February 26, 2010

Like I need more webcomics to read

I do love me a good webcomic, despite the fact that I'm horrible at keeping up with them. I tend to sit down with a huge cup of coffee and snacks and spend a few hours catching up once or twice a month.

One I'm looking forward to reading is My Sister the Freak. Taken from the site, "My Sister, the Freak is an all ages sci-fi story about two sisters learning to deal with life, family, and alien invaders. It launches in two weeks! The artist, Dani Jones, does wonderful illustrations. You can take a quick glance at her art and just know that the comic is going to be awesome.

Want to learn more?
Check out this Facebook note on the fan page introducing the characters. Then head over to Ustream to watch how she colors the pages for the webcomic:


Even cooler? She draws and paints live every Tuesday-Friday morning on Ustream.

February 24, 2010

Meeting Felicia Day & Dr. Horrible Screening

The Guild and Dr Horrible Screening

When I made plans to go to the charity screening of The Guild and Dr. Horrible back in October (put on by Whedonpolis, I had no idea Felicia Day would be there. Much less that I would get to meet her while in an approximation of Penny costume. I went out to get a soda and noticed that she had just arrived. ome people were hanging about, and it looked like she might take some photos so I stood by a girl dressed as Codex and waited. She was really sweet. She asked some media company with a camera to please hold on so she could take some photos. She liked my Penny costume, she said it was very vibrant and very super hero Penny. My camera battery was almost dead, so even though other people were waiting she said I should check to make sure I got the photo. So nice of her! And in case you read this, thank you girl from SciFi TV Zone that helped me get up there and took my photo with her.

The screening, by the way, rocked. We got swag bags, and I saw great costumes. One girl had a really awesome Codex outfit, Bad Horse posse, Dr. Horrible, and lots of groupies (I was the only Penny that I saw).

The Guild and Dr Horrible Screening

The screening was of course close-captioned, but I'm guessing most of the audience didn't that. We sang-a-long, but most of us just spoke a long with all the lines too. I can't tell you how cool it was to hear almost 400 or so people nail every word of the opening verse of a "A Brand New Day." A lot of people had perfect timing with the poppers during "Slipping" too. We sang loud, we did evil laughs and terrifying death whinnies, we remarked on Penny's death scene shoes and I at least said "depressing shot" at the end. I had such a blast and got to support charity at the same time. Double win. Oh, and I also actully won a raffle prize - a signed Guild poster. Yay! Looking forward to next year's screening.

February 23, 2010

Long Beach Comic Expo

Don't be mad San Diego Comic Con, I had to attend another comic convention some day.  It was just a matter of time.  I still love you.  I'm just broadening my horizons.  Or something.
So on that note, I headed to the Long Beach Comic Expo last Saturday.  The actual Long Beach Comic Con is the last weekend in October, but this one day event will get you through until then.  This event will always be special to me because you see, I'm mostly new to comic books.  I've devoured graphic novels for a few years now, but comics are a new field for me.  And book shelves are already feeling the weight of my adoration for them.  I was looking forward to digging through some boxes, scoring some Star Wars collections, and my favorite thing of these kind of events - meeting new artists and finding gems.

It didn't disappoint.  I browsed a few of the larger comic book and graphic novel vendor tables first.  I ended up with a few 40% off books from Pulp Fiction and Comic Madness.  All Star Wars in case you wondered, Knights of the Old Republic and Tales of the Jedi.  I talked to the local chapter of the Rebel Legion.  They were incredibly nice and generous with their time.  If I ever get my Twi'lek costume together, I know where to go.

As if by happy fate, the two tables closest to the 501st and Rebel Legions turned up my favorite expo finds.  Where you find Star Wars, happiness follows.  This might be my new mantra.  First, I discovered Wondermark from David Malki.  How I have been ignorant of these clever comic strips so long is a mystery to me.  Click the link, check them out.  I won't be offended if you don't come back.  I purchased Clever Tricks to Stave Off Death, and I admired the Hierarchy of Beards poster. 

I took a couple more steps and a volume called the Outlaw Territory caught my eye.  You see, I've been watching Deadwood for the first time, and it seemed fortuitous that I should find a collection of comics about the Old West.  As if it couldn't be better, it features works by several artists.  I get to meet even more new styles that way, so I try to get compilations whenever I can.  Contributor Christian Beranek signed my copy, and hopefully, I'll run into him at another con so I can talk to him a little more.  By this time, mid-afternoon, the ballroom was getting crowded.  I took another spin around, snapped a few pictures, and left with my loot.  I think this is just a small taste of the weekend convention in October, and I am really looking forward to it.

February 22, 2010

Nerdy Photo Monday - So Spiderman, Captain America, & Superman are at a convention...

