Tuesday, November 04, 2008


...did somebody say something about voting?

In NYC it'll get you coffee, ice cream, and a sex toy. Seriously.

Oh, and probably a lot of smiles, too. [/cheese]

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Oh, McCain. You fool.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Several weeks ago, Valerie D'Orazio, the Occasional Superheroine herself, emailed me offering me an exciting position with Friends of Lulu.

I am pleased to announce that I am now the Convention Director for Friends of Lulu!

For those of you not familiar with it, Friends of Lulu is a national nonprofit organization whose purpose is to promote and encourage female readership and participation in the comic book industry.

I am thrilled to have been asked to work with such a fantastic organization.

Expect to see me at the FoL table at a convention near you!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cool Trivia Of The Day...

Thanks to Tom Spurgeon, I just found out that my father went to the same high school as Will Eisner.

Of course, my dad was there about thirteen years later, but still. That's awesome.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Yesterday was my 26th birthday. People have been thinking I'm older than I am for years. In that sense, I'm looking forward to 30, because I'll finally be the age people think I am.

Over the last year or so, I've found myself significantly disappointed in the behavior of people that age and older. I know quite well that age is no indicator of acceptability of behavior. However, as children we are taught to "act our age," and it would be nice if that was something for which people still strove.

This leads, albeit loosely, into a moral quandary to which I have been witness. I won't go into details, but it involves a person who has to make the unenviable choice between doing "what is right," and martyring themselves, or acting in the sense of self-preservation, and being branded cold-hearted.

An important lesson I've learned this year is that the only person whose happiness you are responsible for is your own.

It can be an honor and a joy to make someone's happiness and well being your concern. I do it for my friends and family every day; it brings me joy.

On the other hand, there have been people excised from my life whose happiness maintenance stopped being a joy, and became a burden instead. I supported them and wished for their happiness, knowing my support was being taken advantage of, and their happiness was in conflict with my own.

Sometimes it's as vicious as that, sometimes not. As with all things, context makes or breaks everything. That said, it's rarely worth it to mortgage one's happiness.

I'm not sure how to advise my friend, as the level of duty, history, and severity of that situation dictates far more than my experiences can provide. I find this sort of quandary fascinating, as I believe we are only beholden to ourselves, but I also understand the guilt that can come with wanting to care for others.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Happy Birthday, Charles Brownstein!

My convention attendance this weekend is still up in the air.

I am attending a music festival in New Jersey tomorrow, and with the 91 degree weather forecast, it's anyone's guess what sort of shape I'll be in on Sunday.

That said, I'm going to try to make an appearance at both Big Apple Con and MoCCA, because there will be people at both I'd like to see. (Malcolm McDowell at BAC, and most specifically Randall Monroe at MoCCA.)


I will be attending Charles Brownstein's birthday party tonight.

I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember, whether you're on a corn field in New Jersey, or the sweltering heat of the Puck Building, DRINK LOTS OF WATER!

Let's keep fan heat stroke to an absolute minimum!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Not Leavin' On A Jet Plane

The Comics Reporter posted this article today, about how the rising cost of fuel and airfare will affect Con attendance.

I know for my own part, a perfect storm of a shortage of funds and skyrocketing travel and hotel costs have made me reshuffle my Con calendar for this summer. Unlike the last two years, I won't be doing the Geekcation Double Header of SDCC and Pennsic. Instead, if I have the money and the time (in the blessed event that I get hired somewhere), I will be attending Terminus, which is the same week as Pennsic, and Dragon*Con. (Dragon*Con is confirmed, as I have purchased both my membership and plane tickets.)

Startlingly, even airfare from New York to the two biggest air travel hubs--Chicago and Atlanta--are already shockingly over $200.

Heidi McDonald has been watching with some sadness the airfare hullabaloo, wondering if this will bring about a return to train and bus travel. It probably will.

As much as I was hoping to take the train to Chicago, it is, frustratingly, comparably priced with taking a plane, and worse--takes 20 hours instead of 2. So onto the metal bird for me.

I hope that come summer of 2009, this will all have alleviated a bit. I'm not holding my breath, though.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Help Sell Out Superman #676!

Benchilada said it best.

Short version?

Go buy Superman #676 today.

Do it for me, or if you don't like me, do it for Vito Delsante.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Open Source Understanding Project

The Open Source Boob Project has been a massive failure. It succeeded spectacularly, however, at exposing how far we have yet to go, even in supposedly egalitarian spaces.

The discussions that have come out of this are extremely important. In a way, I'm glad this happened. I have this vain hope that in six months, fandom will be a safer space for it. That too many women-fen are too outspoken, so that even casual misogyny in fandom won't occur uncontested.

The remarkable thing about this situation is that it's shown me that men who I've long considered feminist, or at least egalitarian, still have lots to learn about their male privilege. The first person I include in this is Ferrett himself. Because he, not his wife or the other women originators, was the one who wrote about the project. Because he tried to use creative language for something that should have been explained as basically, and in as simple terms as possible. Because he chose moments of the evening that were completely untranslatable, however he wanted them to be read. Because it has yet to be made totally clear whether the breasts in question were clothed or nude. Because though he used the word "we," and though he said it was what he was trying to avoid, Ferrett did speak for thirty nine other people.

I believe, I sincerely believe, that in the space and time it occurred, the OSBP was a wonderful experience. However, as many people have noted, it is highly unlikely to succeed in repeated attempts.

There was an extraordinary lack of foresight demonstrated. It shouldn't have been talked about in an unlocked LJ post. It shouldn't have been shoehorned into a formal activity. It shouldn't have been most vocally defended by the small number of people who did so, and especially not Ferrett himself.

I give Ferrett props for amending the post and apologizing. I can't even imagine what the Steinmetz house has been like the last few days. His language may not have been what everyone wanted it to be, but we're shifting paradigms here. Baby steps.

Again, this is what bothers me the most, but is also what's making me the most hopeful. There are a lot of men who aren't getting it. They're understanding why the OSBP can't be replicated, but not why women are uncomfortable with it. These are men who have begun to grok the radical notion that women are people. Unfortunately, this has given them a new blinder: Just because they respect the women they find sexually attractive, they take for granted that all men do as well. I think I can hear an entire planet of women saying, "Yeah, not so much."

Ok, great. These men are well on their way, but they're not there yet. And this whole kerfluffle has rooted out scads of these men. Women all over the blogosphere are recoiling in horror as they're realizing that men who they've trusted as allies don't understand simple concepts like "Womens' bodies are still considered public space, and that's wrong."

So now we have a choice. We can all get really, really angry and afraid that this is going to happen at every con ever from now on, like those Free Hugs people. OR.


We can start talking. We can talk about our positive group touching experiences (ranging from innocent hugs to parties that turn into orgies). We can start talking about people who've made us uncomfortable, and calling them out on their behavior. We start talking.

We start, as I imagine the Open Source Boob Project intended, empowering women to use their voices and agency in large group situations. And all situations.

We start talking.

And if people have learned anything from this whole debacle, they'll start listening, too.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Go Go Tron Racer!

Having seen the new Speed Racer trailer, I find I'm compelled to ask the following question:

Is this a remake of Speed Racer, or Tron?

Milo Ventimiglia Is Dangerous With An Easel

One of the highlights of the weekend for me was when I got to meet Milo Ventimiglia. Of course, in true Stapler fashion, it happened in an...odd way...

He was lovely afterwards, however, and apologized to my friend and me. And then he took a picture with me!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

NY Comic Con: Well Done.

Oh my.

I count this weekend a success. I slept a total of nine hours the entire time, the alcohol gods blessed my liver with imperviousness (not always a guarantee), my mother demonstrated a level of fierceness I can only hope to achieve, and I had an absolute blast.

I saw so many people who I never get to see.

I got to people watch at a convention, which really? Is one of my favorite things to do. The beauty of conventions is that people totally let their id out. Or at least, their inner Spiderman. Or Indiana Jones. Man, there were a lot of Indiana Joneses. And even though I personally have no problem with it, I know many people will be overjoyed to hear that I saw more normally-dressed Princess Leias than Slave Bikini Leias. (Leia choked Jabba with her chain. If that's not owning it, I don't know what is.)

I was pretty impressed with this show. Each year, Reed Exhibitions gets the hang of running a large scale comics convention a little more. They needed more floor space, yeah, but hey, even San Diego could use more floor space. The only problems I saw this year were a shortage of people managers and bad panel scheduling.

A friend of mine was in line to meet Milo Ventimiglia on Saturday, at a booth near Aisle 1500. I stood with her for a bit, and was appalled at both the way the line was completely blocking the aisle we were next to, as well as the sheer rudeness of the people trying to get through. People pushed, shoved, and knocked us with bags, with barely a mumbled apology. I stood with her for a good fifteen minutes, and it was only towards the end of that time when a member of the Con Staff showed up with some volunteers as she struggled to explain line control and traffic management to them. (Really? It's that hard to understand the concept of "Separate the line from here to here so that people can get through"? Seriously, the kids she had with her totally didn't get it.) I'd had enough of that particular shenanigan, so I moved on when the other friend who I'd directed to my location arrived. I have a sneaking suspicion that line control was an issue in a lot of places.

