lea_hazel: Wonder Woman (Genre: Comics)
Diana and the Amazons of Themyscira

On Saturday night, I finally watched the Wonder Woman movie. It's been highly anticipated in general, both because of Gal Gadot's short but redeeming performance in last year's appalling Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but also because of the revolving-door rumors about a WW movie, and its many years in so-called development hell. It took me a long time to become a fan of the character myself, given the nature of creative work on a shared universe like DC Comics' universe. Writers and artists come and go, each one wanting to leave their mark on the character. With each change in creative teams, you never know what version of your favorite character you're going to get next. At the end of the day, every fan has their own idea of what Wonder Woman is, or should be.

Fortunately, this is an idea that the movie takes a strong stance on. Wonder Woman is a character full of contradictions. She's a superhero, a princess, a warrior, a mythological figure and an ambassador for peace, and none of these roles, no matter how conflicting they might seem, can be elided and still remain true to form. An explicitly feminist character from her inception, Wonder Woman was initially conceived as a superheroine who fights evil, "not with fists but with love". There's a great deal that might be said about William Moulton Marston and his ideas of gender, and how they gave rise to the Diana we know. Whatever else might be said, though, what persisted is a profile of a heroine combining strengths stereotypically both masculine and feminine.

Read more... )

Instead I will close with this: Wonder Woman is a five-star summer action film which approaches its subject matter with a little more finesse than is typical for the superhero genre. It fulfilled every expectation I had for it and then some. I fully see myself rewatching it, and finding more to see and love in it than I did in the first viewing. I recommend it whole-heartedly and have high hopes for a sequel.

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.
lea_hazel: Wonder Woman (Genre: Comics)
Volumes 6&7 of Saga are out in TPB format and we picked them up at this year's Olamot. Naturally I devoured them both at record speed. The next arc doesn't start until sometime next month, so for the first time in literal years, I'm actually caught up with the rest of the world (on this or any comic book).

My brother and I used to get a monthly comics package delivered via subscription. This was a method that more or less worked for us for many years, and my brother especially was a little pissed to see it go defunct. But since I've been keeping up with individual issues less and less for years now, and TPBs are generally much easier to read and to store, I'm not too miffed. There was a time when I would read and reread every issue we got, monthly, sometimes four or five times a month, while waiting for the next package with bated breath.

Now we more or less pick up TPBs only at the cons, twice a year, where the two comic book shops (AFAIK the only two in Israel) both have booths. So we get what we can and whatever they don't have we wait on. That's how I got the three Rat Queens TPBs (I reviewed the first two here), the first volume of the new Ms. Marvel (which I still want to catch up on) etc. etc. Some Star Wars volumes too, which I haven't finished, and one Adventure Time comic (with Carey Pietsch doing art).

Getting back to Saga, after the major cliffhanger that I left off on, the two new volumes were a pretty rough rollercoaster. New characters come in, old characters leave temporarily or permanently. One of the leaving characters was a great favorite of mine, and looks to be as permanently gone as they get. When is funny, considering that the Stalk was one of the first (possibly the first) deaths in the comic, and she's still around in some form or another. And the plot is unfolding in such a way that I can still confuse the Will and Prince Robot IV with each other, because... well, their arcs just have a lot of shared points.

But anyway, Saga is still riveting and if anyone has opinions about it I'd love to hear them. I ight even d a proper review, once I've gotten through some of my backlog.

Lumberjanes Vol. 1

Wednesday, 4 January 2017 15:00
lea_hazel: Wonder Woman (Genre: Comics)
My fall's reading has been not nearly so prolific as the summer or spring had been. Since Icon wrapped up in October, I still haven't finished the small pile of graphic novels sitting on my shelf, gazing at me, forlorn. NaNoWriMo happened and I was focused on trying to break barriers in my own writing and, frankly, November had been a rough month for everyone.

It's a good thing I started out with Lumberjanes, then. This comics series, bound up in four-issue trade paperbacks, hovers somewhere between young adult and middle grade. Though nominally a fantasy adventure book, it's a little more unrestrained in its fantastical exploration than I'm used to seeing in YA. The art style is vibrant and compelling, but the human figures are stylized enough that the age of the protagonists stays ambiguous. The summer camp environment and the bright and cheery atmosphere give it an overall middle grade vibe.

