ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This I believe.

Go and do likewise.

I really have no tolerance for jerks who try to crush other people's dreams.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Nina Paley has posted two GIFs of Hebrew slaves in Egypt, one of men and one of women.  And look!  They're brown, with curly black hair, not whitewashed.  I love the stylized geometric body parts too.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 ... has an excerpt here.  Look closely at the last panel.  <3

Also, I'm intrigued by the subtle, probably inadvertent, but extremely powerful riff on male!Thor battling depression.  There's a discussion about how every day he struggles with wondering whether he'll be able to pick up the hammer, and how tired he gets, wanting someone to carry it for a while.  It's just not something that comics usually deal with at all, but I like the hints of it in Thor's storyline.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a short interview of artist Nina Paley.  She does cartoons, animation, and sundry other things.

I'm intrigued to see her complaining about the decay of good computer programs.  This is a problem I have observed very widely.  The first version is rarely the best.  Then a few rounds later, it gets really good if its ever going to.  After that it's all downhill as people add more and more crap until it collapses under its own weight or they get bored with it or sell it or whatever.  Before long, you can't get the version(s) that actually worked, so you can no longer do that thing.  It's extremely frustrating.

I miss the virtue of elegance  in programming.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 This is one of my favorite dances to watch.

#1 -- Not the most skilled hoop manipulator I've seen, but possibly the best footwork.  Wow.  Prancing.

#2 -- This is much more what I expect from a hoop dancer, and my vote will always go to the guy who can deftly handle more hoops.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
It matters what stories we tell and pictures we paint.  Here's an essay about narratives of diversity in F&SF.  

That's why I write diversity and, especially, pay attention to the mix of heroes and heras in Polychrome Heroics.  Danso is there to provide a positive, nurturing example of a young black man.  He's very powerful; mess with his family and he'll fuck you up.  But he'd rather not have to.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a wonderful set of comic book covers against bullying, link courtesy of my partner Doug.  

Remember, you don't need to be a superhero to save the day.  Here are some things you can do to stop bullies.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a lovely look at several of Jack Kirby's characters of diversity, made with Stan Lee but these are ones primarily driven by Jack.  

Note that Ben Grimm is a double-tap for being Jewish and lower/working class.  As the Thing, he is also a man of color -- even though color-changed characters may have grown up white, they pick up the chromatic stigma of not being white anymore and it really shows in how people treat them.  Also worth considering is the way that Jack characterized Ben as Jewish for years before it was safe to come right out and say that.  Sometimes I tag the ethnicity or religion of my characters openly, but often it's just there in the name, location, physical description, etc.

I always liked the technological aspect of Black Panther, which so often gets overlooked.  After having discovered Odinani, the sacred science of Nigeria, I kind of wonder if that played in.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a wonderful memorial of Robin Williams that talks about how his talent worked.  He wasn't just funny and spontaneous.  He had a great memory and was a deft actor.  That's not just talent, but also skill.

I also share the sentiment about some things being more impressive when you know how they work.  I have a general understanding of how magicians "load" something by hiding it on their person.  Balls, scarves, doves ... I once saw a guy produce a live macaw, and then moments later, another  one.  How the fuck do you load a macaw?  Or take the late, great Ed Marlo who manipulated cards.  You could watch him demonstrate a sleight, but when he did it at full speed, there was nothing to see.  His hands just went faster than the human eye.  That's impressive.

Robin Williams was like that.  He was funny at the speed of light.  He was so talented, so skilled, that he made being funny look effortless.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I was touched by this review of Guardians of the Galaxy, about how an autistic viewer related to Drax the Destroyer. 

This is why I write what I write.  Everyone deserves a chance to see themselves reflected in entertainment.  Anyone can be a hero.  It's not even necessarily about having an exact match, but can be about having a given trait in common, especially if it's an uncommon one.  Diversity matters.  Representation matters.  And if you're writing diverse, quirky characters then you may wind up reaching an audience you never even thought up, just because you've covered the board really well.

I have An Army of One because one of my readers on the spectrum prompted for it, and other folks -- both neurovariant and neurotypical -- have asked for more.  I think that's awesome.  And the Lacuna has gone from starting with specifically neurovariant characters to embracing a wider variety of people who just don't fit well in normative society, so they're making their own, which is more inclusive.  I love that.
ysabetwordsmith: (moment of silence)
Robin Williams has passed away

*moment of silence*

And only a moment, because this is not a man to be mourned in solemn grace, but one to be sent off with as raucous a wake as may be arranged.  The Pale Horse has evidently painted himself up like a bunting and I am not even going to ask whose idea that  was.  So tell a joke, read a poem, share a memory.  

"Nanoo, nanoo!"  Yeah, that was some of my early xenolinguistics.  It was alien, it was funny, I loved it.  And I felt like Mork a lot.

EDIT: This death has shaken up a lot of people, because a lot of fans felt very close to Robin Williams.  There are resources for coping when a friend commits suicide, or helping a friend who has just lost someone to suicide.  Know the warning signs of suicide and depression.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Compare the historic Heracles  to the modern Hercules.  The Greeks were writing for philosophers.  Hollywood is writing for morons.

I prefer complexity and challenge in storytelling.  This is why Hollywood rarely piques my interest, and I spend more time writing than watching movies.  And my audience routinely asks me for more challenging motifs and situations.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the August 5, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Shirley Barrette.


"Politics, Cartoon Physics, and the Elasticity Factor"


The Tea Party gets their truths
from the ACME Corporation,
wrapped in giant rubber bands.

Somehow nothing ever works
quite the way they expected,
and they're always surprised when
things snap back and hit them in the face,

but then, they don't have much grasp
of physics, cartoon or otherwise, and
this isn't really a super-genius of an organization.

* * *

Notes:

The ACME Corporation is a staple of Warner Brothers cartoons.  They sell Giant Rubber Bands in a variety of sizes.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here is an awesome new comic, "Spark," about a team of superheras. The viewpoint character is a telekinetic engineer. The heavy hitter is a fat girl. The shapeshifter is a woman of color. The art is charming and the storyline hilarious. I am loving this comic. I wanted to throw money at it, but couldn't find a PayPal button or anything else like that. :(

I did, however, browse through older posts, which have more superheras based on costumes worn by little girls. Some of them are brilliant designs. The prize for scariest superpower? Goes to Rainbow Heart, because "the heart on her sword makes ‘the bad guys’ have a change of heart and want to be good guys who do good things." Any self-respecting supervillain would run from that, lest his little black heart get chopped into pink confetti. O_O

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