Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Southern Vampire Mysteries and why I Love Them

Hey everyone! I hope you had a great holiday weekend! I know I did. Sorry for the lack of posting, but I had a ton to do this weekend, including; bridal showers, car washing, thank you note writing, lawn mowing,  UFC watching... You know, important stuff...

Last week, I purchased the newest book in the Southern Vampire Mysteries book series, "Dead Reckoning". The rest of you may know this series as "The Sookie Stackhouse books" AKA the books the TV show TrueBlood are based on. The series is by far the best series I've ever read, and I highly recommend it to anyone out there who is looking for a fun Summer read.

I began reading the series before TrueBlood was picked up as a show. I've always liked vampire stories, and this one doesn't disappoint. The thing I like about HBO doing the show, is that the show and the book series are different enough to throw off people who read the books. The story lines are similar, but characters and events are changed, so that if you've read the series, you won't know all of the outcomes.

I love the series because it's unlike a lot of other supernatural book series out there. The books main character, Sookie, could not be more different than her angsty, teenage counterpart, Bella Swan of "Twilight". Sookie is a waitress, who has had her own hardships in life, and is not about to let a man, or a vampire tell her what to do. You don't see Sookie begging to become a vampire, or only limiting herself to one guy. She's a self-sufficient, no bullshit kind of gal, and I love that about her.

Also, unlike it's teenage counterparts of "Twilight" and "The Vampire Diaries", you don't get that totally creeped out feeling when you're reading it. Like "um, this vampire is 150 years old, and openly hitting on a 17 year old....". Sookie is 25 when the series begins, and although the vampire who are trying to court her are quite a bit older, the creep factor is much lower, especially since she's out of high school and can legally vote.

The author of the series, Charlaine Harris, is an amazing writer with an amazing sense of humor. There are so many different types of "supes" in the world that she has created (which I won't get into, because I don't want to spoil anything for people watching the show). At one point while reading thee books, I almost though to myself "Oh shit, Charlaine, you've jumped the shark on this one", but she manages to pull it back in, and make it all make sense.

There are currently eleven books in the series (with at LEAST two more to go), and I highly suggest them to anyone who is looking for something to take on vacation, or just read at the office this Summer. I managed to get through the most recent book in less than three days, because it's just that hard to put down. Oh, and if you haven't gotten on the TrueBlood TV show wagon, it's a MUST.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Carly's Thoughts on "Deadwood"

Good morning everyone! Hope you slept better than I did. It was miserably hot here in Upstate New York last night, and even after my middle-of-the-night escapades in the yard turning on the central air, it was still miserably hot. I don't understand why in NY we go from extreme cold to extreme hot, with no real in between. I would have gladly taken a few days of mid 60's and sunny. But enough about the weather...

The Editor and I began watching "Deadwood" a last week. At first I was somewhat unexcited to watch the show. I mean, I love watching The Editor play "Red Dead Redemption" and I love Westerns for the most part, but I suppose it was my fear of the unknown that kept me away from "Deadwood" for so long.

It's fantastic. It's an awesome story about life in the old west. Deadwood is a lawless territory that is not part of any country, and the citizens want to keep it that way. They make their own law, and see to their own punishments. Mostly all the women are prostitutes, but still try to find a way to make the best out of the lives they're given.

Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane have been featured prominently in season one so far, and that makes the story even more awesome. The character of Calamity Jane *might* be one of my most favorite characters in a television series ever. She's a rough and tumble, no bullshit, foul mouthed woman, who doesn't take crap from anyone. She offers a good heart, and fantastic comic relief.

The show offers a lot of historical relevance, and gives the viewer a glimpse into what it was like to live in the old west. The good (gold prospecting) and the bad (smallpox). Of course, many of the names have been altered, and some historical facts have been as well, but it still makes for some DAMN good TV.

Oh, and you know who is in the show? Um, EVERYONE. Yeah, you'll enjoy picking out all of the actors you know in the show just as much as you'll enjoy the show itself! It truly is s star studded cast. If you've ever watched "True Blood", "Sons of Anarchy", "Dexter" or watched the movie Winters Bone, chances are, you'll know a LOT of the actors.

If you're a fan of westerns, and you don't mind profanity, I put "Deadwood" high on the list for good Summer watching.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hot Nerd of the Week: Bruce Campbell!

Hey everyone! Sorry for missing a post yesterday! I was running all day, and then Nerd Night happened, so I apologize. Anyhoo, on with the show!

This week's Hot Nerd is someone I hold close to my heart because he's from my home state. The super-awesome, hand-shaped state of Michigan.

*GASP!* Is that... Brisco Couty Jr.?!
Born in 1958 to a a homemaker and an amateur actor/billboard inspector, Bruce spent his early years making Super 8 movies with close friend (And now HUGE director) Sam Raimi. The two went to high school, and their love of writing, directing, acting and producing lead them both to extremely successful film careers as adults.

The first large movie Bruce and Sam worked on was Evil Dead. They created this movie on an extermely small budget, and after a glowing review from author Steven King, the movie began to grow in popularity, even becoming the number one movie in Great Britain at one point.

"You ain't got but two things going for ya right now. Jack and shit. And Jack just left town."
The Evil Dead franchise sparked two sequels: Evil Dead II  and Army of Darkness, both of which are widely regarded as "cult classics" and are also credited for creating the "horror-comedy" genre of movies.

