Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

Happy International Women’s Day 2014!

March 8, 2014

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Today is the 103rd International Women’s Day, a day to both celebrate the many achievements of women and to address the myriad limitations and oppressive situations that women continue to face all over the world.  The United Nations’ theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is “Equality for Women is Progress for All,” and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon dropped some knowledge in his annual message:

Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth.  Companies with more women leaders perform better.  Peace agreements that include women are more durable.  Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support.

The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all.

He ended with a clear call to action that declared equal rights for women are the responsibility of all:

A baby girl born today will still face inequality and discrimination, no matter where her mother lives.  We have a common obligation to ensure her right to live free from the violence that affects one in three women globally; to earn equal pay for equal work; to be free of the discrimination that prevents her from participating in the economy; to have an equal say in the decisions that affect her life; and to decide if and when she will have children, and how many she will have.

I have a message for every girl born today, and to every woman and girl on the planet: realizing human rights and equality is not a dream, it is a duty of Governments, the United Nations and every human being.

I also have a message for my fellow men and boys: play your part.  All of us benefit when women and girls — your mothers, sisters, friends and colleagues — can reach their full potential.

Together, let us work for women’s rights, empowerment and gender equality as we strive to eliminate poverty and promote sustainable development.  Equality for women is progress for all!

When Wonder Woman was first created, she leaped past equality and instead advocated for the superiority of women; she was created as a harbinger of what William Moulton Marston thought was an inevitable matriarchal revolution.  However, with time she’s become a symbol for equality, especially when Ms. magazine made Wonder Woman a feminist icon in the early 1970s.  Since then, Wonder Woman and equality have gone hand in hand:

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Wonder Woman’s also become a symbol for a different kind of equality through this great, iconic image by Glen Hanson that celebrated marriage equality:

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Progress towards equality for women is being made every day, but there’s still lot of work left to do.  You can learn much more at the UN’s International Women’s Day website, as well as at www.internationalwomensday.com.

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Homemade Superhero Christmas Tree Ornaments

December 23, 2013

It’s very nearly Christmas, so things will be pretty quiet around here this week, but before I get too wrapped up in festive fun I thought I’d post these Christmas tree ornaments I made.  I went to Target a couple weeks back to try to buy some, but a) they were out of Wonder Woman, and b) the remaining ornaments they had looked really cheap.  So I made my own!  I used a cool paper rolling technique I found online and added some of my favourite art from my favourite comics, and here’s what I came up with:

A Hawkeye ornament, with David Aja cover art:

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Some Jim Lee Batman, from All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, I think:

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Felipe Andrade’s Captain Marvel:

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An Ed McGuinness Superman:

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A Cliff Chiang Wonder Woman, of course:

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A New 52 Batgirl from an Adam Hughes cover:

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Lois Lane and Superman, by Gary Frank:

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A really cool Superman and Batman piece by Michael Cho:

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A pink Wonder Woman for my mom:

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More Cliff Chiang Wonder Woman:

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Fiona Staples’ The Will and Lying Cat from Saga:

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They were fun and easy to make, and now my tree is way cooler and nerdier.  And sort of exclusive; I doubt there are many Christmas trees out there rocking a Lying Cat ornament.

So happy holidays everyone!  Enjoy your various celebrations.  If you’re still looking for some last minute gifts, I know a good book you can pre-order.  Just make them a nice gift certificate.  Heck, if you actually pre-order my book for someone this Christmas, I’LL make you a gift certificate you can print out.  Just tell me in the comments and I’ll get on it right away.  Happy holidays!

No Female Characters In McDonald’s Beware The Batman Happy Meal Toys

September 4, 2013

happymealThis is just getting ridiculous.  Since starting this blog a couple years back, I’ve done four different posts about the complete lack of female characters in McDonald’s Happy Meal toy lines based on DC characters.  This will be the fifth, with their new Beware the Batman line.

Before we get to that, let’s do a quick recap.  First, a series of Young Justice toys in March 2011 only included male characters, despite the team prominently featuring several female members:

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Their multitudinous Batman: The Brave and the Bold toy line didn’t fare any better in May 2011:

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Almost a year later, the Green Lantern: The Animated Series toy collection had no ladies at all:

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And then in November 2012 we got a second Young Justice line that again ignored the show’s many female character’s:

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Now McDonald’s is set to launch a Beware the Batman toy line, based on the new Cartoon Network show.  Not surprisingly, there are no gals whatsoever.  In fact, there’s only one guy, over and over:

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We all love Batman, of course, but that’s a lot of Batman.  Who does a toy line with only one character?  How are you supposed to play with those?  You need sidekicks and villains so you can make your own awesome stories.

