The Adventures of Superhero Girl is one of my favorite comics, and one of the ones I’m proudest to have worked on. It’s by people I love and love working with. It’s the kind of book that shifts the balance of the industry and medium toward what I want comics to be.
I’ve spent a lot of…
Superhero Girl is one of the best superhero comics I’ve ever read. It’s not a parody of superheroes (although it IS funny) and it’s not a comic for kids (although the kids I’ve shown it to loved it). I would describe it more like a window into an alternate universe where the phrase “superhero comic” means something very different. A world where history took a different path, and comics where people wear capes and solve problems by punching them are fun, accessible to all ages, and not chained down to decades to convoluted corporate-owned back-story.
I wish I could read more books from that other universe. I wonder if they’re all as good as this one, or if they’ve sent us their best.
If you think you hate superhero comics, I invite you to ask yourself if maybe you don’t just hate superhero comics from OUR timeline. Read this book and report back to me.
Calling all Canadian comic creators! There’s still time for YOU to send a us a pitch for Epic Canadiana #2! The Epic Canadiana #1 anthology featured a host of Canadian heroes that paid tribute to the golden age of Canadian comics, from gun-toting vigilantes to Arctic demigods and gay activists. The book was featured on CBC Radio, ShawTV, and the Vancouver Courier, Now it’s time for a sequel. Are you ready to join the ranks? Then visit Epic Canadiana #2 is Go! for more information. Good luck!
“In reality, Americans are less likely to move upward from their class of origin than are Germans, Canadians, Finns, French people, Swedes, Norwegians, or Danes. But the myth, fortified with bracing doses of positive thinking, persists. As two researchers at the Brookings Institution observed, a little wryly, in 2006:
“[The] strong belief in opportunity and upward mobility is the explanation that is often given for Americans’ high tolerance for inequality. The majority of Americans surveyed believe that they will be above mean income in the future (even though that is a mathematical impossibility).””—Barbara Ehrenreich, Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America (via x09)
Ohhh, the irony. This, I think, is what happens when you believe in American Exceptionalism. When you just believe America is just the best rather than fighting to MAKE it the best.
I’m trying to gather some examples of LGBT-themed comics that are kid-friendly (aka no sex, minimal strong language, etc.). Comics with prominent gay characters are cool too. Comics that aren’t out yet, but are on the horizon work. Webcomics too. Help me out…
I usually navigate through the wikipedia pages for a specific maya god or another subject I’m interested in (like bloodletting in the maya world) and that takes me deeper to other less known gods and resources.
I saw a number of books on maya archeology a while ago but I couldn’t get my hands on them because they are pretty expensive and I had just moved to this apartment, if I see them again I’ll try to get them and write a review or something.
I don’t know if you have read the Popol Vuh, tho, there is a lot in there about the maya myths of creation. Also recently I got a book called La civilización de los antiguos mayas, which seems really interesting and has quite a few images of ruins and glyphs.
Movie-wise the only maya influenced movie I can recall right now is Apocalypto, it gives you a fairly good idea of the maya view of the world and universe and I think it’s great visually, it did a great job translating the carvings and images of warriors into actual costumes, and you get to listen to the dialogue in one of the maya dialects.
I’ve seen a number of documentaries lately that you might find useful: The Red Queen (discovery channel) the lost king of the maya and cracking the maya code (pbs I think?) ancient maya (history channel) dawn of the maya (natgeo) amongst others, a quick search for “maya documentaries” will give you plenty more titles.
The references I use the most for developing my concepts for comics (gasp, foreshadowing) are a large collection of pictures, articles and cross-referenced descriptions of gods I’ve found online through the past couple of years.
We are always writing the other, we are always writing the self. We bump into this basic, impossible riddle every time we tell stories. When we create characters from backgrounds different than our own, we’re really telling the deeper story of our own perception. We muddle through these heated discussions at panels, in comments sections, on social media, in classrooms — the intersections of power and identity, privilege and resistance. How do we respectfully write from the perspectives of others? Below are 12 guidelines to get you started.
