I was, like many kids of my generation, a hawk. I accepted that America was the good guys, we had to be there. When I got into college, the more I learned about our involvement in Vietnam, the more it seemed wrong to me. Of course, the draft was happening, and I decided to ask for the conscientious-objector status. I wasn’t a complete pacifist; I couldn’t claim to be that. I was what they called an objector to a particular war. I would have been glad to fight in World War II. But Vietnam was the only war on the menu. So I applied for conscientious-objector status in full belief that I would be rejected, and that I would have a further decision to make: Army, jail or Canada. I don’t know what I would’ve done. Those were desperately hard decisions, and every kid had to make them for himself. To my surprise, they gave me the status. I was later told – I have no way to prove this – that I was granted the status because our conservative draft board felt that anyone who applied for CO status should be granted it, because that would be punishment enough: Then it would be part of their permanent record, and everybody would know that they were a Commie sympathizer, and it would ruin their lives.

Created in 1968 by writer Roy Thomas and artist Gene Colan, Carol Danvers was an Air Force officer who gained superpowers after being caught in an explosion with a superhero named Captain Marvel. Adopting the moniker “Ms. Marvel,” Carol spent time on and off with the Avengers and occasionally headlining in her own series. As a character, Ms. Marvel had a lot in common with Iron Man: a larger-than-life personality who’s struggled with alcoholism and alienated fellow heroes with her die-hard stubbornness. She’s got abilities on par with Marvel’s heaviest hitters: She’s super-strong, super-tough, shoots blasts of radiant energy from her fingertips, and she can absorb and redirect the energy of a nuclear explosion. Yet, she remained a persistent C-lister: shuffled between teams, canceled, and restarted. By rights and name, she should have been a flagship character, but no one at Marvel seemed to know quite what to do with her. Then, in 2012, everything changed. Suddenly, Carol wasn’t Ms. Marvel anymore—she was Captain Marvel. Gone was the swimsuit-and-sash costume, replaced by a sharp full-coverage bodysuit designed by artist Jamie McKelvie. Since then, she’s become a fan favorite—and a rallying point for readers like Jennifer Defrey. “I’ve been reading comic books since I was eight,” Defrey says, “and I’ve always kind of avoided superhero comics. If I was looking for a superhero that I felt was like me, her costume was a bikini and thigh-high boots or had a boob window, or she wasn’t ever on a cover by herself—she was always with a bunch of dudes that looked way cooler than she did.”

When I first got this role I just cried like a baby because I was like, ‘Wow, next Halloween, I’m gonna open the door and there’s gonna be a little kid dressed as the Falcon.’ That’s the thing that always gets me. I feel like everybody deserves that. I feel like there should be a Latino superhero. Scarlett does great representation for all the other girls, but there should be a Wonder Woman movie. I don’t care if they make 20 bucks, if there’s a movie you’re gonna lose money on, make it Wonder Woman. You know what I mean, ’cause little girls deserve that.

Anthony Mackie.

preach.

And maybe that’s what sets Fraction apart—and what makes Sex Criminals his most daring book yet. It’s not just that he realizes that there’s a serious sex problem in comics, or that he knows how to discuss it in incredibly nuanced ways, or even that his work often functions as counterprogramming. It’s that it so obviously pisses him the hell off. And in an industry that often seems trapped in a reductive and inane conversation about whether or not sex in comics is “good” or “bad,” Fraction loves both sex and comics, and loves talking about both in equal proportion to how much sex in most mainstream comics makes him want to facepalm.
from Wired’s great profile of Matt Fraction — The Man Behind the Comic Book That Finally Got Sex Right
bendiswordsforpictures
bendiswordsforpictures:

Opening pages from “The Reign of the Superman” by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster from Science Fiction Fanzine V1 #3, published in 1933.
"Appearing five years before Action Comics #1, this was the first ‘Superman’ story ever written by Jerry Siegel and the first Superman image drawn by Joe Shuster. The fanzine, edited by Siegel, is 8 1/2” x 11” and was reportedly mimeographed on a machine at the duo’s high school. The issue credits Siegel as editor and Shuster as artist — the byline “Herbert S. Fine” is a combination of Siegel’s mother’s maiden name and the name of one of his cousins. Of course, this Superman was a different character than the costumed hero who later appeared in comic books; this one was bald and a villain! Siegel once commented, ‘A couple of months after I published this story, it occurred to me that a Superman as a hero rather than a villain might make a great comic strip character… Obviously, having him as a hero would be infinitely more commercial than having him a villain.’” (via)

bendiswordsforpictures:

Opening pages from “The Reign of the Superman” by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster from Science Fiction Fanzine V1 #3, published in 1933.

