An alphabet link soup

Let’s swipe an idea from Branko, who after all got it himself from Scalzi and see what sites pop up for each lettre of the alphabet (save for ÆØÅ of course) if I use Opera’s autocomplete (other browsers are available):

A: Acesweekly, David Lloyd’s (off off V for Vendetta and Night Raven fame) new digital comics weekly.

B: the BBC radio player, tuned to radio 4, for my inner fogey.

C: Tom Spurgeon’s Comics Reporter, essential reading to keep up with Yank comics.

D: David Willis’ do-over webcomic.

E: Every Day Is Like Wednesday; more comics blogging.

F: The Guardian‘s football subsite.

G: Girls with Slingshots, comedy soap opera strip by Danielle Corsetto.

H: the Hooded Utilitarian, completely wrong comics group blog.

I: not much here, just where I went to the Saturday before last.

J: James Nicoll’s Livejournal. Come for the science fiction snark, stay for the cats and hare raising, live threatening accidents.

K: another comics blogger heard from.

L: what I use to catalog my books.

M: Metafilter, natch.

N: Making Light

O: Oglaf, not really safe for work.

P: legendary 2000AD writer/editor Pat Mills’ blog.

Q: Jeph Jacques Questionable Content.

R: Requires Hate, which puts the boot into everything that really is bad in science fiction and fantasy, like racist and sexist kind of bad, rather than just awful writing. Is everything people who make the toen argument dislike.

S: oh look, financial analysises of football clubs. That’s interesting.

T: The Comics Journal.

U: Unfogged, a smartypants smart aleck group blog.

V: Voetbal International, not that I visited this site much.

W: Tim O’Neil’s rather good if too infrequently updated blog.

X: XKCD, of course.

Y: yes of course it’s Youtube, but what particular video would this link to? Turns out it’s a metal dude singing to his cat. As you do.

Z: Zelo Street, an UK political/newsmedia blog that does daily battle with tabloid nonsense.

Interesting, wasn’t it?

Some random comics links

It shows the essential childishness of much of the American comics industry that a major “newssite” feel the need to censor Guido Crepax’s art, putting those silly little black bars over every side boob visible (but not the heroine’s arse, I see. Hmmm.)

Alan David Doane, one of the web’s earliest comics reviewers/bloggers is quitting comics cold turkey:

The best advice I can give you is, if you find yourself in a similar place as me, unable to enjoy comics and outraged, disgusted or made crazy by the industry and the community, take a breath. Step away. Do something else. Do anything else. You might find it feels better than you could ever have guessed. For me, I am starting to feel free from something that was really becoming bad for me. I feel like I can breathe a little better. It’s a start.

It’s sad to see what should be a hobby, a passion, so poison somebody that they feel the need to purge themselves so drastically, but I’ve been there myself. In 2000 I just stopped buying and even reading comics, completely gotten sick of them. One month I was spending most of my disposable income (and more) on them, the next one I didn’t. I just stopped caring. That’s the risk of having so much of your own identity wrapped up with what is basically still a disposable commodity. Mind, I never entirely gave up on comics, kept my collection, occasionally even bought a new one if I came across something interesting, then got sucked back in thanks to various blogs, but no longer to the extend I was before. There’s no such thing as Club Comix and you shouldn’t try to become a member because it’ll break your heart.

Finally, Darryl Ayo is unhappy with Benjamin Marra’s appropriation of Black history for his revenge fantasy comics:

It is very self-serving and I’ll go as far to say callous about playing in the sandbox of people whose degradation and oppression you do not share. Not writing about black characters or exploring the pain of black people but rather exoticizing the struggle, the pain, the humiliations, the inhumanity of the road to freedom.

three five things make a linkpost

This was made just for me:

The Digital Atlas of Roman and Medieval Civilization (DARMC) makes freely available on the internet the best available materials for a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) approach to mapping and spatial analysis of the Roman and medieval worlds. DARMC allows innovative spatial and temporal analyses of all aspects of the civilizations of western Eurasia in the first 1500 years of our era, as well as the generation of original maps illustrating differing aspects of ancient and medieval civilization. A work in progress with no claim to definitiveness, it has been built in less than three years by a dedicated team of Harvard undergraduates, graduate students, research scholars and one professor, with some valuable contributions from younger and more senior scholars at other institutions. For more details on who we are, please see the People page.

DARMC’s coverage begins under the Roman empire and extends nearly a thousand years toward the present by encompassing the medieval world. Although the initial post-Roman focus has been on medieval Europe, Byzantium and the Crusades have not been neglected, and we have begun to include the essential third leg of the tripod of medieval civilization, the Islamic world.

“If you’re going to do a piece of work in three days, you have to have everything properly prepared.” Michael Moorcock on how to write a novel in three days. Patrick Nielsen Hayden comments that a lot of aspiring writers could learn from this, to just get going and write rather than fiddle until everything’s perfect.

Way to make me feel old Amanda — Nirvana’s Nevermind twenty years old this year. This wasn’t the life changing record to me that it was for other people, but if there’s any album that marks the spot where the nineties begun and the eighties ended, this was it.

The Justice League goes to Hogwarts and a duller idea I cannot imagine. If this ever happened it would be the perfect spiritual heir to those stupid X-Men/Star Trek crossovers Marvel put out in the nineties.

Speaking of rather pointless Marvel titles, the latest installment of Nobody’s Favorites is another one. I actually have this series, bought out of back issue bins on the “this looks interesting and different and is only fifty cents” theory. Never read it.

Light linkblogging

Learning to Read Adam Roberts and On Learning to Read Adam Roberts
How do you solve a problem like Adam Roberts, a writer every book of which I’ve read I’ve disagreed with and/or disliked? Whom, despite this, I still keep coming back to every few years or so. Bad writers you can dismiss, writers that you dislike you can dismiss, even writers you like and enjoy you can often set aside more easily than a writer that irritates you, like a piece of sand in an oyster.

Vuijlsteke brainstorms the right colours to use in a health check for some server or something
For now he’s settling on a scheme with five colours between dark green and dark red. Myself, I’ve more and more realised anything but three colours (safe, unknown/undecided and danger Will Robinson danger) is overkill and confusing especially to higher management. Really high management (or “overhead”) only needs two: “need to deal with this to be finally rid of this project” and “let the little people worry about this when we’re gone”.

Remember when Iron Maiden got a number one hit?
The discussion is a bit unfair on “Bring your Daughter …to the Slaughter” which is a better live than single track but interesting in seeing people’s opinions about who’s actually listening to metal. The consensus seem to confirm my own hunch that it was both the boys you wouldn’t trust in woodshop with a sharp knife and the more nerdy dreaming types with Tolkien posters and D&D habits as well as people like, well, Ben.

Somebody else fed up with the Holland Uber Alles message of much current advertising
Not to mention in current politics cultural commentary, popular culture… Holland is a decent enough country to live in, if it were not for a large part of the people living in it and their absymal tastes in everything. Dutch culture does not have to be inferior to anywhere else, but by and large we’ve mostly seem to haven given up competing with the big boys and retreated to celebrating our own mediocrity. As long as it drapes itself in orange and clogs and windmills any old shit can sell as shinola.

The Comics Journal has been redesigned and under new management
It keeps its worst aspect though: having to register to be able to comment. I hate sites that do that, especially when if you really feel the need to filter your readers, use OpenID and let people register with e.g. their Livejournal accounts rather than setting up your own crappy registring process. Tor.com does this as well and my comments nine out of ten times still get eaten. Doesn’t endear me to the fsckers.

Some links

Strange Horizons has put out their science fiction year in review and the interesting thing is: no mention of Iain M. Banks. Funny, for me Surface Detail was one of the best books I read this year, but no peep of it in SH’s list. Reviews elsewhere have been lacklustre as well, something that I’ve noticed before with the previous “new” Culture novels. It’s as if the original three novels have set expectations so high that everything that Banks has done afterwards is consciously or not compared to the impact the original trilogy had. Hardly fair, but perhaps inescapable.

Now for something completely different. We knew crows were clever, but they are even more clever than we thought. New Caledonian crows have long been known to use twigs to pry insects out of trees, but now experiments have proven that these crows know how to adapt their tools for multifunctional use by poking at a rubber spider with a twig. It sounds like nothing, but these are probably the first non-mammal species shown to have the mental capacity and creativity to not only use tools, but adapt them for other uses and, as the Wired article also notes, use them in sequence: using a twig to get a twig to get food. I’ve had co-workers who showed less promise…

Finally, would you like some cheese with that white whine?

Your Happening World (16)

Stuff of interest (to me anyway) of Friday 16th April 2010.

  • Hal Duncan wants to see more fluffy, entertaining gay movies and fewer serious gay movies. Not one to just moan he has written his own: a revamp of As You Like It as a gay highschool musical.
  • Andrew Wheeler has the list of bestselling genre novels of 2009. Quite a lot of shitty sf and fantasy books sold really really well last year.
  • “I do not believe that the man possesses so much as a single grain of insight into human character, more than a thumbnail understanding of politics or society, or even a base theoretical comprehension of women and their interior lives. His worldview is customarily infantile, occasionally rising to the level of juvenile. His preoccupations are, therefore, those of infants and juveniles”. Tim O’Neil on the Tao of Miller.
  • Personally I liked Miller’s eighties work (Daredevil: Born Again, Batman: Year One, Ronin etc.) because while they were juvenile power fantasies, at least they were juvenile power fantasies in which the hero could break his ribs or get his lungs punctured. That was new back then. Now? Not so much.
  • Imagine this: you’re the sole Dutch survivor of Sobibor, manage to escape the camp with the Polish man you’ve come to love, hide out in the Polish countryside for months, get rescued by the Russians, get married, go back to Holland via the
    Meditterraean, lose your baby in the process and when you finally make it back you’re threatened with deportation as an illegal alien! No wonder Selma Wijnberg, having emigrated to the US, refused to visit her home country until only this week, the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Dutch concentration camp Westerbork.
  • In general, the treatment of Jews during the war is a dark page in Dutch history. Despite early resistance to anti-Jewish measures here, the Netherlands was the Western European country from which the highest percentage of Jews (> 75 %) was deported. Though after the war everybody had been in the resistance all along, plenty of Dutch officials had to cooperate with this deportation to make it that succesful — and quite a few people profited from it. There’s many a house in Amsterdam that’s been acquired through dodgy means during the war.
  • On a lighter note: Be A Sex-Writing Strumpet.

Your Happening World (11)

What’s new for Wednesday:

Your Happening World (10)

Stuff worth mentioning:

Your happening world (9)

Your monday slice of linky goodness: