sholio: Captain America in the rain (Avengers-Steve rain)
I'm not responding to this on Tumblr because no good ever comes of arguing with people on Tumblr about things like this, but ... seriously ...

Cut for those who want to either a) avoid spoilers for Captain America: Civil War, or b) avoid discussion of the movie, period.

Under the cut )
sholio: Starlord with raccoon on shoulder (Avengers-GotG-Starlord with raccoon)
So the fact that I now have a GotG icon probably tells you all you need to know about how I reacted to the movie. I did not go in expecting to love it. I actually was lukewarm on the first one (which, by the way, I am totally buying so I can rewatch it now, because Netflix does not have it streaming, the jerks).

I DID NOT EXPECT TO LOVE THIS MOVIE. AT ALL.

I LOVED THIS MOVIE A WHOLE LOT.

I also think the trailer for this movie (the first teaser trailer, the Fox on the Run one) might be one of the best trailers I've ever seen, because it a) took me from "meh" to really wanting to see this movie, and b) did not actually spoil ANYTHING! I went into this completely unspoiled -- in fact, far less spoiled than I thought I was after seeing the trailer -- and I'm really glad. If watching things nonspoiled is your thing, I think you will enjoy having that experience.

Which means you will not want to click on the cut tag, because ALL THE SPOILERS are here.

All the spoilers )
sholio: Captain America in the rain (Avengers-Steve rain)
[livejournal.com profile] sheron just watched CA: Civil War and is looking for Tony-focused fics (Steve & Tony, preferably) that deal with the fallout from the movie and AREN'T terribly skewed towards one character or the other. (As the entire fandom tends to be post-CW, thus missing the point of the movie entirely.) She's okay with Steve/Tony if that's the only way to get the feels, but prefers gen friendship fic for these characters.

I am completely unhelpful since I haven't read anything in this fandom in over a year, but I offered to ask, since I know there are people hereabouts who are still in Avengers fandom. Anyone seen any good post-CW fic around?
sholio: Peggy Carter (Avengers-Peggy in cafe)
So apparently this is what happens when you deprive me of Internet for a week and a half. POSTAPALOOZA!

Since I've been thinking about Peggy & co's future lately, let's talk about the MCU future timeline and how it relates to the Agent Carter characters as they age.

To some extent my AC fic is basically taking place in a headcanon AU of my own devising. I haven't watched enough of Agents of SHIELD to avoid canon slip-ups if I deal with SHIELD's future too much, and I don't really want to deal with certain parts of it (like, we know Hank and Janet were active on the superhero scene by the 1960s or the 1970s at the latest, which means they had fully functional shrinking suits -- and for me, the AC 'verse isn't really a superhero 'verse; it's a Cold War spy 'verse). So basically, my fic is taking place in a one-step-away-from-canon 'verse that never quite engages with superheroes if I can avoid it; not that they definitively don't have that future (one of the things I like about AC, actually, is the doomed-tragic aspect of knowing how most of them end up), but rather that I just don't really want to put larger-than-life Marvel superheroes and AC characters into the same fic. They don't really fit together.

But I'm interested in the idea of figuring out how to work characters like a young Alexander Pierce or Obadiah Stane into the future AC 'verse. I was considering the idea that partnering with Stane might have had something to do with Howard really going off the rails. We know that in the 1940s he backed away from making weapons, after the Midnight Oil incident; he's haunted by guilt for the people who died in the weapon's field test. So how did he get from there, to large-scale weapons manufacturing a few decades later? But I'm not sure if Stane actually had that much influence at the company early on. Plus, I don't really want to take all culpability away from Howard; though I do like him, it's much too tidy to say that Stane was largely responsible for the way Stark Industries ended up going. Howard's slide to the darkside isn't something he gets to wash his hands of. Stane might have helped tug him that way, though.

And then there's Pierce. One of my various non-canon-based bits of future speculation is that Jack goes into politics later on -- that he ends up as a Senator or something, not necessarily for the rest of his career, but for awhile. So it's actually very plausible that he might've run into Pierce early in Pierce's career with the State Department. Plus, once Pierce became involved with SHIELD's oversight and management, then Peggy would have known him and worked with him ... though I'm still considering when they might have actually met. (I don't think we know exactly when the hostage crisis involving his family canonically took place, do we?) If we take Pierce as roughly the age of the actor playing him, Redford was born in 1936 according to imdb, so Pierce could've been getting his start in politics as early as the late 1950s.

