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Tuesday Tidbits: Tools Who Have Outlived Their Usefulness

There’s more than one way to be toxic…

You Know Things Are Bad if the Guy Whose Boots You’ve Licked for More Than Four Years Won’t Meet You

Embattled Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz is denied a meeting with Trump

Meet Matt Gaetz’s PR firm, run by Trump ally who bailed on promise to eat his own shoe if Trump lost – Time to chow down!

Liz Cheney On Matt Gaetz: ‘As The Mother Of Daughters, The Charges Certainly Are Sickening’ – Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) on Sunday said that sex trafficking and other allegations against Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) are "sickening."

Glenn Greenwald Defends Gaetz’ Right To Have Sex With ‘Consenting’ Teenagers – Frequent Fox News guest, this week said that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has the right to have sex with a "consenting" 17-year-old girl.

Mass Shootings Everywhere

Toddler among 4 wounded in Seattle Central District shooting

4 injured, 1 dead after shooting at Memphis auto repair shop, police say

Four shot, one critically injured near Grand Valley State University

Cops Killing Unarmed People

Derek Chauvin’s defense begins its case by highlighting George Floyd’s prior arrest Because of course they do!

Officer identified as a 26-year veteran in fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright: What we know

Protesters, police clash at Brooklyn Center police station

King County Executive Dow Constantine urges Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht to retire – Sheriff sent an internal email to staff saying the settlement is “not a reflection of how I view the actions” of the deputy who shot unarmed 20-year-old Tommy Le This one has the complication that we King County voters approved a charter amendment last fall that ends Sheriff elections and makes the position of county sheriff an appointed position. In just 9 months the request from the executive (and calls from several county council members) will no longer be requests…

Weekend Update 4/10/2021: Hypocrites, volcanoes, vaccines, and humor

“Hypocrite”

“Did Republicans tell the CEO of Goya to stay out of politics between Fox News appearances or after he spoke at CPAC last month???”

Congressman Gaetz really should start listening to a lawyer and stop running around to all the news stations telling lies…
“Would it make you guys feel better if Lil Nas X gave Jesus a lap dance too?”
More hypocrites…
“If a woman sleeps with ten men, she’s a slut. But if a guy does the same, he is…” “…Gay, Karen. He is gay.”

Friday Five (purple unicorn edition)

Welcome to the first Friday in April. This year falling on Good Friday. And on the second day of NorWesCon.

NorWesCon 43 is the third virtual convention I’ve attended since the pandemic began. The first day had a number of panels I enjoyed. One of the best parts was getting to see and hear a friend that I haven’t seen since Christmas 2019.

Which brings us to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: five stories of the week, five stories of interest to queers and our allies, five stories about so-called Christians, and five videos (plus something I wrote and notable obituaries).

Stories of the week:

A Dog Who Kept Sneaking into a Dollar General for a Unicorn Toy Gets His Plush and a New Start – The animal control officer who moved Sisu from the Dollar General store to the shelter bought the stray dog his unicorn toy before bringing the canine in

Former D.C. police chief: ‘There should be a higher standard for police’

The Dark Tales of the Christian Sex Addiction Industry – There’s a reason so many young men believe their sexual desires make them depraved—or worse

The GOP’s feverish hunt for NC election fraud uncovers a shocking result – clean elections

Conservative Christians are driving more Americans away from religion altogether – A new book finds that the more conservative politics and religion are inseparable, the more people identify as having no religion at all

This Week in News for Queers and Allies:

Nevada lawmaker Sarah Peters comes out as pansexual in moving speech – "Am I queer enough? Am I gay enough? What if I end up heteronormative, am I straight? Y’all, we are all enough and worth celebrating!"

Trans People Can Now Openly Serve In The US Military And Get Gender-Affirming Medical Care

Review: Lil Nas X’s “MONTERO” Music Video Is the Queer Visual We Didn’t Know We Were Waiting On

Lil Nas X’s proud dad is a gospel singer. A rightwinger on Twitter found out the hard way – While the religious right is flipping out over the new "satanic" video, it is officially Dad Certified

Hate Group Leader Tony Perkins Furious That Blinken Axed Pompeo’s Anti-LGBT Policy: He Doesn’t Care About “Biblical And Moral Law”

This Week in So-called Christians:

Oklahoma Pastor’s Midnight Execution Unravels Secret Threesome Love Affair

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz under investigation over alleged sexual relationship with teen. Like No Other: TIMELINE of Gaetz Headlines

Matt Gaetz paid prostitutes using Cash App and Apple Pay — and there are receipts: NYT bombshell

A middle school teacher reportedly told students that LGBTQ people are “sinful”

Masterpiece Cakeshop Once Again in Court for Alleged Anti-LGBTQ+ Bias

Things I wrote:

Confessions of an old white-bearded blogger

In Memoriam

Beverly Cleary, beloved children’s author, dies at 104

Beverly Cleary Wrote About Real Life, and Her Readers Loved Her for It – The creator of Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins constructed a world that children recognized — one that changed with the times

Larry McMurtry, Oscar Winner for ‘Brokeback Mountain’ and Author of ‘Lonesome Dove,’ Dies at 84

Larry McMurtry, author of ‘Lonesome Dove’ and other novels, dies at age 84

Videos

Click on the image to be taken to the video!

Stephen Colbert: The Establishment covers Matt Gaetz’s underage sex scandal Stephen Colbert: The Establishment covers Matt Gaetz's underage sex scandal

Trump’s Legal Tornado! Massive Lawsuits Put 45 In ‘Serious Trouble’ Trump's Legal Tornado! Massive Lawsuits Put 45 In 'Serious Trouble'

Rachel Maddow – Why Biden Infrastructure Plan’s Popularity May Represent A Political Turning Point Why Biden Infrastructure Plan's Popularity May Represent A Political Turning Point

Seth Meyers – CNN Lost 45% of Its Audience Since Biden Took Office, though it’s not what you think Seth Meyers - CNN Lost 45% of Its Audience Since Biden Took Office

NSFW – Lil Nas X – MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) – Official Video Lil Nas X - MONTERO Call Me By Your Name

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

“I send this lad and shamrock gay, With wishes for St. Patrick's Day.”

“I send this lad and shamrock gay, With wishes for St. Patrick’s Day.”

There are several blog posts I should be finishing. Instead you’re going to get a silly post. Because goodness knows we could all use a bit of silliness.

I’m trying not to be worried about the likelihood—thanks to so many people throwing off their masks and/or going out the bars and restaurants—that COVID cases are going to surge again in coming weeks.

I’m not going out partying. We’re cooking a beef brisket and staying home. Yes, I’m wearing new silly shiny green shamrock earrings. And my husband and I each have a silly shamrock-adorned mask to wear today. But I’m staying home all day, and he’s doing his usual workday then coming home.

Here is hoping that come this time next year, we’re all playing at being leprechauns and/or chasing after the end of the rainbow.

Hey, it’s March Fourth! So, let’s March Forth

“We don't know them all but we owe them all.”

“We don’t know them all but we owe them all.”

I’ve written before about an acquaintance in college who was shocked that I’d never heard the pun about this day: March Forth! It’s a date! It’s a command! It’s a date and a command!

I hesitated to post this, because the QAnon fuckwits think that today is a magical day when the former Traitor in Chief will be sworn in as president because original constitutional inauguration date and a mythical law in 1871 and blah blah blah.

But I can’t let fuckwits make my life decisions for me. So I’m going to continue to observe my personal March Forth tradition. I urge you all on this March Forth, to go please donate to The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

You can also go to this page on the NCHV website, click on the name of your state, and find a list of organizations helping the homeless in general and homeless veterans in particular in your community. Donate or volunteer.

March forth, and spread the word.

Friday Five (needs more dinosaurs edition)

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” ― Carl Sagan

(click to embiggen)

We’ve already reached the second Friday in February! Wow!

It has been getting colder and colder all week. We started getting snow Thursday. Overnight lows significantly below freezing, and much most snow is expected Saturday. And I live on a hillside with very steep hills the only way out of the neighborhood, so I probably won’t be leaving the house until next week when the temps are predicted to come back up.

Meanwhile, we have the Friday Five. This week I bring you: one story about why snow is such a catastrophe here, the top five stories of the week, five stories of interest to queers and our allies, five stories about the pandemic, five stories about threats traitos, five stories about bad people getting their due, and five videas (plus things I wrote and some notable obituaries).

This Week In News Local to Me:

“To all the people who moved here in the last few years, and think you’re a great driver in the snow, you’re not,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan declared. “Seattle hills are notoriously difficult, in particular when the snow melts and then freezes.”

