August 2002 Archives

Sprited Away coming to U.S.

Slashdot's been good to me this week - this morning I found a link to the trailer for Spirited Away, the latest movie by animator Hayao Miyazaki, who also made Princess Mononoke. I was really excited to hear that Disney is distributing this film, because I had read earlier this year in The New York Times that the Japanese studio behind the film was not pursuing U.S. distribution. The film apparently draws heavily on Japanese folklore, which is clear from the trailer--watch it, it's awesome!

Flexible game narrative

Wired is running a story on a new serial video game that is scheduled to run in segments. The developer describes the plot as being like "a rubberband" in its flexibility, allowing player decisions to affect twists and turns as well as outcomes.

Lack of gay Trekkers

While following news of Enterprise series previews linked to by Slashdot, I ran across an interview with Kate Mulgrew on the lack of gay characters on Star Trek. One choice quote from the star, "One would think that Hollywood would be more open-minded at this point, since essentially the whole town is run by the gay community." Mulgrew of course played the (no! she's not a dyke) character of Captain Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager and is now playing (no! she's not a dyke) Kathrine Hepburn in a one-woman show on stage.

The Atmosphere of Kafka

Pea green hues create an anemic mood in this sketch.I recently picked up a new comic book title called Automatic Kafka, which appears to be about a robot superhero. Maybe. It's hard to tell. The story is told in a very disjointed manner and is very atmospheric and evocative but not particular easy to follow from a plot perspective. The grunged-out drawings, which are quite striking, contribute to the moodiness of the story without necessarily clarifying the action much--and in this sense, words and images are well matched. In the end, I felt there was a lot of potential to the comic that could take off and become extremely interesting, or it could just as easily wander into chaos and peter out in a few issues.
The most successful aspect of the comic for me was that it succeeded in recreating in me a feeling which has never before been evoked for me by a piece of literature: it's the feeling one has at the end of a long night, when one has been wandering around a very large city for many hours, meeting and experiencing many interesting people and things of a somewhat illicit and even sordid nature, and then suddenly the glamour and the light and the noise is over, and there's just the silence of the night, and a kind of fuzzy memory of so much that is bright and alive and exciting but which, suddenly at that moment, seems faded, lonely, small.

Retro Quiz

I received a hot tip this morning from my friend, NeilalienZilla, telling me to go check out the Which Ambiguous Dyke are You? Quiz. The quiz has been lovingly put together by Agustin's LiveJournal, which also houses many other nice quizes and a very cute pug puppie photo that's worth seeing; that is, if you go in for type of thing. Of special interest to In Sequence readers is the fact that many of the quiz answers come from the world of comics of cartoons, although my results did not turn out that way. Anyway, without further ado, here are my results:

A picture of Jo from Family Ties, holding a cat.

I'm Jo, which ambiguous dyke are you? Quiz by Turi.

Stylized Vertigo Pop! Series

Comics panel showing Tokyo marketplace.This weekend I read the first issue of Vertigo Pop! Tokyo, a new comic book about a U.S. youth living and working in Japan. The book alternates between a first-person, diaristic storytelling method and more plot-driven third-person sequences involving a cast of Japanese characters. It doesn't assume any prior knowledge of Japanese culture, which is nice, so you don't have to be a manga or anime fan to enjoy it.
I'm an impulse buyer in the comics shop, and what drew me to this title were the stylized drawings by Seth Fisher. In the example I've shown here, you can see the washed-out pastel color palette used throughout the comic, typical of the "cute" design style used in Japanese character goods such as Hello Kitty.

Dating a Superwoman

I'm a little late to this party, but I still want to contribute to the discussion regarding Superhero dating, which I've been following as it works its way through the Blogosphere.
I think part of my trouble in coming to terms with this topic derives from the fact that I don't really find any female comic Superheros that attractive. Not that they aren't drawn well--for example, the current incarnation of Wonder Woman, coming from the hand of the esteemed Phil Jimenez, presents as luscious a surface as any you'll find in today's comics. I like the whole Ancient Greek mythology aspect to Wonder Woman, too. But let's face it--she's a goody-two shoes, and quite frankly, that's a bit of a turn off.
So my contribution will just have to focus on the bad girls of comics--what the gay boys might call "rough trade." In this area, the winner is--no contest, hands down, game over--Catwoman. As far as dating candidates go, you just can't beat a crazy woman with cat ears and a whip, as far as I'm concerned. I was surprised to see that other bloggers expressed some qualms over Catwoman's mental stability, but then again--as my friends will tell you--I have never made sanity an absolute requirement of my girlfriends.
Next, I'd be more than happy to free it up with Elektra, everyone's favorite Ninja Assassin. If you're a comics fan you've probably picked up on the common thread here: both Catwoman and Elektra are foes/girlfriends of their Superhero counterparts, Batman and Daredevil, respectively. Just to show I'm consistent, I'll end with another gal in the same friend or foe, love/hate tradition: the she-devil Belit--also known as the Queen of the Black Coast--and for a brief time, Conan's paramour.
In case it's not clear where I stand by now, I'd also take Veronica over Betty, anytime.

Dr. Phil interlude

Dear In Sequencers! We interrupt our usual blogcast of sequential art-related items to bring you a Special Report. This week marked the end of a long quest that began several months ago when I picked up the phone and called 1-323-461-PHIL. My quest reached its culmination this past Thursday when I found myself sitting in the Paramount studio audience of the soon-to-premiere Dr. Phil Show, cheering wildly as strangers revealed their innermost secrets and regrets.
I have been a fan of Dr. Phil since the first time I saw him haranguing some poor slob on Oprah. I love Dr. Phil because he keeps it real and asks the hard questions, like, "Have I Let Myself Go?" or "Do You Have a Relative Who Is Inappropriate?" Dr. Phil also helps you develop strategies for making the most of your life. Although I have been getting along fairly well for the several years using the classic Judy Garland Life Strategy (i.e., pills, booze, the show must go on, more pills), it has occurred to me once or twice that I might need to find a strategy that is a bit more proactive, a bit more 21st century.
The taping of the Dr. Phil Show was all that I had hoped it would be and more. The audience, as one might expect, was about 97% female. And the topic, if you can believe it, was oral sex. Did you know there is an oral sex epidemic among teenagers? Neither did I. It turned out to be quite interesting because Dr. Phil brought the issue around to the prevailing sexist attitudes among young boys and how that has manifested itself in their approach to sex. Plus there were a lot of pissed off moms and dads berating their teens and the whole experience was quite gratifying, indeed.
The show starts September 16, so mark your calendars, although I do not know when this particular episode airs.

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