So here we are with a newsletter proper. I think the day for this in future will be Sunday, with occasional breaks when I'm busy or there's nothing from me that coming week. If I'm delivering these weekly, I'll try to make them reasonably entertaining.
SO WHAT'S OUT THIS WEEK?
DEFENDERS: BEYOND #5, that's what!
In which our journey up the middle pillar of the Marvel Universe's higher realms comes to a close as the team meet God and ask them a few tough questions. A preview can be found here: https://comicbookdispatch.com/defenders-beyond-5-preview/
It's a little hard to say goodbye to this one for a few reasons - the main one being that it's my last chance for a little while to work with the legendary Javier Rodriguez, a collaborator and co-storyteller I trust implicity and a true friend in the crazy world of comics. But also, it's where I say goodbye - for now - to Loki, who I put everything I had into relatively early in my US career and, as a result, couldn't really look at for a few years without feeling my heart break a little for all the things I never got to do. Well, we got to do a couple of them in this series, and letting the old trickster loose through the keys again was more fun than I had any right to have. I think we leave our wild barefoot storyteller in the place they want to be - but where's that, and do they let people in without shoes? Find out on Wednesday, true deceivers.
Speaking of Loki, and true friends in the ninth art, I got to meet up with Lee Garbett again at this year's Thought Bubble Festival, where the Loki lovers were out in force. Sadly, I got no pictures of any cosplayers - but I do want to extend a big thank you to everyone who dropped by my table to say a kind word, and of course to the organizers and the redshirts who keep everything running and bring life-giving coffee to us lazy bastards. It's my favorite convention out of pretty much anywhere - not just because it's close to home, but also because it puts real effort into being an inclusive space for all, where the mainstream creators rub shoulders with the giants of the small press and folks just starting out, and where queerness feels not just acknowledged but celebrated.
The "HIMBO" badge in the pic above is courtesy of Joe Glass, the UK's own queer comix icon - pick one up for yourself here: https://www.joeglasscomics.co.uk/ And while you're at it, check out THE MIRACLES!
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that I was tablemates with the excellent Liana Kangas - https://www.lianakangas.com/ - who was wonderful company for the whole weekend, kept my stuff shielded overnight under a shimmering holographic cloak and, as we wrapped up, donated me a lovely hat. KNOW YOUR STATION is out soon from Boom! Studios - keep 'em peeled.
I also got the chance to meet El Sandifer, and even be on a panel she moderated - leaking a few choice tidbits from the upcoming SINS OF SINISTER. I got into TARDIS ERUDITORUM - her ongoing critical history of DOCTOR WHO and all it surveys - about a decade ago, and the essays (as well as some of the things they quoted) got me thinking about what I was doing in a whole new way. Visit https://www.eruditorumpress.com/tardis-eruditorum and check it out. Here's where I'd mention BRITAIN A PROPHECY, but that's a part of my Thought Bubble haul I've yet to read. Expect a word on that next Sunday or expect me to feel ashamed of my reading speed.
I mentioned WHEN I WAS ME: MOMENTS OF GENDER EUPHORIA last time - https://www.quindriepress.com/books/p/wiwm - but here's my other high point of the haul so far:
VIEWOTRON COMICS AND STORIES #1, by Sam Sharpe and Peach S Goodrich, was something I picked up purely for the cover, and what a delight it was. It reminded me of the earliest work I saw from Rory McConville, now of 2000AD fame - a short anthology of magic-realist stories and occasional visual metaphors that gently enter and exit the worlds of their protagonists at just the right moment. Picking something up at random and saying "ah, yes, THIS is what I like!" - the peak con experience in many ways. There's an issue #2, apparently, which I will get. You can pick it up here: https://www.adhousebooks.com/comics/viewotron1.html
As promised, some links to UK charities I support when I can.
MERMAIDS UK is a charity that aims to provide help and support for trans youth and the parents who want to see them survive and thrive. In the current media climate, a lot of misinformation about trans youth and transition itself has been spread with the intent of maximising fear (and lucrative column inches) and as a result, the organisation's been dealing with large amounts of targeted abuse. Their homepage is here: https://mermaidsuk.org.uk/
AKT, formerly the ALBERT KENNEDY TRUST, is a UK charity assisting young LGBTQIA+ people at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness. They're currently operating an emergency fundraising appeal due to the extra pressure created by the cost of living crisis. Their homepage is here: https://www.akt.org.uk
BITS AND PIECES
Social Media wise, I'm not yet willing to plant a flag and say "I am here" - the new place seems very well-intentioned and it was probably worth securing my username, but as it balloons I'm worrying about the implications regarding moderation, security etc, especially with such a small dev team handling so many new people. If they can get their act more fully together in a hurry, maybe I'll dip more than a toe in - but this newsletter is probably how you follow me for a while.
Next newsletter arrives Sunday - until then, love and strength to you all. Playing us out, DIANE by CAM: