Robert E. Stutts Remaking the World Both Beautiful and Strange Tue, 22 Mar 2016 01:00:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Magpie Monthly — March 2016 Tue, 22 Mar 2016 01:00:04 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Magpie by Henrik Gronvold, ca 1890

Magpie by Henrik Grönvold, ca 1890

Spring has sprung, or has it? I am sneaking in like spring this year, dropping a mini March Magpie Monthly in your nest with unexpected stealth.

maxresdefaultDid you know about the limited edition Cadbury Creme Egg Cookies? I did not until I spied them in the market, so of course I bought them and promptly ate the entire (small) package–highly recommended if you like Cadbury Creme Eggs.

An example of artistry

An example of Judit Czinkné Poór’s artistry

Judit Czinkné Poór, a Hungarian chef also known as Mézesmanna, decorates cookies with intricate embroidery-inspired designs (via). As you can see from the image above, her work is amazing. I would gladly eat many of these beautiful cookies (and, no, I wouldn’t regret eating a work of art!). Below is a video of Poór creating one of her embroidery cookies. Amazing!

5-1These 10 comics every foodie can relate to by Lingvistov are so on target it’s not funny.


cover-castle-bigIn The Great Classic Fantasy Reread at, Ilana C. Myer revisits Child of Saturn by Teresa Edgerton, which was a delight for me. I’d read several of Edgerton’s books in the early nineties and adored them, I think for several of the same reasons Myer liked Child of Saturn. Edgerton’s stories felt more personal, not the sweeping epics of a huge chunk of fantasy at the time, but something more contained. It didn’t hurt that Edgerton drew a lot on Wales and Welsh legends, which by that point had already entranced me. I devoured two of her trilogies–The Green Lion Trilogy (Child of Saturn, The Moon in Hiding, and The Work of the Sun) and The Celydonn Trilogy (The Castle of the Silver Wheel, The Grail and the Ring, and The Moon and the Thorn)–as well as the first half of The Goblin Moon Duology (not sure why I never read the second book–I probably couldn’t find it at the time). I also remember liking Edgerton’s style, as I was just beginning to think more seriously about style rather than just story (Carole Nelson Douglas‘ Sword & Circlet series, particularly the first two books, had really made a profound impact on me in terms of thinking about style). Myer is a lot braver than I am, though: I’m reluctant to reread these books for fear that my response to them might be drastically different now, and I want to keep loving them.

Have you heard about kindcore? The original tumblr post has disappeared into the ether, but here’s a screenshot:


I’m digging Rage Gear Studiosre-imagining of the X-Men as Rainbow Brite characters. Whet your appetite with two of my favorites below and then check out the links for a lot more images.


This video for Miike Snow’s “Genghis Khan” is a delight:

Need some design ideas for your bedroom? Look no further than 13 bedrooms literature lovers would want to sleep in. Who wouldn’t sleep well in any of these rooms? Via.


Related: remodeling projects for book lovers by Mosby Building Arts in St. Louis (thanks to Ellen for sharing the link of Facebook!)

A library that was originally a seldom-used dining room.

A library that was originally a seldom-used dining room.

tumblr_inline_o4evt7pkfD1qdeo6a_540Check out Diamonds, a lovely comic by Noelle Stevenson.

Enjoy the slow but steady approach of spring, and watch out for the pollening, happening everywhere you want to be!


Magpie Monthly — February 2016 Mon, 29 Feb 2016 10:30:59 +0000 Continue reading ]]> 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.


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.


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.


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.


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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Magpie Monthly — January 2016 Mon, 18 Jan 2016 10:33:53 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Photo by Mats Kangur

Photo by Mats Kangur

“Lots of people go mad in January. Not as many as in May, of course. Nor June. But January is your third most common month for madness.” ~Karen Joy Fowler, Sarah Canary

I love this project described on Humans of New York:

“I’ve always liked to do nice things for strangers. I worked in the mail room at my college dorm, and whenever I emailed a package notification, I’d always add a little something extra. Like an awesome shark pic. Or a link to Japanese jazz. Lately I’ve been doing this thing where I buy really weird antique post cards, write poems on them, and mail them to random people I find in the white pages. The first time I sent one, I added a full-page disclaimer because I was worried some old person would think it was from ISIS and call the cops. I basically wrote: ‘Don’t worry. It’s art. Everything’s cool. You won’t be hearing from me again.’”

“I’ve always liked to do nice things for strangers. I worked in the mail room at my college dorm, and whenever I emailed a package notification, I’d always add a little something extra. Like an awesome shark pic. Or a link to Japanese jazz. Lately I’ve been doing this thing where I buy really weird antique post cards, write poems on them, and mail them to random people I find in the white pages. The first time I sent one, I added a full-page disclaimer because I was worried some old person would think it was from ISIS and call the cops. I basically wrote: ‘Don’t worry. It’s art. Everything’s cool. You won’t be hearing from me again.’”

Stephen Fry welcomes visitors to Heathrow (via):

Take this tour of London as a ghost town:

Photo by Narrotographer

Photo by Narrotographer

2015 produced a surprising number of alternate maps for the London tube, like this one for Harry Potter:

The Harry Potter Tube Map

2016 is of to a sad start with several celebrity deaths, including Alan Rickman and David Bowie. Here are my two favorite homages to them:

Daniel Radcliffe on Alan Rickman:

Daniel Radcliffe on Alan Rickman

Neil Gaiman‘s short-story homage to David Bowie, “The Return of the Thin White Duke,” with illustrations by Yoshitaka Amano (click Amano’s name for additional images).

Illustration by Yoshitaka Amano

Illustration by Yoshitaka Amano

Completely irreverent and inappropriate, I know, but maybe Bowie might have appreciated the sentiment of this caption from Natalie Kossar‘s Pattern Behavior:

I mean I don’t want to be rude or whatever but This funeral just got sexy as fuck

I mean
I don’t want to be rude or whatever but
This funeral just got sexy as fuck

Because Victoriana endlessly fascinates me:

Young people used these absurd little cards to get laid in the 19th century:

Victorians loved to communicate via calling card. It was the proper, dignified way to communicate with other people. But wouldn’t you know, young people just had to mess it up. Check out these oh so risque Victorian flirtation cards.

