Tag Archive | Ex Machina

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 Three

DAY THREE RECAP: DARK HORSE PANEL, STUMPTOWN SIGNING, GEEKS AND GOOD WORKS PANEL AND TONY HARRIS SKETCH

We woke up fairly early on Sunday to grab breakfast and doughnuts before Smalls had to board her train back to PDX. After discovering only crazy

This picture is proof of how much love I am in with this doughnut.

expensive breakfast places within walking distance, hampered by my jacked up knees slowing down any further searching, we decided on breakfast sandwiches and coffee at Starbucks which is totes appropriate cause we were in Seattle. Grabbing the sandwiches also left us plenty of time to hit up the real treat of the morning – Top Pot Doughnuts.

HELLO PEOPLE OF SEATTLE – THESE DOUGHNUTS ARE FRAKKIN’ DELICIOUS!!! Why there wasn’t a line out the door and snaking down the sidewalk is beyond me. The only one I could stuff in my already fairly-stuffed maw was the Raspberry. RASPBERRY DOUGHNUT. With no nasty creme or berry filling. So heavenly I’m imagining how long it will be before my next trip to Seattle and thinking…not that long. ūüėÄ

Everyone snacked on and enjoyed at least one doughnut (my ma purchased a dozen) before we moseyed on back to the hotel, packed, loaded up the car, checked out and hit the Con floor.

Just in time for…

THE DARK HORSE PANEL

Since we’d missed the BPRD Panel the previous day where they announced Guy Davis leaving, we thought it would be appropriate to drop in and see if one of our favorite local publishers had anything exceptionally interesting to say about their books, aside from the news that exceptionally interesting people are leaving.

Turns out – the lovely Ms. Felicia Day was sitting in on the opening of THIS panel as well to chat about The Guild comic book series. Looks like each character will be getting their own one-shot origin via Dark Horse -Vork’s was released ¬†on December 22nd, 2010. According to Felicia Day – Bladezz will be released next (within two months or so) and then one can only assume that Tinkerballa’s will be out after that, given the signed prints that were being offered up at their booth this weekend.

Felicia Day spilling the beans about The Guild.

Zaboo’s book will be co-written by nerd hunk and scribe Sandeep Parikh and drawn by the lovely Becky Cloonan, whom I follow on the Twitter because I like her drawerings and because she’s funny. She also did the art for DEMO.

Felicia also mentioned she has decided NOT to pilot for anything this season that is not Science Fiction related. Or I suppose she could have meant “SyFy” – either way she hasn’t piloted YET so one can either assume that there is a small market for scifi this year or that SyFy isn’t producing any new shows.

My vote would be for her to appear on BSG: Blood and Chrome (which sounds eerily similar to Spartacus: Blood and Sand). People of Syfy, make it happen! Though she is so funny and sweetly charming I’m not sure how well she could fair on the intense drama of the BSG Verse. Balls.

ANYWHO – back to comics world. We then sat through about 20 minutes (or 2 hours) of Axe Cop panel which boasted a 6 year old making crazy bird screeching noises, eating candy and offering it to everyone in sight. It was cute bordering on annoying but I really love the concept of the book and the collaboration between the brothers, as I imagine it would be difficult to find something to bond over when your sibling is 25 years younger than you are. The book is probably a bit too ridiculous and comedic for me…but the folks involved seem successful and happy with the work they are doing so props to them. If you like the random imagination of five year olds, you should check it out.

Scott Allie revealed he WILL continue to edit the work of  Joss Whedon who signed on to write Buffy The Vampire Slayer through Season 10. Whoot to BTVS fans everywhere!! I dropped out in about the middle of Season 8. Hopefully a collection will be published soon so I can catch up before the next season hits the shelves.

Allie clarified there will now only be 25 books per season (maybe he meant 24?) to keep them at two years versus four. Everyone involved recognized that was far too long a “season” for even the most die hard fans.

Apparently there’s some other big news in store for Buffy that Allie is waiting to reveal at Wondercon, so keep your ear to the ground if this book is your cup of tea. Change is a-comin’.

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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 Bechdel Test: 30 Days of Entertainment Recap

Sorry this is a few days late – had to put my Eclipse thoughts down in print (well, as close to print as the internet gets), and my brother arrived home from the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday. Then last night I suffered the indignity of The Last Airbender. Oh you can bet a review of that is forthcoming as well. Anyways, was busy but not busy enough to forget about the recap of the last month’s efforts. So, without further adieu…

WHAT WAS REVIEWED

Comic Books, Regular Books, Television Shows and Movies. I tried to pick a variety of items to test over the month, but you can rest assured that I wasn’t merely selecting things on the basis of them being “worthy.” What was read or watched is really stuff that I would normally consume and didn’t vary from my routine. Except for a few exceptions.

