Friday, November 26, 2010

In Defence of Prince Charming

Recently I have been watching some films I missed, and several of them are prince-and-princess fantasy romances...I always have had such a weakness for those. However, in my recent resurgence of interest in that particular style, I recalled Disney's release Tangled, which tells a quirky new version of the Rapunzel story.

From what I found out, due to the profits of The Princess and the Frog being less than they wanted, and because they think the princess genre is outre, Disney don't plan to do any more princess films indefinitely after Tangled. They even shifted the marketing to concentrate on the male lead, Flynn, rather than the princess, in the hopes of bringing a larger audience than young girls to the cinema.

But really, is that the answer? The Princess and the Frog brought in more than enough profit, but they spent so much because of picky potential audiences (most of which just complained and never intended to see it anyway) and puttering around trying to change it, again and again, until Tiana was comparatively put through hardly any hardship at all. The original concept for the film was quite solid; but then people started complaining because Tiana was in a situation...that was pretty much exactly how Cinderella, Snow White, and countless other princesses before her had been put in. It became a very ugly race issue, especially when people started to complain about her prince not being of her exact same race -- what difference does it make?!

But I digress. Does this mean that we're going to see just computer-animated films? Just 3D animation now, with hit-or-miss premises and all made in the Pixar way? Not that I hate Pixar or anything, but I personally can only take so much CG animation. It's everywhere, it's overused, and it's achieved poorly more than it is achieved well.

Does this mean that one of the few things Disney had left that it did well, that it distinctively held, is going to go by the wayside, simply because they're foolish enough to think that Princes Charming are no longer trendy?

I have never known a little girl who didn't love the idea of princesses and princes. I have known only a handful of adult women -- and men, for that matter -- who don't hold a special place in their hearts for them. I think it's disgusting how some 'experts' on the subject now claim that girls as young as six years old should be dieting and being interested in what adults think is 'hot' or 'cool'.

Because you know what? Most of the people who complain about Prince Charming are the people who don't have any idea what the hell they're talking about anyway.

These stories aren't about waiting around doing nothing and expecting some handsome knight on a white horse to spirit you away from it all, without any actual emotional investment from you. It isn't about some oppressive male power-holder taking you away to dominate you, either. It makes me wonder if the people who complain about these stories ever bothered to read or watch them.

Prince Charming is a reward. He's an ideal. Cinderella, for example, didn't just sit around doing nothing and hoping that she'd be rescued by Prince Charming. She did a lot, she worked hard, and she took her happiness where she could. She appreciated the small things and the everyday delights that her wicked stepfamily overlooked. Anyone who paints a portrait of a girl sitting around diddling herself while she waits for her prince to come has no familiarity with the stories at all.

Prince Charming falls in love with his princess, not because she's just pretty, but because she's beautiful, and that comes from the inside. She has endured. She has worked hard, and she has put up with things that some might not. She has kept her hope and her inner beauty, the inner light that makes her so special, and that is what Prince Charming falls in love with. That is why he doesn't fall for any of the other girls. They don't have that.

The stories are to teach a lesson, and that lesson is that being good and keeping hope alive, even if things aren't the way you might want them all the time, will bring eventual rewards. It's a very hopeful message. Prince Charming is the ideal partner, and he comes along to appreciate you for who you are, because you've ideally been a good person and kept hope alive within yourself.

Fairy tales reward the good and punish the evil. They spread hope to those who try to do what is good and what is right, even at personal cost or suffering. Prince Charming is a light, perhaps distant, in the darkness. But his distant light is something that is drawing closer, and you can take comfort in that. One day, your prince will arrive. It may not be today, but it will be someday. He may not ride a white horse, he may not have perfectly coiffed hair, and he may not be able to carry a tune, but he will be your prince. And that will be the most wonderful thing in the world.

