“Eaten Alive: James Herbert’s ‘Rats Trilogy’” for We Are the Mutants

It’s been a genuine blessing to have found a home for some of my more niche and esoteric essays/reflections on popular culture. We Are The Mutants is a fantastic site that has been very good to me and I’m quite grateful to them for publishing this essay

I thoroughly enjoyed reading James Herbert’s “Rats Trilogy” over the past few weeks. Finding a publication that let me include lengthy digressions about Thatcherism, Neoliberalism, COVID and the history of the London Docklands into a review about nearly forty-year-old books? I’m a lucky guy! Read it here.

Is It Just Me Or Are We Nailing This? Essays on BoJack Horseman

“BoJack Horseman,” was a real triumph of a television show. It spoke to me, and a lot of other people, about issues of addiction, mental illness, and the weight of family legacies; about despair and hope and internalized narratives.

We started meeting for this zine back in January and boy, did a lot change between then and when we got it printed- like something along the lines of near-total societal collapse. After countless emails, untold numbers of drafts and print disasters, we stand here with zine in hand—proof that even amidst social collapse and isolation we can still find value in creative expression and collaboration.

Thank you to Joshua James Amberson and Molly E. Simas for their help in making this a reality and a huge thank you to all our incredible contributors. Publishing this anthology was an opportunity to bring together some of my favorite writers and illustrators to see what they had to say about a show that had so much to say about life. The results were fantastic.

The zine was the winner of the 2020 Broken Pencil Award for best Fanzine and is available for purchase via Antiquated Future and Etsy

Continue reading “Is It Just Me Or Are We Nailing This? Essays on BoJack Horseman”

“The Rot At The Root” for We Are The Mutants

This is another piece I’m very proud of. I am a massive fan of “We Are The Mutants,” and am very glad to have been featured on their website. It’s an essay I’ve thought about for a very long time, one that looks at the vast gulf between the ideals espoused in the environmental media of my late-millennial childhood and our current stage of accelerated anthropogenic environmental collapse.

It’s in that sweet spot where nostalgia and solastalgia meet, a place in which I seem to spend a lot of time during this grim 2020.

Thank you to Kelly Roberts for some excellent edits

Seid Back for Oregon Encyclopedia

I have been intrigued by the life of pioneering Chinese-American immigrant Seid Back ever since I first was “introduced” to him in The Oregonian archives. Here was a fascinating man who straddled multiple realms of identity in Oregon’s early history, who protected his community in the face of virulent persecution, who made a fortune in the demimonde, who was a valued leader to overseas Chinese.

I was astounded to find how little had been published about this individual. Other than the exemplary work done by Marie Rose Wong in her superlative “Sweet Cakes Long Journey” this figure was an all-too intriguing absence in the historical record.

The perceived role of the Chinese in Oregon’s early history is all-too-often that of a footnote or of a passive subject. Seid Back was very much the opposite: an active and committed individual who fought for his community and made himself wealthy in the process.

It was a genuine honor to research and write this entry for the Oregon Encyclopedia. Helping restore Seid Back to deserved prominence is the kind of writing that I truly love; a chance to enshrine the forgotten in the “official” history of the state.