One of the best articles I’ve read on the subject. I want to hand this out at every art & diversity panel I speak on. Seriously.
Great, if daunting, list. Takes a while to get over number 2, but you have to.
The bit that I’m struggling with is number 12. If the answer is “no”, does that mean I shouldn’t write at all? Nobody, let alone me, wants a whitewashed story, so if I don’t feel I can do justice to the other then the remaining option seems no story at all. I mean, I haven’t any right to write, but I like to.
It matters who and what is being focused upon in fiction. It matters who is creating a fictional account of these tellings. I don’t think the “burden of representation” rests upon the shoulders of those who are positioned as under-represented. If this were the case we would fall into an essentialist trap that will serve no one well. However, I’m okay with saying that it is my hope that white writers who are interested in writing about cultures and subjectivities outside of their own consider very carefully:
1) how many writers from the culture you wish to represent have been published in your country writing in the same language you will use (i.e. English) to write the story,
2) why do you think you’re the best person to write this story?
3) who will benefit if you write this story?
4) why are you writing this story?
5) who is your intended audience?
6) if the people/culture you are selecting to write about has not had enough time, historically and structurally, to tell their story first, on their own terms, should you be occupying this space?
Silence. In the space where your voice would have rang out with its distinct articulation. The moment you silence yourself a gap opens up, and someone else who may have no qualms in occupying that space, will leap in to speak out on their own terms. If you’re a writer (a dreamer) from a people, a community, a history that has been long-marginalized, silenced or misrepresented, we so desperately need to hear your story in your voice, in your own grammar of perception and articulation….
Also consider Diversity Cross Check, a resource blog for authors trying to write outside their own experiences.
if you want there to be more quit bitching about it and actually do something about it instead.
Do something? Like raising awareness about the issue? Like engaging in discourse about why it’s needed? Like petitioning game companies to be more diverse?
I’m sure he means “go make your own.” The trouble is, that might as well be code for “shut-up and disappear.” Not everyone has the skills or desire to make games. Way more people play them than make them. And even for people who do make games, you’d have to push against a system that’s generally fine the way things are. I think it’s pretty great that it’s possible to make an indie game all on your own in your basement. But most games involve dozens of staff working more than full time, cost millions of dollars, and have hard-fought licencing deals, publishing deals, advertising deals, and so on. There are people who don’t “make games,” per se, that have an awful lot of power over what gets made. The individual creator can only do so much, and having a huge groundswell of support from regular people on the internet would, I think, be MASSIVELY IMPORTANT in helping that theoretical creator make their case that having more (worthwhile) female characters is something people want.
Man, I don’t even play video games and even I can figure this out. It’s not difficult. And anyways, how does it hurt YOU when someone goes online to bemoan the lack of female representation? Compare the uncomfortable feeling you get when you are FORCED to scroll past a post on Tumblr to the uncomfortable feeling of having almost no video game protagonists that look kind of like you that you can relate to, even though you love playing video games. These are not equivalent experiences.
Because so much of fantasy takes place in settings that in no way resemble the real world, featuring species that in no way resemble human, fantasy writers often have trouble dealing with regular people. This is something that, I think, isn’t as much of a problem for mainstream writers, because they can simply describe the world around them and come up with a reasonably accurate representation of humanity. They can also fall back on the plethora of real-world terms used to describe human beings, racially and otherwise. But using these terms makes no sense if you’re dealing with a world that doesn’t share our political/cultural context. You can’t call someone “African American” if your world has no Africa, no America, and has never gone through a colonial phase in which people of disparate cultures were forcibly brought together, thus necessitating the term in the first place.
