Tag Archives: Batman

Comics: The Heart and Soul of Comic-Con (Caitlin)

It seems like it should going without saying, right? Comics and comic culture should be a big part of why people go to SDCC; however, for better or for worse, SDCC covers a lot more ground these days. Movies, television shows (even Glee? REALLY?), toys, webcomics (if you want to go comics-on-comics-meta, read The Gutters), tech/nerd toys and collectibles…I could go on. Now, as excited as I am to go to panels for things like Supernatural and Venture Bros., Hall H gods willing, I cannot wait to see some of my favorite comic book writers and artists. The list of special guests for this year’s SDCC  is a work in progress, according to their website, but I see some big names that make me smile!

CONFIRMED:

Grant Morrison
Yeah, he’s the crazy bastard who made Batman a pirate. The picture of him in this year’s SDCC annual (which is the same picture in Adam’s post below) makes Mr.

He was also a caveman.

Morrison look like a Bond villain. These are all…choices. Still, Grant Morrison is one of the top names in comics for a reason. All-Star Superman, Arkham Asylum, Batman and Robin (though his run has ended, his influence lives on in the current storyline), and Batman Inc. (which is an exceptionally fun read with astounding art, so stop what you’re doing and go catch up) are just some of his works for DC. The guy’s done a ton of stuff for Marvel, as well. He’s not Alan Moore talking-to-the-snake-gods-in-his-beard nuts, but he manages to juggle entirely silly amounts of references and character moments and plot points that you want to point at him and scream “You convoluted jerk! I’m going to be SO MAD when the smoke monster turns out to be some autistic Robin’s dream!”, but really…I can’t be mad at you, Grant Morrison. Please autograph my tits so I can get a tattoo of it.

Jo Chen
Don’t worry, dear readers, I won’t ask Jo Chen to sign my tits. She seems like a classy lady. Jo Chen is responsible for the stunning covers that accompany Buffy

Our Lady of Joss.

the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight. I have a special place in my heart for Chen’s work after Melinda and I stumbled upon a poster of her “Buffy with scythe” painting that had been signed by Joss Whedon and Chen herself at Forbidden Planet in NYC. Melinda put white candles around it on sconces and calls the painting “Our Lady of Joss”. Jo Chen’s iconic art has helped keep the Buffy legend alive and well, and for that I’m grateful.

Ed Benes
While his iteration of the Huntress costume is not my favorite (belly window +

Don't fuck with Oracle.

ass hanging out = FAIL), Ed Benes gave Gail Simone’s Birds of Prey a distinctive look that I can certainly appreciate. His art has a great sense of action, which is important for a team of badass ladies like the Birds. The SDCC website indicates that this year’s con will be his first US con appearance ever, which makes the occasion quite special!

 

 

WISHING AND HOPING:

Gail Simone
The writer for Birds of Prey, Secret Six, and a bunch of other stuff I care about, Gail Simone writes for those who enjoy badass, pro-GLBT characters with a sick sense of humor. Her Secret Six is easily one of the most wonderfully bizarre things on the market right now, and there’s no way to hate her Birds of Prey. Gail Simone made Hawk and Dove cool again, with the assist from Geoff Johns in his master plan for Blackest Night/Brightest Day, no easy task there. Her Huntress is a kick-ass woman, and it’s clear she loves the character even more than I do (which is to say, a LOT). Ms. Simone has also written some fantastic episodes of Justice League Unlimited and Batman: Brave and the Bold.

Bryan Q. Miller
The man behind the current run of Batgirl, Mr. Miller is known for his quirky dialogue that isn’t entirely unlike Whedon-speak (anyone who grew up with Buffy, Angel, and the like know what I’m talking about). He took a Batgirl a lot of
us weren’t sure about initially–Stephanie Brown–and made her likable and worthy of the cowl at the same time. Mr. Miller also wrote some of the better episodes of Smallville. Yes, I said it. Smallville. Got a problem with my not-so-secret nerd shame? (Side note: it’s okay to admit to watching Smallville. I promise. It’s the highest damn rated show on the CW, has been for years, so trust me when I say you’re not the only one watching.)

So what comic creators/writers/artists are you hoping to see this year at SDCC? Who have you seen at SDCC in the past that made you wet your pants with excitement/surprise/abstract horror? Shamelessly name drop in the comments!

Excited About Comics (Adam)

Sooo excited that we got our hotel setup and are one step closer to being at comic-con!  To prep for SDCC, I’ve been getting back into my comic roots. I used to work in a comic shop for 3 years during high-school. It’s probably one of the best jobs a nerd could ask for, especially at that age. However since my youth I grew apart from working with comics and these past months I’ve been working to get caught up in the comic book universe. Particularly Batman, because he is my favorite. I currently don’t have time to be catching up on the major publishers, so I’ve decided for now to just focus on DC. However if anyone has suggestions, leave a comment letting me know what is currently a “must read”! I am really trying to catch up in time for comic-con!

Getting caught up is hard! You leave a universe for 6-7 years and a lot happens! Apparently there was this thing called Infinite Crisis that hit right when I stopped reading, which sprung a bunch of other Crisis books and now we have the Green Lantern based Blackest Night series in 2010, which has NOW turned into Brightest Day. At least its not another crisis (or IS it?). There is so much to figure out in the DC universe since I left it.  I’ve been going through and catching up on a lot of the history which is ultimately leading up to Blackest Night.  My hope is to be caught up on Brightest Day by comic-con.

Besides Blackest Night, I’ve been catching up primarily on LOTS of Batman. I’ve recently finished up The Return of Bruce Wayne and I’ve moved on to Batman Inc. and the traditional back to basics Batman. Its always good to have an ongoing series to follow in your life and I’ve been enjoying these a lot. Also…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Batman’s a PIRATE! Also a Caveman, Pilgrim and Cowboy. I’m excited with the Batman stories and where they have been in recent months. Can’t wait to see where this is all leading! Also Bruce Wayne recruiting people is a cool concept that I really can get behind. It just makes a lot of sense to me and I’m glad they have A) brought him back and B) are moving him in an interesting / new direction. I have also recently made the realization that a lot of this new Batman work is coming from someone I remember from way back in the day, Grant Morrison.

Yup, Grant Morrison. I remember him from back when I was in my comic shop days. Back then he was doing X-Men and shit (among other things, probably drugs), and now he is back on DC! It is really cool to see someone who I liked back then still making things happen in the comic world today. I’ve gotten even MORE excited now that I can go to Comic-con and MEET him. Really powerful stuff.

I think that the stories which come out of comics are the most interesting part. Thats why when writers, like Grant Morrison, get it right I’ll normally pick up whatever they tend to write out of principal. (Used to be into Warren Ellis like that, but he doesn’t really write much now. ❤ Planetary)

There are a ton of people from the industry that will be at SDCC this year and I’m very excited to meet them. Without the people behind comics, we wouldn’t have something as awesome as comic-con this year. I feel its really important to show these writers, artists, producers and publishers that their fans not only care about their creations but the people behind them. A lot of fans go to SDCC for other media, mainly films and television. But the core is comics. People forget that the reason we are there is because of comics.

To check out some of the people that are going to be there, hopefully you already have, check out the list of guests currently attending.

http://www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_guests.php

You should also walk down Artists Alley at least once while there. Check out the new talent. Today’s asshole in a Star Wars shirt could be tomorrow’s Stan Lee (in a Star Wars shirt). Who knows?

It’s going to be a great time this year at SDCC and can’t wait for all the comic goodness that awaits on my arrival!

TANGENT TIME! My Wonder Woman Conundrum (Melinda)

TANGENT TIME!

… as the title so states.

 

I am about to do something very dangerous on the internet.

I am going to express an opinion.

You have been warned.

 

So I’ve been trying to figure out more cosplay stuff and when in doing so, I have come across a conundrum that I wanted to share with the group. So here is a little insight into the mind and workings of Miss Melinda….

which will be swiftly followed by an explanation.

I am a huge Wonder Woman fan. Always have been. Which, for the record, is STUPID difficult considering the amount of crap that Wonder Woman fans have had to endure, from bad story telling, to MORE bad story telling, to invisible planes, the entire Golden Age, plot holes, origin changes and overall, a very VERY stupid costume.

For more information on why most people hate Wonder Woman, please refer to this…

http://www.toplessrobot.com/2008/08/10_reasons_no_one_cares_about_wonder_woman.php?page=1

So think of how happy I must have been in recent days! Wonder Woman comics are finally selling better than they ever have before! The “Blackest Night” 3 issue arc turning Diana into a Violet Lantern was the beginning of the awesome. This was quickly followed by the Issue #600 where we have seen the resurgence of a fabulously well written Wonder Woman story line as well as a very interesting new costume.

And herein lies my conundrum dear readers.

I absolutely positively adore the new Wonder Woman Costume.

I think its brilliant. I want to cosplay as her  for Comic-Con. But I can’t because most people absolutely abhor it.

So I want to take a moment and talk about the new Wondy duds in hopes of possibly changing a few minds and making this a more acceptable cos option, if not for me for this summer, then for Wonder Woman fans of the future.

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As we can see via this lovely, well, what I am going to call diagram, the Wonder Woman costume has already evolved over the years. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. No matter what though they very rarely deviate from the original design that creator William Moulton Marston came up with back in the 1940s. Amazonian Princess Diana, later referred to as Diana Prince or Wonder Woman, was based on the combination of Marston’s wife Elizabeth and Olive Byrne, the woman who lived with the Marstons is a poly amorous relationships.  She was adorned with the colors of the United States of America as a symbol of her fighting for the American people against the Nazis. Now, I’m not going to encourage people to actually look up the background of William Marston but if one so chooses to, one will see what an… interesting individual he was when it came to sexual proclivities. You can also see a lot of this implied in the original design for the Wonder Woman costume.

Metal Belts and Cuffs, threaded heels, corset top and a golden lasso used to tie men up to make them tell the truth. While innocent looking enough, the original costume made Wonder Woman into an instant sex symbol through the sheer basis that it is based out of bondage.

So you would think that over the years, maybe with a character who is so intent on representing women, we night be able to give her a little more fabric to cover her ass. After all, Wonder Woman is running around doing a ton of shit for humanity. She shouldn’t be worried about having her boobs pop out or getting a bikini wax every week. But nay sir. We have in fact taken things OFF the costume over the years as a result. The iconic Wonder Woman  that we knew until recent days was in what is essentially a one piece strapless bathing suit. Don’t let this smiley photo fool you. I bet if you could hear this cartoon talk she would be very displeased at the fact that she has to fight space monsters and meta-humans in heels and an outfit commonly used for nerdy comic fetishism. Do you want to fight Doomsday in that? I don’t. And thats one of the ultimate Wonder Woman problems that has developed over the years. She is the ultimate DC Universe sex symbol, but for all the wrong reasons. This confident Princess stands up for the rights all women everywhere and is the embodiment of Love in many cases in the DC Universe, “Blackest Night” again being one of the biggest and most recent examples. She is a shining example to young girls who want to grow up to be superheros. And she has been reduced to this…

The representation of the ultimate female superhero done in body paint for Playboy. Good job America. We should be super proud of ourselves. For more examples of the objectification of Wonder Woman, go rent the new Justice League porn just released by Hustler in which my childhood hero sexually services the entire Justice League. And while you do that I’m going to go vomit from anger.

Ever see the old Lynda Carter Wonder Woman television series? That poor woman, even with the utmost respect for the character she was portraying, had to try to fight Nazis, gorillas and other such nonsense in an outfit that barely stays on her.  It’s like going to the grocery store in a prom dress. Completely impractical and most likely detrimental to the actions you are trying to accomplish.

Another thing worth mentioning in all this is that Diana, Princess of the Amazonians, has also evolved over the years into Diana Prince, Diplomat, Secret Agent and Defender of Earth. It made sense for the longest time for her to continue to don the colors and symbols of America. much like her counterpart and fellow Justice Leaguer, Superman. But with the more recent plot revelations within her current story (*SPOILERS*), the American government has attacked her home and forced her people to flee to the corners of the world in hiding. Upon killing Maxwell Lord (*CONTINUOUS SPOILERS*), Wonder Woman became a fugitive, making the government see her as a rogue super human. Her current story line actually has her running from the American government as they try to wipe out whats left of her people. Her priorities have shifted. She no longer defends the Americans. They are trying to kill her and her entire culture. So why should she be wearing their flag right now? That seems a little silly if you ask me.

Other superhero’s costumes have evolved with their stories. Green Arrow got rid of the stupid little hat and looks more like the guy from “Smallville” now. It’s more practical for his current story of hiding out in magical makeshift Sherwood in “Brightest Day”. That… did not sound as serious as I wanted it to, but if you read the series you know what I mean. Batman has gone from tights and spandex to frickin’ body armor. It makes more sense considering he’s taking on more than just painted Gotham thieves. Adam West fought villains with gas bombs and other clever gadgets. Now they all have guns. And meta human abilities. And they freaking KILL PEOPLE. The stories have just elevated over the years. These men’s costumes haven’t changed too dramatically because they had a solid base to begin with. Wonder Woman has kind of sort of always looked like a flying pinup girl. Unlike the guys, you’re going to have to change a whole heck of a lot more to make it practical.

And so here we are at the final costume in question.

If the badassery of this photo does not have you sold, maybe the fact that WONDER WOMAN FINALLY EARNED SOME FUCKING PANTS will persuade you. The metal pieces actually look like they were forged by the gods instead of by Barbie toy makers. The arm wraps have a fabulous “Spartan” element to them that keeps the femininity of the outfit. The colors and symbols are still there but they in no way represent America. Even the jacket seems in character, for in many of her issues pre “Blackest Night” she was doing things such as shopping with Black Canary, queen of the black leather jacket. She is a modern woman with modern and practical tastes. Maybe it gets freaking cold as shit when she’s flying around all over the world. I’m sure as well as pants that Wonder Woman has earned sleeves after decades of saving the world. And she doesn’t wear the jacket that often, again, because its not always practical. Also no more high heels. Because in no way did that make any fucking sense. Ever. For once, she looks like a goddamn BAMF instead of something you should see in a Teletubies bondage porno.

Overall, Wonder Woman is not a pretty pretty Princess anymore. She is a Queen among a race of women who have been blessed by the Gods. And she is PISSED. The costume is vastly different than anything else we have ever seen her wear, but every piece is justified in her character lore. The real problem is not that she has a shitty costume now, its that she had a shitty costume to begin with. I hope that a few people will read this and have a change of heart so that people like me don’t feel embarrassed to embrace this fabulous new look for a superhero who is long overdue for a little respect.

Wonder Woman has endured a lot of crap over the years. A lot of crap. And we the fans have had to endure it too. So come on.

Wonder Woman deserves pants.

Playing Dress Up: the Start of my Cosplay Work (Melinda)

So, while most little girls liked to dress up as Disney princesses as a kid, I wanted to be Batman. Well, Batgirl, but you get the idea. I started cosing when I went to a few VERY small local cons when I was in highschool, but nothing too intense. That’s kind of my only con experience, going to these small venues with  one main celebrity that the whole event was really based around. I went with friends and it was fun but it was never anything incredibly intense.

Now I just do stuff like this in my spare time. Dress up like Clark Kent and get my picture taken.

So naturally one of the things I am SUPER excited about is the idea of cosplay for SDCC. Its like prom, but for people like meeee(nerds)eeeeee! 😀 I get to wear a kick ass outfit that I am super proud of, that I have built/put together myself representing some of my favorite things in the nerd community.  So I’ve been putting a lot of work into research these past few months, before we even had tickets. That’s just how excited I was. I really REALLY wanted to dress up!! Bare with me on my girlish moments…

I have made some very interesting discoveries as a result. Back when I was a kid cosing as Wonder Girl in jeans and a tee-shirt, it was about people throwing in representation for their favorite things. Of course there were folks who got super into it, but they were fewer and farther between, thought that may have just been because of the venues I was at. Often times when I went to con, it seemed like there was a big college costume party and the theme was “Awesome”.

