Gentle readers, you may or may not know that I love me some Steven Universe. You may or may not also know that a new Steven Universe ongoing comic series debuted earlier this week.
I’m usually not that interested in comics series that are directly tied to ongoing series—for example, although I liked the various six-issue Adventure Time series that delved into the backgrounds of characters who might never get a lot of showtime, I never really felt the urge to pick up the actual Adventure Time comic. However, I broke with my personal tradition this week to try out the new Steven Universe series, because, well, I love me some Steven Universe.
I don’t think anyone would disagree that this season of Steven Universe is tackling some very difficult, mature issues. From feelings of inadequacy, to the struggle with accepting grief and moving on, to ways of coping, approaching, and dealing with different forms of abuse, the crew behind the show seem genuinely invested in giving kids (and their older audience) outlets and role models for healthier ways of dealing with these very real problems. So when the newest episode “Bismuth” came up, many were interested in seeing what issues it would tackle. The crew had teased Bismuth’s existence by proof of her gem for a while, and designs of her humanoid form had been floating around way before the episode even aired: needless to say that there was a general consensus of excitement over having another Black-coded gem joining the cast, if only for a little while.Yet, after the episode, many fans were left confused and angry by Bismuth’s episode. Indeed, despite their best intent, the heads behind Steven Universe tackled an issue that they didn’t have time to account for, and in the end this lack of time hindered Bismuth as a character, the Crystal Gems, and the perception of the crew behind the show.
I just started watching Rick and Morty, and I must say that I adore it. Rick and Morty is the story of an elderly, eccentric, alcoholic scientist who moves in with his daughter and her family after years of being apart from them. Rick spends most of his time with his grandson Morty, who helps Rick out as they travel through space, alternate universes, and other crazy adventures.
I was recently rewatching Season 2 of Rickand Morty—in particular, I was watching the episode “Auto Erotic Assimilation”, where we meet the Hivemind being Unity, a former lover of Rick’s. In the episode, Unity appears to Rick in a variety of genders and while Rick seems to be primarily interested in Unity’s female avatars, he doesn’t seem averse to the male ones, who are also incorporated into their lovemaking in various ways. Furthermore, though Unity appears in a variety of forms to Rick, they seem to primarily be identified in the show as female.
So today we are going to talk about not only Rick Sanchez’s sexuality, but also what the sexuality and gender of a Hivemind would be like.
There was a time when I enjoyed watching television. The internet has almost anything you’d like to watch, but that wasn’t why I stopped watching cable. The biggest reason was that the channels I followed stopped showing cartoons. For a long time I have been interested in animation, and since anime wasn’t shown outside of the late hours on Adult Swim, I would watch cartoons. Even Cartoon Network switched to showing more live action shows around 2010. Within the past few years channelshave aired new animated shows like Steven UniverseandGravity Fallsthat I’ve been following online instead.
I almost completely missed one of my favorite series, Over the Garden Wall, because it was only aired for one week in November 2014 on Cartoon Network. Luckily I follow the right people on Tumblr, or I would have never known it existed. It’s a great example of original storytelling that doesn’t rely on tropes or stereotypes. What really shocked me was how the female protagonist was portrayed. Despite not being human, she had character, and the other protagonists respected her opinions. Best of all, she isn’t made into a romantic interest! In this show, even the grim characters aren’t always painted as villains, and I can’t help but love a show that can develop interesting characters despite their appearances.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Adventure Time, but the last episodes of this past season were showing things I’d never think I’d see on Cartoon Network outside of Adult Swim. It’s exciting to see the network getting back to more serious animated shows (like the short series, Over The Garden Wall), but there are ratings for shows for a reason. I can’t tell if the writers are genuinely trying to make a more developed world with complex characters, or if they’re just twisting the story into whatever they desire. By the end of this season, I questioned whether this show meant to use depression as a joke, and how much of an element of horror they were willing (or were allowed) to use.
Sometimes we write about serious things, and sometimes we write about the things we love. On many days, those are the same thing. Today is not one of those days. Today is a “write about what you love that maybe isn’t serious” day: I get to talk about the Powerpuff Girls and video games.
Happy New Year, ya filthy animals! It’s been eight months since you all started reading my ridiculous moaning about feminism, comics, and video games, and I’m excited to welcome you into a new year. Here’s to all the bad decisions we made last night, and all the ones that I’m sure we’ll keep making in 2014. If you need help making a resolution, how about “popping a wheelie on the zeitgeist?” Or how about just being a little nicer to yourself this year? What? Oh. Apparently, I’m supposed to be writing a post on something here. Continue reading →