While looking around a charity shop on Sunday, I came across a small, blue, lidded tube for sale. Curiosity demanded that I look inside, and I was confronted by the sight of a magenta Bat Signal.
I immediately recognised the purpose of this small colourful plastic disc: it was intended to be thrown at stacks of small colourful cardboard discs. I had found a tube of Pogs!
Taking their name from a brand of Hawaiian passion fruit/orange/guava juice drink, Pogs started out as collectable bottle tops; at the height of their popularity it became feasible for the bottle tops to be – perversity itself – sold without bottles. And so the craze reached my windswept homeland of England, a world away from exotic Hawaii; while children such as myself had never heard of the Pog beverage, we eagerly collected the cardboard circles named in its honour.
Continue reading “In Which I Absorb Someone Else’s Childhood Through Second-Hand Pogs”
This week I went to see Kubo and the Two Strings, the new feature from Laika. It’s a stop-motion film made using physical models.
One of the trailers before it was for DreamWorks’ Trolls, a film made using computer-generated models designed to look like physical models. The characters had a texture resembling the felt that Muppets are made from; the emotion characters in Pixar’s Inside Out sported a similar style.
CGI came to dominate the animation industry years back. Poor old stop-motion – the original form of 3D animation – has tried ever-harder to justify itself in a digital age.
Continue reading “Kubo and the Two Strings“
I’ve reviewed the debut issue of Aftershock’s transgender superhero over at Women Write About Comics. Short version: I liked it.
The second part of my Women in British Animation series (which, if all goes to plan, will be monthly) is up at Women Write About Comics. The subject is Thalma Goldman Cohen, an erotically-inclined animator of the 1970s…
I’m happy to say that I recently joined the Horror Honeys, the team responsible for both the self-titled website and the horror magazine Belladonna.
Continue reading “Joining the Horror Honeys”
The Sad and Rabid Puppies campaigns have not shown a tremendous degree of interest in horror fiction. In his podcast, Brian Keene has commented (with clear thankfulness) that the culture wars have largely left horror behind, with writers in the genre getting along despite differences of political opinion.
Continue reading “Horror Puppies”
My latest thing for Women Write About Comics: a rough-and-ready analysis of what the 2016 Hugo ballot would have looked like without the Rabid Puppies.
When I was a teenager, I tried to play through all of the Final Fantasy games in order – although I have to admit, I never did finish Final Fantasy VIII. Still, I battled my fair share of pixelated beasties, and I often wondered exactly where those imaginary creatures originated.
Continue reading “The Final Fantasy-Jorge Luis Borges Connection”
I wanted to like Suicide Squad. And, indeed, I liked parts of it. But it had one glaring, inescapable flaw: the plot was a mess. I’ve gone into a bit more detail over at my Women Write About Comics review.
The film was commercial success and Suicide Squad 2 seems an inevitability. Sequels that improve upon the originals are scarcely unheard of amongst superhero films — Superman 2, Spider-Man 2, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Iron Man 3, The Dark Knight, X-Men 2, X-Men First Class — so perhaps next time we see them, the Squad will have their act together.
We can hope, at least…
My fourth and final look at the prose fiction Hugo nominees is up at Women Write About Comics. Wizards in towers! Steampunk kitties! Earthbender oppression! Fish-eating AIs! Exploding moons! How could you say no…?