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Friday Five (risks and indictments edition)

It’s Friday! it’s already the third Friday in May.

By Sunday we had returned to typical weather for May in Seattle: cooler with the occasional shower. I, for one, have really enjoyed this week!

Anyway, welcome to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week, notable obituaries, and five videos (plus some things I wrote).

Stories of the Week:

Don Norman on how design fails older consumers.

Hullabaloo: What are the risks of *not* impeaching Trump?

NRA Chief’s Extravagant Spending Criticized By Former Staffers.

Georgia Christian Coalition Leader Surrenders To FBI On Charges Of Stealing $2 Million From Ex-Employer.

NEVADA: Dem Gov Signs Ban On “Gay Panic” Defense.

In Memoriam:

Doris Day, Legendary Actress, Dies at 97.

Doris Day Was America’s Sweetheart With Added Steel.

Hollywood Icon Doris Day Has Died at 97.

Tim Conway, Star of The Carol Burnett Show, Dies at 85

Tim Conway, uninhibited crack-up artist on ‘The Carol Burnett Show,’ dies at 85.

Peggy Lipton, ‘Mod Squad’ and ‘Twin Peaks’ star, dies at 72.

Peggy Lipton, ‘Mod Squad’ and ‘Twin Peaks’ Star, Dies at 72.

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update, 5/12/2019: Things that rock.

Oh, you dirty devil—or The preacher and the pool boy….

Don’t stick a fork in the reader, or, getting the ending right.

Videos!

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez grilled Gilead Sciences CEO Daniel O’Day on the high price of an HIV drug that the taxpayer paid to develop:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Alabama’s Abortion Ban; Trump’s War on Congress: A Closer Look:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Go Behind the Scenes of Netflix’s ‘Tales of the City’ Reboot in a New Revealing Featurette:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Ezra Miller and His Queer Bandmates Cover The Pussycat Dolls’ ‘Don’t Cha’ for the Ogling, Lustful Heteros:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Adam Lambert – New Eyes (Official Video):

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

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Friday Five (decade in the red edition)

(click to embiggen)

It’s Friday! We’ve reached the second Friday in May.

We’ve gone from weather than feels like spring to temperatures that would be more appropriate in summer. So we’ve been making meals that minimize how often we turn on the stove. Including grilling things outside.

Anyway, welcome to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week, five stories related to various political things, and five videos (plus some things I wrote).

Stories of the Week:

A Certain Looking White Woman .

“Are You Gay, Like Your Character?”.

Humanity Is About to Kill 1 Million Species in an Epic Murder-Suicide.

we carry each other.

Don’t call it a ‘hate crime.’ This is terrorism.

This Week in Political Developments:

Decade in the Red: Trump Tax Figures Show Over $1 Billion in Business Losses and ‘Art of the Deal’ ghostwriter says he’d be fine if book is recategorized as fiction following Times reporting on Trump’s business losses.

Pete Buttigieg: ‘I have no shortage of batting practice when it comes to dealing with bullies’.

Scott Walker’s Foxconn Deal Has Major Problems.

Pete Buttigieg Is Exposing Tensions In The LGBTQ Movement.

Asked if a Woman Can Win, 2020 Candidates Offer an Easy Answer: ‘I Have’ .

Things I wrote:

Confessions of a bad son, part 3: the myth of regret.

I hate the term “fan service,” or, don’t forget you’re writing to an audience.

Videos!

Trump Lost Over $1 Billion in 10 Years: A Closer Look:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Lucifer | Season 4 Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Rachel Maddow Explains Why the White House is So Terrified by Don McGahn’s Testimony That They Just Ordered Him to Defy a House Subpoena:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Taron Egerton Releases Updated Version of ‘Rocket Man’ Ahead of Elton Biopic Release:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME – Official Trailer (Spoilers for Endgame!):

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Friday Five (tax-dodging gun lobby edition)

It’s Friday! We’ve reached the first Friday in May.

It feels like spring here in Seattle. We’re having warm days (though still cold-ish nights) and almost no rain. Last year we set a record for the driest May ever, and we might just get a repeat.

Anyway, welcome to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week, five stories of interest to queers and our allies, five stories about awful people, five stories about what should happen next to the alleged president, and five videos (plus notable deaths and some things I wrote).

Stories of the Week:

How Avengers: Endgame failed Black Widow.

Study Confirms Rich Men Should Shut Up.

Verizon is looking to sell Tumblr after squandering its potential – Pornhub has stated it is “extremely interested” in buying the property.

Floodwaters Pound the Midwest Again, Swamping Davenport, Iowa.

Facebook is trying to make the word “private” meaningless.

