2 min read

Friday Open Thread (with Recommendations)

Dear Friends,

It’s been a bit of a strange week. Mercury’s in retrograde; miscommunications and crosstalk land with more heaviness and consequence than usual; delays drag on. I’ve felt very up and down, and thought I’d just have a week of recommending stuff to your attention that’s been moving me and bringing me a lot of joy and catharsis, and ask you to do the same if you feel moved to do so. So here goes!


Stu introduced me to Rina Sawayama’s music this week, and I’m obsessed with it. He made me listen to “STFU!”, and both the growly, love-letter-to-Limp-Bizkit-in-shitpost-form version and the acoustic version make me feel a particularly vicious sort of happiness. I preferred listening to it to watching the video — having listened to it first, I wanted, er, more violence from the video than it engages in — but it’s been mashing the buttons of my feelings for the last few days. Highly recommended if you want to burst into tears in the wake of an intense cardio workout.


I was recently introduced to Dialect and it’s blowing me away.

Alex Roberts, the genius behind For the Queen, is Kickstarting a sweet, small journalling game called Precious Little Animal, which I’m very excited to share with friends.

Jeeyon Shim and Shing Yin Khor’s Field Guide to Memory has been tilling my emotional soil on a daily basis, and I’m going to write about it at more length soon, but meantime, you should absolutely follow the links for each of their Patreon accounts, because they’re wonderful.

Comics and Cartoons

I often speak of how I watch cartoons medicinally: in times of sadness and high stress, cartoons ground me in colour and joy. They often make me cry when I need that release, or fill me up with warmth when I feel hollow and numb. I’m still hoarding the final season of Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, and consuming the latest Craig of the Creek episodes in small, careful sips.

Lately Stu’s been a champion of curating comics for me that produce a similar effect — comics that I can read right before bed knowing they’ll help calm my brain down enough to let me sleep, comics that bring me a very specific kind of comforting joy.

Here are a few of them, and some things I’ve said about them.

Snapdragon by Kat Leyh:

Twins by Varian Johnson and Shannon Wright:

A Map to the Sun by Sloane Leong:

I’ve decided to keep these in a running Bedtime Reading list on Bookshop.org; I have an affiliate account with them, because (quoting from their Author Brochure) authors “earn 10% of every purchase made from their Bookshop sales--and a matching 10% will go to support independent bookstores.” So, full disclosure, buying these books (or anything else from my shopfront) through this link benefits me, but you should absolutely buy them wherever is most convenient for you, or seek them out at your local library.

Is there art you turn towards with reliable regularity for an easing of the heart? A book, a poem, a piece of music, a film, a comic? I’d love to know.

Wishing you all the best for an easeful and nourishing weekend,