Saturday, November 29, 2008

So, it turns out that..

eating lots of chocolate and biscuits gives me ulcers. Wonderful. Something else to add to the list of stuff that irritates my mouth. Now to see if I can get away with my mouth healing itself before all the sore bits turn into fully fledged ulcers and I am left unable to speak.
On the plus side, I guess my teeth will thank me.

Horrific news from America, where a store employee is trampled to death by customers being over eager to buy things. How did no one notice they were stomping on someone? Or did they not care? I can't believe they didn't care.

In better news about life and death situations, the Guardian has published an article about 999 calls received, along with the transcripts (at the bottom of the page). God, coping in that sort of situation..

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Last but not least..

Yup, it's posts a plenty today :-)
And last of all, it's an all out Aquaman visual-a-thon.
First up, covers from vol 4:
(As always, click to enlarge)


*Gush*

This next one is why I've given up on vol1.


That's flying fish. Flying Aquaman through the air. Previously in this issue they flew rockets to the enemy in order to blow them up, then flew away.
FISH DON'T WORK THAT WAY! Gaaaahhhhhh. Maybe they're magnetic? My head hurts. It wouldn't be so bad but the issue also includes fish facts and tries to teach kids about the seas.

I was however loving the National Social Welfare Assembly adverts.


Wow, do you reckon Kal si gonna put those back?

Kids don't work that way.

Consumerism, or how I got on this month (followed by comics blathering)

Since my declaration a few weeks ago I haven’t done badly. Depending on your point of view. I have bought;
3 newspapers – 2 on the USA election and 1 because I needed reading material on my lunch break
A Zombina and the Skeletones CD – needed for my soul health. As I really liked them live and it wasn’t an impulsive purchase I think this is OK.
(EDIT - I also bought this direct from the band at the gig, and not at a high street store. is that more ethical? Or is not buying from high street chain stories leading to putting people out of work? Which is a very bad thing.)
A pair of fishnet holdups – bought for a work event and ended up not being worn due to unsightly bulges. I will see if they are usable in any way, if not, they will be donated to my sister. Bought from an independent local shop although I could have got them cheaper from Marks and Spencer.
Comics – I already mentioned how comics don’t count as purchases.
A second hand book – Esme Dodderidge – The new Gulliver. Second hand from a charity shop, a women’s press sci fi book. Fantastic! Managed to theorise and overtly criticise power relations and patriarchal culture, whilst not boring me and also delivering an interesting story.
Gloves for my Mum’s Christmas present – new but bought from an independent local department store.
Antihistamines, toothbrush, food, beer, etc. These don’t count.

Now in 4 weeks, that ain’t bad. I’ve even told rl people about my plans, so I have to stick to it. Eeep!

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Comics roundup, from last week, because I’ve been horribly busy.

Spoilers ahead for Terra 2, Superman/Supergirl Maelstrom 2, Supergirl 36 and of course Aquaman.
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Terra #2: Great cover. Not to sure about Peej’s expressions on the first two pages, she looks like a naughty girl about to be spanked. And not in a good way. The rest of the art is still great though.
Terra and Silver Banshee’s conversation is great and it’s nice to see a burial ritual. I am very much enjoying this.
Sadly, no overt fem slash this week.

Superman/Supergirl Maelstrom #2
So, THAT was Kal’s great idea to make Kara feel better? Take her to a planet with a red sun and lots of dangerous beasties? What a dick. That’s a dumb idea, and Kara knows it.
It’s good to see the snarky take no bullshit Kara again. Also, really great cover.

Supergirl #35
Don’t like this cover. Not keen on any of the New Krypton covers actually. It’s good to see Kara stand up to her parents as she tries to establish a life for itself. But, uhhh, the origin? Kryptonite poisoning was making her crazy? A rogue Braniac caused her folks to send her to Earth? Ummm…ok. So, about those phantoms then, were they all in her imagination?
I like the Argo City in a bubble origin and I like a mad Brainiac theory as much as anyone, but was all her angst and other origins completely in her head then? Was the Kryptonite poisoning the darkness that Power Girl felt, back when they first met?
Was the poison what caused her to split into dark Supergirl when Lex blasted her with black K rays?
And wouldn’t Batman have already found this back when he tested her to death when she turned up on Earth?
Bah. I hope someone answers my questions.

Aquaman
I’ve now finished v4 including the Sword of Atlantis issues. This lot would have been better if it had continues, unfortunately it sort of petered out. Tad Williams issues were good, although I can see Topo’s character being a stock in trade type character Mr Williams’ books.
Just Imagine Stan lee’s Aquaman was rubbish – a rip off Spiderman and bugger all thought.
Marvel vs Dc was also a pointless slugfest. Aquaman 1,000,000 was ok. The Tempest mini only really works if you already know who he is – check it out if you’re an Aquaman fan.

I’d mostly recommend picking up Peter David’s run and the American Tidal arc though.

Now to read volume 1, if I can cope with the style, and the Atlantis Chronicles.

Meanwhile, enjoy more pretty, this time from the Cerdian war saga:





Reclaim the Night

I did have a whole long post typed up ready to go online about the march on Saturday, but i can't be arsed. It was fun, I went with 2 friends I haven't seen in a while, they got on, we marched and shouted, bystanders supported us, there was a signer translating the speeches and I saw a cool band in the evening - Zombina and the Skeletones. Check them out.

There's lots of stuff up online about the march - sadly no pictures of me or my friends, but if you want to read more here's some links:

The F Word
Reclaim the Night
London Feminist Network
Shut Up Sit Down - on sex workers rights

While we're at it, please all go help Rape Crisis. You've got no excuses not to do so. Do it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Meme time!

Stolen from Yonmei
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence along with these instructions on your LJ.
* Don't dig for your favourite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Or blog, in my case.

"Whopping Disaster". To make more sense, followed by - "Think how people in your time suffered from switching to an overrefined diet - cancer of the colon -"

From Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time. Very much recommended. Contains a good demonstration of how our body postures are affected by our socialised gender roles.

Link on!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The last stretch of modern Aquaman..

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!!!!
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Aquaman vol 4 seemed very disjointed. Issues 1 to 12 are Arthur gaining his new mystic water hand communing with Annwyn and saving the water goddesses. This is a more mellow less angry Arthur, partly due to his fancy new hand and not being able to strike in anger with it, lest he calls forth the Thirst again or something like it.

Issues 13 and 14 are stand alone issues, and just lovely. In # 13 Arthur saves a girl from drowning but fails to save her parents. The back story of the family’s life is feared and we get to see that despite their anger towards each other they really do love each other. Issue 14 is about other people’s perceptions of Aquaman, and is a very human very every day and ordinary life story. I would recommend picking these to up.

Next we see the American Tidal arc, where San Diego becomes Sub Diego, and this I very much enjoyed. Lorena is introduced and is pretty damn cool. She looks made for the Aquagirl outfit (first shown in a much later issue).
The deliberate genetic mutation story really caught my attention and I can’t help but wonder how Geist actually copes with living underwater, on a day to day basis. I feel very sad we saw no more of him and learnt no more before he got turned into an OMAC.

From issue 35 to 39, (the Infinite Crisis tie ins) I lost interest. I didn’t care when Garth, Vulko, Koryak, Dolphin and Cerdian seemingly died. I felt nothing when the Spectre showed up and began stomping Atlantis. Mera’s new role as an air breather was very intriguing, and her new friendship with Arthur’s sort of fling is noteworthy – a very gentle, honest and forgiving relationship. Serene almost.

I think maybe part of the reason I didn’t care about this arc (if you can call it that) is cos continuity seemed to go out the window - Garth and Dolphin’s son inexplicably became a daughter, Arthur can use his water hand in anger now and Garth appears to hate Arthur. Back in issue 12 he was Arthur’s only fan. What changed? Did I miss something?

Sword of Atlantis is good though – and the art is wonderful. Orin has become the Dweller of the Deeps and there’s a new younger Arthur Curry in town who’s stepping into Orin’s old life.

Enough of that, have some pretty:
In which the subjects of Atlantis understand why the 'net exists:

In which Orin understands truly what makes his his comrades in superheroics powerful:

A tragic panel where Mera is (apparently) dead (again) but Arthur's subjects don;t knwo this and are only aware he's defeated the bad guys and saved Atlantis:

*weeps*

And to prove I do notice when men are drawn badly too:


What is going on with Arthur's muscles in that top panel? It's a pity I didn't save the issue where he looked liked he got some sort of half inflatable half melting disease causing his overly muscled legs to twist around in impossible ways.
(and just because I'm me, note how AC isn't sexual in that panel, he's brooding, also I think it may be noteworthy to point out that it clearly looks ridiculous whereas a lot of women featured (sexualised) crap art is taken for normality*.)


*Me, keeping my feminsist credentials alive and well since 1974. ;)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Stuff and comments

I'm gonna be really busy for the next few days and have been for the last, well ages, really. I have a word do tomorrow night and I'm off to London for the weekend for the Reclaim the Night march on Saturday.

I have noticed comments have been left on some of my more political posts recently - right now I'm too worn out and got too much life stuff going on to trust myself to be able to answer them and argue them well. So, still here, still reading comments but feel like I may inadvertently pick a fight if I respond. So I'm not going to. Plus, feeling ultra sensitive and not good at criticism right now. :/

Have a good weekend everybody.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Men who pay for sex with trafficked or pimped women could face a rape charge

More news here. On the surface this looks good. If you're trafficked or forced into prostitution any sex experienced under that arrangement will be rape. I'm glad this is being recognised.

So far as I can see the law may not explicitly charge the men with rape but it will make it illegal for a man to buy sex from a woman who is being controlled for another's gain (e.g. pimps). And ignorance will not be an excuse (so just the same as every other crime then, so far so good).

A lot of women are forced into prostitution, and as I understand it is in no way a good experience. But, I know someone who runs an escort agency and all the women working there are there by choice and are not being controlled for another's gain, though the agency takes a cut. under this ruel the men using these women would be charged. And i'm not sure that's right.

But overall, I think I approve this new law which moves the emphasis of criminality from the woman to the men (and presumably sometimes women) buying sex. God knows how the police are gonna enforce it though. It's not like they pick up pimps and hunt down sex traffickers effectively at the moment.

