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ornithischian

For the 5th January (LJ | DW[personal profile] swankyfunk asked about my favourite dinosaur. Everyone, of course, has a favourite dinosaur, I think it’s compulsory for being a human being. As a child, my favourite dinosaur was Protoceratops, but now I always answer with the same answer: Animantarx.

animantarx

Animantarx is a nodosaur, one of the armoured dinosaurs related to Stegosaurus. I always feel nodosaurs and ankylosaurs get short shrift in the popular depiction of dinosaurs: they don’t appear in Jurassic Park (Well, they appear briefly in the third movie), the Ankylosaurus in Fantasia is asleep, and Spike in Land Before Time is a non speaking role. This is frankly a ridiculous move on behalf of the dinosaur publicity people, because ankylosaurs rock. They were huge animals covered in armor and spikes, and ankylosaurs (not nodosaurs, and sadly not Animantarx) had a whopping club on the end of their tails. They make stegosaurs look like lightweights.

Paleontologist R.S. Lull once said of ankylosaurs that they must have been an ‘animated citadel,’ and it is this phrase from which the name Animantarx derives - animus, living, tarx, fortress.

Animantarx was about 4.5 m long, and comes from the Cedar Mountain Formation in Utah, at a horizon where the fossils are somewhat radioactive. It was discovered by a retired radiology technician called Ramal Jones, using a radioactivity-detecting scintillation counter that makes it the first dinosaur to have been discovered remotely – with no surface exposure before excavation.

So there you have it – my favourite dinosaur is a radioactive, spike-covered ornithischian with a fantastic name.

 

 

This post can also be found at Thagomizer.net. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.

4th-Jan-2014 10:29 am - I like driving in my car
shiny, thing

For the 4th January (LJ | DW[personal profile] herdivineshadow asked how it feels to have the driving test thing done. And the answer is REALLY QUITE NICE, ACTUALLY.

Bit of background: I failed my test three times when I was eighteen. Considering I had unresolved attention and anxiety issues, this should surprise absolutely no one. Then I lived in London for ten years, and New York for three years, and not only did I not really have much use for driving, I also didn’t really want to learn to drive or keep a car while I was there. Also, other priorities. But ALSO, driving is sort of scary.

But my parents don’t live in a big city with excellent public transport. And I don’t currently live in a big city with excellent public transport. And occasionally jobs will come up in museum education that requires the ability to drive between sites, or to transport objects to learners, or to take learners to objects. So it’s nice to be able to tick that box on my job applications.

When I couldn’t drive, I was pretty much completely dependent on the kindness of others: I was only able to attend derby practice twelve miles away because an (at the time) total stranger offered to give me a lift twice a week. I was only able to see my best friend because she drove down to see me. Every single social occasion I wanted to attend had to involve friends picking me up at pre arranged times or me organising public transport. And the thing here is: I am terrible at asking people for things, because it scares me to the point of aversion, and I am also pretty bad at organizing things in advance. So the fact that I could go to Chrissy’s Christmas party in Reading by just jumping in my car and riving to Reading, the fact that I can go to a party tonight by just jumping in my car and riving to Wycombe, that I can leave when I like, that I am not obliged nor placing an obligation on ANYONE…

…that’s bloody amazing.

 

This post can also be found at Thagomizer.net. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.

3rd-Jan-2014 05:38 pm - Debi likes archers.
judd winick

For the 3rd January (LJ | DW[personal profile] herdivineshadow asked for my least favourite comic I am reading at the moment, which just isn’t fair, because I don’t read comics I don’t like.

(This is actually a big leap for me, and for many comics fans, who sometimes find ourselves accidentally hating half our pull lists)

My ‘reading at the moment’ list goes like this: Hawkeye, Daredevil, Captain Marvel, Lazarus, Chew, Invincible, Red Sonja, Locke and Key (which has now finished but I haven’t caught up on quite yet) and the old Palmiotti/ Conner run on Power Girl. And I like them all.

But my least favourite? Right now it’s probably between Chew (which annoyed me last year by killing off my favourite character) and Hawkeye, which miiiight be getting a bit old now. It started great, but seems to be falling into a bit of a rut now? And I’m not sure how much I like Fraction’s Kate Bishop. But it’s still a great book!

This post can also be found at Thagomizer.net. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.

2nd-Jan-2014 09:50 am - Derby Space Nine
earth, hhgttg

For the 2nd January (LJ | DW) [personal profile] herdivineshadow asked for my thoughts on how a Deep Space Nine roller derby league might go.

(For my thoughts on Deep Space Nine itself, you’ll have to hang on for a couple of weeks)

Terok Nor Roller Derby is a co-ed league (in a world where co-ed leagues are the norm) which recently went through a major upheaval: the previous trustees were kicked out following a league-wide vote of no confidence, which left the League with very few experienced skaters. Appealing to friends and local leagues, a number of transfers from the Paris Fleet Foots came in, in order to prevent TNRD from having to disband completely. The current line up is a but of a mix of abilities and backgrounds, and they haven’t quite ironed out their infighting yet.

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This post can also be found at Thagomizer.net. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.

1st-Jan-2014 11:27 am - Yuletide Reveals
Batgirl

I wrote three stories this Yuletide. Not too bad, considering that my computer was dead for about a month in the middle there.

The theme this year was “People called Barbara,” and also “people called Dick,” genderswapping characters, banter, and Bruce Wayne not appearing.

I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never going to keep me down. (7048 words) by innerbrat
Fandom: Batgirl: Year One (Comic), DCU (Comics), Batman (Comics)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon
Additional Tags: Case Fic, Friendship, Hurt/Comfort, Dick/Babs if you squint, Mind Control
Summary: Batman is on a mission out of Gotham, leaving Batgirl and Robin as the city’s protectors.

I actually matched with this recipient for three fandoms, but I could not resist the urge to write Babs and Dick being Babs and Dick. It turns out writing actual plots for detectives to solve and be detectives about is hard, and now I understand why plot holes happen. BECAUSE THEY JUST DO, okay?

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait (2843 words) by innerbrat
Fandom: The Sherwood Ring – Elizabeth Marie Pope
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Barbara Grahame/Peaceable Drummond Sherwood
Characters: Peaceable Drummond Sherwood, Barbara Grahame, Richard Grahame, Uncle Anthony
Additional Tags: Genderswap, Alternate Universe – Gender Changes, Crossdressing
Summary: It was all Anthony’s doing from the beginning.

So Becca sent me an email informing me that someone had requested genderswapped Peaceable Sherwood, and given that I like genderswapping protagonists for historical romance novels, wouldn’t I like to do this?

No, I said.

Three days later I sent her this to beta.

The Women of Tomorrow (5921 words) by innerbrat
Fandom: Ame-Comi Girls, DC Elseworlds, DCU (Comics)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Kara Jor-El, Jonathan Kent, Martha Kent, Natasha Irons, Barbara Gordon, Carrie Kelly, Helena Bertinelli, Lois Lane, Kara Zor-El
Additional Tags: Hints of Power Girl/Batgirl, Backstory, Alternate Universe – Canon, Hints of Power Girl/Lois Lane,
Summary: A tale of the Woman of Steel, and the effect she has on the people around her.

Ame-Comi’s Power Girl has Clark Kent’s backstory. So this was basically like writing a gender-swapped Superman but actually canon. I had a bunch of fun with this, including the discovery that I’m interested in Steel and would like to know more. No canon knowledge of Ame-comi OR the mainstream DCU is needed for this.

This post can also be found at Thagomizer.net. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.

1st-Jan-2014 06:08 am - Blogging on Demand #1
abby

For the 1st January (LJ | DW) [personal profile] Holly asked for “hanging out with the family” which is nice and broad and something I get to do way more of now than I have in the last three years!

