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Saturday sessions

Since I am exhausted, and in significant pain, I think I'd best do this now than waiting until after dinner.

First panel--Comics (with some variation)

"But Clark Kent's the Whole Point" Brilliant presentation about Superman. I want her to be my friend!!! Good examination of the Superman-Kal-El-Clark Kent identity question and how we define The Man of Steel. Critique of newest film. Some discussion of missteps of The New 52.

Emasculation and The New 52. A discussion of how the new 52 privileges the adolescent definition of masculinity, to the point of stripping heroes that had achieved adult masculinity pre-reboot back to their adolescent state. The presenter makes some valid points, but I think he is much too quick to dismiss the Tier 1 characters.

Disney, comic books, and 18th-19 century folklore. Least persuasive/compelling of the three. Not sure anything "revealed."

Second panel--Robert Downey Jr.

Examination of Home for the Holidays. Interesting, but 20 years on no longer groundbreaking commentary on heteronormativity.
Examination of The Singing Detective, A Scanner Darkly, and Fur and to a lesser extent Tropic Thunder of Downey's immediately post-incarceration work, hidden behind/trapped in skin motifs, and performance. I think I may need to see A Scanner Darkly. The Singing Detective I probably should see, but won't--hits too close to home. When you've lived in a home with someone with severe dermatological conditions, and had some yourself...well, just not happening. And Fur--not in this lifetime.
Examination of Sherlock Holmes films. Author was trying to counter arguments that the Richie/Downey Holmes is non-canonical by highlighting grounding in the original Conan Doyle stories for the physicality and "weirdness" in the films. Well, duh. When I was 12 I knew that the Rathbone Holmes was NOT canonical, and neither was much of the Brett. Yet again, people getting their understanding from adaptations, not originals. Like the moderator in the first panel of the day who used the example of calling out Wayne's death scene in The Alamo because he didn't die the same way as Parker's in the Disney Davy Crockett series. What is excusable in a child is not equally exempt in an adult.


Afternoon was an exercise in annoyance. Two of the sessions I wanted to get to were in a "mystery" location, and by the time I found out where they were I was already cutting it very fine. Then I misunderstood the directions and ended up in the wrong place. I defaulted to my second choice for one, skipped the other (the last of the day), and ended up at an Arthurian session that was not what I expected and perhaps the weakest of all the sessions I attended. (Zombies in Arthurania; the rehabilitation of monstrous characters in modern Arthurian incarnations (particularly Mordred); and a presentation of a paper by a grad student that was verry safe, superficial, and...adequate. The other session was a Comics panel on how children's views of heroism and ethics is shaped by comic books, and an exploration of the character Deadpool. The paper I really wanted to here in that session, how e-versions of comic books alter the reading experience, didn't happen (the presenter was a no-show [not the first for sessions I attended, btw--WTF: the session chairs at least deserve a heads up that someone isn't coming. Not cool.].

The presentation on children was by the person taking over as chair of this area, and I found that his approach was very like the previous chair's attitude, which was to monopolize and micromanage, dismissing interpretations not his own and marginalizing female voices in discussion. In the previous chair's case, as a full professor, retiring after years in the field, and a man of color in a white dominated field, he gets a bit of slack. The 4th year PhD. grad student copping the same attitude is just typical comic fanboy misogynism, and not something appropriate to the position he is going to assume.

The Deadpool presenter was better in questions that in the presentation. He did say something I found troubling though--that comic books are ART, not narrative. I'm sure if I press him he could make me understand what he really means, because I really doubt he's that much of an idiot. But I've been wrong about that kind of thing before. It will be interesting if the Deadpool film is able to maintain the metanarrative the comics have, but I really suspect Disney will force a default to the "Weapon X" of X-Men Origins: Wolverine rather than something as risky and edgy as a faithful version of the comic. He did make me want to check out the Deadpool video game, though--that sounds trippy and potentially very fun.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 9th, 2013 04:47 pm (UTC)
One thing that Himself and I bonded on was our feelings about the Rathbone holms we thought he was fun but hated the idea of Watson being stupid. At least Bretts was reasonable.
Nov. 9th, 2013 09:30 pm (UTC)
Yes. I really hated the versions of Watson and Lestrade in those, though I really enjoyed BR. And, yes, the Watson in the Jeremy Brett version was a vast improvement, though too old. Whatever quibbles I have about Jude Law's Watson (which are minor) and Martin Freeman's, at least they get the age about right. I think I like Law's Watson best, which given that I generally don't enjoy his work, is saying a lot for how close he comes to the John Watson in my head.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )