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"[Most] were content that the colony should keep its principals at least until the moment when it becomes necessary to apply them." -- Mary McCarthy, The Oasis (1949)
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- kelly sue deconnick -

I can't remember where I got this, but I have it in mind that newsletters fare best on weekends.  So every Friday I'm like, "Oh boy! I'm gonna do a newsletter tomorrow for sure!" 

And every weekend I get consumed with household projects and family hijinks and I fail.  Then Warren Ellis, whose Orbital Operations goes out like clockwork every Sunday, is like, "Didn't you guys used to do a newsletter?"  and I glance furtively around the room.

So I give up.  Happy Monday. 

__

The kids and Grandma went to the Oregon coast for a few days over Spring Break, and Fraction and I had the house to ourselves which is a thing that never happens. Sexy Grown Up Time ensued. By which, of course, I mean we ate Halo Top for dinner and watched depressing documentaries about funny people every night. 

CALL ME LUCKY - Barry Crimmins is one of those guys that I'd never heard of until he died and every comedian I admire was weeping on Twitter, devastated by the news. This doc gets a fuckton darker than anything I saw coming, and I don't want to spoil it for you (beyond a content advisory for sexual assault), but -- as weird as this is going to sound immediately following that parenthetical -- it's genuinely uplifting. I can use all he uplifting I can get these days and I think you'd have to have the strength of some kind of mythical bear creature to be as vulnerable as Crimmins is on stage. I wish I'd heard of the man before he died. 

Womp womp.

THE ZEN DIARIES OF GARRY SHANDLING - This is a two-parter, with the second half stronger than the first. It feels like sacrilege, but Shandling's humor was never my thing. The whiny, pawing sexuality schtick, I guess. Struck me as creepy. But he's another one of those 'comedian's comedians' so I wanted to check it out and it is indeed a fascinating portrait of a complicated man, made by friends who clearly loved him. The moment I keep returning to in my head is when he turned down the Tonight Show gig because he wanted to do something... I can't remember if he used the word "real" or not. I might be projecting. But let's say he did talk about wanting to do a show that had something real to say about human beings. So making a fictional talk show was in some way more lizard-brain-True than doing a talk show with real people who are ostensibly not performing. That jibes with some of my more ingrained convictions about the purpose of the artist and I've thought a lot about it since. 

Or, you know, as much as I can think about anything because the kids are back home and chaos reigns supreme. 

Remember when I used to take the time to do my hair and wear make up every day?  Me either. 

What documentaries do you recommend?  In case our children ever leave the house again. 

__

I didn't get enough books out last year. Part of it was legit -- a lot of travel and a focus on TV work -- but part of it was something else.  A pall over the world maybe. I feel it lifting a bit. Or maybe this is just the next, more active stage of grief, I don't know. But things are happening.  Books coming. Even one that I was certain was dead seems to be happening. I'm more excited about work that I have been in while. 

That said, I had a really rough work week last week.  I'm stuck on a project in a different way than usual.  

This is how it usually goes for me: 

I'm "stuck," meaning, I'm not sure how it all comes together and I stall and distract myself thinking I'm going to figure it out and of course I don't, so I finally panic and talk it through with someone and the act of saying it out loud solves the problem well enough -- or I sit down to finally just write *something* and I end up figuring out the problem on the way.  

Last week, I talked the the problem through and worked in my notebook for days and it never gelled.  I'm a bit taken aback, honestly.  And with as many projects as I have on my plate it's more stressful that it might be otherwise -- I don't have time for it, you now?  I took the weekend off thinking about it and as soon as I'm done with this, I'll approach it from a different angle. 

I'll let you know how it goes. 

__

I'm on year two as a donor/funder and board member for the Creators for Creators grant. Last year's recipient has completed her book and I'm so proud to be a part of this organization.  My thanks to Nick Dragotta and David Brothers.  Check out the website here.  

__

Fraction and I have gotten really into houseplants in general of late and him, succulents in particular.  We really want to learn to make terrariums.  So we're old now, I guess. 

While waiting in line at the grocery store I was googling on my phone for templates to build a database of our plant collection.  Didn't turn anything up, just going to have to use Excel and build our own. 

So yeah, SUPER OLD. 

