beccatoria: (diana of themiscyra)
So listen, guys, I usually like to wait a little longer before recommending a run of comics, basically just because, well, comics. Those things go off the rails in big ways sometimes. But honestly, based on what's out so far, I really think that Genevieve Valentine's Catwoman run (which started with #35) is worth looking at, even though there are only three issues and an annual so far.

Here's my pitch:

Selina Kyle, convinced this is her ninth life, looking for redemption as a Gotham mob boss, selling her soul in pieces against a beautifully non-sexualised noir backdrop of business suits, shadows and late-night phosphorescent streetlights, splashed against a charcoal, pencil-sketched palette.




Here's my slightly more detailed pitch, including the backstory of how she got to be in such a situation (because, of course, it was in a different comic) and slightly more about Catwoman's rejection of Batman than is really necessary for a series where he's a minor supporting character, but 1) I am all about people rejecting Batman and 2) I'm trying to keep spoilers for Valentine's run to a minimum and sticking with the type of stuff you might get in a blurb, so I need SOME way of explaining to you why this run has such a perfect set up.

NO BUT REALLY JUST READ IT. )

Also featured: police investigations, tense relationships with newfound cousins, every single mobster assuming she's there to take the money then cut and run or that she's "too soft", and angry, angsty, accusatory talks with Batman on balconies.

Also featured: quotes from Elizabeth the First, Caterina Sforza and the Pillow Book (because it is as necessary as the Art of War.)

Also: Genevieve Valentine apparently writes award-winning steampunk novels? I mean, I haven't read anything else by her, but come on, that's just cool.

(No but seriously read it already.)
beccatoria: (diana of themiscyra)
Title: Apple Candy
Video: DC Animated
Audio: Apple Candy // Ben Lee
Summary: I want you, and I want him. [Wonder Woman/Superman/Batman OT3]
Vidder's Notes: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, [personal profile] chaila. I'M SORRY IT'S LATE BUT NOW THE WHOLE WORLD KNOWS YOUR our SECRET SHAME.

PASSWORD: vidses

Apple Candy

Direct download available here. RightClickSaveAs. 70 megs approx.

Cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] vidding and [community profile] vidding

Other vids available here.

beccatoria: (one atavistic motherfucker)
I'M NOT DEAD!

I do need to find more time to post here. So to start with, I was just inspired to write something reasonably lengthy over on tumblr, so I'm actually going to copy it here because god but I loathe tumblr as a space for complex human interaction or discussion. And this is my place of Archiving Thoughts.

Also I think we all just have to accept that a large percentage of this blog will be Comic Books for the forseeable future. I'm genuinely sorry. <3

So the setup:

There was a text post as follows:

MARVEL: *makes Avengers*
MARVEL: *makes Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, and Captain America sagas*
MARVEL: *makes Agents of Shield*
MARVEL: *makes Guardians of the Galaxy*
MARVEL: *makes Black Widow movie*
DC: hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...... MORE BATMAN.


To which there was then a response effectively composed of animated .gifs of DC's television/film output from the last decade, but unusually including all the stuff Warner Brothers makes based on DC properties that aren't part of DC's main superhero universe but were published under various imprints (primarily Vertigo).

I sort of wasn’t going to reblog it because it was a little petty? But then I saw the “makes Black Widow movie” and got bitter because what the hell, if you're going to do that, I'm going to pretend there's obviously an upcoming Wonder Woman film and that they're casting Dwayne Johnson as Shazam and SCREW IT I SUCCUMBED TO PETTY BITTERNESS!

But I also reblogged it because I really liked that it included DC's Vertigo output in there, but...I've been wondering for a while now how that stuff should figure into the conversations we have about these companies and/or about their shared superhero universes.

This is a genuine question to which I have no good answer. Because DC and Marvel generally ship a comparable number of titles; DC more often ship slightly more but that includes all their Vertigo stuff (as well as, I think, more licensed comics, though particularly with Star Wars, that may be shifting).