As Raimi's success grew, so did Bruce's. Bruce was in a number of other Raimi-directed movies such as Darkman, The Quick and the Dead and most notably all three of the most recent Spider-Man movies.

Army of Darkness comic book
In addition to working on projects with Sam, Bruce also carved a niche for himself in Hollywood, making cameo roles in movies such as Congo, Fargo, McHales Navy, Escape from L.A., Sky High, as well as many more. He has also lent his voice talent to movies such as Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. 

Bruce has also done a TON of television work. He was the title role in the Fox Saturday morning show The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.. Bruce also worked on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Xena: Warrior Princess, The X-Files, Charmed, and most recent (and notably) Bruce has had the lead role in Burn Notice.

Quite possibly the best book you'll ever read.
Bruce Campbell has done a lot in his lifetime. From acting, to writing and producing, it seems like he's done it all. If you ever get the chance to read one of his books, I highly suggest you do. Unlike a lot of "Hollywood types", Bruce knows just how lucky he is, and how far hard work can take you. He also seems like a very funny and kind person, and he is known for being great to his fans. His work ethic, paired with his ability to make me laugh is why I've named B list actor Bruce Campbell this weeks Hot Nerd.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Macho Man Randy Savage: In Memorium.

Happy Tuesday everyone! By now, I'm sure everyone knows about the tragic loss of one of the wrestling worlds greatest characters last week. I'm not joking when I say that he was one of my favorite wrestlers ever. I was never big into WWE or anything like that, I just liked the character of Macho Man. He was scary and sweet to me, both a the same time. Also, he has been my favorite character in "WWE All-Stars" as of recently, and when I have the windows open while playing, the neighbors can often hear me shouting "OOOOOOOoooooohhhhh YYYYEEEEeeeeeaaaaahhhhh!!!" at the top of my lungs while playing.

Randall Mario Poffo (AKA Randy Savage) was born November 15th 1952. A second generation wrestler (his father being Angelo Poffo),  Randy took to wrestling like a fish to water. However, prior to his wrestling career, he played minor league baseball for four seasons. He began wrestling as a way to keep in shape in the baseball off season, and eventually decided to quit baseball, and wrestle full-time. During his career the Macho Man held twenty championship titles, and is a ten time world champion. The WWE also named Savage the greatest champion of all time and credited him for bringing "a higher level of credibility to the title through his amazing in-ring performances."

Randy Savage has accomplished so much in his lifetime. In addition to wrestling, he also co-starred in movies like "Spider-Man" and "Ready to Rumble" as well as lending his voice talent to a number of animated television shows and movies. And don't forget about the classic "Snap into a Slim Jim!". Oh, and there was that rap album he put out in 2003, but we don't talk about that...

The Macho Man was a great guy with a fantastic personality, and he will be greatly missed.

Editors Note: Shortly after I wrote this post, I came across THIS totally interesting story in Sports Illustrated.com about Macho Man's time with baseball. It was a fascinating read to me.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Jason Statham is the Shit.

Jason Statham is amazing. The way Evan T. feels about Vin Diesel is the way I feel about Jason Statham. I just watched "The Mechanic" and it was amazing. From co-star Ben Foster to the really cheesy CG blood, the movie was awesome. It was Jason Statham being Jason Statham.

The best part about "The Mechanic" is the mind fuck that J.S.' character gives to one of his boss' lackeys by making the guy think that J.S. put his daughters hand in the garbage disposal. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Also, when J.S. throws a guy out of a bus window, and the guy proceeds to get hit by a car is pretty amazing too. I'm pretty sure that I've gone far too long without virtually maiming something with a melee weapon, and that is why I found so much pleasure in these scenes. I'm usually not such a sick individual, I've just had a reeeeeally long weekend.

Did you know that Jason Statham was on the 1992 Olympic diving team for Great Britain? How about that he used to be a black market salesman? No? How about the fact that he was a male model? Yeah, that's right. Everything about Jason Statham is awesome. He is also British, which makes him infinitely more awesome than you (unless, of course, you're British).

Thank you.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Evan T.'s Long Overdue Review of FAST FIVE!

Okay, so originally I was not going to write a review for this movie as it didn't really fit into the CarlyOnComics mold. However, after being asked by She who will not be named (Carly) I sit here trying to find the words to express how amazing this movie is. As a preface to this, I should note I am a fan through and through and though normally that might get the better of me, you should still check out the review.

Do you remember how Christmas used to feel? When you were young and everything was just magical? Take that, multiply it by your first beer and multiply that by infinity. That is how FAST FIVE felt. As a long time fan of the franchise I had been excited to see what they would do for the newest installment. When I heard that it would be going in a different direction I had some trepidations, obviously.. Would they be destroying the franchise I had grown to love? Answer is NO, they just made it better.

Right now Marvel is doing a bunch of .1 issues as jumping on points for people who might not have been regular readers of a particular series. Well think of this movie as FAST FIVE.1 because you don't need any sort of previous knowledge of the films to have a great time at these flicks. Are there little Easter eggs for the fans? Yeah, you know it. But if you have never seen a Fast and Furious movie you can still see this movie and enjoy the holy heck out of it.

FAST FIVE is about Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) deciding that the life of on the run criminal will no longer do and they should end their running by pulling off a heist of a Brazilian drug lord and taking that money to start new lives. They wont be going alone, though, as they make the calls to former Fast and Furious costars to help them commit the crime. Standing in their way is Luke Hobbs (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) a federal agent tasked with the capture of the fugitives.

As a fan of "Popcorn movies" this movie really just does everything you want it to do for the get go. It's funny and never stops entertaining. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that a movie with Fast in the title doesn't have any slow spots. A couple of actions scenes, a great race through the city of Rio with a safe attached doing things I haven't ever thought about in a movie before and one of the best ending/wrap up scenes I have witnessed in recent memory. Danza Kuduro!

Even beyond my fanboy silliness this movie stands tall as a fun action movie fully deserving of your hard earned money. My favorite quote about this movie, and forgive me because i cannot remember where I saw it, is "Fast Five out-Bad Boys II Bad Boys II" That pretty much says it all.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Okay, so. Last night we began playing the "Star Wars" role playing game after taking, like, a two month hiatus. After returning to the game, I think I may have been the only person enjoying the hiatus. I don't know what is wrong with me when it comes to RPG's. I've tried D&D, Abberrant, and the "Star Wars" game, and I just don't think I was cut out for the world of role playing games.

It's certainly not a lack of imagination. I think it may be lack of attention span. For some reason I have the ability to imagine what my character looks like, imagine what the area (or ship) looks like, and imagine what my adventuring team looks like, I just can't find that place inside of me that BECOMES that character. Often times I'll be found in my own little world, with a sketch pad and some sharpies creating my vision of the world, meanwhile, my actual gaming character has no idea what is going on, and remains the mute of the group.

The only time I ever open my mouth is when I want to get in a scuffle. I'm truly beginning to believe that there are two types of gamers; those who kick-ass at RPG's, and those who kick-ass at first person shooter type stuff. I'm of the latter group. I like things to go fast, and hard, and intense. RPG games are a lot of discussion, without a lot of actual ass kicking, so I tend to lose interest.

It just makes me kinda sad because I see everyone else having such a great time, and I wish I could do that too. Meanwhile, I'm in the corner doodling, and secretly hoping we'll start up another game of "Give Me the Brain".

I will continue to play because I love my friends. They have been super great about accepting my shortfalls when it comes to RPG's, and they usually take it pretty easy on me. I may not love the game we're playing right now, but my Wednesday night nerds are the best people in the world, and I wouldn't trade my Wednesdays for anything. :-)

Gallery of Carly's RPG Artwork

I have decided to share a couple of pieces of artwork from my RPG gallery with all of you. I hope you enjoy!

DODA. My "Star Wars"  character

Mer-lady. Doodled this one up out of nowhere.

Programming note: The parental units are coming into town this evening, which means I'm going to be maintaining somewhat of a radio silence until Sunday. Evan T. promised me some articles last night, so hopefully, it'll be enough content to get us through the next 2-3 days. I'll be talking to y'all on Monday!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hot Nerd of the Week: Kate Beckinsale!

I know it's a day late, but I felt the need to post about Smallville ASAP. Onto a much hotter topic today...

I've been waiting for this one for a while. She is just about the hottest nerd I could possibly think of. Kate Beckinsale.
I began my love affair with her back in 2003 with the release of "Underworld". It was the one of the earliest vampire/werewolf movies made, and much much better than that "Twilight" crap. I thought she was beautiful when I saw "Pearl Harbor" and "Serendipity", but she went from "beautiful" to "bad-assed" when she played the role of Seline in "Underworld".
Born and raised in London, her parents knew there was something spectacular about her. When she was six, she took an IQ test which revealed that she not only had an IQ of 152, but also the reading ability of that of an eleven year old.

While in high school Kate won the W.H. Smith young writes competition, for three short stories, and three poems she wrote. After high school Kate enrolled at Oxford University and French and Russian literature. She thought that knowing more than one language would help broaden her range of acting roles.

After participating in a wide range of stage shows, Kate finally hit the big screen in 1993 with the adaptation of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing". Since then, she has been in a large number of high grossing movies, as well as achieving the title of "Sexiest Woman Alive" by Esquire in 2009.
This hot mom may not be a comic book nerd, but she sure is smart. And beautiful. There really is not enough praise I can give her, and that's why I made Kate Beckinsale this week's Hot Nerd.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Carly's Thoughts on the End of Smallville

 Okay, so I just finished up the "Smallville" finale. I've been reading a ton of reviews of the final episode all over the internet, and for the most part, the finale was seemingly widely regarded as garbage. I disagree by taking the stance of "Well, what were you expecting?".

I've been a "Smallville" watcher for years now. I've seen every episode. The finale wasn't disappointing to me, because thanks to all the previous years of watching, I had set my expectations set pretty low. I'm a comic book nerd, and as a comic book nerd I felt it was my duty to watch "Smallville". I would even go so far as to say that "Smallville" helped shape my nerdiness, as I was all but a sophomore in high school when it premiered. There were a few ups to the show, and definitely some downs as well, but why trash the finale if you've been watching it all along?

Over the years there are a bunch of things I liked. I like the fact that Lynda Carter (the original Wonder Woman) played Chloe's mom. I like the fact that Helen Slater (the original Supergirl) played Laura El (Superman's mom), and the fact that Terry Hatcher, who played Lois Lane in "The New Adventures of Superman", was cast as Lois' mom in "Smallville". There were appearances by Dean Cain and Christopher Reeves, which I though was also an awesome tip of the hat to Superman.  I also like that we got to see a variety of characters from the DC universe. We saw The Flash, Aquaman and Mera, Blue Beetle and Booster Gold, Jimmy Olsen, Supergirl, Black Canary, Hawkman (and the other members of the JSA), Darkseid, Zod, and the obvious Lex Luthor, Green Arrow, as well as countles others. The show allowed me to pay attention, but at the same time not. I have enjoyed the show, but I'm not quite sure how much I'll miss it.

