Note: The alt-text option is VERY short here on Medium, so I’ve included the full text and descriptions at the end of the comic for anyone who needs it. ❤

Note #2: Folks asked for prints and posters. So kind of you! They’re here now:
Posters and cards:
https://deanna.nyc/selfcareposter
Printed mini-comic:
https://deanna.nyc/selfcarecomic

Note #3: Edited and updated on 11/5/2019 — full notes on edits at the very end.

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It’s a total sham.

OK, maybe “total” is a bit strong. For most nonprofits tho, it’s pretty shammy. If you’re not in the nonprofit industrial complex, Giving Tuesday is a response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, offering people a feel-good way to get rid of their money in the middle of the consumer frenzy of this week.

This sounds like it’d be a good idea, but it quickly turned into a giant FOMO exercise that the whole nonprofit world loses its minds over, for basically not a lot of return. …


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I’m reading some interviews with Hannah Gadsby and a few of them are asking her, repeatedly, in a bunch of different ways, “But wasn’t doing the show cathartic for you? Healing?” Etc. And I get the point of that question, people really want to know what an artist’s process looks like on the inside.

But I’m also reminded of people asking me that question after the episode of This American Life I was in came out. Or they’d phrase it like a statement: “It must have been cathartic to be able to tell your story.” And I would say, “Well, kind of, but it’s not quite so linear. It was more devastating emotionally, with, like, explosions that hit at different times, in different ways, and then recovering from them…” And their eyes would kinda glaze over, and they’d say, “But it was healing, right?” This happened several times, and I started to realize that people needed me to say that it was indeed healing for their sake — to have listened to all that pain (in the whole episode, because man, it’s just an emotionally brilliant piece), and sit with it, was too much for them to process. They needed closure. …


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I have a mild-but-illustrative #NotAllMen / #YesAllWomen story to share.

I was taking a rideshare service to the Austin airport on Saturday, and the driver was super kind, and also chatty. I generally can go either way with chatty drivers, so I didn’t mind.

He asked what I did for work, and I shared that I’m an artist and recovering strategist for social justice. We got to talking about the state of the world — his politics were roughly aligned with mine, all fine ’n’ dandy — and then he asked if he could get my number.

I said, “Aw, that’s kind, I’m really private, though, and I don’t share stuff so much. You can follow me on social media though.” …


Content warning: discussions of suicide, depression, mood disorders and more in that vein. No graphic depictions.

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There’s a lot of well-meaning people out there posting in response to the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, who both died by suicide this week. We are easily devastated in our culture when popular, well-loved, well-known folks choose to remove themselves from the planet. It’s OK to be hurt, sad and angry. I feel it, too.

I’ve been able to tell, sort of, who in my feeds has not experienced depression, suicide ideation, and the spectrum of emotions and/or mood disorders along those lines, because I see a lot of these…


A comic about the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and the utter bizarreness we are all now living through — together.

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Author’s note! This post comes to you by way of Adobe, who invited me to attend their 99U conference this year with a complimentary ticket.

I hate erasing. I’ve hated it since I can remember.

Erasing something never really erases it. There’s always the ghost of where it was, telling the viewer that this thing they’re looking at wasn’t always this good, this perfect. If you try too hard to erase something, the paper gets damaged, which is even worse. Over-erased, rubbed-out paper, that’s the evidence of the shame you hold for your imperfection. Your mistakes.

Not that I had this kind of consciousness about erasing when I was a kid or anything. I just hated it. My mom found a letter I wrote to my grandmother, in pencil, when I was 7 years old. There’s a PS at the…


A breakup of a long-distance, open relationship I went through speaks directly to my post-election pain. While in the relationship, I often spoke of my need to feel like an integrated part of my partner’s life, and not an add-on or afterthought. If I brought these concerns up, they were heartfully addressed and worked through each time — my partner was a wonderfully understanding person who tried very hard to correct problems. Still, that fundamental-ness that I needed to feel wasn’t there. It often felt as if I were presented with a schematic of his life, and asked how I could fit in. If I asked for changes to the schematic, we’d work through them, together. …


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This is the weirdest primary season yet. Amirite?

I’m ridiculously conflicted about who to vote for in the New York Democratic primary on Tuesday. I’m even scared to write those words, because I know friends in both Democratic camps will start lobbing stuff at me about how horrible the Other Candidate is. Hold off there, for a minute, friends. I loves ya, but I needs to work through some stuff here.

When Hillary first started making noise about running for office, I was like, “Well, of course. And hell, she should. She’s put in her damn time.” But other than that, I wasn’t too excited about her candidacy. My ladypower self wants to see a woman become president, for sure. And I love, love, love that she is STILL standing after decades of crap being slung at her. There’s something about that, in my middle-aged-recently-turned-40 soul, that feels so… affirming. There’s something about getting to the age that my mother warned me about — when she told me that at 40, she started to finally worry less about what other people thought of her. There’s something about looking at Hillary and thinking, “Damn, grrl.


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The past year or so has seen an incredible intense ramp-up around online harassment and abuse. It’s as if everyone who ever had a sadistic digital thought ever looked at the #gamergate mess and said, “Yeah! That’s what I want to do!” Many people feel helpless in the face of such attacks. But there ARE things you can do, right now, to protect yourself. Read on.

Online harassment isn’t anything new for folks who have been swimming in Internet culture for a long time, but if you’re new to certain kinds of online activism (or, frankly, even if you’re not) the harrowing amount of vitriol that can come at you during heated moments can be extremely disturbing. For example, we watched traditional harassment tactics spill over into mainstream digital culture this summer and fall, as Planned Parenthood was victimized in the media, and subsequently in Congressional hearings and state-based battles, over the falsely edited videos that actually show no wrongdoing. (Disclaimer: Planned Parenthood is a client of mine, staff there are longtime friends, and I have always unequivocally supported them since I became aware of them in my teens.) Watching everyday supporters — not just the hardcore activists and professionals — get the crap kicked out of them online was maddening. …

About

Deanna Zandt

Artist, strategist, author, on shuffle. Host, League of Awkward Unicorns. Generally entertaining human.

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