Strange Animals 02nov2020: It’s Only November Again

Keeping this one short. I got back on Twitter today, and it immediately wrecked my productivity. (Just kidding. It’s been one of those weeks, and I’m supposed to be finishing a short story draft, well, yesterday.)

1. Notes

In last week’s releases, I forgot to note the release of Wynd #5, the final issue of Volume 1, as well as John Constantine: Hellblazer #11. A five-book week. Those are quite rare. (Speaking of the former, BOOM! announced that Wynd Volume 2 will arrive in May 2021.)

This week sees the release of Coffin Bound #8 – the final issue of the series. I’m going to miss this one a lot – it was a ball working with Dan, Dani, Brad and Emma on eight issues that were never less than exciting.

The reviews for Giga #1 and Blue in Green are coming in, and they’re all very encouraging. You make these things with the door closed, and it’s gratifying when they’re out in the light and other people see what you saw in them.

Of note:

Zach Rabiroff and Ian Gregory wrote a long … well, review, but it reads more like an exegesis of Giga #1.

Ritesh Babu, who’s previously written at length about Grafity’s Wall, wrote a massive appreciation of all of Ram, Anand and my collaborations to date, culminating in Blue in Green. The profile ends with an interview with all three of us that was very fun to do.

Speaking of interviews, Khorshed Deboo at Paper Planes did a long interview with me about my work that was a pleasure to do.

Steve Wands – one of my favourite letterers working today – has a monthly newsletter where he does interviews with letterers and other comics professionals. He interviewed me for the October newsletter, alongside colourist Ryan Cody, and I got to nerd out to my heart’s content. You know those process posts I do? I got even more technical in this one.

Anand did a thread about part of his process for Blue in Green, and it’s just astonishing, even though I already knew the work he put into it.

Finally, Barbalien: Red Planet #1 comes out 18 November, and you can read a long preview of it, along with an essay by co-writer Tate Brombal on Pride and queer rage.

2. Sundry


This week’s reading:

  • The Last God: Songs of Last Children – Dan Watters, Steve Beach & Dave Stewart: Lovely short story set in the The Last God universe. It’s fascinating to see Dan doing straight fantasy, and he does it really well.

  • The AI Does Not Hate You – Tom Chivers: A sympathetically written, engaging non-fiction book about the Rationalist movement, the AI apocalypse, Effective Altruism, and all the other stuff one associates with the Rationalists. Slightly too generous in how it views them, perhaps, but I figure it’s better to have this than a motivated hit job.

3. Recommended Viewing

I watched Ramy over the weekend – all two seasons – and Season 1 was one of my favourite tv comedies I’ve seen this year. A show about an Egyptian-American Muslim man’s relationship with his faith and the people around him – and if that makes it sound self-serious, trust me, it’s got some wonderfully weird, uncomfortable comedy going on in it (at least in Season 1). The show it reminded me the most was, oddly enough, Better Things.

Ramy’s a great example of why people from cultures on the margins need to be able to tell their own stories, because I can bet you that a white writer’s version of this show, however well-meant and nuanced, wouldn’t have the kind of specificity and detail that Ramy does.

I’ll be honest, apart from a couple of standout episodes, Season 2 was a bit of a let-down. I feel like the writing team took itself far too seriously, and their reach having exceeded their grasp, they couldn’t take a u-turn into the territory that was their strength. It’s still a valiant attempt – an ambitious failure rather than an outright mediocrity – but it doesn’t live up to the heights of Season 1.

Available for view on Amazon Prime in India, and I guess Hulu everywhere else.

4. From the Commonplace Book

From Thomas King’s The Truth About Stories, which was one of my favourite books I read this year:

[…] I fell into a job as a junior executive at the Bank of America in San Francisco. Junior executive sounds grand, but as I discovered after the first few days, this was what the bank called men who worked as tellers, as opposed to the women who worked as tellers and who were just called tellers. These terms, though I didn’t understand it at the time, were innate promises that men had possibilities of advancement, while women did not.

Filed under #anecdote.