Come home from holiday visiting and get told that it's official - Spiderman has been Un-Married and probably Un-Teachered and Un-Fired from the Bugle.
I hadn't known it was more than one thing wherein there'd be a rollback. It made my first thought something along the lines of: Why are the Execs at Marvel, insisting that lesiure suits with wide lapels and seafoam green are oh so cool? Why are they do determined that everything must be as it was when they were growing up? Can't they see they've become old men stuck in a time warp?
It's sad. It was so cool that Peter Parker grew up with me.
First off I have to admit to loving the Spiderman Live Action TV Series. And after that, I followed his cartoon adventures - Spiderman & Friends with Iceman and Firestar, and the 90's series and the one where he was dealing with the High Evolutionary (that's one of my favs) and I squeed with joy at the New Animated Series, the cgi one.
Still, once I got past the wtf, with the clones and the dreams and the space opera / horror adventures, it WAS pretty damn cool that Spidey was growing up. Same snark, same quips, bigger support base, different problems. Spiderman as a teacher in the NYC school system? That seemed just perfect.
I guess that's why I couldn't get into Ultimate Spiderman no matter how many recs it got given. I've seen/heard/done the Spidey in school, Spidey with girl problems, Spidey trying to figure out up from down.
(Why wasn't Ultimate enough? He's brand new, looking at things differently etc...)
Hmm, maybe every year is a bad year to get back into comics.
And now I'm having what feels like blasephemous thoughts concerning the fact that comics don't seem to want to grow.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Come home from holiday visiting and get told that it's official - Spiderman has been Un-Married and probably Un-Teachered and Un-Fired from the Bugle.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Ever notice how when you start talking to a friend, all the ire you have inside of you comes bubbling out and you go - whoa, I didn't know I felt that much about it.
Well more coming to you about what happens to Dazzler (and the rest of Excalibur) in issues 16-24. BUT FIRST...
ShadowLine imprint of Image Comics has a contest. Who Wants To Create a Superheroine
I am about to get frank, ugly, accusatory, bitchy and a whole lot of other unpleasantness right now. So, grab popcorn.
Have you looked at Franchesco's art? I saw in his gallery a picture of a proud, gritty, Moon Knight. But all his images of female characters are the kind of things that immediately turn me off investigating a comic; overly large breasts, odd body compositions and unnecessary crotch shots.
And Franchesco, because he will be defining the character's look (with input from the writer) will own 50% of the creation. There went any idea, any thought, any possible urge I had of entering the contest.
Can they be serious about wanting a strong heroine when the artist they choose for the project is one with that kind of style? The blurb mentions them wanting a strong heroine as a counter balance to Bomb Queen, their most popular title.
Bomb Queen by the way is a villianess who wears pants that barely cover her mons, thus showing off her thong; who has a reckless disregard for human life and who controls a town wherein apparently schoolchildren can buy guns and television hostess appear nude on camera. In fact there's quite a lot of live live girls, nude nude! going on in the city with several touches of female paedophiliacs.
Frankly if there's an underlying equality for the sexes message in the whole thing, it's lost on me. I'm too busy being skeezed by the associations of wild out of control woman + crazy sexuality mesh child abuse. And there was a scene discussing their crazy version of survivor showing an afro-ed black woman, petting the hair of a bondaged blonde girl-child that just scratched nails down my metaphorical spine. If you don't know why that image might upset me, I suggest you find a website somewhere on the internet and get schooled about racism, and stereotypes. It might explain why I wasn't enjoying the weak black man as mayor either.
Now all this to do more than say that Bomb Queen is not my cup of tea. It's obvious I shan't be buying it.
But Bomb Queen's mention does leave me thinking if this contest is nothing but a PR stunt because they do realize some of the inadvertent messages in their most popular comic.
They've also stressed that the less dark the better. So they want a bright, upbeat, non-gritty super-heroine. But when I combine what they seem to want with the artist they chose, my first thought is fluff piece.
Now granted a character doesn't have to be (or stay if so originally created) a bit of fluff heroine. And sparkles and kindness and joy and modesty do not a fluffy heroine make - necessarily. Heck if I thought Franchesco could draw a black woman without making her look like an ape, I'd probably sit down and think more about possibilities.
But strong heroine and breasts bulging all over the fucking place aren't connected associations in my head. I've seen his art-up of Diana / Wonder Woman. Waists smaller than a woman's head does not speak 'Strong ass kicking savior of the female persuasion' to me. Check out his art-piece labelled 'Frankie' I think that's Glactucus in the corner, but I'm too busy going 'What the fuck Bukkake ?' It's all part of why I think the man would draw African Descendeds as a type of 'black face' while also not knowing what to do with actual booty - besides sticking a thong up in it.
I sigh - I really do like the fact that Image made Invincible available to the general public (more thoughts on why was it the Asian girl who's a sex fiend a bit later)
Oh and yes, my title is from a Cranberries song.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Someone showed me an image tonight of Wiccan and Speed, and it jarred some thoughts out of me.
I'm not sure about Speed, but Wiccan at least has met SW, right? And I believe Wiccan and Speed currently know that they are somehow - - -
1) Holders of part of (or the whole and mingled) souls of her twins
2) Magically her sons brought to this time and place
3) Some variation of that.
Why then, if her babies are right fucking THERE, is Wanda going crazy attacking people and needing folk to think about putting her down like fucking Cujo?
Can someone please explain this to me? I am willing to follow some a to b logic on this. Lay down the lines, use baby words if you have to, but I'd like to fucking understand this.
Because without understanding this, I'm left to think that Wanda's mental health and her explainable survivor's guilt and mother's grief over the loss of her children is some of kind of Marvel punching bag joke. Or some kind of seeming fucking balance for some one deciding to give her the power to shift and shape reality.
I love Wanda. I guess maybe I'm a little like Wiccan in my admiration. She's overcome a shady troubled past. She's moved beyond being Magneto's daughter to being a hero in her own right. (At least in theory when writers aren't dicking her around at least). She married whom she wanted to and started a family and found her purpose all while staying close to her twin.
Why the fucking hell does she need to be an emotional wreck every fucking twenty-five issues because she lost her children?
Now I wouldn't be happy if part of her madness is because she looks like her mother and Magnus got incestuously close on the emotional level and that warped some things. It would also be taking away from her strength, but it'd be new. Original. Though seriously, after fucking saving the world, that bit of her past wouldn't have the same impact.
So no. I take it back.
Is Marvel purposely keeping the Rom down? Is this some combination of put the ethnic overly emotional think she can be a hero woman in her place? What? What the fuck is it?
Carol Danvers, blonde hair and blue eyes gets her life/memories/powers stolen from her, gets humongo power, loses it, has alcohol problems and RECOVERS but dark haired, dark eyed, dark skinned, likely descended from wandering ancient East Indians, among others, Wanda is still hung up over her children to the point of madness?
Wolverine has been effing mind raped, mind violated, memory jacked, mind fucked, has like far too many dead love interests but he gets to move forward. Why not Wanda?
What? Jean Grey is officially dead and they can't make her evil anymore so their new punching bag to shake things up is Wanda? (I'll rant about Jean another time)
Damn it there's just so much possibility with Wanda (far less combined with Wiccan and Speed). There's magic adventures to be had; rescue operations, urban tales. If Wanda has to have a profile of the perpetually grieving mother, why can't she have adventures steming from working with parents groups or other mothers. Where the hell was she during Civil War btw? I actually don't know.
I can see Wanda as a detective, hunting down rings that exploit children for dark purposes of magic or y'know, just regular atrocities like modern slavery - from camel jockeys to sex toys.
If Wanda can manipulate reality why isn't she working WITH Dr.Strange? Why isn't she an anchor-point against things that want to cross dimensions and twist reality to their own means? Wanda kicking the ass of Chaos Demons. How cool would that be? Very.
So WTF is it always "MY BABIES!" and now "Daddy, No More Mutants!"
I mean, geeze, look at the shit she's put her brother through. And hello, her children were mutants.
I sigh. I sigh a whole fucking lot.
(this is the second time blogger has messed up the time. this time marking it
4 hours later first it was 7:50AM when the real time was 2:50AM and now it's 12:50PM and who knows what it'll be when I finish editing here now.)
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Why does Dinah look like she's
a) Taking it up the butt
b) Not so secretly a motorcycle driving blow up doll made specifically so Ollie can shoot arrows?
In other news: Marvel Girl or DC Girl ? No. Superheroine Girl! That is me!
I really should discuss how much I enjoyed Manhunter up to Issue 19#, instead of just saying I'm going to discuss it. It was gritty and real. Though using those two words, makes me feel like I'm just spitting out buzz words.
It was a realistic look at the DCverse; strife and grit, pain, blood, sweat, tears and piss. I love the fact that it's based in LA. I love the concept of their being parts of the world where, for some reason, metas and villians and supers just don't seem to go. I loved Manhunter as 'The Sheriff' of LA. And I loved the weaving arc to make sense of past history. Also I feel like I learned more about bloody OMAC than I have, trying to read issues, blogs and look the damn thing up in Wikipedia.
I haven't moved past the first issue where it's One Year Later yet, because I'm confused as eff over how things changed. Also, I think I've found a hefty dose of personal 'WTF is this shit!' over the concept of OYL.
Also also? I want to read about The Rainbow Wars of GLCorps. But I'm having a hard time shifting gears from general excitement to must follow.
Why are comic such a love/hate situation? Why is it you get in the groove and then the writer changes or the artist changes and...
Which reminds me - Must rant about No More Photorealistic Art. Oh yeah. Ranty coming up. All bright and shiny and spiky.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Ok, who the hell did Issue ! 16? And why are there a complete ass? Like in white yeast ringed asshole! The art's too grooved, too dark, too sharp and edgy for the tone of the book. And on page three, I've got girl ass in the face!
For the past 15 issues, yeah, Alli's wearing a cropped t-shirt and TJ's showing belly button and blue cleavage and Sage is a dominatrix librarian. But aside from one panel where Sage's breasts were as big as her HEAD - I was focused on the story; story, characters, action. I was all over that. As can be attested to by my squee.
Now in Issue #16 (yeah, I don't watch tv and I'm staying up late) - Alison's ass is in my face.
So suddenly we go from Pete Pantazis and his AMAZING colour and Rick Ketcham's inking. And me going - Yay! Who ever you are artist, your art is COOL! And then I end up having to hunt down his name (Micahel Ryan) because in Issue 16 I've got ass in the face from some not!Michael.
What, they thought fans wouldn't notice?
Also suddenly Dazzler's chaps are shiny pvc fetish pleather... and why is Noctune's hair so long? Also why doesn't she seem to be wearing a bra? Why is her shirt peekaboo maybe she'll jump high enough and show breast?
JUGG ficking Y?
15 issues of Caine or Juggernaut and then Juggy?
[ Alison Blaire can't match her teammate's phenomenal fighting skill. She has other assets ] And then there's a shot of her glowing ASS! And it looks nude or nude stocking! WTF?
I waited and waited to see the sword. And it's with this horrible photo-realistic fuck art. And people's hairstyles changing ever panel? I'd almost think it was Greg fucking Land!
And ok, since when does Talia have braids? And is of African decent but with blue skin? Look I want black superheroes like whoa. But the Scarlett Witch? Not black. And Kurt Wagner? Not black. He's blue with European features (and fur). So Talia shouldn't be looking like Lauryn (the lovely) Hill! And why does Sage look like some odd cross between Jessica Alba and Angelia Jolie? And why in Issue 18 does she look like Torri Spelling?
Oh god this inker (and in the issue before) makes everyone look like they have a viral case of road rash. And Cain looks like Cro-magnon man!
And now Dazzler looks like Pink! And they're rehashing storyline info blurb from at least seven issues ago. And then claiming 'My god, I never thought of it'.
Man - this is fucked up. I got so excited and then I discovered - well, it's comic books, eventually they'll fuck it up. This bites.
Also, are all issue comics filled with so many damn ads? Marvel Purified Water - wtf?!
Oh Marvel. Oh Marvel. Marvel. Marvel - you misguided fool. Not only are you making mistakes of the regular sort, with not matching continuity in writers and artists and in not trusting to the intelligence of your audience - but you're selling people newsprint at 3-5$ a pop filled with ads and then complaining you don't understand how Manga attracts.
Guess I won't be buying New Excalibur after all. (Hmm, maybe there're trades up to Ep 15.)
PS: These last issues also contain scenes of Dazzler being totally brilliant (as in pretty) kickass and possibly FLYING and I really can't give too much of a fuck, because it's stopped being enjoyable. In fact if I wasn't staying up with a friend, I'd have stopped reading it - just like I stopped reading Manhunter when it skipped to one year later (and yeah, I should be posting about that soon)
Monday, December 17, 2007
Some folk have mentioned that if they only knew I liked < insert character name here > they would have told me all about it sooner.
So for the record (or at least as much as I can remember right this second)
You know about BATMAN. (All shall love him and be saved from despair)
But there's also:
- CLOAK & DAGGER
- WONDER WOMAN
- SCARLET WITCH (who never seems to get good storylines - so even if you tell me, I pro'lly won't believe you)
For those of you who'd now like to point out that there isn't but one character of colour on that list - I'd like to remind you that for most of my innocent childhood, I thought Bruce Wayne spun around in a circle like Lynda Carter and became a Black Man. My infant mind could not conceive of a white man being that cool, and primed for justice and ass kicking. (Blame my daddy issues - Yay! Lawyers!)
Other characters for whom I have admiration and love, even if it's sublevel 2 love:
- LORNA DANE / POLARIS (who gets all SW's insanity obsessed writers)
- HANK MCCOY
- KURT WAGNER
- JASON TODD
- TERRY MCGINNIS
- MONICA RANBEAU
- ORORO MONROE
My newest (or in some cases reclaimed) loves include ARTESIA (she who graces my banner) GAMBIT, MISTY KNIGHT, INVINCIBLE, LADY SHIVA, MYSTIQUE, CONSTANTINE, BARBARA GORDON / ORACLE.
In general, though, if SHE kicks ass while making things SPARKLE with pretty coloured lights and she's not an annoying version of Jubiliee, ala the 90's cartoon - I will love her, or at least check her out.
If HE is a snarky smart ass, with a wedge of STOIC self reliance, not a little personal ANGST and a burning determination to see JUSTICE done - sometimes only once he gets dragged into it - or the burning determination if s for old school justice (also known as vengeance and an eye for an eye) - then I will love him or at least check him out.
I am reading Excalibur.
1. Dazzler kicks people in the face!
2. Dazzler's eyes glow when she's pissed.
3. Light explosions.
4. Dazzler kicks ass, takes names and then KICKS PEOPLE IN THE FACE!
5. Evil dudes call her Brightengale and Songbird and then SHE KICKS THEM IN THE FACE.
Are you seeing a theme? Are you? Are you?!
Also, there's two panels of Harry Potter reference that just cracks me up into a giggle pile of already happy squee.
I almost don't quite care that Sage looks like some sort of Librarian Dominatrix Fetish Dream.
Juggernaut's a good guy! Nocturne's part of the main physical reality. And Dazzler KICKS PEOPLE IN THE FACE!
I need to own this in tradepaperback.
The 6th People of Colour in Science Fiction / Fantasy Carnival is up at deadbrowalking @ livejournal.
The theme - Sankofa in Space.
Truth be told I haven't even finished reading all the great links from the 5th Carnival. But I urge you to bookmark this one if you can't go read, skim and interact immediately.
Friday, December 14, 2007
I had a random thought while in IM conversation with someone. Well, not quite random, it's a thought I've had on and off for a while but never articulated before.
Josef Loeb + Frank Miller, made to work on a comic book together.
Frank: Whores. Whores, sex, grit, crime, gritty danger, Whores!
Loeb: It's not slash! Honest! It's intense male bonding friendship!
Possibility? The Authority. The thought makes me smile.
Though, who would do the art? (
Please universe not Make-them-turd-faces Quimby)
Thinking about it now, consciously, I ponder them doing something original. Something about some poor boywhore who's only doing it to get inside information on the mob? Because they killed his best friend? Who uhm...comes back as a ghost? And there's lots of angsty - if I could touch you. But it'd definitely, completely, wouldn't be homoerotic. On noes!
ETA: Restarting Ultimate Marvel Universe. Scott could be the boy-whore! The X-Men would totally be all gritty mutant minorty trying to survive. There'd be head bashing violence! Logan would be blood sprayed and cool! Logan/Scott = Enemy SLASH. Jean Grey the immaculate = Gritty Whore! No wait, it's Jean Grey the immaculate, she'd be a regular Miller Madonna figure. Damn.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Mutant Royalty. Weird effed up childhood. Having no one but each other. And Magneto's their dad.
Then again I have a soft spot for Greek Mythology as well as the concept of 'Us Against The World'. What I'm more concerned about is was bringing it out of the subtext closet done to make Pietro's anguish seem deeper? Can we trust the writer(s) to show emotional depth with it? Is it going to be more than;
- No she can't be, I would know!
- She was the only one who wanted/trusted/understood me! Arrgh!
- Is there the possibility that SW will somehow return to the scene kicking ass because someone dared tried to separate them?
In other thoughts: Ultimate Wiccan and Speed could be so interesting now.
Marvel Comics. Digital Distribution.
I can't remember right now how I stumbled across the information during the last week, but I did.
While the whole $5 dollars a month if you pay 54 for the whole damn year at once - kind of makes me cringe as I'm a woman currently of limited means ; Though actually even if I wasn't, I grew up in a pinching penny environment. Think of me as a black Saiunkoku Monogatari. Noble family, broke as anything. So my frugal ways will likely stay with me for life.
STILL if they can work it (things to be fixed mentioned here) it'd be wonderful for those of us, like me, who want to legally read and then buy the tradepaperbacks of the stuff we want to hold in our hands for all time.
[[ Why are there two prices listed? One obvious and the other when you press 'offer details'. That combined with the prices subject to change at any time makes me brr a little ]]
So there I am peeking at Young Avengers + Runaways, cause I keep hearing how much I'd like or at least would have liked Young Avengers. Yes, gay teens for the whooting. Gay teens who're related to Scarlet Witch? Gay teen grandchildren of Magneto? My Woot, let me show you it.
Anyway, I'm peeking and so far it's crisp. And I don't feel skeezy or confused the way I've been confused by bittorrent. But I am having just a little trouble reading. There's this odd weird cut off thing in two page. The right? (page in this direction -->) is cut off in two page view. Two page view lets it feel like a comic. So it's a shame it just isn't working.
[[ Also, why can't we save these things online? If you're paying a monthly or yearly subscription fee and they don't have to pay for distribution - Oh Diamond the stories I hear about you - then shouldn't the general costs drop?
And so I'm left thinking that if I paid 60$ a year, I'd damn well want to be able to burn my own discs with the option of a little extra to get them to make fancy disks for me! I mean some of us don't like flimsy paper issues.
We want books. We want lasting. We want it not to take up too much space! Space and the demands to treat it gentle just don't quite work for me. Also if I could get the whole of Cloak and Dagger on CD, I would pay now and eat tuna for weeks. ]]
I can't say more just yet, because it wants me to register in order to finish the reading experience and see more. I am not big on registering for something that's supposed to be enticing me to spend money. Why should you get my personal information when I don't even know if I like you yet?
On the other hand; Heroes for Hire looks as cool as it sounded, despite Misty's hair.
[[ Seriously, wtf was up with that? I can see what they were trying to accomplish. But black hair doesn't work that way, and I know they can draw squiggly lines for corn row. But it's been said before so...]]
And I'm scrolling through Generation M, (still not registered) and it looks interesting despite the massive hairball I think CIVL WAR was/is. So this could get me seeing some squee on this side of the big two's take on superheroes. I do remember hearing that the tie-ins didn't suck. And the best way to get me interested in buying a potentially good story is to make it easy and simple for me. Scrolling through the site, I realize I could finally look at She-Hulk without feeling I'd be wasting money if I didn't like it. And I saw other stuff people have tried to pimp me. General count? At least 10 series that I wouldn't look at twice before due to money and storage space/upkeep.