For instance, I also almost got caught in the Saturday 4pm Panel Kerfuffle.

I was hoping to hit the Quickstop Entertainment panel, not for the Kevin Smith content, but to see Jonathan Coulton and Paul & Storm. When I got downstairs to the hallway, I made it only so far before I was told I could go no further. No explanation was given.

I walked around to a different area, and discovered a potentially dangerous situation. The hallway was being blocked off, and the escalators were not running. Behind the escalators was about 20 feet more of hallway, and then walls, and the security team was barking at the amoeba of people I was in to "move back! move back!" This made me nervous, as there were easily about 30 people around me, and not much further back to go. I made the executive decision to go back upstairs to the con floor, because it was too easy to imagine that situation getting worse. I got more nervous on that point when the security guard told me I had to get back as I was trying to get around the escalator to walk back up on it. Thankfully, he let me pass when I said that was my intent, but well, that could have gone pretty badly, you know?

I didn't find out what had caused the problem--bad panel management--until today. Much as NYCC wants to be, it's not SDCC yet. I'm not sure it can ever fully be so. I don't know the full offerings of the Javits Center, but it doesn't seem to have its own version of Hall H or Ballroom 20. One of the saving graces of the SD Convention Center is that by having several such large spaces, it removes a few thousand people from the traffic flows with each panel. Furthermore, the center's staff, as well as the convention's staff have traffic flow down to a science. I know that neither the Javits' nor the convention's staff have the experience to handle that yet. The larger issue, however, is that I'm not sure that the Javits even has the layout for such specialized crown management. You can't simply just go in one door and exit the other side like in San Diego.

So uh...I guess maybe scheduling two "Women in ______" panels against each other was the least of the worries?

Friday, April 18, 2008


Soon, it will be out the door with me!

If you see a 5' brunette with a red stapler tote bag, hey! That'll be me!

Feel free to say hi. :)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cute, NY Comic Con. Very Cute.

Due to a good news/bad news sort of turn of events, I will be able to attend lots more of next weekend's convention than originally planned.

In perusing the schedule, I noticed something that really isn't cool.

Friday, April 18th
5pm - 6pm Room 1E07
Women in Comics

Friday, April 18th
5pm - 6pm Room 1E15
Women in Fantasy and Science Fiction

I see.

Well, given that I am not a time traveler, a Time Lord, nor in possession of a Time Turner, it looks like I'll have to choose. I know I certainly can't be the only person who wants to go to both.

Scheduling these panels against each other severely divides their attendance. Obviously, many conventions have panels which compete with each other. That being said, why, in this climate of "Bringing The Womens Into The Comics/Genre/Fandom," would they do this?

The really ugly thing about this is that when programming gets planned next year, one or both of those panels may get cut due to low attendance. I hope the panels are next door to each other, otherwise I'm going to get really tired running back and forth.

I'm also slightly perturbed by the creative choice to list "Fantasy" before "Science Fiction" in the title for that panel. Given that the "generally accepted" shorthand is "SF/F" or "Science Fiction and Fantasy," why list Fantasy first? Alphabetically? Somehow, I think no.

I'm glad both of these panels are happening. I just wish it didn't come with another example of "What? We gave you panels, what more do you want?"

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate

A friend of mine whose blog I read linked to this article. I don't think I have ever been so appalled by someone who, initially, I would want to agree with.

I was almost willing to go along with the essayist's ideas until she started saying Joss Whedon rapes his wife. Yes, she really said that. And not just once, but several times, both in her essay, and in the comments.

"Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Joss uses his own wife in this way," from the essay.

"I feel awful for Joss Whedon's wife. From what I've read about him and the interviews I've watched, I'm fairly certain that he rapes his wife and abuses her in various other ways." from this comment

These are the most tasteless, baseless, unnecessary statements ever put in an essay. If she was so bent on focusing on the pilot episode--something she asserts in the comments, why throw that in there? It is an ad hominem attack, even ignoring how inappropriate it is.

"What the fuck is this feminist man trying to say about women here? A black woman calling a white man ‘sir’. A white male captain who abuses and silences his female crew, with no consequences. The women are HAPPY to be abused. They enjoy it. What does this say about women, Joss? What does this say about you? Do you tell your wife to shut up? Do you threaten to duct tape her mouth? Lock her in the bedroom? Is this funny to you, Joss? Because it sure as fuck ain’t funny to me."

