The new Batgirl design has been often credited to Cameron Stewart OR Babs Tarr but rarely to the both of them. The design process was in fact a collaboration with both artists contributing to the final design.
Cameron: When DC first approached me about taking over Batgirl as…
(This is what I’ll look like. Except I won’t be smiling. Or waving. And my hand will look slightly less like a sea anenome.)
I’ll probably have some Pop Culture Happy Hour buttons on me, if that’s a thing that interests you.
Live Pop Culture Happy Hour Panel
Me, Linda Holmes, Stephen Thompson and the great/ good/ redoubtable/ indefatigable Maggie Thompson as our fourth. Maggie and her late husband Don helped create comic book fandom itself, so while we haven’t planned out our discussion topics yet, you can rightly assume that at least one segment will involve me indicating the Great Teeming Nerdiness around us and saying, “This right here? Is ALL YOUR FAULT, lady.”
9th Annual All-Stars Comic Book Podcasters Panel
Featuring John Siuntres (Word Balloon), Heath Corson (The Nerdist Writers Panel-Comics Edition), Calvin Reid (Publisher’s Weekly Comics World), Tim Beyers (The Motley Fool), John Mayo (Comic Book Page), and me.
John’s maybe the nicest guy in podcasting, with an old-school radio voice that makes you think of rich molten pools of something. Caramel. Gold. Gold caramels. Something.
Saturday, 9:00 a.m. -?
Pop Culture Happy Hour Meet-Up
Saturday morning we’ll be having a get-together to meet any locals who A. want to meet us and B. don’t have Comic-Con badges. Once Maggie and Stephen get to San Diego, they’ll case the joint that we’re hoping will host the shindig, so we should be able to officially announce the location by Tuesday. It’ll be near the convention center.
A Buttload of Batman-Related Panels
The first draft of the book’s turned in, but the revisions are gonna be hell, so I’ll be hitting as many of the many “75th Anniversary of Batman” panels as I can, to double-check my math. And to stand up and shout “J’accuse!” a lot. Prrrrrobably not that last thing.
Various Other Times:
SDCC Parties Wooooo
I didn’t make it to any of these last year, because 1. I had F and some other friends with me and 2. parties, gross. But this time out, I’m both loose of foot and free of fancy, so I will endeavor to fight off my urge to hibernate and get out into the hurly, if not the burly, of Comic-Con. So invite me to your party. I may not come, and if I do come I may just stand over the food table nervously shoving mini-quiches into my dumb face, but I promise I’ll try to talk to some scary strangers and maybe, just maybe, get over my damn self already.
Various Other Other Times:
Live Podcast/Comedy Shows
I haven’t taken an exhaustive look at the schedule yet, but I know several of the podcasts and performers I love will be performing around SD that weekend. Again, I didn’t get to them last time, but I do hope to make it out to see ‘em. The Nightvale/Thrilling Adventure crossover has sold out [EDITED TO ADD: NO IT HASN’T, YET AT LEAST, SO I’LL SEE YOU THERE, RIGHT?] but there’s a lot more out there to try.
"Yes, I’m here for the PSA on pedestrian safety? Vera sent me? … What? … A Creed video? … Welp, I’m here, so I guess fine, ok, whatever."
"Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I can’t be sure. Building fell on her. Long story. Anyhow, I’m forlorn, is my point."
"On my world it means SE7EN, now, apparently, for no goddamn reason."
"On my own/Pretending he’s beside meeeeee…."
**** "Seattle. Shit. I’m still only in Seattle."
"I’ve SEEN things you people wouldn’t beLIEVE. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I’ve watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments … will be lost … like … tears … in … rain."
PCHH B-B-B-BONUS-S-S CONTENT: My Favorite First Lines
So on this week’s episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour, we devoted a segment to “First Impressions.” I took it as an excuse to bloviate about one of my favorite topics, “First Lines of Novels and Short Stories and What They Do and How They Do It.”
I, as is my wont, as the show’s resident grind, overprepared. The show’s a discussion, not a lecture, thank God, and I only got around to name-checking three or four of these. But there’s lots to say on this. And back when I taught writing, and the earth was new, and icthyosaurs swam the turbid seas, I prepared a sheet sort of like this for students.
These are just some of my favorites. You got yours. Don’t bogart them, give ‘em up already.
First lines can outfit your reader with important information for the journey ahead with remarkable efficiency.
“Call me Ishmael” – Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. (Introduces a layer of doubt in the FIRST TWO GODDAMN WORDS, and in the third, if you know your Bible, provides you with a hefty does of foreshadowing – basically gives away the ending.)
"It was a bright, cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen". – George Orwell’s 1984. (We are in a militaristic setting.)
"As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from a sleep of uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect." – Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis (This is all of the explanation Kafka provides for the huge, abiding weirdness at the story’s core – this flat assertion in the first sentence. That’s all you’re getting. Deal with it.)
"Doomed planet. Desperate scientists. Last hope. Kindly couple." - Grant Morrison, All-Star Superman. (Ok, it’s a comic, but that right there? Is a familiar origin story ruthlessly distilled into four perfect nouns, modified by four perfect adjectives.)
But sometimes efficiency isn’t the goal. Sometimes it’s about making sure your reader packed everything for their trip. Like, EVERYTHING.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. " – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (The air kind of goes out of the sentence there at the end, but really, how could it not?)
“It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the house-tops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.”—Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (The most-mocked opening line in English literature, the inspiration for a contest of worst first lines, and you can see why: Wait, you’re saying the night was DARK? I see. Got it. Thanks, guy. I love how he doubles back on himself “this happened! Except when it didn’t, on the streets (did I mention we’re in a city? Which is why I said streets not roads? I didn’t? Well, that.)”
But first lines can supply your readers with clues to what’s coming without being so damn showy about it.