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Tansy Rayner Roberts

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Jessica Jones is My Hero

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Jessica_Jones_1_h4

So, I’m pretty excited about the upcoming Netflix series of Jessica Jones. Everything I hear about it suggests that it’s a solid adaptation of the brilliant, highly original Alias comic that allows Jessica to be the angry, flawed character that she is. And they’re doing that scene where Luke Cage is on fire, so that’s pretty great.

I’m starting to get a bit cranky that so much of the publicity is pairing images of Krysten Ritter with comic-art-Jessica-as-Jewel rather than comic-art-Jessica-as-Humphrey-Bogart but I have confidence that doesn’t reflect the priorities of the show.

Jessica Jones, if you haven’t come across the character before, is a hard drinking, chain-smoking, angry private detective who delves into the darker, murkier side of the Marvel Universe. She’s a classic noir hero with a 21st century edge, and it’s amazingly empowering to see a female character who’s just – so – well, flawed and mean and grumpy.

Grumpy female characters are my favourite thing.

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Galactic Suburbia Episode 124

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Episode 124 can be downloaded/streamed here or on Itunes.

An all culture consumed special (with a little awards chat just for old time’s sake)

Hugo Awards update – how we voted. If you’re voting, get in before the eleventh hour!

World Fantasy Awards: Aussies on the ballot.

What Culture Have we Consumed?

Alisa: The Almighty Johnsons; Wayward Pines

Alex: Arrow season 1; Beauty, Sheri S Tepper; Poseidon’s Wake, Alastair Reynolds; Of Noble Family, Mary Robinette Kowal

Tansy: Uncanny Magazine No. 5: “Midnight Hour” by Mary Robinette Kowal, “Woman at Exhibition” by E. Lily Yu, “Ghost Champagne” by Charlie Jane Anders, “Catcall” by Delilah S Dawson, Natalie Luhrs “Ethics of Reviewing”. Black Canary #1. Glitch.

In August we will be reading:
James Tiptree Jr: The Double Life of Alice Sheldon, Julie Phillips
“Houston, Houston Do You Read?” and “Your Faces, O my Sisters, your Faces filled of Light!” by James Tiptree Jr.

Please send feedback to us at galacticsuburbia@gmail.com, follow us on Twitter at @galacticsuburbs, check out Galactic Suburbia Podcast on Facebook, support us at Patreon and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes if you love us!

Musketeers: The Next Generation [2004]

Monday, July 27th, 2015

d'artagnan's excellent parenting skillsAnd now, the management would like to present the final essay in the Musketeer Media Monday series. Tune in on Wednesday for the final installment of Musketeer Space.

Musketeers: The Next Generation (2004)
[AKA: D’Artagnan is the Best Dad]

So I knew nothing going into this except that as with D’Artagnan’s Unsatisfactory Parenting Skills (1994), the made-for TV mini-series La Femme Musketeer (2004) promised to be a sequel to the Three Musketeers with a female protagonist, creaky old Musketeers who are too old for this shit, and Cardinal Mazarin as the new villain.

With Michael York as the elder D’Artagnan, I was cautiously optimistic…

In the first ten minutes, we learn that this D’Artagnan is happily co-parenting his talented swordsdaughter Valentine (Susie Amy) with his wife Cecile, he earns extra Dad points by allowing said daughter to cosplay as a highwayman attack him in random public duels.

The choreography is top notch and like almost everyone else filming historical European drama, they are using Croatia as a location. The music is somewhat loud and jangly, but mostly doesn’t get in the way of the story. The editing and pacing is quite jarring, but look, swords, never mind.

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Robotech Rewatch Part 59: Cactus in my Pants

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

Rand in a Viking helmet. You're welcome.

Rand in a Viking helmet. You’re welcome.

Keep your scanner tuned to this station. Robotech is back!

Episode 73: Sandstorm

Funnily enough, the Invid are pretty pissed off about that whole destroyed fortress business. The Regent has decided that it’s time to retrieve ‘the simulagent’ AKA Marlene before the humans discover their plans.

Our sweeties, meanwhile, are trapped in a cave after a three day sandstorm, and about five minutes away from killing each other. Annie is thirsty, Lunk feels guilty that it was his job to bring water and he didn’t bring nearly enough for them all (he was under fire at the time and his jeep is not great for keeping off the bullets), and Scott is furious at Lunk for screwing up his orders and basically angry at the universe that he has to deal with these amateurs instead of real soldiers. Rand yells at Scott for having unreasonable expectations of them all, and for constantly going on about Admiral Hunter all the time. Even Lancer objects to being ‘turned on and off like a music box’ when Rook suggests that he sings to take their mind off it.

Oh, and Marlene has a fever.

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D’Artagnan’s Unsatisfactory Parenting Skills (1994)

Monday, July 20th, 2015

eloiseAs it turns out, there are so many Musketeer related movies that I ran out of Musketeer Media Mondays long before I ran out of DVDs – in particular, I didn’t get to many of the sequels, including the entire Man in the Iron Mask oeuvre and the 80’s sequel to Musketeers Crack Me Up Seventies Style and Musketeers Break My Heart Seventies Style featuring the original cast and creative team.

But before this epic project of mine rolls to a close, I wanted to give a bit of attention to the imaginary daughters of D’Artagnan.

As well as the ageing Musketeers, the book sequels focus on two ‘next generation’ kids, both male: the son of Milady, and the son of Athos. The girl in these stories is Louise de la Valliere, who isn’t related to anyone. Obviously that’s no fun at all, so several media adaptations (including, let us never forget, Barbie and the 3 Musketeers) provide D’Artagnan with a daughter to carry on his legacy.

