Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Years from [insertgeekhere]!

Can you believe that 2010 is over?! We have been so lucky this year with the starting of [insertgeekhere] and we all want to say thank you for supporting us! Without readers like you, we would just be mindlessly babbling on a street corner. Again.

Here is a little recap of our favorite posts from 2010:

Looking back to all those months ago with our first post where we just say hi to everyone.

Wilderowens Favorite Post of 2010:

I love this post because its is not traditional geek. It was truly a great hour of television that covered a terrible event, and it deserved to be recognized.

Wysefyre's Favorite Post(s) of 2010:

I couldn't pick just one favorite. I have two.

Musical Friday - VideoSongs, An Educational Tour Through Music History
Not only did it make me laugh, but I loved being able to see the various instruments and voices that go into the songs.

My Epic Con Fails
Who hasn't had a wacky disaster or two happen at a con? I love this post because, not only are the situations funny, but I can also see them in a movie as a montage of the various mishaps which lead to the one con that proves to be the most perfect in every way one. Plus, regardless of what happened, Wilderowens got to talk to Wil Wheaton, and that by itself makes her and this awesome.

 Getsuyobi's Favourite Post of 2010:

This Month Let's Work on Respect

I'm a patient guy by nature, and it always annoys me when I see the uber-fan acting like a jerk and giving all us normal fans a bad name.   I know we'll never get to the nerd-utopia that we all wish for, but it'd be nice if everyone would take a look at themselves and assess their own actions for once.  Here's hoping for a friendlier fan in 2011.

From all of us at [insertgeekhere] we want to wish everyone a Happy & Safe New Year!  We'll look forward to more geeky excitement in 2011!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010: The Year of the Zombie

I'm usually not a fan of end-of-year remembrances; in fact I never read them. However, I feel like this has to be put out there: Was 2010 the Year of the Zombie? I say this because I feel like zombies were so hip that they were shoved down my throat as they tried to rip it out.

In all fairness, it really started (for me at least) in July at SDCC. So this is really the six months of Zombie but year sounds better. Zombies were everywhere, from merchandise to the zombie march to costumed zombies to the giant The Walking Dead panel. Yes, TWD, I blame you. ;) Thinkgeek started pushing their huge amount of zombie merch and TWD books were flying off the shelves. NYCC was the same, if not worse. Now with the success of TWD, this will only continue. There are zombie web series, and humorous zombie holiday shorts. Soon, who knows?

To be honest, Zombies freak me out. I still watched The Walking Dead, and liked it despite the nightmares. My only fear/desire is that zombies will mainstream to the point that they sparkle. I would hate it but am damn curious to see how it can be done.

Prediction for 2011:
Year of the Frankenstein. I need more evil resurrection in my life.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Geeky Bad Habits

I know a lot of people that like to ask me about being a geek. Almost to the point of me being a little paranoid. I just can't hide my geekiness and I am proud of that. It has hurt me though. Professionally, it is bad when you start talking about how you need to leave work early to get to the comic book store in time. This got me thinking about how my geeky nature has brought on a few bad habits.

My Bad Habit
: I hum the Super Mario Theme song when I'm walking and dodging people on NYC streets.

In My Defense
: NYC streets can be so crowded, it is almost like surviving a video game. Plus, I only do it when I'm alone....

My Bad Habit
: I eventually find a way to start talking about my zombie escape plan with almost every person I meet.

In My Defense
: If you follow our tweets, you know that zombies freak me out! You have to be prepared!

My Bad Habit
: I turn into an adrenaline-high-ninja-psycho fan at cons.

In My Defense
: Everyone else either already is psychotic or they need to get out of my way.

I know, I know I'm a little crazy, and I have too much time for self reflection. In the end, I can't blame the geek community just because I'm so quirky. Still, I would like to know that I'm not the only crazy one out there! Please let me know if you have any geeky bad habits too!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Musical Friday - Geeky Holiday Fun!

It's holiday season and what better way to celebrate than with some good old-fashioned geeky fun.

Who better to start this off than the good Dr. himself, Dr. Who. Recorded for Dr. Who Confidential, Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvil give what has got to be one of the most.... interesting interpretations of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" I've ever come across. Major points for going full out.

What can I say about this next clip? The truth of the matter is, even though there are several other religious holidays celebrated in December, Christmas is the one that has become so commercialized that some of the other religions tend to have their own ways of celebrating Christmas time too. Case in point... Christmas for the Jews.

And finally, what does a geek really want for the holidays? napalmnacey knows and shares this knowledge in her rendition of Santa Baby: Geek Version.

Now, because I know you've all been good geek boys and geek girls, I'm adding a special bonus. Here with their retelling of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," I give you The Guild.

Remember, it doesn't matter what you celebrate (as long as there are no sacrificial, bloody offerings involved - that's a little creepy) as long as you are happy, safe, having fun, and surrounded by the ones you care about. Happy Holidays from IGH team! 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Review: Broadway's Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark

About two weeks ago, Getsuyobi and I saw the Spider-Man musical. Since then I have been struggling with writing this review. Part of me feels uncomfortable writing about a show that is in previews and obviously incomplete, but the rest of me feels that given what's been happening with the show, that maybe it's time to suck it up and write.

Most people know the show has been plagued with problems since the beginning. For those who don't, the brief recap is big names actors were hired then dropped out, funding was lost then found, opening night has been moved around repeatedly, the very first preview ran nearly four hours due to technical difficulties including the actors being suspended over the audience, and the most distressing problem has been the actors keep getting hurt. These are not minor injuries. Before previews, two actors were injured doing the same stunt; one broke his toe, the other, both of his wrists. During the first preview, one of the leads, Natalie Mendoza, suffered a concussion and her understudy, America Olivo, took over the role for a few weeks, and finally, three nights ago, Spider-Man stunt double, Christopher Tierney, fell from a platform and into a pit in the stage. While reports have been conflicting as to how serious his injuries are (he's listed in stable but serious condition), but I think it is safe to say something is very wrong with the production. Well, a lot of things are wrong with the production.

The stunt that got Christopher Tierney hurt as well as one of the strangest slo-mo walks I've ever seen.

Let's start with the basics - the music and the book.

The music - It's bland. It's unmemorable and completely unworthy of being on a Broadway stage. There were maybe three songs that could be considered worthy, and of those, one of them, "Pull the Trigger," is included only because it had the best dance number, otherwise it was a meh song. It is apparent that Bono and the Edge are unfamiliar with writing songs for more than one character, though every now and then, they got something right like with the song "If the World Should End."

The book - It is a complete mess. Act One focuses on the origin story and all the basic components are there - Peter is bullied & wants Mary Jane, gets bitten by a radioactive spider, Uncle Ben dies, etc. However, and maybe I'm being a bit of a purest, but I have a problem with how Uncle Ben's death is handled. Flash Thompson, previously established as the d-bag that he is, accidentally hits Ben when he loses control of his car. Now, from a theatrical point of view, this works for the story. It doesn't add unnecessary people and it quickly move the story along, but as a Spider-Man fan, I feel it diminished his journey. Uncle Ben's death has played such a pivotal role in Peter's life because of the guilt he felt, that to take that away, makes him and the story weaker.

Act One also gives us Arachne, the weaver who bested Athena in a weaving contest and was ultimately cursed and turned into the first spider, and the Green Goblin. Arachne is featured more prominently in Act Two so I'll discuss her there, but the Green Goblin decently developed. I thoroughly enjoyed what was done with him. Instead of including Harry Osborn into the story, Norman and his wife, Emily Osborn, work together, playing with cutting edge technology and trying to manipulate DNA to create super beings. Norman decides to try some of this out on himself and when if goes horribly wrong, he's super powerful and his wife is dead, leading to him going nuts. What makes this work is there is an emotional connection with his transformation.

Act Two - Spider-Man has defeated Green Goblin, he's supposedly dead, and Peter has decided to hang up his Spidey shoes so he can have a real life. Enter Arachne, who freaks out over this because she has decided Spider-Man is the one to help release her from her curse and let her die. Yeah, there was a lot of head scratching done at this point. Her way of getting Peter to put the uniform back on was to, apparently, create illusions of the Green Goblin and Sinister Six, have them terrorize New York, and of course, kidnap Mary Jane, but before she does this, I think she tries to have astral plane sex with Peter. I'm still not sure how that all worked out.

If Arachne had been a better developed character, then having her pull everybody's strings might have made sense but she wasn't and most of the time, when she spoke, it just sounded like melodramatic whining. Her singing voice was outstanding but I just wanted to help kill her when she talked. The end also felt tacked on. I had read another review that said the ending left far too many plot threads dangling, so I'm guessing this was their way of fixing it, but it felt too hurried and just wrong. Then again, this is also the act that brought us an evil catwalk featuring the Sinister Six and "Deeply Furious," a song about shoes. You heard me. Shoes. I'm still not convinced they weren't pumping something in the air.

