Saturday, June 24, 2006

Women Weekly Geek-Out #5

No, I didn't forget, but lately I'm distraced by the heat. Summer in Oklahoma makes me long for the icy embrace of a snowy Pennsyvania winter -- the frosted mountains, the shaded woods, the warm stove when the heater went out. I adore the winter seasons here, and the between time. But when it comes to summer and we approach 90F every day, and surpass it every afternoon (often surpassing 100F), it gets to be problematic. I'm almost completely localized to the South now (I roll my eyes when my mother complains about the heat back home -- "Ma, you don't know rough weather...") except for this one thing. Especially when the air conditioning in your apartment goes out and you need to clean. Concentrating on linkblogging isn't easy at the moment.

But enough complaining, on with the links!

This week, I'm going to start out with Colleen Doran's blog, which is a daily stop for me. You can find posts about her personal life and thoughts, industry news, her work, and other tidbits there.

Lis Riba blogs more about personal and political topics, but rest assured, she is certainly a geek, though her greek cred is hidden deep in her archives and unearthed with a simple search.

Well, I was going to read this one all the way through before I linked it, but some news hit this week that made me want to link more webcomics. I've read the first chapter, it looks itneresting, but what captures me is the art. If you go through from the prolouge to the end of the fourth chapter, you can actually see her skill improve. It's called Shades of Grey, and its created by Robin Dempsey who also has a livejournal and a DeviantArt account.

Kalinara would kill me if I didn't link The Pen Stealer, especially as her partner-in-crime, Chu is also a female geek. They only have a couple chapters up so far, but even as a non-Manga-style fan I can see the art is lovely.

And finally, the reason I'm linking webcomics today -- Lea Hernandez has announced the requirements and guidelines for the Nan Grant, which aims to promote female webcomickers:

In order to foster women publishing independently, with economy, and as owners of what they create, I will award FOUR grants annually, of a year's free hosting at, to women making a regularly-updating new or existing webcomic of any genre or style.
The recipients will have unlimited data storage and bandwidth, the ability to choose to support their work with ads, and a storefront for selling merchandise.

If you're eligible, look into the details. And then come back and give the link to me if you get one of the grants.

Last week's WWGO can be found here. If you find a female-friendly and operated geek-site, please point me in the right direction either in the comments or through e-mail. I have a few in the queue, but could always use more to keep this feature running as long as possible.

I'll end with another link to the Carnival of Feminist Sci-Fi/Fantasy Fans, because I want more submissions. Thanks to everyone who's submitted and reposted that so far. We've got one week left!

Mighty Aphrodite, do I need a date!

For my 300th post, I give you the glorious gift of Me...

In Audio.

Lene Taylor interviewed Kalinara and me for one of her "I Read Comics" podcasts. I am so proud of myself keeping this a secret for three weeks, and now it's up! So, you can all go over there and hear my real voice.

Well, you can strain to hear my real voice. I'd never realized before how quietly I speak, but I'm hearable at least. Kalinara's the louder one with the slightly higher voice, I'm the soft-speaking (except for a few excited moments) one who sounds like she has a sinus problem. There's a reason I prefer the written world to the spoken word.

I warn you, while we didn't actually discuss the character, I had the Flash so heavy on my mind that I said "Wally West" instead of "Wally Wood." Thankfully, now that he has a regular book out I won't suffer such Freudian slips.

We talk for over an hour, and around the hour mark I go into a story that I very much love to tell. I'm a little afraid that it's not coherent, but it seems like Lene turned up the volume while it was only me speaking.

And also, my first weekly feature was up on Blog@Newsarama yesterday. Yes, I gave them that feature. Every Friday. And just because I'm newsblogging and analyzing panels over there every once in a while doesn't mean this site will die. I have post ideas still.

And I'd also like to say to everyone who comes by and reads my scribblings, thank you. I sometimes put the emotional stuff here that would belong more on my livejournal simply because I feel its written so well I want people to see it. I'm thankful people do, and that they like it enough to link it and comment on it.

I mean this. I don't think I could handle just shouting to the void here, and while I don't take compliments so well, the encouragement feels good.

