pip emma
pip emma

pip emma

No Comments

adj. -adv. World War One signaller’s slang for post meridiem

To sound dignified and old-timey, refer to the afternoon as “pip emma.”

Bechdel test revisited guardians of the galaxy

The Bechdel Test Revisited: Women in a Hero’s Journey

No Comments

This article first appeared as Luna Station Quarterly’s Chick on the Draw column, September 5, 2014

There are three reasons Alison Bechdel’s famous test–one canny gag in an indie comic strip from 1985–has been embraced by entertainment critics, theorists, and journalists as the gold standard for determining whether a film has, Feminist Frequency describes it, “significant female presence”:

  • It’s dead simple.
  • It quantifies the vague.
  • It hilariously indicts movies that can’t jump the first bar.

The rule itself is offered by one character sick of macho “Barbarian”/”Vigilante” movie BS, and received by the other as “pretty strict, but a good idea.” At the time of its introduction, the rule was not presented as more than the preference of one woman tired of supporting an industry happy to exclude her (Bechdel’s friend, Liz Wallace.)

The Bechdel Test does not bother with shades of agency, complexity, or quality. It is simple. It is elegant. It is brass tacks.

So why do so few Hollywood movies pass it? And how can this be fixed?

(Final act spoilers ahead for movies released in 2014.)

(more…)

Rick and Morty Something Ricked This Way Comes

5 Best Current Animated Series That Pass the Mako Mori Test

No Comments

This article first appeared in Luna Station Quarterly’s Chick on the Draw column on August 1, 2014.

Maybe you’re out of the cartoon loop. Maybe you don’t have cable TV. Maybe you’re a former fan who got super distracted by Breaking Bad. Well, there’s been no better time to reconnect. We live in a golden age of television, and animation is no exception–plus shows are passing the Mako Mori Test left and right (in most episodes, at least one female character has her own narrative arc distinct from any male characters’ arcs.)

If you have the time, these shows are ready to tickle your nucleus accumbens.

Here we go, in no particular order:

(more…)

Goldfish Grimm’s Issue 20 is out! Includes “The Call of Gold Cat”

No Comments

Issue 20 of Goldfish Grimm’s Spicy Fiction Sushi is out! Includes my weird short story “The Call of Gold Cat”, plus an interview. This short story was heavily workshopped at Scribophile. Thank you to all the readers who provided guidance.

Issue also includes new flash fiction from Mari Ness, “Survival.”

Holy Table-of-Contents mates!

I hope you enjoy this raw fresh fiction. It’s good for you!

Rick and Morty Something Ricked This Way Comes

4 Reasons Why Cartoons Matter

No Comments

This article first appeared in Luna Station Quarterly’s Chick on the Draw column on July 4, 2014.

It’s a pleasure to join Luna Station Quarterly’s new content lineup. I’ll be your friendly neighborhood animation commentator and theorist. Why? I’m so glad you asked. Of all popular media, animation is the truest mirror of our culture. Hold on to your caboose, because I brought the proof.

1. Cartoons gain amplification through simplification

As described by cartoonist and theorist Scott McCloud, this principle applies to every element of moving art, from character design to backgrounds to lighting to animation to the beats of the story being told. There is room for Miyazaki’s lack of baddies and Richard Williams’s compulsive detail, but generally speaking, the broader the strokes, the broader the appeal. Speaking of…

(more…)

Hiccup Toothless How To Train Your Dragon 2

5 Beefs with How to Train Your Dragon 2

No Comments

What oh my God what.

Hiccup Toothless How To Train Your Dragon 2

There will be beefs

Let’s be clear. The original How to Train Your Dragon (2010) is excellent, structurally and emotionally. Both it and its sequel are gorgeous, imaginative, and animated by some of the greatest hands in the business. Each individual frame of How to Train Your Dragon 2 deserves nothing but high-fives down every cubicle row in Glendale.

But the story is a head-scratching mess.

Since 2010, the franchise has kept in fighting form with holiday specials and Riders of Berk on Cartoon Network. Though I’m not familiar with this series, I wonder if some of the best sequel ideas got spent there (a local studies dragon-training for his own nefarious purposes!), or whether an episodic story approach infected this script, because this story doesn’t have just a woman problem. This story has all kinds of problems.

Spoilers abounding.

(more…)

%d bloggers like this: