Tag Archives: Characterization

“This week in Ravi is the Best” from Jane Says is one of the things I’m most looking forward to about the show coming back.

29. iZombie I: Dead to the World- Chris Roberson & Michael Allred

30. iZombie II: uVampire- Chris Roberson & Michael Allred

32. iZombie III: Six Feet Under and Rising- Chris Roberson & Michael Allred

33. iZombie IV: Repossession – Chris Roberson & Michael Allred

My issues with the iZombie comics are basically the same issues I have with the depiction of female main characters by male writers occasionally – overly sexualized drawings (Such a comics norm, but, is it really necessary to have so many skin tight outfits in a non-superhero or athletic setting? Must one be aerodynamic to be a zombie? Who is this for? I miss Daria. Tangent.), seeming agency revealed to be influenced mainly by dudes (Daria squint. I really do miss her.), and of course, that female main character must be sacrificed (and she’s nude…because she becomes a Grow Monsters- those are heroic tits I guess) in order to save the world. Gwen seems nice, has some quirks, and barely felt real to me. Why did she like that Horatio guy exactly? Sometimes vampires aren’t necessary. Why does she call Scott “Spot” if he’s really her friend? He didn’t seem to need his self-esteem lowered any further. How many characters do we need in this story? Really, Amon? REALLY? What a dick.

Reading the comics just made me feel like I missed something. I loved Gwen’s Halloween costume in the first issue (Shaun). I like the idea of a were-terrier. I thought Dixie seemed like a pretty cool diner owner and needed some more scenes, maybe a spotlight issue, and after a little research I see the series was ended after 28 issues due to low sales. That makes some of the plot line drops and the wrap up make more sense. I can’t help but wonder if maybe Gwen’s choices weren’t as a result of a dude-issue (whether it’s Amon or Horatio) it might have found a female audience just a bit more solidly. The agency and dude influence issues are definitely something I don’t notice as much when watching the iZombie television show. Also, Liv Moore wears a lab coat a lot of the time. Doesn’t seem to make her less of a zombie or solid heroine. All I can say is, the show better not specifically end with Liv becoming a Grow Monster to eat an alien entity bent on devouring the world. Although if it does, it will just be one more reminder of what women won’t be able to get any credit for after that disaster of an election. If they go that route, maybe she’ll just let the alien eat us. I think we’d be better off…at the least it would be unexpected and it’s not like we’ll get equal pay or recognition before I’m dead anyway.

Now is the time on Guinea Pigs and Books where I brag about how Rose McIver liked the postcard I gave her of this painting. She asked me if she could keep it, which was the sweetest possible thing she could have done. Rose McIver is excellent and very small, not unlike Ozma, the guinea pig playing her in the painting.

Now is the time on Guinea Pigs and Books where I brag about how Rose McIver liked the postcard I gave her of this painting . She asked me if she could keep it, which was the sweetest possible thing she could have done. Rose McIver is excellent and very small, not unlike Ozma, the guinea pig playing her in the painting.

 

Thankfully, the very small Ozma will never have to worry about any of the things I get to worry about or becoming a zombie.

Thankfully, the very small Ozma will never have to worry about any of the things I get to worry about or becoming a zombie.

 

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So let’s take a ride and see what’s mine

19. Mr. Monster – Dan Wells

This is the second book in a trilogy of novels about a young man named John Wayne Cleaver, however I read it first and so I’m writing about it first. Like any decently written set of books, it didn’t matter that I started with the second one. Especially considering the massive amount of psychological world building that Wells does with John in the story – it’s a very significant achievement to create a clear picture of a sociopath who is trying so hard to care and who also must tap into the darkest part of himself (the titular “Mr. Monster”) in order to overcome the major conflict in the story. John Wayne Cleaver is a very well written character and despite being a teenage boy (and a sociopath), did not irritate me instantaneously or throughout the book. Any of the books, really. I expect to be irritated by teenage boys as it happens in real life often; it happened especially often when I was working at the public library during the summer.

I’ve seen these books referred to as “young adult,” probably because of the protagonist’s age and the use of first-person, however, I do not feel that they are really being aimed at young adults by their author. Although it would be nice to get some of the more borderline-sociopathic young adults to attempt to feel something or behave in a more respectful manner towards everyone around them, these novels are not the way to put the kidlets on that train.

Before I acquired Thaddeus, he was raised by two teenage boys who obviously had no interest in cleaning his cage- or his ears- despite describing him as “spoiled,” so he doesn’t like teenage boys much either.

23. I Am Not a Serial Killer – Dan Wells

The introductory novel was a mite stilted to me, if I hadn’t already read Mr. Monster I probably would have been more intrigued. It was interesting seeing what got John to the point that he’s at in Mr. Monster though. One of the things that popped into my head, and I’m sure, the heads of many others with more information, while reading this was Dexter. I haven’t watched Dexter, I haven’t read Jeffry Lindsay’s novels about Dexter, but I have been told many times over that I would enjoy them. Someone named after cheese told me that I reminded him of Dexter and I assumed it was because I’m methodical in my serial killing but it turns out that it was because of a concept that the Dexter oeuvre and the John Wayne Cleaver novels share in a manner – the dark passenger. I’m not a sociopath (or a serial killer, sorry to disappoint) but I do tend toward the melancholy and macabre sides of things and apparently I have some sort of alternate voice in my head like Mr. Monster or the Dark Passenger that Mr. Cheese noticed and I haven’t yet. I’ve also been told that I reminded someone of Dr. House, so I’m taking all comparisons with a grain of salt. A big one. I’m not a doctor either, but I do have a fondness for bones. Especially early hominid and animal bones. Anyway, another concept that Dexter and John Wayne Cleaver share (I think, again, this is based on the explanations of a nice cheese person) is that they have rules. Who they’ll kill, in Dexter’s case, and how they should behave in John’s case. I think that the establishment of the rules definitely helped develop the stories Wells is telling and made John Wayne Cleaver likable. Since his antagonists are interesting, but not particularly strong characters in the first two books, it is extra-important to want to follow John.

Thaddeus will always protect Pammy from monsters, or other male guinea pigs, or perhaps, even Pammy’s own dark passenger, the one that keeps telling her to go up.

29. I Don’t Want to Kill You – Dan Wells

Great ending. The progression of these three novels is exactly what’s needed for an awesome first-person trilogy. The first one gets all the world building out of the way, the second one goes faster but continues to develop the character, and the third one whips it all out of control. Of course, there were a couple of slow moments, but as a whole, this was the best book of the trilogy and that’s what I would want my readers to feel were I writing a trilogy (oh wait, I am). Peaches.

Now that he lives in comfort far from teenagers or any real monsters, Thaddeus will cuddle with his goat under a fleece blanket until the other inner and outer monster action ends.

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