philippos42: (Tegan)

The first time I heard this song, a friend had the album on shuffle, and I just noticed the weird final bit where "(thing)=(other thing)." I thought it was stupid and a giant step down (or two) from the sort of thing The Church had been doing on Starfish. Which is, honestly, objectively fair for a first impression. "Reptile" is still an amazing piece of songwriting work.

But eventually I got a copy of the album, priest=aura, myself, and listened to it properly, with the early verses, and I fell for it hard. It's a beautiful beginning to the album: a piece of absurd, surreal, and/or psychedelic poetry, with some well-designed atmospheric music. It became a favorite.

I just quoted it in a comment on someone's LJ post, and presumably sounded crazy. And maybe I am.
I need to buy fewer comics (for budget reasons), not more! Argleghagh!

I admit I ordered Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat because of Kate Leth. Which is funny, because I haven't even been reading her stuff for a couple of years. Maybe I only think I like Kate Leth because I've forgotten why I stopped following her blog. But I'd like to see a version of Patsy Walker that isn't grim and sad, after some of the crap her ex-husbands put her through. I liked her portrayal in Soule's She-Hulk.

I'm still buying Ms. Marvel. Takeshi Miyazawa doing some issues helps that decision.

I'm not sure I'll keep going with The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Maybe.

I'm on the fence about Captain Marvel's new series. No Kelly Sue and no David Lopez gives me pause. But I'm not following Lopez to Wolverine, so...we'll see.

I might buy Sam Wilson: Captain America, which impressed me more than I expected. A lot of that is the stylish art, but I like the characters (D-Man is back!) and themes in the first issue.

And maybe I'll buy whatever the Avengers series is called with Roberto DaCosta, mad scientists, and Squirrel Girl--but that's very dependent on the fun elements overwhelming the stock eeevil supervillainy.

I'm impressed that Marvel has this many books that seem like they're designed to appeal to me.

Face brain

Oct. 23rd, 2015 09:41 pm
philippos42: zat's bunny (pet)
Wow, Hawaii Five-0 is an irritating show. Or I've developed an over-sensitivity to expository dialogue and television goofiness. Like having a bunch of stunt motorcyclists on the show so they can play a gang of stunt motorcyclists who are also into highway robbery. And then having Chi McBride and Alex O'Loughlin be all frowny granddads at those "dangerous" motorcyclists. Arghh.

Anyway, I haven't watched in a while, but at the beginning of this episode, I decided to watch it because Kono (Grace Park) is actually in it. Which she is, kinda. Is there a reason they don't have her work with the other three main guys? She was partnered with Chi's character here, and not in a lot of it.

And then Victoria Pratt was a guest star, but sadly not also a superhero. When her character's husband was being murdered, I really wanted (and ridiculously half-expected) her to tackle the bad guy with mutant powers. But nope, not even Sarge's unarmed combat tactics.

But my brain insisted that Shalimar's catlike powers saving the day was what was supposed to happen next. I think I may be ill, if not in the early stages of some kind of mental disorder, because of what my waking brain is doing to me.

I was reading recently where someone was talking about actors who look similar.

It occurred to me while I was watching it that Victoria Pratt and Carrie Underwood (who I saw on what I think was a Tonight Show rerun this week) have some near-parallels in their appearance. Huh.

Then again, I was also trying to figure out whom Grace Park reminded me of. And I realized I've been watching SHIELD again. Is she kind of the Korean Adrianne Palicki? OK, that's not as close. But that seemed to be whom I was thinking of.
philippos42: Paul Rudd (pretty)
So, the latest Starfire. (That's #5.)

Kory, canonically, from like her first appearance, has the ability to learn a language by kissing (because Marv Wolfman was a perv wacky like that).

So in the latest issue, the writers remember that, and instead of just ignoring it in embarrassment, decide to use it. She kisses a porpoise dolphin and learns to speak dolphin. There is actually a cutaway to two observers:
Junior aquarium staffer: Oh my God! She's making out with Beth!
Senior aquarium staffer: Stop that this very minute! It's against the laws of nature!
So now Kory can talk to the dolphins, and she has a new job at the aquarium.

I started picking up Starfire because Atlee (aka Terra) was in it, and I'm glad I am. It has some pretty fun little moments. I hope they keep up the fun little touches like this, more than the big ongoing subplot with the superpowered multiple murderer (?) lurking in the background, which is supposed to be resolved in #7.
philippos42: heather (superhero)
So, apparently Mars just got married five days ago. Unless there's another Mars Getsoian.

Also, apparently, she is the only person I have in circles on Google+, which is exceedingly strange. I did not find out that she got married on Google+. I never use Google+, and I don't remember finding her name there before and adding her, but clearly I did.

I just did a garden-variety search for her name, and was surprised to see a result from the last week. Also I am surprised to see that 'Mars Getsoian' is the name she's still using.

Well, congratulations.
Also there was a question on "Why be moral?" (here) and a short discussion to which I sort of tried to contribute.

I'm copying my own answer to remember it, even if I'm not thrilled with it:
Socrates said that the question of why one should be good was as silly as the question of why one should be healthy.

Goodness is part of wisdom: understanding the world outside one's own mind, understanding consequences, and understanding that you giving a damn can make others' lives better even after your life inevitably decays away. Your morality is part of society's health.

In line with what Case said above, a lot of "right" and "wrong" is pragmatically socially constructed. What we call right and wrong is partly what society has come up with that works. It's pro-social, and not entirely arbitrary. (There is more to it than that. There is morality beyond social convention, and persons can disagree on morality without being amoral.)

Now, someone can be a free rider, so long as they get away with it.
philippos42: (yotsuba)
From Fandom!Secrets: "If I wanted to get into comic books..."
Where should I start? I'm aware of superheroes and horror as genres, and I'm generally open to both of those. I just don't want to jump in the middle of a storyline and be all confused. Googling did not help me decide. Help.
I got in late, but agreed with the generic answer of more self-contained graphic novels. My post was just a bunch of recommendations:

Nightschool by Svetlana Chmakova is supernatural action-adventure in an urban fantasy/horror world. Some people might be annoyed by the ending, and it has a lot of less developed characters which may make it hard on some readers, but there's some clever stuff.

Human Target: Chance Meetings by Peter Milligan and Edvin Biuković (Sorry for the Amazon link; I am not recommending you buy from Amazon.) I just reread this last night. It's too British in places; some of the characters are parodies of Americans rather than Americans, if that makes sense. There are some bad-but-minor plot holes in the third chapter; one because someone chose to cut and transition to another scene at a striking moment instead of showing the embarrassing seconds afterward. So, it's more of a mess than I remembered. But Edvin Biuković did a pretty solid job on the art, and it both has some trippy psychological stuff and manages to untie it and get to a surprisingly unambiguous ending. (I think.)
There are more Milligan Human Target stories, but I haven't read them. Here's a review:

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi: Not superheroes, not horror, just a memoir of an Iranian girl in the time of the rise of the Islamic Republic.

Of the superheroes, I like Captain Marvel, the current one, "Carol" to her fans. In the last few years, they've changed the artists, they've restarted the numbering a few times, and there's one issue that's just part of an X-Men crossover. should probably get the trades (that is, trade paperback collections), anyway: I started with the issues collected as "Higher, Further, Faster, More," which is the most recent "volume one" until the next "volume one." Honestly, their packaging is terrible. But these issues aren't terribly crossover-heavy, thankfully, and Kelly Sue DeConnick and David Lopez are really cool. (And...I think they're off the book as of this November and the fourth #1 in three years.)

[Note: If you follow Carol, know that "Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps" is...really weird. I think it's still coming out in floppy form, so I don't know what it's going to be collected as. But it's part of the "There is only Secret Wars" hot mess that Marvel got into this year, and's particularly surreal for a Carol story.]

And then, and then, Rocket Girl by Brandon Montclare & Amy Reeder is an Image Comics series with time travel and stuff, and I like it, but I think the creators are having a really hard time financially. I'm supposed to have a trade of it by now, and I don't know what happened.

Oh, also Yotsuba&!. Always.
philippos42: "Dark Vengeance!" (misfit)
Not long ago, I had a conversation about how comic book artists draw women.

More precisely, yesterday an acquaintance made a crack about superheroine bust sizes. And I said some variation on what I often say, that's just an artist's shorthand, whatever. Also some artists are kind of silly. I usually take it in stride.

Today, I was looking at these scans from Legendary Star-Lord. I am suddenly bugged by Kitty's bust size in this issue. Has Medina been drawing her that way along and I just now noticed because of the outfit? Is she sticking out her chest?

I got weirdly angry about it.

So, I looked at some other scans. Yes, Medina draws her that way. The concept art for the new GotG doesn't so much, I think. It's a stupid minor thing.

Her chest is not badly drawn. It's realistic enough. It's roughly in line with other artists. It just suddenly seemed "off" to me. I dug out some All-New Doop issues. Yeah, OK, not that different; I guess I was remembering wrong.

So, a smart remark about cartoon breasts in general somehow led me to get bothered on an artist who's actually drawing them well?


philippos42: (scared)
Recently, I found a graphic album of something called Fever Moon at the public library. It had art by the late Al Rio, so I checked it out. When I finally, weeks later, sat down to read it, the author's foreword surprised me:
Karen Marie Moning:
When Del Rey told me I could pick my artist, it was a done deal. I would have written anything to get a chance to work with Al Rio, whose art I've long admired.
Fever Moon ended up being more than I'd hoped for, but the path to completion was difficult, and not everyone survived. We lost Al Rio along the way....
So this was some of his last work, and he didn't even finish it. Wow.

This hit me.

I had long harbored an idle fantasy of writing Wonder Woman, and in that fantasy I wanted Al to draw it. I figured he'd pull me back. I'd write a script where Diana's in civvies, he'd put her in the costume, probably with the booty shorts that show the bottom of her buttocks. I'd want to be kind of off-kilter, he'd bring the book back to a classic superhero look. Stuff like that.

I think Al dying in 2012 was one of the things (alongside my own clear inability to actually write a decent Wonder Woman story, and DC basically telling entire fandoms of its characters to get lost with the New 52 revamp) that made me just give up on the idea and move on.

And here I was reading the book he was working on before he died--and which he never finished. So it was kind of like mourning.

New comics

Aug. 5th, 2015 05:55 pm
philippos42: heather (red)
Got to the comic shop yesterday to get a copy of Diamond Previews before they sold out.

For all that I keep worrying about my budget, I had just one comic from my pull list waiting.

Oh, well, I could have just taken that and been done, but I decided to look at the racks. I picked up the last copies of the last two issues of the Edmondson/Noto Black Widow, as if I actually have $8 to spare. That was dumb.

philippos42: (clover)
I'm back from my local comic shop. They seem to have an iffy relationship with my orders, but the proprietor is trying.

Last week I mentioned that I didn't get the second issue of an miniseries I'm following (and not naming here, apparently).
Today he handed me the second and fourth issues. "And do you have this one?"
"No, not yet."
OK, so it looks like I'm caught up on that one.

I asked about Brandon Graham's Island Magazine, which I had ordered the first issue of and not gotten. He said that they'd sold out. (But I'd pre-ordered it because they sell out of things.)
He found a copy. So I guess I have someone else's copy and he'll have to re-order it for them.

He also handed me the second issue of Prez, a series which I had wanted to order and chickened out on for budgetary reasons, but as of last week I am starting (with #4) to pre-order.

And an issue of Sensation Comics, which technically I'm not pre-ordering anymore. I guess I could have handed it back, but oh well, I took it. That four dollars gets me close to the end of my money for the month, so I didn't get a Diamond Previews. Maybe I should have gotten that instead. Then again, this issue has a Georges Jeanty story, which sounds cool, and it's #12, so if I switch to the trade paperbacks (which means waiting even longer for stuff that came out earlier in digital format) it'll probably be in a trade with one I already have? I don't know.

So far I've read Prez #2. And there's a "Preston Rickard" who apparently is this timeline's Prez Rickard? Wow, cool! This is maybe-fix-the-scanner stuff.

(Oh, and like three pages of the miniseries--which I may talk about when it's finished? I don't know.)

I don't know if I'll ever see the Rocket Girl and Yostuba&! albums I ordered a few months ago.
philippos42: (reach)
My response (could probably be better) to this piece:
Interesting and partially persuasive points. I think you're trying a little too hard to force a pattern here. But I agree that DC is a terribly conservative company in some ways, and their output reflects that.

I'm bothered by your attempt to condemn any echo of the Huck/Jim relationship. Surely the intended audience is the large proportion of the potential market who are white and not from great economic privilege? They are likely to identify with Huck (less so with Gar and Dick from the Teen Titans, who are wealthy). Huck's relationship with Jim humanizes Jim for them. That's not playing to a black perspective, no, but it's not a bad thing.

I'm not sure what you expect a "radicalized black person with superpowers" to do, in the Justice League. Maybe be some kind of "scary black" antagonist? Or perhaps be recast as the "social justice warrior" wet blanket on the team, as Geoff Johns used to write Wonder Woman?

Would I like a little more social awareness in the Justice League comics? Yes, of course I would. I would like to see them hire a new writer, who doesn't see "29-year-old white male mesomorph with a generic action-hero personality" as both default and necessary majority. But writing Cyborg better should be possible in this framework. A David Walker series may be a step in the right direction. I'm not optimistic, but I think I leave more room for subtle progress than you do.
I've probably said part of this before, back when Rucka was writing Wonder Woman, but I'll say it again. Wonder Woman is not a "Greek tragedy," nor are the Amazons in Wonder Woman meant to be "consistent with their portrayal in Greek mythology," whatever "Greek mythology" means.

Wonder Woman is a modern pop-culture concept, and if anything an American concept. Wonder Woman was created by two Americans, as a kind of feminist children's-fantasy hero. The book uses pseudo-classical tropes, but if you try to make it thematically match Ovid, or Hesiod, or Homer, you may be missing the point. Wonder Woman doesn't get "more correct" for getting closer to ancient Attic culture, or to whatever you think "real" classical mythology is supposed to be, let alone some simplistic stereotype.

And Wondy's Amazons are not meant to be sinister enemies, according to Marston and Peter's design.

As for association of Greeks with tragedy, remember that "comedy" is a Greek word too. In any case, Wondy (who is a product of American pop culture and not exactly any kind of real-world Greek) inhabits a different genre mix, one of light heroic fantasy—or a sort of "comic opera" approach in between Calliope and Thalia.

The present focus on grim and messed-up Amazons gets the Wonder Woman property wrong. I also think Rucka's "tragic" approach got it wrong—and maybe it got what it means to be Greek, or indeed what it means to be human, wrong.

Don't blame the ancient Greeks for your drek. If you make the book super-grim, that's on you.
New Howard the Duck #1, page 7: "You mean she's a weirdo, like me. Incredibly sexy, like me."
I decide I'll get this series regularly.

About the middle of the book: I hope they don't rely too much on cameos of other Marvel characters.

After p. 12 there was a double-page spread ad for the new end-of-all-things CrisisCrossover, looking very ugly and macho.

Then a new character on p.16: "I gather unique items and species for the Collector to safeguard when the universe is destroyed."

End of the book: So much for that NYC private eye set-up and supporting cast, he's in space with Rocket Raccoon now. I am disappointed and much less interested.

Oh, well, I buy too many comics anyway.


Feb. 27th, 2015 01:02 pm
philippos42: Sarigar (action)
I haven't posted here for 5 weeks, yikes.

Still buying comics, but running out of money.
philippos42: (despair)
I just posted a lot on Tumblr ranting about something, which started with me telling someone else to chill out. And I may come back and add more to that later. And I can lose so many friends in the process.

Argh, whatever.

And then, full of crabby self-righteousness, I left five comments on an scans_daily post griping about that. I kind of expected Marvel was up to something in the vein of a Crisis Crossover. I maybe just needed to have a venue to gripe about it.

And hey, I'm not imagining it, Dreamwidth did change the tag display on entries!
philippos42: (spider-man)
Why Steve Trevor is the best male role model ever - Will Shetterly
...Wonder Woman has been saving Trevor's butt for as long as she's existed, and he's never been threatened by it, nor has he ever been emasculated by it. As I've said before and will say again, that relationship is my model for my relationship with Emma.

(I understand why lesbians want Wonder Woman to be a lesbian. What they don't understand is that a lesbian on Paradise Island is no different than a straight man in the US. To Amazons, Wonder Woman's love for Steve Trevor is queer.)

Will Shetterly gets it.

I am not a Steve/Di shipper (outside of the period in the 1970's where he was back from the dead and in on the secret identity). I got into Wondy in the 1990's, and that version of Steve was basically out of the book and married to someone else. But that dynamic, of a female lead who is a powerhouse with a male significant other who is closer to baseline, still holds for other Wondy boyfriends like Trevor Barnes and (to a degree) Jonny Double, and it's a good dynamic that pop culture could use a lot more of.

I reserve the right to prefer Shetterly's own super-couple in the Captain Confederacy Comics to Steve and Di, as characters. There the guy wasn't so much physically weaker as willing to concede power and position to his girlfriend, and actually did so. That's a good theme too.



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