Weekend Read

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Weekend Read
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Comic book writer and novelist Greg Rucka (Stumptown, Queen and Country) answers a frequently asked question in an incisive essay for io9 titled "Why I Write 'Strong Female Characters'".

The entire piece is well worth a read, but here's the key passage:

Writers don't write Men or Women or Dogs or Salmon. Writers write characters, and at our best, if we do it well and with care and with thought, we invest in those characters a spark of life, a realism and nuance that makes them believable and relatable.

Rucka also questions why journalists don't tend to ask female writers how they write "strong female characters," and why more male writers don't do the research about their female characters, the way they would with any other character whose experience differs from their own.

[io9]

Comic Book Boycott of the Day

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Comic Book Boycott of the Day
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Conservative group One Million Moms is at it again, directing its not-quite-a-million members to boycott Marvel and DC Comics due to recent announcements from both companies about their futures of their gay characters.

DC has revealed that a major character is soon going to come out as gay, while Marvel announced the engagement of superhero Northstar to his boyfriend, Kyle.

These events don't sit will with One Million Moms, whose anti-gay agenda has also led them to protest the wedding of Archie Comics' first gay character, Kevin Keller.

"Children desire to be just like superheroes," said the group in a statement. "Children mimic superhero actions and even dress up in costumes to resemble these characters as much as possible. Can you imagine little boys saying, 'I want a boyfriend or husband like X-Men?'"

The statement goes on to accuse the publishers of trying to "indoctrate [sic] impressionable young minds."

Marvel and DC have yet to respond to the homophobic comments.

[towleroad.]

Shepard Fairey Piece of the Day

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Shepard Fairey Piece of the Day
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Ebony magazine commissioned street artist Shepard Fairey (of Obey and HOPE fame) to create artwork of the late Trayvon Martin to accompany a piece in this month's issue.

Fairey writes:

I have followed Trayvon's case closely and I think any compassionate human being can relate to Trayvon as a brother or son and would want to see a thorough investigation into the killing of an unarmed person. In my portrait I wanted to emphasize Trayvon's humanity as well as the public outcry for a just investigation into his death.

[twbe]

Criminally Dumb Criminal of the Day

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Criminally Dumb Criminal of the Day
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A Disney Cruise employee named Nelson has become internet infamous after allegedly stealing a passenger's iPhone and using it to take several photos. Thanks to Apple's Photo Stream feature, the owner of the phone was able to grab Nelson's snaps of himself, his friends and his girlfriend and upload them to her Facebook account.

"This is Nelson," she wrote next to one photo. "Nelson stole my iPhone."

While it hasn't been proven that this man actually took the phone and then foolishly failed to delete the owner's account before using it as his own, things certainly don't look good.

"I have alerted the officials of the Disney Cruiseline and forwarded them the photos. Hopefully I'll get my phone back and maybe some free passes to Disneyland," wrote the alleged theft victim.

Disney has yet to comment on the incident.

[nymag]

It's Sundog!

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It's Sundog!
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This is why the dog takeover will never happen. They don't even understand the mechanics that people can only go down a slide, not up. Still, with a face like that, the human race will probably just surrender to a canine regime based on cuteness alone.

[fluffingtonpost]

It's Caturday!

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It's Caturday!
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Just because it's his party, doesn't mean he can't cure his boredom by playing with the elastic strap on his birthday headgear. If dullness fully set in, it would be a CATastrophe.

[fyeahcuteanimalss]

This Is All Kinds of Wrong of the Day

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This Is All Kinds of Wrong of the Day
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Banksy's famous Parachuting Rat, located on a wall in the Melbourne, Australia suburb of Prahran, has been destroyed by builders doing drilling work for a café.

Local business owners were upset by the needless demolition of the piece by workers who apparently didn't realize what they were destroying. The wall did contain other graffiti, but area taggers had avoided painting over the Banksy.

"Had it been 20cm higher or 20cm to the side this would never have happened," neighboring business owner Jacqui Vidal told the Stonnington Leader, "This should have been avoided. It's not a big piece, but it is one of the few remaining Banksys in Melbourne."

The Rat was destroyed once before by cleaners who painted over it during a 2010 anti-graffiti campaign, but was later restored.

There is some good news, though: a possible new Banksy piece -- showing an Asian boy hunched over a sewing machine and a Union flag -- has appeared on the wall of a Poundland shop in London. It has yet to be confirmed as authentic on the artist's website.

[heraldsun.]