Monday, February 28, 2011


I just found this post on what life was like before abortion.*  I urge everyone to go read it.  Sadly I don't think it will change any anti choicers minds.  There has been quite a lot of stuff on twitter lately about abortion rights being potentially restricted in the US, and then there's the British Abortion Support Network who are (were?) running out funds.  It's all making me rather sad.  Then I remember my default response:

And I feel a little more energised.  But still pissed off.

*Thanks to Ami Angelwings for providing the link.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Last batch of reviews...

Green Arrow 9 - hot damn this has gotten enjoyable.  Not great, not a masterpiece, but enjoyable.  I still do not care for the art though, inside and out.  The cover is terrible.  Etrigan looks like he has breasts,  if this was soem bodl new direction where he was actually going to develop both male and female attributes I'd like it.  However it's not, it's beefy muscles gone mad.

Gotham City Sirens 20 - a victory for Harley.  She's ingenious, driven and bright.  I really look forward to seeing how this turns out.

Teen Titans 92 - Jeanty a la Buffy portrait atrist extraodinaire did the pencils on this issue.  This meant I kept thinking the Buffster had replaced Cassie, and that Xander had snuck in and painted himself green.  Tthat was bizarre.  Damian has left the team and this makes me sad.

Batman: The Brave & The Bold #4 - Bats and Wondy get hitched.  'Nuff said!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

More reviews..

Birghtest Day 20  - If you like kick ass women you really need to buy this issue  Mera is seriously badass.  Aquagirl is pretty hot too (I mean hot as in amazingly cool, not hawt hawt sexy hot).  Aqualad continues to enthrall me and on the whole Brightest Day is just proving to me how unbelievably cool the Aquafamily are.  Unfortunately, I think Arthur's gonna die in a puff of white light soon.  I hope he comes back pretty darn sharpish and just as spectacular as ever,

Wonder Woman 607 - The suicidal minotaur made me sad.  The wall murals made me happy.  the cat made me even happier.  We need more kitties in comics.  We have Streaky, Stinky, Dex Starr, Talky Tawny, that family of cats from Morrison's Animal Man trade, what others?

JLA 54 - I have put this on my pull list hoping for Supergirl action.  I got none.  Lots of Eclipso action, (fine, set up the story, whatever) but no Kara.  The cover even has eclipso'd Kara, I feel vaguely cheated.  Why's she in her regualr, non dark uniform though?  Next issue - Boodika and Doomsday, yay!

Batgirl 18 -  I can't say anything about this that hasn't been said already.  It's a Valentines issue, it;s adorable, Steph has a really big heart.  Go buy it.

Ok, only this week's batch to go, come back tomorrow for more opinions..

Friday, February 25, 2011

I got behind on my comics reviews again...

Hrm.  Oh well, I'll throw some thoughts out at you all now..

The Superman 80 page giant didn't have a whole lot of Superman in it.  The Jimmy Olsen story I found surprisingly un-annoying.  I could grow to like this guy.  The Supergirl story had Kara in the Smallville uniform (if I ever go to another fancy dress party I am def going as that version of Supergirl!).  the story was fine as a standalone piece, but I got a little worried that all of a sudden she had this other friend- potential-boyfriend and this is the first time we've ever seen him.  I hope we're not going to go back to ten different directions for Kara, depending on where she's written.  The Lois story was fun, but dear gods the art turned me off.  There's no detail on the faces and some anatomy was really poorly done.  In one panel Superman had a little pin head.  The Superboy story was also fun, but a little heavy on the ink.  It resembled the really dark days of the recent Teen Titans books.

Supergirl 61 was just as good as number 60.  I proclaim myself please with the new team!

Superman/Batman 81 had Shadowpact, vempires and a knight like Batman protecting a future demonic earth.  Count me in!  It's a combination of fantasy, magic, mythic and religious stuff.  That's right up my street, that is.

Which brings me onto Reign In Hell.  I finally bought a copy, inspired by Linda Danvers appearance in it, and I must admit myself shocked, for this was really good.   For those that don't know the book the basic premise is there's a war in hell.  All the magic users in the world (Zatanna, Black Alice, Shadowpact et al) end up in Hell trying to either get something for themselves, or to nudge the war one way or the other.  The book makes it clear that there's a natural connection between magic users and demonic hell.  I hadn't really thought of that connection before myself, and I'm not sure I really buy it, but in terms of the the end result, i.e. writing a good story and getting a group of good characters into a particular setting, it worked.

Why did it work?  Well, there's no preamable.  It's straight into the war, with the leaders giving orders, and the armies fighting.  The reader really feels the chaos and the immenseness of a war in Hell.  You feel that our magic heroes are insignificant and their situation is hopeless.  After all, they are only little people, what can they do?  How can they survive?  They spend a lot of time just trying to get somewhere safe, while the war goes on around them.

The art looks somewhat like bad concept art for a heavy metal album, but then again, it is about a war in Hell.  It's not meant to be all fuzzy and full of bouncing kittens.  It is full of art like this:

(Scan swiped from Supergirl Comic Box Commentary's Reign in Hell posts).
Hell, looks drippy, dark, painful, sharp and agonizing.  In short, how I'd expect it to look.

And of course, Reign in Hell acknowledges Linda Danvers and proves she's known within the DCU;
Hells bells (pardon the pun) I love that image (also swiped from Supergirl Comic Box Commentary).  Linda is a great character and I really wish she's be taken off ice.  She's not in the book much, but as an earth born angel it's pretty essential having her in there.

On the whole, this book feels epic, in the old, pre internet, sense of the word.  If you like Christian religious imagery, and magic, and superheroes, get this book.

I also read Superman For All Seasons and goshdarnit, it's so fabulous.  Just, just everyone go read it ok?  It's just..heartwarming, and touching, and beautifully coloured, and, and, well it's just fabulous.

The last of the new trades is Morning Glories by Nick Spencer (him of the temporary Supergirl run).  It's twitter's fault I got this.  I started following Spencer on twitter when I heard he was doing Supergirl, then saw how morning glories got lots of awards, then liked his Supergirl issue 60, so I bought this.  If anyone has read (or watched) The Demon Headmaster, it's kinda like a more grown up violent version of that.  It's good.

The colouring leaves a lot to be desired - the pencils are rather simple, and the inks are good, but the colours are very flat and there's no definition to the faces.  It's obviously been done on the computer and is probably my least favourite art style.  It's similar to the style of the Lois story in Superman 80 page giant.

This is a real shame because the layouts, body language and action within the panels are good.  Joe Eismer is credited with art, which I guess in this case means pencils and inks as a different person is given colouring credits.  Eismer is gifted at telling a story with images only - several sequences have no dialogue, just art and it's very easy to read these.  I'm not sure if I'll get the next trade or not (running out of bookshelf space) but it's definitely worth looking at.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dwayne McDuffie

Just got home to the news that Dwayne McDuffie has died.  I'll be honest, I hadn't realised what he did before tonight.  I knew the name and I vaguely associate it with Ed Benes art (I do not know why), but after having looked him up on wikipedia and discovering that he founded Milestone Comics, I also saw this quote:

"If you do a black character or a female character or an Asian character, then they aren't just that character. They represent that race or that sex, and they can't be interesting because everything they do has to represent an entire block of people. You know, Superman isn't all white people and neither is Lex Luthor. We knew we had to present a range of characters within each ethnic group, which means that we couldn't do just one book. We had to do a series of books and we had to present a view of the world that's wider than the world we've seen before.[4]"

Not enough people understand that.  For that reason I am sad he's gone.

Dwayne McDuffie is now trending worldwide on twitter.  In the last 2 minutes there have been 97 new tweest mentioing him.  That's a big deal. 

A little bit of pretty Super face

(From Adventures of Superman 466 and 467, respectively)

SWOON!  That's some pretty artwork right there.

Now, as for who's responsible, the credits are a bit unclear.
# 466 is credited as Dan Jurgens: Story and layouts, 'Sludo' Giordano: Finishes, Albert DeGuzman: letters, Glenn Whitemore: Colours.

First question: Is this the same Dick Giordano who did a lot of Green Lantern work?
Second question: does this mean Jurgens did the pencils?
#467 is credited the same, except for Jurgens is stated as writer/artist (much clearer!) and Art Thibert for Inks.  Giordano has no mention.

Did Jurgens draw these supremely pretty Kal pictures?

Shall we ask Supes what he thinks?
(From issue 436)
He doesn't approve.  Oh dear.  Oh well.  I'm sure Christopher Reeve would be ok with a little bit of swooning:
(From the Fuck Yeah Lois tumblr).
Man, I am so sad Christopher Reeve died. :(

Monday, February 21, 2011

Michael Turner's beautiful cover

Those colours, layouts and general content of that cover are gorgeous!  I can't wait to get to read these one :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Superman action!

Superman talks about personal responsibility:
From Adventures of Superman 431.

In somewhat more amusing strips, I also found these recently:
I dont know where this came from originally.  Does anyone know?

And then there's this, which sent me to the urban dictionary:

From here.  I assumed Supermanning meant sex.  It doesn't.  Apparently to superman a woman means a man masturbating over her back, usually while she's asleep, so that when she wakes the sheets are stuck to her back, ala Superman's cape.  According to Urban Dictionary this is considered a punishment for not having sex with the guy.

And now, I can't get that bloody song out of my head.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Adventures of Superman

I got a whole new lot of comics to read.  Which means you guys get to be inundated with a whole lot of bizzare, fun or just plain wrong scans.  So, I hope you guys like Superman, cos I've got over 200 Adventures of Superman to get through!

