But Seriously

2017 was quite a mixed bag.

Danica has spoken about where we were and where we are quite a bit more than I have this year, and there’s good reason for this. I’ve always considered myself a writer, but I never write. I will take almost any excuse not to, thinking in my head “but I should be writing” while reaching for the remote to let the next episode of Bob’s Burgers play.

This year, like most years, I’m pledging to be better. And not just when it comes to writing. When I look inwards, and when Danica looks at me, we both see someone who is avoiding his problems. I put off going to the doctor, I put off talking about my problems, I push back and back and back, attempting to find comfort in my discomfort instead of trying to… be better.

So.

In 2018… I just… I want to be able to confront myself. And to do that, I think I’ll be confronting others a little less. That doesn’t mean I’m going to be quiet about bullshit, but as Danica and I have talked about personally a lot lately, I need to stop worrying so much about everyone else, and really take a look at the things that are making me feel like garbage. I need to stop avoiding how my brain perceives myself.

Anyway.

I hope last year has treated you well, and I hope the new year is good for you. We’re both going to be here, talking and listening.

Thank you all.

Brandon Schatz // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Submetropolitan is powered by Variant Edition Comics + Culture – Edmonton’s best source for comics, used books + mindful pop culture.
Variant Edition // Website // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Let’s try this again

At the end of last year, I do what I always do, and made myself a work schedule to get a decent amount of content out in 2018.

So I guess what I’m saying is, I’ll see you all back here in a few weeks when I explain how everything went horribly wrong. Or who knows, this time, things might work out. I might actually accomplish a goal.

Psh. Sure sure.

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Happy New Year!

Edmonton has not been reduced to a crater just yet, so it’s time for another spin around the sun.

Danica and I would like to thank you all for the support that you’ve shown us this year, both emotionally and through Variant EditionWithout you, we would be lost, as we are wee depressive baby ducks, often wondering off the path into the jaws of certain danger. Or something like that.

Metaphors are fun.

Thank you and we love you and we’ll hopefully talk with you soon.

Was and What’s Next

One of the benefits of this job has been the ability to walk to work and sometimes, see sunrises like this one.

Changes abound in my life these days. I’ve been working full-time at a large company for the past month, and although the job has been satisfying in a lot of ways, it’s been draining my energy. I’ve chosen to end my contract at the original end date of December 1, rather than extend it. That was an option, but I knew that working full-time and trying to cover the store in the busiest retail season would have been a mistake for me. I know how I feel when I burn out, so these days I’m better at preventing things before they get started. Sure, an extra three weeks of pay would have been nice, but I’m done choosing money over my health.

I had my doubts, because it has been an enjoyable job, but I feel that longing to be at the store. I know there’s always much to do, even if it doesn’t support me financially. I feel that when I’m there more often, I’m closer to my goals.

Thanks to a friend’s referral, I have a lead on a part-time position at another office, so I’m pursuing that. That way, I can be at the store at least half the week, rather than a smattering of hours throughout and Saturday (though Brandon and I still intend to continue our weekend schedule).

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Good, Great, Better

It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything. At first, it was because I had nothing to say. Then, I had no time to sit down and properly create words. I have some time to catch up and gather my thoughts about everything that’s been happening.

I’ve begun taking my mental health seriously. This year was about putting myself first, and making sure I’m healthy enough to take care of my family. I started on a mild antidepressant back in August, and it felt like the little boost I needed. I had spent the months prior starting to exercise, meditate, and communicate better with my loved ones. This was simply the final step. I am also seeing a therapist, although with my schedule, it can be difficult keeping appointments. I feel like me again. No, I feel better than me. I feel functional, which at times I’m still uneasy about. This Current Me is confident, and can handle most problems. She feels positive about the future, which is good, because there’s a lot of good coming down the pipe.

At the end of October, I was let go from my part-time office job, which was basically how I paid my bills (I won’t let the store pay me until we’re doing really, really well). Funnily enough, I wasn’t worried at all. I knew I could contact my recruiter and pick up some temp work, and even if I didn’t, I was happy to be at the store full-time. The timing worked out, and I began a full-time contract about 10 days after being let go. I’ll be there until December 1, and possibly longer(my contract may be extended). It’s a delightful job, and I’m enjoying reception work much more than I thought I would.

The store has some new opportunities beginning. Variant Edition announced our partnership with the The Alberta Library last month, and some libraries have already signed up for the program. It’s like getting dozens of new file customers all at once! Brandon spoke at a conference in September, and he said lots of people were excited about being able to order comics from a store that would assist them with recommendations. A huge part of the program is the interactivity.

We also took the first big step towards being focused on graphic novels. The store now has beautiful gray curvy shelves, full of cubbies. Brandon had the brilliant idea to curve the single issue shelves to match, and now walking through the middle aisle feels like you’re in a storybook.