Stories of the Week:

8-Year-Old Calls Out NPR For Lack Of Dinosaur Stories.

They Stormed the Capitol. Their Apps Tracked Them. This story is not really about the murder mob, rather it is a fascinating and chilling example of what can be learned by aggregating anonymized ad network data. The graphics alone are worth the click.

KUOW – The last youth jail in the country moves to end contract with ICE.

Dozens of states see new voter suppression proposals after baseless fraud claims.

Essex academic’s imposter ‘copied work and tattoos’.

This Week in News for Queers and Allies:

Arkansas senate passes bill to allow pharmacists & nursing home staff to turn away LGBTQ patients – The bill lists protected health care professionals, including doctors and nurses and any “individual who furnishes or assists in the provision of a healthcare service.” Employers could demand their health insurance refuse to provide LGBTQ health care.

Federal agency to crack down on LGBTQ housing discrimination.

Activists gathered 500,000 signatures to force Michigan’s legislature to vote on LGBTQ civil rights – The state legislature will have to vote to accept the petition for LGBTQ protections and make it immediate law or put it on the ballot in 2022.

C.D.C. Report: Gay and Bi People at Greater Risk for Severe COVID-19.

Transgender activists in the South are battling homelessness with tiny homes and private shelters amid COVID-19.

This Week in the Pandemic:

US could have averted 40% of Covid deaths, says panel examining Trump’s policies – The country began the pandemic with a degraded public health infrastructure, leading to more deaths than other high-income countries.

Biden just purchased 200 million additional doses of coronavirus vaccines — and we now have enough shots coming to immunize most Americans.

Drugmakers Look for New Ways to Test Covid-19 Vaccines – Researchers aim to measure how much immune response a shot triggers—potentially useful for assessing new shots and new uses.

Vaccinated workers at Massachusetts hospital volunteer to sit with Covid-19 patients.

GOP Rep. Ron Wright dies after Covid diagnosis – Dozens of members have also tested positive for the disease over the past year and one representive-elect died from it less than two months ago, but Wright is the first sitting lawmaker to do so.

This Week in Seditious Traitors:

No, the Trump Era Was Not a ‘Thrill’ – White political journalists distanced themselves from the horrors of the Trump administration in a way many of us couldn’t.

Trump-supporting evangelicals should share blame for January 6 insurrection.

Justice Department says an Oath Keepers leader waited for Trump’s direction before Capitol attack.

A majority of the people arrested for Capitol riot had a history of financial trouble – Trail of bankruptcies, tax problems and bad debts raises questions for researchers trying to understand motivations for attack.

At Trump Impeachment II, the Republican Party Is Also on Trial .

This Week in Deplorable People Facing Consequences:

Twitter Suspends Right-Wing Activist Group Project Veritas, James O’Keefe.

Judge Orders Dan Bongino to Pay The Daily Beast $31,000 in Attorneys’ Fees for Filing Defamation Lawsuit ‘Without Merit’.

Judge Orders OAN to Pay Rachel Maddow and MSNBC $250,000 in Attorney Fees For Filing Frivolous Defamation Lawsuit.

Tim Eyman violated campaign finance law, judge rules, is barred from controlling political committees Eyman is a horse’s ass, a grifter, and man who has devastated local government budgets.

Trump could be fined $12 million after an Illinois judge ruled his Chicago hotel violated an environmental protection law for 3 years.

In Memoriam:

Mary Wilson, founding member of The Supremes, dies at 76 – “She was a trailblazer, a diva, and will be deeply missed,” Motown founder Berry Gordy said.

Mary Wilson, longest-reigning original Supreme, dies at 76.

Christopher Plummer, actor of ‘The Sound of Music’ fame, dies at 9 – Plummer died at his home in Connecticut with his wife, Elaine Taylor, by his side.

Remembering Christopher Plummer for so much more than ‘The Sound of Music’.

Porn Mogul Larry Flynt, ‘Hustler’ founder and 1st Amendment champion, dies at 78.

Things I wrote:

WandaVision Goes Even More Meta in “A Very Special Episode…”.

Monday Update 2/8/2021: Infamy, Defamation… but also a bit of good news.

Ask the Next Question, or how SF/F has always been confronting social issue.

Bullying, gender, and the importance of horses – or, more of why I love sf/f.

Always re-blog.

Videos!