I've read 6 so far, and man do I miss these types of stories.  Compare them to the current Superman run and it just shows you how dull this walk across America is.  I want Supes doing things like this:

(From Adventures of Superman 427)

Or this:
(From Adventures 430)There's even isntances of Superman declaring that he must be in Japan because the monster of the day is quite clearly Godzilla (see left, adventures 427)  Or Lana, Cat Grant and Lois ganging up on Supes for not being honest with them (this scene, (from issue 429) is actually the product of a devious Cat-man's psychic shenanigans). 
There's glorious artwork and some really touching humanising moments from Cat Grant.  Adventures is the series where she was introduced (as fara s I can tell) and is giving me a whole different persepctive of her.  In short, this is the sort of quality stuff that Supergirl has been giving us, and not Superman.  I'm looking forward to this run.  So much.

 (From Issue 426.  pencils by the glorious Jerry Ordway, who draws a lovely Mary Marvel)

(From Adventures 429)

Friday, February 18, 2011

LGBT Reading Challenge 2011 - Antique Bakery

After yesterday's rather annoyed review of an LGBT book, I thought I'd showcase one that was actually good.  However as I'm short on time (but long on ambition) today's feature is going to be crossposted from New readers..start here!.  I've been debating between showing off Antique Bakery or The Moon and Sandals, and have ended up with Antique Bakery, because this review is at least new and written this month, which I felt was more in the spirit of the book challenge.  Please don't forget about The Moon and Sandals though!  In some ways it's a better book.  And hey, if it's superheroes you want for your LGBT fix, then we have those too.  While you're at it, don't forget about the webcomics!

Anyway, enough plugging, on with the review!

Writer and artists: Fumi Yoshinaga

What's it about?
An old antique shop reopens as a bakery.  A surprising selection of characters staff the shop, some unlikely coincidences take place and some delicious cakes and pastries get baked.

The book opens with some historical episodes.
14 years ago... In high school Ono confesses his love for Tachibana, who responds by telling him to 'Hurry up and die, homo'.  Nice.
13 years ago...Urishihara is being bullied in school for looking different and Miss Ito admires her.
5 years ago...Eiji Kanda is a champion boxer.  Unfortunately for him he develops a detached retina and is forced to give up boxing.
3 years ago...Mr Tadahiro is a grumpy businessman with a wife and son and an obsessive desire for desserts.

This unlikely group of people drift to the Antique Bakery.  We learn some secrets, see some relationships blossom, and, well, learn a lot about different types of cake.

This is a Yaoi title.  Yaoi means boys love and is the name given to manga about male couples.  Yaoi can be explicitly about sex, or can be more about the relationship side of things. Some of it can be a coming out narrative, some of it can just be two men getting it on.  A lot of it is written by women, for women.  The female equivalent is called Yuri.  This book is not explicit and is far more about baking than sex.
What's good about it? Oooh it's simply delightful!
Let's start with the bakery part - throughout the book there are mouth watering descriptions of cake.  If you like cake you'll want to eat them all.  My book comes with a scratch and sniff cover - you get an aroma of strawberries.  I read this on a Monday and it took me until Friday to find a cake that could satisfy my craving (Japanese cheesecake with green tea ice cream, since you ask).

The book is more of a cooking manga than a story about sexuality.  Ono's gayness is present throughout the book, as it is part of him.  His sexuality is part of him, but not necessarily always the most important part, and the story reflects that.  It's normalising of different sexualities in a way that is often missed by mainstream Western media outlets.

Having said that, there is a subplot about Tachibana and Ono.  Tachibana may start as an asshole but by the end of the book he has been thoroughly outshone by Ono.  It is clear that Ono is the better person, and in fact, in one of the best lines of the book, it is stated that Ono has grown up to become " ordinary gay. He's a demonically charmed gay, unspeakably gay, a legendary gay" who inadvertently seduces every man he takes a fancy to.  It's enough to send right wing bigots everywhere into a frenzy ;)

Note: Due to computer issues the scans in this post are taken from fan translations on the internet, so some lettering and vocabulary may be different from the official printed version.

If this book were a song it would be a light little summer ditty. 

What's bad about it?
Not a lot, if I'm honest,  The characters are all easily distinguishable (something I often have problems with in black and white books), the plots are fun and the build up to various reveals is done with skill and precision.  There are a few panels where it's not terribly easy to work out what the reading order is but overall it's fine.

Please note that this book is presented in the original Japanese format, so you read it back to front, right to left.  An explanation of how to read manga can be found at the bottom of this post.

What's the art like?
Most panels have little to no background detail, this has two effects - 1, you focus in on the character's faces and body language and the story is told through the way the characters are placed in each panel.  2, the blank space gives a feeling of solitude and contentment that you would expect to find in a peaceful artisan bakery.

Yoshinaga doesn't use a lot of pencil lines for her characters.   This produces restrained and simplified images where little things denote expressions and moods, for example, the angle of an eyebrow or a mouth.  Occasionally a wrinkle or a tear is shown, and it is their very scarcity which increases the impact of the scene.

To complement this simplicity, shading techniques are used quite often to emphasise moods and space.  And then, because there's an exception to every rule, some panels will be bursting with ink:

Other information
You are unlikely to find yaoi titles in mainstream bookshops, as the sexual content is incompatible with a genre still widely (and incorrectly) considered suitable only for children.  Because of this, you will be best off buying yaoi titles from amazon, ebay or British online distributors such as United Publications and Anime Online.

To read more from the same author, try Antique Bakery volumes 2 to 4, or The Moon and Sandals.  Click here to see what other LGBT books we have covered.  Click here to read other romance and Valentines themed posts.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

LGBT Reading Challenge 2011 - Midnighter: Anthem

Brighton Blogger over at Book after Book said comics were eligible for her review challenge, so here I am.

Midnight is part of the Wildstorm universe.  I haven’t read a whole lot of this publisher’s books, but I get the impression it’s meant to be a dark and edgy superhero universe.  If alarm bells start ringing, consider yourself forewarned.

Midnighter is an uber superhero.  He can beat anyone in a fight and has precognitive abilities, so he can see how a situation will turn out and take steps to avoid it.   And he’s gay.

This first issue in this collection is by Brian K Vaughan and it plays with the
precognitive theme.  The story runs backwards in time, each page taking place a few minutes before the previous one.  So you start with the culmination of the story, and you end with how it all started.  The opening page is this:
How often do Marvel and DC give you that sort of image huh?  Glorious ain’t it?  Nicely composed and nicely drawn.

This story is interesting solely because of the backwards structure.  Read in chronological order (i.e.  starting at the end), it’s average, but front to back it’s impressive, and yea, even breathtaking in it’s production.

I will admit, I do have a soft spot for this type of structure.

Unfortunately, the rest of the issues in this collection are absolutely terrible.  It’s not bad as a mystery – discover the bad guys and their motives and defeat them – but the morality and presentation of the story is horrible.
(For some reason when I converted this from a pdf to a jpeg it flipped the image. but you get the idea about the graphicness of this comic.  Technology is not my friend)

Midnighter kills regularly.  He beats the living tar out of people.  He kills them in fights.  He kills them after they’ve made a truce.  And he’s presented as the hero!  The good guy!  It’s not like in DC where the Secret Six or the Flash’s Rogues know they are of dubious morality, accept that and get on with their lives.  We are meant to root for Midnighter, we are meant to support him.  There’s no examination of his character of motives here.  He’s just violent because that’s supposedly adult.  Mature.  Macho even.  Ok, this is usually a role given to very straight men, but the fact that he’s gay doesn’t make it subversive, or make him more likeable.  I guess it’s a step forward that there exists a gay character who can be this macho prick, but it doesn’t make the story any better.

I have heard how he is meant to be a Batman or Superman analogue.  Well, as much as I despise Batman, at least he does right most of the time.  And Superman, well even in Superman’s currently ill fated walk across America he’s not like this.

Adult doesn’t have to mean this.  There are plenty of mature, adult books out there that are violent, but still weave a good plot.  This book, this is childish.  There’s no debate of morality, no acknowledgement of a different way, no contrast with anyone else in this universe, it’s just violence for violence sake.  Superboy Prime would be horrified.

Then, then there’s the computer hacker who has downloaded child pornorgraphy.  So Midnight snaps his neck.  After deliberately choosing this guy for the job, just so he could kill him afterwards.  These aren’t the actions of a hero, or justice.  It’s crass. It’s paedophilia for shock value, included so that the reader can be smug and feel like they are right on.  Whatever happened to building good characters through, I don’t know, characterisation?  Plot Development?  Instead, we just get a sordid, ugly story.

Add in all the scantily clad women and we have sexism on top of a terrible, boring read.

As this diatribe is nominally a book review, I should probably drop in some things about the plot.  Midnight is a character with no memory of his life before becoming a superhero *cough wolverineripoff cough*.  An associate locates and gives him his life’s records.  He visits the town where he grew up and discovers Bellwethers - Dudes with American flags on their faces.  These Bellwethers keep order by shooting people who speak out of turn and banning all metas from the town.  Fights ensure.  Debates over freedom versus safety are had.  These debates don’t hold up because it’s Midnighter arguing for freedom, and I ain’t about to use him as my moral compass.
(Another flipped image.  Me and technology really don't mix)
On the LGBT theme, Midnighter’s sexuality is at least a real and integral part of his character.  It’s not a gimmkic, it’s not his defining trait and it’s not ignored.  For this portrayal, it might be worth picking upt he book.  But only for the first time-goes-backwards story.