You have to see it to believe it!
Next - The actors and choreography

Overall, the actors were trying their damnedest to make the show work. It wasn't their fault they had such weak material to work with. One thing that was very noticeable was many of them sounded like they were straining their voice, Reeve Carney, who plays Peter, in particular, was struggling towards the end.

The bullies didn't work for me. I don't know if it was the writing, the direction, or the acting choices, but they were too stereotypical and too over the top, and whenever Flash talked, I was taken out of the story because the actor looked too old for the role and all I could think about was the original cast of 90210.

The outstanding performances were Jennifer Damiano, who captured Mary Jane's strong spirit while showing her vulnerabilities, Michael Mulheren as J. Jonah Jameson, who was perfect as the fast talking, stubborn, and Spidey slandering editor in chief of The Daily Bugle, and Patrick Page as the Green Goblin. Page gave the Goblin depth and humor and chock full of crazy. Scene chewing doesn't even describe what this man did. It was great.

The choreography - For the dance numbers, it was weak. Other than during "Pull the Trigger," it was lackluster. There was nothing spectacular about it. I was very disappointed by it.

Now the technical choreography is a different story. The performance we saw did not appear to have any technical problems and the stunts were outstanding. I don't know if I need it in a show, but the fangirl in me squeed a little when Spider-Man and Green Goblin flew over us. I counted ten different Spider-Mans, not counting Reeve Carney, and they rocked. The stunts are so complicated. I have to give Julie Taymor credit; she used as much space as she could to bring her vision to life. Speaking of her vision...

Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man
The sets - This is where Julie Taymor excels. Some people have called her sets too cartoony, I agree with some of it (using POW! & BAM! was too much), but it felt like she was going for a surreal type of universe. All of her masks were over the top, but I felt it worked with the mostly muted tones of set.

My absolute favorite set piece was the Chrysler Building. The top expanded from beneath the stage so the Green Goblin and Spider-Man could "chat," and then it inverts as Spider-Man falls to the ground. There are tiny taxis to help give the illusion of depth and it's just wonderful.

Reeve Carney and the deliciously wonderful Patrick Page
Finally - The direction - I love Julie Taymor's work. I think she is a brilliant director and her visuals are out of this world. However, I do not believe she was the right person for this or maybe she could have been the right director, if she had not also co-written the book. It feels as if she took most her source material from the Spider-Man movies, not the comics and that makes a big difference. This isn't a story she can just come in to and do whatever she wants. There is a very rich history to consider. She created a new character, Swiss Miss, who did nothing other than get her butt kicked by Spider-Man. She could have been interesting, if she actually did something and hadn't looked like the mutated lovechild of the Tin Man and Dot Matrix from Spaceballs.

I could go on and on about the strange spectacle that is Spider-Man, but I think I've said more than enough. As of now, the opening date has once again been pushed back, and it's scheduled to open in February. The reason given for this is they want to retool the show, particularly the second act. This will also allow them to get the tech in order. The other night's accident has been deemed human error so the show will go on. It is my sincere hope that they focus on strengthening the book and the songs and find a way to attract new fans while satisfying the old fans. And yes, if they ever make it to opening night, it will seen again.

 Pictures courtesy of Sara Krulwich / Redux Pictures and Jacob Cohl

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Team Unicorn teaches us all how to have a Safe Holiday!

The makers of the Geek and Gamer Girls Song just gave us a holiday treat. Team Unicorn comes to my rescue with this great instructional video: A VERY ZOMBIE HOLIDAY. With all of the zombie craziness lately, it is always important to be prepared. This video makes me feel better about buying my pies!

Did you spot a few familiar faces in the film, besides Team Unicorn, of course? I saw Brian Kameoka as a Caroler, who runs The Guild twitter crew and Jonathan Nail as the husband who also plays Michele Boyd's husband on Solo, a great web series. Behind the scenes is Sean Becker, who seems to be behind every web series these days!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Breaking News: Marvel announces Fear Itself

Today at 12 pm, at Midtown Comics Times Square location, Marvel's Editor in Chief, Joe Quesada, announced Marvel's summer event Fear Itself and together with Executive VPs Axel Alonso and Tom Brevoort, they unveiled the Fear Itself banner and later on, answered questions from the fans, the press, and the internet.

Billed as an "extension level event," Fear Itself will kick into high gear in April 2011. It will involve the God of Fear, deal with what's happening in the real world issues, as well as a secret that is at the heart of the Marvel U, when revealed it will shake the entire universe up and people will not be able to look at each other the same way. The entire MU will be involved including "what is left of the Fantastic Four."

It will be by Matt Fraction and Stuart Immonen and will run seven issues for seven months. But why should you take my word for when you can watch the trailer and listen to Matt Fraction's statement below.

So what does everyone think? Excited? Angry? Indifferent? Tell us your thoughts here or discuss this at our new Facebook page here.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Review: Freckleface Strawberry

Last Thursday, I went to see Freckleface Strawberry The Musical, playing at the New World Stages. It is a children’s show based on a book series written by actress, Julianne Moore. The story is about a girl, Strawberry, who is the only redhead with freckles among her friends, how she wishes she did not have them, and the lengths she was willing to go to get rid of them.

I cannot express how much I enjoyed this show. From the moment the characters took the stage, started playing with their schoolyard toys and started singing, I knew we were in for a special show. It was so full of life. The book was funny and sweet and the music was engaging and infectious. It's a smart show that makes it great for kids, but also engages the adults, such as the Freaky Freckleface Family complete with a bad Godfather impersonation. Occasionally the fourth wall is broken and the audience is included in the story, which delighted most of the kids. The choreography was outstanding, particularly the playground scenes. During the song, “Basketball,” the company performed a complicated sequence involving dribbling basketballs to music. So much could have gone wrong, but it did not and it looked spectacular.

The actors were wonderful. Dance captain, Morgan Smith, filled in for Hayley Podschun, as Strawberry, and she was delightful. She really captured Strawberry’s pain at feeling different but also captured what it’s like to be a kid. Linda Gabler did triple duty as Strawberry’s mother, teacher and classmate, Jane. Yet the real breakout star of the show was Kimiko Glenn who played Emily, the boy crazy and ditzy friend. Her comedic timing was spot on. She often stole whatever scene she was in.

Freckleface Strawberry is enjoying an open-ended run, and I would recommend it to anyone with young children as well as adults looking for a show that is a little more innocent. Just be careful after the show because you might get mowed down by some kids running to catch a glimpse of one of the actors. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Musical Friday - Cyber Friday, Tron-day

Musical Friday again! Tron is out TODAY! In case you weren't sure what Tron is all about (really?!), we've got the most efficient way to explain: a Tobuscus Literal Trailer!

Literal Tron Trailer!


Tron has been a nerd classic for over 20 years. This homage comes from The Key of Awesome and is all about the sweet escape that our fantasy worlds offer, and also naked ladies...

We'll end the fun with the video for Daft Punk's video "Derezzed", from the official Tron Legacy Soundtrack. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Review: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

This post is spoiler-filled so if you don't like spoilers
go read another tasty article on [insertgeekhere].

The IGH team attended a showing of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and as the resident Narnia zealot, I was super excited and super worried. I prefer it when the film doesn't take too many liberties and stays as true to the story as they can. I have to say, even though changes were made, I was not disappointed.

First off, all of the original actors made it back, which is fantastic. Really helped keep the spirit of the first two movies. All four Pevensie children make an appearance in the movie which is done in a wonderful way. It really blends well with the story, despite being a new addition.

The biggest and newest part of this movie is Eustace, the nasty cousin, who gets pulled into Narnia with Edmund and Lucy. Eustace is played by the adorable Will Poulter and I have to love his performance. He brings a good amount of self-importance and snobbery to the role. I only wish that they used him more. He was a dragon for way too long. In the story, Aslan turns him back much sooner and we can see how he has changed into a nicer person. They really should have given him some more chances to capture the audiences hearts if they are going to make The Silver Chair.

The introduction of a new plot point with the swords was an interesting one that was probably added to make this more of an action story and hide some of the religious undertones. I still prefer the original story, but this helped keep the attention of the movie goers. The other big change was the order of stops. The switched order of events did throw me during the movie but it still conveyed the message, just in a different order.

The effects were decent. They did their job but didn't blow me away. One scene I liked was when the three kids enter the painting at the beginning of the film. The way the room filled with water and then turned into an ocean was fantastic.

I also loved the scenery, which I feel has been a strong point in all of the films. They bring a continuity to the films with the Narnian designs. The attention to detail is seen in every inch of the film, from the masthead of The Dawn Treader to the designs in the Magician's library to the setup of Ramandu's table. This is a visually pleasing set and really incorporates a feeling of riches and magic. This is why I am glad I saw it in 2D and not 3D. With 3D, it is harder to see everything and take it in. The visuals in these films really make the movie and you lose some of that in 3D. Sometimes, 2D is better.

All in all, I liked it. It still tells a good story about the human spirit and there are talking animals! Kids will like it (but might get scared in the last big battle) and parents won't get too bored.

