once bitten, twice shy: the buddy list
Nine of my friends talk about the things they loved and the feelings they felt this year.
Hello, and welcome to the inaguaral post of my newsletter. I’ve long insisted that this would be the year I finally allow myself some time to be selfish—to follow my own whims and write some things that are strictly for my own fulfillment—for the past several years since I’ve been writing full-time. And while I’ve produced a body of work that I’m immensely proud of, I find myself feeling frustrated by the limitations of the channels that I publish through. My interests run deep, and they pull me violently by every extremity in every direction; the more I resist in an effort to stay focused, the more I feel I am likely to be ripped apart.
The goal of starting this little newsletter is to be a little kinder to myself—to indulge my desire to write an essay about whatever excites me, to interview whomever I think would be cool to talk to, and to remind myself that my thoughts are worth having even if I don’t get paid for them. I’ve got a lot of things planned for this space that may be of interest to you, or they may only interest me. In order to properly extend that kindness to myself, I’ve elected—to the best of my ability—not to care if the former applies.
It may seem like a contradiction, then, that most of the words herein won’t even be my own. I’ve decided to cede the spotlight to some trusted friends, whom I’ve invited to share reflections of their year. I asked everyone to provide up to two lists of up to ten items. No mandates on topics, scope, or length—because I wanted these to feel like honest reflections of the way their time was spent. The reason I wanted to start things off this way is simple: relearning to bare my heart to other people again has changed me for the better and rekindled warm feelings I’ve long felt were permanently lost. Everyone here has given me some encouragement, they’ve shown an interest in what makes me tick, or they’ve simply given me space to be myself—and I want to give back. To me, it makes perfect sense as a way to show what my heart is made of. There’s a little reflection of myself in all of them.
This is by no means a comprehensive buddy list, nor is it exclusive; these are just the ones I felt brave eneough to pester for their contributions on fairly short notice. Whether they’ve chosen to share a lot or a little about themselves, I’ve learned a lot from each of them. Thanks for reading. I’ll see you again at the end. 💜
—Shy Clara Thompson
I catch myself thinking a lot some days about the disposability of art. Nearly a century ago, people would use Action Comics #1 to start their fireplace. There are a lot of people out there that see music as window dressing, a backdrop to their night out with their friends. An average artist will just pour their entire being into their work and for someone out there, that whole stretch of time is just someone’s commute. This isn’t a bad thing, we’re all creatures that process our surroundings in different ways. I just think my brain runs this thought through my body once or twice every few months in a feeble attempt to give me some perspective, to not sweat the small stuff all the time… to remind myself that I’m just someone else trying to get by. Some people save lives for a living, others build furniture, I try to crunch the numbers in my brain as to exactly why Godzilla makes me feel the way he does. There are people that listen to that. We have weird jobs.
I like a lot of weird and dumb stuff. Pop culture stuff. I’ve fostered a lifelong fascination with the concept of “Low Art” and workmanlike storytellers sprawling themselves out on an inherently capitalist structure. Looking at a promotional box of candy and seeing the human being that expressed some truly weird, hilarious thoughts in word bubbles and song lyrics. I’ve never been much of an economist but I guess that relationship between art and money means something to me. I wanna make a lot of both! I want the faith that if I ever toiled away at something from inside of some unknowable contemptible machine, they’d be able to look at it and see me inside of there. Some of those machines are so well-built they make sure you can’t see anybody inside. So over the years, I guess I’ve trained my eyes to look for people in those things and appreciate them when they make something truly special. This year, I think I got to see malfunctions new and old.
Moving from this year to the next, I think I’ve learned to cherish my friends and family some more. I’ve lost people, I’ve gained more. I attended a nearly empty memorial service so full of silent resentment and awkward trauma that it made me sick and I’ve resolved to make sure I never leave something like that behind. I’ve tossed and turned about my artistic and financial future and I still don’t have answers or opportunities. I co-wrote the best song I’ve made to date. I’m so fucking tired and so fucking frustrated but I’m also so, so full of love and appreciation. I don’t know how to feel. It’s been an incredibly hard year and I think after about a decade of hard years I’m done making resolutions. All I know is that I experienced some incredible things, good and bad, and that I want to be confident enough to provide some cool stuff to others going forward.
May the next year bring us more. I want more words to process pain, pictures to render truth in imagination. I want songs to sprout forth when I think of them and the ability to make it real. I want good movies, funny jokes and really fucking delicious food. I want more dumb comics to read every Sunday with my friends, I want more songs with ridiculous writing decisions to gawk at. For every difficult thing this year represented for me, I want next year to give me more. I’m done with indecision. This year’s an abandoned house and I want to move out because from where I’m standing next year is a warm bed.
Top 10 Individual Manga Chapters Published in Shonen Jump Magazine in 2022
Hunter x Hunter, chapter 397
One Piece, chapter 1045
RuriDragon, chapter 5
Akane-Banashi, chapter 28
Sakamoto Days, chapter 100
PPPPPP, chapter 61
Ayashimon, chapter 24
Undead Unluck, chapter 132
Me & Roboco, chapter 100
Jujutsu Kaisen, chapter 183
10 Creatively Inspiring Rock Songs I First Heard in 2022
COWPERS - “Cian”
12 Rods - “Red (4/9 New Version)”
Walrus - “Hikari no Kakera”
The Hated - “Someone”
Susquatch - “After the Thaw”
GEZAN - “DNA”
Piebald - “Mess With the Bulls”
Veltpunch - “7”
There Is a Light That Never Goes Out - “Distance”
Popcatcher - “Punkrockauthority”
This was my first full year of truly being home. My wife and I moved to Vermont in April of last year, leaving behind a whole metropolitan area filled with ghosts. When we landed, we immediately wanted to dig our roots very deep into the soil. But the thing is, you can’t force roots; they have to grow on their own. This year, they took.
It’s taken me living here with my wife—we two now legally ordained, as of May this year—to understand that home isn’t just a person, a place or a particular feeling. I mean, it is those things, yes, but in order to be home you need your self to be at peace.
So maybe what I really mean is that this was my first full year of truly being at peace.
I’ve spent most of my adult life living for others. I don’t say that to cast aspersions on anyone or to sound like sour grapes, but I just didn’t ever really think about myself. I’d learned at a very young age that casting off parts of myself made life easier for others, and it made me more palatable for others.
So over time, I cast off my rough edges. I cast off my video games in college. I cast off anime and manga in young adulthood. I cast off my faith to appease some pain. I cast off community to live for someone else.
But this year, in this place, with this woman, I finally let myself be me. I re-found the things that made my heart glow; I bought my deeply loved SEGA systems and I spent a whole afternoon touching them to see if I could recover all of my memories (I did). I bought a ring to give to my wife to finally rectify how I had failed my own heart before. I bought MiniDisc players (lots of them) to reclaim a small part of the carefree youth I wish I had.
I also finally found community. I found a place that reinvigorated my dream for how the internet could connect people. I found a church that doesn’t hate me.
This year, I found home.
Top 5 Sports Happenings
Top 5 Things That Made Me Cry (That weren’t real genuine harm or hurt)
Lightning talking to a robot who lost his friends (Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns)
The donuts I made, having never thought I could make something so delicious
A video of my wife playing the guitar for me when I was apart from her in Europe
When my wife proposed to me and we got married
Having a delicious decaf coffee to wind down in the evening after a hard day
despite having a good group of friends in relatively close physical proximity and a wonderful significant other with whom i spend most of my time with, i’m prone to feeling very alone (i should really stop staying up so late). some of the other freaks here on this thing have played a large part in easing that whole feeling which i am endlessly grateful for. thanks for posting 4s4ki like ten months ago shy, you have thoroughly rearranged my ears.
