“How about looking a person in the eyes?” I ask. “I find it difficult to do that in bed unless I know that it isn’t just something throwaway. Or sometimes that’s my indication that it isn’t just nothing, the ability to be able to hold a gaze.”
“Even with Emmett I don’t usually look him right in the eyes,” Nina says. “I usually do it once, but I can never do it the whole time. I feel like it’s almost too intense. I’m sure there’ll be a day where I want that intensity and we’ll do it the whole time. But usually… Yeah there’s something about it. Because sex has that effect where you are not worrying about other things, you become super vulnerable. There’s something super intense about looking at someone while you’re both vulnerable, that’s really… frightening. It’s easier to do with someone you love because you are vulnerable with each other all the time. Being in love with someone is basically being vulnerable with someone all the time. But for me it’s too high risk to exchange that vulnerability with someone I am not committed to. But i feel like I can give a little bit of that away with Emmett, who I am in love with, and who I am committed to.”
“I feel a lot like I am vulnerable all the time,” I say. “Which is why I get hurt all the time.”
I’ve been meaning to blog Cara’s last EMBED with Nina Freeman for what I now realise is a whole month. This says something about life right now.
Anyway! Nina does interesting personal games, oft about sex. Her and Cara go deep into sex, love, taboo and fucking people who you meet in online games and fucking people who you meet in clubs. Read the rest here.
I recently resigned from my role as Associate Editor on the Official Xbox Magazine.
I had no idea what an Associate Editor was, until I was made one. One who associates freely with editors, perhaps. One with access to the editor’s restroom, where one is spritzed with editorial fragrances by a team of beautiful publisher-funded swans, who time their honking to conceal your editorly farts.
It was only when my duties and salary didn’t change, that I realised that Associate Editor, in my case at least, is what happens when your boss thinks that having a forty year old staff writer on the team is beginning to make the whole magazine look tragic1.
I’m leaving the games industry to run a pub in Nottingham, but before I leave, I wanted to get my affairs in order. And the only appropriate way to do that is with a list of apologies.
I missed it when it dropped a couple of months back, but Log’s speech on leaving games journalism is extremely funny and heartfelt. Go read.
I am now thinking of the time Log stuck an award I won down his trousers and then licked my head. Not relevant, but local colour, etc.
Will we see anyone in the pantheon who isn't toned and like a magazine model? I just wonder if there's anyone who's full figured. I look at my favorite and iconic pop idols, and I look at the amazingness that Cass Elliot and her voice brought as a solo singer and as a member of the Mamas and the Papas. Although I guess I just ask because you say there are many composites to the pantheon. (Sorry for rambling, I just love what you, Jamie, Matt, and Clayton, and what you do with the book)
Cass Elliot is great. Love her.
Body diversity is where we’ve fallen short of our standards in WicDiv, at least in terms of the current generation pantheon. There’s certainly arguments that it says something about bodytypes in pop circa 2014. Exceptions are outliers, etc. But still. By the time we realised that we’d leaned towards very slender to very athletic body types with some of the cast, the remaining characters’ roles and archetypes demanded they take certain forms too.
We played with the Morrigan being much fuller figured in the conceptual process, but ended up deciding that played into a different and possibly dangerous and offensive set of stereotypes. That the member of the cast who is most obviously unstable is the one with a less media-standard body type? That’s incredibly loaded.
We’ll do what we can as continue, in short. We’re aware of it.
I keep wanting to use 'NONE MORE GOTH', complete with note of existential anguish in my voice, in daily conversation. So many opportunities. Most of them inappropriate. I wanted to tell you that because I wanted someone to share the pain.
My aim in life is basically to make everyone I know slightly more unbearable. And in this aim?
ROZ KIRBY: Have you been satisfied with what you’ve done?
KIRBY: Have I been satisfied with what I’ve done?
KIRBY: If I’ve done it myself, I’ve always been satisfied. If somebody interfered, it always created a bad period in my life.
GROTH: What was the most creatively rewarding period in your career?
KIRBY: I believe when I was given full rein on The New Gods. I was given full rein on The New Gods, and I was given full rein on Mr. Miracle. Mr. Miracle was a fine strip. I was given full rein on many other strips, which sold extremely well and made me very happy. I was happy doing them because as a professional, you’ve got to take the credit for it, or you’ve got to take the, beating for it. I don’t like to take a beating without being responsible.
GROTH: You don’t want to take somebody else’s beating.
KIRBY: I don’t want to take somebody else’s beating. That makes me unhappy. So right now, I can tell you, I’m a happy man because whatever I’m doing, I do for myself and I do a little creating here and there for others, and they work out very well. I feel like an independent man, and I am. This is the kind of feeling I always wanted. You can rarely get that… Well, I could rarely get that in the early part of my life.
GROTH: I think most people can rarely get that. You have to fight for it.
“1) If you critiqued the sexist content in a game many will try to persuade you that this means that the rest of your critique is meaningless and they will try to persuade you to kill yourself.
2) If you critiqued a fan favourite and did not enjoy the game, commenters will try to persuade you to kill yourself.
3) If you critiqued a game and you previously critiqued a fan favourite unfavourably the fans of the previous game will appear to tell you your critique is meaningless and will try to persuade you to kill yourself.
4) If you critiqued something that is not a fan favourite and really enjoyed the game, commenters will accuse you of being paid off for your opinion and will try to persuade you to kill yourself.
5) If you are a woman and you have written about topics in the game pertaining particularly to matters concerning your gender’s outlook or socialisation commenters will try to persuade you to kill yourself.
6) If you wrote a piece of New Games Journalism, describing your playthrough as more of a travelogue or personal journey as analysis of the game, commenters will type ‘BUT IS IT ANY GOOD THOUGH’ or ‘BUT WHAT ABOUT THE ACTUAL GAME’ and then try to persuade you to kill yourself.
Happily, commenters are usually not very good writers, and so largely are very unpersuasive in getting you to kill yourself.”—Cara writing about games journalism and freelance life is smart and wise in many ways, but i’m totally linking to the listicle bit of it. Read the rest here.
You’ve heard the argument that male superheroes are sexualized simply because they are often bare-chested. But a man taking off his shirt doesn’t make him a sex object. It’s actually rare to find examples of male superheroes who truly are sexualized the way women are in comics. Here are ten examples.
Our Young Avengers’ opening scene being in this list made me smile, in a good way.
Developers and writers alike want games about more things, and games by more people. We want — and we are getting, and will keep getting — tragicomedy, vignette, musicals, dream worlds, family tales, ethnographies, abstract art. We will get this, because we’re creating culture now. We are refusing to let anyone feel prohibited from participating.
“Gamer” isn’t just a dated demographic label that most people increasingly prefer not to use. Gamers are over. That’s why they’re so mad.
“We need beauty. But what right did I have, I kept asking myself, in a world so full of hell?
In his poem, “A Brief for the Defense,” Jack Gilbert attempted an answer. “We must risk delight,” he wrote. Life contains everything. Tear gas in Ferguson. Books read on the grass. Foley’s murder. Dancing in New Orleans, till sunrise blots the stars. We’re meat—fragile and finite. But joy is survival.”—Molly got me tearing up with this piece.
Welcome to Wicked Intervention, Multiversity’s monthly annotation for Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie and Matthew Wilson’s “The Wicked + The Divine”. This week, we experience theatre, puns, and a startling amount of violence. Sounds like me after my second drink.
As always, spoilers are going to be hella abundant. I don’t even know why you would spoil yourself with the damn annotations anyway. Get some control of your life.
Could you possibly explain your portrayal of the Disir in JiM? I can't find any mythological source that describes them like that, and I was just wondering what your design process for them was (you always seem to research everything so carefully, so I assume you've got some sort of source I haven't found yet).
The Disir was a riff. I had to work out an antagonist for a story on short notice, and was basically doing some very basic wiki surfing around all things norse.
I just hit a line which included the theory along the lines of “there is the argument that the Disir is what the Valkyrie were referred to before they were called Valkyrie.”
My entire conception of the Disir leaped from that. A proto-Valkyrie before the Valkyrie, with their story bitterly warped.
Our Disir don’t bear any relation to any actual use of the phrase “Disir,” except that one theory. To be honest, a lot of things are analogous with “Valkyrie” if you nose through the myths. A lot of the process of the Disir was making them feel like they could be a real myth.
I command you to give the cover of the eighth issue of WicDiv to Inanna or else... absolutely nothing bad will happen to you.But seriously, I am eagerly anticipating his introduction. I cannot imagine how Jamie's design will look. The teasers and tidbits provided by other characters are almost too much to bear. I hope Inanna is worth the wait.
In Hulk vs. Iron Man #4, Tony's inner monologue mentions that he knows were the "keys" for the Godkiller are. Is he talking about Arno, who can properly control the Godkiller, or is he saying that he knows how to get the Godkiller back after it went to another reality?
If I stayed for longer, the Godkiller fighting something equally massive would have been part of the conclusion to my arc. That I wasn’t going to do the story, I wanted to tease the idea in there on the way out. Stark’s a smart guy. He has plans.
