Saturday, January 07, 2006

Oooooh Baby!

Damn Kalinara

She had to go and post this. Now not only can I not stop laughing, but I have to send you there too.

Match Game

I think this may be the most I've ever posted in such a short period of time, but don't get used to it. My apartment is a hideous mess after the Winter Holiday Gift-Giving Extravaganza. I am avoiding the inevitable clean-up.

And Psychocat enjoys the wrapping paper so much I can't take it off of him in good conscience.

Also, I like my skin, I like my hands, and I would very much like for my skin to stay on my hands. I call him Psychocat for a reason, you know.

(Click Here to play a game)Let's play the Match Game.

I've been avoiding cleaning by reading many interesting blogs.

I've found many interesting quotes.

Match the Quote with the Blog it was found on.

The Blogs:
A) The Absorbascon
B) Beacoup Kevin
C) Diana Crabtree
D) Double Articulation
E) Facedown in the Gutters
F) Focused Totality
G) Lady, That's My Skull
H) Melancholic Feminista
I) Once Upon a Dreamer
J) Reporting On Marvels and Legends
K) Respendant Beard
L) Seven Hells!
M) Silverfish
N) So So Silver Age
O) Tales to Mildly Astonish
P) The Zeta-Beam

The Quotes
1) Aim high, because even though you still might miss the target, you won't shoot your own feet off.

2) Anybody whose origin is "Attempted Suicide Because I'm Too Cool to Live" is alright by me, jack.

3) It takes a hell of a man to wear a satin vest around someone like Jonah Hex.

4) (by the way, if they make Ralph Dibny gay, I don't think I'll ever stop laughing)

5) If there's a plus to the recent controversy about how unfriendly the industry is to women (which, frankly, seems like an extended debate over the blueness of sky)...

6) Now I don't didn't particularly want to see naked astronaut ass in a comic book...

7) As far as I can tell, only two heroes don't trust Hal: Batman, who everyone ignores because he's a paranoid looney, and Hawkman, who everyone ignores because he's a jerk.

8) However, to my knowledge, Amy is not a were-lesbian.

9) Yes, I know I made that word up.

10) So let's review: evil Superboy-Prime. No weaknesses. The power to move planets with his bare hands. If you're not scared, you should be.

11) He-who-must-not-be-named.

12) I shouldn't be worrying about things like that anyway but I live in the real world.

13) ...I am a simpleminded sort that likes punching, drinking, and Fin Fang Foom.

14) Does anyone beside Pat Robertson use the word smote?

15) The bartender was very nice, good thing because otherwise I might hate her for her equally nice boobs.

16) ...when he turns his attention to the undead German army and the homicidal Angelic Hosts, however, things go awry.

17) That means stories about cops and doctors and housewives, not about guys in tights or your sad emo ass.

(I hope you can at least get your own.)

BAWHAHAHAHA!

Required Reading at Zombie Mallet's. This Post. Go! Now!

Carnival of Feminists 7

We interrupt your normal programming to spread the nominations call for the Seventh Carnival of Feminists, being held at Feministe on January 18, 2006.

The theme will be Feminism and Pop Culture, so there should be a few good posts in our corner of the Internet, particularly considering recent events.

Deadline for nominations is Midnight (presumably EST), January 15, 2006. From what I gather the time coverage goes back to January 3rd or 4th. More information can be found here.

Thank you, we now return you to your regularly scheduled ogling of Green Lantern.



Looks like Diana's gotten started without us.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Quick Question

I just finished reading the Day of Vengeance special, and am left with one burning question:

When and How did Empress turn White?

I mean, it's six kinds of awesome to see her again, but did I miss something important?

From the Barbelith Underground Archives

Learn the wisdom of the Barbelith Underground...

