Character Crush-Eponine

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-by Bevianna Bones

And now I’m all alone again, no where to turn, no one to go to…without a home, without a friend, without a face to say hello to…

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Whoops! Sorry guys, got all caught up in my angst. Guess it was inspired by the wife mate going out of town…but before we start, let’s be clear on one thing; this CC entry is about Eponine as a character…much more Frances than Samantha, but sadly Google image search kept giving me things I want to unsee.  Such as…

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I have no words…

I’m finding it très amusant that little miss sunshine keeps popping up in Eponine image searches, I’m also hoping that it’s because she was on track to play the role in that blaspheme of a movie; and not because she is nearly a modern day Ep what with all those angsty tweeny songs…

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Eponine’s Errand 2.0…

Anyway, getting back on track, since the mid 80s who else has been the role model for forlorn teenage girls than dear old ‘Ponine? No one, that’s who.  On My Own is the quintessential anthem for anyone who has ever had an unrequited love. A martyr for those who have lived and loved so deeply and not had that feeling given back in return. Everyone who has even been fourteen can feel for her. Some take it to the extreme. Some of us wore trenchcoats and saucy hats to school and pined for our muse. 

She had a tawdry childhood, although her folks did what they could for her. Mommy loved to lavish in how spiffy she looked in her little blue hat, for some little girls know how to behave.  Things went south when the man came and took their little slave girl away, and ‘Ponine was doomed to a life of thievery and trenchcoats and saucy hats on the streets as a result of it.  She met a boy that she wrapped her whole world up in, in hopes to escape the tawdriness; betrayed her father, dealt with a short term gender crisis, and ultimately gave her life for someone who didn’t even know she was there. Life sucks and Eponine taught us that with pretty song and saucy hats. Heart her.

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Two ‘Ponines in one! Oh boy!!

My original character crush, was actually more likely on Frances Ruffelle, the original London and Broadway casting choice; crushes didn’t look any better than that in 1986. I just wanted to be her, my young little mind couldn’t translate it into anything else. And why not…look at her now, Marius was an idiot.

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What’s all this talk of rain and flowers? Your what will make my what grow?

There have been many notable Ponines over the nearly 30 year span that has been the miserablez. Besides Fran and Sam, you’ve had Debbie Gibson, Lea Solonga, Lea Michele, Ching Chang Wongy; just to name a few of the more notable ones. 

I’m sure though, most of the girls then and now, still probably adore her for her angst than her…um…assets…and…talent…
So I will leave you on that note, with a handful of some of the many, many, fan art inspired by her.  Viewers beware, a Google search of “Eponine fan art” will give you lots and lots of things you want to unsee. I haven’t been so frightened by the internet since I was searching for Tifa Lockhart images.

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I’m guessing this is an alternative universe with alternate casting and there was a twist where Eponine drove away Javert and Valjean and everyone else and all the students live. Bubblegum and Unicorns!!

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Brought to you by hangry lesbians…

-BB

Character Crush – Tank Girl

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-by Bevianna Bones

Growing up, I had lots of character crushes, who at the time I thought was just me wanting to be like them, and there was none greater than that of Tank Girl. Rebellious, punk, independent, smartass, sarcastic, anarchist, badass, hot girl who played with tanks and guns, and drank beer…what’s not to like. She sounds an awful lot like me.  Me in my teenage years especially.

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I would however worn a dog collar instead of a candy necklace, but let’s not nitpick the details

Maybe that’s why the usual idolization I had for my character crushes turned into that funny tingling feeling and moist loins I couldn’t quite understand when I saw Lori Petty playing her on the big screen. Damn she was hot. And did a great job portraying her, for she too, pretty much embodied the Tank Girl spirit.

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Tanks, guns, beer, and legs a mile long..oh my

It was actually a terrible movie, but I kept watching it over and over again. I just couldn’t get enough of her.  You can ask my wifemate what women in uniform packing heat can do for me.  Maybe it also had a bit to do with an underlying sapphic tone between her and her aircraft fixin’ pilot pal.

