Monday, November 21, 2011

Requiem For "Batman: The Brave And The Bold"


So the last episode of Batman: The Brave And The Bold has just aired -- and, as I've watched it right after viewing the first episode of the new Green Lantern animated series, I have a bit to say (spoilers ahead).

First of all, there were parts of the one-hour Green Lantern season premiere that I really enjoyed; but I am not enthusiastic regarding a possible future of animated TV series where everything is done in a standard CGI format. The CGI in Green Lantern was certainly better than some of the utter atrocities (or is that Atrocituses) I have seen elsewhere, but compare it to the epic world-building and design of the new ThunderCats, or the relatively limited but visually striking and effective animation on a show like B:TBATB.

That being said, it is obvious to me that a lot of the future of animated television lies in the Green Lantern approach. It must be far more cost-effective, and to a generation of children literally raised on video games, this 3-D look fits right in. This is not a judgement on Green Lantern The Animated Series, the same way the last episode of B: TBATB, "Mitefall!," was totally not a judgement on the future of animation at all (oh no not at all).

In "Mitefall!" 5th-Dimensional imp Bat-Mite thoroughly knocks down the 4th wall and tries to get B:TBATB taken off the air so it can be replaced by a grittier Batman series. Bat-Mite feels that the series has thoroughly "jumped the shark" and thus needs to be put to a dirt nap -- and who more appropriate than the man who "originated" JTS, The Fonz himself (Henry Winkler), to challenge Bat-Mite's plans in the form of Ambush Bug (no stranger to breaking the 4th wall himself)?


Along with Ted McGinley (who of course makes an appearance in the episode) and cute and pointless new kiddie castmembers, one of the most telling signs of a series that has jumped the shark is hopelessly self-referential storylines -- and "Mitefall!" gleefully wallows in that last category. In fact, the episode literally runs through all the possible flaws of B:TBATB that has led to its own cancellation, #1 being it was essentially one of the biggest "fan-service" in-jokey TV series (outside of Smallville) of all time. (But-but-but that's why I liked it!)

However, I realize that a show like that just isn't going to retain the attention span of the kiddies, who apparently want to see more of the heroes and villains punching each other and less references to a kinder, gentler, older period in comic (and pop-culture) history. And "Mitefall" realizes this too. Sort of. Actually, it was really hard to figure out how this episode (or its writer Paul Dini) really felt about the future of animation, or its recently-announced replacement series Beware the Batman -- it sort of bounced around between agreeing it's time for a change -- accepting that we need a darker gritter Batman, like the one from the episode "Chill Of The Night!" -- and worrying that it might actually be too dark.

The breaking-point for Ambush Bug in this story is when Bat Mite gives Batman guns to use. A Batman who uses guns is not Batman -- these are the weapons that killed his parents and no way is he OKing their usage. Does this reference the controversial promotional image from Beware The Batman of Alfred holding (and firing) guns?


A key character in "Mitefall!" is of course Bat-Mite. Having also re-watched the B:TBATB episode "Legends Of The Dark Mite" (which includes a scene in a comic book convention), it is clear that the character is the stand-in for the Fickle Fanboy ("Batman's Greatest Fan") -- the one that spearheads the criticism of B:TBATB and pushes for the gritter Batman. When the show is finally cancelled by the network (in the episode itself), Bat-Mite is overjoyed to have a whole new collection of swag to buy, and unsentimentally throws out all his B:TBATB merchandise. Then he gets his preview of the NEW Batshow, which is CGI (natch) and stars -- Batgirl?! Bat-Mite is, predictably, unhappy with this particular arrangement. Yes, the gritty realism is there -- but she's the wrong gender.

"Mitefall!" ends with Bat-Mite disappearing from existence (ironically, geeky characters like him can't exist in a gritty Batman universe), and Ambush Bug arranging one last party in the Batcave for everybody who appeared in B:TBATB. In the last shot, Batman looks directly at the camera and promises the audience he will always fight for justice and defend the innocent. And thus an amazing and amazingly self-referential final episode comes to a close. I'm expecting similar types of stories on Community as the clock ticks down for that show as well -- though it could be argued that references to Dan Harmon's conflict with the network and critics/fans over Community's fate have been there since the first episode of the 3rd season (a post for another day).

I love the freedom these shows have to comment on their own situations, to acknowledge the bigger forces at work that impact their content and longevity. That said, taking into account the bored TV viewers in "Mitefall!" who want to see more punching and less talking, I acknowledge where the real priorities in any form of entertainment should be. And, having done my obligatory bit of pragmatic and realistic acknowledgement, may I just say how fantastically wonderful this episode was, and how grateful I was to see it.

Remember, kids:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

"Muppet Magazine" Memories

In my earlier post about Dynamite and other magazines of my youth, I forget to mention Muppet Magazine. In general, I've found magazines spun off from characters or movies/TV shows to be all over the place in terms of quality -- but Muppet Magazine, which ran from 1983 to 1989, was always top-notch. Like the earlier television show that inspired it, the publication integrated the top pop-culture stars of the day, creating (along with Sesame Street and Saturday Night Live), a sort of happy and safe environment where all celebrities human and muppet knew each other and could have fun.


Most of all, this was an environment that was kid-accessible, with neither the Muppet Show or Muppet Magazine talking down to children. Certainly, this is something that kid properties from Spongebob Squarepants to many of the recent Disney/Pixar movies have attempted to do. But maybe the Muppets were particularly successful because of the liminal state of reality they inhabited -- not quite real, but three dimensional and able to concretely interact with our world in a way that cartoons could not.


That said, though I watched the original Muppet Movie when it first premiered in New York City, I didn't really get into the Muppets as a child until the Muppet Babies were introduced in 1984's The Muppets Take Manhattan. From there the era of Kermit and the crew as actual puppets waned, to be replaced by the Muppet Babies animated TV show and a whole bunch of other Jim Henson projects that were really cool but were not the Muppets. And while the Muppet Babies cartoon was very intelligent for its time, it unfortunately spawned a whole genre of infantalized versions of established characters of varying degrees of quality.


So I look upon this current Muppet revival with great anticipation -- I think it has the right mix of what made the original Muppets great, with a contemporary aspect that should appeal to both hard-core fans and new viewers. And who knows -- with Jim Henson's creations now solidly in Disney/Marvel's wheelhouse, maybe we'll see a new version of Muppet Magazine as well. Certainly Jason Segel should be on the cover of the first issue!

Find more info on Muppets Magazine at the Muppets Wiki

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Rejected "Supergirl The Movie" Posters


Here's an interesting collection of rejected posters for the 1984 movie Supergirl, courtesy of Jay Allen Sanford for the San Diego Reader. Sanford scanned and archived these and many other rejected posters for a client, and it's fascinating not just because of "what might have been," but to see how films like Supergirl could have been marketed.

For example, here at the right we have a decidedly non-superhero, somewhat Victorian-romance version of the poster, complete with a flower and sappy tagline (the one on the left was kinda cool though):


Here's some more "non-super" designs, playing up the romance angle. Even the one on the left makes Supergirl look like she is seductively stripping rather than revealing her secret identity:


What I find interesting is how in some of these designs the iconic Supergirl/Superman comic book elements are played down in favor for more of a romance vibe. You'd think that the public would be familiar enough with the Superman mythos through the success of the previous films that this would not be necessary -- you'd think the concept would essentially "sell itself" due to it being branded as part of the Superman movie franchise. And yet, considering the disappointing box office of Supergirl, maybe it wasn't enough.

Lots more Supergirl posters at the link, plus rejected designs for other movies including Batman. And here's part 2 of the San Diego Reader feature, with posters for Howard the Duck and The Fly.

Must Watch: "The Booth At The End"


The Booth At The End, available to watch now on Hulu, is a mind-bending 5-episode mini-series that you could finish in a night and will think about for days afterwards. Originally broadcast in 2010 on the Canadian network Citytv, Booth tells the story of a mysterious, possibly otherworldly power-broker who makes deals with desperate people. "The Man" receives each "client" at a booth at the back of a diner, giving them a task to perform in exchange for their desire to be fulfilled.

