Sunday, September 28, 2008

Of Damsels and Dragons and Downtime

Preface: I'm not writing this in promise of a blogwar. There is a good chance the blogger in question won't ever see it. (There's a better chance she will, though.)

This is just a confession, a post I'm writing to get my thoughts together and get all this misery off my chest so I can look forward to the week with a clear head. And maybe--just maybe--it will help me shake this bout of writer's block.

I've no doubt that if you look at the history of this blog and deep enough you'll find more than one letter implying that I'm tired of writing and think I might leave the blogosphere for good. Most bloggers write one eventually. And unless its one of the rare "I'm losing computer access for several years because I lost my job/joined the peace corps/got shipped to Iraq/married into an Amish family" those posters usually come back after they get a few days rest/the commenters shower them with love and attention/someone manages to piss them off.

There's nothing inherently wrong with these posts, although they are tiresome. Personally I feel disgusted with myself whenever I start writing them, but its vital to understand that part of blogging is venting and everyone needs to vent such feelings every once in a while.

Had I told myself that several months ago, I may never have let so much updating time lapse.

In case I've misled you, this isn't one of those posts.

This is a "Why I actually stopped writing" post, and to be honest it has to do with another blogger, one who writes a number of "I might leave because no one appreciates me" posts.

I'm referring, of course, to the aptly named Occasional Superheroine.

And I just broke an unwritten rule of mine by mentioning her.

The tension between Valerie D'Orazio and I is old news. Somehow I'm reluctant to admit that she'd long annoyed me with what struck me as an empty and superficial writing style, but she was initially harmless so I kept from mentioning it. A lot of people annoy me at times, it passes. Some of the people I count as my favorite writers started off annoying me, and some of the people I used to read religiously I can now barely read for WFA links because I find their style so infuriating. It was clashing personality shit, no reason to fuss or fight. That is, no reason until Val went up against a number of the brightest writers in the blogosphere over a little known piece of shit called How to Make Money Like a Porn Star. I was irritated with what seemed to me to be an uneven reviewing standard on Val's part. I posted about this, and within a week Occasional Superheroine was erased from the Internet.

There are moments, behind closed doors and among friends I brag about this. At the time I was horrified. I hadn't wanted her to pack up and leave. I'm not sure what I'd wanted, perhaps for her to back out of the fight and admit she was wrong about at least one of the two books. I was siding with personal friends in the matter and I had pulled out my most devastating attack without really considering the end result. I was also incredibly annoyed that one of my posts now had dead links. The horror and irritation passed, though, because if there is one admirable trait about Valerie D'Orazio it's her resiliency.

She came back--while I was thankfully preoccupied with some work or personal matter--with the infamous Goodbye to Comics series.

And here's the real confession. I was deeply and astoundingly unimpressed with that series.

As I've said before, I find Val's writing style to be empty, superficial, and generally annoying. When I attempted to read "Goodbye to Comics", I found it hadn't improved. There are still a number of posts from that period I've only gotten halfway through. Life was too short and they were already linked on When Fangirls Attack.

That--in itself--is not a personal knock against the writer. No doubt people look at my blog and find me long-winded and pretentious. And I've had more than a few Grammarians reprimand my careless handling of a fragile language. I honestly don't know why some of you read through the crap I spit out.

(I know for a fact that many commenters don't read through the crap I spill onto this blog.)

But still, my delicate pride was always bolstered by the fact that people would actually read, comment, and engage me in conversation.

Some of those same people were now touting the all but unreadable "Goodbye to Comics" as a masterpiece. That was a blow to my pride.

And before long, Valerie D'Orazio--a writer I found untalented and uninteresting and only marginally feminist--was being touted as one of the best feminist writers in the blogosphere.

And I carefully, and with great difficulty read through the posts I was linking. I was unable to see what was so impressive. I strongly suspect she only gathered a fanbase because she said what disgruntled 90s fans already believed to be true about Dan Didio, and her status as a former insider lent credibility to the those beliefs.

This was all irksome for several reasons:

1) As I've already said, people who liked my writing also liked hers. That suggested an uncomfortable similarity. So my faith in my own talent was shaken by my certainly in Val's lack of talent. Either people weren't reading my posts, or I was churning out far shittier thoughts than I previously realized.

