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. 😉
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
has ever asked her that before. 😉 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!
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.
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.
There were only three main goals for the Con on Day 4 – the Women of Marvel Panel and to secure Robert Kirkman and Peter David’s signature (and nerdily gush to them about how much I love their work).
We arose at a reasonable Comic Con hour of 8am, stuffed our crap into bags, checked out and grabbed our last poorly organized shuttle to the Convention Center (screw you National City Holiday Inn, screw you!).
We lugged our bags immediately to Bag Check, marveling at the eerily empty Hall H line. Once checked, we scuttled over to a 2/3s empty room for the Women of Marvel panel. I wanted this to be one of the highlights of the convention.
Unfortunately, it just wasn’t.
THE WOMEN OF MARVEL PANEL
It started out on a pretty good note, and the questions were mostly all supportive, engaging and informative. The featured guests (from left to right in the photo below) are Kathryn Immonen, Judy Stephens, Marjorie Liu, Laura Martin and Christina Strain.
However, it started to unravel towards the end when Strain (who up to that point had been my favorite panelist) uttered the fateful words “primarily men read superhero comics.” It was in the last five or so minutes of the panel, and I desperately wanted to know why the panelists (aka MARVEL) think that is the case. These are women in the superhero industry, working inside of the major publishing companies. They have an opportunity to explore that assumption, turn it on it’s head and invite more women back into the superhero world.
Yes, I say BACK. I think there was a time when superhero books were for women, but I think we’ve been shoved out in the last decade by publishing companies that fail (like so many other entertainment venues) to recognize the female audience as existing.
It’s fucking offensive to purchase a Comic Con ticket, spend four days walking around with an equal mix of male and female nerds and then be told by a woman who works for Marvel that as far as their concerned, I am not a relevant factor in their mainstream books. WTF!?!?
Perhaps it was my exhaustion, frustration with the Avengers movie cast and general disposition towards the unfair and untrue assumption that superhero books are for boys, but I found myself seething in anger by the end of the panel. Especially since the last two questions were essentially “why does there need to be a woman of marvel panel?”
It’s a totally valid question, which none of the women addressed. They were simply shilling how “good times” and “equal opportunity” the Marvel world is…when that’s absolutely not the perception by the fanbase. The studs that get trotted out of the stable and posted all over the Top 10 Famous Comic Book Creators are primarily men.
OK, so maybe they weren’t there to address the under-representation of female characters in comic books. I can understand that. I was completely fine with learning more about them as artists and perhaps finding myself compelled to pick up some of their work.
But the can of worms was opened (interestingly enough, by two male questioners) and it was not handled well or honestly.
The Women of Marvel panel exists because there are very few women artists in the spotlight in the comic book industry, and there are lots of women reading comic books who want to know more about women creating comic books.
It doesn’t matter at this point. I feel quite defeated. By the time I had worked up the nerve and frustration – I didn’t get to ask my question and the panel ended 10 minutes early and tons of families and children were entering for the Hot Wheels panel immediately following.
Basically, the last 10 minutes erased a lot of the progress and interesting points being raised by the women (especially about how creepy some comic book shops can be). There was even an awesome moment where a comic book shop proprietor asked how he could be more inclusive of women. I thought the panelists did a great job of answering that question.
But fuck. I mean…I spent a lot of money, time and energy to attend this event and make myself known as a fan (and a Marvel fan) to the industry, but it’s clear to me at this point that women (minorities as well) are still so back of the bus in mainstream comic books it’s enough to make me want to give up on mainstream books completely.
So yeah…that kinda put a damper on the next 20 minutes or so, but then things turned around when I spotted Jo Chen and Andy Owens signing at the Dark Horse booth. We got Andy Owens signature on our Buffy #1 (it’s my goal to get the signatures of everyone featured on that issue) and Jo Chen signed our Dark Horse autograph book. I wanted to chat with her a bit, but the line was long and we needed to rush over to Peter David.
The day started off much better than I thought it would. Woke up an hour earlier than intended – printed up a schedule (got hit on by a creeper in the business center who thinks every woman attending Comic Con should dress up as Slave Leia), showered, dressed in a stunning Fangtasia tee and was out the door to greet the shuttle at 9am.
We arrived at the Con around 9:30am parted ways with Erin, who was off to scout information about the True Blood signing, and snaked our way through the Con to get to The Walking Dead. Turns out there was a Hawaii-Five-O panel before it, and though the lined looked daunting, we made it into the hall we’d intended.
Hawaii-Five-O had some cool swag (free T-Shirt) and it was neat to see Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim (and know that they are both working).
Then it was Walking Dead time – so excited to see Robert Kirkman on the panel! There was a trend of comic book writers appearing on the panels, but not really saying anything substantial. Kirkman was one of the few panelists to buck that trend. He didn’t have much to add, but it was far more refreshing than Warren Ellis’ bag-of-money default answer. Kirkman got to write the script for episode four (which they just wrapped up filming) AND he announced the score composer is Bear McCreary (Battlestar Galactica!). Greg Nicotero (Special Effects and Zombie Make-up God) and Frank Darabont were also on the panel along with all the actors and actresses.
They showed a 10 minute clip twice (once and the beginning and once at the end) and fielded several questions from the audience, one of which was an LA film crew stooge whining that they weren’t shooting the production there, and another from a lady with kids concerned about the violence. Seriously – could they pre-screen some of these questions? Such a waste of everyone’s time.
Overall, a super awesome panel which has me even more stoked for the TV series this fall. Not sure if that’s humanly possible, but it’s true.
Our next agenda item was meeting up with Erin at the WB Booth for the True Blood signing. She had been scouting it out like a hawk for the past few hours, and it rapidly devolved into a giant unorganized clusterfuck of humanity, in which only a small handful of people got in and thousands of fans were still crowding around the booth. We made it out with our lives (barely). Afterwards we bummed around the exhibit hall for awhile – I scored a free dog tag for playing “Rock of the Dead” and Dan bought a Jayne shirt from a booth called Sereni-Tees.
Around 2:30pm we decided to head up to the Ballroom 20 line to see if we could make it in for True Blood, as we were clearly going to miss the Joss Whedon AND Girls Who Kick Ass panel. At some point it became clear that we would probably not make it in for ANY of those, and Erin happened to read a timely and fateful tweet.
Nathan Fillion was down at the Browncoat booth signing for a charity. We hopped out of the futile line and made a mad-dash for the Exhibit Hall. It was wild – dodging and darting through people, past strollers and the young, elderly and infirm. We made it into line about 25 people ahead of where they capped it. Nathan started signing at the booth, and then he had an appointment to keep…but he made sure to sign all the Limited Edition Serenity comic books people had purchased for the Kids Need to Read charity. He was very gracious, frazzled and awesome.
His sweaty hand brushed up against mine when he signed our book and it was definitely my joy moment for the con. I was pretty much on a high after that…which I still haven’t come down from.
Flynn’s Arcade was the next stop on our list. We wandered around the Gas Lamp until we spotted it. There was a small line in which we waited to get a ticket…to get in another line. Lines for lines is a regular occurrence at Comic Con. It’s enough to test the patience of weaker men. It was brief though, and within five minutes we were inside the free arcade with a pocketful of Flynn tokens. We wandered around a bit, and then passed through a door into the Tron experience.
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.
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. 😉
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!! 🙂
Tomorrow I’ll be updating from our hotel room in National City, CA after an exhausting but exhilarating Preview Night. *woot woot*
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.
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 – and 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
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
*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.