These tasks range from the seemingly harmless -- befriending a shut-in and getting him to go outside -- to, in the case of an old lady with a bomb to plant in a coffee shop, the horrific. Beyond these intricate case-studies of personal will vs. fate is the larger question looming over the series: "who the Hell (perhaps literally) is The Man?" The Devil? A jaded, disaffected God? Something more akin to the Watchers of Fringe lore?

"24's" Xander Berkeley plays "The Man" with equal parts quiet menace and world-weary pathos, in a star turn which will make you yearning for another season. If you're a fan of the mystery and strong ensemble performances of a show like LOST, you will definitely enjoy The Booth At The End.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bizarre: Live-Action Plastic Man


I remember these live-action intros to the Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure show being a bit awesomer than they actually come off today. But hey, it was the late 70s/early 80's -- and the special effects were pretty good for a low-budget kiddie show. Because of these intros -- played by a mysterious, IMDB-less "Taylor Marks" -- I always pictured Plas to have the voice of a Las Vegas Rat Packer. Or Don Adams. Okay, I have no idea what particular voice he was going for there.


Occasionally the live-action bits would incorporate very simple special effects -- like a tire painted to look like Plas, or this:


Anyway, a kid was pretty starved for new live-action superhero stuff in the early 1980s -- so this was awesome! I hoped he'd team up with the other DC characters for Legends of the Superheroes.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Some Comic Books That Were Destroyed In The OWS Eviction

You can read the complete list of the over 5,000 destroyed books from the People's Library at Zuccotti Park here.



"The Best Of The Spirit"






"Doctor Who: Agent Provocateur"

I write this as my local public library is closed "indefinitely" for repairs. I have a lot of access to books, but what about people in my community who don't? There is not a single book or comics shop in my area for miles and miles. The only place that sold books and offered somewhat of a "people's library" vibe was closed by the govt. a couple of years ago. What if all these children in my neighborhood -- many of them from lower income families -- had a People's Library? What if books and graphic novels -- which seem so plentiful for me and my peers in the media and publishing -- were similarly available for everyone?

Part of this is about supporting funding for public libraries, but I also think there needs to be an even more immediate "grass roots" approach to provide books to people. Certainly not throwing away 5K books.

Remembering Dynamite Magazine

Dynamite, which was produced by Scholastic Press from 1974 to 1992, was the first real magazine I read on a monthly basis. I did read MAD fairly consistently during my youth, but I always sort of filed that in with the comic books. Dynamite, by contrast, was my lifestyle magazine -- the arbiter of every pop culture subject it was deemed my young mind should know about. And that list of important topics of the moment included:





Each issue came with celebrity interviews, kewl komix like "Count Morbida," puzzles and games, free posters and stickers -- just about everything my third-grade heart desired. The magazine was founded by Jenette Kahn, who would later become publisher and president of DC Comics. The first three issues of Dynamite were personally edited by Kahn, with the rest being done by Jane Stine, wife of Goosebumps author R.L. Stine. While one could purchase the publication through the newsstands or subscription, it was the captive audience of school-kids that I suspect was their primary audience -- we had the chance to buy the magazines using Scholastic's "book club" order forms, handily distributed in class.


The makers of Dynamite also had a magazine for the older kids, Bananas. Bananas too had photo covers of celebrities, but more of the Three's Company/Kiss variety. Though the magazine -- which focused on humor and I guess was like Scholastic's version of MAD, had many contributors -- for some reason I always associate it with the prominently chinned/nosed renderings of artist Sam Viviano, who later did a lot of work for MAD itself. Honestly, I didn't read a lot of Bananas, because by the time I was old enough to be in its age-group, I was pretty much into "real" mags like Teen Beat and Starlog. School book clubs were for babies at that point, anyway.

















Next time: A look back at Stickers Magazine (maybe. maybe not.)

An Entire Thanksgiving Meal Condensed Into Cupcakes


It is with a heavy heart that I just finished planning out our Thanksgiving menu last weekend, because these festive "Thanksgiving Plate Cakelettes" would have been pretty cool as well. Just layer turkey meatloaf, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes and top with either gravy or cranberry sauce. And because they're bite-sized it means they are GUILT-FREE!  Down your Thanksgiving meal as if it was a box of White Castle sliders.

Read the recipe at the fetette blog and decide if you want to have the most unique Thanksgiving meal on the block (there's also a full brunch menu of bite-sized delicacies to accompany your cakelettes)

Monday, November 14, 2011

5 Things I've Learned From Armond White's Review of "Jack and Jill"


1. I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry is considered one of Adam Sandler's best comedies.

2. Sandler's particular brand of comedy goes back to the Greeks.

3. When Sandler is in drag, he "looks like young women you see on the subway."

4. Sandler's comedy in movies like Jack and Jill "has social and political effect."

5. Sandler's portrayal of a woman in Jack and Jill is "subtle feminine caricature" -- whereas Tyler Perry's Madea "is a clownish grotesque."

Okay. Got it.

Here's White's review: "Plumbing Ethnicity: Sandler’s Jack, Jill and Tyler Perry"

Your Gruesome Pop Diva Publicity Stunts of The Day: Lady Gaga and Debbie Harry

Alice Cooper perfected Grand Guignol gory stage antics 40 years ago, but female pop-singers really have defined the genre and taken it to new heights of weirdness.

First up, Lady Gaga goes "headless" for a recent performance on The X-Factor (link):


And former Blondie lead singer Debbie Harry butchers a naked life-size replica of herself at a Museum of Contemporary Art gala, tearing out its heart (pics at link NSFW for mannequin nudity):


Buy A Mustache Comb Ron Swanson Would Be Proud Of

This is the "it" present of the season for men with substantial facial hair: a hand-tooled wooden mustache comb from Offerman Woodshop. You might recognize Offerman Woodshop staff member Nick Offerman from the TV show Parks and Recreation, where he plays ultimate "manly-man" Ron Swanson.


At $75 this mustache comb is a bit high-end, but will make you feel you're purchasing just a bit of the Swanson magic.

“Leslie, you need to understand that we are headed to the most special place on earth. When I’m done eating a Mulligan’s meal, for weeks afterwards there are flecks of meat in my mustache and I refuse to clean it because every now and then a piece of meat will fall into my mouth.”

Toronto Ad Agency Shifts Entire Focus To Cat Videos


Toronto ad agency John St. claims in a new video to have shifted their entire focus to producing nothing but cat videos. I suppose it was inevitable that some smart firm would finally realise that making lol cat vids are pretty much like printing money.

"We've seen phenomenal growth in this cat-egory," says John St. president Arthur Fleishmann in their new promotional video, "we're taking that learning and applying it to our business model."

It's a growth market. "By 2015, cat videos will represent 90% of the content on the worldwide web," predicted director of strategic planning Jason Last -- a percentage that will be more than porn and Charlie Sheen combined.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Must-Read: "Penn State, My Final Loss Of Faith"

Artist Michael Pilato paints over former Penn State defensive coordinator
Jerry Sandusky in his ‘Inspiration’ Hiester Street mural

From a post on Washington Post's "On Faith" blog, written by graduate student Thomas L. Day:

"I’m 31, an Iraq war veteran, a Penn State graduate, a Catholic, a native of State College, acquaintance of Jerry Sandusky’s, and a product of his Second Mile foundation.

And I have fully lost faith in the leadership of my parents’ generation."

SNL: The Devil Speaks Out On Penn State

The Devil's reaction to the Penn State child rape scandal, courtesy of last night's Saturday Night Live:




"Evil isn't what it used to be!"