Hurrah! Awesome women comics coming right up!

According to Michael May's Adventure blog Power Girl AND Zatanna are gonna have their own ongoing series, AND Oracle is gonna have a mini series

AND AND AND!!!

Amanda Connor will be illustrating the upcoming Black Canary/Zatanna trade!!! (Graphic novel??? call it whatever. It'll be a big book with gorgeous art and stories featuring two my two favourite fishnet wearing ladies!)

I'm so excited I could just burst!


YAY YAY YAY!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Aquaman round up

So, I'm in a marginally better mood than yesterday, yay me. So I thought I'd post various Aquaman covers (and one piece of end art) for your viewing pleasure. They range from wonderfully colourful to just sublime or really powerful.




This one was the last apnel from the previous issue. Oh Arthur, so much pain.

Incidentally, I realised from the Pulp heroes annual that I actually do know the structure of the classic detective story, and I think the first story in that set is in a film noir style (I say think because I'm not sure what film noir actually is).
Anyway, that particular annual is highly reccomended, the first story about Tusky the missing walrus is brilliant. And Dolphin makes a perfect 1940s style receptionist.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bats

Comics of the week

Not too well received by me actually.. Probably because I read them whilst in view of strangers – not something I like doing, I’m a very private person – or whilst drunk.

Short spoilers follow for Green Arrow/Black Canary 14, Action Comics 871, Manhunter 36, Final Crisis – Resist, Supes & Bats vs Vampires and Werewolves, Booster Gold 14.
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Green Arrow/Black Canary 14
Did not like. The art looked very off and this new Connor seems flat, no depth. He seems like a slightly angry shell.
Also, last Judd Winick issue. This makes me sad.

Action Comics 871
Nightwing and Flamebird! Hurrah hurrah hurrah! Oh look they are on the cover too, I hadn’t noticed that.
My first thought was they each looked very like the Flamebird hanger on seen in Teen Titans occasionally, and like Dick Grayson. Very Battish symbol he’s got. Also, I was inexplicably reminded of Hawk and Dove.

Manhunter 36
Crap art.

Final Crisis: Resist
I thought everyone in the blogosphere was joking when they said Snapper Carr got boinked by Cheetah. That was a surprise to see they weren’t.
I didn’t know Snapper had teleportation powers now. He’s not as annoying as he used to be.

Supes & Bats vs Vampires and Werewolves 3
Rubbish. Probably due to my being drunk when reading it.

Booster Gold 14
Not as funny as it should have been. Possibly due to strangers or being drunk.

So much for one blog post a day

Currently listening to: Reef: Rides and Replenish

Mood: Foul

I really was intending to blog regularly, even daily, this month, but then life happened. Work hasn’t let up all week, it’s now Sunday and I’ve had to work at home doing finance stuff - my least favourite activity at the best of times but even worse on the weekend – and the next week promises to be equally hectic.

I had to go shopping for bloody bridesmaid dresses yesterday, when the bride and other bridesmaids are 200 miles away and the city is *already* rammed for Christmas and we still haven’t got a sodding decision. I very much dislike shopping in the real world.

I have yet again completely failed to practice for the sign choir I attend, so that’ll go well tomorrow. I just need to learn the English words then the signs will flow easy, and who knew Mistletoe and Wine* would be such a bugger to translate?

I haven’t been able to properly catch up on new blog posts so haven’t felt like I’ve had a chance to relax, and I’ve had a friend stay all weekend and so feel deficient in my comic reading time (yes I know, that makes me a very selfish person, so bite me).

And the Misty’s gig I had tickets to see on Wednesday has been cancelled. *scowl*

So yes, I’m in a foul mood. Grrr.

On the plus side, Ami’s blog informs me that Doomsday is going to be in Smallville this week so that’s exciting. Now I just need to download all the episodes…

Aquaman is going well. At least until Peter David stopped writing it and now I’m just suspicious of change. Also, Mera? That:


is NOT a dress. Fully clothed to…scraps in one issue. Yes, well done on respecting your female characters there.

I did see an interview with excellent and wholly wonderful Lauren Laverne (ex Kenickie) on the Guardian website earlier, where she rationalises her vegetarianism vs wearing animal skins with the following:

"I couldn't have an animal die just so I could eat it. The way I think about it is if I was to be killed I would rather be worn than eaten. I think eating something is such an impermanent way to express a life. To be minced up and put in a burger is a bit of an inglorious ending, but to wind up as a pair of Louis Vuitton shoes, well, then your death has meant something. That's how I see it."
And it’s nice to see Russia observing due democratic processes yet again. That strikes me as very similar to the 1917 elections whereby the Bolsheviks were not voted in en masse, so decided to abolish the elections and begin the start of a 70 year dictatorial regime.

Yours snarlingly



*Not my choice of songs. I want to do Lord of the Dance.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Comics of the week of 5th November

Well you lucky, lucky people, as I was late buying and then gabbling about last weeks books, but on time this week you get two, yeah, that’s right, TWO, sets of up the minute comic thoughts from yours truly, this week.

Betcha can’t wait, huh?

