Doctor Who Season 11 Premiere: A Quick Review

After much anticipation, the world was finally introduced to the first female Doctor. And, to the credit of the writers, the Doctor accepts the change and immediately moves on to the action. However, being part of a group that always has an eye on how women are portrayed in the world of popular culture, I couldn’t help but want to add my voice to those discussing this “first” for the Doctor Who franchise.

So, I give you a mini review of the first episode of Season 11’s “The Woman Who Fell to Earth.” Buckle up and consider this your spoiler warning.

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The LadiesCon 2018 Wrap-Up

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LadiesCon 2018 has come and gone. And if you were among the many people to be there as an attendee, volunteer, vendor, panelist, or guest, you know what an amazing day it was. We put a lot of work into planning LadiesCon every year to make sure it’s a great time for everyone involved, but even we couldn’t anticipate just how wonderful this year’s convention would be. Continue reading

On The Move: Building Your Game Room

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Meepline shows off our booth at LadiesCon!

        Before we begin this month’s post, we want to thank all the people who worked hard to make LadiesCon a success. It was such a wonderful time and we were happy to see so many people visiting. For those who came to see us at our table or at our panel, thank you for taking the time to speak with us and learn about our game day. We hope you attend our October 28th game day from 12-6 at Comicazi. Everyone is encouraged to dress in costume, but not too scary please! (This is just in case children come to the game day. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.)

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The Before….

       The conclusion to our “On the Move” post from July is all about building your new game space. We have a brand new game room that is technically still in the works. It needs a few more shelves (more on that later) and frames for artwork. Lady Diceacorn is picking up with setting up your game room.

Step 1: Layout

     When you start with your game space the best way to begin is laying out the shelves and storage for your gaming supplies. This includes building new shelving or rebuilding any shelves that had to be disassembled in the move. This can take more time than you are thinking. Once you have the shelves assembled it is time for step 2.

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The Right Supervisor is Important!

Step 2: Figure Out Your Game Organization Plan

    If you are like us, you want a game room that has things easily accessible and organized. Sit down with everyone who will be using the game room and figure out what is important to have readily available and where other books should go. This can take about a half an hour to do, but saves time in the end and allows the game room to come together without much difficulty. If your children game, get them involved. Allowing them to figure out where their games go will help make the room theirs too.

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Lady Diceacorn’s son was very excited about his shelf in the RPG library!

Step 3: Unpacking Your Games

      Unpacking your game materials will take a lot of time. However, if you have made a plan, it can be easy to do.  As you unpack, use the game organization plan to create piles of games or game books that will be shelved together. This will create several piles and take up lots of floor space, but it is a really important time saver. Once all the boxes have been opened and sorted, all that is left is to place the games on their shelves.

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Broken Token’s Gloom Tomb

     As you unpack, take a look at all of your games and make sure they survived the move. This is also a great time to make reorganize any games that became unorganized in the move. If you have a little disposable income, maybe consider purchasing some great organizers from Broken Token. (Meepline swears by this company. They have a Gloom Tomb!)  

     We unpacked the board games first and once they were on the shelves we unpacked our RPG library. This cut back on the space needed for the piles and actually allowed the creation of more space because we were getting rid of boxes.

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Meepline has plenty of room for new games!

     We need more shelves in the Lady Diceacorn game room, but for now the remainder of the unshelved games and materials are confined to a fold out table and a corner of the game room. You think you may have enough shelves, but you don’t. When we get more shelving we will make sure to have extra room for new games and new game books.

      By the end of two days, our game room was functional and ready to welcome gamers. Sure, there is still work to do, but it has been wonderful gaming in our game room.

Featured Game: Mysterium

     The best way to explain Mysterium is that it is a cross between Clue and Dixit. You’re all mediums at a seance, trying to figure out who killed the ghost, where, and how (Clue). The ghost can only communicate through visions represented by beautifully artistic cards (Dixit). You only have a few hours to figure it out. Can you all do it in time? Or will the ghost be doomed to walk the earth forever tormented by their murderer’s escape?

Until next time, may all your hits be crits!

LadiesCon 2018 – Plan Your Day

Ladiescon logoIn just a few days it will be time for LadiesCon 2018. If you are reading this we hope to see you there. If you aren’t familiar with LadiesCon, here’s the main scoop.

LadiesCon is a one-day celebration of women of all kinds and their work in comic books, science fiction, fantasy, cosplay, and many other realms of pop culture. This Con is for everyone, with a focus on creators who identify as women, non-binary, LGBTQ, and people of color, plus local artists. Our goal is to shift the ratios that you usually see at comic cons.  And perhaps the most important thing, admission is free!

We work hard all year fundraising to make LC free because 1. we don’t want admission cost to be a deterrent, and 2. we want you to come spend your hard earned money on our amazing vendors and guests. We also couldn’t do this without help from our sponsors, Rockland Trust, Candlewick Press, and of course, Comicazi.

So – planning your day. The Con is located at The Armory in Somerville MA, and starts at 11am. That is, unless you go for an early access VIP entry ticket. Early Access starts at 10am. You get some breakfast, a swag bag, and less crowded access to vendors, guests, and the ’66 Batmobile. It also is a helpful part of our fundraising efforts, with 100% of the ticket price going right into LadiesCon 2019.

OK – you have arrived at the Con. Stop at the Welcome table in the lobby and say hi, then continue on to the Con floor. Pause a moment and take it in, there is a lot to see both upstairs and down (there is both an elevator and stairs to get to the balcony area). Visit creators at their tables and enjoy their work, chat with them if you are comfortable doing so, and if something really strikes your fancy, make a purchase. Supporting creators is the best way to make your voice heard about what you want in the industry. Pro-tip: not all vendors take cards so bring some cash if you are able. There are ATMs down the road.

