sublime forever

La seduzione che trasmette una mente originale, acuta, intuitiva e brillante non è epidermica come una qualsiasi attrazione fisica, è abissale, intima, viscerale; è come immergersi nel sublime, senza bagnarsi, come librarsi in volo, senza essere dotati di ali, come attraversare il sovrannaturale, senza essere un dio.
—  Paola Melone

He had wanted to die.

He had wanted to die on Starkiller, wanted to be absorbed into the scarlet infinite of the universe, to be consumed by the astral expulsion of matter, the ultimate ascension into perpetuity, to be forever sublimated as energy from the galaxy’s greatest weapon, the fearsome child of his own making swallowing him back up into the great, gaping, maw of its event horizon.

He had tasted the metal of the blaster against the flat of his tongue: sour and bright. He had closed his eyes and tried to think of a crimson wave of light. Instead, he had seen a field of snow.

His wet-eyed, shaking, paralytic silence is his refusal. Ren is correct: he is a disgrace. He blinks, drops his gaze.

“Coward,” says Ren.

“Get fucked,” he says. (His voice breaks. It sounds so weak.)

Aware of His Own Halo by @badspacebabies

I finally read the fic and I just can’t??? There’re so many moments I adore but had to draw this one or I might have exploded.



Kid Loki and Leah of Hel, B.F.F.s – A study of milkshakes and melancholy

Okay, so here’s the thing about romance – happily ever after is basically the beginning of the end.

Maybe my idea of romance is a little tied up in actual Romanticism.  (I mean, have you seen the Romantics?  Those guys were super goth, complete with hair like Eldritch circa First and Last and Always.)  As an intellectual point of view that is the antithesis to Enlightenment era order and rationalism, Romanticism is about unpredictability and extremes.  Which are not sustainable in a happily ever after situation.  Nothing is less romantic than all that mundane stuff that comes in the settling down aftermath of happily ever after.  Therefore, I contend that the best romance has a tragic ending, preserving forever a sublime heartbreak that hurts-so-good.  

Which brings me to Kid Loki and Leah of Hel.  Their story spans Kieron Gillen’s @kierongillen  run on Journey Into Mystery (2011-2012), with bonus feels occurring in Young Avengers (2013).  Leah is the handmaiden of Hela, sent to aid Loki in various tasks.  In need of not just a helper but also a friend, Kid Loki enthusiastically embraces Leah’s companionship, seemingly impervious to her attempts at keeping her distance by way of sardonic banter.

There are moments when you realize that Leah doesn’t actually dislike Loki, that as a literal embodiment of Hela’s left hand, Leah lacks the autonomy to form a bond with him. And your heart will break a little.  Then there are moments when you realize that they’re both just doomed, and your heart will break a lot.  They are each in their own way children isolated from meaningful connections by forces profoundly outside of their control.  But they have each other.  Until they don’t, because they can’t.  This isn’t even romance with a tragic ending.  It’s romance with a tragic beginning!    

BUT IT GETS EVEN MORE TRAGIC!  The romance of Kid Loki and Leah of Hel is ultimately about stabbing yourself in the heart to hurt the one who cares about you most, but for their own good.  A preemptive act of love and betrayal all at once.  And so the romance is preserved forever precisely because it emphatically can’t ever happen.  And it just…hurts.  So good. Read through Manchester Gods for a nice, cathartic cry.  Read through to the end for a great, gasping ugly-cry.

Tia Vasiliou is a Digital Editor at ComiXology. She has it on good authority that she is None More Goth.

one minute

grester sfw/sff

2,395 words

A minute can be a blissful moment in time.

It can be 60 seconds of thought and decision, 60,000 milliseconds of your body falling apart in the most exquisite way, or even a moment so simple that it is merely you realizing another reason why you are in love.

For Grace and Chester it wasn’t hours. It wasn’t days. It wasn’t months. It was the delicate and rapid increase in time from the point of zero up to the 60-second mark where their biggest decisions were made, where their deepest memories stemmed from, and where their love began and grew.

Sixty seconds.

That’s it.

He stared at her in rapt adoration.

It was late. She didn’t know why she was there or what willed her to get into her car, to pull up to the familiar home, to build the courage and walk forward, to stand motionless at the door. His door.

Shoulders to her ears, hands gripping the sleeves of a washed out gray hoodie, body shaking in fear but her breathing steady and certain, she knocked.

The abrupt sound of an unhappily awoken dog startled her and as time passed she waited. Frozen at the doorstep. Was this a mistake?

One, two…46 seconds slowly disappeared from the abnormally quiet night. At 53 seconds however, he answered.


Eyes locked to the ground, body swaying in the slight crisp breeze, fingernails pressed into her palms, she murmured,

“I – I feel it too.”

It took him exactly 27 seconds to place a finger under her chin, to lift her gaze to meet his, to lean forward and place a kiss of promise, devotion, and true organic love to her lips - to then pull away and whisper, “I’m so happy you are here.” 

They began.

It took 4,320 minutes of laughter, cooperation, adaption and change to make the pool house theirs.

He agreed the walls were barren. She smiled with playful pride when he drove her to Michaels that first night.

Slowly, it became a home – the rooms smelled like her – sweet, warm, and inviting- the sink cup housed two toothbrushes instead of one, her favorite chips were in the cabinet next to his, and she was there. She was his. He was hers.

Inevitably she would find a house, move out, and their temporary home where their foundation of love began would be missing its most vital piece. Grace.

However, 43 seconds in a piano store changed the pained thought that walking into the living room to find her, hair askew in a top bun with pad-Thai noodle juice dripping down her chin, was only now a memory instead of a possibility.

“Why the sudden fascination with pianos Gracie?” Chester mocked.

Grabbing his hand, entwining her fingers with his, she followed him through the maze of joy only those with musical passion and genius could fully understand.

“I’m going to start an ‘LA meets introverted Jersey’ one-woman show, so, if you had to choose one for yourself which would it be?”

“Let’s find one,” he said, kissing the side of her head gently, “and for the record, I would buy a ticket to every performance.”


He was the definition of a child in a candy store – sitting at each one, running the pads of his fingers along the keys, playing notes she couldn’t identify but found beautiful anyway, and carefully read each description in its entirety.

She knew when he found the one. It was smaller than the one he had at the pool house but nevertheless it was white and inarguably suited him to the highest degree of precision and style.

Genuinely smiling at him playing a few chords, she ushered the salesman over and covertly slipped him her card – noticing the price after but dismissing the hesitant jolt in her body because he, Chester See, was worth it.

“Baby, I don’t mean to interrupt but we need to meet with the movers around back to set up a delivery time.”

Confused, he stood up to stand in front of her, moving his hands to either side of her waist and looking at her with a considerable amount of question.

It took her exactly 43 seconds, looking into his kind eyes lost in the essence and touch of him, to let go of the heavy breath her lungs were holding hostage and indicate in a rapid flow of words that she wanted to be a him and her, a they – not just a Chester and Grace.

“I want you to have your drinks in the fridge, have the studio be yours, have a space in the closet just for your things, and have little pieces of what you love, of you, around the house…” she paused, placing her hands on either side of his face, “Come home with me?”

He tightened his grip on her waist, fluttering his eyelids to soak up a stray tear before it could win the pass of freedom.


It was 43 seconds of growth, 43 microscopic moments of building a sublime infrastructure of their forever.

She didn’t think before she spoke. This time, she didn’t care.

Grace was cooking dinner when Chester opened the front door to an overly ecstatic Goose. Looking up touched by the sight unraveling in front of her, she sensed something change – something ignite in her overly worked but selflessly considerate brain.

That was, her family.

“Our little wiggle-butt was waiting for her daddy all aft-after-afternoon.”

She paused. He froze at the door. She smiled. He smiled back.

They didn’t need words or an exchanged lust filled moment with one another to identify the milestone. It was simplistically significant - seventeen minor seconds.

He was Goose’s dad. He could babysit his daughter. Goose became theirs.

New York City is where they reached the deepest depths and highest peaks of love. Every ‘I love you’ held a new meaning; every intimate and affectionate moment meant something different – something more. Something they couldn’t quite pinpoint but couldn’t get enough of.

They developed, they fell – they fell hard.

She saw him perform on Broadway over seven times, the last show marking a special place in her heart.

He took a selflessly courteous long amount of time to make it through each individual that was supporting him, however, it only took him 31 seconds to spot her through the abundance of people – her cheeks looked tear stained, taking him only three seconds to meet her eyes and feel it.

She was so very proud.

She was in an inescapable pool of pure, natural love, he, swimming with her.    

It took 1,440 individual minutes for Grace Helbig to work every one of her thoughts into an aligned realization.

They were in Vancouver. It was cold, her filming hours were long, and her alone time with Chester was at a minimal.

Valentine’s day was theirs. Chester, the romantic that he is, bought a single tulip to represent every day they had spent with one another. They were all the memories, all of the compelling minutes they spent loving one another, and every emotion, in one hotel room.

On the counter, there was a stray bouquet of tulips. It took her 52 seconds to count each one, a total of 56, the card attached showing an infinity symbol – Chester taking the remaining eight seconds to snake his arms around her, whispering at the shell of her ear,

“For our future. For the next year, one for each week, and our life together beyond that.”


That night they bought each other outfits, Grace noticing the white dress he purchased her almost instantly. Anxiously, she put it on and he was immediately at her presence doting over how beautiful she looked, his mind picturing her in a dress of the same color at their wedding – the one he had artistically created a portrait of and hung in his mind over a year ago.


He unzipped her dress 4 hours later, slipping his arms into the fabric to meet warm skin, wrapping them around her and admiring her reflection in the mirror they were standing in front of.

Out of nowhere, out of some involuntary charge in his body, he spoke the words that could ruin them – destroy everything they had become.

“One day I will marry you Miss Grace Helbig.”

She didn’t stiffen, or pull away, or say anything. She just stared into the mirror at him – her expression unreadable.

It took her exactly 60 seconds to realize that one day, one day in the far off future, she would be his wife.

She held him a little tighter that night.

October 2015

Chapter eight of her second book was becoming overwhelming and proved to be much more difficult than she imagined. Her mind was tired; she missed her boyfriend and needed, air. He was in their bedroom napping, Goose tucked snugly beneath the duvet against his back – his soft snores filling the otherwise quiet atmosphere.

She noticed he had folded the laundry, put a vitamin-water on her bedside table with three Advil, and left a small sticky note printed with words in his almost illegible writing. ‘I love you. I cancelled your meetings tomorrow. Let me take care of you.’

Dropping the note, she went around to his side, snuggling her small frame into his warm chest – instinctually he wrapped his arms around her, holding her tight.

“Hey there,” he whispered gently, feeling an unfamiliar dampness to his shirt – the erratic rhythm of her heartbeat signaling she was crying. “Honey, it’s going to be okay. They are going to love it.”

Running his fingertips up and down her spine, she sighed contently into his tear-soaked white t-shirt.

“Ches…” 5, 23… 55 seconds of silence, “…Have a baby with me. Start a family with me. Be with me forever. I’m not so scared anymore.”

Sixty long nervous seconds were spent silent.

They weren’t trying yet, but they were discussing it. Their discussion ended when she missed her period. The ideas and fantasies became real – instantly the feeling of want became a momentary state of terror.

She sat next to Chester at the edge of their bed staring at his phone timer. 1… 23… 46… 57, 58, 59,60 seconds and it was time. One minute.

She couldn’t move.

“I want to look,” she blurted.

Chester nodded, squeezing her hand, before letting her walk into the bathroom and retrieve the test.

“Honey, just know, whatever the outcome and whatever the decision, I – I will never leave you.”

She didn’t turn back.

One hundred and sixty three gruelingly emotional seconds later, she appeared. She was crying, tears streaming down her cheeks dropping one by one hastily to the floor – her body shaking and a smile across her face.

She wasn’t pregnant.

He looked down at his hands, letting only a single tear fall and took a moment to collect himself to force an unwanted smile to appease her, not wanting her to be affected by his pain.

Thirteen short seconds later her toes were pushing against his, her hand running through his hair.

“Ches, look at me.”

He couldn’t.

“Chester… you are going to be a dad.”

At 11:45 p.m. nine months later, she was born. She was theirs. 

She had a dark head of hair, her mother’s eyes and her father’s lungs – weighing a fragile weight of 6 pounds 3 ounces.

Grace did wonderfully, Mamrie cried, Chester had to consult the doctor on possibly needing surgery on his hand from her vice-like grip - Hannah filming the beauty of every moment, every profanity Grace threw at Chester, and the look of maternal love Grace gave her child when she was placed on her chest - seeing her for the first time.

“Ches that-that’s our baby.”

“Yes she is love. She is beautiful just like you.”

It took Chester exactly 56 seconds, looking down at his girlfriend and their newborn baby girl, to know that her name was Mia.


He sat next to her on the hospital bed where Mia was snuggled in her arms, and admired his girls. They were broken from their little world when each of their mothers entered the room.

Chester could tell it was hard for Grace to share – already being an overprotective mommy. He rubbed Grace’s belly gently to alleviate some of the discomfort she was feeling, a nurse entering the room moments later – Grace groaning at the possibility of another needle or uncomfortable hand prodding in and around her southern regions.

“Ms. Helbig we just need to go over the baby’s birth-certificate to be sure everything is spelled correctly.”

Nodding, the couple began the process.


“… Ok, and for the last name, Helbig as in H-E-L-B…”

“No-no, no…”

Chester placed his hand on her thigh and met her eyes. “Grace, wha…”

“No- no, because our baby’s last name is See, as in S-E-E.”

It only took 25 seconds to change the name.

Mia See.

Mia was two months old when Chester got down on one knee.

They were exhausted, breastfeeding was hard, Goose cried all night wanting to sleep next to the crib and protect her sister, and the house was a mess of gifts and meals from their closest family and friends.

However, this particular Thursday night was different. Mia was asleep on Grace’s chest, Chester feeding her part of a burger every so often so she didn’t disturb their sleeping princess. A smear of ketchup found its way onto her chin, Chester reaching to wipe it away, stopping his movement suddenly. He knew.

He knew it was time. He knew it was the perfect moment. He didn’t plan it but he didn’t have to. Now was it.

Speaking to her softly and quietly, he got down on one knee and entwined his fingers of one hand with her free one.

It took 143 seconds for Chester to take her breath away. It took 10 additional seconds to ask her the simple question of only five words.  

“Will you be my wife?”

Grace, only taking three seconds to whisper, “yes.”


He had a ring. He had gotten it custom made in New York after their first Christmas when she went back to LA.

The ring was Grace – Beautiful. Simple. A statement.

Sixty seconds.

60,000 milliseconds.

One minute.

That’s it.

A/N: Feedback is greatly appreciated :)

A comiXologist Recommends:
Harris Smith recommends The Humans #1

Indie comic creators have been making a big mark on the mainstream lately, what with the likes of American Barbarian creator tomscioli bringing infinitely imaginative, Kirby-esque style to IDW’s Transformers Vs. G.I. Joe, Copra and zegas creator Michel Fiffe lending his insightful take on superheroes to Marvel’s All-New Ultimates, and a host of underground talents (including Fiffe, Jim Rugg and Farel Dalrymple) providing backup stories for Dynamite’s Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers.  Now it’s Keenan Marshall Keller and Tom Neely’s turn, and they’re laying waste to the comics landscape with their new simian biker epic from imagecomics, The Humans.  Keller is the founder of LA-based indie imprint Drippy Bone Books and creator of the psychotic sci-fi action odyssey Galactic Breakdown (aka Space Battleground 666), while Neely has instigated something of a phenomenon with his sublimely hilarious Henry & Glenn Forever (which imagines a tender domestic partnership between Black Flag singer Henry Rollins and Misfits founder Glenn Danzig, as well as their neighbors, a Satan-worshipping version of pop duo Hall & Oates).  In The Humans, this terrible twosome takes the grimy excesses of Roger Corman’s seminal biker flick The Wild Angels and places them in a Planet of the Apes-like alternate reality where monkeys and gorillas have replaced humans.

After the success of The Wild Angels and Easy Rider in the late 1960s, the biker genre was wildly popular in cinema, spawning drive-in classics like Hells Angels on Wheels, Chrome and Hot Leather, The Glory Stompers and Satan’s Sadists, and in pulp novels, but with the notable exception of Marvel’s Ghost Rider (and Skywald’s slightly more adult Hell-Rider, though that only lasted two issues), never really translated to comics, in no small because the staples of the genre include violence, drugs, sex and generally antisocial, anti-establishment behavior, none of which were viewed particularly favorably by the Comics Code Authority.  Fortunately, times have changed and now we can enjoy the anarchic bacchanalia of that bygone era without censorship or sugarcoating.

Though the ape aspect of The Humans is entertaining, it’s almost incidental, providing a neat hook for Keller and Neely’s superbly realized story about an outlaw motorcycle gang.  Led by the enigmatic Bobby, whose sunglasses and stoicism recall Peter Fonda’s Blue in the aforementioned Wild Angels, the gang includes the soulful Marra (his name presumably a sly nod to comic creator Benjamin Marra (traditionalcomics), who also provided a pin-up for this issue), old timer Doc, druggy Nada and the ominous Karns.  After the funeral of fallen club member Mojo, they find themselves locked in combat with rival gang the Skabbs, a crew so scummy they make the Humans look heroic by comparison.

 Like the great biker films that came before it, The Humans is a comic for the rest of us, for fans of the Cramps and Russ Meyer movies, for trashhounds and scumfiends, for dirtbags and burnouts and weirdos, for outsiders and outcasts and square pegs of every caste, for those, to paraphrase Peter Fonda in the Wild Angels, who want to be free to do what they wanna do, to have a good time and read awesome comics without getting hassled by The Man. 

[Read The Humans #1 on comiXology]

Harris Smith is a Brooklyn-based comics and media professional. In addition to his role as a Senior Production Coordinator at comiXology, he edits several comics anthologies, including Jeans and Felony Comics, under the banner of Negative Pleasure Publications. He’s also the host of the weekly radio show Negative Pleasure on Newtown Radio.


Golden light,
Light off all lighjts
Bows out every day.

Creates a moment,
Amazing effects,
Beautiful but fleeting.

Golden in the sky,
Contrast on earth,
Reflection in the water.

Captured Photography
This sublime moment,
Now forever preserved.


zdspOtted the other zdmOtiOn blog
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zdspOtted experimental photography