AFTER ISSUE ONE ON TEH INTARWEBS!

Cole & TSo after a long and hard road, heroes have arrived to save the fragile buds of a new civilization from the overwhelming force of barbarism’s dark hordes. And at the end of this road lies the goal of internet print-per-order. YES FOLKS… Now you too can own your very own copy of After, Issue One by simply ordering online. Just direct your trusty browsers to the following link:

http://www.indyplanet.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=576

And you too, for the low low internet price of $3.75 (plus shipping and handling) can be the proud owner of the hottest indy comic since the phrase ‘indy comic’ entered our collective lexicon.

But fear not. If ordering online isn’t your thing, very soon we’ll have a list right here of the major retail outlets where the book will be available. God we rock. We rock your fucking face off. Now pick up your face and buy my comic book. Please. Seriously, rent is due. Thanks.

Out for now…

– Paris “Rev” Battle

Effin’ Weird

So I wrote this post a little while, back. Simple, based on a series of rational observations, no big deal, right? Well, apparently, I’m not the only one who noticed. Look carefully, though. The guy actually uses the phrase “tidal wave of dumb”. Dangerously close to what I’d already said. It this such an obvious phenomenon that fairly well-informed people are actually using strikingly similar metaphors by chance? Or should I be in touch with a lawyer for a plagiarism suit? Hard to say, but I’ll at least give homeboy the benefit of the doubt for now. Besides, my lawyer’s rich enough.

Only other news of note is to stay tuned, kids. A MAJOR announcement concerning the availability of the first issue of After will be forthcoming tomorrow. Soon pretty much everyone interested will have an outlet for purchase, and I’m as happy as a puppy with two penises about it.

Out for now…

– Rev

Some Musings On The Nature Of Chicks In Genre Fiction

LeiaThis post is the result of a series of conversations with several girl-geeks of my acquaintance, stemming originally with my curiosity concerning this emerging movement. Eventually my pondering of the subject evolved into a sort of running back and forth commentary on how women are (and have been) treated in a wide variety of dork-loved media, from comic books to pulp films. This has led me to a series of conclusions and observations on the subject, which for reasons of posterity I’ll throw into the mix here, in no particular order. I want to make it VERY clear here I’m not taking a side on this issue, nor am I advocating anything in particular. I’m just calling it like I see it, which is what I normally do.

  • I’ll freely admit it: There’s a LOT of misogyny in comic books. I mean a WHOLE lot. Like a ‘holy shit why is Mary Jane in a skintight leotard other than some artist was feeling lonely that day’ lot. It doesn’t take Hank McCoy to realize that, especially inMary Jane the mainstream superhero books, the part of females has been traditionally relegated to sexy but inconsequential sidekick, hard-nosed career woman who still needs saving by the hero, or slut villainess. Though to be fair, I’d have to guess (and this is only a guess) that the vast majority of comic book creators are in fact socially maladjusted males. I base this on the observation that the vast majority of comic book READERS are socially maladjusted males, and typically only someone who loves the art form would make the financially suicidal maneuver of attempting to make it their living. Since these individual’s attitudes toward women generally range in scope from laughable naivety (girls are dumb) to outright hostility (still mad that Ellie Jo wouldn’t go to the prom with them), it seems an obvious reason those attitudes are reflected in both the art and, sad to say, the writing in the mainstream books.
  • Having made the above point, there are three things to keep in mind. First, the ‘traditional’ view of women in the comic book story medium very likely traces its roots back to the traditional view of women in general society. This can be seen reflected in the nature of virtually every female comic book character conceived prior to about the late Silver Age, with the notable exception of the good Dr. Marston‘s original “girl-on-girl bondage action” treatment of Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman BondageNot entirely progressive in everyone’s eyes perhaps, but Princess Diana certainly wasn’t in the kitchen chilling anyones martini in time for them to get off work. Secondly, this is a reality that is CHANGING, like every other depiction of females in popular entertainment that I can think of. It just seems to be happening in mainstream comic books at a much slower rate, but so are a lot of progressions quite frankly, and analyzing THAT particular stagnation could fill a fucking book, let alone another blog entry. And finally, much as I hate to say it, the only permanent solution to this phenomenon is the one that’s going to take the longest. Namely, infiltrating the comic book industry at large with more females, readers and creators alike. Ladies, you want treatments of women in comic books that are insightful, respectful, interesting and realistic? Create some. Oh, and buy the ones that already are. I know, it’s a painfully slow process, but capitalism will overcome eventually when nothing else does.
  • Janet LeighHorror movies: Is it JUST that boys like to see boobies bounce when the cheerleader is running from the monster, or is there some insidious and subconscious violent tendency expressing itself on screen that always puts the hot girl under the machete (or the claw, or the butcher’s knife, or on the other end of some idiotic and overblown torture contraption featured in a series of highly overrated crap films the latest of which is being released right about now)? I’d say that answer depends on the film, but I do know this: A great number of horror films pander to a sort of suppressed medieval version of Christian judgment. If you think about it, the sinner is always the one slaughtered by the demon. Once… JUST ONCE, I’d like to see the promiscuous girl and the stoner come together to kill the fucking psychopath in the end. Did I miss that movie? Someone help me out here.
  • Final point before I shut up: The rise of the female action hero. MillaI include this here because it’s been a primarily genre-driven event. Quick quiz: Other than Foxy Brown, Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley, and Geena Davis in The Long Kiss Goodnight, name ONE female lead in an action movie prior to about the late 1990s. Seriously, take your time with it. Now, just for shits and giggles, think about the trend Tarantino started with the Kill Bill films. Suddenly Milla Jovovich can kick ass AND have her name appear over the title, and when unimaginative network executives look for an old TV series to revisit, they picked Bionic Woman over the traditionally more well-known Six Million Dollar Man. On a side note, I think they spend more than six million dollars training individual stealth fighter pilots now, and that’s WITHOUT cybernetic attachments or inflation adjustment. Don’t even ask what the plane itself costs. Your tax dollars at work.

