The Summertime FOREVER WARS Work Slowdown
Honestly? It's getting hot out and this newsletter is bleak. Let's take some deep breaths
Edited by Sam Thielman
SINCE FOREVER WARS launched a little more than ten months ago, we've typically published two pieces a week. This edition is issue 93. If FOREVER WARS was the classic New Mutants, we would have gone in less than a year from Claremont and Bob McLeod introducing a group of indomitable, unforgettable teens to Rob pitting Cable against Wolverine.
I simply can't work at this pace any more.
I also don't know how to work at any other pace.
For 20 years, pretty much half my life, I've worked at this pace or faster, driven in significant part by the focus-inducing terror that if I didn't deliver thorough "national security" journalism at a torrid clip, there would be no reason for any outlet to employ me. That is my default setting. It turns out not to change just because now I work for myself. [It’s not just Spencer. Once, a few weeks after I’d been promoted, my wife told me, “It seems like you had an awful job and were sad and angry about it, and now you have a great job and are sad and angry about it.”—Sam.]
I also have, if I can be so bold, editorial standards that are high enough to be burdensome and often self-defeating. I'm compelled to meet them twice weekly if not more frequently. I can't do a phoned-in edition—here let me underscore: I don't like being this way—and I'm confident that if you go through this newsletter's archive, you won't find one.
Add in some reasons that I'm not going to go into—I'm old enough to know the difference between a blog post and a therapy session, and now that I'm in therapy, I really wish I had known that difference back when I was a blogger—and I have to take active measures to delay production.
This newsletter turns a year old on July 20. The seven editions that get us to issue 100—the transition into X-Force—will come out irregularly during the next eight weeks. Some weeks there will simply be nothing. I have young children. I'd rather be with them this summer than work on a newsletter about nightmare fuel. Subscribers, we love you and thank you for paying for FOREVER WARS. Hopefully this won't feel like a service interruption.
I also have a dream about to come true: my first comic book miniseries, slated for release later this year from DC Comics' Black Label. While there is not much that I can say about this right now, the first two issues are scripted and I have to make the remaining issues as good as they possibly can be. (Remember what I just said about my standards and my compulsions?) This is show-and-prove time, just like REIGN OF TERROR was. There are some things you can say about the world through fiction that you simply can't say through journalism. I'm not trying to write comics for the sake of making my fave DCU characters fight my other faves, I'm trying to say those things. That is where I want my creative focus to be for the summer.
The seven editions that come out between now and July 20 will also be less, I don't know, remorselessly bleak. There will inevitably be some bleakness—I’m going to have a REIGN OF TERROR paperback to promote. It just won't be the only key FOREVER WARS plays in. Soon, for instance, we'll have our second crossover with COPPER BOTTLE, Saladin Ahmed's newsletter. As well, with any luck, Henry Kissinger will die this summer, which will mean (1) you will read a very long obituary I recently finished for a major magazine, which (2) did not exhaust everything I want to say about Kissinger; so (3) I can probably get two editions out of that.
The vibes for the summer's editions of FOREVER WARS will be: fun to read, because they're fun to produce.
More on the X-Force era of FOREVER WARS later. With any luck? Much later.