to see Captain Marvel today. It’s another MCU film that shifts genres. Just as Thor did sword and sorcery and Winter Soldier did conspiracy thriller, Captain Marvel starts off as a space opera. Now, obviously, this genre itself isn’t new to Marvel films — hello, Guardians of the Galaxy — but there’s a distinct difference this time: Captain Marvel opens as a TV space opera.

Where film space operas typically aim to be either quasi-mythological epics (Star Wars) or over-the-top cartoons (Guardians, Flash Gordon, Valerian) TV space operas tend to have different ambitions, arising from their episodic formats and limited budgets. Intentionally or not, the first act of Captain Marvel does a thorough job of emulating this mode. Carol belongs to an alien army, the other members of which all look like humans (well, a couple have blue skin, but there are no counterparts to Groot or Rocket Raccoon present). Their exploits consist mainly of relatively low-key running-and-gunning, as we’d expect from a TV budget. Even the choice of antagonists — aliens who can shapeshift into doppelgangers — would suit a television series that wants to make the most of a limited cast. The production values are higher, but the underlying aesthetic is straight out of the TV set.

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The House of Eddas: Loki’s Back in Journey Into Mystery #88

journeymist88It’s that time again: to delve back into the age of Ymir (that is, the early 1960s) and see what Marvel’s Thor was up to!

Four-colour Thor first went up against Loki back in Journey Into Mystery #85, and every reader at the time must have known that the character would have been too good to use as a one-shot villain. And so, three months later, the two mythic figures had a rematch in “The Vengeance of Loki!”

The issue’s cover depicts Odin alongside the hero and villain: “Heed my words, Thor”, he says; “Though both of you are my sons, you must defeat the evil Loki… for the sake of mankind!” Oddly, despite this promise of a family feud, the issue itself makes only a single brief mention of Loki being a relative of Odin an Thor, when he refers to Odin as his father in the third panel.

Continue reading “The House of Eddas: Loki’s Back in Journey Into Mystery #88″