The plan to lose readers last week worked well. A little too well. Boy howdy. If we could reverse-engineer the slide in views and fire up a mirror version we’d be in clover for sure. Hey ho, be careful what you wish for. Hope we didn’t honk you all off too much, Readership.
This week: more of the usual. Comics heavy. We may be about to shed another tranche of casual readers. ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE.
Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.
There is no set method to picking a book, not at Cut Central. We grab a tome with a come-hither look and see what adventures come out of the ensuing liaison. This method has worked well and has led to an embarrassment of riches. We’re thinking of hiring a librarian to keep order. However, other ways are available.
We promised you more short fiction this year, and we are slacking. Allow us to make amends with a story from a favourite writer of ours, Robin Sloan. It’s a neat take on how authors and the fans of their work interact and what it takes to actually finish a work of art.
This is fascinating stuff from Mike Sowden at Everything Is Amazing. Why do we need to read early science writing, especially when so much of it has been fundamentally disproved? Why read classic fiction with its staid language and social mores that feel so wildly unrealistic to readers with a modern perspective? Good questions. The answer takes a slalom ride through hundreds of years of history to come to a conclusion we won’t spoil here. Take a deep breath and hit the slopes.
We struggle a lot with the idea of religious faith. Rampant atheists that we are, we can’t really understand the absolutism, the obstinacy or the mental mindset needed to simply wave away fairly obvious arguments and inconvenient facts as irrelevance. One thing we can agree on is the joy we find in the expression of that faith—in music, poetry, art and in this particular instance, architecture. The Chicken Church Of Indonesia may not have turned out as its creator intended, but the world would be a lesser place without it.
It’s forty years since V For Vendetta first hit the news-stands in the pages of Warrior (you’d better believe we still have our copy stashed away) and Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s story doesn’t get any less relevant. We seem, if anything, to be moving closer and closer to the isolated and damaged England in which the story is set. A true classic of The Ninth Art.
Well, as we’re in a comics kind of mood… Moore and Lloyd both got a start in comics through the auspices of Tharg and The Galaxy’s Greatest Comic, 2000AD. One of the early strips which rang the bells of a lot of readers was The Harlem Heroes, a future-sport story with an all-Black leading cast—a radical step for staid old British comics. A new take on the story is launching as a bonus to 2000AD’s Regened line, designed to lure in younger readers who don’t care about 45 years of backstory. It’s colourful, fast-moving and lots of fun!
Comics creator Ronald Wimberley writes with insight and passion on another aspect of Black comics culture. Specifically how appropriation can take on many forms and be perceived in a host of different ways. Allow us to recommend Ronald’s Prince Of Cats, which is one of the most fun takes on Romeo And Juliet we’ve read in a very long time. Yeah, we’re slow on the uptake, but we get there eventually.
Food writer Jonathon Gold spent a year working, writing and eating his way down LA’s Pico Boulevard. It’s no Hollywood Boulevard. The neighbourhood (and OK, the food) can be rough. But as a major artery of the city, Pico pumps blood and life into the soul of the place. Gold understood that—one reason why his work on the lower-end of the LA food scene endures so powerfully today.
We suppose the Ukrainian conflict has to make appearances here in some form. We liked this bit in Eater on how the country’s blossoming fine-dining scene has pivoted to provide the essentials. After all, an army marches on its stomach…
And finally—this, tweeted by Sophia Cosby (@shmlophia) from Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott. Sophia calls it ‘the best writing advice ever’. We call it ‘standing order no. 1 for generating an issue of The Cut’.
We are late catching the Ghost train but wow, we’re glad to finally hitch a ride. The look is Slipknot if they caught religion. The sound is sleek, hook-heavy hair metal with Scandi-pop smarts. The closest example we can think of is Eurovision heavyweights Lordi, who understood the power of bonkers theatricality matched with a lick of the heavy stuff. Ghost’s latest album Imperative has blasted up the charts with good reason. These guys are a blast. Get on board.
See you next Saturday, ghoulies.