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Tag Archive | Brian K. Vaughn

Nerd Bucket List

Originally had planned to write a recap of Spartacus: Gods of the Arena but that will have to be put on hold. Instead, I bring you something that immediately inspired me as soon as I saw it.The Nerd Bucket List.

It was actually brought to my attention by another female comic book enthusiast who goes by the name of Jill The Nerdy Bird and guest writes for Newsarama.com. She penned up an article there with her own very specialized Nerd Bucket List as opposed to one that must be adhered to by all nerds.

So, you probably guessed by now that the remainder of this entry is going to be about my own personal Nerd Bucket List. The very exciting thing is that I’ve managed to cross off quite a few things on the list already! These are in no particular order or sequence, as all things are equally important to a nerd like me. ūüėČ

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MINDY’S NERD BUCKET LIST

Meet Katee Sackhoff and Edward James Olmos. Obviously – she is my female heroine idol and it would be the shining moment of my days to shake her hand and tell her that she totally changed my perception of what a female heroine could be with her performance. I would also HAVE to ask her, “What do you hear Starbuck?” Because no one

Starbuck and Adama. My two favorites!

has ever asked her that before. ūüėČ And Edward James Olmos is¬†like the Grandpa I never had. His gravelly voice and reading glasses and general demeanor are as comforting as a glass of warm milk. I’m especially excited to learn that he might return to the BSG Exhibit in Seattle this year for another script reading. I’m so there.

Visit NYC and lurk outside the Marvel Office. They don’t do regular tours, but I can still be a creeper and maybe snap a few pictures with an editor or something out on the street. Or maybe contact them ahead of time and see if ¬†a tour is possible. Or¬†rewind time back to 1998 and be this kid.

Cosplay as a sexy superhero. This is probably something that should be done before I turn 30 (so like, next year) because after 30 I’ve decided is the cut-off for any kind of sexy cosplay. Please time, do not make a liar of me. I don’t know though – Steampunk has made dressing up in costume at any age a work of art, so that might be the loophole in the future. Not sure what superheroine I would like to attempt. I’ve done Rogue before for a superhero party and all that hair dyeing was such a hassle. Any suggestions?

Participate in Thrill The World in full zombie regalia. At least once. Complete with zombie eye contacts and a clever costume.

Obtain a comic book artist portrait. That sounds so ridiculous, but I’ve always fantasized about becoming a comic book character. Not sure what the process would entail either – probably scouting out a decent picture and passing it off to the artist at a convention. Thinking¬†Pablo Raimondi, Pia Guerra or¬†Joelle Jones. Unless someone has an alternate suggestion?

Join or lead a geeky volunteer group. Like the¬†PDX Browncoats. As mentioned before, this would unite my passion for contributing to the community AND displaying geekery in all it’s glory. Plus meeting and hanging out with a group of like-minded folks. Hopefully that can be checked off in the near future!

Alex Maleev sketch, Scarlet Witch

Sketch from¬†Alex Maleev. Dude, he lives here in Portland but I haven’t seen him attending one convention in the last year. He was even noticeably absent at SDCC. What gives? He is elusive as fuck, which makes a sketch from him about as prized as a Unicorn horn.

Sit inside the cockpit of a Colonial Viper. It wasn’t just enough to SEE them. Seriously. It’s the equivalent to some fans of LOOKING at the Millenium Falcon. Want to touch! Want to see what it would look like if I was flying through space, blasting some frakin’ toasters. So say we all!

Create a comic book. I’m no artist, but I’ve dabbled in all forms of writing save one (or two) and it seems especially strange given my passion for comics. How hard would it be to work up a script? Probably not that difficult. The scary part would be in finding an artist who would be willing to put in the blood, sweat and tears to see those words brought to life.

Meet Joss Whedon AND Brian K. Vaughn. The last of the comic book scribes whose work has inspired and thrilled me over the years. They are both hugely talented and the opportunity to shake their hands or stare at them obsessively while my mind goes helplessly blank and my knees give way would be truly special.

Complete all Assassin’s Creed games with 100% achievements. Just cause.

Finish up the Phoenix Tattoo in the next two years. Provided both the DH and I can find stable employment situations. Have had to reschedule twice now, so London no doubt thinks I’m a flake. But I don’t intend to have a half-finished tattoo on my body forever.

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BUCKET LIST ITEMS ALREADY COMPLETED

Attend San Diego Comic Con At Least Once. This was listed as one of the top items on the collaborative nerd bucket list, so I believe I can safely assume the mantle of nerd for the rest of my days – having traveled to the geek mecca and survived the eye-gouging dangers of Hall H and witnessed the glory that was the Avengers Panel (even if we were in the back row and it was on the jumbo-tron). Check out the recap of SDCC 2010 starting here.

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Emerald City Comic Con 2011: Day One

DAY ONE RECAP: BSG EXHIBIT, TONY HARRIS CONVO, LGBT PANEL AND BUFFY THE MUSICAL

Day One of Emerald City Comic Con 2011 got off to an early start. We left Portland around 7:30am (after final packing and gassing up the car) and arrived in Seattle around 10:30am. We checked into Sixth Avenue Inn to see if they had a room ready for us, and shockingly it was already prepped.

All the amenities that are important to con-going on a budget were available – free wifi, microwave, and mini-fridge. The only big issues we had were the “flankets” (fake-blankets) and the small ass shower. I had to turn sideways in order to wash my hair or my elbows would have popped out the curtain.

BSG EXHIBIT

Anywho – we unloaded the car, oriented ourselves and then made the long trek up to the Science Fiction Museum. We took a detour and had a delicious pre-BSG Exhibit Thai lunch at Golden Singha. Highly suggest it if you are in that area.

Total photo-bomb ticket scalper in the background.

Finally entered the museum doors and wandered up to the third floor where the exhibit is housed. Upon entering you are greeted by a Cylon frakkin’ Raider complete with rolling red eye. Somewhere there exists a video of me geeking out when I realized that it was…sentient. Well, mock sentient.

Every 10 minutes or so - the magic happens!

Other exciting mysteries include Starbuck’s pilot suit, her for reals dog tags, the infamous Number Six red dress and a gorgeous outfit worn by President Roslin in the opera house scene. The Mark II and Mark IV Vipers were pretty wicked as well…though I would have LOVED to touch and climb into one of them. It wouldn’t hurt for them to make up a fake one that fans could enter and snap a photograph. I would pay EXTRA for that privilege.

I don’t wanna post all the pics here because if you really, really love BSG, you should go and check it out yourself. The exhibit is running through March 4th, 2012. In fact, one of the staff mentioned plans to bring back some cast and crew in the next year to do script readings or signings. ¬†I signed up for their mailing list so expect updates.

As we were exiting the exhibit, we met Leyla from Missouri who was super excited to find another female fan. We chatted for quite awhile about Caprica and Blood and Chrome. She definitely inspired me to finish off Caprica and get pumped for Blood and Chrome by referencing how Caprica explains the resurrection ships and ties into the rest of the series. I exchanged info with her and we’re now FB friends – she even picked up a business card from Sarah Hulin for the Starbuck Mandala earrings. You can check out Sarahhoo’s Etsy shop here.

We wandered over to the Museum store and picked up a handsome collection of propaganda posters. We haven’t framed any of them yet, but here’s a sample of them from the store display:

That was just about the end of the BSG exploits, so we trekked back to the hotel and prepped for the con.

EMERALD CITY COMIC CON

We entered the doors, grabbed our badges and toured the floor. It was much more crowded than I remember from 2009 and I was happy to note that the media guests were in a separate section of the convention hall to keep the flow of the show-floor open. We hit up a few booths pretty immediately – Jason Palmer Studios which was a carry-over from SDCC, where Dan purchased this Jayne shirt.¬†They were sporting some gorgeous BSG prints and a new Sereni-Tee design…but we were being cautious about too much spending the first night.

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The Week in Geek

A clearing-house of geek activities and news for the week.

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SAN DIEGO COMIC CON DOCUMENTARY 2010

For some reason, yours truly thought it would be a good idea to submit a story and photo to the casting director of the 2010 Comic Con Documentary. Perhaps it was the allure of Joss Whedon and Stan Lee. One can never REALLY know.

It was sent off Saturday – got a phone call back on Monday, and conducted the telephone interview on Wednesday. We’ve been asked to submit an audition tape by no later than July 2nd – stressing our intentions for Comic Con and why they should follow us around.

How crazy is that? I have a feeling that my giant comic book tattoo has something to do with it. Probably also my intention to photograph and/or take video of people with comic book tattoos for either one really awesome post here on the blog, or to create a webpage. Not sure yet. But it’s on my list of things to do.

