New York Comic Con: 5+1

Decided to have the nerdiest birthday ever and came down for New York Comic Con. It certainly didn’t disappoint. There’s still one day left, but I’m going to branch out in my nerdiness (and venture beyond the jam-packed halls of the Javits Center) with a little Hayden Planetarium tomorrow, so here are my five best highlights (and one minor, but nicely balanced, disappointment).

5. The Nostalgia: For being at a Comic Con, I’m not really much of a comics person, but rather a pop culture nerd. Still, two of the panels I hit were basically all about nostalgia: MAD magazine and Archie Comics. While both had their somewhat commercial moments there was still lots of laughs at MAD and a pretty phenomenal swag bag at Archie, so I’m all kinds of happy…and nostalgic.

4. The Cosplay: I was expecting it of course, but was still impressed with some of the amazing cosplay happening. I didn’t do much photography because I feared if I’d start, I’d never stop and there was just so much of it that it’s actually starting to blur in memory. That said, a few highlights stick out including a girl in steampunk-esque Dalek dress and a helmet-less Darth Vader (no, to steal a friend’s joke, NOT Hayden Christensen…this guy. And the makeup was unbelievably spot on). Also, there was this:

Still not sure what it is other than a.maz.ing.

3. The Doctor Who Smorgasbord. By accident of my randomly picking a direction when arriving and hitting the Show Floor, one of the first booths I saw (and the first I stopped at) was the official Doctor Who Store. So much TARDIS-y goodness. I restrained myself….a bit. Didn’t get anything huge, but did pick up some random odds and ends I either haven’t seen elsewhere or just finally gave into temptation on buying. It was enough to fill two hearts with glee (and squeee, of course).

2. Free Drawings for Total Strangers: I was totally drawn in by the art work at the Red Rocket Farm booth…not to mention the offer of a free drawing. On my first visit I drooled. On my second visit I bought two little octopus paintings. On my third visit I got a drawing. Free Drawings for Total Strangers has the tagline: “I ask people personal questions, and make a cartoon for them, based on their answers… (you will hate this).” I didn’t hate it at all! He asked me to tell him about something that happened to me when I was a kid and, it being ComicCon, I had waiting in line on the brain, so told a story from nearly 30 years ago (yikes!) about little 5-year-old Katy and her ability to wait in line:

The announcement referenced? That as the 35,000 person through the line that day (it was their 35th anniversary), my brother won a car. And thus, his vindication has now been immortalized.

1. The Nerdist Podcast: It was the discovery that there would be a taping of Nerdist on my birthday that inspired the whole trip down. If I believed in signs (I don’t) this would have been one. The show was fab, but the absolute best part was this:
That’s a Chris Hardwick/Jonah Ray/Matt Mira signed picture of my brother’s friend in Boulder, holding two Hardwick/Ray/Mira signed pictures of my brother in San Francisco as he’s holding a pair of my old Dave Matthews CDs, which are “signed” by Jonah Ray. Or, as Jonah said when I put the picture in front of him for signing, “Oh my God, this is fucking Inception!” It was a fabulous moment, well worth the effort of the cross-country in-joke.

So with all that, what could I possibly have been disappointed about? Well, I missed the Marvel panel and the lovely announcement of, oh, that’s right, Coulson Lives! Admittedly I missed it as I was having lunch with a friend (of the Hayden Christensen joke above) who I see every few years or so, so I’m not too bummed to have missed out cause frankly, the point is that, oh yeah, Coulson Lives!

Year of the Baby

This has been the year of the baby among my friends, which means it’s been a year of me going from baby sweater project to baby sweater project. But the last shower has passed and now I just have to wrap-up a child sweater (commissioned by aunt for my second cousin) and it’s on to some grown-up projects.

I tried to have some fun with the sweaters and match them to my friends’ interests/personalities a bit.

But to recap:

For my friend E, who has always loved a bit of magic and mystery, I did a Where the Wild Things Are sweater. It worked even better than I’d hoped in that, when the shower announcement arrived, the request was for books to build the baby’s library…so of course I bought the book to go with.

My friends J and A are big Doctor Who fans. So I took a standard baby sweater pattern I’ve done in the past and pulled from a TARDIS hat pattern to give the baby a little TARDIS sweater. Babies are bigger on the inside, right?

Then the most recent was for my friend A. A’s husband is very proud of his Irish heritage and A is a fan of funky bold colors, so I took a pattern for a celtic hooded sweater and then picked a bright peridot variegated green to go with. Have to admit, as much as I love me a TARDIS, this may be my most favorite thing I’ve ever knitted.

It’s a little nutty how much knitting went into creating three (almost four) baby/child-sized pieces…especially considering the number of adult-sized WIPs or yet-to-be-started projects I have in my stash.

Right….I’d better get to knitting…

Made. Of. Win.

So this is very much a “it’s all about me” post, but I need SOME sort of record of how much today rocked.

  • [insert general "I *still* love my job" info here]
  • I discovered “The Traveling Red Dress,” which is such an amazing project in pride and self-love that I’m 100% going to be taking part and you’ll be sure to hear more about it later.
  • We had a studio photographer in the office taking staid portraits of everybody and then some “prop” shots. My props of choice were my GEEK bookends and my book-worm plate, i.e. so much truth in advertising that I don’t know where to start. And the geek love of the fact that I not only was allowed, but encouraged to wave that geek flag professionally is just so much bliss…
  • I ordered some new glasses (which, if you’re not a regular glasses wearer. probably means little to you, but think about the fact that this is the ONE item that I wear every. single. day. and realize how crucial a decision it can be) that I absolutely love.
  • Ukulele class was all kinds of fun with new techniques, new songs, and further solidification that “Yes, I love (and can play!) this instrument.”
  • My brother informed me that I was vicariously referenced in a Nerdist podcast (1:00:25…when Jonah talks about desecrating some Dave Matthews material…those were my old CDs, which I sent to my brother for just this purpose).

And so many things that just can’t be described, which, all together equal such a nerd-eriffic, geek-love festival that I am filled to the brim with glee and happiness and love and joy. So yes, Happy Valentines to you all!

Thanksgeeking

I am thankful for many things–family, friends, a job I love, etc.–but those are not the kinds of things we discuss here. This is the place for all things geek, so this is where I give thanks for things geek for me from this year:

  • I’m thankful for Steven Moffat and the BBC, cause the new Sherlock and Doctor Who are made of so much win I can’t even begin to describe it.
  • I’m thankful to Terry Pratchett for making the newest Discworld novel a Watch book (there can never be enough Vimes).
  • I’m thankful that Hollywood was able to reboot Tron and remake True Grit without screwing them up.
  • I’m thankful they wrapped up the Harry Potter movies with such grace and entertainment (though much like with the books…possibly better if they’d skipped the epilogue) and I’m uber-thankful that the Twilight silliness is swiftly coming to a close.
  • I’m thankful that the amazingly talented people I’m a fan of (like Neil Gaiman) know and introduce me to (and in this case marry) amazingly talented people (Amanda Palmer) who know and introduce me to amazingly talented people (Zoe Keating and Jane Austen Argument) who…you get the idea.
  • I’m thankful to my two friends who convinced me to give podcasts another go, cause how else would I have found the joy that is listening to Nerdist or the Skeptics Guide to the Universe (while getting funny looks as I’m apparently laughing to myself on the bus).

Happy Thanksgeeking everyone!

A Doctor Who Movie! WooHo-Wait, What?!

In case it hasn’t been made abundantly clear, I’m a big ol’ Doctor Who fan. I love the reboot. I think what Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat have done is pretty darn incredible. While I’ll never forget my first doctor (Nine), it’s Ten and Eleven that I could watch day in and day out and be as happy as can be.

And as happy as can be is, just how happy I was when I heard rumblings that they might be bringing the Doctor to the big screen. Nearly shivering with anticipation and glee and then…

In a move sure to polarize fans, Yates says that the film version will not tie into any incarnations of the series.

“It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena,” he says. “…Russell T. Davies and then Steven Moffat have done their own transformations, which were fantastic, but we have to put that aside and start from scratch.”

Excuse me, what now?

So Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat revitalize the show, build massive amounts of fan momentum behind their story lines/interpretation…enough so that there’s even this chance for you to make a movie, and your solution is to throw it all away and “start from scratch”?!?!

You know that momentum I mentioned? Way to slam on the brakes, buddy.

(And if that glittery vampire gets anywhere near to being cast in it, my brain might actually short out.)

Spoilers!

The trick to this whole NaBloPoMo (or so I’m finding) is a little planning and mapping out of the things I want to talk about. Because then it comes clear there’s, at least somewhat, and order in which I should talk about them. Otherwise, I risk the dreaded: Spoiler!

Which is actually the point of this particular post, in that, I’ve actually never been adverse to spoilers. It was somewhere in the midst of the Harry Potter craze that it came clear to me why.

I loved the Harry Potter books when they first came out. Read 1-3 multiple times…and then I hit 4. Goblet of Fire, on its own, wasn’t that much of a showstopper. It was a somewhat enjoyable read, if longer than it needed to be. But then time passed and book 5 came along. And while I knew books 1-3 really well, I felt that, before reading book 5, I should go back and re-familiarize myself with Book 4.

Never happened.

Then Book 6 came out, which left me needing to read 4, 5, AND 6. Then Book 7. Suffice it to say, I stopped reading the books when (as evidence seems to suggest) J.K. Rowling’s editors did.

While I was still somewhat curious to know what happened, I wasn’t willing to slog through her overly long telling of it. So I turned to the Internet and actually actively sought out spoilers…at a time when most of Potter fans were avoiding them at all costs.

That’s when I found an article that (though I can’t find it now…Google-fu skills have failed me) still sticks with me today. It was about the spoiler fear in Harry Potter fandom, but also the concept of spoilers as a whole. Basically it boiled down to “If knowing the end can ‘spoil’ the book/movie/show, then the book/movie/show isn’t all that great to begin with, as the journey should matter more than the destination.”

And that’s what it was…in the early Harry Potter books, I was enjoying the journey. But once they become overly long and unedited, my enjoyment of the journey faded and I just wanted to know what happened.

“Are we there yet?”

Compare that to my recent experience with Doctor Who. I knew the fairly massive spoiler of the mid-season cliffhanger* but when I got there…and I clearly knew where we were going…I was still excited and as into the story as if it had been a total surprise. Knowing the spoiler spoiled nothing.

In fact, there’s been recent research showing that, in some cases, spoilers actually enhance one’s enjoyment of a tale.

I don’t always seek out a spoiler, but I’m also not actively avoiding them. And, of course, for the rest of my live, any time I think of them it will be in River Song’s sing-song voice: Spoilers!

*While I don’t mind spoilers, I fully acknowledge that others do…and I’m not quite sure of the statute of limitations on them so, as to not spoil anyone, I’m not going into details.