And on the one hand, it’s only fair to compare like with like - superheroes with superheroes. That’s a specific genre with representational problems, and it’s a specific type of story we all love (or well, us superhero fans do, I mean). Vertigo publishing a 70s gangster comic, a revenge-thriller, a creepy supernatural book and a retold set of fairytales, all starring women, doesn’t fix my problem if what I want is a woman in spandex punching a volcano. It really doesn’t. The Losers’ majority poc team doesn’t fix the whiteness of superhero universes.

"Go somewhere else," isn’t a useful response.

"We do that stuff, but in our Vertigo line," sends a message of ghettoisation.

But at the same time, Vertigo forms part of DC’s output and almost never figures into conversations about what DC is doing, media-wise. They put time and resources into maintaining an imprint that specifically exists to publish original “indie” style comic books, even though they could almost certainly make more by putting out another Bat-related title.

I mean, a certain amount of this is nostalgia. I’m probably a comic book fan at ALL because of Vertigo in the 90s, and I think that’s likely true of a lot of women my age. Karen Berger probably did more than anyone else in the industry to normalise the graphic novel and its place on the shelves of our bookstores. (And I guess I also think it’s cool that Vertigo has only ever been headed up by women; Shelly Bond succeeded Karen Berger).

But…okay, knowing Watchmen is somehow a DC property is probably not that unusual, but I honestly wonder how many people know that movies like Red, the Losers, Road to Perdition and Stardust are all also based on graphic novels and comic series originally published by DC?

Probably not many?

And like I said, I think you can use these points to dodge the issue. Agent Carter is a big deal because a woman is anchoring a TV series - they are making superhero-related media starring a women. Pointing out that DC (well, it’s parent company) are putting out iZombie, which also stars a woman, isn’t a cleanly relevant parallel.

But it also seems sort of shitty to pretend iZombie isn’t there.

Also amusingly nowhere in that gifset did I see the 2004 Catwoman movie. There are just some things no one can bring themselves to mention voluntarily... (Lol, except me: SKIN LIKE LIVING MARBLE!)

Anyway, yeah. There is my unanswered question. I hope you've all had a nice month while I've been in posting limbo. :)
beccatoria: (diana of themiscyra)
I know, I know, this doesn't look good for me. I'm turning into some terrible DC apologist.

But okay, let's unpack that statement for a minute, because there's a lot of stuff, in comics in general, and at DC in particular, I feel no need to defend, and quite often an overpowering need to scream about. Or just hide under a rock and ignore because it's too depressing. That said, my perception of a weird media bias against DC and in favour of Marvel bugs me to an increasing degree. Basically because I feel like it doesn't hold people accountable in the way they should be held to account, and I think it ends up ignoring success stories and examples of positive attempts at change. It's just...since I think this narrative is broken, I worry all we're doing is holding a biased conversation that won't get us any actual improvement.

So...I kind of didn't talk a lot about this for a long time because it's not a popular opinion, and because it's hard to defend a thing without it seeming like you're excusing everything it does, which isn't my intention.

But I was reading a recent article from ComicsAlliance on DC comics' New 52 and how many had been cancelled, and comparisons to Marvel's Marvel NOW initiative (which isn't a reboot but is a sort of...relaunch/rebranding initiative) all about how Marvel are doing it so much better. Based on...basically nothing I could understand and it mostly seemed to harp on about how DC can't possibly sustain publishing 52 titles a month and how it needs a new tactic to reach new readers, all the while ignoring the fact that DC no longer publishes 52 titles a month and they're trialing a new tactic of weekly comics. Which may be the world's stupidest idea. Who knows! But it is super weird this article didn't even talk about it!

And it struck me: here is a place where I think I can demonstrate my point and achieve some kind of catharsis. What the fuck is this article:

http://comicsalliance.com/dc-comics-new-52-47-cancelation/

I'm going to break it down point by point and hopefully illustrate why I think it's biased.

My goal is not to point out that therefore DC is all roses and happy shiny editors who never pointlessly intefere in otherwise successful books. My point is not to say that there are no problems with audience outreach. My point is that the underpinning logic of this article is broken. In some really weird ways. That seem predicated on a lot of generous assumptions about Marvel's business tactics based on three months of solicitations and wilfully ignoring everything earlier than December 2013. In ways that seem indicative of fandom and the comics press' general tendency to award Marvel for effort and punish DC for failure.