I hate this book.  I want my superheroes to actually be Super, thank you very much.

If you want a decent LGBT comic go and look at my New readers..start here! site.  We've got about 20 LGBT comics reviewed, and there will be many more coming.

EDIT - Forgot to include the credits when I pasted this.  They are as follows:
Fait Accompli (the backwards story):
Writer: Brian K Vaughan
Penciller: Darick Robertson
Inker: Karl Story
Colorists: Randy Mayor and Jonny Rench
Letterer: Phil Batsman

Anthem (the one I really hate):
Writer: Keith Giffen
Pencillers: Chris Sprouse, Chriscrossm, Rafel Sandoval, Jon Buran
Inkers: Karl Story, Troy Hubbs with Chriscross, Rick Burchett
Colorists: Randy Mayor, Darlene Roger, Pete Pantazis
Letterers: Travis Lanham, Pat Brosseau, Steve Wands

What a mess of creators on one story arc.  Pity, cos Travis Lenham and Pat Brosseau generally do good work.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

In more screwed up news of the day

Norfolk Eating Disorders Association is under threat of closing, or at the very least of running only skeleton service.  See here for the article from local newspaper the Evening News and see here for the blog an ex service user has set up.  I would rfecommend that you go through to both links but be warned - both links have a picture of an extremely anorexic man, and text that may be triggering.  It's not sensational, it's straightforward, but could be triggery.

You can show your support for the service by signing a petition here.

In other horrific news, South Dakota want to pass a bill that will make it legal to kill abortion providers.  I just... words fail me.  Wait, no they don't - why is it that the pro life lobby won't accept the death of a fetus but they will accept the death of adults and children providing and accessing abortions?

Meanwhile, in England the Abortion Support Network (ASN) is about to run out of funds.  ASN is a volunteer-run organisation in London that provides accommodation for women living in Ireland (Northern and Republic of) who need to stay overnight when travelling to London for an abortion. 
From the ASN site:
"In both Northern Ireland – despite being part of the UK – and the Republic of Ireland, abortion is illegal except under extremely limited circumstances (although it is not illegal for women to travel abroad for an abortion). Even if women meet the strict criteria for a legal abortion, it is virtually impossible for women to access a safe and legal abortion in Ireland."

Please consider donating to them.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


OK, so after all the rage of the last few days I'm gonna give you all a pretty picture of the one computer game I play.  Fairyland on facebook.  It's about as twee as it looks, and the aim is to grow plants, harvest them (and save the rainforest while doing so) and spot and attract animals.
Recently they have been bringing out lots of extra, the most recent of which has been a rainbow.
It's pretty.  And pink.  This here is proof that sometimes I like pink.

See, I chose to have it pink, and to have the rainbow, and to have the cloud, and the sun. It looks like something a five year old would like and it reminds me of my She-Ra (very pink) castle that I had as a kid.  With a (possibly pink) horse.  this image gives me the same warm fuzzy feeling I have when I remember a couple of very distinct (in my mind) comic pages from when I was little.  In particular, they are a Thundercats one and a Power Pack one.  It's that sense of awe and thrill at being really enveloped in a wonrous, creative, imaginative world.  I don't care what the reality is like, that's how it feels to me.  It's all to do with memories and associations.

I am addicted to this game.  It's fun and pretty.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cameron's Cuts

Over on Diary of a Benefit Scrounger I found this interesting post, which I am crossposting and reformatting to make easier to read:

"any cabinet minister … who comes to me and says 'Here are my plans' and they involve frontline reductions, they'll be sent straight back to their department to go away and think again"....
"Our plans involve cutting wasteful spending....our plans don't involve an increase in VAT....
"I wouldn't change child benefit, I wouldn't means test it, I don't think that's a good idea".....
"It is sick and frankly disgusting to say we will end the two week cancer guarantee" .....
"Hospitals are my number one priority to be totally protected"......
"I Absolutely support the EMAs".....
"I will lead the greenest government ever"......
"Tax office is to soften stance on tax avoidance, FT".....
"Tax breaks for wealthy heirs, FT".....   
"measures to tackle the budget (VAT) would have to be "pretty permanent" - but he (Cameron) hoped the 50p tax rate for top earners would be scrapped, BBC".....
"This is the support, trust and respect that parents of those with disabilities deserve. Because we can never forget what an amazing job they do. Just consider what it would mean if the army of parents and carers in this country gave up, packed up, said they couldn't cope any more. The financial cost of looking after those children would be immense" .....
"David Cameron and Mr Osborne sought to kill off Labour claims that they would slash public services by pledging to match the (Labour) Government's (spending) plans during the first two years of a Conservative government. The pledge ran until 2010/11, Daily Mail, Feb 08"

I really loathe this government.

The #projv project on twitter has been throwing up some enlightening stories: 

: we get top level but Gov plan to reduce claims by 20% tho it'll cost 2x current level of fraud!

 : I'll swap my DLA + pain + brain-fuzz with someone that has the ability to work 5 days a week
: Getting toddler wheelchair gloves for @ (paid for by DLA) They cost more than wool mittens.... DLA is important! 
Bliss - have a lovely soothing wheat bag to shove on my hip. Guess what I paid for it with?
For some isn't extra money. is the lifesaver that makes life worth living,things most people take for granted.Protect  
"Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are." 
I gave up my when I could earn; it was my lifeline when I couldn't. I weep at the loss of dignity if it goes
my partner works 17hrs p/w cares4me the rest of the time unpaid.apparently 17hrs is sufficient for2people to live on
I 4got + disability premiums also fund internet access without which I'd have no social contact whatsoever

That's great you both have one another, I'd be lost without my fiance. DLA means I can walk down the aisle
@ + disability premiums enable me 2 eat, exercise, read, sleep & leave my house.
Without DLA I would be housebound and unable to contribute to society.
Really, it makes me sick (speaking as an unpaid carer who completed the monster of a form for Dad's paltry amount of ).
This government is not for us.  It is not governing with our mandate.  We do not want it.  Speak out.  Speak up.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My heart hurts

Found this on Ragnel's' tumblr page:



[TRIGGER WARNING for murder and trans-hatred]
[Image is a black-and-white picture of Tyra Hunter, a short-haired black woman, wearing what appears to be a turtleneck with a necklace]

It was the morning of Aug. 7, 1995, and Tyra Hunter, a popular African-American hairdresser, was on her way to work in Washington, D.C. Suddenly, the car she was in was broadsided. In this situation, one would expect that Hunter would have promptly been taken to a hospital, where she would have received whatever medical care she needed. But tragically, and outrageously, that is not what happened. When emergency personnel arrived on the scene, they helped the barely-conscious Hunter out of the car and began treating her, but only until one of them realized she was transgender after cutting open her clothing. At that point, they backed away from her, began laughing at her and taunting her with anti-transgender slurs. They stopped treating her in a life-threatening situation. In what world does someone sworn to help others in emergency situations stop treating them to attack them? When she was finally transported to a hospital, her ordeal didn’t end. Doctors refused to treat her, and by the time she was finally granted medical care, it was too late. Hunter was pronounced dead the same day. (via COLORLINES)

Mandy Carter, “Still No Freedom Rainbow for Transgender People of Color”

may actually start weeping

What the fuck is wrong with people?

[TRIGGER WARNING for murder and trans-hatred]
[Image is a black-and-white picture of Tyra Hunter, a short-haired black woman, wearing what appears to be a turtleneck with a necklace]
It was the morning of Aug. 7, 1995, and Tyra Hunter, a popular African-American hairdresser, was on her way to work in Washington, D.C. Suddenly, the car she was in was broadsided. In this situation, one would expect that Hunter would have promptly been taken to a hospital, where she would have received whatever medical care she needed. But tragically, and outrageously, that is not what happened. When emergency personnel arrived on the scene, they helped the barely-conscious Hunter out of the car and began treating her, but only until one of them realized she was transgender after cutting open her clothing. At that point, they backed away from her, began laughing at her and taunting her with anti-transgender slurs. They stopped treating her in a life-threatening situation. In what world does someone sworn to help others in emergency situations stop treating them to attack them? When she was finally transported to a hospital, her ordeal didn’t end. Doctors refused to treat her, and by the time she was finally granted medical care, it was too late. Hunter was pronounced dead the same day. (via COLORLINES)
Mandy Carter, “Still No Freedom Rainbow for Transgender People of Color”
may actually start weeping
What the fuck is wrong with people?

I'm speechless.  Fuck I hate people sometimes.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

End of January Comic reviews

Spoilers ahead

Gotham City Sirens #19
Good cover.  Shame the story is all about the Siren's love lives.  Sigh.  I do not want my book about a group of women to be about their romantic entanglements.  Can we have more of the Birds of Prey style writing here please.

JLA #53
I'm coming in at the tail end of this story arc, and it surprises me how good it is.  It's a solid comic, well adapted to it's short 22 page format, but one that will, I suspect, read just as well in a trade.  Dark Supergirl isn't really too dark, just a bit snarky.  She's not all out for evil and doom, not like she was in her introductory trade.  It's refreshing.
Now, as soon as DC clarify where dark Supergirl fits into regular Supergirl continuity I'll be happy.

Superboy #4
I may be feeling a little out of sorts today, but I am not thrilled with this art.  There's not enough detail in the faces.  This blog post talks about how women's faces are drawn with less pencil lines than men's faces, therefore they are more difficult to draw.  It's not a stance I particularly agree with, especially as a lot of the motivation for not putting in detail seems to be that less detail = beauty, and women = beauty.
Anyway, reading this comic makes me think of this post, as there's fuck all pencil detail on Connor's and other character's faces.  Any nuance comes from the colourist.  It's not an approach I care for.

Other than the art, the issue is good.

Secret Six #30
I have no fucking clue what is going on here.  The Doom patrol turns up, a lazy disaffected 23 year old decides to become an old style king of crime, and the Six are on Oolong Island, where everything converges.

Oh and Bane is taken to a strip club and there he meets 3 twitterati.  No really!  Gail Simone gave a cameo to @pseudicide (Dee) @ceebee_eebee (Elyssa) and @harleyquinnaid (Elise).  I chat to pseudicide and ceebee_eebee quite a lot on twitter.  They are adorable.  So, the panels with them in kind of made this comic for me. :D

Brightest Day #19

Oh hells yeah.   Bring on the Aqua goodness.  And oh look, Arthur's lost a hand. Again.  How careless of him. ;)

Friday, February 11, 2011

In which I am late to the party on some reviews

My excuse is I didn't want to break up the BatWondy posts, and I wrote these rather late.

Superman/Batman 80
This was yet another opportunity to channel the silver age.  It’s delivered in a way that’s far more fun and far less frustrating than the silver age, and features many incarnations of Supes and Bats, including a Superwoman .  DickGraysonRobin gets to be all precocious and punch his fist into the palm of his hand. Twice.  All in all, this was more fun than I expected.

Brightest Day #18
Good golly Miss Molly the hawks are dead :o  But probably not for long....  Right before they’d got to have joyous back to life sex too.  Life’s not fair.
In other Brightest day news, I think we need to see more of the Rogues.  I say next issue should be a double bill of the Rogues and the Aquafamily.  What say you all?

I was also happy to see Lorena brought back into the fold.

Shazam one shot
Why is Mary blond?  Since when has she been blond?
Apart from that, this book is really for the marvel family fans.  Since I am one, this satisfied me.  The story doesn’t really contribute anything long-lasting or groundbreaking.  It checks in with the marvels, reminds us that Freddie has powers and Billy and Mary don’t (unless you count the power of being miraculously blond, given DC’s current teen female demographic that might well be a superpower in its own right), and then check sin with all other marvelites out there.

It’s a good read and I’m glad they’re getting some exposure.  As Osiris got a little spotlight at the end maybe this will tie in to brightest day somehow?  We can but hope.

Warning for shameless self promotion: I did a review on Trials of Shazam and Superman/Shazam: First Thunder on New Readers..., found here and here.  They’re good books, you should check them out.

Green Arrow 8
Eight issues in and I finally enjoyed it.  I had hoped Lois would get more panel time, and Krul’s rhymes for Etrigan were dire, but on the whole I actually enjoyed this.  Colour me surprised.

Wonder Woman 606
I also enjoyed this.  What’s the world coming to?  It’s probably because the morrigan wasn’t in it much.  Bloody stupid depiction of her from last week.
Phillipus is a delightfully passionate warrior.  WW shows she is not to be trifled with and the Herne type god worked for me.

After this, cheetah, giganta and artemis are brought back.  I initially thought artemis was the silver swan.  Oops.  The little ww dolls kept me interested  and have me intrigued as to how this will all be resolved.  And the cover is rockin’.

Teen Titans 91
My only complaint is that Scott doesn’t make Rose muscled enough and that she makes Connor too beefy,  Other than that, of course I’m happy with it all!  On several pages Damian and Rose look more like they are dancing than fighting.  Damian is actually softening up to rose.  Must be all the dancing.  Clearly he has a crush on her.  He called her a femme fatale.  At this rate he’s gonna crush on every young woman in the dcu.  I pity him if rose finds out though. She’ll mock him mercilessly.
Bart’s story was interesting – he had a flashback to being killed by the rogues.  I wasn’t aware that was still in canon (maybe it isn;t0?) but he obviously has some memory of it.
I care nothing for the DC online legends preview.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Supergirl 60

Spoilers ahead for Supergirl 60.
Well.  That was good.  Really good.  What a pity Nick Spencer isn’t hanging around.

I had no idea what to think about this issue.  There was clue as to what direction it was going to take and with all the creative upheavals we could have got anything.

What Nick Spencer James Peaty, Bernard Chang, Blond and Travis Lanham have given us is a really solid start to this new era.  A new rogue is introduced and my golly Chang makes him menacing.  The setting of Kara’s place in Metropolis is done easily but with weight behind it, and everything seems so natural.  With Superman gone Lois makes an appearance as the city’s saviour and really proves her worth, which by this point seems to be made on reputation and trust.

