So, this blog has been pretty well dead for so long that I can’t even remember what my plans were for it last time I posted. I’ve been dealing with problems in school and with work and with life in general, and I just kind of let this fall by the wayside. I don’t have a review today, and I won’t tomorrow, but I’m going to start posting things, maybe live blog the book I’m reading or something to that effect. But after all the stuff that’s happened I’m putting down words and staking my place on the net again.
Yeah, I’m back on this again and ignoring that review that I’ll be posting probably either later tonight or sometime tomorrow. Here’s the thing, I’ve been a fan of Barbara Gordon since back in the nineties with Batman the Animated Series when I had no clue that the comics were any different. Back then, I had no idea that The Killing Joke had happened or that there was a second Batgirl. This was the character that I wanted to grow up to be. She was like Velma but with more attitude and she got to work with Batman.
Fast forward to sometime during high school and I’ve heard of The Killing Joke but not read it. I’ve heard that there was a second Batgirl and that she was rather poorly delt with for a chunk of her run in the cape. But I hadn’t really started reading comics yet. The Sandman, sure but that was because the school library had it in trade paperbacks and I had free time while being a library aide. It was around this time that I started to get more interested in comics as a whole, so I’d started reading up on DC’s super heroes to see who I wanted to focus on.
Fast forward again to around February. Holy cow there’s going to be a Batwoman monthly comic! Issue #0 is coming out and The Question is going to be in Birds of Prey! I was practically dancing in my seat with this one. Plus I was trying to keep up with the Odyssy of Wonder Woman arc of Wonder Woman because I wanted to see how they changed the character. And follow it through to Flashpoint and my various rants on that, it’s really one of the things that sticks out at me as a forced money grab even now. But I’ve finally got that Batwoman ongoing as part of my draw list, and Birds of Prey is still pretty cool even without Lady Blackhawk or Huntress.
It’s kind of itchy though, reading Batgirl and seeing Barbara go from tough leadery Oracle to a Batgirl so full of self doubt that I almost expect that the villain is going to wind up doing himself in rather than her winning.This is where I get to the meat of my ramble, don’t worry the rest was just back story. Now, not all of the sources agree, but apparently Babs was Oracle sometime during those three years post-Flashpoint. Why isn’t she still? I’m basing this mostly on the character I was reading back in Birds of Prey but it’s hard to see her giving up the autonomy of being a hero on her own to step back under the Batmantle. Out of the chair she’s still the same character, or at least she should be. Post-Flashpoint Batgirl seems to assume a Barbara who never quit being Batgirl prior to The Killing Joke, one who would go back to that after having been Oracle.
This is a character who questioned her reasons for crime fighting right up through the eighties when she quit and was then shot in the spine for being related to Batman’s supporting cast. Except it isn’t anymore, maybe. What was DCnU Barbara Gordon like before the Joker shot her? Was she Silver Age Batgirl with her Batpurse and day job as a librarian? Was she BtAS Batgirl the plucky not quite side kick? Heck, was she Stephanie Brown with red hair and no history as Spoiler? I’m growing tired of DCnU Batgirl’s near constant self questioning. I understand that she’s not at a hundred percent yet and I understand that Gail Simone is laying the basis for the rest of the comic, but the more I read the less I like Babs and the more I want to just quietly go back to finding Oracle’s appearances in trade paperbacks.
This is one of those situations where I want to see what other people have to say about this. I’m going to keep reading for at least the next arc to see how DCnU Babs develops, but I’m thinking that this may not be something that stays on my draw list much longer. What do you think internets? Does the current incarnation make more sense to you that it does me? Where do you think Simone is going to go with Batgirl from here?
Like it says in the title, I’m really not sure what I’m talking about today so this will probably go a little where did all of this come from I swear there wasn’t a giraffe in my bag when I packed it!
After writing the post asking if anyone thought that Slendy could be successfully brought into the relm of books I began trolling the piss out of a friend of mine because she’s easy to freak out. So I decided to try writing the project I mentioned.
I’ve been noticing weird things lately, the trees are watching me. OK, no this isn’t turning into a slenderblog, I just felt like writing that. It got me thinking though, what makes for good horror? Here’s the top five things that I’ve come up with.
5) Group Fear – One of my favorite things to do with the slenderblogs is to read/watch them with my friends and see there reactions. It’s great to watch one of them freak out when something big happens like the Thin Duke going after the main character(s). An audience feeds off of its own fear even across the internet and the fear builds and readers get this great kind of freaked out that later readers miss out on to some degree. Horror movies in theaters are great because of the other audience members also reacting.
4) Monsters in Odd Places/ Times – The Faceless Fellow can and has shown up at any time of day in just about any area. Sure water is supposed to drive him off and supposedly he can’t see anyone above about the second story as human, but he did peek in that window in Marble Hornets and he is always surrounded by fog. Monsters are expected to show up in the dead of night, possibly while it’s raining cats and dogs, so putting them out in full day light especially if they’re not being used for a cat scare works great.
3) Backstory – Mr. Happy has tons of backstory, mostly built by the internet hivemind and then polished by the slenderblogers. It’s been built upon by hundreds of people since that first picture appeared on Something Awful and there’s enough variation to make it feel very much like one of the urban legends that have been around forever, like Bloody Mary or the thing that lives under the hill. It’s creepy and leaves a reader wondering what is being left out and what could be worse.
2) Ambiguity – We don’t even know what Slender Man is exactly, but like the Blair Witch before him we get freaked out by him. What is he? What does he want? Why is he here? Are we making him stronger by writing about him? If so, why do we keep writing about him? With the Blair Witch, the audience never sees her only what she does to the film makers. Or before that even, Psycho has Norman Bates’ mother who dotes on him so much that she murders the woman who stays in the motel, but she’s been dead the whole time. People fear the unknown, so it only makes sense that the unknown would make for good horror.
1) Character Reactions – One of the biggest things that makes The Tall Guy terrifying in Marble Hornets is the way everyone reacts to him. He’s just standing there slendering around, but Jay is flipping his shit over it because holy cow it’s going to take me away and eat my soul/eyes/memories. Masky gets to attack people just about every time he’s shown, but the Gentleman in the Suit seldom attacks directly. Which one has people training cameras on themselves and running for their lives?
That’s what I’ve been able to think up. What do you guys think? What makes you jump when things go bump in the night?
A friend of mine and I had a conversation earlier today regarding the Slender Man and horror movies. It’s one of those things that makes a really good story when handled well, such as with Marble Hornets or Just Another Fool. What I’m wondering is if it could be applied to literature effectively. We’re talking a Lovecraftian monstrosity that stalks and kills anyone who pays to much attention to him (it?) here, a monstrosity that already has a ton of back story and exposure from all the ARGs and Slenderbloggers. Would it apply well to literature? To books that don’t up date with something new every few days or weeks? The amount of hits that places like Dreams in Darkness and, again, Just Another Fool get even after being finished could suggest so. Would the Slenderbloggers and the guys who run the ARGs react well to a novelist adding to their mythology? Would they tie it into what they were doing as a kind of “those poor fools what have they done” or would they decry someone trying to capitalize on the ground work that they laid? At the end of the day, would there be enough interest outside of the internet to make it worthwhile to a publisher to print a novel that played with Slendy or would it be ignored by all but the already present followers online?
What do you guys think? Is Slendy something that could work in a book or should he stay online? Heck, maybe sound off with your favorite Slenderblog or ARG while you’re at it.