SOME INFO ABOUT MYSELF

Being the selected wisdom of a certain writer of adventure picto-books, Gail Simone.

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8 July 13

Batgirl Sneak Peek!

I hope I am doing this right!

Okay, a lot of people have heard me raving about the new permanent Batgirl art team. To be honest, we have had a bit of a struggle for reasons beyond human control, and it’s made the look of the book vary a bit despite some outstanding artists.

Until now.

Guys, honest to god, I can’t explain to you how delighted I am with the new team. It’s penciler Fernando Pasarin, inker Jonathan Glapion, and colorist Blond.

And they are rocking this book to its foundations. We have had terrific artists on the book, people I really loved and hated to see leave. But I don’t believe, with respect to all those wonderful artists, that ANYONE has given us a better Barbara, in particular.

I was not familiar with these artists, I hate to admit it. But this is one of those times when everything is just perfectly aligned.

I am getting pages like this in the mail almost every day. As weird as it sounds, there are lots of talented artists who can’t draw people in civilian clothes and poses. There are talented artists who don’t know how to draw a  21 year old woman at all, in any sort of believable fashion.

But THESE three are giving us the BEST Barbara, the BEST McKenna, and just an amazing supporting cast. And when Barbara is Batgirl, look out.

Their first issue, they did great. But they were still feeling their way a little bit. As of the next issue, issue 22, they OWN this title.

I have run out of nice things to say about them. I keep writing them fan letters, and they are ridiculously humble. Fernando turns in some of the best pages I’ve ever seen, and then sheepishly says he ‘hopes they are good enough.’

Jonathan takes Fernando’s delicate, careful pencils and makes them bold without losing the perfect detail.

And Blond adds mood and texture and warmth and heat and frosty cool ice when called for.

I have never done this before, but I asked my group editor and the DC PR maven if I could show an upcoming favorite page here on Tumblr, to show how the process works when artists are THIS freaking good. They were kind enough to allow it even though the issue doesn’t come out for a couple months.

Take a look, these are the three stages of art here.

The first is Fernando’s pencils. These are what we call ‘tight’ pencils, meaning all the detail is there. They sometimes shoot directly from the pencils when they are this complete.

Look at the detail, there are stories all over this page. Now, artists get paid by the page. A LOT of artists would have put maybe half this much detail on this page and moved on. I have literally had penciled pages come in with stick figures still on them. That is not the kind of artist Fernando is. Notice there is a mom holding a handkerchief to her child’s nose, perfectly drawn, you may not even notice it when you look at the page. Amazing.

And a perfect, flawless, joyful drawing of Alysia and Barbara dead center, illuminating their state of mind perfectly. When the acting is this good, it frees up a lot of storytelling real estate. I have much more freedom to tell a more complex story, because I know the acting is on the page and doesn’t need explaining.

Moving on to the inking…notice how Jonathan presents Fernando’s vision with full clarity. He doesn’t skip, he uses the same care Fernando did. And again, I want to stress, this isn’t some big flashy Batgirl fight page they can sell for big bucks at a convention, this is an establishing shot. These are artists who care so much about what they do that they want to do it perfectly. Gorgeous.

And finally, Blond’s wonderful, warm, inviting colors, that carefully spotlight where our eyes want to go, without muddying the fun detail in the rest of the page.

This is why I’ve been raving about these guys. It’s not hype, it’s just that I am getting pages like these in my mailbox when I wake up every morning ALMOST EVERY DAY.

This is the kind of art team we dream of. I have worked with many tremendous artists, and sometimes, something just clicks, as it did with Nicola Scott and Jim Calafiore on Secret Six, or Ed Benes on Birds of Prey.  I think these guys are going to be helping usher in an amazing era of stories in Batgirl. When you have these guys in your arsenal, you can be a very dangerous shot, indeed.

Pardon my unapologetic fangirling, but when this page came in, I was so delighted, it was so far above my expectations, that I wanted to share it immediately.

Thanks to one of the best art teams I’ve ever worked with, AND to Mike Marts and Alex Segura for letting me post this ahead of schedule!

14 March 13

Guys, About That Anon Post…

Someone asked me what “cisgendered” meant. I knew the answer, but found I didn’t have a decent definition.

So, I used the Wikipedia definition. I am not an expert at all.

An anonymous poster pointed out that the Wikipedia definition sucks, and contends that Wikipedia has some cissexism in its definitions of trans topics.

After reading their post, I believe I see their point, I agreed, deleted the post, and apologized for using a sucky definition from Wikipedia.

That’s all. There is no reason to attack the poster, or cast aspersions, please.

The definition DOES seem to make cissexist assumptions, I had no regrets deleting it.

Tags: gail simone
25 November 12

Rethinking The Vita

Just a couple pointless random thoughts. My little town has one department/grocery store. The downside is, we don’t have a lot of selection of anything. The upside is, when we have things like Black Friday or some massive film opening, we have no crowds and it’s easy to get the thing you went looking for. We have people coming here from cities nearby because there’s no lines.

My store got six of the Vita/Call of Duty bundle packs. They sold immediately. I got there late, the guy behind the counter discovered that they had forgotten to put one out and I bought it on impulse.


I was not impressed by the Vita, was not really interested. I think the handheld market seems to be dying. Sony’s problems with the Vita, the relative failure of the 3ds, it just seems people don’t want to carry these things around with them when they already have game-playing phones and ipads.

So I bought it, and I thought I might give it away to someone. But instead, I opened it up and took it for a test run, and I have to say, I might have been wrong.

It’s actually a pretty nifty little system. I haven’t put it down much since I got it.

Okay, the first objection I had was that it LOOKED like a PSP II, and I have never really used my PSP. I have one, have lots of games, never really enjoyed it. The games were mostly mediocre, the UMD storage system blew, it just wasn’t a great system.

But there’s a lot more under the hood. The Vita is playing full-on console games, for one thing. I’m told there are games that you can play on your PS3 and move them to your Vita but I haven’t tried that yet.

Let me list why I am changing my mind.

First, the video and audio seem dead on. And the control system is really comfortable and functional. I was surprised, I forgot I was using a handheld set up after a while, which I never got over on the PSP.

Second, it has apps, lots of free apps like Netflix, Skype, Twitter, and facebook, and they actually work very well.

And third, this is the coolest bit to me, as soon as I got home I realized I had a big library of games to play on the Vita without buying any of them.

It turns out that, if you buy now and have a Playstation Plus account, you get a thing called INSTANT GAME COLLECTION, which means you can download a bunch of high-quality games, the same exact ones that are in the stores right now for 40 bucks each or more. The games include UNCHARTED, WIPEOUT, and GRAVITY RUSH, as well as very cool downloadable games like JET SET RADIO, TALES FROM SPACE: MUTANT BLOCK ATTACK, and FINAL FANTASY TACTICS, all free as soon as you dl them from the story.

It also turns out that most any game or mini-game that you have downloaded from your Playstation Plus account that was PSP compatible is ALSO available for you to download for free.

I have to say, that is pretty impressive, to get a system home and have a ton of games ready to play that I didn’t have to pay for at all.


Finally, it actually FEELS like a game handheld, it doesn’t feel like a delivery system to try to get you to buy stuff (like the Kindle Fire does) and it doesn’t feel like it’s trying to be a smart phone with no phone.

I forgot how much more fun a dedicated handheld is at playing most action and adventure games. I love the Ipad for puzzle games and the like, but few ipad games provide a decent twitch response.

There is at least one downside, the memory cards are proprietary and overpriced, which is a little ridiculous.

Other than that, this may be a truly under-rated little system. It’s light, well-designed, plays great, and actually ends up being a good value (if you have Playstation Plus) almost the second you open the box.

Surprised. Didn’t think I’d like it, kinda love it!

Tags: gail simone
13 October 12

Question Of The Day: Reddit

Okay, I am just about as uninformed about this topic as it’s possible to be. I’m not sure I’ve ever even looked at Reddit, let alone explored it.

So I have a few questions…if you use it, what is it you like about it? What do you dislike?

What do you think about the current controversies there regarding free speech vs. racist, homophobic, or otherwise hateful subforums?

I am looking to be informed, I don’t know enough detail to have an opinion worth two beans at this point. So I’d really appreciate hearing from people who know more about it.

Tags: gail simone
3 October 12

A HUGE Thank You To Tumblr!

My friend, the very talented mouth-artist Larime Taylor, had a Kickstarter going for a project he is doing, a comic featuring a young female serial killer.

Larime is severely disabled…he has to draw and write and edit his book using his mouth. Despite what seems like a nearly insurmountable obstacle, he draws like a bandit and his comics are always excellent. As I said before, it’s not just a hobby or a career for him, it’s therapy, it’s an important outlet. And the comics are great, this looks like his best work yet.

He was in the last day of the Kickstarter, the last four hours, in fact, and I asked you guys for help in spreading the word and donating, if possible. In just FOUR HOURS, your ringing that bell brought in almost four thousand dollars, well over twice the total pledge amount he had been asking for originally.

Because of the size of the donations, he has expanded the size and length of the book considerably.

You guys did that, in just four hours. I love it because for all the bullshit about slacktivists and negativity about people on Tumblr, when it came time to put up or shut up, you guys put up.


Freaking awesome. Thank you so, so much.

Tags: gail simone
20 September 12

A Question About Race

A serious question for a change, I think.

My question is, how do you feel about the way race and racism are addressed in your country?  Happy to hear from Americans but am very curious to hear how people living in other countries feel about the current political and sociological aspects of their country regarding race.

Do you feel your country as a whole is doing well, fair, or atrociously, do you feel they are making headway, staying the same, or losing ground?

Not making any judgments on this end, just curious to hear since this topic rarely makes it to the American media in any serious way. Please remember to include the country you are talking about in your response, if you don’t mind!


Thank you!

Tags: gail simone
7 September 12

Just Got The Full Pages To Batgirl 14

The finale to the Knightfall story.

Wow.


I am not kidding, it is STUNNING. The art is just remarkable. It is intense and brutal.

I am absolutely thrilled. I would kill to have these pages in my home.

WOW.

Tags: gail simone
10 August 12

I Have Come To A Conclusion!

Most people are great, but some people are jerks.

Thank you, this has been my conclusion.

Tags: gail simone
Posted: 3:38 AM

Batgirl As Gay Icon?

http://www.comicbookbin.com/Batgirl_Gay_Icon001.html

Very interesting and thoughtful article. Lot to think about there for me.

Tags: gail simone
18 March 12

A Discouraging Year So Far…

It seems like the worst year in a while for the causes I believe in, and we’re only three months in.

A record number of increasingly hysterical bills are coming before various state congresses that limit women’s rights over their own bodies, some actually allowing doctors to lie to their patients, others actually endangering women’s lives. Some are purely vindictive and punitive, and worse, many of the worst of these bills are passing. Planned Parenthood, which is one of the only healthcare options available to marginalized and underprivileged women, is being attacked and unfunded all over the country.

As it is an election year, we have some frontrunners that seem to be playing a game of, ‘who hates gay people more?’ And increasingly, no one seems to be holding them accountable for it, for trying to vilify American citizens. Insane laws designed to reduce lgbtq people to non-human status have passed in several states, with no corresponding outrage from the general population. And violence again lgbtq folk is treated as a lesser crime, even as a defense in some cases.

