Happy Birthday, Stan Lee!

Excelsior!

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Stan “The Man” Lee turned 90 today!

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Artwork by J.Scott Campbell

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Whatever You May Celebrate…

…may it be happy.

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Personally, the family and I celebrate Giftmas – the secular, non-religious version of Christmas (our Christ-figure is Santa), though I usually refer to it as Hogswatch (we’re a bunch of rabid Discworld fans). We’re all very spiritual, but are not connected to any religion. Technically, I was Baptized Catholic, but that didn’t really take. In fact, if I had to say that I was anything, I’d be agnostic.


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“But Still Good. Yeah, Still Good.” Meditations on Grief and the Holidays

I sat down to write something that didn’t come out of my rainbow unicorn diary with the heart-shaped lock – or even something comic related – and I came up empty.

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The holidays are always hard for me. They remind me of how much I miss my Grandparents – who I lived with and who raised me. Today, I was out shopping and the grief felt so new and raw and I almost started crying in a mall.

There are always signs of them in my life. The ever present Cardinal – which reminds me so much of my Grandma. And there isn’t a day that I don’t feel my Grandpa next to me.

Perhaps it was hard because the mall was the mall of my childhood – where I used to accompany my Grandpa when he gave blood. It’s a practice that I wish I could continue but sadly, I am and, I fear, will always be too anemic to do so.

It’s not just that I miss them so much that it feels like a weight pressing down on my chest but it’s that I miss that they brought everyone together. After they died, it was fragmented and I, like the child of divorce, suddenly had two Christmases, two birthdays, two of every celebration where before there was only one. It wasn’t just the family drama that tore up the family – though there was plenty of that – it’s that the heart of the family was gone. I don’t think that we could replicate those Christmases from my childhood ever again. My Grandparents are what made them; and without them…well, it wouldn’t be the same.

Don’t get me wrong. I love and treasure the Christmases I have now – my family is little and broken but still good. Yeah, still good. I look forward to making new traditions with Mr. Comic Book Goddess and keeping some of the old. I know that I don’t miss the stress of those Christmases – it was so busy and crazy and I was always happy when it was over.

But, six and seven years in, it surprises me just how palpable the grief still is. Grief is a real bitch. You never get over it, but the hurt eases and you put it somewhere just outside of your consciousness and you let it make you a stronger person and you go on with your life. But then, you’re reminded that the grief, while it may have changed momentarily, is still there. That it never goes away.

Sure, it doesn’t hurt as much as when the grief was still new – that would be entirely it’s own level of Hell – and sometimes, you can manage a sad smile at whatever evoked the response in you. But, as with today, it can hit you and shake you to your very core.

…and it still fucking sucks.

Photo of the Day: President Obama gets stuck in Spider-Man’s web at the White House!

Earlier today, President Barack Obama’s social media staff posted the following photo to his Facebook page.

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The photo shows the President having a bit of fun with the pint-sized web-slinger, who’s believed to be the son of one of his staff members. The photo has gone viral and it melted my Grinch-like heart. Which is why I’m sharing it here.

It also demonstrates that Obama is five hundred shades of awesome.

LLLLLLLLLLADIES.

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I shamelessly stole this from the Tumblr of Gail Simone, who had this to say:

Here is a bunch of fake nerds, oh, wait, I meant to say THE MOST AWESOME CHICKS EVER SO AWESOME THEY WILL BURN YOUR DAMN FOOL EYES OUT OF YOUR FACE IF YOU CALL THEM FAKE NERDS.

Ahem.

It might be hard to see, but they are all symbolizing a color of the Lanterns, with the great NerdyBird taking the classic green.

The awesome it burns! I am crushing so hard on each of the ladies in this photo. Well done!

tumblr_m7ar9cg04W1qcs7kpEdited to Add: The title is in reference to this Twilight RiffTrax quote.

Amazing!

This came across my Tumblr dashboard yesterday and words cannot describe just how much I absolutely adore Des Taylor’s art (obligatory link to his blog).

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I don’t know what it is about the image that gets me. The slightly retro pinup look of Lois (which really reminds me of Hildy from His Girl Friday), the befuddled innocence of Clark – the look of a man who totally believes in Santa in a super sexy way. It’s absolutely STUNNING art.

Seriously, Fuck You Guys.

1354133497_11124-verrrso-36299 copySo, over on one of the Ravelry forums I frequent, there was a link to today’s Tee Fury t-shirt. Now, before we go on, for those of you not familiar with Tee Fury, they offer limited edition t-shirts for $10 (usually the designs are available for only 24 hours and they change everyday). Now, I have purchased some fucking awesome t-shirts from Tee Fury – they tend to be geeky or pop culture reference-y. However, the designs are often hit or miss.

Now, today’s design, Dark Duel, was designed by Verrrso (their Facebook page is here), a Brazilian design studio. Now the problem wasn’t with the art itself, but with one piece of the of the side art, meant to showcase the artist’s other designs. It shows Wonder Woman ironing Superman’s costume. (Frankly, I should probably note that I’m not a fan of the art.)

Cue feminist rage.

There were also some really inventive backstories to the image – such as it actually being Superman in his Wonder Woman drag just doing his laundry.

But, seriously, this reminds me of awful Mary Jane washing Peter’s costume while her thong is showing statue.

As one of the ladies on the forum pointed out, thinking about gender issues within the domestic sphere of superheroes is a really interesting and a thought-provoking concept. Frankly, given the unpredictability of superhero lives, I’d imagine that they’d outsource most domestic duties, even if they had a non-superhero spouse at home (of either gender). It makes sense to have an Alfred or a Jarvis to handle the minutiae of the superhero’s more mundane existence. I would think that, whatever little downtime a superhero has, they’d want to spend it with their friends or their significant other – and not scrubbing toilets or doing the laundry.

And, to be honest, I don’t see something especially un-feminist about doing someone else’s laundry. I do my husband’s laundry; he deals with the garbage every week. The gendered implications of how our domestic duties are divided doesn’t particularly concern me; neither chore was assigned because of the assumption that chicks are totally better at doing laundry and he has bigger (and more manly) muscles to take out the garbage and sort the recycling. On the flip side, I don’t particularly like vacuuming, so my husband mostly does it.

maryjanesmut3Though, the situation in the art is completely different than how my husband and I divide the housework. That’s why I made my first point:  I would totally argue that Wonder Woman has more important shit to do than washing her own costume, never mind Superman’s.

But neither of those points really hits to the core issue. Diana – who’s a fucking warrior and an Amazonian Princess – is cast the stereotypical housewife role. The implication of showing her doing her “wifey” duty to Superman by ironing his fucking costume is that she has nothing better to do and that she’s finally in her “proper” place – subjugated by a man. (Again, completely contradictory, if you knew anything about Diana or Wonder Woman.)

By relegating her to an incredibly stereotypical and gendered activity like this – especially within the superhero genre, which already has massive issues with the role of women and female superheroes (and non-hegemonic men, in general) – you’re successfully communicating where female superheroes (and, by extension, female fans) belong: in the kitchen and making the male superheroes (or male fans) a sammich.

Seriously, fuck you guys.