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erstwhile comix fiend... Below are the 12 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Philippos Fourty-Two" journal:

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October 8th, 2015
07:21 am


Guess who got married.
So, apparently Mars just got married five days ago. Unless there's another Mars Getsoian.

Also, apparently, she is the only person I have in circles on Google+, which is exceedingly strange. I did not find out that she got married on Google+. I never use Google+, and I don't remember finding her name there before and adding her, but clearly I did.

I just did a garden-variety search for her name, and was surprised to see a result from the last week. Also I am surprised to see that 'Mars Getsoian' is the name she's still using.

Well, congratulations.

This entry was originally posted at http://philippos42.dreamwidth.org/146472.html, where Russian botspam is a rarity.

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September 24th, 2015
10:33 pm


Your morality is part of society's health.
Also there was a question on "Why be moral?" (here) and a short discussion to which I sort of tried to contribute.

I'm copying my own answer to remember it, even if I'm not thrilled with it:
Socrates said that the question of why one should be good was as silly as the question of why one should be healthy.

Goodness is part of wisdom: understanding the world outside one's own mind, understanding consequences, and understanding that you giving a damn can make others' lives better even after your life inevitably decays away. Your morality is part of society's health.

In line with what Case said above, a lot of "right" and "wrong" is pragmatically socially constructed. What we call right and wrong is partly what society has come up with that works. It's pro-social, and not entirely arbitrary. (There is more to it than that. There is morality beyond social convention, and persons can disagree on morality without being amoral.)

Now, someone can be a free rider, so long as they get away with it.

This entry was originally posted at http://philippos42.dreamwidth.org/146266.html, where Russian botspam is a rarity.


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10:09 pm


"Re: If I wanted to get into comic books..."
From Fandom!Secrets: "If I wanted to get into comic books..."
Where should I start? I'm aware of superheroes and horror as genres, and I'm generally open to both of those. I just don't want to jump in the middle of a storyline and be all confused. Googling did not help me decide. Help.
I got in late, but agreed with the generic answer of more self-contained graphic novels. My post was just a bunch of recommendations:

Nightschool by Svetlana Chmakova is supernatural action-adventure in an urban fantasy/horror world. Some people might be annoyed by the ending, and it has a lot of less developed characters which may make it hard on some readers, but there's some clever stuff.

Human Target: Chance Meetings by Peter Milligan and Edvin Biuković (Sorry for the Amazon link; I am not recommending you buy from Amazon.) I just reread this last night. It's too British in places; some of the characters are parodies of Americans rather than Americans, if that makes sense. There are some bad-but-minor plot holes in the third chapter; one because someone chose to cut and transition to another scene at a striking moment instead of showing the embarrassing seconds afterward. So, it's more of a mess than I remembered. But Edvin Biuković did a pretty solid job on the art, and it both has some trippy psychological stuff and manages to untie it and get to a surprisingly unambiguous ending. (I think.)
There are more Milligan Human Target stories, but I haven't read them. Here's a review: http://www.shinyshelf.com/2011/03/22/peter-milligan-human-target/

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi: Not superheroes, not horror, just a memoir of an Iranian girl in the time of the rise of the Islamic Republic.

Of the superheroes, I like Captain Marvel, the current one, "Carol" to her fans. In the last few years, they've changed the artists, they've restarted the numbering a few times, and there's one issue that's just part of an X-Men crossover. So...you should probably get the trades (that is, trade paperback collections), anyway: I started with the issues collected as "Higher, Further, Faster, More," which is the most recent "volume one" until the next "volume one." Honestly, their packaging is terrible. But these issues aren't terribly crossover-heavy, thankfully, and Kelly Sue DeConnick and David Lopez are really cool. (And...I think they're off the book as of this November and the fourth #1 in three years.)

[Note: If you follow Carol, know that "Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps" is...really weird. I think it's still coming out in floppy form, so I don't know what it's going to be collected as. But it's part of the "There is only Secret Wars" hot mess that Marvel got into this year, and so...it's particularly surreal for a Carol story.]

And then, and then, Rocket Girl by Brandon Montclare & Amy Reeder is an Image Comics series with time travel and stuff, and I like it, but I think the creators are having a really hard time financially. I'm supposed to have a trade of it by now, and I don't know what happened.

Oh, also Yotsuba&!. Always.

This entry was originally posted at http://philippos42.dreamwidth.org/146135.html, where Russian botspam is a rarity.

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August 25th, 2015
11:02 pm


Kitty Pryde and the camisole
Not long ago, I had a conversation about how comic book artists draw women.

