Jul 28, 2011

Would you accept this Oracle substitute?

DC's decision to revert Barbara Gordon from her integral role as Oracle in the DC Universe back to her more culturally popular Batgirl persona was a divisive one to say the least. You all know my feelings on it. But at San Diego Comic-Con last week I was introduced to a brand new character I think I might just learn to love.

Her name? Well as of right now it's only The Horsewoman but I'm assuming we'll learn her real name down the road. She's a character in Paul Cornell, Diogenes Neves and Oclair Albert's new Demon Knights series (Although this character art is by Gary Frank) and she's disabled.

“The Horsewoman is one of the seven Demon Knights, flung together by a desperate battle,” said series writer Paul Cornell on DC's Source Blog. “She’s a mysterious rider who tries to stay apart, on a lonely journey across Medieval Europe. She can ride, but she can’t walk, supported in her saddle by magic and invention. She has an absolute affinity for all horses, and she’s the greatest archer in history. She tries hard not to care, but always ends up helping those who need her. And the little village Etrigan’s reluctant team end up defending from enormous odds is going to need her now.”

The Horsewoman could easily come off as an Oracle substitute, especially since she's a redhead, but I see this as a really interesting spin on disability and how to deal with it in a non-modern setting. It helps that I used to horseback ride of course but it also helped hearing Cornell's take on the series and the character at the convention (He compared it to Game of Thrones). Demon Knights wasn't a series I was planning to pick up from the 52 releases in September but now I am. No one will ever replace Oracle in my mind or heart but The Horsewoman could be a new favorite.

Demon Knights is in stores and online September 14th.

Hey, That's My Cape! - SDCC 2011 Wrap-Up - I Survived!

I need a t-shirt that reads, “I survived San Diego Comic-Con... again.”

If you’ve ever been to the massive pop-culture convention you understand why. SDCC is fun, exciting and geektastic but it’s also crowded, exhausting and hectic. Every year at SDCC is a new adventure for me. For some reason I go in thinking it’s going to be the same as the year before but wind up having an entirely different experience. However, I am lucky enough to say that each time I’ve gone, it’s been an enjoyable time.

Head on over to Newsarama for this week's Hey, That's My Cape! where I give my SDCC wrap-up and show some pictures from the event, including my costumes!! More to come, but start here!

Jul 18, 2011

See me at San Diego Comic-Con!

It's that time of year again! San Diego Comic-Con begins this week in California and I'm making the trek out for a third year to witness the madness. I'm doing three new costumes this year and will be on two panels! Read on to see where you can find me at the show...

My first panel of the week is on Thursday:
10:45-11:45 Oh, You Sexy Geek!— Does displaying the sexiness of fangirls benefit or demean them? When geek girls show off, are they liberating themselves or pandering to men? Do some "fake fangirls" blend sex appeal with nerdiness just to appeal to the growing geek/nerd market, or is that question itself unfair? And what's up with all the Slave Leias? Action flick chick Katrina Hill (ActionFlickChick.com) asks Bonnie Burton (Grrl.com), Adrianne Curry (America's Next Top Model), Clare Grant (Team Unicorn, "G33k & G4m3r Girls"), Kiala Kazebee (Nerdist.com), Clare Kramer (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Nerdy Bird - Jill Pantozzi ("Has Boobs, Reads Comics"), Jennifer K. Stuller (Ink-Stained Amazons, GeekGirlCon) and Chris Gore (G4TV's Attack of the Show!) to discuss whether fans can be sexy and geeky at the same time -- and if they should! Room 6A
The second will be held Saturday afternoon:
1:00-2:00 Comics Arts Conference Session #11: Psychology of the Dark Knight: How Trauma Formed the Batman and Why He's Got a Thing for "Bad Girls"— How realistic is it that a young Bruce Wayne would vow to spend the rest of his life avenging his parents' murders and "warring on all criminals"? How did these seminal events shape the man Wayne becomes? And why is he attracted to "bad girls"? For answers to these and other questions, psychologists Travis Langley (Henderson State University) and Robin Rosenberg (Psychology of Superheroes) ask Batman writer Grant Morrison, one-time Catwoman Lee Meriwether (Batman: The Movie), journalist Jill Pantozzi (Newsarama), and executive producer Michael Uslan (The Dark Knight Rises). Room 26AB
I'm thrilled to be on these panels and am looking forward to the discussions that will happen at both. And yes, I'm furiously excited and humbled to be able to sit next to the folks on the Batman panel and talk about my favorite Dark Knight. Someone stop me if I go off into a fantasy...