I loved your Origin II series and your Sabertooth issue of X men Origins but I really don't know how they can exist in the same universe. Could you help me reconcile your two stories of Wolverine and Sabertooth meeting?
Trying to avoid spoilers for those who haven’t read either.
The party who appeared dead weren’t. The other party was off camera for all of it. All three of them went on the run, which is where the majority of that abuse took place.
(I’d have to re-read SABERTOOTH: ORIGINS btw, so excuse the looseness)
“Every ninety(ish) days, two handsome young writers return to this blog. They read the last three issues of The Wicked + The Divine, and they write three essays each.
Welcome to Tim + Alex Get TWATD. Each set of essays will be broken into two posts, to save our wrists and your eyes. We might be doing close readings of particular scenes or panels, picking out a theme or character that’s caught our attention, or just speculating wildly. Spoilers will be everywhere, so if you haven’t read the comics yet, avert your eyes or, better yet, grab them and come back later.
In two years, they’ll probably still be doing this. The idiots.”—I’d have linked to Alex and Tim’s new essay series just because of its conceptual perfection even if they didn’t have interesting things to say. However, they do. Essays on death, adults and Baphomet. Go read.
This is the story of a music journalist. He was a pretty successful music journalist. He had an ostensibly full-time gig at a pretty mainstream outlet. The pay wasn’t great but it was enough to live on, and he was pretty thrilled he got to write about music for a living. He worked from home,…
“The band had opted to re-record the song for the film-shoot rather than merely mime, and while this decision unquestionably adds to the interest of the clip, Keith’s drumming is far from flawless. In the context of his looming fate, these audible errors inevitably resonate with ominous significance. For example, the middle section of the song contains a kind of mini-crescendo, culminating as Roger Daltrey cuts loose with his best Acton Town blues-howl: “Whoooooo are yoo-oo-oo!” This false musical climax is then followed by a slightly unexpected shift into another quiet instrumental passage. But if you listen to the film sound track carefully, you can hear Keith momentarily forget this pianissimo-fortissimo-pianissimo structure, instead taking off immediately after Roger’s bellow with the snare and bass drum rhythm that actually drives the final section of the song. He stops abruptly, realizing his error, to re-trench sheepishly behind a wash of cymbals. (Some might consider it fanciful to suggest that cymbals can convey embarrassment; nevertheless, that is what I hear. Even Keith’s mistakes as a drummer can be powerfully emotionally expressive.)”—I loved Ben Saunders writing at length about Keith Moon’s drumming. The quoted segment is about WHO ARE YOU, and is a great unlocker of a record. There’s a lot more close reading in here - there’s a section towards the end about a lost drum-stick I almost quoted instead, but I wanted something about the musicianship rather than just the wild-man-ness of him. Read the rest here. Strong stuff.
“My background in industrial music definitely helped in achieving this. I was trying to get the same feel in ‘Call Me Maybe’ as in a Nine Inch Nails song, making sure it had a pop sensibility, but with people not even noticing how aggressive the kick drum is.”—I had this 2012 Sound On Sound article about the techy stuff about recording the immortal CALL ME MAYBE forwarded to me, specifically to show this quote. I may be slow (I am slow) but the it hit my OF COURSE IT IS! button. No wonder the Call Me Maybe/Head Like a Hole mash ups worked so well - they’re a few instrument switches and vocal-inflection tweaks away from being one another, Emily and Claire starring at each other through the mirror’s surface.
"I think anyone reading this article should draw pictures of Kieron West or Kanye Gillen and post them because I think Kieron in black leather jeans and a weird Swarovski crystal beaded face mask is an amazing image." - Matt Fraction. When this becomes a thing, are you going to reblog all the Tumblr art? Oh my god, will you cosplay this? You should cosplay this!! Also, hi!
Image Comics has released a first look at next month’s The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen, […]
Okay. Here’s a six page lettered preview for issue 4 of The Wicked + the Divine.
This was (er) something we didn’t realise we were releasing. Our mistake, clearly, and while there’s obviously lots of spoilers here, it’s not as if it breaks the issue. It just resolves the Cliffhanger, so you have less time chewing your nails. It’s not the start of the issue, but it’s near the start.
So. You can either not look at it, and keep the purity of issue 4 intact for when it drops in a few weeks time or delve in and run around squealing at the various things we reveal.
Oh - it is early, so it’s entirely possible that I’m going to tweak some of the lettering before it goes to press. So it’s not CANON even. These are apocryphal writings.