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Friday Five (true believers edition)

This is former Marvel Comics editor Stan Lee addressing racism in a 1968 edition of Stan's Soapbox (a feature that was printed on the letters page of most of the Marvel comic books at the time) after the assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.

This is former Marvel Comics editor Stan Lee addressing racism in a 1968 edition of Stan’s Soapbox (a feature that was printed on the letters page of most of the Marvel comic books at the time) after the assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.

It’s Friday! It is the third Friday in November–nearly Thanksgiving in the U.S.! It is also National Novel Writing Month, which means I’m not spending as much time blogging or reading the news during the week.

This week’s links a real mix for me. One of the people in the obituary section is a person I have considered a friend for about 26 years. Another wrote or oversaw the writing of an amazing amount of the stuff I read during my childhood and teen years.

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

Stories of the Week:

Former Cowboys Linebacker Jeff Rohrer Is to Marry Partner.

Superior Responsibility: Spider-Man & the Thread of Identity .

The New Yorker Cover Story: Barry Blitt’s “Welcome to Congress”.

I Before E Except After C.

The NRA denies the reality of gun violence. Doctors like me know it all too well. “those who have been in a trauma room, soaked to the skin in the blood of a child … watching his eyes dilate to black and knowing all is lost — well, we have received a clear, strong directive”

This Week in the Resistance:

Trump, stung by midterms and nervous about Mueller, retreats from traditional presidential duties.

Here are the three main factors that drove the Democrats’ blue wave.

CNN’s John King Breaks Down Democratic Gains in House Races: ‘This Is a Blue Wave’.

A week later it’s clear the midterms did produce a blue wave – here are the three main factors that drove the Democrats’ triumph.

On election night, all anyone saw was a ripple. But the blue wave came and the Republicans wiped out

Awful News:

The Acting Attorney General Helped an Alleged Scam Company Hawk Bizarre Products.

Bin Salman ‘tried to persuade Netanyahu to go to war in Gaza’ say sources .

Trump’s Tax Cut Was Supposed to Change Corporate Behavior. Here’s What Happened.. “Since the tax cuts were passed, the 1,000 largest public companies have actually reduced employment, on balance. They have announced the elimination of nearly 140,000 jobs — which is almost double the 73,000 jobs they say they have created in that time”

FBI Reports Largest Spike in Hate Crimes Since 9/11.

Number of hate crimes in Seattle double from year to year.

In Memoriam:

https://www.advocate.com/crime/2018/11/15/unknown-victim-deadly-1973-arson-gay-bar-finally-identified.

Fred Patten:1940-2018. Fred was a friend, a contributor to the zine I used to edit, and an editor who purchased at least on of my stories for one of his anthologies… he was also the person who probably single-handedly introduced anime to North Anerica, among many, many, many other accomplishments.

‘An Unshakable Humanism’ — Michael Chabon on Stan Lee.

So Long, True Believers: Stan Lee, 1922-2018.

Stan Lee: Marvel Comics Legend Was 95.

STAN LEE DEAD AT 95.

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 11/11/2018: The count goes on.

100 years ago today, World War I, aka The War to End All Wars ended….

I told you the blue wave didn’t fizzle!

That voice whispering that no one wants to read your story? It lies….

Videos!

Trump and His Fellow Grifters Lie About “Voter Fraud”: A Closer Look:

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

Matt Bloyd and Colton Haynes – A Million Dreams:

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

Calum Scott – No Matter What:

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

New film ‘Boy Erased’ explores the ‘self-hatred’ dealt by gay conversion programs:

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

The Winning Trick at the World Championships of Magic Might Fry Your Brain Like an Egg:

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

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Friday Five (rockin’ the vote edition)

© 2018 Bill Bramhall/New York Daily News

It’s Friday! It is the second Friday in November, which means that it is National Novel Writing Month? I am spending as much of my free time as possible writing, trying to finish one of my novels. I did not get as much writing done this week, not least because I couldn’t stop checking the news Tuesday night until I was satisfied that the not-Nazi party had taken back the House of Representatives, and how a couple of our local votes went before I could stop obsessively checking the news Tuesday night.

