Link Dump – Echidna edition

Echidnas are named after a Greek monster that was half women and half snake, and gave birth to most of the other monsters. That seems a bit unfair, considering how cute they are. There are four species of echidna and they’re related to the one species of platypus. Platypuses will fuck you up.

Lots of links, sorry no pictures this time. Feeling too lazy.

Fossil Words of Yore in the Offing “we may wait with bated breath for something in the offing, but it’s unlikely that anything else in our experience is ever bated, or that we’ve made any other use of the noun offing.” (From the MacMillan Dictionary Blog)

Princess Princess “Sadie and Amira are two very different princesses who decide to take their fairy tale into their own hands!” Short finished comic (44 pages) Lovely bits: Sadie is fat and can’t sing. Amara is a WOC and has awesome hair. The unicorn is not too bright. Not so lovely: they treat a guy like dirt for being a bit sexist and the villain uses fat-shaming and ableist language.

1-Up Mushroom Pizza Rolls “When you need energy to make it through the mushroom kingdom on you way to rescue Princess Peach (again), level up your game with these 1-Up Mushroom Pizza Rolls.” (from Kitchen Overlord)

Look Straight Ahead “Jeremy Knowles is a 17-year-old outcast who dreams of being a great artist. But when he suffers a severe mental breakdown brought on by bullying and other pressures at school, his future is called into question.” TW: depiction of schizophrenia based on the creator’s experience. Complete.

Beyond the Binary: Master Post “twenty four questions about gender, sex, sexuality, genderqueer issues, trans issues, stuff, things, the kitchen sink etc. answered by an amazing panel. Some of it’s 101 – some of it 201 – some questions that we get asked all the time, and some that many won’t have considered before.” (from A Gentleman and a Scholar)

Let’s Be Real: Balancing Life’s Roles “We say that ‘real men don’t eat quiche’ or ‘real women have curves,’ and it lets us draw arbitrary boundaries around broad identities in order to make them more exclusive, more secure.” (from Balancing Jane)

The Problem When Sexism Just Sounds So Darn Friendly… CN: discussion of benevolent sexism and history of research about sexism. The comments aren’t too bad, but there’s gender essentialism, sexism, and call outs of ‘reverse sexism’ there. Of course.

16 Words That Are Much Older Than They Seem (from Mental Floss)

Psychopathic criminals have empathy switch “Placed in a brain scanner, psychopathic criminals watched videos of one person hurting another and were asked to empathise with the individual in pain. Only when asked to imagine how the pain receiver felt did the area of the brain related to pain light up.” TW: the other links of the page are probably triggering (from BBC News)

What is an ontological metaphor? “metaphor in which an abstraction, such as an activity, emotion, or idea, is represented as something concrete, such as an object, substance, container, or person.” (Glossary of Linguistics terms) (Saving for when I get back to conlanging)

English words with Chinese characteristics “Chinese netizens are making up new English words based on very Chinese cultural phenomenon, making the foreign language a unique part of China’s online popular culture” (from Offbeat China)

Willard Suitcase Project – Jon Crispin is photographing the contents suitcases left behind by patients of the Willard Asylum. It’s very non-judgemental and each suitcase acts as a time capsule.

Pokemayan – Pokemon redesigned by a Mexico-based artist (from Monarobot)

SNESbox.com – play NES and SNES games in your browser.

Social justice link roundup (from Pharyngula Wiki)

Ben-Day Shots – Captain Britain #3

ben-day-shots-revised.gif

Captain Britain #3

Week Ending Oct 27, 1976
Cover Price: 10 pence

Characters: Captain Britain / Brian Braddock, Chief Inspector Dai Thomas, Royce, Vixen’s Mob, Dora, Courtney Ross, Jacko Tanner, Sandy York, Hurricane

(Content Notice: violence including guns, gender policing, bullying)

Yeah, it’s been a while. Sorry.

It’s time for another adventure full of Kirby-esque artwork! Including extreme foreshortening and disproportionately large figures. You think I’m kidding?

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Look, there’s stylization, then there’s drawing one foot ten times as big as the other. That second one doesn’t make SENSE. The green guy is a perspective all his own, unless his leg actually stretches back three yards. But, it’s very dramatic! And that’s what matters.

Continue reading “Ben-Day Shots – Captain Britain #3”

Webcomics I read

(Content notes: Obviously with a continuously updated comic I can’t provide complete trigger warnings. Please do your research. I’ll try to mark what I can see; please let me know what I miss)

Updated Daily / Weekdays

Schlock Mercenary From Wikipedia: ” It follows the tribulations of a star-travelling mercenary company in a satiric, mildly dystopian 31st-century space opera setting.” Origin of the The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries. Very funny, with great character design and creative aliens.. (CN for violence, character death, and occasional horror.)

Skinhorse by Shaenon Garrity (of Narbonic) and Jeffrey Channing Wells. “Somewhere in this great nation is a top-secret government agency dedicated to aiding America’s nonhuman citizenry, but on a very tight budget.” Stars a talking female dog, a mult-racial zombie, and a crossdressing man. Diversity is fun!

Irregular Webcomic. On reruns with new content. From TV Tropes: “A webcomic done with LEGO figures and roleplaying miniatures, by David Morgan-Mar, an Australian physicist.” “Full of deliberately bad puns and surprisingly erudite references; one can learn a great deal just by reading the annotations.” Really several webcomics in one, with each theme having a separate storyline (most of the time).

Misfile. From the Misfile Wiki: “It chronicles the story of Ash Upton and Emily McArthur who, after a universal filing error in the Celestial Filing Depository, find that their lives are very different than they were the day prior. Emily has become two years younger and Ash has swapped genders completely, and is now a girl. In order to make things the way they were, they must play along to ensure that Rumisiel (the Angel who caused this mess in the first place!) gets back into heaven before the bosses find out and make the changes permanent. ” (CN for discussion of gender essentialism).

Bug Martini. From TV Tropes: “Features caricatures of cockroaches as its characters and uses those character to poke fun at a wide array of subjects. The comic touches on a wide variety of comedic material, with little pattern as to what Huber will lampoon. The comics themselves rarely have a set punchline, often instead having a joke in each panel, thus providing multiple laughs per strip.”  Sometimes immature humor.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. Read the bonus panel (red circle). From Wikipedia: ” It features no recurring characters or storylines, and has no set format; some strips may be a single panel, while others may go on for ten panels or more. Recurring themes in SMBC include atheism, God, superheroes, romance, dating, science, research, parenting and the meaning of life.” Funny at least three times a week. Sometimes offensive.

Updated MWF

PS238 by Aaron Williams. “Superheroes eventually want to start families, and so the need arose for a public school for their ultra-powerful kids. Ps238 was founded to help them train and learn what it means to wield unearthly power… except for Tyler. His parents are among the most powerful superheroes the planet has, yet he seems destined to be disappointingly normal. Sent to ps238 in the hopes that he’s a late bloomer, his adventures (and those of his classmates) have thrilled readers the world over.”

Use Sword on Monster by Aaron Williams. The comic is about the world turning a bit more supernatural. Unfortunately, this takes the form of creatures thought to be mythological appearing and wreaking havoc. Lucky for us, whatever is going on has affected a select few, letting them perform amazing feats of martial skill if they’re holding some kind of melee weapon and choose to attack one of these marauding beasts.

The Adventures of Dr. McNinja Read the alt-text. From TV Tropes: “the love child of the Rule Of Cool and the Rule of Funny. It is the most awesomely epic / epically awesome webcomic ever. […] What’s interesting about the comic is Hastings’ sheer commitment to the utter weirdness. Every bizarre twist gets a completely straight reaction from the cast, and can have repercussions that stretch over multiple chapters.”

Gunnerkrigg Court From Wikipedia: “The comic tells the story of Antimony Carver, a young girl who has just started attending a strange and mysterious school called Gunnerkrigg Court, and the events that unfold around her as she becomes embroiled in political intrigues between Gunnerkrigg Court and the inhabitants of the Gillitie Wood, a forest outside the school. The comic’s style and themes include elements from science, fantasy creatures, mythology from a variety of traditions, and alchemical symbols and theories; the literary style is heavily influenced by mystery and manga comics.”

Shortpacked “about people who work in a toy store and tell jokes about Batman.” I find it hit or miss, but generally funny. David Willis mocks fandom and creators equally. And the cast is now mostly women, and a car in a female body. (CN for discussion of sexism and other bigotry)

Girl Genius. “Adventure, Romance, MAD SCIENCE!” From Wikipedia: “presents an alternate history ‘where the Industrial Revolution has escalated into an all-out war’ due to the battles between Sparks – highly charismatic mad scientists with supernormal abilities in one or more sciences.” Often funny, usually outrageous.

xkcd. Read the alt-text. “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.” From TV Tropes: “It is a gag-a-day comic, and generally does not have a continuing plot line or continuity (though there are occasional short story arcs). Many of the jokes are based on math, physics, UNIX and Internet memes, as well as romance and sex.”

El Goonish Shive. From TV Tropes: “It’s about a cast of characters and their relationships while in the middle of spellcasting, Shapeshifting (voluntary and otherwise), gender-bending, and blatantly disregarding the laws of physics. Or, alternately, it’s about a cast of characters who occasionally take time off from obsessing over their relationships to cast spells, change shape, and break the laws of physics. The gender-bending is pretty constant, though.”

But I’m a Cat Person. By Erin Ptah of And Shine Heaven Now. “What happens when you take a heap of shounen-power-up and mahou-shoujo tropes, dump them all in a blender, and then throw the blender away and make a sandwich instead.” From TV Tropes: “In a world not too different from our own, humans share the planet with a mysterious servant species known as Beings. Shapeshifting, flying battle monsters, they have spent countless ages dueling each other in a contest with no end, known as the Game… which most of humanity has spent just as long ignoring. It’s not really that interesting if you’re not involved.” It’s awesome.

Broodhollow “An anxiety-ridden man, struggling to overcome his elaborate fears and phobias, slowly learns that they may be an unlikely key to understanding a town’s disturbing supernatural events. Or so he believes.” By Kris Straub, the author of Checkerboard Nightmare, Starslip Crisis, Chainsawsuit, and horror fiction site Ichor Falls. (CN for horror. So much horror. Don’t let the cute art at the beginning fool you. It’s frikking scary.)

Other Three Times a Week

Basic Instructions Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday. A very funny cut and paste comic.

Darth and Droids Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday. By David Morgan-Mar of Irregular Webcomic. From TV Tropes: “What if Star Wars as we know it didn’t exist, but instead the plot of the movies was being made up on the spot by players of a Tabletop Game? Well, for one, the results might actually make a lot more sense, from an out-of-story point of view…”

Updated Twice a Week

Looking for Group Monday, Thursday. By Ryan Sohmer and Lar DeSouza. A fantasy parody comic that has gotten more serious and complicated. Still very funny. (CN: often immature and sexual humor. Blood.)

A Girl and Her Fed Monday, Thursday. From TV Tropes: “An unnamed woman who works as a journalism intern finds she is on a terrorist watchlist. When she confronts the Fed who is set to watch her, things get seriously, fantastically weird. There’s a good deal of humor thrown in. And did we mention the forty billion undead pixies? And the talking super-genius koala?”

Full Frontal Nerdity Tuesday, Thursday. By Aaron Williams (Nodwick, PS238). “Join four guys, usually around a gaming table, as they celebrate and dissect everything geekdom has to offer. From video games to movies to the latest version of D&D, Frank, Shawn, Lewis and Nelson find fault, find joy, and find that you really shouldn’t let Lewis roll for anything if a 1 spells disaster.”

Punch an’ Pie Tuesday, Thursday. By Aeire (of Queen of Wands) and Chris Daily. Sequel to Queen of Wands. “Tongue-planted-firmly-in-cheek, PnP explores what happens when you’re outta college and attempting to be one of those mysterious ‘adult’ creatures we always hear about, and just trying to make life work – and what happens when it doesn’t live up to your expectations.”

Wondermark Tuesday, Friday. From TV Tropes: “A world of top hats and Steampunk laptops played down to contrast the modern, neurotic characters that populate it. A gag-a-day webcomic with Negative Continuity and no recurring characters (except maybe the alien Gax), each strip is a brief window into the lives of absurd but not entirely unrealistic new people.”

Goblins Tuesday and Friday afternoons. From TV Tropes: “The main story follows five members of a cannon-fodder goblin tribe (Thaco, Chief, Big-Ears, Complains-of-Names, and Fumbles) who decide to stop being cannon fodder and become Player Characters. A side plot follows a sixth goblin (Dies-Horribly) who goes on a solo adventure arc quite against his will. It features detailed world-building (including quite a few whole-cloth, background creatures with detailed biologies) and characterization, particularly of the villains. One of the goblin characters, Big-Ears, is a rare instance of a truly gentle, heroic and noble paladin, while the paladin status of the most opaque and brutal villain, Kore, thus far is one of the most foreboding mysteries.” (CN: violence, blood, horror, confrontation of consent issues.)

Nimona Tuesdays and Thursdays. “Lord Ballister Blackheart has a point to make, and his point is that the good guys aren’t as good as they seem. He makes a comfortable living as a supervillain, but never really seems to accomplish much – until he takes on a new sidekick, Nimona, a shapeshifter with her own ideas of how things should be done. Unfortunately, most of those ideas involve blowing things up. Now Ballister must teach his young protégé some restraint and try to keep her from destroying everything, while simultaneously attempting to expose the dark dealings of those who claim to be the protectors of the kingdom – including his former best friend turned nemesis, Ambrosius Goldenloin.”

Updated Once a Week

The Non-Adventures of Wonderella Saturdays. From TV Tropes: “It focuses mainly on the mundane parts of the life of Wonderella, a somewhat air-headed and lazy Valley Girl-ish superheroine who demonstrates little interest in being a hero… or, in fact, doing anything much outside of partying, getting completely wasted, violence, and shopping. She is super-strong, super-durable, and she can’t fly but she can ‘totally jump hella high'” Often immature, often funny.

My So-Called Secret Identity. Two pages on Sundays. “Who is Cat? She’d tell you she’s nobody special, that she’s just like you. Just an average, Irish-American girl in her early twenties; a cop’s daughter, studying in the big city. […] She’d tell you that the city’s special, not her: Gloria City, with its vibrant little communities, its bright lights, grand architecture and Broadway shows. And most of all, its larger-than-life personalities. Gloria has a cast of celebrity superheroes […] But Cat really is someone special. Cat is the smartest person in Gloria City. She remembers everything she reads; she knows how everything connects. And she’s getting tired of pretending, of hiding, of acting dumb to save other people’s feelings.” But slightly more importantly, “My So-Called Secret Identity is what happened when internationally-acclaimed Batman scholar and popular culture expert, Dr Will Brooker, decided to stop criticising mainstream comics for their representation of women, and show how it could be done differently; how it could be done better. […] In a deliberate reversal of mainstream industry conventions, almost all the creative team behind MSCSI are female.” It’s pretty and clever.

Romantically Apocalyptic Saturdays. “I am the captain. The year is 20__ something something. I stopped counting a while ago, and therefore not sure what day it is. Humanity is virtually wiped out in a nuclear holocaust. Me and my last squad: pilot and sniper, live in the wasteland ruins of tomorrow. This is my story. I am captain.” Silly, somewhat random, rather baffling.

Manly Guys Doing Manly Things Mondays (more or less). From TV Tropes: “a comic about a temp agency to help “ludicrously macho guys” find work in the real world when they no longer have work as popular fiction characters. How well they actually integrate has… mixed results.”

Skin Deep Mondays. From TV Tropes: “Unknown to most of humanity, mythical creatures have lived under the radar for centuries; disguised by magic, developing their own culture, and generally just trying to live a normal life. Whatever that means.”

Rusty and Co. Wednesdays. From TVTropes: “With the charismatic Mimic, absurdly cute rust monster Rusty, and the silent yet deadly Gelatinous Cube, the three set out in search of fame, fortune, and experience levels – and every level (adventure), they ally themselves with an Action Girl for at least part of the level. Of course, things that would be obstacles to more conventional adventurers pose no problem for these three, whereas other more simple tasks create great difficulties. Expect hilarity (with a side of Lampshade Hanging) to ensue.”

Galaxion Tuesdays. “Galaxion is the name of a quirky little civilian scientific survey starship owned and operated by the Terran Space Association, and captained by Fusella Mierter (reputedly also quirky and little, but don’t say that to her face). As the story begins, TerSA has made a deal with rival organization Interplanetary Patrol, giving command of the Galaxion over to General Scavina Nelson and her team to test an experimental Jump engine.”

Spare Keys for Strange Doors. On hiatus. “Your local Specialists are: Toby Hathaway and Marion Sark. Highly experienced and skilled professionals, experts at handling the uncanny, supernatural and subnatural. Some experience of the natural, but discussion of your exact needs is advisable. Specialities include visitations, disappearances, compulsions, manifestations, transformations and removal of uninvited guests. ”

Thistil Mistil Kistil Thursdays. From TV Tropes: “The recently deceased Coal must complete a quest for the gods in order to gain acceptance into Valhalla, but he needs to track down the trickster Loki and get his help. No easy task when the god is the reason for his troubles in the first place.”

Next Town Over Saturdays. “Next Town Over is a weekly paean to the western, with some steampunk and fantasy splashed in.” From TV Tropes: “John Henry Hunter is a notorious and dangerous outlaw with pyrokinetic abilities; so infamous is he across the territories that he has a reward of $10,000 and counting on his head. […] Trailing after him is the equally dangerous and mysterious Bounty Hunter Vane Black. Vane, a stone-faced woman with an eerie pallor, an old acquaintance of Hunter’s who is hunting him down for having wronged her in the past. As they battle across the frontier, they take advantage of every object, person, or animal which might help them to achieve their goals. And neither of them seems to care much about the collateral damage they cause during their confrontations.” (CN: for violence, some horror, consent issues)

Updated Randomly (in approx order of update likelihood)

Sunset Grill (generally multiple times a week): “The year is 2426. Earth is a patchwork quilt of restive, squabbling Domains, loosely joined under the mantle of the Empire, […]None of which matters particularly to the patrons of the Sunset Grill, a bar on the shady side of town in the run-down and corrupt city of Kieselburg. They’re too busy staying alive. Because no matter what the year, there will always be those who struggle to survive. And no matter how distant, how strange, or how advanced the place, there will always be someone to ask that all-important question: ‘Hey, is there anywhere in this dump I can get a decent beer?'” (Content notice for fantastical racism and other bigotry)

Underling

The Property of Hate (generally once a week). From TV Tropes: “Perhaps going off in the middle of the night with a snarky floating TV head monster was a BAD idea.”

Help Desk “It happens every time you call the technical support hotline: you suspect the person on the other end of the phone doesn’t really care about your problems, isn’t interested in solving them, and is in fact paid to convince you that the problem has nothing to do with your computer or the software it runs, but is instead due to your own ineptitude and folly.”

Zebra Girl “Sandra Eastlake was a relatively normal young woman until the day her housemates, Jack and Crystal Clarity, came across a strange book in the attic of their home. Dark powers were meddled with, and before you can say “monkeys fire burgers into the mouths of hungry babies with all the skill of strange creatures hailing from whole galaxies made of grease” an accident occurred which changed their lives forever.” (CN lechery in the beginning, consent issues, horror)

Order of the Stick From TV Tropes: “The comic started off as a gag-a-day strip, often mocking D&D rules, but things quickly took a turn for the dramatic: their journey to defeat the evil Xykon entangled them in the lich’s plot to harness the power of The Snarl, a sinister reality-eating… thing formed at the dawn of creation from literal tangles in the fabric of reality. Along the way, they butted heads with hordes of monsters, plot complications, an overzealous paladin or two, and the Linear Guild, a group of Evil Counterparts led by Elan’s Evil Twin brother, Nale. Of course, even with all that going on, it’s still covered with plenty of humor.”

Erfworld From TV Tropes: “A fanatical, obsessed gamer geek gets magically summoned to another world to be the “Perfect Warlord” for a city that’s losing a war, in a world that seems to be one giant Turn Based Strategy wargame. Plays with many different strategy game tropes. Includes cutesy, Super-Deformed art and dark characterization, landing DEEP in the territory of Grotesque Cute. Many features of Erfworld are references to real-world popular culture and Internet memes.” (CN: for fantasy violence, consent issues)

Power Nap. By Marita Campos (of College Roomies from Hell) and Bachan. From TV Tropes: “In a World where nobody sleeps, Drew Spencer tries to hold on to a job and his sanity. Drew is unable to use the pills known as “Z-Sup” which let everyone else stay awake 24 hours a day, due to an allergy. Being run ragged by a world without sleep and a society that seems to accept the weirdest of events without question, Drew is also being roped into something sinister going on behind the scenes of this bizarre world.” (CN for violence and sexism. There’s a woman named Token, okay? I’m pretty sure that’s going to end ironically, but it’s still there)

Bird Boy “When a small boy stumbles upon a legendary weapon, he must flee across a dangerous land of gods, men and beasts to keep it from falling into the wrong hands…”

Tales of the Questor From TV Tropes: “It tells the tale of Quentyn, a young anthropomorphic raccoon (or “Rac Cona Daimh” or “Racconan” but who are we kidding?) who spends his days with adventure books and daydreams. When the traditional ritual where young kits choose their career for life approaches, young Quentyn shocks everyone and becomes the local laughing stock as he declares his desire to become a Questor – a type of noble hero-for-hire whose like hasn’t been around for ages, and who are practically nothing but adventure book fluff. But, it turns out there are legal requirements to have one when someone offers. So begins Quentyn’s own adventure – he’s now an official Questor and it’s up to him to do what a Questor must, even if it means having to face great dangers and things he’s never had to encounter during his young, sheltered life – and practical exile as he’s tasked with a gigantic quest that requires him to head into the lands of humans.” (CN: frightening imagery, horror)

Hark! a Vagrant From TV Tropes: “Best known for its historical comics, which are one-shots of varying length focusing on historical events or figures. There are occasionally other kinds of comics, including comics in which Beaton visits her younger self, a few comics about a pony called ‘Fat Pony’, and a story about a sailor who meets a mermaid. There is little continuity and each comic is a standalone strip.”

