Aug 30, 2011

DON'T BE A JERK

I have plenty of other words for the subject of this post but "jerk" was the only decent one I could use. I know there are mean, spiteful people in this world. I've had the unfortunate luck to run into several of them in my lifetime but this is a new low. Blogger Alyssa Bereznak recently took to Gizmodo, a technology blog, to regale us all with a dating horror story (on a tech blog??). Why was it so horrible you ask? It was with Jon Finkel, a World Champion of Magic: The Gathering. And yes, that's why she considered it a bad date.

Bereznak has been called out in the comments of the piece as well as several other websites and rightfully so. The post starts off with an italicized warning of sorts, "This story sounds mean. It's about a girl judging a boy because he's a nerd (like so many of us!) that she met on OkCupid." Hmm, a nerd judging a nerd. That's never happened before...right?

Regardless of the preamble, the story went something like this, Bereznak met Finkel on the dating website OkCupid. They had usual first date conversation until for some reason Bereznak mentioned her brother was a gamer. "And then [Finkel] casually mentioned that he played Magic: The Gathering when he was younger," she wrote and then told readers he confessed to being the World Champion. A tough confession to be sure, especially considering the reaction many members of the general public still have to adults liking things like comic books and science fiction. But confess he did and Bereznak couldn't believe her ears. "Before I could dig deeper, we had to go. Jon had bought us tickets for a one-man show based on serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's life story. It was not a particularly romantic evening," she wrote.

Forget Magic, as a woman, I'd have been concerned about anything involving Jeffrey Dahmer being an acceptable first date activity but no, that wasn't Bereznak's problem. She couldn't accept that this man played Magic. Fair enough. You'd think at that point, if a person's hobbies bother you that much you'd go your separate ways and chalk it up to dating experience. Is that what Bereznak did? No.

She went on a second date with Finkel.

On date two, the blogger (who I'm starting to think went on the second date just so she could write about it) had prepared. She had googled Finkel, wikipedia page and all, and hoped that his Magic days were behind him.

She wrote, "At dinner I got straight down to it. Did he still play? 'Yes.' Strike one. How often? 'I'm preparing for a tournament this weekend.' Strike two. Who did he hang out with? 'I've met all my best friends through Magic.' Strike three. I smiled and nodded and listened. Eventually I even felt a little bit bad that I didn't know shit about the game. Here was a guy who had dedicated a good chunk of his life to mastering Magic, on a date with a girl who can barely play Solitaire. This is what happens, I thought, when you leave things out of your online profile."

And that was basically that. Until she decided to warn the world about her date by blasting him on a popular website. She also wrote, "I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people I sort of know, including one of my co-workers." Infiltrated? Did he know she was connected to these other people or just playing the field like so many others on the dating website?

Whatever the case, Finkel and Bereznak obviously weren't a perfect match so why did she feel the need to tell the whole world about it? And more to the point, why did she call him out by name? Finkel is a public figure of sorts but couldn't she have changed specific details of the story so this guy, who went on an innocent first and second date and had no knowledge that the person sitting across from him would publicly call him out be spared possible humiliation?

Finkel, at least, has responded to the article with his side of the story via his Twitter account.
Thanks for all the support internet. People want "my side" but it was really a complete non event. Go out on a date that's kinda blah. Next day the girl tweets me about what shes reading about me, my reply is merely a prophetic, "Remember to use your powers only for good." She then texts me about serial killer dreams and I dont reply because I didnt think we had much chemistry. A couple days later I'm home and I'm a bit bored and I know she works right by me and seemed like the sort of girl I should like so I text her about grabbing a bite since I know she works around the corner. An hour later we meet up and it quickly becomes clear I'm bored, she's bored (I assume) but its raining heavily out. Eventually I suggest we head out anyways and luckily I find a cab. We go our separate ways and never speak again. At that point I just thought she was a nice girl, which I still mostly think. God knows we've all made poor decisions in our lives.
Even though he's been highlighted in a negative way by the blogger, Finkel doesn't seem bitter about Bereznak's article himself and may even wind up getting a few dates out of the whole thing from women who appreciate his hobby, "I'd like to thank everyone for their messages, and I'm sorry I cant reply to them all - especially all the date requests from cute nerdy girls," he wrote. Though he did express some disappointment in a Q&A he held via Reddit, "I felt a little, I dunno, violated. Even though the post itself didnt make me look bad at all (at least I didnt think). Still, it's sort of like someone publishing emails you wrote to your girlfriend, or posting part of your diary - it just feels wrong."

image via LA Weekly

Bereznek made one general statement about the backlash she's received via her Twitter account, "dudes, i don't think it's bad to be a dweeb. i just dont want to date someone i can't relate to. not an attack. more a cautionary tale."

Like I said, besides Bereznak's atrocious personal behavior (she warned us she was shallow, what should we have expected?), it was a horrible breech of basic human trust to publish a story about a person who had no idea he was going to be the subject. At least bad date stories from gossip or fashion magazines have the decency to change names when telling their "cautionary tales."

And about Finkel not including his accomplishments in his dating profile, he wrote, "For the record I wanted to state that not mentioning magic in my profile has nothing to do with wanting to hide it or being ashamed of it. In fact my accomplishments in magic are one of the things I'm most proud of in life. There just doesn't seem to be a graceful way to say: '10 years ago I was the best in the world at this game you're only 50% to have heard of' - plus it ensures every conversation goes that way."

Finkel did have a few encouraging words for geeks out there hesitant to share their beloved hobbies with a date, "I know there are a lot of younger guys out there who are thinking, 'I can't let girls know I play magic or they won't think I'm cool.' Despite what you've seen here the vast majority of girls view it neutral or positively - tho admittedly I date more intellectual girls."

In other words, don't freak out, not every person you share your pastimes with will make fun of them online. Most will be adults and either say you're not for them or perhaps ask to learn more about it. And writers? You want to discuss online dating? Fine but do so in a constructive and legitimate way. Go head and be shallow if that's your priority in life but don't be rude. Bottom line, trying to get hits and become an overnight internet "star" aside, being a jerk to a person who did absolutely nothing to you will not get you far in life. So, DON'T BE A JERK.

Aug 25, 2011

Eric Blumenshine wants to be Batman

Lots of children say they want to be Batman when they grow up but few keep that dream alive past puberty. For a man named Eric Blumenshine, that dream never faded.

He may look more like a Robin but Blumenshine has devoted himself to emulating the Dark Knight. Why? To help the world.

State Press Magazine recently did a feature on the twenty-year-old who told them, “It’s not ‘Batman is real and I am him,’ it’s ‘I’m me and I want to be like him — that’s where it ends.’” Blumenshine is a Justice Studies major at college and has black belts in both Tai Chi and Kempo and according to his Twitter profile, also enjoys Parkour.

The Batman-to-be has always identified with superheroes, in preschool he would wear a Superman costume under his regular clothes. "He harvested his fighting skills from his father, who taught Blumenshine how to throw knives into a human-shaped target and how to walk without making noise at a young age," wrote SP. But it wasn't until age fourtheen, when his mother was diagnose with cancer and he saught refuge in The Batman Handbook: The Ultimate Training Manual by Scott Beatty, David Hahn and Chuck Dixon that his mission began to solidify. “I realized there was nothing in there I couldn’t do,” said Blumenshine.

"And so the training began," wrote SP, "Blumenshine would train when he woke up in the morning and before school, then during martial arts classes at school, during lunch, at the martial arts dojo after school, and finally for two or three hours after work. This schedule added up to sometimes 12 hours of martial arts training daily, particularly in the summer."

Photos by Peter Lazaravich

“I want to help people. I want to be Batman. I might as well help people while being Batman,” said Blumenshine. I've often wondered why we haven't had a Batman in our world yet. Sure, there have been a few jokers (pardon the expression) who have put on a cape and cowl and run around town but they usually get arrested and taken for psychiatric evaluation. The SP made sure to reiterate that Blumenshine did not fall into that category.

They write, "He described imagining oneself as a fictional character as 'just plain creepy,' and wanted to use Batman only as a means to achieve his humanitarian goal." Although the young man does ask that people call him Batman.

While still in school, Blumenshine says he's learning, “the true nature of crime and the true nature of injustice," and "training for something I believe in that I think is going to change the world." Sounds like Batman to me.

Aug 24, 2011

Hey, That's My Cape! – Breaking Into CONCRETE

Superhero comics are my bread and butter. Give me aliens with otherworldly powers, people in spandex flying through the sky and plots to take over the universe any day of the week. I can’t get enough. That doesn’t mean I don’t read and enjoy non-superhero comics, books like Locke & Key, Mouse Guard and The Walking Dead are top on my list when they’re released, but superheroes have my heart.

