Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Night Fights - Ladies' Night - Round 5: CATFIGHT!!! Part Deux!!!

Last week's Friday Night Fights - Ladies' Night entry featured Catwoman, and that entry was such a blast with it that I'm bringing Ms. Selina Kyle back for an encore.

This time we go all the way back to Selina's first Silver Age appearance, as our Feline Fatale faces off against Lois Lane in a story from LOIS LANE#70 by Leo Dorfman and Kurt Schaffenberger called "The Catwoman's Black Magic".

Careful, Selina! If word gets out you're holding a Kryptonian cat in a Kryptonite cage, the S.P.C.A. will be on your ass faster than you can say "Michael Vick".

Bahlactus says "Rrraaawwwrrr! Naughty Kitty!"

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Has "Dancing With The Stars" just jumped the shark?

The lineup for Season 7 of "Dancing With The Stars" has been announced. The celebrity dancers are *NSYNC member Lance Bass, reality star Kim Kardashian, Team USA beach volleyball queen Misty May-Treanor, Hannah Montana actor Cody Linley, actress Cloris Leachman, Rock Star's Brooke Burke, comedian Jeff Ross, former "World's Fastest Man" Maurice Greene, singer Toni Braxton, celebrity chef/tool Rocco DiSpirito, retired Super Bowl champion Warren Sapp, All My Children's Susan "Erica Kane" Lucci, and...... Ted McGinley.


Somebody call Jon Hein.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Night Fights - Ladies' Night - Round 4 : CAT-FIGHT!!!!!

Once again, it's Ladies' Night. Drinks are half price. No cover.

Tonight's distaff donnybrook is from Batman: Hush by Jeph Loeb, Jim Lee, and Scott Williams.

Word to the wise, Selina. Don't mess with Mother Nature.

Or Bahlactus.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tag! I'm "It": My Very First "Meme"

I've been tagged with my very first meme, courtesy of SallyP. My task, according to this meme, is to come up with the best blog entry I've ever read. No easy feat, as I read from several blogs each week and, like Dr. Sam Beckett on "Quantum Leap", I have a swiss-cheese memory. Like Sally, I was inspired by reading people like Ragnell, Kalinara, and particularly Chris Sims and Dave Campbell to dabble in this blogging thing.

However, I have risen to the challenge: Not only will I give you what I consider the best, but I will give you a few runners-up.

The third runner up is a quote from Cheryl Lynn's Digital Femme blog:

"...Marvel needs a shot of estrogen even more than Ann Coulter right about now."


The second runner-up comes from Devon Sanders' "Seven Hells" blog, in which he discloses his "Number One" in his list of Comics' 5 Greatest Douchebags. Click here to see who it is and you'll understand why Devon rates a special mention. (Tony Stark actually only made it to number two, and this was in the thick of "Civil War".)

The first runner-up comes from a blogger who is currently inactive, at least with regard to comics blogs. It's the aforementioned Dave Campbell and his late, lamented Dave's Long Box. A little history: Back on April Fool's Day I retooled my blog and claimed that I had changed it to "Rein of Terra - The Unofficial Terra-Man Website". I was sooo proud of myself....until Campbell's blog entries for that same day put mine to shame. DAMN YOU, CAMPBELL, AND YOUR TINY CHAIR!!

But my Number One Best Blog Entry Ever Award has to go to Mr Chris Sims, who in this entry entitled "The Abyss Gazes Also" had the audacity to combine two great tastes that taste great together:

Archie and The Watchmen!

Bravo, Chris!

And now it's my turn: I'm tagging Ami Angelwings and Thom Wade with this meme. The ball is in your court, fellow bloggers. Ready to serve?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Night Fights - Ladies' Night Round 3: She-Hulk Smash!!

Tonight's installment of Friday Night Fights - Ladies' Night features a scene from She Hulk#18, in which Jennifer Walters aka She-Hulk finds out that Iron Man and his Illuminati pals were responsible for launching her cousin Bruce Banner into space.

As you can see below, she is not a happy camper. (Click on the scan below for a larger image.)

Only Jennifer Walters can give you a smackdown and a lecture on Marvel Universe Civics 101 at the same time.

Bahlactus says "Class dismissed!"

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Getting the word out....

