This Yellow World

Sketch Blog, Book Thoughts, Nature Journal, Poem Business.

Here’s a mess of Finnigan drawings. 

My name is Mike, I’m wearing the Iron Man mask, and that’s my son Henry in the Spider-Man mask. He’s 4 and I’m 37, and reading comics together is becoming a pretty important part of our relationship. I’ve been reading comics my whole life, and I think Henry will, too. It’s true, we’re just a couple of white guys, the ‘demographic’, if you will, but right now comics are full of characters and creators who don’t look like Henry, and that’s really important to me, too. I want him to live and love and create in a world where our differences make us stronger, closer, and better. When I look at the world of comics, I think maybe that’s possible. He’ll be a member of a generation who I pray will judge others less by looks, or sexual orientation, or gender. Maybe he, and his peers, will care more about integrity, compassion, inner strength. Maybe our new heroes and creators will contribute to that world view. For right now, he thinks he IS Spider-Man, and he already cares so much about the people he loves, and when he wears his Spidey costume to the grocery store, or Barnes and Noble, or to get ice cream, kids and grown-ups alike say, “Hey, Spider-Man!” and he waves, or goes to sit with them for a minute, and as a dad, it’s just so great to see your kid’s good nature brighten other people’s day. He is my hero. We are comics. 

My name is Mike, I’m wearing the Iron Man mask, and that’s my son Henry in the Spider-Man mask. He’s 4 and I’m 37, and reading comics together is becoming a pretty important part of our relationship. I’ve been reading comics my whole life, and I think Henry will, too. It’s true, we’re just a couple of white guys, the ‘demographic’, if you will, but right now comics are full of characters and creators who don’t look like Henry, and that’s really important to me, too. I want him to live and love and create in a world where our differences make us stronger, closer, and better. When I look at the world of comics, I think maybe that’s possible. He’ll be a member of a generation who I pray will judge others less by looks, or sexual orientation, or gender. Maybe he, and his peers, will care more about integrity, compassion, inner strength. Maybe our new heroes and creators will contribute to that world view. For right now, he thinks he IS Spider-Man, and he already cares so much about the people he loves, and when he wears his Spidey costume to the grocery store, or Barnes and Noble, or to get ice cream, kids and grown-ups alike say, “Hey, Spider-Man!” and he waves, or goes to sit with them for a minute, and as a dad, it’s just so great to see your kid’s good nature brighten other people’s day. He is my hero. We are comics. 

