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Make-Up Monday :: the 2018 Oscars and Emerald City Comicon 2018

5 Mar

It was a long-ass weekend and we are only just recovering, honestly. So I’m initiating a new day, Make-Up Monday. That’s for when there are things that would normally go on a different day (Superlative and Sundry Sundays, in this case) but just happened to be written about on Monday because of time and life.

First: the Oscars. We didn’t watch because we honestly didn’t care all that much (and I was reminded of how much I wanted to finally watch Hellboy when I saw Hellboy cosplayers this weekend, which was overall a good choice, I think). But! I am here to give absolute mad props to Jordan Peele for Best Original Screenplay re: Get Out (which deserved a lot more awards than just that, but hey, it’s a step in the right direction and I’m fully prepared to fight the people who complained about it being not an “Oscar movie” [because I bet they didn’t whine about, like, The Dark Knight the same way when they arguably could have]) and Guillermo del Toro for Best Director and Best Picture re: The Shape of Water. Those were two of the best movies of last year and I’m glad that the Academy was willing to recognize them even though neither of them are exactly the usual. That’s different than not being an “Oscar movie” because when people say that, in that certain tone of voice, they mean that it doesn’t meet arbitrary cultural standards of dignity/relevance/high culture/lots of rich white guys everywhere. I just mean that the Academy wouldn’t usually recognize a satirical horror movie about racism or a period drama about a disabled woman who wanted to fuck a fishman.

Anyway.

Second: Emerald City. We did Friday-Saturday-Sunday this year, though not Thursday, and had a relatively easy schedule. Friday (during which we were cosplaying as Matt[ilda] Murdock [myself] and Elektra Natchios [drift partner] since the only way they could be gayer is if they were both actually women and anyway Matt is one of the only white boys we give serious damns about anymore, but we only got a selfie because we forgot to get anyone else to take a picture of us since we were alone most of the day) was largely devoted to walking around, scoping things out (saw lots of lovely art, found myself a Funko Pop of Lafayette from True Blood which is worth bragging about since that series was literally years ago and isn’t made anymore I’m pretty sure), and meeting Billie Piper.

Billie Piper was lovely. As y’all know, I do not Doctor Who. We watched the season with Twelve and Bill because of Bill, as you know, but I’ve never done the rest of it. I know that Billie Piper played Rose, who was a companion to Nine and Ten both; I know that people are bonkers about Rose/Ten; I know that drift partner drastically prefers Nine to Ten as a romantic partner for Rose and as a character (and at this point my only extended exposure to David Tennant is Jessica Jones, so I’m inclined to be wary of Ten as well; David Tennant was also there with a line that was absolutely mad and I’m sure he’s fine but I just couldn’t). Mostly, though, I personally know Billie Piper from Penny Dreadful. I still haven’t been able to bring myself to watch the last episode of that show because I just… can’t, I don’t know. It was a beautiful weird headrush of a program and Billie Piper was one of my favorite parts of it, considering that her plotline, which was in the style of but not directly derived from any one particular known story, was “prostitute dies of consumption or something [I assume consumption because that’s what people die of in the olden days] and is reborn as the Bride of Frankenstein, then meets Dorian Grey and after regaining memory of her time as a prostitute decides to seek vengeance on all of London’s cruel johns, eventually recruiting other London prostitutes to join her in a vengeful and sometimes Sapphic prostitute army” and that is 100% my brand. As a result of this, I made sure to tell Billie Piper (after drift partner discussed her love for Rose and Nine) that I so greatly appreciated the wicked insanity of Penny Dreadful. She seemed to get a kick out of that, largely because I imagine most people had been talking to her about Who throughout the con and it was nice to have a change of pace.

(She also asked the girls in front of us for recommendations for a good curry place nearby, which was insanely charming.)

Here is that selfie of us of Matt[ilda] and Elektra, anyway:

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Saturday was when we did Black Widow [drift partner] and Scarlet Witch [me]. My mom upgraded Scarlet Witch since our sojourn to Rose City last September, and I was thrilled to wear it; it’s surprisingly comfortable, if very very warm, and I like the mood it puts me in. The day was more looking and buying, grabbing a couple of writer signatures (Marguerite Bennett of Bombshells fame, who I was absolutely thrilled to meet because oh my god you guys that is my favorite thing, and Kate Leth of Hellcat fame, who we met last year but I wanted to meet again because she’s awesome), and meeting Sean Maher.