Female Veteran On Frank Miller OWS Post Repeatedly Told To "Die" By Commenters

I'm not getting into the politics of Frank Miller's recent post on Occupy Wall Street, but I want to point out the numerous wishes for death by the post's commenters against Beverly, a fellow commenter on the thread who identifies herself as a female military veteran:

"Fuck you and i hope you die soon!"

"YES beverly please kill yourself and stop fucking little kids and spewing your hate all over the place!! Yes i know i am stooping to your level but sometimes good people have to fight fire with fire and i am good and you are most definitely the devil  so please please die bev!"

She was also called a lying bitch, a cunt, a twat, and was repeatedly told that she was probably not a good soldier and wasn't there for the "real fighting."

Again, politics aside -- it really seems that when the opinionated commenter is female, the number of death threats, ad hominem attacks, and just disgusting language in general towards said commenter increases exponentially.

Beverly's posts were passionate, and at times used profanity as well -- but, as another commenter pointed out on the thread, nobody deserves to have death wished upon them for their opinions. Especially one who actually put her life on the line being in the military.
Beverly followed Miller's advice about "Or better yet, enlist for the real thing. Maybe our military could whip some of you into shape." She came back after military service, had trouble making ends-meet, and joined OWS:

"I am one of these OWS people you're talking about. A war vet, a student and I've had just about enough of you republicunt asshats calling me and my people lazy. Just because we want to end BULLSHIT engagements in the middle east over fucking oil?! Just because we want tainted money OUT of our government?! What unwarranted charity?! I don't get food stamps, I don't qualify for any monetary assistance from the government because I make 8.00 an hour, less than 16 hours a week! My apartment is leaking, mold in my walls, rats in my kitchen, I rent my computer, close to 50 dollars a week just to cart around this god forsaken, rusty ass city to get to where I need to be to rinse and repeat for THIS BULL SHIT LIFE THAT I SACRIFICED 4 years of my life for?!"
This OWS topic is complex and again, I'm not here to say I'm for or against it. It's not a topic that's going to be solved in the comments section of a post, that's for sure -- and just because these troglodytes wish death on a woman doesn't mean that reflects Miller's point-of-view or is something he condones. But good God. Maybe the first two steps to having America go back to the "good old days" is to respect women and our returning veterans. If these "good old days" indeed existed.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Online Journalists Who Didn't Exist

Don't try to connect with News Hawks journalists Mike Adams, Charles Lindy, Kara Degete, and Hannah Grimm on LinkedIn -- they don't really exist. The editor-in-chief of the online news site, Ruth Gramma, also doesn't exist. They have impressive resumes, though, even great head-shots. Check out Mike Adams:



This photo was later identified as a stock image used on sites like deviantART, and later traced to Flickr.

According to this LA Times article, this elaborately fake staff was allegedly created by a PR consultant to plant flattering stories in Google News regarding a CA water wholesaler:

"There seemed to be no doubt that Mike Adams was a productive journalist, even if his beat was a bit obscure: the Central Basin Municipal Water District.

In recent months, he churned out more than 20 stories on the water wholesaler based in southeast Los Angeles. He wrote about recycled water that kept the grass green on street medians and parks. About the computer system a college used to irrigate its landscaping. About a water-saving youth soccer field.

The only mystery, really, was Adams himself. The Times could not find evidence he exists."

It shouldn't be surprising that this sort of thing exists -- I mean, look how easy it is to fake a profile on Twitter or chatrooms or whatnot. In fact, convincing dupes of popular websites like Google are created all the time, accessible if you accidentally misspell the URL by a letter or two. These techniques can be used for everything from "gaming" Google with fake articles to smearing a political candidate with a realistic but bogus "official" site.

I think you can get really tripped up by these using these stock photos, though. I mean, here are image matcher Tin Eye's results for a search on the "Mike Adams" pic. He's a very compelling-looking dude, I'll give him that -- you can really picture him on the scene, the brim of his cowboy hat pulled low, covering water wholesaling topics.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ten Awesome Theoretical Upcoming Movies

These movies haven't been released yet, but they were recently presented at the American Film Market.

2-Headed Shark Attack
























this one has both Carmen Electra AND Hulk Hogan's daughter! And a two-headed shark!

6 Degrees Of Hell
























COREY FELDMAN!

Hell Beast
























CORBEN BERNSEN. Against a HELL BEAST! AWESOME!

Battleships
























HOLY CRAP BATTLESHIPS!!!!!

Super Cyclone
























SOOPERCYLCLONE HOLEE-CRAP!!!

Attack Of the 50-Foot Cheerleader in 3-D
























Starring both Sean Young AND Treat Williams! Oscar-worthy cast!

Air Collision
























Reginald VelJohnson -- that dude from Family Matters...remember Family Matters?

Star Warp'd
























It's like every iconic sci-fi character...in one. Perhaps 5x or 8x the awesomeness!

Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies

OH MY GOD NOBODY THOUGHT OF THIS BEFORE! Yay 1800S!

Nazis At The Center Of The Earth
That's where these f***kers have been hiding! The center of the f****** Earth! Holy crap!

Anyway -- really looking forward to 2012! Viva la Cinema!

Those Easter Island heads apparently have bodies as well...



I suppose this was only logical, but I'm still pretty shocked by this photo. I've been very lacking in my Moai knowledge (though I keep feeling I've seen this in a Sam and Max game or something...) They also apparently had big stone hats.

Don't these archeologists know that if they dig the giant Moai Gods out they will step out of their holes and take over the planet? SyFy Channel, get on this story!

Yakov Smirnoff Wants You To Visit His Dinner Theater (Very Very Much)

I really didn't believe this video ad for Yakov Smirnoff's "Dinner Adventure" show in Branson, MO was real -- but was rather some whip-smart ironic College Humor type thing. But it's real:



Playing this for my husband this morning, he begged me to shut it off at around 2:40.

When you're done visiting Smirnoff's Dinner Adventure, you can visit "The Brady Brunch" with Greg Barry Williams:



Full disclosure: I sort of, just out of curiosity fed by 30+ years of constant pop culture absorption, would like to visit Branson just once to see what all the fuss is about. Is that wrong?

Monday, November 7, 2011

"Asking For It" -- Hate Speech Against Female Bloggers On The Rise

Uh...I'm coming across an awful lot of links to stories about female bloggers and online forum users being attacked with sexualized profanity and death threats...for everything from talking about politics to talking about being raped to discussing marketing strategies to discussing women's issues within an Athiest community.

There's no need for me to write a messy angry post regarding this issue, right? Do we really need one more? Would it really do any good?

It's just that I hear about this sort of thing happening constantly. And I realize that men get threats and attacks on the Internet too -- but towards women these often come in the form of threats of rape and sexualized violence. Some of these women in the links above received death threats and threats of rape for the simple offense of having opinions. Let that sink in for a second. They are being told that if they continue to voice opinions that others disagree with, they will have their life ended or be sexually violated:

"Watson joked with Dawkins about his hate mail, and said she also gets death threats. But Watson's death threats come with menacing threats of rape and sexual humiliation."
--"Dawkins, Watson and the Elevator Ride"

"An opinion, it seems, is the short skirt of the internet. Having one and flaunting it is somehow asking an amorphous mass of almost-entirely male keyboard-bashers to tell you how they'd like to rape, kill and urinate on you."
--"A Woman's Opinion is the Mini-skirt of the Internet"*

"I got a death threat.
I got another death threat.
And then I got one telling me that if I went to a popular blogger’s conference in November, they would find me, they would kill me, and they would kill everyone around me."
--"Death Threats and Hate Crimes, Attacks On Women Bloggers Escalating"

"As I type this, I am supposed to be in San Diego, delivering a workshop at the ETech conference. But I’m not. I’m at home, with the doors locked, terrified. For the last four weeks, I’ve been getting death threat comments on this blog. But that’s not what pushed me over the edge. What finally did it was some disturbing threats of violence and sex posted on two other blogs… blogs authored and/or owned by a group that includes prominent bloggers."
--Kathy Sierra, quoted in the SFGate piece "The Attack on Kathy Sierra" 