For Narnia and For Aslan!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This Month, Let's Work on Respect

I just had a conversation with my boss about respecting artists. It was in reference to the Spider-Man musical (she loved it and only one delay in the show) and how so many people were bashing it for technical problems. She brought up a great point. You should really respect anyone that can take an idea and create something brand new with it. I know how hard it is to just write these posts, so to take on the challenge of producing an entire musical with high-flying people is just impressive.

This made me think about some of the things I have seen and written. Have I really been practicing this respect? I had some pretty strong feelings toward Whit Anderson, and while in the end my comments may not have been too harsh, there are some members of the Buffy fan base that have taken things a step too far. While writing this post, I happened upon a couple bloggers that were writing about the same thing. Sean T. Collins of Robot 6 covered the "incident" between an angry fan and Dan Slott. Dan Slott later tweeted that the fan apologized but not before gaining a lot of internet attention. And over at The Beat, they covered a list of recent bashing and theft. The fact that this is coming up at all makes me sad.

Too many times have I seen bashing and hate in comment sections that is totally undeserved. Don't attack a person's character, especially since you don't even know them. If you don't like the show/movie/album/comic, don't say it in a totally negative way that insults an entire group of people. Try to be constructive so you can help this person grow. And, if you really think you can do it better, do it yourself. Until you give it a shot, you can't understand.

I still believe that the industry needs to learn to respect us fans. While it has been getting better, there is still work to be done. That can start with us respecting each other. There is too much geek hate for us to do it to each other. I hope that in this month of giving, we can all take the time to respect any creative ability.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Review: Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon

A few weeks ago, an acquaintance handed me a book and said he thought I’d like it. I didn’t know him very well; we only spoke occasionally, but I took the book and was automatically intrigued. The book was Mermaid, A Twist on the Classic Tale by Carolyn Turgeon.

The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite Disney movies, and one of my favorite fairy tales. I grew up wishing I could be Ariel (Disney ending, not the original). This might also be the reason I want to be a redhead, but I digress.

How can you not love the hair? summarizes it as, “The story of two very different women, one mortal, one mermaid, and the clash between worlds best kept apart...” but I disagree. While it is the story of two different women, the worlds are not best kept apart. If anything, the story is more about uniting all lands and worlds, whether it can or should be done, and the sacrifices that must be made to do so.

The characters are wonderfully fleshed out, and the alternating between the mermaid and the mortal give the story a little something extra. Even with knowing how the story is supposed to end, I cared enough about each woman that I didn’t know who should end up with who. Anyone who can take a familiar story and still manage to surprise me is aces in my book.

One of the best things Carolyn Turgeon has managed to capture is the wonder a person feels when they see something amazing and magical for the first time. Seeing our world through the eyes of the mermaid makes me appreciate the good a little more, and seeing the ocean through both the mermaid and the mortal make me want to explore its secrets (I should probably learn to swim first).

It’s a darker version of the classic story. It stays true to Andersen’s original tale, and is very graphic at times, but as tragic as the story was, I saw more hope and love in the pages than pain. I felt like everyone was trying to do the best they could with their circumstances, and no one was out to intentionally hurt anyone else.

I loved the book. It recaptured old feelings of wonder and magic. Mermaid is published by Three Rivers and it slated for release in March 2011. To learn more about Carolyn Turgeon, check out her blog here.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

We are 3 months old and we love Denmark

Today is our 3 month anniversary and I want to share some fun stats with you. We have been read in over 50 countries on 6 continents! YAY! We are still holding out for Antarctica, so if you know someone who could make that happen, that would be awesome. Now, since we are a US-based blog, our #1 country of readers is the US. But in the #2 spot is Denmark!

Hellllooo Denmark!

Since you are our (second) biggest fans, we want to get to know ya better. We know we write for US geeks but let us know about the fun stuff going on in Denmark. We care about all of our readers so please tell us about yourselves in the comments below.

Top 5 Countries who read [insertgeekhere]

1. United States
2. Denmark
3. Canada
4. United Kingdom
5. Australia

We also want to learn about our Canadian, British, and Australian friends, so please comment too! Don't feel bad if your country didn't make the list - just encourage your friends to read us!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Musical Friday - Grammy Noms (nom nom nom)

It's Grammy time! The nominations were announced last week and as usual it was filled with the obvious, some surprises, and the random. So today, we celebrate some of the picks with their parodies... Enjoy!

