Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Guest Author: Dancing Shadow

Hello all! New writer here. Yes, i play WOW. No, it hasn't consumed my soul. I have boobs and often can be found stationed in front of computer or with a controler in my hands. Moving along to the reviews!

PS2 games that still make me smile (aka The PS2- I'm not dead yet!)

I don't know about the rest of the gaming world out there, but personally I still have a running love affair with the PS2. (yeah I said it. Not literally folks...) Despite the talk about the wonders of the 360 (and I believe you all! I've played it many times! It IS awesome) and how the PSP is supposed to be another revolutionary system (I believe you guys a lot less...) I really still hold deep affection for my old PS2. Hell, it's the only system I personally own besides a used DS lite, and it's the original old fat version that's almost 7 years old now, if that doesn't tell you something about how I take care of my toys.
But really I feel it's the best way some games come across. Here's an example. Ookami is a fantastic game about the goddess Amaterasu who travels the land to heal it from evils. Granted knowing mythology adds so many layers to this game, alone it prevails as a cell-shaded wonder and was very well thought out. The controls are pretty simple, but as the game progresses the controls expand to make the entire world become slowly more interactive, accessible and exciting. Every location has hidden treasures, mini quests, side games, and an environment that can usually be affected by the brush stroke system that Amaterasu uses as her magic. The only set backs are these; if the analog sticks get sticky or have trouble moving smoothly then the brush work can be a pain in the ass. Really. At one point you have to make circles with the brush (which if you look at it, you'll notice it's actually the wolf's tail) and if you don't get it right several times in a row, you have to start over. And over. And over. Which sucks because it's one of the few places in the game that won't let you back away and save when you get pissed. I'd like to point out that I'm not good at drawing any kinds of circles, so this made me nuts.

Meanwhile, on the Wii, this part is a sin against anyone who isn't Da Vinci. We suffer, oh we suffer. The Wii paintbrush work sounds like the best idea EVER, I mean, you are holding the 'brush' and you move your arm to make the circles. GENIUS! Unless the system has errors with this. Like the Wii, for instance. Now don't think for a moment that I don't like the Wii. I adore well thought out games like Bleach and Mario Party. But I feel that as archaic as some people feel the PS2 is, it still is superior in some ways. Dare I say it, Harvest Moon is another one that really came out shinning on the PS1 (playable on the PS2). I know this will spark some lame argument, but I feel like the PS1 version of HM was better than any other. Persona 3 FES is another game that impressed me with it's fighting system, social interactions, and plot. I haven't had a chance to play Persona 4 yet, but all my room mates are raving about that one too.

In the end, I feel that this system is still worth owning and playing. As easy as it might be to be swept away with new and shiny objects, I still feel that the PS2 should not be put aside so soon. Enough people obviously agree with me, because companies are still producing games for it, and so I cheer. Yay nerds! I love games! Keep making PS2 toys for me! That will be all.
~Dancing Shadow

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Jayne reacts to the Heroes season finale with caps lock and profanity. So the usual.

Dear Heroes,

We used to be so good together. Remember the first season and how happy we were? Sure, your dialogue sometimes made me cringe, but you gave me Hiro and Matt and Mohinder, who is the dumbest scientist alive but is very, very pretty. I can be shallow like that.

And then we had to take a break over the summer, but I knew you would be back and we would be together again. And then season 2 happened, and you changed. At first I thought it was me, that I did something wrong, so I tried to be good so we could be happy together.

But it wasn't me. It was you, with your goddamn wondertwin and the creepy stalker Wes and the whole Hiro in ancient Japan because you were just that cruel. But you said you realized your mistakes and we could be together again. I just had to wait for season 3.

So I waited and when volume 3 started I realized your pants were on fire, you big, fat liar. Season 3 brought more fridging of women, the goddamn tarted up wondertwin, Mohinder being painfully stupid, Peter's power apparently changed to whining and being useless, zombie Papa Petrelli, and absolutely everything to do with Sylar.

And then volume 4 started, and I thought maybe you were getting better. Sure, Sylar was still sticking around with his daddy issues, but at least this volume seemed to have a plot and the characterization wasn't being changed every other minute. And Bryan Fuller returned with Cold Snap, and brought back Micah and for a moment I was happy. And then you had to smack it out of me because apparently you can't change.

