Monday, December 14, 2015

Nerd Culture is Not a Contest

Recently a friend tagged me in a Facebook post requesting the opinions of female nerds on the "place of women in geek culture today" and I may have gone on a wee rant. While I don't think the person/people who posed the question meant anything by it other than to gain some knowledge, the phrasing sparked an unexpected reaction from me. The "place" for women in geek culture (or any culture for that matter) is the same today as it has always been: Wherever the hell we want. There is no more a "place" for women than there is a specific "place" for men in geek culture. This is another example of women being categorized as different, specifically in a way that men simply wouldn't be. This is what perpetuates the notion that women have to prove their worth as nerds. This is what perpetuates the notion that women fit into a specific box to be judged. There is no specific "place" for women in geek culture, because we are complete humans with differing personalities, ideals, interests, and goals in life. Just like men.

We all know about gatekeeping by now, right? It's the notion that a female nerd can, at any moment, be quizzed about her fandom in order to determine her legitimacy as a nerd. It's absurd. It's insulting. It's embarrassing to the entire nerd culture. Every time a woman is grilled about her level of knowledge or dedication to her fandom, or is attacked/threatened for daring to voice her opinion about a fandom (or worse, demands to be treated with respect) nerds as a whole start to look like a bunch of whiny trolls who never learned how to share their toys. It's embarrassing. What's worse is that this behavior is not exclusive to male nerds.

Women have been taught since we were children that we will be judged by others for our every move, and that we should judge others as well. Those lessons may not have been taught in so many words, but they exist all the same. This behavior tends to be even worse among women in stereo-typically male dominated cultures like geeks and sports fans. We judge each other, and build up our cred by tearing down others. We proudly proclaim that we're "not like other girls" as though that's an accomplishment (or even makes sense). We judge other women for showing too much skin, or not showing enough. We proclaim loudly what we do that makes us "real" gamers and geeks instead of the dreaded "fake geek girl." The problem with this, of course, is that there is no magic formula that creates a female geek. There is no specific level of geekery we have to achieve, no ratio of clothing to skin we must maintain in order to unlock the Geek Girl Achievement. 

We need to accept each other for who we are, regardless of how we came upon our fandoms or how revealing our cosplays are. It doesn't matter if your boyfriend introduced you to Star Wars, or if you've been playing with lightsabers since you were 3; what matters is that you love Star Wars and I do too and we should totally talk about our hopes and fears for Luke's role in The Force Awakens. It doesn't matter if you play Halo or Candy Crush, if you have only watched the current Doctor Who or if you grew up with Tom Baker, if you have devoured every word of Tolkien or have only seen the movies; we're all fans. Period. None of us has any right to judge the legitimacy of anyone else's level of geek. Fandom isn't a contest, and the sooner we stop treating it that way, the sooner we can go back to arguing over real issues like whether we need a Miles Morales Spider-Man movie more than another Peter Parker one*.

(*The answer is: If you push the Captain Marvel movie back one. more. time. I will find you, and I will end you. That being said, Morales deserves a movie of his very own.)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

I'm Giving Away Passes to Wizard World!

Do you want to go to the 2016 Wizard World New Orleans? Of course you do! The guest line-up is enough to make any geek drool, their vendors are fabulous, and the cosplay is always on point! Who wouldn't want to spend three days running amok in this geeky Wonderland??? (Clickity click here to check out some of my Wizard World coverage from last year, in case you're not already sold.)

Well, if you haven't picked up your weekend pass yet, you're sadly out of luck. They've SOLD OUT already!! We hadn't even crossed the threshold into December before the weekend passes for this January convention were all gone. All except for a select few that Wizard World is letting me GIVE AWAY to ONE lucky reader!! Who's here for you when all hope is gone? That's right, I am! I'll never abandon you, and I love you for more than just your gorgeous looks.

So, how does this work, you may be asking? Simple! Follow the link below, choose a painless entry method, and you're done! You can even enter more than once to increase your chances! A winner will be chosen at random from all the entries, and will receive an email with the good news. I'll be choosing the winner on the 20th, so you'll know the results just in tome for the holidays!

Now, what are you waiting for? Gogogo and shareshareshare the love!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is Casting, but You Have to be Hot

Wanna be an extra in Guardians of the Galaxy 2?? Well, if you've got lady parts, I hope you're a model:
According to the casting call that took the internet by storm today, the only opportunities for women to be cast as alien extras require them to be "Beautiful/Model Aliens ... very attractive, physically fit, slender, or thin..." and you'd better show up in form-fitting clothes. Oh, and make sure you don't bother bringing your fat friend with you because they don't want to clutter up the place with children and "others that are not one of the types above." 

