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In a world of Fredos, Moe Greene is king.
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- matt fraction -
 

In the dream, it didn’t matter what I had done; I had made an enemy of Nixon, and Nixon would come for me. Blackmail, shame, ignominy, demonization, all coming my way because I had done something, somewhere, at some point to offend and upset the president. What did they have on me? It didn’t matter. If I felt embarrassed or ashamed of something, anything, no matter how small, they’d find it. Whatever it is you don’t like about yourself they’ll discover and use as a lever against you. I woke up having a full blown panic attack and thought about running for half a sleeping second before realizing it was a dream. 

And then I thought, so the trick is live a life without shame. 

The next night I dreamed a man was throwing packets of sugar at me. They were yellow, with black letter pressed text across each one. I could tell that inside the yellow packets, the grains of sugar ran black, deep black, and shining, like coal and glass. 

The text read:
 

THE BLACKEST COFFEE DESERVES THE SWEETEST SUGAR

N I X O N ' S   F A N G

ground by hand from the devil’s own tooth

 

(I think it was ‘hand ground’ but the patter’s better If it’s “ground by hand” and I might be getting “fang” and ‘tooth’ transposed but fuck it, now I’m writing it not dreaming it and I get to edit and revise)

Anyway this is how I decided it was maybe time to stop reading books about Nixon for a little while. Since June, it’s been all I’ve read. At first it was because I felt some kind of comfort watching the autoimmune system of the republic in operation; then it became because I was fascinated by this Arthur Miller-sized man put on a Shakespeare-sized stage. 

Then, uh, then it was like thousands of pages and I started having the dreams so.

THE WARS OF WATERGATE. Stanley Kutler 

A fantastic, chronological overview from 35,000-feet above Washington of the overreach, collapse, and implosion of the Nixon administration.

ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN, Bob Woordward and Carl Bernstein

All the stuff I want to ask about in this book are the weird personal details they clearly inserted about one another. Woodward’s writing was so stilted and wooden when he started there was a rumor going around the POST newsroom that English was not in fact his first language. For example. So then right after this read

THE SECRET MAN, Bob Woodward

Which is brisk in all senses of the word but works now, in the passing of Mark Felt, as a kind of Director’s Commentary to the design and development of ATPM. Also a fascinating, puzzling, and ethically grey story about a fascinating, puzzling, ethically grey man surviving a fascinating, puzzling, ethically grey time.

THE FINAL DAYS, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein 

Once ATPM opened the doors, the flood followed, and this is fucking stunning, start to stop. If you want a real party, chase it with Anthony Summers’ THE ARROGANCE OF POWER.

ENEMIES: THE STORY OF THE FBI, Tim Weiner

It’s hard not to wonder if part of the FBI means believing and behaving as though it were the fourth branch of our government. Then read KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON by David Grann before the movie inevitably compromises and compresses it all down into Oscar chow.

I AM NOT A CROOK, Art Buchwald

Uh... sometimes ya gotta laugh?

BREACH OF FAITH, Ted White

What happens when being cynical isn’t quite being cynical enough?

The one that really bums me out is that WASHINGTON JOURNAL: REPORTING WATERGATE AND RICHARD NIXON’S DOWNFALL by Elizabeth Drew is getting put on hold because I was really excited for that one, and I've never read it and it sounds amazing and she is great and wonderful but Nixon is making me crazy. These last three I picked up after reading a piece in the TIMES about the above.

I’m trying to cleanse the palette with a little DUNE. Y’know. As one does.



Also I got in the mail on Saturday a great black slab of a box containing Radiohead's OKNOTOK 1997-2017 collection of all things OK COMPUTER. All the best people had nervous breakdowns to OK COMPUTER. It sounds gorgeous -- and this is a record I thought I knew, beat for beat, bit for bit. I rarely go in for big fat reissue projects like this but -- but, goddamn. The tape loops towards the end of "Exit Music," right before the 'you can laugh' drop -- it's a new song.

(There's something to be written by someone somewhere in reconsidering SGT. PEPPER'S and OK COMPUTER, 50 and 20 the same summer, a generation between them, a summer of love, a summer of no logo. I dunno. someone smarter than me. Hey, chris o'leary, get crackin'.)



HEY PROCESS NERDS

I talk(ed) a lot about little games, little tricks, little exercises I did, and do. Finger warmups, fundamentals, notebook doodles for writers and things. Back when DC Comics (is that a... is that redundant? Like saying "ATM Machine"?) launched "The New 52" and I was deeply entrenched at Marvel, I studied the New 52 like, as Brian Michael Bendis says, "like the Torah." It felt, I dunno. The Distinguished Competition were dropping trou and making Declarative Comics, i thought, I dunno, maybe, I should pay attention. So study them like the Torah I did.

Anyway -- I found, on a stickie hidden behind another stickie hidden behind another stickie, the notes I took on SUPERGIRL #1 by, I think, Michael Green and Mike Johnson, drawn by Mahmud Asrar, inked by Dan Green, colored by Dave McCraig, lettered by John J. HIll. Edited by Wil Moss & Matt Idelson.

Here's what I typed, typos and all. It took about as long to write as it took to type. It's not like it's a long and time consuming process:

SUPERGIRL #1

1. 3 panels. meteorite hits earth.
2. 3 panels. meteorite halts.
3. 3 panels. supergirl emerges.
4. SPLASH - supergirl stands.
5. 4 panels. Supergirl sees something.
6. 2 panels. robots arrive; she smiles.
7. 2 panels. robots land. try to capture her.
8. 3 panels. she resists.
9. 5 panels. heat vision activates as she realizes she's not on krypton.
10. 2 panels. she zaps a robot, expresses memory loss
11. 3 panels. she's hit, falls down, hits back.
12. 2 panels. her hands turn odd; she's blown up.
13. 2 panesl. she survives. she runs.
14. 4 panels. she stops, super hearing activates and she collapses.
15. 4 panels. she screams, the soundwaves hit her pursuers 
16. 3 panels. she's tackled by a robot.
17. 3 panels. she tears off the robot's arm, hits it, shoves it.
18. 3 panels. tears the helmet off; yells at man inside; other robot holds gun to head.
19. 4 panels. as she holds the first pilot hostage, the second bot is knocked away.
20. SPLASH. reveal it was superman that knocked away the other robot.

