Nerd is the New Black: Civil War

Civil War (Bryan Hitch)

Full disclosure: I've already seen Civil War (twice!), and it's great.

But if you haven't and you want to head to the cinema wearing something that proclaims your Cap vs. Iron Man loyalties, or if you just want to look at some cool Civil War-inspired stuff... well, that's what we're here for. 

Let's start with the iconic Cap vs. Iron Man image from the comics, above.

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One Comic and Civil War #1

RiprDud

It's Captain America: Civil War week (here in the UK), so Bex, Jared and Jon are marking the occasion with a One Comic Civil War show.

The first issue of Civil War from 2006 marked the start of the series that saw hero vs hero in an ideological battle; should heroes be registered and licensed by the government, or should they operate freely? If the government defines who is a villain, what's to stop them basing their decision on political grounds? But without regulation, who holds the heroes accountable when things go wrong? This promises not to be a typical all guns blazing super-heroic clash.

As Civil War was written by Mark Millar, Jared rounds out the show with a 3&1 on Millar comics. In a long career covering multiple publishers, multiple genres and no small amount of controversy, what makes Jared's top three, and what's his worst one ever?


The Killing Joke: We're Not Laughing Any More

OracleYesterday’s release of a trailer for the upcoming animated version of famous Batman story The Killing Joke kicked off much discussion of the source material in various circles.

For a number reasons more or less this exact discussion surfaces whenever The Killing Joke is in the news. I was particularly aware of yesterday’s iteration because well-known comics writer Gail Simone ended up at ground zero for a lot of the Twitter-based ‘debate’.

The various strands of conversation that intersected Simone’s timeline, often followed into other people’s feeds and then back again, seemed such a perfect representation of how in multiple ways a certain segment of fandom deals with the most common critiques of The Killing Joke that it felt worth spending a little time interrogating the key points.

In fact, as is evident from Gail Simone’s mentions, people who’ve never read a comic in their lives feel entirely qualified to express a view on this. Mostly, it seems, people who don’t like women very much.

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Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off! [Updated] [Again]

Spfbo banner4

Head's up! Pornokitsch is one of the ten blogs participating in this year's Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off. Mark Lawrence started this quasi-award last year, and I'm very glad to be one of the bloggers for its second iteration. 

You can read more about SPFBO here, and even snag a Storybundle of last year's finalists.

[Updated 29/4 with the list of 30 books.]

[Updated 23/5 with the 6 books I'll be reviewing fully, plus links.]

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British Library Labs, Niche Marketing & The Walking Dead

Eduardo Souzacampus

The British Library Labs are amazing.

Last year's projects are viewable online (in various states of existence), and they're absolutely fascinating. These include everything from a Victorian joke generator, a tool that helps connect handwritten manuscripts to their transcriptions, a gamefied way of creating metadata and one of the most clever (and perhaps significant?) open source maps I've ever seen.

Do yourself a favour and have a play.

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The Bus: Journey into the Strange

The Bus img 1Have you ever had that feeling where you’re going about your business just like any other day, and all of a sudden everything seems strange to you? Nothing’s changed, nothing’s wrong, but you look at totally ordinary people or things and they just don’t make any sense. You start asking yourself questions like: why are they doing that? Aren’t clothes weird? Who ever thought buildings were a good idea? It’s this feeling of dislocation, of finding the surreal in the absolutely banal, that Paul Kirchner taps into in ‘The Bus’.

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Stark Reviews: Day of the Outlaw (1959)

Day of the Outlaw

Stark says: “You won't find much mercy anywhere in Wyoming.

Seen The Revenant, yet? No? Well, if you’re pushed for time but harbouring a hankering for a hardscrabble, snow-choked Western, then go for Day of the Outlaw instead. If nothing else, it’ll save you an hour and a half, which you can spend doing… other things. Like smoking meat or practising macramé.

I will admit, there’s less grunting than there is in The Revenant, and less bear. Directed by Hungarian-born Andre de Toth – of House of Wax fame – what’s on offer here is a psychological, powder-keg of a Western that feels less like a yee-haw-thankee-ma’am-cowboy-movie and more like a taut, 1930s noir thriller.

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Taher Shah's "Angel"

 

In a conservative country no stranger to the Taliban and ISIS and all sorts of extremist behaviour, a country not known for its great liberal, progressive, humanist ways, a country where homosexuality is very much illegal, where anything outside of heteronormative cliches is considered a ‘deviancy’ and isn't really tolerated by most of the population, where transpeople are treated terribly and where being subversive or transgressive in even the smallest of ways can be an act of major rebellion... here is a man who is throwing this all out of the window. Taherstory_647_041216012218

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