Category Archives: LGBTQ

Strange Corners of the Multiverse 7-19-19

Feline Gunslinger
Sundown
created by Alex Washoe
Art by Victor Valdez

It occurred to me lately that I possess a blog, which I seldom make adequate use of, and a seemingly endless stream of opinions about pop culture subjects. Since I’m always telling myself I should blog more often, the solution seems obvious.

First off, I’d just like to say — I really like the Cats trailer. I know that hasn’t been the prevailing opinion on the internet, but to me it feels whimsical and fun. And I already know I love the music. The cast is awesome. I’m excited about it.

I saw the play on Broadway many years ago. At the time I was bumming around New York, basically hiding from my family who had gotten it into their heads that I’d be a good fit for the military (it’s like they didn’t even know me) and I had some time to kill so I scrounged up cheap tickets to every show I could see. I saw Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin in Sunday in the Park With George. I also saw Anthony Quinn in Zorba the Greek and Sigourney Weaver and John Hurt in Hurlyburly. But the play I remember the best — even though I can’t name of the cast — was Cats.

I remember that I was sitting on the upper level — not very good seats really — and as soon as the lights went down and the music started, these shadowy figures started to spill out from backstage, running up and down the isles, scurrying through the balcony. Cats — actors dressed as cats — all over the theater. The spookiness and fun of those moments stayed with me every since.

There’s a wide range of opinion out there — a lot more than you’d expect from just a first trailer. (And I understand the irony of saying that as I add to the volume). With any kind of art or entertainment, you expect people who like it and people who don’t — and a whole lot of people in the middle who could care less. This post over by M. Arbeiter over at The Nerdist kind of sums up some of my feelings. Meanwhile, there’s this post at The Mary Sue, by Rachel Leishman — a site and a writer I often agree with — that I don’t get at all.

I’m going to let it go at that, except to throw in one of my favorite meme-quotes:

“Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.”

Supernews

I’m also really excited by the news that Brandon Routh will be playing Superman again this fall. He was the very best part of the disappointing Superman Returns. (Which was still way, way better than Man of Steel). For the past four years or so (actually longer because he originated the part on Arrow) he’s been playing Ray Palmer, aka The Atom, on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Routh is one of those actors who just looks like he was born to play a comic book character. His earnest charm and awkward good looks are pure Clark Kent. In Superman Returns, he looks like the ghost of Christopher Reeve. Now we have the news he’ll be suiting up as Supes in the annual Arrowverse cross-over — this time based on the classic Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline. Apparently, there will be two versions of The Man of Steel in the crossover — because Tyler Hoechlin, who already plays the Arrowverse version of Superman, will also be in action.

Can’t leave the Arrowverse without mentioning the biggest news of the season for me. Fall will see the premier of Ruby Rose as Batwoman:

This is fabulous on a lot of levels. Kate Kane — aka Batwoman — is one of the most dynamic characters in the DC Universe, and one not widely known outside the hard core fans. Her backstory, being drummed out of the military under Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell is extremely relevant at this moment in time. Powerful female and LGBTQ representation is vital and this show looks to increase the Arrowverse’s already strong showing. I’m psyched.

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You can check out my Westbrook Siblings Western Adventure Series, starting with Book 1 A Land of Iron here.

The Jinx Ballou Bounty Hunter Series by Dharma Kelleher

LGBTQ fiction too often seems to fall into predictable categories — romance and coming out being the most common. What we never seem to get enough of is genre fiction featuring LGBTQ characters who are living their lives and doing their jobs in a way that is informed, but not defined, by their sexuality or gender identity.

Enter Jinx Ballou.

The hero of Dharma Kelleher’s Chaser is a bounty hunter. Tough, smart and determined to bring her quarry in no matter what it takes.

If it sounds like we’re in Jane Evanovich territory here, you’re right. Jinx owes something to Stephanie Plum and there’s even a thinly veiled nod to the New Jersey bounty hunter early in the book. But Jinx is tougher and grittier than Ms. Plum ever was.

Jinx leads her own team of hunters, having broken away from her boyfriend’s business when the pressures of working together and being in a relationship became too much. She has the respect of her male co-workers, a supportive family — and her hunky Irish boyfriend. When she’s not hunting down criminals, she likes to cos-play as Wonder Woman for local conventions.

But all that changes when an interview with a local newspaper goes bad and the reporter outs Jinx as trans. Suddenly the men don’t want to work with her, the bail bondsmen don’t want to hire her, and she’s in a jam. The only case she can find is a runaway teenager murder suspect, and that pursuit puts her in the sights of human traffickers, bigoted colleagues, and the local police. To survive, she has to smarter and tougher than all of them.

I enjoyed this book so much that I went straight on to the second book in the series.

With Book 2, the Jinx Ballou series really levels up. Book 1 is enjoyable and entertaining because Jinx herself is such a strong character, but Book 2 expands her world, developing her supporting cast, and giving Jinx even more depth and resonance.

In Extreme Prejudice, Jinx rises above just being a bounty hunter, to become a protector of her community and a champion of the vulnerable.

Together these two books are a strong start to what we can only hope will be a long-running series.

Both books are highly recommended.

I like to share my current writing projects and other topics of interest with my readers. If you want to stay connected, you can join my newsletter here

You can check out my Westbrook Siblings Western Adventure Series, starting with Book 1 A Land of Iron here.