movies i watched this year that i'll be thinking about for a long time
0.5 mm (dir. Momoko Ando, 2014)
After Life (dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda, 1998)
Come Drink with Me (dir. King Hu, 1966)
Cure (dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 1997)
Decision to Leave (dir. Park Chan-Wook, 2022)
Drive My Car (dir. Ryusuke Hamaguchi, 2021)
Irma Vep (dir. Olivier Assayas, 1996)
Still Life (dir. Jia Zhangke, 2006)
The Novelist's Film (dir. Hong Sang-Soo, 2022)
The River (dir. Tsai Ming-Liang, 1997)
2022 records that i liked a lot
4s4ki - Killer in Neverland
Chat Pile - God's Country
Cloud Rat - Threshold
Haru Nemuri - Shunka Ryougen
Utada Hikaru - BADモード
macaroom - inter ice age 4
My Little Airport - 跟你開玩笑
Nanoray - Digimaiden
Negative Plane - The Pact
Sobs - Air Guitar
The last few years I kind of feel like I was stuck. I don’t think it was in any particular stand out way, but it was like being caught on a treadmill. Just looping round and round, and not really feeling like I was progressing. This year, I like to think I finally managed to break through and start making and enjoying things again. At the very least, I feel like I’m on the right path now.
I started reading more often. I watched almost 300 films this year and I tried to write at least something on Letterboxd for every film I saw. I made several YouTube Poops of a guy I went to school with’s car review videos and he still has no idea they exist. And I’m incredibly proud of the fifteen minute long video I made for the GOBLIN BUNKER PUBLIC ACCESS 2 charity stream. I learnt a pretty valuable lesson over the last twelve months—I need to watch a movie at least once every two weeks or I get restless. Like an extremely flaccid version of The Hulk who gets satiated with Japanese films.
It’s important to remember art is meant to be enjoyable. Getting to share films with my parents or with friends of mine has really re-opened my eyes to the brilliance of art. Thinking about it critically should come from a place of wanting to answer questions in our own head. I managed to get out of my own way with regards to that this year. I’m planning to create and release way more stuff in 2023, and I think my goal is to try and enjoy that. I know things in the world seem worse than ever, and I’m not gonna lie and act like everything’s actually fine—I don’t know nearly enough about the world to make a claim like that. But at the very least that seems to be driving me lately. If I can’t rely on the world, I’ll just have to put what I want to exist into it.
My 10 Favourite Films I Saw for the First Time This Year
Minbo (dir. Juzo Itami, 1992)
Chungking Express (dir. Wong Kar-wai, 1994)
Ali (dir. Michael Mann, 2001)
Kids Return (dir. Takeshi Kitano, 1996)
His Motorbike, Her Island (dir. Nobuhiko Obayashi, 1986)
Mikey and Nicky (dir. Elaine May, 1976)
The Host (dir. Bong Joon-ho, 2006)
Throw Down (dir. Johnnie To, 2004)
Southland Tales (dir. Richard Kelly, 2006)
Mera Naam Joker (dir. Raj Kapoor, 1970)
10 Things I Loved This Year
Berserk — I finally got to read and get up to date with all of Kentaro Miura’s masterpiece and, suffice to say, it is easily one of my favourite stories I’ve ever experienced. Sorry in advance for how annoying I will be about it.
Juzo Itami’s Filmography — Itami’s films are funny, tragic, satiric and ultimately, about how much he loves his wife (and not in a Paul W. S. Anderson kind of way). I really appreciated getting to see someone express just how much they love the community around them, and seeing that they want it to grow in a sustainable way. Imagine being so good at what you do that the Yakuza have to get involved. RIP to a legend.
Nimtoh’s Korean Fried Chicken — It is legitimately one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. I’ve written multiple paragraphs to friends about how much I love their wings.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios UVMUNE 400 Hydrating Cream SPF50 — Take care of your skin, even if you have melanin. It only protects from one UV type!
Babbu - “Gaddi Red Challenger” — I’ve been a fan of the Canadian-Punjabi YouTuber scene since before I was a teenager, and I’ve always loved their style of balancing sincerity with comedy. Gaddi Red Challenger is both a hilarious parody of classic Punjabi braggadocious tracks and one of the best car tunes of the year.
