Polter-Cow (spectralbovine) wrote,

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We're Only Young and Naive Still

Lee Thompson Young, Disney Channel's "Jett Jackson," Dead At 29.

This is fucking horrible and so fucking sad, I'm almost crying. I loved him on The Famous Jett Jackson, and I was so happy to see him show up on FlashForward, and I don't know a thing about his personal life, but what the fuck.

I make jokes about killing myself all the time, but I always forget how brutal it is for the people you leave behind. Even if they don't even know you.

Chicks Dig Comics: A Celebration of Comic Books by the Women Who Love Them, edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Sigrid Ellis, makes a statement that shouldn't need to be made but clearly does: chicks dig comics. The book is a celebration of comics and the women who love them, as the subtitle reads, and it's an incredibly strong collection, with hardly a dud among the the 25 essays and 5 interviews, which is truly impressive.

The majority of the essays take the form of personal stories about how this chick learned to dig comics. What was fascinating was the common themes that emerged throughout the book, the recurring mentions of Kitty Pryde and Jean Grey, the influence of Sandman, the impact of the Dark Phoenix Saga, and so on. The personal stories form a tapestry of the history of comics and their impact on these young women. It was sad to see each growing girl run into the "Girls don't like comics" phenomenon despite quite clearly loving comics, yet it was heartening to read tales of comic book store owners who supported and nurtured their love. Each individual story has something worthwhile and unique about it, and although from a holistic viewpoint, it got kind of repetitive, I never actually got tired of reading them.

A few essays deal with cosplay and cosplay culture, and a couple are critical examinations of specific comics (these felt out of place, even though I had initially expected more such pieces). I was surprised that weren't more pieces really biting into the male-dominated culture and examining comics and comics culture from a feminist viewpoint; most pieces acknowledged that things had definitely improved, though we still had a ways to go, and left it at that. It does make for a more uplifting book.

The interviews with Alisa Bendis, Amanda Conner, Greg Rucka, Terry Moore, and Louise Simonsen give nice insights into the industry. They speak pretty candidly and have good stories to share.

Overall, this is a pretty fantastic read for any comics fan, if only for recommendations. Some essays end prematurely, but very few wear out their welcome. I could have used more variety, but that's not to say the book is boring. I loved the writers who took a more creative take on the personal essay format, but those with more straightforward tales also told compelling stories.

Chicks dig comics? After reading this, anyone would dig comics.

Chicks Unravel Time: Women Journey Through Every Season of Doctor Who, edited by Deborah Stanish and L.M. Myles,does just what it says on the cover: 33 women write about all 33 seasons of Doctor Who. On the surface, this seems like an interesting idea, but what it means is that it is nigh impossible for someone to truly appreciate the whole book unless they have seen all 33 seasons of Doctor Who. Having only seen New Who, I understood the pieces about those seasons the best, but the essays about the older seasons did pique my interest in certain stories, episodes, and Companions. The topics are fairly varied, with authors focusing on everything from David Tennant's bum to the musical score, but it felt like the vast majority of the pieces were an analysis of each episode in the season as it related to whatever theme she was extracting from it. Overall, the book is a mixed bag, but it did give me a strong appreciation for the strengths of every single season of the show. I'm far more interested in watching the older stuff now!
Tags: books, comics, doctor who, personal, pimpings
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