(Unpleasant thought: Peggy or Jack actually mentored him.)
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
Relieved to be able to stop the spoiler blackout, mostly.

General thoughts )
sholio: Steve and Bucky on a snowy mountainside (Avengers-Steve Bucky snow)
oh god, the CA: Civil War trailer is out. I knew this was going to happen and I still don't know what to do about it. The options are, I suppose, watch it and spoil myself (hopefully not too badly), or hide in a cave until May. Although everyone on my flist has been excellent about cutting; it's mostly Tumblr and similar places that I'm worried about.

I have lots of things I should be doing, but all I really want to do is write EVEN MORE ridiculously self-indulgent h/c for a series only a couple of people on my flist have read, none of whom (I suspect) are into precisely the same subset of characters that I am, at least not in quite the same way. (Which, by the way, there is nothing wrong with; I just think it's hilarious that I've taken the world's tiniest fandom and basically managed to make it EVEN TINIER for myself.)

Maybe I'll go make tea and see if it's easier to be useful with caffeine.
sholio: Captain America in the rain (Avengers-Steve rain)
I'm finally getting around to reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. The reason why it's taken so long for me to read this book is because, when it won the Pulitzer Prize and got famous about 15 years ago, this immediately compelled everybody in my extended family who vaguely knew I was into comics to go "This book has comics in it! [personal profile] sholio likes comics! [personal profile] sholio should read this!" Which of course made me obstinately not want to read it, combined with a suspicion that it was going to ping my wrong-dar in all kinds of ways. A few years ago my mother-in-law gave me a copy, and I finally decided I needed to either read the damn thing or get rid of it, so I'm now reading it ...

.... and it's borderline un-putdownable, damn it. XD Considering this is a topic I know quite a lot about (the comics business), it really does seem to be hitting most of the right notes, allowing for a bit of Chabon's over-the-topness. There have been a few little things that have made me twitch (I need to make a post about the Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Artists one of these days) but in general I'm really enjoying it.

Actually, it's interesting reading the book now instead of 15 years ago, because I'd gone into it with the idea that it was a fictionalized version of Seigel & Shuster creating Superman (I think that was the general impression that reviews of the book left me with, probably because Superman is the superhero the public is most familiar with, or was back in the early 2000s before the Marvel Universe got so popular in films) but no, it is FAR MORE NERDY than that: it's a fictionalized version of Jack Kirby and Joe Simon creating Captain America.

In fact, the main characters themselves are a fascinating mash-up of actual Kirby/Simon (working-class Jewish cartoonist) and fictional Steve Rogers (Brooklyn-based disabled son of a single mom who works as a nurse). After reading a ton of MCU fanfic in which 1930s Brooklyn is basically a post-apocalyptic dystopia, it is definitely a change of pace to switch over to a historical novel which has literally the exact same setup as most 1930s-era CA fanfic -- poor Brooklyn artist and son of single mom tries to get by -- in which Brooklyn is a place where people actually have rather happy and fulfilling lives rather than a wasteland of rat-infested tenements, and being working-class immigrant poor equates to not always paying the rent on time and having to be careful not to use up all of one's drawing paper before the next paycheck, as opposed to eating out of garbage cans and blowing sailors on the docks for rent money.

In the part of the book I'm reading right now, relatively minor spoiler continuing the Captain America theme )

I think it threw me a little because I was not expecting the book to be this ... nerdy? Or quite this affectionately, blatantly pulpy? Or something. However, I think I can honestly say that the book approaches comics and 1930s pulp fiction in almost exactly the same way that The Yiddish Policeman's Union approached noir mystery: it actually is the thing it's commenting on (more or less), but it's also a meta-commentary on the genre itself. It's also very funny, in an often bleak kind of way.

(I am still quite a ways from the ending, so PLEASE DO NOT SPOIL ME, thanks!)
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
And so, I'm 39. When I was about 14, I remember making one of my characters 39 because I wanted him to be old and world-weary, but not too old to relate to. Hi, 14-year-old me, from just this side of unrelatably old! XD

Thank you for the birthday wishes, emails and gifts, everybody. ♥ It was a mellow day in which I didn't get anything done, but in a good way - had lunch with friends, chatted with my family on the phone, and saw a movie (Ant-Man). Which, since this is ostensibly a blog for talking about pop culture and media, I will discuss under the cut.

Ant-Man )

ETA: Some spoilers for Civil War )
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
There are two things I wanted to talk about in more depth, one thing I liked and one I did not.