If I tilt my head to the right and squint a little, I can see her argument about the racist and sexist take on the Mal/Zoe/Wash thing, as well as the Kaylee thing. But just because I can see it, doesn't mean I agree with it. At no point in the series or the movie, do I get the impression Zoe would put up with an ounce of disrespect from either man, directed at her or anyone else.

I find it very disingenuous that the essayist totally glosses over the fact that the reason Zoe is "violent," and the reason she calls Mal "sir," is because she is a soldier. During the war and on Serenity, Mal is her superior. These facts have nothing to do with his maleness or her skin color.

Lastly, I found her take on Inara and the Companions thoroughly repugnant. She went past hating sex work, and straight to hating sex workers, which is really unconscionable. According to her profile, all comments to her journal which are pro-porn or pro-prostitution will be immediately deleted. Likewise, she says in a later comment, "I would argue that most 'sex' between men and women, in the contemporary 'sex-positive', pornographic, male-supremacist culture, is rape."

This kind of radicalism completely ignores the real world. Yes, there are men who rape. Yes, there are men who emotionally leech from the women around them. Yes, there are men who oppress, and hate, and restrict. But not all men do. Moreover, not all men do so out of an inherent misogyny, but because of an indoctrinated cultural setting that can be unlearned.

I don't believe this woman can conceptualize a man striving to reframe his world view.

Ironically enough, from everything I know of him, that is exactly what Joss Whedon tries to do. Whatever this woman's interpretation of the Whedonverse is, the fact is, he has written the majority of the strong female characters that have graced the small screen in the last fifteen years. This is a man who, whatever of his she may disagree with, consistently proved that a show with a female lead could have staying power. Whatever critiques someone may have about his reliance on archetypes, I never felt for a second that he didn't try to set those same archetypes on their ears.

Joss Whedon is a man who has done everything in his power to present strong, intelligent female lead characters, and to support the female characters of other creators. To call him a misogynist--not even going near the other accusations laid at his feet--is grossly innaccurate.

A phallus is not automatically a weapon. The act of sex is not automatically an act of violence. Context is everything. If you go looking for misogyny, in any and all works, you will find it. But don't go marking things as misogynist that aren't.

And for the love of all that's holy, don't go around saying someone rapes their wife because you disagree with them. That's just not okay.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Yeah, I Don't Know About This

Queen Latifah is the new Jenny Craig spokesperson.


1) When I think of the words "gorgeous" and "glamorous," Queen Latifah is one of the first women who comes to mind.

2) Jenny Craig is one of the programs that require you to buy their food. That has never made sense to me.

In both the linked article, and her TV spot, "...a healthier lifestyle, not on getting onto a specific dress size" are the focus.

Call me cynical, but that's no better than Weight Watchers' "Diets are Mean" ad campaign. You can spin it all you want, but it's still a diet! (And one that worked very well for myself, my mother, and many of my closest friends. I want to emphasize that, because I realize I've come across as very anti-WW lately, and I need to fix that.)

Seriously, though. If Queen Latifah wanted to raise awareness for diabetes or "a healthier lifestyle," I feel like there are better channels through which to work. Even Weight Watchers, if associating herself with a weight loss program was her aim. That being said, I can understand feeling that this would be a more accessible conduit for her message. If that was her reasoning, then excellent. If not? I'd be very, very surprised.

Saturday, March 08, 2008


Echo #1

Due to various life things, I haven't been to the comic book store in a couple of weeks. I know, I know, bad geek!

I was sure to go this week, however, because Terry Moore's new book, Echo, debuted!

I cannot wait to see where he goes with this story. It's so exciting to see him writing action/adventure after so many years of romance. (Although the I Dream of You arc and related storylines definitely fell under the "detective/shoot-em-up" category.)

The art is, as ever, crisp and evocative, and the writing is intelligent and well-paced.

Admittedly, the set-up of Julie Martin's life (lonely, not signing the divorce papers, debt, etc) is something we've seen before. However, I trust the "person with sucky life experiences extreme, fantastical life change" trope in Terry Moore's hands.

The character that jumped off the page for me was Park Ranger Dillon Murphy. He seems to be a different sort of male character than I've seen Moore write, so I'm looking forward to seeing what he does. (Though, Moore may have been flexing those muscles working on Spiderman Loves Mary Jane?)

In short, this is an exciting debut issue, and has set the stage for an exciting new comic.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Erm, You Sure You Want To Be On Film With That?

