Friday, October 31, 2008

This Halloween I'm Goin' Rogue!

The Halloween party I am going to this year is not until Saturday night, so I won't have photos of the costume today. But this will give you a general idea.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

In Times of Economic Uncertainty, We Turn to the Sears Wish Book for Comfort

I've been busy lately...but not too busy to check out this year's Sears Wish Book! Because it's that time of year again! Last year I shared some of the most alarming and lame offerings of the toy section of the beloved catalog. Here's round two of this feature, soon to become an annual holiday favourite:

Batman The Dark Knight Mega Cape Accessory Set

I look at this and all I can see are lamps and vases being knocked over.

Oh, and I see a pretty crappy Batman costume.

Wowwee Remote-Controlled 'Bladestar' Animal Robot

As far as I can tell, this is a flying, rotating, double-blade. It also has a "fighting feature" and "autopilot mode." This toy is not a good idea.

Canada Find It!

I think if you were to pan back on this photo, you would see tears streaming down this kid's face.

Vtech V.Smile Motion Wireless Controller

Maybe I'm getting old, but I have no idea what the hell this is. And the description does not help:

  • NEW!
  • left or right-hand use
  • bilingual
  • ages 3-7 years

Playskool Kota Triceratops

I was looking at this trying to figure out what I love about so much. I think it's this: the kid and the triceratops have the same facial expression.

'Wipe Out' Combat Simulation Double Game Set

We need more toys that allow kids to just shoot the shit out of each other.

Fisher-price Ultimate Dino

Ultimate is right! Look at this thing! It's awesome! And that kid knows it!

Uncle Milton Rainbow in my Room

Kid, I can sell you something that will replicate this very product for three bucks a hit.

Play-Doh Meal Makin' Kitchen

Times are tight, and Play-Doh is a cheap substitute for food. You may as well get them started on it early. It's the only way they will acquire a taste for it.

MSX Pro Stunt T-Rex Terror Ripper Set

This toy is proof that, even if it seems silly on paper, adding one awesome thing to any other awesome thing is VERY AWESOME.

Hannah Montana Child's Wig

"Yeah, bitch. Jealous?"

Boys 3-Piece Superhero Costume

It took me a really long time to identify the costume on the right as Batman. I was like "Hulk, Superman, Spider-Man and...Tron? Some sort of robot? A manhole cover?"

'Don't Forget the Lyrics' Game


Chocolart House Creation

To me, this is just adding annoying steps to the process of obtaining chocolate and putting it in my mouth. That kid knows what I'm saying.

Step-2 Fifties-style Diner Playset

Y'know what kids love?

Retro kitsch!

Doctor Role-Play Set

This is an unfortunately-named toy.

Batman The Dark Knight Wayne Tech Tri-Fire Blaster


Batman does not use this. Not ever.

Marvel Iron Man Crossover


Iron Man does not do this. Not ever.

Bella Beau Pet City Stroller Set

Is this really what you want your daughter to be?

Baby Born 'Mommy Look I Can Swim!'


"Mommy Look I Can Devour Your Soul!"


Little Tikes Deluxe Wood Kitchen and Laundry Center


It even is described as having "granite-look countertops." Because kids won't stand for anything less in their fake kitchen/laundry facilities.

I love that the boy in the picture is just leaning on the counter, watching the girl load the dryer. Wondering when dinner is going to be ready.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Who exactly are Humpty Dumpty's enemies? Walls?

Ugh. Stupid boring real life is really eating up all my time lately. I have a huge stack of comics from this week that I won't be able to read for days. AND a new issue of Comic Foundry! Yay!

School is over forever in about six weeks. My band is in Atlanta tonight playing a show with the Black Lips, and I am home writing marketing case study reports. Sigh.

It's times like this that I need a hit of comic book craziness. Because only comic books can deliver complete fantastic nonsense like this:

You're not going to see that scenario anywhere else! Certainly not in these marketing textbooks!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Supergirl Week: To be Continued...

Alright, so I picked kind of a busy week to attempt a theme week on this blog. But I have much more to say about Supergirl. So I promise another Supergirl Week sometime soon. Because I didn't even get into anything past the Silver Age, or her team-ups, or any of the other awesome adventures the last daughter of Krypton has had. And that's a shame, because look!:

Remember to vote today, Canada. And if you want to vote against Harper, that's cool with me.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Supergirl VS Max Headroom

Very sorry for the lazy theme week. I'm having a pretty busy week. Maybe I should extend this to be Supergirl Month.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving everyone! Here's a clip of Supergirl kicking ass from the terrible-yet-adorable 1984 film. Fun fact! The skinny truckdriver is played by Matt Frewer, aka Max Headroom, aka The Guy on my T-shirt in my Profile Picture!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Supergirl How-To Guide #1

How to assist a child in getting adopted:

1. Assess situation and develop plan.

2. Call upon slave robot clone to take your place while you implement plan.

3. Use superpowers to fool potential parent(s) into believing child is worth their time and money.

4. Repeat until goal is achieved.

5. Return slave robot clone to hollow tree until next time.

Supergirl treats that robot as badly as Superman treats Supergirl. That robot probably has a rock or something inside that tree that it likes to boss around.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Emiko Superstar!

I'm taking a little break from Supergirl Week to let you all know about a fantastic book that was released today.

Emiko Superstar is the latest release from the soon-to-be-defunct Minx line from DC. The book is written by Mariko Tamaki (Skim) and drawn by Steve Rolston (The Escapists, Queen & Country). It's a Canadian double team of awesomeness!

The book is about Emi, a shy, somewhat nerdy teenage girl living in the suburbs. She is about to embark on a seemingly unadventerous summer, taking on a full-time baby-sitting job for her very normal-seeming neighbors. Her summer takes a major turn, however, when she discovers an underground performance art collective. She finds herself fascinated by the freakshow that is put on in an abandoned building (The Factory) every week, and by its free-spirited participants.

What I loved about Emiko Superstar is that every character in the book just seemed so familiar to me. Emi is a fantastic teenage female character, awkwardly straddling wanting to be responsible and grown-up, and wanting to drop out of her boring life altogether and do something truly unique and wild. The story promotes art and creativity, but doesn't shy away from showing the darker side of that world, and of some of the people in it. The older man, known as The Curator, who oversees The Factory is a particularly creepy figure.

The art is also fantastic. I always love Steve Rolston's art, and he does a great job with this story and its eclectic cast of characters.

Mariko Tamaki was kind enough to do a Q&A with me via email. The interview was done before the cancelation of Minx was announced.

Emiko Superstar is a story of freaks and geeks colliding. How much of yourself is in the character of Emiko, and do you feel you were more a freak or a geek at her age?

I was definitely a geek for a large portion of my teenage years - mostly because at the private school I went to there weren't a heck of a lot of freaks - and I was pretty good at Math and Chemistry (which makes you a card carrying geek in almost any high school). I suppose my experience was a lot like Emiko's in that I had to go outside of school to really connect with a freak identity, and finding that meant disconnecting with some geeky friends who were heading in a direction I wasn't too into (finance and law - ick). Unlike Emiko, I wasn't necessarily all by myself when I first discovered things like the Rocky Horror Picture Show, I had a pretty cool black lipstick wearing friend to go with me. So Emiko is far braver that I ever was.

Is The Factory based on anything that you've actually experienced or heard about? It certainly was familiar to me, and I wonder if every city has these sort of underground performance gatherings.

I had a pretty good feeling that things like the Factory exist(ed) in almost every city. I first discovered the freak salon when I was living in Montreal going to McGill University . It was like, "Hey, where are all the Goths going?," "Hey, what's THIS?" Places like the Factory are not always easy to find but when you do, it's like this underground city of eyeliner and amazingness. The idea behind this comic was to combine my love of the whole Warhol Factory scene with my experience of beer and bizarre performance art in clubs/warehouses in Montreal and Toronto - and the people that rule and love them.

I think the character of The Curator is particularly important in this story as sort of a warning to young people. It seems like its very common for a group of young "freaks" to have an older male acting as their leader, while at the same time perving on the girls and just being generally sketchy. Have you met many "Curators" through your involvement in the arts community?

