27 September 2011

This Was Just Too Good To Not Pass On


Posting note: I “borrowed” this from http://www.io9.com, who in turn copied it from Michele’s web site. I was going to get it directly from her site, but she’s been getting overtaxed with hits today.

I know folks out there are saying “Well, there’s two different versions of Starfire out there, a kid friendly version, and an adult version. I don’t agree with this – an adult version of Starfire would have her in explicit situations. This “new” version is strictly for the oh-so-popular “15 – 30 year old male horndog” demographic.

[Originally posted verbatim at http://io9.com/5844355/a-7+year+old-girl-responds-to-dc-comics-sexed+up-reboot-of-starfire]

Fantasy author Michele Lee has the most eloquent response so far to DC Comics' "sexed up" version of Starfire, the voluptuous alien member of the Teen Titans. Instead of ranting about the changes herself, Lee asked her seven-year-old daughter what she thought. The results are thought-provoking.

[Originally posted verbatim on Michele Lee’s blog at http://michelelee.net/2011/09/24/dear-dc-comics/]

I'm not going to rant like Comics Alliance (though you need to read it), or this one by Andrew Wheeler (also an excellent read), Ms. Snarky says it really well too (Go, read, DC editors. Take notes.)

Instead I'm going to hand over my forum and let someone else speak for me. Pay attention, DC. This is my seven-year-old daughter.

A 7-year-old girl responds to DC Comics' sexed-up reboot of Starfire

And for good measure this is my seven-year-old daughter, as she falls asleep most nights, reading:

A 7-year-old girl responds to DC Comics' sexed-up reboot of Starfire

They're both your books, DC. And furthermore she bought them both with HER money. Her allowance, her birthday and Christmas money. She gets at least one graphic novel and one book for major holidays. She buys superhero movies (we've managed to see all the major releases this year except Green Lantern and she's loved them all.) She has a full-sized cardboard cut out of Spiderman guarding her bookshelf.

Most importantly? Starfire is her favorite hero.

So today I showed her your rebooted Catwoman and Starfire. She is not happy with you DC.

"Why do you like Starfire?"

"She's like me. She's an alien new to the planet and maybe she doesn't always say the right thing, or know the right thing to do. But she's a good friend, and she helps people. She's strong enough to fight the bad guys, even when they hurt her. Even her sister tried to kill her, but Starfire still fights for the good side. And she helps the other heroes, like Superboy and Robin and Raven.

"She's smart too. And sometimes she gets mad, but that's okay because it's okay to get mad when people are being mean. And she's pretty."

A 7-year-old girl responds to DC Comics' sexed-up reboot of Starfire
"What do you think about her costume?" (Referring to the outfit on the left)

"Well, she's a grown up in that picture, not like in the Teen Titans cartoon, so if you're a grown up and you want to wear something like that you can. It's okay."

"Tell me about that Starfire."

"That's where she's starting the Teen Titans again. She's helping the kids learn how to use their power and not be as sad because their friends died. She even protects them from grownups who want to tell them what to do."

"Does that outfit make her pretty?"

"Well, no. It shows lots of her boobs though."

"What does make her pretty?"

"Her long, pretty hair."

Full size

"What about this Starfire? What do you think about her?" (Referring to image on the left from DC's reboot Red Hood and the Outsiders)

"I can see almost all of her boobs."


"Well she is on the beach in her bikini. But…"


"But, she's not relaxing or swimming. She's just posing a lot." *my daughter appears uncomfortable*

"Anything else?"

"Well, she's not fighting anyone. And not talking to anyone really. She's just almost naked and posing."

Full size

"Do you think this Starfire is a good hero?"

"Not really."

"Do you think the Starfire from the Teen Titans cartoon is a good role model?"

*immediately* "Oh yes. She's a great role model. She tells people they can be good friends and super powerful and fight for good."

"Do you think the Starfire in the Teen Titans comic book is a good role model?"

"Yes, too. She's still a good guy. Pretty, but she's helping others all the time and saving people."

"What about this new Starfire?"

"No, I don't think so."

"Why not?"

"Because she's not doing anything."

Full size

"Is this new Starfire someone you'd want to be when you grow up?"

*she gets uncomfortable again*"Not really. I mean, grown ups can wear what they want, but…she's not doing anything but wearing a tiny bikini to get attention."

"So, you know I'm going to put this on my blog right? (she nods) Is there anything else you want to say?"

"I want her to be a hero, fighting things and be strong and helping people."

"Why's that?"

"Because she's what inspires me to be good."

See, it's not about what they're wearing, though that can influence things. What makes a hero is WHO they are, the choices they make and the things they do. If my 7 year old can tell what you've done from looking at the pictures (there is no way I'm going to let her in on the whole emotionless random, amnesiac sex plot line) why can't you see the problem here?

If this is your attempt at being edgy and reaching out the huge female comic audience out here then I look forward to when this crap collapses around you so someone who gets it can take your place. We're looking for good stories and great heroes. This just isn't it.

Cartoon at the bottom via Shortpacked!.

This post by Wolf Heart author Michele Lee originally appeared at her blog.


IMHO, I think that young Miss Lee really hit the nail on the head. For generations, comics have been getting lambasted for stuff just like this. Companies have worked hard to throw off the prejudice that women are simply one dimensional object of lust – hell, when DC was doing the animated Teen Titans, they were working to quell that prejudice as well.

In closing, I would like to take a moment to send out a huge “Thank You!” to both Michele and her daughter for speaking up and speaking out about this latest idiocy DC has perpetrated.

14 September 2011

Notice of delay (again!)

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’ve been doing the reviews on this site, and I’ve decided that the format that I currently use is not working the way I want it to, so I’m going to revamp how I do my reviews. It may take me a week or two to iron out the bugs, but I hope this new format will better explain and describe the books I review, and be more accessible as well. Hang in there folks, I promise the end result will be worth it!




P.s. that means no review this week. Sorry!

09 September 2011

This is so Cool!

Just a quick note – Couple of days ago, I contacted Stone Arch books (the folks who’s primary audience is  k – 8) for some review copies. Not only did they deliver, but they delivered in spades! I’ve got a box full of books, some I’ve already reviewed (which were digital editions) and others I can’t wait to review, so I might ramp up my reviews for the next couple of weeks to bi-weekly or so, and I’m also going to be having guest reviewers adding their two cents to the mix. So (as The Great Stan Lee says…) Stay Tuned True-Believers!

07 September 2011

7 September 2011–My Boyfriend is a Monster #4: Under His Spell


Written by Marie Croall; Illustrated by Hyeondo Park
ISBN: 978-0-76137-076-5
Graphic Universe, September 2011
Bethany Farmer is your average high school girl, who is only interested in her sport of choice (soccer), coffee, making sure her homework is done, coffee, staying single, and coffee. However, when a foreign exchange student appears shows up at her school, Bethany is knocked for a loop. Allein has it all, good looks, impeccable manners, (if the rumors are true), royal blood, and a cadre of eye-rolling pickup lines that are goofy, yet sweet.
Allein isn’t all that he’s cracked up to be however. Claiming to be from a foreign country still doesn’t explain how he knows nothing about coffee or soccer, but Bethany is willing to overlook these oddities. Swept off her feet by this handsome stranger, Bethany’s world is completely flipped upside down when Allein’s savage cousins show up, intent on making sure that Allein doesn’t make it back to take the throne.
There has long been a love affair with the supernatural, from Bram Stoker’s Dracula to Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga, men and women falling in love with super natural entities is a common theme. The My Boyfriend’s a Monster series continues on in this vein, with this entry involving the fey folk. The story itself is nothing new, and the conventions stay close to agreed upon convention (elves cannot touch cold iron), but the story just seems flat and uninspired. The artwork, while at times is quite vibrant (especially when Bethany visits Allein’s home), feels flat and uninspired, with overtones of Superhero Anatomy mixed in (where the human body bends or moves in ways that are improbable at best, and impossible at worst). My biggest complaint is with Allein and Co.’s teeth. Elves have traditionally been presented as elegant, refined, and the epitome of high class. Allein and his race all look like descendants of land based sharks, and personally, if I were Bethany, I would think long and hard before putting my face anywhere near Allein’s for fear of him trying to nibble my lips off.
Final Thoughts
While I’m not a huge fan of contemporary fantasy/romance situations, I still feel that this is a decent book that Stephanie Meyers fans will appreciate and enjoy. It also works as a solid introduction to this type of genre for younger ladies who are wanting check out this type of story. Not a personal favorite of mine, but there is a definite market out there for this type of story, and is worth looking at for a library collection.

On a side note, here’s a second review from a different point of view: http://klearsreviews.blogspot.com/2011/08/under-his-spell.html (This is from August 16th 2011)