With the production of readers for E-Ink and e-book readers like NUUT (and possibly Bookeen) where Manga's available for download already in Japan, it's not too far down the road to where having digital copies won't restrict you to reading at a desktop or laptop - your comics could be digital and portable. So why no downloads? Why so slow to roll with the times?
Then I looked up DC's online possibilities and there my mind was blown. I consider myself a DC girl, even if my love of Batman was closely followed by a love of Marvel's Cloak & Dagger and by Dazzler with a follow up of the daily Spiderman comic strip.
I may have to rethink that self perception given that scrolling through DC's website I didn't see much that interested me in general. And then I was disappointed because DC doesn't seem to be taking parallel steps to Marvel in terms of digital distribution. For a whole hour I was faced with the prospect that ease of access to both past archival issues and current storylines might make me a Marvel girl.
Of course while googling to find out why this was so, I stumbled across a few sites that are doing digital archiving and are being dually harrassed by both Marvel and DC.
Why is it that these two can't seem to get that the future is here? I'm not sure of the legalities of it, but I'd think if other people are doing the hard work of scanning your titles and putting them up and promoting them and you want to get into the digital business, then it might make sense to create a Marvel or DC corporate sponsorship of bit-torrents. Say that they'll provide the original seeds, and sites promoting the material have to charge a minimal fee, of which they (the product licensors) get a certain percentage. The most other money they'd have to put into it is buying out or creating their own personal readers - they could make a little money that way too.
I grew up with comics, but at the moment I'd say I'm a casual comics reader. I like good stories. I love superheroes. But even if I could afford to spend the money to follow all the cross-referencing needed to get a single plot from beginning to end, I'm fairly certain I wouldn't spend it; not at those prices. That money could go to so many other things; gaming, ice-cream, netflix subscriptions, buying trades I already know I like, saving up for conventions, going to see the movies in theaters, etc.
I agree strongly with this write up here about keeping it simple and inexpensive and how causal users, or those coming back don't really want to hunt down a comic book store. I'm there right now. I'm thrilled to be into comics again (when I'm not saddened by the state of things). I'm aware of comic stores now. But I'm already going 4$ for 20something pages?!!! I don't want to have to go out of my way to find a book store on top of that. I go to local bookstores that are not the big chains once a year; in December. And I don't feel I'm missing out on the comic book buying/having experience or sense of community, because the internet has blogs and forums.
What about creating a new sub-set of the comic book lifestyle? A digital lifestyle.
[[ I now imagine myself going to a local, licensed comic book downloader, who'll put the volumes I want on cd or dvd, with various extras and interviews from the artists, inkers, colourists and writers that only they have access to via subscription to Diamond or whomever.
Maybe there's a hardcover I actually want to own, so I pick that up too. And while I'm there, I can pick up some stamps for snailmail, cause licensed comic book downloaders can use certain images to place an order with Photostamp or whomever. If I already called ahead, it's waiting. If not, the order'll ship to me. Maybe I order a couple postcards too.
There are other customers there waiting for their digital orders, so there's browsing and some talking (some of us know each other via blogs, forums and newsletters) and I avoid the corner with the overly sexy statues so I don't bus someone's chops for oggling Mary Jane's porcelain skimpy undies. Someone pimps a website I'm not subscribed to, that's all about a new Batman writer's exclusive podcasts. Someone else talks about an exclusive mini-series cartoon (think CloneWars) that can only be gotten through the official licensed downloads, as an extra. And I pout about missing it, since it won't be available again for another 3 months, unless I plonk down for an extras cd. I don't have the money in my budget for it but I make a note, collect my stuff, pay for it and I'm gone. Not to return for another couple of months.
My purchases tally up to something like $40, but I'm following some 30 series, DC, Marvel, Darkhorse and some indies and I got those stamps. But that's ok for my quarterly comic budget and I'm already paying $12 a month to read the issues (from 3 major publishers) as they go live online. Happy little customer me, goes home to read/view my extras, hug my hardcopy and not have to deal with boxes taking up storage space I don't have, or hours of bagging, cataloguing whatever, since y'know, I'm casual and not a "collector".]]
It's a nice dream but totally unrealistic, right?
Having just read that bit of information, it is now highly doubtful that I will register to see the free comics, far less buy a subscription.
- Web beacons, trackers, etc
- My personal information is an asset
- And by registering I'm agreeing that this is so.
- There are opt outs for the sharing of personal information and they give a url for it. But then they go on to say that anything freely given is implicit information and all theirs. So the information they require in order to sign up which includes age, sex, first name, last name, country (if not the us), and zipcode is all theirs.
- And this information will be used for 'promotions' some of which you can opt out of.
Even if I lied about everything but my email address, I still don't want to deal with web beacons and tracking cookies. And I certainly don't want my email address as an asset that may be sold or taken over and also used to push things on me I don't want or need.
So there I was waiting to get all the tags in place before letting people know I'd moved. And then I realized, aftermonths of not being able to transfer, and then finally managing it - what the hell was I waiting for.
So Seeking Avalon on Blogger. Now.
The tagging of the back entries will happen.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
The 5th People of Colour in Scifi & Fantasy Blog Carnival is up @ Shewhohashope's livejournal. It's a little late, but given the holiday season, the flu season and near end of year exhaustion, we can all handwave that.
This issue is really embracing the multiculturalness behind the phrase people of colour. There's Maori legend, Chinese legend, Anime, Manga, Bollywood and more, in areas all over from film to fandom essays.
Please head over, read, and thank Shewhohashope. She's done a lovely job of gathering links. Now you can bring the commentary.
Next Carnival will be the 6th and will be held by Delux-Vivens' @ livejournal's DeadBroWalking. The 7th will be held at Seeking Avalon. (which will have moved by then, finally, I hope)
If you're interested in hosting in the New Year 2008, please contact me.
PS: Don't forget to promote the carnival in your journal or blog. The more readers the better!
Friday, October 26, 2007
I wish Cir-El were found alive.
I wish she could hear the fate of Kandor (well, the Kandor left to be ruled by Ultraman)
I wish she could find a way to get there.
And I wish Supergirl would go back too and clean up the mess.
*looks at thoughts*
*looks at blank word document*
*looks at the head honchos at DC*
Yeah, this might be like flying cars. If you want one you probably have to build it yourself.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
It's short but sweet. The 4th People of Colour Scifi & Fantasy Carnival is UP!
October seems like it was one thing after another and some have commented that the rock has been pushed over and now we see what was wriggling underneath.
But I'd like to think that it says something important and powerful that there are so many raising loud voices to point out ignorance and idiocy.
Please go have a look. There are copious link lists.
5th Carnival to be hosted by Shewhohashope @ Livejournal
6th Carnival to be hosted by Delux Vivens @ Livejournal
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
I saw DigitalFemme's post about Tigra and how she has to come back from this. And I said, based on what I saw in her pics (they were small) - geezu I hope so.
Fuck it I have no words. I really want to write that Seeking Avalon will be discussing anime and webcomics from now on and DC and Marvel can go lick each other's arses and die.
I feel sick. Dirty and sick.
I love superhero comics. Or no, maybe I love what superhero comics COULD BE. I certainly am not loving them right now.
Huh. And I was organizing my budget to buy Supergirl. I was organizing my budget to do something other than buy trade paper backs. But right now? Not so much.
I've been upset and angry and incredulous at individuals who tell women who like superhero comics to find something else. I don't want to find something else. Or I didn't want to find something else. And I'm aware of the problems Anime has. And it's not like webcomics don't have their problems either. I fell in love with Goblins and then realized on my second reading to the present that the first time I noticed a black human he was evil and then killed almost instantly after introduction.
But right now I can't help wondering at other things. Somehow, somewhere, something else.
I'm tired of the hunt and peck for characters of colour being empowered, for female characters not being used, abused, killed off etc.
-Please, Bendis could have picked a male hero to brush that stupid gang the wrong way and picked a male hero to have his family threatened and you know what? There's be extra impact for it, likely because he'd show the male hero fighting back but due to circumstances of drugs, thugs, what have you, not being able to fight back enough.-
Good Heaven. Mother of All Champions. Tigra beaten and brutalized (and yes, I'm admitting to personal trigger here cause duh! I'm female and it's happened within a foot of me in real life /snark)
Friday, October 19, 2007
I'm in the midst of replying via my personal journal to a post I found discussing DC's: The Great Ten.
I'm mind blown at the racial stereotyping. I mean fu-dogs and there's a woman whose special power is giving birth to a LITTER (they call it a fricking LITTER) of 25 Supersoldiers ever 3 days.
That's spitting in the eyes of Asians and punching women in the chest. At once.
I'd c/p my comments, but I'm too irate and SAD. I'm so fucking sad.
Also I don't want to sic any of the peanut butter jar solo f*ck heads who've been trolling here onto a friend. Even though I know she could dice them, slice them and then serve them to rats as gourmet entree.
When I'm less 'OMG WTF', maybe I'll post more. Right now I'm going to comfort myself with webcomics and try to reconcile my want of comics with how much beatings I feel I've been taken.
The Comics Industry as pseudo abusive-as-all-get-out domestic partner.
PS:Tom Foss discusses the possibility that treated well, and written in depth none of the above characters might remain stereotypes. And he's right. A Stereotype can be just a short hand introduction and then the meat of things is gotten to. And I would enjoy seeing how individual characters react against the expectations of a government into who they are and how they perform and what they do.
However, Tom Foss isn't writing them. And no one writer likely will continue to write them for their entire existence. And there's quite a lot of writers out there who simply aren't trust worthy with tasks like this. They can barely handle White Women in their work, far less a minority character who's initial foundation is rooted in a stereotype.
And let us not forget the artists for both interior and covers. Blank stares, lego-bricks make up of women, appealing to stereotypes and the lowest common denominator because it's been shown to work.
And what about the executives and what they want and their suggestions and input and how all that factors a story? Some of them haven't been proven trust worthy either.
Face it. If Neil Gaiman or Octavia Butler (bless her soul) had put out on a website that their next series would cover these particular modeled characters - I know I for one would be intrigued and curious as to where they would take them and how they would form them. And the seeming stereotype would seem like the precursor to a twist.
