Friday, January 31, 2014

ASN January newsletter

Here is ASN's Janaury newsletter.  Apologies for being slack with posting these over the last few months - tons of stuff has happened in real life which has taken me away from blogging duties.

ASN January Newsletter: Exciting news for the new year!
  • ASN receives a grant from the Feminist Review Trust
  • Success of Holiday Fundraising Appeals
  • Women we’ve helped
  • Volunteer counsellor sought
  • Seeking hosts in Liverpool and Manchester
ASN receives a grant from the Feminist Review Trust
ASN is ECSTATIC to share the news that we have received a grant of £7500 from theFeminist Review Trust. Until recently, ASN has been an all-volunteer organisation (with the exception of a three-day per month stipend for our director). However, in the four years since we launched, we have experienced a threefold increase in calls as more and more women and families have needed our services. With this grant, we are able to pay a part time coordinator for the duration of this year, in order to help ASN meet increased demand from women and families, ensure continued high standards of care and help safeguard the long term sustainability of our work. As this grant is specifically to cover the cost of a part time coordinator, we will continue to fundraise and use donations to help women travel and pay privately for abortions.
Success of Holiday Fundraising Appeals
Speaking of fundraising, thanks so much for everyone who donated to our holiday appeal, to the lovely people in Northern Ireland who pledged a protestor to ensure a pro-choice presence during an anti-choice vigil outside the MSI Belfast clinic, to the fabulous Agender Society at SOAS (Facebook/Twitter), and to Amelia B who raised funds for us via OxFizz. Together it brought in more than £1200, all of which will directly go to helping women living in Ireland and Northern Ireland forced to travel to England.
Women We’ve Helped
In December, ASN “only” heard from 30 women, couples and families. Here are some of their stories, in their own words:
"I'm 15 and I think I'm pregnant, I cannot tell my mum about this or I will be thrown out of the house, I'm really worried and would like to see if it’s possible for me to go to England for an abortion." 
“I'm a student and have no job. There is no way I can afford any treatment like this and having a child is not an option. I don't know how to get money for this. Is there any way you can help me? Please get back to as soon as possible, I am in panic.”  
“Please I need help. I am living in Ireland I am 11 weeks pregnant. I have been evicted from my home and I am homeless. I have a child. I don't have anything no one will help me I have no passport and I honestly am suicidal. This is not my email I am just using it as I have none myself. I don't know where to turn.”
“I’m pregnant but I’m looking for help with an abortion. I can’t carry this child as I’m in a very abusive relationship and he told me if I ever fall pregnant he would kill me and my son that I already have. We are not safe with him and he has left me in hospital numerous times. I’m terrified and I can’t tell my family or anybody else about this as I was told by my family if I stayed with my abusive boyfriend they would disown me. I can’t afford to pay for this abortion...I’ve not even got no proper roof over my head. I’ve so much stress and worry on me.”
Please help. I've tried everything to try to miscarry...I've been drinking excessively, I've tried throwing myself downstairs, and even tried to overdose. I can't have this child. I don't want it!!! I'm completely on my own. No one else knows and I'm at the end of my tether, I feel like I'm going to have a breakdown.”
"I didn't even know abortion was still illegal in this country - I was naive enough to think things had changed. It's so wonderful to know, during this difficult time, that there are people like you who are working to help. Thank you so much." 
We were also able to help a number of women access a safe early medical abortion (abortion with pills) via, including:
A woman who experienced severe mental health issues after the birth of her last child; a mother of four, unable to get childcare while she made the trip to England; and a woman unable to obtain a visa to travel to England.
A woman we couldn’t help.
"I'm calling you in complete and utter desperation" – We spoke to a young woman made homeless after leaving her abusive partner. We agreed to cover the entire cost of her procedure and, if necessary, her flights, but we unfortunately lost contact.
We thank these women and men for allowing us to share their stories. Please note that all monies are written as GBP regardless of where clients are resident, and that “Ireland” can refer to Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland.
Volunteer counsellor sought
ASN’s phone volunteers spend their days responding to calls and emails from women, couples and families in incredibly desperate circumstances. They are the life blood of our organisation and we are looking for more ways to support them. If you have experience as a counsellor, social worker, psychiatrist, psychologist or other support worker and are interested in providing a bit of support to our team, please contact us
Seeking hosts in Liverpool and Manchester
Do you have a spare room, pull out sofa, or air mattress and the desire to help a woman in need? ASN is seeking a few additional hosts near the bpas Liverpool clinic, the South Manchester Private Clinic, and the MSI Manchester Clinic. You won’t be called to host often but when you are, you will know you are having a direct impact on a woman’s life. We ask that hosts live within a 30 minute commute of the clinic (public transport fine). If interested, please get in touch.

Thank you again for all your support. Without you, we wouldn’t have been able to provide financial assistance, accommodation and confidential, non-judgemental information to the many women who have contacted us for support.

