Sunday, August 9, 2015

Female Force - Stephenie Meyer Part 1

... or, All About A Female With No Force

You may have heard about this truly awful comic book in the past - it was part of a four-comic cycle that Bluewater Productions put out about the Twilight author and actors. Who are Bluewater Productions? Well, they are a comic book company who put out two kinds of comic books:

  • Schlock like Vincent Price Presents, Wrath of the Titans, and cash-ins on already-existing franchises.
  • Fawning one-off comics about popular celebrities and political figures.

Obviously this is part of the latter category, in their Female Force line. And to give you an idea of how shitty those comics are, they include crappy comics about Sarah Palin (no, they are NOT kidding), Michelle Obama (because nothing says "strong woman" like marrying into a position!), Carla Bruni Sarkozy (ditto), Ruth Handler (let's make a creepy doll that will make girls hate their bodies!), Rosie O'Donnell (NO NO NO NO!) and... well, you get the idea. They also have comics about Justin Bieber, Glee, Lady Gaga, and lots of other famous-for-the-moment people... including the cast of the Twilight movies.

So obviously the bar is not set high. The art is mediocre at best, the writing is breathlessly fannish, and it just basically recycles the most mundane factoids that they could scrape from magazines.

So, without further ado....

I am underwhelmed. Yeah, one of the least interesting comic-book covers you can have is just a picture of a person's face, especially when it's not even doing something interesting (like smirking at the reader). She also looks like she's thrusting her boobs at us.

Also, why are her eyes soulless and dead? She could pass for Kristen Stewart there. And maybe it's just me, but I'm fairly certain that picture was copied from some photographs that were taken aeons ago.

Anyway, on to the actual comic. Where is this going to take place?

Effing fantastic.

Yes, this comic book actually opens in the most cliched of vampire lairs EVER: a Transylvanian castle surrounded by graves, howling wolves and impossible hills. This is going to hurt.

Actually, that looks less like a Transylvanian castle where a vampire might live, and more like an elderly private school. I keep expecting to see a fence around it and maybe a gang of uniformed teenagers smoking pot. It does not make me think "vampires," except that it's in Transylvania and is surrounded by wolves and gravestones.

Also, what is that bizarre rocky protrusion in front of it? At first glance it looks like a hill... but look closer! It's actually sprouting right out of the FOUNDATION. It's like a giant stone erection. So... it fits perfectly in a comic about Stephenie Meyer. rimshot

And since Stephenie Meyer's life so far has been REALLY boring, we need lots of and lots of padding to keep people from noticing that 32 pages is WAY too much to talk about her. So guess what the only dialogue on this whole page is?

I know, wolfie. I know. I had the same reaction when I read Breaking Dawn.

So the comic gives us some gothic architecture, an open coffin, lots of ornate creepy stuff, skulls, bats flying around... all of which and more that you will NOT see in the Twilight stories, which are as blandly American-modern as you can be. And yes, it's all padding.

And finally, we see the vampire... and I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

  1. Bela Lugosi? Really? You couldn't let that poor talented man rest in peace? You HAD to include him in this shitty Twilight comic?
  2. Wow, I thought the decor was over-the-top before. But now he actually has skulls on the chandelier.
  3. And what is that THING next to the door? Is that supposed to be a coat-rack? Because it doesn't look like it would work very well, unless you like having holes poked in your clothes.
  4. And maybe this is just me, but somehow... having a vampire whistle casually as he comes in just... kills the mystique. Not as much as sparkling, but it's pretty bad.

The vampire then sticks his finger into a candle on top of a burning skull. This takes up a full fourth of the page. No signs of Stephenie Meyer yet, but I'm okay with that.

We then spend another half-page with the vampire scratching his head (and no, it doesn't disturb his slicked-back hair) and and yawning. At least I think he's yawning...

On second thought, I have no idea what he's doing. Is he deliberately pricking his tongue on his fangs? Is he checking to make sure that they're still there? What IS he doing?

And HOLY CRAP this art is bad. Let me count the ways!

  1. That vamp needs some orthodontia, badly.
  2. He also needs a shave. That stubble just looks sloppy.
  3. And why are his eyes so tiny? They're about the same size as an individual fang!
  4. Actually, his entire face is freakishly deformed! Look at that cheekbone! It looks like he's smuggling an orange in there! And that NOSE! It's like a sausage with nostrils at one end.
  5. I think I need some noms.

goes off to lunch


comes back

So he then shows us a book with Smeyer's name on it, next to the skull-candle. I think it's supposed to be LEATHERBOUND, but the weird coloration makes it look like it's bound in thin strips of wood. Weird.

Do we have to? We're only three pages in, and already I feel like this comic is jabbing me with pointy objects.

And dude, since when did you shape shift between comic panels? Suddenly you've got a mouth like the love child of Julia Roberts and a shark, your head has shrunk to half its previous size, and you suddenly have a monocle. Even worse, you're dressed in a costume so goofy Hammer Horror wouldn't touch it.

Also, I find it hard to believe that any ACTUAL vampire would be able to even hear the name Stephenie Meyer without cringing. I mean, this woman managed to single-handedly turn them into a joke. Her vampires SPARKLE. They romance teenage girls. They live in big open-layout white houses cannibalized from gorgeous Victorian mansions. They dress like Abercrombie and Fitch models. They're as intimidating as fuzzy baby animals.

To fortify myself, here's a Dresden Files quote that describes this costume perfectly.

  • Michael: "I still can't believe that you came to the Vampires' Masquerade Ball dressed as a vampire."
  • Harry: "Not just a vampire, a cheesy vampire. Do you think they got the point?"

Ah, how refreshing. It's like a cool glass of water for someone lost in the desert. Anyway, on with the show. I'm sure the next page will have some actual content.

... or it will have a mediocre drawing by a sixth-grader who doesn't know how to draw necks. Or lips. Or eyebrows. Or borders. Dammit, this is the FOURTH page, and NOTHING HAS HAPPENED. This comic book is only about thirty pages long, and we just wasted 1/7th of it on FILLER.

So we FINALLY get some biographical info in this allegedly biographical comic book: The year is 1973.... and Stephenie was born in HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT to Stephen and Candy Morgan. No, that emphasis is not mine - the comic book feels the need to EMPHASIZE random WORDS sort of like WILLIAM Shatner.

And I love how they don't give any context to her birth year. I mean, they don't say anything like "Roe Vs. Wade happened" or "peace was reached in Vietnam" or "The World Trade Center was opened" or "Dark Side of the Moon was released" or "The Watergate Scandal happened." No, the only interesting thing to happen that year was that Smeyer was born.

And we get topography maps that take up a third of the page.

Why? Because there's no other way to convey to readers that Stephenie Meyer - being the rare and speshul snowflake that she is - is one of the few to ever moved from one state to another! And because we really, really need to fill up space!

Her time in Connecticut was SHORT-LIVED. You see, her family went to PHOENIX, ARIZONA by the time she was four. And many years later, she would write a book where she never shut the hell up about Phoenix and how wonderful it was.

And because NOTHING is too boring or mundane for this comic book, we're told why it's spelled "Stephenie" instead of "Stephanie": The curious spelling of her NAME comes from adding an "I" and "E" after her father's name, STEPHEN. Yes, because it wouldn't work if it were spelled "Stephanie" - then it wouldn't be like her dad's name at all!

Oh, and to hammer home how UNIQUE the spelling of her name is, we get a picture of... Smeyer writing her name. Whee.

Thank you. That was very necessary. Also, who the hell writes with their hand in that position? And why is her note paper PINK?

So the comic then happily skips from "four years old" to "high school," and tries its damnedest to convince us that Smeyer was a real-life Bawla Wan. Stephanie might have been a little.... OUT OF PLACE at school. That may have been due to her scaly skin and vestigial third eye.

While most girls were driving FLASHY CARS or showing off their NEW NOSE JOBS,

Ha! Shallow whores, with their physical attractiveness and their money! If only they knew that all the boys want is a bland, unattractive girl who has no friends!

Stephanie didn't have a car until she was in her TWENTIES.

So she did have a NOSE JOB?

We're also treated to a look at Smeyer's high school... and it's basically a big sand-colored geometric shape with extremely poor perspective. It looks like a kid drew it. And it's surrounded with a bunch of poorly drawn cars too!

