Notes From The Kraken: January 24th 2016

In All, Notes by David

Welcome again to We Have Always Lived in the Kraken, a pop culture blog transmitted directly to you from the belly of the beast. Here in the Notes we’ll show you this week’s posting schedule, but first, a little Seafood for Thought.

When we launched this blog back in Killtober–I mean, October–we had grand plans. We wanted to do better and more consistent content than we had on our previous blog, on a site more visually appealing and accessible. These past few months have been a real learning experience, as everyone here in the Kraken is still getting the hang of making this as great an experience for everyone as possible. We have worked hard and come a long way, and we definitely couldn’t have done it without you and everyone else who read, supported, and commented. This place is for you. Without the (growing!) group of readers enjoying each new post, we’d just be shouting into the void. Our only mission here at the Kraken is to give you more and better ways to enjoy our take on everything pop culture.

So I am proud to announce a new leg (or tentacle) of our operation: Monday we are (soft) launching our brand new pop culture podcast, Life in the Kraken. Episodes will drop every two weeks from now until we finally escape the accursed beast whose innards we call home. So, probably forever. We’ll cover a number of pop culture topics, from movies and TV to board games and anime, as the Kraken crew (plus hopefully a few guests from time to time) discuss, explain, and argue over, well, everything we talk about here and more besides. We’ve been working on this project since before this site even launched, and we are very happy to finally get this project off the ground. We sincerely hope that you enjoy! If you like this new venture, tell us, tell a friend, write a comment or review, do all the things.

With that said, this is not the only change you can look forward to in the coming year for We Have Always Lived in the Kraken. Now that we’ve gotten our feet under us, we can start to improve the blog in a myriad of ways. Site design is constantly being tweaked to make the blog look and feel as nice as possible, with the goal of providing an attractive and organized space with many different ways for you to find and read your favorite content. We’re also looking to expand our social media presence in the upcoming months, so be on the look out for whole new ways to interact with our team. Finally, this year we’ll turn our attention to finding new ways for you to show your love and support and ensure the blog’s continued stability and presence for years to come. 2015 was the year we got our start, but 2016 is when the Kraken truly soars. (Oh, yeah. This monster’s got wings.)

The state of this blog is strong and getting stronger, and we hope you will all join us on the exciting journey ahead. Truth is, we didn’t used to live in the Kraken. But with time, and your continued support, soon we will have always.

David Robertson

From the depths of the Kraken, here is what we are bringing you this week.


  • Guess what? Here be the podcast! Enjoy our special Episode 000 of the Life in the Kraken Podcast as Kyu, Sam, and David all discuss the worst, the best, and the rest of movies and television in 2015.


  • Today marks the premiere of another new feature, The Loaded Die. Join Kyu as he reviews not one, not two, but three (!) board games every other week, complete with personalized ratings you can roll yourself. For this inaugural entry, Kyu looks at Pathfinder, Medina, and Gentlemen Thieves.


  • Nothing new today; we’re taking the afternoon to perform a little Shakespeare in the Park, or as we like to call it, Shakespeare in the Duodenum.


  • Nothing But Trash continues as Keskel takes a break from old trash to look back at Tokyo GhoulSpoilers abound as he argues that the controversial season one finale is the key to making the whole show work. Wrong or right, we know what Miyazaki would say. But check it out anyway.


  • No new content today. We’re celebrating the launch of our podcast with a dance party, no matter how the Kraken feels about it. He’s not the boss of us (don’t tell him that)! That said, we could only get a permit for the lower permeated membrane, where there are a lot of pits that are, like, super easy to fall into, so dance all you want but nobody better spike the punch. Hey, at least we got a sweet disco ball!


  • Baturdays continues with Detective Comics #41. After the success of last week’s Clayface murder mystery, DC tries its hand at the narrative form once again. This time, though, Dick goes undercover at a boy’s school. The gay jokes write themselves, we swear.
  • TV Roulette is back, and it looks annoyed that David has been away for so long. This week David will be looking at NBC’s Chicago Med. Dick Wolf has rebuilt his television empire on Chicago’s most dramatic institutions, but will this entry into the Chicagoverse prove compelling to David or just another piece of a confusing, heavily-accented puzzle?

Also be on the look out for more Awards Predictions for Oscarathon 2016, which will come out at irregular intervals in the coming weeks.

Catch of the Week:

Each and every week the residents here in the Kraken will offer one recommendation for the week that we think you all would enjoy. It might be a movie. It might be a book. Who knows? This is your… Catch of the Week.

Keskel: This week I recommend the manga Citrus by Saburo Uta. It’s a yuri (lesbian) school girl romance with great art. The plot borrows liberally from the darker tropes  in many yaoi (male equivalent) manga which are not commonly seen in yuri works. There are borderline nonconsensual sexual encounters that lead slowly into emotional relationships, and the primary antagonist of the story is really the profound emotional problems both girls suffer from. Citrus also in the hallowed genre of step sibling romances, meaning that it can be compared to stories like Recently, My Sister is Unusual, and by comparison Citrus is Citizen fucking Kane.

David: Continuing my Oscar slant this week I would like to recommend Creed. In a year that was about franchise revitalization, Creed was one of the finer examples. Director Ryan Coogler joined with star Michael B. Jordan to modernize the franchise in a way that makes it relevant for the first time in decades, and in the process confirmed both their ascents to A-List status. What should have been simple remake does so much more, telling a powerful story about family, loyalty, and struggle. Coogler brings a uniquely intimate voice to this latest entry in the long-running franchise. Oh–Sylvester Stallone is in it as well, and he just happens to return to the role of Rocky. His haunted portrayal of a fighter who finds himself all alone in his old age is brilliant work, and his sorrowful, yet playful energy serves as a great counterpoint to Michael B. Jordan’s nuanced performance displaying just the right mix of anger, toughness, and vulnerability. This film makes you feel inspired to run up those steps once again, so start singing ‘Eye of the Tiger,’ and go see this film.

Kyu: Another January Sunday, another trawl through my webcomics folder. I come bearing treasure, friends: the funny, heartfelt, fascinating narrative experiment that is 1/0. Written and drawn by the intelligent, thoughtful Mason “Tailsteak” Williams, 1/0 is a completed comic strip with no “fourth wall.” Its characters know that they’re in a comic, and the author is a God-like presence in his own little pocket universe. Cleverness abounds from both parties as they use the rules and raw “material” of the world to accomplish their goals. But 1/0 isn’t a gimmick; it’s a weird way for Williams to explore questions of religion, philosophy, social dynamics, and narrative. If art is an artist in dialogue with himself, 1/0 takes this rather literally. The results are fascinating, but what makes this a great strip is the way its opposing forces of intellectualism and absurdity blend into sweetness. A comic landscape as warm as it is stark, 1/0 is truly unique, and not to be missed. (Fans are advised to check out the less experimental but no less involving Leftover Soup, currently in progress.)

That’s it for this week. We hope you continue to find the Kraken to your liking. Little known fact: if you listen long enough, the Kraken will hit the drop. wubwubwubwubwub