Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Celtic myths and Silver Banshee hits Smallville!

So, the book reading first.  I got a lil carried away buying candles for Ostara a couple of weeks back and came out with a book entitled 'Women in Celtic Myth', by Moyra Caldecott.  My mother is Irish and I grew up reading lots of Irish myths, folk tales and stories as they have always really intrigued me.  Glamorous and battle filled, with tragedy, passion and magic animals, 6 year old me was most definitely bowled over by them.

Anyway, this book turns out to be rather good.  Caldecott has rewritten several stories, of Irish and Welsh origin, and then provides commentary on each tale, and provides references for where she got the stories from!  In my limited experience, this is quite rare in books of this type.

This is the book cover:

and you can buy it from Amazon here.

If Irish myth tickles your fancy, I can also highly recommend Pat O'Shea's The Hounds of the Morrigan.  It's a YA book, and long at 480 pages but oh my is it worth it.  It's a quest story of 2 young kids tasked with locating a pebble with an imprint of the Morrigan's eye on (from when Cuchulain wounded her) and along the way they encounter many of the key players in Irish mythology.  This book is wonderful and I have lost count of how many times I have read it.

And in kind of linking with this, Silver Banshee is coming to Smallville!  Check out these pictures:

I'm not too sure what I think of her costume..the make up is good, but the hair?  I'll have to wait and see what she's like on screen.

And just because I'm still enamoured with him, here's a lovely picture of the lovely Justin Hartley:

*letch letch*

Thursday, March 25, 2010

WTF Amanda Palmer?

I'm wondering how much coverage this will get in my regular blog reading, and I'm wondering if somehoe people might miss it, so I'm posting it here.

Amanda Palmer has apparently been complaining about how Lady Gaga is a sellout, cos she's advertising stuff in her videos (I think).  So she then tweeted this:

ironic product placement is only ok if you take no money & beyond that give all the income to something ironic. like the Klan


What the fuckity fuck?  I'm trying to work out if there could possibly be some background to this, or a long conversation that would somehow make the above make sense.  I can't think of anything that wouls ever make the Klan ironic, or make it ok to give money to them.  I gather it is likely Palmer will say the tweet is a joke.  Now, sometimes I am aware that I need jokes explained to me, buut even so, I do not see the humour in that statement.

[EDIT - This got brought up over on Shakesville, a commenter named Tiara the Merch Girl posted the following:
"Just to clarify: she doesn't actually dislike Lady Gaga, and has come out in support of her in the past. I suppose her mention of KKK is a sarcastic portrayal of irony - there was some discussion beforehand about how people are using "irony" to justify everything from racist remarks to poor music."
Yeah, I don't think that makes Palmer's tweet OK either]

Amanda Palmer, whatever you may have meant, you're a fucking idiot.

An LJ'er named sparkymonster has done a pictorial post demonstrating the difference between product placement and murdering black people, and has included some other good links.

(I originally picked this up at the Seeking Avalon blog, thanks for posting this Willow)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Things I have learned

Working does wonders for your self esteem.
I am definitely aiming to get a job part time, 3 or 4 days a week, in order that I can keep up my signing, get qualified and evantually get a(nother) job in that field.
This may mean I am skint for the next 3 or 4 years.  I think I am fine with this.
Finding part time work that pays well (or enough) may be tricky.

Working out a plan, aims/goals, and what's important to you is a vital thing to do.  This should prevent me having another wobble when my part time temp work (that I got with a previous employer a few weeks ago) ends next Wednesday.
Of course, I may change my wants and goals next week, or tomorrow.  This changeability of mind is a thing that I do.  I am simutaneously unable to live in the present, whilst also stewing on things and being unable to make links with better/worse times that have come before, or will come in the future - I have no idea if that makes sense or is even good English.
Applying for jobs and prepping for interviews takes soooo long, but is good practice even if you don't want the job (must remember that!) (I've had one interview earlier this week and have another one next week).
Apparently my stress levels no longer show themselves as mouth ulcers , now they have progressed to the bad back and indigestion stages instead.  Wonderful.

Having said that, I think I am prepared for being unemployed again.  I feel much stronger than I did 2 weeks ago, a lot surer of myself, and a lot more capable.  Even to the extent that I cannot remember or fully connect with how I felt when I was melting - this non rememberance/feeling is another thing that I do and that it occured again came as no great surprise to me.  C'est la vie.