Oral-B Pro 3 Electric Toothbrush with Smart Pressure Sensor, 3500, Pink — Get an electric toothbrush if you don’t have one. My last electric toothbrush was one of the first things I bought with my own money and I broke it almost immediately within the week I got it. I used it in that condition for the next three years to spite myself.
Final Fantasy X — Okay, I realise I’m very very very late to this. But it’s good! I had never played much of this series outside of VII (after getting a third degree burn from XIII as a teenager). Playing with a group of friends in a giant chat and showing each other where we were at in the game really gave me a new appreciation for JRPGs as a whole. They’re shared stories! The genre reminds me of how things like Chaucher’s Canterbury Tales would’ve been shared between giant audiences.
Better Call Saul — One of my friends pointed out that this is the only show that we’ve seen starting from the first day it aired till its last. Thank God it was good. I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to do that with anything again. I remember several of us huddling around my friend’s iPhone 6 Plus in the school library to watch episodes during free periods in school.
The Analogue Pocket — This thing is fucking mental man. That screen is outrageously good looking. I can now browse the entire NES library and ultimately decide I don’t want to play any of them at a moment's notice.
All of my friends — It’s unreal to me how many great people I’ve gotten to know this year. It’s been a pleasure hanging out with all of you. I feel like I found a piece of myself that was missing until now. I really am thankful to have such wonderful people around me who encourage each other to be better. And of course, a massive thank you to all the knuckleheads who had already been tolerating me for years. I love all of you guys.
Joshua Minsoo Kim
Once again it is the end of the year and I am grieving how little time I have in my one small life but am mostly celebrating the riches it offers. It is beautiful that I am able to partake in any of it at all. I often set longterm goals to orient myself, but am pretty lax about actually succeeding. Really, this is a way to help me assess what I care about, and what I think I want to be caring about in the years to come. It wouldn’t be fun if I turned out exactly the way I wanted, right?
Ten Goals for the First Half of My 30s (in order of when they’re likey to be completed)
Pay off all my student loans
Learn how to swim
Go to the Galápagos and work alongside researchers and other science teachers
Interview my grandma about her life before she passes away
Finish writing my book
Get involved with programming avant-garde films in Chicago (and do so on at least 5 different occasions)
Get obsessed with a new art form and have it define my life in a substantial way
Be able to consistently cook all the different Korean dishes I love from my mom
Become more proficient in speaking Spanish and Korean
Feel confident that during these years I was still making a concerted effort to be a good friend, brother, son, uncle, partner, etc.
Hello. I am Mocha, a 3x year old Fujoshi in love with mecha anime, tokusatsu series, and sci-fi in general. I was invited to share a list of things I enjoyed this year, so I compiled a list of the anime I spent time with which spoke to me for one reason or another. You’ll notice a mixture of old and new things.
My approach to engaging with my hobbies has always been relatively free-spirited and erratic, especially as I’ve grown older and found my free-time to grow ever more precious. I make the effort to keep up, but I’m also just as likely to revisit old favorites rather than venture through the backlog from hell. April and October were both taken by a trip down nostalgia lane with Haruhi and Lucky Star…
One of these happens to still be airing, but it’s close enough to ending that we can let it slide, right?
10 Anime I Watched in 2022
Akiba Maid War — The PV initially turned me right off, but then I decided to give it a chance. I’ve never been more angry about absolutely falling in love with a show. This is about the best elevator pitch I can make for it without saying too much.
Spirited Away — I make it a point to watch at least one Ghibli film a year, and this year happened to be Spirited Away. I don’t think there’s anything that has been left unsaid about this film. It’s the film that put Ghibli on the road to international stardom, and in some ways, a film they never really surpassed.
Toku Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru Setsugetsuka — My sword boy gacha game got a film trilogy this year. A selfish pick.
The Legend of Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These : Sakubou - Season 4 of the new adaptation of the Final Boss of anime. For those new to LotGH or have been putting it off for years, Die Neue These is a good starting option to dip your toes into. If you like the story but aren’t a fan of the visuals, move onto the older adaptation. The novels are my preference.
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya - I was part of the Haruhi generation of otaku, so I can’t deny my continued love for this series is at least partially nostalgia. That said, I’m not so blinded that I can’t see why younger generations have bounced off so hard. Saying that certain aspects haven’t aged particularly well is a bit of an understatement, but if you can get past it, the heart of the show still shines bright.
Lucky Star - Every show needs a good hype man, right? Lucky Star is that to Haruhi. It’s impossible to disentangle it from mid-2000s otaku culture. That said, outside of the increasing Haruhi fellation as it goes on, Lucky Star is honestly more timeless than people give it credit for.
Galaxy Express 999 (film) - I had previously only seen the television series before renting this one. The film abridges the story heavily, creating a much tighter storyline, albeit one that necessarily loses some of the flavor. Most probably won’t mind too much, however.
Love After World Domination - A lovely romantic comedy where the Red Ranger of a sentai team and a villainess fall in love, and attempt to hide their relationship. You owe it to yourself to give it a try if you’re into the Super Sentai series or are a lapsed MMPR fan.
Delicious Party Precure - I’ve watched the annual Precure series for a good number of years now, and it’s a little unfair to be too harsh to Delicious Party. Production issues outside of the control of the studio really rained on its parade, costing the series five of its episodes. A middling Precure show is still a pretty good time, however, if you’re a new fan, perhaps try Heartcatch or Tropical Rouge first instead.
Mobile Suit Gundam Gundam: Cucuruz Doan’s Island - I’m a massive Gundam fan, which is why I have some mixed feelings about this movie. It’s well made and will certainly please any Gundam fan that’s less grumpy than I am (It is difficult to argue against that South Cross Corps fight), but it ultimately feels like that episode has been overly stretched out to just under two hours without much of anything new to add onto it.
This year had a lot in it for me. I spent a lot of time evaluating relationships, and it was good to connect and re-connect with all of my friends. Also got to re-connect with media again and remembered just how important that has always been to me too.
Joyce Wrice - “Chandler”
Snoh Aalegra - “IN YOUR EYES”
Planet Giza - “LIMB”
Perfume - “Drive'n The Rain”
Freddie Gibbs - “Rabbit Vision”
Larry June - “Another Day, Pt. 2”
Utada Hikaru - “誰にも言わない” (Darenimo iwanai)
KIRINJI - “時間がない” (Jikanga Nai)
Yes You - “Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime (Tentendo Remix)”
Amerie - “Why Don't We Fall in Love”
10 Game Boy Games
The Frog for Whom the Bell Tolls (Nintendo)
Looney Tunes (Sunsoft)
Vattle Giuce (Natsu System)
Pop'n Twinbee (Konami)
Magical Chase (Quest)
Dragon Quest Monsters 2 (Tose)
beatmania GB2: Gotcha Mix (Konami)
It’s been a difficult year in a couple ways for me, but it’s also been huge in many ways. I got published, and that was an unreal feeling. I couldn’t even believe that it finally happened. Didn’t get paid, but at the same time, holy shit! Hopefully, this’ll lead to more opportunities in the future.
At the start of the year I was working my first real deal job in a field that I’m actually interested in. The whole endeavor ended poorly in July and I’ve been adrift since. In a lot of ways, I’ve emotionally backslid a lot, and I can feel that affecting the people around me and harming my relationships. The people I care about are getting sick of me, and that’s a sobering, difficult feeling to process. At any rate, I’m trying to work on myself, and become a better person. A person worth being around and loving.
The art I’ve interacted with this year has helped immensely, however. For the first time in my life, I feel like my vision is clear. My interests and focuses have been all over the place my whole life, and it feels like for the first time, I can really clearly see a path in front of me creatively. Everything I’ve been studying for years feels like it’s all connecting and making sense. It’s a terrifying and exciting feeling, and I can’t thank my friends enough for helping me think through it all. I couldn’t ask for a better group of weirdos to be in community with.
Current Best New Albums I’ve Heard So Far this Year 2022
Billy Woods - Aethiopes
Moreru - 山田花子
Klein - Cave in the Wind
CEO Trayle - HH5
Oxbow & Peter Brötzmann - An Eternal Reminder of Not Today/Live at Moers
Otomo Yoshihide Special Big Band - Stone Stone Stone
Soul Glo - Diaspora Problems
KMRU & Aho Ssan - Limen
JUSTICE - JUSTICE
Congotronics International - Where’s the One
Albums That Form My Personal Roadmap for Further Personal and Artistic Development as Well as Provide Strong Exercise for My Mind... Also 2022
Asake - Mr. Money with the Vibe
Chat Pile - God’s Country
Asleep Country - Helvetic Sylph
Cecil Taylor - Respiration
Papé Nziengui - Kadi Yombo
Ärid - From Anthropophagic Waste Breeds a Writhing Mutagenesis
Minami Saeki/Ayami Suzuki/Taku Sugimoto/Takashi Masubuchi - Improvisation at Permian
Keiko Higuchi - Vertical Language
Joy Guidry - Radical Acceptance
Laddio Bolocko - 97-99
Patrick Lynn Wilson
The following represent a scattershot jotting of some things I was into throughout 2022, mere expressions of interest which could only serve to cause pain unto my person and undue scorn directed at me from my peers and the public at large.
Lynn's Most Disreputable of 2022
How Stella Got Her Groove Back / Ali: Fear Eats the Soul 35mm screening @ Music Box Theatre, February 2022 — Among the more provocative film screenings caught in 2022 were the two series of Highs & Lows at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre bookending the year in February and September. A grinning showcase of art flicks paired with mass-market Hollywood studio stuff; it served as proof of the durability of the double feature as a contemporary programming decision. If there was more than an element of the disreputable in the choice to schedule these movies with a slight smirk on one’s face, then the cost was worth it. The gorgeous print of How Stella Got Her Groove Back, followed by an explicitly Sirkian melodrama allowed for post-screening conversations surrounding the eternal question: would Jam & Lewis have exec-produced the soundtrack to a Fassbinder movie, had RWF lived into the 1990s? Sound off in the comments.
Playing VNs on Switch & Steam Deck — Shouts out to these two doohickeys for allowing me ways to play highly disreputable sicko shit with ease. I had a blast playing the shoddy localization of Chaos Head;Noah on the Switch and found the Steam Deck to be the ideal vessel for jamming on the remake of Doukyuusei among other VNs like Gore Screaming Show, both highly sensitive games for perverts that are miracles for existing in English translations. The Steam Deck is truly the successor to the hacked Vita and the hacked Switch in this sector.
Musical revivals — This year saw the surprise releases of new LPs from two outfits long-dormant, Gospel and City of Caterpillar. Gospel’s The Loser reimagines 2000s emotional hardcore as organ swirl prog licking its wounds and City of Caterpillar’s Mystic Sisters strikes after sullen atmospheres, quiet-loud-quiet dynamics, and suggests neither band ever actually left the stage. Both dominated my 2022 listening. And towards the end of the year, Singapore’s Sobs dropped their debut Air Guitar, an album redolent of nothing so much as the pop-punk sweetness of my youth, serving as a Proustian madeleine for the mall food courts of another age. To top it all off and add insult to injury by firing a literal bullet into my fucking literal head, Sobs have the nerve to end their album with a transcendent cover of Gwen Stefani’s “Cool.” For one who spent 8th grade mercilessly searching for the perfect synthesis of Ozma’s “Domino Effect” crossed with Lush’s “Hypocrite,” I feel like I’ve spotted a long-lost constellation. Late Q4 shoutout to Matcha Potato Salad's collected tracks, a bedroom shibuya-kei revival whatsit that echoes bittersweet memories of twerking to Fantastic Plastic Machine in my dorm.
Immortality — Big white elephant art masquerading inna termitic stylee, yeah, but Immortality comes closer to capturing the feeling of a collective engaged in theatre/film production than likely any video game will until some itch.io-brained soul adapts Out 1: Noli me tangere to RPGMaker2003. It’s as infectious as the first day of summer camp. 13 Sentinels was a watershed for doling out sheets of its mille-feuille narrative in a different order for each player, offering every audience a unique stacking of its plot no matter what; Immortality suggests something similar, building upon the space for narrative possibility in Western titles. It does so with a thoroughly twisted take on art that avoids the usual pat motifs on creation, a cruel little curlicue about weirdos who like to act and fuck. A healthier conception of sex and/or boobs has rarely been glimpsed in Western games heretofore.
