Women, a 2014 Publishers Weekly study found, are part of the fastest growing demographic. However, it seems that mainstream publishers don’t know how to interpret that fact, even a year later.
In 2011, DC Comics rebooted their titles in the DC New 52 event. One of these series was a new Batgirl penned by Gail Simone. In the 1988 Graphic Novel the Killing Joke, Batgirl Barbra Gordon was shot and paralyzed by the Joker in a plot device for the male characters to solve. In the new 52 series, Gordon was lifted from her wheelchair and back onto the rooftops of Gotham City.
The new Batgirl is seen as a milestone in female geek culture. The culture was sent back years with the release of the new Batgirl Variant cover depicting a crying Batgirl being held at gunpoint by the Joker losing all the power gained back in her series.
This is not even the first time DC has reduced fan-loved female characters. DC green-lit a contest to have “undiscovered talent” draw the character Harley Quinn in various “suicidal scenarios.” The undiscovered talent being a DC Comics artist.
But for every DC Comics blunder, there is a Marvel Comics success.
In May, Marvel is starting a new superhero team composed of an entirely female team in the new title, A-Force. Starting next month, however, Marvel is releasing anthologies of the fan-favorite female characters. The first issue begins with a collection of Ms. Marvel, the first Islamic female superhero, and Captain America, soon to be the first woman leading hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Its 2015, its past time that there is more representation for fans in their favorite mediums. Women are bullied out of video games with gamergate. Mainstream publishers like Marvel and video game designer Bioware receive awards and success from inclusive media. DC Comics, on the other hand, has a website designed to track how many days it has been since they have done something stupid.
The story of a kidnapped eight-grader escaping a cult after 15 years should not be a comedy, yet Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt fits the comedy genre perfectly. Tina Fey and Robert Carlock teamed up again after the successful run of seven seasons and 138 episodes of 30 Rock to pen Unbreakable.
Originally the series was passed over by NBC as the network seems to have axed their prime-time comedy line-up. Only two shows after the end of Parks and Recreation will remain for the winter season, Undatable and One Big Happy.
Unbreakable stars The Office’s Ellie Kemper in the titular role Kimmy Schmidt. The show begins with the rescue of Kimmy and three other girls from a cult preacher keeping them in an underground bunker. Of course the “mole women” quickly go viral. An interview with a witness gets the “Auto-tune the news” treatment (which becomes the addictive, catchy theme song). After a segment with Matt Lauer, Kimmy decides to remain in New York and actually start her life.
Kemper is joined by Jane Krakowski (30 Rock) and Titus Burgess (also 30 Rock) as her boss and roommate respectively. Comedy legend Carol Kane also stars as Kimmy and Titus’s landlady. Krakowski plays a similar character to 30 Rock’s Jenna, except with her character in Unbreakable, Jaqueline Voorhees, the writers have added depth that 30 Rock took seasons to reach. The atmosphere is similar too due to the return of Fey’s husband Jeff Richmond and his jazzy score.
Some questions I have are, why did NBC pass on the project? It is filled with NBC stars and has been highly praised by critics. Was the darkness of the premise too much for more mainstream audiences, although the fact from the Neilson ratings report it was found that 40 percent of homes had access to subscription based services like Netlfix so it may be the new mainstream. NBC’s loss is Netflix’s gain as Unbreakable turned out to be just as good as the later seasons of 30 Rock.
Last week Capcom released the next game in the "Resident Evil" series, "Resident Evil Revelations 2." Unlike past installments in the franchise, "Resident Evil Revelations 2" is produced and released in an episodic format. The change in format is not surprising, Capcom in the past has always explored and experimented with different platforms and gameplay styles. However, their change to the episodic format may be the company’s way to tap into the growing trend.
The episodic format of video games is the sequential release of shorter “episodes” to create a series similar to television shows. An event is much shorter than a full title, in "Resident Evil Revelations 2’s" case, only about four hours of gameplay. The shorter chapters let game developers have more time and freedom to work on the games. In all, it will usually lead to a well-polished and relatively bug free release.
Except when it doesn’t.
That’s okay. With the next installment, designers can learn from each previous chapter. They can patch bugs and listen to player feedback.
Usually, the episodic games cost a few dollars per episode and season passes for a lump-sum for all episodes. In "Resident Evil," each of the four episodes is $5.99 and the season pass for all episodes is $25.
Game developer Telltale Games has perfected the episodic format. The critically praised and award-winning "The Walking Dead" cemented their talent for bringing intense stories to video games. The shorter episodes let the writers focus on the story telling. Telltale is also developing adding to other commercial franchises, such as a series in the world of HBO’s "Game of Thrones" and the popular sandbox game "Minecraft."
All in all, episodic format allows for more creative input into storytelling games. However, if Capcom is the first in a series of more action based developers using the format to grind out money, the format itself may lose the creative freedom.
So, let’s cut to the chase and address the question we all know everyone’s thinking—what color is the dress?
Recently a photo of a two-toned colored dress has been circulating the Internet and every social media outlet. At first glance, there seems to be nothing out of the ordinary about the dress despite its general unattractiveness. It’s just a photo of a dress. At least, that’s what I thought when it was first sent to me in a group message with the accompanying message “What color is this dress?”
I thought it was a weird question as the dress was clearly blue and black. Not really sure what was happening, I waited for another person to respond. I didn’t wait long before someone responded with “white and gold.”
I’m sure you could imagine my confusion as most of you have probably experienced it yourself. Was this a prank? Were they just messing around?
The argument ensued over whether the dress was black and blue or white and gold. Before I knew it, it was all anyone on campus talked about. Minds were blown, friendships were broken, and elementary color identification was questioned all because of a single picture of a dress.
It was later revealed that the dress is in fact, blue and black; however, due to the dim lighting of the picture people perceive the color of the dress differently.
USA Today talked with an expert to get a glimpse of the science behind it. According to Reena Garg, an ophthalmology professor, "This photograph was probably taken on a phone camera and is very poorly exposed," and “The colors people see are dependent on whether their retinas interpret this photo as overexposed or underexposed.”
There you have it. The dress is actually blue and black, but don’t fret. You’re not crazy, but sometimes science can be.