2) Over the past few years, I've linked Val alongside some of the most brilliant women I've had the good fortune to read (and, in some cases, meet). Time and time again I see Val linked rather than Cheryl Lynn Eaton, Karen Healey, Avalon's Willow, Rachel Edidin or any number of much, much smarter women than Val. I see points brought up and passed around the blogosphere for days or weeks before they pop up and Val's site, and then I see some random bozo saying they found this out at Occasional Superheroine. When WFA was at its most active, I had people drop by my comments, send me email links, and IM me with links to Val saying "Have you seen this yet" when I myself had posted on that very subject earlier that week.

3) Tying into the point above, Val is the safe feminist. One of the bloggers in my "Must Read" folder had a brilliant post somewhere (that I forgot to bookmark, and can't find now!), on how her writing was too radical to ever get her a job writing for a major venue (like Newsarama, or CBR, or writing an actual comic). Because she pointed out dangerous, uncomfortable things that made the rest of us think about our assumptions, and feel guilty about our place in the world.

See, that's what I consider good writing--brave writing. The stuff that forces the reader out of his/her comfort zone. The stuff that makes them think critically about their place in the world, even if it is ultimately to disagree with the writer. I don't consider an article of mine to be any good unless I am lying awake in my bed the night before it publishes wondering if John's going to kick me off Blog@Newsarama because I finally crossed the line this time.

(Now great writing? That's the stuff that forces the writer out of his/her comfort zone.)

Val's writing doesn't do that. She lets people feel angry at the big faceless corporation but okay about themselves. Okay about what they buy. She won't let a writer or an artist she dislikes get away with sexism.

But I've yet to see her criticize a writer she likes. I've yet to see her take her audience to new territory.

I may be being too hard on her here. People have different degrees of openness to this stuff, and I guess her people aren't ready for the intensive self-examination or the academics. Thing is, I consider myself a training feminist. I softball you guys. I write 101-level stuff, stuff that's open and accessible enough for the crowd at Newsarama. I'm not dealing with the advanced theories and experiences here. I write in simplified ideas and I don't think Val examines social issues in the depth they require.

So its irritating to see women who look at this stuff in real depth--women who really know what the fuck they are talking about--passed over for someone so superficial.

4) She stopped reading my stuff when we had a falling out. She took my links off her blogroll. Whenever that happens, and it has, I get pathetically hurt and surprised. I figure if someone is worth reading for whatever reason, you keep reading whether you personally get along with them or not. It's a personal slight.

(As a side note to this one, I've had a few run-ins with Laura Hudson over at Myriad Issues, and she still links me when I write something she finds worth reading. I appreciate that, and she has my respect for it no matter what we're at odds about.)

5) She just plain offends my sense of justice. I was raised by a conservative woman. I have some conservative values deeply ingrained in my psyche, and one of them is a belief--against all evidence--that we are living in a meritocracy. That rewards are given to who they should be given to. That good writers get acclaim. That bad writers get obscurity. That honorable people are seen as honorable and respected. That manipulative people are seen for their behavior and villified. I know this is not how reality actually works. But when I see evidence of how things are and it contrasts with my view of how things should be I feel an unmistakable sense of rage and disgust.

I'm going to state my personal opinion of Valerie D'Orazio here. I don't like her. I think she's manipulative. The infamous Beatrix Kyle letter from early WFA days? It has been attributed to her. The earliest fight involved her double-standards of review when it came to her friends. Her famous memoir was fictionalized and tailored to match prevailing public opinion perfectly. The final falling out between Occasional Superheroine and When Fangirls Attack involved her playing the victim for her White Knight commenters, casting me as the venomous Wyrm threatening a damsel in distress.

I'm blunt. I'm downright mean at times. And by god, I have a lot of venom in my heart just waiting to be poured out through my keyboard. My best writing is soaked in hatred and rage. I know all of this. But I make a genuinely Herculean effort to put that aside and be fair in my dealings. And because of that effort, and because I know I'm susceptible to being painted as a bully, it bothers me so much when someone manages to make me into the bad guy.

