Saturday, May 31, 2008

Reasons Why John Cassaday Is Better Than Greg Land

John Cassaday cover for Giant Size Astonishing X-Men#1:

Greg Land cover for Uncanny X-Men#500:

Reason#1: Cassaday's characters actually look like they're working together.

Reason#2: None of Cassaday's female characters' facial expressions look like they've been pleasuring themselves.

Reason#3: Cassaday's Emma Frost and Sue Richards actually look like two different women.

Reason#4: None of Cassaday's characters look like they're dancing.

Friday, May 30, 2008

This week's "Gee, Thanks For The Heads-Up, Jackass!" Award goes to:

Scott McClellan.
Gee, Scotty, thanks for giving us this candid tell-all. The only thing is, it would have been much more useful five years and three months ago.
(Special thanks to Zeke for supplying the drawing above. It was part of an annual contest we both participated in courtesy of this guy.)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

As if my Thursday wasn't crappy enough...

....I came home to find out we lost Harvey Korman, too.

Some readers may be too young to remember the Carol Burnett Show or the Mel Brooks movies, but the rest of us feel the loss. Did you know he was also The Great Gazoo?

Rest in peace, Count De Monet!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Now, what's all this crazy talk about "Whitewashing"?

Lately, there have been a few complaints in the comics blogosphere about the "whitewashing" of certain ethnic comic characters, particularly the female ones, to hide or downplay their true ethnicity, even in the case of long-standing characters who have been around since the 70's or 80's.

Why, one blogger even came up with her own term for it: "Vixenification."

To which I respond: What the hell are you TALKING about? There's NO SUCH THING.

Why, look at Misty Knight here.

Why, she doesn't look "whitewashed" at all! She looks like a strong, attractive, capable Hispanic woman.

Just as she's always been drawn.

Just as John Byrne drew her back in the 70's...

...oh, wait.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


The above image was one of the covers featured in the DC Solicitations this week. A few bloggers have already commented on it.

Suffice it to say they were not happy.

And who can blame them? This is kind of a crappy cover, Animal Man's appearance notwithstanding. Benes is not a good cover artist, and this cover isn't exactly making anyone forget Brian Bolland or JG Jones here. It's kind of crude and blocky in places.

But that's not the issue here. The issue is one Mari McCabe, aka Vixen.

Who happens to be, well, black.

Not that you'd know it by recent appearances on JLA covers, including this one.

Those of you who read this blog regularly (and yes, I'm looking at you, Sally P) know that I've railed against this "whitewashing" of Vixen in the past. This cover was a little harder to judge. Unlike Kalinara, I was thrown a bit by the red tint. After all, others have used red-tinted covers as a stylistic choice. I kept analyzing what type of red Mari's skin "should" be in relation to Animal Man's, as well as that of the other Leaguers, and drove myself nuts. Analyzing the art was also difficult, as the rendition of Vixen was rather crudely and lazily done. Look at her right eye. It appears that Benes was trying for a shadowy effect over the eye, but up close it looks like he drew four different size dash marks and stacked them one on top of the other in lieu of her eye. Sloppy.

In the end, though, I couldn't conclusively give this cover a failing grade regarding whitewashing. It just skated by on a technicality. So I had to settle for D-minus.

But DC didn't have to. They had several great artists (and colorists) in their stable who could have done a much more attractive cover than the one they settled on. A cover that could have attracted readers like Willow and Digital Femme (however briefly) back toward their product, instead of one that repelled them from it for good.

DC had a great opportunity and they pissed it away. They settled for a D-minus, when they could have gone for an "A".

Friday, May 16, 2008

So This Is What Feminism In The Bizarro World Looks Like

Someone please explain this to me.

Let's get this straight: These women are dissatisfied with the Democratic Party's, and the Obama Campaign's, treatment of women, and so if Hillary doesn't get the nomination they'll vote for John McCain, who has stated that he'll appoint more ultraconservative judges, overturn Roe v Wade, and set women's rights back over 60 years?

Talk about ass-backwards.

"Well, the male Democrats disrespected us, so now we're gonna kiss our reproductive freedoms goodbye! And get our sons and daughters embroiled in an endless war with Iran to boot! That'll show 'em!"

Now let me point out that I believe that the women in that O'Reilly clip obviously represent a small minority of Hillary supporters, and an even smaller minority of women.

But I hope it's small enough not to make a difference.

Or we're all royally screwed.


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Allow Me To Use Some Visual Aids....

When I speculated in my last post that Sean McKeever may have decided to leave the wrong DC book when he left Birds of Prey rather than Teen Titans, I meant no disrespect toward upcoming BOP scribe Tony Bedard, a writer whose recent work I generally like.

Rather, I meant that McKeever's writing may have been better suited to BOP, where he seemed to be finding his sea legs, rather than the still-floundering Teen Titans book.

Allow me to demonstrate with the help of some visual aids.

In McKeever's most recent issue of Birds of Prey, we got this scene...

...whereas in Teen Titans, we were treated to this:

Draw your own conclusions.

My source for the second scan above, Samantha, stated:

There are two ways to read that scene.

Either you read it as a straight attempted rape scene, which it clearly is, and is problematic all by itself.

Or, you read the underlining implication that MM's "evil self" that she can't control is really into the sex and comes onto any man, no matter how undesirable they may be.

Actually, there is a third way:

Good Miss Martian told her "evil self" that she was in control. Evil Self set out to show Good MM how wrong she was. Her objective was not to get "the sex", but to place Good MM in a situation that demonstrated to Good MM (and us, the readers) exactly how little control she had, to make her feel as vulnerable as possible. Evil Self underscored this by choosing a sleazy situation and equally sleazy "suitors". Her motivation was, quite simply, to scare the piss out of Good MM.

Lest I find myself in a shitstorm, however, let me state up front that I am not defending this scene at all, but merely theorizing its intended purpose. The scene itself was inappropriate and off-putting, especially in a teen-centric book. In this Samantha and I agree 100%. It is problematic. A more effective scene would have featured Evil Self directing M'Gann to fly into a burning building and just...sit down.

However, the scene raises an interesting point: This was a near-rape, but by whom?

If Evil Self had decided to possess Good MM just a little longer, would the two men (whom I will call Sleaze 1 and Sleaze 2), have been guilty of rape? As the scene was written, I would have to speculate "no", because, as far as Sleaze 1 and Sleaze 2 knew, they were engaging in willing, albeit sleazy, sex (Evil Self had apparently propositioned them). Rather, Evil Self would have actually been the rapist in this situation, with Good MM as the victim. If, once Good MM had woken up, the sleazes had chosen to ignore her refusals, they would have been guilty of at least attempted rape.

Still, the scene just felt, well, wrong. And not the kind of thing I read comics for.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Maybe it's just me....

After reading TEEN TITANS this week and reading the BIRDS OF PREY the week before, does anyone else get the feeling Sean McKeever left the wrong book?

(Or maybe it's just the Nicola Scott Effect?)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

If, by "Mission", you mean.....

...Killing over 1 million Iraqis and over 4 thousand Americans, destabilizing the Middle East, alienating most of our allies, weakening our national security, serving as a terrorist recruiting tool, bankrupting our treasury, eroding our freedoms, ruining our economy, depleting our national infrastructure, breaking our military, and destroying our world reputation...

...then yes, by all means, "Mission Accomplished!"

Happy 5th Anniversary, Georgie!