California Gurls - Katy Perry and Snoop Dog (Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals)

Love the Way You Lie - Eminem ft. Rihanna (Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, Best Rap Song)

Hey, Soul Sister - Train (Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals)

As an added bonus, because it's just so awesome--- *warning* NSFW

F*ck You - Cee-Lo Green (Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Urban/Alternative Performance)

There you have it! A few highlights of the nominations. Here's the complete list. What do you think of this year's crop? Anyone you think was snubbed or should not be on the list? Til next week...

Support Star Wars and Geek Pride for Katie

Do you know what today is? Today is Support Star Wars and Geek Pride for Katie Day! If you are not sure who Katie is and why she is awesome, then climb out from under that rock and learn a bit.

Katie is a first grader in Chicago, who was being teased for bringing her Star Wars water bottle to school because the boys in her grade said that Star Wars was only for boys. She got very upset and tried to hide her geek pride. Luckily, she had very supportive parents who encouraged her to stand up to them! Her mom is also a blogger who wrote about this for Anti-Bullying week. Well, the geek girls saw this and took up the call. She got so many comments on that entry that the site had to set up a new page.

That is why today is dedicated to Katie, to show her that everyone, boy or girl, can love Star Wars, sci-fi, and fantasy no matter what other people think! In solidarity, today you should wear something Star Wars to show that you love it too! Katie's parents also request that, since it is the holiday season, you donate a Star Wars gift to a toy drive and specify that it is for a boy or a girl.

To Katie:
Rock on! We all support you and hope that you let no one keep you down!
You are great just the way you are. :)

You can also join the event on Facebook here and see what other people are saying.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Geeky Gifts that Give Back

Still stumped for the perfect Christmas presents? The one that makes you seem like the bestest person on Earth? The one that is talked about for years to come. Well, we have got you covered with a great Geek Gift List. But we take it one step further. Each of these geeky gifts we have listed support a great cause. So kill two birds with one stone and help others as you help!

Blogger Body Calendar

Blogger Body Calendar project exists to promote a healthy body image. These bloggers bare all to raise money for the National Eating Disorders Association. This is such a great thing that these bloggers do and they are proving that healthy is beautiful . Get this for the socially conscious geek on your list.

Thanks to @
GeekGirlDiva for letting me know about this!

$18 I Want This!

Comic-Con: 40 Years of Artists, Writers, Fans, and Friends!

The awesome people that bring us San Diego Comic Con bring us a book documenting the last 40 years of the best con on earth. All the proceeds go to support SDCC, which is a non-profit. After going to this for the first time in July, I want to support them, but this is also something I really want! Best part: Shipping is free on your first two books, so you can get one as a gift and one as a gift for me...or yourself. Make sure you order yours soon because all orders after December 17th won't ship until January 3, 2011. This is the perfect gift for the con-crazed geek on your list.

$40 I Want This!

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund: Reward Zone

CBLDF is fundraising this holiday season with a variety of amazing gifts in their Reward Zone and eBay Store. This includes books, signed books, signed art, signed comics... Do you see a pattern? My favorite item is the In Reilig Oran Print by Neil Gaiman and Tony Harris. This can only be found at CBLDF and you can get it signed by Neil Gaiman and Tony Harris in time to be under the tree. Can't pick one thing out? Then get a CBLDF membership so your friends and family can be card-carrying geeks too! This is perfect for the activist geek on your list!

$100, signed or $20, unsigned I Want This!
$25 Membership I Want This!

#BoobieWed Epic Geek Girls Calendar

This is calendar organized by Natali of the UberDork Cafe and CoHost of The Power Geeks podcast. This calendar is super useful because it lists ALL of the major Comic Cons! Never miss a con again with this handy-dandy reminder! Part of the proceeds go to support Breast Cancer awareness and research, which is something that affects everyone. This is great for the pink comic geek on your list.

$15 I Want This!

The Hero Initiative: eBay Store

If you don't know, The Hero Initiative provides financial and medical aid to comic creators and even helps them continue working, which is so important in this economy. What you probably don't know is that The Hero Initiative has the bestest eBay store ever! With stuff to buy and stuff to bid on, donating to a cause has never been more drool-worthy! I saw a bunch of potential gifties here, including some #600 Archie Comics that have original artwork on them! Shiny! My top gift pick has to be the Stan's Soapbox Limited Edition Hard Cover. Why is this so great? Cause it is SIGNED BY STAN LEE AND JOHN ROMITA!! Not to mention that it's numbered... This is a great gifty for that hard core Marvel geek on your list!

$99 I Want This!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Four Questions I want to send out into the Internet Void

As I sit here trying to write about a topic, any topic that would be mildly interesting, I find that I
have too many questions and not enough answers. I ask the Internet Void to answer me.....though I doubt I will get the answers I want.