I can forgive a lot. I have gotten angry and forgiven a lot without mentioning it on this blog. I can't forgive being cast as the bully, not when I've made every attempt to be as kind and even-handed as fucking possible to someone. I've never forgiven Val for that. And I've never forgiven her readers for buying into that.

And--coming from a conservative mindset--I've never forgiven the Universe for allowing such behavior to go unpunished.

And the thing about those 5 points is, I'm not alone. I'm not naming names, but there have been anti-Val whispers in the between places for a while. A lot of people just plain dislike her. Feel the same way about her I do. But nobody wants to get into That Fight. (Except Chris Sims, of course. But he lives for this stuff.) And neither did I.

So I let these feelings--some of which were pre-existing but were triggered by this woman, some of which were brought on entirely by her--fester at the bottom of my heart everytime I read Occasional Superheroine. And of course--being me--I read the damned blog everyday. Because--being me--if I didn't people were going to link me. And--being me--I couldn't stand missing the potential links. I'm a completist with WFA just like I am with Green Lantern and Wonder Woman. (All those times I dropped Green Lantern? I hunted down back issues, oh yes.) It's stupid, but it's a comic book fan thing.

And once bitten, twice shy I avoided confronting her. I'm susceptible to being painted as the bully and she's managed to get me with that brush before. (She and a number of other bloggers had a little Ragnell hatefest over it when she dropped WFA from her blogroll). I'm no damsel in distress, I'm a dragon and the white knights who read Val know it. Calling her out wasn't worth the headache of dealing with them.

But the more I read Val, and the more I see her linked and referenced as a serious stop when it comes to feminist comics commentary, the more I lose faith in my own writing.

Because if that's the standard I'm meeting when I get praised, and if the truly good writers are being ignored--then what's the point? What's the point of writing?

So instead of writing or even collecting for WFA I plunge myself with wild abandon into things that are not writing. I keep rereading Captain America, and Starman because it is made of joy and goodness. And I've finally found Simonson's Thor. I'm really up to date on the Presidential Election, and I've been twittering my brains out on politics.

But I haven't written anything that I'd consider good in a while. Nothing that keeps me up at night. I've written a million earthshattering posts in my head, but when I sit down to write the words flutter away.

And I've been chatting, and reading your blogs, and talking in newsgroups. And all the time I keep wondering why no one ever says this stuff about Val.

I enjoyed watching her fight with the race bloggers, of course. But I didn't participate. And they fought on their home ground They didn't go to her place of power. They didn't say anything to her they couldn't say to me. No one pointed out during those fights was that her area of supposed expertise--white women's issues--was not any place where she was strong either. She was just repeating smarter women in a softer safer tone. She was pandering to disgruntled DC fans. She wasn't even a good writer to begin with! She was a privileged white woman writing about something she knew nothing about there, nothing different from the other privileged white female bloggers in the community--except that there are much better bloggers than her making less mistakes when covering race.

And maybe it's racism on my part that I was waiting on a member of the white female blogosphere to call out Val rather than counting the utter lack of legitimacy she has among FOCs as calling her out.

Either way--even with the idiocy on race issues--she still gets cited by people in the industry. She still gets to write Tyrone in Cloak and Dagger (which I'm sure will be a horror to behold).

Then came Val's most recent open letter demanding the love and attention of her commenters. She thinks she's a serious writer. She really thinks she's a serious writer. And to that end, she's denigrating people who are inherently fun writers, joyful writers. And she's denigrating the serious bloggers who are willing to be fun and joyful.

And I suspect she's taking potshots at Melissa again.

And it was seeing Sally be the one to stop and call her on it that really pushed me over the edge. I adore Sally, but she's not the one you expect to call out someone like Val. She's not supposed to be the one who tells off people like Val.

And then it occurs to me, maybe I'm supposed to be the one who tells off people like Val.

Maybe I'm supposed the Villainess here. Maybe I'm the Big Bad Wolf. The Dragon of the Blogosphere who torches the White Knights. I'm the one who's supposed to look at someone like "Goodbye to Comics" and exclaim "Buy your Empress some damned clothes!!"

Why the hell am I waiting for David and Pedro and Willow to pounce on her where she's weak when I've got her where she lives? Why do I have this idiotic policy that Val's off limits whenever she says something stupid? Why am I not pointing out when she's being a fucking idiot?

