3 Things: To Do in the Fall

I will admit that coming up with a post idea for my turn this month was tough.  There is a lot going on.  We are a couple episodes into a new season of Doctor Who with a shiny new Doctor, I’ve finally started the month-long preparations for my Halloween costume for the Comicazi Halloweeniversary Party, and the famous Comicazi Cookie Clash is on the horizon.

Then the Red Menace shared this…and it almost killed me.  It also got me thinking.  I love Fall.  It’s the best!  It’s like Mother Nature has announced Last Call and it’s time to get drunk on cider donuts before she closes shop for the next four months.

So here are a few ways I choose to celebrate the season:

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Now this is what I’m talking about!

1) Life’s a Beach, finally!  Now is the time that I like to go and enjoy all those things that other people ruined for me over the summer by crowding the beaches and forcing me to wait hours in line for my fried clams.  While a lot of “summer places” close after Labor Day, you might be surprised by how many places stick it out and even stay open long after all the vacationers are gone.  The best part is that not only does it give you a better experience in terms of crowds, but those quiet times give you a chance to talk to and get to know people.  Sure, it might not be warm enough for swimming, but there are plenty of things to still do and see when everyone else heads into the woods to do some leaf peeping.  And as an extra bonus, there are many beaches that allow dogs free reign during the off season.  Now if only Mokey the Chicken-Dog the  wasn’t afraid of seaweed…

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You get out here and enjoy this beautiful weather right now, young lady!

2) Cha cha cha changes!  When the weather turns cooler, suddenly I care again. This is the time of year I clean out my make-up, update a bunch of things, and even switch over to my fall/winter scent. Because, dammit, I want to smell like pie…right now!

There is something about knowing that your eyeliner won’t end up melting down your chin before you even get to the office that makes a girl suddenly want to learn how to give herself cat eye eyeliner flips.  And if you are interested in such a thing yourself, might I suggest you start over at The Beauty Department with their handy guide?  The skill might come in handy if you also find yourself going a little crazy over e.l.f.’s Halloween Style Books.  The Diva palette ended up being perfect for my Halloween costume, but more on that later.

3) Watch The Adventures of Pete and Pete.  Ok people.  It’s honesty time here.  Yes, the two previous items were cute and all, but now it’s time for the serious stuff and what may very well be the main point of this article – the glory that is The Adventures of Pete and Pete.  This is it people, the hill that I might die on defending my opinion that this was probably Nickelodeon’s most (and arguably only) perfect live-action show.

For those of you who might not be familiar with the show, Pete and Pete started as a series of shorts that were shown in-between other Nickelodeon shows in 1989.  Due to the popularity of these shorts and a handful of follow-up specials, Pete and Pete became a regular half hour series for three seasons from 1993-1996.  Focusing on the experiences of two brothers who are also best friends, the show is surprisingly clever and funny.

So why watch this show in the fall?

There are a few reasons.  One is that a lot of the show was filmed in the fall, creating warm backgrounds that blend into the glorious red locks of the two brothers who share both the main action of the series and their first names.  The other reason?  On a more sappy note, there is something just so comfortable about this show.  It’s both surreal and yet so very grounded in the experience of being a kid that it just makes sense to snuggle up and watch it while sipping some sort of warm drink.   If you are looking for a show that captures more of what it feels like to be a kid than the actual real life experience of being one, this is the show for you.  Games of dodge-ball become battles for honor and the ice cream man is myth.  The world and life itself just feels so big.

And really, who wouldn’t love a show that involves personal superheroes, turtle amnesia, and a squid named Edna who serves as the school mascot?

Don’t believe me?  Decide for yourself.

Just be careful, because if you are anything like me, you just might end up spending your time watching episodes on youtube rather than taking care of life-things, like cooking dinner and writing for a blog you have with your friends.  Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

What Fall activities are you most looking forward to?  Or perhaps you just want to talk about Pete and Pete?  Post your comment below and let’s give ol’ Mother Nature a run for her money.

Does Hand-Drawn Animation Need Saving?

If you know me at all, you know that the future of hand-drawn animation is a topic that is very important to me. Hand-drawn animation (more commonly referred to as 2D animation, though I prefer the more descriptive term “hand-drawn”) is an art form that I have long loved. Unfortunately, much of the conventional wisdom about hand-drawn animation over the past few decades has been forecasting its impending demise. From clueless entertainment writers who deem the medium irrelevant in the age of computer animation to more thoughtful commentators who recognize that there’s a space for different styles of animation but that the market for hand-drawn movies seems to be drying up, nearly everyone seems convinced that hand-drawn is not long for this world.

So I was pleasantly surprised, if a bit skeptical, to come across a blog post entitled
“It’s Time To Admit That 2-D Animation Does Not Need ‘Saving'”
, penned by my animation blogger colleague Charles Kenny. After so many years of gloom and doom predictions for the medium I love, a bit of positivity was a welcome change. But is there truly good news for hand-drawn animation and its fans or merely wishful thinking?

