Saturday, June 17, 2006

Weekly Women's Geek-Out #5

(Ladies and Gentlemen, Ollie Queen -- Dumbest Person in the DCU)

After much procrastination, I finally finished writing up the announcement post for the First Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction/Fantasy Fans and am now free to do this, the other project I procrastinated on. My Five Female Geek Bloggers links in a feature I could have chosen a snappier name for but didn't. (Last week's list is here)

First, a word on the Carnival. The Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans periodically collects posts from the hazy side-reality where feminist social consciousness meets the outer limits of the imagination. This is to draw attention to lesser known bloggers, to bring individuals of like-minded (or at least, understanding) interests together, and to foster the growth of feminist fan communities. It'll be held here on July 2nd, deadline for submissions is June 29th, use the submission form or email me, details here.

I was offput this week when I realized not every comics or political blog has a link to Pen-Elayne on the Web. Then I realized I hadn't gotten around to putting one up. Oops. She mostly links, gives valuable information to the non-geeky world (the one I shun voluntarily), and links some more and sometimes there's pictures. I've had her in my bookmarks for ages and am a little embarassed I never put her on the blogroll until today. Sorry, Elayne!

Earlier this week, I linked to Poison Ivory's early Justice League scans (And stole one for this post), but that's worth linking again. Also worth linking at is her point about Lois Lane's publicity shots. (I would've gone with courage or guts, myself)

By now you all know Gail Simone has a blog, but here she is anyway. She has a few script excerpts, and her opinion on fanfiction up, in addition to the much-linked writing tips and puppy love.

I found a new webcomic. Planet Karen! which is worth visiting just for this, and consistently interesting and amusing thereafter. Bookmark her for your regular webcomics visits.

And finally, Shannon immediately impressed me when I followed a backlink and found she was the first person to point this out (Another example of how desensitized to cheesecake I've become). The ADD Theater archives contain a lot of links and a few drawings, but in the past couple weeks she's spent time blogging and linking about racism in comics -- go read.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Confession

This is the first time I've ever actually done this. Oh, I've joked about it, but I've never really done it.

Not when I was 19 and picking up the habit again after Basic Training.

Not when I was 12 and reading X-Men still.

Not even when I was a young girl and stealing copies of Boy's Life from my brother (One day, I will find the end of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea...)

Not even collecting back issues, there was always another angle to satisfy me.

I can honestly say that this is the very first time I picked up a comic book specifically to see the fight on the cover. I had been waiting for this fight since they announced Kyle would be Space-bound and Hal would be the Earth-GL.

I didn't buy the other four issues. I barely skimmed the rest of the plot. I simply read the fight.

It had 31 pages.

2 pages were prose.

8 were ads.

8 had the villain on them.

4 featured the hero fighting the villain.

It cost me 3 dollars.

It was glorious.

There was a refrigerater construct.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Gods Must Be Cranky..

I'm going to let you, my regular audience, in on some of the behind the scenes workings of When Fangirls Attack!. Mainly, how I find some of the posts.

Now, I get email submissions, and I use search engines, and I have my regular checks (not even half of which are on the blogroll!) for columns, wordpress, blogger and myspace -- but when it comws to livejournal I have a special helper: Community Friendslists.

Yes, dear readers, on slow nights I will scan the friendslists of at least 8 different livejournal comics communities in search of topical posts. I've learned a number of interesting things.. about a number of interesting people this way. I've found a number of topical posts, as well, so it is worth the effort, and the risks, involved.

There is a point to this... Sort of.

I must caution you: Do not try this at home.

I'm serious. This way lies madness.

I am an experienced link-farmer, qualified to do this by virtue of my expertise in the field of just about everything that is important, and the excessive use of prepositional phrases. I will not be responsible for the sanity of those who attempt this dangerous and untested method of linkfarming. Stay with Technorati and Google, for this sidepath leads to depression, euphoria, and the dreaded onset of Emo!

Nevertheless, I've found some damned good posts that way.

This is not one of them.

Before I go on, I'd like to state that this is one of my favorite stops. Sometimes she scans early Justice League panels and posts them all in a row! And I've spoken to the other conversant a few times on the subject of Star Sapphire. Green Lantern fans, good people. And I can understand wanting to archive an unusual conversation (I've considered a few of the ones between me and Kalinara or ISB proprietor Chris Sims) in a public place.