On the whole I disapprove of Musketeer film sequels, as they seem largely an opportunity to kill off elderly versions of characters I adore, or show how miserable and lonely they’ve been since we saw them last. (Also they rarely provide what I actually want to see from next generation stories, which is Athos Being A Surprisingly Good Dad) Still, I remember loving La fille de D’Artagnan (D’Artagnan’s Daughter/The Revenge of the Musketeers, 1994) as a teenager, and I was hanging out for a bit of female-centred Musketeer action, so…

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Robotech Rewatch 58: True Snowmance

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

Secret_1Keep your scanner tuned to this station. Robotech is back!

Episode 71: The Secret Route

The crew are stranded in the mountains looking for a safe way across. Annie goes wandering off in town and crashes into a teddy boy called Eddie who doesn’t seem to object to her blatant sexual harassment.

Yellow Dancer calls on the creepy mayor Donald, looking for employment in his nightclub. Karla, the mayor’s obviously abused fiance, is shocked to recognise her old boyfriend Lancer. Turns out that she was the one who first helped him disguise himself as a woman in his early freedom fighter days.

Yellow Dancer sings “an old Minmei song” (must have been from her more than three songs days because I don’t remember this one) in honour of the “happy couple” while he and Karla recall their tragic backstory, including that one time he abandoned her on a train to save her from his terrible life choices.

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Issue #1: Black Canary

Friday, July 17th, 2015

black canaryTitle: Black Canary #1

Writer: Brenden Fletcher

Artist: Annie Wu

The Buzz: This one seemed to come out of nowhere, its greatest buzz being the amazing screech-rock cover art which sold the concept good and loud: Black Canary as a rock singer. Annie Wu has a lot of cred riding high from her run on Hawkeye, and Brenden Fletcher is the writer behind Gotham Academy, the recent breakout teen comic for DC, as well as the writer of the new, indie-vibe Batgirl of Burnside. So it all looked promising…

All You Need To Know: Literally nothing. I mean, it probably helps if you know or like Black Canary as a character. She’s playing the mystery woman, a lead singer in a rock band because she needs the money after her life was destroyed. But the mystery of the comic isn’t actually about Dinah (or rather: DD) at all, it’s about one of her bandmates and the weird monsters that are following them. This is a version of Black Canary I’ve never seen before, but it reminds me of some of my favourite versions of the character. She’s angry, she’s violent, and she doesn’t run a flower shop.

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Issue #1: All-New Hawkeye

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

All-New_Hawkeye_Vol_1_1_TextlessTitle: All-New Hawkeye #1

Writer: Jeff Lemire

Artist: Ramon Perez

The Buzz: Pretty much the main buzz for this title was created by its predecessor. The Fraction-Aja-Wu Hawkeye broke and rebuilt the mould for superhero comics, and is widely held up as one of the biggest game-changers of the genre in the last few years. It was so beloved and critically acclaimed that even the slow, often-delayed release of the last few issues didn’t affect its reputation. Even when Issue #1 of the new series (AKA Hard Act To Follow) was released several months before the final issue of the Fraction series appeared. (Which happened today, woo!)

All You Need To Know: Hawkeye is Clint Barton, an orphaned former carnie with hearing problems, dodgy brother baggage and a terrible relationship history. He’s the dude who brings a paleolithic weapon to a gunfight. Oh and he’s an Avenger, which is so not relevant right now. Hawkeye is also Kate Bishop, privileged rich girl who took Clint’s bow while he was dead and refused to let go of it once he came back. She’s practically an Avenger. Together, they get into terrible trouble. But it’s so much worse when they’re apart…

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Musketeers Brooding in Shirts (2015)

Monday, July 13th, 2015

first-musketeer-adThere are three essential aspects to a good Musketeer story: friendship, swordplay, and attractive men in diaphanous shirts. The new web series “The First Musketeer” hits all three notes, though it is a little heavy on the atmosphere (and light on humour) for my own personal tastes.

The first series is 6 episodes, each somewhere around 9-13 minutes long, and three quarters of each episode is Athos brooding in a diaphanous shirt, which… is not a poorly chosen aspect of the story to focus on.

Athos is the First Musketeer of the title, and this prequel to the classic story sets up an origin for how he came to Paris and became friends with Aramis and Porthos. But mostly Porthos and some other blokes.

The first few episodes are very heavy on the gothic shadows and Byronic mournfulness, but I quite like this version of Athos even if the show feels like the set up for a vampire romance rather than a cheerful tale of bros with swords. This is one of the most ambitious web series I’ve seen, with location filming, special effects and proper fencing choreography. Some of the acting is a little of the ‘slightly stilted, I went to stage school’ variety, and the pacing is slooooow at times, but the whole piece hangs together well.

four musks

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Robotech Rewatch 57: Aliens Cloned My Girlfriend

Saturday, July 11th, 2015

Original Recipe Marlene

Original Recipe Marlene

Keep your scanner tuned to this station. Robotech is back!

Episode 70 – Enter Marlene

Finally after all that running around in circles (cough, padding, cough, dinosaurs), actual plot development!

The Invid Regent has finally realised that Scott and his team are a serious threat after that time they sort of accidentally blew up her Genesis Pit. So she’s going to get a secret agent to infiltrate their little bikie gang. Via glowing egg.

Scott leads his friends to a rally point set up previously by Admiral Hunter, where he expects to meet up with other REF (Robotech Expeditionary Force) units before heading to Reflex Point and kicking Invid butt. Instead, he finds a mecha graveyard of destroyed ships and corpses, and is absolutely devastated with grief and loss of hope.

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