nenena: (Default)
First SVU, then Shingeki no Kyojin, and now Batman Inc, which I somehow managed to stay totally unspoiled for and which thus subsequently basically emotionally punched me right in the face.


And if I'm counting categories then it goes: television-check, manga-check, comics-check, and now the only medium left in which one of my favorite characters hasn't been killed and/or revealed to have been evil all along is webcomics.

Homestuck, you'd better not pull any of that shit before tomorrow.
nenena: (Soul Eater - Blair kitty)
Boys and girls of every age!

During the five nights leading up to Halloween, Lacrow is posting the best five creepy Soul Eater AMVs ever made... that aren't the Marilyn Manson "This is Halloween" vid (because we've all seen that one a million times before).

Wouldn't you like to see something strange?

Brian Lee O'Malley interviewed Andrew Hussie on ComicsAlliance.

This is seriously one of the best interviews I have ever read in any medium about any topic, ever. O'Malley knows exactly the right questions to ask to get Hussie to talk halfway-seriously about his comics, and even when Hussie isn't answering completely seriously he's still a goddamn delight to read.

Come with us and you will see,

Michael Chabon writing about Finnegans Wake. Hat-tip to naraht for the link.

This our town of Halloween.

Aaaaaand this is the part where I link to myself because I've been writing longer posts on Tumblr recently in response to asks, so in case you aren't following my tumblr, here are some words words words that you might be interested in on the off-chance that you like reading my meta about silly horrortastic shounen manga:

Shingeki no Kyojin/Attack on Titan, misogynistic language, and shitty sexist scanslators. (ETA: Follow-up post.)

Why Maka Albarn is fucking awesome.

Things about the Soul Eater manga that are not so awesome, especially with regards to racism and sexism.

The truth about Maka's mom.

On Liz and Patti.

On swearing in Japanese.
nenena: (Homestuck - Predatory grin)
-----Shingeki no Kyojin-----

oh my god

oh my god


Also: I KNEW IT (in terms of [spoiler name]'s sexuality AND in terms of so THAT'S what happened to Connie's village) and WHOA I DIDN'T SEE THAT ONE COMING but it's pretty goddamn refreshing to see it being so casually mentioned in a shounen series anyway and for a non-bishie male character to boot (in terms of Reiner's sexuality).


So The Worst Thing That I Have Ever Shipped has officially become canon.

And it became canon in the most beautifully perfect horrible way, too.

(I love seeing how much Tavros has changed and I love seeing how terrible his relationship with Vriska is because there is no way - NO WAY - that their redrom should EVER be portrayed as a sparkly happy funtimes schmoopy hugglefest, and thank skateboarding Jesus Christ that it's not that way at all now that it's canon, no, it is EXACTLY as twisted and terrible as a redrom between Vriska and Tavros SHOULD BE and yet at the same time it is so gloriously perfect for the both of them in all of its twisted terribleness.)

I don't think I've ever been this happy about a set of updates since... Well, since Roxy was first revealed, I think? Anywhoo, fun times. Fun times all around.



That was a steaming pile of fucking terrible.

If you need me I'll be over here in the reduced-my-Marvel-pull-list-to-exactly-one-title-for-the-time-being corner, reading Astonishing X-Men. Which is pretty much the only consistently great X-Men monthly now. And it accomplishes this greatness largely by completely ignoring the rest of the Marvel universe and whatever shitty crossover shit Marvel is pulling out of their asses this season. And also by consistently focusing on great yet under-rated characters like Karma.

I suppose I should be excited about the new Young Avengers series, but honestly, I'm having a hard time working up any enthusiasm for a Young Avengers series without Eli in it.
nenena: (Devi - Flaming Tara)
Due to health problems and not being able to work earlier this month, I've been spending a lot of time catching up with old comics and trying out a few new ones. In particular I've been gorging myself on webcomics lately, and although I usually end up either underwhelmed by or outright disliking most of the webcomics that I try reading, there are a few that I fall head-over-heels in love with. So, here are some thoughts about some things that I'm reading right now, whether I've been reading them for years or have only recently discovered them, all of which I would recommend to the comic-inclined.