AND: We will be dressing up in costume. I kinda gave up on the Hit Girl cosplay¬†idea. Something about wearing leather in the sweltering climate of Southern California in late July. Instead, I’ve chosen a far less nerdier angle¬†– BSG characters. Both Dan and I. Already ordered our dog tags (Apollo and Starbuck, respectively) – just have to put together the off-duty uniforms . Nothing that would attract a ton of attention, but I like the idea of paying homage to one of my favorite television series without donning a screaming purple wig. OK – I’m also getting a bit too old for cosplay. I’ll admit it. I think late 20s or early 30s should be the cut off, unless you’re a model.

Our friend Smalls is going as a Merlotte’s waitress one of the days, so I thought I’d try donning some Fangtasia apparel – to balance it out. We are initiating True Blood Tuesdays and might even pick up some Tru Blood bottles to drink out of.

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X-MEN: FIRST CLASS

James McAvoy has finally dispelled all those Hobbit rumors, and he’s now signed up to play a young Charles Xavier in X-Men: First Class – a prequel to the first four films in the series. It will be directed by Matthew Vaughn of Kick-Ass fame and penned by Jane Goldman. Aside from knowing that yes, the young man can act – the next big question is, can he pull off the part? There’s going to be all sorts of continuity baggage, because Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen played digitally altered younger versions of their Xavier and Magneto characters in at least two X-Films already. So presumably McAvoy will be a much younger version of Xavier, and won’t be interacting with the X-Teens at all. OR WILL HE!? No one knows.

I was a bit “meh” at first – thinking McAvoy and Stewart look nothing alike. But I did a little facial comparison, and I think they can pull it off. The only weird thing is now I have raging boner for Professor X, which is not OK. There was never a moment, nor should there ever be a moment where I’m sexually attracted to Professor Xavier. But I can’t help the sexy. Guess that might change when I bear witness to a bald McAvoy. :\

ALSO: Runaways looks like it’s actually going to take shape, because it gained a screenwriter this week. Not sure why the original series creator/writer, Brian K. Vaughn, wasn’t tasked for the job – since he writes comic books AND wrote for several years on Lost. *shrug*

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SCARLET PREVIEW

Brian Michael Bendis seems like a pretty cool dude, and I’ve been trying now for several months to find a body of his work that I enjoy. It started to be Spider-Woman, but then that series quickly fizzled out. I’ve picked up the first TPB of Powers, and it’s alright so far…but I’m not completely blown away by the misogynist bits clustered here and there. But I do LOVE the art of Alex Maleev, and I’m a sucker for a red-head with guns. So, when Bendis unveiled the Scarlet Preview on Twitter yesterday…I knew that I would definitely need to start collecting this series from it’s infancy.

I’m sold on the artwork already. I would probably pick up almost anything Maleev does at the moment. I haven’t been this attracted to the artwork of an artist in my entire history with comic books. So – having a female centric book helps, with a writer that seems competent and who I am desperately trying to connect with in some work of art or another.

Barriers this book will have to surpass in order for me to give it a passing mark – it will have to be much more than a male action hero with breasts. It will need to feature at least more than one woman on its pages. It would be even better if the two women actually liked one another. You can see I’m still skeptical about this, but anxious to delve into a creator owned series. Those are like my bread and butter. Mmmm.

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That’s it for the moment. This weekend will be condo remodeling intense again – but I picked up a few books from the comic shop yesterday and I’m unveiling a month-long project for June which will hopefully be interesting and entertaining.

Man out of Machine: Ex Machina

Fear not Рthere will be reviews soon for the books I picked up this weekend, but analysis takes time. Gotta let that stuff percolate for awhile soes I can produce something worth reading. Just know you are in store for the following: Spell Checkers, Martian Confederacy, Powers, Punisher MAX: Butterfly, and Madame Xanadu. Not necessarily in that order!

Started reading Ex Machina a couple of years ago and never posted about it at the time, but did spend the last month or so getting re-acquainted with Mitchell Hundred and the cast of characters which populate his version of New York City.

For those unfamiliar: the series follows Mitchell Hundred, formerly known as The Great Machine, a¬†hero who gained¬†the ability to “talk” to machines through a freak accident. After gaining acclaim by rescuing several people on 9/11 – he quits the superhero biz (much to the distaste of his father-figure Kremlin)¬†and decides to run for Mayor. The story follows his first term in office, with flashbacks to his superhero stint¬†and little tantalizing bits about how he gained his powers. Several issues are also given to plot-lines of the supporting characters, some of my favorites being Journal Moore (intern), David Wylie (deputy Mayor) and Rick Bradbury (Hundred’s head of security).