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hawkeye got deafened

I found out last year that Hawkeye, yes, him of the Avengers fame, was once deafened in comic, and learnt American Sign Language (ASL).  A friend gave me copies of Hawkeye 4 and Avengers 239 to read, as those covered his new found deafness.

Hawkeye 4 is where he goes deaf, after Mockingbird and himself have been captured by a dude called Crossfire who comes up with this frankly batshit crazy plan:

Hawkeye escapes Crossfire's clutches by putting a hypersonic arrow head in his mouth to block the awful ultrasonic sound Crossfire is blaring out at his victims.  This noise is making Hawkeye and Mockingbird fight each other TO THE DEATH!!  It's very dramatic.  The hypsersonic arrowhead vibrates through Hawkeye's skull and counteracts Crossfire's noise assault.  But leaves Clint deafened.

He doesn't want anyone to know he can't hear, and tries to hide it:

Poor Hawkguy.  But never fear! Mockingbird knows something is up and demands he explain himself.  Then they get married.  After knowing each other for all of a week. Uh-huh.

Anyway, I thought this was a good depiction of communication problems.

Then we get Avengers 239.

Yeaahhhhh... this is going to be weird..

So, active and reserve Avengers get invited onto the Letterman show.  Clint's deafness happened fairly recently and we get a look at his coping strategies:

He gets the question sheet before the show so he can prep his answers and give them as requested.  However, it doesn't quite go smoothly:

Beast announces he is forming a new Avengers team and so Letterman's first question is about this.  But Clint doesn't see that the question is different and plows on ahead with his prepared answer.  And does the same with the next (incorrect) question.  Poor guy.  I can only hope that he didn't feel stupid after this.  I think he dealt with it quite well and pulled it off.

Upon reading this the first time, I'm ashamed to say I did wonder why he didn't lipread the different question and adjust his answer.  Upon engaging my brain I figured that Clint is newly deaf, there is no reason to assume he can lipread and he was probably quite nervous and a bit stressed about this interview.  He was concerned enough to prep for the questions and set up a scenario where he could manage the conversation without revealing his deafness.  Even if he did lipread Letterman and realise that the question had changed, what was he meant to do?  He wouldn't know what Beast had said - he wasn't facing him as he spoke.  He couldn't have asked Letterman to repeat himself and he probably wouldn't want to wing it.  Nah, I think he did the best he could.

After I read these issues I read Dan Slott's She-Hulk, where Hawkeye's deafness was referenced in She-Hulk 2.
Jennifer Walters is working as a lawyer and due to the high profile nature of this particular case the jurors have been pulled from the past, a year ago.  One of the jurors is Clint Barton, who died a few months after the point in time he was pulled from.  Jen wants to save her friend but cannot just tell him because she cannot let on that she knows him - jurors are meant to be impartial.  So, she tries to warn him.  In the most stupid way possible:

1) You cannot speak one sentence in English and simutaeneously sign a completely different sentence in ASL. You can't even do the same sentence in English and ASL at the same time, as you'll either screw up the English or the ASL.  They don't operate the same.
2) Why on earth does Jen assume that no one else in the courtroom knows ASL.
3) Why isn't she concerned about anyone asking her why is doing these strange hand movements?  Won't the judge hold her in contempt of court?  Because she sure looks like she's taking the piss.
4) Clint clearly has no idea what she's doing. 

Jen, I get you're desperate.  I get you miss your friend.  But please, don't ever do that again, it's embarassing!

If you want more deaf Hawkguy, Hawkeye 19 is a speical ASL issue.  Hopefully it will be out in JUne, but given the recent delays it could be out much later. Who knows.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Just testing that this will post to twitter (which is @sarangacomics by the way)

I had set this up months and months ago but I think I probably revoked access at some point, by accident. Oops. 

Coming out in comics - Psylocke

I recently read Uncanny X-Force v3, issue 7.  I have no idea how I got hold of this or why I was tempted to read it, but I'm glad I did.

The premise is that Psylocke is living with a guy named Fantomex, who was recently split into 3 different bodies through a cloning process I think.  We now have Fantomex, Weapon XIII and Cluster (the only female clone) - each version got different parts of the original Fantomex's personality.  Psylocke was in a relationship with Fantomex before he got split into 3, and she continued her relationship with this Fantomex's body, believing him to be the same personality as he was before the split.

However, it turns out this Fantomex is a bit of a dick, which leads to these 2 scenes from issue 7:

I have no idea what Psylocke regards her sexuality as.  I have no idea if she has had relationships with women before.  What I like about these pages is that once she realises which personality she loves, she doesn't hesitate to act on her feelings.  There are no negative thoughts around Cluster being female, it's just Psylocke and Cluster, acting on their feelings.  They love each other, they've realised and acknowledged it, that's all there is to it.  Beautiful.

Friday, January 24, 2014

I'm selling comics

It's clear out time again.  Here is a link to what I'm selling on ebay.

