Warning: This post will contain spoilers for Zootopia.
I remember watching the Zootopia sloth trailer in front of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and laughing just as hard as everyone else in the theater. However, when the release date came around I was preoccupied with the hype for BatmanvSuperman and the film slipped by my radar. Zootopia returned to my radar after hearing about its box office success, and especially after a friend gave it a glowing review.
One of the things that my friend liked the most was how the film tackled the issue of race. He said it wasn’t preachy or overly sentimental, but worked in allegories that were easily identifiable. I remember the one he told me about was the use of the word “cute”. In the film, it is okay for bunnies to call one another cute, but it is offensive if another species uses the word. I don’t think I need to elaborate on the similarity to the word “nigga”.
Another light-hearted allegory that got my attention was a scene where Nicholas “Nick” Wilde (Jason Bateman) touches a sheep’s hair, remarking on how fluffy it is. Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) then whispers that he can’t just touch a sheep’s wool. I can remember grade eight at Southbank International School in London, England. I was one of two black kids, out of a student body of at least 100, and my classmates often touched my hair. I am sure a lot of other black people, and women especially, can relate to someone treating them like an animal in a petting zoo and touching their hair without permission. I remember that a Buzzfeed article on Zootopia was filled with people arguing that this happens to anyone with curly hair. Black people, on average, are more likely to have curly or “kinky” hair so I think it is fair to say that the sheep wool can be interpreted as kinky hair.
Aside from these smaller vignettes, Zootopia is loaded with messages of discrimination. What I like most about the film is that most of these messages or lessons don’t come from the depiction of highly vocal bigots. I have no sympathy for ignorant people but most of the discrimination in the film is presented as ingrained biases from otherwise decent people who do not seem to know any better. I have no problem with the depiction of more staunch bigotry (such as Imperium or American History X) but in this age of supposed “colour-blindness” it is important to see how people who claim to be tolerant can adopt stereotypes of other races.
Within the city of Zootopia, mammals (predator and prey) now live in harmony. The film revolves around the disappearance of fourteen mammals in Zootopia. Their disappearance is revealed to be a move by Mayor Leodore Lionheart (J.K Simmons) to hide the fact that predators are going “savage”- reverting to their desire to attack and consume prey. Co-screenwriter Jared Bush has explained that predators in Zootopia only eat plant-based proteins and insects. Going “savage” causes the animals to lose the capacity for speech and return to the predator-prey mindset. Hopps, aided by Wilde, must uncover why the animals are going savage.
Wilde’s identify as a fox gives us one of our first insights into discrimination in this fictional world. In the film foxes have a reputation for being sly and deceitful. Hopps’s parents are wary of her living among them when she leaves their farm and goes to Zootopia. They make sure to give her fox-repellent, similar to pepper spray. Although Judy criticizes their bigotry she still brings the fox-repellent with her on her first day of work. Like real-life, someone who is outwardly accepting can still be affected by stereotypes that they have picked up from the media, friends, parents etc. I have had well-meaning friends tell me I speak well for a black guy, and Hopps also applauds Nick for how articulate he is. Nick has heard the compliment before, and thanks Hopps for not being patronizing (although his tone implies that he is not truly happy to hear the compliment again).
Wilde has long been the victim of prejudice, with the most pivotal moment being an incident of childhood bullying. Wilde had hopes of being the first fox scout, but was pranked and muzzled during his supposed induction ceremony. Zootopia is founded on the idea that anyone who arrives can be anything they want to be, similar to the American Dream. However, Wilde believes that all you can really be is what’s on the outside. He knows other people only see a fox when they look at him, so he stopped trying to be different and became a con-artist. Obviously, I am not trying to say every criminal is simply misunderstood, and I don’t think the film is either. Wilde is simply an example of someone who is disillusioned with the world’s supposed equality, which he has yet to experience.
Meanwhile, Hopps is the first bunny cop, who is enlisted as part of a Mammalian inclusion initiative. Although she is accepted, Chief Bogo (Idris Elba) has little faith in her ability and assigns her to parking duty.
Hopps and Wilde are able to form a bond over their treatment, but the bond is tested after they find the missing mammals. Hopps’s takes the stage for her first press conference, with Wilde watching close by, and is quick to reveal that all of the savage animals were predators. When probed, Hopps remarks that the predators might be returning to their old instincts. Wilde doesn’t approve of the comments, and Hopps initially dismisses him. She argues that Wilde should know she wasn’t talking about him, just “them”.
