Posts tagged: Carol Borden
Every April we like to mix things up at The Gutter, this month Comics Editor Carol writes about romance and Agnes And The Hitman:
Growing up in a town where Elvis was sighted post mortem, I despised and mocked The King. Now, I have held wakes in his honor. I used to only like punk. Then I used to say I liked everything but country. Now I don’t even bother arguing that I’m listening to “Americana,” not country. It is a truth universally acknowledged that something I once despised I will come to appreciate and, often, love. So when both Chris and alex recommended Jennifer Crusie, the author of many romance novels, and in particular her collaboration with Bob Mayer, Agnes And The Hitman, I knew I needed to read it.
Like many a horrible child, I despised romance novels. I have made easy jokes. I have snickered at romance covers at the grocery store. And I have been foolish enough not only to judge a book by its cover, but to dismiss an entire genre because of those covers. Some of it was likely internalized sexism. Fortunately, romance readers and writers are are a lot less pissy about their dismissal than some lovers of other genres. They just write hilarious blogs and quietly keep the publishing industry going.
Adventure Time’s “Princess Cookie” gets Comics Editor Carol in her heart zone.
In a lot of ways, Finn is who I would’ve wanted to be when I was a kid—if I couldn’t have Jake’s rad shapechanging abilities. (Shapechanging abilities are mathematical). I’m sure there are still boys upset at the thought of a girl pretending to be Finn, but it’s pretty clear that Finn, Jake and Adventure Time don’t mind girls being adventurers and boys being princesses and not just in the two episodes with Fionna and Cake, the gender and species-swapped versions of Finn and Jake. (Also, featuring the excellent Prince Gumball, voiced by Neil Patrick Harris). But while I love Fionna and Cake, somehow Princess Cookie got me in my heart zone.
This week Comics Editor Carol watches The Testament of Dr. Mabuse and thinks about Fredric Wertham and William Moulton Marston.
I had a strange flash of insight while watching The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933). I had intended to use the film with my article about comics’ new crime wave, but I was haunted by resonances, so many that once I started writing I had almost two articles worth of material. So his month I offer a strange mix of mad scientists imagined and real—a fictional psychoanalyst and real mental health professionals seeking to perfect or protect society: Dr. Mabuse on one side, Dr. William Moulton Marston on the other and Dr. Fredric Wertham right in the middle. All with manifestos they believe will change–or destroy–the world.
Comics Editor Carol writes about Superman, masculinity, and the American Way:
Since alex, Chris and I decided to write about masculinity this month, I’ve been thinking about Superman. Actually, I’ve been thinking and rethinking Superman almost as long as I’ve been writing for The Cultural Gutter. I began really thinking about him while watching Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. I’ve spent most of my life—and certainly my childhood and teen years—ambivalent about him. I grew up with the stodgy, daddish Superman of SuperFriends. Superman represented truth, justice and the American Way, a way that seemed all about straight white masculinity of the most rigid, hegemonic sort—a way that didn’t seem to include me. Whether as aspirational hero or adolescent power fantasy, it’s easy to see Superman as The Man.
art by Mike and Laura Allred, from The Superman/Madman Hullabaloo (Dark Horse/DC, 1998).
Comics Editor Carol shares 10 comics she liked in 2012:
Tales of derring-do! Girl adventurers! Occult mystery! Infernal foes! Secrets revealed! Love & loss! Betrayal! Intricate art bound in lovely hardcovers! Indie going mainstream! Original creations! It’s been an incredible year for comics. So many good ones that I can’t even begin to claim to know what would be the best comics of 2012. So here’s my list of comics I liked in 2012, in alphabetical order to avoid riling the many rogues contained herein.
(image: Prince Robot IV on the throne. Saga, drawn by Fiona Staples)
All the current Cultural Gutter editors plus Bride of Frankenstein, Gort, Jane Austen and Godzilla represent in the banner for our indiegogo campaign (which ends today).
(art by Carol Borden, who thinks Jane Austen’s presence is hilarious).
Comics Editor Carol investigates a crime wave in comics:
It seems like when people think of comics, they think of superheroes, but there was a long time when crime and comics were synonymous. And now it seems like some of the best comics around are crime books. There’s a new golden age, a new crime wave in comics.
This post is also part of Furious Cinema’s Scenes of the Crime Blog-a-thon. See other entries and find out how to participate, here.
Cover art by Sean Philips.
Screen Editor alex and Comics Editor Carol continue their discussion of The Dark Knight Rises:
This week Screen Editor alex MacFadyen and Comics Editor Carol Borden continue discussing The Dark Knight Rises. We both like Batman and we’re fascinated by how many different Batmans there are. Even though there are things we like about the film, we want to figure out what is it about The Dark Knight Rises‘ Batman that makes him not quite ours, who is, what we like about him and why. Because Batman is good to think about. Part 1 is here.
Nuclear bombs are not made by ACME. The 1960′s Adam West Batman may have had a lot in common with Wile E. Coyote, but Nolan’s Dark Knight series is deeply invested in realism. If a bomb detonated over the bay 6 miles out of Gotham, there would be no happy citizens the next day. That bus load of children who watched it explode would have suffered permanent damage, and Wayne Manor would have ended up as a hospice for blind, irradiated orphans. So why was I willing to suspend my disbelief about all kinds of other unbelievable things, but not about a nuclear bomb going off that close to Gotham and everyone being just fine and dandy the next day?
Comics Editor Carol has been reading the edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein illustrated by Bernie Wrightson. “The specter of Victor Frankenstein’s creature has been haunting me, confronting me with the horror if his creation and inherent in his being. He stalks me, in his way, as surely as he stalked Victor.”
Click through for the rest of her article.