Open Thread: Of Course

Just a quick reminder.




You may now go back to what you were doing.


jill heather said...

At least her nylons won't get snagged during battle? Her thong looks pretty precarious, as battle pants go.

(What is that from?)

Ana Mardoll said...

From an Alice in Wonderland graphic novel which I am reading in ARC form and which I ... do not think will get a good rating from me.

I feel bad about that, but the artists put a higher value on "sexy" than they did on "consistent" and it bugs me. Legs disappear, faces change, costumes alter inexplicably, and it's NOT a commentary on Wonderland, it's just laziness, imho. :/

Will Wildman said...

Thoughts, in order:

1. What?
2. What?
3. wot
4. I realise I'm a hipster who thinks Lovecraft is too mainstream (well, no, I just really liked The King in Yellow and I find Derleth tedious) but do we really need the with-strange-aeons poem quoted in every single fantasy context? For that alone I'm convinced that it is laziness that drives the failures of art.
5. If there's going to be blatant pandering, could there at least be blatant pandering to more than one demographic? I can't be the only person who thinks ladies in heavy plate are hot.
6. I should actually start reading Order of the Stick some day. I am usually delighted by settings that explicitly run on RPG rules.
7. Seriously, what?

Ana Mardoll said...

Oh, it's a Lovecraft reference! That line was REALLY out of place with the rest of the novel, so that makes sense.

I love "Shadow Over Innsmouth", so I'm glad he's mainstream enough for me to find him (I think SoI was recced to me via TV Tropes), but I agree he doesn't need to be quoted in *everything*.

Re, #5, THIS. All the women in the novel look IDENTICAL. At least give me variety in the sexy.

I HIGHLY recommend OoTS. Husband is reading it right now, and even he likes it. We pretty much *never* like the same things, so I take this as evidence that *everyone* will like it.

Randomosity said...

I've read most of HP Lovecraft but the first thing I thought of when I read the quote was the Metallica song "The Thing That Should Not Be" which quotes this and then I thought of Lovecraft.

The second thing I thought of was that Alice looks cold. Well no wonder, given how she's dressed. She looks confused in the second picture.

chris the cynic said...

This needs to exist:

Strange things have been happening and they've dug up a book written in an obscure inflected language which purports to be from 1372. After getting a handle on the cases a member of the group begins to translate

"Ok, so the first sentence here looks like a pretty simple thing, with two clauses, "that... which". Primary clause, relative clause. The primary clause is, um, 'That ... that is... that is dead,' wait, no, 'That is not dead." The relative is... "Which can..." Fuck. I hate indirect statement. Ok, this part means "in eternity" so-"

"That is not dead which can eternal lie."

"Uh... yes. How did you know."

"Trash it, the book's a fake."


"It's quoting Lovecraft, it's a fake."

And then they throw out the book and move on to more important things, having lost valuable time, but at least not as much as they would have if they'd continued chasing the red herring that was the book.

Ymfon Tviergh said...

Seconding the recommendation: I have no interest in either role-playing or comics, but I raced through the OotS in a shamefully short time. And now it's a long, long wait for the next episode... :-(

chris the cynic said...

Also, Jabberwocky is a poem, the Jabberwock is the beast described therein.

Unless the next line after, "I don't think you're going to like it," is, "because it involves burning books," I don't think the advice is going to help Alice deal with (the) Jabberwocky, the Jabberwock maybe, but my question is why Alice is asking how to get rid of a poem in the first place?

Furthermore I'd like to add that the Jabberwock was killed in the fifth stanza of the poem. With a sword. Admittedly it was killed by a male with a vorpal sword while Alice is female and the swords available to her might not be vorpal, but I'm still not entirely sure why she can't kill it.

In the poem some guy's son kills it, decapitates it (it is unclear if the decapitation is part of the killing or takes place afterward) and brings the head back to his dad. Jabberwock==Killable. Jabberwocky=Poem.

Now, in theory, a Jabberwocky might be to a Jabberwock as a ducky is to a duck, so perhaps there is some creature that shares its name with the poem, but I don't see how adding a diminutive suffix would change it from "Kill it and bring the head home to daddy" to "You can't kill it."

Ana Mardoll said...

I hadn't noticed the Y thing.

The in-universe explanation is that death isn't permanent in Wonderland. It's not a very good explanation, I don't think. Not that the vorpal blade or the poem are ever mentioned.

Will Wildman said...

