Archive for the 'Art' Category

Who Cares What She Does — Make Her Nekkid!

December 29th, 2011

[ “Ker-pow! Women kick back against comic-book sexism

UK-made, female-driven anthology Bayou Arcana is causing a stir for more than just its haunting images and storylines.” ]

Bayou Arcana, means New Orleans and Louisiana, one of my homes.  It’s almost impossible to imagine New Orleans without Coco Robicheaux, who died last month, who was the embodiment of Bayeau Arcana if there was a living one.

One of the most interesting things about Bayou Arcana is that the writers are all male and the artists are all female, so how the female characters look is decided by women, not men.

This is a group of creative people who are positively pushing back against the long running, ever growing trend  that leaves women out of the various sets of the sf/f, supernatural, horror, movie, comix, print and game worlds.  Here’s a pull from the long story about the many different gender bias and sexism in these areas, particularly in comix, in the U.K. Guardian linked to above:

[ ” As far as the wider comic book culture is concerned, many female comic book fans have stories of being ignored, harassed, or treated with hostility in comic book stores, and there’s certainly persistent gendered bullying online.” The planned petition comes in the wake of another earlier this year which expressed reader outrage at the lack of female writers and characters at DC Comics, which owns rights to characters such as Superman and Batman

The proportion of female creators in its comics plunged from 12% to 1% when it relaunched its entire line of superhero titles.

More than 4,500 fans called on DC to “do something about these appalling, offensive numbers or you will only continue to see your sales numbers plummet”.

DC insisted it was taking their concerns “very seriously” and pointed to writers such as Nicola Scott, Felicia D Henderson and Gail Simone. It also highlighted female DC characters such as Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Catwoman and Batwoman, who was reinvented as a lesbian.

Comics bloggers such as Vanessa Gabriel say, however, that both DC and Marvel – which together dominate the market – have been slow to do more than pay lip service to female readers. ” ]

Another fellow who is doing his bit is here, in this blog post, Fantasy Armor and Lady Bits:

[ ” The brilliant tumbler feed Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor has inspired me to add my two cents to the discussion.

Why does my opinion matter? I’m an armorer. I make actual armor that people wear when they hit each other with swords. When making armor I have to strike a balance between comfort, protection, range of motion, and appearance. My experience has made me more than a little opinionated on the subject of fantasy armor.

I intend to set the internet straight. See below for how to do it wrong, how to do it right, and why you might care. ” ]

Women alone can’t change the way women are expected to appear in these fields, which in turn then, makes it so easy for the men in the field to dismiss them, harrass them and otherwise remove the agency of half the world, giving them only one role and one role — sex object.   As with making a culture of rape socially unacceptable everywhere, men must be a part of the push to change that. These developments are a part of that, which is heartening — a good way to close a year and open a new one.

Wild Cards: American Hero & other interactive web fiction

February 2nd, 2008

Tor’s new Wild Cards website has been spiffed up and updated, with information on the mass signing in Albuquerque today with most of the Inside Straight authors. Moreover, Tor has just launched the American Hero website, the fully in-character blog and promotional website for American Hero, the superhero reality television show taking place in the Wild Cards universe and a central part of the plot of Inside Straight.

There are twenty eight characters on the show and we’ve got illustrations for all of them from the amazing Mike Miller. More, all of the authors have been writing confessionals from the standpoints of their characters. Up now for Week 1 are Joe Twitch (created and written by Walton Simons), Spasm (created and written by Daniel Abraham), Drummer Boy (created and written by S.L. Farrell), and Rosa Loteria (created and written by yours truly).

Rosa Loteria portraitGo over and take a look. Ask the characters questions. Of course, the contestants are all busy with challenges on the show, but who knows, some of them might answer. (Mine are Rosa Loteria and The Maharajah.)

This is also kind of exciting as an author since it’s a new publishing venue. I’ve seen website expansions to the content from movies, most notably the rather amazing Donnie Darko site which had some neat fiction which expanded the movie, and likewise the (now long defunct) website for the Point Pleasant tv show. But this is the first time I’ve seen extra web fiction content being done for a series of novels and anthologies, especially author created and owned.

Anyway, please take a look and see what you think, and also, let’s talk about the web as a venue for new fiction in general.

Fonts & Typography

November 2nd, 2006

I have to admit I have a big love for fonts and typography. The way the different typefaces look, they way they help to set the mood of a book before you even read a single word on the page. I’ve noticed them ever since I saw my first illustrated capital in a book of fairytales before I even could read.

Consequently interesting typefaces have always caught my eye, and while I dearly love some of the fonts that came out of the 90s revolution of computer typography, most of them looked just awkward/grungy with far too much attitude and far too little readability.

So I set about making a few fonts of my own, or rather I should say, digitizing, cleaning up and generally twiddling with typefaces from old books that weren’t available from any of the modern font foundries. I put them out on one of my websites, and apart from a guy in Italy who loved one of the fonts until it crashed his computer (very complex fonts will do that), I didn’t hear anything more until last year when I was contacted by Bonnier Publications A/S of Denmark, who wanted to use my WitchHunt font for their history magazine. Of course, they also wanted a few extra Danish characters (and Swedish ones as well, for the Swedish edition), along with open type format and a few other whistles and bells.

WitchHunt font sampleUnfortunately, I’d packed up my fontography programs a few years and two computers before. Fortunately, however, I knew Dave Nalle who runs Fontcraft, about the top historic typeface company out there, and he not only agreed to make the extra characters for Bonnier, but asked me to join Fontcraft as one of their designers. So now WitchHunt is available from Fontcraft, in its newly prettified and gussied up form (thanks, Dave), as part of the Halloween 2006 promotion. Even better, it’s soon to be followed by some of my other typefaces and ornaments.

Currently rockin’ the William Morris vibe here. It’s very fun to have both fiction and typefaces of yours being out there.

Mission Eternity Sarcophagus, latest etoy project

August 14th, 2006

Mission Eternity Sarcaphagous Interior with etoy docent










Well, I managed to catch this just before it left San Jose.  What is it, you may ask?  Well, it’s the latest project from etoy, the Zurich-based artists who’ve done various avante-garde tech-savvy art projects over the years, including the ToyWar some years back, where I signed on as one of their “toy soldiers” to help drive the internet toy company “Etoys” (no relation) bankrupt for having sued them because it wanted their domain name.

Anyway, their latest project came to my home town and I managed to catch it before they packed up and left.

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