Feb 27, 2009

Bye, Bye Bat Books

An era has ended for a large chunk of the Bat family. Nightwing, Robin and Birds of Prey all finished their average 10 year runs in the last two weeks. I reviewed/recapped the titles in my most recent DoubleDCoverage column but I felt they deserved to be highlighted separately because, let's face it, they've all earned it.

Nightwing #153

I had just started thinking Dick Grayson had finally come into his own. He's hasn't been Batman's sidekick for a long time now but it wasn't until he took up residence at the Cloisters in New York that I really believed he was ready to be his own hero. I know a lot of people didn't like the switch but to me, he seemed more at home up on a hill than down in a cave. So it was a sad moment for me in this final issue when the JSA quickly helped him move out.

Dick quietly came back to Gotham and immediately began working with Alfred and Tim on what needed to be done. There was no action, just a lot of deep meditation on where his life was and where it's headed. We all know he's already more like Bruce than he thinks, discussing with Alfred how Tim is handling the loss and taking over the responsibility of visiting the scene where Bruce's parents were killed. 

It was a classy and fitting ending but also a great beginning. My only issue was with the Origins & Omens story that followed. It was a light tale about Dick taking Barbara Gordon skydiving for her birthday. Cute, but completely out of balance with what came before it. Regardless, both characters have serious paths to take soon and it was nice to see them both happy, if only for a moment.

Robin #183

Wow. This one blew me away. I like Tim Drake but I never saw him as a serious contender for the cowl. Fabiel Nicieza changed my mind in one issue. An ominous note from Lady Shiva has Tim believing it's his last night on Earth and maybe that thought is exactly what he needed. Just to keep us guessing a brief cameo from Jason Todd, a secret message from Bruce and some strategically placed costumes leave the door open for his stepping up as well.

Tim starts his night by cutting ties with his oft neglected girlfriend Zoanne, chatting with one of his school friends Ives and reaching out to Stephanie. She doesn't answer when he calls so instead he spies on Detective Harper and Jason Bard who are out on a date together. It finally dawns on him that that's the life he'll never have if he chooses to continue down the path of being just like Bruce, closed off and quite possibly obsessed. 

When Lady Shiva finally shows up the exchange is not at all what I expected. She doesn't think Tim can handle the responsibility of Gotham and breaks three of his ribs as they begin fighting. Yet, she is the one who immediately falls to the ground. He knew way in advance that she was coming for him and poisoned some chocolates in her hotel room with a heart rate paralytic that would only work if her heart went up four beats. He presumed correctly that it would and it's exactly what Bruce would have done. Shiva refers to him as "Little Bird." Not so much anymore.

Birds of Prey #127

It was too much to hope for that all three finales would be winners I guess. Of course, the disappointing ending had to come in the form of one of my favorite comics, Birds of Prey. Granted, the team went through some tough times in the last year or so, what with Black Canary leaving and Big Barda dying and all but that doesn't mean the last issue shouldn't kick all kinds of ass. The best word I can use to describe it would be deflated.

The biggest mistake with BoP was not finishing the Calculator story line earlier and having a separate issue to wrap up the series. The majority of the issue was spent running away from Calculator 2.0 and taking down the Silicone Syndicate. Calculator played a role in Final Crisis and will be involved in Teen Titans soon but his role here doesn't mesh with either. To make things official, Oracle also had to destroy the Birds new headquarters to prove they aren't coming back. 

There's lots of fighting in this issue and Misfit is very proud of herself as she takes down Gizmo all by herself, which is cool, but even though they destroy the Syndicate, Calculator gets away. This leaves Oracle feeling utterly defeated, not just in the match-up but mentally. She thinks she's lost her edge so she up and leaves the team with nothing but a note left with Infinity to explain her absence. That's it. No more Birds of Prey. Excuse me, what? Sorry, but that's the worst thing I've ever heard.

Yes, Barbara has some stuff she's got to work through, we've seen that the last few issues. We notice that in the Origins & Omens backup but leaving the team YOU started and worked so hard for over the years just doesn't sit well with me. Not to mention what's missing in this issue - any discussion between Barbara and original Bird Dinah. Huntress barely has any dialogue either and, like I said, all of that is due to finishing the Calculator story. I'm sure long-time readers will agree with me that this was a crappy ending to a most excellent series. Oracle is getting her own mini-series shortly and will play a role in Battle for the Cowl but the BoP deserved much more than this for their swan song.

Feb 26, 2009

Nerdy News - Movie Mayhem

Occasionally Hollywood comes up with some good ideas on their own. Occasionally. Mostly they just adapt books and recycle movies people already made. Now, while that can make for some intriguing material, usually it just blows up in their face. Beware, what follows may astound you. I won't assume in what way...

The Hollywood Reporter says, Warner Bros. is in the early stages of remaking The NeverEnding Story. That noise you just heard? That was my childhood being flushed down the toilet.

"The Kennedy/Marshall Co. ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button") and Leonard DiCaprio's shingle Appian Way are in discussions with Warners about reviving the 25-year-old franchise with a modern spin," said THR. No word on who would direct the new take but original producer Dieter Geissler is already on board. 

It seems Warner Bros. is making a grab for every fantasy story they can get their hands on now that the Harry Potter films are almost done. THR says the remake will, "examine the more nuanced details of the book that were glossed over in the first pic."

_________________________________________________________

In happier Warner Bros. movie news, Suicide Squad is being set up for as a potential franchise reports Variety.

Dan Lin, producer of the upcoming Sherlock Holmes flick and Terminator Salvation, is set to produce the story based on the DC Comics supervillain team. Justin Marks will be writing the eventual screenplay. His latest work is Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li.

So, what do you think? Colin Farrell as Deadshot? Kidding, KIDDING!

_________________________________________________________

I don't know whether to love Gore Verbinksi or kick him in the nuts. He'll be developing and directing a live-action murder mystery film based on the board game Clue. You know, just like the one that was made in 1985 AND IS SO AWESOME IT SHOULD NEVER BE TOUCHED.

"Verbinski will produce through his U-based Blind Wink banner, along with Hasbro’s Brian Goldner and Bennett Schneir, who also have an overall deal at the studio," said Variety. As you probably already know, Verbinski is already working on two geek-cred films, Bioshock and one about online-role playing addicts while Hasbro has movies based on Monopoly, Candyland and Ouiji in the pipeline. 

Blind Wink Senior VP Jonathan Krauss said the movie would be, "A global thriller and transmedia event that uses deductive reasoning as its storytelling engine." Doesn't look like this version is going to be a comedy does it?

Clue is one of my all-time favorite movies and nothing, nothing will ever come close to matching it's charm. If we ever meet ask me to do an accurate reenactment of this scene. You won't be disappointed. Like I will. With a Clue remake.

Feb 25, 2009

DoubleDCoverage 2/11 - 2/18

Check out what you've missed the last two weeks in DC Comics with my DoubleDCoverage over at the Girls Entertainment Network!

Green Lanterns paint by numbers,Trinity finally has me excited and Nightwing, Robin and Birds of Prey all take their final bow. What is the world coming to?

Feb 24, 2009

All of this will happen again?

News of this broke on Friday apparently but I didn't hear about it today. IGN reports Universal Pictures is planning a Battlestar Galactica movie with no connection to the current Sci-Fi Channel series. 

Instead of current creator Ronald D. Moore, the movie would be scripted and produced by the original 1978 Battlestar Galactica series creator, Glen A. Larson. Not only that but the film will be based on that original series and presumably will not feature any of the actors or plot threads from the reboot version. I have to say, I did not see this one coming.

Keep in mind, this is pure speculation as IGN says themselves, "A Universal spokesperson refused to comment on rumored projects before ultimately denying it; we were later able to confirm our scoop independently." That makes me vaguely skeptical and pretty blasé about the whole thing. 

The current BSG's final episode hasn't even aired yet. I feel like if something like this were to be done, it should be done at least ten years down the road. Do we really need another BSG franchise at all? Who am I kidding, this is Hollywood, they felt the need to make a Dirty Dancing sequel. Muffit! Here boy!

Feb 23, 2009

P-Brane: The Green Man

They say you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover. Does that go for graphic novels too? In the case of P-Brane: The Green Man, no. Go ahead and judge it by it's cover, just don't judge it by the first eight chapters.

P-Brane starts by following a character we later come to know as Casey Blade. He's on the streets of New York with no idea who or where he is but with the inherent knowledge of one thing - violence. After defending himself from an attack, with what appears to be super human speed and strength, he's befriended by a homeless man who's actually an undercover reporter named Jack Russell. Jack can tell he's special, he's got green-toned skin, and wants to tell his story. There's a lot to tell but Casey doesn't know the half of it. Yet.

Casey has intense dreams every night. Usually he's building something and most times he's holding a gun to his own head. It's not surprising he gets picked up by the police sooner or later and labeled a sociopath. He starts to realize he can use the horrible images he sees in his mind to exact his own justice on the world's wicked. With the help of a street-rat named Crystal he begins his life as a vigilante

In what's reminiscent of Wesley Gibson's eventual blood-lust in Wanted, Casey starts with pedophiles but climbs the bad-guy ladder until he's able to murder an Osama bin Laden-esque terrorist leader. He even gets the U.S. government to pay him for his work. Along the way he's developed new skills without even trying. He tells Jack he learns in his dreams - martial arts, new languages, you name it. Jack attempts to find some rational explanation for it all like, The Matrix and  "Did you ever see that movie 'The Bourne Identity?' " he says. It's not until Casey offers him and Crystal Pod implants at the back of their necks allowing them to communicate telepathically that you realize there might be a bigger plan at work than just simple vigilanteism. That would be Chapter Nine.

So how exactly does a graphic novel get from there to an apocalyptic sci-fi story that's one part Contact, one part Independence Day? Awkwardly, that's how. Casey eventually finds other Green men and women spanning the globe on their own quest for vengeance. Thirteen from all walks of life come together to organize their power and realize Casey is a step above the rest. He's built a black box in his house that leads him to a meeting with an alien known as the Host. 

The Host is with U.P.S. - that's United Preservation of Systems. "Universal branding is a problem," he admits. Turns out, Earth is on the galaxy's shit-list. U.P.S. believes we are very close to discovering inter-stellar travel but mentally (morally), we aren't ready for it. Casey and the other genetically enhanced Green-people are that way because of the aliens intervention. Earth is on a three year probationary period now, if they can manage to purge the world of "genetic defects"  and enhance everyone else we can bask in the membership of U.P.S. If they fail, humans will be exterminated for the good of the universe. No pressure guys!

As you'd guess, things don't go smoothly. Casey, joined by fellow Greens Anna Lyse and Ali splinter from the rest of the group and fight for as long as they can before the exterminators come to Earth. By now it's all-out star wars - space ships, wormholes and all. Casey's come a long way from pedophiles and mobsters yet he still finds time to gamble big, literally, with a d1000. For those not versed in Dungeons & Dragons, that's a thousand sided die but there's a lot more destruction and intrigue involved in the fairly short war.

P-Brane was written by Chris X Ring, directed by Jesse Heffring and photographed by Pawel Pogorzelski with additional art by Angus P Beyers. You might not be used to seeing some of those titles when it comes to comics but that's because P-Brane is in a new class. Heffring's company, Quietus Films, developed a technique using digital photos of real actors which they then transformed in Photoshop to resemble illustrations. There's an actual cast page at the end of the book including all the actors, the rest of the production team and photo credits. By the way, the impressive "don't judge a" cover is by Vitaly S Alexius.

Graviton Publishing put out the book which exhibited at the 2008 New York Comic Con before printing. Over 400 comic fans posed for photographs to be used as the extras in Chapter Twenty-two at the event. Another 500 participated in another, similar project at this years NYCC. The creators even invented P-Brane World, an online hub for fans to keep up-to-date on news, share experiences and possibly win their way into the next book.

Sadly, it's some of the art and layout where P-Brane falls short. The detail created via the photography aspect is great for catching expressions but the black-and-white color scheme loses more than that in sections. Occasionally certain characters and items were difficult to distinguish causing slight confusion. Dialogue changing from caption bubbles to free-form didn't help either. Why the layout turned horizontal in Chapter Five is even stranger but a splash of green could have gone a long way throughout.

P-Brane is a very unique brand of sci-fi adventure that will absolutely have you wondering what will happen next. The 221 page story works well in graphic novel form considering a person picking up "Chapter One" might mistake it for something else entirely. It creates it's own world successfully without delving too much into details or backstory. Hopefully that's what's in store for Book II. Is P-Brane: The Green Man worth picking up? That's for you to judge.


You can also view and discuss this article at GEN.

Feb 20, 2009

The Nerdy Bird needs your help!

I'm sure most of you are aware by now, I have Muscular Dystrophy. There are a lot of "walks" out there raising money to find cures for certain diseases but the Muscular Dystrophy Association does it a little differently since most of us can't walk that well or at all. That's why they created the MDA Stride & Ride!

On March 29th I'll be participating in the 6th Annual Metro NY/NJ Stride & Ride at the Palisades Center Mall in West Nyack, NY. If you've ever been there you know it's a GIANT four-story mall that houses an IMAX theater, a Dave & Buster's and a ferris wheel, not to mention a slew of shops.

Besides the annual Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon, this is the one other MDA event I actively seek donations for. I've dubbed my team "The Nerdy Birds" (surprise, surprise) and so far it consists of my parents and myself but I'm hoping to get more friends and family involved for the actual walk. 

I'd like to ask all my blog readers to make a small (or large!) donation to sponsor me and/or my team for the Stride & Ride. You can make a general donation to "The Nerdy Birds" on our Team Page or a donation directly sponsoring me on My Homepage. They'll show you predetermined amounts based on certain services MDA provides and if you can give that much that's fantastic but you can also fill in your own number. Remember, ANY amount is a good amount, no matter how small or large!

If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask. I'd also like to point out that I had nothing to do with the making of this spectacularly fitting picture, I just couldn't resist using it! Have a great weekend everyone!!

Feb 19, 2009

OH NOES!!

George had heard things about the big city...

George was a curious monkey. He thought it might be nice to meet a Penguin! Instead, he met a Joker. George is no longer curious.

Feb 18, 2009

Damn it Jim, I'm a blogger, not a millionaire!

Set your credit cards to, um, charge. Star Trek is coming to Blu-ray.

Paramount Home Entertainment is releasing the original series and films on Blu-ray just in time for the new film's release in theaters reports The Hollywood Reporter. Season 1 of Star Trek: The Original Series will be available first on April 28, "with the option for viewers to toggle between the original broadcast versions and the recent remastered versions that include enhanced visual effects," says THR. You'll also get special features like looks behind-the-scenes and the original previews for each episode. Just to throw something a little extra your way, Diamond Select Toys will be offering a Sulu action figure along with the set.

On May 12, two separate Blue-ray film sets will be released - "Star Trek Original Motion Picture Collection" and "Star Trek Motion Picture Trilogy." You may be thinking, what, when was there a trilogy? Well, the second, third and fourth films, The Wrath of Khan, The Search for Spock and The Voyage Home, are all one giant arc. Though, as a fan, I can't imagine why you would want to own just those three. I know a lot of people didn't enjoy one, five and six as much but come on. The complete set includes the bonus disc "Star Trek: The Captains' Summit," a discussion hosted by Whoopi Goldberg and featuring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes.

I really wonder how many people are going to lay down the cash just to complete their collection. I don't have a Blu-ray player so at least I'm not tempted but man, do I feel bad for all the Trekkies out there. Don't forget what Spock says, "You may find that having is not so pleasing a thing as wanting."


You can also view and discuss this article at GEN
.

Feb 17, 2009

Torchwood Tickles New York

WARNING: The following article will be sprinkled with adult themes and language.



"WE ARE COMING," the tagline to the highly-anticipated third season of Torchwood, takes on an entirely new meaning after hearing star Eve Myles speak for an hour. If you're a fan of the show you know just how raunchy they can get on-screen, turns out, they're just as bad (good) in real life. During the Torchwood panel at the New York Comic Con pleasantries were exchanged, compliments were given and naughty secrets revealed. Let's just say Cardiff should prepare itself for a crowd of drunken Americans in the near future.

Director Euros Lyn (Doctor Who, "The Girl in the Fireplace") joined Myles for their first U.S. convention appearance at the panel moderated by Pop Candy writer, and fan, Whitney Matheson. Lyn directs all of Season 3 - the five-episode special titled, "Children of Earth." The exact date of it's airing is yet to be determined but look towards summer of this year. Lyn will also be directing David Tennant's last two installments as the Doctor. Compared to Doctor Who, he considers Torchwood very rooted, "[It's] a world that exists in the real world and that’s definitely something we wanted to tell with 'Children of Earth.' It’s a story that could happen to you and I." Not many details were given about the actual plot but Myles referred to it as "absolutely epic." See for yourself:


After last seasons downer of a finale, will we be seeing a less tragic Torchwood this year? Yes and no. "There’s definitely a kind of lighter side to the characters because the theme of the story is so dark, that somewhere down the line you’ve got to get humor in there otherwise the dark stuff doesn’t work," said Myles. She also says it helps to have humor on set and her favorite monster, the Weevil, plays a part in that. "It’s very strange sitting and having a cup of tea with a Weevil," she said. Unfortunately he doesn't have a role in "Children of Earth," Myles thinks he was on vacation, "sunning it up in Barbados if I remember."

Another actor offered a different type of relief for Myles, who admitted Buffy the Vampire Slayer is her favorite American sci-fi tv show. James Marsters, who played Spike, had a guest-starring role last season on Torchwood as the overtly sexual Captain John Hart. "He was absolutely soooo good," gushed Myles. Her reaction while reading the script was typical of any fan, " 'And you’re handcuffed to Captain John'...I’m WHAT?!...That is so fine by me." Marsters' character won't be back for Season 3 but Myles hopes they can get him back at some point, "If I was hiring and firing, I would be hiring."

Myles also spoke very highly of co-star John Barrowman. "John farts a lot," she revealed giggling like a school-girl, "Sorry John, but you do." A fan later asked her to describe the first time she met John. Here's what she had to say:


Myles played an important role in the Doctor Who episode, "The Quiet Dead," and we later learned her character on Torchwood is a direct descendant of that woman. As an actress, how did she get from one role to the next? "I think it was the phenominal hair style I had that got me the part of Gwen Cooper, and the doiley," she joked with a straight face, "I looked particularly hot." All kidding aside, she called it the biggest audition of her life. "I understand that Russell [T. Davies] wanted John and I to lead a program called Torchwood. And that’s when I fainted and I didn’t wake up for another month," she said. As for Gwen Cooper's relationship to the Rift, "It’s her destiny to be there."

