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Tag Archive | comic book

Last Minute Bits Before Comic Con 2010

Hey Folks – I’m leaving on a jet plane tomorrow and touching down around noon at the San Diego airport for five days of an intense madness known as Comic Con International.

My apologies for being absent here – I’ve had lots of employment things going on (interviews, job rejections, offers, etc), and then fell ill for a five day stint starting last Thursday.

I’ve emerged on the other end of all this craziness alive and well – but I want to catch you all up to speed on some things that have unfolded the last few days.

1. Comic Book Tattoos!

Yes, I still plan on snapping pics and amassing stories around this. It looks like this project could take a bit longer than I anticipated, and could be on the back-burner as my employment situation settles in the next month. The website itself might be a few months in the making, but it’s my goal. Two great tastes and all.

2. Signings!

For the most part the signing schedules for the big events and peeps I want to see are up, and it’s definitely thrown a wrench into the plans. Boo to that. But the opportunity to have Robert Kirkman and Peter David sign some of my golden crap on Sunday is making me elated and forgetful that I will soon have to choose between panels and signings.

Specifically for True Blood and Captain America (I refuse to tack on “The First Avenger” because that title is both lame and lame), they are nearly conflicting with my ability to get a signature and also see the panel. WHY!?

3. Evening Plans!

Are still for the most part up in the air. I was distracted and did not book the Hammer Improv tickets, so I’ll have to converse with people about that. It’s also on Wednesday night, which might conflict with our Preview Night plans. For some reason I thought it was on Thursday.

Thursday there’s a wicked cool Free Taco Truck for Machete that is not on the Convention site. What else? Oh and a Serenity screening with “special guests” along with a showing of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long blog which could ALSO have special guests. Mysterious special guests, your mystery is giving me an ulcer over here. Thanks for that. ūüėČ

Friday is the Tweethouse party (a big party on a boat with celebrities and regular folk), and Smalls told me recently that some True Blood folks will be lurking about. Yum.

Saturday is a Kevin Smith-a-thon, so I’m not EVEN worrying about the festivities for that evening.

And Sunday will be our day to roam the exhibit hall, purchase thangs and get scribbles on our funny books from famous dudes (squee!).

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU IN THE VIEWING AUDIENCE

-Expect daily recaps on the blog with pics and filmed footage Wed-Sunday.

-Expect tweets on TinyHeroes frequently, along with photos, quotes and breaking news as it filters into my ears or the ears of folks in our party.

-You can follow Smalls here (as erninlow) and Dan here as (DanielZRob). Smalls gained entry in an exclusive Entertainment Weekly party on Thursday night, so she’ll be especially interesting to follow!! ūüôā

Tomorrow I’ll be updating from our hotel room in National City, CA after an exhausting but exhilarating Preview Night. *woot woot*

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Comic Book Tattoos at San Diego Comic Con International 2010

It’s two weeks until SDCCI 2010 and I have a favor to ask all of you.

One of my missions at Comic Con is to connect with as many people as possible with comic book tattoos. I would love to get your tattoo story, where you got it, how many sessions, what it means to you and would love to snap a picture.

The ultimate goal is to create and host a website that is a depository for all the awesome comic book tattoos out there. A safe haven where nerds with ink can come to share their tattoos and meet like minded folks.

As a comic book tattooed person, it’s fun to connect with others and learn about their experiences and share some awesome art inspired by something we’re passionate about. Comic book conventions have been that space for me – where I know most people will recognize and appreciate my tattoo in all it’s nerdy glory.

So – I’d like to give back some of that love and recognize and appreciate all of YOUR nerdy tattoos in their splendiferous loveliness.

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AN EXAMPLE: BRIEF

Name: Mindy Crouchley, 27

Tattoo: Jean Grey as Phoenix 3/4 Sleeve

Inked At: Imperial Tattoo AND Atomic Arts Studio in Portland, Oregon

Hours: 17 (so far)

Inspiration/Story: Reading the Phoenix: End Song comic book, struggling to complete my undergraduate education, Jean Grey as a strong female character, the mythology of the phoenix bird

Other Tattoos: Goldfish and Crossbones, Ohm Symbol

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AN EXAMPLE: Expanded

Mindy Crouchley is 27 year old woman in the middle of getting her Jean Grey as Phoenix Tattoo 3/4 sleeve completed at the Atomic Art Tattoo Studio in Portland, Oregon.

The inspiration behind the sleeve was reading the Phoenix: End Song graphic novel and falling in love with the Jean Grey character for the first time, after having read X-Men Comic books for almost 15 years.

