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  1.  (7381.1)
    Right, let's do this thing while what remains of my brain works. Forgive typos, folks. Operating at the edge of physical endurance. But I'm listening to Bo Diddley, so things could be worse.

    JustinJordan: "You've mentioned before that without a digital platform* ala Longbox, there probably wouldn't a Phonogram 3. In your opinion, how far out do you think we are from this being a reliable and worthwhile way to actually, you know, make money with comics? Or are we already there and I'm just massively ignorant?"

    Hello Justin!

    Good question. If I had a good answer, I suspect I'd be rich. Or at least, not sitting here in my tiddly London flat. In short: we're not there yet. I'm sure if you've got a big enough IP to leverage, people have done okay with some of the Iphone comic stuff - but without something to actually work in a way analogous to a shop, it's no use to anyone else. LongBox is most interesting in terms of how it's integrating an industry-best comics-reader with a shop. As in, people who pirate all their comics will hopefully use it to read them. But in that, you're getting a legal shop channel in front of people, and it's possible to pick money from that. And... oh, I'm going off topic.

    In short, no. Any available online-comics-for-sale thing is very much extra money rather than sustainable-money. And Extra-money is no bad thing. When Longbox goes public, we'll probably have all the singles issues of Phonogram up there. By then, the trade will be available. Why bother? Well, it's cheap. People can sample. Our singles are unique objects packed full of nonsense, so worth buying even if you have the trade. And - for us - it's pretty much free money. We've done the comic. Why wouldn't we do this? And indie comics people need every penny

    We'll certainly be looking at the results for sales. One thing I'd really like to do is actually do something equivalent to a Longbox-only single issue special as a test-case to see whether it can actually support a comic, in terms of moneterization on the steps towards a collection. That's the trick.

    I think it'll be interesting to see where we are in six months, basically.

    Oh - when I said the "Without digital solution they'll be no PG3" I meant it as an example of a way PG3 could work rather than a necessity. There's lots of schemes I have for doing it, but in reality, at the moment, there's no way to do a PG3 right now.

  2.  (7381.2)
    dot_xom: Who are your influences, as a writer?

    Ooh, the biggie. I'll come back to this one and end up doing an essay. I'm all about human's relationship with their art.

    Yskaya: Having collected all of your phonogram singles so far, I've got a question; what does an illustrator have to do to illustrate a short story by your hand?
    There has to be a chapter in the how to guide; I know its somewhere: *flips thru manual. > 'ask the writer NICELY' okay. 'and offer incentives' ehm okay.
    Being short on booze, money and wimmin, I can only offer time and a slight talent at drawing not complete arsed up slightly emaciated stick-figures.

    I think a lot us (or at least me) would like to know how to approach a writer kindly, without having someone who can introduce you to said writer.

    Oh, you temptress, you.

    Me specifically? Well, anyone who invents some manner of time-machine to allow me to find time to write another story gets one for free. I could use such a device. It's really a case that outside of Phonogram, I've got no time to do something even with artists I've had a relationship with. I mean, I've done quite a few short stories with the lovely Andy Bloor over the years for the Accent UK anthologies (, but I haven't time for it. Which is heartbreaking, but at least Andy did a story with me in the last issue of Phonogram.

    The other short fiction... well, we're talking Phonogram B-sides. And for that, it's normally a case that I've found myself in conversation with an artist in a bar late one night and they drunkenly offer to do one. Foolish idiots. I will control them. Or, occasionally, when it's an artist without a larger reputation, I've approached them because I love their work. But mainly talking nonsense in bars to artists who I dig and dig us.

    (i.e. Best thing to do is just carry on doing work and offer to do if we ever cross paths).

    Speaking generally - well, a lot of it is just finding a writer you like who isn't snowed under and wants to do a story of some kind. That's what I say to all writers working in the small press with no artistic talent of their own. It's hard to get anyone to do your first strip. However, if you do good work and get it out there, you get artists saying you should do a story some time. Good work breeds more opportunities. I think that holds generally, and is worth believing in. Because, in the end, all you have is your work.

    I think this cuts both ways, for artists and writer. You find someone who you think is brilliant and isn't too busy, and ask if they want to do something together some times. And, an artist volunteering themselves is the most popular person at the dance. Everyone wants artists. Even artists who never finish any work are crazy hot.

    Brain failing. Maybe more on this one later. Someone ask questions to focus this ramble a bit, yeah?

  3.  (7381.3)
    Utterly unrelated to your art , but do you remember shouty Britpop-era agit punks the Flying Medallions ? I fear I may have imagined them.
  4.  (7381.4)
    Answering a couple of these and then stopping. Pick up tomorrow when I've sweated out more vileness.

    Matthew Sheret: Kieron, what was your favourite time you ever cried?

    Matthew Sheret has shared a chalet with me this weekend, thus is clearly addled with pop-music too. He's one part of splendid brit-comics indie-combine We Are Words And Pictures and is very serious.

    Mercer Finn: Standard boring question: what was the comic/graphic novel that got you into comics/graphic novels?

    I wrote about this Back In The Day over at Ninth Art.

    In short, I came late to the medium. I read Watchmen when I was 21, which turned me into a 2-3 trades a year sort of guy. When I was 25, after buzzing through Authority/Planetary/Transmet, I fell full-force into the comics-subculture via Warren's Evil WEF domain - which was a wonderful crash course into the medium. Six months later I went to my first con, and when I got home I wrote the core of my first script, blitzed on vodka at about 3am. I hit the medium really hard. You could see how I approached writing a page warping on a week-for-week basis back then if you read my scripts. "This is the one where Kieron has just read Cerebus the aardvark" "This is the one after first reading Jessica Abel" "This is the one where Kieron Gillen is having crazed Sexy-feelings over Eddie Campbell".

    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2009
    Kieron, before the comics folks eat what's left of your brain, you wanna give us a link to your games journalism, and maybe an ETA for your surely-imminent End-of-Year-and-Decade music review-bloggeding?
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2009
    Kieron, please answer these questions:

    1. What is your favourite Avril Lavigne song?
    2. What is your favourite My Chemical Romance song?
    3. Who is your favourite member of the Barenaked Ladies?

    Thank you for your time.
  5.  (7381.7)
    Have you listened to Sam Sparro this year ?
  6.  (7381.8)
    whats up with this new book through AVATAR? i have been quite enamored with your stuff as you may or may not know and am pretty interested in a new creator owned thingie from you.
    • CommentAuthorWillinSpace
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2009 edited
    Mr. Gillen,

    My least favorite kind of question that people ask writers of superhero comics are the ones that are like, "Who would win in a fight, Hawkman or Spider-Man?" I've decided on a better kind of question that involves comics creators themselves.

    Who would win in a bar fight, you or James McKelvie?

    How bout you versus other up-and-coming Marvel talent? You versus Fred Van Lente? Jason Aaron? Is there anyone at Marvel (writers, artists, editors, etc) who you are pretty confident you could beat up? Anyone you'd like to get in a fight with?

    On an entirely unrelated note, I think the unsung tragedy of this December is Marvel's 2009 Holiday special. 10 dollars for a slick magazine full of old holiday stories that no one's interested in reading again! DC has been blowing Marvel out of the water for years in this regard.

    This is my one free idea I give you EDITED BY WARREN TO REMOVE RETARDED DROOLING

    Are there any Christmas/Holiday stories that you'd like to tell?

    Anyway, good job storytelling. You do pretty well considering you live in a degenerate culture where people use dead cats to fish for eels.

    With warm regards,

  7.  (7381.10)
    Certainly, Ariana.

    I've games-journalistised for well over a decade now, from 1995. The only place I write now is actually the games blog I run called Rock Paper Shotgun. In the past, I've worked for specialist mags (PC Gamer, Edge, Everyone Fucking Else), Websites (Eurogamer, The Escapist) and mainstream mags and papers (The Guardian, Wired). I'm just quoting the sexiest ones, you may have noticed.

    In terms of older stuff, there's an archive of some notable malarkies over on my blog. Internationally, I'm probably best known for coining the phrase New Games Journalism, because I never said I was bright. In the UK I'm still probably best known for my years on PCG, where I'm still recognised on the streets about once a month. Which is often pretty funny.

    More recent stuff I wrote which people seemed to like? Erotisim, on sex and the Sims is a hefty fucker. Here's me being Mr Wolf when I step into one of the year's worst review controversies with Darkfall. A little rougher, but here's my take on No Russian, the controversial MW2 level. And here's my Earth Defence Force 2017 review, where I use the phrase "Weaponized Bukkake".

    Ariana also references my yearly Top 40 thing I do over at my blog, which is basically me showing off my lack of taste. I've done one every year since... 2004, I think. It'll probably happen on January 1st, which is when I normally post it. However, this time, being an end of decade, I'm considering doing a few more things as well. I want to do a tracks of the decade piece, certainly, which is going to be deliberately a bit dumb (The idea is that rather than forcing it, I'm only adding to the list as songs occur to me. I'm trying to do a songs of the decade - as in, songs which resonate with the decade in some curious way and have lingered oddly - rather than actually any statement of them being best. Though they'll be some of that). I plan to have some fun with it anyway.

    The decade has thrown me a bit. I look at where I was at the start of it and where I am now. As I said earlier, I didn't even in comics culture until I was 25. That was 2001.

    Oh, one more before I go...

    KatieWest: 1. What is your favourite Avril Lavigne song?
    2. What is your favourite My Chemical Romance song?
    3. Who is your favourite member of the Barenaked Ladies?

    1) Sk8r Boi, of course*.
    2) I'm Not Okay (I Promise), if only for the splendid i'm-not-oh-fucking-kay timesis. **
    3) You're my favourite bare naked lady, Katie.


    *There's totally a big old essay on Sk8r boi under there. Treat the link as you would a Warren Ellis DON'T CLICK link.
    **Though Welcome To The Black Parade inspired a Phonogram B-side I'm sure I'll never write.
  8.  (7381.11)
    Though Welcome To The Black Parade inspired a Phonogram B-side I'm sure I'll never write.

    DAMMIT i love that whole album...even though i catch maaaaaad shit for it
  9.  (7381.12)
    Ridicule is nothing to be afraid of.

    In that spirit, googling up that Sk8r Boi piece ends up with this piece of stream of consciousness which I'll drag from the vaults in the seasonal spirit of public embarrassment. Also, because it's the first time I mentioned the name Phonogram publicly. I'm not even sure I knew Jamie then.

    • CommentAuthorAnyways
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2009
    Mr. Gillen,

    When I first read Phonogram, I was rather startled to see Kenickie mentioned... Typically, I keep the music I listen to to myself because all my friends hate the things I listen to (this may or may not have something to do with living in a frozen hell north of the polar circle), and even on the internet I have yet to talk to a fellow Kenickie fan - so, seeing you here answering questions and everything, I can't resist asking, what's your favourite record by the band?

    Kind regards,
    Jens A.
  10.  (7381.14)
    oh no you didn't oh god
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2009
    Ariana beat me to the general games journalism question, so I'll try to be more specific: What do you think the goal of the games journalist should be? What makes good games journalism good? Is this different from, say, what makes good entertainment journalism good in general?

    I've got my own opinions, but I'm interested in what yours sounds like now. I cite your article on the Cradle level in Thief: Deadly Shadows with some regularity as a great example of thoughtful analysis in games criticism. How has your opinion changed since then?
    • CommentAuthorzoombini
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2009 edited
    Oh yeah, I remember recognizing your name when Phonogram came out - the one time I ever went to England I picked up a copy of PCG and you were treated as the resident "weird guy". Random fact - two PCG USA members have also written comics. Gary Whitta with Death Jr (surprisingly good), and William "Billy" Harms with Impaler for Top Cow (not-so-surprisingly shit).

    Anyway, I admit I like Phonogram a lot, even if I recognize <5% of the bands and <1% of the songs in it. I picked up SWORD as well, and it's 50x better than I thought it would be. Seriously one of the best superhero books I've read this year.
      CommentAuthorJef UK
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2009 edited
    I'm fairly obsessed with combining original music and comics to provide broader, more intricate narratives ( see my ). Anyway, I've started following your work recently, and I was wondering what you had to say about the relationship between music and comics, and do you plan (or have you already made) music developed specifically to your comics (as opposed to referencing existing work)?

    Thanks for the great comics, Kieron!
  11.  (7381.18)
    In an interview about Rue Britannia you said that you made a lot of dumb decisions while creating the comic, some of which were necessary. I got the impression you were talking about alienating possible readers, but which decisions are you referring to?
  12.  (7381.19)
    Hey there Kieron. Just wanted to tell you that the piece with "Ash" near the start of Phonogram 1.6 is absolutely brilliant, especially because I answered ol' Brit's question to David before I read the next panel. Also, you write the most solid trouncings I have ever read (Emily Aster to car crash girl, for one).

    In short, I would like to be a Kieron Gillen when I grow up. Also, seconding a Hold Steady-inspired B-Side, or at least Titus Andronicus.
    • CommentAuthorales kot
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2009
    What's your dream project?