One Billion Years of Earth’s Evolution in 45 Seconds:

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Dolly Parton on Funding Coronavirus Vaccine and Teaming up With Barry Gibb:

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Reality Sets In After A Weirdly Normal Super Bowl Sunday:

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Trump’s Impeachment Lawyers Are Very Bad: A Closer Look:

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Never-Before-Seen Capitol Riot Videos Provide Damning Evidence Against Trump:

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Ask the Next Question, or how SF/F has always been confronting social issues

I need to get my other hosting issues sorted out and get a couple of my other sites back up on the web. But a conversation elseweb made me dig out this essay I wrote and first published 22 years ago and resurrect it on this blog. Homophobia is not a recent development in the sci fi community. But also neither is allyship, so:

(Originally published 18 June, 1999)

Theodore Sturgeon (1918-1985) was one of America’s finest writers. He was one of the great figures of the Golden Age of science fiction. During his lifetime he produced over 200 stories, several novels, film and tv scripts (including two of the most famous episodes of the original “Star Trek” series), plays, and dozens of non-fiction reviews and essays. His many literary awards include the Hugo, the Nebula, and the International Fantasy Award.

Sturgeon wrote such great fiction because his philosophy was “Always ask the next question.” He even created a symbol or personal shorthand for “Ask the next question,” a capital “Q” with an arrow through it. He was never satisfied with conventional wisdom or pat answers.

And that tendency got him in big trouble in 1953, making him the central target of an intense “anti-homosexual blacklist” within the publishing community. Prior to the 1970s, it was virtually unheard of for gay men, lesbian, or bisexual characters to appear in any kind of fiction, and when they did, they were either vile villains or tragically flawed creatures who committed suicide before the end of the story. While many science fiction authors were questioning racial stereotypes or decrying McCarthy’s rabid anti-communism, they closed ranks with the rest of the status quo on the question of homosexuality.

Not Theodore Sturgeon. At the time a father of four and somewhat notorious womanizer, Sturgeon still couldn’t help but ask the next question. If racism was wrong, why not sexism and heterosexism? He wrote three short stories in quick succession. The first, “The Silken Swift” was a twist on the unicorn legend that questioned society’s definitions of purity and innocence, while making some comments about the role of women in most cultures. It caused a slight stir, but didn’t seem too far out. Then “The Sex Opposite” started showing up in editor’s mailboxes, in which Sturgeon posited a whole subspecies of humans who could change their gender at will, and whom engaged in long term relationships with members of all three sexes. This provoked a mild uproar, and many editors shied far away from it. Sturgeon started receiving unsolicited advice, some of it implied that people were assuming he was homosexual (because only a “pervert” would even think of portraying such relationships as possible, let alone successful and happy) and suggesting that he tone it down, for the sake of his career.

Which seemed to firm up Sturgeon’s resolve. He sat down at his typewriter and created “The World Well Lost” in which homosexual characters were not only portrayed as normal, well-adjusted people in the future, the story came right out and referred to the homophobic past has a horrible time. Fear and loathing of homosexuals was a sign of an immature society, the story said. This was too much for some people. The editor of the magazine Fantastic, Howard Browne, was so outraged by the tale, not only did he reject it, he immediately started phoning all the other editors he knew to organized a boycott of Sturgeon. Browne wasn’t satisfied with bullying other editors into agreeing never to publish anything from Sturgeon again. He and his cronies promised to completely ruin the career of anyone who dared publish “The World Well Lost” itself.

Ray Palmer was a feisty man who was editor of Universe Science Fiction, a small pulp sci-fi zine at the time. Perhaps it was because Mr. Palmer had suffered from disfiguring disability since childhood, and had little sympathy for bullies, but in any case, Palmer put “The World Well Lost” into a fast track to get it published right away. And he publicly dared Browne’s group to make good on their threat.

Browne’s coalition quickly crumbled, and the “Homosexual Blacklist” faded away before it had a chance to damage any other careers.

Sturgeon kept on asking the next question, never afraid to broach topics just because they were controversial. And Palmer enjoyed a long and successful career in publishing. Thanks to them, other writers in the fifties, sixties, and seventies could explore the subject of homosexuality in a more balanced and tolerant fashion. While it was true that, even into the late seventies, most readers, critics, and editors assumed that any author who wrote such a story was probably gay, bi, or lesbian themselves, it was because of two courageous heterosexual men, Sturgeon and Palmer, that those authors could give us those rare, early glimpses into a world where homophobia was neither common nor acceptable.

