February 27, 2011

Geeky Links of the Week


Floppy Disk Laptop Bag - It takes 42 floppy disks to make this bag, and it will store a whopping 60MB of data.  Check out the link for a video of the construction.

Christina Hendricks Talks about All Star Superman - Hendricks talks about her role (she's voicing Lois Lane) in All Star Superman and Whedon's Avengers with Jill Pantozzi.

Project Dalek - Star Wars fans build R2-D2 droids, and Doctor Who fans build Daleks.  This site is the home for plans, reference photos, and where you can talk to other people who have built Daleks.  You have to register to partcipate, but it seems like an easy project.  Go "Create. Create."  (imagine that in your best Dalek voice)



Castle Grayskull in snow - When life gives you snow, make He-Man's fortress.  Obviously.  What I particularly love is that this isn't the first time the builder has made Castle Grayskull from snow.  Visit the site to see more photos and video.

A History of Star Wars Maps - Who doesn't love lots of maps in their favorite science fiction universe?  The Star Wars galaxy has had several, and many are collected in this post.

Hand Painted B Movie Bags - Who wouldn't want a hand painted purse that says Return of the Fly?  These one of a kind bags feature some titles you've heard of and several that you haven't.  Check out her site to be inspired to have a B-Movie marathon.

Wheel of Time map - Apparently bags and maps are a recurring theme in this post.  If you like Wheel of Time, you'll appreciate this map.  One fan tracks the three main characters - Rand, Perrin, and Mat - around Randland.  It's pretty interesting to see their travels.  I refuse to go back and re-read the books though.  No matter how much I want to.

February 25, 2011

Interview with Brandon & Emma Peat: Creators of "A is for Ackbar"

An adorable Star Wars alphabet book took the internet by storm in December. I believe the word is viral. The book “A is for Ackbar: an alphabet from a galaxy far, far away” made fans squee and melt at cartoon images of characters from the original Star Wars films and the Expanded Universe. Brandon and Emma Peat designed the images as decorations for their newborn son Tycho's nursery. They had to stick with posters and prints because they rent the space, and since they are artists, it was only fitting that they create them. They decided to collect the images into a book as a thank you gift for everyone that donated to their son's college fund. Reference the viral comment above – they closed the donation drive early.



I was lucky enough to catch it at the beginning, and I dropped whatever unimportant thing I was doing when I saw that the package arrived. I flipped through once in that over-excited way that doesn't let you actually absorb what you're looking at. Then I slowed down. I looked at each letter. “J” for Jabba (with a cute Salacious Crumb), “Q” for one of my favorite Jedis, Quinlan Vos, and “V” for Vader. The combination of Star Wars and adorable almost slayed me. I was also lucky enough to get Brandon and Emma to answer a few questions about the creation of the book for me!

February 24, 2011

Shiny Webcomic Thursday - The Meek

It's the last Thursday of the month, and at my blog*, this means featuring a shiny** webcomic.


If you like adventure, mystery, and storytelling that will grab you, you should check out The Meek by Der-shing Helmer.

The story centers on a young girl.  Angora used to live in the jungle, but she's sent into the civilized world by her grandfather to find the Center.  She has to catch up fast. She's inquisitive and brave, or is it reckless?  She has to save the world, so a little recklessness is necessary.  She latches on to someone who has made a map that should show them the way to the Center.  Just as they get on their way, chapter one ends and the next chapter starts.  Chapter two introduces us to a new cast of characters and a different setting.  It's time to see more of the world Angora must save.  As far as worlds go, it's not pretty.  You see hatred and betrayal, and it's apparent that a war is in the making.  Angora might decide it's not worth saving.

A recommendation from a friend led me to this webcomic.  Though I admit to being confused at the beginning of the second chapter when Angora disappeared, I went back and read the "About" section to get my bearings (if you want to read more about the world, check out the cast or the very helpful Meekipedia. Helmer even tries to keep it spoiler free).  We're just experiencing the beginning of what I think will be an adventurous and good tale.  The art and coloring are beautiful, and it's obvious that Helmer puts a lot of time and love into this webcomic.  Which is how it should be.  I am looking forward to watching more of the story unfold.