“I remember a mom of a friend of mine in the suburbs made some comment about a black person and – I had to be 12, about 60 pounds – and I said something and she said: ‘Oh no, not you. You are not black. You are great.’- Jesse Williams
That quote leapt into my mind during this scene. We end up being a “credit to our kind”, differentiated from “them”, the masses that deserve hate or mistrust.
It is later revealed that a serum, derived from a poisonous plant, is responsible for the mammals going savage. Mayor Dawn Bellwether (promoted after Lionheart is imprisoned) reveals herself as the mastermind behind the plot, aiming to use the public’s fear to eliminate the predator minority from Zootopia. Using a hitman of sorts, she was able to target predators all over the city and create an atmosphere of fear and distrust. This scheme isn’t just fiction; Donald Trump probably read an early draft of the screenplay and used it as a manual on running a Presidential campaign. As Bellwether says “Fear always works!”
I remember thinking about Zootopia unapologetically explored issues that many people are too afraid to nowadays. In many ways, this Disney film had more guts than most of the Disney produced Marvel films. There is a childhood scene where Hopps is attacked by a child fox, and when he moves to scratch her I was sure that she would be saved at the last minute somehow. Instead, we see Hopps sporting a scar on her left cheek. Life isn’t a fairy tale, and this movie isn’t afraid to let us know that. No pretty princesses, no flowery songs. Zootopia has a great motto of equality but Hopps acknowledges it is only a motto and that the dream is a work in progress.
While DC is struggling to get critical approval with its live-action films, as the (partly) undeserved roasting of BatmanvSuperman and Suicide Squad demonstrate, they have an impressive record of success with their animated features. In my opinion, the quality of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies (DCUAOM) has declined in recent years with Justice League: War and Son of Batman. However, there have been some bright spots such as Gods and Monsters, Assault on Arkham and Batman vs. Robin. I was hoping that The Killing Joke. It isn’t a bad film, but as a whole, it does not measure up to some of the aforementioned bright spots.
As a spoiler- free summary, this story involves The Joker escaping from Arkham Asylum and kidnapping Barbara Gordon (Batgirl). There will be some relatively minor spoilers throughout this review. I haven’t read the graphic novel in years and I wanted to do so before seeing this film. However, I ended up rushing ahead and watching the film first. For that reason, I won’t be able to compare this film to the finer details of the comic.
I was told by friends that the film added a prelude that explained more of Barbara Gordon’s backstory, prior to her kidnapping. A little research online also showed that this section also resulted in most of the criticism for the film. I tried to ignore these critiques and form my own opinions so that I wouldn’t unfairly bash the film. I have to say that some of the criticism is justified.
The most valuable insights that come from this prelude are:
- Barbara still views crime-fighting as a thrill, not an unhealthy obsession the way Batman does
- Conflict over this issue is what led to Barbara ending her role as Batgirl
These two insights are valuable, but my issue is some of the execution. The Batgirl prelude centers around a single criminal, Paris Franz, who becomes obsessed with Batgirl. However, Franz’s obsession is more like a delusional and arrogant fanboy, as opposed to the twisted dependency we see with The Joker and Batman. Franz ends up being a very forgettable villain and the writing for his character is mainly what makes the prelude unwelcome.
Another issue, is the infamous sex scene. Sorry if it is a spoiler but it is a part of the story that I can’t review this film without mentioning. If I simply said there is a sex scene, then it would still be pretty easy to figure out which characters I am referring to. Although I am not personally a fan of a Batman/Batgirl relationship, I know it exists in some of the comics. What annoys me most about the sex scene isn’t the fact that a relationship I like to think of as father-daughter is changed; I just hated the fact that it was precipitated by a slap-slap-kiss trope. I didn’t even know that this was a trope until a year ago, but seeing it time after time led me to believe that other people must have noticed how often it pops up in romantic situations. Two people are fighting; they often start pushing or come to blows. Then they suddenly stop, stare into each other’s eyes, and kiss. It is hack writing at its best.
With that said, the rest of The Killing Joke is much better. Firstly, we have a better villain. Mark Hamill plays The Prince of Crime, and also plays The Joker in flashbacks that reveal how he became The Joker. The graphic novel is famous partly for introducing a tragic Joker origin story and the transformation from Jack Napier to the Prince of Crime is one of the film’s most haunting.
The Joker’s actions in this film make you hate him, but you also can’t deny his charisma and his skills as a wordsmith. I enjoyed John DiMaggio as The Joker in Under the Red Hood but it is great to have Hamill back for this role, alongside Kevin Conroy. One of my favourite parts of the film is a Batman monologue near the beginning. While Conroy is famous for portraying Batman’s menace, his ability to convey the character’s (often hidden) warmth was also a treat to watch.
Joker’s kidnapping of Barbara is the central crux of the story, and the scene is a tough one to watch. The animation, the music (or lack thereof) and the voice acting make it one of my favourite scenes among all the DC animated films. Hamill brings a blend of menace and humour to the role, while navigating his way through one of the most pivotal moments in Batman’s history.
The kidnapping also represents a high-point in the film, which is followed by the final showdown between Batman and The Joker. From what I remember, the kidnapping of Commissioner Gordon was more enthralling in the graphic novel. Here, the voice acting from Gordon and Joker’s gang of freaks brought this section of the film down.
Overall, I enjoyed The Killing Joke. However, the faults I’ve mentioned prevent it from being among the top-tier of the DCUAOM films. As it stands, it is a decent entry that had a lot of potential.
It keeps slipping through my fingers,
An hour wasted in the black hole of YouTube,
Or maybe Instagram,
The 40 hours spent in an office I want to escape,
Leaving feeling drained,
Promising myself I will do more when I get home,
Or on a free day,
Then only taking the time to relax,
Which makes me feel guilty,
So I try to work,
When I don’t want to,
Wasting more time,
Neither relaxing or working,
This is the cycle I’m stuck in,
That needs to be broken,
For me to become the best I can be
My latest post for comicommand is available on the site and copied below. After reading Garth Ennis’s Preacher I was eager to check out some of his other work, but was worried that other works would disappoint in comparison. However, I am loving The Boys just as much as Preacher.
Written By Cadeem Lalor
After reading Preacher, I was eager to check out Garth Ennis’s other work. I heard mixed reviews about The Boys, but after reading 40 issues, I can safely say that I’m loving the series. The Boys takes place in a world where the greatest superheroes are morally corrupted celebrities. The elite teams have corporate backing and become increasingly disconnected with normal humans, which also results in the careless loss of human life during their conflicts with supervillains.
The Boys is the nickname for a CIA squad that is responsible for keeping the heroes in line through intimidation or violence if need be. While I love the characters, one of my favourite things about the series is its depiction of superheroes. There aren’t many supervillains in the universe, since many super-powered people elect for an easier life as public idols. If a hero becomes popular enough through his conquests or sales of his own comic book, he gets to join an elite team, such as The Seven (a twisted version of The Justice League). With elite status, comes corporate funding, public appearances and full-blown celebrity status.
Deciding to be a hero doesn’t mean that these figures are actually the good guys. Billy the Butcher, the leader of The Boys, knows firsthand that they view regular people as toys. When Malchemical, one of the most deadly heroes, is relegated to the C-List Superduper group, he lashes out after their leader submits a complaint about him. The concepts of consequences or judgment are foreign to him and he believes that yelling “I’m a superhero” frees him of all wrongdoing. When Malchemical continues to be ostracized by the group he attacks its leader and attempts to rape two of its members. Billy also knows that this is regular behavior for Malchemical. Numerous other incidents in the comics also show other abuses of power from other characters, whether it is rape or attempted murder. The Seven, for the most part, are a group of frat boys high on their own power.
Recent films like Man of Steel have been criticized for their depiction of the destruction that transpires when super-powered beings fight one another. I never jumped on this bandwagon since some level of damage seems inevitable and because the damage often becomes a plot point in future films, just like Superman’s fight with Zod plays a central role in BatmanvSuperman, or how the destruction in Avengers 1 and 2 leads to Civil War. The Boys starts off with a civilian being killed during a fight between a villain and A-Train, a member of The Seven. The difference here is A-Train’s lack of empathy. He realizes what he has done, but quickly leaves since the paramedics can take care of everything else. Later, he also attempts to rape The Seven’s newest number, Starlight.
Some might see the moral depravity of The Seven as a caricature, but the heroes are no different than politicians, judges, police officers, athletes, musicians etc, who get caught up in scandal after scandal. A sense of invincibility (literally in the case of the heroes) can lead to a lack of restraint and can corrupt people who may have started their pursuit with noble intentions. For every superhero who is morally pure, similar to our typical image of Superman, there are ten who are simply in the business for the money and adoration. Values like justice mean very little and are simply useful platitudes that the heroes use to justify their presence. The Boys is a depressing look at a society filled with superheroes, but it may be the most realistic.
I’ll be doing a review of Preacher for comicommand, which should be up on the site early next week. I am currently reading The Boys and will be writing a piece on that next week as well. I found 100 Bullets to be somewhat overrated but I loved Preacher and I am also loving The Boys so far. With that prelude, I present a poetry piece for you all, which is inspired by an earlier post on my @wmoviegrapevine (instagram).
The next blog post will be on Monday. Have a great weekend.
My legs were burning almost as much as my lungs,
I couldn’t hear it behind me anymore,
Yet I knew it was still there,
I could feel its eyes watching me,
I could only see trees,
Dark towers illuminated by the moonlight,
Dry leaves shuffled under my feet,
A tell-tale sound that would give me away,
I moved on my toes,
Hiding behind the nearest tree,
If I couldn’t see it,
It had to be far behind,
It would give itself away as it made its way closer to me,
When it got close enough,
I would slip away in another direction,
I tried to steady my breath,
One minute passed, maybe two
My legs were still sore,
My breathing was slowing down,
My lungs and heart were relaxed once more,
Until I heard dry leaves behind me,
Less than fifty feet away,
It didn’t make sense,
I should have heard the steps sooner,
I looked to my left,
Barely holding back a scream as I saw a paw land on the grass beside me.
This piece will conclude the Alive series. I have finished a draft of The Visitor, and plan to start editing it in two weeks. I want to let it sit for a little while so I can return to it with fresh(er) eyes.
The six-foot thick sheet of glass fell to the ground,
The scientists already vacated the room,
But their scents lingered,
Forming a trail that I could easily follow,
There was a door on the left side,
I knew I couldn’t fit through it,
With one slap I tore down the brick wall around it,
Showering the ground with tiles and revealing a hallway that led to the surface,
I could see the scientists now,
Running as fast as their legs would carry them,
They were about fifty feet ahead of me,
While a line of armed soldiers were less than ten feet away,
I screamed as a barrage of bullets hit me,
With the scream coming out as a growl,
Bullets pierced my chest, arms, legs,
I fell to the ground,
Knowing what the soldiers would do next,
They kept shooting for a few seconds,
More bullets hit my skull,
Grazing the skin but failing to break through the thick bone,
I barely refrained from smiling as I heard the click of empty magazines,
My body was already expelling the bullets,
Slowly pushing them out to make way for new muscle,
The pain would persist for several hours,
My mind would block it out,
My body was ready,
I leapt off the ground,
Swinging my right arm in an arc,
My claws severed necks,
Five soldiers dead,
One more problem to take care of,
I waited a few more seconds,
I could feel some of the bullet holes were healed,
There were just a few more to go now,
One bullet was still being dislodged from my left knee,
Tearing through nerves and veins as it made its way out,
I heard it hit the ground,
Then I could feel my muscles stretching to sew up the hole,
I planted my legs beneath me,
Feeling their strength,
Knowing that I was ready,
I pushed off,
Sailing over the soldier’s bodies,
The gap between the scientists and I continued to dwindle,
I could only make out grey figures with my eyes,
But my nose and hearing showed me more,
Their coats flapping,
The rhythm of their steps,
Sweat on their skin,
The scent of food on their tongues,
With ten leaps,
There was food on my tongue,
I tore through the first scientist’s shoulder,
My teeth collided with one another,
Rattling my jaw,
Compressing bone and flesh,
The man’s scream was almost deafening to my ears,
So I brought my right paw onto his head to silence him,
I felt his skull flex under the weight before it stretched and crushed his brain,
As I raised my paw,
His head was a single splatter on the metal floor beneath me,
Three more to go,
They were all running at a similar pace,
Separated by only a few feet,
One swing of my right arm,
Two more carcasses,
I wanted to take my time with the last one,
He was the mastermind behind my imprisonment,
I wanted him to stare into Frankenstein’s eyes before he died,
Two more leaps,
A claw tore through his Achilles tendons,
Sending him crashing to the ground,
I heard screams again,
So loud, so grating,
Worse than gunfire,
The mastermind kept moving forward,
Trying to crawl to safety,
I slid a paw underneath his chest,
Lifted my arm to effortlessly flip him onto his back,
He saw me now,
Five hundred pounds of fur-coated muscle,
The scent of urine became more pungent,
The screams died down to a whimper,
Tears mixed with sweat,
Forming a tapestry that I found deeply satisfying,
Not because of the smell itself,
But what it signified,
The mastermind now realized that I was not his pet,
I was his damnation,
My teeth tore through his face,
Penetrating his eyes, mouth and skull,
As I pulled my teeth away,
I could only make out a severed neck beneath me,
A macabre fountain that was decorating the ground with coppery blood,
The scientists picked this area because it was remote,
Now that would be their undoing,
The sun wouldn’t come up for eight more hours,
My new body would carry me far away by then,
My review of 100 Bullets is up on comicommand and is also pasted below. I am nearly finished Preacher now and like it a lot more than 100 Bullets so I’ll probably do a review later this week.