Comics aren't single novels, written by a single artist. They're not even novels written by ghostwriters or various other writers where things are based on a bible so that even if character quality and depth varied from writer to writer at there was the chance that something new could be added to the bible and/or despite what the covers looked like, such and such a writer would be known to do 3 books a year in that universe.
Comics are collaborative in an invasive way and are currently controlled by people withim I and many others have no consistent vote of confidence. That to me is what helps make this all so much more outrageous and makes me so incredibly sad.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Special Edition: The IBARW Edition hosted @ lj on The IBARW Community.
Links, links, links and more links. If you missed some of the wonderful discussion of IBAR2 the first time around, find it now. Read. Browse. Self-educate.
There's been a lot going on recently; discussions, trolls, flames. The links here might lead to better conversations seeing as how 2007 seems to be the year we discuss how to discuss racism so that we're all on the same page when it comes to addressing it.
Coming near the end of the month, a regular edition, hosted at
Willow_dot_com @ Lj IF I don't hear back from assigned hostess Starkeymonster / Julia's Livejournal.
Submission deadline 10/20. Post goes live 10/24.
Dear AOL Proxy Anonymous 220.127.116.11,
If you find this fat, round, freckled, black lesbian so boring/annoying, why are you still reading?
And why are you behaving in a manner that makes me reconsider allowing anonymous postings (for the sake of OpenID)?
I don't know why you're concerned about whether or not I get laid. The last time I checked the value of a woman was not in her ability to lay down and spread them - contrary to what certain fundamentalists and neo-conservatives would have us believe.
I am not a walking vagina and uterus here to incubate under law.
This is not A Handmaid's Tale.
Am I meant to cringe that some stranger who's never met me doesn't think I'm pretty? Am I meant to be upset that I'm not a paragon of starvation beauty? Hell boy, I'm black - I wouldn't be a paragon of beauty in general American perception without blonde weave and contact lenses. Now in parts of Africa and the Caribbean it might be another story.
Am I meant to be upset that you think some form of sexual frigidity and unhappiness is why I don't like to see the beauty of things female and feminine reduced to arse and tits for male enjoyment / due to male lack of creativity / due to male lack of breaking long grooved thought patterns of women as the done to and men as the doers?
Have you been comprehending my blog? I know you've been reading, but has it sunk in?
Ahem, attention anyone else reading this blog; I am a fat, black, freckled, dreadlock sporting, bosom having, brown eyed gal. I believe that woman's equality should be factored in things big and small. The comic industry's portrayal of what a woman's role should be in a heroic, potential for prosperity society is as important to me as women being stoned for not covering head to toe in certain countries is as important to me as women being mutilated so their husbands can be assured they'll never enjoy sex and thus never cheat.
It all factors into global consciousness. (aka the bigger picture, what life will be like 7 generations down the line)
Monday, October 15, 2007
Someone replied to my post on the WonderHero costume with "You complain too much to be taken very seriously Willow". Note the lack of comma. The comment was of course, anonymous.
For a moment, reading that line within the comment, I felt hurt. And then a reality check slapped me upside my head. This is the net. This space is being used for a blog (vs a journal which is far more personal). This space is only about what I like and don't like. And I've been upfront as f*ck about not feeling the squee recently.
There's a fabulous post written here about Privilege as a Bodyguard. I was thinking about posting about it here and now I am, because WTF? Comic fan boys complain. They complain that someone's been given some love interest to distract them from fighting. They complain that someone's not being shown as strong enough in their current storyline. They complain about writers, artists, inkers, editors and the executives. It's what they do.
So why is it when a fangirl complains, she's not a fan with gripes she's writing out in a journal. She's suddenly someone not to be taken seriously?
Then again, maybe the anonymous poster meant to tell me that they ordinarily find my reflections on comicdom interesting but I complain too often and am unhappy too often and so my brilliant thoughts will never be taken seriously; because the world is full of arsewipes who want women, blacks, asians, first peoples, gays and the disabled to just play nice and smile and bow their heads when something bothers them, because no one pays any attention to suggestions unless they come wrapped in a bow addressed to Master.
To which I say a hearty FU.
Just because you have the effing bodyguard doesn't mean I'm going to fear you and thus arrive humbly and submissively in high heels in an impractical outfit, wherein my boobs don't work the right way and my skin is several shades too light and my existence as a lesbian serves only to titillate.
No wait. Fornication can be plenty fun when it doesn't involve arseforbrains. And no one should be threatened with rape.
Yeah, I said it. GO READ A BOOK.
GO SEARCH YOUR SOUL.
GO DO SOME WORK ON BECOMING A BETTER HUMAN BEING.
GO BUY A CLUE.
GO FEED YOUR BRAIN.
GO MINIMIZE YOUR EGO.
GO RESPECT YOUR MOTHER / SISTER / DAUGHTER / COUSIN / AUNT.
GO FIGURE OUT HOW TO BE AN ALLY TO THE REST OF THE HUMAN RACE.
The rest of the world might actually wait for you.
I on the other hand, won't.
And as for this part:
"girl's can dress as female characters if they're in healthy shape...but guys?
you have to be a bodybuilder to wear a superman,batman,green lantern etc. costume.that sucks.
[ This now concludes my response to the self-crotch sniffing, tape measure ruling, chest oogling, masculinity threatened idiots of the world. ]
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Why does The New Captain America look so much like Kurt Busiek's Silver Agent ? And not in that whole, Cap was first, Silver Agent was nth way.
Also since you know these things, is Patriot too young to have stepped into Cap's shoes should there be a need for a Captain America? Or is he solidly in his own persona?
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Halloween's a coming.
It's a time for little boys and girls and not so little boys and girls to dress up as their favourite heroes. A time for them to stride around pretending to zoom through the air, or hack helpless citizens to pieces all in performance for candy (or someone's house gets egged and tp-ed). A time for little girls to ...
Ok so she's not a little girl. But a young woman, a teenager could presumably, maybe want to dress up like Wonder Woman - oh excuse me, Wonder hero. Random chick with white stars on blue bottom, gold thingies 'round her breasts and a red star.
I don't know if I'm glad they're not calling it Wonder Woman, curious if they thought they might get sued, or pissed at the flimsy skirt and wondering where the hell that cape came from. I'm pretty sure those boots aren't included.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Dear Warner Brothers,
I hate you.
Your decision, your new official policy that states girls are icky and don't sell at the box office therefore there will be no more movies with female leads, and the head of the studio doesn't even want to hear about movies with female leads, has me hating you.
I love Batman. You own Batman - you absolute wanking fuckers!
I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. Because of course now I have to fucking well boycott your stupid ass studio and not happily throw my money and inner fangirl at Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne and not buy The Dark Knight the second it's available - likely through pre-order and not pimp it hard to my friends as the second coming.
Of course it could suck and have me doing all that anyway, but you had a fan in me you shit sucking, lice picking, arse scratching, brain damaged, Neanderthals in business suits!
Gah. As if it weren't bad enough that you're associated with woman choking, bitchslapping, evil raping, breast scraping, black people killing Supernatural.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Dear Dan Dido,
You are an ass.
But don't fret, this is just the opinion of a lone female who's too budget restricted to do more than buy trade paperbacks anyway. So it's not as if my opinion will mess up your revenue.
I love Batman.
No seriously. I love Batman the way fat mice love cheese, the way Paris Hilton loves getting high, the way basement dwelling fanboys love your product.
So to your idea of having Jason Todd take on the persona of Red Robin, Dick Grayson's elseworld persona from Kingdom Come - I call you an ass. An unmitigated ASS.
Robins are NOT interchangeable, fucker.
No no no no no. And NO.
Dick's aliases are Dick's aliases.
Come up with something else you unimaginative little shit.
Why couldn't / can't Jason reform the name Red Hood? It's not like DCverse is unfamiliar with the concepts of both Red Riding Hood or Robin Hood.
But never mind that. I'm just pissed because you're squeezing on some trite shit on my favourite Robin. That's right, my favourite. Jason Todd needed to be Robin. He needed to belong. He needed to feel wanted, loved and appreciated. And if you don't think a little pre-teen reading back issues could relate to that just cause she was a girl - well go suck your left egg.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
The third People of Color in Scifi & Fantasy Carnival is up and live @ Bellatrys Livejournal.
Please, please go take a look. It's a very interesting collection of links and commentary, noting everything from Victorian attitudes on the Dark Continent to the treatment of Characters of Color in Boy's Love Manga.
And she mentioned Coptic Art!
Also October has a host but I haven't heard back from the people who said they'd be interested in November & December. So, any takers?
Thursday, September 27, 2007
I've taken to watching a lot of anime lately. Behind the cut-tag are my thoughts on the first 25 episodes of Claymore. The series runs 26 Episodes and I've got to wait around for the fansub of the final one (end of season, end of series, I don't know). But the last one aired this past Wed.
Before the cut, however, I will say that there are amazing similarities between Claymores (the female warriors in the series - which is also a manga - and Slayers, as in Btvs. Like there are serious similarities, but in a very interesting, if occasionally frustrating and potentially gender wtf way.
If you don't mind being spoiled for some concepts of the series, click the cut-tag. But I'm really going to try not to give away too much. I just need to say now that Claymores are female warriors who are half-human, half-demon, with blonde hair, run by a shadowy organization of men.
Yes, the parallel to the Slayer (aka Buffy the Slayer vs simply one of many) is right there in your face. And don't worry, if you like Faith - there's a Faith too.
Right from the start when I realized that shadowy male figures, who are obviously handlers, and are part of an organization with no name, are effectively controlling these amazing women - I went wtf.
I didn't like that episode of Buffy where we discovered that the first Slayer was essentially raped by demons, under the watchful eye of selfish tribal elders and that until Buffy came along women had been dying in the name of protecting humans from the dark as pawns of an organization of those elders and their descendants for centuries. It turned the whole concept of the blonde girl in the alley turning the tables on the monsters right back around to women as the victims. Not to mention women being granted power by men, but said power being so dangerous that the women need guarding ever after.
As Claymore reveals itself in it's first few episodes I felt more and more uneasy. And yet I was hooked by a very clever play on show it don't say it. Bad fiction tells me the protagonist is a hero (as in champion of good) but then shows me said character being selfish, dishonest, petty, vain and any number of other things.
