The Worst Filing System Known To Humans

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Reload the Canons!

This series of articles is an attempt to play through The Canon of videogames: your Metroids, your Marios, your Zeldas, your Pokemons, that kind of thing.

Except I'm not playing the original games. Instead, I'm playing only remakes, remixes, and weird fan projects. This is the canon of games as seen through the eyes of fans, and I'm going to treat fan games as what they are: legitimate works of art in their own right that deserve our analysis and respect.

Friday, December 31, 2021

Boxing Day

I found myself lost for words and drowning in boxes. I started drawing, and I didn't stop. These are comics for the old year.

I haven't stopped moving since July. I am exhausted, and I am buried in boxes. I am positively entombed in boxes. Please picture me chopped up and subdivided into a series of boxes. They could search for hours and never find the body, if not for my arm sticking jauntily out of the top of one, flashing a peace sign. Just letting everyone know I'm doing well!

Damn, that's a good image. I should make a comic about that.

I make everything in my life into comics these days. This is a wild development for me, because despite having a literal honest to god degree in comics studies--I am a credentialed Master of Contemporary Art History (Comics Focus)--I never drew comics myself. Comics to me seemed an unassailable technical problem, something only to be attempted by a mind like Alan Moore's. Moore is a man who infamously can write an entire page of historical and thematic underpinning to a single panel. Comics were for people who could go from that strenuous and comprehensive a planning stage to an actual completed project without giving up a third of the way through.

Not me, then. Not someone who gravitated towards blogging cause she continuously got bored or sick of all her more elaborate and challenging projects before ever getting them to a publishable state. 

Maybe it was a series of seismic life changes (moving across the state then planning a move across the country, coming out to my parents, dramatically denouncing my chosen field as mere vanity, &c) that shook something loose. Maybe the same hormones that redistributed a bunch of the fat in my body to my tits and thighs redistributed something in my neurology. Maybe at a certain point the senselessness of the world outside just made immaculate planning seem laughable.

I just picked up the pen, and I started drawing, and through a seismic six months I simply did not stop. For the most part, any plans I had for my comics were dreamed up in the moment of drawing. Sometimes--frequently, even--I had only vague ideas about what would follow the first sequence I put to paper. I don't know if it's a GOOD way of working. It's certainly a MESSY one, with frequent mistakes of composition and lettering and drafting. It is also a LIGHTWEIGHT way of working, though. A fast and lightweight approach to art comes in handy when you're homeless, which, while never unhoused, for a while I was. I could not stop my entire community of queer and disabled people from being abruptly evicted into a housing crisis and pandemic, but I could carve my feelings into a page instead of my body. I grappled with the problem David Graeber describes in the Utopia of Rules, of the artistic inexpressibility of something as banal and just fucking boring as the violence of bureaucracy. I found no solutions, but with markers I could rapidly splash color on a page to suggest hands being mangled, crushed, punctured, blood squeezed out, by a pair of remorseless gears. 

At the end of this year, having technically for inscrutable cruel bureaucratic reasons only been definitively "moved in" for about 24 days, I find myself at a loss for words, and surrounded by images. Remember when I did big weird cultural reviews at the end of years? Man, remember culture? I feel too shellshocked to really call it to mind, personally, but hey, we've all got housing again, I'm living with my girlfriend, it's snowing like crazy in Seattle, and if I can just sleep through the night without clawing nightmares about having to pack up all my stuff into boxes again and find another place to live maybe it'll start to come back to me.

For now, I have these comics. And now you have them too. I'll see you in the new year.

(Also, the image quality on Blogger is trashgarbage so I've uploaded all the images, free to everyone, on Patreon. :)  )

Samantha Zoe

This Has Been

Boxing Day

100 people supported this article on Patreon, and among other things got access to more comics in printable zine form. Will you join them?


  1. Hey Sam! I hope this new year treats you better. I've been thinking about you a lot, and I miss you.

  2. Very nice.

    I can especially relate to that last one, haha.


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