December 31, 2010

Costumes of 2010

Though I've always liked making costumes for Halloween and maybe one or two for a convention, 2010 was the first year I've made/put together this many costumes.  And I loved it!  Here's my costumes from 2010; check out the links to see how I put the costumes together.

Miss Scarlett
Last March I attended a CLUE Party, and costumes were required.  That happens to be my favorite sort of party.  I chose Miss Scarlett without hesitation.  The only rule was to wear at least one thing that represented the color of your chosen character.

Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy was my costume of choice for Wizard World Anaheim.

Donning this stormtrooper armor was more just playing dress up since I didn't wear it for more than 30 minutes (and yes, the legs are on backwards - I'm learning), but I think it counts!

Han Solo
Dressing up like the smarmy smuggler, Han Solo was my favorite and most comfortable cosplay of 2010.  Putting on Solo pants for San Diego Comic-Con gave me a little extra confidence.

I've always loved the black corset gown Padmé wears in Attack of the Clones.  This wasn't so comfortable, but I loved the end result.  I wore this on day three of San Diego Comic-Con.

Indiana Jones
For Long Beach Comic Con, I quickly decided that a femme Indiana Jones was just the ticket.  This one also succeeded at comfort, and I received compliments all day long.

Hogwarts student, House Ravenclaw
I simply had to go in costume to opening night of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows as a Ravenclaw student.

The plan for 2011 is a lot more ambitious (or crazy).  I plan to make some higher quality costumes and improve upon some of these.

December 30, 2010

Quickie Reviews: Illyria #2, Artifacts #4, Black Axe #1, & Victorian Undead #2

Illyria Haunted #2
Written by Scott Tipton and Mariah Huehner
Art by Elena Casagrande

This comic continues to impress the socks right off me. It's like I'm watching episodes of Angel that should have been. We jump back into the story with a heart to heart between Illyria and Spike. They have some common ground, but Tipton and Huehner have taken that and shaped it into wonderful chemistry. No, not that kind of chemistry. Spike is helping her learn about being human and helping her find her purpose. He's like a mentor. He takes her to see an old pal of his, Frellian Demon Sally because she can help Illyria in her search. There is a little action in this book, but it's mostly about the character development. And everyone makes huge strides. You also get to meet the cutest demon that ever was.

The essence of everything I loved about these characters on screen is right there in the comic plus new and wonderful facets. I really can't say enough good things about the writing and art in this series. Go buy it, go buy it now!

Mouse Guard: The Black Axe #1
Written & Illustrated by David Petersen

I am happy to see the release of a new Mouse Guard series. I've enjoyed the stories and Petersen's illustration style since Mouse Guard: Fall 1152. In the first issue (actually a prequel to the book), Celanwe, a member of the Mouse Guard, embarks on a new journey. He was set to return to citadel, but he is surprised by a visit from an elderly female mouse. She tells him they must find the Black Axe. And so a new tale in Petersen's world begins. The world is beautiful. Each panel is a piece of art. The colors, the palette, the textures – the world is fully realized and I want to visit. You will be touched by some of the scenes and excited by others. There is no lack of action. I am excited to go with Celanwe on this quest. I think this story is perfect for children and anyone who likes legends and fantasy.

My only eensy caveat is: I like the font because it matches the style of the comic. It can be a little taxing on your eyes though.

Artifacts #4
Top Cow
Written by Ron Martz
Pencils by Michael Broussard

“The Magdalena stabbed me with the spear of destiny. Of course it hurts.”
Yes, that sentence is one reason why Artifacts is wonderful.
The tale of the thirteen bearers keeps twisting and turning in the latest edition of Artifacts. The fast paced story is already at the end of the first chapter. The bearers have chosen the side they will fight for. All but the thirteenth bearer has come into play. The dark side still has Sara and Jackie's daughter, Hope. She obviously plays a big part in what's ahead, and Aphrodite IV seems intent on keeping her safe. This giant crossover event is woven together tightly. Even with the small things you learn in this issue, mystery prevails. As ever, the character design and art is fantastic. There are two pages at the end with the dark and light sides on opposing pages that kept me staring for minutes. Then I had to go back to look again.