The bad things about "Smallville" to me include things like Lana Lang (whom I felt to be the most irritating character of all time), lack of acting ability, the fact that Superman is called "The Blur", and the fact that after 10 years of waiting, we have to wait until the last 5 minutes of the series to watch Superman suit up and actually fly. The CG on that suit was sooooo bad.  I have no idea what they were thinking.

The series finale was like any other episode of "Smallville". It didn't peak nor lose my interest. It was just kind of bland, like most every other episode. I mean, if you put all of the truly awesome episodes of "Smallville" together, you'd barely have a whole season, so there are some huge amounts of filler episodes in there.

I don't want to give anything away in the finale, so I'm leaving this all pretty vague. Basically, if you're like me, the bar is already set pretty low, so chances are, you won't be terribly disappointed, but you won't be elated either. The series had a great run, and a good ending, and I wasn't left wanting more, so all and all it was a pretty good ride.

Monday, May 16, 2011

What a Nice Day for a Documentary...

Happy Monday everyone! It's quite the rainy start to the week here in the Northeast, but hopefully that will taper off by the end of the week. I hope you all had a great weekend! I went and got my new car (yay!) on Saturday, and chillaxed yesterday. Anyhoo, I ran across the following video over the weekend, and I thought it was worth sharing.

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a HUGE documentary dork. This is a mini-documentary on the Salton Sea in California. I was not even aware that this place existed until yesterday.

The film is an amazing story, with post-apocalyptic images, and fantastic cinematography. I hope you enjoy :-)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Comic Review: Morning Glories!

There will be some spoilers in this post, so be warned!

Morning Glories is the hot comic book title right now. Of any other new or new(ish) book out there, I feel like this one has received the most praise. After the Boston Con, The Editor and I decided to pick up the first trade to see what all of the hype was about, and let me tell you, it's certainly worth the read!

Morning Glory Academy is a prestigious prep school that is hiding a lot of dark secrets. The story focuses on six new recruits. These recruits begin to realize right away that there is something not quite right about the school. When they call home their parents don't remember who they are, and one girls parents are murdered to teach her a lesson.

As the story goes on things begin to get even more sinister. One of the new recruits gets kidnapped after trying to drown herself, and the others have to go on a mission to save her from the school. If that isn't enough, it seems that there is a supernatural entity that is attacking students as well.

As the story progresses you find that some of the upper classmen (including the new girls' RA) who aren't quite right in the head, and that all of the kids attending the school have the same birthday. There is a lot going on in this story, but all of it keeps you on your toes, and gets you excited about the next issue. I don't want to give anything more away, so I'll stop there before I do.

It's a great thriller, and if you're into the whole "independent comics" thing like I am, you'll appreciate the originality of the series. It brings you in and keeps you guessing the same way that "The Unwritten" does. And with a end to the series planned (author Nick Spencer has 100 issues planned, with a definite ending), it's suer to keep you on your toes until the very end.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Technical Difficulties...

Okay, so Blogger has been down for the past two days. I had posted yesterday, and apparently Blogger decided to delete that as well... *SIIIIGH* Please forgive me for the lack of posts this week, and next week. This week it's Bloggers fault, next week (Friday-Sunday) the parental units are coming to visit, so I probably won't be posting a lot. The Editor and I are going to pick up my new car in Rochester tomorrow, so if I can fit in a post, I totally will. Maybe I can even talk Evan T. into writing a "Fast 5" review :-) Until I blog you again, please enjoy Nanerpuss.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Superheroes from Around the World: Canada!

Continuing our series of superheroes around the world, Canada is next in line! I find this most fitting, especially considering that it's hockey playoff time! Lets get crackin'!

When I think of Canadian superheroes, the first (and most obvious) one to pop into my head is Wolverine. However, I find that one too easy, so we're going to go with Guardian, the leader of Canada's superhero group Alpha Flight.

Guardian first appeared in the February 1978 issue of Uncanny X-Men #109. He was created by Marvel to expand the Marvel Universe, and Guardian was specially made to be the Canadian equivalent of Captain America.

Born in London, Ontario, Guardian (civilian name James MacDonald Hudson) was a leading petrochemical engineer and scientist for the Am-Can Corporation, who was working on developing a powered exoskelleton suit.

When he learns that his work will be used for American military purposes, Hudson raids his workplace, steals the prototype suit and destroys the plans. He leaves the suit to be recovered  and fully expects to be sued and arrested for his actions.

Hudson's girlfriend, Heather MacNeil, uses political connections in the Canadian government to persuade Am-Can to waive the charges against him. As a result, Department H is formed, a secret branch of the Canadian Department of National Defence, and Hudson is named as head of operations. Hudson forms Alpha Flight as a superhero team for the Canadian government and develops his exoskeleton into a battle suit.

Formerly, Guardian used a skintight technological "battle-suit" composed of steel mesh and serves as an exoskeleton, which allowed him to fly, fire energy blasts and has a personal force field for defense. The suit design stems from a geological/oil-exploration exo-suit designed by Hudson during his early career. The original suit was clunky, over-large and awkward, though it did have an energy beam "weapon" system, ostensibly used for drilling/tunneling. The skin-tight suit is considered to be a later, possibly 2nd or 3rd generation, evolution of the original design. The battle-suit is cybernetically controlled and contains a high resolution navigation system. The battle-suit permits flight by directing beams of force towards the ground, propelling the wearer forward at up to Mach 1.