On Green Lantern:
It would be like Buffy showing up halfway through The Godfather series and kicking Mafia vampire butt. Grotesque. -- Tom Coates (November 12, 2003)

I feel ashamed that I know more about Green Lantern than I do my own medical history. -- Tuna Ghost (October 4, 2004)

Ch'p was great wasn't he. He was hit by a yellow truck, in Mosaic wasn't he? -- Benny the Ball (October 4, 2004)

C'hp must be avenged by his brother. D'le. --Lord Morgue (October 4, 2004)

Do you ever wonder if maybe you should have perhaps devoted all this effort to something more useful? Well, too late now, you're stuck with the knowledge that Cyclops's father is the captain of a group of intergalatic pirates known as the StarJammers, instead of the quadratic equation, until you fucking die. Live with it. -- Tuna Ghost (October 4, 2004)

I see it as my own little mental illness I share with about 50,000 other people. -- Solitaire Rose found his cat! (prev. known as Solitaire Rose misses his cat) (October 6, 2004)

A resident of this known Grant Morrison Fansite specifically tackles Green Lantern: Mosaic:
God, that series was wierd. -- Benny the Ball (October 4, 2004)

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Dammit

I wasn't going to post about Lea Hernandez, but I had to go and mention an opinion in the previous post. So now, I feel a need to elaborate.

(Yes, There's More)I find it creepy. No two ways about it.

And this is not a commentary on the general state of comics, or the objectification of women in comics (I understand completely about the pandering and sexualizing and demand an equal amount of sexualization of male characters), or even the quality of the book itself (I stopped reading after issue one and haven't picked up since).

This is solely about Frank Miller.

And it's not because I consider him a "Master" in the Art form either. I enjoyed Batman: Year One and Born Again but I'm not going to put him at the level of Willaim Eisner. Even though Dark Knight Returns did predate Watchmen for starting the grimness craze, I still don't consider him that good. If comic books have any modern masters, Alan Moore and Grant Morrison top the list.

But it's not about his status, or his talent, or even a lack of talent.

It's because I've long been getting a subconcious vibe from his work.

I noticed a pattern around the time the Sin City movie came out.

The Hard Goodbye -- Older Man/Younger Woman
That Yellow Bastard -- Older Man/Younger Woman
Hell and Back -- Older Man/Younger Woman

Then there's the Dwight stories, where Dwight may not be all that older, but he tends to involve himself heavily with adoring prostitutes.

Add to that, his other works I'd read:
Daredevil: Born Again -- Karen Page is a drug-addicted prostitute
Batman: Year One -- Selina Kyle rebooted from simple cat thief to prostitute
The Dark Knight Returns -- Older Batman/Little Girl Robin

Now, any one of these stories standing alone is actually pretty damned enjoyable. I prefer Catwoman's new origin. But putting them all together, and realizing that the same writer has been using the same basic staples in so much of his work is disturbing to me. This body of work has left me with the overall picture of "Dirty Old Man" when I think of Frank Miller.

And this little bit of script has just confirmed it.

I can hear a confirmation of the story about Wally Wood increasing Power Girl's bra size and laugh (possibly because Wood was that much better and artist than Lee, possibly because Power Girl's dialogue tends to be smart and empowering). I can ogle Lantern butts, find out somehow this tradition is actually intentional, and giggle. But due to a confirmed lack of professionalism on his part, added to what I've seen in his own portfolio, I'm afraid I can't think of Frank Miller without shuddering anymore.

If You Took A Left Turn at the Cotton Candy Stand...


Well, today I was following the Lea Hernandez controversy in the interest of adding to the collection of "portrayal of women in comics" posts Kalinara and I have been amassing (I myself have little to add to the conversation except I just did a post on Kyle Rayner's hindquarters and I'm still creeped out by that bit of script she found) when I found myself at the Carnival of Feminists.

And I don't just mean that I ended up there. I actually found myself listed in the Carnival of Feminists for my "Wonder Woman Should Be Tall" post. I'm honored and just a tiny bit embarassed by some of my rowdier content.

So, if you're here by way of the Carnival, please, don't feel unwelcome by the geeky atmosphere. I understand we're a wierd little community with many strange customs and an unfortunate stereotype to outsiders. We're not much used to company ourselves. But check around, you may find yourself interested in the posts about Persephone below, Marionette's views on Violence, James and Ronee's speculations on catering to female readers, Kalinara's pet peeve, Melchior's observation on females in 60s comics, and various other thoughts about female characters. Aside from that, I think nearly all of the female bloggers are in Group One on the sidebar (Comic Treadmill has a few more), but the males are respective and in some cases more likely to discuss feminist issues.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Warning: Wickedness Ahead

This is a post in which I may alienate many of my readers (and completely win over the rest).

