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Archive for category Blogs and Reviews
Since last year’s Comicon panel, Marvel has shown the public very little from their upcoming film Guardians of the Galaxy. That silence was finally put to an end last Monday when the studio debut the first official trailer of the fairly unknown comic franchise. Many believe that this film will be Marvel’s biggest challenge yet.
I would say they are more than up for the challenge. Read the rest of this entry »
A strange thing happened at A Shop Called Quest, one of my favorite comic shops, a little while ago. I was exploring the manga, which I don’t do very often, and I picked up a title I’d never seen or heard of before. The spine alone caught my attention and stood out as different from the other works surrounding it, so I peeked inside and was pleasantly surprised with Mitsuhisa Kuji’s beautiful artwork.
I don’t know manga authors or illustrators very well at all yet, so I don’t feel terribly confident in my ability to judge a book by its cover (or a brief skimming of its gooey insides) at this point. Normally if I pick up something in the manga section it’s because I saw the anime by the same name, or a friend suggested the title, so this was a new experience for me. I asked the clerk and he said he hadn’t read it yet, just though it looked interesting, so I took a chance and took Wolfsmund home with me. Read the rest of this entry »
Square Enix finally brings a close to their Final Fantasy XIII trilogy with the release of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Many Final Fantasy fans have had varying opinions on this one game trilogy than any other Final Fantasy game series. Very few games in the series have actually had their own series, such as Final Fantasies IV, VII, and X. Thirteen though has sparked much controversy for its departure from traditional elements of the classic series. Read the rest of this entry »
A little while ago I was perusing the aisles at Barnes & Noble when I happened upon a book called Machine of Death. I was intrigued, not only by the premise of the work (which I’ll get to in a moment), but also by how it came into being. In the words of the preface, “This book, unlike most others, started its life as an offhand comment made by a bright green Tyrannosaurus rex.”
Way back in December of 2005 Dinosaur Comics had T-Rex himself present us with an interesting question. What if there were a machine that could tell you how you were going to die? This comic got such a great response that they eventually got around to taking submissions. Writers were encouraged to share the worlds that they created from this curious concept, and the result is pretty amazing.
Machine of Death collects 34 stories selected from the more than 600 submissions that were received. They titles range from things as seemingly innocuous as “Almond” and “Vegetables” (which was my favorite) to the more visceral “Prison Knife Fight” and “Torn Apart and Devoured by Lions”. The stories themselves explore some worlds very similar to our own and some that are a far cry from this place we call home. In some stories it is mandatory that you are tested from birth, in others there are anti machine groups who feel knowing how you die takes away a measure of your free will, in one the government segregates people based on their machine reading to keep those with more peaceful deaths far away from those with violent ends. You might think the stories would get old and start repeating similar themes after a while, but I enjoyed the wide array of characters and worlds I was presented with, and was happily surprised up until the very end.
What would it mean if your print out read “Heat Death of the Universe” and what might it mean if your slip were blank? I guess you’ll just have to read it to find out.
I’m sure we’ve got a fair number of Whedon fans out there and I’m certain most of you already know about the Serenity comics, and the Buffy comics, etc., but am I the only one that didn’t know there were Dollhouse comics floating around out there?
Needless to say, I was rather pleasantly surprised to accidentally stumble across this book while looking at other readables on Amazon.com. Like nearly every other amazing creation in the Whedonverse, Dollhouse was put on the chopping block long before it had really been given the chance to reach its true potential. I still had so many unanswered questions.
The stories collected in this volume take place between the show’s main series and the two season finales Epitaph One and Epitaph Two: Return. The book, appropriately titled Dollhouse: Epitaphs, helped fill in some big gaps for me. We start with Zone, Mag, and Griff, get a pretty healthy dose of Alpha, a triple shot of Ivy (there’s even a little Ivy on Ivy action), a bit of Ballard, and a little dash of Echo.
I wasn’t terribly impressed with the art in general, and occasionally had issues differentiating between characters in some sections, but I adored Phil Noto‘s covers, and enjoyed the work overall. While it didn’t answer all of the burning questions I had left about the show after it had been tourniqueted, it did help to fill a bit of the void that was left in the show’s absence. It’s definitely worth the read if you’re in need of a little more of the Dollhouse universe.
On Christmas day I had the pleasure of speaking with my cousin, whom I hadn’t had the chance to talk to for quite a number of months. As usual the conversation eventually made its way around to reading suggestions. I mentioned some fun reads I’d recently experienced, and my cousin mentioned Saga. I bought it the following day and was delighted to discover that it’s written by the author of another work that proved to be a favorite of mine, Y: The Last Man.
Y was actually the tale that sort of thrust me back into my passionate love of comic books, and Saga did not disappoint, quite the opposite in fact. Fiona Staples‘ art is breathtaking and perfectly illustrates Brian K. Vaughan‘s captivating story of two lovers on opposite sides of a planetary war and their struggle to survive with a new born child.
I have returned from the horror that is school to share something new with you! Did I mention I really love Korean dramas? They’re all the rage in South Korea and frequently cast famous musicians in main parts. They show both the good and bad sides of Korean society. They make stories playful and romantic or so sad you want to die. There is a large and great range. But if you like K-dramas and haven’t heard of Heirs, well, there might be something wrong with you. Heirs is the big show coming out of South Korea right now and here is ten reasons why you should jump on the bandwagon.
There is a warning that I do give some spoilers. Most are not too essential to the plot but if you don’t want to read them, feel free to skip down to the next one.
10. It ends this week
This is good for you who aren’t emotionally invested in this show in the moment (meaning you are not me, who is dreading this). Heirs was a little unique in that it aired two episodes a week and so the season finale is coming out on December 12. Why is that good for you? Well you don’t have to worry about catching up or running out of episodes and having to wait! You just get to enjoy this amazing fabulouslessness.
In the “geek culture”, we often see strong women in positions of great power. (Wonder Woman, Jean Gray, Black Widow, Catwoman, etc.) We don’t really bat an eye when someone wants to emulate their qualities or dress up as these and many other female characters when they are traditional warrior characters, but how many princesses do you see at conventions? Has it ever occurred to anyone that these iconic women may be worthy of emulating? I realized after writing a piece for my mom-blog side project, that women, especially geek women… don’t like princesses. Oh sure, they like Ariel because she’s a hot redhead in a skimpy top with a tail and they like Pocahontas because she’s all spiritual native chick talking to animals and willow trees and let’s not forget she’s like 7 feet tall with legs that go on for miles, but what about Cinderella? Aurora? Any shout-outs for Snow White? Not very likely…. not unless they’re dressed up like the “Legs Avenue” whore versions of themselves so they can chat up all the hot geek boys and celebrities that hang out at the bars down the street. So, why is the geek girl so against princesses? More specifically, why do geek girls hate Disney princesses? Well, there’s a thing no one wants to talk about but everyone knows it and I want to talk about it because I think it’s important to get this out there and deal with it.
The reality is, geek girls want to be seen as hard core, sexy yet masculine, kill you in a thousand ways by batting your eyelashes super heroines. NOT as a princess in a pretty gown with a good heart and a strong backbone. Never mind that the princess probably died or was near death then defeated (usually by killing) her enemies and did so with a song in her heart and a fan-boy club (including her prince) cheering her on. It’s because somehow along the way, princesses got this stigma of being weak baby pussycats with no brains and pretty dresses. I’m sorry, but that’s just not the reality of these stories and I’m here to clear the air on that once and for all. Read the rest of this entry »
Heroes of Cosplay on SyFy is a new running show which encompasses the world of cosplay for TV purposes. But perhaps SyFy is making cosplay more of a joke, than something that people take serious.
The show follows the feats of nine cosplayers, only one of whom who is a male. It chronicles their journeys in cosplay making from concept to finish as well as to the conventions they attend to compete in or judge competition.
I find it a little disappointing that only one male is featured on the show when men are actually the minority in cosplay. The title of the show is also unfortunately a little pretentious. No one can truly be a “Hero of Cosplay” but I suppose they were trying to say they were inspirational. Instead, it makes them sound like they are the top names of cosplay when in fact there can be none. Another angle that SyFy misrepresents is the “responsibilities” of the cosplayers, such as Yaya Han’s. Yaya Han is a large cosplay name, often being a judge at conventions and even having appeared on King of the Nerds as a judge earlier this year. But the show presents that she (and the others on the show) are constantly trying to find new ways to gain popularity rather than work on costumes. In my opinion, no one honestly really cares if they don’t have a new costume by the next convention. Yes, it’s human for them to worry about disappointing their fans, but really no one is going to be mad if Yaya shows up in her Chun Li costume to a couple cons in a row without debuting a new one. Cosplay in general is NOT about getting fans and being popular. The point is to have fun dressing up as a character you adore. The most disappointing aspect of the show though is the editing. The editing is done purposefully to make the show be filled with more drama, stressing conversations the people have about cosplay and making it look like they are being rude or over dramatic. Yaya Han and some of the other “contestants” said seemingly unflattering comments about people who are overweight cosplaying and have had to release damage control statements this past week to clarify that their words were cut and twisted together by editing. Also, using stock footage from a con that isn’t even being attended in the episode is probably not a good idea…
If I have so many issues with this show, why am I writing about it? There are some upsides to Heroes of Cosplay. I quite enjoy that, 1) it’s about cosplay. Cosplay is such an underground scene in public, it is interesting for it to be coming to the mainstream. I like that they show how much hard work can be put into cosplay. I actually like that they show the extremes of cosplay. In the first episode, one of the “contestants” is shown trying to completely emulate the character and bring her to life. Not everyone does that, but I’m glad they show that some people do. I like that in the first episode they showed that sometimes costumes never get finished, even when they get taken to con to be finished in the hotel room. I LOVE that it isn’t a competition. A lot of people expressed their distaste that it wasn’t a show more like Face Off, but honestly a cosplay show like Face Off would be a waste for showing off what the cosplay community is like. I also like that the stars themselves try not to present themselves as pretentious about cosplay as the narrator does. Yaya Han denies being a “cosplay queen” but more of a “cosplay ambassador” in the first episode. It’s also great that some of the cosplayers are well established while some of them are just starting out.
Will Heroes of Cosplay be a failure or a success? Will it accurately represent the cosplay community? Will it satisfy the cosplay community? Every cosplayer will answer these questions differently. Who’s to say what’s in store though? Only two episodes have aired. Only time will tell.
Have an opinion on the show? Drop a comment down there!
Visit the Official Website: http://www.syfy.com/heroesofcosplay
Catch the show on Tuesday nights at 10 on SyFy