Mystie

Dec 112014
 

If you missed it, Roc Upchurch was removed from the Image Comics family following domestic abuse charges against his wife. Kurtis Wiebe (writer for Rat Queens) announced shortly after the news broke that Rat Queens would continue and that they were looking for a new artist to take over for Roc. This morning, Image broke the news that Stjepan Sejic will be taking over illustrating our favorite ladies of mischief and their wonderful escapades.

Stjepan previously worked on Sunstone, an Amazon #1 bestseller.

Welcome to Rat Queens, Stjepan Sejic

Welcome to Rat Queens, Stjepan Sejic

Though I loved Roc’s art style for Rat Queens, I think that Image and Kurtis made the right choice and I am very excited to see what Stjepan does with Violet, Hannah, Dee and Betty. Just keep them each their unique, kick-ass style and I will get behind it.

Image’s Announcement can be found here: https://imagecomics.com/content/view/image-comics-shadowline-welcomes-new-artist-on-rat-queens

Sep 222014
 

I was checking all my social media during my lunch today, ’cause that is what you do in 2014 and I came across this in my News Feed.

why would we even be surprised anymore?

why would we even be surprised anymore?

And I got mad. Not just irritated, or slightly perturbed, but enraged. Just yesterday I was sharing the beginning of this story: Emma Watson speaks out at the UN that feminism isn’t a dirty word and it’s for everyone. She has started a campaign entitled “HeForShe” encouraging men to take part of the fight. [It’s getting pretty heavy holding it up by ourselves over here.] I was impressed and proud that Emma had taken and put a very public face on an issue that we have been fighting over here in the Nerd World for way way too long.

And guess what happened. She got the same treatment (albeit fairly mild compared to some) that anyone speaking up against misogyny in gaming has gotten. They couldn’t attack her argument because their logic sounds a little like “Women shouldn’t talk. Just let us covet and hate women as much as we damn well please. Oh, and give us sex when we are nice to you/want it.” So, they attack her personally. For Emma Watson this first threat is to expose her (literally) in a way that makes anyone feel vulnerable. For Anita Sarkeesian (www.feministfrequency.com) it was exposing her in the way of ruining her anonymity on the web by threatening her home and the people she cares about.

And I’m fucking tired of it. I’m taking a stand. The League of 42 is taking a stand. This is no longer an issue that we can sit on the sidelines and let other people fight for us. This is getting to be a “You are with us or against us” issue because sitting around letting anyone attack Emma or Anita is letting them attack us. Letting them beat down the people who are fighting this fight for us.

According to “The Science of Happiness”, it takes 5 positive things to erase 1 negative one in your dealings with people. So, Anita, Emma, here’s hoping that the 5 of us standing with you silences 1 of the trolls you are fighting.

Aug 292014
 

In an interesting move, Nintendo announced today that they are releasing an updated version of the 3DS and the 3DS XL, currently titled the new 3DS and the new 3DS LL.

New-Nintendo-3DS-5

Currently only planned to be released in Japan in October, the new 3DS consoles feature the following major changes:

- Completely customizable snap-on top and bottom covers

- Updated processors for faster gaming and better graphics

- An improved 3D viewing system; the camera follows your head angle to ensure that the 3D doesn’t blur as it currently does if you look at it from any angle except directly in front

- Change from SD Card to microSD

- Battery will now be replaceable and each will hold about 7 hours of gameplay

- Updated gameplay buttons (now colorful)

- New shoulder pad buttons, labeled ZR & ZL

- A tiny analog pad button above the action buttons

They won’t be released in the US this year, but expect the announcement from Nintendo America for a release date in early 2015. Will you be updating your model?

Jun 102014
 

 

Link Hyrule So, we *might* be a tiny bit biased here at The League 0f 42, with several of our authors citing the Legend of Zelda series as their all-time favorite series and going so far as to use it as an entire argument for the 3DS over the PS Vita, but the new trailer for the Legend of Zelda for the Wii U has us salivating. An entire open-world Hyrule, a la Skyrim? Where do I preorder?

Zelda Hyrule

And I do think it is worth mentioning that no one has confirmed that the individual in the trailer is Link. There is a possibility, albeit slight, that the figure atop the horse is Zelda herself or a female reincarnation of our beloved hero. I do want to note that “Link” is not wearing the traditional green. The hero is androgynous enough that it could go either way, and I will be happy with anything. (Though part of me will keep my fingers crossed that we get to save Link as Zelda this time around.)

