Yeah, it's been a couple months. Oh, you could've been getting that free content over at Twitter in the meantime. I've been posting all kinds of crazy stuff over there, long research threads, music video impromptu DJ sets, confessionals, photography, you know, giving that value to Jack instead of keeping it here where I could be raking in all that sweet ad revenue.
Oh, wait. I don't have any ads here. I'm not counting your clicks. Dammit. I knew I was doing something wrong. Maybe a lotta things. Sounds about my speed.
Anyways, came to the conclusion that it's time for a break from Twitter. Probably was a long time ago, but sometimes I'm dense and it takes awhile for the message to get through. Suspect when and if I return I need to slash my follow list something fierce. And a lot of people will take that personally. Maybe there's a way around that. But I have to say, letting the whole world into your brain on a mainline on the regular is probably not a great idea. It wasn't always like that. Or maybe it was and I'm just figuring that out.
So, since I'm back here posting stuff, let's talk about my current comics project.
That's right. I'm doing a comics project again. I said I'd walked away from it. You're right. But I'm handling this one differently. Promise that I won't take it all personal.
The new project is called AUTODRIVE and it's adjacent to the last comics thing I pitched around, called THE FUTURE AMERICA (and that name is likely to go away, but maybe it'll stick around as the title of the letter column or something.) The blanket heading will be 19XX. Was gonna be 20XX, but retro-past, not retro-future is where it's at now. Seriously, look around. Cyberpunk happened and we missed it. We didn't get implants or hyper-tuned reflexes or scalpels under our fingertips, but we got everything else. Cyberpunk has become a loose collection of aesthetic signifiers, as empty as vaporwave, yo. This isn't to say that it still doesn't have a place in my part, cyberpunk that is (vaporwave was created for another generation entirely and they can enjoy it). Cyberpunk ended up being about the 80s and sorta the 90s far more than the future. But that's the way it always with actual sci-fi, right? Did that phrase make you mad, that I was using the diminuitive? Don't take it so personally.
Anyways, hashtag cyberpunk is a place for other folks to go play and set their AAA console games in. You bet. Hundreds of thousands of human hours to play in a world that was created coming up on forty years ago. Aesthetic signifiers. So tasty. Throw some more neon on there. No, seriously, I love neon.
But yeah, wasn't cyberpunk supposed to be cautionary? Even though it was hopeful 'cause we didn't annihilate ourselves in nuclear fire? Gibson himself said that when asked if the Sprawl was dystopian. So, yeah. Yet, here we are jacked into the matrix and zaibatsus in all but name are buying up worldwide water rights and bunkering in for the next hundred years. Gotta prepare if you're going to profit from the Jackpot, right?
Seriously, THE PERIPHERAL is genius and shoulda made cyberpunk obsolete. Who better to do that to the cultural cloud he (unwittingly) conjured up just looking around through the end of the seventies.
Oh, right. AUTODRIVE. It's set in the world of the groovy, chunky future we coulda had if we'd been brave enough. There's a bunch of research posted over at thefutureamerica on tumblr. Go check that out. Nothing is an exact match, of course, but you can get the vibe.
Right now AUTODRIVE has a rough story outline, a first issue of page beats (mostly), an artist who's interested but the contract isn't done yet. It will not be crowdfunded. And if we can't land a regular publishing deal, I'm not positive that it'll actually happen. Look. I've done the back of the Previews catalog before. And that was ten years back when managers actually ordered out of it. Now it's pre-orders or nothing. I don't know how to beat that beast. Oh, sure, here comes "just write something that people want to read, you big dummy!" which is the equivalent of "git gud!" and you can park that somewhere else 'cause I'm gonna slash its tires if I see that stopped on my street.
As I've noted before, Kickstarter and the like are not things that work for me. I've got the commercial fiction sense of a spider plant, which is to say none. I've never written to confirm biases or with a market in mind because that's never been the way I've worked. "Oh but you have to think of a market." Sure I do. It's all weirdos. Weirdos rule everything around me. All of my heroes have been weirdos and off-beat. I don't see that changing anytime soon.
Ok, just about out of social media time, so I'll follow up on this later.