After submitting three episodes of Justified and¬† having them fail the women and race test, I determined that I could leave off including that show in the future. I still finished up the first season, but have now realized that it doesn’t nearly hold a candle to the awesomeness that was Deadwood. That show was simply too good, and Justified will never be anything like it. Damn, damn, double damn.

There was also a point that I tried to read Ex Machina and realized intuitively it wasn’t going to pass, so was unable to trudge through it. It also started getting super meta by including the author, and that is a gigantic turn-off to me. No one has ever done it well and it completely ruins the story. Sorry writers. We don’t want to SEE YOU in the story. We want the story. You are not welcome there.

I also left off The Road as well. It was a book club requirement and did not pass the women and race test either.

It feels important to disclose what I didn’t even bother putting to the test, because¬† it still matters to the test. So there you have it – at least three more items that do not pass the test which were not included in the posts for various reasons.

HOW HAS IT IMPACTED PRESENT AND FUTURE ENTERTAINMENT CHOICES?

It’s certainly made me more conscious on a basic level of inclusion. Having to be so meticulous about scouting it out in books, comic books and movies has definitely led to it becoming something of a second nature. It’s kind of a habit now, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever really be able to turn my brain off to examining the nuances. This makes my brain quite happy, as its natural state is to over-think everything.

The Bechdel Test hasn’t necessarily inspired me to give up all entertainment that is dominated by white men, because then I would be giving up some of the franchises and pieces of entertainment that I love. But I’m not going to forget that they only include men and what that says to me as a female reader and someone who feels inclusion is imperative in order to properly reflect humanity and society.

It seems important to mention that even if something passed the test, that didn’t automatically give it a stamp of feminist approval, or mean it was not stereotypically depicting people of color.

Who would have thought that Eclipse and Bree Tanner would have passed the tests? I still firmly believe the Twilight saga is deviously misogynistic and paints a deeply troublesome portrait of romantic love to teen girls that is not achievable in reality. Bella is a disturbing heroine for a younger generation of women.

Another way Twilight passed is through the inclusion of Native Americans; the Quileute characters and use of legends. Outside of the wolf related folklore, there isn’t much mentioned about the current culture and life on the reservation. This is a subject area I would need to do a bit more research on, but the inclusion of Native American characters in the Twilight Saga has clearly been a mixed blessing.

– The real Quileutes in La Push have benefited financially from the exposure and seem pleased to have contemporary depictions of Natives shown in Hollywood (rather than “leather and feather” versions from the 1800s)

– The heritage of actors and actresses depicting the role has been a crucial part of the casting process. Not all of the cast members are full-blooded Native American, and this presents a problem.

– A more in-depth analysis of First Nation representation in the franchise is provided here.

– Actual quotes from Chaske Spencer, the Native American who plays Sam Uley.

This seems like enough material for an entirely different post. Regardless, I guess you could give Stephenie Meyer props for actually including Native Americans in a huge Hollywood blockbuster franchise with all the usual stereotypes stripped away.

Non-Twilight Related Business. Another surprise for me was seeing that Push passed the test. I didn’t have any expectations one way or the other going into it, and so when I started tallying up, I was impressed. It’s been a quiet favorite of mine, an under-rated screen gem which was set up for a sequel it will never receive, much to my dismay. So, even happier to note that it passed both tests, though the Race test only marginally. And perhaps only then because it took place in Hong Kong. But yay for that right? Kudos to films set in foreign countries for no real reason without disrespecting the country and culture.

It also seems strange to me that many of the books, movies, TV shows included women and minority characters, yet left off the need for them to interact with one another. Glee is a great example of a show that purports to be inclusive, but rarely utilizes the characters of color and hardly ever has them converse together. There are still characters of color in the background who haven’t had speaking roles, yet have appeared every episode. That’s hugely disturbing. Sometimes – and I’m sure folks will hate hearing this – I feel like minority or disabled characters are included simply in the series so they can get away with an ethnic joke or a joke about people in wheelchairs that otherwise would be inappropriate if uttered by a white or able-bodied character. For reals.

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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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Defending “Remember Me”

*Yes, Thar Be Spoilers Here*

I watched¬†Remember Me¬†last Friday with my mom, and was all prepared to write a review, which I started to type up. Then I deleted it, and was like –¬†screw it. Let people come to this movie on their own.

And now…after reading this article¬†bashing it as nasty Twilight garbage, I’m going to HAVE to defend it. Mostly because it has nothing to do with Twilight, aside from having RPattz as one it’s leads. And because the author¬†of the article and several commenters didn’t bother to watch the film before making up their minds.¬†

I, like many others, was quite prepared for this movie to suck, knowing that Pattinson has been such a weak actor in Twilight.

So РI had zero expectations when I entered the theatre, aside from a morbid curiosity to watch Edward Cullen woo Claire from Lost.You know Рthe same expectations that millions of other women had when purchasing a ticket to this flick Рas this was the main marketing drive behind the trailers, TV spots, etc.

But it was more than that – I didn’t expect to be engaged by the characters, moved by their relationships with one another…and mostly I didn’t expect it to be genuine or feel as real as the script and acting allowed it. For example – the way Allie (Claire, Emilie de Ravin, whatever) enters her townhouse and always drops the keys on the table. That’s the signal to her over-protective father that she’s arrived home safely. The film doesn’t have to cut to a close-up of the keys. It’s just done so perfunctorily and naturally…the small slice of life details in this film are what caught my attention. It doesn’t have to aim for a deep and profound message – it actually resembles something akin to real life. And manages to make that captivating.

The film was notably plot-lite and heavy on the romance, but the love story played very little into the other dynamics happening Рthe commentary on family and dealing with loss, as well as how we take time with our loved ones for granted.

But even with the romance added – it felt relatable…and never overly cheesy. There was no boom-box moment. In fact, the characters spend most of the movie with bruises and bloody lips, getting physically assaulted by their fathers and one scene features Allie vomiting while Tyler/Robert Patts holds her hair back. So romantic!

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BACK to basics: Fray, Tank Girl and more…

So – I’ve been a bit neglectful of my blogging duties, but all in the name of good fun..and making ridiculous fan vids.

Another reason is that I’ve sworn off graphic novels and tpb’s until something more interesting crossed my path. I was getting tired of scouring the library shelves for some semblance of a reasonable title, and coming up with books that weren’t really holding my attention. And just to reassure you all – I managed to find a few decent titles.

I’ve also wanted to get back to my regular old novel roots, and devour a few books I’ve had on my list for awhile. My latest conquest was Middlesex by author Jeffrey Eugenides. It was refreshing adult and literary content. And now I’m ready to return to the wonderful world of comic books.

Even though I’ve been “gone” for two weeks, since my world seems to revolve around comic books, and movies, and comic books – I stumbled across a few comic related tidbits I felt compelled to share.

00056My latest fan-vid (oh, the nerdosity temperature just rose a few degrees in here) is all about a tpb I picked up during my 25th birthday – Fray written by Joss Whedon with art by Karl Moline and Andy Owens. It follows the story of Melaka Fray – a slayer living in a future that is reminiscent of Firefly – with some similar phrasing – “rutting” being the best example.

However – Fray has no knowledge of how to be a slayer and instead leads the life of a hardened thief – running from a tragic past.

The art by Karl Moline is fantastic, and the coloring by Andy Owens is rich and bright – everything you would expect and want from a future with flying cars. Is there a future without flying cars? Where the hell are OUR flying cars!?

But I digress…I also stumbled across Tank Girl through ON Demand last week. Can I just take a moment to say that I love DVR? Having the power to record the shows that I love and watch them whenever I want, fast-forwarding through shit commercials…phew…it’s a TV revolution.

Right – back to Tank Girl. I dug the screwball antics of the main character and the randomness of the plot, but at the same time…it reminded me of all that had been so off-putting about comic book movies made in the last decade.

And what it is that has made comic book movies so distasteful in the past? The cheese factor. Since I’ve not read Tank Girl, I’m not sure how true the movie was to the comic, but the campiness was firing on all cylinders, and made it incredibly difficult to forget you were watching a movie based on a cheeseball comic book. Which was probably the intention. But it didn’t work all the time.

It felt like a 1.5 hour commercial for the series. And though I find myself intrigued, and considering taking a gander at the book…I’m not certain TankGirl will ever make any Top 10 comic movie lists I put together. And on that note – here’s a Top 10 List:

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