Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Roman Polanski case

There are some excellent articles in the blogosphere about this, dealing with the bullshit media reaction to the case.  I highly recommend you read them.
[UPDATE: also check this one out from Feminzary)

Making critically acclaimed films is not a pass to raping 13 year old girls.  Claiming she consented is pure crap.  a) if you read her testimony it is clear she said no.  b) at age 13 she is legally unable to consent.  Ergo, rape.

What the fuck is wrong with people?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Catching up on reviews - another Super edition (plus some Buffy)

Spoilers ahoy for Superman /691, Superman: World of New Krypton /7, Supergirl Annual  /1 and Buffy /28

Superman /691
Ugly, ugly cover.  Renato Guedes art is wonderful as ever, and the new artist on the last few pages didn't detract.  However, this whole Codename: Patriot/Hunt for Reactron crossover has left me cold, and as I sit to write this review, approx 3 weeks after the book came out, I am struggling to rememebr much of what happened. That ain't no good.
A quick flick through it shows magic lady impersonating Kara, Supes fighting Ral Dar, General lane unleashing a green K torrent on Superman and Ral-dar - this si actually a really impressive 2 pages - and Ral-Dar being killed by the green K.
The last double page spread revelas magic lady's world and it's glorious.  I love the dragons, the flying squid  beasties, the colours, the busyness, the clothes, the buildings, the animals, the people and the monsters.

But I'm still considering dropping the title.  It's not been consistently good since Superman buggered off.  I buy comics based on characters, and Mon-El isn't interesting enough to me.  We'll see if I stay on board during the Hunt for Reactron story.

(Update - I dropped the title.)

Superman: World of New Krypton /7
Ahh, much better.  Well, the Christopher Reeve inspired cover is kind of terrifying, and the Superman movie references are getting commoner by the day, but that's not a bad thing.
Again, given that this comic is 2 weeks old now I'm havignt rouble recalling the detaisl, BUT, it is giving me a warm fuzzy feeling that Superman 691 didn't.
Flicking through it, I see Zod is brought out of stasis and Kal is a dick to the Labour Guild mate he has.  Not without justification, some might say, but a dick nonetheless.
The Kryptonians are dragging one of Saturn/Jupiter's moons to be a moon for New Krypton.
What. the. fuck.
That's no better than Kara pushing the earth out of orbit in the silver age.
But, we end up with a moon out of control and heading straight for New Krypton!  Which is a great bit of comic action.

Supergirl Annual  /1
There's 2 stories in here, one is a day in the life type thing where Kara tried to prevent bloodshed at a crime scene in a bank, and one where we see Superwoman's origin story. The penciller is Fernando Oagnino and I'm not too convinced about him.  He makes Kara look a bit like a blow up doll with a high forhead.  Not my style.  The story in itself is quite good, although the Kryptonians in hiding, or at least the mother, is pretty unreasonable.
Superwoman's origin was a welcome addition.  It's good to see how Lucy Lane became the person she is.  This is one I think I will return to in future.

Ahh it's Andrew doing a documentary again!  There's little scribbles and his narration and it's very cool.  Buffy breaks down and tells Willow that she killed her in the future and Willow is surprisingly blase about it.
Also, Dawn and Xander get it on.  I have no idea how I feel about this.  What are other Buffy fans' views on it?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What would YOU do with a giant pumpkin?

It's pumpkin time.  My dad and sister visited me this weekend and brought with them an enormous pumpkin.  I have two options.  Carve out the insides and try to make something with it, I have plenty of recipes so that shouldn't be a problem,or carve out the insides AND carve a face in it.
I am asking for all of yous' input.  I have carved a pumpkin once, a good ten years ago, and I sucked at it.  I don't think I'll be able to carve anything like these delights but I'd like to not completely hack it up into unrecognisability.

What have you all done with pumpkins before?  Made exciting faces?  Smashed it on the floor in frustration? Got any tips for the aspiring pumpkin designer?  Or have you got a particularly good recipe you'd like to share?
I'm guessing that the American contingent could come up trumps as Halloween and it's assorted activites seems to be so much bigger over there.  We don't do much in the UK, which is a massive shame.  Tell me your pumpkin stories.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Catching up on reviews - the team edition

Spoilers ahoy for Justice League Cry for justice /3, Red Robin /4, Blackest Night /2, Blackest Night: Green Lantern Corps/40
Justice League Cry for Justice /3
Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Ha ha ha ha!

Red Robin /4
Another split time issue.  Dick turns up to confront Tim and Tim gets in the with the League of Assassins.  They bail him out of a potentially bad situation and he looks oh so damn cute.
Tim pulls a kung fu move on Dick that I found particularly enjoyable - maybe I've been reading Kalinara's blog too long - and Tim finds a clue to where Bruce has gone.  I liked that scene a lot.

Overall this gets a thumbs up.

Blackest Night Batman /2
This is a stonking comic book cover:

They are practcially foaming at the mouth.  And it's chanelling the spirit of Ash in the Evil Dead movies.
Inside, the Bat guys use flame throwers on the revenants.  Could you ask for anything more?

Oh, you could?  Well how about Damian being a brat and Dick putting him in line, some bonding time betwen Babs and her dad whilst dodging revenants,  Babs kicking dead arse (while posessed by Deadman), and Tim turning up in a big plane to save the other 2.  Oh and magentic signature harnesses. And dead parents coming back to torture our beloved heroes.

Made of absolute win.

Blackest Night: Green Lantern Corps /40
Not as good as the rest of the issues so far, but not bad nonetheless.  Arisia and her dad worked well after her adventures in Tales of the Corps.  I do like how the black rings see the other emotions as colour in the folks they are about to kiill.  Kyle and Jade get dirty and the Star Sapphires show compassion to a yellow lantern.  Guy fights off a teeny tiny fly black lantern then gets his leg skewered by a horned dude.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fancy dress Supergirl action

Remember how a while ago I went as Supergirl to a fancy dress party?  Well, I had another one to go last week and it was short notice so I again opted for my Kara costume, with a few tweaks.  This time I wore jeans, to a) make it different to the first outfit, and b) because I didn't think I'd get in my skirt.  I also changed the gold bangles, wore a Bat belt buckle (because a friend gave it me and I hadn't worn it out yet, plus I thought it would be a good homage to the Kara/Babs relationship), and put a yellow scarf round the belt.  That looked rather shit actually but I didn't have time to find a yellow belt.   I wore the same red shoes and socks (under the jeans) as previously.  Anyway I have 2 photos of me in it which I have decided to post as you can't really see my face much:


You can just see the Bat belt buckle there.  I have noticed that it is true, I do have very stumpy hands.  How shameful.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wonder Woman to be renumbered?

I know I'm late with this, but give me a break I've been on holiday.

The DC comics editorial of 2 Thursdays ago has given us an option to get Wonder Woman renumbered to 600, at volume 3's 45.  Dan Didio has stated that if he gets 600 postcards requesting the series be renumbered, then he will re number it.  Approx sales figures for July give WW 34 as selling 30,131 issues. So it would seem that getting 600 people to write in should be easy.

As Didio states, there are 2 points of view on this.  One says keep the numbering low to keep the series more accessible to new readers, one says renumber it to show the characters history and legacy and put her on a par with Batmand and Superman.

Personally I don't much are either way, although I am inclined to think that the numbering is less relevant in terms of attracting new readers, and the best way to get people on board is to publicise new story arcs or trade collections.

What I do like about this is the way that the industry involves fans.  Fans got to choose if Jason Todd lived or died.  Fan pressure brought Steph back.  Fans can engage with and influence stories.  That's the advantage of having long running characters.

I will send in a postcard requesting that she be renumbered, because I like that we can have influence.

What do you all think?  For the re-numbering?  Against it? Why do you feel the way you do?

As a slightly tangential bonus, have some pictures of the Acropolis in Lindos.  It used to be dedicated to Athena.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Guy Gardner: Warrior remaining reviews

In my last post I forgot to mention how the art changed.  The art teams appear to change quite a lot over the selection fo issues I've got, but it's most noticeable between issues 4 and 23 when the whole creative team has changed.  As I said, issues 1,2 and 4 read like a parody of macho beat 'em up tough guys.  It looks like it's poking fun at a lot of the 'typical' fans, judging by the quality of writing in the letter pages.  Although the book does indulge in big fights (it is a superhero comic after all) and Guy does like getting his fists dirty, there is an element of subtle parody involved.  It's mocking itself and the general culture.

Well, the art in these first issues perfectly complements that, Guy is drawn to resemble a dumb bucktoothed redneck at times, but then again so it everyone.  It works really well.  By issue 23 the art is more standard and has big hulking male superheroes and nekkid ladies.  I could get riled up about this, but the cover to 23 looks like an Indiana Jones piss take, and this is a theme that is continued within the comic (dinosaurs, nazis, secret magic pools and a tribe of jungle ladies).  Although later issues aren't always such a direct homage to anything in particular, I think that this prevents it from becoming a simple hur-hur-fights-and-hot-ladies type of comic.

The whole thing appears quite self aware, but I think you need a knowledge of Guy's place in comic history and of comics themselves to appreciate this.  I don't think a new reader would view it this way, I imagine they might dismiss it as exactly the sort of bollocks popular thought portrays comics as - testosterone heavy, sexed up fantasies for teenage boys.  I don't think that's the case.

What do other GL fans think?

But on to later issues.
Number 26:  We open with an attack on the President then jump to Guy's shocked reaction when he's handed the keys to the Warriors bar.  He doesn't know what to think about it so Buck and him make a bet on a card game to decide if she keep it or not.
Veronna is back and bows before Guy proclaiming that she is here to protect him and fulfill all his earthly desires.  She gets a more rounded character later on, don't worry.  Guy, to his credit, doesn't jump into bed with her.  So, not such a jerk after all.  Not that if he did he would be taking advantage of her, she's more than capable of looking after herself and making her own decisions.  She's not been pushed into the role of protector.  However, if he did decide to take up her offer of sex then he'd be guilty of treating her disposably and I don't think that's in character for him.  Sure he is a jerk and he talks badly about women but from what i've read I get the impression he basically respects them (as much as he does men anyway), and his manner of langauge is all bluster and bravado. I think he's basically old fashioned when it comes to sex - sure he'll have sex quickly but it won't be with complete strangers.  Or si this just since the death of Ice?  What do other Guy fans think?  Do I need to read more?

Guy et al notice the problems with the President and go rescue him.  Guy is still getting used to his Warrior/Vuldarian powers. He defeats Black snake, the dude going after the President, and nearly loses complete control over his powers which freaks him out a little.

Number 27:  We open with Guy fighting a coupla bad dudes, Supes saying 'that Guy, what a hero!', Bats wishing he was as smart as Guy and Wondy wanting to get in his pants.  Methinks something strange may be happening.  Turns out he's daydreaming whilst getting awarded a medal for saving the President last issue.
After this, Supes (for real this time) arrives to congratulate Guy and then follows some quick exposition and male bonding.
Guy's thoughts return to his missing brother, mace.  Mace's body was stolen at the end of issue 25.
Steel then arrives and they have a more respectful, level conversation than Supes and Guy did.  I get the feeling that they regard each other as equals whereas Guy knows that Kal majorly outranks him in he superhero stakes.
A bad guy called Sledge turns up, Guy makes a fart joke and Sledge starts destroying things.  He's a simple one, this one.
Cut to a subterranean view and a military faction are discussing Sledge, revealing that he 'is an old prototype predating militia'.  they need to get him back.
Back to the surface, the fight continues.  Sledge is defeated and the military folks turn up and take him back.
Cut to outer space and some aliens not previously seen (by me at least) comment on a Vuldarian presence.  Cue ominous sounds and planning.
Cut back to earth.  Guy is visiting his mum for Christmas, when he opens the door he sees Major Force sitting in his kitchen commenting on the tiny fridge.  Oh noes, thinks I.  A crappy shoehorned in reference to Kyle's experience of fridging.

Number 28: Guy starts hitting Mr Force.  Mr Force makes teasing comments about his mum being on ice.
In outer space the aliens from last issue are destroying Khunds.
Back on earth, some veiny dude is eating humans.
Back to Guy, him and Major Force ares till fighting. Kyle then turns up and saves Guy from being smooshed by a truck.  They sort of defeat Major Force (working for Quorum) but then Force decides to leave of his own accord.
Kyle and Guy start chatting, and oh phew, the fridge situation is not a shoehorned in reference to Kyle's dead girlfriend, this issue obviously takes place just after Alex has been killed.  That's ok then.  Kyle rings them back to the apartment and it turns out the house sitter is in the fridge, not Guy's mum.  Kyle meanwhile wobbles and nearly collapses due to the horror of everything.  Guy doesn't seem too angry about the house sitter being dead.
Guy receives a mysterious phone call from a militia lady who tells them where Force is.  Kyle rings them there and he starts breaking Major Force.
The story arc is continued in GL, which I don't have.

Number 29:  The opening of Warriors bar!  Great cover - I have this alternative edition.  Guy is workign behidnthe bar, upes is orderign and Lobo is cracking onto Artemis!Wonder Woman.

Inside we open with Darkseid pondering as to why there is a large gathering of heroes with no battel commencing.  Desaad reckons there is a conspiracy occurring.  Apokolips must be a lonely place with no bars.  Does this mean there are no beers there also?
Next we see the actual opening - lots of heroes gathering and Guy getting nervy about his tie.  A moustachiod Superman impostor tries to get in and is thrown out by the real version.  Lady Blackhawk arrives!! Shes' a refugee from Zero Hour and this is how she got into our current time. She sees and catches up with Wildcat.  Aquaman and Dolphin are there, Arthur is gnarley because no one is mentioning his lack of a hand.  Lots of women on hitting on Man Tiger and complimenting his silky fur.  Arisia and Kyle discuss Hal's death.

Captain Atom turns up.  This leads to a fight as Guy is still sore about the Captain not telling him about Ice's death.  Fair enough.  Then Lobo turns up and starts on Guy. Meanwhile in Blackgate prison, a demon wishes to feast on the terror.
We close with screams coming from Guy's room.

There's a lot going on in this issue, both in the fore and background.  A lot of running gags and a lot of building on past events.  Very good.

Number 38: We open with folks discussing the events of what I presume are the last few issues.  Guy arrives completely knackered and with long hair and beard.  He is diagnosed with super human exhaustion and ordered to rest.  Then he gets a haircut and we see a variety of different styles, including 70s porn star and a Wolverien esque approach.  A lady with what i'm guessing are pheromone powers turns up and all the men fall in love.  Guy and her then leave in a chauffeur driven car.
Meanwhile, Arisia (with a horrible 90s outfit), Veronna and Man-Tiger are in the sewers. They fight the evil white guy and try to rescue the humans.  Arisia has a voice activated gun, that can shoot backwards.  Sge's right, it is cool.  Man-Tiger, or Desmond, adopts his black tiger guise and goes apeshit crazy.

Number 39:  we open with Guy being teased about his one nigh stand with Fire.  I'm presuming at this moment it is a one night stand.
Then his mum turns up.  She's how you'd imagine - big, loud, unapologetic and demanding.  I like her!
Then we cut to Grodd who sends his robot monkey minions to warriors bar to nick stuff.  Then gang go after them and we get a giant robot monkey fight.  Veronna and Guy manage to stave off Grodd's mental mind attack.  Grodd gets away and leaves an explosive robot ape behind, which Guy then hurls after his ship to explode on impact.

Number 41:  A story told in two halves - the top and bottom half of each page.  The top one is the real story and the bottom one is a cartoony, kinda subversive saccharine version of the story.  I say subversive because it appears to be all sweet, lightness an suitable for children, but is still violent and sweary.
Quorum turn up and start a fight.  Fire arrives and her and Guy get some quality chat time and think about a date.
I won't reveal the reason for the double story, but it's good.

Overall, I've really enjoyed these issues.  In some places they are very clever (issue 41) and all are more than the obvious boneheaded Guy smash! type thing that you might expect.  The plots are weaved tightly together, there's a lot of humour, a lot of background stuff going on and good character development throughout.  Oveall, a good example of what the comic genre can do.  I will definitley be picking up the remaining issues at the shop.  I just hope they've got number 42, Gal Gardener in on Thursday.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I've looted the back issue box to finds all kinds of Guy Gardner related goodness

For some reason I've only recently had a poke through my store's back issue boxes.  When I did, Lo and behold, what did I find, but Guy Gardner's very own series, *swoon*. So I've been buying the issues up.  I also discovered they had a lot of Impulse stuff to, so that's also on the must be purchased list .  Each issue is only about a quid so I can usually afford 4 or 5 each week, on top of my normal purchases.  Hoorah!
So, in time honoured tradition lets have a quick look at each of the issues I have thus far...

Number 1:  La first issue.  Guy has a the yellow ring.  I don't know why or how as I haven't got that far with the Green Lantern titles yet, but it doesn't really matter.  Anyway, Guy is smashing up a vice house in his own 'war on scum'.  It's all very macho.  At this stage he still has the bowl cut.  Superman turns up and berate shim for putting the JLa in a dodgy position.  Ice arrives, Guy is a massive jerk, really cruel.  I know it's cos he loves Ice who at this stage had a swoon on for Supes, but he speaks to her really badly.
A gentleman named Bucky Sharp arrives and offers to manager Guy, change his image, and make him rich.
Hal goes to the Guardians and request that Kilowog be sent to earth to reason with Guy,
Meanwhile, cut back to earth, Guy is living with General Glory (I love their relationship) when 3 aliens, Thoom, Boom and Buk-sp turn up to up to start on Guy.  The issue ends with  Guy's ring runnign outta juice and him unable to recharge it.
A good opening issue.  It sets the scene, introduces a supporting cast and you get to know the personalities and the motivations of the main folks.

Number 2: The opening page shows Thoom and Boom hitting each other (they're not so bright), the third alien cursing them, and Guy running away.  He decides to combat them using the power of the buildings around him, and his own brains and fists.  This could go badly.  Ahh, no, wait, Guy steals a bus and tries to run the aliens over.  Unfortunately they are less prone to moving than the bus.
Kilowog eventually finds Guy and informs him that the Guardians want his ring.  Thsi doens't go down too well and it seems that guy may cry.  Kilowog then leaves without the ring, because he's a good 'un, and Guy's ring fires up again.  I don't know why as my run is not complete.
Lastly, Guy is abducted by the Palindrordnilap (see what they did there?) and agrees to work for them.

Number 3: Bucky Sharp is doing well cos Guy is now parading around in furs with hot rich women on his arm.  Plua he has fans yelling that guy is thier hee-ro!  He is now a proffessional hero, paid by the Palindrordnilap and ahs moved outof the place he shared with general Glory.
There is also a stupid assasin and an encounter with Ice.  Guy remains an asshat.