Men-folk, on the other hand, only need to be basically human shaped for a shot at a role. They even have their very own category for "Character Aliens" specifically looking for non-model types. It's hard enough for women who aren't build like models to land a role as a human, now it's clear that we're not even worthy to grace the screen as imaginary alien races. Don't get me wrong, this is nothing new, but it's disheartening at best to continue to see these kinds of ridiculous double standards persisting, especially for films based in nerd culture (a traditional bastion for women and girls who never fit the cheerleader archetype).

Could we please move on and recognize that it's ok for people to be people shaped?!


According to director James Gunn via Twitter this is just the first of many casting calls, and the scenes being shot are specific to model types. So, it looks like there is still hope for us yet:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Art, Music, and a 42ft Wookie on Fire? Welcome to Ignition!

The International Krewe of Chewbacchus (a delightfully nerdy Mardi Gras parade crew and registered religious entity) recently held a benefit event fit for a Wookie. As a satirical space cult, the IKOC exemplifies the idea of 'go big or go home' and prides itself on being a bastion of all-inclusive revelry, and their nerdy Burning Man style festival, Ignition: Chewburnitall, was no exception.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Doctor Who 'The Girl Who Died' Review

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

As always, DO NOT READ unless you're caught up on Series 9 of Doctor Who! As River would say: *spoilers*

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Doctor Who 'Before the Flood' Review

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

As always, DO NOT READ unless you're caught up on Series 9 of Doctor Who! As River would say: *spoilers*

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

CONtraflow Happened, and I Was There

Unlike San Diego, Atlanta, or even New York, New Orleans isn't known for a particular convention, but the Gulf Coast is home to several conventions held throughout the year. It's my goal, here at She-Geeks, to showcase those smaller (but no less enthusiastic) conventions. If there is a convention in or around the Gulf Coast that you'd like to see me cover, please send the convention details to

I spent a fun filled weekend of cosplay, panels, and shenanigans at CONtraflow SciFi! This is quickly becoming one of my favorite stops on the convention circuit. It's a small convention focused on science, science fiction/fantasy, and literacy. From gaming and panels to music performances and room party competitions, there's a little something for everyone at CONtraflow; and, the welcoming, family-type feel of this small con makes it a favorite among attendees.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Doctor Who 'Under the Lake' Review

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

As always, DO NOT READ unless you're caught up on Series 9 of Doctor Who! As River would say: *spoilers*

This week, The Doctor and his companion find themselves stuck in a contained environment with a small crew and some kind of creepy big bad hell bent on taking them out one by one. Whether it's on Mars, in a stuck submarine, on a planet about to be sucked into a black hole, or under a lake, this is a pretty popular theme for Doctor Who. The situation plays on our fears of being trapped, buried alive, drowning, etc. Essentially, being killed by our very environment. This time, they find themselves in an underwater, nuclear powered, mining facility on top of a submerged military base, with a strange alien ship and (what appear to be) actual ghosts. By the time they arrive, the captain has already been killed and his ghost has joined the ghost of a Tivolian man in a dashing top hat (particularly strange since the Tivolians are decidedly not aggressive by nature). The idea of ghosts has been toyed with on Doctor Who before, but they've always been proved to be something other than actual paranormal specters, so it will be interesting to see if they don't turn out to be some kind of electromagnetic/static projections, or something, instead of the spirits of the dead; especially given that we don't know who/what is in the suspended animation chamber, how the "spirits" are being brought back under its control, that they can only man-handle metal objects, and that the only way the gang has found to stop them is to enter "day" mode in which the electromagnetic locks are diagnosed constantly or by locking them into a Faraday cage (designed to stop the passage of electromagnetic/static influences). If they do turn out to be actual ghosts, it will be a first for Doctor Who.

Another first for the show is Cass (played by Sophie Leigh Stone). She's the first deaf (main) character on the show, and also happens to be a complete badass. She's smart, no-nonsense, and has probably already saved everyone by not allowing her interpreter, Lunn, onto the alien ship (he's now the only character who hasn't read the writing on the wall, making him the only one the ghosts have no use for). Since she took over command of the crew when the captain died, she's consistently kept their best interests in mind, has made the best possible decisions based on the situation at hand, and has succinctly put The Doctor in his place. I'd like more of her, please!

Unfortunately, the sonic shades are back. Chances are good we're going to continue seeing them for a bit whether we want to or not. I will say, that despite how utterly ridiculous they are the shades are at least being used interestingly. They're glasses, so using them as a way to transmit video or to scan seems pretty logical. They seems to be like a pair of Google Glass on steroids. (To be clear, I'm not against changing the sonic screwdriver on principal, I just hate the shades. I'm not a fan of things like Google Glass to begin with, so I doubt they'll ever win me over no matter how well they're written into the story.)

