Sunday, April 29, 2007

Get Ready To Fly, Bitch -- Death Proof, Lonely Manifestos, and Killer Chick Flicks

Arlene: Yeah? Why don't you go get ready for your lapdance?
[Stuntman Mike gets up and walks back into the bar]
Arlene: Hey, Mike.
Stuntman Mike: Yeah?
Arlene: No touch.
Stuntman Mike: No.
Arlene: I touch you, you don't touch me.
Stuntman Mike: I know.
Arlene: Good.

“Young women now seem to want to behave like men and have sex without commitment. The signals they are giving are very confusing, and rage and humiliation build up in boys who are spurned again and again.”
-- Somewhat-Feminist Commentator Camille Paglia on the Virginia Tech shootings


I nearly walked out on Quentin Tarantino's "Death Proof" after the car accident scene. Actually , my boyfriend hid my eyes during most of it (after the brutal face-smashing of Rose McGowan's character), but I had already saw the gory photos in Fangoria.

Basically, a guy turns four young women into hamburger with his car after stalking them. His name is Stuntman Mike. It seems like such a random, inexplicable act, intentional vehicular homicide -- but really, it's not. Tarantino's loving, lingering shots of the women being sexy, flipping their hair or shaking their ass in slow motion, tell you everything you want to know. These girls are *teases*. They intentionally tease and unintentionally tease, but their message is clear -- they have the power, the power of pussy. And Mr. Middle-Aged StuntGuy in the Icy Hot jacket and the Baron Strucker scar just ain't gettin' any.

I almost walked out of "Death Proof." Several people did. I'm not sure if it was because of the extreme violence or the fact that they've been listening to several women yakking around a table "My Dinner With Andre" style for a half-an-hour.

I almost walked out of "Death Proof" and went home and wrote Quentin Tarantino a long e-mail telling him what a bloody misogynist he was. But I stayed. And Tarantino, as if reading my mind, "apologized." Because in the second half of the film, the women "win."

Stuntman Mike stalks and hunts down another set of girls. But, little does he know that these are badass stuntwomen who will turn the tables on him and rip him another asshole. I'm not sure if he dies by the end of the film, but he sure as hell takes a nasty beating.

So, is "Death Proof" a feminist film?


Here's my problem.

The way Stuntman Mike dispatches the first set of girls is brutal and realistic to the extreme.

The way "The Girls" dispatch Mike at the end of the film is comical.

Stuntman Mike literally tears his victims apart, obliterates them, wipes their "prettiness" off the map.

By the final credits, "The Girls" do a slapstick number on Mike, hitting him in slow-motion and jumping in glee when he falls defeated. It is not even clear whether he is dead, the way it is not clear if Wily E. Coyote is ever really killed.

Why are these deaths handled differently?

Does gender play a role?

Would realistic, brutal revenge against Mike at the hands of The Girls be too disturbing, would it ruin the "mood?"


In a Times Online article social commentator Camille Paglia placed the responsibility for the Virginia tech slayings partially at the feet of a society that, in her view, has "feminized" men and encourages women to be "teases." The author of the article itself goes a step further and seems almost to point the finger at the women on campus that reported the future killer for stalking them:

"Then there were the college girls who reported him to the police for stalking and got him carted off to mental hospital after he sent them shy love messages full of yearning."

Hey, maybe the "Death Proof" girls *were* teases. Maybe the girls at Virginia Tech's rejection of Cho's advances did send him over the edge. Maybe this culture *is* feminizing men.

Teases, rejectors, feminizers. Doesn't mean chicks gotta be ground into hamburger.


Is Quentin Tarantino anti-feminist or not? And hey, don't I get into a lot of trouble for these posts? A woman bringing up topics like: "is this misogynist or not?" I mean, I remember my "Black Snake Moan" post...

"But you didn't actually *see* Black Snake Moan," David G. says. "I didn't actually see the movie so you couldn't actually tell if it really was misogynist."

"Yeah, but I saw the marketing."

"But the marketing is just the marketing."

I sit and ruminate over this for a while. David adds,

"But you actually *saw* "Death Proof. So I think this is a good thing."

Is "Death Proof" pro-feminist or anti-feminist? Did Tarantino get off on the misogynist antics of Stuntman Mike or is this film ultimately a love-letter to the Tough Chick?

Tarantino's films, I think, are ultimately a reflection of society -- a reflection of the tough choices and messy, oft-amoral situations that keep making our species interesting.

But no, "Death Proof" isn't a feminist movie.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Gilgongo! Comics Seeks "Cover Decency Czar"

Job Opening, Immediate Hire:

Cover Decency Czar, Gilgongo! Comics.

Applicant must have at least BA or higher. Comic book experience preferred, but not entirely necessary. Perhaps you have spent time in a seminary. We'll admit it, we're looking for reactionary tight-asses. Be the Pig-Virus to our merry band of Howard Sterns. We'll back you up.

Applicant must know the difference between a rock-solid stiffie and merely a realistic flaccid organ -- and then still veto the flaccid organ. No male organs! Men don't want to see other men's organs, except for ones who are homosexual or bi. Don't get us wrong, we like homosexuals. We're very egalitarian. But really, if we lose the NASCAR audience, we're doomed. I mean, I know that Disney is doing okay, and they're openly accepting of alternative lifestyles. But what I'm trying to say is, looking at a honking big schlong on The Shnell, for example, a big ol' thing -- it makes me uncomfortable. As a man. Because it's creepy. It makes me scared, looking at that phallus. I'm not sure why. Lesbians are kind of cool, though.

Now, chicks-on-chicks -- very popular with the NASCAR crowd. But we can't have the big tits. Because that pisses off the female bloggers. And they're very loud and cranky. So we'll save them for the limited-edition maquettes. Women wouldn't be caught dead buying limited-edition maquettes.

