We Are Comics

We Are Comics is a …

it’s a truth. Just that.

Rachel Edidin, Arturo R. Garcia of Racialicious, and Elle Collins of Comics Riot have started a Tumblr in service of representation. (Full disclosure; I am a moderator of that Tumblr, as well. Thank you, Rachel!) The mandate of the Tumblr is quite simple.

You. You are the mandate.

You submit a photo of yourself, with a sign or caption that reads “I am comics.” If you like, you can include a bit about yourself, what makes you part of comics. We post your image with the tag “I am comics.”

Rachel, Art, Elle and I believe — more than believe, we KNOW — that comics is bigger and better than the bigots. We KNOW that comics is a diverse and thriving community of fans. We know in our bones, all the way down, that the misogynists and racists and homophobes are not comics.

They are a fringe. An edge. They are a dying cadre of diminishing consequence, their influence shrinking and their former power turning steadily into the butt of a joke.

They are a punchline. They are weak. They are losing a cultural war, and this current round of vitriol and bile is the flailing gasp of a poor loser who can’t walk away gracefully.

We are comics. I am comics, and you are comics, and we are comics.

The Tumblr is proof.

You can submit your I Am Comics here. Or post to Twitter with #iamcomics, or @WeAreComics. (Or both, for added measure.)

We Are Comics. We are tired of standing by while bigots pretend that comics belong to them.

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A couple things on my return

1. I am returned from Geek Girl Con!

My convention report is, erm, abbreviated, because I did something godawful to my back on Friday and by Saturday afternoon I was spending most of the convention in my hotel room, in a hot bath, with my girlfriend fetching me ibuprofen and tea.

However! A few observations.

I have no insider knowledge of how Geek Girl Con is run. I don’t know any of the organizers. But, damn, y’all, that operates like a finely-run fan convention. It was like a professional media or comic-con, except run by cheerful, enthusiastic, friendly volunteers who all cared enormously about what they were doing.

The thing I will remember most about Geek Girl Con is how HAPPY everyone was to be there, how HAPPY everyone was to see everyone else and to all be doing this awesome thing, together, at the same time.

2. Pretty Deadly #1, by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Rios, Jordie Bellaire, and Clayton Cowles, comes out tomorrow. I’d be ever-so-pleased if you could pick up a copy. And perhaps give the title a pre-order. It’s a good story, gorgeously told. I highly recommend it.

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Growing pains and generational shifts

1. There’s an ongoing conversation occurring about diversity in science fiction and fantasy, both in the literature and media and in the fannish communities and conventions. Check out the Twitter hashtag #DiversityinSFF for places to join in that conversation.

2. Rose Lemberg in hosting a conversation at her blog, “Disability, Diversity, Dignity”. This is a case where you DO read the comments.

3. DC Comics is having a rough month, and it appears to be entirely self-inflicted. J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman are leaving the Batwoman title due to DC’s refusal to allow the lead to marry.. While this may be due to a desire on editorial’s part for NO major characters to marry, the forbidding of a GAY marriage is pissing people off.

Additionally, DC is running a talent search. In which artists are to draw Harley Quinn sexily committing suicide.

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It’s a generational shift. These are the growing pains. The future is here, and it’s FULL of difference and diversity. And there are consequently a host of

old man yells at cloud

old [for various values of age] men [and women and everyone else] yelling [or conversing without listening or monologing] at clouds [reality].

Dear Fearful Reactionaries Who Desire a Past Status Quo Benefiting Themselves at the Expense of Others:

Suck it the fuck up and get the hell out of the way.

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April 17 2013

1. The puppies are growing quickly. This is all to the good! In a few weeks they will not need to be fed every four hours, which will mean that we can stop feeding them in the middle of the night.

It’s like having infants again. Or, no, it’s like toddlers.

Okay, no, it’s like that window of time in which K was a toddler and M was an infant, and we could not take our eyes off of either of them for an instant and they would split up and take off in different directions.

Yes. It’s like that.

2. I am working on plank variations in my workouts. Elbow plank, arm plank, one-arm plank, one-leg plank, plank with feet up on a bench, plank with one of my kids sitting on my back.

3. The Eisner Award nominations have been announced. Congrats to all the nominees!

As I mentioned on Twitter, this is truly a golden age in comics — because of the vast number of deserving works that did not get nominated. Comics these days are so good, so wonderful, that there are just not sufficient awards to recognize them all.

