I wish Tumblr had versioning, so that if I needed to make an edit (say, getting a word confused with its homonym when writing late at night) I could correct it without feeling like I was trying to get away with something.
The following day, I attended a workshop about preventing gender violence, facilitated by Katz. There, he posed a question to all of the men in the room: “Men, what things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?”
Not one man, including myself, could quickly answer the question. Finally, one man raised his hand and said, “Nothing.” Then Katz asked the women, “What things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?” Nearly all of the women in the room raised their hand. One by one, each woman testified:
“I don’t make eye contact with men when I walk down the street,” said one.
“I don’t put my drink down at parties,” said another.
“I use the buddy system when I go to parties.”
“I cross the street when I see a group of guys walking in my direction.”
“I use my keys as a potential weapon.”
The women went on for several minutes, until their side of the blackboard was completely filled with responses. The men’s side of the blackboard was blank. I was stunned. I had never heard a group of women say these things before. I thought about all of the women in my life — including my mother, sister and girlfriend — and realized that I had a lot to learn about gender.
This reminds me of a gallery opening I was volunteering at awhile back, for an exhibit of art based on domestic violence. The speaker told a story about a workshop he’d been to where the instructor asked the audience whether they’d rather walk on the side of the street with a stranger, or the one with a barking German Shepard. The men chose the stranger; the women chose the dog.
“So, a recent tweet called attention to the fact that new readers may be confused about something. Thus, to clarify: I am a dude. If I’m not, at least one of you is gonna be really surprised. In the comic, Molly draws Lit Brick (indeed, the standard LB art style is supposed to be “her” art style), but that’s only because I didn’t wanna draw myself all the time. I mean, for starters, that’d just be a bizarre Mary Sue ego trip. Secondary to that, though, is the fact that girls are just considerably more fun for me to draw. Drawing guys is boring. Drawing myself all the time would be even worse.”—John Troutman explains that he likes to draw women for the same reason I make female characters in MMOs. Only, you know, without the explicit ass reference
Way back in 2004 — which is about the Bronze Age in Internet terms — I started a blog called Websnark, with a simple mission statement. That mission statement came down to this: here’s a place where I can show off shiny things, ridiculous videos, and goofy pictures of dogs that I found on…
I got the trade paperback of “Green Lantern Corps: Brightest Day” yesterday since I’m catching up on all my Green Lantern reading and read through the entire thing last evening. Hey, it was a slow day.
In a startling coincidence I was talking to a friend of mine about Green Lantern and somehow the subject of Dex-Starr came up.
To explain exactly who, or rather what, he is, a little bit of history is needed. In the DC universe the various energies of the universe are divided up into colors that are ruled by the emotional spectrum. For years we only had green which is willpower. In recent years we have made a myriad of other colors crop up which draw their powers from different emotions. Each of them now has their own corps and their own power rings.
The Red Lanterns, who are getting their own ongoing this fall, are the emotion of rage. Not just unchecked savage rage either as it turns out, but the rage caused by a horrific tragedy in one’s life. Atrocitus has become a more sympathetic character from his traditional role as a Green Lantern villain and we have found out much about his past, finding him to be fleshing out into a much more complex character which most GL fans applaud.
And then there’s the fact that the existence of the Red Lanterns has given us the coolest thing ever.
We are so dead
i can haz mirdir nao?
Yes that is a cat in a Red Lantern costume. And yes he just killed those bad guys. He is actually, according to Geoff Jones, “one of the most sadistic and vicious” members of the RL corps.
Ruffles the Ragecat as he’s affectionately known by among fans started out as a joke. Shane Davis put him in as background filler and there really wasn’t going to be anything come of it until Johns, a few other creaters at DC, and GL fans took a look at the critter and proclaimed it to be THE MOST AWESOME THING EVER.
So Ruffles was given a name, that being Dex-Starr although most of his fans persist on calling him Ruffles. He was made the official Red Lantern of Sector 2814 and has made on-off appearances in Green Lantern over the past couple of years. He mostly served as a gimick for a time, a cute little bit of whimsy that fans chuckled at.
Then Geoff Johns decided to be a bastard (and I mean that in the nicest possible way) and wrote Dex-Starr’s origin story.
See the thing is most people thought Dex-Starr was an alien cat due to his name and the fact that he’s blue, but no he is an earth cat. His real name was Dexter, and I guess if you explain his new name like in his fuzzy mind he fudged up Dexter to sound like Dex-Starr it makes sense. Some have speculated that his blue coloring can be explained by what his breed is, most thinking that he might be a British Blue.
Anyway we find out his owner was killed and that he spent some time being homeless before the above panels where he was nearly drowned and drew the attention of the red ring. That was Aw-worthy enough, but what really clinched the “Johns is a bastard” thing for a lot of people was these panels below.
If you don’t find yourself shedding a few tears reading those panels, you’re just not fucking human.
Anyway, it’s an interesting story fleshed out for something that started out as a joke character and I do know that come the reboot, if Rage Kitty isn’t in the new Red Lantern book prominently, I will be royally pissed.
I thought about this when I left Nigeria to go to university in the United States. I was 19. My American roommate was shocked by me. She asked where I had learned to speak English so well, and was confused when I said that Nigeria happened to have English as its official language. She asked if she could listen to what she called my “tribal music” and was consequently disappointed when I produced my tape of Mariah Carey. She assumed that I did not know how to use a stove.
What struck me was this: she had felt sorry for me even before she saw me. Her default position toward me, as an African, was a kind of patronizing, well-meaning pity. My roommate had a single story of Africa, a single story of catastrophe. In this single story there was no possibility of Africans being similar to her in any way, no possibility of feelings more complex than pity, no possibility of a connection as human equals.
[…] I recently spoke at a university where a student told me that it was such a shame that Nigerian men were physical abusers like the father character in my novel. I told him that I had just read a novel called American Psycho and that it was such a shame that young Americans were serial murderers.
Now— now, obviously I said this in a fit of mild irritation, but it would never have occurred to me to think that just because I had read a novel in which a character was a serial killer, that somehow he was representative of all Americans. Now, this is not because I am a better person than that student, but because of America’s cultural and economic power, I had many stories of America. I had read Tyler and Updike and Steinbeck and Gaitskill. I did not have a single story of America.
Every so often, one says something like “reblogged for truth,” and it always seems like kind of a ridiculous copout. Obviously, if you’re reblogging something, you think it’s true.
This time, I humbly submit that this is the truth, pure and simple, and I am reblogging it for that reason. And I write this at the top because I want it absolutely clear that I agree with every word of it.
I’ve mentioned a few times that I volunteer with young girls. As part of my work with them we did a project focused on sequential art and comics.
We did some fun stuff. The girls designed their own comics. They each presented one of their favorite comics. They interviewed a comic book writer. And as part of the program I gave them all copies of the first issue of the comic “Supergirl: Cosmic Adventure in the 8th Grade.”
They LOVED it. If you haven’t read the series by Landry Q. Walker and Eric Jones, I highly recommend it. It’s fun and silly and is the perfect book for girls and boys under 11 who want superheroes they can relate to. Honestly the stuff that comes of the Johnny DC all-ages side of the house has about 90% hit rate on quality and this was no exception.
My request today is driven by the post* that Walker put on his blog this week about a sequel he has a pitch for called, what else, “Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 9th Grade.” DC, he says, didn’t turn it down; it just seems to have got lost in the shuffle. Here’s a few sketches:
You’ve read how the Ben Caldwell all-ages Wonder Woman went nowhere. How Dean Trippe’s pitch for an all-ages Lois Lane went nowhere. How the pitch for Barbara Gordon, Jr. Detective got passed over. Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone did a Wonder Woman all-ages pitch and Cooke says, “I wanted to give them at least 12 issues of a Wonder Woman book that any parent could give their child. They couldn’t have been less interested.”
Four pitches. Four treatments. Not all comics, but all properties featuring DC’s premium female IP targeted towards girls. And they all didn’t happen.
This book won’t solve those problems. But it could help. Every one of the girls I showed the first issue of “Supergirl” picked up more from DC. I truly believe that you get more females in this business by getting more young female readers. Isn’t that what this reboot is all about? Expanding readership? Here’s one way.
So I ask you to write to DC and ask them to do this book. Hell, ask them if they’ll do any of the other four projects, too.