Poodoo: Bullshitting About Star Wars, 1999-2009

Matt Springer has released his second free ebook via Alert Nerd Press, titled "Poodoo". This book ought to be recommended as a staple to round out everyone's Geek Internet reading--the collection of ten years worth of Star Wars articles is the journey we all undertake with our True Geek Love. It's something like a grieving process: the happy, undisturbed love meets the cruel blow of Less Than Good, Actually Totally Fucking Bad and the journey that follows afterwards. Through him, we get all the stages: guilt, denial, grief and anger and onto resignation. Except acceptance. Geeks just can't do that--except for grudgingly and with the understanding that they cannot be invited to talk about this topic. Ever.
His wry humor and the way he comfortably embraces his crazy geekness only make "Poodoo" that much more enjoyable. He's assembled his painful journey for us so that we may keep it as a reassurance that no, we're not alone. We may be fucking crazy, but we're not alone.

It ought to be recommended as a staple, so I am going to go ahead and do it. You will find it here, housed safely at Alert Nerd. Enjoy.


Wise Feminism

The idea of demanding a product and then immediately rejecting that product before it ever reaches your fingertips is one that is both confusing and laughable.

Why would you spend a large chunk of your time (fuck, any chunk of time) demanding, for example, a Female Centered Comic Book and then, when that Female Centered Comic Book comes to fruition, exclaim that you refuse to buy it because you do not like the way it is being pressed.

I might be talking about Marvel Divas again.

I criticized the pitch. I broke the pitch down, sentence by sentence, and discussed what irritated me about it as well as what I liked. The pitch is built on partial suck. The pitch isn't what ultiately matters. It's the product. If, as a reader, the way something is pitched isn't exactly appreciated, make it known. I'm not suggesting that anyone keep their mouth shut, but what I am suggesting is a modicum of common sense.

Well, it seems like common sense to me to give a book that is built a bit around the fact that women like reading about women a bit of a chance.

Here's what also makes sense to me: money. And more importantly, money makes sense to the business producing such a product. Not just money, but numbers. Clearly numbers are important in the comics industry, where when Secret Invasion beats out Final Crisis everyone pisses themselves in one direction or another and makes a big fucking deal out of it. The same thing goes for a book like, uh, Marvel Divas.

Say all the people out there who have been asking for a book about heroines buys the first issue. Say the first issue is less than awesome and turns out to be what a lot of us fear: Just Another Booby Fest. Don't buy the second issue. The numbers will drop off and that's what a businessman sees. Joe Quesada is, at his core, a businessman. As a editor-in-chief of Marvel, this is what he ought to be. He has to consider multiple sides of everything and pitch for the numbers. If feminists keep outrightly rejecting books on the basis that 'surely, this is like every other book and I refuse to pander to their covers, and also refuse to buy albums/movies/etc based on their sexy covers because I never, ever, ever give in at all to Sex Sells', our numbers will never blip on the map.

Consequently, the businessmen will have no idea what the numbers could be. If everyone that's demanded a book like this buy it and find that it is, in fact, a booby fest that has no real value and then do not buy any more of them, this will be noticed. What is not noticed (shockingly) is when these readers don't bother to show up to the party at all, after clamoring for the party to be held. This is a foolish thing to do.

Don't ask for a book about women and then reject a book about women before it's even hit the shelves. Reject the book after you've purchased the first issue and you don't like it. Give Joe Quesada the evidence of your existence, not just an angry post on the internet. Give him what matters to Marvel: the lack of your money. Show that the money is there and when you do not like the product, take that money away. Take it away and demand a better product.

Buy the first issue of Marvel Divas. Help prove to the industry that the number of people who want quality books actually exists. Show up to the party, then do what you want from there, but it is critical that we actually goddamned show up. Joe Quesada is not perusing Livejournal in his free time and giving serious consideration to complaints that show up there, but go no further than bitching in comments. Joe Quesada is considering the money, so show him that your money can be there for him, given that he can give a product that you actually want to buy. If the $3.99 (is it 3? or 2? whatever) is important to your budget, return the book. Talk to your comic seller and say, 'hey, if I hate this, is it okay if I return it? Or can I exchange it for something else that I know that I like?'.

Be a wise feminist and utilize business values. Take their game and make it yours. Your voice is your wallet, not your livejournal/blog/whatever. Use your voice.

Pass it on.