Category: Philosophy

The Missed Opportunities of Iron Fist

(photo credit: Netflix)

Enough time has passed that if you were going to watch Iron Fist and care about spoilers, you have probably done that…but, you know, if you do care, maybe read this later.

Does Iron Fist really deserve the panning it’s getting?  Ehhhhhh, maybe, maybe not. But with the bar set so high from the other Marvel Netflix series, Iron First comes off as a master class of missed opportunities and poor choices. Much has already been written about Danny Rand’s casting.  Yes, Iron First is white in the comics. Could that have been changed? Absolutely. Would the show have been better served by having an actual martial artist as the title character? Heck yes, but that’s not the missed opportunity that I’ll be talking about.  Rather, Marvel had a chance to turn the tables on a privileged white male protagonist, and they let that opportunity wane. Continue reading

Strong Female Zombies: More Than One Way to Eat the Living

I’ve been writing a lot about zombies lately, so I was going to change it up this month and write about some great comics I’ve been reading. But then I read this strange review of the new Netflix Original Series, Santa Clarita Diet, (SCD) from Esquire by a woman named Katie Van Brunt, and frankly, it demanded a response.
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We Can Do It- Sandra Burbul, Tattoo Artist

When you think of industries where ladies are underrepresented, the ones that spring to mind are likely the tech industry, or the comics industry, airline pilots, STEM, construction….anyway. One area that might not be at the forefront of your mind is the tattoo industry. Getting tattoos in Massachusetts (where the Ladies are based) was illegal until 2000, and since then shops have popped up fast and furious. On my less than 2 mile walk to work, I pass four! So while tattoos have become fairly mainstream, the make-up of those who do the work still skews heavily male. However there are ladies out there, working hard, pushing their way in, and doing amazing work. Last year I met one of them and while she did a lovely piece for me, she was cool enough to tell me a little about her experience. This past December, I decided to visit her again to get an old piece reworked, and this time I was prepared, with Smalerie in tow to take notes. I combined getting a tattoo reworked with learning more about my artist, the industry, and even some best practices around getting a tattoo.

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Geeky Self Care: Winter Survival Edition

Soon it will be the new year, and several of us will find ourselves in that dark stretch of cold and unpredictable weather that seems to last much longer than the three months that make up the winter season. And while there are a lot of people out there who love winter activities, I thought it might be nice to dedicate a post to the importance of taking care of yourself and having fun as we both finish a rough year and do our best to make better of the next one.

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Fashion Raptors: Dinovember 2016 Edition

Happy Dinovember, advice-seekers! This is our favorite month of the year. Besides being a 30-day celebration of our glorious selves, it’s the month in which we celebrate our favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. It’s the one day of the year you humans take in the right number of calories. This year, the feasting starts early – we and the Ladies are kicking off our celebration on Saturday, November 5th with our buddy Kyle Coston’s Gut-Bustin’ Thanksgiving special. The Ladies will be feeding Kyle a special treat, so don’t miss the fun!

If you’re more into dinosaurs than turkey, be sure to follow the adventures of our pal TR Henri and his friends at the Henrietta Public Library. These guys get up to all kinds of hijinks!

And now, without further ado, we solve your problems. These questions come from some of our friends who attended LadiesCon 2016! If you don’t see your question, fear not – we will address it in a later installment.

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All Good Things Should Come To An End: The Impending Finale of “Adventure Time”


The end of last month brought news of the coming end of an era. Cartoon Network’s critically acclaimed and much loved series Adventure Time with Finn and Jake will be ending in 2018. I’ve seen a lot of the early stages of mourning for the show around the Internet and I certainly sympathize as a longtime viewer myself. But even though I will miss having new episodes of the groundbreaking show to look forward to, I’m ready to see it reach its conclusion. Because endings aren’t necessarily a bad thing.  Continue reading

Kick-ass Fictional Ladies: Brienne of Tarth

This week, I am adding another name to our roster of Kickass Fictional Ladies.  Click here if you are interested in checking out our past inductees into this prestigious group.

I realize this is a no-brainer for those of us who have been watching Game of Thrones this season, but let’s be honest, she’s been getting a lot of buzz lately.  Why?  Because she is just so great for so many reasons. And here are just a few of them:

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She is like a walking recruitment poster. “Be a Knight.Be Awesome!”

She is honorable: I know that some of the most intriguing characters are villians or of questionable morality, but I love Brienne because she just wants to do good in the world.  I have really been won over by her desire to be a great knight and truly devote her life to one of honor. Sansa Stark turns down her first offer of protection and yet Brienne is so good to her word and the promise she gave to Lady Stark that she simply doubles down on her efforts and waits to find Sansa so she can offer her protection a second time.  And yet, during this chase after Sansa, Brienne never oversteps her boundaries.  She is never unnecessarily threatening and strives to make her behavior a model for others.  Brienne has a lot to prove and that drive and earnestness make her just wonderful to watch.  You want great things to happen for her because she has worked hard enough to deserve them.  Also, thanks to some recent info from Martin, I dare say that her noble spirit is even in her blood.

