Oct 27, 2010

Hey, That's My Cape! - BRAAAINS! A Brief History of Zombies

On Sunday night, Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore’s comic The Walking Dead will shamble its way into your living room via cable network AMC as a brand new television series.

The Walking Dead. Zombies. AMC. I can’t be sure but I think THIS may just be the sign of the impending zombie apocalypse.

Check out this week's Hey, That's My Cape! at Newsarama as I describe what's lead us to seeing zombies on our television sets weekly. Come on, did you really ever expect that to happen?

Oct 26, 2010

Icon Drawing Icons: Jim Lee Looks Back At His Twenty Year Career

When one thinks “veteran,” most people imagine a worldy, seasoned individual near the end of their accomplishments. That’s the last thing that will come to mind when looking at energetic, megastar comic book artist Jim Lee, but he is already a 20-year veteran of the comics industry, with a list of achievements as both artist and publisher that few could match. To cover this story, Titan Books was inspired to publish ICONS: The DC and WildStorm Art of Jim Lee, a stunning retrospective of his prolific artistic career.

I recently got the opportunity to speak to Lee about the book, his artistic history and passion for the art that’s made him so famous. Read all about it in my first article for Publishers Weekly's Comics Week!

Oct 25, 2010

Wow, Wonder Woman!

This just in! Wonder Woman battles domestic violence and a Red Lantern all in one day! News at 11!

Of course I'm talking about the fifth annual Wonder Woman Day that was held in Flemington, New Jersey and Portland, Oregon yesterday at which I arrived safe and sound (unlike last year when I got into a car accident on the way). Resident Wonder Woman Amber was charged with bringing in potential donators for the cause as well as reining in any villains that stopped by, i.e. Dex-Starr and myself. Luckily, I only came to fight domestic violence.

I stepped inside Comic Fusion to check out the raffles and the status on the art up for auction. Particularly one piece by Mr. Adam Hughes. I wasn't bidding on it but the last time I'd checked it was up to $4,500. The last bidder was by proxy which meant he or she wasn't in the store but as the event neared it's end another potential bidder arrived to up the ante. And boy was it upped.

I saw the new bidder shoot out numbers only to be outbid time and again by the proxy bidder whose ceiling bid must have been pretty high. The Hughes piece was now up to $6,600, beating last year's event total BY ITSELF. This was getting exciting. I felt like I was watching Cash In The Attic. The bidder mulled things over a bit remarking on what a special piece it was and decided to go for it one more time, giving up at $7,500. Wow.

So, needless to say, Wonder Woman Day V was a HUGE success. The estimated total for the NJ event is between $15-16k right now. EDIT: Updated total - $16,200 That's remarkable. (I'm waiting to hear the totals from the Portland side of things.) Thank you so much again to everyone who helped whether it was through spreading the word, volunteering your time or actually placing bids and buying raffle tickets. Your efforts will go towards SAFE In Hunterdon's domestic violence programs, which I don't think I have to tell you, are invaluable.

Oct 22, 2010

The 15 Hottest Nerd Costumes for Guys

There are a large community of girls who cosplay on a regular basis and get a lot of attention for it. Rightfully so. But dudes who cosplay are a different breed altogether. Some just want to wax nostalgic by standing inside a giant cardboard Optimus Prime all day, while others feel comfortable enough to dress as Spider-Man in head-to-toe spandex. Whatever the case, us cosplaying girls have been hogging the spotlight for far too long --and it's time the fellas got a little recognition.

Rob from Topless Robot asked me nicely to put this list together and I agreed but it was with great regret I had to search the internet high and low for pictures of hot men in nerdy costumes. I was totally only thinking about work while I did it too. ;)

Without further ado, see who I chose as The 15 Hottest Nerd Costumes for Guys at Topless Robot. See if your favorite made the list but don't complain about who I left out, it was a REALLY tough decision.

Oct 21, 2010

Wonder Woman Day is THIS Sunday!

The time has come to open your wallets once more for a good cause. Wonder Woman Day V is being held this Sunday and you've only got a short time left to bid on some amazing comic art.

Barry Kitson donated WWD art

Still don't know what WWD day is? Shame on you, I wrote about it a few months ago. But I'll let you slide if you're a new reader. Here's the gist: WWD is a bi-coastal event created to raise money for domestic violence shelters and awareness. Stacy Korn and her team from Comic Fusion here in New Jersey and Andy Mangels in Portland, Oregon work year-round to ask for donations of comic book art to auction off for the cause. The past four years have raised over $89,000 in aid for domestic violence programs and they aren't slowing down anytime soon.

This year Portland's special guests are Matt Wagner, Ron Randall, Anne Timmons, Rich Ellis,
Natalie Nourigat, Dane Ault, Emi Lenox and Steve Dorris. In Flemington, NJ you can catch Jamal Igle and Ken Haeser both signing and sketching plus the 501st Stormtroopers, Rebel Legion, Firestar and other live superheroes appearing on Saturday. Sunday you'll see more superheroes and Charles Wilson III, Michael Devito and Nick Mockoviak
signing and sketching.

And I haven't even gotten to the amazing art up for auction yet. There is a HUGE list of names so I'm not going to post them all here but there's definitely something for everyone. I must point out however, the Adam Hughes sketch that came in for the NJ auction just about two days ago. It's Sue Storm. He's definitely going to help us beat last year's total. Also, I have to say thank you to anyone who donated their artwork because of me. I don't put in the hard work the organizers do for WWD, I just try and spread the word as much as possible and show up to spend some cash of my own and donate my time, so thank you for helping on my behalf.

Ok, all that being said, online bidding for the NJ auction ends at midnight October 23. If you are outbid after that you must be in-store to bid again. I'll be there on WWD, Sunday the 24th, along with Amber Love. She'll be the one dressed as Wonder Woman, I'll be the Red Lantern. Will less blood so I don't scare the children. :)

Above all, donate. If you can't, spread the word EVERYWHERE! We want this to be the most successful Wonder Woman Day yet!

Oct 20, 2010

Hey, That's My Cape! – Comic Book & Geek Merchandising

No geek is immune. The allure of, for lack of a better word, stuff. We see it, we must have it. It doesn’t matter how much it costs or if we already have one that looks just like it, we will shell out our hard-earned cash. Do we need it? Absolutely not. That doesn’t matter. What matters is we possess an item that reminds us of something geeky we love.

Whilst surfing the internet recently (as I routinely to do), I happened upon an R2D2 swimsuit. You heard me correctly. A swimsuit, made to resemble the small droid from Star Wars. And if I wasn’t broke and it wasn’t eighty-five dollars, it would be in my hands right now. See what I’m saying?

I know I'm not the only one. Read this week's Hey, That's My Cape! at Newsarama and leave a comment there about your own experiences.

Oct 19, 2010

I've missed you NYCC!

It's been too long New York Comic Con! The last time I saw you was, what? February of 2009? My goodness how time flies! What's that? You've missed me too? How sweet! Let's never go that long without seeing each other again. Pinky swear? What's that? You don't have pinkies? You aren't a person? This joke is getting old? I agree. Let's get on with the good stuff.

Even though I'd been looking forward to it for a while, I don't think I was adequately prepared for NYCC just yet. I think I was still physically and mentally drained from San Diego Comic-Con if that's possible. But I was determined to see friends, toys and costumes and have the time of my life anyway.

Aaaaand done. This was all I needed, the rest of the weekend didn't really matter. Remember the TARDIS Zipperobe? It was smaller than I'd imagined but still entirely geektastic. I'd buy one if I had the room for it. And if it wasn't $100. And if it didn't look like it would rip and fall apart the first time I tried getting into it. Oh shut up, like you wouldn't.

I spent a good portion of the show covering panels for Newsarama. If you haven't already you can catch up on my reports here. Friday I took in a speed dating panel and if you haven't read my experience with that, you're absolutely missing out. When I wasn't working I was trying to see as much as I could. Luckily Friday was pretty quiet in comparison to what the rest of the weekend turned out to be so I got a fair look around.

Walking the show floor was almost pointless to me immediately though because I couldn't buy anything. I managed to get myself on a commission list (which I'll get to in a minute) and knew I couldn't afford to make any other purchases. I went around talking to some comic folks I know and wound up at the DC booth of course. That's when I ran into these beauties...

These and the other DC Direct Cover Girls statues were on display, taunting me. I also got a chance to see the Return of Bruce Wayne action figures of which I'll hopefully be getting the Caveman and Pirate versions. Luckily I couldn't stay long teasing myself as the Geek Girls Network Tweetup was that night!

As per usual at most conventions, I wind up eating what amounts to a bottle of water and a granola bar a day, so when I finally got to the bar where the tweetup was being held it's safe to say Valkyrie needed food badly. Thus, I had to turn down a few drinks from friendly blog readers and twitter followers so I wouldn't get sick. But I appreciate the offers and hellos! In fact, it was wonderful meeting and getting to talk to you all that night. I'm just sorry I was being pulled in so many different directions. Besides the lovely conversations, Kirby Krackle was performing at the event and it was my first time seeing them. I now know what all the fuss is about.

Saturday at NYCC was madness personified. I donned my Ravager costume that day but was working panels all morning. My eye-patch even decided to snap on me but I was able to pull something together so I could head out onto the show floor. Big mistake. It was more crowded than SDCC. The aisles are smaller but still, that's an impressive feat. Fifteen minutes and I was done. I decided to cruise around the lobby and artists alley until I had to leave again which was pretty soon because I had tickets to see the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers live at Radio City Music Hall. You may remember me taking in the first film around this time last year. Howard Shore showed up at the end but no Elijah Wood or Billy Boyd this time.

I considered cosplaying in my Red Lantern outfit on Sunday but I was wiped out and decided to go with my back-up plan, the lone Classy Lantern. But I did match with Beth who was booth-babing it for Thom Zahler during the weekend. She cosplayed several different characters but this is Thom's Amazonia from Love and Capes who you can see right behind us. I took one more trip around the floor but I don't know why I bothered. I finally came back to artists alley to catch up with some friends I hadn't seen in a while and get a few random sketches. But now for my special commissions...

You may remember me being in love with a particular Twitter meme called MRVLCATS. So much so I wrote a list about them on Topless Robot. Now, comics + cats = awesome but these were all Marvel characters and I was dying for a DCCATS meme to take off but it just never did. Instead, I went directly to the source of cuteness and asked the wonderful Katie Cook to draw me one. I gave her a few character choices and left it up to her which one to illustrate. I practically fell over when I got this back. (And that's saying a lot since I was sitting at the time.) I couldn't be more in love with it. That's one way to pull a disappearing act Catanna!

And finally, my reason for not being able to buy anything else at NYCC is this goddess (although, seriously I'm not complaining). It's my very own Adam Hughes sketch!! It's too big for my scanner so a cell phone picture is all you get for now. I've wanted an Adam Hughes sketch forever and it always seemed pretty impossible considering the protocol and my small con schedule. But luck was on my side that fateful Friday afternoon.

I actually had to barrel through people with my scooter to get to his table. I got on his list, which doesn't guarantee you a sketch, and then hoped for the best. When I went back to his table to check on Saturday his wife Allison Sohn told me he was working on mine right then. SQUEEEEEE!!!! When Adam handed it over to me on Sunday I was speechless. I was expecting greatness and beauty and I got that tenfold. When it finally set in later what I was holding in my hands I actually cried a little. So as worn out as I was, this made my con. Probably my year if I'm being honest.

Overall thoughts about NYCC this year? Too crowded and not enough thought to how the passes were handled. Holding the New York Anime Festival at the same time is convenient for Reed Exhibitions and the Javits Center I'm assuming but it's kind of horrendous for fans and creators. The passes had very little in the way of identification on them. For example, my press pass merely said "Press," with no name, barcode or news organization listed on it. I could have given it to anyone. I even heard people were selling bootleg passes out on the street because it was so easy. Other than that, I didn't get much out of the convention floor because it was too crowded and there weren't as many vendors that interested me.

But all that being said, NYCC is still my show and I enjoyed having everyone be on my turf for a change. :) Did you make it to NYCC? What was your opinion of the show?

Oct 18, 2010

Back to Back to The Future

Doc: Marty! You've gotta come back with me!
Marty: Where?
Doc: Back to the future!

And that's where you need to go this weekend.

For two nights and two showings only, AMC Theaters is re-releasing Back To The Future in honor of its 25th Anniversary. All guests will receive a full-size poster to commemorate the limited release with their ticket purchase. While supplies last of course. According to AMC:
Each theatre will also have special movie-related giveaways prior to the movie as a part of the experience. We’re excited to bring this digitally remastered film back for a new generation to see the film as it was intended – up on the big screen. Bring your family to experience a film that stands the test of time. Or, flash back with friends and recreate your original experience with new digital technology…before it fades away.
This Saturday the 23rd at 12:30 p.m. and Monday the 25th (the exact anniversary date) at 7:00 p.m. are your only chances to see it on the big screen for what is likely to be a long while. Unless you have a 52' HDTV and purchase the new Blu-ray Back To The Future: 25th Anniversary Trilogy DVD and watch it at home. Which, while glorious, is nothing like the theater experience.

I'm ready to hop in the DeLorean, are you?

Oct 13, 2010

Hey, That's My Cape! - Speed Dating With Nerds at NYCC 2010

I’m a cute redhead who reads comic books. You’d think it’d be easy to find a boyfriend. Au contraire mon frère, I’ve been single for a while now. So when I found out there was going to be nerd speed dating at New York Comic Con I knew I had to attend. Even if it killed me.

I’ve never been one for using dating services, it just feels weird to me. I’ve found all my past boyfriends just fine without them but I couldn’t let this golden opportunity pass me by, especially when I could write about it afterwards. Event organizer Gi-Ganakin and the rest of his Star Wars pals hosted the event at Celebration V with great success and were ready to bring the fun to NYC. I had no idea how speed dating worked besides the fact that it was fast. In this case, three minutes fast. While waiting for the guys to enter the room I got to watch Darth Vader bobbing his head to a little AC/DC supplied by a DJ who would keep the music going throughout the event. It was surreal.

Read all about my adventures in this week's Hey, That's My Cape! at Newsarama.

Oct 11, 2010

NYCC Panel Coverage

Just like San Diego Comic-Con, I was covering this past weekend's New York Comic Con for Newsarama. I know not everyone was following along with the live coverage so below I've linked to all the panels I covered.

Spotlight on Geoff Johns - Fans got a chance to talk to the Chief Creative Officer about the direction of his books and how his new title will affect them.

Archaia's Black Label - Editor-In-Chief Stephen Christy leads a panel of creators from their new imprint.

DC Nation - Co-Publisher Dan DiDio led this panel with Bob Wayne, Bob Harris, Jim Lee, Jeff Lemire and Bryan Q. Miller.

MTV Geek with Stan Lee - The man himself was on stage to discuss MTV's foray into the comic book publishing arena.

DC Universe - Senior Story Editor Ian Sattler led this panel with J.M. Straczynski, Paul Levitz, James Robinson, J.T. Krul, Tony Bedard, Shane Davis, Gail Simone and Peter Tomasi to talk about their work.

Green Lantern: The Animated Series - Geoff Johns moderated the panel with Producer Giancarlo Volpe, Producer Jim Krieg and Executive Producer Bruce Timm.

DC Digital - The newly named Senior Vice President, Digital of DC Entertainment Hank Kanalz with DC Co-Publisher Jim Lee, Ron Perazza and David Steinberger, CEO of Comixology led an open discussion with the audience on what they want from digital services, what they like and what they don't like.

That's all from me though make sure you check out Newsarama proper for the rest of our amazing NYCC coverage. Look for my personal experiences from the con (with pictures and lots of exciting adjectives) later in the week!

Oct 6, 2010

Hey, That's My Cape! - New York Comic Con Baby!

During the last New York Comic Con I was freezing my buns off (Seriously, I was dressed as Zatanna) in brisk February New York City weather. That was February of 2009. It’s been almost two years since NYCC has graced the halls of the Jacob Javits Convention Center and boy am I happy to see it on the horizon this weekend. San Diego Comic-Con is one of a kind but I’m an East Coast girl and NYCC is my show.

SDCC is ridiculously fun but it’s also a monster and while NYCC may be trying to compete for status, success or recognition, it’s a different monster altogether. Reed Exhibitions, producers of the show, are slightly limited for the time being considering their event location. The Javits Center is on the West side of NYC with not much else surrounding it and although Reed has taken over the entire building this year by holding the New York Anime Festival there at the same time, we’re still stuck in one spot.

But that's what I love about it.

Find out why and what you can expect this year from NYCC in this week's Hey, That's My Cape! at Newsarama.

Oct 4, 2010

Iron Man's New Look

But...he's kinda already wearing armor...

I know we all loved Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man but I think this little fella may have him beat. Meet Hadies. He's a dwarf caimen which is a type of crocodillian reptile native to South America. But as you can see, this one is a pet. The owner put a handy FAQ at the end of her video so we all know it's legal for her to own him. He lives in a large tank made of part water, part land and eats a variety of meats like fish and mice. And he drinks lots and lots of scotch.

Ok, I made up that last bit.

I'm a big fan of stuff on animals, especially costumes so I just had to post this. Honestly, I'm jealous. If I try to put anything on my cat I get my eyes clawed out. This girl gets to put a superhero costume on her croc and keep all her fingers. I can't decide which still I like the most, the traditional cat look of, "You're going to post this on the internet, aren't you?"

Or the shot from above where it actually looks like he's locked and loaded.

As awesome as it is, I would suggest not trying any of this at home...

Oct 1, 2010

The Nerdy Bird Adores - The Amazing Artwork of Agnes Garbowska

Mark another one down for Twitter. By way of a retweet (when someone you follow let's you see a tweet from someone you DON'T follow because they liked it/thought it was awful) I happened upon the art of one Agnes Garbowska. The tweet said "DC's Bad Kitties" so I obviously had to look at the link. It eventually led me to this gem.

Now, Catwoman isn't much of a space traveler as you can tell by the expression on her face but Dex-Starr looks to be having the time of his life. And how kind of him to shield her from the harshness of space by forming his Red Lantern energy around her.

This was so great I had to see what else Agnes had up her sleeve. I was scantly prepared for what awaited me.

"Hi, my name is Wolverine. I'm going to spill your guts on the floor with my bare claws. What? What are you laughing at? Don't pinch my cheeks! Who do you think you are bub!?!"

*falls down dead*

I already figured Agnes was a Green Lantern fan (so she's A-OK in my book) but according to her deviantArt page she really loved Blackest Night. "Why did you have to turn on the lights?" she captioned this oddly precious illustration of Black Lanterns closing in on Barry and Hal.

Besides creating about a gazillion adorable commissions and other works of art, Agnes has written a book, done some work for Marvel and just recently started her own (you guessed it) adorable webcomic. You, Me and Zombie is her all-ages zombie book which you can read more about here and her most recent work for Marvel was in issue #1 of Girl Comics.

The webcomic is called Waking Up Abbey and has one of the most genius premises I've heard in a while. A young girl wakes up one morning to discover she now has the ability where things stick to her like glue. All well and good, albeit a little cluttered after a while, until she wakes up the next day and has a completely different power, same the day after that and the day after that, etc. Please, everyone, if you don't already know her work take a few minutes and go check this stuff out, you won't be sorry.

P.S. Did I mention this is my first "The Nerdy Bird Adores" in a year?? Why didn't someone get on me about this? :P