I think what most of the people who criticise Prince Charming misunderstand is that very fact. They themselves are often the type who too literally interpret the stories, instead of listening with the ears of a child and then digesting as an adult. No, it's unlikely some actual handsome young fellow of royal blood will come and rescue you at some unexpected point and then spirit you instantly away for a perfect marriage full of love and no real obligation to consummate. But it's very likely that, sooner or later, patience, diligence, and hope will bring their own reward in the form of one who loves you for who you are, and what you do.

Let's believe in Prince Charming. He always believes in each and every one of us.

Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame

Those of you who know me will probably know that I used to be fluent in French, and I was a complete francophile for many years. I still love the culture and the language and hold it in high esteem, even though my speaking and comprehension is a tad rusty from disuse. I can still read through my Docteur Justice collection though!

At the time Disney's film Hunchback of Notre Dame came out, I wasn't really that into Disney films, and by then I'd kind of distanced myself from them because of what I'd heard about how their company works. I can admire the skill and expertise of their work, but at the same time I don't really like the company at all.

But it was a surprisingly good film, with an equally surprising amount of bold statements about society, corruption, herd behaviour, and real evil.

To be honest, my favourite version of the story was always the 1939 version. I know I'm not alone in this one. It was the 'why was I not made of stone, like thee?' one. That one will always stick in my mind as being the definitive film adaptation.

However, Disney's version of the story takes a different angle and does it very well. It has a message that is very applicable, especially now: one of not being complacent and obeying, simply because an edict comes from someone with a title, one of tolerance for those who are different and those who may not be a part of our lives, and one of doing what is right, even if you are the only one who does so. It's a great statement of what is good and what is evil, what is right and what is wrong, and it really doesn't pull any punches. It surprised me, and very much, for being a Disney film. But, like many fairy tales, Disney films are also often unfairly regarded as sugar-coating things. They don't really, most of the time. Just enough to keep things a little rosy, especially in this case. There was plenty of sadness, plenty of that 'reality' that people keep going on about...plenty to show that they were firmly in touch with what is going on.

I say this is definitely one to give a watch. Maybe it will inspire you as it did me.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Why I'm Against the TSA -- And You Should Be Too

Most of you who read this blog regularly know who I am and are familiar with my work. I do comics, and I don't shy away from nudity and adult content. I think the body is a thing of beauty and that shame shouldn't be something associated with it, but this is largely a world full of societies of shame, chiefly because shame sells. The clothing, makeup, hair care, and other such companies would lose significant sales if shame wasn't maintained. It's sad but true.

However, while I view the body as a thing of beauty, it is also something not to be trivialised either. While comics and drawings of naked people are fine entertainment, they're comics, drawings, and from the pen of an artist. Adult films, similarly, are the creations of people working together and being well-paid to do something that they enjoy doing, to bring enjoyment to others.

You might think this means I have no problem with the TSA's scanners, because of this. But that's not true.

The body is beautiful, and there shouldn't be shame associated with it. That does not, however, mean that it should be open to be shown to anyone and everyone, at any given time, without your consent. We control who see us naked, when, and why. Stars of adult film are no different; they simply have a profession where they are often naked at work. But they could find other employment if they did not wish to do so any longer, which several have done after a successful stint in adult film.

Allowing a complete stranger to have comprehensive nude photography of you is not something that should ever be required to participate in transit. And whatever some might say, flying is necessary for some people. There is no comparably rapid transit available to another continent, and until they build a bridge from the East Coast to Europe, air travel will be the only timely option.

The scanners used by the TSA are not only inadequately-tested and dangerous, with regards to radiation, but they are completely unnecessary. Backscatter scanners, such as they use, are nothing more than glorified metal detectors. They can detect objects, only if those objects are not obscured by folds of skin or parts of the body. They furthermore do not need to make a full nude image of a person, in order to detect any items. Similar scanners in use elsewhere in the world merely have a generic paper doll, upon which areas appear where an item is detected. Basically all this scan does is detect metal. That's pretty much it.

