Thursday, October 30, 2008

So, there's an election coming up I hear?

In case any Americans haven't seen this:

I like. I sent it to a friend, who sent it on to her cousin in Texas, who then sent it on to people she knew, and then my friend's cousin sent her back some responses she got, one of which was along the lines of 'are you fucking insane I'm not voting for a Muslin* to be President'.

1. What's wrong with having a Muslim as President? Muslim does not equal terrorist.
2. Mr Obama is Christian, not Muslim.

Here's hoping you all vote for Obama on Tuesday. I'm going to an election party in Brighton on Tuesday so I'll be watching the outcome as it happens.

EDIT: Damn my typos. I meant musliM not musliN. The email didn't say muslin either. I presume most people know the difference between a type of cloth and a religious choice.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Watchmen/eggs vs sperm/alternative book covers/

Links for today. Since I a) can't think of much to write and b) am at work and should be doing work, but it's a very very quiet time.

The development of Watchmen

Because I thought lots of you readers might appreciate it

Alternative book covers
designed to get classics into the best seller lists
Because they're creepy.

Eggs vs sperm

To destroy the myth of the passive egg and active sperm. Ve-ry interesting. Especially if you're concerned about how language shapes our worldviews.

Edit to include Feminist Bingo Funny how the same (bullshit) arguments get trotted out again and again and again.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Clocks + Comics + ?

The clocks went back this morning. I'd completely forgotten about this so it was rather a nice surprise for the radio to inform me I'd got an extra hour in the day, especially as we'd overslept.
Do any other countries put their clocks back and forward?

On to the comics. Spoilers for Final Crisis \4, Superman New Krypton \1 and DCU Infinite Holiday Special 2007, and Superboy (Kon EL series)
DCU Infinite Holiday Special 2007
I picked this up off ebay. It's the first holiday special I've bought and I rather enjoyed it. Of particular favourite was the Supergirl story (of course!), where Kara learns more about the Christmas holiday and how life is somewhat more complicated than it appears on the surface. I'm not sure if this was ever referenced in her own title, but as a stand alone story it fits in well.
Plus I'm a fan of Ale Garza's art.
Because I've got a mean streak I also loved the Shadowpact story with Blitzen paying pranks on Santa each year, pretending to be from the Anti Christmas League :D
The Green Lantern and Trials of Shazam stories were good and all, but knowing these books histories meant I didn't really understand all the background, which I think you were meant to.
Marcos Marz pencilled, Luciana Del Negro inked and Ron Reis coloured the Trials of Shazam story and it's really beautiful stuff. Good team.
Of course I loved the Flash story, it's Bart after all, how could I not! (BRING BACK BART DC!)
The Batwoman story was good, but again I felt like I was missing something.
Supes own story, done with more than a nod to the original stories (Lois as top journalist made to get Perry a coffee, and the clothes and hairstyles), made me chuckle. Specifically when Batman is dressed is Santa and then Supes clocks him in front of the terrified kids. Wonderful!

Final Crisis \4
Yep, still liking. I haven't bought all the tie ins so I have no idea who the tattoed man is or why Renee is now about to work with Amanda Waller, (or was that in FC Revelations and I didn't notice?) but I love the war they heroes are in. The impossible odds, the sense of tragedy (Ollie and Dinah separated), the despair, the sense crushing sense of doom - essentially it's all gone to hell in a handbasket and the DCU is fucked.
My favourite type of story, in fact. Can't wait to see how this is going to play out and what it will mean for the heroes.

Oh, yeah, and the Flash kiss. :)

Superman: New Krypton \1
This is being handled well. Initially I thought bringing back Kandor was a crap idea, now I've changed my mind. The writers have done well introducing conflicts and questions I hadn't anticipated (not that I ever try and second guess anything, I prefer to be led into a story). The thing with the whale was very effective and the El family meal contrasted with Ma Kent was heartbreaking. Alura and Zor-El must know the Kents right? How can they be so shortsighted
to assume that Kal has been dying to have a meal with them? On the other hand, it only looks selfish because we know of Pa Kent's death, they don't. However they do seem an arrogant bunch. But at least Kara has her folks back. Now, if they can only tie up her origin once and for all I'll be happy.

Lastly, check out the perspective on the cover!

Superboy (Kon El series)
This series is utter fluff. Just like the Kid, it's superficial, obsessed with women and their looks and with partying. This isn't a criticism, it works to write the comic to fit with the main character. It's not particularly to my taste mind you, but I'll keep reading it.
I'm on about issue 40 or so now, and it is showing signs of maturity - Superboy has just found out he'll never mature past 16 and he's having nightmares and angsting about it (as much as the boy ever angsts, let's face it, he's not Batman). The issue where he visits a never never island is really good and he has recently had to deal with villains who are not clear cut evil, and you can tell it's giving him beefs. In this completely not humble writer's opinion, this is a good thing.

Currently listening to:
Dub War - Pain. Welsh angry metal reggae type stuff. Fucking wonderful.

That's it for today, I'm out for a roast to celebrate the boy's birthday. Hope you all have had a good weekend!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Busy busy busy

And full of womb cramp. Not impressed. I've got so much stuff I want to put on here..responses to comments left recently, comments on this week's comics, a general squeakiness about my action figures, I'd like to continue the post I wrote weeks ago about porn and comics, I'd like to respond to Allecto's further review of Firefly's Objects in Space but I haven't even read it yet. If you do want to read more about it check out Lord Runolfr here.

Unfortunately I've been really busy at work this week and also the boyfriend's back - the reason I got so many post up last week was cos he was away visiting his folks so we didn't have the usual battle of who gets to use the pc!

Also it's been really cold and the computer room is the coldest room in the house so my fingers turn to icicles in the evenings. I need mittens. Instead I've been watching lots of Buffy (season 4, Willow gets with Tara and I've finally come up with a satisfactory off screen explanation of how she went from straight to gay with no apparent warning) and reading lots of books.

Ursula le Guin's The Birthday of the World is my current read. Finally, finally I appreciate the short story. This is superb. I love her take on stuff and some of the stories and themes leave my head spinning, they're so fresh and new to me.

So yet again it's cold and I'm due to take the boyfriend out for his birthday so I'll be off. Rest assured I read all my comments and given time I would respond to every one (if only to have the last word ;) )

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Search term

Someone got here by using this search term:

3d comic huge boobs - mothers helper

Really? What were they looking for? It's the mothers helper part which confuses me :/

The Brave and the Bold \18

Picked it up yesterday, I take back my previous moaning, this is a bloody good issue and story :)
And the art rocks. Except for Raven's belt which is surely too low to stay on her.

Now are we ever gonna find out where this fits into Kara's continuity? If not, I'll just make up my own space for it.

I think I'll start picking up the Brave and the Bold trades. I'm liking the team ups.

They bleedin' well cancelled Manhunter again

Arseholes. One of the few comics that doesn't treat it's women as Tits and Ass in any way, and it's been cancelled.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Re my last Playboy post

Oh hell. I think I may have implied that feminists can't wear or like Playboy stuff. That is so not what I meant or what I think I think. Grarr I'm an idiot sometimes. :/

On the plus side these posts and responses show my blog is doing what I set out for it to do and making me think, hurrah!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Comics read this week

Spoilers ahead for Superman and Batman vs Vampires and Werewolves, DCU Decisions, Booster Gold 13, FC Rogues Revenge 3, and the Kon-El Superboy run.
Superman and Batman vs Vampires and Werewolves \1
Yep, this was rubbish. And no Superman. Did have Wonder Woman though, being very kick ass and warrior like.
Stupid bloody premise though. Why did I buy this. None of the Supes/Bats VS books have been any good.

DC Universe Decisions \3
Heh heh heh. Loved Wally's contribution to the campaign, and Hal's and Ollie's reactions :) and Dinah butting in.
I'm not entirely convinced that Diana's politics boil down to a strong military state that fights for freedom throughout the world and I don't' think she'd align herself with someone solely on that basis. I think Diana's rather more complex than that - what about the candidates views on women? On health? Education? The economy? She's not just a warrior and is quite clearly based on Pallas Athena, so it really shouldn't be hard to do some research. *grumble grumble grumble*
Having said that I guess that you can take the view she's playing on the candidate's stupidity in order to get close and figure out who's doing the killing. I did like the scene of the big 3 plotting. Very dark, very serious.

FC Rogues Revenge /3
Well thank god they got Inertia. The art is wonderful in this mini. Captain Cold has fast become one of my favourite DC characters, he's fully fleshed out and complex.
I'm still not gonna buy a Flash comic till they bring back Bart.

Booster Gold /13
Fun, fun fun. :) Great cover, Starro is a brilliant character and when you've got Booster being thrown into a pool of thousands of little Starros it's giggling time*.

I forgot to pick up the Brave and the Bold, I'll probably get it tomorrow, if only to annoy myself about the Kara origin debacle.

Superboy - Kon El version
Not as good as I expected. I expected dumb, but with more effort. And I can't quite get past
Superboy aged about 16, having a girlfriend aged, possibly..ooh.early 20s? She's a successful TV reporter, she can't be a teenager.
Wrong wrong wrong.
Still, I've got about another 80 to read through and I think they'll improve.

*Like Hammer time, but with smaller trousers.

Sitting in my room, eating biscuits..

Being quite happy it's not so cold. I've taken a break in my Buffy watching to explore the internets.

My workplace runs confidence building courses for women. We thought we'd try and find a nice visual for the power point slides. We thought wouldn't a Wonder Woman picture be well, wonderful?