The panels are laid out differently to Jamal Igle, this is fine, it suits the story very well and draws a marker between the last team and the new team.  We open with a page of 9 rectangular panels.  Page 2 has 3 vertical panels, and 2 wide panels of differing heights.    Page 3 is 3 vertical panels, again, all different widths, and 2 more vertical panels below, still of different widths.  Page 4 and 5 is that lovely splash page of Kara flying above metropolis, the inked version of which I saw at London Comic Con.  She didn’t look so long in the torso there – I wonder if maybe colourists don’t always do Chang justice?

From page 7 onwards most of the story is delivered in horizontal panels.  I have got to say that I love the panel on page 8 where the villains meet Kara – she looks really calm and just mildly irked, like these guys are just an inconvenience to her.  It helps that I love Silver Banshee too.

We then follow 3 stories – the planet’s story, the bad guys, and Kara.  Each panel gets more and more tense and then we finish.  Kara is in trouble, a child is dead and the bad guy named Alex is a bastard.

This is good guys.  Really really good.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

How the Tories screwed us over again

Argh I really, really dislike this government.  I am furious at the Liberal Democrats for selling out and furious at what the Tories are doing, without a mandate and without being held accountable for the ways in which they will wreck this society.

They want to sell off our forests.  Our fucking forests.

More information here:

They are removing state support from everyone not working.  What they are doing with DLA is particularly despicable.  DLA exists because it is more expensive to live and be disabled in this society than it is to live and be (temporarily) able bodied.  Disability Living Allowance tries to rectify this.

If you're on twitter please get in on the #ProjV campaign: 
#Projv = write 140 char tweet of how being sick/disabled affects your life and/or how #DLA helps. Final consultation on abolishing #DLA & replacing & cutting recipients by 20% closes on Valentines day #Feb14, hence #Projv. We all RT what people tweet & hope it trends (remember to add something to the tweet you are retweeting tho!)
More info is here:
If you want to know more about this on twitter I've just retweeted a lot of stuff, find me @sarangacomics

Instead of getting us out of debt, they are pulling a massive tax scam to benefit themselves and their millionaire buddies.

They are destroying our libraries.  Knowledge and education should be free.  Yet not only are they making people pay through the nose to get educated, (thereby leaving University education the province of the rich only) they are taking away our access to free information.  Not everyone can afford books.  I can't afford all the books I want.  I have relied on libraries.  Many still do.

Oh, and remember how I railed against the Norfolk County Council cuts?  Well the Sensory Support Unit is surviving, with a budget of £600,000.  I presume per year.    I don't think that's a lot of money, personally, and of course, they will have to lose some services.  I'll be buggered if I can find out what exactly what though.

TheTory ideology makes me fucking sick.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Hawkgirl is on to a good thing

These next panels tak eplace in JLA volume 3, when they are recruiting for new members.  I think it showcases why Kendra is so great and why it's such a shame they killed her off: 

She's so full of life and joy.  Such a contrast to Carter or even Sheira.. Part of this is her youth of course.  I miss Kendra, there's no one else quite like her.

Monday, February 07, 2011

BatWondy! Last of the Martian gubbins!

So, coming out of the Trial by Fire storyline we discover there's a white martian on earth.  And he's fucking with the superviallins minds.  He does this to those in Arkham Asylum:
Part of me thinks that this panel explains why Batman is such a bastard, but then I think maybe I'd be smiling too.

And then we get these two pages.  I'd like to think these mean that something could still happen with BatWondy.  It'd be great, c'mon DC!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

More BatWondy! with added Martians!

The other good thing about the BatWondy ship is that Bruce becomes much less of an arse around her. Check this out:
From JLA 89, the Trial by Fire storyline (not one of J'onn's better ones).
See, that's nearly how normal people behave.  I'd like Bruce better if he wasn't eleveated to this bloody platform where he's nearly godlike.  If you believe all the hype he's more superhuman than all the metas he (doesn't) work with.
Ooooh it annoys me.

Then Superman reveals he's a bit stupid :
One more post on trial by fire coming up. Then we're done.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

BatWondy! The date continues!

So there you have it. Bruce and Diana's date.  With added extra brains at the end.  I can't remember the significance of that, or who's it is.

What do you reckon? Cop out?  I call cop out.  A real date would have been much better.  Mind you, considering that that's all in Diana's mind, it kinda makes sense that when she next kissed Bruce it was while she was also in some other hideous costume - that Star Sapphire abomination.

Friday, February 04, 2011

BatWondy! The date starts!

Oh just read these will you:

 So, they appear to be in some sort of technological dream coccoon.  Cos that's how I want my dates to go.


Which fantasy scenario do youn prefer?  Me I'm quite partial to BatBondageWondy.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

BatWondy! Have a date!

Yeah a real date!  JLA 90:

Fun fact: At first glance both the boyfriend and myself assumed that was Superman's arm.

News on how the date went to come later..