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Five Movies I’ll Always Watch

In a world where fewer and fewer people have cable (or even broadcast) TV, that old rainy day tradition of flipping through the channels to find something, ANYTHING, to watch may be falling to the wayside. Sure you could get up and pop in a DVD or Blu-ray, but that’s not the point.  The point is to lie on the couch and do nothing, including not thinking too hard, so your entertainment should just come to you. Thankfully, The Goog and I still have basic cable, and when I want to veg out I find myself searching the guide for the movie equivalent of comfort food. Yes, I own all of these movies, and could just pop them into the machine…but somehow finding them out there in the ether makes it feel a little more meant to be. Here are five movies that I will always watch.

Jurassic Park- JurassicPark Plot: Eccentric billionaire brings back dinosaurs from DNA extracted from amber encased mosquitoes.  He invites dinosaur experts and his grand-kids to check out the theme park he is building.  Life finds a way. Spoiler-It doesn’t go well.

Why I keep watching:  I know it’s shoddy science.  I don’t care.  I still get the same feeling of excitement at the first big dinosaur reveal as I did when I first saw this in the movie theater.  That John Williams score, the characters’ own astonishment – I’m a young teen at a summer blockbuster all over again.  Also, I always thought Dr. Sattler was kind of a badass and there is a young girl who’s a hacker.

Fun Fact: I recently showed this to Little J.  It still holds up.  I may have told her how jealous I was of her getting to see this for the first time.

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We Don’t Need Another Hero

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Tina can take care of herself.

Let’s open with a question: How many of you are following us on Facebook right now? I ask because some seriously cool conversations have been happening over there lately. The page is a great place for us to share links and other passing pop cultural ephemera and hear what other people think about it. One of those links, posted by Honorary Lady The Goog, was IO9’s critique of that Milo Manara Spider-Woman cover that’s been making the rounds (no, not the creepy 3D rendering follow up.) One of the participants in the discussion asked a question that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about. Friend of Tiny Doom Geoff asked, “Have you ladies done an article not just about what you’d like to see in a female hero but also how it differs from the typical guy power fantasy?”

Well, we hadn’t, Geoff, but we’re gonna today. Or at least, I’m gonna. Geoff’s comment went on to clarify that he didn’t expect us to speak for all women, which is great, because I’m super unqualified to do that – just our personal takes on what makes a great super-powered lady and how that is or isn’t reflected in mainstream comics. So here are the five major traits, in order from most to least important to me, I’d like to see in my ideal comic-book heroine and how I think it stacks up to the typical male hero. For the purposes of this piece, the “typical” male hero is able-bodied, straight, white, and super-powered. Yes,  there are many heroes who don’t fit this bill, especially these days, but we’re talking about archetypes, here. After each one I’ll give an example of a character who I think embodies that trait.

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Cosplay Ladies of Comicon: Jenifer as Elsa

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The Costume:  Unless you’ve been spending the last year or so in the remote wilds of someplace or other, it is quite impossible not to recognize the lovely Elsa from Disney’s animated feature, Frozen.

Choosing a Character:  It’s really a special thing when you are able to find a character that is not only a lot of fun to dress as, but also resonates with you as a person.  Jenifer chose to dress as Elsa not for all the obvious reasons, but because Elsa was the first character in whom Jenifer was able to see someone who struggles with anxiety and depression but was not the villain of the film.  And for those of us who face challenges like these and more in our daily lives, Elsa is more than just a pretty lady with even more pretty/icy powers.  She is a character to whom we can relate.

Favorite Part of the Costume:  The cape, it makes her feel majestic.  And might I personally add, the loops were a great idea, functional and add a nice bit of drama!

Biggest Cosplay Challenge:  The bodice.  Choosing a multicolored bodice to represent the way ice can reflect the colors that surround it was a really visually striking idea.  Sadly, it was not an easy task.  When Jenifer’s first attempt to make the bodice changed color as a result of some fabric glue she used, she had to regroup and come up with a new plan.

Cosplay Experiences:  Jenifer has been cosplaying since February of 2013 and is happy to say that her experiences have been mostly positive with a few exceptions.  When we chatted, she took a moment to mention what a great time she was having at Boston Comicon.  Truth be told, based on how everyone (especially the younger kids) was reacting to her costume, I can’t say that I was surprised to hear it.

Thoughts on Clown Spiders: Jenifer was gracious and accepted a sticker with our would-be mascot on it, but shared that while a fan of clowns, spiders fell into the category of things she found terrifying.  Sounds like Tiny Doom can add another member to her “Spiders are Horrible” club.

Jenifer, thanks so much for taking time out during your busy day!

And for those of you who want to know more about this cosplaying lady, you can follow her Tumblr.

How To: Celebrate the 45th Anniversary of Disney’s Haunted Mansion

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Greetings, Mortal!

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the opening of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion and Disney (never one to miss a promotional opportunity) has decided to start the party early rather than wait an additional 5 years for the Golden Jubilee. The internet is filled with all sorts of news about new merchandise, a tv special, and a delicious teaser for a new movie. All this can be pretty hard to navigate for some, but for those of us who feel that the Haunted Mansion is quite possibly the greatest ride the parks have ever created, it’s a fine time to once again join the 999 happy haunts and celebrate.

In order to start things off right, I have compiled a guide bursting with spooky goodness and ideas for all levels of Haunted Mansion fans – from the tech buffs to the all out Disney-phile. So hop in your doom buggy, relax, and just make sure you keep an eye out for unwanted hitchhikers.

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Cosplay Ladies of Comicon: Midge Scully

The Boston Comic-Con Cosplay extra-special extra posts continue! Next up is Midge Scully!

 

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Not a lady to mess with.

The Costume: I’m embarrassed to admit that I was sure I already knew what this costume was, and I was wrong. Midge here is not, as one might imagine, a gender-swapped Lobo. She’s cos-playing as Slobo,  Lobo’s teenaged clone from Young Justice #38-55. While you might think the distinction is minute, I felt bad for jumping to conclusions: 1. Because Slobo is a teenager and thus less jacked than regular-sized Lobo, Midge’s costume is even better and 2. Because Midge seemed pretty enthusiastic about the character, and I was ashamed I’d never heard of him. Apparently his only appearance so far is in that short run in 90’s era Young Justice, but still. Midge told us it’s pretty fun and since it’s written by Peter David, who tends be  reliably good, I believe her. So thanks to this conversation, I have a new comic to check out. Hurray!

Favorite costume piece/biggest challenge: The chain with hook and the shoe caps – she put this costume together at the last minute and didn’t think it would come together so fast! Plus the shoe caps are removable, making the boots wearable for multiple costumes. Since having looked at her cos-play page and seen the wide variety of characters Midge has done, that’s just plain sensible.

 

Cosplay experiences: So far, so good! Midge told us that she’s had only positive experiences at this stage. What she likes about cosplay, she said, is that you get to meet people who like what you like, and it’s great to see their excitement when you’re in costume as a character they’re really into.

 

Thoughts on Clown Spiders: We showed her a sticker with the image of Tiny Doom’s nemesis. “I like it!” she declared. “I like spiders, I think they’re cute. Clowns not so much…” We’ll call this one a conditional victory for our mirthful mascot. Thanks for your time, Midge!  (click the link to see more of her work!)

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This is what one looks like, if you were curious.

How To Start a Convention Sketchbook

Groucho Rabbit by Roger Langridge

Groucho Rabbit by Roger Langridge

Boston Comic Con has come and gone for the year but comic conventions continue to happen all over the country just about year round. Whether you’re a frequent con-goer or you only visit one convention a year, you may be in the market for a souvenir of your time spent at comic cons near and far. If you are, then it’s high time you started a convention sketchbook. A convention sketchbook is convenient, inexpensive, and a great memento of your encounters with famous artists.

Benefits of a Convention Sketchbook

It’s cheap. Though getting the sketches you want can end up costing you (more on that later), the initial cost of starting a convention sketchbook is very low. All you really need is the sketchbook, which isn’t going to cost you much.

It’s portable. Bringing a few issues of comics for your favorite writers or artists to sign is easy. But when you want autographs from several creators in hardcover editions of their works, you’re going to be toting around a heavy load in what is usually a very crowded space. A convention sketchbook allows you to get souvenirs from many artists all in one small, easy to carry book.

It’s unique. It’s highly unlikely that anyone else will ever have a convention sketchbook exactly like yours. It can serve as a journal of your trips, of artist’s changing styles, and even of your personal tastes in comics.

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Cosplay Ladies of Comicon: Myratheon Cosplay

The cosplay of Boston Comic Con 2014 did not disappoint, and we took another opportunity to profile some of the amazing work that was on display.

First up:  Myratheon Cosplay

Costume made by: The lady herself!  This was an original design and which all components of the costume were hand made…even the mask and her hand carved sword!

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So fierce!

 Favorite costume piece/biggest challenge: That mask you guys, this pic, taken in the crowded convention hall does not do it justice, so be sure to check out her facebook page for more pictures.  The Anubis mask is Myratheon Cosplay’s favorite part of the costume (The Red Menace and I felt the same).  It was also her biggest challenge.  In speaking with her you could definitely get a sense of how proud she was of her work…and she should be!

Cosplay experiences: Myratheon, has, for the most part had good experiences with the Cosplay community.  No doubt signs like this help:
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Her hard work has been well received which has helped her gain confidence.  She did however have a tougher experience at Connecticon where she received some negative feedback on her gender-swapped costume of Scar from Disney’s The Lion King.  Some of the organizers felt she was sexualizing a Disney character.  Her response?  “Since when do lions where clothes?”  Check out pics of this costume and decide for yourself…

Thoughts on Clown Spiders:  Here’s a place where Myratheon Cosplay and I differ.  She found our Clown Spider stickers adorable!

 Where will she be next: You can see her next at Rhode Island Comicon!  Maybe you’ll see some of  The Ladies there too…

 

Tiny Doom’s Boston Comic Con round up!

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This year’s Con shirt

After a great experience with a 2-day pass last year, I (and The Goog and The Red Menace) decided to attend all 3 days of Boston Comic Con 2014.  Armed with Ladies SWAG and excited to see friends, cosplayers, and creators, we embarked on our 3-day Con Saga.

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