This Week in News for Queers and Allies:

A Woman Only Discovered She Was Intersex After Seeing A Viral Video About It.

An Entire Methodist Confirmation Class Rejects the Church Over Anti-Gay Policies.

BYU Valedictorian Comes Out as Gay in Graduation Speech: ‘I Am Not Broken’ .

An open letter to those awaiting a queer story with a happy ending.

Arizona Supreme Court rules judges can order treatment for trans kids if a parent doesn’t consent.

Awful, Deplorable People:

NY AG Opens Probe Into NRA’s Tax-Exempt Status.

‘Gloriously Irrelevant’: Franklin Graham’s ‘Fringe’ Views on Gays Are ‘Moral Manure’ to Even His Hometown Paper.

The gloriously growing irrelevance of Franklin Graham.

Pastor James Manning runs a school inside Atlah World Missionary Church. Former students say he psychologically abuses kids, teaches them to hate gay people, and convinces parents to abandon their children.

Facebook bans Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos and other far-right figures.

This Week in Impeach the Mo-Fo Already:

Bill Barr’s Performance Was Catastrophic.

California Senate passes bill that would keep Trump off 2020 ballot unless he releases tax returns.

Pelosi says AG Barr committed a crime by lying to Congress.

Former FBI agent explains why executive privilege can’t save Trump from congressional investigations.

LGBTQ advocates alarmed at Trump’s religious exemption for health care workers.

In Memoriam:

‘Boyz n the Hood’ Director John Singleton Dies at 51.

Mourning John Singleton, a Guardian of Black Cinema.

Peter Mayhew, Portrayed Chewbacca The Wookiee In ‘Star Wars’ Movies, Dies At 74.

Peter Mayhew Dead: Chewbacca Actor in ‘Star Wars’ Was 74 .

Gene Wolfe Turned Science Fiction Into High Art

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 4/28/19: Tragedy, horror, terror, and a call for hope.

Different isn’t always ignorance, or, more adventures in language.

Sometimes I just want to say, “Physcian, heal thyself” but they never get it.

Videos!

Seth Meyers hilariously mocks Florida Republican Matt Gaetz after his mic was muted at Congressional hearing:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Not The White House Correspondents’ Dinner: The Roast of Donald Trump :

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Stephen Colbert Lampoons NRA with Violent Fantasy About Cat Busting Caps at Dana Loesch:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Georgia – About Work The Dancefloor (Live) | Vevo DSCVR:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Music Video from Good Omens – The Chattering Order of St. Beryl – Brand New Baby Smell:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Friday Five (unholy hypocrisy edition)

Is it not just a little nervy for an evangelist who supports Donald Trump to call anyone else a sinner? https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/ej-montini/2019/04/25/trump-shill-franklin-graham-says-buttigieg-should-repent/3575135002/

Is it not just a little nervy for an evangelist who supports Donald Trump to call anyone else a sinner?
https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/ej-montini/2019/04/25/trump-shill-franklin-graham-says-buttigieg-should-repent/3575135002/


It’s Friday! The final Friday in April, and Avengers: Endgame is finally here!

Got back from my mmini-vacation and then worked super late the next three days. Oh, what a week!

Anyway, welcome to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week, five stories of interest to queers and our allies, five stories about what should happen next to the alleged president, and five videos (plus some things I wrote).

Stories of the Week:

Why Won’t Twitter Treat White Supremacy Like ISIS? Because It Would Mean Banning Some Republican Politicians Too.

WA Lawmaker Behind Biblical War Plan Discussed Violent Tactics with Extremists.

The Fraudulence of ‘Pro-life, Christian’ Bullies.

Elizabeth Warren Wants College to Be Free — The Democratic presidential hopeful has proposed canceling outstanding loans and making public college tuition-free—and she has an idea for how to .

BREAKING DOWN EVERY MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE MOVIE’S DIALOGUE, BY THE NUMBERS.

This Week in News for Queers and Allies:

“Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria” Study Is Deeply Flawed, Says New Critique.

United Methodists edge toward breakup over LGBT policies — Under one scenario, many centrists and liberals would leave en masse to form a new denomination — a potentially complex endeavor..

Gay Men Photographed With Homocon Aaron Schock Offer Apology: We Just Met, Didn’t Know He’s Horrible.

The discovery of a small community in the Dominican Republic, where some males are born looking like girls and only grow penises at puberty, has led to the development of a blockbuster drug that has helped millions of people, writes Michael Mosley..

Franklin Graham Gets Holy Hell After Telling Pete Buttigieg To Repent For Being Gay.

This Week in Impeach to Mo-Fo Already:

IMPEACH THE MOTHER FUCKER ALREADY!

