It's been a little while, but I'm excited to say that Issue #2 of Andraste will be available next month on ComiXology!
Thank you to everyone who picked up a copy of Issue #1. And a special thank you to those of you who reviewed it, or wrote to me! It's been quite a long road getting to publishing that first issue, but it's been really rewarding to see it through, and to work on Issue #2.
There are some fun things planned in the offing: I'll be running a Kickstarter for a big fancy 80+ page printed collection of Issues 1-3 this fall, and there will be an opportunity for you--yes, you--to get your very own torc from the fine folks at Crafty Celts, along with some other goodies for backers.
I'll also be sharing more previews of Issue 2 here over the next few weeks! If you'd like to get my blog posts emailed to you rather than checking back here, you can subscribe here: http://tinyletter.com/rhonorv
The first 25 new subscribers to that mailing list get a free copy of Issue 1.
I made it a whole 4 paragraphs without mentioning that I have been holed up... I mean, responsibly social distancing... at home for 5 months. I'm in New York City, which was badly affected by the pandemic. Spain, where Abel Cicero and DC Alonso live, was hit hard too. I am grateful to say that we're all doing fine, and I hope you all are, too.
Since March some interesting/worrying things related to the global shutdowns have been going on in the comic book industry: Diamond stopped distributing, conventions were cancelled, comic shops were shuttered, DC had a big round of layoffs, and many publishers were forced to pause production on titles. Besides the immediate human cost of those happenings, it makes the future of the industry -- for printed books, at least -- uncertain.
I'm hopeful that we'll recover. I'm also not planning to print single-issue floppies for Andraste anymore. I'm probably wrong, but I suspect that hard copies of those may go the way of the dodo, and so I'm going to do four larger books instead, each with three single issues. It makes more economic sense for me, and I think it makes more sense for readers, too -- I enjoy reading two or more issues at a clip, and getting a three-issue book would be more compelling to me than 3 floppies.
And ironically, I'm glad to be publishing this book independently, at least for the next few months. There are big benefits to working with a publisher: they have connections, a team of professionals, distribution networks, marketing pros, experience, etc. etc. etc. I can also imagine that they're making a lot of difficult decisions about continuing or curtailing series right now. Though it's harder to get the book out there for me, at present it's also a less fragile venture because I'm funding it myself, and I can keep it going for as long as I can do that. This is not to say I'd never want to work with a publisher on this book; I'm just relieved that I don't have to navigate another layer of uncertainty right now, when the entire world seems made of the stuff.
What's coming in Issue 2
Enough of my yapping! Abel and DC have done some absurdly fantastic work on Issue 2. Here are pages 4 and 5:
Issue 2 starts off ten years after the events of Issue 1, in 54 AD Londinium. Small town on the Thames, maybe you've heard of it? Pliny the Elder and his apprentice, Timoleon (or Timmy, if you prefer), are practicing the work of writing and reciting history.
I've written about this a bit, because it's one of the major themes of the book: not only is history 'written by the winners,' but it's often written for the present as well. Rome had wars to justify, and sometimes stories were told about past wars to justify current ones. Pliny represents an approach to history that values accuracy and understanding. Timmy is young and excited to be here, and he's falling into a natural pattern for human beings: telling history as he thinks people want to hear it. Here he's kicking off the lurid tale of Caractacus and Verica, from the first invasion of Britannia.
And never fear, we'll get back to the first family of the Iceni, too! Aithne and Gwyn are preparing for lives of war and druidry. But I'll save that for the next post.