Included are:
Animal Man - born to be wild.  This followed Grant Morrison's run and continued the weirdness.  It's good, but I have it digitally so can afford to be rid of the hardcopy.
The Books of Magic - Vol 1, 2, 4, 6 and 7.  These are great, particularly volume 1, but I think I've only read them twice in the 10 years I've had them.  Review of volume 1 here.
Zatanna's search - This introduced Zee into the DC Universe. Silver aged fun.
JLA - the greatest stories ever told.  A decent enough retrospective, but not for me.
JLA - the hypothetical woman.  By Gail Simone.  Very Simoney.  Pity I'm not a great fan of hers.
Promethea volume 1 - absolutely gorgeous artwork (see here) but ultimately I don't re-read it enough to justify keeping it.  I kept it for sentimental reasons - one of the first trades I ever bought and it blew my mind.
Conan vol 1 and vol 3 - really, really good adaptations of the Conan stories.  Sexy and adventurous and full of barbarians!  See my review here.
Put the book back on the shelf - an anthology of stories inspired by Belle and Sebastian. Heaven knows why I bought this, I don't even like Belle and Sebastian that much.
Red Skull incarnate - I bought this to match Magneto - Testament. It's OK, but not as powerful.
Daredevil: Redemption - I think this is about rednecks in an American town. I could be wrong.  Been years since I read it.
Daredevil: Wake Up. Now this is beautiful. It's drawn by David Mack and it breaks my heart to read it.  So I haven't read it many times.  Review is here.
JLA: Riddle of the beast. Elseworld's tale, gorgeous gorgeous artwork. Review here.
Superman: Daily Planet. I honestly don't remember much about this book.  I think it's set around the DP staff, not Supes himself.  Jimmy Olsen is in it a lot (I think).  I don't like Olsen.  That's why I'm getting rid of it.
Captain Britain and MI:13 - Secret Invasion.  This surprised me, I never thought I could like a character called Captain Britain, but Paul Cornell writes this and it's really darn enjoyable.
Thor vol 1 by Straczynski - this had high praise in reviews but didn't do much for me.  People who are more marvelites than I would get more out of it.

Please consider bidding and or sharing this sale. Ask me questions here or via ebay. It's the boyfriend's ebay account so mention this blog and he'll know I sent you.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Aquaman costume - progress!

It begins!!

Sexy, yeah?

It's the start of my Aquaman costume.  This version:
I bought the knitted beard last year and I found the wig on ebay (with help from Jennie of Fancy Dresscapades - she gave me advice on buying wigs and found the wig for me on ebay, thanks Jennie!).

I'm going to buy a fake pirates hook this evening then will try and customise it to make it as close to the proper shape as possible.  I don't know how well this work.

I was going to try and make the costume, but I didn't want the stress of coming up with something presentable.  Instead I am commissioning the trousers and top from Too Many Heroes (facebook and twitter).  I've seen photos of some of their other work and very impressed with it.  So far they've been great to work with and I'm really looking forward to the finished product.

I'm going to make the 'A' belt buckle.  I've not decided what material I'll use yet.

As for shoes, the trousers will end at the ankle so I'll probably just wear sandals.  I don't really want to fork out for new shoes for one day, and I can't think what would best go with the costume.  So plain sandals it is.

Re the wig, I'm not entirely sure the wig is the right size, it may be a little small.  I've only tried it on a couple of times and it's possible that I'm just not used to wearing wigs (I've never had one before) but it doesn't feel very secure.  I also feel like a bit of charlie in it.  I'm planning the costume for London Super Comic Con in March, and I'll be going with friends who won't be dressed up, so I don't want to feel stupid.  I may just wear the beard instead.  Yes, I realise the beard is silly too, but it's meant to be silly. I don't want to be a deadly serious con goer.  I like dressing up in silly costumes and having a fun day out, that's it.

In good news, Peter David, who wrote this incarnation of Aquaman, will be at the con, so I'm really excited to go meet him, in my full get up.  It will be the first time I'll have met a creator while dressed as one of their creations, so I'm hoping he'll like what I've done.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Supergirl fan film

There's a Supergirl fan film on youtube

It's not very good..
I'll ignore the bad acting, they are amateurs, but what I don't like is Kara beating up humans.  I mean, I assume they are humans, there's nothing to tell me otherwise.  And Jay Garrick is in it.  And he's young, like in his 20s.  And Kara agrees to the government mission because she's got the hots for him.

That's not a universe I'm interested in, sorry.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Chat Roulette Wrecking Ball and more!

So I posted the official Wrecking Ball song a couple of days ago.  I was then pointed to this Chat Roulette version of it.  You really should watch it.  SallyP, I know you don't want to see Cyrus' version of it, but I think you'll get a kick out of this:

It's not really safe for work.  Neither is his version of Call Me Maybe, which I can also highly recommend:

I have no idea how Chat Roulette works, I don't really want to know, but these videos are inspired.

Happy new year everyone!