MonthMay 2017

No One Can Stop Her

So this past weekend, I took Danica to her first live wrestling event, and I was pretty nervous. So nervous that she started getting irritated at my deprecating behaviour as I tried to lower expectations to the floor in order to avoid any kind of disappointment.

As you’ve probably guessed, I like a bit of wrestling, but as you might not know, the thing that I like about it is how ridiculous it is. Folks who walk into a ring to punch each other in the face long enough to solve… legitimate problems? With pretty arbitrary rules? Ridiculous. Anyway, I didn’t have to worry, because she ended up enjoying the experience – especially the women’s match where a woman by the stage name of Kat Von Heez slapped a dude in the face real hard and said “DON’T TOUCH ME”. When this happened, I glanced over at Danica, and could practically see hearts in her eyes.

Anyway, as we travelled home, we talked about the show, and about what we liked and didn’t like. We both ended up enjoying the experience overall, but work had exhausted us, so shortly after getting home, we collapsed and went to bed… after which, I had a dream.

I don’t remember most of it, but a specific moment was clear: I was standing at ringside beside someone (who it was will forever remain a mystery), looking up at Danica, as she climbed to the top rope. She managed to get to the top, after which she flew down and elbowed a masked dude in the neck, who was lying on the mat. After this, she  lowered her face close to this dude, and pointed a finger in his face, yelling, “THAT WAS FOR EVERYONE.” She then proceeded to stomp this man several times in the stomach, yelling “AND THESE ARE FOR ME!”

As this happens, the man standing next to me turns and says, “You should go and stop her.”

To which I reply, with a grin on my face, “Nobody can.”

And that’s Danica. The woman who agrees to go to a wrestling show, not because she necessarily wants to herself, but because she knows I enjoy it, and want to share in that enjoyment. The woman who hears me say how dumb I think it all is, but knows how close I hold that dumb thing to my heart. The woman who is fearless, who flies, who fights, who won’t take your shit.

And if she goes for the throat, know this:

You deserve it.

Doctor Whooch // Episode 114 // This Episode Was Bullsh*t

In which we’d like Stephen Moffat to leave sooner rather than later but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Hey, remember that time The Doctor fucked a Pope? Well, Brandon and Danica do. Or at least they think they do. Brandon is also sure that Stephen Moffat got divorced, but that wasn’t true so much as it FELT true. Anyway. On this week’s show, they watch “Extremis” and it’s not very good. You’ve been warned, I guess.

Outro music is “Losing My Religion” by Jacqui Naylor


Next Week’s Goat

Get Some Proper Writing Done

Do It In Style


Doctor Whooch // Episode 113 // Nothing Bad Ever Happens In Space

In which Brandon forgets the word for “e-mail”.

Hey buds. On this week’s show, Danica and Brandon are not cool with everyone being out in space again, and for good reason. Because… well, every episode of Doctor Who has danger, but space stuff usually involves murders and body snatching and that’s not their jam even slightly. Also, Brandon breaks out his amazing Nardole impression, and it’s preeeeetty spot on.

Outro music is “Space” by Something Corporate


The End of the World Playlist

At some point, I promised everyone some glimpses at the End of the World playlist that I’ve been putting together. Whelp, here it is.

Set fire to your insides for fun, and prepare to get sad and/or mellow as hell.

Anger, Time Travel, and Forms of Harm

Thinking through a couple of things to start off the week.


I recently sent my complete Twitter archive off to TimeHop and I’ve discovered something: even though I put on a fairly easy going persona, I’ve always had a bit of anger bubbling below the surface. It’s been interesting stepping backwards year by year and seeing that anger burst apart and become disparate, buckshot messages swinging at nothing in particular. Fun fact: the more focused your anger becomes, the more it hurts, which is why I think I’ve been noticing it more in the past few years. Anyway, something I’ve been keeping an eye on.


Further along that line, I’ve been confronting the ways that my anger is harmful. I’m not a violent dude, and I doubt I ever will be, but I do commit harm. Folks who use their words to swing often don’t always realize that the simple act of not making harm manifest in a physical way doesn’t absolve the idea that harm is being committed.

In the past few years and specifically in the past couple of months, I’ve definitely said things with the aim to harm, with vicious intent. Some of the more recent things, I have yet to regret. But I probably will one day. Regardless, I’m trying to be mindful about when I’m swinging and why, and what the intent is behind it. Can I live with those consequences, no matter how long term? What is gained?

