This year’s MoCCA Art Fest was held at Metropolitan West, on West 48th St, all the way over on 12th Avenue, even further west and more inconvenient than last year’s venue. I guess next year’s’ll be in a barge, mid-Hudson.
Here’s my shoulder-cracking haul:
- New Contruction by Sam Alden.
- A Stray in the Woods by Alison Wilgus.
- Beef With Tomato by Dean Haspiel.
- SVA’s 2014 comics school anthology. (Not sure why I didn’t already have this, since they give ’em out free every year, but the cover was distinctive and didn’t look familiar.)
- Fantastic Life by Kevin Mutch.
- Uptight #5 by Jordan Crane. The eye-catching cover made me pick it up and flip through it, the interior art made me buy it, and not till I got home did I notice it was by an artist whose work I already know and like. I expect I’ll want to hunt down the earlier four issues.
- Valor, a gorgeous anthology book edited by Isabelle Melançon and Megan Lavey-Heaton, who are also among the many contributors. I sprang for the hardcover.
- Snackies by Nick Sumida.
Floppies & Minis
- Ink, Winter 2015 issue, another SVA comics school anthology.
- Lacunae & Aftermath by Evan Dahm.
- Welcome to Chinatown by Feifei Ruan.
- Welcome to Showside #1, by Ian McGinty and others.
- Hard Luck #1 and Sundrenchers #1, both by Wyeth Yates.
- The High School of Art & Design’s class of 2016 Cartooning Anthology. This one cost money, because I guess an NYC public high school doesn’t have the budget of a private college.
- Love Bite by E Jackson.
- Carver: A Paris Story #1 by Chris Hunt.
- Frontier #11 (“BDSM”) by Eleanor Davis.
- The Age of Elves #1 by Colin Lidston.
- Forward Looking Statement #2 by Jess Johnson.
- 4 Stories About Girls & Magic and Queens of the Steppe, both by Molly Ostertag.
- A pair of Winsor & Newton pigment markers, Neutral Grey 6 and Violet Blue Deep! They were giving out free samples, and when I said I’d like either a blue or a dark gray, I got one of each!
“So, all modesty aside, I understand materialism, and the arguments for and against it, far better than anyone who had arisen to argue with me here.” — John C Wright, 18 Oct 2012
“In all modesty, my science fiction writing is first rate. If I were not a Christian, I should most probably win awards for my writing.” — John C Wright, 2 Feb 2011
“I know there are honest atheists in the world, great souls armed and armored to fight for the truth for truths sake, and no personal benefit to themselves — because (in all modesty) I used to be one.” — John C Wright, 28 Feb 2010
“I was at first reluctant to read this book, because it covers much the same genre — far future utopianism — as my own THE GOLDEN AGE, and, in all modesty, I did not want my imagination to be contaminated with ideas better than mine, but not original to me, which it would then be a struggle not to use in my own work.” — John C Wright, 3 Apr 2009
“This is my favorite book by my favorite author, and, in all modesty, I am the only writer alive today with the skill and inclination to write a Vanvogtian tale of superscientific wonder, give it the mood and flavor of the 1940’s, and introduce a new plot twist every 800 words, just as van Vogt would have done.” — John C Wright, 5 Dec 2008
“And, putting all modesty aside, I was perfectly suited to write this book.” — John C Wright, 20 Nov 2008
“In all modesty, if I were to leave science to experts, I could not be a science fiction writer, nor could anyone, except, perhaps, Fred Hoyle.” — John C Wright, 25 Feb 2007
I am not unrepentantly homophobic. I am nothing of the kind. It is a lie.
I follow the Catholic teaching on same sex attraction and how one deals with it. In public, I have heaped scorn on those who use a children’s cartoon, one I loved, to insinuate their pro-perversion propaganda in a cowardly and craven way.
I have no hate, no fear, nothing but respect for homosexuals.
In response to this, I remind everyone of his recent hastily-deleted comment (archived for posterity at the Obsidian Wings blog):
Men abhor homosexuals on a visceral level. […] I have never heard of a group of women descended on a lesbian couple and beating them to death with axhandles and tire-irons, but that is the instinctive reaction of men towards fags.
While Wright implies that his opinions about homosexuals derive from his beliefs as a Catholic (and leaving aside that most of the Catholics I know do not share those particular beliefs), I note that his conversion experience appears to have happened towards the end of 2003, while his ugly beliefs about homosexuality pre-date that conversion by at least a year:
I remember the day and hour when I, a perfectly tolerant libertarian, rejected (with revulsion) the notion of gay marriage, and, in so doing, was logically required to reject toleration for homosexuality. It was March 05, 2002, at 10:00 in the evening. I was watching a television show where two lesbians were helping a bride get ready for her wedding. The bride spoke in the most glowing and romantic terms about the nature of true love: the two lesbians started making bedroom eyes at each other and smiling, for it was the intent of the writer to put across the idea that two lesbians having “sex” (i.e. masturbating with each other) was morally and logically the same as a bride and bridegroom having “sex” (i.e. consummating their wedding, and generating progeny and creating a family).
While I was (hitherto) willing to accept the libertarian argument that perverts should be left alone to practice their perversions, so long as they harm none but themselves, the liberal argument that true love is perversion and perversion is true love was so shocking to me that I was thunderstruck to the core of my being.
Furthermore, I notice that in Wright’s account of his spiritual journey, it was his “philosophical inquiries” that led him to Christianity, as early as two years before the heart attack that resulted in his vision. It seems to me more likely that it was antipathy towards homosexuality that turned Wright towards his faith, than the other way around.
This year the festival was held at Center 548, way over (way, way, way the fuck over) on West 22nd St, near 11th Ave. The festival was held on the second through 4th floors of the building, with a tiny elevator and treacherously narrow and steep stairs. My least favorite MoCCA venue so far.
Programming was held at the nearby High Line Hotel. I got to see Scott McCloud’s presentation on his new book, The Sculptor, thanks to his tweeting about how people should show up anyway, even though the room was “sold out.” As it happened, this was a good idea; there were empty seats, and I had no problem getting in.
I later got Scott McCloud to sign my copy of The Sculptor (not purchased at the show, so not listed below). When I told him my name, he said “The only Avram I’ve ever run into had the last name Grumer…” and I reminded him of the previous time we’d had the conversation.
- Towerkind by Kat Verhoeven. Conundrum Press.
- Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed? by Liz Prince. Top Shelf Productions.
- AltCom 2012 and 2014, anthologies published by a Swedish comics festival. I paid $5 for the two of them, but now I see, on the back, they’re supposed to be free. I guess they’re free at the festival, but someone had to pay to get them here from Sweden. Anyway, I also got to try a piece of that salty Swedish licorice, so maybe that makes it all OK. Here’s a link to their Facebook page, since their website is down.
- Terrestrial, an anthology, edited by Amanda Scurti.
- Horizon Anthology, Volume One, edited and designed by Jeremy Lawson.
Floppies & Minis
- Frontier #6, Emily Carroll. Frontier is a series of short one-shot comics published by Youth in Decline, each issue a different creator.
- Keepsakes by Carey Pietsch.
- Last Mountain by Dakota McFadzean. Birdcage Bottom Books.
- When We Were Kids by Andy Warner. Originally spread across several issues of Irene.
- Bacchanalia, by Molly Ostertag, who you may know of from the webcomic Strong Female Protagonist.
How four social networks inform me about the current Israel/Gaza conflict, in order of where I first started seeing things:
- Facebook: Shares of pro-Israel/anti-Gaza graphics, some of them direct Israeli Defense Force propaganda with the identifying logo at the bottom. All of the sharers are personally known to me, and all are Jewish. Most (maybe all?) of the shares are made without comment, as if the graphic itself says everything the person posting it feels necessary to say.
- Twitter: Tweets from a number of users, all left-leaning, who link or retweet longer, thoughtful articles examining various aspects of the conflict. Many of the articles are meta-commentary about media coverage of the conflict.
- LiveJournal: A single user (osewalrus), well-informed, who personally favors Israel, but offers up commentary and advice that takes the motives and goals of both sides seriously. And one other guy who made a passing reference while talking about something else.
- Google+: Nothing yet. Right now, the only post I see on my G+ stream that mentions Israel does so in the context of criticizing American airport security.
confirms reinforces for me a number of beliefs I already held about the services (no doubt shaped by my particular use of those networks, and thus possibly not truly representative):
- Facebook is for shallow, unreflective contact. (Also: Most of my relatives and some of my friends are reflexive and thoughtless in their support of Israel.)
- Twitter is mostly tech-savvy and intellectual.
- LiveJournal is pretty much dying off, unless you speak Russian. Also, osewalrus is a pretty smart guy.
- Google+ is great for talking about role-playing games, not for much of anything else.
If I were living in Ohio or Florida, I’d have held my nose and voted for the war criminal. But I’m not! I’m living in New York, a state which is going to deliver its electoral votes to the Democratic Party candidate this year, no matter what I did at the voting booth. So I was free to vote my conscience, and did:
- Jill Stein/Cheri Honkala, Green Party
- US Senate:
- Colia Clark, Green Party
- US House of Representatives:
- Yvette Clarke, who’s a Democrat, but I voted for her on the Working Families line, because NY supports fusion balloting.
- Justices of the Supreme Court:
- Cheryl Chambers, Barry Kamins, William Miller, all on the Democratic Party line. The only two alternatives, both on the Working Families line, were not approved by the NY Bar Association.
- Judge of the Civil Court:
- Craig Walker, Robin Garson, on the Democratic Party line.
- State Senator:
- Eric Adams, a Democrat, on the Working Families line. (I think. I might have messed this one up and voted him as a Democrat.)
- Member of the Assembly:
- Walter Mosley III, Democratic Party.
The polling place was pretty crowded. It took five or ten minutes for me to get my ballot, and then twenty minutes on line to submit my ballot once I’d filled it out.
We’re in a second-floor apartment, over a hundred feet above sea level, so it wasn’t likely we’d see any flooding. There was some chance that we’d suffer the failure of some bit of urban infrastructure (power, water, etc) due to problems in the rest of the city, but things went pretty well. Lights flickered occasionally, but we never actually lost power. We lost our Internet connectivity for a minute or two, but it came right back. (That seems to have been neighborhood-wide. I saw a bunch of nearby people on Twitter making the same complaint around the same time.) Some (but not all) of the cable channels went out around 11:40 PM, but they’re back now.
The subways are still out, so I have no idea whether tomorrow’s NYRSF meeting will happen. The MTA says bus service will be partially restored later today, so Chris may be able to get to work tomorrow.
We are, however, out of bagels.
I haven’t explored every bit of the most recent xkcd, but I think I may have found its outer edges:
Given those URLs, it ought to be possible to write scripts that’ll download all the tiles (some spots seem to be procedurally filled with white or black space instead of having tiles) and stitch ’em together into the full image. Maybe tomorrow.