This is an old blog of mine that I have now moved to Tumblr \o/ My conceit is simple: The comics industry’s utter failure to pick up a good chunk of the YA audience has nothing to do with the lack of material out there. There are tons of YA comics and I’ve decided to rescue them from obscurity! (Or at least, liberate them from the LCS and hopefully bring them to the attention to their true target audience)
Here’s the manifesto I wrote to convince new readers that comics are worth their time:
Comics. Graphic novels. Whatever you call them. You can’t go anywhere these days without hearing about them. It seems like every other movie is based on one, and your librarian always tries to suggest them. You’re curious, but you’re also confused. Part of you can’t help but think that they’re not…
Sign the petition to stop Manolo’s deportation. It’ll takes less than a minute.
from the site:
“Manolo is a young person who would be eligible for the DREAM Act. He is a Chinese-American who has lived in Tennessee for almost his entire life. He graduated from high school with honors, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University.
Manolo’s family brought him to the United States from Venezuela when he was very young. And that’s where ICE now wants to deport him to—even though Manolo has no friends or family there and doesn’t speak Spanish.
It gets worse—if they are forced to leave the US, Venezuela may send Manolo’s parents back to China. Meanwhile, Manolo’s younger brother, who is a US-born citizen, would stay in Tennessee.”
I work at an immigration firm.
My boss has had a client who raped his nieces be permitted to remain in the country.
And he’s had a client who is an engineer be deported, even though the facts of his case were identical to his brother’s, who was granted permanent residency.
Our immigration system is broken, and anyone who attempts to reduce it to “fortresses along the Rio Grande” can be certain to earn my unceasing wrath.
I just feel like there are too people who are defending the movie and shouting down and belittling people with issues about the use of mental illness or race appropriation, and that just strikes me as really F'ed up.
That it does have kickass depictions of women should not make it immune to criticism for using some really tired and cliche shit with Asian culture.
I know you personally aren't doing that, but I just feel like stuff like this is becoming a growing problem with people of privilege in a lot of Tumblr fandoms.
That’s totally understandable, and I’m really trying to avoid being part of those conversations. (And everyone is welcome to hit me with a cluebat if I ever skate too close to those lines)
Is it wrong if I as a partial Asian take serious issue with the amount of cultural appropriation in Sucker Punch?
Cultural appropriation is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish, one which I do not feel I have the life experience to address (same with the use of mental illness as a plot device). And even if I were Asian, it wouldn’t be “wrong” for you to take serious issue with it, even if I didn’t.
I should make this clear— if someone who has seen Sucker Punch has an issue with its perceived sexism, I’d be happy to discuss it with them, even though I strongly believe that its good qualities outweigh the bad. My primary annoyance is with people who won’t give it a chance, but will then spend the next five years complaining that Hollywood doesn’t make action movies with female leads. Movies aren’t like comics— you can’t just blog and go to panels at conventions and expect to have any effect on the industry’s output. Voting with your dollars is basically all you can do with movies.
However, I will say that whereas the movie actually had some meta-commentary on sexism, the cultural appropriation was basically just face value.
“I had a very tame and mild love scene with Jon Hamm. It was like heavy breathing and making out. It was hardly a sex scene. I think that it’s great for this young girl to actually take control of her own sexuality. Well, the MPAA doesn’t like that. They don’t think a girl should ever be in control of her own sexuality because they’re from the Stone Age. I don’t know what the fuck is going on and I will openly criticize it, happily. So essentially, they got Zack to edit the scene and make it look less like she’s into it. And Zack said he edited it down to the point where it looked like he was taking advantage of her. That’s the only way he could get a PG-13 rating and he said, ‘I don’t want to send that message.’ So they cut the scene!”—
Emily Browning, re: Sucker Punch
I saw the original version in a test screening and it was SO. MUCH. BETTER. than what is now in theatres. This shit is infuriating to me. The MPAA is more comfortable with the idea of a young girl being taken advantage of than with the idea of a young girl making her own choices in regards to her own sexuality. How twisted is that?