Sean Maher, as you know, is Simon on Firefly, aka one of my always boys, aka one of the only male characters I am hardcore about, aka the namesake of one of my parents’ cats, aka half of one of the only m/f ships I still freak out about, aka a lovely real life example of a happy gay person living a good life. He seemed very tired but we got a nice picture of him wearing a vest signed and told him we adored his character and adored his being a lovely example of gay because we too are in that. He then used the word “family” which was sweet.

Here’s a picture of us as Scarlet Witch and Black Widow, taken by a professional (?) photographer who was nice enough to indulge us:

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Sunday was my mother’s very first day at Emerald City! She wore her excellent Melisandre and I wore the season 7 Daenerys she just finished for me, which is very nice but oh my god the warmest thing I’ve ever worn at a convention; drift partner wore her excellent Jessica-Jones-as-Jewel after some last-minute changes to our cosplay schedule. I decided the theme was then “women who murder rapists,” because Melisandre has certainly done (albeit maybe accidentally) and Dany definitely does and, well, Jess has also done. Yes. Our first goal of the day was seeing Summer Glau, because while we have before my mom has not. We paid to take a selfie with her, and by selfie I mean picture at the table that someone else took because it’s hard to take a selfie with four people in it, and my mom thanked her for giving her an excellent daughter-in-law (after retelling the story of drift partner’s and my meeting). Summer cooed and gave us hugs and said she was glad to be part of the story.

After that we went to go see Corinne Duyvis, who was hanging out signing books in the vendor hall. We had a very nice talk about how On the Edge of Gone had entered my life soon after I realized I was autistic and its protagonist really struck a chord with me accordingly; drift partner has known longer about autism but she agreed with the overall sentiment. Then we talked about her glasses (which were purple and pink, which matched how she currently had her hair dyed). She was very lovely and I was thrilled to get to meet her because, well, I really had never thought I’d get to because genre YA authors aren’t the people you think about as likely to come to a convention. And after that was a lot of walking around, art-perusing, and my mom and I getting our photos taken by people.

Here’s our “selfie” with Summer:

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Overall, good weekend very exhausting.

–your fangirl heroine.

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Spectacular Summaries Saturday :: top 10 gifts 2017 gave me

30 Dec

10. Being drift partners forever every day
Disclaimer: drift partner is always going to be the real #1, for the rest of time. ❤ This list will henceforth be “top 10 other gifts” because that’s just true. There’s no one best thing about being drift partners forever every day. Being together every day is great. Watching television and movies together is great. Collecting truly ridiculous numbers of toys and memes is great. Helping each other through tough shit is great. It’s all great. Love you.

9. Those truly ridiculous numbers of memes
“The old __ can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Because she’s dead.” “There are millions of cars in this city and now they all belong to me.” “That’s you.” “I have an accent.” “There make be snakes.” “I’m Josh Hutcherson, after all.” “Not great, Bob.” (ineffectively flails like a video game NPC) “No quieres bailar.” “Mother!!!” “Bees???” “Petersburg!” (ineffectively hits hands together and on face while raising eyebrows) “Tough, you will.” “It is happening again.” “Guess meesa die.” “Isn’t that corrupt?” “I can’t help you out of this one, Jim.” “Jeffrey, I am afraid.” “Eels.” So on.

8. Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, Halsey
As said earlier.

7. I’m Only Dreaming, Eisley
As said earlier, with the addendum that following the DuPree family et al on Instagram has been one of the biggest delights of the year as well. They’re all easily some of my favorite famous people to follow and all of those children are the cutest. Also, it’s nice knowing Elle Puckett is one of ours.

6. Marguerite Bennett
This woman is responsible, largely, for my beloved DC Bombshells, though that’s mostly just something I am coming into this year slightly belatedly. She’s also now writing Batwoman and that’s great, and she writes the new Josie and the Pussycats which is honestly the funniest thing I’ve read all year and references probably a good 70% of the things I hold nearest and dearest in the first 5 issues alone.

5. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Honestly, this is a perfect comedy. It’s aware of the world, it listens to its cast (Terry Crews’ influence on the police profiling episode, for example, or Stephanie Beatriz’s on Rosa’s coming out), its humor never punches down, its characters are mostly quite likable, its characters are allowed to grow, its nonsense is embraced.

4. The Defenders
This show is at least 50% nonsense, but it’s the greatest kind of that. There’s friendship and teamwork! There’s incredible gayness even though it’s all implicit and some of it is between a man and a woman but still, oh my god, they’re so gay. The arcs aren’t perfect, but a lot of important things happen and there are some really great character beats. Also, Jess (Krysten Ritter) and Misty (Simone Missick) and Colleen (Jessica Henwick) and Elektra (Elodie Yung) and Trish (Rachael Taylor) and Karen (Deborah Ann Woll). We should make a t-shirt, one of the name ones.

3. Thor: Ragnarok
Especially after being prepared to be very sad because of the lack of our beloved Jane&Darcy&Sif, this movie was the best pleasant happening. As I keep saying, Hela (Cate Blanchett) and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) are absolutely everything, and it’s just… fun. And it’s funny! I laughed. I don’t think the funny takes away from it. I think it was a movie made for the internet by the internet and that’s a good thing. We deserve that.

2. Runaways
This is still in-season and we haven’t written an official post yet because of that, but suffice to say we’re loving the hell out of this show (if the abundance of it in my TV post from earlier this week wasn’t enough). There definitely needs to be a shirt that’s just Nico (Lyrica Okano) and Karolina (Virginia Gardener) and Alex (Rhenzy Feliz) and Chase (Gregg Sulkin) and Gert (Ariela Barer) and Molly (Allegra Acosta). They’re very good kids  and even though they’re all in turn making some questionable decisions I love them and want to protect them. (Karolina is my especial favorite, predictably, but really only because I relate to her, the naive baby queer who just wants everyone to be happy.)

1. Wonder Woman
Honestly. This is a feminist blockbuster that lives in the details and preaches meliorism. What’s better than that?

–your fangirl heroine.

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Things in Print Thursday :: monthly big queer book review [DC Bombshells]

13 Jul

This is somewhat of a misnomer. I started reading DC Bombshells last year, after acquiring the first 12 issues in trades, but the third and fourth trades didn’t come out till this year. I am now through #24, and I know there’s mhttps://wordpress.com/post/partlydrawn.wordpress.com/15645ore to come but it’s not out in trade yet. And you guys, as I began saying last week…

I flipping love Bombshells.

The whole series is an alternate history version of WWII populated by… every woman in the DC universe, basically. The whole thing is based on this series of fancy statues and art that they made, and then someone, I guess, was like “can we actually play with this AU? Okay? Good let’s go.” It’s also an alternate history of the DC universe: Kate Kane, still a heiress and still the Batwoman, in fact saved the Waynes from the attempted robbery/murder. She’s a member of the women’s baseball league (see, bats – Bombshells Kate is also ridiculously quippy and occasionally makes comments like “I F&#(@* LOVE HOMONYMS”) who moonlights as a vigilante while the mens are away at the war, but then she’s recruited to the Bombshells – Amanda Waller’s all-female resistance fighter group working to help the Allies fight Nazis. And she’s with Maggie. Romantic styles.

This is enough to be awesome by itself. Check: one leading lesbian Jewish protagonist who will beat home the point that she’s fighting against people who discriminate against her own or anyone else. In a big ol’ lesbian relationship (and having previously been in one with Renee).

I’ll skim over the others, but the brilliance of Bombshells is largely twofold: it’s made international and it’s incredibly gay.