These early issues have very 90s art and are in some ways played for laughs, but in some ways are serious, I think.  they remind me of that story in the Preacher Ancient History trade - the one about Jody and TC which is basically a parody of 80s action movies.  Whatever the writers and artists were going for, it's all good stuff.

Number 23:  By this point Guy has a new bunch of sidekicks (Bucky Warrgo, Man-Tiger, a lady possibly named Esperanza) and I believe he has also discovered his Vuldarian ancestry.  We open in a fight scene featuring Nazis.  This continues.  Esperanza lady glows red and displays super powers and one of the bad guys, (no longer Nazis, now a fez wearing fanatic) turns into a snake.
The warrior women of Nabba turn up - Esperanza may or may not be one of them, either way, we meet Veronna, their scantily clad leader.  She hangs around for at least another 15 or so issues.  The shape shifting evil Peruvians (?) are defeated and the warrior women of Nabba are proclaiming Guy to be 'Warrior'.  But he's already wearing the W t-shirt....
Nazis and nazi dinosaurs turns up again...
Guy is dunked in the magic waters and turned into the Warrior, for real.  I no longer think Veronna and Esperanza are the same person.

I think we can safely say this makes no sense to me, as I haven't read the preceding issues.  On the plus side, it does do well at setting up the stories for later issues.

Number 24: A zero hour tie in.  No idea what's going as I know zilch about Zero Hour.  The only thing of import in this is Lady Blackhawk.

Number 25:  A double sized issue.  Ice is now dead and Guy mourns her by travelling to her family's place and fighting his way in.  He's so macho.  Jesting aside, these scenes are wodnerful, Guy is truly devastated at her death and furious at the other leaguers for not telling him.  Tora's mother turns up and greets and welcomes Guy.  It appears Tora taught him fluent Norse.
Most of the rest of the issue is taken up with Guy fighting the Dementor who has his brother and ladyfriend in a coma and is threatening to destroy them.  This is the same demon that haunted Guy when he was in a coma, I think.
The issue ends with the sidekicks in the new warriors premises and Arisia working for Guy as a waitress.

There are extra snippety bits at the back of the issue, a page called 'comics colouring demystified' and various Guy/Guy and Ice (by Adam Hughes)/Guy vs bad guys (including Hal) posters.  I'd say it's nearly worth getting for the Adam Hughes art alone.

Numbers 26, 27, 28, 29, 38, 40 and 41 coming up later.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Off on me summer holidays

Back in a week.  Write me interesting things while I'm away!

And holy crap, I know where the new Batgirl artist lives!  As in, I've been to Totnes, I've got friends living in Devon, and blimey o reilly there's an artist I know and like living in the UK.  I didn't think that ever happened!
(I don't know where he actually lives, I'm not a stalker)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Buffy Omnibus volume 2 review

Writers: various
Artists: Various
Set pre season1 to season 3
Awesome mixed with downright misogynistic

This started really well.  Two of the stories feature Dawn, which is a nice touch.  The first one is fabulous, 7 pages long, and I'm, wrestling with whether it's ethical to post all of it.  It's a good ad for the book, it might convince some people to buy the book, but is it right for me to post all of it? How about some of it?  What do any industry professional types think?

The second story is about Buffy's folks divorcing and the 3 women moving to Sunnydale.  Angel is a creepy stalker (perfectly in character then) and attempts to draw off Buffy's pain into himself in soem sort of secretive romantic gesture, (seriously, wtf?) but manages to conjure up demons instead.  It's a good way of seeing how Buffy, Dawn, Joyce at all coped at this time.  The art's not bad and there's some lovely painted scenes.

Next story features Buffy being tested (again).  It's just good fun and she turns the tables on Giles at the end.

Next features evil Angel summoning a Kelgore - I was reminded of the Kilgore (spelling incorrect I know) from the early issues of Wally West's run of the Flash - Kendra turns up and Giles deals with Jenny's death.  S'okay.

Next one is a Spike and Dru story, horrible art but at least the characters are recognisable, so my beef is just that it's not to my taste.  Not bad art per se.  Not like volume 3.  This showcases how fucked up Spike and Dru are, how obsessed they are, how they're not human, how they are in fact evil, something I tend to forget sometimes.  I always think it's good writing when we see aspects of personality that flesh out the characters, give us a reason for believing they are evil.  All too often we are told some dude is evil but there's actually no evidence for it.

The last story, well it's just dire really.  The art is foul (like Volume 3's art) and it ends up incredibly misogynistic.  Not what I expected from a Buffy comic.  It features Lilith as the mother of all the demon spawn.

