Tuesday, July 31, 2012

So I Wrote A Korra Review

Under byline S. Willow, I wrote a Korra review for site: Pop Culture Social Club. It came out today.

I was asked to write a review about the show; The Legend Of Korra, a universe sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender (ATLAB). The problem is, I can’t. I can’t, because that’s not the show I watched. That’s not the show that was presented. The show I watched was ‘Tales From Republic City’. And it was a very specific type of tale – a traditional kyriarchial, not particularly Asianic tale about the call to adventure for several men. I didn’t enjoy it very much.

Legend of Korra (LoK) was supposed to be about the Avatar; the one elemental master capable of utilizing all four (or depending on your point of view, if you include ‘Spirit’, all five) of the elements. And yet the title character, the supposed central character is woefully misused. Despite being in mostly every scene, Korra and her related themes didn’t have much of a developed role. For a show called LoK, there really wasn’t much about Korra, or her actions that was specifically legendary.

More of the essay here, at their site.

Friday, July 20, 2012


So I've been messing about on Tumblr after all (http://seekingwillow.tumblr.com). It's got people I've missed talking/interacting with - but it's still nothing but a rolling comment system. I'm wary of my content there, trying not to put too much on, etc.

I think I've missed conversations.

And I could have conversations here, except Blogger's comment system has never been the best for that; I loathe Disqus; and it'd still involve moderation of asshats.

I guess I should figure out crossposting for when I do more than comment on other people's stiff - which hasn't been often. And I should probably transfer the few posts I've made here given I have the original posts written offline.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Strange Interlude

I met a comic book geek today - the exterminator. When he was spraying in my bedroom, he noticed my collection. Said it looked like I was a Marvel Fan. I said, no actually Batman's my favorite, those are all just the ones that I feel like dusting. Anyway, I ended up having a conversation wherein I was face to face with, I think an average guy - a comic book, specifically superhero guy.

And he's excited by the 'New Superman'. And the new Green Lantern. Recced me his favourite local/nearby comic book store.

But he also said somethings. Some things, not just about liking that Superman bleeds now and even loses sometimes and that makes him more relatable - while I stood there thinking about Superman's extended cast being in danger or held hostage or his principles holding him back and wondering if that kind of writing is somehow not 'enjoyable' to the average fan - even one saying he likes that Superman has to try and out think his foes now.

The thing he said was - I'm an average comic book geek and I think girls who like comics are the best of both worlds. It's awesome.

I was able to distract him - unintentionally - from his job (he still had to deal with upstairs) for about a good 15 minutes just talking about comics; talking about learning to read on comics, and having fallen for old school representations of certain characters; growing up on Alan Scott's Green Lantern and The Phantom and Dick Tracy and reading Spiderman and Batman and World's Finest and Huntress as Helena Kyle Wayne.

And it just struck me that he thought I was so uncommon. Either cause I'm black and a woman individually or combined. And I don't think I'm uncommon at all.

And I was just struck in a visceral way on expectations and representation and self-fulfilling prophecy. I may always be that woman he had a conversation about comics with this one time on a job, who talked about her father getting her comics and her father's favourites and her own. And other graphic novels and Watchmen and more. And maybe it'll mean something uncommon to him, that I was talking about old school character history and a 'remember when'.

And maybe it wouldn't be so damn uncommon if the perception courted and perpetuated that 'Girls/Women Don't Read Comics'. If it was accepted that we like a good story as much as anyone, have favourites, are interested in elseworlds, can say things like 'Damien's kind of Jason 2.0'. And 'Dick will never be my Batman' - if we weren't treated as such an oddity.

The last time I felt like such an 'oddity' was back in highschool being quizzed. And it felt that way again, with him watching my face to see if I knew who this person was, or that person, or this arc or that arc. Dropping 'Logan' as if I don't know it's Wolverine. Or Kingdom Come as if I'd have never heard of it (granted I read the novel). Though maybe I shouldn't think of it as a test, maybe he was just being geeky the way I was just being geeky for that 15 minutes; talking about growing disinterested or dropping Marvel or DC or both, and friends who've given up or gotten back in.

But it still felt so weird and oddly upsetting, that it wasn't 'Oh hey, a comic book fan'. But 'OMG! A comic book fan! Really? Are you really?!'