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Tallulah wants a "Potty Surprise" doll for Christmas. 
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You've painted up your lips and rolled and curled your tinted hair
<<First Name>> are you contemplating, going out somewhere

- kelly sue demonic -



Tallulah is making her Christmas list. "Dirty looks" is not on the list, because she has those to spare.  

Speaking of! Pretty Deadly 6 hit the shelves this week, as did a bunch of press and interviews in support of the book, which means that a bunch of articles with "feminist" in the headline came to the attention of internet trolls, which in turn means that I woke up Thursday morning to a bunch of dudes in my twitter mentions calling me ugly, and curiously, singling out my eyebrows as problematic.  

Now, before anyone gets their knickers in a knot, it's FINE, I'm fine, I didn't engage, I blocked, they went away. I don't want those people in my life and I literally cannot imagine giving two shits what internet trolls think about my appearance at all. Let alone my eyebrows. 

Except for the part where I kind of do. Like, I'm fascinated by it. I really want to start making my eyebrows really dark and completely absurd. Like, statement eyebrows. I've practiced two mornings in a  row and I have to say, I'm kind of good at it.  

McCubbin suggested maybe this year's Christmas card should be just my eyebrows with Christmas lights strung across them. I'm kind of into it. Except that I think they should also be providing shelter for Syrian refugees.  

What do you think? Eyebrows Across America?  

Oh, Mark Kermode brought up the Sexy Lamp Test on Twitter and is maybe going to do an "Uncut" video on good and bad examples.  I am ever so tickled by this. 

- matt fraction -
TODAY AT POWELL'S CITY OF BOOKS on Burnside in bee-yoo-tee-ful downtown Portland, Oregon at 4 PM there is a panel discussion and signing by various comickers that publish via Image Comics. Kelly Sue, Kurt Busiek, Joe Keatinge, Leila del Duca, Benjamin Dewey, and ME!!! Moderated by our very own Lt. Trouble, Kit Cox! 

Come on out, I'll draw little dicks on your comics.
 
Speaking of coming out, I gave a lesbian her first pair of cufflinks the other day. Showed her how to wear them, how to fold cuffs back, the whole nine. In the make-believe #DADSHIT parenting book I write in my head, it’s become its own chapter: “Showing Your Lesbians How to Wear Cufflinks.” 
 
I felt the weird shimmer of paternal pride I get from time to time, watching my weasels become older, wiser, more learned — I had no right to feel it; this is a grown-ass woman I’m talking about (Also, it should be stated, they are not “my” lesbians, but that was a funnier title), a grown-ass woman that’s become a remarkable grown-ass human without any input from me (until now, on cufflinks).
 
She’s about to get married. It’s great. And her partner — just as accomplished, remarkable, and wonderful, in different ways and fields, who we, meaning my family, love and adore — she comes from a family that’s maybe not so terribly into the whole, y’know, “gay” thing. 
 
She hasn’t, doesn’t and, I suspect, won’t give up on her family — she’s a braver lesbian than I, Gunga Din. They’re her family and she loves them all but every now and again you see how it stings. 
 
Whoever you are, wherever you are, I hope you find your people out there somewhere anyway. Because life is heavy and life is hard and it's okay to be sad and it's okay to be alone, but feeling unloved or unwanted is poisonous. Safe spaces, loving spaces, compassionate spaces are the antidote. Or at least an anodyne. If you need one I hope you find it. I know for sure it's out there. If you need two stand-in middle aged hetero squares to hug and say we're proud of you, we're here.

Oh hey. We got an OK to "go to draft" on a show this week, meaning Kelly Sue and I are cleared to write a pilot script for network. AND I got ODY-C 10 done. So -- so, y'know. Good week.
- the SPOILERY cox box full of PRETTY DEADLY 6 SPOILERS -


Seriously, if you haven't read it yet and you're not into being spoiled for the first 3/4 of the issue, maybe scroll on down to the next newsletter box dealie and revisit this one after you've had a chance to read. Friends who've already read #6 and loose cannon spoiler cops on the edge who don't play by the rules: see you after I hit "enter" a few times to give the rest a chance to clear out.

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Some of you have expressed interest in taking a peek at Kelly Sue and Matt's writing processes. This is for you guys! Using index cards on a cork board to plot out story arcs is a technique both of them use from time to time (right now Kelly has pinned up cards for Pretty Deadly 6-10 and Bitch Planet 6-10; Matt has a giant board full of Sex Crims 14-20). Here's PD #6 (or most of it) in card form:



...OK, so. The idea here is that each moment, that either moves the story forward or tells us something new about the world, or character gets its own card. These cards have more text crammed in there than usual; this is because I wrote them out using the script Kelly Sue had already drafted for #6 and had nothing approaching discipline with regards to what to cut. (A usual card might just say something like "Clara can see Fox" or "Cyrus in France just after full moon.")

So the full arc looks something like this (spoilers for issues that aren't out yet redacted -- I'm not a MONSTER):



Kelly picked the idea up in a writers' room in LA earlier this year and adapted it (from 5 acts of a TV episode to however-many issues of a comics volume). It's kind of fantastic. Each story "beat" having its own card means she can move them around, add to them, and beats that don't fit in a particular issue can be tossed or saved for later. There's a pile of floating "this needs to happen at some point" cards that don't have their exact story moments pinned down (ha ha, just some corkboard humor there*) yet. Little "oh, I want to use that!!" ideas get jotted down on cards, worked into the story as they fit -- and not forgotten. 

[As a side note, reverse-engineering a script into the index cards that make up its structure has been incredibly helpful to me as a learning exercise, so much so that now if I'm trying to read any comic or script critically that's part of what I'll do. It forces you to pick out the major story beats in each scene -- even if you're as liberal as I was with what to include, you're limited to what fits in the space of an index card. If you do it to your own stuff, what's necessary/useful to the story and what doesn't merit a card and needs to GO gets clearer a lot faster.]


*Oh god I'm sorry.

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OKAY. Hope that was as interesting and helpful for some of you guys as it's been for me!

#Retailer Asset Box

What's that, you say?
Why, it's a fancy schmancy PRETTY DEADLY Sales Sheet, the better to sell through with!

 
#ICYMI
tl;dr
 
  • Nov 21 - Image Comics Panel at Powell's City of Books PDX
  • Dec 1 - Matt's Birthday
  • Dec 20 - Kit's Birthday
  • Dec 23 - Pretty Deadly #7 on sale
  • Jan 27 - Pretty Deadly #8 on sale
  • Feb 21-28 - JoCo Cruise
  • Feb 24 - Pretty Deadly #9 on sale
Milkfed Logo by Rian Hughes
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