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Yeah, yeah, I will get to those essays.  This is just a different meta thing that popped dramtically into my brain.  My standards for heroes and villains, and how they differ.  Namely: who I root for.  (Besides the Davidson Wildcats)

I began thinking about this when I realized how little sense it makes that my favorite Marvel character is an occasionally genocidal, often fairly insane supervillain, and yet I want to see Scott Summers and this trophy girlfriend they're claiming is Emma Frost die horribly in magma, preferably on-panel.  This is a bit of a turnaround for me, fandomwise.  Generally I root for the heroes.  They're the heroes, after all.  The villains are the villains.  I understand that.

And maybe that's the issue.  I have low standards for my villains.  I do not expect to see Darth Vader cuddle puppies, and that is part of what makes it such a heartwarming moment when he won't let the Emperor kill Luke.  For anyone else in the cast, this would be  a no-brainer- leaving it for as long as Vader did would in fact make them less of heroes.  On the other hand, I fully expect Luke to try to save his father- it's why he's such a wonderful, selfless, desperate for a family again guy.  (Side note: I've got it in my head that out on Tatooine, being a lawless desert full of little farms, family is everything, sort of like out in the country.  When Luke loses Owen and Beru, he literally has nothing left, and so he of course easily clings to Obi-Wan, Leia, and even Han.  But that is a half-formed story for another time.)  When Cyclops, who I'm apparently supposed to hold up as the hero, is shacking up with his mistress and I'm supposed to believe it's a Love Story For the Ages, I draw some lines.  I could totally get behind Scott and Emma as a messed up relationship between messed up people- that's the sort of paring I like.  But when it's presented as the second coming of Scott and Jean, I can't get behind that.  It doesn't click for me.  It actively annoys me.

(Of course, Marvel also apparently expects me to believe that trading your marriage to the devil for your dead aunt (who had ALREADY reached Her Time, and as a Presbyterian, I can respect reaching One's Time) is a perfectly selfless, heroic act that will have no negative consequences whatsoever, and men are "more interesting" without wives or women, and- okay, that's another rant for another day...)

Also, dear idiot fanboys on the message board I should not visit, feminism is not evil.  I'm sorry you live in your mom's basment and can't get laid.  Don't take it out on us.
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As always, shamelessly stolen from one of the twenty billion or so fic authors whose journals I stalk.

Take twenty pairings, (or characters, because I don't think I HAVE twenty pairings), and twenty Shuffled songs.  Compare.

And We Begin... )
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Alright, I'm gonna say this loud and clear, comics.

Some things are meant to be dark and edgy. 

Some are not.

Bruce and Selina will continue to break each other's hearts and damaged psyches, and Lois and Clark will continue to be happily married.  Both stories are great.  Both stories have their place.

The X-Men will continuously angst and experience black and gray morality.  Squirrel Girl will continuously kick butt with squirrels.  Both stories are great.  Both stories have their place.

Sometimes, what's happy and what's dark don't need to be clashed together and warped beyond all recognition.  Sometimes, what's in the middle can work just as well.

And, sometimes, when you've got something beautiful and happy, you don't need to take it away for shock value.


I promise.

You don't.

I think I'm only buying the one series for right now.  No BoP, no Emerald Warrior.  I'm sorry.  I'm just kind of mad.

(Still love you!)

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Neither of you has a clue what this means?


Anyway.  Take it from me:


So.  Yes.

Old Comics

Jan. 1st, 2010 07:37 pm
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My maternal grandfather has a habit of collecting things.  All sorts of things- he's got arrowheads, old guns, a ton of Confederate money, gemstones- and a few months ago he got his hands on a couple of boxes of old comic books,70s-80s mostly.  I don't think there's exactly anything valuable in there, but there's a veritable treasure trove of Claremont X Men that I've been reading, as well as some old Green Lantern and the ridiculous old Jimmy Olsen books.  Very fun.

I continue to lament my descent into shipperdom- once again, at a dramatic moment, my thoughts were along the line of "dammit, go away Lilandra, they were about to kiss!"- but it's been fun so far except for the fact that now they're all over my bed.

Also, we watched our DVD of the Star Trek movie last night.  Good times, good times.  I really love Spock.
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I was never one of those people who liked villains.  I was much more interested in Cinderella than the stepmother, Snow White than the Queen, heck, even Aurora than Maleficent, and /nobody/, I have learned, prefers Aurora to Maleficent.  Actually, I think for a while there I actively disliked her.  It's probably because, at a point in the middle of the movie, she refers to herself as "the Mistress of All Evil," and that made me blink even when I was little.  Surely even evil people thought that they were good, right? 

Basically, even when they're awesome, completely one dimensional villains never quite did it for me.  I enjoyed watching them, but no more than any other character.  I celebrated when they were defeated. 

