sasha_feather: the back of furiosa's head (furiosa: back of head)
Previous post on this subject: https://sasha-feather.dreamwidth.org/1025648.html

While talking with Jesse about how to *really* get at what I want to describe, rather than male gaze or female gaze, what we came up with was empathetic or empathizing gaze vs. Objectifying gaze.

I like accuracy of language, as you have probably figured out if you've known me a while.

You can divide any image into thirds. Your eye will fall onto the top third line or bottom third line of the frame. What sits on this line? Objectifying images often have breasts and hips of women at the top and bottom thirds. Empathethic gaze images will have the subject's eyes at the top third line (or sometimes the center or bottom third) of the image; the point is that you are focusing on their eyes and that encourages you to feel what they are feeling.

TJ and Amal (http://tjandamal.com/) is a good example of empathetic gaze in a comics medium.
Also see:
Mad Max: Fury Road
Moonlight - notice the focus on eyes and hands in the trailer (https://youtu.be/9NJj12tJzqc)
sasha_feather: Daredevil in a suit (Daredevil)
I read the first two volumes of "Sex Criminals" by Fraction and Zdarksy. I was annoyed because it has a great concept but could have been so much better than it is.

Read more... )
sasha_feather: Amelie, white woman with dark hair, smiling cheerfully (Amelie)
Fiction:
Mission Child by Maureen McHugh

Non-Fiction:
Bayard Rustin: The Invisible Activist by Jacqueline Jaeger Houtman, Walter Naegle, and Michael G. Long

Comics and Graphic Novels:

The Infinite Wait and other stories by Julia Wertz
Seconds, by Bryan Lee O'Malley
Ms. Marvel volumes 1 and 2 by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona
The Midas Flesh vol. 1 by Ryan North, Braden Lamb, Shelli Paroline, Steve Wands
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Saga, vol. 4 and 5 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples
sasha_feather: Janelle Monae against a blue background (Janelle monae)
I read a few books and comics about black history lately. I recommend all of these. This are all fairly easy from a reading-level standpoint and are suitable for middle-grade readers and up.

Bayard Rustin: The Invisible Activist by Jacqueline Houtman, Walter Naegle, and Michael G. Long.

An openly gay black man in the 30s, 40s, and later, Rustin was a Quaker peace activist. He was the main organizer of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. He also worked to integrate buses in North Carolina 8 years before Rosa Parks, and for that he spent 3 weeks on a chain gang. He was a talented singer, speaker, and organizer, who also protested against nuclear testing. This book is a quick read and beautifully done.

March: books 1 and 2 by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell.

Beautiful and interesting comics about John Lewis' life as an activist. The first book is about his early life growing up on a farm in GA, and working as a college student to integrate lunch counters in Nashville. The second book is about the Freedom Riders, which was pretty intense, and the March on Washington. The third book is forthcoming.

Strange Fruit vol 1: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History by Joel Christian Gill

Vignettes about black people (mostly men) from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Includes the man who was the inspiration for the Lone Ranger; the Black Cyclone (a competitive bicyclist); and a chess master. Some stories are sad, some are funny, some are inspiring. My favorite part is the sly, off-beat humor. For example, when a boy's parents send him off on a train trip, a sign declares the platform as 9 3/4.
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Sherlock glass)
I really liked The Hospital Suite by John Porcellino, a graphic memoir focusing on the author's experiences with illnesses. He has mysterious and severe gut pain, which turns out to be a tumor (non cancerous) requiring surgery. He loses a lot of weight and has trouble gaining it back. Eventually, though natural and alternative medicine, he starts to feel better physically, but then his old problems with anxiety and OCD act up, causing problems with his marriage. There are some intense descriptions in here including self-harm, thoughts of suicide, OCD symptoms, and food issues, which some readers will no doubt want to avoid or approach with caution.

I loved the no-nonsense honesty of this book. Porcellino doesn't have a lot of regard for his doctors, who misdiagnose him and don't show him much compassion. He furthers his studies with Buddhism and finds comfort in koans. Especially stark for me were panels depicting experiences of pain and mental illness, successfully using simple line drawings to show tension and pain.

What I continually admire from graphic memoirists is their ability to be so forthright about their experiences. Body, mind, soul, relationships are laid out on the page for all to see. I wonder if the simple cartoon format works as a distancing mechanism for the author.

Highly recommended.
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
Some things I've been reading:

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. Really enjoyed this! Some of the comics were emotional, so I read it in short bits. The one about the toy parrot made me laugh so hard I gave myself a coughing fit. Some of these I had read before on the web; some are new material. The comics about depression are in here, and may be difficult for some readers.

Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh. I hated this a lot. The art and colors are gorgeous but the story was not for me at all. I don't need to read about dysfunctional lesbian relationships where the people seem like unhappy liars and then one of them dies. This is a love story?

Stand Fast in your Enchantments by [personal profile] devildoll. I loved this Teen Wolf story a lot! I just started reading TWoof even though I don't watch the show much-- I've really been enjoying fanfic and looking for new things to read, and this is what my friends are into. This Derek/Stiles story is largely about communication. At first Derek can't speak because he's trapped in wolf form, and then later because he's just bad at talking about his feelings, or bad at talking, and I can relate to that a lot (it seemed like/reminded me of selective mutism). Luckily, Stiles is a very good problem solver. This fic also keeps going after the point where a lot of stories would end, and I loved that-- it deals with the consequences of a traumatic event in their lives, the fallout, and they really have to live with the complexities of being in a relationship. It's not easy for Stiles and Derek, and the ending is earned. Totally excellent.
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
Recently Finished

Maus I and II by Art Speigelman

I've thought about these a lot since finishing them.

Lucky by Gabrielle Bell

A funny comic diary and reflections on the author's life as a young artist in NYC. I loved this! She takes odd jobs, lives in tiny apartments with other artists, and hangs out with her boyfriend. She knows how to construct a funny and very short tale about her real life and the characters she meets. I wish she hadn't used the r-word a couple of times in this book.

Currently reading

Castle Waiting by Linda Medley. A reread for me of this gorgeous graphic novel. It's a very comforting book. I hadn't noticed the racist portrayal of the gypsy woman before. :(

Monkey Food: the Complete "I was 7 in '75" Collection by Ellen Forney.

Very funny tales from Ellen's childhood. Her parents are Unitarian pot-smoking professionals. I'm not very far yet.

What will you read next

More comics! For my lightning talk at WisCon!

Not Love but Delicious Foods Make Me So Happy! by Fumi Yoshinaga

And some other comics, specifically by women, especially by women who are women of color and/or Muslim. (Thank Twitter Friends for helping me!) Not all of these will be included. I obviously have to read and select from this list.
On my hold list at the library:
Air by G. Willow Wilson
Cairo by G. Willow Wilson
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (have read before)
The Sigh by Marjane Satrapi
The Magical Life of Long Tam Sack by Anne Marie Fleming
Nylon Road by Parsua Bashi
Ooku by Fumi Yoshinaga (have read before)
Forget Sorrow by Belle Yang
Everything by Lynda Barry (have read some of her other works)
How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less by Sarah Glidden (have read)

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