Here follows some gushing thoughts (and spoilers) about Jack Kirby’s Mister Miracle collection, Terror Titans #2, Terra #1, Superman/Supergirl/Maelstrom #1 and Aquaman v2 - issues 1 – 13.
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Terror Titans #2
Rose is at the forefront here. Independent, mouthy, tough and superior to everyone around her. Best moments:
  • ‘Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some face to rearrange’
  • While fighting TNTeena in the ring, she slices the girl’s fingers off. Ouch.
  • Terra is in it, she beats Zatarra (arrogant git).
  • The art – check out the cover, Rose has muscles, she looks utterly, utterly solid. And I like her costume, have I mentioned how much I like her costume?
  • The rivalry between Disruptor and Ravager. Please, Disruptor is a lame third rate villain, she’ll never come out on top.
Terra # 1
A new mini series. Pencilled and inked by Amanda Connor (with Jimmy Palmiotti also doing inks).
I’m SO pleased we’ve got a Terra mini. The first time this version turned up (so far as I know, and do correct me if I’m wrong), was in a Supergirl book, I forget the number. She was great – distant yet helpful, earnest and serene. Now that must have been at least 2-3 years ago, and I’ve been waiting ever since to hear more about her.
The story starts underground where she’s fighting these wormy teethy vampire slug things on behalf of other flying insectoidy denizens of the deep. This meanwhile is causing tremors and earthquakes above ground.

Terra defeats the wormy vampire slug things, heads above ground, saves the people and requests that they move their excavations to another site as they are disturbing the below earth civilisations.

Some random guy located beneath the New Mexico desert gets dragged into a weird pool, gets covered in shiny stuff and kills his fellow excavators. And dubs the pool ‘my newfound pool of magic goodness’ (!).

Meanwhile Terra is fighting more underground denizens who are exploding a volcano. She falls into lava and is rescued by Power Girl. There then follows 6 of the most (fem) slashy panels ever! Because of this, Amanda Connor is now my hero. Terra and Karen are totally having a relationship. If I can find some scans of the panels I'll post a link.

Amanda Connor’s art rocks. It can be quite static – as in I don’t get the feeling of movement from it that I get from say, the Terror Titans cover. Her panels look very much like a frozen snapshot and the art is sometimes less sequential than just plain jerky, and her Peej is drawn a little too round and immature for my liking. But, those points aren’t a big deal. Overall, I find her art fresh, the characters are adorable and seductive (without being porny), cute and Terra cam be na├»ve or powerful. She can even do different (and convincing!) facial expressions! Even when the panels look static she conveys a lot of meaning and in this book I find the art perfectly complements the nature of the story and brings something extra to it. It’s fun and playful. I’m hooked. More pleased!

Superman/Supergirl/Maelstrom #1
After reading this review of the book I’m not sure what my true feelings are or how much I’ve been influenced by other people’s negative views. Hence why I usually avoid spoilers.
One thing is for sure – Kara is lame in this issue. She gets beat almost immediately, barely lift’s a finger to help herself and is overall rather pathetic. Especially when compared to Kal’s ease at beating Maelstrom. He flies down, uses laser vision to get her attention, smashes a rock thrown at him, then grabs her arms and operates the boom tube.

Now why couldn’t Kara have done that?

On the plus side, Supergirl is thrown face down on the pavement and kind of goes splat. That, no matter, who it’s done too, is ALWAYS amusing.

Anyway, back to the moon. Kal displays another facet to his Superdickery and suggests that Kara and him go somewhere far away, presumably for him to train her. She says no. he says ‘I was only asking to be polite, Kara. You’re going whether you want to or not.
Fascist.
The art’s nice though.

Note: the issue is up on scans daily for anyone who wants to check it out.

Jack Kirby’s Mister Miracle – a collection of his earliest stories.
This is mad. Overly dramatic, over enthusiastic, too many adjectives and narration boxes. Like everything else of it’s time. Fun and completely incredulous.

Plus points is there’s a lot of Barda about (Yay!), and not because she’s big. Boom boom (sorry). It’s good to see their origin stories and it’s good to see Barda not take any shit from anyone and defending her right to wander around in a skimpy bikini without being letched at. Which makes me approve of this statue more. Or it did, until i looked at it again and realised she's posed like a serving wench holding Scott's bleeding cloak. Grrr.

There was one stupidity plot – Mister Miracle, the world’s foremost escape artist, master of gadgets to get you out of ANYWHERE, is foiled when a bad guy grabs his cloak and won't let go. Really. How dumb.
But overall, it’s a recommended volume.

Aquaman v2 issues 1-13
All about how Aquaman is trying to cope with the death of his son and his wife leaving him. He’s very angry and is beating himself and everyone else up about it. I finally understand why Arthur has his abilities and that not every citizen of the Atlantis cities has the same ones.

The last issue was heartbreaking and brought a tear to my eye, because I’m a big softy. Told from the point of view of this kid who’d got an undisclosed awful illness. He decides to go to the lake to find Aquaman, because Arthur is his hero, he hitches with 2 people who tell him lies about how they saw Aquaman once, then meets a reformed con who turns out to be reformed because of Arthur’s interventions. Then the kid meets Aquaman who is stopping by the reformed con’s house for a pint (or maybe not a pint). See? I’m a big softy.

I quite liked the whole series and am now going back to read the two mini’s that preceded it, but not V1 from the 60s because I like my head not exploded, thank you very much.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

look

I'm still buoyed up on election fever (and thinking the next uk election is going to make me curl up in a ball and cry. lots.) so check these out:


Loving the last one.

Back to the frivolous and most definitely not earnest..

Sort of half spoilers but probably more rambling thoughts for:
Infinite Crisis, Teen Titans 64, DCU Halloween Special, Superman/Batman vs Vampires and Werewolves, New Krypton Superman 681, Superman/Batman 53, DCU 4.

Infinite Crisis is really fucking cool! Now I understand lots of the plot lines from the last 3 years! Superboy Prime is a massive whiny jerk isn’t he? Kon dying, ahh, so sad, poor Cassie. Bart coming back…tugging on my heartstrings (bring him back DC!).

Superman/Batman vs Vampires and Werewolves 2
Not as bad it should be. Reads like a B movie - the subtitle is ‘and a tentacled creature FROM BEYOND!’ which kind of makes me love it. And I like the narration boxes – all sepia like. The last panel wins for being very very cool. Superman sweeps down from the sky to flatten, with his feet, the tentacled monster FROM BEYOND!
Next month, an unspeakable HORROR From Beyond!
I was obviously in a grump reading the first issue of this.

DCU Decisions 4
I thought we were going to see if Supes stood for? False advertising! Nice stirring speech from Supes though, even if I don’t’ quite understand what his beef is. Good conversation between Clark and Lois at the end. Chuckle making indeed.

Teen Titans 64
I like Bombshell. More of her please. And make her a good guy, I never quite bought that bad guy shit, so I’m pleased with the background they are giving us. And Cass’ storyline is definitely going well. Never make a pact with a god of war folks, it will turn round and bite you in the ass.

DCU Halloween special 2008
Vixen’s story was great J The other stand out one was Batman and the kids in the sewer.

Superman/Batman 53
My god, Bruce is a moody git isn’t he? I’m loving how Lois takes finding herself nearly buried alive as just a matter of course! I think I’m going to enjoy this arc.

Superman 681
Poor Ma Kent. L It’s nice to see Krypto being caring though. Doesn’t Renato Guedes draw and awesome Diana?! And of course, Kara was good. The inclusion of Doomsday knocked my socks off. I think he’s gonna go on a rampage and kill lots of the current Kryptonians. I bet at some point in the future, if not in 6 issues, then in 6 years, we’ll find out this enlarged Kandor thing was all a hoax. At the moment it’s exciting and I appreciate it.

Next I’ll be reading Aquaman, volume 2 through 4, partly written by Peter David. Good times ahead.

In bad news, check out this review of the Superman/Supergirl story arc :( How disappointing. I shall buy it anyway. And Birds of Prey has been cancelled. That sucks.

Hello new world

I was going to wax lyrical about the importance of yesterday’s results, because it all (my feelings) seemed oh so important and meaningful and earnest at 9am yesterday morning, when I hadn’t had any kip and was, possibly more importantly, still drunk - (red wine + Cava + no sleep makes for a very uncomfortable 4 hour train journey home, especially when you incorporate London underground into that).

So, now, a little calmer and rested and rational, I don’t actually believe that we are in a whole new world. I don’t know a lot about Obama’s policies, I know more about what he doesn’t stand for (Palin), which to me is the important thing. I am overjoyed that for the next 4 years we’ve got a (partial?) end to the traditional WASP in power. That’s amazing. I don’t think this makes America any less racist, but my god I’m so happy that enough American people aren’t racist enough to *not* vote for Obama.*

I think that the election of a black guy to the American Presidency has enormous value as a symbol – as the end of the traditional white old rich guy running things. That is *so* important. And without meaning to denigrate that achievement, or to appropriate it for my own means, (because I do realise how important the election, in and of itself, of a person of colour, is to other people of colour), it also gives me hope that anyone from any given minority, or a woman (52% of the population does not a minority make), could also be elected, in the future, and that we could finally get our voices heard. And that’s really damn cool, for everybody.**

I am a massive believer in role models, of the power of seeing someone like you, out there, represented, speaking, out loud, in the public eye, or in everyday life. Without role models, without visible representation, we internalise feelings of areas of life being cut off from us, unattainable. Now we’ve got an incredibly visible black guy in the highest position of power in America. Hooray!

I kind of feel like in a sci fi future, where to show how progressive things are and how good, just and equal society is they have a black family in the White House (and usually, no other people of colour, anywhere).

Of course, I know this doesn’t mean an instant end to shit and bigotry happening. Just cos one black guy got in doesn’t mean it will happen again. Thatcher got to be the UK Prime Minister in the 80s, funny how women are still massively under represented in Parliament. Just cos one person has broken through doesn’t mean that others can suddenly move freely. It also doesn’t mean he’s going to eradicate racism, or even come up with all the right answers. Especially as ‘right’ is somewhat subjective.

I’m waiting for a backlash of people claiming he isn’t really black so it doesn’t count. Or people shooting him. They’d better make sure the security is really damn good.

I’m loving the fact that Kenya have declared Thursday a national holiday. My head is in my hands over Russia’s decision to situate more missiles right on their borders, and that Medvedev wants to extend his term from 4 years to 6 years. Christ almighty Russia, I love you, but you’re insane.

*Was that proper English? I doubt it.
**If I’m being an arse here, then tell me. I swear I’m not trying to take away from his achievement.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Dear America...

You have made me so proud!  I am so happy for you!
That happy I cried!  i've had no sleep due to the all night election party, glued to the telly, so my reasons as to why it's so important to me will come later.

Yay, well done america!

Monday, November 03, 2008

All you Americans

Get yourselves out to vote tomorrow. I'll shall be attempting to watch your election shenanigans in Brighton. But by the time the first result rolls in I expect I'll be alseep.
Oh well.

PS: I think I've pressed something wrong on here, the font's gone wrong and it's something to do with me ticking a show html box,and now I don't know what to do. erm..help?

When I go to view old posts and edit them the text box is full of words and html code....ulp

100 issues later

I finished the Kon-El Superboy run. It was pretty hard work – 100 issues and apart from 3 story arcs it was pretty much all crap till issue 80. *sigh*


The following text covers the women in Superboy’s life, good plot lines, Superdickery, Batman bashing and reccomendations. Look for the text in bold if you want to skip to specific sections.


I figure this comic was written to be fun and an alternative to more serious titles out there at the time. It started in 1994, and like Superboy himself; for most of the run it was shallow, superficial, sexist, street talking and wise cracking. Except there was no depth and it just wasn’t very good. I had hoped the book would be more like Young Justice or Impulse – they were immature and full of fun but didn’t insult the readers’ intelligence. Instead the style seemed matched to Superboy’s personality, and while I can see how that makes sense from an editorial and thematic point of view, it just wasn’t for me. Judging from the letter columns, lots of people did appear to like it, so I guess it’s just a matter of taste.


Having said all that, there were a few gems before issues 80. Superboy’s discovery that he could no longer age (during the Meltdown arc, issues 38 to 41) gave him a bit of maturity, heartache and agonising nightmares. It was good to see more fleshed out, he’s a fun character, he needed fleshing out. Issue 44, Battle of the Ages, where Superboy discovered a never never land style island where the kids didn’t age was really good and allayed a lot of the fears that Superboy had about his new found permanent teenager status.


About the women in his life..

Knockout is awesome. Too much with the constant double entendres (I refer you back to the shallow superficial nature of the comic) and man chasing, but it was good to see her as a regular character. I like Knockout and I’ve got the feeling she’s currently in a lesbian relationship with someone, anyone know if I’m right?


Roxy and her dad were always good. Roxy was never two dimensional and along with Tana Moon were the only 2 female characters treated with any sort of respect (by Superboy and by the writers/artists) for a long time.

Tana and Superboy’s relationship was creepy. I appreciate that technically he was less than a year old when they first met and got together, but both physically and mentally he was at the 16yr old boy stage. As she was 22 or 23 at this time that’s just plain wrong, and looked wrong on paper too. I figure the creators were thinking about your typical 16 year old boys desires when writing in this relationship, and from the 16 yr old’s point of view, dating a 22 year old is pretty cool. But the rest of it’s just weird.


I guess they also wanted to mirror Superman’s relationship with Lois, as Tana is also a reporter, but they could have made her a teenage prodigy or something. Or just starting in her career - y’know, something less predatory and abusive.

The other decent ongoing female character was Doctor Serling Roquette. A 16 year old scientific genius working for Cadmus with an ‘are they aren’t they’ relationship with Kon. The last one worth mentioning is Trixie – started off bad, got good. She’s my type of woman – tough and blonde and won’t take any shit.


The other good story arc before issue 80 was The Wild Lands storyline, starting in issue 50 with the Last Boy on Earth. This arc pleased me. Kon ends up in an island populated by intelligent humanoid animals. It turns out this is a secret island in the pacific and the first animals were bred by geneticists about 50 yrs ago. Good stuff. My only complaint was the partially clothed lady animals. The in context explanation, so far as I can guess, is that the geneticists deliberately bred the female animals to resemble busty human women and also introduced the idea of different clothing standards for the male and female animals. So, not objectifying at all there then. I’m not even gonna bother going into the creator’s reasoning, I think we all know how sexism works in the mainstream comics industry. (Hey, DC, it’s wrong!).


Issue number 59 reveals the extent of Superman’s Superdickery – he finally gives Superboy a name, Kon-El.

Obviously giving him a name is a good thing, but it took 59 issues to do this???? Superboy is a clone, he was created to replace Superman, something he can no longer do as he is stuck at age 16 and all this time he’s only had a job description, a title?! Apart from anything else, look at Kon’s expression in this issue:



He’s so happy! He’s got an identity! This was way overdue. Also, the art in this issue was *really* appealing.


Issue 60 sees the start of the Hyper-Tension arc where Kon visits many different realities including the Elseworlds Superwoman/Batwoman one. I love alternative universe stories. :)


issue 80 saw the return of Roxy, bonded with a fiery alien named Pyra. This was the start of it being consistently good. Joe Kelly took over from issue 83 to 92 and brought in a lot more Young Justice and other DC character crossovers, which to be honest was what I had been hoping for from the start. And this run was goooood. Plus issue 82 saw Kon beating up Batman:



Ok it’s a cardboard Batman, but admit, you enjoyed that panel didn’t you?


Palmiotti and Didio took over writing issues 93 to 99 and these were also pleasing. Kon got himself a job as super in an apartment block and tried to live a normal life. Predictably, as he’s a superhero and therefore a villain magnet, this failed. Issue 100 was the last one saw Clark taking Kon to live with the Kents, in order to provide him with stability and to see how the normals live.


In summary, if you are thinking of picking up any Superboy issues may I recommend the following:


Superboy 44, Battle of the Ages

Superboy 50 to 53, The Last Boy on Earth, and 66 (Wild Hunt) and 67 (Tooth and Claw) – follow ups to The Last Boy on Earth

Superboy 59 – Superboy on Krypton

Superboy 60 to 65 – Hyper-Tension

Superboy issues 80 to 100

And of course all the Young Justice and Impulse issues, which are all brilliant!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

This whole Brand/Ross thing going on at the moment. Peter Tatchell's response to it:

"It is not as if Baille is some innocent convent girl. She admits she slept with Brand and she works as a "burlesque dancer" in a group called Satanic Sluts. Yet she claims Brand's jokes have damaged her public image and hurt her feelings. Oh please!"

Oh please, yourself. So because she had sex she's fair game? Fuck off Tatchell. Racism and homophobia is bad but sexism is ok, is that it?

Also check out The F Word's more sensible take on this.

Magazines and messages

Diva magazine is a UK magazine for lesbians and allegedly bisexuals. When you search for it in google the tagline reads 'Diva Magazine - Lesbian Bisexual Lifestyle'.

Now I really like Diva, it's my link to the gay community and is a really refreshing feminist friendly magazine that deals with a lot of issues and never ever criticizes women for being too fat or not trendy enough, like the straight media does EVERY SINGLE ISSUE. For the November issue that did a naked cover shoot of 60 of their women readers. When they put an ad out for it I thought that looks interesting, I could do that.

Well I'm quite glad I didn't now, the editorial comment on the cover said it was 60 naked lesbians. Despite the fact that one of the women who took part described herself as bisexual.
So, obviously as a bisexual I wouldn't have fitted in. I am not included and I am not welcome among their readership.

This wouldn't be so much of a problem if there were other magazines catering for bisexuals, but there is NOTHING. So Diva really could and should make more of an effort. The odd token article or 'bisexuals are welcome' piece doesn't really cut it when the rest of the magazines ignores us.
Yet what can I do? As I've found it rather difficult to find UK based bisexual blogs and news feeds, it's the only link I've got to UK non straight culture.

On a happier note, I bought Company magazine the other month and was pleased to find a straight feminist magazine. No articles promoting changing or loathing your body. No diet plans. Nothing on how to improve yourself to get a man. Instead there are articles on:
Contraceptive options and how the UK health service is failing women
Cyber bullying
Enterprising women
Celebrities views on 'should you dress for your man' (Peter Andre says no, Katie price says yes), Eating disorders
How a widowed woman is moving on with her life
Interviews with 7 female cabinet members on their partying years
Date rape danger
And the usual articles on the hot new fashions - but without the criticism.

I was stunned and very impressed. My only criticism is that there weren't enough pictures of clothes. I'd like Company's editorial policy with Glamour's pages and pages of clothes.

Also, it is apparently national blog month. I shall therefore attempt to post at least daily, or if I miss a day, to post extra stuff the next day.

More homophobia from the church

Quelle surprise.
The vatican wants to use psychological testing to weed out gay priests. From the news story on the internet (emphasis mine):
"Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Catholic Education Congregation, said that a celibate candidate with "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" should be barred "not because he commits a sin, but because homosexuality is a deviation, an irregularity, a wound" that would prevent him from fulfilling his duties.
The guidelines, approved by Pope Benedict XVI, are designed to prevent the sort of sex scandals involving paedophile priests"

GAY DOES NOT EQUAL PAEDOPHILE. HETEROSEXUALS AND BISEXUALS CAN BE PAEDOPHILES TOO.

Deep seated homosexual tendencies? Are there shallow tendencies? I guess this comes from the same line of thinking that insists that gayness can be cured.
For cured, read repressed, quashed, tricked and led into a lifetime of unhappiness and dishonesty.
Also, homosexuality isn't a deviation, an irregularity or a wound. It's normal, it's not a sin, it's not morally wrong, it's just a way of being.
Where do the bisexuals come into this? Yet again, we're ignored. We can pass as straight if we want, so I guess that's OK huh? Or is it that bisexuals don't have 'deep seated' homosexual tendencies? Guess I'm back to being invisible, again.