Check out the trailer for the first, or hundredth, time:

What do you think? Are you excited for the new Zelda? Could our protagonist be a female?

Jun 042014
 

Following the smashing success of the first five seasons of The Guild (her webseries about a Guild of gamers who become a Guild IRL), Felicia Day created Geek & Sundry, a YouTube channel dedicated to bringing fans the sorts of shows they want to see. With the exception of The Guild Season Six, these shows have primarily been reality-based shows such as Tabletop, The Flog, Sword and Laser and Vaginal Fantasy.

Despite the success of those shows (Tabletop in particular) Felicia Day has been outspoken about her desire to create a new scripted show and has delivered in the format of a new webseries, Spooked. Spooked follows the adventures of a group of “semi-professional” ghost hunters who take on a new case in each episode, spoofing the “reality” based ghost hunter shows you can find on cable television. The first episode aired today and can be found on Hulu and the Geek & Sundry YouTube channel. Or right here.

NO SPOILERS REVIEW.

The first episode of any new television show or webseries can be full of little kinks that need to be worked out and Spooked is no exception. The interaction between the Paranormal Investigation Team (PITs) is slightly off and the motivations for each character are still 2-dimensional. This is primarily felt in this episode as each character had to be introduced, their motivation mentioned and an entire “story” had to be told in twenty minutes. However, despite that difficulty, Spooked delivers in a fun and campy manner that is grounded in the very believable love an older brother feels for his quite younger sister who is dealing with the death of their parents in a very …different way.

Spooked has set-up several questions that I am already curious to have answered and the premise is intriguing. Without cable executives breathing down their necks, I think Spooked has a very bright future in the sorts of stories it can tell. I was a huge fan of the overarching story in this first episode.

I do want to point out, I am VERY tired of people being compared to “12 year old girls” as an insult. It’s hard enough to be one without it being made out to be the worst fate in the world. 12 year old girls are AWESOME, ok?  /rant

As long as Felicia Day, and the rest of the team behind Spooked, remember that the real value of a show is in the relationships built between the characters and the stories between the characters and not just in the number of times they can make the audience laugh, they have got a hit on their hands.

May 112014
 

I have had the cosplay itch for several weeks now and someone *cough*Joe*cough* is having a hard time narrowing down our next Cosplay, so I decided to do something a little different….

COMIC BOOK COVERED SHOES!

shoe toes

What about that is not enticing? You create one-of-a-kind shoes that fit you and showcase something you love.

This is how I did it:

Step 1: Purchase secondary copies of comics you enjoy. I mean, who is gonna cut up their regular copy?

comics

Step 2: Pick some old shoes (or buy some new ones) that have a smooth surface to adhere the comics to. Luckily, I had some heels that I couldn’t wear anymore after my cat, Leonidas, thought the toes would be a good chew toy….

shoes

Step 3: Cut out pages that are the color scheme you want and cut out special images you want to showcase on the shoes.

comics pieces

cut outs

Step 4: Use ModPodge to stick the colored background pieces to the shoe. Wet the surface of the shoe and wet both sides of the comic piece using a paint brush. Press the piece down and stick with more ModPodge, pressing the comic piece flat onto the surface of the shoe.

eyes

partly done

Step 5: Cover both shoes completely with the background images and allow to dry for 2-3 hours.

shoessss

Step 6: Use the “featured” images and spread them around on the shoes to your liking.

pieces

Step 7: Allow the shoes to dry for 24 hours. Apply a final coat of ModPodge, let dry and WEAR THEM, YOU FABULOUS HUMAN.

Apr 042014
 

night broken

If you are a fan of urban fantasy and haven’t read Mercy Thompson, I am disappoint.

Source: replygif.net

The 8th installment of Mrs. Brigg’s Mercy Thompson was released on March 11th and has quickly taken its place as one of my favorites in this series. Despite the fact that I frequently had to fight from tearing it in half or throwing it across the room. But more on that later.

There are spoilers, ahead. If you have not read the novel, you better run out and get it. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

 

Source: replygif.net

Alright, we are all set now? Good.

This installment starts with a normal Sunday morning at the Hauptman house, so of course there are werewolves everywhere. The phone rings and we are about to be introduced to the toughest enemy that Mercy and Adam have had to face so far: Christy, Adam’s ex-wife. And she needs their help. And to stay in their home.

Source: replygif.net

Needless to say, I knew this was going to be a rough one.

