Spreading the Link Love: 7/8/2010

HIGH SCHOOL CHRONICLES OF ARIEL SCHRAG

Thanks to the lovely She Has No Head! column running an article on the Top 10 Webcomics, I was introduced to Ariel Schrag’s Ariel and Kevin Invade Everything. She is the author of four comic books (published in three volumes) chronicling her High School years (1995-1999).

Everyone who was in HS in the mid-to-late-90s should check these books out. Hell, everyone who went to HS in the last two decades would probably be able to find something which resonates with Schrag’s voice and experiences. She drew me in by reminding me so much of a group of my HS friends, and then held me captive for almost 900 pages of illustration and text as she explores her sexuality and attempts to tackle her art, classes and eventually a part-time job – all while preparing herself for college.

My personal favorite is Potential – it garnered her an Eisner award nomination.  This one is the documentation of Schrag coming to terms her homosexuality, falling in love for the first time, and suffering through her parents divorce. It’s raw and blisteringly painful but perfectly captures the essence of HS and first love. It was nearly impossible to put down.

My only bone of contention is with the final book – Likewise. It’s far too experimental for my tastes and strays heavily from the format of the first three books. It features blank panels, sketchy scenes and lots of word salad. There is also not a strong feeling of closure, especially since this is the final volume in the autobiographical series. Of course, it doesn’t take much effort to learn that she eventually went to Columbia and spent a few seasons as a writer on The L Word.

What’s compelling is that she was able to conceive, create, publish and distribute this work at such a young age, with seemingly little support from her parents (aside from freedom and funding).

Most of the artistic style featured is cartoonish, but the few sequences where she renders herself and her love interest Sally in full artistic scope are mind-blowing. I would love to see more pieces like that evolving in her work, but she manages to eek a lot of emotion out of the big eyes, skinny limbs and tousled hair of her subjects.

Highly suggested!

Bechdel Test: All three books PASS the women test, two PASS the men test and no books PASS the race test.


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DRAWN TO THE X-FACTOR

Every time I read something about X-Factor or Peter David, it makes me yearn for the glory days of one of my favorite X-Books (back before the Skrulls and other nonsensical time traveling things). But really, if you love X-Factor, you should check out this interview.

It might have convinced me to add this title to my pull box. Might have. If only they weren’t still dinking around with Doom and Latveria. I don’t give a crusty crap about these Marvel characters or places, but if anyone could get me to come over the dark side, it would probably be PAD.

I simply love Madrox and Layla Miller too much to let them wander far out of my sight. Eschewing superhero titles be-damned!

The artwork by Sebastian Fuimara isn’t bad, but it isn’t mind-blowing either, and I desperately miss Pablo Raimondi. Where is he? What is he working on? Oh, guess he’s still in the marvel stable, churning out drawerings for the Inhumans title. And potentially a mini-series of his own. Can he just join forces with an awesome writer on a creator-owned series please? I would follow him and her (why not a her?) in a heartbeat.

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FEMALE GAZE AND FAN VIDS

For those of you who don’t have the distinct pleasure (hah) of being one of FB friends, here is the joyous discovery I placed there yesterday.

Yes – a 300 trailer set to Vogue by Madonna. The first minute or so has some really gorgeous and timely editing, the rest sort of devolves…but it’s a glorious feast of man flesh set to a song that kind of parodies the craptastical film, but also revels in all the delectable meat it offers. This was a video featured in an article I posted in the comment section yesterday of the Bechdel Test Recap about The Female Gaze which I wanted to repost here.

An interesting segue is this interview with the video creator, about how fan vidding is primarily a past-time of the womenz and what that says about us. I’d never really considered fan vidding a chance for women to create the female gaze from a potential male gaze framework…but ya know, it kinda makes sense. It’s our chance to creatively interact with a domain that is primarily male in undertaking, and direct the senses of viewers to what we want them to experience.

This also mirrors a comment about fandom back in the Treatise on Twilight Fans post, noting how differently many men and women interact with fandom. Ladies like to make teh videos, while men like to read and memorize facts. Blanket statements of course, but this has certainly been my experience. I would rather create a fun montage/homage to my favorite X-Characters than scrutinize or memorize every issue and panel they appeared in.

And I will also take the time to seek out and watch other fan vids.

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Just in case you didn’t get to experience this already, the new Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows trailer cut to the Inception score.

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About tinyheroes

Mindy Crouchley is a 29 year old woman with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Minor in Technical Writing from Portland State University. She has been reading comic books since she was 10 years old. She currently lives in outer southeast Portland with her spouse Dan Robertson and two pugs, Sunny and Jabba. She spends her free time devouring books, attending comic cons, writing stories/screenplays, attending book to film adaptation club meetings, volunteering and watching copious amounts of TV and movies.

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