Hope Larson's "All Summer Long," lively YA graphic novel about tween friendships, rock and roll, and being yourself

Hope Larson's All Summer Long is an incredibly charming, subtly complex story about friendship and coming of age, the story of Bina and her lifelong friend Austin, who, as far back as they can remember have spent every summer playing a game where they award themselves "Fun Points" for petting cats, finding change on the sidewalk, going swimming, and otherwise making the most of a long, wonderful summer. Until now.

Public ignorance about “drunk/drugged up losers” is expensive and deadly

Opioid overdoses now kill more Americans every year than guns, breast cancer, or car accidents. 20 million Americans suffer from addiction to alcohol, illicit, or prescription drugs. On the second anniversary of Prince’s death from fentanyl overdose last weekend, the President of the United States demonstrated a deep ignorance of this medical epidemic, calling someone he considers an alcoholic and addict a “drunk/drugged up loser.”

Days later we learn that Dr. Ronny Jackson, the physician Trump nominated to lead the country’s largest healthcare system, the Veterans Administration, is known to have a drinking problem and is nicknamed “The Candyman” because of his reputation for freely distributing controlled substances to White House staff. With 1 in 10 soldiers seen by the VA for problems with alcohol or drugs – the majority as an outgrowth of being treated for chronic pain – Jackson was a dangerously ignorant choice.

Both the president’s regressive drug policy and his impulsive social media outbursts are conflicting, misinformed, and poorly executed, so his recent post about addicts being “losers” must seem pedestrian to most. In the same tweet he also managed to insult a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and engage in thinly veiled witness tampering before taking off for a round of golf while his wife attended Barbara Bush’s funeral. Numbed and spotty outcries ensued, and we moved along to the next week’s insults. It became just more white noise.

Leadership and policy drive the public’s attitudes about addiction and these opinions have very real consequences in people’s lives, as it did for Prince. Read the rest

What, today, would most delight a serious Joni Mitchell fan? (Other than a new album?)

How about a whole album full of 11 excellent songs you’ve never heard before, which Joni wrote between 1964 and 1969 but never got around to recording.....sung by an excellent singer....with expert tasteful backup....including the first song she ever wrote, “Hunter,” which until now had appeared on a handful of early unreleased test-pressings of BLUE? Songs so good, they all sound like just-discovered outtakes from SONG TO A SEAGULL—which is basically what they are? How ‘bout, all this for only a sawbuck, US? (or $13 for a physical CD)

Post-internet lament

The world hasn’t yet invented the right word for my deep new disenchantment with the Post-Internet. It has elements of a broken romance, a burn-out, a nervous breakdown, depression and physical anxiety. It’s a state of exile from a cyberspace where things became unfriendly, where words harm rather than help. A frontier that defined itself as futurity becomes a dead shopping mall behind rags and barbed-wire.

The citation graph is one of humankind's most important intellectual achievements

When researchers write, we don't just describe new findings -- we place them in context by citing the work of others. Citations trace the lineage of ideas, connecting disparate lines of scholarship into a cohesive body of knowledge, and forming the basis of how we know what we know.

Paper Girls 4: duelling invisible megabots, time travel and the prime directive, now with more Hugo nominations!

Paper Girls is the outstanding Stranger-Things-esque graphic novel series by Brian K Vaughan and Cliff Chiang, a tale of time-travel, meddling, war and coming of age whose mind-bending twists and turns earned it a Hugo nomination this year. Now Paper Girls 4 is on shelves, and it's time to party like it's 1999.

JOHN WILCOCK: Editing the Los Angeles Free Press

After quitting The East Village Other, John takes Art Kunkin up on an offer to manage editorial at the LA Free Press. Featuring Frank Zappa, Eve Babitz, Marcel Duchamp, and a phone cameo with Charles Bukowski. From John Wilcock, New York Years.

Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths

Peter & Ernesto have a good life: the two sloths sit in their Amazon treetop and make up songs about the animal shapes they see in the clouds. But one day, Ernesto gets it into his head to see the whole sky, from every place on Earth, and sets out through the jungle.

Hockey Noir: The Opera

A bunch of years ago, I was sitting at a LA Kings Hockey game, noticing the music the game made. The skates on the ice. The slap of the sticks. The puck being handled and passed around. The grunts. The whistles. The roar of the crowd. The bursts of music clips. The Zamboni. And in that moment, I knew that I had come up with the idea that for my new opera it would have something to do with Hockey.

An afternoon with L.A.'s lady-in-pink: Angelyne

When my pink-haired pal Brittany High told me that she won a ride with Angelyne in her signature pink Corvette and that she wanted me to come along, I thought, "Oh, this will be interesting."

