Archive for the ‘issues’ Category

New Web Series About Super Heroes!

February 17th, 2014 by Susie

Popular Youtube channel Geek and Sundry has  come out with a new superhero themed web series called Caper. it follows four heroes (analogs for Superman, Wonder Woman, Thor, and Iron Man) who can’t quite make their rent from their heroics so turn to crime. They’ve only put out two episodes so far, but I am hooked. And there’s already been one surprisong and very recognizable guest star. Have a look!

Caper Episode 1

Caper Episode 2

A Message from Dr. Harleen Quinzel

September 7th, 2013 by Susie

It is no secret that I love the character Harley Quinn originally from Batman: the Animated Series. (I’m seriously considering cosplaying as her at my next convention). It’s also no secret that I’m not always happy with the direction DC has taken with her since incorporating her into the comics continuity.

I was floored by this latest controversy involving the character. Read it for yourself.

DC talent contest asks for drawings of naked Harley Quinn committing suicide.

However rather than me going into another lengthy rant, I thought I’d give Harley the floor for a rebuttal.


photo 1 photo 2

Thanks, Harls, that about sums it up.

Actually no it doesn’t, there is a lot more that is wrong and offensive about this mess. I’m just not optimistic enough that any intelligent argument against this nonsense will get through to the DC brass, who somehow thought this was a good idea in the first place, to waste the energy.


Links, links, linkedy links!

August 14th, 2012 by Susie

It’s been a little while since I last posted.  I was planning writing a review of the Amazing Spider-man, but then I went on a week long cruise the day after I saw it and it got sidelined (I saw whales!  It was awesome!).  I’m not going to write a long review, but I will say a little bit about it.  I really liked it, more-so than the original movies (which I liked a lot).  I liked that it felt smaller in scale than those previous films.  Not that it didn’t have plenty of comic book action, but the story felt more personal. It was a movie about a Person with powers, instead of a person with Powers.  I liked Emma Stone as Gwenn Stacy.  I liked that she fit into the love interest role very well, while not being a stereotypical superhero love interest.  She was smart and not in just a “oh look she’s pretty and brainy, aren’t we progressive?” way.  When she got the “I’m going to push you away so I don’t put you in danger” treatment, she knew exactly what was happening and refused to accept it.  And she served a function in the plot other than to be imperiled and-or longed for.  Also, she and Andrew Garfield had really good chemistry together.  Speaking of Garfield, he was very good.  He brought several layers to Peter Parker, which are there in the comics, but I hadn’t seen in the earlier films.  He aptly portrayed Peter as an awkward kid with an enormous burden.  We saw his guilt over his part in his uncle’s death, and his unbridled joy in discovering his new powers.  I also really enjoyed the scene when those powers first manifested

Okay those were my thoughts.  Now to make up for the lack of a legnthy review, here are a bunch of links!

On the topic of our friendly neighborhood web-slinger, check out this Spider-man fan film from 1969!  It’s charmingly homemade, and does capture the simplistic and sort of hokey feel of the early sixties issues.

And here is an awesome article about why Princess Leia is such an important icon.

And now an enormous and intricately detailed model of Serenity, made out of Lego!  How freaking cool is that?

This I only just discovered.  It’s a tumbler devoted to reviewing, page by page the novelization of Back to the Future.  It picks apart the questionable quality of the writing, while also analyzing the story itself.  I especially liked this passage.

“To buy into Back To The Future, you need to accept not only that time travel exists, but that there exists a META-TIME, because changes to the timeline THEMSELVES take time: Marty stops his parents from meeting and rather than disappearing right away, he has a week in 1955 to sort this out before the consequences of that become critical.  In other words, whatever change you make to the timeline ripples through it like a wave in a bedsheet, altering things as it goes, and you’ve got until when that wave catches up with you to fix things if you’ve done something dumb like prevent yourself from being born.

Proof for this is that Marty’s siblings faded away in order from oldest to youngest – the change caught up with them first!   We’re going to assume you start to fade when your birth gets interfered with.  The fading isn’t consistent (Brother Dave fades from top to bottom while Marty just gets less and less opaque), but we’re estimating!  Here we could assume instead that you start fading when the date of your conception gets messed with rather than date of your birth, but we’re not, because that’s a rabbit hole of tracing events back to causes that puts us back in 1955 again.

So!  Since we know the day Marty arrived in 1955 and stopped his parents from meeting (Saturday, November 5th), the day he started actually fading away (a week later on Saturday, November 12th, 1955), the year Marty was born (1968) AND we even can guess at the day (most stuff puts his birthday at either June 12th or June 9th (same as Michael J!)) we can calculate pretty reliably how fast this meta-time lets changes move in this story, which is how fast changes to the timeline propagate.

A change made to the timeline on November 5th, 1955 takes 7 days of real time to ripple through time and reach June 9th, 1968.  That’s 4,604 future days to ripple through (inclusive, so we’re assuming that Marty was born near the end of the day, but it doesn’t make THAT much of a difference), therefore meta-time travels at about 657.71 times faster than regular time here.

One problem, cats and kittens: with this number Dave actually fades out too soon (he’s not born till 1963 but he shows effects of fading early in the morning of November 6th, 1955, and with our meta-time speed the changes should only 3.6 years out by then, back in good old 1959).  So we adjust our theory to say that these changes here travel at a speed that AVERAGES out to that 657.71 times faster number, but it can go faster and slower in places.

This raises the question: what does this propagation speed depend on?  Well, there’s actually evidence in the movie that lets us conclude that the speed of changes to the timeline is dependent how much it’s being changed from its original shape.  AND I CAN PROVE IT WITH MATHS AND LOGICS:

So remember that Marty starts to fade, and then Lorraine and George kiss and BAM, everyone in Marty’s photograph fades back in right away, one after the other.  This is obviously way faster than our number from before, but we incorporate this by assuming that the timeline is flexible, but like a spring, it has a preferred shape.  Changes that restore it to its original form propagate much faster (30 years of timeline gets restored in about 4 seconds here, which is a meta-time transmission speed of a zany 236,676,945 times faster than regular time), while those that deform it into unusual shapes travel at our (much) slower speed.

HOWEVER: it gets more a teensy bit more complicated when you do something that changes the timeline back to its original form in one way, but changes it in another way (like oh I don’t know coming up with and then executing a plan to get your parents back together in such a way that one of them experiences an epiphany and moment of personal growth while the other gets assaulted??).   In this case you have TWO ripples going out: the restorative one that puts things back as they were originally with children being born and what not, and the altering one that applies the changes from that baseline.

That’s RIGHT: two ripples, baby, and they’re travelling at different speeds, with the restorative one several orders of magnitude faster!  This is critical because soon when Marty returns back to 1985 he’ll witness himself going back in time again as he remembers it happening, go to bed, and wake up in a future he barely recognizes.  The restorative ripple goes through time, restoring his family, in about four seconds.  We see that happen with the photograph.

What we don’t see (because Marty travels through time pretty quickly after this dance and never looks at the photograph again) is the alterations to the baseline timeline that are happening in the meantime, at a slower speed.  These are the ones changing his family history to the “improved” edition.  When Marty arrives in 1985 he actually gets there BEFORE the alteration ripple gets there (he’s travelled through time and in doing so jumped over the ripple travelling through metatime), so he can watch himself, then he goes to bed.  As he sleeps the altering ripple catches up and changes things around him, causing him to wake up in a 1985 he doesn’t recognize.  This ripple goes faster than the original one did, travelling 30 years in only about 8 hours of real time instead of a week, but here the changes are proportionally much smaller!  All that’s changing is jobs and lifestyles for a few characters, we’re not dealing with an entire family never existing.

I hope that this post convinces you that changes to the timeline in the Back to the Future (Part 1) universe take time to travel through time, and that the speed at which this metatime allows changes is proportional to the size of the change being made!

INTERESTING ASIDE: One cool thing we get from this theory is that a more minor change Marty made in 1955 could’ve affected him while he was hanging out there, and it’s a shame he didn’t put any money in a bank account when he was there because midway through his week in the past he could suddenly discover that he’s rich!!

INTERESTING ASIDE 2: some of you are probably saying “Wait when Marty watches himself it’s the Lone Pine Mall instead of the Twin Pines Mall he remembers, this ruins the theory!” but ACTUALLY, it only strengthens it.  One of the first things Marty does when he arrives in 1955 is kill a pine tree, and that minor ripple had a full week of real time to arrive in 1955.  When I said earlier there are TWO ripples, I was simplifying: each change actually gets its own ripple, which propagates at a speed dependent on the magnitude of the change.  This makes sense as soon as you realize that changes are obviously a spectrum, and not just “major” or “minor”.  When Marty arrives in 1985 again it’s already changed from what he’s remembered in minor ways, in the process of changing in more major ways, and will change more over the next few hours as everything stabilizes into the new normal.

INTERESTING ASIDE THE THIRD: the fact that Marty isn’t altered as the timeline catches up with him is something we’ll deal with down the road, because it raises some timey-wimey issues too!”

Okay, hope everybody is good.  That’s all I’ve got right now.  I’ll probably be back after I’ve seen the Dark Knight Rises (if I see it while it’s still in theaters).

Brand New Sandman Comic! (eventually)

July 14th, 2012 by Susie

Watch this.  Do it!


Long time readers of this blog can probably guess how I feel about this.  He doesn’t say when it will come out or if it will be a single issue, a mini series, a maxi series, or a standalone graphic novel.  my vote is for the latter, since after months of anticipation waiting a month between installments would be torture.  Of course I will buy it regardless of format.  I’m very glad he’s giving us another glimpse into this universe.  Sandman is such an important mythology to me, it feels a bit like Homer announcing an untold tale of Odysseus.


(By the way, if you are one of the five people who have purchased something from my Redbubble shop, thank you from the bottom of my heart.)

The Avengers: A Reaction

May 5th, 2012 by Susie


(More to come)

Villainous Villainy

March 18th, 2012 by Susie

The other day, I started listening to an audiobook of a highly regarded scifi classic.  I was enjoying it, the world building was interesting and the characters were compelling.  Until I got to the chapter introducing the villains.  They couldn’t have been more one dimensional if they’d tied their victims to railroad tracks while twirling their mustaches and laughing maniacally.