Mueller report unable to clear Trump of obstruction of justice — Special counsel says evidence obtained about the president threw up ‘difficult issues.

I’ve warned that impeachment talk is dangerous, but the time has come: Laurence Tribe — The consequential decision to impeach should not be made lightly. But Mueller’s damning report is an invitation that Congress shouldn’t refuse..

A Trump Transition Staffer Calls for Impeachment — The Mueller Report Was My Tipping Point.

‘This is risky’: Trump’s thirst for Mueller revenge could land him in trouble — Team Trump’s bellicose rhetoric could expose the president to fresh charges of witness intimidation and obstruction of justice.

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 4/20/2019: 20th Anniversary of a Horrible Precursor.

May your chocolate bunnies never run out!.

Snap, crackle, pop isn’t just about cereal.

Videos!

Morning Joe goes nuclear on Franklin Graham’s attack on Pete Buttigieg:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

The Democratic Endgame:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

lovelytheband – maybe, i’m afraid (Official Video):

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Wils – Open Up Babe (Music Video):

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Taylor Swift – ME! (feat. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco):

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Friday Five (billionaires picking your pocket edition)

Floating ice berg, part of the small amount above surface labeled "amount you pay in taxes" slightly larger bit labeled 'amount of pay you take home' then the huge part below the surface labeled 'amount your boss steals from you.'

Yep! (click to embiggen)

It’s Friday! The third Friday in April, already! And nearly Easter!

My husband and I are attending The 42nd Northwest Science Fiction Convention (NorWesCon). Other than a couple of years, I have been attending this convention or a portion of it since 1987—which means that yes, I definitely am an old fart! I had fun the first day, even though we arrived a bit later than we had intended to. It’s fun seeing friends, especially some that I haven’t seen since last year!

Anyway, welcome to the Friday Five. This week I am not bringing you any stories about the contents of the heavily redacted Mueller report. There are a couple links below related to in, but I decided to put the five stories that I thought were most interesting about what information we do have in a separate post last night, and it is behind a cut-tag. So if you’re just browsing you don’t have to look at it. If, on the other hang, you are interested, click here.

For this week’s Friday Five I bring you: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week, the top five science and sci fi stories of the week, five stories about deplorable people, five stories about things not going so well for the alleged president and five videos (plus notable obituaries and things I wrote).

Stories of the Week:

As clock strikes midnight, Russell Wilson strikes deal to become highest-paid player in NFL history. I know, I only think this is a story of the week because I’m a big Seahawks fan. So sue me!

Poll: Church membership in US plummets over past 20 years.

The Boys in the Band to Be Adapted for Netflix With All-Star Broadway Cas.

Insurer Warns of Existential Threat on Climate Policy.

Florida Newspaper Wins Pulitzer For Parkland Coverage.

This Week in Science Fact and Fiction:

Katie Bouman and the Black Hole That Made Her Famous.

The first type of molecule to form in the universe has been seen in space.

Shazam and Sekiro: Gatekeepers Die Twice.

Newly Discovered Ancient Carnivore Was Bigger Than a Polar Bear and Is True Nightmare Fuel.

‘It drives writers mad’: why are {certain kinds of} authors still sniffy about sci-fi?

Crimes, Hateful and Worse:

LOUISIANA: Hate Crime Charges In Church Fires . To donate to the fund to rebuild the churches the white supremacist burned down, click here.

Sol Pais, woman “infatuated with Columbine,” found dead after apparent suicide near base of Mount Evans – Florida woman, 18, had been considered “armed and extremely dangerous” by FBI. “Schools are closed because a gun owner obsessed with school shootings is celebrating the anniversary of a school shooting by taking a school shooting road trip” is 100% undistilled America.

Courtier gets life for hate crime killing.

https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/bs-md-christopher-hasson-terrorism-charges-stock-piling-guns-20190416-story.html.

We Need to Bury the Columbine Shooters – Unending focus on the pair who struck in 1999 keeps fueling copycat attackers, our investigation shows.

Challenges to the Deplorable In Chief:

House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler demands Mueller testify in Congress in the next month.

FOIA Judge May View Full Mueller Report And Release It To The Media.

How Buttigieg and Trump handle protesters.

Trump’s Been Running for Re-Election Since Day One. Raising $30 Million Is a Really Bad Sign for Him.

Trump Shouts At TV While Eating Burgers With Pence .

In Memoriam:

The Goodest Boy – Dogbomb’s victory lap against ALS.

Gene Wolfe (1931-2019).

Gene Wolfe by Neil Gaiman.

Actress Georgia Engel Dies At Age 70 .

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 4/13/2019: Evil comes in many forms….

Sunday Funnies, part 33.

The wheel of time keeps turning, but never enough to make fresh coffee while rushing to get ready for work.

Leader of church that was the result of someone making up their own version of christianity says other people can’t make up their own version of christianity.

You can help rebuild after three terrible arsons.

What does a self-loathing closet case anti-gay ex-Congressman do after somehow getting a sweetheart deal on his financial crimes prosecution?

That isn’t what exoneration looks like….

Videos!

Assange Arrested and Charged with Conspiracy | The Daily Show:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Democrats Take on Corporate Profits and CEO Pay: A Closer Look:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Stephen Colbert – Trump’s Bad Advice For The Notre Dame Cathedral:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Mark Hamill Does a Perfect Impression of Harrison Ford:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Ben Platt – Older [Official Video]:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

The wheel of time keeps turning, but never enough to make fresh coffee while rushing to get ready for work

Tweet from @AaronLinguini: “*demon tries to inhabit my body* Demon: OUCH Me: yeah... Demon: WHAT THE HELL Me: I know Demon: EVERYTHING HURTS, WHY?? AND WHATS WRONG WITH THIS SHOULDER??? Me: idk man, can I offer you a mint?”

From Aaron Ansuini (@AaronLinguini). Click to embiggen.

I found a meme some time ago of the text from the tweet pictured here, but just white text on black and no attribution. It been sitting in my “For Blog Posts” folder for a while. Because this weekend I kept getting more twinges in various joints than usual, I kept thinking about it and that maybe I should do a post about that sort of thing. Anyway, I’m happy that I seem to have found the source of the text, as some others who have shared it have attributed it to Aaron Ansuini on twitter, so I replaced the black graphic with a screenshot, because if Aaron is the one who came up with this, they deserve the credit!

When I first saw it, I immediately wanted to do my own version, which would go something like this:

*demon tries to inhabit my body*
Demon: OUCH
Me: Yeah…
Demon: WHAT THE HELL?
Me: Welcome to my world, buddy!
Demon: EVERYTHING HURTS, WHY?? AND WHATS WRONG WITH YOUR SHOULDER???
Me: Which one?
Demon: WHAT? *moves one arm, then the other* WHAT THE HELL? BOTH?
Me: Left shoulder is because of broken collar bone from a beating from my Dad when I was ten.
Demon: BEATING? TEN?
Me: Right shoulder was shattered in a bicycle crash when I was forty-one and should have known better. So that one is on me.
Demon: *grabs a pencil* I NEED TO WRITE THIS DOWN… WHAT THE HELL? HOW DID YOUR WRIST DO THAT? AND WHY ARE SOME OF THE FINGERS NUMB?
Me: That’s kind of a funny one. Horse stepped on my right hand when I was 14 helping repair a stable floor with my grandpa. My younger cousin was supposed to be keeping the horse outside, see…
Demon: *moves fingers again* BONES SHOULDN’T DO THAT!
Me: I learned years later that the doctors should have put a pin in my elbow after stitching the hand back up and putting the braces and cast on, so I couldn’t move the wrist bones while they were trying to heal. They didn’t even tell me not to try to do things with the hand…
Demon: WHY WOULDN’T DOCTORS TELL YOU THAT?
Me: I mean, I was 14 years old, probably in shock, and they gave me stuff for the pain. So maybe I missed some things. Fortunately I’m ambidextrous, though since most of the school desks weren’t built for lefties, I didn’t have much practice writing with my left hand before that, so my writing was even sloppier on that side. And then, of course, there was Mr. Stahlecker, the geography teacher.
Demon: WHAT DID HE DO?
Me: Yelled at me for doing my work with my left hand. Said my right hand wouldn’t heal if I didn’t use it. Maybe if the doctors had told me not to use it I could have told him. But he probably would have scoffed and given me more detention. I mean like he did when I told him it hurt to try to write with the right hand.
Demon: DETENTION FOR BEING IN PAIN?
Me: Well, he said it was for talking back. But, yeah, basically. He was a real piece of work. Kept a swear jar on his desk and made us put money in it if he thought he heard us mutter a dirty word? But he was also the assistant basketball coach, and he called us faggots any time any of us failed to do something during practice.
Demon: WHAT THE FUCK?
Me: I’m kind of disappointed you don’t know all this. I mean, I always figured that the redneck American public school social environment had to be designed in Hell.
Demon: DON’T TRY TO BLAME ME FOR THAT!
Me: I suppose next you’re going to tell me that arthritis and gout aren’t plagues from Hell, either?
Demon: OH, THAT’S JUST BIOLOGY! TECHNICALLY HEAVEN’S FAULT, SINCE THEY SET UP THE PARAMETERS OF CREATION AND… WAIT, SO THE ARTHRITIS IS WHY MOST OF THESE THINGS HURT?
Me: Actually, going by the tests, I barely have any arthritis, yet. But, they say the damaged joints show it first, and it just gets worse everywhere over time.
Demon: AND YOU HAVE GOUT, TOO?
Me: Don’t worry, if you just remember to drink at least one glass of water every hour you’re awake, and take the little white pill each night, it’s almost never a problem.
Demon: *reaches for the pill minder* WHICH PILL… WAIT, WHAT ARE ALL OF THESE FOR?
Me: Oh, this and that… I can go over all of it if you want.
Demon: AND DID YOU SAY A GLASS OF WATER EVERY HOUR? EVERY HOUR?? HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WREAK EVIL ON THE WORLD IF I HAVE TO TRACK DOWN A GLASS OF WATER EVERY HOUR?
Me: Don’t forget, you’re going to be needing to find a bathroom just about every hour, too.
Demon: THAT’S INSANE! AND EVERYTIME I TRY TO DO ANYTHING *waves one arm wildly* OUCH! I HAVE TO PUT UP WITH THIS!?
Me: You get used to it.
DEMON: …
Me: I have some dark chocolate squirreled away if that would make you feel better.
Demon: I REFUSE!
Me: I was just offering.
Demon: NO, I MEAN, I REFUSE THIS ASSIGNMENT! THIS ISN’T A POSSESSION, THIS IS UNSAFE WORKING CONDITIONS! THIS BODY IS A HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT! I’M GOING TO GO FIND MY SHOP STEWARD AND LODGE A COMPLAINT WITH LOWER MANAGEMENT!
Me: If that’s what you think is best!
Demon: DAMN RIGHT I DO! *starts to withdraw from the body*
Me: Sorry it didn’t work out.
Demon: *pauses* WAIT, YOU SAID DARK CHOCOLATE?
Me: Would you like some for the road?
Demon: IT’S BEEN A WHILE SINCE I HAD ANY WHILE I WAS WEARING HUMAN TASTE BUDS, SO, YEAH… JUST ONE BITE.
Me: Sure!
Demon: *eats chocolate, sighs appreciatively* I BETTER GO.
Me: Good luck with the complaint!
Demon: UM, YEAH, THANKS. *withdraws and vanishes in a puff of sulphuric smoke*
Me: *coughs* Gee, we never even got to the hay fever…

Sunday Funnies, part 33

Another in my series of posts recommending web comics that I think more people should read.

Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson concerns the adventures of 9-year-old Phoebe Howell. One day, Phoebe skipped a rock across a pond, and the skipping rock hit a unicorn named Marigold Heavenly Nostrils in the face. This happened to free the unicorn from her own reflection, so she granted Phoebe one wish. Phoebe wisely wished that Marigold would become her best friend. The strip is fun, whimsical, and full of magic. Simpson is the same artist who created the Ozzie & Millie comic strip. Full disclosure: I first met Simpson when she was a college student and came to a room party I was hosting at a local science fiction convention because another member of our sci fi publishing project had urged her to bring her portfolio to the party, as a number of comic book artists and editors often attended it. I’ve also been privileged to be a guest of honor along with her at another convention, entirely. So I might be a little biased. On the other hand, collections of the strip have won various book awards (Washington State Book Award, Scandiuzzi Children’s Book Award, and Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award). If you like the strip and want to support the artist, the collections are available to purchase here.


Comics I’ve previously recommended: Some of these have stopped publishing new episodes. Some have been on hiatus for a while. I’ve culled from the list those that seem to have gone away entirely.

Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 3.18.45 PMCheck, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu is the story of Eric “Bitty” Bittle, a former junior figure skating champion from a southern state who is attending fictitious Samwell College in Massachusetts, where he plays on the men’s hockey team. Bitty is the smallest guy on the team, and in the early comics is dealing with a phobia of being body-checked in the games. He’s an enthusiastic baker, and a die hard Beyoncé fan.

“Manic Pixie Nightmare Girls” by Jessica Udischas is a hilarious web comic that tells of the adventures of Jesska Nightmare, a trans woman trying to make her way in our transphobic world. The comics are funny, insightful, and adorably drawn. The sheer cuteness of the drawing style is a rather sharp contrast to the sometimes weighty topics the comic covers, and I think makes it a little easier to keep from getting bummed out to contemplate that the strips aren’t exaggerations. If you like the strip, consider supporting the artist through her patreon.

https://lifeofbria.com copyright  Sabrina SymingtonLife of Bria by Sabrina Symington is a transgender themed comic that ranges from commentary to slice of life jokes and everything in between. Even when commenting on very serious stuff it remains funny—sharp, but funny. It’s one of the comics that I would see being reblogged on tumblr and lot and I’d think, “I ought to track down the artist so I can read more of these.” And I finally did. And they’re great! If you like Symington’s work, you can sponsor her on Patreon and she has a graphic novel for sale.

Nerd and Jock by Marko Raassina This is a silly webcomic about a Nerd and Jock who are good friends and like to have fun together. Frequently the joke of the strip is to take a cliché about jocks and nerds and twist it in some way. It’s cute. I happen to really like cute and low-conflict stories sometimes. If you like this comic, consider supporting the artist on Patreon.

Assigned Male by Sophie Labelle is a cute story about a transgirl (we meet her at age 11) and goes from there. Some of the strips are more informational or editorial than pushing the narrative forward, but they are in the voice of the main character, so it’s fun. The artist also has a Facebook page of the site, and is in the process of moving to a domain of her own (though currently it still doesn’t have the actual comic strips available). I mention this so you will not be put off by the words “old website” she’s added to the banner. If you like her comic and would like to support her, she has an Etsy shop were four book collections of the comics and other things are for sale.

Stereophonic by C.J.P.

Stereophonic by C.J.P.

“Stereophonic” by C.J.P. is a “queer historical drama that follows the lives of two young men living in 1960s London.” It’s a very sweet and slow-build story, with good art and an interesting supporting cast. But I want to warn you that the story comes to a hiatus just as a couple of the subplots are getting very interesting. The artist had a serious health issue which was complicated by family problems, but has since started posting updates to his blog and Patreon page, assuring us that the story will resume soon. If you like the 300+ pages published thus far and would like to support the artist, C.J. has a Patreon page, plus t-shirts and other merchandise available at his store.

Reading Doonesbury: A trip through nearly fifty years of American comics by Paul HébertThis blog is mostly about the Doonesbury comic strip by Gary B. Trudeau which has been being published for 50 years. Hébert looks at various sequences and themes and long arcs from the comic strip, writing essays analyzing how the story went, putting it in context of the time it was printed, and so forth. He also reviews other comics and graphic novels.

The_Young_Protectors_HALF_BANNER_OUTSIDE_234x601The Young Protectors: Engaging the Enemy by Alex Wolfson begins when a young, closeted teen-age superhero who has just snuck into a gay bar for the first time is seen exiting said bar by a not-so-young, very experienced, very powerful, super-villain. Trouble, of course, ensues.

3Tripping Over You by Suzana Harcum and Owen White is a strip about a pair of friends in school who just happen to fall in love… which eventually necessitates one of them coming out of the closet. Tripping Over You has several books, comics, and prints available for purchase.

dm100x80“Deer Me,” by Sheryl Schopfer tells the tales from the lives of three friends (and former roommates) who couldn’t be more dissimilar while being surprisingly compatible. If you enjoy Deer Me, you can support the artist by going to her Patreon Page!

copyright Madeline McGraneMadeline McGrane is a cartoonist and illustrator who is from Wisconsin and lives in Minneapolis. She posts vampire-themed comics and other art on her tumblr blog. My favorites are the vampire comics about three child vampires. They’re just silly. Her black and white comics are minimalist and really work well with her style of humor. Her color work is a bit more complex. If you like her work and want to support her, she has a ko-fi.

The Junior Science Power Hour by Abby Howard logo.The Junior Science Power Hour by Abby Howard. is frequently autobiographical take on the artist’s journey to creating the crazy strip about science, science nerds, why girls are just as good at being science nerds as boys, and so much more. It will definitely appeal to dinosaur nerds, anyone who has ever been enthusiastic about any science topic, and especially to people who has ever felt like a square peg being forced into round holes by society.

The logo for Scurry, a web comic by Mac SmithScurry by Mac Smith is the story of a colony of mice trying to survive a long, strange winter in a world where humans have mysteriously vanished, and food is becoming ever more scarce.

title
And I love this impish girl thief with a tail and her reluctant undead sorcerer/bodyguard: “Unsounded,” by Ashley Cope.

logo-1Fowl Language by Brian Gordon is a fun strip about parenting, tech, science, and other geeky things. The strips are funny, and he also has a bonus panel link to click on under the day’s strip.

lasthalloweenThe Last Halloween by Abby Howard is the creepy story of 10-year-old Mona who is reluctantly drafted to save the world on Halloween night. This is by the same artist who does the Junior Science Power Hour. She created this strip as her pitch in the final round of Penny Arcade’s Strip Search, which was a reality game show where web cartoonists competed for a cash prize and other assistance to get their strip launched. Though Abby didn’t win, she started writing the strip anyway. If you like the comic, you can support Abby in a couple of ways: she has some cool stuff related to both of her strips in her store, and she also has a Patreon.

Last Kiss® by John Lustig Mr. Lustig bought the publishing rights to a romance comic book series from the 50’s and 60’s, and started rewriting the stories for fun. The redrawn and re-dialogued panels (which take irreverent shots at gender and sexuality issues, among other things) are syndicated, and available on a bunch of merchandise.

Sharpclaw by Sheryl Schopfer. The author describes as “fantasy comic that blends various fairy tales into an adventure story.” The first story is about twin sisters who both have the potential to be sorceresses. One pursues magic power, the other does not. If you enjoy her work, you can support the artist by going to her Patreon Page!

“Champion of Katara” by Chuck Melville tells the tale of a the greatest sorcerer of Katara, Flagstaff (Flagstaff’s foster sister may disagree…), and his adventures in a humorous sword & sorcery world. If you enjoy the adventures of Flagstaff, you might also enjoy another awesome fantasy series set in the same universe (and starring the aforementioned foster sister): and Felicia, Sorceress of Katara, or Chuck’s weekly gag strip, Mr. Cow, which was on a hiatus for a while but is now back. If you like Mr. Cow, Felicia, or Flagstaff (the hero of Champions of Katara) you can support the artist by going to his Patreon Page. Also, can I interest you in a Mr. Cow Mug?

Private I, by Emily Willis and Ann Uland is a comic set in 1942 Pittsburgh in which queer gumshoe Howard Graves is trying to sort out a collection of bewildering clues and infuriating eccentric suspects. It’s an interesting take on a lot of noir tropes. It handles the queer elements well—being outed or caught by the wrong people can spell the end of not just one’s career, but possibly life–without being all grim-dark. If you like the comic and want to support the creators, check out their Ko-fi.

The Comics of Shan Murphy As far as I can tell, Shannon Murphy doesn’t post a regular comic on the web. But among the categories of illustration on her site are comics. Her art styles (multiple) are really expressive. And she just writes really good stuff. If you like her work, considered leaving a tip at her ko-fi page.

Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 5.36.43 PMMuddler’s Beat by Tony Breed is the fun, expanded cast sequel to Finn and Charlie Are Hitched.

The Young Protectors: Legendary by Alex Woolfson. This is just a new story arc for the Young Protectors comic recommended above. However, Alex is changing up the artists he’s working with in this arc, and the focus is decidedly different. This new arc begins by exploring the changed relationship between our protagonist, Kyle (aka Red Hot) and one of his teammates, Spooky Jones. The story is NSFW, although unless you are a patron of Alex’s Patreon, you see a lot less of the explicit artwork. It isn’t porn, per se, and it isn’t a romance. If you check out the page, you’ll see that Alex has written several other comics, some of which are available to purchase in hard copy. And, as I mentioned, he’s got a Patreon account.

12191040If you want to read a nice, long graphic-novel style story which recently published its conclusion, check-out the not quite accurately named, The Less Than Epic Adventures of T.J. and Amal by E.K. Weaver. I say inaccurate because I found their story quite epic (not to mention engaging, moving, surprising, fulfilling… I could go on). Some sections of the tale are Not Safe For Work, as they say, though she marks them clearly. The complete graphic novels are available for sale in both ebook and paper versions, by the way.


Note: Usually when I do one of these posts, I include the slightly shorter reviews of all the comics I’ve recommended previously. I do periodically go through those lists and remove comics that have vanished entirely. For now, I’m leaving in those that have stopped publishing new episodes but still have a web site.

But the list is getting awfully long, and I’m not sure how useful the older links are. I’m still thinking about it. Feel free to comment if you have strong thoughts on the topic.

Friday Five (crimes with crimes edition)

Trump commits crimes to cover up past crimes with more crimes...

Trump commits crimes to cover up past crimes with more crimes… (click to embiggen)

It’s Friday! We are barreling through April already!

I was hoping the return of rain would give me a break from the hay fever, but no such luck!

Anyway, welcome to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week, the top five queer stories of the week, five stories about deplorable people, and five videos (plus notable obituaries and things I wrote).

Stories of the Week:

Joe Nguyen Is an AOC of the Washington Senate.

The backlash against Pete Buttigieg has exposed some sad facts about evangelical Christianity. um…. DUH!

IRS, Congress Struggle to Shed Light on Opportunity Zones’ Impact.

TRUMP PURGING ANYONE IN DHS WHO REFUSES TO BREAK LAW FOR HIM.

Bonnie Haim murder trial starts against husband Michael Haim after skull discovered in yard.

This Week in Science:

Evidence Found Of Previously Unknown Human Species.

The first picture of a black hole opens a new era of astrophysics.

