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Anniversaries, Appearances, And Actions

Alliteration, too. Let’s jump in.

  • I first started reading Jennie Breeden’s non-Satanic, non-porn autobio strip, The Devil’s Panties, way the hell in the past. Maybe 2002? 2003? I’d been a reader for years before she tipped me off to A Girl And Her Fed¹, and that was 2006 so somewhere in there. I’ve followed a post-college career, time working in a comic shop², dating, pirates, breakups, marriage, family, a cross-country move, kilt-blowing, and now pregnancy and imminent childbirth (the real life corresponding event being some two years in the past by now).

    Although she exited the Daily Grind Iron Man Challenge after about two years (and let’s not forget that the Daily Grind Iron Man Challenge site itself is no longer operational, but that the last two contestants continue on, 14.5 years on from the start), she’s been putting strips up like clockwork since.

    As of today, for eighteen damn years:

    Guys… guys, my comic is 18 today. It needs to move out or start paying rent.

    The start was understated, and today’s strip takes approximately zero time to acknowledge the strip’s birthday. That’s just the way it is with daily autobio — no time to gloat, tomorrow’s strip is due. Happy Strippiversary, Jennie, Obby, Devil Girl, Angel Girl, Pretty Pretty Princess, and Small Child To Be Named Later.

  • Hey, whatcha doing tomorrow? If you’re around Boston, you could be seeing science-comics types in conversation at Porter Square Books in Cambridge:

    We interrupt these Inktober posts with an important announcement: I’ll be doing another awesome Science Comics event with @toonyballoony @Zackules and @jasonviola at @PorterSqBooks this Wednesday October 9th 7 PM!!

    That from Maris Wicks, who’s done books on coral reefs and the human body, and paired up with Jim Ottaviani for books on women on the leading edge of primate research, and women on the leading edge of space exploration (the latter coming in February). Oh, and she’s also done nature cartoons from the middle of the sea, the edge of a frozen continent, and the heart of the city.

    Alex Graudins illustrated a book about Reginald Barkley and also the human brain, and an upcoming book on the Great Chicago Fire (due next June). Zack Giallongo and Jason Viola teamed up to teach us about polar bears, and Viola has also chosen a manatee and an amoeba as stars of other comics. They’re all there because of their association with the :01 Books Science Comics line, which remains an excellent way to spend your time and money. The talk starts at 7:00pm, next to the Porter Square stop on the MTA.

  • Finally, the latest from Kickstarter United, ways that you can help their efforts to make Kickstarter see the sense of recognizing the union:

    Make your opinion heard:

    • email Kickstarter’s senior leadership:
    • kickstarter-sot[at]
    • post your support using #RecognizeKSRU
    • post a picture showing your solidarity and tag @ksr_united
    • download a version of our logo to use as your icon on Kickstarter, Twitter, and anywhere else
    • back projects that show solidarity with Kickstarter United
    • have another idea? get in touch!

    Show solidarity on your project page:

    • add #RecognizeKSRU to your project title or subtitle
    • include a note of solidarity at the top of your campaign text
    • download a solidarity badge to add to your project image
    • post a project update to rally your backers

    For reference? While both logos are nice and eye-catching if somebody is looking at your Kickstarter profile page, the white one is easier to read if it’s showing as an avatar, say on a comments page³. Just sayin’.

Spam of the day:

Senior Discounts|The Complete List Of Senior Citizen Discounts nice senior

I am, despite my desire for you durn kids to stay off my lawn, not yet a senior citizen. And I can assure you that when I become one, I will not be a nice senior.

¹ When I did the foreword for the first AGAHF collection, I mentioned coming to the comic via Ms Breeden, and Otter gave me crap about pimping another comic in her book. So we’re square now, right?

² Oxford, which is a very good shop that I make sure to visit whenever I’m in Atlanta.

³ Oh, and while it’s nothing to do with webcomics, please look at that project page for ceratopsian action figures and pledge up the total to somewhere around US$450K in the next week, please. It has to hit that funding level to unlock the full-size Triceratops horridus (stretch goal #20). I have the sub-adult trike figure pledged, along with a Zunicertaops christopheri (each of which is approximately the size of my BONE Stupid Rat Creature, if you disregard the tail), but I need that full size critter (approximately the size of Kingdok, again neglecting the tail) if at all possible. Thank you.

