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I am not your Slave Leia

You see it at every comic book convention; multitudes of women (and a few lovely men!) dressed as ‘slave Leia.’ And when I look at them I think: Good for them!

People have the right to wear whatever the hell they want. But I personally will not wear that outfit. Because I am not slave Leia.

Slave-Leia-star-wars-33821458-3190-2540
Only Carrie Fisher can somehow make this classy.

I think Leia is a great character. She’s a strong woman. She fights with the Rebel Alliance despite being an actual princess (compare her to most of the Disney princesses). She risks her life to get the plans for the Death Star. She withstands torture at the hands of Darth Vader and the Imperial Forces. She watches her home planet of Alderaan get destroyed. And STILL doesn’t give up the information they want while continuing to maintain her strength and dignity.

LeiaandBlaster
She will wreck you.

In short, she is a BAMF. And this is all still in the very first movie. Nevermind that she grabs a gun and tries to escape from the Death Star as soon as she gets the first opportunity. Nevermind that she has a sarcastic attitude and a comeback to every one liner thrown at her by Han Solo. And also nevermind that she somehow resisted jumping that dude’s bones for three movies.

HanWithBlaster
Alternate version of how Han managed to score with Leia?

She rocks.

But seriously, slave Leia? That is Leia at her weakest. She has again been captured. She is forced into a humiliating outfit that represents her captivity. She is wearing a literal chain around her neck like some kind of animal. She is forced to serve Jabba the Hutt who is repulsive in every sense of the word.

Now I am not trying to take away from her. She kills Jabba with that fucking chain. She breaks free of those chains and operates a cannon in that outfit. She helps Luke and Han escape. But still….slave Leia?

Slave-Leia-Fights
I’d be pissed too if someone made me wear that.

I am not slave Leia. If I were to cosplay Leia I would go as some other version of her. Almost all of them are better than her as a slave.

endor001
Even sexy mechanic Leia.

I am Boushh Leia. I am the Leia that willingly enters Jabba the Hutt’s den, risking my life to help my love. I am the Leia that convinces my enemies that I could, single-handedly, capture Chewbacca. I am the Leia that pulls a thermal detonator on a room full of people to settle my negotiations. I am the Leia that unfreezes Han from his carbonite prison.

Boushh-06222015
If princessing didn’t work out for her, being a bounty hunter probably would have!

If I am going to dress up as Leia, I am not going to be slave Leia.


MaurnasMaurnas is the barely anonymous alias of a reclusive Floridian fangirl. She has an alleged humor blog at cursitivity.WordPress.com and can also be found at maurnas@cursitivity on Twitter. She writes almost as much as she reads but has done nothing with her debatable talents thus far other than all the blogging and tweeting and writing.

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Review: Welcome to Night Vale – A Novel [Mild Spoilers]

So those who know me well, know that Welcome to Night Vale is my favorite thing in the history of ever. What you may or may not probably also know is that they came out with a book in October. A book I had pre-ordered and received the day it came out. Because that’s what you do when your favorite thing ever suddenly exists in book form.

Or at least, that’s what I do.

YEP
YEP

I worked late that night and could barely concentrate. All I wanted was that sweet book action. I rushed home and raced to my mailbox. My heart was pounding. I hadn’t even looked at the cover of the book online lest I die of excitement.

I tore into the packaging like a rabid animal. And there it was. My book. My Night Vale. And the cover was so beautiful. I kissed it. Right there. In front of god and all my neighbors. It was the most action I’d had in a pathetic amount of months.

You're all I need.
You’re all I need.

I vowed to read every word of that gorgeous book right then and there. I vowed to not sleep until I had consumed it. I would make these words a part of myself. I would weave a blanket of them around myself and wear it as a protective charm.

I may have been a bit overzealous.

I fell asleep after about 30 pages and woke up feeling betrayed by my body. How dare it sleep? How dare it even need sleep in the presence of such majesty? I have no excuses for my behavior.

So the next day I read the entire thing in one sitting lying in bed. Trying to find a position that did not make me want to die. Which is impossible with my jacked up back.

reading-positions

And I will review that book now:

I don’t quite know how to say this. So I’ll just come out and say it. I did not love this book. It left me feeling a bit ambiguous. It’s possible that my hopes were too high. Okay in fairness, it’s likely that my hopes were too high.

The authors (and creators of the podcast) Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor took me through a range of emotions. Not all of which were expected or welcome. The podcast is entertaining and amusing but also, at times, deep and thought provoking. It has made me cry many times.

The book just made me feel melancholy.

The relationship between Diane Crayton and her son, Josh was upsetting for me. Maybe this is because of my own issues, my own life. But it was difficult for me to read and impossible for me to enjoy.

I saw those same conflicts echoed in the other main character of the novel, Jackie Fierro and her mother. Why does everyone have such strained relationships with their mothers in Night Vale?

Both characters are completely isolated from the world around them. They live in silent cages of work and home with no room for anything in between. They do not even have friends, just acquaintances.

Jackie is trying to solve the mystery of the slip of paper she can’t seem to get rid of. And Diane is trying to solve the mystery of Josh’s father’s sudden reappearance in Night Vale. The two of them clash several times before deciding to team up and figure out just what is going on in their town.

Many of the old Night Vale familiar faces make appearances in this novel. Old Woman Josie and the angels; who are some of my favorite characters and are in my favorite scene in the book.

Source: jennilah.deviantart.com/art/Old-Woman-Josie-404827416
Source: Jennilah @ DeviantArt

John Peters, you know, the farmer? Even Mayor Dana Cardinal and Steve Carlsberg, who is apparently universally hated by the citizens of the town which is becoming increasingly inexplicable to me.

Source: Sour-Purple @ DeviantArt
Source: Sour-Purple @ DeviantArt

Jackie and Diane brave the terrifying library and a pack of ferocious librarians in their quest. This was one of the best parts of the book, creepy and well written. The characters seemed the most complex and multidimensional in the library scenes.

Source: Elderwyrm @ DeviantArt
Source: Elderwyrm @ DeviantArt

Eventually the two of them do solve their respective mysteries. Which of course turn out to be inextricably linked. The way many things in Night Vale are.

Also, the long awaited identity of the man in the tan jacket is revealed. I personally have wondered at his identity since his original appearance in the podcast and felt some satisfaction at finally having some answers.

Source: TinyMagician @ DeviantArt
Source: TinyMagician @ DeviantArt

The novel also addresses the question of what it is like for Night Vale to touch upon the real world, even if only at the edges. The answers are about what you would expect from these two writers.

Overall I would say the book is good. Certainly worth reading. Worth owning. I still love the podcast and will definitely be rereading the book again at some point.

Has anyone else read it? Is this a case of me being too picky about the thing I love most in the world? Let me know what you think.


MaurnasMaurnas is the barely anonymous alias of a reclusive Floridian fangirl. She has an alleged humor blog at cursitivity.WordPress.com and can also be found at maurnas@cursitivity on Twitter. She writes almost as much as she reads but has done nothing with her debatable talents thus far other than all the blogging and tweeting and writing.

Going Rogue

‘Going Rogue’ is part of a multi-post series where the writers of Some Nerd Girl share their Origin Stories – in other words, when and how did the nerdening happen?!

This is where I tell you how I became a Nerd Girl.

Some people are born great and some have greatness thrust upon them. But I truly believe becoming a nerd was my destiny. It was unavoidable.

I was fossil hunting with my father since I was old enough to walk, learning about crystals, sediment layers, and geology. I also learned to love plants and nature from my father’s gardening obsessions. And I have always loved space, dinosaurs, time travel, robots and diseases. Even as a very young child.

These fossils...
These kind of fossils…
Not these kinds of fossils. That would have been hella cool, tho...
Not these kinds of fossils. That would have been hella cool, tho…

I learned to read before I ever even started kindergarten. Do you know what kindergarten is like when you can read a novel and the rest of the class is still learning letters? It is boring as f*ck.

Thankfully, I liked to read and spent my class time occupying myself with books. I quickly found that as long as I completed the work, answered when called upon, and didn’t disrupt the class, nobody really cared what I did. So I read. All day. Everyday. For 13 years of school.

“This interruption better be important,” is a sentiment I had often.

It was only a matter of time until I read every book in the children’s section of our public library and moved up to the adult books. I was 10 when that happened. It was a glorious day.

Maybe I would have just been your average book worm had I not discovered comics. Maybe I would not have become the nerd I am now. But, I did discover them. I did a post about getting into comics here. But after consulting with my brother, I’ve gotten the deeper story.

Once upon a time in 1992, there was a kick ass cartoon called X-Men. I was never a kid that liked TV. I always preferred reading. TV was loud and obnoxious. Books were quiet and imaginative.

I watched a few shows. Fraggle Rock. Chip and Dale. Pinwheel. That kind of thing. But my brother T and sister J were all about TV. They watched almost every kids’ show that we could get on our antennae. One day I walked in on them watching X Men. It was another loud cartoon that had people fighting in skin tight outfits.

Who wouldn't want to know what was going on with this situation?
Who wouldn’t want to know what was going on with this situation?

But for some reason it captured my attention and I sat down to watch it. What I remember most about that episode was Rogue. And I loved her.

She had amazing hair, a strong southern accent, and a sarcastic attitude. I immediately wanted to know more about her. I mean, she was super strong, and pretty, and could freaking fly!

Seriously. She is fabulous!
Seriously. She is fabulous!

The more I watched the show, the more I learned about her. She came from a broken home and had shitty parents. I could relate. She didn’t like being touched, which I could relate to even more. Never mind that her touching people caused them pain or death. I could relate!

We happened to live a few blocks from a comic book store at that time and one block from the library. I began spending nearly all my free time at one of those two places.

My love of Rogue quickly turned into an obsession with the X-Men. I started collecting their trading cards. And then bought the aforementioned hat. I already loved to read and comics were an easy transition.

It was insane. Photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/coolandcollected/
It was insane. Photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/coolandcollected/

But one thing that hasn’t changed is my love for Rogue. She was a fantastic character. She was interesting in a way that so few female characters are allowed to be, even nowadays.

I mean, she started out bad. She puts the first boy she kisses into a coma then runs away from her abusive father and joins the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. During that time she kills Ms. Marvel and absorbs all her power. Horrified by her actions (and battling Ms. Marvel’s personality) she runs away from the second abusive home in her life and finds Professor X and the X-Men.

She still can’t touch anyone. She still feels guilt at the things she has done. She spends the rest of her life using Ms. Marvel’s powers to do good in the world. And she tries very hard to avoid using her own natural powers.

People like to talk about how Jean Grey has so little control over her powers. And that is true. But Rogue? She cannot utilize her original powers at all. She keeps herself fully covered. She cannot even kiss someone for fear of permanently hurting them. Jean Grey has poor control. Rogue has zero control.

Now I haven’t read her comics in many years and I am sure a lot has happened since then. But I am talking about the original character that I loved all those years ago.

She is complex and interesting and sometimes her good intentions go awry. She messes up, she hurts people. She has an attitude that is not all sugar and spice. She has a love interest in Gambit that she can never be with. How can I not love a character like that?

We've all been there, Rogue.
We’ve all been there, Rogue. We’ve all been there.

I outgrew my love for X-Men and Marvel in general. Don’t get me wrong; I watch the movies. But I have issues with Marvel and Stan Lee specifically. I moved on to other things in the comic book world. And I am sure I will be sharing those loves with you all soon enough.That is one of the overarching wonderful things about being a nerd – there is so much out there to love!


MaurnasMaurnas is the barely anonymous alias of a reclusive Floridian fangirl. She has an alleged humor blog at cursitivity.WordPress.com and can also be found at maurnas@cursitivity on Twitter. She writes almost as much as she reads but has done nothing with her debatable talents thus far other than all the blogging and tweeting and writing.

7 Webcomics That You Need In Your Life [Some Adult Content]

Okay, let me start by saying that I read a lot. And by that I mean… A LOT. I read a metric f*ck ton of stuff. Blogs, novels, comics, books, graphic novels, webcomics, tumblrs, twitter. A lot!

Like this is a normal day for me.

I read a shocking amount of online comics. And if you want more recommendations than what I am listing here just let me know. I am just going to specifically talk about some feminist and nerdy ones right here and now.

Maybe you have already heard of some of these online comics. And if you haven’t; then I hope you give them a chance and grow to love them as much as I do.

1. XKCD: I honestly feel like I HAVE to include XKCD in any mention of nerd webcomics. It is probably the most well known and poorly drawn. [https://xkcd.com/385/]

Here’s why you should love it: What it lacks in artistic skill it makes up for in general nerdiness. This is created by a guy who gets it right about women in geek culture pretty often. He’s what I call hard nerdery. Math jokes abound.

Here’s a favorite of mine:

Wait a minute...
Wait a minute…

2. Questionable Content: This one is outwardly just a great comic about relationships and dating. However, the creator of this (a guy) has recently done a great job of including all sorts of relationships, genders, ethnicities. [http://questionablecontent.net/]

Here’s why you should love it: The thing that puts it on my list for sci-fi is the development of artificial intelligence in this world. The AI are some of my favorite recurring characters. It’s also very interesting to watch the progress of his artistic skills as time has gone by.

My favorite quote from the comic:

Insert food into mouth to avoid the hangry state.
Insert food into mouth to avoid the hangry state.

3. Hark! A Vagrant!: This is another comic that is hard nerdery and generally super dorky. The creator is a Canadian and a woman. [http://www.harkavagrant.com/]

Here’s why you should love it: She makes jokes about historical stuff and I really can’t even explain what is going on with her except that she’s hilarious. I own a print and t-shirt of hers and I want more. She is a f*cking genius!

A favorite drawing of hers (and the glow in the dark shirt I own!):

You can never be sure...
You can never be sure…

4. The Hues: Okay, this comic is the sh*t! It is created by a very sweet woman I follow on Twitter. [http://thehues.alexheberling.com/]

Here’s why you should love it: Besides having a mostly female cast, multiple genders and sexualities presented and a POC main character. How about women with superpowers fighting robot alien invaders? I feel like this creator basically took that advice that if you want something to exist you should make it yourself.

Shiny!
Shiny!

BEWARE! (Or be excited), thar be adult content ahead!

5. Oglaf: This one is 100% NSFW. Seriously. It starts out pretty slow with an ongoing storyline that I don’t really like. But it soon becomes one of the funniest webcomics I have ever read. [http://oglaf.com/sextiles/]

Here’s why you should love it: It is smutty fantasy, and not like sex fantasy (though it has a lot of sex). More like dragons and magic and shapeshifter fantasy. It is created by a woman. Lots of homoerotica too. The below image is one of the better ones that was not ridiculously indecent. It was tough to find one.

Here’s a favorite of mine:

I'll be in my bunk...
I’ll be in my bunk…

6. Starfighter: This one does not do so well with the feminist aspect as it appears to take place in some all male dystopian future in space. [http://starfightercomic.com/comic.php]

Here’s why you should love it: There is a ton of homosexual relationships and encounters depicted in this one. Which I excitedly endorse. I can’t really tell where this comic is going. It is fascinating and interesting and I wish it updated more often. I also have no clue who created it. The whole thing is very mysterious and beautiful. A LOT of graphic adult content, yada yada.

Sh*t is about to go down...
Sh*t is about to go down…

7. Chester 5000XYV: Have I spoken about the art of any of the other comics yet? No? I guess I was saving it for this one. This is a NSFW romantic comic set in Victorian times about a woman and a robot. It is created by a woman. [http://jessfink.com/Chester5000XYV/?p=34]

Here’s why you should love it: It is beautifully drawn. There are no words, only gorgeous art. It has a compelling story. I love her use of borders and perspective in her storytelling. And in case you missed it, robot sex!

We all knew this day would come...
We all knew this day would come…

So there you have it. Yes, I do read more online comics than this. Think I am missing out on something good? Let me know in the comments! I definitely don’t have enough to read in my life.


MaurnasMaurnas is the barely anonymous alias of a reclusive Floridian fangirl. She has an alleged humor blog at cursitivity.WordPress.com and can also be found at maurnas@cursitivity on Twitter. She writes almost as much as she reads but has done nothing with her debatable talents thus far other than all the blogging and tweeting and writing.

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