tartysuz: (Jupiter Ascending)
A science fiction fairy tale melodrama? Sign me up! Here's my take:

"A friend asked me if Jupiter Ascending was any good. This was a hard question to answer! Its imperfections have been noted to the point of exaggeration. There is a lot of world-building exposition, there are long chase scenes, and there are characters that could be more realistic. But those downsides (some are really a matter of taste) are less than the sum of the parts in this big, bright, ambitious mash-up of space opera, science fiction, fairy tales, and romance."

Read more from me, [profile] kadymae and Erin, another member of Sequential Tart, at
tartysuz: (Supernatural)

My interview with Julian Richings, star of Canadian film and stage, multiple Death player.
tartysuz: (Comics)
I interviewed Mike Grell, the comics writer/artist who inspired many aspects of the costumes, characters and stories on Arrow. He loves the show! He was tickled by the one reference to the corrupt "Judge Grell", which impressed his family: "My family after 40 years in this business suddenly thinks I am famous.


In other Arrow news, I came across a casting spoiler today, which HOLY CRAP. I won't hint or link to it (it's easy to find: the announcement made this morning). Suffice to say, HOLY CRAP.
tartysuz: (Default)
Whoa, it's been a long time since I posted about my writing! Let's start with the most recent interviews, then the Supernatural Talks.

Today, I posted a column of 13 Questions that I asked ANDY GRABIA, curator of an exhibit of my late roommate's comics. Andy is an interesting fellow, but do take a look if you have an interest in how comics can work in a library setting:

Earlier this month, I posted an email interview with JO WALTON, author of the Small Change books, Tooth and Claw and the new book Among Others. I met Jo at the Pure Spec science fiction convention and Edmonton and she is a pure delight. We went into depth with Among Others in this interview: the book is her fastest-selling and in many ways her most personal book. What SF (or any other genre) book nerd can't relate to being a teenaged book nerd?

Last week, I posted a transcript of an hour-long phone interview I had with OLIVIA CHENG, known to Supernatural fans as Susan the Leviathan in episode 7.09 "How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters." Dick Roman creeps me out, but if Olivia were a motivational speaker, I'd follow her in a second. She has a couple of great stories about working with Jim Beaver, but I was most impressed how she describes her evolution from reporter to actor to … whatever might come next:

In December, I posted an email interview with REBECCA GUAY in two parts. The artist/project manager (seriously, how does she do it?!) had two books out this year, one at the beginning of the fall season, one closer to Christmas. Both are absolutely gorgeous and I encourage you to seek them out if you are a fan of fantasy and folklore.
Rebecca Guay on The Last Dragon
Rebecca Guay on A Flight of Angels

Finally, here is the latest batch of Supernatural Talks:
7.07 "The Mentalists"

7.08 "Season Seven, Time for a Wedding!"

7.09 "How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters"

7.10 "Death's Door"

Hope you find time to check into one or more of the above!
tartysuz: (Default)
I grew up with the Swan Lake Rudi van Dantzing set on the National Ballet of Canada and the Romeo and Juliet he set on the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Romeo and Juliet the first ballet I ever saw; Evelyn Hart was Juliet: how could I not love ballet after that? Actually, that performance inspired an interest in dance that led to my years as a dance writer.

Later, I discovered that one of the reasons Dantzing was sweet on Canada was that his first love was a Canadian soldier (the story is told in the beautiful film, adapted from his novel, For a Lost Soldier).

tartysuz: (Supernatural)
The first week of the Supernatural winter Hellatus is upon us! To help bide the time, here is what Sequential Tart thought of the middle episodes of the season so far.

7.04: Defending Your Life
The use of Osiris was… interesting.

7.05: Shut Up, Dr. Phil
The trouble with witches.

7.06: Slash Fiction
We loved this one, including its focus on Bobby. Little did we know!
tartysuz: (Supernatural)
Supernatural Talks are back at Sequential Tart! This week, we go back to the good old days of episode 7.01 Meet the New Boss:

I loved the first episode of the season. Here's one reason why:

My favourite bit of camera work was in the scene where Sam prays to Castiel. The shot starts directly and far above Sam, making him look quite small, then comes down and around so that Sam becomes a larger man as he reaches the strongest words in his prayer. Eventually, the camera comes down to the same level as the human — becomes grounded. Is this how Sam looks through Castiel's eyes?

Note: Our write-ups are done after we watch each episode, so it's entertaining to see what we got right and what we got so, so wrong ;)
tartysuz: (Comics)
I've been doing a bit of research for a review of the new comic featuring Deadman (DC Universe Presents #1).

