Weeknotes 4.1 (Apr 8, 2020)

Quarantine squirrel is watching you.

If you’re not staying home as much as possible, wearing a mask or face covering when you go out, and generally trying to keep us all safe by flattening the curve, what the fuck is wrong with you?

I’m tired of the people who look at the state of the world and choose to spend their time and energy spinning conspiracy theories, selling snake oil, or snarking at those trying to be as safe as they can. I give up on y’all. I wish you well, I hope you stay healthy despite your own actions, and that’s the best I can do anymore.


Last week’s note would have posted April 1, but I wasn’t in the mood.

Despite that I am, mostly, finding my way through all this, and most of the time, happy. I’ve cleared out a space for a tiny “corner” office (as in, it’s a corner of another room), and I’m getting things done. Drawing daily, blog posts, even working on a novel once in a while. My son is fed, my cats are snuggly, and my pandemic haircut is extremely cute.

Watching:

I reviewed Stray Dog on the 1st; you can read that here. I also posted a reprint review of Were the World Mine on Monday; if you haven’t seen it before, you can read it here.

Also, Tales From the Loop dropped on Amazon Prime this week and I’m not done with it, but if you like slow, atmospheric anthology series with weird physics and robots, you’ll love this.

I got into Simon Stålenhag’s art years ago – his rustic futurism is grounded in nostalgia for a world a lot like the one I imagined as a kid, but we never actually got. He built a game called Tales from the Loop based on his art, where kids solve Mysteries in their own hometowns, and that inspired the series. I love the game, which reminds me of both Shadowrun and Stranger Things, while remaining uniquely its own thing. If you haven’t seen his art or played the game, I recommend them both.

Reading:

My comics re-read continued with DMZ. I also read the first two collected books of Matt Kindt’s MIND MGMT; I wrote about “The Manager” here, and “The Futurist” review goes up Friday.

Extra Bits:

Daily warmup sketch, April 3, 2020

I’m posting my daily warmup drawings for April over on my Instagram. They’re not great, not my best work, but they’re fun. I’m sharing them because a) it’s good for me to get over feeling like everything has to be perfect before I show anyone, and b) it’s good for me to have this daily drawing practice, and remembering that I promise to post them helps me allow myself to make time for it.

Notes and References:

Stay home, and stay safe.

Movie Review: Were The World Mine (2008)

This is a reprint; I first posted this review as part of “Fae Awareness Month” in 2011.

Tom Gustafson’s low-budget, independent, gay musical, Were the World Mine, arrived in 2008, swathed in lace and glitter and hot boy-on-boy action. Interspersed with the traditional Shakespearean scenes, acted out on a prep-school stage, are musically-enhanced fantasies that are some of the best moments of the film. Even when the film’s fairies aren’t in costume, the boys are still by turns argumentative, mischievous, aggressive, and tricky. Exactly as the Bard would have wanted them to be. How does the play – and more importantly, the mischievous fairies – fare as a small-town tale of homophobia and love?

Beautifully.

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Re-Reading Comics: MIND MGMT (Book 1)

I’m continuing my big pandemic reread – using graphic novels, collections, and single issues I’ve got in my apartment right now – with the first collected hardback of Matt Kindt’s MIND MGMT. Subtitled “The Manager”, this includes issues 1-6, originally published monthly.

I got this and the second collection as a Christmas present a few years ago. The person who gave them to me had read and loved them, which is the best kind of present: not just something they thought I’d like, but a gift of getting to know them better too, but seeing what matters to them.

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Movie Review: Stray Dog (1949)

Every year on the anniversary of Toshiro Mifune’s birth, I tell everyone I can to watch Nora Inu (released in the US as Stray Dog). It’s one of my all-time favorite movies, one of the best noir movies to come out of Japan, and an incredibly strong example of Akira Kurosawa’s films. It’s also, strangely, the Kurosawa/Mifune joint people talk about the least.

First, let’s all remember the hotness that was Toshiro Mifune:

If you were expecting to see him in film-faux samurai garb, sorry to disappoint you. Mifune appeared in nearly 170 films as an actor, including 16 of Kurosawa’s, and most of them weren’t period pieces. He was an extremely versatile, expressive, and talented actor, with a wide range — which included dark, murky, detective film noir like Stray Dog. Continue reading

Re-Reading Comics: DMZ (Wood)

Last week I talked about O’Malley’s first book, Lost at Sea. You can read my review here.

It’s a weird time to pick up Brian Wood’s Vertigo series, DMZ. Normally I wouldn’t think too hard about recommending it. When I read it the first time time, DMZ was exactly the kind of series I like: dark, gritty, urban, bleak, yet full of hope. Long enough I could spend a day binging dozens of issues, and collected into graphic novels so it’s easy to pick up. I looked forward to reading it, and when I finally did, it was everything I was told to expect.

Now, though, with our real NYC under lockdown from a very real threat, fictionalized versions struggle under an extra weight, and I’m not sure DMZ holds up the way it used to.

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