Usagi Tsukino, the crybaby, poor study, bad girl of movement in the clunker.
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(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…

These will also, as it turns out, be of equal interest to Websnark fans….

Understanding that I actually found this to be funny?

Every panel from 2-5 involved the plant in question literally asking for help with its own survival.

I’m just saying. If someone came to offer me spiritual advice when A) there were predators about to eat me, B) there wasn’t enough food for all of us to survive, C) there was an infestation potentially about to consume me from within, or D) some guy with a chainsaw had marked me for death… what would you expect me to ask you? The way to inner peace?

As for panel one? With luck she gave him a fedora before walking away.



“Are you REALLY a Legion fan? What are your favorite stories and characters? We’re just making sure that you’re joining the right group since sometimes we get requests from people who don’t even know who the LSH are! Thanks!”

— —an honest to Christ IM I got when I clicked on a link for a Legion of Superheroes discussion group on Facebook.

My response (after the cut):

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New Year’s Day, or “oh crap.”

“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” –John Lennon

It was the worst sound I had ever heard in my life. The most horrifying, hideous noise in the universe. It was a sound I’ve literally heard in my nightmares for months since then.

And it came from my wife’s throat.

It was, weirdly enough, New Year’s Day. Day one of 2014. And we had plans.


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For the record, this is meant for Websnark the same as Banter Latte.


In honor of the 450th anniversary of what we assume was Shakespeare’s birthday, I give you this to look forward to, culturally speaking.

In just 350 years or so — a drop in the bucket, temporally speaking — there will be a monumental debate among intellectuals, critics, historians, and lay people. Movies will be made on the topic. Plays will be written. Whatever new media we can’t imagine now will devote itself to what to so many will be self-evident.

After all, there’s no possible reason why anyone could believe that Aaron Sorkin actually wrote those plays, movies and television shows. I mean, look at the facts of his life. Could that man have convincingly written about working for the president? He never worked for the president! He never worked for a sports channel! He was just a failed actor — one with a B.F.A. instead of a B.A.! A B.F.A. in Musical Theater for God’s sake!

Musical theater! Open your eyes, man!

And some people will claim that clearly all those projects were really written by David Mamet, who didn’t want to look like he was slumming on television or in Rob Reiner films. And some will claim he was really the public face of Josh Molina, which is why he kept getting ‘cast’ in those projects. And others will claim he was really Dee Dee Myers, or Keith Olbermann, or Bill Clinton.

And when people will point to the mountain of evidence that clearly indicate Sorkin wrote the things with his name on him, that evidence will either be ignored or dismissed, while the most tenuous of connections will be used to validate the Sorkinite theory of the day. “Actual footage of Sorkin writing? Phaw! You’re forgetting that in 1983 Aaron Sorkin met Joyce Dewitt!”

And absolutely none of it will have any bearing on much of anything, so long as people keep staging productions of A Few Good Men. Albeit updated for modern sensibilities, which undoubtedly means Jessup will be vindicated.

One of the things I remember most clearly about the ‘webcomics community’ in the mid-2000s was how passionate everyone was, about… well, everything. Drama was a constant. There was no detail so small that it wasn’t worth an argument. There was no achievement so petty that it didn’t deserve celebration. The most precious coin of the realm was sincerity — you could be an jerk. People were fine with that. Just don’t be a milquetoast or hypocrite.

Well, Joey Manley was no hypocrite. And Joey Manley was no milquetoast. He went toe to toe on the subject of comics with anyone. And sometimes, people called him a jerk. Sometimes loudly. And generally they used language that was less ‘PG’ than ‘jerk.’

But that was okay with Joey, because comics mattered to Joey. Art mattered to Joey. And if that meant he was going to be the one man standing up in the middle of remarkable peer pressure and move in a different direction, well, that’s what it would mean.

Which is where we got Modern Tales from. And Girlamatic, Serializer, Graphic Smash and all the rest of the ‘Manley’ sites (which he always referred to as the ‘Modern Tales family.’) 

But I’m getting ahead of my tale. More after the break.

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Every so often, you have to dust the old blog off. In one sense, the most significant new comics-media development in years happened this past week: the launch of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC.

Yeah, most significant. As in, more significant than The Avengers, Iron Man II and III, and The Dark Knight Rises (my arbitrary cutoff would be after Iron Man and The Dark Knight for these purposes, but in one sense this could compete with those luminaries as well).