Written By Cadeem Lalor
I did an earlier article after reading the first volume of 100 Bullets. 80 issues later, the series is completed and I want to share my thoughts on it.
As The Commander said in his last article, the artwork can either elevate the story, or the story can elevate the art. In the case of 100 Bullets, the story definitely elevates the art. Making the switch from superhero comics to others can be jarring, mostly in terms of the artwork. However, the artwork for 100 Bullets still pales in comparison to ones like The Walking Dead and Y: The Last Man or Preacher. The covers are well done, as well as some panels, but overall the illustrations made it difficult to get into the first issue since their quality actually became distracting. Once I got through more of the story, I was able to tune out the artwork and appreciate the comics more.
The story starts off with separate subplots, all featuring the enigmatic Agent Graves, who offers people an attaché containing a gun with 100 bullets of untraceable ammunition. The gun is meant to be their weapon of choice against the people who ruined their lives, and the attaché also includes proof of their enemies’ wrongdoing.
The various storylines and figures eventually mesh into a single story about an organization known as The Trust. Graves is a former agent of The Minutemen, a group of enforcers that the Trust disbanded, and he seeks to reinstate the Minutemen by eliminating their former bosses. For the most part, Brian Azzarello does a great job of linking each character and subplot to the main one. However, I could not help but notice that there were some storylines that were never mentioned again. It is implied that all the attaches were given with the purpose of reactivating the minutemen, who were basically brainwashed to forget their past lives. Yet there are some characters that are given attaches and never seen or referenced again.
I previously mentioned the issue of the dialogue overusing slang at times. This issue continues throughout all 100 issues and did drag the experience down a bit. Just about every minority character talks like their words were put through an Ebonics translator and it goes past being immersive or reflective of a certain area, and becomes completely distracting.
100 Bullets features very few “heroes”. For the most part, the character’s morals are different shades of grey. It takes a great writer to make us care about any of them, let alone to make a reader root for most of the characters. Issue by issue, I find myself supporting one character’s actions, and then supporting another character’s actions that could undo theirs… This cycle continues and culminates in an action-packed and bloody finale. One of my biggest gripes was that this action packed finale ends rather abruptly. We go from a violent bloodbath to a few lines of dialogue that are meant to reveal more about a character’s motives, before ending with a cliffhanger.
At the end of it all, Graves’s backstory is still shrouded in mystery. I don’t need everything spelled out but this was a case where just a few more lines sprinkled across a few issues could have led to a more fulfilling end. Since Graves plays such a central role in the story, the lack of more backstory for him makes the entire series somewhat hollow. One figure has played a huge role in leading to all of these events, but we don’t get a proper look at what truly drives him.
Overall, 100 Bullets was a great read and I will likely be going back to re-read certain issues. I knew it was an Eisner winner before I started reading and perhaps that got my hopes too high. I know there are many Azzarello fans that would heartily disagree with me.
Likely won’t be posting again until Monday so I thought I would wrap up this week with some updates.
Firstly, analytics are now installed and they reveal that my instagram accounts and other social media have barely helped to increase readership. I got caught in the trap of assuming that vanity metrics (followers, retweets etc.) equaled engagement. If you are a reader or a user who has joined through social media, it is much appreciated.
There are times when I have tweeted a link to an article and assumed that everyone who liked the post must have read it. Checking the amount of “link clicks” then makes it clear that some people just liked the tweet and ignored the link. Maybe a certain word caught their attention. I had one post that criticized girls who “like hockey players“. It seems like a bunch of girls just saw the words “hockey players” and thought “I like hockey players!” before liking the tweet.
Although my dream is to make a living writing full-time my more practical career goal is to become involved in public relations. PR emphasizes the importance of social media for increasing visits to a website and increased engagement. Although there are many successful examples of this, it appears that I need to take my own website as an object lesson of a social media campaign that has yielded poor results. I’m going to have to look into the steps I need to take to convert more twitter followers and Instagram users into readers of the website. It is great to have an audience on other platforms, but my original goal was to create one large audience instead of multiple, splintered ones.
On to less depressing material… I finished reading 100 Bullets and will be writing a short review for comicommand over the weekend. I am currently reading Preacher and the first five issues already have me hooked. I might check out the tv show afterwards.
For those reading this, have a great weekend.
In my previous post, I discussed my intention to try to get published through poetry or short stories so that I have more credentials to my name before I try to get my books (Elseworld and The Visitor) published again.
I am thinking that I might turn the Alive series into a short story and then try to submit that to contests or magazines. The title comes from a Kid Cudi song that focuses on a metaphorical nighttime transformation into a beast. Lyrics such as “everytime, the moon shines I become alive” also allude to a werewolf transformation and I knew that I wanted that title before I finished the first part.
Below is part IV, which will be followed by the conclusion in Part V.
But nothing could stop me from hearing breathing and feet shuffling in the next room,
The rapid, panicked breathing gave way to speech,
Plans to subdue me, use me,
They thought they were in control,
I volunteered for this,
Knowing I would be closer to the people in power,
I would get to sever the head from the beast,
Before I made my escape,
I could smell traces of urine now,
I could smell bullets too,
The scent stuck with me from the time when ten of them were embedded in my flesh,
It didn’t kill me, but it still hurt,
There was a one-way mirror blocking me from the scientists,
I walked over, with my longer legs carrying me there in two steps,
I took a deep breath, feeling my enlarged lungs burn as I inhaled,
The speech from the other end became louder,
Everyone was being assured that I couldn’t break through,
I smiled, bearing my teeth for the audience on the other end,
I could barely see them reflected in the glass,
White, foot-long daggers that could tear through flesh like butter,
I raised my right hand,
I didn’t clench since it would cause my claws to bury themselves in my palm,
With my feet planted,
I brought my right hand down on the glass,
I knew it must be bulletproof,
I could feel how dense the glass was,
The leaders took precautions with me,
But not enough,
I started to push,
Driving from my legs,
Feeling the sheet of glass slowly begin to slide out of its frame,
There was plenty of strength to spare,
But I wasn’t in a rush,
No head start could save the leaders from me,
There were more words now,
Escape plans, prayers,
They wanted the beast,
Now he was knocking at their front door.
As I stated in my last post, a rough draft of my novella is now completed. I want to take time away from it for at least a week before I go back and start editing it thoroughly. I am then aiming to have a polished version ready by December so that I can begin submitting queries for it. It is more difficult to find agents that accept novellas but I will try to go through agents first and if I do not have any luck with that I may try to submit parts of the novella into short story contests.
Another idea I have been considering is creating short stories that I can submit to contests. Being able to win one, or at least be a finalist could help to gain some exposure and get me closer to officially being published. It will be easier to get a book published if I have some other credits to my name. I am currently reading Stephen King’s short story collection, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, and it has motivated me to pursue writing short stories as well.
I am still awaiting some responses about Elseworld and if I still fail to get an agent there I may need to seriously consider rewriting it. I can always post the full story to the blog, in pieces, like Andy Weir did for The Martian and hope it catches on. However, the odds of that happening are very slim, especially since my average blog post currently gets less than ten views. The whole point of posting the story is to hope that my audience continues to grow with it, but it’s a huge gamble. If I end up posting most of the story on my website then many publishers won’t touch it at that point, since it is arguable self-published. Meanwhile I could potentially miss out on a chance to get published, in return for having very few people read my blog posts.