You know, Teen Starlets who have nude photo scandals probably shouldn't do commercials like these:

That said, I though Vanessa Hudgens had nothing to be ashamed of or to apologize for. I just wish I could have been there for this pitch meeting...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

You Stay Classy

BWE knocks it out of the park...again.

The title of the piece is "let's all try to be classy about this." And it's a letter, honest to God, pleading with the media, its/their mother's milk, to be respectful about Heath Ledger's death.

Way to go, BWE. I fucking love you guys.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It's Called *Comic* Con.

Here's an article about how the Writer's Strike could hurt Comic-Con. (via The Comics Reporter)

Up front: I hope the Writer's Strike is resolved soon. An unbelievable amount of people and businesses are suffering financially because of it. Entire related industries are drying up because movies and shows aren't being produced. This is a serious economic problem.

That being said...

If the Strike affects numbers at Comic Con, I won't be disappointed. I'm not one of the people who feels that Hollywood is "ruining" Comic Con--I've only been to two of them, I'm really unqualified to make that assertion. However, my informal opinion is that having a lesser presence will improve several Con problems.

1. Congestion. The heaviest congestion day on the main floor, from what I saw, was Sunday. Why? Because Thursday through Saturday, you had several thousand people off the floor at all times. You had huge numbers in the big ballrooms, and you had equal, if not greater numbers of people waiting in lines to get into the next panel in those same rooms. This cleared up the floor considerably. None of the big panels were held on Sunday, so all of those people went to the floor--many for the first time all weekend, I'd conjecture.

2. Sales. This is really just conjecture on my part, but go with me on it for a second: If more people at the con are there for comics-related things, more comics-related things will be purchased. Additionally, because fewer people there for Hollywood will buy memberships, there will be more memberships available for comics-oriented attendees.

3. Tone. As I said above, I've only been to two Comic Cons. The difference between the two, though, was palpable. That may have as much to do with the upsurge in genre movies and television shows between 2006 and 2007, but the result was the same: so much more attention being paid to the shows and movies, less to the comics.

4. Hotel Room Availability & Price. This is the big one, kids. The cost of going to Con has skyrocketed. In 2006, my boyfriend and I stayed in The Days Inn Gaslamp. The sign on the door said our room--a very small smoking room whose promised wireless didn't work--was $99 a night. The other night, I called to book a room there again, just as a backup, in case the rush to book rooms totally fouls up this year. The room, the same room, was $400 a night. That's a 400% increase! In two years! That's absurd. And even though more hotels go up each year, this is a situation that will only ever get worse as Comic Con grows.

Once again, I'd like to see the Strike resolved as quickly and amicably as possible. But I also can't help but hope that if it does continue, it makes it a little easier and less expensive to go to San Diego this July.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Australian Backlash Against Brazilian Waxing Marketed to The Tween Set.

Um, yeah. I'd hope so!

God love (or hate) you if you even had pubes at ten. No, really.

And I say this as a person who shaved their legs incredibly early. I Nair'd for the first time at 10. Too young, you say?

Consider this: My legs looked like those of a chimp. Why? Because I'd had major surgery, and was in a body cast for three months. My mom got vitamin E strips to place on the scars, but they had to be stuck on with bandaids. I still can't listen to the Unplugged version of "Layla" and not think of that morning, wincing as I pulled each bandaid off, trying not to scream as all those hairs were pulled with them. (That song was on heavy rotation on the radio that year.)

The following March, we were going to Florida for spring break. Yeah, as a ten year old, no one would be looking at my legs. But I was still a blonde with thick black hair and stubble on my legs, and I was really self conscious about it. Moreso than the scars, to be perfectly honest.

A friend of my grandmother's was scandalized, even when she heard the reason. My mom shrugged her off. (Note: My mom also let me use an excessive amount of Sun-In right before I'd had the surgery. I was pretty indulged that year. I also looked like a raccoon two months later.)

But really, bikini area depilation? Before 14? Aw, hell no. Once you've got 'em, do whatever you want with 'em. I know I was more concerned about stray hairs and bathing suits long before I was concerned about what an "activity" partner thought.

Of course, you have to wax if you're going to wear your A&F tween thong, right?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


And so, it has begun. Red, blue, liberal, conservative, neo-con, paleo-con (thanks, Todd!), et al.

Actually, it really began about a year ago, but now it's on like Donkey Kong.

I've been really enjoying James Grant's hyper aggressive (I mean this in a good way!) efforts to educate people. He just posted an excellent link, and I'm going to share it with you all.


Simple, elegant, and informative.


I haven't decided who I want to vote for yet. I'm just enjoying the madness for now.