Batman and Sons From TV Tropes: “not only portrays Batman as a superhero/crime fighting detective, but also as a single father trying to raise his four sons: Dick, Jason, and Tim (the three most famous Robins), and a baby named Terry. The comic is not only funny and adorable, but also succeeds at poking fun at topical points in comics.” (CN: child endangerment)

Lackadaisy From TV Tropes: “Follows the exploits of the Lackadaisy crew, a formerly prosperous crime gang fallen on hard times after the murder of their boss, Atlas May. Now under the leadership of Mitzi, widow of the ‘businessman’, they attempt to make a living in the criminal underworld of St. Louis. Their major opposition comes from the Marigold gang, headed by Atlas’s former partner and filled with former Lackadaisy employees.And they’re all anthropomorphic cats. The series is very much a tongue-in-cheek affair with a serious plot line and strong characterizations.” (CN: violence, blood. Look, it involves bootlegging and criminals, and despite the cats, it treats it realistically)

No Rest for the Wicked “One day, the Moon up and disappeared; where it went, or why, none can say. Without the Moon’s light to keep them in check at night, monsters, crawling horrors, and other creatures of the dark run rampant throughout the land. But Princess November has much more pressing matters to worry about: she hasn’t had a decent sleep in ages.”

Sacred Pie From TV Tropes: “About three 20-somethings, Sid, Roonas, and Bob. Hanging out in their apartment one day, they’re visited by a dying man called the Traveler. In his final breath, he gives them four items, a Tunic, a pair of Gloves, a pair of Boots, and a Medallion. Then his body disappears, and they take them, deciding to save the universe as he asked on the basis that there’s nothing on TV anyways. The first thing they do is accidentally assassinate an alien Chancellor and try to escape. All that is just the first twelve or so pages, and it just gets crazier from there.” (CN: sexism, violence)

Suicide for Hire From TV Tropes: “a mature-rated Furry Comic by Rafael Medina about two teenagers, the extremely enthusiastic sex-obsessed fox Hunter Ravenwood, and the chain-smoking highly paranoid mouse Arcturus Winrock (who also has a homicidal split personality), who help other people kill themselves, often in a highly karmic way.” (CN: oh boy. Just… everything. Religious prejudice, violence, confrontation and played with sexism, mental issues.)

Finished

Dominic Deegan. From TV Tropes: “It follows the life and times of Dominic Deegan, a messianic yet pessimistic seer who travels about with Spark, his feline comic relief, and assorted companions. Originally a lighter strip based on puns and wordplay”, it’s gotten darker as the cast exploded. (CN: violence, fantastical racism, sexual violence)

Narbonic (Director’s Cut). From TV Tropes: “Answering an innocent job offer, Dave Davenport is drawn into a shocking spiral of vice, crime and moral depravity. Hopelessly ensnared by a madwoman’s feminine wiles, can he return to the world of sanity before it is… too late? Narbonic skates over some surprisingly serious territory, but with such a light touch you will probably be too busy laughing to notice.” (CN: mental issues)

The Pantheon (NSFW)

Cracks of Sunshine “is a mental health comic that neither glamourizes nor catastrophizes mental illness. […]Consider the entire site to contain a MASSIVE trigger warning for frank discussions of (among other things) suicide, rape, depression, and eating disorders. But it is a happy comic! It’s just mostly about sad things. Plus the occasional joke about sadistic unicorns and Hal Jordan, just for a break.”

Link Dump – Serendipity Edition

The Likeable Unlikeable Character – “Even an unlikeable character has virtues. Eeyore, the melancholy donkey in A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh stories, is not a likeable character at face value. He’s a moper and complainer and oozes negativity. But his unselfishness is a virtue that Milne used to endear us to him. Eeyore didn’t exude happy thoughts but he’d likely give you the tail off his back if you needed it.” (from Novel Rocket)

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Fantastic Batwoman Cosplay – Not entirely related: even though I don’t read the comics (it violates my guideline of not reading anything modern because I tend to get stabby), I appreciate the current Batwoman for not being the same old stereotypical male gaze oriented, super sexy supermodel. I like that she’s generally drawn bigger and curvier, with feminine strength. She’s not generically beautiful. Anyway, unnecessary opinion over. This is just a really good cosplay.

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Ame-Comi Duela Dent (Joker) Cosplay – The character is silly and the statue it’s based on is basically fan-service, but this cosplay is really well-done.

Wordcount for Lovecraft’s Favorite Words – “One of the things any fan of Lovecraft discovers early on is that Lovecraft was very attached to certain words. We either laugh or groan every time we hear something described as ‘indescribable’ or called ‘unnamable’ or ‘antiquarian’ or ‘cyclopean.’ And sometimes we wonder how many times he actually used the words.” (from Cthulhu Chick)

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12 Mind Blowing Number Systems From Other Languages – “The Oksapmin people of New Guinea have a base-27 counting system. The words for numbers are the words for the 27 body parts they use for counting, starting at the thumb of one hand, going up to the nose, then down the other side of the body to the pinky of the other hand” (from Mental Floss)

Tutorials off DeviantArt:

Understanding Your Style: Symbols, Design Pattern, and Anti-Pattern -or- Why a Little Figure Drawing Never Hurt Anybody. (Two parts, this links to the first part and there’s a link there to the second part.)

The Really Flippin’ Easy Way to Make Things Look Like Crappy Silver Age Comics (pretty sure I linked this before, but that’s alright)

Skin: A Tutorial (four parts, just linking to the first.)

Paper Charm Bracelet Tutorial (how to turn paper into cool looking beads)

Ben-Day Shots – Detective Comics #33

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Detective Comics #33

1939 November, Golden Age
Cover Price: 10 cents
The Batman Wars Against the Dirigible of Doom

Characters: Batman, Bruce Wayne, Thomas Wayne, Mrs. Wayne, the Wayne’s killer (unnamed), silly red dirigible, the Scarlet Horde, Professor Carl Kruger, Travis, Bixley, Ryder, Bat-plane

(Edited October 2013) (CN: character death, fictional terrorism, mental ableism)

We start with a cover that has nothing to do with the comic, so I’m not including it. We really start with a cool image of Batman in the Bat-plane in the clouds looking at a red rocket-ship looking dirigible (which is a hard word to type). However, the story actually starts with Batman’s origin, which we all know by now.

“Some fifteen years ago, Thomas Wayne, his wife, and son, were walking home from a movie…” Why Bruce’s mom doesn’t get a name, I don’t know. Then, “Days later, a curious and strange scene takes place.”

Not to make light, but, Bruce have you considered perhaps that you read too many comics?

Continue reading “Ben-Day Shots – Detective Comics #33”

Ben-Day Shots – Captain Britain #2

Captain Britain #2

Week Ending Oct 20, 1976
Cover Price: 10 pence

Characters: Captain Britain / Brian Braddock, Reaver / Joshua Stragg, Merlin, Lady of the Northern Skies, Unnamed Thugs

The cover is very exciting and all – well composed, full of Kirby Dots, nice color contrast between Cap and Reaver, but… Look at Captain Britain’s pose. So his legs are basically perpendicular to Reaver. Who is attacking him. Brian had to have fallen on his ass one second after that blow.

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To recap, Brian Braddock got super powers and a really spiffy costume somehow, he’s fighting the Reaver who is in plate armor for some reason, and this is all a flashback. (You can tell because all the panels have round corners.) Continuing from the last ish, we have the giant head of Merlin and the Lady of the Northern Skies, Brian trying to run, Reaver looks like a troll and his men are in pseudo-medieval / technological armor. Brian has to choose between a sword and an amulet. To no one’s surprise this is an easy choice.

Really, it’s all very kind of melodramatic.

“YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE NOW.”

“I’m not a killer! I can only chose the amulet, the symbol of life!” (Since when do amulets generically symbolize anything?)

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(And this is a direct quote, because DRAMATIC MUCH?)

Rejoice, my son, for thou hast chosen the amulet of right o’er the sword of might! Therefore, let there be beauty and strength — power and compassion — honour and humility, mirth and reverence — within you… Be one with thy brothers of the Round Table — with Arthur and Lancelot, Gawain and Galahad, with them all…

Brian: Srsly woman, you don’t have to yell.

No, sorry, I was doing direct quotes. Here we go.

This — is — insane!!

A second ago, it was as if my very being were on fire — mind, body and soul together — and now… This costume, appearing out of nowhere — fitting me as if it’s tailor-made — and my body within the costume. I feel… bigger, faster, stronger — literally bursting with power, but how– and why?!?”

How and why? Seriously, I thought Over-Dramatic Lady made all that clear, more or less.

So our sides are defined – Right (aka, Law and Justice) and Might. A little cliched, but okay.

And to no one’s surprise Reaver decides to grab the sword to fight Cap with. And it’s EVIL. Which seems wrong to me. I might be overthinking or in the wrong mindset or something, but why are Merlin and this Lady setting out something evil? And two, it’s not like swords or might are inherently wrong. To bring up the previously mentioned Round Table – those guys used swords all the frikking time, and while they weren’t all entirely righteous (with the possible exception of Galahad, if I’m remembering my mythology correctly), they weren’t bad guys either. I know, I know, they were simplifying, stop thinking so much.

Anyway, Reaver grabs the sword and gets transformed like Brian. Except sillier (see the GIANT plume from last issue). And Reaver’s men tackle Brian. And we get this:

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And then Brian instinctively reaches for his whupping stick, gives himself a pep talk, and the flashback ends. And apparently it took him a half hour to beat Reaver’s men.

Turns out Reaver got powers too. Which seems unwise of Merlin – okay, there has to be a wrong answer, fine, but don’t make it one that will then make you have to find someone else to clean up the mess if the hero picks it. Or, for example, a bad guy wanders in and grabs it.

So, yeah, his sword shoots energy. Because having a sharp pointy end isn’t enough when you’re dressed in armor and the other guy is in spandex. Brian tries throwing the staff at him, thinking that’s going to work. Brian? Cutie? HE HAS A HELMET. And they fight more with, in good Marvel Tradition, Brian getting the worse end of it. So, again, in good comic tradition, he has a crazy thought.