The happy thing )

The nonsquee part )
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
No spoilers outside the cut! Thank you, Internet, for keeping me ... well, as unspoiled as I was, but people were generally pretty good about it. :)

Spoilers )
sholio: Sebastian Stan as Bucky (Winter Soldier Bucky)
I'm rereading The Rook by Daniel O'Malley, which is still just as excellent the second time around. As an additional plus, I can't remember the solution to the central mystery, which means I'm weirdly unspoiled considering I've read this book before!

The first time I read this book, though, was before I watched Winter Soldier and subsequently spent most of a year in a fandom that's largely focused on a character who is defined by amnesia and identity issues. That's pretty much what The Rook is about too, and it's just really fascinating to read it now, because what it does is different from what nearly all Winter Soldier fic does. (At least, I should say -- the fic as it existed when I first got into the fandom, when I was reading just about everything. Now that I've drifted away from it, while I do still dip back into reading in the fandom occasionally, I burned out utterly on Bucky recovery fic, so I'm not sure what is out there now.)

Anyway, without getting into spoilers beyond what's in the first couple of pages, The Rook begins with the protagonist, Myfanwy, becoming aware of her surroundings in a park. She's surrounded by dead people, which circumstances suggest she killed, and has no memories before this moment. All she has is a letter in her pocket, written to her by her (or her past self, rather) before she lost her memories, telling her what her name is and giving her instructions for what to do next.

Cut not for spoilers - there are some for both canons, but they're mild ones - but rather for length, since this turned into a fairly lengthy ramble )

ETA: While I was writing this, MY SORRY EXCUSE FOR A LOVING HUSBAND STOLE MY BOOK. This is what I get for telling him it was good and he should read it. I meant after I was done.
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
I took a nap and things were looking up, but then I poured dishwater down my front while washing a roasting pan. Perhaps it would be a good idea not to operate heavy machinery today.

.... There's also the fact that Current Freelance Client hasn't gotten me my changes back, which means I could technically spend the whole day writing fanfic. I probably shouldn't, but I could!

On a further fannish side note, with Agent Carter just ending and Agents of SHIELD coming back soon ... I don't know how many of you guys know about [livejournal.com profile] avengersgen, but it's a gen prompt comm for the whole MCU, and they just started a new round. Got any Carter prompts you want to see? :D That's pretty much all I've been writing lately, though I haven't posted anything because it's all turning out long. I'm getting back into writing fanfic a bit more, though, and I'm back into the MCU, so if there is something gen you want to see written, leave a prompt and I just might write you something. :D

Fanart

Oct. 8th, 2014 10:17 am
sholio: Captain America in the rain (Avengers-Steve rain)
I'm off for the airport shortly and I'll be out of touch (well, in and out of touch) for the next week or so while traveling, but I wanted to post this before I left.

Steve/Bucky fanfic illustration (totally worksafe) )

And now I gotta run. See you guys again in a day or three!
sholio: Autumn leaves (Autumn-leaves 1)
The Avengersfest stories are up, and anonymous for the rest of the week. I haven't had time to do more than read my gift story, but it looks like there's a nice wide spread of pairings and characters. The story I wrote is incredibly obvious, I suspect, especially to people who've read my SGA stuff, which it closely resembles (in fact, I think I wrote at least two stories in SGA with this exact plot). I have some things I want to say about the process of writing it, though, which obviously I can't say yet!

And I was gifted a great outside-POV, post-Winter Soldier story, which I really enjoyed:

Not Doing This Alone (8254 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America (Movies), Hawkeye (Comics)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes & Original Character(s), Clint Barton & Original Character(s), Natasha Romanov & Original Character(s), Clint Barton & Natasha Romanov, James "Bucky" Barnes & Steve Rogers
Characters: James "Bucky" Barnes, Original Characters, Clint Barton, Natasha Romanov, Steve Rogers
Additional Tags: POV Outsider, POV Original Character, Homelessness, Brooklyn, Recovery, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD, steve/bucky if you squint - Freeform
Summary: Unless you don’t got nowhere else to go, you don’t come down Blake Street way. It’s cold and there’s no shelter, ‘cept for what condemned lots provide. Got worse after the aliens though. One of them sled thingies crashed straight through the front of 37. Don’t matter all that much, ‘cos no one ‘cept homeless have lived there for years, but weird rotting alien bodies and that sled thing brought Feds and Blake Street ain’t the place anyone wants Feds. Full of people just making do, ‘cept Feds think that’s illegal. Fuckin’ Feds.
sholio: Steve and Bucky in soft lighting (Avengers-Steve Bucky past)
Important Adult Stuff squared away for now. Hello, LJ/DW; let me goof off on you.

