Wednesday, July 18, 2007

[Reading List] Protector of the Small

Protector of the Small Quartet - First Test, Page, Squire, Lady Knight - Tamora Pierce

X-posted to Your Moment of Kim.


Tamora Pierce is da winnah.

She has soundly defeated Anne McCaffrey and J.K. Rowling in the Kim's Brain-Space Challenge, running away with the following categories:

Award for Number Of Times Read in Two Weeks - I have read each book in the quartet 3 times since Shadowspun lent them to me 13 days ago. While this doesn't top the 4 times in one week that Pegasus in Space garnered, I was not so enamored of those books that I was unable to break out and reread each of the Harry Potter series before the new one came out, as I'd half-intended to during this latest release. Speaking of which, the....

Kim Did Not Re-Read Harry Potter The Week Before The New One Comes Out This Time Award can now ONLY ever go to Ms. Pierce.

Reading the Books Out Of Order Award - Yes, I'm known to do this with several other series, but generally don't do it IMMEDIATELY after the first reading.

Late to Work Because of the Book Award - Awarded to the books Page, Squire, and Lady Knight. (I first read the other one on the weekend.) Sort of a spiked award, as this endangers my money to spend upon them.

The "Why didn't you sit me in a chair and MAKE me read it?" Award goes to Shadowspun and Ragnell.

The management would like to point out that you should Repent, for the End of the Internet Is Nigh. Feliz Potterdämmerung.

Rating - 5 Goddesses

You draw the Avatar: Tammy, Goddess of Happiness. She indicates that you should read these books.


Monday, June 18, 2007

Signs and Portents

Damn you, Marvel.

I gave you up, except for my Daredevil.

But, I might just have to buy She-Hulk.

Not Peter David... anybody but him... I always have to at least try it...

Rating - 3 Goddesses

You draw the Avatar: __, Goddess of Indecision. She indicates that when you Google "goddess" and "indecision", you don't find any goddesses of indecision. Personally, I think this is a hopeful thing.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Comic Book Goddess Manifesto (or How Less Sexist Subtext is Like Riding a Bicycle)

Comic Book Goddess Manifesto (or How Less Sexist Subtext is Like Riding a Bicycle - Even if you're NOT a Fish.)

Well, now that some of the furor has died down, I wanted to give the InterWebs my perspective on the Adam Hughes Mary Jane Statue. Quickly - if you've picked a particularly remote rock to hide under, please go there, and just form your own opinion on the statue before coming back here.

Good. All right, now, here's some important basics to understand.

I want to enjoy my comics. I understand that you want to enjoy the same comics.

I want to see some awesome looking, heroic, sexy, males and females. I understand that you probably want to see awesome looking, heroic, sexy, females and males.

I want to identify with some of said awesome looking, heroic, males and females. Presumably, you also would like to identify with some of said awesome looking, heroic, females and males.

I would like to feel that I can find good things in myself that are much like the good things that I see in my paper heroes. I presume that other comic fans feel the same.

And of course, some of us like metaphor, good writing, attractive art, emotional content, all of the things that make life worth wrapping in a package and selling it.

Now that we've gotten all that in order - I am of the School of Unintentional Meaning. We all go through life, saying and doing things that don't mean much to us, or mean something quite different than we intended it to mean.
Cover your eyes for the rest of this article if you've never said (or written, or drawn) one thing and had someone else hear (or read, or see) another.

(Great, now that we've lost all the self-delusional liars (or lost causes), we can get to business.)

