Nice Things

I’m back on my feet (if a bit wobbly), so Inside Out will shortly return to regularly scheduled programming.

Every once in a while, you get a chance to see first-hand how awesome people can be. I’ve had plenty in the last couple months, but none so incredible as organizing the Girl-Wonder Art Et Cetera Auction.

Girl-Wonder.org is a labor of love. The admins cover most of the operating expenses out of pocket, and everything we do, from site building and maintenance, to forum moderation, to columns, to convention presence, is done on donated time.

We’ve grown exponentially in both size and scope over the past year: what began as a small fan campaign dedicated to a single character is becoming a nexus for the feminist comics community. We’re dreaming big, too, making plans for projects far beyond anything we could have imagined a year ago. Eighteen months ago, we weren’t much more than a live-journal community; now, we’re about to incorporate as a nonprofit organization.

Which brings me to the story behind the auction.

When we started looking into incorporation, we were floored at how much it would cost. Girl-Wonder is a nickel-and-dime business: our operating budget-most of which goes to cover band width-pretty much consists of what admins can scrounge out of their pockets. This stuff was on a scale we could hardly conceive.

Around the same time, we got an email from Supergirl artist Renato Guedes. He was contacting us, Renato explained, to express his gratitude for the support for his work that he’d seen on the G-W forums and to ask if he could do a drawing for us, which he suggested that we might auction as a fund raiser.

Aha.

We did some cursory planning and began to solicit donations from everyone we knew, on the forums, on blogs, at conventions. Our starting goal was to raise enough money to cover incorporation costs, although we were pretty sure that we’d still be paying a hefty chunk out-of-pocket.

The response floored us.

Artists, writers, and fans came out of the woodwork to offer support. Many sent items to auction; many others shared time and connections to help us publicize our drive. As the auction has grown, so have our plans: as the line-up currently stands, if every item gets at least one bid, we’ll have enough not only to cover incorporation costs but to start an actual operating budget for future projects like scholarships, convention travel, and publications. The auction has also been the seed of a slew of ideas, from a Girl-Wonder calendar, to ongoing partnerships with craftspeople in the Girl-Wonder community, to a million and six other projects that we’ll soon have the capacity and capital to dive into.

But the most important thing we’ve gotten from organizing the auction is a sense of just how much support there really is for Girl-Wonder and our mission. The dialogues with both fans and professionals that have been born out of this give me a newfound sense of hope in the future of comics, and in the fact that, however slowly, we’re actually accomplishing something.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the artists and artisans who have donated items to the Art Et Cetera auction:

Ross Campbell
Guy Davis
Jennifer Estep
Robyn Fleming
Audrey Fox
Laura Fox
Austin Grossman
Renato Guedes
Katie Moody
Trina Robbins
Jim Rugg
Jessica Trevino
Dean Trippe
David Willis
Chris Wisinia
Pascalle
Kel McDonald

The fans and community members who’ve dug into their personal collections:

Mary Borsellino
Hannah Dame
Kate Fitzsimons
Valerie D’Orazio
Tommy Roddy
Melanie (whose last name I don’t know)

And finally, special thanks are due to Joshua Dysart, who has been instrumental in contacting artists, publishers, and other comics professionals on our behalf as well as helping us to publicize the auction.

The auction itself will take place from October 7-14. In the meantime, keep checking the preview page-there are still a few more items to be posted!

You can discuss this column-and the Art Et Cetera Auction-here.

2020 Most Popular Rolex Watches

Let’s face it that the 1980s were not a great time for watchmaking — or, in terms of design. That said, Rolex has never been one to reinvent the wheel or abandon past design norms, nor has it suffered nearly as much damage over the past decade. Many ’80s Rolex watches are not yet considered antique, so they are not as memorable as watches from the’ 60s and ’70s, or as modern as watches from the late’ 90s to the present.
What does this mean for collectors? Well, in other ways, it makes a full decade’s worth of watches easier to buy than their peers — even though they are destined to reach a similar level of long-term appreciation in the years to come. With that in mind, here we have a number of replica rolex models from the New Wave and Synth-Pop era of the 1980s.
In some respects, it’s the best of both worlds for an ‘older’ Submariner. This is the model that updated the line to the quick-set Cal. 3035, and that also added a sapphire crystal to the equation for the first time.
The ref. 16800 Submariner also falls into the window of use of Tritium lume, which ages with its own special feature. This combination of modern/retro makes for a great daily wearer, arguably more so than a ref. 5513 in some respects, plus you can still scoop up a good example.
Another option here, as the Coke bezel GMT-Master II was one of the very few interesting things to surface in the watch world in the ’80s. That’s correct, and this bad boy was launched in 1983, as the first of the GMT-Master II models featuring the then-new Cal. 3085 movement.
The ref. 16760 GMT-Master II was the dawn of the independently adjustable hour hands for fake rolex, and the reference that became famous as the ‘Fat Lady’ or the ‘Sophia Loren’ on account of the slightly thicker case needed to house the new, more-advanced caliber.
Even though the big and gaudy gold things were truly a product of the ’70s, a big statement piece equally had its place during the ’80s. For this occasion, there’s no bigger statement than a solid gold Rolex Day-Date, particularly one with a Presidential bracelet with bark textured center links, matching bark textured bezel, and a Tiger’s Eye dial. Submariner is one of many two-tone replica watches, which is somewhat surprising considering how much the brand likes to tap into its tool-table roots. In many ways, the move laid the groundwork for a submariner’s status, rather than a diving outfit.

Polly and the Pirates, by Ted Naifeh

Universally a favourite with test readers, Polly and the Pirates deals with prim and proper Polly’s unexpected and unwanted embroilment in the affairs of a charming and disreputable group of pirates. The art is clean and the layouts are intuitive to follow. Polly is sure to charm adults and children alike.

Violence: feats of daring are performed and death is threatened, but no blood is ever spilled.
Sexualized violence: There are some sexual overtones to some menacing encounters, but Polly extricates herself from them neatly on her own.
Gender: The story deals with Polly’s eventual rejection of the role of “lady” in favour of the values she believes in.
Bechdel’s law: Passes.
Parents may wish to be aware: Some offensive langauge is presented so euphemistically it may be unnoticeable. However, if “dog-botherer” or “bugger” will offend, be advised.

Episode 6: Tis the Season

In this episode we discuss crossovers, guest star syndrome, the stupidity of Gene Simmons, representation of religion in comics books, our favorite holiday specials (link to scans from the Warrior Christmas Special [NOTE: None of those on this podcast endorse the language used in this article; this is unfortunately the only source of scans currently available. Trigger warning for those sensitive to suggestions of rape.]) and answer CEOIII’s stupid question: “In a bar (not Warriors) are the following: Lobo, Wolverine, Guy Gardner.

The Punisher walks in, goes to the bar, starts pounding them back. (Say the aforementioned trio are at a table.)

After 30 minutes, they start looking at each other. Not saying anything, just some very dirty looks.

10 minutes after the looks start, the Wrecking Crew walks it.

The question: At what point do you call the cops? When the first 3 walk in, when Pun walks in, when the looks start, when the Crew walks in, or do you just check your insurance, then set up a video camera and hope for the best?”

This episode’s guest is Lisa Fortuner, also known as Ragnell of the Written World, and When Fangirls Attack!

Let us know how much you would charge pay-per-view!

Congratulations to Our Facebook Contest Winner!

Congratulations to Warren Newsom on winning the contest to design our new Facebook banner! You can see Warren’s fantastic work here. And check out more of his art, including costume redesigns of fan-favorite superheroines, at his DeviantArt page: http://heroid.deviantart.com/

Stay tuned for tomorrow, when we’ll be showing you all the other fantastic submissions we received. And remember, you can keep up-to-date on Girl-Wonder.Org’s latest news, recs, and blogposts by following us on Facebook or Twitter!

Superhero comics have come a long way

Superhero comics have come a long way. The range of female superheroes, vigilantes, and villains has broadened considerably since earlier times. There’s a lot more on offer for feminist fans of mainstream comics.

But today’s fans face a whole new set of stumbling blocks: objectifying, inappropriately sexualised art styles; gruesome deaths designed only to forward a male character’s story; and a generally held public opinion that superhero comics are the domain of boys and men and therefore have no need to be female-friendly.

movie downloadWe love comics. We want to see them remain a vital, energetic, engaging, popular art form enjoyed by a range of audience groups. If this objective is to remain viable, comics have to pick up their game. We’re here to see that they do.

One of Girl-Wonder.org’s primary aims is to get comics fans talking to each other in an environment where everyone feels equally free to express their opinions. Toward this end, visitors are strongly encouraged to make use of the forums.

We Can Do It! shirtThe Girl-Wonder.org store features a range of t-shirt designs. You can multi-task: promote the site and look fabulous, all in one fell swoop!

Girl-Wonder.org received a Tartie from Sequential Tart, in the fifth annual Tartie Awards!

Girl-Wonder.org was Yahoo’s Pick of the Day on June 20, 2006!

Submissions for proposed websites or columns can be sent to submissions@girl-wonder.org

December: Avengers Academy, by Christos Gage

Avengers Academy is possibly the best book Marvel is currently publishing. Written by Christos Gage and drawn by a number of fantastic artists (including Mike McKone, Sean Chen, Tom Raney, and soon Tom Grummett), Avengers Academy tells the tale of 6 new teenage superhumans who share a history of capture and torture at the hands of H.A.M.M.E.R. director Norman Osborn. In the wake of Norman Osborn’s fall from grace, these troubled teens (Veil, Striker, Mettle, Finesse, Hazmat, and Reptil) have been taken under the Avengers’ wing to become the inaugural class of Avengers Academy. But, as the kids very quickly discover, they weren’t chosen because they have the best potential to become heroes – they were chosen because the Avengers fear that, without guidance, they might turn into villains.