I’m living with my parents right now, which results in nightly family-wide TV watching, which I’m a big fan of. It shuts the day down at teatime, and means that evenings are spent in family time, and I like that. I’ve been using it to introduce them both to Castle (and finally watch it myself), and I like to think that’s been a success. Mum and I also go to Pilates together twice a week.

One of the best things about passing my driving test recently as well is the freedom of movement it gives me, particularly now I’m living in the Green Belt, so I can do what I did last night, for New Years, and just hop into my car and drive to the neighbouring village where my sister lives for the evening. The kids stayed up for me, and we watched Ben and Holly’s Magic Kingdom, then read Harry and the  Dinosaurs before bedtime, after which the two of us watched Modern Family  and drank – in my case non alcoholic fizzy wine.

As an aside: non alcoholic, “alcohol-removed” wine is my new drink of choice. I got a White Zinfandel for Christmas, and it was delicious! I’m waiting for the catch.

Anyway, there’s very little I like more as a social activity than sharing a couch and watching the tellybox, so I’ll probably be looking for an opportunity to do that again soon.

On the niblings front: I get to see them both at least once a week right now, as I’m volunteering for their mother at her school on Tuesdays while my parents watch Charlie, and Abby, after school. Yeah, Abby’s at school now. Yeah, it blows my mind, too.

Charlie is really into dinosaurs and trains, right now. Well, he’s really into assembling railways and making a train go round them, and he’s really into grabbing dinosaur toys or wearing dinosaur clothes and screaming RRRRRAAAAAARRRR, and I think that counts. Abby – well, Abby’s well ensconced in the Princess Phase, which is the perfect excuse for me, my sister, and her to do things like watch Frozen for her birthday.

(I have a lot of feelings about that movie, by the way.)

On top of all that, my grandmother is also living very close, now. So I get to see her at her nursing home – much less than I should if I was a perfect granddaughter, but still often.

It’s the absolute best thing about being where I am right now – my whole blood family is within twenty minutes of me at all times, and I love it.

This post can also be found at Thagomizer.net. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.

30th-Dec-2013 01:35 pm - State of the Brat: Summary post
go baby go

I’ve had five suggestions since yesterday on what to write about in January  (LJ | DW), so there’s twenty six slots to fill. And it occurred to me – maybe people just don’t know enough about what’s going on with me right now. So here’s a quick run down that you might get suggestions from.

WHAT I HAVE BEEN DOING SINCE COMING HOME

Applying for jobs (boo)

Volunteering (yay) at the Natural History Museum and a high school

Playing Roller Derby with a local league

Learning to drive and passing my driving test two weeks ago.

Hanging out with the family including my niece who is 5, and nephew, who is 3.

Watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Arrow, Sleepy Hollow, RWBY, Korra, Agents of SHIELD, Elementary, season three of The Paradise, season one of Castle, and a whole bunch of soft British murder Mysteries.

Reading comics, mostly.

Writing Yuletide.

Sewing and Knitting as per usual.

Aaaaaand – that might be it!

This post can also be found at Thagomizer.net. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.

29th-Dec-2013 12:53 pm - Blogging on Demand
sheep, meme

Hello, internet! How’s your December winding down?

I know I’ve hardly been with you this month – blame my computer woes, mostly. But I have a hard drive and I’m getting back into things, and [personal profile] skygiants failed to talk me out of doing this thing that the rest of you have been doing in December – only of course I will be doing January, starting Wednesday, if you’re quick enough.

How this works is – pick a date below and give me a topic, from Allosaurs to Zatanna, and I will say something about it, of varying lengths depending on the time I have on hand.

(Spoiler: I have nothing to say about Zatanna)

1st January - hanging out with the family – for [personal profile] strangecharm
2nd  January – how a DS9 roller derby league might go – for [personal profile] herdivineshadow
3rd January – Least favourite comic you are reading at the moment – for [personal profile] herdivineshadow
4th January – How it feels to have the driving test thing done – for [personal profile] herdivineshadow
5th  January  – Your favorite dinosaur – for [personal profile] swankyfunk
6th January – Favourite 5 things about the Natural History Museum – for [personal profile] herdivineshadow
7th  January
8th January
9th January – What global or cosmic hero/es do you like, be it Marvel, DC or other publisher – for [personal profile] bjornwilde
10th January – I want your thoughts on A:TLA/LoK! – for [personal profile] shoroko
11th  January - One thing you miss about NYC, and one thing you don’t – for [personal profile] sdelmonte
12th January
13th January – The Disney acquisition of Marvel, and any ramifications you can think of – for nadriel
14th January
15th January
16th January - thoughts of home whilst you were away? Or how you felt about being away? – for rhythmaning
17th January
18th January
19th January
20th January – it’s your turn to talk about all that DS9 we’ve been watching! – for [personal profile] skygiants
21st  January
22nd January
23rd January - Pick a couple of decades from the 20th century and then cast superhero films with actors from that decade  for [personal profile] magister
24th January
25th January
26th January
27th January
28th January
29th January
30th January
31st January

This post can also be found at Thagomizer.net. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.

26th-Dec-2013 03:36 am - Find that story
books

Hope everyone had a great day yesterday, and continues to have a great day today. Today is my presents-and-food day so I will be entertaining niblings all day, between continuing to read Yuletide stories.

Yes, this is the only time of year I seriously read and talk fanfiction, but it’s also the only time of year I seriously write fanfiction. So on that note, who wants to play a game?

I have written three of the stories in this collection. And I’m willing to give a prize – probably something small and creative, like icons or a drabble, but it might be I buy you a drink – to the first person to guess all three.

(Becca, Ana, and anyone they’ve blabbed to are ineligible, obviously.)

I will answer unlimited yes/no questions in the comments of this post.

This post can also be found at Thagomizer.net. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.

25th-Dec-2013 12:01 pm - A second Yuletide gift
shiny, thing
It should be obvious why I'm not posting this on the medium that will be auto-posted to Facebook, which my family reads.

Let me start by telling an anecdote that dates back a few months, when [personal profile] swankyfunk and I went to the BAM to watch the Cornetto Trilogy. We were joined by rushin_doll and [personal profile] skygiants for At World's End and the Q&A session with Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost afterwards.

I asked "So having seen all these movies together today, how would you say they work as a trilogy - particularly how does Hot Fuzz fit in as a second installment?" And I got a long, rambling, very satisfying answer from Simon Pegg about evolution, revolution and devolution and how the movies reflected and intersected each other. He used words and phrases I'd never heard before, having not been an English of Film Studies student, and I was very happy with it.

Swanky asked: "Hey, Nick, what was it like fighting your best friend?" and got a long, rambling, very satisfying anecdote that resulted in the boys finding porn under Nick's bed.

Coming out of the theater: I said "I got the long involved meta, you got porn." To which Ana cut in: "It's JUST LIKE FANDOM."

Which is true. Thanks to the things I ask for and the things I volunteer, I never get porn. And it's not like I don't like my high brow, fantastically written meta (and sweet shippy utterly perfect Leonardo fics) but I never ask for porn.

So last night I went into Yuletide chat just as someone was announcing: "Right, I've finished this fic, who wants it gifted to them?" And I said "ME. I WANT IT!"

And THAT is how I got Mulan pegging fic for Yuletide.

The Erect Butterfly (2066 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Mulan (1998)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Fa Mulan/Li Shang
Additional Tags: Yuletide Treat, Pegging, Honeymoon, Anal Fingering, Weddings, Genderbending, Historical Inaccuracy
Summary:

This was Mulan's honeymoon gift to Shang.



This post is also posted at InnerBrat @ Dreamwidth where it has comment count unavailable comments. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.
25th-Dec-2013 06:46 am - Happy Yuletide!
hogswatch

MERRY CHRISTMAS actual Christians and cultural Christians and people who are technically neither but live in a society where they can’t help but be exposed to Christmas.

HAPPY WEDNESDAY everyone else!

JOYFUL YULETIDE to those who participate in it!

It is delightful to be at home in the UK with my genetic family again for Christmas, but as is traditional, today is a rather downplayed day. We visited my grandmother this morning, and my uncle and aunt are coming for a small vaguely-festive dinner, and then I expect there will be Toy Story and maybe Hogfather and perhaps I can persuade the ‘rents that Some Like It Hot is suitable watching. Then tomorrow is the big Family Day,  with niblings and more food than is healthy and all the presents. I’ve already got my present – it’s an adorable black VW Polo and I am surprised by how much I’ve turned out to love driving.

Oh, yeah, I passed my driving test a week ago. So that’s a thing.

AND I ALSO GOT YULETIDE. I got the BEST YULETIDE GIFT. I’ve been walking around with this dopey smile on my face ever since I read it. I mean, I knew when I saw the fandom it was in that I’d like it, but it is PERFECT.

Those Sighs on Which I Feed My Heart by an as-yet anonymous author is a Leonardo fic set post Season-two (and thus contains spoilers) in which Lisa follows her passion for painting and discovers a love she hadn’t set out to find. It includes all four of the main kids, and every single one of them is pitch perfect and wonderful. And I’ve been gushing about it all morning because it has all the things I want from Leonardo fic, including the ship of my heart and wonderful supportive friendships of varying stripes.

It is WONDERFUL.

And now I get to throw myself into the collection and indulge the only time of the year I seriously read fanfic. Hooray!

This post can also be found at Thagomizer.net. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.

17th-Dec-2013 06:15 pm - Superhero Toys for Girls
BoP

Girls don’t buy toys! This is the new and exciting new finding from A Cartoon Network Exec, as reported by Paul Dini (who has a strong track record writing women in comics) to Kevin Smith (who, uh, doesn’t). Anyway, it’s been doing the rounds on the internet. Apparently the people who produce superhero cartoons don’t want to produce anything for a potential female audience, not because girls don’t like superheroes (they do) But because girls don’t buy toys.

This is news to me, as I suspect it’s news to Disney, Mattel, Hasbro, and anyone who has ever hidden a plastic cake down their top after pretending to eat it, or has suffered the agony of Barbie’s shoe hiding in their shoe, or who has seen the pink aisles in any toy store ever.

Maybe Cartoon Network execs cannot see the colour pink, and are thus unable to register the entire section of toys aimed at girls.

I suspect though – suspect – that they just haven’t figured out how to market superheroes into toys for girls. And as I, as a big fan of superhero cartoons, have a vested interest in these cartoons selling their toys, and as a former and current buyer of girls’ toys have some experience in the area, have decided to take it on myself to do Warner Bros’ marketing execs’ jobs for them.

Disclaimer: I am assuming in this section that girl-children do in fact, prefer to shop for toys marketed at them, but not that they intrinsically dislike superheroes. My sample size of one particular four year old feeds this assumption by asking me to read her Ame-Comi Girls but refusing to watch Batman “because it’s for boys.”

DEAR PEOPLE WHO MAKE TOYS BASED ON SUPERHERO CARTOONS: THESE IDEAS ARE FREE. Disney or WB, I don’t mind who you are, just go forth, make and sell your toys in the Pink Section. All I ask is that you reward me with cartoons. A third season of Young Justice will do nicely.

(My regular readers may think that I’m generalizing in the following. That’s okay. YOU know and *I* know that some girls do, in fact, like and play with superhero action figures, and that some girls don’t. And some girls like make up and some girls don’t. And some girls will never like superheroes, ever. But go with me here.)

WWToy

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This post can also be found at Thagomizer.net. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.