When identical twins Marian and Vivian Brown twins were still alive, it was considered a good omen to run into them up here in the San Francisco Bay Area. When I was pregnant, I spotted them in Union Square and felt my unborn child had been charmed in some way by their mere presence.

An Angelyne sighting in Los Angeles has the same effect on people.

I had briefly met the famous-for-being-famous L.A. icon once before. Near the end of 2013, I was driving to a lunch place in Burbank with my pal Allee Willis who startled me, "Pull over! Pull over! It's Angelyne!" And sure enough, there was her pink Corvette parked in front of a paint store. Allee told me to have cash ready but I didn't have any on me. I told her so. Allee, an icon herself, has known Angelyne since 1986 and knew the drill. Pushing money into my hand, she said, "You WILL buy something from her." I promised not to embarrass her and we headed to the Corvette.

Our visit was short but yielded this epic photo of the three of us. I used the money Allee palmed me to quietly buy a t-shirt. Like the time I saw the Brown twins, I felt lucky stumbling upon Angelyne that day in Burbank. Read the rest

Lumberjanes 8: families, they f*ck you up

Lumberjanes is the longrunning, justly beloved kids' graphic novel series about an all-girl summer camp where the campers fight magic monsters, sometimes are magic monsters, and swear oaths on feminist icons from history; it keeps going from strength to strength, and Stone Cold, the eighth collection in the series, is no exception!

Artist David Henry Nobody Jr. on how impersonating a wealthy Trump fan "kind of drove me insane"

"I INHABIT IMAGES" is the Instagram bio chosen by David Henry Nobody Jr., the playful yet apt moniker of New York artist David Henry Brown Jr. Nobody's artwork often involves being totally engulfed by food, pigments, advertisement cutouts, or household items, sometimes to the point where he is only recognizable by a glaring eye or wide smile. While this project has been documented on Instagram and ongoing for three years, David Henry Nobody Jr. has always been fascinated with ideas of representation and identity.

In 1999 Nobody, disguised as a fan, made it his mission to follow and meet Donald Trump as many times as possible over the course of a year. He totaled six interactions but decided to stick with the theme of impersonation for a new project in 2000 where he adopted the identity of Alex von Fürstenberg, VIP son of the fashion designer Diane von Fürstenberg. During this time, "Alex" was documented at numerous celebrity parties among figures like Puff Daddy and Bill Clinton.

Nobody's current Resemblagè art, from the terms "resemble" and "collage", is a series of images and videos posted to Instagram that record performances of the artist covering and immersing his face in foods, paints, magazine cutouts, toys, and other objects. His inexhaustible creativity keeps the posts new and exciting by exploring new objects and textures, or ways to affix and camouflage himself with his art. These Resemblagès reflect the landscape of social media itself and toy with conceptions of self image, intimacy, and reality while also highlighting its far-reaching and immediate influence. Read the rest

The Rich and the Normal

A few weeks ago, the Italian people finally broke the political framework that dates to the end of World War II. The M5S Five Stars Movement, a party without a heritage, won the most popular votes. The M5S has been on a wave of growth since winning mayoral control of some Italian cities.

Sara Varon's New Shoes: a kids' buddy story about the jungles of Guyana and redemption

Sara Varon is co-creator, with Cecil Castellucci, of Odd Duck, the 2013 outstanding kids' picture book, and her latest solo venture, New Shoes is a brilliant reprisal of the themes from Odd Duck: camaraderie among eccentric animals, charming small-town life, fascinating technical details, humor, and beautiful, engaging illustrations.

JOHN WILCOCK: The East Village Other's Nasty Review of Andy Warhol's Chelsea Girls

John Wilcock describes the circumstances behind his quitting The East Village Other over their review of Andy Warhol's 1966 film Chelsea Girls.

Steven Brust's "Good Guys," a hardboiled noir urban fantasy, with everything great about Brust on proud display

Steven Brust is a literary treasure and his longrunning Vlad Taltos series, now nearing its final volume, is a good example of where his strengths lie: hardboiled plotting, snappy dialog, weirdly realistic and plausible depictions of magic, and a sensitive eye for power relationships and their depiction, all of which are on display in his latest, outstanding novel, Good Guys, about the minimum-wage sorcerers who investigate magical crimes on behalf of a secret society.

Syndicated strip or graphic novel? Lynn Johnston on doing For Better or For Worse in the internet age

In honor of the Library of American Comics' publication of For Better or For Worse: The Complete Library, Vol. 1 (Volume 2 is out this summer), we are delighted to publish this essay by Lynn Johnston, contemplating the nature of writing a serial for decades and how she might approach her life's work today.

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