And I think I pushed that metaphor far enough. You all get the idea.

Volume 4 was leaps and bounds better than the FUBAR messes that were volumes 2 and 3. The goddamn wondertwin is gone, Ando is looking really pretty, Peter has stopped being blindingly stupid and is back to badass, Mohinder isn't making me wish to reach through the screen to choke the dumb out of him, and Daphne was awesome before she got killed.

Bryan Fuller brought back Micah as Rebel, which was awesome and I totally called it. Of course, I liked to think before this that Micah and Monica were off having adventures and Monica was all ninja awesome, but I'll take what I can get. Also, the actor playing Micah has some chops because he pulled off a very believable creepy Sylar smirk. Go you, kid, with acting and hitting puberty!

Of course there was Sylar. Oh god, Sylar with his unbearable daddy issues and awful uneven writing and his gay fascination with Danko, and god, Sylar, just blow him already and shut the hell up. And then with his new shape shifting powers Sylar went all Norman Bates crazy. Sure, why the hell not? Last volume he was bad, good, bad, confused, Daddy Issues, Daddy Issues, good, and then bad again, so why not makes him crazy? He's been everything else. Hey, writers, pick one damn characterization and stick with it! Also, Sylar is not as interesting as you think he is.

Zachery Quinto, darling, you are a marvelous actor, you are, but for the love of god get out of this show already because you are way better than this.

The finale had some high points, like Peter being pretty badass as Worfbama and taking down Sylar. Noah is badass like usual, Christina Rose as Angela can act the hell out of any scene, and Ando and Hiro were adorable, so that's all good.

But then there was everything to do with Sylar. He was controlling Claire how? He's never used his telekinesis this specifically before. That looked like Doyle's puppet powers, but Sylar didn't take those. He just tied him up in ribbons and left him for his new boyfriend Danko to find. But, really, with the what-the-fuckery coming up this is just nit picky.

Sylar continued to be creepy with Claire, and monologue about how his real father is dying AND WE GET IT SHOW HE HAS DADDY ISSUES CAN WE MOVE ALONG JESUS. Peter and Nathan show up and they fight off screen and then Sylar slits Nathan's throat, killing him.

Fine, fine, Claire's magic Jesus blood will bring him back to life, moving along. OH WAIT THE SHOW IS RETARDED AND DOESN'T REMEMBER THAT. That's right, Matt has to mind whammy Slyar into thinking he's Nathan for some reason I honestly don't care about because at that point I was yelling at the television.

Even Noah is all for the Sylar as Nathan thing because he suffered amnesia and forgot he got SHOT IN THE FUCKING EYE and Claire's blood healed him.

Look, Heroes, I know you want to pretend volume 2 never happened, and I'm mostly with you, but the magic Jesus blood thing was a major plot point since Noah isn't dead. For fuck's sake, Nathan has a slit throat, not a BULLET IN THE BRAIN. A pint of Claire's blood and he'll be up and being an indecisive douchebag in no time.

Of course, that would assume this show has any grasp of continuity and god forbid that happens. I really wish I could say I was done with this show, but we all know that would be a lie. Curse my sense of morbid curiosity.

Well, come on, Heroes, bring on season 4. I am ready with my bitter snark and my bricks. Let's do this.

Friday, April 24, 2009

In the meantime...

I think it's been a bit longer than usual since I posted something of interest so, in order to remain unforgotten by you, dear reader, I offer this:

G.I. Joe: Resolute!

This is a a series of ten or so five-minute long webisodes that premiered on April 17th. I'm pretty sure they are supposed to be in the continuity of the movie or at least within some accepted Joe continuum. I admit I was way more into the Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers (cough*JemandtheHolograms*cough) when this show was on, so I'm not at all in the know about the goings on of G.I. Joe. I know Snake eyes doesn't talk and I always thought the Baroness was kinda cool cause she wore glasses like me, but thats about it...still I'm way into watching these webisodes!

MY GOD is this a good looking peice of work. Especially for something that is made for the web. Then again, stuff like this just goes to show that the future of awesome lies in made-for-the-internet productions like this. It looks gritty and violent with classy anime-ish animation (looks kinda like Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex or Samurai Champloo!) like a G.I. Joe cartoon in my humble opinion SHOULD be!

