Category Archives: Favorite Artists

Quickie, but Goodie

I’m still here!

A quick post:

  • Go read Bucko. Erika Moen is the artist and a perennial favorite of mine.  So far, the story is engaging and relatable.
  • Speaking of webcomics, I am mourning the end of The Rack.
  • I’m getting really excited for Sarah Glidden’s next book about a month-long trip to Damascus with the Common Language Project. An interview with The Daily Cross Hatch stoked that fire.
  • Did you know the BBC documentary about Jeff Buckley  “Mystery White Boy” is available to watch online? I didn’t either, but here you go.

What have you all been up to?

What’s in a name?

[Trigger Warnings: sexual violence]

First, go read today’s The Rack written by Grrl Nerd friend and favorite Kevin Church. Then, come back.

If you are reading anything on this site, you mostly likely will agree that the use of the r-word as an adjective or a flippant response is offensive and horrible. But for others (the majority?), its use may be perfectly acceptable. Lydia’s reminder on The Rack addresses these people. Sadly, not all employ sensitivity in a world where 1 in 6 women they know have been assaulted. It can be difficult to explain why the r-word is not okay to use as an inconsequential adjective; it is frustrating to explain to someone that it is a real action verb with severe consequences.

At minimum, Rape is violent and pervasive and is an epidemic in our culture. At its worst, Rape is destructive and terrorizing and possessive of the survivor. The ‘so what’ of the r-word use is that there are survivors (and allies and partners and children and supporters) that are triggered by the use of the word that is the cause of their trauma in a punch-line of a joke or as a show promo for a sub-par actor. I’d like to think that another human would like to prevent causing further harm to another.

I’m grateful to Kevin for calling men out for the gross abuse of the word (though I’d argue there are many women who need to hear this lesson too). If this comic were penned by an angry radical feminist, it would be dismissed and pointed out as another example of flag-waving psycho-bitches ruining another form of entertainment. Instead, Kevin as a respected writer, as a cis-gendered male and as an important member of the nerd community has initiated a discussion of semantics that can be a starting place for those who may not be aware of how the word can affect on victims/survivors.

But this discussion is not enough.

Rape extends beyond the violence; it re-circulates in our society in the form of jokes by ‘comedians,’  victim blaming for better statistics, inadequate mental health support for survivors, low conviction rates for rapists, and the isolation of victims. From the idolatry of suspected rapists to the sweeping of violence under the rug to protect a beloved athlete’s career, The System – from the police departments to the comedians to the rapists to the protective sports teams – inflicts continual, lasting, and severe damage to survivors.

Yes, we should stop using the r-word in flippant and insensitive ways. But we can also start a campaign that tells rapists to stop raping and start holding justice departments accountable to process rape kits.  We can support survivor networks and participate in grass-roots education efforts. The conversation can’t stop here.

What can you do?

Eff Best Of Lists

I am rigidly against ‘best of’ lists. I feel like they are a crutch for weak critics, and insincere at best. My reasoning? There is no way that you could get me to list my top 10 artists of the year, because my mood drastically shifts whatever objectivity I claim to have towards music/books/photography/comics/movies/etc. What can I say, I’m human. I expect critics to have the same conundrum. You should be passionate and introspective about your reactions to art. It should be impossible.

But, for the sake of getting to know each other and to create a time-capsule type post where I can go back in 5 years and make fun of myself, I’ll recount some of my favorite things from 2010. Please do the same, and share the link.

1. Favorite movie:

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, with Inception nipping at its heels. This is a tough choice, but there is one movie that I saw opening night and waited years for and pre-ordered the physical copy of, and one that I blindly stumbled upon and loved it with ferocity. Win goes to Scott P.

2. Favorite musical event:

Pavement at the Paramount, without a doubt. I was emotionally prepared for a disengaged Malkmus and a band who had been forced to revisit music from a bygone era, totally bored by songs over fifteen years old. Instead, I saw a group of friends who seemed to be loving their material and actively enjoying their reunited moment, complete with smiles and banter. Also, I got to be in the front row.

3. Favorite comic:

Oy, why am I doing this to myself? This is torture. My knee-jerk answer is the Love and Rockets: New Stories volume 3 release, on the strength of “Brown Town” alone. I totally reserve the right to change my mind.

4. Favorite television show:

Community continues to be my favorite show. I already discussed why Abed is a favorite character of mine, and the exploration of different tones was appealing. Unsurprisingly, my favorite episode thus far is “Aerodynamics of Gender.” Watch it if you haven’t. Comedy gold.

5. Favorite political moment:

(specific) Barney Frank‘s fielding of a dumb reporter’s question in the aftermath of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal.

