Seeing as how I’ve done both the top ten for best and worst superhero costume redesigns, I feel obligated to put my money where my artistic mouth is and take a stab at fixing or updating some of these costumes. I’ve picked five here based on:
Here’s the thing: I am sick and tired of super-heroes who aren’t super and aren’t heroes, but more, I’m sick and tired of Hollywood blaming us for their failures. I am sick and tired of hearing various Hollywood studio execs who are as disconnected from the reality of middle-American taste as Rick Perry is from Christianity excusing the poor performance of their ill-executed product by tacitly blaming you, me, and everyone else of us who didn’t pay to see their garbage. Catwoman fails? Instead of, perhaps, just perhaps, acknowledging that the movie is a piece of excrement unworthy of use as fertilizer, they conclude instead that a female lead can’t open a movie unless her name is Jolie. So now we’re not only guilty of not being willing to pay for 90 minutes of intellectual abuse, we’re all apparently sexist jerks, as well. The problem with Green Lantern’s performance at the box office is that it’s not “gritty” enough? I don’t think so.
I can think of no other industry where the consumer is made to bear the blame for the product’s failure as much as Hollywood. Seriously, let’s think that one through. The movie didn’t perform, therefore it’s our fault? You got food poisoning eating the fish they served and you paid for, it’s your fault? The brakes on your new car crapped out and you wrapped it around a tree, it’s your fault?
Here’s a crazy thought.
Maybe you made a bad movie.
Yo, DC Comics. Your comic books and your movies? Take note of this blog entry. It wasn’t that you needed a reboot. Your customers aren’t as wrong as you like to respond that we are. When the product isn’t selling, it might be time to consider that maybe you’re producing something unappealing. Maybe what you think will sell, isn’t what actually sells.
Marvel is kicking your ass in the box office. It isn’t the fault of your customers. We want good movies. I want so badly to have good DC films to go see. HOWEVER, the smart, new-audience-riendly, sincere, often heart-warming, and heroic movies are coming from Marvel.
In the mid 1940’s, Walt Disney produced a number of cartoons, at the request of the United States government. These shorts, given titles like “Der Fuehrer’s Face” and “Commando Duck,” portrayed Germans and Japanese as amoral, corrupt, and uncivilized caricatures. Copies of these propaganda films can be found floating around the internet, but due to their reductive and simplistic portrayal of nuanced and now-familiar subjects, they don’t read the way they used to. It’s a combination of cynicism, embarrassment, and an assumed superiority that leads us to laugh at these images of the three industrious pigs taking on a Nazi wolf—superiority to the dopey inhabitants of America 1945 who swallowed that ridiculously two-dimensional waffle without thinking twice; who blindly supported the endeavors of their government based on a few minutes of carefully scripted media. We snort, we close the tab, we open Facebook, and we all but declare war on a man whose name we just learned in a country we couldn’t point to on a map.
Joseph Kony and Uganda, respectively, in case you’ve been internetting under a rock.
On the continuum between our primate ancestors, from Dryopithecus up to the modern Homo Sapiens, there are fewer steps between us and the sentimental Cleavers of WWII America than we’d like to think. Although plenty of red flags have been raised in the wake of Invisible Children Inc.’s viral KONY 2012 campaign regarding the organization’s motivations, legitimacy, use of funds, etc., this isn’t my concern. One thing of which I’m certain is that they are not “bad guys,”
”By the time a girl is 17, she has seen more than 250,000 messages about what she is supposed to look like.” [Source]
We grow up surrounded by photographs of women with every flaw carefully photoshopped out - and then are told that we can…
I like reading things like this. I love that make-up is your war-paint—that it’s anyone’s war-paint. It definitely is mine. But that is not true of everybody. Some days, it’s not true of me.
This project doesn’t aim to shame anyone, and I’m sorry that anyone interpreted it that way. This is a project aimed at women who feel battered by the unrealistic expectations that the media has created. This is a project meant to remind ourselves and other women that we are more than the media says we are.
I do agree that people also tend to shame women who look fake—that’s part of the way society traps us, by saying we should be pretty (but not too pretty!), sexually available (but not too available!), etc., and I want to stress that that’s a message we also don’t agree with. ♥
Anonymous asked: Hi, Noelle. I was just wondering how exactly you deal with the art world which tends to want you to draw “serious artsy things” when you REALLY want to draw gender-swapped Avengers and stuff like that? Because I’m in a similar situation in creative writing and part of it kills my soul that anything that is not incredibly serious and symbolic and slips outside the world of fictional realism is unwelcome.
Honestly, I don’t spend too much time thinking about the “serious art world” because it’s just not really my thing. There are people out there who will make elegant, highbrow, conceptual art, and that’s great! However, I will never be making that stuff. That doesn’t make me, or any other silly illustrator on the internet, less of an artist. I think there are things that comics and noodly illustrations can do that art in a gallery can’t (and vice versa). A simple doodle comic may not look like much, but I still think it can have a lot of power, even if it’s not on the wall of a prestigious gallery.
It’s kind of the same way in fiction, and I’ve run into this problem in all of my creative writing classes as well. The art world has a divide between illustration and “fine art,” and the fiction world has a divide between science fiction/fantasy and “serious writing.” I think it works the same way. There’s a lot that science fiction and fantasy is capable of, but it’s a bad idea to put it next to the “serious fiction” and compare it by the same methods you would a piece of fictional realism, autobiography, whatever. They’re different forms of literature and they both work in different ways. If the “serious writers” won’t take you seriously, then don’t worry about them as your target audience and show it to people who will appreciate it.
Basically when someone tells you you can’t write about dragons or spaceships or gender-swapped Avengers, just yell “I DO WHAT I WANT THOR” and do it anyway.
EDIT: This is of course not to say that illustrations CAN’T be “serious art” and science fiction/fantasy CAN’T be “serious writing.” It’s a bias that exists, unfortunately, but it’s been shattered before. Someone brought up Moebius: a comics illustrator and fanartist, but was still considered a groundbreaking, major artist. Same with science fiction and fantasy: there’s a boatload of novels with these themes that are considered literary classics. My point was, don’t draw/write what you think you have to do to be considered a “serious” artist/writer; just do whatever you do, and do it well, and if all goes well those boundaries won’t matter as much.
Anonymous asked: I love all of your fic rec posts! Out of curiosity, do you know off the top of your head of any fics that really examine Charles’ telepathy, or how telepathy plays into Charles and Erik’s friendship/relationship? If not, no big deal, I just love your recs so you were the first person I thought to ask! :)
A lot of fics EXPLORE Charles’ telepathy and the ethics behind it, though it doesn’t always FOCUS on it - I think I have a couple…
1. Cause and Effect - an mpreg (I’m not sure if you’re squicked) that explores Charles’ relationship with Erik (and Raven) - including how his telepathy affects it. It’s mostly a piece of writing that incorporates all the small arguments the fandom has - VERY good.
2. Shout It Out Loud - deals with an accidental mind bond between Erik and Charles, so I guess it DOES deal with Charles’ telepathy in a way.
3. Eggshell - a character piece about Charles that explores his telepathy, his ideals, and his point of view basically.
4. I feel as if I’m not even giving you what you really want but -Celestial Navigation explores Charles’s telepathy during their trip to find more mutants.
5. Apple Seeds - mindfuck to the max - basically how Charles is changed by his telepathy.
Okay - none of these are ENOUGH about telepathy but they’re the only ones that I can offer you at the moment. In all honesty, there are a lot of fics that touch upon Charles and his telepathy - but a) I can’t find/think of them right now and b) it doesn’t really focus on it as much.
If anyone has any suggestions - you’re all welcome to rec more!
Tabula Rasa, by o2doko, is a newly written fic that deals with Charles’ telepathy. It’s wonderfully thought out, fantastically written, and explores Erik’s views on Charles’ abilities and their relationship in general.
Fake Your Face: Make-Up, Societal Pressure, Photoshop and Women's Self-Esteem: A PSA Video Project
”By the time a girl is 17, she has seen more than 250,000 messages about what she is supposed to look like.” [Source]
We grow up surrounded by photographs of women with every flaw carefully photoshopped out - and then are told that we can be as thin as they are, as beautiful as they are, as flawless as they are, if only we try harder. We are taught that beauty is essential to happiness, to success, to our professional lives. We are taught that weight is the best and most important measure of health. We are constantly reminded that we are companions, to be admired - the pretty prize the guy strives for, the superheroine with heels and cleavage windows.
We spend all our time creating an outer facade for ourselves, without realizing that as long as you are striving for something that you consider to be better than us, we will never be happy with who we are. We layer ourselves in different shades and different fits, strive to look better and better while inside we feel worse and worse. We grow up staring at these icons of perfection on our television sets and in our magazines, feeling inadequate about our own imperfections that seem to stand out a mile in our bedroom mirrors.
“Twenty years ago, the average model weighed 8 per cent less than the average woman—but today’s models weigh 23 per cent less.” [Source]
“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” [Audrey Hepburn]
We are just a couple of girls with laptops and our own piles of insecurity. But we want, in our own small way, to speak out. And we are putting together a video.
So here is what we’re asking for in the way of contribution.
Film. WE ARE LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS - particularly those who enjoy and have experience using cosmetics - to film themselves going from plain face to fully made up in hopes of driving home the message. We would also, with the volunteers’ permission, pick several submissions to put through Photoshop as well, to show the full extent of the transformation. This is not about shaming. This is about saying, ‘We are all in this together.’ The two of us will be contributing ourselves, and as a show of good faith will be the first faces in the video. [DOVE - MAKEUP VIDEO - ‘EVOLUTION’]
Speak. Whether it be through spoken word poetry or just you sitting in your bedroom, talk to us. Tell us about your experiences, your feelings, your body. Why you hate it, or even better, why you love it. Tell us about how you got to where you are in your journey. [KATIE MAKKAI - POETRY SLAM - ‘PRETTY’]
Write. Don’t want to show your face or record your voice? Take a photo or a video of yourself holding up a sign. It could be something inspirational, or something poignant - doesn’t matter.
“I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that - I don’t mind people being happy - but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying “write down 3 things that made you happy today before you go to sleep”, and “cheer up” and “happiness is our birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position - it’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say “Quick! Move on! Cheer up!” I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word “happiness” and to replace it with the word “wholeness”. Ask yourself “is this contributing to my wholeness?” and if you’re having a bad day, it is.”—Hugh Mackay (via aeloquence)