If you’re reading this comic issue to issue, like I am, I know what you’re thinking: a new Ms. Marvel, already? Not that I [or you, in all likelihood] am complaining, but the last issue did come out just two short weeks ago.
Brought to us by the usual crew with the new addition of artist Elmo Bondoc, this is a much-needed lull in the action. They can’t all be spitting truth about the generational divide, and it seems like forever since Kamala’s doing everyday normal high school kid stuff. Given the cocktail of emotions that the average aforementioned teen is comprised of,what better way to return to that part of her life than on Valentine’s Day?
That was a hypothetical question, but one that was meant to be answered by the enthusiastic response of “there isn’t one!”. With that in mind, it breaks my heart to say that this is probably the worst issue of Ms. Marvel to date. WHICH– please, put down your pitchforks and hear me out for a second- simply means that as one installment of a title that has knocked it out of the park for the past eleven consecutive issues this one scores a double. Maybe a single with the man on first stealing second. Sorry, I’ll stop with the baseball metaphors. Continue reading →
My Facebook feed has been peppered with articles about 50 Shades of Grey in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, and the discussion doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. I certainly do agree that the books and movie sound like they have some super abusive content, and that they might just signal a larger cultural problem that we aren’t deal with, but I also feel like they’re just a little too easy to criticize.
Instead of preaching to the choir about the 50 Shades series, I plan to make us all feel guilty about the part of Valentine’s Day that is much harder to address: consumerism. This post will focus specifically on the three most common gifts associated with the holiday: flowers, chocolate, and jewelry.
Did I ever tell you about the job I had picking flowers? It wasn’t actually as easy as it sounds.
The organization I worked for paid by the bundle. If you didn’t cut the stems long enough, or if you included any flowers that had already started to bloom, that bunch was thrown out and you wouldn’t get paid for it. At first, I kind of enjoyed the work. It was monotonous, so I had lots of time for thinking, and I loved being outside in the sun. Unfortunately, it wasn’t always sunny. When it rained my shoes would be sucked deep into the mud. Not to mention how being constantly bent-over made my back hurt. Often, at the end of the day, I would suddenly
realize that the money I made didn’t even equal out to minimum wage. As soon as I was able to get another job, I quit.
That experience was probably the first time I started to think about the history of flowers. Where did they come from? Who picked them? How far were they being shipped? Continue reading →
EVAN: Loved ones, we bring to you this week a special Valentine’s CWC that is very much in the spirit of the season. Similar to how chocolates and pink and red decorations began being sold in late January we are discussing the holiday, if you can call it that, well ahead of the actual date.
Before we started our official CWC I was telling Evan how I’ve spent the last few years of S.A.D. dressing in black to protest Valentine’s Day (and the marketing of love). Only last year my protest was ruined by John proposing to me. Go figure.
EVAN: So inconsiderate, that guy.
While I’m sure many people view S.A.D. as the bitter, single person’s response to February 14th, maybe you want to talk a little more about how you used it as a form of protest? I did mention in the intro how it all starts when the stores switch up their stock-
KAT: Since red and pink tend to be the colours associated with Valentines Day, dressing all in black can make you stand out a fair bit. Honestly, I knew it wasn’t going to make a difference to people around me making a Valentine’s Day purchase, but it makes a statement about how you feel about being single. Don’t get me wrong, being in relationship can be amazing (and has been for me), but I wanted to make it clear that a relationship isn’t necessary in order to have a fulfilling life.
It took me some time to think of a Fame Day topic that also intersected with Valentine’s Day [which is today, if you didn’t know], but once I came up with it there was no doubt in my mind that it was the right one.
In the pile-on of proper nouns that was that last paragraph, I’ve neglected to define what exactly Sci-Fi Speed Dating is. Sci-Fi Speed Dating is regular speed dating, but at a comic convention, meaning that most of the participants are cosplaying [in costume]. Everyone must involved must be single and interested in members of the opposite sex [they can be interested in the same sex as well, but it must be in addition to that], and, since I don’t want to go through every single rule, it’s hosted by a very large man dressed up as a Jedi; he is hilarious.
To give you a fuller understanding here’s the first episode, “Brony Friend Zone (Alex)”:
It paints a picture of the stereotypical nerd/geek, a bespectacled pudgy young man with chops who lives with his parents. A show’s got to have some variety, though, and Episode 3 stars a girl named Brittany:
For the record, I would go get coffee with this girl in a heartbeat. I don’t even like coffee, but I would order some and drink it if it was something she was into.
Brittany is a person who “likes video games, particularly BioWare, comic books, Marvel, [she likes] the shows Once Upon A Time, Lost, Doctor Who,” in case you missed that. She’s also, by most people’s standards, not a physical representation of what a nerd looks like. She’s also friendly and personable, exhibiting none of the tendencies we’ve been expected to observe thanks to shows like The Big Bang Theory.
The reason I’ve decided to spotlight Geek Love today is because it highlights the diversity within the growing community of people who identify themselves as “nerds” or “geeks.” Episode 4 features a guy who cosplays as Jimmy Olsen [“Superman’s Pal”], and basically no one he talks to recognizes him. As a comic-lover it was hard for me not to get upset at them and scream at the screen, “You call yourselves nerds?!” They were, though. They just like different things. Episode 6 follows Mary, who’s primarily a movie buff. That differentiates her from someone who is very into anime, but doesn’t discourage her from “looking for love” at this convention.
As a show Geek Love also serves as a means of discussing how important your personal likes, passions obsessions etc. are in finding a significant other. Over on his blog Mightygodking discussed this in reaction to a story arc of popular webcomic PvP, and while I may not agree with him 100% his discussion on the necessity of shared interests in a relationship is a good one [be sure to check the comments section, too!]. Clearly the people on this show are looking for potential girlfriends and boyfriends at Sci-Fi Speed Dating because finding another person who loves the same things you love is important to them. How high this should be on your personal compatibility list is up to you, but for them its rank is up there.
Geek Love is a pretty fantastic show for people who are interested in comic books, video games, science fiction, and finding a person to share all of that with. It’s also arguably a good show for anyone who wants their perceptions of that particular sub-culture to broaden their views.
EVAN: Welcome, one and all, young and old, to what I am dubbing as the first ever Valentine’s Day Edition of Evan and Gordon Talk!
I had originally come up with this topic to rile my co-writer, but then realized that it fit in perfectly with tomorrow’s holiday.
GORDON: Which isn’t to say that it doesn’t rile me. My vindictive co-writer understands that I am a deeply unemotional individual who knows more about the surface of the moon than human interactions.
EVAN: I had mostly planned on this being me asking Gordon about what traits he appreciates in a woman, and I will start thusly:
Gordon, what is the first thing you notice in a woman, physically [that appeals to you]?
GORDON: You know that I am partial to redheads.
EVAN: Our readership did not. What do you like about them, exactly?
GORDON: No reason springs to mind, I guess it’s just an irrational preference. Similar to your irrational detestation of the ladies of your own ethnicity.
EVAN: Oh, I don’t detest Asian women, I’m just not as attracted to them as almost any other race. But we’re getting off topic, you can ask me potentially embarrassing questions in a moment.
What woman would you hold up above all others as an ideal example of physical beauty?
GORDON: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
This is beautiful to someone. Just not me. Or anyone I know. Or will ever know.
In my case, I’d cite Bryce Dallas Howard or Olivia Wilde as being prime examples. At least of physical attractiveness.
Obviously there’s plenty more that goes into it.
EVAN: Like what? I mean, I know there’s more, but what else do you think there is to it?
GORDON: Intelligence, obviously, is a major factor.
EVAN: So what’s the standard for your future significant other?
GORDON: I’ve answered quite a few- I’ll let you answer that first.
EVAN: I’d like to be with a lady who reads. Not being able to talk to her about a book [or, let’s be honest, a comic] that I’m reading would be pretty terrible.
So reasonable well-read, I’d say. She doesn’t have to have read Joyce’s Ulysses, but knowing who the Romantics are would be nice.
