Again, as I said before, but for those just coming in, who I link in my blogroll on the right is very much an arbitrary thing – everything linked there is something I think is good, but not everything I think is good is linked there. With that in mind, on we go…
Leonard Pierce is one of the funniest writers I know. An online acquaintance of mine, he’s a freelance writer and humourist who writes for, amongst others, The Onion AV Club, and is also one of the vanishingly small number of people who’s ever commissioned me to write a piece for publication somewhere other than this blog. He writes about comics and general pop-culture things, from an anarchist perspective, but seems astonishingly knowledgeable about everything from postmodern critical theory to hip-hop and death metal (his most recent post, a potted biography of Niccolo Macchiavelli in the style of the theme from The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, gives a pretty good idea of what he’s like).
Liberal Democrat Voice is an unofficial Liberal Democrat party groupblog, with a handful of regular contributors and a few irregular ones. Always worth reading if you want a brief idea of what the general feeling among the party is about UK current events.
Love And Liberty is the blog of Alex Wilcock, who writes extremely well about both Liberalism and Doctor Who – his How Doctor Who Made Me A Liberal is justly famous both among Who fans and Lib Dems, and was an essay I admired before I really got involved in either group.
Lucid Frenzy, Jr is Gavin Burrows, a frequent commenter here who I first got to know in the comments to Andrew Rilstone’s blog. He writes about cultural stuff – recent posts include a review of a June Tabor gig, an extended appreciation of the Fleischer Superman cartoons, a discussion of ‘the slag-off song’ in punk, a discussion of the character of Captain Mainwaring from Dad’s Army, and several Spotify playlists. His stuff is generally longer, thoughtful review pieces that wouldn’t be out of place in the Observer or Saturday Guardian arts sections, except that he doesn’t exude the insufferable Burchillian smugness of most contributors to those periodicals, so you can read a full piece by him without wanting to kill him and/or yourself.
Marc Singer unfortunately hasn’t blogged for six months or so, but when he did he was one of the very best comics bloggers out there, and also wrote well about The Wire. Part of the reason he’s on a long-term hiatus from blogging is that he’s writing a book on Grant Morrison, and I suspect, given the quality of his writing on the subject, that it will be the definitive critical word on the subject.
Mark Evanier is a writer who’s done a huge amount of work in TV animation (he created Scrappy Doo and the Dungeons & Dragons TV show, and wrote a big chunk of the Garfield TV series, among other works) and comics (he writes the dialogue for Groo, and worked with Jack Kirby as an assistant on the Fourth World comics). He’s an expert on old comics and old comedy – especially people in both fields from about the 1940s to the 1970s. He writes a lot about the Marx Brothers and Laurel & Hardy, maintains a Jack Kirby FAQ, and generally seems to have at least a few anecdotes about everyone we think of as ancient legendary figures.
Mark Steel and Mark Thomas are both hard-left-wing (Steel is a Trotskyist, Thomas non-aligned but tending towards anarchism) political comedians and activists. Both sites are excellent (and in fact run by the same people), but Steel’s ‘blog’ is updated far more than Thomas’, as it always includes the text of his weekly Independent column. Both men also actually manage to be very funny even when dealing with extremely serious or complex political matters.
Mat Bowles should write more. The fiance of Jennie Rigg, mentioned in the last of these blogroll posts, he’s someone who doesn’t just shoot his mouth off like I do but who actually has some idea what he’s talking about, especially when it comes to political theory.
Matt Rossi hasn’t really blogged in several years (he’s been suffering writers’ block) but I leave the link to his blog here because the stuff he did write was so astoundingly good, be it his alternative-history stuff, where he’d just let his imagination create conspiratorial or magical links between obscure historical events, or his writing on comics (which is what got me back into the medium) or his autobiographical stuff. He’s an absolutely astonishing writer, both in terms of ideas and in terms of prose style. He’s also one of a very few people who was there to help me at a time when I needed it, and helped me more than he can know. He’s probably forgotten that, but I haven’t, and I hope he starts writing more again soon.
Millennium Dome, Elephant is a fluffy, grey, little stuffed elephant who lives with his two daddies Alex (of Love & Liberty, linked above) and Richard, and who, like them, is a Liberal Democrat who likes Doctor Who a lot. For the comics fans among you, imagine a Lib Dem/Whofan equivalent of Bully The Little Stuffed Bull, but funnier – I’ve literally cried with laughter at some of the politics posts.
And The Mindless Ones are my favourite comics group blog, one of a vanishingly small group among the comics blogosphere who know the difference between irreverence and ‘snark’, and who can actually write (and draw in the case of their two fantastic weekly single-panel comics). As a group their taste and approach to comics intersects with mine so much that I’ve more than once scrapped an already-written post on a comic because they’ve written something almost fingerprint-identical and posted it first. Where someone like Jog is undoubtedly the leading thinker in terms of online comics criticism, the Mindless Ones site is where the action is, where you’ll find the most *exciting* comics criticism (as well as lots of pictures of superhero pants).