Green Lantern Fun

Then there's Kyle Rayner. I mustn't forget Kyle Rayner, it's a very bad idea to ever forget Kyle Rayner on anything that's going to appear on the Internet.
-- Dave Gibbons (Wizard Entertainment interview)

The rest of the interview is fairly interesting. Please bear in mind that when he describes Soranik Natu as "hot" it's in reference to liking to draw her should you choose to examine artistic attitudes towards women (I won't, as I'm overflowing with Green Lanterny love right now.)

As for Kyle fans, his sweet doofiness is due out this week in Ion #3 with previews scans here (I dislike this artist, but Page 3 actually looks nice. Sure, not a butt in sight, but this is merely a preview).

The writer of the book is interviewed here, the last two questions are pertinent.

And the esteemed Devon of Seven Hells pauses from making light of Kyle to reconsider his value as a character.

Sadly, there is little Hal fun in sight (I suppose we were too blessed last week with him in 52 and Battle for Bloodhaven), but I'll keep my eyes open.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Second Submission Call

(*Ahem* For the record, I did like Flash #1, and the new character introduced in 52 is pretty damned cool already, but I loved those Bogart films)

Second call for submissions to the Carnival of Feminist Sc-Fi/Fantasy Fans. Submissions due June 29th for a July 2nd Carnival.

Once again, quoting from the original call:
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.

The first edition will be on Written World (a comics weblog, so posts from other sci-fi/fantasy fandoms will be welcome and necessary) on July 2, 2006.

Deadline for submissions is June 29th, 2006. Since this is the first edition, we’ll be considering posts during late May 2006 and all of June 2006. After that it will go back to the deadline of the previous carnival. Please email the hostess at ragnellthefoul AT hotmail DOT com or use the submission form.

Some Basic Guidelines:
* All Weblog Postings on Science Fiction and Fantasy works in all media (books, comic books, television, film, roleplaying tabletop games and video games) written from a Feminist Perspective are eligible.
* Fan fiction written from a Feminist Perspective is eligible.
* Posts about fan fiction written from a Feminist Perspective are eligible.
* Posts about conventions and fan gatherings of a Feminist nature are eligible.
* Posts about conventions and fan gatherings written from a Feminist Perspective are eligible.
* Posts about any science fiction or fantasy fandom written from a Feminist Perspective are eligible.
* Posts linking to newsand announcements are eligible, so long as they pertain specifically to the Feminist Sci-Fi Fantasy community.
* Considerations about science fiction/fantasy news from a Feminist Perspective are eligible.
* Analysis of non-Feminist works from a Feminist Perspective are eligible.
* Rants about any of the above written from a Feminist Perspective are eligible.
* Posts which spell “Space” using 3 A’s and two exclamation points and are written from a Feminist Perspective are eligible.
* Posts about Green-Skinned Amazons (from Outer Spaaace!) with more than two breasts that are not written from a Feminist Perspective will not be eligible (and if they aren’t damned funny,* will be reproduced for mockery).
* Posts about Getting Your Girlfriend into [specific type of fandom] had also better be damned funny. If written from a Feminist Perspective (even tongue-in-cheek), they will be eligible.

*Sexist and/or homophobic does not equal damned funny, nor does it constitute anything approaching a Feminist Perspective.
Again, I'm willing to fudge the dates since this is the first carnival.

In other news, the 17th Carnival of Feminists is up at Bitch|Lab (She linked my Fridge post, yay!) and it looks awesome. I don't think I'll have time to read through it all until this weekend, but right away I can see some good comics posts and some other pop culture posts. Head over there and settle in for a good evening's read.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Guess What's Coming Out Today

Ahhh. The Flash #1. For a brief shining moment, all is right with the comic book world. It's been so long (January, February it ended?). Will it be the same?

Probably not, but that doesn't mean it won't be fun. I have a confession to make. I watched that TV series. Over and over again on the SciFi channel. I loved it. I am a very indiscriminant Flash fan (Unlike Wonder Woman where I'm picky as hell). I mena, this is the franchise that got me into DC. It would take something major for me not to like this. So I feel safe looking forward to this.