If you refuse a scan, you're forced through a 'pat-down', which is a nice way of saying 'sexual assault'. During these 'pat-downs', their personnel are told to handle your genitalia and private areas, including the chest. This is, not mincing words, sexual assault. As I have said before, we tell children 'if anyone ever touches you in a way that makes you uncomfortable, tell them no and go find an adult'.

Of course, they give you the option of going into a 'private' room, which is in fact rarely private and typically open to the outside. So you might as well just have it done in front of even more total strangers, which is really a better option since, if you're mistreated (as many travellers have now revealed they have been), you'll have witnesses.

Not that the TSA believe they have to pay any attention to the law, or else they would know that the 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution would seem to indicate their entire operations in violation of the foundations American law. No, they believe they are above the law, and so they do as they please, without concern for any restrictions or legal repercussions.

They must be stopped. The only way that will happen is for people to stand up, band together, and put aside their differences to say 'this is not okay'. Whatever politicians of whatever position can try to give it as much spin as they want to, but it doesn't change the reality of the situation. Politicians don't have to go through the indignity that the people do.

If enough people speak out, take a stand, and continue to insist that this is wrong, something will be done. Action will be taken. And if nothing is done, and this is continued to be permitted, where will it stop? Where will people draw the line? If we allow people to violate our bodies and even commit sexual assault against us, and against children and senior citizens as they please, where is the line drawn? Are we, then, going to allow our persons to be violated randomly as we go about our daily business? Shall we allow them to intrude into our houses, perhaps because we live under a flight path?

The TSA's antics have already affected international mail. They have already managed to assert their overcreeping jurisdiction beyond the bounds of airports. It is far past time for action. We must say no, and we must refuse to submit to what is clearly abuse of power and practices that are wrong, unjust, inhuman, and plainly put, evil.

The TSA are in violation of fundamental human rights. And though some may think that a mention of Nazi Germany invalidates arguments, they could not be more wrong. The parallels, to any students of history, are particularly chilling and extremely compelling.

The time is now to refuse to allow the TSA to do as they please. This has gone far enough, and it is long past time for it to end. Do not fly, if you have to travel. Write the airlines and tell them that you will not be flying until the TSA's 'security' measures are either made less invasive or done away with entirely. If you have to fly, refuse to be scanned, and insist on having a non-TSA police officer with you if you are patted down. Do not allow them to take you into a private room; make sure you have witnesses. File a complaint with the TSA after flying, and be sure to sign the petitions by organisations such as the ACLU,, and

Don't insist that your friends and relatives fly to visit you. It may mean that you aren't able to see each other for a holiday, but if you care about these people, you won't mind because that also means they won't be sexually assaulted to come and see you. Personally, I would sooner die than cause a loved one to experience his or her body being violated by a stranger abusing power.

The TSA's measures have not made a bit of difference. The TSA has, in its entire existence, not made any material difference in any incident whatsoever. Their methods are questionable, their results, or lack thereof, speak for themselves. Other countries in the world -- far more targeted, like Israel -- have drastically less invasive and demeaning airport security, and they do just fine. Why is it, then, that the TSA seem to imagine it necessary to dehumanise and debase those who fly from or to the United States?

Oppose the TSA, before it's too late. We have already lost so much. I for one don't want to think about if we wait much longer and lose our ability even to take a stand as we are.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanks for a Great Show!

I just wanted to make a post to thank everyone involved with the fantastic show yesterday, and everyone who came to see me and the comics! It was a splendid time, and I'm exhausted but happy!

Thanks so much!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Comic Show Appearance TOMORROW!

To all of you, just a reminder: I'm going to be appearing at a comic show in Knoxville, Tennessee tomorrow!

The show will be at the Days Inn at Merchant's Road. Here's the address, so you can put it into whatever directions website you like:

5335 Central Ave. Pike
Knoxville, TN 37912

The show will be from 10 AM to 4 PM or thereabouts.

I hope to see you there! I'll be doing sketches and of course I'll have all of my comics there too. If you want to take a peek at the Lamia Director's Cut, come on by!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

COICA -- Contact your Senators NOW!