That said, it’s equally illogical to populate your fantasy world with only one flavor of human being, which is what far too many fantasy stories default to. Granted, many fantasies take place in confined cultural spaces — a single small kingdom in a Europeanish milieu, maybe a single city or castle within that city. (But how did that castle get its spices for the royal table, or that lady her silks? What enemy are the knights training to fight? Even in the most monochromatic parts of the real Ye Olde Englande, I can guarantee you there were some Asian traders, Sephardic or Ashkenazic Jewish merchants, Spanish diplomats or nobles partly descended from black Moors, and so on.) I get that lots of countries on Earth are racially homogeneous, so it makes perfect sense that some fantasy settings would be too. But whiteness is the default in our thinking for Earth-specific cultural/political reasons. So while it’s logical for fantasy realms to be homogeneous, it’s not logical for so many of them to be homogeneously white. Something besides logic is causing that.
So. It’s a good idea for all fantasy writers to learn how to describe characters of color. And I think it’s a good idea to learn how to describe those characters in subtle ways, since they can’t always rely on Earth terminology. Now, doing subtle description increases the chance that the reader might misidentify the character racially — and to a degree, I think there’s nothing you can do about that. You’re working against a lifetime of baggage in the reader’s mind. But you can still insert enough cues so that when combined, they’ll get the idea across.
Regarding female led superhero media: I don't think that women actually deserve equal representation in fiction. The vast majority of heroes in real life, like soldiers, police officers or firefighters, are men. So if women want to be at least half of the heroes in fiction, they need to step up their game. That's only fair.
It must be personally embarrassing for you, living in a world where only men are heroes, to have turned out to be such a fucking idiot.
OTTAWA - The federal government has no authority to strip a Canadian-born person of their citizenship, says a Toronto lawyer spearheading a constitutional challenge of new legislation.
Rocco Galati, fellow lawyer Manuel Azevedo and the Constitutional Rights Centre have filed a notice of application in the Federal Court of Canada arguing Parliament reached beyond its jurisdiction in passing the controversial measures.
They are asking the court to declare the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act unconstitutional, citing citizenship protections ranging from the Magna Carta to the Constitution Act, 1867.
For years, a newcomer could be stripped of Canadian citizenship if they attained it through false representations.
The new law, which received royal assent last week, expands the list of those vulnerable to revocation to people born in Canada but eligible to claim citizenship in another country — for instance, through their parents.
It also broadens the grounds for revocation to include several criminal offences including espionage, treason or terrorism.
Opposition MPs have denounced the provisions as arbitrary and nonsensical, as revocation could now result in deportation to a country the person has never set foot in.
The Canadian Bar Association said the new law revives the medieval punishment of banishment.
Galati and his associates are also seeking a court order prohibiting citizenship revocation and removals under the new provisions.
They also want the government to file copies of “any and all” memos, opinions or legal opinions concerning the constitutional authority of the government to enact the legislation.
Immigration Minister Chris Alexander’s office did not answer questions Wednesday regarding the law’s constitutionality.
However, the minister has vigorously defended the legislation, saying the public thinks it is “absolutely legitimate” to strip dual nationals of their Canadian citizenship if they commit grave offences.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair said he wasn’t surprised at the legal challenge.
"The Conservatives are at war with a court system that keeps turning back their bizarre legislation that fails to respect Canadians’ rights," Mulcair said in an interview.
The Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers has said it will also fight the citizenship measures in the courts.
The legislation violates equality rights under the Constitution by creating separate classes of Canadians, says Lorne Waldman, president of the association of more than 250 lawyers who represent refugees.
The association also argues the proposed revocation procedures lack fairness and that a provision forcing new citizens to swear they intend to reside in Canada — and risk losing their citizenship if they later go abroad — would mean some Canadians have mobility rights while others do not.
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This is literally the worst law and if you support the Harper government in this action just fucking unfollow me now because it about to rain shit
Special shout out to all these lawyers fighting this. Keep up the good work.
The MAGNA CARTA. How messed up does a law have to be that it circumvents the Magna Carta?
