Saturday, August 02, 2008

Slap a Supergirl Badge on Your Ass and be Empowered!

There's some kind of new clothing line in the works involving Supergirl. Instead of being honest and saying this is a venture to exploit a potentially powerful brand Barry Ziehl, senior vice president of worldwide marketing for Warner Bros. Consumer Products says this:

“The whole idea behind the Supergirl shield is a feeling of empowerment — when a girl wears the clothing, she will feel empowered,”

Why not just admit you're in it for the money? So what if it doesn't sound so selfless, at least it sounds rational. A fabric badge will invest a person with the feeling of empowerment? How does that work? Magic? Does it come with a matching pyramid hat?

Mr. Ziehl, if you're really interested in helping girls feel empowered then push your company to start funding some high school philosophy clubs. Something that encourages girls to use their rational and critical thought processes rather then switch them off.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Heroes Sucked.

I sat down last night with popcorn and a blanket ready to be entertained. Heroes was on and last week's episode was pretty good, completly confusing time travel aside. But this week...Oh boy. What a stinker. One moment of fantastic promise was tossed aside, three boneheaded moments spoiled the fun and one overarching pattern seemed to become clear.

First, that moment of promise. For me that was just after Sylar realized he was going to flatten New York in a huge explosion. The despicable, hated villain was scared. More then that he was concerned for all the innocents who would die. So he picks up his phone and dials Suresh. Now how cool would it have been if Suresh had handled his fear and listened to Sylar? Walked quickly to a public place, yes, but just listened. And then maybe, somehow, tried to help. I don't know how this would have gone but more interesting to me then bad guys and good guys have been the guys who straddle the middle or cross back and forth. Sylar, worried to death that innocents would die and seeking to charge that. Suresh knowingly helping a serial killer in aid of the greater good. Ah well. Suresh dialed 911 and Sylar got pissy. Opportunity lost.

Then comes the bit where Syler runs home to Mommy. It appears that Sylar was a spoiled single child who's mother put a lot of pressure on him to be special. If only she'd spanked him more. The whole bit felt like it was tacked on to quickly establish how Sylar got to be so bad (it's always the mother), make him even badder (ooh! He killed his mother! And doesn't mind killing millions more!) and give him presidential ambitions. It wasn't interesting or compelling and the silly Edward Scissorhands bit with his mom dancing in snow with the dark-fairgrounds type music was just distracting.

Next was little Molly. There's this bin in studios where horribly cliched characters/plot devices are stored and whenever a writing team has a mass brain fart and is lost for ideas they run over to the bin and grab something from it. You'll find magic negroes, mystical natives and gay best friend in there. You'll also find the little oracle girl. You've seen her before. Remember Newt from Aliens? They generally have seen evil and will tell other characters about it in 'boogeyman' code. They are very sad and very cute. (Take little oracle girl further, have her not just see evil but know it and you get little spooky girl who generally wears black and carries knives and/or decapitated teddy bears. Think Wednesday Adams and American McGee's Alice.) The one thing all the characters in the box have in common is that they're there simply to move the lead character forward. I suppose that's why they have power but in a neutered form. The oracle female is a child, the magic negro is a janitor, the mystical native is an old man, etc. Anyway, so there was Molly. Little Oracle Girl. I almost flicked the TV off. Good thing I didn't or I would have missed the next bit boneheaded moment.

Suresh cures a virus in a matter of hours by looking at a family photo and then givng little orcacle girl a drip filled with his freshly drawn blood. If the whole crisis of a dying child was going to be introduced, solved and cured in less then an episode then why the fuck even bother with it in the first place? Especially since it was so rushed Suresh was resorting to weird and crazy on-the-fly medical procedures.

This was also the episode that made a pattern clear for me and the pattern is this; All the women in the show are there to push the men and all the men are there as the actual power brokers. The power players are Linderman, Sylar, HRG, the Petrelli boys and Hiro. The women are their to prod their sons, die tragically or further the plans of the men. Even Clair, as much as she's the supposed center of the show isn't an honest player. She's there as the prize...Who gets her powers? The women are the the middle of the wheel, spinning and getting nowhere while the men are at the rim being the actual movers and shakers.

I hope it gets better. This episode ended with Peter glowing for an awkwardly long time so maybe next week we get around to the big bang. Heroes, at the best of times, is almost never brilliant (the ONLY exception being Hiro and Ando who, to go off on a rant, were basically sidelined as peeping toms last episode) but it's usually decent and leaves a person anxious to see the next episode. Last night though, to repeat, was a stinker and I won't be watching the next episode with the same anticipation as I have every episode fo far.

Monday, April 30, 2007

DC Salt & Pepper Shakers!

Okay, so I know that everybody and their dog and their dog's squeezy toy has commented on this picture now (heck, this is my second post on it) but I just realized what was going on with the picture.

See, this picture wasn't initially meant for a cover. It was intended to be Michael Turner's contribution to the new DC Comics line of kitchen Accessories. Along with the Poison Ivy and the Big Barda Mega-Rod Pepper Mill (The Citizen Steel Pepper Mill was axed unfortunately) it was meant to be part of DC's strategy to bring more women into the comic book reading fold.

Yes it was. Stick with me.

DC understands that it's main problem in appealing to the fairer sex is simply that the women are in the kitchen. We're cooking meals, washing know. Girl stuff. So they thought introducing a line of kitchen accessories styled after DC characters might lure the men into the kitchen long enough for us girls to read about Supergirl's latest adventure. Now this line never got off the ground because in testing they realized the women never left the kitchen after all. Sure, the men came in but they generally spent all their time caressing the products instead of using them.

The above picture was Michael Turner's vision for salt & pepper shakers. Power Girl was salt, Black Canary pepper. Though the design isn't clear with Black Canary you can see how it works with Power Girl. You simply lift her head and arms off the bust revealing the holes where the salt comes out. Unfortunately the caressing issue again reared it's head. Not to mention health concerns when product testers' sodium levels reached alarming heights.

It's a shame it didn't work out. At least we now know that DC really does have the interests of female readers at heart.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Black Cat Re-imagined

Lookee what I found!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This is the work of Chad Townsend. I originally saw this picture at The Drawing Board (which offers a largr version of the picture) and it blew me away. It instantly seems to open up Felicia Hardy as a character and present more depth. It shows more skin then her classic costume but is more about getting down to business rather then inducing drool.

I love the look. Thank you Chad!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I Had No Idea.

I was absolutely sure Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane had nothing to offer me. It's a comic book aimed at teenage girls and all full of high school dating stuff that I missed out on myself because I was so much of a geek. And it's about Mary Jane, who is an okay character but never seemed very deep to me. And it looks like friggin' manga. Three strikes.

Despite my prejudice I went and downloaded the series and two previous mini-series. I'd finally given in to all the talk around Manhunter, downloaded and read it and was completely hooked. So maybe people knew what they were talking about with Mary Jane as well?

They did. They so did. I really didn't think a comic for teenage girls would be done with so much respect and careful attention to characters. I had visions of some Archie-True Romance cross. Thank godness I was so wrong. Mary Jane is compelling and characters like Flash and Liz Allen, despite how easily they could come off as shallow and unsympathetic, are people a reader ends up caring about. And the art is perfect. It's like Archie with less of the formula and a lot more humanity.

So I'm sold. Now that I have a local shop that will order in comic books so first chance I get I will be heading down to put money down for Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane and Manhunter.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Wonder Woman...Of course.

I am so happy at the moment. Having Gail Simone write Wonder Woman makes me feel completely joyful. Now I just have to wait.

So of course I whipped up an image to express that...

If anyone wants to grab this, feel free. It's already on my sidebar.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Boys Who Need Breasts.

There's a distinct lack of compassion in the fangirl community these days. The poison unleashed on men who draw female characters with ample cleavage is awful. I'm asking you all to please stop. Just stop. Let me explain to you why these men deserve our compassion.

Take the following picture,

Although Power Girl has always been known for her extraordinary cup size this picture has attracted a lot of negative attention. A lot of whining from female fans that this is a ridiculously sexualized pose. Take another look. Note how the breasts are presented, yes presented, to the viewer on a shelf of fabric. How uniform, how milky white. Are they not presented with the perfection of honeydew melons on a grocers shelf? Sex? the furthest thing from the artists mind. This is about nourishment!

The primary function of the female breast is to nourish her young. This is about men who crave a mother's milk! This is about men who were once boys who were once infants whose mothers fed them from sterile, cold bottles!

This is hard to accept, I know, but please bare with me. Look into Power Girl's eyes. See how she tilts her head as if to look down on her child. See how her eyes widen with a mother's love. See how her lips pout as if to give her infant a tender kiss!

It's so obvious once you overcome your militant feminist programming. Power Girl is the mother. She is the one that beckons the infant in all men to come and embrace her and to suckle. The men who you recklessly dismiss as pigs are in fact little boys simply craving the love and milk denied to them as infants!

Frank Cho, who so sadly uses the dog to express his own need...

Michael Turner who so mourns the lost bond with his mother and her breasts that he seeks to frame the twin orbs in divine light...

Greg Land, obviously remembering the moment when he bit and his mother switched him to that unfeeling bottle...

Rob Liefeld

...ah...Well, nevermind. In the context of this blog post, that's just disturbing.

Back to the point of this plea. It's not about sex, it's about infants denied their basic right to motherly milk. This is not the fault of the men who draw these women but the natural concequence of foisting a glass cylinder filled with a poor imitation of the breasts' most natural gift. Feel for these men! Feel for the infants that cry in their hearts! The inner infants that chew on their fists and sob for the bond that nursing produces! Look in the eyes of the next well-endowed superheroine you see and notice the plea in her eyes. It's a reflection of the plea in the heart of the man who drew her.

Don't hate them. Don't belittle them. Weep for them.