We booked our hotel and registered our tickets for Emerald City Comic Con 2012 months ago. I was especially excited about the prospect of meeting Katee Sackhoff AND Edward James Olmos, so I didn’t spend much time prior to the convention planning or even reviewing the comic book guests. Decided to use this as my pop culture/media frenzy event for the year. A few weeks ago when Sackhoff cancelled her appearance due to acting engagements, I was more than a little bummed. Still excited to meet Edward James Olmos, but was *this* close to having both those items crossed off my nerd bucket list.
With considerably less enthusiasm, I downloaded the Guidebook App and went through their schedule of events, plotting out a handful of interesting looking panels. I think we averaged about one panel a day, but again – they were mostly for media guests so you won’t find any breaking news items here.
Top 5 Highlights from Emerald City Comic Con 2012:
5. Ready Player One Panel. For me was the most interesting panel we attended because the author of the book series, Ernest Cline, not only discussed his enduring love for Star Wars but the Hollywood process behind the making of his original screenplay Fanboys and the years long journey to publish “Ready Player One” which has now been optioned for the big screen. We didn’t stay for the Q&A session, but he delivered an inspiring few sentences on the writing process which have given me a long, hard look at my novel.
4. Meeting Wil Wheaton and Witnessing his Awesome Hour. In which he plugged his table-top gaming series on Felicia Day‘s recently released Geek and Sundry YouTube Channel. I’m certain Dan and I will check it out. He also wrote a book Memories From The Future, Volume 1 about his experience with the first season of Star Trek The Next Generation we will hunt down as well. He was very gracious when we snapped pictures and was super complimentary about my tattoo.
So I woke up last week with this brilliant idea to make an X-Men: First Class track jacket by obtaining an Iron-On Patch and augmenting an article of clothing. And then in the shuffle of the weekend and getting ready for the weekend, it was lost. Only to be resurrected yesterday with the idea that I could easily locate an “Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters” patch in Portland, Oregon.
Because it is, after all, Portland Oregon. The home of Dark Horse Comics and Oni Press. Brian Michael Bendis, Matt Fraction, Greg Rucka, Scott Allie. You know – it’s kind of like comic book heaven. And at all the conventions, there were patches galore. So OF COURSE one of our 10 or so comic book stores in the Portland Metro area would carry them.
Dead fucking wrong. After spending an hour yesterday calling around to all of our local comic book stores, toy and hobby shops – I came up with nothing. The only place remotely close to PDX is in Everett, Washington. That’s about an hour North of Seattle. So my only alternative was to drive four hours away or try and convince someone to air-mail it to me. Neither option was feasible. For an Iron-On Patch.
Guess that means I’m not especially nerdy?
So then it occurred to my feeble, yet sometimes winning brain that I should make one of my own. I mean, I can knit. I can sew. How hard could it be to create a patch?
Turns out – not that difficult. The hardest part so far has been in obtaining a usable image of the symbol I want. Tonight I will procure the right kind of iron-on transfer paper for our Photosmart printer and test-run an old shirt. Then I will apply it to an item I intend to wear. Target has shirts for $8, so in the very least I’ll be able to sport an X-Shirt.
To avoid further embarrassments such as this in the future – Dan and I purchased THREE X-Patches from some shop in the UK. They are flying across the Atlantic Ocean and across the country as we speak. There is something exceptionally nerdy about getting packages from foreign countries. I kinda love it.
Do you know how difficult it’s been to find an attractive, properly fitting ladies shirt with one of the X-Womenz emblazoned across the chest? Well, it’s been damn difficult. This may shock some of you but Storm, Phoenix and Rogue just aren’t the most popular Marvel faces affixed to an item of clothing.
This also goes hand in hand with another rant/beef I have: even though Rogue is much-beloved by fangirls (this fangirl at least) there is not a single mass-produced costume inspired by her character. Any Rogue costumes and wigs have to be custom made. Which SUCKS if you want to dress up but can’t sew your own.
It’s only been recently that the Storm and Phoenix pre-fabricated costumes have appeared for purchase through major retailers (in varying degrees of skankitude).
I love the Storm version, but wonder about cosplay race-bending.
Is it appropriate for a white person to cosplay as a comic book character of color? According to this blog post, no. And for all intents and purposes, I tend to agree.
So then, would it be weird for me to wear a shirt with Storm on it? Unfortunately there is no guide post on the internet for that particular question (THE NET HAS FAILED ME!)…so I’m gonna also go with “no.” And use a similar set of logic: there are enough white female X-Characters with whom I can identify. If anyone wants to argue I would be interested in hearing your thoughts.
Anywho – the whole point of this post was to highlight the trend of using the X-Ladies (the BEST ones, sans White Queen) on more clothing attire. And jazzing them up a bit, so it’s not the old Jim Lee 90s version or the throwbacks to the original crew either.
BEING HUMAN: WEREWOLF BATTLE BLUNDER
As a fan of the genre shows featuring vampires and werewolves, I’ve been watching the US version of Being Human on SyFy since it debuted in January and am relatively glad that I’ve stuck with it thus far. It’s been fairly uneven,
with some plot twists happening at rapid fire pace. This seems to be a recent television trend since the serial series Lost gained popularity. They run through story-lines in an effort to keep people hooked, when really it starts to grate on the watcher to have characters introduced and killed off within two episodes.
BH recently introduced a plot-line involving werewolves fighting in a steel cage death-match, ran through it within one episode and did not show the actual fight. So when the BH webpage posted this review and asked for responses today, I wasn’t surprised that other people were disappointed.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SHOW THUS FAR: The cast is all very attractive and watchable – especially Sam Witwer who carries the bulk of the drama and intensity. Meaghan Rath and Sam Huntington are equally charming, even though their characters clearly get the B and sometimes C stories in any given episode. The acting was a bit spottier towards the first half of the season, but they’ve warmed up to their roles and I now thoroughly enjoy their characters. Though I’m not exceptionally in love with the vampire Aidan getting the majority of the screen time. I’ve also been loving at least one song featured in every episode and am very happy with the playlist function on the SyFy website.
LOWLIGHTS OF THE SHOW THUS FAR: So much emo! It treads the rather shallow waters of emosity, but manages to imbue enough comedic material to keep it from being excessively weepy. Unfortunately, weeping rarely occurs on my end (and believe me, when a show is that good, I can shed a few at least once every few episodes). There is nothing soul grabbing about what’s going on with the characters aside from Aidan (Sally and Josh do get at least one or two dramas an episode) so that’s what causes the emotional intensity to drag. There is an underlying examination of how “monsters” mingle with humans and what commonalities and differences there are between people, vampires, werewolves and ghosts. So while it is easing nicely into the first season, it still has freshman hurdles to jump over. The emo 20-something vibe being just one of those hurdles.
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: BLOOD & CHROME FAN MADE TRAILER
I’ve already mentioned the elation this promising new series has inspired for someone who is pretty in love with the world and characters created around BSG. This delightful fan-made trailer was posted today, and it’s definitely made me ravenous for the ACTUAL Blood & Chrome series premiere.
ALSO: There will be a panel discussion with former BSG costumer at the Science Fiction Museum in Seattle THIS Saturday, March 26th at 2pm. You can purchase tickets and get more information here. Unfortunately there is no way for me to attend. *tears* but peeps in the area who are truly fanatical should check it out.
STUMPTOWN PDX SIGNING EVENT: SPECIAL $5 PRINT
Bridge City Comics released the special made print image for the Stumptown Comics hardcover book release and Matthew Southworth and Greg Rucka will be signing them for $5 at the store on Friday, March 25th. You know we will be there. And if you love comics and Portland, you’ll probably be there too. Especially when you see the print:
Everyone knows the best part of a fan convention is the opportunity to cosplay your favorite franchise in the safe company of fellow nerds who will love you for it. Even a crappy costume gets love at a comic con. And for those not crazy enough to dress up, there is always the opportunity to snap a photo with those who are.
As promised, here are some of the best costumes from March 4th-March 6th. Included a few of the costumes from the Masquerade which have already been seen, but these pics are better. My apologies for so much…me…in this slideshow. 😛
SADLY, this is the last ECCC related blog entry until 2012. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be anymore content on this here blog!
NEXT WEEK: Battle: Los Angeles Review, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena Recap and The Hunger Games Link-Bombs + My Attempt at Casting.
LATER THIS MONTH: Sucker Punch Review, Book Club Recap, Bridge City Comics Signing Recap
AND MORE: I’ll also be meeting with a friend here in the PDX area who is interested in collaboration. Excited about mixing things up a bit and seeing what kind of response we get. I’ll post more details soon!
She Has No Head! is a great column I’ve been reading for the last few months written about comic books from the female perspective. Kelly Thompson usually publishes once a week, and maintains a personal blog you can find in my blogroll under Kelly Thompson: 1979 Semifinalist.
We share a similar background in how we originally entered into the comic book world (that damn X-Men cartoon), except she’s ventured into the field more artistically with drawing and writing.
Anywho – she posted an insightful interview with Hope Larson, who writes YA graphic novels specifically catered towards young women. Larson somewhat informally surveyed 200 girls and women to find out how they’d gotten into comic books, what they read, where they get it, etc. so she can better market her material.
She shared the findings with Kelly Thompson in an interview format – mostly talking about some of the things women experience as barriers to the medium – social shunning of comic books, misogyny and sexism on the pages, not enough access, etc.
The comment section kind of exploded after that. There is clearly a lot of frustrated men out there who want to hold onto the outdated and faded concept that “comic books are for boys.” I spent at least two hours reading through the comments and formulating a response. I’ll re-post it here:
The prevailing concept of “comic books are for boys” is like an addiction. The idea needs to hit rock bottom before the people who harbor such notions can truly accept the change this medium needs. Anything else is just lip service and they’ll end up in rehab six months down the road claiming that “girls don’t like comic books.”
It’s hard because so many men responding here want to see change. They get frustrated (as do we) when they have to read about someone feeling excluded from a mode of entertainment they enjoy. They wouldn’t read the articles if they didn’t care. They wouldn’t be upset if they didn’t recognize the truth. Some are upset because to change the system would unbalance something that is clearly in their favor. It’s hard to give up privilege because…it’s so damned privileged. And yes, you are privileged to believe you have an entire medium devoted to your gender (even if it’s not truly the case). Women don’t usually get such a luxury – we have genres (romance, fantasy, YA Fiction). Not entire mediums.
Honestly it makes me feel warm and fuzzy that so many dudes read your posts and care enough to respond. To those who apparently have the buying power (as the dollars I spend mean little to nothing to mainstream comic book writers, creators, editors and artists)…what are you doing to make fundamental changes so the books you love can represent women and minorities equitably?
And if you don’t care…why are you here – reading a blog that is clearly approaching comic books from a feminine perspective? I’ve read a couple different times now a plea for the author to review good books sans female interpretation. Why does she have to neutralize her gender?
Because male is the default gender of our society. And the female perspective is not an applicable lens with which to view the world. It’s not the voice of academia or authority.
Most men fail to realize how much of gender informs what they deem good or worthy of reading. And when they take the time to review, rarely mention gender at all.
It is no accident that women routinely reflect on gender when reviewing things. We experience gender as a very real barrier to many things we would otherwise be fully able to love and enjoy about our lives. And nine times out of ten, when we share that experience with men – they either deny it, or play down the importance of our experience.
I think most of the men in this forum do care. I would say most people desire stories with well represented characters from both genders. We probably love and have close relationships with both men and women. You know, cuz we’re not robots. Well, most of us. It’s very heartening to see men here willing to approach comic books from a perspective that is not their own and have reasonable discussion.
It means a lot to me to have dudes on the side of women when it comes to making a change in the industry. I’ve mentioned this before…but I find myself less and less attracted to superhero books because of the blatant sexist depiction of women. Yes – Rogue’s new costume – half-unzipped and boobs hanging out is the reason I’m not buying the X-Men Legacy title right now. Even if she is the central character and the writing is fantastic. Sorry, there are some things I’m absolutely unwilling to compromise on.
There’s a lot of compelling discussion happening in the comment section of this article and if you are a person who wants to see the medium revitalize and superhero books regain the admiration of women, I think this is a great place to start.
I’m really heartened that many of the guys who read this blog and Thompson’s column seem to recognize that as a woman, it’s important for us to reflect on gender and discover where it is represented in the male-dominated comic book medium. The feminine perspective is one of the primary lenses with which I have to view the world, and it’s important to do so…because (as I mentioned in my comment) – the male perspective is the default view of academia and authority. Well, it’s just the damn default view in general.
As is the white lens. I haven’t brought up much discussion of race on this particular blog in relation to comic books. I’ve often felt inadequate at doing so. But the She Has No Head! article really made me stop and think about privilege.
So – going to add a race component to the Bechdel Test, using some of the suggestions from this Racialicious article.
Using pretty much the same rule:
Hoping to submit my first Bechdel entry tomorrow.
In the interim, here are some interesting articles about the Bechdel Test and race – happy to report that some of my favorite shows pass (BSG and True Blood):
Here’s a follow-up to the last post. I am strongly considering a Rogue tattoo, but want to do something a little Art Nouveau. I stumbled upon this image when doing the research the other day:
There’s also a black and white version of this same image. I like the concept, but I’d want a straight on shot of Rogue, not this tilted-up angle, which makes her face look a little weird. It’s very…round and squashed. The tattoo would give her more chin and a better pronounced neck.
But it seems a nice way to tie in quite a few of the X-Characters without having to do several different pieces, especially since I’m not wild about getting ALL the X-Men tattooed on my person in the first place. This would be on my back – right shoulder. Or my left arm. I can’t quite decide. The X-Symbol in the background is a nice touch, and I’d probably keep that in as well, but would change the shading so it was black ink instead of white.
Maybe on my whole back? I was kinda saving my lower back (the tramp stamp area) for a lotus-buddha design that I’ve been craving…so Rogue couldn’t take up the entire space. And, although I’m quite addicted to tattoos, I’m not sure I want them covering my entire body.
There was a discussion by the female tattoo artists on LA Ink about this idea of what places on their body they would like to remain bare. Not necessarily for the sake of the public, but to still lay claim to their own personal space. It’s amazing how long it takes for your skin to become yours again after a tattoo is placed there.
After some consideration, I’ve decided that my chest is off-limits. My boobs already attract enough of their own attention without any further adornment needed.
So – this piece is definitely something I will keep in mind, but placement is going to make a big difference – because this is intricate enough…it will need to be big. And I already have one superhero tattoo on my body. I’m not sure if I want anymore. I know – blasphemy, right? But The Phoenix image means something else to me as a symbol of rebirth and a promotion of one of the greatest stories in comic literature. I’m not sure if Rogue would have that same impact. It would be COOL, but not quite meaningful enough.
And if something is gonna be on your body for the rest of your life, it should have personal meaning, on-top of looking fucking cool.
Much Love, Mindy C
In checking my WordPress stats, I see a common search term coming up over and over again. So, in recognition of people searching for X-Men Tattoos (a really arduous process requiring some patience)…I’m posting this here blog filled with pretty pictures and links to their origins. Hopefully it will be a helpful compilation!
Tattoo 1: X-Symbol
Tattoo 2: Rogue
Tattoo 3: Phoenix/Jean-Grey
Tattoo 4: Gambit and Rogue
Tattoo 5: Wolverine
Thanks to the ultra-amazing Sir Michael, I just got the skinny on a new series that will most assuredly be taking up residence in my comic box when it finally hits the shelves. It is X-Men Noir, and you can read all about it here.
Mmmm – have fun checking out this art:
I’m getting the impression I’m the last one in the Comic Universe to know about this.
Fred Van Lente is an unknown quantity to me, as is the illustrator Dennis Calero, but the idea is wicked cool (though it could be argued, already done by Peter David in X-Factor), and the art is stunning in black and whites. I’m HOPING they do B&W in this series. HOPING.
Too bad we have to wait until December. And it’s only going to be four issues. But hey, no complaints here. I’ll just get back to drooling over the teaser art. Mmmm.
Much Love, Mindy C
The entire gaggle of X-Books (we’re collecting 4 of them) consisted of 13 issues, and some were fairly slow going due to a lack of interest on my part. So, without further ado, here goes:
Of course, we all know a few of the main reasons this book was making it in the box. It was penned by “the man” Mr. Whedon, and it revolved around everyone’s favorite lovable band of Merry Mutants. Two great flavors that certainly tasted great together…while they lasted.
*Cue dramatic music*
Warren Ellis now helms this book, bringing with him an artist, Simone Bianchi who seems hell bent on making everyone and everything look like a Halloween Super Store exploded on the pages. He’s not all that bad really…but his art is spooky and all the characters look like malicious goblins or demonic war-lords. It’s definitely a change from the clean and shiney inks of John Cassady.
As for Ellis, I can’t say he and I have much history, or will in the future. His book is much too technical and wordy to suit my X-Men desires.
And that’s fine, right? There are many other X-Books to choose from. No harm, no foul.
After the Messiah Complex tore the team asunder (and annihilated the X-Mansion for the billionth time), it only seemed appropriate that the team members should take a hiatus. Xavier was dead, the mansion destroyed, the dream hanging in tattered shreds.
So, let’s all pick up and move to San Francisco.
Eh, what? Does anyone else remember how bad of an idea that is? Similar plot-lines wherein the X-Team alters locations never end well. And come on – San Francisco? Let’s take the comic allegory and decorate it with political trappings please. Be sure to mention HYBRIDS! I don’t know about this Ed Brubaker character.
*sigh* As if all this wasn’t bad enough – Rogue and Gambit are MIA (remember them, two of your more popular characters??) and Emma Frost is doing her best Jean Grey impersonation to everyone’s discomfort. She sticks out like a sore thumb that the X-Editors are intent on jabbing in the eye of every reader who thinks Jean Grey should return from the dead and kick the holy telepathic shit out of her.
But Emma’s on every other page – with smarmy retorts and her boobies jostling up out of her top. Always so classy, Ms. Frost.
It would seem that the X-Creators forget she’s only ever worked as a minor character and only when given some sort of purpose. Otherwise, she’s like a venereal disease infested peacock preening and pretending to fill the shoes of the most powerful mutant in the Universe. Puh-thetic.
Cyclops is back as the leader (AS ALWAYS). Could anyone be less enthused?