This pride month, remember to raise a toast to Theodore Sturgeon and Ray Palmer, two people who knew it was better to do the right thing than to be perceived as the right kind of people. Where ever their spirits are now, I’m sure they are still asking questions.

Friday Five (stay ho-ho-home edition)

We have reached the fourth and final Friday in December. This is also the final Friday in 2020, and year that I think everyone agrees needs to be over.

It also happens to be Christmas Day. In a normal year that would mean that likely most people wouldn’t be reading things online until later in the day, after much of the festivities are over. But most people should be staying home, opening presents over zoom or facetime or something.

Because it is Christmas Day, I had mixed feeling about what kind of stories I ought to include. In doesn’t help that every day there are worse and worse headlines about the crybaby-in-chief and his latest temper tantrum. But in the end, the news is what it is. So, this Friday Five I bring you: the top five stories of the week, five stories about science, five stories about people who definitely aren’t on Santa’s Nice List, five stories about the pandemic, and five videas (plus things I wrote and a notable obituary).

Stories of the Week:

Crying on the Clock Is the Best WFH Perk.

SolarWinds Adviser Warned of Lax Security Years Before Hack.

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Fetterman relentlessly trolls Dan Patrick seeking $1M voter fraud bounty.

Arizona GOP May Face Sanctions for Filing Lawsuit Contradicted by Audit, Judge Suggests.

Secret Service Has No Plan if Trump Refuses to Go, Sources Say. A more accurate headline would be, “Secret Service Will Not Say Whether They Hava a Plan if Trump Refuses to Go”

This Week in Science:

Aliens at Proxima Centauri? A New Radio Signal Raises the Question.

‘Beautiful’ dinosaur tail found preserved in amber.

Ancient wolf cub found ‘perfectly preserved’ in Canadian permafrost. We even know what it ate.

The year 2020 in space discoveries.

The Forest in the City – Researchers are looking for answers to the mysterious die-off of sword ferns in Seattle’s Seward Park..

This Week in People Who Definitely Got Coal In Their Stockings:

Another Blow for QAnon as Voat (aka Alt-Right Reddit Knock-off) Announces a Christmas Shutdown.

NY Attorney General subpoenas pro-Trump troll Jacob Wohl for voter suppression scheme – Wohl and Jack Burkman have been criminally indicted in Ohio and Michigan in connection with the robocall scheme.

How Offshore Oddsmakers Made a Killing off Gullible Trump Supporters – The emotions and strategies behind record-setting bets on a MAGA victory that never came.

FBI: White Supremacists Plotted Attack on US Power Grid – The FBI alleges in an affidavit that white supremacists schemed to attack power stations in the southeastern U.S. and one Ohio teenager wanted the group to be “operational” on a faster timeline if President Donald Trump lost his re-election bid.

Christians Invaded Native American Sacred Space to Pray Away “Dark Energy”.

This Week in the Pandemic:

Misinformation about the vaccine could be worse than disinformation about the elections – The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccines is presenting social media sites with fresh and daunting challenges.

Every US coronavirus death is preventable, health expert says.

U.S. to require all air passengers arriving from U.K. to test negative for COVID-19.

COVID-19: South African variant may be worse than UK variant.

Black doctor dies of COVID-19 weeks after turning to social media to chronicle racist treatment.

In Memoriam:

James E. Gunn, Science Fiction Author and Scholar, Dies at 97.

Things I wrote:

Playing catchup, virtual party, and counting down to Christmas.

A proper Christmas… however you define it.

Unintentional physics lessons, anniversary, and more.

We need a Rainbow Christmas—especially in quarantine.

Videos!

“Twas The Coup Before Christmas” A Late Show Animated Holiday Classic:

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Top Republican HUMILIATES Sidney Powell ON FOX NEWS:

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ARE YOU A DOUBLE DIPPER?:

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Steve Grand – I’ll be home for Christmas (Official Music Video):

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Tom Goss – Christmas 2020 – not all pandemic-themed holiday songs have to be melancholy (not that there’s anything wrong with that):

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“My name is Inigo Montoya. You tried to destroy my Republic. Prepare to lose the election!”

I’m doing NaNoWriMo, and have already diverted a lot of attention on the election and commentary thereof. So instead of a substantial blog post, here is a fun meme-set swiped from iamjohnlocked4life.tumblr.com:

Sunday Funnies, part 40

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


Everything is Going to be OK by Dani Jones
This web comic doesn’t have a lot of strips, though the artist has a lot of other art and related materials available to share. I first became aware of the strip when her strip I grew up believing I was ugly because I could never be pretty enough was shared on a rather large number of social media accounts I follow. Dani is a queer artist who also happens to be a triplet and to have been raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints — and if by now you haven’t figured out that I am immediately a fan of any queer people who have carved out an out life having grown up in a conservative religious community, you aren’t a regular reader of this blog. Anyway, she tackles a lot of different topics, and I have found her strips to be funny, cute, and informative. If you like her work and would like to support her, she has patreon and also a store where you can buy a lot of her other merchandise.


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.

Kyle’s B&B by Greg Fox is hard to describe. The main character, Kyle, is a gay Canadian who owns a bed and breakfast that seems to be constantly occupied by hot queer guests. Many, many hot queer guests! There is some romance, and a lot of jokes about things ranging for sub-cultures in the queer community, to gardening and pop culture and… well, a lot of stuff. If you like Greg Fox’s work, you can purchase his books here

Good Bye to Halos by Valeria Halla. Fenic is trans and gay. The comic begins when Fenric is a teenager. Fenric’s father says that it is no longer safe for him there, and then pushes him through a portal and Fenic finds herself in a place call Market Square and unable to get back. She is befriended by an anthropomorphic lion and learns that Market Square is a place where queer kids from many worlds/dimensions find themselves when they are abandoned or lost. Later, as Fenic gets older and assumes that her father is never coming to rescue her, the adventures become increasingly fantastical. If you like the artist’s work, you can support her on Patreon.


What QQ by Carlisle Robinson. This is one of several comics created by Carlisle Robinson, a deaf trans masculine queer artist. If you like Carlisle’s work, consider supporting the Patreon

Casey at the Bat by Bob Glasscock. 20-something Casey was dumped by the man he thought was the love of his life, then a friend convinced him to try out for a local gay softball league as a way to meet new people. And thus begins the comic. Casey At the Bat describes itself as a lighthearted slice-of-live romantic comedy, that just happens to start a young gay man. The strip is entertaining and does mostly stick to the less serious topics. If you enjoy this comic (which is more about romance and friendships than it is about sports—though there is some of that, too) you can purchase collection of the comics here.

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.

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. If you like the comic, you can buy the books here and enamel pins and other stuff here.

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.

Pearls Before Swine by Stephan PastisThe heart of the series are two characters, a clueless Pig and an arrogant Rat, and they comment on just about everything. It’s hard to describe that subject matter beyond “human foibles and society.” The author says his goal is to poke fun at humans’ unending quest for the unobtainable.

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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.

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 has 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.

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 10.15.31 AM“Unshelved” by Gene Ambaum & Bill Barnes recounts the adventures of a teen services librarian named Dewey. The web site is also an online book club, with reviews, links, and samples of various recommended comics and other books. This should not be a surprise, since one of the creators of the strip, Gene Ambaum, is a librarian in real life. The strip is funny, and is available for free syndication on non-commercial websites. They’ve printed a number of collections of the strip and have various other cool things related to the love of reading and libraries for sale on their online store.

NsfwOglaf, by Trudy Cooper and Doug Bayne is a Not Safe For Work web comic about… well, it’s sort a generic “medieval” high fantasy universe, but with adult themes, often sexual. Jokes are based on fantasy story and movie clichés, gaming tropes, and the like. And let me repeat, since I got a startled message from someone in response to a previous posting of this recommendation: Oglaf is Not Safe For Work (NSFW)!


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.

Note the Second: For the first several years that I was making these posts, I foolishly inserted the title graphic for each comic using the WordPress defaults—so that when a reader clicked on the graphic, they would see the graphic full size. What I should have been doing was changing the setting so that clicking the graphic would take you to the home page of the comic being reviewed. Which I have been doing for a while with new reviews. But most the the mini reviews under each new review had the old behavior. Which I was reminded of when I saw that about half the clicks on my blog the day Sunday Funnies, part 39 posted were people clicking on the images. So I spent the time to fix them from that entire post. And will be using this fixed list from now on. I wasn’t a quick simple fix, so I’m not likely to go back and fix the 38 older editions of this blog series any time soon.

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