Also, don't forget to grab Manhunter and the She-Hulk collection.

Monday, June 19, 2006

In other news..

The new contributor at Blog@Newsarama?

Yeah, that's me.


I'm thinking about my hair. It's shoulder length and frizzy and brown, just long enough to fall forward over my face when I look down, just dark enough to obscure my point of view. I picture it longer, flowing forward over my face and down my back, blending with my skirt that goes into the ground like roots. I'm rooted to the ground and still moving. My thoughts come too fast, they seem to slip out through my hair, down my back or float out of the top of my head into the sky. Only a third of what I think, even as I write makes the arduous journey down my arms, through my hands and fingertips to the keys to the computer into cyberspace. It's a steady flow, a steady flow of information ideas in all directions.

And it's broken. (I strain my hair through my fingers, drawing it back out of my eyes.)

More Stream of Consciousness

Fandom has major sections, separate sections, local store cliques, newssites, message boards, blogs and livejournal. The message boards and blogs are primarily male, a feminist sticks out. I find myself choosing sides in arguments. ("Yes, I wanted her dead, but not that way and her fan has a right to be upset about it without you being a jerk.") There are livejournal feminist communities, but most of the livejournal superhero fans are fic writers. I never had the patience for it. Too much planning, too much can change, too many chances to get distracted (I've put off that Lois Lane post for over a month, Bitch|Lab has a category for "the virtues of being a mouthy bitch" in the Carnival of Feminists due tomorrow -- what a shame not to have a Lois Lane post there!) The analysis and arguments about whether Superman or Wonder Woman would win are on the blogs, the message boards and in the local stores. (Why am I the only girl sometimes?)

So many Mainstream Feminists just don't bother with fandom, or when they do it's derisive. (Some of those comments are downright hateful. It hurts to be dismissed out of hand in both communities.) It's strange, obsessive, cliquey, childish, wrapped up in dreams when there's real world work to do. (People would never think that someone who uses their leisure time reading comics books is spending their work time doing something life-heavy and worthwhile) Pop culture is too small, or maybe just too big a problem to examine. (There's too much to be done everywhere, do we even have leisure time in this movement?) So much of our culture is wrapped up in Entertainment, all areas of Entertainment. It shapes us, whether we realize it or not, and we never examine it. People resist examining it. Our time is best spent going after the real bad guys. (It's easier to find a clear villain than to look at the trends that we've been subject to since birth.) It's not radical enough. (What's more radical than examining the very basis for our world views?) You need to shake things up. (Like viewpoints.) You need to be angry. (This does make me angry.) You need to be rational. (This is what I enjoy thinking about.) You need to look at the language. (Like the prevalence of the Super- prefix?)

There's room for academic metatextual analysis in both areas. I'm not academic. I never went to college. (I pull the front two locks of hair out of my eyes, pin them back with a metal clip. My hair's still parted, to the side, and a lock from the longer side falls forward in my eyes.) That doesn't bother me (It bothers me.) I got real training in the military. (I learned to fold shirts to an exact measure while my high schoolmates learns Physics 101.) I do a productive job (Monkeywork) that I am highly trained for. (They crammed four years worth of computer science into six months, and I just ended my sentence with a prepositional phrase.) I don't fit in the non-college crowd, I'm too cerebral. (I don't fit in the college-educated crowd. I'm too practical.)

I don't really think that, do I?

I have so much to do, so many people to talk to. My sister tries to rebuild her geek cred, and I worry mine's too high. I'll never fit in the regular feminist community, I'm too much of a fan. Fandom's disjointed. I'm disconnected. I'm not lonely, there's community all around me. There's communities all around me. They have walls, and corridors and parties inside. I wander the corridors aimlessly, searchingly, there's pluses in every part. I peek in every room and make myself at home. My favorite member of the Greek Pantheon was always Hermes. I love him, he could go anywhere. He was in so many stories, having him there was natural and he didn't get too immersed. He showed up to move things along. He connected the gods to the mortals. He connected the divine to the mundane. He connected life and death. He stood at the threshold of the house. No world was off limits to Hermes, he could be anywhere. Strange that my favorite of the Aesir is Heimdall, who stands at the bridge that seperates the worlds and I adore the idea of Yggdrasil, the tree that connects everything. My favorite superpowers? Teleportation, time travel.


Not that I want a blended mess. My apartment is a blended mess. "Little piles of chaos," as Liz described her dorm room. It was a mess, little masses of mess. Junk mail I haven't shredded (I'm afraid to have the cat near a shredder). Comic books I haven't boarded or bagged yet. (The cat sits precariously on top of a shortbox, looking at the comic books around him that I won't let him lay down on, and mews pathetically. He has a vet appointment) Longboxes, top open because I rifled through them for a single panel. (I haven't made dinner yet.) My dishes are away, at least. I haven't mailed my Christmas presents yet. (I at least bought them in December.) Unpaid bills. I stopped sorting laundry to do this post (I hope there's a washer open when I'm done) and there's little piles of clothing. I need to vacuum.

I don't have pests or food out, and the litter box is regularly emptied. I still need to vacuum.

I need compartmentalization. I need order. That's why I'm this way. I'm disconnected, trying to connect everything. That's really why I started When Fangirls Attack. I wanted connection. I wanted the communities to mix, to see each other. I pop in with links. I get annoyed when people will link their posts everywhere, but hypocritically I do so too. (I also link other peoples.) I don't want a hub. I want a corridor. I want a hallway I can walk down and see the arrangment of opinions. And I want them ordered, categorized and filed. (This will never happen.) I want a community linked, but not a mess. Right now, it's a mess. People wander into other's rooms, they don't know the rules, the mood. Inter-fighting leads to in-fighting. Things are a mess and I distance myself. (Sometimes.) I can't keep quiet, though.

I'm such a between person. I wish I was a phantom, a messenger, but I'm a blocked connection, an open wire and a closed door. I don't fit in any community, not properly. Feminists? (Hey everyone, Nazi Gremlins from Outer Spaaace!!! Conan vs THOR!! Come see! Everyone?) Superhero fans? (Well, my biggest problem with writer A is the underlying message of the story supports the stereotype that women are emotionally ill-equipped to handle power and the artist spent whole panels showing Female Character X's breasts while we saw not a single shot of Male Character Y's butt and now everyone's ignoring me. Great.) Feminist superhero fans? (Well, I'm actually satisfied with the current direction of the company storywise...) I need to walk in and carve my own niche. And by that I mean pound out a space for myself. (Look at me.) Flaunt my misfit, not hide it. Risk being ignored and singled out.

It's worked so far. I still feel like a between person. A stop. A washed-out bridge. Disconnected. Is this why I like Wonder Woman so much? Her whole concept the last twenty years has been being between. Between mortal and divine, between Batman and Superman. The middle road. Even now, she's rebooted as the bridge, described that way in numerous reviews. And for the past twenty years, much as they tried to treat her as a connection she really connected nothing. Futility, more than anything, has been the theme since the days of Perez. Every step ahead tempered by two steps back. The bridge was washed out. I have those days.

The sun is setting over my shoulder. I used that line as an opener once when I wrote for a New Age newsletter. I still have to work on that feature I promised for Friday. (No, I'm not telling you what it is.) It needs a name, and it needs to be done beforehand. I can't just pound it out the day of. (Well, I can, but there's a certain amount of dependability expected here.) That's a newssite, how would they react to this style of writing? Pretentious? Profound? (Someone read too much Sandman as a teenager). I've been reading Megha and Frankengirl too much (too little) and I see a style influence (Stolen style or out of style?). And writing's like painting in a way. You can ruin it with a single brushstroke (though it's far easier to fix).

I wanted to build a community, really. A small one. I saw a number of people touch on the issues and I wanted to see how I could get discussion flowing. I enlisted the help of a friend (and a few more joined in, to our boundless joy). We didn't build a community, we built a corridor. Bigger than I'd expected. I'm attached to the corridor now. A community would still be nice, many communities would be nice, but I'd rather they be off the side of the corridor than surrounding it.

