Friday, September 14, 2007

Yeesh

Take a look at this:
And frankly, anyone that has issue with someone complaining about the nonsense involved in Amazons Attack or is offended by members of female fandom expressing their displeasure over the event is the last person I would ever call a voice of reason.
Maybe its not the complaints so much that offend me but the attitude expressed there. The attitude that this is "The Feminist Position" and that certain fans are speaking for "Female Fandom" and people who disagree aren't legitimate feminists or legitimate female fans.

In case you haven't noticed, I have a pet peeve about people who have it in their mind to speak for all female fans, whether its "I'm a woman and it doesn't offend me" or "This offends me as a woman so it offends all women." Both attitudes are effectively the same, and that may be why this particular blogger pisses me off so damned much.

(Its much the same reason why I don't get along with a lot of Kyle-fans who say that Kyle-fans are being alienated by DC.)

I also have a big issue with people who imply I'm a gender-traitor when I don't share their fan reactions, and that is what this whole thing with Amazons Attack is over, fannish reactions not feminist reactions.

"Its not the end of the franchise" and "It doesn't destroy her supporting cast" is not the same as "There is no sexism." I've seen the sexism, I've noted the sexism, I've no problem with people being disgusted over it or dropping the book but the ideas that (a) the character is ruined or that (b) the company meant to destroy the franchise or that (c) the Amazons and the Gods are actually gone are all various forms of ridiculous. They aren't even statements of proper analysis, where a result that upholds an antifeminist ideal (the warrior women swarming DC to kill the men, the selective saving of the background characters, the mischaracterization of Diana) is pointed out, but these three complaints are assumptions of intent on the part of the creators that make no sense at all and there's no reason to put them forth as feminist analysis.

And I'll be as condescending as I want when I say so, particularly when I'm addressing my posts to someone with the presumptuousness to position themselves as the voice of the hive vagina.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Interestingly enough, I rarely see this from Guy-fans.

I adore Kyle Rayner and think he's the best all-around Lantern, I think John Stewart is made of awesome and needs more exposure, but there's nothing that sours your pro-Kyle or pro-John post for me more than trashing Hal Jordan.

It doesn't need to be done. He's a vastly amusing character with a history behind him that a lot of us like, and the whole franchise is set up so that they can all be used at once.

And by the way, those Hal-fans you hate who love to trash the "rival" characters, your favorites? You sound just like them when they do it, and I'm fucking sick of it.

What is this? 12 fucking years and this fandom hasn't changed a bit? Did this happen in the 70s when John showed up? The 60s when they did that alternate timeline story with Guy?

"You know, that Hal Jordan character is so much better than the old rich-boy lazy Alan Scott they had in the 40s, I'm glad he got replaced. What were those idiots thinking in the 40s?"
"You're kidding, right? Hal's a fucking moron and a Lensmen ripoff. They're only using him because Broome can't tell a good mystery, he has to bring outer space in it!"
"Oh, that does it! I'm getting out my stationary and starting a "Bring back Alan!" letter campaign!"

Fucking fans. I hate you all.

Blogging is bad for me

I read far more fanblogs than is healthy, and so I have a tendency to get more angry at fans than professionals lately.

For some reason I'd rather read a fanblog that I dislike rather than a comic book that I dislike. Perhaps because I'm not paying for a fanblog and I'm trying to punish myself for not giving enough to charity or yelling at my sister or not calling my parents. I'd rather read fanblogs when I'm annoyed than comic books, because I'd rather not have my enjoyment of a decent comic book spoiled by a foul mood. I do pay for my comics, after all, and I want to get as much pleasure out of them as possible. At the moment I prefer to buy comic books I expect to like (I have been known to make a purchase that I fully expect to enrage me for possibly the same reason I read fanblogs that piss me off, but not for months now -- I have the internet access anyway, may as well indulge my self-hatred with that) and I prefer wait until I'm of a positive mindset to read these and I prefer to buy the ones that I expect to like.

This leads to oversaturation of fan opinions, because while some of you may be reading these opinions in one or two places I am reading them from many, many people and certain points set me off with their absurdity. I've no doubt it will fade when I develop the same callouses to fan foolishness that I have to creator foolishness (Heaven knows what I'll write about when that happens, but I'm sure something or another will piss me off). In the meantime I enjoy myself by expressing that anger (yes, I do enjoy ranting as an expression of natural anger -- there's something deliciously wicked about it), answering the issues raised by the initial expression of anger (which is generally by way of more ranting) and trying to work out exactly why that anger built to the point it did (again, by way of more ranting but this adds the sweet mental exercise of trying to word my opinion as clearly as possible and applying the situation to the larger tapestry of my life and society). I also look for cute kitty videos on Youtube.

(And I don't share them with you because I'm mean.)

Anyway, when I expressed my considerable annoyance at fans (the majority of which is usually sparked by a single person and/or community and then continued because of the comment sections of the initial posts), I opened myself to the criticism of being a company apologist which has happened on several occasions. I remember I used to worry an awful lot about how people received my posts. Early on in this blog I worried people might call be a creator apologist or something similar, so I had a tendency to balance out praise with criticism and argue against criticism with other criticisms to keep the objectivity going. I even took on a habit of being extra-hard on the books I liked. But lately I've thrown away the effort of trying to balance criticism of fans with criticism of the industry because I've been here over two years, most of my regulars know where I stand, I'm turning into a crusty old fan who hates everybody and there seems to be less of a point in keeping people on my side needlessly. Also, I've been watching the fanblogs too long. I know that people will read an opinion, disagree wholeheartedly and things will get heated but most commenters and readers don't take this stuff personally enough that they won't come back when you post something they agree with.

I'm becoming needlessly contrary, and I know because reading a post which calls me a DC Defender or implies something similar makes me less likely to post something nice about Marvel or bad about DC. Because I go to write it and I think about the person who wrote that about me, and how they'll read that and figure that their criticism has caused me to write the following post. A solid mass of aggravation rots in my stomach as I picture them in their arrogance at affecting my blog so, and it adds to my annoyance at fans in general and I end up reading other blogs instead. This leads to, more likely than not, another rant about annoying fans rather than any criticism of the actual industry.

I'm not sure what to do about this one. I'm probably stuck in one of those situations where my own personality dooms me.

Countdown #33

Kyle Rayner is now on the list of characters Adam Beechen shouldn't write. I mean, maybe it was the artist but that first sequence was a bit too sleazy for me. Since when does Kyle come on to his old girlfriends, anyway? There should be a lot more awkwardness there.

The second sequence was better when Simone wrote it in Atom #15. The layout and the art in Atom was much better too.

Nice cover, at least.

What the--?

How did I walk out of the comic book store with Countdown, The Search for Ray Palmer, but not Green Lantern?

And of course all the stores are closed when I get a chance to notice.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Three Good Things

So yesterday was my two-year blogiversary, and I planned on something special that didn't quite materialize until after midnight today.

I thought I would finally chase almost all of my readers away by introducing them to me in person. Well, as close as I can get, which is a video blog. (Please note: Next week I will see several posts on how video blogging is out of style.) As I was writing this, some good news reached me so I thought I'd try my hand at meme-starting with it.

I tried a sitting version, but the lighting looked wrong and really with me standing and fidgeting like that you get the full effect of meeting me in the comic book store (which many people seem to find amusing) so I left it as is.



This is the Green Lantern Corps interview. (Notice at the end he says Pat Gleason is staying on as artist.)

This is Hadley Rille Books, this is Ruins: Terra and this is the submission call for Ruins: Metropolis.

And I'm sure many of you can start your list with "Ragnell doesn't normally videoblog."

Basics

Kitty in Lyle's comments about treatment of straight white male vs. other characters:
“In the comics, you have loads of toys and I don’t have very many. So if you break one of my few, of course I will be unhappy!”
I'd add a note on durability myself. There aren't that many toys for girls to begin with, and only a few really good and/or durable ones. There are a lot of toys for boys at the start, and most of the ones that we know the editors will go through the trouble of fixing after they've been crunched especially badly by a careless writer or editor are the ones for straight white men.

In the DCU we can be confident that Wonder Woman and Lois Lane will get brought back to status quo from any low point. The rest of the "iconic" characters (including the best known supporting cast members) are straight white men. Any other female character, any black character, any Asian character, any Hispanic character, and any established LGBT character runs the risk of being left by the wayside until they need cannon fodder in the company crossover. That's how DC Comics is set up and has been for decades -- good intentions and good resumes don't negate that.

Picked up Atom #15

We got a five-page Countdown interlude that doesn't really serve to resolve a complete story in the four-part storyarc where Ryan was involved in what is shaping up to be the year-long Search for Ray Palmer storyline. Its like Ryan got on a bus with Donna and Jason, they took a detour from the normal route and missed Ryan's normal stop so he had to get off at the stop two blocks down from where he needed to be and track back. At the same stop, Kyle gets on and the bus resumes its route.

Judging from this and the preceding issues, I think they tossed a little paper to Gail Simone that said "We'll be doing a Search for Ray Palmer series in Countdown. It would be stupid not to have Ryan Choi involved at all, but we're not planning on having him past September because we plotted the specials without thinking of him. Can you fit a four-part storyarc in while we wait for Kyle Rayner to get freed up?"

Then, of course, they didn't actually wait for Kyle Rayner to get freed up.

I had two questions as of the first page: (1) How long ago did they plan this out? (2) How far behind is Green Lantern right now?

I know the second answer is at least three issues and one week, and that's not me being a continuity cop here. I just think this is a weird anomaly given DC's continuity contortions to make sure all its books have been on the same page since Identity Crisis. The only explanation is that Green Lantern was delayed further than it was meant to, and Johns had Sinestro Corps planned out leading into the pre-plotted Countdown storyline before the delays that corresponded with Infinite Crisis.

They're not fooling anyone.

Unless we're dealing with some sort of time travel plot. And that is a time-honored time-travel plot gimmick, though the editorial box telling us to watch for the Green Lantern issue in three months is a fun addition.

But that's okay, because I saw at least five good things from that first page alone: (1) It doesn't spoil anything from Green Lantern because with this plot we can easily take alternate universes, imposters, returning from the dead, and time travel into account because at least two of those are involved from the outset. (2) Ryan knows him even in a new costume and even though he admits doesn't know American superheroes very well. (3) The look on Donna's face implies she's pleased to see him so this is not a repeat of her Rann-Thanagar War mischaracterization. (4) Finally! A good costume! (5) Mike Norton got the hair right.

Clumsy as the planning is and miserable as it must be for people who aren't following it, I'm enjoying this storyline. One of my favorite characters is present and so far he comes off fairly well, Donna Troy comes off well (and that's a rare treat), there's a few jokes dropped, no unhealthy background symbolism, and its the sort of plot I read comic books for. I mean, alternate universe road trip? I can't resist that.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

There's going to be a TRADE?!

Will Pfiefer closed his infamous Amazons Attack #6 thread today at 100 comments. I love how he did it:
And I think we'll end it there. One hundred is such a nice, round number and really, if you didn't make your comment by now, you're probably not going to make one. Thanks everyone for participating, and I hope you'll all be back for the release of the trade later this fall. So long!
Yes, that was him inviting everyone back.

And yes, that was him telling us they'd release this pile of horseshit in a collected edition in just a few months.