Wonder Woman, Batwoman and the new DC Comics

I’ve always been on the verge of being a comic book geek, without every quite arriving. As a kid I was a fan of the girl super heroes — I loved Wonder Woman, Isis and Batgirl on television, but my family wasn’t much into comic books and my lack of transport to a comics shop as a kid meant neither was I.

Wonder Woman Lynda Carter
Wonder Woman Lynda Carter

I was so disappointed that my Wonder Woman halloween costume at six years old looked nothing like this!

The closest I came in my formative years was having a friend in college who had gobs of them that I read obsessively. But I was too poor to buy any myself at the time.

Me in College

Oh look, me reading the Green Arrow in college. Nice hair!

As an adult, pop culture has kept me vaguely aware of the developments around my childhood superhero favorites. My first online fake identity was a Batgirl anonymous account. I have my own superhero nickname (obviously!) and logo – even t-shirts. Many years ago, I fantasized about being Batgirl. I wanted to kiss Wonder Woman (wow, that page needs an update). I even have an awesome college-era t-shirt of Batgirl performing oral sex on Wonder Woman over the handlebars of her motorcycle in my t-shirt archive. (I should post a photo of that, shouldn’t I?)

Bat Girl On Bat Cycle
Bat Girl On Bat Cycle

Seriously, the TV show motorcycle had lace on it? I totes did not remember that at all.

But venturing into comic book stores always seemed like too steep of a time commitment/ learning curve for a hobby that seems to appeal mainly to teen boys. Too many titles, too many diverging story lines – how do I tell what I’ve read and what I haven’t? I vaguely knew that there was a Batwoman comic, and that the character was gay, but I didn’t go out of my way to research that much.

But things have changed… I started reading themarysue.com (A Guide to Girl Geek Culture) several months back – (how did I not know about this site before?!) and they cover female comic book heroes pretty extensively, which means I’ve jumped over a bit of the learning curve. And there are some major changes going on at DC Comics right now that make a difference. The company has been struggling financially with many of their titles for awhile, and so is doing a reboot of the every product they have – called the New 52 or DCNU, they’re streamlining their titles and hitting the reset button on story lines.

Beginning in September, all of their comic books will start with a new issue #1. There will be new Batgirl, new Batwoman, new Birds of Prey, and new Wonder Woman story lines among many others – and an easy way for me to jump in and wrap my head around the characters.

Unfortunately, there will be fewer female characters in the New 52, and fewer female writers. This was an issue that brought up by several female fans in panels at Comic Con recently [How Batgirl took on DC Comics: the anatomy of a PR crisis] – and DC reacted rather poorly to the challenge, with one co-publisher blaming women for not voting with their dollars. Not really a valid argument, but still, I can counter that by supporting my favorite super hero characters by setting up series subscriptions.

So I went into the local comic book shop (Downtown Comics – the Castleton Branch) on the recommendation of my friend Jason, who is an occasionally employee there, and I set up subscriptions to collect my favorite comic book characters:

Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman
Bat Girl
Bat Girl
Birds of Prey
Birds of Prey

While I was there, I picked up some of the graphic novels for recent story lines for each of the characters. All of the stories will get a reboot in September, but I’ve been catching up on many of the recent incarnations.

And there’s another pressing question in the world of comic book women: whether the new Wonder Woman will be allowed to keep her (recently acquired) pants. Art from the new series has been drawn both ways – pants on and pants off.

Wonder Woman With Pants
With Pants
Wonder Woman Sans Pants
Sans Pants

One comic book fan (Mario Pieda) suggested this alternative:

JLA No Pants
Who’s wearing the pants now?

In the question of “pants or no pants” I’d like to throw in my vote of (shockingly!!) “pants” because she looks more badass wearing them. Note that this would be the only situation that I will ever vote in favor of “pants” over “no pants.” It would be nice if Wonder Woman were to continue on without looking quite like such a hooker, frankly. Not to slut shame Wonder Woman or anything, but really, don’t those star-spangled underwear ride up your butt when you’re kicking ass, woman? How much fun could it be to save the planet with a Wonder Wedgie?

I’m aware that at 43 years old, a new comic book obsession is probably a mid-life crisis of sorts. But it’s cheaper than a sports car. I hope.

Bat Girl Return Books
Bat Girl Return Books
Continue ReadingWonder Woman, Batwoman and the new DC Comics

Crushable: Hannah Hart

Hannah Hart

I posted a few of the awesome “My Drunk Kitchen” videos a while back, and now the cute-as-a-button Hannah Hart is on Episode 8 of her cooking drinking show (plus a couple of bonuses like a song and an not-so-advice video) and she’s received some major attention. This week she’s the subject of a Time Magazine Q&A:

What My Drunk Kitchen food tasted the worst?
The ice cream was pretty terrible. Or the meatballs — they were just balls of uncooked meat.

Nobody really make meatballs when they’re drunk, though.
But they could. They’re so easy. As long as you actually remember to cook them.

Do you plan the menu ahead of time?
I know what I’m going to make, and then I do my best to make it with whatever’s in the kitchen. I try to do as little advance planning as possible. Supposedly that’s to make the videos funnier, but really I’m just lazy.

Episode 8: Ice Cream:
I couldn’t quite picture how making ice cream counted as cooking, but in Hannah’s world, it makes total sense. Which is to say, no sense at all, just like always. There’s a point at which I was laughing hysterically. At work, which is always normal. But then my cube neighbor co-worker is currently discussing druids and healers and spells with another co-worker for some video game they play together, so I’m not the weird one here at all.

And also Hannah has a bunch of swag you can get at her website – t-shirts, aprons, all very cute designs.

Hannah is just as cute as a basket of kittens, isn’t she? Sadly, she’s having some online flirtation with writer Heather Hogan (who has stepped up her obnoxiousness on afterellen.com to the point I have a hard time reading her posts anymore), which is kinda gross. But Hannah is pretty cute, and hasn’t said one obnoxious thing, so I’ll forgive her.

And this is totally not Hannah Hart, and isn’t associated in any way with My Drunk Kitchen, but it’s an awesome photo, isn’t it?

Oh my
Continue ReadingCrushable: Hannah Hart

Crushable: Women with awesome voices

In my catalog of “hot women” I have a special category for women with awesome voices – and I don’t just mean singing voices, but speaking voices as well. There are a handful of women to whom I would just sit for hours upon hours and listen while they talked – and two of them were at last night’s GLAAD Media Awards:

Kristen Chenoweth was being honored with the GLAAD Vanguard Award:

And Dolly Parton was there to present an award to Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC entertainment:

The other woman who falls into the “hot speaking voice” category is the actress Billie Burke, who most people will recognize as Glinda from the Wizard of Oz in 1939:

Here she is in more of her from movie “Dinner at Eight” in 1933:

Here’s a “funny for the time” comedic gender-bending Billie Burke on a radio comedy program with Joan Crawford and Fanny Brice in “If Women Went on Hunting Trips as Men Do”. From the “Good News of 1939” Radio Show:

Continue ReadingCrushable: Women with awesome voices

Overdue Crushable: My Wife

Since I’ve been talking about crushable women a bunch lately, I realize I’ve been remiss about writing about the most crushable of them all – my beautiful wife Stephanie. I know I talk about her occasionally and post photos, but I haven’t really gone all out very many times, have I? I know I’m probably being selfish because I don’t like to share. But in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I’ll be nice and let you see how cute Stephanie is. If only to make you jealous.

She a total bookworm, much like a real-life Hermione Granger. She figure skates, so she’s hot in those short skate dresses. She’s a bad-ass editor for a publishing company who is completely fearless about correcting chalkboard menu misspellings in public. And she’s totally into me – which is the most attractive quality a woman can have, in my opinion.

Check out these photos of her being awesome.

Lisa and Jason's Wedding
At a friend’s wedding

Scooter Riding
On the scooter

Talking on the phone about how awesome I am

Wheel of Fortune Tryouts
Trying out for Wheel of Fortune with our pal Melissa because she’s a word nerd & WOF brainiac.

English Telephone Booth
Popping into a phone booth to change to her super hero identity

Stephanie and giant squirrel
Taming wild beasts

Stephanie and Lion
Taming more wild beasts

Skate Indy 2010
Winning one of many gold medals at skating competitions

Downtown Photo Walk
Making cute faces at the camera
Downtown Photo Walk

Downtown Photo Walk

Downtown Photo Walk

Downtown Photo Walk

Downtown Photo Walk

Downtown Photo Walk

Downtown Photo Walk

And of course, my favorite thing my wife has done: marry me
Our Wedding - Becki's Photos

Now aren’t I the luckiest duck ever?

Continue ReadingOverdue Crushable: My Wife

Lady Sybil Crawley

My latest TV crush: Lady Sybil, the third daughter of Lord and Lady Crawley on the BBC Mini-series Downton Abbey. Played by actress Jessica Brown-Findlay. The story is set in a huge country manor house in the years just before World War I, and Lady Sybil is the firebrand youngest child; a suffragist, feminist and liberal. She champions housemaid Gwen’s desire to become a secretary to get away from doing house work and make a real living. And Sybil is stylish as well as daring – ordering herself a fashionable new frock with harem pants (although they didn’t exactly call them that).

Sybil Crawley
Sybil Crawley
Sybil's harem pants
Sybil’s harem pants
Sybil & Gwen
Sybil & Gwen
Sybil at a rally
Sybil at a rally
The Crawley Sisters
The Crawley Sisters

Sybil in a tux
Sybil in a tux
Sybil in a tux

Smart, gorgeous political women are sooooo hot.

Continue ReadingLady Sybil Crawley

Well, hello there, hot cop.

Call me a juvenile goofball, but this email made me the teensiest bit giggly this afternoon:

Jane Rizzoli is my Friend on FACEBOOK
Jane Rizzoli is my Friend on FACEBOOK

Ahem – For your reading enjoyment: Fanfiction.net’s Rizzoli and Isles channel.

I haven’t read fan fiction in quite a few years because it was always so hard to hunt down good stuff and separate it from the crap. But I’ve been a long-time fan of Dorothy Snarker, and somehow I navigated from her site to fanfiction.net the other day. This site does a great job of aggregating fan fiction, sorting it out, and even encouraging group editing projects to improve people’s writing skills. There’s still a lot of bad stuff there, but it’s possible to navigate your way around it thusly: go to whatever category of stuff you like. Sort by characters you want to read about. Look for stories with tons and tons of reviews. These are the stories people really like because they bother to comment. Read some of them. Look at their authors, and the authors also have lists of their favorites stories and authors. Visit those. Repeat. This was an awesome distraction to the stress of going out of town on business this week (I suck at travel; indeedy I do).

(I have a similar method of finding cool stuff on Flickr by surfing the favorites of photographers I like. Hours of awesome.)

Here, let me highlight a couple of the steamier Rizzoli & Isles items for you:


Yeah, come back after you’ve read those and let me know what you think. 🙂

I have more stuff to link to, but I’ll hold off until I hear from you.

ADDENDUM: Of course, as soon as I posted this, I got email from the other other half of TNT’s dynamic duo:

Maura Isles as confirmed you as a Friend on Facebook
Maura Isles as confirmed you as a Friend on Facebook

Of course this whole post presupposes that you’ve actually seen the TNT show Rizzoli & Isles, which aired this summer and will be back next. If you haven’t you can catch it in reruns. It stars Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander, along with a small dog, a tortoise and absolutely insane amounts of subtext and Totally Gratuitous Touching. Shame on you for missing it.

Just to reiterate, this time with photos:

Rizzoli & Isles
Rizzoli & Isles
Continue ReadingWell, hello there, hot cop.

The celebrity “freebie” list

From the episode of friends “The One with Frank Jr.” (season 3, episode 5) in which the gang all consider what five celebrities would be on their “freebie list”–people they can sleep with without anyone getting upset… my list:

Tina Fey
Mary-Louise Parker
Anne Hathaway
Kate Winslet
Felicia Day

alternate: Susan Sarandon

Continue ReadingThe celebrity “freebie” list

Oprah interviews Kate Winslet

Oprah interviewing Kate Winslet after her two golden globe wins for Revolutionary Road and The Reader. In this clip, Oprah is talking about scenes from The Reader.

Note – in searching for links for this clip, I couldn’t find news sites that DIDN’T make double entendres with their “Winslet’s Golden Globes!” headlines. Golden indeed. Dorothy Snarker provides lots of pictures of Kate and her assets.

Continue ReadingOprah interviews Kate Winslet