As Supernatural fans know, Eric Kripke is developing a Deadman series for the CW. What I didn't know was there was an earlier attempt, in 2000:

"Story concerns a murdered stunt man who is allowed to return to earth as a spirit that can occupy the body of his nerdy accountant brother." (Variety, 21 August 2000)

Yeah, that sounds TERRIBLE. Tying Deadman to one body might have been easier for TV production and marketing, but it is so not Deadman.

One of the best things about the character is that he can -- nay, MUST -- hop from body to body in order to solve the problem at hand. Each person's resolution leads Deadman one step closer to his larger goal. (The new comic has an interesting take on this, which I'll cover in my review; I'm aiming for publication tomorrow.)
tartysuz: (Comics)
I was introduced to iZombie this summer. WOW, it is gorgeous! That's maybe not surprising because Mike and Laura Allred did the artwork. Chris Roberson is a relatively new writer for DC. His Fables-spinoff, Cinderella, was a good start, but he really shines with iZombie, which is completely a universe of his own making.

We loved it so much at Sequential Tart that we're letting it go...in the form of a giveaway. Details on how to enter are in this roundtable discussion about why we love iZombie so much!

tartysuz: (Comics)
I posted a few more reviews of DC's "new 52" comics in Sequential Tart.

DC as a publishing company and the artists really invested themselves into the comics, so I haven't run into anything horrible, but I still question the girlfriendization of Madame Xanadu in Demon Knights and Power Girl in Mister Terrific.

No, I didn't read Catwoman. For the first time since the Ed Brubaker/Cameron Stewart reboot, I didn't sign up for Catwoman. I don't mind Guillam March's sexy Catwoman (see: Gotham Sirens), but I've never cottoned on to Judd Winick's superhero comics.

I'd like to hear what newbies thought of Legion Lost. It seemed like a good entry point for people who are not a whit familiar with the characters, but I've heard otherwise.

Demon Knights #1

Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1

Legion Lost #1

Mister Terrific #1

Resurrection Man #1
tartysuz: (Comics)
All that writing I've been doing is being published now!

Let's start with Teen Wolf. I got into this after some good word-of-mouth, and I'm really glad that I did. [livejournal.com profile] kadymae was one of the enthusiasts who convinced me to give it a go. We got together to
write 5 Reasons we love the show:

Teen Wolf

I also did a profile of Canada's first artist-in-residence in a comic book shop. He's Daniel Schneider and he's based at my LCS. One of the things about the program is that it's designed to support an emerging artist. Dan's had work in the DC Fifty-Too project and he's working on try-outs for the big companies. He also helps to promote comics by explaining the process to customers and to school kids when the store goes on school visits. He's really articulate, so if you're wondering how an artist-in-residence program can work for a comic shop, check out the interview.

Daniel Schneider, Comic Book Store Artist-in-Residence

And my first bunch of DC New 52 reviews are up. I'm reading them in order of the week they're published and their place in the alphabet. My first reviews are of Justice League, Action Comics, Animal Man and Batgirl. They range from okay to very good:

DC New 52 Reviews
tartysuz: (Supernatural)
At this summer's Comic-Con, Sera Gamble said Supernatural would have more of a film noir feel:

"There's a lot of different kinds of Heroes' Journeys. We talked a lot about Joseph Campbell for a lot of years, we talked about Steven Spielberg movies, we talked a lot about 'The Lord of the Rings' in the [writers] room.

We [also] watch a lot of noir movies. I'm a huge noir fan, Bob Singer are huge noir fans. Eric loves this stuff too. It lends a different kind of gritty darkness because the heroes in those stories are not pure white hats.

"If you think of 'L.A. Confidential,' if you think about Sam and Dean together being like a Bud White or being like a Bud White…. Bud White beats people up. He has anger management problems. He drinks too much. But he's a hero. The fact that he is moral is a problem. The other sort of hero in that story has a sort of moral relativism."

(The above quote is from the Chicago Tribune. This Collider piece also quotes Kripke on the subject.)

Serendipitously, the latest installment of my Supernatural Noir series is now live, just after the Season 6 debut. And as luck would have it, it kicks off a multiple part look at how the femme fatale figures in the film noir discourse on morality, and how Supernatural has adapted the trope.

Supernatural Noir Part 3a: Deconstructing Morality (Genesis of the Femme Fatale)

The previous parts of the series are:

Part 1: Notes on Noir

Part 2: Deconstructing Identity
tartysuz: (Salt)
The title of this entry is a pun on the Samuel Taylor Coleridge line, "Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink." In some ways, it doesn't really fit the subject matter, because while I am surrounded by art activities this weekend, I can and am encouraged to (metaphorically) drink it all in.

In another way, it's completely appropriate because the reason the water in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" can't be consumed is because it's salt water ... and salt is the focus for one of the performance artists at the Visualeyez festival. I never did meet the artist, but Cindy Baker, the festival animator, blogged about Randy and her project today. I've been updating my entry about the Visualeyez opening night as I continue to think about the performances I saw, and as Cindy continues to add context and background information.


On Saturday afternoon, I attended an insightful, inspiring talk by photographer Edward Burtynsky. I'll post notes on that when I get a chance.

Meanwhile, I'm going to stop in at another Visualeyez event this afternoon, and catch up on other writing projects tonight.

Art, art everywhere and not enough time to take it all in!
tartysuz: (Dream bigger darling)
Or, that's what Philip Pullman would like to see.

I completely agree with him that the use of solely the present tense in longer work limits temporal textures, making for tedious reads. But he goes on to a larger issue:

It's an abdication of narrative responsibility, in my view. The storyteller, in film or novel, should take charge of the story and not feel shifty about it. Put the camera in the place from which it can see the action most clearly. Make a decision about where that place is. Put it on something steady to stop that incessant jiggling about. Say what happened, and let the reader know when it happened and what caused it and what the consequences were, and tell me where the characters were and who else was present – and while you're at it, I'd like to know what they looked like and whether it was raining.

But taking charge of the story is the one thing that some sensitive and artistic storytellers don't want to do. They've come to feel a timorous uncertainty about the right-on-ness of something so politically dodgy as telling a story in the first place. Who are we to say this happened and then that happened? Maybe it didn't, perhaps we're wrong, there are other points of view, truth is always provisional, knowledge is always partial, the narrator is always unreliable, and so on.

"If I just relate now what's happening now," the writer seems to say, "I can't be held to account for it. It's the way things are. I'm just standing close to the action as it happens. I'm not editing or anything. It's really real."

Source: The Guardian.

This is actually why I like to think that Inception had a definite end: otherwise, it's narrative wankery. While an indeterminate end might seem clever, it actually takes away from the fact that narrative arcs were successfully completed in the movie -- no small feat in the world of Hollywood movies.
tartysuz: (Default)
Talk about a unique birthday gift: on Thursday Carnal Nation requested permission to reprint my article on Wonder Woman, Amazons and bondage!

tartysuz: (Comics)
Alberta writers take over Sequential Tart this week!

Olwyn Supeene writes about the music on Supernatural. Olwyn is a musician, a Supernatural fan, a clear thinker and a really engaging writer. It's a perfect combination!

Erin Elizabeth Fraser shares her Comic-Con experience. Erin was a classmate in an online comics course I took last year. I finally met her at the end of term, and since then, she's made some room in her massive brain for Sequential Tart. A lifelong comics reader, she finally gets to Comic-Con and tells us what she thinks!

Erin and I review the new Wonder Woman. It's early days yet, but we couldn't resist recording our reactions to the first two stories of the Wonder Woman reboot!

I interview John Arcudi. After reviewing his new graphic novel, A God Somewhere, John contacted me and we started a dialogue that turned into this interview!


Oh, I forgot to let you know about my musings on Amazons and bondage, which was published in Tart last week:


* Green and gold is a common colour scheme for Alberta sports teams, schools, etc.
tartysuz: (Default)
By chance, I caught an episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation (9.17: "Innocent When You Dream") that deals with fan fiction. As the episode was setting up the story, I expected the show to take a hard line against choosing fiction over reality, but I should have known better: this is Degrassi, and they don't take the simple way out.

The Lesson at the End of This Episode )
tartysuz: (Default)
It's been a year since I started this journal!

In my first post (on 19 April 2009), I liked to articles I'd written about the comics herstorian Trina Robbins and the film noir influences on Supernatural.

One year later, I'm taking a couple of days off to write a piece on why I like reading books by Trina Robbins and to work on another installment of SPN Noir!

Anyway, thanks to everyone for making this a great place to connect and to work out ideas!
tartysuz: (Default)
"Language wants poetry, language needs poetry as part of its repertoire partly because it’s the place where language realizes it’s not really adequate to the world. Poetry is the paradox of language reaching beyond language."

Source: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Rhyme+reason+with+McKay/2916663/story.html


tartysuz: (Default)

May 2017



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