Continuing the two-parter trend for this series, the episode ends with Clara, Cass, and Lunn trapped in a flooding base with 3 ghosts locked up in the Faraday Cage while The Doctor, O'Donnell, and Bennet take the TARDIS back in time to before the base town flooded to try and figure out what happened. In true cliffhanger form, Clara and the gang are facing a ghost Doctor just outside the walls, indicating that The Doctor himself somehow died and became a ghost instead of regenerating when he went back in time. As it should, this leaves us with questions as to what the hell just happened, but the biggest (and probably most important) question of all is:


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Monster-Con Happened, and I Was There

Unlike San Diego, Atlanta, or even New York, New Orleans isn't known for a particular convention, but the Gulf Coast is home to several conventions held throughout the year. It's my goal, here at She-Geeks, to showcase those smaller (but no less enthusiastic) conventions. If there is a convention in or around the Gulf Coast that you'd like to see me cover, please send the convention details to

Last weekend I drove for I don't even know how many hours to visit Monster-Con in San Antonio. Not only was this my first time at Monster-Con, it was my first time visiting Texas! I'm not ashamed to say that my expectations for the Lone Star State were a wee bit skewed, and that I was more than a little disappointed that I wasn't immediately met with dancing cowboys and tumbleweeds when I crossed the Louisiana/Texas border. Thankfully, the unconventional convention I was there for more than made up for the lack of stereotypical Texas landscaping. In addition to being a free event, Monster-Con takes place not in hotel conference rooms or a convention center or even a warehouse, but in a shopping mall. Yep, you read that right. The Wonderland of the Americas apparently hosts several events throughout the year in addition to the horror convention, and while it was a bit weird, they managed to make it work much better than I expected.

The Waters of Mars and Philosophy

By now, everyone (I hope) has heard that NASA has confirmed the discovery of flowing, liquid water on Mars. These are exciting times, people! Why? We are one step closer to potentially discovering LIFE on another planet! As Bill Nye the Science Guy put it on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, "Wherever we find water on Earth, we find living things," so it stands to reason that finding water on Mars could very well lead to finding life on the Red Planet. Unfortunately, that same panel discussed how few people seem to really care about this ground-breaking discovery despite all of its amazing implications. Ricky Valez perhaps summed up the thoughts of those who are less than impressed with the discovery of water on Mars:
"Why would I be excited about Mars? I'm barely excited about Earth! [...] Trump is first in polls right now! Are you kidding me? Let's defeat ISIS! How about that?"
This struck a cord with me on several levels. Nye did his best to explain how important an interest in space is by pointing out how we would not be as technologically advanced as we are without the space program to no avail. (Use the interwebs via a computer, or a cell phone, or velcro? Thank the space program for ALL of that.) As a nerd, and a space enthusiast, it hurts my soul to hear people say that they don't care about space exploration. Especially when their reasons are so terrestrial. Here's the thing, stay with me here cause I'm about to get philosophical, one of the main reasons for conflict in our world today (outside of a fight for resources) is the very basic idea of "you're different from me, and I don't like that." At its very base, that's the underlying feeling behind nearly every major conflict we have. From religious differences, to racial differences, to simple language barriers, the issue is our resistance to accept our differences. Which is so trivial and petty considering that we're actually all the same down to molecular level. Nearly all of our differences are a matter of geography. The language you speak is determined by where you were born. The color of your skin is determined by the geographic location of your ancestors (did they live in the sunny Sahara, or the perpetually overcast UK, or a mix of both?). Even the religion you practice is (most often, but of course not always) determined by where you were born and/or where your family hails from.

So, what does this have to do with an interest in space? I'm getting there, I promise.

I live in New Orleans, a city known for the tendency of its inhabitants to spend their entire lives in the neighborhood in which they grew up. It's a beautiful thing to have such a deep love for your city, but it's also easy to fall into the trappings of living in a bubble. When you live in a bubble, it's much too easy to think of your world in terms of the confines of that bubble; to not care about things outside of said bubble. We defend our bubble fiercely, because in many ways it's all we know. We make huge decisions based on the parameters of our bubble, often with little to no regard for the impact those decisions may have on the world outside our bubble. That is why it is so very important for us to work on expanding our bubble. If you think about what's best only for your neighborhood, then the ones around it may start to suffer. That suffering leads to resentment and anger from the surrounding neighborhoods, which in turn leads to resentment and anger from your neighborhood towards those railing against it. Now, even if your bubble expands to cover your city, or state, or even the Country as a whole, there are still billions of people living outside your bubble who also matter and are making decisions that WILL effect you. Whether those decisions are on a human level such as the atrocious conditions in Syria leading to thousands of refugees fleeing into other Countries, or on an environmental level like the amount of carbon in our atmosphere destroying the polar ice caps and raising the sea levels globally, we are all (at some point) going to be affected by the actions of those outside our bubbles. It's not until our bubble encompasses the entire planet that we will be able to truly see how connected we all are, and will be able as a species to make decisions that will benefit us all. Having an interest in space exploration breeds that kind of global thinking. When we look to the stars, we begin to realize how tiny our world is in the grand scheme of things, and how connected we all are as its inhabitants. We all live on this one, tiny, watery rock together. The arbitrary lines we've drawn around our Countries and cities are as meaningless as they are imaginary when we look at the Earth as a whole.

