Sunday, October 31, 2010

Over at Big Island Rachel's Books...

Did you know that Big Island Rachel does book reviews of whatever she feels like reviewing between being awesomely dorkish and dorkishly awesome? I prefer books written by women, followed by the subcategories of scifi, fantasy, and comic books. Check out the latest reviews of "The Lovely Bones" and "A Thousand Acres" at

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October Round-Up

It's been a hell of a month. I'm skipping Halloween to try and catch up on things like my reading and housekeeping--there are dust bunnies under my bed the size of my fist--so here's a quick rundown of what we've missed since Comic-Con.

The weekend after the Con I went to Dalohnega, Georgia. You will never be able to pronounce the name of that town after seeing it in print. I was doing fine until I saw the sign at the freeway exit, and immediately my mind became unable to process the world. Dah-LON-neh-gah. We had boiled p-nuts and saw dear old friends from back in the Ka'u days.

Then me mum stayed with me. She got me a piggy whisk and a big bowl, so now I can make pancakes, and also a frame for my Katie Cook Kitty-Batman drawing. On Sunday, we jlangjlanged through Central Park, watched a dude fly a kite, and discovered a Whispering Bench in the Shakespeare Garden.

If all of this sounds like elaborate French Resistance code from World War II--or Red Dawn--that's okay. The chair is against the wall.

Monday, October 11, 2010

New York Comic Con 2010, Day 3

I almost didn't go. I woke up with nasty aches in my shoulders and hips and the stench of unwashed bespandexed nerd still in my nostrils and almost said, "F**k it, I'm staying in and having an omelet."

But then I remembered: that's not how I roll. I'm Big Island Rachel. I went back to Comic Con.

And boy, was I glad I did. Since Sunday is family day, there were a lot of families with little kidlets dressed up in their superhero costumes. It brings me back to my small kid days when I would dress up as Catwoman and kick it in the woods with my Barbies. Good times.

Nostalgia aside, it's eminently more practical to hit the exhibition floor early on the last day of the con. It's relatively deserted! "Relatively" meaning we weren't crammed in there asses to armpits and I could actually walk around without feeling like I was caught in a zombie epidemic without my shotgun. There were still a lot of people, but it was manageable. And, since it was Sunday, all of the vendors were trying to get rid of their wares. Here's what I got, all of it free, which is my favorite price range.
Now, here is why I like DC better than Marvel. (I think I said in one of my earlier blog posts that I liked Marvel better, but that was only because I'd just finished re-watching "X-Men: Evolution." Now we all know where I really stand.) Of the 28 free comic books I got at the con yesterday, 3 were independent presses, 4 were Marvel, and a whopping 21 were DC. I also got a Black Lantern Ring, a Flash ring, a Flash button, a Wonder Woman button, a Wonder Woman poster, a Justice League Brightest Day poster, and a Batman button at the DC booth. Marvel had no such tokens at their booth, and one of their "comic books" turned out to be a preview catalog for their December titles. What the hell, Marvel? Is this how you pull in new readers? DC wooed me like a blue-footed boobie doing its mating dance on the shores of Pearl Atoll, giving me the first issues of several ongoing titles (or good starting-off points of long-running titles like Batman & Robin) for their Vertigo, DC, and Wildstorm imprints--and Wildstorm is shutting down at the end of the year! Talk about having faith in your product. I spend half of yesterday and most of today getting sucked into "Astro City," "Scalped," iZombie," "Justice League of America," "Batman & Robin," "American Vampire," and "Jack of Fables," among others. DC's marketing strategy worked; I'm totally going to build a nest for my blue-footed boobie eggs--I mean, start buying these titles in the store.

Sorry, Marvel. Your inferior swag lost you a customer. Release a one-shot where Dazzler challenges Godzilla to basketball and maybe we'll talk.

So that's it for New York Comic Con 2010! You can read about Day 1 here, Day 2 here, and view my photos of the event here. Now if you'll excuse me, that "Green Arrow" isn't going to read itself.

New York Comic Con 2010 Day 2

This is my third year living in New York and I still managed to ride the subway in the wrong direction for three stops before I noticed my mistake. Thank goodness for the unlimited ride Metro card.

But I righted myself and was outside Penn Station at 10am, just in time to meet Superdog. Superdog's human and I were both late to meet people outside the Javits Center and the crosstown bus was no where in sight. "You want to share a cab?" she asked me (the human, not the dog). I said, "You know, I've lived in New York for two years and I've never shared a cab before? Let's do it!" So I cabbed to Comic Con with Superdog.

Saturday is a terrible day to be at the con. There were 80,000 people attending and the exhibition floor was so crowded that I nearly panicked like on the day of the Mermaid Parade, except here there was no parade barrier I could jump to get out of the seething mob. I just had to keep my cool long enough to get back to Artists Alley, where I got a hand-drawn and signed Batman Kitty from indie comic artist Katie Cook. I popped into the MTV Geek panel long enough to see Stan Lee speak, cuz dude is ancient and each con could be his last. Then I saw some stand-up at the Geek Comedy Tour stage and got one of my Authority paperbacks signed by its writer, Andy Lanning while my friend Reg attended the Voiceover in Animation panel.
While waiting for the Vertigo panel to start, we got sucked into conversation with a cultural stereotype: fat pasty guy who wouldn't shut up about a comic book character he'd created. People like him drag the rest of us down.

And people like Catwoman here lift us up. I hung out with this woman the day that I was an extra on the set of "Bored to Death," and recognized her instantly because of the quality of her costume. She made it herself from the same material and design as Julie Newmar's Catwoman costume in the 1960s Batman show.

The Vertigo panel was kind of boring. Shame--that's the imprint I read most often. I've noticed that the panels with the longest lines aren't necessarily the most entertaining, especially if they're the big name companies putting all of their big-gun artists and writers on stage together. These people rarely see each other, so watching them is like being at a very awkward cocktail party.

No, for me, the best panels are the small niche ones, like Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep? because the panelists all know each other and they aren't trying to sell you anything. The Comics Alliance panel was awesome, too, good rapport amongst the panelists, AND they gave out DC-themed Hostess snack cakes to audience members who asked questions. The Flash cakes were okay, basically just a cupcake with red icing, but the Green Lantern Glo-Balls were VILE. First of all, I don't want to eat Green Lantern's balls; and second, the layer of green coconut marshmallow icing smothering the whole thing tastes and feels like chewing on a condom.

I had two.

Spending all day at the con is exhausting. I wanted to leave after the Vertigo panel--Reg and I were both nodding off in our chairs--but there was a panel I desperately wanted to see at 8:30, so I just attended four panels back to back. At least then I could be sitting down. After Vertigo, Comics Alliance, the zombie panel, and the LGBT in Comics panel (which was a lot less interesting than it should have been), it was finally time for my most anticipated event of the day: ItsJustSomeRandomPanel with ItsJustSomeRandomGuy. IJSRG has a YouTube channel where he uses his superhero action figures and some Barbies to act out these Marvel/DC crossover stories he writes with his wife. They are flipping awesome. It was the second-longest line I stood in at the whole con, and it was totally worth it.

To summarize then: Superdog, enormous mob, Stan Lee, zombies, Glo-Balls, guy with dolls. Day 2 of NYCC. View all the photos on my Flickr stream.