Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

I'm back! And reading! And maybe even blogging! No promises!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

We had one trick or treater today! A personal best! (For some reason kids don't trick or treat much in my parents' neighborhood. Or we're the creepy neighbors. That's equally possible.)

On the plus side. Lots of candy, perfect to fuel the start of this year's attempt at NaNo.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Okay, yeah, totally playing hooky on the blog

Sorry. There's really no excuse for leaving more than a WHOLE WEEK between entries.

Just, right now, I don't have that much to talk about. Much to my dismay. I haven't been able to read a lot of comics due to the whole looking-for-a-job situation. (Emerald Warriors still rocks though.)

I'm thinking of doing some kind of meme or something to get back in the swing of things, but I gotta decide which one would be the most fun. (Seeing as how I'm lazy, it'd probably be another of the ten characters/question ones that I use WAY too often to fill up blogspace.) And also determine if anyone's still around to play too. :-)

Also, I've almost convinced myself to do NaNoWriMo this year. I only tried once before, and didn't finish, but I DO have an idea I want to get to work on. Maybe I'll post bits, if it turns out even remotely readable. Since it's kind of B-movie space opera, I really doubt it will. But you never know. :-) I DO have a working title though, vaguely Rice-Burroughs inspired (The Pirates of the Oort Cloud. :-P) which is more than I USUALLY have. I've discovered that I like ER-B type titles though. _________ of __________. Very to the point. You can already tell if you're going to like it or not. Heh.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Been watching Harper's Island with a friend of mine. It's not bad, though a bit slow paced for my taste.

I have come to the realization that Richard Burgi drinks the souls of newborns or something, because damn. Still hot.

And Sully totally looks like a live action Shane Gooseman.

Also, I feel kind of bad that I enjoyed seeing the girl with the dog die. I hate people who respond to perfectly reasonable things like "Get your dog off the table, people eat here" with "She's people too!"

And on a random note, I totally made Ragnell sit through all of Stargate Atlantis. Mostly so I can bitch about the fandom, which while it's got great parts, also has people with such weird/bizarre takes on the show that it makes people in comic fandom seem balanced. And I'm including message board fans! :-P

But yeah, that's what I've been up to. I'm boring right now. Sorry. :-(

Monday, October 11, 2010

Amazon Space Pirate Starfire, or the Appalling Dearth in the DCU's Outer Space Setting

After I posted my Starfire post yesterday/early today, I got to thinking. You know what I find really disappointing?

The lack of really good pulp sci-fi space opera shit in the DCU.

I mean, yes, Marvel does some neat space stuff and I'm not going to complain about that, but Marvel's space setting doesn't really lend itself well to the old school "Warlord of Mars" or "Pirates of Venus" type genre. I'm not sure why, but in my opinion that kind of REALLY old school sci-fi stuff fits more with DC.

Hell, I think Ragnell has a post somewhere about how the GLC pretty much IS the Lensmen. Only awesomer, naturally.

Anyway, don't get me wrong, I LOVE the GLC with every little cell in my body. But that (and spinoffs) are pretty much IT when it comes to space DCU.

But considering that we have like 300 Earth based heroes all of whom are perfectly capable of fronting good stories with a distinct style and flavor from one another without confusion, why don't we have more out in the vastness of space? (I'm not counting that ill-fated Darkstar thing with John Stewart and Donna Troy back in the nineties. Though, it was a good attempt!)

Where are the Omega Men? Where did Adam Strange go? Why did everything just kind of fizzle after the Rann-Thanagar War and 52?

And we've got characters that could suit this kind of stuff already. I mean, granted, for all the Edgar Rice Burroughs nods in his origin, J'onn Jonnz is pretty Earth based. But what about Starfire?

How many teams has she been shunted to lately? When really, wouldn't she be AWESOME flying around, kicking the crud out of pirates of the Oort Cloud, rescuing the well-oiled princes of Betelgeuse V, and wrecking the SHIT out of some thinly veiled parody of Gor?

Especially with a space battleaxe. If I do no other thing for the comic book universe, I swear at some point before I die, I will see Starfire carrying a space battleaxe.

But these really aren't the sort of story that flows naturally with the Corps, anymore than an imp from another universe really fits a Batman story. But that doesn't mean that it wouldn't rock hard.

And there's so much depth to plunge! We've got E.E. "Doc" Smith (kinda), we could have Edgar Rice Burroughs (ish), what about something inspired by Perry Rhodan? Immortal space marines with adventures spanning millenia? I could totally go for something like that. Hee, the clashes with the Green Lantern Corps ALONE!

Obviously, we probably couldn't get the actual property, but that doesn't mean we can't take inspiration where we can find it! And that entire era is just blooming with it!

The original inspirational material has a lot of problems, of course. Racism and sexism especially. But we can take the good and fun parts from the genre and leave the rest. It could be a blast!

There is absolutely no reason for the DCU's space setting to be so empty! Please, DC, consider filling some of it up!

A character I really like: Starfire

You know what character I really like that I don't tend to talk about often? Starfire.

And I don't mean the cardboard cut-out giggly teen version from the cartoon Teen Titans. I mean the barely dressed, hair-out-to-here awesome alien hothead version of Starfire from the actual comics.

I mean, intellectually I get that she's a total male geek fantasy type character. But I don't think that "male geek fantasy" in and of itself is necessarily a bad thing when the fantasy is fun. It's only when the fantasy gets exclusionary that I start to bitch.

The thing about Starfire, for me, for all her cliched "I'm an alien with customs that basically amount to me running around half naked, being cheerfully amorous with everyone and titillating straight guy hormones, with a name that's a total cooking pun" is that she's FUN.

I mean it.

I think a lot of characters that fall into the male geek fantasy trap tend to carry a lot of baggage. Traumatic pasts (which granted, Starfire does have), constant need for rescue, a notable lack of personality outside of the relationship with the geek avatar character. There's not necessarily anything WRONG with this, but it doesn't leave a lot for me to really care about.

But I like Starfire's personality. I like her temper. She has cool powers. She has awesome hair. Her people, when we see them, are all kind of funny-awesome looking. She doesn't end up in need for rescue anymore than anyone else on her team, that I've ever noticed. And while she may have trauma, she doesn't let it define her. And dude. Cosmic hair powers. AWESOME.

And I never really felt like her sex-positive elements were just tacked on for straight guy titillation. Contrast with, for an example, early Claremont's Storm and her naked rain showers. I LIKE Storm, but that bit always made me say "Really, Claremont?" Yes, I know her powers let her do that with ease. But I never really bought her motivation for doing so when she has a perfectly good shower inside. But for Starfire, I thought that the sex positive traits fit Kory's personality as a whole much better, so that while they were totally there for straight guy titillation, they didn't feel "tacked on" but rather felt like an organic aspect of her character.

It might just be that Storm's never been characterized, in my opinion, as enough of a free spirit to really make it believable for me. Even in the early years. She might have heated her own rain showers when she didn't have access to a shower, but I never bought the exhibitionist tendencies. (Showier costumes aside. There's a difference between going out in a glorified bikini and taking a nude shower outside when you have an alternative.) Starfire, on the other hand, has the whole "free-spirit" thing in spades.

(This is not a knock on Storm by the way. I still love Storm. Just a comparison of one particular portrayal/trait.)

I also preferred Dick and Kory as a couple to Dick and Babs. Partially because it's not a thematic step down for Kory like it is for Barbara. Barbara had such a hard won journey to be her own character and to break free from being one of many Bat-subordinate characters. And now, she has her own team and a presence of awesomeness throughout the DCU. But dating Dick pulls her back into the Bat-fold. She has to deal with all the dangers and elements of being Dick's girlfriend. Including Bruce as a father-in-law type figure. So she goes from her hard won independence to on some level being reverted to "Dick Grayson's girlfriend."

Kory doesn't have the same sort of trouble. Since she comes from a team book, she doesn't have the bat clan baggage. She's not a prominent enough character solo to have her position suffer as Dick's girlfriend. She's not a good fit for a Gotham book for other reasons, but there's no threat to her status. And I've always liked that she had this weird immunity to all the bat angst. Which is probably why she really only works as his girlfriend when they're on the same team. But I did like them.

It occurs to me that I'd totally read a Starfire solo comic. Think about it! There'd be space faring fun of a more B-movie type than generally covered in the GLC. Aliens. Ridiculous costumes. Awesomely horrible hair. You could totally bring back some of that gloriously bad pulp sci-fi/fantasy adventure genre with her. You know, the scantily clad barbarian on Mars type thing. Channel your inner Rice-Burroughs. Introduce a little cosmic hair-girl power into your John Norman. It'd be great!

The covers could all be homages to the old covers. Scantily clad, muscular orange barbarian lady against a red sky? Awesome. Can we give her a battle-ax? Because that's really all that sort of thing needs.

Granted this would probably totally be an 'audience of one' kind of thing. But damn, I would totally read that.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Something I Shamefully Love:

Bridezillas. The show, I mean. There's something about seeing succession after succession of hateful people (and the doormats who love them) act awful for my entertainment.

It's awful of me, but I usually spend the time wishing they'd get left at the altar. Then I feel bad. But hey, maybe they'll be nicer people now that they're married...

Mostly, I just like watching in appalled horror at the sheer unwillingness that these people seem to have that other people have lives and concerns too. It makes me feel better about my own thoughtless moments.

Possibly I've just reached the stage where I'm back to relying upon mindless reality shows to keep sane (well. Saner.) Oh well.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Oh, ew. No.

Oh, Please, no.

I'm all for Wonder Woman being on the small screen again. I'd love a Wonder Woman series.

But not by David E. Kelley.

I haven't seen that much of his other work, but I've seen Ally McBeal enough to see what Kelley's like when he tries to be feminist. (He could be funny, granted. But not feminist.)

I mean, say what you will about Joss Whedon or J.J. Abrams, but I've never got so utterly angry at a tv show as I used to while watching Ally McBeal. Whedon might get a little TOO much credit sometimes and Abrams has his own problems, but I'd take either one any day before David E. Kelley.

Maybe I'm wrong and it won't suck. It has been more than a decade after all. Maybe he's learned something. Or will be better with pre-established characters. Right now though, I'm NOT optimistic.