And then came Zuko.

Ah, Zuko.  But even with him, I rooted for him to become good.  I didn't just enjoy watching him be evil.  The same went for Vader, who was the first villain whose mind I really tried to get inside.  It was mostly because of Luke, I think.  Because, at the end of RotJ for the first time, I did not think that Vader was going to save Luke.  I thought that maybe Luke would survive, but I just kind of winced when Luke went "father..." in that rasping voice, because I knew that there was no way Vader was going to save him, and it made me want to cry. 

So, I liked Vader, but, again, I wanted to see him redeemed.  That was the point of the character.  RotS made me actually cry, but RotJ is the one that makes me squinch my eyes up to this day.

And then came comics.

I read DC for the heroes, but when I do read Marvel, it's for the villains.  And not just Deadpool, either.  But the thing about Marvel?  I kind of want Magneto, especially, to win when I read it.  It's the combination of a too horrific and tied into the real world to make light of it backstory and the fact that any population that willingly puts the Green Goblin in a position of power kind of can die and I won't really care.  And, of course, the old XMen cartoon...  most of the heroes get on my nerves from time to time and the civilians actively annoy me.  I tend to root for the guy with the decent voice actor.  I'm sorry.  It's how I roll.  I'd like Wolverine if he used his claws to do anything but reflect light.  I'd like Storm if she never talked.  I'd-  sweet meepits, this is getting off topic. 

Anyway.  DC wise, like I said, I root for the heroes.  But I also really enjoy watching the villains.  And that hit me today with a few panels of Sinestro.

I don't want him to win.  I want the Green Lanterns to win, and espicially Guy Gardner.  But Sinestro lately can sit in a cell awaiting execution, and smirk at Hal Jordan and say "I've won," and the thing is you believe him.  He has absolutely nothing, and I can still totally buy that he has the upper hand.

Also Hal's "confused and upset and VERY confused" face is adorable.  *pats him*

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There's a meme somewhere out there where you describe fandoms like romantic interests.  It makes a certain amount of sense.  Star Wars is the solid but exciting love-of-your-life, Avatar is that childhood crush who still makes you tingly inside now that you're both older and still hang out together, and comics is...  the relationship between me and comics is similar, I think, to the relationship between me and football.  It's a deadbeat idiot who can't do anything right, and then it's on my front step with a dozen roses and an apology. 

(In related news, PANTHERS FINALLY WON).

DC is the friendlier idiot who still has his problems.  Marvel is downright bad for me and yet somehow alluring.  I keep them at arm's length. 
Lately, Green Lantern has been bringing me a LOT of flowers, most of which smell like zombie.  There we go.  I finally got to the actual point of this post, which is Green Lantern, which is addictive and interesting and apparently the best it's been in years, though I only got into comics like six months ago.  The major players are Hal, who is handsome and moral and egotistic; Kyle, who came onboard when Hal was infected by Giant Yellow Fear Bug From Outer Space-itis and is young and artistic; Guy, who is obnoxious and innappropriate and very sweet when you get to know him but only to about two people and is my favorite; and John, who was on Justice League Unlimited.  John is my second favorite because he is the only one who ever seems to follow the rules.

Currently they are fighting Evil Outer Space Zombies, including Kyle's army of killed-off girlfriends, an entire planet John couldn't save, John's dead wife Katma, and Ch'p The Zombie Space Squirrel.  That really sums up a lot about comics right there.

Yes. Well.

Sep. 22nd, 2009 01:55 pm
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True nerdity...

Is going on FFRants, and realizing that not only can you immediately guess the characters and fandom, but you read the fic last night.
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Forgotten what's it's like to be part of an ongoing fandom, I mean.  To be sincerely worried about whether my favorite characters will live, and not be able to just check online to see what happened.  To have to WAIT. 

I think I must have forgotten how involved I got in Avatar.  Screaming at the TV when Zuko did something especially boneheaded.  Pinned to my chair with fear as a character lay dying.  Inability to sit still during the theme song.  And sure, I didn't exactly have a life back then, but I don't exactly have a life now either.

Feeling an urge to write, of all things, FIX FIC. 

I'm going to go do Star Wars stuff.  Star Wars had a happy ending more than twenty years ago.  Star Wars is my type of fandom.
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I think I have figured this out. And, additionally, why Mary Sues bug me so much. I'm fairly sure you're supposed to hit a point in fandom where you just ignore Mary Sues, but I cannot do it.


Because I like characters who are essentially large sacks of flaws.

This is why I love them. This is what makes them interesting. I can be screaming "No, you idiot, he's the only person who actually cares about you and you're just throwing him away like he's nothing!" or "You do realize that that kid has based his entire life around trying to be you and you essentially just threw all of that in the dirt?" or "Holy crabcakes, don't you think you should maybe mention a few details about YOUR FATHER IS EVIL?" and I still want to read more.

I love Yoda, in all his absolute inablity to get the POINT, and Batman, and his inability to function in a working relationship, and Toph and her ridiculously stubborn pride. My favorite Green Lantern is Guy Gardner, for heaven's sake.

That's not saying I want a character to have nothing but flaws. I'm just saying that I like them realistic, and a little tragic, and most of all forgiven.
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My introduction to shippers were the great Zutara/Kataang wars of Avatar. I was a concientous objector, staying well out of the fighting and growing more and more alarmed. "Shipper" was not exactly a positive term. They were the immature people who didn't really even seem to enjoy the show. This didn't apply to all or even most of them- but it certainly seemed to apply to the loudest ones, and it scared me.

I settled my fear of shipping with my unkillable hopeless romantic side by joking that I only shipped things settled a decade before I was born- Han/Leia, obviously. That was it.

Well, maybe Han/Leia and Tokka. And CatBat, but only in fanfic. And maybesortoffinealot Boostle.

The slippery slope is a dangerous place.

...My first thought upon watching Green Lantern: First Flight? Besides the awesome, besides the great final fight scene, besides the serious skill that went into the voice acting, no, my first thought was basically... "Didn't I see a Hal/Sinestro fic yesterday? I wonder where that was."

My brain immediately curdled into itself in utter horror, and not just at the frankly terrifying thoughts of those panels in Corps War where Sinestro was not, in fact, wearing anything. (I do not remember my nightmares, but I am confident that that sight plays in them prominently). No, my brain curdled into itself because MY SWEET HOLY MEEPITS, ELIZABETH, YOU'RE BECOMING A SHIPPER. Also EW EW EW, because yeah. Sinestro. Awesome villain. Not attractive.

Bad mental images. Bad.

Anyway, the point of this post before it descending into the scarier parts of my brain was that please make the images stop now I think maybe I have been spending too much time in fandom.

I now go to cleanse my brain.

By spending more time in fandom. It introduced me to brain bleach, the product. I cannot abandon it.
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Note:  I keep coughing while writing, and as a result I cannot spell today.  Please forgive me- I will try to catch my errors.

I have a deep, dark secret.  And it is this:  there is a large part of my brain that is not satisfied being the school outcast/nerd.  There is a large part of my brain that still wants to wear Hollister and Hot Topic, have a large group of friends who I can laugh with, date a hot football player- be accepted.

I became a nerd as a last resort.

And, now, honestly, I love it.  I've found the freedom in not caring what people think about me, of reading Star Wars tie in novels while everyone else talks Gossip Girl, of being able to do whatever I want because I no longer have a reputation to damage.

And so, I generally manage to convince myself that I don't need the acceptance of others.

But then things like today happen.  I was surfing way back in the ffrants archive, and discovered someone saying that a series of fics I like were too fluffy.

And I immediate began to be filled with worry.

Was I no longer a true fan if I liked those stories?  Was i not cynical enough?  Was I not sitting with the cool kids?

Now, admittedly, overdramatic fluff in fics tends to bug me as does little else besides Vader turning into Hayden Christiansen for no reason, authors who put on their profile that they don't accept criticism, or a purple haired lovebender seducing Zuko, preobably because I'm somewhat guilty of it at times myself.  But I didn't find the fics in question too fluffy.  There was fluff, yeah, but there was a lot of character developement leading up to that fluff to get the characters where they'd be realistic.

Or what about Twilight?  Do I only hate it because the cool kids do?  Is that worse than only liking it because the cool kids do?  (No, I hate it because IT WILL NOT LET ME HATE IT and Renesmee and Jacob as a ship has so many problems that I want to throw things.)   

Basically, am I now as focused on being a cynical internet nerd as much as I once was on being popular? 

So, well...

Twilight makes me feel bubbly against my will.
I listen to angsty teenage music in all seriousness.
I liked the prequel trilogy.
Also Mara Jade.
I write Mary Sues.  I don't share 'em, but I still write 'em.

(I swear, being sick has left me with nothing to write about than what I think.  Hopefully this will be better soon.)
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This seriously concerns me.


I spent at least a year- a year!- watching Avatar- Avatar!- without giving much more of a thought to who'd get together than "oh, yeah, Aang likes Katara, I guess."  Even once I'd heard of shipping- nadda.  I didn't care.  Just liked to watch the fandom.  (I sort of ship Tokka now.  But that came later.)

And, in my young, foolish days, back when I read Twilight in all seriousness, Bella and Edward made me squee.  In all honesty, they still do.  I CANNOT HELP IT.  I HAVE TRIED.  DO NOT JUDGE ME.

I finally acknoledged that maybe, maybe, I might ship just the tiniest bit when I started scouring the internet for Han/Leia.  But that's not shipping-shipping!  It was resolved ten years before I was born!  That's just liking the dynamic between a canon pair!

Still, I admitted that they were my OTP.  My only OTP.  That was as far as shipping went with me.

It took me months further to realize that I now watched and read things with one eye who "who got together" instead of on the action.  That occasionally, I even was disapointed when the main character chose someone else. 

I try to get into comics, and what am I reading?  No, not action stuff.  Batman/Catwoman fluff.  Because that's my favorite type of fanfiction.  PG to PG-13 fluff.

Lord help me, now I'm trying to write it.

I can't write romance.  I cut my teeth on Twilight- I cannot write normal romance.  I spent a several month period killing off almost every love interest any of my non fanfic characters had.  Seriously.  One survived intact, and he barely did.  Now I've got to de-Wangst them!

And I'm a shipper.

For the last five months or so, I've been introducing Avatar to my Aunt Mary.  She's really liking it, much more than she expected.

And within four episodes she was a Zutara shipper.

I really do not understand how this works.

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This was going to be a rant about me being annoyed that I didn't get makeup days for being sick.  But then I see that I finished Unit Eight ages ago and neither needed nor deserved them seeing as how long I had compared to how long I was lying in bed miserable.

So thank you, Online Teacher, for being awesome.

In other news, I've decided that my obsession with dysfunctional families in fiction stems not from my happy, mostly normal family in real life, but from my early preoccupation with the Tudors, which stems from my preoccupation with Elizabeth I, which stems from the fact that she had my name and she was awesome.

I love studying the Tudors.  They just fascinate me.  On the minus side, this means that whenever they're in popular culture I turn into one of those screaming people because Is Historical Accuracy Really That Difficult, Certain Authors Who Will Not Be Named?  Mary Boleyn was not a virgin when she caught Henry's eye.  Mary Boleyn was a slut who'd slept with most of the French court and who King Francis referred to as "my hackney."  Her story is very, very interesting, but is not the one that you told.  Also, most evidence suggests she was older than Anne, although that is still up for debate.

What was I saying?

I'll go with this:
DAVIDSON WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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For a while, now, I've been trying to figure out what makes a fandom stick with me. Avatar stuck, and so did Star Wars, and then last spring I began conciously looking for a third fandom. And I ran into problems. I'd enjoy something (Star Trek, MST3K), and it would stick with me, but it wouldn't inspire "squee-I-must-watch-other-people-debate-this-ad-nauseum-and-write-fanfic". And meanwhile Avatar finished up and I never had time for the Clone Wars, and I still found no third fandom.

(Also just as I was really getting into MST3K I got hit by a car walking to the video rental place, which really put a damper on that relationship.)

And then I was surfing TV Tropes, and came across an interesting link, and began reading the scans_daily archives.

A week later LJ shut it down. Maybe four days later, actually.

I barely knew ye! *Sobs*

On the Monday afterwards, we here in Charlotte experienced the wonder of a Southern snow day, in which there is one inch of an icy substance on the ground and everyone breaks down into panic. I am informed that people in other parts of the country find this humorous, but seriously, we know it's ridiculous. And, because I had no quasi-legal stockpile of scans on my computer to turn to anymore, I was bored.

Bored, and with Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket.

Now, I'd been reading some comics fanfic, and I'd liked it, so I sort of knew what I was looking for as I headed across the Intersection of Doom and to the little comics store on the corner. I knew I wanted to read Batman, but that there was nothing going on in Batman that I wanted to read. I knew that the work of pretty much every artist or writer out there Should Not Be Touched With A Ten Foot Pole No You Idiot It's The Greatest Ever.

Anyway, yeah, I bought some comics, and then more, and I read more fanfic, and I moved Nightwing to the spot behind Prince Zuko in my list of Hot Fictional Guys, and I began really enjoying the world of comics.

And Batman stuck.  And I had absolutely no clue why.  The canon stuff was as variable in quality as the fanfics.  Most of the ships squicked me to no end.

I began to consider this confusing turn of events, and finally I came to a conclusion.

I like reading about dysfunctional families.  No, I have no idea why.  I just do.  Heaven knows my family's pretty normal, with me as the only even slightly dysfunctional unit.  (Also my cat).

But seriously.  I think that's what it is.  You've got the Fire Nation royals, the Skywalkers, and the BatFamily or whatever I'm supposed to call it now that I can't extricate myself from it.

Crabcakes, now I've got plot bunnies from three universes, only one of which I currently have any real initiave in writing for, bouncing around my head.  I don't need this!  I'm still working on Searching!  It's in the other window right now!



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