Return Of The Roaring Twenties

Welcome to 2020, and to my new newsletter

Hi, I’m Critical Kate, and this is my new newsletter, Critical Mass.

I do so many different things around the internet that sometimes even I have trouble remembering everything I do, so this is going to be the central hub were I keep it all together.


At the end of 2018, I quit my job to start a new adventure. I wanted to try out the Patreon thing, supporting it with freelance work on the side.

I was curious how I’d like the freelance, and it turns out I didn’t. I needed a little more stability. So while I’m still focused on my Patreon-funded research projects, I’m not supporting it with a new day job as an illustrator at Standard. If you’re a fan of video essays on Youtube, you’ll notice that they represent a number of really amazing people that I’m a big fan of. And since my goal is to work on making more video essays myself, this is like a dream job.

  • I did an art assist on Legal Eagle’s new Real True Crime video, though you wouldn’t know which illustrations I did because I was trying to match the regular artist’s style.

  • I’ve also designed two thumbnails so far for Half As Interesting: the one for “The Most Expensive Thing,” and another that’s coming soon.

In other news, I also wrote a defense of the Super Mario Bros. movie that you might’ve missed due to the busy news cycle at the end of the year.


One of my biggest personal discoveries in 2019 was the surprising power of the Twitter thread. I learned to stop being so precious with my research, “workshopping” things out in the open instead of keeping every new discovery tightly under wraps in the hopes of achieving maximum impact with a surprise buried in the middle of an essay.

Twitter threads became the most consistent way of gaining followers, something I’d struggled at in my ten years on Twitter. Two years ago I was still at around 300 followers and couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. Now I’m at 1,300 and hoping it’ll get easier from here on out.

The only downside of Twitter threads is that they’re not easily discoverable once they’ve exited the weekly churn. So here’s a handy checklist of all my major threads from 2019.


Just a friendly reminder that I have a shirt shop called None More Black, where shirts come in any colour you like, as long as it’s black (but also stickers, pins, sweatshirts, bags, etc.). I created two designs to celebrate the return of the roaring twenties:

And as always, you can support my research on Patreon.