But I promised earlier.

And it needs to be said.

Submitted for your approval:
Kyle Rayner's Butt




Now, the virtues of Kyle Rayner's butt have been well-established by this point.

It has been stated outright in Green Lantern, Volume 3 that he has a nice butt.



This butt has gotten ample coverage during Kyle's appearances.



Artists go out of their way to showcase Kyle's hindquarters.


The boy is often seen doing Olympic-level Gymnastics in mid-air to show both his backside and frontside.

But this goes well beyond Kyle's admirable arse.




Note the above picture. Four JLA members leaping into action. One side-view, in an airplane. Two frontal view poses. And one guy twisted out of shape so that somehow we see his butt and his face at the same time.

Even Aliens are not safe from this wanton portrayal.



Lacking any humans, the artist has no hesitation in using Kilowog for Cheesecake.



And Abin Sur, once dignified! How they've lowered you for their base amusement!

Please note what constitutes a Green Lantern Group Photo in Silver Age.



They even made a point of covering the extraneous parts there.



But where did this phenomenon begin? How long have Green Lantern comics been obsessed with a single body part?

Well, I looked as far back as Showcase #22 and there it is, plain as day:

Hal Jordan's Classic Silver Age Ass



And if once wasn't enough...



Guess they thought it was too blurry.


I was going to stop there, because Alan Scott has a cape.

You'd think that would have saved him.

But no.



His cape is vertical throughout the entire Silver Age Team-Up story.

But that's the Silver Age, the early appearances were more dignified, right?

Wrong.



So, there you have it. A tradition dating back to All-Star Comics #3.

Green Lantern Butts.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

On Persephone

Well, I was originally going to post about Kyle Rayner's butt, but I found myself distracted some commentary at Seven Hells. Essentially, the arguments there led me to a train of thought I can't seem to derail. They got me thinking of Persephone.

Yes, there's more. To the public at large, Persephone is commonly relegated to the role of "Victim" in Greek Mythology and ignored. It's true, she was only kidnapped to give Angst to her mother, Demeter. Hell, she was customed designed to give Angst to others. She was dragged through Hell and did very little during the story. She was deceitful and indecisive at worse, and helpless at best.

But after that story, she became one of the most terrifying and powerful figures of Greek Mythology. The day Persephone was finally condemned to the Underworld on a permanent basis was the day she fully took power and claimed the throne of the Underworld. She was always seated beside her husband when heroes came to visit (as Dr Bolen points out, no one ever found a "Gone Home to Mother" sign instead of a sitting Queen). She was often on their side, and swayed the rule in their favor. She was one of very few wives who was able to keep a lover aside from her husband without any backlash. She was the only one who ever forbade her husband to have an affair, and enforced it, not just once, but twice. She was the boss, if not always the mother, of the Furies.

Persephone was the sympathetic guide to the Underworld once you were there, she knew all of its secrets. She knew its secrets, she'd passed through the same death you had, and she was your last, best chance for mercy and sympathy, and if you were ridiculously lucky -- resurrection. No one got out of the Underworld without Persephone's approval.

Persephone was in such a situation of complete powerlessness that drawing any personal power out of it was akin to squeezing blood from a rock. But she managed it. She went from Hapless Maiden to Queen of the Underworld, She Who Blocks Out the Light. She made the unbelievable best of a bad situation, and she still gets zero respect for it.

I've long hated Persephone and Hades' handling in Wonder Woman, especially in Rucka's run since the other Olympians have been so well handled. After the events of "The Bronze Doors" Persephone would at the very least be in front of Queen Pallas with a protest sign right now. Sure, the early Persephone might have been grateful for the reunion with her mother, but after centuries of reigning as Queen and more equal to her husband than any other goddess, do you think she's happy with him dead and her ousted in favor of Ares and his slut? Ha!