Space exploration is important to our technological advancement, yes. More than that, though, space exploration is exceedingly important to our species' advancement.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Doctor Who 'The Witch's Familiar' Review

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

As always, DO NOT READ unless you're caught up on Series 9 of Doctor Who! As River would say: *spoilers*

Monday, September 21, 2015

Doctor Who 'The Magician's Apprentice' Review

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

As always, DO NOT READ unless you're caught up on Series 9 of Doctor Who! As River would say: *spoilers*

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Dragon Con Happened, and I Was There

Ah, Dragon Con... Spanning four days, five hotels (plus the AmericasMart), and boasting attendance numbers over 70,000, it's one of the World's largest geek conventions. It's also the convention I cut my teeth on way back in the *coughcough1990scoughcough*. Though it's changed a lot over the years, Dragon Con will always hold a special place in my heart. There are tons of people who will never miss a year, and tons more who have Dragon Con on their geeky bucket list (and for good reason). This was the 29th year for Dragon Con, and it did not disappoint.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Fear the Walking Dead was Great, and Here's Why

*Spoiler Alert for anyone who hasn't watched the pilot episode of Fear the Walking Dead*

The pilot episode of The Walking Dead spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead finally aired last night. Within minutes of the credits rolling I began to see social media posts and reviews popping up lamenting its slower pace and lack of gore. I didn't watch the episode myself until late last night, so I went into it expecting a pretty lame show. That is not at all what I got, and I'm thrilled to be adding Fear to my DVR recordings list. So, why did so many find it dull and boring while I found it to be pretty brilliant? In a word, expectations. Here's my assessment:

Monday, August 17, 2015

Panel at Gen Con Goes Awry, Backlash Begets Harassment

Comic conventions have a reputation for having reputations. Some of them are good: A convention is a place where thousands of people who have been picked on and bullied their whole lives for being nerds can come together to celebrate their fandoms openly. Some of them are bad: If you’re a woman or a minority, you’re probably still going to encounter at least some bullying or harassment. This is not to say that being a geek is still the same tired, old boys club it used to be, but women and minorities still often have to prove themselves before being taken seriously as a “real” geek, and representation is still something we have to fight for. This is why seeing panel discussions about diversity and representation in comics, movies, gaming, etc. at a convention has such a deep meaning. Recently, however, one such panel at the well-respected Gen Con in Indianapolis (you may remember earlier this year when the convention threatened to leave Indiana over their ‘Religious Freedom Bill’) has received quite a bit of controversy.

From the moment it was announced, the Writing Women Friendly Comics panel at Gen Con was getting press. While the panel sounded both interesting and compelling, it lacked a pretty essential component – women. The panel moderator, Bill Willingham, author of Fables comics (a series praised for its inclusiveness and popularity with female readers), and every other panelist were male. Thankfully, after The Mary Sue brought this issue to light, female writers Delilah Dawson and Alina Pete were added to the panel. It felt a lot like a win. Rejoicing occurred. At least, that is, until the panel actually happened.

Apparently, Willingham took issue with the panel being modified, and was not at all shy about voicing his contempt. From the moment he opened the panel, Willingham set the tone by making his feelings about The Mary Sue’s article crystal clear:
“This is NOT a women in comics panel…A certain rabble-rousing website with no journalistic integrity whatsoever tried to redefine this as a women in comics panel…”
From there, he moderated the panel with an iron fist: repeatedly interrupting any woman who spoke, refusing to call on women or people of color for audience questions, and defensively rebutted any mention of male, white privilege. Several first-hand accounts of the panel from shocked audience members immediately began popping up online. One in particular, a blog post by Candice Huber, has not only been shared repeatedly, but has caught the attention of journalists and internet trolls alike. In addition to being a woman and a geek, Huber also happens to be the owner of the popular, geek-centric bookstore, Tubby & Coo’s in New Orleans (you can read more about the bookstore in the article I wrote when they opened). She was so upset by Willingham’s behavior at the panel that she has made the decision as a small business owner to pull his books off her shelves. I spoke with Huber to get a bit of clarification on her decision and how it’s been received:

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pensacola Comic Convention Happened, and I was There

