Skinning the Cat

I’m concerned enough about the state of comic books that I pay attention to, if not campaign about, the negative portrayal of women in comics. My stance is usually that much of the fanboy/girl service in the way women are drawn and scripted that abounds in comic books is not necessary and is therefore just ridiculous. Silly attempts to justify the Power Girl costume aside there are a few instances where the exploitation of the female form in a comic book is an important part of the story. One such example was in the Seven Soldiers mini featuring The Bulleteer. One premise of the story was the fetishistic nature of the superhero so it could be argued the manner in which the female Bulleteer was rendered was necessary since she was the victim of her husband’s sexual obsession with superheroes.

Another example could be the recent issue of World’s Finest #3 (February 2010) featuring Supergirl, Batgirl and Catwoman. In this issue Batgirl and Catwoman find themselves in conflict with robots created by the Toyman. Throughout the entire very physical fight Catwoman’s costume remains closed and serves as protection, which is what a good costume should do. It is only when she is rendered unconscious and tied up that her costume is unzipped exposing her breasts. Catwoman is often portrayed with a casual opened front to her costume but in this instance it is doubtful she did this to herself.

I don’t know if her costume being unzipped once she is bound was intentional on the part of the creators but it looks like the Toyman robot, once it had Catwoman helpless, decided to play with the captive a bit. That adds an unstated layer of creepiness to the whole scene. That Catwoman was perhaps violated isn’t even addressed in this story and in fact she is casually dismissed by Batgirl and Supergirl, a couple of young heroes who are acting just a bit too pleased with themselves over the whole thing. It would be interesting to see a hurt and angry Catwoman lecture the World’s Finest Teens while she uses the real Toyman as a scratching post.

On the other hand, if the creators just decided that a woman being tied up and showing her boobs was sexy and drew her that way just because they could, then shame on them.

The True Reason for the Season

This is an Operation: Awesome Christmas update!

As intended I completely crushed the gift-giving abilities of everyone else in the family. Making everyone else look lame and silly by comparison has given me such a warm and happy feeling this holiday season.

Here is what I gave!

Mom: Made her mortgage payment for her. Didn’t know what she paid each month so I just threw money at the bank. Turns out to be a payment and a half. She cried a lot. I win at being the best child.

Dad: One of those watches from Japan that forces you to do math calculations to figure out the time. He is really into gadgets like that.

Sister: Professor Marvel county fair banner recreation prop. As a Wizard of Oz fan, she plotzed.

Nephew: Screw that guy. I gave him 20 bucks.

Son: Drum set and LP player that plays and records vinyl to a computer. The son is really into my extensive LP collection which includes 75s, 45s and many, many albums from early Motown era to the late 80s so I let him have that. Also gave him money.

Wife: Jewelry and a nifty laptop. She previously had little interest in computers beyond playing Bejeweled and Mahjongg on my PC until I got her a Purple Netbook, which she uses for communication when out and about or traveling when texting isn’t enough. From that experience she wanted a laptop of her own so I got her a nice one. The jewelry consisted of several sets of earrings. While wandering around the stores if she mentioned they were nice or showed some interest I went back later and bought them for her.

The Chihuahua: A bag of chicken treats, a few chew toys and a coupon good for one incident of pooping in the house.

What I got!

Land of the Lost Board game and Safari Shooter

Sleestak mask! I have no idea what to do with it. Maybe put it on a wig mount and in a glass case? Still cool, even if it is from the stupid movie.

The Great Anti-War Cartoons from Bully!

A t-shirt 2 sizes too small!

100 bucks!

Wallet, pen and watch set!

So the day turned out pretty much as I predicted. Everyone else in the family is full of shame and I went home full of the knowledge I totally kicked everyone’s asses.

Don’t forget to have a Hayley-riffic Christmas!

Hot Kimchi

While it doesn’t have the mystical healing powers that some attribute to it, kimchi is pretty good when you feel poorly. The spiciness of kimchi rather any magical properties is what clears up the chest and sinuses and the effectiveness of it is increased when it is served boiling hot.

