I don’t have a long preamble for this month–I am currently the world’s most boring person to chat with, since whenever someone asks “so what are you up to?” all I can say is “reading”. I think I’ve consumed more text in the last few months than ever before in my life. I’m crunching through entire books within days, something that’s so downright surreal that I made a Goodreads account just to show it off (and also to spend an afternoon not reading but still technically doing something productive). If anyone’s interested, I’m also considering making a page of book recommendations here on the blog for anyone interested in mythology, genre studies, queer studies, and the intersections of all three, since I’m finding a lot of cool stuff. Let me know if that sounds fun!
Now, enough about reading, and onto writing:
On the Blog:
Fairy Tales and Flowerbeds: Messing with Genre in Revolutionary Girl Utena and Yurikuma Arashi (in which Ikuhara anime deliberately plays with your expectations, and is also very gay)
Folklore, Worldbuilding, and Fun with Unreliable Narrators (in which the question of truth creates some spooky fun and depth of setting in Ash and Night in the Woods)
And the final episode writeup for A Place Further Than the Universe!
Fun Things Around the Web:
You know what’s fun, but that I don’t talk about a lot over here? Fashion history!
The entirety of BBC documentary A Stitch in Time is up on YouTube, so you can sit back and watch fashion historians, tailors, and costume designers puzzle out how to recreate outfits from famous paintings, teaching us much about their social context as well as their technical aspects along the way.
I love this sort of immersive, hands-on social history. The clothes people wore, the everyday objects they used, and the food they ate (incidentally, all of Supersizers Go is also up on YouTube at the moment) can tell us so much about day-to-day life throughout history. Fashion blogger Safiya Nygaard also recently completed a half-century-spanning series of historical fashion challenges to dig into these exact details, and the results are informative as well as very fun (and stands a better chance of not being taken off YouTube by the BBC…):
And now, articles:
Dear Marvel, Please Let Your Men Hug Each Other–come on guys, be afraid of Thanos destroying the universe, not of expressions of male affection!
Male Gaze, Female Eye: Comic Girls, Slow Start, Sakura Trick and Lewdness–if a show is made to appeal to straight dudes but a lesbian enjoys it, does that diminish the nature of the Male Gaze? Where do authorial intent and audience reception collide and/or cancel each other out? There is no simple answer.
Recently, I also discovered The Asexual, a web-published journal of creative writing and essays meant to showcase the ace community. Some personal favourites so far are journal founder Michael Paramo’s Beyond Sex: The Multi-Layered Model of Attraction, “Meaningless Sex” by Heidi Samuelson, and My Waking Up by Adolfo Gamboa.
And it was the start of a new anime season, which means it was premiere review season! Head on over to AniFem’s collection of impressions to see if there’s a series there that sounds good!
And this month’s podcast rec is…
Polygon’s The History of Fun! More delightful social history, this time putting the magnifying glass over hobbies, games, and other things people do for fun, from the fraught path of Neopets to the surprising origins of roller derby (Victorian era marathons on wheels). It’s entertaining and educational, and of course packed full of nostalgia is that’s something you’re hankering for.
That’s all from me this time ’round. Take care out there everyone!