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The Long, Slow Drawdown To The End Of The Year

Things are wrapping up, folks are stepping back from their comics to spend time with families, the solstice approaches and with it the period of time between the longest night¹ and the start of society’s new year. Posting may be light and sporadic between now and everybody getting back into it around the 5th or 6th of December.

But in the meantime, please enjoy the latest update — and oh my, twenty pages worth! — of KC Green’s adaptation of Pinocchio. We’re getting near to the end, I can feel Real Boyness about to burst forth, but something finally struck me in this chapter.

For all his misbehavior, all his snotty aggression, all his self pity, Pinocchio has been nearly always honest in this story. His nose grows in this chapter, but I was astonished to realized I couldn’t remember the last time that happened. Disney and other popular adapters have conditioned me to expect the nose bit to be nearly constant instead of a rare, notable event. Carlo Collodi’s story is far more balanced than the Pinocchio most of us know (and his grillo parlante, talking cricket, an exceedingly minor character), and I really should have expected that².

Oh, and there are best-of lists being promulgated in various corners; presumably having learned their lessons since they reinstated graphic works to the best seller lists, New York Times has a nicely considered and curated list (paywalled) with Guts not only included, but in the splash image at the top.

A whole lot of lists are including The American Dream? and Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, with Forbes providing a decent representation of the consensus (and yes, Forbes will let anybody publish anything, and have essentially zero credibility on any one-off articles you find online; this is a recurring series and has actual editorial involvement).

I used to run year-end list of Top , but I’ve pretty much moved away from that — there’s so many good books being released, there’s such a chance that I missed something good, and I don’t have time to do things like decade-long retrospectives. You found something that really spoke to you? It’s the year’s best and I may or may not agree with you, but neither of us is wrong.

Me, I found myself loving stories by or about queer women/trans allegories³, which the traditional approaches to comics not only would decide shouldn’t be published at all, but even if they were, aren’t supposed to appeal to me. They’re just really good stories is all.

Spam of the day:

There’s no turning back. Burn the boats.

This came with little burning fire emojis on either side of the text, so I guess somebody really hates boats. Don’t tell Lucy Bellwood, she’ll correct this bozo with vigor.

¹ In the northern part of the planet, that is; for those in the southern reaches it is high summer, and for some it is a particularly hard one. It’s sobering to see how much territory is involved, overlaid on the largest population centers of the US and the UK (one of which I live in; the far corner of the box is more than twice as far from New York City than my home), but the thing is — those fires aren’t that far from Sydney. If NYC in that map were Sydney, there are fire fronts far closer to the city proper than the far box boundary. Stay safe, Oz friends.

² I could rattle off the differences between characters in the Disney versions of their stories vs the Hans Christian Andersen, Brothers Grimm, or Rudyard Kipling originals, so why should Pinocchio be any different? I’m starting to suspect that I should read the original Bambi, 101 Dalmatians, or Mary Poppins for good measure.

Fortunately, I don’t have to read Swiss Family Robinson because Ursula Vernon did that for us and boy, is it a bonkers story. Speaking of Vernon and bonkers stories, she smacked down an ignorant dude with Uncle Sven yesterday, and it was glorious.

³ But for the record, my pick for book of the year is Laura Dean, tied with Are You Listening?. I adored these stories.

Runners-up are The Midwinter Witch and Kiss Number 8, either of which could have been my personal favorite in a year that didn’t include so very much competition.

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