This coming Saturday is our annual Make Your Own Snowglobe Workshop. This is one of our most popular events and one of our absolute favorites. Born out of a crafternoon where we made snow globes for ourselves (my Hawkeye vs. a Minotaur still graces my desk at work), we decided this was something that would be even more fun to do as a group. And we were right! There are few things more enjoyable than sharing your crafts with like-minded folks. Best of all, if you attend our workshop, we provide everything you need, (except the distilled water since your scene will have to set at least overnight before you fill the jar), making it totally easy to get in on the action.
This year, we even added an extra earlier session (4-6pm). This is good for families with littles – and folks who want to come to an earlier session so they can get dinner in the square later. We’ve had kids make some incredibly creative snowglobes, so we highly encourage making this a family event. As of the posting, our later 7-9pm session has already sold out. The good news is that we will have lots of “stuff” for creating your masterpiece no matter which session you go to.
Truth be told, you could just check out this oldie but goodie post where we first shared both a how-to on our method for snowglobe making, and a little bit on our trip to the Somerville Museum of the Modern Snowglobe , sadly now closed. But….if you are local, coming to do some crafting with us is much more fun!
So, get your tickets now, they’re going fast:
Last month The Goog (of Night Vale Bonus post fame) and Tiny Doom took the lead as we hosted our first ever Futurama Trivia Night. And boy, was it a success. So whether you joined us and want to relive some of the delightful memories or want to size up our events in case you would like to join us in the future, I have good news everyone…we are doing a recap.
Most of you, dear readers, have met at least one of the Ladies of Comicazi in person. But you may not know how we came to be the Ladies of Comicazi: how we got involved with the store and how we met each other. With that in mind, I’m kicking off a new four-part series, to be continued whenever we feel so inclined, to delve into the origins of the Ladies of Comicazi.
Comic books have been a part of my life for a long time. It’s difficult to remember exactly how it started; I’m not someone who can recall her first comic. Somewhere between my dad reminiscing about comics from his own childhood and the occasional issue of something – most likely Disney related – catching my attention, I figured out that I liked comics.
My sister was the one who got seriously into superhero comics and I followed along, eventually picking up a few titles on my own. X-Men was the big thing at the time. We had seen the TV series and that led to us reading the comics and picking up backissues and trades to better understand the story. The trip to the comic shop – one of two local stores we had to choose from – became a weekly ritual that I observe to this day.
Though my first comic is lost to the ages, I can remember other details: the first time I read X-Men #1 (adjective-free, not Uncanny), the first collected superhero story I ever read (Fantastic Four: Trial of Galactus, which I probably didn’t understand very well), and the first time I read Mad Love (which I liked, but really didn’t understand until later). I learned about independent comics through – shockingly – Wizard magazine and started picking up Strangers In Paradise (which I never finished) and Bone (which I did). The people I was hanging out with at the time – one of whom I dated and eventually married – broadened my horizons and my appreciation of comics further. Though animation remained my first love, most of my college friends were in the sequential art department, ensuring that I didn’t give up comics after I left home.
I have always been very lucky with comic shops. Wherever I’ve been for any extended period of time – including a family vacation to London, I’ve always had at least one comic shop nearby. I’ve also never had anyone make me feel uncomfortable as a woman in a comic shop, which not all women can claim, sadly. That said, I have been in comic shops that had problems: poor organization, inattentive staff, minimal selection, or just an unpleasant atmosphere. This makes me appreciate a comic shop that gets it right all the more.
The biggest aspect that separates the best comic shops from the mediocre to bad ones is the people: the ones who know your name, know what you buy regularly, suggest comics that you might enjoy, keep the store in good order, and generally make it a welcoming place for regulars and new customers alike. That’s why when Mike and Bob left the store they had been working at to start Comicazi, my then-boyfriend-now husband and I followed them, along with several of our friends. To me, it’s that sense of community and belonging that keep brick and mortar comic shops relevant as digital becomes more of a force in the industry. I’ve been to other comic shops. I’ve bought things from other comic shops. I’ve had conversations with total strangers about Doctor Who in other comic shops. But Comicazi is where I’ve bought comics weekly. Comicazi is home.