This is no longer the case. It would seem that cosing has taken on a sense of professionally that border lines on ridiculous. And by ridiculous I mean SUPER AWESOME. People building full on body armor, spending years and (literally) thousands of dollars on the costumes that they build out of sheer love. It is so cool. But with SDCC being the red carpet event of the geeky year, it also means that we have to raise the bar for ourselves. As cool as it would be to get featured on a website as some of the coolest costumes there, my greater fear is to be ridiculed on the internet for doing it half assed.

I will not be a half asser! And with that declaration, here’s some of the work I’ve been putting in the past few months, leading into Comic-Con!

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So, the friends and I have been planning some group costumes and some separates, but I’ve got a breakdown of both group and non group stuff that I’ve been researching that I am super excited about. The biggest thing for me has been picking characters that I can balance quality and cost with. How can I make stuff look awesome/at a pro level on a small budget? I’m also not much of a seamstress, though I want to learn more. So since I can’t build something from the ground up, the past few months have been scouring the internet for base pieces that I can add little things to. I feel like I don’t need to spend thousands of dollars in order to put together something awesome. I have given myself a meek budget, which honestly I think creates more of a fun challenge.

As a result of cost though, I’ve been working with the idea of doing three mild to medium priced costumes and only one on the pricier side. For now they’re all conceptual, but as I start to gather everything I plan to post production photos and the like for all to see! 🙂 So lets dive right in!

Group Costume: ARCHER

So one of the best new animated shows of the past year, in my humble opinion, has been FX’s smash hit “Archer”. Created by Adam Reed (Frisky Dingo) it is the thrilling and epic tale of Sterling Archer, Codename Duchess, the most inept super spy you will ever meet. Accompanied by his “crack” team of office drones and his partner Lana, Archer works for one of the top spy agencies of the world, which also happens to be run by his overbearing mother, ex black ops agent Mallory Archer. If you’ve never checked out the show, I highly recommend it. Running on FX, it has recently just started its second season.

Its new, its hip, it’s all the rage! So that’s what we shall be cosing as this year. We’re thinking we would probably do this on the day of the Archer panel. I should clarify that one has not been announced yet, BUT there was one last year, so presumably with its great success there will be one again. Adam will be going as our “hero” Sterling Archer and Caitlin will be the lovely Malory Archer. I will be going as the auto-erotic asphyxiation enthusiast/secretary, Carol. Or Cheryl. Or Crystal. She changes her name to fit her mood. Also because no one ever remembers it.

The episode I’m choosing to model the cos after is “Diversity Hire”. Carol normally wears a skirt and shirt kind of ensemble, but in episodes where she becomes obsessed with people sleeping with her, she usually is wearing something that she can rip open pretty quickly.

These are the reference photos I have so far.

I will be the first to admit that these photos are not very good. lol. Please bear with me. Or watch the episode. Either/or shall suit you well dear readers.

Unlike the lovely but slutty lady in the photos, I do not plan on ripping off my top every five minutes, so in order to keep it slightly more simple, I have decided to go with a dress instead of the skirt and matching button down top. The hair should be easy enough, a simple but big bun. I’m hoping to find one of those old 90’s “Snap a Bun” things to add heightened volume and shape. Also I feel like one of those would be hilarious to own.

This is the base dress that I am planning to acquire.

It still has the buttons, so if I want to alter the outfit into a two piece then I am more than able to, but the crispness of the outfit and the boldness of the colors I think will be iconic enough, though fans of the show if you disagree, I would love to hear your opinions!

The other thing about a show like Archer is the iconic nature of the characters isn’t what they wear. It is the jokes they are associated with. Adding props or makeup additions seem to be a neat, cheap way to really accentuate a character. To make this outfit more recognizable, I want to add two major adjustments. For starters, I want to wear a series of “Hello my Name is” nametags with all of the names she comes up with on the show. Another one of my favorite aspects/jokes is Carol’s intense need to have people choke her all the time. Another little aspect that I thought would make the cos “pop” so to speak would be to have red hand marks around my neck to indicate a recent choking. I felt that would be something easy that would make the character shine through, not just the costume. But again, I don’t know. Fans of the show, what do you think? Too much?

Anyways, I will do another post later this week with the other three costume ideas. I would love to hear feedback on this one though for people who are familiar with the show! So far I think the concept is off to a pretty great start. Can’t wait to start putting it in action!