This week, Lise was busting her butt to get one of her cosplays gussied up so it could be entered into a competition. Andi and Lise will be back with their regularly scheduled shenanigans next time!
Andi and Lise are SO EXCITED to be celebrating their 100th episode with author, entertainment writer, speaker, pop culture critic, podcaster, social media maven and awesome-sauce person Dana Piccoli. In this episode, Dana breaks down some of the potential trends in queer media (yay! Queer filmfests online!), what she’s been watching/engaging in (SPOILERS), how COVID has affected media and how it might affect it going forward. Andi, Lise, and Dana also discuss the lesbian fiction industry and what it means that mainstream publishing has started publishing more F/F (and other LGBTQ fiction) stories.
Shout-outs: Dana has been listening to a lot of singer/songwriter Katie Pruitt. Lise has been watching lots of Adventure Time, which has a queer storyline that she didn’t realize was there. Andi shouted out Masterpiece Theater’s new-ish mystery series, Miss Scarlet and the Duke.
Woo! Andi and Lise do their 99th episode! This week it’s all about the brand new graphic novel, Nubia: Real One, written by the awesome L.L. McKinney and drawn by the equally awesome Robyn Smith. Nubia in DC comics canon is Wonder Woman’s Black twin sister (origin story HERE). Here in McKinney and Smith’s coming-of-age story, Nubia Johnson is an urban teen dealing with issues like police violence against Brown and Black people, racialized misogyny, a deepening crush, and her secret – that she’s a lot stronger than other people. In Real One, Nubia has to deal with all of that, and try to keep her secret hidden so she and her family don’t have to move again. Appropriate for YA and above; this is an excellent imagining of Nubia. Bonus: her guardians are a F/F couple.
For more info:
Extra: Andi mentions Virtuous Con as where she first heard about this graphic novel. Find out more about VC HERE.
Shout-outs! Lise is still working on her bathroom, but she’s also finished up another battle axe for cosplay and she’ll be posting photos! Andi has been finding a weird stress reliever in the game “Tail Gun Charlie,” available as a free app for mobile devices (Android and iOS). World War II tail gunner action against Axis warplanes.
Andi and Lise were joined by author KD Williamson to talk about lesbian fiction aka “lesfic.” Why does it seem to be predominantly defined by storylines that feature romance — F/F — that usually involve sexual consummation, whether it’s fade to black or depicted as part of the storyline? Why aren’t there other genres represented as much as romance under the lesfic umbrella? After all, being LGBTQ+ involves a lot more than romance and sex. Andi, Lise, and KD ponder.
Shout-outs: Lise is not pleased about this, but getting it done will be great – fixing up the bathroom! For her part, KD has been doing some of her gaming. She’s got Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla on the Xbox and Ni no Kuni on the Nintendo Switch AND the PS5! Meanwhile, Andi sucked it up and just bought a PS4. The first 3 games she got are Uncharted: Lost Legacy, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Wolfenstein II: New Colossus.
Pass the Salt!
This week, Andi and Lise chat about the movie Salt (2010) starring Angelina Jolie as a kickass action heroine who may or may not be a Russian sleeper agent. Jolie – Evelyn Salt – is an agent with the CIA who may also have been trained in Russia as a child and placed in the U.S. for a day when she and several others would activate to enact circumstances to create war between Russia and the U.S. As viewers, we’re trying to figure out where her loyalties lie as she runs from the CIA after a Russian agent shows up at CIA headquarters allegedly to defect and ostensibly activates her. Pulse-pounding excellent espionage thriller with lots of twists and turns. Also, Jolie should be in all the action films.
Lise recommends that we go watch Wandavision, available on Disney Plus and Hulu. It’s a miniseries based on the Marvel comic character Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff). It shared continuity with the Avengers universe, but you don’t need to have seen all the Avengers films to enjoy it. Set after Endgame, Wanda and Vision are living a nice life in the suburbs, but things are not as they seem.
Andi is feeding her lifelong fascination with the Soviet Union and is reading Adam Higginbotham’s 2019 Midnight in Chernobyl, about what happened at the Chernobyl plant in Ukraine in 1986 that resulted in the worst nuclear disaster in history that may have contributed to the end of the Soviet Union. Absolutely gripping and horrifying.
This week, Andi and Lise lose their minds in every good way over two novellas by Nghi Vo: “The Empress of Salt and Fortune” and “When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain,” both of which are part of Vo’s “Singing Hills Cycle” series. Fantasy, multilayered, stories within stories, superlative world-building, queer and nonbinary characters, gorgeously told. The two include nonbinary cleric Chih, who is out collecting stories across an empire for archives and embedded in those stories – in the mundane – are much deeper meanings. Talking animals, ghostly elements, exquisite details.
Nghi Vo’s website
Shout-outs: Both Lise and Andi seemed to have shared a brain this session, as both shouted out jigsaw puzzles! That is, the ol’ skool pieces-in-a-box puzzles. Relaxing, working with our hands, watching an image come to life on a table. They bring us calm.
Andi and Lise talk about how to create/write during a time of intense upheaval – in this case, a pandemic. How can writers incorporate it? Do they? Should they? How do you incorporate global traumatic events into, e.g., romance? How can you ensure that you are accurately capturing the experiences of people from different backgrounds who are also experiencing the pandemic? Also, Andi coins the term “panfic” though probably somebody out there has already done it. LOL
Shout-outs: Lise highly recommends two novellas by Vietnamese author Nghi Vo. The novellas are 1 and 2 in the Singing Hills Cycle and include “The Empress of Salt and Fortune” and “When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain.” Queer rep, interesting POV approach. Andi has started watching season 2 of the CW’s Nancy Drew take and so far, she’s enjoying it. The new approach takes on Nancy Drew with paranormal twists. You can find the first season on Amazon Prime.
With all the… excitement of the past couple of weeks, Lise and Andi are taking this week off too decompress. Please enjoy this rerun episode of Cosmoknights, a graphic novel by Hannah Templer that they both loved!!
Andi and Lise are joined by fab Lambda-winning author Meghan O’Brien to discuss the 2020 holigay movie Happiest Season, in which Harper (Mackenzie Davis) is not out to her conservative family. Harper brings girlfriend Abby (Kristen Stewart) along to her family’s for Christmas and things don’t go well. Neither does the script. Andi, Lise, and Meghan talk about effective elements of a romance and queer rep.
If you want to watch a coming out film, Lise recommends But I’m a Cheerleader, starring Clea Duvall (who wrote Happiest Season) and also D.E.B.S. while Andi recommends The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love. Want some Xmas movies that have F/F elements? Meghan recommends Let It Snow while Andi shouts out Season of Love. And Meghan also would like to shout out the F/F relationship in the TV series Orphan Black.
Zombie apocalypse Christmas high school musical!
No, really! Andi and Lise discuss (and rave about) the 2017 Scottish film Anna and the Apocalypse, in which Anna and a few friends have to fend for themselves in a zombie pandemic at Christmas time, save who they can, and try to rescue parents from the high school. It’s campy, fun, angsty, sad, but always heartfelt. Excellent musical numbers, great songs, and great soundtrack overall.
Streaming on various platforms, including: Amazon Prime, Fandango, Hulu, iTunes, PlayStation, Xbox, and Vudu.
Shout-outs: Lise just finished spec fic author Rebecca Roanhorse’s latest, Black Sun (2020), an “epic fantasy set in a world inspired by pre-Columbian Indigenous cultures” (SyFy Wire). Also – queer rep! Andi just watched the gay (M/M) 2020 Christmas movie, Dashing in December, which is basically a cute, sweet Hallmark trope made cute and sweet and gay. Fluff, angst, and Andie McDowell!