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.


Down in the zero.

Anyone who has read Vachss’ series of novels about the character Burke will understand me when I say the following:

I am becoming the Mole.

I am going to be that grimy old person who spends all day creating weird stuff and hanging out with a crew of massive dogs. Occasionally my high-maintenance boyfriend will stop by to bitch at me about something, and I will stare at him blankly from behind dirt-smeared glasses until he shuts up or goes away. I will not speak to or visit anyone unless I absolutely have to.

When did I figure this out?

It happened in stages. A couple of months ago, I decided that I was going to stop visiting people. Yesterday, after another boring lecture from my mother instead of an actual conversation, I decided to stop using the phone. Today, after reading aggravating threads on various message boards, I’ve decided to curb my communications with people via the Web.

So, I’m basically going to limit my socializing to responding to comments on this blog and returning emails. Honestly, this is such a minor change from the way things were before that I highly doubt anyone will notice.

This experiment will only affect my social life, of course. Strolling into the office or library and announcing that you will no longer be communicating with the masses doesn’t go over too well.


Curse you, SOAPnet!

I have to stop watching One Life To Live.

It’s not because it’s a soap opera. I truly believe that quality soap operas can exist. Just because OLTL is a soap opera, that doesn’t make it bad. Of course, it is bad. I know it’s bad because I make up alternate versions of the episodes I watch in my head. Now, I don’t write fanfiction; I haven’t done that for years. Even so, entire scenes of dialogue run through my head. And not just dialogue! Blocking too!

Do you know how annoying that is? My brain is doing work that I will never get paid for! And I can’t make it stop unless I refuse to watch this show.

Overactive imaginations stop being fun when you’re an adult and you realize that you’re not getting one red cent for all the crap taking up space in your head where grocery lists and train schedules should be. I should have a kid so all this stuff will be worth something.


A girl like me.

Go watch this documentary. It’s short and powerful. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Back? Good.

The doll test? Heartbreaking. And the saddest part is, that as bad as I feel watching that little girl slide that black doll across the table, I feel even worse knowing that I made my mother feel just as angry and as frustrated as I feel right now.

I can’t even imagine how horrified my mother must have felt, watching her daughter wail and stomp her feet in the department store for all to see, just because she was not going to purchase the white Barbie doll that her daughter so desperately wanted, but was going to purchase a black Barbie doll for her instead. The first one ever made. In 1980.

And I distinctly remember being so very angry with my mother, because I wanted a doll with long, shiny straight hair, and she had given me what I considered to be a substandard replacement. The black doll had a short Afro, and in my eyes, that made the black doll ugly. Hideously ugly.

I threw such a tantrum that my mother decided to purchase both the white doll and the black doll. And when we would play together, she would play with the black doll and I would play with the white doll. And after a few months of mistreatment (preschoolers don’t make for very good caretakers) the white doll began to look dingy and ugly. And I shyly asked my mother if I could play with her doll, which had remained well cared for.

My mother handed me the doll and told me that I could play with it, as long as I remembered that the doll was very special and deserved to be treated as such. And I did remember.

Of course, that was the last doll I had that ever looked like that. Because when Mattel started to make black Barbie dolls with the long shiny hair that I always wanted, I promptly forgot about both white Barbie dolls and black Barbie dolls with Afros.

I think my mother worked very hard to teach me that my brown skin was beautiful. And that must have been extremely difficult for her when she could not offer herself as a beauty role model due to her own light skin. Plus, she had to work against not only what the mainstream culture was constantly telling me, but also what the men in my family were telling me by consistently choosing fair-skinned black women as girlfriends and wives.

But I got it. Despite what everyone else was telling me, my mother’s message finally got through. I only wish that she had told me that my hair was beautiful as well. But no one would tell me that—ever. Instead I was told that my hair was wild. Untamed. Ugly. Repeatedly.

Of course, people did tell me how pretty I could be if I would just “do something” with my hair. Which then kicked off my lifelong affair with pressing combs and hair extensions—but no relaxers though. That would cause hair loss and breakage. And the only thing more “unfeminine” than nappy hair was nappy hair that was short.

Sigh. Humanity hurts.


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!


Gawker Stalker.

My fake ad made it into Gawker! Whee!


Photoshop therapy.

Seeing this ad annoyed me. Making this ad (the first one) made me feel better. Seriously, Gwyneth Paltrow just gets on my damn nerves.


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.


Garbage in. Garbage out.

I have lowbrow tastes. I don’t care. I like junk food, soda, wrestling, soap operas, cartoons, video games, Latin freestyle, disco, jeans, t-shirts, comics, gossip blogs, and romance novels. Show me the worst of American culture and I have probably eaten it, listened to it, read it, watched it, or worn it.

However, I think that my continued enjoyment of pretty much what is the worst that my culture has to offer might be having a bit of a negative effect on my psyche. I’ve been feeling rather sluggish and depressed lately. So, I’ve decided to put my brain and body on a diet for a week or two. The Body Diet starts tomorrow. The Brain Diet starts the day after tomorrow because there is no way that I am not going to download One Life To Live when David Fumero will be appearing without his shirt on. And that’s final.

The Body Diet should be easy. I simply swear off soda, cookies, candy, and ice cream. No big deal.

The Brain Diet is going to be a nightmare. No soap operas. No superhero comics. No cartoons. No wrestling. No UFC. No gossip blogs. No message boards prone to Internet drama. No raggedy t-shirts. I fully expect to be a basketcase by the second day. However, the following cheats will be allowed:

  • The Venture Bros.
  • Denim jeans
  • Daredevil
  • The Longest Journey: Dreamfall
  • Disco
  • Latin freestyle

I know a couple of days from now I will remember something that should have gone on the cheats list and I will scream in agony over being deprived of it. And I’ll be sure to complain about it here too.


