We’re thrilled to introduce a new semi-regular, down-list feature, THE SUNDAY COMIX. It will be curated by Alex Segura, the author of the acclaimed Pete Fernandez Miami Mystery series. Alex has also written various comic books, including The Archies, Archie Meets Ramones and Archie Meets Kiss. In his day job, he is co-president of Archie Comics. Alex will scour the digital frontier for extraordinary comics-related features, narratives and artwork for us—and you. Welcome, Alex!
Now to another SLR packed with outstanding journalism…
Journalist Lyra McKee, a contributing editor to The Sunday Long Read, had just filed the first draft of this story when she was killed while covering violent protests in Northern Ireland on April 18. It is the story of Honduran biologist Meli Flores, whose unresolved 2016 disappearance has left many unanswered questions. In some ways, she is a lost woman of troubled times, much like Lyra McKee. The SLR staff has edited and published this story in the wake of her death as a tribute to Lyra.
Mark Olmsted, diagnosed with HIV in the 1980s, lived like he was dying. Credit cards were swiped, insurance companies were bilked, meth was Hoovered, even his own death was faked. Only problem was … he lived. And there were receipts.
Hoping to live legally in the United States, Luz Mirella Zamora was raped making her way towards the border. Then she had to make the treacherous journey again. Then again. Pain, power (and paperwork) abound in this story of modern angels and demons.
After Spanish authorities sentenced rapper Josep Miquel Arenas Beltran to prison for “glorifying terrorism,” his fans helped him make a daring escape across the border to France. “It was a really bad experience,” he says. “My hair fell out.”
Days after Lindsey Hubley became a mother to her son Myles, she had to reenter the hospital to fight devastating medical problems. But every challenge that motherhood has brought is one to which she has risen. A moving piece by Lindsay Jones.
On this Memorial Day weekend, try to make time for this essay about America’s highest award for combat valor. The Medal of Honor is a gift, Michael M. Phillips writes, but also a constant reminder of what’s often the worst day of its recipients’ lives.
Zia Tong has assembled all the data and trivia about Earth-bound garbage, space debris and “actual poop” that you’ll ever need. Did you know the United States is the world leader in trash production (each American throws out about 90 metric tons of garbage in a lifetime)? Or that defacing the lunar surface is almost 200 tons of forgotten trash (including 96 bags of urine and vomit)?
Seth Rogen has grown up. Example: “He’s become increasingly sympathetic to his dad’s… habit of wearing a purse. ‘What’s funny is it makes his mother really uncomfortable,’ Rogen said. ‘My grandmother hates when my dad wears a purse. And around her he still wears a purse but in more muted colors. He’ll wear pretty bright purses, generally speaking. He buys his own, like a Le Sportsac or Kipling purse. But then, recently, I found myself talking to my wife, like, ‘Man, I have too much shit in my pockets, I wish there was a thing I had where I was able to keep this shit.’ And she’s like, ‘You mean a purse, you motherfucker?’ He sighed. ‘This is how it happens.’”
Mr Trendy Sicko By James Wolcott for the London Review of Books (~15 minutes)
A scorching assessment of literary brat packer Bret Easton Ellis’ novels-and-podcasting career and his foray into non-fiction—a book called “White,” that’s sort of a podcast for the page. James Wolcott calls BEE’s new book “a lazy Susan of memoir, cultural reflections, pharmacological reports, name-dropping, reputation fluctuations and intermittent sighs.”
A journalist returns to Mosul, Iraq, to understand what happens when the battles end––and when the journalists leave. She finds a city in ruin, slowly building itself back up. "But how can we faithfully cover a city's attempted resurrection?" Gebeily asks. "If we truly care about getting the story right, we should dive into the ambiguity and directionless of its aftermath."
Gary Beikirch returned from Vietnam filled with rage and racked by guilt and worried he’d kill the next college kid who spat on him.
The former Green Beret medic let his mustache droop, and his hair reach his shoulders. He bought snow shoes and a tick down jacket and, in 1973, went to live in a cave in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. He laid his sleeping bag and camping mat on a bed of leaves and pine needles. He hoped he’d find in the woods the peace and contentment he’d lost in the jungle.
The best-selling author, GQ correspondent, and National Magazine Award Finalist is our latest guest. Laskas discusses her books and articles including To Obama: With Love, Joy, Anger, and Hope; her New York Times Magazine article "The Mailroom;" and her GQ article "Game Brain," which inspired the movie "Concussion."
"Assange is an international trafficker, of sorts. He and his colleagues collect documents and imagery that governments and other institutions regard as confidential and publish them on a Web site called WikiLeaks.org," Raffi Khatchadourian wrote in 2010 in his comprehensive portrait of the world's most mysterious man. Journalist? Freedom fighter? Prankster? Asshole adolescent? Khatchadourian covers all the bases. Essential reading for the coming prosecution of Assange under the Espionage Act.
Classic Read curator Jack Shafer writes about media for Politico.
Freelance photographer Joe Rimkus Jr., who retired in 2013 from an amazing 40-year career at the Miami Herald, provides a ringside seat to Florida’s Space Coast from his dramatic Instagram feed. On May 23, he captured the launch of the Space X Falcon 9 rocket as it streaked across the sky from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Shooting from Jetty Park in Port Canaveral, his long exposure displayed the trail of fire cutting through clouds and darkness in an arc over the Atlantic Ocean, with the shadow of a lifeguard stand in the foreground providing a sense of place.
Patrick Farrell, the curator of The Sunday Still, is the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winner for Breaking News Photography for The Miami Herald, where he worked from 1987 to 2019. He is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Journalism and Media Management at the University of Miami School of Communication.
