issue 003 • 2019-05-19
Hello and Happy Sunday, dear readers.
I’m writing today’s edition a bit later than I’d like, about two hours away from publication time.
It’s been a busy weekend, filled with not one, but two Super Art Fight events, plus my in-laws staying over, so what can I say? The newsletter got bumped a bit.
Anyway, glad to have you here as always.
I also write this while wearing my new glasses. Since some of you asked, I can’t recommend the Warby Parker process enough – I had five pairs to try on in-person on Monday afternoon, my wife helped me pick the best pair for my face (the ‘Wilkie’), I ordered that same evening, and despite a listed 10 business day turn around, I had my glasses in-hand by Friday.
You’ll note the lack of affiliate tracking there, I’m just literally telling you how good an experience I had.
That said, my dear pal Alex let me know that apparently I could’ve gone with Zenni Optical for a fraction of the price, to which I say: whoops.
Onward to the proper content…
Story of the Week
Every week, I’ll toss a few thoughts out on what I felt the biggest story of the week was.
This week, word hit that Robert Pattinson, best known for the Twilight films, would be playing the latest version of Batman in the next big screen adventure for the Dark Knight, titled…The Batman. (Or, if you read another source, it’s between him and another guy.)
I for one am excited to see Pattinson in the role as since the sparkly vampire films, since he’s built quite an interesting filmography, including the fantastic Good Time(available via Amazon Prime).
But for me, the story isn’t in this casting announcement, but rather the response to it, as it showed a really ugly side of fandom which keeps peaking its head as of late.
Not just with this casting announcement, but also with things like the final season of Game of Thrones (wrapping up tonight! I think the throne goes to Ghost, that good good boy.), there’s a section of incredibly entitled fans who not only take their gripes to the Internet at length, but they have now started to use tools like Change.org to build petitions to ask for this (unconfirmed!) casting to be reversed or to have this entire season of Thrones rewritten and reproduced from scratch.
I’ve been really happy with how, for better or worse, the nerds “won”. I grew up in an era where enjoyment of things like comic books and video games immediately put you on the fringe.
Now? The biggest movies of all time are superhero films, I can buy a Marvel Comics t-shirt at my local Target, and debates about the latest episode of Game of Thrones or the future of Star Wars are basic parts of the work day.
But this mainstreaming of these elements have made the ugly parts of fandom even uglier.
The creative arts have always been in an uncomfortable space, trying to thread the needle of creative output and successful commerce, to tell a story which fulfills your creative vision while grabbing enough eyeballs to sustain the finances to create it.
Despite the fact that these things wouldn’t be created without these loyal fans (or customers, to be frank), this does not mean that these creations need to absolutely match the wants and needs of the audience.
The greatest moments of movies I’ve seen, books I’ve read, or TV shows I’ve binged, have been when they’ve subverted my expectations. And when they didn’t live up to my hopes and dreams? Sure, I was disappointed, but I moved on. Never in a million years would I be so bold to demand the creators, actors, writers, and hundreds of other crew members “redo” their work to match my needs…and yet, here we are, with hundreds of thousands of people demanding just that. It just bums me out.
Just let these things play out how they may: if a movie is good? Great. If it’s bad? Sorry about the time sink, but that’s life. And if you don’t like it? Don’t keep giving them your money…or maybe build something of your own.
In Other News
Another story which grabbed my eye from the week.
I don’t intend this newsletter to get super political (though I keep writing about data privacy), but I have a hunch that as we get closer and closer to the 2020 Election, I’ll start letting some of my opinions show.
Perhaps the media is right, it is starting to feel like that the next Presidential election here in the US is going to be the most important for a generation. In turn, I feel like I’ve been working harder than ever to stay on top of the candidates, their positions, and their proposed plans.
Have you guys heard of Jay Inslee?
Yeah, I hadn’t either. But then the folks at Earther made me sit up and take notice.
Inslee, the current Governor of Washington State, and Presidential hopeful, grabbed some eyeballs this week when he shared a $9 Trillion (yes, TRILLION) plan to fight Climate Change. And it’s not just a number with some vague hopes or hints.
Check it out:
The new plan, dubbed the Evergreen Economy Plan in a nod to Inslee’s home state of Washington, chronicles his vision for how to get the economy humming on 100 percent clean energy by 2030 and to net-zero emissions by 2045 at the latest. It borrows from his accomplishments at Washington like a recently passed clean energy bill, as well as dozens of other sources in a meticulously footnoted 38-page document.
I do recommend reading the full thing.
While each candidate so far has had a lot of plans I can get behind, the all encompassing detailed nature of what Inslee proposed here has me very interested…and hopefully, that can be said for his fellow candidates. Because if this incredibly depressing NPR article is any indication, the time for action is NOW.
A bunch of cool reads what I read this week, typically culled from my ever-growing Instapaper queue.
Every week, I make a recommendation of something to read, to watch, or to listen to.
This week’s recommendation: Mister Miracle
Watchmen. The Dark Knight Returns. The Sandman. Marvels.
The world of comic books has specific series and runs which transcend the average four-color adventures that hit the shelves every week. Mister Miracle, written by Tom King, and illustrated by Mitch Gerards, will be one of those series.
Originally published as 12 individual issues between 2017 and 2018, the collected edition released earlier this year, and I am going to very bold and say its one of the greatest comic books I’ve ever read.
Tom King, a well known writer, having cut his teeth on a diverse mixture of characters such as Marvel’s android The Vision and of course, DC’s icon, Batman, takes an obscure 1970’s DC Comics hero in Mister Miracle and writes a story which recalibrates an overblown story of space warfare and turns it into an incredibly relatable story of depression, sadness, love and fatherhood. How King was able to bridge both overwrought superheroics with the story of a man coming to grips with his own mental issues and trying to be a better husband and never making the two feel incongruent is almost like a magic trick. It helps that he’s supported by Mitch Gerards, putting in a masterwork of artistic effort, mixing his traditional, gritty illustrations with something along the lines of VHS-style glitch art.
I devoured the 319 page collection in one evening, and I’ve revisited it multiple time since. I can foresee it being a book I recommend to others on a regular cadence, and in turn, I’m pushing it to you here. I absolutely loved it.
• Mister Miracle: Buy Physical on Amazon | Buy Digital via Comixology
Thanks for joining me for another week!
A quick note here - next weekend, my wife and I are off to Austin, TX to celebrate our anniversary, so I’m going to aim to get this done early, but there may be a slight disruption to our publication schedule. Apologies in advance!
Have yourself a wonderful week, dear reader. And don’t let the bastards bring you down.