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October 14

“When comics and catwalks collide”

Filed under: pop culture,Superheroes,Treats — posted by Breakup Girl @ 11:09 am

The New York Times reports today on the ladyfashions that lit up the most recent ComicCon: “Visitors were garbed as their favorite cartoon heroines, an outlandish cast of characters that varied from Wonder Woman to the violet-haired Faye of ‘Cowboy Bebop,’ the Japanese manga and anime series, to pink crinoline-clad Lolitas that were candy-coated variations on the brooding goth originals who strut their style on Tokyo’s streets.” The whole piece is not only great fun, but also a major Halloween costume idea delivery system. The only thing that bummed me out (not the article’s fault): the frequent descriptions of Wonder Woman’s costume as inspiration. The old Wonder Woman. Le sigh.

Related: Chris on Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

December 2

Comics, world: Still chilly to women

Filed under: issues,pop culture,Superheroes — posted by Mia @ 3:48 pm

Is it cold in here, or is it just misogyny? “It’s not healthy to be a female character in comics,” notes writer and comic book fangirl Gail Simone, compiler of a grim list called Women In Refrigerators. Refrigerators? Refrigerators. And we’re not (necessarily) talking about women who are experts in cryogenic engineering.

The story: One day a while back, Simone began to realize that most of her favorite female superheroes wound up de-powered, raped, or cut up and stuffed in a refrigerator. Granted, they’re superheros, so they’re in the line of fire, but still. The particular punishments and demises, she observed, appeared to be particularly cruel and disproportionate. So Simone started to make a list of all the female superheroes she knew and what had become of them. Circulated through e-mail and bulletin board systems, the WiR list grew to reflect the contributions and reactions of fans along with responses from some professional creators about their chosen plot devices.

The list doesn’t attempt to catalog the vast list of wives and girlfriends who suffer at the hands of Women in Refrigerator syndrome, described as, “WiR referring to a female character’s death having no real lasting impact or importance to the writer after the initial incident.”

As a comic fan and superhero sidekick, I find this pile of evidence depressing. Are breakups really too rough for superheroes to handle? Why is it easier to devise these ghastly ways to make women go away?

The list, and the term, have been in existence for some time (full history here). What really makes me mad is (a) that it’s still relevant, especially considering that (b) the “meme” is hardly confined to the world of comic books and fantasy. Between women’s health care needs being discredited and devalued in the national health care debate (e.g., domestic violence as a preexisting condition), and with pop culture at large suffering from Women in Refrigerator Syndrome (last week Good Morning America cancelled the appearance of Adam Lambert because of his bawdy behavior at the American Music Awards, instead welcoming convicted felony girlfriend abuser Chris Brown.

Talk about still needing to get women out of the kitchen. I will not be taking off my ass-kicking boots or supersidekick spandex any time soon.

February 14

Happy (?) Valentine’s Day

Filed under: Holiday — posted by Breakup Girl @ 12:04 am

Some people’s Super Bowl is the Oscars. Some people’s Super Bowl is the Super Bowl. My Super Bowl is Valentine’s Day. And it’s not that different, really: The event has been taken over by commercials; You put in about four hours for 11 minutes of action; and 50% of the people come away disappointed.

Now, before I fly off to ref a lot of play, I wanted to leave you with a roundup of V-Day content that can be found on BreakupGirl.net. Think of it like those Super Bowl commercials; While you’re waiting to find out if you’ve won or lost, it’s nice to have a few laughs.

November 27

Home for the Holidays

Filed under: Comics — posted by Chris @ 1:16 am

In honor of those going home for the holidays and taking a friend we re-present BG’s New Adventure featuring BAD BOY! When this story was originally scripted in December 2000, the hijinks ensued over a holiday meal; When it was retooled last year for Lifetime Mobile, the story was shortened to five pages and the holiday angle was taken out so it would be readable at any time of year. Today we link to the finished story, AND for the first time anywhere I am sharing one of my original Breakup Girl scripts (below). Happy Thanksgiving!

Bad Boy, Page 1

Continue reading Bad Boy

or Read the original script!
(more…)

March 13

The Epic Tale of Compass Rose

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:45 am

A poetic Predicament from December 14, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I want to share with you the recent story of a fellow heartache fighter. Let’s call her Compass Rose.

This wandering knightess-errant (for she doesn’t yet aspire to superheroine status) found herself quite stuck in the land of LDR Limbo. Caught with nonrefundable plane tickets for two separate trips, she struggled valiantly against the demons of Insomnia and Inappetence using Exercise, a weapon of choice. Email and the telephone were of no avail in freeing her from her condition. Weeks later, a few pounds lighter, and more sleep-deprived than usual, Compass Rose reached the hour of her first plane ticket.

She equipped herself with a little optimism, phrase books and travel guides, and clothes contained for overhead storage space. Her Quest for Closure, or, at least, An Answer, had begun.

Her crusade led her to a fabulous country where she doesn’t speak the language but feels a fascination and comfort. Immediately, our heroine was confronted with a change in attitude and behavior from the Object of Affection (OA). Stressed and jet lagged, she decided to pick her battles wisely and wait for a more opportune moment. Instinct told her that the dreaded beast, JF (as in Just Friends), was afoot. Rage and panic overtook Compass Rose. Her head filled with escape plans and thoughts of Thanksgiving turkey with the family. When the beast manifest itself fully her first night, sleep came in short supply.

(more…)

December 7

Age: Mr. Nice Guy meets Ms. Older Woman

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:15 am

Broken-Hearted Bob returns on November 30, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

Remember me? Mr. Nice Guy. Well here’s my quandary this time.

I have officially changed my major to Fine Arts. And in doing so I go to a different branch of my college that is off campus. At the craft center, the whole place is different — it’s a completely different learning enviroment from the structured regimented classes on the main campus. This environment in turn breeds a completely different type of student. And all of the women there are TOTALLY COOL!! And there is one in particular I’m a bit sweet on. She and I hang out, and we just get along well. I was going to ask her out one day, and then we got to discussing age, my b-day is in a few days, as is hers. I was joking that since I was turning 20 that I would have to “grow up” and “get with the program.” She laughed and said that wasn’t necessarily so. Then I found out that … well, she will be 31 a week or so after I turn 20. Well, that TOTALLY threw a wrench in the works for me. But later we were talking and she asked me if I wanted to go to see “Something About Mary” with her cause she didn’t want to go alone. After the movie she and I went and talked for a while at a coffee house, my idea, then she wanted to get some beer, but my roommates aren’t cool with that so I took a rain check. We’d have gone to her place, but it is a half hour away and she was tired. We continue to talk.

Should I risk the relationship and ask her out, should I just sit on my feelings for her, or should I just go to her and say “Hey what’s up with us?” I have asked some of my more trusted friends and they don’t give me advice, they just kind of make robbin’ the cradle or “The Graduate” jokes. So well I must turn to you, oh great knower of things I don’t quite understand.

— Broken Heart Bob

BG helps an old friend after the jump!

November 15

Wham, Bam, Thanksgiving, Ma’am!

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 12:08 pm

thanksThis time of year always brings back memories of one of the cooler annual school field trips Noah and I used to take: visiting to the living museum that is Plimoth Plantation. They’ve recreated the Pilgrims’ 1627 settlement, complete with interpretive guides living the lives of actual townspeople and speaking only the dialect of the time.

I should have known this was a bad sign: no matter what you do, you can’t get them to talk about the future.

So, too, may you notice seasonal signs of unrest in your relationship. Perhaps a certain separatism, even Puritanism — dare I say Miles Standoffishness — on the part of your settler? If so, it’s only natural at this time of harvesting, reaping, taking stock, deciding if you’re Taking Him/Her Home (or deciding which friendfriend to take home as a parent decoy). Don’t let it get to you.

But if your relationship truly is on the rocks, do not hold out just for Auld Lang Syne’s sake. (Otherwise known as “sticking it out for the stockings.”) Mark my words:Wishing you were under the mistletoe is better than wishing you weren’t. So if necessary, do the deed. With any luck, your ex-intended will still be groggy from the tryptophan.

And if you’re alone already, well, what can I tell you? Just be thankful you won’t have to hear Breakup Mom say, “We’re just thankful to have you here with us, sweetie. Especially because your father and I aren’t getting any younger. Did you sit with anyone interesting on the train?”

In all seriousness, Breakup Girl is truly thankful for: you. Thanks for visiting, writing, reading, laughing, shopping, and helping make breakups so much fun. I am also endlessly grateful to my trusty behinder-the-scenes pardner, Chris, who not only makes this site pretty, he also makes Breakup Girl exist. As And thanks to Breakup Belleruth — BG.com’s Actual Credentialed Expert in Residence / Someone Else’s Mom — for the generosity and infinitude of her wisdom. Chief Massasoit would have said: mad props.

July 30

Fantasy Relationships: A Reality Check

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:06 am

Last week, Breakup Girl happened to talk to an adorable 15-year-old named Emily in Charleston who wanted to go as Rose from Titanic for Halloween. Partly because she would get to wear a most excellent dress (and also spit); partly because, in her words, “I am completely in love with Jack Dawson.”

Teens swooning over Titanic? Slow news day, Breakup Girl?

Stay with me. Actually, most teens have already weighed anchor and docked their obsession elsewhere. Anyway, Emily knows she’s behind the tide: “I still watch my video once or twice a week,” she said. “But I realize I’ve gotten to the point where I have to stop talking about it.”

Fortunately, she went on. What does she love about Jack? “He’s so free-spirited and self-confident,” she says, reciting entire movie scenes, line by line, to support her point. “He’d break the rules and do anything for Rose. And he looks really good in a tux.”

Is Emily going to date Jack Dawson? No. With him as her ideal, is she now locked in to holding out for someone who will run into a sinking ship/burning building/dinner with her parents to save her? Well, that would be nice. But is all of this teen obsession — which, you all, is different from grownup obsession ONLY in that adults are less likely to use scotch tape on their walls — silly, pointless, or worse, false-hope-building? Is this all foamy Calgon that will take you nowhere? Not necessarily.

Because: do Emily’s voyages of fancy help shape her sense of what she wants from love, life, and her neighbors’ candy, back on land? Yes. Welcome to this week’s theme:

We all have our “ideal” partners: David Duchovny, Lara Flynn Boyle, Lara Croft, The President of the United States of America, Breakup Girl, our first love, the one that got away. And we all have … our real lives. Clinging to a larger-than-life fantasy can loosen our grasp on — and appreciation of — what we do or could have, or keep us from having it in the first place. And, when the ideal meets real, the practically inevitable result: crushing letdown.

All true, yes. But Breakup Girl is not going to give you guys some boring finger-wagging Get Real speech. Because BG thinks that overly cautious hardcore get-realism throws out the babe with the bathwater. And she does want you to expect and deserve to be with someone freaking fantastic.

So instead, consider this Important Breakup Girl Maxim: FANTASIES ARE DATA.

So whether your idealized lover is someone you’ve glimpsed, met, dated, or downloaded, ask yourself these questions:

Who’s there? What is it about this person, really, that fascinates you? Think about it, really. Ask them to kindly step down from the pedestal so you can see what writ-large characteristics you’d actually ike to have on your level. We are talking actual human traits. Not, like, just “Cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuute!!!!” or “I just really admire the way nothing comes between her and her Calvins.” Emily, for example, was specific. So specific I didn’t even have room for it all. Words like “free spirited,” “confident,” “devoted.” (Yes, “tuxedo,” too, but that was last.) Look at what you’re drawn to, for better or for worse, and think about why. Disassemble your ideal; keep the pieces you can really use. This is real information, you guys — about what you truly love, about what you might feel you lack. Which brings us to:

What’s missing? Anyone see Cupid week before last? (Just for the record, lest you now think that she sits around watching TV instead of flying to your aid, BG has seen Dawson’s Creek and Titanic each only once.) (Okay, while i’m at it, if you’re not watching that genius show Sports Night, you’re missing something major.) ANYWAY,Cupid. In addition to a subplot about first loves, the show was about a woman — a transplant to Chicago from the ranches and canyons of the West — who had developed quite a “relationship” with the rugged Marlboro-type man on the billboard outside her office window. Cupid, doing his job, set her up with the actual model. Everything went swimmingly until she discovered that he wasn’t like her (or his larger-than-life image) campingly, ridingly, hikingly, mountainbikingly, etc. Crushing blow? Only slightly. Important information? Yes. This dalliance not only helped her realize just how truly important it was to her to pitch her tent with someone who … can pitch a tent; it also showed her that she was fundamentally unhappy in the city and really just needed to get the hell outta Dodge — with or without a cowboy to take her away. Aha. To switch abruptly over to hockey imagery: focus on the empty space around the goalie. What does this person’s commanding presence — or absence — distract you from? When the spotlight’s on them and their pedestal, what’s going on in the dark? Shine your flashlight into those corners and see what you see.

A version of this column was originally published November 2, 1998.

July 3

Fixing up a nice boy

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:24 am

Sending signals on October 19, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

Discovered your site about an hour ago, and you’ve already answered a few questions I didn’t even know I’d asked. But ay, here’s the rub. I’m a 27-year-old card-carrying nice guy. Other than not having a car and still living with the ‘rents, I’m a pretty good catch, or so I’m told.

Which is part of the problem… I’m invariably told I’m a “great catch,” “real prince,” “such a sweet guy,” etc. By women who either a) have no romantic interest in me whatsoever, b) are married/engaged/ blissfully happy and thus can compliment nice guys with impunity, or c) both. You’d think they’d tell their single female friends… but then again, life would be too simple if things happened that way.

Which brings up my first question… how do I upgrade myself, or at least my perceived image, from NiceGuy 1.0 to the version that actually lets the world know I have other features?

And then there’s my other problem, the cluelessness. I am *awful* at reading signals… positive ones, anyway. Complete lack of interest, I get right away.

(more…)

June 22

Ulterior marriages

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:25 am

Popping that question on October 19, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I met a great guy a few months ago. He’s smart, funny, nice, beyond sexy and has the cutest Irish accent I’ve ever heard. We had been dating for a couple of months and everything was cool until he popped the question: Thatquestion. He asked me to marry him.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t any bold declaration of reckless, impetuous love, it’s a last-ditch attempt to not get deported.

I was speechless, but managed to sqeak out a “no” before I got the hell out of his place. He called me later that night, and said he understood why I wouldn’t marry him, and that he still wanted to see me anyway.

(more…)

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Breakup Girl
is the superhero whose domain is LOVE or the lack thereof! Her blog combines new comics, observations and dating news with classic advice letters--now blogified for reader feedback!
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