Sailor Moon Check In: Expansion Pack

So today was supposed to be about Translucid, but I went to the Yankee game last night, so there wasn’t time to read it yet. So instead let’s do a quicky quick Sailor Moon Check In! I’ve figured out how to structure these posts now, which is fun!

Moon Pride, I want to Support You!

Moon Pride, I want to Support You!

Manga

Volumes 7-12 are in hand! They came yesterday. I’m really excited. 7 is sitting in my purse right now, taunting me. For I am at work, and cannot be reading Sailor Moon, also, it’s new comic day, so I have those to read. Also, Outlander. But yay! Anyway, we’ve met Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune now. Also Pluto has appeared in the first timeline, not just in the future. There are so many Sailor Senshi now and it’s so, so, great. I’m loving seeing everyone’s powers grow, and even just spending time with the characters. I really love the gender politics of Volume 6, and the strange sort of love square that gets formed there. There are just so many characters. And they keep popping up. It’s really very fun.

Crystal

“Masquerade Dance Party” is probably my favorite Sailor Moon story so far, and I loved Crystal’s treatment of it. It’s so pretty, and sparkly, and I really loved Ami and Rei’s transformation sequences hard. They’re breathtaking and use the water and fire motifs perfectly. Also, for some reason Tuxedo Mask kissing Usagi felt a good deal less creepy. I don’t know how since it was identical to both the manga and the original anime, but it felt more tender. Maybe it was the music? Or that Usagi was just sleepy, not drunk. Or that we know Momaru is in high school, not in college, because gross. Anyway, it’s cool. And we got some foreshadowing for meeting Mako! Yay!

Oh, and Sailor Moon’s new tiara attack? So cool!

Sailor Moon
Mako and Usagi stalking Matoki is the cutest thing ever. Mako is the cutest thing ever, with her high pony and her little lace up boots, ugh, I love it. I could gush and gush. Anyway, the rainbow crystal monsters make me think of Pokémon in a big way. The way that they always say their names and have random attacks, so there’s that. But what I’m having the most fun with here is seeing the relationships between the girls grow. You saw it in a big way when Rei’s grandpa changed into a monster and Usagi came to help her even though they were in a fight. It’s just really nice. Also, I love how the girls are about her crying.
As I said back when I started, I really relate to this aspect of Usagi, I was and am a bit of a cry baby, while in my adulthood my being overly sensitive manifests by me being passive aggressive and super defensive. (It’s not good, I’m working on it.) So everytime someone says, “Usagi, stop crying all the time,” I’m like, “but she can’t! Her feelings are hurt and she’s going to cry now!”
Other Stuff
I’ve officially decided to cosplay Sailor Mars for New York Comic Con, which is great because I already have a skirt, and a wig, and it’s an excuse to buy red pumps.
So that’s where we are now! It seems to be these are popping up the week after new Crystal episodes, so I may put them regularly on the schedule…we’ll see.

Things I’m Obsessed With Right Now: Part 2

Hey everyone! So I’m pooped from the weekend, and writing a full post wasn’t likely so here are some of the things I’m obsessed with right now. (No repeats!)

  1. Working on my costumes for the various events I have this fall. I have amazingly fun stuff planned for Lead East, New York Comic Con, Halloween and my birthday party! This weekend is going to be about shopping, sewing and getting most of them together!
  2. Ben Folds. I listened to Rockin The Suburbs again on a whim, and wow, I always forget how good that album is.
  3. Songs For A New World, by Jason Robert Brown. This one comes around every once in a while.
  4. Outlander. I’m still having trouble getting into the book, but once I have a chance to really sit and read it I know that I’m going to love it. But the show, Holy Crap! I love this show.
  5. Jenna Coleman’s wardrobe on the Doctor Who world tour. She looks amazing in every picture and I want all of her dresses.
  6. Babs Tarr’s twitter, tumblr and everything. I can’t believe we have to wait almost two months for new Batgirl.
  7. The “Ultimate”  Doctor Who specials that BBC America has been airing. I’ve watched Companion and Time Lord. They’re fun.
  8. The TARDIS glasses that my cast gave me as a thank you gift. They’re good eggs.
  9. X-23/Angel. LOVE THEM! Every X-Men comic should somehow spotlight this relationship. I would then read more of them.
  10. Brian Michael Bendis. Between Guardians and Miles Morales, he’s writing my two favorite non Kamala Marvel titles at the moment.
  11. Leaked pictures of the Frozen cast from Once Upon A Time. They look good right? I miss that show.
  12. The new Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. billboard, with the formula on it. Sunday night, fangirl friend Jon and I discussed that Avengers was nerds winning “the war” to conquer mainstream pop culture, Guardians was signing the treaty of victory, and I think that billboard is like, when you camp troops out in a country you conquered, maybe?
  13. Zero Year. EEEHHH!! I finally got my hands on a copy of Secret City. I’m halfway through it as of this writing and reading it is all I want to be doing.
  14. David Tennant’s beard.
  15. Harper Row and Stephanie Brown.
  16. The In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth 3 reissue box set. I don’t buy vinyl, but I might make an exception because this set is SO GORGEOUS.
  17. Being in complete denial that there’s only 1 issue of Translucid left.
  18. Will & Grace binge-a-thons on WE or LOGO. It’s always on now, which is weird because about a year ago, I mentioned that I missed Will & Grace, I no longer miss it.
  19. Play It Again Dick. If you don’t know what it is, learn what it is. You will be grateful! (OK, so anticipating it…whatever)
  20. Sleep. I am obsessed with it. I miss it. I used to sleep A LOT, lately, I feel like I sleep barely at all. I’m at the point where I’m PLANNING my sleep. This is new for me. It’s glorious, but new.

So that’s where I am right now!

Girl Meets Nostalgia: Maya and Shawn

Since like, most of Girl Meets Nostalgia has been boiling down to this, because I mean, really, I figured we should just get right into it.

It’s career day at John Quincy Adams Middle School, and Topanga comes and talks about lawyering, but doesn’t get to really because guys! Minkus! Minkus is Farkle’s dad, which should be a big surprising reveal but isn’t because of internet. I’m always happy to see him, because One Tree Hill. Anyway, Topanga and Minkus start competing through Farkle and Riley and it’s great. I love that they’re still counting A’s. I wonder if next year, Farkle will go to the other side of the school with his father and Mr. Turner…Anyway, career day gets derailed when Maya’s mom doesn’t show up. Oh, also, in art class, the teacher tells Maya that she should start displaying her stuff and Maya resists.

The next day, Maya’s mom, Katy does come, and it turns out she’s a diner waitress and aspiring actress. Maya is embarrassed but not devastated and she and Riley have a conversation about how Maya doesn’t expect much from her mom anymore. The slow reveal of Maya’s family life has been interesting but I’m kind of over it at this point. When Katy doesn’t show at Maya’s art show, but the Matthews do. Riley storms over to the diner and tells Katy that she’s letting down her daughter. Katy shrugs it off and gives Riley a sandwich to bring to her friend.

A couple things. That is a super dark direction for a show like this to take. I’m not terribly surprised because did you watch Boy Meets World? There was an episode where the entire cast died because Shawn was mad that Corey and Topanga broke up. Yes, it was a dream and Eric made out with Jennifer Love Hewitt for no reason except it was the 90s. Obviously, Shawn’s character went down some really dark roads, and I’m interested in seeing if they go in that direction with Maya.

But career day, another season 2 or 3 episode worth looking into. The career day episode is one of those one that when I think about it I realize “wait, that was all the same episode?” This was where we first met Chet Hunter and discovered how he was a charming nogoodnick. We learned that Corey was embarrassed by the fact that Alan was a grocer. It was where we met Topanga’s first dad, a character I’m pretty sure was played by a different actor every time we saw him, and where we learned that he calls her “Tippy” which is the greatest nick name in the history of nicknames.

The similarities between Maya and Shawn are impossible not to see, they have all of the same surface characteristics. They both come from lower middle class single parent households. They’re both underachievers and they’re both into the arts. They also both idolize the Matthews family and frankly, who wouldn’t?

But this episode again, revealed a difference. Maya isn’t anywhere near as vulnerable as Shawn. When she shrugs off her mother’s neglect it doesn’t come off as a front, the way that Shawn did. She at least on some level really is resigned to the fact that her mom is this person, and this is their relationship. Katy is also resigned to it. Shawn and Chet weren’t like that. They tried their absolute hardest to put their family back together and simply could not. They talked about their feelings and cried and fought. That isn’t who Maya is, and it’s very, very interesting.

So it’s time to stop calling Maya “Girl Shawn,” she isn’t. She’s starting to become her own character and I love it. Also, I really can’t stress enough how much I love that these girls are complicated, funny, interesting and appropriately young.

Marvel Comics Wrap Up: 8/13/2014

Hey everyone. I want to say that I was in tech this week, so getting comics read and written up was a little bit more of a challenge than usual, but it’s all fine and I got it done. Yay!

So let’s talk Marvel, even if it’s only briefly.

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Original Sin #7: “Nick Fury Vs. The World”

Old Nick Fury now has all The Watchers powers and is fighting basically all of the superheroes ever. But hey, here’s a thing that happened! Fury whispered something in Thor’s ear that made him unworthy. He can no longer lift the hammer! This is important. Anyway, turns out all of The Watchers have now gathered over Earth. Really can’t wait to see how this all turns out. The sooner Original Sin is over, the better as far as I’m concerned, too many twists.

Nova Special #1: “No End In Sight Part 3 of 3″

I hadn’t picked up the first two parts because I don’t read Iron Man or Uncanny X-Men, but I picked up the story. Basically, Sam and Monark have Scott Summers, and Monark is trying to ransom him. Some newer X-Men don’t like this plan. Neither does Iron Man, I guess, anyway, everything gets sorted out with no fighting and it was sort of dull and Sam stared out into the distance, wondering what his fate would be and what it means to be a hero. He’s been doing that a lot lately.

Hulk #5

Super smart Hulk is runnig around smashing things. He gets into fights and everyone is confused when he isn’t Bruce Banner. He builds a time portal and goes and steels Ultron’s head in order to create a cure for Gamma Poisoning, and it’s really bad ass and cool and COMICS! I don’t want to see all the Hulks get cured, but this should be a pretty fun little adventure.

Deadpool #33: “Out The Window”

We saved Ellie! But she’s still in danger, because apparently that she’s some kind of savior child. Meanwhile, we didn’t hear from Vampire Wife of Dazzler except that Deadpool talked to them on the phone. Lots of blood and killing and quips which was great. In the end Agent Preston took Ellie in and Deadpool bought the house across the street. This is going to be a lot of fun.

Captain Marvel #6: “Higher, Further, Faster, More: Part Six”

Carol fight the Spartax single handedly and humiliates J’son and gives Jackie a mix tape. A MIX TAPE PEOPLE! It’s been two weeks and we’re already getting Guardians movie references in our comic books. And really, there’s no reason for Carol not to be in Guardians 2 you know? Anyway, it’s just so cute and fun and awesome and I love it so much.

All New X-Men # 30

Warren and Laura went off on a date and got into a barfight and then had some sex at one of his houses and it’s really fun and great and I’m super glad that I didn’t give up on this book. Laura asks Warren why he likes her, and he’s like “cause I do.” Back at secret Xavier school Teenage Jean and Emma are having a psychic fight to get Jean to learn about her powers. Everyone is commenting about it. Kitty is have a hologram date with Peter Quill and they’re cute even though not my ship. Then Beast, Storm and Ice Man show up and say that everyone has to come to Westchester to help with some problem that I won’t be reading.

Amazing Spider-Man #5

What is Black Cat’s deal man? Anyway, she’s killing a bunch of people and trying to get her reputation back. Whatever, I find this storyline boring. What’s not boring? Peter and Cindy who seem to be incapable of keeping their hands off of each other. But they also don’t even like each other very much and it’s pretty great. When Anna Maria catches them on the ceiling making out it’s pretty great. Peter is about to be interviewed on TV and gives J. Jonah Jameson a hug, and Electro and Black Cat threaten to unmask him on TV and Cindy kicks some butt. But really, Peter and Cindy and the sex you guys.

Captain America #23

Even super old Steve Rogers kicks all kinds of ass. Avengers Mansion gets broken into by Ian Rogers, which is great, because we thought he was dead. And Sharon, who also isn’t dead, is being imprisoned by Zola. But the Avengers and Falcon are on it. So much fun! I have a feeling that Ian might not be thrilled about Sam taking the shield moving forward, or at least, that’s how I would do this story (One of the reasons I won’t be doing that story).

Amazing X-Men #10: “World War Wendigo Part 3″

Everyone’s fighting the Wendigos and it’s fun. Northstar saves a kid, and Alpha Flight, and there’s a speedball special, and since this is a middle segment of an arc, there’s not a whole lot of plot. But I do love this book every month, it’s so much fun.

So that’s Marvel this week. Sorry about the lack of detail. See you next week, which is of course big comics week. It’s Translucid and Ms. Marvel.

DC Comics Wrap Up: 8/13/2014

Alright guys! Let’s talk comics. Let talk ending runs, and heading into every one’s Future’s End, and Multiversity and all of that.

Or we could just talk about what happened this week, which had oh so much Batman, more Batman than I knew what to do with!

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Batman #34: “The Meek”

Zero Year is over, and Endgame hasn’t started yet, which leaves “The Meek” in a sort of gorgeous one shot limbo. A serial killer is going after Leslie Thompkins patients and Batman, being a little overwhelmed what with all of his allies being in jail, or pretending their dead, or actually being dead, or becoming crime kingpins, decides that he needs a win and goes after the guy. It’s a really good story and there are elements of it that are Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo at their absolute best, describing this moment in Batman’s life as “the eye of a hurricane,” I really can’t wait to see how Endgame plays out.

Batgirl #34: “Crash and Burn”

So it’s time to say goodbye to Gail Simone, and get ready to let in Batgirl of Burnside, but first, things had to wrap up with Knightfall. Barbara, Dinah and Helena go to take her on, meanwhile, like every B-Lister in the DCU fights a score of Gotham Supervillains that Knightfall unleashed. Barbara wins, of course she does. But it’s interesting that she does it by showing Knightfall a picture of her family and asking if she wants to leave a dark legacy for them. Also, it turns out Barbara didn’t kill James Jr., which we knew. And then everybody hugs and she realizes that it’s time to make changes. She tells Alysia that she’s moving out. And also she’s getting a kick ass new outfit.

Birds of Prey #34: “Things Fall Apart”

If Batgirl ended in triumph, Birds had the saddest ending I could think of. After Dinah and Waller fought about Dinah’s husband, who still doesn’t remember her, but is also gone now, the rest of the birds and the suicide squad work together. Meanwhile, Barbara gets mad at Dinah because of reasons and everyone leaves barely speaking to one another. It’s lame and annoying and I hate it, and I’m really going to miss this book.

Justice League United #4: “Justice League Canada: Conclusion”

Martian Manhunter adopts Uber. Green Arrow and Animal Man talk. Star Girl and Supergirl talk. Supergirl doesn’t like Star Girl’s happy go lucky attitude, which really shouldn’t be that surprising, since Kara is kind of a pill lately. Turns out that Adam and Alanna were secretly married but because of space something they can’t be on the same planet. So that’s going to be hard. Alanna finds Miyahbin, and they meet up with the rest of the team and they pick the name, “Justice League United.”

Future’s End #15

Masked Superman is edgy and swears and resents having to save small children when he could be punching bad guys. Also he’s a Dick to Lois. Ugh. Masked Superman is the worst. In Space, Hawkman and Princess Amethyst flirt while Frankenstein hibernates. On OMAC island, Deathstroke and Grifter have a fight. It turns out that Mr. Miracle has been breaking out of the prison which is pretty fun and great, and he’s awesome. Constantine and Midge talk to some guys who saw a robot fall out of the sky.

Superman/WonderWoman #11: “Last Sun Chapter 2: Assimilation”

You know what’s weird about this issue of Superman/Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman is barely in it! Anyway, everyone is fighting Brainiac, and then Wonder Woman makes a deal with Mongul to give him War World if he’ll help defeat Brainiac, also Superman hulks out again and this is getting really old right? We’re almost done.

World’s Finest #26: “World’s End”

Helena and Karen got home, but it’s burning and everything is terrible. I do get the feeling that this story is going to tie into both Future’s End and Multiversity is a big way. The explosion of Starr Labs gave  a girl powers and Karen willed her the name, “Power Girl.” So that’s going to be fun, I think. I really, really, am looking forward to see where this goes, and with Birds gone this is going to be the only place for Girly Fun Team Up Action, at least in DC.

Alright! See you all tomorrow for Marvel!

Music And Memory

We learned a lot of things from Guardians of The Galaxy, like the legend of the great Earth Hero Kevin Bacon, and that We Are Groot, but one of the most important things we learned was that everyone should go adventuring to mix tapes that they treasured when they were 11, and that you can save the galaxy with easy listening and the running man.

I’m joking, but only a little. The incredible soundtrack is one of the biggest elements that’s cited in why people loved Guardians, specifically because most of the classic songs that James Gunn had on Peter Quill’s “Awesome Mix Part 1″ (and the two we heard off of “Part 2″) all probably had the listeners own baggage attached to them, and they were recontextualized in this movie. I used to like “Come And Get Your Love,” but after watching Star-Lord dance and lip synch to it, it might be my favorite song of the moment.

Guardians wasn’t what got me thinking about those kinds of weird musical associations, though. Last week, at work, I was listening to the Legally Blonde Original Broadway Cast Recording, and for reasons not initially apparent to me, I started thinking about The Ender Quintet, specifically The Speaker For The Dead & Xenocide.

“Well, that’s an odd jump for my brain to take!” I thought to myself. “It’s not like these two things have anything in common.”

Except for timing. They have timing in common.

Last October, I read the entirety of The Ender Quintet and I was listening to Legally Blonde practically on loop. So as far as my insane brain is concerned, these two things are intrinsically linked. To the point, that while I was listening I started thinking about the similarities between Ender Wiggins and Elle Woods.

Now, if you’re a sane person that knows anything about these stories, you know that they don’t have anything in common except for typical protagonist things. They also share those characteristics with characters like Jesse Pinkman and Batman.

But in case you care, here are some things that my crazy brain has decided Ender and Elle have in common:

They both overcome the perceptions of them.

At the beginning of Speaker For The Dead, Ender is the most hated person in the universe. He is The Xenocide, who destroyed an entire beautiful society, which, people only know about because he wrote a book about them. (God, Sci-Fi plots sound so dumb when you try to articulate them, don’t they?) Then he founds a religion, and falls in love with a little girl and goes with his sentient computer and the last bug to go be with her, and she’s grown up into the worst person in the history of ever, and everyone hates him, but then they love him, because he saves the universe from the evil virus that his best friends deformed offspring created to survive. I think? The Shadow Of The Giant was probably the most confusing entry in this series.

Anyway, Elle also overcomes everyone’s expectation because everyone at Harvard thinks she’s an idiot, but she’s actually smart, and dedicated. This, by the way, is one of the best things about Legally Blonde. Elle is sort of shallow, but she’s a good person, who’s very smart and willing to work for what she wants. Being kind, smart and working hard gets her good things. That doesn’t happen enough in entertainment anymore. It also happens in Parks And Recreation. Anyway, by the end, Elle has convinced everyone that she is worthy, and she gets to marry Luke Wilson/Christian Borle (one of the best Film to Broadway casting decisions ever. Right behind Nathan Lane for Zero Mostel)

And that’s basically it. That’s what they have in common, and it’s sort of forced.

Because obviously it’s forced, because it’s just my brain linking these two things that I experienced in proximity to one another. It’s the same reason why Top Gun makes me think of Cape Cod, or the Beyoncé song “Irreplaceable” immediately conjures up homemade pizza in my junior year of college apartment. Music has that power and it’s pretty special that way.

Look at The Pretty Flowers

I was in college when my cousin Kelly (who is responsible for a large swath of my personality as I spent a good chunk of my childhood trying to impress her) gave me a copy of The Secret History of The Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig for Christmas. I was working at Borders at the time, and Pink Carnation was one of those books that I would always breeze past, back track, read the description of, consider buying, and then not buy, because, I don’t know. I was mostly really into teen vampires at that moment, even though I was 22.

I don't quite know how I stayed away!

I don’t quite know how I stayed away!

But a Kelly endorsement will send me out to do something faster than just about anything else. Kelly is the reason I drink belinis, as she insisted I try one when I was 16 (yet another line in my belief that my family ruined college binge drinking for me. When you’re drinking high end champagne cocktails at 16, it’s hard to go back to jungle juice and cheap keg beer. I did it, but not with as much relish as my friends.), why I still hold Jagged Little Pill up as one of the top 10 albums of all time, (Shut up. It’s great.) and not the only reason, but a big reason I always did theatre.

So I first read The Scarlett Pimpernel, as Pink Carnation is meant to be a sequel to that. I loved it and tore into Pink Carnation. I loved everything about it. I loved it’s twisty dual narrative, it’s outright silliness, it’s obvious ripping from Jane Austen and of course it’s lovable world of characters, both in the modern day and in the 1800s.

Basically the Pink series revolves around 2 main stories, the modern day story follows Eloise Kelly, a Harvard PhD Candidate who heads to England to work on her dissertation on British Spies during the Napoleonic Wars. Eloise is particularly interested in The Pink Carnation, who was the most effective spy, having never been unamsked and doing all kinds of cool history stuff that I knew very little about. Eloise meets Colin Selwick, a descendant of The Purple Gentian (The guy between The Pimpernel and The Carnation) and they have wonderful romantic comedy plot.

As Eloise and Colin fall in love, Eloise learns the stories of many of the people surrounding The Pink Carnation, who is actually Jane Wooliston, a young woman who’s kind of the best.

The penultimate Pink book, The Mark of The Midnight Manzanilla came out this past week and I devoured it on Sunday. And I realized one of the things that I love the most about these books, is just the amazing number of characters and their diversity. Not actual diversity, they’re like almost exclusively wealthy white Brits, because of the book’s setting, but their personality diversity. If you read Pink Carnation, and weren’t super into it’s main couple Amy and Richard, Amy as a flighty run into danger without a plan kind of girl and Richard as a dashing masked hero, that’s cool, because up next is The Masque of The Black Tulip, where you get Henrietta and Miles, a take no crap tomboy type and a bumbling analyst. Or maybe you want a brassy outrageous outspoken heroine and a dashing soldier hero? Then Penelope and Alex of The Betrayal of The Blood Lily are for you. Do you like ironic double entendre and a healthy dose of cynicism in your romance novel? You should probably try Mary and Vaughn of The Seduction of The Crimson Road. More into bookish fantasies that actually come true? You should read The Tempation of The Night Jasmine and get to know Charlotte and Robert. What about kooky screwball misunderstandings? Definitely The Deception of The Emerald Ring and Geoffrey and Lettie. Want some tangential connection to the founding fathers and bad poetry? The Garden Affair gives you Emma and Augustus, and they’re all over that. Or maybe you want to see second chances at love? Both The Passion of the Purple Plumeria and The Orchid Affair, where heroines Gwen and Laura and heroes William and Andre will deliver.

The new book felt like kind of a mash up of some of the others. Heroine Sally is a meddler who doesn’t think before acting, and hero Lucien is a mysterious duke who returned after years abroad. This makes Sally deeply similar to both Amy of Pink Carnation and Lettie of Emerald Ring, and Lucien is a whole lot like Robert from Night Jasmine with hints of Alex from Blood Lily.

But my favorite, absolute favorite thing about this series is that everytime I finish one of the books I declare it my new favorite. Then I think about it for a minute and remember that nope, The Mischief of The Mistletoe is definitely my favorite, despite not having an Eloise and Colin plot. Instead, our heroine, Arabella is friends with Jane Austen, and it’s a companion piece to Nigh Jasmine which allows us to check in with characters who were around but we didn’t really see in that one. And also it treats us to the pure adorable fun of Reginald Fitzhugh, more commonly known as Turnip, who’s previous adventures included clumsily trying to seduce a French spy who thought he was the Pink Carnation and making out with Penelope one time. Spending a whole book with him was really great.

Basically, I love these books in all of their weird silly glory. I love it’s sprawling cast and less than epic nature. I love that they’re about people stumbling around and foiling plots, but mostly just falling in love with the wrong people.

I’ve also always thought that the series would make a sick CW show.