reflectedeve: Pearl from Steven Universe, in a tux and top hat (everything old is new again)
It is such a cool, lovely day out today! Seriously, favorite cafe of mine, there is no need for this level of AC. I am kind of chilled right now.

Hi! Oh man, hello, I have not written in awhile; too busy turning my life upside-down. Like so! )

Meanwhile, fandom-wise, well. Teen Wolf has been having an extremely uneven season, but I'm enjoying the hell out of getting to have supernatural teen TV nights with the BFF again after so long! And exchanging ridiculous theories with [personal profile] ataratah in the interim. My dearest wish is to get a little ahead on my comic projects (ahaha) so that I can draw some of the cracky fusion fanart currently living in my head.

Speaking of things I want to draw, as you can probably tell from my previous post, I'm head-over-heels in love with Welcome To Night Vale. It took me a few episodes to get hooked, but somewhere around the time Cecil was hiding under the desk from Station Management ... IDK. It has an unusual amount of crossover between my different communities, too; a lot of my non-fandom artist friends are listening too, and some even in a fannish way. It's interesting watching the fandom on tumblr; so many wildly creative designs! My headcanon is pretty tame by comparison (rather than third eyes, mobile tattoos and tentacles, I picture an aggressively "normal," even conservative-looking, community with creepy but subtle deviations), but I'd love to have time to play with it.

And! I'm so excited to pick up the latest issue of Killjoys on release day for a change! Especially since I've been experiencing some fannish disappointment when it comes to comics. I was so excited for the new X-Men book, hoping that I could get some fandom renaissance out of it (Rachel Summers/Kitty Pryde is my OTP forever), but man. I was so disappointed with the first story arc. I spent the third issue just shaking my head over wasted dramatic opportunities and poor use of ensemble dynamics. I'll give it one more storyline, I guess. I'm too broke to put character loyalty over quality the way I did in the old days (I'll save that for stuff I don't have to pay for, like ... Teen Wolf!).
reflectedeve: Pearl from Steven Universe, in a tux and top hat (comics - art - when I grow up)
Um, hey guys! Did not mean to disappear off the face of the earth quite so completely there. I have a lot of things I've been meaning to post about my life, and fan stuff, but ... apparently I have things to say about creator rights, pay for artists, and design contests, specifically regarding the Welcome To Night Vale t-shirt design contest.

I considered locking this post, and reposting it on my public, real-name tumblr, but ... I want to come at this not only from a professional artist standpoint (something that only kind of applies to me anyway), but also as a fan, someone who is always making creative work for the sheer joy of sharing my enthusiasm with other fans. (Maybe a little less often than I wish I could.) Over the last few years, I've increasingly found myself in the middle of a fan/creator divide on certain issues (this comes up a LOT with MCU fandom, sigh), and this seems like a good opportunity to address some of that!

So. This post came to my attention earlier today (via [personal profile] were_duck's twitter). The writer calls out the people of Commonplace Books (/Night Vale) for their design contest, which (they say) constitutes what is called "spec work:" design work undertaken for the possibility of future pay (where there is at least an equal possibility of putting in extensive labor for no compensation).

An attempt to further explain spec work. )

Now, I think the Night Vale contest is different, because it's a fan contest. )

THAT SAID, here's why this still matters. )

There is one point made in that above tumblr post that is really important even in this specific situation, this fan/professional grey area (because I do think that doing the work for an official context starts to move across that boundary!): who owns the rights? )

Whew, I know that was long, sorry. Maybe I can try and make it a little more concise, later ... I'm behind on my project schedule for the day! Also, I mean, I'm not claiming to be the ultimate authority on any of this: I'm not an experienced working artist or designer. I've done very little paid work (mostly because I don't want my livelihood to depend on navigating this kind of landscape, tbh). I do, however, belong to a sprawling community of creators who base various percentages of their living on work for hire, and the faculty I've just been learning from all have decades of experience with these issues, which they worked hard to pass on to us. I welcome other perspectives, though! These are things I'd like to see discussed on the fannish side sometimes!

Also, for more on the kind of atmosphere that leads artists to be frustrated and wary of these kinds of situations, here's a twitter account dedicated to actual quotations from people trying to hire artists (mostly comic artists) to work for free. Ranges from funny to rage-inducing.
reflectedeve: Pearl from Steven Universe, in a tux and top hat (comics - art - when I grow up)
Jeez, you guys. I just came out of a two-hour lecture/panel discussion (the third in two days) that basically turned into a debate about print and digital media and tools for artists, audience interaction, the internet, and so on. I feel exhausted and exhilarated. I can't decide if I want to have a thousand meta discussions about creator/audience interaction, fandom, crowdsourcing, the Veronica Mars kickstarter, Homestuck (which I should mention, I still haven't read) ... or just go lock myself in a room and draw until my fingers ache. I kind of have to do the latter (after a five-hour office shift), but you know.

