What Kind Of Wife Am I?

Reflections on Bitch Planet: Triple Feature

Recently, I re-read Bitch Planet Volume 2 for WTF+ YEG Book Club. This led me to shamefully admit to the group that I had not been reading the mini-series, Bitch Planet: Triple Feature!, even though the issues were conveniently located in my comics subscription file. I read the 3 issues that had been released so far a couple nights later.

As I was reading the short stories taking place in the world of Bitch Planet, but on Earth rather than the offworld jail of the main series, I couldn’t help but think about my role in this world as a married woman.

It’s not news, and there have been countless articles on Bitch Planet, but here I am anyway.

In my teens, I grew a fascination for 1950’s culture. Drunk on my white privilege, I reveled in boomerang tile and ranch houses, never once thinking of the pervasive racism of the day and gender roles women were forced into. I didn’t dream of being a housewife, but I sure as hell created a future for myself that may have ended that way. Nowadays, I’ve moved past that obsession and only have an attraction to the aesthetic. My current ideal space is a cozy mix of 1940’s minimalism and 1970’s comfort, and deep, earthy tones(oddly, both decades where women were expected to step up to join the workforce and the waves of feminism rose higher).

I grew up with little interest in marriage. I assumed I would get married “someday”, but never put too much thought into it. When I was very young, I believe 28-29 was my “someday” range – perhaps it seemed old enough. Or perhaps I was raised by society to believe that 30 was the End Times for a woman, so never questioned why I had put my nebulous marker ahead of this dreadful milestone. In my early 20’s, I was in a long term relationship with a man who I assumed I would marry. We dated for around 4 years, and it became quite obvious he was never going to propose. Around that age, I was full force into thinking that’s what a relationship needed to move to the next level. Of course, it ended with us falling out of love with each other, so really nothing was going to improve anything.

As it happens, I am currently married. I did not end up a 32-year old spinster. The best man I’ve ever known saved me from the terrible fate of Being Alone In My 30’s(sarcasm heavily implied). I knew marriage could be hard, but I didn’t realize that much of the stress would come from myself. I didn’t realize I had put myself in a box of my own making until I had been married a couple years. I stressed about Having It All. I was bound and determined to work a fulltime job AND cook dinner AND keep the house tidy AND feed the cats. I felt guilty asking Brandon to help out with housework, as if I was shirking my duties. I felt as if I had poured my own glass of the proverbial Kool-Aid and given in to what I thought a wife should be.

It took a long time, and I still have difficulties. Brandon and I are equal partners in many ways. We live together, own a business together, plan together, we make sure the cats are happy together. Reading Bitch Planet has been healthy for me, because I can often readdress who I am as a wife and woman.

I’m going to leave this idea to simmer for a bit. Please leave a comment below if the series has, or has not, made a similar effect on you. If married, did you have to fight against any gender roles to find a comfortable way to live with your partner? If not, how do you see a married you? And if marriage isn’t in your plans, do you have any issues cohabitating?

Imperfect

My heart, it keens.

While on vacation with Danica in early August, I picked up The Book of Speculation on a whim. The book promised me mystery, circuses, mermaids and libraries, and the price was right, so I grabbed it, and… well, it wasn’t perfect. But holy shit, was it perfect for me.

The main thrust of the story concerns itself with a young man holding onto the past while the world begs for him to get the fuck on with things. As his life begins to crumble around him in both literal and figurative ways, he is given countless opportunities for change. He instead tries to let things wash over and away. Interwoven in this narrative is the idea of a curse or a coincidence that plagues a family. It’s a story about letting go of the things that hurt you, and loving the potential of what can be. It is also clunky and unsubtle as hell in such a way that made it beautiful.

Everyone is so god damn concerned with perfection these days. Things that are air tight, that exist without fault, platonic ideals manifest in prose or film or paper or whatever. This book… this book isn’t a classic. It has flaws and in this case, flaws built perfectly for me. The lilt of the prose slowly sunk its hooks into my skin. The story itself built in my guts and helped me transition into sleep and dream on many nights in the best of ways. It has a heart and it beats, and it filled me up for two weeks or so.

I loved it.

Have you ever had a book that did this to you? Or a TV show, or comic or anything? Has anything walked up to you at the perfect time, flawed though it might be, and spoke to you quite directly? Let us know. The comments are open, and we’re all over social media. I’m interested in hearing what you have to say.

 

ha ha no

It’s a funny joke right? I mean, my first thought was to laugh, but after a couple of seconds, I just got tired.

Valiant is advertising the most gimmicked variant of all time for this December, and they’re asking retailers to order 250 copies of the new Quantum and Woody title to get it. And I just… no. No. You can’t actually promote how ridiculous stuff like this is and then turn around and ply your very own stipulations. It’s not funny, it’s part of the problem.

Sell us the story. Then we’ll talk.

Comics Are For Kids

“Kids are our future.”

You’ve all heard this. Whether it’s spoken in response to climate change, supporting girls to begin working in STEM fields or politics, or comic books. While I have opinions on many things, I’m an expert on one thing.

From day one, I wanted my store to have a vast all ages section. And not for the reasons many stores do. I have no interest in putting a child in a corner so their parents could get rid of them for a while. I am not a babysitter. I wanted somewhere kids would willingly go, a space that was all their own. I’m still building on that, but the section has come a long way since Variant Edition opened.

I’ll admit, there have been some drawbacks. Money is tight, so I can only grow the section when I have some room in the budget, but I’ve been able to find some amazing books along the way. There was the time a customer (who has two sons) asked if there could be more books with young boys in them. I had been growing the section for a fictional Young Danica, finding more and more books I felt would have had a positive impact on me as a child. I had neglected to add books with positive male characters. He was also kind enough to remind me to focus on books with boys, sans “punching is the answer” (you would be amazed to discover the number of male-focused books that contain this). I have the weirdest blinders on when I’m ordering, and a lot of my customers who are parents have been helping me immensely.

I’ve been keeping my eye out for books about talking out problems, about girls going in STEM careers, LGBTQ+ kids being loved and accepted, princesses who run their lives, dinosaurs who are helpful friends, anything positive that will help build a kid up strong when the world comes knocking to crush them down. And yes, I look for books that I believe make me stronger, even now.

Business talk time. When I see other comic stores ignoring what is a huge and growing market, I get sad. Angry. Disappointed at their unwillingness to be a better business. Yes, that makes my job easier, but wouldn’t it be nice if all children could go to any comic store and find something magical, just for them? Brandon and I work hard to market comics to all age ranges. It would be so easy (and limiting) to market to people our age and up. People who have been reading comics for decades and are somehow more “justified” to be in a book store. I see a lot of customers stepping on their child’s wonder, possibly destroying a habit before it’s formed.

You can’t raise a reader if you begin by teaching restrictions (and no, I’m not talking about age restrictions – I always read above my age group, but I realize there are limitations).

There is no such thing as a “boy comic” or a “girl comic”. There are stories, and if your child is interested in it, and the content is age appropriate, give it a try. This could be the gateway to a future career. It could be the start of a passion. It could just be a wonderful phase of reading about dinosaurs. We all had those. We’re not all archeologists, but wasn’t it nice to dream about digs in Egypt when we were 8?

Doctor Whooch // Episode 122 // Baby Daddy in 12 Seconds or Less

In which we kick off our first Companions Season of episodes by talking about one of our favourite episodes to discuss drunk.

Welcome back to Doctor Whooch! For this batch of episodes, we’re going to have a bunch of special guests, starting with our good friend Allen Gould! He arrives on the show to talk about a very sexy episode of Doctor Who where a couple of the characters bone down later. Spoilers!

Also discussed? Hobbits, Culkins, Tim Riggins in Space, Once Upon A Time and Aldis Hodge. And Doctor Who eventually, whatever. Specifically: how Donna really gets a raw deal in her season of the show.

Comics Taste Test for Sept 13, 2017

Happy new comic book day, party people!

Here at Submet, we’re starting up a weekly feature where we gather up all of our #preNCBD (pre New Comic Book Day) tweets into one easily digestible blog post so that everyone can get a little taste of what’s hitting the stands.

For a full list of what’s coming out, feel free to check out Variant Edition’s Incoming Post from this week.

Brandon Schatz // Twitter // Facebook
Danica LeBlanc // Twitter

Submetropolitan is powered by Variant Edition Comics + Culture – Edmonton’s best source for comics, used books + mindful pop culture // Submet on Facebook
Variant Edition // Website // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

#VERecommends // Slam Vol 1

WHAT IT IS: A story about two women who are saved and wrecked by roller derby, and friendship, possibly in that order.

FROM THE PUBLISHER: Bestselling novelist, screenwriter, and retired Los Angeles Derby Doll Pamela Ribon (Going in Circles, Why Girls Are Weird, Moana) joins artist Veronica Fish (Archie, Silk) for a tale of friendship, heartbreak, and truly epic jams. In roller derby you take your hits, get back up, and learn how to be a better jammer, a better blocker, and a better friend-if the competition doesn’t tear you apart!

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: It’s about heart. It’s about friendship. It’s about a fight that you feel deep in your bones, that you love and you hate when you push your body so hard. It’s about roller derby, and it breathes and fills your lungs with life. It’s a book you want. A book you need. Read this.

Brandon Schatz // Twitter // Facebook // Submet Facebook

Submetropolitan is powered by Variant Edition Comics + Culture – Edmonton’s best source for comics, used books + mindful pop culture.

Variant Edition // Website // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Welcome to Submet (or) It’s Not Okay


(art from This is Not Fine by KC Green)

The world is on fire.

The world is on fire, and as it burns, we watch and we wait, and we hope for the best. We cringe at every new story, but in all honesty, there’s not much we can do. Not individually.

The key phrase there is: not much.

Welcome to the relaunch of Submet Industries. Humming in the heart of Edmonton under the watchful eyes of cats, this machine has been rebuilt to fight the world, and win. Enough garbage. It’s time to take our money (what little of it there is) and determine the location of our mouths. It’s time to put all the assholes on blast and build something good. It’s gonna be hard, but what else are we supposed to do? We can’t just sit here and let things lie. The world is on fire. So we’re going to try and build a better one, using what we have.

Variant Edition // The molten core of Submet. We’ve taken great pains to build Variant Edition into a different kind of comic store, and we will be continuing and redoubling those efforts.

The store functions as our mission statement, offering people mindful pop culture experiences while attempting to build a safe space for all. It’s the home base of a community, and it’s the foundation for what’s to come.

With summer over and Edmonton’s big event season wrapped (more or less), we’re back putting on events for the community. This Sunday, we’ll be running our twice annual clothing swap. We’ll soon be running several book launches for local authors. And of course, we’ll be continuing to push stories that embolden and inspire, as well as feature a diverse array of characters. We’ll be doing all of this, and so much more. Including…

(logo by Randi Hamel – who does amazing work, give her money)

The Return of Yegs & Bacon // After a year long hiatus (and several requests for its return) Edmonton’s only pop culture and comics morning show returns in a new format. We’ll be bringing back this podcast soon, with a renewed focus on attempting to fix what’s broken in the comic book industry, and within pop culture circles in general. It won’t be about what’s wrong, but about exploring avenues regarding how things can be fixed or made better. This will be part of our voice, which we will use to help promote positive discourse.

Gender Is Not A Genre and Other Panels // Going forward, we’ll be running many panels at the shop, just like we did before, including panels that discuss and dissect various forms of representation in media, as well as a wide array of other topics. Many of these will be released as Yegs and Bacon podcast episodes, in hopes to promote voices that need to be heard.

Content From Elsewhere // While we produce all of this ourselves, we’ll still be using the various platforms we’ve been invited to as a means to build outwards. We… we realize that we can do all of this because of who we are, and where we are. While we’re not monetarily rich by any stretch of the imagination, we are passing cis-het white folks and are thus rich with our privilege. What we want to do is use what we have to help build better spaces and communities, and reach further and further out.

Along those same lines, a lot of the posts that will be appearing here will be sharing other articles from other people. We want to share other important voices, and we want to point people in the direction of folks who are doing things we admire. We just… want to do what we can.

(logo by Jay Runham)

Doctor Whooch // On an infinitely more frivolous note, Doctor Whooch will be returning for a six episode season this fall, where we’ve invited many of our friends to discuss Doctor Who episodes of their choosing. These episodes will be airing twice monthly through to December when all of Submet will go into holiday mode as we push through the holiday retail season, and recharge our batteries.

The Future // Our end goal with all of this is… intense. Ideally, we’d like Variant Edition and Submet to be subsidized to the point where we can sit back and allow other important voices to be more easily heard. We want to make something that can mean something for others, and not just ourselves. The specifics of what that would look like? Well, we’ll just have to see when we get there. We have so many plans. Print objects. Podcasts. Websites. Paid contributors. (Not necessarily in that order.) In the end, we want to build something useful for many, instead of something that’s just a shrine to our own ideas. We’re just two introverts who want the world to stop being so much of a horror. And with your help… maybe we get there.

Right Now // For now, we’re going to be building content here at Submet and beyond and posting with some regularity for the next 13 weeks. We’re gonna stop when we edge into December because… well, we own a small retail business and it’s December. Things are gonna get a little crazy. With any luck, we’ll be able to do this, and provide you with some entertainment on the regular. With even more luck, we’ll start building an audience that will help sustain what’s to come. It’s going to be a journey, and we hope to have you alongside us.

Let’s see what we can build.

Comics Taste Test for Sept 6th, 2017

Testing out a little thing in preparation for THE WORLD TO COME.

Hmm.

HMM…

 

Brandon Schatz // Twitter // Facebook
Danica LeBlanc // Twitter

Submetropolitan is powered by Variant Edition Comics + Culture – Edmonton’s best source for comics, used books + mindful pop culture.
Variant Edition // Website // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Doctor Whooch // Episode 121 // Gallifrey Public Radio Crossover: It’s About Time

In which we are sober AF, so we sound awkward AF.

On this very special episode, we’re featuring the main conversation from this week’s Gallifrey Public Radioepisode that we guested on. Hosts Keir, Jay and Haley were wonderful people to talk about the casting of the newest Doctor with, something we didn’t even know was happening when we first scheduled this crossover! Anyway, if you want to hear five awesome people gush about Jodie Whittaker for over an hour, WE HAVE YOUR BACK!

Also, if you enjoy this episode, you need to check out Gallifrey Public Radio, and just go back there every week. Tell them we sent you.

Oh, and also follow them on Twitter: @gallifreyradio.

Oh and also also, you can listen to when Danica guested on Keir’s other podcast here: In Defense Of – Between the Panels

oh and also also also we love you thanks byeee