Comics Better Not Get Me Fired. (Maybe NSFW.)

I thought I was getting funnier looks than usual today when I returned to work from my routine Wednesday lunchtime walk. It took me a few minutes to figure out why.

I have a special pattern on Wednesdays. I arrive earlier at work than usual; I spend my lunch break walking to my local comic shop to pick up the week’s new releases; I hurry back to my desk so I can finish out my early day and enjoy an extended evening. Pretty much like clockwork. My coworkers know me just enough to think nothing of it.

I paid for my hobby fix and got lost in thought while the clerk placed them inside the usual translucent bag. I remained pretty much on autopilot during the brisk walk back, through the heart of downtown, into the lobby, and up the elevator, passing a few distractingly odd expressions along the way.

When I sat down at my desk and began shuffling things around, that’s when I focused and really looked at what I’d been carrying.

Continue here for pics I normally wouldn’t post here, probably NSFW by some employers’ standards…

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Internet Rape Threats?

Kenneth Rocafort, Teen Titans #1

The cover heard ’round the world. Art by Kenneth Rocafort.

Other working titles for this entry included “Why I Avoid Comic Book Discussions”, “Comics Industry Spends Easter Week Debating Baseline Human Interaction 101”, “Uppity Chick Dares to Critique Corporate-Approved Pandering”, and “Comic Book Fans Argue in Favor of Exploitative Art and Rape Threats”.

Earlier this week Comic Book Resources published an astute piece by a writer/editor named Janelle Asselin offering thorough, point-by-point analysis of the proposed first-issue cover to DC Comics’ upcoming relaunch of Teen Titans. Of all the aspects she skewered — perspective, anatomy, body language, energy level, demographic narrowcasting, complete lack of salesmanship toward new readers in general — one in particular struck a nerve with the audience at large: incredulity at the portrayal of a teenage character as an improbably shaped fantasy porn object.

Not that this is new to comics, mind you.

The issue in this instance: the complaint wasn’t from a stodgy old guy like me. This time, it was from a lousy dame, clearly speaking out of turn against her male superiors who need their super-heroes to look like this. It’s not enough to have genuine porn at their disposal for their eye-candy needs; they apparently want visual representations of the female figure in all media kept inflated and distorted at all times for the sake of their personal viewing euphoria.

And then it got worse…

Halloween Stats 2012; or, the Decline of Trick-or-Treating Civilization

Halloween decorations 2012Each year for the last five years I’ve kept statistics on the number of trick-or-treaters who graced our doorstep during the Halloween celebration of neighborhood interconnectedness and benevolent snack donation. Up to 2007 we lived in a secluded section-8 apartment that roving candy-hoarders easily overlooked. After we became first-time homeowners, our first Halloween in the new house blew us away as the head count soared without warning from zero to dozens. Our supplies were exhausted so quickly that a few poor stragglers were cursed with rejected Easter leftovers. Three cheers for the eternal freshness of American preservatives.

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