So ideal applicant must have major stick up ass. Catholic guilt a plus. Radical feminist background a plus, but musn't get too liberal on the cock. Because too much cock makes me nervous, it makes me doubt my own masculinity. I want to pretend that nobody in this world has a cock but me. I really think that's what it means.


Anyway, that's our ad for Cover Decency Czar. I hope you liked it. You'll get one of those cool white markers to circle the crotches & breasts with. When nobody's watching, you can do that Perez Hilton thing and make the comic book characters look like they just snorted coke.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

True Comic Book Romance

"Isn't He The Cutest Thing?"

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What Superheroine Are You?

You Are Elektra

"You don't know how I feel. I want revenge."

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Comic Shopping Habits of the Occcasional Superheroine

The first book I see is "Fallen Angel." The cover has pink and orange on it. I smile. I like pink and orange. Also, I feel that I have an obligation to buy more comics starring superheroines. Something to support my gender. I wonder what issue it is. I'm hoping it's like, #1 or 3 or something. But it's #15. Bleh. There's just too much continuity I've missed. I'll wait for the trade. Yes, one day I'll buy the trade.

Then I get to "The Avengers." I notice that there are at least two different comics that say "Avengers." One has the word "New" in front of it & one has "Mighty." Bleh. I'm confused. I'll pick up the one with Ms. Marvel prominently on the cover. To support my gender. I note that Frank Cho is pencilling. There is a nude Janet Van Dyne covered with dew inside. I think of "Cloud" from the "Defenders." She was nude too. I think that was her superpower.

Then I notice a cover that looks like The Avengers but says "The Initiative." Huh. This is Slott's book. I like Slott. I should really support Slott's books. Plus, It's a #1. That's good. I like #1s, even for cheesy comics that I know will be cancelled within five issues. I just like to start from the beginning.

But then I see more comics with the word "Initiative" on the cover. Some of them have both "Initiative" and "Civil War." Now I'm officially flummoxed. I start to get literally dizzy. I ask the gentleman wearing the "Joss Whedon Is My Master Now" T-shirt,

"Is this 'Initiative'...some sort of major crossover thing? An event?"

Oh, balls.

Look, it's not the comics themselves that bother me in these crossover mega-event thingies, it's simply that trying to follow them makes me dizzy. The numbering system is just too complex and arcane for my tastes. I'm like that banned Talking Barbie doll. "Math is hard." "I like shopping." Dear DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Image: I like shopping. Just put these all in trades, in continuity order, and give me a call when they're ready.

Women like trade-paperbacks. I hear this a lot. They like books. I don't know what it is. Maybe they just don't like going into the comic store every month. Maybe they're practical. I know one thing I don't like. Buying an issue of "Lone Ranger" #5 and then realizing I like the series so much I want to buy the trade. That means I will have the trade and issue #5 on my shelf.

This is all valuable marketing research, so listen up.

Anyways, next I pick up Buffy #2. Buffy #1 didn't have Willow -- my absolute favorite character -- in it, but they talked about her. In #2 they actually have her. I smile. I decide to pick up Buffy #2. To support Willow Rosenberg.

So far, I have supported my gender, Dan Slott, and Willow. I feel good about this. You know that phrase, "vote with your dollars?" I'm all about that.

Am I a cretin for finding the "Wonder Woman" #7 cover hot? Is this some sort of reverse sexism? But that's not why I buy the book. I buy it to support Jodi Picoult. A female writer. Gotta support the female writers.

Then I buy Justice League of America #8. To support Brad Meltzer. I feel real bad about the bad rap "Identity Crisis" got because of my blog. And then that whole flap about Power Girl's tits. I really want to support Brad Meltzer. I'm gonna buy this comic.

The tally is: supporting my gender, Dan Slott, Willow, female writers, and Brad Meltzer.

Is there anything else to buy?


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Batdickery - UPDATED
of course, leave it to Batman to be the dick and forget that Black Canary is the new team leader...

From Justice League #8

UPDATE: apparently what I at first glance considered a golden comedy moment in the latest episode of Justice League was merely a "beat" leading to another scene. Holy Freudian slip, Batman!

What I THOUGHT the panel read was,My bad.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Erica is a very good friend of mine...

I met her at the production meetings we had weekly at DC. She was the Production Manager -- friendly and personable, but by-the-book. She had these neat rows of Post-its and labyrinthine flow-charts covering the walls of her office, all keeping track of the publishing schedules for the many comics the company put out.

She also always carried a Bible with her.

In this largely secular society, the sight of a woman carrying a Bible around with her in the office of a major metropolitan publishing house might raise a few eyebrows. But she stood by her beliefs. She never pushed her faith down anybody's throat, but she also never "buried" it. Ya gotta respect that.

Erica was also, I found out, a comic artist. One day after a meeting, she asked me if I had any interest in collaborating with her on a "practice" script, me being a writer. We worked on a Batgirl script I had written. It was a lot of fun, and a learning experience for both of us.

After a year or so she quit DC to marry her sweetheart and move with him to Tennessee. I hung out at the company a little longer, and, well, the rest is history.

In the darkest year of my life, Erica had always been there for me. I mean, I had nothing -- no job, no health, no money, no career. I had nothing but myself. And I was feeling daaaark. Hopeless. Depressed. It's not always easy to talk to someone in such a state of mind. But Erica was always there. I'd get moody and drop out of touch for weeks. Erica was always there.

Her indefatigable optimism and determination to not give up on me finally wore down the fortress of cynicism I had erected around myself -- and it's a large reason why I'm here, tip-tapping away at these keys, the darkest years behind me.

Erica just saved my butt yet again, this time with a comic book project. She had e-mailed me seven pages of layouts yesterday, far earlier than I expected.

Then she accidentally slammed into a file cabinet and hurt her spine & head.

Right now, she is in some pain, but is ok. There are still some odds and ends to look out for, but she should be ok.