"We killed it but it respawned" is seriously lacking as a handwave. A society in which death is truly a slap on the wrist is going to be radically bizarre to us by any reasonable extrapolation. Books have been written on the subject. (You've read Mogworld, I believe? There's respawning done properly.)

Ana Mardoll said...

I HAVE AND IT WAS!! (Mogworld squee. Jam is out now, too.)

TW: Conflation of Mental Illness with Violence

So here is an issue I have with the Alice book: it DOES try to incorporate respawning into bizarro-world-building, but it falls back heavily on Insanity Equals Violence -- i.e., EVERYONE in Wonderland is insane AND extremely, ridiculously violent -- and I think most everyone here understands why that is intensely problematic.

And I have no idea how to put that across in a review when Wonderland = Madness = Violence is pretty firmly culturally embedded by now and clearly I should have not expected any different. *SIGH*

MaryKaye said...

My favorite comic comment on this:

In an early issue of _Cerebus_ the parody heroine Red Sophia is trying to impress Cerebus. She (with her back to the camera) dramatically flings off her bikini and says "What do you think of THESE!?"

"Cerebus thinks they would heal if you stopped wearing the chain-mail bikini."

_Cerebus_ gets increasingly misogyinistic and otherwise problematic as it goes on but I can recommend the first few compilation volumes, approximately through _High Society._

Majromax said...

And I have no idea how to put that across in a review when Wonderland = Madness = Violence is pretty firmly culturally embedded by now and clearly I should have not expected any different. *SIGH*

I'd recommend this to clean out the cruft, but be warned that it's rather catchy: (link to artist's site with audio playback [flash-based] on top left corner of page)

Nathaniel said...

Errrrgggggg. Why? Why why why? Why do comic book artists insist on drawing their women in clothes so ridiculous that it would make a horny 13 year old face palm upon seeing it?

I am so tired of this shit.

redsixwing said...

Even I like OoTS, and that is REALLY saying something as I often dislike things that involve protracted arguments over rules.

I can't be the only person who thinks ladies in heavy plate are hot.

You're definitely not.

A friend of mine is reading "Alice in the Country of Hearts," which is a manga set in a Wonderland in which death is not permanent. The characters get very worried about Alice when it turns out that she (being not from Wonderland originally) gets really upset about the possibility of them dying - they take it in stride, since it happens all the time and people come back.

Since I haven't read it myself, I can't recommend or dis-recommend it, but my friend is enjoying it quite a bit.

Asha said...

That- wait- what?
I started reading OotS way back when. I forget what happened and stopped reading it (I think it was just so far back that I read most of it) and thought it was really good. So, yay!

I- just- why? I really hate the chain mail bikini trope. I really do. Was this where someone posted the link to the tumblr Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor?

At any rate, its far more sexy than those pics could hope to be. Really.

Asha said...

Oh, yay. I forgot to close the link. -_-;; Sorry.

Silverbow said...

We studied Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass in university for an English course, and we learned some pretty interesting stuff. Among other things, the original illustrator (John Tenniel) worked very closely with Lewis Carroll, and Carroll apparently asked Tenniel to draw a picture of Alice killing the Jabberwock with the vorpal sword. This illustration was the one used in the book. So while the poem says it was a boy, in the illustration it's pretty clearly Alice.


Alice talking to Humpty Dumpty (illustration by Tenniel)

Alice killing the Jabberwock

Also of interest, the original Alice was a brunette. Her hair changed to blonde when colour printing became available, in part because of the Victorian convention that all heroines should be blonde to denote whiteness, goodness, and purity (and of course we still have that convention around today).

Silverbow said...

And while we're on the subject, the computer adventure game "Alice: The Madness Returns" is really kinda awesome. I haven't played through the entire thing yet, but it's got several references to the historical Alice (and the character in the game is brunette), the original illustrations by Tenniel, various factoids about Carroll's life, and Victorian-style references to psychology, madhouse asylums and hypnotism.

It's violent but also wonderfully weird as it's all more or less taking place in grown-up Alice's head. And the violence is tempered. For instance, instead of the character dying when she's killed, she explodes in a burst of blue butterflies.

Silver Adept said...

I think someone did link to Women Fighters In Reasonable Armor, possibly in an Escher Girls recommendation thread.

And looking at the "armored" picture, my brain says, "Well, that's a good start...if you think you need metal closest to your breasts rather than padding. Surely the next panel will show us the full suit of armor." Even though I know yay won't happen.