But that's okay, I've found Persephone elsewhere in DC. Everyone is so quick to parallel Oracle with Athena, because of the surface similarities (extensive knowledge, helper of heroes, she's a librarian for Hera's sake!) but when you look more closely, Oracle is the DCU's Persephone. She was a bright, redheaded summer goddess. Optimistic and helpful, she was the only one of the Bat-clan to not have some horrific tragedy driving her to fight evil. Until the Joker saw her, and in order to hurt her parent, crippled her, humiliated her, and left her to die. Barbara found herself cut off from that world of adventure she'd loved so much and trapped in her apartment at a computer.

So she made like Persephone, and turned that position into one of power. It didn't happen until after the Killing Joke writer had long since moved one, and she'd passed hands to another creative team, yes, but it still happened. She became one of the most powerful heroines in the DC Universe, from a chair. She was the guide and helper to anyone lost, not only in the underworld of Gotham, but the entire superhero community. She outshined her own Hades (Batman) in detective skills. For a long time, he didn't make a move without calling her. She became the boss of the Furies, which was started by teaming with another Persephone who regained her power -- Black Canary.

And now, she may be finally coming back to the light! And some are thrilled, while others are disappointed. They like Oracle the way she is. The way I see it, she's still Persephone. Regaining the use of her legs, and taking up an active superhero career is just assuming more personal power. She'll have her ups and downs, be back in the Underworld again, but that's okay. She knows her way around now, and she'll always have her computer skills, will always have her detective skills, will always be one of the most intelligent women around, and will always be able to tell others "I've been there, here's what to do."

And she's not the only one. Everyone's at DC is in the Underworld right now. Power Girl is trapped in her own wavering self-doubt and need to belong (Please note, however, that this is all Her Angst, and no one else's. Kal-L is actually around to cause more Angst on Power Girl's part). Jade's been there since she betrayed her lover's trust. Donna Troy is just coming off of many months of mind-control and about to get many people who trust her killed. Wonder Woman herself is cut off from her sisters, fighting off a gigantic robot monster with unlimited resources and reinforcements on her own, and reviled by the entire public.

The thing isn't the situation itself. The strength of the character is in how much power can be drawn out of the situation, and who they come out as. Power Girl's a born Artemis-type. Athletic and Feminist. She'll come out of the Underworld stronger, more centered, perhaps a bit less tempermental now that she'll have less insecurity. and go back to what she does best. Diana is Athena, and will reclaim her wise warrior role, she'll continue to do what needs to be done no matter what the rest of the world thinks of her. I wouldn't be surprised to see Jade get trapped in the Underworld. Barbara will become more physically active, but she and Dinah will still be the older, wiser Persephone types, helping those lost in the Underworld.

And it's not just the women here. Superman is coming off of mind-control. Earth-2 Superman is cut-off from his home reality. Batman is caught up in his own arrogance. I don't want to talk about Nightwing. Hal is coming off of years caught The entire DC Universe has made a side-tour to the Underworld.

But that's one of the pluses of DC. Everyone plays Persephone at one point. Tragedy and overcoming it is what makes drama. And anyone who is not the lead of a book is primed to suffer for another's Angst. I suppose you could argue that, due to a number of factors, most males get off easy -- but who does that make the stronger gender?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Secrets of the Sidebar: Love and Links for the New Year

To start the New Year, I'm going to reveal something from last year.To start the New Year, I'm going to reveal something from last year.

No, I am not going to take my top off.

No, I'm going to give you the Secrets of the Side-bar.

I know many of you have been wondering what is up with the groups. But only one man has been brave enough to ask me. So either no one cares, or you are all afraid of me.

I choose to believe the latter.

Anyway, here's the thing with the groups:
I want to have a long blogroll. Because that is how I find new blogs, other people's blogrolls. And I believe in enabling others to travel the web in this manner. That's why, when I find a blog that I've never seen linked to, I'll usually put it up. Because it's a corridor into a different section of the community.
But I don't like having the blogrolls go on too long with nothing to break up the links. They just blur together, and good blogs can be overlooked too easily. If I put them into small, sizeable groups the individual blogs are easier to find, and I can rearrange them easily to draw attention to people I want to get more traffic.

