Friday, January 29, 2010

"I'm Just A Girl"

Here's the set-up: Leslie from "Parks & Recreation" is giving excuses to the sheriff why she accidentally shot her co-worker Ron in the head during a hunting trip. (SPOILERS): she didn't actually shoot him, but was covering up to protect Aziz, who didn't have a hunting license.

(and for those who can't access Hulu, here's the quote):

"I got that tunnel vision that girls get. I let my emotions get the best of me. I cared too much, I guess. I was thinking with my lady parts. I was walking and it felt icky. I thought there was gonna be chocolate. I don't even remember! I'm wearing a new bra, and it closes in the front, so it popped open and it threw me off. All I wanna do is have babies! I'm just going through a thing right now. I guess when my life is incomplete, I wanna just shoot someone. This would not happen if I had a penis! Bitches be crazy. I'm good at tolerating pain; I'm bad at math, and... I'm stupid."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Val's CBR Interview

my CBR interview is up --
I'm a little more talkative in this interview than I've been in a while, so hope you enjoy it --

"D'Orazio Double Taps the Punisher"

Thanks Dave for a great interview!

PS, that's a pic of Laurence Campbell's art on top, he makes Frank look really badass in this book --

EDIT: shit, I just realized the interview got some art from the book in it. Looks so cool!

The OS Journal 1/28/10

I've been ill since Monday, hence the lack of postage. But because of the magic that is telecommuting, I've still been working. When you work from home, it's hard to justify taking off work completely because of illness. I mean, can you still sit upright? Then, my friend, you can type out an ad proposal. Please understand, nobody is forcing me to do this. It's just the way things are. But in the midst of all that, my blog unfortunately takes less priority. Also, I lose that blogging "mojo." You know about that mojo, right? It's like when you find story after story to blog about effortlessly, writing your spin, knocking them out – you are on a roll. Whereas this week has been like: Apple tablet, something about toast, Screech from Saved by the Bell writes book about fornication, etc. Just not making the bloggy connections there.

As for my being sick itself, I'm kind of hoping this is my body's way of massively purging toxins from my system. I'm serious, it's like a Sam Raimi movie over here.

(That would be early pre-Spider-Man Raimi, for those of you not familiar with his entire filmography. Though I've lately seen stuff come out of me that looks like that Venom shit.)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Gore-Gore Girls: Female Horror Directors

"It is women who love horror. Gloat over it. Feed on it. Are nourished by it. Shudder and cling and cry out-and come back for more."
--Bela Lugosi

Mary Harron, American Psycho

Katt Shea, The Rage: Carrie 2

Mary Lambert, Pet Semetary

Rachel Talalay, Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare

Kathryn Bigelow, Near Dark

"Here you will see a man's kidney ripped out and eaten, a chair leg pushed through a head via the eyeball, a roomful of men wiped out by the Punisher revolving upside-down from a chandelier and firing machine-guns with both hands, a widow and her wee girl threatened with mayhem, heads sliced off, victims impaled and skewered, and the villain thrown into a machine that crushes glass bottles in much the same way concrete is mixed."
--Roger Ebert on Punisher: War Zone, directed by Lexi Alexander

...I do think though that hollywood is sending a message that women want vampires who sparkle in the sun and girls who can’t make decisions for themselves. But that is just my opinion. I really just fear the onslaught of Chick Flick Horror or as the amazing Rebekah McKendry (one of the only woman who works for Fangoria) refers to it perfectly as: “Lifetime Horror.”
--Hannah Neurotica

Me in Juxtapoz Magazine

I was an obsessive reader of Juxtapoz when I was in college, so to get interviewed by them has been like a dream come true.

"Addressing Issues: An Interview With Valerie D'Orazio"

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ten Trashy Action-Adventure VHS Boxes

There is a streamlined and spare beauty to the Action-Adventure VHS box art of the late 1980s and early 1990s that just gets me

Is it the cheesy explosions in the background? The cheap backgrounds? The big hair? Lorenzo Lamas? I don't know. But this box art had an aesthetic that was all its own. Like the mainstream comic book cover operates to this very day, these images had to immediately grab the viewer in a very crowded playing field and promise adventure, thrills, and sometimes a bit of titillation as well. My only advice, should you actually choose to look some of these films up (and I would imagine a number of them aren't yet available on DVD), is to definitely check out "Tiger Claws" starring Bolo Yeung and 1990s female martial arts sensation Cynthia Rothrock. The Roddy Piper/Billy Blanks team-ups are also quite choice.

