Comics Review: Modesty Blaise–the Girl in the Iron Mask by O’Donnell and Romero
Review by: Prof. Jenn
This collection is a lot of fun–it has an old-school James Bond or Avengers flavor, complete with sexy, daring, whip-smart heroes and colorful, twisted villains. The art is stylized and lovely in a ‘60s sort of way, black-and-white, very high quality in a large format so a reader can hunker down to longer strings of the storylines without feeling interrupted.
It occurred to me as I read through these, that modern comic heroines can learn a thing or two from Modesty. She’s super-badass (one of my favorite panels is from Fiona, where Modesty is engaged in kicking butt in a staff fight), unabashedly sexy, yet is drawn without all the weird contortion-y stuff to add unwarranted sex appeal (see blog Escher Girls to see the kind of thing I mean). She’s got a knockout figure, and can knock dudes out with it. Her friends are as smart and kick-ass as she is, and their adventures would make Indiana Jones sweat.
Bottom Line: I highly recommend Modesty Blaise in general, this collection in particular is worth it just for the title arc: The Girl in the Iron Mask.
Yeah, I’m a little late to the Big Bang party, I know. Once a show gets that much hype, especially within a particular social circle, I tend to write it off quickly. ~I couldn’t possibly like something that so many other people like!~ After seeing Jim Parsons appear on a few talk shows and finding him intriguing and charming, I finally decided to give the show a shot.
I gave it 4 episodes then declared it a waste of my time and informed my husband that we would no longer be watching the show. Specifically I said “I’m done, let’s stop watching now’. As we are prone to do, we immediately launched into a critique of the show, bouncing pros and cons off each other as if an audience of anxious viewers were waiting to hear our opinions. Recently, it’s been fun to acknowledge how we digest some of our favorite shows differently, often due to our gender biased viewpoints. Shows like Mad Men, Modern Family, Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire are a few that we sometimes have differing interpretations of, all of which rely heavily on relationships and events that put a spotlight on the gender specific ideals of that time period, family or social environment.
When it came to digesting The Big Bang Theory, there was no difference in our opinions. The show is based heavily on some old and tired ‘geek culture’ stereotypes and lacks enough of funny scientist Sheldon to mask how offensive it is. Even leaning on the use of a chunk of the cast of the highly popular Roseanne isn’t enough to carry the comedic weight of a distasteful main artery clogged with bumbling, socially inept, sexually terrified geeks. Yes, the deep cut science, video game and pop culture references are fun and well represented, I admit. The relationships and depth of the characters, however, are not.
How sad is it that after so many years of well written, successful, charming and attractive geeky tv characters we find ourselves back to this? The group of friends who congregate in Sheldon and Leonard’s meticulously organized apartment while away their days playing an MMOG, debating scientific theory and the practical uses of it and proudly announcing their career achievements, yet this same group seem to lose half their brain power when faced with the air-headed, blonde waitress who lives across the hall.
Penny doesn’t seem to understand much of what her neighbors say to her, in 4 episodes I never heard the girl mention any career motivation beyond working at Cheesecake Factory and she often asks for favors from the guys but never volunteers to help out in return. Leonard grovels at her feet, doing everything he can to impress her while she casually ignores his crush and unabashedly explains how spending the weekend with some equally attractive and dim witted guy wasn’t that much fun. Meanwhile, we are introduced to smart, frumpy little Leslie who tries in her nerdy way to flirt with Leonard, but just isn’t attractive enough to catch his eye.
It’s an old stereotype of ‘smart girl must dress badly, not be too attractive and struggle to catch the eye of the man she wants, regardless of how much of a dick he is to her’ and ‘super pretty girl must be ditzy, shallow and not notice the nerdy guy who does everything in his power to impress her’. To be completely honest, I’m not so much angry at this cheap shot, but disappointed. I really wanted to like Big Bang Theory but for a show stuffed full of smart characters, with an opening intro that cutely sings the big bang theory, I expected so much more of a smartly written core. I can’t stomach a show based on an insultingly outdated stereotype that I’ve so often found myself having to argue against. Exhibit A: my friend Elliott’s celebration of some accomplished, smart ladies (Top 11 Geek Girls of 2011), which was hotly debated over when a female reader declared that she ‘can’t take any of these woman seriously’. The reader went on to explain that her feelings were based on the ladies being too overtly sexy or attractive in their profiles.