You try finding a picture of Wonder Woman looking confident, just confident, self assured. Oh there's a few where she's fighting, deflecting bullets with her wrists and whatnot. But they don't shout confident to me, they shout dangerous, (OK maybe not the second link)

Then there's pretty much only sexy ones. Or raunchy, as one of my colleagues commented.
Even this one, where I think Diana and Lois look awesome and super relaxed, is too sexy to use. Adam Hughes art was the worst for this.
We eventually opted for a Lynda Carter photo, then remembered copyright issues and thought, hmm, maybe not.
Now something is wrong there. If (approx) 95% of the images found are of a sexed up Diana, and there are none, and I could find none, of a straight forward confident, relaxed, comfortable in herself Diana of the Amazons, then something is up. Can she only be depicted sexy? Why is that the overriding factor in most of the art? Why can't she be self assured without basking in her hotness?

Is it her costume or is it the style of artist? Lynda Carter looked bold and proud without being too raunchy, so maybe not the costume.

Is it that women can only be drawn and viewed in terms of their hotness? Is it that their hotness is the most important factor and all other character traits secondary? I'm starting to think so.

Thoughts anyone?

I know that sometimes sexy is part of confidence, but a sexy image wouldn't be appropriate to assist with teaching our clients how to be confident. It gives out the wrong message - you don't have to be hot to be confident. It seems a shame there is nothing out there that shows this.

Note: I am not against sexy images, I am against one overriding style of images. I want diversity dammit.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Additions to the layout and Buffy thoughts

I've just added a list of books I am currently reading. Knowing me I'll probably forget to update it when I finish each book, especially at the rate I read.
Anyway, there's links to author sites or other relevant sites if you're interested in finding out more about the titles. Apologies that the Ursula Le Guin site is so bad, but I feel it's better to link to hers than to Wikipedia.

And if anyone's got any recommendations base don what I'm currently reading I'd be very pleased to hear them! When not reading comics I tend to read fantasy or sci-fi. When locating new stuff to read I find the Masterworks series work out pretty well.

Hot damn, it's cold in this house today. I'm gonna go downstairs and watch some more Buffy. I'm 4 episodes into Season 4 and I'm just noticing how focused Anya is on Xander. She's found a tie to humanity and there's no way she's letting go. Of course the Buffyverse disapproves of sleeping around so there's no way she would be allowed to have a fling or a flirt with more than one guy anyway. At least not until season 7 (or is it 6?) when their personal lives are going to hell in a handbasket. Makes a change from the real world literally going to hell.
I just watched Fear, Itself, (y'know, the one with the 4 inch high fear demon), and Willow is *so* cute in her Joan of Arc costume. It's possible this series will be the one that makes me crush on Willow. Odd. I don't like her usually, she's too sweet.

About the episode Ted (season 2, episode 11), the psychotic robot who Joyce dates. Buffy kicks him down the stairs and he 'dies'. Buffy is filled with remorse and guilt about this, (understandably and quite rightly), until she finds out he's a robot. Then it's joy and kittens and her murder is never mentioned again. That's a bit odd. She thought he was human at the time, she acted as if he was human, and she killed him. Shouldn't she re-examine her actions? It doesn't matter if he turned out to be robotic, she didn't know that at the time and it doesn't relieve her of her actions and intentions at the time of the 'murder'.
You'd think in season 3 when Faith kills that guy that this woudla caused some soul searching on Buffy's part. Apparently not. Why does she get off scot free? Lazy writing.

Today's reccomendations

The problem with Playboy
It doesn't cover everything that's wrong with Playboy, but does bring up a lot of good points. I don't have a problem with Playboy as a soft porn magazine, I have a problem with the branding and mass marketing. I think it's wrong that girls, and I do mean girls, not women, proudly bear the logo. I do not think it's something to aspire to, I don't want to brand myself a s a Playboy bunny. I don't wish to be naked for other people to leer at, I don't wish to become a 2D fantasy.

At a hen party last year we all had to wear playboy ears and tails. And dress in pink. I was mortified. Couldn't say anything because otherwise I'd be spoiling things. I just raged inside.

At Christmas my secret Santa in my work place got me a playboy hot water bottle cover. In a feminist workplace. Not as a joke. I also got one other thing which was much much cooler, but I can't remember what it is.

Some words of wisdom from Naomi Woolf, worth cross posting here as it's short:
1. Redefine what being a woman means.
2. Break the taboo around being self-sufficient including in terms of asking for just compensation for your work. And then give money to women’s causes.
3. Never cook for or sleep with anyone who routinely puts you down.
4. Become a goddess of disobedience - don’t be afraid of confrontation, don’t back down in conflict because it’s “unfeminine”.

I'm gonna email this on to a couple of my friends who need to understand they have a right to exist.
We've got the woman's bill of rights somewhere at work. I must dig it out and post it.