Why are you in a certain group? Well, some of you have something in common with the others in your group, but others are grouped together just because I added you all at the same time and wanted to keep the group a certain size, or I wanted to expand a small group.

Does the numbering matter? No. It doesn't even affect the order the groups are listed in. I just couldn't think of any neat names for each group.

Are you at the bottom because I hate you? No, you just don't talk about comics enough.

Are you at the top because you're undeniably wonderful, the best thing since Kyle Rayner's butt? Not necessarily, but I do think you or someone else in your group should be getting more traffic.

And don't be surprised if one day I rearrange them to not be alphabetical anymore, too.

To celebrate the New Year, I'm going to go over each group, link you to them, and tell you why they're there. Some of you are going to get a paragraph of praise. Some just a sentence that states that you are cool. But for a lot of you, it's simply that I got an overall feeling reading that I'd like to come back, and maybe others would too.

And, should anyone come up with a fun name for a certain group, feel free to comment. I did eight separate posts to give you enough room, after all (and I apologize sincerely to anyone with a feed that messes up this format).

And so, without further ado, Let the 2006 Written World New Year's Linkblogging Marathon Commence!

Secrets of the Sidebar: Group Eight

Click here for Group Eight: Brainsplurge, Anti-Semantics, Carthage, Feminism, More Me, Mild Astonishment, and Kimfuscism

Secrets of the Sidebar: Group Seven

Group Seven: Zombies with a plan for World Domination. It involves a box of comics, Dr Polaris, and a Sometimes Right Triangle.
  • Chronicle of World Domination -- He's very new to this, but he likes Rebirth and is a thoughtful reasonable person. Plus his blog has a good name. I figure he deserves some traffic.
  • Johnny Triangles -- T has finished moving. Yay! I look forward to more posts like his Wanted Review.

  • The Last Shortbox -- An intriguing concept. Too early to judge, but he also deserves some traffic.

  • Reporting on Marvels and Legends -- Spencer broke the Marvel prohibition before I ever heard of Calvin. This was the first post I caught and I found no reason not to clear a path for him.

  • Title Undetermined -- I saw the first post he posted the day after he posted it. It wasn't long before before he gave me a beautiful quote (Can you guess which sentence it is in this post?).

  • Zombie Mallet -- Mallet speaks a completely different language than I do, it seems, but we do agree on one thing.

Secrets of the Sidebar: Group Six

Group Six: Kevin, Ian, Chris, Ken, Mark, and the shrunken head of a Sleestak.
  • Beaucoup Kevin -- Everyone links to Kevin, because he's entertaining. And not just on his blog, he's very funny over IM too. My favorite bit on his site is this post (I think the last picture is adorable, and would like to see a panel like it someday featuring Kyle Rayner).
  • Brill Building -- Found this by way of another blog dedicating an entire link to getting people to read it, and they were right.

Secrets of the Sidebar: Group Five

Group Five: Public Transportation
  • The Drudge Siren -- I read Jon's site a lot, and his Jodie Sweeten post actually led me here. But this is my favorite post at this blog.
  • Listen to Us, We're Right -- I found this post a long time before I started regularly reading these guys. Having completely forgotten about that review, I found the site a second time and was entertained enough to read straight through -- until I saw the title again. I stopped only because I was laughing too hard to go on from just the memory of that review. I took a break.
  • The Low Road -- If I look at your site and laugh aloud at the first post I see, there's a good chance you're getting a spot on the sidebar.

Secrets of the Sidebar: Group Four

Group Four: Symbolism, Soliloquoy, Sorrow, Subtlety, and Superheroes
  • Double Articulation -- As I said when I first linked to him, never before have I seen anyone who sees more symbolism in comics than I do. Wow. He doesn't update often, but when he does its impressive.
  • Ethan Watches You -- Scroll down to the dialogue below the icon of Jesus when you look here. Here is when the issue actually came out. Ethan Van Sciver has a sense of humor about this, and that is very cool.
  • Superheroes, Etc. -- I just read through a couple of posts and decided I like this person. Sometimes it's that simple.

Secrets of the Sidebar: Group Three

Group Three: Straight-jackets, Creative Cooking, Drainage, Carnage, Office Solutions, Insomnia, and the worst Travel Agency in the DC Universe!
  • The Comics Asylum -- James Meeley is thoughtful, polite individual that I never noticed until I found he had the same opinion I did on this issue of the Flash
  • Comics Ate My Brain -- This is one of the first blogs I ever visited. When I was first put on graveyard shift, I found myself up at odd hours when no one else was about. There was nothing to do. This led to websurfing. And so, searching for Green Lantern information, I found this, and this.
  • Facedown in the Gutters -- I started visiting this one back when Jon was doing his ongoing feature on character costumes, and I thought he had a charming way of naming his reviews every week, so I kept returning. This post is what cemented his link, however.
  • Filing Cabinet of the Damned -- I only knew Harvey from commenting on the Absorbascon, so when I ran across this link (from someone or another's site) I didn't realize until the end it was someone I'd bantered with the week before.
  • Of Course, Yeah! -- I'm a DC-centric reader, so I didn't really care to add Marvel-centric blogs for a while. This post changed my mind. It was followed immediately by this post which made me realize that Spencer had some taste afterall.
  • The Zeta-Beam -- The first post I read of this guy's, and he completely won me over. It also helps that he likes Buckaroo Banzai too. (Though I didn't see the 50-cent preview issue last week!)

Secrets of the Sidebar: Group Two

Group Two: Thanagarians, Subtext, Stuffed Animals and other Blogging Essentials
  • Seven Hells! -- A good sign I'm going to be linking to someone is when I find myself instantly start laughing at a post, without really realizing why.
  • The Absorbascon -- Scipio was the first person I linked to. Everybody links to Scipio, because he is that funny. This remains one of my favorite images ever.

Secrets of the Sidebar: Group One

Group One: Librarians, Lesbians, and other Ladies.
  • So So Silver Age -- People might think I don't like these ladies, because I constantly link to this post. In fact, they may even think I'm maliciously mocking them. I'm just teasing a bit, actually. The truth of the matter is, I link to it because it's just the sort of thing I might say myself, and I find it a pretty entertaining read (I also feel bad I never pointed out that Jade was a crappy character and that killing her can only help the representation of woman in comics in the comments there). So odds are, I will link to it again, and again. Sorry!
    I keep going back to the blog itself, however, because of stuff like this, which is a much better representation of the content.
  • Redhead Fangirl -- I am fascinated by her dislike of Power Girl, who is one of my favorite characters. This is when I decided to add her to the roll, though.
  • Dance of the Puppets -- I actually meant to add her to the blogroll earlier than I did. I'd assumed she was already there, as I'd bookmarked her around here, and constantly visited afterwards. Oops!
  • Comics Fairplay -- This woman may be responsible for my change of heart about Ron Marz. As I've stated before, my sister and I dropped Green Lantern after Jade got the crap beat out of her by Fatality and needed a last-minute rescue after a pitiful performance. We'd only been reading since Donna left, so we didn't see any other prominant female. It was around the time of the Refrigerator list, so, we drew a natural conclusion that Ron Marz couldn't write women, so we turned to enjoy Kyle in JLA, specials, and Green Lantern in back issues (in actuality, it was Marz who made me like Hal Jordan in Emerald Knights!). I didn't read it again until Winick's run (and my sister had to loan me her issues first!).
    Now, the well-reasoned points brought up here, only as recently as October, made me reread some of my old Green Lantern stuff and reevaluate Jade as a character. I then reread her appearances written by the other writers. I realized she was not out of character, and that I actually despised her even more than Heidi did. I also realized that, without going from the presumption that he didn't understand women, the rest of Marz's writing wasn't bad after all. His Alex was actually fairly impressive, his Donna was stomachable, his Maura Rayner was awesome. So, thanks to Comics Fairplay, I am not only willing to pick up Ion in 2006, but I'm actually looking forward to it.

Happy New Year!

(Yes, this is how I spent New Year's Eve. I am Ragnell the Foul, of the Night Shift. I do not get invited to parties.)