Escort cardCheck out these links for rare photos of Victorian women of color and also rare photos of Victorian men of color!

Selika Lazevski, photo by Felix Nadar (1891)

Selika Lazevski, photo by Felix Nadar (1891)

Young man in top hat and wool pant coat (1890)

Young man in top hat and wool pant coat (1890)

Australian artist Andrew Firth does interesting work with skulls and bones, like the skull below, which uses a PVC-cast skull (molded from a real human skull) as the base for the miniature bonsai garden. Via.

Grave Yard Bosai Skull by Andrew Firth

Grave Yard Bosai Skull by Andrew Firth

McSweeney’s Travis Tack tells us that 10 objects around your house that are actually just Tilda Swinton getting lost in a role. And enjoy this photo of Swinton by Tim Walker for W Magazine:

Tilda Swinton, photographed by Tim Walker

Tilda Swinton, photographed by Tim Walker

Dream about this Inception-inspired coffee table by Stelios Mousarris (via):


Click on the photo for more images of Mousarris’s coffee table

Related, after a fashion, is this sculpture by Wang Ruilin (via):

Wang Ruilin

Wang Ruilin

Mallory Ortberg offers signs you’re about to be in a sinister homoerotic subplot in a midcentury drama. Watch out!

David Sarno‘s short film Richard und Gilbert moves the homoerotic up to full plot (it’s a bit bloody, as you might imagine, though not gory–but it’s probably NSFW for other reasons). Thanks to Steve for sending me the link!

And another thanks to Steve for sending me the link to this wonderful commercial for Cillit Bang, in which Daniel Cloud Campos dances like everyone should dance:

Artist Mike Maihack did a lovely watercolor of Wonder Woman to start off the new year:

Wonder Woman by Mike Maihack

Wonder Woman by Mike Maihack

And then there’s this Wonder Woman cookie made by Dolce Sentire for Comicake 2015. Click the image below for more pictures. Via.

Wonder Woman cookie by Dolce Sentire

Wonder Woman cookie by Dolce Sentire

Mathematicians invent complex new ways to perfectly equal pizza slices. It’s about time!

I'm not sure how you slice this way with a conventional pizza cutter, though.

I’m not sure how you slice this way with a conventional pizza cutter, though.

Just because:


Fairchildart‘s miniature cheeses are too cute (via):



For her Micro Matter series, Amsterdam artist Rosa de Jong made vertical dwellings inside glass test tubes (via).

Rosa de Jong

Rosa de Jong

Dutch artist poppenkraal made a very cool Cabinet of Curiosities (Wunderkammer, baby) shadowbox miniature. Click the artist’s name or the image below for a few more images. You can purchase it on Etsy (If I wasn’t saving up for a trip, I’d buy it today!). Via.

Cabinet of Curiosities shadowbox by poppenkraal

Cabinet of Curiosities shadowbox by poppenkraal

Who doesn’t want a miniature bakery in a book? Via.

Miniature bakery in a book

Artist Brian Dettmer on old books reborn as intricate art (via):

Chilean artist Sebastian Errazuriz builds functional shelves and tables from fallen South American trees. I’d definitely love a non-traditional bookshelf like the one below in my house! Via.

Bilbao Tree Shelf by Sebastian Errazuriz

Bilbao Tree Shelf by Sebastian Errazuriz

For a number of reasons, I enjoyed Samantha Hunt‘s brief history of books that do not exist, though I was disappointed that she never mentions Lucien and the library in The Dreaming, which shelves only books that do not exist. Thanks to Liz for the link on FB!

Lucien the Librarian gives a tour of The Dreaming's Library

Lucien the Librarian gives a tour of The Dreaming’s Library

Photographer Michal Zahornacky‘s storytelling portraits visualize the imagination at work in Slovak poems. I’ve included two examples of his work below, but, really, all of the photographs are beautiful—go check them out!

Touch of Fear by Michal Zahornacky

Touch of Fear by Michal Zahornacky

Remember the Others by Michal Zahornacky

Remember the Others by Michal Zahornacky

Film Theory has a theory that Anna and Elsa in Frozen aren’t really sisters. Pretty fun, whether you buy it or not:

Many thanks to Barbara for sending me the link to Mulder, Scully, and Jimmy Kimmel in The X-Files—funny stuff!

My friend Andrew posted his 10 favorite records from 2015 (with videos). He has great taste in music, so check it out!

I’m sure by now everyone’s seen the James Corden‘s Carpook Karaoke with Adele, but I think it’s so charming and funny I’m sharing it again anyway. Thanks to Rossie for sharing the first link of it I saw on FB!

For those of you who need this today, some GIFs from Grey’s Anatomy.

tumblr_ner6oxTsYh1rjl2iuo4_250tumblr_ner6oxTsYh1rjl2iuo3_250tumblr_ner6oxTsYh1rjl2iuo2_250tumblr_ner6oxTsYh1rjl2iuo1_250(These look much better on the site where I originally saw them—tumblr does have its advantages over blogs, I suppose.)

Happy New Year! Fri, 01 Jan 2016 20:23:19 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come - Tennyson

Happy 2016! For all of my readers (all 20 or fewer of you!), I hope the new year brings you much happiness and joy and some strangeness as well.
The most popular blog post for 2015, by a large margin, was actually from May 2013, which intrigues me. Why that post? How many new eyes were looking at it this year? The most popular post written in 2015 was the first Magpie Monthly, published in June.

2015 was a good year for me. I took my first sabbatical, which made me realize (a) how much I needed some breathing and thinking space and (b) how, really, every job needs to build in some kind of sabbatical, even if it’s a shorter one than academics have (two weeks of vacation time just isn’t enough). I was pretty productive during sabbatical–reading, watching movies and TV series, writing poetry, and even writing a new story–but post-sabbatical I kind of fell into a creative slump. Returning to the classroom was more difficult than I anticipated, which did nothing for my creativity, but I also had the most pleasant distraction in the form of a new relationship, which sent my creativity in other directions. So my resolution for 2016 is to actually work on making space and time for my own creative needs, which means pulling back on other things. I’ll let you know how it goes.