  • Maggie Sawyer herself is a police officer in Gotham, and she kicks ass. She also ends up kind of playing the housemother to the Batgirls (more on them in a bit). She misses her girlfriend (and there are plenty of panels of them being girlfriends – it’s beautiful) but she does what she does and she does it well.Amanda Waller masterminds the Bombshells. She’s pretty awesome.
  • Diana is still pretty much just Diana, doing her Themiscyran princess/Wonder Woman bit – just, this time it’s WWII instead of WWI. Steve Trevor is still there, and spends most of his time healing psychologically which is interesting… but Diana has previously had at least one explicit female paramour.
  • That’s Mera, aka Aquawoman, who is an exiled princess from Atlantis (this is eventually explained, and it’s very much the kind of royal family saga that you usually find about noble mystical princes) and learning important lessons and discovering herself and what it means to be a hero. But also she and Diana have kissed and been close and they flirt constantly.
  • Supergirl, who here is known in the human world as Kara Starikov, has all her usual powers and origin story but here she was adopted by a family in Russia. She’s grown up alongside her adoptive mother’s biological daughter…
  • That’s Kortni Duginovna, alias Stargirl. She wields a cosmic staff designed by her scientist father, wants nothing more than to save the world and be as super as her powered sister, and despite my never having even heard of her before reading Bombshells she touched my damn heart. Sister stuff, you guys!
  • Big Barda Free and Kimiyo Hoshi, alias Doctor Light, are other characters I’d never met before. They’re not in much of what’s been read, but they’re Bombshells and also they kiss.
  • Zatanna Zatara, half-Jewish and half-Roma, starts the story in Berlin as a captured plaything of Joker’s Daughter, who’s very much a mystical Nazi. This doesn’t sit well with her, and she fights back. John Constantine helps, when he’s not a bunny. She, of course, eventually finds the others and they all work together because this is a big pile of everyone working together and it’s beautiful.
  • Joker’s Daughter – whose actual connection to the actual Joker is as of #24 still somewhat unexplained, but whatever – is, as mentioned, a mystical Nazi. She is not a good person. She is probably the objectively worst female character, at least thus far, and she’s terrifying.
  • Harley Quinn, meanwhile, is a cheerful bisexual Jewish American psychiatrist working in London – until she sort of snaps and goes hunting for Mistah J, who she was previously entangled with. But on the way she encounters…
  • Pamela Ysley, a French smuggler of exotic goods and also a poisoner and genius botanist/etc. They flirt and fall in love, and at least as of #24 Harley has pretty well told the Joker(‘s spiritual essence, or something) to bugger off.
  • Selina Digatti is an Italian countess who starts out in Berlin. This aside, she’s pretty standard Catwoman, all potential double-crossing and flirting and kissing and sex eyes. She’s great.
  • Helena, aka Huntress, is a German swing kid. She and her buddies fight Nazis vigilante-style with weaponized instruments and snappy music. She also gets close, in a very familial way, with Kate.
  • The Batgirls are a bunch of plucky Gotham gals defending the city with vigilante justice in the style of Batwoman while Batwoman is away at war. Originally it was just Bette, her cousin, appointed with this task, but she wasn’t the only one with the idea (or the DIY skills, apparently) and by #24 their ranks also include: Alysia Yeoh, Harper and Cullen Row (there are boy Batgirls, yes), Kathy Duquesne, Felicity Smoak, Nell Little, and Tim Drake. Big diverse gay group of optimistic youths fighting crime. They also tangle with Harvey Dent, but that’s headed into spoilers.
  • Paula Von Gunther, Baroness, is also a Nazi. And evil. And in a probably-gay definitely-unhealthy relationship with the eventual Cheetah, but y’know.
  • Renee Montoya was raised in the Dominican Republic and then sent to Spain for university to avoid political turmoil in her homeland. There, she struck up a relationship with Kate, and they fought together in the Spanish Civil War – more painful backstory here, guys. She’s now a freedom fighter, alias the Question.
  • Rachel Roth aka Raven is pretty much a walking spoiler. But she’s here!
  • Killer Frost is German and also a Nazi. And for some reason boinking the Penguin? Shrug. Her outfit is very silly. She’s wearing an alpine sweater and an icicle hat.
  • Eloisa “Lois” Lane is from Metropolis but winds up in Gotham. She’s mixed, half-Cuban, and she’s the very definition of pluck. She’s headed off on adventures as of her last pre-#24 appearance, so I’m excited to see what’s up with that.
  • Miriam Batzel is a German-Jewish girl who, through the magic of how freaking awesome Jewish women are, becomes (DC’s) Ms. Marvel. She’s also basically adopted by Kate (even though she has her own family too).
  • Andrea Gruenwald does science and hates Nazis and Nazi sympathizers. Maybe she takes some dangerous courses of action to stop them, but oh well.
  • Mari McCabe is the queen of Zambesi. Alias Vixen, she can harness animal energy and powers. Also she beat Germans in the Olympics and stole Hitler’s dog and is very gay with…
  • Shiera, alias Hawkgirl (aided by Zambesi’s technology), a Mexican native who stumbled into the country and Mari’s lap pretty simultaneously. She hates using magic as an excuse, because SCIENCE!
  • Barbara Ann Minerva, who becomes Cheetah, is not a great person either. But she’s definitely present.
  • I’ve only met Barbara Gourdon, aka the Belle of the Bog, in a story of Harley’s so far. But what I’ve heard is coming is pretty wild. This is why she’s not in the Batgirl bunch.

There are a few boys here and there too, but really, the girls are why Bombshells is worth reading. I know more will appear in post-#24 issues, and I’m excited to meet all of them, but I’m also just so thrilled with all of the ones that are already populating the pages. The art is great – pin-up without being sleazy – and guys, there are so many queer women. Past or present there are textually nine different Sapphic relationships. Not all of them are healthy, but most of them are and they’re incredible.

There are so many meta jokes tossed in, ones you won’t expect; swings are taken at both general fascism and, shall we say, more current political awfulness. There are random discussions of important things thrown in the middle of stories (a favorite is when Alysia explains gender identity – hers, but also just in general – for a page between Batgirl fights) and diversity (I mean, it’s not perfect – but it’s clear that they were trying to improve on standard canon) and… you guys you just… need to discover this for yourselves. Marguerite Bennett is perfection.

–your fangirl heroine.

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