8th-Dec-2013 11:31 am - Writing! Tips!
books

Based on observations of habits and preferences in my own writing recently. I SUPPOSE that what I consider the pinnacle of great writing isn’t necessary EVERYONE’S perfect writing style. So if you want to take a pragmatic view, then you might want to think of this as “how to write like Debi.” But really, it’s more “how to write, by Debi.”

Aaaand as some of these things are currently ‘unpublished’ (i.e. designed for anonymous exchanges) I can’t share examples. Oh well! Ask anyone who’s ever read my stuff, really.

1. If your protagonist’s name lends itself to puns, it is your responsibility to make those puns as often as possible.
(1b. If your protagonist’s name does not lend itself to puns, then you’ve named your protagonist poorly. Change it.)

2. All romances must involve at least some element of one party finding the other ridiculous. The truest form of love, according to Debi, is founded in mockery and mutual condescension.

3. You can always add more lesbians. The trick is knowing when to stop adding lesbians.

4. If writing a story set in a point of Earth’s history, or on an analogy of a point in Earth’s history, it is sometimes acceptable to make anachronistic choices regarding technology of the time. It is NEVER acceptable to be anything other than 100% historically accurate when using slang terms for genitalia.

5.  Shipper on deck. Always with the shippers on deck. Every character ships everyone!

6. Try and insult Batman. Sometimes (for example, writing historical fiction set during the French Revolution) it might seem difficult to work in a dig at Batman. I believe in you, you can do it.

This post can also be found at Thagomizer.net. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.

fitness

Behind the cut are photos of a 32 year old woman, a UK size 16, with a BMI of 28, right in the middle of the ‘overweight’ category according to the NHS calculator. I have put these pictures behind a cut because some people might not want to look at a body of those dimensions, but also because I am going to accompany these pictures with talk about body image, health and dieting, which some people might find upsetting, or even outright triggering.

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This post can also be found at Thagomizer.net. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.

8th-Oct-2013 04:17 pm - >_>
books
Even though signups don't actually close til next week and assignments don't go out until a week after that , I have nearly the minimum word count for a Yuletide fic written already.

It's possible I am Too Into Yuletide.

This post is also posted at InnerBrat @ Dreamwidth where it has comment count unavailable comments. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.
7th-Oct-2013 08:47 am - Dear Yuletide Writer...
thank you
Dear Yuletide Writer,

Congratulations on your excellent taste in fandoms! All six of these are the fandom of my heart, and I'm already super excited to see what you produce in any of these, because I know it will be amazing. If you are interested, by the way, my AO3 account is [archiveofourown.org profile] innerbrat

First rule of writing for me: have fun! Please, above all else, write something YOU want to write. If you get halfway through a carefully constructed piece that answers my prompts directly and includes everything I even hinted at liking... and you find you're not enjoying the writing process, and you'd rather just scrap it and write the fic in the fandom that you've always wanted to write, I would much rather you do that. I want a fic that was fun to write, and I'm sure to love it if it was.

With that in mind, generalities:

- I like relationships (romantic or otherwise) based on mutual respect, of shared enjoyment, and of knowing each other particularly well, sometimes better than each person might know themselves. I have a huge weak spot for found family and for the changes friends bring to each other's lives. I also have a bit of a soft spot for unerring loyalty. Shipping is always optional.
- I have a huge, massive competence kink. I LOVE seeing characters doing what they are best at and being great at it. Having said that, I love the characters I love for their flaws as much as their strengths. The massive chip on Tara's shoulder, for example. Lisa's habit of getting herself in trouble with her temper. And so on.
- I love world building and I love backstory. In fact, all my prompts seem to involve backstory of some form or another. Ooops? Something set pre- or post-canon that fleshes out what lead to events or the consequences. Family! Parents! Offspring if you like!
- I like dinosaurs. I don't know how you can work that into fics with these fandoms, but I always think this is worth throwing out.
- Please please no: incest, or anything approaching dubious consent. This includes power imbalance or abuse of authority, mind control, memory loss... none of this should be an issue with these fandoms! The one possible exception would be Queen & Country, in which case please keep it to 'threat of...' level.


