Category: Things to Know

Crowdfunding Basics for Backers

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Crowdfunding – seeking funds for a project from a bunch of strangers online – has become big business, with ever greater amounts of money going to fund the next big idea. Backing a crowdfunding project can be a fun way to get early access to a new product or just to help out a person or concept you believe in. But finding the right crowdfunding campaign to put your money and enthusiasm into isn’t always easy. This week, we’re looking at crowdfunding from the perspective of a backer: where to find new campaigns, what to look for, and what to avoid.

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Understanding The Uncanny Valley

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Modern pop culture is filled with terms that try to describe the media we consume. With new phrases and new definitions emerging all the time, it can be difficult to know what the new terminology actually means, even when you hear it frequently. We Ladies like to provide some clarity by defining some of these commonly heard terms that people may not fully understand. We did it with “Mary Sue” and now we’re tackling the “uncanny valley.”

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Puppetry Tips and Tricks

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If you joined us for our puppet making event, you’re now the proud owner of a unique, handmade puppet. If you didn’t, you may still have a random puppet lurking around your house somewhere. Or maybe you’re looking at that sock that doesn’t seem to match any of the others in the laundry basket and wondering if it’s meant for better things. Wherever you are in the puppet making process, it’s important to remember that building the puppet is only part of the experience. Here are some ideas for what to do with your newly made felted friend.

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Comic Characters You Should Get To Know: Scrooge McDuck

We usually highlight comics characters you might want to know more about when a new movie or TV series puts a little known character in the spotlight. Disney is currently ramping up promotion for a new DuckTales series due out next year, making this the perfect time to get to know the richest duck in the world.
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Comic Characters You Should Get to Know: Misty Knight

All right, by now, you hopefully had a chance to watch the Netflix series Luke Cage and at least have some idea who Misty is. If you haven’t and you want to remain 100% spoiler-free, maybe go set up some binge watching time and come back to this later. Otherwise, read on and consider this a bit of a character primer on the comics version of Misty, which will hopefully give you some more background and get you even more interested in this kick-ass lady.

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Comic Characters You Should Know: Jessica Jones

The Jessica Jones Netflix series is set to start on November 20. While Daredevil has shown us that you don’t need to be familiar with the source material to enjoy the show, it’s sometimes nice to get some background on a character.  I guess it should be said, if you haven’t already read the comics, and you want to go into the show completely fresh, you may want to skip this post.  But I am trying to keep things higher level so as not to unwittingly spoil.

Jessica Jones is a Marvel character who appears primarily in 2 comic series, Alias, and The Pulse.  I read them both and hooo boy are they different.

Alias

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Alias was a 28 issue series back in the early 2000’s. Written by Brian Michael Bendis, Alias was the title that launched Marvel’s Max comic line.  The Max books are R-rated, darker, rougher, NOT ALL AGES and Alias jumps into that headfirst. Jessica Jones was a new character, created explicitly for this series.  When we are introduced to her, right away we realize she’s far step away from other female characters we have seen in the comic world.  Jessica is a super-powered human, but she’s is not a superhero.  As the owner and only employee of PI firm Alias Investigations, Jessica is a hard drinker, a chain smoker, who curses like a sailor raised by a truck driver.  She’s angry, and paranoid, and doesn’t suffer fools for a moment.  You want to talk damaged characters?  Jessica is a human train wreck.  And that’s what’s so great about her.  She’s not one of the bright eyed, impossibly coiffed, female characters who were (still are?) prevalent in comics.  She’s how you feel on your darkest days when you have completely lost your way so badly that you can’t determine what’s good from what’s not.

So I debated talking about “that scene.”  I will, but I am going to keep it very brief.  Yes, in the first few pages there is a sex scene that implies Jessica is well, adventurous. Less than being character building,  I took it as a way to show “hey, these aren’t comics code comics.”  To my read it’s consensual so that’s all I’m going to say about it.  We are all grown ups here.

Consent is actually a big theme in Jessica’s story. The big deal is less what she consents to, but rather how she loses free will and the effect it has on her. This is the real crux of her story. When we meet Jessica she is working as a private investigator in the superhero world, have firmly retired from costumed hero-ing.  The first 4 story arc in the series have Jessica using what she learned in her hero days to work on cases that don’t necessitate Avengers-level attention, but do take someone with the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities that Jessica has.  We don’t learn the specifics of why Jessica has retired until the last story arc where both her origin and why she got out of the superhero game is revealed.