Even I slowed down to the usual crawl once the fall semester started, I did read and watch more in 2015 than I have in the last five or six years combined. For those of you who like lists, the rest of this post will make you delirious!

BOOKS (Novels, Nonfiction, Anthologies, Single-Author Collections, and Chapbooks)—49 in total. I thought Kate Bernheimer’s The Complete Tales of Lucy Gold would be the 50th, but, alas, I haven’t finished it yet.

  • The Memory Garden – Mary Rickert
  • Blackbird House – Alice Hoffman (coll)
  • Among Others – Jo Walton
  • The Ice Queen – Alice Hoffman
  • Keeping the World Strange: A Planetary Guide – ed. Cody Walker (essays)
  • By Nightfall – Michael Cunningham
  • What Remains: Stories and Interviews – Ellen Klages & Geoff Ryman
  • Horse, Flower, Bird: Stories – Kate Bernheimer (coll)
  • Zac’s Haunted House – Dennis Cooper (GIF novel)
  • Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid – Lemony Snicket
  • Dragon, Dragon and Other Tales – John Gardner (coll)
  • The Sleeper and the Spindle – Neil Gaiman & Chris Riddell
  • Hansel and Gretel – Neil Gaiman & Lorenzo Mattotti
  • Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Vol. 1 – eds. Laird Barron & Michael Kelly (antho)
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – Marie Kondo
  • Get In Trouble: Stories – Kelly Link
  • We Three Kids – Margo Lanagan
  • Trigger Warning: Short Fictions & Disturbances – Neil Gaiman
  • A Little Gold Book of Ghastly Stuff – Neil Gaiman (coll)
  • Glimmerglass: A Novel – Marly Youmans
  • Young Woman in a Garden: Stories – Delia Sherman
  • Wilde Stories 2014: The Year’s Best Gay Speculative Fiction – ed. Steve Berman (antho)
  • Holiday – M. Rickert (coll)
  • Today I Am a Book – xTx
  • The Crimson Alphabet – Caitlín R. Kiernan (chapbook)
  • Radiant Days – Elizabeth Hand
  • Mythic Delirium – eds. Mike & Anita Allen (antho)
  • The Winter Triptych – Nicole Kornher-Stace
  • The Silver Pillow: A Tale of Witchcraft – Thomas M. Disch (chapbook)
  • Mrs. Fox – Sarah Hall
  • Black Helicopters – Caitlín R. Kiernan
  • The Man with the Knives – Ellen Kushner (chapbook)
  • The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
  • I Don’t Know the Author or the Title But It’s Red and It Has 3 Zombie Stories In It – Kelly Link (coll)
  • How a Mother Weaned Her Girl from Fairy Tales – Kate Bernheimer
  • The Shop of the Mechanical Insects – Ray Bradbury (chapbook)
  • Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination – J.K. Rowling (chapbk)
  • There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby: Scary Fairy Tales – Ludmilla Petrushevskaya
  • The 10 Letters Project: A Year of Art and Friendship – Jen Lee & Tim Manley
  • Safe as Houses: Stories – Marie-Helene Bertino
  • The Best American Short Stories 2014 – ed. Jennifer Egan (of note: “God” by Benjamin Nugent)
  • The Boy Who Lost Fairyland – Catherynne M. Valente
  • Red King Black Rook – Steven Archer (chapbook)
  • Available Dark – Elizabeth Hand
  • Wylding Hall – Elizabeth Hand
  • The Gay Man’s Guide to Timeless Manners and Proper Etiquette – Corey Rosenberg
  • How Not to Read: Harnessing the Power of a Literature-Free Life – Dan Wilbur
  • The Bride of Frankenstein: Pandora’s Bride – Elizabeth Hand
  • The Brides of Rollrock Island – Margo Lanagan


I won’t list them all here, but I read 82 short stories, most of them from Daily Science Fiction, but also from Lightspeed, McSweeney’s Quarterly, Nightmare, Ideomancer, Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Weird Fiction Review, Short Story Thursday,, The Guardian, and Subterranean Press Magazine.


Likewise, I won’t list all the graphic novels I read last year here. My total read was 105, which was a bit disappointing.

TV SERIES—I’m three episodes into the second season of Penny Dreadful, right now, which so far has been terrific (well, I’m no fan of the Frankenstein storyline, but otherwise I’m loving this season).

  • Batman: The Animated Series (entire re-watch)
  • Penny Dreadful: Season 1
  • Hannibal: Season 2
  • Where the Bears Are 3
  • Elementary: Season 2
  • Superman: The Animated Series, Vol. 1 (re-watch)
  • Downton Abbey: Series 5
  • Haven: Season 4
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog: Season 2 (re-watch)
  • Ultraviolet (re-watch)
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe
  • Doctor Who: The Snowmen
  • Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor
  • Shakespeare Retold (mini-series)
  • Twin Peaks: The Complete Series (re-watch)
  • Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries: Series 1
  • Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries: Series 2
  • Mr. Selfridge: Series 1
  • Adventure Time: The Complete 4th Season
  • Inside Amy Schumer: Season 1
  • Inside Amy Schumer: Season 2
  • Garfunkel and Oates: Season 1
  • Key and Peele: Season 1
  • Key and Peele: Season 2
  • Inside Amy Schumer: Season 3

MOVIES—only 59 watched, which was kind of disappointing. Tonight I’m going to see Sisters with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in the theater, which will be the first time I’ve been to a theater to see a non-animated movie since 2012, when I saw Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild . (My first visit to a theater since 2012 was in November to see The Peanuts Movie) Sheesh!