She asked me to pray for her. She's prayed for me countless times. She's a really good pray-er. Once she asked her sister to pray for me and her sister in turn got this entire convent of nuns to pray for me. Best birthday gift I ever had, I tell ya.

So I'm going to try to pray for her. But I don't know how great I am at all this, so even though I'm going to try really hard, I was wondering if maybe you'd pray for her too. And if you're not really into the whole praying thing, you could check out her latest comic on Comicspace or look through her other projects. Or just wish her a speedy recovery. Thanks.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

It's a frenzy of indiscriminate "add to friends" maneuvers and comic booky pimpin' goodness.

You know, I was kind of worried when I "friended" Brad Meltzer that he wouldn't add me but he soooo totally did.

Okay, now I have to answer one of those bulletins where you can go to this link to instantly add 10,000 friends but then they install malware on yor computer instead.

Anyway, here is the link. I've got a new blog post there too.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Black Canary: "My Humps"
(click for larger image)
Supergirl Love-Doll/
Catwoman Bitch-Doll

"Hi! I'm the Supergirl Love-Doll! I'm very horny! As you can tell -- I'm not wearing panties! That's because I'm an innocent alien princess from another world with no inhibitions! I know not of this whole *panty* thing! I'm just looking for a very special comic book collector to buy me and place me on his shelf! I'll make all your dreams come true! I've been lovingly sculpted by the Pygmalions at the DC Direct department JUST FOR YOU. Buy me today! Did I mention I'm a teenager? Don't worry -- there are no statutory rape laws where I come from! Cool Beans!"

"What are you looking at, you worm? My big titties? Is that it? You're staring at my tits? How dare you?! On your knees! Serve Selina! Buy me today and worship all of my overdeveloped feline badness! I'll press you into service as my personal henchman/love-slave! I'll make you wear kitty-ears and dance the hokey-pokey! I'll run my claws down your back until you bleed and force you to do my taxes! Buy me now! Worship me! Do it! Do it!"

DC Direct Toys & Collectibles -- A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock N' Roll

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

How *I* Found Love and Sex at the New York ComicCon, By David G.

I hadn't planned on going to the New York ComicCon. I hadn't been to a real comic convention in over three years. I hemmed and hawed about going for weeks. Sure, I made a small splash in 2003 with my couple of books, but after that point, my health and my comic career took a serious nosedive. Comics and I had a little flirting, a fine little courtship, a passionate affair – and then nothing. You see, I got sick – and Comics was nowhere to be found. I thought we had broken up.

Comics must have been drunk dialing me a few day before the show, because, I heard her calling me again. I bought my professional badge and headed into what felt like almost felt like a class reunion. Maybe my love could be rekindled after all?

And of course, Comics didn't disappoint me. The show was spectacular. And Comics friends were delighted to see me.

"Hey, man … where you been?"
"It's been a long time, David G."

It was flattering to be greeted back with open arms. Comics hadn't forgotten about me. I had forgotten about comics. I had forgotten how inspiring people can be – and how uniquely creative and beautiful Comics were.

Comics and I were lovers once more.

I didn't bring much with me to the show – a few writing samples and a copy of my advertising portfolio to show a few select people. No pitches. No proposals. No crazy ideas to pitch to editors on the fly. A few business cards – and a few samples of my work – and me.

Comics and I had a good time that weekend. She told me to attend the Valiant Comics panel – there were some people I had to meet. At the start of the panel, Comics told me that I had to meet with Jeff Gomez, the panel spokesperson, which I did. Comics didn't tell me that she had another surprise waiting for me in the form of a certain Occasional Superheroine …

During the panel, I waited for the Occasional Superheroine to speak. I asked a couple of doofy questions, which got a couple of chuckles … but there wasn't a moment that I was bored – not a moment when I wasn't totally engaged by the rampant misadventures of a defunct comic company that I thoroughly loved in the mid-90s.

After the panel ended, I stood out in the lobbying waiting to again speak with Mr. Gomez. As I stood there waiting, the Occasional Superheroine introduced herself. She was wearing a Snoopy t-shirt that read 'I don't like being stared at' – it turns out, it's really hard not to stare a beautiful woman, who is wearing Snoopy right over her boobs. (But, gentlemen, as much as they might want to – simply don't stare.)

As it turned out, Occasional Superheroine and I had mutual friends, and thanks to my insanely unnecessary knowledge of anything related to Valiant and Acclaim, we had much to talk about.

We talked. And talked. And talked. I showed her some samples. We talked about lettering. We talked about art. We talked about books and blogs. And, when it was all over, I gave her my business card and she gave me her number – on a hastily drawn index card.

And then she said …

"We should hang out."

And I said, "That would be awesome."

(Apparently, 80's lingo still hasn't totally escaped my vernacular.)

From the moment I met her I knew she was 'more than just an Occasional Superheroine.'

I saw through her secret identity – just as she saw through mine.

And, I discovered a beautiful, compassionate, remarkable young woman, whose smile is brighter than a thousand suns. A woman who is just as super as she is wonderful.

So, yes … my love for Comics introduced me to my girlfriend.

But, I found her all by myself.

Or, maybe, she found me.
Gilgongo! Comics Strategy Meeting, Take Two

Publisher Maximo Casey steps up to the head of the table.

Max: It's great to see you all were able to make it to the meeting. I know it's early. Of course, if you didn't make it to the meeting, I'd sort of fire you. Hahahahaha...Just a joke. How are the donuts?

Editor One bites into a Boston Creme, some custard dotting the tip on his nose.

Editor One: I personally adore these donuts.

Editor Two: What happened to Krispy Creme?

Editor Three: Um...I have diabetes.

Max: I've gathered you all here to discuss the Bold New Direction of Gilgongo! Comics. It's a multi-faceted plan stretching out across diverse media that incorporates creative branding strategies with synergistic ancillary properties.