This will actually premier on TV, (on adultswim obviously) at midnight TOMMOROW NIGHT!
The series will wrap up online with a ten minute finale, all of which will be shown on adultswim and then subsequently be released on DVD.

Makes me excited for the movie!

I'll have something more substantial later this week!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Zombies vs. Robots: Oh yeah, I went there!

G4 asked me the following question today: Zombies vs. Robots, who would dominate the world better?
Well G4, I hate to spoil what you think is a terribly difficult question, but the answer is most certainly zombies. Allow me to explain why.

Robots are limited by a series of factors:
1. One must have enough resources to build an army of robots, or at least a few robots with enough weapons to take down mass amounts of people before being crushed.
2. EMP can take out a robot, or an army of robots. Really, EMP is kind of awesome.
3. Robots could become intelligent enough to want to take us all out, sure, and they don’t require food to survive, but they need something to power them, and that very thing could be restricted or run out quite easily. (But Lara, what about Solar Powered Robots? Well, I thought of that, and solar panels have to be replaced an average of every 4 to 6 years, plus, again, would not make robots immune to EMP).
4. Robots cannot necessarily produce more robots.

I mean, yeah, the Terminator Robots are pretty damn terrifying, but not unstoppable!

Possible advantages the robots possess:
1. The ability to conduct ranged combat.
2. Super Speed
3. Super Strength

Zombies may be limited by their shotgun-susceptible-squishy bits, but they are unhindered in their following abilities:
1. The virus does not discriminate, it merely infects. As the infection spreads, it spreads without hindrance. There is no cure for the zombie virus.
2. They can be shambling zombies, or even sprinting Resident Evil 4 zombies, but either way they will eat your brains if you don’t have enough ammo or skill with a weapon to stop them.
3. When the zombies come, will you really be prepared for the onslaught? I mean really?
4. With a current estimated global population of 6.7 billion, there is the possibility for 6.7 billion potential zombies.

MHMMM... That's pretty damn scary. (Photo from Romero's film Dawn of the Dead)

So if you still don’t believe me…read this awesome article from or check out the Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks. You can also check up on How to Survive a Robot Uprising by Daniel H. Wilson a PhD Candidate at the Carnegie Mellon University where he has received master’s degrees in Robotics and Data Mining.

Can you imagine facing this many zombies alone? SERIOUSLY?!? (Picture from Dead Rising for the XBOX 360)

I think I’ve made my point.
Lady Lara Jones

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I have seen through their clever plan

It's fitting that with the end of the semester approaching with the speed and impact of a runaway train (and consequently making me realize I am made of fail) that it would be comics that pulls me from my sleepless, stressed out, school work daze. For a nice change of pace, it's DC this time instead of Marvel.

I think there might be some people in the background, but I can't see past the BOOBS, so who knows.

A lot of other people have already been commenting on this, and there isn't a lot left for me to say. Kara's face isn't shown, just her torso, so yes it is dehumanizing. And, yes, this is another example how DC wants her to be both sweet and innocent and yet sex her the hell up for the fanboy pandering. Comics sure do love them some Whore/Madonna complex. Also, does DC not any person to perhaps point how incredibly tasteless and gross this is? Not even an intern?

Initially, my reaction was anger and disgust and then it shifted into resigned acceptance. This is just yet another in a long line of examples of comics, especially the big two, being really, purposefully blind to the rampant sexism and female objectification that they put out. And with the resignation came a realization of DC and Marvel's clever plan!

So we all know that anger takes energy. By continuing to put out things like this and Marvel Divas, DC and Marvel will wait until everyone gets too tired to keep protesting and criticizing them and just gives in and accepts it. Devious!

This is just to say that DC and Marvel are sticking to the wrong, outdated idea that comics are for men and not women and nothing will ever change that and they are going to bring on the boobs!

Oh, comics, you bring out the uncontrollable strangly hands in me.

Some Other Neat Things for You to Read Today!

