20 October 2017 @ 11:24 pm



"I reserve the right to change my mind [laughs], but Barry and I have talked about it many times and one thing we like in the world we’ve built is that there is no Justice League waiting in the wings, no Fantastic Four, no Avengers to set the world right. It is not a story of what happens when the villain wins until the heroes wake up, it’s about there not being any more superheroes."

- Mark Waid


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20 October 2017 @ 03:43 pm



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alicemacher




A repost of one of my Hallowe'en 2014 selections! H.P. Lovecraft's classic 1924 tale of horrific family secrets gets the Richard Corben (writing as, appropriately, "Gore") treatment in the underground comic Skull #5 (Last Gasp, 1972). NSFW warning for gore.

'Is it Edward Norrys' fat face on that fungus thing?' )
 
 
i did it all for the robins
I meant to link to this yesterday: 5 things Obi-Wan should have told Luke instead of lies. #obi-wan's casual relationship with the truth

Leaving aside all Doylistic reasons (i.e., that at the time, Lucas had no idea Obi-Wan was lying about anything!), given canon as it currently stands, I feel like I can only blame Obi-Wan for not clearing up 1 (Darth Vader is your father) and 5 (Princess Leia is your sister). More on that below but first, I will quickly dispatch the others:

- 2. Owen was Anakin's stepbrother and they only met once is irrelevant to Luke's situation, because Owen and Beru raised Luke and loved him and were his family in all ways that matter. Otoh, this part: Obi-Wan could have saved himself a lot of time by just telling the kid that he was hidden away to protect him from the Empire, and now it's time to step out I can agree with. That would have been perfect and not in any way set Owen and Beru up against Luke's father's 'ideals,' whatever those were meant to be at the time/according to Obi-Wan.

- 3. Yeah, it would have been great if Obi-Wan gave Luke some background on the Jedi Order, but I feel like there was time for that later, in ghostly chats during downtime or while training with Yoda. I don't know if you lead with philosophy and history when rescuing the princess and destroying the planet-killing space station are the top two things on your to-do list. And Luke spent a few weeks with Yoda so we don't really know what else he was taught aside from all the running and the handstands. He seemed to be doing all right in RotJ anyway, some Force-choking aside.

- 4. I don't think Obi-Wan was advising Luke to bury his feelings forever and ever. Luke may have interpreted it that way (certainly Anakin seemed to, despite ten years of Jedi training), so much as he was saying, don't let them overwhelm you while you're fighting the Emperor and Vader, because they will use your feelings and Leia against you if they can. And he's not wrong - Luke does get overwhelmed when Vader picks up on the whole 'sister' thing, but then he masters himself and wins out, at least in terms of 1. not dying and 2. bringing Vader back to the light. I feel like Coach Taylor lays it out best: "Every man at some point in his life is gonna lose a battle. He's gonna fight and he's gonna lose. What makes him a man, is that in the midst of that battle, he does not lose himself."

Now, the two lies that actually did some damage and Obi-Wan should have pulled on his big boy pants and told the truth (speaking from an in-text/Watsonian perspective):

1. "Darth Vader is your father" - I absolutely understand to some degree why Obi-Wan couldn't bring himself to tell Luke this, especially not early on. And I don't need to rehash all the reasons why for Obi-Wan it was not even really a lie! Why he could weasel around with "from a certain point of view" and still look his ghost-self in the ghost-mirror. I mean, I can if you want me to! I'm happy to discuss Obi-Wan at any time! but I feel like it is, like, 93% irrelevant to this particular discussion, because once Luke was leaving for Bespin, it was CRUCIAL that he have all the facts going into that confrontation, and he didn't and it cost him dearly. It didn't even need to be Obi-Wan who told him! he could have kept on with his "I'm not mad I'm just disappointed" bit as Luke left if he really needed to for his own peace of mind.

But Yoda should have done it instead of being cryptic and discouraging, and while I'm not anti-Yoda as so many people are, I do think he made a huge mistake there, and did so willfully instead of genuinely. I think it shows on both their parts that they continued to misunderstand what drove Anakin Skywalker (despite, on Obi-Wan's part, knowing him really well) and also a real unwillingness to question their own worldviews despite having them upended so terribly. I mean, twenty years of meditating in the desert/the swamp over everything that went wrong (and no doubt with a side order of routine self-flagellation for Obi-Wan, at least), and it never occurred to either of them to think, well, Anakin never did anything the way we expected, so why should he be a Sith in the expected way? (and remember, he's not actually that great at being a Sith.)

5. "Leia is your sister." I mean, I guess he'd been alone in the desert for 19 years, so maybe it wouldn't have occurred to him that cute teenagers in adrenaline-fueled and dangerous situations might end up kissing and stuff! Especially when BOTH of them were Skywalkers. I mean, he knew Anakin met Padme when he was 9 and was like, "She's the one for me!" and ten years later, actually made it happen, so I don't know what he was thinking when he neglected to mention that the girl currently inspiring Luke to radical notions of overthrowing the Empire was none other than his sister. It would have at least avoided some awkward situations and the potential for a very different sort of family tragedy, anyway. ("One more date and we would've had a Greek tragedy on our hands." - Soapdish) I guess he was just really confident in Han Solo's charms to win the princess's heart in the end? *g*

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emotions: thoughtful
sounds: and nobody else can see it, but there's something underneath my skin
 
 
laughing_tree
21 October 2017 @ 12:03 am


When Pia Guerra and I started Y: The Last Man that was our impulse: Let’s make a comic book for people who don’t yet know that they love comics. I think for a lot of people it’s kind of an intimidating art form to get into. Even if you’ve been reading comics your whole life, you take it for granted sometimes. It’s hard to just open up this page of panels—you don’t know how to read it. With Y: The Last Man we were like, let’s think about it so that if you’ve only ever read Calvin and Hobbes in your daily paper growing up, you will be able to read this comic. And I think with Saga we tried to hone that even more. -- Brian K. Vaughan

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laughing_tree
20 October 2017 @ 11:48 pm


When I was a kid, Superman quite literally saved my life.

I have always been a devotee. Captivated by superhero comics when I was no more than four years old, they became the foundation of my existence. They always buoyed me in times of trouble, but even they couldn't elevate me when I was hitting high school. I was from a broken home, I was incessantly bullied in school, I wasn't handling any of it well, and the darkness of my depression had me -- and I am not exaggerating, forgive me -- suicidally depressed that no one really gave a damn about me and no one ever would.

And in that mood, on a January afternoon in 1979, I went to see Superman: The Movie, and it changed everything. I sat through it twice, full of joy I have rarely experienced since. I knew Superman was a fictional character. I knew Christopher Reeve was an actor. But together, alchemically, magically, they communicated something profound to me: Superman cared. He cared about everyone.

Even me.


-- Mark Waid

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laughing_tree
20 October 2017 @ 12:26 am


Who doesn’t like Squirrel Girl? Doreen’s great, because she’s the furthest thing from a “random,” “zany” character there is; at the core of her, there’s this incredible, intense well of compassion and empathy that you don’t really see in a lot of other super-people. -- Al Ewing

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superboyprime
19 October 2017 @ 11:02 pm


'The team is far, far more aware of their role in the Marvel Universe not just as mentors, but as students. The Champions aren't the "farm team" anymore - their peers are the Avengers.' - Mark Waid

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i did it all for the robins
19 October 2017 @ 10:28 am
The past few nights, I've been in bed by 10:15, so last night when I stayed up until 11 (which is my usual bedtime), I was like, "it's so late!"

It's getting darker earlier, which always makes it feel later than it is, but last night 11 pm felt like 2 am for some reason.

For some reason my DVR didn't pick up the season premiere of Star Wars Rebels on Monday (at any of the times it aired) but it did have the first half hour set to record last night, so I pressed record for the second episode as well (why does it do that? I do not understand!), even though I watched both live.

spoilers of Mandalore )

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emotions: tired
sounds: Pale Blue Eyes - Velvet Underground
 
 
skygiants
18 October 2017 @ 07:40 pm
 
I didn't deliberately read up on seventeenth-century English history history in preparation for A Skinful of Shadows; it was just a fortunate coincidence that I'd just finished Aphra Behn: A Secret Life right beforehand (thanks to [personal profile] saramily, who came into possession of the book and shoved it into my hands.)

The thing about the English Civil War and everything that surrounds it is that it's remarkably difficult to pick a team, from the modern perspective. On the one side, you've got Puritans and repressive morality and NO PLAYS OR GOOD TIMES FOR ANYONE, but also democracy and egalitarianism and a rejection of the divine right of kings and the aristocracy! On the other side, you've got GLORY IN THE DIVINELY ORDAINED KING AND THE PERFECTION OF THE ESTABLISHED SOCIAL ORDER, but also people can have a good time every once in a while and make sex jokes if they feel like it.

Anyway, one fact that seems pretty certain about Aphra Behn is that she grew up during the Interregnum and wrote during the Restoration, and was very much on Team Divine Kings Are Great. Would Puritans let a woman write saucy plays for the stage? NO SIRREE, NOT AT ALL, three cheers for the monarchy and the dissolute aristocracy!

There aren't all that many facts that are certain about Aphra Behn, especially her early years -- the first several chapters of this book involve a lot of posed hypotheticals about who she might have been, how she might have got her start, and who might have recruited her into the spying business. It does seem fairly certain she was a spy: code name Astrea, Agent 160. (Me, to [personal profile] aamcnamara, after seeing Or last month: "I don't know that I buy all that Agent 160 business, there's no way that was something they did in the 1660s!" I apologize for doubting you, Liz Duffy Adams.)

Admittedly she was the kind of spy who spent most of her spy mission stuck in a hotel in Antwerp writing irritated letters back to King Charles' intelligence bureaucracy, explaining that she would happily continue with her spying mission and do all the things they wished her to do if only they would send her enough money to PAY HER DANG HOTEL BILL. (They did not.)

Besides her unpaid expense reports, most of what is known about Aphra Behn comes from her context and her publications, and the things she wrote in them -- only some of which can absolutely definitively be traced to her at all; several of her short stories and novellas are disputed, including one of the ones I found most interesting, "Love-Letters Between A Nobleman And His Sister." This early three-volume novel is extremely thinly-veiled RPF about a wildly trashy historical trial involving King Charles' illegitimate son, his best friend, the best friend's wife, and the best friend's sister-in-law. All of these people then went on to be involved in a major rebellion, which the second and third volume of "Love-Letters" cheerfully fictionalizes basically as it was happening, in the real world.

One of the first English novels ever written by a woman [if it was indeed written by Aphra Behn], and arguably the first novel written EVER, and it's basically one of Chuck Tingle's political satires. This is kind of amazing to me.

OK, but back to things we think we're fairly sure we do know about Aphra Behn! She wrote a lot about herself talking, and about men judging her for how much she talked; she wrote a lot of things that were extremely homoerotic; she also wrote a lot about impotence; she was often short on money; she cheerfully stole other people's plots, then got mad when people accused her of stealing other people's plots; she rarely wrote anything that was traditionally romantic, and most of her work seems to have an extremely wicked bite to it. She did not read Latin, which did not stop her from contributing to volumes of translations of things from Latin. She was almost certainly not a member of the nobility, but she believed in divine right, and divine order, and divine King Charles, even though it seems likely from her writing that she did not believe personally in religion, or God, and the King probably never did pay her bills. An extremely interesting and contradictory person, living in an interesting and contradictory time.

And now I think I need to go find a good biography of Nell Gwyn - she's barely relevant to this biography (Aphra Behn dedicated a play to her, but there's no other information available about their relationship) and yet Janet Todd cannot resist throwing in a couple of her favorite historical Nell Gwyn one-liners and they're all SO GOOD.
 
 
blackruzsa
 I haven't posted to this community in forever, and since forever I've been working on my own comics and such, which I wanna share here.


How does this work again? )