  • Yeah Kowalski (2013; short film) – dir. Evan Roberts
  • Lo sono l’amore [I Am Love]  (2009)dir. Luca Guadagnino
  • Batoru rowaiaru [Battle Royale] (2000) – dir. Kinji Fukasaku
  • The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) – dir. Paul Greengrass
  • The Covenant (2006) – dir. Renny Harlin
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)dirs. Anthony & Joe Russo
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) – dir. James Gunn
  • Much Ado About Nothing (2012) – dir. Joss Whedon
  • Gohatto [Taboo] (1999) – dir. Nagisa Oshima
  • The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) – dir. Renny Harlin
  • Far From Heaven (2002) – dir. Todd Haynes
  • A Single Man (2009) – dir. Tom Ford
  • The Six Degrees of Helter Skelter (2009) – dir. Mike Dorsey
  • Noordzee, Texas [North Sea Texas] (2011) – dir. Bavo Defurne
  • Tony Takitani (2004) – dir. Jun Ichikawa
  • The Wolves of Kromer (1998) – dir. Will Gould
  • Crying Freeman (1995) – dir. Christophe Gans
  • The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014) – dir. Lasse Hallström
  • I Married A Witch (1942) – dir. René Clair
  • Dorian Gray (2009) – dir. Oliver Parker
  • Lucy (2014) – dir. Luc Besson
  • A Heavenly Vintage (2009) – dir. Niki Caro
  • Dark Portals: The Chronicles of Vidocq (2001) – dir. Pitof
  • Cronos (1993) – dir. Guillermo del Toro
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010) – dir. Edgar Wright
  • L’écume des jours [Mood Indigo] (2013) – dir. Michel Gondry
  • Donnie Darko (2001) – dir. Richard Kelly
  • Eraserhead (1977) – dir. David Lynch
  • The Summer of Gods (2014; short film) – dir. Eliciana Nascimento
  • Suddenly, Last Summer (1959) – dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz
  • The Golden Horns (Baba Yaga) [Zolotye roga] (1973) – dirs. Viktor Makarov & Aleksandr Rou
  • Baba Yaga (1973) – dir. Corrado Farina
  • Ka-Boom (2010) – dir. Gregg Araki
  • Transporter 3 (2008) – dir. Oliver Megaton
  • Carnival of Souls (1962) – dir. Herk Harvey
  • The Passion of Darkly Noon (1995) – dir. Philip Ridley
  • Watchmen: Director’s Cut (2009) – dir. Zack Snyder
  • These Girls (2005) – dir. John Hazlett (re-watch)
  • Rashomon (1950) – dir. Akira Kurosawa
  • World’s Greatest Dad (2009) – dir. Bobcat Goldthwait
  • Storytelling (2001) – dir. Todd Solondz
  • Winter’s Tale (2014) – dir. Akiva Goldsman
  • The Telemachy (2012) – dir. Alexander Nally
  • Song of the Sea (2014) – dir. Tomm Moore
  • Persona (1966) – dir. Ingmar Bergman
  • The Innocents (1961) – dir. Jack Clayton
  • Franklyn (2008) – dir. Gerald McMorrow
  • Daybreakers (2009) – dirs. The Spierig Brothers
  • Following (1998) – dir. Christopher Nolan
  • Chinatown (1974) – dir. Roman Polanski
  • Red Riding Hood (2011) – dir. Catherine Hardwicke
  • Ice Blues (2008) – dir. Ron Oliver
  • L’inconnu du lac [The Stranger by the Lake] (2013) – dir. Alain Guiraudie
  • The Last Straight Man (2014) – dir. Mark Bessenger
  • Real Genius (1985) – dir. Martha Coolidge (re-watch)
  • The Men Next Door (2012) – dir. Rob Williams
  • Freier Fall [Free Fall] (2013) – dir. Stephan Lacant
  • The 10 Year Plan (2014) – dir. J.C. Calciano
  • The Peanuts Movie (2015) – dir. Steve Martino


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Magpie Monthly — December 2015 Mon, 28 Dec 2015 20:28:17 +0000 Continue reading ]]> A magpie sits in a frost covered tree near Wascana Lake on 14 November 2010. Photo by Troy Fleece / Regina Leader-Post Files

A magpie sits in a frost covered tree near Wascana Lake on 14 November 2010. Photo by Troy Fleece / Regina Leader-Post Files

Welcome to the final Magpie Monthly of 2015!

Need to spice up your sushi-making? JunsKitchen provides a tutorial on how to create a swimming koi out of sushi ingredients. The opening’s a little heavy on the “driving about with a cat” bit for my taste, but the tutorial itself is fascinating to watch. (Via)

Snow Globe Cocktail, anyone? (Via)

For a year, artist Michael Zee has been making symmetrical breakfasts for himself and his boyfriend Mark and posting them on Instragram. I love everything about this project! (Via)

A symmetry breakfast by Michael Zee

A symmetry breakfast by Michael Zee

A new edition of Juan Santapau's The Secret Knots is waiting for you to read it!

A new edition of Juan Santapau‘s The Secret Knots is waiting for you to read it!

Check out the Story Pod, designed by the firm Atelier Kastelic Buffey in Toronto. The Story Pod “serves as a book exchange and an urban marker…. During the day, two of the walls pivot open like the covers of a book, welcoming people inside or to gather around the front. Visitors can take or leave something to read, or lounge quietly on the built-in seating.” This project is very cool, kind of like a not-so-little Little Free Library. You can read more and see additional photos at AKB’s website. (Via)

The Story Pod, photo by Bob Gundu

The Story Pod, photo by Bob Gundu

What do you think of Book Riot’s advice on how to turn from a book hoarder into a book collector? I’m a bit of both, I’m afraid, so perhaps there’s no hope for me.

Related: Book Repair 101. It’s a good beginner’s guide.

The Morrigan (2015) by Forest Rogers

The Morrigan (2015) by Forest Rogers

I’m sure you’ve heard by now about this Starbucks controversy that’s been dredged up again: images of their polar bear cookies from a few years ago have been trotted out to flame the (I’m gonna say it: wacky) belief that Starbucks is trying to destroy Christmas. The incensed see not scarves around the necks of these polar bears, but slit throats–and the bears smiling happily! Oh, the humanity! To be honest, I would eat all of these polar bear cookies, slit-throated or scarved, I don’t care. (Via)


In related news (how many connections can you spot?), artist Renato Garza Cervera sculpts rugs that look like skinned gang members, collectively titled Of Genuine Contemporary Beast—check out the link for more images. (Via)

 Of Genuine Contemporary Beast by Renato Garza Cervera

Of Genuine Contemporary Beast by Renato Garza Cervera

Artist Trina Merry‘s “Lost in Wonder” series of photographs are pretty neat. (Via)

Stonehenge, UK, by Trina Merry

Stonehenge, UK, by Trina Merry

New teaser-trailer for the revival of Twin Peaks:

And a teaser-trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them:

Benedict Cumberbatch looks like he’ll be a mighty fine Doctor Strange, if this cover of Entertainment Weekly is any indication, and I’m okay with that.