Our special guests are easy to find (everything is pretty easy to find since we are a one room con). Stop by and see Marjorie Liu – Eisner and Hugo award winner and author of Monstress, winner of two Einser awards and artist on Squirrel Girl Erica Henderson, Kristen Gudsnuk – creator of Henchgirl and the graphic novel Making Friends, Ming Doylewriter and artist on Constantine and artist for DC Comics upcoming Anatomy of a Metahuman. Just added: Jason Badower. His covers for DC Comics include: The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, Captain Atom, Gotham City Garage and Krypton. Jason also wrote a Wonder Woman story that featured her officiating a gay wedding.

As if all that wasn’t enough, we also have panels happening both  upstairs and down. Info can be found on the LC website panel page, and here’s a schedule to help you plan:

We hope to see you in LadiesCon 2018. We do this for you and need your support to keep doing it. Let’s make an amazing day for each other!

Red Menace Reading Recommendations – Spooky Fall Fairytales

Before I dive into this topic, I just need to ask – who’s excited for LadiesCon 2018? It’s just a week and a half away and we are so excited for the show we’ve put together for you this year. Besides the incredible guests and talented vendors, I’m particularly excited for the panel line up that we have this year. We’ve got some fascinating people talking about a wide variety of topics at the intersections of feminism, body positivity, and fandom, and I just hope I get a chance to hear some of them! We also still have a few tickets for our early access breakfast left! While the con itself is free, we sell these tickets as an opportunity for those who can afford it to help KEEP it free for those who can’t, and the benefits are great – a chance to meet our guests with only a few other folks in the room, first crack at all of the vendors, a bag full of awesome gifts, and breakfast!
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End of Summer Reading

While many of us are currently finding ourselves staring Fall in the face as we start school, enjoy our last beach day, or prepare for Ladies Con, it’s hard to remember that summer is technically not over yet.  Well, at least it isn’t over officially until September 23rd, the first day of Fall. So until that time, there might be those of you out there holding onto summer with everything they have – and I’m here to help you with that. I have three get reading suggestions that will not only help you remember how the warm summer sun feels, but also how it can make you feel like no other season can.

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Love in the Time of Giant Robots: Transformers and My Marriage

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My husband and I just celebrated our twelfth wedding anniversary. It marks a little over half of the full time we’ve been together. Our relationship has a lot of the same qualities I see in other happy, committed couples: respect, trust, affection, and a desire to continue growing and improving together. But we also have our share of unique elements in our relationship. One of these is a shared appreciation for transforming robots.

Transformers, the well-known transforming robot toys, and the media surrounding them have been a constant in my relationship with my husband. Weird as it may seem, the toys and shows have had a role in our courtship and marriage. Here are a few of the highlights.

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Convention Season Survival Guide

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The Crowd at NerdCon in Boston in 2017.

      We are in the middle of convention season and with LadiesCon around the corner we thought that we would share some great conventioning tips that we have learned over the years and help you prepare for successful conventioning. Here are our top fifteen tips to help everyone enjoy conventions.
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Netflix review: GLOW Season 2

Last year I reviewed GLOW season 1, so natural next step: review GLOW season 2. This review will contain spoilers, so if you haven’t watched season 2 yet and you care about that sort of thing, come back and read this later. The 30 minute episodes make GLOW super bingeable so it’s pretty easy to cruise though the entire second season.

GLOW season 2 picks up with the ladies returning to work, trying to exhibit a little more ownership over their roles. For Ruth and Debbie this means trying to take on new roles on the other side of the camera, and for the other women, it’s exploring their characters and relationships more. As I mentioned in my season 1 review, it’s the side characters of GLOW who really hold my heart. And while the incredibly complex relationship between Debbie and Ruth continues to be a central-ish plot point, each of the other ladies (and Bash) also get their chance to shine. They are no longer “the one who dresses as a wolf” or “the British woman.” Instead we get a deeper look at these women in terms of what drives, motivates, and in some cases, transforms them.

This is important not just in terms of giving the diverse cast opportunities, but because for me, the relationship between Debbie and Ruth doesn’t have much of an arc and therefore, neither do their characters. At best, you watch them go from friends to enemies to begrudging co-workers, neither overly likable, despite the fact that outside the ring Ruth is often set up as hero of sorts whereas Debbie remains aloof and purposely removed, at times casting herself as a villain. These roles being the opposite of their wresting characters still isn’t really interesting enough to make up for the fact that Debbie and Ruth seem more like the anchors for the ensemble than anything else. More than anything, they provide a static touch point rather than any dynamic catalyst.

Another focus of this season is how these women operate in the space that has now been made for them. In season 1 we see them fighting for their place, trying to get a foot in the door, even if that means playing up to 80’s stereotypes of race and gender. In season 2 you get the sense that now that there is a bit more stability in their wrestling shows (they have fans and everything), many of the characters are exploring that space and are trying to take ownership of it. One of the more interesting arcs is Beirut’s. While she accepted her character in the beginning, her real desire is to shed the guise of a terrorist and rise again as her truer self, a phoenix. This, in parallel with the exploration of her sexuality make her character the one who has perhaps gone through the most transformation.

It’s so rare to get a show with such a large female ensemble cast, let alone one where the focus is on the internal relationships of the character themselves, rather than an outside male influence. As much fun as watching the evolution of the wrestling was, what really held my heart in GLOW was watching the evolution of the friendships and the formation of the family.