It always kind of amazed me, the age range at these kinds of places - which is not to say ALL performance art scenes are like this - but there's this trend of a populous that contains a lot of teenage girls and a ton of older dudes, who end up acting as these kind of wise leaders. It makes you wonder why these guys get to be in this position and why they end up with so much cred - which - you know - for a place that's touting a resistance to authority and the mainstream - why buy into this male leader type thing - even if he is wearing a t-shirt with the word "SUX" on it. I didn't want to create any kind of moral tale warning girls about people like the Curator, but from the inception of the story it seemed like something that shouldn't be left out.

Of course, I want to repeat here, because I don't want to scare anyone off, it's not always this way. As someone who performs regularly in all kinds of spaces - feminist spaces, queer spaces, straight spaces, theatre spaces, literary spaces (and on and on) - I can say for certain that there are some places where freakdom flows and there's no king, which is an awesome place to be.

Steve Rolston did an amazing job on the art. Did Minx put you guys together for this book, or did you choose him yourself?

Shelly Bond, who is the Minx editor, put Steve and I together, which I will be eternally grateful for. Steve is so cool and creative and funny. He's always totally gotten this project and the hearts of the characters within it.

Minx has been putting out great books since its inception, with the aim being younger female readers. How important do you think Minx is as a label?

I am a huge fan of YA books - of fiction of all kinds aimed at Young Adult audiences, especially girls. I think it's great to have books that are not only aimed at girls, but tell girls' stories, you know? Like how when I was in high school all the books we read were boys' stories: A Separate Peace, The Catcher in the Rye, now Harry Potter, that kind of thing. And I think it's important to have girl voices and girl stories out there for girls, for boys, and for adult readers when I think about it.

Your previous book, Skim, was also about a high school girl. Is there something in particular that appeals to you about writing stories about teenagers?

Being a teenager is generally a messed up thing to be. It's all emotions and complicated and fears and anxiety, you know? And it's also an amazing, kind of a ridiculously free (in this way that doesn't seem free) time in your life. I think I like writing about teens because I like thinking about this time period in a person's lifetime. That may chance though. I mean, maybe I'll get too jealous and start writing books about people who have three jobs to pay the rent. Who knows?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Supergirl Plays Cupid

Here's a little story about a time where Supergirl gets tired of living in an orphanage and resorts to drastic measures in hopes that she can get the hell out of there. It's from Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #14 (1960).

Oh, calm down Lois. It's Superman. What's he going to do? Take all those waterskiiers back to his tour bus after the show?

How often does Supergirl spy on Lois?

Aaahh!! Those eyes! They will haunt me forever!

So this is how desperate and crazy poor Supergirl has gotten. And here's her plan:

Alright! Way to beat Superman at his own game! This is the sort of crap he would normally be pulling on Lois, because Superman loves nothing more than making Lois think she's crazy. Here's my favourite one:

Ahahahaha! A coffee pot! Nice one, Supergirl!

Also..."Severe Kitchen Ware."

So Superman decides that he might possibly be in love with Lois. Which I never thought was the issue. I thought he just didn't want to put her in danger so he never acted on his feelings. Right?

Well, anyway:

"Perry said I could borrow his pleasure schooner any time I want."

I'll bet he did.

Good lord! Look at the size of Perry's pleasure schooner! How much does the editor of the Daily Planet make?!

Back to the date...
Those are some unorthodox cooking classes they are teaching at the Midvale Orphanage.

Holy crap, Lois! Do you want to date Superman or not? Because sometimes Superman has to go save lives, alright?

And now it's time for Supergirl to make some romance happen:


What?! No! Ok, look Superman. It's one thing to suddenly decide not to propose to a lady, but you should NOT tell her that you were just about to propose but decided not to because she fell in the water. That's just cold. As is flying away suddenly, leaving Lois alone on a boat.

Superman feels kinda bad the next day, and decides to go apologize:

What?! That TRAMP!

"Love, Batman." I just melted. I know it's not really him writing that card, but still...

I have to say, this is bold for Supergirl. Especially since she hasn't actually met Batman yet. At least not that we've seen.

No! If anyone is going to be his Bat-Queen it's going to be me!!!

Ohhhhh dear. Now you've done it, Supergirl.

Oh, you Super-heel!

Well, it turns out that Superman was playing along the whole time:

"I'll never interfere with Cousin Superman's romantic life again!"

Well, at least not until your next appearance, when Superman makes you pretend to be his fiance. And it is just as creepy as it sounds. But I already talked about that story way back here.