Doctor Strange on EW - 2016-01drstrangehooten1Truth be told, I still have a soft spot for Peter Hooten, who played the good Doctor in the 1978 TV movie. He hasn’t acted in many films since Dr. Strange, just a handful in the 80s, though IMDB tells me he was in House of Blood (2013) and recently completed Souleater.

I was sooooo excited when Dr. Strange came on TV; he was my favorite comic book for a good chunk of my youth (yes, even more so than the Claremont-Byrne run on The Uncanny X-Men  or The New Teen Titans or ElfQuest, all of which had my slavishly devotion). I don’t recall the movie being terribly good, and I was certainly disappointed with the ways they chose to diverge from the canon (so little remains of the source material, I’m not even sure why they bothered to call the film Dr. Strange, or why Marvel ever thought this would appeal to fans). Still, there was Stephen Strange, Sorcerer Supreme of Earth, on the TV screen. The movie wasn’t good, but it existed, which is saying a lot.

That said, I cannot wait to see the Cumberbatch Strange!

While we’re on the subject of Doctor Strange, check out artist Paul Smith‘s retelling of the Sorcerer Supreme’s origin, commissioned by Gerry Turnbull.

I’ve been kind of, well, uninterested in the current cinematic iteration of Superman (this coming from someone who almost expired from the ecstasy of seeing the 1978 Superman movie with Christopher Reeve). I like Henry Cavill just fine, but I’m just not feeling this Kal-El. And while I think Ben Affleck will be a fine Batman, the trailers thus far for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice haven’t wowed me. Until this trailer, and it’s all because of the ending:

Ten seconds of Wonder Woman turns that trailer completely around for me, and maybe the movie, too (though Jesse Eisenberg‘s acting choices for Lex Luthor cannot be redeemed in my eyes). I’m definitely down with Gal Godot as Wonder Woman at this point. And check out this new poster:


“Dear Brother” is a lovely made-for-love commercial for Johnnie Walker, directed by Dorian Lebherz and Daniel Titz. Apparently, the Internet wept (okay, I did, too):

Magpie Monthly — November 2015 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 10:33:27 +0000 Continue reading ]]> La Gazza Ladra (The Thieving Magpie) by Niroot Puttapipat

La Gazza Ladra (The Thieving Magpie) by Niroot Puttapipat

I love this little thief by Niroot Puttapipat. If you like his work (and you should—it’s phenomenal), please check out his beautiful cut-paper holiday books: The Night Before Christmas (US 2007), Jingle Bells (US 2015), and The Nutcracker (UK 2015).

Here, at the last minute, I finally pulled together November’s Magpie Monthly. S’il vous plaît profiter, mes amis.

Always expect the unexpected (via):

The always-wonderful Kate Beaton has a new set of Gorey Cover Comics; the first one is below, but do click through for the other. Also, check out her take on Young Goodman Brown.

I can’t get enough of this sculpture by Hedi Xandt (click on the photo to see other shots):

Hedi Xandt

God of the Grove I (2013) by Hedi Xandt

Andy George makes a $900 root beer float (via):

The Singer by Alejandro García Restrepo

The Singer by Alejandro García Restrepo (via)

Over at The Toast, Mallory Ortberg ranks The Abductions of Ganymede, In Order of Abduction-y-ness. While you’re at it, check for signs you may be dying in a Victorian novel (thanks to Andrew for sending me that link).

Ganymede (1874) by Gabriel Joseph Marie Augustin Ferrier--the least abduction-y abduction

Ganymede (1874) by Gabriel Joseph Marie Augustin Ferrier–the least abduction-y abduction

CAN-ART-SIMP-1--Ever wonder how an episode of The Simpsons is made? Chris Plante at The Verge found out: “In 1996, The Simpsons passed The Flintstones as the longest running prime-time animated show. In the 30-year interim, the tenor of adult cartoons had shifted dramatically: The Simpsons was more caustic and puerile than The Flintstones, a shameless Stone Age remake of hit 1950s sitcom The Honeymooners. What had hardly changed was the creative process.”

Now is ze time on Sprockets vhen ve dance (thanks to Marnie for the link to this video).

inagarten_345x290Only recently did I read Ina Garten Does It Herself at Eater (originally published in September), but I enjoyed it quite a lot. Fascinating stuff. I learned a lot about Jeffrey, too! I watched The Barefoot Contessa frequently when I had cable, and I always liked how much she laughed. I also like that she’s in control: “There is something that Ina Garten knows about what we want, or who we want to be, or how we want to feel. ‘There isn’t a letter, there isn’t a recipe, there’s no photograph, there isn’t a font, there isn’t a color, there isn’t a detail that I don’t totally do myself,’ Ina said, so that’s how it’s done.”

Check out Moerkey‘s handmade sculptures made from reclaimed coins and keys (via):

5_FINAL_WTEXT._SX1024.0_Over at Book Riot, Peter Damien made a visit to the Amazon bookstore in University Village, Seattle. The store’s small and fairly traditional in appearance (the floor and shelves are wood), and, interestingly, “On all of the shelves, the books were facing outward. Really, there were no spine-out shelves anywhere in the store. This is a remarkably striking way to organize your bookstore. Cover art, always striking, has a chance to just grab you as you walk by.”

Gal Gadot as Wonder WomanSpeaking of Amazons, the Wonder Woman feature film has started principal photography. While the cast has been announced, only two actors—Gal Gadot as Diana/Wonder Woman and Chris Pine as Steve Trevor—have been officially linked to roles. So much speculation has erupted as to who Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Elena Anaya, et al will play. I like the recently released image of Gadot in character (at left). Is that Big Ben in the background?

Check out the press release at The Beat and some cast speculation over at Straitened Circumstances.