Stepping onto the set of Torchwood for the first time was daunting for the actress, who revealed she avoided the Hub as long as possible so her reaction would be genuine. "I tried to keep it to the very last moment from when Gwen walks in with her little pizza box...and she takes the entire place in," she said. Unfortunately that plan didn't work so well, "I had to leave the set cause I had a good 15 minutes of tears. I can’t explain to you how overwhelming it was. All these people had worked so, so hard to create this new world, this fantastic incredible arena, this Hub." 

She quickly conquered her fears and now describes herself as "the proudest Welsh woman that's ever lived," and even offered to take the audience to the Hub if they visited Cardiff. "Not the Hub in Torchwood, the bar down the road," she said. Just a few minutes earlier, a fan had offered to get the panelists "fucked up" at a bar he works in. Myles was visably flushed by the language, "Woo! You New Yorker’s are cheeky, cheeky!" she said, "I'm gonna give you my number," soon followed.


Now we all know Season 3 will be filled with action but Whitney Matheson (and everyone else) wanted to know what percentage of this season would be "action." Myles debated telling us who she kisses besides her fictional husband Rhys in the special, hinting at some extraterrestrial snogging. "There’s lots of cheeky moments and I’m sure you’ll aaaall enjoy it," she said. 

Seeing as how he's made the rounds, is there anyone Jack isn't going to kiss this season? "It goes from tables, to chairs. It’s an amalgamation this year," Myles summed up. The two were involved with a BBC Radio 4 broadcast which left them in a small room together for a few days. "Obviously it’s a radio studio so any kind of prop that was in there..." she trailed off teasingly but finished, "We had great fun, it was very professional."

Probably the most memorable hook-up for Gwen fans was when she found herself locking lips with another woman. A fan wanted to know how this was different for her as an actress. She replied, "Well, she didn't have stubble." Trying to answer seriously she continued, "I don’t go around snogging girls and when you have to do it in a drama, if it’s serving the narrative, you do what you have to do." Not to let a perfect opportunity for some more naughty talk pass her by, she added, "And she's hot." 

It's common knowledge John Barrowman and his character Captain Jack Harkness both have a strong pull on any and all sexes. One male fan at the panel went so far as to tell Myles to inform "Jack" he'd go gay for him. Myles wrapped things up nicely with the only logical response, "I'D turn gay for Jack!" After this panel, I wouldn't be surprised if Eve Myles had the same, powerful effect on people from now on. Watch out for her, she's cheeky.

Feb 16, 2009

Fox Friday Verdict

Fox practically bashed us over the head with their new Friday line-up - Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Joss Whedon's Dollhouse. They even went so far as to create Grindhouse-style trailers and have stars Summer Glau and Eliza Dushku host the first night. So, did Fox's "D-Girl" team-up put asses in the seats?

The answer? Eh, sorta. SCC managed only 3.7 million viewers while Dollhouse grabbed a million more. It's not bad but it's not a home-run either. For a mid-season return and a full blown premiere, the shows lacked a certain "wow" factor that is crucial to keeping viewers around for the long-haul.

Let's start with SCC. Last we saw the crew, Sarah was suffering from a gun-shot wound, John's girlfriend Riley had slit her wrists and Cameron, Derek and Jessie weren't really doing much at all. Riley, unfortunately, ends up at the hospital where she quickly runs off with Jessie. Sarah wakes up in another hospital and escapes with the help of her dead lover. Most of the episode consists of Sarah speaking to Reese while slipping in and out of consciousness from the blood loss and pain. Now, I've loved Jonathan Jackson since he played Lucky on General Hospital so I can't complain about seeing more of him but it's heavy, emotional dialogue and absolutely the wrong kind of introduction to this new era as it were.

The highlight of the episode is when the murder and destruction finally get going. It comes, not at the hand of Cameron who does practically nothing the entire episode, but from Catherine Weaver, the bad-ass redhead T-1001. After tamed Terminator John Henry informs her ZeiraCorps cover has been compromised, (not to mention him revealing he's aware she's a machine) she "cleans house." She violently murders every employee with her multi-function stabby hands and blows up the building all the while keeping her chic white dress spotless. 

I'm sad to say Dollhouse was severely lacking and that's what I've been hearing and reading everywhere else too. Besides coming from a very successful and talented man, the premise has a lot of potential. It's similar to Alias in a way, the main character takes on a new role each week varying from the mundane to the extreme with a secret organization behind her pulling the strings. The only difference is, SD-6 didn't mind-wipe Sydney Bristow after each operation. 