Speaking of internet audiences and such, could I ask your opinion on something web/comics related? )

Anyway, apart from the meta thoughts I haven't had time for much of fannish anything, although I have been following Gerard's twitter posts religiously. (Nice popcorn tree, dude. God, how are you so charming?) And I still haven't watched The Phoenix video, but I'm finally listening to it. Repeatedly. (Young Volcanoes is great too! But um. Unf.)

I am dithering about buying a ticket to see Fall Out Boy in Lowell or Brooklyn this fall ... I'm broke and I don't know what I'll be doing then. Are people going? Ever since MJ I've been missing being around fans so intensely.
reflectedeve: Pearl from Steven Universe, in a tux and top hat (the aftermath is secondary - into the de)
Per usual, devoured by thesis to the point that I can barely manage the internet lately. (I have my first in-class crit session this week, meeeep.)

However, I've had to take a little time out of my workstudy day to drool over this Killjoys comic article, complete with fucking tantalizing pencil sketches & character designs by Becky Cloonan (marry meeeeee). (Also there is a peek at some preliminary inks here. Augh she makes me want to expand my media choices ... gotta get on ordering those kicky brushpens my adviser recommended ASAP.) I can't even begin to say how excited I am for this book, gah. And oh, Gerard, writing a book with a female lead and also lesbians (please do a good job with that). Free Comic Book Day (and the FOB album release!) are three days before my thesis is due. Going to be the best reward ever.

Ugh I want out of this office so I can be drawing my own comic right now, please.

Oh, also! I am always promising people comic recommendations. Well, O Human Star, one of my favorite online comics since it started last year, would probably appeal to many of you! It features queer characters and robots and family and difficult relationships and some (foreshadowed) interesting gender stuff and thus far it is pretty marvelous in general, both as a science fiction story and on a character-centric level. Well-deserved winner of one of last year's Prism Comics Queer Press Grants. Also it has a respectable couple chapters but the archive isn't enormous or anything; new readers are only a year behind, which isn't much in the scheme of most (web)comics. (TW for implied suicide/some blood, implied internalized homophobia and possibly internalized transphobia?)
reflectedeve: Selina Kyle: "GEEZ, Holly, relax ... next you'll be arguing about whether SPANDEX is really functional or not." (spandex - comics are on crack)
Well, that was a weekend! I had a lovely visit home that incorporated finally meeting my brother's sweet Swiss girlfriend and some really quality fangirl time. Also some very productive thesis time. And, you know ... punctuated by the RPF twitter gossip mill. :/ Well. I don't really have much to say about that, but I know it's been getting under some of your skin for a variety of reasons, so. <3

I am busy busy busy trying to speed up my (faster than ever, but still) slowww creative process in order to turn in something substantial to my thesis committee in May! Fortunately my project is exciting and losing none of its shine for the fact that I am actually nailing it down to specifics now. (I even have a length! 144 pages, although I'm only hoping to get to 48 this semester. We will see.) So, you know. Expect me when you see me, and all that.

I did, however, pick up the new Gillan/McKelvie Young Avengers #1 while I was home, and just, eeee. I can't lie; I was a little frustrated that the third Phonogram book got pushed back for this, but just ... seeing these two bring their full stylistic approach to bear on a team of teen heroes is kind of beautiful. "I come from a dimension where there is transcendental peace and universal enlightenment. But there are no close harmony girl groups. How could anyone leave a world that makes things as wonderful as this?" <333 Also, KATE BISHOP and MISS AMERICA CHAVEZ, siiiiigh. *_*

McKelvie's artistic weakness has always been a certain stiffness, but I think he's definitely improving in that area (he'd have to, really, drawing such a dynamic genre). And I think this is the best coloring I've ever seen applied to his work, which I normally prefer black & white.

Um, would someone mind explaining the tiny!Loki thing to me, though? I've been aware of it, I see it around, but I thought for awhile that it was an alternate universe thing or something. Apparently not?
reflectedeve: Worried Rachel Summers/Phoenix, reaching out to touch a smiling, out-of-costume Kitty Pryde. (checking in - crosstime caper)
Aw, dammit. So I have been trying not to buy Marvel or DC books, for the most part, for the last few years. (There are any number of reasons why I'm not wild about supporting either company, but learning more and more about the ways in which they've abused their creative talent since the beginning has been especially bothersome of late.) I mean, okay, I buy Batwoman, but I rather think that's a worthy enough cause. And then I added the new run of Young Avengers to my pull, because ... reasons. (The new Miss America, Billy & Teddy, tiny!Loki and the creative team from Phonogram. What can you do.) I figured, one book per horrible mainstream monolith.