"Appearing five years before Action Comics #1, this was the first ‘Superman’ story ever written by Jerry Siegel and the first Superman image drawn by Joe Shuster. The fanzine, edited by Siegel, is 8 1/2” x 11” and was reportedly mimeographed on a machine at the duo’s high school. The issue credits Siegel as editor and Shuster as artist — the byline “Herbert S. Fine” is a combination of Siegel’s mother’s maiden name and the name of one of his cousins. Of course, this Superman was a different character than the costumed hero who later appeared in comic books; this one was bald and a villain! Siegel once commented, ‘A couple of months after I published this story, it occurred to me that a Superman as a hero rather than a villain might make a great comic strip character… Obviously, having him as a hero would be infinitely more commercial than having him a villain.’” (via)

comixology

comixology:

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theatlantic
theatlantic:

The Underrated, Universal Appeal of Science-Fiction

When I’m introduced to someone as a writer, a now familiar pattern of events often follows.
“Oh, really! How interesting!” the someone—let’s call her Jane—says, sounding quite enthusiastic. “What do you write?”
“Science fiction,” I say.
Jane instantly glazes over. “I’m afraid I never read science fiction.”
In other instances, people who know me have read a book of mine out of curiosity and then told me, in some surprise, that they liked it—“even though I don’t normally like science fiction.” Indeed, when a short story collection of mine won a non-genre prize, it was apparently a surprise to the judges themselves: According to the chair of the judging panel, “none of [them] knew they were science-fiction fans beforehand.”
The assumption seems to be that a book that comes with a genre label like “science fiction” must necessarily be lightweight stuff—not really comparable with “non-genre” works.
This may partly be due to the fact that the word “genre” has two different meanings which are often muddled up. The basic meaning of “genre” is simply kind or category or form of fiction, and in that sense, any work of fiction can be assigned to some genre or another. But “genre” is also used in a different way to make a distinction between “genre” and “non-genre” fiction. “Non-genre” fiction is the stuff that is placed on the “general fiction” or “fiction and literature” shelves in Barnes and Noble. “Genre” fiction is the stuff that is placed in its own designated corners: Crime, Fantasy, Romance, Horror, Science Fiction.
Read more. [Image: Phil Whitehouse / Flickr]

theatlantic:

The Underrated, Universal Appeal of Science-Fiction

When I’m introduced to someone as a writer, a now familiar pattern of events often follows.

“Oh, really! How interesting!” the someone—let’s call her Jane—says, sounding quite enthusiastic. “What do you write?”

“Science fiction,” I say.

Jane instantly glazes over. “I’m afraid I never read science fiction.”

In other instances, people who know me have read a book of mine out of curiosity and then told me, in some surprise, that they liked it—“even though I don’t normally like science fiction.” Indeed, when a short story collection of mine won a non-genre prize, it was apparently a surprise to the judges themselves: According to the chair of the judging panel, “none of [them] knew they were science-fiction fans beforehand.”

The assumption seems to be that a book that comes with a genre label like “science fiction” must necessarily be lightweight stuff—not really comparable with “non-genre” works.

This may partly be due to the fact that the word “genre” has two different meanings which are often muddled up. The basic meaning of “genre” is simply kind or category or form of fiction, and in that sense, any work of fiction can be assigned to some genre or another. But “genre” is also used in a different way to make a distinction between “genre” and “non-genre” fiction. “Non-genre” fiction is the stuff that is placed on the “general fiction” or “fiction and literature” shelves in Barnes and Noble. “Genre” fiction is the stuff that is placed in its own designated corners: Crime, Fantasy, Romance, Horror, Science Fiction.

Read more. [Image: Phil Whitehouse / Flickr]

emilyvgordon
You meet your hero. You meet your heroes. You do shows with them. You realize they are people, that they haven’t figured it all out, that they are still moving forward. That makes you happy, to know they are real, and that makes you sad, to know that there isn’t an end point.

This realization, from Cameron Esposito about comedy, is applicable to everything really. No one’s ever done becoming, and it’s horrifying and relieving. 

Read the whole thing, it’s great. 

(via emilyvgordon)