Besides being extremely bland, Dollhouse didn't provide the type of groundwork usually laid out in a premiere episode. We're given a brief look at Dushku's character Echo's previous life before she's whisked away to begin work. The general sense is, it's not a good thing to work in the Dollhouse, but the sense of urgency to get free everyone wasn't there. The fact that they shower together and get daily massages doesn't help things either. Technically, they're helping people but of course, there lies the dramatic seed for the entire series.

Speaking of drama, they might want to lighten up a bit. Another component that Dollhouse seemed to be lacking was humor. In a big way. I thought for sure the tech guy was going to be our comic relief but it seems like he'll be going the creepy "you're all my darlings" route instead (like the dude who took care of the precogs in Minority Report). My hopes rose again when Amy Acker stepped on screen but she's got serious Peter Petrelli scarrage going on and it looks like she may not even know how to laugh.

I'm sticking with SCC no matter what because I'm a huge Terminator fan but Whedon and Dushku are going to have to do some heavy lifting in the Dollhouse to keep me around for more than a few episodes.

Feb 13, 2009

Comic Couture

If you're looking for an exquisite haute couture gown, you go to Paris. If you're searching for Comic Couture, you go to the New York Comic Con.


NYCC 2009 was awash with fantastic costumes from all walks of fandom - comics, anime, sci-fi movies and television, not to mention video games. It would be almost impossible to document all of them. Even more so when you've got a camera that doesn't like open spaces indoors (grrr). Sometimes I can't believe how amazing peoples costumes are. I mean, this year there was a Mad Scientist with an actual Robot Chicken! A Robot Chicken! It smoked and everything!! Here's a random sampling of cosplay I was able to catch throughout the weekend starting with mine.


I cheated this year. I had a friend put together the actual catsuit for me because, I admit, I have absolutely no talent for sewing. Trust me, it was better this way. I wanted to go with a modern version of Catwoman but change it up a little and I took my inspiration from this amazing Alex Ross cover

I felt weird about having my entire head covered so I skipped the head piece and wore just the goggles. The boots I already owned and most of the jewelry is my mom's. The giant orange diamond is actually a paperweight I found at T.J. Max. Believe it or not, the whip was the hardest thing to find. Most costume shops are low on stock this time of year and even the local sex shop was out. I finally found a costume place with only one left! I'm happy with how it came together but the catsuit was done in a hurry and I want to work on it more before I do a fun photo shoot. As a side-note, since no one noticed, my hair is currently two colors - my natural red growing in on top and black on the bottom. I had the great idea of saying I was half Selina Kyle, half Holly Robinson (red hair) Catwoman but it never came up in conversation.

Kid Flash joined the fun at the DC Nation Panel.

Black Canary, me shamelessly advertising and X.

Catwoman and my fellow New Jersian Beth, as Firestar. We both had props.


Word of her upcoming Smallville appearance must have spread like wildfire. There were tons of Zatanna's walking around this year.

Not to ignore the Marvel side of things, Psylocke. If you see a man with three claws alert the authorities. 

Last but not least, a fantastic evil Supergirl. I've always loved that outfit.

I'm already taking ideas for next year (or possibly SDCC). Have you ever dressed up for a convention? Who would you dress up as if you had the chance?


You can also view and discuss this article over at GEN.

Feb 12, 2009

Artists Alley

With only one illustration in my sketchbook so far I was hoping the New York Comic Con would be a very productive weekend. Not in my wildest dreams did I think it would be THIS productive. Since I wasn't able to get on the commission list for the one artist I most wanted I decided to focus on getting quick sketches from several others I love. Here is just a sampling...


Franco Aureliani and Art Baltazar from Tiny Titans were super nice and extremely entertaining. I got a sketch from both of them but Art's wins out because he is the first artist to make the decision to draw me in my scooter.


Dustin's work on Detective Comics has been nothing short of breathtaking in my opinion. He was a pleasure to talk to and had some great prints for sale including this GORGEOUS redhead spread. Nice meeting you!


Mouse Guard is one of my favorite comics but since I've met David before and already got the mouse sketch out of my system (at least for now) so I was excited to see how he'd draw me. How cute am I? He had a great print for sale featuring a mouse on top of gaming dice. I couldn't resist.


I've been entertained lately by his observations on Twitter but I enjoy all of his artwork. When I asked him to draw me as a zombie/corpse his response was, "Really? It's not going to be pretty." I love it.



Matthew and Christopher Uminga shared a table in Artists Alley. I'd never heard of them but their unique portfolios pulled me in. They were cool guys and Christopher's sketch of me was pretty freaking adorable but I'm posting Matthew's because he gave The Nerdy Bird an actual bird.


