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And now, for an only slightly misrepresented, wholly taken out of context quote of the day

“Please don’t die, I have a bowel movement to make.”

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Perfect score!

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2022 Reading Recap

My reading slips holder is stuffed, so it’s time for this year’s recap of stuff I read. The grand total is, let’s say around 80 books & comics. I counted the slips of paper, but there was one duplicate, and at least one book I forgot to write down, because I read it on my iPad while away from home. Plus, I expect I’ll squeeze in at least one or two more books before the year is out.

In no particular order, here are some highlights:

  • I re-read both the original Ms. Marvel run by G. Willow Wilson and Paper Girls, thanks to new series coming out on Disney+ and Amazon, respectively. It’s always interesting to see how the stories change when they jump from one medium to another. The Paper Girls comic is definitely better than the streaming series.
  • There was only one DC comic in the whole pile — Wonder Woman: Dead Earth. The note I scribbled for that one is “BATMAN ALWAYS WINS.” She uses Superman’s spine as a weapon, if that tells you anything.
  • No surprise to anyone who follows comics, but Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands was a standout.
  • The vast majority of my comics reading is somewhere on the indie spectrum, or at least not Marvel/DC. Some worth checking out: Weegee: Serial Photographer, Kabul Disco, Rat Queens (always), Impossible Jones, Ron Randall’s Trekker, the Reckless series, Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, Dragon, Second Coming, vol 2.
  • I re-read two novels, Foundation and Earth and The Secret History. Revisiting Asimov is a trip. Tartt’s book probably holds up better, though Asimov will always have a special place for me, since he was my introduction to adult sci-fi back in the day.
  • Razzmatazz (sequel to Noir) was a hoot, and may be my favorite novel of the year. Reading Noir first isn’t required, but I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to.
  • Holy shit, Sin du Jour. Seven novellas, reads like a Netflix limited series, highly recommended if you like twisted urban fantasy.
  • In YA/MG, I would recommend The Clackity, A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking, and The Bridge Home. The first two of those are more fantastical, while the last one is most definitely not. In fact, The Bridge Home is probably the biggest gut punch I’ve read in a while. Horrible things always happen to kids in YA/MG, but there’s a difference when the element of fantasy is entirely removed.

…and just for completeness, I’m currently reading The Spare Man and Slow Horses. The jury’s still out on both, though I am enjoying them so far (and I super dig the Slow Horses series on AppleTV). I do have questions about Mary Robinette Kowal’s use of “nethers,” though…

UPDATE: I almost forgot non-fiction! These get their own bulleted list:

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SPA-AA-AACE!

There’s no big story here, just something I wanted to make. The original design is taken from a 1968 book titled I See the Earth!, which I originally learned about from Dreams of Space – Books and Ephemera. Highly recommended if you’re into vintage space stuff or retro futurism.

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What are you hiding from, lil buddy?

Inspired by a re-read of G. Willow Wilson’s (art by Adrian Alphona) Ms. Marvel run. I had completely forgotten about Loki showing up and leaving behind the Lightning Golems, let alone the random kids showing up in full hazmat gear for no apparent reason.

A process note, if anyone cares — I modeled and rendered the characters in Maya, but couldn’t come up with an environment I liked. So, I pulled a render into Procreate, redid the line work and then used RetroSupply Co’s ColorLab to create the distressed halftone look. Click the image for a larger version that shows the halftone better.

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Holy Moley White People Are Awful

twitter.com/AfricanArchives/status/1533461680327376897

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Sacrificial Dance

That ghoulish dance [censored] performed at the NRA makes a lot more sense when you put it in the context of the God they worship.

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Here we go again

First, these people have lost their damn minds. And by “these people” I mean everyone associated with the GOP. Case in point:

Florida’s vicious attack on transgender children

GOPer Sends Fake Appointment Confirmations For ‘Your Child’s Gender Reassignment Surgery’ in Fundraising Texts

Thank God for people like Ian and Mallory:

This is why I’m posting, though:

So…yeah. This is Yet Another Goddamn Moment in what seems to be a never ending series of Goddamn Moments lately where “conservatives” lose their mind over some made-up menace, let their bigot flag fly, and engage in hateful rhetoric and lawmaking that’s going to get people hurt. As Harry Vanderspiegle would say:

So repeat after me:

Trans women are women.

Trans men are men.

Trans people are people, goddamnit.

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Dear God Just Make It Stop

Just to recap:

  • 2016: sucked
  • 2017-2019: living in suck-land
  • 2020: super sucked
  • 2021: maybe…oh, wait. No, still sucking.
  • 2022: hold my beer

Sighs heavily

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Burnout

This is from a recent Writer’s Digest Flash Fiction prompt, “Grim Reaper.” Tossing up here because why not.

“Hey, buddy. How’s it going?”

“Pretty good, G.R. How about yourself?”

“If I’m being honest? Not so good.”

“Aw, man. I’m sorry to hear that. Did something happen?”

“It’s just…you know, everything.”

“I hear you. If it helps, it’s going gangbusters on our end.”

“Yeah…that’s kind of why I’m calling. Can you guys maybe cool it a bit?”

“What do mean? I thought you liked to keep busy.”

“I do. It’s just…it’s kind of a lot right now.”

“Ha! What’s the matter old man, you can’t keep up?”

“This isn’t funny, asshole. Do you have any idea what it’s like for me? It’s not like the old days. There are billions of humans now, and they’re literally all over the goddamn planet. At least you guys have horses. I have to walk.”

“Oh, come on. It can’t be that bad. I know Pestilence got a little carried away, but you’ve been keeping up. And the humans have science now. It’s not like back in the day when he killed half of an entire continent.”

“Ugh. Don’t remind me. I still haven’t gotten the smell out of my cowl from that month in Paris. Listen, all I’m saying is, I need a breather, okay? Can you maybe pump the brakes, just so I can have time to get a fresh pair of sandals, and maybe sharpen my scythe?”

“Okay, okay. I’ll see what I can do. No promises, though. I overheard him giggling about something called ‘Upchuck Upsilon’ last week.”

“You’re shitting me.”

“Nope. He’s calling that his ‘summer blockbuster.’ War has a bet with him that humanity won’t let it get to that, but Pestilence is pretty confident.”

“*sigh* I can’t say that I blame him. Tell War I wouldn’t take that bet.”

“Hey, maybe you can tell him yourself. I hear he’s heading to Ukraine soon.”

“…”

“Hello? You there?”

“I hate you guys.”