While we on the subject of DC Comics on the screen, check out this trailer for the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow TV series, spin-off of Arrow and The Flash:

It does please me that Wentworth Miller (Captain Cold) and Dominic Purcell (Heat Wave) play partners-in-crime here (apparently) and played prison-breaking brothers on Prison Break.

Miniature Inside A Tea Cup by MiniEstates (via)

Miniature Inside A Tea Cup by MiniEstates (via)

Many thanks to Fara for sending me the link to artist Roman Papsuev‘s illustrations of characters from Russian folklore. Baba Yaga, my favorite, is below, but do check out the others as well; they’re all great.

Baba Yaga by Roman Papsuev

Baba Yaga by Roman Papsuev

In other Russian news, “Moscow will finally unveil a monument to Soviet author Mikhail Bulgakov, who lived in the city and set many of his scenes among its landmarks, after the project was delayed for more than a decade as a ‘sign of devildom,'” according to an article in The Guardian.

"A model of the Bulgakov statue. Photograph: Alec Luhn for the Guardian"

“A model of the Bulgakov statue. Photograph: Alec Luhn for The Guardian

George Méliès (1861-1938), via

George Méliès (1861-1938), via

Writer friends, if you need me to blurb your book, I’m ready, thanks to Book Blurbs Mad Libs.

Did you know that when the young people like something on the Interwebs, they call themselves the trash of the thing? I’m fascinated by this nomenclature.

Closer, a GIF by Zolloc, amuses me to no end.
closer - zolloc

Also amusing (via):
Prism - what i think of whenever i hear the phrase ‘the gay agenda’

Paint Stripper, a video by Tim Fitzgerald, is probably NSFW (for non-sexual nudity), but it’s very cool. He filmed people naked and then with clothes in the same pose. When green paint is splashed on them, their clothes seem to disappear. Via.

What I need to remember (I should probably buy this poster so I don’t forget):
Keep Calm and Listen to Kate Bush

Magpie Monthly — October 2015 Mon, 19 Oct 2015 10:33:52 +0000 Continue reading ]]> magpie 2015-10-19
By Intoverted Wife; see more of her free All Hallows Read posters at the link

By Introverted Wife; see more of her free All Hallows Read posters at the link

Another October, another All Hallows Read! I have a couple of recommendations for you.

51HFm76Vx2L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_First up, a novel about witches set at Hallowe’en: The Memory Garden by Mary Rickert. In June, I wrote a mini review of this book, which I’m just going to reprint here: I’d read some of Rickert’s short stories prior to reading her first novel and her second short-story collection (the first collection, Map of Dreams, I bought after reading The Memory Garden, but I haven’t read it yet), so I was eager to read more of her work. The Memory Garden is a beautiful novel: the story of teenage Bay and her much-older adopted mother Nan reunited with her childhood friends after decades one summer weekend. Rickert’s prose is a joy to read, and I liked the rather contained plot, even if I’d figured out the secret long before the end (and I’m a sucker for witch stories, even if it’s just suggested).

wylding-hall-hardcover-by-elizabeth-hand-2753-pOne of my favorite recently read books is Elizabeth Hand‘s novella Wylding Hall, available in both hardcover and Audible (full-cast) editions. Here’s the official description: “After the tragic and mysterious death of one of their founding members, the young musicians in a British acid-folk band hole up at Wylding Hall, an ancient country house with its own dark secrets. There they record the classic album that will make their reputation but at a terrifying cost, when Julian Blake, their lead singer, disappears within the mansion and is never seen again. Now, years later, each of the surviving musicians, their friends and lovers (including a psychic, a photographer, and the band s manager) meets with a young documentary filmmaker to tell his or her own version of what happened during that summer but whose story is the true one? And what really happened to Julian Blake” As is to be expected, Wylding Hall is beautifully written and perfectly creepy.

static1.squarespaceOne last recommendation, a graphic novel written by Marika McCoola and drawn by the incomparable Emily Carroll: Baba Yaga’s Assistant. The skinny: “Most children think twice before braving a haunted wood filled with terrifying beasties to match wits with a witch, but not Masha. Her beloved grandma taught her many things: that stories are useful, that magic is fickle, that nothing is too difficult or too dirty to clean. The fearsome witch of folklore needs an assistant, and Masha needs an adventure. She may be clever enough to enter Baba Yaga’s house-on-chicken-legs, but within its walls, deceit is the rule. To earn her place, Masha must pass a series of tests, outfox a territorial bear, and make dinner for her host. No easy task, with children on the menu!” The story is a delight, but the Carroll art–oh, she is so so so very good.

Also, good news: Emily Carroll has a new comic up on her website called “The Groom.”
The Groom by Emily CarrollThis letterpress business-card-as-library-card from Boxcar Press is pretty nifty for writers or librarians (via).

no-12287-letterpress-business-card-1If you follow me on Facebook, you already know I’m obsessed with Matt Bellassai’s Whine About It, “a weekly video series where [Matt] gets drunk at his desk and complains about stuff.” The series is on hiatus until the end of October, but you can catch up on his Tumblr and get new updates on his Facebook page.

Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones

Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones

I’m pretty excited about the upcoming Netflix series Jessica Jones, based on the Alias comics by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos. I was gaga over that comic. It’s likely I won’t see the series until it’s released on DVD, but the teaser-trailers have been looking good (and the first ep seems to be getting good reviews). Here’s the latest trailer I’ve seen:

Mike Colter as Luke Cage in Jessica Jones

Mike Colter as Luke Cage in Jessica Jones

Thanks to Sylvia for sharing the link on Facebook for Jeffrey Thomas‘s nightmarish take on Disney princesses, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Click through to BoredPanda to see the gallery to Thomas’s DeviantArt site.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Jeffrey Thomas

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Jeffrey Thomas

Shirley Jackson’s House Hunters by Mallory Ortberg at The Toast is a thing of beauty.