Mystery surrounds humpback whale found dead in depths of Brazil’s Amazon jungle.

National Geographic: Giant purple squirrels do exist—and they have an odd behavior.

New species of ancient human unearthed in the Philippines.

Queer stories of the Week:

GOP Gov. Doug Ducey Signs Repeal Of “No Promo Homo” Ban On LGBT-Inclusive Sex Education.

San Jose city council votes to make their airport Chick-fil-A the ‘gayest’ in America.

Oklahoma City’s first openly gay city councilman takes office.

Dear Alabama: Sen. Doug Jones’ Gay Son Has a Message for His State.

Chelsea Manning misgendered by NBC reporter – PinkNews.

Awful, Deplorable People:

Devin Nunes said the quiet part out loud about his defamation lawsuit targeting journalists “I am absolutely sure that they do not want this to get to discovery so that we find out who their sources are.”.

Illinois Senate Approves Bill Mandating Release Of Five Years Of Taxes In Order To Appear On Presidential Ballot.

Conservative Columnist Bashes AG Bill Barr With 7 Brutal Reasons Why No One Should Trust Him.

Suspect in Louisiana black church fires is son of sheriff’s deputy, officials say.

Julian Assange Charged by U.S. With Conspiracy to Hack a Government Computer Background: Ecuador’s president says Assange breached terms of London embassy asylum | Reuters.

In Memoriam:

A Small Town in South Carolina Mourns the Prom Night Death of Trinity Harrison.

Mystery as missing Mouseketeer Dennis Day, 76, is found dead at home, EIGHT MONTHS after he vanished as it emerges his disappearance initially went unreported because the star’s husband has dementia. Correction to headline: disappearance WAS reported, but police didn’t take it seriously because of the husband’s health…

Background: Body found at home of missing original Disney Mouseketeer Dennis Day.

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 4/7/2019: Sword-wielding hate crime suspect arrested.

Not to be cliched, but I don’t like Mondays….

Filling up the gaps, or, why An Archive Of Our Own deserves that Hugo nomination.

Julian Assange finally dragged from the Ecuadorian embassy.

Who is the actual monster? Or, more of why I love sf/f.

Videos!

Lucifer | Season 4 Teaser [HD] | Netflix:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Tales of the City | Teaser [HD] | Netflix:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Assange Arrest Puts WikiLeaks Tie To Donald Trump Camp Back In Spotlight | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Seth Meyers Destroys the Dumbest GOP Congressman on the House Oversight Committee: A Closer Look:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Kevin McHale – Help Me Now (Lyric Video):

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Friday Five (five, only five edition)

Click to embiggen

It’s Friday! It is the first Friday in April. It’s already April. APRIL! How did that happen?

Pollen counts have been high all week, and so my hay fever has been bad all week. We got a little drizzle Thursday evening, and supposed to get more Friday morning, so I hope that will clear out the air a bit and maybe bring some relief to my sinuses.

Anyway, welcome to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week and five videos (plus notable obituaries and things I wrote).

Stories of the Week:

‘Captain Marvel’ Box Office Hits $1 Billion .

Discovery of Aboriginal handprint art in Blue Mountains halts trains.

A Jury May Have Sentenced a Man to Death Because He’s Gay. Now, the Supreme Court Could Hear His Appeal.

High school robotics students build power wheelchair for 2-year-old.

Barbara Bush blamed Trump for heart attack, GOP exit in The Matriarch.

In Memoriam:

Science Fiction Author Vonda N. McIntyre, Official Obituary.

Vonda N. McIntyre (1948-2019).

Vonda N. McIntyre, 1948-2019: Final novel adds to Seattle science-fiction star’s legacy.

Vonda N McIntyre obituary – A leading writer of science fiction for half a century.

House Music Artist Kim English Dies.

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 3/31/2019: Bullies need an audience.

Life is short and other musings about writing, reading, and variety in sf/f.

Believe nothing….

That’s not a plothole, or, Just because it isn’t like yours, that doesn’t mean it’s bad….

Videos!

5 Facts About Sexual Abuse You Need To Know (PSA MUSIC VIDEO):

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

THE DEAD DON’T DIE – Official Trailer [HD] – In Theaters June 14:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

William Barr’s Rosy Report Spin Frustrates Mueller Investigators: NYT | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

CRUELLA DEVOS – Randy Rainbow Song Parody:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Ariana Grande and Victoria Monét – MONOPOLY (NSFW):

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Believe nothing…

“Today is April Fool's Day. Believe nothing and trustt no one... just like any other day.”

“Today is April Fool’s Day. Believe nothing and trustt no one… just like any other day.” (A little cynical, but not completely wrong._

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