Letters 06-01-2000

Building on Past Mistakes

I am in the 22nd month of my own five-month construction project. My prayers go out to the Youngs ["The Dream Home: A Cautionary Tale," by Brad Tyer, May 18]. While my home will be completed in the next couple of weeks, I will never, ever, attempt to build a home in Texas again.

My second builder charged me almost ten grand just to correct the framing mistakes made by my original builder. For those of you who want to try this, start with a lawyer, progress with an inspector and complete with a lawyer. Also, avoid construction financing like the plague. Buy your house from your builder. The dummy corporations, banks, suppliers, insurance companies and subcontractors all have laws to protect their assets. We homeowners have to hire protection. The system is flawed.

K. Victor
Houston

I used to drive by David Allen's site on Montrose Boulevard every day. I couldn't help but chuckle at the hand-painted signs advertising his town homes for sale. They reminded me of when a child would paint a sign selling lemonade. I couldn't imagine anyone buying one of those homes. I doubt the contractors were paid for the work that was done at that site, either.

The shame of it is that crooks hide in the system and are able to hurt so many people. I do hope the law catches up with them.

Stephen Lackey
Houston

Congratulations on a great article. It's just another reason why the Houston Press is my favorite local newspaper (actually, the only one I'll read).

Susannah Tysor
Houston

I sympathize with the Youngs. Mr. Zovath, Ms. Marks and Mr. Allen epitomize everything that's wrong with Texas-style Christianity. Their appeals to the Youngs' Christian sentiments to do the right thing, all the while trying to fleece their wallet, are typical of all mainstream religions. They reveal the credulity of the typical member of the flock. The mind-numbing Lord's Prayer mantra should be replaced with the cry of "Show me the money!" The brief examples of the pap served up in Ms. Marks's book made my stomach churn. They must have received their training from Amway. Religion appeals to the basest sentiments of everyone: Preserve thyself, give unto me what I deserve, and forgive me when I take from others. There is salvation, at a cash price.

Keith Patton

Houston

Wonder Woman in a Suit?

If you look at comics today, many are female-based and have strong followings [Stuff, by Robert Wilonsky, May 18]. You talk about only Marvel and DC. They are getting old, with just a few titles selling well. What about Darkhorse, Image and other independent companies? Are these companies to be overlooked just because they haven't been around long?

As for their deaths, every hero dies eventually, most gruesomely. That's what makes a hero a hero and a villain a villain. If they all just retired to a nice house on a grassy hill somewhere telling their grandkids about the time they saved an entire city from the "intergalactic Terror" Gorak, it would be boring. Unfortunately the industry targets males between the ages of 13 and 35, so the way they are dressed will appeal to the target audience. But who wants to see Wonder Woman in a red, blue, gold and white business suit fighting supervillains?

More females are reading comics as time goes on. Talk with the people who are true comic fans and understand the change in times. All things change, and those that don't are usually left behind.

Richard Cate
Houston

I find it very offensive that a stranger in "Fatal Femmes" would make these huge generalizations of rampant sexism about me and others (men and women alike) who share my comic book hobby. I've been reading and working in the comics field for 15 years, and I've never met anyone even closely resembling the comics shop owner from The Simpsons. Based on personal observations, I'd say women make up about 20 percent of the readers.

Wilonsky goes on to state that women-oriented comics were once the norm in comics, when actually the reverse is true. There are more comics being produced by, for and about women now than ever before.

It's easy to condemn the entire industry because the best-selling books in it are sexist and violent, but if sexism and brutality to women are the only criteria, then shouldn't we consider the people who make and watch movies "sick bastards" as well? No, we know there is more available that reaches to deeper levels than just whatever huge movie opened. The same is true for comics. Mr. Wilonsky's cheap shots at comics readers masquerading as journalism are just a waste of paper.

Joshua Starnes
Bedrock City Comics Co.
Houston

Is the new practice of Houston Press writers in general, and Robert Wilonsky in particular, to intentionally insult your loyal readers?

I've been a happily married man for the past ten years. My wife, niece and nephew (whom my wife and I are raising) and I enjoy reading comics. That fact destroys Mark Waid's ridiculous quote: "Most males are fans of or in comics because they're social misanthropes who can't get laid or can't keep girlfriends and they're pissed about it on some level."

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