A little background - Lilith is supposedly the first wife of Adam.  She may have been created from filth and sediment, not dust as Adam was.  There are lots of stories about her, one is that she was thrown out of Eden for not obeying Adam.  Another is that she bore Adam lots of demon children.  Some say that when she left Eden she then slept with the demons on the shores of the world and birthed their children.  Others say that she murdered children to get her revenge - either for being thrown out of Eden or for being forced to return.

There are more, and combinations of the above.  Google Lilith, and Lilth demon, and Lilith vampire and see what you find.

Anyway, I find the stories about Lilith quite misogynistic, given that quite a few start with her being punished for disobeying Adam (the shame!) and others seek to show her evilness by talking about how she likes having sex (women, know your place and curb your desires!).  Mind you, I also find Eve's story misogynistic (the evil in the world is all down to women), which probably tells you why I'm not Christian.  That kind of shit hasn't come from the Gods, it's come from old men many years ago trying to form some semblance of control over their lives.

I digress.

For a Buffy comic to feature Lilith, when Buffy is generally considered to have some feminist sensibilities, I'm quite offended.  Especially when she is literally the mother of all vampires in the story.  And yes yes I know, the writers were drawing on current vampire legends, like they did with Dracula, they didn't invent it out of thin air, they're just drawing on mythological sources, yadda yadda yadda.  Doesn't mean they had to include it.  Certainly doesn't mean that had to put her in something slashed to the thigh that is comparable, bust wise to this Arisia costume, but in blue and spikier around the boob bits.  I mean, what the hell?  Since when has the buffyverse had superhero costumes?  God, this would be crappy even in a superhero world, but in Buffyland, people and demons dress normally.

Jesus, this story sucked.  If this wasn't so bad I'd reccomend buying this volume, but it's just crappy and means the 18 quid price tag is relay not justified.  I'd buy the volume if it were 12 pounds, because the rest of the stories are worth it. But The Dust waltz juts ruins it for me.  God bless the library for letting me try it out for free.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Coming out in comics 4: Rampage

Note: this series is being expanded to cover all scenes featuring gay, lesbian or bisexual characters.  It doesn't have to involve the character formally coming out, but will probably go for the earliest instances of their sexuality being made evident.  Even if I have to extrapolate from the text or consider subtext.

OK, this one isn't explicit but when I first read it I thought it was obvious the character was gay. On my second reading it didn't seem quite so cut and dried, so maybe I'm projecting. See what you think.

The scenes in question come from the Peter David* Supergirl run, specifically, from the first trade. Kitty Faulkner - alter ego Rampage - is a scientist who has been framed for thieving money. She has been framed by her assistant, Christine. These next few scans show Kitty finding out what Christine has done, changing to Rampage and then attacking Christine.

So, nothing explicit there, but Kitty's words, her facial expressions and her reaction indicate to me that there is something else there. The backstory I've invented is that Kitty and Christine were working closely together, Kitty started falling for Christine and they went on a few dates. Kitty's feelings were real, Christine's feelings weren't and she was using and exploiting Kitty in order to steal the money. They are in the early stages of a relationship, they've probably slept together a few times and Kitty thinks it's serious. Kitty is definitely gay and Christine probably is.

Whaddya all reckon? Gay or straight?

*Yes, I am aware that Peter David is a bit of a prick. But I've decided I can't ignore all his work forever, and I do rather like some of it. So as long as you keep in mind that he thinks America has no racism because Obama is President, I think we'll be on the same wavelength.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Buffy Omnibus 7 review

Writers and artists – various

This was everything volume 3 wasn’t. :-)
Lots of different artists, but all good. All caught at least some of the nuances of the actors, and the characters were recognisable 90-95% of the time.

This volume is set in season 5/6 after Joyce has died. The first story is titled Night of a Thousand Vampires – you can guess the gist of it, but the interesting part if the familial relationship aspects of it. We also have stories about jealousy, with Tara being rather demanding, for once, not sure I like that aspect of her, but there we go. There’s some really great examples of comic layout in this story – I can’t provide a scan or I’ll spoil it. Spike is very human in this story.

Then we have a time travel story, with the redneck cowboys, vampire scoobys and the creepy puppet. They’re always fun. The whole redneck family is along for the ride this time.
The original slayer turns up a couple of times, her art is wonderful. Her first appearance opens a Dawn story occurring shortly after Buffy’s death. It looks at how she feels about her sister and the rest of the gang and highlights the crap method of dealing with Buffy’s death, that the others employ. Dawn recognises that Spike is the only one who’s pain is close to hers. There’s also a demon that looks peculiarly like the silver banshee from DC.

Let’s see what else – a Spike short dealing with his punk days, Willow and Tara take Dawn on trip to see the magical sites of the USA and while doing so meet some angry forest spirits, the group get inspired to fix up the Buffybot and Willow decides to bring Buffy back. Buffy heads off to see Angel and Xander, Anya and Dawn speculate on what they got to up to (not in a filthy way). Then we move on to the Buffy and Spike boinking/Xander and Anya planning a wedding stage. There are some beautiful bubble butterflys involved. Last story is with Pike, Faith, Angel, Cordy and an old villain.

The characterisation and dialogue is spot on. A lot of it was very touching. Some particular favourites relates to the stuff dealing with how the gang decided to bring Buffy back, how Spike is treated by the others, and how Buffy and Dawn interact with Spike. The stories compliment the TV shows and add something extra to the mythos, without detracting. What else could you ask for in a spin-off such as this?

There was nothing to fault with this volume, except maybe the price (£18/£19 – ouch), but I think I shall be purchasing it anyway. Definitely recommended.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Comix4Sight auction

Cross posted from Notorious Crackpot because i'm too hungover to formulate words.

During the madness that is San Diego ComicCon, Gail Simone approached Eric about creating an original illustration for the Comix4Sight auction benefiting comics writer John Ostrander. John has been battling glaucoma for years now. And s it says on the Comixs4sight website, if he loses the battle he loses his eyesight.

John has undergone surgery, and so far things seem to be going well. But the medical costs are quite high. Hence: the auction.

So Eric has illustrated a full splash page image of Supergirl from our Cosmic Adventures series.

This is now up on eBay, and the bidding his pushing the piece forward fast. To date, Eric has sold very little original art. This is an opportunity to own a a rare original image (not reproduced in print anywhere) and help a comics writer very much in need.

Even if this particular piece is out of your range, check the other items listed. There's a Tiny Titans original drawing by Franco Aureliani, a Daredevil study by Bruce Timm, original Mickey Mouse Sunday comics art by Jim Engel and much more. Apparently you can even be written into a comic by Ed Brubaker.

And if you don't want to
participate in the auction, you can also donate directly via the PayPal "Pay" link on the website sidebar.

And please: Spread the word!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Buffy Omnibus volume 3 review

Meant to post this a week ago, but forgot about it. Oops.

OK, I finished reading through omnibuses 3 and 7. Although I am still shocked and hurt that pumpkin pie is regularly made with filling from a tin, and that I have indeed eaten pie made with filling from a tin, I feel I am now getting over this. Onwards with the review for number 3.

Buffy Omnibus volume 3
Art and scripts by various.
Set In season 3.

There's 12 stories in this volume, all written so as not to interfere with TV canon. Buffy and the gang get up to a wide variety of stuff, such as ninja study, scooby kidnapping, thanksgiving shopping (pah!), killer ice demons, cursed dogs, girly sleepovers, boy-captivating demon women, demons trapped on celluloid and little troll doll type things that come to life.

The ice demon is good. He hawks up killer spit icicles at his enemies. That bit was very enjoyable.

The rest of it, not really. Let's see why -

The art is shit. Not only does 90% of it not remotely resemble the characters - I had to keep double checking back to see who was who - it's not even very nice art of other people. I expect this to be a representation of the actors, fine, but Oz is completely wrong, so wrong I didn't know it was him till someone called him by name. Cordelia and Willow are mostly distinguishable by the length of the Cordy's skirt.

Oz talks to much. He should be speaking for a sentence or two, concise and droll. Not uttering paragraphs at every turn.

Giles, well we know Giles has a fancy manner of speech, that's fine. But the thing is, he doesn't talk like that all the time. Sometimes he speaks normally. Try this:
'I should hope so, Willow. Magic is not a force to be taken lightly.'
'Indeed, yet I don't think I need to remind you that your spells have not always gone as planned. In spellcasting the tiniest mistake could lead to..'
I'm merely observing that perhaps it is time for me to do a bit of an audit , sit in on a few spells, perhaps offer suggestions.'
Over 12 issues it reads like a parody of Giles. Trust me. and then Ethan Rayne turns up, and oh my god it makes my head hurt.

The stories are dull.

In conclusion: rubbish, don't buy.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Inked - On Piercings

[Edit: Balls, I forgot to put in the links. Now done.]

I have a guest post up at Female Impersonator! Amelia has been doing a series of posts about women and tattoos and I asked if I could submit a piece. Amelia very graciously said yes and the finished deal is now up. My piece is about my piercings, what they mean to me and why I got them done. I will cross post the first few paragraphs all of it here:


I think I first fell in love with body piercings as a small child. I have a recollection of seeing a (possibly blue haired) mohawked manpunk with a lip hoop when I was just a young ‘un – as for my specific age I have no idea, but I’m guessing about 5 or 7. It left a major impression on me and at that moment I became determined that one day I would have that very same thing. As far as I was concerned that lip hoop was the height of beauty.

Fast forward until I’m 22 and by this stage I have had several piercings – 12 in my ear lobes and cartilage, both tragus, the top and bottom of my navel pierced, both nipples done, one nostril piercing, a vertical labret, my septum, and lastly my pride and joy – 2 surface piercings on my wrist.

Fast forward to the present and a lot of these have been retired, either due to difficulty healing or because I elected to work in an office. Let me tell you something about my piercings –>

They’re not about rebellion – I hate standing out, I hate having strangers comment on me and I hate my loved ones proclaiming them disgusting.
They’re not about attention seeking – Apart from my ears you’d never know what else I’ve got.
They’re not mutilation – an ugly sensational word. I have self harmed in the past and let me tell you my piercings have NOTHING in common with self harm or mutilation.

So why have I got them done? There’s my personal aesthetic. Quite simply, I think correctly done, well healed and well placed piercings are beautiful. I am very specific about exactly where the jewellery gets placed, and what jewellery I wear. They need to complement the curve of my face, my belly, sometimes be symmetrical, and otherwise fit in with my limbs and my body.

The other aspect about it is, I get to model and change my body. These little holes I plant, along key lines of my body make my body *mine*. I can sculpt and build my body into the shape that I want. I can position jewellery and holes to emphasise what I see as important. The two in my navel – it means my belly is no longer a big wobbly thing that I have no control over. I have made it mine. I have no interest in controlling my body through food – ignoring the fact that I like eating, it’s not precise enough and it’s not healthy. The piercings are (so long as you keep them clean). My lobes are each stretched to approx 5 mm. I love the fact that if I take the jewellery out I can see them through my ear lobes. I know that *I’ve* done this, *I* can effect change on myself.

This may come across as rather control freakish, but there’s also another aspect to it. When I have those little pieces of jewellery in, those holes in me, I feel complete. I feel like I have finally moved into myself. I removed my vertical labret about 6 years ago, after having had it for about 2 years, and I still catch myself feeling like I’m missing a vital part of myself, like I’m naked. My surface piercings on my wrist may have only lasted 3 to 6 months, but they brought me a great feeling of peace.

Have I experienced sexism in the industry? One time when I went into my piercers with a bag slung over my shoulder and the strap between my boobs the chief piercer/tattooist commented on the size of my boobs in a gruff and rather unfriendly way. That is the only instant of sexism I can recall, and funnily enough it didn’t stop me going back. Now it would. Now I would say something back. But my underconfident self thought nothing of it, the shame. This is a guy who pierces nipples, labia and clitoris’ (clitori?). Comments like that are just not on.

I don’t think I’ve ever experienced negative comments from strangers about my jewellery – not like when I’ve gone out without shaving my armpits, or had my belly hanging over my jeans, or dared to wear big pants under tight trousers, or tried to cover my chest with a coat because of lewd comments regarding the size of my chest. I have had a lot of negative comments from people who have got to know me, who then pronounce them disgusting and look sickened when I answer a question they themselves have asked me. Don’t think you’ll like the answer? Don’t ask the question. I have been wondering if this is somehow related to the phenomenon of women’s bodies generally being up for public ownership and discussion – I’ve come to the conclusion not, because the feelings I get from piercing related comments and generic abusive comments is very different. Maybe other readers can give their experiences on this?

Are my piercings feminist? Well, they make me happy. They were always done for me, not for anyone else. I worked hard to be able to afford and pay for each and every one, all by myself. If I didn’t have to work in an office I’d be getting my earl done and my labret replaced. So, while they don’t have an explicit feminist meaning, I think it’s enough that these little holes with their seemingly insignificant pieces of jewellery have had such an effect on me and my perception of and relationship with my body. If I had to remove the remaining jewellery I think I’d feel like a shadow of myself. And if you don’t think feminism has anything to do with women and their relationship with their bodies I reckon you’ve got a whole lot more learning to do.

The title of the FI blog is a reference to a quote by Susan Brownmiller about how women are all female impersonators to some degree. The blog has a great selection of feminist articles on a wide variety of different issues and I wholeheartedly recommend you got check it out.

I'd also like to say thanks again to Amelia for letting me do this, it's been fun. :)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Meet my cat

He's now dead but he was an awesome cat. He was named Superman. By me, of course, and way before I started reading comics.

As a lil' kitty with two others from the litter:

With the dog named Rama (from a rescue centre and not named by us, but as we named the previous dog Juno I suspect there's a pattern forming. My Dad's current cat is called Dobby. Mean spirited homocidal git that he is - the cat, not my Dad):

And the last photo of him. Not at all healthy:

I miss my cat. He were a bit of a bugger and didn't like being held but he were good. I currently content myself with playing with the neighbour's cats as I don't really think I'm in a position to have pets right now. I have too much other stuff going on in my life to give a pet the attention it deserves.
When I do get another cat, and I will, I shall name it Frankenstein. And not because of Red Dwarf.