This is long. This is really fucking long. I tried to cut it down, I did. I couldn't. I was too filled with the need to destroy it.

The short version is: the article's assertion that Marvel is more patient when it comes to allowing its new titles to find a footing and flourish is divorced from any reality involving sales data, and while I'm very pleased they're making an effort to change their behaviour and actually publish titles featuring women and poc in the title roles, these books are younger than some of the food in my cupboards and not a numerical improvement on what DC tried to do with its reboot, so forgive me for wanting to see how many are still standing next year and whether they're replaced by similar titles, before I believe Marvel have cracked the secret code to making the comics industry less shitty. Plus, you know, that whole thing where the dude keeps commenting on DC's current sales tactics while never actually mentioning DC's newest sales tactic.

That really is the meat of it. But if you want to read that in vastly more detail (I don't really recommend it), then follow the cut.

This article. This fucking article. )
beccatoria: (diana of themiscyra)
Right, I've been gone forever. I spent the first half of April in the USA for my grandpa's funeral (well, memorial service, he was cremated right after he died, but people wanted to take time to organise a big memorial service when scattered family could all attend). It was good to see some people I haven't seen in a really long time. It was also sad.

Anyway, I came back and then there was a whole bunch of VidUKon stuff to get organised with, plus a load of house-related stuff I just didn't deal with after moving in but before going on vacation.

But also...I don't know. Journalling communities are kind of dying, it feels like. I'm not helping with that, even though I like them better. But they take more time and investment. Tumblr and twitter can suck up just as much time but you feel yourself interacting constantly. There's just non-stop entertainment. It's not me on my own madly typing into a computer. I like the time-sink-grab-bag-of-cool-stuff that tumblr offers and I like the way of easily keeping in touch with so many people that twitter offers.

But I've realised I don't like the way both of them make it hard to engage in wider conversations. Twitter's too brief, and tumblr - it's...far more based around friends running at you and yelling, "THIS IS AWESOME!" or "THIS IS HORRIFYING!" Everything you see comes with implicit approval or disapproval; you don't just "find" stuff, it's always being presented in the context of who's showing it to you. It has a tendency to echo chamber because it's basically people passing around stuff they find cool. Which is a really neat thing about it. Until you...don't agree with what people are saying. Then it becomes really hard both because tumblr also has a terrible format for longer discussion and because culturally, I don't really feel it's built for it. It's built for squee and outrage and it does those things really well as group activities. In forums people react to things with words - things that aren't necessarily being said by people they already know. In journal communities, people link to and talk about stuff and say "hey this is smart, I agree with this!" but usually with added words. It's a point from which you jump off and talk about stuff and even if it's not your intention, that means you get a ton of different reactions to the same thing, not a ton of identical reblogs. It feels less monolithic.

I dunno. That's my experience anyway. It makes being on the "wrong" side of an issue kind of lonely. You don't want to harsh people's squee. You don't want to look like an asshole. It's hard to say, "Guys I think this is kind of misjudged..." when the thing you're talking about's terribleness is basically a meme. Especially if your point isn't that it's all sugary deliverance.

But also I'm getting tired of feeling like I don't want to say stuff. It's making me as tired as saying stuff and then feeling like I'm being a jerk.

So probably the answer is just to realise that I'm not a tumblr person. Or like, I am, but...not for the talking. I should do my talking here.

It's honestly a little intimidating. Which makes me feel very "tiniest violin." So whatever.

I don't get why people give Marvel so many free passes. That "lol, DC can't get out a Wonder Woman film but Marvel have a RACCOOOOON!" meme can die in a goddamn fire.

How does that make Marvel look good? Why are we using the fact that Marvel are making an offbeat minor-character ensemble movie with one woman, before they've managed to make a single movie ABOUT a woman, as some sort of evidence that they're better at this shit? When they've gotten to a place where they've made so many of these movies, they can do things like Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man and they still choose them over Captain Marvel or Black Widow?

