Newz n’ viewz

Hi, peeps–

Newsie bits for you and yours:

1) Yes, I’m still pimping the author gathering in NM a week from Saturday. Here are deets. Make a donation to me for one of my books on site, and that donation goes to Watermelon Mountain Ranch, New Mexico’s largest no-kill animal shelter. Please bring cash if you’d like to donate (and get a book in return :D).

2) I am rather pissed about what’s going on with the writer/artist team for Batwoman at DC Comics. I blogged that at Women and Words.


3) Storied LGBT bookstore Giovanni’s Room is up for sale. Owner Ed Hermance is retiring after 37 years bringing the luv through the store. Hopefully, somebody will step forward and purchase it. Mr. Hermance is offering a variety of purchase options. Here’s your chance…

4) Influential and award-winning sci fi author/literary agent/self-taught awesome science guy/WWII veteran Frederik Pohl died earlier this week. He was 93. And what a life he led. Editor, writer, and advocate. At Pohl’s urging, Bantam published Joanna Russ’s The Female Man and Samuel R. Delany’s Dhalgren, both groundbreaking works in the genre. He was also entirely self-taught in science, and was elected a fellow to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1982. A tireless researcher, he traveled extensively to learn about science on the ground and when he made a scientific mistake in his work, he would correct it, often publicly. Pohl published over 65 novels and some 30 short story collections. His was a great mind, and he exemplified the true spirit of science and science fiction: Always seeking, always curious, always learning. Godspeed, sir. Thank you for the time you gave us and the legacy you left on this mortal coil.

5) Fantasy/sci-fi writer and co-founder/director of Writer Beware A.C. (Ann) Crispin died this week, as well, at the age of 63. She was diagnosed with cancer last year and underwent treatment, but the cancer spread. She left a goodbye message on her Facebook page Tuesday. Crispin was the acclaimed author of 24 novels, including the StarBridge series and bestselling books for the Star Trek and Star Wars publishing programs. She also novelized the miniseries V and created work around Alien and Pirates of the Caribbean universes. She was particularly known for creating back stories for characters in these series. In April of this year, she was named the 2013 Grand Master by the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers. Crispin was also a tireless advocate for writers of all levels, which drove her to co-develop and direct Writer Beware, the “public face” of the Science Fiction Writers of America’s Committee on Writing Scams. All efforts behind Writer Beware are volunteer, and Crispin gave generously of her time and energy to SFWA (she had been a member since 1982) and WB. Godspeed to you, as well, ma’am. You will be missed. Thank you for your legacy.

And to all of you, may you find purpose and happiness in your own lives. Keep reading, keep writing. Happy Friday.

Comic book angst

Hi, peeperas y peeperos!

As some of you may know, I got back into reading and collecting comics. I’ll have to thank quirky/awesome horror writer Gina Ranalli for that. She and I got to talking one day and she was waxing enthusiastic over some of the comics she regularly follows, and I decided to get back into it, especially since DC introduced the new out n’ proud Batwoman (drawn until now mostly by J.H. Williams, III, who is awesome):

Source: Huffpo via Bleeding Cool; re-sized here

And the awesome Gail Simone is writing the resurrected and walking Batgirl/Barbara Gordon. Plus, Batgirl #19 just introduced a transgender character. She’s Barbara Gordon’s roommate. So freaking cool.

I’ve also been following the latest incarnation of DC’s Birds of Prey, and totally developed a comic book crush on team member Starling, a whole new character introduced for the series. She’s kick-ass, irreverent, prickly, laugh-out-loud funny, and all was right with the world because you knew she’s kick ass and take names.

Source: Gothamspoilers, re-sized here

I’ve been totally geek comic-crushed on Starling since she was introduced to the Birds. She had some baggage — she’s working for ruthless government op Amanda Waller — but so what? She was kicking ass with the Birds.

And then came BoP #19 and my heart is crushed. (cue sad violin music) Crushed, I tell you. Starling’s been playing the Birds all along, and she busts out in cahoots with the skanky Mr. Freeze and she’s all gonna take the Birds down, now. She freaking betrayed the Birds. At least that’s what DC wants me to believe, and I’m so bummed about this that I’m probably going to need therapy, like after Walking Dead episodes. Gothamspoilers sums up my feelings about this turn of events quite nicely. Starling is one of the best characters to hit DC in a long time, and now she’s probably gone over to the dark side.

Sigh. At least there’s fanfic, I guess.

Anyway, anybody else out there follow comics? If so, what are you reading now and what are your faves? Join my geek alliance!

Happy reading, happy writing, happy Monday!

Goin’ Batty…Batgirl, too!

Tomorrow. TOMORROW Batwoman #1 drops! WOOOOOO!

But keep in mind, too, that writer Gail Simone‘s Batgirl dropped last week.


Let’s get y’all caught up on Batgirl, shall we? The original “Bat-Girl” made her debut as Betty Kane in Batman #139 (1961), as the sidekick to Batwoman. In 1964, she was removed from publication only to reappear as Barbara Gordon’s Batgirl, the daughter of police commissioner James Gordon. That debut occurred in Dectective Comics #359. This incarnation of Batgirl was way more popular than Betty Kane, and she appeared in comics from 1966 through about 1988, until the fateful shooting in the graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke, at the hands of the Joker that left her a paraplegic and ended up bringing about another transformation of Batgirl.

At the hands of editor Kim Yale and comic book author John Ostrander, Barbara Gordon was reinvented as The Oracle, the awesome info-broker of the DC comic universe and leader of the Birds of Prey. In 1999, Helen Bertinelli (better known as Huntress) assumed the Batgirl identity until Batman ixnayed that plan. However, also that year, Cassandra Cain took the Batgirl identity in the “No Man’s Land” series. Cain’s Batgirl became the first Batgirl to be featured in a monthly comic from 2000 to 2006, when Cain gave up the identity, but she’d reclaim it in Teen Titans only to then pass it on to Stephanie Brown (previously known as Robin and Spoiler), who got her own Batgirl series in October 2009. That Batgirl, however, was canceled after 24 issues.

Whew. Got all that? Okay.

So the upshot is, Batgirl ain’t done! HELL, NO! Like a freakin’ PHOENIX! Here she comes! This time, it’s the original Barbara Gordon reclaiming the identity and here’s the kicker–she’s no longer paralyzed, which brings with it a lot of mixed feeling from a lot of different quarters. Here’s a great discussion between Jill Pantozzi and Gail Simone about that issue.

So not only do we have the super-awesome Batwoman getting her own gig this week, but the return of Batgirl hit us last week.

Comics. Where just about anything is possible.

Happy reading, happy superhero-ing!

Batwoman’s in the belfry!

Hi, all–

Whew. Been bizzy! Especially over at Women and Words. As I posted over there yesterday, I’m super-stoked about the release of Batwoman #1, by J. H. Williams III and W. Haven Blackman. This is comic book history, friends, and maybe even American pop culture history. This is the first openly gay or lesbian superhero to have his or her own comic series. Batwoman as a lesbian first debuted (came out…HAR!) in 2006, and she was supposed to have her own series, but there was a freak-out of sorts, so she didn’t get that series. But in 2009, she showed up again with Detective Comics and people really started digging on her, so BOOM she now has her own series.

Here’s the linkie to my post about Batwoman over Women and Words.

Okay–also. I will be posting an interview tomorrow at Women and Words with super groovy horror writer Gina Ranalli (of whom I am a fan). I’ll provide a link here, too, but I just wanted to give folks a heads-up on that, because it promises to be a fun-filled par-tay when the Mighty G is in the house…stay toooooooned!

Happy reading!