June 29, 2012

Aaron Sorkin vs. Internet Girl

If you call a journalist "Internet girl" in the middle of an interview, and generally treat her like an entertainment industry hack moron, people are probably going to notice.
  • This article's almost a week old, but somehow I missed it - my loss. The Globe and Mail's Sarah Nicole Prickett on "How to get under Aaron Sorkin's skin".
  • And there's a good follow-up on Jezebel right here, by Katie J.M. Baker.
Now I adore Sorkin's writing. I think he's the best television writer in America today. I drink his snappy dialogue and his fiery didactic monologues like someone dying of thirst in a desert. This doesn't mean I don't think he's perfect (he's not), or that he doesn't deserve every walloping he gets for being an asinine sexist jerk from time to time (he is).
  • Finally, if you want to actually read some Aaron Sorkin, here's a link to his Oscar-winning screenplay The Social Network. It's great stuff.
  • EDIT: There's a good article just up at Dark Matter here, which follows on from this brief post in more length. Check it out.

June 27, 2012

Three links.

  • Jon Morris has developed some striking trade dress for DC's Archive Editions, which currently boast a horrible pin-striped layout that looks pretty terrible. I'd buy these in a shot, but sadly they're not real. Yet. DC, pay attention!
  • A group of independent cartoonists and comic artists are unofficially updating the art of the Index of the Marvel Universe. It reminds me of that indie-style issue of Generation X that Marvel let Jim Mahfood create some years back.
  • This is a great article about Google's Daniel Russell explaining how to research more effectively using Google.

June 26, 2012

The alternative Silurian

When Steven Moffat took over as executive producer of Doctor Who, his arrival coincided with a company-wide string of budget cuts across the BBC. As a result, many aspects of the fifth season (Matt Smith's first) were trimmed, downsized and otherwise abandoned. The one that always made me a bit sad was how these cuts affected Chris Chibnall's two-part story "The Hungry Earth"/"Cold Blood".

This story re-introduced the Silurians to the series. They had appeared twice before: in 1970 opposite Jon Pertwee and in 1984 opposite Peter Davison. I always liked the design. Sadly for their new series debut the budget cuts meant that, rather than full prosthetic masks and rubber-suited bodies, the Silurians were by necessity re-imagined with humanoid faces and clothing.

The image attached to this post comes from The Brilliant Book 2011, and shows what we could have had, if the BBC hadn't cut the series budget so savagely (I read once it was a 40% across the board cut, but don't know if that's true). Such marvellous design work. Such a dreadful shame.

June 14, 2012

Is this the worst comic book cover of the year?

In my previous entry on Wonder Woman's costume, I suggested that it was the manner in which a character is drawn is a more significant driver of misogyny than the design of the costume itself. A case in point has conveniently arisen with Guillem March's widely derided cover to September's Catwoman #0. I'm no expert of human anatomy, but I feel relatively secure in suggesting that this pose is not physically possible. Or, at least, it's not possible without removing spines.

The "see my butt and my boobs" pose is becoming an endemic problem in popular culture - not solely in comic book art but in movie posters as well. It represents a pinnacle for exploitation imagery of female characters, rendering them entirely as sexual objects. I don't know about you, but I'm feeling rather tired of seeing potentially strong, positive characters stripped down (sometimes literally) to nothing more than magnets for 14 year-old boys - and the 14 year-olds at heart.

I've e-mailed DC Comics about my dissatisfaction with this kind of art. Hopefully others will too. I like Catwoman. I'm a big fan of the character. While DC keeps giving me art like this, however, I'm happy to stick with my back issues.

June 12, 2012

On Wonder Woman's costume

Over the weekend I spoke on a few panel discussions at Continuum 8, the national Australian science fiction convention. One of those panels was "Where Are All the Wonder Women?", focusing on the perceived (and in many cases actual) lack of strong, iconic female characters among American comic books. As the panel's title may suggest, Wonder Woman was brought up - and as with all discussions around Diana, talk quickly shifted to her costume. On a superficial level, the discussion these days seems to boil down to "Wonder Woman: pants or no pants?" I didn't really go into my opinions too much on that panel, but I've been thinking about it in the days since and figured it was worth writing them down.