Sperheroes Don’t Rape

Superheroes Don’t Rape

Every Wednesday for the past twenty years I’ve been stopping at my local comic shop on my way home from work for a little quiet time, a little chat with the regulars, and to pick up a few new releases. I’ve lapsed a few times over the years. When my kids were born I took a break from buying comics because really, every dollar counts when you have diapers to buy and your wife’s on maternity leave. But I continued to read through my personal collection and kept up to date on news via Newsarama or Comic Book Resources. I love Wednesdays. I live for Wednesdays. I chat with the store owner, we talk about our kids, pick dream creative teams for comics that will never see the light of day, ooh and aah over Chris Samnee’s Daredevil pages and marvel at Art Adams’ covers. 
Look, I’m not a ‘serious’ collector. There are titles, like Daredevil, that I’m loyal to, and there are creators who I love and give anything they work on a chance. I keep my weekly haul to about 4 or 5 issues, which is a good amount to read in one sitting and it doesn’t kill my wallet. It’s hard to do, though, maintaining a maximum number of comics, because there are so many good books out there right now, stretching the medium to the edges of possibility. And that’s what I love about comics, the versatility, the possibility, the wild imagination unbridled in 22 page, four color brilliance. I love that I can go to a comic shop and find colorful superheroes shelved next to African American soldiers fighting in World War II shelved next to re-imagined literary classics like Madame Bovary modernized as a graphic novel called Gemma Bovary. 
If I spent as much time on anything else in my life as I’ve dedicated to comics, I’d be a master carpenter by now, or a PhD in Comparative Literature, or, at the very least, I’d have saved a lot more money over the years. But it’s okay because lately I’ve been feeling like we’re on the verge of something amazing in this little corner of fandom. I feel like we’re so close to another Golden Age, if I could be so bold. Books like Ms Marvel and The Lumberjanes, or The Mighty Avengers, and creators like Kris Anka and G. Willow Wilson, I don’t know, there’s still a long way to go but there’s this sense of inclusiveness afoot, there’s a sense of representation stirring, and I think, “Yes! Keep trying, keep going!”
And then a female journalist receives rape threats for not liking a comic cover. Yes, that’s right. She took an artist to task, stridently but fairly, for misrepresenting human anatomy and objectifying a teen super heroine on the cover of a comic book and she got rape threats. I’m not going to rehash the whole thing here. The story’s on the ‘net if you want to read it, but I won’t sully my blog by repeating some of the awful things that were said to her. Listen, there are people with stories to tell, men and women, people of color, people of various backgrounds. They should be allowed to tell their stories. People should be able to see heroes who look like them. People should be able to have heroes who don’t look like them, too. People who love stories should be able to talk about them with other fans who love stories without fear, without shame, without hatred. Female fans have a stock in this medium we all love so much and I for one am happy to know female fans exist! I’m so glad there are female creators at work in comics. Thanks to them, all of them, we’re getting new voices, new stories, new perspectives, hell, we might even learn something!
Young men and women are going to read these stories one day. It does us no good as a society to reinforce negative and dangerous stereotypes not only about women and people of color, but guys, we are going to be the villains of this story and I don’t want to be guilty by association. Better writers than me have already tackled this topic, but I think change in the community has to start with guys like me, who don’t say much otherwise, who avoid the forums and threads because we hate bullies and ignorance, we hate spoilers and ruiners and so we avoid them, but I don’t think it’s right to avoid them anymore, so here’s my two cents, I guess. I want my compassionate and beautiful sons, and my compassionate and beautiful daughter, to see heroes of all genders and walks of life, in comics, if that’s what they like, or in professional sports or television shows. I want them to see that people of color have stories and perspectives outside the narrow one the mass market media provides them with. It’s as important to me, for example, that a female Muslim hero stars in a comic book as a female Muslim writes, draws, or edits the comic book.
I want my sons to see how big the world is and I think comics can do that. They taught us a man can fly, they taught us that great power requires great responsibility, they teach us about teamwork and unity and striving for the betterment of our world. Look, my daughter already knows what’s in store for her and girls like her. She’s 13 and not deluded. As evidenced by the hate spewing out of comics forums directed at girls and young women just like her she still has an uphill battle to wage. What I hope though, is that my sons, and boys like them, will grow up to reject this hatred and be voices of reason and fairness, that their dialogue with their female peers will be thoughtful and inclusive, so maybe my granddaughters can grow up in a world with representation and equality. 
Let me put it in terms we ‘fanboys’ can understand: when the Fantastic Four foils Dr. Doom’s nefarious plan, or when the Avengers hold of a Skrull invasion, it’s not only New York they’ve saved, but the whole world. They’ve saved people in countries we’re at war with, they’ve saved you and the people you hate: women, black people, transgender, everyone. They are heroes: non-selective, put-their-lives-on-the-line, everyone-gets-out-of-this-alive heroes, and you read their adventures month after month, week after week, and you still want to exclude entire demographics from this hobby, this past time, this serious enterprise you claim to love so much? You think you can threaten someone, a stranger, with rape threats? Who did you learn that from? Spider-Man? The Green Lantern?
You guys—villains rape. Rapists are VILLAINS. Villains, real world, real life despotic villains use rape as a  tool to destroy communities and lives. I won’t let you villains do that to my community, to our children, to our wives and daughters and sisters, to our sons, who need more kinds of role models than ever before, I won’t let you do this thing. I’m not going to stand by and let you do this. I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but I know I’m not going to threaten you. I’m going to be a guard, The Guard. I’m going to look out for my peers and call you out when I see bad behavior. I’m going to build and enlarge this community. I’m going to buy comics for every little girl and boy out there, and I’m going to share this medium with everyone I can, and soon, if they don’t already, the good guys will outnumber you. And if you haven’t gone away by then, hopefully you’ll at least keep your villain mouth shut. 
sophiefranz:

just another guy with a laptop. gouache in pocket moleskine.

The guy in this painting looks just like my friend Ryan Warner!

sophiefranz:

just another guy with a laptop. gouache in pocket moleskine.

The guy in this painting looks just like my friend Ryan Warner!

Another daily Finnigan sketch. This one was inspired by an artist named Rod Guen, about whom I know little except that he is brilliant. The quote at the bottom is from an old Christian rock song I remembered from my church days, by a band called DeGarmo and Key (maybe?). I’ve always imagined Finnigan to be the best of me, and the best of humanity, like, he’s my version of Kermit the Frog, you know? I call him my bright idea. 

Another daily Finnigan sketch. This one was inspired by an artist named Rod Guen, about whom I know little except that he is brilliant. The quote at the bottom is from an old Christian rock song I remembered from my church days, by a band called DeGarmo and Key (maybe?). I’ve always imagined Finnigan to be the best of me, and the best of humanity, like, he’s my version of Kermit the Frog, you know? I call him my bright idea. 

Just one of several hundred daily Finnigan sketches i made between 2004 and 2007. The idea was to start every morning with a sketch before or during breakfast. I didn’t have any real kind of rule or routine, but I did try to use scrap paper instead of drawing in a sketchbook, and I often tried to use different media, just whatever was at hand. I once drew a Finnigan with puffy paint, for example. The drawings were a way to start my day in a creative mind frame during a time when I was both working a lot and a full time student. 

Just one of several hundred daily Finnigan sketches i made between 2004 and 2007. The idea was to start every morning with a sketch before or during breakfast. I didn’t have any real kind of rule or routine, but I did try to use scrap paper instead of drawing in a sketchbook, and I often tried to use different media, just whatever was at hand. I once drew a Finnigan with puffy paint, for example. The drawings were a way to start my day in a creative mind frame during a time when I was both working a lot and a full time student. 

The Myth of Credibility

nicksmedulla:

I’ve never had my geek cred questioned. No one asks me if I “actually read this stuff” as I work behind the counter of my LCS. When I say how much I enjoy a book like Ms. Marvel or Wonder Woman, people take me on my word. When I check out a store in another town, I’m asked…

Awesome.

doomberrycupcake asked: Just FYI anon people are name dropping you in weird sexist shit on gingerhaze's blog.

paulmaybury:

benito-cereno:

Yeah, so:

Today was pretty weird.

At about 2pm this afternoon, I was in the middle of explaining Kafka’s Metamorphosis to a tenth grader of my acquaintance, when suddenly my phone started BLOWING THE FUCK UP. I took a second to look at my phone and saw that I was getting Twitter alert after Twitter alert in response to a tweet by Noelle Stevenson.

I check out her tweet and it’s a screencap of a blog comment calling her a feminazi (sidenote: hey, dudes, if you use the word “feminazi,” literally all you are doing is telling me two things: 1) you don’t know anything about feminists and b) you don’t know anything about Nazis), but also embedded in that comment is an oblique reference to me being really mad about how ladies used and abused my comic book knowledge?

Look, trying to understand this comment with zero context while at the same time answering questions about how Gregor Samsa’s physical condition reflect what was happening to him spiritually was not super easy. (Another sidenote: look, I’m not trying to grammarshame someone or whatever the fuck, but this comment would have been WAY easier to understand if this dude had had less ideas about how women should act and more ideas about where periods should go.)

Anyway, I finally got home about half an hour ago, and I’ve finally read the blog post on which the comment was made, and at last I understand that my name wasn’t pulled out of obscurity at random as an “internet person”; rather, I was mentioned in the post specifically because of my "Batman for the Uninitiated" post.

And so now I know the comment meant this: I would be mad that a woman used my advice on how to get into comics and then complained that it’s hard to get into comics.

If there is any ambiguity on the matter, allow me to clarify:

I do not in any way agree with that shitlord’s opinion.

The VERY REASON I wrote a “Batman for the Uninitiated” post (and a Superman one &c.) is because there are numerous barriers to entry in comics, not only within the continuity itself, but literally in the physical act of walking into a comic store and buying a book, especially if you are a woman. I feel like that is clear in the subtext—if not the text—of the post itself; there’s a reason I try to warn about books that feature sexual violence and talk about the ready availability of digital comics.

I WANT women reading comics. I WANT women making comics. I WANT women starring in comics. If you don’t, you’re a piece of shit, and I’m not sorry for saying that.

