Nov 27, 2011

Hey, That's My Cape! – I'm Thankful For Something

It’s that time of year. A time to be thankful, a time for getting together with friends and family, a time for animated classics starring children who wear the same clothes every day.

With Thanksgiving fast approaching I started thinking about the things I was thankful for in the geek world. There’s been so much negative news and press this year but it’s always good to remember that not everything falls in that category. So here are a few things that reminded me why it’s great to be a geek.

Check them out in my latest edition of Hey, That's My Cape! at Newsarama and see a few other things I'm thankful for in 10 Things We're Thankful For This Thanksgiving at The Mary Sue!

Nov 21, 2011

Win Doctor Who The Complete Sixth Series On DVD!

We've recently heard the title of this year's Doctor Who Christmas Special - "The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe" - but if you can't wait to watch your precious Doctor, I've got some fantastic news for you. I've got a copy of Doctor Who: The Complete Sixth Series on DVD to give away to one lucky individual!

What's on this delightful DVD set besides the ever-wonderful Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill?
  • 5 Night and the Doctor specially recorded scenes exclusive to DVD
  • 5 specially recorded episode prequels
  • 2 sketches recorded for the UK’s Comic Relief charity event
  • 4 Monster Files - Get under the skin and inside the minds of the Doctor’s most challenging opponents
  • Doctor Who Confidential - An inside look at each episode
  • Bonus Doctor Who Confidential – “A Night’s Tale” about the exclusive DVD scenes
  • Audio Commentary on select episodes
  • BBC1 Trails
How do you win? Get on Twitter and follow me if you aren't already. Then send a Tweet that says exactly this: "I want to see the Doctor on my TV again @TheNerdyBird! Give me Doctor Who: The Complete Sixth Series on DVD!"

You MUST be following me to win and Tweet that message out by Tuesday November 22, 2011 at 11 P.M. EST. Only one entry is allowed per person and the contest is only open to U.S. residents.

Doctor Who: The Complete Sixth Series is out tomorrow on blu-ray and DVD!

Nov 20, 2011

Twilight: If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Did you see Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 over the weekend? Odds are, if you're a regular reader of my blog, you didn't. That's not to say folks who read my blog don't like Twilight, but I know my audience and I know the majority don't. But I pose to you another question - did you publicly hate on Twilight over the weekend? Or ever? I'm betting the answer is yes and I'm hear to tell you, it's time to move on.

First thing's first - I enjoy Twilight. I've read the entire book series by Stephenie Meyer and seen all of Summit Entertainment's film adaptations. This isn't something I hide but over the course of last year it's something I haven't volunteered when people started talking about it. Why? Because most of the people I know despise Twilight and look down upon those that enjoy it. And frankly, I'm kind of tired of it.

I'm an adult and I like Twilight. I'm not going to apologize for that to anyone. The teenage vampire romance got me through a tough period in my life a few years ago and I'll always have a special place for it in my heart. Do I think it's a brilliant work of fiction? Absolutely not. In fact, I know how much those books lack. A lot of other people out there are in the same category as me though. The books/movies are fun, surface entertainment for them and nothing more. Are we the majority of Twilight fans? No, and therein lies part of the problem.

Twilight is marketed to young adults but turned into a phenomena that no one could have imagined, gaining fans in just about every demographic. The most serious of the anti-Twilight camp are those who feel the books are a terrible example for the young girls it was originally targeted at as far as relationships go. In the books, the actions the vampire Edward takes to "protect" the human Bella are seen as a metaphor for stalkers and abusive relationships. I can absolutely understand this.

While reading one of the books I thought to myself, "Wow, I remember when my ex-boyfriend tried to tell me I couldn't see my friends." You know what I did with that boyfriend? I broke up with him. But this is a now 28-year-old woman speaking who had seen enough bad situations with others when she was younger and just started dating that she never fell into the trap of staying with a significant other who was physically, emotionally or mentally abusive - no matter how many times he said he loved me or that it was "for my own good." But you know what else? My boyfriend wasn't a vampire and vampires aren't real.

