The past week and half has had me with my head down, trying to get a finished draft on "Nova," mostly so I could focus on other things as it concerned pre-production, but also so I could get started on the new draft of "The Familiar," which I semi-promised to someone else, and mostly promised to myself, to have within a month. Well, this morning I polished off what I think is the final on "Nova," and for the sake of my sanity I decided to spend my day listening to music, enjoying a nice Barbecue Burger from the 7/11 on the corner [it's got an onion ring on it! Er, the burger, not the convenience store], and trying to make a dent in the small, unforgivably dusty pile of reading material sitting by my bed.
I also thought it might be a good day to take a break, and use my blog for something that I don't often use it for -- fun.
When I started this blog, I gave two reasons for doing so; the first being the oft-repeated "production diary" for the writing I was doing, complete with an ongoing chronicle of my work and, only half-jokingly, my mental health. But the other reason, what at the time I'd privately consider the lesser reason, was to keep up with the few other blogs friends of mine had.
There weren't many. Justin's was the most important, since we're working together, and Glen's by the benefit of just enjoying his work so much, and so rarely getting to see it or him in person. John's "Bathroom Monologues" were another big draw, as John manages to get at least one posting out per day, and always manages to be creative and entertaining with them [don't worry John, I totally won't let your secret out about them being scheduled in advance]. Plus, he was a friend, and a fellow Bennington alum who was still writing, which naturally made me want to support him. Still, I know myself pretty well, and knowing I'm naturally lazy and resistant to any type of routine, I figured the best way to keep up was to use Blogger's built-in dashboard feature -- which, again, was another part of my reasoning to put the Mojo Wire here, rather than on Wordpress, or some similar client.
I kind of expected that to be it. I didn't consider myself much of a blog reader, in part because of how hard it was for me to keep up with such things [I often neglect the web-comics I freely admit are the high points of some of my days], and because of the violent professional jealousy I often feel when I see other people producing work [I'm much better about this now than I was a year ago]. Still, as I found other friends and teachers blogging in different ways, and I found I was able to follow their postings with relative ease, I guess I got more adventurous, and starting plugging new blogs in, often on a whim.
A few of them are particularly exceptional, and I always get a little charge when I see they've updated. So I thought, for a change, I'd share a link of what I was reading/seeing, by people who are not necessarily close friends.
Fugitivus - Recommended to me by a friend, and a recent addition to my reading queue. I've been trying to read more about feminism, but have had a hard time finding a good place to start. A lot of that has been due to some resistance I ran into while at college, where, when I intimated to a friend [and feminist] who's opinion I thought quite highly of that I'd like to learn about feminism more, so I'd feel more comfortable identifying as such, she told me that thanks to my gender, I really couldn't. In retrospect, she meant nothing by it and was simply mistaken, but it took me some time to get over, and I am just now getting back to it. I like this blog because the author seems to put a great deal of thought into each post, and rarely hits me with traditional and often nauseating jargon like "triggers" and similar terms. She's a refreshing change to some I read [and won't be linking], and she also discusses matters of race quite often, which has been on my mind a lot even though my world, for the most part, remains as vanilla as ever.
Sexy Videogameland - Though not what I'd strictly call a feminist blog, I found it while looking for them, and it's about one of my other favorite subjects -- video games. It's rare to find female gamers, and rarer still to find ones who'll talk about it, so this blog is a real gem. It's also good if you're like me and can't take the rancid crap that makes up 95% of most video game new sources, because Leigh Alexander often highlights what's actually worth spending your time reading.
Calabrese - The Blog - A blog for a horror/punk band I follow. There's a lot of old school horror imagery that gets posted here, along with Jimmy Calabrese's own flash fiction and previews of the comic book being produced for the band. I really like the cool cross section of punk rock that's co-opted horror films and the macabre for it's own since the days of "Return of the Living Dead." It's not updated as much as I like, but I always dig when something new goes up. And check out the band's main page too -- which has some of the coolest design work for a rock band website I've seen in a while.
Women in Punk - Jenny Woolworth's companion blog to her website. Basically a very nice resource for finding out more about Women-centric punk rock, Woolworth also posts full, rare albums that are almost impossible to find these days. If not for her, I may have never found out about Dadamah, one of my new favorite bands, and the only thing I can really complain about these days is that she doesn't update nearly as much as I'd like her to.