What I am trying to do, and what the people that I regularly read without rolling my eyes are trying to do, is take this gender-indoctrination and gender-specification idiocy and take it frour of your subconcious and to your concious mind.
My concern is not objectification in and of itself, but the unconcious objectification that is rampant in the industry. Generally, we all want a bit of excitement in our characters - we want sexy men and women - but we don't want to feel bad about ourselves. And the fact is, women comic book fans get to feel bad about themselves and find a lot less to identify with than men fans do. (Well, ok. The gay guys have it worse in some ways. But not entirely.)
When you don't know how to ride a bike, you might start with training wheels - like the time honored stories and stereotypes comics have been using since the golden age. Maybe you get a little faster, pedaling, turning, but you're still getting help, and you're never going to graduate to any more useful form of riding until you take off the training wheels. When you really start learning to ride your bike, you have a break down and take a look at what you're doing wrong, start to find your balance, figure out to what use the hand brakes are put, stop wobbling the handlebar all over the place.
Once you've really figured it out, the skill becomes unconcious. You balance properly, slow and steer smoothly. You don't unintentionally turn the bike so far that you fall down, or wobble until you fall off (unless you are impaired by something like large quantities of alcohol in your body or large quantities of marmosets covering your body).
Many of our comic book professionals are still in Gender-Relations training wheels. They do not know what they are doing wrong with their balance. They do not really know how to use the brakes effectively.
And sometimes, they don't know how to steer, either.

Ok, they might be drunk or covered in marmosets as well, but we'd have to trust them to admit to it.
Our feminist blogging community is trying to shine a light for them - Here are the Things that make Us feel like Less People. You are doing them. We would prefer that you not do them, because it makes us like you and ourselves less.
If for some reason you must do them, please make it be a good reason. And give us some of our own back - do it purposefully, because a character is doing it, illustrate it as an issue.
Sexualize a male character in a similar way, without making a joke out of it.
Because we love you, we love these characters, and we don't want to see them get cheap like everything else. They deserve better.

We deserve better.

Even you deserve better.

So, c'mon. You can maybe ignore the tone of some of the more strident people that weighed in on these subjects. But please don't ignore their message. It's important.
And usually, the message is - "Yes, there is some sort of a legitimate problem with this."
This legitimate problem may actually be your defense - That you do not intend it to be taken this way, in this unbalanced manner. This legitimate problem may be that you're poking at the very same mythical sore spot where the ACTUAL mysogynistic idiots keep poking. (Let's make this clear - these idiots are not necessarily you - well, ok, who are not necessarily you, YET, but could be if you continue to get defensive). It's akin to mentioning a traditional ethnic food type or stereotypical name or job to someone who's been hurt by that stereotype before. It's poor manners, and bad business.

One woman, maybe 10 women, might be overreacting.

This many?

Don't you think there must be some kind of point in there?

If you don't, well, that's just it. That's the other problem. You're crossing from ignorance into deliberate dismissal of them, just because they're women, or hold a different view of your action.

So, here's the Comic Book Goddess Manifesto:

1) I will support only the characters, writers, artists, or stories that I find compelling.
2) I will not allow you to suggest that I have any less right to an opinion on them than you do.
3) I will argue with my friends about who is cuter, Clark, Bruce, Kyle, or Hal. Because I have more women comic book fan friends than men comic book fan friends. And because not just gay men read comic books to enjoy the sight of the male characters.
4) I will continue to break as many stereotypes that I care to break.
5) I will look for the artists that appear to be trying to treat men and women in a similar and equal fashion, and I will do my best to make them successful.
6) I will tell people if I think that they are accidentally being an idiot. In return, I expect them to make sure they have more justification for the idiocy in the future, and I also expect them to play with the inverse of the stereotype they just accidentally upheld.
7) If the publisher is making an effort, I'll give them a chance.

To that end, I'm dropping every Marvel title I'm currently buying except Runaways and Daredevil. And I'm not buying any more Civil War trades. I don't think they're trying. I think that Quesada and Hughes are being weasels about the whole thing, they're getting defensive, and they're listening to the people who just don't get it and convincing themselves they don't need my money. Even if my money won't change their thinking, at least I'll be able to be happy with myself. We've offered them lessons. If they won't learn, I'm not going to upgrade them to my paper route.

At least DC is trying. Admittedly, they don't always manage to ride all the way down the hill, but, hey, what we can get is better than nothing.

Rating for The Enlightened Bloggers - 5 Goddesses

You draw the Avatar: Anoia, Goddess of Things Stuck in Drawers. She indicates That You Should Keep Rattling Until Something Good Comes Out.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Happy Birthday to Ragnell - by Her Sister

*CENSORED* years ago, a young girl by the name of *CENSORED* was born. She was unhappy, except when she was whining. As she grew up, I introduced her to roleplaying games and comic books, and the whining slowly grew into complaining, which now makes her angry all the time, but, you know what, I'm pretty sure she likes it that way.

Happy Birthday, Lisa!

Rating - 7 Goddesses

You draw the Avatar: Ragnell, Goddess of Critism. She indicates that you need to post a picture of a Green Lantern's arse.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

And Now, For Something Completely Geeky

Ok. I'm bored, and I feel like a geek out. Dan Didio seems to be Italian, at least in sense of humor, and I feel like trying to translate the Italian in DC Nation from this week for myself, rather than going to DC Comic's website to read the official. I mean, I live in an Italian town, I'm part Italian, I've sung Italian in choir and a couple operas, how hard can it be?*

(*Of course, I studied Spanish, and while I went to Italy, I was with an all-English tour group, I have no idea where my Italian phrasebook is...)

I think it'll be more fun this way.

Ad ogni modo, ero cosi'in ritardo con questo editoriale, che mi ha contattato addirittura Alison Gill. E se Alison ti chiama, e' meglio che ti sbrighi...

As always, I've delayed this column, until Alison Gill called me. And when Alison calls you, you'd better hurry.

When Alison calls you what, exactly? A retarded thing? A contralto? Oh, Dan...

Chi non conosce bene la DC, probabilmente pensera' che l'unica persona ad avere tale potere e' Paul Levitz. Ma questo perch' ovviamente non avete incontrato Alison. Parlare di lei ma fa sentire un po'come il pupazzo di neve di Burl Ives che descrive Bumbles in "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer".

If you don't know DC well, you'd probably think the only person with this power was Paul Levitz. But then you obviously don't know Alison. To talk about her, she sounds a little like the puppet snowman that Burl Ives called Bumbles in "Rudolph The Red Nosed Raindeer."

I'm a little fuzzy on that last sentence, I think. Does she want to tell me a tale? Either way, I doubt I wanna meet Alison in a dark, cold, forest unless I have a dentist with me...

In quanto vice presidente di produzione, Alison supervisiona la realizzazione di ogni graphic novel originale, riedizione e fumetto stampati dalla DC. Non solo DCU, ma anche Wildstorm, Vertigo, Minx, CMX... Tutto! In altre parole, senza Alison e il suo meraviglioso staff, perennenmente oberato di lavoro, quei bei fumetti stampati che comprate ogni settimana sarebbero composti da pagine vuote... Forse neanche spillate! Alison e la sua squadra ci permettono di lavorare sulle scadenze in modo da potervi offrire il miglior prodotto possibile nei tempi prestabiliti.

As our Vice President of Production, Alison supervises the production of all our original graphic novels, and reissues of DC branded comics. Not only DCU, but also Wildstorm, Vertigo, Minx, CMX... All of them! In other words, without Alison and her marvillous staff, perpetually overburdened with work, those books that you buy every week would be filled with empty pages... maybe not even printed! Alison and her squad are always working the deadlines to order to offer you the best product possible, on time.

Drrroooll... More graphic novels. Wait... Dan... You just said she's basically my drug dealer... Or she takes her staff to the bathroom. I'm not sure about that who balloon thing, I'm not sure if you're talking about a whole comic book or just the word balloons... AND I'VE CAUGHT ELLIPSIS DISEASE! And possibly exclamation syndrome...

Altrimenti come potremmo archiettare dei crossover cosi' elborati (in cui il tempismo e' tutto), come quelli tra JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA, JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA, FLASH e COUNTDOWN (una storia dai tempi frammentati sulle vicende di di ben 4 super-squadre, non 2!) e GREEN LANTERN CORPS, GREEN LANTERN e COUNTDOWN (in cui gli eroi diventano cattivi e i cattivi diventano sempre piu' potenti.) Ma non mi fate cominciare a parlare di 52 e dell'immane mole di lavor svolta dal team di produzione per riuscire a rispettare la sua scadenza settimanale...

Otherwise, how would be be able to build these elaborate crossovers (within a schedule), like those between JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA, JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA, FLASH and COUNTDOWN (a story from the exploding at the same time across 4 super-teams, not two!) and GREEN LANTERN CORPS, GREEN LANTERN and COUNTDOWN (in which the heroes go bad and the villians become more powerful.) And I'm not going to begin to say a word of 52 and the huge amount of work the production team carried out to successfully meet it's weekly deadline...

Ack... damn... RESIST THE CROSSOVER... RESIST THE CROSSOVER... Not reading Lantern. Nope, not reading Lantern... Is he talking about Travolta? I think Travolta would make a good Green Lantern...

Cosi' ho pensato che e' meglio essere gentile: dopotutto COUNTDOWN debutta la settimana successiva alla chiusura di 52 (che sarebbe il 9 Maggio, per chi fosse stato in vacanza in Antartide il mese scorso...) e con un piano ambizioso della durato di un anno, che prevede il sincronismo tra le varie storie dell'universo DC, in modo da far combaciare tutti gli eventi in "tempo reale", avremo piu' che mai bisogno di tutta la forza e il supporto possibili del dipartimento di produzione.

Thing is, I thought I'd be better to be kind: after all, COUNTDOWN debuts the week after 52 wraps up (that's May 9th, for those of you on vacation in Antartica last month...) and with an ambitious plan that lasts a year, that requires the synchronization of the varied stories in the DC Universe, in a way that corresponds with "real time", we will have need of all the power and all possible support of the production department.

Oh, so in other words, you're doing it to them again, so you have to suck up to their boss to keep them working hard? ... Ummm... Is that gonna backfire because it's in a language that you can expect fully 80 percent of your audience will not be able to read? Nooooo... I was planning on reading COUNTDOWN!!! Wait, he'll just take them to Antarctica in May...

Una volta ho chiesto ad Alison: "Come puo' la tua squadra fare tutto cio'?"... "Magia", mi ha risposto. Per me, no fa una piega. Se lo dice Alison, dev'essere vero.

Once I asked Alison: "How is your team doing it?" ... "Magic", she answered me. Me, I won't question it. If Alison says it, it's the truth.

Gotta be honest, that question there is a total WAG. But yeah, I'd go with Magic, too... And what does flying have to do with it? Oh, yeah. Superheroes.

Well, that's it. Maybe you can visit DC's site, find the translation, and tell me how I did...

The Comic Book Goddess is amused when she forgets to actually translate and just types the Italian word, and has to go back and edit. She would like to point out that no Italians were harmed in the making of this post, but we make no promises about the linguistic harm inflicted upon the Italian Language.

Rating - 5 Goddesses

You draw the Avatar: Minerva, Goddess of Wisdom. She indicates that I like being a wise-ass.

Cross-posted from Your Moment of Kim.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Daredevil in Paradise

Daredevil: Out - Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev
Daredevil: The Widow - Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev
Daredevil: Decalogue - Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev

I have to admit - I crush on Daredevil. He's the kind of guy designed to keep breaking my heart.

Hotter than Kyle Rayner, even, especially when Certified Ninja Artist, Alex Maleev, draws him.

Why do I dub him "Ninja Artist"?

If you don't know what I mean, you haven't read Decalogue. This is a shame, as it implies that you have also missed the rest of Brian Michael Bendis writing Daredevil.

Presuming you're up to date and haven't read it yet, go out, right now. Buy it. Read it. I'll wait.

When you're done, you should pick it up and read it again. This time pay attention to the background characters in the beginning.

Behold!!! Ninja Art.

Gotta love it. It's so sad that I would love it much more, would there be more room for strong women in the Daredevil mystique.

You'd think he has strong women. He's known for dating women who can destroy him, using one method or another, but, well, Foggy says it directly in Daredevil: Out.

You'll meet a nice girl who isn't, you know, nuts...

Take Black Widow, for instance. In Daredevil: The Widow, Natasha uses Matt. She hides with him in plain sight, to take heat off of her, and deal with a problem she can take care of pretty easily by herself.

His wife, blind Milla, the insecure, who leaves him when the going is toughest because she finds out that his last love was killed right before he went off the deep end.

This is not to mention that said love, Karen, was killed in his arms, long after she had been a junkie who sold him out years before.