The beauty of the female form, the strength of Jean Grey and the mythology of the phoenix tattoo were all the elements she wanted to put together in one powerful image.

The first two sessions took place almost three years ago at Imperial Tattoo in NW Portland and the result was awesome…but Mindy felt it needed more.

She undertook a medical study at OHSU to get the needed funds to add a space background including the Earth, a spiral galaxy and Saturn. She estimates that there are two more three hour sessions left until the final product emerges. She has already been to three three-hour sessions at Atomic, adding to that the 8 hours the original image took. Over 17 hours of inking so far!

She has two other tattoos – a goldfish and crossbones and an ohm symbol. But like every addict, she has plans for more.

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You can send in pictures and info or arrange to meet at Comic Con.¬†I’ll be available here (leave a comment), on Twitter at TinyHeroes, or you can contact me by email at Mindy@Tinyheroes.net.

Videos are also welcome!

My goal is to have the site up and running within two weeks after SDCC. Thanks for putting the word out there.

Bechdel Test Post #3

TRUE BLOOD: Season 3, Episode 26: Bad Blood

Bechdel Test for Women

1. It has two or more women in it (with names)

2. At least two women talk to each-other: Sookie and Kenya. Sookie and Pam. Sookie and Tara. Sookie and Jessica. Tara and Arlene.

3. There were no conversations between two women that didn’t revolve around Bill or Eric. Tara and Arlene were fighting about race – but that conversation was spurred by the death of Eggs. There was a brief exchange between Tara and Lettie Mae – but it was being coaxed by a male reverend. The only line not uttered through or about a male was when Tara told her mother she was going to take a shower.

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Bechdel Test for Men

1. It has two or more men in it (with names)

2. At least two men talk to each-other: Jason and Andy Bellefleur. Jason and Hoyt. Eric and the magistrate.

3. Jason and Andy discuss the death of Eggs. Jason and Hoyt talk about their life situation – Hoyt asks to move in. Eric and the magistrate discuss the sale of “V” in Louisiana.

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Bechdel Test for Race

1. It has two or more people of color in it (with names) – Tara, Lafayette, Lettie Mae

2. Tara and Lafayette. Lafayette and Lettie Mae.

3. Tara and Lafayette talk to one another about the death of Eggs. Lafayette and Lettie Mae talk to one another about Tara and their own relationship.

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This True Blood episode DOES NOT PASS the female test, PASSES the male test and PASSES the Bechdel Test for Race.

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THE GUILD Comic Book: Issues 1-3

Since these were all read in one grouping…I decided against doing a Bechdel test on each, so they will be measured as a unit.

Bechdel Test for Women

1. It has two or more women in it (with names)

2. At least two women talk to each-other: Cyd and Clara in issue 2. Cyd and Tink in issue 3.

3. Cyd and Clara talk about the  rules of The Game and how to earn points. Cyd and Tink talk about arranging a raid, and later about joining The Guild.

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Bechdel Test for Men

1. It has two or more men in it (with names)

2. At least two men talk to each-other: No men talk to each-other in issue 1. Zaboo and Bladezz in issue 2. Zaboo and Vork in issue 2. Zaboo and Bladezz in issue 3.

3. Zaboo and Bladezz discuss the game and homework. Zaboo and Vork discuss the game.

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Bechdel Test for Race

1. It has two or more people of color in it (with names): Tink. Zaboo.

2. Two minorities talk to one another: Neither of the two characters interact with one another.

3. N/A

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Two issues PASS the female test (2/3), two issues PASS the male test (2/3) and none of the issues PASS the Bechdel Test for Race (0/3).

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The Losers: Comic Book Movie Fail

Gonna try to keep this brief, as I will also be doing a Free Comic Book Day wrap-up later today. The Losers (film) had to be seen in theatres, because purchasing a movie ticket is voting with my dollars for more comic book movie adaptations. And the world needs those in abundance.

Except, they should probably be GOOD comic book movie adaptations. Or good movies. One or the other. I’m not sure if The Losers was ever either of those things – a good book or a good movie. I haven’t read the source material *gasp* so there won’t be much commentary or comparison.

It was a lot like watching a 90 minute Lexus advertisement. The action scenes were choppy and frantic (well, at least in the first 15 minutes). Sure, you want to make action vibrant on the screen…but since when did that mean hitting the fast forward button and cutting to a new scene every 10 seconds? Yikes – the directing by Sylvain White leaves much to be desired. Dan kept comparing it to TV action sequences, and I’ll have to say, I’ve seen better on TV. So, that’s one element which did absolutely nothing for me.