Holy fuck, how does that thing even move?! Half its weight is in the front hood! And those wheels! Are they even touching the ground? Why is the headlight closer to the reader SMALLER than the one further away? The hood is bulging out on the far side, like it's swollen. This is like a surrealist depiction of a "realistic" car!

Seriously, this is BEYOND sloppy. I might be able to tolerate this in a self-published comic or a webcomic, but this is an actual professional piece of work, and it has some of the most basic errors you can make!

But it gets worse! Time for a trip into Smeyer's classroom!

No, there's no narration box. Nothing at all. Just half the page, devoted to people we're not supposed to give a shit about.

I don't even know what's going on in this picture. Smeyer isn't even in it, as far as I can see - at first I thought she was that brunette that the two girls appear to be staring at, but no, that's someone else. That girl is clearly wearing glasses and doesn't have any of the characteristics Smeyer is given in this comic.

Arg, this picture makes me ask so many questions?

  1. What ARE those girls looking at? And why is no one else looking at it?
  2. And I can't tell what this classroom is supposed to be. Why is the teacher's desk at the back of the room, blocking the door? Why are all the students facing AWAY from it?
  3. Why is there a giant raisin in the right-bottom corner?
  4. Why is there a computer on the desk in the left-bottom corner, but too far away for the girl to use it?!
  5. Why does Glasses Girl's leg vanish halfway down?
  6. Why do the books get much, much smaller with each successive shelf, even though it's only a few inches' difference?!
  7. Why are ALL the boys blond? And why do they look like Frankenstein's monster?
cries silently into keyboard

Six pages, people. We're six pages into this abomination, and the titular person hasn't even showed up yet.

Smarter? Cooler? Less annoying?

Oh, so we're going for the "Smeyer totes = Bawla! SHE'S SO KEWL!" approach. In other words, the comic is going to try REALLY, REALLY hard to convince us that Smeyer was just too smart, wise, mature and deep for all the shallow dumb plebes around her. This is gonna hurt.

But at least we finally get some pictures of the person the STUPID COMIC is about.


This comic is just determined to rape us with bad art. Those hands are circus-freak tiny, and her arms are just sort of stuck on with no real attachment to her torso... which is too big for the arms they're attached to. Also... Smeyer is drawn EXACTLY the same as a teenager and an adult. I mean, she looks at least a decade older than those two girls!

And since this comic is trying to convince us that Smeyer was a real-life Bawla Wan, let's judge these girls according to Twilight's standards.

  1. How very different they are from Smeyer! Clearly they are worthless human beings! They could devote their weekends to volunteering at soup kitchens, but it wouldn't matter!
  2. And they're wearing skirts and tailored shirts, instead of a grungy T-shirt and jeans! I mean, they're dressed ATTRACTIVELY for school, which clearly means they're shallow and stupid.
  3. After all, if there's one thing bad UF has taught me, it's that smart women have to be FORCED to dress attractively!
  4. They're also NOT dressed like sexless slobs, which probably means they are sluts.
  5. Remember, kids: you should be utterly sexless in every way until you meet your True Love. If you don't, you are a hopeless slut who probably has "not pure" thoughts.
  6. Also, you can tell that brunette is dumb because she's reading a MAGAZINE. Smart people don't read MAGAZINES. They only read BOOKS!
  7. And the blonde (who is obviously a bitch, because she's BLONDE) has a purse and not a backpack like Smeyer. Clearly she is stupid and shallow!


Yes, it is SHE who was different. She was a sparkling speshul snowflake of uniqueness! Note how SHE is the only one raising her hand, since only SHE is smart enough to know the answer! Just like Bella! Have you figured out that she's like Bella yet? She's even sitting in bio class, like Bella! Who is smart! Smarter than anyone else!

Also, this art is HORRENDOUS.

  1. Hair is not a solid lump like friggin' fruit leather.
  2. That bespectacled girl has the pointiest nose and chin I've EVER seen! And her PROFILE. She looks like the Old Man of the Mountain.
  3. And again with the freaky-ass facial proportions. The teacher looks like he has a breast implant in his cheek.
  4. As for Smeyer, her right arm is clearly twice the size of her left. What. The. Hell.
  5. I'm amazed they didn't show a brooding, pale-skinned boy sitting next to her in class.

