How many story arcs do you currently have planned?
Gillen: Like anything I write, I know the end and am working towards it. It's a medium length ongoing. I'd say it's about half as long as WicDiv. Our issues are going to be longer than normal as well -- after the 35-page debut, individual issues are 24 to 25 pages long.
How do Clayton Cowles and Rian Hughes' involvement enhance the reading experience?
Gillen: He's one of the most talented letterers in his generation, and it's only a matter of time [before] he turns from Eisner-nominated to Eisner-possessing. He's enormously creative, makes great choices, generates his own ideas and also is uncannily good at executing specific examples of your weirdness. Look at the custom voices he did for the Wicked + the Divine, for example, with Woden's Vocoder effect. These are talents all which Die puts to use.
Gillen: Rian's a legend. I've known him for a few years, and admired his work for years before that, but have never actually worked with him. I approached him about doing the logo, and it soon expanded into becoming the designer. Rian's a meticulous, modernist in his approach, all growing from the work. For example, when presented by Stephanie's use of an exploded D20 on the cover, rather than use a traditional logo, he argued we should integrate the letters with that repeating symbol. That kind of thing -- it just entirely speaks to the look of the book. It's an RPG book, but it's not a usual RPG book. We're not doing any D&D or module homages, for example. Finding our way to make it speak to RPGs without pulling those sorts of moves is something that Rian excels at.
There are plans for a tie-in RPG. Have you thought about the character you'll use the first time you play?
Gillen: Heh. Oddly, that's something I haven't actually thought about. In all the playtests so far, I've been running the game. As it's still in the stage where we're working through various kinks, that's the best. Hopefully around Christmas we'll move from where it is, to something I can actually give to folks to playtest.
In terms of publicly, I plan to release the first take of the RPG as a PDF when the first trade comes out. I was thinking Issue #1, but there's spoilers for Issue #5 in it, so I figured best to wait. In its initial release it's designed to be played across a couple of sessions, and basically gives you a chance to do your own version of the first arc of Die. Not in a “you experience what the cast does” but “you will create something which works like the comic, but entirely in your own way and be entirely unique and magical.” I'm talking around the problem, but will likely talk about this more in the back matter for the comic. After issue 5, I actually want to put additional gaming material in the back matter of the book too.
What's the game like? It's simultaneously something that's informed by modern design, while also being a fake 1991 period piece, designed by one of the characters. For example, as it's abstractly from 1991, the game runs off a dice pool system, because any pretentious teenager would have used a dice-pool system at that point. Equally you don't want to include the bad pieces of design from the period, as that level of faithfulness isn't helpful to any player.
Die #1 is available now, from Image Comics.