And on THAT digressive bit of rambling, I’ll wrap this little collection of vaguely associated thoughts up with a bit of reflection on my own current story. For those of you who have read (or are planning to read) After, please don’t take my depiction of the solitary female character in issue one as my only observation on the nature of women. Or do, and write me a nasty letter, so that I may chuckle at it. Either way, you read the book. Now, if anyone needs me, I’ll be at home getting in touch with my feminine side.

Out for now…

– Rev

A Rising Tide Of Dumb

On a business note, I had a fantastic time at MonsterCon. Good on the Comic MonStore for giving my hometown it’s first real convention. It brought a tear to the eye of the little boy geek inside me. But before I go getting all sentimental and shit, there’s a pressing issue I’d like to use this blog to address:

The stupidity of kids today.

Now, before I’m accused of being a curmudgeon, let me clarify something: I am NOT that old. Old enough, as my mother would say, to know better, but really no older. And I’m not that smart. Brighter than the average rental car customer perhaps, but that’s about it. Something, however, has happened to the relative intelligence level of the generation immediately behind mine. Some great unknown has apparently injected the brains of the post-Reagan Baby generation with crippling degrees of ignorance. At first, I thought it was just me, but others have noticed.

Retards

To help illustrate this point, I’ve included selected segments from an interview conducted via instant message between myself and a person that we’ll call “B”. B is a 31 year old librarian at a mid-sized college-level educational institution which shall remain nameless. As someone whose job it is to help students of varying levels of experience with the difficulties of freshman-entry papers, B is well aware the depth to which this epidemic stupidity is plunging. In the interest of illuminating this, I asked B the following questions:

SnakePreacher (4:14:27 PM): First question: Many of our generation have noticed a rapidly diminishing intelligence quotient in those younger than us. When did you FIRST become aware of the fact that kids are stupid?

B(4:24:37 PM): I don’t think it’s all kids. But the majority of the college students I deal with daily don’t have a solid foothold when it comes to education. They don’t know things they should have learned in elementary school.

B(4:24:41 PM): And they’re rude, inconsiderate bastards who need to turn off their goddamn cellphones when they’re in the library.

SnakePreacher (4:25:16 PM): So you’re saying the stupidity, where it exists, doesn’t just extend to educational shortcomings, but to common knowledge as well?

B (4:28:12 PM): You mean among college students or the general population?

SnakePreacher (4:29:30 PM): We’ll stick to college students, since that’s your general area of expertise.

B (4:29:57 PM): Common knowledge and common courtesy. Yes.

SnakePreacher (4:30:38 PM): I see. Have you been able to narrow down a specific moment of birth for these individuals? I mean, is it everyone born after 1984, or ’87? Or does it just vary?

B (4:31:35 PM): I haven’t actually tried to narrow it down to birth date, to be honest.

SnakePreacher (4:32:11 PM): Well, how old is the average dipshi… er, I mean, student that you deal with?

B (4:33:54 PM): The majority that come to me are freshman, about 18-19. But it ranges to all college aged students. I have seniors who are working on their senior papers not know what a periodical was.

SnakePreacher (4:35:50 PM): Hmm… so the stupidity seems to have risen somewhere between the second Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations. Interesting corollary. Let me ask you this: What’s the flat-out most stupid question you’ve ever gotten from a student?

B (4:38:37 PM): “I’ve heard librarians make more than doctors. Is that true?” Although that shouldn’t count, because he said that as a joke.

B (4:38:55 PM): Stupid question? Let’s see…

B (4:39:21 PM): “Can you write my professor a note saying I couldn’t find any research on my topic?”

B (4:39:24 PM): That made me laugh.

SnakePreacher (4:40:17 PM): I’d beg you to tell me that’s a joke, but I know you well enough to know it’s not.

B (4:41:20 PM): True story.

SnakePreacher (4:41:37 PM): One last question, then.

SnakePreacher (4:42:08 PM): Just for speculatory purposes, what do you think might be the cause of this rising wave of moronity?

B (4:44:34 PM): A lowering of collective standards. An acceptance of mediocrity. No Child Left Behind, which places a greater emphasis on what to learn for the test, but not enough on how to think. Mental laziness as a society. Poor leadership in education….

B (4:44:39 PM): I don’t know. It’s a pretty long list.

SnakePreacher (4:45:59 PM): So like all great shipwrecks, a conjunction of several elements, from lost binoculars to crappy steel.

SnakePreacher (4:46:05 PM): Interesting. Well, thanks for your time.


B (4:46:48 PM): No problem. And stop looking at porn in the library. I know it’s you.

So there you have it. One brave woman’s view of a complete collapse of anything resembling intellectual prowess in our younger generations. You could call it a view from the front lines, or just another incredibly depressing piece of observation. Either way, flippancy aside, consider this for extra chills down the spine:

These people are now allowed to vote.

Out for now…

– Rev