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Synthesis - Columns

From 2008 to 2015 I wrote a weekly column for Synthesis Weekly under the name Zooey Mae. What started as an outlet to review graphic novels and comic books evolved over the years to cover everything from pop culture to whatever menial event was happening in my life. Looking back, I think I spent much too much time regaling Chico with tales of my allergies. 

Oh Well, Ok

Originally published in Synthesis Weekly: April 2011

There's nothing better than getting out of town, even for a little bit. The shittiest trip anywhere outside of Butte County is still better (most of the time) than staying here. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the easy nature of living in Chico, but sometimes spending so much time here feels painfully monotonous. The fact that I grew up here probably doesn't help things either. The faces may change from year to year, but it's safe to assume that there will always be certain people playing certain roles. In any case, my point is that although Chico livin' might be a proverbial walk in the park, it's always wonderful to escape, even if just for a bit. 

This week I jumped the Chico ship with a gentleman friend and headed North to Portland. Yes yes, I know, everyone and their effing Mom goes to Portland from Chico. But let me tell you kids, there's a reason for that. Where else can you sit at the same bar where Kurt Cobain met Courtney Love and watch naked ladies try (and fail) to arouse you with come hither eyes and whispered sweet nothings? Coming here with someone who has never been is especially wonderful, as it allows you to experience things as if for the first time, through their eyes. I suppose the same could be said for anything really; living vicariously through others is pretty sweet, you can almost understand what all those horrid stage Mothers parading their daughters around in pageants trying to reclaim their lost youth by selling out their childrens' are so hooked on. What's my point, you may ask? No point. Just trying to fulfill my word count so I can get out of this internet cafe and get up to North Portland where a sunny patio and food carts await me. 

While in the great Northwest I stopped by the comic shop I used to work at, Floating World Comics, to see what was new in the world of nerdery. I picked up Incredible Change-Bots Two by Jeffrey Brown, and Morning Glories, by Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma. If you're unfamiliar with Incredible Change-Bots, think Transformers, but awesomely snarky with tongue-in-cheek humor and better artwork. A must-read for anyone who enjoys small press comics, Incredible Change-Bots Two is available now at your local comic-slingin' shop. 

Morning Glories is a series I've been interested in reading for quite some time, but every time I'd try to pick up a few issues, the first one would always be sold out. This book has blown up in popularity, and now that I finally got my hands on the volume one trade, I can see why. A dark story about a prestegious prep school that seems to be hiding secrets, and the six students trying to figure them out, I read this trade cover to cover upon picking it up. That's all for this week kids, remember to read your comics and try to get out of town, even if just for a bit.

Arielle Mullen