I met my fellow Ladies in May of 2011, after a rather rough couple of months that left me moody and withdrawn without much reason. With a bit of prodding from my husband Franksenstein, I decided to give Muppet Trivia at Comicazi a shot. Muppets were another longtime passion of mine and I’d been learning more about them recently, thanks to the episodes of The MuppetCast I listened to while walking the dogs.
I’m normally kind of shy around people I don’t know, so I didn’t go in convinced that I would make new friends. But having a randomly assigned team and a job to do actually makes conversation a lot easier, particularly when that job is something you’re pretty good at. Leading my team to victory gave me the reason and the confidence boost I needed to chat with the hosts. And that’s how I met The Red Menace and Smalerie.
There isn’t a whole lot more to the story because it didn’t take much more for us to become friends. There was some more prodding from Franksenstein before I worked up the courage to suggest a dinner meetup,but everything went pretty smoothly from there on. I believe I met Tiny Doom at a Comicazi Game Night, though I’m sorry to say I can’t recall which one. The name “Cartoon Sara” was bestowed on me by Smalerie, who has many Sara/hs to keep track of and gave me one of the better titles, which I happily adopted. Making such amazing new friends was exactly what I needed to break out of my lengthy funk and to keep me from falling back into one. So when I got the formal and very flattering invitation to join the Ladies of Comicazi blog, there was no way I was going to turn it down.
If you would like to meet your new best friends, or possibly just have fun answering trivia questions about the Muppets, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, and other Jim Henson creations, we have some good news for you! Muppet Trivia is returning to Comicazi on Saturday, August 17th! Your hosts this year will be three out of four Ladies of Comicazi: The Red Menace, Smalerie, and yours truly. There will be fun, there will be snacks, and of course, there will be Muppets. Mark your calendars and keep your browsers pointed to our blog, as we’ll be sharing more information about what you can expect as the date approaches.
Bat-Month and its corresponding in-store event Bat-Night have come and gone. The entire thing was a big success and we would like to thank everyone who read our posts, commented on our posts, came to the event, or otherwise participated. It was great to see so many of you at-Bat-Night and with your help, we raised $100 for The One Fund!
The Episodes shown were:
Almost Got ‘im
Over the Edge
And the voted on Fan Favorite: Heart of Ice
We had a lot of fun preparing for Bat-Night, but it was a lot of work too. Here, for example, is one of the highly serious brainstorming sessions we had on Facebook to come up with food options for the event:
Smalerie: How could we have missed Ra’s al Ghul-ash? (Goulash)
The Red Menace: Oh MY.
Cartoon Sara: I…don’t know?
TRM: Perhaps because it isn’t exactly a snack. It is, however, brilliant.
CS: Though neither is a Killer Croc-Pot.
TRM: On the same line, as I sit here making chili I feel like Mr. Freeze could provide an entire meal. Depends on what is IN the Killer Croc-Pot!
S: What was the tag line for Joker’s pie?
TRM: It’s CRAZY delicious!
S: OK. Wanted to make sure I wrote it right.
CS: And the Harlinquinade packs a punch.
S: Commissioner gorditas?
CS: I think that’s all the taglines we had.
TRM: Oh lord, I am laughing all over again. Commissioner Gorditas! Clearly you just needed some time, Smal. GENIUS IDEAS.
S: Also a few drinks
TRM: That can definitely spark the imagination.
S: Goth-ham and cheese
TRM: Someone stop her before she hurts herself, people!
CS: Oswald Cobblepot pie?
TRM: Dudes, I am actually laughing out loud. All alone at home.
CS: Our work is done here.
S: Pot pie! Brilliant!!!! I love this game
TRM: There is a cookie called the langue de chat – cat’s tongue – a little obscure but langues de Catwoman is grossly amusing. Also, how would you work in Bane?
CS: Bane-nana bread? :S
TRM: I had the feeling bananas were the best way to work him in
TRM: Another beverage could be the Deadshot, which would just be some sort of deadly alcoholic beverage.
S: I keep trying to think of one for the Scare Crow. Roast Turkey and Crane-berry sauce?
TRM: Oh man, I wasn’t even thinking about him. Hmm.. Scare-croquettes? Turkey Scarecroquettes with Craneberry Sauce.
TRM: Mad Hatter just gets tea, poor guy. PS: The Open Two Faced sandwich might be my favorite.
CS: Just have to find sufficiently contrasty fillings.
TRM: Two ways of thinking about that. One, you could have two things that work together, but look different, ala PB and J. OR, you have two completely different sandwiches, like PBJ and Chicken salad.
S: So it sounds like we might actually have to make that one
TRM: It just makes me laugh, and could be an actual visual gag.
S: I am willing to make several of these They make me happy I love the idea of contrasting sandwiches One sweet and one savory One hot, one cold<
TRM: Sinners, saints.
I’m really glad that we were able to share this conversation because it just proves how much fun it can be to plan an event like this. We had conversations on-line, in person planning meetings with AMAZING food, and then got to top it all off with a great evening. Not too shabby. Oh, and just a little something for those of you non-local readers to think about – hosting an event like this works great at a home. In fact, easier if you have access to a kitchen and a nice TV. Best of all, you don’t really need an excuse to like a holiday or birthday to go all out. In case you need a little more inspiration, we are going to share even more goodies from our event. So keep reading!
Raffle prizes- As mentioned we did a small raffle…small but mighty as we managed to raise $100 for the One Fund Boston! Prizes were of course Batman themed and had made with extra love by me and Cartoon Sara.
You may recall our previous snowglobe post. Well I put those skills to good use again to create 2 prizes, one Joker themed and one Harley themes. Frankly if our viewing of B:TAS episodes taught us anything it’s that it is best to keep these two separated. So forever locked in their own jars (barring any unforeseen mishaps) they went off to new and different homes.
Our grand prize was a print by our very own Cartoon Sara. As you have likely noticed CS is a very talented artist, who graciously donated one of her prints to cause…framed and everything! This is her second in a series of Batman prints (the first was actually inspired by our fan favorite episode). We especially liked this one because of lady theme, and went to a very good home!
The print was an idea I had kicking around beforehand. Once we started planning Bat-Night, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to debut it. I’m very pleased that it went over so well and that it helped to raised additional money for the One Fund. If anyone’s interested, there are still copies available at Comicazi.
I had another art project keeping me busy. Since my culinary skills are somewhat lacking, I decided to pitch in by making illustrated signs for the various Batman-themed foods we served. The names and descriptions were a group effort. They were all fun to draw, though I think the Arkham Mixed Nuts on is my favorite. I have this mental image of Joker strutting around singing the Chiquita Banana song.
I was so happy to see such a positive response to Bat-Night, both from everyone who attended and from my fellow Ladies, who were on board as soon as the idea was suggested. We’re definitely going to have to do something like this again.
The Red Menace
Like the other Ladies, I was blown away by the response to this event. From the actual posts to the snacks, people were so kind and excited about everything we did.
I was responsible for the Batarang Brownies listed above, and was so pleased with how they came out:
I also made the tea cake and Harlequin-Ade:
Here’s the full spread:
The Ladies would like to thank all of the staff at Comicazi – you were so helpful and fabulous and without you there would literally be no event. Thanks also to all of the folks who voted in the poll and came to watch cartoons with us – it’s more fun with friends. Extra special thanks to Tom Majkut, who saved our skins with replacement audio equipment, Kevin Harrington and Kevin Church (yes, we know a lot of Kevins) for promoting the heck out of this event, and to Bob Howard, for being awesome.