This series has the all the beauty and allure of being creator-owned, by one of my favorite authors Brian K. Vaughn. First of all – let me rant a bit about loving creator-owned series. Some of my top 10 books are creator owned, blessed with a consistent writing and artistic team. It’s always been frustrating to have an artist swapped out mid-way through a story arch. It’s comparable¬†to re-placing an integral cast member on a television series, or potentially the whole damn cast and maybe even the set.

Tony Harris has been a wonderful artist throughout this whole series – these people look and feel real in a dimension that is rarely captured on the page. Reading the book is honestly equivalent to sitting down for my favorite TV show – the colors and world are so incredibly rich. If you’ve picked up TPB Volume 6: Power Down, there’s a special insert Inside the Machine¬†with¬†a copy¬†of¬†an actual¬†Vaughn script, along with pics and details about how Harris does his thing. It was especially cool to see the man that Harris uses to capture facial expressions and poses for Hundred. I would definitely suggest picking it up.

*SPOILER FREE*

This is going to be less criticism, and more just a laundry list of the things I love about this series. I’d like to see more people reading it, I feel like since it won an Eisner in 2005, its just been plodding along with the writer and artist producing great material, and hardly anyone singing it’s praises.

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The Final Wave: Zombies, Kings and Runaways

The last set of books I had the pleasure of reading are miscellaneous (but still awesome) series on our pull list that don’t have a central theme or connection to one another. Except for the awesomeness.

They are: The Walking Dead,  The Dark Tower: The Road Home, Runaways

THE WALKING DEAD

*Possible Spoilers, Ya’ll*

When this series written by Robert Kirkman and drawn by Charlie Adlard first started out, it had the excitement of a fresh take on the tired Zombie Genre…following closely a band of survivors with the Zombie Menace being merely a backdrop for their tragedies and turmoils.

But in the last 12 issues, the series has sort of devolved into a slaughter fest. It started out with a trickle as naturally members of the group fell victim to a bite, a murderous rampage, suicide, hostile groups of surivors, more suicide, etc.

It stands now following only two survivors.

Our hero – the small town cop who must become leader and hold together his damaged psyche for the good of the order is totally nuts, sick and only has one hand. His son is packing all the heat and taking care of the two of them.

And while the young kid versus the Zombies angle is new and interesting…I sort of lost interest when a good chunk of the characters died.

On one hand, part of the suspense and intrigue of the book was that no one, not even your favorite character – was safe. Or spared from some kind of torture or humiliation. Anyone and everyone could bite it (or be bitten). But around issue 40…it became clear that nearly EVERYONE was going to bite it. Characters that you knew and loved were being picked off one or two an issue until the outright slaughter-fest that culminated in Issues 48 and 49.

And now, the series is ringing a bit hollow for me. I loved the intrigue of the author not holding any particular character as a sacred cow…but killing off pretty much everyone leaves the audience fearing for the state of the book, rather than just the state of their favorite character.

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Quitters and Lions.

Time for another round of Comic Book/Graphic Novel dorkiness. Today’s installment is featuring yet another Harvey Pekar offering: “The Quitter.” At this point – I’m not sure if I’m on some Harvey Pekar kick – or if the Multnomah County Library is. I snagged this from my local branch while tooling through the graphic novel section…I swear. This wasn’t something I actively sought out.

quitterThe first thing that struck me about this book was the artwork, by Dean Haspiel. It was much more stylized than the two most recent Pekar books I reviewed. Of course it’s black and white. But the lines are thicker, darker and moodier – which is perfect for this “coming of age” story about the man himself, Mr. Harvey Pekar.

Thematically – the¬†title captures the subject matter perfectly. It’s about a scruffy kid who’s entire¬†fate is sculpted around his decision to quit important things in his life when they proved to be too difficult for him to achieve. It’s not a heroic story – it’s very anti-heroic, and perfectly suited to Pekar – who is (probably begrudginly) an anti-hero. His whole comic schtick is painting real life portraits of real life people – without all that “superhero crap.”

I’m pretty intrigued by his most recent batch of comic books, which have either offered biographical fare, or historical content. The idea of a comic book is so simple, and IMHO, perfectly suited to telling stories to a modern day audience. I would much rather ingest information with pictures and words. I think there are a lot of folks in my generation who feel that way. Modern day media is all about mixing images and words (and sounds as well) to engage all aspects of learning.