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The story line, “Purple,”give us a look at Jessica’s main foe, Zebediah Killgrave, The Purple Man.   Admittedly, naming a villain The Purple Man is kinda doofy.  But his powers of pheromone-based mind control make him one of the more frightening characters in the Marvel universe.  Mind control powers are not new, but there is something particularly insidious about Killgrave, and how his powers work, that make him particularly damaging.

The Pulse

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The Pulse is less about Jessica and more about The Daily Bugle newspaper.  It’s the shiny, slick, and frankly, antiseptic follow-up to Alias that continues to follow Jessica’s story among other happenings at the Bugle.  The Pulse is not a Max series and therefore the tone is completely different from Alias.  Or at least that’s what I am going to blame it on since the writer is the same.  Jessica is no longer a private eye, she’s sort of a roving lifestyle reporter for “The Pulse,” the superhero section of the Bugle. Also, Jessica is pregnant.

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Yup, she’s pregnant.  Did I mention she’s pregnant?  Don’t worry, she mentions it on almost every page, so you know, you’ll figure it out eventually.  Pregnancy has apparently changed Jessica from a well-developed character with nuances, into a woman with super abilities who is pregnant.  And that seems to be about it, there is very little left of the Jessica we saw in Alias.  I really really like damaged, paranoid, angry Jessica.  She was real.  This new version is so generic that I swear, when I picked up the book after a week-long reading break, I didn’t even realize the character on the page was supposed to be her (which is commentary on the art and the story)!  Yeah, The Pulse is pretty disappointing.

So, if you feel like reading, I recommend you spend some time with Alias, and skip The Pulse.  From the previews it looks like the Netflix series is going more along the Alias route anyway.  Which is great since my hope for the show is that was get a nuanced female character who tries to battles her demons and maybe finds her way to the other side without losing everything she was.

Guardians of the Galaxy 101: Part 2

Remember about 4 weeks ago when I shared Part 1 of my primer on Guardians of the Galaxy…..well now it’s time for Part 2!

As before, I’m giving you comic-based info since I haven’t seen the movie yet, and am largely trying to stay away from information beyond the trailers.  And there have been some pretty fun trailers, with excellent soundtracks.  Check this extended trailer featuring The Runaways’ “Cherry Bomb.”

Hopefully you checked out Part 1 already, so 3 guardians to go…

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He’s called The Destroyer, not the giver of hugs

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Guardians of the Galaxy 101: Part 1

Note: This post could be considered slightly spoilerly for some Marvel comic story lines involving the Guardians of the Galaxy.

If you’ve been to an action/sci-fi movie at the movie theater lately you have probably seen the trailer for the next Marvel Studios movie, The Guardians of the Galaxy.  Unless you are familiar with a deeper cut into Marvel’s cosmic world, you may be asking yourself the question asked in the trailer, “Who are these guys?” Well, like many comic book back stories (and some Facebook relationship statuses), it’s complicated.  My aim here is to give you enough to lay groundwork for the movie, and to hopefully pique your interest in reading some of the comic story lines. The Guardians were created back in 1969, I’m not going to focus too much on that team, mostly because I love the 2008 team.  But I think it’s interesting to note that this team has been around for a good while (and were NOT just created for a movie).  For the purpose of this post I’m going to go over the team member that are in the movie, but like many teams membership changes.

The Basics: 1-guardians-of-the-gal The Guardians of the Galaxy are a team of aliens and super-powered beings put together by Peter Quill (Star-Lord).  He puts this team together after the Phalanx/Kree war, with the goal of protecting the universe proactively rather than just coming together when the worst is happening.  Based on the movie trailers the movie origin seems to be a little more “rag-tag outlaws teaming together for a cause bigger than themselves.”  And there is a bit of that in the comics, but the war has already given them the motivation to know that a more proactive protective force is needed.  That said, forming a team takes time, and shortcuts are taken to push them together more quickly…which never ever back-fires, right? The Guardians establish their home base in a space station called “Knowhere”.  From Knowhere, the Guardians can go anywhere they are needed thanks to a teleportation system.
Bonus points:  Knowhere is the severed head of a Celestial, and the chief of security is a Cosmonaut dog named Cosmo who has telepathic abilities.

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Comic Characters You Should Get To Know: Beta Ray Bill

Thanks to the movie franchise, most people can pick Marvel’s Thor out of a line-up.

But Thor isn’t the only hammer-wielder in the Marvel universe.  I would argue he isn’t even the most interesting.  In this lady’s opinion that honor goes to Beta Ray Bill!  (With a close second to Throg- but that’s another post)

Yes, his name is a little goofy, but don’t let that stop you from learning more about Bill.  Note: This write-up will contain spoilers for the comics listed.

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Bill, bustin’ on Thor

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