Usagi Tsukino, the crybaby, poor study, bad girl of movement in the clunker.
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I am not a person given to disagreeing with Mark Evanier about… well, much of anything. The man has forgotten more than I will ever know in the first place on almost any topic I’d be inclined to discuss. However, I’ve seen this same kind of “R.I.P.” to Saturday Morning Cartoons/Programming for Kids on Broadcast Networks in a lot of places.

And I’m inclined to echo it, because I grew up loving Saturday Morning Cartoons… only… well… it’s not actually true.

Let’s ignore PBS, which (at least where I live) broadcasts hours of cartoons on Saturday mornings. I mean, it’s there and those cartoons exist, but we’re pretending they don’t, because… um… of a reason. Let’s also ignore all paid tv — all cable and satellite channels. For a good reason, mind. Not everyone has those or the Internet. Let’s just look at commercial broadcast television.

NBC. 8:30. “Noodle and Doodle.” 9am. “Astroblast.” 9:30. “The Chica Show.” 10am. “Tree Fu Tom.”  10:30. “Lazy Town.” 11am. “Poppy Cat.” Repurposed? Yeah, sure — but to a kid who doesn’t get Sprout, it’s new. And if they do get Sprout, they almost certainly get Cartoon Network, Nick or Disney, and I’m not worried about them.

CBS: 10am. “Lucky Dog.” 10:30. “Dr. Chris: Pet Vet.” 11am. “Innovation Nation.” 11:30. “Recipe Rehab.” All live action E-I content, sure, but targeted to kids. And mostly new stuff, too (and our local station doesn’t carry all that CBS broadcasts).

ABC: 9am: “Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown.” 9:30am: “Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin,” 10am: “Sea Rescue. 10:30. “The Wildlife Docs.” 11am: “Outback Adventures with Tim Faukner.” 11:30: “Born to Explore.” 

FOX: 7am “Xploration: Awesome Planet.” 7:30 “Xploration: Outer Space,” 8am “XPloration: Earth 2050.” 8:30 “XPloration: Animal Science.” 9am “Career Day.” (Which is actually targeted to freaking teenagers. Points to Fox). 

The CW may not have cartoons anymore, it’s true, but they also have a bunch of E-I content on the subject of nature — albeit repackaged from other sources. I won’t bother typing it in.

I’m a little surprised our local “My TV” affiliate doesn’t have anything but paid programming and NWA Wrestling… but on the other hand they have freaking NWA Wrestling. I didn’t even know NWA still had television programming. I swear to God, I wonder if this is a local NWA affiliate putting on shows in high schools or what. I’m so tempted to record it.

If you’re seeing a dearth of non-cartoon programming above… well, I specifically excluded PBS, which is freaking loaded with cartoons. If you’re seeing a dearth of awesome above… I agree with you. Lots of Educational Content, very little Birdman and the Galaxy Trio. (Why in God’s name doesn’t My TV run the old Hanna Barbara cartoons? They can’t cost that much and the level of awesome they provide is monumental.) But there are cartoons, above (mostly on NBC) and all of the above’s content produced for and pitched towards kids.

And, a good amount of it’s actually being produced by said networks, which is more than I can say for the CW’s fare. (I love Justice League Unlimited more than the next guy, but seeing it on the CW with edits for broadcast standards — including I swear to God dubbing in stock laser sounds every time a gun is fired because of… um… reasons? Was not cartoons being produced for Saturday Morning. It was cartoons being shown on Saturday Morning. Not the same thing.)

And… well, if we’re going to restrict it to broadcast networks… I really should mention the quarter-ton of religious networks broadcasting over the air essentially nation wide. Love TBN or hate TBN — they are loaded with cartoons and puppet shows on Saturday Morning, and so are all their ilk. 3-2-1 Penguins! Gina D’s [horrible] Kid’s Club, Mary Rice Hopkins and Puppets With a Heart, Davey and Goliath, The Lads, The Storykeepers, VeggieTales, Greatest Heroes and Legends of the Bible and Monster Truck Adventures may have Biblical messages, but they’re still cartoons, puppet shows and the like, and some of them rival the production values of stuff currently running on Cartoon Network. And Lassie… is just straight up Lassie, no Jesus involved.

There is something to mourn in the above, sure. But it’s not the end of Saturday Morning Cartoons or Saturday Morning Kids’ Shows on Broadcast TV. And if there isn’t a Smurfs, Fat Albert, Space Ghost and Dino Boy, X-Men or, yes indeed, Garfield and Friends among them… well, I’m sad too. But then, I was sad when ABC was reruns of Kim Possible and repackaged Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, too.

And I would have been sad regardless, because nothing could recreate the Saturday Mornings of my youth, because the conditions no longer exist. In the 70’s, we had little to no choices. I had more than most kids my age, in fact, because I had CHSJ (the New Brunswick Television System) and various French stations to go along with the cartoons you all had. Say what you want, but having extra bonus Barbapapa andAlbator(which the rest of you learned about as Captain Harlock some time later) made for significant awesome in my life.

And yet, despite the massive amount of Saturday Morning Cool I had… I also ended up watching a whole bunch of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and ABC’s Wide World of Sports, because sometimes that’s what there was.

Kids will survive. Even the ones who don’t have cable or the internet. And they will look back on their childhood with nostalgia, too. Even if it’s nowhere near as cool as our nostalgia.

But then, we would have thought that anyway.

Let us not mourn the death of kids’ Saturday morning. Let us instead bemoan the lack of cool to be found in it, and let us figure out what if anything can be done about that.

(via Iverly)

I am enjoying the Hell out of Iverly. It is by Jeff Rowland so you know it is good. This is the first strip. As of this writing, there’s only 12 strips, so it’s not like you’ve got a huge threshold to get through to be caught up.

So… that’s all, I guess. Iverly.

bettersupes:

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Hey, everyone! This is the creator of Little Girls Are Better At Designing Superheroes Than You, here with a post I thought you all might like. Writer Ted Anderson and I have made a pitch for a superhero comic!

The comic is about nine-year-old Lucia Marquez-Miller, who loves engineering, and uses her telekinetic powers to build and take things apart with her mind. She calls this power her spark!

As Spark, the world’s youngest superhero, she’s a junior member of a superhero team while also trying to live a normal life. Can Lucia juggle her friends and family while also saving the world from supervillains?

We’re posting a 15-page standalone comic here on tumblr to give readers an idea of what the book would be like.

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image Click “read more” below to continue reading the comic!

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This is just pure, uncut wonderful.

Asker leguigui Asks:
I just imagined the psycho-blast it would cause to amber to see Danny cheat her with Ethan, of all persons, and you have an history of making events blow in the faces of your characters, Mister. The "Damn you, Willis!" doesn't come out of nowhere.
websnark websnark Said:

itswalky:

Danny was literally jumped on for casual supersex by Billie and he turned it down because he had feelings for Amazi-Girl even if he didn’t know they were reciprocated yet.  Hell, he was a jerk to Amber because he was afraid of the possibility of temptation of cheating on her with Amazi-Girl.  

I’m a little upset that you think I will ignore Danny’s primary character trait now that one of the people he’s now physically attracted to is a dude.

It’s understandable that people would think that, because that’s the first thing that runs through your head when an attraction ping goes through a work like this one. Naturally, the first thing that crossed peoples’ minds — or, well, the ninth thing that crossed through their minds — was “oh my God… the guy who broke up with Amber because he turned out to be gay and the guy she’s currently dating totally want to bone — this will destroy her!” And the thought process goes past that — from “they want to bone” to “they’re totes going to bone” to “I’m relatively sure they’re already boning in panel 4. We can’t see their legs — are they still wearing pants?”

As for me — the thing I’m absolutely loving about this strip is the amazing way it conveyed dawning realization on Danny’s part. This is still Danny — the guy who went to Indiana in part because his One True Love Forever went to Indiana. The guy whose best friend has to think about whether or not he accidentally impregnated a sorority (consensually. The sorority had a meeting beforehand and everything).

Danny has lived submerged in het expectations and het culture. He has been the ‘norm’ of ‘heteronormative.’ And here he is, and he’s just had it all click in his brain (and… well, probably elsewhere)….

I don’t think boning would be a thing, just yet. He’s got tons of other Danny to Danny, first.

That said? I don’t think he’ll cheat on Amber. I also don’t think it’ll matter. I think he’ll let his feelings slip, and then Amber — who puts things together — will suddenly have “oh my God… the guy who dumped me because he’s gay and then started dating a Christian girl within weeks of starting college and the guy I’m seeing right now who once dumped me for my own alter ego and then got to be the nexus of crap with my dad just like Guy #1 used to be are totally….”

And then there will be screaming.

You don’t need to have sex to lead to conflict, anguish, heartbreak or torment. You don’t need to do anything at all to lead there. Sometimes, you can do everything right and then it all just explodes on you.

Thinking about it… we do in fact call that “college,” most of the time.

Lauren Bacall is one of our cultural icons. She defined, visually, a kind of ineffable grace and sophistication. In one sense, she was the natural counterpart to Katherine Hepburn.

I could write a lot about Mme Bacall, but I think there’s something we can take from her tragic passing. Something that’s easy to miss right now, especially with the shocking death of Robin Williams. Williams’s death — and the form that passing took — was so unexpected, and so horrifying, that it has eclipsed Bacall’s death entirely.

And that’s unfortunate, because there’s a lesson as important to be taken away from the tragic passing of Mme Bacall.

Lauren Bacall died of a stroke, at the age of 89.

And… when you read that, it’s easy — sadly — to dismiss it. She was 89. Naturally, she was at the end of a long and fulfilling life, and it’s as natural that she passed from a stroke. That happens later in life.

Except it doesn’t. Anyone can have a stroke.

Anyone.

A stroke may be caused by genetic factors. It may be caused by a hard hit on a football field. Take the case of 17 year old High School Senior Andre Maloney, a standout football star in Kansas City, who had already been recruited by the University of Kansas. A star athlete moving into his prime.

Until he collapsed on the sidelines during a football game.

Over the course of the next few days, Maloney was treated, but tragically he couldn’t be saved. A blood clot had entered his brain through a Patent Foramen Ovale, or PFO — a literal hole in his heart.

A hole, I would add, that one in five Americans have. Because we’re all born with a PFO. It’s how we can survive in the womb without, you know, being able to breathe. But 20% of all Americans (I don’t have statistics for the rest of the planet) don’t have these PFOs close.

And, should blood clots form in your body, they can reach the lungs — causing what’s called a pulmonary embolism. Which itself is no picnic, mind. But if you have a PFO, it can also pass through and hit your brain.

That happened to Andre Maloney. Did he get a clot from a hit on the field? Who knows. But he got one. And he died. 17 years old, in excellent health, and a stroke victim.

Why am I telling you all of this?

Because strokes can be treated incredibly effectively, if they are treated quickly.

That picture above is the FAST protocol. It’s a fast way to check if a friend or loved one might be suffering a stroke. It’s simple, and it’s fast. And if you get them to a hospital quickly, there are incredibly effective treatments. There is a medication emergency rooms have — a clotbuster — that can massively improve a stroke victim’s recovery and survival rate. But with a stroke every second counts. Every second is brain cells.

It goes beyond even that, by the way. In a lot of cases, a stroke that happens due to PFO will have precursors — sharp leg pains where clotting may be happening. Shortness of breath from a pulmonary embolism. If things seem odd, get them checked out.

Please. For your loved ones. For yourself. For Lauren Bacall, who was class and grace and sophistication personified… and for Andre Maloney… learn the warning signs for Stroke, and if you see them — or have them — call 911. Immediately. Don’t stop to pass Go. Be aware.

And be safe.

(From Action Comics #33)

Wait… wait wait wait. Wait.

Superman… destroyed 99.97% of all asteroids more than 1km in diameter in the entirety of the asteroid belt?

…you… but….

Okay, I’m not an astrophysicist. I’ll admit that freely. But I’m pretty sure the reason that Earth and the other planets aren’t bombarded with asteroids with the shocking regularity of the first couple million years of the solar system’s existence because planets tend to clear their orbits of trash. That is, in fact, the distinguishing characteristic between Dwarf Planets and Planets. Planets have mostly clear orbits, and Dwarf Planets don’t.

…asteroids don’t have to be anywhere near a kilometer in diameter to become an extinction event on Earth. And Superman, in the process of way-more-than-decimating the Asteroid belt, would have created millions of new potential ecosystem destroyers, spreading them in every possible direction, disrupting stable orbits and….

…I mean….

Maybe I’m wrong, but… he’s killed us all, right? I mean, admittedly, Superman causing disasters that devastate Earth may be the recurring theme or at least the desire of the New 52, but… but he’s destroyed all of humanity, right?

(via Evil Inc.)

Not for nothing, but Brad Guigar’s depiction of Elastic Man’s gender fluidity is actually pretty well handled, over the past week. EM really comes across, at least to me, as someone who’s equally comfortable with the thought of female sexuality and male sexuality — as well as female and male gender identity. EM seems genuinely pansexual and genuinely gender-queer.

And, even if Keegan wasn’t actually into it, he also wasn’t squicked by it. A bit weirded by EM’s lack of memory as to starting point/gender, but not squicked.

I have no grandiose point — I just like to see alternatives being presented in a way that doesn’t immediately brand alternative sexuality as wrong or evil, and when it comes up I like to make mention.

iamdavidbrothers:

The other week I lost my temper and said some stuff about Marvel’s announcements of Captain America and Thor, who are replacing White Captain America and Dude Thor. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, mulling it over, because it’s been pretty inescapable.

I like Marvel’s characters. I think that…

All this is so true.

And, for me, it brings me back to what I was saying the other day about James Rhodes.

I’ve been rereading 80s Avengers comics, and… well, here’s the thing.

Tony Stark will make you feel, he's a cool exec with a heart of steel....

This is Tony Stark in Avengers #228 (February 1983). He’s pushing himself to the limit, and feeling horrible about himself, and… well, drinking. Yeah, over in his own comic, this is that storyline. The one people always bring up when they’re discussing the pre-Downey Iron Man.

But here, all you know is he’s running himself ragged in issue #228.

Make a stand show your hand Calling a high command Don't think just demand I'm like a bird of prey

This is issue #231, and the next time Iron Man’s been seen in the pages of the Avengers.

That’s James Rhodes.

But if you didn’t read Iron Man, you wouldn’t know that. It would be months longer before Captain America, Thor and the Wasp would learn that Tony Stark had given up the armor, and months past that before anyone would learn Iron Man was a black man. And even that happened in West Coast Avengers, not this comic.

No press releases. No massive campaign trumpeting that Iron Man had been replaced with a black man. And sure, the armor covered him head to toe, but then — that’s part of the point, too. If you were a casual reader — someone who picked up Avengers but didn’t pick up Iron Man or the like, and you saw Shellhead up in panel 1 of the second graphic… well, you’d assume he was a white man.

And Rhodey didn’t get the job as stunt casting, either. He’d been established for years as one of Stark’s best friends — a guy who’d helped him escape from Vietnam when he first made the armor. And he was a soldier and combat pilot. Exactly the right kind of person to take over flying the Iron Man suit.

I said on twitter a few days ago that I was glad for the new Thor and Captain America. And I am. I honestly am. I’m not complaining.

But for my money, the Marvel Comics of 1983 got it way closer to right than the Marvel of 2014, because they didn’t make a black man Iron Man to pop a rating. They made James Rhodes Iron Man because they were telling a story.

Read the essay behind the link. it’s good stuff.

I’m 10 pages into rereading Avengers #227 (Jan.1983). Captain Marvel (Rambeau) is joining the team and blowing minds. Wasp is a literal *boss.* She-Hulk is awesome. Hank Pym is dealing with the terrible ramifications of his latest complete breakdown. The male Avengers are being catty and gossipy (and man, I forgot what a whiny little cur Hawkeye could be).

And Reed Richards is being a sociopath.

It’s like I hit for the cycle.

A few days ago, I asked a question on Twitter. Essentially, I asked if Marvel had any actual superintelligent characters who were decent, well adjusted, and stable, because setting aside Amadeus Cho (who gets an age exemption) I couldn’t think of any.

Note that by superintellect, I don’t mean ‘ubertech-engineer.’ Tony Stark doesn’t make this particular cut, for example. He’s brilliant, but he’s following a different character archetype.

There were some good points raised as it was batted back and forth, but then then almost simultaneously Jonathan Lennox and Ben Hutchins raised the same question.

What about Reed Richards?

Oh. I have opinions about Reed Richards.

The following is how it played out in real time, collected by Heather Meadows. My old friend Chris Meadows also did a Storify at almost the same time. His version includes all the wild, anarchic discussion that comes up in these things, and folks may prefer that. I kind of do myself — it was…

Amazingly spontaneous.