Just in case I hadn't shown you enough neat stuff today, I decided to post some silly things that were shown to me last night on
First up, "The 20 Most Ridiculous Batman Comics Ever Released." The article itself is a little profane...and the jokes are not all great, but those covers are Priceless! You can definitely enjoy this article simply by reading the covers and ignoring parts where this author got a little bit too carried away with his explanations. (Though I have to admit the bit about the Penguin getting electrocuted made me lol for quite a few minutes).
Here's a sample to give you a good idea of what we're talking about here...
Pink Batman? I think so!

And then we have my own personal justice in a You Tube Video. Those of you who don't know I worked at a game store for a while shall now be informed that this video is a prime example of why I no longer work at said store.

Excellent Job You Tube video creators from LeetWorld. I give you a triumphant golf clap.
"Perhaps you would like something from our over-priced used section?"
"Used you say?"
ah...epic lols...

Keepin' up the geeky-ness!
Lady Lara Jones

Why Haven't I heard of The Tokyo Storm Trooper Before Now!!!

There are some days when I realize just how lucky we are to have the internet. Really, you can be surfing around for something and then stumble upon a site you never would have thought existed. Well, this morning I stumbled across one of those sites while looking for directions to Nakano Broadway (a small mall outside central Tokyo that has collectors stores you can't find anywhere else in Japan). The site is called, and the article I found about Nakano Broadway was brilliantly written on a well-designed and well-conveyed site layout, and complete with extra large, awesome-tastic photos (notice the no photo stickers on some of the items photographed...I wasn't as brave as Danny when it came to sneaking these pics when I was in Tokyo). You can find the article I stumbled upon here:

But wait, there's more! Just when you thought I had introduced you to a site about Japan, I discover this site is riddled with geeky awesomeness! In fact, I am SHOCKED I have never heard of Danny before, as he has been on Attack of the Show (G4), CNN, the BBC, and Tokyo Broadcasting Station, and is world famous for his computer-cred., incredible website, and You Tube antics as the Tokyo Stormtrooper. He runs Tokyo CGM Night, which works with community e-commerce solutions, and his computer and employment credentials are enough to make any ambitious Otaku dream of being that successful! (he has worked for Mirai, Microsoft, and Amazon, just to name a few!) I feel super incredibly lazy compared to this guy and it makes me want to run right out and get that PhD I've been saying I'm going to get for the past two years!

Danny getting ready to film with Olivia and Kevin from Attack of the Show. (Picture from

The website is everything I have dreamed of in hopes of running my own site some day. It combines the talents of journalism, photography, blogging, html, and all-around computer savvy to make a site that you can get literally sucked into for hours (I browsed for about two hours before I thought I should really be writing a post about it). When you browse the site you can find cool stuff about Japan, Anime Figurines, Manga, Akiba, Computers, Technology, and random happenings in the world of Danny! His posts are extremely well-written, and the photography is obviously taken with some seriously expensive Nikon (or the like). This is one of my favorite posts... which features some great pictures of Tokyo and the Tokyo Storm Trooper himself!

The Tokyo Storm Trooper is sleeping in public! Oh noes! (picture from

So maybe you're saying to your computer screen, "Duh, Lady Jones. How have you not heard about Danny before? You must be seriously out of date on your geek happenings!" And for this, I apologize, because I have no idea how the Tokyo Storm Trooper ever slipped under my radar.
To anyone else who hasn't heard of this before, I hope I just gave you a gold-mine's worth of articles to browse and You Tube videos to watch. It certainly makes my inner geek squee!

This is seriously the most awesome office ever, and I am very jealous of all his Haruhi Suzumiya figurines! (well the ones with clothes on anyways...lols)

Lastly, I leave you with one of the videos that made Tokyo Storm Trooper a serious internet legend.

And no, this next video is not overkill. It's awesome.

signing out in joy,
Lady Lara Jones

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Didn't we just do this, Marvel?

For all the times I appear to address DC and Marvel directly (as if they read this and care), I do know that the big two don't even know if I exist, and even if they did know of my pathetic, scrambling existence, they would most certainly not go out of their way to antagonize me. And yet when I see something like this (scroll down to Marvel Divas), I can't help but think they are taunting me.

So. Marvel Divas. Christ. I know I'm the one who brought this up so I should talk about it. Okay, right. Deep breaths. Deep, calming, non-strangly breaths.