Speaking of sidekicks, Batman’s main sidekick in the show is Katana, a female character.  She’s on all the posters and everything, and she’s really cool.  She’s got a sword even!  But no, it’s just Batman, and McDonald’s already has a second line of toys for girls anyway, based on The Wizard of Oz:

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Which oddly enough actually features some male characters.  Half of the “girl” line are males, while none of the “boy” line is.

That McDonald’s regularly features two different lines based on some rather stereotypical and reductive concepts of gender is annoying enough, but the complete lack of female representation in their superhero-based toys is just dumb.  Notice how the Wizard of Oz toys include the male characters that feature prominently in the story, while ALL of their superhero lines exclude the many female characters who are key parts of each program.  You’ve got to go out of your way to not include a single female character over five different lines of superhero toys. They’re really hard to miss, but it seems that DC and McDonald’s have learned how to expertly turn a blind eye.  It shouldn’t be so hard to get a female superhero with your chicken nuggets.

Blog Mini-Vacation

August 6, 2013

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My vacationiong would be a hundred times cooler with those flip flops.

I’ve got some family in town, and lots of activities involving them and traipsing around the province, so the blog will be pretty quiet this week.  I’ll be back next week with the usual Wonder Woman fun, and if any major news breaks I’ll do my best to cover it.  Should DC Comics suddenly announce they’re bringing back Sensation Comics or Warner Bros. announce a Wonder Woman movie, I’ll return with full coverage.  So in other words, I’ll see you next week!

Happy International Women’s Day 2013!!

March 8, 2013

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Today is the 102nd International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate the achievements of women while continuing to fight to improve the lives of women the world over.  Every year the United Nations picks a theme for International Women’s Day, and this year it’s “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women.”  Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon explains in his annual message:

As we commemorate International Women’s Day, we must look back on a year of shocking crimes of violence against women and girls and ask ourselves how to usher in a better future.

One young woman was gang-raped to death. Another committed suicide out of a sense of shame that should have attached to the perpetrators. Young teens were shot at close range for daring to seek an education.

These atrocities, which rightly sparked global outrage, were part of a much larger problem that pervades virtually every society and every realm of life.

And in response, the United Nations makes the following pledge:

This year on International Women’s Day, we convert our outrage into action. We declare that we will prosecute crimes against women – and never allow women to be subjected to punishments for the abuses they have suffered. We renew our pledge to combat this global health menace wherever it may lurk – in homes and businesses, in war zones and placid countries, and in the minds of people who allow violence to continue.

Working to end violence against women is a fantastic theme for this year, especially after the many atrocious incidents we’ve seen lately.  These dramatic and reprehensible events make it to the news, but we also need to remember that they’re dwarfed by the commonality of millions upon millions of smaller acts of violence against women worldwide each year.  Even here in Canada, comparatively a pretty fantastic place to live, half of Canadian women over the age of 16 have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence.  The insidious regularity of violence against women speaks to a larger problem that supercedes nationality or culture.  We need to acknowledge the gender inequality that breeds this violence and raise awareness to counteract this hostile environment, while working to continue to improve the role of women in our society.

Now, as always, Wonder Woman is completely onboard for this year’s International Women’s Day theme.  Hell, she was all over it 70 years ago!!  In this scene from Wonder Woman #4 in 1943, a thuggish fellow fights with his girlfriend, Elva.  He threatens her with a weapon, insults her, and slaps her:

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Sad fact: Over 80% of dating violence victims are women.  Similarly, over 80% of domestic assaults are against women, and women are three to four times more likely to be killed by their spouse than men.  Luckily for Elva, Wonder Woman’s not going to let anyone be killed here, and she busts in and quickly turns the tables:

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Unfortunately, superheroes aren’t real.  No one with tights or a cape is arriving in the nick of time to stop violence against women.  However, we can all follow Wonder Woman’s example and do our best to stop violence against women in any way we can.  You can learn more at the UN’s International Women’s Day site or at internationalwomensday.com.

It’s Ladies Night At My Local Comic Shop, Strange Adventures, On February 23 PLUS Wonder Woman Is On The Poster

February 11, 2013

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My local comic shop is pretty much the best comic shop in the world (seriously… it’s won awards and everything) and every so often they do a Ladies Night after hours.  The next one is February 23, from 6-8 pm.  A lot of people don’t think that comic book shops are a particularly welcoming place for women on account of all the dudes, and thus a lot of ladies just don’t bother to go check them out.  Ladies Night, however, is for women only, with female employees running the shop, so that interested gals can see that comic shops aren’t scary or weird (well, not scary anyway…) and sort of ease into the comic book scene.  Here in Halifax, where tons of ladies are involved in the making, selling, and buying of comics, it’s also got a cool celebratory feel, like a fun get together for all the gals that support comics here.  Plus it’s got giveaways, gift bags, and sweet deals!!