Miscellaneous Miscellany

Well, goodness, a whole bunch of stuff has occurred since last we spoke. Let’s look at just a few things, ‘kay?

  • This past Saturday saw the Harvey Awards handed out at New York Comic Con; you may recall that this year’s nomination slate was really very strong. While the official page hasn’t updated with the winners list yet, you can find the laureates around the web, say at Newsarama.

    The three categories that I was most invested in — the three categories where there really couldn’t be a bad choice to receive the statue — were Book Of The Year (Hey Kiddo by Jarrett J Krosoczka), Digital Book Of The Year (Check, Please by Ngozi Ukazu), and Best Children’s Or Young Adult Book¹ (Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell). The last of them, particularly, is going to run out of room on the cover for stickers proclaiming the Harvey and Ignatz wins, especially if it’s keeping some space for next year’s Eisners.

  • Saturday was also 24 Hour Comic Day, and while there are literally too many excellent works to point out, I would be remiss if I didn’t share a modern fairy tale by Melanie Gillman. A young woman feleing unloved in an arranged betrothal finds herself beseeching the Goddess Of Mishaps for help, and it’s damn near perfect.
  • Heidi Mac spent the morning at the ICv2 2019 Conference, held adjacent to NYCCC. You can find her livetweets via this search, but the one you want to pay attention to is this:

    The slide that shocked ComicsPRO showing size of manga and kids genres.
    #nycc2019 #icv22019 #nycc

    In case you don’t feel like zooming in, more than two-thirds of all comics sold fell into one of two categories: Juvenile Fiction (41%, think Raina and similar) and Manga (28%). Superheros were the third-largest market category, but they account for one comic sold out of every ten. This is why C Spike Trotman has been most vocal about the YA offerings from Iron Circus.

  • Finally, especially for those that perhaps over-indulged in 24HrCD or maybe are pushing it too hard for Inktober? Stretch.

Spam of the day:

15 Military Discounts Only Available To Those That Served Our Country

While it is true that I have, probably in the depths of the US Army Cadet Command at Fort Knox, a form 139-R from 1985 (enrolling me in ROTC so I could take two mandatory, 1-credit classes, which my college required instead of physical education), complete with an X in the box labeled I decline to state that I am not an conscientious objector and a strikethrough in the loyalty oath section, I cannot say that I served in any meaningful fashion as that concept is generally understood. But given that your email came from Hesse, Germany (from a domain registration that has existed for a whole 12 days), I’m going to doubly say that no, I haven’t served “our” country.

¹ Okay, one complaint — there’s a world of distance between children’s books and young adult books, leading to YA books that are distinctly at the upper end of the age range like Laura Dean, Hey, Kiddo, and On A Sunbeam contending with books intended for a much younger audience like Mr Wolf’s Class #2: Mystery Club (7-10) and New Kid (8-12). Yes, the over-proliferation of categories is, but maybe split this one into pre-teen and teens-plus?

Fleen Book Corner: Begrudging Acknowledgment Is Better Than None, I Suppose

Recall, if you would, my observation of how the New York Times was dragged kicking and screaming into recognizing Raina Telgemeier‘s Guts in what’s turned out to be the most half-assed way possible. They pushed graphic books off to a monthly bestseller list (among other things, this makes me wonder if they will bother with a ___ weeks on the list notation), and they expanded the list to fifteen titles from ten (to be fair, all their lists appear to do this now), so that nobody can dominate it too much.

Didn’t change a damn thing. In the inaugural Graphic Books And Manga list, Guts is in the top slot, Drama (2012), Smile (2010), and Sisters (2014) in positions 5, 7, and 12, respectively. One may recall from the previous NYT Bestsellers list that included comics that Drama had an accumulated 179 weeks on the list, Smile 240 weeks, and Sisters 117 weeks (also, Ghosts was #1)¹.

And now that I’ve finished my mockery of the Times for all this weaksaucery, I’m happy to tell you that Raina hasn’t lost a step with her latest. I was lucky to read an advance copy at Comics Camp, but it was only yesterday that I got my own² and was able to refresh my memory.

Guts, for a long time, wasn’t the book that we were supposed to be reading. On her Ghosts book tour three years back, when she asked Do you guys want to see some pages from my next book?³, what she shared was an expanded version of her story about Barefoot Gen, the comic that changed her life. It focused on her relationship with her father. It was supposed to be out a year ago. It just wasn’t coming together like it needed to. And during that stalled creative process, she four herself moving across the country, back to her hometown of San Francisco and away from an ending marriage.

I can’t imagine the stress and anxiety it must have caused to have to travel the country and be on for her fans, be all-caps RAINA at each tour stop. Eventually, the solution was a complete shift of the book that would be delivered, a prolonged period of stress and frustration leading to a story about another prolonged period of stress and frustration.

As Guts tells us, stress and anxiety have been there in Raina’s life for a very long time. Some of those stressors we all live through — mean kids in grade school, say — and are grown out of. Some of them take root and cause a self-perpetuating cycle of I’m anxious, I’m going to barf, I don’t want to barf, now thinking about barfing is making me more anxious than I was and … oh no.

The real trauma of growing up Raina? It started before the teeth.

Her prior two memoirs have had a hell of an important message for her readers: You aren’t alone. Everything that’s wearing on you, it happened to me, too. I got to grow up and draw comics for a living! You can grow up and do what you want to do.

But she’s added several things that are more raw, more true than she’d previously shared: When you grow up, even if you get to draw comics for a living, things won’t be perfect. My phobias and fears are still with me, but they’re part of who I am. I learned to accept them, but not by myself. I got to talk about my fears, therapy has helped, and just like I didn’t have to deal with my challenges alone, you don’t have to deal with yours alone, either.

The reason that Raina’s on a first name basis with kids (or nearly so … I usually hear them, very shyly, call her Miss Raina; it’s adorable) is that they know that she respects them enough to tell them the truth. That she will tell them that she remembers the parts of that age that sucked, that she won’t discount their hurts and stressors and anxieties. She also remembers the value of a well-timed fart joke which, come on, that’s kid comedy gold there.

But it’s about 96% the truth telling, the creation of a space in her stories where kids can feel safe to admit their fears and vulnerabilities, to feel seen and validated, to try and fall short, but be able to try again.

Guts carries the dedication For anyone who feels afraid, and that’s essentially all of us. We won’t all get to grow up to draw comics for a living, but we can learn to deal with those fears and feel confident that at least one person is going to encourage us to be our best, bravest selves.

Guts by Raina Telgemeier — with colors by the indispensable Braden Lamb — may be found wherever books are sold. If you aren’t sure where that is, find a kid about 8 – 13 years and ask where they got their copy.

Spam of the day:

What bananas do to your body

I’m going to guess your contention is not provide nutrition, as part of a varied and healthy diet.

¹ I’ll go a little farther; in that final accounting of Paperback Graphic Books, the 18 weeks for Ghosts all occurred in the 20 weeks since its release in September 2016; 117 weeks for Sisters happened in a span of 127 weeks since release; 179 weeks for Drama out of 230 weeks in print; Smile‘s 240 weeks were out of 365 weeks since release. Or, considering that Smile didn’t make the list until September of 2011, 240 of 279 weeks since it debuted in the #9 spot.

A Raina book will sit on that list, week after week, between 65% and 92% of the weeks since it’s first printed, forever. And keep in mind, there are far more books vying for a spot on the list these days than in 2010. The only conclusion is that Raina Telgemeier is the most significant voice in comics today. No pressure.

² I’d ordered it at that start of summer from my local comics shop, and Diamond finally saw fit to send it along this week. Monopolies, folks!

³ For the record, asking that in an auditorium full of tweens will cause them to loudly and completely lose their shit.

Probably Have To Skip Tomorrow

Work thing goin’ on. If I don’t talk to you before then, see you Monday.

Sorry, Doc, Last Minute Change Of Plans

I was going to be writing about how our old friend, Christopher Hastings, has picked up a significant writing gig on Quantum & Woody, and how his sense of humor is a natural fit. I mean, look at what he’s done in comic books — a very funny Six Million Dollar Man series, Deadpool and Longshot minis¹, and a character-defining stint on Gwenpool that legitimately played with the nature of comics and fiction in original and hilarious ways. He’s gonna kill on a series that features a caprine superhero pet named Vincent van Goat.

But something happened that’s unfortunately larger, so we aren’t doing any of that. Sorry, you absolutely will not learn from me that the Hastings run on Q&W will start in January, or that he’ll be at the Valiant booth (#1635) at NYCC this Saturday at 3:00pm, or at their panel (room 1A02) at 6:30pm. You won’t learn about his drunken superhero movie discussion podcast, or his new Halloween-themed merch at TopatoCo, or remind you about his weekly, posted-to-Twitter webcomic, a noir detective story starring Wario. Sorry. You’ll just have to go elsewhere to learn about those.

But I suspect that Dr Hastings will forgive me (especially given his own recent statements on the matter), because what we’re discussing instead is the Kickstarter United union effort. Because despite the repeated declarations from Kickstarter’s CEO that he will not voluntarily recognize the union, they haven’t actually asked for voluntary recognition.

Until this afternoon:

Today KSRU officially requested voluntary recognition of our union, and we are waiting to see if it will be granted. We stand firm in our commitment not to call for any boycotts, but we need your help.

Join us in urging leadership to recognize our union! Email, tweet, and post everywhere to express support for KSRU. Activate whatever channels you can to share our message of solidarity: Kickstarter is ready to be united, and senior leadership must grant us voluntary recognition.

Gauntlet thrown, management. Because as C Spike Trotman points out — and she’s pretty much the poster child for making KS work for you in webcomics — Kickstarter didn’t invent crowdfunding, they aren’t the only game in town, and whole communities exist that are fans of creators, not the KS platform.

Which is super important because you know what I’m seeing all over social media? Project creators and backers declaring their support for the union. You know what I’m not seeing? Anybody that claims to be either creator or backer loudly going on about how unions suck and they’ll use Kickstarter even more because screw the union. Now maybe it’s because I curate my feed to eliminate assholes, but I’m not finding anybody in comics taking the anti-union position. Granted that’s just one category out of what, fifteen? But high-profile creators, and people with deep success in the Kickstarter ecosystem are all on the side of KSRU.

For the record, here is what I said:

As a superbacker, and as a blogger that promotes many Kickstarter campaigns, I stand with @ksr_united and urge @kickstarter management to recognize the union.

It’s happening one way or another, or we all find another platform. Want to be a PBC? ACT LIKE IT.

Want to help, particularly if you previously decided to close your account or cancel pledges (which, let’s be clear, the union hasn’t called for³)? Tweet, email, or reach out to anybody you may know in Kickstarter management. Let them know that Kickstarter (the platform) is made up of Kickstarter (the people, all of them), and which of those Kickstarters you’re loyal to.

Spam of the day:

Fingernail Fungus — All the patients who put this incredibly strong spice in their shoes…Cleared their fungal infection for good in as little as a couple of days

Are you suggesting I wear these spice-laden shoes on my hands? On account of that’s where my fingernails are.

¹ The latter of which featured Reed Richards and Tony Stark having a discussion about how many weddings they’d been to recently that prominently featured Get Lucky at the reception. That’s just such a ludicrously ordinary thing for the two biggest geniuses of the Marvel universe² to be talking about, which is why it was perfect.

² Only if you discount DOOM, which of course only FOOLS would do.

³ Largely, I suspect, because individual statements don’t have the impact of a mass boycott, and because the folks in KSRU aren’t trying to establish their union on the backs of creators.

Is This The End Of Bob The Unsettling?!

Pretty much, yeah. Late yesterday I heard an odd flappityy sound, and then Bob The Unsettling flopped down on my desk from the shelf where he resided. It’s … well, nothing lasts forever?

The one thing that actually improved as time went on is that the eyes and mouth that were Sharpied on became darker and more defined — pigments which had originally been inscribed over a certain area became more concentrated as everything shrunk. When he was freshly spawned, rubbing your thumb on the balloon’s surface wouldn’t disturb any of the black; reduced to little more than a worm of slightly varying circumference¹, there’s Sharpie all over my hands even though the eyes and mouth are still there.

Not to mention the fact that my actual dog keeps giving him the side-eye, like she’s about to pounce. Not wishing to deal with a long balloon clogging her guts, I’ve deciding it’s time Bob met the great hereafter, also known as the kitchen garbage can. I’m pretty sure it’s what his mutant heart would have wanted.

How about we forget this unpleasantness and take a look at something that I guaran-damn-tee will make you happy?

Get an exclusive first look at Random House Graphic’s debut line-up … via @TheAVClub

That would be the same Random House Graphic headed up by the irreplaceable Gina Gagliano, who’s been working harder than any random three people for the past year and a half to get to this point. We’ve known since SDCC what the first half dozen or so books would be, but this is the first time we’ll get to see them, and there’s nobody in comics better suited to give us the lowdown than Oliver Sava at The AV Club; even if he’s telling me about something I’ve already read and written about (say, Tillie Walden’s superb Are You Listening?), Sava always finds a way to make me see it with new eyes (say, in his review of Are You Listening?, also out today).

So this is what we know:

Laura Knetzger’s Bug Boys is aimed at the youngest readers, a beginner’s chapter book about two bug besties learning about themselves and the world around them.

Aster And The Accidental Magic, written by Thom Pico with art by Karensac, and Johan Troïanowski’s The Runaway Princess are Random House Graphic’s forays into middle grade fiction, both spotlighting young women with adventurous spirits.

Jessi Zabarsky’s Witchlight explores the growing relationship between a witch and her new friend, which changes as secrets from the past come to light.

Smart work by Gagliano and her colleagues, snagging two already-published books from France, and two self-published, ready-to-republish books from the US, allowing them to ramp up with one book per month in January – April 2020 (Runaway Princess, Bug Boys, Aster, and Witchlight, respectively). It would have taken, minimum, four-five months more to have a completely new book ready to go, assuming she managed to sign a contract for a well-developed pitch from an absolute comics-cranking machine on the day she got the job.

Which, pretty much, is what she did. Lucy Knisley’s Stepping Stones is scheduled for May, which is near land speed record turnaround, considering she finished the pencils at the start of August and a full year is the usual turnaround once the book’s done. RHG is set to continue their 2020 slate of releases with books from Andi Watson, Sophie Escabasse, Reimena Yee, Kaeti Vandorn, Mika Song, Trung Le Nguyen, and Jose Pimienta.

Did you notice? The lineup isn’t exactly crawling with white dudes and good. The future of comics is people who aren’t constrained by its past. McCloud’s prediction re: comics, majority women, 2024 is not coming closer to us at a rate of one second per second, but by leaps and bounds and is probably already here. It’s not happening because Gagliano and her colleagues are making it happen, it’s happening regardless and Gagliano and her colleagues are smart enough to recognize it.

Spam of the day:

Washing method: warm water, gentle hand, natural dry, reusable, long-term use will not be flat deformation.

Almost everything I own that doesn’t run on electricity could be cleaned this way, but I can’t say that it’s true for all of them that long-term use will not be flat deformation.

¹ And as I watch, it’s equalizing.

Fleen Book Corner: Last Pick: Born To Run

Round about a year ago, I wrote this about Jason Walz’s Last Pick:

You’ve been there, when the teams are picked and every kid is carefully scrutinized for what they’ll bring to the team and somebody gets left until last, the sting of uselessness hanging over them.

What happens when you’ve got a whole society — a whole world — of last picks?

As Roast Beef could have told you, you get a bunch of folks with a gigantic and deep-seated fury at the world, one which will kick just rich amounts of [alien] ass with a remarkable style.