Seriously, I’m getting more and more annoyed at people who are totally prejudging this movie because it seems moderately sexist. Look at the industry it’s coming from! No, it’s not your feminist dream film, but it’s obvious Snyder was doing the best he could in the context of the market and the industry he has to work with.
And I know, this isn’t a Sucker Punch blog, and Market Monday is on its way.
A big shout out to all the people, mostly women, who have said that anyone, especially women, who enjoys Sucker Punch is an awful, terrible person and that any woman who finds something empowering within the narrative needs to turn in their feminist card, how dare they!
You have single-handedly convinced me to watch this movie in the theater. I have not watched a movie in the theater in years!
But thanks to you and your nonsense, I will make a special exception in this case.
Seriously, though, I got no problem if you don’t like these kinds of movies or the movie just plain looks stupid to you or if you find the content triggering and thus, have no desire to see it. That’s fine. We all make choices regarding the media we consume based on a complicated internal array made up of these factors. But when you start attacking people based on what they like, saying they can’t possibly be a feminist because they like these things and find something worthwhile in the narratives that speak to them? Oh NO.
This post rang me like a struck bell ([…] they like these things and find something worthwhile in the narratives that speak to them) YES. ;_; Liking imperfect things doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you!
Frankly, I think that ‘BEING FORCED TO CATER TO A MALE AUDIENCE MAKES YOU A WORTHLESS FEMALE’ is way more problematic than women who are moulded by a problematic society.
I honestly think it’s just a new facet of the bullshit ‘standards’ fandom of any kind holds up for women in general, fictional or no. The standards fluctuate constantly and appropriate feminism more than support it.
Consider: you would never see this kind of backlash against a sexist movie largely populated by men, even one that professed to be progressive. (See: Glee, which covers and embodies multiple isms and should logically garner more outrage.)
LOOKING SEXY DOES NOT DEVALUE YOU. And there is a HUGE difference between ‘being aware that objectification is problematic’ and demonizing women or women-centric projects for suffering the objectification.
It’s a movie about women fighting for themselves and other women, all about women, saved by women. There is value in that. There is always value in that.
Basically! All I’ve heard about this movie is “DON’T SEE IT, IT’S THE WORST BECAUSE IT HAS CHICKS IN FISHNETS RUNNING AROUND SHOOTING SHIT AND THAT’S NOT FEMINIST BECAUSE IT’S CLEARLY DESIGNED FOR GUYS” (which implies that women would never be interested in that which hahahahaha)
which pretty much just made me run out and see it today. I mean thanks but I was already aware of the outfits from the trailers, and I was already aware that female characters exist within the same patriarchy us real live women do. But I wasn’t aware that nothing a woman does while wearing fishnets counts or is even up for discussion.
tbh I have no interest in seeing Sucker Punch since LOL ZACK SNYDER. He’ll always be “thank you, but no” to me, but I hate when people decide you cannot be a good feminist if you like select films. Uh, no. It does not work this way. We do not live in vacuum. There is no such thing as a problematic free entertainment so, uh, get over it? I mean, you can like something while admitting it is problematic in someway. I don’t know how Sucker Punch came out because again I am not interested in seeing it but eh. People like what the like so you shouldn’t shun any woman for liking a piece of media when she isn’t the problem.
I saw Sucker Punch on Wednesday and LOVED IT. Was it perfect? No. But, JFC, it was so refreshing to watch a movie about girls kicking ass and having a male villain be all about textbook abusive behavior and that’s why you hate him. An abusive male villain who is not at all likable, with no redeeming qualities. He’s not a charming rogue, he is an evil slimeball who threatens young women with rape and then tells them that they made him do it, and the audience sees how completely fucked up that is.
