well okay or I could do this instead of starting actual work this morning- just an alternate take on the new Gladstone design! done kinda quick but I had fun (colours of last two are based off the old comics and the modern comics)
tried to smush the concepts from the other designs?
Every writer has a golden period – a chunk of time when her brain is ripest, when the veins he is tapping are the richest, when the ideas, big and small, spill out over the sides of the bucket instead of having to be patiently collected like drops of rain off a leaf. This is true for songwriters, playwrights, novelists, screenwriters, anyone who writes anything in any genre. Go look at John Hughes’s IMDb page and marvel at his golden period, which I would bookend as 1983-1990. It’s outrageous. He wrote Vacation, Mr. Mom, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Some Kind of Wonderful, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Uncle Buck, and Home Alone in eight years. Eight years?! That’s absurd.
But then look at his next 20 years. You won’t find one movie that is better than the worst one he wrote in those seven years. The vein ran dry. It always does. That’s just the deal.
Tom Petty’s golden period never ended. Or, at least, the silver periods on either side of his golden period were seemingly infinite. No matter where you think he peaked – Full Moon Fever, or Wildflowers, or Damn the Torpedoes – the decades on either side were wonderful. He was great from the moment he released his first album in 1977 to the day he died last month. For forty years he wrote, and wrote, and wrote, and the songs he wrote were good or great or amazing.
Tom Petty wrote “Breakdown” and “American Girl” in 1977. He wrote “You Don’t Know How it Feels” seventeen years later, in 1994. He wrote “You Got Lucky” in 1982, “King’s Highway” in 1992, “The Last DJ” in 2002. He wrote “I Won’t Back Down,” “Runnin’ Down a Dream,” Free Fallin’,” “Love is a Long Road,” “A Face in the Crowd,” Yer So Bad,” and “The Apartment Song,” and “Depending on You,” all in 1989, and they were all on the same album, and that’s absurd.
He wrote “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” in 1981 and “Big Weekend” in 2006. He wrote every song on Wildflowers – and they are all great – in or around 1994. He wrote fifty other great songs I haven’t named yet, like “Don’t Come Around Here No More” and “Jammin Me.” He wrote great songs you’ve heard a million times, and great songs you’ve maybe never heard, like “Billy the Kid” (1999) and “Walls” (1996) which was buried on the soundtrack to She’s the One. He took a break from the Heartbreakers and casually released “End of the Line” and “Handle With Care” and “She’s My Baby” with the Traveling Wilburys in 1989-90. He wrote “Refugee” in 1980 and “I Should Have Known It” in 2010. Is there any rock and roll songwriter alive who wrote two songs that good, 30 years apart? (Paul McCartney wrote “Hey Jude” in 1968, and only 12 years later he wrote “Wonderful Christmas Time,” which is so bad it nearly retroactively undid “Hey Jude.”)
He wrote about rock and roll things, like ’62 Cadillacs, getting out of this town, and dancing with Mary Jane. He wrote about love and loss and heartbreak. He wrote legitimately funny jokes, and moribund memories, and personal narratives, and imaginative flights of fancy. One of his characters calls his father his “old man” and it somehow isn’t cheesy. He was from Florida and California and wrote about both of them, and every time I’m on Ventura Boulevard I think of vampires, because the images he wrote are indelible.
Petty didn’t just write songs directed at women, like most rock stars. He wrote about women, and he wrote for women, and he wrote with women. He treated the women in his songs as lovingly and respectfully as he treated the men. He cared about them as much, he spent as much time thinking about them, and he liked them as much, and all of that is rare.
He wrote simply, but not boringly. He made his characters three-dimensional, somehow, in a matter of seconds. There’s a famous (probably apocryphal) story about Hemingway bragging he could write an entire novel in six words, then writing: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” I prefer the 18-word novel Petty wrote as the first verse to “Down South” –
Headed back down south Gonna see my daddy’s mistress Gonna buy back her forgiveness Pay off every witness
When I was working on Parks and Recreation, whenever we needed a song to score an important moment in Leslie Knope’s life, we chose a Tom Petty song. It started with “American Girl,” when her biggest career project came to fruition. It was “Wildflowers” when she said goodbye to her best friend. It was “End of the Line” at the moment the show ended. For the seven seasons of our show, Tom Petty was the writer we trusted to explain how our main character was feeling, because he wrote so much, so well, for so long.
It seems like a joke, Hamilton – a joke in a TV show where one of the characters is a struggling New York actor, and is always dragging his friends to his terrible plays. Like Joey in Friends. There’s an episode of Friends where Joey is in a terrible musical called like Freud!, about Sigmund Freud, and you get to see some of it, and it’s predictably terrible. Freud! the musical is arguably a better idea than Hamilton the musical.
I’m far from the first person to say this – I’m probably somewhere around the millionth person to write about Hamilton, and the maybe 500,000th to make this particular point, but it needs to be said – a hip-hop Broadway musical about the founding fathers is an astoundingly terrible idea. Lin-Manuel Miranda should never have written it. As soon as he started to write it, he should’ve said to himself, “What the fuck am I doing?!” and stopped. And after he got halfway through, he should’ve junked it, gotten really drunk, and moved on with his life, and made his wife and friends swear to never mention the weird six months where he was trying to write a hip-hop musical about Alexander Hamilton. I literally guarantee you that when Lin-Manuel Miranda first told his friends what he was writing, every one of them reacted with atbest a frozen smile, and at worst a horrified recoiling. Some of them might have been outwardly encouraging – “sounds awesome bud! Go get ‘em!” But then later, alone, they would call each other and say What the fuck is he doing?
There is a moment, in Hamilton, when what you are watching overwhelms you. (It’s not the same moment for everyone, but most everyone has one, I suspect.) It’s the moment when the enormity, the complexity, the meaning of it, the entirety of it, overpowers you, and you realize that what you are experiencing is new – new both in your specific life, and new, like, on Earth. The first time I saw it, that moment was a line in the middle of “Yorktown.” Hamilton sang the line And so the American experiment begins / With my friends all scattered to the winds, and I burst into tears in a way I hadn’t since I was 10 and a baseball went through a guy’s legs in the World Series. Something about how casually he says that – And so the American experiment begins – just settled over me, like a collapsing tent, and this thing I was watching wasn’t in front of me, it was everywhere around me, and it was exhilarating and transformative.
(If I could put this part in a footnote, I would, but I don’t know how to, so: I should mention that I am very far from a musical theater aficionado. I have seen maybe eight musicals in my life. Not only did I not expect to cry, hard, during Hamilton, I did not expect to enjoy it. I saw it like a week after it opened on Broadway, kind of on a whim, knew nothing about it, and the last thing I said to my wife, as the lights went down, was: “We’ll leave at intermission.”)
The second time I saw it, that moment came much earlier (I knew what I was getting into, this time, so I was more ready to be subsumed). It came barely three minutes in, when the entire cast of the show, in a piece of choreography that can best be referred to as “badass,” all walk down to the very front of the stage and stand, shoulder to shoulder, and sing very loudly about how Alexander Hamilton never learned to take his time. The cast has, to this point, trickled on stage, slowly, one by one, telling you Hamilton’s origin story, and then suddenly there they all are, all of them – maybe 20? 50? It seems like 1000? – as close to the audience as they can get, and they are every size and ethnicity and gender, and their voices are loud, and I thought to myself, oh my God, this is a cast of people descended from every nation on Earth, all singing about the foundations of the American experience, and yes I “knew” that, intellectually, but holy shit, now that I see them all, I know it, like in my stomach, I understand it, and what a thing that is.
The third time I saw Hamilton, that moment was during “It’s Quiet Uptown,” when this enormous, sprawling, improbable, otherworldly, multi-ethnic, historical, art tornado presses pause on all of its historical-cultural-ethno-sociological-artistic investigations, and spends four and a half spare minutes with a couple who are grieving an unimaginable tragedy. Specifically, it was the lines
Forgiveness Can you imagine? Forgiveness Can you imagine?
What a thing to do, for your characters – to give them four and a half minutes in the middle of an enormous, sprawling, historical swirl, to just be sad. What a piece of writing that is.
(Again, should be a footnote, but: as long as I’m talking about writers here, I should point out that if the late Harris Wittels were alive, he would, at this moment, text me and hit me with a “humblebrag” for writing about how I have seen Hamilton three times, and he would be right. Miss you Harris!)
In the hundreds of hours of my life I have spent thinking about Hamilton since I first saw it – far more hours than any other single piece of art I have ever experienced – I have revisited that same thought over and over: he never should’ve written it. It was an absurd thing to do. It took him a year to write the title song, then another year to write the second song, and how did he not give up when two years had gone by and he’d written two songs? He must’ve known in his heart it needed to be a 50-song, 2 ½-hour enterprise, and he had two songs after two years, and he kept going. How did he keep going? I’ve been trying to write this blog post about two writers I admire for different reasons since the week Tom Petty died, and I’ve almost given up five times.
At this point, the entire musical is that “moment” for me. It’s the whole thing, now – the thing that overwhelms me is the whole thing. The conception of it, the writing of it, the rewriting of it. The music and the motifs and the themes and the threads and the dramatic shape and the characters and their inner lives, and the eagle-eye writer’s view it took to keep all of that in his head, all of it, the whole time. The writing of it. The utterly impossible writing of it.
IGN - “For those looking for a new flavor of superhero show, Marvel’s ‘Runaways’ definitely delivers” 8/10
FORBES -“Fantastical is to be expected, but the weirdness of this show is next level for Marvel, and it’s fun”
NERDIST - “Runaways brings heart and great characters to the superhero genre. There’s something exhilarating about seeing these characters come to life, and the casting of the teen heroes is utterly fantastic” 5/5
THE MARY SUE -“Runaways impresses with its wonderful cocktail of earnestness, melodrama, and mystery. Can’t wait to see more”
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY - “There’s a deep vein of dark comedy here, a satire that deepens the more recognizable superpowered-teen melodrama” B+
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER - “If everybody’s got to have a superhero show, then it looks like HULU has a good one”
DEN OF GEEK - “Marvel TV is due for a win. Is Marvel’s ‘Runaways’, Hulu’s first foray into Marvel adaptation, it? The short answer: yes” 4/5
TV LINE - “The Breakfast Club meets X-Men with a splash of Stranger Things thrown in, Marvel’s ‘Runaways’ is the richest, best-realized hero drama of the new TV season” A-
WE GOT THIS COVERED - “When the show hits that sweet spot it’s an intriguing, weird, funny, and addictive addition to the Marvel world” 8/10
THE DAILY DOT - “Runaways arrives on the scene amid a crowded comic-book lineup across the TV realm, but it manages to shine as it juggles a superhero show and a teen drama worthy of its beloved source material”
1. You can have only one best friend and that best friend can only be you. Because you may come across a dozen lovely people but the only one who can keep the ‘forever’ promise is you.
2. Family is the most important. This is the only love that is truly unconditional and absolutely pure. They love you when you’re 5 and when you’re 18. They love you in your failure and your success. Their love doesn’t increase because it’s already at its maximum right from the beginning, it’s already infinite.
3. Cocktails and aerated drinks may soothe your taste buds but tea soothes your entire body. It’s warm and calming and well, healthy.
4. Your first kiss means nothing if it’s not with the right person. And the right person doesn’t mean your soulmate or someone who will never break your heart but someone who in that moment loves you as much as you love them.
5. You’ve written over 350 exams and you’ve got a perfect score in some and scored miserably in others but do you remember your 9th grade math score? Do you even remember 9th grade math? Education is so important but not the stress and competitive grading that comes along with it. If you get a low score or even fail, not much will happen – you will get a retest. But if you get ill – mentally or physically, it will have undesired long term effects.
6. In 8th grade your school psychologist told you that you’re one of the few people who walk in life with open arms loving and helping everyone, not because you haven’t bled but because you know you will heal and have the strength to do so. At that point you laughed at her but now, years later you’re loving, accepting and helping in spite of having both, actual and metaphorical scars. You’re kind and admitting that doesn’t make you conceited.
7. Goodbyes don’t always have to be dramatic. Writing an 800 words message won’t make it hurt any less than an 8 words one. Closure usually has not much to do with the ones who wronged you but with taking your time in dealing with all the stages of grief. Some stage like anger may take only a month but acceptance may take years and that’s okay.
8. Jealousy is a basic human trait. They can be the closest to you and yet envy your happiness and life. Envy is something you too experience and you can be happy for them and be sad for yourself at the same time because so bitter it is to view happiness from someone else’s eyes. You aren’t a horrible human being if you feel like there are better shades of green your grass could be.
9. Read at your own desire and pace. You don’t have to read particular books to qualify as a bibliophile or read a specific number of books to be a bookworm either. Read what truly interests you and take your time because reading was never a task, don’t make it one now.
10. Money is important. Money can’t buy love but it can buy happiness. But not blood money. Money honestly earned through hard work. That kind of money is good, that kind of money is required. You have a certain standard of living and if you want to maintain that after your parents stop financing you, you must make sure to earn the same. It doesn’t make you a snob or a spoiled brat, it only makes you a human aware of your wants, many of which have turned into needs by now.
11. There are somethings you just never grow out of like bubbles and glitter and your mother’s hot chocolate and hugs. Those are the kind of things that make life bearable when adulting gets too hard. Those are the little things that matter the most.
12. You cry. A lot. But you don’t cry in front of people for their pity. You don’t cry to manipulate situations. You cry because you accept the pain. You cry because you don’t reject or lock away your emotions. You cry because your mental, emotional and physical self are in sync and that’s healthy. That’s so lovely.
13. Bake cakes. They don’t have to look pretty as long as they taste delicious. Paint canvases. They don’t have to be a master piece as long as all the paint in your hands and face and jeans makes you feel complete. Write more. It doesn’t have to a novel or even be posted online as long as it lets you breathe a little lighter and smile wider.
14. Go for walks alone, sit on the beach without your headphones, look up at the sky without a lover, buy flowers for yourself. Nature is legit free (for the most part). And it’s the richest thing that the world has. Le it bring you peace, let it help you survive.
15. Make home feel home. Sometimes you won’t have your family to make it home. Sometimes you will have to make it home by putting a part of yourself and that means investing the time, energy and money in making it feel yours, in making it feel right. It may not be your ‘dream house’, it may just be a tiny room but it’s yours. Your surroundings play a major role in affecting your mood and vibe.
16. Energy is real. You may not know much about Science beyond 10th grade but you do know this, e=mc ² which means everything is energy, you are energy and there is positive and negative energy and you can feel it and you experience it in every person you meet, every place you visit, every room you step inside. You can and you must choose to surround yourself with positive energy. What you attract, you do get; what you attract you become.
17. Spend time with yourself. It’s some of the best time you will have. You need to unwind, you need it to re-energize, you need it to focus and you need it for peace. You can go to a cafe by yourself, write, read, meditate, talk to yourself out loud, dance in your underwear, cook and just be.
18. Take care of yourself- no one else can, no one else will. Drink loads of water, there’s a reason why more than half your body is made up of water. Sleep well because staying up all night isn’t something to be proud of, it’s stupid. Don’t skip breakfast because skipping breakfast makes you crave fatty foods for the rest of the day. Stay healthy not because you want to look a certain way but because you want to feel strong and energetic and have an active mind, body and heart. Staying healthy emotionally and mentally is just as important. So let those who want to go, go and never say yes to something your gut wants to scream ‘NO’ to.
19. Love yourself. If you don’t love yourself you will look for other people to love you. If you don’t accept yourself, you will keep seeking other people’s validation and the moment they withdraw it or walk away, you will crumble. And you don’t want to crumble. You want to enjoy the one person’s company you have to live with forever – yourself. Work on being a person you’d love to spend your life with because let’s face it, you don’t have a choice. It’s a long term investment and the only one that will never fail you.
20. In Shakespeare’s words, “To thine own self be true”. In order to love yourself, knowing yourself is very important. And knowing yourself doesn’t mean the adjectives that people use for you or what your zodiac sign says about you. It means what you know in your heart to be your truth.
One more for good luck?
21. You laughed and thought it was very witty when you came across the quote, ‘Don’t take life too seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.’ but god. Can it be any truer? Most things you’re stressing over now won’t even matter 3 years from now. But good days will turn into heart-warming memories that will stay with you even 2 decades later. Happiness and success are two different things but remember, they aren’t mutually exclusive. At least they don’t have to be.
Call It Want You Want has been out for less then 48 hours and it’s so good that suddenly my skin is clear, I have 20/20 vision, a full tank of gas in my car, my college tuition is paid for, Hannah Montana was never canceled, I own 300 dogs and cats, I have an unlimited supply of ice cream, my phone never dies, I get 12 hours of sleep each night, I’m the richest woman on this planet, I’ve found the worlds greatest man, I have access to any book I’ve ever wanted to read, I have season passes to every Disney park, and I can no longer feel sadness. Thanks @taylorswift.