1 - Why does Syfy make such crappy movies and such great TV shows?

You would think by now that they would be able to do both. If the right people are what it takes, you know that you have them. Just ask them to squeeze out a movie in between shows. Jane Espenson makes some of the best shows on Syfy, just hire her for one more movie. I guarantee you won't regret it.

2 - Why do they continue to destroy my childhood by remaking TV shows into crappy movies?

Yogi Bear is enough but hearing about the Thundercats movie is too much. Just leave them alone and my memories untarnished. Sometimes it is just for the best. If you mess with She-Ra, I will cut you.

3 - Why do they continue to (poorly) reboot movies that are considered classics?

You may think that this comes from the Buffy reboot, but the reboot that angered me the most is Yours, Mine and Ours from 1968. Classic movie that was destroyed in 2005 by a movie that was nothing like the original. They basically took most of the backstory and filled in the rest with stupidity. Just makes me :(

4 - When are Video Game companies just admit they are trying to recreate the holodeck from Star Trek?

C'mon the Wii, Playstation Move, and XBox Kinect are just precursors to Star Trek's holodeck. All of these engineers just need to admit they are fulfilling that fantasy. Yes, it's true they may also have a dark desire to really kill zombies or play in the NBA, but I choose to believe that this stems back to spending their childhood watching them hangout in the Enterprise holodeck.

Do you have any answers, oh Great Void? 'Cause all of these things kinda piss me off.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

All the Buffy opinions are in and we have a highfive!

So the Buffy Reboot news is in and we have learned a few facts:

1 - Kristy Swanson loves the idea and wants in.
2 - Joss = :(
3 - Warner Bros. says they asked Joss first!
4 - Fox had first dibs on reboot and passed
5 - Wait, Wha?!

Yep, that is the one story that fans seemed to miss in all this.

Fox got one right!!!

Yes, they really hurt us with Firefly. The way they handled that was terrible and awful and makes me want to curl into a tiny ball while I wear my Jayne hat. Some fans feel like they hurt us with Dollhouse but I really feel like they protected us. They didn't have to give us season 2 and they did. That says something. But this is a brand new day! They have finally learned what we are worth and that makes me feel loved.

Highfive Fox. You earned it.

This is part of our ongoing "Buffy Movie" coverage. You can read our posts here and here.
To see what others are saying about this, check out Action Flick Chick's Reboot Reactions roundup here.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Musical Friday - VideoSongs, An Educational Tour Through Music History

Hey Getsuyobi!  Just what is this crazy VideoSong thing I keep hearing about?

I'm glad you asked, Timmy.  A VideoSong is a form of music video that is posted on the "Inter-Web."  Artist Jack Conte is the one who pioneered the novel concept of actually singing and playing instruments in order to make music, something that has not been actively practiced in America since the late 60's.

Wowee!  That's educational!  So, what makes a VideoSong different from any other music video?

 Jack Conte defines a VideoSong by two main principles:
  1. What you see is what you hear. (No lip-syncing for instruments or voice)
  2. If you hear it, at some point you see it. (No hidden sounds)
So, throughout the video you'll see each instrument as it's contributing.  The end result is an exciting look at how real music is made.  Let's take a look at a VideoSong, so you can get a better idea.

Gee wiz.  This sure is different from all the music videos I see on TV.  I didn't see a single whore the whole video.  Are you allowed to make music videos without whores?

Well Timmy, I can't speak for these people personally; however, they certainly don't appear to be whores.  It's a common misconception by today's youth that all musicians either are themselves, or constantly associate with "ladies of questionable upbringing."  Historians have proven that this trend first began in prehistoric times with a musical group that called themselves Sonny & Cher.  Little is known about these prehistoric musicians, but our fossil-oligists believe that the one known as Cher lived to be thousands of years old before fading away into obscurity.

History is confusing.  My whole world is turning upside down.

Let's watch another!

So, people actually used to play music with instruments?  I thought music just came out of fast cars and explosions, then sexy people would sing around them.

Wow Timmy.  You really are a brainwashed little guy, aren't you.  No more MTV for you... in fact, no more TV altogether.

What's a TV?  I steal all of my entertainment from the web.

What the hell kind of child are you?!  Watch another video while I call your parents...

Okay, Timmy. I spoke with your Mother and she assured me that you are just an average America child.  I'm going to end our educational session for today and go drink.

Red Bull?

You're only eight years old!!!

I cut it with milk.

