The other new series from Brian Wood is Black Road – the first issue came out this month – and I’m also enjoying it immensely. It feels like a follow-up to Northlanders – the viking setting is similar – but this time in the guises of what appears to be a mystery story. It’s hard to tell just how good or interesting the story will be as it continues, but it’s already off to a great start.
I’ve enjoyed the work of Brian Wood ever since Channel Zero, and have followed him through pretty much his entire career. After the terrific Northlanders and DMZ though, I did find The Massive to be a bit less interesting to me (even though I read all of it, but I skipped the new mini-series that came out this year) and I stopped reading Rebels after a few issues, but I may go back to it. Somehow, I had missed the release of one of his latest series (I’ll write about the other one in a separate post), Starve, and over the past week or so I’ve been catching up on it (there are 8 issues out), and I’m loving it to death. I’m usually not a big fan of Danijel Zezelj’s art style, but for some reason it really works for me this time, and I love the protagonist and the setting (a near future where people are obsessed with a reality cooking show). So far for me, this is as good as DMZ, if not better.
My initial intention with this post was to bring up the fact that Kieron Gillen, longtime games journalist, has effectively said goodbye to his game writing days (for the most part) to concentrate fully on his comic writing career, in part bolstered by the fact that he just recently signed an exclusivity deal with Marvel Comics, and that later this year he’ll be co-writing one of the company’s flagship titles, Uncanny X-Men. I especially wanted to bring this up because as a farewell message, he wrote a terrific essay on what it’s like to be a writer in the gaming press, and how to deal with it (and the shitty pay).
But, what all of this also brought to mind for me was how it’s yet another WEF alumni making it big in the comics industry. WEF, that’s the Warren Ellis Forum, a message board that Warren had back in the day (must be around 10 years or so now) on which I was a regular poster/reader. Not only did it count a lot of people who back then were just thinking of getting into comics (or maybe not even thinking about it), people like Kieron, Matt Fraction, Brian Wood, Antony Johnston, just to name a few, who are now writing some terrific books, and making up a sort of new guard if you will.
What you may not know as well is that it was actually from the WEF, after being invited by Warren to participate on a project, that I did what I consider to be my first foray into this career of mine. See, even though he tweets like a motherfucker (literally), there’s a heart of gold in that man.