A look at why ABC decided on a live reboot of two iconic and controversial sitcoms from the 70’s: All in the Family and The Jeffersons. This revealing and entertaining trip down TV’s memory lane reminds us how the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Fracking -- a unique technique for the extraction of oil and gas from land -- is the topic of a new 63-page academic paper that also looks at property rights. Authors David Dana and Hannah Jacobs Wiseman explain: "[s]ince its introduction in 1967, the account of property rights formation by Harold Demsetz has pervaded the legal and economic literature. Demsetz theorized that as a once-abundant, commonly-shared resource becomes more valuable and sought-after, users will move to more clearly define property rights in the resource."
Sunday Esoterica curator Ryan Rodenberg works as a professor at Florida State University, where he teaches research methods and sports law. He writes a lot of academic articles and some mainstream pieces too.
Perhaps its because I'm not much of a stoner than I've long felt the term "stoner rock" is a severely limiting label for some music that I have a particular affinity for. Even the more accessible, universally accepted genre tag "psychedelic" though colorfully descriptive, might sell the finest examples of the sort a bit short. I'm of the belief that the finest stoner rock and/or psychedelic music doesn't require one to be stoned, nor under the influence of any psychedelic aides in order to enjoy.
Friday welcomed two new albums from bands that have long been excelling in the spacey, atmospheric realms where stoner-rock has been known to soar. For over two decades, Washington State's Earth has been a forerunning act for those into droning, instrumental rock. Earth's new Full Upon Her Burning Lips is over an hour's worth of guitar-driven mood and vibe. Canadian psych titans Black Mountain returns with its fifth studio LP, Destroyer, which offers up a mind-bending display of prog-rock that will surely test the limits of your imagination--no drugs necessary.
Kelly Dearmore is a Dallas-based journalist whose work has appeared in the Dallas Morning News, Paste, American Songwriter, the Dallas Observer and Lone Star Music, among other fine outlets.
Essayist Michael A. Gonzales pens a heartfelt ode to the game-changing work and stranger-than-fiction life of writer/artist Jim Steranko. The piece spotlights Steranko's seminal work on Marvel's NICK FURY, AGENT OF S.H.I.E.L.D. and the masterful CHANDLER, which, some would argue, should be considered the first graphic novel ever. We see Steranko's work through the eyes of a young fan, new to comics, as he experiences the artist's dynamic, stylistic linework, and how it opened the door to the wider, seedier world of crime fiction for Gonzales.
Alex Segura is an acclaimed author, a comic book writer written various comic books, including The Archies, Archie Meets Ramones, and Archie Meets KISS. He is also the co-creator and co-writer of the Lethal Lit podcast from iHeart Radio, which was named one of the Five Best Podcasts of 2018 by The New York Times. By day, Alex is Co-President of Archie Comics. You can find him at www.alexsegura.com.
What a lede, by Anna Silman: “Today, Esquire editor-in-chief Jay Fielden left his job at the helm of the original men’s magazine, packed all his belongings into four small, fancy weekend bags and strutted purposefully out the front door of Hearst Tower like a man with a gondola to catch.” From there it only gets better...
Founder, Curator: Don Van Natta Jr. Producer, Curator: Jacob Feldman Producer, Curator: Étienne Lajoie Senior Recycling Editor: Jack Shafer Senior Long View Editor: Justine Gubar Senior Photo Editor: Patrick Farrell Senior Music Editor: Kelly Dearmore Senior Podcast Editor: Jody Avirgan Senior Editor of Esoterica: Ryan M. Rodenberg Senior Originals Editor: Peter Bailey-Wells Sunday Comics Editor: Alex Segura
Digital Team: Nation Hahn, Nickolaus Hines, Megan McDonell, Alexa Steinberg Podcast Team: Cary Barbor, Julian McKenzie, Jonathan Yales Webmaster: Ana Srikanth Campus Editor: Peter Warren
Contributor in memoriam: Lyra McKee 1990-2019
Contributing Editors: Bruce Arthur, Shaun Assael, Nick Aster, Alex Belth, Sara J. Benincasa, Jonathan Bernstein, Sara Blask, Greg Bishop, Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Maria Bustillos, Chris Cillizza, Anna Katherine Clemmons, Rich Cohen, Jonathan Coleman, Pam Colloff, Maureen Dowd, Charles Duhigg, Brett Michael Dykes, Geoff Edgers, Hadley Freeman, Lea Goldman, Michael N. Graff, Maggie Haberman, Reyhan Harmanci, Virginia Heffernan, Matthew Hiltzik, Jena Janovy, Bomani Jones, Chris Jones, Peter Kafka, Paul Kix, Mina Kimes, Peter King, Michael Kruse, Tom Lamont, Edmund Lee, Chris Lehmann, Will Leitch, Jon Mackenzie, Glynnis MacNicol, Drew Magary, Erik Malinowski, Jonathan Martin, Betsy Fischer Martin, Jeff Maysh, Jack McCallum, Lyra McKee, Susan McPherson, Ana Menendez, Kevin Merida, Heidi N. Moore, Eric Neel, Joe Nocera, Ashley R. Parker, Anne Helen Petersen, Jo Piazza, Joe Posnanski, S.L. Price, Jennifer Romolini, Julia Rubin, Albert Samaha, Bob Sassone, Bruce Schoenfeld, Michael Schur, Joe Sexton, Jacqui Shine, Rachel Sklar, Dan Shanoff, Ben Smith, Adam Sternbergh,Matt Sullivan, Wright Thompson, Pablo Torre, Kevin Van Valkenburg, Nikki Waller, John A. Walsh, Seth Wickersham and Karen Wickre.
Header Image: Photograph by Sebastian Mader
You can read more about our staff, and contact us (we'd love to hear from you!) on our website: sundaylongread.com. Help pick next week's selections by tweeting us your favorite stories with #SundayLR.