But. But now. That's just playing dirty, okay, Marvel? An all-women X-book featuring all the beloved characters of my childhood, most especially Rachel Summers. On the same team as Kitty Pryde, no less. Waugh. And it's even being written by Brian Wood. FINE. But don't think this means we're making up.

(Sorry, apparently that hazelnut soy latte was a mistake. My rekindled, if occasional, coffee habit is going to be somebody's doom; probably mine.)
reflectedeve: Pearl from Steven Universe, in a tux and top hat (love everybody - biggest hug)
Oh gosh, it is so flipping gorgeous outside. First proper snow of the season, enough to slow my steps and muffle sounds a little (even now that it's stopped falling). I wish it would last, but the forecast already looks iffy; still, hoping for that impressive Vermont winter experience we keep promising the southerners among us.

Two fannish things that I've been really excited about right now, both along the lines of casting news: Madame Vastra and Jenny in the Doctor Who Christmas Special! (Probably old news, but I'm not exactly in the loop these days.) Also, actually, just the fact that they're making a Days of Future Past X-Men movie. I mean, sure, the X-Men movies are generally fairly disappointing to me, but Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart! Also, maybe they will do a better job with Kitty Pryde this time around ... seeing as she is so central to that story. IDK, I probably am setting myself up for disappointment.

Oh man, tangentially, I am also excited for Kieron Gillan and Jamie McKelvie on Young Avengers. This is the first time I have put a Marvel book on my pull in YEARS, and I feel vaguely guilty about it (look, I love those characters too but the mainstream industry is VILE guys, it is awful to creative people and just really upsets me), but it looks too good to miss.

Also, on a very much more personal note ... last night I had this phone conversation with my dad that took me completely by surprise. It was very sweet and, while he did distress me slightly by worrying over twenty-year-old parenting decisions that I have no particular regrets about (and wish he wouldn't worry) ... he also inspired me to take a chance and broach the subject of my experiences with chronic depression and anxiety. (Long story, but there is some very painful family history around mental illness and it has always been my understanding that I just can't talk to him about it.) He was receptive and caring about it and urged me not to be afraid to talk to him about things! It felt like kind of an important step. We have a difficult relationship but I do love him very much.

Ramble ramble. Happy Monday! I am going home for the holidays in less than a week, and I can't wait! There may be semisecret fannish projects in the works (mostly semisecret because as always I am worried about making promises, aheh). And lots of people I miss! My life is pretty great, not going to lie. :)
reflectedeve: Selina Kyle: "GEEZ, Holly, relax ... next you'll be arguing about whether SPANDEX is really functional or not." (spandex - comics are on crack)
Oh jeez, I am having such a crazy morning, you guys. We have a huge deadline next week, so I've been pretty hunkered down, but there's this Halloween decoration painting party tonight, and I've just realized that I have to run it single-handedly. (My boss slipped a disc and my coworker's leaving early for a family wedding.) Ahahahaaa. Thank god I'm actually in really good shape for said deadline, and I managed to scrape a much-needed night out. (Complete with the most swoonworthy alum buying me a drink and kissing my hand. She was kidding around, but you know, nice.) I have a lot of energy right now.

Anyway hi! I haven't had much time to think about fandom lately, shocker. Although I keep right on listening to deeply fanon-y Teen Wolf podfic while I'm working. (I want all the pack dynamics, so that's good, but I really crave fic that shows us how they got there from the interpersonal mess they are in the show.) And lately a few things have been filtering through; I might have to try and celebrate my deadline with fanart!

I'm sure everyone in bandom has already seen this by now, but this interview with Gerard, Shaun Simon and Becky Cloonan from New York City Comicon last weekend fills me with glee. The Killjoys comic, finally. I'm not going to lie, I'm at least as excited for this as for the "new" music. Gerard and Becky are such a dream team, and I love the Killjoysverse so much; I'm absurdly excited to get more story.

Also, I've been marathoning Warehouse 13 all week, and wondering why on earth I didn't get to it sooner. It has some definite issues, but some fantastic characters (I love Claudia so much, especially), and um, hello, femslash. I have such a ridiculous crush on H.G. Wells, and I really hope there's fic ... although honestly, it's so blatant that I'm getting a little frustrated that they haven't just paired them up in canon. (Unless that happens in the current season, which I'm not caught up on yet.)

