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Laura "Tegan" Gjovaag

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Sketchbook - Donna Barr

The story of this sketch is told in my con report from San Diego 2000. Oh my. What can I say about this one? Well, I can tell you that Donna Barr is really cool, and that she was fun to chat with at other cons I've seen her at, too. And while some people might refer to this as subtle and post-iconic, I thought it was just pure fun.

by Donna Barr
23 July 2000
(permission to post given 26 October 2003 via e-mail)

Don't judge Donna's artwork by this sketch. Check her web page for much better examples of non-hectic-convention drawing.

To see all the sketches I have permission to post so far, check out my Sketchbook Page. If you have any contact information for any of the other artists I'm trying to contact, please e-mail me. Click for a random Aquaman sketch.

by Tegan at 7:03 PM Seattle time

Nothing New To Report

Removed by request of post subject

by Tegan at 10:16 AM Seattle time

Friday, December 12, 2003

Ooooh, My Head Hurts

Removed by request of post subject

by Tegan at 4:03 PM Seattle time

Removed Update

Removed by request of post subject

by Tegan at 9:08 AM Seattle time

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Removed Speaks

Removed by request of post subject

by Tegan at 7:17 PM Seattle time

Random Thoughts

Ok, time for a few random thoughts while I wait for an update from removed.

I think it's time to trot out this old essay again. Look, we all have hobbies. I don't think my Aquaman fandom is overly obsessive or unnatural (and neither does my husband, who has his own hobbies). But I'm getting the sense that some people are, once again, thinking I must be nuts because of my hobby. So here it is: Why Aquaman?

Zeyad of Healing Iraq has a report (with pictures) of the big anti-terrorism rally in Baghdad. While much of mainstream media seems to have missed this major story, at least The Seattle Times covered it.

Lately I've been borrowing a friend's copies of Fortean Times and enjoying reading them. They seem to espouse the same attitude I have about a lot of phenomena. There are a lot of things we don't understand in the world, and just because something strange happens doesn't mean it is supernatural. There is a strange side-effect of reading this, though. Now I'm finding myself being skeptical when I read the regular newspaper. Maybe that's a good thing...

by Tegan at 6:15 PM Seattle time

Removed Update

Removed by request of post subject

In other news:

More on the fight against unverified electronic voting at Slashdot. It appears that things have taken a turn for the better. Maybe.

Head on over to Johnny B's place and send him congrats. He's employed again!

And I've had my weekly comics for nearly 24 hours and haven't even been tempted to open one of them. I must be more depressed than I thought. Can't blame it all on Doane... I'm responsible for letting him get to me. At least I still bought the extra copy of Aquaman to send to Patrick in Baghdad. I hope he's ok. I find myself looking at the casualties lists with a horrible sense of dread. If his name ever appears on the list of the dead it might break me.

by Tegan at 11:26 AM Seattle time

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Help Needed, Time Critical

Removed by request of post subject

by Tegan at 3:53 PM Seattle time

Lack of Fun

Because of the recent nonsense that comic snob has perpetuated, I'm not enjoying comics blogging at all at the moment. In fact, his belittling of me took all the joy out of even thinking about comics. When a person who claims to like comics spends time insulting others who like comics because their tastes are different... that's just dumb. There aren't enough comic book fans around for any sense of elitism to be reasonable. To the rest of the world, we're all childish nerds. "Adult" comics means something entirely different to the rest of the world than it does to comic snob.

Anyway, I'm not enjoying blogging about comics. Comic snob has completely put me off it. So I'm going to avoid comics like the plague until I find actual pleasure in it again. I'm also going to avoid visiting any comics-heavy blogs. I don't want to hear the latest crap that ADD posts. He's already shown himself to be elitist... and I'm not interested in the words of people who think they are superior.

I was going to post some more covers that are better than the original cover that started this stupidity, but I decided that posting every Aquaman cover drawn in the last ten years would take up too much space.

by Tegan at 9:06 AM Seattle time

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

What Makes a Good Comic Book Cover?

So someone asked for an explanation as to why the two Aquaman covers I posted are better than the "art" that comic snob posted. I thought it was self-evident to anyone that isn't color-blind, but I guess I'm going to have to explain it.

Both images are portraits, like the snob-art, but unlike the snob-art, they show movement. They aren't static, which is a no-no for a good super-hero comic cover. You need either movement or a "moment" after or before movement. Think of the classic Superman cover with him lifting a vehicle... he's moving. The snob-art cover has no movement. It's a dead cover. There's nothing of interest in it at all, except a bunch of people dressed in stupid costumes. You can't tell anything about the people in the picture from the image.

