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.
Thankfully, the very small Ozma will never have to worry about any of the things I get to worry about or becoming a zombie.
Filed under art, Review, Writing
1o. Misadventures – Sylvia Smith
There are a lot of things to consider about this book in a larger context. Reading it was a bit maddening for me because all the chapters were so short that I was compelled to keep reading but the story itself was so flat that I spent time wondering why I continued and what I was missing (I’ve loved all my time spent in London and I enjoy dry humor and I kept thinking I’ve lost the inner translator I picked up while I lived in England. 42.). I pretty much never give up on reading anything, I can think of one book that I gave up on reading and eventually I’ll suck it up and get through the rest of the church and flower descriptions in Anne Rice’s memoir… However, not unlike Gillian Flynn’s novels, I see it a bit differently in terms of what it accomplishes. It’s an everyday woman story and it is always going to be important to document life and culture from all perspectives – not just those of the very adventurous or very wealthy or very addicted (there are reality shows for those things), even if the execution bores you to tears.
Belvedere studied sculpture at St. Martin’s College.
5. Dark Places – Gillian Flynn
Gillian Flynn is very skilled when it comes to writing unlikeable narrators. I’ve read the three novels she’s put out so far and I honestly did not like any of the narrators. I didn’t enjoy things they had to say or appreciate their actions and I came away from all three novels thinking I didn’t like the books entirely because of the unpleasant reading experience. Having read all three two years ago, and having enjoyed the film version of Gone Girl more so than the book (which I guess I’ll discuss whenever I get around to reviewing it…), I feel differently about Gillian Flynn’s work now. I think that she’s done something that’s important and maybe it should have been clearer to me while I was reading – but I was, like, paying attention to the story. At least, in the case of Dark Places, I think she succeeded in doing something important and successful with an unlikeable narrator – adding another woman to the pile of unlikeable narrators. If you can think of a whole pile of unlikeable, truly unlikeable the whole way through – not just a later-redeemed shrew character, women narrators throughout the literary canon then good for you; I can’t, and as a person who fully embraces the idea of being “gratuitously difficult” (hat tip Shirley Jackson) and has done some reading and reader’s advisory, I wish I could.
On some level I wish I could ignore more easily, social conditioning tells me that when a woman is unlikeable, I should write her off, perhaps as, in the case of Dark Places, damaged goods…clearly she cannot be functional or successful in any way, because she isn’t “nice” or “accommodating.” When a male character is unlikeable, he’s supposed to be translated as a bit of a rascal or someone who “gets things done” and doesn’t have time for pleasantries – which is bullshit. Both genders are capable of pleasantries and being accommodating and also being absolutely terrible or functional. I think that it’s very important to continue to add understanding and thorough consideration to our culture’s concept of women and becoming more and more familiar with women who are not in any way likeable is an excellent contribution to have for Gillian Flynn (especially since her books have sold so well).
I found Libby Day to be a sad, bitter character who responded to the terrifying events of her youth in a sad, bitter way. She had a false ambivalence that she used as a barrier and she made no apologies for how she chose to deal with her situation. I in no way would expect anything different of her, and yet, still don’t like her and I had very little sympathy for her. She made her choices and some of them were creepy- although as a fan of pop culture and some darker materials I could also understand why she would both loathe and need the groups who analyzed every minute detail of the crime and asked her to come and speak at their basement-conventions. Everything that wasn’t from her perspective made me want to continue reading and get through the story to find out who was ultimately responsible and what really happened surrounding the murder of her family.
Danger, slightly grumpy before his true little-old-pig grumpiness set in. I have EOG (Early Onset Grumpiness), he may have caught it from me.
13. Worst. Person. Ever. – Douglas Coupland
The department I’m currently a part of is stationed in the basement of the main branch of the 11th largest university library system in the country (last I checked). I spend most of my time in the main branch searching either virtually or physically for books and articles and one of those searches led me to a reshelving room where I found this book peeking out from underneath the Diary of Edward the Hamster 1990-1990. I didn’t even know he had one coming out this year! So, I promptly stole it away and checked it out. Finders keepers and also, sorry, person who was trying to secretly keep these two books in the second floor reshelving room, but now I’m done with it so I might just check it in and return it right back to that spot like library magic.
Anyway, this is the second Coupland book that I was a mite disappointed with. I adore Generation X and there was some level of flashback to that in this with all the little explanatory aside paragraphs – some did mimic what I was wondering and that was sort of fun. My problem with it is that although I get the book’s purpose and was generally having a good time reading it, I don’t understand the purpose of bringing in pristine sixteen year olds. Also, the poop fixation was not my cup of tea. I also found nothing useful about any of the female characters, but at least there were several – although there’s a problem with the best one and that problem is a little annoying when considering this book is written by a man. I guess that’s the only way to be a relatable character, be a man. Neal was great and the description of Neal in the beginning was one of the most disgustingly tangible smell scenes I’ve ever read. I usually don’t review anything remotely close to when it came out – just City of Devils and this one, maybe a Charlaine Harris, um, tangent- and so I’m trying not to spoil things, sort of, technically I don’t care if I spoil literary fiction for anyone [maniacal laugh] (if I was in this book, I’d now be explaining why a ‘maniacal laugh’ is the right end to that sentiment).
“Ozymandias’ World” A photo in which Ozymandias the guinea pig contemplates living in a world where women are fully allowed to explore the same range of ideas in their writing that men are and be published without impunity. There’s a reason why his rump is positioned toward the camera.