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Clockwork Game Update: 12/13/12

Signal Boost of the Week goes to Styx Taxi, which I just found out has returned to the web with a new story.

Clockwork Game Update: 12/6/12

Signal boost of the week goes to Sumana Harihareswara who, along with her husband Leonard — and a bunch of other generous donors — recently gave an amazing $20,000 to the Ada Initiative, an organization that works to

… increase the participation of women in open technology and culture by educating both women and people of all genders who want to support women in open tech/culture. Most of our work is free of charge and freely reusable under Creative Commons licenses.

Way to go, you guys. Talk about putting your money where your mouth is.

Another signal-boost update: I’m so happy to report that The Great Sioux Nation was able to raise $9 million and purchase back the sacred site of Pe’Sla in the Black Hills. I don’t think I’ve ever donated to a more worthy cause.

Clockwork Game Update: 11/29/12

Signal boost of the week goes to LARP Trek, a sweet little webcomics collision of two nerdy favorites.

Clockwork Game Update: 11/22/12

Signal boost of the week goes to you, my readers, who’ve stuck with me for yet another year of Clockwork Game — five years so far, going to be six by the time it’s done. Thanks so much, everyone.

Stone Soup Gumbo

Hey, look! It’s a post that’s not a weekly update!

I do a whole lot of home cooking, but it’s so routine that I’ve pretty much given up on blogging about it. Today, however, I made a wonderful pot of gumbo whose ingredients were almost entirely thanks to the generosity of others, and that’s definitely blogworthy.

It started last Thursday, at the 17th annual Biggs|Gilmore Thanksgiving feast. The accounting team cooked three huge turkeys, everyone brought a dish to pass, and we all ate like kings. Afterwards, there were turkey carcasses. Turkey carcasses that were headed into the garbage. Heresy, I say! I grabbed an empty aluminum dish and made off with a giant pile of bones and wings and drippings. That same night I boiled the bones up into a gallon of glorious, wobbly turkey stock (Paul always has to watch me shake the pot the morning after: “Look, honey! WOOBLY WOOBLY WOOBLY”. I am so easily amused.) which went into the freezer to await the arrival of… sossidge.

There’s a certain someone who loves me and Paul very much. So much so that she FedExed us a box of home-ground, home-smoked sausage.

Real genuine andouille made my real genuine Louisiana folks. It arrived this morning, to much joy, and stabbing. Seriously, you guys, it tasted so good that it’s a miracle any of it made it into the pot.

Ten minutes after its arrival, I started thawing the turkey stock and the shrimp, and made a quick trip to the store for more rice. Got in the door, set the rice to soak, started the oven roux (R.O.U.Xes? I don’t believe they exist.) peeled the shrimp and started boiling the shrimp shells for seafood stock.

Then the hallway smoke alarm went off. Then the basement smoke alarm went off. Alas, I didn’t stir enough, and the roux was burned (nooooooo) which sent poor Paul back to the store to buy more flour — I’d had exactly enough left to make the roux, but no more, of course. In the meantime I chopped and got everything else mised in its place. Paul returned from the store, I set the new roux to cooking — this time on the stovetop, like a smart person — and watched it like a hawk, stopping just short of a brick roux and finishing it in the stewpot with the veg (no okra, alas. Paul can’t stand the stuff, so we use filé instead).

As soon as the veg were soft, in went the shrimp stock and the turkey stock, and the andouille followed shortly after.

Now it’s burbling away, and in another hour or so I’ll add the shrimp. You guys, I so wish you could smell how good my kitchen smells right now.

I love Gumbo so much. I never had it growing up, but it’s such an fantastic thing — you take all this stuff that folks would otherwise throw away, add some veg and sausage, and get the most delicious meal from it. It always amazes me how some of the best-tasting recipes from every culture are the ones born out of frugality and necessity — and in this case, generosity. I’ll be bringing some in to work on Monday to complete the circle.

Clockwork Game Update: 11/15/12

Signal boost of the week goes to Shweta Narayan’s Thorns, a postcolonial retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story. It’s definitely worth your time.

Another boost: The Lakota Sioux are getting close to being able to purchase back Pe’Sla, but need to raise another million dollars. Are you one of those folks who asks for people to donate to charity rather than getting a holiday present? Consider making this your choice for the year; it’s a really amazing opportunity to bring some good to an otherwise awful situation.

And another boost! Layla Lawlor has a story in Sword and Sorceress 27! I’ve read the story and it’s wonderful. Congrats on such a big sale, Layla!

Clockwork Game Update: 11/8/12

Signal boost of the week goes to Rafer Roberts, who’s bringing back his Plastic Farm series as a Kickstarter! He’s already hit his first two stretch goals — let’s see if we can’t push him further over the top!

Clockwork Game Update: 11/1/12

Signal boost of the week goes to Layla Lawlor, who — at long last — has her Freebird comic collected in book format!

It’s 52 pages, and retails for $12 US. It collects all of the Freebird strips from 2006-2008, the ones that ran in the now-defunct Fairbanks entertainment paper fbx square plus the online ones that I did after square died. There are also new strips (bringing the story to the conclusion that it was originally supposed to have) and two backup stories, plus extra sketches and previously unseen strips from the development process.