Why do I say this? Because we have a weekly television series set in the Marvel (Cinematic) Universe on one of the Big Four networks, and its premiere had absolutely absurdly good numbers. Shockingly good numbers. Numbers that roughly tripled Smallville’s best viewerships and exceeded Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman’s best season average. And don’t kid yourself — it was a lot easier to get sixteen million viewers in 1993 than it is today. The demographics for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. were insane — skewing heavily to adults with six figure incomes and adults in the prime advertising demos. (They’re trumpeting the male viewership, because I don’t know — penises or something, but the ratio was roughly 55%-45% male/female, which is to say “don’t claim this is a guy’s show — everybody watched this.”)

So what?

This wasn’t a show about superheroes. Arguably, this wasn’t even a show about ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ since only three members of the primary cast have “Agent” in their job title. This was a show about non paranormals in the Marvel Universe, and it absolutely killed.

That’s a game changer, popular culture wise. There’s a reason the Fox network essentially announced the pre-Batman Jim Gordon Gotham series on the heels of this show. And if they sustain even decent numbers, we’re going to see a ton of superhero/superspy shows next year on the big four. The post-Heroes superhero fad will look ridiculously tame in comparison. No one in television loves anything so much as a successful show they can copy.

(What do want to see? I want to see a show about and starring Lex Luthor. Preferably one with some Breaking Bad in its DNA. No, I don’t mean Bryan Cranston, though I wouldn’t be sad if he were in it. But I digress.)

So, let’s talk about it — after a break, so spoilers aren’t a thing — because there will be spoilers for the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe here and there, as well as the show. (And maybe a few other movies while we’re at it.) Warning done.

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Ask Chris #161: Clash of the Titans

By Chris Sims


Q: How much better is the original Teen Titans series than the New Teen Titans?@boxofmilipedes

A: You know, Millie, it’s funny. New Teen Titans is a book that hits every single checkmark of something I should like. I love teenage superheroes, I’m a sucker for weird team-ups involving goofy combinations like half-demons, half-robots and full-on alien princesses, and Robin and Wally West are two of my all-time favorite characters. Throw those things together in a book by the dude who wrote Tomb of Dracula and the artist who would go on to draw my favorite run ofAvengers? That oughtta be a slam dunk, but every single time I read it, it feels like homework.

Folks, it’s been thirty years. Maybe it’s time we all come together and just admit that New Teen Titans was not that great.


Tumblr Editor’s Note: This is why Chris Sims and I will never be BFFs :(

What? The New Teen Titans (1980) was NOT that great. On what planet? It was the biggest comic in the 1980’s. The BEST.

Honestly? I personally agree.

I’ve read a bunch of Claremont-era X-Men, and several times tried Wolfman-era Titans, and it’s just…

Basically: X-Men of the time felt like people had emotional reactions to things, had strong feelings about what was going on that lead them to take strong actions. Titans felt more like… people were just in these emotional states, and they just kind of kept hitting the same note and expressing how they were in this emotional state, over and over and over. To me, anyway.

Of course, X-Men in the ’90s post-Claremont did that but worse, so.

Yeah — on this one I just couldn’t disagree with Sims more.

New Teen Titans was perhaps the best Levitz-Grid book ever written (and I count those books Levitz himself wrote in that statement.) The stories didn’t just spring on us — they built over time in ways most comics just weren’t doing. As an example, I remember when we were coming up on the first big Trigon payoff, and Robin (IRRC) pulled out a series of photographs of Raven, showing how she’d gone from a roundish-faced innocent young girl to a severe, angular dark figure over time… and I realized how slowly and carefully Perez had changed the artwork to fit that shift.

Before NTT, I couldn’t have cared less about Donna Troy, beyond having dug her Santa outfit in this one story where Haney did a semi-ridiculous take on “A Christmas Carol.” Despite Haney’s best efforts, she was ‘the female Titan,’ nothing more. When NTT hit? Well, one of the single most effective four panel spreads in comics history, IMO, was near the end of “Who Is Donna Troy,” where Donna’s adoptive mother (who Donna was stolen away from) recognizes Donna and a patchwork doll she used to own… well, here:

Donna? DONNA?!