I bring this up not to malign a well beloved book (I’m not going to name the book, since it has a devoted fan base and I don’t want them to come after me.  Besides I’m not that far in, they could get more complex later, I don’t want to judge too early), but because I fear crafting well rounded villains is one of my biggest weaknesses as a writer.  I ended up getting into a fascinating discussion on a messages board for writers about what makes a well written villain.

Everyone had a different answer, but a few things came up most often.  Motivation, a compelling villain should do their villainous deeds for clear reasons, other than they’re EVIL, and or because the writer needs them to do it to move the plot along.  Villains that think of themselves as the hero of the story, was also mentioned.  Though others said they enjoyed a villain that enjoys being evil.

It got me thinking about the villains that stand out for me, the villains that I’ll never forget.  So me being me, I made a list!

1) Scorpius from Farscape, both the television series and comics. 
Scorpi has a lot going for him as far as villainy.  He is the product of a interspecies rape.  Tortured for being an abomination by his father’s species, his incompatible DNA made him weak and in constant unbearable pain.  He learns to overcome his weaknesses, and tolerate the pain, with one goal in mind, destroying the species that made his life hell.  And he’ll do anything to accomplish it.  Clear motivation, check.
He also sees himself as the hero of the story, ridding the universe of the violent, oppressive Scarrans.  Yet he also obviously relishes his scheming and backstabbing.  To top it all off he has one of the scariest appearances ever put on screen, an emaciated corpse like body clad in S&M style leather, made all the more creepy by his patrician accent.

2) Pobadiah Unkshuss from Moonshadow.

I don’t know how many people will have heard of him, or the comic he appears in, but he is one of the most memorable villains of all time for me.  His full title is the Pious Rabbi Pobadiah Unkshuss.  Though he calls himself a rabbi and wears the robes of a Cardinal, it’s all an act to make him appear powerful and respectable.  Looking like a cross between the Grinch and a lizard, everything about him oozes evil, and I was screaming for him to get his comeuppance.

3) Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter.

Bellatrix came up a lot in the discussion.  She’s just crazy, and a zealot, and scary as all get out.

4) Iago from Othello.

He taps into everyone’s fear that someone close to you might be secretly out to get you.  He is the ultimate manipulator.  He manages to get his enemy to kill his innocent wife and then himself, all while keeping his own hands clean.  And why?  Because the guy got the promotion he wanted.  In other words, Iago is slightly disappointed, cue utter decimation of rival.  That is a bad dude.
(By the way, murder is not an okay response to adultery, real or faked.  Ahem–Othello.)

5) Vizzini from the Princess Bride.

Never go against a Scillian when death is on the line!  Nuff said.

6) Jack Chili from the Bones of the Moon.
If very few people will have heard of Pobadiah, almost no one will have heard of Jack Chili, the main antagonist of one of my favorite books.  Of all the names on this list, he is the one that gives me nightmares.  He is basically a boogie man, hunting the protagonist, Cullen, in her dreams. There is no real explanation for why he is after her, and he has the power to do or be anything.  That sounds like a pretty flat, cliched character, but the execution is terrifying.  He is literally inside her head, and can access everything she is afraid of.  I’m really scared of Jack Chili, you guys.

7) The Joker, from Batman.

Clowns are scary anyway, but make one violent, unpredictable, and psychotic, and you’ve got one of the most iconic villains of all time.

Honorable mentions form the board: Maleficent, Darth Vader, Voldemort, and the Captain from Pan’s Labyrinth.

So who makes you want to hide under the covers?

Some Belated Holiday Goofiness

December 28th, 2011 by Susie


Not Harley! DC is killing me and everything good in the world!! RANT, RANT, @&$//!

June 22nd, 2011 by Susie

Okay, when DC made the big announcement that they were rebooting and revamping their hero books, I really didn’t have an opinion. It’s been awhile since I’ve read any of them regularly, and a good story is a good story. The news did not rock my world.
I felt some trepidation when I heard that Babara Gordon would no longer be Oracle or in a wheelchair, but my mind was put at ease when I found out Gail Simone would be writing her series. If anyone can return her to batgirl and erase all the awesome character development over the years since she became Oracle, but still keep her smart, kickass, resourceful, and compelling it’s Gail Simone.
So like I said, I had no strong feelings about the the reboot until I saw this!

That, if you can’t tell (and OMG how could you?) is supposed to be Harley Quinn!
My reaction was something like the title of this post but less articulate.
I love Harley Quinn! Love her! This isn’t her!
I don’t object to the idea of character redesigns. In fact I’ve liked quite a few of the ones I’ve seen for the new DC so far. But this is to put it mildly an abomination!

The redesigns were supposed to update the look, but stick to the essence of the character. What about this is Harley?
As a refresher this is what Harley has more or less looked like for about two decades.

Isn’t she cute? She’s spunky, kooky, violent, and yes sexy. She is dressed very much like the clown archetype that inspired her name.

She isn’t a skank! She doesn’t look like she is about to eat your liver. She might, but she wouldn’t telegraph it like that. She isn’t in danger of contracting a venerial disease anytime she sits down.
I wouldn’t have cared if DC introduced this thing as a new character. I probably wouldn’t have bought the book she appears in, but to each their own. If they want to publish this character then fine, just don’t call her Harley Quinn! Call her Lady Wetdream vonTrollop derGonerrhea and be done with it. And leave my Harley alone, you bastards!!!!!!!

Addendum to previous post/American Gods contest

April 13th, 2011 by Susie

It has come to my attention that there is a contest being held in honor of the tenth anniversary of American Gods. the winner will get to record a part of the upcoming full cast audiobook. I have entered.
If you want to vote for me you can do so here.

Or if you would rather enter yourself (and why wouldn’t you?) you can do that here.

Fantasy Casting: Who is Jessica Jones?

January 4th, 2011 by Susie

As I reported in my last post, ABC is developing a television series based on Alias (the comic, not the previous ABC series by that name). While it is yet to be seen how well the comic will translate into a series, we can still have fun trying to cast it.
Jessica Jones, the heroine of Alias, is a private detective with super powers.  Those being:  flight, super strength, and near invulnerability to injury.   She was once a costumed superhero, going for a time by the name of Jewel, and later briefly by the name Knightress.  However she was never among the top tier of heroes, such as Spider-man or the Fantastic Four.  During her tenure as a superhero, she went through an ordeal that left her emotionally scarred, and caused her to retire from the game. It also left her with a very thick, defensive shell built up around her, to keep her from being vulnerable again.   Essentially she prevents others from hurting her, by inflicting all the damage herself.   She drinks a lot, she sleeps with guys that she doesn’t care about, and that don’t care about her.  And she keeps anyone that might care for her at a safe distance, with a great deal of sarcasism, cynisim, and if that doesn’t work, hostility.
So who could possibly play a character this caustic, and still hold the audience sympathy?   I have three choices.
My first pick, is not known for her portrayals of wounded antiheroes.   In fact she is best known for playing one of the most relentlessly cheerful characters ever to grace a television screen.  Jewel Staite played the adorable, optimistic, genius mechanic Kaylee Frye, on the late, long lamented (by me at least, and a few others) Firefly.   Part of my reason for casting her would simply be because Jessica is so different from Kaylee, that it would be really interesting to see her play that end of the spectrum.   Another reason is that she sort of reminds me of the way artist Micheal Gaydos, drew Jessica.

And she would have no problem portraying the Jess’ youthful exuberance, in flashbacks to her more innocent Jewel days. (Just noticed I cast an actress named Jewel to play a character code named Jewel, that is imaginative of me).  I have not seen her in many roles outside the “verse” , so I don’t know what kind of a range she has, but she endeared herself to me so much as Kaylee, that I want to see her carry a series, even if I’m not entirely certain she can pull off Jessica acerbic wit. (Although she did manage to make Simon to feel like a moron, more than once).

My next two choices on the other hand, would have no problem with that aspect of the character.

Caroline Dhavernas, was the lead on another series that was cancelled far too early.  If Firefly’s run was short, then Caroline’s show Wonderfalls’, was microscopic.  Only three episodes ever aired on network television.  Luckily around twelve episodes of this quirky, funny, and often touching but not cloying, show were filmed, and they were released on DVD.  (Coincidentally Jewel Staite guest starred on a few episodes).

As the main character Jaye, Caroline displayed a talent for the biting, yet deadpan delivery, which is just how Jessica sounds in my head.  While Jaye was just naturally antisocial, rather than having become so due to a trauma, I have confidence that Caroline could convey that she was covering up a deep secret.  She is about to debut in the cast of Shonda Rhymes’ new show Off the Map, which is one of the reasons I plan to watch it, but if that show doesnt take off, or even if it does, she would be perfect in the part of Jessica.

Like the my other picks, I am shocked that my final choice has not had a bigger career.  She is incredibly talented.  Alicia Witt has been working steadily since she was fourteen years-old, yet she is not a household name.  She has been in projects as varied as the family drama Friday Night Lights, the sitcom Cybill, and the scifi epic Dune.

She is probably closer to the age that Jessica is meant to be in the comic, than the other two.  (Though who knows if the network, would want a heroine as old as, [gasp!] thirty-five).  And since she  has been in the business for so long, she could probably relate to Jess’ loss of innocence, and idealism, about her chosen profession.  Despite no longer being a twenty-something ingenue, she is absolutely stunning.  Which I’m sure would help grease the wheels of casting.  Plus she too is a master of the dead pan delivery.

Here is quick side by side of each.  Got a favorite among them?  Or your own pick?

So those are my top picks.  Any ideas about who should be the supporting cast?  Anyone out there scream Luke Cage to you?  Or Miss Marvel?

ReadComics Podcast #049 – Book Club #19 – So Super-Duper

November 7th, 2010 by Martin

This book club podcast about the first ten issues of the comic book So Super Duper features Marty, Florence, Jason, Angela, and Susie. We talk about our impressions of the comic.