Christy has encountered a man who started as an interesting fling and ended up being a crazy stalker. And she is so afraid that she has run to the one person she knows can handle anything: Adam. Her ex-husband. Mercy’s new husband. Mercy is still walking on eggshells around the pack because of the whole “being a coyote shapeshifter” thing. And maybe some of the trouble that seems to follow her around. But… really. That’s hardly her fault.

As the story progresses, we begin to see how adept Christy is at managing (read:manipulating) people to where she subtly makes Mercy the “bad guy” while making most everyone in the pack bend over backwards to make her feel better. Every dinner is a chess match. And really, we know Mercy is much better with a blunt instrument. Like maybe a walking stick with a thirst for blood. Mercy comes out the loser in these engagements. Hence the aforementioned book throwing.

Source: replygif.net

The real “big bad” of the story is a volcano god from the Canary Islands. (There’s a sentence you don’t hear often.) The legend goes that he was so enamored by the sun that he stole her and kept her as his lover until she was freed and he has been searching for her ever since. And somehow he thinks she is Christy. Well, volcano god, there are a lot of things I would call Christy and “sun goddess” DEFINITELY does not make the top ten. But, I digress…

VOLCANO GOD. Right. Well, this is a nasty one. He is so far from home that he must take something with him as a power source: namely two giant beast dogs from hell. Which they have to defeat to take him out, of course.

One of the most interesting components of this story, in my opinion, was that we met Mercy’s half-brother, Gary Laughingdog. Who seems to have a slightly different reaction to Coyote than Mercy does. Namely, he hates him.

Source: replygif.net

I should probably be less amused by this. But I love Coyote. His sly, somewhat dark, sense of humor is fantastic. And his disregard for rules and playing by them. Except when it keeps the ones he loves safe.

Anyway, yada yada yada, the good guys win. But it comes with a price this time. Mercy dies. And even with a broken neck and being gnawed on by a giant demon dog from hell, Mercy saves the day.

Source: replygif.net and also those amazing blue eyes.

YOU GO, GIRL.

She turns the tide of the battle and manages to let Adam and the pack kill the other demon dog, sending Volcano God back to the Canary Islands. But we get to hear a little bit of the conversation as Mercy lapses in and out of consciousness and it does not sound good.

But Mercy’s father is NOT Coyote. So he pays her a little visit and VOILA! no more broken neck. Man, it would be nice to have Coyote as my not-father.

So, we end with a not-dead Mercy, a banished big-bad and Christy is blue. Da-ba-di-da-ba-dye.

Source: replygif.net

All’s well that ends well… with a walking stick.

Overall: I really enjoy that Briggs doesn’t shy away from tough emotions. And there are several times that I was so angry that she would bring Christy into Mercy’s & Adam’s lives, but it was done reasonably and realistically. It never crossed that line into sitcom-y and to that end I was very impressed. I occasionally think that the mythology gets away from Briggs- we are constantly introducing and updating the mythos- but it never completely contradicts itself or gets boring (though a little difficult to follow). Mercy was definitely true to character this entire novel (but possibly a little more mature) and was everything I have come to love about the character. Her selflessness and need to protect those she loves are still her main traits. I can’t wait to see what she does next.

4/5 stars.

Feb 132014
 

If you do not live under a rock, you have heard of cosplay by now. Costume-play: it’s no longer for the very obscure anime fans (that should be the new tagline).  In the past several years, cosplay has moved from into the mainstream and people are making careers and lives out of it.

The level has risen to the point where these amazing costumes look like your favorite video game/comic book/anime/TV characters jumped right out of their medium and are now walking around your streets.

So, should YOU do it? I will tell you my experience as a first time cosplayer and let you decide.

1. It is EXPENSIVE. If you are doing any sort of character with unique armor/special costuming (or anything more than a Lycra bodysuit) those little touches add up. For my first Cosplay, I decided that I would be Lilith from Borderlands (and Joe would be Mordecai). We spent over $800.00 on both of our costumes and definitely could have spent more.

2. It is TIME-CONSUMING. 6 weeks before Stan Lee’s Comikaze I made the decision that we would do it. (I had been toying with the idea for months). We did not have a spare moment (or any space in our living room) from that moment on. It was all cutting/painting/sewing/shaping with whatever show on in the background. Be prepared to put a lot of time in it.

3. It is UNCOMFORTABLE. Your wig will itch, your contacts will burn and something will be digging into you. If you have a very large or heavy costume, it will get hot.