Maybe it's not the widespread legitimacy she has that drives me crazy, but rather my own silence on the matter. Maybe her being mentioned in Comic Foundry would bother me less if I'd said publicly that I thought she was vapid and useless beforehand.

Maybe there's a reason I'm me, a reason I'm mean, and I'm just not able to write when I hold it in. Maybe holding it in just makes things so much worse. Maybe I should just embrace my inner bully and go ahead and be the bad guy every now and then. You all might hate me for it, but I'll be more comfortable.

We all have our parts to play. If Val's the damsel, and Sims is the jester, then I'm the dragon. I'll be better off facing it.

Now, I can't promise this realization means I'll be writing more often. (Or that any of my feminists readers will read me after I called Val an idiot.) Maybe I'm wrong and the block came from something else.


  1. Your Obedient Serpent may be biased, but approves of Dragons.

    He also approves of Well-Placed Rampages Against Those Who Richly Deserve It.

    Some things need to be said, and need to be said by the right person. And sometimes, the right person needs to say those things for their own sake, as well as everyone else's.

    Besides, you're Katherine Hepburn, remember? Would she just let such arrogant ignorance pass without comment or consequence?

  2. Oh, and, um...

    I started reading this journal when you were still very much Ragnell the Foul, in Take No Prisoners mode. You certainly won't lose ME as a reader by embracing that role again.

  3. I read both you and Val. You're completely different writers, and I have no problem enjoying completely different things.

    Val's writing is more human, and feels more approachable, while you are as analytical and relentless as Summer Glau with the circuitry showing. Where you stab the page relentlessly in pointillist fury, she uses a broad, smooth stroke. She's the writer that reminds you of someone you know, while you're the writer that one admires, but would never want to meet. Her greatest weakness as an author (lack of emotional control) is your biggest strength (a laser-like focus). She's often flaky, while there is a certain breed of hobgoblin that probably erects shrines to your consistency.

    I probably disagree with 60% of the things the two of you say in any given post, and I love you both anyway. Suck it up... there are worse fates.

  4. "Suck it up" may well be a poor choice of words in response to a proper all out rant post, dear Roger. Especially when Ragnell pretty much says that holding that sort of thing in was what gave her the block when it comes to the writing that you love.

    And it kind of comes across like your comfort reading Val AND Ragnell somehow outweighs Ragnell's own resentment. I'm sure you didn't mean it that way, though. :-)

  5. Me? Like to fight? I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about.

  6. You thought Goodbye To Comics was superficial and unimpressive?

    Oh THANK FUCK it wasn't just me.

    EXCELLENT post, THANK YOU for saying what dearly needs to be said.

    One thing, with regards to the whole if she's so popular, how does that reflect on everybody else issue: I take the fact that D'Orazio is so widely read simply as a signifier of how far the comics industry still has to go when it comes to gender. OS is very much the "acceptable" face of feminism- it's popularity has nothing at all to do with the quality of the writing.

  7. Yeah, you're right. It did need to be you that said this. I'm glad you did, and you are also right about another thing: your voice is never so strong as when you're righteously angry about something.

    Fine work. Very fine work.

  8. It's sad to hear this is fucking with you the way it is. I always flip flop whether or not I agree with your opinion, but it's always quality. I thought you were busy jet setting to Germany to comment on DC comics. It's been sucking kind of hard core lately. What do you think of the last issue of Cap? I really like the idea of Natasha as part of the supporting cast.

    I will never bring the Val topic up on the net again after this.I personally dropped the whole Val thing awhile ago because FBB wanted to be a level above the writing that kicksplode bloggin' like hers was at. We didn't really want to attract the negative (When I say negative, I mean people who wish to just reflect the hate inside out to the rest of the world not someone who doesn't say positives all the time.)

    We were feeling comfortable with what we did best and the small but growing fanbase that we garnered. We dedicated ourselves to the podcast, the material on the site and even though we do occasionally point out the things that we find lacking in the comics blogging community, we are no longer touching Val.

    Val's terrible. She's absolutely no good. She goes out of her way to stifle any sort of discussion that she does not agree with. She's one of the worst writers in the comics blogosphere, and her ability to create posts with clearly no content amazes me. (what do you think of that fair reader?)