A year later for us, a year later for Sam and Wyatt, it’s time to check back in on Elizabethtown, Kentucky and some alien world for Last Pick: Born To Run, a review copy of which was sent to me by :01 Books. Needless to say with the middle book of a trilogy, discussing this one will necessarily involve spoilers for two books. Proceed as you wish.

Actually, Born To Run suffers far less from middle book syndrome than you might expect; although Sam and Wyatt are split up — she taken by the aliens so that we may discover what befalls the kidnapped population of Earth, he leading the resistance and setting plans in motion back home — we get a remarkably efficient catch-up of book one in the form of Wyatt’s notebook¹ that doesn’t feel contrived at all.

Wyatt’s found himself that which he least wanted to be: the leader of a resistance group, and therefore the center of attention, which threatens to overwhelm him constantly. The one person that can keep him on task, Harper, is deaf; his ASL isn’t great, she has to write a lot down, the slowness gives Wyatt the




and bring his focus back where it needs to be — not overwhelmed, not stuck on minutia, just working the problem.

This small detail is a recurring theme in Born To Run: the aliens don’t want Harper or Wyatt because they’re broken and useless. But Wyatt’s a technical and tactical genius, and the very reason that the aliens disregard Harper is not only the key to unlocking Wyatt’s potential, but also the means of communicating with the remaining population of Earth right under the noses (or whatever) of the aliens. See, the aliens learned human languages so they could boss around those they took, and every town has its share of collaborators. But the useless? The broken? Ignore ’em.

There’s not an alien on Earth that knows sign language².

Meanwhile (and believe me, that meanwhile is doing a lot of work), Sam’s on another planet, part of a vast prison complex of humans that are doing alien dirty work. The sickness from book one isn’t from being on Earth, it seems; it’s a random thing throughout the alien worlds, and when you get sick, you mutate. But there’s a treaty that says one member of the alien society can’t kill another, not even a mutant. That’s why they steal the populations of other worlds — to carry out genocide.

Sam’s resisting for the sake of being a pain in the ass to her alien overseers. Her friend Mia is resisting because she’s the only one that grasps that what they’re being forced to do. There are humans that have been at this for years now, and for every one that’s died at the hands of mutants, guards, or an unforgiving environment, there are others that have managed to stay alive by being conscript murderers. A better metaphor might actually be child soldiers.

If they ever get their freedom, if they ever get back home, there is going to be an epidemic of PTSD and existential guilt. If humanity survives their liberation, I suspect it will only be because the last picked know what it’s like to need intensive therapy. Heck, the long march to freedom gets started because Wyatt and his fellow neurodivergent kids figure out what a month’s worth of their brain meds pooled together would do to anything that ingested them all at once. Time and again, they strike back because they have a different POV than the aliens are willing to consider.

And the last picks have a message for the conquerors:

You’ve looked past us because we didn’t seem useful. There might have been a time when we believed that ourselves. We might have believed that our worth was based on the views of the ignorant and cruel. We were scared of what would happen if we fought back.

But not anymore.

If that rallying cry is stirring, it’s also got a rebuke for everybody here that ignored or degraded those who were different before the aliens. All of humanity is going to depend on learning the lesson that the aliens refuse to acknowledge — that everybody is a person, no matter how different. Not everybody got that lesson, but Wyatt’s here to remind them:

We’ve all lost people in our lives who saw us more than those labels. And for once in our lives, it might be good that the things we’re up against don’t see us that way. Because now we get to tear up those labels, and save the human race.

Last Pick: Born To Run by Jason Walz releases on Tuesday, 8 October to bookstores everywhere. It’s appropriate for tweens and up, and probably has some decent lessons for those quite a bit older. The conclusion, Last Pick: Rise Up, is due next year.

Spam of the day:

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Welp. Screamy Orange Grandpa has gotten into the spam/identity theft game. Ain’t nobody else that does word salad like that.

¹ A fan-supplied sample of which may be found at Walz’s website.

² Yes, I know — there isn’t one sign language, and the likelihood of enough people around the world knowing American Sign Language is a plot hole. The metaphor still works.

Pacific Nortwesterlies

It’s a time that we look towards the 10 o’clock position of North America, and catch up with what’s happening in that corner.