My favorite sketch of the weekend and not just because Buffy artist Georges Jeanty named me "Jilly the Vampire Slayer," it's just beautiful and natural. He wasn't around early on Friday and I almost ran some people over trying to get to him when he finally arrived. He was already swamped so I left my book with him after he did a preliminary sketch of my face. I went out to dinner and forgot the convention floor closed before the panels did. He was gone for the day and I couldn't remember if I'd ever written my name on my book. Eeek! I made a B-line to him the next afternoon and he handed it right over. Safe and sound. I was a happy Nerdy Bird.

For a complete look at all my NYCC 09 sketches head on over to my Myspace.

Feb 11, 2009

DoubleDCoverage 1/28 - 2/4

Check out what you've missed the last two weeks in DC Comics with my DoubleDCoverage over at the Girls Entertainment Network!

Final Crisis is finally over, the newly created male Amazons are an inspired choice and the Secret Six implode! Check out what you’ve missed the last two weeks.

Feb 9, 2009

Nerds rule New York City

New Yorkers are used to seeing a lot of weird stuff so when 77,000 nerds descend on the Jacob Javits Center for the New York Comic Con barely an eyebrow is raised. That is, until a certain nerdy girl in a scooter goes driving past with a sign that reads, "Has Boobs, Reads Comics." It's safe to say I did not go unnoticed. 

This years NYCC was supposed to be bigger and better. I'd say it was about the same and about the same. Not much changed on the show floor but the panels were moved to the other side of the building to steer us away from the Travel Show also going on this weekend. The panels that I attended where great (I'll get to those later) but most of the rooms they were held in were terrible. I hate to say it but I think NYCC has already outgrown the Javits. They've already announced the next NYCC will be held October of 2010, if they don't utilize the entire building they're going to have a problem.

James Robinson

Ok, now onto the fun stuff! Friday I spent most of the day circling Artist Alley in search of new additions to my sketchbook. I got way more than I expected and I'm extremely happy with the results. I'm going to scan them all and post them later in the week. 

I attended three panels on Friday. First was the Dark Horse Comics panel where I got some fun news about the Buffy comic. Another Tales of the Vampire story is on it's way. Next was the DC Nation panel which felt too short. I was however, able to get pictures with two of my favorite creators. James Robinson and George Perez. Both were really nice and I actually managed to tell Robinson how much I loved his Starman run without babbling like a lunatic. 

Finally, I met up with my two favorite blog buddies Freakgirl and Geekboy (check out their wrap-ups too) and along with their two friends we attended the premiere screening of the new Wonder Woman animated film. It's the best DC animated film I've ever seen. They've really outdone themselves. Sadly, none of the actors were in attendance at the post-panel. I'll be doing a separate panel post later in the week also that will go into more detail of them all.

George Perez

Saturday was exhausting as it was the day I dressed in costume as Catwoman. Don't worry, a separate costume post will follow as well. If anyone has any pictures of me send them along so I can link to them or include them. 

I unexpectedly sat in on the Robot Chicken panel which was a riot. Also, I was five feet away from Seth Green. Enough said. Immediately after was the DC Universe panel in the same room. We finally found out Geoff John's Blackest Night will start in July, Doom Patrol is coming back and there are four 6-issue mini-series coming out of Final Crisis

If you can believe it, the Torchwood panel was right after the DC panel and also in the same room. I never had to move an inch but it did give me the opportunity to save seats in the front row for Freakgirl, Geekboy and friends. Whitney Matheson from USAToday's Pop Candy moderated the small panel of director Euros Lyn and star Eve Myles. It was the best panel of the weekend. Myles is gorgeous in person not to mention gracious and hysterical. I really hope the organizers realize what a hit it was and have another, larger panel next time.

Jimmy Palmiotti

Sunday was a whirlwind. If you were following me on Twitter, got one of my Myspace/Facebook messages or got the hint from this post you know I started working with Comic Book Resources. This was something a long time in the works that finally came to fruition this past weekend. I wrote an article for each day of the convention which you can now find on their site:


I also contributed to their CBR Live! blogging throughout the weekend as well. You can see my contributions here, but the most exciting part is what happened Sunday afternoon. That's when I interviewed Daniel Dae Kim from Lost and Jimmy Palmiotti on CBR TV. I have no words for how much this meant to me. Besides talking to two really cool people, this is something I've been working towards for pretty much my entire life. Ok, enough of the touchy-feely crap, it was awesome and I'll link you to the videos when they're up later in the week!

Thanks to everyone who stopped and said hello to me at the convention and sorry to those that didn't get to because I sped by too quickly! I'm glad most people can appreciate my humor. :)

Feb 5, 2009

It will be a glorious geek weekend!

The New York Comic Con is almost upon us and that means just one thing. I need my beauty rest. :)

Just so you guys know, things will be quiet on here for a bit until I get myself settled in NY. Mostly likely I'll be mobile blogging soon enough anyway, plus I've got a new laptop I'll be taking advantage of for writing as well. I'll be there all three days but my actual schedule is still up in the air.

Keep up to date with what's going on at NYCC with their official website and blog. I also hear there will be some stuff on their Twitter too. Speaking of Twitter, I just set it up so I can Tweet from my phone. I'll likely be posting random (and hopefully) amusing comments there throughout the weekend. If I were you, I'd also keep a close eye on Comic Book Resources as well as CBR Live! Just sayin'.

If you've seen me at a con before you know I zip around pretty fast in my scooter. Don't be afraid to shout out, "Jill!" or "Nerdy Bird!" if you see me and want to say hello. I promise not to run you over unless you are a creep or generally piss me off. And please, if you're one of my Myspace, Facebook, general online friends don't be offended if you walk up and I don't know who you are. Say who you are. That helps. Most people don't have pictures of themselves online or look completely different in real life so it's hard to keep people straight.

If you're going, have fun and I'll see you all soon!

Feb 4, 2009

Save the cheerleader, save the island.

We've got another wonderful new episode of Lost to look forward to tonight. Considering it looks like next weeks Heroes is going to turn into Lost anyway I found this highly appropriate. For your viewing pleasure, LOST Parody, Season 2, Episode 1. 

I think Jack gets the best lines: 

"It doesn't matter, she's dead!" 
"Let me look at your wounds, I'm a doctor."
"Wait a sec. Aren't you the same actor that played the co-pilot on Oceanic 815?"

All the voice actors are pretty great but the guy doing Sawyer's has me in hysterics. I love how they're all stuck in their permanent action figure poses but there was a special effects budget.

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAALT! My son! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAALT!

Feb 3, 2009

The Bourne Backtrack

Matt Damon has had huge success with the Bourne franchise. Many have said it's like the next generation James Bond. So it's no surprise to hear Electronic Arts have nabbed exclusive rights to adapt the late Robert Ludlum's novels into video games from Ludlum Entertainment. First on their list to adapt? Jason Bourne. I'm getting an odd sense of déjà vu. Do I have amnesia or has this already happened?

To put it simply, no I don't and yes, it has. In June 2008, almost a full year after The Bourne Ultimatum, Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy was released by Sierra Entertainment in association with High Moon Studios. It's plot was closely related to the first film and took it's cues from the amazingly well-choreographed fight sequences however, Damon did not lend his voice or likeness to the game. It received mixed reviews and did not sell very well which is not surprising considering it wasn't promoted along with the film.

Starbreeze Studios, who developed The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay, will be releasing the first Ludlum/Bourne game for EA. No details have been released as to the plot but it would certainly be in their best interest to have it coincide with the next Bourne film. Not to mention convincing Damon to work with them. 

Last year Ludlum Entertainment and Universal Studios finalized a deal to adapt other Ludlum novels into films. Will the written works have to be made into a movie before EA will consider turning them into video games? Which other novels would make the best choices? Is there really that much of a market for Ludlum games considering the most famous tanked? Discuss!


You can also view and discuss this article at GEN.

Feb 1, 2009

Vampire Valentine's

Flowers: $20
Chocolate: $35
Romantic candle-lit dinner for two: $100
Spending Valentine's Day with James Marsters: Priceless?

Actually, a price has been set for that particular enjoyment, naughty as it may be. For $195 dollars you can make your (read: my) dreams come true. Valentine's Day with Spike. This is not a joke.

The South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) in New Jersey is hosting, James Marsters: Your Funny Valentine, on February 15. It's all James, all day. Mind you, the $195 is only for regular admission, for $225 you're a VIP (closer seating). Guess what? All 150 available tickets are sold out. Besides spending time with this handsome man, here's what the lucky few can expect:
  • Exclusive theatrical performance 
  • Signed souvenir from Dragonball 
  • Personalised autograph 
  • Q&A with James 
  • Photo session (with professional event photographer) 
  • Acoustic concert 
  • Screenings 
  • Free raffle for exclusive goods
This could be you!

Crazy? Yes. Completely original and amazing? Absolutely. He really needs to give his manager a raise for coming up with this one. Forgetting the extra VIP price, with just regular admission he's making around $30,000 for a days work. And when I say work I mean, having women scream your name and paw at you all day.

I actually heard about the event a while ago but it was too rich for my blood. However, I just found out a limited number of seats have been released for the evening concert portion of the event and tickets are only $20! I may have to go. If for nothing else, just so I can tell people I spent Valentine's Day with Spike.

Now please, let me leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Buffy, spoken by Spike of course: "Real love isn't brains, children. It's blood. It's blood screaming inside you to work its will. I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it."