Hello, Skiffy and Fanty crew! It is I, your resident Geekomancer, back from my travels on the internet through memes and gifs and pilots and digital bundles. And this time, I’ve brought back word of recent goings-on in the geekiverse. A TV pilot for an award-nominated comic, a new story for a beloved geek icon, and the latest developments in a cable TV juggernaut. Enjoy!
I thought I’d start off this year with a few short films — and since we’re doing women and non-binary people in genre, how about some short films directed by women? Well, my friends, easier said than done. It probably shouldn’t be a surprise (consider for example that only 6% of top Hollywood features were directed by women in 2013, and films with female directors are often chronically underfunded) that it’s already slightly more challenging to find films directed by women, let alone trans-women or non-binary people. But most of those short films tend to be documentary (women filmmakers often gravitate toward documentary, actually), drama, or romance. Looking specifically for sci-fi and fantasy short film — already only a small percentage of all short films made — directed by women is even more challenging. I actually had a much easier time finding genre short film done by African directors.
After a mighty amount of googling, I’ve found a couple of excellent full short films for you, and two trailers that I wish I had the full films for!
Skiffy and Fanty’s theme for 2015 fits in really well with the world of comics, which has been making conscious strides to feature more stories by women and about women, from the independent comics world (long the home of more diverse storytelling) to the Big Two, and across all ages and genres. So for this post, I’m going to share some quick recommendations for comics by and/or about women. [Read more…]
This is my third post on diversity in Science Fiction films. I started with Metropolis (1927), and then skipped two decades to The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). Largely, my reason was that there weren’t any options for the 30s or 40s available on Netflix. Apparently, there aren’t very many SF films within that twenty year period. I’ve decided to skip Frankenstein — although the novel is one of the first, if not the first, SF novels — because the classic film has more in common with horror than SF. I feel much the same about King Kong. Therefore, I settled on Things to Come (1936), which is based upon the H.G. Wells’ novel published in 1933 entitled The Shape of Things to Come. I know I’m risking a bit of confusion by going backward here, but I felt it was too important to skip. Also: keep in mind that I don’t think I read the novel. At least, I don’t remember having read it. So… Things to Come. [Read more…]
Our robo-goblin overlord has declared a Month of Joy, and allowed that in this month, by his grace, I am allowed to be right about comics.
Therefore, this month, I’m going to do a round-up of comics I’ve been loving. Which is a lot, since this is the year I decided to get into comics writing, and as a result, have been reading a LOT of comics, especially since Baltimore Comic-Con. Here’s a round-up of some of the books that have wowed me this month: [Read more…]
There’s a lot to critique about the role of women in superhero comics and associated media — and I spend a lot of time and energy doing exactly that. But today, I’m here to talk about a bunch of reasons to be super excited about female superheroes, and what’s being written, drawn and performed either right now or in the future.
1) Wonder Woman
It’s a really good time to be a Wonder Woman fan. We’re drawing to the end of Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s legendary run on the character, which was one of the few creative success stories to come out of the DC Comics New 52. I’ve particularly liked the heavy focus on Greek mythology, the retro and non-exploitative art direction, and the supporting cast. Keeping Diana mostly outside the rest of continuity for these comics has helped with the consistency of the story, meaning (hopefully) that they can continue in graphic novel format to be an accessible gateway to the character for many years to come. [Read more…]
I get the sense that short films are often viewed as a way to develop skills and advertise those skills, or as a proof of concept for a feature-length film. I’m starting to see more and more short film available for general viewing on Youtube, Vimeo, and even Hulu as a way to reach audiences that don’t normally go to film festivals. Shorts, because they can be filmed much more quickly, also give filmmakers who have a very limited budget a chance to still tell an engaging story.
Finding genre film from Africa is a challenge in the US. Other than District 9, I don’t think much has made it over here as of yet, and I don’t honestly know how much is actually made, (tough there is plenty of film being made in various African countries, particularly Nigeria! Just do a bit of googling about Nollywood if you don’t believe me. In terms of sheer number of films produced per anum, it’s right on Bollywood’s heels and ahead of Hollywood).
Read on for a selection of African short films. On the strength of these, I hope we will see more feature length films from these countries over here soon! [Read more…]
It’s that time of year again — New TV time!
Here’s a short run-down of some early thoughts about the Fall 2014 TV season based on a few pilots and season openers.
Let me start by saying that I’m a big Batman fan. You might already know this. I should also say that I love the comic series, Gotham Central.
Gotham, however, is is not the TV show I wanted it to be. I wanted it to be a Gotham Central show, where GCPD cops try to keep the peace in an un-governable city cursed with larger-than-life villains and a guardian angel who is more terrifying than most of the villains he fights. But it’s not that show, and it’s not trying to be that show — it seems like it’s trying to be the story of Gotham before Batman and the story of the various villains and how they become who they are when Batman emerges. [Read more…]
In 2006, I came out with my first novel in the US, a somewhat hard-to-categorize (I’m told, I think it makes perfect sense, I wrote it after all) science fiction novel with Caribbean peoples settled on an alien world that have long since lost touch with their home world. That was Crystal Rain. I alternated between calling it Caribbean steampunk (a few years early, I think, for steampunk) and Caribbean SF.
It had a cover I adored — created by the amazing Todd Lockwood, a well known fantasy artist who’s work is amazing. I have a print of the art framed on my wall: an airship above a verdant forest being chased by another distant ship. But when the novel came out, booksellers emailed me to say that the cover looked like the book was a fantasy, creating confusion among casual browsers. Core SF readers didn’t want to pick up the book. Fantasy readers put it down when they realized what it was. [Read more…]
Soooo…. I’m moving all my film and television posts to this site. Because… well… this column has long needed a theme and has suffered for it. I have a difficult enough time thinking of random interesting things to say about stuff for my own blog. I do best when I’ve a central theme to work with. So… Feminism, Science Fiction, and Fantasy Media it is. I don’t feel comfortable discussing fiction because I’m an author, and that brings up conflict of interest issues at once. Films and television? I can talk about those and feel relatively comfortable. So, that’s what I’ll do. I want to go all the way back to some classic films that maybe y’all haven’t seen or thought about in a while. I also want to talk about recent films as well. Hopefully, it’ll be interesting. The ‘title’ is a riff off of a Bloom County cartoon. I like that Freyja is a goddess of love and war which warps the original sexist concept into a nice knot. That said, here goes…
First, I’ve a post about Starz’s Outlander series here. Starz has made the first episode available for free for a short time. So far, they’ve done a great job of adapting the novel. I recommend seeing it. One thing I will say about it that I did not on my blog (at least not on that post) is that I very much like that Claire is of the 1940s. She’s not a woman of the 2000s stuffed in a 1940s world. I also very much like that Jamie isn’t a man of the 2000s stuffed in the 1700s. Gabaldon did her research from what I can tell, and she doesn’t pull punches in Outlander. I hate it when authors decide to rewrite history in order to make it more palatable. At the same exact time I hate it when history is used to say that previous to 1960, all men were sexist barbarian assholes (thank you HBO’s A Game of Thrones). Although some would argue the point with me, I always felt like Diana Gabaldon did a good job of walking that line. I give the first episode five out of five stars. [Read more…]