Some people may think superhero comics are the only comics out there but for every superhero title there’s at least ten stories out there where spandex will never be seen. Take for example, Concrete by Paul Chadwick.

Read this week's Hey, That's My Cape! at Newsarama to hear my thoughts on the comic book character I recently became acquainted with.

Aug 22, 2011

Don't try these Supehero Sex Moves at home!

The mind of Caldwell Tanner at College Humor has made superheroes dirty, but not in a creepy sort of way. Ok, so maybe it's a creepy depending on how saintly you see your favorite characters but Tanner's "Superhero Sex Moves" had me laughing out loud.




These are just a few, the others are far more perverted. See them now at CollegeHumor.com.

Aug 19, 2011

Doctor Who...as cats

You guys know I love cats, right? And that I cherish Doctor Who deeply? My heart is about to burst. Artist Jenny Parks, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this. Ladies and gentlemen may I present, Doctor Mew?

The 1st Doctor, William Hartnell

The 2nd Doctor, Patrick Troughton

The 3rd Doctor, Jon Pertwee

The 4th Doctor, Tom Baker

The 5th Doctor, Peter Davison

The 6th Doctor, Colin Baker

The 7th Doctor, Sylvester McCoy

The 8th Doctor, Paul McGann

The 9th Doctor, Christopher Eccleston

The 10th Doctor, David Tennant


The 11th Doctor, Matt Smith

Did you know, Matt-Cat has also been spotted in real life? You can purchase prints of the little time traveling critters here and become a fan of them on Facebook! And please do check out the rest of Parks' wonderful work.

Hey, That's My Cape! – Could Comics Collapse?

There’s a lot going on in the comic book realm these days. There’s more talk about them in the last few years than there was not too long before that and that’s thanks in part to DC’s relaunch and almost every comic company getting their works adapted to the big and small screens the past ten years. But with the rise of digital, lawsuits and lack of public interest looming, how long can that last? Could the comics industry as we know it collapse?

I’m not trying to be a herald of doom here or anything, I’m actually a very positive person usually and I do have hope that the industry will be here for years to come but I’m also a realist and we are in a severely inclined uphill battle. So I’m here to play devil’s advocate and discuss the possibility of it happening, how it could change and what it could evolve into.

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

Aug 18, 2011

My Birds of Prey

I've spoken a few times about how I'd love to see a Birds of Prey film happen. But not until someone asked me on Tumblr who I would cast in such a film did I give it any serious thought. Here's what I came up with.

In case you aren't familiar with their faces that's Laura Prepon as Oracle, Diane Kruger as Black Canary, Charlize Theron as Lady Blackhawk and Nikki Reed as Huntress. I know there have been a few more players in BoP but these are the main ladies in my eyes and who I'd like to see on the screen if it ever happens. In a previous Hey, That's My Cape! where I spoke about different comics I'd love to see adapted, I mentioned the team:
I know, I hear you groaning. Bear with me for a second. We’re all wondering what’s going to happen after Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy ends. Neither he nor Christian Bale seem to want to make a fourth film, which I kind of agree with anyway, ending on a (more than likely) high note is better than dragging things on until there’s nothing left. So where do Warner Bros. go from there? Another take on Batman would surely need to wait until some time has passed on the Nolan/Bale team-up and finding another magical combination is going to be extremely challenging.

My suggestion is delving into the rest of Gotham. I fear something like Batgirl wouldn’t be gritty enough coming off the Nolan films. Batwoman would be fantastic but I’m sure they’d never go for it. But Birds of Prey would be perfect. It didn’t work on television but look at how they did it. Black Canary was a child. Let’s forget about origins here and just jump right into the story. Three (or perhaps more) female characters taking down some of Gotham’s worst with both mental and brute strength. And you know who I could see directing it? Quentin Tarantino. Think about it for a minute. Think about the female characters in Kill Bill or Death Proof.He knows how to create a film with strong women and who’s stronger than the Birds of Prey? And to make it even more appealing, convince Bale to come back for a cameo telling Barbara to be careful about X,Y, and Z to which she informs Batman she knows more than him.
What do you think of my choices? Have you ever thought about who could play these amazing women? Who would be your picks?