So, I did mention costumes, didn't I? If you read my recent Hey, That's My Cape! at Newsarama, I spilled the beans about one of them but the other two have been kept a secret until now. The first two are being done Thursday and Friday, not sure which for either (depends on an interview I may be conducting one of the days). They are...

CYCLONE (Maxine Hunkel) from the Justice Society of America! And the costume wouldn't be complete without...

FRANKIE!! I have a great affection for Cyclone and I just couldn't resist another animal prop.

The second costume is not from a comic book but from a television show/novel. I'll be cosplaying DAENERYS TARGARYEN from Game of Thrones. I know there's probably going to be several ladies costuming the same character so I decided to go with something more to my...tastes. I'll be doing her costume from one, very memorable scene. And now, it's not that one from the finale. It's this one...

Hey, I'm not doing my Red Lantern this year, I needed to get blood in somehow. :)

And finally, the one I announced in the Newsarama column but that not everyone knows about yet is...

LASHINA from the Female Furies! Yes, I'm actually attempting to pull of that insane cage mask of hers along with the rest of that wacky Kirby costume. And not only that, I've also got Darkseid and a plethora of other Furies to walk around with me!!

Besides Darkseid and Lashina, the group I've organized will have Mad Harriet, Big Barda, Gilotina, Knockout, Artemiz, Bloody Mary and Granny Goodness!! And you thought my Classy Lantern group was big. I cannot even describe to you all how amazing this group is going to be. The girls (plus our epic Darkseid!) have been working ridiculously hard for months to put these costumes together and I think people are going to get their socks knocked off when we walk into the convention center on Saturday. And yes, the Batman panel does fall on the same day I'm doing this costume so, that should be interesting. :) Other than the panel and walking the floor we'll definitely be making a stop off at the DC booth for pictures. I'll be tweeting when we are heading there if anyone wants to see it all in person.

And of course keep checking my tweets all week and weekend for the latest happenings (and celebrity sightings!) as I probably won't have time to update here. I'll also be at the Geek Girls Network party Friday night if you were lucky enough to snatch up one of the tickets. As always, if you see me around feel free to come say hello. And shouting out "Nerdy Bird" is perfectly acceptable to get my attention (I tend to fly by in my scooter). See you soon folks!!

Jul 15, 2011

WOMANTHOLOGY: An Indie Sensation Before Publication

It’s been a discussion for a while now, highlighted recently with the creators chosen for the DCnU, that female artists and writers in the comic book industry are underrepresented and undervalued. While Marvel’s Girl Comics was a big step toward showcasing female talent, projects created solely by women are scarce. Artist Renae De Liz (The Last Unicorn, IDW Publishing) decided that needed to change and with it Womanthology was born.

I conducted an email interview for Newsarama with the creator of the project, Renae De Liz, to talk about her amazing accomplishment, the origin of the project and where Womanthology goes from here.

Click on over to Newarama to read WOMANTHOLOGY: An Indie Sensation Before Publication!

Jul 13, 2011

Hey, That's My Cape! - Accio, HARRY POTTER Comics!

I’m having serious separation anxiety. In less than two days I’ll be sitting in a theater for my very last midnight showing of Harry Potter. And sobbing, I’m sure. I’m not one of those people who grew up reading J.K. Rowling’s saga of the boy wizard (I saw the first film in 2001 and then started reading) but the series still holds a very dear place in my heart. And I don’t want to see it go! So, I have a suggestion...

Make Harry Potter comic books.

See my thoughts and reasoning in this week's Hey, That's My Cape! at Newsarama.

Jul 12, 2011

The Dwayne McDuffie tribute Comic-Con International wouldn't print

Earlier this year, comic and television creator Dwayne McDuffie passed away just after celebrating his 49th birthday. It was a tough loss for the industry and something I was very sad to hear personally. I went so far as to write a Newsarama column titled, Appreciate Creators Now. Unfortunately, a week before San Diego Comic-Con, some disappointing news has reached my ears. McDuffie's good friend and frequent professional collaborator Matt Wayne has informed the community that his tribute to the late creator, set to run in the official Comic-Con program, will NOT run. Why? Read on.

Wayne posted on McDuffie's website forums last Friday, "I've debated airing this in public for two months now. Comic-Con International is printing tributes to Dwayne in the San Diego Comic-Con program this year, and they approached me to write one. What I came back with was my sincere feelings, and something that I feel the industry needs to understand about itself: Dwayne should have been running the comics business, and instead he was barely tolerated."

I assumed there would be a major tribute to the late writer at SDCC but I didn't expect any of it to be censored. Wayne continues, "I ran my tribute past Dwayne's wife before I sent it, and she dubbed it 'perfect.' But the people at Comic-Con asked me to change it, and I decided to just let it go. I'm worried that Dwayne is going to be the industry's 'proof' that we're all post-racial and chummy, now that they can't be embarrassed into hiring him anymore, and I don't want to contribute to that absurd but inevitable narrative."

The following is Wayne's unedited tribute to McDuffie:
I miss Dwayne every day. It’s still inconceivable that he isn’t around to appreciate the world with me.

When my son gets another baby tooth, or I see a new episode of Doctor Who, I still have the urge to call him. Given the chance, I’ll talk about my late friend for hours at a time. I find myself making lists of McDuffie facts—not wanting to forget any more than I already have. And one of the things I’ve thought about most while mourning him was his long struggle for recognition from the comics industry.

Dwayne loved comics, both the superhero and non-superhero varieties, long before he made them for a living, and he continued to love them till the end. Our last conversation was about the Masterpiece Comics collection I’d given him for his birthday, which includes a pastiche of his beloved Little Lulu.

That said, I don’t know that the comics business loved him back.

Here’s a trivia question for you: Aside from the titles he published himself, what was Dwayne’s first monthly comics writing assignment? Believe it or not, that was Justice League of America in 2007. “But what about Deathlok,” you ask? Sorry, that was co-written with the redoubtable Greg Wright. “Fantastic Four?” Nope, it wasn’t open-ended. Dwayne knew that was a finite assignment when he took it. “X-O Manowar?” “Firestorm?” Same deal.

The majors never appreciated Dwayne’s writing enough to grant him a steady job of it. Not until there had been a Static cartoon, and the Justice League cartoon. And Beyond! And Fantastic Four. And Milestone, of course. By the time he landed that regular monthly, Dwayne was already in the history books of two media.

Now, naming no names, think of how many not-so-good writers you’ve seen blunder from one long-term monthly comic assignment to another. (And sure, who qualifies as a hack is subjective. You and I might not be thinking of the same names.) Each of those writers got more of a shot than Dwayne did.

We all know how good he was. And again, what Dwayne made of such opportunity as he did get is now a matter of history. He always counted a great number of People Who Oughtta Know among his fans, including Comic-Con International, the ones who give out Inkpot Awards.

Still, there’s no question in my mind that, given the finite length of Dwayne’s career, he would have been better off both financially and creatively to have never worked in comics at all, and gone straight into animation instead.

But that’s not how love works, is it?

Matt Wayne

It upsets me that they chose to withhold that heartfelt, and truthful, piece of writing and I wanted to help spread it around by sharing it here.

Jul 11, 2011

The Dark Knight Rises Above Gotham

The very first, legit, The Dark Knight Rises poster has been released. I am in awe. Click the image to view the details.

This is such a brilliant concept, bravo to whomever came up with it. Batman truly is Gotham City.


Jul 7, 2011

Womanthology!

Something very exciting is taking place in the comic book industry right now and I'm ecstatic to let you know I'm part of it. It's called - Womanthology.

Womanthology is a MASSIVE all-female comic anthology being spearheaded by Renae De Liz, illustrator of The Last Unicorn for IDW Publishing. That same company has offered to publish the book for an incredible assortment of over 140 female creators. The proceeds from the book will be going entirely to charity, GlobalGiving.org, and so the production costs must be met before it can be printed. This is where Kickstarter comes in.

If you aren't familiar with Kickstarter, it's a fundraising tool online that offers incentives for those that donate and only collects the money if the specified goal is met by a certain date. Our goal for a small print run of 1500 copies is $25,000. I know that sounds like a lot but this is a worthwhile investment not only for the charitable incentive but also for females in the comic industry. Plus, at the time I'm posting this, we've already raised $10,000 (THANK YOU!)
The purpose of the book is to show support for female creators in comics and media. There will be multiple short stories, how to's & interviews with professionals, and features showcasing iconic female comic creators that have passed, such as Nell Brinkley and Tarpe Mills. A Kids & Teens section will also be included, showcasing their work, and offering tips & tricks to help them prepare themselves for their future careers in comics. Overall, this is pretty much a huge book showcasing what women in comics have accomplished, and what we are capable of :) We are also hoping that by doing this book, it will encourage a new generation of women to pick up the pencil and create!
So, where do I come in? Well...I'm writing one of the stories! I'm teamed up with a fantastic artist named Nur Hanie Mohd (she goes mostly by Hanie, pronounced 'honey') and I can't wait to work with her. And more so, I can't wait to be in the same book as Gail Simone, Devin Grayson, Chrissie Zullo, Lauren Montgomery, Jenna Busch, Bonnie Burton and more!

Feel free to check out Womanthology's official blog, Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook. Now run, don't walk to the Kickstarter page to donate and get excited for what is bound to be one of the best books on the stands!

Doctor Who stars before Who!

The modern Doctor Who cast have had varying degrees of acting experience before hitting in big with the long-running sci-fi show. Some more interesting than others. BBC recently posted "Doctor Who Stars Before They Were Famous" and included some gems I'd never seen before.

First, here's Arthur Darvil (aka Rory Williams) on a UK children's show called Sooty. And well, there's hand puppets...



You probably know by now that our current Doctor Matt Smith and former companion Billie Piper shared some very naughty screen time together in Piper's show Secret Diary of a Call Girl but did you know they acted together another time before Smith was on Doctor Who? Here's a clip from Masterpiece Theater's Ruby in the Smoke.



Then there's our lovely Karen Gillan (aka Amy Pond). They mentioned a few videos from a comedy sketch show, The Kevin Bishop Show, but didn't actually post it because it's pretty terrible. But here it is for you to be horrified at anyway. And if you want to feel extra uncomfortable, check out Gillan with black hair parodying Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl," from the same show. This one isn't quite safe for work...



And one video BBC America did not post but that I got a kick out of when I found it a few months ago was 10th Doctor David Tennant's first acting role. From an after-school special. About how bad smoking is for you. It's pretty amazing.

Jul 6, 2011

Hey, That's My Cape! - DC Social Media Needs Some Help

Some might say I’m a social media darling. Others would say addict (especially if you ask my family). I’d say I’m in a steady relationship with Twitter, Facebook and the like.

So, why am I talking about social networking in a comic book column? I read an excellent piece on Wired recently by Corrina Lawson titled, “Open Letter to DC Comics, Part 3: Marketing Fail, Or Why Not Go After Truly New Readers?” In it, Lawson mentions DC’s current initiative to go after males, 18-34 for readership of their relaunched line. She makes some great points about the large number of females already into fantasy in other mediums or those that read GeekMom.com etc. and that DC has huge potential for new readership they are ignoring. She states the very basic incentive to get female readers, scale back the over-sexualized art, but her main gripe is with DC’s marketing itself, especially through social networking or lack thereof. And I have to say, I agree.

Read my thoughts about why DC needs to step it up in the social media realm and how I can help them in this week's Hey, That's My Cape! on Newsarama.

Jul 1, 2011

Wonder Woman joins the Army

Adrianne Palicki, our once and never Wonder Woman, has just been added to the cast of G.I. Joe: Cobra Strikes.

According to Deadline, the Friday Night Lights actress will be playing Lady Jaye in the film which also stars Channing Tatum and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Johnson was recently announced to be playing the role of Roadblock in the Jon M. Chu-directed film. "Ray Park is expected to reprise his Snake Eyes character, Byung Hun-lee is expected to bring back Storm Shadow, and RZA just joined the film," wrote Deadline.

Lady Jaye, a.k.a. Alison R. Hart-Burnett, is a covert op specialist for G.I. Joe who has a knack for impersonations. I think they were extremely smart to pick up Palicki for the role. Even though Wonder Woman didn't get picked up her name has been out there quite a lot and regardless of how the script was for the television pilot, everyone was looking forward to seeing her in action.

"The big question is who Paramount sets in the role of the original G.I. Joe, Joe Colton," writes Deadline, saying they've heard Bruce Willis is a top choice. Palicki can be seen next in the Red Dawn remake with Thor star Chris Hemsworth.

What do you think? Can you picture her as Lady Jaye? Will you even see another G.I. Joe movie?