Check out the new trailer for the Sherlock 2015 Christmas special (via):

John Kenn

John Kenn

A new edition of Juan Santapau’s The Secret Knots is out: “Medical Mysteries of Miranda Montes.”
Medical Mysteries of Miranda Montes by Juan Santapau 2015-10-091These IKEA manuals for your favorite horror villains by Ed Harrington are pretty cute. Check out the first link for a brief gallery and the second for Harrington’s blog, which has a lot more (can you go wrong with Buffalo Bill and the Human Centipede by IKEA?). Here’s a sample:
samara-ikeaA new trailer for The Magicians TV series came out at NYCC (via):

Samhain Vengeance by Daryl Toh

Samhain Vengeance by Daryl Toh

Magpie Monthly — September 2015 Mon, 14 Sep 2015 10:33:44 +0000 Continue reading ]]>
“Magpie to the Morning” by Neko Case

A post of shiny bits for your ocular jellies’ pleasure, mostly art. Enjoy!

Very sad to hear of the death of Yvonne Craig, who played Batgirl on TV and was one of the pop-culture foundations of my feminist consciousness (along with Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman, The Bionic Woman, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, Charlie’s Angels, Oh Mighty Isis!, and others). Check out obits and remembrances at The Beat,, and DC Women Kicking Ass (which also includes some video).

Yvonne Craig (1937-2015) as Barbara Gordon | Batgirl

Yvonne Craig (1937-2015) as Barbara Gordon | Batgirl

A delightful spot of animation by knitnerdoms (via):
tumblr_nr4snnzbS81tifa6ao1_540I’m looking forward to the Netflix series Marvel’s Jessica Jones. The original Alias books blew me away. Check out the teaser trailer (via):

The Mary Sue asks, rightfully so, why can’t we have bisexual crime heroes? Mostly an examination of the novel The Swede (or My Name is N) by Robert Karjel, the article does reference my favorite fictional male bisexual, John Constantine.

No one ever thinks they’re awful, even people who really actually are. It’s some sort of survival mechanism.” ~Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven

Especially for Molly. Click through to read the entirety Kate Beaton‘s insightful comic.
cheshirecatThis mash-up (is that the correct term?) of Pride and Prejudice and “Turn Down for What” totally rocks my world. Sadly, I can’t figure out how to embed the video, so do click through the link and count yourself a happy individual. Via.

temul definitionVia.

The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli & Fritz Zuber-Bühler (1486, 1887)

The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli & Fritz Zuber-Bühler (1486, 1887)

Christopher David White‘s ceramic sculptures are incredibly beautiful. Check out more at the link. (Via)

Christopher David White

Christopher David White

The world, miniaturized:

sunflowers - petitplatDevon Avery’s One-Minute Time Machine is fun, moreso if you’re a fan of NCIS. A little bit of NSFW language. Via.

Le Secret by Désiré Grisard (1872- ?). Via.

Le Secret by Désiré Grisard (1872- ?). Via.

Some fashion for you:

Valkyrie Rider Costume by Fairytas (via)

Valkyrie Rider Costume by Fairytas (via)

Elven Bridal Gown by The Firefly Path (via)

Elven Bridal Gown by The Firefly Path (via)

These masks featured at The Goblin Market are exquisite. I’ve shared only a couple; check out the link to see more.
tumblr_nejlmlb2051s5qq4xo10_1280tumblr_nejlmlb2051s5qq4xo9_1280The official trailer for The Witch, written and directed by Robert Eggers. “A New-England Folktale.”

Winter is coming.

Self portrait face to a winter canvas (2014) by Laurent Pernot (via)

Self portrait face to a winter canvas (2014) by Laurent Pernot; check out more photos of this sculptural self portrait at the artist’s site, linked above (via)

Magpie Monthly — August 2015 Mon, 17 Aug 2015 07:33:34 +0000 Continue reading ]]> il_fullxfull.435777165_mb8uThe above image of an Audubon magpie printed on a vintage book page can be found at the FauxKiss Etsy shop.

Fire Walk With Me by Bill Domonkos (via)

Fire Walk With Me by Bill Domonkos (via)

I’m already swooning: Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios are already at work on the next arc of the phenomenal Pretty Deadly. Sample page below but several more pages at the link.

Excerpt from Pretty Deadly #6 by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios (colors by Jordie Bellaire, lettering by Clayton Cowles)

Excerpt from Pretty Deadly #6 by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios (colors by Jordie Bellaire, lettering by Clayton Cowles)

Few people reading this post will be interested in these links, I think, but (a) I’m a sucker for organizing and (b) I’d love to have a craft room so well appointed. For those of you intrigued, check our the organizing of Martha Stewart’s craft room, part 1 and part 2.

Martha Stewart's craft room

Martha Stewart’s craft room

Typewriterhead is a short film by Eric Giessmann about “A man with a typewriter-head [who] tries to get rid of his out-of-control thoughts” (via):

My friend Jennifer sent me the link for 18 Libraries Every Book Lover Should Visit in Their Lifetime, and it’s really work clicking through. Some gorgeous, gorgeous libraries, like the first one on the list, the Admont Library in Admont, Austria:

The Admont Library in Admont, Austria

The Admont Library in Admont, Austria

Speaking of libraries, Greer Gilman, one of my beloved authors who first lifted off the top of my head with the majestic Moonwise way back in 1991, wrote a post recently about re-arranging her home library, which, while short, was a delightful read. Adding to the delight are the comments from readers about their own libraries.

Related: check out this article about Book Storage in Tiny Houses. I love the idea of the Tiny House movement, but I’ve often wondered how bibliophiles fit their collections in such a small space. The crawl-in book cubby, below, is super cool.

A crawl-in book cubby in an apartment designed by Tim Seggerman.

A crawl-in book cubby in an apartment designed by Tim Seggerman.

Continuing on the subject of books, check out this New Yorker article on Saying Goodbye to a Secret Bookstore, namely Brazenhead Books. AWP describes Brazenhead Books as a “speakeasy bookstore and literary salon [that] had operated out of an apartment at 235 East 84th Street. The windows were blacked out, and inside, discreet patrons frequented the shelves and tall stacks of books.” I wonder if someone has already used the “speakeasy bookstore” in a story or novel….

Girl Meets World meets Frank Miller. I’ve watched Girl Meets World with my youngest nieces; I have to say it’s pretty charming.

Beth shared this link with me on Facebook: Boy Who Couldn’t Afford Books Asks Mailman for Junk Mail to Read. Gonna get you right in the feels, that will.