Well, I should stop babbling, finish my work shift, and try and offer some comfort to the twenty-year-old classmate who is moping around in my office about her first unrequited crush. (Alas.) How are you all? I miss you!
reflectedeve: Worried Rachel Summers/Phoenix, reaching out to touch a smiling, out-of-costume Kitty Pryde. (checking in - crosstime caper)
I'm not leaving for grad school for almost another two months, but I already feel as though I have no time for fandom. :( I really wish I could spend this summer hanging around enjoying Boston and reading fic, but alas, I am behind on everything. I've been working on this entry for a couple of days! (A whole bunch of you have posted intriguing bbbs, too. I won't be lacking for reading material for a long time, clearly ... when I can do it. ♥)

General fun things I have done recently include: making falafel with my new food processor, hanging out and drawing all day Saturday with [personal profile] ataratah (pretty much the best of pastimes), buying both a new suit and a new dress(!), and donating my neighborhood video store's copy of Labyrinth to my hometown library (which only seemed appropriate, since one summer in my teen years, I rented it seven times in one month). I'm really sad that the store is closing--it was a true community establishment--but I love that they're donating their entire collection, and that their customers are rallying around to pay for the effort.

Also, I finally saw X-Men: First Class. Which ... was something I found more interesting than genuinely enjoyable, to my surprise? IDK. I have thoughts, though the way I'm going, I doubt I'll manage to write them up coherently. I mean, basically, I want all the Raven fic, and some Alex/Armando, and Erik/Charles which acknowledges that Charles is a dick. (This isn't actually a critique of anyone's characterization; I've only read one story! I'm just kind of nervous.) Speaking of which, if you haven't read [profile] olivacirce's fantastic Don't Try This At Home, I recommend it highly. It's hot and appropriately fucked up.

So hey, here's my somewhat belated contribution to that question meme that was going around all last week!

Comment with "me me me" and:
- I'll respond by asking you five questions so I can get to know you better. (This might take me a little while, so I'm sorry in advance for that!)
- Update your journal with the answers to the questions.
- Include this explanation in the post and offer to ask other people questions,
if you want to.

[personal profile] were_duck asked me things )

Hmmm, I should get back to work. I'm sorry for being increasingly haphazard and unavailable lately! It's only going to get worse. (I mean, I'm really excited! More people to draw with, oh man, for that alone. But I miss being more active in fandom already.) I'm probably going to wind up creating a comic school filter; I'll have to put a poll up soon.

[ETA:] I almost forgot! Peter Lewis Kingston Wentz III, what on earth is this? (I fucking love that man, have I mentioned?)
reflectedeve: Worried Rachel Summers/Phoenix, reaching out to touch a smiling, out-of-costume Kitty Pryde. (checking in - crosstime caper)
I am having a super-lurkery week! Just one of those times when I generally feel like I'm stuck on a "taking things in" setting, reading and reading and not interacting very much. (I don't just mean on the internet, either.) I have no idea if that makes any sense, but. Hi. o_____o

One thing I should really, really read less of is all the DC Comics news. I spent a fair chunk of yesterday going through this massive roundup of reaction links to the de-Oracle-ing of Barbara Gordon, a move which dismays me for a whole variety of reasons (from the representation issue down to finding it reductive on a storytelling/character development level). Also, pleased as I am that Batwoman's going ahead as planned (and Jaime Reyes gets his book back!), I'm still sitting here twitching and wondering when we're going to hear something about Cass, Steph, Helena, and Renee. Ugh, superhero comics, why.

On a related note, stories like this about the marginalization of actual women by the comics mainstream (from a retail perspective, in this case) fill me with rage. Women and the medium both deserve better.

Some happier fannish things! The [livejournal.com profile] bandombigbang fic I drew for this year is up: [livejournal.com profile] the9thdoctor's Angels From The Neon! It's a nifty take on the Killjoysverse, rather distinct from some of the other stories I've read! You can find my illustration over here; an image that I couldn't get out of my head until I got it down on paper. It was a fun challenge, and definitely took me out of my comfort zone.

Also, [personal profile] tuesdaysgone has posted Bulletproof Heart, the second part of her epic Killjoys trilogy, which does a fantastic job of knitting together and fleshing out the universe we see in the videos. The worldbuilding and character interaction are to die for, seriously; it's the kind of story I just want to crawl inside for awhile. *____* Check it out, and don't forget [livejournal.com profile] theopteryx's kickass accompanying artwork.

Oh man, look at me being all scattered! I need to get out of the office and breathe a bit. I have a [livejournal.com profile] cilghal coming to stay with me this weekend, which is awesome, and my very last Boston Pride (at least, as a local resident) is tomorrow. So hopefully I can get a little relaxing, enjoying, and re-focusing in!

