A Few Notes on the Last Year

This is the part of the blog where I blow the proverbial dust off the cover and marvel at the antique magic contained in a leather-bound volume that takes me and my friend both to lift off the dais. Right? No? Put the book back I don’t know what darkness it contains? I’m sorry I can’t hear you.

It’s been a weird year. It’s been a helluva year. I wrote about a lot of it in a lot of different places so I won’t bother rehashing the whole damn thing here. I’ve been thinking about what it is that I should write for this first post–my grand re-entrance–and all I can think is YOU GUYS I READ SO MANY GOOD BOOKS.

I devoured VE Schwab–the entire Darker Shade of Magic Trilogy as well as This Savage Song and I’m almost through its sequel, Our Dark Duet. Schwab’s feisty, angry, dark women helped me find that prickly core of myself and be okay with it. Especially Kate Harker. Whoa man, I’m gonna have to write about Kate Harker later.

I fell completely in love with Jillian Tamaki. Her Supermutant Magic Academy had already pulled me in, but This One Summer and Boundless showed a breadth and reach in both her art and storytelling that I’ve yet to see elsewhere. Tamaki’s work was the tender honesty I needed this year.

I read romance novels. Yeah. You heard me. I read stories of fans fucking hockey players, regency women getting boned next to street lamps, single dads discovering love with the nanny. I read them on my former 3-hour commute, in bed with a glass of wine, and sometimes, deliciously, on my lunch break at work. And I loved them.

I revisited favorite authors. Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing and Kurt Vonnegut’s Hocus Pocus were familiar voices telling new stories and every time I felt my heart get big when I recognized their cadence, humor, tone.

And I found new ones. Octavia Butler’s straightforward prose and complicated worlds are a gut punch that I keep signing up for. Eva Stachniak’s historical fiction re-ignited my (potentially problematic) obsession with the Russian Tsars and their family histories.

I got a kindle. I have an Oakland library card. I sold my entire personal library before I moved to my new city and somehow there are already books stacked on the floor in front of my full shelf–and a good number of them are comics. Despite the sheer volume of books I read this year, only a few were comics or graphic novels.

There’s a lot of parallels between getting back into myself this coming year and getting back into comics. I think that’s what I’d like this blog to become. I promise to talk more about the books than the epiphanies, but you may just have to deal with the latter to get the former.

Or don’t. It’s not like I need you. I have this dark sorcery book and since I can’t lift it back up onto the dais anyway I’ll just call up the legions of evil and tell them how much I love Jillian Tamaki.

Happy New Year, and welcome back.

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