I hope you enjoyed Oh F*** Week, everything’s been snowballing to this point and from Monday we’re back to being weekly, as we slide towards the end of issue 4.

Let me tell you about issue four. It has been the hardest thing I have ever had to write. It has been written, rewritten, thrown out, clawed back, rewritten again and chopped into pieces. At one point it was going to be a 48-page special. It then got cut down to 36-pages. Then I got angry and insisted no, it needs to be 24, like the previous issues. So I went back in with a scythe and ruthlessly chopped whole chunks out of its flesh.

The problem I found was that I was trying to explain too much. Issue 4 marks the end of Book One, and Book One is about how Skull came to be, as well as the springboard into the series. So it needs to set up our direction and put everything in place ready for that. And then I was going to take a little break to get drunk and try to write Book Two. But I realised in Issue 4 I was giving everything away too soon, I was showing a lot of the secrets which don’t need to be shown yet. Less is more. And while (from experience) that’s frustrating for the reader, you also wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s the thrill of the ride. There are SO many climaxes, cliffhangers, reveals and pay-offs planned for Corporate Skull throughout its intended 6-book run, but they need to be carefully plotted out and placed where they’ll benefit the story (and Skull’s growth) the most. And while this is an inherent part of storytelling, it feels kinda new to me, since I haven’t dealt with this kind of long-form before.

I’m still worrying about the rest of issue four, I’m worrying there’s too much exposition, worrying not enough is explained, etc etc. But that’s natural I guess. Fact is, we need to start getting some answers, and some things are going to need to be explained to Skull, so I think I’ve done it in the best way I can. Many of the reveals I cut out of issue 4 for the sake of space, are now forming much of Issue 5 as I’m planning it out. So despite my concerns and my constant last-minute tweakings, I’m proud of this issue. It won’t answer ALL your questions, and the ending will hopefully give you a whole bunch of new ones, but it will tell you what the hell has been going on.

Thanks for reading.

Skull pic by the fantastical Rob Cureton