In honor of Pride, have some (canon) lesbian artwork! There's a lot of Sailor Moon nostalgia going around, and seeing as that was both my first fandom and a massive artistic catalyst for me, I couldn't resist noodling around with a couple of the characters a few weeks back. I totally forgot to post it then, so have it now: Michiru and her Haruka. )

Okay, this post is a pretty accurate reflection of my state of mind right now, so I think I'll stop subjecting you all to it. Have a great weekend, bbs! ♥ I should have more art for you sometime soon, and possibly hilarious stories about me learning to drive. (I kind of hope they're not too hilarious.)
reflectedeve: Pearl from Steven Universe, in a tux and top hat (wanted - post=apocalyptic - give me that)
I've put up a couple of offers at [livejournal.com profile] help_japan, if you can afford to donate and think you might enjoy telling me what to draw. ;) Bidding is open on a piece of b&w fanart or fic illustration, or on a whole b&w fancomic (of varying length, depending on how much people are willing to bid). I've posted a relatively limited, random list of available fandoms, but I'd be happy to consider alternatives if asked. :)

Also, if you bid on the fanart auction and come in second or third, you can donate $10 and get a simple b&w character drawing. Not a bad deal, I think? Anyway, even if you don't bid on me, I hope you'll consider contributing in some fashion if you can. The auctions will run until Saturday, March 26; bidding & offering instructions to be found on the comm. There's also a charity auction for Japan here at DW: [community profile] help_japan.

On a completely different note, I've been thinking about doing some kind of comic recommendations again. You should probably be turning away and groaning right now; I've been bringing this up periodically for something like four years, and it never seems to get off the ground. The problem, I think, is that I have a really large pool of genre-spanning titles to work with, and no idea where to start; trying to just put a giant list together all at once clearly doesn't work.. Aside from picking a few out of a hat or something, I don't suppose any of my wise flisters have suggestions as to a good way to handle something like that? (Or maybe just what kinds of recs you'd like to see, if you're interested in that sort of thing?)
reflectedeve: Pearl from Steven Universe, in a tux and top hat (in the glow of the stage lights)
I meant to do a post-FOB exploration this weekend, but I mostly wound up getting stuck on Patrick. I've lost track of how many times I've listened to the Rolling Stones acoustic performance of "Love Selfish Love" since Friday night, and I want that album now. ("Hereby hangs a tale," much?) Need to give the Black Cards more than just a first listen, but I'm intrigued. (Oh Pete, what IS that outfit? I love that first shot, with Bebe looking completely gorgeous in the front, and then ... bear wolf.)

The other thing I couldn't stop watching all weekend was this Avatar vid to Vienna Teng's "Watershed," because JFC is it gorgeous and powerful.

Things have been looking up in general. In spite of the dangerously icy condition of all the sidewalks in the city, I've really been enjoying this whole forty-degrees-and-sunny thing we have going. (It's an evil NE trick, I know that, but I might as well get what I can out of it.) I even ventured out of my cave apartment to attend a clothing swap on Saturday, which also involved some comics talk and a competitive game of Uno, because I know good sorts of people. :) Also I drew some things; there might be a locked announcement about minicomics and etsy in the next couple of weeks, if people don't mind a little plugging.

Speaking of things I've drawn: I am not entirely pleased with this one, but I like the concept enough that I've changed my mind about not posting it. I have too many ideas right now to try redrawing. /o\ Also, contains GRANT. )

People making comics, as subject matter, is apparently irresistible.
reflectedeve: Pearl from Steven Universe, in a tux and top hat (wanted - post=apocalyptic - give me that)
January still sucks, but at least I spent less time on a bus today. No complaining. :)

So I'm excited about [livejournal.com profile] bandombigbang sign-ups, and such! I am mostly working very hard on something for a completely different fandom right now, so I can't play with Killjoys the way I really want to ... but I took a break and doodled a little, just to take the edge off. Threw inks and some red marker on, so here:

after SING

Also, I was re-reading the first volume of The Invisibles on my commute home today. At one point, my neighbor leaned over to read over my shoulder ... and then changed seats. Whoops.
reflectedeve: Pearl from Steven Universe, in a tux and top hat (woman of mystery - there's a rose in my)
Thank fucking goodness it’s a three-day weekend. I may, at times, have wondered if I was blowing this time of year out of proportion a bit, but really, not so much. Once again, I’m grateful that the windows on my floor don’t open – defenestration of particularly uncooperative faculty members does get a bit tempting now and then. (Seven more months ... and only three more weeks of Admissions season. I'll just keep daydreaming about dyeing my hair outrageous colors the second I can do that again, and maybe other things too.)

It’s just as well that bandom has eaten my brain again, really; it’s a pretty great distraction. A few days ago, I randomly dreamed that Greta Salpeter asked me out on a date and we cuddled in the middle of a big, sunny field (there was some sort of festival setting up nearby). My subconscious isn’t usually so fluffy, but it was nice. Of course, it’s probably only a matter of time before all the Grant Morrison-related ephemera I’ve been consuming catches up to me. (I watched the Disinfo speech a few days ago. I don’t even know, nor am I sure I want to. I do want to finally get back to reading The Invisibles, though.)

