No Gnus T-Shirt Lottery Done

The shirts are all packed! And on time! Sort of!

My methodology here was M-x gnus-summary-sort-by-random (nice that somebody had added that), and then I went down from the top. If somebody had made a request that I couldn’t fill (for instance, if I was out of XL when I got down to them), I skipped them and went to the next one.

There were 29 contestants, and only 8 shirts, so most of you didn’t get a shirt. Sorry! And I guess you’ll find out if you got a shirt if it shows up in your mailbox during the next few weeks… (Or perhaps you can make a guess based on the extremely censored screenshot above.)

Oh, and I also had one copy of the Twenty Years of Septembe. I re-sorted and packed it up for the first matching entry, so one of you’re getting a shirt, but not a Gnus shirt.

Comics Daze

Before we get to the comics today, let me digress a bit. There’s a new essay at Solrad about 2dcloud, and I went “where’s my popcorn! finally somebody’s going to make some sense of er it all”, but nope — it’s an even less than informative article about the sitch than you could imagine.

Now, I’m just a guy that reads comics, and I know nothing, but there’s some things that could be mentioned in an article about this 2dcloud debacle slash saga: First of all, the book under discussion is (amusingly enough) called 3 Books, and is by Blaise Larmee. It has three stories, all of which are clearly made up — what kids today call “fiction”. I say “clearly”, but it’s not like the book says “here’s some things I made up for you today”, but everything about the book, from the binding to the obviously fake “photos”, scream “perhaps this isn’t quite real”. It’s like people not quite getting that Tristram Shandy isn’t a real person?

So I was surprised when the book became a Big Deal (but not shocked, because when you make a book that pretends that “it’s real”, and even go to the extremes of making a web site to support it (as Larmee did), you can’t be too surprised if people believe you), and the publisher said they pulped all the copies. So I assumed that there was something else going on, and there were accusations about a different guy with a different pseudonym at 2dcloud being a sex pest, so I thought perhaps… you know.

And now there’s more:

And then there’s this:

And this:

And this:

And apparently sites like Comics Beat have scrubbed the news stories about this saga:

And so have a lot of tweets about the whole thing.

So there definitely seems to be a story here, even if the story is “those 2dcloud people sure like to do performative obscurity (probably while sniggering)”. If only journalism was something that existed in comics, but nope. That Solrad piece definitely isn’t, though.

ANYWAY

Time to read comics, because the weather is miserable. And for music today… how about albums from 1992 only? Because why not. And because I have a tendency to skip past the 90s when listening to music, for some reason or other…

Coil: Stolen and Contaminated Songs

09:25: Barking by Lucy Sullivan (Avery Hill)

Wow, that’s an impressive graphical approach. The book is about mental illness and stuff, so it’s very appropriate.

The mix of computer and hand lettering is rather odd, though…

Anyway, it’s an interesting book, but it feels oddly incomplete. When the book ended, I had to flip back a few pages to see whether I missed anything, but nope.

09:59: Fall Through by Nate Powell (Abrams Comics Arts)

I’ve been reading Powell’s comics since, er, when did he start? Late 90s? And his artwork’s still very attractive.

But… this book… I dunno. It’s got this voiceover I mean narration no I mean voiceover throughout, and it’s the worst elegiac thing ever. It’s the voiceover from a thousand TV writers’ rooms, talking about Something Important From The Protagonist’s Past, and it just does me in.

But the artwork’s nice.

I had to ditch this about one quarter in, because I couldn’t take it any more.

On a more positive note, I bought this print from Michael Kupperman. Aww!

It’s more EEK if you hold it upside down, though.

Suzanne Vega: 99.9 F°

10:28: So Buttons #13 by Jonathan Baylis and others

Fancy spot gloss printing on the cover! I got this from here.

This issue is mostly about movies and film school and stuff, and it’s got an easygoing kind of vibe to it. It’s very amusing.

Oh yeah, Lifeboat is great! One of Hitchcock’s best (but then again, I do like Hitchcock in general).

Speaking of 2dcloud, this month’s Desert Island’s Mystery Box had three (3) 2dcloud books, of which I already had three, which makes for 100%, if my math is correct.

So that’s disappointing, but whatevs. Among the three was 2001 by, yes, Blaise Larmee, so I guess Desert Island isn’t caught up in all the internet drama…

Huggy Bear: Kiss Curl For The Kid’s Lib Guerrillas

10:49: The Dial and Other Stories by Chris Reynolds (Kingly Books)

I managed to score some old Mauritania Comics issues the other month, and in those issues were ads for something called The Dial. Which I hadn’t read before! This is a new (ahem) edition from 2004, though.

The Dial is even more dream-like than Reynolds’ stories usually are.

It’s great!

The last half of the book is “The Golden Age”, which is about a boy and his headmistress. It’s more surreal than dream-like, perhaps… but also fascinating.

Intermix: Intermix

11:09: Nap Time

And now I’m gonna take a nap — I got up way too early this morning.

Orange: Orange

14:21: The Blouse by Bastien Vives (Ablaze)

I’m awake!

This starts off as an extremely well-observed story about a student.

But then it basically turns into Le déclic by Milo Manara — see, she was lent this blouse, and it turns the men wild and transports the woman into Sex World, where every encounter is sexual. (And/or violent.) The storytelling is on point, but the book feels staid.

14:49: Excerpt by Alex Schubert

As the title implies, this is an excerpt from a longer book (that’ll be published in 2025, apparently). It’s really good! I’m looking forward to the book.