"The hate speech aimed at Kathy makes me sick. I am appalled by her experience and moved by her post. And I am sorry to confirm what many women online already know: Kathy Sierra is, literally, one among countless women assaulted like this online. I have no idea how many women have emailed and telephoned me about attacks via IM, IRC chat, message boards, email and blog comments. These attacks use language that describes detailed rape, dismemberment, profanity and indescribably sick images. The goal? Abuse and humiliation of women. These assaults are happening to women blogging in every corner of the Internet -- food bloggers, political bloggers, feminist bloggers, tech bloggers, entertainment bloggers and -- perhaps especially -- mommybloggers. The only predictor I have observed is that the more famous the blogger, the more lesbian, and/or the more not-white, the more vicious her attackers."
--Hating Hate Speech: Safety for Kathy Sierra and all women online.

And so a number of these voices get silenced, or the women significantly lower their profile. They leave the forums they regularly visited and contributed to, they shut down Twitter accounts, or get significantly alienated from the online/fan communities they knew as "home." I have no big answers for this situation. It's just very very real, sucks, and is happening to some woman now even as I write this. I've seen it happen on comic blogs, neighborhood blogs, gaming blogs, political blogs, marketing blogs...it's a situation of epidemic proportions. And it's significantly impacted me personally.**

It's very hard for me to write this but I feel I need to, in the face of constant stories of similar things happening to female bloggers of every field of endeavor. It's not like one or two gory stories but one after another after another. It's horrifying for me to contemplate what this situation is doing to smart female minds across the country and across the world.

"I'd like to say that none of this bothered me – to be one of those women who are strong enough to brush off the abuse, which is always the advice given by people who don't believe bullies and bigots can be fought. Sometimes I feel that speaking about the strength it takes just to turn on the computer, or how I've been afraid to leave my house, is an admission of weakness."
--"A Woman's Opinion is the Mini-skirt of the Internet"

If a female blogger tells you this is happening to her, please do not minimize the sense of danger or violation she feels. Women, support other women on the Internet -- you don't have to agree with all of them but for God's sake don't make this situation worse. And if a site you visit hosts or encourages this sort of abusive treatment towards women, send a message to the webmaster/mistress or forum moderator that this isn't acceptable.

And women this has happened to -- there are people who understand exactly what you have gone through. You don't deserve this...you didn't "ask for it." Nobody "deserves" to be treated this way. This is not acceptable behavior in a civilized society. This is a issue about treating people with common human decency; it is non-negotiable.

*I need to add here that referring to women's opinions as the "short skirt" of the Internet also means that a woman who has sex-positive opinions and/or presents herself in a way that is not considered traditionally feminist is also not "deserving" of such treatment as online threats of rape or death. These women do not have to be required to present themselves in a sexually conservative light in order to "qualify" for not being so threatened. Sex and eroticism in itself does not produce these sorts of attacks. These attacks are the result of sick minds who see the Internet as an easy and consequence-free method of taking out their impotent rage on assertive females.

**Not long after my Punisher one-shot was released, and I received a massive amount of sexualized taunts and several threats of violence and assault, I was too afraid to attend a comic convention because I thought I was going to get hurt or shot. I eventually went to the convention, but stuck by my husband like glue and didn't want to remain by my table or even admit I wrote the comic. At the time, I remember discussing this situation with somebody in the comics business and was told that all the danger was in my head, and that "nobody ever got hurt at a convention." It is thanks to the brave women I quoted on this site that I don't feel like the only female to have gotten so intimidated and afraid. I even hate admitting I got afraid, because it's like saying I'm weak and that "the terrorists won" so to speak. But I think it's good that I'm saying this now. It took me a long time to even have a Punisher item in my office because every time I saw the character, I just remembered this horrid period of my life. I realize that this is specifically what these people wanted to do -- to terrorize me to the point where I would never dare step into "their" sandbox again, or bring up topics that they found uncomfortable. It's just the same old song.