2016 Best Of: COMICS

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2016 really kicked the popular notion of what comics are in the teeth; high fantasy, history, fashion bloggers, cat loving Cthulu-like aliens, feminists, and voodoo. I woke up one morning (afternoon, actually) in January, and demanded to be taken to the nearest comic book store. It’s mildly intimidating and not an overly welcoming community, but it was so worth it.

While this list is far from a complete list, these were the ones that really slapped me in the face. I know from talking to other people that the DC Rebirth comics really held their own, Bitch Planet slayed the masses, and Marvel made everyone fall in love with a little Squirrel Girl. I just didn’t happen to read any of those (although I do actually own Bitch Planet…it’s on the list).

So with that disclaimer, these are the best of the ones I have read…

Merry Christmas From Mollociraptor

Moomin Tove Jansson Finland

Merry Christmas, my loves. I’m currently curled up with my family, talking about and eating food, and sipping a most righteous mimosa. So far this day has been one of the best Christmases I’ve had; first one with my boyfriend, 28th with my parents, and one that I really went all out with Christmas cheer. This whole year has been a mess for everyone; idols have died, elections were held, and it was just rough. Naturally, I wanted to insert that silver lining by way of Christmas. No one says or does it better than one of my favourite cartoonists and artists, Tove Jansson. She created Moomin, and added so much magic to the world no matter the season. Without further ado, I would like to share her letter from Santa.

Merry Christmas and all my love.

Moomin Tove Jansson Finland

Dear little friend!

How are you? I’m getting to be a rather old Santa Claus. A little lonely as well so I like letters. It’s great fun you see to think of the fact that all over the world a lot of small kiddies that I’ve never seen are sitting remembering me and writing me letters. Some of them write about presents for themselves or for other people. Some of them write to thank me and some other just for a chat. But all of them have been thinking about me and I like that. You see, all the year long I’m living by myself – rather a secretive and lonely life.

I’m waiting for the winter to come and trying to imagine what kiddies like yourself might be wishing for, and what you might need.

Then, one night I hear that the first snow falling outside. Only I, Santa Claus can hear the snow – it falls so silently and lightly, making all the world soft and white and friendly. By this I know that Christmas is on its way: the very special Eve and Night that are unlike all other nights of the year, the darkest and longest of all nights with its millions of burning candles. The night when everyone tries to be friendly towards everyone else, because the child Jesus was born in that night, once upon a time.

So I open my cottage door and sniff against the north wind and ring my silver bell. After a while a rustling and a whispering are to be heard in the woods around my hut. Yule gnomes and brownies and many kinds of winter beings begin to arrive from all directions – on skis, on snow-shoes, struggling on foot or riding on grey reindeer that have gentle and velvet-black eyes. Then I take out all the X-mas letters and all the wishes and dreams that have accumulated under my cap, and my people and I roll up our sleeves and get to work.

It is most important that everybody gets exactly the gift they want, within reason, that nobody is disappointed, that addresses turn out right and parcels tidy, that some space is left for surprises and that people who are too shy to ask for anything get a gift also.

Some of us turn up invisible and fly around the world like whispers – it is we who give parents their ideas for the right presents. Also we remind people of those who would never get a Christmas gift otherwise. We have a wonderful time it all! I’m never lonely in those days because I’ve got all the kiddies of the whole world and their expectations in my head.

And all the woods of Finland lie gleaming white in the sparkling light of the Aurora Borealis and the snow on the ground around my hut is crisscrossed by little tracks of hurrying feet, and the heaps of gift parcels are growing steadily. The Christmas night arrives and all is silent and solemn. All the parcels have been sent off and received. And the stars are large and burning bright over the earth, and I walk up alone to the crest of Korvatunturi in my wolfskin coat and I sit down in the snow and I make a wish: that you will all be happy and like each other as much as possible.

And that you will not forget me.

All best wishes from yours ever,

Santa Claus

 

Letter and images are from the official Moomin website.

Rexy the Coach Dino

rexy

When I was approached by Coach to help promote their new line of dinosaur goodies…I screamed. Mostly in disbelief at first, but slowly I started to realize that they really wanted me. I’m still screaming, but it’s more of an excited shriek now. (You should send sympathy candy and earplugs to my boyfriend.)

If you can’t tell from my name, I adore dinosaurs. I wanted to be a paleontologist, and I still kinda do, but it’s not practical for me. So, I live the dream through Jurassic Park, science journals, and paleontology tomes…and now through Coach’s most recent collection. Rexy is the star, but it features a rather debonair stegosaurus, and a very regal wooly mammoth. I was given a choice, and I went with the star of the show, REXY.

Desert Tripping

KEITH RICHARD ANITA PALLENBERG GRAM PARSONS MICHAEL COOPER JOSHUA TREE
Keith Richards in Joshua Tree, 1969.

In a week my bony ass will be situated in a tent at Desert Trip; communing with the stars, grooving to the music, and making friends with a bajillion baby-boomers. I read somewhere that the average age of the performers at Desert Trip is 70. My time to shine is now.

Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, The Who, Roger Waters, and Neil Young…I grew up on all of them. I’ve seen all of them except The Who, but this is really a once-in-a-lifetime experience. With all of the celebrity deaths this year, I was terrified that one of them was going to drop dead before it all happened. Looks like everyone stayed alive (myself included), and I couldn’t be more excited.

Diving headfirst into a weekend of music I love is treat enough, but heading to my family’s neck of the woods is even better. I’m the only east coast weirdo, and that was a complete accident that sadly stuck. Everyone else called Colorado to California home, and I’ve just lived vicariously through stories. As it is, I’ve never felt right in Atlanta. There’s a slowness and clarity to everything out there that sings to me (Hollywood social climbing aside). Not like the syrupy slowness of the deep south, it unnerves me and puts a pit in my stomach. It’s weird to explain, but when you know you don’t belong…you know it.

I’m Addicted to Pokemon GO

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I’ve been missing. Where have I been? Well. We have been moving into a larger apartment (my clothes need space), so that actually has been rather time consuming. Mostly, it’s Pokemon GO though. I spend hours wandering around in search of Pikachus and Charmanders. While reviews have been a rather mixed bag (nerds are catty AF), I really enjoy it.

When it initially launched it was pretty bad. Not the game itself, but Niantic’s servers. Hot damn. I’m sure their servers consisted of a garden gnome running on a hamster wheel. At least, that’s what it seemed like. A lot has improved though; it rarely crashes, stays pretty fast, and they’re constantly on top of bugs (bye-bye footprint radar). Most importantly, it’s bringing people together.