Magpie Monthly — February 2016

magpie 2016-02-29Happy Leap Year! I nerded out today by learning that leap years are also called intercalary years or bissextile years. Did I know that before? Possibly, but let’s move on and synchronize our solar calendars for this month’s motley collection of links and things.


The magnificent Emily Carroll put up a new comic at the end of January, so possibly (hopefully?) you’ve already read it. But if not, please to enjoy the delightfully disturbing some other animal’s meat.

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The Lucasfilm Research Library is a thing of beauty (a slightly different shot than I shared previously).

Lucasfilm Research Library

Have you seen some of the early footage from the Wonder Woman film? I like what I’ve seen, though I am still disappointed that in recent years in the comic—and now in the film—she has taken to using a sword. She’s as strong as Superman, yet he doesn’t need to wield a weapon. Just a little bone of contention for me.

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Door #4, Little Shop of Stories, photo by @mswenson

I loved this article about Karen Anderson and Sarah Meng‘s Tiny Doors ATL. Such a cool idea! I’d not heard about them before, but you know this kind of thing is right up my alley of fancy. From the “About Us” page of Tiny Doors ATL: “Tiny Doors ATL is a small artist cooperative bringing big wonder to tiny spaces. Our constantly evolving installation pieces are an interactive part of their community. With the installation of a door, what was once a wall or the column of a bridge becomes an entrance to collective creativity and an invitation to whimsy. Tiny Doors ATL is dedicated to free and accessible art. You will never have to buy a ticket to see one of our doors.  We inspire curiosity and exploration in people of all ages. //Tiny Doors ATL literally installs 6-inch tall doors in strategic places throughout the city.  Atlanta has a vibrant art scene, most of which happens on a large scale…  Tiny Doors ATL plays on a much smaller visual scale.  You could walk past our doors for months and never see them.  We love creating that moment of surprise as you walk by.”

I love Jati Putra Pratama‘s surreal art (via)! I’m particularly in love with this .gif.

Jati Putra Pratama (.gif maker unknown)

Jati Putra Pratama (.gif maker unknown)

Enjoy this (very) short video of artist’s Zolloc‘s first time seeing a blizzard in New York City. (If you’re as transfixed by the music as I am, it’s “you’re cute” by tomppabeats.)

As usual, Kate Beaton kills it. Here are links to two of her recent comics, the first on Joan of Arc and the second on Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, “an early champion of LGBT rights, and maybe the first person to speak publicly for them as he did in Munich 1867,” as described by Beaton.

Joan of Arc Goes to War by Kate BeatonKarl Heinrich UlrichsUlrichssm

I’m still swooning over these beautiful monochromatic portraits by Kyriakos Kaziras feature on My Modern Met. Check out an example below and then click through to see more. Via.

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Kyriakos Kaziras

“We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.” ~Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human

February 23rd was National Toast Day, unbeknownst to me, and I’m a big fan of toast. Thanks to this chart by Taste Cheshire, I can say with confidence that I’m an E5. What’s your toast number? Via.

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Helen Mirren reads

Helen Mirren reads

I’m a little too deeply in love with Memory Lane, an astonishing automaton diorama by the artist Mark Ryden, which was part of the Kohn Gallery’s The Gay Nineties West exhibition in 2014. Via, via Brenda on Facebook.

Some upcoming-film trailers that have pleased me for various reasons:

I read Danika Ellis’s 5 Reasons to Get Rid of the LBGTQ Fiction Section, and while I agree with some of her points, I think it’s still vital to have bookstore sections for minority groups, if only for ease of finding such books if nothing else. I’ve read these kinds of articles before (focusing on a variety of groups), but I’ve never seen anyone suggest what seems to me to be the most common-sensical solution: have a separate section of LBGTQ fiction but also include LBGTQ in the mainstream fiction section. I can already envision the counter responses to this suggestion, but bookstores can make it work if they want to.

Tender Loving Darkness figure by Danny van Ryswyk (via)

Tender Loving Darkness figurine by Danny van Ryswyk (via)

Cartoonist Julia Wertz‘s tiny studio is also a cabinet of curiosities. Love it! Click through for a gallery slideshow. Via.

Julia Wertz's cabinet of curiosities

Julia Wertz’s cabinet of curiosities

Fascinating article about the secret world of membership libraries! The closest membership library to me is in Charleston, SC, which is about three hours or so away, and I had no idea it existed.

The Merchantile Library, photo by Grace Dobush

The Mercantile Library, photo by Grace Dobush

Related: I subscribe to a number of newsletters; I’m fascinated by the idea of them and have even toyed with starting one myself. This list of 9 interesting newsletters you should subscribe to has several newsletters I’m considering subscribing to myself. Is the newsletter the next evolutionary step for blogs, a more intimate and direct form?

Also related: my friend Angela sent me the link to this list of 15 wonderfully nerdy subscription boxes every culture vulture will adore. I love this idea of subscription boxes for a number of reasons, probably for the reasons you can figure out if you’ve read my blog for a while. At one point I had subscribed to several boxes at Quarterly, which offers “curated packages from [famous] people you care about,” but I stopped because the subscriptions became a bit pricier than I liked. Angela sent me the above link as part of a conversation we’d been having about my Wonder Boxes, a box of little gifts I curate for one or two friends every December (I’ve been sending a Wonder Box since 1996—I can scarce believe I’ve been doing it for almost twenty years now!), and the idea of turning them into a commercial venture. I just couldn’t conceive turning it into a business, citing costs as being prohibitive, but I think the real reason is that a Wonder Box is particularly individual, tailored for friends, and a subscription box is a bit more generic in that its appeal is for the many instead of the one. But now I’m thinking about subscription boxes and whether anyone would buy a subscription for such a thing from me.

The package label I used for my 2015 Wonder Boxes

The package label I used for my 2015 Wonder Boxes

Sia‘s Carpool Karaoke with James Corden is pretty hilarious, and a nice way to start a Monday.

For those who’ve read to the end (thank you!), a head’s up: I’ve a fairly busy few months coming up, both professionally and personally, so the possibility of a Magpie Monthly post in March, April, or May seems slim. I’ll likely pop back in to share some of the personal busy-ness (it’s good news), and maybe post some other stuff I’ve had dancing about in my head for a long time now. In the meantime, be good to each other, and enjoy something you love!

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One Response to Magpie Monthly — February 2016

  1. Thanks for linking my article! I do agree that ideally you can file books in general fiction and a subsection, but unfortunately that’s only possible when you have multiple copies (and are a larger store). In a used bookstore, there are a lot of single copies about, especially of obscure queer lit. It’s a good point, though, and one I should have touched on!

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