I had to Google the Magna Carta to find out what it actually says, and it turns out most of it has been legislated out of power since 1215 when it was written. Some of it still has legal force, though (Canadian constitutional law is weird). Specifically, this bit:
"29. NO Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will We not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right."
Which I guess means, it has been illegal since 1215 to use EXILE as a punishment for a citizen of the nation, at least not without due process (for example, by a jury of their peers).
Okay I admit I don’t actually understand constitutional law. But exile? Exile. Seriously.
Why do you think there's almost no discussion of webcomics by any comics sites or critics? Is it because they're free? Is it the subject matter?
It’s because webcomic cartoonists appear to be generally hostile to critics and often vocally so. There is a common refrain that a lot of webcartoonists repeated for a long time: that since their work is available for free, people shouldn’t complain about the work. I don’t agree and find this line of thinking disrespectful of the art form, the audience and the artists themselves. There is a dual tendency for the internet to breed yes-men cheerleaders and degenerate trolls in equal number, you have a subculture that results which is hostile to examination.
It also must be noted that many of the major early attempts at webcomics criticism were largely attack-websites that existed to tear down certain webcomics. This part of webcomic history cannot be ignored because it is important to why the central identity of the community of webcartoonists appear to be very protective of in-members.
That said, I have seen it said often enough that I’m content to withhold scrutiny of webcomics altogether.
File under “we don’t get paid enough for this shit,” know what I mean?
Unlike Godzilla, Pacific Rim doesn’t try to be serious even when it’s being serious. Characters have names like Stacker Pentecost and Hercules Hansen. The film requires you to believe that the best way to battle a giant monster is to build an even larger robot to fight that monster.
Much of the Act 2 drama derives from inter-pilot tension airlifted from the Val Kilmer scenes in Top Gun. It’s the polar opposite of the Godzilla school of drama, where everyone is a total professional who has absolutely no personal goal besides Saving The World. In Pacific Rim, Idris Elba is Rinko Kikuchi’s Obi-Wan Kenobi, and two of the last Giant Robot-pilots in the world frequently get into sneering fights over who’s the bigger badass, and Charlie Day is a scientist.
So, for all these reasons, Pacific Rim is a movie that I’ve heard perfectly smart people describe as “stupid” or “silly.” The problem with this line of thinking is that, really, that every blockbuster is pretty “silly,” in the context of Things Adults Should Care About. Godzilla is not less stupid than Pacific Rim just because people frown more. […]
The difference, I think, is that Pacific Rim glories in its own silliness. There’s a flashback scene where Idris Elba rescues a little girl, and when he emerges from his giant robot, the sun shines upon him like he’s the catharsis in a biblical epic. There’s a moment when one giant robot swings an oil tanker like a sword. Then it grows a sword out of its wrist. Then it falls from space to earth.
There are real complaints to make about Pacific Rim, I guess, all of them fair and most of them pedantic. I know a lot of people who have issues with the story. (“Why didn’t they use the wrist-sword earlier?” is a popular one.) Conversely, I don’t really know anyone who minds the story in Godzilla, possibly because everything stupid that happens is prefaced by Frowning Watanabe saying “This is why the stupid thing that’s about to happen makes sense.” Godzilla wants so badly to make sense. Pacific Rim wants so badly for Ron Perlman to wear golden shoes.
”—Darren Franich, “Entertainment Geekly: A call for an end to serious blockbusters” (via rahleighs)
There is truth and then there is Truth. Pacific Rim eschews “truth” by skirting the edge of credibility, ignoring proper science (dinosaurs had two brains? Really?) and positing a ridiculous premise. In exchange it gains TRUTH, by giving you big cartoon characters that you can totally identify with, feel what they feel, care about what they care about. They are not well fleshed-out, have simple goals, and fight stupid fights with each other. But their emotions are written across the screen in bright blue paint. Even the characters who barely get any lines. Pacific Rim is a movie about feelings. And what is art for, if not to make you feel things?