“With Pleasant Swab in the Anterior Nasal Region”; or, Traveling in Europe During Omicron

In the Before Times, I often travelled internationally. But I have not left the United States in over two years. Until last week. For the December holidays, my sister invited me to visit her, my brother-in-law, and niece in Switzerland – where they live. Since I no longer take international travel for granted, I decided to

I remember when you were here. #PlagueSongs, no. 37 AND Seven Xmas Playlists

Welcome to your second pandemic Christmas (or Solstice or Hanukkah or whatever you celebrate)! Since you and I and the plague are still here, I’m doing a holiday installment of my ongoing PlagueSongs series AND sharing seven – that’s right, SEVEN! – playlists of mostly secular seasonal music. Enjoy! Let’s start with the song, written by

The Lost Film Footage of Crockett Johnson

I recently finished writing my notes and afterword for Crockett Johnson’s Barnaby, Volume Five: 1950-1952 (Fantagraphics, forthcoming 2023). When I opened up the “Afterword” document, I found a two-paragraph fragment chronicling a holiday that Crockett Johnson (whose friends called him by his given name, Dave) and Ruth Krauss took in 1950 or 1951. A decade