Rich Burlew continues to heal his sliced-up thumb as fast as willpower allows¹, but both new comics and progress on the many, many projects related to his Kickstarter² remain fairly well stalled at the moment. But a simmering secret project (that didn’t require direct involvement to the same degree as other items) has come to fruition that ought to satisfy the most die-hard Order of the Stick fans: the first in-scale tabletop game miniature, eventually to become a full line. Roy Greenhilt comes unpainted, with multiple eyebrow options, and is as near a perfect projection into three dimensions of Burlew’s stick-figure style as could ever be expected. No word yet on who the second figure will be, but personally I’m hoping for a sexy, shoeless god of war.
- Missed in the superstorm: the recently-announced, Spike-led horror anthology did indeed open up for submissions as scheduled and is accepting story proposals for another sixteen days. Note that you don’t have to have a comic done by then, just get your story pitch in — the actual submission isn’t due until May. In case you’re wondering if The Sleep of Reason is a cool enough project for you to get involved in, check out the murderers row of already-confirmed participants and wonder how it could possibly get any better³.
- How about something a bit more hopeful, but still with enough darkness to keep it from being all weak tea? The New York International Children’s Film Festival announced the return of their annual Studio Ghibli retrospective for five full weeks starting 16 November and running until 20 December. Week one’s schedule is already posted, featuring screenings (in new 35mm prints, both dubbed and subbed) of Nausicaä, Laputa, Totoro, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away. If you’ve never seen these films on the big screen, you’re missing out; if you’ve never seen these films, period, what the hell is wrong with you?
- If we move further away from the darkness to where there is only sunny optimism and gentle humo[u]r, I’m pleased to note that I received my copies (one to keep, one to give to the next first-time parent I know) of The Bear in yesterday’s mail, and dang if it isn’t beautiful. I’m not sure how much direction Ryan Sohmer gave to Becky Dreistadt in the choice of animals and staging each of the little vignettes he wrote but if he’s smart (and Sohmer is very smart) he got out of her way and let her imagination run wild. Because dang, have I mentioned what you get when Becky’s imagination runs wild?
In any event, it’s a gorgeous book, and I am encouraged by rumo[u]rs I hear that there will be a The Bear 2, as that means more animal paintings from Dreistadt, and if there’s one thing that a nation (and world) badly divided by petty dislikes and prejudices needs, it’s more of her animal paintings. You literally cannot maintain a bad mood looking at these. The only downside to a second volume? Sohmer and Dreistadt had to sign nearly 4000 copies of The Bear; I’m figuring a second book could easily double that, leading one or both to possibly have an arm fall off and nobody wants that. Just in case, the magic word is Xam! Really.
¹ Which is roughly the same speed if willpower is taken out of the equation. Honestly, thinking at a sliced tendon doesn’t do much at all.
² Of which, to be fair, several were clearly labeled at the time of the Kickstart as This will get done some considerable time in the future after the easier things to fulfill to the most people are done.