But this shocked me:
Fan #1: Athena would've loved Ollie
Fan #2: she probably writes Ollie/Hal fanfiction
Fan #1: a;dhf;adjf;adjf;adjf
Fan #1: H/C epics
Fan #1: Sometimes she writes Barry in, but then she thinks of Hermes and gets a little weirded out
Fan #1: Hal makes her think of Apollo, which also weirds her out but also totally turns her on
Fan #1: Aphrodite totally knows all this and mocks her
Fan #2: does she write Carol/Dinah femmeslash sideplots?
Fan #1: Naturally!
Fan #2: hot


I have never, in my life seen such a blatant misunderstanding of the Greek Pantheon.

(Well, George Perez... But anyway..)

Athena? Love? BAH! Athena is the Goddess of Wisdom, only Fools fall in love. (Aphrodite is not a fool, nor does she fall in love. She is Love -- and Hot Buttered Lust, and "Let's Just Be Friends"ship, and Painful Yearning, and Fangirl Crushing, and... -- there's a major difference) She doesn't crush on heroes, she makes heroes.

Athena has never crushed on anybody. She sprang fully formed from Zeus' head (after an educational childhood at the feet of her mother, the Goddess of Prudence, inside his skull). She bypassed puberty and the silly girlish afflictions therein. Arguably, she still considered boys "icky" unless they were doing interesting things like fighting. There was a reason Aphrodite had to resort to mocking her appearance, it was because her usual method of revenge simply didn't work. Love did not stick to Athena, and the other trick didn't work either. No one who fell for Athena ever got anywhere near her.

Athena would not write slash-fiction or bother with such fantasies. She was a War Goddess, and an Intellect Goddess. She would write adventure epics! With meticulously detailed histories, and cross-referencing, and culture for the new races and a fully developed language, and mathematical statistics, and dice, and probabilities, and percentages of success, and carefully outlined skill levels and armor classes and realistic weapon statistics...etc...

Yes, Athena is a nerd, but she isn't that kind of nerd.

Artemis, on the other hand -- Yeah, totally into the femslash (Oh, we all know, Silver Sister! 50 nymphs alone in the woods, bathing together, you got so pissed off at Callisto...). Demeter and Hera? Definitely crushing on fictional characters. Aphrodite's bringing them to life to pleasure her. But Athena? No, straight action, no mushy romance, kissing is yucky. Boys have cooties. (You think they don't? Try attending a military public health briefing sometime.)

She did skip puberty and go straight to adulthood, after all.

And what is this nonsense about being wierd out by thoughts of Hermes and Apollo?

Please! It's Olympus! Sheesh, if she wasn't asexual she would be totally in bed with Hermes. Haven't you ever seen that picture on Zeus' fridge? He's the closest diety to her, office-wise. And they are symbolically married in alchemy, computer science, and all sorts of other disciplines according to neo-paganism. Hell, I was half-convinced in Wonder Woman: Land of the Dead we'd see him promoted to Queen's Consort and I'd be really, really pissed off at Greg Rucka. (We didn't, but I saw a possibility. Especially with the ambiguously related Ares coming on to Cassie so often, you could tell that writer wasn't afraid to touch on this!)

There wouldn't be any wierded out by this. Incest is business as usual for the gods! Look at all of the marriages up there. Athena's mother was her father's cousin. Her stepmother is her aunt. Her other aunt is her half-sister's mother. Her sister-in-law is also her sister. Her brother-in-law? Her uncle! The family tree goes straight up and down.

That's just how they roll on Olympus.

And if any goddess is writing slashfiction with Oliver Queen and Hal Jordan, it's Persephone.

That's why they both stayed dead as long as they did.

Eventually Ollie pissed her off.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Whew!

Is it just me or has the content around here been way too heavy lately?

Instead of more analysis, how about a pleasant Tuesday diversion?


Do you recognize that butt?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Monday Misogyny

I was expecting to do a Donna Troy opinion myself, but then I saw it. Buried amidst a jumble of "fishing stories" and personal qualifications, so deeply hidden in obfuscation that you can just barely catch the underlying attitude -- and in the very last place I expected to find such an attitude:
So, to summarize - evocative dress should never be used as a defense for a rapist or other predator, but to say that only the person doing the dressing can state for the record whether or not the outfit is provocative... strikes me as naive.

This Project Is Not Over

Update on the Damned List:

I haven't had a chance to categorize or confirm yet -- I'm in need of so many references still. Categories still stand as listed before, except now there's a cateogory for perpetrators of sexual violence (subcategories will be along the lines of Violent, Mental, and Symbolic -- but I haven't gotten enought for that list to think it out yet).

I've also added a preliminary "clear list" to get your memories working, please, correct me if I'm wrong. I'd like to eventually have every female character at DC or Marvel on the lists.

Once you're done here, head over to Kalinara's for the male list.

Our List So Far
Attempted
Diana/Wonder Woman (WW#10)
Diana/Wonder Woman (WW#51)
Secret (YJ#7)
Jenny Hayden/Jade (GL#109)
Shining Knight (SK#4)
Hawkgirl (Hawkman, ish # needed)
Storm (forced marriage, ref needed)
Kitty Pryde (Forced marriage, ref needed)
Lara of Krypton (false pretenses, forced marriage; World of Krypton trade)

Actual
Felicia Hardy/Black Cat (SM/BC mini)
Elektra (Elektra: Assassin #1)
Grace Choi (Outsiders #17)
Jessica Drew/Spider-Woman (Ref Needed -- Perpetrator was the Purple Man)
Mia Dearden/Speedy II (GA #42)
Crazy Jane (DP)
Sally Sonic (Statutory, Bulleteer #4)
Spoiler (Robin #111)
Spoiler (Statutory, ref needed)
Rogue (Ref Needed)
Carol Danvers/Ms. Marvel (Avengers#200)
Abby (Ref Needed)
Red Sonja (Origin story)
Emma Frost (Ref Needed)
Big Barda (AC#592-593)
Cora (Atlantis Chronicles)
Mirage (NTT -- Need ish #)
Calliope (Sandman)
Catwoman (Her Sister's Keeper)
Queen Hippolyta (WW#1)
Atlanna (Incest, Atlantis Chronicles)
Sue Dibny (IDC #3)
Helen Bertinelli/Huntress (Huntress miniseries ??)
Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk (SH#7)
Terra (Statutory, NTT Need Ish #)
The Engineer (The Authority #)
She-Hulk (Sens. She-Hulk ish # needed)
Kate Bishop (YA Special #1)

Implied/Subtextual
Lian Harper (Outsiders #19)
Dinah Lance/Black Canary II (GA: The Longbow Hunters)
Arisia (Warrior #42)
Elektra (Daredevil #181)
Dream Girl (Universo Project)
Phantom Lady (IC#1)
Alicia (Fantastic Four #255)
Cobweb (TS#1)
Barbara Gordon (The Killing Joke)
Starfire (Ref needed)
Debbie Darnell/Star Sapphire (JLA #115)

Symbolic
Arisia (GLC #213)
Susan Richards/Invisible Woman (FF Annual #23)
Susan Richards/Invisible Woman (FF 278)
Jessica Jones (Alias 25)
Helena Bertinelli/Huntress (JLI#30)
Rachel Summers (Ref Needed)
Power Girl (Zero Hour buildup -- Ref Needed)
Donna Troy (WW #136)
Imra/Saturn Girl (Ref Needed)
Donna Troy (RoDT)
Catwoman (CW#50)
Debbie Darnell/Star Sapphire (IDC/JLA-SSoSV Ref Needed)
Carol Ferris/Star Sapphire (Pretty much all of Vol 2 GL)
Dawnstar (Ref Needed)
Zinda Blake (Ref Needed)
Kitty Pryde (Ref Needed)
Jean Grey (Dark Phoenix Saga)
Diana/Wonder Woman (WW#160)

Perpetrators
Martika (GG: Warrior)
Tarantula (Nightwing)
The Mist (Starman #16)
Psylocke (X-Men, ish # needed)
Circe (Wonder Woman)


Mentioned, but even circumstances still unknown -- Kathryn Summers, Sharon Ventura


Clear List
Lois Lane
Cassie Sandsmark/Wonder Girl
Courtney Whitmore/Stargirl
Ma Hunkel/Red Tornado
Maggie Sawyer
Renee Montoya
Hope O'Dare
Cassandra Cain
Sandra Woosan/Lady Shiva
Wasp
Andromeda
Katma Tui

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I'm Not Cleaning That Out


For your reading pleasure, I have reread Green Lantern #54.

