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Sites of Transgression and Bisexual Themes in Agent Carter

Today we're excited to welcome [tumblr.com profile] justira to Lady Business to talk about Agent Carter! Ira is a kickass illustrator, writer, and web developer who gained their powers by consuming the bones of their enemies. They make art, comics, and writing when they are not distracted by way too many video games. You can find more of Ira's work at their tumblr.

So (this season of) Agent Carter is over and one of the most interesting bits of noise to emerge from the finale — besides, of course, the speculation over renewal and, less positively, continued criticism of the show's lack of racial diversity — is the furor over a possibly bisexual Howard Stark. But why are we (again) so excited about a white dude and his feels on a show that is, for once, explicitly about a woman? Well, let's take a look, because we're going to cover Peggy/Angie, Steve Rogers/Sam Wilson, love interest roles, Captain America: The First Avenger retcons, and sites of transgression — but most of all, we're going to talk about how much heteronormativity blows. Spoilers for Agent Carter and both Captain America movies below!

Peggy and Howard face off.

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[personal profile] bookgazing2014-07-06 02:21 pm

Short Business: "Selkie Stories Are For Losers" – Sofia Samatar

I nod. "Awful day." And because we say it all the time, because it's the kind of silly, ordinary thing you could call one of our "refrains," or maybe because of the weed I've smoked, a whole bunch of days seem pressed together inside this moment, more than you could count. There's the time we all went out for New Year's Eve, and Uncle Tad drove me, and when he stopped and I opened the door he told me to close it, and I said "I will when I'm on the other side," and when I told Mona we laughed so hard we had to run away and hide in the bathroom. There's the day some people we know from school came in and we served them wine even though they were underage and Mona got nervous and spilled it all over the tablecloth, and the day her nice cousin came to visit and made us cheese-and-mint sandwiches in the microwave and got yelled at for wasting food. And the day of the party for Mona's mom's birthday, when Uncle Tad played music and made us all dance, and Mona's mom's eyes went jewelly with tears, and afterward Mona told me: "I should just run away. I'm the only thing keeping her here." My God, awful days. All the best days of my life.

Much like "All Our Pretty Songs", Sofia Samatar’s "Selkie Stories Are For Losers" mixes folklore with a contemporary story of intense female friendship, love and troubled families set against the backdrop of summer jobs. I’m a big fan of small town stories which light up regular lives through the use of carefully chosen detailing. And I love fantasy stories which bring magic down to earth by setting it in everyday situations. So, the variation of urban fantasy in Samatar’s story, which mixes the deliberately mundane like the details of crappy jobs, random jokes, aimless hours spent hanging around with folklore, is a knock out hit for me. The combination of the magical and the commonplace creates a sense of specificity which grounded me and made it easy for me to relate to the story.

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[personal profile] bookgazing2014-05-31 11:33 am

Short Business: "If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love" – Rachel Swirsky

In the beginning, "If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love" seems set to live up to its whimsical title. It starts, as you would expect, with the narrator explaining that her partner would make the most charming terrible lizard:

If you were a dinosaur, my love, then you would be a T-Rex. You’d be a small one, only five feet, ten inches, the same height as human-you. You’d be fragile-boned and you’d walk with as delicate and polite a gait as you could manage on massive talons. Your eyes would gaze gently from beneath your bony brow-ridge.

He sounds adorable. In my mind’s eye, I gave this dinosaur a cane and bow tie.

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Other Thoughts

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