The anonymous soapbox-like atmosphere of the Internet has long made it the best place to air out dirty laundry. Artist Anna Ladd is one of those people, and over the years she has confessed to all kinds of personal embarrassments on her blog. Her photo series Things I Told the Internet, But Didn’t Tell My Mom examines the blurry lines of what’s considered public and private. Using banners to spell out phrases that are directly lifted from her blog, the series cleverly shows how broadcasting our thoughts to others over the Internet sometimes doesn’t translate well in the real world. Or, as Ladd describes, these are just “some pictures about my backwards concept of privacy.” Touché.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Tuesday, March 15th, 2016||No Comments »|
There are moments in our lives that we will never forget — stories that will remain in our minds so that we may tell them to the next generation. “I remember where I was when Kennedy was assassinated.” “I remember where I was when Michael Jackson died.” While some events of this type have occurred within my lifetime, there is one memory that may never be passed on. I remember where I was when I learned about the end of the world.
“an ocular sun – a half other red”
|Recommended by Kieffer Wilson||Monday, March 14th, 2016||No Comments »|
In Meg Syverud’s action-packed fantasy Daughter of the Lilies, three mercenaries-for-hire find themselves with much more than they bargained for when they hire Thistle, a mysterious but immensely talented mage, who for unknown reasons can never show her face.
All Thistle wants is to keep a low profile, help people, and stay out of trouble, something that repeatedly proves much more difficult than she’d like. Things only get more complicated when she joins a quarrelsome band of adventurers: the stoic and long-suffering orc Orrig; Lyra, a boisterous elven archer; and Brent, a (mostly) human fighter with a tragic past and heavily scrutinized parentage. Though a tight-knit group, our heroes keep finding themselves in a world of trouble in the form of demons, cannibals, and infernal (or perhaps divine) otherworldly forces. Plus, perhaps most troubling of all, Brent is falling in love with Thistle.
Daughter of the Lilies is a gorgeous take on epic fantasy, with all the lush worldbuilding and none of the usual rules. Syverud’s writing and art, along with beautiful color work by Jessica Weaver, bring together elements of magic, horror, religion, romance, and human drama to create a richly detailed story while maintaining a tight, character-driven narrative.
At its core, Daughter of the Lilies is about learning to be kind to yourself. It deals with topics of anxiety, abuse, neglect, prejudice, and self-loathing, while also exemplifying the myriad ways in which love redeems and empowers us. Best of all, Thistle is unlike any other fantasy protagonist you’ve ever seen, and despite the fact that we’ve yet to see her face, you can be sure she will captivate you all the same.
Daughter of the Lilies is currently four chapters long and updates Tuesdays and Thursdays.
|Recommended by Marie Anello||Thursday, March 10th, 2016||No Comments »|
I just finished Americanah, a wonderful novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the author of Purple Hibiscus, among others. Adichie came to my attention through her non-fiction work, We Should All Be Feminists, but her fiction should not be missed.
Americanah tells the story of a Nigerian woman’s years in the US, and her eventual return to Nigeria. I was attracted to this novel because I usually enjoy expat stories and cross-cultural adventures, and I thought it would be an interesting way to learn more about Nigeria. Adichie handles the theme well, blending moments of cultural discovery that will be familiar to any expat, with moments that were uniquely Nigerian (and uniquely Ifemelu). I found Ifemelu’s mixture of reverse culture shock and comfort on her return to Nigeria is particularly moving.
|Recommended by Meg Stivison||Wednesday, March 9th, 2016||1 Comment »|
There’s a specific image people think of when they hear the words “fan made” — usually something low budget, slop-dodged and inferior to the original. Basically, amateurish. But the medium of fan art has been growing in momentum lately and going into new, intriguing directions, like with Elliot Lim’shomage to The Wire and Yoann Hervo‘s fan made Simpsons tribute. This fan made homage to Mad Max: Fury Road, made by Julien JDM, exchanges the hypercut editing of the original with a retro, pixelated version with a sleek vaporwave undercurrent. Weirdly enough, he manages to capture the energy of the film while injecting some new energy of his own. If you’re wondering who did the song, it’s “Defiant Order” by Birdy Nam Nam.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Tuesday, March 8th, 2016||No Comments »|
Long before Pharaoh Nefertiti and Queen Cleopatra VII took power in ancient Egypt, there was a successful female ruler by the name of Hatshepsut who defied the usual tradition of having a male heir.
In Kara Cooney’s The Woman Who Would Be King, she details Hatshepsut’s rise to power. She was married to her brother Thutmose but failed to produce a male heir. He died young and she out-maneuvered her brother’s second wife for a place on the throne, which led to Hatshepsut being named co-regent for her nephew Thutmose III. Instead of regurgitating dry facts about the female Pharaoh’s life, Cooney weaves a fascinating tale that explores how Hatshepsut faced similar obstacles to today’s modern women.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, March 7th, 2016||No Comments »|
Ahh, conventions. You go to one and you go to them all, right? It certainly seems like it. Just look at this old video from a 1976 Star Trek convention. Recorded by ultimessence, he took his old Super 8 camera down to Denver, Colorado’s Northgenn Mall to capture the rising swarm of Trekkies taking over America. Not only were Leonard Nimoy and James Doohan at the event, but also the first possible sighting of a furry at 1:20 of the video (although YouTube commenters say he’s actually dressed as a cataan from the Star Trek cartoon series, but hey, “furry” is funnier). The video is more than just a crazy, retro blast from the past, it’s also a video proof that conventions were always a little strange and a little awkward.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Thursday, March 3rd, 2016||No Comments »|