American Girl, keep giving us Dolls of Color for Girls of the Year.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Book Blather Book Reviews: Samantha's Surprise

Samantha's Surprise: A new author!
Seasonally appropriate greetings to y'all as we wrap up a--well, pretty up and down 2015. The end of the year approaches, and with that all the proper holidays, the big overwhelming one being Christmas. Or Giftmas, as I call it, what with the not being Christian and all. Did I do much for the holiday? Can't say I did. I did something though. Namely, ate. What do you want from me? Anyways. Vanilla Bean Buttercream/Grace is on the way out, and the new kid, Lea Clark, is on the way in. You can hear all about it in my new post after the year, "1/8th? 1/8th? Really, AG?" (Spoiler: That won't be the title, but that will come up.) And before I get into the book proper, a mini rant as posted to AGC and my Instagram account,1 modified and expanded here.

Hi, AGIG! Which is full of teenagers. Let's have a little talk about how to conduct yourself on IG with communicating with AG on their account, @americangirlbrand. Every year, AG releases a Girl of the Year. (She's been problematically White, but I've so bitched about that. I'm getting my update to the grid ready as we speak.) And every year, AG doesn't reveal her until January first. They do little online teasers, videos, and hints to hype up the release. They've been doing this since Chrissa at least--I still have somewhere on my comp the image of Chrissa with three buttons over her face so we couldn't wholly see her. But they do that--the hints and teases. Today was the video one. And under it, all over, was the same shit.

"Its lea Clark ag we all know"
"You guys are really bad at hiding stuff."
"I already know how she looked like 2 months ago"
"lol basically everyone on AGIG knows what she looks like and who she is"2

And so you are now getting educations. Sit down, children. I said sit down.

First of all, AG didn't leak or spoil anything. You all did, digging and searching and finding leaks all over the net. That I don't really bitch too much about, because I've seen images of Melody Ellison and my reaction can basically be boiled down to "give her to me and give her to me now." But going on their media and going "lol spoiled it" is as immature as you all are. They leaked nothing. They didn't leak about Ellie, they didn't leak about BeForever, they didn't leak about Grace, and they're not leaking about Lea. You are leaking about her.

Secondly, they hype like this because it's part of the marketing. They've been doing it since at least Chrissa--somewhere on my hard drive I have images of her  but with buttons over her face because AG didn't want to spoil her completely and was revealing a button a day to get a peek at her over the course of December. And they do this. But that's what they do, for the hype up til the first of January. They don't just say, "It's Grace Thomas!" Or "Welcome Isabelle Palmer!" That's not fun for them, that's not amusing, and that's not what they want. So guess what they don't want to hear in their comments? "ha ha we already know we looked at all the leaks it's So-and-So!" Because you are ruining the fun for those that maybe don't go digging around Google and looking at Youtube and getting everything spoiled for them. Do you also go around spoiling recent movies?

I'm sure a lot of you are young--and by young I mean there's at least a 10-15 year age gap between me and you, if not more. And this is your first taste of social media. So you think that this is appropriate or funny or that AG somehow doesn't know that a lot of people know. But you would be wrong. AG wants to do this the marketing way, which is hints and flirting with info releases. Leaks don't please them even as they please us. And neither do massive spoilers.

So if you all could collectively stop being a bunch of little shitty immature children and spoiling the reveals in the comments of their posts? That would be super awesome! 

Fucking squealers.

Sincerely, A Grown Ass Collector.  

So, with that out of the way for a while, time to book it. 

Samantha's Surprise, unlike the two books before it, was not written by Susan Alder. She had quietly been put off the project--and never to write again, if the searches for her name are any indication. Too much class talk, too much about the poor, not enough happiness and rich people being rich. Not Pleasant Company, that topic.3 So she was booted out the door and replaced with Maxine Rose Schur, who not only is still writing but lists Samantha's Surprise on her webpage. Go her.  The book was still illustrated by Nancy Niles at first release and came out originally in 1986 with Samantha, like the two before it. If you have the BeForever versions, this is chapters 13-18 of Manners and Mischief. I'm still using the chapters from the original since I'm using my old collections that way. So, future ref, when I finally get to Maryellen's books, I'll be breaking her volumes into six "books" and giving them fan nicknames, because I'm cool like that, but reffing whatever chapter numbers they got. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Why I'm An Outsider: Part Six: The Great Mass Banning of Aught-Six

The holidays were coming, and so was the bullshit.
Depression sucks. Depression sucks a lot. You don't get anything done like you'd want, things get pilled up in piles, and all your executive function gets shot to shit. I fight major depression--and I don't mean "oh, today I feel bad" bullshit, I mean "brain no worky so I sit there and don't do anything and can't get anything done really pbbbt" depression which is a chronic illness. I've wanted to do tons of reviews--including Grace stuff, I got all I wanted from Vanilla Bean's collection I'm pretty sure--the introduction of Maryellen to the gang, and a huge helpful post about adding to the AG collection without breaking the bank that is still sitting in queue to work on and has been since frigging September.1 And then my brain is like "no, you're going to do fuck all for weeks and weeks" and the photocorner stays a mess and leaves no room for shots. I'm not going to lie about why there's been a dearth of posts. I try and my brain chokes up. I'm going to try to do better, but every day is a struggle, and some days turn into weeks of terrible.

With that said, I hope you understand.

Before we get into the point of the post, news catch up. Yes, I've seen Lea Clark. From what I can see in her looks she's Marisol with the Hazel Eyes that AG bought way too many of, and she's at most biracial because AG can't give us a full PoC. My protest and post stands. American Girl needs to give us dolls of color for the Girl of the Year, and not just mixed ones with whiteness imbued to smooth over white racism that makes it so that characters of color have to be mixed with white to be acceptably ethnic. We'll see what her stories offer. But one character is not enough, especially when surrounded by frequent whiteness. I'm tired and you should be too. Blech.

To the story.

When we last left you at the story of AG Fandom Fucking It Up in 2006, AG Fans had just moved from Hostboard to phpBoards and taken the opportunity to do a widespread ban on Paganism and Pagan displays, as instigated by Yours Truly, the Pagan. They had also closed the board to the point that new users had to agree to the rules before they could read them. It was a nasty knot of BS, and while I had a lurker account to see the mess and get news, I was not a participant and was more a participant of AG > 18 and AGPT.  This was December 6th, 2006. I'd started working on a photostory called Naomi's Giftmas Surprise at the start of the month, which would slowly introduce the sixth member of the AGGiB,2 and taught myself to restring to restring both Addy and Beth Cady (and found it a lot easier than I had thought it was).  We kept snarking at AG > 18, and newsing at AGPT.

December 13th, 2006, is when shit really got fucked.

Prologue: Not Such a Sweet Baby Face
Part One: Finding AG Fans, or How Periods are Bad For Children
Part Two: There's Fundies in My Fandom
Part Three: The Wicked Witch of Customizing and the Birth of AG > 18
Part Four: Halloween is for Jesus, or How Otters Offended a Nation
Part Five: The AG Fans Revamp: No Pagans Allowed 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Yo, still here.

*Kira peeks*

Again, I went a month without updating. Sorry about that.

Depression is terrible and eats your brain. It also makes it so, in my case, the photo corner is a hot mess. Can't take pictures when there's no place to take them.This means reviews are lacking as well as other things.

Don't give up on me. I'm still here. There's a a million posts I haven't done, but just you wait.