Happy New Year!
As you might have noticed, 2014 was a VERY full year for me. My personal life went a little crazy, but things are slowly getting back to normal now. I’m looking forward to 2015 and all the great things I’ve got planned, one namely being blogging on a regular basis. I’m kicking off the new year with a neat blogging idea my friend Megan Gotch at The Nerdy Girlie implements called “Fandom Five,” where she lists 5 cool things in a fandom she loves. I’d like to follow suit and feature them on Fridays. Here’s my Friday Fandom Five for the New Year–five nerdy things I’d like to explore in the new
New Year’s Nerding!
- Podcasts. If you’ve known me for any length of time, you know that I’m a self-professed podcast junkie. However, I’ve not listened to a new-to-me podcast in over a year. I’ve got a few that I’m going to try out, but first, I need to make more space on my little laptop. If you have favorites, please leave me a recommendation in the comments.
- Tabletop Gaming. Over the past year, my husband and I have developed a deeper love for Tabletop Gaming. We were casual Catan players before, but now we’ve dug deeper into the tabletop addiction. For Christmas this year, we received 5 different board games and are looking forward to trying them all out. What do you like to play? I’d love to try new games this year!
- Reading. What do you like to read? Right now, I’ve not had a lot of time to read many things outside of my coursework at Mythgard Institute. (I’m looking forward to Science Fiction II this term–still time to sign up, by the way)! What were your favorite books from the past year? I do most of my reading through audiobooks now, so pass your favorites along!
- Conventions. North Carolina is somewhat of a Nerd Center in the southeast. Despite all the great conventions and fandom-related events nearby, I’ve not had the time or opportunity to attend any! Shameful! I’d love to visit a fun fan event in the area this year, maybe even a more than one! What is your favorite con to attend?
- Retro Gaming. One of my Christmas gifts this year was a Sega Genesis–a system I always wanted as a kid, but never had. All I need to do now is order some Surge and I’ll be 11 years old again. I’ve always loved the older games more than the newer ones, so I’m planning to collect some more games for this system and maybe fulfill 6-year-old Ashley’s dream of owning a NES and Atari 2600. Do you have a favorite classic gaming system? What was your favorite game as a kid? Any recommendations for the Sega Genesis? I’d love to hear from you.
What is your Fandom Five? What nerdy things are you exploring in the New Year?
Loads of great content up in this week’s Nerd News!
- Looks like there will be another Narnia movie in the works. I enjoyed the first one, but the last two were a bit on the shaky side for me. The Silver Chair might just be my favorite Narnia book, so I hope they do it justice. Here’s hoping for Tom Baker to reprise his role as Puddleglum.
- My good friend and “fiancé-in-law” Chris Yokel shared a really interesting comparison between Firefly and Joss Whedon’s newest, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series. Check it out on his blog.
- I know in your social media perusing, you’re likely bombarded with approximately 300 bajillion, 25 flying fafillion BuzzFeed lists. They’re either hilarious or obnoxious. Allow me to share a delightful one with you here today–10 Classic Fandoms Imagined as Kids that Will Warm Your Heart.
- Looking for some spooky Halloween films that will make you think, spook you, but not knock you for a loop with gore and violence? My friend Dr. Amy Sturgis can help you out. Personally, I don’t do horror, but Amy’s thoughts on these films have compelled me to watch a few in years past and I’ve really enjoyed them. Check out all the Halloween fun here on her blog.
Posted in Books, Comic Books, Just For Fun, Movie, Nerd News, TV
Tagged Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Amy Sturgis, Buzzfeed, Chris Yokel, fandom, Firefly, Halloween, horror movies, Puddleglum, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Silver Chair, Tom Baker
How many of you folks are excited for the next run of Avengers films? With Thor: The Dark World coming up in just over a month, I thought it would be fun to review all the Avengers films here on the blog in chronological order. First up, 2008’s Iron Man.
Let me begin by saying this: aside from Batman and Christopher Reeve’s Superman, I am 100% a Marvel girl. I’ve had a longstanding love affair with comic books (going on 22 years), and the majority of them are Marvel. Much of this is likely due to my love of the early-mid 90s X-Men and Spider-man series that ran on Fox Kids Saturday mornings. Somehow or another, the mid 90s Iron Man series eluded my radar. In fact, the only Iron Man comic I own is an alternate universe issue and the first page details Tony Stark waxing philosophical about the proper way to snap a man’s neck. Needless to say, 10 year old me was slightly traumatized by that first page and I’m not sure that I bothered to read the rest. After that, I stuck to older back issues of my favorite heroes. They were a little tamer on the violence and just a little brighter than the comics of the mid 90s.
I say all that to say this–my familiarity with Iron Man of the comics is small. Outside his appearance in the Marvel Superheroes Secret Wars series (1984), I’ve never picked up another Iron Man book. Keeping all that in mind, I wasn’t really all that jazzed about seeing Iron Man in the theaters. Don’t get me wrong, I would see it in the theater, but probably not opening weekend. As it happened, the movie came out about the time of one of my best friend’s birthdays. This friend of mine is all about some Iron Man. We went out to see the movie to celebrate. At the beginning of the movie, I found myself unable to stomach Tony Stark’s arrogance, but he grew on me by the end of the film. I was pleasantly surprised to see myself cheering for Stark by the film’s end and even liking him. This happy surprise along with Samuel L. Jackson’s interesting new glimpse into Nick Fury made for one of the best movie surprised I’d had in quite a long time.
I don’t know that I’d watched Iron Man more than once since then, so I picked it up from the public library to see if it still held up. I was pleasantly surprised all over again and here are a few reasons why.
- I have a fairly high standard for my superhero movies. I love superheroes and I love the potential they have to create three-dimensional stories on the big screen. Just because superheroes tend to be brightly colored and star in comic books does not mean they are devoid of literary value. (I had a serious debate w/ a classmate over this in college, so don’t get me started). What impressed me about Iron Man is the writer’s ability to tell Tony Stark’s story and make him more than just, for lack of a better word, cartoonish. Is he a bit egotistical? Sure, but so is the Stark of the comics. They take him from a simple egomaniac only out for a good time and turn him into a likable guy who learns how to care about some one other than himself. This plot happens in a lot of movies, but I think it’s made a little more interesting by the addition of a crazy weaponized suit or two.
- Robert Downey, Jr. I’m not sure that I’d ever seen a movie of his prior to Iron Man, but as soon as I saw a photo of him, I thought, “Well, at least he looks the part.” His ability to pull off the snark and be funny, not obnoxious is probably his greatest achievement with the character. RDJ does a great job establishing himself as Tony Stark. In fact, his Sherlock Holmes is so similar, I wouldn’t be surprised if his own personality was similar in real life. Aside from RDJ, I really dig the entire cast. Gwyneth Paltrow is an excellent Pepper, and I love Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger. He’s fantastic at rough and tumble characters, be they good or bad (think Rooster Cogburn in 2010’s True Grit). His voice adds a sinister growl to the character, making him a fantastic villain. I would have liked to have seen a little more Rhodey, and although many folks prefer Don Cheadle, I thought Terrance Howard gave a great performance.
- The story. As I mentioned before, my Iron Man knowledge is fairly limited, so I can’t comment on accuracy/continuity with the comic. What I can comment on is the excellence of the writer’s ability to tell a cohesive story that is easy to follow for both comic book fans and comic book newcomers alike. Origin stories are interesting to most audiences because they level the playing field; they put everyone on the same page. I think this is why this movie had a little greater success than the two sequels, among other reasons. The plot is great, added to a great cast, you’ve got a quality film.