Mitch Clem's Livejournal - Mitch Clem is one of my favorite web-comic guys, probably best known for the punk-themed comic "Nothing Nice to Say." I started on his blog because it was where he was posting his other comic "San Antonio Rock City," and though that has been replaced by an autobiographical comic called "My Stupid Life," he still uses his livejournal to put up the album covers he does up in his own time. I like it because, secretly, I think it's what I'd do if I could draw -- comics, punk show flyers, and album covers.
John Campbell's "goodbye, foom" - Campbell does the web-comic "pictures for sad children" which I love, and posts other art or comics that on his livejournal which he feels don't make the cut on the main site. Though often it seems like it's his own high standards that keeps him from posting them, some are so non sequitur that you can understand why they were scrapped. Still, I appreciate the warts and all creative approach, and like to see how he progresses, and what he rejects.
Food One - Jim Mahfood's blog. Probably one of my favorite comic book artists period, Mahfood's work on the "Clerks" comic books and his own "Grrl Scouts" book are one of the reasons I want to do comic books. I don't often understand when people talk about wanting to steal talent from someone, but Mahfood's one of those that if I could draw, I really hope it'd be like him. He posts art and music on his blog all the time, too.
Ink and Thunder - Becky Cloonan's blog. If I'd known about Becky Cloonan six or seven years ago, she'd be one of the reasons I wanted to work in comics too. Instead, she's just someone who's done two of my favorite books ["Demo" and "Local"], worked with one of my favorite writers [Brian Wood], and I hope that when/if I get into the business, I will get to work with her. And not be star-struck the whole damn time while doing it.
The Autumn Society of Philadelphia - An art collective based out of Philly, but taking work from all over, it appears, my friend Glen recently told me about them, not to mention "joined up" and got a few of his pieces posted on their site. Their work follows what I call the "8-bit pop art trend" that I like so well, of extremely talented artists keying in on pop culture, particularly video games. Always great stuff, and if you go back far enough, you'll find a painted picture of Mega Man boss Air Man -- which pretty much sold me right away on how awesome the site is.
Daniel Fishel's Blog - Don't know much about this one, other than I found him through the Autumn Society's site, and I absolutely love his work. Very much resembles how I see a lot of the stuff I write in my head. I feel like a big fan, and I haven't even seen that much of his stuff yet.
Got Cheeks? - Sean Galloway's blog. I got turned onto Galloway's work because he was heavily involved in the design of the characters for the new "Spectacular Spider-Man" cartoon series, which just might be the best version of the character period. He also does a lot of work for Marvel and DC, and I like seeing what he posts [and Sean is one of the few artists I'd say who posts pretty regularly]. Plus, there's a lot of butt-related humor, and who can't get behind that? [See what I did there?]
Publick Nuisance - Do I really have to link this? The Livejournal of "Venture Bros" creator Jackson Publick, the high point of this blog is seeing new images from coming seasons of the show. He doesn't update very often [hardly at all], but it's always pretty classic when he does.
Dr. K's 100-Page Super Spectacular! - There are hundreds of comic book blogs on the internet, but this is one of my favorites, because it's author, the mysterious Dr. K is a university professor who seems absolutely enamored with the work of Gil Kane -- particularly the way Kane draws a sound ass-kicking. A lot of good commentary on comics happens here too, but the best stuff are the "Gil Kane Punch of the Week" which while only up to number 14 have really brought me a new appreciation for how the punch has evolved in comics. Which is rad, because it punches happen so often in comics, it's not something I ever bothered to think about before finding this site.
Okay, this has went a little long. Though that's far from all the blogs I'm into right now, I've certainly covered the high points, and if anyone [or even me, in the future] is interested in what I've been reading or looking at on the internet lately, this is a pretty good representation of that. I'm sort of amazed at how much there is, and how easily it's been to keep up with [and I usually spend less than an hour on it each day]. Plus, if one or two people who occasionally check this site find something they like in all that, it's a win.
Back to regular business soon. My next post is probably going to be on the reading [re: Nova], and some of the stuff I've been working on because of it.