Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Morrison Writes my Fanon!

I really need to make that into a T-Shirt.

Comic Book Resources has an interview with Grant Morrison, where he discusses some (spoilery) details of what the upcoming Final Crisis series will cover.

One thing that stood out to me was this bit, tucked away in the second-to-last paragraph. Avert your eyes, spoiler-phobes!

Supergirl and Mary Marvel are in it. They have a big climatic battle to decide how femininity should be portrayed in superhero comics!

Now, how much the results of a story beat can influence the editorial/creative direction of a company like DC- with its focus groups and market research and whatnot- is up for debate. I know Grant has claimed that his writing has influenced the real world before, but he's never had to write against Time Warner/AOL before. ^_^

A few scattershot thoughts on this for now, because I want to wait until it plays out in the text before trying to get at the delicious subtext:

-What, exactly, do Supergirl and Mary Marvel represent at this point? In her own title, Supergirl seems to be in a transition from Loeb/Churchill's elongated-torso, no-ankle-having, tantrum-throwing cipher of a character into a more realistically proportioned growing teen girl struggling with an unfamiliar culture. In the pages of Countdown Mary has been presented as an innocent girl seduced by evil into wearing a short skirt and posing for panty shots.

-There is still time for the larger DCU to re-shape Kara and Mary as signifiers, too: there's still a Supergirl arc to clear up, and Countdown #1 and DCU #0 to go. So, we'll see what happens there, and if it even matters...

-What does Grant mean by femininity, here? Is this a fight between "good girl" pin-up art vs "bad-girl" art? Or a battle between what the ideal for a female character should be like in the DCU? Or am I over/under -thinking this?

-Its things like this that make me look forward to Final Crisis more than Secret Invasion- and by extension, Morrison's writing more than Bendis'. With Final Crisis I can expect some juicy subtext to look forward to, which is great- I like my metaphor dressed in bright colours and punching each other. With Secret Invasion, all I can reasonably expect is people talking out of character. For pages on end. But it won't *really* be out of character, 'cos its a plot point!

-Morrison also wrote Bulleteer, my favourite of the Seven Soldiers mini-series, as problematic as it is. It'll be interesting to see if any of the themes in that get played into this particular bit in FC.

And really, I'm just gonna wait for the text to come out on this one before discussing it further. It'll be the fight... of the CONTEXTUARY!


Thursday, January 24, 2008

I have seen the future, and it is Wii-ly Sweet

Writing home-brew apps that use the Wiimote as a motion sensor input device for your PC.


Also: Non-gratuitous heroine-in-distress cover:

Birds of Prey, #117. Cover by Stephane Roux

That wasn't so hard now, was it, DC?

Countdown 14: Who Booked This?

Scans Daily has a selection of scans from Countdown 14, and while the whole freaking thing is hilarious, there's three bits I want to comment on:

1) You know your characters have no substance when even the colourist can't tell the difference between EXTREEEME~! Jason Todd and EXTREEEME~! Batman.

2) To continue the meta-commentary on the relationship between the readers and the publisher, pay attention to the conversation between Evil!Superman (henceforth called Fanboy Prime) and the Evil Monitor (hereafter reffered to as DC Comics Editorial.)

DC: We gave you a perfect, happyhappy earth. And then we invaded it.

FP: WHY?!?!

DC: Because you will buy anything we'll print.


DC: Well, yes, but, we're still selling 70~80k books a week to you. Haw haw!

2b) I love that Fanboy Prime goes all Liefeld on the third page. Complete with flipper-feet. Oh, symbolism, how I love thee.

3) More a general comment- notice how Countdown is a lot better when they focus mostly on one storyline and don't do one-page callouts to other crossovers? Huh? Huh, DC? You paying attention here?

In other news: THRILL to my first ever poll! Who is... the FUTURE BEETLE! Also, I'm taking questions for the 10 Characters of Doom meme, after being tagged by Ami yonks ago. I've got a list of 10 characters written down, and if you post questions in the comments section of this post, like "1 breaks 5's ant farm, how does 8 help them fix it before they notice?" and I'll answer them all when I get enough questions. So gets askin'!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Blog for Choice Day 2008

I used to walk past the Lyndhurst Memorial Hospital to get to work, and every day, there were between five and fifteen pro-life people protesting there.

They weren't loud, or waving placards, but they were bowing their heads in prayer over a large portrait of the Blessed Virgin, right by the driveway. I can only assume that they had to tone their act down a bit since one of them got arrested for tunneling his way into the hospital.

They're still intimidating. That is the whole point of the pro-life movement: You think you can kill this baby? Then God is going to do a number on you.

Women who choose to have abortions are not baby killers. They are not monsters, nor sinners. They are people who have made a difficult and traumatic decision that is not the business of a cowardly busy-body who is going to tell his daddy on you.

My step-mother Mk1 has met the local leader of this protest movement. She describes him as a beast of a man, whose own family cowers before his rage, who tread fearfully lest they provoke him into violence. He has no other occupation except to direct them into preparing his propaganda literature, stand outside of clinics and hurl abuse at traumatized women and girls, and watch television, occasionally yelling at its representations of a godless world.

Why am I pro-choice? Because raising a child is a huge responsibility, and if you feel that the time is not yet right, if you feel that this child was unfairly thrust upon you, then you should have options. Because it is a matter for a woman to decide, along with the father (if he is sticking around- aparantly a penis comes with a 'run away from responsibility free' card-) and in consultation with whoever they confide in.

Ultimately, its none of your business. If you make it your business, you are an asshole. And if there is a God who would punish someone for refusing to raise a life in poverty, or hatred, or despair, then he is an asshole too.

The Sword #4 & Booster Gold #6

Mack Daddy will make you...

If one was to be really, really, grossly unfair to The Sword (Image Comics, by Jonathan and Joshua Luna), one could describe it like this:

A poor crippled girl is healed by her father's secret, magic phallus
(read: Magic Sword) just as mysterious strangers slaughter her whole family; now, using the power of the phallus, she determines to avenge her family's death, by stabbing them (with a phallus).

And you can't tell me that, on some level, the Luna Brothers aren't somewhat aware of the Freudian undertones:

The next panel has a sound effect: SHNK. No, I couldn't make this up.

But really, sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar, and what The Sword actually is, is another fine character study wrapped in a fantasy/sci-fi setting- the Lunas do a good job of drawing characters whose motivations and voices you can buy into in just a few panels.

They're hardly paragons of Feminist Comics Virtue, by no means, but they do write female characters who have their own agency and aren't just eye candy for hormonal fanboys.

Why, yes, I have seen the covers for their previous series, Girls. If those turned you away from this book, give it a chance.

Daddy Mack'll make you..

Oh, and in other news, Booster Gold (DC, words by Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz, art by Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund) brings its first story arc to an end. How do we feel about that, fellas?

Why yes. Yes, it is.

Booster Gold is what happens when you put out a book that is fun, funny, and yet still full of action and doesn't shy away from the drama; it is what happens when you get a creative team who so obviously love what they're doing, and let them stay the hell away from your company-wide crossover cluster-

Oh, what was that? #7 is a freaking Zero Hour tie-in?

I can't believe I'm looking forward to that. Damn you, Johns and co! Damn you to hell!

If you look at Skeet's number plate, it has the actual date of Paul's death on it. Freaky!

Aw, Booster. I can never stay mad at you.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Being Slightly Unfair 2

I love this phrase so much I'm making it a regular thing. ^_^

I know that, at this point, picking on Greg "Pornface Lightbox" Land and One More/Brand New Day is as done do death as All Your Base jokes, but, come on:

Don't you just hate it when the comic does all your work for you?

(Image courtesy of this thread on Scans_Daily)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Green Lantern's Light!

Which Power Ring would come to you?

You have the ability to overcome great fear. Welcome to the Green Lantern Corps. Your ring will guide you to Oa where you will be instructed in the proper use of your newfound powers as Green Lantern of sector 2814.
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

It probably helped that I can remember the oath pretty much verbatim.

Friday, January 4, 2008

OMFG Blue Beetle #22 is so great.

Seriously. I'm squeeing every two pages or so. Its so freaking good, I got a warm feeling right in my crotch, and now I have to tell you all about it.

Why is it so good? Is it because of the warm characterization, snappy dialog, the perfect recap page, two subplots that advance measurably and contain small emotional payoffs in only two pages apiece, the main plot getting into gear with exposition that doesn't really feel too forced, a nice little super-hero smackdown and setting the stage and raising the stakes?

And moments like this:

For every issue of Blue Beetle you don't buy, God kills a Sinestro-Kitten.

Holy shit, and I haven't even mentioned my two new favourite characters yet.

Danni Garrett: Granddaughter of the first Blue Beetle, heir of Ted Kord's gizmos and scientific smarts, and made of win.

And, of course, Tovar.

(Whose visual resemblance to Kid Devil is entirely co-incidental.)

I demand a Tovar mini-series! Now!

All I'm really saying is, if you don't purchase Blue Beetle, and it gets canceled, then you have helped to murder something unique and precious.

In other news, Crime Bible is still good. But you knew that. Batwoman (Kate) and the Question's (Renee's) relationship is written well, believably, touchingly, and without exploitation. (Seriously: It feels wrong to call them Batwoman and the Question. They're Kate and Renee. That is the mark of characters you buy into and believe in- that they gain real names.) But you knew that too. Mathew Clark's art is expressive and moody and great except for a couple of panels where Renee's eyes go all manky, but you didn't need me to tell you this.

What you need me to tell you is:

Stacy is the glue that holds the GCPD together.

No, wait, thats not it.

Oh yeah. Here it is.

That dude Flay is stone cold.


The Streets Just Ain't Safe No More

It's crazy on Christchurch streets, says Mayor

Christchurch mayor Bob Parker says he cannot recommend walking on Christchurch streets after midnight as new figures show the city is the most violent in the country.

He is suggesting a "draconian" crackdown on alcohol sales as a way to combat the problem.
"Walking around our streets after midnight is not something I'd recommend to people," Parker said yesterday. "It's crazy out there."

Of course, there is another, personally reasonable solution.

This Makes Owesome a Happy Panda

Context: DC's western title Jonah Hex had been criticized for utilizing rape as a plot point like every other issue. So, when the first issue of the relaunched Bat Lash (ostensibly a lighter-toned book) ended with a female character being threatened with sexual assault, many people- myself included- just kind of held their heads in their hand and groaned.

Which is why the Newsarama preview for issue two makes me very happy indeed.
I know its just co-incidence that this comes a couple of days after the Something Positive cartoon but I'd really, really like to see this be a trend.