Web Crush Wednesdays: Big Bang Press

webcrush picFanfiction seems to get a pretty bad rap, especially amongst the mainstream publishing community. Thanks to Fifty Shades of Grey and, well, Fifty Shades of Grey, most people now think of fanfic as some sort of really terrible internet porn. Those of you who read fanfic, though, know differently. There are so many fics out there that have great plot, great characters and characterizations, and yes, great sex scenes, they just make you wonder “why hasn’t this author been published yet?!” Today’s Web Crush is working on answering that question.

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ZE Presents New Opportunities for Trans* Representation

CW LogoAs the fall television season begins once more, I find myself mostly excited for a drama whose release date currently isn’t known. What I do know, however, is that it’s going to be tackling an important issue. The CW, known for shows like 90210, America’s Next Top Model, and fan favorite Supernatural, is currently in the process of creating an hour-long drama with the title of ZE. From what I’ve gathered so far, it’s about a young transgender teenager growing up in one of the more stereotypically closed-minded states, Texas. In the words of The Hollywood Reporter:

Written by playwrightmusician Kyle Jarrow, ZE revolves around a Texas teenager who announces that [he] is transgendered and will be living life as a boy.

Problematic misgendering and insensitivity of The Hollywood Reporter aside, I have high hopes for this drama. While it may not be true that ZE is the first show to house a Glee Uniquetrans* character, it will be the first to star one. From Elementary’s Ms. Hudson to Glee’s Unique, positive portrayals of transgendered and non-binary adults and teens alike are becoming more and more prevalent in media. Hell, even choosing to name the drama ‘Ze’, a non-gendered pronoun used by some members of the trans* community, expresses the idea that the topic of transgender issues are important. From choosing executive producer Michael London—who has films like Milk and The Family Stone under his belt—and scriptwriter Kyle Jarrow, it seems clear that the CW wants to make a series that stresses the importance of the issue, remains relatable to teens in the same situation, and has the finesse of a major motion picture.

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Hannah Hart’s “Hello Harto” Tour

About a year ago (wow, I can’t believe it’s been that long!) I talked about Hannah Hart in a Web Crush and since that time I have grown from simply crushing on this wonderful young woman to full on loving her. Yes, I am a Hartosexual, and I’m clearly not the only one, because Hannah is taking her show on the road!

When Hannah first proposed her tour, she started an Indiegogo campaign to raise money to fund it. I had every intention of making a post here about it to help spread the word a little, but it turned out that I didn’t have to. Why? Because Hannah reached her goal of $50,000 in less than 24 hours. I literally didn’t have time to make a post about her campaign before the Hartosexuals of the world swooped in and saved the day, making her campaign one of the most successful in Indiegogo history and reaching more than four times the original goal. Hannah’s response to the success was touching:

Because Hannah is such a loving person, her tour is going to focus on charity. In each city she visits, rather than doing a typical “Meet & Greet” event, she will be volunteering at a local non-profit organization where fans can pledge to spend their time volunteering with her. She will also be filming episodes of her web series “My Drunk Kitchen” in fans’ kitchens throughout the tour.

I don’t know about you, but I really find Hannah very inspiring. For one thing, she is one of the success stories that really shows the power of the internet to connect people and move them. We aren’t just schlubs who sit in basements watching cat videos and ranting anonymously about whatever irritates us, we are people who have found a community and connection with people spread far across the world that we often have difficulty finding in person.

In addition to this somewhat intangible success, Hannah is taking that community out into the “real” world and doing good. This humanitarian effort, combined with her own personal brand of entertainment, helps so many people, from the organizations she assists to her fans who get to be a part of something bigger than themselves. If you’re a fan, or even if you just want to be part of a group of people trying to make a difference, I encourage you to check out her tour site to see when she’ll be near you and pledge to take part in the activity she has planned for your area.

Come on, Rushers. Don’t be that fandom.

This week it was announced that Big Time Rush will be touring the US with fellow Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice this summer. Good news, right? That’s what I thought at least, but the reaction of my fellow Rushers has been less than positive.

