I’ve just read Cecil Castellucci’s 2005 debut novel Boy Proof and it’s delightful to discover that she’s every bit as talented a novelist as she is a graphic novel writer (The Plain Janes, the first volume in the outstanding Minx graphic novel series) and a rock musician (Nerdy Girl/Bite).

do as Cory says and read the work of cecil castellucci!

i’m so writing this as a fanfic…

a few people have asked me to elaborate on my tweet about how “jessica raine as verity lambert” should be the doctor’s next companion…

OK… here’s my pitch… as a child growing up in canada, sydney newman spent a lot of time traveling through space and time in the company of a man he believed at the time was his grandfather.


upon his return — following the unexplained disappearance of his grandfather — newman’s parents quickly convinced him that his adventures were simply his dreamlike embellishment of a series of travels taken to historical landmarks…

newman was so taken by the man he believed was his grandfather that, upon becoming the head of drama for the BBC, he pitched a series based on his memories of childhood adventure. this pitch eventually became “doctor who”…


…and when a man showed up at the BBC… in a blue box, claiming to be newman’s grandfather but looking nothing like the doddering, white-haired man described by newman, no one believed him…


…no one, that is, other than a very talented young woman looking to break free from the patriarchal order around her and find new worlds of adventure…





My new book, THE WITCHES OF ECHO PARK, is available for pre-order through these establishments:

Murder By The Book


Mysterious Galaxy


It comes out January 6 - which is 2 days before my 38th birthday! Wanna get me a great birthday treat? Pre-order the book! :)

hey world - the awesome amber benson’s awesome new book is coming out - go pre-order it! 


howdy, middle-kateers!  

ready for some good news? 

thanks to our crack team - artists les mcclaine and armando zanker, colorist ryan hill, inker terry blas and graphic designer lee thompson - “the middleman - volume 5: the pan universal parental reconciliation” is off to the printers along with the signed bookplates and all of your addresses!

we expect the printer to complete production and ship the books by mid-september - at which time we will also post the video of the live reading to our site www.o2stk.com.

and if you are missing any middle books, don’t delay, they are all available now at www.o2stk.com and at amazon - both in the unites states and internationally.

we are weeks away from completing this project - the crowd-funded franchise resurrection could never have happened without your support, and we at o2stk are infinitely grateful!

oh, you want a sneak peek at the book?  OK!

here’s the special cover lee thompson has designed EXCLUSIVELY for campaign donors…

and here’s the cover everyone else will get from www.o2stk.com after the campaign donors get their copies!

nifty, huh?

i adored robin williams.

from the moment i came to this country from puerto rico and landed in a sixth grade classroom at martin luther king elementary school in ann arbor, michigan, my peers called me “mork” - they thought i resembled robin williams.

you be the judge.



either way, i took the nickname as a supreme compliment.

i loved williams’s work as an actor. as a comedian, i truly consider him without peer.

"mork and mindy" - a series in its heyday when i was ten and trying to figure out what i was - was a weekly escape valve for this hyperkinetic, fast-talking misfit.  

i listened to his records and watched his HBO specials like they were master classes: a lifeline to an anarchic, free-associative world of imagination run wild.

truly, i cannot overestimate the impact of robin williams’s work on me as an immigrant with a slightly skewed perspective and a desire to express myself. he made it more than okay to be weird and way off center - his comedy was an atomic explosion of connections between disparate ideas, tied together with critical masses of atomic absurdity, delivered with megatons of energy.

every time i watched my VHS tapes of his specials, my mind was altered for the better.

as with any person of extreme talent, many came to see williams as twee and exhausting.

none of that ever kept me from appreciating the man and his gifts - he was a true empath whose uncanny talent for emotional connection was always in evidence. even at his most wearyingly demanding, williams’s mind was clearly aflame with a need to express, a desire to relate, and a passion to entertain…

…and as with so many people with this drive, ambition, and need, the dark side of talent was every bit as powerful with robin williams, and ultimately seized the day. 

today an entire generation of manic alien visitors whose comedy is a veil for a universe of emotion have lost their patron saint.






…will be explained by future cultural historians as gripped by the delusion that ever more elaborate reenactments of the carnage of 9/11 - insistently recast as heroic narratives of the triumph our perceived core values of freedom and democracy over adversity - would somehow…

so what are you dying to tell me - that i’m flat out wrong or just naive for not taking a long view to which you’re privy? the claim isn’t that the moment is “special” - the claim is that it is the moment through which i am currently living, and on which i am commenting. 

I’m saying a few things, I guess.

1. I think in the immediate wake of 9-11 that the use of explosions, wittingly or unwittingly, have to be seen as overt allusions to 9-11.  Now, destruction porn is primarily a referendum on how well destruction porn has been working, and I think it is easy (because of the congruence of the imagery) to overestimate how much the audience makes this connection, even subliminally, more than just likes seeing things blow up.

2.  Besides this specific thing, the statement is pretty universal, especially in American media era entertainment.  The whole genre of the western had this role for my father’s generation.  It is an interesting observation (that heroic forms allow us to diffuse the stress of the gap between how we see ourselves and who we are) although it could be mentioned that this usage tends to subvert itself over time (see: many current event movies).

3. The term “future cultural historian” is a device to allow you to pass judgement on current culture with a cushion of intellectual safety, which is fine (we all do stuff like this), but it also helps you create the distance which adds to the image that the cultural moment (or at least the blockbuster movie culture) is defined by this one thing, and I think it is much more complicated.  With the linking of 9-11 to such a general statement and the appeal to a future authority, your point seems to be that that if we could view things dispassionately, the thing that defines this time period (makes it unique) is something that, after consideration, I find pretty universal, not “special” to this era.  That’s what I meant by special.

I may have misunderstood your point, but that was my impression given the nature of the rhetoric.  I follow you and love your posts, I was just commenting on my understanding of what you said.  Cheers! 

thanks for the kind note - i agree that mass entertainment is very much in the business of recontextualizing popular trauma, but i would argue that in this moment, the 9/11 imagery does have an added sense of currency that, for example, westerns as allegory, or even war movies as reclamations of heroic narrative lac - specifically because it was the first mass attack on an american civilian population that was witnessed collectively in real time: the images were not filtered in the way that even viet nam images were… and also because the technology now exists for vfx artists (who are most likely using the collapse of the twin towers as a visual reference for how buildings fall apart) to replicate reality with a level of fidelity never before seen.

as for the future historian trope, i was groping for a polite way of saying “heroic fantasies are never going to be a good stand in for the work of a war crimes tribunal/truth and reconciliation committee in this or any other time”.

i might have also meant to say “i am sick and tired of being endlessly retraumatized by your cheap-minded reenactments of 9/11, especially when they are attached to stories about what great people we supposedly are.”