Where did I get that image? I bought the issue in question on Comixology, (New Teen Titans #38) and reread it, after starting this post. And not only is it as good and timeless as I remember (despite the presence of the creepy Terry Long), but it also reminded me of just how effectively Wolfman wrote Dick Grayson. In particular, this was a story that showcased Grayson the detective, and I’d be hard pressed to show a better example. The art, panel layout, use of narration — it’s all just beautifully done. I honestly think this is one of the best single issues of a comic book ever written.

I love Bob Haney’s work and I always will. This isn’t a patch on that. But New Teen Titans changed everything, and did it in a way that was (and here I’m directly disagreeing with Sims) wholly distinct from Claremont/Byrne/Cockrum on X-Men — among other things because the contextual issues were… well, different. The X-Men was, at the time and at its core, about outcasts becoming family. The New Teen Titans was about teenagers who had been locked into their roles by their families breaking out and becoming their own adult selves. Robin breaking away from Batman and becoming Nightwing. Kid Flash retiring from the game entirely. Wonder Girl going from Amazon Princess to young mother with roots in three separate families. Cyborg breaking out from what his father wanted and defining himself in his own way. Changeling/Beast Boy coping with the death of his foster mother and the insanity of his foster father. Starfire embracing her heritage while denying its hold on her. Raven refusing to allow her father to use her to destroy the world. Sims says he might not have really understood it because he didn’t read it before he hit his 20s, and there’s something to that — because for a teenager, the themes of breaking out of what I’m supposed to be and becoming what I am resonated tremendously well.

And by the by? As creepy as Terry Long was? And he was, and the whole situation was creepy and stayed creepy and ugh? Donna Troy was of legal age for that entire relationship. Colossus and Kitty Pryde? 19-20 vs 13-14 (canonically), and neither Xavier nor any of the adults surrounding those two made any serious attempt to intercede. That’s way past creepy and straight into “why exactly wasn’t there jail time here for more than one person here, again?” Just saying.


In today’s Interviewing Trey installment, I introduced a significant character — one who’s a straight shooter, and answers a number of Chapman’s questions without overt hostility or obvious agenda. She was, in my head and in the text, described as mature, with an eye to making her older and thereby giving her a bit of gravitas, so that her words would be received by the reader a certain way. It’s, you know, what we do when we write. We try to create something that will convey the impression we’re striving for.

It just occurred to me that if I sat down and crunched the numbers… this character would be within two or three years of my own age.

That’s a thing that makes a guy think.

On a side note, I also made a brief reference to T Campbell and Jason Waltrip’s Fansbecause it’s nice to acknowledge the people I steal from my influences.


Got several request to make this rebloggable - here you go.

aybirdtodds asked:

How would you feel if they made a Trinity film that focused mainly on Wonder Woman, instead of a solo Wonder Woman (in the way they called the animated film Superman/Batman: Apocalypse even though it was really about Supergirl, just to cater to a demographic)?

You mean adopt the "Hide the Girl" strategy? 

You mean ignore that 51% of the movies goers in this country are women?

You mean ignore that 44% of the audience for Superman were women?

You mean ignore that films with female leads can do well (Hello Hunger Games!) but Hollywood continues to cater to the precious male demographic because apprently the money women spend at the box office is someone how less attractive.

Fuck that noise. Hollywood needs to stop catering to the kind of small minded wrong head bullshit that brings two movies that have the White House being invaded to the screens within months of each of other and express SHOCK when a female lead film opening the same weekend beats the pants off it.

They need to stop pouring money into pieces of shit like the Lone Ranger and after they had a bomb like John Carter but then limit the films that have female leads.

They are in self perpetuating cycle of expressing shock each and anytime their male led movies fail and a film with a women or POC succeeds.

They need stop being paralyzed about how Wonder Woman must be done right when they freely reboot Superman when he fails. Or the Hulk. Or any other male led superhero movie. I wouldn’t be a bit suprised if there’s a new GL movie before Wonder Women.

I’m pragmatic but I’m also tired and frustrated with this constant catering to the idea that male movie goers are fricking special snowflakes who will break out in a sweat or die if they see a female led movie.

Did they go see Aliens? Yeah, they did.

Did they go see Tomb Raider? Yeah they did

Did they go see Hunger Games? Yeah they did (39% of the opening was male).

Did those movies make money? Yeah, they did.

I’m sorry Hollywood is just filled with dudes who believe the world revolves around them.

It doesn’t.