Royals #5 - "The Center of Things"

Aug. 17th, 2017 02:51 am
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There’s a thing readers should understand with this book: we’re not doing business in the normal way. There will be no tie-ins until we get back to Earth. We’re self-contained, telling our own story, beholden to nobody, and we’re on a trip out to the far reaches of Marvel Space, and we’re going to come back changed, and carrying something very special with us. -- Al Ewing

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Posted by Phil Yu

The NYPD is investigating the incident as a hate crime.



Because it's not enough to be racist against the living. These guys were racist against the dead too. This week in New York, three teens broke into a cemetery and vandalized dozens of grave sites in the Asian section, toppling headstones, breaking marble markers and scrawling racist graffiti throughout the grounds.

Vandals damage headstones, spray paint derogatory words in Brooklyn cemetery

Three suspects, who appear to be between 16 and 19 years old, broke into the Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn just after midnight on Tuesday and vandalized graves in an Asian section, another section and two memorial abbeys in the center of the grounds. According to the NYPD, the suspects knocked over 70 headstone, broke 15 marble memorial markers in a mausoleum, and spray-painted them with hate graffiti

The graffiti included "fuck Jackie Chan" and "ching chong" on a grave that appeared to originally have an Asian language on it, according to the NYPD. They also wrote the phrase, "fuck sand n--gers."

Police released a video of the suspects, who can be seen taking photos inside the cemetery:

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I recently went down a rabbit hole about the fabulous, foul-mouthed Thori. and since my dog can also be a yelling arsehole...
i give you the heartwarming story of seven Yule puppies. )
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Has anyone ever filmed a scene where a priest blesses his own saliva then gobs in a vampire's eye? -- Si Spurrier

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After The Flintstones, it's perhaps no surprise they are shifting in the other direction temporally, and in giving us, in Novemeber...

The Jetsons )

'Faces'

Aug. 16th, 2017 06:26 pm
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Continuing Harvey Dent's 75th anniversary is Matt Wagner's 'Faces' from Legends of the Dark Knight #28-30. It's considered by a lot of people to be one of the definitive Two-Face stories. I'm personally on the fence; it's well-written and drawn but Harvey's character and overall motivations are fairly inconsistent with how he's usually depicted. The story might have been served better with a number of other Bat-villains instead. But who knows, you might think differently.  

Scans under the cut... )
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In the beginning, Kara wore a blue frock:

Action-Comics-252-p00

If it looked a bit like a high school cheerleader's outfit (back in the day when cheerleader outfits didn't show much skin and weren't all that tight fitting), that was probably intentional. And this suited her just fine all through high school and most of the way though college. And then, 12 years later, her editors belatedly realized the 60's had brought a sea change in fashion, and things started to get weird. Sartorial madness ensued )

And that is the long and sad story of Kara's closet of super outfits. Maybe someone sensible came along and rescued her from further sartorial shame by stealing all but the hotpants ensemble?

In some cases sadly, in other cases thankfully, we never got to see her wearing some of the other outfits in that closet, but evidence of their existence was preserved:Read more... )

Reading Wednesday

Aug. 16th, 2017 11:05 am
muccamukk: Gregory Peck looks up from the book he's reading. (Books: Hello Reading)
[personal profile] muccamukk
What I Just Finished Reading
The Ariadne Objective: The Underground War to Rescue Crete from the Nazis by Wes Davis
I'll admit that I started reading this as Guns of Navarone background, but even given that I found it pretty shallow. Basically it recapped almost entirely from the reports and journals of the British officers, with the odd German thrown in, didn't consider the Greek perspective in more than the briefest passing mention. I read the first two thirds and then sent it back to the library because I just didn't care.

Coed Demon Sluts: Beth (Coed Demon Sluts #1) by Jennifer Stevenson
I saw the author talking about this on Scalzi's blog, and decided to give it a whirl. Pretty much read it straight through on the plane, and enjoyed it, I guess. On the whole, there was way too much talk, and not enough action (or "action"). I didn't really connect with the characters because a lot of the time they sounded like talking points, not people. The actual plot, when it occurred, was engaging enough. Not sure I'll bother with the rest of the series.

(Though I did have the great pleasure of the preppy young man sitting next to me on the flight asking me what I was reading.)


Hold Me (Cyclone #2) by Courtney Milan
Enjoyed this one even more than the first one. I totally got the issues both MCs had, and why they set each other's teeth on edge, but at the same time their alternate relationship was totally believable and in keeping with that. They had great chemistry and I loved how their genuine issues were resolved by working things out and patience, not but Surprise Drama.


The Edge of Worlds (The Books of the Raksura #4) by Martha Wells
It's always good to get back to the three worlds, and I really enjoyed seeing how all the characters had grown over the years, plus all the new cultures and places they encountered on their adventure. The book also brought something I'd wanted from the start, the glimmer of hope for at least some of the Fell, in an exploration of their culture as well. Heck of a cliff hanger though.

The Harbors of the Sun (The Books of the Raksura #5) by Martha Wells
I'm sad to see the end of this series, but what a great send off. Everyone got something to do, we met all kinds of old friends again, and Pearl and Malachite got to hang out (the Pearl-Malachite show was easily worth the price of admission).

The last act was Very Dramatic (well a lot of the book was), but really how much had changed since the first trilogy, and I love how much of a family everyone now has, and how many forms that takes.

(Loved this series so much, the sting of loosing it is lessened by Murderbot being so good, and by the snippits that show up on Wells' Patreon.)


Days Without End by Sebastian Barry, narrated by Aidan Kelly
** spoiler alert ** I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. It is a book about a gay man who is somewhat genderqueer who spends the entire book with the love of his life and is still with him at the end (they are in fact married with a family by about two thirds through). It was gorgeous. The writing was stunning. The content was often brutal.

Not in a Tragic Gay way, but in a wow the MCs were in the US army during the genocide of the Native Americans, and in the Union army during the civil war, and then we did another round of genocide in Wyoming. And so... yeah.

But on the other hand, it painted nothing as glorious, and I really appreciated a "Wild West" story that actually showed what was going on, and boy howdy did it not romanticise anything. And while it never excuses any of the characters, it does lay out how a lot of that happened, how even good men got sucked into being monsters.

So, gay HEA, beautifully written, uncountable slaughter, would rec the audiobook, as the reader has a pleasing Irish accent.

(This was strongly recced to me by Dad who goes in for depressing things with pretty writing. He also may have been trying to bond over queer content, which is nice. Your mileage will vary widely on how much you can handle the MCs being complicit in crimes against humanity, even if they were only foot soldiers, and in the army as victims of imperialism themselves.)


Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin, narrated by Ron Butler
I don't have a lot of the historical context for the first half, but the writing is so perfect, and the ideas are clear and sharp, and it's pure pleasure to read. (It's somewhat depressing how little has changed.)


Keeping Her Pride (Ladies of the Pack #1) by Lauren Esker
One of my favourites by Esker (still doesn't top Guard Wolf, but probably edges out Dragon's Luck)! I really liked Debi and her slow road to understanding and redemption. I love how her vision of herself changed, and part of that was just a matter of realising that yes, she could put sugar in her coffee. The business plot took something of a back seat until the end, but it's a fast read, and I mostly loved watching Debi grow.

Fletcher wasn't my favourite hero, but he was solid and his issues made sense. His complicated relationship with his ex wife and their daughter made sense. I liked that the kid was there to be trouble as well as cute, as four year olds tend to be. She was pretty cute though.

Nice guest spots by various agents from the other books, but this was entirely readable as a stand alone. I haven't read Handcuffed to a Bear, where Debi first showed up, and followed it just fine.

(I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, which is horridly late. Sorry, Lauren!)


What I'm Reading Now
I've got the first Sharing Knife book going on audio, which I'm enjoying in a peaceable idfic sort of way. I can see why some people want to set it on fire. I quite like it.

I'm also drifting through Sister Emily's Lightship and Other Stories, a collection of mostly fairytale riffs by Jean Yolen, which is very good.


What I'm Reading Next
The Stone Sky is out. Once I've braced myself, I'll start that.

Batman #29

Aug. 16th, 2017 04:38 am
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Posted by Phil Yu

Asian Americans Advancing Justice is calling on you to pledge your support.



I don't know if you heard, but a horde of racist white dudes recently held a march in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend. They weren't wearing hoods, but they were carrying torches and Nazi and Confederate flags to make it all too clear what they stood for: white supremacy, white power and nativism.

Ah, the ugly building blocks of our great nation.

While the man who is supposedly the President of the United States unsurprisingly refuses to denounce or distance himself from these racist shits -- let's face it, he wouldn't be in the White House without them -- some of us refuse to stand around and let literal Nazis trample, strangle and seize the soul of this democracy.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice has just launched a new pledge campaign calling on Asian Americans to come together, join the fight and take a stand against white supremacy.

"We call on all Asian Americans to join us in defending our vision of democracy -- one where we protect the vulnerable amongst us, resist efforts to erode our hard-won rights and protections, and fight to advance progress for all marginalized communities."

Read the full letter:

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Vampirella Arc Concludes

Aug. 16th, 2017 08:01 am
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Posted by Paul Cornell

It’s release day for Vampirella #5, the conclusion to my initial arc, where everything gets revealed and a lot of whys and hows about the dystopian future setting get sorted out.  You can find it in your comic stores today, or digitally on ComiXology US and UK.

Vampirella 5 cover

After this, new artist Andy Belanger and I will be delivering a two-parter, entitled ‘Gothic’, and solving a final couple of puzzles, before new writer Jeremy Whitley joins up with Andy from the last five pages of #7 onwards.  They’ll be continuing in the same world.  It’s been a great handover.  I couldn’t wish for the title to be in better hands.

Right now, I’m writing 2000-3000 words of new novel a day.  It’s felt good, with the world getting so hideous, to exercise my core skills on a regular basis once more.

One piece of other news: here’s the brilliant Adrian Tchaikovsky saying some very kind things about Chalk and several other books.

I must depart back to the word count.  See you soon!

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Posted by Phil Yu

A K-Drama re-watch podcast by (and for) people who don't watch Korean dramas.



Are you a fan of Korean dramas? Then this podcast is probably not for you. The Korean Drama Podcast is the K-Drama rewatch podcast by (and for) people who don't watch Korean dramas.

In season one, host Will Choi (founder of Asian AF) and I -- both self-professed Korean drama beginners -- with help and hand-holding by our resident K-Drama expert Joanna Lee, attempt to watch and discuss the 2009 megahit drama Boys Over Flowers in its entirety, episode by episode.

In this episode, a delicious ramyun scene, suspicious modeling jobs, and all around poor decision making from our heroine Jan Di as she ends up on the wrong side (again!) of the F4. We also meet a nice boy/potential love rival that seems almost too well adjusted for this show... until he suddenly becomes a creepy kidnapper...

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