Category Archives: Recommendations

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?

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.

New Releases That Get Us Going

This week is surprisingly quiet for new releases, but there are a few stellar gems to be found:

1. Big Questions #15 by Anders Nilsen.

As sad as I am to have this moving, beautiful series end, I’m excited to see what Nilsen offers in the future. For the uninitiated, his soft art and slender lines match the occasionally melancholic but always moving tone to his stories. You will not want to miss this issue if you are already a fan. If you don’t have all the back issues, you may want to wait for the TPB because many of them are impossible to find.

2. Tron Soundtrack by Daft Punk.

From the land of Duh, we bring you a breaking news alert: we love us some Daft Punk. We may or may not have listened to an illegal copy and may or may not have been floored by the subtle quality of their score. If you are looking for a danceable and outrageous Daft Punk album, look elsewhere. If you are looking for something to whet your palette before the big movie release or if you are a fan of solid movie scores, grab this gem.

3. Exit through the Gift Shop DVD.

If you are a fan of street art, public space subversion, Banksy, or Space Invaders in Paris, grab this documentary. It has enough mystery, some humor, stencil art, and European street scenes to keep this movie watcher totally riveted.

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.

Ahem.

Thankful

Today, I am thankful for:

1. Fantagraphics new release, Castle Waiting, volume 2.

2. Seattle snOMG, which gave me three additional days at home.

3. The Daria Complete DVD set, which has allowed me to reconnect to my high school disdain.

4. My college education, which has allowed me to critically examine this holiday and wonder how different it may feel if we lived in peace with First Nation people.

5. You guys.