And for a different set of book-related feels: Are you there, Greenpoint man? It’s Judy Blume.

Sometimes I feel this way about certain parts of my life. Or most of it?

Sometimes I feel this way about certain parts of my life. Or most of it?

Check out this video about the youngest master penman in the world, Jake Weidmann (and check out some examples of his work here):

15 Mysterious Facts about the Hardy Boys….

“Why should things be easy to understand?” ~Thomas Pynchon

Juan Santapau posted a new episode of The Secret Knots!
2015-08-14Also, check out If You Want to Write by Summer Pierre at The Rumpus (via):
If-You-Want-to-Write-1Pop Culture Disorder examines 5 ways The Little Mermaid is the most terrifying Disney movie. Man, I love Daniel O’Brien!

People, what is happening?!? (via)

Magpie Monthly — July 2015 Mon, 13 Jul 2015 07:33:25 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Magpie Witch by LiaSelinaI’m decidedly taken with the image above, Magpie Witch by LiaSelena, and I figured it was a grand header image for a Magpie Monthly. (Via) Read on for other shiny bits & bobbles that caught my eye recently.

Sousanis_jacketATilda Swinton is divine and she believes in education. Check out this article about the school that Tilda built and tell me you don’t see the value in that kind of education. In other education news, Nick Sousanis received a doctorate in education with his dissertation Unflattening, “a graphic novel about the relationship between words and pictures in literature” (and then it was published by Harvard UP and PW gave it a starred review).


American Gods art by James Carson

American Gods art by James Carson

Not news now, but I’m super-excited that Starz! has officially greenlit Bryan Fuller’s American Gods series based on Neil Gaiman’s novel. Check out a painting of the Bone Orchard here.

The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived is a charming animated short by Ida M. Schouw Andreasen (who did both the illustrations and the animation for Hulu) adapted from the children’s book by Daniel Errico and Mo Qovaizi. How can you not love a prince who makes pumpkin pie? (Via)

For those of you interested in random acts of kindness, check out these two pieces for some ideas:

What are some of your ideas for random acts of kindness?

Solitude by Marion Fayolle (via)

Solitude by Marion Fayolle (via)

A book I could have written, and maybe I did (via):


Not directly related at all: In June, the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states, which is nothing short of amazing and something I thought I’d never see in my lifetime, honestly. Out of the literal tons of articles I read about the ruling and its effects, here are a couple that stood out to me:

Even with all the joy in celebrating same-sex marriage, some queer kids are still apprehensive, sadly with good reason. Today’s moment of heartbreak: if you can look at this photograph and caption below (taken by Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York) and not start tearing up a little, or not feel at least a pang in your heart, I don’t know what kind of person you are, and frankly I don’t ever want to find out.

“I’m homosexual and I’m afraid about what my future will be and that people won’t like me.”

“I’m homosexual and I’m afraid about what my future will be and that people won’t like me.”

Schubert’s “Ständchen (Serenade),” performed by Camille Thomas and Beatrice Berrut at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels on 5 June 2011.

Links to some other videos worth watching:

Artist Dan Cretu handcarves bananas and then paints them. My favorite is below, but check out the gallery on That’s Nerdalicious!

Dan Cretu

Dan Cretu

I’ve always loved the title of Judy Blume’s Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, and never more so than when a student once sent me an email with the subject line, “Are you there, Stutts? It’s me, Kate.” But now xkcd has made perhaps my second-most favorite play on Blume’s title:

xkcd 1544 margaret

Geonn Cannon mashed together Garfield Minus Garfield with Saga (via):
lying-cat-garfieldCheck out two recent comics at The Secret Knots by Juan Santapau: Lesser-Known Connoisseurs and the crazy-perfect 11 Habits of Highly Creative People (the first two panels are below).
2015-07-10Thanks so much to Molly for sending me this link: a new Emily Carroll comic illustrating the song “Wild Creatures” by Neko Case. Sublime!
WildCreatures_900-thumb-600x1939-157590And one more comic for you to check out: Egg Comic by Z Akhmetova (via). The first few panels below:

Zolloc’s blink:
Zolloc blink

This month in miniatures:

The artists who do create those intricate sculptures out of the point of a pencil or a crayon amaze me. In the video below you can watch Russian artist Salavat Fidai carve the Eiffel Tower from a pencil tip (via), and then check out more of his miniature artwork here.

My favorite miniature is this Parisian kiosk by Goldie Hollander. Using a lantern for the “building” is just too cool. Click through here to see more images of the kiosk and here to see more of Hollander’s lovely work.

Parisian kiosk by Goldie Hollander

Parisian kiosk by Goldie Hollander

Oh, how I wish I could be in London to see this Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust exhibit (4 July-27 September) at the Royal Academy of Arts! The exhibit “brings together 80 of Cornell’s most remarkable boxes, assemblages, collages, and films.” For a long, long time, I wanted to try my hand at making some Cornell-inspired boxes—I even bought The Joseph Cornell Box to jump start—but the closest I’ve come are just paper collages. Ah well. Maybe some day? Do click the link above to visit the exhibit’s website, which is chock full of interesting things, much like a Cornell box but everything’s about Cornell!  (Via)
Joseph Cornell exhibit at the Royal Academy of Arts

These Polypodis shoes, designed by Kermit Tesoro, may be a horror to wear, but they look so cool. Click here to see another photo.

Designed by Kermit Tesoro

Designed by Kermit Tesoro

Monster couture (via):

Valentim Quaresma F/W 2015 Menswear Lisbon Fashion Week

Valentim Quaresma F/W 2015 Menswear Lisbon Fashion Week

Book lovers, check out the article “Welcome to the World’s Most Luxurious Libraries” at The Telegraph. Here’s the subtitle: “Private libraries are enjoying a renaissance, thanks to the specialist booksellers offering bibliophiles everything they need—from the shelves, to exquisite books that line them.” I’d like to get in on that line of work. (Via)

The library at the jeweller Jessica McCormack's Mayfair atelier

The library at the jeweller Jessica McCormack’s Mayfair atelier

And finally:

Time Enough at Last by Rick Finkelstein (2012), via

Time Enough at Last by Rick Finkelstein (2012), via