Oh, and everyone who left me a concerned comment: You're all wonderful.  Your kind words and thoughts meant a lot to me and I am truly touched.  Thank you.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The best part of last week's GLC?

Zombie refridgerator.  Heck yeah!  Supergirl was also pretty good, actually no, it was very good.  I didn't buy Last Stand of New Krypton but still had no problem following the story.  Kara was great, the Legion was good, Conner was fun, Alura is likeable and all in all it was a very good read.

I have also just used Skype for the first time.  Colour me impressed.  I am astounded that we have the tech to do this.  Now, if they can just sort out the time delay/catch up problem and make it an effective method for signers to use I'll be really happy.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Ostara is named for the goddess Eostre, who (surprise surprise) is a fertility goddess.  The day and night is of equal length, it's the first day of Spring, the weather has finally turned clement, so get out there, eat some eggs, and look at some daffodils!

And if you're in the UK, remember that the clocks go back next Sunday, not tomorrow, as I've been telling everyone, oops.

Enjoy the day folks!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Totally out of context

From Green Lantern, obviously:



I feel a lot better than I did 2 weeks ago.  Got temp work at one of my old employers, which has led to me feeling less useless and a lot more positive (hurrah!).  Not willing to committ to regular blogging just yet tho.  Enjoy the odd scan as and when I post them (GL vol 2 provides so much joy!)

Monday, March 08, 2010

Tired, frustrated, stressed

I definitely have to take a break from blogging.  I can't cope with everything I feel I have to do and I need to reduce my (self imposed) pressures.  Being unemployed hit me somewhat harder than I thought it would do and I'm having difficulty with working out how to do the simplest things, like organising my day or looking up bus times.  One of the most important goals I have is to not end up a quivering depressed wreck.  Been there, done that, took several years getting over it, not planning to go back there again.  I sort of feel like I'm living the spoon theory, except that I'm not that bad yet.

So, I'm stopping blogging at this site until I've got a job, or until I'm able to manage everything.  There may be the odd post but on the whole I'm quitting for a while.  I may try and do the occasional post for New readers... but, I won't promise anything.

Graphic Medicine: Medical Narrative in Graphic Novels

[Cross posted from New readers...]

On 17th June 2010 the School of Advanced Study, in the Institute of English Studies, in the University of London (how's that for a mouthful?) will hold a one day inter-disciplinary conference aiming to explore the medical narrative in graphic novels and comics.

The website states that:

'many medical schools now encourage the reading of literature and the study of art to gain insights into the human condition.  The melding of text and visuals in graphic fiction and non fiction has lots to offer medical professionals, students and, indeed, patients.  Among the growing number of graphic novels, a sub genre exploring the patients and the carers experiences of illnesess and disability has emerged.'

Paul Gravett, Brian Fies and Marc Zaffron will be keynote speakers, delegate booking fees are £35 per person, or £25for speakers and concessions.  More information on the website.


I wish I could go.  This looks really interesting.  If anyone does go do let me know what it's like.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

James Robinson's response to Cry for Justice

From his twitter page.

It says:

"Oh and to all the fans and haters both of Cry For Justice 7, thanks for your comments. I appreciate your feedback."
Well, thats gracious at least

I was interested in buying Starman.  Not anymore.  Mr Robinson, you should be thoroughly ashamed of this godawful badly put together, badly executed, and badly written piece of tripe.

Arg, it wasn't even about Roy Harper for fuck sake.  Lians' mother hasn't been given a look in.#


Another edit - 2 remixes of CfJ.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Where I weigh in and. give. my. thoughts.

So Cry for Justice huh?  I always like it when the blogosphere explodes, it's fun.  And Cry for Juastice has degenerated into being unbelieveably bad.  Issue #1 was a bit dull with nothing happening.  Issue #2 and #3 were hilarious.  #4 was boring.  Issue #5 had the Kara/Freddie kiss which didn't come to fruition and some truly bad costuming decisions for the ladies in the book.  Issue #6 had Donna being awesome and saving the day, which I loved - see posts with Cry for Justice labels for my previous reviews.  (And looking back through my old posts I've noticed some truly terrible typos - how do you all put up with me??!!)

