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GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, hasreleased their list of nominees for their annual awards, and surprisingly, for once, it isn’t the usual celebrity worship list GLAAD usually trots out. I have…a problem with GLAAD as an organization. They always seem more preoccupied with getting publicity by going after easy targets and kissing up to famous people to get them to appear in photo ops than in actually working to improve the image of gay and lesbian people in the mass media. But this year they seem to have actually gone out of their way to nominate those who don’t have a high media profile. Let’s take a look, shall we?

OUTSTANDING FILM – WIDE RELEASE

Brokeback Mountain (Focus Features)
Capote (Sony Pictures Classics)
The Family Stone (20th Century Fox)
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Warner Bros.)
Rent (Sony Pictures)

OUTSTANDING FILM – LIMITED RELEASE

Beautiful Boxer (Regent Releasing/here! Films)
Mysterious Skin (TLA Releasing)
Saving Face (Sony Pictures Classics)
Transamerica (The Weinstein Company)
Walk On Water (Samuel Goldwyn Films)

Granted, Brokeback Mountain and Rent are almost painfully obvious choices, but there are still some films on that list that could actually be considered “by gay people for gay people,” rather than the “movies for straight people that happen to have gay people in them” that GLAAD usually recognizes.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES

Commander in Chief (ABC)
The L Word (Showtime)
Queer as Folk (Showtime)
Six Feet Under (HBO)
South of Nowhere (The N)

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES

Out of Practice (CBS)
Shameless (BBC America)
Will & Grace (NBC)

I pretty much don’t watch much TV anymore, so I don’t have much to say about these choices, other than to reiterate my impressions that The L Word is more about titillating straight men than anything else and that we should all be very, very ashamed of ourselves for allowing the gay version of Amos and Andy, Will & Grace, to last as long as it has.

OUTSTANDING MUSIC ARTIST

Antony and the Johnsons, I Am a Bird Now
Melissa Etheridge, Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled
Girlyman, Little Star
Sharon Isbin, Rodrigo, Villa-Lobos, Ponce: Guitar Concertos
Amy Ray, Prom

This is truly remarkable. Only one token gay pop celebrity on the list!

OUTSTANDING COMIC BOOK

Gotham Central by Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker (DC Comics)
Strangers in Paradise by Terry Moore (Abstract Studio)
Top Ten: The Forty-Niners by Alan Moore (ABC Comics/Wildstorm)
Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughn (Vertigo/DC Comics)
Young Avengers by Allan Heinberg (Marvel)

I’m glad that Heinberg finally stopped playing coy in Young Avengers. I’m still baffled as to how anyone can think of Strangers in Paradise as a positive portrayal of lesbian relationships. And, while I enjoy Rucka’s work, and Brubaker’s (non-Marvel) work, and Gotham Central itself, I do have to say that my reaction to the outing of Renee Montoya is still “Gosh! The tough female cop with a drinking problem turns out to be a lesbian! How unexpected and original!” At least they’ve successfully avoided making her mannish.

Of course, I still have plenty of fault to find with GLAAD, despite the good choices for the awards this year. For example, applauding Gene Shalit’s “I’m sorry if you were offended by my statements, but how dare you criticize me” “apology” for his homophobic misrepresentation of Brokeback Mountain is the kind of “don’t piss off the famous people” nonsense I really hate seeing a prominent gay group engage in.


While I’m on my Queer Soapbox, guess what the United States, Iran, Egypt, Zimbabwe, China and Cameroon have in common:

They’re all countries that voted to deny gay groups membership in a UN organization devoted to economic and social issues.

Hey, GLAAD, want a project? Track how that story gets reported in the mainstream American news.

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I’ve got a couple of longer-type posts rattling around in the back of my head. I’ve got some thoughts on the role of sex and sexuality in computer games I need to get out at some point, as well as some thoughts on all the misanthropic television I’ve been watching on DVD lately, but I don’t quite have anything I want to share with the public just yet on those subjects.

I’m tempted to talk about the list of Free Comic Book Day titles, but I think I’d rather wait until I actually can take a look at them to talk about them in depth. Though I do feel rather confident in saying that I really would rather wish that Arcana and Wizard wouldn’t bother with contributions this year. I also find it curious that Claypool is listed as participating, given the possibility of Diamond dropping them from the catalogue.

