Here we've got another sneak peak at that secret project, this time a full shot of one of our two protagonists. This was drawn by co-creator/penciller/inker/art-god Ralf Singh, and I think you'll agree it's just brilliant. I love his posture, the creased and weathered features. I can't help but think the image tells you more than I could - or should - in words, so I'll keep it short:
His name is JAMES and he's a man of few words and many skills.
Superheroes can. Superheroes can see the writing on the
wall, can see what the future brings, because their world – though colorful and
glorious and noble and right – is fundamentally limited. It is two dimensional.
In their world tragedy leads to purpose, which leads to one of two things: good
or evil. And in their world, good and evil always manifest the same way, in
gaudy robes and impossible powers and secret fortresses nestled in snowy wastes.
Grown men and women trade punches and quips for the fate of the world. The
internal is externalized in the most absurd and childish ways. This is the
world of the superhero. This is the life of a super(wo)man.
And that’s okay.
Or at least, that’s what China Mieville seems to be saying
in Dial H 13, one of the finest pieces of superhero metafiction ever devised. Let’s
dig into the issue itself, and see what we can uncover. You can follow along by
checking out the posted pages HERE.
I promised you a new era in the life cycle of this blog, and this is the first hint of that.
I've written a comic. A few, actually! And some very talented, generous, enthusiastic folks are collaborating on them with me. I'm excited about the opportunity, and thrilled by the experience thus far.
Above, you'll find a sneak peak - a character close up - from one of them. It's drawn by Ralf Singh, and I think you'll agree that it's absolutely gorgeous.
In the coming weeks and months you'll find out more about this project - even as we find out more about when and through whom we'll publish it - but here's just a small taste to whet your appetite.
Once upon a time, there was a very wealthy little boy. What
made him wealthy wasn’t just that he could buy whatever he wanted – although he
could – or that he had very many things – although he did. What made him
wealthy was that he had a mother and father who loved every part of him, who were strong and
good and themselves loved in the world. And
the world – though sometimes dark and frightful and riddled with hidden caves
full of feral, knowing eyes – the whole world was laid at his feet like a string of
pearls, to be picked up at his leisure.
Once upon a time, there was a very sad little boy. The world
– which once he would have held in his hands like a family heirloom, gently and
with some affection but without much interest – had come undone, it’s
individual pieces forever stained, slipping through his fingers and rolling
into dark gutters. And suddenly those hidden caves were the only places that
felt safe, those feral eyes the only gazes he could bear to meet. And in his pain and confusion and rage, he
vowed to spend the rest of his life putting the world back together, one pearl
at a time.
This is a story that you’ve heard before, many times. It is
a story that has birthed many stories, has birthed interpretation and
reinterpretation and homage and everything and between. But it is not the only way the story might have gone, and Dial H 13 gives us two alternate paths for that small boy with
the sad eyes. It is not just the best issue of the best series of the last few
years, it’s also one of the best single issues of all time.
Take a look, after the cut. And come back in the next few
days, perhaps after taking some time to think about the work yourself, for a
deeper discussion on what it is, and what it isn’t, trying to say.
This year’s San Diego Comic Con’s biggest news had nothing
to do with film, or even new comics. Not for this fan, at least. The biggest
news, by far, was the announcement of a Walter Simonson New Gods Omnibus.