I keep reminding myself that I spent most of my life assuming that never, in my lifetime, would queers have true equal rights, including the right to marry. The fact that with the pro-Nazi party is appointing so many federal judges the last two years and the next makes it very likely that what rights I currently have will be taken away. So I had planned to fight the rest of my life, anyway; on one level not much has changed. But if you are a person reading this who thinks I should lighten up on the politics, clearly YOUR rights aren’t under threat, so either educate yourself and join the resistance, or go away. I don’t want you reading my stuff if you aren’t will to help me fight for equal rights. That doesn’t make me the bad guy.

Anyway, enough about that. We scored a bunch of victories this week. So, welcome to the Friday Five: the top five (IMHO) good news stories of the week, five stories of the resistance, and five videos (plus my blog post and notable obituaries).

Good News:

LGBTQ Candidates Record Historic Midterm Wins In Rainbow Wave.

How Did Immigrants and Immigration Fare in the 2018 Elections?

Unresolved high-profile U.S. elections could be headed to recounts.

Putting the GOP’s House losses in context does Trump no favors.

Three red states vote to expand Medicaid during an election where health care was the top issue.

This Week in the Resistance:

Voter ‘Fraud’ and Trump Pal Kris Kobach Goes Down.

Voting machine shortage contributed to lines in Georgia election.

Democrats Have a Long Way to Go to Defeat Trump .

2018 election results: how voter suppression played a role.

Big Money, Quiet Power: A Look at the National Christian Foundation and How They Fund Hate.

In Memoriam:

Thousand Oaks shooting: These are the victims.

Thousand Oaks shooting: What we know about the victims.

Kitty O’Neil: Wonder Woman stuntwoman dies at 72.

Thiel: A hard man, Jack Patera, original Seahawks coach, led the good times.

Things I wrote:

Some things to remember.

You know what to do!

No, the blue wave did not fizzle, we knew the deck was stacked against us.

Just because I need to know that, doesn’t mean the reader does — or, adventures in back stories.

Videos!

Troye Sivan – Somebody To Love:

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

KJ Apa Gets a Passionate Kiss from Rob Raco in the New ‘Riverdale’ Preview (blink and you miss it, but…):

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

Troye Sivan Releases Lyric Video for Haunting ‘Boy Erased’ Track ‘Revelation’:

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

Trump Mocks GOP Candidates Who Didn’t Embrace Him:

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

Democrats Take Back the House, Trump Fires Jeff Sessions – Monologue:

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

Friday Five (you have to vote edition)

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It’s Friday! It is the first Friday in November, which means that it is National Novel Writing Month? I am spending as much of my free time as possible writing, trying to finish one of my novels.

Last weekend I posted about the mad bomber than ran off to Geek Girl Con and only learned about the mass shooting at a synagoge when I checked news later on my phone. I… I am still so angry about that. I’m not Jewish, okay, but dang it, I’m a human being and you shouldn’t have to be a member of a community to be infuriated when people murder members of that community while literally shouting things that the alleged president of the United States has said. Please scroll down and read about the eleven people who were murdered last weekend in my In Memoriam section. And please, if you can, donate to a cause that fights hatred. Even more, if you haven’t already voted, please, please, please vote. Vote for candidates who will crack down on hate crimes. Vote to take our country back from the Nazis and white supremacists who currently control the White House and both houses of Congress. This isn’t the last chance to stop the evil, this is rather the first chance to fight back at the ballot box against the evil that already controls the nation. Vote!

Welcome to the Friday Five: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week and five videos (plus my blog post and notable obituaries).

Stories of the Week:

A World Leader Forcefully Condemned Anti-Semitism and Neo-Nazism Yesterday. It Wasn’t Trump.

The Ingenuity and Beauty of Creative Parchment Repair in Medieval Books.

We Did the Math Wrong: That’s why on High Holidays services there are armed guards pacing back and forth in front of every temple I’ve ever gone to.

London Library today unveils 26 books that are almost certainly the original copies that Bram Stoker used to help research his enduring classic. Not copies: the actual physical books of which he scribbled notes in the margins.