Yes, there's analysis...Why?

Because we've had activity. A flurry of fine, furious, offensive and friendly activity in the little back alley where feminism and comics meet. You know the place. It's right behind the appliance store where they load the hearses and trucks and.. hearses with their cargo.

I shouldn't joke about this. It's far too serious, even in regards to fictional characters. After all, every character is somebody's favorite (a fact I've recently learned is true), and these stories are meant to be tragic. They're meant to be shocking. And the death and character should be treated with respect. It shouldn't be a joke.

It's inappropriate.

Ahhh, but Dark Humor is part of the impact of the "Women in Refrigerators" list. It's the reason for the title. Otherwise they call it something like "A list of female comic book characters and the tragedies that have crossed their lives." This is not nearly so catchy, nor so funny.

It's the reason the title caught on. The shock of a young man opening a fridge to find his girlfriend. Tickles the unwholesome funny bone of the horror fan in each of us. It allows for an easy joke. When calling for the death of an unliked character ("There's room in the fridge for this one!"), when complaining about a resurrection ("Couldn't they have have kept the fridge door shut?") and when railing against mistreatment of your favorite characters ("Here's another one for the fridge!") or the treatment of female characters in general ("Soon they'll need to rent an appliance store").

Humor is so often used to temper feminist anger, to draw us out of our ranting and bring the conversation to lighter topics. When this is resisted, the "humorless feminist" comments start. There's something grand and fun and uplifting about joking in anger, about making light of a heavy topic even as you seek to impart the seriousness of it. The sarcastic mocking of injustice through your tears and rage that marks the best feminist blogs and websites is captured in the WiR site's title. It enables any of us to go off on a rant with cursory (and sometimes sarcastically worded) link to the list and any of our readers can understand. And it's a free joke. There's no denying the title is funny, in that dark perverted way that a long-time comics reader loves (How else do you think Garth Ennis got so damned popular?), and it's a short well-worded title.

So, is that the secret impact of the Fridge list? The title's funny? Is that all we need to be to replicate the effect of this list?

Well, there's a bit more to it than that.

In fact, I'm going to go so far as to say that although activism, networking, opinion writing, trenchwork, and gathering data to support your argument are all valuable and effective, nothing we do will ever approach the effect of the Women in Refrigerators list.

I'm not downing the recent measures at all. I'm not going away and neither should anyone else. Hell, the very list I'm discussing that inspired these efforts and discussion is completely worthless in itself without the discussion and activity that sprung from it so many years ago.

Nevertheless, just as it's unrealistic to expect voting female candidates into office to have the same monumental impact as gaining the right to vote, it's unrealistic to expect our support efforts to have the same effect as the initial list. The obvious reason being, it was the first. They may have been earlier efforts, but this was the first to catch on. This drew the attention.

The setup helped. It's so innocuous. Just a list. Mailed innocently to a number of professionals and posted on boards. There was nothing angry about it in itself. But when you looked at it and realized the scope of it. The quantity of it. And then you found you couldn't think of a female character who wasn't on the list for something, and if you did it was because she should have been there!

I still see it linked from time to time around the net.

It's crept into our language, even outside the fan community you hear people mention it. For that I credit the name. "Women in Refrigerators." It's strange to hear Ron Marz's writing skills criticized for that scene, it had such an impact. (Though I suspect a lot of the hatred directed at him for that act still revolves around that writer's previous storyline, wherein a beloved male hero was driven completely and utterly insane. And if you'd like to criticize his writing skills, that's a considerably weaker work) A commenter on one of my rants (and I had to force back the crotchety old fan in my response) attributed the emphasis on Green Lantern #54 to the existence of the Internet.

No, I believe it goes a bit deeper than that.
All that said, I can tell you Alex was a character destined to die from the moment she was first introduced in GL #48. I created her with the intention of having her be murdered at the hands of Major Force. I took a lot of care in building her as a character, because I wanted her to be liked and her death to mean something to the readers. I wanted readers to be horrified at the crime, and to empathize with Kyle's loss. Her death was meant to bring brutal realization to Kyle that being GL wasn't fun and games. It was also meant to sever his links with his old life, paving the way for his move to New York. And ultimately I wanted her death to be memorable and illustrate just how truly heinous Major Force was. Thus the fridge. From the reactions, I think I succeeded fairly well at those goals. It's five years later and people are still talking about it. More than anything as a writer, you want the audience to react emotionally to your work, to care.
-- Ron Marz
Before I get into it, I'd like to point out that the above defense does nothing to hurt our case. It doesn't matter that her death was intended from the beginning, or that it could have easily been done to a male character. The intention simply doesn't matter, it's the end result. The end result is what supports or overthrows the stereotypes and the symbols involved in the scene. The stereotypes and the symbols that go back centuries. The stereotypes and the symbols still subtly enforced by all aspects of our culture to this day. The stereotypes and symbols we've been trying to overthrow for decades.

Here's where I get the "thought police" accusations. The "You're trying to censor us!" accusations.

No, I want you to think about what you read and write. I want you to be aware of the message you send. I want you to write and draw and create aware of what you are creating. I want you to be able to receive the message, recognize it for the bullshit it is and toss it out. I want you think twice about the overplayed hack attempts at shock writing -- unless you have a damned good story structure around it, because trust me it's nothing new. That's what the Fridge-list proves, that these storylines are not original in any manner. That's the point of this exercise.

In actuality, censorship does more harm than good. Allow me to share the writer's anecdote about this very scene.
The more infamous example, I suspect, is Alex, Kyle Rayner's then girlfriend. I see a reference to her being "cut up and stuck in a refrigerator." Firstly, you assume incorrectly Alex was "cut up," which is frankly a rather common mistake. The real story behind that page is that as initially written and drawn, Kyle finds her body stuffed into the fridge. Her WHOLE body, in one piece. In fact, I still have a copy of that original page. The Comics Code went bananas and made us change the artwork so that the door was mostly shut. This had the effect of forcing readers to use their imaginations as to what the "unseen scene" was, and a lot of readers went for the most grisly thing imaginable -- a dismembered body. I think this actually says a great deal more about some readers' minds than it does about our original intentions. Score one for the Comics Code.
Left to our own devices, we fill in the default automatically. It will, more often than not, conform to societal norms, stereotypes and symbols that have been drilled into our heads from an early age. A fridge door with an obscured body. Of course it's cut up, that must be why they censored it.

I was comparing Alex's death to another female character's. The other was off-panel, with gendered innuendo and interesting positioning. In fact, as she was killed off-panel, it looked suspiciously like a rape scene would be drawn. Kalinara believes it was done on purpose, so that that character would be remembered for the fight she gave before her death. Alex's death was entirely on-panel, she reasoned, because Alex was to be remembered for her death. I added that it had the added benefit of ensuring no one would read rape into the scene.

Compare Mike Grell's disgust at having to clarify that Black Canary was never raped. But the torture occured off-panel and resulted in infertility. What were we supposed to think? Humans always fill in the worst, supported by the mystery. Nothing's hidden unless it's way too bad to see. We fill in the obvious, the worst, the most unoriginal idea. An original idea would have been shown, this will be stock footage. This in turn, through exclusion, supports the stereotyped message as well as if it'd been printed it on the page.



I'd also love to see the script for this page. I'm morbidly amused by the thought of the artist trying to work out how to fit a corpse into a refrigerator.

Anyway...

On one level, it achieved precisely what the writer had intended. Plotwise, it worked perfectly. The intent was a Spider-man style origin, where the hero is off elsewhere while the loved one dies. Rather than have a random villain as the culprit, the writer also created a completely despicable evil -- he threw some interesting parts on behalf of the villain (the flowers he gave Alex with the death threat note, the note to Kyle that implied she'd cooked food for him, the comment about what a beautiful girl she was). The character herself was respectfully treated, an unpowered support cast-member allowed to put up quite a fight against a powered villain. The convention of placing the body in the refrigerator was pure logic. Where else would be put it while he waited an indefinite length of time for Kyle to return?

It was done to shock the readers. There is no denying that. Alex was introduced as the conventional superhero girlfriend, and it was assumed Kyle's origin was done in one, but it had barely begun. His origin story wasn't complete until she was killed. But we, as the readers, were blissfully unaware of this. We allowed ourselves to get wrapped up in the story, and attached to the character and then BAM! She's gone. More Martha Wayne than Lois Lane.

It worked a little too well.

It certainly got everyone's attention.

It made a catchy and humorous title. "Women in Refrigerators."

From the point of view of any fan, it's a cold, dark place to end up.

I very much doubt he realized the feminist symbolism of this. A woman answers the door and dies in the kitchen. The kitchen, such a potent symbol for women. Traditionally, it's the place of a woman, the center of her life, where her proper work is done. It's a vital room, where the health and life of the family is tended to. Where everyone is nourished. Nuturing, the traditional realm of feminity. Alex ventured away from there to answer the door, and was chased back. The villain puts her in her proper place. Teaches her what happens to those who wander too far outside gender norms. He squeezes the life lout of her (intriguing that she's strangled and crushed to death under the restrictive gender roles being symbolically enforced in this scene).

Then, her lifeless body is laid to rest in the refrigerator. The refrigerator, being the central fixture of the kitchen and the family life. The necessities of life are stored inside. The door is used for messages, communication between the members of the family. Communication, necessary to hold the family together. The Mother's traditional job, nourishing the family and fostering the love and understanding that keeps the family bonded. Alex was chased back into the kitchen by the villain. She was crushed to death and shoved into the fridge, even though she was an ill fit.

It gets deeper. A love interest shoved into a food storage unit. You don't put people in refrigerators, you put food there. Women as a consumable item. Here's what I missed from that alternate timeline women's studies class. I don't know where the theory originated, but I've seen it across the net on feminist websites as they critique the culture. The idea that women are there for the use of men, for the consumption of men. That sexuality is something they possess that men must seek and devour.

Objectification, more so than any show of breasts or chests could ever get across. Alex DeWitt was a vibrant personality, she seemed to have a bright future ahead of her. The character's memory is reduced to a body, inside a refrigerator. Woman as an object. Food, sex. A consumable object. All that matter's in the story is the male character's reaction.



Yes, I know that's not what he meant, but that's still what it says.

It made her a more powerful symbol than the other throwaway supporting cast members that writers have brought in to be taken out. It's why she's on the list and Martha Wayne isn't.

It's why she's the mascot for mistreated comic book characters.

Well, that and it's catchy. And gruesomely humorous.

Bon Appetit!

This Blog Is Going To Hell

When I finished this post, I needed a title. I turned to Kalinara and we started to throw a few out there. I had to share the results, and see if anyone had any better ideas.

Kalinara
All Appliances 50% off
Maytag sale
Sears called, they want their appliance back
Maytags and Misogyny
Sexism Shipped From Sears
Is It Wrong That I Really Want a Freeze Pop?
Your Girlfriend is Behind the Milk
You Know Kyle Wouldn't Have This Problem If He'd Finished School. Dorm Fridges Are Tiny.
I Told You You Had Something Alive In There...Oops
Walt Disney Never Had To Share His Freezer With Kyle's Left overs.
Mom Always Said To Clean Your Fridge
So That's What That Smell Was
No Thanks I've Already Eaten
No Officer, I'm Not A Cannibal.
I Need Stock In Arm and Hammer


Ragnell
Kenmore, Barbie less
Barbie in a Kenmore
Superheroines on Ice!!
Freon Maidens
Chattel, Slightly Chilled
Ron Marz's Contribution to the Feminist Movement
Freon Feminism.
Casual Sexism, Slightly Chilled
And in his second job, my brother sells the hateful symbol of patriarchal heteronormativity...
And Next to the Pickles...
How Do You Fit Someone that Tall in There Anyway?
Why Superheroes Order Pizza
The Word "Leftovers" Takes on a Nasty Meaning Here
So, Who's for Chinese Takeout?
I Think I Can Fit the Pizza Box in Alex's Lap
He Let the Milk Spoil So He Could Make Room for Her
Dammit Kyle, Just Spring for a Pine Wood Box
Cryogenic Cuties
Where Do We Put the Tombstone?
That Wasn't On the Grocery List
Oh, Thank Gawd, I Thought that was the Leftovers Spoiling!
I'm Not Cleaning That Out
Strange How the Meatloaf is Still the Worst-Smelling Item
Mystery Meat
I'm Not Hungry Anymore
I Don't Think Baking Soda Will Help That
Hey, Alex, Could You Hand Me a Beer While You're in There?
Your Honor, I Swear She Said She Was Low-Cal
You'd Have Fit Better in There if There Were Less Cans of Slimfast

And Together
R: Suddenly, I'm Not in the Mood For Leftovers
K: ...I Am.

So, dear readers, how many tasteless refrigerator jokes can you make?

The No-Prize Attitude

Girl-Wonder.org has a new paper up -- a feminist analysis of Jessica Jones from Alias by Karen Healey.

The whole thing is wonderful, you should go read it, but these four lines and the underlying attitude caught my eye.

On one level, we can regard Jessica’s Golden Age style secret origin as an artificial insertion into Marvel continuity. However, this process can also be read not as Jessica being written in, but as being discovered. If we suspend our disbelief, the narrative assures us that Jessica was there all along. She was hidden in the spaces between the panels, slightly off to one side, there just before the comic began, roaming free and foul-mouthed in the margins of Marvel’s history.


That's a beautiful way to see it.

This is the positive of the fandom community. This ability. The ability to see the retcon and fit it in in the established stories in their imagination, explain it away, without complaining that now a story "doesn't count anymore!" I've been on threads at Message Boards where people have asked for explanations abnout little things and have been given creative answers, to which they reply "Do you have an issue number where they give that reason?" Well, no, it's a fan-explanation. They made it up on the spot. It's an imaginative way to stay in the story.

It's not needing everything spelled out for you. Being able to fill in between the panels and adjust for a retcon, or a writer mistake or two.

What happened to the No-Prize Seekers? Are they all writing fan-fiction now?

Weekly Women's Geek-Out#4

I wish I'd chosen a better name for this feature. I was at the point where I'd put it off nearly a full week after promising it.

Anyway I've procrastinated on this one long enough. I've had a little notepad full of links for the past day and a half, but I kept putting off the write-up. I was too busy rereading Wonder Woman #1 and digging out my Brave and the Bold backissues (Did you know Batman teamed up with Lois Lane in that?)

Anyway, as promised, short and sweet, here are your five links:

I should have linked Comics Worth Reading when i first found it, it's a wonderful site. But I'm mainly a superhero reader and Johanna likes everything else, so there was rarely any shared ground between our blogs, and most everyone else had a link to it anyway. Well, I'm rectifying that now, even as I await her promised Castle Waiting review, since that may be the only comic that we've both read.

I also should have linked I Read Comics when I first found it. This is what I get for procrastinating. This is a podcast site, so it's a bit of a change of pace, she reviews comics and discusses the things she's read on blogs every week (She's a regular WFA reader and linker). I really have no excuse for not linking this earlier, as the first psot I saw when I learned of the site was this one.

Also on the list of "Sites I should of linked immediately" is also the Feminist Sci-Fi Blog! "A coterie of feminists blogging about sci-fi." It was new and I wanted to wait and see if it caught on. It has, so far it has a few book analyses up, and some pictures of the Barnes and Noble Octavia Butler Memorial. There will be more written here about this site later.

Now, this lady I just now found at Comic-Bloc. I would have definitely linked her sooner. Yes, it's a MySpace blog, more of a socializing group than a comic book site, but this is the woman who started the Save Manhunter MySpace Group -- a public service for all superhero comics readers. (Speaking of which, Manhunter is still in need of saving despite the reprieve) Let's all give a hand and some recognition to le Krystal Method.

Finally, here's one that I purposefully put off until the end of the week: Blog@Newsarama (Which, by now you all know used to be the Great Curve). Wait, that's a bunch of guys, right? Nope, the team includes web designer Stephanie Chan. She's responsible for the look of the site, occasionally contribues, and can be seen blogging solo at Comic Book Girl and Pulp Arcade.

All of these ladies will be added to various places on the Blogroll, until the site of a woman in comics is a normal everyday thing that won't take everyone by surprise.

Last week's list can be found here, and it links to the list before that and so on until you see me explain my reasoning for this feature.

If anyone here knows of a female-run geek site that would like to draw attention to it (and don't be shy about pointing yourself out), please email me or comment on this post.