Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thinking Blogger Meme

Yes, I know I've been tapped twice for the "Thinking Blogger" awards (and at least once for that 8 things meme). I'm not oblivious to memes, I'm just a procrastinator.

Here's the rules as relayed to me:
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,

2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,

3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote. (Yeah, I'm not going to bother with that.)
I'm terrible about getting into the blogging community lately. Between my feedreader and livejournal, I read roughly 800 blogs. They don't all update at once, they aren't all good, and I tend to skim past a lot of wonderful stuff. I have trouble keeping track of where I commented, and sometimes I don't comment or link what I intend to because I don't like to just link with no commentary on this blog. Unless I'm worked up by joy or rage at the moment, I don't have the motivation to write coherently. (As a result, my to-link list for this blog is too long right now.) That's why When Fangirls Attack has no commentary. Too much volume for commentary.

Out of the over 800 blogs I normally read, who makes me think?

Ultimately, everyone. For different reasons and at different times. Not always for the reasons they want to, not always in the ways they want to, I keep reading those blogs and adding more because there's just such a wonderful variety of human experience and opinion on the web, and honestly what else am I going to do after work while Oklahoma sleeps and I lurk in my subterranean cavern? ( As my first profile said, my social life was no match for the Night Shift. Oklahoma City's loss is the Internet's gain, for good or ill.) In the end, though, I tend to skim through most of the blogs as I search for linkable content.

However, I've found some blogs that I try never to skim and I always read through because they regularly have quality commentary. When busy, I tend to save the posts then go back to reread them afterwards (I'm usually a bit behind so I rarely comment unless Green Lantern is mentioned). So, from my Must-Read List, here's five of the people who regularly make me think. I'm going to try and go with people who I haven't seen tagged yet but the past two or three monmths have been a bit crazy so I might fail in that regard.

1. Planet Karen -- Yes, that one is a webcomic. More specifically, it is a daily biographical comic on the internet, or a graphic weblog, so I say it counts.

2. 4th Letter -- Funny story about this one. I only found it after getting into an argument with David Brothers about Storm. Repeated disagreements, actually. We will probably never ever see eye to eye about that one but I'm a regular reader of his now and for good reason.

3. Days in a Wannabe Punk's Life -- I've been reading Megha since I found her through the mainstream Carnival of Feminists. She's smart, she's funny, she's from another side of the world from me, and I can still read her thoughts which is one of the reasons I love the internet.

4. Seeking Avalon -- I'm not sure what to say about Willow that's not obvious. If you are not already reading this blog, I'd advise you to watch it. She has some wonderful insights (for a Batman fan).

5. Center of Gravitas -- I am addicted to GayProf. He almost never blogs comics yet I am compelled to read every post the entire way through whether its on politics, Texas life, or whatever else he finds worth blogging about. Always worthwhile.

That's five. That's not all of my Must-Read List, but that's five and I am especially lazy when it comes to memes and praise.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Why does this piss me off so much?

I've been reading through the 1500 blog posts I missed over the weekend, and I just found the umpteenth post whining about Kyle.

I don't know why this pisses me off so much. Maybe because its a story idea that I like, and I'd been hoping for earlier in Johns run. Its a story I've been wanting to see, because this is Kyle's biggest fear. This is the one of those things that has haunted since the beginning of his career, the idea that he might end up like Hal did. Its something the character needs to go through, and to be honest I don't like the Uber-Kyle a lot of fans are attached to. Ion works temporarily, but really I prefer the character with his ring.

I also prefer the character as the lesser powered person in a situation. The best Kyle stories are Kyle as the underdog. Kyle started out facing fully-Parallaxed Hal. He had to face him his first week with absolutely no help. He came up with this unbelievably crazy idea of destroying the planet both characters were standing on, and Parallax is so thrown he lets Kyle through the mass purging of the entire Green Lantern mythos.

A little while later, Ganthet tries to fire him, and Parallax shows up again, scares off Ganthet, beats the shit out of the JLA, beat the shit out of Kyle and takes his ring. Kyle pops back up, powerless, armed by only a lead pipe and knocks Parallax over the head. There's some talking between Hal, Kyle and Ganthet. Hal decides that beating up Kyle is like the Hulk wearing cleats to step on a kitten and the situation defuses. (This one actually works really well with the fearbug retcon, because you can interpret it was Hal coming back to control for a short time.)

In JLA he had to overcome his awe and nervousness save the universe multiple times. Morrison's DC One Million crossover forced Kyle to hold together an exploding sun. He needed a pep talk from batman first.

In Rebirth, he's at death's doorstep and he keeps moving forward because he has to.

I like Kyle.

No, I love Kyle. He's one of my absolute favorite characters in the DC stable.

But I thought Ion was killing him. Both times. My Kyle is the toughest guy in the universe, but not nearly the most powerful. My Kyle is loaded with self-doubt, hesitation, and fear. My Kyle is often outgunned, outmatched, and overpowered by the energy.

My Kyle pushes past that to triumph anyway.

I am enjoying the hell out of this story, because Sinestro Corps was the beginning of a story about My Kyle. He was out of his element, he was alone, he was outnumbered, he was overpowered, and he was at the end of his rope. He faltered, just enough, to get into real trouble from there.

This happened in the first issue. This always happens to Kyle. The best stories are when he gets through that and wins in the end.

I can understand being pissed when this crossover is over and done with, if Kyle is a passive little victim who needs to be saved completely by Hal. But seriously, we're in the opening shots here and right now it fits the pattern of a really good Kyle Rayner story perfectly.

I don't see how these so-called devoted Kyle fans aren't seeing that. That's why I did the writer poll, because while Johns is a very intense writer, this isn't a pattern that only he uses. Marz and Morrison wrote this pattern. They set up the Kyle fears, falters, then comes back to win pattern. Kelly continued it. Honestly, the only writer who had his hands on the character for a significant amount of time but didn't do that was Judd Winick, and I believe that's why I despise his run so much. That wasn't My Kyle. I figured the people who hated the crossover must've joined during his run.

Johns, though he doesn't use him often, writes Kyle the way I know and love him. Its Johns style, so its melodramatic and the pacing's off. the jokes change from writer to writer, sure. but personality-wise and story-role-wise this is My Kyle. This is the Green Lantern I started with. This is the Green Lantern who brought me into Green Lantern. This story fits the pattern, and it promises to put an end to the Ion nonsense.

I'm really enjoying this story, and I'd love to be able to enjoy it without people shitting on it for particularly stupid complaints. That's why I'm so irritated with them. I've not been going through Kyle-withdrawal for the past two months. I've been going through Kyle withdrawal for a full year, dammit, and I've finally gotten this character back after all that time and I want to enjoy it dammit.

Now, someone's about to come here and say I'm trying to censor Kyle complaints or tell you to stop complaining about Kyle. No, I'm not. You are perfectly free to think that Kyle has been ruined and this is all some juvenile Hal-fan revenge for Emerald Twilight.

I, however, am perfectly free to say you're a fucking idiot who obviously has never read a Kyle Rayner story in your life (Winick's run doesn't count, that wasn't Kyle. Though, as Kalinara pointed out once, it was sadly the most in-character Winick's ever written a DC property), or that you are whiny, panicky, annoying, and shitting on a perfectly good storyline and a writer that I happen to like.

And I will, whether you're normally an idiot or just a panicky Kyle fan who is otherwise sensible but is too damned spooked over Bart's death to see things my way. Because I have an extra-stressful real life right now, I've been relaxing by reading and discussing this storyline because I'm really enjoying this storyline, and complaints along the lines of "They're going to KILL Kyle" are really fucking annoying me more than they normally would.

It would be one thing if the complaint was over art or pacing (Johns-pacing is really freaking weird) or dialogue or mood, but this gloom and doom shit isn't cutting it as a justifiable concern.

I will also use this blog to alienate and deride anyone who shits on my good mood whenever I feel the need to, because that's what an internet blog is for anyway.

Solicits: Hal, Jaime, Diana, and... Mitch?

Full DC solicits up.

I already told you about the Justice League of America #14 cover, and the Countdown tie-ins.

The covers to Green Lantern #24 and Green Lantern Corps #17 look good, but I don't trust the solicits enough to try and derive any clues from them. Suffice it to say, I'm going to be reading and hanging on every panel of both books and the two Sinestro Corps tie-in specials.

Blue Beetle's getting in on the fun, too:
Written by John Rogers
Art and cover by Rafael Albuquerque
A “Sinestro Corps War” tie-in! The Lanterns’ war hits home as a yellow ring appears in El Paso. But is it being offered to the Scarab or to Jaime Reyes? And whose will is stronger?
On sale October 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
The cover to the Flash #233 has the kids in cute costumes.

Aside from that, this looks written with me in mind:
Written by Mark Waid
Art by George Pérez & Bob Wiacek
Cover by Pérez
Wonder Woman and Power Girl fight side-by-side against a foe who may be more powerful than both of them combined!
On sale October 17 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
And, of course, the one to wait for:
Written by Gail Simone
Art and cover by Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson
An electrifying new era begins for the world’s greatest superheroine! Gail Simone (BIRDS OF PREY, SECRET SIX) joins the phenomenal art team of Terry and Rachel Dodson for what promises to be one of the most exciting Wonder Woman stories ever!
What exactly is the Circle, and what deadly secret do they hold about Diana’s birth? What familiar face from Wonder Woman’s past returns with a mission to spy on Special Agent Diana Prince? Why is the Department of Metahuman Affairs on a collision course with the wounded remnants of the Society of Super-Villains? All this plus monkey assassins in a story that spans the globe and shakes Diana to her core!
On sale October 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
The other thing to catch my eye was this (emphasis mine):
WRITTEN and illustrated by various
Cover by Gene Ha
Don’t miss this collection of 13 stories of tricks and treats by some of comics’ top creators, including writers Steve Niles, Mark Waid, Steve Seagal, Dan DiDio, Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Peter Johnson (TV’s Supernatural), David Arquette (Scream), Cliff Dorfman (Entourage) and many more with art by Ian Churchill, Dean Ormston, Dustin Nguyen , Bernard Chang and others! The inmates of Arkham horrify each other with terrifying tales involving Superman and zombies, Batman and vampires, Robin and werewolves, Aquaman and witches, Flash and the dead, and more! Plus, the return of Resurrection Man!
On sale October 31 • 80 pg, FC, $5.99 US
I think we can take it as a given that they're digging him up so they can kill him again.

15th Carnival of Feminist SciFi and Fantasy Fans Posted

The 15th Carnival (yes, it is very very late) is finally posted at Feminist SF The Blog!

I'm open for a 16th host. Email me.

(Also: Willow's got the First POC in ScFi/Fantasy Carnival Up. She needs hosts too.)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

October Solicits

The full solicits aren't up until Monday, but they have some early DC ones up.

This probably spoils the end of the current GL crossover, but check out the cover to Countdown for a look at Kyle's new look. The design is nice, and I like it. Very close to traditional, but still Kyle and the hair has a bit of length that does away with the crewcut that scared me from that sketch last month. (Yes, that crewcut annoyed me more than anything in Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps.) Can't wait for an artist I really like to draw it.

Also, Kalinara has notes on the JLA cover and which Lantern is on it. I'll be doing my I Told You So dance in the meantime.

Oh, and if anyone would like to see an entertaining and rage-inducing conversation on race as Hal-only fans react to the JLA cover and cry because now their favorite's only dominating one book, check out the discussion thread on Newsarama. There's vague whining, then it gets cooking around Page 4 or 5 when someone mentions reverse discrimination.

The Newsarama forum debates the issue of racism with all of the class and dignity we've come to expect from a superhero fan-site message board.

Hal-fans take this opportunity to express the opinion John is a character with no personality other than being black while John-fans point out he has a rich and detailed history that stupid people like to ignore because they don't know enough about Green Lantern, but Hal-fans still insist that he's being thrown in for race. Someone who can't count thinks that half of the team is black now, someone says a third and members of the silent majority sensibly realize that they don't know how many people are on the finalized roster yet. There's the "editorially mandated diversity so it will suck" vs. "McDuffie loves John so its no surprise" argument, the theoretically intelligent point that there's more to diversity than adding a black character is used to support an extremely stupid argument, the required Didio-trashing and a "Did you know Kyle's Hispanic?" "WTF? Seriously?" tangent thrown in for variety.

Somewhere along the way someone points out that DC spoiled the ending to Sinestro Corps, but the "JLA is Kyle's book, dammit!" fans don't show up until Page 8.

Also on page 8, a reader loses his faith in the writer's word and someone finally brings up that there might be two Lanterns on the team or that Hal might have very good in-story reasons for dropping out.

On Page 9 there is a valiant effort at stopping the fight through logic.

My absolute favorite is the this post:
There are people of color in this country. They deserve super-heroes. You are a big doodee head.
See, being a Green Lantern fan is not all the Hal vs. Kyle war. Sometimes we fight about John too.

And as long as I'm going off on the Dark is Rising

Bellatrys sums up the changes quite nicely:
Will in the books is unselfish, concerned for his family's well-being ahead of his own, a serious and recollected kid who looks out for others. In the movie, at least from the trailer footage, he's a thoughtless brat who only sees in his newfound powers a chance to show off cool superpowers and give nothing in return, whining worse than Young!Luke to Ben Kenobi about having to go save the world. And Luke had more responsibilities, and fewer allies and resources, at the time!
Oh, and Soyo found the trailer:

What book did they get this from?

More Dark is Rising Angst

Its worse than even I had heard. This post at the livejournal community "A Blog of Authors" breaks it down in a handy chart. (Hattip Bellatrys) It does not look good.

I could handle the nationality and the plot changes, even removing my beloved Arthurian elements, but they are changing Will.
Will discovers his powers on his thirteenth birthday, because John Hodge says Will's extra years make him more "plausibly capable."
One of the things about Will was he always seemed like an old 11. He was like a thousand-year-old man wrapped up in a little boy's body. Why would they need to add two years to him if seeming older than his age is still a characterization point?
Will is assertive, challenging his older brother head-on, and doing many other things — as John Hodge says often — "head-on." I guess it's a pro to his being American, as Americans have a reputation for being more proactive than passive.
Yay for nationalistic stereotyping! Will he do rope tricks too? All the British kids'll be tea-drinking and uptight, right?
He is told of his powers, refuses to believe anyone when he hears of them, then goes home and apparently gives his brothers what-for.
Why? Would he think his brothers put the guy up to it?
At thirteen, Will gets disgusted at not being able to tell anyone. He blows up a car and acts out in some other ways. According to John Hodge, Miss Greythorne tells Merriman, "He's just expressing himself."
Remember the scene where he got especially curious and went out to the woods and set a stick on fire with his powers? Then realized what a humongously stupid thing he'd done?

Yeah, I bet that's gone. That way they get to blow up cars and shit whenever Will gets angry, because he doesn't have that natural "Old One" attitude, he's a spoiled brat with anger management issues who wants attention and glory! Yeah, way to keep with the unique spirit of the hero of these books there.

So, the thoughtful, introverted youngest member of the Old Ones? Our gentle little hero who was loaded with ancient power despite all appearances to the contrary? The guy who was responsible and thoughtful and didn't waste his power in showy displays? Gone! Replaced by a Harry Potter clone!

Oh, but they changed all the surface stuff that would make people mistake him for Harry, but they went ahead and took Will's unique personality and exchanged it for the more popular boy's so they could clone Harry Potter but not be accused of cloning Harry Fucking Potter.


You know, I hate to be one of those fans who gets mad whenever they change any little thing about a book I loved, but seriously, this sounds like mass-produced shit that's trying to capitalized on the Potter popularity. They're killing this book, dammit. Killing it (And yes, you can quote that for your fan entitlement rants, thank you very much.)

Seriously, though, the Jack Black as Green Lantern rumor (it surfaces every few months) didn't induce nearly as much disgust as that chart does.

Its just as well, they probably wouldn't have gotten a good actor for Bran in the sequels, and Bran is the character I'm really a fan of in this one.

When this movie comes out I'm spending my ticket money on a bottle of whiskey and sitting home to reread the novels.

I advise you to do the same.