Seriously, how did this even happen? Fandom in comics and comics in fandom … I’ve watched the Talking With Gods documentary twice in the last week, so I suppose fanart is only a matter of time, really. Particularly since I seem to have made illustrating [personal profile] jjtaylor my fannish occupation of late.

Speaking of which! It was her birthday yesterday, a fact which helped me decide which scene from “The Detective’s Secret” I’d play with next. (I have a longish list.) Hope you like it, bb; happy belated! ♥

Not going into the pool. )

It occurred to me recently that I miss using this space for conversation, rather than just as a slightly talky gallery. I’ve seriously gotten out of the habit of commenting and communicating on DW/LJ, and I’m finding getting back into it something of a challenge. Definitely want to do better on that.

In a slightly more interactive vein (and to prove that I do in fact have other fandoms still): there’s an interest-gauging poll going on for [livejournal.com profile] trekreversebang right now! That’s the reverse Star Trek bigbang where ficcers sign up to write stories based on fanart; an awesome idea that I’d love to see spread around a bit more. You guys should check it out.

Before I go work on my actual minicomic for awhile, one more thing I have to share: the spectacle of Pete Wentz interviewing himself. I still love his stupid face.
reflectedeve: Pearl from Steven Universe, in a tux and top hat (comics - art - when I grow up)
Hiatus? What hiatus? I'm so sorry for the spam, bbs, I promise this is it, but I really had to share. Check out the "Update" at the bottom of this article!

Here, let me help you with that:
Dark Horse editor Scott Allie tells ComicsAlliance that the "Killjoys" comic book is still coming, which co-writer Shaun Simon confirmed in a post to Twitter: "The comic is coming out soon. Now you all why it's taking so long."

AUGH. :DDDDD

I said I'd stop spamming, so I'm just going to add this here: look at this fanart of Grant Morrison's character, by Becky Cloonan! *_*
reflectedeve: Pearl from Steven Universe, in a tux and top hat (om nom nom - the classiest)
So the school I work for is closely surrounded by a number of hospitals and (mostly medically-oriented) universities; it feels like a large, combined campus. This morning I stepped off the bus and was walking along one of the interior streets, about to turn onto the individual campus of "my" school ... when I stopped, turned, and looked at the turkey standing next to me.

Wild turkeys! There were several of them (I couldn't count exactly because some of them were foraging under the evergreen bushes), cool as you please, just hanging out in the plantings by a university building. They gradually drifted backwards as I continued to stare, but didn't seem unduly concerned with my presence (or that of other passersby).

I don't even know. It made me really happy. (I let the security guard in the building know, in case they were in any danger and might need to be safely moved, but!) I'm going camping in Maine with [livejournal.com profile] sweetvalleyslut's family in a week and a half; I just can't wait to get out of the city for a few days.

Speaking of things that make me happy, an official sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender has been announced, and it looks amazing. There isn't a lot of detail yet, but there's enough to make me excited (girl Avatar! Southern Water Tribe Avatar! non-Victorian steampunk city! international, multi-bender society! Aang's airbending son!) - and check out the tough-looking female protagonist! OMG, I cannot wait for next year. :DDDDDDD

I'm not feeling much of my past longing to attend SDCC, but if any more of the inevitable news deluge is half as awesome as that, it should be an exciting weekend.

Oh, I picked up the last volume of Scott Pilgrim on Tuesday - now that I've read it, I'll be passing it along to my brother as always. I like it okay; as with the rest of the series, I found it to be fun in a fluffy sort of way, but not really worth the hype. It did fix a few of the issues I was having with its female cast members, more or less, which was a pleasant surprise.

[ETA:] Check out this interview with Avatar creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko (via [livejournal.com profile] racebending)!

Mike and I, we love those characters too, and we’ve encountered countless fans who are male who really like those characters too. We just don’t subscribe to the conventional wisdom that you can’t have an action series led by a female character. It’s kinda nonsense to us.

♥♥♥
reflectedeve: Pearl from Steven Universe, in a tux and top hat (hard at work - drawing - garry)
Come on, my beloved grad school of choice: post your 2011 application guidelines already! I am slow, I want to get started.

On a vaguely related subject, I've been thinking a lot about race, inclusiveness, and clarity of visual representation in art/comics. I would welcome thoughts from other artists - or anyone else, for that matter (so long as you don't dismiss the importance of the subject, which I take seriously).

I should note from the start that while I'm going to begin with some broad background, this isn't really a comprehensive piece of social commentary - I'm interested in comparing notes from a creative perspective, and have been pondering how best to improve inclusiveness within my own work. (Criticism of my approach, as well as the content of the post, is definitely welcome. This is an area of privilege for me.)