We live in a society where the New York Times tries to excuse the gang-rape of a 13 year old girl because of how she was dressed. This is a movie where women portrayed as sex workers are shown as trapped in an awful, abusive situation and all threats of rape against them are shown to be despicable. How many other movies in the past 10 years can you think of that have done that? Ever?
This is a movie where young women learn to work together to try and get out of that situation. Where a young woman’s sexual autonomy is a metaphor for/paralleled with her mental and intellectual autonomy, acknowledging the intrinsic link between those two things.
As for the outfits, I’ll let Zack Snyder explain them:
“I was asked, ‘Why did you put those girls in those provocative outfits?’ And I go, ‘I didn’t put them in them, you did.’ You the audience put them in those outfits and asked for that,” he said. “The audience in the brothel … are these men sitting in a dark room. The men sitting in the dark room in the broader sense are us sitting in the theater. That’s absolutely in the movie. The exploitative part of it is in the viewer, the viewer brings that.” (source)
This entire film is a meta-critique of that whole attitude.
Now, I’m not hailing Zack Snyder as some great feminist filmmaker, but if you just scratch the surface just a little, you’ll see he’s not the idiot neckbeard fanboy people want to make him out to be.
If nothing else, go see Sucker Punch so that the next time a director says to a producer “I want to to an action film led by a woman”, the producer can’t point to it and say “Sorry, those don’t sell.”
There has been a lot of negative chatter today about Tumblr’s explore feature, and I thought I’d chime in (I’m currently an editor of Black and White and Landscape photography)….
I really enjoy the feature, partially because I run a blog that has lots of different content and under the old directory system, I didn’t really fit under any category; I think there are a lot of blogs on Tumblr like mine with mixed content.
It’s important to note that editorships are rotating, and that editors are ranked by the community . So the “top editor” is the person who has gotten the most positive feedback from the Tumblr community and that’s also what the stars represent. “Top Contributors” are blogs whose posts are most frequently tagged by editors.
I’ve found good content and blogs from this feature, and I think that’s the point.
The feedback is based on how often you post and how many like/reblogs the post gets. The editors search through posts on Tumblr and select which ones go in the tag. I have an education blog that has been the Top Contributor under the education tag and I’ve honestly never really seen a problem with it. It’s just a little blue button. Really nothing to get upset about.
It’s a problem for people who have blogs that, maybe post-by-post aren’t that impressive, but are overall worthwhile. Or for people who have blogs where their own “internal” tagging would be confused trying to get onto a certain Explore tag (that they have no guarantee of happening.)
In the old directory system, Ladies Making Comics was classified as Comics, and while it was never on the front page, it could make in onto the second or third. My individual posts are never that popular, and I find making each post subject to a virtual popularity contest is monumentally counterproductive to finding truly new and interesting content. I click over to the comics tag now and it’s basically superhero picspam, while material like my profile of Lily Renee (a female artist from the ’40s who had escaped Nazi-occupied Vienna) goes unnoticed. Not to mention, my accrual of new followers has come to a near-standstill since the implementation of the new Explore system.
For Awesome Stuff Women Did, which has been doing well in terms of getting new followers, it’s also barely been blue-tagged, and a few of the times it has, it’s been categorized incorrectly. ASWD is an educational blog, but deals with a manner of different categories. While I don’t mind, for example, that my post on Caroline Herschel was blue-tagged “science”, it’s still a very limited view of my blog as a whole.
Another blog I like, Spandex and Sports Bras (dedicated to female superheroes and real-life athletes) has pointed out that very few posts under the Sports blue-tag are about women’s sports. Now, in the old directory system, his blog could easily be found by people interested in women’s athletics. Now, he’s subjected to a biased “Editors” board and, again, is prevented from promoting a blog that has a lot of overall value.
The Directory had its problems, sure, but it also had immense value. As for the current tagging system, it seems to me that all they did was take the old global tagging system (which was by its nature completely democratic), and subjected it to a mess of individual biases (and I’m not even talking about the Politics tag here).
Valentino is known for her unique style of storytelling, bringing her readers into exquisitely frightening worlds filled with terror, beauty and extraordinary female protagonists. She has been weaving tales that combine mythos and guile for the past eight years with her work on the comic book series Gloomcookie and Nightmares & Fairy Tales published with SLG Publishing.
Her most recent work, Nightmares & Fairy Tales: 1140 Rue Royale, a historical horror story based on the real Madame Lalaurie, infamous for her torture of her slaves, has earned her critical acclaim in both the comics and horror domain. With art by Crab Scrambly, this series delves into the most horrific aspects of American history.
Currently Valentino is writing two new comic book series, Enchanted and Hell’s Café. Now she is returning to the fairy tale format with artist Camilla d’Errico, featuring stories about a sleeping beauty, a captured mermaid and the infamous Blue Beard.
She has also written the play The Bride of the Mummy, presently in pre-production in New Orleans. Currently she is writing two short films based on fairy-tales for the independent film company End of Sky Productions, and she is writing a novel for young adults for Disney Press based on the Wicked Queen from “Snow White,” entitled The Fairest of All, to be released on August 18, 2009.
It’s always fun to find other people talking about female comics creators! And I always forget to remind people that they’re welcome to submit anything about ladies who make comics, but you know, you can! Even if it’s just a picspam of your favorite artists work or something.
Do you think maybe they just subjectively dislike who you enter in the tournament? I say this never having understood why people dislike the tournament itself (I've heard the reasoning, and it doesn't make sense to me), so maybe that's not the problem at all. Or, maybe they think the blog is overly political.
Other than that, the note sounded oddly personal.
I have no idea. I mean, the nomination process was transparent, and I didn’t even pick any of them. And I know I can on occasion get political, but those posts are really the exception.
sequentialassassin said: Yeah, this guy’s tripping. I haven’t the faintest why people are unfollowing you.
Oh, I don’t take it personally when people unfollow me. I figure that 95% of the time it’s just that they are trying to pare down amount of mess on their dashboards, and this blog just isn’t passing their “I NEED TO FOLLOW THIS” test, which is bound to be very subjective with a number of factors entering into it. If they’re just bored with me, sure I’d like it if they spared the time to give me concrit, but I don’t expect it. But if someone is genuinely upset with me, I’d really like a heads up and some real criticism.
(I suspect it’s someone who doesn’t like the Tournament and knows that I’m not going to stop it. But even so, what’s with the passive aggressive anon-note?)
I'm saddened and disappointed in myself that it took me this long to unfollow you.
Well, that’s fine, but you’re not exactly giving me much to go on here. I mean, clearly you wanted me to know that you were unfollowing me, and I can even understand doing it anonymously, but if you’re not offering any criticism (constructive or not), then how am I supposed to feel bad about it? All I know now is that one of the three people who unfollowed me this week (that I’ve even noticed) is pissed off at me for some reason.
If I’ve done something to offend you, I’d prefer to know so I can keep an eye on myself, or possibly defend myself. You say you’re disappointed in yourself for not unfollowing me, which is a nice backhanded insult, but I’m afraid it’s not going to have the effect you want when right now it’s just a non sequiter ad hominem.
I know I have a lot of creative types following me, and with this whole Jess Fink and Rob Granito thing going around, it occurred to me that a lot of artists (and meaning the broadest definition of artists, including writers and musicians and whatnot) don’t realize that there are a lot of legal services available for low- to no-cost by lawyers and pro bono groups dedicated to helping artists. I’ve linked to a directory of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts organizations around the US (and one in Canada).
Paskvan: “What about premarital affairs — should that be a crime?”
Haase: “I think that would be up to the voters certainly. If it came before (the state) as a vote, I probably would vote for it … I can see where it would be a matter for the state to be involved with because of the spread of disease and the likelihood that it would cause violence. I can see legitimate reasons to push that as a crime.”