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And I hate to interrupt the action, but we get a special bonus! A Captain Britain Do-It-Yourself Colour Page! Which my cynicism translates to: we ran out of money to color this page. So, yeah, black and white.

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And Reaver is defeated, just like that. And Brian has proven himself a champion of Right, by beating people up. Because Might is evil.

Icons

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Credits: writer: Chris Claremont, artists: Herb Trimpe & Fred Kida, letterer: I. Watanabe, colorist: Marie Severin, editor: Larry Lieber.

Ben-Day Shots – Captain Britain #1

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Captain Britain #1

Week Ending Oct 13, 1976
Cover Price: 10 pence

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Characters: Captain Britain / Brian Braddock, Dr. Travis, Reaver / Joshua Stragg, Merlin, Lady of the Northern Skies

First appearance: … everybody. Actually I don’t know that. To the Wikipedia! … yes.

Or I could’ve just gone on to the first page, which has ‘a personal message from Stan Lee’! It’s Britain’s greatest superhero! (I’m pretty sure that’s not true, at least yet)

For you who don’t know, British comics come out weekly. Because of this, they are shorter (this one is 10 pages, including the cover) and often at least partially in black and white (this one is in full color).

I first read about Captain Britain during my ‘I love the X-men’ phase, in Excalibur, which, at the time I was reading it, was excellent (Cross-Time Caper era, for those of you who know). Anyway, let’s get on with the story.

‘Captain Britain!’
‘Born in fulfillment of an ancient dream — forged and tempered in the fires of defeat and death…
‘… a man gifted with superior powers and abilities–‘
‘– he is that rarest of all men:’
a Super-Hero!

The artist is not, in fact, Jack Kirby, but you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise. Our hero, clad in brilliant red, amply emblazoned with the Union Jack and displaying the English lion, and with a permament and somewhat inexplicable shadow about the face, damn near leaps off the page with his whacking stick.

We also get hints what is going to happen in the background, which is a bit silly if you think about it, as this is the second page in a nine page story, so why bother? There’s also a bit of Kirby Krackle serving absolutely no purpose, because, hey, why not?

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I don’t know why I described it and then showed the pic anyway, but hey, I’m not going to waste that overally complicated sentence.

So we start in the middle of our story ‘in the remote fastness of the Cheviot Hills, just south of the Scottish border’, which I’m sure thrilled somebody reading this for the first time.

You couldn’t see it on the splash page, but besides the Union Jack over his face, Cap’s also got one on each arm, because, again, why not? He’s probably got Union Jack boxers on too.

Because this is England, Cap is fighting a guy in a full suit of Medieval-style armor, complete with big poofy purple feathers coming out of his helmet. I can’t tell if Reaver’s minions are carrying rayguns or just Kirby-teched normal guns, but they don’t get a chance to use them before Cap knocks them out, while thinking, in classic Marvel fashion, ‘I’m such an awesome fighter! But how?! I’m a physicist, not a super-hero!’ Cap, um, it comes with the goofy costume, along with the ability to think three pages of text in the five seconds it would take to beat these guys up.

Oh, we also get some classic onomatopoeia:

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And people narrating their action as well, because comics.

Reaver: He dodged my blow at the last second!
Remaining conscious minion: Yeah, we saw that.

Okay, Reaver’s silly purple plume curves from the top of his head in a perfect arc up, down, and to halfway down his back. It’s like a blanket. Those are some serious feathers.

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And Cap spontaneously says his name, which he didn’t know up till this point. Can I just point out that while starting in the middle of the story is exciting and all, it’s also silly. We don’t know what’s going on because it’s just two people in silly costumes we don’t know fighting for an unknown reason. And apparently our hero doesn’t know what’s going on either. I know Marvel is about everyman heroes (at least when this story was written), but this is goofy.

Annnd cue flashback. In the middle of a fight. Because why on earth would Cap bother paying attention? After all, he’s unbeatable!

The flashback panels are nicely done. The first one starts with typical thought bubble scallops and then they all have rounded corners. It’s a nice subtle way of setting it apart.

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I’m always inordinately pleased about pipe-smoking characters. I don’t remember ever seeing Brian with a pipe before. He must have given it up when he finished college.

Any, Brian was working as an assistant to Dr. Travis, supposedly just until the next term starts, at a Darkmoor Research Center – I’m sorry Centre -, where they’re developing a fusion reactor system. OK, that name is just forboding. As is the strange aircraft disappearing behind the hill in the last four panels.

And the world’s most ridiculous vehicle bursts through the wall! Thus introducing our villain. Who appears to be wearing a mohair trenchcoat.

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And they kidnap everyone but Brian, who races off on a motorcycle, looking very silly. (Something about a nice suit and a little bike just is odd). But he gets blinded by the strange aircraft – which he doesn’t seem fazed by at all – and drives off a cliff in a fireball. Is this the end? Nope, he gets saved by – and I’m not making this up – the giant floating heads and hands of Merlin and ‘The Lady of the Northern Skies’ to get judged ‘on peril of [his] immortal soul!’

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And thus we end, still in flashback mode! What’ll happen next week?! Aside from the stuff we saw at the beginning of this issue?

Icons

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Credits: writer: Chris Claremont, artists: Herb Trimpe & Fred Kida, (doing an excellent Kirby impersonation, yay for house styles?), letterer: I. Watanabe, colorist: Marie Severin, editor: Larry Lieber. (Specifically, Herb Trimpe did pencils and Fred Kida did inks, according to the Grand Comics Data-Base.)