A corridor is better. Communities are too limited, but you can open a door anywhere from a corridor. You can stick your head in and watch, even pull away and let your hair fall in your eyes again. So long as the door's open, the flow's steady. You can collect insights and idiocy from the safety of your own mindset, and you can take them wherever you like. I can feel disconnected while connecting.

(And that's the closest you'll get to the Secret Origin of When Fangirls Attack)

Monday Misogyny

(The irony of where I found this one was irresistable.)
But that's the thing: Nobody becomes stereotypical housewife, no matter how hard they try. It's a gender construct, which means if there is such an individual, they're not a perfect embodiment of that gender, they're a parody.

Post-Father's Day Wrap-Up

Looking for WFA links, I find other things. I thought I'd share some with you.

Kevin and Mag treat us to Silver-Age Superboy while the Fortress Keeper looks specifically at his father.

Gordon treats us to his favorite comedian.

Chris gives us a glimpse of Apokolips.

Melchior shares a Schnackenburg poem.

Jog runs by Raymond Briggs.

Johanna tells us about the ice cream parlor.

Jenn, after last year blasting commercial sexism, this year focuses internally on personal relationships.

And while that's not a post to follow, if anyone's curious as to what sort of father I have -- check out my livejournal.

And that's it for Father's Day 2006. Maybe next year I'll send him the flowers like I meant to, chickened out this time and went halvies with my sister on a CD instead.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

This takes me back...

Sure, Courtney.. Dude..

Happy Father's Day Everybody!
(I'm going to bed)

You don't actually think women are obsessed with clothes, do you?

A few weeks ago, on Feministe, I saw the following comment:
They actually did a run of Wonder Woman in the seventies that involved both changing her powers (they made her more of a karate chick than a superhero… that was lame) and changed her costume to an Emma Peel style jumpsuit. There was OUTRAGE! It was incredibly short lived.

According to wiki, some of the loudest voices calling for WW to be changed back came from feminist groups. Make of that what you will.
The context of the discussion was Wonder Woman's costume, but the truth of the matter is that Gloria Steinem didn't want DC's foremost female superhero to be depowered. (Source: Wizard Magazine #177) The bathing suit wasn't the central issue (Edit: It just got her attention, Thanks Marionette). Now, this irked me, and confused me, but I let it pass as I wasn't entirely certain of the facts until I read an article. It was a silly assumption on the Feministe Poster's part (or else she'd have never brought it up while the conversation was centered on her costume), and I should have seen the difference immediately. The context clues had thrown me and I laughed to myself now that it made sense.

Still, I have to wonder, why is it when there's complaints about the weak portrayal of female characters in superhero comics is it conversation always assumed to be the costumes and not the serious sexism/misogyny in the plot and characterization?

And now, well...

After seeing the Newsarama preview scans for Robin #151 (via the Fortress of Fortitude), I've come to the conclusion that the Spoiler's death wasn't so meaningless as Mary and Co. believed.

In fact, I think it had quite a large (potentially spoilery) impact on the Batfamily.

Yes, quite a large impact...

Yeah, not the impact you were looking for, but still...

I have to say, though, she's reminding me of the 90s Huntress, who, despite being on the outs with Batman and everyone else in Gotham remained a hero. And now she's been falling in line, and the position of "Batfamily Black Sheep" is open, and Cassandra was ready to give up "Adoring Daughter" anyway.

It could work out very well, actually. I'll be picking this up now (I'd previously decided against it after issue 148) to see the whole story. At the very least, there looks like seriously interesting metatext and symbolism going on.

But for now, I just have one more thing to say about this:

On behalf of Wonder Woman, Superman, Huntress, Catwoman, and Sanderson Hawkins --

Fuck you, Tim.

And now, your moment of warm fuzziness

Make-A-Wish Foundation helps 6-year-old girl with inoperable brain cancer be a superhero for a day

"I'd like to thank you for your extreme bravery in capturing Black," Mayor David Bieter said on the Statehouse steps after Black's arrest.

"You have shown extraordinary crime-fighting skills," Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson said before presenting her with a custom-made police uniform, badge and all.

Bieter proclaimed June 16 Make-A-Wish Day and Star Day, and swore her in as an honorary Boise police officer.

Aubrey also received a medal and pin from the city.