Kieron Gillen's workblog




I'm having a reoccuring dream. Or rather, a narrative dream. My own personal soap-opera, written by a tag-team up of Big-Bill Burroughs, Jim Rossignol and Big Bird from Sesame Street.

This dream is bought to you by the letter "Fucked Up".

My dream is about reviewing a Vulture for PC Gamer's lead review and the difficulties thereof. The Vulture in the dream doesn't look much like a Vulture - much more like a cross between a Pelican and a giant Roc - but I'm to review it, with an extremely tight deadline. But the dream's continued past that point - the review's written and I've moved onto other work. However, that Vulture is still a matter of some considerable worry. I think that it's looking scrawny - did Ross remember to feed it over the weekend? "Don't worry", says my commissioining editor, "Vultures only have to be fed every second day". I'm not quite convinced, but have work to do - there's a whole immersive bird sim to review, where while I'm congratulating the variety of avian bodies available, I'm being harsh to its many weaknesses. "It's past the time, " I note in my dream, "That we can accept a standardised feeding mechanism for all birds. When being the long-necked pelican, I expect to be able to dip my head to sip - but I have to resort to the same actions as I would if I were any other bird. This really isn't acceptable".

But I keep on coming back to see the Vulture I reviewed, and it's looking sicker than ever. Which is when a rat chooses to attack me, curling up my body, and refusing to let go, no matter what I do. It's burroughing into my neck when I wake up with a shout and disturb Jane again.

I'm almost afraid to go to sleep, as I have no idea where this particular trail of dream may go next.

Of course, these aren't the only dream I've had recently - the bizarre Kenickie Come back dream I found myself relating this morning to a bewildered girlfriend is worthy of note. Set in what appears to be a cross between two of my old shared houses and a couple of Nightclubs (Moles and the now-defunct Swamp, subconcious fans), Kenickie are playing a gig. Marie and Lauren burst into the room - Lauren with a new Dyed bob - and sing an odd acappella version of Night-life-as-genocide anthem Classy. Then the reviews turn up an hour later, where it's all written on a blackboard and I critique the thing while offering the "Well... it was very quick" out. Marie is heartless, "It doesn't matter. You really have to build a reputation as a writer". I nod. She' sright. I head away to do some A-level stuff, and decide I'm going to write a blog entry about the gig.

Blogging's entered my hallucinations now. The end is nigh.

Where did they come from? Well - two sources are easily notable. The Kenickie comes from chatting to Jamie Boardman of 2000 AD at Caption this weekend gone. And the Rat attack was a mixture of the experience of Alec Meer's little bastards channeled through another memorable event of the day when, halfway through telling an anecdote about top-Bath-dead-lunatic Happy Days, a creature flew into my ear. As in down my ear. Desperately crawling for the brain in an attempt to reach my brain stem and use my body as a weapon of mass destruction in some Insectoid war.

I - to use the colloquial - Spack Out. Of course, half the table think that this is part of the story. Trust Antony Johnston the requisite verve and knocked the giant beast free from my ear with careful prodding. The man - say - deserves to write comics about porn stars. For example.

Two more of the bastards have a try later to repeat the action, but I was waiting. Oh yes. No fucking insect's gonna inseminate me.

Apart from that, Caption was well worth coming to. I didn't buy anywhere near as much as I wanted to - only picked up one person's mini (Daniel Hartvell cornered me on the way out to sell me one of his "Cinder", with art by Kirsty Sivan) - as my first Freelance payment hadn't quite arrived yet . Guest of Honour Carla Speed McNeil was a close spectator of the Insect-invasion incident, and returned my entertaining thrashing with a well-thought out speech later. The woman can talk, and talk well. I've already paraphrased her in idle, encouraging conversation to a couple of friends. I'd like to have stayed for Sunday to see her World Building presentation. There's few people who I would be interested in hearing their words on the subject - World Building is, for me, by far the easiest part of a fictional exercise - but Carla's one of them. Finder is exquisite work, and not really like anything else. I'd write more, but I'm saving the rant for the eventual launch of a certain infinitely delayed comics-website.

And finally saw Brian Talbot's presentation about storytelling, with specific reference to Bad Rat. While Arkwright's experimentation is impossible to miss - and easy to take apart and rip-off badly, as I've done in far too many of my scripts - but Bad Rat's entirely the opposite, and I genuinely appreciated the opportunity for him to take it apart.

What's happened to this Blog post? I've gone all soft in the head as it's passed three in the morning. WEAK.

Anyway - linking it to the workblog and comics theme, I'm writing this to relax from hammering out eight pages of image breakdowns for a HOMO DEPRESSUS script which I planned out on the way back from CAPTION. I think I'm pleased with it, though I can't really tell until I've added the monologue. Working title: THE MIRROR GAZES ALSO.

Enough. I leave as Tricky's Pre-millenium tension shudders into the final whooping-cough delirium of the final few tracks. Lyrics drift out of the nineties beat fog ("Even God's scared." "You're strong enough to take a life - but are you strong enough to take care of one?") and I drift towards bed.

Now: Let's see if that Vulture's okay.




Kieron Gillen's Workblog, foo'.