Firstly, if you look around the social media networks, it appears that Emerald City Comic Con has started building up their show floor and Artists Alley for 2020, with what seems to me to be an unusually high number of I didn’t get in-type postings from people that are local, have exhibited previously, or are relatively big names. From my remove (it’s on the far side of the country and I’ve never been), ECCC seems to have been on a yo-yo trajectory since Reed!Pop bought it, with some years successful and some years terrible, and no two creators necessarily agreeing which years are which.

We’ll see how the waitlists shake out, or who splits booth space with whom, but with NYCC just around the corner and that show having shifted nearly 100% away from comics to broader nerd interests¹, it’s not a surprise if EmCity follows. The show under Jim Demonakos’s leadership was a marvel of comics focus, but we all knew that’s not where the money R!P is chasing is.

Anyway, if you decide to make your way northward and westward in the months prior to Seattle’s long weekend of nerdery², you’ll find some nice comics-in-the-community going on in Vancouver these days. From the fine folks at the Cloudscape collective:

Comics In Transit has been an ongoing project that takes one-page comic stories, enlarges them, and installs them in bus shelters for people to read on their daily commute. Each series features artworks based around shared subject matter, often leaning towards education and social issues. In 2017, Comics in Transit featured stories told by refugees about their hardships coming to Canada.

This year, Comics In Transit focuses on stories of Indigenous family history, written and drawn by Indigenous BC comic artists. This series will be displayed in Vancouver bus shelters throughout October 2019, and an additional art exhibition of the series will be hosted by the Red Gate Art Society from September 26th — October 15th.

The astute among you will recognize that was yesterday that the exhibit opened, so there’s no point in me telling you about the reception that took place, but I’m certain it was super dope. You can still catch the exhibition for another two and a half weeks, featuring the work of featuring Alina Pete, Cole Pauls, Gord Hill, Michael Yahgulanaas, Chenoa Gao, Kyle Charles, Tim Linklater, Raven John, Stephen Gladue, Whess Harman, and Ocean Hyland. The Red Gate Arts Society is at 1965 Main Street in Vancouver.

Spam of the day:

NEW Web-App Allows You To Legally Hijack Traffic And Authority From Wikipedia AND YouTube To Earn Affiliate Commissions In 24 Hours Or Less – in ANY Niche!

Any time you are trying to conflate “hijack” with “legally”, I’m going to suspect that you aren’t really getting the best advice possible. Like, stop listening to Char Char Binks.

¹ I don’t think me making fun of Reed!Pop for giving a huge chunk of Javits floor space to Chevrolet made them drop me from their press list the next year. I do think that becoming the sort of show that would give a huge chunk of floor space to Chevrolet would logically lead them to conclude that a member of press who’d be over in the Artist Alley just about exclusively, talking to the few remaining webcomics folks isn’t really promoting the show that they’re putting on.

² At least, the one that isn’t PAX.

About Fucking Time

That is, the New York Times has, after nearly three years, righted a grievous wrong:

Today The New York Times Book Review announced changes to the Best-Seller Lists, in print and online. The Best Sellers team will begin tracking Mass Market Paperbacks (genres including romance) and a combined list for Graphic Books (fiction, nonfiction, children’s, adults, and manga).

I cannot think of another situation where gatekeeping fell by the wayside in such a bullshit manner. Allow me to sum up:

You will recall that in January of 2017, the Times decided to discontinue the feature that we thought of as Raina Telgemier presents the Graphic Novels Bestseller list featuring Smile¹. The fact that the Times has come around surely has nothing to do with the fact that Raina’s newest, Guts, showed up in the #1 best seller position at USA Today yesterday, a week after launch.

Not #1 in childrens, or #1 in graphic novels. #1, period, above the latest from Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, Malcolm Gladwell, and Delia Owens in positions 2 through 5 respectively.

The Times can’t ignore her, but they can’t put her in Children’s Middle Grade Hardcover, since Guts mostly isn’t. Can’t be in Children’s series (although Gale Galligan is there for her continuation of Raina’s work on Baby Sitters Club) or Children’s Picture Books since it’s not either of those. If they don’t bring back a list for graphic novels, she’ll end up sullying the regular old Fiction lists with her stupid fake books for loser kids.

You know, the fiction list that mysteriously shows King, Atwood, and Owens in the top three positions. Hmmmm².

Previously tracked by the Best Sellers franchise until 2017, these lists are returning due to continued reader interest and market strength. These monthly lists will begin publishing on October 2 (online) and October 20 (in print).

All Best Sellers lists are available at

In other words, waiting two full weeks after Guts launched, and you know what? She’s still going to show up there, and her other books are still going to sit there. But now they can include her again without acknowledging that she’s outselling and outlasting the real books. But those of us that look down on neither the MG/YA space, nor graphic novels know the deal. Raina can’t be ignored, and a bunch of other folks will get to join her on the list, where the imprimatur actually does catch the attention of libraries and booksellers, a promotional tool they’ve been lacking for 33 months now.

And speaking of welcome returns, Angela Melick³ is making one:

Wasted Talent is BACK… on Webtoon! The BEST OF Wasted Talent — from the very beginning — will be updating on Tuesdays and Thursdays from now on. More: Thank you!! :))

Smart move heading to Webtoon for discoverability, but those of us that still go to individual sites, Wasted Talent dot CA is also showing the reruns, starting here. I think I’m gonna add WT back to my RSS feed and update the links over there to the right. We missed you, Jam, welcome back.

Spam of the day:

The solution to your hair problem It uses LED light and infrared waves to stimulate hair growth.

So … heat? You’re selling a warm comb?

¹ It’s sorta like Precious: based on the novel “Push” by Sapphire, only with Raina regularly occupying at least two slots and frequently as many as six.

² To be fair, Amazon has Guts at #4 in fiction this week. Point stands — different channels with different methods of calculation, and only one doesn’t include her at all instead in right next to Atwood, King, and Owens (in that order). Also Gladwell is in Nonfiction, which is sort of hilarious given the way he pulls things out of his ass.

³ Engineers 4 Lyfe, yo.

Time To Clear The Spam Filters

They’re getting a little clogged, you see. And what with Screamy Orange Grandpa ranting his face off today and declaring Nancy Pelosi no longer the Speaker¹, comics news is mostly pushed to the side (apart from the welcome news of Lynda Barry’s MacArthur Fellowship). So let’s make fun of some spammers!

Spams of the day:

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Not a veteran. Next!

Netflix’s The Toys That Made Us offers a deep nostalgic dive into the minds behind history’s most iconic toy franchises, as they discuss the rise (and sometimes fall) of their billion-dollar creations.

Nostalgia is a toxic impulse. Next!

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Between the fact that I’m a homeowner in suburban New Jersey and the fact that I’ve been dutifully contributing to a 401(k) for decades, I’m going to have to say you’ve got nothing to offer me. Next!

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I like how you almost managed to work the word tactical in there, in a transparent ploy to appeal to my fragile masculinity. However, my EMT training has taught me to not look tactical, and to keep several large, solid vehicles (or perhaps a building or two) between me and anybody that does look tactical, on account of they’re either engaged in an unfortunate exercise of 2nd Amendment FREEDOM!!! or there to deal with the first guy. Next! referred you to this post: We invite you to our new website for quick SEX DATING

Sorry, I don’t know anybody named sexxxlisa; I did know a friendlyhuggglisa in college, though. Next!

I’m Zlata, living in Ukraine. To be honest, I live in a village and we have no job. That’s why I can do it for a little money: send you a video of sex with an ex-boyfriend (if you don’t put it out there!)

Sorry, Zlata, I think your ex-boyfriend deserves the same expectations of not having the video shared that you’re asking of me. Next!

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Check me on this — aside from the very unfortunate 737 Max 8 disasters, isn’t the only commercial airline in the world that regularly crashes Aeroflot? Not really interested in taking my chances. Next!

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Why is this giving me a Jeffrey Epstein private-island vibe? Please go away.

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Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

¹ Shit, if I knew that was all it took, I woulda done so months ago in favor of AOC.