Royal Mail to issue a set of 6 stamps commemorating women
(From The F Word)
About bloody time. the women featured are as follows:
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson: both the first female doctor and the first female mayor in England
Millicent Garett Fawcett: President of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies and campaigner for the female vote
Claudia Jones: Campaigner for black rights and founder of the Notting Hill Carnival
Eleanor Rathbone: Campaigner for Family Allowances
Marie Stopes: Pioneer of birth control
Barbara Castle: Campaigner for the 1970 Equal Pay Act.

The links are to Wikipedia so bear in mind the entire articles might be full of shit. I am aware of controversy surrounding Marie Stopes and her views on eugenics, namely that she advocated it. I think I come down on the side of arguing for her to be included because the advent of birth control has been *so* important to women in providing us our freedom.

The first public statue of a black woman in England has been put up. I love it :)
(Does that sentence in the link make any sense?)

The Guardian does a Deaf issue
I recommend reading it if you're hearing and don't know a lot about deafness and Deaf culture.
The Capital D is relevant in this case as it denotes Deaf culture and community, usually applying to profoundly Deaf people. Deafness with a small d is used when describing those who are not part of the Deaf community, usually hard of hearing or deafened individuals.
Speaking of deafness, I joined a signing choir on Monday :) It was harder work than I expected and will replace my weekly lessons and keep me on the ball.

Monday, October 13, 2008

National Coming out day

Apparently was yesterday, the 12th October. What a coincidence, I've recently been thinking about trying to clear my head about just this subject via the medium of blogship.
Back to my thoughts. Maybe I'll do something this weekend or maybe I'll just chicken out, as per usual.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mia Dearden and HIV

After a few strained conversations with people in the education industry I've come to the conclusion that Mia's HIV positive status is really really important.
In the UK, lots of kids aren't taught about this stuff in schools. It's not mandatory, each school determines what sex education is taught and there's not a government line. If it was gonna come in anywhere, you'd assume that it comes under Personal, Social and Health Education, PSHE. Stuff like relationships, pregnancy and other STDs are covered in this area. But HIV and AIDs? Not necessarily.
A lot of schools cover HIV and Aids in the science curriculum, but I'm not sure how much it goes into the social side of it or if it just covers how the disease works, and I don't know if it's enough. As I said, strained conversations so I couldn't find out much more.

Basically, if kids aren't getting their information from schools and you don't what they're getting from their parents, then if they can read it about from another source, that provides knowledgeable and accurate information, (as I think Judd Winnick's Mia is), then that's really fucking essential.

Green Arrow - finally

So, I've finally managed to get round to putting up Green Arrow stuff. My
main thoughts on these issues now center round the gorgeousness of the covers from the Mike Grell run. Have a look:
(I"m having a bit of trouble with the layout of this thing, and can't seem to get the pictures to sit on the right next to my text)

So, apart from the covers, what else did I take from this run? The Mike Grell issues had the most intelligent letters column I've ever seen. This was quite obviously inspired by the adult way in which the comics were written, practically every story arc dealt with one social issue or another. There were no crazy shape shifting aliens, no superpowers, just a normal guy looking after his family and city. The series had a mature readers tag until issue 63 and as such had some pretty heavy themes running through it. The stories treated the readers like adults. there was sex, but it wasn't gratuitous. There was honesty and the characters were all treated like real people - no gimmicks.
Back to the letters column, nearly all the letters on Grell's run were well thought out, debates over a specific views would last for months. Arguments, disagreements were conducted in a civil way. These weren't debates over characterisation or minor petty trifling things, these were debates about wars, animal rights, marriage, the environment, everything that the comics themselves looked at.

Dinah didn't get a lot of screen time unfortunately, not even as Black Canary. Now while I can see the argument that it's a GA book, not a BC one, you'd expect their costumed lives to intersect somewhat more often than they did. given the constant flood of letters urging that we see more of BC I can't help but wonder why she wasn't given more time. And was this Grell's choice or the DC editors? The editor of the letters page certainly seemed to be supportive of more BC.

But again, the issues featuring Dinah dealt with her very well - her recovery from her ordeal in The Longbow Hunters, finding out Ollie had a child with Shado and her then catching him cheating on her again with their lodger.
When Dinah met Shado she thought Ollie had consented, and with this knowledge she realised where the fault lay - i.e. with Ollie. She could have been portrayed as a screaming harpy but Grell didn't do that.
Having said that, Shado did rape Ollie and it's really creepy reading her rationale for doing this. This rape wasn't acknowledged until very recently, in a conversation between Dinah and Babs, before Dinah and Ollie got married. It should have been dealt before, by Mr Grell.

There was no gratuitous cheesecake in this run. All the women with panel time were there for a reason, and had a part of the story. Compare this to when Mike Grell left and pretty darn near immediately you have women in cheesecakey poses and with no real role in the story. Just there as background material for the readers to leer at. You also got aliens and weird baddies and the feel changed immediately to a more cartoony story. I preferred the grown up, mature readers feel myself.

Ollie got himself killed because he couldn't bear to lose an arm and not be able to shoot. So his pride killed him. Idiot.

I loved the introduction of Connor, but his GA was not as good or important to me as Ollie's GA. That's a personal thing. I enjoyed watching all the women Connor met eye him up, whilst he was oblivious. Entertaining. And creates an entirely different dynamic - for once the women aren't passive. That's good to see. I've read some views that Connor may bi, but from this reading, I don't see that. I just reckon he doesn't want to sleep around.

Now I've got to get hold of the Green Lantern/Green arrow run. But first, I'm working my way through the Connor Superboy books. And reading Beauty by Sherri S Teppler - really really good. A reworking of the Sleeping Beauty story and it's wonderful.

I also read The Boy In The Striped Pajamas last week. It's about Auschwitz and is told from the point of view of a 9 yr old German boy who's totally innocent of what's going on. His dad runs Auschwitz and the whole family has moved there and the kid thinks that people living in the camp have cafes and restaurants and he can't understand why they don't wear jumpers when it gets cold.
This could have been a trite terrible book but it wasn't. I didn't get too emotional reading it but that's because I didn't let myself - last time I read Primo Levi books I had nightmares. The book has just been made into a film, and I would recommend picking it up (the book not the movie, books are always better).

Saturday, October 11, 2008

This week's stuff

More reviews brought to you courtesy of my hungover brain. In between segments of Smallville (Clark, at the Planet, a bomb goes off on a bus, he rushes out to save everyone! :D)
Green Arrow/Black Canary 13
Why is this labelled as Dec 08? In fact why are all this week's stuff labelled as Dec 08? Have I never noticed this before? I'm pretty sure it's still October...
Aww I love Mia. This book is very irreverent and fun. Ollie's reaction to Mia and English dude's date was great. Dinah shows off some interesting up to the minute fashion choices. I'm sorry, I just hate that style of top. Mind you, Dinah's always had terrible taste in clothes. Anyone remember that godawful fringed/tasseled jacket she had at the start of the Birds of Prey run?
This issue also features topless Connor, so beefcake.

Terror Titans 1
Yay Rose. I'm convinced that she's still on the side of good. nice art too, showing her reasonably well built and all.

Final Crisis Revelations 3
Yep, still good. I def think I'm a bit too hungover to write a decent review. :/

Action Comics 870
No no no no no. Stop killing off Pa Kent. It's wrong. Kara's new Argo City origin wasn't looked at and I've no idea how Clark fixed Kandor and Metropolis. All in all, a lame ending.
Apart from Supes punching Brainiac in the face. That was enjoyable.

Birds of Prey: Metropolis or Dust
Very good. I much prefer this to Gail Simone's run and shall continue to purchase the trades.
Zinda and Helena getting drunk and bonding is great, there's a giant mechanised robot, Supes is a jerk, Babs beats herself up, Misfit is oh so enjoyable and freckly, and there's some really dodgy stuff about Zinda getting brainwashed and raped. Utterly utterly recommended.

Two Face year one /2
Yeah, this is good. An interesting journey into what made Two face Two face. Lovely art and a wonderful cover.

Runaways trade: Live fast
A telepathic dinosaur. That's what I mostly remember about this,. That and the paper quality is so damn nice. Things have gone downhill since Gert died. But the next trade is written by Joss Whedon, so I'm looking forward to that!

Supergirl and Batwoman to join the JLA? Oh say it is so!

Now I have a really massive headache and need a bath. I give up on streaming Smallville it takes too damn long.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I have zero self control

I buckled and bought comics today. I blame this partially on my meeting finishing an hour earlier giving me lots of time to kill before my train back home.
Oh who am I kidding, I went to Orbital comics and damn I love that shop, it's just so cosy and friendly and welcoming and they have bopxes an dboxes of odl stuff for 50p or 20p. I just buckled and bought goodies!
I got:
2 face year 1, \2
Birds of Prey Metropolis or Dust trade (featuring a very kick ass robot)
And a Rob Zombie comic.

All 3 were pretty damn good, reviews will be on Saturday.

I also bought 3 books, despite the 2 I had in my bag. So much for saving my cash, but dammit, the books were cheap and I needed a comics fix!

I pick up a further 3 on standing order from my regular shop tomorrow (Action comics, GA/BC and Final Crisis Revelations :D )


So It's Thursday and I'm sitting in a friends house in London in preparation for a work meeting later today. The Wonder Years is on the TV and I'm reminded of just how much I enjoyed that show as a kid, and how unique the voiceover style is and how much it worked. It seems nearly innovative now, which is silly, but what other show* has done a voiceover like that? And is it really just that format that makes the show stand out so much?
I am pining for comcis this week. It started on Tuesday when I read Americans pull list for this week, and now there are reviews up already and I won't be able to get mine until tomorrow.
Arggh! Need...comics...fix.
On the plus side at my mate's last night 3 of us we ended up debating feminsim, it's history and the divides amongst feminists until late in the evening. And decided we're all going on the Lonodn Reclaim the Night march in November, which is awesome! I'm so looking forward to it!