On portraying characters of color in cartoons and comics. )
reflectedeve: Pearl from Steven Universe, in a tux and top hat (retcons - comics are on crack)
Mmm, that was a pretty nice long weekend, all things considered. I mostly took a break from the internet, cleaned up my room/part of my apartment in preparation for the new bookcases I'm getting next weekend (finally, my books will have a home), hung out and sung along to 1776 with a lot of wonderful people at [livejournal.com profile] omnia_mutantur's, perched on some MIT stairs with my roommate to watch Boston's best fireworks display in years, cooked some tasty things, and was grateful (if mildly guilty) for my apartment's AC. Also I didn't draw much, tsk. I need to try and be productive more steadily and less in bursts. I did get my comics anthology submission all wrapped up and submitted Friday night, though, so there's that - now I'm back at the point I was supposed to be at right after college. \o/ /o\

I have one last The Last Airbender-related link to share (for now), which I think is rather important: The Last Airbender: who is to blame? by [personal profile] glockgal at [livejournal.com profile] racebending. It's about the danger of scapegoating M. Night Shyamalan rather than focusing on the institutionalized racism that is really at the root of the TLA debacle, and even comes with handy visual aid. (Sure, Shyamalan has been showing his ass quite enthusiastically throughout, but he's not behind the decades of systematic whitewashing in American cinema, and his likely disgrace won't prevent more of the same in the future.)

I haven't found the energy to write about Wonder Woman and why the "reboot" bothers me so much ... probably because I find Wonder Woman so difficult to talk about in general? I've stayed away from past discussions of her because they tend to focus around how some people find her boring or unrelatable, whereas I have this lingering childhood hero-worship that makes their perspective very difficult to comprehend. Also, I find that it's hard to take off the lifelong comics-reader goggles to a certain extent; I've realized that Diana's previous lack of pants didn't bother me, depending entirely on how she was drawn/characterized in her individual appearances. I've had a lot of feminist anger about the portrayal of female characters in superhero comics since the age of eleven or so, but the star-spangled bathing suit doesn't entirely fit into that for me. Relatedly, I still haven't found the words to defend her importance to me as an icon, in spite of the fact that nostalgia for "classic" superheros has been an enormous issue with DC recently (and I've fallen squarely on the side of irritation with that attitude - would have even if I could put aside the rampant racefail that's been involved, which I can't).

It's much easier to explain my anger about the deaths of her mother and culture, and possibly my longtime irritation at most "grim and gritty" superhero revamping, but ... yeah, my thoughts are just not together on this. /o\ I love that I can write a huge paragraph about how I don't know how to write about this issue, too, sheesh. For now, though? Gloria Steinem sums it up. (Still behind on the coverage, too, but that caught my eye.)

Also, I'm starting to catch up on the current Vividcon warnings/ablism/etc discussion, though I feel like the posts I've read have been too scattered to give me a comprehensive picture yet. However, I generally tend to come down on the side of making fannish spaces as safe and comfortable for everyone as possible (except as regards being called out for fail), and against jumping on marginalized people (at all, but specifically) when they ask for what they need. This is one of those uncomfortable instances of fannish fail where some of the faily things are being said by people I've liked and respected over the years, which is always extra-fun.

Whew. I don't think it's necessarily that fandom is more full of fail than usual lately; I think it's getting more attention than it used to (at least, in my "corner" of fandom). The sheer volume is getting a bit hard to follow, with the increasing IRL/art obligations, but I want to keep up as much as possible. (It helps that I've developed an interest in an older fandom where the fic mostly doesn't mesh with my stylistic tastes! My life is clearly the hardest, pfft.)
reflectedeve: Pearl from Steven Universe, in a tux and top hat (gimme fire - don't be stingy)
Hey there! I'm still pretty snowed under - missed my deadline, naturally, but the anthology editors say they'll continue accepting submissions for a few more days. Will definitely be done tonight. /o\

Following up on my previous post, however, here's a quick roundup of Avatar/The Last Airbender-related links.

-Racebending.com has a (neutral) rundown of The Last Airbender Film: Changes from the Cartoon Series, for the curious.

-Preliminary Thoughts on Race and Gender in The Last Airbender over at the [livejournal.com profile] racebending comm. The racefail sounds about as awful as expected, but I still managed to be surprised by the genderfail, a little. :/ Ugh. The strong female characters were a large part of what initially drew me to A:TLA - so disheartening.

-[personal profile] bossymarmalade posted a powerful example of why the hell stuff like this matters: but we must always be polite about it.

-A:TLA's own Dante Basco (who voiced Zuko - you may also know him from films like Hook or But I'm A Cheerleader! ♥) discussed the boycott in his blog: See, if you can get some Asian actors in the machine of Hollywood and they exist as a viable commodity, it can spark more projects that can support the voice and face of the Asian community and level the playing ground a little. But when we can’t even land roles that were so clearly created as Asian roles, its a bit disheartening.

-The film is generally getting truly abysmal reviews, which is some comfort, although as [personal profile] cereta points out, far too many of them are dismissing the race controversy as unimportant. io9 has a brilliantly over-the-top snarkfest review that you may find cathartic: M. Night Shyamalan Finally Made A Comedy.

I have very mixed feelings related to the orgy of disapproval that seems to be raining down onto the film. On the one hand, I want it to do very poorly, so I won't lie - I'm thrilled that the reviews are terrible, and I hope that carries over to the box office. On the other hand, it's depressing that the race issue probably won't be credited for its failure (if it does fail). Also, I was watching a handful of A:TLA episodes during my inking marathon last night, and it hit me (again) how amazing a movie adaptation could have been. The cartoon doesn't need to be adapted, mind; it's awesome all by itself. (I do get a little tired of film being held up as the be-all and end-all of storytelling mediums, but that's a grumble for another day, if ever.) But still. What a waste.

One other thing that's had my dander up over the last few days: Wonder Woman's "new direction." There's been a lot of coverage of this that I definitely haven't had time to read, but I have a feeling I'm going to spend a fair chunk of my weekend on it. /o\ I'm ... really upset about the whole thing, which kind of took me by surprise. I can't get into it now, obviously, so here, check out this nifty alternative redesign by [livejournal.com profile] _ming: Diana of Themyscira.

I really have to get the hell off the internet, but before I go, here's something AWESOME. Back in the immediate aftermath of the SPN racefail with the J2-in-Haiti fic, [personal profile] glockgal posted this amazing fancomic with Desi versions of Sam and Dean, which you may have seen. I loved it, and I love this new follow-up even more. (Guest-starring Durga! And wait until you see Castiel's new earthly incarnation!) I've never watched an entire episode of Supernatural, but I would watch the hell out of that show. ♥
reflectedeve: Pearl from Steven Universe, in a tux and top hat (alleluia - religion obsession)
Oh hey! I keep meaning to write a post and then not doing it, so this might be a little ridiculous.

IDK, real life has been ... not totally nutty, but work's been pretty tiring and busy (there was an accepted student open house, and my boss was out a whole lot). Also, there was even more rain (record amounts and lots of flooding, whee), and before that, there were beekeepers nosing around in my ceiling! Who did not actually find any bees (apparently the hive up and moved sometime in February/early March? there weren't even that many dead ones left), but we did find about 120 pounds of honey. (Eventually, this will make a good comic.) Also, I turned 26.

I've been trying to focus on my original comic work (as usual), with less than desired success, but I haven't been very consistently fannish either. A little while back there was this Gerard Way video, which provoked the usual WHAT IS HIS FACE reaction from me (it had been awhile, too!), and also Mikeyway was adorable. I miss them, but I'm trying not to dwell on MCR too much until we actually have a release date for that album. Whateverthefuck it's going to be, now.

Recently, I've found myself reading lots of DC comics; mostly Bat-books. (I find the current lack of Bruce Wayne weirdly approachable, or something?) While my comic reading habits are often pretty separate from my online fannish pursuits, I checked out Close To Home by [livejournal.com profile] iesika (which I really enjoyed), and now I find myself right back in a Tim/Kon sort of place. (Not that I wasn't already feeling it.) Does anyone happen to have some favorite recs to throw at me? They can totally be old; I was really haphazard about reading in the fandom when I was doing that actively, a few years back.

On the other hand, just as I was getting comfortable, there comes this news. Goddammit, Rucka. ;_; I was looking forward to more of your Batwoman SO MUCH. I really hope she gets picked up by someone who can write and who really gets her, but . . . well, it's DC. IDEK. :(((((

In happier news, I watched the new Doctor Who episode last night, and I pretty much enjoyed it! Spoilers here. )

I should wrap this ridiculous post up, but! On Friday [personal profile] oliviacirce posted Wordsworth's daffodil poem. While I've never really spent any time on the Romantics, that inevitably winds up reminding me of Philip "deprivation is for me what daffodils were for Wordsworth" Larkin, so I promised I'd post something of his.

A serious house on serious earth it is )

That was a lot more talking than I meant to do! I should try to post more often, so I don't post quite so much. Oh, and I did manage to miss it, but I hope everyone who observes had a lovely Passover or Easter, while I'm on the topic. ♥

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reflectedeve: Pearl from Steven Universe, in a tux and top hat (Default)
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