The US has an HIV epidemic – and its victims are gay black men.

In Memoriam:

Pittsburgh synagogue shooting: Portraits of the 11 victims.

Who Is Danye Jones? Ferguson Activist Says Her Son Was Lynched To Death.

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 10/27/2018: No one should be surprised….

Once again, time to start your word processing engines!

Looking forward to/hoping for some trick or treaters….

You should be writing — whether you join us in NaNoWriMo or not!

Videos!

CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? | Official Trailer [HD] :

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

François Sagat / Igor Dewe – Trust Me (contains NSFW language):

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

Carly Rae Jepsen – Party For One:

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

Jake Shears Has Slept With a Lot of People:

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

Rufus Wainwright – Sword of Damocles (Official Music Video):

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

Friday Five (five by five edition)

It’s Friday! The fourth (and final) Friday in October! Are you ready to get your spooky on? And by this time next week, will you be joining me in National Novel Writing Month?

Tomorrow will mark the one year anniversary of the first edition of Friday Five, which replaced my previous Friday Links. I have not, over the course of this last year, stuck strictly to my original redefinition of the post: only the five top stories of the week, plus notable obituaries, links to my own posts, and five videos. Some weeks I have two or three categories of links each of which contains five stories. But my goal of limiting how much time I was spending assembling a post which fewer people have been reading since the inauguration of that which has put many of us into compassion fatigue and so forth, has been obtained. So, since I find it impossible not to read the news and bookmark stories I find interesting, this is going to continue!

Which brings us to the Friday Five: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week featuring good news, top five stories, top five stories of interest to queers and our allies, top five sci fi stories, the bottom five awful news stories, and five videos (plus my blog post and notable obituaries).

Good News:

Free rent in Seattle, no catch: Landlords’ faith inspired a gift for tenants.

What Would Jesus Pod? Episode 20: Politicon and Christians Against Trump.

Judge rejects conservative Christian group’s request to halt Drag Queen Story Hour.

This one needs explaining: usually Shapiro is the one making deranged attacks on queer people, women, racial minorities, and the left in general. So I have to acknowledge when he says something good: Shapiro criticizes conspiracy theories about bomb threats to Dems.

Wild bear trapped in a Chinese hydropower station is saved after a dramatic 14-hour operation.

Stories of the Week:

Did the Maya create the first ‘comics’?

Op-Ed: Cis People’s Feelings Must Not Take Precedence Over Trans Rights.

I Know the Salaries of Thousands of Tech Employees – Pay equity requires transparency, so I’m revealing what I know.

How I Accidentally Wound Up Running a Outlaw Biker Gang. Undercover ATF agent tells all.

New York City Cops Arrest Three More Proud Boys.

Queer stories of the Week:

Can Trump Actually Erase Transgender Rights? Two Legal Experts Weigh In.

Human Rights Won’t Be Erased, We Support You. We Fight With You.

Democrats double down on Equality Act ahead of midterm elections – The bill would use federal civil rights law to ban LGBTQ discrimination, but backers say it will also block the Trump administration’s leaked transgender proposal.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Calls Being Gay a Gift From God.

LGBTQ characters on television reach record high.

Science Fiction and Fantasy:

LEV GROSSMAN: WHY WE’VE ALWAYS NEEDED FANTASTIC MAPS.

My Genre Makes a Monster of Me.

Guest Post: Invisible Ink.

Can Science Fiction Save the World?

Aliette De Bodard: Cannibalizing A Draft (Or: The Art Of Rewriting).

Awful News:

Conspiracy theories about Soros aren’t just false. They’re anti-Semitic.

Older People Are Worse Than Young People at Telling Fact from Opinion .

Saudis admit killing of journalist was premeditated.

Suspicious packages: Who were the targets, when were they discovered, who intercepted them?

Trump’s anti-trans memo joins a long list of attacks against transgender people.

In Memoriam:

The Funeral Crashers of Seattle – A pair of uninvited party guests used to show up at Seattle events back in the day, steal slices of cake, and get into fights with each other. This story is weird and cool and have a very bizarre surprise midway through!