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I’m betting that she calls her, Sir…

It probably helps the little crush along that Lori Petty actually is a legit lez. Imagine my excitement, nearly twenty years later, to hear that she was going to be at comic con. I was so excited to have her autograph my Tank Girl DVD.  Sadly, there are things that you wish you could unsee; her in the flesh, after a not so kind twenty years, was one of them.  But my heart takes solice in knowing that digital images never fade, and I’ll always have my Tank Girl of the nineties.

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-BB

Character Crush – Peter Parker

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-by Joshie Jaxon

Picture it; Sicily 1962. A lone comic book writer creates a comic character so awesome that he’s still around over 50 years later. Readers, that lone comic book writer was me, and that character, was Peter Parker, Spider-Man. Sorry. I’ll try not to have Golden Girls on as background noise when I write.

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Seriously, how awesome is Peter Parker? Granted, he didn’t start out that way. He was not only a loser, he was interested in science. Poor Peter was never gonna get the girl, and that was fine with me. I could relate to Peter. I wasn’t a science nerd, but I was still a geek. I loved comics, cartoons, and games. Still do. There was a period when such things weren’t as chic and celebrated as they are now. I was so ahead of my time.

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I can’t say that Spider-Man was my first comic ever, that honor goes to Eastman and Laird’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures, I can say that my first Marvel Super Hero comic was Spider-Man. It was the early 90’s, during the Trial of Peter Parker portion of the Clone Saga. I can still remember what store I got it at. It made that much of an impact on my life. I’d found a character that I could relate to. I too, had a clone. Kidding, of course, but how awesome would that be?

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Peter was everything a closeted teenage boy could want. Actually, I only knew I was different, I didn’t quite understand what gay was at the time. Anyhow, Peter had a great body, and never missed a chance to show it off. He’s got a variety of costumes, but I’ll cover those in a later post. Not just exposed flesh, but a skin-tight outfit made for an accelerated heart rate to say the least. Though as I covered in my Nate Grey post, it wasn’t enough for me to risk ruining my books over, the way certain older men do with a maxim. Damn close though.

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Speaking of Nate Grey, he and Peter became friends. On their initial meeting, they skipped the obligatory fight, and opted to go for coffee instead. Tea for Nate, naturally. If only MJ hadn’t been in the picture, things might have ended differently. I’ll just leave this picture right here.

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Not only is our web-slinger super smart, he’s also funny. Peter has a quip for nearly all of the villains in his rogues gallery. From calling Vulture, vulchy, Green Goblin, gobby, to telling Hydro Man the dogs must love him, Peter showed me that there are ways to deal with bad guys besides violence. I dunno if Spider-Man influenced my own wit or not, but I’ll give him partial credit. I was an impressionable teen after all. Though, like Peter, I didn’t come into my own until after high school.

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Peter isn’t without his share of pain. He lost his uncle at a young age, and was semi responsible. He lost what was very well the love of his life at the hands of a madman. He lost what would be considered a brother to him, in the form of Scarlet Spider, Ben Reilly. He and MJ even lost their daughter. Those last three were all to the same nutcase, whose personal mission is to destroy Peter’s life.

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Despite life and villains knocking him down, Peter always gets back up, ready to face the next challenge head on. After all, with great power comes great responsibility.

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-JJ

Character Crush – Jo Polniaczek

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by Bevianna Bones

You take the good, you take the bad, you take it all and there we have my very first crush. Jo. Tomboy extraordinaire. Of course at the time, I really just wanted to be like her and have her be my “sister” (since I was too young to understand the concept of “roommates”)

The quintessential badgirl of Eastland School for Young Women, Jo dealt out knuckle sandwiches and showed me early on in life it was ok to be a girl and be tough. Look at that loose tie on that school uniform. Umpfh! And her on that motorcycle, forget it! No one could rock a denim jacket and aviators like her. Bestill my little beating heart.

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And Blair’s. The tension between Jo and Blair has been brought up in pop culture galore, and why not what with all that subtext! You could cut it with a knife…or scissors?

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Too bad Lisa Whelchel is a big ole Jesus lovin’ rightwing Christian fanatic. The Facts of Life Reunion could’ve been so much more. Perhaps this is why a very young George Clooney joined the cast later on as Jo’s beau; they never did really have any chemistry, but the weekly Battle of Mullet was epic even for the 80s. Business Ulfront, party in the rear!!

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That face is how I hope her reaction was when the network told her they cast a man to dispel the rumors that would surround the goings on at a prestigious school for young women.

She really did rock those mullets though. By the gods it’s a thing of beauty! She really set the bar high…oh, if it only had a rat tail, it would’ve disrupted the very fabric of time. Nothing, nothing could have been that eighties. Even during the eighties. But this is as close to perfection as it could come. Oh I just want to run my hands through it in all its feathery glory!

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Again, with that face. That’s the one she made when she figured out Clooney was a man. The hair had thrown her for a loop.

That first crush has carried on all throughout my adult life, I still watch reruns when I come across them, just to see the fellagirilie that stole my heart so long ago. Ahh sigh. Young love.

-BB

Character Crush – Nate Grey

by Joshie Jaxon

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Did you ever wonder what would happen if Mr. Sinister succeeded in his mission to create a genetically perfect mutant? Well, in the Age of Apocalypse, he did. The product of a cross between Scott Summers and Jean Grey, the X-Man, Nate Grey, was created to be a weapon against Apocalypse himself. It wasn’t until Nate was a child that Sinister even bothered to give him a name.

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Wanting more for himself, Nate broke out into the world, and found friends that actually cared for him. He allied himself with Forge, who taught him to be a hero, and how to use his powers. Under his care, Nate not only gained control of his incredible psionic powers, he harnessed them to the point of being able to fly. His happiness was short lived, when Sinister killed Forge, and told Nate of the purpose he was created for. Avenging his friend and mentor, Nate surprised Sinister by mortally wounding him, and leaving him to die.

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I didn’t follow the Age of Apocalypse when it originally ran, so I missed the initial appearance of our dear X-Man. I was involved in the life of Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man. However, during the Onslaught storyline, I got exposed to Nate. I know he’s a comic book character, but Nate is gorgeous. Blue/gray eyes, depending on the publication, short to medium brown hair, with white streaks in the front, and that classic hero physique swimmer’s build. Plus he’s powerful. It was stated that he’s the most powerful psionic in any reality, and I’d believe it.

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Nate can read minds and it’s a good thing he’s fictional, cause my teenage thoughts were less than platonic. No, I never whacked it to his comics. Couldn’t risk damaging them. I kid, of course. Or do I? You’ll never know. Ok, here’s the T, he was cute, but not I’m about to ruin a perfectly good book for him cute. Besides, I was still in the closet back then, and knew I liked Nate but not fully understanding why.

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Like Nate, I too grew up without a lot of friends. Where I felt like a stranger in the world around me, Nate actually was. He was brought from his reality to Earth 616, where he eventually crossed paths with Peter Parker. Being a telepath, Nate was able to know Spider-Man out of costume. In fact, he got Peter out of his clothes faster than anyone. Lucky bastard. The two became friends, and had an adventure or two. They’re two of my favorite, and most crush worthy people in the Marvel universe.

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As the early 2000’s hit, so did adult hood. Comic book money was applied to things like bills, and rent. Slowly, I lost touch with most of my colorful tights wearing friends. I still retained my childlike love of fictional worlds, but it wasn’t until my life stabilized, as well as my finances, that I was able to play catchup on the stories I’d missed. I’m glad that the internet is what it is, and that trade paperbacks are as readily available as they are. While most adults forget the things that used to bring them joy, and resign themselves to the doldrums of life, I plan on retaining the sense wonder that helps make adulthood better. Though he may no longer be the subject of fantasy or daydreams, the X-Man will always be one of my first character crushes.

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-JJ