Comics & Games, it’s Friday!
So, I just found out about Wayward Manor – a PC/Mac and mobile game coming in the fall, designed by no-one less than Neil Gaiman. He describes it as an idea inspired by films like Arsenic & Old Lace that he’d been kicking around for a while, and begged for an interactive medium. They’re seeking Kickstarter-style funding (reward tiers) without the intermediary because, when you’re Neil Gaiman, you can do that.
Here’s an incredibly cool graphic that uses a lot of (mostly marginalized, but that supports the point) female DC characters to make a statement about intersectional feminism. It even ends with the brilliant “My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit” quote from Flavia Dzodan).
I’ve eagerly been anticipating Mitu Khandaker’s Redshirt (link is to new dev log, go watch), which, if you didn’t know, is a game about socializing online whilst living on a starship, while you await (or try to postpone) the inevitable away mission that will make you into this Guy. Cliff Harris’ company, Positech, is publishing Redshirt, and the current Humble Weekly Sale will get you Positech’s greatest hits for however much change you’re willing to throw in, including Kudos 2, the closest thing out there to what Redshirt will be.
I’m in the process of migrating to new webhosting and a new server. The “sensible surface” of the website (including the url) also will remain exactly the same, but the invisible underpinnings are all shifting, and that may result in a temporary collapse of the surface into a chthonic void characterized by an intestinal grinding.
In other words, the site may misbehave or go down entirely. I’ll be keeping my tentacles intertwined, hoping for the best.
show me your pronouns and I’ll show you mine
slip your language into my mouth,
your words caress the lobes and ridges of my ears
we can wall ourselves up in here,
build a pleasure dome of wine and caresses
deny their world its determination
out there, the what and how strip off our skins
flense us, flay us, compress us our bodies
press us into their spiked molds
so bind my hands but not my grasp
gag my mouth but free my tongue
unfold your sex into mine
In the enlightened sexuality department, here’s Erika Moen’s webcomic Oh Joy Sex Toy (NSFW), covering queer porn series The Crash Pad (extremely NSFW).
I’ve just started in on Orange is the New Black and it’s worth subscribing to Netflix just to watch it. From the so-wrong so-right Alex to the gloriously trans* Sophia, this show is all about interesting, credible difficult women. To quote from that last link “Fuck off, Don Draper, Walter White, Tony Soprano, et al. The age of the male antihero is over.”
One more link today, via the incomparable Molly Kiely: 10 Things I Would Like to Do with You in the Woods.
Comics & Games: It’s Friday!
I’ve talked a lot about comics this week, so today I’ll focus on games. Pixel games.
The amazing Superbrothers: Sword and Sorcery EP was recently on sale for free as part of the 5th Anniversary of the Apple App store event. If you didn’t get it then, don’t worry: it’s more than worth your $5, unless you hate games, pixel art, kickass female protagonists, good music, and life. That reminds me: Dick Cheney, stop reading my blog. There’s nothing for you here.
Ahem. You can also pick up the WIndows, Max, Linux and Android versions of S:S&S EP along with eleven albums by Jim Guthrie and Indie Game: The Movie by beating the average on this week’s Humble Sale.
Not to be outdone, the superlatively silly short-skit comedy adventure game McPixel is also on sale. It’s funnier than mustard on a stick of ACME-brand cartoon dynamite.
Looking for the next big thing in pixel art mobile games? Well, indie compo darling Gods Will Be Watching by Spanish Studio Deconstructeam just got Kickstarted, and I’m all for it. Anything I can do to help a game studio with a Derridean name.
Alternatively, if you’re dying of anticipation for Julian Gollup’s Chaos Reborn, you can show your loyalty to the ZX Spectrum original with one of these fine t-shirts. (If you’re as impatient as I am, you might want to pick up Elite System’s port of the original for iOS, and of course there are clones of Chaos on the web).
If all this talk about pixel-art games has left you wanting to create some of your own, you can get Pyxel Edit (multiplatform with Adobe Air) for free. It’s the best pixel editor since Spooky Sprites.
Massive kudos to wesley for these illustrations that shatter the lie that only straight people can have babies. Leaving aside all of the issues of in-vitro fertilization, donation/surrogacy, and adoption, there are a lot of queer couples who can reproduce “the old fashioned way”.
Science! NASA has solved the greatest challenge facing long-term spaceflight by inventing the microgravity coffee cup.
Did you know that the Department of Defense regularly updates a book called The Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure? This book (Word .doc) is a catalogue of true stories of government employees, contractors, and other people who really messed up and got caught. Some of these are dull, but others have titles like “Fraud, Conspiracy, and Bribery… Oh My!” Go download it now, so you can at least pretend you read it.
And a moment of synchronicity: on Monday, I was talking about how awesome Jess Fink’s Chester 5000 is, and now it’s on sale, along with a lot of other great books from Top Shelf (complete list).
From Iono the Fanatics, a very silly comic I ran across in the course of looking for yuri outside of the “schoolgirl” genre. If yuri was the Bennett family, Iono would be Kitty: silly, irresponsible and not my favorite, but at least unwilling to sit with Mr. Collins. I’m really looking for the Elizabeth Bennet / Charlotte Lucas of yuri.
If steam power gets you all steamy, and when someone says “boudoir”, you think of brass and chrome before satin and lace, I have a double treat for you. This past week saw two amazing steampunk erotica/erotic romance releases.
First, just out from Circlet Press, there’s Elizabeth Schecter’s House of Sable locks, the story of a most unusual brothel where men are “stripped of clothing and jewelry, hooded, gagged, and collared. Thus rendered silent and anonymous, and wearing only their locked collars, the bearers of the Sable Lock make their way to their chosen rooms, and to the pleasures and torments that await them there.” On the top floor resides the Succubus, a clockwork goddess who knows your desires better than you do.
There’s also Jess Fink’s Chester 5000, a beautifully drawn graphic novel about a neglected wife and her mechanical manservant. She literally has the key to his heart… and other components that aren’t standard equipment for a robot butler. By turns silly, sexy, and surprisingly sensitive, this is a personal favorite of mine. Top Shelf has just released Chester 5000 in e-book format (it’s been online and in print for years). If you’re not sure, you can read the whole thing online, including pages of the forthcoming 2nd volume.
You probably already know about the Hawkeye Initiative, which is mostly about how female characters are posed (in comics). Repair Her Armor takes on the related issue of couture, presenting the ridiculous barely-there costumes of videogame heroines, and then turning them into full, functional sets of clothing and armor. In addition to being more practically dressed, the women also consistently look better this way. Also, Rob Liefield should not be allowed to draw. Period.
I know the secret of breathing water
first you dive, and then
just let go
you can’t want to live
you can’t want to die
you have to only want the change
no hope, no fear, no love
I know the secret of breathing water
but I cannot do it
For everyone who is as tired as I am of anti-gravity breasts that look more like coconut shells than mammaries, MeganHetrick has a visual tutorial on “How to Draw Boobies!” (fair warning: the comparative images are all based on “the steriotypical ‘superhero’ chest”)
Looking for something a bit more… zaftig? Comfortable is sexy, as Duane Bryers’ classic series of pinups featuring a buxom redhead named “Hilda” in full-length PJs illustrates. I think the best one is her sitting in a rocking chair soaking her feet.
Rose Caraway’s audio erotica podcast, “The Kiss Me Quick’s” is always good for steaming up a pair of earbuds, and, in case you missed it, smut writers, she’s taking submissions for “The Sexy Librarian’s Big Book of Erotica” until the 1st of August.