Saturday, April 07, 2007

Early Fall? Sooner than I expected, in that case.

From Heinberg's blog:
In order for DC's AMAZONS ATTACK event to ship on schedule, DC has temporarily asked Terry and Rachel Dodson to stop working on WHO IS WONDER WOMAN?, PART 5, so they can draw and ink WONDER WOMAN #8 and #9 (scripted by Jodi Picoult). At that point, the Dodsons will return to our story, but that means, WHO IS WONDER WOMAN?, PART 5 probably won't ship until early fall. Sad news on the scheduling front, to be sure, but -- from the pages I've already seen -- it will be more than worth the wait.

The good news is that the extraordinary Gary Frank (SUPREME POWER) is currently drawing a 14-page NEMESIS back-up story I've written for the issue, which recaps the secret origins of Wonder Woman, Donna Troy, Wonder Girl, Sarge Steel, and Nemesis. Like the Dodsons, Mr. Frank is a brilliant genius-person, a generous and kind collaborator, and one of my all-time favorite graphic storytellers. I'm very grateful for the opportunity to work with him.

Friday Night Fights, Round 4

I'm not about to let Bahlactus get away with an open-handed slap here!

More Dresden Files Posting

After hearing a number of people complain about the sexism in Storm Front, I was planning to post about why it didn't cause me to drop the books, but Amy beat me to it:
I was a reluctant Harry fan in the beginning. The first few books make it difficult to distinguish between Harry’s innate chauvinism and the attitude of the book. But as I kept reading, I realized that Harry’s chauvinism, his continuous desire to Save Women From Themselves, was in fact a *huge* character flaw, and therefore Quite The Interesting Character Flaw Indeed! I’ve met other readers who had similar reactions, both male and female alike, and even Mr. Reads, upon handing me the first Dresden novel, told me to give it a book or two before I made judgment.

Some book series suffer from extension. Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books, for example, and undeniably Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series (which This Humble Author stopped reading at least six or seven books back). But the Dresden Files, on the other hand, get more interesting, more in depth, and *better written* every book. You can’t say that often, and when you can, you revel in it, just a bit.

I complained about some sexist attitudes expressed in the X-Men 3 movie a while ago. Someone answered that they were expressions of the character and not the theme of the story. This is a valid argument when discussing dialogue in a story. The problem I have is when a sexist attitude is expressed ("Hell hath no fury...") and then holds true in the narrative.

Its overwhelming at first because the books are written in first-person from Harry's perspective, and he has seriously idiotic opinions about women early on. As the books progress, these opinions drop off because these opinions keep being proven false. I think its a sign Harry is growing that the attitude surfaces less and less. Certainly, all of the characters in the book series grow and change like real people and when Butcher gets a chance to flesh out a minor character (like housewife Charity, or the background mortician Butters) he can really surprise you (Charity went from unnoticeable to extremely kickass in a single chapter, for example).

Anyway, in the Dresden Files, Harry's chauvinism is characterization and doesn't hold true to the plot. I can understand why a lot of people would like to spare themselves the reading anyway, but I actually like to see a stupid character learn his lessons in a story. Its fantasy, after all.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Spontaneous Dresden Files/King Arthur Comparison

So Kalinara was reading White Night (while online) and laughed at a joke. In this manner, she poked my brain. I realized that that was exactly the sort of joke that would have meaning later on in a series like this and remarked upon it, then realized tow other things. Then it hit me how dense I'd been for 9 books.

I mean, I'm a huge King Arthur buff. I call myself Ragnell the Foul. I know who Morchades is. I know the story with Obie and Obilot. So how in the hell did I miss the insanely obvious Arthurian symbolism in not just the last couple books, but the series as a whole? I mean, not just the outright stated stuff, but there's like a whole Arthurian shadow mythos forming here.

Very Minor Spoilers so I'm not hiding this. Just skim past if you're a wuss.

Now, I have to reread the whole series to be sure and I'll probably post something more in-depth later, but right now I'm seeing:
Harry Dresden = Merlin (Repeatedly suggested, we can be pretty sure that stupid umbrella stand is analogous to the stone that held the sword and that this parallel will materialize in multiple, fiery, dangerous ways.)
Margaret "Le Fay" = Morgan (I still think Le Fay is a pseudonym, but its freaking obvious)
Michael Carpenter = Arthur (the sword implies this, at the end of Proven Guilty I believe)
Carlos Ramirez = Galahad (Dropped as a joke in White Night, but in a way that makes me sure it'll be an important parallel later -- this is what Kali reminded me of)
Elaine Mallory = Nimue (That spell that binds Harry in Summer Knight is a dead giveaway)
Charity Carpenter = Lady of the Lake (Proven Guilty reveals that she makes armor and weapons for Michael)

No evidence, but I'm guessing from personalities we'll see references linking either Thomas Raith or Karrin Murphy to Lancelot, Lara Raith to Morgause, Molly Carpenter to Mordred, Morgan the Warden to Kay, and either Karrin Murphy or her partner to Gawain.

I'm also seeing a few possible parallels to that demon and that nun who were Merlin's parents.

I'm not saying I can predict the series based on loose affiliation with the Arthur stories, but its becoming increasingly likely that the Holy Grail will enter play soon.

Anyone who's read the books see anything I've ommitted?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Blog Against Sexual Violence Day

Blog Against Sexual Violence logo

Its Blog Against Sexual Violence Day, and I'm without a long thoughtful post.

So even though it is probably linked on fifty trillion blogs today, I'm linking this news article about the waitress and the bartender who prevented a rape because they were paying attention.

Then, go to abyss2hope's linklist and read.


"And did you see Romeo and Juliet? Total rehash of La Celestina! Did this guy ever have an original thought?"

Now, what's freaky about that parody is how true to life it is. The Taming of the Shew comment is almost sentence for sentence my reaction to reading that play in 6th grade. Except I called it crap rather than an anti-diversity agenda.

Either way, Mr. Frazier was not amused.

I've been a feminist a long damned time.

Submission Call: 13th Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans

Where: Words from the Center, Words from the Edge
When: May 3rd, 2007
Deadline: April 29th, 2007.
I would really like to get submissions from people who haven’t been featured in the carnival before (but repeat submitters are of course welcome!) Also since the Hugo’s are in Nippon this year I think it would be great to get at least a few non-Western feminist views on Science-Fiction & Fantasy (though of course everyone is welcome!). Also looking for posts that discuss the intersection of race/class/sexuality/ableism/etc. within SF from a feminist perspective (but again and I cannot stress this enough all articles about SF from a Feminist perspective are welcome!). Hope to hear from you all soon.

Contact: 13thFeministSFCarnival[AT]gmail[DOT]com or submission form.

No Post Today/No Comics Today.

Busy re-reading, as its really unusual to have a book series that I like better with each progressive book. Usually they jump the shark before the 9th one comes out.

I'd comment on it, but Kalinara hasn't read it yet and is begging for clues. I'm really just writing this post to tease her.

(I will say that its weird that Jim Butcher's Murphy description is overpowered by a mental picture of Valerie Cruz, but you get used to it. Oh, and Carlos may have replaced Kyle in my fannish heart.)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I'll get to the comics eventually

Next to my regular blog-wandering, the huge book on pre-Christian Teutonic religion I just got in the mail, and the new Dresden Files book out later today, there's two massive geek-femme offerings on the internet that I must completely devour:

Yes, the 12th Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans is up at Pen-Elayne on the Web. Go. Read. And when you're done there, check out the April Sequential Tart.

Also, I find myself completely without a host for lucky 13. Please mail me if interested.

White Ethnic Blogs

Claire has realized that all those white blogs she's been reading really do count as ethnic blogs:
Now that I've had the realization, I feel differently about these white blogs. Everyone has a right--nearly a mandate, almost an imperative--to explore his or her home or group culture, to examine it, to illuminate it, to critique it. I love this about black, brown, and yellow ethnic blogs, and now I love this about white ethnic blogs as well. I no longer need them to change. I no longer have to fight down long emails to each blogger telling them how white they are and that they need to be more inclusive. They don't need to be more inclusive, any more than Cute Overload needs to blog about Iraq.

All they need to do is acknowledge that they are blogs written by white people from a white perspective about white culture. All they need to do is admit that they are white ethnic blogs.

Sounds reasonable. I can't exactly be blogging from a nonwhite perspective here, can I? Let's try it.

This is a white ethnic blog. -- No, no, that doesn't sound right.

This is a blog about comics from a white perspective. -- Okay, technically true but--Ugh! Who wants to get lumped in with "white power" (can't wait to see what kind of asshole finds my blog from that phrase) imbeciles? Also, really don't want to scare off nonwhite readers with this.

This is a blog about comics from a white perspective, but not a white power perspective. -- Okay, that's just pathetic. Let's try dropping the perspective stuff.

This is a blog about comics, by an American white girl-- Ick. White girl.

White woman doesn't sound much better.

I am absolutely certain I'm not the only one reacting like this. No one likes to identify as white. I've heard people say its boring, and I used to think (being raised to identify as Italian-American before white) that the whole default white culture thing gets on my nerves because it mashes Anglo-Saxon and Celtic and Greek and Polish and German and Italian and Scandinavian into one big white Euro-mess. We lose a little bit of cultural identity when we do that. Except, most of white American culture is one big white Euro-mess anymore and ethnicities like Irish and Italian are variations on that. Assimilation. Our parents and grandparents could manage it, so they did. I don't know shit about any other country, but some regions in the US have a long history of "I'm whiter than you" cultures hating the new guy until they could lose enough of their European culture to blend in. It works like the Borg. A big white Borg cube.

Nobody likes to say that because it implies all white Americans think alike, which they don't, but white American culture does absorb and adapt new cultures into the cultural collective. Reminds me of a conversation I had at work the other day about American food versus European food, and how much better European food was. Why? Because we take new foods and Americanize them and they lose all their ethnic flavor. Much as we do with immigrant cultures.

We Americanize to fit in. It comes down to "who's normal" and if you identify as your skin color, suddenly you're admitting that your skin color is not necessarily normal. And that's part of why very few white people blog about race. You can't really not know anything about race or ethnicity. Everyone has race and ethnicity. Its just uncomfortable to admit which side of racism you happen to be on, so if you're lucky enough to be on the side that benefits from racism you ignore it.

That's what that white privilege stuff is talking about.

Which might be why it looks so stupid when I type it out. Because it feels stupid to admit I'm not necessarily normal and I shouldn't be getting all the little perks from a wrong situation. Which is the biggest alarm bell that says Claire has a point about ethnic blogs and admitting you have an ethnic blog.

So we'll go with a white ethnic blog and leave it at that.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Okay, who went to Emerald City ComiCon?

If you did, please tell me there is truth to this livejournal post:
Yes, the rumor is true; based on Gail Simone's very broad "hints" at Emerald City, she is going to be the next Wonder Woman writer.
That's a mean rumor to spread if there isn't, especially given the last issue.

So, what did she say?

Most importantly, did she say it on April 1st?

Fan or Fanatic?

In my more serious moments, I like to read about religion (and not just my own). I'm a sucker for most articles on religion, and will usually go through the comment lists unless it descends into nothing but fifty pages of "Hitler!" "Stalin!" which happens more often than you think). It gets to the point sometimes where my interest in religion overpowers my fannishness and I neglect to read my comics for several weeks in a row. It makes me wonder where I stand when it comes to this. Am I more a fan or a fanatic? While it may be more respectable in some circles to be a religious fanatic neither subject is exactly grounded in reality and both completely absorb me at times.

I never really connected the two until I read Salon's article on the Gospel of Judas and saw this comment:
Since there is absolutely not one shred of evidence that a God (let alone a God of the Bible) exists- this article is no more meaningful than discussing the rehabilitation of the Joker in a Batman comic.
Since my initial reaction to this was to be outraged that he saw no point to discussing the Joker's rehabilitation, I think we can safely say I'm a fan and not a fanatic.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Happy Pranksgiving Everyone

I wanted to do a nice big prank on the blogosphere, or at least post a joke but the Renfaire was this weekend and I forgot.

So I'd just like to state that I owe you all a practical joke.

(Please note that when I post my theory that Frank Miller is homosexual but severely in denial, that will not be a joke.)