“So Super Duper” is a cute story about a character named Psyche, a new-ish Super Hero who isn’t quite as super as everyone else on his team. Psyche slowly discovers that his lack of superheroness may not be the only thing that is different about him.

Listen to Podcast Episode #049 (23.3 MB, 49 minutes)

Redheads for the Win!

July 14th, 2010 by Susie


New Book Club Choice

June 25th, 2010 by Susie

We will be recording our next Book Club podcast Thursday July 1st, at 6 pm.  Florence got the pick this month. She has chosen Runaways Volume 1: issues 1 through 18, by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrien Alphona.   Most of the regulers have read Runaways before so we may discuss events beyond the first eighteen issues, but they are the plan for now.  As always if anyone reading along would like to join in on the recording, please contact us by commenting below.

Crossover podcast: Iron Man 2 discussion

May 14th, 2010 by florence

Marty and I (and baby Colleen) joined in on Jason’s other podcast this week and had a great time!

Film Confessional podcast Episode 9.1 includes a spoilery review of the new Iron Man movie. Episode 9.2 will be posted soon- stay tuned to the end for our discussion of favorite superhero movies!

Tim Gun critiques super hero costumes

May 4th, 2010 by Susie

This is an a cool looking web series called Crazy Sexy Geeks, in this episode is Tim Gunn, who is one of my favorite people. Past guests have included Amber Benson, another of my favorites.
Crazy Sexy Geeks

Crazy Sexy Geeks 2

Go pick up Love and Capes #13 …today!

May 1st, 2010 by Martin

Today is Free Comic Book Day, (as probably most of you know), and I was looking forward to all the free comics, but of course I have a special place in my heart for Love and Capes, and I have to say issue #13 absolutely did not disappoint. Author/creator Thom Zahler has just an amazing knack for making the lives of his characters feel incredibly real, and also incredibly funny. This is (in my opinion), the best kind of superhero story.

It just goes to show that free comic book day comics can be really good! Love and Capes has been one of my favorite comics since back in 2007, when I picked up issue #4 in a stack with all the other Free Comic Book Day comics. I’m not sure, but I think there may have been a L&C issue in every free comic book day since then. interviewed Zahler for our first — and so far only — creator interview. If you haven’t read any Love and Capes, I highly recommend picking up the first couple trade paperbacks. (You probably don’t have to read them from the beginning, but it is a continuous story, so not only would you be spoiled, but you’ll definitely enjoy them more if you do.)

Anyway, after I got back home from braving the lines of comic book fanatics at The Source this morning, I devoured issue #13, laughing out loud every other page, and biting my tongue so as not to read every punchline out loud to Florence and Susie. When I finished the comic, I was excited to read in the back of this issue that Zahler is finally getting a chance to give Love and Capes the dedication and regular attention that it deserves (13 issues in how many years?) with the announcement that IDW will be picking up L&C for a monthly five-part miniseries! But that announcement also came with some bad news, as apparently Zahler is going to “take a break” from L&C for a bit after that. I hope to be reading L&C long into the future, at least until Mark and Abby become empty-nesters. Here’s to another fantastic issue of Love and Capes.

My top 15(ish) female comics characters

March 18th, 2010 by Susie

I have been meaning to do this post for a while, ever since Florence posted the link to the list of the top women in comics of the last decade. Now in honor of my brand new niece! (congratulations Florence and Marty!) I present my favorite female comics characters.  I am not limiting myself to any decade, and am not going in any order of preference.

1) Grandma Ben, from Jeff Smith’s Bone

though her granddaughter Thorn is pretty special too, Grandma Ben is awesome, and unique.   When was the last time, any medium introduced, a female character with a Popeye-esque build, and gray hair, let alone one that could slay a dragon?   Grandma is tough as nails, a champion cow racer, and incredibly strong.   She is also a loving guardian for Thorn.   Grandma rules!

2) Death & Delirium, from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman

Sandman introduced some amazing female characters: Mazikeen, Nuala, and Titania among them. These two are my favorite. I don’t think I’m alone in finding the idea of death as a perky,  sensible, Mary Poppins quoting, goth chick, very comforting.  She is someone you’d want to hang out with, except you would have to die to do it.

As for Delirium, well I’m a sucker for the damaged, quirky, somewhat dangerous, yet fragile girls.   See also: River from Firefly, Drusilla from Buffy, Cassie from Skins, and Arkady from Freak Angels.   Del is the quintessential example of this kind of character, since she is the physical embodiment of insanity.  She is so vulnerable, that your heart aches for her.  She can also be charmingly innocent, and then turn on a dime and be scarily prescient. I love her, that is all.

3) All of the women of Strangers in Paradise, form Terry Moore’s Strangers In Paradise

While Katchoo and Francine are the female leads, every last character with two x chromosomes (and the ones with a y as well) is an completely fleshed out person.  From shallow bimbo Casey (who some how evolved over the course of the series into one of the most lovable characters), to Francine’s overbearing mother, to Tambi, Katchoo’s  hard-ass mafia connected half sister, had nuances and depth, that made them entirely believable.  I can’t single any of them out, they are some of the best written women I have every read.  They are also some the best  (if not just the best) drawn as well.  None of them looked the same (except Tambi, and Bambi, who are twins and even they had their differences), and that is remarkable in an industry where so often an artist just has one, totally unrealistic female boy that they draw, and just changes out the clothes, face and hair, to differentiate them.  All the women in SIP have different, and very real looking bodies, as well as faces.  Something that Terry Moore has continued into his new series Echo.  Well done Terry!