Me – I’m totally a visual person. I think¬†a lot of people respond to PICTURES as opposed to giant chunks of text. I wish there were more of a push for “educational” graphic novels in schools.

End Rant.

But seriously¬†– this book actually gave me more (if that’s even possible) insight into Harvey Pekar¬†– the forces that shaped him into the man he is today. OK – there was a bit of whiney parent bashing, but it wasn’t enough to detract from the main thrust of the story.

And I loved the juxtaposition of the old, balding, sour faced Pekar next to his younger, some-times smiling visage.

BONUS REVIEW!

During my work trip to Orcas Island, WA – I also read through a graphic novel written by Brian K. Vaughn called “Pride of Baghdad.” It’s the true story accounting of four lions who escaped from¬†a city zoo during the 2003 bombing of Baghdad.

It’s a gorgeous book. The coloring is luscious (I’m a sucker for pretty art), and the artist, Niko Henrichon did a great job of capturing human expressions in a feline face.

The writing was excellent as well – the lions spoke and interacted with one another – but Vaughn did not forget to give them what I consider “lion-esque” reasoning.

The ending was abrupt and shocking, but I’m certain for allegorical reasons. In fact the entire book itself is¬†an allegorical look at the idea of “freedom” and “liberation” – who has the power to grant freedom and for what purpose. The fact that it’s a true story adds another layer as well.

I think it’s worth mentioning that the last three comic books I’ve reviewed are a part of the DC Vertigo label, which are known for catering to teenagers and adults. Does that mean that I’ve crossed over to the edgier comics now? I don’t know. It could also be worth noting that Vertigo books are most of the only DC comics I enjoy reading. ūüôā

Up Next: Fallen Angel (I promise).

Much Love, Mindy C

Alas, Poor Yorick.

If you were the last man on earth…

Never has this phrase been answered so completely and uniquely by – well – anything.

While the “last man on earth” topic has been explored by movies and I think – an episode of the Twilight Zone, as far as I know, this is a somewhat unique plot-line for the comic world.

Except for this book.

I was hooked from the first two pages. Here’s the thing – I love comic books. I do. But I don’t often get “hooked.” I am intrigued, attracted, entertained. But never really hooked.

HERE’S A BIT ON HOW THIS STARTED…

A few months ago, Dan and I purchased a two year subscription to Wizard magazine. This was quite a commitment for us, strangely enough. I remember sitting on the couch, on the lap-top – thinking – well, that means we have to stay someplace for two years, right?

For some reason, it wasn’t occurring to me that we purchased a Condo. We sort of have to stay someplace for two years.

Anywho…so I’ve been reading up in Wizard on this series called “Y: The Last Man” – how it was coming to a close and the writer was Brian K. Vaughn, of “Runaways” fame (which I’ve read a few of). He recently did a short stint on Buffy that I really enjoyed. And the artist is Pia Guerra – a female comic book artist. Yet another morsel to pique my interest. Sooooo – I placed the first four books on hold at the library, and put this series in the back of my mind. Mostly because the hold list was like 50 people deep.

It’s been all I can do to avoid reading things about it in Wizard – or on boards. Especially since the final issue was released January 2008. People just can’t wait to talk about the ending.

After reading the first five issues in Book 1 – I can honestly say I’m totally hooked. It’s an end of the world schtick (one of my faves) involving a weird deadly plague (another of my faves!) and a monkey (I love monkies!). Weird end of the world plague with monkey = Mindy happiness.

And the writing is kick-fucking-ass! The art isn’t half bad either.

My dilemma now is that I have Book 1 (read it) and Book 3 (not read it). Book 2 is still about FOURTEEN holds away from being mine. Should I just buy the thing? I can already guess I’m going to love the series, and really want to own it. I’m feeling super impatient because – like I mentioned earlier – I’m hooked.

I’ve also heard (as with most popular/good comic nowadays) – there’s going to be a movie. Don’t get too excited though, the IMDB page doesn’t look promising.

My vote is for Shia Lebouf as Yorick, totally and completely. And 2010 would be a better release date – let Shia age a little more to convincingly play a college graduate.

Please don’t let this film stall in movie hell. The concept, the characters – everything I’ve read thus far – it’s too good for that.

I know I’m hopping on the bandwagon about two years AFTER the rest of the known world, but here I am world. Dammit. I’m lettin my freak flag fly. Me and this guy.

Much Love, Mindy C