- The Avengers Connection. This is over first insight into the Avengers film that would come along 4 years later. I did own a S.H.I.E.L.D. comic growing up, and being a big fan of many of the early/mid 90s Marvel cartoons (as well as some of the newer ones), was no stranger to Nick Fury. What I was not expecting was to see Samuel L. Jackson. Please don’t misunderstand–I’m not one of those southern white folks who gets all uppity about a person of color playing a role traditionally held by a white person. In fact, I think it’s much more interesting when it happens (I think speciffically about The Rock in the remake of Walking Tall and Angel Coulby as Gwen in the BBC’s Merlin series). Samuel L. Jackson has the sass and confident demeanor to play Nick Fury well. I like him very much as Fury, and his invitation to a larger overarching story made me that much more compelled to see the rest of the films.
Overall, Iron Man is a great start for the best string of superhero films to come along from Marvel. As much as I love the X-Men and their films, I think the Avengers series of films, by focusing a film on each hero, has the opportunity for greater depth and character development. For this first film, Iron Man gets 4/5 stars from me.
Who did it better–Kirk or Spock?
I’d like to make an attempt at weekly Nerd News here on the blog. Check out what’s up in your favorite fandoms each Tuesday. If you have some Nerd News you think ought to be shared, please send me a message via the Contact Form. I’ll review it for approval and contact you if I share it. Please include your website, if you’d like me to point readers back to you. (I’m always happy to spread the link love around). Without further ado, here’s this week’s Nerd News!
- Government shutdown got you in the dumps? Fear not; Captain Kirk is on the case. Kudos to George Takei for always adding a little humor to my day. And puns. Oh Mylanta, the puns.
- Brace yourself Star Wars fans! Looks like some super nerds at MIT have just taken us one step closer to real-life lightsabers! This will take cosplay up to a whole new level, and perhaps increase ER visits for dismemberment as well.
- A new trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug dropped last night. Have you seen it? What do you think? You can view the trailer here.
- Looking for some Halloween fun? Dr. Amy Sturgis–Potter Pundit, Sherlock Scholar, Halloween Historian, among many other titles–has an excellent Halloween fest on her blog. She updates daily during October with spooky stories, images, and links. Amy is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met, not to mention, she’s my professor at Mythgard this semester.
- Speaking of Halloween fun, check out the Countdown to Halloween for some scary shenanigans from all around the web for the month of October.
- I’ve been featured as a guest blogger on one of my new favorite places on the web, The Retroist. If you’re a vintage gaming fan, read about my memories with the Magnavox Odyssey2. Retroist is a great place to follow, especially around Halloween, for great nerdy nostalgia. He has an excellent podcast to go along with it as well. I plan to write more for The Retroist in the future.
- I’ve created a Facebook fan page for my blog and writing services. If you’re on Facebook, do me a solid and like my page!
Did I miss anything from the past week? Leave a comment and share the link love with everyone here.
Posted in Books, Just For Fun, Movie, Nerd News, Websites
Tagged Amy Sturgis, Government Shutdown, Halloween, Mythgard, Nerd News, Peter Jackson, Star Trek, Star Wars, The Hobbit, The Retroist
That’s right folks!
L-R: Jayne, Kaylee, Shepherd Book, Simon, Inara, Mal, Zoe, Wash, and River
Your favorite band of misfits, thieves, and space outlaws are back! The Hollywood Reporter posted that Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic artist Georges Jeanty will be taking the helm for the art of a brand new Firefly comic, which will take place after the 2005 Serenity movie. There is no word yet on who is writing the series, but the prospect of more Firefly canon is incredibly exciting to me.
What’s your opinion? Should there be more Firefly stories? (I don’t know anyone who would say otherwise, but I’d love to hear about it if you disagree)! What would you like to see happen? I’m long overdue for a re-watch, but I would love to see them explore Jayne’s character a little further in-depth. There are few things in this world that bring me greater delight than hearing Adam Baldwin growl. I’m eager to see it in comic form. So if you’ve got opinions, FIRE!