I’m not marking the Age on these, but if you’re curious, it’s Bronze Age.

Ben-Day Shots – Detective Comics #31 & 32

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Yeah, this is a special double-sized post!

Detective Comics #31

September 1939, Golden Age
Cover Price: 10 cents
Untitled (Part 1 of Mad Monk)

Characters: Batman, Mad Monk, giant gorilla. 1st appearance of Batarang, Batgyro, and Julie Madison.

Another lovely cover.

Continue reading “Ben-Day Shots – Detective Comics #31 & 32”

Ben-Day Shots – Detective Comics #30

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Detective Comics #30

1939, August, Golden Age
Cover Price: 10 cents
Untitled Story (Return of Doctor Death)

Characters: Batman, Bruce Wayne, Doctor Death, Mikhail. I love that Bruce actually does stuff as Bruce in so many of these.

Continue reading “Ben-Day Shots – Detective Comics #30”

Ben-Day Shots – Detective Comics #29

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Detective Comics #29

1939 July, Golden Age
Cover Price: 10 cents

This one starts with a great cover. I wish I had a better version, or could find a nice large version, but it’s awesome. We’ll see what Photoshop magic can do. Unfortunately, Batman is still running around bare-handed. Bruce, you’re supposed to be smarter than that. (and YES, I will harp on that until it changes.) The cover has dropped the hyphen in his name too, which is nice, cuz it was annoying to type ‘the Bat-Man’ over and over again. Bats is sporting more of a wing than cape look, which is nifty, if completely impractical. And our mad scientist looks like he has pointy ears. Hm.

But onto to the content itself.

The Batman meets Doctor Death

Continue reading “Ben-Day Shots – Detective Comics #29”

Commentary for Detective Comics #28 – Ben-Day Shots

Ben-Day Shots

Detective Comics #28

1939 June, Golden Age

Cover Price: 10 cents

Untitled Story (Frenchy & the Jewel Thieves)

Characters: Bruce Wayne / Batman (as ‘the Bat-Man’). First appearance of the Bat-rope (not called that).

I hope you’ll forgive me for the quality of the scans. Not my fault.

I love the intro for this.

Continue reading “Commentary for Detective Comics #28 – Ben-Day Shots”

Commentary for Detective Comics #27 (Ben-Day Shots)

And now it’s time for the return of Ben-Day Shots. It’s going to take a bit to get the old ones up here (need to find a blogging client that I like, which should make it easier). Anyway, let’s get to it.

Detective Comics #27

1939 May, Golden Age
Cover Price: 10 cents

The Case of the Chemical Syndicate

Characters: Bruce Wayne / Batman (first appearance, as ‘Bat-Man’), Commissioner Gordon (first appearance)

Well, it’s Batman. It’s not fair to judge anything by it’s first issue. It’s not fantastic, it’s not quite on character yet, but it’s Batman.

Anyway, it starts in media res with Bruce Wayne and Commissioner Gordon talking at Gordon’s home. They’re apparently old friends. At this point, Bruce Wayne is a pipe-smoking layabout that somehow still manages to get invited on police investigations (was this okay in the 40s? Seriously?) Gordon is a white-haired cigarette / cigar-smoking (I can’t quite tell) man with a tiny mustache and a tacky suit (well, I’m sure it was fine in the 40s). Actually Bruce’s isn’t that great either.

So anyway, Commissioner Gordon lets ‘young socialite’ Bruce Wayne come along to investigate Lambert, the Chemical King’s, death. Including being there as they question his son.

OK, seriously either police procedure in the 40s was very very lax, or the Gotham police just suck. Who the hell mentions that a victim was killed to just anybody who calls? Bruce’s reaction is just adorable. And slap-worthy (see below.)

(slightly edited for ease of reading)

So the man that called gets whacked, but the Bat-man shows up to beat up the perps. He doesn’t look that bad, although the purple gloves are ridiculous (or possibly fabulous. It rather depends on whether you care about fun or plausible crime-fighting).

 

It should be noted that the Bat-Man is also wanted by the police. And he drives a red, non-bat-in-any-way, car, which I quite like.

Again, edited for conciseness.

So Rogers (one of dead Lambert’s partners) goes to see Alfred Stryker, who, notably, is the only one to get a first name in a caption (the other names are mentioned by young Lambert). Stryker is the last partner and apparently employs an evil chemist named Jennings. Jennings knocks out Rogers and then prepares to gas him. You know he’s evil because he’s continually going ‘heh! heh!’.

In case you thought I was kidding.

Naturally Batman shows up just in the nick of time to save Rogers, keep Jennings from shooting anyway (because if you have a gun you should only try to kill people with it after the hero shows up.) And naturally this wakes up Stryker who tries to kill Rogers some more. The Bat-Man explains everything to Rogers, while holding Stryker with one hand (which is apparently enough to immobilize a person until they get pissed off). Stryker gets mad, the Bat-Man hits him and he falls into the acid tank, which naturally any chemist has. And the Bat-Man does nothing.

Well, basically nothing.

And the story ends with this:

Because your bedroom closet is the perfect place to store your vigilante costume.

Icons:

 

 

 

(Icons may be used or modified wherever, with credit to DC comics)

See Dial B For Blog #389 – 391 for how Batman was created (and things that DC will never tell you) (there’s some in the final installment that I personally think is a stretch, but judge for yourself)

Credits: (uncredited & details) Rob’t Kane (that is, Bob Kane. Pencils, inks, letters) (script: Bill Finger)