(overall) The growing importance of non-mainstream news channels in the dissemination of information and the demand for accuracy (see: continued dominance of Jon Stewart and The Daily Show, the growing importance of Rachel Maddow, WikiLeaks, etc.)

6. Favorite older thing that I discovered this year:

Harry Nilsson, thanks to the documentary Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?). I don’t know how I lived my life without “You’re Breakin’ My Heart”.

7. Favorite book I read:

After Dark by Haruki Murakami.

(Another non-current pick, but my school load prohibited much recreational reading. Also, if you don’t like Murakami, we can’t be friends.)

8. Favorite webcomic:

Hipster Hitler. Making fun of hipsters is as tired as jeggings and Hamsters dancing to Black Street, but goddamn this comic makes me laugh.

9. Favorite photographer:

Jenny Jimenez. I feel nothing but envy when I look at how she beautifully brings the voyeur-like eye of a photojournalist to joyful occasions.  It satisfies my need for beauty and curiosity at the same time.

10. Favorite journalist piece:

Lindy West’s review of Sex and The City 2. Go read it if you haven’t. I’d say you could thank me later, but the real accolades clearly go to Ms. West. She brings a feminist eye and a comedians wit to a review that caught the eye of many.

Awesome Nerd Gear

In the spirit of mass consumption, behold a small list of gift suggestions to jump-start your shopping season. I know it’s hard to shop for your nerd or geek (because we tend to buy everything we want immediately), but here are some awesome wares if you are stumped and need some inspiration. Fuck giving money to corporations, let’s give money directly to the artists this year.

Rad t-shirts from the Forlorn Funnies shop. You should know Paul Hornschemeier’s work. If you don’t, stop what you are doing and go buy Mother, Come Home.

Right?! He’s amazing. And when you are done being blown away by his work, go back to the site to buy fun t-shirts.

If your gift recipient is smart, awesome, and/or amazing, get them this book written by Grrl Nerd favorite, Kevin Church.

Lydia is a great gift your loved feminist, with featured art by four kick-ass ladies, strips that feature our smart-mouthed, indie comic lovin’ heroine, and includes appearances by the rest of the beloved Yavin crew. (For the unaware, Lydia is a spin-off of well-loved webcomic The Rack, which is a story of the characters in a comic shop. It’s brilliant.)

Olympia artist Nikki McClure has a recognizable and revered art style that can be a gift that gives throughout the entire year.

Her strong lines and single paper cut designs are striking and instantly recognizable, and her calendars are an affordable way to celebrate such a great artist.

Know It All pencil set from Paper Pastries. Let’s face it, one of the worst personality defects of your run-of-the-mill nerd is that we know EVERYTHING. Celebrate fact with snarky pencils!

There you have it – an alternative to giving all your dough to large multinationals while celebrating the nerdly arts. If you know of any rad stuff out there, let me know. I’m…er…shopping for other people? Uh, yeah, that’s it.


Link Love: Tatiana Gill

If you aren’t in Seattle, you may not know how big of a deal The Stranger is in these woods. In the same company as The Daily Show being the sole news source for hundreds of thousands under the age of 35, The Stranger is one of the few dependable news sources for people of a certain ilk (see: queer, liberal, world-minded, etc.) in the entire region. In sum: it’s a big deal newspaper.

To have work printed in the paper is also a big deal, which is why when an illo from a favorite neighbor and comic artist Tatiana Gill showed up as a companion to a high profile story about tainted cocaine, we cheered. Yay Tats! Bask in the exposure! (Though not in the tainted drugas, natch.)

New York Five

Brian Wood is a favorite in my household. He is one of the few artists who consistently writing interesting and complex women, and he is an incredible artist to boot. Hell, his work on Demo and Local alone firmly place his writing in the highest stratum of talented people.

Overtime, as my fandom matures and his fame increases, I no longer feel an invested and intense pride in his work. Instead, I feel a satisfied distance. Part of me mourns for the days when Wood was a smaller artist and I could spend five minutes chatting with him at an empty table at Emerald City Comicon. But ultimately, security comes with more visibility, and as long as people read his work and support good comics, all will be right in the world.

Part of this distance may make me sentimental, but the recent with Ryan Kelly in New York Four hints to the same camaraderie as with Becky Cloonan on Demo. Perhaps it is a similar brushstroke, or maybe it’s the overall tone of the work, but this work feels familiar. Great news coming out of New York Comicon is that Wood and Kelly will reunite again with New York Five.

This sweet little preview from Wood’s flickr page last month gets me giddy excited to see more work by them. January 2011 can’t come soon enough!