Pensacola Comic Convention (also known as Pensacola Para Con) was this past weekend, and I have to say that despite a bumpy start, I had a blast! Still a relatively small convention, PCC has grown significantly over the years and seems to be putting forth a lot of effort to bring their con to the next level. They had everything from media guests, vendors, live wrestling matches, and even the real BatCopter and BatMobile from the 60's TV show! There were certainly a few areas that could use some improvement, but overall I'm glad I went and I'm definitely looking forward to next year!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

MechaCon Happened, and I Was There

Unlike San Diego, Atlanta, or even New York, New Orleans isn't known for a particular convention, but the Gulf Coast is home to several conventions held throughout the year. It's my goal, here at She-Geeks, to showcase those smaller (but no less enthusiastic) conventions. If there is a convention in or around the Gulf Coast that you'd like to see me cover, please send the convention details to

One of New Orleans' largest nerd-centric conventions, MechaCon entices anime fans, gamers, scifi/fantasy geeks, and everything in between to converge on downtown New Orleans in a colorful display of pastel wigs and impossibly oversized weapons. This year's convention took place during a weekend of shared events and heat advisories. Thankfully, the oppressive, Southern heat didn't seem to scare anyone off, and the convention was full of great vendors, impressive cosplay, and even a few games.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

NOLA Time Fest Happened, and I Was There

Unlike San Diego, Atlanta, or even New York, New Orleans isn't known for a particular convention, but the Gulf Coast is home to several conventions held throughout the year. It's my goal, here at She-Geeks, to showcase those smaller (but no less enthusiastic) conventions. If there is a convention in or around the Gulf Coast that you'd like to see me cover, please send the convention details to

In its third year, NOLA Time Fest is a small con with a ton of enthusiasm! In the two days I was at Time Fest, I saw some amazing Doctor Who themed cosplay, found some wonderful vendors, and even made some new friends:

Monday, June 8, 2015

Who DOESN'T Wanna Fight With Lightsabers?!

I honestly don't think I know a single person who watched Star Wars as a child and didn't swing a broomstick or golf club or wrapping paper roll around pretending it was a lightsaber (providing their own sound effects of course). The fact that there are Lightsaber Dueling Clubs all around the Country proves I'm not the only one with such fond, childhood memories. So, when I found out a Club was starting up in my own backyard, it was only natural that I had to go check it out!

I caught up with the Lightsaber Dueling Club of New Orleans at their second get together (appropriately) held under the Dueling Oaks in City Park. After a short safety briefing from organizer Scott Simmons, and a sudden rainstorm that sent everyone scrambling under the cover of a nearby gazebo, the meeting got going under the guidance of Thomas Heller of Shogun Martial Arts. Heller happened upon the Club's first meeting and fell in love with the idea of finally applying his practical knowledge and training in Japanese Sword Fighting to dueling with lightsabers. He was so excited to join in the fun that he brought his family and several of his students with him. Everyone else in attendance was obviously delighted to have Heller there to help guide them, and everyone seemed to have a blast.

Lightsaber Dueling Club

I got in touch with Simmons afterward to get a little more information:

She-Geeks: How did the Lightsaber Dueling Club come to be?

Scott Simmons: The Lightsaber Dueling Club was an epiphany for me. Scott Rivet and I are the co-captains of Sith Happens. [Editors Note: Sith Happens is a sub-krewe of the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus, a geeky New Orleans parade krewe you can read all about here.] Our original concept was to have an equal number of Old Empire Sith Lords in periodic lightsaber fights with Jedi of the Old Republic (before the rule of two) through the streets of the Marigny. Unfortunately, our twin sister Jedi Krewe never materialized. I realized that if we were going to make this concept work the next year, we really needed to learn to realistically fight with Lightsabers. That was the birth of the Lightsaber Dueling Club of New Orleans. Our first members were all Chewbacchus members of Sith Happens, but we have now attracted many other Star Wars fans. This will only accelerate when the frenzy of the new movies begins.

SG: Do you have any specific goals for the Club?

SS: 1. To learn the 7 forms of lightsaber fighting according to the Star Wars canon and practice them to a level of proficency for each member in at least one form.
2. To be able to realistically duel in front of the Chewbacchus Parade crowd and provide them a spectacle that they will remember. (A third side goal is to create a short dueling film. I have written a script for a 7 to 10 minute film that will capture the essence of the Old Republic/Empire Struggle and an exciting duel between Sith and Jedi. There is a competition every year for the best choreographed light saber dueling film.

SG: What are the details interested people should know?

SS: Interested parties should start by visiting our facebook page "The Lightsaber Dueling Club of New Orleans".  There are guides to where to buy or make practice sabers, safety equipment and goals. There are also lots of links to form and practice links. Our first rule is safety. Lightsaber dueling takes a certain level of fitness. No one with a heart, blood or lung condition should participate, but are welcome to join and watch. Safety is our most important precept.