Oh, sweet zombie Jesus, look at this art. You know, I always thought that women looked differently from one another. You know, had different body types and facial features, so I'm glad that Marvel is here to correct me. All women have the same exact figure with ridiculously long torsos, big breasts and anatomically impossibly arched feet. Oh, and the half-lidded bedroom eyes that says this is all sexy, sexy danger just for you.

The worse part is that this art is pretty damn normal for comics, especially the big two. I am, however, sick of the rationalization that since this is a long tradition of objectifying women in comics I should just accept it because sex sells. Funny, though, how the sex sells argument only means women and not men. Hilarious.

Let's get to the description of the series:

This also seems like the perfect time to announce our Marvel Divas limited series, beginning in July, from Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Tonci Zonjic, featuring some of the Marvel Universe’s greatest female heroes in a way you haven’t seem them before.

I’ll let Roberto explain:“The idea behind the series was to have some sudsy fun and lift the curtain a bit and take a peep at some of our most fabulous super heroines. In the series, they're an unlikely foursome of friends--Black Cat, Hell Cat, Firestar, and Photon--with TWO things in common: They're all leading double-lives and they're all having romantic trouble. The pitch started as "Sex and the City" in the Marvel Universe, and there's definitely that "naughty" element to it, but I also think the series is doing to a deeper place, asking question about what it means...truly be a woman in an industry dominated by testosterone and guns. (And I mean both the super hero industry and the comic book industry.) But mostly it's just a lot of hot fun.”

This actually makes me long for "female product." It's like someone at Marvel said, "Hey, Birds of Prey was pretty popular and had a long run. I know, I know. That's really surprising since it's all women, but maybe we should get in on that. See if we can't trick more women into reading comics. What else do women like? Well, shoes. And Sex and the City. Chicks eat that up. We stick some girl characters into a Sex and the City role and girls will just eat this up."

Although judging by that picture up there, I am obviously not the intended demographic for this, because, obviously, I am a female and we all know females don't read comics. In fact, females only like Sex and the City and the crap Lifetime puts out.

Just look at the language they use in this: "peep at." There's a voyeuristic element to it, the titillating thought you might find these four in their underwear having a pillow fight. You will never see them using the word "peep" to describe any male characters, because they are men doing manly things.

My absolute favorite part has to be this: "I also think the series is doing to a deeper place, asking question about what it means...truly be a woman in an industry dominated by testosterone and guns. (And I mean both the super hero industry and the comic book industry.) But mostly it's just a lot of hot fun.”

These two sentences together is deeply, deeply amazing. And by "amazing" I obviously mean "infuriating" in that Aguirre-Sacasa cannot see how deeply insulting and unintentionally ironic these two sentences are.

He's trying to earn credit by saying that this isn't just soft-core porn for male comic nerds, but the series will also be exploring the sexism that exists within the world of comics and comic publishing. And by doing so they are going to develop character arcs for the four women and explore their friendship while having them be heroes. You know, that's a comic I would be interested in reading.

And then the second sentence is a big fat "JUST KIDDING" and my uncontrollable strangly hands start itching. "But mostly it's just a lot of hot fun" translates to "These four female characters will be in their underwear a lot in titillating, pseudo-lesbian positions so you male readers can get your rocks off." Because, hey, why else would you have women in comics? Certainly not for them to be kicking ass right alongside their male counterparts.

For the record, I am not opposed to Marvel having a more light hearted, fun title. Hell, Cable & Deadpool fulfilled just that role before it was cruelly canceled. And even in a fun title you can have some dark parts and really go deep with characterization.

What I am opposed to is what I fear Marvel Divas (and that name along makes me want to brick someone) will turn into more objectification that panders to the believed base of shut-in comic nerds who can't get a date if their life depended it. What's even worse is that Marvel is going to try to present it in terms of feminism in exploring women in male dominated fields when it's really, really not going to be that all.

Comics have a really bad track record when trying to incorprate feminism in their titles, which is a post for another time. And in this case, Marvel seems to be under the assumption that Sex and the City, while very successful, is the default state of entertainment that women like and that it is feminism. Ah, yes, listening to Carrie Bradshaw prattle on about shoes and romance and sex for an hour certainly counts as feminist!