I found the following piece on Chris Sims' blog. It was written by John Di Bello, who "assists" on Bully's blog, and it concerned some disturbing behavior John cited at the San Diego Comic-Con. Granted, my Comic-Con exposure is limited to a single episode of "Entourage", but even I know that nobody should feel unsafe or be subject to the kind of harassment John describes below at the Comic-Con:

Overheard at San Diego Comic-Con while I was having lunch on the balcony of the Convention Center on Sunday July 27: a bunch of guys looking at the digital photos on the camera of another, while he narrated: “These were the Ghostbusters girls. That one, I grabbed her ass, ’cause I wanted to see what her reaction was.”

This was only one example of several instance of harassment, stalking or assault that I saw at San Diego this time.

1. One of my friends was working at a con booth selling books. She was stalked by a man who came to her booth several times, pestering her to get together for a date that night. One of her co-workers chased him off the final time.

2. On Friday, just before the show closed, this same woman was closing up her tables when a group of four men came to her booth, started taking photographs of her, telling her she was the “prettiest girl at the con.” They they entered the booth, started hugging and kissing her and taking photographs of themselves doing so. She was confused and scared, but they left quickly after doing that.

3. Another friend of mine, a woman running her own booth: on Friday a man came to her booth and openly criticized her drawing ability and sense of design. Reports from others in the same section of the floor confirmed he’d targeted several women with the same sort of abuse and criticism.

Quite simply, this behavior has got to stop at Comic-Con. It should never be a sort of place where anyone, man or woman, feels unsafe or attacked either verbally or physically in any shape or form. There are those, sadly, who get off on this sort of behavior and assault, whether it’s to professional booth models, cosplayers or costumed women, or women who are just there to work. This is not acceptable behavior under any circumstance, no matter what you look like or how you’re dressed, whether you are in a Princess Leia slave girl outfit or business casual for running your booth.

On Saturday, the day after the second event I described above, Ipulled out my convention book to investigate what you can do and who you can speak to after such an occurrence. On page two of the book there is a large grey box outlining “Convention Policies,” which contain rules against smoking, live animals, wheeled handcarts, recording at video presentations, drawing or aiming your replica weapon, and giving your badge to others. There is nothing about attendee-to-attendee personal behavior.

Page three of the book contains a “Where Is It?” guide to specific Comic-Con events and services. There’s no general information room or desk listed, nor is there a contact location for security, so I go to the Guest Relations Desk. I speak to a volunteer manning the desk; she’s sympathetic to the situation but who doesn’t have a clear answer to my question: “What’s Comic-Con’s policy and method of dealing with complaints about harassment?” She directs me to the nearest security guard, who is also sympathetic listening to my reports, but short of the women wanting to report the incidents with the names of their harassers, there’s little that can be done.

“I understand that,” I tell them both, “but what I’m asking is more hypothetical and informational: if there is a set Comic-Con policy on harassment and physical and verbal abuse on Con attendees and exhibitors, and if so, what’s the specific procedure by which someone should report it, and specifically where should they go?” But this wasn’t a question either could answer.

So, according to published con policy, there is no tolerance for smoking, drawn weapons, personal pages or selling bootleg videos on the floor, and these rules are written down in black and white in the con booklet. There is not a word in the written rules about harassment or the like. I would like to see something like “Comic-Con has zero tolerance for harassment or violence against any of our attendees or exhibitors. Please report instances to a security guard or the Con Office in room XXX.”

The first step to preventing such harassment is giving its victims the knowledge that they can safely and swiftly report such instances to someone in authority. Having no published guideline, and indeed being unable to give a clear answer to questions about it, gives harassment and violence one more red-tape loophole to hide behind.

I enjoyed Comic-Con. I’m looking forward to coming back next year. So, in fact, are the two women whose experiences I’ve retold above. Aside from those instances, they had a good time at the show. But those instances of harassment shouldn’t have happened at all, and that they did under no clear-cut instructions about what to do sadly invites the continuation of such behavior, or even worse.

I don’t understand why there’s no such written policy about what is not tolerated and what to do when this happens. Is there anyone at Comic-Con able to explain this? Does a similar written policy exist in the booklets for other conventions (SF, comics or otherwise) that could be used as a model? Can it be adapted or adapted, and enforced, for Comic-Con? As the leading event of the comics and pop culture world, Comic-Con should work to make everyone who attends feel comfortable and safe.
–John DiBello

Some people like the harassers above don't need a reason to behave like barbarians. What Comic-Con needs to do is give them a reason not to.

Feel free to discuss it here. But please feel freer to discuss it elsewhere and get the word out.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Friday Night Fights - Ladies' Night - Round 2 : Lightweight Division

As Bahlactus explains it, the primary rule to "Friday Night Fights - Ladies' Night" is that every entry must include a female fighter in the panel mix.