Namesake. Just starting reading this last week and have barely been able to put it down step away from the computer screen. A beautifully-drawn and fiercely feminist fantasy story about fulfilling roles in fairy tales and taking charge of your own destiny. And it does more to establish the heroine's complex and believable personality in the first six pages of Chapter 1 than most webcomics manage to do in an entire volume. I'm only pointing this out because that is definitely one of my number-one pet peeves in the entire "normal girl gets sucked into a strange world" genre of web comics: When the author doesn't establish anything about the heroine's personality before having her suddenly end up in the other world. Or even worse, when the author wastes time with page after page of scenes of the heroine doing "normal everyday stuff" in order to establish how normal she is but STILL forgets to let her show any hint of a personality trait. This comic is one of the worst offenders I've seen to date in that particular area. On the opposite end of the spectrum and as an example of Doing It Right, however, we have Namesake and also [personal profile] animeshen's delightful Wendy and Sully in Candlyland, which takes a succinct eight pages to give the reader a solid grasp on Wendy and Sully's personalities and how they interact with each other, and does so in a fun and interesting way.

Unsounded. This comic is about a young monkey-thief who can swashbuckle with her feet and who suffers from Black Star-like delusions of grandeur. If that isn't enough to of a selling point for you, there's also a mysterious and handsome zombie with a tragic past. And a magical mountain-shaped monster that befriends a blind boy and his assistance flame-monster. (Why have an assistance dog when you can have an assistance flame-monster?) Unsounded is immediately engrossing and tons of fun to read, even if it does suffer from some significant flaws - namely that the overcomplicated artwork can sometimes get visually confusing, and the story throws a lot of made-up terminology at the reader without really pausing for some more comprehensible world-building. But those are really my only complaints about this beautiful, beautiful comic.

Gunnerkrigg Court. I've been hearing nothing but good things about this comic since it began in 2005, but I never got around to actually starting to read it until earlier this year. I wish I hadn't waited so long. It is every bit as good as everybody says it is.

The Less than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal. Young man calls off his arranged marriage, comes out to his family, gets disowned, gets drunk, and wakes up the next morning with a *~quirky and free-spirited~* hottie frying eggs and singing in his kitchen. Oh, and apparently the two of them made a pact last night to drive across the country together. In the hands of a lesser writer this could have been every terrible gay-romance-for-straight-ladies cliche rolled up into a "wacky roadtrip" narrative. But somehow E.K. Weaver manages to infuse the story with actually believable characters, believable dialogue, and plenty of humor and warmth. Highly recommended.

Patchwork and Lace. The new-ish fantasy comic by [personal profile] furikku (who is also the creator of Reliquary). A pair of lady monster-hunters, a fantasmagoric set-up, and an intriguing fantasy world. Need I say more.

Oglaf. You may have heard of this one as "that epic fantasy porn comic that's actually really, really funny." A rare example of comedy porn that actually succeeds at being whip-smart and hilarious, while embracing a freewheeling variety of straight, gay, lesbian, vanilla, and kinky characters.

The Non-Adventures of Wonderella. Superhero parody comics come and go, but this one remains one of my absolute favorites and definitely the funniest.

X-Men canon: Keeping up with Astonishing X-Men, Exiled, Generation Hope, New Mutants, Uncanny X-Men, X-Men, and Wolverine & the X-Men. I dropped X-Factor a while back after sticking with it for far too long. And I just can't get into X-Force no matter how much I love Laura. But with the notable exceptions of a) all of X-Factor, no seriously all of it and b) Forge's epic character derail in Astonishing, I have to say: I LOVE the current X-Men canon, in a way that I haven't really loved the X-books since the early 2000s. I love all of the New Mutants story lines. I love Hope and all of the 5th-generation X-Men. I love Logan's sixty-year character arc finally coming full circle. I love Scott and Emma. I love Rogue so goddamn much. I love Magneto's redemption arc. Everything about the X-Men universe is so much fun to read right now. I think that the overall tone of the X-books has finally settled on a comfortable level of danger/angst/darkness without descending too far into the boring-ass depths of grimdarkness, which is a MUCH needed improvement after the epicly stupid, epicly boring, and pointlessly grimdark mess that was Messiah Complex and all of its aftermath.

Buffy Season 9. Much, much, much better than Season 8 so far. Much better. (Although I will forever and always love the Faith/Giles story arc from the beginning of Season 8. Best and arguably the only solidly good part of that entire series, if you ask me.)

Homestuck. "There's not a lot of style to invisibility. Primarily because nobody gets to see how damn smooth you're being." Homestuck, for all of its overhype and its failures and its flaws, is still just a goddamn delight to read with every update.

And as for DC Comics, well... I am taking a break from DC Comics for a while. Might try to reconnect with the Batfamily sometime later, but I don't know. I loved everything that Grant Morrison built up with the "death" of Bruce Wayne and the birth of Batman Inc, and I'm still bitter about the New 52 just wiping all of those years of character development and storyline setup right out of the DC Universe.

Yup, that's how you know that I'm a mainstream comics fan: Still bitter about an storyline-breaking editorial mandate from over a year ago. Still bitter.

And as for what's upcoming that I'm the most looking forward to: It's the Adventure Time spin-off comic about Princess Bubblegum joining Marceline's band. Hell. Fucking. Yes.
nenena: (Tink - Cheers!)
I love style memes, but it's rare to find an artist that can actually do a spot-on mimicking of another artist's style. Oscar Vega, however, can.

So here, have some Homestuck characters:

Condesce à la Atsushi Nishigori

Aranea à la Rumminov

Nepeta à la Jamie Hewlett

Terezi à la Omocat

Dirk à la Pablo Picasso

Gamzee à la Dr. Seuss

Mindfang à la Adam Hughes

Snowman à la Frank Cho

Roxy and Jane à la Junko Mizuno

Feferi à la Audrey Kawasaki

...It's the Picasso imitation that really blows me away because it actually shows a basic understanding of how Picasso composed his portrait images. Rather than just, you know, throwing a bunch of shapes together and claiming "looks i did a picasso!"
nenena: (Default)
Just saw a Homestuck cosplayer at nat'l cherry blossom festival parade.

Holy shit. This is not an anime convention. So much secondhand embarrassment right now.

ETA: On the other hand, a guy riding a giant spider robot just walked right past me, so I probably shouldn't be surprised by anything at this point. (I am so not even kidding, this is A Thing That Actually Happened. The robot was sponsored by the USA Science and Engineering Festival.)
nenena: (Default)
I will go to bed early tonight and be sober for the UK/Louisville game tomorrow. I will go to bed early tonight and be sober for the UK/Louisville game tomorrow. I will go to bed early tonight and be sober for the UK/Louisville game tomorrow DAMMIT.

So here is some nerdy linkspam!

[personal profile] terajk is hosting a People with Disabilities Being Awesome commentfic fest!

[personal profile] sqbr has some recommendations for fanworks about disabled characters.

Apropos of nothing and because (tragically!) it did not make [personal profile] sqbr's list, "Clothes We Abandoned in the Closet" is a beautiful Tavros/Vriska fic. It's humanstuck!AU but don't let that put you off because it is awesome.

Speaking of disability and sex and love and all that stuff! Random Curiousity has a pretty thorough review of Katawa Shoujo that I mostly agree with. But I do wish that Zaniba hadn't been so quick to declare that "this is not a visual novel for those with a fetish," as that is definitely how it began, and the reaction all over the internet has shown that those with a certain set of particular fetishes are flocking to the game. And yet despite that, the game itself has grown into something so much better that has so much more to offer to such a wider audience than just the disability fetishists. This is a visual novel for those with a fetish, and it's pretty disingenuous to claim that it's not, but it's also a visual novel for the rest of us as well.

Completely unrelated! I am ridiculously excited for the Lupin III ALL FUJIKO ALL THE TIME TV series that starts next week, even if I'm still not entirely sold on the hyper-stylized animation and character designs. Oh well. It's Lupin III and it's Fujiko and there's no way that this can be anything but awesome.

Also, this week I finally caved in and bought myself a gorgeous 27" Dell monitor, which is something that I've wanted for a looooong time, and I'm still feeling a little bit of leftover happiness buzz from being able to finally write the check for the darn thing. YAY! And it has a maximum resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels so y'all can look forward to some insanely high-resolution Soul Eater screensaver rips coming next week.
nenena: (Soul Eater - Blair kitty)
So excited for new Soul Eater Not! tomorrow. I don't even care if we get another nine-page chapter of Tsugumi hatching romantic plots revolving around omelets or whatever. Which to be fair is never an unlikely possibility, because Not! may be a lot of things but quality manga it most certainly is not, but IDGAF I enjoy it anyway, especially the parts about the main Soul Eater cast members.

Speaking of which! [personal profile] terajk is posting some excellent short Soul Eater fics on her journal right now.

Also! The Not Prime Time multifandom fic exchange (for fandoms that are too large to be eligible for Yuletide but still small enough to not be megafandoms) is currently accepting fandom promotions. Soul Eater, Fairy Tail, and a whole bucketload of anime, manga, TV, movie, and video game fandoms are going to be eligible this year. So if you have a fandom that you would like to promote before the nomination process officially begins, here's your chance.

Related: Does anybody have any good Lucy/Erza fic they could recommend? I'm dying for some friendship!fic or femmeslash, either flavor.

Unrelated: Pop Culture Boyfriends. Highly tongue-in-cheek and yet surprisingly revealing in terms of the pop media landscape that teen and twenty-something girls are devouring at the moment. Granted, I was surprised to see only three pieces of Western media in there (Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and A:TLA) and VERY surprised to see no Homestuck references.

So speaking of Homestuck... I started re-reading parts of it a couple weeks ago when I was down and out with the flu, and sadly I believe that my love for Vriska/Tavros has been rekindled all over again. I say "sadly" because this is the most unfortunate thing that I have ever shipped. EVER. Because it has got to be one of the most disasterous relationships in the history of epic speculative literature ever created EVER. To put this trainwreck of a romance in context: Vriska and Tavros are alien trolls from an another planet in an alternative universe, and products of a culture that requires them to, at some point, have a hate-fueled "black romance" mating with another member of their species. Most teenage trolls seem to dream of having, as another troll puts it, the type of epic black romance that results in "blood rivers runnin through star systems and all nebulizin like liquid fireworks, beautiful and heartbreaking all at once." And yet even by troll standards Vriska and Tavros have a romantic arc that is such an utter disaster that the other trolls consider it to have crossed the line. Even by troll standards. This relationship isn't just a trainwreck, it's a trainwreck and a volcanic eruption and a hurricane and a tsunami and the sun collapsing into a black hole and swallowing the entire solar system all at once. And it all started so innocently, too: Vriska and Tavros were both nerdy teenage trolls who liked to roleplay, cosplay, and even play a certain children's game involving collectible tiny monsters. But then their relationship quickly escalated into murder attempts, spiderweb bondage, amputations, and eventually - of course - a duel to the death. They were poison to each other and even worse, they didn't just manage to doom themselves, but their trainwreck of an aborted romance managed to doom most of their friends too, at least to the point where it directly resulted in Tavros's RP partner getting killed and Vriska's RP partner permanently maimed. And yet - AND YET - for some reason I still have ~so many feelings~ for this pairing, horrible as it was and as horribly as it ended. I think that the horribleness of it all is part of the appeal, of course - who doesn't love a good tragedy? - but I also am kind of fascinated by the way that these two characters stuck together despite Vriska being Vriska and Tavros being so utterly terrified of her, how Vriska believed in Tavros until the bitter end and how Tavros wouldn't stay away from her despite every other troll telling him to do so, and how the fandom around the pairing does some much more insightful and interesting things with the disabilities of these two characters (NSFW) than the canon text ever did. It also doesn't help that despite everything, there is so much about this pairing that is so blackly hilarious - from Vriska's cosplay fetish to ROCKET WHEELCHAIR to "Well I'm lying on the floor in Vriska's room and we're both wearing costumes and I'm not explaining this very well, am I?" to That Thing that Vriska Did With Tavros's Severed Legs - that it's kind of hard not to laugh at it, just like it's kind of hard not to laugh at any of the doomed, doomed romantic pairings that Homestuck loves to revel in.

TL;DR version: This is the worst thing that I have ever shipped, and I have recently fallen in love with the pairing all over again, and I REGRET NOTHING.

Fortunately The Serendipity Gospels updated last week with so much deliciously horrible Vriska/Tavros shipping that it is glorious. Glorious.
nenena: (Tink - Cheers!)
In case you need cheering up:

18 Days is being reprinted by Dynamite Entertainment. Still a hardcover, though, and still only $25. In case you missed it the first time, here's your second chance. This book is gorgeous.

This Sheltie has very particular taste in music. As Shelties tend to have very particular tastes in everything.

Feferi hugs all the trolls. This is one of the most beautiful pieces of Homestuck fanart. Ever.
nenena: (Homestuck - glow baby glow)
The Big Lebowski homage in this week's My Little Pony.

Read or Die homage in this week's Thundercats.

Little Old Lady actually having a role in this month's Soul Eater.

Homestuck reboot being all kinds of delightfully awesome.

Anne (metaphorically) slapping Chris in the face with some long-overdue brutal honesty in Parks and Recreation.

Abhishek Singh's new graphic novel is "just around the corner."

So happy right now about so many things.

ETA: And HOLY SHIT I totally forgot but LES FREAKIN' CREPUSCULE DES DIEUX dropped on Thursday and I won't have my copy for another month. But still. So excited!!! It doesn't even matter that I can't read a whit of French, since I know enough of the Ring Cycle to bumble through anyway. And I heard that there's an English version in the works now, but I already blew my money on the French editions so oh well.
nenena: (Devi - Isana)
So I realized that I've had this narrative kink for a while, but only just recently did I figure out how to articulate it. (Thank you, Thundercats reboot!)

I have this inexplicable love for stories in which the heroes find themselves possibly doomed to re-enact the tragic lives of their ancestors and/or past reincarnations, but then find some way at the last minute to reverse that fate.

I remember that Sailor Moon hit this kink in a big way when I was a teenager. Come to think of it, this trope shows up a LOT in other shoujo manga as well. Homestuck sets up the trope in the most literal way possible by having the trolls grow up in a culture where they're encouraged to follow the same life paths as their ancestors. There was even a thread of this in Avatar with the Roku/Sozin and Zuko/Aang parallels.

The 2011 Thundercats reboot is clearly moving in this direction as well. And yes, this post title is a direct reference to the way that Tygra's character arc is being set up to parallel both Tygus in the distant past (who is the only other tiger in the series so far) and Grune in the immediate past (who is a saber-toothed tiger, a fact that admittedly it took me a while to pick up on - and it's not like the writers were even being subtle about it, either!).

When I think about this trope, though, I can't help but notice that all of my favorite examples of it come from decidedly kid-oriented media. In fact, I'm having a really hard time coming up with any examples of it in sci-fi or fantasy stories geared toward an adult audience. Homestuck may be a possible exception, as it doesn't seem to be deliberately aimed at any age group in particular and has attracted a mixed teen and adult audience, but at the end of the day I still think it's a deliciously juvenile story that revels in its own immaturity, and it's definitely not "more or less for grown-ups" the same way that, say, something like Star Trek or a George R.R. Martin novel would be.

So... why is that, exactly? I dunno. Maybe it's inherently a juvenile trope?

Can anybody else think of any examples from not-so-kiddie-oriented media? The best that I've been able to come up with is possibly the original Star Wars trilogy, but it doesn't quite fit the bill because a) Luke struggling to not repeat his father's destiny is not the same as struggling to not repeat his distant ancestor and/or past reincarnation's destiny, and b) Star Wars was intended to appeal to both a kiddie and an adult audience at the same time, so it's not quite as "adult-oriented" as I'm looking for.
nenena: (Default)

No, not this picture. This picture is cute.

Here's the nightmare fuel part:

Apropros of today's [EPIC TROLL-RELATED SPOILER], I just wanted to take a moment to link to Xamag-chan's homemade animation of the first and biggest [EPIC TROLL-RELATED SPOILER], because it is - believe it or not - a thousand times more terrifying than the original text and images. I do not recommend watching this right before bedtime.

nenena: (Homestuck - Eridan climbs BUOYS motherfu)
melannen wrote an interesting post about systems of marriage/romance that only exist in science fiction. She touches on Diane Duane's Tale of the Five, Robert A. Heinlein's weird line-marriage thing, Ursula K. LeGuin's short stories, and of course, the Homestuck trolls. Among others.

Caveat: As melannen admits to not actually reading Homestuck she rather badly borks the explanation of Auspisticeship, but this comment corrects a lot of that.

And, as usual, every explanation of complicated romantic relationships in alien species can only be improved with the addition of My Little Pony.
nenena: (W.I.T.C.H. - Irma rocks)
Top five throwbacks to the original MLP cartoons that Nena would love to see either referenced or just plain added to a future episode of Friendship is Magic:

5. Bushwoolies.

4. Catrina and Rex, because they were hilarious.

3. Any reference to the original 1984 MLP movie. Any at all. For those of you who have never seen it, let me just point out that the film opens with a scene in which Applejack licks applesauce off proto-Rarity's body and ends with an epic scene in which the ponies battle Satan. No, I'm serious. That is the actual plot of the movie. The ponies have to fight Satan himself.

2. Nightshade.


Finally, your Moment of Zen links: One! Two! This whole freaking tag! Three!
nenena: (stephen king + dinosaurs = <3)
What if we treated doctors the way that we treat teachers?

The analogy falls painfully apart in certain places, but the overall point still stands.

The comments are worth a read too, but I laughed until I cried when I read the comment from the idiot who thinks that teachers only spend 6 hours a day at school. (Hint: I usually don't leave school until after 5 pm, and guess what time I have to get there in the morning?)

In much more frivolous news, somebody actually re-created the POTATO CHIP WORM MUFFINS recipe from My Little Pony episode 3. And ate it. And ate it.

This show, you guys. This show.

ETA: OKAY FINE here is your MLP/Soul Eater crossover and your MLP/Homestuck crossover (scroll down for epic) and your lives are now complete.