Fun Home

10 08 2015

My next book was supposed to be a memoir. I wanted to read some sort classic, benchmark memoir book but had a surprisingly hard time finding something I was interested in. So I took a look at my own list of books I had set aside on my Later list, and Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel was the first one the list.

I knew I was going to enjoy this one and I did. I was pleasantly surprised to see how literary it was; there were words I hadn’t come across before, allusions and comparisons to all sorts of things like The Brady Bunch and The Odyssey. I found her father’s life and death to be fascinating, if sad. After King Lear it was fun to jump ahead a few centuries and see that masculinity and power still have create problems in people.

Also, these boxers are so big and loose that they sometimes fall off (much to everyone’s disgust). This is them without doing anything after putting them on.

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Shirtlifter

9 04 2015

I’m still in the middle of Midnight’s Children, but I had this on hold for me so I just quickly read through them in an hour or two. I ultimately gave the Shirtlifter series a somewhat low rating because I found the depiction of gay culture and gay life to be very… typical. For what it’s worth, I have no doubt a lot of gay men will identify with how the gay community is portrayed here: overwhelmingly white, muscled, good-looking, masculine, meeting at the local gay bar where everyone knows each other. I also don’t doubt that at the time of its publication, there wasn’t really anything else like it, so gay men likely embraced it quickly (much like the awful, awful series DTLA). Still, if the experiences of going out and buying desserts for your foodie friends and then going to the Pumpjack with other shirtless, buff guys is exactly what your life is, then who am I to say it’s a shallow life?

Some of the stories are better than others. Most of the additional stories with guest artists, in particular the one featuring a guy running from his problems by hitchhiking across the country, featured some pretty bad writing and characterization. You could definitely tell they were artists/illustrators first, writers second.

The other problem I had was in the first issue. Two white guys are debating about having sex with Asian guys; one says that they’re passive and they just lie there. The other tells him he’s just generalizing. I couldn’t help but feel like although the writer does try to make arguments on both sides, it clearly felt like he was on the side of the racist douche. Not only was it somewhat poorly defended, but this belief that Asian guys are all twinky bottoms who “just lie there” is probably a common belief that ultimately felt like it was thrown in there without any consequences or reason whatsoever. It appears that the racist dude ends up having sex with a Japanese guy in the end to get his anger and emotions out of his system, and I expected his racist belief to flip on him, but it didn’t which was disappointing. I didn’t feel like he understood it as a problem at all, and anyone reading this who believes it as well likely wouldn’t. And that irritated me. Then again, it’s not like I expect white guys to understand oppression.

One thing I did enjoy was all the drawings and locations of Vancouver. I recognized all the spots, so it was really cool to see them drawn out the way it actually is.

Also, I’m running out of ideas for pictures with my books, so here are my legs, partially blocking the books. I think I need to go back trying to look like a douche in the mirror while I pose with books. (But I don’t know how to look like a douche!)

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Scott Pilgrim Vol. 4: Scott Pilgrim Gets it Together

18 11 2014

Almost forgot about continuing on with this series. Great book again, although I will have to echo what I mentioned previously about the pacing being a bit all over the place. It’s a lot slower than in the film, and I like that it takes time to explore things that never made it into the film, like how Scott and Wallace had to move out of their apartment, but the overall structure and pace suffers because the fights don’t usually build up. I still love the humour though.

Also, I bought these pants while I was in California last week. They look more salmon coloured in the picture than in real life for some reason; they’re a darker shade of pink (but still bright). I remember being doubtful whether or not to buy them, but then I thought, I want to buy something that I wouldn’t normally buy, so I got it. Definitely got looks from people when I wore them.

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Matt Donaher stand-up

13 11 2014

This guy is pretty good. I admire stand-up comics because it’s hard to make people laugh and it can be so awkward when it doesn’t work.

 





Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return

17 09 2014

New underwear! Thought I’d show off some ass while I’m at it too.

Also, this is a good book although not as much as the first Persepolis. I think it’s because the struggles in this one were less traumatic, more relatable. Still a great read!

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The Young Protectors/Buying Time

14 05 2014

So I decided to give myself credit for reading more things.

I know technically both comics are updated and added weekly, but I’ve read up to the end of both of them and I think they deserve a spot on my completed shelf anyway. As I wrote previously, The Young Protectors, written by Alex Woolfson (who also wrote Artifice) is about a group of young superheroes, one of whom is gay. The other thing that is noteworthy about this comic is that the superheroes are of various ethnicities, which is always super great to see. The art is gorgeous and very much in vein with classic superhero comics (at least in my mind), and there’s a bit of skin-flashing as Kyle, the budding homo, dangerously flirts with The Annihilator. I like this comic for the art and the action, but there were some parts that feel a bit slow and that I questioned the logic of the story (ie. Why does Laampros just take off after that ritual thing is done? Where is he going? Why not take his new “son” with him? The Annihilator just wants to live longer? Really? I was beginning to see this as an allegory to the¬† post-AIDS crisis in the ’90s and the older generation disliking the younger generation for simply being young while many people still lived with the disease and death, but alas, I don’t think this really held up).

Read The Young Protectors for free! (and also find out more info) http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/archive/ete_title_page/

Woolfson recently posted a link to a web comic called Buying Time, created by Casey J (who is also Canadian! Woot!) and noted how he stayed up until 4am to finish reading it. I decided to give it a try and was so fascinated at the how webcomics can work! I didn’t know they could be interactive and designed almost like a film, with characters moving and changing facial expressions with the click of a mouse. I thought that was utterly brilliant, and definitely got me thinking about possibly writing a graphic novel/comic of my own (though I’d leave the artwork to someone who can actually draw more than stick figures). In some ways, I like Buying Time¬†better than TYP. It flows better; it has a better sense of world and the rules; and the main character, Vinnie, is loner and has a quiet crush on a co-worker = complete relatability. I also really like the fact that he’s not tall and ripped like a lot of characters in comics (or any story, really), but is short and has a few extra pounds. But he’s just so freaking adorable and well-meaning, that it’s impossible not to root for him and fall in love with him. And when he finally hugs Galvin — let me say that having read a lot of romance stories, I don’t usually care much when two people get together. But I was swooning sooooo much when it happened! The build-up was just fantastic. And the idea of Vinnie having to work extra hours to literally pay for time to hang out with Galvin is just brilliant. Really looking forward to seeing where this comic goes.

Read Buying Time for free! (and also find out more info) http://buyingtime.the-comic.org/comics/first/

For those who have read both comics, which do you like more? Why?

Finally, since I can’t exactly post a picture of myself with webcomics, I took a picture of myself trying to look like a douche. Hope you like it.

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Artifice

11 05 2014

Two books done in two days! Wow!

To be fair, this comic is a fairly short, easy read — but one that is unabashedly gay, romantic, and fun. And I love that. I will admit that I was more than self-conscious reading Artifice on the bus and while waiting for the bus with people around me because I had just gotten to the part where Jeff and Deacon are, um, intimate, and I was afraid people might be thinking I was looking at porn or yaoi or whatever. It also didn’t help that I got a little excited at those parts too… *blush blush*

That being said, after I finished the book, I got a bit obsessed with author Alex Woolfson’s other comic, The Young Protectors. I discovered there was even a Kickstarter campaign last year for that comic, and kicked myself for not having heard of the project and contributing something (especially to get those romance trading cards and NSFW prints, my my). In less than a day, have now read everything and caught up to the end of TYP which I think is pretty good and should count for 2-ish books read in two days, but whatever.

I don’t think I’ve posed with this underwear yet. I took another closer shot to show how part of it is fishnet, which I think is cool. Also it’s super soft.

Looking forward to obsessively checking for the next Young Protectors page!

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Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: Books 6 and 7

25 01 2014

Finished Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and oh god, what a ride. The ending was a bit abrupt, and I got the feeling Miyazaki thought the series could go on forever, but it was still a solid climax. And so much death… I found myself wondering how the same guy who made cute little Ponyo came up with this incredibly dark graphic novel full of people dying on every panel. What a brilliant and oddly disturbing man.

So here is me and my naked back. I was gonna show my butt but I thought that might be too graphic so I had the books cover it. My naked butt is behind there though, if you want to know… and no, it wasn’t actually touching the books, so if you kids end up borrowing these copies from the library, you’re fine to rub it all over your face.

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Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: Book 5

11 01 2014

God, this series is surprisingly dark and violent. Hard to believe this is the same man who went on to make Ponyo.

Oh, and jockstrap. Ha.

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Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Book 4)

27 12 2013

Me and my new green underwear, to match Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. If you look close enough you might be able to see past my underwear… but of course no one’s going to do that. Right?

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