Editor Four thinks: I hate this sonofabitch.

Max: Now, I really appreciated all the little folded-over pieces of paper you all have submitted during the week in the suggestion box. But, with all my various experience in the REAL WORLD, I sorta know better than you do. But I appreciate the effort. It touched me deeply. I love you guys.

Editor Four thinks: This should be my job. God. What a f**king joke.

Max: Anywho, the theme of our new "push" is, "The Women Rule." It's all about grrrrl power, respecting women, and being nice to your mother and the mothers of people you haven't even met yet.

Editor Six, the only full female editor in the room, starts to applaud wildly, only to sort of stop and sheepishly look to the left and right of her and then sort of scratches her nose like that was what she meant to do all along.

Editor Two raises his hand.

Editor Two: Now, when you say "respecting women," what do you mean, exactly?

Max: Well, remember how women didn't have the right to vote in the Gilgongo! universe? Now they will.

Editor Four thinks: Bulls**t!

Maximo Casey passes out maroon-colored packets to the editors.

Max: It will all be clear in this "The Women Rule" informational kit. See, the women gain the right to vote as the result of the "Gender War" 68-part biweekly crossover event.

Editor Four thinks: I hate this motherf**ker.

Max: But "The Women Rule" initiative is more than that. It's about a whole new attitude towards females in our books. One of respect & empowerment.

Editor Five: By "respect & empowerment," what do you mean, exactly?

Max: Well, all scenes depicting scantily-clad females having bayonets shoved between their heaving breasts will have to go.

Editor One: Okay, and who's going to pay for those art corrections? Because I have just such a scene in the latest "Shnell" comic & it's in production already.

Editor Three: I really shouldn't have ate that bowels...

Max: All scenes of excessive sexualized violence towards women have to be changed effective immediately.

Editor Four: With all due respect, Max, comic books have traditionally catered to the adolescent fantasies of sexually-frustrated boys with overbearing mothers. Brutalizing and sexualizing women has long been a staple of the Gilgongo! comic book. To change that now would hurt the bottom line. Confuse the brand. Alienate our core base.

Max: I disagree. Women are becoming more and more an important segment of our consumer base. To pretend that their opinions don't count and to ignore them as part of our potential readership would be foolish at this juncture. It's just bad business.

Editor Four: But women are always trying to take over everything and tell me what to do! I resent that! I want to reduce them to sex objects so I can feel better about myself and more in control of my world.

Editor Three: Uhm, guys...everything is getting really blurry...I...I think my blood-sugar...uh...

Max: Editor Four, I respect your opinion. But if you've noticed, your name is "Editor Four" and mine is "Max." Sooooo...

Editor Two: I'm curious how this new editorial direction will impact the upcoming "Vicki Victim DeathF**k 2000" prestige format one-shot.

Max: Funny you mention that. From now on, Vicki Victim will be known as...


Editor Four thinks: If I had a flamethrower right now...

Max: We're going to retcon her origin story, give her full superpowers, and make her president of the League Of Heroes. Effective immediately.

Editor One: Again, who's going to pay for the art corrections? That's what I would like to know.

Editor Two: Get the inker to do it.

Editor Three: a hospital...

Editor Six: Well, I for one am really excited about this initiative...

Editor Four thinks: Well, that's a f**king shocker. Next thing you know, she's going to balk at getting a drunken grope at the holiday party.

Editor Six: ...I'm just hoping that this isn't all just a "stunt." You know, something to do just to boost sales, then abandoned.

Max: I assure you, Editor Six, this is the New Face of Gilgongo!. You know, unless sales are reaaaaaally reallllllllly reallllllllllllllllyyyyyyy looooooooow.

Max crouches to the floor and speaks directly into the carpet.

Max: I mean, if they're reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllly loooooooooooooooooooooooooow.

Editor Two: Uh, guys, Editor Three just passed out.

Editor Five: He just wants attention.

Monday, April 16, 2007

It's Time For...Occasional Superheroine Keywords!

Yes, not quite as cerebral as Bill Maher's "New Rules" but more entertaining than "Stupid Pet Tricks," here is a quick rundown of actual keyword searches people use to get to my site.

c.Search Term
drill down422.22%superheroine
drill down316.67%felt a pop when having sex
drill down211.11%occasional superheroine
drill down211.11%superheroine comics
drill down15.56%bondage comic blogs
drill down15.56%favorite comic superheroines
drill down15.56%superheroine videos
drill down15.56%wonder woman breasts
drill down15.56%dc comics who is strongest
drill down15.56%i'm power girl damnit
drill down15.56%wonder woman in bondage

Personally, I love that when you type in "i'm power girl damnit" into Google, my blog comes up. It means I'm doing something right.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

How I Found Sex And Love At The New York ComicCon
Part II

The world of comic fandom is often portrayed in the mass media as a Never Never Land of arrested libidinous development and sexual frustration. But I am here to tell the uninitiated that there is a great deal of sex, romance, and drama within the comic book community. We only do it funner.

I am sort of in the middle of a drama right now.

There is no drama over who I've chosen to be with.

But I've gotten out of one relationship & into another, there are other complications, etc.

I always like to believe that all this can be worked out amicably. I'm trying.

But, through my sheer brilliance, I've really complicated things.

You see, technically, I wasn't in a relationship before I met David. I had been involved with someone who I had many good times with.

Someone who stood by me when I was injured. But someone who didn't want to commit to me but thought I was going to wait two years for him to sow his wild oats & then we'd be together forever.


In two years, I would be a famous writer & have all this work coming in. Then I could do that series with him.


And he assumed I wasn't going to be available to other men during this two-year-period because of the trauma of my sexual injury. He didn't believe I'd be able to perform. No, he never out-and-out said this. Except for one time.