I’ll admit to causing harm to others as a way of attempting to gain control. I’m not proud of this. But I haven’t stopped. So what does that say about me?


Another day, hopefully better. I’m actually saying that about my good and bad days lately, greedily hoping for more. We’ve been through a lot and I feel like asking for a period of sustained sun is justified at this point, but that shit doesn’t work in a vacuum, so I’m doing what I can. These days, that takes the form of actually acknowledging the bad, instead of pretending like everything is good. It took far too long to realize this, despite the words placed in my ears by folks far smarter than myself (like Danica), but… I’m starting to get the hang of it. Just because you admit a thing is bad, doesn’t mean things can’t turn around… and the first step in that process, is identifying that thing as bad.


Lots to write about, hopefully about something other than the mess inside my brain. I really want to get talking about the Young Animal line of comics properly, and it’s been far too long since I wrote an article for Comics Beat. Also, there’s some prose fiction I want to get to.

Maybe if I say these things out loud, they’ll actually start happening.

We’ll see.

Direction isn’t up or down

Direction’s not a place at all

Only forward. Forward or backward

Direction, Direction

Even when I didn’t know

Even when I couldn’t go home

  • “Direction” by Colleen Brown of Edmonton, AB

(Buy or listen to [but seriously, buy] this song – it’s beautiful.)

Doctor Whooch // Episode 112 // Y’All Basic

With apologies to all the Marks and Mikes out there.

This week, Danica and Brandon are spooked by bugs and a house that is creepy as hell. Also, the cats almost murder them and ruin the podcast. Boy, that sure would have been a twist. But no one died. Probably. Or maybe we’re ghosts. You’ll have to listen to find out.

Outro music is “Black Magic” by Little Mix


Year Three

This weekend, I was remarking to Danica that Free Comic Book Day felt like a “season finalé” of sorts for Variant EditionAs we talked about it, we discovered that we were both feeling the same way – we built up to a big event, dealt with hardships, and now things feel like we’re at a big of a reset point, where we can push forward with new ideas and energy.

We went through a lot during our second year of business. We’ll probably go through a few things during our third, just… hopefully not as many. We’ve learned a lot of lessons, taken a lot of hits. And now? Now we’re moving forward again, with a bit of a changed paradigm and focus. We know where we function best within the business and with each other. And we’re going to build from there.

Thank you for all of the support you’ve all shown us so far. We’re very excited for you to see what comes next. Partly because we’re pretty excited to see what comes next.

Thank you all.

5 Things // Mostly Up

Five Things is an occasional check in on what’s been and what might be. It’s not regular or anything, because deadlines are for nerds and squares.

01. This past week, we celebrated Variant Edition’s second anniversary. We also held the annual Free Comic Shop Day event, which was a thing.

As you all might have heard, this week was a little rougher than most for your ol’ pals Branton and Danica. Small floods in your business make for garbage times, especially when you’re in the homestretch heading towards the biggest event your store will run all year. I would like to think that we did pretty good, all things considered. In the past year, we split off our business from our third partner, moved the shop, rebuilt everything from scratch and a bank account filled with nearly zero dollars, weathered a flood, and still came through pretty well. Most businesses would have collapsed under the weight of it all. But us? We’re fine, and we’re looking at an even better third year ahead of us.

Oh just you wait until you see what’s coming next.

02. Speaking of business things, Danica and I just wrapped up an incredibly great dinner with a like minded business person, in which we traded stories about our business philosophies and goals and it was probably one of the most rewarding experiences we’ve had in quite some time.

There’s something electrifying about hearing someone who has lived through it all enforcing things that you believe in – and not in a glad-handing way, but in a very genuine and open way that warns of various dangers and pitfalls. Anyway, the conversation was amazing, and it helped us feel a lot better about what we’ve been doing, and what it will mean going forward.

03. Plans for the week are thus: a long overdue article for Comics Beat about Marvel’s immediate future, and why their current plans might be an even larger step backwards then they might realize. Some more prose fiction writing, which you probably won’t see because this will probably be significantly longer than the last. A Doctor Whooch recording, because… well, yesterday was Free Comic Book Day and today was a great business dinner. A trip to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Aaaaand regular ass business stuff. Should be busy.

04. What else. Did I tell you about the hate mail the store received recently? We’ve decided to wear it like a badge of courage, so be prepared for that a little later in the week.

05. And finally, a bit of Motivation Monday

She knows what she did.

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