Sunday, March 30, 2008

DC figures are lame

OK that's a lie they're not all lame. Only the ones I want are lame. I went to the big smoke yesterday to meet with friends, see some art and do some comic related shopping. We got down to London especially early so we could go to Forbidden Planet and I could buy some toys. Big fail.

We got the tube to Tottenham Court Road, turned onto Charing Cross Road and noticed a shop called Orbital comics. This was the awesome - lots of 80s to the present stuff for 50p, a manga selection my ever picky boyfriend was impressed with, to the point of going back later and purchasing 2 books, and this awesome Nightwing figure:

Which I'm now kicking myself about not getting. I'd just spent 12 quid on comics and thought I'd see what Forbidden Planet had to offer.

We got to Forbidden Planet and the DC selection was rubbish. The 12 inch batgirl dolls looked liked men. the material for the costumes all sucked, and the Women of the dc universe ones were rubbish. The expressions were all wrong or they were naked (hello Big Barda). The Zatanna and Donna Troy Wonder Girl ones were good, but not 50 quid of good. Anything of Power Girl and Wonder Woman had the expressions all weird.

I looked at the Marvel section, specifically the Marvel zombies, and they were awesome! Zombie spidey and Mary Jane? Check. Zombie Spidey about to beat someone to death with his own leg? Check. Zombie Cl America? Yep! Even the Harry Potter ones were better!

So I bought bundles of comics for a quid each. I'll wait for the next wave of mini mates to come out instead. And buy the Nightwing one.

Sort it out DC.

Wow. That was a boring post.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Barbie Supergirl. In pink. ehhhhhh. And man tackle.

Looks like I'm in a blogging mood tonight, Must be all the nervous energy from the chocolate egg I ate earlier.

Barbie Supergirl? Barbie's are fucking horrible. My particular brand of feminism hates them, they're fucking bimbos. And you want to make the DC female superheroes into Barbies? You want to take away all their individuality, their distinctiveness and separate identities and pour them all into one hollow plastic identikit shell? Fuck. Off. My beef with Barbie is they are sold as the ideal woman, the prettiest, the most slender, the tallest, the best shape you can be. And there's only ever one shape. From the website - From urban teen to fantasy queen she's every girl! Not mine she fucking aint.

From Valerie D'Orazio's blog, I bring you Pink Supergirl.
I am not making any comments on the validity of pink as a colour. It has as much place in our world as red, blue, green, brown, black and yellow.
My beef is not so much that Supergirl has never worn a pink outfit. I'm all for adapting costumes to make them your own. I couldn't give a shit how popular they are with kids. My problem is that it seems whenever companies are trying to sell something to women and girls they make it pink. Car Insurance. Mobile phones. Air travel.

It seems that pink is what being a women boils down to. It's lazy, it's condescending and it assumes we all like pink. And are shallow enough to buy something just cause it's pink. And I'm not the only one who thinks so.

On a brighter, less sweary note, lets see more man tackle in our comics:

Thanks Messrs Ross! Keep producing these and if I ever meet you I'll buy you a drink!

Because this post deserves more exposure and linkage

This post.
Geek girls rule. Girls rock harder. And we come in many different body shapes.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Oh Noes! Fantasy geeks! Fantasy GEEEEKS!

That's kind of a stupid headline isn't it? Oh well. Imagination equals fail for me. Anyway, onwards and upwards to the point of this post.

Whilst watching a documentary about the history of fantasy fiction, (which incidentally failed in two ways I think, because -
1) it started with Tolkien. Now fantasy to me goes back many many many centuries and truly starts with tales such as the Mabinogian, and the ancient myths. OK, so the myths are religion and not strictly speaking fiction, but I'll betcha they spawned many folk tales told as stories, and I'll betcha they featured wondrous fantastical creatures and magic.
2) They said Lord of the Rings was intertwined with and partly responsible for the hippie movement. I think because lots of people dropped acid and thought they were on middle earth, or something. That seemed to me to be a stretch and I think they just wanted to show naked people on the telly. Anyhows)

it struck me that people refer to fantasy, and sci fi, as escapism, and seek to understand why all the fans want to escape form their daily lives. they need to find a reason, such as weariness with the daily grind, abuse or poverty, that explains wanting to read about dragons and elves etc.

This seems to me rather daft, because isn't all reading escapism? Why not ask the question of anyone who reads any book? Even history books and autobiographies and misery memoirs. It's all escapism. Yet there doesn't seem to be a need to justify why other forms of fiction and non fiction are read. This seems to be unfair.

The other thing that struck me was why do people look down on fantasy and not on historical fiction? Take Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy I'm re-reading now. There's very little actual magic in it. It's all court intrigue and conspiracies and politics and war and murder and treason. Isn't that what books like The Other Boleyn Girl focus on too? Add in that Robin Hobb is a beautiful writer and the language spoken by the characters is so poetic at times, this results in a very satisfying, well written, immensely enjoyable, sophisticated book.

So why the snobbery surrounding fantasy? I say, nay, this is unfair.
I saw this on Heidi Meeley's blog, and thought I'd join in. Hey it's this or housework, OK?

Here are the rules:
"List 7 random things about yourself that people may not know. Link the person who sent this to you, and leave a comment on their blog so that their readers can visit yours.Post the rules on your blog."

You'd think this wouldn't be too hard, it's not like I've really got an online presence after all. Here we go:

1. I'm deathly scared of dark bathrooms. The second the light's turned off and I'm still in there my heart races and I rush to open the door and get out into the light.

2. I always develop an inappropriate crush on at least one of my co workers.

3. I have only just come to accept my body as it is and realise 3 pounds either way isn't going to make a lot of difference.

4. I sometimes have to ring my partner and ask him where the cleaning apparatus in our house is kept.

5. I get stimulation overload. By this I mean when I have the choice of reading a book, watching repeats of my TV shows or going on the Internet I cannot decide which to do and either try to do all 3 at once or wander around in a confused daze. For this reason I try not to have too many options.

6. I'm terrified of having children.

7. I'm going to get a driving licence purely to use as ID. I have no desire to learn to to drive I am merely sick of people questioning me.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hands, porn, lesbians, libraries, voodoo and lip reading

So, I finished reading Young Justice. As people may have noticed I think it's rather good. But there's always a but, right? Take Empress - cool costume, cool power, cool character background etc etc. I feel that making the sole black chick's power a voodoo one is, how shall we say it, racial stereotyping? And then on top of that she gets naked to cast a spell? Jesus. I call that racist. Probably not racist through maliciousness, more racist through lack of imagination and thought, but still racist.

My other problem with the run is the deaf girl Arrowette makes friends with on the way to the games. I'm fully supportive of including more (any?) deaf people in comics and literature but i think it should be handled well. It should not be inferred that deaf people are experts on lip reading. Only about 30% of all words are formed on the lips, the rest are formed with the tongue and throat. So, it's impossible to lip read 100% of all speech. It really would be nice to see communication issues reflected accurately.

Given Peter David's inclusion of a couple of deaf characters in Supergirl and Young Justice
I wonder if he suddenly came in contact with deaf people at some point, maybe a member of his family or a friend went deaf suddenly? It reminds me of Judd Winick bringing in HIV positive characters. Which again I fully support. Comics can provide a good forum to educate people about illnesses/disability/social issues so bring it on. Just do it right. Please? Do your research first.

(And on another note, I really hate Cassandra Cain's ability to read body movement like a language - it doesn't make sense! People growing up without speech and without hearing don't communicate as she did. It's a stupid plot device.)

On to Buffy issue 12. So she slept with Satsu. Big deal. This doesn't make her gay, or even bi. This simply means she slept with a chick. Some of the blogs I've read that have looked appear to be getting hung up on whether this makes Buffy gay or bi. I say, does it matter? It's just sex. And I don't think you can draw parallels between Buffy's previous unconventional relationships and sleeping with a girl. So Angel and Spike were dead vampires. They're still hot male dead vampires. That's quite different from women. I'm quite offended that some people think women and dead male vampires have something in common.
I should add that fro Buffy to be gay or bi she'd have to actually crush on women. I doubt she has a proper hard on for Satsu, I think she needed comfort and closeness and orgasms. You don't have to fancy someone to sleep with them.
And the rest of the comic? Awesome. This series is getting better and better each issue. But Willow flying really pisses me off for some reason. I'm picky and don't think anyone in the Buffyverse should be able to fly. It just doesn't seem to fit.

And I also just read the whole Genshiken series. I liked. One of the more notable parts of it was the abundance of porn for women they' showed. And showed it as part of everyday life for the characters, it wasn't anything to be ashamed of. It was read the same way the men read their porn, it was discussed openly, and recommended to friends and it was normalised.

By extensions this normalises female sexuality and realises women do have sex drives and desires and fantasies. Compare that to Western attitudes towards porn and women and I see that Genshiken deals with this in an incredibly mature and praiseworthy way. It's a relief to see women reading and buying porn without shame, without being subject to ridicule or name calling. Bring it on.

Superman 674
Their new house. Want want want! Check out that library space. *drools*

Serenity 1
Hurrah for the explosions and the guns! Boo in a big way for the cover. That's an Adam Hughes cover? What, did he draw it blindfolded? Look at the hands! And Mal's neck, and Zoe's very very forced grin - she looks like somethings pinning her cheeks back.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Comics roundup

So, I'm working my way through the Young Justice run at the moment. Written by Peter David, which I hadn't realised. It's really really good. Infantile, funny and features Mighty Endowed. Who? I hear you say. She turned up in issue number 1.

Awesome sendup of superheroines and villanesses. Michael Turner take note. WUMF! I hope she turns up again.

And then there's the issue where Arrowette yells at the JLA. Apart from her reaction being pretty cute and somewhat similar to what I reckon any of us would do, the artist covers up her groin with her skirt. See?

Yay! Ok so this is somewhat spoiled by the gratuitous pool and thong/bikini scene later on in the series, but I'm ignoring that.

And just because I have a soft spot for Impulse:

EDIT - Pls bring Arrowette back. She's great. Yes I know we have another teen girl archer - Speedy (and thank god Judd Winick didn't kill her off in GA) - but they are both quite different characters and there's a space for them both. Pretty please?
And while I'm on the topic, why aren't there any decent Big Barda figures out there?