September 2003 Archives

Flexing Valkyries

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The Valkyries appear to have spent time weight-liftingI've been following the Aquaman series over the past year and will be sorry when Rick Veitch's run on the series comes to an end. I really like the Thirst--he's a great campy villain and Veitch has managed to convey the character of his voice through dialogue. I could see John Hurt in the role of the Thirst quite easily.

I know Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog does not like some of the artwork currently being done on Aquaman, but I've been quite taken with the representations of the Valkyrie women, Brynhilde and Grymhilde. In the picture shown here--Brynhilde is the brunette, Grymhilde is the blonde--you can see them in all their burly, girly glory. Aquaman runs into them because he is trying to save the River Goddesses from being destroyed by the evil Thirst. The Valkyries (there are many of them actually) are in charge of protecting one of the River Sisters and join Aquaman in his mission.

Veitch has Brynhilde and Grymhilde speak in a typical fantasy-world Olde Englyshe dialect, but with some original variations. For example, in the latest issue, one threatens, "We'll carve the vulgarian a new haunch," which I eventually translated into "We're going to tear him a new asshole." All of the Valkyries are very enthusiastic about fighting, especially if there is a "worthy opponent."

Grymhilde wears a thin crown with two mini-hornsI tried to imagine an archetypal family for these two, with related figures such as Red Sonja, Princess Leia (mostly a hair connection), and the Xena of Season Six's "Rhiengold Trilogy." I'm sure others could come up with many more examples of women in this mold.

Consider, if you will, Grymhilde's headgear. Actually, just consider the name "Grymhilde" for a second. Isn't that great? I adore Grymhilde's headgear in the close-up illustration shown here. I wish her "hat" was available in stores because I would buy it right now if it were. I think it could work in an urban setting. It's aggressive yet also playful, with perhaps a sly visual reference to the Flintstones, if I'm not mistaken.

Freeway art campaign

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If you keep up with Boing-Boing, you may already have seen this link before, because that's where I first read about the serial guerilla art campaign now being documented at nobodydied.com. The signs have been appearing along I-5 in Southern California, prompting one commentator to coin the term "freeway blogging."

I can't decide which sign is my favorite; they're all so good. However, I'm pretty fond of 32,000 Dead and I'm still paying $2.29 for unleaded. Last time I filled up my car with gas I noticed someone had put a bumper sticker with the word "Greed" on it on the front of the pump. Bursts of anger here and there. What will they add up to?

Spy versus Spy

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A poet once wrote, "In the fall a young girl's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of TV-inspired fan fiction." So true. In honor of Alias's second season debut, I thought I would highlight an interesting trove of fan fiction I happened across this summer, thanks to a tip from Curve magazine.

The Alias Slash Archive is truly a towering accomplishment. Think about it: who couldn't tease a gay storyline out of a television show like Star Trek: Enterprise, for example? Just throw the male crew in the decontamination room, and you're halfway there. But with Alias, all the simmering heat is distinctly heterosexual. Despite not being given a lot to work with, these writers have determinedly mined almost every possible Alias configuration: Jack/Vaughn, Frannie/Sydney, Sark/Will, Sydney/Anna and even the perverse pairing of Arvin/Jack.

As In Sequence readers may recall, Jack is my personal favorite character. He has even inspired his own fan fiction site. My friend Joe has also taken a liking to the actor who play Jack, Victor Garber. Joe's attraction seems to be based on the fact that during his career Garber has previously played both Liberace and Jesus. Sometimes I can't believe the people I associate with.

If fan fiction is not your style, let me recommend another Alias fan resource. Regina, the resident Alias critic at Television Without Pity is hilarious, and her detailed observations on each episode more than live up to the "without pity" name. I nearly laughed myself sick one afternoon reading her recap of my favorite episode from last year.

Back Again

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Arnold's eyes glow demonically in Conal's illustrationHello again. I didn't mean to be absent from blogging for quite so long, it just sort of happened that way. Many thanks to those who inquired or showed interest in my whereabouts--like Neilalien and Dirk Deppey--it's nice to know I've been missed. Plus, it gives me hope to think that, should Ashcroft's minions show up at my door one dark night, hard questions will be asked in the aftermath.
I wish I could report that I was doing something truly exciting offline, but I wasn't--though I did pre-cast my vote in the California election, via a convenient at-home ballot. Let me affirm now that although some people feel ashamed to live in a state that is the butt of the world's collective joke, I am not one of them. Indeed, I am proud to live in this great state, the largest and longest-running conceptual art installation in the world.
I voted "No" on the recall because I am so impressed by Gray Davis's willingness to carry around an obviously Mexican prayer card with a full color image of Jesus everywhere he goes--that kind of shameless pandering to the Latino vote cannot go unrewarded. Yet another example of the power of graphic art to sway the minds of the populace.
If we're lucky, Robbie Conal's latest political poster, "Achtung Baby!", shown here, will sway a few voters as well. The poster's small print contains a quote from Arnold, "I was always dreaming of very powerful people, dictators and things like that." If you're in the L.A. area, look for it on a public wall or lamppost near you.
I also dutifully cast my vote for Cruz Bustamante, though I found it hard to bypass Larry Flynt, Angelyne, and so many other interesting possibilities once the full six-page array of candidate names was laid out before me. It was like choosing off a deli menu. A very expensive deli menu.

Distracted

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I meant to blog a few days ago but I guess I got distracted by the Madonnna-Britney-Christina tonguefest last week. The Cute Little Red-Headed Girlfriend and I had to review the pictures, the screen grabs, the streaming video, the endless Entertainment Tonight rehashes, etc. It's heartening to know that Madonna still knows how to give the people what they want. Why isn't she running for California governor?
Since I'm on the topic of lesbianism and celebrities, I was relieved to see that someone over at the Advocate was willing to speak up and STOP THE MADNESS regarding a certain recently departed and very "private" Hollywood star. At last some coverage of the important issues, instead of all this nattering on about gay marriage.

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