This time of year always has me thinking about community. In our WWAC community we strive to bring our readers a wide variety of coverage from all aspects of the arts communities. Check out these gems from the past couple of years.
First up, Carolina’s past interview with StrangelyKatie, November 27, 2013,
Katie O’Neill, known on the internet as StrangelyKatie, is a cartoonist currently working on the webcomic The Girl From Hell City. In her portfolio there are amazing strong female protagonists, badass princesses, and monster girls. A resident of New Zealand, she’s been sharing her comics for a couple of years now and was able to gather an audience through social media.
All of her comics have in common well constructed female characters. Katie’s debut,Counting Stars, touched a lot of people with its honest parable about loneliness and friendship, and it quickly spread over the web. Don’t Let Go, another short one, is set in a post-apocalyptic world and is about sad robot love. Princess Princess, a fan favourite, is a forty-four page comic about Sadie, a kind princess locked in a tower, and her rescuer, the brave Amira. It depicts female relationships in a way the mainstream industry has failed so many times to achieve.
Her ongoing series, The Girl From Hell City, is delightfully smart and very promising. Wendy, a demon girl, lives in a world destroyed by an ancient war between the humans and the demons. All she knows is that her people were the bad guys, and now they are paying for it. The cast also includes Wendy’s loyal best friend, a mild-tempered rich girl, and a mute guy who communicates through sign language. READ MORE
Did the What’s in a Codename: Marvel Edition leaving you wanting more? Look no further for What’s in a Codename 2: The DC Edition, November 25, 2013,
Last time, we explored the problems of codenames for Marvel superheroines, and how much agency they get in-story and out. It’s DC’s turn now, starting with the problems that can come from a company that builds on family and legacy.
Daughters of Legacy:
Supergirl, Batgirl, Batwoman, Hawkwoman/girl, Jesse Quick: Building on family and legacy tends to be useful from an in-story standpoint.
If you’re wearing the S-shield or the Bat on your chest, the bad guys immediately know with whom they are messing, and who will likely come after them with extreme prejudice if they harm the distaff family member. And not just the big guy — the entire clan, so to speak.
It can be frustrating to a reader that the girls and women of the Super and Bat families don’t really get to prove themselves on their own merits. They’re automatically given the “advantage” of being badass by association with the male family members. Supergirl is actually a blood relation to Superman. Batgirl cleverly decided to trade on the recognizability of the Bat when costuming up. She declared herself one of their family decades before Tim Drake sussed out who Bruce Wayne was. But we almost never get to see the girls show how awesome they are without the recognizability factor that comes from their costume choice. READ MORE
In the mood for some gaming diaries, look no further and enjoy Wendy’s Inquisition Diaries #2, November 27, 2014,
SPOILER WARNING: These diaries will contain spoilers for Dragon Age Inquisition (DAI), as well as its predecessors, Dragon Age: Origins (DAO) andDragon Age II (DA2), and may also contain spoilers from the tie-in materials. If you’re new to this whole Dragon Age business and want to know what the hell I’m going on about, please visit my little Dragon Age Primer to learn a bit more about BioWare’s fantasy roleplaying video game series. Not able to devote the ridiculous amount of time into leading the Inquisition yourself? Then join me on my noble journey!
PREVIOUSLY ON INQUISITION DIARIES: Lerenne of the dalish elf clan Lavellan has been called upon to form an Inquisition to discover who or what is behind the breach that threatens to destroy the world. Her connection to said breach has some calling her the Herald of Andraste, while others believe her to be Thedas’ undoing. READ MORE
Lastly, Megan discusses the art industry in The End is not Nigh, Arts and Arts Industries Aren’t Dying, November 27, 2014,
Look up. That’s the Orion Nebula, a site of massive star formation. It’s certainly dramatic. Some bright points of light. Huge clouds of dust colliding. Who knows what will come out of it? Well, we do know. Stars are what’s coming, big and small. Imagine that’s an arts industry. Pick one, any will do. Ok, we’ll go with publishing. What was once stable and sedate is all upset. What’s coming is exciting and scary. But something is coming.
The culture industries, post-90s music bubble, post-Harry Potter publishing boom, are still working through the slow transformation from relatively centralized industries dominated by a few power players, to more complex industries where big publishers and production companies share space with self-publishers and social curators who may have as much or more legitimacy than they do.
In the boom times, publishers, distributors, and traditional mass media had comfortable positions as gatekeepers who couldn’t be knocked off their posts. These days, they’re on the wall with “new media,” trying to keep those gates up and their income secure, and fighting off the barbarian hoards of social media. They’re driven by the enemy (Amazon, iTunes, et al.) to form bigger and bigger mercenary bands, even as the people they’re protecting start to doubt their relevancy.
Tech companies have seen opportunity in the sweet spot between art and commerce—I mean, Amazon is the big fish here, but there are innumerable startups and publishing and distribution platforms looking for new ways to deliver art-products to avid consumers. READ MORE