::facepalm::  I weep for the future.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Confessions of a Former Mafia Wars Addict

Why and how I finally left Mafia Wars:

If you’re on Facebook or MySpace, then you’re probably familiar with a little game called Mafia Wars. Or maybe you know one of its less violent sister games like Farmville, YoVille or CafĂ© World. Mafia Wars is a click game that was conceived by the diabolically brilliant minds at Zynga Games. It takes you through various jobs and fights and locations as you gain power in the underworld.

When I first started playing, it seemed like a fun way to kill a little time and have some fun with friends I don’t get to see often, but as time went on, I noticed my fun little game became less fun and more of a need. In my mafia, I was the player at the highest level and was one of its most powerful members. I was willing to do almost anything to stay that way, even if it meant playing several times a day, or worse, spending money so I can get reward points to get better loot and refresh my stats. What can I say? I never had a gaming console growing up and can't afford a game like World of Warcraft. (Seriously, this is a poor & lazy man's version of WoW)

So what made me finally say enough was enough? Easy. The game itself. Several months before I finally stopped, I woke up to the fact that I wasn’t enjoying the game as much, but I figured they were adding new features so it was bound to get better. Bangkok had been disappointing because, while it offered some new features, it was really expensive and took a long time to finish. Each time a new city was added I would jump on it, and I was really excited when they announced they were adding Las Vegas. It was supposed to be completely different from the previous cities. Zynga promised a completely different experience and in that sense, they delivered.

Las Vegas was a welcomed change. The images were gorgeous, the set up was different and for the first time in a long while, I was having fun with game again. At least I was until I got to the boss fights on the last level of each stage.

One of the goals of Mafia Wars is to work together with your friends to conquer the cities. It’s a great idea. It lets you socialize with your people and maybe make new friends. There are forums and groups dedicated to finding new members for your mafia. However, for someone like me, who didn’t want to go trolling the boards for strangers, Las Vegas became a huge problem. In the new version, when you got to level four of each level's final boss fight, if you didn’t have many people helping you, you couldn’t advance. There are tricks you can do to help yourself, but Zynga took that into account, and made those bosses regenerate health after a few minutes. So not only did you have to have people helping you, but you had to receive help immediately. Where’s the fun in that?

That’s what made me snap. Here I was, a reasonably powerful player, and I couldn’t finish the damn level because I didn’t have enough people to help me. Not to mention, in my desire to beat the stupid game, I went on a small spending binge to try and get more powerful. Nothing worked. I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t happy in the game, but I couldn’t bring myself to quit; I'd spent three or four years building up my mafia. But I wanted to. I really did.

Then a tiny miracle appeared in the form of New York Comic Con. I tried to keep up with it, but I was so busy during the day and without my computer, then so exhausted at night, I just didn’t have the energy to play. It was a weird time. I felt the lure of the game. I wanted to play so badly, but I knew if I was ever going to quit, now was the time because I wasn’t going to be that busy any other time in the near future. So I stayed away.

The days after NYCC were the worst. I was going through Con and Mafia Wars withdrawal. It might sound odd talking about it like an addiction, but that’s what it felt like. I craved the game. Every time a friend requested help or sent me a gift, I wanted to respond, but I knew if I did, I’d be sucked back in. I tried playing a few of the other click games I liked to take the edge off, but that just made things worse. I started getting extra obsessive about them. Finally, after a couple of weeks, I hid all Mafia Wars posts from my wall. I told my friends I was slowly leaving the game, but I wanted to try and help out a few people before I went, as long as it was under supervision. I didn’t trust myself.

I never got around to helping anyone out, but recently, I felt like I could handle going back into the game to give out some of my loot. I’ll admit I fell off the wagon and played a little in Bangkok. I really did want to finish it, and it was gnawing at me, so I spent a few days finishing level one. I don't know why this was bothering me so much, but I didn't feel like I could completely leave the game unless I completed it. While I was playing, I started to feel those same obsessive twinges again and I didn’t like it. I could have easily just gone nuts again, but I didn't, and as soon as I finished level one I deleted my account. 

I would be lying if I said I didn't ever want to play again. I still do. I miss sending gifts to my friends and helping them out. I miss leveling and getting cool loot, but there are a lot of things I don't, such as having a very cluttered wall or cluttering up my non-playing friends' walls with help requests or feeling the pressure to complete the limited missions. But you know what I really don't miss? The pressure for keep leveling or finish the various cities as quickly as possible. The fact is the biggest feeling I felt when I deleted the account was relief. I felt like I could breathe a little easier, and I wouldn't trade that for anything. Now I just need to find a way to channel all that pent up "gaming" energy. Anyone want to get me a console?