And, please, please, PLEASE do not let me get started on Elektra.

There is nearly a metric TON of feminine victims. Other than Natasha, they never get their own shots in. They bicker amongst each other and call in the calvary.

I'm not being fair, though. Let's go back to Daredevil: Out. Here we have Vanessa Fisk taking charge, clearing her husband's affairs, and taking revenge for him... Mostly in the background, using the power built by her husband.

We have Natasha coming in to try and save Matt from his own dark mood... By calling up Elektra, and lying to her. We have Elektra herself, who breaks him out of it, despite herself, with a great line...

The only death that you can take responsibility for is one that you
commit with your own hand.

Of this set, Decalogue is my favorite. Just people sitting in a room. Monologues from different characters we've never noticed or seen before. A little story that leaves you with no doubt about our hero's intentions, and gives you just that little glimpse into his personal torture.

Daredevil: Out - 5.5 Goddesses
Daredevil: The Widow - 5 Goddesses
Daredevil: Decalogue - 6 Goddesses
Average - 5.5 Goddesses

You draw the Avatar: Glory, Goddess of Cruel Self-Interest from the 5th season of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. She indicates the personality required to engage Matt Murdock's interest for any amount of time.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

[Reading List] Epic Madness

I'm keeping a list of all the books I've read this year over on my LiveJournal. Every once in a while I feel compelled to write a review. I'll put them here, too, after I get a chance to cool off and edit them. - Original Post

Kingdom Come (novelization) - Elliot S. Maggin
Infinite Crisis (novelization) - Greg Cox

I suppose that one is expected to become accustomed to substandard writing when one reads novel adaptations of comics. In many cases of the novelization products of many different corporate properties, there is a ton of drek to sort through before you reach something of literary quality. (I make no stipulations for or against the idea that the percentage is any higher in genre fiction than it is in normal fiction, however.)

One of these books nearly made the grade.

Major corporations with tons of money trying to make more would do well to note that substandard editing should be inexcusable. Even if you are used to excusing it when colorists and artists habitually confuse the race of characters - (how can you let the colorist on Day of Judgement forget that THIS girl is black? Or the recurrent artistic amnesia or inability to portray Connor Hawke as mixed race? My first few experiences of Kyle Rayner, I thought he was asian - they appeared to be drawing face of a character who turned out to be of Irish/Latino blood. To be fair, though, at that time Kyle Rayner hadn't been around for too long and it may not have been sufficiently determined. But, enough social commentary, back to the review.)

Kingdom Come is an excellent novelization of an excellent graphic novel. (I make this assumption from the inclusion of the additional scenes that were only in the graphic novel.) The original work is one of my favorite graphic novels. I never agreed with the few gripes I'd heard that the story was lesser for the sake of the art. I'd always thought they complemented each other well.

It is nearly ruined for me, however, by poor editing near the end.

Infinite Crisis, on the other hand was an enjoyable, if mediocre adaptation of inconsistent material with a good story. I did like it... Until I read it immediately after Kingdom Come, which is infinitely better than it, and could have stood alone as a literary work, had the editor of Elliot's text been AWAKE. I really won't have much to say about Infinite Crisis. It's here, really, just to compare. If you haven't caught all of the events of Infinite Crisis, you might want to catch it, for completeness, to know the story. But it's nothing in and of itself.

You tell me, which is the best death and reaction scene for a minor character?....

"What?" Black Condor blurted in surprise. An alarmed expression came over his face, but before he could explain, a beam of searing yellow energy burned straight through his unprotected chest, emerging from his back right between his wings. Uncle Sam had to jump out of the way to avoid being pierced by the beam
"Arrrr!" Kendall cried out as he died.
"Condor!" Phantom Lady shrieked. -- From Infinite Crisis by Greg Cox

"I said 'two sugars,' you ignorant cow," were the last words Theresa Freed heard before Vandal Savage snapped her neck and left her draped over the back of her desk chair.
I felt a chill wave across the ether as the Spectre bristled, even before I realized that the brute had murdered the girl. My companion had a particular aversion, it seemed, to the black-bearded immortal with the big hands. The frustration was born of his being somehow beyond the Spectre's reach. -- From Kingdom Come by Elliot S Maggin

To be fair, there is a marked difference in the literary quality of the stories being adapted, but the difference goes beyond that. Perhaps the material Greg Cox was working with wasn't the best, but surely he could have come up with a better writing style and more realistic dialog for the deaths of the Freedom Fighters. I think that the basic quality of the writing of the novels shows a much larger difference than could be accounted for by mere plot. From smoother description, that does much to capture my memory of Alex Ross's art, to smother dialog, which adds words and phrases and interchanges to Mark Waid's originals, generally without throwing the flow of the story off, Maggin's style deepens the experience of the original. It plays to the different strengths of pure text as well as the graphic novel plays to the strengths of the medium of pictures.

I especially enjoyed the addition of reasoning behind Clark's vulnerability to magic. I can't say for sure, but it sounds like an idea straight from Waid himself.

The difference in the quality of the writing is marked. The opening vignette on the chapter titled "Citizen Wayne" is a priceless addition, a depiction of an aging Batman, now happy for the first time. He is someone that I like much better than Frank Miller's tortured psychopath even while he undoubtedly owes much to that earlier character.

Of course, Mr Maggin takes these vignettes one step too far, and, with the failure of his editor, it is his downfall. In one of the last in an entire chapter of little scenes, Nightstar takes Dick Grayson away from Kansas to the Rockies, where he awakens hours later. Somehow, he also shows at the United Nations, when the heroes get there right after Superman comes down from his world-shattering rage.

Now it could perhaps work if the man who is invulnerable enough to survive the explosion and faster than a speeding bullet, and would have to be completely out of his mind in a murderous rage to even CONSIDER hurting a normal person, was either unconscious (which is never shown in either version of the story) or in this murderous rage for hours or days, as it says that several hours later, Dick flags down a truck and it takes Nightstar time to recover. She flys him into the United Nations Courtyard.

It happens, I'm sure, because Nightwing is shown there in the graphic novel, no doubt. But there is a story reason to have him there, to reconcile with Bruce. The reconciliation with Nightstar was much less important, and should have been cut for continuity.

Or perhaps I'm not being fair. It is entirely possible that, on exposure to high levels of radiation, rather than getting leukemia and dying, Nightstar and Dick Grayson spontaneously generated the power of being in two places at once. Stranger things have happened in comics. It's just that usually they invite more comment.

Bad editing. Ruining my happy story by less than 2 paragraphs. The editor must have known, as well, because their name isn't anywhere on it. Elliot, you should be mad at him. If it were you, you should be FURIOUS at yourself, because, otherwise, this was one of the best books I've read this year.

Guess I can't have everything.

All right, guys, until next time - Same Goddess Time, Same Goddess Station!
(copyrighted material used under the fair use provision for purposes of review only)


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Looking for Green Lantern in the NFL

I was bored right after my Steelers lost tonight, so I IMed Kalinara...

Sinspired (11:48:09 PM): Maybe if they put Steve Trevor on the team you'd watch?
Kalinara (11:48:22 PM): Nah
Kalinara (11:48:27 PM): Guy Gardner though
Sinspired (11:48:49 PM): Damn, I don't think they have anybody named Gardner...
Sinspired (11:49:21 PM): The punter is Gardocki, close enough?
Kalinara (11:49:34 PM): Possibly
Sinspired (11:49:53 PM): There's a Gilbert Gardner on the Colts.
Kalinara (11:50:03 PM): Is he redhaired?
Sinspired (11:50:45 PM): He's black. Maybe we can ask him to dye it...
Kalinara (11:51:12 PM): Hmm. Maybe.
Kalinara (11:51:14 PM):
Sinspired (11:51:16 PM): Rod Gardner plays for the Chiefs, and Barry Gardner plays for the Patriots.
Kalinara (11:51:35 PM): They're football players right?
Sinspired (11:51:39 PM): None of them are white, let alone red-haired
Kalinara (11:51:43 PM): Or am I getting my sports teams mixed?
Sinspired (11:51:49 PM): Yup
Sinspired (11:51:59 PM): There's a Dave Rayner on the Green Bay Packers...
Sinspired (11:52:07 PM): Hrrm... That's a bit suggestive
Kalinara (11:52:11 PM): Heheh
Kalinara (11:52:20 PM): See I can't watch football
Kalinara (11:52:27 PM): Because I think it's rugby for wusses
Kalinara (11:52:35 PM): Ditch the armor, then we'll talk
Sinspired (11:52:40 PM): The Jordans are LaMont and Leander
Sinspired (11:52:46 PM): It's like controlled war.
Sinspired (11:52:52 PM): I like controlled war.
Sinspired (11:52:57 PM): Less people get killed.
Sinspired (11:53:42 PM): David Stewart, Tennesee, Matt Stewart Cleveland, and Tony Stewart on the Bengals
Sinspired (11:54:06 PM): I think we're best off with Gardocki.

Monday, August 28, 2006

On Icons and Superheroes

My sister posted a great breakdown of the different character types in superhero comics, and I was stopped short by a comment on the post...

Moose N Squirrel (great name, BTW) says that Wonder Woman is not an icon, because they say that Iconic implies that a character embodies "a certain aspect or shtick (sic)".

Well, not only do I take issue with their spelling of "schtick", I take issue with this implication of Icon.

Icon, taken from the greek for image, is the term used in the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition for religious art of a holy being or object, such as Jesus, Mary... Or the Saints.

Specifically the Saints are important here, because they are recognized in such art by their Attributes. What is shown with the Saint is a necessary part of identifying which Saint it is. Saint Cecelia has her organ, Saint Peter has his key, Saint Anthony his Tau cross, La Caridad Del Cobre a boat with three men.

So, a better definition of a comic book Icon: A character that possesses a unique set of attributes that would be recognized by many people who do not read comics. These attributes may or may not include personality attributes.

Here is my list of Iconic Superheroes. I do not agree with DC's push on the Flash and Green Lantern... YET. They are getting close, but there are still far too many people who look at my Professor Zoom T-Shirt and don't really remember the Flash logo to contrast it.

Their attributes include but are not limited to:
  • Superman - "S" Shield, Red Cape, Spitcurl, certain Classic Heroic Poses, the phrase "Truth, Justice, and the American Way", the "Boy-Scout" Personality, Lex Luthor, Smallville, Kansas, Farm
  • Batman - Dark Cape and Cowl, Utility Belt, the phrase "Youthful Ward", Batmobile, Bat Cave, Alfred, the Joker, Arkham Asylum, the Bat Signal
  • Wonder Woman - "W" Breastplate, Bracelets, Lasso, Dark Curly Hair, Red Star Earrings, her Tiara, (although I hate it and want to leave it off) the Invisible Plane
  • Spiderman - Webs (Webshooters), Full Face Mask with White Eyes, Spider on Chest, tendency to Joke in Inappropriate Situations, Doctor Octopus, Mary Jane, Aunt May

These are all attributes of the characters - supporting cast, items, poses, personality. What's the test? Go out, find yourself the nearest high school football game. Grab a random spectator and ask them to name a superhero as you read a list of any seven items from that list. You'll get a correct answer on at least 6, every time.

Anybody who tries that this weekend, comment here and I'll give you 10 Goddess Points. I'll decide what they're good for later.

One more note before I leave my thoughts with you. I left out personality attributes for both Wonder Woman and one other more or less inconsistently treated personality.

Batman accompanies Wonder Woman to the realm of Iconic in attribute but not in personality. While his portrayal has not been as inconsistent as hers over the recent years in the comics, a large part of his Iconic nature is due to television shows where he was not given the dark, serious personality that is such a part of his portrayal today. This means that different non-comics readers posed with the same question from the list may give different answers, depending upon age and viewership (i.e. Did they watch Superfriends and the Batman TV Show or did they watch the Batman movies? And, most importantly, do they deserve to live? (as shown by their degree of revulsion towards Batman and Robin))

Until next time, Same Goddess Time, Same Goddess Station!

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Link Me!

I'm setting this up pretty much as a "point-me" to my friends.... - is my regular blog.... - is Lisa's blog - is Heather's

And my cousin Dan posts at

More to come.