Month: January 2016

DC’s Dawn of the Justice League: Wonder Woman and Suicide Squad

On the CW earlier this week, the network presented a special hosted by Kevin Smith and Geoff Johns. DC Comics: Dawn of the Justice League gave us sneak peeks at the 2017 movie Wonder Woman featuring Gal Gadot and the first trailer for Suicide Squad that we’ve seen since the sneak peek at SDCC 2015.

johns and smith

Johns and Smith discussing Wonder Woman on the CW’s DC Comics: Dawn of the Justice League

The Wonder Woman exclusive showed the heroine moving through the ages and basically being a badass. Gal Gadot brings Wonder Woman to life fantastically, and I can’t wait to see the full length feature. Gratefully, Smith and Johns seem excited as I am about Diana Prince coming to the big screen, and described her as a “feminist icon”.  I can’t argue.

biased

I may be a bit biased when it comes to Wonder Woman.

What Marvel missed in the film department, DC picked up on – women and young girls are so there for leading ladies, and I think we’ll be seeing a shift in representation. Recently in regards to Star Wars, it was pointed out that Disney didn’t push Rey merchandise – or have any. They said they didn’t want to give away spoilers, but many fans were left asking, “Bitch, where?” GQ (the magazine using sexy women asking for your email to get you to sign up for their mailing list) pointed out that looking at The Avengers merchandise from 2012, Black Widow was inexplicably absent from shelves with no spoilers linked to the character. The excuse is weak. My youngest son, who was five years old when Avengers came out, asked the same thing, and again with better diction and genuine concern when Age of Ultron was released. Kids pay attention. Hopefully we’ll get a metric ton of Wonder Woman gear for both men and women – and don’t be going pink on me, DC.

The Suicide Squad trailer seduced us with a little “Bohemian Rhapsody” and had a great look, but I’m hesitant to throw all my excitement into this because of the over-hype regarding Jared Leto’s Joker. Personally, as I’m sure everyone does, I have characters I fall in love with written in one way and when seeing them written/portrayed in another way I squint until I’m sure I can let go and enjoy the incarnation I’m seeing. Part of me is worried that Leto’s portrayal will be a brightly colored Kylo Ren – a character believing they’re a badass and completely intimidating, but in actuality is a whiny brat that everyone just wants to avoid any interaction with, and not just because they might be killed. But, I trust David Ayer and John Ostrander to bring a good story, and that’s where the root of the film lies. Besides my character bias, I’m generally a watch and see kind of person – I’ll wade through the negative reviews and give something a chance to see for myself if the criticisms have merit and then make my opinion. So far from what I’ve seen of Suicide Squad, I’m here for Harley Quinn and Deadshot. Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn) and Will Smith (Deadshot) stood out in the initial SDCC first look and the trailer shown during the CW special, and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller seems to mirror her outstanding performance as Analise Keating on How to Get Away With Murder. Those three actors alone have me interested in seeing what this movie brings – Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, Jay Hernandez as El Diablo, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg, and Adam Beach as Slipknot gives me something else to look forward to and I can’t help but do some cheering for a diverse cast. 

I hope that we’ll see more specials like this in the future, and not just from DC. The Marvel look into Captain America was wonderful from a historical perspective and the impact comic book characters and representation have on audiences, and my boys loved watching the Justice League special. Kevin Smith’s never ending enthusiasm for comic books makes him an ideal host for these kinds of shows. More content like this, please.


 

On an adorable note: Kevin Smith cooed over Harley Quinn’s bat at the end of DC Comic’s Justice League special, and later brought the bat home to his daughter – Harley Quinn Smith.

She cried on Instagram, asserting her desire to one day play the role of her namesake saying, “I’m not joking when I say I cried for an hour.”

harleyquinnbaseballbatsuicidesquad-166888

Harley Quinn Smith with the Good Night bat Margot Robbie used in her role as Harley Quinn for 2016’s Suicide Squad.

[full story at comicbook.com] If that’s not the cutest damn thing you’ve seen today, at least it’s a great example of how these characters, whether they be heroes or villains, and the opportunity to play them mean so much.

Meanwhile, I’ll be over here patiently waiting for 2017 and the Wonder Woman movie, and not thinking about how tiny Harley Quinn Smith was when she played Mini-Silent Bob in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and how I watched that movie in theaters with my friends the beginning of my senior year of high school. I hope all your dreams come true, kiddo. Just stop making me feel old.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Contemplating Convention

When I was seven years old, I attended my first Creation convention. My father coached me repeatedly before we got to the front of the line, ensuring that I said my birthday was in 1985, not 1984, because children six and under were free or at a substantially discounted price. I don’t remember how it went down because when you’re a kid and Klingons are walking around, you don’t pay attention to the ticket table. I walked away with a red Star Trek uniform with captain rank just like my fave, Jean-Luc Picard. I looked awesome.

star trek Ash

See? Awesome.

This was in the early 90s in Chicago, and I didn’t attend another convention until this past year, the first weekend of November 2015 in Denver, Colorado. My father told me I’d be fine despite my anxiety because, after all, I’d been to a convention before. But what he didn’t realize was that there’s a big difference between a child experiencing her favorite fandom with her geeky dad and a thirty-one year old mother of two attending a convention alone with over two hundred strangers. But I was reassured time and time again that with Supernatural fans, we’re more than a fandom – we’re a family.

After my experience at DenverCon, I questioned if I wanted to ever go to a convention again. It wasn’t that I had a negative experience, but having been there, done that, I had more personal impressions to reflect on when thinking about future conventions. Many con-goers are no stranger to Creation events or even plan to go to another convention as soon as their first is over; others are more hesitant. I realized that there are probably hundreds if not thousands of people who wonder if it would be worth it to attend a convention, and in an effort to provide as unbiased a position as possible, here I’m going to unpack the pros and cons of attending a Supernatural convention and explain the convention itself, including pre- and post-con experiences, as well as some of the other aspects of fandom that might be worthy of consideration.

(more…)

Of Motherhood and Geeky Children

I had a strange day today.

I’m not sure what happened, because my day was not supposed to turn out this way. I had a simple goal – go to Target, pick up spinach. My awesome children I affectionately call the Oldest and the Youngest are on their last day of winter break. Remembering they had gift cards from Christmas, they ran upstairs and came back down already plotting what they were going to buy. The Youngest immediately tried to find a Spider Man Infinity figure for Xbox 360 that has been eluding us for months (when we remember to look), and the Oldest who has been saving for the Lego Imperial Star Destroyer came across something that made him forget about it completely. X-Wings are his favorite, and in the display box was Poe’s X-Wing fighter. It was $30 more than what he had on the gift card, but he was willing to give up his Imperial Star Destroyer money for this. Alas, it was out of stock. The Youngest found an Avengers Lego set that he immediately clung to while I tracked down a Target employee to find out if they had any on the way. No dice. But, we were assured a Target six miles down the road had four. Jumping in the car with the Youngest still holding his new Lego set and so excited he now had all the Avenger Lego characters (“Black Widow! Finally!”), I drove through lunch-hour traffic to get to the Target With The Thing.

At the store, the Oldest walked behind me, humming the Star Wars music as we searched for the toy aisle in this unfamiliar Target. We turned the corner and saw the X-Wing display, but again, no set. I found an employee who was very helpful and found that no, they didn’t have any, and definitely not the four we had been assured of. New shipments were going out and mistakes happen. She found the nearest one to us, another six miles away, that had three in stock. She asked if she needed to call and hold one for us, but I thought that surely if we drove straight there we would be fine and she didn’t need to be troubled with it.

Thanks to Google Maps I found the Target in a part of town I hadn’t been in, and we raced to the toy section, the Oldest so excited. This time, this time we were going to find it. He hummed the Star Wars theme even more enthusiastically, less of a hum, more of a DUUUUUUUUUUUUUNDUN DUHDUNDUHDUUUUUUNDUN at normal volume as we made our way through the aisles. I could see the disappointment in his face when we walked down the Lego aisle and there was no X-Wing.

I asked a Target employee if I could steal him for a moment, and after finding out that there were three in the store somewhere, they were refitting their toy section and the boxes and boxes of toys on carts at the end of each aisle told me that we weren’t going to find it. To his credit, the employee went through a few boxes, had a stack fall on him because I couldn’t catch them in time, and none of the ones he opened had Star Wars Legos. Bless all of the Target employees that politely helped me today, sans makeup and looking as exhausted as I felt with two kids in tow sporting faces that were a combination of excitedly anxious and let down.

The defeat was strong with this trip, but the Oldest shrugged and said he’d just not get anything today and would wait until we found one in stock after joking about going to seven more stores to make it an even ten. On the way home while the boys discussed who their favorite Doctor was (Ten is the general consensus), I couldn’t believe that I’d driven twenty miles away from the house just to find a Lego set. I never do that kind of thing. But his enthusiasm was infectious, and that is something I recognize. It wasn’t a whiny I want this so bad and I want it now! from a ten year old, but an I am so into this and it would be amazing if I could put this together and I’m willing to wait to get it kind of thing. And as they started weighing how much they missed Rose Tyler over Amy Pond and if they liked Nine or Twelve better, I realized that he hasn’t even seen the new Star Wars. He has Darth Vader everything, got the original trilogy for Christmas, and loves Star Wars probably more than anything else he’s ever gotten into, including Doctor Who, but I haven’t been able to take him to see the new movie.

If it doesn’t come back in stock soon, maybe we should get a theater gift card with his Target Gift Card and go to the movies.

Update:

Four days after this post was made, we receive a mysterious box in the mail.

tumblr_o0nqootaMF1rcd743o1_1280

Huge thank you to @mercymegaming. You’re unbelievable.

Book Review: You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day

[A partial cross-post from my writing blog.]

final-cover

Everyone I know knows Felicia Day. We love her. She’s a treasure. She’s one of us. But when I heard she had written a book, I suddenly realized that other than things you could look up on IMDB and just loving her existence as a human, I didn’t have a clue about her. You may not meet many people in your day-to-day who know who Felicia Day is, yet in a very specific pocket of society, Felicia is not only well known, but very much loved.  Considering herself a “situational celebrity”, in her memoir You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), Felicia tells the story of how she became such a popular figure in geek culture with equal parts humility and humor.

After lunch on the day after Christmas, while my husband marathon-played Lego Jurassic World on Xbox and my boys put together well over a thousand pieces of Legos on the dining room table (no exaggeration), I opened Felicia’s book. That night before bed I had already finished reading, feeling as if I had spent the day getting the kind of backstory usually only available once you reach Level Three friendship. Through adventures of her childhood experiencing multiple moves throughout the south due to her father being in the military while being homeschooled by her hands-off liberal mother, attending university on a scholarship as a violin prodigy without having a high school diploma (maintaining a 4.0, of course), and a gaming addiction that lead to the creation of her web series The Guild, Felicia proves to be one of the most fascinating and relatable people you could have the pleasure of meeting via words on a page. Open about her struggles with severe anxiety and panic attacks, moments of star struck embarrassment, and her experience with “Gamer Gate”, You’re Never Weird is more than a humorous memoir. It’s also more than a New York Times Bestseller. Even better, Felicia leaves you with the attitude that with hard work and maybe a few breakdowns, you could take over the world – even if it’s just a specific pocket of one.