And it’s already been a year of shocking violence against and demonization of people of color, often with the eager support of the police and the media, while a clearly different legal standard is applied to those who abuse, and even murder, people of color.  Meanwhile, every social ill is laid at their feet by increasingly shameless politicians. Tacit and overt racism is forgiven without apology or consequence, over and over.

I don’t know what the hell is going on, it feels like we’re going backwards.

We do have these social network tools, that’s a hopeful thing. They have helped bring down governments, they can help keep the pressure on the bad guys.

Thank you to those people on Tumblr and other social networks who have been doing the job the networks and newspapers have not. Thank you to those of you  who have kept up the thankless job of exposing these people and keeping the names of both the victims and the victimizers in the public eye. We should remember the first fondly, and make sure the second remember us a good deal LESS so.

So thank you for being a hopeful spot in a bleak time.

Tags: gail simone
14 March 12

Wonder Woman Documentary

Hi Gail,
I just wanted to drop you a quick note about the documentary “Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines” and say hello. You were interviewed for the movie as was my daughter, Katie. (She seems to be the darling of the show according to the reviews.) We attended the world premier at SXSW last weekend and we loved it! I don’t know if you had a chance to see the final edit but I would love to hear what you think about it.
Best,
Juan

turtlestampede




***********************


Oh, man, that was your daughter?  We saw extended clips of the film at Geek Girl Con and that little girl absolutely brought down the house. Please tell her I said I am a huge fan of hers!


I enjoyed what I saw quite a lot, it seemed remarkably smart and focused, and highly entertaining. Some of my friends in the industry had really bright things to say. I haven’t seen my segment yet, I was incredibly distracted at the time and suspect I wasn’t as wonderful as the other commentators.

Tags: gail simone
27 February 12

A Goofy Problem To Have

Okay, I’m going to be at a couple of lovely stores in Florida for Free Comic Book Day (Hello, Yancy Street Comics! Hello, Heroes Landing!).


I’m excited. I’ve only been to one comic-related event in Florida and it was at a college, so I’ve never really gotten to meet the readers in that area. Can’t wait!


Some of you may know, I am a ridiculous theme park nerd, I love them. And we are going to add a theme park visit of a couple days, either at Universal Studios Florida, or at Walt Disney World.

This is the problem. We have maybe three days.

I’ve been to WDW twice, loved it love it loved it, but it’s been a few years. They’ve added some new stuff, I’m told.  And I love the parks to pieces, and the Typhoon Lagoon is a fun day there, as well. Upside, they have a few new things since we were there, especially at WDW Studios park. Downside, we were just at Disneyland a few months ago, so the Magic Kingdom isn’t such a huge deal anyway (it’s my least favorite of the four parks in WDW, in any case, I much prefer Anaheim Disneyland).

I’ve been to Universal Florida only once, but we LOVED it, had a great time there as well.  Upside, we haven’t been to Harry Potter’s land there yet. Downside, we were just at the Universal park in Hollywood recently, a few months ago, and much of the Studios park is a duplicate (Islands of Adventure isn’t, obviously).

We enjoy the resort hotels at both places. The food is better at WDW in general, but Emiral has two excellent restaurants on the Universal resort, one of which is really amazing. Disney World has Boma, an African restaurant and our favorite place to eat at WDW.

So I have to choose, and soon.

Any thoughts or suggestions?  And yes, I apologize for such a goofy, non-problem question like this, but I really am having a hard time deciding!

Tags: gail simone
11 October 11

Reblogged: kaerya

10 October 11

Reblogged: valerie-renee

Posted: 2:48 AM
ealperin:

Look at what I got over the week! ^_^
Review is coming up shortly! Just need to find an awesome pic! ^_^


This picture is ALREADY the most awesome thing ever!

ealperin:

Look at what I got over the week! ^_^

Review is coming up shortly! Just need to find an awesome pic! ^_^

This picture is ALREADY the most awesome thing ever!

Reblogged: ealperin

Themed by Hunson. Originally by Josh