Specifities:
Prompts offered in no particular order. Just as I think of them. Also, if you check the tags in my journal for any of these fandoms, you might find mini posts I made talking about each of the canons and how much I love them. If you are interested in a canon you did not offer but need help finding, I have empowered [personal profile] skygiants (bookelfe) to help find these out.

Ame-Comi Girls - Jade YifeiCollapse )

Birds of Prey - Ev Crawford, Dinah Laurel LanceCollapse )

Claymore - MiriaCollapse )

Leonardo - AnyCollapse )

Princeless - AnyCollapse )

Queen & Country - AnyCollapse )


THANK YOU, AWESOME YULETIDE WRITER. I know you'll do something amazing. And if you hate all these prompts, then write something for yourself! As long as it's in these fandoms and with these characters, I'm sure it will be great!</user></user>
This post is also posted at InnerBrat @ Dreamwidth where it has comment count unavailable comments. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.
3rd-Oct-2013 06:27 am - Yuletide Promotions: Claymore
1602

Claymore-v3b

Claymore-v3a

What is it?

A long form manga, currently consisting of 22 volumes available in English, and many more being translated from Japanese. There is also an anime that covered the first 10 or so volumes, but adds an ending not present in the manga.

What is it about?

IN A WORLD plagued by monsters called yoma, that hide among humans and eat their intestines, female warriors called Claymores roam the land, fighting yoma. Half-yoma themselves, they are outcasts from society, and are controlled by a shadowy organization of men who charge villages for the services of the warriors.

Except it’s really about female friendship and making your own decisions and the power of love and loyalty and revenge and complicated worldbuilding and how if you support your friends you can change the world!

Why is it great?

The cast of dozens of female characters with similar life stories are all individual and different in their reaction to their life and the way they live it. The worldbuilding, which starts off looking simple and familiar, is complicated and satisfying, and plays all the warrior-fighting-monster tropes straight, while still giving background to them. And when it comes down to it, it’s a simple story of overthrowing your oppressors, and it’s great for it.

How can I read it?

Official English translations are available in paperback  or in digital format (apparently US only)  - those links are for Volume 1, I’m sure you could find the rest.

Alternatively, there are fan-translations available online at Mangahere.com, although of course I recommend buying if you like them!

This post can also be found at Thagomizer.net. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.

2nd-Oct-2013 01:06 pm - Yuletide Promotions: Ame-Comi Girls
dc

ACG8a

What is it?

A 39 issue digital-first comics series (the issues are shorter than standard comic issues and sell for 99c each) published by DC comics and based on a series of statuettes produced by the company over the last few years.

What is it about?

Set in a  world firmly outside main comics contuinity, Ame-Comi Girls describes a world in which all superheroes and villains are female, from Kara Jor-El, aka Power Girl, whose spaceship crashed in Kansas when she was a baby, to Duela Dent, the insane murderer out to get revenge for her dead father Harvey. Some characters are just lifted easily from their better known counterpart, such as Wonder Woman. Some, like Jade Yifei, the Green Lantern of Earth, are completely new characters.

Why is it great?

I shouldn’t need to tell you that Wonder Woman, Power Girl and Batgirl (Barbara Gordon, fighting crime alongside Robin, aka Carrie Kelley) are great. But it’s not just a rehash of their existing stories. Batgirl and Robin are teenagers, fighting crime behind the backs of their (living) parents. Power Girl is completely open about her identity because LYING IS WRONG, and when she teams up with Batgirl, she insists they tell their parents (they are grounded as a result.) Jade Yifei is blind, and her power ring fills her ears with the music of the universe. And near the tragically premature end of the universe the entire universe is rebooted and they get to do all the worldbuilding from scratch. And no, for once this doesn’t suck either.

How Can I Read It?