Could these books potentially send the wrong message to young girls who perhaps are too naive to separate truth from fiction? Absolutely, and I'm sure that they have.
What should really be the concern are the young girls who can't discern the difference. I don't think demeaning them for liking a book is the smartest way to go about letting them know the themes are inherently negative, especially if this series was the first to get them really reading. If you're worried about them taking the wrong message away from the text, teach them the difference between real life and fiction. Vampire boyfriends are not real men. The danger Bella faces in the books is real and Edward is trying to protect her. This is not the same as a boyfriend alienating you from your friends because he wants to control you, it is a fantasy tale about creatures that do not exist. If a real person did these things to you, you should leave them immediately.

The most serious issues aside though, that's not the biggest anti-Twilight camp I've run into. I've seen a lot over the last few years so I already knew how people felt about the series but last week I broached the subject on Twitter. What amazes me is how divisive Twilight is. Everyone has a right to their opinion, if you don't like something, you don't like something, but the outpouring of vitriol that happens whenever the series is brought up is what amazes me. I can't remember any other piece of pop-culture causing this much vocal hatred.

And that's really what I have a problem with. The folks who dislike Twilight because of its metaphors to abusive and violent relationships I can totally understand. It's the people who talk about how much they hate it simply because they think the story/writing is bad I've had enough of. I mean seriously, the argument, "vampires shouldn't sparkle," is the single most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. I'll say it once again for those of you who don't get it, VAMPIRES AREN'T REAL. They are a work of literary fiction (based on a few historical figures) who have been depicted a certain way in media for a long time. That's the way most people like them but they aren't real and they don't belong to anyone. Much like in comics, creators can do what they will with them and if that means they sparkle and feed only on animals in one incarnation, so be it. You don't like it, and you're already not reading it as a result, so why are you telling everyone else they're stupid for liking it? How do you feel when someone does that to you with one of your favorite things? After all, a lot of people in this world feel that comics are childish.

I wrote a piece recently about how Meyer isn't a fan of the pet-name for her fandom, "Twi-Hards." And do you know what I heard from commenters? Other names they'd use instead: Twi-tard, Twi-t, Twi-diots, Tweebs, Asshats, Morons with Wallets, Stupid Morons. Coming from what I believe is mostly "nerds" who themselves were likely called any number of names growing up, this makes me incredibly sad. I've spoken before about geek tolerance and that applies here. Why do you feel the need to talk down about these people who are simply getting enjoyment out of a work of fiction? It's atrocious behavior and I wish people would stop.

What is the root of the Twilight hatred (besides the aforementioned metaphor issues)? Is it that someone other than the intended target audience enjoys the books? Is it that you find it gross that grown women are swooning over "teenage" vampires? I can understand that, but they too aren't the only group of people who like Twilight. Like me, there are many who enjoy Twilight on the sly, probably a few people you know. For me and many others, it's a guilty pleasure type of thing. I'm never going to defend it or try to convince others they should read/see it but I will continue to question those who feel the need to hate on it just to hate on it.

Because that really does seem to be where we are now, doesn't it? With just one more film in the series to go, it's becoming cool to hate Twilight because so many other people do. You're tired of hearing about it? I get that. As someone who actually likes it, the frenzy is too much for even me to handle but you know what? These people are passionate about something and we can all relate to that. You may never have camped out for several days for anything (or have you, Star Wars fans?) but you can surely understand loving a work of fiction, can't you? The funny thing is, I'm pretty sure the "Twi-hards" could care less about anyone hating on Twilight, it's more the casual fans like myself who see the behavior and can't believe their eyes.

Strangers (especially strangers on the internet) will always make me shake my head and role my eyes but if my friends think less of me because I get enjoyment out of Twilight, well, that's on them. I like it. Get over it. I'm sure all the "good" things I like will outweigh it. So yeah, when it comes to hating on Twilight, I wish people would give it a rest and abide by the old saying, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

Aaaaaaand cue all the anti-Twilight comments...

(If you need a breather, check out my list of 5 OTHER Twilights You Should Know (And Love))

Nov 17, 2011

Hey, That's My Cape! – At MARVEL, It's Reigning Men

I’ve gone on at length about DC and how they handle their female characters but if there’s one thing I can say they have (for better or worse) that Marvel doesn’t, it’s famous women.

I’ve always found it odd that Marvel doesn’t really have any standout female characters and perhaps that’s one of the reasons I was drawn to DC as a young girl. In fact, I didn’t really know of any female characters from Marvel outside of the X-Men until much later in life (unless you counted Mary Jane). But look at DC. If you asked someone to name a few of their female characters you’d at least hear Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl and Catwoman. DC’s women haven’t made great transitions outside of comics yet but considering how Marvel has been doing in the film arena lately, I think this is something they need to consider.

So in this week's Hey, That's My Cape! at Newsarama, I discuss Marvel slacking off when it comes to their female characters (especially in light of the recent X-23 cancellation), not only in comics but in film and television as well.

Nov 10, 2011

Doctor Who Time Traveling Checklists!

The Doctor is a very busy man so it only makes sense he would make checklists for himself to make sure he didn't forget anything in his time travels. Dance With Robots on Etsy created these fabulous art prints so you can pretend you are either the 9th, 10th, or 11th Doctor (or all three because he's the same guy anyway) on his way through time and space.

Here we have the 11th Doctor's Time Traveling Checklist. Hmm, looks like he still needs a few things...

The best item on the 10th Doctors checklist? "My favorite flower." Swoon!

"Handsome American Male." Oh 9th Doctor, I knew I liked you for a reason.

You can buy each print individually or as a set at a discount. And check out the rest of the store too! There's a wonderful Fifth Element print, an outstanding Jurassic Park one featuring my favorite prop and a series of Twin Peaks propaganda posters as well.

Hey, That's My Cape! – Storybook TV Can't Compare To FABLES

Once upon a time, there was a comic book called Fables. It was written by a man named Bill Willingham who weaved tales of our favorite storybook characters in modern times hiding away in New York City from an evil adversary. It was critically acclaimed as well as a fan-favorite so it was no ones surprise when the world learned NBC would be turning the comic into a television show. That was some time ago...

Fast forward to 2011.

Both NBC and ABC have primetime shows revolving around storybook characters existing for real in modern times. Not only that, ABC’s Once Upon a Time and NBC’s Grimm premiered within a week of each other. And you know what? I still wish at least one of the networks had chosen Fables instead. Or do I?

Head over to Newsarama to read this week's Hey, That's My Cape! where I discuss my thoughts on the state of storybook television.

Nov 4, 2011

NYCC interview with Chad Michael Murray

Do you know Chad Michael Murray? You know, the guy from One Tree Hill? Well he's written a comic called Everlast that Archaia is publishing!

Myself and Justin Tyler talked with the actor at New York Comic Con and the interview is now up and uncut at Newsarama. Check it out!

Nov 2, 2011

Hey, That's My Cape! - Goodbye To A Comic Shop

A good local comic book shop is worth a thousand mint Detective Comics #27. At least, I think so.

We’ve all had varying experiences with comic retailers but one thing’s for sure, you know a bad one when you see it. And man, do they make me angry, especially when I know some good ones. I’m fortunate enough to not have come across too many of the bad ones in my travels and I certainly haven’t become a repeat customer at any of them, yet still they stand. And I can only think it’s because their customers don’t know they can do better. Trust me. You can.

In this week's Hey, That's My Cape! at Newsarama I talk about how much I love my comic shop and how hard it is to say goodbye.

Nov 1, 2011

Sarah Wayne Callies talks The Walking Dead

Sarah Wayne Callies, Lori Grimes on The Walking Dead, did an interview with AMC recently where she talked about why she's liking Season 2 of the hit show better than the first as well as her inability to watch Zombieland.

So what's so great about Season 2? Location, location, location says Callies. "We're filming the bulk of this season on the farm, which is just so beautiful. You're telling this really gruesome, heart-wrenching story in this magnificent pastoral setting," she said. "I get to work a little early and I just throw on my iPod and walk through these amazing fields, watching the sun rise over the trees."

The actress told AMC she had never even seen a horror movie before she landed the role of Lori on The Walking Dead but said that she tried after. "I figured I'd start with Zombieland because I think: Woody Harrelson. It's a comedy. But I only got about 17 minutes in it before I freaked out. I had to turn it off and turn on all the lights in the house and have my husband speak soothingly to me. I just can't handle that stuff!"

Even though Callies can't handle zombies, she's still anxious to get her hands dirty killing one, which she didn't in Season 1. "There will be blood on my hands by the end of the season, that's for sure, she said. "They wrote me a couple of really awesome scenes this year that were so much fun to film."

How are you liking this season of The Walking Dead compared to last? (FYI: I haven't seen this week's episode yet, so don't spoil it!)