Sunday, August 31, 2014

Doctor Who 'Into the Dalek' Review

*This review is cross-posted to the Krewe du Who blog*

As always, DO NOT READ until you've seen the episode and the one before! *spoilers*

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Marvel Responds to Spider-Woman's Butt!

I wrote a post earlier this week about the 'Spider-Woman' variant cover controversy. In it, I expressed my displeasure for the only reaction I had seen from someone at Marvel about their distasteful choice to have an erotic artist produce a variant cover for the first issue of a series aimed at women. At the time, all that had been said was from their VP of Publishing, Tom Brevoort, and it was less than stellar. In fact, it was dismissive and ignored the actual issue altogether: 
"It’s also, for a Manara piece, one of the less sexualized ones, at least to my eye. Maybe others feel differently. But given that the character is covered head-to-toe, and is crouched in a spider-like pose, it seems far less exploitative to me than other Manara pieces we’ve run in previous months and years."
Now, thankfully, we have a more in-depth statement from Marvel's Editor-in-Chief, Alex Alonso via an interview with Comic Book Resources. He says, in part:

Friday, August 29, 2014

Some Exciting Announcements:

Thank you to the Super Guillory Brothers for having me on their show to discuss common issues facing female geeks!

Thankfully I haven't had to endure the kind of abuse and harassment wonderful people like Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency is currently experiencing as a backlash for her fantastic video series about the (often harmful) representations of women in gaming, Tropes vs Women, but we have all felt varying levels of harassment throughout our lives. Such instances are why I created She-Geeks and work to shine a much needed spotlight on women's issues in geek culture.

This is why I am also delighted to announce that I have been invited by The Mary Sue to join a panel created to author the new harassment policy for New York Comic Con (and possibly all ReedPOP conventions)! I am honored to have been asked to participate, and am excited to work with other, like-minded individuals to help keep conventions a safe place for ALL geeks!

For those of you enjoying Dragon*Con back in my hometown, stay safe and have a blast! I'd love to hear about your experiences and maybe see some of the fantastic cosplay I know the Atlanta crowd is capable of!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Spider-Woman's (now) Famous Butt

I wasn't going to write this since there are so many wonderful criticisms already circling the internet, but since a conversation was sparked among friends on Facebook via an article I shared, and since several people have asked for my opinion about it, here goes:

In case you've been living under a rock, the controversy I'm referring to started when the variant cover for 'Spider-Woman #1' by Milo Manara was released. Now, it is important to keep in mind that it was announced that 'Spider-Woman' would be getting her very own series at the Women of Marvel panel at this year's San Diego Comic Con. These panels are wildly popular sit downs where some of the prominent female writers, artists, creators and editors at Marvel speak openly with fans about topics ranging from sexism in the comic industry, to getting a foot in the door, to their favorite series. Make no mistake, these panels exist because Marvel (and the comic industry as a whole) has finally started to acknowledge that women not only read comics, but crave story lines that don't involve putting a superhero's dead girlfriend in a refrigerator, or the brutal rape and murder of an otherwise capable and formidable female superhero in order to elicit her male counterpart's heroic revenge story arc. Considering, then, that this series has essentially been touted as another instance of Marvel's current strides to court female readers, it came as more than a slight shock when we found out that Marvel had tapped legendary erotic artist, Milo Manara, to create 'Spider-Woman's variant cover. This is what he gave us:

Is she mooning the city, or is that just an open invitation? (Image from Comic Book Resources)
Now, there is a list of basic things that are wrong with this cover art that need to be touched on before we delve into the controversial, sexualized depiction of Spider-Woman. In my opinion, this is an all around poorly produced piece of art. This isn't the caliber of work one would expect from a professional artist working in the industry since 1969; it's first year art student quality, at best. His lines are sloppy, the shading is either too heavy or too soft, and her features are flat. While realism isn't exactly the first word that comes to mind when we think about comic art, artists should take things like human anatomy and basic physics into account when drawing figures. Manara, clearly, did not. In fact, she appears to be in need of medical assistance: her right shoulder is dislocated, her left shoulder is missing, her right hand appears to have been run over by a car, and judging by her left leg, her thighs are twice as long as her calves. That's all without even touching on that anatomic nightmare going on between her chest and her enormous butt (which, taking perspective into account, I've estimated to be about 4x the size of her head).

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Accepted

I was nominated by the guys at The Week in Geek to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. As a lifelong baseball fan, I've been aware (and properly terrified) of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease) since I was pretty young. I've donated to the cause before, and participated in fund raising drives as well. For those who don't know, ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that affects about 30,000 people at any given time. Essentially, it destroys the ability for the brain to control the body's voluntary muscles, eventually (usually) resulting in complete paralyzation. Even more terrifying is that it does not, by and large, affect the cognitive functions of the brain; you remain aware. ALS is 100% fatal, and there is currently no cure or treatment that can stop or reverse the progression of ALS. Hopefully, the millions of dollars this campaign has raised can help change that.

I have made a donation to the ALS Association, and I encourage you to do the same. You can also visit their webpage for more information about ALS. Thank you.

I have nominated The Tortuga Twins and Brian of the Super Guillory Brothers Super Fun Show! Nut up, boys!

Now, let's get wet!

Horrible lighting. This was after a long day of helping friends move, so it was actually pretty refreshing!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Doctor Who Series 8 Premier Review

*This review is cross-posted to the Krewe du Who blog*

Do NOT read this post until you've seen the series 8 premier, 'Deep Breath'. To quote River, "spoilers".

Saturday, August 23, 2014

She Blinded Me with Science! 8/23/14

She Geek Eris drops a knowledge egg on dat ass via her segment on local radio show The Week in Geek. Here are this week's topics:

Could You Camouflage like a Cephalopod One Day?

Forget maxing out your level in Obfuscate; when it comes to blending in, vampires ain't got nothin' on octopi! 

Mad hide and seek skillz.
Cephalopods (mollusks with arms attached to their heads like octopus, squid, and cuttlefish) are masters of camouflage because it is their main form of protection. Their bodies are covered in a layer of thousands of chromatophores, color-changing cells just below the skin. Each cell contains pigment and can be expanded or contracted to accentuate or subdue the visibility of their pigment depending on the desired effect. For instance, if the octopus needs to blend into a piece of red coral, the chromatophores containing red pigment would be expanded while the others contracted, essentially turning the octopus red. Some cephalopods also have a layer of reflective plates in their skin in addition to chromatophores which allow them to either appear iridescent or simply reflect the colors around them in order to blend in even more completely. Most importantly to this research, cephalopod skin also contains a layer of photosensitive cells. These cells are able to sense light and patterns without the use of the cephalopod's eyes or even its brain, which allow it to utilize its camouflage technique almost instantaneously.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Special 'Doctor Who' VIDEO Post

With the series 8 premier of 'Doctor Who' airing in just a few days, I step out of my comfort zone and in front of a camera. For this post, I brought in a special guest to discuss some of the common differences of opinion regarding the 'Doctor Who' reboot among the fans:

So, are you Team Eris or Team Brian? Or, do you have a completely different opinion to offer? Leave your comments here, or come by the Crown and Anchor Pub in Algiers Point this Saturday for the premier of series 8, and let me know what you think in person!

You can't miss it; their door is a TARDIS!

Thank you to my guest, Brian, for being such a good sport, and for use of your equipment! Be sure to check out more of Brian and his brothers every week on their show, the Super Guillory Brothers Super Fun Show, and keep up with their antics on their Facebook page.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Comic Shop Road Trip

I've been traveling, so this week's post is a bit late. I'm currently in my hometown of Atlanta surrounded by baseball, The Vortex, (slightly) less humidity, and OH MY GODS THE TRAFFIC!!! How the hell did it get worse?! I swear it is some ingenious plan by the likes of Crawly* to trick hundreds of thousands of people to very, very slowly draw unholy sigils across the city while their souls are rendered forfeit.

Spaghetti Junction is very real, and clearly unholy.
Seriously, I shouldn't have to sit in bumper to bumper traffic at 3am on a Thursday to go to the store for a Coke and a jar of vanilla frosting (don't judge me).

Everything about this is wrong. Everything.
Nevertheless, I decided to pull up my big girl panties, grab my pull list and my best friend, Jenn, and brave the soul-sucking traffic conditions to explore some of the comic shops Atlanta has to offer. My first stop was the Titan Comics I used to walk to every week as a kid. Much like love and sex, you never forget your first comic shop. Mine was a small shop in the middle of a street known for scores of lingerie stores advertising "live models", strip clubs, and street walkers. It should have come as no surprise then, when I pulled into the parking lot and felt the last, little bit of my childhood die:

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Clever Marketing is Clever!

This was too good to just retweet! NBC tweeted this photo this morning via their @NBCConstantine account, and won me over just a little bit more:

Go ahead, call the number. This clever, little tease/marketing scheme says quite a lot about the feel of the show and it made me oh so very hopeful! (Now, if I can just get a better run down of how they're going to get around the smoking-on-network-television thing, I'll be fangirling all over this show.)

P.S. These tidbits are usually not going to make it into an official blog post, but if you follow She Geeks on Twitter @SheGeeksBlog, you can get all sorts of juicy funness (like Zach Snyder calling into a radio station to defend Aquaman's honor)!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Girls and Film!

Everyone who's anyone is talking about the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' lately, and for good reason. Starting as early as last Thursday's midnight previews, 'Guardians' has been breaking records and setting new movie premiere standards all over the place! Along with destroying the previous record for an opening weekend in August, 'Guardians' also broke the record for the most women movie goers for a Marvel film. According to exit polls, 44% of the audience this weekend was female. That beat out 'The Avengers' by 4%; not much, but still a significant number. The question is, what is it about this movie that attracted so many more women than the other Marvel films (and 'Avengers' for that matter, but since the Guardians are often considered to be the Cosmic equivalent to the Avengers I'll focus on them)? I've seen it, of course. Hell, I've seen it twice already (yes, it's that good), but I've also seen every other Marvel film out there more than once. That's to be expected; I'm a geek. I suspect, however, that since the numbers of the other Marvel movies are so much lower than 'Guardians', it's safe to assume that we can't attribute its record breaking numbers exclusively to She-Geeks. So, what's so special about 'Guardians of the Galaxy'? Let's visit some of the most likely theories: