lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
It's kind of grim and rainy out again this morning.  I spent almost two hours at Hy-Vee this morning.  That's the last time I go THIS LONG without doing my basic staples shopping. On the other hand, our pantry is now stocked with All The Things.  Ah, tomato soup again!

Mason is supposed to have a baseball game tonight, but I wonder if it will be cancelled due to weather.  As the person who will have to sit on the cold bleachers, I really, really hope it is.  If not, I'm bringing not only a PARKA, but also a thermos of hot chocolate.  Maybe some blankets, too.

This weekend is the March for Science.  I'm looking forward to it, because I have not been very good in the last few weeks about keeping on top of my congress-critters and local legislators. I think the last thing I did was the town hall, and there's still SO MUCH stuff to fight.  Still, I try to remind myself that this is neither a sprint NOR a marathon; it's a relay race. It's okay to hand the baton to someone else and let them run with it for a while. 

I depressed myself listening to the results from the Ossoff race in Georgia, especially the news of the midnight hour (almost literally) voting machine "glitch."  I can't help but feel that we were robbed of a straight-up win. The truth is, we'll never know, but the doubts will ALWAYS linger, especially since he had a clear lead before for the "corrupted" memory card was found. Shit like that makes me lose faith.  

I mean, yes, there was a groundswell movement. Yes, he nearly did it... but, what's that going to matter, if people start to worry that their votes aren't being legitimately counted? And, Georgia isn't the only place. We never even got a decent recount of Wisconsin, Michigan or Pennsylvania, despite best efforts.

ARGH.

So.... I've been reading a lot of comic books.  I've been working my way through the Hugo nominated graphic novels. So far, I read Ms. Marvel: Super Famous (Vol. 3), Black Panther: Nation Under Our Feet (vol. 1), Vision: A Little Worse Than a Man (vol. 1) and  Vision: Little Better Than a Beast (Vol.2), and Paper Girls (Vol 1.).  I started Montress: Awakening (Vol. 1), which has been interesting so far. The only one I haven't tried to get is Saga (Vol. 6) because I suspect I'd need to read the other 5 volumes to know what's going on. Pretty much everyone says I should be reading Saga, anyway, but I'm not and I'm being obstinate about starting it for some reason, probably the whole "eh, but all the cool kids are doing it, so it can't be that great." After all, I finally got around to trying Bitch Planet, and I could have done without.  Not at ALL what I was hoping for there and absolutely NOT worth the hype.

I have all the Hugo nominee novels at home, but I have not been able to really get into any of them.  As I was telling a friend of mine the other day, I go through these periods where I read a LOT of novels and other times when my brain can only handle shorter, graphic stuff.  I've been in that second phase lately.  Like, I'll sit down with a book in my lap and two seconds later I've set it down and wandered off.  The thing about graphic novels is that in two seconds, I've read half of it, so it's no as much a strain to continue on for however many more seconds it takes to finish the thing.

I also haven't been able to write much.  I'm THIS close to finishing the latest installment in my long-running Byakuya/Renji fan fic, but I just haven't been motivated to keep on with it.

I blame Trump.
lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
I finally got around to reading Lumberjanes written by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis / art by Brooke Allen


 

Here is a picture of the cover of volume one which you might not be able to see. It features the five main characters: Ripley, April, Jo, Molly, and Mal (in Stevenson style, which is hard to explain so go look at the cover of Nimona). Lumberjanes are a kind of Girl Scouts on steroids estrogen, plus these five particular girls keep running into monsters that are far from the average. Each issue collected starts with a little excerpt from the the Lumberjanes handbook, done in a tongue-in-cheek "Miss Manners" style, about how proper young ladies should behave when confronted with the Wilderness. Each one starts out sounding like something horrible from the 1950s, but ends with implications of bad-assery, ala, "A young lady should be well versed in how to cook. After all, her knife skills may come in handy when confronting a mutated grizzly." (That's my example. Stevenson and Ellis are cleverer than I. Unfortunately, I already returned the volumes or I'd give you something actually from the text. But they're very much in that vein.)

At times, for me, the characters were trying a bit too hard to be... hip? I dunno, I guess I mean whatever you kids are calling 'cool' these days... or clever. Mostly, however, I liked them. Jo was, of course, my favorite even before Read more... ) Likewise, Mal and Molly, the lesbian (or at least in love with each other) couple were runners-up.  Of them, though I liked Molly a little better, if only because she seemed nerdy in a way I could relate.  Mal, though, at least, physically looked like me--in college--but, in college, I used to complain that the butchest lesbian we ever saw on TV was Willow from "Buffy," and that wasn't saying much. So, it's really nice to see the butch, punk girls not only being represented but also allowed to secretly/not-so secretly be very NOT butch when it comes to being brave, etc.

The stories themselves impressed me less than the characters.  If you're really hoping for something whiz-bang in terms of storytelling, I'd say go read (or re-read) Nimona. But, if, instead, as one of the Lumberjanes slogans goes "Friendship to the Max" is more your thing, then you will enjoy the heck out of Lumberjanes.

I will say that, in this current political climate, Lumberjanes was exactly what I needed. I got through many nights by pouring myself a hot bath and settling into soak for a good long time while reading Lumberjanes. I used Lumberjanes the way I used "Free! Iwatobi Swim Club" and "Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories" ... which is to say, I turned to them when my brain needed something vaguely mindless, but ultimately happy/satisfying.
lydamorehouse: (ichigo being adorbs)
 It's been a long time since I reviewed a comic book here.  But, when I was working at Shoreview today, I saw that they had the first collected volume of FAITH.

Don't know if the picture thing is going to work, so I will describe the cover: Faith is a plus-sized white woman with blond hair. She's featured on the cover sitting on a telephone wire surrounded by confused-looking pigeons while she types something on her thinly-disguised Mac Book (the actual Apple logo is not there, but there's a perfectly round bit of light where it should be). She is dressed in a white outfit with a flowing train. Her cheerful face is illuminated by the blue computer light in the twilight. Her name, Faith, is in bright yellow almost comic sans font.  The comic is produced by the independent publisher, Valiant.


faith comic book cover


What I like about Faith is not her size.  It is refreshing to see a woman of substance doing the superhero-ing for once. It's even more refreshing that there's not a single lick of fat-shaming to be found in the title.  The worst that happens in that vein is that Faith's ex's new girlfriend mutters, "You sure traded up." 

What I ended up liking about FAITH, though, is that it starts to struggle with real-world issues of being a hero.  As any of you who have read this blog for any amount of time (or who have heard me speak on comic book/graphic novel-related comic books) knows, I'm a big fan of this kind of thing.

I really like it when the concept of hero-ing is taken seriously.  

In the second issue of FAITH, we see this dealt with in terms of collateral damage.  Faith has gone to investigate a missing person report and the bad guy minion she encounters in the abandoned house has rigged the place to explode. Faith is protected because she has a kind of telekinetic shield, but the houses on either side of the abandoned house ALSO CATCH FIRE.  I can't say you never see this sort of thing in comics because the Marvel Universe (both in the comic books and the MCU) have been very cognizant of the idea that superheroes are actually fairly hazardous to civilians, but I never get tired of seeing writers taking on this particular issue. Francis Portela does a great job showing the pain on Faith's faith in the aftermath.  Generally, I should say that as much as I like Jody Houser's writing, it is very much highlighted by Portela's art style.  (There also also funny imagined/day-dreamed asides/omake drawn by Marguerite Sauvage that were in a very distinct style that I also liked a lot.) 

Also, FAITH fits a new trend in female comic lead characters. Like Kamala Khan, Faith is a fangirl.  The dialogue is chock full of geek insider references. Faith even swears in "Firefly" Chinese, at one point. As a day job, Faith works for some kind of web content place, like io9 or Mental Floss (though with a more celebrity gossip bent, since this takes place in LA). Her colleagues are all pop culture nerds, and they have no idea she's a superhero in disguise.  Did I like this or did it feel like it was trying too hard to appeal to the base?  I'm not sure.  Goodness knows, I appreciate any fan fic references.

The other issue FAITH addresses is the extent to which having a secret identity is socially isolating.  I'm not sure how often that idea has been touched on before, but I found it very compelling here.  

The last thing to know is that Zephyr/Faith has a history as a Valiant superhero.  I'm not a big Valiant reader so I have to trust Wikipedia on this one, but apparently she was part of a superhero group (referenced in this reboot).  Apparently, she was a walking fat joke (she was known as Zeppelin--she's dressed all in white and can fly) in a group called Harbingers (or maybe that was the title and her team was the Renegades?) At any rate, some of that bleeds through into this issue, but I can attest from experience (or perhaps LACK of experience) that it's not necessary to have read any of her previous appearances to appreciate this reboot.   

I give is 3.5 out of 5 stars.  My hesitations mostly hinge on the fact that I'm not sure I really needed all the nerd-sassy references, and that some of the issues touched on could have gone deeper, IMHO.
lydamorehouse: (Color Renji)
Our car is fixed.

It turns out to have been a very easy (and cheap!) repair. I even had my mechanic throw in an oil change, because otherwise it would have been under a hundred bucks.

That was awesome, but a tiny bit of a bummer, because I had decided that at Dunn Bros (which is kitty-corner from the shop and where I had planned to wait out any long repairs) that I would start working on a comic book script. I only got a page or so into it before I got that call that the car was done.

Thing is, I've written a comic book script before. That one is currently in the hands of comic book artist Barb Schultz. It's a 'some day' project for us. Sadly, some time in the 1990s she had asked if I had anything she could illustrate and I had no idea what to offer. Now that she's super-busy teaching at MCAD, I finally have All the Things. (And a grasp on what the hell is a comic book script thanks to my other comic book artist friend Christopher Jones. If only I'd had that then. Ah, well.)

But, after talking to Christopher at MarsCON, I decided that he was right (of course), when he asked: why not get serious about this? Why not write several scripts and see what could happen with them?

Writing comic books, if you don't know this about me, has been a dream of mine since I was twelve. Okay, probably if you had asked me at twelve I would have said either 1) I would actually like to BE a superhero, or 2) I would like do DRAW for Marvel. But, my art is... okay, but nowhere near good enough. My writing on the other hand, is provably "professional," even if not in this particular field. Other novel writers have made the cross over into comic books, so my giving it a try is not a completely unreasonable approach.

This year, by chance, I've also been invited to attend the Wizard World Comic Book Con Minneapolis. I'm going to be reprising the CONvergence Panel: "Loki Can Rule Me Any Day" at 4:30 PM, Saturday, May 2, in M100i. I apparently can have six panelist, but I may have to provide them myself? Having never done this con or a comic con before in my life, I have NO IDEA.It could be very... awkward if it turns out to be just me, but audience participation is a thing. Also, if you KNOW anything about this PLEASE LET ME KNOW. Also if you think you want to go to this and be on this panel with me PLEASE LET ME KNOW. It is possible that the wristband they are providing me can be extended to up to six people. So SERIOUSLY LET ME KNOW if you want to go to this thing and squee Loki with me.

At any rate, being a panelist provides me with a wristband so I intend to take advantage of it. Though I'm not sure what this event is even going to be like. From the looks of it, it's very commercial. But, who knows, right?

I will have to be elsewhere earlier in the day, if you remember. I double-booked this gig with a Loft First Pages in White Bear Lake. But 4:30 is plenty of time for me to dash from one gig to the other. (And the First Pages gig is a paying one, so I couldn't cancel it even if I wanted to.)

Anyway, this push to have a script written is so that if I'm asked, I can say, "Why sure, I have something I could send you."

Because nothing ventured, right?
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Since I have a lot to report about the con, I thought I should start with a quick plug for my new gig. I'm going to be doing a weekly book review for Bitter Empire. The introduction to the concept is up now: My Year of Speculative Fiction: An Introduction.

Check it out!

This does not mean, gentle readers, that I won't still be posting my thoughts about the books I'm reading over here. You're just going to get the un-edited, first impression, messy thinky-thoughts.

So, first drafts, really. :-)

Okay, so the con. Saturday, frankly, was a bit of a blur. It started early, because I had to get up and get home in order to take Mason to his swimming class. Then I picked up Mason's GF at her house and we all went to the con. If you saw my schedule, I was booked pretty solid. So, the idea was that with Rosemary there, Mason could enjoy wandering around the dealers' room, gaming, or panels with a friend. It worked out perfectly. She and he hung out together until 6 PM.

Mason stayed with me for the rest of the evening. It was meant to be a treat to get to stay overnight, but my schedule didn't quite allow for us to enjoy room service or any of the other fun bits of staying at a hotel (like cable!) But, that was okay.

Probably the only panel that day that was a true flop was the Wyrdsmiths: 20 Years. They'd scheduled us opposite the masquerade, so we had two audience members and one of those was Will Alexander who is a colleague and dear friend. So I ended up fetching Mason from the hotel room and we took Eleanor home.

Of the other panels, I don't remember much--not because I didn't enjoy them, but because they were LEGION. I will say, though, that probably the interview that Naomi ran with me when FAR BETTER than it had any right to. I'm not normally so Minnesotan that I'm uncomfortable talking about myself, BUT it's certainly easier when I have more confidence about my career, you know? I mean, I could point to the book that Rachel and I have out, but I hate disappointing anyone who might ask, "So when I can I see another science fiction novel, etc." However, the reaction I got when I suggested that I'm finally getting serious about writing some short novellas in the Garnet Lacey universe for Amazon self-publishing was... deeply gratifying (and humbling), let's just say.

Sunday was another sort of blur, because we had to get Mason home early. Parking at the hotel was AWFUL so I wanted to get him there and get back again before the spots were all taken. Turns out, I needn't to have rushed too much because I had another audience no-show for the "Otaku Dilemma" panel, but that was okay, because Adam Stemple and his daughter hung out with me and, if you don't know Adam from... well, Adam, you really should consider going to this year's Minicon just to see what a fantastically fun, bombastic personality he has (Adam is the musical guest of honor).

Then at the very, very end of the con I had an amazing conversation with Christopher Jones. You may recall that Christopher is the friend of mine who is an artist who has worked for both DC and Marvel. I visited his studio a couple of years ago after we had a fantastic panel at the CONvergence. Anyway, he asked me what happened: why I hadn't done anything with the comic book scripts he'd given me as models. And I was like, "Huh? I wrote a script! I gave it to another artist friend because I figured you were way too busy!" And, he gave me the stink eye and basically told me that he thought I'd just gone cold on him, as he'd been planning to help me (in whatever way he could) break in into comic book writing.

I was... yeah, totally blown away.

AS YOU CAN IMAGINE.

IT'S ONLY BEEN MY DREAM SINCE I WAS TWELVE TO WRITE FOR COMIC BOOKS!!!!

So... one of the many tasks I've given myself over the next week or so is to see what other scripts I can come up with.

BECAUSE O.M.G.

So... yeah, most of the con was a blur. Because the last ten minutes were AMAZING. And you know, nothing may come of it, but it really, really moves me that someone is willing to help me... and has confidence in my ability to do something like this, that I normally would feel was so far out of my league as to be unattainable.
lydamorehouse: (ichigo being adorbs)
St. Paul didn't close schools today.

The wind chills are expected to reach -35 F (-37.22 C for my foreign friends--also is this right?  I don't know that my converter can handle minus temps). Winds are expected at 15 to 25 mph. How wind chill works is that it's "the measure of the perceived decrease in air temperature felt by the body on exposed skin due to the flow of air."  Another fun fact is that when the real temperature is -19 F, exposed skin can freeze in one minute.  The REAL temp outside at the moment is -23 F.  (My family thinks the skin freezing thing is false, well, fine: it's still colder here that it is on some parts of Mars.)

Minneapolis closed school.  

For a point of reference, Minneapolis is 10 blocks from my house to the west.  I can drive down University Avenue for less than a minute and arrive in Minneapolis.  

So... Mason is home today because I'm not sure what St. Paul is smoking, but it's not safe.

St. Paul has decided that all absences are excused today, at least, but we would have kept Mason out regardless and he doesn't even wait for a bus.  Why?  Well, firstly, in protest, because most other people do have to wait outside and buses do not run on time always.  Secondly, because the last time we decided to go in temperatures like these our car broke down and Shawn and Mason had to walk several blocks home while I was forced to sit in the car to wait for triple-A.  I was lucky, our break down was tire related and I could have heat, but our car door also sticks open and super-cold temps, so I was really very chilly.  

The decision, St. Paul has said on its Facebook discussion about this, was partly to aid homeless youth for whom school is the one place they can get a regular meal.  At the same time they announced this, a call went out to the neighborhood for warm winter coats for homeless kids because there's a real shortage.  So, St. Paul required homeless kids to leave the warmth of their shelters, wait for the bus without winter coats, just for a meal?  I'm not entirely sure how well all that works in terms of logic. 

So, yeah, that's my morning.

As I just told my friend in Wales when she asked me if I was writing--not yet, I have to drink more coffee and complain about the weather.  It's the Minnesotan thing to do.

:-)

I also thought I do a very mini review of Ms. Marvel #10.  My subscription finally came, btw.  Long ago, I decided to subscribe to Ms. Marvel because at CONvergence many years ago, I was on a panel with Sigrid Ellis, who suggest that the best way to support women comic book writers was to subscribe to the titles they wrote.  So, dutifully, I went to Marvel.com and put in my credit card info.  I was pretty sure I was being ripped off because nothing ever came.  Turns out, I apparently signed on to start AFTER #9.  At any rate, #10 "Generation Why" showed up at my doorstep a couple of days ago.  

Read more... spoilers.... )

In general, I'm just as happy my subscription starts now.  I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next (though I'm really hoping for an actual defeat for the Inventor soon).  I really like G. Willow Wilson's voice for Kamala.  Like my example under the cut, it's funny and sharp and smart.  Also, I'm growing very fond of Adrian Alphona's art.  It's stylized, but in a way I like?




lydamorehouse: (Default)


Because my friend Naomi is made of awesome, she loaned me the most recent Ms. Marvel (#8)


 
 
 
As I said in my previous post, I was a little leery of the introduction of this big guy, Lockjaw. But, I have to say, I thought he was handled deftly (insomuch as anyone can "handle" Lockjaw, as it were.)  In this issue, Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel is still searching for clues about her arch-enemy "The Inventor."  Things that I can say that are non-spoilery are that Kamala seems to be settling into the sort of regular business of superhero-ing.  There isn't much about her family or her ethnicity or her religion in this one, and that's just fine with me.  I think it would be a mistake if this were a title all about those things all the time. Kamala is starting, IMHO, to feel like Peter Parker--which is to say a person doing living and superhero-ing in that way a lot of Marvel character do it (by which, I mean messily, which reads as very 'real life'/plausible.)

I'm also really digging her guy pal (Bruno?) who works at the corner mart.  He has some really funny lines in this one, including what I can only assume is a dig at all the dudes feeling left out of girl-centric comic books.  (At one point when he's stuck taking out the garbage at the corner mart and Kamala and Lockjaw teleport out to do superhero stuff, he mutters, "Not feeling emasculated or anything, nope.")

Which made me smile, in a wicked sort of way.  Here, he just wants "a refund on life."  Weirdly, he's the guy I relate to the most, even though he was kind of a jerk in the first few issues Read more... )




 
lydamorehouse: (Default)
In my quest to find a new weekly manga to review for our podcast, I keep stumbling into EVEN MORE monthly manga that I enjoy. The latest one is a futuristic, action-adventure manga called Hitogatana. My review is posted here: http://mangakast.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/hitogatana-chapters-1-21-a-review/


The short of it is that I liked it... A LOT.

There are a couple of really cool female characters and I love the premise of fighting teams with mech, "katana," that they download their consciousness into.

Weirdly, the next one I stumbled into that I seem to be reading? A shojo (girls') manga called Tora to Ookami.  I've only ever read an enjoyed one other shojo before and that was Absolute Boyfriend.  Tora to Ookami has no science fiction going for it, so I'm not sure what the appeal is so far.  There are only 12 chapters and it's complete, but I think part of why I got sucked in is that thing that sometimes hooks me... slice-of-life about food.

If I finish it, I'll let you know what I think of it.  Also, Naomi loaned me the latest Ms. Marvel, so I get to find out how I feel about the introduction of Lockjaw....
lydamorehouse: (Default)
By chance, Mason and I missed the publication of the new Ao no Exorcist/Blue Exorcist by ONE DAY.  So, I wrote up my review of it, which you can read on MangaKast, here: http://mangakast.wordpress.com/2014/09/11/ao-no-exorcist-60-review/

Yesterday, at our usual women of Wyrdsmiths' gathering, Naomi loaned me the first eight issues of the new Ms. Marvel, which I powered through today while at the laundromat while washing some of our rag rugs. The hero of Ms. Marvel is a teenage girl living in New Jersey named Kamala Khan who happens to be Muslim.  She is the American-born daughter of a fairly recent Pakastani immigrant family.  One day a weird green fog takes over her town and she appears to develop superpowers and the ability to look like Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel.




The things I like:  this is a comic book about a woman, written by a woman.  This is also a comic book about Muslims by someone who has AT LEAST spent some time living in a Muslim country, specifically Egypt.  So, while I can't say whether or not this is a fair portrayal of All the Things, there are some moments that give me hope that this is an honest try...

Read more... slightly spoilerific...  )

The other fun thing about this character is that she's a real teenager, living TODAY.  She writes Avengers fan fic.

Yes, things are that self-referrential now.  Look, I've been telling you, when Marvel decided to place their heroes in real neighborhoods in the Real World, they MEANT IT. That means, if it makes sense for a teenager to have seen the Marvel Movies (or, as it happens, live in the world they occupy) then it means they'd do the things people really do, like write fan fic.

This, however, is why I love Marvel.

This is especially awesome when there's an honest-to-canon scene in which Wolverine is confronted by the fact that the fic she wrote starring him came in second to one featuring Scott Summers/Cyclops and Emma Frost/White Witch (a crack ship if ever there was one)... 

Things I'm not sure of:

Read more... very spoilerific... read only at risk )

But, that's a wait-and-see game.

Even with that caveat, I would have to agree with a lot of the hype.  I'm liking this.  I'm hoping the title continues a long time.



lydamorehouse: (Default)
Okay, after getting some wonderful suggestions for improvement, here's what I came up with for a second draft of my review of the art book that caused me to FREAK OUT about my art skills.

----
Every time I pick up a book about drawing, I end up learning more about myself than I do art.

I ordered Foundations in Comic Book Art: Fundamental Tools and Techniques for Sequential Artists by John Paul Lowe from Blogging for Books this month because I’m a frustrated artist.

As the title suggests, this is a book aimed at teaching fundamentals to beginners. It is a book chock full of exercises aimed at improving basic skills, from learning to draw straight lines to understanding the specialized needs of visual storytelling. The example art throughout is magnificent, and for every lesson there’s a written and visual example. The tone of the book is fairly serious. It is aimed squarely at someone like myself, who is desperately looking a way to ‘level up,’ and gain the extra skill sets needed to become a comic book artist/graphic novelist.

Lowe’s book should have been perfect for me, but after reading through it several times and trying some of the examples, I ended up instead with a visceral emotional response which can be summed up in two words: I suck.

The forward and introduction to Lowe’s book suggest this is the very last feeling that I should’ve come away with. Lowe is very much of the belief (as am I) that art, like any skill, can be learned by anyone regardless of innate talent given enough time and energy.

I’m not sure what it is about this book that left me with that feeling. As I’ve said, this is a textbook aimed at teaching basics. Yet I left it feeling like there was no way I could ever master any of it (despite being far from a novice artist,) and it was all too overwhelming.

I wonder if it wasn’t because all the art shown was so good? This is one of those art textbooks where I’m already green with envy just looking at the instruction images that are supposed to be teaching me to see basic shapes in every day items, and instead of seeing the circles and squares, I’m thinking: damn, look at that cool apple! How come I can’t draw an apple like that??

There are a few playful images in the textbook, but even those examples showcase tremendous skill in background drawing. There were no examples that made me feel: oh, hey, I can do that.

There were no suggestions for work-arounds. Like, for instance, in my own comic book art, I have been known to cheat. I’ll take original photographs and use them as background images:

 

 The other thing that was missing from this book that’s been tremendously helpful for me, as someone who has considered coming into graphic novel writing from the other side is, a script. There’s a very specific kind of writing format that comic book WRITERS use that I’ve been privileged to see thanks to a friend of mine who works for Marvel and DC. What looking at those taught me was how important it is for the writer of comic books (if they’re not the artist) to think visually as well and consider how much text/dialogue can reasonably fit in a panel.

So, while I think this is probably an awesome textbook to go with a class, I’m not entirely sure how well it works for me. There are two huge chapters at the end of this book that are specific to digital programs that I’m not using. I would have preferred that space be used to talk more about the business of comic book writing.

Your mileage may vary.

As I said, my strong emotional reaction to what is essentially a textbook surprised me.

lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
Marvel is giving Deadpool: The Gauntlet Infinite Comic #1 (Duggan & Posehn/Brown) away for free, along with #2.

I'll be perfectly honest, my Deadpool fandom goes like this:  Vague memory of Deadpool from X-men.... [scrolling through Tumblr] Ha!  Funny Cosplayer in Deadpool outfit!  [more scrolling] HA! Someone reprinted one of his more outrageous lines from a comic book. [/close Tumblr].

Given that in-depth (not!) experience with the character, I can't say that I'm any kind of expert on whether or not "The Gauntlet Infinite" stands up to the usual Deadpool fare.  But, it seems patently obvious that Deadpool is meant to be funny and scampy and more than a little off color, and these two comics totally fit that bill.  Plus, there are... vampires.  How can you go wrong?

Similarly, I really like Reilly Brown's art.  It's old school in a style that appeals to me and the way that the Marvel Comics Reader app-thingy works means you get almost an animated-but-still-flat experience.  It's really nifty the way that the art shifts through the action and the dialogue.  Despite being a comics fan forever, I'd never before tried digital comics and if this is the usual experience, I'm all in.  It was really cool.  The opening part of The Gauntlet Infinite had a kind of James Bond film opening vibe to it that was both really beautiful, while being still very Deadpool (which is to say sort of silly).

As part of this free package, they're also giving away an Iron Man: Fatal Frontier Infinite #1 (and #2) as well as Wolverine: Japan's Most Wanted Infinite #1 (and #2).

I will read them all, because: why not?  They're free.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
If you've been awake these last few days (and hang out in fannish circles on the Internet), you probably heard that Marvel is introducing a new Thor, a female Thor.  She looks pretty awesome to me, so I'm not quite sure what has certain fans in an uproar.  As a long time Thor reader, there is one single qualification in my mind to be Thor.  You must be worthy of Mjolnir.

For those of you just tuning in, comic book fans will happily explain that Thor not being Thor is so yesterday.  We've had a horse-faced space alien (a fan favorite, in fact,) Beta Ray Bill.  We've had, I kid you not, a frog.  All of those who welded Mjolnir before were WORTHY.  So long as this person is, I could care less.

Different people take on iconic hero titles all the time.  Do you even know how many Captain Americas we've had? At least one of them was insane, another had been a recently brainwashed super-assassin for the Russians.  So, you know, in the average life of a Marvel fan, this kind of thing is very ho-hum.

I was particularly struck by what it means (to me, at least,) to be a Marvel fan as I was finally reading through the Entertainment Weekly article about the new Avengers movie, Age of Ultron.  The article laid out the reason why the movie writers of the script decided not to make Henry Pym the inventor of Ultron.  I read that and thought, like a Marvel fan does, "Huh.  Okay, why not?"

"Huh.  Okay, why not?" could be a Marvel fan's mantra.

How about we reboot the entire mutant franchise when a villain goes back in time to kill Professor X? Huh.  Okay, why not?  (The Age of Apocalypse is still one of my favorite canon AUs.)

How about we replace a ton of your favorite superheroes with Skrull?  Huh.  Okay, why not?  (Secret Invasion. I  was less sold, but you know what, this is Marvel.)

How about the new Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a super-villain?  Huh.  Okay, why not? (Dark Reign.  Didn't read it, but am planning to try to collect it.)

The list goes on and on and on, and two thirds of my above examples are actually fairly recent developments, and don't even get me started on the whole Ultimates concept.  (For those of you who aren't comic book fans, Ultimates is like Marvel said, I wish we could re-write some stuff, and the PtB said, you can!  We'll just make it an AU fic, but because we're the bosses, it'll be canon because we can just make up a whole new set of titles for you!)

You know, it's like I tell new Attack on Titan fans--don't get too attached and roll with the punches.  Most of the time, the story carries you through all your fears.  Sure, sometimes it's stupid.  But, Marvel has, what now?  At LEAST 60 years of canon, some titles running weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly without interruption in all that times.  There's got to be some stupid given the sheer vastness of canon.  And, writers and artists can change mid-storyline, so Marvel fans have learned to cope in MULTIPLE ways.  I mean, I'll be honest, for me, I've been known not to finish a story because there's been a major writer shake up (still don't know how everything worked out after Straczynski left Amazing Spider-Man).

My friend [livejournal.com profile] empty_mirrors asked me how does Marvel deal with people getting older, and I said, "They don't."  Given the mess of the above, there's really no reason to.  Readers have learned to say, "Huh.  Okay, why not?" when confronted by the fact that Reed Richards is stated in canon to have fought in WWII.  Writers tend not to bring that up.  Or, when they do, they get points for coming up with clever work arounds.  Honestly, a lot of us long-time fans appreciate when writers like Bendis slide in a line for Peter Parker like, "Look, how weird can it be?  I once had four arms!"

Because, yes, yes he did.

And that's the other thing Marvel comics are made for readers to come and go from it.  New readers can pick up a title at any point and go from there.  I've done it when I've come back to story lines.  But fans drop out, new fans come in, old fans return, etc., etc.

And sometimes Thor is a woman.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
So, I think I posted here that I got an e-mail inviting me to try out "Blogging for Books," which, when I went to check it out, appears to be a Random House thing where you get free books if you post a review about them somewhere. Free books is never a bad deal for me and they had a graphic novel check-box, so I thought, okay, what the heck, and had them send me "The Harlem Hellfighters" Max Brooks/Caanan White.

So, here are my thoughts:

The Harlem Hellfighters follows an all-black regiment in WWI and showcases the racism they dealt with and their astounding bravery in spite of it. This is typically the kind of tale that I never get tired of, the against-all-odds heroes who go above and beyond duty—all while being spit on (and worse) by their fellow soldiers. This story gets an extra boost because the regiment is real and many of the characters that appear in the pages come straight out of history.

The author, Max Brooks, is best known for his World War Z comic book, which, admittedly, I haven’t read yet. And, while I enjoyed The Harlem Hellfighters, I’m not sure that this book would make me seek out his other work. I feel that maybe because Brooks was trying to hit all the history, he missed out on a stronger narrative opportunity or two. The Harlem Hellfighters would make a great addition to a junior high/high school library because it’s really more a ‘fun’ way to read about history than a graphic novel for comic book fans, you know? I didn’t leave this graphic novel thinking, “Wow, this was a great story! I loved Edge’s character!” so much as, “Wow, I learned a lot.”

Which surprised me, because there are some amazingly moving scenes and we, for the most part, follow a single character. I can’t quite put my finger on why I was never able to sink my teeth into this. It might be the skipping through history; it might also be the art.

Like a lot of graphic novel/comic book fans, I need to have both working for me to get the ultimate experience. I can enjoy a book where the art is better than the story, and visa versa, but it’s a far better ride for me when both are hitting the same notes. I wonder if I’d have felt differently if it were an affordable option to print all the pages in color. Regardless, at this point it comes down to preference and stylistic bents… and, thus, to each their own. My experience with the art might be completely different than yours.

So, I guess, ultimately, I’d give The Harlem Hellfighters a recommendation to anyone interested in World War 1 history, African American experiences, or the history of racism in America (and Europe.) For comic book/graphic novel fans, it could be hit and miss. I would still say check it out if this sounds like your kind of thing.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
At the library yesterday, I gravitated toward my usual favorite section to shelve: teen (because they have all the manga and the comic books.) So, I came across this:

APR110728_1

Black Widow: The Name of the Rose (Margorie Liu/Daniel Acuña). According to the back cover copy, "collecting Black Widow 1-5, plus some material from Heroic Age #1."

When I started it, I was a little afraid it was going to make me feel old again, like the new Hawkeye title did. The art is similar, but deeper:

tumblr_m64y2u7IUa1r2v9ujo5_1280

But, for some reason, I really enjoyed the heck out of this title. I think maybe it's partly the fact that Black Widow is super-competient. She also gets beaten up, being mostly human, like Clint, but... she's just so much smarter and independent. Looking back to Hawkeye at the scene where Clint can't figure out how to untangle his cords for his entertainment system and calls Iron Man/Tony Stark, it's hard not to compare it to the time Stark is called in here... to find out that the reason Black Widow was attack was because she was secretly carrying a recording device, collecting spy information on EVERYONE (ally and enemy alike). Clint comes off as a moron; Natasha kicked your butt and you didn't even know it.

There are also a couple of scene that made me hyper-aware of Black Widow's sexuality. Guess what, guys, she has boobs. But, what SHOULD feel like gratuitous fan service never entirely did--even the scene where she's tied up, naked. I think the reason was because she comes off so completely unfazed by it. Like, 'ho-hum' bad guys are trying to make me feel vulnerable using my gender. Ah, well, I guess I'll just have to escape and KICK THEIR A$$ES WHILE COMPLETELY NUDE.

It's weirdly awesome.

I recommend it.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
Some time ago, a friend and I had been IMing and she'd asked me about where to start with comic books as an Avenger movie fan.  I'd told her about several of the collected volumes I enjoyed, and particularly mentioned that, as a Marvel movie fan she might want to check out the four volumes of Ed Brubaker's CAPTAIN AMERICA: Winter Solider and Strazynski's re-boot of THOR, since clearly elements of those had appeared in the movies.  Being polite and not raised by wolves, I asked, "So, what are you reading?"

She recommended the new HAWKEYE (by Matt Fraction).  So, I checked it out. I read both of the volumes that the library had: HAWKEYE: My Life as a Weapon and HAWKEYE: Little Shots.

I've decided that maybe I'm too old for this title.  The main artist is someone called David Aja and his art is very... what's the word I want?  Kind of "indy"?  I'm not sure.  Here's what it looks like:

Unknown-1

I can't say I dislike the art, but it has a flat, slick feeling.  The stories follow Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye) in his life in New York City.  This is one of the things I tend to really adore about Marvel, in general, which is that a lot of the story is about what a screwed up life Clint has made for himself and how much it honestly sucks to be nothing more than a sharp-shooting archer in a team full of super-soldiers and gods.  Clint gets banged-up.  A lot.  Actually, you kind of start to wonder if Hawkeye's real superpower is the ability to get fairly seriously wounded and still live, despite not having a mutant healing factor. They also do some fun things with his stupid-a$$ arrow collection (because, seriously?  How dumb is that?).  At one point during the story he decides what he really needs to is organize everything and you know, maybe mark them with tape or something, so he doesn't accidentally reach for the smoke-bomb when he needs the exploding tip.  The trip to the hardware store to get tape becomes it's own adventure, of course, in the way of such things, and he ends up randomly using whatever comes to hand, as it were.  That's just funny.

But Clint really isn't that interesting on his own.  Frankly, he never has been.  When my cousin Laun and I used to play pretend Avengers, I would often be Hawkeye because... well, back in the 70s, it was clear Hawkeye was the hip friend to Captain America.  And he was handsome, clever, and charming.  (I always liked playing the hot guys.  Charisma 18+ FTW).   But, kind of an empty slate, really.  At least from my reading, which admittedly wasn't terribly deep.  Laun was always the bigger Avengers fan.

I'm not sure the reboot does Clint any favors.  He's constantly upstaged by more interesting cameos, including one by his adoptive dog, Arrow (shown above.) HAWKEYE: Little Shot has a series of misadventures with the women in Clint's life, complete with Romance Comics style covers, in between each section.

But, a lot of people called each other 'bro,' and a lot of the action was kind of disjointed in a way that made me feel... tired, and too old for this title.  Also?  Who prints this stuff so small?  I needed my reading glasses!

Yet, I'm glad I read it.  There was a tiny little throw-away scene that kind of fascinated me.  It showed PowerMan (aka Luke Cage) and Spider-Man (Peter Parker, 'natch) sitting around Avengers/Stark Tower playing video games.  Peter was in his Spidey suit, like he often is, hanging upside down with his legs crossed, like he does, and apparently getting his ass kicked by Cage.  It occurred to me that I bet Spider-Man sucks at video games.  I bet he sucks because a big part of his ability is his Spidey Sense.  I bet he spends a lot of time getting blind-sided by stuff that seems, from his perspective, to come out of nowhere.

Also, can we talk, Peter?  You were the only guy in "uniform" at the mansion/tower.  What's that about?  (Truth? I suspect it's because Parker is actually intentionally nondescript.)

Well, so I guess my recommendation:  Go ahead, give a try, with a caveat--it's very... arty, maybe 'modern' even.  I don't even know if that's a bug or a feature.  Milage will vary.

And, in other news, there *is* video from Wednesday night:



It's a lot of reading, but if you want to hear my squee about Anime and random things, skip to the last five minutes or so.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
A little late in the day (sorry, I got caught up in new Bleach chapter squee), but here's the next (and final) installment of  Karma Man for your torture pleasure.  I believe I have two more pages of an attempted sequel, but I didn't scan them, alas (I'm sure you're all ridiculously bummed out.)










Alas, the sequel is NOT coming soon.  I had drawn about two pages of a sequel, but apparently petered out. The storyline, from what I could tell, seemed to be side-kick applications.  If people are interested, I'd be willing to scan and post them.  I clearly had way too much fun drawing and writing this at the time.  I'm not sure if Karma Man has that much milage, though.  He's certainly QUITE dated.  And very, very localized.

I will say it was funny to look back at this.   It's very noticeable that most of the "dramatic" poses the Karma Man strikes end at the knees. It's because I suck at feet.  (I still do.)  I also continue to have the problem of empty backgrounds.  It was fairly clever of me, honestly, to just paste pictures over photographs/magazine cut-outs.  If I ever do another comic book, I'm going to have to remember that trick.

Thank you to all that tuned in.

Iron Meh

May. 8th, 2013 08:18 am
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
First, I want to say: library day was a big success. I ended up reading the first three Manga volumes of Naruto. (I'm totally hooked!) Mason read the newest "janitor" book as well as one called JINX, which he'd had on hold. It was kind of cool to pick out books, check them out, read them while sitting there, and return them before we left for the day. We also had money on a Noodles & Co. gift card we got for Christmas, so we had a free lunch (and they say there's no such thing!)

In the middle of the day I got a text from my Marvel Movie buddy [livejournal.com profile] seanmmurphy. He's been wicked busy, so he finally had some time to go see Iron Man 3 and did I want to go? Of course I did!

A lot has been said about this movie. I read Charlie Jane Anders' review in io9 and so I was expecting big things. Entertainment Weekly also gave it a A-.

I... was less impressed. As I've said on Facebook, I was never a huge Iron Man reader back in the day, so my comic book canon fu is low when it comes to villans and story lines in the Iron Man title. ("The Wolverine" is going to be a tougher sell for me because Silver Samurai and the whole Japan storyline was a favorite of both Shawn and mine back in the day.) But what I'm saying is, my problems with Iron Man 3 had nothing to do with any kind of canon fail... at least not in a nit-picky kind of way. But it also meant that the SPECTACLE of the suits worked for me, but only so far...

I will say in what I hope is a spoiler-free way, that Marvel very carefully gives its heroes weaknesses that are critical to the character, and I felt, at the end, perhaps Tony Stark's was severely undercut.

I think my problem was very simply that Tony Stark never changes. A bunch of stuff happens to him in this movie that sort of parallel Thor's fall from grace, but, unlike with Thor, I never felt a real transformation from Tony. I never bought he was humbled by any of it, because he remained the quippy, surface guy he was in the very first Iron Man movie (well, more like who he is in the 2nd Iron Man and Avengers, because at least in the origin story he has to go from military industrial playboy wanker to superhero playboy wanker.)


But what about the panic attacks, you argue? My problem there was that, while they were a good character moment (and possibly the first on-screen version of superhero PTS) he got over them INCREDIBLY EASILY and, more importantly, they never happened to him during battle, when losing his nerve could have actually cost himself his life OR SOMEONE ELSE's. Thus, they were kind superflious to the plot... and honestly to his character development. He doesn't seem to learn anything having gone through them, about the perils of being a hero. Sure, he's worried about Pepper and throws away his electro-magnet heart, but I just don't buy it. He'll be back. He's Iron Man. He says so at the end, which, again undercuts any real tension and character development.


So, yeah, I felt Iron Man was sort of Iron Meh.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
There was a lot going on yesterday for Free Comic Book Day, but I managed not to do very much of it. I did, at least, stop at Uncle Sven's Comic Book Shop on St. Clair for my official FCBD swag bag.

free comicbook day 007

A lot of it, as you can see, is kind of trash. Strawberry Shortcake? Pippi? But, there were "kids" bags and "adult" bags, and the adults got the Hellboy RPG guide and The Tick and some of the other more interesting titles. I was kind of surpised at the distinct lack of Ironman swag, given that FCBD coincided with his movie release. Maybe if I had actually braved one of the bigger comic book stores like The Source, where my friend comic book artist Christopher Jones was signing.

We also missed out on a cool event the owners of one of those "Free Libraries" was doing. http://libraryofjustice.blogspot.com/2013/04/youre-invited-to-free-comic-book-day.html. I blame the weather. The beginning part of the day was dreary and rainy and cold. Shawn and I were supposed to check out a neighborhood plant sale too, but she ended up with a barametric pressure induced migraine. Mason had a playdate with his friend Molly, and so we managed to get some shopping done, but then Shawn had to crash. I stopped at Sven's on the way back with Mason. When we were ready to go to the Library of Justice event, the sun had come out and he was outside playing with his friends on the block.

Mostly I did this:
me and ms ball

Which is to say nap on the couch with the kitty.

Anyway, as a bonus, in top FCBD picture you can see the new unfinished folding table that's going out on our front porch. We don't have an amazing front porch like some of the houses here in St. Paul, but it's nice enough that we like to try to sit out on it when the weather is nice. We've tried, for the most part, to keep it clutter free (though with somewhat limited success.) The addition of the table will help us get it reorganized for this summer. Shawn wants me to paint it eggplant purple. Should be fun.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
When I was five years old and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always answered with the pat and expected response, "A lawyer or a doctor." Even at five I knew that these were professions that were valued by our society. Of course, this was also the mid-1970s so the idea that a girl would even dream of such things was worth a pat on the head of approval.

But, what I really wanted to be when I grew up was a comic book artist.

I loved superhero comic books as a kid. I still do. I stopped reading some time during college because I couldn't afford all the titles I wanted to read. My cousin Laun was the big collector. He had the classic basement full of titles and we used to pretend to be Superman (him) and Aquaman (yeah, whatever--in the 70s he had cool hair;) Cyclops (him) and Angel (me); Captain America (him) and Hawkeye (me); and Spider-Man (him) and Johnny Storm/Human Torch (me.) I kind of had the sassy side-kick/BFF thing down. I did ocassionally branch out and play more tough-guys like Mon-El and Lightning Lad (from the Legion of Superheroes) but I tended to fall for secondary characters with good hair and attitude.

Hmmmm, a trend?

At any rate, at age five... and frankly, at age forty-five, I had no idea how a person even went about BECOMING a professional comicbook artist (or, now that I've discovered a secondary talent for writing, which overtook my first,) a comicbook writer. Even at an early age, my cousin and I realized that PEOPLE did this work. We knew because there were always letters in the back of comicbooks that were answered by Stan Lee himself or whomever was writing or writing/drawing a particular arc/series. We even had some early favorites Jack Kirby (of course, though Laun was a far bigger fan of Kirby's blocky style), Mike Grell, John Byrne, etc.

But, like with writing, there's no clear career path for a comic book artist. Probably I could have found one. I did, eventually, figure out how to sell my writing. But, I was lucky in that, in the Twin Cities, there's this place called the Loft where a person can take classes on the how-tos of not only CRAFT, but also the business of writing. I entirely credit the Loft class in science fiction/fantasy for my first sale. John Hartnett, my instructor, was exceedingly useful in showing us how to find markets and how to submit to them. All that seemed hidden behind a cloak of invisiblity when I was first starting out. That's part of why, even now, I ALWAYS include a how-to sell-that-stuff-you-just-wrote section in my class.

So, you know how, for a lot of people, published authors are rockstars?

Well, for me, comic book artists/writers are the REAL rockstars!

Which brings us to the story I want to tell. Last year when I was a guest at CONvergence, there was a Marvel movie panel that rocked the house. One of the people on it was Christopher Jones. I just remember walking off that panel feeling almost HIGH, because we were all just in-tune and the audience seemed likewise and it was just, just... AWESOME. Recently, I got a chance to reconnect with Chris at MarsCON when we were on the "Women in Comicbook Fandom" panel. To say we hit it off would be... one of those understatement things. We hung out in the downstairs bar/lounge with a few of my other friends and I think several times I looked around to see glazed over eyes when Chris and I would be still going on in loud, excited voices (he tells me we weren't "yelling,") about super-geeky comicbook moments and/or references.

At any rate, the con ended with the traditional exchange of business cards and a promise to try to connect outside of con. I thought, possibly, that that would be the end of it. I'd have a new Facebook/Twitter friend and lah-tee-dah. But, no! Chris actually got ahold of me and we MADE PLANS!

In fact, he offered to show me his studio and to share some ACTUAL SCRIPTS written by REAL comic book writers.

I pretty much thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Because do you even KNOW that Chris has DRAWN NOT ONLY FOR MARVEL BUT FOR THE AVENGERS????!!!!

He's probably better known for his work on DC's Young Justice and his four year long stint on the Batman title... and locally, you're likely know Chris as the designer and artist of Connie, the robotic interface of CONvergence. But STILL... How f*cking awesome is he??

Answer: SUPER-f*cking awesome.

Here he is, in situ, in the "Riker pose" (he will probably hate me for having chosen this one, claiming the pose is not flattering, but I think he looks cute.)
studio 002

We talked for a couple of hours ostensibly about how a person becomes a comic book writer (because, hey, why not?) and how the process works from script to final product. He showed me the cool old way that people used to have to color individual panels and showed off some work of his. We looked through scripts and talked about what kinds of things a writer needs to think about when composing a panel in their head and other mechanics of his job. I'm pretty sure I sat there were stars in my eyes and only managed to make happy, babbly sounds, but did I meantion he DRAWS FOR MARVEL AND DC AND OMG, OMG!

Go check out his art here: http://gallery.christopherjonesart.com/

So, I don't know what I'm going to do with all this information. I'm not sure, at the moment, I have any ideas that would easily lend themselves to a comic book/graphic novel format, but, damn. I could hardly pass up an opportunity to hang out with a rockstar comic book artist and pick his brains.

I'm really hoping we'll have a chance to do it again, because, even without the rockstar cred, Chris is a nifty guy. In fact, we had a blast talking about the insider gossip on all the upcoming Marvel movies and fantasizing about various possible storylines.

This is all tempered by the fact that yesterday, as I was driving to pick up Mason at school, a really nice lady pulled up beside me and informed me I had a flat tire in the back. I thanked her profusely (and may have accidentally called her 'hon') and was able to pull into the gas station at the corner to see what was going on. I filled it up with air and listened for a massive blow-out, but, since it seemed to hold pressure, I drove both Mason and Shawn home on it (and took it to martial arts.) This morning, I went and checked. Sure enough, it was a slow leak and the sucker was flat again at 6:00 am this morning. I called AAA and they were out and filled it up for us by quarter to 7:00 am. I got everyone where they needed to go and had replaced the tire at Discount Tire by 9:00 am. Now, I'm taking a quick break before deciding if I need to deal with the clunking (which the AAA guy thought was probably struts) still TODAY or if I should just wait until tomorrow morning and take it to the shop first thing.

I was thinking of a compromise--that I'd go off to shop and see how busy they were today and ask them about how long they thought it would take, if it turns out to, indeed, be the struts. Probably that's what I'll do. Tonight is my writers' group and I'd like to go, and that'd be harder without a car. I'm sure one of the St. Paul Wyrdsmiths would offer a ride if I asked nicely, but I'd rather drive myself IF I CAN, you know?

Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Until next time, True Believers!
lydamorehouse: (cap kneeling)
I've been hearing a lot of hoopla about the new Batman movie and "spoilers."  What confuses me is that I would have thought most people know what happens to Batman when he meets Bane.  It was a pretty big deal when the comicbook came out, and considering that I, a Marvel fan, even have a clue makes me think that, in fandom at least, nothing that happens at the end of the movie should be a surprise.  Especially given the cover art of that particular issue.  It's memorable.  It kind of sticks in my brain, even after all this time.  In fact, knowing what I do is why I actually have no plans to see this movie. 

I guess I've always been confused about the lack of cross-pollinization in these two fandoms.  Marvel's latest movies have only made me convinced that EVERYONE reads the comics, because the directors so clearly give us long-time comicbook fans so many GIFTS.  Also, the movies are full of "dog-whistles" for comicbook fans--just setting the Thor movie in the southwest made me understand WHICH Thor I could be expecting.  And, then as a bonus, we got a little nod to the older Thor with the "Dr. Donald Blake" referrence.

Genuis.

Or not, I guess, if you don't get it.

Because, what, only two days ago, people on the Internets got the screaming heebie-jeebies at the announcement at ComicCon of the mere TITLE of the next Captain America movie, which is simply, "Winter Soldier."  Now, if they're not reading, what are they getting excited about?  I mean, I'm squeeing.  I may even have squeed my pants a little when I heard the title, because I've gone on record saying that I was PRAYING they were setting up "Winter Soldier" in the first Cap movie, what with the dog-whistles of Bucky's age and the scene where he breifly uses the sheild before falling off the train to his apparent doom...

So are Comic movie fans, not comic fans?  I haz teh confuses.

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