GORDON: Certainly we can agree on this.
I’m going to describe who I’ve always seen you marrying/dating, since I feel like it’ll touch on another area of life you deem very important.
I’ve always imagined you getting together with what you would call “a dirty hippy.” Dreads, doesn’t shower very often, a conscientious consumer in that she pays for products that are ethically produced, someone who goes to rallies but knows what exactly she’s protesting.
GORDON: This is the part where I’d describe who I’ve always thought you’d wind up being only, only I don’t speculate on that because I’m not a pervert.
EVAN: I feel like your skirting around the subject and avoidance of outright denying my speculation gives it validity.
GORDON: Then here is my outright denial: I don’t like hippies. They’re pacifists.
EVAN: Fine, she advocates violence in certain situations.
GORDON: I don’t like vegetarianism or veganism or any of those other affronts to god and nature.
EVAN: So you’re saying being a vegetarian is a deal-breaker for you?
GORDON: Totally. My little sister is a vegetarian, and I am so ashamed of the fact that I just tell people that she’s actually a meth dealer.
If cows had the chance, they’d kill you and everyone you love…
EVAN: While we as an audience are probably relieved that you would never date your sister, I think now would be a great time to list off the [presumably] many deal-breakers you have when it comes to a significant other.
GORDON: Emotions. Talkativeness. A need for companionship or validation of any kind. Playing any music which isn’t heavy metal without earphones. More than three pairs of shoes. Adherence to any political belief that Glenn Beck wouldn’t decry as being forged in the fires of hell.
This could go on, you know this.
EVAN: I’m going to take it from your second deal-breaker that you prefer your women to be seen and not heard. How are our readers supposed to perceive this?
GORDON: The readers can take it any way they want- my own point is that I don’t like people who I hang out with to have to talk, as a baffling number of people on this little blue rock apparently feel obliged to.
EVAN: You live a hard life, Gordon.
GORDON: I truly do.
EVAN: To switch our places while still hopefully making you equally uncomfortable, you can ask me a question about my feelings. My feelings about women.
GORDON: . . . why are you doing this to me?
EVAN: Gordon, I am doing this for our readers.
GORDON: In that case, I guess what the reader apparently wants to know is. . . I have no idea. I have literally no idea. . .
EVAN: Gordon, if a girl wanted to send you a Valentine, what sort of gift/card would you most appreciate?
GORDON: Can cigars count? You can write on the little labels. . .
EVAN: Only if we’re allowed to read something Freudian into your choice.
GORDON: Do I still get cigars?
GORDON: Then I can live with that.
EVAN: Conversely, what sort of Valentine would you give a girl?
GORDON: . . . Cigars? They’re like chocolate, only they don’t taste lousy and make a mess.
EVAN: Also, they don’t go straight to your thighs.
GORDON: This is true.
EVAN: I’m going to try to come up with one more question you don’t want to answer, and then we can wrap this up. When was the last time you had a crush on someone?
GORDON: Ah, an easy one. Never.
EVAN: The last time you considered a woman you saw to be very attractive [not counting on TV/on the internet]?
GORDON: That’d be when I went to Toronto with you. Though it must be noted that I had been stuck in a tiny college town with the same people for the past four years. So I wouldn’t put much stock in my judgment at that point.
EVAN: The women of Toronto will try not to read too much into your comment. And I suppose that brings this Special Evan and Gordon Talk Valentine’s Day Edition to a close!
GORDON: For next week, I suggest: Drugs, Legalization, and Culture. It won once before, I think it deserves another shot.
EVAN: Oh yeah, it did. I think we talked about Django instead.
EVAN: Cool stuff. You should end this by telling our readers how you feel about them.
GORDON: You people make me sick. Prying into a dude’s personal life at the cackling delight of Evan. He’s an impressionable child and easily led astray. You should be ashamed of yourselves for encouraging his bad behavior.
EVAN: I think you are all wonderful people, and should consider yourselves lucky to have been privy to Gordon’s life. Tune in next time, as always!