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Photo by Nayoung Wilson
- kelly sue deconnick -

Fraction's doing the newsletter heavy lifting this week, bless.  We celebrated our little Viking's 10th birthday this weekend and I haven't quite slept it off yet. Still operating in a fog.  Apologies. 

Gratitude to Ed Peterson for the photos linked above, as well as some AMAZING shots of Val and I, Emma and I, and Matt and Chip.  Can't wait to share those with you.

Then we can talk "optics." W00t/blargh. 

Bitch Planet: Triple Feature #4 is at your local comic shops and on Comixology tomorrow.  

Also tomorrow, I test for my green stripe belt in taekwondo at 7pm. Think good thoughts. Board breaking is axe kick. 

- matt fraction -

I try to journal and write things down because my head is full of bad wires and gravy and I need more onboard memory than that with which I have been blessed. There are studies about it, how the mind extends beyond the body. Use a prosthetic for long enough and your brain starts to map it as a part of itself; an artificial leg, a prosthetic arm. Why not a notebook?

Part of the virtue of this, beyond the practical, comes in the recording of days. If I ever feel unstuck in time, if the velocity of days gets the best of me, I can go back to the books and see what I've been doing, see how I lived these days and what occupied me. 

I have journals going back to 1991, at least. 

For the most part they were simple, marbled composition books. All I could afford, and they were everywhere. The best come from gas stations in and around the Blue Ridge Mountains, though I found some in a weird OTB place in Lyon, France that worked in a pinch. 

The physical book itself is not important. The book itself changes every now and again but that tends to be my standard. If they made those with graph paper I think I'd die with joy. 

Actually, it's never occurred to me until just now to search for such a thing. Hang on a sec.


Wait what? Where was I? Oh, right, the journal. 

The nature of the thing changes over time, as it should -- I change over time, too. What I find important, though, having twenty-fucking-whatever years worth of the things, though, remains fixed in amber:

  1. The date of stuff recorded. I forget this, ironically enough, with startling regularity.
  2. To-Do Lists which, if tracked properly, become To-Done lists, which fulfills the promise of the premise of keeping a notebook, namely, tracking how the hell I live my life.
  3. That's it.

I'm not one for recording Deep Thots™ or Hott Takes™ or anything. Sometimes, sure; sometimes I need a place to think in space, to be able to sculpt the stuff, move it around. Like I said, bad wires and gravy; you should try playing chess against me some time. I define 'easy mark.' 

Lately I try to ape Lynda Barry's daily journal practice because I like its emphasis on the visual and the observed. 

I'm not going to Bing her for you, but she keeps a tumblr for her comics-making class at the University of Wisconsin at Madison here and it is a treasure trove of... well, of Lynda Barry.

(I mean -- read this.

Is it not perfect? It isn't. It isn't not perfect.)

Her books on process, new from Amazon, will run you about sixty bucks American, all in. Even if, like me, you've no business drawing for a living, if you're interested at all in visual thinking, it'll grow ferocious new organs within your flesh-mass giving you bold, new and exciting powers. Be your own sensational character find of 2017 and beyond. I BELIEVE IN YOU.

The important thing I take from it is to think -- to remember -- images. Sounds are great; dialogue overheard is great (have we ever talked about that, as a writing exercise? Go to a diner, write down three conversations you overhear? Listening, turns out, is pretty important), but we reside in the business of images and imagery. 

A large part of my professional life is spent looking at things in my head and trying to explain it to other people to interpret. Don't just remember what you do, Lynda tells us. Remember what you see, remember how you see it, understand that what you see, what you think you see, and what you remember may all capture different aspects of the truth of the thing.

But mostly, don't forget to write down the date. You'll want to know that later. Trust me.



What the caves are trying to tell us. From Sam Kriss at The Outline.

Be cool, planner nerds: Moleskine’s next paper planner will automatically sync with Google Calendar and Apple’s iCal.

From his tiny sanctum in London, the founder of WikiLeaks has interfered with the world’s most powerful institutions. Julian Assange, a Man Without a Country, from Raffi Khatchadourian at The New Yorker.

Sexist computers, because of course: machines taught by photos learn a biased view of women. From Tom Simonite at Wired.
  • Sept 28-Oct 1 - Kelly Sue, Matt & Kit @ Cartoon Crossroads Columbus!
  • Sept. 27 - SEX CRIMINALS Vol. 4: FOURGY! on SALE
  • Oct. 18 - BITCH PLANET: TRIPLE FEATURE #5 on SALE (This one's got Fraction in it to boot!)
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