Anyway, issue #7.  There's been a hullabaloo.  I was going to do a link round up but then I found out that WFA are doing Lian themed posts so I'm not gonna bother.

So, final issue, Prometheus is blowing up Star City, and many others, and all the the heroes in the DCU are out trying to fix this mess.  In the process, Lian dies.  Roy Harper's daughter, Green Arrow's granddaughter.  This allows Ollie to get very very angry and kill Prometheus at the end of the book, with an arrow to the head.

Lian didn't need to die for Ollie to get this angry, given the mood he's been in during the last few years of his run he could have got very angry over Roy losing his arm and thousands of people dying.
Lian was quite a cute character, there's not enough young kids of heroes in the DCU, and now there's one less.  Plus, given that a lot of us comics fans on the blogosphere harp on about wanting diversity in our comics, and I'm sure that DC are aware of this, to some degree, killing/getting rid of all the GA family kids (Sin, Lian, Connor), who just happen to not be white, seems a bit stupid.  I don't think DC are deliberately getting rid of the non white kids, but unfortunately this is what they have done.

Her death was treated as throwaway and used only as a tool to motivate the other heroes.  Or, Ollie.  Cos no one else is given time to give a shit.  I mean, if you're gonna try and positiona s a death as a pivotal moment in a story arc, at least demonstrate how it's affected the other protagonists, instead of just assuming all readers know who the kid is.

And, the whole issue was just badly executed.  Every hero is involved, but we don't know how.  I already blogged about the incredibly bad depiction of Mia, the women are all tits and ass with impossibly thin middles, Dinah is actually facepalming Lian's death, we don't get to see Roy's reaction to Lian's death, we don't spend long enough on her death, the art changes every few pages, Ollie does an inspirational speech which just comes off as cack handed and empty or devoid or all feeling, and not in an i'm so shocked i've just lost my gradnkid kind of way, and have I mentioned the bad art?

Some of the women's faces are just awful.  I think the pencillers decided to go with this approach to female faces - in that to make faces feminine you must draw fewer lines.  Hmmm.  I think someone needs to re-assess their definition of female.

I actually quite liked the last few pages, of Ollie killing Prometheus.  By this point I was convinced that Prometheus was a bad ass and so to see him get taken out like that was quite something.  Unfortunately the information about how Ollie got in to the other worldly dimensional portal was contained in the latest JLA issue, not this one.

So, more bad writing.  What a load of shit.  Still, I bought it, knowing it was gonna be rubbish, so I can't complain about it being a waste of money.  Although I feel I have every right to complain about it not being a good story.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Blackest Night: JSA #3

Spoilers ahead.
Well this was a whole lot better than I expected!  A fine end to the mini.

The art was off - I wish artists would understand how boobs and boob windows worked.  For example, look here.  The lady's breasts are big.  The window is big, but it is high, not wide, or low.  Boob windows that are as low as those seen in this comic will not hold boobs in.  They will spill out, even if you have Kryptonian super boobs.  Especially if you have Kryptonian super boobs that are somehow pushed up, possibly by an invisible super bra.  Push up bras are not very good at keeping you in one place.  At leats mine aren't, and I have pretty large boobs.  Gaah.

And her costume mysteriously changes to her old non windowed one for one panel.

Aside from that, the colours are nice and the story is good.  We open with BL Superman giving us a run down on his life.  Then we cut to the present moment and Mr Terrific is building a thunderbolt bomb that will wipe out the Black Lanterns in the area and it's up to the rest of the JSA to delay BL Supes.  Unfortunately thsi Kal -L is trying to thrash Power Girl.  When she's collapsed, he's ripping through the rest of the JSA like flies.  Jesse Quick is running with her father, enjoying having him back, but knowing that it's not really real.

What I loved about this is how the heroes are not fooled anymore.  Karen knows that this Supes is not real and she's doing her damndest to stop him.  And stop him she does.  The rest of the group are all clued up, even Jesse and they all work together to destroy them.