(But seriously, we got this giant round glass globe with a hole in it -- it's gonna be really cool.

#oldpeoplecool 
__

What up, Bitch Planet was nominated for a Hugo. (We already won an Alphie in 2016, which is like -- no offense HUGOS -- immeasurably cooler, so I'm chill.)

__

Have you checked out David López's BLACKHAND IRONHEAD on Panel Syndicate yet? You should do that.  Fraction and I are headed to Barcelona this month and, in addition to getting some hang time with Emma Ríos, I'll finally get to meet David in person.  I can't wait.

I'm so excited I bought new pants. For Barcelona, I mean. Like, travel pants. Not like, "I'm so excited I'm going to pee and will therefore need a change of clothes." 

Ew.
__

We finally got the Stendig calendar in our office hanging straight (Fraction actually did all the work, while I was trying to wrestle Tallulah into bed) and it's giving me tremendous joy to behold.

Second quarter of the year starts today.  Did you set a goal for the first quarter?  I did, and I didn't make it.  Didn't even really get close, but that said, I got a lot CLOSER than I would have if I hadn't set the goal.  Trying again this quarter.  It ends July 2nd if you want to join me.  

For the gear obsessed among you, I love the 13-week goal-tracking structure of the Best Self Planner.  I don't use the physical book -- I bought one, but tend to just copy the structure into my bullet journal right now.  I don't like having too many notebooks going.  My setup is the bullet journal (I'm currently using a Rhodia but I've mostly used Leuchtturm1917s in the past -- ideal for me would be paper quality of Rhodia, set up of Leuchtturm1917.) and the full size uncalendar.  

[Y'all know Ryder Carroll, the inventor of the Bullet Journal, has a book coming out, yeah?  I will buy it, just as I buy his branded notebook every once in a while, because I appreciate his work and how much he's made available for free, and I want to say thank you.]

I do love the YEAR OF THE CALENDAR, and I love how it lays flat and landscape-oriented on my desk, but it's a little thicker than I like to carry around. (Half price though if you feel differently.)

__

I worked with Sarah Angelo, a CT tech who was at work in the ER the night of the Vegas shooting, to tell her story in the Where We Live Anthology.

When JH Williams first contacted me about the project, I tried to get out of if. I didn't feel like I had anything to say other than to scream into the ether at the horror of it all. I offered to write an intro instead, to signal boost, whatever. But JH was not having "no," and he countered my "I have no perspective on this that offers anything to humanity" with "how about if I pair you with a witness and you help her tell her story?" So I did it and I'm so grateful. It was an incredible experience.

Joëlle Jones drew the piece and oh my god, she's powerful. 

You can preorder on Comixology or Amazon, or even better, at your local comic shop

__

Did you see the Black Label announcement?  Phil Jimenez, Romulo Fajardo, Jr. and I are doing a history of the Amazons. Phil's working at a larger page size and DC even manufactured special boards for us

I love this project so much already. I've taken to wearing a Hera medallion.  

__

I'm hungry and I need to get to work proper, but I've enjoyed our time together.  I'm grateful for you, and coffee. 

Mostly coffee.  

I mean, you're great and all. 

But coffee.  

- matt fraction -

Matt talked with Off Panel on the impact of the Warren Ellis Forums, the rise of the Brimpers, why so many connected deeply to Sex Criminals, the book’s backmatter, following your gut in writing, accessibility, getting over the fear of writing, and a lot more!
 
#ICYMI


From Jenn M. Jackson at Teen Vogue: Why Is Forgiveness Always Expected from the Black Community After Violence Occurs?

An art-focused one for the process nerds this time: Jamie McKelvie posted a good breakdown of comic book page technical specifications.

FLINT STILL DOES NOT HAVE CLEAN WATER.

Girls Leadership founder Rachel Simmons put a new book out in February: Enough As She Is: How to Help Girls Move Beyond Impossible Standards of Success to Live Healthy, Happy, and Fulfilling Lives

Recommended: the Bitch Media mailing list.

M*A*S*H Oral History: untold stories from the creators and cast, also known as "Even More Reasons To Be Insanely Fond Of Alan Alda, Seriously, That Guy's Just Such A Good Egg." (Interviews via the Hollywood Reporter.)
tl;dr
 
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