The next meeting of the Club will be on Sunday, June 28th from 1-4pm at Audubon Park in New Orleans.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Harassment is Alive and Well at MomoCon

Since it's creation in 2005, Atlanta's MomoCon has grown to be one of the largest anime conventions in the Country. According to their webpage, this all-ages convention prides itself on being a welcoming and fun environment for everyone:  
"From parents bringing their curious “young’uns” to the most dedicated old-skoolers, everyone is welcome.  Based out of Atlanta, extending Southern Hospitality is important to us.  We would like everyone to enjoy what we do best: having fun!"
For many attendees, however, the harassment they experienced at MomoCon made the convention far from hospitable. One cosplayer in particular, Luna Lanie, took to YouTube to share her experience and the reaction she received from security and the convention organizers:

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Movie Remakes: They Hurt Me in the Childhood

There have been a lot of remakes and reboots happening in the film industry lately. Between children's shows like Jem and the Holograms & The Power Rangers, traditional movie reboots like Godzilla & Spider-Man, or more controversial titles like The Crow and (the recently announced) The Craft remakes, it can certainly feel like nothing is "safe" from being given another go on the big screen (do not even get me started on the $200million Navy reruitment abomination that was Battleship). In 2014 there were 47 remakes and sequels released*, not counting stage or novel adaptations. As of May 2015, we've already had 15 with at least another 30 scheduled to be released

The pervasiveness of remakes and sequels is undeniable. Some stories and characters are so popular on film that it's difficult to get an accurate count of how many have been produced. The story of the Greek demi-god, Hercules in particular has been made into at least 37 films (though not all of those graced the big screen), and no less than 4 television series. In 2014 alone we saw the release of not one, but two Hercules movies:

Both of which apparently involved some serious shit happening to Hercules' left.
Now, chances are the sheer number of remakes, reboots, and even sequels would be better received if more of them were, well, good. If you're going to produce a remake or sequel, it should either accurately portray its source material, or actually manage to improve upon it. More often than not, however, what we end up getting is either a dumbed-down version of a story with about as much substance as an episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, an unnecessarily "gritty" version of a story, or something that resembles the original in name only. As an example, the trailer for the upcoming Jem and the Holograms movie (or as I like to call it, Josie and the Pussycats 2: All of the Cliches, None of the Fun!) was met with a tidal wave of criticism for how far removed from the original it appears to be. (I could go on for hours about all the reasons the trailer caused such an internet stir, but Cat Conway already summed it up brilliantly for The Mary Sue, so save us both some time and go check out her piece.)

Zero fun is being had by the Holograms.
So, why are we seeing so many remakes and sequels, and why do they so often stray from their source material? These are questions that plague me every time a new remake is announced, so I decided to turn to an insider for some answers by reaching out to writer/director/general badass Lexi Alexander. In addition to a reputation for openly speaking her mind, with titles like Green Street Hooligans and Punisher: War Zone on her resume, Alexander has personal experience with original stories and remakes alike, so I reached out to her for some answers:

She-Geeks: Why do you think reboots and remakes are so popular in the film industry, especially in the last decade or so?

Alexander: Because the studios have lost their ability to market to the masses. This is not necessarily their fault, people have simply evolved from looking in the newspaper to see what movie is playing to having 500 million choices of sources for movie times and locations. Technology has provides us with an information jungle. There are lot of advantages because of it, but the fact that we don’t know how to make sure everybody knows a certain movie is playing is a disadvantage. You can’t even buy enough time on TV to air trailers, because there are 500 TV channels and 500 ways to watch TV, so that too has become a jungle. To successfully market a movie to America for example, you have to spend at least 100 Million dollars to make the country semi aware that there’s a movie out there. So studios won’t pick up a great 2 Million dollar  original movie and give it a wide theatrical release if it costs them 100 Million to market it. Even on a high budget level they don’t want to take the risk unless it’s a “recognizable” name. So remakes are popular because they provide brand awareness.

SG: From a film making stand-point, is it easier to retell/reboot an established story than to try and tell a new one?

Alexander: No, creative people function better when they can create freely. I think every writer/director would prefer to tell an original story, something that can surprise people and something that can’t be measured up against a predecessor. 

SG: The recent trailer for Jem and the Holograms garnered instant backlash for having little in common with the original cartoon except the character names and the use of music. Why do you feel some reboots stray wildly from their source material?

Alexander: Because they don’t want to be reboots. Somebody probably told the writer or director “okay, we’ll finance you a (add genre) movie, but it has to somewhat relate to Jem and the Holograms.  

SG: In your opinion as a movie-goer (not as a director), are remakes fun or cringe-worthy? 