I don't have any scans of this comic, but I did find some scans of the latest Wonder Woman issue, which show just how awesome Power Girl is.  She and Wondy are fighting, in America:



Thursday, March 04, 2010

Green Arrow: Blackest Night #30

Spoilers ahoy!!
Holy crop this was good!
First, the cover is a homage to an old cover:

A homage, and gorgeous!   on the homage, Ollie is saying 'The blackest night falls from the skies, the darkness grows as all light dies!'
The art inside is equally gorgeous.  Except Mia is in her old red costume, and if this is in continuity, where's her black costume?  And except for a couple of panels of Dinah, where she looks like shes' had neck broken.  And the rest where her boobs look dangerously close to spilling out.  (What is with bad boob clothing this week?).  Connor's mum also looks black - I thought she was asian.  Maybe i'm wrong.  And the final shot is one of Dinah's arse.

Black Lantern Ollie is a complete bastard, and not just when he's trying to be.  Not remembering Dinah's name but remembering her curves?  Sleaze.

And then Connor turns up!  Hurrah, I've missed him.  And Mia, who proves how awsome she is.  she's not distracted, she knows BL Ollie isn't the real him, and she coldly gets on with stopping him.  Because what else can she do?  Connor is not so focused, neither is Dinah.  Connor knocks Ollie's beard and chin off his face!

Then...they kill Ollie.

This issue was fantastic.  It garners many plus points.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Save BBC 6Music and the Asian Network

So the BBC wants to axe 6music does it?  The only radio station to play alternative music.  The only one without witless presenters yammering away being loud and obnoxious in the mornings.  I listen to 6 music and Radio 4.  That's it.  There is nothing else like 6music, and if you agree please go sign the petition here.

The petition is also for the Asian Network.  I have never listened to this channel but I am pretty sure there's few outlets for stuff like the Asian Network, and without it we'd have a pretty whitewashed media.  So if you're against the closure of this station, please also sign the petition.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Long awaited comics rambles: The Flash: Rebirth #6

Well it feels long awaited to me.  This week I would have got Gotham City Sirens and Teen Titans, had I not had to cancel titles.  I miiiissss Gotham City Sirens.  Teen Titans has been a bit boring lately, so I'm less upset about that, altho I hear Cassie finally started acting like a leader.  And of course, there's the Rose backup.  Waaaah.

Anyway, this week I will be posting individual reviews of comics.  Because I have nothing else to fill blog posts with.  Spoilers ahead.
Flash Rebirth #6
I think I've said this before, but this mini has made me care about Barry.  Now that I've seen a preview of the artwork for his ongoing, I'm even more keen to read his story.

As for the issue itself, I may be unpopular in saying this but I do not like the art in this.  The pencils, particularly on the cover, are ugly, the inking is alternately heavy or minimal, and the colours are just so brash and sit oddly with the inking that overall it's just not a positive effect.  I think everything is fighting with each too much.  Having said that, the bad art doesn't detract from the story, which I loved.

We start with Barry trying to race back through time, chaisng Thawne, so that he can save Iris.  He is struggling with this until Wally catches up and helps him along.  These scenes are interspersed with Iris going to meet Barry for their first date, and Barry in his office about to get doused with chemicals.

Thawne reaches Iris and is raising his hand to stab her with a lightening rod.  I find this weapon beautiful, it has an air of the relic about it.

Wally and Barry reach Thawne, stop him, and drag him through time to where the other Flashes are building something to stop him.  On the way we see a speedster Black Lantern - not sure which one tho, I think it's Bart.

Back in the present they trap Thawne, sever his connection to the speed force and prevent him from running again.

Next up is a double splash page of the Flash parade - and we see Max beaming proudly at Bart.

The we see Thawne in Iron Heights - trussed up as he is in Blackest Night.  The chief gorilla in Gorilla City says 'he's done something to our jungles'.  Some mystery hands lean in to take control of a puppet Reverse Flash.  Barry closes the file on his mother's death.  The Rogues start work on their contingency plan.  Barry finally slows down.  The JLA throw Barry a welcome back party.

It's a really nice end to this end.  Everything is wrapped up well and the panel of Dinah telling Ollie off for eating Barry's welcome back cake emphasises the family nature of the JLA.  It gives a feel of a real welcome back into the fold.  Barry's gone through a lot and now he's back with friends and family who love him, and there's good time ahead.  Except for Blackest Night of course..

So after reading this, I feel ready for a Flash book dedicated to Barry.  Sure, I'd love to see one for Bart as well, but I'm pretty sure that if I had the money I'd be buying Barry's series.  I'll settle for issue #1 so I can get the ring.