Girlie girls and wicked women.

Okay, I went to a “Girls’ Night Out” event hosted by Shecky’s last night.

It was horrible.

I don’t know why I continue to go to these “ladies’ events” when they almost always suck. Perhaps I don’t enjoy them because I’m not a “lady.” I’d say about 40 percent of the shopping booths there were devoted to jewelry (which I hardly every wear) and a good 50 percent of the booths contained overpriced clothes and handbags that I could get for a fraction of the price at any New Jersey mall.

Official tangent: People may make fun of New Jersey, but our malls kick the butts of the malls in every other state. I know you jerks are going to Jersey to shop, because I keep seeing cars with NY and PA plates hogging up all the damn parking spaces. Stop making fun of Jersey or deal with buying overpriced items in your own state.

And now we return you to your regularly scheduled post.

Anyway, another chunk of the booths was dedicated to selling “women’s interest” books. Apparently, the following topics fascinate your average woman:

  • How to get a man.
  • How to get over a man.
  • How to get over on a man.

Booo! That is absurd! Here’s my lists of interests:

  • Electronic gadgets.
  • Home improvement.
  • Dance music.
  • Graphic novels.
  • Science fiction.
  • Lotions and shampoos that smell like food.
  • Cute doggies.

I am not concerned with how to get a man or keep a man. Either he wants me or he doesn’t. I am also not concerned with how to get over on a man because that’s just cruel. And honestly? None of the women I know are interested in those topics either. It’s not as if I belong to a clique of fabulously enlightened chicks. We’re all just average women you encounter everyday. I guess I’m just annoyed that these events cater to such a narrow selection of women. And it’s a selection of women that I (and most other women) have very little in common with. Most women are interested in purchasing more than just clothes, accessories, and books about relationships with men.

Anyway, nothing is all bad. There were some cool things about the event. One, they actually included a graphic novel in the goodie bag! Yes, it was a title geared towards young girls, but I’m still thrilled that comics are now considered something that women are interested in. Two, I had Rice Krispie treats dipped in the most fabulous vanilla glaze ever! They were from Dip, a fondue restaurant in NYC. Plus, there were a couple of nice self-help books there that amazingly had nothing to do with men.

Finally, NJ Transit had massive train delays and it took me forever to get home.


The goods.

I’ve spent way too much time being grumpy and complaining about things that are wrong with the world. Tonight is all about the good stuff.

The Wire: When I say this is the best show on television, I mean it. And it isn’t because the show has had its fair share of eye candy throughout its run either. This is a program with an amazingly talented cast. It is a program that tells a fascinating and complex story over the course of each season, and manages to shed some light on the many intersections of race, class, politics, and crime while doing so. This is not your run of the mill cop show, folks.

The Venture Bros.: The show’s creators could have easily rested on their laurels and been pleased with the fact that they had created a hilariously entertaining cartoon filled to the brim with sarcastic wisecracks and bizarre plots. But they had to take it an additional step further and load it with some of the most amusing and bemusing pop culture references and tributes ever seen. Love it.

Four Four: I deleted all of my gossip blog links around the time that Shameless Media Whore #325 took Minority Photo Op #5786, and felt much better because of it. But I continue to read Four Four. Though, honestly, Rich Juzwiak’s blog is a hell of a lot more than a mere gossip site. The man tears into pop culture like a rabid dog into raw meat. He’s smart, funny, and he’s a hell of a music critic too. So there.

“Devotion” by Ten City: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This is the best song in the universe. I am convinced that Byron Stingily’s voice on this track is a gift directly from God to me. We’re talking a religious experience here, people. The song is that good. I think I love it so much because it reminds me of the days when dance music still had a heart and soul. Every time I listen I get butterflies. Each and every time.

Snickers: The ultimate junk food. I had one yesterday and I swear my mouth had an orgasm. Whoever invented this candy bar was brilliant. Brilliant! It is every possible guilty edible pleasure all rolled into one. The sweet and creamy taste of warm chocolate! The intense pleasure of biting down on crunchy, salted peanuts! Feeling the weight of thick caramel pooling in the center of your tongue! Oh, so good!

Adam Warren: Some swoon over the words of Warren Ellis. Some get giddy over the faintest line drawn by Jim Lee. For me, Adam Warren is my last bastion of fangirliness. I simply adore every iota of this man’s work. Every piece the man produces is like a postcard from the future. And the future is fun, fast, and overloaded with information.

Go. Visit. Enjoy.


Body to body.

Something that has begun to trouble me where comics are concerned is the fact that more and more artists are using porn stars and fashion models as a reference when drawing superheroines. Stop doing this. Please. I’m begging you.

Fashion models and porn stars may have bodies that are sexually attractive to men, but they do not have bodies that exhibit exceptional power and strength. And if you are going to have a career that involves beating up criminals and chasing after miscreants, strength is something you need. To depict male heroes as powerful champions and depict female heroes as erotic objects who pose in uncomfortable positions that elicit a sexual response from men is unbelievably insulting and misleading. And it exposes artists who use porn stars and fashion models as a reference for the lazy bastards that they are. They don’t care about getting it right. They care about getting off.

What’s so sad is that if these artists were willing to do just five minutes of research, they’d find a whole slew of photos of women who are both strong and sexually attractive. Just go to Google Image Search and type in fitness competitor. Or pick up an issue or two of Oxygen magazine.

It’s that simple, people.


Hair therapy.

I have three major pet peeves when it comes to art in comics. Here they are in order of importance:

  • Women drawn like preteen-boys with breast implants.
  • Asian people that are drawn with European features.
  • Black women with ridiculous hairstyles.

Today we are going to talk about number three. Billy Tucci?

Misty Knight

What the hell is this? Seriously. I require you to explain this to me. You are a good artist. If you weren’t a good artist, I would let you slide on this. But since you are a good artist, I’m gonna have to bring it to you. This? Unacceptable. You couldn’t spend three dollars on a black hair care magazine? I would have sent you one for free, man. That is how much Misty’s new hairstyle pains me. The woman looks like she has a hat on. I’ll be the first one to admit that black women have a ridiculous variety of hairstyles and hair textures. However, the majority of us usually don’t like to wear all of them on our heads at once. Kinky or straight. Pick a texture and go with it. Because I am so kind, I have provided you with some examples of good hairstyles. Make way for the awesome.

See? It’s all love, man. It’s all love.

Coming soon: Monica Rambeau. Walking Hair Atrocity.


Swag.

Y’know what? When I say I’m going to read a certain book, that pretty much means that I am not going to read it. Didn’t I say a while back that I was going to dive right into Mask Market? Well, that dive lasted about three pages. Instead I found myself knee-deep in Two Trains Running, which I swore I’d never read, and polished off Food and Loathing, which touched me so deeply that I was walking around in a fog for days. Plus, Food and Loathing has the best line I’ve ever read in a book. Ever. Here’s an excerpt:

I want to kill Anna’s mother. I want to rip every pink thing from this shit-box of a doughnut shop and smear it with chocolate custard. I want to scream in her tight little face: You know I want another doughnut, you fucking bitch.

Awesome.

It’s a heartbreaking look at one woman’s struggles with body image and depression with the perfect touch of humor that makes it a delight to read. It’s amazing.

I actually went and bought comics yesterday. Frivolous, I know. These are the last ones, I swear. It’s graphic novels from now on. But since I already bought them, let’s talk about them.

Joe Linsner’s art in Claws is so…very…sexy. But here’s why he’s better than all of those cheeseball artists who love sticking two bowling balls on every female character and calling it a day:

One, he devotes just as much attention to making the male protagonist sexy too. Two, he understands that the human body is sexy as is. There’s no distortion in his art at all. Women have hips and waists that have normal attainable ratios. Breasts are affected by gravity. Legs are of a normal length and width. His women look like women—not preteen boys with breast implants. Not Barbie dolls. Just gorgeous women who spend a great deal of time in the gym.

And I love it.

Spider-Man and Black Cat

Anyone who tells me that that image is not one of the cutest things ever is lying. You are a liar. And his faces are so expressive too!

I’m slipping into fangirl mode. I’ll stop now.

Finally, I picked up the rest of Marvel’s Daughters of the Dragon series. Fun stuff.


Swag.

Let us talk about my awesome new acquisitions. First up, I got a pair of sexy sensible shoes. Do you know how hard it is to find sensible shoes that are sexy? Damn hard. I am so in love with these shoes that it should be a crime. They were on sale too. Forty-four bucks. Normally, there’s no way in hell that I would pay that much for shoes since I always wait until Macy’s has its 65 percent-off sale and then I load up. But I needed shoes. All I have are sneakers and boots. Sneakers aren’t sexy and boots aren’t comfortable.

Next up? I got a pair of headphones to replace the broken ones on my MP3 player. What’s with all the white appliances and electronics nowadays? Nothing I have matches because I never buy anything at once. I have a white computer and monitor and a black keyboard and speakers. It looks completely ridiculous. It bothers me since I am almost mental about things matching.

The third acquisition? Blade Runner on DVD. Yes! It’s the director’s cut though. I’m not happy about that. I heard that version is more violent than the original. I’m pretty much a gigantic baby when it comes to on-screen violence—except when it happens in a cartoon. For some reason I can gleefully watch some of the most brutal cartoons ever made and not be troubled in the least.

Last but not least? Mask Market. Whoooo! Andrew Vachss is cooler than Batman, people. Y’all just don’t know! I’m totally ripping through that book tomorrow.

I am still refusing to buy new clothes until I lose weight. I will wear the same damn outfit every day for the next year if I have to. I mean it!


Hey! Hey! Hey!

Look who finally figured out how to blog from the office!

Me! And it only took me a bazillion days. Well, not literally a bazillion. It’s going to reach a hundred degrees today in NYC and the brownouts have already begun. But as long as I have some semblance of air conditioning, I will remain happy. And so I am happy.

I’m so happy because I get to complain about the awful Target logos splashed all over the stairs at Penn Station. I don’t know why that burns me up, but it does. I swear, life is becoming more and more like a William Gibson novel each day. Pretty soon people will be renting out space on their skin for company logos. Oh wait! That’s already happening! Way to go, Golden Palace!

I fear for humanity a little more each day.

Anyway, you know the drill. I’m going to bombard you with what I’ve been filling my head with these past couple of days. As far as books go, I read Past Lies yesterday. Nice. It’s a totally freaky murder mystery from Oni Press. Click on the link and read a preview. I couldn’t put it down. Read it all in one shot. And I have The Losers and Transmetropolitan on my desk as I type. Sweet.

I tried to watch RAW last night and was so bored that I couldn’t even make it through thirty seconds of Mick Foley’s rambling. It’s sad what the WWE has devolved to.

I just realized that I have no Photoshop here and many of my complaints require visual aids. More later.


Additional random stuff.

I’ve seen way too much Prison Break. How do I know this? Because I immediately wondered if Lay was actually dead after reading about his unfortunately timed demise. And I also had to wonder if he died of natural causes. It’s way too easy to fake a death and even easier to cover up a murder.

Not that I would know anything about that.

Speaking of murder, I just have to mention how disgusted I am by the vicious and hateful actions perpetuated by the Avenues street gang. Hell, it’s bad enough that we’re beaten and terrorized for the supposedly horrific crime of daring to walk through suburban neighborhoods while being black. Now African Americans have to worry about being attacked because of their race while walking through crime-ridden hellholes too? Feh. Let them try that ethnic cleansing garbage in prison and see how far it gets them.

Anyway, onto more pleasant things. Like comics! What have I been reading lately? Well, I just finished Castle Waiting. What a charming book! And I have to restate my absolute love for Daredevil. Sadly, it’s the only Marvel book I’m still reading. Hopefully it doesn’t tie into any of that Civil War nonsense later on down the road. I’m also digging American Virgin. Man, can we talk about how awesome Becky Cloonan is? Her art is just so damn grimy. I love it. Oh, and I polished off a Top Ten graphic novel this week too. Hooray for Alan Moore! I’d love to hang out in his brain for a day. Last but not least, I finally got my hands on Livewires. I’m surprised I didn’t pick this up sooner given my irrational adoration for everything that Adam Warren puts out.

As for what I’m watching? Well, I have to admit that I don’t have sophisticated tastes when it comes to television viewing. I adore the Venture Bros. And I have a great deal of love for Samurai Champloo as well. And yes, I do admit that I watch bits and pieces of One Life To Live. Yes, I know it’s a soap opera! Basically, I fast forward through anything that doesn’t involve Renee Goldsberry or David Fumero, so I only watch about five minutes a day.

I’ve stopped watching wrestling because it has been so mind-numbingly bad lately. Not even the sheer awesome that is Finlay could bring me back. Besides, wrestlers are being slapped with fines and suspensions left and right for drug violations. First RVD and Sabu and now Orton? What’s the point in watching when half of the stories have to be dropped due to a missing participant? Bah.

Oh, I picked up the Samurai Jack Season 3 DVD. Awesome. Why the hell is Cartoon Network taking so long getting these DVDs out?

In other news, Five Below is the best store in the history of the universe. Don’t have one in your area? You are so deprived.


Random stuff.

One, how come y’all didn’t tell me that Pam Noles was doing the damn thing?
Shame on you.

Two, I read Stagger Lee today and got the same melancholy feeling that I always get whenever I read or watch something that is really moving. That’s a good graphic novel, people. Pick it up.

Three, I apologize for not keeping up with my blog, but I’ve been too busy ranting and raving about comics on other people’s message boards.


Pipe dream?

You know what would be nice? If I could walk into my local comic shop or the graphic novel section of Borders and see just one comic or graphic novel written by a black woman.

Just one.