(Also, now that apparently I am in this fandom and sticking around for awhile, I guess I need to figure out which tag(s) to use for it. MCU? Avengers? Captain America? Why so confusing?)

I ran across a post recently at [personal profile] cesperanza's DW on the MCU not being a very easy-to-AU fandom for her, which is my experience with it also. And I've kind of noticed in the past that some fandoms (White Collar, SGA) are very easy for me to read/write AUs, while others (Avatar: The Last Airbender is my ur-example of this) are pretty much impossible, or at least very difficult. I've generally attributed it to some characters being more firmly rooted in their particular storyline/milieu than others. And while that is a big part of it, I also realized that I actually have read and enjoyed some AUs in MCU fandom, it's just that most of them don't really do it for me, so ... well, rambling thoughts under the cut.

Actually this is mostly about Steve/Bucky, I guess )
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
My sister innocently sent me an email asking, "Do you remember the Hulk rules for Ambush? Because I don't think we wrote them down."

I do indeed, and after I stopped laughing, I typed them up for her, and then decided to tell the whole story on Livejournal. Basically it's the story of how my sister and I hacked a WWII board game into first a Stargate game and then an Avengers game.

For people -- mostly guys -- of a certain (my dad's) age, military board games were a big deal. I think this has probably given way to computer games now, but in the '70s and '80s these things were pretty huge, and my dad was really into them. The games come with a map, combat rules, lots of different counters representing soldiers, equipment, weapons, etc, and you design different strategies and put them through combat and see how much of your army survives. Most of the ones he liked to play were WWII-related, though he also had some Napoleonic Wars and medieval ones.

When my sister and I were little, we used to enjoy watching him play the games and "helping" by rolling dice and so forth. Our favorite of the games by far -- which meant that we ended up spending hours and hours and HOURS playing it with him -- was a WWII game called Ambush!, because of the roleplaying-game aspect, although neither of us had encountered RPGs yet. You create characters, name them, roll up different skills for them, and then use a game book of predetermined enemy movements to put your characters through a series of missions, competing against spontaneously generated enemy combatants who move/attack according to the game book. Your characters gain experience points during the mission, so you can put them through the entire war if you want to, or at least as much of it as is provided in the expansion modules.

You can probably see where this is going )
sholio: Sebastian Stan as Bucky (Winter Soldier Bucky)
Still feeling unusually chatty, so here, have an opinion. (Obvious disclaimer applies: this is just me, and there is nothing wrong with anyone feeling different about it. There are many people who love it for reasons equally valid to why I don't!)

It's a trope that appears in quite a bit of post-Winter Soldier fic ...

Cut for fannish ramblings and spoilers for the movie )
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
You know, when you really can't make a drawing come out right, flipping it and drawing it upside down is incredibly helpful, at least if you're drawing from a reference (in this case, a photo of a shoe from an awkward angle). It forces you to stop drawing what you "know" is true and just look at the lines and angles. (In other news, WHY ARE FEET.)

Playful speculation about Age of Ultron aside, I have absolutely no idea how I am going to manage to stay unspoiled between now and May 1 2015. NOT A FREAKING CLUE. I only managed to be as unspoiled as I was for the recent crop of Marvel movies because I was a) mostly interested in the Iron Man parts of the franchise, and b) not on tumblr all that much (and even so, I did get a couple of pretty major spoilers for Thor 2; it's nothing short of a miracle that I didn't know anything about Cap2 going into it, but I think that's actually one reason why I enjoyed it so much). Now that I'm following a bunch of Avengers-related blogs on Tumblr, there is NO HOPE, especially since movie trailers come out so long before the actual movies. (It wouldn't surprise me if there's an Avengers 2 trailer associated with Guardians of the Galaxy. Which I'm really looking forward to, by the way. Yes, I know it's going to be ridiculous. Hopefully it will be the good kind of ridiculous.)

Despite watching nearly every superhero movie that's come out since the very first X-Men movie (EXCEPT FOR WOLVERINE, LET'S NOT EVEN GO THERE) I haven't seen either of the new Spider-Man movies yet, and I'm weirdly reluctant. I guess it still feels too soon for a reboot to me.

ETA: Fan video - Inception/Captain America AU with Steve and Bucky. AAAAUGH. (The only thing that annoys me about this is that you can't turn off the subtitles. Why not?!)

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