Dorcas Reilly, inventor of the green bean casserole, a Thanksgiving favorite, has died at 92.

A moment of silence, please, for the mother of green bean holiday goodness.

Gay Games co-founder Paul Mart dies.

Joachim Ronneberg: WWII hero who thwarted Nazi nuclear plant dies at 99. They parachuted into the mountains, skied to the base, blew it up, then eluded 3000 Nazi soldiers to escape to Sweden. In later years, Ronneberg liked to describe his team’s harrowing escape as “a good skiing weekend.”

Joachim Ronneberg: Norwegian who thwarted Nazi nuclear plan dies.

Things I wrote:

Transforming Otters and Traveling Trees.

Pure unbounded love thou art, or an ex-evangelical looks at trans hate in the church.

What’s spooky for me may not be spooky for you.

Videos!

Courthouse security footage shows Lewis County Judge R.W. Buzzard chase after two inmates who attempted to escape his courtroom in Chehalis, Wash., on Oct. 16, 2018:

https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/state/washington/article220552130.html/video-embed

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

Man sets fire to parents’ home while trying to kill spider with a blowtorch:

https://abcnews.go.com/video/embed?id=58728855

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

Ghostly Grimpoteuthis Octopus Glides By ROV Hercules:

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

Panic! At The Disco: It’s Almost Halloween:

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

Ty Herndon: “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” Official Music Video:

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

Friday Five (recovery edition)

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It’s Friday! The third Friday in October. Halloween is coming fast, and I’m still nowhere near ready.

My immune system seems to have finally kicked the upper respiratory infection just in time that I didn’t have to skip another unrelated medical test that I have to undergo every few years. That was Thursday morning. Now that I’m on insulin, they insist that this procedure can’t be done in the afternoon (I have do it before taking any insulin that day), which meant that my husband and I were taking an Uber to the clinic at 6:00am (my husband doesn’t drive, and because general anesthesia is involved, I couldn’t drive for 12 hours after) and our friend Jeri Lynn picked us up when I was done. So Thursday started earlier and then I spent the majority of the day sleeping off the meds. Which all makes my usual work-from-home Friday quite convenient.

Which brings us to the Friday Five: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week and five videos (plus my blog post).

Stories of the Week:

12 Authors Write About the Libraries They Love.

This gay couple got the perfect wedding picture & there’s an incredible story behind it.

Why ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ Remains A Queer Cinematic Milestone.

A $21,634 bill? How a homeless woman fought her way out of tow-company hell.

The New “Halloween” Pays Homage To History By Erasing It.

Things I wrote:

Getting ready for the coming spooks and books amid the rising dark.

Videos!

Saudi Arabia: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO):

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

Freddie Atlas – Something About You (cw: self-loathing and gay bashing):

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

Under Pressure Shawn Mendes feat. Teddy Geiger (Cover):

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

Donald Trump Owes Elizabeth Warren A Million Bucks:

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

Panic! At The Disco – Bohemian Rhapsody (Live from Sydney for the American Music Awards):

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

Friday Five (learning opportunities edition)

And we’re already to the second Friday in October. Halloween is coming fast, and I’m not quite ready.

This has not been a great week. A second, much shorter round of antibiotics does not seem to have taken care of my respiratory infection, but my next two schedule medical appointments are within the week yet have nothing to do with that, and I’m not sure I want to try to squeeze another one in there.

Which brings us to the Friday Five: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week, top five sci fi/fantasy/science stories, and five videos (plus my blog posts).

Stories of the Week:

Hurricane Michael heads northeast, leaving devastation in Florida.

The Morality Wars: Should Art Be a Battleground for Social Justice? and a rebuttal which makes more sense to me: Morality Wars response: Criticism of representation creates vibrant conversation.

Amazon scraps secret AI recruiting tool that showed bias against women.

Finally, Someone Gets Montgomery Clift’s Biography Right.

Washington State Basically Just Abolished Its Death Penalty.

Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Real Science:

Bicycles, disability and Doctor Who. An fascinating look at the latest episode by someone who shares the disability of one of the new companions.

‘First Man’ Considers Glory, Grief And A Famous Walk On The Moon.

Interstellar Comet ’Oumuamua Might Not Actually Be a Comet.

Mountain goats seen atop Rattlesnake Ledge after relocation.

Here’s what’s unusual about Hurricane Michael.

Things I wrote:

Indigenous People’s Day: Columbus didn’t discover America, he invaded it.

You don’t have to love what I love, but not all differences are merely opinions.

No one deserves the closet — #NationalComingOutDay.

Videos!

Seth’s Favorite Jokes of the Week: Trump Defends Kavanaugh, Presidential Emergency Alerts:

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

Astronauts escape malfunctioning Soyuz rocket:

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/embed/p06njyh3/45822845

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

Good Omens – Official Teaser Trailer I:

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

Years & Years – All For You:

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

morgxn – home (official video) ft. WALK THE MOON:

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

Friday Five (one graphic says it all edition)

And once again we find ourselves at a Friday. The first Friday in October. October is the tenth month of the year, though it’s name in Latin means the eighth, all because of two Caesars who wanted to immortalize themselves in the calendar.

This has not been a great week. I can’t tell if I’m having a relapse after the antibiotics were finished, or if I’ve caught another cold. Meanwhile, we have leapt into autumn. One day the overnight lay and daytime high were just slightly higher than average for this time of year. The next, both temps were 20 degrees below that, so that our averages are more like the end of October/beginning of November. If I weren’t muzzy headed from the illness, I’d find something poetic of symbolic to infer from it. But I’m just happy the work week is nearly over.

Which brings us to the Friday Five: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week related to queer people, top five sci fi/fantasy stories, top five science stories, the bottom five stories related to the future of the nation ,and five videos (plus notable deaths and my blog posts).

Queer stories of the Week:

Survey: More than two-thirds of Americans say they would be likely to dole out their dollars at businesses that take a public stand for LGBTQ equality.

Across U.S., several colleges open ‘clothing closets’ for trans students.

Court Says NC Law Does Not Bar Transgender People from Public Facilities.

Facebook blocked many gay-themed ads as part of its new advertising policy, angering LGBT groups.

Trump’s Latest Attack On Same-Sex Couples Is Exactly What His Base Wants.

Science Fiction and Fantasy stories:

Miles Vorkosigan and “Excellent Life Choices”: (Neuro)Divergence and Decision-Making in Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga.

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Negative Buzz Amplified by Russian Trolls, Study Finds. The full text of the study is available here.

Throngs of himself: Paul Linebarger wrote science fiction as Cordwainer Smith. His multiple selves did not stop there.

A 50-year Trekkie bestows Star Trek history upon the next generation: How fandom and fanfiction sparked the galaxy’s most controversial romance.

How a 1979 chain email about science fiction spawned the internet we know today.

Science stories:

Astronomers may have discovered the first moon ever found outside our Solar System.

Introducing ‘The Goblin’: A new, distant dwarf planet bolsters evidence for Planet X.

Brazil indigenous group bets on ‘golden fruit’.

Secret identity of 150-year-old body found in NYC revealed.

Scientists Discover Female Termites Who Don’t Need Males to Reproduce.

This Week in the Occupation/Resistance:

Connie Chung: Dear Christine Blasey Ford: I, too, was sexually assaulted — and it’s seared into my memory forever.

Four alleged members of hate group charged in 2017 ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville.

Willie Nelson’s October Surprise: “Vote ‘Em Out”.

I Was The US Treasurer. I Didn’t Tell The FBI Background Checkers About My Abuser.

Here’s What Allows Conspiracy Theories to Take Root on the Right.

In Memoriam:

Carlos Ezquerra the legendary co-creator of Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog and many more all-time classics has passed away.

Jefferson Airplane Co-Founder Marty Balin Dead at 76.

Otis Rush, Chicago Blues Guitarist, Dies at 84.

John M. Dwyer, Set Decorator for ‘Star Trek’ Series and Movies, Dies at 83.

Things I wrote:

It’s October again!

They still don’t get it….

Videos!

Brett Kavanaugh: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO):

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

Stephen Knows How To Block The Presidential Alert:

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

Marvel’s Daredevil: Season 3 | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix:

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

FIRST LOOK: Doctor Who Episode 1 | The Woman Who Fell To Earth:

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

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix:

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

Friday Five (I believe her edition)

“Raise your hand if you believe her.”

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It’s the final Friday in September, the month in which superior people are born. It is also the week of my second 29th birthday—and my husband served up an awesome cake on the day.

Other parts of the week have been less fun. Especially if one has been paying attention to the news and one cares about the rights and lives of women or queer people.

Which brings us to the Friday Five: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week related to queer people, the bottom five stories related to the future of the nation and five videos (plus my blog post).

Queer stories of the Week:

Queer activist beaten to death in the street as a crowd stands and watches.

A Christian School Changed Its Anti-Gay Policy To… One That’s Still Anti-Gay.

Congress Turns Back Anti-LGBTQ Adoption Amendment.

Historic Number Of LGBTQ Candidates Won Primaries In 2018 Midterms.

LGBTQ-Inclusive Florida Church Responds With Love After Sign Is Vandalized.

Destruction of the Constitution:

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The Ford-Kavanaugh sexual assault hearings, explained: If you want to know why women don’t come forward with allegations of sexual assault, today’s Senate hearings offered a clue.

‘This guy doesn’t know anything’: the inside story of Trump’s shambolic transition team . The thing Mrs. Pence said and did… brutal!

Women Across the Country Cried Together as Christine Blasey Ford Testified Against Brett Kavanaugh.

Mark Judge’s Former Girlfriend Tells The Senate Judiciary Committee That She Is Willing To Speak With The FBI.

Brett Kavanaugh Gave a Speech About Binge Drinking in Law School.

Things I wrote:

Sunday Funnies, part 31.

Monday Update 9/24/2018: Just keep driving. Local news…

More confessions of an aging homo devil. My annual birthday post…

What did you expect would happen? Or, Why I didn’t report.

Videos!

Brutal Octopus slap by a seal caught on GoPro HERO7BLACK in NZ Kaikoura (short story)

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

EXCLUSIVE: Julie Swetnick Meets With John Heilemann :

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

Barbra Streisand – Don’t Lie to Me (Official Audio):

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

Robyn – Honey (Lyric Video):

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

Cher – One of Us [Official HD Audio]:

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

Sunday Funnies, part 31

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

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.

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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 art style is cute, and the story occasionally goes on fun tangents. I’ve been following it on Tumblr fro a while. 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. I haven’t been able to locate a Patreon page for her. She has been talking about an upcoming book of the comics.


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.

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.

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.

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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.

“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 (blame the victim edition)

(© 2018 Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune)

Click to embiggen (© 2018 Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune)

It’s the third Friday in September, the month in which superior people are born. I’ve been sick all week. I have antibiotics, now, and some parts of the illness are getting better. I haven’t gotten any writing done, as I’ve spent most of what energy I have working (from home).

It has been a very strange yet interesting week. Not just in my personal life.

Which brings us to the Friday Five: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week and five videos (plus my blog post).

Stories of the Week:

Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong.

Don’t Condemn People Who Don’t Evacuate for Hurricane Florence.

What #MeToo Hasn’t Changed for Christine Blasey Ford .

Four Middle Eastern and Muslim Actresses on the Roles They Don’t Get and the Ones They Won’t Take.

She reported her 2006 rape. Then nothing happened. In the #metoo era, what do we owe her?

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 9/15/2018: Disasters.

More confessions of a guy who likes the rain.

Videos!

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert – Trump notices that water is wet, but more important, are Bert And Ernie A Gay Couple?:

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

DAREDEVIL Season 3 Teaser Trailer #2 (2018) Marvel Superhero Series HD:

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

Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel – Official Trailer:

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

Doctor Who: Series 11 Trailer #2:

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

Cher – SOS [Official HD Music Video]:

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

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