To be fair to the newspaper, the online article does state that:
"The decree appears to ignore the consensus among sex abuse experts that homosexuals are no more likely to molest children than heterosexuals."
This is a damn site more than I expected from the Daily Torygraph and is in stark contrast to the physical newspaper version of the story which reads as follows:

"Trainee priests suspected of being homosexual should be weeded out by psychologists and banned from joining the catholic church, the vatican has said.
Homosexuality was a "deviation" that must be rooted out in would-be-clergy early on in order to prevent "tragedies", it decreed in the new guidelines.
The guidelines are designed to prevent the sort of sex scandals involving paedophile priests that have rocked the catholic church in recent years."

I refuse to give vatican, catholic or church capital letters. They don't deserve the distinction. The problems with the dead tree version of this story:
  • The use of psychologists implies that homosexuality is a mental illness. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.
  • The description of homosexuality as a deviation.
  • The implication that only gay people cause tragedies or are paedophiles
  • The lack of a rebuttal to the above implication, as included in the online version. By not including the rebuttal it infers (implies?) that the church's views are correct, and that gay people are indeed the only ones who rape children. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong. Abuse is not about sex, it's not about hitting on someone you crush on, it's about power. It's the same whether the victim is adult or child, male or female.
I can see why deviation is in quotation marks, as the assertion that being gay is a deviation is incorrect, but why is tragedies in quotation marks?

Why isn't the church concentrating on weeding out paedophiles? Or unstable aggressive morally corrupt individuals who are potential attackers? Why aren't they seeking to help the victims more? Or even listen to the victims?

Fuckers. Ignorant, homophobic, hate filled morally bankrupt fuckers.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Stop purchasing unneeded goods

Or, buy nothing for a year. No I'm not quite planning to do that. I have seen lots of stuff in the news recently about how people have quit shopping for a year, and it's a really appealing idea. Spurred on by the fact that my Mum just bought me a 160 quid Karen Millen dress, which I do adore, and will last me many years, and is a good investment, but ultimately, I don't really need it, I'm being greedy letting her buy it for me.

Now, one part of the appeal of quitting shopping, for me, is that I'd have less junk in the house. Me and the boyfriend have a LOT of stuff, 30 to 50% of which isn't necessary. Yet I keep buying more things, why?? This rampant consumerism is not good for the soul. Well I say rampant consumerism, I say I buy a lot but in actuality I spend far less than other people.

I am not in debt (barring the mortgage), my credit cards are paid off every month, I save a good amount and I can pretty much afford what I want. I spend a lot on travelling round the country to see friends and family, and I spend a lot socialising. The most 'stuff' I collect, actual, physical things not strictly speaking necessary to my survival, are comics.
But then I do have a lot of shoes, books, clothes, action figures and ornaments. I don't need all this stuff. I don't need this amount of shoes, clothes etc. I don't need to keep buying stuff just cos I like it, I have plenty of things that don't get used and should be used.

I see people rationalising their new purchases with oh but I deserve it, oh I've had a hard day it'll cheer me up, I'm a good person, I'm allowed to buy this. Well guess what, what you can buy has no relationship to the sort of person you are. I live in a a society that values goods over over on tangible things, where your worth as a human being is displayed by the material goods that you own. With shops like Primark everyone can buy into the newest fads and pretend they are as good as the uber rich who can afford the real designer stuff.
But life doesn't work like that. We shouldn't be able to have everything now, we don't have a right to have everything want right this minute and the attitude that we do deserve it and should have it sickens me.

And there's the problem of global waste, pollution, sweat shops and where to dump all our rubbish.

So I propose that I try to amend my spending habits. And seeing as I don't manically purchase everything I see it *shouldn't* be that difficult, I hope.
With regards to actual physical goods - so not going to the pub, the cinema, or buying food -
  1. I want to stop buying stuff new. I especially want to stop buying new cheap stuff - it's not ethical.
  2. I want to reduce the amount of stuff I do buy. That which I purchase should be second hand (Hi ebay!) or from a charity shop.
  3. I should stop and think about whether I really really need the item. For instance, I do not need any more shoes. Or clothes. These should only be replaced when they've actually worn out and I don't have similar items in my wardrobe.
  4. Instead of buying books new I should visit the library more often.
I am not bothered about saving more money, although I expect that if I carry through with this, that could actually happen.
I've got to stop buying little jokey gifts for the boyfriend. If I buy him something it should be edible.

My one exception to this is comics. A few reasons why. Firstly, I cannot keep up with the stories unless I buy the books new. It's not like you can borrow the floppies out of the library.
Secondly, I just think everyone should be allowed an exception, and I am not ready or willing to give up my fandom. Thirdly, I read a lot of stuff in digital format anyway.
Mostly it's just that I don't want to.

I also am going to give myself the exception of Diva magazine - I have nowhere else where I can read about gay issues or get away from straight culture. The internet is not enough I am afraid.
I will stop buying other magazines though - Glamour, Company etc.

I wonder if I can stick with this? It will mean not buying the white supergirl vest I've been after (unless I can find a used version), it will mean not buying any more gloves, or hats (I have plenty). There's no point going window shopping in the high street stores.
How will I buy Christmas and birthday gifts for people? I could implement some further rules, perhaps making sure anything new that I buy is sourced and made locally. Should be easy in Norwich, given the type of city I live in.

This new determination might die a death fairly quickly, but I'd like to give it a go. You all have permission to shout at me if I fail.