Monday, October 29, 2012

sandy sandy sandy

I worked from home most of last week on a very frustrating project. One of the ways that I deal with being glued to the computer for most of the day, and the subsequent loss of reading time, is to listen to podcasts. I've been catching up with my Inkstuds and loved the Pat Grant interview. It starts off with a roadtrip elopement and goes so many places from there. Grant has a kickass process blog that all lovers of self-published comics should check out.


I don't know how else to illustrate the word irresistible than this dollar rack find:
 With illustrations by Tanith Lee herself!


I'm sure that you already know about the newly revived The Memory Palace, being the kind of discerning folk that hang out in tryharderland. But, if not, just know that little nonfiction stories about history are found there. (See also 99% Invisible.) 


This posey is made from some of the last of the flowers from the roof. Well, not the last, but probably the last untouched by Scary Sandy. With the storm a ragin' or whatever, let's write one another some letters and emails, ok? Ok.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Chester 5000 XYV by Jess Fink

Ah, comics erotica, when you're good, you're good, when you're bad, that's normal.  The story of a woman and her sex robot, Chester 5000 XYV is somewhere in between. A mostly silent, Victoriana-themed, hardcore is promising of course, and the fact that there is a sweetness and fun about the whole book is even better. But the thing about about art meant to jingle jangle your downstairs is that it kind of matters what you are into and I am into story and this is where the book forgets foreplay.

The book opens with heterosexual newlyweds going at it. They seem to be having a good time when the man looks disturbed and runs from the room. The next panel is the wife looking sad and the husband thinking hard. The next page is devoted to his construction of the titular robot, before he hands his wife the key and runs off. The rest of the story shows the evolving relationship between wife and robot, husband and jealousy and a determined brunette and all three of them, but, storytelling-wise, that first page haunts the rest of the book.

Husband flees wife
I can't figure out why the husband flees the bedroom and decides to replace himself with a robot, which makes his eventual jealousy less interesting, and his love for his wife less believable. The book copy has an answer, but I don't read book copy and didn't even look at it until writing this review. It says that he is too busy thinking of inventions to fuck, but it doesn't ring true, partially because of the time he is shown jackin' to their shenanigans and partially because he creates a robot that can love her. The brunette's lack of distinguishability (besides hair) from the wife also bugged. If her body looked different from the wife's it would have helped give her more of a character, especially with much of the action in this book happening during, well, action. The usual cartoony mangling of anatomical detail (missing buttholes, weird proportions, etc.) crops up here and there which is distracting but not terrible. Fink's style, though not my preferred vision of erotic cartoons, made details of robots, ladies and annoying dudes getting off pretty fun, even if the final product was a tad too superficial to earn a spot in the try harder library.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


It should be no rug pulled out from under you that I subscribe to The Rumpus's Letters in the Mail. I always forget that I signed up, so each letter from an author is a surprise. I mostly read them on the subway, the perfect way to transport from Brooklyn to Manhattan with even knowing it. I've even written a few back. The stacks of white envelopes remind me to write to my letter friends--I always feel behind.

The most recent letter is from author T Cooper. I love it. It is long and wandering and includes pictures. On the first page he writes about a correspondence with a friend in France: "Every time I open up this drawer (approximately two times a day), the envelope is just sitting there staring up at me with its little foreign stamp and sailboats running atop it in reverse, reminding me that I'm an  asshole for not yet having written him back. I've seen him once and written him electronically countless times since he wrote that latter back in July, so that certainly thwarts my motivation to write him back. Or maybe that's just how we live now, even me, even though I think I'm somehow different."

I like how written letters mix in with everything else. I think of them as a moment where I can stop and focus only on the person I am writing to, which is a different thing than taking to them, or holding hands or tweeting at them. I think of them and how I want to tell it, whatever it is, to them. It is a powerful way to stay in the present. Plus, everyone loves letters.


How to throw a fancy mail art party. I'd probably drop the gift bags and nice paper, add piles of old magazine for collage and put out a tip jar for stamp costs (and offer to mail everyone's letters), but to each her own. What would you want at a mail art do?

My dad has cancer and was given (too) short number of years to live. Unsurprisingly, he is very sad. One of the few things that cheers him up is mail. His friends have been sending a ton of postcards and other greetings, which surprised and cheered him. And, of course, me. I'm sending him and my mom a Nan Goldin postcard tomorrow. Three dimes and two pennies is all it takes, and I have that, if not a lot else at the moment.

Friday, October 12, 2012

cleaning, cleaning my brain

Comics from one or two years ago to read and shelve, or read and recycle:


Found this paper doll by Susie Oh and put it together, sans two grommets. Check out her animations with the dolls. Botanical boojangles.


I found a first draft of a poem I wrote deep in my grieving:

I meant to say yes, but,
you're too late.
I'm sorry that you are stuck,
a few years behind.
The train still goes there, yes,
all the way to the end of the line,
but what was there
isn't anymore.
Yes, I was a mother but now I am just a mouth.
Were you in bed, were you wrapped up tight,
were you dead for minutes that stretched and stretched?
Not sorrier than I.