More precisely, yesterday an acquaintance made a crack about superheroine bust sizes. And I said some variation on what I often say, that's just an artist's shorthand, whatever. Also some artists are kind of silly. I usually take it in stride.

Today, I was looking at these scans from Legendary Star-Lord. I am suddenly bugged by Kitty's bust size in this issue. Has Medina been drawing her that way along and I just now noticed because of the outfit? Is she sticking out her chest?

I got weirdly angry about it.

So, I looked at some other scans. Yes, Medina draws her that way. The concept art for the new GotG doesn't so much, I think. It's a stupid minor thing.

Her chest is not badly drawn. It's realistic enough. It's roughly in line with other artists. It just suddenly seemed "off" to me. I dug out some All-New Doop issues. Yeah, OK, not that different; I guess I was remembering wrong.

So, a smart remark about cartoon breasts in general somehow led me to get bothered on an artist who's actually drawing them well?



This entry was originally posted at http://philippos42.dreamwidth.org/145848.html, where Russian botspam is a rarity.

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August 5th, 2015
05:56 pm


Al Rio and Fever Moon
Recently, I found a graphic album of something called Fever Moon at the public library. It had art by the late Al Rio, so I checked it out. When I finally, weeks later, sat down to read it, the author's foreword surprised me:
Karen Marie Moning:
When Del Rey told me I could pick my artist, it was a done deal. I would have written anything to get a chance to work with Al Rio, whose art I've long admired.
Fever Moon ended up being more than I'd hoped for, but the path to completion was difficult, and not everyone survived. We lost Al Rio along the way....
So this was some of his last work, and he didn't even finish it. Wow.

This hit me.

I had long harbored an idle fantasy of writing Wonder Woman, and in that fantasy I wanted Al to draw it. I figured he'd pull me back. I'd write a script where Diana's in civvies, he'd put her in the costume, probably with the booty shorts that show the bottom of her buttocks. I'd want to be kind of off-kilter, he'd bring the book back to a classic superhero look. Stuff like that.

I think Al dying in 2012 was one of the things (alongside my own clear inability to actually write a decent Wonder Woman story, and DC basically telling entire fandoms of its characters to get lost with the New 52 revamp) that made me just give up on the idea and move on.

And here I was reading the book he was working on before he died--and which he never finished. So it was kind of like mourning.

This entry was originally posted at http://philippos42.dreamwidth.org/145633.html, where Russian botspam is a rarity.

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05:55 pm


New comics
Got to the comic shop yesterday to get a copy of Diamond Previews before they sold out.

For all that I keep worrying about my budget, I had just one comic from my pull list waiting.

Oh, well, I could have just taken that and been done, but I decided to look at the racks. I picked up the last copies of the last two issues of the Edmondson/Noto Black Widow, as if I actually have $8 to spare. That was dumb.


This entry was originally posted at http://philippos42.dreamwidth.org/145370.html, where Russian botspam is a rarity.

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July 23rd, 2015
06:46 pm


My LCS has an iffy relationship with my comic-book orders
I'm back from my local comic shop. They seem to have an iffy relationship with my orders, but the proprietor is trying.

Last week I mentioned that I didn't get the second issue of an miniseries I'm following (and not naming here, apparently).
Today he handed me the second and fourth issues. "And do you have this one?"
"No, not yet."
OK, so it looks like I'm caught up on that one.

I asked about Brandon Graham's Island Magazine, which I had ordered the first issue of and not gotten. He said that they'd sold out. (But I'd pre-ordered it because they sell out of things.)
He found a copy. So I guess I have someone else's copy and he'll have to re-order it for them.

He also handed me the second issue of Prez, a series which I had wanted to order and chickened out on for budgetary reasons, but as of last week I am starting (with #4) to pre-order.

And an issue of Sensation Comics, which technically I'm not pre-ordering anymore. I guess I could have handed it back, but oh well, I took it. That four dollars gets me close to the end of my money for the month, so I didn't get a Diamond Previews. Maybe I should have gotten that instead. Then again, this issue has a Georges Jeanty story, which sounds cool, and it's #12, so if I switch to the trade paperbacks (which means waiting even longer for stuff that came out earlier in digital format) it'll probably be in a trade with one I already have? I don't know.

So far I've read Prez #2. And there's a "Preston Rickard" who apparently is this timeline's Prez Rickard? Wow, cool! This is maybe-fix-the-scanner stuff.

(Oh, and like three pages of the miniseries--which I may talk about when it's finished? I don't know.)

I don't know if I'll ever see the Rocket Girl and Yostuba&! albums I ordered a few months ago.

This entry was originally posted at http://philippos42.dreamwidth.org/144939.html, where Russian botspam is a rarity.

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June 4th, 2015
09:53 pm


So, what I take from this, is David Walker is writing Cyborg, and I may want to look at that.
My response (could probably be better) to this piece: https://themiddlespaces.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/humanity-not-included/
Interesting and partially persuasive points. I think you're trying a little too hard to force a pattern here. But I agree that DC is a terribly conservative company in some ways, and their output reflects that.

I'm bothered by your attempt to condemn any echo of the Huck/Jim relationship. Surely the intended audience is the large proportion of the potential market who are white and not from great economic privilege? They are likely to identify with Huck (less so with Gar and Dick from the Teen Titans, who are wealthy). Huck's relationship with Jim humanizes Jim for them. That's not playing to a black perspective, no, but it's not a bad thing.

I'm not sure what you expect a "radicalized black person with superpowers" to do, in the Justice League. Maybe be some kind of "scary black" antagonist? Or perhaps be recast as the "social justice warrior" wet blanket on the team, as Geoff Johns used to write Wonder Woman?

Would I like a little more social awareness in the Justice League comics? Yes, of course I would. I would like to see them hire a new writer, who doesn't see "29-year-old white male mesomorph with a generic action-hero personality" as both default and necessary majority. But writing Cyborg better should be possible in this framework. A David Walker series may be a step in the right direction. I'm not optimistic, but I think I leave more room for subtle progress than you do.

This entry was originally posted at http://philippos42.dreamwidth.org/144599.html, where Russian botspam is a rarity.

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April 20th, 2015
07:22 pm


Not Greek nor a tragedy
I've probably said part of this before, back when Rucka was writing Wonder Woman, but I'll say it again. Wonder Woman is not a "Greek tragedy," nor are the Amazons in Wonder Woman meant to be "consistent with their portrayal in Greek mythology," whatever "Greek mythology" means.

Wonder Woman is a modern pop-culture concept, and if anything an American concept. Wonder Woman was created by two Americans, as a kind of feminist children's-fantasy hero. The book uses pseudo-classical tropes, but if you try to make it thematically match Ovid, or Hesiod, or Homer, you may be missing the point. Wonder Woman doesn't get "more correct" for getting closer to ancient Attic culture, or to whatever you think "real" classical mythology is supposed to be, let alone some simplistic stereotype.

And Wondy's Amazons are not meant to be sinister enemies, according to Marston and Peter's design.

As for association of Greeks with tragedy, remember that "comedy" is a Greek word too. In any case, Wondy (who is a product of American pop culture and not exactly any kind of real-world Greek) inhabits a different genre mix, one of light heroic fantasy—or a sort of "comic opera" approach in between Calliope and Thalia.

The present focus on grim and messed-up Amazons gets the Wonder Woman property wrong. I also think Rucka's "tragic" approach got it wrong—and maybe it got what it means to be Greek, or indeed what it means to be human, wrong.

Don't blame the ancient Greeks for your drek. If you make the book super-grim, that's on you.

This entry was originally posted at http://philippos42.dreamwidth.org/144326.html, where Russian botspam is a rarity.


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March 11th, 2015
10:30 pm


Howard the Duck #1
New Howard the Duck #1, page 7: "You mean she's a weirdo, like me. Incredibly sexy, like me."
I decide I'll get this series regularly.

About the middle of the book: I hope they don't rely too much on cameos of other Marvel characters.

After p. 12 there was a double-page spread ad for the new end-of-all-things CrisisCrossover, looking very ugly and macho.

Then a new character on p.16: "I gather unique items and species for the Collector to safeguard when the universe is destroyed."

End of the book: So much for that NYC private eye set-up and supporting cast, he's in space with Rocket Raccoon now. I am disappointed and much less interested.

Oh, well, I buy too many comics anyway.

This entry was originally posted at http://philippos42.dreamwidth.org/144027.html, where Russian botspam is a rarity.

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February 27th, 2015
01:02 pm


I haven't posted here for 5 weeks, yikes.

Still buying comics, but running out of money.

This entry was originally posted at http://philippos42.dreamwidth.org/143772.html, where Russian botspam is a rarity.

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January 22nd, 2015
01:43 am


I just posted a lot on Tumblr ranting about something, which started with me telling someone else to chill out. And I may come back and add more to that later. And I can lose so many friends in the process.

Argh, whatever.

And then, full of crabby self-righteousness, I left five comments on an scans_daily post griping about that. I kind of expected Marvel was up to something in the vein of a Crisis Crossover. I maybe just needed to have a venue to gripe about it.

And hey, I'm not imagining it, Dreamwidth did change the tag display on entries!

This entry was originally posted at http://philippos42.dreamwidth.org/143481.html, where Russian botspam is a rarity.

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