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Superman: An Unauthorized Biography, by Glen Weldon

Superman: An Unauthorized Biography, by Glen Weldon.

I try very hard to not be the person who says “normally, I don’t like this thing, but I like your version of this thing.” I mean, if I don’t like that thing, why am I reading/watching it? And if I do like your version, what have you done that is so different (wrong? terrible? missing the point?) that I like your version? It’s meant to be a compliment, of course, but it doesn’t necessarily come across as such.

Yet I feel I need to say something very close to that statement when discussing Glen Weldon’s history of Superman. Because the thing Mr. Weldon has done is make me care about Superman. He has translated, explained, and represented Superman to a life-long comics fan who has just never cared for the big guy before.

In short, I have never cared one way or the other about Superman. And what Glen Weldon has done in this book — that is different from other people talking about Superman — is describe Superman’s history so lovingly, so thoroughly, with such humor and passion and joy, that I have come to appreciate Superman.

Superman: An Unauthorized Biography is not a history of the making of Superman properties, though it touches on that. Nor is it a history of the Superman canon, though that canon is a large part of the book. What Weldon has written is exactly what it says on the tin — a biography of a fictional character, delving first into the canon, then looking at creators, back and forth. We learn not only what Superman was, what he was doing, during decades past, we learn why he was those things and what the people creating him meant.

This book is sociology, history, and biography. Moreover, it has that quality that makes all the good histories great. Weldon loves this subject, that much is clear. But more than that, he want you to understand what there is to love. Too many specialists bludgeon the reader with information, hoping to drown any objections in a deluge of fact. Weldon deftly stays away from that trap. He tells you just enough, and no more.

If you have any interest in Superman, obviously you should read this book. But I also encourage you to read it if you do not have an interest in Superman, and have always wondered what the big deal is. Weldon’s Superman: An Unauthorized Biography explains it to you. And while you may not love Superman at the end, you will understand.

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Harvey Awards eligibility of Chicks Dig Comics

The Harvey Awards are:

“presented annually to those creators and publications that receive the most votes from their peers in the comics industry. At the beginning of each year, nominating ballots are sent to comics professionals and publishers. Qualifying professionals are able to nominate up to five entries in each category. The top five nominees, plus ties, in each category are placed on the final ballot, which is mailed in the Spring. Final ballots are returned one month later and the votes are tabulated. Winners are announced each year at the Harvey Awards banquet.” [from the website]

Chicks Dig Comics, the book I co-edited with Lynne Thomas and published by Mad Norwegian Press, is eligible for a Harvey Award. Specifically, for the Best Biographical, Historical, or Journalistic Presentation (Any Book, Magazine, Film, or Video That Contributes to the Understanding of Comics as an Artform) Harvey Award.

If you are a comics professional qualified to vote in the Harveys, and if you have read Chicks Dig Comics and believe it to be worthy of industry recognition, please consider including Chicks Dig Comics among your nominations.

Thank you.

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Wolverine Origins

… Was the movie Wolverine Origins supposed to work with the rest of the X-Men movies?

X-Men First Class takes place in the 1960s. During The Bay of Pigs fiasco. In that film, Xavier is young and has all of his hair. Emma Frost is in that film. She is also quite young – early 20s, perhaps.

In X-Men and X-Men 2, Scott Summers is in his late 20s or early 30s. That movie is set around the year 2000, more-or-less-ish.

William Stryker is in X-Men 2, at an age of approximately 55-65.

So, Emma Frost and Scott Summers have an age difference of between twenty and thirty years, more-or-less-ish.

Mystique, Sabretooth, and Wolverine don’t age for Plot-Related Reasons Which Are Consistent If Not Exactly Reasonable. Xavier and Magneto age consistently between First Class and the original X-Men movie.

Stryker appears in Origins as a man of about forty or so. Emma appears as a teenager. Scott appears as a teenager. Xavier appears to be about 45-55 years old.

So Wolverine Origins take place in one of the following time frames:

1950-1960, based on Emma’s age
1990 or so, based on Xavier
1985-1990, based on Scott
1980 or so, based on Stryker
or 2010 based on the clothes, weapons, aircraft, guns, phones, and all other real-world-plausible technology.
Moreover, Origins postulates that Scott and Emma are the same age, and that this film takes place BEFORE The Bay of Pigs.

Even by the loose, broadly forgiving standards of continuity to which I hold my beloved X-Men comics, this is terribly inconsistent.

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