When he returned from space, the technology of the suit that formerly existed as a separate part of him was incorporated into his body. The alien Qwrlln converted James Hudson into a cyborg incorporating much of his battle-suit; some of his mechanical parts were visible on the surface of his body. As a result, his powers were greatly enhanced. Hudson's cyborg brain was half-organic (portions of his original brain) and half-mechanical. Hudson could control his mechanical systems by mental command, though he was vulnerable to being controlled by the Qwrlln through the mechanical portion of his brain. With great effort the human portion of his brain could override this control.

Guardian is a pretty bad-assed character, and as the Canadian equilivent of Captain America, he does a pretty great job keeping Canada safe.

P.S. I took most of the Guardian info off of Wikipedia, so don't be surprised if you go to the Wiki page and most of it is basically verbatim.  It's Wednesday. I'm tired.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hot Nerd of the Week: Kevin Smith!

We've had his wife, and one of his childhood friends hold the title of Hot Nerd, but never Kev himself! In honor of him launching SIR (SModcast Internet Radio) this week, I give you the big man himself, Kevin Smith.

Kev has been a nerd his whole life. He was a huge "Star Wars" fan as a kid, and often retells stories of playing with At-at's and making up "Star Wars" story lines while playing with friends. He has collected comics from an early age, and whenever he disobeyed his mother, she would threaten to knock all of his comics off the shelf if he didn't straighten up. His love of comic books would lead him to open a comic book store (Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash) later in life.

Success first came for Kevin in 1994 with the release of "Clerks". This critically acclaimed indie film won a number of awards including awards from the Cannes and Sundance film festivals. Smith followed up the success of "Clerks" with "Mallrats", "Chasing Amy" and "Dogma".

The new millennium boosted Kevin even higher with the 2001 release of "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back". Kevin followed that up with "Clerks II" in 2006, and "Zach and Miri Make a Porno" in 2008. He is currently working on the self written, self directed movie "Red State" which follows a couple of young men who go out looking for sex, and end up finding a very dark version of the Westboro Baptist Church. "Red State" is set to be released in October of 2011.

Kevin likes to keep busy, so whenever there was downtime from directing, he had a number of other projects going on. Projects including; writing comics (such as The Green Arrow, Batman: Cacophony, Batman: The Widening Gyre, Green Hornet, etc), as well as writing introductions for the Preacher and Hitman trade paperbacks. He has also released two books; "Silent Bob Speaks" and "My Boring-Ass Life".

In February 2007, Kevin and his longtime friend and producer, Scott Mosier, began recording weekly conversations between the two of them. These recordings would lead to a podcast which they refer to as SModcast. In 2010 Kevin decided to expand SModcast by allowing several of his friends to make their own podcasts and market all of them under the SModcast name. The brand got so big that this week Kevin will be launching SIR radio, a live version of the podcasts.

Anyone who has enjoyed a Kevin Smith movie, or listened to one of his interviews knows how great a guy he is. He's super hard working, and holds his wife, friends and family in the highest regard. His self-depreciating humor, and super dorky tendencies are the reason I chose Kevin Smith as Hot Nerd of the Week!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Free Comic Book Day Wrap Up!

Happy Monday everyone! Sorry for the lack of posting yesterday, I was out celebrating Sunday by buying a brand new grill, so I can FINALLY have my "Trailer Park Boys" themed cheeseburger picnic, and I was celebrating Mothers Day by going out to dinner with The Editors dad and step-mom, as well as getting my ass kicked by a 7 month old fetus.

Saturday marked the third free comic book day that I attended, and as usual, it was a total blast. The Editor and I hit three different comic shops, and each one was doing their own unique thing. Our first stop was Zombie Planet.

Zombie Planet is primarily a gaming store. You need Munchkin? They've got it. Warhammer? Check! Lunch Money? You betcha! In the past couple of years they've expanded to offer comics as well. Generally speaking, they're one of the best places in the area to find variant issues of your favorite books, they just don't have much in the way of back issues. They are also one of only two places in the area that carry my beloved Ame-Comis.

Anyhoo, as soon as we pulled up to Zombie Planet, there was a line. That was automatically cool, because it's not very often that you see a line outside of a comic book store. It made my heart feel three times bigger. Outside of the store they had a storm trooper and some sort of other Star Wars guy (yup, I'm the only nerd left on the planet who hasn't actually seen the saga...) who were posing with everyone who came in. It was pretty awesome to see kids light up over that :-) Zombie Planet had the best selection of free comics, pins and Hero Clix, so I was happy that we hit them first. They even had a bunch of War Machine Hero Clix left over from last year that they were giving out. Pretty awesome.

After that, it was time to make our annual pilgrimage to Earthworld. Earthworld has a great selection of comics, back issues, and action figures. However, they also refer to themselves as "the Sopranos of comic books", which is slightly off putting. I like going there on a day when it's super busy and there is an event going on, but as a chick, going in there alone can be a little... awkward. Not awkward like "oh, check out the hot chick", awkward like "WTF are you doing in my comic book store?". But I digress...

The Editor was able to find some great variants there at a great price, and they were also holding a canned food drive for the local food banks, so they can't be that bad ;-) The Silver Sentinal (one of Albany's best known superheroes) was there, collecting for the less fortunate, and it was great to see him, since he's now off facebook, and I don't get to chat with him as much. Speaking of which, where the hell did Kick-Ass of Albany go? I miss that kid!

Earthworld also had some sweet assed deals on Blackest Night action figures. All of them were $9, which to me was a total steal, so I got two. I got non-zombie Star Sapphire and zombie Hawk Girl. They are awesome.

After Earthworld it was on to our final stop. Aquilonia. I love me some Aquilonia. They had pizza and cupcakes (every pregnant chicks best friend), and tons of sales. I love Aquilonia because the guys that work there are great. They're always super friendly, they let me advertise in their store, and they're always up for a nerdy conversation.

We ended up getting back issues of tons of stuff (all at half price), and a bunch of new comics (at 20% off) and even a couple of trades (at 35% to 50% off). I also ended up getting a Hawkman Blacket Night action figure from them, because what good is a Hawkgirl without a Hawkman?

My buddy, Jeff Burns (writer/director/producer extraordinaire) was there as well, promoting his web series "Super Knocked Up". We'll be doing an interview with Jeff sometime soon to help pimp his webseries, so make sure you're on the look out for that!

Anyway, it was a pretty successful FCBD, and if you haven't experienced it before, I highly suggest you check it out next year. It's a great tool to promote new (and old) comics, and a fantastic way to get your kids interested in reading.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Artist Spotlight: Jackie Santaigo!

Jackie is an artist that I have admired for quite some time. I first met Jackie at the Albany Comic Con nearly two years ago. While I was looking for some new artwork to put in the Nerdatorium (AKA spare bedroom/where all of the comic books and action figures reside), I came across Jackie's table. Her art style was so amazing that I HAD to purchase a couple of her prints that second. My first prints were one of Catwoman and one of girl Robin.
  At the next Albany Con there she was again! I needed to get more of her work, so this time I ended up with a Ms. Marvel and a Supergirl. Jackie's style is very cutsy anime-stylized, but at the same time super sexy. She has a way of taking characters that I love, and making them look absolutely amazing. It really really makes me wish that I had any sort of artistic talent.
While initially drawn to illustration by manga artists such as Kosuke Fujishima (Ah! My Goddess) and CLAMP (Chobits, xxxHolic, etc.), over the years she has expanded her style, inspired by artists which range from the aforementioned Japanese creators to Joseph Michael Linsner (Dawn), Adam Hughes, and traditional artists like Alphonse Mucha. She has a style that is uniquely her own, and is completely beautiful.
As previously stated, I have purchased quite a few prints from her, and just recently I commissioned her to make a piece just for me. Her prices are extremely reasonable, and she is able to draw on just about anything. As soon as Jr. is born, you bet I'll be commissioning her to do up a sweet pair of shoes for me! :-)
She's got a lot of cred behind her name. Some of her clients include Brian Pulido, Creator of Lady Death (Tales Told, LLC), Nick Tapalansky & Alex Eckman-Lawn, Creators of AWAKENING (Archaia Entertainment), David Rodriguez & Dave Reynolds, Creators of SHADOWGIRLS (Th3rd World Studios), 5finity and  Bad Axe Studios.
Below you will find a bunch of links to Jackie's web pages. Please check them out. Like her on facebook. Heck, buy a print or two! You'll be glad you did!

Jackie can be found:

HERE - at her facebook page

HERE - at her Deviant Art page


HERE - at her personal website

Feel free to e-mail her with any questions or comments on her artwork. She is extremely awesome, easy to work with, and will take the time to thoroughly answer your questions :-)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Evan T. Reviews THOR!

Hey All. The E-Man here fresh of a midnight showing of Thor. I am bursting with excitement over the movie and am ready to impart upon you a review!

 Thor starts off much as the Marvel series started off. Thor, son of Odin, goes of to the land of the Frost Giants against the wishes of his father. The long time enemies of the Asgardians are attacked by Thor and his allies Sif, Volstagg, Hogun and Fandral. Also along is Thor's brother Loki. After discovering Thor's disobedience, Odin strips him of his power and banishes him to Midgard (aka Earth) to learn humility. From there the movie is a tale of redemption for Thor. Usually I do a pro/con list but in truth, I have NO CONS of legitimacy for this movie. I will post my one con and all the pros this movie has going for it.


 *Chris Hemsworth is going to be the next Sam Worthington
- As soon as Mr. Hemsworth steps onto the scene you just WANT to watch this guy. He really has "it". As I was watching it I was thinking back to Terminator: Salvation. That movie doesn't have a lot going for it but Sam Worthington really works the shit out of his role in that move. I cannot imagine that Chris Hemsworth wont be getting a ton of work after this movie and I am totally prepared to watch what he does next. As for him in this movie there is no point where you don't believe this man is the god of thunder.

 *Green Lantern Trailer in 3D - Ok, so while not a part of the movie proper the new GL trailer is attached to this flick. And it is looking so so sooooo much better than the first trailers. I might actually be getting excited for that movie.

 *Freaking Hawkeye! - Ok, so that was a bit of a spoiler. The scene works a little something like this. Agent Coulson gets on the radio. "We need a man with a gun up there to take this guy (Thor) out." Switch scene to a armory with guns all hanging up. An arm comes into view, passing by a rifle and an assault rifle. The arm grabs a bow and off the agent goes. This one scene had me so geeked out I was not sure if my nerd boner would ever go back down. They refer to the agent as Clint, the name of Hawkeye. Avengers, we are full steam ahead!

This movie has everything - Looking for a little comic relief? Yup, this movie has that and it never gets in the way of the rest of the story. Want some action/adventure? How abotu battling frost giants and SHIELD agents? Cause this movie has that. Looking for a little geek recognition? Oh yeah, you are going to see some easter eggs in this flick (The Eye of Aggamoto, Cosmic Cube, Dr. Donald Blake, etc). This movie really has it going on

Everyone in this movie is good, man - As I have said Thor is amazing. But the rest of the cast is fantastic as well. I'm not sure if it's Kenneth Branagh as the director really pulling the performance out of the cast or maybe they just really assembled an amazing group of actors but there is no week performance to point out. Odin, Loki, Sif and Hiemdall really stand out as great supporting roles.


 *No Balder - I am a fan of Balder the brave and was just a smidgen disappointed to not see him. I can understand if they had to choose between Balder and the Warriors Three then it was a good choice. Guess I'll just have to wait for Thor 2: Electric Bugaloo.

All in all this movie is a fantastic kickoff to the super hero movie season. It hits on all cylinders. I suggest you see it, see it in 3D, see it in IMAX, just get out there and see this flick!

P.S. - I am in love with Sif. You know, I'm just sayin.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Evan T. Speaks!

So, I had the good pleasure of attending the Boston Comic Con (along with The Editor and the Carly One). I enjoyed the heck out of it and it really was a good show. They do a lot of things right and a couple things wrong as they do at every con. I also got to see the con from the eyes of a worker as I was working at my friends booth.

As a con goer Boston seems a little small. As much as I hate to admit it Boston is a major city in the country. This con seems just a little bit bigger than the one they run in Albany. Next to NYCC it's teeny. For a con on the east coast within driving distance of some major cities (Philly and NYC). The con also seems like it might need a few con exclusives. Just saying. Also there seemed to be no advertising in the convention center alerting you that a comic convention was, in fact, going on. It seems like it wouldn't be a bad way of getting some more foot traffic into the con.

I think that the small size of the con lead to one of the things I really liked - a family atmosphere. It was great to see so many kids dressed up at the con. Moms, Dads and children all dressed up was something, I tell ya. Just really super fun stuff and I would love to see that stay at the con.

All of that is from the eyes of the convention goer. There are a few things that you don't get to see, however, unless you are actually working the con. Quick shout out to my boy Andy at Downtown Comics who lets me work his both when he does a con. He is an all around cool cat and if you are ever looking for something geeky give him a look up on ebay (downtowncollector) and send him an email of what you want, he'll take care of you.

When you are at a con and you see weirdo guy with glasses talking to himself, you can totally avoid him. Not so when you work a booth. It is easily the most difficult part of working the booth. Watch "Clerks" and pay attention to the part where they talk about stupid questions they get asked. It's real, people. There are a lot of anti social jack offs in the geek circles and they all come out to the con. Woo hoo. Quick tip, if you are at a con booth, don't feel the need to yell, handle merch like it's got the plague, tell people "This way too expensive" or offer them two dollars for something much, much more expensive. They (the weirdos) have that covered.

I love the con and I love working it. I liked tracking down variants (between 2 and 5 bucks!!) and getting some awesome Marvel universe figs. This con has some awesome cosplay going down as well. My favorite was dressed as the female speedy and vintage silk spectre. She was mockingbird last year. Other awesome costumes included Catwoman, Deadpool and the very nice lady in the booth across from us who dressed as Wonder Woman. Apparently she added something to the costume...Sassy pants!

Boston Con is a perfect con to cut your teeth on before something bigger like NYCC or SDCC. I would wholeheartedly suggest it to everyone. It is a blast and I cannot wait to go again next year. Maybe dressed up as a Space Woman villain? I can only hope...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Rant of the Week...

Hey guys! I was going to throw up our next installment of "Super Heroes from Other Countries", but then the following articles found their way into my life. THIS followed by THIS were posted on Facebook today. Please give them a quick read, and then find your way back here.

As a true fan, these articles really, really bummed me out. Adam Hughes is one of my most favorite artists ever, and J. Scott Campbell is one of The Editors favorites. I just don't understand for the life of me why someone would take advantage of an artists goodwill the way that this scumbag did. I can tell you, he wasn't the only one doing it though.

Remember the article that I wrote Monday about the Boston Con wrap up, and the guy with STACKS of the same comic books for J. Scott Campbell to sign? That guy is right up there with sketch guy. Hell, for all I know, it could be the same person.

It's completely disrespectful to the artist, and the fans who came out to see the artist to behave in this manner. The worst part is that this person (and I'm SURE he's not the first), blatantly LIED to Hughes and Campbell about their love of the work they do.

Later in the week, I'll be posting more info on the campaign that my friend Andy, of Downtown Comics, will be doing in the Fall. That ties in with these articles, because essentially, we will be accepting donations of artwork, comics, action figures, etc. all to raise money for a WONDERFUL cause. Now how are we supposed to approach people about donating to our cause without them being completely skeptical of what we're doing?

When you read the above articles, especially the one written by Adam's partner, you can tell that not doing commissions is not something that Adam really wants to give up, and he knows he's letting his fans down, but at the end of the day, can you blame him? I mean, if everyone could just try a little bit harder to adhere to the golden rule, the world really would be a better place, and shitheads like this wouldn't exist.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hot Nerd of the Week: Brea Grant!

Brea Grant is hot. Ever since I first saw her on "Heroes", I was in love. Then, come to find out, she is a total nerd too. I'm not gay, but if I were, she'd totally be my girl.
As far as a bio goes, there isn't really a whole lot about her. She was born in October of 1981, and began appearing on television shows in 2008, with her appearance on "Friday Night Lights". She is best known as Daphne Millbrook (AKA The Speedster) in "Heroes". She is currently wrapping up a few indie flicks, as well as a SyFy movie titled ""Ice Road Terror", which will premiere in June.

She was in school, about ready to graduate and teach history, when she decided to begin taking acting classes. She loved it so much, she never looked back.
In 2010, Brea made her foray into the comic book world by writing We Will Bury You with her brother, Zane Grant. The wonderful *swooon* Mr. Ben Templesmith did the cover artwork for the first issue. The comic is described as follows:

1927: The first talkie ended the silent film era, the first man completed a solo transatlantic flight, and… a zombie virus decimated the human race. Two unlikely heroines use their unorthodox skills to survive as a zombie infection spreads through the streets of New York and beyond. Brea Grant and Zane Grant promise the worst breakup ever and an epic beginning to this historical horror miniseries.

In addition to We Will Bury You, Brea is also currently writing the comic book series Suicide Girls with notorious IDW horror writer Steve Niles. I have yet to pick up any of the work she's done, but if she's in good with Steve Niles AND Ben Templesmith, I'm going to have to pick it up soon.
Brea has a great sense of humor as well. Her blog is a lot like mine and I like that. Instead of limiting herself to just one thing to write about, she writes about a ton of different stuff. THIS may be one of the greatest rants I have ever read in my life. 

In her blog, Brea expresses her love of going to cons and her love for her fans, and that's why I'm making her this weeks Hot Nerd.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Boston Con Wrap Up!

Hello everyone! Oh how I have missed you... We had a great time at the Boston Comic Con! I'm going to break it down just as I did with the Albany Con about some likes and dislikes. Evan T. will be chiming in at some point as well, as he was there working the entire weekend, and The Editor and I were only present on Saturday.

The Boston Con honestly, was smaller than I thought it was going to be. However, it seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. That being said there were a lot of great stores there representing (Newbury Comics, Harrisons, Midtown, etc), as well as a lot of independent dealers offloading their stashes. The Editor and I made out VERY well in the comic book department. We found a lot of filler stuff at great prices, as well as a bunch of variant covers at phenomenal prices. When it was all said and done (and the comics were put into the database), the price that the comics were valued at was three times as much as we paid for the books, so we were pretty happy.

I was amazed that we stuck to comics only. I'm such an action figure nerd that I was fully expecting to drop a hefty wad on what I call "accessories". Besides the comics, I got two prints. One of the Hulk, that was adorable, and going to be hung in the Danger Room (AKA nursery), and one super amazing Ms. Marvel print.

For being a smaller con than NYC, the Boston con still had a TON of amazing artists featured. I got my variant cover of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" signed by J. Scott Campbell, who I give HUGE props to, because he was signing ALL day. I also got my issue of "Sea Bear and Grizzly Shark" signed by Ryan Ottly (who is super awesome), but the crown jewel in my day was getting an issue of "Catwoman" signed by the amazing Adam Hughes. I've been a HUGE fan of Adam's work for quite some time now, and I missed my opportunity to meet him at NYCC, so it was completely amazing to finally get the chance to meet him.

There were a ton of great costumes there as well. My favorite moment of the day was when a guy dressed up like Deadpool went in for a photo op with a four year old dressed like Wolverine. Deadpool guy pulled out his (fake)  guns, and as soon as little Wolvie saw the guns, he automatically stuck out his fingers like he was making a number "3", and started growling and trying to knock the guns out of Deadpools hands. It may have been the cutest thing I have ever seen in my life. Ever.

My only complaint was something that I'm sure happens a lot, but I have been lucky enough to not encounter it until this past weekend. While The Editor and I were standing in like waiting to meet J. Scott Campbell, the line was seemingly going nowhere. I asked The Editor why, and he pointed out the fact that several people in line had stacks of literally DOZENS of copies of comics for the artist to sign. I'm sorry, but that is TOTAL bullshit.

I can completely understand if you're a huge fan, and want to geek out to your favorite artist. I've been there. I've done that. However, when you make it blatantly obvious, by having numerous copies of the same issue, that you are nothing more than some douchebag who is going post the comic on e-bay, you should be reprimanded. Artists are too nice to say anything, so I'm going to. The following is a short letter that all dickheads like that should remember:

Dear Asshat,

I understand that you want to use someones fame to make yourself a quick buck or two, however, there are some of us here that are true fans. That being said, if you could limit your items to ten per person, the rest of us would not want to bust your stupid face in. Most of us would just like to geek out on an extremely talented person, and have that signature in their personal collection, and I promise it will only take one minute TOPS for us to do so. We're trying to respect you, so please try and respect us.


The True Fans

P.S. After having the artist sign 100 items for you, don't try and shake their hand. It only makes you look like an even bigger tool.

So there you go! I'll be back on in the next day or two to discuss a cause that friend of Carly on Comics and proprietor of Downtown comics, Andy LeClair, will be organizing very soon. It's a fantastic cause that is very close to my heart, so I'm hoping to rally a few of you readers to give me a hand helping him out. More on that later in the week!