Claymore tells me that these women warriors are not to be trusted, that they are dangerous tools barely held in check. But then it shows me a protagonist who affects people in positive ways. It shows me someone who is thoughtful, protective, aware of her limitations and faults.
And then it begins to show me why the protagonist and her comrades in arms might voluntarily wear a facade of uncaring. It shows me how they're treated by the populace and their own handlers. It shows me how even their friendships are used against them. Most of all it shows me that however these women were chosen or chose to become such protectors from the moment that was done, they were treated as less than humanity while protecting humanity.
There's an angle I loved about Season Five of Buffy, wherein Buffy slowly realizes that everyone is telling her how weak she is because of her power. As a survivor of abuse I know full well how easy it is to be talked, bullied and emotionally battered out of realizing that you can fight back, or walk away. I loved watching Buffy realize that she had several groups of people pulling the same shit on her to keep her from realizing the truth - that she wasn't lesser or wild or dangerous or even inexperienced and badly trained. (I guess that explains my dislike for S6. To me S5 was a high and then...well that's another essay)
Obviously in this kind of show, Claymore, the protagonist will be special some how in one way or more than one way. The similarities with Buffy continue, to me, in that unknowingly our protagonist draws people to her. Within an organization that seems determined to keep it's warriors isolated and alienated - for the most obvious reason, I suspect, of preventing them from banding together against their superiors - this is suspicious.
Loyalty, Caring and Warmth as suspicious.
How often are those considered to be defining traits of female characters (and women in real life for that matter) and how often are those very traits used as weaknesses? Her too soft heart. Her too caring attitude. She needs to toughen up. She trusts too easily. She's mislead through/by love. She's too open.
Over and over again. I've seen it in fiction.
Now truthfully any heroic figure with hangers on they care about is opening themselves up to hostage situations, pain and possible manipulation. But to me there's something distinct in how such possibilities set up female characters as self-created victims, whereas with male characters it's the villains doing something purely vile and 'not game' somehow. But I digress.
Claymore intrigues. There's the organization. There's our protagonist. There's her personality and actions and how those are viewed by the organization. And then there are the reflections of the protagonist in the form of her comrades. Remember all Claymores have blonde hair and oh yeah, silver eyes. So they're a group that look peculiarly alike.
The Faith reflection is a Claymore who likes blood too much. She lives for the fight, the thrill, the hunt, the action and the blood. Claymores are feared for being half-monster (called youma). The Claymore version of Faith is a monster, she's still simply wearing her human face. It's a self deception that had me wondering if there'd ever be circumstances where she'd come head to head with that or if instead she'd end up a monster with no idea she is a monster, because really if she feels the same on the inside what's the difference?
Ahh yes, the reason Claymores are feared for being half-monster is that Claymores tap into their demon potential in order to fight the human preying demons. But if they tap into too much they become a monster and have to be hunted down themselves.
What? You're saying I should have mentioned that earlier? Why? The organization keeps tabs on each warrior, remember? The moment one reaches that point - well snap chop cut it's over. Thank you for playing and no there's no door prize on the way out.
Besides this way even without seeing the episodes, hopefully you have a sense of a champion trying to do good, treated like an animal, in fear of her own abilities, all while attempting to follow the rules and her own sense of honor.
Let me know if you looked it up.
PS: It's also a Manga with a slightly variating plot.
x-posted personal journal
Sunday, September 16, 2007
The Stupid It Is Contagious At The Executive Levels
Or more than likely; Copycat Copycat OMG.
So Marvel goes and says : Hey Wolverine's a bit of the old slut and he's kind of ancient, he's got to have spawn lurching around the globe. So they make it so. With the really tired plotline of tortured bratty boy child, wants to kill his father, new nemesis, blah blah blah, shadow schemer manipulating him, blah blah blah.
I can dislike the storyline and not follow it and wait for Logan to get interesting again. No problem.
But what the fuck DAMIAN WAYNE?
Ibn al Xu'ffasch - Son of the Bat / Grandson of the Demon, raised in secret by Talia, part of an ELSEWORLD UNIVERSE is suddenly canon? And roaming around being balls to the gas pedal bastardastic?
I know there's no such thing as a new story, just creative ways of telling the same stories told and retold and expanded upon since the beginning of time.
But seriously DC? Seriously?
I know if I say: Have Thee No Shame - someone will tell me that there's no proof or something that that they're copying a storyline, or mention that the concept of Batman's Son was going to fall off a licensing map or something.
I. Don't. Care.
I just... g'damn it. I have to wait another decade for DC to start doing stuff that doesn't make me want to stick all their wangs in an electric pencil sharpener.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
So someone on my personal InsaneJournal flist had a link up to DrawerGeeks and a couple of the images there pinged with me and pinged hard.
The flister linked to Wonder Woman drawings in particular and I was hit hard, right between the eyes by this one. Muscles, strength, a bit of a cocky if sincere smile. Have I mentioned how much I like the artist who did Rucka's run on WW? Rucka played up the myth elements I old so dear. But I also wanted to lick that WW and work in the embassy. She was strong and elegant and powerful, confident and complex and mesmerizing.
Among the drawings on the WW page, I also liked this one. In my head I think of her as 'Political Activist Wonder Woman' - A savvy no nonsense super heroine well schooled on international law and the laws of the countries with the most heinous acts against women, who rescues or helps mugging victims while dashing from conference to conference and who stalks through the streets of foreign cities doing battle with gods and demi-gods there who influence the people to keep women down.
Just Barely Not Crotchless WW was my second least fav. Because despite the thong she's active. Whereas this WW... I suppose I should be able to see it as a woman enjoying the breeze perhaps or something like that. But the whole pose just says 'object for male gaze' and I can't seem to find any strength in it.
I can see her turning to meet Talking!Barbie at an open air cafe. You remember that Talking Barbie, right? The one who said "Math Is Hard'.
The Princess Lei Page has me thinking I may need to find out which of the Star Wars Comic TPB's are good. Because wow, after so much Padme in the face I'd forgotten what a strong human woman (or at least human seeming) looked like.
Covered neck to toe, with just a sliver of shin and thigh showing but so much strength and attitude. Yes, I too (like some of the boys) had my 'OMG Princess Leia is HOT' moment. Though it had nothing to do with the gold bikini - except for the part where she was strangling Jabba. That was seriously hubba.
A little more thigh showing but still Leia attitude. Leia as Asian which I'd never really considered before, despite the hairstyle. A wonderful active, active, suddenly big eyed anime loss of agency combination of sketches, that does without words what I feel a whole bunch of various blog entries have tried to say about active heroine vs male prize.
And then there's this. I don't care how stick figure it seems. It hit me right in the chest that not only had I never thought of Leia (or the princess) as possibly being Asian, I'd never imagined her brown. < -- This relates more to my recent private practice of mentally (or on private spreadsheets) creating a People of Colour version of popular fictional worlds.
Medusa isn't a a superhero - tradtionally anyway, But some of the art there is rich fodder for the imagination.
Oh and not to leave out the men - this image - is evocative of about 70% of how I feel about Superman.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Friday, September 7, 2007
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
So I read this post about Wonder Woman and I'd have commented on WFA if I could find the damn comment button. But since I couldn't...
"Gets between the wonder thighs"
The misspelling of Xena as Zena.
Wanting Wonder Woman to seduce bad guys.
Wanting her to beat up on bad guys without a second thought...
I understand fully that Wonder Woman's purpose in the world is difficult to get a grasp on. And I fully agree that there should be far more godly and demi-godly goings on in her titles. I've believed for a while that she should be here to protect man's world from the gods, so that man can still have free will - that Wonder Woman wants to remind mankind that they don't have to bow down before every semblance of power and that peace through inner strength is something every individual can attain.
But "Gets between the wonder thighs"?!!!
I know I tend to see WW as a feminist asexual or lesbian figure and that's just me. But wtf? On the one hand this poster is talking about making WW more than a mouthpiece for issues, making her iconic in a way that Superman and Batman are for the very basest and slowest and simplest of comic book readers. But his path to that is all about getting men to identify with the man who 'gets between the wonder thighs'.
Obviously I'm having trouble finding words about how violating this idea seems.
Are there stories I know nothing about where comic book guys get to fantasize putting the superpeen to some woman other than Lois Lane? Or the BatCondom gets slicked up with the yoni juices of a whole host of women because...well Batman needs a break from his g'damn mission ?
Y'know I like the thought of WW with a consistent support cast. I like the thought of her with a significant other. Heck I happen to think the concept of Steve Trevor as a laid back, feminist male interesting, despite my personal feelings about WW as lesbian icon.
It's difficult to take a women warrior seriously all the time?
Is it difficult to take seriously a mere mortal battling super powered aliens and meta-humans on equal footing? No. When it's Batman we don't blink - because it's BATMAN.
Why should it be any different to go 'Oh, she can punch through a steel wall because she's WONDER WOMAN'.
I feel...slimed. I'm well aware this is my personal thing - but I feel slimed that someone looks at WW and thinks the easiest way to make her relatable is to have some guy get between the wonder thighs - as if the way to make WW popular is to remind male viewer's she's still nothing but pussy.
I mean there I was reading and thinking - Ok, make her relavant and bring in the gods and give her a true purpose other than something vague, make her the people's living goddess and yeah there should be something about the atrocities committed against women, hmm hmm maybe she should could be connected to some version of a feminist amnesty international.
And then all of a sudden - slimed.
I'm not saying it's wrong to think that of the Big Three, WW could be the one with gentle humor. Because that would actually be nice. She's beautiful when she laughs and humor and laughter are about a lightening of the human spirit. And it'd make her distinct from 'The Boy Scout' and 'The Dark Knight'. But humor because her strength isn't believable even in the world of fantasy?
And 'get between the wonder thighs'....
I feel sick and I want to cry at the realization that anyone would think that way about her and feel it should become part of her general characterization.
I love superheroes but g'damn I'm fed up with this 'Superheroes are for boys, so boys come first' bullshit. Yes boys had Robin Hood, but Red Riding Hood came first and she tricked the Wolf into setting her free in the original stories. Just because our early years heroes wear glass slippers and ball gowns and run away from home to get away from insane letcherous fathers doesn't make the superhero groove any less deep or set early for lack of those characters having penises.