She is a complete character: In my travels, I have run across the misconception that in order for a female character to be considered “good” (translation: feminist) she must be strong and perfect.  The thing is that while there are many versions of women characters out there who are strong, they can’t hold a candle to Brienne for the simple reason that when a character’s only trait is that she is strong, she is also flat.  I love Brienne because mixed in with her strength is a believable vulnerability.  She makes mistakes, she worries about doing the right thing, and she cares so much more than she is probably willing to admit.  A strong female character is great and gives us ladies something to enjoy and in some ways look up to.  But a strong female character who can also be seen as human, is not only someone we can look up to, but also relate to.  And trust me, it is much more powerful to be inspired by someone who has overcome a lot of the same challenges you have yourself.  It’s OK if you need to work at it, because so does Brienne.

Positive body image: Brienne of Tarth is played by the charming and gorgeous Gwendoline Christie.  This is important because Brienne’s body is the real body of Christie. Christie has found herself experiencing a lot of the same hardships that Brienne does when she encounters other’s expectations of conventional beauty and feminism.  Christie is naturally 6’3″ and has openly discussed her own body image issues and how she has been able to use her own life experiences to influence her performance as Brienne.

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I pretty much just picked this picture because I am jealous of her dress

Christie was so inspired by Brienne’s story that she took it upon herself to learn about Brienne’s quest to be a knight by experiencing it herself. This means that she not only trained in sword-fighting and riding before starting her role, but she gained a decent amount of muscle to make her body fit the character even more accurately. Remember what I said about devotion? Seems like Christie was born to play this part.

 

I realize that I might be preaching to the choir here, but I think it’s ok to just bask in the glow of something you love for a while.  And that is what I’ve decided the comments section to sharing the love (or not if you have a reasonable argument).  Have at it then!

Disney Songs, Worst to Best – Cartoon Sara’s Response

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One of our faithful readers recently brought our attention to a massive list of Disney songs ranked from worst to best via our Facebook page. Guess which Lady with insomnia read the entire thing in one sitting and has opinions?

Before I dive into those opinions, let me make a few things clear. The sheer volume of Disney music means that just getting through such an undertaking is an accomplishment to be praised. Allison Shoemaker and Dominick Suzanne-Mayer have done an admirable job, even if I don’t agree with all of their choices. Lists on the Internet are just about the most subjective things out there. There is no scientific formula for determining if one Disney song is better than another. They’ve listed their opinions, many of which I think are spot on. This is (mostly) a list of the ones I don’t agree with.

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DC v Marvel

Guest Post by Honorary Lady The Goog

Full disclosure:

I love comics.  I make mine mostly Marvel, but out of the 22 long boxes of books I have, two of them are dedicated to DC (one is nothing but Batman), two more are Dark Horse (mostly Hellboy and BPRD) one is full of Mirage and Image, TMNT and so on, I probably don’t need to get into the nitty-gritty of every box.  The majority of the remaining boxes (about 16) are Marvel, so now you know how I butter my bread.
With that said, this post is going to be about the supposed rivalry that is popping up again between Marvel and DC, mainly related to their cinematic universes.  I say supposed, because Marvel and DC have always had a friendly rivalry. Back in the day (as the kids say), in the 60’s, the editors of each company were friends.  They golfed and had lunches together and worked to make the comics business good for both companies (by stealing ideas from each other).  Both companies liked to playfully tease each other in the letters pages, which fans ate up and kind of ran with (unfortunately I don’t recall where I first read this). This is what sparked the “war,” but there was never really a real rivalry.
Below beware spoilers.

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TinyDoom and I recently saw Batman v Superman.  I liked it, she felt it was the Wonder Woman Pre-Show but otherwise it was “Fine” (I didn’t disagree).  The movie was entertaining, but it had some major flaws (Lex, I’m looking at you) and there was a bounty of poor story telling.  The dream sequences were confusing and jarring, some of the cuts didn’t make a lot of sense, the pacing at the beginning was odd, and then there’s the Batman kills a bunch of guys thing, but I’ll get into that later.

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Do you love a loser?

At a recent Comicazi Book Club meeting we were discussing Superman: Secret Identity.  Without getting too deep into this book, it’s about Superman, but also not Superman and explores a different characterization of the character. While I thought the book was fine, I couldn’t connect with this version of Superman. He wasn’t the paragon he is usually portrayed as, nor was he enough of a loser to stir up any strong feelings.  He just sort of “was” and I didn’t know what he was reaching for.  Which brought me to this conclusion…lovable losers are my character jam.

Heroes and villains are easy enough to get.  And there is something delightful about characters who are so black and white.  It’s hard to beat a villain you love to hate.  But what about those characters who try so hard to head to one end of the spectrum, to be the best hero or villain, but keep falling back thanks to their own failings?  They rarely catch a break, but keep grinding, and because of this, I love them the most.

It’s my post, so you are going to get my introspection about this and my thoughts on what’s gone into some of my favorite characters.  Feel free to (respectfully) disagree.    

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You keep trying Clint.

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