Caftans, Turbans, Goddesses and Grief

This is a lot.

This one’s gonna be a lot. I’ll do my best to keep it concise, but big feelings are big. No judgment if you don’t have it in you. Hit delete, we’re good.

Those of you who are still with me, let’s go -

  1. Robson Rocha died from complications related to COVID. He was 41. He had a wife and a very young daughter. In an email he wrote me in January, a couple weeks after his diagnosis, he said, “I'm fine… But I can't help but to feel extremely angry about it. I feel like I lost a war.”

    I feel angry about it too. I’m angry at the universe, and at Bolsonaro.

    The pandemic isn’t over. In the United States, with vaccination rates at about 48% we had another 35.5k cases diagnosed yesterday, and another 338 deaths. In Brazil, where less than 16% of their population has been able to get vaccinated, they had 52.7k new cases and 1,548. [Source.] Every one of those numbers is a Robson. Every one of them is a person who was loved and needed and now is missed. There are so many holes in our world today. How do you even calculate the effects of that kind of radiant despair?

    Several people have reached out to ask about donations for Robson’s family. Thank you. Several of his friends are organizing, and as soon as I know more and as it’s appropriate, I’ll share. In the meantime, take care of each other. Follow the CDC guidelines, and if you can get vaccinated, please, please do.

  2. Yesterday was my birthday. I’m 51. My husband, who is, I regret to inform you, the best husband, bought me a caftan and a turban, nudging me one step closer to my final form. My son got me a necklace with a gold matchstick pendant, and my 11 year old daughter got me a heart-shaped ring that says “Fuck You.” I love them so.

  3. Yesterday also saw a bunch of Wonder Woman news break, including an actual release date for WONDER WOMAN HISTORIA: THE AMAZONS. I know, I know. The title is a mouthful. I believe my document says “The Amazons’ HISTORIA” but they had to get Wonder Woman in the title for marketing reasons, and so here we are. The solicit copy reads like so:

    WONDER WOMAN HISTORIA: THE AMAZONS #1
    Story by KELLY SUE DeCONNICK
    Pencils and inks by PHIL JIMENEZ
    Cover by PHIL JIMENEZ
    $7.99 US | 72 PAGES | 1 OF 3
    PRESTIGE PLUS | 8 1/2″ X 10 7/8″
    Variant cover by OLIVIER COIPEL
    1:25 "Library" faux leather design variant ON SALE 10/19/21

    The wait is over, and the entire story of the Amazons can finally be told! Millennia ago, Queen Hera and the goddesses of the Olympian pantheon grew greatly dissatisfied with their male counterparts…and far from their sight, they put a plan into action. A new society was born, one never before seen on Earth, capable of wondrous and terrible things…but their existence could not stay secret for long. When a despairing woman named Hippolyta crossed the Amazons' path, a series of events was set in motion that would lead to an outright war in heaven—and the creation of the Earth's greatest guardian!

    Legendary talents Kelly Sue DeConnick and Phil Jimenez unleash a reading experience the likes of which you've never seen, with unbelievably sumptuous art and a story that will haunt you—with subsequent issues featuring art by modern masters Gene Ha and Nicola Scott! One of the most unforgettable DC tales of all time begins here!

    Look, I’m real proud of this book and so I’m going to be talking about it A LOT in the coming weeks. So buckle up, I guess? If you have specific questions, hit me up and I’ll answer in newsletters to come.

    But here are some tidbits to start with: I pitched this as 9 64-page issues or “books,” divided into 3 volumes. It was conceived as a Homerian-style epic with a woman at the center, and thus the grandeur. I know where Book 9 ends, I just need to be able to get there.

    Book 1 is co-created with Phil Jimenez, and it covers the Goddesses and the birth of the Amazons.

    Book 2 is co-created with Gene Ha, and it covers the creation of the Seventh Tribe of Amazons.

    Book 3 is co-created with Nicola Scott and it covers the war between the Gods and the Amazons.

    If you intend to pick it up—and I really, really hope you do—please let your comic book retailer know in advance so they are sure to order enough copies, and DC is sure to get enough copies printed. (This is called “pre-ordering” and it’s… a whole thing.)

    If you don’t have a local comic shop, don’t despair, there are several mail order sites available. One of my favorite shops, Books with Pictures Eugene, first opened their doors the week before the pandemic shutdown last year. I was actually supposed to go do a grand-opening event, which obviously got cancelled. If you pre-order WONDER WOMAN HISTORIA: THE AMAZONS #1 from them, I’ll sign it for you. (No price difference for the signed copy.) Drop Andrea an email at bookswpictureseug@gmail.com and she’ll hook you up.

  4. Speaking of DC comics, Tallulah (our 11 year old) and I got to read an advance copy of I AM NOT STARFIRE by Mariko Tamaki (Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass) and artist Yoshi Yoshitani (Zatanna and the House of Secrets) and we both give it two enthusiastic thumbs up. Unprompted, Tallulah recommended it to her pediatrician the other day. She describes it as “wonderful” and “very gay.”

    I would describe it as being about a kid trying to get comfortable in her own skin. And also, “wonderful.”

    You can get it starting July 27, in the meantime here’s a preview.

  5. Am I doing a DC thing? I guess I’m doing a DC thing.
    While we’re talking DC, take note please that Nubia is finally getting her own miniseries. Fantastic team too. Another one to pre-order.

  6. And while we’re talking about talent: I had the opportunity to work with Danny Lore on a small project for Good Trouble Productions and I gotta say, Danny turned in one of the best—if not the best—scripts I’ve ever read from a young writer. So put me down as saying they’re gonna be huge. (Okay, Val said it first. But put me down as agreeing.) (More on this project and the other incredibly talented people involved soon.)

  7. Not comics: Tallulah is babysitting a guinea pig. I thought you should know.

  8. Want to #HonorNativeLand but not sure how? Here’s a guide.

  9. Somethings I read this week: What Makes A Cult A Cult? by Zoë Heller, in The New Yorker and Inside William Barr’s Breakup with Trump by Jonathan D. Karl in The Atlantic.

  10. Something I listened to this week: Criminal Podcast, Episodes 167 & 168 on the unbelievable case of Denise Huskins and Aaron Quinn. [Warning: sexual assault. Evaluate your own health and safety before deciding to listen.] (About 10 minutes in, I texted my friend Sam and insisted that he tell me if the case was solved because I could not listen to the rest if it wasn’t. It is.)

  11. “Flaubert said you should be regular and orderly in your everyday life so you can be violent and original in your work, and that describes many of the writers I know.” Austin Kleon on farmers and cowboys and pirates and grinding metaphors into a paste. (Reminds me a bit of the Vonnegut dichotomy. Are you a swooper or a basher?)

  12. Something I tried this week: Time blocking with Tiimo. The ADHD diagnosis has me doing some research and looking for tools. I’d say I was only about 50% successful with my attempt this week, but I’m going to try it this way for a month and give myself the time to get the hang of it.

  13. Thank you for reading to the end. Here’s a sheer black fabric with snakes on it. What should I make?