In media news, I’ve been in a few podcasts over the last couple weeks. I was invited to speak on That’s So Maven!  With Andrea Beca about being a woman entrepreneur and the ups and downs of running a business with your life partner. If you’re at all interested in female representation in business, check out Andrea’s podcast. She’s interviewed many amazing women, and has no shortage of options for future episodes.

I also spoke with Steven, Warren, and Chris of Radio Free Skaro as part of their “Second Chances” season. I had picked “Eaters of Light”, written by Rona Munro, and it was an absolute delight chatting and sparring with the group. We didn’t agree on everything, but I feel that made the discussion more interesting to listen to.

Since I last wrote, Brandon and myself have also reinvented and relaunched Yegs & Bacon, Variant Edition’s now twice monthly podcast about the comics industry. Rather than a weekly show talking about the new comics, with light comics news, we’ve opened it up to evergreen discussions about the comics industry as a whole. What are the issues, what could be better, etc.

I’d say that’s all for now, but I know that’s a lot, and there’s likely more on the way. I’m going to take my days off when I can, center myself when needed, and try to write a bit here and there. My time is limited, but I’m usually on Twitter. Reach out if you need me!

Danica LeBlanc // Twitter

Submetropolitan is powered by Variant Edition Comics + Culture – Edmonton’s best source for comics, used books + mindful pop culture.
Variant Edition // Website // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Doctor Whooch // Episode 126 // Nobody Dies… That We Saw

In which a kid slides directly into his dad’s DMs and then catches the consumption.

It’s part two of our spectacular Companions Season finalé, in which we continue to talk about The Curse of the Black Spot with Doctor Who podcast luminaries Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky!

In this episode, a Steven Moffat conspiracy theory is hatched, and we discuss how Doctor Who fans aren’t detail oriented at all, and how crowns are pretty dope. Plus: drunk Chris Chibnall talk! Also, the appearance of some pod cats! No, we don’t really edit, why do you ask?

Outro music is “Pinball Wizard” as covered by The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, which you should see the full video for.

Podcast picture is by GIRL NAMED SHIRL PHOTOGRAPHY

Pod People // Brandon on Drink This Podcast

Did you know that getting drunk on a podcast is a thing? Wild, right?

A little while back, Brandon was invited onto Drink This Podcast to talk about story. For regular listeners of Doctor Whooch, you’ll know it goes… as well as can be expected, as Brandon gets more and more incoherent over the course of two episodes.

Episode 74: HOW DO WE GET THERE? WE KILL THE WIFE? GREAT IDEA! (Listen here)

Today we are joined by new friend of the show Brandon Schatz, owner proprietor of Variant Edition Comics for our first Paul written docket, and another in our ongoing series about story telling and pop-culture narratives. We dive into our favourite shows, what kind of story telling we want to see, and how different mediums play off each and influence each other.

Episode 75: I ASSUME ITS WHAT DOING CRACK IS LIKE (Listen here)

Today we are joined again by our new old friend Brandon Schatz for part 2 of our conversation around narrative story telling. we attempt to abandon our TV conversation and move in to other forms of narrative, get drawn back into the same old podcast conversation, and then back to television, before settling on video games, and then it all falls apart, in the best possible way. 

Pod People // Danica on Radio Free Skaro

Hey there folks! We have some exciting news! A little while back, Danica was invited to take part in an episode of Radio Free Skaroand this week, the audio is out there in the cloud, ready for your ears.

Here’s RFS’ description of the episode. (Click here to listen/download.)

Sad news to impart this week, with the death of Doctor Who director and television pioneer Paddy Russell, who directed “The Massacre”, “Invasion of the Dinosaurs”, “Pyramids of Mars”, and “Horror of Fang Rock”, along with many other non-Who programmes on UK television. We also have news of Shada on DVD in North America, the continued audio adventures of River Song, doings transpiring at Titan Comics regarding the Doctor Who comics line, and in Second Chances we look at “The Eaters of Light” with Doctor Whooch host and Edmonton comic shop owner Danica LeBlanc!

Speaking as the “Brandon” half of Submet Industries, I can wholeheartedly say this is worth a listen – especially if you want to hear Danica talk about her (and our) Moffat opinions with some folks who don’t hate the man.

Doctor Whooch // Episode 125 // SWORD BOX!

In which we offend the southern states and maybe also most of the British.

It’s part one of our HUGE finalé to our companion of Doctor Whooch – featuring Doctor Who podcast luminaries Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky! This one has it all. Or it would if we hadn’t split it in two. So I guess this one has roughly half. BUT WHAT A HALF IT IS. We blame Saskatchewan for things, discover Steven’s superpower, decide that Arthur Darvill is British AF and toss out spoilers for Earthshock. So if you’re listening to this in 1982, uh… whoops.

Outro music is “Oceans Brawl” by Coeur de pirate

Podcast picture is by GIRL NAMED SHIRL PHOTOGRAPHY