And that's another thing both the Aquaman covers have. Context. You see that it's a person, and he's underwater (the fish are a giveaway, you know). You immediately know something about the contents of the book. There is an immediately mystery raised by the covers which is promised to be answered inside the book.

They both have interesting coloring - whereas snob-art has crappy faux aged coloring that just makes it look terrible. I might be able to handle the ugly and boring figures if they weren't so blandly colored. As it is, the poor coloring was the first bit that jumped out at me, and made me think the snob was joking.

Now, I never said that these Aquaman covers are the "best of the last decade". In fact, both of those particular Aquaman covers fall way down on the list. But both of them are significantly better than the snob-art cover, which is poorly-drawn, to boot. I'm sure that piece of work has its uses, but as a cover to a superhero comic book, it's crap.

But then, comic snob is justifying his choice by saying that superhero comics are dead, and therfore it's subtle and post-iconic. We don't even have a piece of common ground to work from if he's so blind to the realities of comics to believe that. So explaining my choices seems a little pointless, doesn't it?

Just for giggles, here's two more covers that I think are significantly better, as superhero covers, than the snob-art cover. I think these are also a bit better than the first two I posted. The Batman cover is by Brian Bolland, who is one of the best in the business. The Aquaman cover is by Tony Harris, and is a slightly different look than you might expect. Pay particular attention to the settings in each cover. They both tell a story. Heck, the Harris cover might even be considered subtle and post-iconic.

by Tegan at 10:21 PM Seattle time

Comic Book Random Thoughts

Salam Pax reviews Persepolis. "It is too scary how much we have in common, Iraqis and Iranians I mean." His final thought it one I've had about a few comic books myself: "I had the urge to start translating it and throwing copies of it on the streets of Baghdad. Why canít we learn from other peopleís mistakes?"

Good coverage of comic book related magazines on Grotesque Anatomy. He hits all the points I would have tried to hit, and does it far more eloquently than I could have managed.

Bill Sherman defends Plastic Man #1. I didn't like it at all, but my husband seemed to enjoy it. Probably just a matter of tastes. I enjoy the original Plastic Man tales quite a bit, and agree with Bill's comment that Plastic Man and Woozy "clearly exist in a world all their own: surreally ultra-violent yet somehow simultaneously carefree, far removed from the deadly serious world of the orphan superheroes."

Fanboy Rampage directs us to this thread about the most recently aired Justice League episode, "Wild Card". Writer Dwayne McDuffie says that: I got five "I am not a racist but" and two "how dare you show that to children?" (an argument that also showed up in a couple of the "I am not a racist" e-mails). They were all carefully filed in my trash. If you haven't seen the episode in question yet, then don't highlight the spoilers: (end spoilers)

And one last thought about the whole ADD thing: you can disagree with me all you want. I'm often wrong, and I'm not too proud to admit it. But ADD went over the line into insults, and I'm not going to take that crap. Disagree, fine. Imply that I'm an idiot for not espousing your viewpoint, good-bye.

by Tegan at 9:23 AM Seattle time

How Not to Disagree with Someone

Here is a classic example of someone so full of himself that he insults a person willing to simply disagree with him. He makes a point of belittling my opinions, and calling himself "correct". He puts forward a piece of artwork that is completely inappropriate for the genre he claims it is "best" at, then makes the snobby pronouncement that it is "fine tribute to the superhero era" which he supports by saying "superheroes are dead". I can only assume that his head is so far up his ass that he doesn't realize that there are still superhero fans around, ones who enjoy GOOD superhero artwork instead of boring tributes. I put up two covers that were tons better at being superhero covers than the one he put up.

Still, people like him are all around. Snobs who refuse to accept that other people have different opinions than them, and insult anyone who disagrees with them. I thought Mr Doane was a person worth reading, but if he chooses to insult me because my opinion is different than his, then, well DUH! I'm going to ignore him from here on out. No point in reading someone who thinks I'm an idiot just because I happen to read and like superhero comics as well as other comic books.

Update: Now Mr. Doane has posted something about me being unable to "take the heat". No, I just don't feel like reading the words of an arrogant snob who can't make a point without insulting people who disagree with him. See, I was willing to let it go and agree to disagree. You're the one who decided to belittle me for no reason. You could have made all your points just fine without resorting to snarkiness. I never thought I'd say this, but despite the fact that I disagree with 90% of Dirk Deppey's opinions on comic books, at least he has CLASS. You, Doane, don't. And that is why I'm not bothering to read your blog anymore. It's not because I can't stand the heat, it's because I can't stand you.

Now, run along and find some other blogger to piss off. I can't be bothered with your garbage anymore.

by Tegan at 8:27 AM Seattle time

Monday, December 08, 2003

Random Thoughts

Another article on voting machines. And this one raises some very good, and slightly different, points. Via Slashdot.

The editor of Blah3 is getting hate mail from people who think his involvement in the Miserable Failure project somehow means he's anti-American. I thought it was just a funny social commentary (as well as a commentary on how a few bloggers can manipulate search engines).

Great article from the Boston Globe that illustrates how the "fog of war" often persists long after the war is in the history books. Via Daily Snopes.

ADD's choice for best superhero cover of the decade was apparently not a joke, and posts an equally-bad JSA picture for proof. So he thinks that a superhero cover should be boring, badly-colored, and static. Not much I can say to that, except that his tastes are completely different than 99% or so of superhero fans. He's entitled to his opinion, but I still have to shake my head in disbelief.

The Comic Treadmill discusses Alter Ego.

And lastly, due to the plumbing problems we recently experienced, I don't see me making my goal of saving enough money to get a new computer by my birthday, so I've set back my goal date to the Ides of March. While there are still a number of things that could happen to make it possible by my birthday, I'm going to bow to reason in this case and not be overly optimistic. I've also stopped trying to count blue screens because they are happening often and I'm usually busy doing something when they happen... so I get distracted by trying to count them. I'm averaging about one computer death for every two hours I spend working on the computer.

by Tegan at 1:42 PM Seattle time

Marysville Teacher's Strike - Next Step

Well, hey, we got rid of three of the board members. Yeah, they took revenge with a spite vote right before the new board members took office, but at least we got rid of them. Now several Marysville residents have filed a petition to recall the remaining two board members. The recall process in Washington is not an easy one, as it involves both the courts and the ballot boxes. But the first step has now been taken, and a website has been set-up to explain the rest of the process.

Baby steps. One tiny step at a time, we're trying to get the district back on track. And I don't even know if I'll be part of this district after this year. I just know that I can't watch a school administration wasting so much money and not say something.

by Tegan at 10:22 AM Seattle time

Sunday, December 07, 2003

PBS Volunteering

If there's one thing I really hate doing, and the hatred of doing it has only grown worse over the years, it's answering phones. I hate answering phones at work, I hate answering phones at home... and I'm not really all that inclined to answer phones for PBS, either. But I do it anyway. Last night's Doctor Who marathon at the "other" PBS station was very nice.

Instead of just picking a single story to marathon, my husband (who is their Doctor Who advisor) picked seven single episodes, one from each Doctor, that were good examples of each Doctor's era. This was done because of the 40th Anniversary. The "thank you" gifts were pretty nice, too. There was a pin and a light-up pen at the lowest levels, then a Dalek Calendar and The Curse of Fatal Death video. The new Doctor Who book was a high level one that got a lot of interest (both from people pledging and from the folks in the studio who couldn't stop looking at it). And there was also the "end of the universe" videotape collection of all the Doctor Who stories that hadn't yet been released on video in the US (including some really, really bad ones).

The drive went well, and at the end we just covered the cost of showing Doctor Who for another six months. Even more amusing was that Eric became the fourth "talent" during the pledge breaks and got a lot of screen time. He introduced the episodes and explained why he chose each one. At least I think he did, I was busy answering phones most of the time and didn't get to see much of him. As he explained to folks, at the time he picked the stories, the Dalek stories weren't available so there are no daleks in his list. He also expected the station to be able to get the color version of the Third Doctor story he picked, but that didn't work out.

  1. An Unearthly Child (first ever episode, still holds up 40 years later)
  2. The War Games part nine (in which the Doctor calls the Time Lords)
  3. Daemons part four (the whole UNIT family, and the Master, in a classic Pertwee era story)
  4. City of Death part two (just because)
  5. Enlightenment part one (because it was really hard to find a good fifth Doctor tale)
  6. Trial of a Time Lord part thirteen (because of the rant against the Time Lords and, by coincidence, it reveals that the Valeyard is also the Doctor)
  7. Silver Nemesis part three (Cybertwits and "Doctor, who are you?")

We also had a birthday cake in the studio (along with the usual pizzas), and party hats and noisemakers. Even the Klingons wore party hats. We got a little loopy as the night wore on, and had an awful lot of fun, especially for people doing live TV. We had just enough volunteers to fill the seats, but no extra. And the floor crew was a new one, mostly inexperienced (the station is part of a school, so the crew is always students), so there were a number of flubs and near-disasters that were both funny and frightening. Then again, that's part of the appeal of this PBS station, as it doesn't have a slick crew and tons of money to waste. Sometimes they mess up, and that's ok because it's a place of learning.

by Tegan at 2:09 PM Seattle time