July 31, 2014

Get Excited About Outlander

Diana Gabaldon's Outlander is coming to Starz. The book series about Claire Randall's time traveling adventures is grounded in historical fiction but features enough magic, mystery, action, and romance to make fine fodder for a cable television series. HBO's success with Game of Thrones has paved the way for other networks to gamble on subjects they may not have previously considered, and it looks like Starz has chosen a winner.

As mentioned, Outlander follows Claire Randall as she is transported from 20th century Scotland to the 18th century. The change is triggered by her touching a rock in a Stonehenge-esque circle. I've read the first book in Gabaldon's series, and the first 16 episode season of Outlander will follow that. From what I've seen, they match it pretty closely while keeping it welcoming for newcomers. I've watched the first six episodes, and I'm in love.

My spoiler free review of the pilot episode, "Sassenach," is up at IGN. It's an incredibly strong first step that sets up a fascinating story without rushing around. They take the time necessary to let characters make an impression rather than dumping exposition into your lap and hoping you care. Caitriona Balfe shines as Claire Randall and is more than capable of carrying the show - which is fortunate because she's in pretty much every scene. She's surrounded by a tremendous supporting cast too, and I think book readers will be pleased with how the characters are portrayed.

Beyond the story and casting, we need a character like Claire Randall on television. She's a survivor, she possesses agency more often than not, but she is also real and capable of making mistakes. She's relatable. And while I was worried about the show being nonstop smut, it's not even close. They're careful to present a full story and dig into the historical aspects of the source material. In short, I can't wait for everyone to watch Outlander.

The trailer:

Outlander made a splash at Comic-Con, too. Besides wandering bands of men in kilts in the Gaslamp Quarter outside the convention center, Starz had a smaller version of Castle Leoch in the exhibit hall. It was surprisingly detailed for a booth that was probably constructed in a couple of days (or less than), and it's apparent that a lot of time was spent designing and prepping the exterior and interior of the castle. Previews for the series played on a video on the outside wall to keep people in line entertained, and you had to pass through stones like the ones on Craigh na Dun in order to enter.

The stones in front of Castle Leoch vibrated when you stood in front of them.

Actual props from set were on display inside the castle, and you also got some swag just for going through (I got a tote bag and a pin):

Starz premiered Outlander's first episode on Friday night at Comic-Con, and the event also featured a live performance by composer Bear McCreary. He's scoring the series, and he gets to go full bagpipe. McCreary has spoken of his love of Scottish music in the past, and his passion is clear in the music in Outlander. The theme song especially blows me away; I've already pre-ordered it on iTunes. It's a take on "The Skye Boat Song" with lyrics from Robert Louis Stevenson. It's about the Jacobite uprising and therefore ties perfectly into Outlander. McCreary explains on his blog: "The lyrics are taken from the lesser-known Robert Louis Stevenson text, with one alteration in the gender of the speaker, which helps the song relate to Claire’s character."

Raya Yarbrough sang the theme in the theater before the premiere, and I wish I would have been there to experience it in person:

Starz has already shared the opening titles, and they are so haunting and moving - it's the sort of music that crawls right under your skin, and it feels so relevant to Claire's story.

Will you be tuning into Outlander? Don't forget you can watch the pilot episode beginning on Saturday, August 2, on Starz's website. It will premiere on air on Saturday, August 9.

July 30, 2014

Star Wars Rebels at Comic-Con

Star Wars Rebels was definitely in the spotlight at this year's San Diego Comic-Con. The upcoming animated series was the focus of the Lucasfilm pavilion inside the exhibit hall, and Chopper the droid was everywhere. If you haven't heard about Chopper, he's been described as the family cat. If R2-D2 is the family dog, Chopper is the cat who doesn't do what you want him to do and is a little grumpy. Amazing, right? I met him in person at a party and saw two statues of him in the exhibit hall as well as a LEGO version. For being a bit of a curmudgeon, he gets around:


There was also a panel focusing on the heroes of Rebels, and something even more special: they screened the first episode. I was able to attend, and though I didn't have low expectations, the expectations I did have were surpassed. When the episode ended, I was giddy. There's nothing like seeing new Star Wars for the first time, and when it's as good as Rebels was? I was over the moon. The series has a lot of heart, and if you're worried about Disney making it too childish, just stop. It captures the same dark overtones of the original trilogy, and there's still witty banter and fun.

Yes, it's possible to strike a balance, and they've done that here. I discussed some quick, spoiler-free impressions on IGN with Eric Goldman:

I also wrote an article about the screening at IGN: SDCC 2014: Thoughts on the First Episode of Star Wars Rebels

I can't wait for everyone to see this series in October.

July 29, 2014

Another Comic-Con in the bag

Stick a fork in me, I'm done. I'm nearly recovered from San Diego Comic-Con. Though the convention is all kinds of crazy and exhausting, I wouldn't trade it for anything. It did feel harder to navigate the crowds this year and getting from point a to point b made me more tired and crankier than usual, but I have a hunch the high humidity and heat that plagued San Diego had something to do with it. Come on, weather controlling people, San Diego's supposed to be breezy and tolerable!

Here's a rundown of some of the cool things I saw and did this year:

- I met the real-life Chopper (not the statue in the above picture) from Star Wars Rebels. I want one.
- I saw the first episode of Star Wars Rebels, and it was delightful. My spoiler-free thoughts are at IGN.
- I interviewed the cast and executive producers for Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, Once Upon a Time, and Supernatural for IGN and Nerdist.
- I covered some cool panels including ones for the shows listed above and iZombie and Toy Story that Time Forgot. I'm feeling jazzed about iZombie.
- I got in some Baymax love because I've already fallen for the character from Big Hero 6:

Art by Amy Mebberson

- I didn't eat nearly enough food.
- I received my first ever blisters in nine years of attending Comic-Con. That was not my favorite.
- I hugged people I only see a few times a year.
- I followed Guillermo del Toro in a makeup chair during an IGN livestream recording thing.
- I got stuck in a swarm of crowds at least one million times.
- I watched people run through an Assassin's Creed parkour/obstacle course, video here.

- I stopped by the Wired Cafe and had some Game of Thrones beer:

- I attended my first fashion show, and it featured geek haute couture.
- I dressed like a Lumberjanes scout with some of my dearest friends:

- I had an amazing time despite being sweaty and wiped for 4.5 days straight.

See all my photos from Comic-Con over at Flickr or browse the cosplay highlights at Nerdist. You can check out my coverage from the convention at IGN, StarWars.comAskMen, and Fashionably Geek.

July 25, 2014

WeLoveFine Has Lumberjanes Merchandise!

Are you reading Boom! Studios' Lumberjanes? It's my favorite new comic and maybe even my favorite comic of the year so far. It's all about friendship and weird things and summer camp and laughter. There are four issues out, and it's the kind of book you should buy duplicates of so you can give them all of your friends - especially kids! The material is definitely the sort of stuff that could bring young readers into the world of comics, and don't we all want that?
In summary: go read Lumberjanes.

Once you've done that, you'll be excited to learn that WeLoveFine is releasing some t-shirt designs inspired by the series. They would look great with a plaid shirt and a sash full of badges (oh yeah, Boom! is going to be selling Lumberjanes badges). Check 'em out:

I'm going to need the shirt that says 'Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for “Hardcore Lady Types."'

h/t Comic Book Resources

July 24, 2014

5 Uses for Those Oversized Comic-Con Bags

Today is the first day of Comic-Con! Bring on the madness, San Diego. I'm ready!
Okay, I'm not really ready, but I'll get through. I always do. Besides the banners all over the Gaslamp District and the hordes of people, another sure sign that it's Comic-Con time is seeing all the gigantic bags all over the place. I feel like the oversized bags attendees receive upon badge pick-up get bigger and bigger every year. You could easily fit a medium-sized dog or small child inside the sturdy totes.

For the past few years (at least), Warner Bros. has put their franchises all over the items. This year's selection includes Supernatural, Gotham, The Vampire Diaries, Batman, and many other designs. Like a ton. I'm drooling over the Supernatural bag, but at this point, I've amassed and thrown out my fair share of the snazzy sacks. I've been thinking more about uses for them though, and I've come up with five ways you can use the oversized bags after the convention is over and you've swagged your last swag.

Laundry bag

The bags are too big to be effective grocery bags, but the amount of stuff they hold is ideal for laundry day. You can squish one into a rectangle and stuff it in your bag for travel and/or leave one by your dirty clothes hamper.

Tanya Rivas
Dresses, suit jackets, skirts - oh my!

Handy with a needle and scissors? You can take part in the time-honored tradition of transforming the huge Comic-Con bags into outfits. People have turned them into dresses, skirts, corsets, vests, and tuxedo jackets. If you're not incredibly skilled at sewing, start simple with a pencil or A-line skirt.

Smaller bags

Cut the bags down to a smaller, more usable size. You can feature a title of a show or a character's face and cut around it to make a tote bag, messenger bag, or even a clutch. You can make multiples and give them as gifts to your convention buddies. You can use an old bag or thrift store find to cut apart and use as a template.

Wall art

Tired of your bags being stuffed in a closet year after year? Cut off either the front or back - whichever image you like better - and frame them. You can leave the size as is or cut it down to something more manageable. If you have several you'd like to feature, slice them up and make a collage.

Epic bag quilt

If the bags can be sewn into outfits, they can be transformed into an epic, nerdy quilt. You'd only need to save a handful of the bags to make it happen, and trust me, it's not hard to get extras. Ask friends if they have any old bags saved or will be keeping their bags after the convention. Worst case, you can buy older bags at a relatively cheap price on eBay. Stitch the squares (they're almost like Tyvek) on top of a soft fabric, and you'll have a cool blanket-scrapbook visit of your trips to Comic-Con.

Do you have any other suggestions for recycling the huge bags?

July 22, 2014

Review: Titan Comics' New Adventures with the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors

If you've followed the Doctor from the screen to the pages of comic books, you most likely know that Titan Comics picked up the license for stories about the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors from IDW Publishing. BBC Worldwide made a new deal with Titan Comics, and the partnership was announced in January. The first comics from the deal are out this week with #1 issues for new adventures with  Tenth and Eleventh Doctors. You can read my spoiler-free reviews of the comics after the image.

The Tenth Doctor #1 features writer Nick Abadzis and artist Elena Casagrande and is set after Donna Noble has left the Doctor's side. We meet Gabriella Gonzalez, a young woman caught up in what she feels to be dead-end work in her family's businesses. She has dreams but doesn't see a way out of her current situation. Enter the 10th Doctor. While I could do without the "saving a young girl" bit, I realize it's a standard part of a Doctor Who tale... for now, at least.

The story definitely has the right vibe, and it's easy to picture an on-screen version of the events in your head as you read. Abadzis found the Tenth Doctor's voice, and I found myself hearing the Doctor's lines as though David Tennant were speaking them.

I can see that Gabby has potential as a companion, but I don't get a complete sense of her personality just yet. It's only the first issue though, and there's plenty of time to get to know her more. As it stands, I'm intrigued enough to keep reading.

This comic features a mystery that needs to be solved, and the Doctor and Gabby have barely scratched at the surface. It looks like their first adventure together could cover several issues.

Being a huge fan of Casagrande's work, I wasn't disappointed by the art. Her landcapes are enchanting, and she's skilled at making the characters' emotions jump right off the page.

The Eleventh Doctor #1's story appealed to me a little more and not necessarily because the Eleventh Doctor is my Doctor. Writers Al Ewing and Rob Williams and artist Simon Fraser infused a lot of feelings into the issue. It takes place after the Doctor left the Ponds after they got hitched.

We meet Alice Obiefune. Again, it's a similar set-up of the Doctor sweeping in and making things better. Alice is down on her luck when the Eleventh Doctor shows up, and she's presented in such a way that you empathize with her immediately. I felt a strong connection with her, and I like seeing the Eleventh Doctor paired up with a personality so different from Amy's and Clara's - those two feel like the same person at times.

Anyway, the first issue for the Eleventh Doctor presents a one and done story with an adorable but troublemaking alien dog, and despite Alice's heavier moments, it's a light and feel good story. It's a well mixed combination.

Fraser does a spendid job at capturing Matt Smith's expressions, and I like the brighter palette of the Eleventh Doctor's story.

I recommend giving both #1s a shot. They'll be available at a comic shop near you tomorrow, July 23rd.

Full disclosure: Titan Comics provided these comics for review purposes. This did not affect my opinion of the comics or my reviews.

July 21, 2014

Check Out Jess Archer Versus

Like Veronica Mars? Then web series Jess Archer Versus is probably right up your alley. Writer and director Amy Taylor created the characters in a short film (embedded below) and describes the series as "Veronica Mars as a comedy with the style and sensibility of an Edgar Wright film." Sounds like a can't-miss combo, and in the newest chapter, high schooler Jess Archer helps a classmate accused of selling midterm exam answers.

Learn more in this video about the project

After watching that, I want to be Amy Taylor's friend. She's hilarious and seeing the amount comedy just in the introduction video makes me feel more excited for the web series.

The Kickstarter campaign for Jess Archer Versus is trying to raise $15,000. The money will go towards location permits, insurance, production equipment, and paying the cast and crew. Making quality web content takes money. Rewards include cookies, using your name or likeness in production design, being an extra and more.

Get a look at the characters from the Jess Archer world in this video:

Support Jess Archer Versus at Kickstarter.

July 20, 2014

The Line for Comic-Con in 1982 (not 1983)

It's no secret that attending Comic-Con has become a challenge. Obtaining a badge and a place to sleep is a test of fortitude. It wasn't that way when I started attending in 2006, and it especially wasn't that way in 1982.

Yes, the photo that's been going around the internet is from 1982 not 1983. It was taken by Alan Light and commemmorates the 13th event. The convention started in 1970, but it happened twice in that year. The first event in 1970 was a minicon used to raise funding for the actual event that happened in August. Both were big enough to count in numbering. In 1982, San Diego Comic-Con took place from July 8th-11th - the only year the dates line up with what's shown on the marquee in the above photo. The comic convention happened at Hotel San Diego.

Other glimpses at the 1982 event from Alan Light:

The dealer's room:

A bigger crowd outside:


And yes, a Women in Comics panel! From left to right, the line-up features: Dori Seda, Unknown, Jan Duursema, Trina Robbins, Carol Kalish, Jo Duffy, Lee Marrs, Catherine Yronwode, Carol Lay, Terry Boyce, and Melinda Gebbie.

You can see more photos from Comic-Con 1982 on Flickr.


July 18, 2014

Best Bee and PuppyCat Cosplay Ever

Adorable cosplay makes me happy, and I don't think this Bee and PuppyCat ensemble could be any cuter. Amanda Dawn wore the ensemble recently and while I love the dress, hair, and facial expression, my favorite part is the bag of crotch ice:

The er, prop, comes into play in the first episode of the cute cartoon series. And if you haven't watched it, please give up ten minutes of your time to check it out because you will cry from laughter. Then you can come back here and appreciate the creativity of this outfit.

I love everything about it, and I really must get a PuppyCat plush to call my own.

h/t The Mary Sue

July 17, 2014

A Character from Frozen is in the Big Hero 6 Trailer

The first trailer for Big Hero 6 dropped this week, and the animated film from Disney and Marvel looks like a lot of fun. We see the main character, Hiro Hamada, and his robot Baymax trying to file a report in a police station. The corkboard by the police officer's desk features some wanted posters, and one eagle-eyed Tumblr user spotted a familar face: Prince Hans from Frozen. The jerk was sent back to his home by Queen Elsa, but it looks like he may have escaped custody.

Do you think it's just a fun reference, or does it mean the worlds of Frozen and Big Hero 6 are connected? What did Hans do to become a known criminal in San Fransokyo? Or is it a more evil twin brother? He does have a lot of siblings...

What are your theories?

h/t Nipah

What it's like to cover Comic-Con as press

San Diego Comic-Con is a week away. Cue the panicked Flight of the Bumblebee music. It's a fun experience - I wouldn't have attended it for the past nine years if it wasn't - but it's definitely stressful. I haven't attended as a fan for a few years now, but I remember even that coming with a certain amount of crazy. First of all, it's tricky just to get a badge. If you're lucky enough to score one, you still have to figure out where you're going to sleep. I'm not even going to start on the costs associated with all of that.

Then, you're faced with countless decisions. Which offsite events to check out? Which panels to see and how long to set aside for standing in line? Where to eat? What exclusives to try to obtain? It's exhausting. The Nerdy Girlie has some tips to help you make the most of the event if you're attending the convention as a fan.

I still get some fan experiences in, but Comic-Con is mostly about work for me. I've covered the convention for IGN, Backstage, and Fashionably Geek. I've done video interviews for Blastoff Comics, too. This year is a mix of all that plus some cosplay for Adafruit and coverage for my web series with Shout! Factory, Con Woman. Whew.

Because I'm always interested in other perspectives of events, I thought I'd share a little of what it's like to cover Comic-Con as press. Keep in mind, this is different for everyone. There are at least a bajillion outlets at the convention covering specifics like toys, comics, or cosplay and catch-all outlets covering a little of everything. Because I mostly do stuff for IGN, I cover a lot of television and some film. My schedule usually includes panels, roundtables, and maybe a press line or two. I also try to spend time taking photos during the convention. Evenings involve the occasional screening and networking thing, but mostly I try to leave them for wrapping up writing and hanging out with friends.

An average day at Comic-Con goes something like this:
- Start anywhere from 7-8:30am
- Prep my messenger bag. I always have: my laptop (it's tiny and pretty light), the power cord and mouse (my trackpad stopped working when I spilled a drop of water on it), business cards, pens, a Sharpie, hand sanitizer, wallet, Comic-Con badge, gum or mints, two voice recorders and an extra set of batteries, my iPhone, my iPhone cable and plug, a portable charging unit, headphones, small point and shoot camera, a snack or two, a bottle of water, my notebook with my schedule and any interview questions I have etc, and if I'm shooting my web series, my Go-Pro and stand for it.
- Write any notes and interview questions for the day (always write down more interview questions than you think you'll have time to ask - especially for roundtables since someone else will likely have similar questions as you)
- Breakfast at the hotel. It's typically the biggest meal I eat every day so I pile the plate high and grab a banana for later.
- Spend time in the exhibit hall if I can or head to my first event
- Go between the exhibit hall, panel rooms, and the Hilton Bayfront and whatever hotel IGN is set up in. There is a loooot of walking. And feeling guilty about getting access to panels that others have waited hours in line for (I know I'm working, but I can never shake that feeling). After panels, I'll usually find a quiet place to sit and tidy up my notes and get an article published as quickly as possible. The free wifi in the lobby area downstairs always works well for me.
- Wrap up the day anywhere from 6-8pm, go to the hotel to finish uploading urgent stories and photos, empty out all the business cards and swag that got shoved in my face out of my bag, shower and change, head out for a few hours. I finish up any lingering posts before bed. I try to leave all transcribing from roundtables until after the convention is over because we all know how much fun transcribing is.
- If I have energy before bed, I'll prep interview questions for the next day and/or pack my bag.

This year I'll be adding in grabbing footage and performing interviews for Con Woman.

It's a busy weekend. It's a blast, and I'm thrilled I get to do stuff like interview The Hunger Games cast or sit in on the Game of Thrones panel for work. But, it is a marathon. Sometimes friends don't always understand that you can't hang or meet them at an offsite event. I wouldn't change anything though. Working at San Diego helps offset the cost of attending (really though, I could fix that by not attending at all), and it's an exciting environment. In the moments when I'm not feeling tired, I sort of get high off all the rushing around and urgency. Is it next Wednesday yet?

Who else is attending Comic-Con this year?

July 16, 2014

Ariel Encounters Prince Hans from Frozen

In my mind, many of the worlds seen in Disney films are all connected. There's a pretty compelling argument that connects Tangled and Frozen. Elsa and Anna's parents were on the way to a wedding when their ship went down, and Rapunzel and Flynn are spotted in the crowds attending Coronation Day. Some also think The Little Mermaid is set in the same world and the sunken ship she swims around with Flounder and the shark is the shipwreck of the King and Queen of Arendelle. So... that doesn't place them in the same time period, but I still like this fan art that puts Ariel and Prince Hans together.

It's by Tumblr user hollyoakhill, and she thinks that Ariel finds Hans in a shipwreck. I like to imagine it's more vindictive, and that Han gets pushed off the ship going home and Ariel somehow knows about his transgressions (maybe Anna has a shell phone for underwater communication) and decides to serve some justice. Mermaid style vigilantism, baby.

Okay, maybe my explanation has a few holes. The art is still awesome. What are your theories about the mash-up?

h/t Neatorama

July 15, 2014

Snowpiercer Is Already Available to Rent or Own Digitally

Somehow or another, Snowpiercer didn't hit my radar until recently. Film critic Scott Weinberg tweeted about it, and some friends sat me down to watch a trailer that had me itching to get to theaters. Snowpiercer is a science fiction action film with a sprinkling of horror that's based on a French graphic novel. Directed by Bong Joon-ho, it was released in South Korea in 2013 but only made its way to the United States in June 2014. Even then, it was only released in a few locations. Snowpiercer has spread to more and more theaters, and if you can find it playing near you and can go and support it, I highly encourage you to do so because it is completely worth it.

Snowpiercer isn't a cheerful movie. It's bleak, hard-hitting, and paints a scary portrait of a world that could one do be ours - at least in parts. However, it's compelling, beautifully told, and one hell of a science fiction story. To make the package even better, the film stars the likes of Chris Evans, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, and Ed Harris. The trailer explains the basics of the plot:

If you can't get to a theater, you're in luck because Snowpiercer is already available digitally on Amazon and iTunes. Set aside two hours and fork over $7 to watch it or $15 to purchase it. I don't think you'll regret it, and you'll be supporting fine filmmaking.

July 14, 2014

The Song that Helped Inspire the New Batgirl Has Some Interesting Lyrics

Batgirl's getting a new look. The character has taken a fascinating and meaningful journey in the recent run by Gail Simone and artists such as Vicente Cifuentes and Ardian Syaf. Barbara Gordon hasn't had an easy road, but after her experiences, it wouldn't make sense if she had it simple. But, all things must come to an end or change in comics, and a new creative team is taking over in Batgirl #35. DC Comics revealed the news in an announcement at MTV. Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher will write the book, and Babs Tarr will illustrate.

As you can tell from the cover art and character look, this book will have a different tone than the Batgirl we're used to. Fletcher tells MTV, "Our take on Batgirl mixes the best elements of “Veronica Mars” and “Girls,” with a dash of “Sherlock” thrown in for good measure." This Barbara takes selfies, has a brighter uniform, and lives in the suburbs. Apparently it's not a complete reboot, which is puzzling. I'm interested to see how Batgirl transforms into what's hinted at in this new run without scrubbing over her traumas in recent years, but I'm curious enough to check it out.

At the end of the day, I prefer happy superheroes over dark and gritty. Happy does not equal perfect lives, but there's a balance that can be overlooked in favor of making "darker" content. In an ideal world though, we'd have two Batgirl books. One that leaves the character Gail Simone has developed from the launch of the New 52 intact, and one that is seemingly geared towards all ages. Stewart confirms to MTV that it's a lighter take on the character. He says, "We really wanted to make this a book with a light tone, of fun and adventure and mystery, and let the rest of the Bat-family deal with the darkness. She’s got problems, and conflict, and enemies to fight, but our priority was to make this a really fun, rollicking read."

So, given that, I was puzzled by a song that Fletcher indirectly labels as inspiration for his and Stewart's take on the character. He told MTV the following: 

"I remember the first time we talked about finding an angle that really played to the strengths of the character and Cameron and I were nearly finishing each other’s sentences. Then I played him a piece of music and said, 'Now, imagine her running across rooftops to THIS' and we both knew that we had our Batgirl! It’s really the perfect title for us to finally collaborate on as co-writers."
MTV says the song in question is "212" by Azealia Banks Ft. Lazy Jay. A friend listened to the song and played it for me. It opens with a peppy beat that I can absolutely picture Batgirl running across the rooftops to, but then it goes some place else entirely. You can read the full lyrics here and check out the video on YouTube (it is not safe for work), but here's a portion of them:

Kick it with your bitch who come from Parisian
She know where I get mine from and the season
Now she wanna lick my plum in the evening
And fit that ton-tongue d-deep in
I guess that c**t getting eaten
I guess that c**t getting eaten
I guess that c**t getting eaten
I guess that c**t getting eaten...

I could bust your eight, I’m a do one too, f**k ya gon' do?
I want you to make bucks, I’m a look-right ni**a, bet you do want to f**k
F**k him like you do want to c*m
You're gay to get discovered in my two-one-deuce
C**-a-licking in the water by the blue bayou
Caught the warm goo in your doo-rag too son
Ni**a, you’re a Kool-Aid dude

Um. Huh?
I don't have an issue with explicit language or rap, etc. Rap isn't my personal cuppa but to each his/her own. I'm just curious as to why and how this song relates to Batgirl. Did they just mean the music of the song and not the lyrics? That's my hunch because Fletcher does say "piece of music," but has he listened to the rest of it? I'd be cautious about tying a song with lyrics like this to a book that's meant to be fun and light...

July 13, 2014

The Hobbit Meets Office Space in This Diorama Mash-Up

If you've seen a cool diorama made of plastic toys featuring Star Wars or Disney characters, chances are good that Stephen Hayford was behind it. The talented diorama artist has more than 20 years of experience, and his incredibly detailed work has been featured in museums and galleries. It's easy to lose track of time flipping through images of his work on Facebook and just marveling at the insane number of details. Tiny papers, tiny files, tiny everything! For his latest piece that mashes together Office Space and The Hobbit, he even made itty bitty staplers. And yes, there was a red one.

"Ummm, Yeah, I'll Need You To Stay Late, Mr. Oakenshield" features the Goblin King giving Thorin Oakenshield a hard time. The goblins have done such a thorough job wrecking the office that I don't know how Thorin could be expected to file the oh so important TPS reports. Where would you find them in that mess? Hayford said it was one of the most fun projects he's ever done, and he even got his kids on the action - they helped cut the 1,800 (!!) tiny documents in the pic:

While Thorin sits at his overloaded desk facing his boss, one goblin makes copies of his butt (appropriate) while others scatter paper all over the room. Poor Thorin looks to be stuck with all the work. He needs to wrangle Smaug and bring him around to service justice to these disruptive goblin thugs.

The diorama recently won best in show HOWL Gallery/Tattoo in Fort Myers, Florida and will be appearing in an exhibit in Seattle later this month. Just look at the details:

See more of Hayford's work at his Facebook page!

July 10, 2014

Win Tickets to See a Screening of I ORIGINS in Hollywood

Are you near Hollywood and available on July 16th? If so, keep reading because you're eligible to win tickets to see I Origins.

The upcoming film from Fox Searchlight Pictures is premiering soon, but I've been given the opportunity to offer all of you the chance to attend an advanced screening. Haven't heard of I Origins? I have a handy synopsis:
I ORIGINS, the second feature film from writer and director Mike Cahill, tells the story of Dr. Ian Gray (Michael Pitt), a molecular biologist studying the evolution of the eye. He finds his work permeating his life after a brief encounter with an exotic young woman (Astrid Berg├Ęs-Frisbey) who slips away from him. As his research continues years later with his lab partner Karen (Brit Marling), they make a stunning scientific discovery that has far reaching implications and complicates both his scientific and spiritual beliefs. Traveling half way around the world, he risks everything he has ever known to validate his theory.

How can you attend? Leave me a comment expressing interest and how many people you'd for sure bring with you. I have ten tickets to give away. I'll choose the winners Monday morning so entry closes at 11:59pm PST on Sunday, July 13. If you win, I'll need your full name to get it on the guest list. Please only comment if you can attend the screening on Wednesday, July 16th, at 7:30pm at Arclight Hollywood.

July 8, 2014

Funko's Comic-Con Frozen Exclusives

Do you want more Frozen toys? I recently went to Disneyland, and though they actually had stock of all sorts of Anna, Elsa, and Olaf dolls and plushes, I imagine the shelves were almost bare by the next day. Fans can't resist the icy merchandise, and Funko recently jumped onto the Frozen train when they announced a new Pop line featuring characters from the hit. Frozen plus Funko Pop?! It's a match made in Arendelle. 

They're not stopping with a series of five figures though; they're adding some special Frozen designs just for San Diego Comic-Con. You can get a glow in the dark Olaf, an Elsa in mid-transformation, and a frozen Anna. I should try to get these because eventually, I'm just going to have to embrace and own the fact that I want a Frozen shrine in my house. 

I adore these designs.

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