I’m also a hairstylist and I’ve encountered numerous intelligent, accomplished women through the years with the feeling that if they try too hard to be sexy or pretty, folks won’t take them seriously. They will lose the credibility they’ve earned simply by wanting to be attractive. This belief is gross, ugly and completely a by product of stereotypes like the one represented in Big Bang. The sooner we stop supporting this idiotic idea that smarts and good looks somehow work against other, the sooner the geeks of the world can stop feeling guilty or ashamed of being sexy. Wouldn’t it be great to win the love interest you yearn for based on both of those blessings? If you read through the Geek Girls article, you’ll see that pretty geek girls really do exist, so why the hell shouldn’t they in tv and film?
Thanks for listening and feel free to offer your own opinions.
*The opinions expressed here are not representative of Nerds in Babeland, but only of the writer herself*
Nuns and vampires and Mignola, oh my!
I am new to the exploits of Lord Baltimore, but I am liking what I see. This is a horror filled frolic filled with nasty demons, nun vampire-sort-of-zombies, and a Shane like hero, who, Fugitive-like, compels us to follow him as he hunts down the vampire villain that killed his family.
Baltimore is another Mignola written gem, and as much as I like Mignola’s art, I have to say I am enjoying his writing nearly as much as his both, and am glad that he is able to be so prolific (give his readers more and more goodies) with the help of other artistic talent.
I am in the middle of a vampire novel (review coming up) at the moment as well, and this was a delightful addition to the hordes of vampires out there in popular culture today.
If you like romantic, sexy, or sparkly vampires, take heed: this is not the series for you. If you like bloodthirsty bloodsuckers that actually scare you, follow Baltimore post haste.
Like, what the f*** is this, and why haven’t you told me about this before?
I will be honest with you. When I began reading this, I rolled my eyes and thought, oh no what have I gotten myself into? This is how my thoughts went as I reacted to my first reading of Empowered: I mean, this blonde ditz has a costume that shreds off of her in a fight?? Really? Do we need this kind of…misogyny…oh she seems to be having a meta conversation and…Hm, this is actually pretty funny. Oh wow, it’s totally commenting on sexism and female body image and relationships and…okay this is hilarious, they all know they are fictional comic book characters and are worried they’ll be drawn out of the next issue. Gosh, that was actually quite a profound discussion among friends about self esteem. They have an immortal being that lives on the coffee table? Is…is he rapping “I Like Big Butts” in Victorianesque diction?? I am in love.
Oh, and the art? Is all in black and white. I really, really like that.
Drawbacks? It does get a wee bit teeny bopper for my old lady ears. It does make up for it by being extremely witty and meta, but yeah. A bit teeny bopper. And the multiple f-bombs blacked out do get wearing on the inner voice. I say use the invective or don’t but the censored invective just gets annoying. I guess it’s more of the meta, but still.
Also, this comic had something which annoyed me that I forgot to mention in my Abe Sapien review: its fight scenes are so busy on the page, it’s hard to follow what physically is going on. As a stage combat choreographer and instructor, I have to call it sloppy. Just like in a moving visual medium like a movie, we need to be able to follow the action in order to be able to follow the story fully, and certainly in order to appreciate the sweet moves Ninjette no doubt is executing. I do really like the translated kanji as accompaniments, though.
Bottom (double) line: I highly recommend Baltimore. Empowered was fun and cute, and wryly meta enough to enjoy, especially if you like ninjas.
Although not a huge follower of ‘pop art’ I’ve always felt a special draw towards the art of Tara McPherson. I own her last book, Lost Constellations, and have her prints on my wall. She has a very distinct style that manages to stand out among a sea of modern pop culture art, a delicate touch of feminine aesthetics mixed with vibrant colors and sharp lines. McPherson has worked on everything an artist can put a pen to including concert posters, circus flyers, art prints, toys, electronics and novelty items; one of my favorites is her coloring book. The bookmarks, sketch books and other fun accessories feel a bit like a grown up, slightly twisted and dark Lisa Frank, the line of super bright, sparkly sticker and coloring kits for tweens.
Not to understate the gorgeous work that is the foundation of Tara McPherson’s art empire, Bunny in the Moon is yet another well developed collection of colorful, macabre scenes from somewhere deep in her imagination. As Morgan Spurlock says in his doting foreword, “From her first rock poster to her last solo show, Tara has been and remains an uncompromising artist, creating both a body of work and mainstream art-pop success that are unlike anything else in the art scene.”
The book opens with some of McPherson’s trademark beautiful females, surrounded by heavily detailed graphics that express each character in their own world. The artist has a skill for giving the impression of a story being told, one that you are as much the author of as she is, using just one main character, often blanketed by celestial entities, spirit animals or dripping in viscous fluids.
She then invites readers to follow her through the creation process from rough sketches to polished, multi-layered oil paintings. I find this quite fun, especially in a world largely dominated by digital art; seeing the hand drawn lines as she creates them feels like a rare peek into McPherson’s personal sketch book.
I’m not a ‘hearts and flowers’ kind of girl, I don’t care for art that uses the female body strictly as a cheap tool of stimulation or shock value. One of the things I appreciate about Tara McPherson is that she manages to portray a definite feminine charm without too much fluff or overt sexualism. Her characters don’t adhere to puritanical boundaries (much of the work is NSFW) but they are entangled in scenes of power, manipulation and dark, sometimes morbid engagements. For long time fans of McPherson she revisits a few classic favorites like the ‘Wiggles’. The artist’s work maintains the same trademarks as it has from the beginning: a perfect blend of sweet girlishness, rock star edge, malicious intent and floaty, surreal fantasy environments.
I recommend this book for any level of art lover, but especially those who feel less than satisfied with some of the ‘modern pop art’ available today. Bunny in the Moon is an art collection that will always spark conversation and interest among a variety of casual coffee table perusers.
Bunny in the Moon hits shelves March 14, and is available now for pre-order through Dark Horse Comics.
A few weeks ago, Blizzard, the maker of World of Warcraft, held Blizzcon to showcase all of their games; WoW, Diablo III and Starcraft II. They started off the con with information about their new WoW expansion, Mists of Pandaria. They showed off a lot of new things such as the new playable race, Pandaren, a new class, Monk, new mobs to fight, and new locations to explore. One thing they didn’t show off was the female model for the Pandaren.
There was a picture of a Pandaren with a bow on it’s head, and many people wouldn’t mind that being the female model for the new race, but I don’t know if that will happen. Apparently the creator of the Pandaren has always drawn females as Red Pandas. People fear that female Pandaren will be slimmed down to fall in line with the other female races.
Blizzard has changed female (and male!) models before. In the Alpha version of WoW, Troll females were just as hunched over as males and seemed to have more facial choices. For whatever reason, Blizzard decided to change the model into what is now used today. The female Troll model has limited facial options and many Trolls tend to look the same. There’s a video of the Alpha Troll model here. Below is an image of the current female Troll model.
They also seemed to have slightly altered the Tauren female model from the Alpha version. It doesn’t seem to be a huge change, like with the Troll females, but it’s still an odd change as the Alpha Tauren female looked fine. Here’s a video of all the Alpha models, Troll and Tauren included. Below is an image of the current female Tauren model.
As I said before, Blizzard even changed male models for Blood Elves back before Burning Crusade was released. The Beta male models were slim and not as muscular as the other male members of the Horde (minus the Forsaken). There were some complaints that the Beta models looked “too gay” or “too pretty”, this might not have been why the change was made, but no one knows for sure.
The latest model change came back before Cataclysm was released. The Worgen male and female models went through a lot of changes; from looking, some would say, more wolf like to becoming more feral. The female model came under the most fire as they lost a little of the muscle they had and didn’t really seem to match the male Worgen model. Here’s a video of the Alpha models. And below are images of the Alpha and current models.
It’s all personal preference and personal opinion on whether you like the old models or the current models better. I’m just hoping that the female Pandaren aren’t going to be too different from the male version.
What do people have to say about PMS Adventures?
“How many menstruation jokes can I fit into this quote? Bailee and Lauren are bleeding geniuses. PMS Adventures is better than just being feminist- it’s hilarious, and gorgeous, and fun to read. Plus it helps with cramps! It’s so clever, you might even call it post-menstrual.” – Emily V Gordon, nerdist.com
“I was told PMS Comics was about Puppies Making Smiles. Boy was I misled.” – Comics Bulletin
“F*ck off.” – Jeff Katz, GeekWeek.com
PMS (Phemale Super Heroes) Adventures is a weekly web comic written and created by Lauren Pottinger, illustrated and co-created by Bailee DesRocher. It tells the story of three down on their luck girls who stumble upon a paid medical trial. Excited about the prospect of cash in exchange for free birth control, they are injected with a serum that does more than prevent pregnancy. Due to an interaction with high sodium levels in their blood from overconsumption of Bottom Ramen Noodles, the girls are mutated into super-heroines… but only on their cycles. They are taken under the wing of their landlady, Aunt Flo, an ex-cop with a penchant for robe wearing, chain smoking, and gun wielding. She whips them into shape with a series of training montages, and the girls go from underappreciated to empowered.
Introducing the ladies of PMS:
Cassie “Crimson Tide” Taylor is mild mannered (cliché!) literati who transforms into a fiery flame throwing threat when facing fiendish foes.
Maya “Maxi Pad” Parsons is a musical maven … but on her monthly menses her velvet voice turns into a tonal terror, its piercing sound debilitating any man who hears it. She also has wings. Get it? Maxi Pad? With wings? Bwahahaha!
And finally, Teresa “Tam Pon” Pacciano, a rough around the edges engineer. Already equipped with a short fuse, she becomes Tam Pon when provoked, a white furred she-beast who’d rather throw you out than ‘talk it out’.
PMS Adventures pays homage to all the goofy stuff the creators (and readers) love: fun stories packed with pop-culture and puns, while lampooning the comic crafting process at the same time. Released once a week on www.pmscomics.com, this comic will make you chuckle… and probably bleed from your vagina, if you have one.* Synch with the ladies every Wednesday on the inter-webs. Your brain and funny bone will thank you.
*If you don’t have one, you’ll still like it. We love Bruce Campbell, Star Wars, and making fun of women on their cycles… and ourselves… and you!
I used to go to WonderCon every year when I was younger. Anyone who goes to Cons regularly, knows you have your “Con Posse” (not to be confused with “clown posse” like Harley Quinn will now have with her new ICP-esqu costume… but I digress). When I was younger I was the one girl in a group of many dudes. After I had my son I stopped going, in the past year I have been back to attending. And have added more cons to my list of must see. In the time that I was away a major change happened. The con posse I’ve joined is 99% GIRLS! This is pretty phenomenal for a gal who has grown up getting the stink eye from the dudes (and gals) behind the counters at comic shops.
It’s not too surprising that we now have our own convention. GeekGirlCon –located at the Seattle Center and EMP– was a slightly bittersweet event for me. I was on the staff, one of the original members, first person to buy a pass, etc. I was the Vice President and Operations Director, filed the incorporation paperwork opened the bank account, yada yada. No one ever really cares about “Operations,” it’s the department that does all the behind the scenes work that allows the more creative types to do the shiny stuff. I had to leave the organization because of the huge amount of time it required. Since the staff is 100% unpaid volunteers I was essentially working a second full time job for no pay; and I have a husband and child. So it finally got to the point of having to choose, GGC or child. Obviously my child had to win. So the sweet part was how AWESOME of a time I had, and how amazing it was to see that both days sold out. The bitter part was that I was seeing it from the outside.
I do have to say it was a bit nice to not have to be working this weekend and was able to just enjoy the convention as a panelist/attendee. I got to romp around with a posse of amazingly talented and fun folks. I stayed out too late, drank too much (though oddly didn’t once get drunk) and was introduced to the most amazing alcohol I have ever tasted by the lovely Stephanie Thorpe.
I drove up Friday night with my “fake niece”, who is the 16 year old anime obsessed, blue haired daughter of a friend. Stopped by the airport to pick up a few friends then checked into our AH-MAY-ZING hotel the Marqueen, on Queen Ann St in Seattle. After that I met up with friends for drinks, a walk up a monstrosity of a hill and dinner with more friends.
Saturday morning I got up, had breakfast at Mecca Café, if you go to Seattle you MUST try this place. They have awesome bacon, great waffles; you get a mini pitcher when you order iced tea and the receipt showed that our server’s name was “BAT GIRL”. I attended the very fun “token dudes” panel. That night I attended the unofficial CheeseCon at The Melting Pot – go to twitter, look up the hashtag #CheeseCon to see the hilarity—which was one of the most fun dinners I have ever been to.
Every panel I attended had one common theme; Women need to support one another and act as the “elders of the internet” to support the younger generation. The vendor room, while small was diversely filled thanks to the hard work of Dixie Cochran. I only peeked my head into the gaming room but everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.
It was nice to see so many little girls dressed in cosplay. There was one family who had I think 3 daughters, all dressed up as different versions of Princess Leia. Most people I saw were smiling and having a good time. Sunday I was the assistant for Miss Bonnie Burton’s craft panel. The creativity of the attendees was awesome. We had Yoda, Tardis, Doctor Who and even… GASP… Star Trek puppets made.
Really the only negative thing I can think of was the fact that it was spread out between the Northwest rooms and the EMP. This would have been fine if panelists weren’t scheduled for back-to-back panels on opposite sides of each other. It is about a 10 minute walk between The NW Rooms and the EMP so if your panel ends at 4 and the next one starts at 4 there is no way to make it on time. But being a first year con I am sure they will keep that in mind for next year. There are some doubts as to whether the NW rooms will be available for 2012 but I am sure they will announce the location when it is secured.
All in all I am happy with the changes to convention culture that have occurred since I first started attending them. Girls are having more and more panels aimed at them, and hopefully, sometime soon, we won’t NEED to have a GeekGirlCon because all cons will be equally targeted for all audiences. And I look forward to seeing my Con Posse as soon as I possibly can. They are a group of individuals who inspire me to push myself and go for my dreams and I love them all in special and different ways.
I adore MPREG (male pregnancy) stories. Ask any of my friends and they might tell you that I talk about the gender exploration of the genre more than they’d like. So, as a result, I often seek out not only MPREG fanfiction, but also mainstream novels that utilize the trope. Yes, there are many. And when I noticed that “The Wiener Diaries” by Susanna Kramer was one such novel, I asked the author if I could review it. The concepts are good in this book. You’ve got a society that has suddenly developed a third sex, male-bearers, who are essentially hermaphrodites that can menstruate and get pregnant. The story focuses on a teen, Joss, who is such a person and how he deals with the identity of who he thinks he is versus who society thinks he is. So, yes, great concepts to explore. The execution, however, is a bit flawed.
This book feels like a first draft. It’s more scene, summary, scene, summary than a continuous storyline. The essential plot, Joss’ gender issues, are weighed down with red herrings and subplots that the novel doesn’t give time for. Max, who Joss has a one-night stand with and gets pregnant by, is cutting, yet that avenue isn’t actually dealt with in any way more than a passing mention. If he’s depressed enough to cut, possibly brought on by his big brother’s homophobia, then I would have liked to see that dealt with. Joss is the first male-bearer to become pregnant, though there are others immediately after him. However, society doesn’t seem to have a negative reaction to any of them when faced with them on the street. It’s just a calm acceptance of “a pregnant male-bearer is normal.” I would have loved to see some reaction, especially when it doesn’t seem like this society is very accepting of homosexuality despite the repeated assurances by the narrator. There’s a brief mention of one pregnant male who was killed and his baby removed from the womb that might give a hint towards a more sinister storyline, but that’s dropped quickly. And there’s a subplot about aliens having created this third gender, but they’re glossed over to a large extent. I was left unsure of who they were, what they looked like, and why they thought this path was the best one to take in achieving the peace they seemingly sought. Added to that, there is stilted language in the dialogue and noted editing and spelling errors throughout. Again, it feels like a first draft. I think many of these issues could have been cleared up with subsequent drafting and critiques.
One of the larger issues I had about the book was about the sexuality storyline. Joss falls into bed with Max out of nowhere and then repeatedly assures everyone he’s not gay. I can understand denying your own sexuality, I get that, but it’s more like everyone is against being labeled homosexual. Joss becomes pregnant and gets it confirmed by the doctor and his mother is more concerned with assuring herself that her son isn’t gay rather than dealing with the fact he’s pregnant and wants to give the baby to the scientists as soon as it’s born so that it can become a lab rat. Joss repeatedly says that as soon as the government will allow him, he’s going to get his female sex removed, thus becoming the full man he believes himself to be. Yet he has adults constantly telling him that it’s okay to experiment because he has both parts, giving him an out with the whole “I’m not gay” mindset. However, when the baby’s born and the doctor asks if he’d like to go through with the procedure to remove his female sex, he does an about-face. There was no lead-up or acceptance of his gender or sexuality, he just decides he’s okay with who he is randomly. I saw no motivation for the sudden turn in his thinking.
Gender exploration is hard and when a novel sets out to subvert the societal expectations of what it means to be male-gendered or female-gendered it’s made even more difficult. The spark of potential was there in this novel, but it was just not allowed to come through. I’m interested in what this third gender means for a society such as ours, as well as what the male experience is when dealing with menstruation and pregnancy. If those issues were given time enough to be explored, this could have been a great novel. Unfortunately, too many events and plots were condensed down into 140 pages so that all the interweaving plots got cheated. I’d love to see the author do short stories from this universe that has been created because I feel like there’s so much more to explore and I don’t want to give up on this world just yet.
Rating: 2 / 5 stars
I don’t think I have ever ranted on this site but I am incensed. Judging from the outrage in the nerdverse, I’m not the only one. Recently a “former intern for Gizmodo” posted a scathing article on how she met and briefly dated a former World Champion of Magic: The Gathering.
For those of you that don’t know what Magic: The Gathering is, it is a collectable card game published by Wizards of the Coast. Magic can be played by two or more people each using a deck of cards and each game represents a battle between the players.
The author of the post wrote about how she decided to make an OKCupid account one night that she was intoxicated. Already, the article was off to a fantastic start. To justify her joining the site, she called it an “online dating experiment”. After several weeks of various creepy messages she received a genuinely pleasant message from a “normal” guy (italicized to foreshadow her shocking revelation) and they arranged a date.
They met for a drink and started a genuine conversation. At some point in the date, he revealed that he played Magic: The Gathering and that he was the World Champion. She decided to research him after the date.
On their second date, she brought up the topic and continued to barrage him with questions about it. After she opened up that dialog she then decided that they had nothing to talk about (even though their initial meeting started with “normal” banter). In her article she accused him of lying in his profile.
With the way the internet reacted, I’m obviously not the only person angry about this farce of an article. Yes, everyone has their own versions of deal breakers when it comes to dating. I’m not judging her for thinking that she didn’t have anything in common with him. She doesn’t.
My judgment is reserved for her accusation that he was hiding his World Championship title and therefore lying. With an online profile, you tend to include random pieces about yourself that you think of as your type. It’s not a professional resume. I don’t know who would spend hours crafting an online profile – maybe a drunk girl?
Okay, I am a little irritated about her dogging on his nerd cred. It sets everyone back. It feels like every month or so someone makes a comment about how a hot girl can’t be nerdy. Switching the gender makes this story a bit more interesting to read and a lot more depressing. Whatever it is that you enjoy in a nerdy/dorky/geeky capacity, it isn’t the only part of your personality.
What the author fails to realize is that she was having a great time with this guy and he makes a brief comment about his accomplishment and I’m sure she pictured a big red “rejected” stamp smash into his forehead. But still, she decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, dinner in New York is expensive.
Obviously I was livid about this. Typically when I’m upset I enlist the email chain of awesomeness. I sent them the article and some of their replies are included below.
Marissa: In fairness, the one-man show based on serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s life story isn’t necessarily something I’d want sprung on me as first-date fodder either. But I’m not surprised she’s single.
Seth: My issue is with her accusing the guy of lying on his profile. He never lied, unless he said “Hi, my name is Josh and I DEFINITELY DO NOT PLAY MAGIC BECAUSE ONLY LOSERS PLAY MAGIC AND I AM A SOCIALLY SUCCESSFUL HIP URBAN PROFESIONAL.”
Marissa: Unless OKCupid specifically asks you to divulge your nerd/geek tendencies, there’s no lying. The only lying going on is the difference between the person she IMAGINED/WANTED him to be, and the person he actually is. And all the MTG “offensiveness” is bull. Would she expect someone to dump her for wearing an ironic (kind of but not really) New Kids on The Block t-shirt? Who does she think she is, and what does she think she deserves is the question?
Marissa: I just hope that all those guys out there complaining about a girl who judges them, aren’t busy judging another girl by similar standards.
Seth: Clueless hypocrisy is a basic ingredient to online relationships, isn’t it?
Ali: Now you’re just saying smart things to get quoted, aren’t you…
I was originally not going to write anything about this as I loathe to give her anymore publicity, but I found something on twitter that hurt my heart.
@Jonnymagic00: “I know there are a lot of younger guys out there who are thinking, “I can’t let girls know I play magic or they won’t think I’m cool.’”
This was posted by the man who she didn’t mention by name but was easy to find. He doesn’t hide his gaming. It’s surprising that she waited so long to Google him when she encouraged him to Google her. I doubt if she realizes that her lack of interest was evident before he even laid his Magic cards on the table.
For the original, unedited post
For the US post.
Jon Finkel opened up a Reddit IAMA/Ask me anything page on Tuesday morning on Reddit answering the questions he could about the article.
words by Michelle Naka Pierce, images by Sue Hammond West
Review by Jenn Zuko Boughn
In any creative-writing class I’ve taught recently, I’ve instructed students, when doing daily creative journaling, to make sure they include both image and text in each entry. I do this because of several reasons (some of which can be found in Diehn’s The Decorated Page) but the strongest reason I have for this discipline is that it seems all writing these days has an imagistic aspect to it. From blog posts to graphic novels to novels like Like Water For Chocolate with long image or sound-only chapters, to interactive, new-media presentations, it’s rare to sit down with a (short, especially) piece of writing without a visual.
Pierce and West’s volume of poetry uses this image/text interdependence with the artistry and care of a good picture book, yet for an adult audience. Pierce’s Gertrude-Stein-esque musical repetition and richness of word choice work in tandem with West’s urban/organic paintings to good effect. The best entries in this volume are the ones in which the text is arranged in an unusual visual way, and the image incorporates text, thereby adding more layers to the text/image dance. This multi-layering of literary and visual art gives the reader more and more to sit with before turning each page.
Another engaging aspect to She is the map-like, film-like titles to each chunk of text. The poems are called “Lot”s or “Cut”s and the different-fonted titles to the images are called “Legend”s. These bring to mind auctions, film clips, map keys, and other images to the entries, and again are onion-layers of meaning.
She is a book one can spend time with—absorbing each page-spread before continuing. It does what good poetry (and visual art) should do: it builds imagery in the reader’s mind, so that the book changes with the reader each time she comes back to it. ~Prof. Jenn