Long Beach Comic Expo

Some scenes are really just too perfect. I was just about to leave the Long Beach Comic Expo, but I decided no, one more walk about. I should go the other direction, look at things a different angle, and lighten my wallet a little more. I turned around from buying a new graphic novel, and I was looking at Captain America's feet. These things happen when you're at comic conventions, expos, and the like. They had a crowd of folks around, so I just snapped a few pics over someone's shoulder. What a trio. I hope they went out for a drink dressed like this after the con.

Full report on the con tomorrow.

February 17, 2010

True Geek Confessions

Today is True Geek Confessions Day.

The Background: Unpopular opinions: we all have them. Sometimes you stand alone in loving a super niche-y run of a popular comic book series. Sometimes you’re the only person on the entire planet to ’ship a certain ’ship. Sometimes you simply Do Not Get a movie the rest of your geeky brethren is falling all over themselves about. And because a lot of fandom is about sharing loves and hates and communing with your fellow geeks, this can feel awfully lonely. But perhaps if we confess our most unpopular opinions for all the internet to see…well, we’ll feel just a little bit better.

I need to get a few confessions off my chest.

1. I really don't like Padme Amidala. Neither Natalie Portman's hotness nor the overall awesomeness of Clone Wars could change this for me. I know she is supposed to be a strong female character who is brave, powerful, and smart. And she may be those things. But first of all, she tolerates and is apparently friends with Jar-Jar. Immediate points lost there. Really? What kind of person would do that willingly? I think they wanted to make a character to match the fierce and spunk of Leia's spirit, but got mixed up somewhere along the way and ended up with a character torn between gooey misguided feelings and trying to be a wise senator. Some poor dialogue is definitely to blame, but for me, it can't be laid entirely at the feet of poor writing. She has potential I think, but you know, she dies.

2. I like the Tom Bombadil part of Fellowship of the Ring.  Yep, it's wacky.  No, it doesn't make a ton of sense given the surrounding storyline.  Still, it fits in an odd way.  He's mysterious and magical, and interesting enough for Gandalf to mention him.  I would have loved to see him included in the films, even if only in the extended edition.

3. I used to watch and enjoy Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills.  I would get up early before HIGH school just so I could watch it.  I blamed this on my little sister of course.  The tattooed teens were chosen to fight the evil Emperor Gorganus.  They are summoned by glowing tattoos on their forearms.  Just watch a few seconds of the opening credits, and you will see why I have never told anyone about this.

More geek confessions in this post over at AlertNerd.

February 16, 2010

Chop Sabers

You know you want them. I found these gems at Think Geek. I of course, ordered a pair for all my fellow Star Wars buddies. I was concerned about them being slippery plastic, but they are full functional. I might make lightsaber noises as I scoop up my orange chicken. Maybe just every other bite.

Curse Your Sudden but Inevitable Betrayal

When I saw this shirt, I couldn't think of a more perfect Valentine's Day gift for the boyfriend. When my size is back in stock, I'm getting one too. We probably will not wear them on the same day. ;) Order Serenity Inevitable Betrayal T-Shirt from Entertainment Earth!

February 15, 2010

Nerdy Photo Monday - Pirate Birthday Party

Pirate Party

Sometime's you just need to have a pirate party.

This summer we turned our backyard into a pirate tavern. We built a bar, we hung rigging, we put up dozens of lanterns. Inside, there was a treasure pile. We served rum punch, rum, meat pies, sausage on a stick, and lots of bread. We played sea shanties, and everyone had to come in costume. We even re-created the redhead pirate painting from the Pirates of the Caribbean (A Portrait of Things to Come by Marc Davis).

More photos of the party here.

We drank a lot of this:
Pineapple Rum Punch
1 28oz can pineapple juice
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup lime juice
5 cups white rum

Mix ingredients in a large bowl or jug. Stir really well until the sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate overnight. Drink up me hearties!

February 11, 2010

Number Six Costume

Amy Number6

I like costumes, and I am getting better and better at putting them together. I have enough pieces now to easily dress up as someone different for every day of a week long convention. Though I can cobble things together, I barely know how to even turn a sewing machine on. So when I wanted to dress up like Number Six from my beloved Battlestar Galactica, I turned to a professional. I sent Tonya Gergely of Mia La an email to see what we could do. Then I dug up promotional photos and screenshots of the red dress. I sent her the reference photos, gave her my measurements, and provided a sturdy strapless bra, and got back a beautiful dress that is unbelievably close to the real thing. I've received so much positive feedback for it, that she now lists the dress as a regularly available costume (along with a Slave Leia and a kicking Wonder Woman). For the final touch, my boyfriend and I sculpted the ring and bracelet from two part epoxy and painted them silver. I think the only part I'm missing, besides being a Tricia Helfer lookalike, is a better wig.

I had the best moment while wearing this dress to Comic-Con in 2008. As I was finding a seat for a crowded panel, I hear a small voice say "Love your dress." I turned and saw a girl in a beautiful Kaylee ruffle dress from Firefly's "Shindig." I squee'd and whispered back how much I adored her dress.

I love conventions.

Little Ninjai

Ninjai - The Little Ninja

From the site: Ninjai, The Little Ninja is our online action/adventure series. We invite you to join Ninjai on his exciting, enlightening and sometimes humorous journey as he travels throughout the Ancient World.

For some reason, the other night I remembered to check up on news of the Little Ninjai. This is a little internet fun that I have followed since it began.  As many others did, I became frustrated with the long wait between chapters and lack of inactivity and fell out of touch with it. I will give them some slack.  I guess.  ;) The designers are not paid, and in the beginning, Ninjai's popularity spiked and drained their web space, etc.  The latest news as of January 2010 is that they are expecting to complete their first Ninjai feature for theatrical release, Ninjai, the Little Ninja.

So far, it's a charming and often funny series about a little ninja trying to find his path and learn about his past. The story is clever if sometimes non-sensical. The characters are always quirky and memorable (look out for the adorable bird!). The voices of the entire cast are great, especially Ninjai. Let me not forget the visuals. Though every character but Ninjai is a bit cartoony for me, the landscapes and backgrounds are often breathtaking and keenly detailed. And the music is original and enjoyable. It's unique, fun, and entertaining. If you have a few minutes, at least visit the site and watch the first chapter. The chapters are short, usually just a few minutes, so the story doesn't get very far. The creators have been teasing with about the movie idea for a while.  I'm not holding my breath.

Slight warning: this series is not for children. There is often blood and strong language.  But really, still charming.

Here is the first chapter. The quality of this recording from YouTube isn't great; I highly recommend visiting the website to view them (it is free); I just can't post those here. This at least will give you a taste of it.

February 10, 2010

Nerdy Photo Monday - Two Jack Sparrows

SoCal Renfaire 2009_72

Don't stress, it's really not still Monday. This just didn't post like I ordered it to.

Is loving renaissance faires and the like a nerdy thing? I'm sure there are hot debates about it, peppered with fierce emotions about the SCA. I feel like it is definitely on the border. I'm not a SCA member, and I don't dress in a historically accurate fashion. But I still love attending faires for the costumes (I do, of course, dress up), the entertainment, the amazing people and crazy knowledgeable vendors, and the food.

At the Southern California Renaissance Pleasure Faire last year, there were a plethora of Jack Sparrows. I couldn't resist this shot of two of them standing side by side watching the Queen's parade go by.

February 3, 2010

Book Reviews - After Halloween & Caught Creatures by Daniel M. Davis

Caught Creatures - Daniel M. Davis

Brought to you by the wonderful imagination and talent of monsterologist, illustrator, and self publisher Daniel M. Davis is this treasure - a monster haiku book! Really, what could be more perfect? This book shows all of the amazing and sometimes amusing monsters that he has trapped and stuck in his steam castle.

The illustrations are delightful. All 48 pages have something eye-catching and snazzy to offer. What I appreciate most about this book, other than the fabulous creativity, is the fantastic attention to detail. I can stare at each illustration multiple times and still find something new to admire. Every touch from the monsters to their props to their keys to the light fixtures in their cells is well thought out and drawn wonderfully.

The haikus are clever and funny without being cheesy or a stretch. They really give character to the picture of the monster. Bonus, there is a how-to haiku section at the end of the books for all of those (like myself) that forget the darn syllable pattern!

This book is a great gift for that reader who has "everything."

After Halloween - Daniel M. Davis

The third book released by Steam Crow Press explains just what the monsters of Halloween do to make a living after the holiday is over. After all, they have bills to pay like the rest of us. As if this wasn't cool enough, it is also an alphabet book.

Again, I am floored by the beautiful illustrations and the witty writing style of Daniel M. Davis. Just because it is an alphabet book doesn't mean it's only for kids. The variety of monsters will delight anyone who appreciates otherworldly creatures. The illustrations are brimming with detail, vibrance, color, and wicked fun. Envisioning these tricky Halloween monsters peforming the most menial of tasks is quite amusing!

It is also good to point out that the book (as well as Caught Creatures) is sturdy. It would be very difficult for a small child to tear, chew, or otherwise maim this book. I own too many books with the cover and binding falling apart, so this is important for me to note.

Oh! Make sure you look for the letter in each illustration.

Another wonderful book published by Steam Crow Press, bravo gang!

I simply cannot say enough good things about these books. The stories and illustrations are delightful, clean, and innovative. They are great for children and adults alike. Also, the author is a SUPER nice, engaging guy. I had the pleasure of meeting he and his wife at Comic Con in 2007 and exchanging a couple of emails with the monsterologist himself when I purchased these books. Learn more and buy your own copies at Steam Crow Press!

February 1, 2010

Nerdy Photo Monday - Nightmare Before Christmas


It's always fun to see the new toys and massive models being shown off at Comic-Con. Back in 2008, they had a gorgeous diorama set of Halloweentown from Nightmare Before Christmas. This is definitely the coolest rendition of Spiral Hill I've seen, though my boyfriend did make this kick-ass version for his sister's collection.
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