My absolute favorite science fiction convention, Wiscon, is this coming weekend! Wiscon is:
“WisCon is the first and foremost feminist science fiction convention in the world. WisCon encourages discussion, debate and extrapolation of ideas relating to feminism, gender, race and class. WisCon honors writers, editors and artists whose work explores these themes and whose voices have opened new dimensions and territory in these issues. And, oh yes, we also like to have fun while we’re at it.”
And it’s in Madison, which is frequently gorgeous at the end of May.
If you are looking to find me at the convention, my schedule is as follows–
Friday, 9:00-10:15 pm From Dorothy to Ofelia: Teen Girls on Quests on the Silver Screen.
Teenage girls don’t get to go on quests all that often—especially in movies. Are there movies we can share with our daughters that offer more inspiring storylines than anything from Disney? Is there a prototypical Heroine’s Journey?
Saturday, 8:30-9:45 am The Marvel Women Project
Marvel has announced a year–long project in 2010 to highlight women creators and characters in comics. Has the project been successful so far? What would we like to see the project do? When it comes to female creators and characters, how does Marvel compare to DC?
Sunday, 1:00-2:15 pm Dollhouse: Made of Win, or Epic Fail?
Love it, hate it, love/hate it, Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse definitely has feminist and racial issues worth talking about. What were its good points? Its bad points? Does the good outweigh the bad, or vice versa? Was it canceled too soon or not soon enough?
I’ll also be found at The Gathering and the Tiptree Auction.
I’m looking forward to seeing everyone there!
Our new, summer schedule is shaking down, and it appears to have this in it; a quiet afternoon on Thursdays, with nothing regularly scheduled for right this moment.
The gutters are clean. The dogs are walked. The dishes are — well, not *done*, but mostly done. I have no email pending return, that I know of. (Email me if I’ve forgotten to reply to you?) The house is not clean, but it never is, and while there are chores to do, there’s nothing so overwhelmingly pressing. (Though I will get up and do a few things around the house when I finish this post.)
In a little over a week, we’ll be at Wiscon! Which, frankly, I am excited about. I love this convention more than any other. It feeds my brain, it motivates me. Wiscon is what tipped me into writing original comics. Wiscon always makes me think. And, I get to see friends from around the country.
Hmm. I should go either sweep, or comb my dog. Combing my dog means less sweeping down the road . . .
That was entirely educational.
My thoughts on having a table and selling my work at SpringCon this past weekend:
1. I had a good time. I enjoyed talking to people who stopped by, I liked chatting and promoting my work.
2. My partner, J, suggested having a candy bowl on the table. This was sheer genius.
3. I need to print up more copies of Plants vs. Zombies: Bedtime before the next convention I table at. I continued to give it away for free, a decision initially prompted by the fact that PopCap Games gave me permission to write a fanwork of their game. As it stands, though, the goodwill, advertising, and word of mouth generated by giving out a free comic is HUGE.
4. Writing “all-ages!” on the placard for a comic gets you the appreciation of parents.
5. I am more happy than I can express that I am not trying to make a living off of my writing. Because that would put me on the street, at the moment.
6. That said, I made my table fee back! By which I mean that I made enough money to cover the cost of attending the convention. \o/
7. People (well, two of them,) came up and said they’d read my stuff already. That they’d bought it from The Source Comics and Games, and liked it. People who didn’t already know me liked the comics! \o/ Yes, I understand that this is supposed to happen, but seeing as how I’m just starting out doing this, it was awesome to hear.
8. The money I invested in flyers, business cards, and a booth banner was all well-spent.
Anyway! I had a great time. I fully intend to do this again, when possible.
I recently finished a great book, Other Powers: the Age of Suffrage, Spiritualism, and the Scandalous Victoria Woodhull, by Barbara Goldsmith.
The story contained herein is well worth your time. But I wanted to mention one particular aspect. Namely, that while technology may change the way people’s behavior manifests, people’s behavior largely does not. And that there is nothing my generation, or yours, can come up with that hasn’t already been done by your forebearers.
I’m thinking of the love-triangle between Henry Ward Beecher, Lib Tilton, and Lib’s husband Theodore Tilton. Beecher was Theodore’s mentor, almost like a father figure to him. He found a place for him in the abolitionist movement, helped Theodore get started in journalism. Somewhere along the way, Beecher and Lib developed a passionate relationship. Theodore had some inkling of this, but chose to turn a reasonably blind eye, and pursued relationship with other women. He told of his relationships to Lib, who didn’t seem to mind that much. Of course, she fostered things with Beecher.
Somewhere in this Tilton found out that Beecher was more involved with Lib than he’d thought. And this is where the drama starts. Both men start writing letters to each other, and to Lib, and Lib starts writing to both of them. They explain and accuse and justify and confess back and forth, around and around, and the lies and recriminations grow thick on the ground. Theodore threatens repeatedly to go public and destroy Beecher, but relents every time because he doesn’t want to ruin Lib. Throughout all of this letter-writing, Frank Moulton, a mutual friend to all parties, is sent back and forth between the households to convey requests, pressure Lib to say one thing or another, and to get letters back from people after they have been sent.
It’s that last part that makes me laugh. I mean, the hasty and ill-thought correspondence of the 1870s was more retrievable than email. More retrievable because you could send a close friend on horseback to ride from Boston to New York City to get your letter back. Don’t you wish you could do that for those emails you sent at 3:00 am that one time?
