Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Poetry about Superheroes

A great essay by one of my favorite literary critics, Stephen Burt, about poetry and superheroes, is up here. It makes for pretty interesting reading. (Plus, two of my poems are quoted!)


Monday, November 2, 2009

Poetry and Superheroes

I really like it when my two geek worlds collide. Tonight on Heroes, two characers recited poems about the moon - coincidentally, on the night of a beautiful clear full "frost" moon.

Hiro recited the first poem by Japanese haiku poet Ryokan:

The thief left it behind
the moon
at my window

HRG recited the poem from Oberon to Titania from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

On an unrelated note, this whole season of Heroes has so far been so much better than the two previous seasons it is like another show. Poetic imagery with a hearing-impaired woman seeing colors, the tatto woman...I like the carnival-running Magneto-ripoff bad guy, too.

Friday, October 9, 2009

More Chuck - and possible WonderCon...

Well, if you are a fan of shows about geeks (and I am!) then you will be happy to hear that there's a rumout that one of my fave shows, Chuck, will possibly be making its return in a few weeks instead of next year, because some other NBC shows have been sucking. So, yay, more Chuck!

Also, today I submitted a brief proposal to WonderCon in San Francisco. Wish me luck! It's about poetry and superheroes. Crossing my fingers!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sorry for the long absence...

Sorry for the long absence, readers! I've been sick, injured, and just completed a move! Still, that's no excuse.
Well, as far as new science fiction/fantasy/female comic book superhero news...it's been a little quiet. The new fall shows haven't really grabbed me yet. Any you'd recommend?
I've been keeping up with the Buffy comics, which have continued apace in an almost True-Blood-ian universe in which slayers are the enemy and vampires have reality shows. Speaking of True Blood, I liked the second season a little less than the first, except for the episode in which Godric is introduced and goes to "meet the sun" which I thought was just really well-executed in terms of writing and pacing. Vampire Diaries seems like a Twilight ripoff, but is perhaps better in terms of writing and tension than the Twilight movie. Still, none of them have the wit, charm, and fight of Buffy. Sigh.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I missed ComicCon, but I did see Miyazaki in person!

Well, I got to see Ponyo by the Sea/Ponyo on a Cliff (whatever they're calling it in English) a month early, and it's a beautiful but strange film. It seems a more eccentric, more upbeat version of Hans Christian Anderson's "A Little Mermaid" with an environmental twist. It had a lot more humor in it than most Miyazaki films; Tina Fey in the English dub plays the hilarious, feisty young mother who doesn't really resemble any character Miyazaki's done before. The drawing is purposefully childlike, different that the ethereal, elegant drawings in Howl's Moving Castle. The two main characters are five years old, so a lot of the movie is geared towards a very young person's aesthetic; the themes are similar to those in Princess Mononoke. I enjoyed watching it with children in the audience; their delighted laughter behind me reminded me that they were the real audience for this film.

Hayao Miyazaki, with a translator and in a conversation led by Roland Kelts (who wrote Japanamerica) gave a wonderful hour-and-a-half talk in which he discussed advice for young animators ("Draw what you see in life; then give a more experienced artist your drawing and ask for a tough critique") and his frequent roles for strong women ("There are so many strong women now, I might have to start making films about little boys!) as well as his views about apocalypse (generally, he's pro?)and how natural disasters can bring people together. He laughed a lot, expertly evaded questions like "which character in your films do you most resemble," and was generally really fun to watch.

Berkeley itself is a beautiful campus and the weather was lovely and cool.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

New Happy Potter Movie, Comic Con, Miyazaki in Berkeley

It's a banner week for geekiness!

Saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and besides leaving out (spoiler alert) Dumbledore's funeral - which would have been really easy to film - and the final fight between the kids and the death eaters - and some really important Voldemort flashbacks about his really sad family that would have revealed where and what the horcruxes were - I thought it was fairly competent.

Just getting excited to hear all the announcements and gossip from Comic Con, and excited for my trip next weekend to see Ponyo by the Sea and see Hayao Miyazaki give a lecture up in Berkeley.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Buffy Versus Edward

You must immediately go read this post from Slate's XX, and watch the re-mix video of what happens when Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer met Edward from Twilight:


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

More excitement about Miyazaki

I'm more excited than a grown woman should be: I just got tickets to see a screening on Ponyo, Hayao Miyazaki's new movie, and then, the next night, two tickets to see Miyazaki himself give a lecture in Berkeley! I moved to California six months ago and just knew it would pay off! Yay!

The bad news is, Comic Con in San Diego looks to be sold out, so unless anyone has secret ways to get me in, it looks like I won't be going to that.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Shows that get renewed, shows that don't

Really crossing my fingers that Chuck gets renewed. Dollhouse I think was lucky to have a full half-season. Heroes will be back (hopefully with better writing!) and Reaper is cancelled. It's hard getting attached to these genre-type shows, knowing they could be cancelled at any minute.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Heroines and Their Shoes

Felicity Shoulders has some very sensible comments on sensible shoes on action heroines on television. These also apply equally to female comic book superheroes, who are always fighting evil in a thong...
This is a subject dear to my heart as I recently broke two bones in my foot. Practical footwear would have been a plus in my accident. But no - it was strappy sandals for me that day!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Heroes, Lost...Andy Richter

So, Bryan Fuller is back at Heroes, and it shows. The newest episode, "Cold Snap," had his trademark whimsical visual details as well as above-average (at least for Heroes) dialogue. A terrific ending for a terrible character (Tracy, not Daphne.) Loved the bits with Angela!

Lost has gone downhill ever since Sawyer got together with Juliet. Blech and double-blech! And the show's depiction of Sayid was disappointing - I was really hoping they were moving him towards a redemptive end.

Andy Richter Controls the Universe is not, technically, a sci-fi show...but it does have technical writers! And likable managers of technical writers, much like me in a previous corporate career. At least I hope I was likable. And one of the guys who worked for me did look a lot like Andy Richter...
Anyway, it's out on DVD - do yourself a favor and buy it. No, they're not paying me to say this.

Dollhouse's "game-changing" episode was all right - but still left me feeling a little "meh." Plus, I could see all the "suprises" coming from a mile away. Notice though, I still haven't stopped watching...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Review of Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder

I got ahold of Futurama's Into the Wild Green Yonder yesterday, and have to say I was fairly pleased with this outing of the series - in fact, I think it's the best of the four. Characters were written true to the essentials of each character, the Fry and Leela relationship was addressed satisfactorily, the inside jokes were there but not overly obvious or irritating.
Evolutionary factors were both the villain and hero of these four episodes - the evolutionary forces that caused less robust species to go extinct were labelled "dark ones" and the forces to preserve evolutionary diversity - somewhat mysterious - were the "encyclopods." A strange premise, making personifications of evolutionary theory good or evil.
The best extra was the "making of" documentary, in which...well, let's just say Lauren Tom features heavily, and it's pretty hilarious. You can also watch Matt Groening bounce around at zero G!
It never reached the greatness of the original four seasons, but at no time did I look away in disgust or get so bored I stopped watching (as happened with the three previous movies,) and the ending has some emotional resonance.
Billy West has said there is a possibility than Futurama might have new episodes on Fox, a la the resurrection of Family Guy.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Reasons to Watch Heroes

An amusing and compelling list of reasons to start watching Heroes again on Television without Pity. My favorite reason was "They just generally suck less." Right on!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Second Ep of Dollhouse Review

Joss Whedon's new show agains made me say Meh. This second episode - a re-hash of "The Most Dangerous Game" - with sex! - again made me feel too icky. And now I want to shower.

In other news, the likable show Chuck continues to suffer ratings problems. I'm agreeably interested in Lost once again. And I've fallen in love with the British-show-turned-American Life on Mars.

Would it kill the networks to have a likable, empowered woman on television again? Annie from Life on Mars is one of those, but she has so little screen time.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Vacant Expression Bot - Dollhouse Pilot Review

TO: Joss Whedon
RE: Dollhouse

If I wanted to watch a vacant-expression-bot passively doing the will of men for money, I'd go rent a porno. Or watch "Confessions of a Shopaholic." (Isla Fisher is a talented actress, but in that movie is mostly in the passive-vacant-expression-bot mode.) And what's up with all those soft-core camera angles?

Joss said in interviews he wanted the audience to feel "icky" - well, count me ickified.

Also: For a similar plot, see "Futurama's episode "I Dated a Robot."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Heroes, Chuck in 3D

So, what did you all think of the new episodes of Heroes and Chuck Monday night?

I think the reset on Heroes is pretty interesting (although I was disappointed that HRG was once again playing on team evil) and hope it continues in an interesting vein, albeit one completely stolen from the X-Men plotlines archive. It definitely looks like we're heading towards the alternate future that was first featured, where the Heroes are hunted criminals.

Chuck 3-D was too bad, since NBC didn't do enough to distribute the 3-D glasses, but a good-enough episode.

Along with Lost, I'm glad these shows are back. I've been down with a broken foot, and good television is very important for healing! In other good news, Reaper is coming back a little bit earlier, around the beginning of March!

I'm finally going to watch a little Battlestar Galactica on DVD, too, though I have flashbacks to the seventies version that I tried to avoid as a tiny tot...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

No More Year's Best Fantasy and Horror anthologies

I just heard this sad news here:
I am really sad about this because it was one of the few anthologies that actually included poetry. And I just found out about it three years ago. And now it's going away!
This economic climate makes it harder than ever for book publishers, editors, and writers. Please do what you can to support your favorite magazines, writers, and publishers. Keep buying books!

In other news, would anyone out there be interested in helping put together a talk for ComicCon on Comic Book Heroes (and Heroines) and Literature?