My dear friend Colin Campbell’s incredible theater piece GRIEF: A ONE MAN SHITSHOW opens TOMORROW in NYC. Deeply moving show about terrible loss and grief that’s alternately devastating and hilarious. Can’t recommend it more highly. Please do check it out and buy tickets today if you’re so inclined. griefaonemanshitshow.com/
Andy Daly, a brilliant comic and an old acquaintance from my New York City improv days, has written a very funny and thought-provoking post about his decision to step the hell away from daily posting on Twitter in favor of blogging — or “twarting,” as he puts it.
I very highly recommend you click away from this page and go read his post right now. Then come back for more of my brilliant thoughts!
Andy does a great job of describing the social and political pitfalls of Twitter. But this passage hit me particularly hard:
It seems that after 12 years of tweeting, I have quietly trained my brain to compose tweets all the time. In the early days of my Twitter self-banning, I kept coming up with dumb, trivial, concise notions that were designed to be shared with the world. I kept thinking “well, maybe I’ll tweet just this one thing”, but instead, summoning really very impressive will power wouldn’t you say, I opened the Notes app on my phone and tapped my tweet in there.
I strongly suspect that as as a fellow person in comedy, Andy, like me, spent years of his youth coming up with jokes and one-liners all the time and scribbling them down in a little notebook. So Twitter was perfectly designed for us, and we were/are pretty great at it! But posting jokes on Twitter serves masters other than ourselves and can create a less than healthy dynamic of approval-seeking that Andy wryly refers to when he “praises” the site for allowing him to “most meaningfully, [attract] attention to myself whenever I needed some.”
I missed Andy’s post when he published it back in September, but strangely, right around the same time, I was undertaking a similar project, revamping this website and amping up my blogging — mostly by going into excruciating detail about my renewed obsession with analog photography.
So I love Andy’s new (old) blog, and I particularly dig the fact that he’s letting himself write both longer posts and short bon mots he’s dubbed “twarts.” I’m not going to use his terminology, because he strangely insists “twarts” is a combination of “tweets” and “darts” instead of “tweets” and “farts,” and that’s a little too classy for me. But I am going to take inspiration from him and let myself write more very short posts on this blog about whatever, because that seems like fun.
This is also inspiring me to do a bit more research into finding a good old-school blog reader. If I can get a few more cool blogs like Andy’s into a nice app, I’ll have a great place to go other than Twitter when I want to read some funny/insightful stuff, and that’ll be a good thing.
So thanks, Andy! Also please join my web ring?
Comics artist Jeffrey Veregge has suffered acute renal and respiratory failure. His family has launched a GoFundMe to help with travel to the hospital and living expenses — Jeffrey is the family’s sole provider. Please do consider donating if you have the means.
Jeffrey and I collaborated a few years ago on a short story about the Poston incarceration camp for the New Frontiers: The Man Worlds of George Takei comics anthology book. He’s a tremendous, singular talent and a warm and wonderful person. If you pray, please pray for him and his family.
My friend, the brilliant artist Mimi Jung, is running a virtual summer art program for teens impacted by foster care. The program’s called With Art and it looks serious and amazing and a tremendous opportunity. It runs from July 6 to August 6, 2021.
Please do check out the PDF describing the program here.
You can visit mimijung.com/withart to apply. The deadline is June 21.
My friend MariNaomi has posted a fantastic new essay in comics form at Prism.com about caring for butterflies and dealing with a conflict with neighbors. It’s a deceptively simple little story that gets at a quiet truth that hit me pretty hard, in a good way. Just lovely.
Do yourself a favor and read it today.
Comics colorist Pete Pantazis has a hard deadline in about a week to raise enough money to save his home. Please do check out his GoFundMe and contribute if you can. As an added bonus, if you donate $25 or more, I’ll send you a signed copy of ACTION COMICS #23.2, which Pete colored and I wrote! Just send proof of your contribution and your US mailing address to helpinghands at gregpak dot com (apologies — I can’t ship overseas).
I have about 20 copies of the book to give away. This is the second printing, featuring the cool lenticular 3D cover.
Thanks so much for your consideration!
My good buddy Johnny C has launched a new Kickstarter for SOME GUYS, an album of gorgeous covers of ’70s soft rock classics. It’s ridiculous and awesome and as a guy who knows a guy, I’ve been listening to the actual album almost non-stop for the past 48 hours. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Back it here. You can even get it in vinyl!
I’m thrilled to report that I’ll be talking with the great Nicole Chung about ALL YOU CAN EVER KNOW, her searing memoir about her experiences as an adoptee, this Wednesday at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop in NYC!
My friends Jen Bartel and Sam Humphries have cooked up an amazing new Image Comics series called BLACKBIRD that I was lucky enough to be able to preview.
Jen Bartel’s luxe interiors are full of surreal spectacle and irresistible character detail and Sam Humphries’ scripts teem with gleeful worldbuilding and genuinely surprising twists. Pre-order with your local comic shop by September 9!
My friend Natalie Kim made a hilarious 30 second short film with animator Tyler Landis that made me laugh and laugh. It’s part of a series and I can’t wait for the next one. Check it out.