Buy your copy from Amazon, or Layla’s own online store — unfortunately, this is one of the few times you can’t buy an indie comic from your local comics store, unless you live in Fairbanks, Alaska and can visit The Comic Shop there.

Congrats, Layla!

Clockwork Game Update: 10/25/12

Signal boost of the week goes to Doodle Alley, a really nice comics blog by illustrator Stephen McCranie about “sustainable creativity” — in other words, learning how to keep creating despite the roadblocks life — and your own brain — throw at you. I’m always looking for new ways to lifehack my own habits and ways of thinking to improve my art, and personal outlook on life, and this site looks like it’ll be a nice addition to my reading. Hat tip to J. Kevin Carrier for the introduction to the site!

Also: Time is ticking on Lea Hernandez‘s IndieGoGo campaign for The Garlicks! Don’t miss out on your chance to fund this awesome vampire book, just in time for Halloween!

Clockwork Game Update: 10/18/12

This week’s Signal boost is a bit late, but still worthy: Tuesday was Ada Lovelace Day, the annual celebration of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, aka “STEM fields”. Though the window appears to be closed for sharing stories this year, we can still read stories that other women around the world have posted, and there are several upcoming worldwide events. Yay, Ada Day, and yay Sydney Padua, for the great graphics!

Clockwork Game Update: 10/11/12

Signal boost of the week goes to Voter registration deadlines. Are you a US Citizen over 18? Do you know if you’re registered to vote? If not, check, which will take you to your state’s voter registration page. Sadly, the deadline for Michigan registration was Tuesday, but there are still many other states that are still open. Also, be sure to check your polling place: mine just changed, after being in the same location for eight years.

I’m an unapologetic Obama voter (as anyone who’s ever read my blog should know), and this election is going to be one of the most important in decades. Regardless of who you’re voting for, get out, get registered, and go do your civic duty.

Clockwork Game Update: 10/4/12

It’s Banned Books Week, so the Signal boost of the week goes to these lists of frequently challenged books from the ALA. It’s terrifying that we still need to defend the freedom of speech as frequently and as strongly as we do, and there’s no one closer to the front lines than librarians. Huge thanks go to the ALA for their continuing work against censorship — and if you’d like to help them out, go check out the Banned Books Week support page. The always-vigilant CBLDF is supporting the cause as well, and if you’re a comics reader, and aren’t yet a member, now’d be a great time to amend that.

Clockwork Game Update: 9/27/12

The Signal boost of the week goes to Lea Hernandez, who’s giving her Garlicks: Book One fundraiser another shot, this time on IndieGoGo! If you pledged last time on her Kickstarter, head on over and re-pledge now!

How not to write comics criticism

Have you read this essay by Dylan Meconis? If not, you really should, because it’s brilliant. I foresee myself linking to it many, many times.

Clockwork Game Update: 9/20/12

The Signal boost of the week goes to Layla Lawlor, who just announced that at long last, she will be releasing print editions of her books Freebird and Kismet: Hunter’s Moon! I’ve been waiting for this news for literal years, and am really looking forward to finally holding them in my hands. There’s something so satisfying about print. Yay, Layla!

Clockwork Game Update: 9/13/12

The Signal boost of the week goes to Raina Telgemeier, whose new book, Drama, hit stores on the first of September. Scholastic made it a nifty animated trailer, to boot. Congrats, Raina!

Clockwork Game Update: 9/6/12

The Signal boosts of the week go to two Kalamazoo artists —

First to my husband Paul Sizer, who’s got a show of his posters up at The Bureau during this Friday’s Art Hop. The Bureau is a co-working office on the Kalamazoo Mall, where entrepreneurs and freelancers can rent professional space. It’s a great asset to downtown Kalamazoo, and we’re really happy that they invited Paul to show his work. If you’re in the area this Friday, stop by and have a look!

The second signal boost goes to Judy Sarkozy of Sarkozy Bakery, who just announced that she’s re-opening after the tragic fire that wiped out her business earlier this year. The new space will be right downtown (hooray!) in the Columbia Plaza, just down the street from Bimbo’s Pizza, and only a couple blocks from her old location. This is such good news, and I’m so excited that we’ll have Judy and her staff of wonderful bakers back where they belong, with brand new ovens, and the same great recipes. I can’t wait to buy my first loaf of Brewer’s Bread — but in the meantime, if you want to help, you can attend one of their fundraisers — including visiting them at the Art Hop! — or, soon, you can buy your bread ahead!

Clockwork Game Update: 8/30/12

The Signal boost of the week goes to Storycorps, who are trying to Kickstart an Animated movie! If you’re unfamiliar with Storycorps, head over to their website and listen to some of the amazing stories they’ve collected, and then watch the animated shorts they’ve already produced. I’m a big fan of their work from hearing it on NPR’s Morning Edition, and remember when they brought their portable recording studio to Bronson Park so they could capture stories from the citizens of Kalamazoo.

Projects like these remind me of why I got into comics in the first place — there’s no better storytelling than someone’s best personal story. Everyone’s got one. Here’s your chance to make sure more of these intensely human stories get a wider audience!

Fear of a black president

Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of the finest living American writers, and this is one of his best pieces. Do yourself a favor and read this article:


I filled my third 48-slot portfolio tonight with my 144th page of Clockwork Game. About 43 pages left to go.

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