alias_sqbr: A cartoon cat saying Ham! (ham!)
Comics:

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 1: Good naturedly silly comic about a girl with the POWER OF SQUIRRELS balancing the start of college with saving the world from various random supervillains. Written by Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics. She isn't sexualised at all which is nice, and there's understated but pervasive diversity.
Read more... )
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
Books/comics:

Wheel of the Infinite by Martha Wells: Fantasy about a middle aged priestess who's fallen significantly from grace facing Supernatural Shenanigans with wry resignation. Reminds me a lot of Paladin of Souls, except set in a tropical country (loosely based on...a mixture of Tibet and North Africa maybe??) A little underwritten but otherwise really good. The 30 something pale skinned foreign swordsman who would be the hero in most books is just the love interest, and happy to let the heroine take the lead :D (He's on the cover of some versions of the book anyway because BLAH PUBLISHING INDUSTRY) Normally "friends with benefits" relationships don't work for me but they have a really nice friendship, plus makeouts. And the worldbuilding is interesting and feels real. A lot of it was very predictable if you've read the right kinds of fantasy, and all the twists were heavily telegraphed, but it all made sense and came to a fairly satisfying conclusion.

Color and Light by James Gurney: A non fiction book on painting by the guy who made Dinotopia. I am reading it VERY SLOWLY but it's been interesting and I've definitely learned some stuff I will use for my art.

From the Humble LGBT Book Bundle, which is ongoing for the next few days:

Wuvable Oaf: A big hairy gay man with a sweet nature looks for love. Cute for what it is, but too indie-comic-weird for my tastes, I didn't feel connected to the characters and found the art style and occasional grossness off putting.

Kevin Keller: Welcome to Riverdale. First gay Archie character! It’s otherwise a typical Archie comic eg kinda bland, and I got bored and stopped.
games and music )
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
Graphic Novels:

The Wicked and the Divine: there's a queer comic book club this Sunday discussing volume 1, and since I've been meaning to read it anyway I bought the digital version. It was, as others have said, an interesting premise with middling execution, but it does have a lot of lgbt characters and an ethnically diverse cast. Basically: a group of young people have become/realised they are the incarnations of various gods. This means being immortal, having powers like fire, and the ability to "sing" in incomprehensible tongues that cause listeners to be inspired/overcome. So they act exactly like rock stars, with popular cheery goddesses, literally underground gothic death gods etc. The main character is a teenage god fangirl who gets caught up in a mystery around the gods when she befriends "Luci" (Lucifer), basically rule 63 Sandman Lucifer. The plot is moderately interesting though I've been massively spoiled for some major twists by tumblr. The characters are...ok. The dialogue is nowhere near as clever as it thinks it is and mistakes sexual references and clunky one liners for wit. The art is good asides from the bland expressions, like it's traced from 3D models. I'm in that annoying in between place where I'd like to see what happens next but don't like it enough to spend any more money or effort on it. I think I'll wait until it's done then see if I can be bothered.

Miss Marvel (vols 1,2 and 3): this is the other diverse comic the teenagers on tumblr keep posting gifs of and I liked it a lot more, though it's less my kind of thing. A lower middle class muslim teenage superhero fangirl gains super powers, and decides to defend Jersey from evil. It's a pretty straightfoward "optimistic teen gains superpowers" story, but charmingly done, with likable characters, light humour, thrilling fights etc. There's some heavy handed Young Adult Fiction elements, like Consent Is Important, Teenagers Have Value But So Do Parents etc, as well as some plain silly aspects, it felt very aimed at young people. But I still quite enjoyed it as someone who was once a teen fangirl and still gets a kick out of imagining befriending Wolverine (this scene was so cute). Also there's a little Agents of Shield crossover at the end of Vol 3 with Simmons (and Coulson) which I enjoyed.
Read more... )
alias_sqbr: "Creative genius" with an arrow pointing to a sketch of me (genius!)
I was boggling that I hadn't done one of these since June then looked at my post titles for the last few months and remembered how sick I was for a while there. But I managed to draw some stuff anyway through the fog :) Also I got a copy of Manga Studio 5, which does some lovely lines and painting...that make my computer cry :(

All art has transcripts/descriptions at the link.

Prettiest:

Snow White and Red Riding Hood


Most interesting:
News From The Sea: A little fantasy comic adapted from this short story I wrote. Created for a Comic Books and Graphic Novels course. Transcripts in chapter 2.

As far as I can tell I got...120% for this comic? And that's getting less than half of the available extra credit. lol coursera. But it was fun!

Person of Interest, Avatar: The Legend of Korra/The Last Airbender, Guild Wars 2, Dragon Age Origins, Mass Effect 2, Red Dwarf, Bastion, Dr Who, Original, Game of Thrones, The Hobbit, Fresh Pretty Cure )
alias_sqbr: "Creative genius" with an arrow pointing to a sketch of me (genius!)
I have to draw a four+ page comic for a coursera course I'm doing and I am TOTALLY BLOCKED.

I'm thinking I'll just adapt part of an existing story, either one of mine or something in the public domain.

Current thoughts tend towards Northanger Abbey but I am open to suggestions! Are there any public domain works, or original/fanfic of public domain works by me that you'd like to see me draw a short story about? Any art of mine you'd be curious to see expanded into a longer story (and have plot ideas for)? AUs are totally welcome but not nonsense crossovers because then I get tangled up figuring out how it WORKS.

It has to be accessible to random strangers so no asking me to write an ending to A Circle of Stars :P Also there is no guarantee I'll actually draw any of it comics are haaaard. BUT I WILL TRY

Also: Penny, I have not forgotten your Asama & Korra prompt, I plan on drawing it the moment the show gets them to a point where I'm not all "Asama & Korra ;_;"

ALSO speaking of AO3 today was FEMSLASHEX REVEALS YAYYY. I drew some Velanna/Sigrun. And I got TWO gifts: Undercover by kiki_miserychic, which is some sexy Root/Shaw art, and Quantum Relations by Settiai which is a very cute EDI/Sam fic.

This course is good but hardddd. I had to write TWO ESSAYS. With an introduction and a thesis and a CONCLUSION. urrrrggghhhhhh essayssssss. Of course we got half marks for even trying because coursera. But the peer assessors said I LACKED A COHERENT THESIS. Luckily we get to do self evaluation too so there was a "you are amazing and all your ideas are gold" to balance things out.
alias_sqbr: Zuko with a fish on his head (avatar)
So! I just came from Swancon. It was great! I may write some more coherent personal thoughts later, but plausibly not cos I don't have much interesting to say. What I do have are COPIOUS NOTES. So let's get started.

Queerbaiting )Favourite Comics )Magic Systems )

Swancon!

Mar. 31st, 2013 08:17 pm
alias_sqbr: (bookdragon)
I am too foggy and sore to leave my rom but not actually sleepy, so...a con report! Expect vagueness, sorry.

First, next years con: ISOBELLE CARMODY, ANNE BISHOP AND TAMORA PIERCE OMG!!!

The only one of those authors I actually like is Tamora Pierce, and even then mostly out of nostalgia. But Isobelle Carmody literally got me into science fiction (along with Anne McCaffery, who's dead, and Orson Scott Card, who I would have trouble not shouting at) and I used to be a MASSIVE fan, I ran one of the earliest Isobelle Carmody fansites back in the 90s (people used to actually email me thinking I was her). And then she NEVER FINISHED HER SERIES and I got VERY BITTER. And then there is Anne Bishop, whose books are over the top ridiculous crack (edit: which many will find MASSIVELY TRIGGERING. She likes to throw the kitchen sink at her characters for the sake of angst). All three have Issues and it's very single genre, but I can see them all being interesting and a lot of people are VERY VERY HAPPY and so I am happy for them and also amused imagining how my 14 year old self would feel.

Anyway, onto this years con!
Read more... )
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
I am currently comfortably set up on [personal profile] lilysea's very nice armchair in her very nice airconditioning avoiding the ridiculous 40C/104F+ weather Perth is in the middle of several days of. (I am also enjoying her company, but we are both in need of a lot of quiet resting time, which works out well. Reading her Facebook updates when she is JUST THERE is as surreal for me as I imagine this post will be for her when she checks her lj :D)

Yesterday I explored the local mall and sat in a library reading graphic novels. I read all of the first Hereville which was unobjectionable and light but didn't wow me, read enough of their Lovely Complex to realise I'd missed a few off the end reading online (now I want to buy it all but it's 17 volumes!), and enough 20th century Boys to decide it was good but way too slow and dark for me. Also saw that Girlfriends by Morinaga Milk comes as a 2 volume omnibus which I will definitely have to buy, woo adorable lesbians.

Today I finished The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo by Zen Cho and YOU ALL NEED TO GO READ IT NOW. It's the happy snarky light hearted romantic adventures of a twenty something year old Malaysian girl in London in the 1920s there is literally nothing not to like. I got it for free but it now costs all of $3. And the author turned out to be [profile] quian, who is an online friend of several of you guys, and has a story in Steampowered 2 though I haven't hit it yet in my reading.

Now to go back to "Finder" by Carlo Speed McNeil which is good but hasn't entirely grabbed me.

Oh! And I got all of Doctor Who season 5 for $50 yesterday. That would be good for any tv show but for Dr Who it's practically free. Also some nice cheap shorts, and earrings to attach to my-ear-friendly hooks, and a bunch of other stuff. Yay actually making it to Boxing Day-ish sales and having a wheelchair to move me around them.
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
What science fiction books by/about women (preferably both) do you consider "required reading" (as much as that phrase makes sense)? eg The books that are so great or influential you think most scifi book geeks should at least give them a go.

Obviously this is hugely subjective! And nothing is really required, read what you like. I just thought it would be interesting to compare to the previous list.

Read more... )
alias_sqbr: Torchwood spoilers for various episode numbers: Jack dies (torchwood spoilers)
I rather overdid it today, and this sort of post keeps me from falling asleep at 7pm.

Rango: a straightforward but well made humourous CGI spaghetti western with talking animals which are BEAUTIFULLY animated. The cinematography and character design in this film are truly gorgeous, they really add to the humour and drama etc. It is alas rather racist and ableist, this didn't ruin the film for me but YMMV.

Becoming Loveless A cute sweet little comic about being aromantic.

Kino's Journey (2 episodes): Slow, gentle, atmospheric anime where not much happens, about a young traveller and their talking motorbike travelling between various strange lands. The final proof I needed that I cannot stand this kind of anime (see also: Mushishi, Haibane Renmai). I kept waiting for there to be ACTUAL PLOT that MEANT SOMETHING rather than subtle mediations on the bittersweet irony of life. Also the gentle tragedy of the first episode has a REALLY OBVIOUS SOLUTION which really didn't lessen my desire to walk in, slap everyone upside the head and take over the damn story. Um. But if you like this sort of thing it's pretty good for what it is :D

Fringe (First 3 disks of season 1): This is basically an updated, slightly kookier version of the X files. I really like the main character Olivia, a gritty bitter female FBI agent, but in general am not sure why I am enjoying it. Yet, I am!

Hanna: Thriller about a teenage girl trained in survival skills by her father in the wilderness, on the run from the FBI. A failed attempt at a good film, had some good moments but was patchy and tonally inconsistent. On the plus side: a thriller with a female main character who is neither sexualised nor evil!
alias_sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
Rupunzel's Revenge: fun, short, subversive wild west fairytale graphic novel retelling of Rapunzel. A bit well meaningly raceblind but I still really enjoyed it.

There's a tv adaptation of Dirk Gently's Holistic agency on the ABC, first episode is still up on iView for anyone else in Australia. They took out all the aliens and literary references and extreme surrealness and turned it into a fairly generic quirky humourous British mystery show. Once I got over that I enjoyed it well enough.

I went to Morley today, after becoming increasingly dispirited about how sack-like and blah all the plus size clothing is I came across City Chic near Myer, which has not entirely ugly clothes in sizes 14 up. Very expensive of course, but I got a nice skirt on sale and the sales assistant was lovely (turns out she uses a wheelchair too a lot of the time) Rather biased towards apple shapes but they do remember the existence of waists.

I then explored the Coventry Square markets across the road. I didn't try any of the restaurants (though the sushi train at the front looks nicely accessible) and the shops in the middle are mostly crappy knick knacks but at the back are a number of really interesting butchers selling wild rabbit and pig faces, greengrocers with fresh oyster mushrooms and turmeric etc. Not worth going out of your way if you don't live nearby, but I'll certainly be going back.
alias_sqbr: Dagna from Dragon Age reaching for a book (dagna)
Get a free copy of "Dragon Age: The Silent Grove" Issue #1 It's actually a pretty good comic.

Farscape watch it/skip it guide I just finished Season 2 and agree with pretty much everything they have to say about those two seasons. Which bodes well for season 3! Overall enjoying it, though it's kind of dated and dodgy in parts. Also BLINDINGLY white, not even the one token black guy you get in crappy US shows. There's something refreshingly different about it though, at least when it's good.

Guide to Homestuck fandom Very useful hints for those who have trouble with the coloured text/flashing images etc. I've linked to a comment thread pointing out that it's a bit condescending.

Maximising war assets in Mass Effect 3 The decisions you have to make in all 3 games to optimise the result at the end. Very useful as I replay from the start (which is still lots of fun. I am doing all the sidequests, partly to avoid Virmire. I do like the sense of a huge varied universe that you get from driving around all these planets on the mako, even if it was frustrating when I just wanted to know what was going to happen next)

Why I Hope Dragon Age 3 Is A Lot Like Dragon Age 2 I thought this article was pretty good.
alias_sqbr: Torchwood spoilers for various episode numbers: Jack dies (torchwood spoilers)
Under the cut: various tv and books and stuff. Because apparently I am too sleepy and dizzy to surf the internet or play glitch, but am awake enough to type a post?
Read more... )
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
Dessa, "A Badly Broken Code": Another album discovered through fanvids :) Dessa was a poet before she got into hip-hop, and it shows. She has a nice voice too. The first album I've ever bought complete from iTunes! Here's a sample song: Alibi, about helping friend escape a bad relationship.

Polly and the Pirates: A funny, cute little graphic novel about a proper young lady in a semi-Victorian San Francisco who finds herself tangled in the affairs of pirates.

The Reluctant Infidel: A moderate British Muslim discovers he is ethnically Jewish, and goes on a quest to understand what that means. I tried really hard to like this movie, but eventually had to skip to the end. It's heart was in the right place, and it had funny moments, but most of the jokes tried way too hard and were painfully awkward.

Echo Bazaar: I've been playing this Lovecraftian browser-based text game for a while. I got bored of it a while ago but bought myself an "exceptional friend" pass for a month while Cam was away, and figured out how to make it more fun: be willing to pay for and use the objects that raise (or in some cases lower) your stats. It make levelling up much quicker and allows you to skip boring sections more easily. Yeah, ok, probably obvious to anyone with sense. I just today became a Person of Some Importance, huzzah :D
alias_sqbr: me cosplaying the bearded dwarf cheery longbottom, titled Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
I was alas too sleepy today for the Girls reading comics in public mob (for International Read Comics In Public Day) but sat in the front garden for a bit and read, which I have decided still counts (some people went past!) Here is a vastly unflattering laptop photo of me reading Scott McCloud's "Making Comics" (since that is what I'm reading at the moment)
alias_sqbr: Nepeta from Homestuck looking grumpy in front of the f/f parts of her shipping wall (grumpy)
I keep seeing conversations where people ask for recs for decent f/f romance stories, and I thought it would be useful to have a post I could link to rather than trying to remember them all every time. This is very much informed by my taste, recs in the comments are definitely welcomed.
Read more... )
alias_sqbr: (bookdragon)
Two graphic novels:

The Dark Phoenix Saga by Chris Claremont and John Byrne:
So glad I put off finishing this until after watching Xmen: First Class, since both it and Xmen 3 took parts of the plot and mangled them beyond recognition.
Anyway: The Hellfire Club tries to manipulate Jean Grey into releasing her full potential and being under their control, but in doing so creates THE DARK PHOENIX!!!! Written in 1979, and the art and writing are full of 70s mainstream comics cheese, but really good for what it is. Does do the whole "Woman is forced by evil men to be powerful, can't control it, may doom them all" plot, which I really don't like, but does focus on how Jean feels about the whole thing. Also Storm, who keeps talking about how much she loves her (I'm just saying) Reminded me how much I love Storm and Nightcrawler.

Logicomix by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos Papadimitriou, art by Alecos Papadatos and Annie Di Donna: Bertrand Russel and the doomed search for a complete logical underpinning to mathematics. Readable with nice art, probably would have been more enjoyable if I was less familiar with the material, but has an awful lot of men explaining things (especially maths) to women. Like, a lot, even in the stuff set these days.

Three books I didn't finish:
Rosemary and Rue, Magic Bites, Fledgeling )
alias_sqbr: Nepeta from Homestuck looking grumpy in front of the f/f parts of her shipping wall (grumpy)
Imagine You and Me (aka Ozymandias and Sarah Connor in a love triangle with Gile's daughter, the casting was amusing :)): a very cute British lesbian romantic comedy. A little self consciously stagey (and...sentimental, I guess), as British romantic comedies can be sometimes, but sweet, and very sympathetic to all it's characters.

Parks and Recreation: I'm partway through Season 2, but have heard good things about later seasons. A good natured low key show about the Parks and Recreation department of a small town in the US. Gentle humour and, again, sympathetic to all it's characters, sets up what feel like typical "and then it all goes horribly wrong" painful sitcom situations and then things go in unexpected, less painful, and still funny directions. One of the few shows I can think of with a female protagonist that's not about having a female protagonist.

Meanwhile by Jason Shiga: a funny and clever choose your own adventure scifi comic. I got confused a bunch of times and chose the wrong page, in the end I read it cover to cover to catch all the pages I'd missed and felt like I'd missed part of the experince, but I still enjoyed it. A black and white version is available online, but there's something very satisfying about flipping the pages yourself, plus the art is prettier in the book.

Aya by Margauerite Abouet: A graphic novel about a young woman and her friends on the Ivory Coast. A little slice of life, I liked the characters and enjoyed seeing an insider's view of a country I know very little about, but it felt a little like Aya was being set up as better than her friends for being more interested in being upwardly mobile through academia. Maybe that's my own upward mobility guilt talking though :/

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