Alexander: There are very, very few movies that called for a remake or were made better with a reboot. The fact that we’re producing them en masse right now kills the appetitive for those few. 

The logic is strong with this one. It's not exactly shocking that this all comes down to money, but that doesn't make it any less frustrating to those of us who crave original content. 


*Criteria: Not an original story/title/character - Based on a game or TV show - National release

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mobicon Happened, and I Was There

Unlike San Diego, Atlanta, or even New York, New Orleans isn't known for a particular convention, but the Gulf Coast is home to several conventions held throughout the year. It's my goal, here at She-Geeks, to showcase those smaller (but no less enthusiastic) conventions. If there is a convention in or around the Gulf Coast that you'd like to see me cover, please send the convention details to

When you review conventions for a living, you find yourself at all kinds of cons that likely wouldn't have hit your radar otherwise. Most cons you look forward to, some not so much. There is always one, however, that you almost want to avoid. I had never been to Mobicon before, and the stories of harassment from previous years didn't exactly paint a sunshiny picture of this Alabama con, so I was a bit apprehensive about going. Then, there was a social media kerfuffle just days before the convention opened about one of the con's most popular events, and I found myself considering cancelling. Clearly, I didn't cancel. The point of this series is to shine a spotlight on these conventions, and it would be a disservice to my work, my readers, and to the convention itself if I allowed rumors to sway me rather than experiencing Mobicon for myself. So, I pulled on my big girl panties, made the decision to be as neutral as possible, and headed out to Mobile, AL.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

LouisiAnime Happened, and I Was There

Unlike San Diego, Atlanta, or even New York, New Orleans isn't known for a particular convention, but the Gulf Coast is home to several conventions held throughout the year. It's my goal, here at She-Geeks, to showcase those smaller (but no less enthusiastic) conventions. If there is a convention in or around the Gulf Coast that you'd like to see me cover, please send the convention details to

This was LouisiAnime's seventh year, and the first one I've attended. They originated in Baton Rouge, La. in 2009, but moved to Lafayette in 2012 due to venue/scheduling needs. This year, they took over the Ramada Inn, and since I don't personally get out to Lafayette often I was pretty surprised to find that I'd been at this particular location before. A few years ago I attended a Forensics Convention in the same venue, and I'm not gonna lie, it was a bit surreal seeing so many Sailor Moon and Homestuck cosplayers running around the same rooms in which I had previously enjoyed panels about facial reconstruction, fingerprint analysis, and clandestine graves. But, I digress...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

CyPhaCon Happened, and I Was There

Unlike San Diego, Atlanta, or even New York, New Orleans isn't known for a particular convention, but the Gulf Coast is home to several conventions held throughout the year. It's my goal, here at She-Geeks, to showcase those smaller (but no less enthusiastic) conventions. If there is a convention in or around the Gulf Coast that you'd like to see me cover, please send the convention details to

Recently, I traveled to Lake Charles, La for the 5th anniversary of CyPhaCon, an anime, gaming and science fiction convention. This year boasted some pretty impressive guest names, a special screening of a Doctor Who fan series, and (my personal favorite) a legitimate sword-fighting class with the man who taught Arya Stark how to wield a blade, Miltos Yerolemou. So, follow along as I dive deeper into CyPhaCon:

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Sometimes a Joke Really IS a Big Deal

You may have heard that Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner made some offensive jokes at the expense of the Black Widow character and those with prosthetic limbs during their Avengers: Age of Ultron press tour. You may have also heard that both have since issued apologies (Evans' being infinitely more sincere than Renner's sorry-you-got-mad statement). If you've been paying attention, you may also have noticed that there are droves of people who have come out in their defense as they were clearly joking in the interview. Here's the thing: As anyone who follows the She-Geeks Facebook page should know by now, I adore Chris Evans. I'm also a big, ole fan of Jeremy Renner, and I honestly do not believe either of these men are sexist, ableist, or bad people in general. Rather, I imagine they're both pretty delightful humans who were likely extremely tired and attempting to have some fun answering a ridiculous question during the 800th interview they had given in an very short window of time. Such is the life when promoting a movie, and I do not at all envy them that task.

