Page two of a four page spread. After the edits to page one of the spread in early August I understand why “ALL NEW” is a thing – this is the first all new page of ATC since the first week of July. It’s been a long and complicated couple of months. As of around 1am this morning there’s a two page buffer and after my afternoon walk I’m going to start rendering work on 3.34. Things are moving forward again.

Well, forward and forward-back or back-forward or whatever the word for skipping back to do a thing that’s needed doing for quite awhile is. In the real world that’s starting prep work for a limited edition printing of part of Dead City Radio for a thing that deserves its own as-yet-unwritten blog post. Print has been the inevitable goal of the project for over a decade and while broad swaths of the work are reasonably ready I feel totally justified doing a test run under the guise of an event-specific “limited edition” – the last time I prepped and submitted an entire book for print I was ignored and that ultimately lead to the second edition of The Dualist and rewrites to Dead City Radio and Transitional Voices and I’m totally not doing that this time. This time I’ll persist until there’s product. Further bulletins as events warrant; probably in the blog as I’ll be talking about DCR and Ceremony and not the current page or the current book.

The story is also moving forward-back in a different way. We’re seeing “inside” Inga flashing Thad instead of Ornix for Plot Reasons – peeking into Ornix’s head would have been a red herring. This rhodhe-induction flashback represents a significant piece of a shelved ATC installment. It is DOUBLEPLOT. There was a planned “book one” before DCR settled into the role, and the idea persisted until some time in 2009 or 2010, when the plot for that installment was boiled down to soup base and drizzled over Dead City Radio and Transitional Voices. More on that in the other pages of the spread over the next couple of weeks – at this point I’d be spraying spoilers all over the place. Those who’ve read the support material can likely infer what’s about to happen with a fair degree of accuracy. If you don’t want to read through the glossary or the cast section looking for context clues, the parachute flare, claymore, huey, M60 and AK-47 should provide more than enough context.

A Matryoshka is referred to over here as a “Russian Doll,” and is an appropriate analogy for both ATC’s structure and Thad’s consciousness. It’s referenced in the Russian – and in Cyrillic – as a nod to the fact that Inga is from that part of the world and to give you some clues about rhodhe’s grammatical structure. The fact that the cyrillic is near enough to roman script should help to drive home the point that what’s going on here is a sort of bilingual version of the Fight Club Ikea scene. In point of fact it was plotted to be a lot more descriptive than it is – I like the panels and I’m not happy with how they look lettered so I’ve cut that down to a minimum. A minimum that seems to work pretty well.

As with previous spreads the cropped-to-the-web-target page is what’s being shown above. The full spread with gutters and all will be posted with the metadata of the fourth page in the sequence (Air 33).

Next week: War. War never changes.