Hairs to you.

If you knew how much I had to do, you’d wonder why I am sitting here typing up a journal entry when I could be getting important things done. It’s because some of the important things I have to do are rather unpleasant and nerve-racking, so I’d like to stall for time as long as possible. Plus, I’ve been neglecting my blog.

Sadly, I no longer have the Afro made of awesome because I have discovered that hair weaves are made of stuff that is decidedly not awesome. I will never get another weave again. Ever. It felt like I was wearing a hat that I couldn’t take off. I don’t know how other women can deal with such an uncomfortable and unpleasant hairstyle. So, I basically wasted two hundred dollars on a hairstyle that lasted me less than a week. I get upset just thinking about what a waste of money that was.

And yet now there is a very important question that needs to be asked. What am I going to do with my hair? Why does this question need to be asked? Because America is an utterly dysfunctional place that cannot accept naturally kinky black hair as-is, so something must be “done” to it in order for a black woman to be an acceptable member of American society. Luckily, I have more options than my mother had at my age. Unfortunately, I don’t like any of those options.

Option 1: After washing my hair, I blow dry it and then straighten my hair with a pressing comb. I don’t like this option because it takes me several hours to do my hair this way. Plus, the minute water touches my hair? My hairstyle is destroyed. On the plus side, it is a cheap hairstyle and rather cute. It costs nothing but time.

Option 2: I get dreadlocks. This is not an option, because there is no way I will get any hairstyle that requires me to shave my head when I no longer want to wear the hairstyle in question. Of course, this is also a really cheap style. I could do it myself for free.

Option 3: I get cornrows. This is not an option since I look really bad in this hairstyle. Sadly, cornrows are not for people with gigantic heads. Still, it is a very cheap and efficient hairstyle to have. It costs about 60 dollars. I only wish it made me look good.

Option 4: I get a relaxer. Not a good option. I’m not really enthused about putting sodium hydroxide or guanidine hydroxide on my head and leaving it there long enough for it to permanently break the cohesive disulfide bonds in my hair in order to loosen the hair’s kinky texture. Plus, once my hair starts to grow, I will have to continue to get relaxers to straighten the new kinky growth—or my hair will break off where the kinky growth stops because my relaxed hair is so weak in comparison.

Option 5: I get a really short Afro or buzz cut. Did I mention my big lion head? I look terrible with short hair. Not an option.

Option 6: I get box braids. Actually, there are two options here. One, I can spend three hundred dollars and sixteen hours in a beauty salon to get this hairstyle. Two, I can spend ten dollars and spend every night for about a week doing this hairstyle myself. It takes longer, but I keep two hundred and ninety dollars in my bank account.

To sum it all up, I am tired and angry and frustrated. And the next person who is not a black woman who feels the need to comment on a black woman’s hair without taking into account the obscene amount of exploitation we must endure, time we must expend, and money we must spend on our hair just to prevent ourselves from facing ridicule when we walk down the street will get cursed out.

Speaking of hair, I just watched the following documentary on the black hair care industry. Fascinating stuff!


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.


Um…yay?

Apparently Neal Boortz has issued an apology for the previous half-assed apology posted to his weblog. Of course, this has done nothing to alleviate my cranky mood since I ran right smack into David Yeagley’s crazed rant against black women and our supposedly manipulative ways.

Sigh.

“It’s racism at Duke, all right. Racism against white students. Members of the Duke University Lacrosse team may have abused a black party girl, but, without any proof or trial, the Duke Lacrosse team was punished by the university, suspended from further games. So terrified was the administration of being charged with ‘racism.’ The black female wins again. She is truly an ace on the field and in court.”

That is some full-fledged crazy right there, folks! What have black women won? The right to be heard by a police officer when we’ve been attacked? If so, what is so wrong about finally winning the same basic treatment that everyone else in this country receives? Black women shouldn’t have had to win that. It should have been automatically given to us for being human and American.

And since when is simply doing your job racism against white students? When an individual reports a crime, the police are supposed to investigate. When a student has brought shame upon a private university with his or her misconduct, the college administration has every right to suspend that student. While it has not yet been proven that a rape has occurred, it has been proven that alcohol was served to minors and that exotic dancers were hired to perform on school property. That’s more than enough reason to suspend students for misconduct. And perhaps the students were suspended from further games for their own protection? They aren’t exactly the most popular people in the country at the moment. The students might have been seriously injured by an irate citizen at an athletic event.

“So, that black woman said, ‘No,’ eh? First, she’s in a profession where she’s expected to do tricks for clients. Second, she’s walking into a house full of young, drunken athletes, who happen to be white. Third, she called the police and complained once; then she went back, but then left. And then she went back again! That’s a peculiar way of saying ‘No,’ it seems to me.”

Having a job where you take your clothes off for money does not give men the right to rape you or give the police the right to ignore your claims. Having poor judgement does not give men the right to rape you or give the police the right to ignore your claims. Last time I checked, rape was still a crime. The victim’s race, occupation, and/or level of intelligence does not change that fact. And for the record, prostitutes turn tricks. Strippers do not.

“These racist black people just want a role model victim, with mistreatment wreaked upon the weakest of the weak: the black woman. All she has to do is cry, ‘rape by white male!’ and she rules the world.”

What? That’s just so crazy that I can’t even respond.

Seriously. I’m officially on a pundit break.