None of that, however, means that we should ignore the problems with the things they said. Jokes or no, fictional characters or no, there are issues with the things they said and this conversation (that so many people are extremely resistant to) needs to happen. Why? Well, there are a whole lot of reasons, but comments like these (taken from a friend's Facebook post about Evans' and Renner's apologies) are a good place to start:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

CoastCon Happened, and I Was There

Unlike San Diego, Atlanta, or even New York, New Orleans isn't known for a particular convention, but the Gulf Coast is home to several conventions held throughout the year. It's my goal, here at She-Geeks, to showcase those smaller (but no less enthusiastic) conventions. If there is a convention in or around the Gulf Coast that you'd like to see me cover, please send the convention details to

One of the Gulf Coast's longest running conventions, CoastCon, is a volunteer run organization with a focus on community in fandom that's been around for more than 35 years. Many of the attendees at CoastCon have been faithfully coming out for years, and that makes this con feel vastly different from, say, a Wizard World convention. There's a great deal of hugging, hand-shaking, and casual conversations among friends who may only ever see each other at CoastCon. It's a very friendly environment overall, and quite a welcoming place for families as well (even vendors and artists have been known to bring their kids with them). That's not to say that there isn't fun to be had for those of us sans children, though! This con may have a cozy feel to it, but it's still large enough to have plenty of interesting things for fans of all ages. So, from heart-warming interactions with kids to panels about human decomposition, to random belly dance routines, follow along as I run down some of the things I saw at CoastCon 38!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Is There Really Room for Self Love in Cosplay?

(Photo: CosCouture and Titan Cosplay)
Cosplay is a huge piece of the fandom pie. From once-a-year-at-Con cosplayers, to those who travel hundreds of miles every year to cosplay all around the Country, to sneaky cosplayers who construct costumes so subtle they can be worn to work, cosplayers (it seems) are everywhere. Some view cosplay as a way to embody their favorite characters and to bring their inner warrior or hero or evil genius out. Some just love the art of creating elaborate costumes and intricate armor pieces. Some revel in the spotlight and the attention they receive while wearing the costume of a beloved character. Whatever their reasons, cosplayers are generally a dedicated and creative bunch of people. Given, however, that the basic idea of cosplay is to dress up as a character (often from a comic book, video game, cartoon, etc.), and that many characters are drawn with a very specific, exaggerated, and sexualized physique, is cosplay really an area of fandom that fosters self love and body acceptance?

For me, this question came up when I found and shared this "breastplate" contraption to a social media cosplay group I'm a member of:

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Chewbacchus Part Two: The Parade-er-ing

Peter & Angie Mayhew in Chewbacchus (Photo:
Last week I took you on a backstage tour of the geekiest Mardi Gras parade around, The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus (check it out here). This time, I'm bringing you photos from the parade itself as it rolled down the streets of New Orleans delighting the masses. With the great Wookie himself, Peter Mayhew, and his lovely wife Angie at the forefront (followed closely by Andy Richter from the Conan show) the walking parade wound along a nearly 4 mile route filled with enthusiastic fans and revelers hoping to snag some nerd swag and snapping endless photos. Follow along for some of the photos of my favorite Mardi Gras parade, and one hell of a block party!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Mardi Gras Parade No Geek Should Miss

It's Mardi Gras season here in New Orleans, which means tourists, traffic, king cakes, endless renditions of Mardi Gras Mambo, and (of course) parades. If you're a geek in New Orleans celebrating Mardi Gras and don't go to the Chewbacchus parade, you're doing it wrong. Period. No excuses. Seriously, even Peter Mayhew himself rides in this geek parade.

If you've been paying attention, you've heard me go on about Chewbacchus before; well, here's where I explain exactly why this relatively new parade has been growing by leaps and bounds every year and has a distinctly cult-like following (more on the cult thing later). Read on as I go on an exclusive tour of the parade's "den" (where many of the contraptions are created and stored), introduce a brand new sub-krewe, and give you guys a sneak peek of some of the awesome, hand-made stuff you'll see rolling down the parade route on Saturday (including some fabulous throws to look out for):

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How to Not be a Creeper (Cosplay Edition)

I was recently added to a fantastic social media group for female geeks, with a heavy emphasis on cosplay. In addition to the serious levels of talent the ladies in this group have, there is also an incredible level of support for one another. It's inspiring (to say the least), but it also means I've been reading several stories from group members who are struggling with issues like online harassment and stalking. All I want to do for these women is wrap them up under a wing of protection, find the individuals responsible for their pain, and cleanse them with fire.

Clearly, though, that's not an option (also, possibly not the healthiest of reactions). Instead, let's try to discuss this like rational human beings, ok? Ok, here we go:

Saturday, January 17, 2015

New Orleans Comic Con Happened, and I Was There

As it is in many cities, Wizard World Comic Con is the largest convention in New Orleans, promising the highest turnout and boasting the biggest names, and this year's convention did not disappoint! (It was so big, in fact, that my coverage of it had to be split between the She-Geeks Blog and The Mary Sue! Don't worry though, I've included some handy links throughout this post so you needn't miss a thing.) From cosplay to fan groups to panels and even a taping of Bruce Campbell's new show, I saw all manner of delightful things last weekend. Did you miss it? That's ok, I'm here for you! (I'm magnanimous like that.) So follow along as I run down some of the best things I found at Comic Con: