Author: murphyxleigh

CAPELESS: My latest interview with Steve Orlando

I’m a huge nerd for Midnighter & Apollo by Steve Orlando, Fernando Blanco, and Romulo Fajardo Jr, and everyone knows it.  So I was really excited to chill with Steve at NYCC 2017 and ask him a few questions about that book and also his new book, The Unexpected.  You can check out my write-up here at Capeless Crusader.

So Bendis is at DC Now…

…And I’m not feeling it.  Like, I get he’s got major star power, and a reputation for diverse writing, but, like.  He’s still the guy who’s responsible for Wanda Maximoff getting nothing but shitty stories about her mental health for the last decade.  He outed Bobby by throwing bi folks under the bus.  

He also profits off of writing diverse stories that could’ve been told better by POC & queer writers.  There’s a tangible difference between a white guy writing diversity and someone writing #ownvoices; for example, Sina Grace’s Bobby feels distinctly more natural than Bendis’s or Hopeless’s, because Grace is gay and knows the score.

It’s good, I guess, that Bendis wants to write diverse stories, but his star power means that writers who could be doing #ownvoices books wind up shut out, because the big companies want to attract old readers with a writer they’re familiar with, rather than taking a risk and actually advertising and marketing for a new writer or #ownvoices book.  Black Panther & the Crew, the first time Storm’s ever been written by a black woman, got no marketing or press attention, and got cancelled after two issues.  You know Marvel wouldn’t gave treated a Bendis book that way.

It’s a systemic problem with the industry, and I feel like there’s not a lot we can do about it besides supporting writers and titles that are #ownvoices specifically, and talking about this stuff online.  As a result, Here’s a screenshot of my tweet thread of recs; all are #ownvoices, and all are fantastic:

So, to reiterate, it just means that if Bendis winds up on Action Comics, I won’t read that book anymore until he leaves.  I hope he doesn’t get the book, but I admit I’m a little nervous about it.  I don’t want to see him write my trashcan favorite, frankly, and don’t trust BMB in general.  

Overall, I’m concerned, but I’m not gonna waste much time getting angry about it.  Instead, buy #ownvoices books and write your own!  Make art, and support art you love and see yourself in.

CAPELESS CRUSADER: Box Office Predictions for ‘Thor: Ragnarok’

Okay, so this week, in anticipation of Thor: Ragnarok releasing in the U.S. on Friday, I crunched the numbers and figured out, pretty much, the way I anticipate this movie to gross, both on its opening weekend and for its whole run. I’ll probably do a follow up in about a month to fine tune my predictions with the help of its weekly drops, but for now, check out the article here on Capeless Crusader for my methods, math, and the prediction itself.

Tomorrow, I expect to finish my interview with Steve Orlando, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

Mystique and the Problem of Gaze

Or, the insufficiency of binary feminist criticism in mutant discourse.

Richard Siken wrote the line history is a little man in a brown suit/trying to define a room he is outside of. A lot of the time, that’s how I feel about gender.

Growing up assigned-female, I was drawn to the idea of being ‘not like other girls.’ I spent most of my time with boys, but reveled in not being one of them. I tested out binding and packing for years before my best friend bought me my first binder. I talked to trans men about drag, about whether it was okay for someone like me — then thinking I was a girl — to participate.

When I started wandering around the queerer parts of the internet — you know, the places where kids try out new names and pronouns and try to explain themselves with a language none of us were ever taught and half of us only halfway understand. Tumblr’s a big part of that, especially for me. While I still thought I was cis, someone said, anonymously, that they’d thought I was nonbinary.

For some reason — wink, nudge — that mattered to me. So I started to consider things. What did I do with the characters I liked? I made them trans. Usually, I made them nonbinary.

And I looked back, too, on the single most consequential figure in my queer youth: Mystique, as played by Rebecca Romijn. Mystique in her nakedness, her refusal to conform. Cis feminists, I’ve since learned, see her as a concession to the male gaze, using the subtly insidious “empowered naked lady” trope. It’s the trope people associate with any character with breasts who maybe, sometimes, shows them.

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