/worked at a video rental shop for a couple of years, so some of my affinity for this stuff is probably the result of Stockholm Syndrome.
//would love to write a comic book that featured this aesthetic. I mean, play it totally straight, not being ironically hip, or anything. Just the four-color equivalent of a Wings Hauser movie.
///the "Provoked" box is my personal favorite of this set, as it's the most low-budget & flat. Also, those guns are huge.

box art found here and here

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The OS Journal 1/21/10

This is a segment I've created on the blog, updated in the evening, that serves as the "journal/log" of the site. I've discretely separated it from the stories about Megan Fox & butt flora, allowing those readers who have interest specifically in my egocentric introspective ramblings to easily know what's going on with me. To wit: something for the kids at the back of the class who dig that sort of stuff.

Well, today marks the end of a big stretch of overtime I did for my day job. I'm proud that I did the overtime, but it was a lot of overtime and I probably won't be doing that again. I don't feel I had enough free time to promote my upcoming comics, and I'm feeling a little grumpy about it. On the other hand, I still have a little bit of time before the Diamond order cut-off (Feb 11), so I suppose I can make an extra push.

But also: I think I'm still an unknown quantity to some people and until a book like Punisher MAX: Butterfly is in their hands (
or reviewed, or whatever), people really won't know what to expect. So I'm thinking: a big push when that and Girl Comics #1 comes out on the stand, and then focus on when the next project is solicited.

Honestly, if any of you fine people have insights on how to promote the book to retailers and whatnot, feel free to let me know.

I recently did a big interview with a big website on the upcoming projects, and I let my guard down and was pretty balls-out about
everything. When the interview is posted, it's a must-read. I've been pretty reserved in the press & public lately, but it's all a bit of "oh what the hell" right now. Of course, that's all tempered with "let's not be a total ass and bring shame to everywhere you go." It's a balancing act.

Just saw the cover to my new edition of Memoirs of An Occasional Superheroine, which will be released hopefully within the next couple of weeks. The cover is done by my friend Tiffany Kamerman, and really I
just barked like some sort of strange dolphin/dog hybrid when I saw it. It was so totally *me*. I couldn't believe it. It was wonderful; I can't wait for you to see it. It's like I could stop aging and the picture would age for me. It's spooky-accurate and cool.

So I'm very psyched about that, and am just planning for the future. I've been doing social media/PR for other people for almost three years, now – but you know it's hard to get that all-import
ant objective perspective for one's self. I guess even this blog is sort of like PR, but it just doesn't have that boffo socko promotional quality I see so many talented artists and writers work so well.

Just came back from the bar; I've been trying to "sell" underwear all day at my day job, which is very cool don't get me wrong, but I needed that down-time at the local pub.

Anything else to say tonight? Well, just psyched at the possibility of watching Community & Parks & Recreation on the DVR. Sort of watched it at the bar, but that was not really real.

Tomorrow is a Day Off for me:

Got an article to finish, but in theory this should be a mellow time.

Current picture on my laptop wallpaper:

But I guarantee you this will change.

Slices Of Life

This post about acceptable topics to write about in horror fiction reminded me of a conversation I had with my creative writing teacher when I was in undergrad:

"Valerie, there are certain things that are just too unpleasant to write about. It's just the subject matter, you understand? Can't you just write about things you personally observe about the human experience? You know, just slices of life?"

"But sir, I thought I was writing slices of life."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Possible New Movie Peter Parkers... suggested by a gossip site with no listed sources:

a) Robert Pattinson
b) Michael Cera

c) Chace Crawford

I'm going to get all fan-geeky here and have to go with Chace Crawford. And I'll tell you why.

The dude looks like an actual comic book illustration. I don't mean that in a bad way. I mean: he looks like an illustration of Peter Parker in a (modern) comic book.

That said, this is the first time this Crawford fellow has been brought to my attention. I think I'm still living 8 years ago thinking that maybe Topher Grace would get the part.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Me And My Hat

Just some observations after I've just been interviewed by a magazine/website:

"But I just want you to know that these things don't represent DC Comics as a whole" has become the mantra with every interview I do. Though really, I have no basis anymore to say what DC represents or doesn't represent as a whole at all. More properly: DC is the sum of many independent parts, and you can't even hold up that sum and say: SUM! There is no sum, no one view of it. A company, a brand, likes to have that one unified sum, that one thing that represents them. But that's not reality. And with Levitz out, Nelson in (but not knowing what direction she's going into), and DiDio writing Weird Western Tales, I have absolutely no way of knowing what represents DC at this point. All I have is some good watercooler tales and...

...I apparently still have PTSD when discussing the topic of sexual harassment. My hands literally shake with anger, my pulse rate goes up, I stutter. You know, it's not rape, or anything like that; but I have been previously diagnosed with PTSD as the result of the harassment and everything involved with it. It's just the idea that something that happened so many years ago, something that involved what I guess you would categorize properly as consistent mental abuse (as opposed to physical molestation, etc.) could produce this "fight-or-flight" immediate reaction whenever it is mentioned. That's amazing. The mind is amazing. Really, if I could take one of those "Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind" treatments and wipe everything from the years 2003-2006 out of my memory (hey, let's include the 2nd half of 2001 just for the heck of it), I would.

That said, I'm not going to shy away from topics in interviews or whatnot that depress me, upset me, etc. I mean, this interview I had today was great, with insightful & smart questions, for a publication I really dig & respect.

I'm just saying just made me think, the types of stories we end up carrying inside of us, that checkered trail of successes and failures, sublime moments and betrayals. How many of us carry these stories like an invisible overstuffed backpack strapped to the body and will never tell anybody? I am not unfortunate. I am lucky. I was born with an inborn drive to Tell. That's what I do. It's certainly not like I'm bereft of secrets, or that there's nothing left that I haven't posted to the entire world. Oh, I wouldn't be a full, textured human being if I still didn't have my secrets. But my survival mechanism has always been to communicate. Some may see that mechanism as my fatal flaw and not an asset at all. But I guess it's all in context.

Regrets, I've had a few...

Seriously, you just have to cock your hat and keep pressing forward. And I actually have a hat, now.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Tigers and Butterflies (and Gaga and Penelope)

Sometimes I notice certain symbols popping into my life with a great regularity bordering on synchronicity. I've noticed a lot of butterfly pictures/art/symbolism in my everyday life since I wrote Punisher MAX: Butterfly. Because the cover was so striking, once I finally saw it those "butterfly sightings" increased dramatically. I love the iconic quality of the cover, by the way, rendered by the book's artist Laurence Campbell.

Honestly, the name "Butterfly" became attached to this project because it was the first thing that popped in my head when I started writing. Retroactively, I can see how key butterfly symbolism – rebirth, metamorphosis, the soul, etc, – might relate to the story. But I rarely consciously load a story with symbolism; rather, I just write it and everything else takes care of itself. It works a hell of a lot better than trying to shoehorn certain themes and tropes into the piece to show how clever I am. My subconscious is far more clever than I am.

So butterflies, I must notice them like at least ten times a day. But another symbol on my radar lately are tigers.

Well, it's the Year of the Tiger and I was born in the year of the tiger (1974), so that might explain a lot. Then there's that famous tiger, Tiger:

I know that Tiger Woods made many poor decisions regarding his love-life, but I can't help feel like he's in the eye of the storm of a media plot to completely take him down. That's just how I feel. You can really feel the collective crackle of joy in the mediasphere at the thought of someone who was so high being brought so low. Charlie Sheen allegedly threatened his wife at knifepoint; yet I don't see the same fervor in the media to take Sheen down. And c'mon: like infidelity on the level of what is alleged with Tiger doesn't happen in the realms of sports, Hollywood and politics all the time.

Oh well. I guess if God forbid something terrible happens to him, everybody will love him again and erect a statue in his honor. Because that's how it works. But honestly, I think Tiger will get out of this situation a stronger person. And he won't even have to take Brit Hume's advice to do it!

The idea of the media "eating" Tiger Woods leads me to a recent story out of China concerning a man who was jailed for hunting, killing, and eating a rare tiger. Eating tiger meat was a delicacy in that country, but now it is illegal. It also reminded me of the movie I saw recently, "The Hangover," in which Mike Tyson's tiger is inexplicably found in a hotel bathroom. As for the standard tiger symbolism, the creature represents all the usual awesome stuff: strength, fearlessness, and, of course, virility.

Let's bring this post all the way home by showing a picture of a tiger swallowtail butterfly taking nectar from a tigerlily:

There we go. The circle is complete.

Synchronicity update:
I wrote this post yesterday, but this morning I found an article on HuffPo about pet tiger who just mauled his owner. (the hunted is now the hunter)

On last night's Simpsons, Princess Penelope has butterfly motifs decorating her dressing room. The episode is about a female character who is brought on to the Krusty show to bring up the female demographic (weird to see Lisa caught up in the "Princess" craze, but there you are).

Princess Penelope was sent to be a rival to Krusty: but in actuality she's always been his biggest fan! "I loved you since I was a 12-year-old girl in Mineola Long Island, watching your show."

Ah! And here is a sketch of a tiger-like creature my boyfriend's niece recently sent us:

Finally, I think of the Lion King stuffed animal riding the coattails of the ersatz Lady Gaga in the "Bad Romance" video I recently posted:

and the real thing (is her cape a tiger or some sort of polar bear?):

Connecting Lady Gaga to Princess Penelope, they both wear a crown:

And have fanciful & colorful horses:

Anyway, that's my crazy esoteric post of the day, just for the few kids sitting in the back who appreciate that sort of babble. Enjoy it!