4) Buffy Summers, from Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Okay, Buffy  is not a character that originated in comics, but this is a list of my favorite female characters, and Buffy Summers has to be on this list.   Because she is Buffy freaking Summers!  In the Buffy season eight comics, Joss and his team have continued the growth of the character, that started in the tv series.  She is still struggling with her place as a hero and leader as it evolves, without it feeling like a retread of what has already been done with the character.  And she has her flaws as well as strengths, that makes her feel like a real person.  I am so glad we got more Buffy, regardless of the medium, but I think she is a great addition to comics’ pantheon of heroes.

5) Elaine Belloc, from Mike Carey’s Lucifer

I nearly put Mazikeen onto this list, and if it was a list of great bad asses she would be on it, but it’sa list of my favorite, and while Mazikeen is close, I am going with Elaine.  Elaine started as a little girl trying to get Lucifer to help her get revenge for her dead friend Mona.  She ended the run as a powerful, deity, in contril of her own universe.  In a way Elaine became as much of a main character, as Lucifer.  Probably because Lucifer, as interesting as he is, is not very relatable.  Elaine on the other hand was both relatable, and infinitely likable.  She was a plucky and clever, girl who could both stand up, to and for the devil.

6) Molly O’Reilly, from John Ney Reiber’s Books of Magic

Though the Books of Magic, was created by Neil Gaiman, the majority of it’s run was written by John Ney Rieber, and he is the one who introduced Molly.  When he left the series, he took Molly with him.  Like Elaine, she is character, that came to rival her series’ main character, in popularity.  Once she feel in love with Tim Hunter, poor Molly did not have it easy.   She got kidnapped, by an obsessed, evil, future version Tim, and stranded in the hostile realm of Faerie.  All the way I was rooting for her, she managed to stick up for herself, and survive.  While I was convinced she and Tim, were soul mates, I was never prouder of her, than when she told him off for treating her badly, and cut ties for good.  I would love to see a return of Molly at some point.

7) Harley Quinn from various Batman comics

Like Buffy, Harley originated on tv, in the animated Batman series, and she was so popular, she was added into the official Batman continuity.  When you try to describe her, she comes across as a character I just should not like.  She is obsessed with the Joker, and is happy to let him walk all over her, and treat her like crap.   She has a very shaky moral center, and will probably betray her friends, if it will get her into the Joker’s good graces (she is getting a little better about that).  Yet I love her.  There is something that is so charming about her.  She makes me laugh any time she is involved in a story.  I like her best, when she is being written by her creator Paul Dini, as she is in the current Gotham City Sirens series.  It helps that in comics, we don’t hear her grating, over the top, (Brooklyn?) accent.

8) Gert Yorkes, from Brian K. Vaughan’s Runaways

Runaways is another series that has a lot of good female characters to choose from.  I love Gert for many reasons, one of them being that she is a teenage female comic character, that does not have a supermodel body (and she still got a hot boyfriend).  She also is smart, sardonic, and brave.  Plus she has purple hair and a pet dinosaur!

9) Agent 355, from Brian K. Vaughan’s Y: The Last Man

This is the character that would top the list of all time bad asses (along with Mazikeen, Tambi, and Grandma Ben).  In a series that has just one male character, 355 is the standout female.  She is a tower of strength.  She does her job, no matter what.  Somehow Vaughn managed to show her more vulnerable side, without diminishing her toughness.

10) Jessica Jones, from Brian Micheal Bendis’ Alias and the Pulse

Jess started the series as a bit of a self destructive mess.  As the series progressed we got to see the very justifiable reasons for it, and also see her grow past it.  Now Jessica Jones, may not be the greatest super powered person in the Marvel universe, but she rivals Spider-man for me as the most human.

11) Babara Gordon, from Gail Simone’s Birds of Prey

Barbara has been part of the DC universe since the silver age, first as Batgirl, then as Oracle.  However it was Gail Simone’s run on Bird’s of Prey, that really sold me on the character.  After all, she is a hero for the simple reason that she is very very smart.  She is also a very capable fighter, despite not having the use of her legs, and a good mentor to younger female heroes.  Plus, she is a hot red head with glasses.

12) Kabuki, from David Mack’s Kabuki

Kabuki is an amazing comic, and Kabuk is herself is at the center of it.  She is a touch crazy, and for good reasons.  Watching her story evolve from a simple revenge tale, to an in depth examination of her damaged psyche, has been fascinating.  The art is gorgeous, as well.

13) Knives Chau, from Bryan Lee O Malley’s Scott Pilgrim

Of the three main girls in Scott Pilgrim, Ramona is still too much of an enigma, for me to relate to.  And Kim, is funny, but not given much to do.  Knives however, I get.  Probably way too well.  She is a teenager, who has fixated on an older guy, who just never actually cared about her that much.   Her flailing attempts to get him to notice her, and later to just be in his circle, seemed very authentic.  Besides, she can do kung fu, that is cool!

14) Lois, from Alison Bechdel’s Dykes to Watch Out For

There are countless, realisticly portrayed women, over the course of this twenty some year strip.  I chose Lois because, she seems like the one who’d be most fun to spend an afternoon with.  The rest have too many neroses, and issues, which makes them feel very real, but might make spending time with them a bit stressful.

Couldn’t find a picture of  Lois:(

15) Marlys, from Lynda Barry’s Ernie Pook’s Comeek

Marlys, is just the greatest!  She will tell you so herself.  She is also a wonderful spaz.  Totally upbeat, in the face of adversity, and creative to a fault.  She makes me happy.  And she is a hell of a dancer!

Okay, were there any glaring omissions?  Let me know.

Neil Gaiman at the Golden Globes

January 23rd, 2010 by florence

I am late to this, since I just caught up with the Golden Globes on Tivo this morning and then started going through the photos of attendees online.

Apparently Neil Gaiman attended for Coraline (which lost to Up in the Best Animated film category).  Despite his nominee status, he was upstaged by his date and recent fiancee, musician Amanda Palmer.  Thanks to Neil’s blog soliciting votes from avid fans, this series of photos of Amanda undressing for photographers after the ceremony has won both Best and Worst dressed on Go Fug Yourself.  He briefly explains the context in his blog.

Top 10 Women in Comics last Decade

January 23rd, 2010 by florence

I have been meaning to repost this Jezebel commentary and join the conversation started in this list of 10 Great Female Comic Book Characters Of The Decade.  Be warned that there are spoilers in this link (though not in my post below), particularly for the wonderfully badass selections of 355 from Y the Last Man (#3) and Michonne from Walking Dead (#2).

I really enjoyed the post, and I’m interested in reading more of Kelly Thompson’s She Has no Head posts in Comics Should be Good now. I am familiar with most of the women on the list.  I love the inclusion of Frau Totenkinder (#10), though it does seem wrong for me to root for a child-eating witch when I’m on the verge of having a baby.  I really didn’t connect with Promethea (#9), but I can reluctantly respect her inclusion on the list, and the post itself echoes many of my criticisms about the abstract turn the story took.

I love the inclusion of Jessica Jones from Alias (#5).  Despite my terrible memory, which prohibits me from saying anything about the characters listed from Powers (#7) or Planetary (#6), despite having read both, Alias definitely stands out for me as one of my favorite titles/ new characters of the last decade.

There were three characters listed that I have never seen; Tara Chace from Queen & Country (#8), Cass Cain as Batgirl (#4), and Kate Kane as Batwoman (#1).  I will probably continue to skip Queen & Country, since it seems to have a miliary focus that totally puts me off, but these incarnations of Batgirl & Batwoman sounds fascinating. I may have to check the library, since I don’t think I know anyone who collects these DC comics (speak up if I’m wrong).

I was initially indignant about the absence of Strangers in Paradise, Buffy, and Sandman, whose female characters shaped and fueled my fandom, but I can understand them being excluded as characters who appeared in comics after 2000, but who were created in the 90s.  You could still make a case for Joss Whedon’s Fray, since it debuted in 2001.

Any suggestions of other missing characters who should have been eligible?

Wonder Woman Art Auction for a Good Cause

October 25th, 2009 by florence

Gail Simone Wonder Woman printI met Andy Mangels recently, when he was a featured guest at Gaylaxicon, and I was intrigued to learn about his online Wonder Woman museum.
On October 26th, he is holding the 4th annual Wonder Woman Day, which includes an art auction with art donated by Alex Ross and Gail Simone among others. I would love to find a way to buy some of the prints featured on this site, but I haven’t figured out how yet. Chime in if you find a way!

Are Motion Comics the future of Comic Books?

October 24th, 2009 by Michael

SpiderWoman_MotionComic_NowOniTunesRecently the new Spider-Woman series by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev hit the stands. It may also surprise you that they’ve also released a “motion comic” of the series on iTunes as well.  In fact, if you read much of the promotional interviews and articles bout Spider-Woman, you’ll find that Marvel is pushing the motion comic more than the printed comic.  In addition, they just announced that the first arc of Astonishing X-Men (“Gifted”) by Joss Whedon would be released as a motion comic as well, complete with a media blitz to boot.  This follows DC’s jump into the genre with last year’s Watchmen motion comic that coincided with the movie.  So what’s the story on this hot new craze sweeping the comics world?  Is this the golden ticket that the big publishers were looking for to bring comics into the digital age?  And what is the difference between a motion comic vs. a cartoon?  Lucky for you, I’m here to help out. (more…)

Read at Gaylaxicon!

October 12th, 2009 by Michael

gaylaxicon2009_logo_webiconLast weekend was Gaylaxicon in Minneapolis and Marty, Florence, Jason and myself were all in attendance. And a great time it was! We’ll podcast about it sometime this week but I wanted to make some call outs. First, Jason did a great job as the PR/Outreach coordinator for the convention. It was apparent by the turnout and the great time that was had by everyone that Jason worked hard in his role and it payed off. Also, the featured guests were excellent. Margaret Weis, Terrance Griep, Andy Mangels, Lawrence Schimel…they were all awesome and what I found great was that in a convention like this (as opposed to Convergence) was that you could interact with the guests of honor outside of the panels, and got a better feel for them as people. Finally, I loved the panels offered. All the panels I attended spoke to me as a gay geek and covered issues that were important to me. And it’s to the credit of the organizers that there were often tough choices on which panel to attend.

So that’s my brief Gaylaxicon recap. Next year it’s held in Montreal over Halloween weekend…I’m really interested in going!

Eep! the Guild is a comic!

October 9th, 2009 by Susie

Dark Horse Presents

And I have posted twice today. Nerd!

OMG you guys! I am totally breaking up with Daredevil!

October 9th, 2009 by Susie

I have been reading Daredevil for a few years. While both Bendis’ and Brubaker’s runs were well written and had fantastic art, every other arc dealt with one or all of the following.

-Matt is doing what it takes to protect the city. But he’s going too far! But what choice does he have!
-The Kingpin is gone. Now he’s back! But he’s powerless. But he’s secretly pulling all the all the strings!
-Matt needs a personal life or he’ll go crazy. But being daredevil is putting them all in danger! But if he dosen’t have a personal life he is not a person! But they’re all going to die!

I read the first issue of Andy Diggle’s run, and it looks like more of the same.

Sorry DD it’s over. Call me if you get a fresh perspective.

Hot Comics

October 4th, 2009 by florence

I found a post on Violet Blue’s website compiling some sexy webcomics. I haven’t had a chance to check them all out yet, but I have listened to her interesting ‘open source sex’ podcast and have enjoyed reading her political/ cultural blog posts, and her links to pretty girls.

This link is definitely NSFW, and the site is >18yrs.

Can’t Stop the Serenity!

August 4th, 2009 by sharyn

Thursday night, August 13th at The Riverview (the best movie theater in Minneapolis):

“Can’t Stop The Serenity is the annual global browncoat event featuring Serenity on the big screen with all proceeds to benefit Equality Now, Joss Whedon’s favorite charity. Equality Now is an international non profit organization working to end violence and descrimination against women and girls around the world. The now-annual event began in 2006 when over 40 locations around the globe raised over $60,000 for Equality Now! The 2007 global events topped that with gusto by raising over $100,000 for Equality Now! Minnesota’s participation provided over $2,000 in 2006, and tripled that amount in 2007 by raising $6,160! We raised over $7,200 in 2008!”

More information is available at

Dr. Horrible nominated for an Emmy!

July 16th, 2009 by Michael

DrHorribleSo, here’s some cool news: Joss Whedon’s brilliant Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is up for an emmy award for the ultra-obscure Outstanding Special Class Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Programs category. Which, appropriately enough, sounds like it should come from a Whedon musical.

In related Emmy news, Dr. Horrible Star Neil Patrick Harris was nominated for his supporting role in How I Met Your Mother. He’s also hosting the show! Yay!

Next Book Club pick

July 13th, 2009 by Susie


Susie has picked American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang, and The Eternal Smile by Gene Luen Yang, and Derek Kirk Kim. We will be discussing them on August 16 at 2 pm


Lucky Kid!

July 11th, 2009 by Susie

My mega talented coworker Sally did this amazing Batman mural for a lucky kid’s bedroom wall.


So I have two questions for you. The first is, what comic themed mural assuming you had the space and property would you want?   Second, what comic or cartoon themed mural would your eight year old self want?  Now I think I would go for Fray in free fall surrounded by flying cars. At eight it would have been either Gem and the Holograms in concert, or the Thundercats in a group pose.   And you?

I have issues

March 16th, 2009 by jason

Comics read since last time:

Justice League of America 17-21
Marvel Boy 1-6 (Morrison series)
Titans East Special #1
The Titans 1-6
Iron Man: Director of SHIELD 29-32
Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four 1-3
Hedge Knight II: Sworn Sword 1-6

Man, I’m so far behind on these. I probably can’t legitimately write too much about my thoughts on the above, since it’s been weeks now since I’ve read them, and so much has been read between then and now. Let’s see what I can remember…

Morrison’s Marvel Boy. Dig that kooky retcon, man. He’s been brought into the main Marvel continuity as part of the Dark Avengers, but when did he move from whatever earth this six-issue mini took place in to the regular Marvel Earth?

The Titans relaunch…nothing too exciting. It’s basically getting the band back together, isn’t it? Have they become the Rolling Stones of superhero teams? And it just seems wrong to have it not drawn by Perez. Trigon’s new look works for him. Did I say Rolling Stones? Trigon was definitely modelled after Ozzy.

Iron Man’s art was a little disturbing. I got kind of an uncanny valley experience looking at the people’s faces and how their bodies were positioned. How many stories can we have that are about Tony dealing with the unintended consequences of his actions regarding technology?

I like these Hedge Knight stories. Who knows, maybe I’d actually enjoy Martin’s series about pageantry and heraldry. Mike has been recommending it again and again.