Last November, back when we still had comic book conventions, I met Ryan O'Sullivan in the MCM London hotel bar. He told me that he had two books from Vault planned, one to be part of White Noise Round 2 that may or may not be a sequel to Fearscape.
Well, in today's The Hollywood Reporter, that turned into a 'yes, yes it is'. As Ryan told Graeme McMillan that he and artist Andrea Mutti have reunited for the not-a-sequel, dubbed 'A Dark Interlude' planned for the autumn.
The original was a writer's story about being a writer, and as unreliable as the author as the boundaries between reality and fiction were frayed apart.
The first issue of A Dark Interlude, will be released in November 2020 putting the world's greatest writer (allegedly) back with The Muse and more, and he's on hand to explain why all this is definitely not a sequel.
Dear reader, kindly ignore my publisher and whichever clickbait, data-selling, privacy-ignoring "entertainment news" website they have elected to run this advertisement on; A Dark Interlude is not a sequel to Fearscape. I would never dream of contributing to society's paunched glut of never-ending stories. Originality died the day the child-reader cried "more", and the parent-author obeyed.
While it may be true that A Dark Interlude begins where Fearscape ends, that all of the characters from Fearscape reappear, that the Fearscape itself also reappears (still as a metaphysical realm beyond our own, where that which we fear most takes physical form); to take these coincidental continuances as indicative of the work-as-sequel is to misunderstand the primary function of all literature. I speak, as well you know, of the anxiety of influence.
Our inspiration comes not from the gods, but from our fellow man. How often do we imagine a story of our own creation, seemingly from the ether, only to discover it already exists in a book penned by another? (Perhaps a book we own! Perhaps, even, one we've previously read!) Humanity is a coral reef, largely sharing the same thoughts. So to the franchise-fetishists I ask — is all literature a sequel to Dante? To Tolstoy? To Shakespeare?
Of course not. The sheer concept is lunacy. And yet, the thought is appealing. The entirety of human literature as one long, single, narrative. I wonder, how would such a story end? (And who would dare try to write it?)
Hey, how did he know this would get picked up by Bleeding Cool?