Obligatory note: I will caution you that in the first chapter Angora is always naked or mostly naked; it might not be the best webcomic to read during your lunch at work or around the kiddos.  Just saying. 

Start at the beginning.

The Meek
Updates once or twice a week, no specific day

*As of 2011, I used to attempt this more frequently and it didn't work.
**As in the Firefly 'verse definition.  If you don't know Firefly... go rent, buy, or Netflix it now.

February 23, 2011

Disney Princesses as Everything But Disney Princesses

How can you not love Disney princesses?  They're lovely, they have great clothes, and a few of them actually get to kick butt instead of being saved by the prince.  We also apparently love to interpret them as all sorts of other characters when we draw them.  The latest hipster Disney princess images reminded me that there are a lot of interpretations of the princesses out there.  Here are some of my favorites:

Sith Disney Princesses - JosephB22 spun Disney princesses in a way that I hadn't seen before.  Make them evil Sith Lords!  And it works.  They make the Dark side look hot.  I don't know how it came to be that the Dark side has cookies, but I bet sending these ladies on a recruiting mission for evil would be a lot more effective.  Click the link to see a few other princesses given the Sith treatment.



Burtonized Disney Princesses - Silver Tallest makes the Disney princesses look creepy, but in a nice way.  The Tim Burton style enlarges the eyes and makes them all look a little anorexic.  More than they already did.  These illustrations belong in a storybook with an equally creepy tale.


Superhero Disney Princesses - I want Belle's outfit, and I want it now.  I'd love to spin around all the Disney tales so that in the end, a Superhero Princess saves the Prince and the world.  Though the artist, Melissa Erickson, appears to have taken the images down, you can click the link to see all of the hero crimefighters on the Blastr article above.


Twisted Disney Princesses - This interpretation adds a little macabre and a little zombie to the powder-perfect princess look.  Jeffrey Thomas added a little fantasy (uh, more fantasy) to their look too.  I feel like they should be wandering around in video games, kicking ass and taking names.  I especially appreciate that he included Nala in his gallery and princess sidekicks.


Hipster Disney Princesses - And let's not forget about the new princess meme on the block - hipster princesses.  There are so many to look at, but this link from Geekosystem collects some of the funniest.


Any others that I'm missing?

February 22, 2011

Awkward Embraces Premiere Party Recap

Last Friday in Beverly Hills, Comikaze Expo threw a premiere party for season two of the hilarious webseries Awkward Embraces. The location was the swank Celebrity Vault. Attendees discussed Star Wars, Seaquest, and cosplay in front of stunning black and white Helmut Newton photos. Well, at least that’s what the attendees I hung out with discussed.  I didn't attend the event with the intent of reporting on it, but here's a quick and dirty recap!

A DeLorean, Bumblebee from Transformers, and KITT from Knight Rider lined the street outside the Vault on Canon Drive. It might have been the closest nerdy cars have ever been to Rodeo. Party attendees braved the rain and cold to take photos of the famous cars. Back indoors, Michelle Rodriguez of Lost fame spun tunes. I knew I liked her style when she played “The Gambler.” A few people danced, a lot of people took advantage of the open bar, and everyone seemed happy.

Awkward Embraces Premiere Party

Awkward Embraces Premiere Party

Awkward Embraces Premiere Party

A woman walked around in an almost Slave Leia costume. She rocked the skimpy bikini outfit, but it was a very loose approximation. I mention it because I don’t think she was a Star Wars fan, and if Comikaze Expo or whomever hired her would have asked anyone working on the party, they could have got an authentic Rebel Legion-card-carrying Leia. (Apologies to said woman if she was, in fact, a Star Wars fan.) I hope they keep that sort of thing in mind when organizing their inaugural expo in the fall. Reach out to nerd friends, we can help!