Swallow: Blowback

14:53: Einsteins nya fru by Liv Strömquist (Galago)

This is funny/informative/angry, which is always a good mix.

Unrest: Imperial f.f.r.r

Lots of interesting stuff, like about Stalin’s wife and so on. It does tend towards overloading the pages with text, and the pieces where she allows the panels to breathe a bit more are more fun to read.

16:28: Smoking Kills by Thijs Desmet (Fantagraphics)

This is a really attractive art style — the crisp, yet still organic colours…

There’s some a kind of… slacker “spirituality” going on here, though. But it’s pretty good.

New Fast Automatic Daffodils: Body Exit Mind

16:50: Insurance/Swamp Parade #2/Bee-Man by S. R. Arnold & Michael Kamison

Insurance is a fun, short book about doing comics.

The Bee-Man book is from 2016, and it’s pretty rough.

Swamp Parade has a number of shorter pieces, and is fun.

Like this Eraserhead 15 Year Later strip.

Buffalo Tom: Let Me Come Over

17:22: Gaytheist by Lonnie Mann and Ryan Gatts (Street Noise Books)

I like the colour palette — it reminds me of Japanese comics. Hm… and I guess the artwork does too? Slightly?

That’s some parenting!

I’m not really in the target audience for this group — I just find it endlessly frustrating to read about people trying to come to terms with superstitions being moronic, but I guess a book like this could be helpful for other people in this situation. And it’s refreshing to see somebody write about Orthodox Judaism instead of funnymentalist Christians (when it comes to overcoming religion).

But still, I found the book to be pretty entertaining. It’s a snappy read — it’s well-paced, and you get a real feeling for the various characters. It’s fun.

Psychic TV: Cold Dark Matter

18:29: Hypericum by Manuele Fior (Fantagraphics)

This is a large album.

It’s about a woman (scientist, of course) who meets a magic pixie dream boy (artist, of course), and the scientist’s life is changed forever! So it’s the normal plot, but it’s done quite well. The character design is pretty odd, though.

19:02: In Utero by Chris Gooch (Top Shelf)

Speaking of odd character designs…

This is very much structured like a horror/action movie — one of those that has a long, long ramp-up until we get to know what the Featured Monster is. And it does succeed in establishing a proper mood.

But… it just doesn’t really come together? But it’s OK.

Kitchens of Distinction: The Death of Cool

19:47: Asterios: The Minotaur by Le Tendre/Peynet (Cinebook)

This is yet another revisionist retelling of the Minotaur story…

… but it’s actually not bad? The artwork is very standard, but it’s entertainingly told.

Finitribe: An Unexcepted Groovy Treat

20:19: Jeremiah 40: Celui qui manque by Hermann (Faraos Cigarer)

Kordy is still looking for Jeremiah, and basically all of this album is like this — in a fog, or a daze, and there’s not much of a plot.

The nerds at bedetheque say things like “what did I just read” and “I can’t remember the last good Jeremiah album” and give the album zero stars (out of five). But c’mon. Hermann is 84 years old.

20:39: The End

OK, I think that’s enough for today, because the only remaining unread comics I have left are rather lengthy tomes, and I don’t feel like starting reading any of them.

My New Interior Design Blog

Uhm…

Thank you for that very helpful “ALTO UP OBEN” sticker, Nemo — as you can see from the diagram, the arrow is pointing to the left side of the lamp, so it’s 95 degrees off… (And the other label being upside down is just perfection.)

Oh, hi! Welcome to my brand new Interior Design Blog!

Or rather — a couple weeks ago, I had to drill some walls here (it’s old brick building from around the turn of the previous century — hard stuff), and I was so fed up with my old hammer drill: It had a cord! “*gasp*”, I hear you say. “The ignominy!” But, you know, for small projects, finding a darn place to plug that darn cord in is half the job…

So I finally bought a BOSCH HAMMER DRILL UNIVERSAL 18V (they shout a lot on web sites for tools and stuff — I guess they get hard of hearing after usiNG A HAMMER DRILL FOR A WHILE oops caps lock). So I had to find something to use it for so that I could test that it worked, and I thought “well, my closet is kind of dark” so I bought a lamp.

And… my first attempt was maximally unlucky — I hit the edge of a brick, I think, so the drill veered upwards and went into the mortar. Which you can’t fasten anything in. I should have stopped at the first hole, but I was nonplussed at first, and thought that perhaps I could use these holes after all. Nope.

(I know that studfinders exist — so that you can find a place to screw on wooden walls — but do brickfinders exist? That would have been handy here, where you have non-exposed brick…)

So I drilled two new holes right below them, so the old holes are hidden by the lamp. This time I hit pay dirt. Or bricks. Probably bricks, because the dust was red. And man, can that drill drill — it chewed up those bricks like *snap*.

(If the next owner of this apt wonders why there’s a double set of holes in that wall and googled — now they know.)

And un-pro tip: Last time I drilled into bricks in this apt, I spent way too much time to clean up afterwards, because that red dust is really, really fine and is almost impossible to get rid of once it hits something like plastics. It just (sort of) melts into the soft plastics. So this time I used a towel! And now I find out whether the washing machine manages to clean the towel! I don’t have high hopes! I shouldn’t have used a white towel! Am I out of my exclamation mark quota!? I AM!?!

Behold! I mean… er… I guess you can’t really see the lamp at all. But it’s blue! I swear!

OK, if I hold another lamp up to it, you can almost see that it’s blue. Perhaps I should have gotten the red one instead of the blue one…

Anyway! That’s my tip for the day! Buy a cordless drill!