This week, I'm doing the bare minimum to meet that requirement. Literally.

Tonight's fight card is:




This scaled-down smackdown comes to us courtesy of Brave and the Bold#77, in a story called "So Thunders The Cannoneer" by Bob Haney, Ross Andru & Mike Esposito. The premise: Miss Lilly De La Pooche is a circus "little person" who is the smallest woman at the circus, until the arrival of a smaller competitor. Lilly's subsequent insecurity makes her easy prey for The Cannoneer, a thief who uses a "human cannonball" modus operandi. The Cannoneer promises to give Lilly a formula to make her even smaller than her competitor. It makes her smaller, all right -- six inches high! But the only way the Cannoneer will ever let her use the antidote is if she becomes his partner in crime.

(Yes, that's right. A human cannonball/thief who is enough of a biochemist to invent his own shrinking formula. It's Bob Haney, just go with it.)

Here Miss De La Pooche crosses paths with the Atom (you can just make her out in the upper right hand corner of panel 1). Now, Mr. Haney was known for giving us some of the cheesiest moments in DC's Silver and Bronze Age comics history. But, to my knowledge, this is the only time he has used actual cheese in a scene:

Ouch! Things don't look too "Gouda" for our Tiny Titan here!

Oh, and "she's too beautiful to hit"? Thank heaven Lilly was going up against Ray and not Hank Pym.

(Special thanks to The Comic Treadmill site.)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Best Next-Issue Solicit EVER!

From the letter page of Criminal, Vol. 2, #4, just released this week:

"And be back next month to find out how the hell Jacob is going to get out of the mess his dick just got him into."

God, I love Brubaker.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Some Belated Batman-Watchmen Thoughts

- One of my favorite parts of the Watchmen preview is the scene with the Owlship aka "Archie" rising from the water. For some reason it gives me irrational hope for a Blue Beetle movie. (After all, the two Nite Owls were based on Ted Kord and Dan Garrett.)

- Shouldn't the second Silk Spectre's costume contain, oh, I don't know, silk?

- Should they be showing such a big final spoiler like that in the trailer? (Those of you who have both read the book and seen the trailer will know what I'm talking about.)

- I was surprised when I read that Carla Gugino (Silk Spectre I) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Comedian) were going to be the ones in the assault scene. While I consider Gugino one of today's hottest actresses, and she and Morgan are good looking enough to play younger than they are (both 35+), that scene happened when both characters were in their late teens, and playing teenage might be a stretch for both actors, no matter how good-looking they are.

- I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that Matthew Goode would play Ozymandias. He really impressed me in "The Lookout". My only hesitation with him is his age (30) which may be too young for Adrian. Then again, Adrian is supposed to be a peak physical specimen, even at 46, so casting younger may have been appropriate.

- Stephen McHattie as Hollis Mason aka Nite Owl I? Interesting against-type casting choice there.

- The Dark Knight movie itself was damn near perfect. Writers Chris Nolan and David Goyer, individually and together, have written some of my favorite movies over the last 10 years (Dark City, Memento, Batman Begins, The Prestige) and they nailed out a complex, challenging script. Ever read one of those Books of Questions, which contain such conundrums as "If you had a choice to save either your wife or child from death, but not both, which would you pick?"? That's essentially what Joker put Batman, and Gotham, through.

- The actors delivered as well. While the hype on this movie centered around Ledger's performance, the other characters delivered as well, particularly Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent. Eckhart has impressed me even in movies I didn't care for (In The Company Of Men, Your Friends And Neighbors), and he shined in another of my favorite recent movies, Thank You For Smoking.

- My only two complaints with the movie? 1. While Bale gave his usual great performance, it may have been a mistake to actually digitally enhance his "Bat" voice. While the voice complies to what the comics depict, it should have been toned down slightly in his interactions with Gordon and Dent. 2. The plot involved Gordon's family at one point, but never made a mention of young Barbara. The kids seemed a bit young, and they only spotlighted the son (although pre-Crisis, at least, Barbara did have a brother, Tony). They missed a shot at a good nod to the fanboys. (Although, considering young Barbara was last seen in "Batman and Robin", I can see the hesitation.)

Friday, August 01, 2008

Friday Night Fights - Ladies' Night - Round 1 : Remembering Linda

I have fond memories of Peter David's Linda Danvers Supergirl.

You know who probably doesn't have fond memories of her?

This guy.

Another stroll down memory lane courtesy of Bahlactus.

(Also courtesy of the "Supergirl: Many Happy Returns" TPB.)