Aside from being a great way to get women into comics, Ladies Night at Strange Adventures is fun for two other cool reasons.  First, it’s got a great poster by local artist Kate Leth, who is super internet famous and has had comic strips in tons of cool books.  The poster includes Wonder Woman, which is awesome, and is patterned on a Spice Girls cover, which is amusing and fun.  Wonder Woman is Ginger Spice, by the way.

Second, last year’s Ladies Night created quite a hullabaloo here on this very site.  When I reviewed the absolutely awful TV show Comic Book Men, I chose to talk about how great my LCS was instead of how terrible their store seemed to be, and I mentioned Ladies Night in passing.  A commenter was extremely offended at the idea of Ladies Night and considered it a civil rights issue because it was a women-only event where they got access to sales and prizes that men didn’t.  They said that they’d contacted the Canadian Civil Liberties Association to try and shut it down.  We had a “dialogue” on the topic for a while, which then hilariously ended up getting picked up on Twitter and Tumblr and rebroadcast by various comic pros and soon Ladies Night was getting TONS of free publicity and attention just because of this one loon taking issue with it.  It all turned out to be a bunch of talk, too.  For example, they threatened to send a man to try to get in and to film him being refused so as to get some media attention, but that never happened.  And Ladies Night went off great!!  It was an amusing scene, and worked out well for all of the sane people involved.

So if you’re a lady in the Halifax area, come by Strange Adventures at 5262 Sackville Street on Saturday, February 23, from 6-8pm.  It’s going to be a fantastic event, as always.

I Wrote An Obituary Yesterday OR My Grandmother Passed Away

January 15, 2013

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My grandmother died in her sleep yesterday, after 86 years of impressively thwarting all of the various illnesses that had tried to take her down.  The woman had EVERYTHING, and survived it all.  Then last spring she started to have heart troubles that affected her breathing and she was hospitalized for a while.  She came out of that pretty well, but she caught the flu a little while ago and that combined with her heart/breathing issues proved to be too much.

I spent the day with my family, which was nice.  It wasn’t overly morose or anything.  Nan was 86, and we’ve all sort of been expecting this since the spring.  We wrote up an obituary, which Nan would have liked a lot but which wasn’t really me.  It was pretty Jesusy, and I’m very much a heathen.  It’s what Nan would’ve wanted us to print, and most of my family really dug it, so that’s good.  But it wasn’t me, so I’m writing this.

My grandmother was an impressive lady.  My grandfather died when my dad was a kid, and Nan raised three kids on her own.  Then after that, she got every illness possible.  She had various sorts of cancer, and the doctors were ready to write her off a few times.  I think she had an aneurysm or some other huge brain problem at one point.  I was just a little kid when all of this happened, so I don’t really remember.  She lived another 20 years after, and quite enthusiastically.  Nan was the sort of lady who went to a senior’s dinner to help serve.  She was a keener.

Nan had some fun quirks.  She read ALL the time, especially books about royalty.  She was all about the royal family, and the queen in particular, and that interest extended to other countries too.  She read Nicholas and Alexandra every other summer.  She also had barely any sense of taste left after her various illnesses, apart from stuff that was super strong or tart.  So she ate for texture.  She’d stick crackers or chips in her sandwiches, which would have the weirdest combination of fillings that sounded gross by flavour but super varied by texture.  They were loud.

She liked to garden, she liked to swim, she liked off-colour humour but would try REALLY hard not to show it.  She would NEVER ever ever play cards because someone at some point told her they were anti-Christianity in some capacity.  Nan was very much a stickler that way.  I don’t know if she ever set foot in a movie theatre, and was a very proper sort of lady generally.  Which is why one of my favourite stories about Nan is that she secretly read Gone With the Wind by flashlight under her covers when she was a kid, even though she wasn’t supposed to get it out from the library.  There was a bit of a rebel in her that she kept very tightly under wraps, but it came out every now and again.

And now she’s gone.  It’s sad, but not unexpected.  Most of my family were bummed but nonetheless considered it a “happy day” because she’s with Jesus.  I wouldn’t call it a happy day, but Nan lived a very full life.  She was super active well into her 80s, got to see her grandchildren grow up (and I got to tell her some fun news a month or so back that you all don’t know yet… she was over the moon excited), travelled all around the world in an epic adventure years ago, and it seemed like she was ready to go.  She certainly wasn’t worried about dying.  Part of that is the Jesus/heaven thing, of course, but I think part of it was that she was satisfied with everything she’d done and what she’d lived.  It was certainly an impressive 86 years.  I’m going to miss her, and her loud sandwiches.


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