By being different, her REWARDS were forthcoming....

So being a friendless slob with no life means you'll be "rewarded"?

Also.... "forthcoming."

... Stephenie was a NATIONAL MERIT scholar recipient, which she used to help pay her way for college.

Which is a genuinely impressive achievement for someone that stupid.

From Arizona, she moved to PROVO, UTAH to attend BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY.

After all, if she went to a regular UNIVERSITY, she might be confronted by SEX, ALCOHOL, and PEOPLE WHO AREN'T WHITE MORMON SUBURBANITES.

And how is this major life chapter depicted by this comic book? Well, we gradually zoom in on Smeyer's wrinkly hand until....

Yes. The state of friggin' Utah appears in her hand. I am not kidding. If I didn't know better, I would think this comic had been made as a JOKE.

But sadly, it isn't. And the comic zooms back out of her Superspeshul Sparkly Snowflake Hand to show her in college, where she looks exactly the same as in high school.

Gasp! Is that non-slob clothing I see on her? And... JEWELRY? How can a genius wear anything even remotely attractive?!

That said, it cracks me up that Smeyer depicts sexless slob clothing as being the natural attire for smart, wise, mature people.... yet her hair is always perfectly permed and coiffured, and we always see her wearing a full face of makeup. If she really stuck to that, she would constantly be walking around with a naked face, stringy hair and sweats.

But I'm sure that the artist wouldn't be such a hack as to depict this staggeringly ignorant woman as the only one who OH HELL HE DID...

Yes, in a college class, he's depicting Smeyer as the ONLY one who is raising her hand, while the others just stare at the teacher uncomprehendingly. She's also the only one wearing any color whatsoever. Because she's SO speshul, she just naturally stands out of the crowd of colorless dumb sheep.

Scuse me, I need a barf bag.

In college, Stephenie majored in English with an emphasis on...

Romance novels?

Eh, bad romance novels still count.

Also, I can only speculate what grades she got in college, but I can imagine her essays analyzing classic literature went like, "so there's like this OMG hot guy who's totally rich and an asshole named Darcy, and he acts like an asshole to Lizzie, who's smart and witty and reads a lot JUST LIKE ME, and she totally falls in love with him because he's a rich asshole and insults her and her family, and he totally ruined her sister's chance to marry her true love, but then he fixes stuff for her family and then Lizzie realizes she loves him, and OMG Darcy is LIKE SO HOT and SO RICH and if he sparkled and was cold and hard all over he would be SO PERFECT..."

We're dangerously close to having actual content here, so it's time for the narrative to come to a SCREECHING HALT.

Yes, we snap out of the actual biographical story so the vampire can eat a spider. I'm not kidding.

Has the person illustrating this just... given up on anything approaching realistic proportions? And I'm not just talking about the vampire's Julia Roberts maw. That spider, according to all laws of nature, could not walk.

The spider starts chewing on the page, even though spiders don't eat paper. Then again, vampires aren't supposed to eat spiders either.

"No no, not for you, my PLUMP friend. For me."

"Now go to McDonald's and pick me up some McNuggets!"

While this is happening, the spider bites the vampire and.... what the hell?!

What the hell is up with that SPIDER? It only has one eye! I didn't know there was ANYONE who didn't know that spiders have eight eyes, no exceptions. There is no cyclops spider!

Also, spiders don't bite like a vampire!

What juicy parts? Did she attend secret drug-fueled orgies at Brigham Young U? Did she join the circus? Did she have a stint as a bohemian?

If so, I would love to see that. Why? Because Stephenie Meyer is possibly one of the dullest authors to ever hit the bestseller list. She has no flair, no flavor, no passionate interests... nothing. She's as bland and unimaginative as her obnoxious Sue character and her boring vampires. So I honestly wish there WERE some juicy parts of her life, instead of than "went to a religious college, married young, popped out babies, wrote vampire tween-porn." I wish this because her books really reflect her own life and outlook, both of which are painfully dull and narrow.

And yes, we spend TWO WHOLE PAGES on the vampire picking up and eating the spider, then readjusting his monocle. Two pages. They're not even PRETENDING to not have filler.

What is this "juicy" stuff? You'll have to wait until next time to know.

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