Read more... )

Lumberjanes is a delightfully chaotic adventure, and I recommend it heartily to anyone looking for something bright and beautiful to read.

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
NaNoWriMo is over and I need to kickstart my reading habits. I tried to read Ancillary Justice but I'm having trouble getting deep enough in to be swept away, I might put it off until I have some extra mental energies. I have a number of books saved to my Kobo account that I have not yet bought, and I have a stack of TPBs. And, of course, my over-full book shelves full of smart books that I am perpetually too tired to read.

One of the last books I finished was Shira Glassman's The Second Mango but the new releases (from which she actually gets royalties) aren't on Kobo and I'd probably had to get them through Amazon or something. There are four novels in all and one short story collection, I think. But I have a lot of other options.

1. N.K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season is A Smart Book and also has geological tectonic magic, which is fascinating and extra appealing to me. On the con side, the excerpt I read gives me the impression of dense prose and a difficult narrator voice.

2. T. Kingfisher's (Ursula Vernon) Bryony and Roses is also an award-winner and yet it is also a fairy-tale and has that UV-brand deadpan humor that I find so comfortable.

3. Mary Robinette Kowal's Shades of Milk and Honey is a magicky regency romance, and my familiarity with the author's style means it promises to be a non-offensive f/m pairing, possibly in the vein of Sorcerer to the Crown (which was anj instant favorite). Also likely to be light and comfortable.

4. The Golem and the Jinni is that Jewish fantasy novel I have ostensibly always wanted, and also fairly well-reviewed (although it doesn't have the kind of gushing following some others on my list do). A bit of an unknown quantity.

5. The Lies of Locke Lamora. People having been raving about this book for as long as I can remember. Am I in a lovable rogue mood? Who knows.

6. Michelle Sagara's Cast in Shadow which was recommended to me by someone and indeterminate time period in the past. Yay, memory! I downloaded the preview for this on a whim and it gives me a comfortable feeling of a heroine with trust issues.

7. Or I could just get the next in one of the series I'm reading. I have a bunch of those I haven't finished, and that might help me get into a good reading routine.

8. I also have the TPB of Monstress (from Marjorie Liu) sitting on my shelf. And one of the Marceline Adventure Time books, and some Star Wars stuff. They are good for reading in bits and pieces, generally, but less convenient to carry in my purse (I have a purse. I'm a person who carries a purse now.).

Decisions are unusually hard for me lately. Or, like, more than usually hard.
lea_hazel: Wonder Woman (Genre: Comics)
One of the delightful things that happened at Olamot Con 2016 is that I happened upon a copy of the first Rat Queens TPB at one of the stands. The name rang a bell, so I flipped through it and eventually surrendered to temptation and took it home with me. This title has been vaguely on my radar for a while, but the scarcity of comic book stores and my general disengagement with the medium produced an obstacle of availability. What am I gonna say, there is so much entertainment media out there, you have to work hard to catch and keep readers' attention.

Conventions, however, exist to circumvent the barriers that make mass media vastly more available for consumption than more niche markets, and I took full advantage of this fact. I bought the first two TPBs, covering Rat Queens #1-#10, and a full story arc with a satisfying conclusion. Frankly, that's already more than most comics can boast.

Read more... )

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.
lea_hazel: Wonder Woman (Genre: Comics)
This is the story of how DC comics depowered Barbara Gordon.

For twenty five years, Barbara Gordon played the role of Oracle, a master-hacker and world-class information broken, leader of the Birds of Prey and a revolving roster of superheroines, and one of the smartest people in the DC universe. This Oracle persona was developed by John Ostrander and Kim Yale after her spine injury in the famous (or notorious) storyline The Killing Joke. This storyline was rightly criticized for treating Batgirl as a prop in a story that focused on the relationship between Batman and the Joker. The Killing Joke is commonly included in lists of “fridgings”, brutal plots visited on female characters, for the purpose of providing motivation for male characters.

Read more... )

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.
lea_hazel: Wonder Woman (Genre: Comics)
Poor Supergirl. She never can seem to settle on a proper supporting cast of her very own. Sure, all comics superheroes go through endless permutations -- power changes, costume changes, forgettable one-off villains -- but always there is some sort of baseline to come back to. Always there is at least a mentor, or best friend, or love interest that recurs in every incarnation. And always, always a nemesis. A hero that doesn't manage to establish a proper rogues gallery is bound to falter.

Read more... )

The core idea behind the TV show, aside from Supergirl's ongoing efforts to achieve an independent reputation, seems to be that Kara, unlike Clark, actually remembers Krypton. This, I think, is a good start. How it progresses remains to be seen.

2013 in Books

Wednesday, 1 January 2014 10:12
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
Instead of a tedious summation of my misadventures in academia and unemployment, I'm doing a Very Special 2013 Wrapup Reading Wednesday. Yay!

Last night (slightly after the new civil year ringed in) I finished Megan Turner's The Thief, the first book in the Attolia series, of which I heard many good things. I'm fairly certain I first heard of these books through oyceter and/or meganbmoore, but the name Attolia crops up pretty often in my circles. My friend Hez apparently hated it, though. Shrug.

That makes the books I've read since summer almost all lead-ins to another book. I want to continue all of them! It's hard to put them in order, but if I were: Hobb's Blood of Dragons (which I expect to be disappointed by, but I have a problem), Carey's Naamah's Curse (...I have several problems), Turner's The Queen of Attolia and Carriger's Changeless.

Other books I read in 2013 include: Gavin de Becker's The Gift of Fear, strongly recommended by the inimitable Captain Awkward, and a rereading of A Room of One's Own.

Books I am still in the middle of: Jorge Luis Borges' Ficciones on my brother's recommendation, Dorothy L. Sayers' Who's Body because the ebook was free, and a book on Babylonian mythology that I bought at the university bookshop on a whim. Naturally I have been picking them up and putting them back down as the mood strikes me. And, nominally, I've been in the middle of China Mieville's Perdido Street Station since sometime in 2012.

In 2014 I want to read more books cover to cover, and keep better track of them, possibly even blog about them more. I want to finish Mieville before I start on my other Kobo purchases, or on the other, free, ebooks I have. I want to be caught up on Saga and Animal Man, even if I can't maintain an interest in any other comics. And I want to read lots of fanfic, but that's a separate post that I think I'll make tomorrow.

Happy Wednesday.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
Keeping track of time is always so much harder during holidays. There's the half-day before, the evening of, the day of, and then I have to figure out how to tell the difference between the holiday and the Saturday that comes before it. The mornings melt away even more quickly than usual.

Today, for example, I almost mixed up an appointment I have next Sunday, and figured it to be this coming Monday. Why? I have no idea. Who knows how my brain stores this information. Well, I double-checked my google calendar to make certain that I know when my (vitally important) interview is, and what sort of schedule-related pitfalls are on the way from here to there (now to then?).

Now I just have to sort through all the reading and writing things I've committed to. Maybe make a list?
lea_hazel: Wonder Woman (Genre: Comics)
We've been sorting through years (in my brother's case decades) of comics to figure out what we keep and what we try to sell. All the keepers go in my spacious new cabinets, sorted into shoeboxes for convenience (we are out of boxes and need more). I've taken this opportunity to try and catch up with monthlies I haven't been keeping up with. During school time, it was hard to keep in mind things like "when the monthly comics package comes in the mail" and "what happened last month" and "how far along am I" and besides, I was finding it generally harder to read.

Looking at the current subscription, there's a bunch of stuff I'm not sure I want to keep up with. Why did we subscribe to JLA, again? It seemed like a good idea at the time. And now that X-Factor is wrapping up (seven years of my life, right there) I don't know if we'll find enough monthlies we want to make shipping worthwhile. Legit, if I could get Saga digitally, I might just drop everything else. I just need to talk to my brother about it.

