Sunday, September 10, 2017

Further adventures in reading (or reading about adventures)

I had a think about what comics I'm buying and what I'm getting from them and I decided to cancel Bombshells.  The last 6 or 8 issues have been truly hard work. Typically, I cancel it, then get home and read #29 where Supergirl and Lois meet and it's love at first sight, and Superman is introduced in a 1930s strong man suit:

What a fabulous design!  However I must remind myself that queering Kara and Lois and redesigning Supes is not enough to keep me reading, and spending money.  I think I have 4 issues left to pick up and then I'm done with this.

My pull list is now
Wonder Woman
Bitch Planet
Black Magick

The DC titles aren't doing much for me so are likely to get cancelled.  Bitch Planet, Black Magick and Princeless come out sporadically.  I think I'd like to read standalone mini series, or non superhero stuff.  I think I'd also like to read more independent stuff.  I know I want to catch up on Clockwork Watch, Jennie Gyllblad's other work and Magic of Myths.  I think the Cinebook titles would be good to revisit too.  I know I am not interested in reading Saga or any Image stuff that was hyped up and popular about 4 years ago.  Right now I can't remember any other publishing houses.

Please give me your recommendations.  I think superheros are off the menu for now, I've read far too many superhero stories and it's the same things over and over and over.  I need a break from them.

I have been reading more books recently.  The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Society was great fun. Whimiscal and humourous with a good insight into Nazi occupied Guernsey.  I didn't know the Germans took over Guernsey.  It was awful.  The protagonist was immensely likeable and the book felt filled with affection and love.  I liked that.

I also read Beauty Queens by Libba Bray,  It's a female Lord of the Flies.  Where Lord of the Flies is an examination of toxic masculinity, and therefore a book for and about boys as women really do not need to be told about how shit masculinity is, Beauty Queens is about femininity and the patriarchy and how women are constrained in society.  It turns out very differently to Lord of the Flies, because women and men are different and society shapes them differently.  There are different pressures and expectations and when men are taken out from the rest of society they continue to live by the rules that benefit them, but when women are taken out from society they break free of the rules that constrain them and can grow in themselves.  It's bloody brilliant.  And it examines the kyriarchy and it's intersectional.  If Lord of the Flies is still a required text in schools then Beauty Queens should be too.  I had no interest in Lord of the Flies when I was meant to read it, because it was obviously so unrelated to me and my daily life.  Beauty Queens would have been perfect for me to read.

I have also read the Uglies series by Scott Westerfield.  It's a future dystopia where all citizens undergo extensive surgery at age 16 to become pretty, so that no one suffers from being less attractive than anyone else and life becomes fairer and more pleasurable for anyone.  There's 4 books in the series.  Uglies deals with the teenagers pre-surgery and those who reject the surgery and choose to run away from the city.  Pretties is about the recently turned pretty teens and their fight to break through the programming to make them docile and compliant.  Specials is about the secret police force with enhanced skills and the final book, Extras, is post the revolution when the the government systems have broken down and no one need undergo the surgery anymore.  The series looks at environmentalism, the destruction of the planet that we are doing now, the need to connect with nature and what how nature gives us healthy minds, social media and our dependence on it, self esteem, free will, and of course the morality around aspiring to beauty.  I think this should be recommended reading for teenagers too.