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Comic-Con 2010 vs. Comic Con 2010

My friend Sina Grace is the Editorial Director for Robert Kirkman. Knowing that kind of makes your job seem lame, right?

Last July, Sina asked me and Nate if we would come down to San Diego to help sling comic books and other Kirkman merch at Comic-Con. Comic-Con isn’t really my scene – I have very little patience for dealing with people with next to no social skills – but I obliged. It was weird, but I did such a good job hiding my discomfort and disdain for men in costumes taking my picture and making awkward advances that Sina’s company, Skybound, flew me and Nate out to New York last weekend for their production, Comic Con (note the lack of a hyphen in this one – important distinction).

There are some key differences between the SD and the NY Cons. Most notably, San Diego has no shame when it comes to revealing wardrobes. When I was in SD, I saw a gaggle of poorly constructed Princess Leia slave outfits so flimsy that when they swished around, I saw their muffs – for some reason, they thought it best to not wear underwear. More power to them I guess.

There was none of this in New York. People dressed up, but they were mostly men who would LARP in the middle of the floor for attention. We were selling these zombie plush dolls with removable heads at our booth, and they were a big hit with burly, tattoo covered guys with thick Long Island accents: “Hey uh, lemme gets a look at one of those plushies. Yeah, I’ll take two of ’em.” I realize these particular men weren’t in costume, but their tough guy acts were my favorite performance pieces of the weekend.

This New York trip coincided with my three-year anniversary with Nate. We spent it on our plane ride back to San Francisco and got home just before midnight. He went to our corner liquor store, bought some cheap champagne, and toasted to us with a Carrie Bradshaw quote: “To all the sex we’ve had in this city.” Final note on this post: my boyfriend is the best.

If you ever turn into a zombie, I'll let you eat me.

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my life

I’m tired today.

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Awkward Anthony Bourdain Fan Photo

A part of me wants to comment on this woman’s decision to post a picture of her double chin on her Yelp profile, but I’ll refrain. I don’t want to be a bully.

“Why do we have to be all flowers and lollipops. Why can’t it be like fighting but we are actually learning. That’s called back-door education.” – Kelly Bensimon

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Flag As Inappropriate

Spooning Leads To Porking

This photo was flagged as “inappropriate” on a Yelp business page, but I found it poetically appropriate for my blog.

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Best Pocket Vagina

The #1 searched for tag on my blog is “best pocket vagina,” which is something I actually haven’t touched on in here… until now.

Just kidding! I have nothing to say about this. Except, I do have one question: Doesn’t this vagina look sort of sad and run down? I wonder what it’s thinking about.

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Nothing is better than friends!

What I’m about to say sounds really cliché and may be a little too revealing of my character, but here it is: the Baby-Sitters Club shaped my childhood. I read every. single. one. of those books, including all the spin-offs: Little Sister, Super Specials, Mysteries/Super Mysteries, Friends Forever, California Diaries (except the ones starring Dawn’s presumably gay friend Ducky – the nine-year-old me was creeped out that a high school boy would hang out with 8th graders [and actually, the 23-year-old me is too]).

They're not CPR certified but they only charge $3/day.

I devoured these books when I was younger, literally reading and rereading at least one novel a day. No one else I knew read them as voraciously as I did, which made me feel really weird and obsessive growing up. So I was extremely pumped to read a post from last week’s Jezebel, An Open Letter to Ann M. Martin, which was written in the voice of the least talked about character, Mallory Pike.

Mallory was always really interesting to me. She was the only character in the series that got continually shit on and was never given the chance to redeem herself. She was pitiful and also my least favorite character. AMM states in a recent interview that she hasn’t put any thought into what Mallory would be like today, which would help explain why I only remember Mallory as the redheaded girl with the 8000 siblings and a huge nose that she was always trying to hide with her huge glasses frames. I used to read descriptions about her (remember how the character descriptions and motives were always revisited in chapter 2 of every book?) and wonder why Claudia or Stacey didn’t step in and help tame some of her hair frizz. But there was just something about Mallory that made people not want to reach out. I feel like her tween awkwardness should have been something I identified with. I should have rallied with her and cheered her on while she tried to pull herself up out of the depths of her raging insecurities. But I didn’t. I hated her. I thought she was so exceedingly lame that she didn’t deserve an iota of my attention. Clearly, AMM felt the same way.

Mallory getting walked on, as usual.

This leaves me wondering what Mallory was supposed to represent in this series. The idea was that you strongly identified with one of the characters: Kristy if you were sporty, Claudia if you liked art and were forced to repeat 7th grade, Stacey if you had diabetes. But what was Mallory Pike? Were you a Mallory if you hated your life? Please, we all did. That’s called preteen angst. But no reader wanted to acknowledge their own self-loathing. The point of reading these books was to create a fantasy you. No one fantasizes about being the most hated member of both their family and their group of friends.

So this, combined with AMM’s dismissal in her interview, leads me to my theory on Mallory. I think Mallory was supposed to represent that person you were not supposed to turn out like. The one who’s always down on her luck and always having the worst day of her life. All the characters faced horrible tribulations; half of the characters had a dead parent for Christ sake. But Mallory’s family was nearly perfect. Her whole life was nearly perfect. But you wouldn’t know it from looking at her frowny boo hoo face, which was so pronounced that whenever she was in a scene it was all you could see on the page. She seemed to create problems for herself just to have something to talk about. What is that? That’s not the girl power Kristy was trying to instill when she started this club. Sure, half the point of creating this thing was to create an excuse to hang out with your friends. Also, Kristy was really bossy and this was a good way to control her friendships by making herself president. But still. All of these girls, even little old Mary Anne, had a sense of independence and power over their surroundings.

Mallory had none of that initiative that drove all the other girls to establish their strong senses of identity. And instead of cutting her some slack, AMM let her wallow in her own misery. The club was unresponsive to Mallory’s problems because Mallory wasn’t willing to help herself. She was content in her self-pity. We were supposed to hate her because we were supposed to not turn out like her. And that was the most important lesson of AMM’s books: people will forget about you if you don’t assert yourself as something – ANYTHING. Go out and get what you want. Don’t complain about the obstacles you face, because there will be a lot of them. Don’t be like Mallory Pike.

This bitch got the worst story lines too. Sucks to be on AMM's shit list.

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Broke-Ass Dream Team

Last week, I wrote a post for Broke-Ass Stuart about Hard French, and it caused a little bit of controversy. Shout out to the Real Nitty Gritty for defending me on their blog! It was much appreciated, guys. You’ll be seeing me and the Broke-Ass Team at next month’s party.

While I’m here, I should make mention that Broke-Ass Stuart has been nominated for an award. Go to the event’s Facebook page to check it out, and don’t forget to send your vote for Broke-Ass Stuart to mkim[at]commonwealthclub[dot]org or to #inforumsf on Twitter. Haaaay!

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