Ten Months In The Life Of Kieron Gillen Writing About The Eternals

Kieron Gillen, amongst a number of comic creators, publishes a newsletter. Everyone should read it. Not everyone does. Like a number of creators (Warren Ellis started this one) he talks about projects he can't yet talk about, with codenames. When the project is revealed, he reveals the codename, which allows one to trawl back through previous newsletters, to piece together its narrative. Or just wait for Bleeding Cool to do it. He previously revealed Project Brighter Shade Of Blue as Warhammer 40K, and Project Cowboy as… The Eternals. So let's go back to last November…

Ten Months In The Life Of Kieron Gillen Writing About The Eternals
First Preview Of Esad Ribic's Art In The Eternals #1 For December

From November 2019

The other major work (bar Thought Bubble and entertaining and similar) was about the two other things I mentioned last time, which are looking fairly likely now, so let's give them a codename each. PROJECT BRIGHTER SHADE OF BLUE and PROJECT COWBOY. Both are in exactly the same place, so let's hope that I can remember which one is which when I next time I give an update. Both different, both a sort of job I haven't done before, both appealing for exactly that reason. They'll be 2020.

waiting to see what the relevant folks think of PROJECT BRIGHTER SHADE OF BLUE while I've been given worrying amounts of thumbs up for PROJECT COWBOY. It is a time.)

December 2019

COWBOY has an artist attached, and I got notes on BRIGHTER SHADE OF BLUE. Ideally I'll have a full outline on COWBOY done before Xmas – at least, that's the aim.

I spent Christmas with the family, which was lovely. As is traditional, I cleared my desk of work (Once & Future 7, Ludocrats 4, Project Bukowski) and spent time on a big new project. It's PROJECT COWBOY and (as is equally traditional) I sent it off just after midnight. The second it's signed off on, I'll dive into it.

January 2020

I just lobbed an early version of the first script of PROJECT COWBOY over, as I wanted to show it to editors while it was formed but still a little molten around the edges.

Notes for PROJECT COWBOY's scripts are good

February 2020

The artist for PROJECT COWBOY has their script for the first issue. So for quite a time there's no travel and just the work on my plate, and I get to start chipping away on scripts, and having the space to do the few rush projects which may pop up.

Did I say I'd done the first script for PROJECT COWBOY? I think I may have. Anyway, that's with the artist.

March 2020

I've been trying to find time to basically do some spreadsheets and diagrams for PROJECT COWBOY for two weeks now, and other things have taken priority

April 2020

That's off my plate, which leaves me to set my eyes on Project Cowboy's second script. That will be fun. I haven't mentioned that I've seen the first pages from Project Cowboy, and they're as startling as I hoped. It's one of my favourite artists in the industry.

This week that is PROJECT COWBOY, which has had more art arrive, and it's painfully good. It's an artist whose work I know well, so the insert-short-story I wrote today is explicitly inspired by having an image I know they will nail, and then building the rest of the story to provide that moment of beauty. The thing about writing: you start wherever you start.

May 2020

Stuff is still being done, but I started the week by randomly picking one of my projects to work on. It was PROJECT COWBOY, and I'm now 15 or so pages into issue 13. The "or so" is unusual. I'm not normally writing in a way where I don't know the panel count. I move scenes around, switching between the threads as seem right. It's a good way to write.

(Rich adds – Typo for #3? Yeah, like I can crtiticise)

Work continues. Finished a draft of issue 3 of Project Cowboy.

(Rich adds: Must be typo. Or Kieron writes even more weirdly than we thought.)

June 2020

PROJECT COWBOY's first cover in progress

July 2020

PROJECT COWBOY has a firm release, which is exciting, but does put things in a different pile. I now have five books in active play, which is a different kind of juggling act.

August 2020

I'm also just finishing up polishing up issue 3 of PROJECT COWBOY, which I wrote a few months ago, and had forgot the one problem I'd left to solve in the script, which involves doing something which has lead to me to promise my editors that it isn't a sign of lockdown lunacy, and I had it planned from before Xmas. But it's very strange, a huge amount of work and clearly no-one will care about it bar the four or five critics who like when I go full WTF, so absolutely my thing.


Key facts: it's a clean, accessible book. It's set in the Marvel universe, and will impact it hard, but it's also designed to be picked up by anyone and enjoyed. Plus it's very much me trying to bring to bear the skillset I've developed when I've been away (especially from WicDiv and DIE) and a whole bunch of other things I've been chewing over, in terms of things one could do.

Suffice to say, a huge bible document is involved, as I can't help myself. In this case, I really can't. One of my things I've tried to be doing more with my work is to do the stuff only I would consider doing, and there's a lot of that here. Issue 3 has something so offkilter I'm even giving myself side-eye.




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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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