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Dance of the Puppets

Like a bat on a hot tin roof since August 2005

Thursday, May 31, 2007

I'd rather be writing about Superman

It gets harder and harder to avoid politics. All week I've been trying to avoid writing about hot topics and controvertial issues; partly because plenty of other feminist comics bloggers have most of the things covered that I want to address, and partly because I want to just write about lighter stuff for a bit.

So I didn't say anything about Joe Quesada's asinine response to criticism of the Heroes for Hire cover that has been in the news lately, even though a lot of it seems to be "it was drawn by a woman so it's not sexist" and "It's not a tentacle porn image because I am ignorant of tentacle porn", and entirely fails to address the problem that Misty Knight has been transformed from an african american into a Barbie doll with a tan.

I didn't say anything about the Mary Jane statue, although I have been irritated that so many people seem to have missed the point and that the issue is not about the dumb statue but the huge and vicious overreaction toward anyone that complained about it.

Right now I'd be far happier reading a fifty year old spy novel for a review I want to do (why am I wanting to review a fifty year old spy novel? Wait and see) and writing about silver age nonsense that makes me happy, and then I hear about some tiny pressure group, possibly only a couple of people, who are persuading LiveJournal to censor their users to a degree that they are throwing out baby, bathwater, and most of the bathroom plumbing in a crazed putsch that is destroying years' worth of literary criticism, fan fiction, and valid discussion entirely unrelated to the "child porn" scare card they are playing.

Always remember, "Freedom of Speech" means the freedom to voice an opinion that disagrees with you. It doesn't matter if it's wrong, or it's bad, or it's "unamerican". Once you start telling anyone they can't have a different opinion then speech is no longer free.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sisters of Mirthy

Thanks to The Hathor Legacy I now have a new indulgence in the form of the wonderful Ask the Brontë Sisters blog.

The world needs more advice columns run by historical and fictional characters.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Light sight

What time is it, kids?

It's time to indulge my obscure fannish interest in a character nobody else particularly knows or cares about.

Kimiyo Hoshi, the good Doctor Light appeared in World War III in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo.


I'm happy to see her here for three reasons:

1) Including her in the group, even without any dialogue and at the back of the crowd establishes that she is an active character in the DC universe.

2) She fights Black Adam and doesn't die - always a risk for a female C-list character as it's contractually required that a villain in an event comic has to kill at least one less popular character to show how badass they are because killing millions of innocent bystanders clearly isn't good enough. This time it was Terra who got the bullet, but she goes through lives like a video game character, so it's hard to get too worked up about her.

3) It's the first time we have seen her in action since she was depowered and left for dead. Okay, she's been referred to elsewhere, and cameoed in Birds of Prey in civvies, but this is the first we've seen her powered up. And okay she doesn't fare well against Black Adam, but he was trashing everyone that day.

Fingers crossed, as always, that she gets a more profile gig sometime soon. Just so long as it's not in The Outsiders.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Yay Fantomah!

Long time readers may recall I am a fan of the golden age heroine Fantomah, particularly in her original incarnation by Fletcher Hanks AKA Barclay Flagg.

Fantographics have recently published a book entitled I SHALL DESTROY ALL THE CIVILIZED PLANETS, a collection of fifteen Fletcher Hanks stories, including no less than five Fantomahs! They've even set up a Fletcher Hanks website to promote the book, though it is of variable quality, even for a webvertisement. While it doesn't even include a list of the stories in the book it's promoting (I had to go to Amazon for that) it does include an online scan of a Fantomah story from Jungle Tales #13.

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A little bit of politics

For the benefit of those colonials who may be unaware of it, Britain has a new Prime Minister. Not that anyone really notices or cares. In fact the two major parties are now so similar that it's hard to tell which one's in power without looking, and previous leaders are forgotten often before they've even stepped down (as was evident from a recent question on an episode of The Weakest Link I happened to see), so Gordon Brown moving around the table a bit is only of interest to the people who need to find something to fill the newspapers.

What he needs is a slogan, or possibly a theme song.

I have a proposal that with very little work could fit the bill quite nicely:

"Never a frown with Gordon Brown"

It would be worth it if only to see The Stranglers reform to sing it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Scott Kurtz will get his dad on you

Scott Kurtz does this webcomic called PVP, which I've mentioned before. Recently he did a comic in which his characters dwell on the joy of objectifying women. Apparently he was surprised that some people were offended by it, and responded with a comic in which he depicts his own father saying to his audience words to the effect of "I think it's funny so screw you if you can't take a joke."

Now consider this is not even Kurtz's actual father defending him by dismissing any criticism, it's Scott drawing a picture of him and entirely literally (in the actual usage of the word) putting the words in his mouth. For all I know, he may have said this, but we are not told this. All we have is cartoon Kurtz senior defending cartoon Kurtz over a comic made by actual Kurtz.

Which is pretty sad and pathetic.

It's also a typical reaction of Kurtz to any criticism: don't consider if it is valid, just put down anyone who voices it and call them names. Because how could anyone not see the good natured fun in looking at boobs.

Point 1: Yes, it's something that men do. Men do lots of stuff that even they wouldn't consider appropriate to do in public. That doesn't make it right, funny, or appropriate to put it in a comic in such a way that shows you are endorsing this behaviour if you aren't prepared to take the flack for supporting such a sexist attitude.

Point 2: Getting your father to support you on this is not helping. It's just showing that you aren't the only one in the family with a sexist attitude. At least if you drew pictures of your mother or your wife standing up and supporting you it would look as though you actually cared enough about whether the comic was offensive to women to actually ask one.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Heroes: Random Realisation

I was just watching a "Behind the scenes" thing on Heroes, and it says how Mohinder is supposed to be the character the audience identifies with, because he's the ordinary guy.

Well actually, no. My (and I'm sure the majority of genre fandom) viewpoint character is the one who is living my fantasy.

Go Hiro!!!!