12 ad pages, 7 in-house, 9 if you count CN ads, 58 panels total




Now do that 51 more times. Now do it to Richard McGuire's HERE. Now do it to a Mat Brinkman comic. Now do it to seven other things. You'll feel like you cracked open some kind of goddamn genome. If there's a takeaway, without making this any longer than it already is, it'd be study everything.

Had I not done this (kind of insane) exercise, I can say definitively, there'd have been no HAWKEYE. I can draw a straight line from DC in Sept 2011 to me a year later.



OHHEY SPEAKING OF did you see my brother-in-arms david aja is doing a book with annie goddamn nocenti for karen berger's new line of comics because he is and buckle up buttercups the stuff he's shown me will melt faces and win races i don't know what that means probably time for more coffee bbyyyyeeeeee
 


mf

IN STORES TOMORROW:
Bitch Planet Triple Feature Issue 2

Story: Che Grayson, Danielle Henderson, Jordan Clark
Art: Naomi Franquiz, Ro Stein, Sharon De La Cruz, Ted Brandt
Cover: Valentine De Landro

DECONNICK & DE LANDRO PRESENT: The Triple Feature! Patriarchy beware…this sci-fi kidney punch can’t be stopped! Return to BITCH PLANET for more tales from a world gone upside down…that might just be around the corner… Plus all the backmatter you can handle! 100 percent Grade A satire. Tell your friends. Tell your enemies.

Cover art and preview here
 
- kit cox -

 
SO HERE IS A THING: I have a section in here this week because I have A COMIC COMING OUT! It's an eight-page short in issue #3 of the BITCH PLANET: TRIPLE FEATURE anthology, with art by Vanesa R. Del Rey and lettering by Clayton Cowles.

Our story -- "Love, Honor & OBEY" -- is about a modern New Protectorate femme fatale. It's also about a man who would, I think, like very much to be the hero of a noir detective story. The whole story's in black & white, and Vanesa's pages, you guys, they're so good. I love her expressions, like, a lot.

When the inks first started coming in I texted a friend: "ART COMING BACK FROM SCRIPTS IS MAGIC." I write down some words and then Vanesa sends back THE THING I WROTE, BUT BETTER. Here, have some magic:



IF YOU WANT IN ON THIS ACTION:
BITCH PLANET: TRIPLE FEATURE #3 is in stores and online August 16th.
FOC ("Final Order Cut-off") is July 24th, next Monday, so if you want to reserve a copy, give your local comic shop a call this week.
Diamond order code is JUN170731.


Also, I found Kelly Sue in pin form.
#VisibleWomen

If you're not familiar with the #VisibleWomen initiative, about twice a year, usually in February and August, Kelly Sue turns her Twitter feed over to signal boost the portfolios of women and non-binary comic book artists under the hashtag #VisibleWomen. In addition to the feed, there is also a spreadsheet including the portfolio links that is available, free of charge, to any hiring professional in the comic book industry. We'll be doing another #VisibleWomen August 7th, so now's the time to start getting those portfolios in order. As promised, we're opening it up to women and non-binary letterers and colorists this go-round. We're still trying to figure out a way to include writers (online resumes?). Hit us up at masterminds@milkfed.us if you have ideas. 
#ICYMI


Kit and Inturner took a trip to the Milkfed storage unit. They found something MAGICAL there.

Flash Fiction contest.

Sheila Michaels, Who Brought ‘Ms.’ to Prominence, Dies at 78.

Bitch Planet and Sex Criminals made NPR's list of 100 Best Comics and Graphic Novels 

Agnes Gund's Art for Social Justice's Sake.

A Spanish-language review of BITCH PLANET: Vol 1 from Josep Oliver (Cuadernos de Comic).

Deconstructing Pretty Deadly: Sissy, the Vulture, from Samantha Cross over at Women Write About Comics.

How to Write Email with Military Precision.

Big Returns from Thinking Small.

There's a Riot Grrrl/attic punk band called NonCompliant.

WHAT'S UP, WRITING PROCESS NERDS?! Here: some notes and tips on the script writing process from Warren Ellis. (If you dig it as much as we do, you can also subscribe to Uncle Warren's newsletter through that same link.)

From Geek & Sundry: Kelly Sue DeConnick, The Neapolitan Novels, and Rupi Kaur (Signal Boost! w/ Ashley Johnson)

Seven years ago, one of our number lost her father Michael to a brain tumor...on August 6th, 2017, we honor "Big Mike" by marching at the Portland Brain Tumor Walk and raising money to support brain tumor research. Our team fundraising page is here, if you'd like to donate and/or signal boost. If you're in Portland, come march with us -- we'd love to see you there!
tl;dr
 
  • July 19 - Bitch Planet: Triple Feature #2 on SALE
  • Aug 2 - Sex Criminals # 20 on SALE
  • Aug 16 - Bitch Planet: Triple Feature #3 on SALE
  • Sept 1-4 - Kelly Sue, Matt & Kit at Dragon Con!
  • Sept 8-10 - Team Milkfed at Rose City Comic Con!
  • Sept. 27 - Sex Criminals Vol. 4: FOURGY! on SALE
Milkfed Logo by Rian Hughes
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