Jun 29, 2011

Hey, That's My Cape! - My Way to Cosplay SDCC and Beyond

The big countdown is on. There’s just three weeks left until San Diego Comic-Con and odds are if you haven’t had your plans set for months, you’re not going. I’m not joking when I tell people: if you want to go to SDCC next year, start planning right now. Open a new bank account if you have to and put aside money for it each week to insure you’ll be able to afford it when it finally roles around again and research the best ways to get a room and how to get there. Just deciding to go to SDCC is a big commitment in and of itself.

Even if you are all set to go this year, there’s still lots to be done for those who cosplay at the big event. I’ve cosplayed the last two years I’ve attended SDCC (as well as at other cons and events) and I’ve come to realize SDCC takes even more planning than usual. That’s why I started preparations for most of my costumes this year almost a year in advance. Some people think cosplay is easy. It’s not.

Find out just a fraction of what goes into creating all types of cosplay in this week's Hey, That's My Cape! at Newsarama. Plus I reveal one of my costumes debuting at SDCC this year!

Jun 28, 2011

Transformers Contest!

There's a little movie coming out this week, you may have heard of it. It's called Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon. It's by that guy, with the explosions. Anyway, to celebrate I've got something extra special to give away to one lucky reader - Transformers Vault: The Complete Transformers Universe!

From Abrams and Hasbro, this brand new book was published to coincide with the release of the new film. Written by Pablo Hidalgo (managing editor for StarWars.com) with a forward by Peter Cullen (aka Optimus Prime), it reveals a comprehensive history of the Transformers brand for the first time in print.

From the press release, "Heavily color illustrated, Transformers Vault features never-before-seen images from the global Transformers brand archives, sever interactive pieces of memorabilia, fun pull-outs and an amazing hardcover slipcase." Let me tell you, this is a thing of beauty and the pull-out/extras really bring back memories of childhood. Seriously cool stuff in here from the movies, comics, tv series, collectibles and more.

So, would you like to own this one? Sure you would! Just send an email to nerdybirdcontest [at] gmail [dot] com with the subject line: Transformers Contest. Then tell me (briefly) your favorite Transformers memory. The contest will end Friday July 1, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Open to U.S. residents only.

Jun 24, 2011

Who's your Batman?

When people hear I'm a Batman fan for the first time they usually wind up asking me who my favorite Batman is. My answer - Kevin Conroy. While some other actors have done a great job portraying my favorite superhero/billionaire, no one has ever captured him as completely as Conroy for me. So when I saw the newly Twittered Conroy post a link to a clip of him acting in Matlock back in the day, I was interested to see what he'd look, and especially sound, like.

I usually only saw Conroy as THE VOICE (in fact, Newsarama just named him #1 perfectly cast voice actors) and while I knew he had a career doing more than that, this was the first time I actually saw him act. I couldn't get over how much he reminded me of Bruce Wayne! As I watched his lips move I actually saw the cowl surrounding the rest of his face.

Of course that got me thinking (as Batman has a tendency to get me to do), what would it have been like if Conroy had played the Dark Knight back then? Well, I called in a favor from a friend and...

I think my job here is done.

Jun 23, 2011

Hey, That's My Cape! – Comic Movies I'm Still Waiting To See

After seeing Green Lantern last week I can honestly say I was surprised it got made. Not because of the quality of anything involved but the story itself. Batman and Superman have been staples for years in our society and stories about them, while running the gambit from campy to realistic, have been accepted on the whole by viewers. While I’m a huge fan of the Green Lantern mythos and characters, it seemed like something that was too far-out there for the general public to accept.

I think we take for granted that these movies are easy to get made because of the flood we’ve seen the last few years. Sure, there have been some mega-hits (Batman Begins) but there have also been some horrible duds (The Spirit). While in no way are comic book adaptations a sure-fire thing for studios, they’re still taking chances on us.

In this week's Hey, That's My Cape! at Newsarama I discuss just a few comic book adaptations I'm still waiting to see get made.

Jun 21, 2011

Are you questioning Miss USA's geek cred?

My first question is, "Why?" Geek credibility, especially Geek Girl credibility, seems to be a hot button topic as of late. In fact, Action Chick Katrina Hill is putting together a panel at San Diego Comic-Con next month called "Oh, You Sexy Geek!" to discuss this phenomena. I will be on that panel. Can you be classified as a geek if you're attractive, what defines that attractability and who has the right to tell someone else they aren't a geek? Take a look at this video of our new Miss USA from California, Alyssa Campanella, and then we'll discuss further. (Her portion begins at 2:25 in the video.)

Campanella answers a question posed to her about her affinity for collecting history books. In the midst of her response, the newly crowned Miss USA happens to say, "I watch Game of Thrones, I watched Camelot...I know those are fantasy but I also watch the Tudors, so I'm a huge history geek."

When I heard that, my first thought was, "this chick is awesome!" Do you know what some other people thought? "SHE'S A LIAR." Seriously. Their first thought was to assume Campanella was lying about liking the HBO series (which has huge viewership) and simply pandering to the audience and judges.

Really? Really?? Because, while I don't like to make assumptions about geeks at all, I find it highly doubtful there was a large geek audience for the show (which had online voting) or that the judges, Real Housewife Caroline Manzo, rapper Lil Jon, Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler or chef Rocco DiSpirito would really care all that much if she were a geek. Should actress Mariel Hemingway, who also acted as a judge, care because she was in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace?? This is how ridiculous the whole thing sounded to me.

For the record, Campanella identified herself as a "history geek." That's all that should matter. But for some, just the mere mention of a genre television show by an attractive woman in the spotlight sets off alarms. Teresa Jusino wrote on Twitter, "What's sad is this reflects how they feel about themselves. 'HOT ppl aren't geeks, only NOT-hot ppl like me!'" Is that what it boils down to? That in order to be a geek you must not be attractive by society's standards? I'd hate to think so but some other comments on Twitter did not fill me with hope.

Chris Flocco wrote, "anybody that can walk in a bar and get free drinks all night shouldn't constitute as a 'geek'. 'less they're doing ppl's hmwrk." Gary Smithey wrote, "I'll belive that when i see it...those ladies are pretty pictures with personalitys of ironing board..i fear there are no geeks." Michael Hayes added, "Much as I hate to say it, when a Miss USA calls herself a geek, my first thought is 'bandwagon hopper.'"

Hate to say it? So why do it? Why not take a person at face value until you have serious reason to think otherwise? Why does being a beauty pageant contestant mean you can't also like Star Wars (which Campanella also mentioned at another point in the competition)? What is at the base of this denial of identity? Is it, as Jusino states, a matter of the indiviuals' self-worth? Or is it a matter of what some feel is a secret society being infiltrated by those who haven't been a fan of certain "geeky" things since birth and don't deserve to be let in now? Or perhaps it's something even worse. Julia Sherred wrote on Twitter, "All those who are questioning anyone's cred are just as bad as those who bullied them. Pathetic." Is a history of past abuse causing those individuals to become the abuser themselves? There is a precedent for such behavior.

Campanella is a redhead (albeit a bottled one) who actually hails from my home state of New Jersey. Coincidentally enough, E! News anchor Giuliana Rancic who was co-hosting the pageant, along with Bravo's Andy Cohen, mentioned Campanella's likeness to Poison Ivy - a comic book character - as she was walking up to take her question. Poison Ivy may be a pretty well known character and Rancic may work in the entertainment industry but I thought it was pretty cool she made that remark too especially since Campanella quickly followed it up with Poison Ivy's trademark kiss to the audience.

See, the bottom line is - ANYONE can be a geek. There should be no argument about that. I've tried to make a call for tolerance in the "geek community" before and while a lot of people took to heart what I had to say there are still lots of people out there who can't accept a geek outside of the particular mold they've made in their head. It's a shame because having a limited world view like that really prevents you from knowing some amazing people and hearing different opinions on things. I congratulate Campanella on her win. From the videos I've watched she seems like an intelligent and confident young woman. I hope we can talk Game of Thrones one day, not because we're geeks but because we are human beings who like an AMAZING television show.

Jun 20, 2011

Special delivery for The Nerdy Bird!

I just love it when the internet makes things just for me. I had about 50 people send me the link to this story so I figured I should post it instead of just drooling on it.

Yes, Whovians! That is our very own 11th Doctor, Matt Smith, dressed up like Batman. Be still my heart!! The Daily Mail reported Smith was participating in an event in California called 24 Hour Plays. "All the plays in the event are written the night before by various playwrights and the actors then spend just one day rehearsing before performing it," wrote the website. The event hosted such actors as Jenna Elfman, Eva Mendes, Saffron Burrows, Adam Brody and Raven Simone.

"At the start of his play - called Gotham Autopsy - Matt was covered in a sheet in a mortuary before he came to life as a confused Batman," writes TDM. Comedian Nick Swardson played Smith's Robin in the skit which also had Smith utilizing an American accent until halfway through for some big laughs. There was also another superhero connection on stage that night...

Yup, Fantastic Four actor Ioan Gruffudd was also a participant in the play. TDM writes, "Gruffudd stunned the audience when he stripped off into woman's lingerie and did a dance in the play about sex therapy in which he was alongside Sex in the City actor David Eigenberg."

My god, I knew Reed Richards had some secrets buried away but not THIS!

Also, *swoon* for the Smith/Batman, or should I say Batsmith? Or Smithbat? Oh wait, I've got it...Mattman.

Jun 17, 2011

The Nerdy Bird reviews Green Lantern...ON VIDEO!

Well, I decided to try something new. I type so much every day I felt like giving my fingers a rest and review the new Green Lantern movie in a video instead! Let me know what you think! Without further ado... (slight non-plot related spoilers)

And as an extra treat, take a gander at who was featured in Katrina Hill's (ActionChick) Green Lantern-inspired webcomic this week! (Click to view larger of course.)

Did they capture me or what?

Let me know what you thought of the movie in the comments!

Jun 16, 2011

5 Things You Should Know About Green Lantern

If you're new to the world of Green Lantern, there's a few things you should know before stepping into the theater this weekend to see the new movie starring Ryan Reynolds. Not that they won't explain this to you there but hey, wouldn't it be cool to be able to chat with your friends about it while waiting on line? Or perhaps you're a casual fan who could use a refresher course, either way, here's a few simple bits of info that will help you sound like a Green Lantern Corps member yourself.

1. You are chosen: Not just anyone can be a Green Lantern. In fact, before Hal Jordan, a human was never even considered to serve in the Corps. Lanterns are chosen. Chosen by whom? Well it gets slightly tricky there. You could say the Guardians (I'll get to them later), but that's not entirely accurate, you could say Mogo (he's a planet AND a Green Lantern) but he's really just guide. Most would say it's the ring itself that chooses a worthy candidate to defend our universe. And the most important quality? The ability to overcome fear.

2. Power Ring: Your most important weapon as a Green Lantern, besides your mind, is your power ring. Some call it an advanced computer, others, magic, but what it really is is a tool. A Lantern's power ring not only feeds them information about whatever planet, civilization or foe they come into contact with, it also serves as a means to defend themselves. Green Lanterns are named so because the color green is the embodiment of willpower in the universe. With their minds, and the help of the power ring, Lanterns can create anything they can imagine out of green light. "How does this help in the field," you ask? Well, it's not light as you and I know it, it's hard light. Light, that when formed into a shape, can act as a weapon, a prison or a safety net. Thinking about a giant bear? You can use your power ring to form one of those out of hard light as well. You're mind and willpower to create it are its only boundaries. Well, there is one other boundary, the rings run out of power eventually. That's where the "Lantern" part of a Green Lantern comes in. Each Lantern has a personal charging station of sorts that links to a central "power battery."

3. Oa and the Guardians: Just like the United States military has its base of operations at the Pentagon, the Green Lanterns have their own fortified citadel. In fact, they get a whole planet - Oa. It's where the Guardians of the universe reside as well as the central power battery that acts as the source of the Lanterns' power. It was the Guardians who first forged the rings in an attempt to create order out of chaos. Originally, they selected androids to defend the universe but after these "Manhunters" took their programming a little too literally, the Guardians decided to give their power to living beings instead. The Guardians are immortals, or at least as immortal as immortals can be these days, and are vastly knowledgable and very secretive.

4. You are not alone: While it may be a scary thing to realize you've been chosen as a protector of the universe, relax, you're not alone. The Green Lantern Corps is there to help you. The Corps is made up of thousands of beings from across the universe who were chosen among their people to defend their home planet as well as any others in their "sector." There are 3600 sectors in the universe and most of the time, two Green Lanterns are assigned to patrol it. Earth, which lies in sector 2814, has four Green Lanterns in the Corps; Jordan, Kyle Rayner, John Stewart and Guy Gardner. As I mentioned earlier, Jordan was the first human Green Lantern, there are all shapes and sizes in the Corps.

5. There are other color Lanterns: If green is the embodiment of willpower in the universe, what about the other colors in the spectrum? There are eight other colors represented by their very own Corps out there as well and almost all of their powers are defined by an emotion. Red is rage, orange is greed, yellow is fear, blue is hope, indigo is compassion and purple is love. Black Lanterns represent death while White Lanterns represent life. Only one comes into play in the new Green Lantern film but it's a very interesting concept to keep in mind while watching.

And that, in a nutshell, is all you need to know about Green Lantern!

Hey, That's My Cape! – 8 Things GREEN LANTERN Must Have

So, I know I wrote about Green Lantern last week for Hey, That's My Cape! but, well...blame Warner Bros. for the strategic marketing of releasing the animated Green Lantern: Emerald Knights and the live action Green Lantern a week apart. Other than that, you can just blame me for being a HUGE Green Lantern fan.

For me, Green Lantern is without a doubt my most anticipated comic book film of the year. Am I still frightened to death it won’t be everything I want it to be and more? Oh, yes. Which is why I’ve created this list to highlight my fan-sanity (like insanity but worse). Things like suspense, thrilling action, an interesting plot and great acting are not on this list because that’s what we want from all action films (except you Transformers fans, you settle for two out of four). So now, without further ado, 8 Things Green Lantern Must Have For Me To Love It. The real title? 8 Things Green Lantern Must Have For Me To Star Sapphire It. Shh! We want the n00bs to read this too!

Jun 14, 2011

Marvel Girls go 80s retro

It's always cool to see superhero t-shirts done with style. Sure, anyone can get a classic comic book image tee but this is the kind of thing you don't see every day. May I present WeLoveFine.com's line of Patrick Nagel-inspired superhero wear featuring the ladies of X-Men!

If you're unfamiliar with Nagel, you'll most likely know of his work from the cover of the Duran Duran album Rio. His unique style of pop art has been the inspiration for a lot of other work including comic artist Cliff Chiang's Vampirella poster.

WeLoveFine also has Nigel-inspired Mystique, Rogue and Shadowcat. These were all previously available in men's cuts but have just been released in women's styles (with several color choices) which makes me very happy.

Jun 11, 2011


It’s hard when the comics you take great joy and entertainment from seem to be dragging you down. It’s kind of been that way the last two weeks for me so I felt like I needed to write about something with little to no baggage. That’s why I popped my copy of Green Lantern: Emerald Knights in and sat back to enjoy the ride. And boy am I glad I did.

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is the latest offering from Warner Home Video. It’s follows the same type of story plotting as Batman: Gotham Knight where there are five separate tales being told along with another that ties them all together. While I like it when the DC animated films are one story, I almost prefer this kind of direction because a lot more gets to be told.

Find out if it passed my discriminating Green Lantern appreciation test in this week's Hey, That's My Cape! at Newsarama.

Jun 9, 2011

Gail, Jill and Babs: A Conversation about BATGIRL & ORACLE

When I heard the news about DC Comics making Barbara Gordon Batgirl again, I was understandable upset. I have a close, personal connection to this character and I shared my feelings in an op/ed on Newsarama titled, Oracle Is Stronger Than Batgirl Will Ever Be.

With the little information DC is giving out in their relaunch solicitations, many fans were left speculating what this change really meant for Barbara Gordon. Would she be cured? Would she be retconned? It was for this and many other reasons I knew a conversation with Birds of Prey and Batgirl #1 author Gail Simone was needed.

We conducted a very lengthy email interview in the hopes of clearing the air a bit and to let fans, who are both worried about the future of Oracle and excited to see Barbara as Batgirl again, hear what there was to say.

Jun 8, 2011

Art Reflecting Art

A lot of response has come out of the Batgirl/Oracle news. Some negative, some positive. But I happened upon this piece from the webcomic Gutters and felt I needed to share it. Click to enlarge.

Now I know how my op/ed hit a lot of people. This really gutted me. Written by Ryan Sohmer, illustrated by Ron Chan, this comic is definitely one of the best things to come out of the news so far. You may remember Gutters, they brought us the more light-hearted Angry Birds of Prey recently too, which I also loved.

If you are interested in seeing more Oracle-inspired art, check out the Oracle Create-A-Thon going on now. Some very cool work has gone up there already and they invite you to submit your own.

Jun 6, 2011

ORACLE Is Stronger Than BATGIRL Will Ever Be

Who’s your symbol for strength in the DC universe? I’m sure a lot of you are thinking Superman or Batman right now. They’ve certainly got the physical strength and fortitude to make them the perfect candidates. While Batman is my all-time favorite character in comics, he’s not the first person I look to when I need to be reminded to keep fighting in this world. For that I look to Oracle.

If you hadn't heard the big news yet, as part of the post-Flashpoint DC Universe, Oracle is no more. Barbara Gordon picks up her Batgirl suit.

As you can imagine, as a wheelchair-using redhead who also happens to be a huge DC fan, I had a few thoughts on the drastic change. You can read them all in my op/ed on Newsarama titled, ORACLE Is Stronger Than BATGIRL Will Ever Be.

Jun 2, 2011

Hey, That's My Cape! - DC Revamp: What's in a Number?

William Shakespeare wrote, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Does the same thing apply to comic books and numbers? Yesterday, DC announced they would be renumbering their entire DCU line with 52 number one issues.

And then the Internet exploded.

It’s safe to say most of the comic reading public was stunned to hear the news. I know I was. Even though DC had been super hush-hush about what was coming after Flashpoint I never expected a company-wide reboot. But then I realized, they said renumbered and revamped. No one from DC has said the word reboot, everyone else is calling it that. When I hear reboot I think serious levels of change, like completely new origin stories serious. Will a lot change? Sure. But let’s not get too crazy. (Too late.)

Read my thoughts on the impending "crisis" in this week's Hey, That's My Cape! at Newsarama.

Jun 1, 2011

Geek of the Week: Jill Pantozzi

Check it out! I've been named Crazy 4 Comic Con's GEEK OF THE WEEK!

I join some of my fellow distinguished geeks (and friends) Andrea Letamendi and Zoe Gulliksen in the honor. They threw questions at me like, "Galactus is nearing planet Earth and you can only take 3 items with you on your escape pod- what would they be?" and "Ninjas, Pirates, Zombies, or Vampires- which are better and why?"

All that and more at Crazy 4 Comic Con!