1 December 2023
[london] ianVisits … A great website concentrating on London news, and things to do and visit around the city.
4 December 2023
[comics] The Ditko Version … A comprehensive look at Steve Ditko’s reminiscences of his time at Marvel in the 1960s. ‘Stan’s synopsis to me did not mention any (two) wrist shooters, or hidden belt, or any specific costume or specific spider-like actions. Those are my ideas and creation.”’
5 December 2023
[comics] Classic 2000AD Covers From Kevin O’Neill … Really vivid colour on these great scans from 2000 AD production art owned by Steve Cook.

6 December 2023
[books] Remembering Iain Banks: a prolific, terrific talent … A look at the legacy of Iain Banks. ‘Ten long years without a new book from him seems illogical, bizarre. After his rug-pulling debut The Wasp Factory brought him early notoriety in 1984, Banks averaged roughly a novel a year for almost three decades. Though he clearly relished switching up his approach to genre, consistent elements of his often swashbuckling style – notably caustic wit, a weakness for wordplay and unwavering socialist politics – made the annual ritual of catching up with the new Banks feel like an ongoing conversation. I miss it. I miss him.’
7 December 2023
[comics] Best graphic novels of 2023 … Some great comics with mentions of Dan Clowes and Ed Piskor’s Hip Hop Family Tree. ‘Why Don’t You Love Me? (Drawn & Quarterly) follows a couple struggling through parenthood and blagging their way in baffling jobs. British cartoonist Paul B Rainey builds his story from bleakly humorous page-long strips, while the larger question – how, exactly, did these absurdly underqualified people get to where they are? – slowly moves into focus, giving his inventive drama a real emotional weight.’
8 December 2023
[xmas] Christmas Links 2023 … Stuart over at Feeling Listless is collecting festive links every day.
11 December 2023
[comics] The Woman in Room 237! … An impressive Shining cover from Matt Talbot’s series of romance-horror comic mashups.

12 December 2023
[life] 52 things Tom Whitwell Learned in 2023 A list of TiLs. ‘Scientists in Singapore have developed a tiny flexible battery, powered by the salt in human tears, designed for smart contact lenses.’
13 December 2023
[podcasts] The Banksy Story … A BBC podcast chronicling Banksy’s rise to fame.
14 December 2023
[comics] Born on the Bayou: An Inside Look at the 13 Pre-Flashpoint Eras of Swamp Thing … A great guide to the many different series of Swamp Thing. ‘In a single chapter, writer Alan Moore un-did all that had come before. Readers had followed Alec’s journey for a dozen years, yet Moore—with artists Stephen R. Bissette, John Totleben, Rick Veitch and Alfredo Alcala—revealed that Alec could never regain his humanity (Edward’s genius notwithstanding), because he’d never had it to begin with. Alec had been dead since day one, and the creature with his memories was a plant that thought itself a man. That revolutionary change carried Swamp Thing to the stars, introduced occultist John Constantine, and culminated in the game-changing reveal of the Parliament of Trees, providing Swamp Thing with a vast elemental lineage that included the original House of Secrets story.’
15 December 2023
[comics] Popverse’s best comics of 2023… Some interesting comics in this “Best of” list. ‘If comics could have a ‘great American novelist’ like a Cormac McCarthy, we have that in Emily Carroll. Her 2023 one-shot A Guest in the House paints in broad strokes, being simultaneously deep while also airy – letting me (and you hopefully), find the story for yourself. While some might categorize this as horror, it’s a broader story about the human condition that a label of just ‘horror’ would be limiting.’
18 December 2023
[xmas] The experts: money gurus’ 20 failsafe, frugal tips to keep Christmas overspend at bay‘Don’t throw money at the problem – “Sometimes I buy things just so I can close the tab on my phone,” admits Seal. The increased mental load in December means “there are so many decisions to be made, so much Christmas admin to do” and it can be easy to throw money at the problem so that it is one less thing to worry about. “Quite often, I think we spend money so that we can file things under done,” she says.’
19 December 2023
[cthulhu] Road Closed – Cosmic Horror … Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn!

Road Closed Cosmic Horror Sign

20 December 2023
[2023] John Crace on the Villains of 2023‘Suella Braverman — First, we had her enthusiastic support of the Rwanda policy. The idea of sending small boats refugees to a country that has been deemed unsafe by the United Nations. So far, no refugee has yet been deported to Rwanda. So that worked well. Then she acquired a barge that turned out to be riddled with legionella. So far, only a handful of people have been housed there. It turns out that Braverman is good at talking about new ways to be unpleasant to foreigners, but less so at turning it into a reality.’
21 December 2023
[comics] Ian Gibson, 1946-2023 … Comic artist Ian Gibson’s obituary from the Comics Journal. ‘Always an independent-minded artist, which got him into hot water with more than one publisher, Gibson treated Moore’s scripts with much less reverence than one is used to see, as detailed in Thrill-Power Overload: “I had already got into the habit of deconstructing a script and putting it back together in a way that would be visually more effective. I tended to take Alan’s verbose ramblings with a pinch of salt and do it my own way!” Originally planned for nine ‘books,’ only three were completed before Moore cut ties with 2000 AD over royalty and ownership disputes, never to return. It is a testimony to the sheer quality of these stories that the magazine, even when bought out by video game company Rebellion, resisted the temptation to continue Halo Jones with other creators.’
22 December 2023
[fun] Brickception … If you’re lucky, it’s the last working Friday of the year so why spend some of it playing this crazy version of Breakout.
24 December 2023
[movies] Just How Rich Were the McCallisters in ‘Home Alone’?‘He noted that in Hughes’s teen films — including “The Breakfast Club,” and “Pretty in Pink” — class tensions are also often prominent and drive the story forward. “His stories usually favor the perspective of the working class kid or the poor kid who is trying to gain access to a wealthier peer group, for instance,” Professor Bulman said. “But in ‘Home Alone,’ it’s unmistakably a victory for Kevin as a child, but also Kevin as a rich kid defending his impressive fortress.”’
25 December 2023
[batman] The best Christmas rom-com is actually Batman Returns … Another look at Batman Returns as a Christmas Movie. [See also: 75 thoughts I had while watching Batman Returns, The World’s Greatest Holiday Movie] ‘Batman Returns goes out of its way to establish rom-com lore, like the idea that no one should be alone at Christmas, especially Batman. Think Christmas time can be hard for single people? Think about poor, rich Bruce Wayne! He’s an orphan! He’s so alone! It also plays with the idea that there’s no better time to tell the truth than at Christmas. Movies always tell us that Christmas is the time we let our masks fall and our guards down. In Batman’s case, this means it’s the perfect time to admit that you love, or, at the very least, are a little horny for, one of your enemies — who also might be your soulmate (yes, this applies to many Batman villains).’
26 December 2023
[mac] After Dark Screensavers in CSS … Run the classic Macintosh screensaver Flying Toasters within your browser.
27 December 2023
[ideas] 100 Little Ideas … A collection of ideas explaining how the world works. ‘Fact-Check Scarcity Principle: This article is called 100 Little Ideas but there are fewer than 100 ideas. 99% of readers won’t notice because they’re not checking, and most of those who notice won’t say anything. Don’t believe everything you read.’
28 December 2023
[comics] Jeffrey Lewis tells the story of Alan Moore

29 December 2023
[cartoons] Tom Lets Out Weary Sigh After Walking Into Kitchen and Noticing Cheese Grater Isn’t Part of the Matte Painting‘Viewers of Tom & Jerry, while still eager to see Tom get hurt, were sympathetic to how resigned he was to his fate. “Don’t get me wrong, that cheese grater looked gnarly and he absolutely had it coming,” cartoon enthusiast Katie McLaughlin said of Tom, whose only crime was trying to catch a pest that lives in the walls and eats his owners’ food.’