"Get between the wonder thighs."
G'damn I need to go watch Buffy hit Parker in the head with a tree limb now.
I'm still reading and thinking of the suggestions provided with my last post. But I've found myself seriously wondering about the direction of Seeking Avalon and what I have to say.
Right now I feel as if it's not comics I want to talk about and/or comics that I love - but Superheroes. I love superheroes. I'm going to think about this in a little while, along with the definition of a superhero, whether or not there are characters who would be called superheroes if they were in comics vs being in novels or on TV.
I'm also going to think about the fact that I have white people fatigue. I was looking at scans from Black Canary recently. And I like Black Canary. But all I could see was blonde Dinah and blonde Ollie and I just felt tired. Really, really, tired. And fed up. And omgwtfthey'reeverywhere! Which of course is life, but why is it bugging me so much right now?
Virgin Comics is looking more and more like good possible refuge. Have to look up the trades.
Monday, September 3, 2007
The first anniversary of Seeking Avalon has come and gone without comment. I'd been hoping to move the journal off livejournal and to post more.
But RL stuff has eaten up a lot of my time and thoughts and recently when I get to comics I'm just so pissed off it feels draining.
I don't want Seeking Avalon to die off without even a full year's worth of posts. I like it. I like that I started talking. I like where that talking took me.
I'm just...oddly joyless atm.
Where's the squee?
I've lost my squee. And it makes me more down than Austin Powers when he lost his Mojo.
I need to get my hands on Spiderman Loves Mary Jane and Blue Beetle, because I hear people squeeing from that corner of the comic world a lot.
G'damn I miss my squee.
I'm pissed at Joss taking over Runaways - because if I want Jossstyle I'll pick up Angel or Buffy Season 8.
I'm pissed at losing the chance to be current in BOP while Gail Simone is doing it. But that's an old withered bit pf piss.
I'm shaken wary pissed at what's to come next with Supergirl.
I'm sick and tired of hearing half the internet go 'OMG WTF They're RUINING KYLE!'
Dude, it's not ASBAR, shut up.
I'm pissed at being diplomatic. I'm pissed at trying to see other people's pov. I'm pissed at the persona re-invention that I've observed to happen in some blogs or with some bloggers every 3 to 6 months.
I'm pissed people like Scott over at Yahoo even exist on the same planet and breathe the same air. I feel about him the way I felt about general white South Africans during Aparthied.
Where's my squee?
I need squee.
Maybe I should go back to trying to do a character analysis every once in a while. I have fallen in love with new characters since i started writing about comics.
Still, I need more squee than that.
Anyone got squee? Are you willing to share?
In Other News: Anime. Yay 12 Kingdoms. Yay Bleach. Boo TokyoPop for telling me I'll get one fricking 12 Kingdom Novel a year. That's 11 fricking years dirtwads!
Saturday, August 25, 2007
The Second Carnival is up.
It's been an interesting month for People of Colour.
Everyone please go check it out and thank Wychwood for all her hard work. Read and tell your friends and get them to tell their friends.
Tiny Note: In recent discussions there has been conflict over the general use of the term 'people of colour' and the lack of the use of the term 'non-white'. If my choice disagrees strongly enough with someone that they choose not to participate then I'm sorry for the loss.
Usage Note: Dissatisfaction with the implications of nonwhite as a racial label has doubtless contributed to the recent popularity of the term person of color and others, such as woman of color, with the same construction. In effect, person of color stands nonwhite on its head, substituting a positive for a negative. It is interesting that the almost exclusive association in American English of colored with Black does not carry over to terms formed with "of color," which are used inclusively of most groups other than those of European origin. See Usage Notes at colored, nonwhite. 1, 2
Thursday, August 23, 2007
I go back to being too depressed to read now. Updates...sometime in future. Move over of Seeking Avalon - also some time in future.
PS: I'm told (by the person who showed me this image) that Boobisaurous (Titania) is someone who's taken on Hulk, She-Hulk and Thor. Thor, he who is a god (or a demi-god depending on if he's sharing a body - point is, big ass powers). But her head is smaller than the male arms.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Tomorrow 'round 8pm or so is the deadline for the August Issue of the People of Colour in Scifi & Fantasy Blog Carnival.
I know a goodly number of people have contemplated moving LJ or have moved etc. Which is yet another reason I'm glad that there's a blog-spot central place (where I will also be posting this).
Last minute links for the Carnival should be sent now.
<< Also random damning of livejournal >>
Monday, August 13, 2007
I've been distracted by a lot lately; the use of the word miscegenation in Harry Potter fandom, Livejournal and 6Apart's utter cockfuckery. The fact that Seeking Avalon will now definitely be moving; despite the fact that I'm not quite ready for it; my philosophies and 6aparts aren't going to jel any longer.
All that said, and all that busy acknowledged, I have to give a nod to Kalinara for finally, finally banning Scott from her blog.
Cue my wonderfully voiced gospel choir.
Scott's a white male. He could never really understand what it is to grow up and be made aware by everyone black around you, of what to look out for re: institutional racism and how just being black affects walking down the street, getting a job, whatever.
There are some people who have been in situations where being white made them the minority. And in those situations there was violence and bullying sent their way. They have a good clue about feeling persecuted. But if they could get away from those circumstances the persecution would not follow.
There aren't places where minorities, especially blacks in America, can go without feeling some level of institutional racism if not simmering hatred and persecution.
Now since Scott is male, I think there is no way he could ever really understand, and that he outright refuses to even try to comprehend, what it means to be a woman; having to constantly be aware of power dynamics and strength dynamics, your body and your body's vulnerabilities, and the creepy objectification that's part of the rape act.
I don't think he's capable of understanding how we're incredibly aware of every time a heroine says to someone or is given a flashback of; 'and then some male stuck his penis in me against my will - so now I fight crime'
Scott and people like him will not get that the last thing women reading superhero comics want to see is:
I WAS MADE A TRADITIONAL VICTIM OF MALE POWER DOMINANCE VIA SEXUAL OBJECTIFICATION AND NOW IN ORDER TO RECOVER MY PRIDE - I FIGHT CRIME.
I love Batman. Batman was the child victim of a mugging gone wrong. It led to him being an orphan, it led to him wanting to save his city and prevent any other child from facing such horrors in the night.
Bruce or Bryce, Batman's story stays the same.
Kal or Kala, Superman's story stays the same.
Hal or Hannah. John or Jane. Barry or Beatrice. Wally or Willa.
There is no sense of them having been damaged from the inside out, surviving brutal thrusts that bruise and tear sensitive skin, internal friction agitation that feels like lava in your core, being emptied into like a waste receptacle, of having someone else get off on you being weaker - in the stories of those heroes.
Felicia Hardy. Hippolyta. Barbara Gordan (voyeuristically violated). Helena Bertenelli. Dina Drake. Jessica Drew (mind control also with torture).
These are just off the top of my head. See here for Ragnell's and Kalinara's original list.
It's a long list. It's too long. It's too many heroines violated, objectified and made into play things, immortalized in poses of weakness, lacking agency.
And don't tell me that Batman gets strung up and Flash has a nemesis and Kal-el is made weak by Kryptonite.
Cause until Lex Luthor lubes up a shard of glowing green rock and tells Superman to 'Bend over baby and take it like a man' - I think you'll be seriously missing my point about the violation of the heroic persona. Of how these powerful, charismatic, against the grain women must have according to their creators, moments where they are nothing but soft skin, blood and available holes to be taunted; where they are reminded not that they're bad heroes, not that they've made mistakes, not that they're not going to save the world; but instead are reminded that at the end of the day - THEY ARE NOTHING BUT WOMEN.
Up next, my total wtf over the racism and sexism and rampant colonialism in Fables: Arabian Tales
Cue: Gospel Choir hinting at Doom.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Dear Girl Wonder,
When having clandestine conversations about Bloggers of Colour, you perhaps should see to it that GW Site Business labeled with that Blogger's first name, isn't seen by everyone who checks out your blog.
But maybe it's her b-day coming up soon and y'all are planning a surprise. I don't know. Perhaps I should find out.
ETA: Coding error resolved now.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
I'm just going to put it out there that the PoC Blog Carnival has a feed on LJ.
The Carnival's In Need of Hosts.
I'd like it to be monthly. So far I've two offers, but both are for perhaps Carnival Issue 3 & 4. Though The Angry Black Woman might need far less time than I to put something together and host Issue #2 - are there any other takers?
International Blog Against Racism Week is coming up. If you're not already doing something for that - why not host?
Saturday, July 14, 2007
I should be sleeping, or making breakfast but - sometime on Thursday someone dragged an old rp character (female!Logan) out of my head for random chat meta. And the concept grew and grew and now I'm finding myself over at GJ trying to remember how to set up a game and doing a lot of head scratching.
But that's not the point of this post. Remember PoCkyGATE? And how I thought it'd have been interesting to start a fanfic universe or rpg of a People of Color version of the Stargate (SG1 & SGA) Universe?
Well, shifting from the concept of a gender-shifted Marvelverse, I pondered a racially shifted Marvelverse.
What if, Isaiah Bradley was the Captain America who was frozen? What if Wolverine, as Weapon X (ten) wherein the Captain Americas were Weapon I was another black guy experimented on by the government but who happened to have healing abilities?
What if Peter Parker was a Puerto Rican boy from Brooklyn?
I can't foresee circumstances where the Fantastic Four could end up as People of Color being allowed into space with their history. But they aren't the only team up in Marvelverse.
What if Namor was brown?
What if Jean Grey was Oneida?
What if Scott were Inuit or Black?
What if Alison Blaire came from an affluent African American family based in NYC? How much more weight would it bring of her father's determination that she have a law career instead of one in the entertainment industry?
What if Jean Paul and Jeanne Marie were instead born Chinese-Canadian and then adopted when their parents died?
What if instead of Thor there was Huitzilopochtli or Shango?
What if She-Hulk were Hispanic?
What if Charles Xavier was a non-white man talking about evolution, trying to spread a message of peace, while saying words like homo superior and seemingly building a private army? Would parents from Indiana etc, willingly give their child over into the guardianship of a non-white man from NY?