This post is officially over, now.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

How I Found Sex & Love At The New York ComicCon
Part One

Slow dancing with David G. in his kitchen to Richard Cheese singing a lounge version of "You Oughta Know." Two sets of plastic Marvel Comics action figures watch from their discreet perches above his kitchen shelves -- roughly 200 of then separated out by good guys and bad guys. Across from us an Archangel figure is mounted on the wall like a piece of modern sculpture.

"Marvel Legends," I remember telling him when seeing those toys for the first time. "Whoa. Good stuff. Good sculpts."

What does dating a fangirl really mean?

It means exactly that -- being with a woman who doesn't see 200 action figures in the kitchen as a minus, and who can appreciate the difference between the Marvel Legends line and that early-90s Toy Biz crap.

I never planned on dating David.

No, that's not true. When I first saw him at the New York Comic Con in February, I eagle-eye zoned in on him and planned on dating him. I rarely use such forwardness. Despite periodically joking that comic cons are my "meat market."

But on that Sunday as I walked into the crowded convention center, I had no intention of getting involved with another man. I wasn't even really intent on doing the ol' comic book pimparoo -- passing out business cards, shaking hands, and making a lot of crazy promises.

I didn't exactly want to be there at all. I was tired. I had spent every free moment working on the manuscript for my agent. I was physically and emotionally spent. And the act of so intensely reviewing every aspect of my life as a comic fan left me ambivalent regarding the industry. Well, ambivalent was a plus, a step up from abso-f**king-lutely jaded and spent. But still.

I was also intensely ambivalent about running into any of my former DC cohorts. Honestly, I preferred not to. I stuck w/Marvel & Artist's Alley. Sometimes, I would catch a glimpse of so-and-so and squint and think, "Hm. That's him now. Three years." Then it was back to Artist's Alley, or hanging out with one of several pockets of friends & associates.

I had a Catwoman mask in my knapsack. There were always chicks at these cons dressed as Emma Frost & Black Canary & whatnot & I thought I might experiment. I said to my friend Hassan,

"Dare me to put this on & pull a Sean Young?"

I saw the mask as part of a possible "Occasional Superheroine" crimefighting costume. Every superheroine should have at least a mask or knee-high vinyl boots.

"Occasional Superheroine" was a name that, among other things, stood for personal female disaster. It stood for this "batshit insane" rant written one tense morning following a humiliating failed attempt to talk down my $11,000+ bill at the hospital. It was a laundry-list of every man who let me down in my life. It was pretty damn-near nihilistic, the narrative of a personal apocalypse.

"Sorry very much for the incidents that destroyed you," wrote one overseas reader. The use of the word "destroyed" hit me particularly deeply.

Was I destroyed?

Could there be a "chapter two?"

I was still scared of sex. I couldn't give sex to men. Me and Donovan gave it the old college try. But I felt damaged, unmarketable. Or, if marketable, only as an "angry comic chick."

The day I met David, I was wearing a tight T-shirt that depicted Snoopy sticking his tongue out and had the phrase "Stop Staring At Me!" on the top.

I think Snoopy was right over my boobs.

David had showed up for the Valiant Comics panel, which I was scheduled to speak at. The only reason I decided to attend the con at all was to fulfill my obligation to panel moderator Jeff Gomez. Jeff was one of my old co-workers at Acclaim/Valiant. So was Hassan. Was it not for them and the Valiant Fans network spearheaded by John Rosas, it is likely that I might not have had the stones to attend these comic cons. But here I was, dragged out of my Batgirl Cave yet again.

And among the smallish but enthusiastic crowd gathering to attend the panel I saw David.

And I said to Self,

"Him. I want to know him better."

Totally unplanned. I literally pushed another person out of the way to talk to him. I pressed my business card (okay, an index card with a hastily-scribbled phone number) in his palm and said, "We should hang out."

"That would be awesome," he answered.

"We should really hang out," I repeated for emphasis.

Then I said,

"You know, we should really hang out."

"That would be awesome," he replied.

David didn't exude the usual fanboyness (besides the fact that he was attending the Valiant Comics panel discussion), so I was caught a little off-guard. No superhero shirt. He had a portfolio in his hands filled with samples of his advertising work, which he showed me. In the seconds before the panel started, I hastily tried to figure him out, to pin him down. He was different.

My cynicism, finely tempered through various and sundry events including a torn cervix and boyfriends who wanted to get an agreement up-front that I was "down" for pregnancy termination in the off-chance we screwed up, hemmed and hawed:

"Watch out, Xena," Cynical Superheroine cautioned, "This might be a trap. Ares might be behind it. You're better off playing pinochle with Joxer, drinking a warm beverage, and calling it a night."

But then I thought, as I approached the podium for the panel discussion, as I saw David in the crowd --

--what did I think? Should I tell you? Should I tell you what I thought, this utterly jaded, angry, distrustful, damaged Occasional Superheroine?

"Oh God...I know this sounds crazy. But. Please. Him."

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Easiest Decision Dan Didio Ever Had To Make - Gail Simone New Wonder Woman Writer

I mean really, what a no-brainer.

"Hottest female writer + hottest female character"

It had always baffled me how DC never more aggressively pursued female writers for this title. And then when Gail made it big, how it was not damn obvious that she should write it.

Is there something symbolic in all of this? Should I read anything into this editorial decision at all? Am I justified in feeling just a little bit touched by having this frankly schizophrenic female pop icon (woman warrior/bondage queen) placed in the gentle but very capable creative direction of a writer like Gail?

I worked w/Gail on "Rose and Thorn." Now, Rose Forrest -- there was a confused superheroine. Rose rode the tides between gentle, sexy, dangerous, heroic. I know the old comic book cliché is, "woman uses personal trauma as impetus to crimefighting," but Gail made it work.