TrueAnon podcast series on Synanon — A special listening experience, underscoring how all roads in the USA lead back to the cult beginnings of the troubled teen industry and beyond. It combines historical exegesis, documentary reporting, radio drama, and searing bile. I found myself highly moved while folding laundry to it.
Boutique releases of dubious cinematic properties — One of the more intriguing new upstart boutique Blu-ray labels to spring onto the scene in the past couple of years, Error4444 outdid themselves in 2022 with not only a reverent boxed release of those irreverent totems, Funky Forest / Warped Forest, but also with beguilingly lavish editions of two thoroughly disreputable exploitation flicks, Red Spell Spells Red & Centipede Horror. For two gross-out joints that exist largely as footnotes in the larger story of scuzzy cinema, these releases fête these films as deserving of some sort of merit in a real attempt at contextualization. This enthusiasm is contagious; while the tricked-out discs are brimming with physical extras, they largely eschew fanboy packaging gimmicks in favor of the over-the-top art object and a posture respectful of film history.
My friendship with Shy — If you could cast a spell to render a portal to last year and tell me that my forthcoming one would be marked by a friendship with the lady I long found myself hopelessly intimidated by, I would tell you that yeah that definitely could happen, but I’m a coward. And yet it did happen—and I’m a more thoughtful person for it. One of the best music writers working; a crack, and cracked, critical intellect, and among the select few to spring to mind when it comes time to recommend a musical discovery or scrutinize deviant PC-98 games—thank you for being a friend.
Shy Clara Thompson
I’ve spilled my guts thoroughly at the top of this post and elsewhere, so I’ll try and keep it brief.
The last few years have brought me a wave of life-affirming revelations. In 2020, I gained the confidence to show my writing to other people. In 2021, I learned that sharing the stories of artists and underrepresented art is the single most fulfilling thing to me. In 2022, I finally pieced together that it was never only about art—I just want to honor everyone that’s had an impact on me.
I spent so much of the latter half of this year evaluating how I’ve built up the fortress around my heart. I still like the protection it offers me, but it’s been nice to do a little renovating; now, I’ve installed a drawbridge to let people in and out. I’ve been convinced for a long time that I don’t really need recommendations from others to have a good time with my interests—and that’s true, I don’t! I have a self-perpetuating curiosity and an engine for discovery that could probably keep me happy forever. But I’m finding more and more that I want to share the paths I’ve traveled, and I don’t mind taking roads that might lead me to civilization.
Recently, I started using my mother’s name in my byline as a way to remind myself how much of her essence still clings to me. If possible, I’d like to start leaving more reminders of the catalysts that continue pushing me to evolve. I suppose this is as good a place to start as any.
10 Manga That Made Me Want to Meet a New Friend
3 More Things to Talk About Before Falling Asleep (Chiro & Hasha, 2022)
Boku no Marie (Sakura Takeuchi, 1994)
Drifting Body (Michiyo Matsumoto, 1995)
The Guy She Was Interested in Wasn't a Guy At All (Sumiko Arai, 2022)
Korogaru Kyoudai (Tsubumi Mori, 2020)
My Wandering Warrior Existence (Nagata Kabi, 2020)
Plica (Sae Amamiya, 1997)
Renai Joshi File (Akiko Morishima, 2012)
Super Cub (Tone Koken, 2017)
V.B. Rose (Banri Hidaka, 2004)
Thank you for reading this monster of a post. If you’re interested in what else I’ve got in the chamber, feel free to subscribe. It doesn’t and will never cost you anything. I have a whole load of interviews with artists and interesting people I will be posting as soon as I can find the time to transcribe them.
Happy new year. Be safe. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t.
Thanks for reading once bitten, twice shy! Subscribe if you wanna. :)