    But nothing you or I do will change that. Let her do her terrible things. Instead it's our job to just put out better material regardless of what is the acceptable norm. I learned this from the illustrious David Brothers. We will keep shining, meeting our personal goals and reaching out to the world in our brightness.

    In the end, this method has led to some fantastic positive feedback from people we appreciate and respect. Some people even listen to us not liking our opinion but realizing that we are coming for a valid point of view. We even have a full on hater now! Dude hates us on his twitter! You can't beat that.

    I can't let Val rent space in my head because that's the only way her method of reaching out to the world works. You have to rise above that. I would really appreciate it if you could. Comics (especially Superheroes) needs as many people talking about it interesting and intelligent ways, more so than movies, music, or video games do right now.

    So please shine. Don't let this whole bullshit topic discourage you and please continue to release awesome things so I can get mad and post on your blog again. I like arguing, I enjoy being told I'm wrong, and I even like it when I am wrong so that I learn something new.

    Jesus, when I started this thing off, it wasn't even supposed to be a pep talk, but there you have it.

  9. I think nobody wanted to really call her out largely because it's risky to do so - the last time I commented on her site to posit that Geoff Johns, who as far as I know is married to a black woman, is not an overt racist, I was told that I don't really care anything about Geoff Johns and just want to argue on the internet with an outspoken woman. I would link to the comments here, but they've been long since deleted.

    Even when people say things you virulently disagree with, nobody likes to be "the bad guy." Or, as you termed it, the dragon. And sometimes, being the dragon is hard if people don't get behind you, but someone still has to do it in certain situations. I dunno, OSH has been lagging in content recently - she seems to be losing interest in the medium and talking about how nobody respects her and her blogging never did anything. Which is kind of weird, considering it got her an in as a writer at Marvel Comics with a popular cult property, but I guess that's nothing compared to some nasty comments?

    At the end of the day, all you can do is just throw your shit up on the Internet and see what happens. If people like stuff, maybe you do more like it. I'm pretty comfortable being the guy who does Morrison/DC annotations and tries to find secret codes and all that bullshit, even though I read a pretty wide variety of comics. I've always enjoyed you as the no-bullshit-but-open-to-rational-argument feminist superhero comics blogger, and frankly, I've been missing your articles on Blog@.

  10. I can't battle VD/OS because I don't read her. She hasn't been my cup of tea for a long while now. In fact Goodbye to Comics completely confused me because I believed it. But then she kept writing. Why was she writing if this was a goodbye?

    I mean, I figured once you associated comic books with a humongous pain in your vagina, bleeding, and a run to the ER for surgery - for your own health one should stay the hell away.


    Then I had to deal with realizing she hadn't meant it. After that, there wasn't much reason for me to keep reading at all. Then came the whole thing where she was just, stupid(ignorant in my opinion), in her reactions to people commenting on her post on Black Super Heroes. Since then I've mentioned her and her blog once, I think, because of Cloak and Dagger and my being very sad, that a white woman who didn't seem to move past WWS in her feminism was going to be writing a character that should be more than big, silent, brooding, black man chaining down the blonde white woman.

    Be yourself, Ragnell. If I don't like it, I won't read it and the same applies to you reading my blog; It's our opinions, our loves and our disappointments. It's not the gospel.

  11. I'll admit to sometimes still reading OSS. But mostly because its 3AM at work, I've read everyone I actually enjoy and I'm just working my way down the links list of others...

    Honestly, even when you are at your most dead, you were still one of the top 10 people I check every day for new content...

  12. Even when people say things you virulently disagree with, nobody likes to be "the bad guy."

    Razor Ramon and I would beg to differ.

  13. Lisa,

    I appreciate your writings. I don't know how to say more without sounding like a sycophant.

    I dropped OS from my Bookmarks/Favorites list way back when she refused to acknowledge her mistake about Steel/Black Lightning last winter. Her refusing to see the point and then moderating all comments showed she didn't care to be right.

    Her writing IS INDEED bland. Boring even. And I think she is a poor choice to be president of Lulu. And her constant savaging of DC, both people and comics, is so obviously a vendetta that it got old real quick.

    Welcome back!

  14. I think you're taking a very un-serious writer too seriously.

    I'm always a little surprised when I see D'Orazio linked to by Tom Spurgion or Dirk Deppey, and I was genuinely shocked when Rich Johnston referred to her as his favorite blogger, (Of course, he does do a speculation corner now too), and I guess I have a similar reaction to you. Usually what she has to say is something I've already heard someone else say better before.

    But if you don't want to be the one to say it all the time: Yes, Valerie D'Orazio is a terrible writer. I don't know if she's an idiot, but she certainly comes across as one in her writing (I'm male though, and males who criticize it usually do so because we're sexist, so maybe you do have to say it after all, being a woman and all).

    She seems to know very little about comics (even within her comfort zone of DC super-comics), very little about writing and very little about blogging, which makes her a pretty awful comics blogger.

    I quit reading her after she started moderating comments over people pointing out that she had mixed up two different black men, and don't feel I'm missing anything. Her main value as a blogger was her former insider status, but the farther away we get from her time at DC, the less value even that has. That goodbye to comics thing was interesting because of what it was about, more than how it was written.

    So, if you're looking for reccomendations or anything, I'd say just ignore her. She's made it pretty clear that she views O.S. as a one-way conversation; it's a place to go to pay attention to her, not to talk about anything. And even posts expressing distaste with her are still a form of attention, so I imagine she's happy to read this post of yours, and happier still to see comments from some of he usual suspects saying less than complimentary things about her. Again. (By which I mean me, too).

    So don't take the fact that people read both you and Val to mean you're widely viewed as similar in talent.

    Like, for example, I read comics featuring both Kyle Rayner and Hal Jordan, and Jordan clearly sucks tons more than Kyle Rayner...

  15. Wow, sometimes those comments look a lot longer once they're posted then they do when you're typing 'em...


  16. Amazing, amazing piece.

    Good to see you back in the game.

  17. I dunno, I just can't imagine actually caring about what other people think about other people. So there are people who like her writing? Eh. There are people who like Adam Sandler. They outnumber people who like David Cross. (This is actually a crime against God, I think.)

    I think what I'm trying to say is that what's needed is a certain Zen detachment, what I like to call "not giving a rat's ass." Don't think of it as "participating in the blogosphere", think of it as "writing a blog". Other people may indulge in the same activity, but that doesn't mean you have to get involved in all the drama they bring to the table.

    I hope this made sense. I suspect it didn't. :)

  18. Ragnell, I love you so! In a purely platonic way of course. Thank you for being a Dragon, and letting me hide behind your leathery wings.

    I don't ususally get into such a snit, and I got butterflies in my stomach about ten minutes after I wrote my little piece, but dagnabit, I was PISSED! I still drop in to read her occasionally, but I'm awfully tired of all the whining.

    Ragnell, you may bluster, you may dip your pen in acid, but my dear, you NEVER whine, nor do you revel in being a victim. In fact, it was reading your blog that got me into writing myself in the first place.

    Well...that and Kyle's ass.

  19. I don't like d'Orazio because I usually end up skimming and then scrolling and hoping that she'll eventually get to a point, and most of the time I lose interest before she gets there.

    You, however (and many of the folks you cited in #2 there), I will hang onto every line because there is a POINT and it is made interestingly.

    And also it is more than the flaky "being nice to the fanboys" way that OS seems to be.

    Judging from some of the articles linked, it does seem a lot like she's a bit wrapped up in wanting people to like her and be nice to her. And that's not a good thing for a writer, especially not one living on the internet.

    Short version, you rock, d'Orazio does not, and I'll keep reading your stuff because you rock. :D

  20. Remember when you (and by you, I mean myself. It's a saying) were young, and you went and cooked a whole batch of something, or painted a whole area, and you stood back and said... I'm finished?

    Or when you were real young and you had this great big gob of homework to do, or some massive writing thesis or whatever, and after utter completion at the wee hours of the morn put the pen down (Handwritten? What's that?), looked upon it and said... "done"?

    It's a great feeling. One we don't appreciate enough. That blissful serenity, that absolute expenditure of effort all meticulously culminated into that pure product in front of you. Glorious, exasperated COMPLETION.

    It feels good.

    That was a good post you did. I enjoyed reading it. Content/grammer (omigod did I spell grammer right? Irony!) notwithstanding, there was never a moment that I wanted to skip ahead or skim through. That means entertaining writing that holds the reader's interest. I enjoyed it.

    And I bet, before the self-doubt and sleeplessness had set in, it felt good finishing it. That moment where you had it all written up, posted it for public viewing and said "Done. It's out there." That sitting back in the chair. That sighing. Such a brief moment, and it's gone. Nonetheless, I bet it felt good.

  21. Despite all the Ragnell the Foul stuff, I never saw your posts as being close-minded or pissed off without reason.

    D'Orazio, on the other hand, explodes when she's called out for factual errors - i.e. Heath Ledger's Joker was sexually abused, a notion dismissed by everyone involved with the movie.

    I can never understand why a person like Ms. OS can't admit they're wrong - especially when we're talking about comic books. It's not the end of the world.

  22. I stopped care about Occasional Superheroine with the post the Fortress Keeper mentioned above. Or, rather, with her comments in the comment section. It just struck a wrong note with me.

  23. What I've come to dislike about Occasional Superheroine as a blog is the fact that she is clearly (and openly) not writing it for herself, but constantly censoring herself, and/or writing in order to generate hits. That in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing, but as a reader I find it very irritating and unlikable.

    Her posts are often written with the intent of being short, snappy and linkable. From what I've seen, she'll take a news item and then try to frame discussion around it in the most controversial way possible, regardless of whether or not it is logical or accurate to do so. Again, I find that irritating.

    That being said, I do skim the blog pretty regularly as well, mostly out of morbid curiousity. But a post like this, that's in-depth and honest, is far more interesting. Keep on truckin', bloggin'.

  24. I feel bad, now.

    After Val did that whole Farewell to Comics epic, I got the impression that everyone thought she was wonderful and hung on her every utterance, and it left me feeling that if I criticized her the mob with the pitchforks and the flaming torches would be at my gates again, so I just avoided her.

    But then I'm the same about Willow, who gets away with all kinds of crap by screaming "Anyone who disagrees with me is a racist fuck."

    I don't seem to be up to the fight anymore.

  25. Whoa whoa whoa.

    Back up a second.

    Geoff Johns is MARRIED?

    To an actual HUMAN BEING?

  26. Ragnell, that was so beautiful that I almost cried.

    I'll admit that I don't follow OS. I end up there every once in awhile, and it seems like the site looks totally different every time I see it, but it's never really appealed to me. I always just figured it was because I like DC Comics and don't have any serious problems with Dan Didio.

    But despite my ignorance, I can definitely appreciate a good rant, and this one should be dipped in gold, laminated, and hung in the town square for all to see. It is a thing of beauty.


    The above is a MetaFilter thread that has some interesting insights from a one "Ethereal Bligh" around the time Goodbye to Comics was finished.

    For me, I got off the Val train when she posted a video review of the Titans East special. Her lazy eyed, unfocused, and quite frankly dumb review of one of the worst comics of the year seemed calculated not to offend- and that's the thing- she still wants to be chummy with the comics industry so whatever her bugbears, she'll be nice to the creators.

    I'm tired of being nice to the creators. They're part of the problem. Of course, she passive aggressively attacks Johns (I suspect he's Willy Wonka), and we all know he's not my favorite guy either, but I don't try to make a bizarre and frankly ignorant argument like when she confused John Irons with Jeff Pierce.

    Because of the rotten things that happened to her, she prefers to live in a universe where she is never in the wrong, and that really damages her credibility and writing.

  28. Wow, I never realized people took other people's blogs so seriously it affected their own writing.

    Just write. Who cares if so and so gets more attention than you. Who cares if they don't deserve it. You shouldn't care. Everyone has their faults, some more than others. I'm shocked people give a damn if bloggers have fans or not.

  29. I literally laughed out loud while reading this because I enjoyed it so much. I had to click on every link and waste most of my workday to get caught up with everything, but it was well worth it.

    All I can say is, "I love the smell of White Knights being roasted in the morning. It smells like victory!"

    Great post and I'll be back.

  30. I don't know if it would surprise anyone to know that I don't actually remember ever reading her and I don't really think I'm about to start.