*Shows shown in the UK obviously, to someone who only had 4 channels for most of her life.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Graysons

This new TV show that's gonna be a bit like Smallville but about the first Robin before he became Robin. For those that don't know, it's Dick Grayson, he worked in the circus with his folks and then they were killed. In front of him. He was traumatised, Bruce Wayne kidnapped him and he became Robin.
Firstly, this is a real daft idea if they want to remotely stick to the comics because we know his parents will die. Cheerful.
Lost of the internet seem to agree on this. Some people have suggested instead of a pre Robin Graysons show a Nightwing show should be made.
This is a stupider idea, because no fucker outside of the comics reading community has ever heard of Nightwing. People would be lost. And I presume the reason they are wanting to make the show is to capitalise on the superhero movies and on Smallville. That won't happen if they make a show about Nightwing.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Smallville, Supergirl, Manhunter and DC decisions

Spoilers ahoy.

Season 7 - Arctic.
Lex has gone completely mad. He's stark raving paranoid isn't he? Fairly good conclusion to the season I think. James Marsters also did well, in that I managed to forget about Spike for whole sections of episodes.
Onto season 8 where I am expecting to squee like a very very shrill thing over the inclusion of Green Arrow and Black Canary. Especially as I hear Ollie's year 1/origin included. And that actor is very very hot.This post will be updated as I watch the episodes.
I've just spent 2 hours trying to watch season 8, episode 1 - Odyssey. Sooo frustrating, bloody crap streaming process. Anyway, the actual episode was frickin' great! Dinah and Ollie working together! The League! Martian Manhunter! Lois actually investigating stuff and getting somewhere!
Clark's rescue from Russia was very enjoyable, and they have a 'Tess Mercer'! :D
I'm rather narked that Kara's stuck in the phantom zone and so presumably won't be showing up much this series but on the plus side Lana's gone. It's good that Clark has finally moved on and is working in Metropolis so maybe we'll get to see him do the hero thing properly (and learn to fly). Although I have to say that no, I don't think he'll become Superman. They can't move the character on that much in just one season surely? Besides, despite what Dinah thinks, I don't think spandex is really compatible with the rest of the feel of the show, so how would they dress him?
Justin Hartley is truly wonderful though. Dinah, not so wonderful, which is odd because by rights I should be crushing on her far more. I think it's the black wig. And the lack of screentime.

Comics reviews -
This week was a good 'un! The only thing I couldn't get was Terror Titans which had sold out, in 2 days. This surprised the hell out of me because judging by online fan rage against Teen Titans I'd assumed it was an unpopular title. When I expressed this to my comic store owner he said it's the Ultimates 3 effect - the internet declares something the worst comic ever and the store repeatedly sells out. So a) the internet is wrong and b) I'm not alone in liking Judd Winnick. Hurrah. On to the purchases.

Supergirl 34
The new creative team. I am now ridiculously excited about this title and it's gone back to being my most looked forward to buy. Yep, I'm fickle. The previous 33 issues have made no sense when read in one big run, but as individual arcs most of them worked or at least had appealing aspects.
First, the cover:

The article is by Cat Grant, a reporter at the Daily Planet and is obviously playing off Lois' article, why the world needs a Superman. part of the criticisms included are that Kara's 'actions seemed hollow and forced, proving her not only unworthy of the legacy of Superman's symbol, but also unworthy to serve as the protector of Metropolis.'
That's harsh stuff. Especially when you consider in the last Superman issue Supes got the Metropolis crown cheering for his dog. Oh, and the cover actually reflects the contents, for once.
the article gets printed on the lead page of the planet, Kara doesn't see it until after she's defeated the Silver Banshee, in the middle of a baseball game. The crowd aren't best pleased about this and someone throws a carton of cola in her face. Then she sees the article. Poor kid.
Supes finds her, apologises and they discuss how she can move on and she shouldn't let this knock her back. There's Kryptonian swearing, Robin gives her Connor's (Superboy's) glasses, she talks about her dilemma with Wonder Woman, she meets Lana Lang and she gets the best secret identity and code name ever!!!

This issue felt...complete. It felt linked in with the other DC books in a natural way. We get to see a lot of actual Kara, her character, her relationships with other people and we get to see how some of the denizens of the DCU also see her. I am astounded.
DC, you're doing it right.
Please give these new guys a chance, please?

In fact I liked this so much here's a link to it on Scans Daily. As you can tell I really really want this series to work out and I'll be broken hearted if it gets cancelled.

EDIT: And the artist gave Kara shorts! I like her costume, I think she should keep the short skirt, she obviously likes it and there's no problem with it in itself. I don't hold with views like it's look whorish/trampish/it's not appropriate for a 16 yr old to wear. I think words like whore and tramp do nothing but demean women and police their sexuality, and who cares if the skirt is appropriate or not, 16 yr olds wear that stuff! And if you can't wear it when you're 16 young, slimand pretty when the hell can you?!
Shorts are still a good idea though.

DC Decisions 2
Check out the cover:
Guy Gardner is my favourite Green Lantern. It's true that I don't know a lot about the rest, but Guy is just such a joy to read. Look at his cheeky little face up there! He's an utter meathead, he's a redneck, he's a right wing jerk, he's fight first think later, arrogant and unpleasant. But dear god he's fun to read. And he's got an awful undercut haircut. But I love him so.
Anyway, he wasn't even the best part of the comic. The best part was Hal and Ollie fighting. And Hal making a jibe about Ollie's lack of fidelity - this as completely unrelated to the superhero ethics debate they were having by the way - and Ollie shoves Hal in the chest. Then it's weapons off and a bout of fisticuffs. And oh how I giggled. Then Dinah arrived and broke it up and then I was really giggling.
This mini series rocks. But I'm gutted that Power Girl is a Republican*.
Guy's speech about why he's getting involved is also rather fun. :D

*I assume Ridge is Republican and Brewster is Democrat because of GA and Guy affiliating themselves with each. I am confused as to why there are 4 candidates as I was under the impression America effectively has a 2 party system and only occasionally do you get a third candidate. When there is a third candidate I also thought they usually only got 1.2% of the vote and are never serious contenders for winning.
Or have I missed something and this story is about selecting candidates to run for president and not the actual president race itself? Or I'm taking it too seriously and the writers wanted 4 candidates to provide a nice range of opinions and arguments.

Manhunter 35:
The actual comic has Kate saying 'Bring It'.

I have nothing else to add really. This cover is brilliant. Look at the challenge in her eyes! She knows she's gonna win whatever you throw at her and she's walk away grinning cos she's given you the biggest beat down ever.
And she did. She got the women out of the prison, she kneecapped a couple of guys and she blew the prison up. And got the evidence needed to shut the place down.
Kate you are awesome, I salute you.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Call for feminist bloggers

EDIT - this isn't my survey! I just looked at the post and it could look like this is my survey, it's not! I found it via a google group I'm part of.


*Feminist Blogger Project*

Also in the new-project category, I'm launching an interview project with
bloggers who identify as "feminist," however they define that term. The
goal is to do at least 30 interviews, either face-to-face or phone depending
on geography, over the next three months or so. Those in-depth interviews
will last about an hour. I've used SurveyMethods (because "survey monkey"
is just too embarrassing to say) to set up a little pre-screening survey.
Know a feminist who blogs? Please point them toward this link:

And, please forward this link widely to your networks. Thanks!

Hot Social Commentary

Not really. I'm just absolutely lame at thinking up post titles.

Katie Price a.k.a. Jordan and Peter Andre

These 2 might need some introduction to anyone not living in the UK. Katie Price is a glamour model who uses the name Jordan. She had pretty massive boobs and has now built herself up a mini empire. She’s a business woman and her product is herself.

Peter Andre was a pop star in the early 90s, most famous for doing a song called Mysterious Girl. It was awful. The video was awful. Even pop fans thought it was awful. He was oiled, had greasy slicked curtains for hair, buffed to within an inch of his life and the video featured in a tropical lagoon. Youtube it.

About 4 (5? 3?) years ago they both appeared on I’m a celebrity get me out of here, a reality TV show set in the jungle. They met, fell in love, got married and have been together ever since.

They are universally derided in the UK for being permatanned, common, tacky and not wearing a lot. Katie Price still models under the name of Jordan, so obviously is simultaneously scorned for being naked whilst being paid for being naked (near naked? I’m not sure how far she goes). Peter Andre is derided for being talentless. He released another single after I’m a celebrity… It’s called Insania and based on something he wrote whilst in the jungle. It is also awful.

Oh yes, then there was their wedding. You could call it a monument to bad taste, which would be mean but lots of people would agree with you. I personally do not care for that much pink, but say good for them for having fun on their wedding day!

Anyway, there is a point to this background. I thoroughly admire Katie Price, I think she’s bloody brilliant. She’s done really fucking well for herself, career wise. She’s got pots of money and she’s in control of what she does. She doesn’t give a fuck what anybody else thinks an she’s brassy bold and unafraid. She’s awesome.

Now Peter Andre is a different matter. Up until a few weeks ago I thought he was an utter twat but two things have changed my mind about him. One was an interview with him in Glamour, I think it was. He was very open about the fact that he takes jobs (i.e. Insania) for money. He knew it was shit, but fuck it, he got well paid for it. Good for him.