The acting was pretty sub-par all around the board, which is disappointing and frustrating, because the screenplay itself had plenty dramatic weight and comedic inserts. I”m not sure who dropped the ball, or where they dropped it. Zoe Saldana is the new “it girl” for action films requiring the token female. It’s great that, as a woman of color, she’s getting so many roles, but it’s difficult for me to conceive of her as a believable action heroine. She is totally rocking the Angelina Jolie complex – skinny to the point where she risks looking skeletal. In what reality could someone who weighs under 125 lbs wield a rocket launcher? I don’t buy it.

Plus, she doesn’t ever achieve the hardness or grit demanding of this role. What about Rosario Dawson? Her body is muscled and curvy, coupled with the personality and grit required of such a role. She managed to hold her own quite admirably on screen with action hero Clive Owen in Sin City (a comic book movie adaptation which managed to feature ethnicity and gender well). It’s simply exhausting mentally to think that Zoe Saldana could physically rumble with any of¬† the muscled dudes in The Losers and possibly hope to best them.

And what of the muscled dudes? Jeffrey Dean Morgan is attractive in a grizzled way, but there isn’t much emotion or soul in his character for him to latch onto. He works admirably with what is there, but never does much than fill up the screen and emit guttural statements. Idris Elba plays the typical angry black man role, with a neat looking scar running down the side of his face and a chip on his shoulder…but the grudge itself is sort of ambivalent for the audience. He’s involved in a totally unbelievable plot point at the end which I won’t disclose here. Needless to say, it was yet another thing that failed on-screen.

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You Have Killed Me

Mmm hardboiled detective fiction.

One of¬†my major projects of the last week has been searching through the entire Multnomah County Library database of comic books and graphic novels to cull which books I would like to put on hold for future reviews. Our library¬†boasts about 9500 comics. I’ve currently only about 2,000 left to sift through. The process has been made much easier by the fact that at least 60% of them are Manga series, which I have virtually no interest in reading. Sad story, but true.

The great news is that half of my holds were processed over the weekend and arrived today (which means I get to start queueing up even more this afternoon). And the first book of the stack which piqued my interest was You Have Killed Me by Jamie S. Rich and Joelle Jones, a duo you might remember from this earlier post. It’s another Oni Press publication.

The cover was enough to warrant¬† a coo of complacency from me. I’m very much attracted to Jones’ artistic style, and the splashes of color were thrilling. While she works wonders with black and white, it’s unfortunate that she doesn’t seem to get the chance to work with color in most of her art, because her lines translate well. Do yourself a favor and visit her flickr collection. It was there I discovered she’d inked the Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog comic book of which I knew absolutely nothing about until today. Because I’m lame and have been out of touch.¬†Obviously that’s going on the to-read list.¬†ūüôā But as you can see – she is greatly expressive with faces, rendering an especially well done Neil Patrick Harris.

Her artwork does not fail in this book either¬†– the women are sumptious and curvy, evoking a Jessica Rabbit feel which is appropriate for a detective story. The men are hard lines and rigid brows. The scenery is dark, the shadows are deep and ominous. The vibe is perfectly pitched and there are no real complaints from me – save a few scenes where the character’s expressions didn’t really seem to match with the dialogue. Overall, artistically speaking, the book was pretty flawless.

Sexy dames and glowering detectives.

The writing fit the noir mood excellently – though there were a few times¬†when the metaphors of Jazz and Almonds seemed strained and out-of-place. Clearly, Rich did his homework and richly peppered the dialogue with vocabulary of the day (twist has always been my favorite noir word for women), and with it’s minimal use – it didn’t stand out as being affected or cheesy.

The story itself was pretty standard noir detective fair with plot twists and turns that I didn’t always catch. I did find myself intrigued with the detective character – Anthony Mercer – and wanted to know a bit more about his past, as well as Julie Roman, the woman he is¬†hired to locate. We could have spent a bit more time with them during their summers, and I wanted to know why Mercer had decided to give up the good life and become a detective – as it was indicated he was from high society.

While I won’t divulge the ending here for those who are interested in reading it – it was equally surprising and a bit of a let down. While I love the angst of noir, I can never quite get over it’s treatment of women, so it’s conclusions rarely sit well with me.

Overall – it was a delightful and entertaining second entry into the collaborative works of Rich and Jones. I’m¬†definitely a fan, and therefore looking forward to future works penned and inked by these folks. While we wait, here is an interview of Jones, along with information about¬†her upcoming independent projects. And¬†one of Rich.

Excited to hear about their series Spell Checkers being debuted this Spring, and perhaps getting to meet and greet with them at the San Diego Comic Con.

X-Men: First Class

Why is it that Fox has it’s hands on all my favorite franchises (X-Men, Dollhouse, Spiderman)? And just WHAT the hell is this?

x_men_first_class_01X-Men: First Class.

It’s a comic book. It’s a movie. It’s a comic book movie. Another chance for Fox to get it right. But scarily enough – it could be an episode of The O.C. with super-powers. It will be penned by, Josh Schwartz, the scribe behind OC, Gossip Girl and Chuck. So I’ve never seen at least two of those television shows, and another one looks interesting, but never enough for me to actually tune in on a weekly basis. What I know about the first two? They’re about rich, bitchy teenagers. Yikes – color me NOT at all compelled.

Right – that’s my diminished fan-girl enthusiasm rearing it’s ugly head. But after a jarring final installment in the “adult X-trilogy” – the distrust is ripe and well warranted.

It’s hard to know whether or not Fox will fuck this up – 3rd entries in trilogies have a bad reputation anyway: Godfather 3 and Spiderman 3 being prime examples of that. In a movie trilogy, the second film seems to hit the right stride and the third blows goats. Who knows why?

But the big debate for this first movie is whether it will actually follow the comic book or not. According to the movieweb.com article, characters from previous films will be included, sans Cyclops, Jean Grey and Beast.

But Angel, Iceman, Rogue and Shadowcat are confirmed-ish. On this site. Here’s what an opposing viewpoint suggests. It’s pretty far off in the future (2010) and imdb is mum about any other details, unless you want to pay, of course. The chances of any other juicy details being leaked are slim for at least another few months.

While I wouldn’t mind seeing another X-Men movie in a year or so – I have Wolverine: Origins to sate my fan needs in the mean-time, especially since Gambit is finally making his big screen debut.

What’s troubling is that Magneto: Origins seems a bit stalled in movie production hell, and Ian McKellen ain’t getting any younger or prettier (but he does have the most adorable home page of any actor ever, which he obviously maintains himself). I would be surprised if the Magneto film sees the light of day. And also surprised if X-Men: First Class ever makes it out of talks. We’ll see.

But the idea of reading the X-Men: First Class miniseries is quite appealing.¬† Especially since I’ve tried in vain to read the real first 50 or so X-Men issues and could NOT stomach the writing of that time period.

Perhaps they will use some of this revamped series content? Actually sticking to the comic lore would be a first for Fox and the merry band of mutants.

Here’s a fan made trailer for the flick, while you wait.

Much Love, Mindy C

More Marvel Movie Mayhem

I’ll have to admit, after the Watchmen inspired frenzy the last few weeks – I’m surveying the rest of 2009’s movie playing field with only a few goals in mind – Wolverine: Origins and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

But fans are already shrilling that HPB is revolting, or at least revolt-worthy, sooo – what is a movie/fan-girl to do with all this idle screen time?

Plot her movie-going goals for the next three years, of course. Such a task is made imminently easier by this precious gem:

marvelstudiosMarvel Studios Film Release Schedule. All the way through 2012, because you know our calendars run that long, and we all plan on being alive and financially solvent in time to catch The Avengers. But seriously, someone should tell IMDB to update¬† to reflect these changes, you know, one of these days. ūüôā

I can’t say I’m crying about the Avengers release date being pushed up, because it doesn’t feature any heroes I’m especially fanatical about, but it might make some folks cry and get up in arms. I just won’t be one of them. Plus, Marvel has been good to the nerd herd the last few years. They need a breather. It’s taxing to be that good.

And, it might give DC an opening to get their act in gear. And on that note – What’s up with the Green Lantern?

Apparently not much, but it would be nice to see DC offer up more from their catalog. The Dark Knight, while not my favorite, was a promising sign of things to come.

Anybody have interesting movies slated for 2009 so my fan heart can become inspired once again? I’d love to hear ’em.

Much Love, Mindy C

Portland Watches the Watchmen

Who watches the Watchmen?

About 300 or so lucky bastards in Portland, Oregon last night Рyours truly and her husband NOT INCLUDED.

Here’s the scoop: The usual tom-foolery of my morning includes wrangling with a hot iron, finding relatively clean un-ironed clothes to wear, exercising the dog and ferret – AND surfing the net.

Wellll Рthe Comic Book Movie Rss Feed had this lovely gem to offer yesterday morning: Secret Watchmen Screening Thursday in Portland, Oregon . So, Dan and I quickly made plans to meet at the Lloyd Center Theater after work and try desperately to appear non-chalant in hopes of getting selected.

Turns out – about a bazillion other people read that article as well, and though they didn’t move the location of the screening, by the time we arrived, it was obvious they’d captured most of their “blind audience” elsewhere. It looks like the passes were handed out last¬†Sunday, which is¬†a pretty smart move if you want to avoid a fan-tainted audience.¬†It worked well, and “regular folks” were lined up around the block with free tickets already clutched in their lucky bastard hands.

We were bummed at being turned away. Naturally.

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Let’s Get Invincible

Sorry ya’ll – with the start of fall term, I’m realizing there isn’t gonna be much time to update and post but maybe once a week. Blame the professors with their ridiculous expectations.

But here’s some review love all the same.

Invincible

This book is penned by one of my favorite Zombie authors, Robert Kirkman, he’s an excellent writer from the Image Comics label.¬†

Due to the love affair with The Walking Dead, it’s kinda surprising that I hadn’t picked up another Kirkman book earlier. Well, aside from his run on Marvel Zombies. From scanning through the Walking Dead letters column on occasion, it was obvious he wrote other books. But I never had the time or inclination.

Except, I’ve grown tired of all the shit books out there on the market. And trust me when I say, there are many shit books. Especially the X-Franchise.

So when all else fails, stick with the writers you know will craft decent stories, right? Especially when they are writer/creator controlled books with an artist willing to stick around longer than six issues (or six pages).

The Invincible¬†story¬†carries a unique twist as it’s set from the viewpoint of a teenager developing super-powers. His father is already a galactically known hero, and takes the time every other issue or so to coach his son on the greater points of saving lives.

The dialogue and writing are amusing, and it’s great to read Kirkman injecting some humor into his characters and storylines. TWD can be intense and dramatic – so there is a happy surprise in reading a Kirkman who¬†is capable of pulling of light-hearted material with such ease.

The art by Cory Walker is pitched perfectly to the tone of the book, clean and simple and breezy Рand the colors are classic comicbook fare. Nothing to complain about here.

I’m only about eight issues in – so I have no real final verdict to submit about the series. It’s fun, entertaining and a bit unique in an almost satyrical light, but there isn’t much else going on in the book to hold my interest. In the deluge of other material to sift through, this one will inevitably fall through the cracks.

I suppose I was hoping for more of a hybrid – fantastical elements mixed with the grating realism of The Walking Dead.

Still, it rates a bit above the average superhero book out there on the market.

Much Love, Mindy C

Unleashing the Force

So РI have a confession to make. In the last four days, I spent AT LEAST 10 hours playing video games. OK, just one video game in particular. Are you ready?

The Force Unleashed.

This is highly unlike me. It’s rare that a video game out there manages to capture my interest with it’s attractiveness, easy playing style, and storytelling.

And most of those that do hook me¬†end up being some kind of RPG style entity – a few that I’ve fallen for over the last few years:

Stubbs The Zombie

X-Men Legends

Lego Star Wars

Jade Empire

And of course – World of Warcraft. I was pretty much logging like 3-4 hours a night for a three month stretch back in 2005. Yes, bask in the nerdiness of that statement. But I haven’t touched that game since then.

So – by and large I’m not a huge gamer. I enjoy RPG style outings (though I never really got into Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess) and interactive games like Wii Sports, Guitar Hero, Rock Band and DDR. But I don’t read gaming magazines, or track release dates for games. It’s just not my thing.

So, this game is one of those rare exceptions.

Dan purchased The Force Unleashed for the Wii console exactly one week ago. He played a little last Friday night while I paged insanely through Twilight, trying to ignore the John Williams orchestrations and blaster shots.

My level of interest in Star Wars waxes and wanes, and for the most part – I could care less about spaceships and aliens. However, I happened to glance up now and then¬†last Friday evening¬†and thought…shit, this thing has a STORY. And the voice-acting and characterizations aren’t half bad.

Dan caught me eye-balling, and then practically insisted I duel him.

Of course, he soundly kicked my ass several times and I threw the controls down in frustration. But despite the brutal beating – I enjoyed being able to wield a light saber and use incredibly fun force powers (push, choke, repel, electricity). Since adequate dueling requires that the champions be on equal footing, Dan suggested I start up a game and figure out how to use the powers.

And then I was hooked.

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