How about we have Marvel Divas for men? You can get Spiderman and Wolverine and Cap sitting around and drinking and talking about their love life. What's that you say? That would never happen because it's boring and readers would much rather see well-written heroics in their superhero comics? Exactly.

If you keep shoving this down my throat, Marvel, I'm going to need a special O MARVEL NO tag.

Now to wash this bad taste out of my throat, this looks like it has the potential to be pretty amazing.

If anyone of you are in Boston and happen to catch a show, let me know how it is, since I'll be stuck in Chicago and won't be able to go. There's an article here that goes into more detail.

And since it's still technically Easter, I wish all of you a very Happy Zombie Jesus Day.

I don't actually have a zombie Jesus scan, but I think Jesus Christ, Vampire Slayer is just as
good for some old fashioned blasphemy on the most important day in Christianity. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Yet Another Day I wish I was Fluent in Written Japanese

Today I realized two things I really wished I could accomplish. One: I wish I was fluent in written Japanese. This would allow me to purchase games far in advance of the release dates in America and also to procure a lot of games that are never released in the United States. Among these games are a slew of Anime-Based games that will never see the light of day in America due to lack of interest. This makes me sad...

Two: I wish I was able to buy things in Japan that are pretty much only available in Japan. Today I discovered something that I wanted more than anything and I can't have it unless I can fly to Tokyo and go to Shibuya for a day to visit the Square Enix Store. That's right...Square Enix has a store in Tokyo. Could you handle the awesomeness? I sure can't. What's more is they have a new product called Uki Uki Chocobo that makes me squee. In English this product is known as, "Happy Floating Chocobo," and yes, it's a rubber ducky chocobo. No rubber ducky could ever top the adorable that is this 980 yen toy.

I give you the Uki Uki Chocobo!!!

And just to give you some more Japanese stuff from Square Enix that I can't read but want to drool over anyways...
Here are some screen shots from Final Fantasy XIII...


Baby Chocobo!!!

Dog Orb-Head... thing? Yeah?

And the AMAZING trailer you can find on Square Enix's Japanese website:

You can find it here as long as you have the latest flash player:

Hooray Square Enix!
I'll be picking up Final Fantasy XIII for sure. It has the same awesome turn based system I love with some new innovations, and of course the amazing, cutting-edge, awesome-tastic plots, cinemas, and summons that come with every Final Fantasy.
Bring on the shiny!
Signing out,
Lady Laura Jones

Sunday, April 05, 2009

And it's time for another round of Uncontrollable Strangly Hands

So I was planning on sitting down and working on some school work (which features zombies. Not actual zombies, but the idea of them. The zombies may, in fact, be a metaphor), and yet its comics that keep dragging me back.

This time it's Marvel, and for a company that writes comic books, and therefore should understand the power of language, they are incredibly insulting in what words they use in their press releases.

For example, see this. Karen Healey already addressed this at her column Girls Read Comics (And they're pissed), so I'm going to try not to repeat what she says here.

So this is the novel idea of Marvel selling things to women! Surely they are pioneers in marketing!

From the very first sentence I knew I was going to have put on my brick holster: "The consumer products team at Marvel is thinking big when it comes to females."

First of all, what the hell, Marvel? Females? Really? You never refer to men as males, and, in fact, later in the article you say "guys."

It makes it sound like women are some sort of wild creature that you encounter on the Discovery Channel. "Here we have found the wily and elusive 'female.' We come bearing these gifts of stereotypical feminine products for her. Let's see if she accepts them."

(Of course, I should probably be thankful that Marvel hasn't referred to women in general as "girls," which has the purpose of infantilizing women and marking them as weaker. For example how many superheroes can you name off the top of your head that end in -girl? I have Supergirl, Power Girl, Wonder Girl, Bat Girl. How many superheroes can you name that ends in -boy? I have Power Boy. I suppose the argument could be made for Aqualad, but that's it. Amazing, isn't?)

Healey points out that, in contrast to using "men" and "guys" the term "females" is dehumanizing, and has the effect of making women in general less desirable than men when it comes to Marvel's target audience.

Which leads me to this fun little paragraph: "Since our core customer has always been guys, we need to be very careful when we introduce female product so that we don't alienate our core," said Paul Gitter, president of consumer products, North America, for Marvel Entertainment Inc. "What we have found through testing is that we haven't alienated them, which gives us the OK to move forward with female product."

First of all Gitter, please stop saying "female product" like you're trying to sell superhero themed tampons. Second of all...okay, I'm trying to make a coherent argument here without descending into profanity, which is difficult, so I will refrain from my initial response, which had to do with a term about procreation.

I cannot speak to the purpose or reasoning behind Gitter's words, but can only analyze the statement. This statement makes it very clear that their core consumers (which, for the record, I don't agree with), happen to male, I mean, guys, who are much more desirable than women. Marvel would love to make more money, and hey, women--I'm sorry, females--have income just like real people, so Marvel is seeking to exploit that.

However, god forbid they try to make any of their products more women--oops! I meant female--friendly because that may make the guys uncomfortable. And despite the fact these things are exclusively made for women, the opinions of males--damnit, I meant guys--are much more important.

And now let's look at the products themselves, shall we? Everything we have here are, like I said before, really stereotypically girly. We have lip gloss, broken heart pendents (although I think someone didn't quite think through the Spiderman/Goblin one), jewelry and "fashion tops."

From what I can see, all of these female products operate under the assumption that females love superheroes, but don't want to be them. For example, the shirt accompanying the article has the image of chibi-fied (because everyone knows females only love Japanese manga style art and a low vee neck so you can get that all important cleavage shot) males Avengers (forget about the Wasp or Ms. Marvel or the Scarlet Witch) playing rock music. Because women, or females, don't appreciate female superheroes rocking out.

To Marvel it's quite simple: females love superheroes, but they don't identify them or even imagine themselves in that role. After all, who wants to be Invisible Woman, or Ms Marvel, or She-Hulk, or Storm, or Spider Woman, or Kitty Pryde, or Faiza when instead females can have crushes on Captain America, Ironman, Hulk, Thor, or Spiderman? Women--girls-- damnit females are only interested in the romance between superheroes and women, and do not in any way want strong women superheroes who kick ass.

No, females want pretty shiny jewelry and lip gloss, because girls just want to look pretty and don't identify with superheroes. Obviously.

I think I have to echo Healey here and say I am sick and tired of this sexist, gender-specific marketing shit. Our culture has clearly divided consumer products into what's for men and what's for women, or females in this case, and despite evidence to the contrary, companies adhere strictly to this gender division, which means girls don't read comics.

While in the past comics were intended strictly for men, it isn't true anymore. Women--females--are large consumers too, although neither DC or Marvel wants to acknowledge that. I have had this conversation numerous times with Darcy and it comes down to this: Do Marvel and DC just hate money?

From a purely economic standpoint, this ridiculous stance that only men read comics doesn't make sense. By listening to critics, both male and female, about the sexism inherent in comics-- such as the T&A, poor characterization of women, the assault of female characters, etc.--and acting upon it, the companies will sell more of their titles to women and thus make more money. And yet they won't, and instead we get this "female product."

So well done, Marvel, in announcing you decided to market to women in the most insulting way possible. Females, huh? When will we learn that comics aren't for us, but instead for the guys? I suppose I should just be happy you even deigned to notice us.

So, no, Marvel, I won't be buying your female product. And for the record, I'm a woman, not one of your faceless females, and I refuse to be placated with these products and I will refuse to be silent about it.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Bits and Pieces Friday

This a hodgepodge post I threw together of random, unrelated bits that don't quite deserve a post of their very own. Well, that and I am a lazy person, who is becoming ill and I don't have the energy to come up with anything original/insightful/humorous/adjective goes here on my own.

Battlestar Galactica finale: Yes, I realize it premiered two weeks ago but I am again a) lazy; b) swamped with work for grad school; c) really, cripplingly lazy.

There are going to be spoilers in this section, so if you haven't seen the episode yet then scroll on down where I ramble about comics for a while.

I didn't hate the episode, but the last half hour was a giant pile of what the fucking fuck? Seriously, Ron Moore and David Eick, what the hell? I understand that you're trying to be all edgy and dynamic, but having the surviving humans land on Earth and give rise to our modern civilization is, to put it lightly, not that original.

And let's not forget you reverted to the old stand by of "technology is evil! Let's all become farmers!" No, just no.

First of all, that is simplistic and an easy out. Second of all, the entire series, but especially the last half of season 4, was moving to all things hybrid: technology and the organic come together to make something new, but at the last minute you throw that all away for what exactly? A rehashing of some Luddite crap that all technology is scary and evil and will lead us to destruction? Science fiction and most of society has moved beyond that (well, the parts that aren't the Religious Right). And, again, such a goddamn cop-out.

And, I'm guessing, you guys didn't think through the getting rid of all technology thing, did you? Look, yes, while the colonists are capable of piloting aircraft that is not going to be helpful in them taking down animals for food or farming. They are going to have to befriend the homo sapiens because how else are they going to survive? They can't flint knap (which is difficult and requires skill. I know, I've tried and ended up bashing my finger about five different times), they don't know what plants are safe to eat or what's poisonous, and, oh, there are about elevenity hundred different predators that are more than capable of killing them.

Of course, let's not forget that there are viruses and diseases the colonists won't have any immunity to that will decimate their population, and vice versa for the homo sapiens. The two groups are going to have to interbreed to survive.

This brings me to my last point (promise!). The way Lee was talking about the homo sapiens, giving them the "best parts" of their culture smacked a lot of colonialism. That was the basis for imperialism and enslaving other races, so well done, show.

In conclusion, not dynamic or shocking or radical, but really, really, painfully stupid. And that's not even including Kara Thrace's Symbolic Pigeon of Destiny.

Next let's move on to comics!

So we all know Barry Allen is coming back, yes? I don't really care, to be honest. Barry was always the most interesting when he was dead, but these variant covers are some of the laziest that I have ever seen:

It's like the artist woke up hungover and realized that this was due. "Well," he thinks to himself as he desperately tries not to vomit what little remains in his stomach, "Barry Allen was the first Flash, right? So, I'll, um, have him suiting up! And it'll be all evocative because he was dead but now he's back to being a hero! Let's have him pulling on a boot, and I'll had this weird wing thing to it, because that looks cool. Hm, probably should add something else, right? I mean, this is a little boring. I know! I'll stick some lightening bolts in his eyes, because he's fast like lightening! Also, that's his motif, I guess. Sure, it sort of looks like he's crying lightening like some weird mutant emo kid, but I'm sure the color will fix that. Do I need a background? Nah, I'll just stick him against a black, existentialist void. That'll make the colors pop. Okay, that took, like ten minutes. I'm need to start my drinking." And fade out.

And here's the other cover:

So the next day our intrepid artist realizes he needed another cover! Oh noes! Bravely fighting back the bile brought on by a bottle of Absinthe at the local strip club, our artist thinks to himself, "Oh god, what else can I do? Ugh, is that my tongue? Why is it so fuzzy? Oh, right, cover. Well, I drew the other one with Barry facing front, so this one will be him in profile! Hm, I should try to make it a little different, I guess. Instead of this black, featureless, existential void I'll had lightening bolts! Lots and lots of them because he's the Flash and he's fast like lightening! God I'm clever. I wonder what liquor I have left in the freezer?" End scene.

Seriously, though, DC, way to not put effort into this. I love how DC feels the need to kill off other popular characters and bring back the ones no one misses. So according the rule in comics which states, the only characters who die and stay dead are Barry Allen, Jason Todd, and Uncle Ben. Well, one out of three isn't bad. Or, actually that's 33.3%, so nevermind (can you spot the Terry Pratchett joke?).

Hey, DC, if you're going to continue on the path of having no lasting effects ever in your comics, I demand you bring back Vibe! Sure he had weird vibrating powers that he activated through break dancing and he had a fake accent that at times was borderline racist, but hey, why the hell not? After all, Barry freaking Allen is back and doing whatever it is he does that I frankly don't care about. If you really had to bring back a Flash you couldn't pick Bart? At least he was cute and snuggable.

Still in the realm of comics we have this:

Dear Jon Hamm,

You rock and I am now totally committed to watching Mad Men. Also, you're adorable and I want to hug you in your poorly applied bald cap.



And there's these:

I need these shoes. I covet them. It doesn't even matter that I can't wear heels because I need these zombie heels LIKE BURNING. I am aware that doesn't make sense. That is the power of the zombie heels.

And finally I shall leave you with viking kittens.

Happy Friday!