(Sidenote: so what if she got into Batman via the Christopher Nolan movies? There are, what—optimistically—500k regular comics readers? The Christopher Nolan movies made LITERAL BILLIONS of dollars. Statistically, they are going to be someone’s introduction to Batman. That’s mathematics, fake nerd.)

If I may borrow from Chris Sims, whose name also got invoked in this discussion: “keep my name out of your mouth, son.”

Don’t make me the arbiter of who’s a fake geek.

Changed my mind. DO make me the arbiter of who’s a real geek and who’s fake.

All right, all you adult women who are just getting into comics and like to cosplay, line up on the left. All you dudes who think these ladies should have to pass some kind of superhero LSAT to wear a cute Batman outfit, line up on the right. Now, everyone who’s a real geek, step forward.

Not so fast, guys on the right.

If you have, as this guy claims, “dedicated a lot of time and money and actual effort to study and dedicate [your]selves to comic books,” and the lesson you took away from a lifetime of Superman, Batman and Spider-Man comics is that it is a cool idea to make someone feel like shit, you don’t know ANYTHING about comic books.

Yay Benito!

This bro said it. Comics are for everybody. Every. Body.

pisceswitch:

hipstermoriarty:

hipstermoriarty:

lostthebattlebutwonthewar:



Great Barrier Reef authorities have just said YES to coal port companies dumping dredge waste inside this World Heritage Area — all to make way a coal ship superhighway through our Reef. Reblog if this outrageous decision does not represent you. This is a massive disappointment, but we cannot give up hope. Sign up here to make our movement bigger than ever and keep up the fight to ‪#‎SaveTheReef‬: http://www.SaveTheReef.org.au


Please Sign the petition guys. So many creatures will be decreased dramatically or even become endangered if we don’t stop it. Also watch the video. It really gave an insight into what would happen if this went ahead. 

like dugongs. they’re mad important and live on the reef

Hey, so GetUp! is deciding to take legal action against this travesty, and you can donate to their kick starter here

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has caved to the pressure of the mining industry and the Federal Government. The agency charged with "the protection, wise use, understanding and enjoyment of the Great Barrier Reef in perpetuity" has allowed it to be sold out for short-term profits. Late yesterday, they granted a permit to dump five million tonnes of dredge spoil inside the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. This destructive project is now allowed to go-ahead - unless we make a last ditch effort to challenge it in court. Click here to learn more, and help fund the legal challenge to save our Reef: http://www.getup.org.au/reef-fighting-fund

another legal action kick starter can be found here:
https://fightforthereef.org.au/reef-fighting-fund/ 

WHY DOES THIS NOT HAVE MORE NOTES?? THIS IS SO IMPORTANT!!


Damn the Man, save the Great Barrier Reef!

pisceswitch:

hipstermoriarty:

hipstermoriarty:

lostthebattlebutwonthewar:

Great Barrier Reef authorities have just said YES to coal port companies dumping dredge waste inside this World Heritage Area — all to make way a coal ship superhighway through our Reef. Reblog if this outrageous decision does not represent you. This is a massive disappointment, but we cannot give up hope. Sign up here to make our movement bigger than ever and keep up the fight to ‪#‎SaveTheReef‬http://www.SaveTheReef.org.au

Please Sign the petition guys. So many creatures will be decreased dramatically or even become endangered if we don’t stop it. Also watch the video. It really gave an insight into what would happen if this went ahead. 

like dugongs. they’re mad important and live on the reef

Hey, so GetUp! is deciding to take legal action against this travesty, and you can donate to their kick starter here

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has caved to the pressure of the mining industry and the Federal Government. The agency charged with "the protection, wise use, understanding and enjoyment of the Great Barrier Reef in perpetuity" has allowed it to be sold out for short-term profits. 

Late yesterday, they granted a permit to dump five million tonnes of dredge spoil inside the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. 

This destructive project is now allowed to go-ahead - unless we make a last ditch effort to challenge it in court. Click here to learn more, and help fund the legal challenge to save our Reef: 

http://www.getup.org.au/reef-fighting-fund

another legal action kick starter can be found here:

https://fightforthereef.org.au/reef-fighting-fund/ 

WHY DOES THIS NOT HAVE MORE NOTES?? THIS IS SO IMPORTANT!!

Damn the Man, save the Great Barrier Reef!

(via denizensofearth)