Sunday, February 28, 2016

More stuff I wrote someplace else

As much as I love writing for my own blog, it's incredibly gratifying to have stuff I've written published elsewhere also. Case in point, Sequart posted two more of my recent essays. First, an appreciation for Christopher Priest's landmark run on Black Panther, a years-long story told by Priest and artists such as Sal Vellutto with careful precision and an extreme flair for bringing down the house with one big moment after another. I really hope Marvel at least partly models their film version of Black Panther on Priest's run. They'd be foolish not to.

The second essay is a review (and sort of yet another appreciation) for the film The Purge: Anarchy. The fact that Sequart is so receptive to essays like this one focusing on a genre movie that isn't typically critically examined speaks volumes about the kind of boundaries-breaking work they're doing over there. I'm not saying I'm contributing to that, just saying I'm happy to be allowed to see my work sharing the page with the fine writers at Sequart.

So, head on over there if you'd like to read my thoughts on comics and movies. Not that I won't write about those things here, but when I write about them for Sequart I try to actually sound smart about it all. It's hard work, trust me.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Now you can read me on Sequart

Recently, I wrote an essay with the intention of submitting it to Sequart. Would you believe they actually published it? It's called "On X-(Wo)Men and Third-Wave Feminism" and it's about as nerdy as it sounds. I'm thrilled it found a home on Sequart, a site dedicated to the study of popular culture and the promotion of sequential art (hence Sequart) as a legitimate art form. Sequart—like another site I read and recommend, HiLobrow—does smart work breaking down the barriers between high and low brow art, showing that they can and should all exist in the same spaces, because they're all worth examining and thinking about critically. 

Why they let this clown join their party, I can't tell you, but I'm humbled to be in their company. And I hope to write more for them in the future; I have ideas about a couple of movie articles that I'd like to submit. If they publish more of my work I'll link to it here. In the meantime, go read my essay here!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Touch me I'm sick

"Touch Me I'm Sick" is a Mudhoney song with a title so absurd you can't help but laugh. Seeing as I've been fighting off one cold after another this winter, along with one particularly nasty stomach bug in the middle of all those colds, it seems like the perfect blog post title for my mood this week. Only I'm not really laughing as I type out the song title right now. I'm sick of being sick. All winter I've been coughing and hacking and sneezing and blowing my nose. I've coughed so hard my muscles ache now, giving me the feeling of having the flu again. Delightful.

Like most men, I suppose, I'm a terrible patient. I have asthma and allergies, so common colds can sometimes morph into upper respiratory infections, hanging on for much longer than colds usually do. I've been really healthy for a good long time, but then this winter our kids started daycare. Everyone warned us: "Oh, they'll catch everything going when they start, and then you'll catch it." I knew this was likely but for some reason it never really occurred to me just how wretchedly sick we'd get. Our house should have been quarantined for a few weeks. The kids have each been through several colds, an ear infection, and a flu in the last month. Thankfully they've been really healthy for the past week. I'm thrilled to see them thriving in daycare and playing again with the same vigor as before when they're home. But I think I'd be even more thrilled if I felt better. I've learned that you really do care more about how your kids are doing with their health than you do your own health. That's just the way it is. But there's still a part of me, that whining, negative, selfish, lousy patient in me, the one who had cultivated a lifetime of reacting poorly to being sick before our kids came along, who just won't stay quiet when I'm sick. That part of me is a bit of an unhinged pessimist, frankly. I'm not proud of that part of me. I try to push it back when it rears its ugly head. But sometimes, when my defenses are down and I'm just plain exhausted from coughing and aching and sneezing, I give in and I let loose with the full blast of my miserableness. In short, I'm not the most pleasant person to be around right now.

So, we're moving along into February. Winter's rolling into its back half. Viruses and bacterial infections are bound to start heading wherever they head for their spring and summer vacations, leaving us to recuperate and build up our immunity for next time we have to do battle with them. So there's light at the end of the tunnel, right? Then I remember that time I caught a wicked stomach bug in July, one of the worst I've ever had. Food and I didn't make nice again for a very long time after that virus ravaged my system. I remember seeing the Yeah Yeah Yeahs play just a few days after the virus hit me. I was over the acute symptoms by then, but the after-effects lasted for several more days. I was pretty worn out at that show—which happens to be one of the best concerts I've ever been to. But even when Karen O was rocking it on stage and I was reveling in the awesomeness of finally seeing one of my favorite bands, that part of me that's miserable when I'm sick was doing his best to dampen the mood. I really hate that guy. I tried to tell him off that night. It worked, for the most part. Wish me luck keeping him under control for the rest of this dreadful winter.