So, COVID-19, huh? Having been declared a global pandemic by the WHO, many countries have instigated quarantine periods, and people are buying TP en masse despite the fact that this isn’t 1846 and nobody’s going to die of dysentery. For their safety, most everyone except for minimum wage service workers are confined to their homes for two-week periods of self-isolation. I’ve been in Shanghai since just before quarantine started, so I’m an old pro at the whole ‘staying in your apartment for weeks on end, only leaving to get snacks, and thinking that I might die if someone doesn’t hold my hand soon’ thing. Oh, wait, that’s just my clinical depression!
My dad and I are both classic movie fans, it's one of the few things we bond over. We have a ritual of meticulously combing TCM’s weekly schedule and recording anything that sounds interesting. It started last summer; I was too depressed to go outside, and instead sat for hours, near-vegetative in front of the TV as Ben Mankiewicz talked about movies I’d only heard referenced in passing. I like a little bit of everything; my dad, as of late, watches anything related to WWII—typical middle-aged white dad fare—and that’s really where it starts.
Searching the simple phrase "going to the movies alone" garners 748 million results, the first being an /r/AskReddit thread titled, "Is it weird to go see a movie alone?" Scroll a little farther and you’ll be met with headlines such as "An Evening Spent Going to the Movies Alone," "6 Rules for Solo Movie-Going," and "Forget Netflix: Going to the cinema alone is life’s greatest guilty pleasure." People are equal parts scared of going to the movies alone in fear of looking sad and lonely and invigorated by the concept of solitary cinema-going as though it makes us a cut above other moviegoers. The truth is that going to the movies by yourself won’t make the other people in the theatre laugh at you for being the poor sap with no friends, but it also won’t earn you a gold star on your manic pixie dream person checklist. I’m aware that taking advice on what is and isn’t quirky from a person who once got up early on a Sunday to attend a showing of Gone With the Wind, of which the only patrons were a handful of senior citizens, my $9 cup of frozen yogurt, and myself, might seem strange. Hear me out.
Previously on 'I gradually lose my grip on reality binge reading children’s historical fiction', we looked at the Dear Canada series, and I discovered that they're... actually really good! Because of the response to that article, and because I enjoy tormenting myself with questionable diary fiction, I decided to go back down that particular rabbit hole to the weird and wild world of Dear America.
Next month, horror artist Emily Carroll will be coming out with a new comic titled When I Arrived at the Castle. It's a gothic lesbian vampire comic, a sentence in which every word gets more and more exciting. In anticipation for this release, I am going to be looking back at Carroll's previous comic, Through the Woods.