On the other hand, the letter, once written, couldn’t be deleted like that Facebook post or blog entry. Beecher’s notes to Moulton are constantly enjoining him to “burn that letter, and this one, when you get them.” Which Moulton clearly did not do. I have to wonder — with all this pleading with other parties to burn the letters you sent, how was it that you did not burn the letters they asked you to burn? They whole system seemed to have been based on the idea that no-one actually burned anything, yet everyone behaved as if they did. Much like people take screencaps of posts, or copy them to email and forward the evidence to all their friends.
It is a comfort to me, it really is, to know that people have been sending incredibly stupid letters to each other in the heat of emotion for hundreds of years. There is no mistake you can make, no asinine thing you can say, no gaff you can commit, that hasn’t been done thousands of times before. And we just keep going on.
This coming weekend, May 15 & 16, is SpringCon! This is the Midwest Comic Book Association’s big convention here in the Twin Cities. It’s at the State Fair Grounds this year, which means more food options and more space for dealers.
I’m going to have a table there. This is my first table, and I am pretty excited about the whole thing. I’ll have all of my comics to sell! First time! Very exciting! In addition to me, SpringCon has special guest Sarah Douglas, TwinLUG (the Twin Cities Lego Users Group) will have a display, and the 501st will be there as well.
There’s lots to see at SpringCon, so stop by!
We went to see the kids’ circus performance yesterday. It was great — the kids did well, and the rest of the show was its usual self. Full of kids and teenagers doing amazing things, plus the uncertainty wrought by Circus Juventas’s policy of “everyone performs.” That said, those of you who can do three laps around the ring on a unicycle can offer critique of the unicyclists — All others can sit over be me, in gleeful amazement.
When I say, though, that “we” went to see the show, I feel I should make that a little more explicit. I was there, as was my partner, J, and her other partner, Cavorter. My mother was there, having flown up from Chicago for the day. Cavorter’s parents were there. J’s mother, sister, and niece were there. As were M’s birth mother and her partner. Eleven people to see M and K perform.
All of which is to say two things.
First, if you haven’t come out to your family about something — sexual orientation, relationship structure, religion, profession, moral stance, political views — I urge you to try it. You and your family may fight about it. But it my observation that, after a few weeks or years, most families come to some sort of understanding after a while. And in the meantime, if you come out, you get to spend your time and energy doing something you enjoy instead of lying to your folks and worrying you’ll get caught.
Second. Family is as wide and encompassing as we make it.
1. My knee is still bolluxed up after falling on Wednesday, so today’s workout was all weights. By which I mean five minutes of warmup, then weights. I’ve started doing enough weights that I’m writing sets and reps and weights down, so I don’t forget. This is a positive thing.
2. I don’t know when I’ll get to see Iron Man 2, but all the reviews I’ve read and info I’ve seen make me happy.
3. We’re almost done with the marathon of circus performances! Two more to go!
4. Thanks to Amazon.uk, I finished the Stieg Larsson Millenium trilogy. It was, in fact, completely amazing and I loved it.
5. I have the original series of The Survivors being shipped to me via Netflix. Woot!
6. I have tomorrow off, for circus-things, but I have work tonight. Which, honestly, is all to the good because I’ll get to watch Fringe on my breaks.
I went and saw the Michael Bay remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street the other day. I wasn’t expecting it to be that good. After all, Michael Bay is known for big explosion movies that are light on plot and common sense, heavy on, well, explosions. What I found, in the deserted matinee theater, was a better movie than I’d expected.
I’ve written about the girls who lived, and I’ve written about the crazy-or-possessed sub-genre of horror, but I don’t think I’ve explicitly talked about what I love so dearly about the first Wes Craven Nightmare film. It’s the fact that the true horror in the movie comes not from demon Freddie Krueger, but from the willful malice of the teenager’s parents. The parents in the original movie are the source of the evil, and their insistence on refusing to acknowledge it leads to the murder of their children.
If ever there was a reason to avoid vendettas and revenge killings, that’s a good one right there. Who wants to curse their own children?
The remake downplays the parental evil. Not by changing the actual story at all, but by giving Nancy a sympathetic and supportive mother played by Connie Britton. Britton is probably best known for playing the smart, wise, tough, supportive mother Tami Taylor on Friday Night Lights. Which is probably why she was cast in the first place! But her genuine sympathy and love is far less threatening that the original mother’s drunken and willful indifference. Her role as evil is further undercut when, in the flashback scene revealing Freddy’s fate, her character is the only one seen protesting that what the parents are about to do may be wrong.
So, that evil is muted in the remake. On the other hand, Freddy is solidly rendered by Jackie Earle Hayley and special effects. I was afraid that all the gore would be cranked up, because of the aforementioned Michael Bay, but it was nicely restrained. For the genre, you understand. For the genre.
The only fx decision I dispute is the fact that the remake telegraphs every transition from waking to sleeping. I was always, with one exception, confident of when the characters were safe and when they weren’t. To counter this, though, the script introduces the concept of dreaming while awake, “micronaps.” Speaking as someone who is regularly short on sleep, I know exactly what that means.
I have to say, the acting in this remake was a damn sight better than the original. Rooney Mara as Nancy and Kyle Gallner as Quentin are both great. They invest their characters with depth and personality, even within the confines of the extremely short film.
This isn’t the best film ever. But it’s far from the worst.