Yes, I ranted (and looked up facts desperately in other windows). And people jumped in, and brought stuff up, and… yeah.

However, it actually makes for a hard-to-follow thesis, and there is a degree to which you had to be there. But here it is, for folks who want the whole chaotic thing.

Heather’s version is focused in specifically on my tweets on the subject, which outside of the context of Twitter makes for more of a point.

As stated, this was real time. None of these have been edited. If I made mistakes then, they’re here now.

I hope folks enjoy.

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For the record, this whole kit and/or kaboodle applies to Websnark as well.

super-heroine:

(via Exclusive: ‘Batgirl’ Gets A Brand New Look From A Brand New Creative Team - MTV)

I actually love the new art style, and the book sounds interesting to me (honestly, had they done the “clean break from the past” thing in the first place, I’d have been less angry — though not completely happy — with the New 52 magically making her all better from her paraplegia. Making it baggage she had to deal with led to some good stories but also made it clear what the DC Universe had lost in Oracle.)

That said, if she’s forced to rebuild and get all her own new stuff as the article says…. well, I really, really like the uniform, except… do we need the flash of hip skin there? I mean, would she really not wear… I don’t know, a black leotard under that coat, at least, to prevent just that? Or a long tee shirt? Is she really crime fighting with a sports bra and a leather jacket between her and the world? Seriously?

Don’t get me wrong — it’s a fantastic costume, and I love that it’s the antithesis of cleavage baring, and Babs Tarr looks like she’ll be a great artist for the title. (And I do love the idea that one of the creators is a ‘Babs,’ because I am still 12 years old at heart and squee.) And I like the idea of… well, a fun Batgirl title.

You know, kind of like, I dunno, a Stephanie Brown Batgirl title— Sorry! Don’t know what came over me, there!

All this being said… um…

Tarr: I am excited to bring some flirt, fun, and fashion to the title! I don’t think you see a lot of that in mainstream comics and I am excited to bring that to the table. Who doesn’t love a sassy super hero?

I’m… I’m trying not to react negatively to this. I get what Babs Tarr is saying here, and yeah — we don’t have that in the New 52, and it would be a good add. But…

…well, they didn’t reboot Batgirl completely, and….

I don’t know. Sassy?

Honestly, I’m a cisgendered het white male. I’m not the right person to figure out if this is awesome or a bit scary. I’ll defer to others on those points.

All in all… between this and Grayson’s unexpectedly… well, Nightwingesque turns (and the proper return of Helena Bertinelli as more than an alias for a rebooted character based on a character from the 70s that barely got definition even then versus literal decades of development on what essentially everyone thinks of “the Huntress” when they think of it at all, as much as I actually like the Levitz Huntress)….

Could it be that the DC Universe is discovering how to have fun, again? Right exactly when the Marvel Universe decided to decimate Captain America?

…this will all end horribly and in fire, won’t it?

To be fair to cats, when kicking like this with someone they actually feel bonded too (like their fellow kittens they wrestle with, or the people who care for and raise them), they’re not trying to break the neck of your arm. They’re practicing to break peoples’ necks.

Because they’re content, for now, to let you live. But they’re going to be ready.

I haven’t actually gotten close to the point where my various online lives are revivable (as it turns out, regenerating your entire online life is hard), but I couldn’t let this pass by today without comment.

Danielle Corsetto’s work today does a stunning, beautiful thing. The art is gorgeous, of course, but also evocative. Note how the face of the child — implied to be Corsetto herself, of course — is facing forward. We see her, clearly. The grandfather, though… his face is looking down. We don’t get a clear sight, because of course this is coming from Corsetto’s memory — if she’s remembering his face, it’s because he’s looking down, not forward. Looking with love.

The writing alongside this evokes so much as well — both in tone and content, of course, but also in appearance. Corsetto manually centered the poem. Do you have any idea how hard that is?

And all of that comes together to give us this glimpse, this snapshot of a life. I called out the poem, but “Quaker Meeting” isn’t the only poetic element here. Not by a long shot. Every line evokes imagery. Every word is perfectly placed.

Grief is hard, because so much of what you grieve is presence — not just immediate presence, but a lifetime of presence.

This piece is presence, bound up in a tiny glimpse and given to us. And for that I can only thank Corsetto, and offer my deepest condolences to her and her family.

In his barcolounger at dusk, dormant Snarky waits dreaming…