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Sunday #2: It’s Been Edition

One week back in school. What a destructively long Monday.

A lot of info, in the classical start-of-year info dump manner, about what the school year looks like. Go here, do this, do this as soon as possible, accumulate this, write that. I’ve let it just wash over me. It’ll happen, I’ll get there. One year to go.

We share three of our four Monday classes with another class that’s in the same place on a different trajectory, which makes sense, I understand that when there’s just the six of us it doesn’t make financial sense to treat us the same as if we were 25 people, but by gum, you forget how busy 25 19-to-21-year olds can be. How can you possibly have this much to say to each other, you saw each other four days ago! I joked the weekend before that they were about 400 people strong, and was corrected that they have the energy of an additional zero. No kiddin’. I didn’t go to Teacher School to be in a room full of noisy kids, dagnabbit.

(I understand now that eventually we’ll split back up, but what a day.)

Also shot and edited my live-action directorial debut. I’ll share it here when I get permission.

Below the fold this week: Website update notes, notes on an upcoming project. TV thoughts, a YouTube recommendation. Donald Duck comics, some Big Finish.

Website updates

Made some small readability adjustments on this blog, mostly in the sort of general footnote zone, to keep things readable and usable until I write my own theme, which I will. Well, obviously none of that is relevant now, because the theme I was modifying exploded like a fish in a blender. If you’re reading this in the far-flung future of, let’s say, the summer of 2024, December of 2023, and I haven’t written my own theme here, I better have fucking died.

Adapted the front page of my site to the UNEND archive, in a way I should easily be able to adapt to the other two of the oldest archives, though I want to look into one little problem to hopefully solve before I move onto those. Noirtown, being page-shaped instead of strip-shaped, has its own specific issues that will require an additional round of thinking from the ground up, but that should cover some of the thinking I need to do for this blog, because I want it all to look and feel fairly consistent, anyway. Aquila the Last Eagle doesn’t need any work done, and doesn’t really work in Cal’s script, anyway, so I’ll leave it alone. All of this will go live in one big update.

Learned some new CSS tricks that’ll come in handy. Turns out you can give separate instructions for portrait orientation vs landscape orientation? Nifty.

Making comics, telling stories

Work on my next project continues, though the pace I was working at during the summer has now obviously been rendered unsustainable by school starting again. Which puts me in the pickle of, my intended release schedule might not be attainable at this rate. I’m moving through the story faster than I planned, too. Maybe I should just start posting these, maybe in early 2024? Though that means I lose the meaningful dates I’d selected to run the story between. Oh well.

Good comics is good comics, and I think these are good strips. If you like my work you’ll like my take on Annie, I think.

Bits from Letterboxd

Ring (1998):

This would have scared me outta my fucking gourd when I was a kid, and not just because of the audacity to broadcast something on an unused channel without announcing it in a TV guide.

Spiral (1998):

The tape’s curse is explained as a virus, which has adapted into being a book now. Does it still work as an audiobook? What if someone adapts it to yet another medium? Does it still work if you read it and just don’t really get it? What if it takes you longer than a week to read? When exactly does it set in?

The Boogeyman (2023):

Me, a normal person, presently actively terrified of a seemingly very real monster that hides in the dark: “I think the right amount of light to have on in this dark basement is one reading light. This hallway? Simply the moon will do.”

Vampires (1998):

At this point there might be more movies where characters angrily tell you real vampires don’t work like in the movies than ones where they do. Which movies are these even meant to be? Just versions of Dracula?


  • Despite my dig last Sunday, I watched all eight episodes of the live-action One Piece. Honestly, it’s fun, it’s very charming, very likeable. The cast are pretty much completely perfect. It’s a show about pals having a blast. I wish I could say this about an original property that looked and felt like this, instead of about an adaptation of the world’s longest-running story, which will here run for surely no more than two 8-episode seasons. Alas, it’s content. (I felt basically the same way about the live-action Cowboy Bebop.)
  • I wish Ahsoka was a faster-moving show. Four episodes in, this followup to Clone Wars and Rebels totally fails to capture the energy of those two shows and instead feels exactly like The Mandalorian. Do I like The Mandalorian, yeah, who doesn’t, but it’s becoming clear that it might be the only mode of serial Star Wars Disney is capable of, and I think that’s a shame.
  • Futurama showing up this week with its corona episode, for all the 5G vaccine and fake news gags you were tired of by June 2020. Joe Rogan as a monkey, a smoker complaining the mask is hurting their lungs, the aliens as the Russian troll farm. I realise asking for nuance from a topical Futurama — which was always at its best when it was about the characters — is like asking for subtle flavours from a hot sauce with seventeen animal skulls on the label, but come on, who is this for.
  • Schitt’s Creek sticks the landing.


Doctor Who

  • Purity Unbound.
    The first story, Girl in a Bubble, uses a fairly standard dark timeline to get at the heart of this run’s villain’s central belief, and at how any form of supremacy is fundamentally incapable of actual, practical rule — the Purity character is elevated from cartoon evil by showing us her blind spots and the ways that despite everything she still thinks of herself as not just a person, but a good one, even. Top stuff.
    Unfortunately, the second story, The Corruptions, then parks the set’s greater arc at a service station in Sussex, and though the final story, The Wrong Side of History, manages to wrap it up somewhat satisfyingly, the total effect of these last two sets is still that we’ve spent half the season separated from either Hebe completely or from “our” Hebe, and, well, that kinda stinks. Big fan of Hebe, here’s to more Hebe.


  • Getting to the Patreon era of the Blank Check movie podcast has slowed down progress on some of the audiobooks I’ve been listening to. Ah, the folly of listening to literally more than any one thing at the same time.

Reading comics

  • Another terrific Mickey Phantom Blot thriller by Casty in this month’s Donald Duck Pocket 343. A bodyswap prison break in three parts. These have been a real highlight. The Fantomius/Superdonald story great, too, and fun to have it acknowledge its debt to Doctor Who.
  • The relative anonymity of Dutch Duck publishing — it’s been moving in the right direction for the past few years, but publications that name each story’s writer and artist are still outnumbered by ones that don’t — means I often just don’t know the names of the writers and artists who are below that Barks or Rosa or Casty level. I say this to acknowledge specifically this week: Kari Korhonen is very good at Donald Duck.

Things I’ve Passive-Aggressively Declared “Content” This Week

  • The non-travel videos of a YouTuber whose travel videos I kinda like but which are not the main thing they do.
  • Live-action One Piece again.
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