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I wanted to be deconstructionary (As in, the world takes apart some common RPG tropes) while also reconstructionary (As in, creating a whole fantasy that is seductive and enchanting). I wanted character types that could be commentary on your cleric and paladin and the rest... while having the potential to operate by themselves as their own iconic sense. -- Kieron Gillen

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It's very much the sort of book I can only do at Image, which tries to do everything. As well as this personal story around the cast, the whole thing basically is a Planetary-but-for-Fantasy-and-RPG deconstruction of the various elements that gave birth to the modern conception of games and fantasy. And as well as that, it's also an entirely coherent, and hopefully enchanting fantasy world summoned by Stephanie [Hans]. It's a lot. It doesn't aim low. -- Kieron Gillen

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It's a book that does not shy away from the question of monstrosity — it's very much a theme. At what point does it become divorced from the intrinsic humanity? 'Superhuman' is just another way of saying not 'human.' -- Kieron Gillen

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To broadly paraphrase: “I understand how I felt as a teenager better when I was 36 than when I was 16.” I wouldn’t go that far—and, I stress, I paraphrase that, from memory—but if you don’t other your past and remember those emotions, you can write them. One good thing about getting older is that you can write from experience about more stages of human life. -- Kieron Gillen

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I always knew this would be "our heroes are separated from the rebellion and on the run" part of the story, but after six issue of hell in HOPE DIES it felt like we'd be hitting the same depressing notes again and again. Then, visiting a mansion in Scotland, and looking at the sprawl of countryside I found myself thinking that what would challenge our heroes wouldn't be more in the dirt grind. It'd be a chance to be happy. -- Kieron Gillen

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The “youth culture” is one that does make me raise an eyebrow. I always see I write about how art impacts humans. That the arts I choose to champion—pop music, games, comics—are cultural underdogs speaks to my fundamental perversity, and that people put it in a box of “youth culture” says a lot. I mean, when comics discussion does it, it’s weird. If I did what all too many writers do and write comics about comics, comics critics wouldn’t say I was just writing about youth culture. That I do comics about pop music, people do. I think that says does say something about comics culture, and that oddly inward-looking worldview is something that I feel Jamie and I have kicked against our whole career. -- Kieron Gillen

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Clearly, if we had the money, we'd have printed 90 black pages. The most poetical instrument in the world is a sledgehammer. -- Kieron Gillen

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In one way, I just wanted to give Jamie [McKelvie] a guitar solo. I think he’s the undisputed costume designer of his generation in the American field – even putting aside his work on WicDiv, he’s responsible between three of the most influential looks of our time, two of which are going to be everywhere for the next five years at least (Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel being the Everywhere-ers, and America Chavez being one of those period touchstones.) The idea of having half an issue devoted to 128 new and individually researched character designs is absolutely a mike-drop. No-one’s done this. No-one would try to do this. I wanted Jamie’s peers to cry at the idea of even considering trying this. Admittedly, this involved Jamie crying doing it, but the cost of doing business. So yeah – while arrogant and desperately overambitious, especially in the context of a monthly comic book (this is easily as much work as two monthly comics) this is one we’re intensely proud of. -- Kieron Gillen

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People have wondered what the fourth year is about. We’ve normally described arcs like albums. The Faust Act like that urgent first introduction, the second the awkward Sophomore, the third going to our Berlin Experimental stage, the fourth a band deciding they want to sell lots and lots of records… and it working. And after winning, what do you do? Whatever you want, which is inevitably the coked out double-album indulgent mess of Imperial Phase. I’m not taking the metaphor any further, at least yet. Or to put it another way, what the fourth year is about is ending this fucker. -- Kieron Gillen

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I like to think our comic is a riposte to Rorschach's I'm Not Trapped In Here With You -- You're All Trapped In Here With Me with a "Actually, no, I am trapped in here with you." -- Kieron Gillen

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The mood is basically an Agatha Christie Murder Mystery. This is pulp and light. It just happens to star riffs on some of the most intellectual writers of all time. As such, we kind of mock them. They’re trapped in this kind of story – and this story kills them all.

At the same time, this is a story about form. What is comics? What is prose? Is illustrated prose just a comic with a really big caption? This is arguably the most modernist issue of WicDiv that we’ve ever done. As such, we’re saying the exact opposite to the above as well – that we are the successors to these geniuses, and this is our ultimate tribute to them.

My tongue is in cheek with the above, but perhaps less than it should be.


-- Kieron Gillen

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You may have seen us trying to prod people to reread WicDiv before 33. This was partially in response to a friend who read 33 before it came out who said – I paraphrase – “I wish I could tell people to reread the series now, because after they read 33, those issues are gone, forever.” She’s right – it’s a pure ‘everything changes’ issue, and you can’t reread the comic earlier, because everything has transmuted beneath your fingers.

Which is by our design, but is still a grim thing to think about. We’ve destroyed all those issues on the shelves, and replaced them with a new story. On the bright side, we’ve given you 35 free comics. I suspect this returns to Jamie’s and my twitchiness over comic prices, and trying to make ours better value, every way we can. In this case, we want to make rereading valuable and exciting.


-- Kieron Gillen

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The Wicked + the Divine was always about a monument to everything I've ever loved, which we proceeded to set fire to. -- Kieron Gillen

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Comrade Rossignol, my old partner in crime, game developer and co-writer on The Ludocrats, and I have a line we tend to quote to one another. It’s a paraphrase of a quote from Ballard: “My advice to anyone in any field is to be faithful to your obsessions. Identify them and be faithful to them, let them guide you like a sleepwalker.”

We quote it as: “stay true to your obsessions and your obsessions will be true to you.”

It’s basically been our respective careers’ magnetic north, but there’s certainly times when I wonder how good it’s proved for us as human beings.


-- Kieron Gillen

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This is pure fairy-tale, folklore myth structure. It’s also joke structure, in the rule of three way. First statement shows a situation. Second statement shows it is a pattern. Third statement subverts the pattern. It’s just a very efficient way of doing basically everything… and that natural rhythm being used everywhere means that it always feels part of some longer, primordial sort of storytelling. -- Kieron Gillen

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Full bleed gets the sense of the endlessness of the dark, and Dionysus sitting there, facing it. Art against the void. Our comic in a panel. -- Kieron Gillen

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