Especially since it seems to have been resurrected with this latest round of movie news. So now the fact that DC may be also doing an offbeat minor-character movie with a token woman (Metal Men) before they've managed to make a film about their iconic female character STILL means this is an appropriate comparison? It's the EXACT SAME FUCKING SITUATION.

I don't. I just don't.

Marvel releases a movie with a Space Raccoon before they have a female lead: sign of their adorable wackiness!

DC potentially releasing Metal Men before they have a female lead: DEAR GOD THE MISOGYNY.

Okay, I genuinely feel better for having gotten that off my chest.

One day soon, you can all look forward to me ranting about the Cap 2/Man of Steel comparisons, but I should probably save that for another day.

(Don't worry, I like Steve Rogers, I wouldn't actually shoot a puppy.)
beccatoria: (Default)
I went back and forth on posting this. I'm doing it because I realised I felt pretty strongly about it, but some people I respect are on the other side of the line. So I don't want to be a jerk.

But dudes, I think we're being played here. I think we're all looking for vindication regarding our anger about other things, and have obligingly been provided with a brand new DC pinata, but all we're doing is beating a book many of us have been waiting for to a bloody, inky pulp.

...so I kind of disagree with the prevalent opinion... )
beccatoria: (batwoman is super mysterious)
Hey guys - just checking in and letting you all know that I'm still alive, and REALLY SORRY it's been so long since I've posted. I've only been quiet because really nothing's going on much in my life right now and I'm WAY behind on almost all telly so I don't have much to say right now. Mostly my life has been consumed with what began as a casual project whereby I was going to actually clip stuff before vidding a vid I wasn't even sure I could/wanted to make and somehow spiralled into a weird completionist cataloguing project. I'M NEVER DOING IT AGAIN.

ANYWAY, I finally have something worth posting about!

Batgirl #8 - or WOW, before I thought this comic was doing some unexpected, interesting stuff but *THIS* is what I came for. )

In addition, Batwoman is just kicking ass. It's so...rich and just all about these women with these really complicated, challenging, distinct relationships with each other. It's about power, competence, loss, betrayal, romance, ass-kicking, and supernatural noir detective work. One of my favourite things about it is that nearly everything passes the Bechdel test, and the cast is almost entirely gender reversed from the male/female split you'd expect (it's what, four or five women vs two guys in the regular/recurring roles?), but it never feels like that's what it's doing. It just feels completely natural to the point I don't even want to be mentioning it here because the comic just is. But obviously I AM going to mention it because then more of you might start reading it! :D?

Demon Knights also continues to be a hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking tale of...something or other; I'm really enjoying it. It's not Secret Six, nothing else ever will be, I don't think, but I do wonder if this book might fill part of that void. And on top of that it's got beautiful art.

Finally, two comments:

Wonder Woman: oh god, I think it broke my heart. I don't even have the desire to go into detail about why. I don't even have the energy to be angry, I'm too sad. If it were ugly or poorly written that would be easier. As it is, it's a beautifully written, visually gorgeous story that wounded me in my soul, and not in a good way. I just...I don't know dudes. I guess we'll see where it goes.

Saga: this, on the other hand, was interesting weirdness. I've read the first two now, and what I wish I could do most is sum up the type of WORLD it is, because I think if I could, I could explain what's so compelling about it. I suppose it's like...a space fairytale with a dirty mouth and a rocketship forest full of nightmares? Anyway, I'm hooked is what I'm saying.
beccatoria: (powergirl will totally punch you in the)
So. DC have announced a new comic, and Helena Wayne is coming back, huh?

Helena Wayne, Helena Bertinelli: Didn't realise how much difference an origin made. )

IN OTHER NEWS.

Brief Thoughts on Cancellations and Announcements! )
beccatoria: (superman: he's awesome)
OMGS IT'S OVER.

Okay. Week 4. Alphabetical. Spoilers. Slightly less about boobs.

All-Star Western )

Aquaman )

Batman: the Dark Knight )

Blackhawks )

The Flash )

The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men )

Green Lantern: New Guardians )

I, Vampire )

Justice League Dark )

The Savage Hawkman )

Superman )

Teen Titans )

Voodoo )

DC RELAUNCH REVIEWS COMPLETE.

June 2016

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