All 39 issues are available at Comixology for 99c each. And you can always get one or two and see if you like them.

This post can also be found at Thagomizer.net. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.

28th-Sep-2013 12:49 pm - Yuletide Promotions: Birds of Prey
BoP

What is it?

An ongoing comic published by DC that is made of up three volumes: The first ran for 127 issues from 1999 through 2009 and was most prominently written by Chuck Dixon and then Gail Simone. The second volume was nearly all written by Gail Simone and ran for 15 issues from 2010 until it was cancelled by the reboot in 2011. The third volume is ongoing and has been published since September 2011.

What is it about?

Initially it was a team-up between Oracle (Barbara Gordon) and Black Canary (Dinah Laurel Lance), later joined by Huntress (Helena Bertinelli) and Lady Blackhawk (Zinda Blake). Other superheroes have joined and left since, and when these four were all either erased from continuity or (in the case of Barbara) reverted back to a different costume, the rebooted title stars Black Canary (Dinah Drake-Lance); Batgirl (Barbara Gordon); Katana (Tatsu Yamashiro); Starling (Evelyn Crawford) and Poison Ivy (Pamela Isley).

But what it’s really about is moving away from the ghosts in your past and becoming a stronger person with the help of ones lady friends.

Why is it great?

Gee, I wonder
if I may have
written about
this before?

These women are awesome. Pre and post reboot, the Birds are the kind of capable yet flawed, complex, determined badass normals/badass abnormals that the Strong Female Character archetype aspires to be. They are individual, hard working women with complicated lives that just happen to involve fighting international drug dealers and superpowered villains. Sometimes they have problems with their love lives, but that’s rarely the focus of the book. And even with the reboot, which after two years managed to turn me off DC completely, the title features a completely different lineup of awesome women, including Evelyn/Starling, a queer lady of dubious morality, with tattoos and guns and buttloads of awesome.

How can I read it?

Get thee to your LCS or nearest comic-selling bookshop for reboot floppies, trades of the reboot and Gail Simone’s run, or look on Amazon for in and out-of-print trades.

Alternatively, the full runs are available on Comixology: Volume 1 (132 issues – $267) Volume 2 (15 issues – $30) Volume 3 (24 issues – $48). If those price tags get too much, I recommend you look at these issues.

This is my largest volume-wise fandom for Yuletide this year, but it’s also my largest fandom for Yuletide this year, so I’m sure most people have already decided whether to buy the ticket for this or not.

This post can also be found at Thagomizer.net. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.

26th-Sep-2013 09:25 am - Yuletide Promotions: Princeless
disney

Princeless2What is it?

A  (so far) 12-issue comic series consisting of two volumes of eight main story and four issues worth of short stories, written by Jeremy Whiteley, drawn by a variety of artists and published by Action Lab. It is clearly aimed at young readers, especially girls.

What is it about?

When Princess Adrienne turned 16, she was locked in a tower by her parents, awaiting a prince to come, slay the dragon guarding her, and claim her hand in marriage. This is apparently standard practice for finding a husband in this universe, and Adrienne thinks it stinks. So when she finds a sword under her bed, she teams up with the dragon and rides out to save her sisters.

Why is it great?

Didn’t you read the description? It’s about a princess who saves herself. Actually it’s about a bunch of princesses, and a bunch of other characters too, who are challenging what is expected of them and what they can do with themselves in their world. And each princess has a different personality and a different attitude to the situation she finds herself in, and that’s okay. It’s heavy handed with its message, sure, but it’s a lot of fun on the way.

How can I read it?

Princeless is fully available on Comixology: Volume One, Volume Two. Each volume contains four ‘story’ issues and two issues of one shots (the volume one collected volume contains just the four story issues) . Volume one appears to currently unavailable on Amazon, but you can get volume two there now. Issues are also available on Kindle and in floppy form from Action Lab Comics.

This post can also be found at Thagomizer.net. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.

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