He Wore A Hat

And he said things that made people uncomfortable.

I have not listened to the above recordings in, probably, ever. It is possibly full of NSFW words.

Kirk Wilson was a guy I knew in days when it seemed like outrageous was a good way to go about things. In those days, a friend and I created something which we intended to be a good thing for outrageousness to grow alongside, in the protective lee of our plans.

Kirk ran around in that protective lee like a demon. He was short because of some named condition. He had a limp. He had buggy eyes. He had a casual distain for how you felt about his appearance, and used that disregard to his advantage. He wore a hat, and called himself Hatter. He was on my writing staff for a couple of months as an artist before I knew it, and for a couple of more months before I knew his proper name.

He moved to Chicago, and learned that being outrage is a lifestyle choice with consequences. Eventually, like Bartleby, had Bartleby gotten all up in your grill about everything you did, and he did, and that guy on the El did, and the way the wind blew his black canvas trenchcoat around, he died. My life is better because he was in it, and it would be better still if he could still be in it. Here’s some of his art.

Kirk Wilson art

Viral: The Fight Against AIDS in America

Written for the youngest of young adults, high school students, this book takes an unsparing (but not salacious) look at the origins of the disease. It also offers an unsparing look at the causes of the epidemic, and forthrightly addresses reasons for why it continued to spread for as long as it did. Social, political, economic, and medical challenges faced by, and overcome by, People With AIDS are examined in tough, passionate prose. The lessons Ann Bausum weaves through this powerful book illuminate both the days from a generation ago, and highlight the power of organization–a lesson of particular importance for every generation.

Shelley by Vandermeulen and Casanave

u3bexy1o0eqz5rsx7pkskwzkvjinm2nx-couv-1200Perfect for the ravenous reader of graphic novels, Romanic poets, or people who are clever. The prose guides the reader along the high points of Shelley’s early adulthood with breezy language and mod characterizations. The art is a fun combination of the style popularized in ’80’s alt-comics (notably From Hell), and early 20th Century comic strips like Thimble Theatre. On the whole, pleasant, and I am looking forward to the next volume.

Ebook only.

Catwoman, Vol. 1: Copycats

Visually striking, but ultimately a little thin, this new presentation of Selina Kyle too easily treads well-worn paths. The characterization of Catwoman hints at comics continuity in ways which barely matter, while moving too quickly through harrowing emotional beats which could have grounded the story for real-world readers. Nearly unbearable emotional pain gets replaced with impossibly low-consequence physical suffering (a five story fall ends with two broken ribs, and maybe something else, and glossed with a single panel of a close-up grimace). This is a stylish collection, but very little seems to lie beneath the surface.

To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity. –Douglas Adams