Wonder Woman, in my estimation, has also been a confused superheroine. She was created by William Moulton Marston, who, if you do some reading on the man, had a little bit of a confused, labyrinthine viewpoint on the female animal. Wonder Woman, basically, is the strongest woman in the world -- but somehow always finds herself onto bondage comic book covers. What a dichotomy. In the interest of making her a "stronger" superheroine, can we completely surgically remove this kinky/cheesecake aspect of the character, can we rewrite her past? I don't think we can. I don't think any writer can. The heady soup of Wondy's past -- her history not within DC continuity, but within our collective unconscious -- must be dealt with by the prospective writer in a skilled, sensitive, sincere manner.

Wonder Woman -- an easy character to f**k up. A personality larger than many writers can accommodate.

Gail is up to the job.

And yeah, I do think DC is making an effort. And that's not an easy thing for me to say.

(much thanks to regular blog reader Sammy, whose finger is constantly on the pulse of stuff that would be cool for me to rant about)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

How I Found Love At The New York City Comic Con

How I Found Love At The New York City Comic Con

When I posted "Goodbye To Comics" in November, it painted a very bleak picture of the life of a woman in the comic book industry. And I'm not apologizing for that -- the story was what it was.

But now I want to tell a very different type of story.


I almost didn't go to the New York City Comic Con this February. I was too tired. I was writing the story of my life for my agent. In part, it was a review of every major relationship I had in my life. Kinda like 50 weeks of therapy crammed into 1 month.

Of course, most of my relationships had revolved around comic books.

Among the more notable:

* My long-term platonic alliance with Sid Lonesome, who met me when he was 32 and I was 16. We worked at the same comic book shop. I had just run away from home and was scared to death. Though Sid couldn't give me sex, he gave me companionship, nuturance, and a sense of security. The negative side was that by the time I was in my very early twenties and ready to mature to the next level, Sid absolutely refused to leave. Picture the end of the movie "Ghost World" with Enid not leaving on the bus but staying with the Steve Buscemi character. Whenever I try to explain Sid, I refer to Buscemi in "Ghost World."

* Rocco, Sid's erstwhile roommate. Rocco was like James Dean on cocaine. If Sid was like Scott Summers, Rocco was like Wolverine. Rocco was dangerous, artistic, and full of sex. He was in his twenties. I was 17. He took my virginity in a bathtub. I didn't regret it one bit. But then Rocco became possessive. He stalked me. He walked with a rifle past the the comic shop where I used to work and where Sid still remained. Rocco wasn't really a comic fan, but he liked The Shogun Warriors, so I'm lumping him in with "fanboy."

* Furlong, who was one year younger than I was, 15, but looked like he was ten. They said that all that smoking stunted his growth. He was a hoodlum. We never had sex. He wanted sex from me, but he just looked too young. But we had a lot of interesting adventures together. I remember one time we walked down the railroad tracks and this band of little kids (more hoodlums) started chasing us and pitching pebbles at our heads. We couldn't escape, there was a wall on either side. We could have turned around pitched pebbles right back, but there were just too many of the wee suckers. So we ran. Rocco wanted to beat Furlong up because he thought we were having sex with each other. Furlong hated Sid and stole around $4000 worth of comics from him, including Frank Miller "Daredevils" and Liefeld "New Mutants." Then I had to literally throw myself in front of my front door so Sid wouldn't kill Furlong. I confronted Furlong about the theft. We physically battled. I think he got out all his sexual frustration with that fight. It was a draw. I never spoke to Furlong again. The last I heard of him, he tried sticking up a Dunkin Donuts using his girlfriend as a fake hostage.

* Danny the Vampire. A tall, blond, strikingly handsome, bisexual man a couple of years older than me. I was 18, he was 23. He was a comic book fan and a vampire. He was interesting. I've had an interesting life.

* Wiccan Molly. We met in college. It wasn't a sexual relationship, but it was very close. She was into Wicca. She thought she had superpowers. She bought me jewelry. I wrote her poetry. College is a funny time that way. I wasn't dating men during that period. Molly was paranoid that I was gay. Molly had issues about homosexuality. One day an "out" bisexual girl kissed her on the back of the neck during lunch. Molly told me that if I ever did that to her, she would "punch all my teeth out." At first I wasn't angry at what she said, then I was very angry. We stopped speaking to each other. When we made up, we were closer than ever. I idolized Molly. I wanted to prove to her that I wasn't gay. I wanted her to know that I was "normal." So I made an effort to have sex with this guy I was flirting with for a while. Then I called Molly to brag about it. I thought she would be happy. But she wasn't happy. She said she hated my guts. She told me that she never wanted to speak to me again. I felt so bad about that. But I also felt very confused. I took all the jewelry Molly bought me and buried it by a tree so I could forget her. A car ran into that tree.

* Professor West. Me and Molly both attended Professor West's classes. Molly & me theorized that West was CIA and that the special program we were attending was part of some grand New World Order conspiracy. That might sound crazy, but the program was financed by the Ford Foundation and the curriculum quite literally revolved around a "New World Order." West had a knack of singling out talented girls and sucking them into his life and his world. I was his current "find." He wanted to shape me into a Rhodes scholar. He got me into Phi Beta Kappa. I was under a lot of pressure to succeed. When I won a scholarship to study in England, he wanted me to stay with him at this hotel rather than use the dorms. He gave me a big wad of cash for the trip. I thought about it, but then I gave him back the cash. I didn't know if he was CIA but my instincts told me to be afraid of him and whoever he was working for.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

David --

thank you so much.

thank you for this weekend, and for just being who you are.

Occasional Superheroine

Saturday, April 07, 2007


Friend: That's another stupid idea just like when they made Wildcat a womans! They always take these great characters and turn them into womans!

Me: Okay, now you're "mugging" for the blog...

Friend: No, no, no...

Me: Okay, just to get you on a roll: "Dan Didio."

Friend: He always does it to the best second-string male characters, replaces them with womans!