4. Once you get to the convention, you have to be prepared to take twice as long getting from one place to another as you will be stopped for pictures. Along with the rise of cosplay, there has been a rise of cosplay photographers. There are people who go to conventions SPECIFICALLY in order to take photos of all the cosplay. It can be very rewarding as you just spent all this money and time (see points 1&2) on your costume, but it is hard to smile when the 50th person asks for your photo while your contact is burning your eye.

Is it worth it? Yes. The first time you see someone smile when they see your costume and they tell you how many hours they have logged in that game (or time spent reading the comic, etc), you feel a special kinship and camaraderie. It reminds you that strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet.

        Mystie    Joe

Just be prepared to be poor, stressed and itchy.

Feb 042014
 
GB

When I was an engineering student at the University of Southern California, one of my favorite activities was Girl Scout Badge Day. As a part of the Society of Women Engineers chapter, we would bring young girls to campus and teach them about science through the use of non-Newtonian fluids (cornstarch and water), static electricity (balloons), and rockets (using string and another balloon as a propellant). There was not one girl among them who didn’t jump in with both feet at every station. The volunteers, the parents and especially the girls would end the day covered in cornstarch with tons of clean-up to do, but it was always worth it. For the students, seeing the faces and hearing the laughter of the girl scouts gave us the amazing feeling that we had passed our love of science and engineering on to the next generation.

Despite this program and ones like it, the number of women graduating with science and technology degrees is still significantly lower than the number of men. It begs the question “At what point are those little girls internalizing the messages that we keep sending them, that ‘boys are better at science and math’ and ‘boys won’t like you if you are smarter than them’”?.  At what point are we going to stop sending them those messages?

I recently read She’s Such a Geek and couldn’t believe how much I identified with most of the stories despite the fact that my journey was happening years AFTER theirs. For the majority of women, when faced with a male-dominated field you either embrace your femininity or hide it. I embraced it. Maybe not outwardly, as I wore baggy sweatshirts and kept my long hair in a bun for most of the time while I was at college, but I joined the Society of Women Engineers and the Women’s Student Assembly (SWE’s parent organization at USC) and I kept up *part* of a social life. I liked telling people that I was an engineer because I got satisfaction when they were surprised (but hated it when they questioned it). There were times I thought about how much easier my life would be if I dropped engineering, but it was never something I considered for more than a half-second during those 12-hour homework Saturdays. I was much too stubborn for that.

In a way, I think I was very lucky. I was always pushed by my parents to go into “something stable” and there was never any doubt that I was going to go to college. I never faced any sort of gender discrimination at home, so I was better equipped the few times I faced it out in the “real” world. Sure, I played with Barbies, but I was also taught how to change my own oil, and I was never told I couldn’t do something just because I was a girl. However, I was still very aware of the stereotypes about men being better at science. I couldn’t tell you where I learned it – I just knew. If that knowledge was compounded with less than absolutely supportive parents, I can see why girls wouldn’t be motivated to fight their way through the discrimination and difficulty.

While I was watching the Super Bowl ads, I was pleasantly surprised by GoldieBlox. I was very disappointed in most of the commercials that I watched; if women were represented, it was poorly and none of the messages were ones I would want my (future) daughters receiving. But, in the GoldieBlox ad, the girls were using their “pink aisle” toys to build a rocket. It is reminding us that we need to watch the messages that we are sending to our children- both the girls and the boys. What are we telling the little boys about women if they are only allowed to play with pink dollhouses and baby carriages and play-kitchens? If you are not familiar with GoldieBlox, check out this statement from their website:

“At GoldieBlox, our goal is to get girls building. We’re here to help level the playing field in every sense of the phrase. By tapping into girls’ strong verbal skills, our story + construction set bolsters confidence in spatial skills while giving young inventors the tools they need to build and create amazing things. In a world where men largely outnumber women in science, technology, engineering and math…and girls lose interest in these subjects as early as age 8, GoldieBlox is determined to change the equation. Construction toys develop an early interest in these subjects, but for over a hundred years, they’ve been considered “boys’ toys”. By designing a construction toy from the female perspective, we aim to disrupt the pink aisle and inspire the future generation of female engineers.We believe there are a million girls out there who are engineers. They just might not know it yet. We think GoldieBlox can show them the way”.

As an engineer, I would have loved these toys as a kid and you can bet your ass you know what I will be buying my best friend’s little girl when she enters this world in a month. We need messages, through ALL forms of media, that young girls can do whatever the hell they want to. And GoldieBlox is on the right track.

Check out the commerical here.