Aug 15, 2011

New Arhkham City Mr. Freeze trailer is COOL

Ok, that title was a little cheesy but it's totally true! Check out the new Batman: Arkham City trailer featuring Dr. Victor Friese, aka Mr. Freeze.



Considering the public's main exposure to the chilly Batman villain was Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's take in 1997's Batman & Robin, I'm glad to see they'll be getting a more serious view of him in the new video game. Actor Maurice LaMarche (Futurama, The Superhero Squad Show) will be voicing the role.

And Batman's icy breath? That's just hot.

Aug 12, 2011

Hey, That's My Cape! – Webcomic Explores 80s Pop Princesses

When you imagine the most badass covert ops team the world has ever known, what do you see? Perhaps the cast from The Facts of Life? No? That’s exactly why they’re going to take you down.

The Society of Unordinary Young Ladies by Wahab Algarmi with art by Joel Sigua and D.Y. and Jayce G. Wah, is one of the most unusual web comics I’ve ever come across. And quite possibly, the most genius.

The Society of Unordinary Young Ladies , or SUYL, is a confusing story at first. It starts off as what appears to be a covert mission from the United States to stop Chernobyl from exploding during the Cold War. A group of what appear to be teenage schoolgirls are the ones tasked with carrying out the mission. While reading the first issue, something nudges at the back of your brain. “Something about all of this is very familiar,” you think. Then you spot it...“Did they just stick in a subtle A-Team cameo?”

Read my review of this wholly unusual, but entirely awesome comic in this week's Hey, That's My Cape! at Newsarama.

Aug 11, 2011

Disney/Marvel insider trading accusation

The Walt Disney Company's acquisition of Marvel Entertainment in 2009 was a huge move for the industry. Almost 2 years later, it's being brought to light that an individual may have been involved in some illegal insider trading before the big purchase.

Deadline reports the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint today against a man named Toby G. Scammell for apparently using confidential information about Disney's planned acquisition to make a large profit for himself.

The information was said to have been obtained via his girfriend, a Disney employee, unbeknownst to her. "
Scammell got the insider information from his girlfriend's BlackBerry and used some cash for his purchase from the account of his older brother, who was in the Army and deployed to Iraq at the time," writes Deadline. "The options raised a red flag at the SEC as Scammell, then 24, had never traded Marvel securities before buying the $5,400 in options. After the sale was announced, Marvel's stock rose 25%, giving Scammell a 3,000% profit when he sold off."

Deadline says Scammell (guess he was predestined for this behavior) made $192,000 after the deal was made public.

The Hollywood Reporter says Scammell was working at investment fund at the time he made the purchase which cost him $5,400 at the time. "The SEC did not name the brother or girlfriend and said neither was involved in wrongdoing," writes THR, who also had a response from Disney, “This does not involve Disney and the complaint speaks for itself,” said a Spokewoman.

(Image via Eldelgado)

Aug 9, 2011

Don't miss out on CRAZY SEXY GEEKS!

The devilishly handsome Alan Kistler and I took two weeks off from Crazy Sexy Geeks: The Podcast but now we are back and ready to entertain you!

In our latest edition you'll hear Alan and I discussing the Ultimate Spider-Man controversy, our thoughts on Captain America: The First Avenger as well as hear some bad pick-up lines.

But wait! There's more!

We even have a special guest this time around, Kiri Callaghan, Public Relations Manager of Geek Girl Con! So what are you waiting for?! Listen to Crazy Sexy Geeks: The Podcast! now! We're on iTunes too!!

And don't forget, you can submit your Geeky Dating questions, stories, etc. to Alan's email SizzlerKistler [at] gmail [dot] com or my Tumblr ask box (you can submit anonymously there).

Aug 5, 2011

Is there a new Batgirl animated series on the way?

Hmm, what's this?



ComicVine posted the clip which aired directly after the finale of Batman: The Brave and the Bold on the Cartoon Network in England. EDIT: Apparently it was part of the actual episode.(Thanks to commenter Emma!) Is this another short-film featuring a Batman character in an alternate world as the series has done in the past, or something much, much more?


I think you can guess what I'm hoping for.

You may remember I called attention to an online petition a while back after Bruce Timm made this comment:
We had originally planned to do sequels for Wonder Woman and Green Lantern, but Wonder Woman’s sales started out extremely slow and then over time were eventually able to catch up to probably Justice League [New] Frontier. The Exec’s decided because it wasn’t able to sell quickly right away, where as Justice League was, that there wouldn’t be any more female super hero films right now. We were developing and hoping to get started on a Batgirl film based on Year One, but because of Wonder Woman’s slow sales start, that won’t be happening now.
Have they finally heard our cries? I haven't heard any hints on or off-line previous to this but with Barbara Gordon returning to the mantle of Batgirl in the comics come next month, it would certainly seem like the right time to pull off a Batgirl series.

Even if it's just to gauge fan interest, this is big news. Let Warner Bros. know you liked what you saw (or even if you didn't but want a project like this to go through) and perhaps we could be seeing Babs get in that spotlight she so truly deserves!

Aug 3, 2011

Hey, That's My Cape! – Comic Books, Race, Change, & Hate

Diversity in comic books. It’s been a hot button topic for a long time. Whatever their specific reasons, there are two very vocal camps; those who welcome changing familiar superheroes with ethnically and racially diverse characters and those who hate it. That’s overly simplifying things, sure, but that is really what it boils down to isn’t it? Don’t believe me? Read a few message boards or articles pertaining to the new Ultimate Spider-Man.

Some really disgusting comments were made online after the announcement of Miles Morales, a half-black, half-Hispanic character, taking up the mantle from the deceased Peter Parker in Marvel’s Ultimate Universe. I’ve been on the internet, I’ve seen disgusting, this was a new low.

Read my thoughts on race, superheroes and fan reaction in this week's Hey, That's My Cape! at Newsarama.

Aug 2, 2011

Dominic Monaghan's Multi-Platform Film THE MILLIONAIRE TOUR

The ABC drama series Lost has been off the air for a year now but fans are still rabid as ever for the show’s cast and creators. That’s why the organizers at Comic-Con International: San Diego decided to hold a panel titled “Totally LOST: One Year Later.” Showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse surprised the audience with their presence yet stars Jorge Garcia and Dominic Monaghan, who were also at the pop-culture event, did not.

“You know for me it’s not been one year later, it’s been almost four years later because I left the show at the end of Season 3,” Monaghan told Newsarama, “So it’s a different feeling for me. But it’s great that people are keeping it alive and are still interested in the show.”

The actor was at Comic-Con to promote a new web film he’s involved with called The Millionaire Tour which also stars Bruce Davison, Rick Gomez, Agnes Bruckner and Jordan Belfi. Directed by Inon Shampanier, the film is being produced by Michael Eisner’s Vuguru and is set to be released online.

Read the entire interview I conducted at San Diego Comic-Con where we spoke not only about his new film but Lost and Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit as well!

Aug 1, 2011

BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY Lead Designer Promises to Outdo First

Lead Narrative Designer on Batman: Arkham City, Paul Crocker, had a very exciting week at Comic-Con International. He got the chance to see thousands of Batman fans watch new trailers and gameplay from the forthcoming sequel to Arkham Asylum in person. As if the anticipation wasn’t enough, this may have pushed it over the edge.

Developed once again by Rocksteady Studios, Batman: Arkham City continues the story from the first game while expanding it in both breadth and depth. Newsarama took a few minutes to speak with Crocker in the DC booth at Comic-Con, where the viewings were taking place, about the expansive new arena for the Dark Knight to play in, new characters appearing in-game and where the team goes from here.

Head on over to Newsarama to read the interview, I'm so excited for this game I can't even contain myself. Fun behind-the-scenes note about this interview, I conducted in while in my Lashina costume at the con. Luckily Crocker was still able to take me seriously. :)

The Game Dames Podcast

Lots has been going on since I returned from San Diego Comic-Con so I apologize if my posting has been less frequent but I wanted to share with you all a great podcast I was a guest on this past weekend - the Game Dames Podcast!

There's been a lot of talk about Katrina Hill's "Oh, You Sexy Geek!" panel I was on at the convention and hosts of the Game Dames podcast, Dana and Leala, thought it would be interesting to hear first-hand from someone who was actually there. From the lovely ladies, "We delve into the topics of faux fangirlism, cosplay, girl vs. girl rivalries and the good/bad sides of the panel."

Head on over to the Game Dames podcast and give it a listen!

Speaking of podcasts, have you been keeping up-to-date with my and Alan Kistler's Crazy Sexy Geeks Podcast? If not, catch up now, new episodes are coming soon!