Thursday, 30 May 2013

News | Not the End of Alabaster

Never mind for a moment the surprise bashing I got on her blog for being glib about Blood Oranges whilst trying to raise readers' awareness of it in some small way: Caitlin R. Kiernan has been a font of fantastic fiction my entire adult life, and I admire her work immensely.

Silk was a formative reading experience for me, and over the years, Kiernan gotten better and better. With The Drowning Girl: A Memoir in early 2012, she hit yet another new high, and though her current prose projects aren't up my alley, exactly, I can't wait for her to get back to writing the dark fantasy I desire in my heart of hearts.

In her own time, obviously. I'm not even the boss of me; I wouldn't presume to tell anyone else what they should do!

Anyway, oddly enough, I'd read a whole lot of Kiernan's work without even realising it. I speak here of The Dreaming, DC Comics' superb Sandman spin-off, which she scripted from 1996, which I bought from that point on. I've followed her work with particular interest ever since I put two and two together a few years later.

Long story short, Kiernan's return to comic books last year was a dream come true for yours truly, and I've adored Alabaster so far. I own the hardcover collection of Wolves, and I've been buying single issues of Dark Horse Presents solely to keep up to speed with the further adventures of Dancy Flammarion in Boxcar Tales.

Alas, the dream looks to be over for the moment. According to a post on Aunt Beast's blog:
"Last week I spoke with my editor at Dark Horse and told him that it was time for me to step back from both Dancy and comics for the foreseeable future. That, after almost two years of pretty heavy involvement on this project, it was time to refocus my attention on my prose work. It felt a lot like I was tendering my resignation, like quitting a job, though it doesn't truly amount to quite that. It just means that, for the time being, I'm choosing to concentrate on other projects. In a lot of ways, working in comics is far more stressful than prose publishing, and, right now, I've got to decrease the stress in my life. 
"That said, working with Dark Horse has been a marvelous experience, and I thank everyone I've worked with – Rachel, Jemiah, Daniel, Shantel, Mike, Steve, Greg, Rachelle, Augie, and Spencer – for making Alabaster: Wolves and Alabaster: Boxcar Tales happen. I'm not an easy person to work with, and you've all shown admirable patience. I especially thank the many readers and reviewers who've believed in the books. Thank you. And if you are a fan, don't be sad.  
"There will be additional Dancy material from Dark Horse, but I'm not yet at liberty to announce what it will be or when it will be released. I'll make those announcements when I'm told that I can."
I take heart in the suggestion that this is not necessarily the end, however much it sounds like one. Still, I'll miss dear Dancy in the months or years between the forthcoming conclusion of Boxcar Tales and the beginning of whatever's next.

If you haven't already read an Alabaster book, I'm sure you know what to do.


  1. I'm kinda saddened that Ms Kiernan is stepping back from Dancy, most certainly because this means it might be (even) longer before we can get our hands on a reasonably priced copy of the prose anthology (and I don't particularly want to buy her UF stories with Dancy in).

    Boxcar Tales is something I've enjoyed so far - I need this month's DHP though - and I too have the hardcover of Wolves (and all the single issues, and the two-part story from last year's FCBD, and the variant of issue 1 by Oeming), and I'd like to see where it continues... but without Kiernan at the helm? I'm dubious.

    1. Dubious is a fine way of defining my feelings about the idea. You think that's what's going to happen? I really can't imagine Dancy without her creator at the helm. Then again, we are talking about comics, after all; stranger things have happened...