Now, there have been times when I’ve kind of shaken my head at this fandom, but the only time I’m truly disappointed in it is when a girl has anything to do with the boys. That’s when the unabashed hate comes out and I just have to plead with my fellow Rushers to stop insulting any woman who comes into contact with the members of the band.

[For the remainder of this article I will use the word “you” to address the fans to whom I must speak. If you, dear reader, are not a person who has ever insulted a woman who was linked with your favorite celebrity, then my use of the word isn’t actually directed to you, but if you are, then maybe you need to hear what I’m about to say, whether you’re a Rusher or not.] Continue reading

Con Etiquette (Connecticut, if you will)

Lady Bacula: After another excellent con and our hectic lives (hopefully) being a little less crazy, Lady Saika and I decided to bring you a lovely guide to Con Etiquette, a small state in New England with a lot of wealthy people and home to Yale University.

Lady Saika: We have a lot of cons under our belts, and we see people engaging in the same annoying behaviors time and time again. This kind of stuff can range from mildly annoying to con-ruining for the people around you. We’ve painstakingly considered the most obnoxious con behaviors we’ve encountered and made you a list of what to do and not do at a convention.

  • Do not ask for someone’s picture while they are eating or in the bathroom.
  • Do not stop walking in the middle of hallway or stairwell. Move over to the side.
  • Also, do not stop at the top or bottom of a stair case/escalator.
  • Do not ask for someone’s picture in any of the above locations.
  • Never say anything bad about other people and/or their costumes. People come to cons to get away from the judgmental jerks in real life. Cosplayers have varying degrees of money and time and skill to put into their costumes, and they wouldn’t be wearing it out if they weren’t proud of it. Don’t be a dick.
  • Shower so that you don’t smell like con. Believe us, it’s a smell that you would prefer not to smell. Because it is a smelly smell that smells smelly.
  • Ask before you take a picture. 99.999% of cosplayers want you to take their picture because it makes them feel like the work they put into their costume is validated. Ask first, and you’ll get a nice pose instead of a blurry and candid sniped picture.
  • Absolutely ask before you hug, touch, glomp, etc. Just because con-goers are fellow fans doesn’t mean that consent is irrelevant.
  • Do not complain about people in costumes that aren’t relevant to the con theme. I’m looking at you, people who complain about Homestucks. Everyone at the con paid the same registration price to be there, and it’s none of your biz what they dress up as once they’re inside.
  • Do be aware of your surroundings. Cons tend to be very crowded, and if your costume or prop is big and unwieldy, then make sure you remember that you’re occupying more space than usual. You can’t expect others to watch out for the long hem on your dress.
  • If you are cosplaying as a specific character (ex: Vegeta) who has a Funny Thing They Do (for Vegeta, responding “IT’S OVER 9000” when asked what the scouter says about his power level), expect to be asked about it. If you do not want to be asked about it, do not cosplay as that character. Nothing is worse than a grumpy con-goer.

Lady Bacula: We hope that some of these are rather self-explanatory. And in a perfect world, some of these wouldn’t even be an issue in the first place. However, our world is not perfect and so we need to put these guidelines on the internet.

Anyone have any other guidelines that we missed? Leave them in the comments!

Sexualized Saturdays: The Over-Sexualized Teenage Girl

So back during college, I found myself replaying Final Fantasy XIII while my roommate’s friends were over. And to my everlasting annoyance, these twenty-some-year-old men felt the need to fake orgasm and talk nonstop about all the nasty things they wanted to do to Vanille, whom everyone thought was fifteen, based solely on the fact that she has “perky boobs”. And according to them, her voice sounds as if she’s in the middle of an orgasm too, apparently. They treated Vanille as if she was no longer a character, but as a sex object whose sole purpose was to please them.

I didn’t have a lot of fun playing that day.

But this experience does bring to mind something that should be addressed. While Vanille is actually at least nineteen, I believe, and video games and plenty of other mediums tend to objectify grown women to titillate male audiences, many things in geekdom tend to do the same with underage girls as well. And even more surprisingly, not many people seem to have problems with this.

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