On A Sunbeam

A+

There are interesting layers of meaning to the word “soft”. In one sense, it can mean comfortable, inviting, pleasant to touch. In another, it conveys instead looseness, a lack of structure, or a yielding quality. These connotations have an unspoken gendered quality to them – “soft” is code, in so many ways, for “feminine”, and whether something being soft is a good or bad thing betrays much about the speaker’s attitude towards femininity. As a case in point, whenever a dude dismisses something as “soft scifi”, I get the sense that he prefers scifi that follows strict rules, that doesn’t deviate from real-world scientific theories, that dispenses with ooey-gooey trivialities like “romance” and “feelings”, and that he would call these things “hard scifi”. Tillie Walden’s On A Sunbeam is not for that guy. This is a comic that is proud of its softness, and with good reason. A story of young love,…

Hiatus (again)

Hey friends, I’ll cut to the chase: I gotta take some time off again. I’m on a new medication, and while it’s helping me in certain ways, it’s making it very difficult to write. I don’t think I’ll be gone more than a few weeks; I just need a chance to adjust to the new chemical soup my brain is swimming in! Thanks for bearing with me, and feel free to keep commenting and sending in submissions and other messages. I love y’all, take care.

Addendum: Coding and Inclusion

I intended the Addenda feature to be used to revisit old reviews long after their initial publication, not post reader reactions or edits of things. But one message I got the other night deserves to be both addressed and highlighted, so the use of an addendum seems to make the most sense. 

Coding and Inclusion

Those of you who have read my Poppy O’Possum review know that I have strong opinions about coding – the practice of associating fictional characters with real-world groups of people through the use of “coded” traits. That’s a definition that’s almost so broad as to be meaningless, though! So let’s talk more about coding and its relationship to representation.

Mail Bag #16 – Sister Claire Edition

Hey friends, just a heads up, I’m skipping this week’s update. I kinda bit off more than I could chew with a gigantic, broad topic and my current draft just isn’t something that’s good enough to publish. I’d rather take the time to get this one right. Look for it on this coming Sunday. In the meantime, let’s go through the mail! Which all seems to be about Sister Claire for some reason?