This is not only a scary potential legislation, it's also potentially an extremely dangerous one. It basically gives the United States government control over the entire internet -- the World Wide Web, I might remind them -- and all of its included content and sites, giving them the ability to censor the web just like inhuman governments such as China and Iran do. Not that this is any surprise, given the proclivities of the US Government in the past ten years, but enough is enough.

Please contact your Senators here. Tell them to oppose COICA and that if they support it, they're doing a disservice to every American. Remind them that you vote, and that if they support COICA, you won't be supporting them next election, or any of their corporate sponsors, for that matter.

We have to stick together for this. Please. For the sake of the world that's being inherited by the young ones. So that they'll actually have a world, and not just a mass of issues that their forbears left them, that is if anyone is actually left after the inevitable backlash. This is an international legal mess just waiting to happen.

Please, let's not allow it to happen in the first place.

Little Addendum

If you're in need of another source for the information, check out the article from The Japan Times Online here. There are plenty of other sources around for it, so just check google, goo, yahoo, infoseek, or your favourite internet search.

And please, if you would, sign and spread the word about my petition here.

There is also an ACLU petition here. Please sign it too. The ACLU are more likely to be heard, so we need to support their efforts too.

If we can get enough people to sign it, we can get this more notice in Washington, which is what we need more than anything right now. We have to stand together and put our collective foot down that we are not going to accept the actions of a small organisation shown to be corrupt, which now seeks to assert its power over the American populace at large.

If only 500 people sign this petition, it will at least raise a few eyebrows. There's no reason why we can't get many, many more than that.

ADDITION: Please also visit . It's a great site that has opposed the TSA, in a growing number of sites and organisations opposing the monstrous group.

When Does It End?

Now I've received word that things are even getting worse outside of passenger air travel.

The US has decided to limit severely any inbound packages to US addresses, thanks to TSA paranoia. I don't know about other countries, but I've just learned that Japan Post will be limiting, at least for the next month, all packages to the US to 1 pound, no more.

While EMS shipping is expected to be available for any weight around mid-December, EMS is extremely expensive and all customers can't pay such a high price.

Unless sellers take the time and painstakingly long process to register as a 'reliable shipper', they're basically limited to 1 pound.

So goodbye to any manga, doujinshi, books, furniture, even religious items like kamidana.

Naturally, as with the rest of their paranoia, they haven't listed any indication of when this will actually end, and the mid-December date is merely an estimate.

With the economy in the shambles that it is, limiting commerce is not the answer. And even though 'reliable shippers' can get things through -- after a process that is at least 30 days long, usually much longer -- this yet again unfairly limits commerce by creating a limited elite. Smaller businesses, or businesses who are unaware of these arbitrary changes, will be hit the hardest. This is going to have a severely negative effect on the economy.

Promoting insular monetary behaviour is unacceptable.

Note that the USPS have also neglected to mention, as of this writing, these limitations on their official website. Good going!

Write not only your representatives, but please also take the time to complain to the US Postal Service here. This seems to work best with IE. And contact your representatives here.

This is intolerable and ridiculous, and especially at this time of year is only an outrageous stunt to ruin buyers' holiday season.

It's already intolerable what they do to air travellers, but extending their influence to the postal service and the American public? Inexcusable.

They have crossed the line. Let's let them know it won't be allowed.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lamia says 'I don't think so!'

Lamia says 'I don't think so, TSA!'

This is an image that I am releasing for free use by those who oppose the TSA's heavy-handed actions and are working to fight for our rights and our dignity as American citizens.

Lamia and the image itself, as well as its contents, remain copyright Hushicho. The image may not be altered in any way, and full credit must be given somewhere on the site where you have used the image. A link to my official site at is appreciated.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

That Won't Fly

I want to encourage all of my friends, all regular readers of my blog and comics, and all of the people who simply stopped by here by chance, to engage in what is termed civil disobedience. It is long past time for this to be stood up against. And I would like to direct you to the blog of one courageous man who had the integrity to do so.

If you can travel by way of other means, don't fly.

If you have to fly, refuse backscatter x-ray machines and above all, refuse to be searched. The TSA have implemented searches where they direct their employees to touch your genitals. This is sexual abuse and is not to be tolerated by anyone.

When we are children, what do they tell us? Do you remember?

'If anyone tries to touch you in a way that makes you uncomfortable, tell them no and find a responsible adult.'

It's time to practise what we've told our society's children up to now.

Tell them no. If we don't start now, we'll never finish the fight to get our rights back that were squirted away after 2001's abysmal kick-off of fascist paranoia.

Refuse backscatter scans.

Refuse invasive, sexually abusive pat-downs.

Tell them you're perfectly willing to go through a metal detector like everyone else and have your baggage scanned like everyone else.

And tell them that if they touch you in any way that makes you uncomfortable, including your genitals and erogenous zones, you will have them arrested and bring suit against them in court for sexual abuse.

'It was on the website' does not constitute a legally binding contract.

'You should've known when you bought the ticket' does not constitute a legally binding contract.

'You walked into the airport' does not constitute a legally binding contract.

The only thing you are obligated to do if they will not accept your refusal is to leave the property. You have borne no threat to anyone, you possess no weapons or dangerous items, and you have done nothing criminal. It is their prerogative to allow access or deny access to any member of the public if it is private property. If they subsequently interfere with you leaving the property, they are completely at fault for first ejecting you from it and then disrupting an attempt in good faith to comply with their directive.

And don't think for a moment that this procedure is restricted to adults. No, quite the opposite; they have already stated they will perform this search on anyone and everyone they arbitrarily choose. If you were thinking about taking your daughter on that trip to Hawaii for Thanksgiving, think again since either they'll have a full and explicit nude portrait of her courtesy of backscatter, or they'll be molesting her.

It doesn't change things that they provide people with a person who is their same gender, to search them. It doesn't take away that it is abuse, or that they might be deriving pleasure from it. There are such things as homosexuality and bisexuality. And furthermore, any time anyone touches your genitalia or any commonly erogenous zone (such as the nipples) without your permission, it is sexual abuse because these are sexual areas, whether or not they derive sexual pleasure from it themselves.

Speaking as a person who has survived sexual abuse in his life, I have no desire to be so treated again. It's bad enough when it's someone you care about and whom you trust with your body (in my case, a now very much ex-boyfriend), it's just as bad, if not worse, when it's someone who does it by abusing their authority.

That's what this is about. It's not about security in the slightest. They have full profiles of every person flying with them and can find out whatever they want to know with a metal scan. This is about exerting power over people and about controlling them, allowing these TSA molesters to feel superior to the people who paid good money for the privilege of being treated like assumed criminals.

No, check that; criminals at least aren't sexually molested in public.

Please also take a look at this valuable and important links, of people who are interested in the same goals:

National Opt-Out Day - Flying for Thanksgiving? Opt out of the search!

We Won't Fly - Stand together in unity against sexual molestation by airports.

And for those of you who may feel more motivated when you see a very real person's issues with these searches, I'd like you to take a look at this video:!

If it doesn't make you think, then nothing I say or do here can.

Together, we can make a difference. It's time to put our collective foot down and say no, just like we tell children to do in kindergarten.

Let's set a better example than people have been.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Contact Your Representative, Say No To COICA

A particularly nasty bill is proposed and in the US Congress that would presume to allow them to censor the internet. But not just for the United States -- for the world at large. Sites that some governing body deems unsuitable will be wiped from the face of the internet, not just in the US but all over the world. Clearly, this is a completely insane idea.

Those of you in the US, please write your representatives.

You can find their contact forms here.

The markup is scheduled for 18 November. The act is properly called S. 3804, Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act.

Let them know that what they propose is not only the wrong way to go about this, it will inevitably cause all taxpayers millions in court costs when this is taken to court...perhaps even international tribunal. It's a huge mess, an immense presumption, and overall something that will do no good to anyone, least of all the copyright holders it purports to champion. As a copyright holder and holder of intellectual property, I find this proposal chilling and outright evil.

Other sites you can visit are's site here and the Electronic Frontier Foundation's here.

Please act before it's too late!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ka-Blam is Awesome

I just wanted to let all of my regular readers know: Ka-Blam is an awesome printer.

You can visit them at and I hope you will.

I have used them for years, and I have never been disappointed with their quality and pricing. What's great is that they also handle sales for your comics through Indy Planet, which is the world's foremost independent comic shop.

You can visit Indy Planet at for all kinds of fabulous comics.

They're not paying me to say this. I just always like to give credit where it's due, especially when I find a reputable and reliable business. Naturally, I want to encourage people to do business with them, because I think it's very important to support honest and dependable businesses!

So I hope you'll give them a try. They're always quick to reply, you can always depend on them, and personally I try to rely on them for all possible projects that I can.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Help Me Sell!

To all of you kind and faithful readers, I have something for you today.

First of all, I have to say by way of introduction that I can't travel like I used to, for various reasons. So I depend on people who live elsewhere to help me market my works. No matter where you live, I likely can get things to you, and I'm very happy to do so.

To make this easier, I am providing you with a pdf file of the Cornucopia Studios Winter 2010-2011 Catalogue, which lists all of our products that we are currently offering for sale. It is a small file, so it can easily fit on a plain CD, or even a mini-disc. You can burn them and take them with you to a shop, and the shopkeeper can look over the catalogue and decide what to do. It's also easy to send the link to anyone who is interested. It will be available until the catalogue is no longer valid, so you don't have to worry about it being too ephemeral.

Since all of our works are gay-friendly and most of our works are at least for mature audiences (even if they don't all have explicit content), I would suggest that bookstores and novelty shops in gay-friendly parts of town (and even 'gay ghettos', concentrated areas of gay-friendly businesses and venues, which exist in many cities) be the first places to visit. Comic shops in general should be agreeable to most of our output, especially since it is available through ComicsMonkey too, which is an independent comic distribution service. For Roaring Twilight, our RPG sourcebook, you could try any gaming shop.

Be sure to be courteous, and also be sure to point out our web links at the start of the catalogue. If any of the vendors are interested in learning more, they can access most works completely for free, or they can write me for digital reader copies. Be sure to make sure soliciting isn't expressly forbidden. Usually all you have to do is ask to speak to the manager or the owner, and this works best at smaller, non-franchise stores.

Download the catalogue here.

I am also looking for reliable people who would like to sell the comics directly. You would be able to pocket the profits past cost. Great venues exist. If you might be interested, please contact me. If you're going to these venues anyway, selling a few books doesn't require a lot of effort. There are also many shows, conventions, group sales, and so forth that will sell books for you, if you provide them. Venues include:

- conventions, such as comic, game, anime, and so forth.

- trade shows.

- parties and underground gatherings, such as goth nights and raves.

- poetry slams and open mic nights.

- book discussion groups.

There are so many more. Just be sure it's welcome and then go for it! I'll be happy to help you in any way I can.

Working together, we can accomplish so much. I'd like to be able to show the world that through the goodness of people in honest co-operation, we managed to accomplish something amazing.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Comic Show 20 November!

To all of you faithful friends, fans, and readers in general, I will be appearing at a comic, anime, game, and toy show on 20 November 2010! It's a Saturday, and I'll be there with all my comics, posters, and of course my pencils, pens, and paper if you would like a sketch or something more formal too!

The show will be at the Days Inn at Merchant's Road. Here's the address, so you can put it into whatever directions website you like:

5335 Central Ave. Pike
Knoxville, TN 37912

The show will be from 10 AM to 4 PM or thereabouts. Of course I'll have Lamia there with me, both versions, so if you'd like to take a peek at the Director's Cut or just look and see what awaits you on the website, stop by and say hello! Show your support!

I hope to see you there!