I don’t know how many attendees came specifically for Awkward Embraces and how many stumbled upon the party by accident, but either way, I think enough people came through the door to make charity Gamers United very happy. Partygoers had to pay $10 to enter or donate a comic book/graphic novel or video game.

I was there for Awkward Embraces of course, and I was bummed that they weren't able to screen the first episode of the second season. It was a fun shindig, but I had to get home to see the new stuff. You guys should check it out now. If for some reason you still haven’t watched season one, go do that first.

February 21, 2011

Geeky Links of the Week

Here's a few of hte links I loved over the past couple of weeks!


Fancy SuperHero Cupcakes - I've seen and loved superhero cupcakes, and these ones are a whole range of awesome.  There are so many different cupcake toppers; go look and be inspired.

Gollum Cross Stitch - The needlework geniuses at Steotch have created a new Gollumn centered love design.  Yes, you must go look.

Cubee Spock papercraft - Print out this nifty papercraft to make your very own cube Spock.  Then you can call him a blockhead.


Doctor Who as Owls - I know, that sounds a little weird.  It's insanely adorable though.  Click the picture to embiggen or click the link.

Field Guide to Typestaches - In case you need to know how to classify different types of moustaches!


R2-D2 and Han Solo in Carbonite Ice Cube Trays - Finally, I will be able to make Han Solo in Carbonite chocolates.  These ice cube tray molds were an instant pre-order for me even though ice will probably be the last thing I'll actually use them for.

Alliance Soap Bar - Luxury Lane Soaps has done it again.  They have put insane attention and detail into a fantastic geeky bar of soap.  I love them so.  This brand new Alliance Soap Bar looks just like the rations sold to Patience in the very first episode.

February 17, 2011

Blink

Yes, I've finally started watching Doctor Who.  I started with the new series, but one day, I might go back in time to see the beginning.  I finally understand all the fuss about the TARDIS and the sonic screwdriver, and I've only just begun.  Why haven't I watched this show sooner?  If you have been meaning to watch it, stop what you're doing, and start now.  Or sooner.  I've had friends nagging me for years.  I should have listened. 

Several episodes have pulled me in.  I adored the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston), and my favorites from the first season are "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances."  It took me a while to get used to the regeneration.  This is a show where you can get attached, but not too much because the central characters are always changing.  The character types remain the same to a small degree.  But it is definitely a show for training Jedi - no attachments.  Except that you can't help it.  I've read that you get especially attached to your "first" Doctor and mine was the Ninth.  The Tenth Doctor, portrayed by David Tennant, is grabbing my attention though.  A few episodes in seasons two and three that stand out for me so far are "The Girl in the Fireplace," "Doomsday," and "The Shakespeare Code."  Three of those episodes were written by Stephen Moffat. 

And then tonight, I watched Blink.  If you haven't seen it, thar be spoilers ahead (yes, I do reserve the right to lapse into pirate speech whenever I want).


I was grabbed from the start. I like to explore abandoned places and photograph objects that were left behind or the paper peeling away from the walls. You can bet I'll steer away from locations with statues from now on just to be on the safe side. The mood of the episode put me on the edge of my seat from the outset. I knew I was in for a ride, and I would have known even without hearing the echoing choruses of "OMG! Blink" that I read on Twitter. It had the feel of something special within seconds.

I watched intently. I jumped. Possibly repeatedly. I might have scared my cats. It wasn't just that it was a scary episode though. It was intense, creative, disturbing in the under-your-skin sort of way, smart, and beautiful. I haven’t felt that type of fear since I watched Stephen King’s It when I was 10. Blink was also dramatic with light moments woven in seamlessly. Wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey? Frakking brilliant.

The Doctor made the episode turn even though he was on the fringes. He tends to have a presence. He was charming and genius as ever, but Sally Sparrow. Wow. She had to be strong enough to carry the episode, but I think it was really important that she wasn’t overly so. Carey Mulligan as Sparrow was casting at its finest. She played Sally with innocence, spirit, and courage. If the character was written a little differently – if she had more disbelief, if she wasn’t as quick and clever, if she wasn’t as brave, if she had a bigger DVD collection… it obviously would have been different, but I don’t think it would have worked.

As it is, the episode is a balanced recipe that was baked just the right amount of time. Every part fit delicately with the next and if one had been a tiny bit off, it wouldn’t have been the epic creation that it is. The Weeping Angel statues were a magical mix of grotesque, otherworldly, and majestic. They somehow didn’t cross the line into silly because that would have ruined the spell of the episode. The way the shot of the angels surrounding the TARDIS was lit and edited – it made me pull my blanket in closer just case I had to hide behind it. It was horrible and magnificent; it is easily the most fantastic editing I’ve seen in the series so far.

Yes, I was blown away. And for a few days at least, I'll be giving any statues I run across extra wide berth. You can bet that every time I see an angel statue though, even decades into the future, I'll watch my back. Well done, Stephen Moffat. Well done.

February 14, 2011

Star Wars Valentines!

Everyone else celebrates Valentine's Day by staging action figure photo shoots, right?  I thought so.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!





February 13, 2011

Quickie Review: Love and Capes #1



Love and Capes – Ever After #1
Written and drawn by Thomas Zahler

More than one comic has attempted to show what a superhero's everyday life is like. The real life usually ends up being dark and depressing and leaves you begging the superhero to put the cape back on.  Love and Capes revolutionizes the superhero at home experience.

Though it's numbered #1, this issue can be considered #14 in the entire series. It picks up where the 2010 Free Comic Book Day issue stopped. Mark, aka the Crusader, and Abby, bookstore owner, are back from the honeymoon and have to deal with the realities of everyday life. They have to find a new apartment, deal with financial issues, and have dinner with new couple Darkblade and Amazonia (Mark's best friend and ex-girlfriend respectively). That's a lot to deal with before you add in the stress of superhero commitments.

The issue is fun, and it delivers plenty of laughs. Domestic Mark and Abby are as adorable as ever, and they're handling the hurdles of marriage well so far. I really liked seeing a different side of Darkblade, and it's fun to see Mark use his x-ray vision to make sure that the steaks are done. And Amazonia has a softer side, who knew?

The style of the comic matches previous issues. There are eight panels per page, the colors are soft, and the word bubbles are slightly transparent. It's clean, the character style fits the story perfectly, and it's different than anything else I've seen on the comic book store shelves.

I had a few people in line around me at the comic shop when I asked to get the issue pulled from my folder. Instantly a chorus of “I love that series” and “wait, I want that added to my pull list” sprang up around me. If that's not a sign you should be checking out Love and Capes, I don't know what to tell you.

February 11, 2011

The Illustrated Section – Digital Comics for Everyone!

I'll be honest.  I prefer paper.  Paper books, paper comics - I like having actual pages to turn and I love seeing books lined up on my bookshelf.  An afternoon spent alphabetizing comics is bliss.  But.  It's not always practical.  I have been the girl who packed six books and a stack of comics on an international trip and could barely lift her luggage into the overhead compartment.  Owning an iPad has revolutionized travel for me.  When I go on a trip, I don't have to agonize over which books to leave behind.  I can go to any dentist appointment or jury duty armed with practically endless reading options without switching to a bigger purse or messenger bag.  It's freeing.

More comics are becoming available for iPad and e-reader download too.  I can download digital versions from the big players, but until recently, I hadn't found an easy way to get some of the indie comics that I love on my iPad.  Illustrator Dani Jones has created a website to facilitate just that though.  The Illustrated Section has a wide selection of digital comics, picture books, and instructionals!  Everything's in a .pdf format so that you read the downloads on just about any device.  I think this site will really help creators get their stories and images into more hands... or monitors. 


I know there is a fear that digital media will make print forms obsolete.  I don't believe it's true.  In the case of comics and sketchbooks, I think digital downloads actually help make print sales.  Dani mentions this on the site as well.  I speak from personal experience.  I love Girl Genius and even though I could re-read every panel online, I chose to buy the print books.  This applies to almost any webcomic or digital comic; if I like it, I'll likely buy a print version.  The price of the original digital download (Girl Genius is free) does play a part in my decision.  If I pay $10 for a digital download, I probably wouldn't invest in a print copy unless I really loved it.  The Illustrated Section offers a range of prices.  A couple of the comics are free, and several downloads fall within the $2-4 range.

There are about 90 books so far, already double than what the site had when it opened three weeks ago.  Jones says they keep rolling in too!  She updates the blog with some of her favorites, but it seems like the quality bar is set pretty high.  It's hard to pick out which ones to purchase, but that's not a bad problem to have.

February 10, 2011

New Column at ScienceFiction.com

So, because I'm loony and always looking for more writing opportunities, I have a new weekly column at ScienceFiction.com. It's a fun, relatively new site with lots of great posts and info! I'll be writing some reviews for them too. My first column is about the inspiring Women of the Game of Thrones!

I think I'll start doing a weekly summary post with links to my other articles so that I don't overwhelm you all with links.

February 8, 2011

5 Geeky Valentines

In case you haven't noticed the store shelves drowned in or the red and white M&Ms in the check-out aisle, it's almost Valentine's Day. It seems to me that it is a controversial holiday. People either ferociously love it, or they wish that Cupid would turn his arrows upon himself. I've heard more than one graphic death wish for the winged demigod.

I have mixed feelings about the importance of the day, but I do recognize that it's fun. Whatever your feelings, I encourage you to read this post by Cat Valente about the holiday. It will make you think.

Now, on to more silly business. I have seen a lot of geek themed Valentines to print, make, or buy. I meant to get my act together and send these to my wonderful geek friends across the country, but I sort of lost track of time. Oops. If I would have been more on top of things though, here are the Valentines I would have given.


8-Bit Valentines by Kira Cards - It might be sad, but I really haven't played many video games since the 8-bit days. These cards cover some of my favorites Mario, Final Fantasy, Donkey Kong, and so many more. You can even buy variety packs with a five of your favorites.


Printable Star Wars Valentines - Geekologie has collected Valentines designed by freelance illustrator James Stowe. The artist made them for his son who likes Peanuts and Star Wars. He created six cards (one for each Star Wars movie) that mashed the two styles, and they are adorable. Download them and share the Star Wars love.


Nerd Love Cards by justJENNDesigns - What better way to tell your geek that you love them? These are blank inside; I don't recommend signing them "I know." Check out her shop for other adorable designs, like Robot Love cards (no red spines here, get your mind out of the gutter)!


Science Valentines by Stephoodle - These science themed Valentines are beyond wonderful. The Marie Curie card above is sold in a pack with Stephen Hawking, Ada Lovelace, Carl Sagan, and more. Science and love. Good combo.


Doctor Who Valentines by Rachelle Abellar - How many times can I say the word fantastic? I'm a new Whovian, and these made me leap at the screen with glee. She represents all of the new Doctors and I recognize a lot of things even though I am only just finished with the second series. The Dalek and the Ninth Doctor Valentines are my favorite.

Finally, visit this post at the Super Punch blog for lots more links to geektastic Valentines.

Before I forget, I should go ahead and buy some of these to save for next year.

February 7, 2011

GGN: Interview with Love and Capes creator Thom Zahler

Check out my interview with Love and Capes creator, writer, and artist Thom Zahler over at Geek Girls Network!  Learn more about the upcoming "Ever After" (hitting shelves this Wednesday), self-publishing, what it was like to participate in 24-Hour Comic Day, and how Star Trek: The Next Generation influenced Zahler.

February 5, 2011

Geeky Links of the Week

Here are some of my favorite links from the past couple of weeks!


BioShock cake topper - Actually, this was on top of a cupcake tower at a wedding.  The cupcakes were topped with blue morpho butterflies.  Be sure to check pics from the whole wedding!


Free Papercraft Car - The folks behind the webcomic Monster Commute have created a beautiful, print-it-yourself steampunk paper car. It's a perfect activity for adults and kiddos.

10 Geeky Chimes for Your Doorbell - Now that you can get customizable doorbells, think of all the nerdy things you could program it to play!  This list at Geek Dad gives you lots of ideas.

Lego AT-AT ice cream truck - Remember the t-shirt of a cute, pastel AT-AT ice cream truck?  Someone built it from Legos.  Of course they did.  And it's adorable.


Embroidered Tentacle - I know, that doesn't sound very exciting.  But look at the image and click on the ink.  The tentacle is created with a wacky style of embroidery that I've never heard of, and the result is really cool.

Embroidered pillow of the Buffy episode Hush - Hush is a Buffy fan favorite, and for a Whedon craft swap someone created this beautiful (and creepy) embroidered pillow.  It follows the episode's storyline, and I want it.  A lot.

Doctor Who cookie kit - A couple of years ago in the UK, there was a fantastic kit for sale that included cookie mix and Dalek cookie cutters.  Yep, I said Dalek cookie cutters.  Look at the pics and be sad that you don't have one.

Map of Battlestar Galactica's 12 Colonies - The folks at Quantum Mechanix have come up with another insanely detailed and beautiful item.  They do that.  This time it's a shiny map of the 12 colonies of BSG.  io9 talks to writer Jane Espenson and science advisor Kevin Grazier about the map.

Website Alignment Chart - If websites had Dungeons & Dragons alignments, what would they be?  This chart includes sites like Facebook, Paypal, and Weather.com.

February 3, 2011

4 Favorite Time Loop Episodes

The time loop is a failsafe plot device.  It's good for a laugh, it involves time bending by magic or science, and you just never know how the characters will figure out how to break it.  Okay, maybe you do.  It doesn't stop it from being entertaining.  My favorite is when the characters that are aware of the time loop have to convince the unaware characters about said time loop.  It's predictable and fantastic; I don't think it gets much better.  In honor of Groundhog Day, the epitome of time loop antics, here are four of my favorite time loop episodes.

Stargate: SG-1 - Window of Opportunity
This sixth season episode has Colonel Jack O'Neill (two l's) and Teal'c repeating the same six-ten hour window over and over and... you get the idea.  The rest of the team is unaware of the loop so it's left to them to figure it out.  Meaning, they have to figure out to concisely summarize what's going on so that Major Carter and Dr. Jackson can break the loop.  It's all caused by Ancient technology.  At least some of the footage was unscripted because director Peter DeLuise was trying to make sure they had enough to fill 40 minutes.  The humorous episode became a fan favorite.  Continuous loops get boring after a while, so Jack and Teal'c find ways to fill the repeating time.  I mean, how often do you get to see them golfing through the Stargate?



Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Life Serial
The mastermind trio of Jonathan, Warren, and Andrew decide to test Buffy's skills.  It's the sixth season, and Buffy's graduated high school.  She's trying to figure out what to do next.  While she try's out various jobs, the team cast spells on her.  One of the spells speeds up time, another one summons a demon, and the last one puts Buffy in a time loop.  And of course the time loop coincides with her job at the magic shop.  She has to deal with a cursed mummy hand repeatedly.


Star Trek: The Next Generaton - Cause and Effect
The entire Enterprise gets stuck in a loop in this fifth season episode.  I'm pretty amazed they waited that long to pull this trick out.  Each loop results in a collision with another ship; the crash destroys the Enterprise.  Though the crew experiences déjà vu, it takes them a few times through to realize that something odd is going on.  After 17 days of repeating the loop, the crew figures out the answer.  They use Data's programming to get information to them in the next loop, and eventually they avoid hitting the other ship.  It turns out to be a Federation ship that has been missing for a long time.



Supernatural - Mystery Spot
Did you ever think you could get tired of hearing Asia's "Heat of the Moment?" If not, watch this third season episode of Supernatural. You'll be over it after just a few time loops. Sam and Dean are both stuck reliving the same day, but only Sam is aware of it. The loop ends when Dean dies, and it starts all over. Sam has to watch it at least a hundred times. It sounds heavy, and it is - but there are some funny moments too. A demi-god is responsible for pulling the strings. Boredom contributed to his puppeteering, but he was also trying to teach Sam a valuable lesson.

February 2, 2011

Review - The Guild: Vork

I know I wasn’t the only Guild fan that was happy to hear that Felicia Day would be working on more comics. The three issue series released last year was fun. The next issues being released are one-shots that focus on a single character of the Knights of Good. Vork is the first target, I mean, subject. How could you not pick up a comic focusing on a character who spouts gems like: “Women. Can’t live with ‘em… they will not go out with me.”




We learn that Vork lived with his elderly grandfather. He’s a controlling grandson, but he thinks that everything he is doing is for the best. He’s just trying to keep his grandpa in good health. It’s putting a wedge in their relationship though. His grandpa is the polar opposite of Vork. He takes risks, and he just wants to be wild. But Vork’s need to control is so strong that it’s even noticeable in game. He makes schedules for the Knights of Good, and he likes to carefully critique each fight. No one can tolerate being controlled like that. Vork’s behavior pushes everyone away. He has to learn to compromise and let go in real life and in the game.

I enjoyed reading the background on this character. When you watch The Guild, it’s apparent that Vork still retains a few of those characteristics. It’s scary to know that we see the toned down version. Jeff Lewis (the actor who portrays Vork) co-wrote the comic with Felicia Day. They make a good team, and I'm sure having the actor that has to get inside Vork's head was an asset to writing his backstory. I also liked watching the comic flip between the real world and the game. The color palette changes from drab earth tones to the saturated jewel tones of the game. It’s an effective contrast, and it makes me want to play games. The escape factor is appealing.

If you’re a fan of The Guild, the comic will just add to your enjoyment. It’s fun to get a glimpse of how each member of the guild got to where they were. The game is just a game, but some of each person gets infused into their avatars. You can see where some of Vork’s weird tendencies come from. I’ll definitely keep picking up the one-shots as they are released!

Cross posted at Geek Girls Network.

February 1, 2011

Firefly: Footwear Done Right

Firefly got so many things right. The show hit the mark on writing, the characters, the sets, the costumes, and the story. To me, it is an example of everything a television show should strive to be. Well, except for that whole canceled part. That’s not a good goal to have. One thing that particularly sticks outs is that Firefly does not underestimate the value of practical footwear. In a world of science fiction stilettos and platforms (like the shoes Seven of Nine wears in Star Trek: Voyager), the females in the ‘verse wear boots or slippers.

"Ah, the pitter patter of tiny feet in huge combat boots.”
Captain Mal Reynolds, ‘War Stories’

Zoe wears tall brown leather boots with a flat heel.  Kaylee sports comfy shoes that look a little like modified hiking boots.  River has combat boots, or she goes barefoot.  Even the Companion, the most elegantly dressed of all them, doesn’t glide across the ship in heels. Heels would get stuck on the floor grating. We don’t see Inara’s footwear a lot, but they appear to be sensible slippers or occasionally sandals.  Sturdy enough to handle ship life and easy to slip on and off for work. I would think that’s an important consideration. Dealing with laces in that line of work could be bothersome.

It seems like a small detail to consider when you're planning out a television series.  But I don't think I would have admired Zoe as much if she ran around shooting her rifle in 4" chunky heels.  There's a credibility factor.  I can suspend disbelief for most things in science fiction, but impractical footwear?  That sends me running (cause I'm wearing comfy boots and I can)!


All this comes from a person who rarely wears heels. They’re painful, and also – I’m clumsy. Heels end in blisters or embarrassing falls followed by colorful bruises. Even if I were entirely comfortable in them, I couldn’t imagine wearing them if I were say, a doctor on the U.S.S. Enterprise. Sure, the floors are covered in industrial carpet. It’s safe from that perspective. But you never know when the red alert will sound. Platforms do not scream ready-for-action.

I’ll take Big Damn Hero boots any day.

Note: I exaggerate to make a point.  Sensible shoes are also common throughout SG-1, most of Star Trek, Farscape, and many other shows.
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