What separates this book from the dozens of other teen superhero books that have passed through comic shop shelves over the years? The answer is Christos Gage, a writer who has rapidly risen to become one of Marvel’s brightest stars. Gage’s work deals with consequences at a level that few other superhero writers are willing to tackle. No canon, no matter how old, is irrelevant for Gage. He expertly weaves the past and the present (without, it should be noted, relying on fans’ assumed knowledge of past stories) to illustrate the ways that past experiences and actions shape the lives and futures of all human beings. The Avengers Academy faculty includes characters like Hank Pym and Pietro Maximoff, characters who have made their fair share of mistakes and want to pass along the lessons they’ve learned to the next generation. The lives of superheroes are difficult and messy, and this book addresses that fact with a rare honesty.

Yet the book is far from glum and gloomy. Ultimately Avengers Academy is a story of hope, of adults trying to help kids and kids trying to help themselves and each other. The kids have their problems, but they’re still very much kids – they even have a prom! – and their interpersonal relationships are bright spots amid the stresses of battle. They have successes to match their failures, and the book is frequently quite funny. I rarely finish an issue without a smile on my face.

For those whose interest has been piqued, I highly recommend picking up all the trade paperbacks of the series so far. But for those looking to dip their toes in, the book’s recent status quo change – moving the school to the old West Coast Avengers headquarters and adding new characters – is a perfect jumping-on point. Pick up last month’s issue 21 and see what the fuss is all about.

Violence: This is a superhero comic, so there’s plenty of fighting of all kinds, including violence that ends in death (though not for our protagonists). Given the premise, all of the characters also have some kind of torture in their backstories. But violence in this book is rarely graphic or gory.

Sexualized Violence: There are references to the past sexualized attack on faculty member Tigra (which happened in another book) and one of the male characters is implied to have been molested as a child. Sexualized violence is never graphic or cast in a positive light, however.

Gender: Half of the original team was female, and more recently two more regular female students have been added, in addition to a number of part-time students (including former solo title stars Spider-Girl, the Savage She-Hulk, and X-23). The girls come from a variety of backgrounds and have distinct personalities, and gendered plots and dialogue are extremely rare. The girls are both as heroic and as screwed-up as their male counterparts.

The Bechdel-Wallace Test: Since the gender-balanced cast spends most of its conversations talking to each other about their powers, fights, and education, I doubt any issue has failed to pass the test, though I don’t have specific figures.

Minorities: From its inception, this book has made a conscious attempt to include diversity in its cast. Reptil is Latino, Hazmat is half-white/half-Japanese-American, and Mettle in flashbacks appears to be at least half Native Hawaiian (he’s also half-Jewish). The new cast includes a white queer character (Julie Power) and a Puerto Rican female character (the new White Tiger, taking up the mantle from wholesale jeans, Hector Ayala), and recent writer comments have hinted that one of the original team may be gay. The teaching staff, relying as it does on older characters, is totally white and straight (and mostly male), but that could change at any point as the cast shifts. In addition, the new part-time students come from a variety of backgrounds.

Parents May Wish to Be Aware: I would rate this book at least PG-13; it is definitely aimed at teens and adults, and the level of violence and implied sexuality is probably too high for younger kids. But compared to some superhero comics, this book tends to be less graphic and grim-and-gritty; the costumes and art are not sexualized and there is a strong moral center to the story. Teenagers should be fine.

Review by Jennifer Margret Smith

How to Draw off Jogger Jeans in the Office

Let’s face it — if you had a choice to wear sweatpants to work, you would do it; so do most of your colleagues. Fortunately, you can now pull off the office version of denim jogging pants, the “cooler cousin” of sweatpants. You just need to know and follow the ground rules of the office to do this with aplomb. To learn more, read on.
The last day of the work week is a time to wear a new fashion trend in the office. Give it a test, maybe once a month, and push the envelope. If there’s no resistance, make it a casual Friday staple. Add a jacket, a professional shirt (preferably with buttons) and dress shoes, and see if your boss notices. If you get caught, you can excuse yourself for not knowing the “casual fridays” rule. You also may want to have a second outfit ready to go in your vehicle.
Jacket makes everything and everyone look a little more professional, even college professors. By pairing your navy blue jean joggers with a customized jeans, you are hiding the fact that you are pulling off wearing sweatpants to work.
If you’re convinced that a shirt makes the whole outfit look more formal, it can also cover up a lot of mistakes. Choose muted colors and patterns. Make sure your button-down shirt matches your jogger and it is as professional as possible.
There is a plan to test out your blue and black joggers on a day where you will spend most of your time sitting at your desk. Until you’ve mainstreamed to wear joggers to work, you shouldn’t wear them on a day when you have to give a big presentation to your boss. By planning to wear them on a down day at the office, you can minimize your exposure to the office and thus make it less noticeable.
Give your joggers a polished look with twill or other professional-looking wholesale jeans. Don’t wear patterns because they draw attention to you. Match them with an all-business jacket, shirt, and shoes, and you will be able to pull it off with ease.
Jean joggers are basically sweatpants that, when paired properly, can be worn in the office. The key is the pairing and the timing.
Jeans jogging pants are basically sweatpants that you can wear in the office with the right combination. The key is pairing and timing.