Marvelverse would be a very, very, different place, wouldn't it? And the various themes of Sentinels, mutant camps and things like Civil War would have been very different too.
I'd almost want to organize a game to try and re-enact pivotal moments in Marvel history under those circumstances. Logan and Captain America during WW2. The responses of those created to be super-soldiers towards a majority white government trying to control their lives. If Charles Xavier were black and Jean Grey were white, would she have so easily gotten the help she needed to control her power - up to living at the school? Heck if Charles and Jean were white but Scott was a minority, how would that change all those interactions; the attitude of Jean's parents, if Scott could be seen to reliably believe or believe in Xavier....
It's odd how the Marvelverse seems so strangely simple, in a moment's pause, without including those cues and motivations in the lives of the major characters.
xPosted Personal Journalg
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Hello and welcome to the very first, PEOPLE OF COLOR IN SCIFI & FANTASY BLOG CARNIVAL.
First off, this carnival was not put out on CPT. I was in the midst of moving house and unfortunately assumed I've be settled in and have time to stop unpacking and collate. That was not the case. My move wasn't completed until the 27th of June, fully 12days after the original deadline for the Carnival and one month after I was supposed to move house.
Secondly, I'd like to pre-emptively thank Ragnell of Written World, Delux Vivens on Livejournal, The Most Fearsome & Feisty Zvi (aka Witchqueen on LJ) and The FoCing Cabal in general. After a couple of weeks immersed in this project I couldn't begin to tell you all the various inspirations, but it's easy to give thanks for the support and encouragement. I saw a need, and your good will kicked me in the arse to help fill it.
Thirdly, I love SF. I love Scifi and I love Fantasy. I'm a reader and a writer. I've been a role player and a moderator. I originally said I'd ask for permission first before posting. Those rules will be changed in the guidelines. The information is much too important. I'd like to ask that people who stumble across this little gathering take care in how they go to discuss or 'confront' the various writers. Discussion is Good. Stupidity is Bad. I Carry A Big Stick. I won't hesitate to point out someone in need of help from trolls or if they're being pestered by idiots and sycophants.
Now, unto the original prologue - I am never not black. Ever. Other people see me and react to me and force me to see myself as black first, a woman second, usually an immigrant third and then as a human being. And that's supposing I'm not holding another woman's hand and then a sexuality label gets pushed past my humanity. There are only a few very short options I've found to deal with it - be ashamed and apologetic and try to hide who I am, ie disappear. Or be proud of my heritage as part of the diaspora and look for myself in the world's art, literature and music so I can nod and smile and say 'There I am. I count'.
SF, SciFi & Fantasy are the slice of the world I look at to see myself reflected. It's where I go to feel a part of the myriad ideas about life, love, the future, space, life on other planets, magic and folktales and myth of old. But there's a decided lack of people like me in this slice of the world and that needs to change. I'm hoping this Carnival gives a chance to pull together discussions and experiences so we can work towards change.
Enjoy the Carnival (sign up to host an issue)
Carnival Related: There have been various offers of help that I wasn't able to get back to promptly, due to my moving-house. Please email me again. The del.icio.us in particular does need the help of how many ever volunteers it can get. Let's not designate the Carnival itself as the only time we share links.
General: ♣ fanficofcolor. Announcing a new community!
In looking for links and information, I found myself face to page with far too many people who wonder, why 'a superficial attribute (skin color) is the most important thing about a fictional character'. As Glacierdust went on to say in a thread about 2004's SciFi Channel's EarthSea. 'How can we ever get past racism when well-meaning parents encourage children of all races to think of themselves as members of a particular race first, and people second?'
I feel and understand where Pam Noles of 'AND WE SHALL MARCH ON' was coming from when she wrote her essay response to the SciFi Channel's EarthSea and included what it meant to be a brown child growing up reading about blonde sorceresses with flashing green eyes. She lived in a household where her parents were determined that she grow up aware and proud of who she was and everything she could accomplish. Though at the time their pointed questions - and where are we in that fantasy universe - seemed like they were trying to dim the love.
I had relatives who wondered about that too. It made reading scifi a somewhat shameful and guilty little pleasure, somewhere between chocolate cake and porn. I wish I'd discovered EarthSea as a child. It could have changed that little tweak in my mind that had me wanting to treat people of color as rare and exotic even in my own writing. And not all of that mental block was because everyone I meet, in general, treats my own childhood experiences on a tropical island as distinctly unique.
Noles's rebuttal of Glacierdust's assumptions of 'reverse racism' is another good historic read.
“ A lot of white people - within the wide world and the narrow closet of genre - think that validation of Ethnic Self means exclusion or disparagement of Ethnic Other. They think that if you stand up for Blackitude, you are de facto beating down the Caucasians. ”
And so are Witchqueen's Jazz In The Machine an off the cuff essay on race issues in the slash community and the disparity between secondary characters of color and secondary characters who are white:
“ You know the slashed character I hate the most? I despise this character with a passion that others reserve for Buffy or Lana or Carolyn Plummer. I detest him and want to shred him into tiny little pieces, kick his butt, and forbid his name to be written ever again. It's Rafe. That guy with no last name (or maybe with no first name) on The Sentinel. ”
And her later and much more brilliant. Some Advice For White People In Fandom.
“I, an actual Fan of Color, am going to give you some advice on how to grab your CoCs, and what to do if the FoCing Cabal* accuses you of abusing your CoCs. ”
In one last round up, before pointing you to the delicious site, I give you Te of comic fandomdom and fanfic writing fame with:
“It's about fucking time the media recognizes something closer to the full range of Black ”
And LJ's WordofAStory on Cultural Appropriation & Defining The Other:
“ I took a writing class a few months ago. I happened to be one of the last to turn in my manuscript for critique, and so got to read nearly everyone else's before writing mine (because I didn't write mine until the night before it was due, of course). I got so annoyed with every single person writing about a white, middle class, suburban character who was living in Ohio that I deliberately wrote about an exteremly poor Middle Eastern character and set it in an unnamed location, but which was clearly not Ohio. And nearly every single one of the comments I got back wanted to know- how does this character feel about her race? Why didn't you talk more about her race? I want to know how her race affects the way she feels about this other character. I was furious. ”
It's slightly tangential as it isn't specifically about speculative fiction, but I think it's worth the read.
Guest blogger N. K. Jemison. in her essay hosted by Angry Black Woman discusses "No More Lilly White Futures & Monochrome Myths". It certainly got my attention, because I've currently overcome my own subconscious habit of thinking the world of scifi needed to be either white or description free. Click here for my personal response. It might make you smile.
Still, Jeminson has a point which set up a theme for a few ensuing blog posts.
“The show is set several hundred years in the future. White men are in the severe minority now on this planet, destined to become far more so if current demographic trends continue. Yet the Enterprise has a crew overwhelmingly dominated by white men. Another example is the current longest-running SF show on TV, Stargate SG-1, which has pretty much relegated people of color to the role of superstitious space-primitives (carrying space-spears, no less). There’s a whole planet of ‘em, or two or three. But there still aren’t many in the show’s version of the American military. ”
Her post links directly an extremely long conversation where in the SFWA get smacked in the face by the fact they've been coasting in terms of racism and race awareness and the promotion of and recruiting of young authors of color. There's actually a point where someone compares the lack of diversity in the organization and it's unwillingness to change with past resistance of SFWA members against the word processor - seriously, go read it here and skip all the rest if you think I'm kidding. It's mind blowing.
Also on point, if more touching, aggravating and poignant was this post on ♣ deadbrowalking from Delux Vivens and all the comments following.
“ Apparently its sorta expected for us to be Trek fans (especially of DS9 and ST:TNG) and maybe Firefly fans, but watching Who from back when Baker was the Doctor, being able to recite chapter and verse of Highlander or the X-files, and reading any books ever are astonishing signs of the earth shifting its axis.”
And as one fan put it in the comments:
“Just because they don't see us at cons, doesn't mean we don't exist. ”
We're all but invisible as consumers of SF product as well as being invisible in the SF product. The Angry Black Woman, however, has something to say about promoting diversity in fiction markets.
“Why isn’t the slushpile more diverse? There are several factors, some of which have nothing to do with the magazine or editor. Writing requires free time, some measure of economic stability, money, and a supportive environment. There are some writers who, despite all of these drawbacks, were able to make sales and become famous, but they represent a small minority.”
And she's not alone. Tobias Buckell speaks up too.
“ As for myself, online I keep seeing the same repetition. Someone says SF/F isn’t diverse, people respond by chanting “Hopkinson, Butler, Delany, Barnes” like it’s a magical phrase that dispels the +10 diversity attack spell. ”
Kawasi of 'Ramblings of an African Geek' puts up a Race & Science Fiction FAQ.
“ ...I’ve noticed a trend when this topic come s up of a set of basic excuses/rationalizations that always get rolled out...”
I personally recognize quite a few of the excuses from Racism Bingo.
Just as important, though again only tangentially related is Millenia Black's, a romance writer, complaint against her publishers. One blogger got her hands on a copy of the complaint.
“On information and belief, defendants’ employee and agent, Kara Cesare, who was assigned by Penguin to be Aldred’s editor, asked plaintiff’s agent, Sara Camilli, whether she had ever met Aldred in person and whether Aldred was black or white. Camilli responded that Aldred is black. ”
If publishers can set a standard of thinking that a black author has to be writing about black characters and be marketed as such, then that will undoubtedly affect any scifi/fantasy writers, or paranormal romance authors of color. Do publishers believe that black folk have nothing to say that will appeal to a broader audience? Or is it as Mat Johnson believes. They don't want to read anything where they aren't the center of attention, for good or ill.
Self-centeredness? Or some strange twisted belief that 'THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE' and Octavia Butler was it.
And speaking of Octavia Butler....
CONVENTIONS & CON REPORTS
'We're all the next Octavia Butler'. WISCON 31's Panel: Genre Tokenism Today: The New Octavia Butler. I suggest a look at the transcripts. There's a real feeling of admiration and gratitude to Butler for the path she forged and yet an intense frustration to the publishing world for wanting to make every black writer of science fiction into some kind of Octavia mold, or at least to see us all in said mold, as if we're not allowed to be as different and varied in our writing as non-blacks.
Also relevant among those con reports, are the following link write-ups, as I cannot begin to get into everything that's gone on in the WISCON 31 (2007) Con Reports regarding racism and white privilege. It starts with the Panel But The Master Has A Black & Decker, wherein just by the very name, those in charge of the panels show a certain level of Cultural Appropriation mixed with Cultural Unawareness.
EXIBITS / EVENTS / AWARDS
Looking For A Face Like Mine . May 12 - Sept. 10, 2007. From the Museum of Comics & Cartoon Art is a show to explore and examine the roles African Americans have played in the comics and cartoon industry. The Museum is in NYC, NY. 594 Broadway, (between Houston and Prince)New York, NY 10012.
“ 'Blacks were deliberately left out of comics and American society for many years,' Foster noted. 'On those rare occasions when we were included, we were misrepresented as savages, cannibals, simpletons, and worse. My research documents this important history both fair and foul, for all time, while there are still traces of it left.'”
General admission $5. Children under 12 for free. Are you going to NYC sometime this summer?
The Glyph Awards. From historical analysis to current times, the The East Coast Black Age Of Comics Convention, held their first annual awards for outstanding achievement in black comics. Mikaela of Mikahela.Net offers a pictorial review and more of this occasion to honor those striving to carve a presence in a majority white industry.
Angelina Jolie has been tapped to play The Fox in a movie version of Mark Millar's WANTED. Fox in the comics is a brown female play off of DC's Catwoman. She's sleek, she's smooth, she's a jewel thief and her ex-boyfriend is 'The Detective'. But with Angelina Jolie playing her, she'll no longer be a sistah.
Now I know rumors fly all over the place as to whether or not Angelina has Iroquois blood in her. And thus would make her a woman of color. But I don't think the 'one drop' rule even matters when she's almost always played white characters. Her recent role as Mariane Pearl not withstanding. I'm left wondering what have we done, or failed to do that Hollywood doesn't think twice about putting a white actress in a woman of color's role. Whatever Halle Berry did to the association of black women and comicbook movies can't have been bad enough that known and unknown black actresses never even get to see the casting door.
And Jolie is not the only one taking on character of color roles. Jessica Biel has been rumored as lately as May 2007 as taking on the role of an Asian character in the 2008 movie version of Street Fighter, Chun Li. Angry Asian Man is pissed as hell over it. And the rumors don't seem to be going away. Just Google Jessica Biel and Chun Li and see what some other critics think. Though you probably might not agree with all of them. They probably see 'cute white hot young blonde chick doing martial arts'; not OMG WTF Cultural Appropriation - ColorBlindness Leads To Invisibility.
In somewhat brighter news the seventh smartest person in the world of Marvelverse has returned. Amadeus Cho. I don't know him from Adam or a hole in the ground, but it's an Asian character getting play and I'm thinking he has fans out there who're overjoyed to see him again.
Just the same way fans of Daughters of the Dragon would love to actually see Misty and Colleen and not the really tanned chick with the puffy Buckingham Palace Guard Hat (guides on how to draw black hair, obviously needed) and that blonde chick with the slanted eyes.
But Brad MacKay has something to say about Black Superheroes, the Hero Deficit and why we don't see enough African Americans in the media. He's done research and asked questions and gotten some very interesting responses.
“ Reginald Hudlin: ... Somehow, in this medium people are so out of touch with popular culture that they don’t understand that black culture is popular culture.””
It's a beautiful article, the original un-edited version, discussing everything comics fandom is missing out on by sticking to a nostalgia base. For discussion see the re-posting of newspaper 'The Star's version at One Diverse Comic Book Nation.
And it'll be a good buffer before reading 'Why Don't Black Books Sell'.
“ Alan Grant: I'm pretty sure "black books" sell okay in Africa...”
SilverBullet Comics asked some creators and noted their responses. The above is just one of many replies, some of which are incredibly thoughtful about institutional racism in the industry.
SilverBullet Comics also hosted Myth Conceptions - Black History of Comics during Black History Month in February.
“ When reality is so depressing and oppressive, who can dream about the wonders of fantasy and science fiction? To frame it a little differently, it’s kind of hard to dream about flying through the air like Superman, if you can’t get a decent education on a day to day basis. Or how can you have these grand visions of soaring to the stars in a space ship, if you can’t get a decent job or even vote here on earth.&8221
While my mind blanked out when I thought I read praise for Joe Quesada. I will be re-reading this, especially in light of Christopher J Priest's experience trying to produce his comic Xero. Some say there's progress, look at Storm, Black Panther in comics, look at Dwayne McDuffie. But I think when we're still pointing out exceptions, there's something wrong with the system.
Slightly related to comics is the background history for the character known as 'The Hatian' to most viewers of NBC's Heroes. To members of a certain LJ community, however, he's called Bob. The online comic adjunct to the series has revealed a stereotypical and (I find personally) insulting history for the character who still has no name, but whose foundation is now one of superstitious darkie. Chapters 35 to 38 are all about voodoo, sexual appetites and a white man coming to save the day. As someone of Caribbean descent and who has found herself involved in Haitian culture, the amount of stabbings I want to do to this drek and the people who insensitively created it are best left lightly mentioned but not expressed.
In less aggravating news CBS's Jericho has been renewed. And this summer the first season is being repeated to draw in more veiwers. Fridays, 9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT. Yes, there is only one black man in the show, thus making only one black family in the show. And yes, the world as we know it now has ended but those black women found pressing combs and good conditioner. But Robert Hawkins is a vital character. He's in the know in a way the other characters on the show are not. He's involved in a way they are not. And all of this happens while he's being a strong black man, a concerned father and an intelligence agent trying to juggle his strong feelings for his family against national security. His is a plot line that rises to the top and we don't often get to see that.
And speaking of strong black characters who've won over majority white audiences, the character of Martha Jones, the latest Dr. Who companion and the first black female companion (I count Mickey as the first black companion) has had an outpouring of outrage over her treatment on the show.
Dr. Who is the longest running scifi television series ever. There was enormous excitement over Companions of Color. But now the season finale has left many viewers talking about institutional racism; Mikey, Martha And The Message That Doesnt' Belong On Who. It's also left them discussing whether or not TPTB for the show were aware of just how they'd marked the character; Martha As Mammy And More' Isms' In The Whoverse. The last post is especially interesting for a thread wherein someone compares being black to being a redhead. No lie, I'm totally serious here.
I'm also being serious when I point you to this link where a self admitted priviledged white chick starts talking about the possible racism with Martha in Who and how she thinks people are stretching to find offense. But when called out for telling minorities how they should feel, she then insists her conversation was only meant for other priviledged white chicks.
Yup, typewriters, redheads and other white people, when it comes to looking at racism in certain SF institutions, we're objects or just like them only tanner.
Are we really meant to just be grateful we see ourselves reflected on the screen in the first place and not complain at the treatment of those characters?
I say no.
The FoCing Cabal (Fans of Color) are restless. They've been restless for a while and it's likely that I'm only just noticing how restless we are in fandom. In a space where it's all about shifting paradigms and counter-culture and reinterpreting the text and expanding and spinning it and playing with it... there's a huge and obvious lack.
MakesMeWannaDie @ Livejournal sums up in very few words why The Archive For Fanfiction For Characters of Color: Remember Us is important.
And now that archive, is not alone. Livejournal plays host to Fanfic of Color, a community for posting fic and also discussion of Characters of Color. It's a new space being carved and realized - check it out.
I mentioned Millenia Black, earlier, and romance writing and racism in publishing, but that's not the only 'out of the corner of the eye' situation going on when it comes to protagonists of color in genres that can be intertwined with SF. Where are all the People of Color Young Adult SF? Why are libraries and bookstores filling up with ghetto-lit and street-lit but not something magical, something about saving the world, or discovering magic powers ? There should be more out there than retellings of fairy tales like Bound by Donna Jo Napoli. Disappearing Black Girls In Young Adult Literature, takes a look at YA literature and how it seems to be devoid of colour.
I've had the opportunity to pour through bookstores and the library recently and I couldn't find anything. There were a few young black or Asian or East Indian girls in high school scenarios. But young adults of colour in fantasy settings? Where are they?
Does anyone know of any articles discussing why we have no Menollys or Vanyels?
Though that does lead me directly to the very freshest and newest wtf.
America loves a new racial profile to stereotype and jail. Asian Highschooler and Gamer, Paul Hwang, age 17, is labeled a threat, for putting a detailed build and description of his high school in his Counter-Strike Map. This is May news. I'd like to be facetious and suggest we all wait two more months for the newest Asian stereotype to turn up in television - Not only will Asian men not get the girl, they'll now all be labeled as potential threats to national safety and security. Except that now in July I can't find a follow-up mention of him any where. A teenager's life is blasted open by 'suspicion' and scapegoating and that's it. I'm not a gamer, I'm interested in gamer responses to what happened to this boy.
In other news: "I Gotta Pay To Be Black?. Yes, yes you do.
"Black is an EXTRA feature. It makes your person look unique, so that is an EXTRA feature. Therefore, you having to PAY for it. (Or ask a friend to pay for it).".
Game company Acclaim is branching out. And no, I'm not giving them direct linkage so - http://dance.acclaim.com/index.htm. The game's in beta and the forum moderators believe it's making a fuss out of nothing to insist that a game in beta not think of white as the default.
But if that pisses you off, you're not going to want to hear Chris Mottes defending his company's games as not being racist. He claims there's a double standard. He wonders why bigoted, racially insensitive characters can exist in movies like The Departed but not in his games (doesn't that contradiction of motives just hurt your head?).
Still, someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Jack Nicholson play the 'bad guy' in that movie? The man who is definitely in the wrong and who does several bad bad things? I haven't seen it, but I'm pretty sure all the trailers etc pointed him out as the bad guy.
Chris Mottes is claiming artistic expression for games, games such as one wherein there's supposedly a move called burrito blasts.
But it's all okay, because this native South African says there's nothing intentionally offensive in his games at all and he did hire Mexican-American voice actors and tried to promote some Mexican underground bands using their music.
I have no more words.
Next Carnival: August 15th. Hopefully hosted by Angry Black Woman