I’m half-tempted to write about the new Flash series, but given how little content is actually in that article (“It’s a bold new direction!” Again?), I can’t work up the enthusiasm.
(The article also makes me want to create a little banner that reads “Barry Allen is still dead. Get over it.”)

I’m also sorely tempted to talk about the latest leaked “exclusives” from Wizard, if for no other reason than to share the shame I feel at the prospect of buying a Wildcats comic in the near future.

Instead, to fill up space, I’m going to make an observation about C.S.I.
Nick Stokes should be gay. Let’s face it, the characters on this show have only the barest hints of personalities. You’ve got the ex-stripper single mom whose dad is a mobster, the snotty girl with an Electra Complex, the geeky kid, the geeky boss, the grizzled veteran cop, the good-looking black guy and the good looking white guy. Nick is practically a cipher as it is. The only things we’ve learned about him in five years is that he’s from Texas, he was sexually molested as a kid, and he once had sex with a hooker.
I mean, given the way the show works, it would only be brought up once and used as an excuse for the character to get indignant over a case, then never brought up again, so what could it hurt?

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I noticed this the last time I was at the comic shop. The cover and every article inside refers to the CLAMP series xxxHolic as Holic.

See, I’ve noted before that AI, for a magazine devoted to a subject with a large number of female fans, does itself a disservice by maintaining the frat-boy attitude of every other Wizard publication. A “fan service” pin-up a month of an attractive bishonen does not a women-friendly magazine make.

I’m left with the impression that they just couldn’t be bothered to actually get the name of their cover-featured title right because it’s “for girls.”

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Someone at my Local Chain Bookstore has a sense of humor.
Not pictured: Michael Medved’s latest book, Do As I Say, Or BURN IN HELL!!! and some book of photography.

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Marvel Comics for April

I’m trying so hard to not be too harsh, but Marvel makes it difficult…

Ultimate Spider-Man features Ultimate Deadpool. The polite way to phrase my reaction is that Deadpool seems far too recent a character to be “ultimatized.”

The last solicitation for Marvel Knights as it was are in this batch, and frankly, it’s probably a long overdue move. The line hasn’t really had a focus for a long time. The closest it’s ever seemed to come is “more mature than the standard line, not as offensive as the Max line.”

The Annihilation one-shot spins off into four minis, and Civil War serves as a subplot in on-going titles.
I’m biting my tongue on this one…

Yet another Marvel Romance book comes out…why are Valentine’s Day tie-in comics being published in March and April? Or does Marvel seriously intend to try their hand at an ongoing romance line?

Marvel Zombies does apparently tie back into Ultimate Fantastic Four. So, what, it was a five-issue fill-in mini?

Spider-Woman: Origin concludes. Based on the first issue, I kind of wish they’d stuck with her original origin. You know, the one where she was a spider grown into a woman by the High Evolutionary.
Man, we don’t see enough of the High Evolutionary, do we?

Wolverine: Origins. So, he appears in X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, Astonishing X-Men, New Avengers and two on-going solo titles, in addition to frequent guest appearances and obligatory appearances in minis.
Remember how sick people got of the Punisher and Lobo back in the day?

DC Comics in April

Regarding Robin #149, and the seeming spoiler on the cover…hoo-boy, Pete is not going to be happy.

Checkmate seems like a safe bet. I like Rucka’s work, I like Saiz’s work, and I’ve enjoyed their take on the covert aspects of the DC U.

I don’t particularly care about what happens to Bludhaven in Crisis Aftermath: The Battle for Bludhaven, but I’ll be picking it up anyway because:

Holy Cow, is that the Force of July?
(It’s a stupid reason to buy a comic, I know, but Force of July is one of those deliriously cheesy concepts I love in super-hero comics. Plus, y’know, Palmiotti and Gray have written quite a few good comics at this point, and Dan Jurgens is can be very good as well.)

Pete is a huge fan of Kyle Rayner, so we’ll definitely be picking up Ion. (Hopefully it’ll make up for the seeming events in Robin…)

Showcase Presents Haunted Tank won’t be making it into my purchase lists, but by God am I happy that DC is putting the book out.

The Infinite Crisis action figures seem painfully unnecessary to me. Plus, y’know:


Superboy Prime wearing what appears to be pieces of the Anti-Monitor’s armor looks like a significant spoiler to me. And:


Powergirl looks like a guy in drag.

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