17 7 / 2014


The death of a female character does not automatically equal fridging.

Holy shit, what? Let me repeat myself.

The death of a female character does not automatically equal fridging.

Fridging is problematic. But fridging is also a specific thing: It is gruesome violence against a…

10 7 / 2014

So I saw in the news-sphere that, with the upcoming creative team on Batgirl, they’ll be rebranding her as a hip post-adolescent living in, basically, Brooklyn (or Cambridge-Somerville, if you’re a Bostonian like I am).  And I can just hear the froth at the ‘pandering.’ And it just so happens that a while back I wrote an article talking about how cape comics’ trying to be hip with the kids is actually a very good strategy for keeping their universes vital and the books selling.  And I brought gender into it too, ‘cause let’s face it, it’s about the boys’ club anytime they do anything with a female character.

By the way, that costume redesign is so good that the first time I saw it I was convinced it was a fan desgin.

07 7 / 2014

Interesting piece from Matthew Amylon over at Sequart, which really has so much good stuff you guys.

06 7 / 2014

05 7 / 2014



Fiction Week!

Dicebox (Review)

by Jenn Manley Lee

Dicebox is different.

Now, a lot of people say that about a lot of things, but in this case, I swear to you I haven’t read anything I can say is like Dicebox. Sure, it’s definitely a Space Opera. It’s definitely a comic. But it reads like your life.

I picked up a print copy of Dicebox Book 1: Wander, about a year ago, and I must admit it was on a lark. It’s available online as well. And I have to recommend it; the book is a fat 314-page graphic novel and is quite high quality. The art is lovely, the text is readable and the story…well. The story is interesting in an unusual way.

Although the story’s setting is  fascinating exercise in world-building, the plot revolves entirely around the characters and their relationships, their daily activities, and their hopes and fears in an almost claustrophobic way. It’s been called “slice-of-life” in a space opera setting, and I’d have to agree with that on one level, but at times it devolves into feeling like you’re sitting with a group of people who love to gossip about their mutual friends that you’ve never met. But if you can keep up with the social environment and the conversational storytelling style, you can and will get caught up in a very detailed world and the lives of Molly Robbins, a migrant factory worker, and her partner, Griffin Stoyka, who just can’t seem to outrun her past or her own penchant for drama.

The interpersonal world of Dicebox has room for all kinds of people, relationships, genders, races, cultures, and dynamics. In some ways the social complexity can overshadow the characters themselves, but there is so much to explore that re-reading is extremely rewarding. There is also a lot of sex and spaceships, which is also nice. There’s tongue-in-cheek (AHEM) humor, smartassery, narrow escapes, snide comments, and lots of snark, bawdy jokes, and the facial expressions alone make Dicebox worth it for me.

This comic entitled “A Concise Summary” by Erika Moen is a fairly accurate  description of what you’ll be getting yourself into with Dicebox.

Dicebox official site

Jenn Manley Lee official site

Dicebox is superb.

I’d forgotten about Dicebox.  In my high school I’m-reading-lotsa-webcomics phase I found it linked by I don’t even know who.  At the time it went a little over my head, but I was aware it was doing that, that the flaw was in my comprehension.  I also remember really liking Griff.  Point is, I’m gonna go re-read Dicebox now.

04 7 / 2014

Last week’s piece on the ACP.  By someone I don’t think I’ve linked here before.  I have to admit, I don’t always pay the most attention to the video games section.

03 7 / 2014

As someone living with bipolar and anxiety, I really appreciate this song’s existence.  It’s the least melodramatic portrayal of mental illness in popular song I can think of.  Like, it’s about having panic attacks on planes, zoning out on the subway, and having trouble talking to doctors—that says more about my life than say, Eels’ Electroshock Blues.  Which is a good record, but it’s all about the crisis point.  This is a frank song about the ordinary details of living with a mental illness (not all mental illness, of course) and it’s really validating in a way.

01 7 / 2014

There’s something really unconventional about the narrative in this song.  The big event—the call up with the ‘oh god what have I done’ is a completely isolated moment—we get no warning (just as the speaker would), but also no followup.  So the story we get is that of this woman sort of stumbling through a grimy life, but surviving, and then BAM!  No explanation, just a call out of nowhere and us left to speculate.  It works.

30 6 / 2014


Common People // FIDLAR 

Not sure how familiar y’all are with poetry slam, but there’s a convention of having a character within the poem say something fucked up, and for the speaker then to examine the systemic inequalities or systemic oppression that makes that statement so fucked up, all while telling off that character in a clever way.  In other words, intentionally or not, this song is the template for a whole genre of spoken-word poem.

(via samesane)

30 6 / 2014

"When people talk about triumph over adversity, adversity sounds like a sort of a faceless sort of a thing thing that you don’t need to triumph over so much as get around.  This is a song about triumph over the adversary."