I have a three date rule with new Television shows. Sometimes I might even stretch that to 6, if I am really pulling for the actors, writers, producers, or creators. Or the premise. Basically, I’m a sucker for being strung-along by a show that I really want to win. And by “win,” I mean, be renewed for another season.
No, I’m not talking about Community. I know there are tons of great 30 minute comedies out there right now. But I’m just not buying them. Sorry ya’ll. I hope many blessings fall upon you and that all your favorite television shows are renewed.
*THAR BE SPOILERS HERE*
I’m talking about Once Upon a Time. I’m talking about how many quality shows are on the air right now that I could be devoting my attention to and yet I feel so compelled and moved to share my feelings about this particular gem.
If you want to call it that.
I have feelings about this show. The pilot and first two episodes were BAD. Not good/bad but bad/bad. And yet, I kept watching. The writing is ham-fisted. The acting is dubious. The dialogue is ill-suited for the fairy tale world. There is little humor or charm. It either takes itself too seriously or not seriously enough. And the CGI. Yipe.
There are also weird race issues happening all over the place. The Evil Queen and her equally evil mirror are the only characters of color I can determine, and anyone with a slightly European accent is a bad guy or pawn of a bad guy.
Dudes – what is happening on this show? They just killed off my favorite sexy mysterious character in the last episode ala Boon on Lost, which is par for the course because THIS is the creative team behind THAT series.
Sheriff Graham as depicted by the imminently shaggable Jamie Dornan was one of the few intriguing characters, not just because of his tasty Irish accent and scruffy neck-bearded hipster loveliness, but because he was one of a limited variety who wasn’t purely good or evil. His amorality was a decided plus in a fairy tale world where Good is GOOD and Evil is EVIL. I mean, that is boring ya’ll. The best TV shows come down squarely in the middle.
Which is another part of the reason Once Upon a Time is failing on so many levels. One of them being it’s comparisons to (what I’ve heard is) the far superior comic book series Fables from which the premise is purported to have been cannibalized.
Need someone to talk me down from this ledge. REALLY wanting to purchase a female Thor costume. Buycostumes.com dropped a lovely 25% off coupon in my inbox this morning and I’ve been agonizing over the decision ever since.
The Thor movie is one of my favorites, and I am tempted to start-up a subscription for X-Men and Thor comics. Just get back into comic books again period.
Therefore I need some input on a few things:
Or no? I have until the end of this business day before the coupon expires, and then it probably wouldn’t be worth it. What would be worth it? Stumbling around drunk in a wicked cool Norse god helmet.
A Lady Loki outfit is also quite tantalizing. But they don’t have anything pre-fabricated. And can you imagine those horns around drunk people? Dangerous, dangerous stuff. Even in a regular comic book convention, I would be afraid of knocking people over all the time.
2. Should I subscribe to superhero comic books again? I love my local comic book shop, but I’m just not getting out there often enough to empty my box properly. Then it expires and I feel guilty and never open a box at that shop again. To save all the embarrassment and heart-ache, why not just subscribe to the monthly shipping services? It’s around $30 bucks a title for the year. The whole year! I drop that much each time I enter the comic book store.
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.
Halloween weekend was chock full of hijinks – and the topper of the weekend was The Walking Dead television premier at the Baghdad Theatre in Portland, Oregon. 600+ Zombie fans crammed into the ornate location for a costume contest, raffle and unveiling of the episode. This is the first time I’ve watched television with hundreds of people, so it was actually quite thrilling to listen to the roar of chatter during the commercials. We were warned about talking during the episode, so when the show started – the theater became quiet enough that you could hear the rustling of people in the first few bottom rows from the upper levels of the balcony.
The costumes were pretty fantastic. We missed getting pictures of Chairface (The Tick) but there were dozens of other people who really dressed for the occasion.
Check out the pictures we snapped here, as well as some from our Halloween party:
Another highlight of the weekend was getting to air out the massive playlist of Halloween-y songs I’d been preparing all throughout October. It ended up being about six hours long (three hours of ambient, three hours of dance).
The Top 20 Tracks from each are listed here.
YES: I realize I’ve been a terrible blogger lately. Can I just blame it all on my new job? Basically I’ve gained the much coveted (in my world anyway) mantle of AmeriCorps Program Coordinator but it comes at the cost of tackling two programs. Which used to be staffed and supported by like 5 people. So here’s me…on the raggedy edge for the next 12 months.
So please, bear with me. I promise that I’ll post content very soon, but it’ll probably be sporadic the next month due to hosting multiple day orientations in the next three weeks. And settling into another office. And trying not to go stark raving mad.
BUT: I can promise you more content regarding the Phoenix tattoo (another appointment on the 11th!) AND the aforementioned post comparing the Lizbeths of the World (going to see Eat, Pray, Love this weekend). Probably some True Blood Season 3 wrap-up in there somewhere. Not to mention gurglings about some of my favorite TV shows right now…
October will feature a Wordstock wrap-up and lots of posts regarding the extravaganza known as Halloween (The Walking Dead TV series!).
November is the Portland Comic Book Show, Harry Potter and Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood.
ALSO: I’m applying for a MLIS program this year, which will hopefully start up in August. For those not in the know, an MLIS is a Master’s in Library and Information Science. I’ll probably update snippets here and there on ye old blog regarding that process.
ALSO: Expect to see a few knitting posts cropping up. I promise only appropriately themed nerd projects (Jayne Hats and HP scarves in the future).
RIGHT NOW: Emerald City Comic Con 2011 tix are on-sale today. I’m reserving mine immediately. I’m also clearing out my calendar. No, seriously. And there’s a kick-ass hotel 6 blocks from the convention center with free parking and wireless. It’s $59 a night, which is pretty comparable to what we ended up paying at a crappy Motel 6 two years ago. The hotel looks kinda skeevy, but oh well. I don’t plan on spending much time there!
Stumptown Comics Fest posted their dates already. April 16 and 17. They’ve also decided to wear big boy pants and move to the Convention Center. Read all about it here.
I feel like such a proud nerd right now – seeing my Pacific NW comic book scene pull its shit together so early. It is keeping me from going balls-out-crazy with work stress.
Please, have patience with my slothenly ways. I’ll come back in full force pretty soon. Just need some space to catch my breath!
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.
Diagnosis: Comic Con = Too Much Good.
There is no way humanly possible to do or see all that one would like at this event. Despite this setback, we have cobbled together what we’d like to see, and surprise, surprise, most of it isn’t about comic books at all.
No wait, why isn’t that surprising? Because Comic Con is almost not really about comic books anymore. It’s largely dominated by Film and TV, along with video games and whatever other popular culture elements I cannot fathom at the moment.
And that, sadly, is fine by me. I’ve got enough comic book goodness up here in the Pacific Northwest to sate me. What I want from SDCC, as honestly as I can describe it – is to see some celebrities up close and personal and watch exclusive clips and get some free shit and soak up some sun and record as much of it as I possibly can.
I’ll be updating often on this blog and the Tiny Heroes Twitter account for anyone who is interested.
You can also look at My Schedule (along with alternate panels) here.
Wednesday July 21, Preview Night
– Walking the exhibit floor, getting freebies from booths, etc.
Thursday July 22 – Hall H
– 10am-11am = Megamind
– 11:15-12:45 = Tron
– 1:00-2:00 = Battle Los Angeles/Salt
– 2:15-3:15 = Red
– 3:30-4:30 = Visionaries (Joss Whedon/JJ Abrams)
-4:45-5:45 = Expendables
– 6:00-7:00 = Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
– 7:30-8:30 = Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog
Friday July 23- Ballroom 20
– 11:30-12:30 = Caprica
– 3:00-4:00 = The Joss Whedon Experience
– 4:00-5:00 = Girls Who Kick Ass
– 5:15-6:15 = True Blood
1. It has two or more women in it (with names)
2. At least two women talk to each-other: Quinn Fabray and Mercedes Jones
3. Quinn and Mercedes talk to one-another about funk, how it feels to be overweight and Mercedes offers a place for Quinn to live.
Bechdel Test for Men
1. It has two or more men in it (with names)
2. At least two men talk to each-other: Will Schuester and Principal Figgins, Puck and Finn, Will Schuester and Kurt
3. Will Schuester and Kurt talk about Sue Sylvester. However – he does have several other conversations about non-female subjects.
Bechdel Test for Race
1. It has two or more people of color in it (with names)
2. Two minorities do not talk to one another
This Glee episode PASSES the female test, PASSES the male test and DOES NOT pass the Bechdel Test for Race.
1. It does have more than two women in it (with names): Winona Hawkins and Gwen the waitress
2. No women talk to each-other
Bechdel Test for Men
1. It has two or more men in it (with names)
2. At least two men talk to each-other: Raylan Givens talks to several male characters
3. Raylan has several discussions with men throughout the episode.
Bechdel Test for Race
1. It has two or more people of color in it (with names)
2. Two minorities do not talk to one another
This episode of Justified DOES NOT pass the female test, PASSES the male test and DOES NOT pass the Bechdel Test for Race.
We arrived at the Portland Hollywood District Things From Another World store around noon, and were greeted by a herd of pirates. They had muskets, maces and one was even sporting a whip (pretty sure it was real). A father with his daughter dressed as a princess and son as a storm trooper wandered out of the store clutching their Free Comic Books.
We entered and picked up a couple of the free books for our nephews – they didn’t have any of the adult books (sounds so naughty) I’d scoped out. Ah well, this was more about getting out to the stores to show support, and nab some freebies for the nephews.
Then lots of browsing occurred – they were selling a whole folding table full of trade paperbacks for 60% off, along with some Alex Ross posters and a couple Darth Vader backpacks. Not sure if Dan and I will ever be nerdy enough to sport that kind of look. We purchased Whiteout: Melt to score a Steve Lieber autograph on that copy. Later on, we can get Greg Rucka to sign it and have the complete set.
Around 2pm Mr. Lieber showed up, and we descended on him with the Greg Rucka signed Whiteout book. He ASKED US if he could do a sketch in it. Are you freaking kidding me? Yes please!
Of course, he was another cool and laid back dude who was totally willing to chat while he drew. He spent a little time pimping Underground (though I asked him to) and dropped a hint about a Vertigo project he’s attached to, but couldn’t release any information just yet.
He’s part of the 22 person Periscope artist studio here in Portland, and really enjoys the supportive arts community that the Pacific Northwest has to offer.
After he finished up the awesome sketch of Carrie Stetko:
he politely posed for a picture:
Then we stopped over at Cosmic Monkey Comics (it was just up the street) and picked up six issues of Madame Xanadu. We ran into the stunning Carolyn Main, and a few other comic book friends we’d met at Stumptown Comics Fest. It was great to see so many folks out supporting the art form and the event – and all the kids!