Best and Worst of 2011

It’s that time again! That time of the year when everyone everywhere is making lists about the year coming to a close. Not ones to be left out, here’s our short list of the best and worst of the year.


Worst Advertisement: Skyy Vodka

This has nothing to do with geek culture, but it pretty much sums up everything awful about 21st century American society. Unfortunately, we have to post the picture here, or else those of you who have been spared from seeing it wouldn’t know what we’re talking about.

What else really needs to be said?

Worst Character Redesign: Suicide Squad Harley Quinn

We’ll admit that we haven’t actually picked up Suicide Squad. However, anything that involves Harley Quinn making clown car jokes about her ladyparts and dressing like this:

is something we’re incapable of approving of.

Worst Mass Reboot: The New 52

As we have expressed in earlier blogs, we’re not entirely satisfied with DC’s opinion of what a strong woman is. Our feelings are best described by this comic rendition of every day of our lives, done by David Willis:

Worst Non-Geek Movie: The Change-Up

Any movie where a five-year-old girl is, even jokingly, referred to as a “bitch” is not a movie we ever want to see. Unfortunately, we did see it. The first ten minutes of the movie was just poop– literally. And that set the tone for the next two hours. Other than that, it was a poorly, redundantly plotted storyline with stereotypical characters and, well, Jason Bateman could have done so much better.

Worst Propaganda: Frank Miller’s Holy Terror

Leave it Frank Miller to make the most offensive, ignorant right-wing graphic novel of 2011. Miller, in defense of his comic, cited the fact that Superman and Captain America both had the privilege of punching Hitler. However, there’s a big difference between punching Hitler and punching Germany.


Best Video Game: Skyrim

Need we say more? If you don’t know what that is, that’s a person absorbing a dragon’s soul– two, if we’re not mistaken. Yeah.

Best Reason to Look Forward to December 2012: The Release of The Hobbit Trailer

Even though we have to wait a whole year for this (and then another whole year for part 2), the return of Tolkien to the big screen is better than Breaking Dawn: Part Three and Orlando Bloom’s acting combined. (Not that that says much.)

Best New Comic Character: Alejandra

While Ghost Rider got the axe early, it was full of inspiration and triumph… for four issues. Alejandra was pretty badass. She wore clothes, and destroyed all sin. Of course, that last part can be problematic, but there are always occupational hazards.

Best Marvel Moment: Comic-Con

Of course this wasn’t organized by DC. Marvel held a series of panels at the New York and San Diego Comic-Cons, highlighting and discussing the place of women in the comics industry, both as creators and as characters.

Best Buddies: Nick Frost and Simon Pegg in Paul

While the rest of the movie was pretty lackluster, the portrayal of two big nerds was relatable to nerds everywhere. Unlike many pop culture portrayals of nerds, it was realistic. Also, buddies on a big nerd road trip is basically our ideal movie. We also saw our lives flash before our eyes, especially because Nick Frost’s character was writing sci-fi novels and Simon Pegg’s was illustrating them.

-Joanna and BatCat


More Reasons to Love Skyrim (As If Anyone Needed More)

At this point, everyone knows that Skyrim is an awesome game. This statement should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been on the internet recently. I decided that instead of bothering with a big, long post that restates all of the virtues the rest of the internet has already brought to light, and then adding my own woman-centric reasons for loving Skyrim, I’m just going to make a list. These are the most important reasons why Skyrim should be praised, in terms of its fair treatment of women.

(Disclaimer: This should not be considered a complete list of reasons to love Skyrim. There are many more, like all of the Elder Scrolls lore and dragonsomgomgomg.)

1. Women who use magic aren’t inherently evil.

A typical fantasy trope is the evil sorceress. It’s everywhere, and I’m sick to death of it, especially because evil sorceresses are usually anti-clothes-wearing, and it promotes the idea that magic = power, and, naturally, that women with power = evil. I face that presumption every day, so why would I want it in fantasy?

2. Women are a wide variety of classes.

Fighters, student mages, bandits, hired thugs, farmers, merchants, etc. Women do everything men do. They do it the same way and with the same amount of clothing on. Sometimes they’re leaders, and sometimes they’re not. Regardless of who and where they are, they never seem like tokens. They seem to belong to their surroundings in the same way that the male characters do.

3. Women have personalities.

Skyrim does a pretty good job with the characters, both men and women. Everyone has a personality, and I never feel like I’m encountering “the mean fighter who has to play tough to survive in a man’s world” or “the shrewish farmer’s wife.” The women aren’t either too dumb, or mean, or hot, or nurturing to be believable. Both the men and women of Skyrim seem like real people.

4. Women fighters actually seem to have the muscle mass to fight.

One big issue with video games and artwork of women fighters is that they never seem sturdy enough for their profession. The men are big hulking masses, and the women are much frailer. It always seems like people who design the women didn’t want to sacrifice potential hotness in favor of realistic muscle mass. These concerns didn’t seem to bother the creators of Skyrim, who seemed to think that fighters of both sexes should be physically strong.

5. Women’s bodies don’t all look the same.

Despite the fact that the women in Skyrim were built off the same hourglass figure women are always based off of, there is some diversity in their shapes in sizes. Some are thinner, some are bigger, some have larger breasts, some have breasts you don’t even notice. They aren’t all clones of each other, and their body type makes sense based on their class. Priestesses are thinner than warriors, etc. And every woman’s waist size isn’t 15.

6. Lydia

Poor Lydia. “Sworn to carry your burdens,” she has the thankless task of carrying your improbable hoard of stuff, and help defend you in battles. I could make an obvious, trite statement about women as burden-bearers of society, but I’m not going to. I don’t think that the creators of Skyrim wanted me to see Lydia as a “chick-bodyguard” or something, so I’m not going to look at her like that. She just happened to be the warrior hanging around whenever you were being made thane and needed to be granted a vassal. She is a warrior before she is a woman.

To conclude, women are people in Skyrim. I couldn’t be happier that a mainstream, highly-acclaimed game has created such a fair portrayal of women. It gives me hope.