It does give me an idea for a drabble...

"That, there, kid, is the most powerful set of sorceresses in the kingdom."

"Why aren't they wearing any armor?"

"Metal interferes with the magic."

"...why aren't they wearing any clothes?"

"...How old are you, kid?"


"And when did you steal your brother's armor to come join the army?"

"It's my father's, actually, and-I mean, it's been in my family for generations!"

"Relax, kid, your secret is safe with us. Nobody wool notice that you're not quite flat. Anyway, everyone in this regiment prefers men. Including you, I suppose."

"...Long live the king?"

"Long live the king."

Loquat said...

Panel 2 is seriously her full armor? I mean, I know my perceptions have been warped by over a year of playing an MMO with lots of cheesecake armor sets, but she should at the very least be adding a plate miniskirt over that thong.

Brenda said...

This doesn't seem to bear much resemblance to Lewis Carroll's books, but I have read a book that is amazingly accurate: "Alice Through the Needle's Eye" by Gilbert Adair. They even managed to imitate Tenniel's illustrations.

I highly recommend "The Annotated Alice", which contains the full text of both of Carroll's "Alice" books, with annotations explaining every joke, parody and culture reference that we don't recognize anymore. There are several pages devoted to the poem "Jabberwocky"!

Also, Esther Friesner's anthology "Chicks in Chainmail" and its numerous sequels, in which various authors take on the difficulties of keeping up in the bronze-bra line of work...

Ana Mardoll said...

It's inconsistently drawn, but sometimes there's a little metal panel that hangs down between her legs. And she also has a flowy cape.

Nick said...

I can't be the only person who saw the "Unarmoured" picture and immediately thought "Wow, she looks like she must be freezing!", can I? Even her pose (and facial expression) looks like she's desperately trying to get some warmth and feeling back into her arms.

Paul A. said...

"We killed it but it respawned" is seriously lacking as a handwave. A society in which death is truly a slap on the wrist is going to be radically bizarre to us by any reasonable extrapolation.

Not to get too far off the topic, but I'm reminded of a TV show I saw once, set in a virtual reality computer simulation that was just like the real world except for a few stylistic flourishes, like the fact that when a simulated person dies their body fades away after a few seconds the way dead bodies do in some video games.

Which is all well and good, except that this virtual world was supposedly set up so that the government could simulate disasters and develop response plans and things, and it seems to me that any disaster simulation where death is unambiguous and the bodies helpfully dispose of themselves is going to give you seriously skewed results. (And that's before it turns out that the simulated people, partly as a result of the disappearing-bodies thing, have developed a completely different approach to religion from the society they're supposed to be modelling.)

chris the cynic said...

Which tells you how little I know about Alice and Wonderland et. al. Jabberwocky appears in a textbook on poetry (How does a poem mean?) that usually lives in my bathroom but came out to help me compose the post.

Thank you for the info.

Silver Adept said...

@Nick -

Oh, certainly not. I thought that she looked very cold in the first panel. Which is why it's even more odd that she seems to have achieved a normal body temperature by wearing less.

Ana Mardoll said...

Alas, I think that's supposed to convey "fear" -- she runs around in that outfit for the entirety of the book and never looks cold anywhere else. But I agree that it LOOKS like "cold".

Ymfon Tviergh said...

Completely off-topic: The collaborative story Chris set up (thank you!) has been slowing down; anyone want to jump in?

EDIT: Disqus doesn't seem to like the address for some reason. Could someone with an account post it, please?

Brin Bellway said...

Disqus doesn't seem to like the address for some reason. Could someone with an account post it, please?

This should do it.

Thomas Keyton said...


I think I've read something somewhere with people wearing that kind of armour, only their actual defence is personal forcefields and they're just showing off how awesome their tech is.

Please tell me that's what's going on here.


GeniusLemur said...

Well, their understanding of clothing/armor is rubbish, I suppose it makes sense they have no grasp of body language either.

Ymfon Tviergh said...

@ Brin and Chris: Thank you!

Rakka said...

You can find most if not all of Lovecraft's stories here: although the default page style is awful. (I always set it to "no style" from view options on my browser.) The translations for L's work tend to be pretty bad (just how fucking difficult is it to look up "ephemeral" on a dictionary), or old enough to be out of print, and I haven't got myself an English edition yet so it's good to have them online.

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