Among the traditional condiments served tomorrow at the Christmas family meal will also be some fresh kimchi.

Everything Kimchi on Lady, That’s My Skull!

Wow! That’s a lot of kimchi!

Love That Kimchi!

Images of Kimchi
I don’t know if Rule #34 applies to kimchi, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Click carefully.

Spot the Secret Sleestak

Everyone has heard of “Hidden Mickeys” right? Where Disney Imagineers inserted Mickey Mouse images in most of the attractions at the famous theme parks?

Well, much like silhouettes of the famous mouse appear all over the Disney theme parks so do representations of the Sleestak from the classic 70s television show The Land of the Lost appear elsewhere! A fan site commenter somewhere made the assertion that the statue of El Cid in San Diego’s Balboa Park contains a Secret Sleestak! Can you find it?

El Cid, by Anna Hyatt Huntington. Installed 1930.

Futura – Chapter 14

Planet Comics #56 from September 1948 picks up with space heroine Futura as a prisoner, falsely accused of being the pirate Yrina. Futura is taking steps to clear her name when another pirate attacks and takes her prisoner. This episode has Futura held under guard and in more cheesecake poses than is usual. Perhaps the creators chafed under the typical guidelines for this type of tale because it doesn’t take long for them to have Futura break the cliche of the helpless prisoner.

Sooner or later you would think the bad guys would learn not to bring Futura into their sanctum and allow guns, heavy objects and pointy things within her reach.


Be First Back To Your Cave

This is an Operation: Awesome Christmas update!

I am a difficult person to buy presents for. If it isn’t the newest Gerber multi-plier my wife has no idea what to get me for special occasions. So some of the time we agree upon a budget and I buy myself something nice. This year for Christmas we did just that and I really scored.

After more than a few unsuccessful years trying to find a vintage Land of the Lost board game for my own I finally managed to snag a good specimen. I had searched for the LotL game from the first series in an on-again, off-again fashion for a few years now. Professional collector resources were ridiculously expensive and the grifting nature of the sellers of most auction sites made my attempts to buy one exercises in frustration. Bids at a more than fair price were routinely lost at the last possible second as Seller ABC, under the guise of sock-puppet Buyer ACB, purchased the item from themselves to prevent it from being sold at less than what they wanted monetarily.

Discouraging, but I knew that interest in the 2009 Land of the Lost movie would see a greater proportion of LotL-related merchandise for sale than were previously available. While the studio predictably did not market a line of toys there were a few promotional and licensed memorabilia items available. One internet pal has sent me on several occasions promotional gear from the film such as a shirt, compass and hat. That was cool and was very welcome.

It was over the course of the last several weeks I managed to successfully purchase two examples of vintage Land of the Lost merchandise. My experiences with the sellers were positive and not merely because I won the sales but because they acted like professionals running a business, something that is sorely missing from much online retail.

Here are the two recent acquisitions to my collection of Land of the Lost memorabilia. Click the photos to make them Dino-sized.

Safari Shooter
The first game I purchased was the Land of the Lost Safari Shooter pinball game from 1975. It is in excellent condition and if I ever go insane I’ll take it out of the wrapper. The backboard image for the pinball machine is pretty sweet and I’d love to take it apart just to scan it. If I ever find one for real cheap that is a mess I will. More than likely it will go in a shadowbox and get hung on the wall.

Land of the Lost game
The second item is the big prize and is the favorite of the two. It is the 1975 Land of the Lost board game by Milton Bradley. It is relatively rare to find one of these games in acceptable condition and this one is in really good shape. Here are photos of the box cover, inside cover, rules with adjacent spinner and the game board.

This is the best Christmas ever.

Note: I’m not usually one for watermarking my images but I put a bit of time and effort into acquiring this awesome vintage game. I did take pains to avoid placing the LTMS logo over the image itself because I like to share. If someone is going to gank these pics and use them without attribution or go so far as to slap a ‘Mecha-Droid Ten‘ logo on it and act like they own it then they are going to have to spend a few minutes working for it.