I'm thankful that they include a page that sums up what happened in the last issue. It's a tangled storyline, and I think it's almost necessary (of course, I'm forgetful so I might be a bit biased). I also love the Artifact origin stories in each issue; this time it's the riveting tale of the Blood Sword.

Victorian Undead: Sherlock Holmes vs Dracula #2
Written by Ian Edginton
Art by Davide Fabbri

Take a great story, add wonderful art, and then mix in Sherlocke Holmes, Dr. Watson, Dracula, a plague, and Van Helsing. Yes, Virginia, it is the perfect recipe for a fantastic and fun comic. Issue 2 of the Holmes vs. Dracula story brings us closer to Dracula's ultimate plan. He is creating a small (and creepy) army of mind-controlled servants to feed him and protect him. Holmes and Watson discover his hideout and try to put an end to his plotting and undead life. Cue Van Helsing. I don't want to give away the details, but I will say that I am highly entertained by the pulp adventure aspect of this series.

December 29, 2010

Review: Deadly Hands of Shon-Ju

The Deadly Hands of Shon-Ju. Writer, Jeremy Barlow (Star Wars) is the fifth installment in a series of Clone Wars mini graphic novels.  As you might have guessed from the cover, the story centers on Jedi Aayla Secura.  She is sent on a covert mission to bring a war profiteer and all around bad guy, Atuma Duum, to justice.  The enemy learns of her plan though, and her small clone escort is wiped out.  She only escapes capture and death because of the help of a mysterious stranger. 

The stranger is a former Temple trainee, but after being told he wasn't suited for Jedi ways, Shon-Ju left Coruscant.  He started his own school.  He trains other Force misfits.  Aayla is surprised and sure she can help him see the benefits of finishing his training.  They put aside their differences on the subject to go after Duum together and complete Aayla's mission.

I picked up this book as soon as I saw the cover at my local comic book shop.  Aayla Secura is my favorite Jedi.  This story doesn't disappoint.  Writer Jeremy Barlow definitely captures the character.  Aayla struggles through a range of emotions as a result of her dark times on Kiffex.  Just as she is straightening herself out, Shon-Ju and his actions make her question her decisions and motives.  A lot of character development happens for her in the 76 page book.  There is plenty of action to keep the pages moving too.  Fights, explosions, chases, and some interesting Force training fill the pages.  By the end of the book, you see two new possible threats to the Republic.

You might recognize Brian Koschak's art from other Clone Wars trades.  He creates really expressive characters, and though the style is a little different than I'm used to from the Star Wars comics I've read, I like it.  It has a slight touch of cartoony, but I think that works.  Especially when you consider the younger demographic the book is going after.  I particularly like the detail in the backgrounds; the design of the indoor sets is just beautiful.

If you like the Clone Wars, think about picking it up.  If you have an affinity for Aayla Secura, don't hesitate to buy it! She kinda rocks.

The Jayne Hat Phenomenon

My favorite part of the Firefly episode The Message is when Jayne opens the package from Ma Cobb.  You just don't picture tough guy Jayne as the type to be excited by a package and letter from his ma.  He is obviously happy to get his handmade cunning hat though.  The general Browncoat fandom was happy about the hat too.  It didn't take long for reproductions to appear at conventions.  You'd see an occasional red, yellow, and orange head while wading through the convention floor.  Then vendors offered them for sale in varying degrees of accuracy.  And now you can purchase the hat or patterns all over the internet.  I even saw a Jayne hat at Disneyland last month.  Disneyland!

I love that geek culture has embraced something that is so utterly... bright.  The garishness adds a certain loveable quality.  If my mom knitted, I have a hunch she would design something similar.  It would probably even have sparkles.  Jayne's cunning hat means more expressing love for Serenity.  It's a symbol for geek unity. 

We have taken the colors and run with it too.  I found these Jayne hat creations on Etsy:

The Classic Cunning Hat - Start with the classic cunning hat.  It's close to the hat that appeared in the show, and it even comes with a letter from Ma Cobb.

Mini Jayne Cobb hat bun covers - This is the easiest way to add a little Jayne to your Kaylee cosplay.

Jayne Hat Coffee Cozy - This is a cute way to keep from scalding your hands on a coffee cup.  Keep in mind that Jayne would probably make fun of you for drinking a frou-frou drink from the local coffee shop.

Jayne Hat Keychain - If you put this tiny hat on one of your action figures instead of your key ring, I certainly won't make fun of you.

Do you have a Jayne hat?

December 28, 2010

Links of the Week

Here are some of my favorite links from around the interwebs in the past week!

TARDIS hat - A tutorial for making your own TARDIS knit hat!  I know nothing about knitting, but according to the comments, the instructions are decent.

Stanley Lau's amazing art - I stumbled across Stanley Lau's work thanks to a post by The Nerdy Bird (Jill Pantozzi).  He's talented, and he especially draws really wonderful females.  Dynamic poses, great expressions.  Click to read the post and then visit his Deviant Art gallery.

Burtonized Disney Princesses - These Disney princesses get a little Burton treatment from Tallest Silver.

Macabre Disney Princesses - I never tire of various interpretations of Disney princesses.  These lean more towards the zombie side, but they are equally awesome.

Star Trek themed nails - I am so taken by the patience of anyone who can paint nails like that.  My nails never get painted, not even in solid colors.  I just make messy blobs.  This person enjoys it though.  Click the link to find Harry Potter, How to Train Your Dragon, and other nail themes.

MTV Geek - 10 Best Graphic Novels of 2010 - Disclaimer: Posting this link does not necessarily mean I agree.  It's a fun read though.  They are posting lots of year end wrap up lists that are worth checking out!

Crysknife - Handmade replica of the crysknife in the Dune miniseries.

io9's Best & Worst Sci-Fi/Fantasy Films of the year - Again, I don't necessarily agree, but it's a fun read.  Actually, I can hardly make any statements on the subject considering that I saw a pathetic amount of movies in the theater this year.

December 23, 2010

7 Geeky Holiday Cards

Seeing so many wonderful geek themed holiday cards this year has already got me thinking about next year's card.  Of course, I won't acually act on any of those ideas until around December 14 of next year.  Enjoy some of my favorites and one of my designs!

HTML Christmas card - Sure, #FFFFFF might not have the same ring to it when Bing Crosby sings it out, but it's still funny.

Nintendo Christmas Card

Cthulhu Christmas Card - This is a do it yourself project.  It's adorable, and I like the Nightmare Before Christmas reference.

May You Find Everything You're Looking for This Holiday Season - This was one of my Star Wars holiday cards this year.

Dr. Who Happy Christmas - I almost want a dress inspired by the Dalek in this card.

Justice Christmas - The Justice League celebrates.  I have a hunch that Batman was singing out of tune, and that's why he looks so sad.

Make it Snow

December 21, 2010

Coffee: It's Everywhere - Even in Middle Earth!

Coffee is a necessity.  The time of day doesn't matter.  It's the preferred hot, cozy caffeinated beverage choice of many (yeah, yeah tea. Earl Grey. hot I know).  So much so, that by one name or another, coffee permeates fantasy novels and series.

Vlad Taltos series - Steven Brust
"Kragar, shut up and let me drink my klava. Then you can be funny. If you try to be funny before I've had my klava, I will probably have to kill you, and then I'll be sad." - Dragon

In Dragaera, you have options.  You can get run of the mill coffee, but you can also follow Vlad's example and drink klava.  The delectable-sounding klava starts with coffee.  You put coffee through a filter of eggshells, woodchips, and vanilla beans.  Reheat to almost boiling and then pour through a cloth to remove oils.  It's supposed to be less bitter than coffee, but it sounds like an awful lot of work.  Not that we don't go to that kind of trouble in the real world.

Dragonriders of Pern - Anne McCaffrey
"Could I have some klah?  I know I'm not making much sense, and I'm not really awake yet.  But I'm not mad or still sick and this is rather complicated." - Dragonflight

McCaffrey's put a spin on coffee too.  Klah is made from bark instead of beans though.  The bark is infused with chocolate, coffee, and cinnamon.  It's served hot in steaming mugfuls, as beverages in fantasy novels usually are.  You can find a fan recipe for klah here.

Wheel of Time series - Robert Jordan
Since "K" apparently provides the right phonetic sound, you can get your caffeine fix in Randland under the name of kaf.  It's primarily a Seanchan drink.  The dark and bitter drink is brewed from beans, and it sounds very much like espresso.  It's served in small cups without handles.  It's not to everyone's taste though; the Westlanders find it way too strong and prefer tea.

Continuing with coffee equivalents starting with "K" from books I haven't read:
Chronicles of Warlands - Elizabeth Vaughan - kavage
Lightbringer series - Brent Weeks - kopi
Dragonlance - Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman - kefre

And finally.

The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
"Some called for ale, and some for porter, and one for coffee, and all of them for cakes; so the hobbit was kept very busy for a while.  A big jug of coffee had just been set in the hearth, the seedcakes were gone, and the dwarves were starting on a round of scones..."

And yes, I had to dig - but there is even coffee in Middle Earth.  It was the drink of choice for a dwarf.  Which is somehow fitting.

December 20, 2010

Caption This: Star Wars Christmas Greeting

This holiday season, I wanted to make my own Star Wars themed Christmas cards.  Being that I can't so much draw, I decided that photography was the way to go.  I set up a mini photo studio on my dining room table and pulled out lots of Star Wars action figures and holiday accessories and played around for an hour or so.  I spent at least that much time polishing the final candidates in Photoshop.  I printed three designs, and I'll be sharing them later this week.  This picture was almost good enough.  But it needs a caption!  I'm leaving that to you guys. 

Caption this!

December 19, 2010

Geeky Links of the Week

My favorite links from around the interwebs this week!

Gingerbread TARDIS - Believe it or not, this is just one of several gingerbread TARDIS creations that can be found on the internet.  I guess that shouldn't be too surprising.

Not Your Average Silhouettes - Silhouettes are always a fun gift, but to me, these morbid designs are much cooler than just a profile.  There is a whole collection of creepy to downright horrifying.  I want most of them!

What Would Han Solo Do? - Clearly, Boba Fett wants to be just like Han!

Animation backgrounds - I can't think of a good way to describe this website.  If you enjoy animation stills, you'll like it.  It's backgrounds from all sorts of animated movies with the characters removed, and it's just really fun to see all the details.

Cthulhu pot pie - Pot pies are good.  Pot pies shaped like monsters - even better.  Even if you have no intention of making a tentacled pot pie, at least check out this this post for the pictures.

December 16, 2010

Geek Girl Calendar to Support Breast Cancer Awareness!

How about instead of purchasing another calendar with supermodels in swimsuits for 2011 you go for a calendar featuring geek girls?  Not even models pretending to be geeks but actual geeks.  Women that would happily talk about lightsabers or gaming or comics or physics and go to conventions.  The calendar is about much more than just beautiful geek girls though.  A portion of the proceeds from the calendar support breast cancer awareness.  There has been a tag on Twitter for a while now called #BoobieWed.  On Wednesdays many users across the Twitterverse change their avatar to a boob centric photo.  It's not about getting that kind of attention.  It's a reminder to give yourselves a monthly check and to remind other folks to do the same.  Breast cancer is a devastating disease that has affected so many of us - directly or otherwise. 

The amazing Natali Heuss of Uber Dork Cafe has taken #BoobieWed to the next level by creating this calendar.  I asked her a few questions about the #BoobieWed Epic Geek Girls Calendar.

How did the calendar come about?
For the past year I have been participating in #BoobieWed on Twitter. Breast cancer is a cause that has hit close to home for me. Early detection is the biggest key in surviving a diagnoses. The ladies behind #BoobieWed have created an excellent tool to remind women (and men) weekly to check themselves. In this year, I have had the backing and support of so many AMAZING women that I have met through Twitter. Gorgeous, brilliant, awesome geeky women. I had recently done a blog post about women, how we treat each other in general and the differences I have experienced amongst my geek girls. We roll different. We are geeky, but we are definitely girls too. One of those facts tends to get lost in the other at any given time. So, it hit me- a way for us geeky gals to show our girlie sides, our geeky sides and support a very important cause. :) And the calendar was born.

What was the response like from the ladies you reached out to about participating?
OMG they were amazing! Everyone jumped on board and was so excited. Everyone picked their themes and months and there wasn't a single "I wanted that!" or anything. I'm not afraid to say it was one big squishfest. I am so honored to have every single woman in this calendar, but more importantly to call them a friend. I couldn't imagine a more awesome group of women.

Do you have plans to continue the geek girl calendar tradition?  Please say yes, I can't wait to plan next year's picture.   
Absolutely!! This has been such a positive experience, I think the girls involved all had a lot of fun and it benefits an amazing cause. How could I not want to make that an annual event? Next year's goal- to get all of us together for an Epic Geek Girls Slumber Party to launch it! I see cupcakes, dishing about Han, painting nails in superhero colored themes and sniping zombies.

The chosen charities that will receive funds are the Young Survival Coalition and Feel Your Boobies.  Natali has more information on these organizations and a full list of the geek girls featured in the calendar (I might have a Star Wars themed picture in it) right here at her blog.
Are you excited to order the calendar now?  I thought so.  You can pre-order the 15 month calendar for $15 right here

December 15, 2010

Pink Raygun Post: 10 Gift Ideas for Cosplayers

Cosplayers need gifts too, you know!  Give us dye, solid color accessories, or maybe that very special corset for our Poison Ivy costume and we are happy campers.  Read my new post at Pink Raygun, 10 Gift Ideas for Cosplayers, for lots of ideas (for all budgets) for your favorite cosplayer.

December 14, 2010

Clone Wars 3.5 Preview - WOW

I saw this preview in all its beautiful, big screen glory at the Savage Opress screening last week (aw, come on - I have to rub it in a little).  I couldn't wait until the trailer was released online so I could watch it again and again.  It looks like the last half of season 3 will be an emotionally charged and powerful ride.  The action-packed minute peek is set to "Duel of the Fates."  The emphasis is action, drama, and story.  And let me repeat - wow!  We'll have plenty of eye candy to drool over.  The animation and graphics look more incredible than ever.  How do they keep raising the bar?

I can't wait until January to see this start unfolding.  Until then, I will watch this more times than is reasonable and obsess over the last scene!

In case the video link stops working, you can visit the Entertainment Weekly article with the trailer exclusive.

Party at ElecTRONica

Disney is capable of making some incredibly smart moves. One of these was to open the night club / arcade / laser light show that is ElecTRONica in California Adventures. They promote the upcoming Tron: Legacy and draw crowds into the park.  Win, win.

On weekend nights, pulsing lights and pounding music take over the otherwise sleepy Hollywood Boulevard area of the park. Visitors enter under a glowing ElecTRONica sign. You're drawn in by the Grid-like light display running across the street beneath you and up the walls of the surrounding stores. The path leads you to an all-out dance club, complete with a bar. I saw ravers, women in snug black dresses, and parents pushing strollers across the dance floor. Loud music blared across the streets. The playlist ranged from Top 40 to electronica. Cast members dressed as sirens dance on elevated platforms above the crowd. Under the glowing blue light and fog choked air, you can almost believe you are in a club. That is, until you look up and see the sign for the Monsters, Inc. ride.

Once you push past the dance floor and get your glowing Digitini martini at the End of the Line Club, you'll spot the neon sign leading you into the arcade: Flynn's. The arcade is blissfully simple. It's almost the antithesis of the way Disney usually done things. The brick walls are only adorned with a smattering of neon lights. Arcade games from the 80s line the walls and are lined up in aisles throughout the room. Asteroids, Pac-Man, Tron. You can probably find many favorite games from your past. You can even play the only coin-operated version of Space Paranoids (the only other game in Flynn's Arcade in Tron mythology) in the entire world. While you play, you get to rock out to classic 80s tunes. It's a pretty perfect way to spend a Friday night. Something else about this arcade is the antithesis of Disney: it's only 25 cents a play. You change your cash into ultra-cool Flynn's Arcade tokens. Regardless of how tempted you are by one more round of Donkey Kong, save a token, you'll want it later.

I found that ElecTRONica had three types of people – club-goers, Tron and/or arcade fans, and families that wondered what the hell they had stumbled into. All of these groups were happily spending money on Tron merchandise and booze. Whichever group you fall into, check out ElecTRONica if you can. Chalk up one for the Mouse.

ElecTRONica is open Friday-Sunday from 7:00pm to park closing. The event is scheduled through the April.

You can see more of my photos here.

December 11, 2010

Link Round Up!

My favorite geeky links from the past couple of weeks!

Five Sci-Fi Children's Books - What if some of our sci-fi favorites were made into children's book? I really wish some of these would actually happen!

Star Wars / Where the Wild Things Are mash-up - Artist James Hance is the genius that gave us Wookiee the Chew and lots of other fantastic, cheerful art.  One of his latest illustrations combines two amazing things from childhood.  Check out the rest of the photo album too!

Minimalist Dr. Who illustrations - Find the representation of your favorite Doctor in this very cool series by Alex Freeman.  You can buy prints of these!  He has added doctors 7-11 now too

Union of Superlative Heroes - I can't write it better, so I'm just taking this from the artist's site: "Imagining a parallel universe in which superheroes inhabit a Steampunk Victorian world, the Union of Superlative Heroes is a collection of characters from a variety of countries, each with their own unique abilities or mutations. Twenty cards in all, this set profiles such epic figures as Marquis Le Bat, Stupendous Man, Empress Amazonia, Arachno Kid, Prince Aqueous, Lord Wolverton plus fourteen more. Each card showcases their portrait along with a brief biography and country of origin on the reverse."

Jewelry based on DC Comics - A beautiful and flashy collection by Noir Jewelry shows off DC Comic hero style.  Superman, Wonder Woman, Catwoman, and more characters are represented.  These pieces make a statement!

Star Wars Paper Snowflakes - I admit that I do not have much talent in the paper snowflake making area.  But.  These instructions to make Boba Fett or Darth Vader themed snowflakes are very awesome.  I will be giving them a try.
Gift Ideas for the 10 Major Species of Sci-Fi Fans - Do you have a Star Trek, Dr. Who, Star Wars, etc fan on your shopping list?  This guide has you covered.  Really, it couldn't be easier.

December 9, 2010

May the Force Be With Katie

By now, I’m guessing you’ve read about Katie, the Star Wars girl. The 1st grade girl was picked on at school because she carried a Star Wars water bottle. Boys told her that it wasn’t for girls. When her mother blogged about it, the geek community (especially geek girls) rallied with hundreds of comments in response. The comments range from encouraging words to “hey, I’m an adult female and I love Star Wars” to stories about similar experiences.  Catherine Taber, the voice of Padmé Amidala in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, even chimed in. You should go read a couple pages of comments if you haven’t already; it’s heartening.  I really sympathize with Katie because the real reason she got teased is because the boys said that Star Wars is not for girls.  It's far from true. Bonnie Burton wrote a great article over at the blog listing all kinds of female Star Wars fans and the strong female characters in the universe.

When we’re impressionable Younglings, mean words can make a big difference. I was the girl who always had her nose in a book. Usually a fantasy book. I was never popular and though I didn’t exactly get bullied, I wasn’t made to feel super awesome either. I really didn’t enjoy high school. I was made to feel that keeping my more “nerdy” interests to myself was the best way to go. I got over that sometime right after high school. But it would have meant the world to me to know about the existence of so many fabulous geeky women. When I was younger, I certainly felt like the only one. The outpouring of support for Katie reached a lot of girls and kids.  Actually, adults too.  It is her story, but also ours. So many of us can relate to Katie’s experience. I’ve read so many similar tales over at the Her Universe message boards (which is a great community for geeks all ages to talk with like minded people) The geek rallying was really for all of us. We’re all there for each other, and I don’t know many groups of people that would react the way we did.  I truly believe that geeks are the best (and from my experience, especially Star Wars fans). 

Even though I am older and work with adults, I still get looks for flaunting my geekdom. The difference is that now, I don’t care what people think. I know who I am. I work in an office where casual clothing is fine, and I do wear a Star Wars t-shirt once a month. One day while wearing my favorite one, I said something about how I wish our company would do a read-a-thon rather than the triathlon or pub crawl type events we normally do. My boss said, teasing, “I don’t know, Amy, you’re wearing a Star Wars tee and talking about read-a-thons. People might think you’re a geek.” To which I proudly responded, “Well, I am one.” It amazes me that adults who care about celebrity babies still make fun of me because I care about Han Solo and comic books. We all have our own things.  And that's okay.

To show support and solidarity, tomorrow is Wear Star Wars/Share Star Wars Day. It’s easy to participate! All you have to do is wear Star Wars attire. And since it is the holiday season, Katie’s parents also ask that you donate a Star Wars toy to needy children. Be sure to put a note on it that states it’s for a girl OR boy. Actually, mine is just going to state that it is for a girl. I know that a girl out there will adore Star Wars LEGOs as much as I do!

December 8, 2010

Holiday Giveaway!

It's the holidays!  Time for presents and sharing.  I have a huge pile of fantastically geeky things that I love, but I don't have room for.  My loss, your gain.  I put together a huge and varied pile of goodies to giveaway.  I'm even including the exclusive Savage Opress poster from the Clone Wars screenings! 


 The Fabulous Items in the Giveway
  • Savage Opress poster from the LA Clone Wars screening
  • Free Comic Book Day 2010 comics - Storm Lion, GI Joe, and Doctor Solar/Magnus
  • Ahsoka Pez
  • Jack Skellington 5" figure
  • Knights of the Old Republic, Volume 2
  • Legends of the Guard #1
  • 5 random Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Imps Ears
  • Disney Star Wars collectible pin - Mickey Mouse as Luke
  • Geek Soap's Imperial logo soap
  • Luxury Lane Soap's NES Controller soap
To enter, just comment on this blog entry with a valid email address and tell me one of the items on your Christmas wishlist.

Rules & Eligibility
- I ship via UPS, so you need to be able to give me a street address, no PO Box.  I promise I won't stalk you.
- US residents only, sorry.
- Enter by Sunday, 12/12 at 11pm Pacific Standard Time.

December 7, 2010

Meeting Savage Opress - LA Clone Wars Screening Spoiler-Free Report

You know you're in the right place for a Star Wars event when you spot the glow of lightsabers from the sidewalk. The first of 11 special Clone Wars screenings took place at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles tonight. Fans started lining up before 5pm for the 7pm star-studded event that promised to reveal secrets about Sith training and introduce the newest villain, Savage Opress.

James Arnold Taylor, voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Plo Koon, set the mood for the audience by queuing up Star Wars music on his phone and placing it next to a microphone. Then he and fellow Clone Wars actors Catherine Taber, Ashley Eckstein, and Dee Bradley Baker asked trivia questions and gave away prizes. Padawans of all ages won the Star Wars Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia or the new General Grievous Spinning Lightsaber. One lucky fan won an R2-D2 edition Droid phone. Taylor spoke for a few minutes on how enjoyable it has been to be a part of the Clone Wars and watch all these new stories unfold. He then introduced Dave Filoni.

Filoni said the screenings came about because of George Lucas. After a screening for kids at the Presidio, Lucas realized how well the fans reacted to to seeing the series on the big screen.  So the team at Lucasfilm worked very fast to make these screenings for the Savage Opress story arc happen. It was well worth their efforts. Filoni also cautioned those of us who have said there has been too much politics and talking in the first 11 episodes of season 3. He promised that we'll see why and that we've been deceived.  I got the impression that he means big pieces are moving along the board.  And he pointed out that in the next 11 episodes, not one single scene takes place on the Senate floor. I heard a few subdued cheers in response to that remark.

Then it was time to meet Savage Opress. Captain Rex piped in first and asked us to turn off cell phones so we wouldn't give away our location to the Seppies. He asked the audience if they got it, and I heard a chorus of little kids reply, “Got it!” We dived right into a three episode arc that puts you right on the edge of your \seat with some of the most intense moments and fights in the Clone Wars yet. The series is truly meant for the big screen; it was stunning.  The tagline “secrets revealed” held true. I'm not going to lie, I wasn't very optmistic about that part.  I was wrong.  You get to learn the origin of Savage Opress, about his clan, and you also get a peek at where Darth Maul comes from. Opress is intimidating and makes an incredibly formidable opponent.  But just who is he opposing?  You might not be surprised at what the Sith training is, but I think you will be jarred by the depth of it.  I experienced some unexpected emotions about it.  You meet the Nightsisters and explore the beautiful and eerie depths of Dathomir. The big eye openers for me centered around Asajj Ventress.  No, I'm not going to tell you anything!
The arc, written by the very talented Katie Lucas, is full of character development, amazing graphics, great designs, and beautifully choreographed fights.  On every level and measurement, it is among the very best of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It is a shining example of what this series can do.  I left the screening practically bouncing up and down.  I wanted to tell every stranger on the streets of Hollywood about the show.  I am more excited than ever about the rest of season 3!
cross-posted at Geek Girls Network

December 4, 2010

The Coolest Way to Receive a Dr. Horrible DVD

Two years ago, I received the Dr. Horrible DVD for Christmas.  I had watched it online of course and loved it but kept forgetting to order the DVD when it came out.  A family member not only got it for me, but presented the DVD in perhaps the coolest way possible.  I encourage going this route if you are getting Dr. Horrible for someone. 

I received various clues.  I opened one present in between other people opening gifts so that it was spaced out. 

Present/Clue #1
Dr Horrible present 1
Yes, it smelled like cumin.

Present/Clue #2
Dr Horrible present 2
"This is his hair."

Present/Clue #3
Dr Horrible present 3 Dr Horrible present 4
"This is his dry cleaning bill - four sweater vests."

Present/Clue #4
Dr Horrible present 5 Dr Horrible present 6
Bad Horse (he's still propped up in the corner of my bedroom)

Of course, I'd figured it out after the first present, as most geeks would.  But it was so cool, especially since half the people watching were really confused.  The final present was of course the DVD, and it has since been watched about a million times.  If you go this route, you can add the Dr. Horrible comic trade too!

December 2, 2010

Pink Raygun Post: Yoda Tree Topper - A Christmas Tradition

It's not surprising that there are plenty of holiday decorations available to make any geek happy.  In some ways, they are much cooler than the decorations I had growing up.  Read about some of the coolest ornaments and lights I found over at my latest post on Pink Raygun - Yoda Tree Topper - A Christmas Tradition.

December 1, 2010

Experiencing Whimsic Alley - THE Harry Potter Store

You'd think I would have traveled by the Floo network to visit Whimsic Alley, a Harry Potter fan's dream store. Alas, I just parked at the first available meter. I'll work on apparating for next time.

Though many think that Whimsic Alley is just an online retailer, it is so much more. Their enchanting retail location is nestled among the museums and stores of the Miracle Mile area in Los Angeles. An actual size Dobby looks out at you from a large window display. You see witch and wizard robes, books, candy, and a mandrake among other decorations in the storefront. There was already a lot to look at before I even entered. I was excited to go in, but not before I carefully examined everything in the windows. By the time I finished, I was practically bouncing up and down with joy. I walked through the front door and squeaked. Or maybe it was a squee. I'm sure I'm not the first person to have this reaction.

You walk into an alley. Cozy shops line either side. Wizard mannequins (they wouldn't use Muggle ones!) model Quidditch attire and house robes. Glowing lanterns lead the way. Just like that, you are immersed into the wizarding world of Harry Potter. Go ahead and pretend you're shopping for supplies for your first year at Hogwarts. They have robes, hats, school uniforms, spell books, quills, and wands. Take your time wandering through each shop along Whimsic Alley. Though you can fill up your school trunk faster than a Golden Snitch can get away, stop and look around. Don't miss all the wonderful decorations and props. Make sure you walk down the hallway with the moving portraits to Platform 9 ¾. Keep going and you'll see the Great Hall. The store hosts events from tea to kid's activities to a complete Yule Ball in this large room with enchanted floating candles.

Witches and wizards don't need to shop anywhere else. Besides all the basic magical supplies, the store also has a selection of candy, including Acid Pops and the like, and Harry Potter merchandise. You can find a Hedwig plushie and a lightning scar temporary tattoo in this area. I also spotted a small alcove of Twilight themed products, but I just pretended it had an invisibility cloak over it and moved on. The attention to detail is exquisite. One reason Whimsic Alley is so grand is because Hollywood set decorators designed the shops. The staff was also helpful, and the store had a vibe that I haven't experienced anywhere except Disneyland. It's that magical. Visiting the store is an experience, a special treat for an afternoon, rather than just shopping.

I've shopped online with the Alley and had a fantastic experience. However. If you are in the Los Angeles area and you are a fan of the Boy Who Lived, hop on your broomstick and get to Whimsic Alley as fast as you can.

View more pictures of the store here.
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