Sunday, May 20, 2007

And Me Without A Black Dress

Thursday was, to quote Melaka Fray, a "Bad day. Started bad, stayed that way."

First I lost a bet with my friend Hannah, and had to read "All-Star Batman #5". Which I thought I could do, being prepared for Miller's usual foolishness. So imagine my surprise when his depiction of Wonder Woman sent me flying into a volcanic rage. I was screaming, throwing the comic around, ripping pages. I'm a little embarrassed about it now, but you know what? After MJ, and the hypocrisy of the Citizen Steel scandal, and the shameless exploits of Superslut, and Storm becoming a trophy wife, and Sue giving her husband a goodbye boink before abandoning her children... gah. I just couldn't take it anymore. Lately it feels like DC and Marvel are bombarding me with misogynstic and sexist tripe, and I'm not a violent person, but I swear, if I'd had a baseball bat and Frank Miller was within swinging distance, I would've been seriously tempted to crack him upside the head and let the misogyny drain out.

Fortunately, there's a cure for exposure to Neanderthalism, and her name is Shaenon Garrity. I sat myself down and reread the first few months of "Narbonic: The Director's Cut" to cheer me up; worked like a charm (the Theftbot gag and Madblood's reaction gets me giggling every. single. time). Of course, then I started asking myself why in hell was I still bothering with mainstream comics when there are women like K. Sandra Fuhr, Ursula Vernon, Shaenon Garrity and Aeire doing superior work online (and no small number of highly talented men as well - Rich Burlew, Randy Milholland, Kristopher Straub, Justin Pierce, Scott Christian Sava and so many more who don't need Power Girl's tits to tell a good story). But it's sort of a "righteous man in Sodom" thing - I stick around for guys like Brubaker, Whedon and Carey, and maybe the Lunas have another "Ultra" up their sleeves, and there's always Vertigo...

Anyway, I digress. A few hours later, I found out that "Veronica Mars" had been cancelled. My first reaction was "Okay, no shock there, the show hasn't exactly been at the top of its game lately." Except the first season was flawless, and that's what I remember when I think of the series, and even at its weakest it still stood head-and-shoulders above most of its contemporaries (mostly because Kristen Bell, unlike Tyra Banks and the Fashion Police, can string more than two sentences together without sounding completely stoned). Bye bye, 21st Century Nancy Drew. I'll have a proper eulogy when I do my end of the season review.

To top it all off, Jeff Lester - one of the great critics of the comics blogosphere - announced his departure from The Savage Critics at the end of the month. There aren't many online individuals whose opinions I trust wholeheartedly; Jeff is one of them, on account of his wit and his ability to cut through the BS and pinpoint, with total clarity, the things that need to be said. I remember my surprise when news of the impending Black Panther/Storm marriage broke; most people were debating canon vs. retcons, but Jeff was one of the few who drew attention to Storm's status as an independent female icon, an African-American woman leader of a prominent superteam, and how that was being threatened for the sake of a sales boost. When Wolverine #50 came out, Jeff again hit the bullseye by pegging Marvel's great flaw: its administrators have bought into their own hype to the extent that not only do they publish crappy comics, they do so secure in the belief that they're releasing absolute gems.

On May 26, the blogosphere will shine a little less brightly.

And then, of course, my Internet connection drops dead over the weekend, forcing me to post this long after it's relevant.

So... yeah. Thursday sucked.