November should be a busy month for us. I'd written off 2014 as the year of AAA disappointments, but the last three or four weeks have been absolutely insane. Actual good AAA releases, great indie stuff, I should be crotch deep in games right now. Sadly, it hasn't worked out that way. A recent visit to my dentist went from a simple filling to appointments for four-pulled teeth, two root canals, three fillings and a cap for my front teeth. I don't drink tea and I'm not very polite, so I guess "horrific teeth" is the British stereotype I get to embody. Urgh. So yeah, we'll definately get around to hitting the "big names," but at a slower pace than usual.
In more positive news, Cory and I are working on a side project that should please those of you who miss our fumbled attempts at long-form storytelling in Critical Miss.
Those of you who follow me on Twitter have probably seen me gripe about the current direction of Critical Miss and my continued dissatisfaction with my own growth as a writer. I'm still enormously proud of my work on the strip, and Cory's art has gone from strength to strength (seriously, look at those teeth in panel one). Still, there's only so much you can do with a strip like CM. That's not to say it's perfect - there are still strips ten times as good as ours - but the gag-a-day format is inherently limiting.Other writers have transitioned from hard-gag comics to more character driven pieces with something resembling grace, but the scant few attempts I've made to take Critical Miss in that direction have uniformly ended in disaster. CM has a dedicated, perhaps even entrenched readership and trying to change the strip now would seem like a bait and switch of the worst kind.
So, no, don't worry. Critical Miss is here to stay. Videogames and the people who make and play them are just too silly for us not to be swimming in material for the foreseeable future. But we're going to do something new as well.
Now I've promised the earth before and delivered things that are most definitely not Earths, so let me just explain that everything is still in the planning phase and there's still very much a chance it could all go tits up. Okay, so. Over the next month, Cory and I will be experimenting with producing four comic strips a week. Two of those will be classic Critical Miss strips, complete with dick jokes and the cheapest shots at Evangelion we can muster. The other two will be part of a new series called Erin Dies Alone. In EDA we'll be focusing on a slightly more damaged version of Erin and her adventures (*or not adventures, as the entire strip takes place in her single bedroom apartment) with a more stable cast of videogame character hallucinations. While they share a similar premise, EDA will be a far gentler, more character-driven comic than CM. Still funny, hopefully, but in a more thoughtful way.