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Let’s Be Surprised and Weird Together
Notes from the ocean
Hi. I’m coming to you from the beach today, at the lovely Xcaret resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, looking out at the ocean with a mezcalita by my side. But I’m not messaging you simply to be an asshole. I mean it’s my birthday this week, so we all have the right to be a lazy, pampered ponce on our birthdays, right? But I’m not really messaging about that either.
I’m also not messaging you simply to remind you that ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE END OF THE WORLD #3 was released this week and that you should read it if you like comic books about love and pain and ruin and beauty and rats. Or if you just forgot to get me something else for my birthday.
It’s maybe my favorite issue yet, featuring more gorgeous visions of the wasteland from artists Alexandre Tefenkgi and Nick Dragotta, colorists Lee Loughridge and Rico Renzi, and letterer AndWorld Design.
The way through the wasteland is never easy, even when you’re falling in love. This issue, things take a turn. And we get a much bigger, grislier glimpse of the dark future that lies ahead for our post-apocalyptic lovebirds.
But like I said, I’m not messaging you about that. Or the fact that I finished writing the mammoth-sized AVENGERS ASSEMBLE OMEGA issue right before I boarded the plane to Mexico. That sixty-pager represents the ultimate finale of my six year AVENGERS run.
Also not writing just to remind you that the latest chapters of both my PUNISHER series and the AVENGERS ASSEMBLE storyline came out last week. I super appreciate the response both of those seem to be garnering. Avengers is meant to be as big and fun as possible, while Punisher is a deep dive into a dark character who gets taken to some even darker and more challenging places.
I’m also not writing just to pass on what my partner just showed me. It’s a quote from country artist Willi Carlisle, who’s sound is right up my twangy, grungy alley. A quote that really struck me.
Somebody asked me recently : “what should we expect at your live shows coming up?” A recent interview with @rootsradiowmot and @chavighurst has my favorite answers.
It’s not a secret: it’s closeness, it’s me taking a long look at history and my own bullshit, and hoping you’ll do the same. Maybe some bad jokes, outlaw stuff, a little bootyshakin.
That and banjo, fiddle, accordion, and so on. I don’t believe in a lot of the modern music industry, how it coddles us, gives us exactly what we expect, though. I want us to be surprised together.
That’s something I’m pissed about after yesterday’s post: that anyone thinks “country” is theirs, or “public space” is theirs. That “weird” is bad. Equity isn’t an impossible dream, culture can’t be hoarded, and space shouldn’t be hoarded.
It’s taken me a long time to see that the world is not an enemy to conquer, but an ally to foster. For years I've been angry at myself, at lovers, at parents, friends, rivals. Pissed at the sun for rising. We create our own little corner of the world to suffer in. But love and life demands that we grow, weird and splay-footed, into something bigger than our hurts. I’ve found it helps to do it together, and to sing about it.
It’s awkward to say, but that’s what I expect at my own shows, and I’d be honored to have you.
Gotta say, that quote really speaks to me, and where I find myself at this moment in time, on the verge of embarking on a fresh new year of life and what feels like a new chapter of my career. I like to think my writing is one long, ongoing conversation I get to have with all of you who are listening, and as we move forward into a new phase of that chat, here’s hoping that we can be surprised and weird together. With maybe some banjo and bootyshakin thrown in too.
But I didn’t take the time to write you poolside just to pass that on. Really, I wanted to message you to show this.
This statue is right beside me by the pool, and I feel like if I close my eyes for any length of time, I will wake with it sitting on my chest, sucking my soul out through my face holes.
Anyway, that’s all. Love to you and yours.
This has been Beard Missives, direct from the tajin stained face of Jason Aaron.
This week’s newsletter has been brought to you by mezcal, chilaquiles and churros at 3 a.m.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico