ACBC, Special Edition And Why Small Cons are My New Jam

Two years ago I walked with a great deal of excitement and trepidation into New York Comic Con. I’d always been wary of Cons even if I was curious, and as I’ve previously stated, would take any chance to wear a costume.

I had a great time and went back and had an even better time my second year at NYCC. And, having a bit more disposable income these days, I decided to expand out. (And being locked out from NYCC this year, at least initially helped this decision along.)

So as I drove down the New Jersey Parkway to get to Atlantic City for the first ever Atlantic City Boardwalk Con, I was nervous, for a lot of reasons. I’d never been to a smaller con, where the general pop culture loving, band wagon jumping nerds created a safer space, and also, I was heading into battle without my con slaying partner, since Aless was busy (she was graduating from college that week, as if that were more important! I’m kidding of course, super proud of you my dear!) What followed was one of the most fun weekends of my life, completely with getting to ask a question of one of my heroes, and talking to a bunch of new people.

I was energized heading this weekend into Special Edition NYC, which incidentally, I also attended alone. (Though I at least one person who was going to be there! Hi John! Hope you had a good weekend.) I was prepared to chat with other con attendees and creators. I was nervous about walking around New York City in cosplay without the buffer of, you know, another person in cosplay with me, but I was excited.

Not twenty minutes into my wanderings around Pier 94, I was approached by a group of guys dressed as various DC Characters and recruited into the DC Cosplay photo shoot later in the day. While milling around waiting I met another girl dressed as Black Canary and her friend as Catwoman (They were the bombshell versions and it was great…Hi Jen and Jess, if you’re reading). I went out after the show and talked to and met people. I exchanged cards, and flirted with guys. I danced, I drank. I had the time of my life.

On Sunday, I sat and listened to Brian Michael Bendis talk about his life influencing his work and vice versa, I shopped for gifts for

Few if any of these things happened at NYCC. Yes, I talked to people on lines, but my socializing was limited to people I already knew for the most part. I’m finding at these smaller conventions, everyone’s having the same experiences, and everything’s more intimate and a little bit lighter. I’ll still do my very best to hit the big boys. And I still dream of San Diego, I just want to see it some day. But for now I’m looking for my next small to mid size show.

I’m leaning towards this one. Anyone else in?

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Special Edition NYC

special-edition-nyc

Hey everybody! I’m headed to Special Edition this weekend.

Let me know if you’re going to be there, on facebook is probably the best way!

I’m excited about the show! On Saturday I’m dressing as Black Canary and Sunday I’m doing Ramona Flowers. I’m really excited because I recently cut all of my hair off which means that I’m now not going to have to spend twenty minutes plus getting into the wig.

As for Ramona, well, I mean, what nerd girl doesn’t want to be her right? So for a few hours I’ll get to be. (Also my new haircut suits her, I just have to spray color it pink or blue, I haven’t decided yet!)

So if you’re going to be there, well, I hope you say hey! Or if you’re just finding it because I gave you a card or something, Welcome to my little world.

Reader Survey

I took this reader survey from Maggie at Magpie Making Do, because, I don’t know, it felt good to have something in my back pocket like this and you can all get to know me a little better. (And I was lazy and uninspired this weekend.) So, here we go!

1.  What is your favourite book?

That’s pretty hard. There are a couple, but it always comes down to Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, with a very special mention for Emma by Jane Austen, both of which I’ve read more times than I know how to count, I love them both so much. Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling is probably my favorite book written after 1900 though…

2. What are your goals? For the year? For your life?

I want to be published, paid for writing more than just about anything. I’d like to see that happen this year, and I’m doing things to see that actually happen. Otherwise, my big year goal is to move out of my parent’s house, which is looking more likely as each paycheck hits my bank account. 🙂

3. Are you a writer? If so, tell me about your work.

I am a writer. I blog daily (weekends off) mostly about nerd culture and being a woman interested in nerd culture. (I talk about Batman and Doctor Who, a LOT). I also make attempts at fiction, and have a few manuscripts that I’ve been playing with. I also occasionally write but don’t share dribbles of fan fiction. I used to write and share a lot of it. I’ve mostly left that behind.

4. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

France. Paris specifically, but also I want to go to Provence and have ever since I watched Jean De Florette in sixth grade French class. Not because I liked that movie, let’s be honest, it’s kind of the pits, but because the scenery is so beautiful.

5. What was the last movie you saw in the theatre and was it worthwhile?

Into The Woods. Yes.

6. I’m curious, are there any books that you’ve tried to read and simply couldn’t finish? This is a no judgement zone.

I generally finish books, because I tend to go crazy if I don’t. There have been things that have taken me a while to finish, like, I’ll start, leave it for months and then come back and finish them. But I guess, what’s the fourth Sookie Stackhouse Mystery? That was pretty much when I decided I was over vampires and just never picked it up again.

7. Are you currently working on a new book/project right now? If it’s secret, you don’t have to tell me about it. If so, however, I hope it’s going well.

I am! Would you like to hear about it? I’m basically reimagining the whole YA “Chosen One” action genre, as if those kids didn’t find out about their destinies until they were in their mid-20’s, so they’re kind of burnt out and blasé about it and would rather just go to the bar. I’ve written the first part as a novel, but I’m rethinking it as a graphic script, but I need an artist. If you draw or know someone who’d be into it…

8. If you could live in any of your favourite books, which one would you choose?

AHH! So hard. I spend a lot of time thinking about this, but I do actually think I’d like to live in the Marvel Universe, and be like a minor character. Like not Spider-Man or Captain America, but someone on a Ms. Marvel level. Actually, I could just be Ms. Marvel. I could live with being Kamala Khan.

9. Are there any book-to-movie adaptations that you think are just incredible? That you absolutely hated?

The Princess Bride is the gold standard book-to-movie adaptation in my opinion. It captures everything magical about that book and in fact streamlines and improves on some of the novel’s flaws. It has flaws of it’s own (though I’m hard pressed to think of any at the moment. I love that movie.)

Percy Jackson And The Olympians: The Lightning Thief was the biggest let down I’ve ever had. I was so absorbed in those books when I saw that movie and the movie was just, *sigh* it was just.

10. What do you look for in a book that you want to read? What’s the first thing to capture your attention?

An author that I’ve previously liked, or been recommended. Some kind of monster fight, or a young person struggling to find who they are. Also if there are pop culture references, I’m almost immediately in. Ditto baked goods.

11. If you’re an author, what do you do when you first get an idea for a book?

If an idea has obsessed me for more than a week or so, I’ll try to write it. Sometimes it isn’t even enough to sustain a few paragraphs, but at least it’s out of my head.

12. How do you feel about different genres? Romance? YA? Sci-Fi? Poetry? Do you have any favorites? Any least-favourites?

I like a lot of different genres. In fact “genre” material makes up a majority of what I’m reading these days, since I mostly just read comics and graphic novels lately. Romance, only if it’s historical. Unless there’s a corset getting unlaced, I have no interest. It would be nice if there were spies of some kind too. YA, I like “paranormal YA,” I think it’s called? I want my teenagers angsty and fighting monsters, if you please. While I get the appeal of an author like John Green, or Rainbow Rowell, it’s just not really my thing. (I did think Fangirl was pretty fantastic though.) Sci-Fi, I like, but I prefer Space Opera to hard Sci-Fi. (Think Star Wars over Star Trek) Poetry? After getting a lit degree, I don’t read much poetry anymore. It was never something I enjoyed studying and I never read it for pleasure. I do like some of the romantics, and I will revisit Keats, usually when spring is coming.

I’m not a fan of anything described as “hyper realistic.” While again, can appreciate the craft, why would I read about anything in our world, when there are teenagers going on quests to save the world that I could be reading about, you know?

13. If you could meet any writer in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?

Neil Gaiman. I just want to talk to him. Now, please. Also Mark Twain, I wrote my thesis on him and I think that would be a really fun talk.

14. Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?

It depends. I really love non-fiction, particularly memoir, but I find it easier to escape into fiction, so it all depends on my mood. If I’m picking up non-fiction though, it will usually be a memoir of a woman with a strong point of view. I’ll never get enough of that.

15. Are there any characters that everyone loves that you can’t stand? Or vice versa?

Have to agree with Maggie on this one and say Draco Malfoy. I don’t get it. I’m also not really a fan of Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, I mean, I wouldn’t say I couldn’t stand him, but I don’t get what all the fuss is about. Also Holden Caulfield.

Vice Versa? I really love Cersei Lannister, and I know that most people who’ve read the books hate her. I think she’s endlessly fascinating.

16. What do you like to do besides reading/writing?

Drinking.

17. If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?

Just one? I guess my passions.

18. What is your favourite guilty pleasure book?

Twilight…well, not even Twilight, really. Eclipse. The third one? I love it sooooo much. I know, it’s stupid, poorly written, alarmingly sexist and weird, but I just…the scene, where Jacob and Edward talk about how much they love Bella and they think she’s asleep but she hears everything? I love that scene. Also this is where you hear most of the Wolf-people legends, which are really cool. But also, admitting how much I like Twilight is always kind of embarrassing.

19. Do you have a reading goal set for this year?

I want to read at least two prose books a month, because last year I fell into this weird rhythm of only reading graphic work, which is fun, and often challenging, but well, limiting in a lot of ways.

20. Tell me anything about yourself that I haven’t asked. Random fact. Weird human trick. Whatever.

If you ever hear me mumbling under my breath, chances are I’m cursing in French. Most of my high school linguistic skills are gone, but I can still get some mean Franco-profanity out, the general mantra goes, “ah! mon dieu, merde, qu’est-ce que c’est la vie?” Which roughly translates to, “Oh my God! Shit! What is this life?” It’s an excellent expression of frustration.

 

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!

Disney Kingdoms: What to explore?

This week gave us Figment: #1, and while I’m saving my thoughts on the book for Marvel’s Wrap Up on Sunday it did get me thinking. (Due to a conversation with Alan. He’s directing my show, conversations with him will probably spur many blog posts this summer…) We’ve seen Seekers of Weird, which, granted I only read the last book of, but now we have Figment. 

What are some other cool Disney Worlds that might be worth exploring for Marvel?

Even I'm not deluded enough to think a Princess Comic would work...sigh

Even I’m not deluded enough to think a Princess Comic would work…sigh

Alan immediately said, “Do you think they’d do Captain Eo?”

I immediately said, “God I hope so!”

Oh Please Oh Please, Oh Oh Please!

Oh Please Oh Please, Oh Oh Please!

Captain EO, if you’re unfamiliar is a bonkers 3-D Movie where Michael Jackson goes to space and defeats an evil queen with the power of pop music and dancing. It’s fantastic in every way that is completely impossible to articulate with words and would actually make a pretty great comic. So that’s one possibility.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Western Comics, but to be fair, my only real exposure to them has been Jonah Hex and I think I’ve made it clear how I feel about that gentleman. (I don’t mind when he pops up in Batman because of time travel or whatever, but for the most part, ugh) but a Thunder Mountain comic could be a cool way to go. Figment is going in a distinctly steampunk direction, and that could be a cool way to go with most of this universe. A cool steamboat adventure story into the Jungle, on a cruise. (Also with PUNS!) It could be called, Jungle Cruise.

 

"You may think that's water but it's not!" (A joke I heard when I was 6 that I still laugh at whenever I think of it)

“You may think that’s water but it’s not!” (A joke I heard when I was 6 that I still laugh at whenever I think of it)

Other distinct properties? The Enchanted Tiki Room. It has four talking parrots and is about their magical night club. That would make a straight up awesome comic book.

All the birds sing words and the flowers bloom...

All the birds sing words and the flowers bloom…

I imagine that The Haunted Mansion, if it hadn’t already been adapted into a bad Eddie Murphy movie and on it’s way to being adapated into a probably awesome Guillermo DelToro movie could have made for a good story, but as it is, that’s probably not in the cards.

I don’t know. I was kind of dry on material today…but this was sort of fun right? I will say that I never thought that a Figment origin story comic would be a thing, but I’m deeply glad that it is, so I’m excited to see what direction they decide to go in moving forward.

Bloodspell: Girl Power, Magic and Mayhem

When I saw an ad in one of my comic books for Bloodspell, a new graphic novel by Paul Dini that teamed up Black Canary and Zattanna, here’s what went through my mind:

OMG, Paul Dini should write more things.

Wait, so many fishnets.

I love Black Canary.

Hey, Aless and I talked about cosplaying as them for Comic Con this year. That’s a weird coincidence.

I already have a wig!

I already have a wig!

OMG Aless and I are going to WIN AT COSPLAYING. (Probably not…)

But seriously, like so many fishnets.

I hope it’s not sexist. It might wind up being a little sexist…

But karate and magic! And Paul Dini!

So I was really excited obviously. But I was also wary.  I love Paul Dini (All Praise Be To Dini And Timm, Long Live DCAU, In the name of BTAS we say, Baterang), but his work, particularly with female characters isn’t exactly flawless. He was of course a part of The DCAU, which I adore but has the “heart Batman or Be Evil” problem.

But Bloodspell, was actually pretty wonderful. It’s a fun little diversion. Basically, Black Canary impersonated a friend in order to infiltrate a museum heist in Vegas. Turns out the leader of said gang was a witch and she bound them all with a magic spell of some kind. So obviously, when she dies her angry ghost starts possessing each of the girls. And Dinah obviously goes to her magically inclined friend to help her out.

It’s a really fun story and has some super great moments. It was nice to leave the grim heaviness of The New 52 and be reminded that sometimes these characters can be compelling in all there technicolor glory.

Also, there’s a scene where Dinah has an orgasm and it breaks a vase. I mean, it’s implied. We don’t actually see it happen, but it’s pretty funny. And it was nice to see Ollie and Dinah as a couple again. I’m focusing a lot on her. I’m not meaning to totally discount Zee, who’s pretty great here too. She’s really cool, and I love how she’s just so blasé about the magic in her life. She climbs Mount Everest with magic. She talks to her father’s ghost. She has a pet tiger. Whatever. She’s just Zatanna.

Of course is does have that Dini “is this sexist or just how he’s portraying the characters?” flair. There’s a lot of girly girl behavior that doesn’t exactly ring true to Dinah and Zatanna, but I enjoy watching superheroes go on shopping sprees too. I have conflicting emotions about this behavior as its shown in the story. But it’s always going to be super fun. The way that Dinah and Zee met was always really great, on the top of Mount Everest as teenagers. Zatanna got there with magic, Dinah by just being a straight up badass.

That’s my main takeaway from this GN. I mean, I didn’t need further proof that Dinah Lance, The Black Canary, was a badass, but reading this the other day (Coupled with watching her CW equivalent pull a shotgun on a home invader to protect a child in the episode of Arrow I watched the same night) , because of course she is. But still I’ve haven’t picked up Birds of Prey in a while, so it’s always nice to be reminded of why she’s one of my favorite characters.

DC Animated Movies: Justice League: War

Justice_League-War

Justice League: War is not a fundamentally bad movie. It’s techinically great and has moments of fantastic genius. But Justice League: War kind of encapsulates everything that’s messed up about The New 52, and I don’t even hate The New 52 like most people do. I actually really like The New 52, and probably would even if they weren’t the only game in town to get new stories about my favorite characters.

Justice League: War is based on the first “volume” of The Justice League comic to come out in The New 52, telling the story of how this team was formed. Hal Jordan is fighting a large armored monster in Gotham City and he and Batman encounter one another and sort of fight but sort of don’t. Then they find a motherbox and track down Superman and Flash gets involved, and teenager Victor Stone becomes Cyborg, and Shazam shows up and Wonder Woman is there, and the fight Darkseid.

It’s a good plot, and absolutely what a Justice League story should be, and one that I liked OK in the comics, but here just felt grating. It’s a lot to do with how the characters are presented. There should absolutely be some friction as this group begins meeting each other and working together. Hal Jordan and Bruce Wayne should not be friends immediately. Wonder Woman is really violent, every should be somewhat wary of this person. Batman and Superman should not understand how the other one works right away, and given Cyborg’s origin story, Victor should be super angry.

Flash should tell jokes. He does. We’re cool there.

Um, here’s what shouldn’t happen. BILLY BATSON SHOULD NOT BE AN ASSHOLE! Oh my God! Within the first half hour, Billy has run away from home, snuck into a football stadium, been a dick to Vic, stolen Vic’s championship football jersey and been mean to his foster siblings. I was staring, agape at the TV screen. Who was this kid and why on earth did the wizard give him these powers? Billy earned his power by being pure of heart. This kid? He should be punched in the face, not given the wisdom of Solomon.

And that to me is the big problem with The New 52 and frankly a lot of comic books and comic book movies, is that there’s this need to make it gritty and that’s great. I love Frank Miller, but The Dark Knight Returns doesn’t work because Bruce is a dick to everybody, nor is that why the Nolan Bat-Movies work. It is why Iron Man works, but that’s because Tony Stark is a dick. If when Constantine hits on NBC he’s a dick, I won’t be mad, because that’s who John Constantine is. But Superman isn’t. Barry Allen isn’t. Hal Jordan can be, but it shouldn’t be his defining characteristic. (He’s not Guy Gardner!) And Billy Batson, Captain Marvel, Shazam, whatever you want to call him, he should be the best person ever.

Anyway, that’s my problem with this movie, that is very good and has good moments. Let’s talk voice cast! This version of Shazam that I hate? Is voiced by Sean Astin, who should be a great Shazam because he’s the most likable presence. How do you not root for Rudy and Samwise Gamgee? Ugh. Anyway. He does a good job, this movie just left a bad taste in my mouth. Christopher Gorham’s Barry Allen is good and definitely underused and Justin Kirk nails Hal Jordan’s attitude. My favorite aspect of this story is that Hal and Barry cannot deal with the idea that Batman is hanging out with them. They are in awe. It’s cute. Michelle Monaghan, Jason O’Mara and Alan Tudyk turn in admirable big three performances and I’ll never ever get over the moment of Diana eating ice cream for the first time. It’s adorable. If the whole movie was just Wonder Woman eating ice cream and befriending children and then they all fight Darkseid? I would love that movie.

Up next is Son of Batman. Guys, guys, guys! No, but guys. Guys! (I’m sorry, unless you know my friend Nancy, you wouldn’t understand how that was supposed to be said.) I am SO EXCITED! I miss Damian so much. Like SO MUCH.