How have you been? It feels like la rentrée is in full swing in newsletter-land, and so The Third Something returns after a break.
I’ve had a fine summer. The weather here has been typically British (an unpredictable and unsatisfying mix of sun and rain) but with the rest of the world either on fire or swept into the sea, I’ve taken to saying (with dark humour, granted) that Britain has the best weather in the world.
I stopped therapy in late July after three-and-a-half years. It felt rather momentous in the moment (what a three-and-a-half years!) and scary to be “on my own”, but equally, the right thing to do.
It was three years of clearing the ground and we stopped on the cusp of doing some really deep excavation.
Tools downed, for now.
I keep thinking about the graph in this story published by my colleagues at The New York Times last week.
As someone who doesn’t like crowds, I’m mildly annoyed to be alive at what may turn out to be the one short blip of high traffic in the history of the species.
I have published one of my favourite short stories from Biteguard Fever Dreams #2 on my website for everyone to see.
It’s called Connection Error and it speaks a truth about technology, progress…and printers.
It was long-listed in last year’s Manga Jiman awards. It’s good! If you haven’t read the zine yet, go check it out.
And if you like the story, there are more copies of Biteguard #2 available.
Both issues were on sale at a popular zine and comics fair in London back in July and several were bought. At the previous year’s fair, I had no zines to my name, and this year I had two!
It felt like…not success, but progress.
Oh, and on a related note…I think I’ve started drawing a graphic novel?
It was very unceremonious. At the end of July, I bought a small square sketchbook and started filling it with panels, pretty much making events up page by page.
Two months (and another sketchbook) later, I’m still going strong. There are four intriguing characters I’m enjoying getting to know and a few others who are really making me laugh.
I honestly don’t know where it’s going or how it’s going to end. My promise to myself is to keep showing up every day until it does.
I won’t say much more than that right now; I’ve not told many people about this yet. A graphic novel is such a huge undertaking with so many chances for failure, I’m not sure I want the accountability!
To prioritise the project, I’m making some sacrifices; hard choices on a logic of: “which of these activities has the greatest potential to change my life?”.
I’ve decided not to submit entries for the usual comics competitions this year (writing entries for which have structured my autumn for the last 3 years); there won’t be a third issue of Biteguard, at least for a year or so.
And this newsletter will be quieter for a while. But it won’t be silent — I have lots to write about. Unbelievably, January will mark a decade since the very first Long Game video was published and I think that’s worthy of reflection.
But I’m in my element. I love writing stories and — dare I say it? — I’m quite good at it!
Until another Sunday soon,