Then today I went to the pharmacy and sat for the make-up lady for about an hour. And made a hole in my budget. Good news, though, everyone says I look fantastic. I don't know if I'll ever get used to mascara, though.

Otherwise I'm just drowning myself in fandom and fanfic projects, trying to brush up on professional topics that I haven't touched in ages, and generally keeping busy to keep anxiety at bay. Trope bingo is going better than I had been concerned. For a while it looked like I'd have all ideas and no follow-through, a disease I'm intimately familiar with. However, things are looking up and that helps me generally feel good about myself. Well, the Wellbutrin gets some credit, too.
lea_hazel: Wonder Woman (Genre: Comics)
Hello, world. It is Saturday morning and I'm ready to start making difficult decisions about selling/giving away/throwing away comics that I haven't read in over a decade.
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
I've been in this apartment over two years and I finally got my bookshelves in today. And they are exactly what I wanted. Now for the task of filling them, which may -- may! -- take longer than I anticipated. I still have all the childhood books in my parents' house (childhood in this case includes the army, el oh el) not to mention bozes that haven't been touched in a decade. Literally. Plus my grandmother left me a hundred of her favorite books which she had wanted me to read for years and years, "when you have the time." My god I was a literary disappointment to her.

Anyway in terms of both book storage and reading, I have my work cut out for me. Not to mention, I found a whole stack of comics from Dragon*Con 2011, most of which I barely cracked open. My family has a book buying problem, I think. Or actually. It may just be my brother and myself. God. I remember the days when I read the same books over and over and I feel like kicking that kid in the shin or something.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
My mind reads new DC comics and insists upon going places that I don't want it going to. Like retooling an old superhero original fiction comics that's never going to happen OMG. But for real, most of the new DC comics are pretty disappointing. Luckily Animal Man is still awesome, otherwise I'd resign myself to sticking to weird daydreams about DC characters, and dropping the canon altogether.

Exam Time

Sunday, 19 February 2012 14:01
lea_hazel: A frowning white theater mask (Feel: Sad Face :()
So here I am again, attempting to connect my study materials to real life, fandom and/or porn, while nursing a stalking cold and a headache that feels as though Betty Crocker is trying to mind-control me through a handsome red tiara. Meanwhile I still haven't read the most recent monthly package of comics because I planned to do it on Friday but was just too goddamn exhausted, and the book I have been making gradual headway on since Dragon*Con has reached its point of WTF no return. I wish I was in bed reading or mainlining a new TV series. My bed is cozy and using it to study makes me sad.

Both my favorite fandoms are making me sad, both of them because of shipping. The only novelty is, in one case it's the f/f shippers who have gone rabid, illogical, fling flaming poo mad. As for the other Lost Girl-related stuff, that's to be expected. Ah, the mild social discomforts of being the "bad bisexual" in any given group of vagina-lovers. I could go on, but I don't feel like it. As for Homestuck, at this point I truly think I'd be happy if Jake English just up and died. Maybe I should do a whole essay about how hard it is for me to relate to male characters.

Just my luck, I get a canonically queer intellectual character that I actually sort of like, and his entire existence causes my primary fandom to go up in a BFBVFS.

I miss my Eeyore icon. Where'd it get off to?


Monday, 13 February 2012 10:47
lea_hazel: A frowning white theater mask (Feel: Sad Face :()
Still stuck in the, "Wait, what day is it today?" time-dilating warp field of exam period. Tomorrow is my *~*first*~* (exam of the season) and I'm perilously close to giving no fucks whatsoever.

I will have frozen waffles for breakfast.

Last night I was undisciplined and went to sleep at a silly hour, because I had foolishly gotten to the sandpit point in the book I've been reading on and off since Dragon*Con. Actually, the book I got at Dragon*Con, direct from the author. Which was cool, but a little nerve-wracking. The book has gotten to the point where untangling who's dead/comatose, when and where is going to take a whole afternoon's reading. Plus I have new comics waiting for me at my parents and I still am not caught up on the season finale of Srugim (סרוגים).

Just... I want this exam to end so badly. :(
lea_hazel: Kermit: OMG YAY *flail* (Feel: OMGYAY)
First, three videos:

Three Hannukah-appropriate YouTube videos behind the cut )

Next, [community profile] fannish5's question for the week: "5 characters that don't (or wouldn't if it existed in their universe) celebrate Christmas."

This is a question after my own heart. )
lea_hazel: Kermit: OMG YAY *flail* (Feel: OMGYAY)
I am more of an antishipper than a shipper, it's sort of a thing with me. And yet, here I am, managing to collect a series of 20 13 combinations of characters I like together, romantically.

1. Think of up to 20 ships you support.
2. List them using descriptions of the characters involved rather than their names.
3. Have your audience guess as many of the ships as they can.
4. Fandom hints will be given if asked in the comments.

Not all of them are Homestuck ships.

Not 20 ships, a few less. )

Since I hardly ever talk about shipping on DW, ask for as many hints as you like. Fandoms are live action TV, animation, comics, webcomics and books.

Icon 2011

Sunday, 16 October 2011 10:11
lea_hazel: Wonder Woman (Genre: Comics)
I suspect that going to an Israeli comics convention might be a little anticlimactic after Dragon*Con. Or, then again, it might be comfortingly familiar. At any rate, the food will be better. Too bad I fell asleep at 3 AM last night and then woke up at 8 AM this morning.

My brother still wants TPBs to catch up on the latest Green Lantern events. IDK, I think he'll probably end up being disappointed.
lea_hazel: A frowning white theater mask (Feel: Sad Face :()
Yesterday (Sunday) after a long weekend of increasingly difficult breathing, I hauled ass to the emergency medical center. I saw a nurse and a doctor, got ventolin inhalation that made me shakey, and got a chest x-ray that showed no spots. By tonight (Monday) the inhalation has pretty much worn off, although I'm not quite as badly off as I was on Saturday, for example. Anyway, I only need to make it through tomorrow and then on Wednesday morning I get to convince an allergy doctor to prescribe me something that will let me sleep at night and function during the day.

I've been watching TV and reading Narnia fanfic and rewriting the DC universe in my head. Good times. Not that I won't be unbelievably grateful when I don't get tired just from standing, and can do things like go to the supermarket, cook a decent meal (something better than mac & cheese), go out with friends or, heaven forbid, get back on track with the Pilates. I've also (sadly) been too tired to write, which leaves me way behind on my writing goals. At least my schedule for the next semester is pretty much set, although I do have to figure out the research project oh noes.

My rib muscles hurt from coughing a bunch.
lea_hazel: Wonder Woman (Fandom: DC)
So I should mention that my brother and I got the primer for the new DC Comics universe. I had a whole bunch of feelings about a lot of things and I still have a lot of conflicting feelings. Mainly we both felt that it was nice to be excited for new comics, for a change, since our subscriptions were getting stale and I was constantly falling behind due to not being interested enough in anything. I mean, we'll never go back to the days when I was just getting into comics and I read every issue between 3 and 5 times a month, but it's still nice to be actively looking forward to something.

One of the problems with (US, superhero, mainstream) comics fandom is that it is deeply exhausting. After we made the decision to drop a bunch of titles and subscribe to five of the DCnU ones, I started checking out some websites and blogs that I haven't checked in years. subscribing to things on Twitter, reading [community profile] scans_daily posts and the like. This reminded me why I burned out on all of those things and retreated to quieter, more fun grounds.

A lot of the new titles look just as bad and just as inaccessible as they were before, meaning there's no point trying to get invested in Batman or Green Lantern, because it's just the same old drek. Supergirl and Wonder Woman both looked like they might be good, but more in a wait-for-the-trade way. We both immediately knew we wanted Blue Beetle, because we loved the previous run, which we own in TPB. Its only flaw was the dense, incomprehensible origin, and that seems to have been done away with.

Aside from BB, we're getting Justice League (which my brother is very interested in), Justice League Dark, and Superboy. The latter was a late addition based on a preview that looked very exciting. ETA: Haha I forgot Animal Man. We're also getting that and it's pretty exciting.


lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)

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