My friend's Dan Didio/Watchmen conspiracy theory

Friend: The whole thing is a consoiracy theory. Because Dan didio wants to show that DC is in charge with the characters, okay? So they're coming out with a watchmmen mob=vie, okay? And the Watchmen are based on the Charlton characters, okay? And central to the characters is Rocharch, who is based on the Question, okay? And it's no secret that Alan Moore and DC had this badf blood between them. So what does Dan Didio do? He makes the Question a woman.

Me: So you're saying that Didio is punishing Alan Moore by making a male character female. Because to be female is humiliating.

Friend: No, no, no, that's not what I'm saying...


Friend: Plus, look how butch Montoya is drawn here!

Me: I think she looks cute.

Friend: Well, you just like her because she looks like Amy Winehouse

Me: She does not look like Amy Winehouse


Me: Do the Ditko "A or Not A" speech.

Friend: There's right and there's wrong. There's no grey area.


Me: Fuck, I don't even know where I was going with this

Friday, April 06, 2007

"The Question Should Be A Mans"

Here is an actual conversation I just had 15 minutes ago with a friend:


Me: Hello?

Friend: I know I just called you 5 minutes ago, but I have just come across late breaking news that I think is relevant to your blog.

Me: Okay.

Friend: The Question is now Renee Montoya! And she's having a lesbian affair with Batwoman!

Me: As a long-time Ditko fan, that must really frost your s**t.

Friend: This is blasphemy!

Me: Now, is it blasphemy simply because you're a Ditko purist, or is the fact that it's a woman -- a lesbian, no less -- that really upsets you?


Friend: No, no, no, it's nothing like that.

Me: You paused before you answered my question. That was a significant pause.

Friend: It's just that: The Question should be a mans!

Me: Wait, did you just say "mans?"

Friend: But it's also like a big conspiracy against Charlton Comics! DC is taking over the Charlton heroes one-by-one and changing them!

Me: Well, DC owns those characters. They can do whatever the hell they want with them.

Friend: It's just...too pat, that's all. It's too pat. The Question should be a mans.


You heard it here first: "The Question Should Be A Mans"


I personally have no problem if The Question is a womans. Is making Montoya The Question a bit too "pat," a bit too convenient, for my taste? On that point, I would have to agree with my friend. On the other hand, rebooting established superheroes using brand new characters that nobody has heard of is very risky -- whereas Montoya has a following. In the end, it all depends on how the book is written. But consider my friend's s**t frosted.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Holy Crap, This Is Brilliant.

It's like if Tori Amos sang "Milkshake."

And, for comparision, the original:

Monday, April 02, 2007

Bad Buffy Fan-Fiction
The Ultimate Shame

If you have ever watched amateur Buffy the Vampire music videos on YouTube set to "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston, then you probably understand my personal shame -- that of being an uber geek when it comes to certain fandoms. While this urge to geek out through prose and other forms of artistic expression has died down over the last two years, I assure you it was quite strong and without shame.

Shamelessness is the key word. Writing the 100,000th X-Files shipper filk is a shameless act, though not as much as writing Scully/Doggett multi-part epics. Through the magic of fan-fiction I can keep Tara Maclay artificially alive through one of a dozen methods -- parallel universe, retcon, vampirism, or simple denial. And by writing fan-fiction for obscure horror films that no one has ever heard of I can maintain a sense of superiority and hipness over, say, the more banal Gilmore Girls fan-fic crowd.

The following are excerpts from one of my shameless Buffy fan-fics. It has all the elements necessary to qualify it as uber-geek fan-fiction of the shameless variety:
1) Angel with no shirt on
2) Inexplicable appearance by Faith (why is she there? what happened to her coma? what season is this? we don't know, we don't care. She's bad-ass and we just like her)
3) Angsty first-person narrative that is a cover for being too lazy to write a real story

It should be noted that I wrote this fic many moons ago, though not so many moons ago to completely absolve myself.

The title:
"Angel's Descent"
Get it? Angels fly, but for some strange reason Angel the character is descending. Could it be that gypsy's curse? It doesn't matter, because I'm damned clever.

In the story, Faith has Angel trapped and is going to kill him. What does Angel do in response? Perhaps he is thinking of some daring escape plan? No, he is enjoying a long, self-pitying inner-dialogue.

Angel: "Maybe it's better this way. Sunnydale can't bear the brunt of another attack by my demonic alter-ego. What if I become evil again? What if my next victim turns out to be Xander, or Willow? Buffy could see past the death of Jenny Calendar because she wasn't close with her, but if it was her best friend..."

Angel continues:

"I can't bear the idea of Buffy hating me for all eternity."

But finally, Angel comes up with a productive course of action:

"But I've decided what I have to do."


"I have to goad Faith into finally killing me."

Say what?

"To kill me now, before something happens, before Buffy bursts into this room to save me."

But I think that would be a good

"In my deepest of desires, the thought of Buffy coming in now, her soft warm body next to mine, cradling my face in her hands, washing away all these sins..."

Ok, well it's settled -- Buffy's coming in.



"Goodbye, Buffy."

Oh would you stop this "Wuthering Heights" moody nonsense for just two fricking seconds?!

"And so I play the dangerous vampire to Faith's righteous Slayer, I convince her of what she already is sure of...that I am a danger to Sunnydale that needs to be eliminated. I laugh about the victims I have claimed, as much as it turns my stomach to do so."

I think you just need a cookie and some Mountain Dew and you'll perk right up.

"I snarl and smile menacingly as she sharpens her pointy stick..."

Oh, good GOD...

"Finally, she reaches for the stake."

You have your own solo TV series to look forward to! Think of the residuals!

"My last thoughts are of Buffy, and surprisingly, the rest of the Scooby Gang...Wil, Xander, Giles, Oz."

Nobody has last thoughts that resemble this. This is really corny.

"Do it now, Faith!"

You know, you're only enabling her to be evil with this attitude of yours.

"The stake rips through my chest, blazing hot. My sight dims, I feel my soul loosening from my battered body...deliverance..."

Sure, other vamps immediately turn into a pile of dust, you have to have a 5-minute spotlight. You ham.

"Then something odd happens."

Not dead yet, guv'nor!

"My essence...darkens. Hardens. Grows...fangs and claws and horns."

I thought that only happens when you have sex.


Okay, no need to shout.

"But how can this happen?"

Well, since I wrote this 3:00 in the morning on a bender while watching a "Quantum Leap" marathon, don't expect a lot.

"Then Angelus takes over."

Oh, snap! Another chance for David Boreanaz to expand his acting range!

"She'll pay for my humiliation. They'll all pay."

Will you be wearing leather?

"Especially that blond bitch. Buffy Summers."

Oh, the irony! He was trying to save Buffy but now he's evil again! What a genius I am! This one will be sure to win the 1999 "Mr. Pointy Awards!"

And so now you know the full brunt of Bad Buffy Fan-Fiction.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes Part Two

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes Part Two

Sid Lonesome is moving out of my apartment next week. He had been living in there for almost 18 years. Even though it was my apartment, Sid lived there far longer than me. That is because he flat-out refused to leave, and so I did instead.

If you do the math, Sid's extended stay means that he had known me since I was 16 years old. This is true. I met him at the comic shop. Most of my relationships begin with the phrase, "I met him at the comic-something."

Me and Sid had a very close friendship, but it was always platonic. I sometimes think that had it not been platonic, it would have been easier to end it. With sex as a factor, there can always be the explosiveness of adultery and jealousy to speed the process along if things are stagnant. But me and Sid were tight. Tiiiiiiight.

Sid never cleaned the house. He was an obsessive comic book collector and he never cleaned the house. This meant that dirt, comics, and toys all grew exponentially in the space over the years. But to be fair, he didn't buy the toys. I bought them. For him. I bought all his toys. I liked giving him gifts. I bought him an entire set of Sideshow Toys James Bond dolls. They looked very awesome posed on their stands, pistols at the ready. I bought him Pussy Galore, too, but he chose to keep her in the box because he didn't want to get cat hair on her shirt.

Sid never cleaned the house. He was never mean about it. He just wouldn't do it. So I split my time between cleaning it myself and nagging him to help me.

When I was 20, I asked Sid to move out. I was in college and I wanted my own life. I tried to bring boyfriends over the apartment, but it was just too weird with Sid there. Even though me and Sid weren't romantically involved, he was passively jealous of my suitors. By passively jealous I mean like when Felix Unger would honk and moan and say "don't mind me, I'm just going to stick my head in the oven."

I was always afraid that Sid was going to die, either by killing himself because I was gone, or from neglect of his own health. I realize now that he fed into this fear, and that it was all a passive-aggressive cluster-f**k.

I can hear Sid now, as I write this. He is coughing and hacking away. He just took up chain-smoking again two months ago.

"I quit!" Sid says to me. "I quit three days ago!"

He is always quitting three days ago. And then I always find him in the middle of the night smoking by a crack in the kitchen window, flicking ashes into a coffee cup. And look, I got no big beef about smoking but when you're 50 years old like he is and diabetic and all these other medical problems, smoking isn't the way to go.

Yes, you heard me, he is 50 years old.

When I was 24, out of desperation, I packed my things and left him in my apartment. When I came back four years later, he still hadn't cleaned anything. I mean, ANYTHING. It was like something out of the movie "Seven."

But I thought I could fix things (and rent-control is an alluring mistress) and so I rolled up my sleeves and got to work.

Two years later, I moved out again.

Last summer I moved back for the final time. I told Sid that the apartment was under my name, that I needed to save money because of my hospital bills, and that I was giving him 3 or 4 months to move out. That date stretched out until this April, but he's finally moving.

I would say Sid has about 10,000 comics to move, and then another 2-3 thousand books & magazines. My intense desire to see these things gone is indescribable. My intense desire to see life move is indescribable. I mean, this has been going on so long that I am just in shock that it's finally happening.

But also, despite of everything, Sid is my friend. I worry that he won't be able to properly take care of himself -- that he won't get out from the avalanche of comics and medical problems and depression -- but I keep telling myself it is not my problem anymore.

And I don't blame comics for any of this. Comic books get a bad rap for being the oasis of the dysfunctional, but that's not what it's about. In the end, comics gave Sid tremendous happiness. In the end, comics brought me and Sid together, and we had some wonderful times.

In the end, there is no blame. There is just life.

I bought him dinner & gave him a Galactus T-shirt as a going-away present.


Sid says he can't take the toys, because he has no room in his new apartment. He asks if I can hold on to them for him, and I say ok. I had bought him this really sweet Hellboy doll that's going on my desk for sure.

And I'm finally getting this Pussy Galore doll out of the box.
Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes, Part One

Mom: Happy Easter!

Me: Mom, it's not Easter. It's April Fool's Day.

Mom: No, I know it's April Fool's Day. But isn't it Easter too?

Me: No, Easter is next week.

Mom: But the bodega on the corner was closed this morning, they're never closed.

Me: Well, it's Passover weekend.

Mom: They're Spanish, they don't celebrate Passover!

Me: No, what I'm saying is that...I don't know, it's just a holiday week, that's all.

Mom: That's probably it...anyway, have you heard the news?

Me: What news?

Mom: I'm...pregnant!

Me: You got me there, Mom!

Mom: April Fools!

Me: Though you know, some women your age are getting pregnant nowadays...

Mom: Okay, now I'm going to tell you the real news...your sister...

Me: What, is she pregnant?

Mom: She's getting divorced.

Me: Oh, you got me again! Good one, Mom! April Fools!