The other thing which changed my mind was a TV interview with him I saw this morning this at the dentist. So it’s a fucking miracle I remember anything, I hate visiting the dentist. Bring on fake effective teeth I say.

Ahem, back to the point. This TV interview. Mr Andre said that he hoped young women looked up to Katie not for her surgery, but for her business sense and what she’s achieved.

That’s a really difficult thing to say in this country, because immediately people think he means that he doesn’t like his wife’s surgery (she’s had a lot). He was very definite that he wasn’t criticising her surgery and that he thinks she looks wonderful, but he was also positive that he wants young women/girls to focus on her business achievements.

How great is that? Not only does he recognise that his wife has done a lot and is to be commended for that, but he recognises that her position as a role model for other women is important, that she has something to offer young women, and that there are more important valuable things to be passed down to the next generation than just looks or one type of physical ideal. What has made Katie successful is not her looks but how she has approached her career, what plans she’s made, how she has marketed herself, her strategy, her brains. Isn’t that wonderful? Shouldn’t that be commended? By ‘that’ I mean both Katie’s achievements and Peter’s supportive attitude.

But wait, there’s more! He was also asked if Katie discussed her plastic surgery with him before she had it done. He answered no. The interviewer then suggested he should be pissed off about hat and that Katie should ask his permission/gain his agreement before she went under the knife.

Mr Andre thinks that attitude is bollocks. He compared it to a woman asking her fella’s permission what makeup or clothes to wear one night.

FUCKING RIGHT ON! It in’t anybody’s decision but the person undergoing surgery.

To me it seems clear they Katie Price and Peter Andre have a supportive relationship wherein each is treated as an equal. I love them both and I wish them many happy years together.

Thoughts Thoughts Thoughts

I’m a bit nervous about starting this. It seems ages since I last blogged, and to be honest the last couple of posts (comic reviews) weren’t exactly shit hot in writing quality.

I’ve got lots of thoughts buzzing around my head and I want to get them out. My nerves come from a couple of recent posts from the Occasional Superheroine and Ragnell. Ragnell’s response to Valerie got me to thinking what the point of any blog is, and what the point of mine is.

I’m not attempting to be a journalist and document stuff with up to the minute commentary on the interwubz. To be frank, I don’t have the time for it and a lot of the internet’s controversies bore me to tears. I‘ve tried covering topics I think a feminist comics fan should be covering, but when my heart’s not in it I think you can tell. And it’s a bloody pain to write about something you don’t give a shit about.

I think I’ve got this space online primarily to sort out my thoughts, for my benefit. It’s helps get my head clear and allows me to sort and file things away in my brain.

Another reason for writing is for the sake of it, to improve my writing. Alongside that I believe my analytical and reasoning skills will improve if I take the time to order my thoughts and write them down well, in a manner which I am proud to let the outside world see. It doesn’t always happen that way, sometimes I’m tired, sometimes I’m rushed, sometimes I’m too angry or defensive to think straight. But I try and I do think that’s important (to me).

I used to keep a diary as a teenager, not very regularly though. It was mostly used to pour out my adolescent anguish. It wasn’t articulate, it was barely legible and I’d hate to read it now.

A few years ago, before the blog, I started writing reviews of every book I’d read in a little notebook I have. This was mainly to improve my writing and get my brain engaged. But I tire of hand writing things (my hand hurts after about 2 minutes), and besides I wasn’t talking about comics in that book, only real novels. So I started the blog for my comics. This allowed me to respond to hot issues of the day (hah! As if!) and gradually I began to use the blog more. It seemed a far more attractive way to order my thoughts. And didn’t give me hand cramp.

And here we are now, in October 2008. I’m actually writing this on a word document on my laptop at the moment, as the pc is broken, but I’ll transfer it online when the boyfriend has fixed the pc.

It seems I’m talking about pretty much anything on this here blog. I’ve no idea how many regular readers I’ve got, my stats always look a bit wonky. I know of 3 people who come back regularly, for definite, but that’s it.

I feel my writing has slowly improved since using this blog. And it’s evolved in a way I’m happy with.

I write reports for work, that’s about 50% of my job. In the last 3 weeks I’ve written 4 bids for more funding, and in the next week I’ve got 3 reports to our current funders to write to ensure that we keep the money we already contracted to receive. None of these reports are like my blog.

And that’s why I continue with this.

Debate on trans people/cis privilege/excluding women

On the F Word. The post didn't start as that, it started as a comment on the gender pay gap. However, it used trans people experience to illustrate the point, without quoting any women.
What follows is essentially a debate surrounding cis privilege. Except that by saying that I'm cutting out trans women voices aren't I?.
Umm, lets start again. It's a debate that amply demonstrates cis privilege and the ease at which trans women's voices and views are excluded and rendered invisible in media and society.
It took me a few reads before I properly understood what Alyssa was saying, and now I think I get it. Recommended reading and a good wake up call.