She’s Inside Of It, She Can’t See

Happy Movie Season 2020!

I’m kidding of course. There is no Movie Season 2020, something I decided last year, using Endgame and The Rise Of Skywalker as excellent signs that both big budget cinema and my particular obsession around it were moving on.

Plus I wanted to be more free and thoughtful with what I was reviewing and when. I still planned to go to the movies a whole lot.

Then you know, “The whole situation” (as my repressed preppy family calls it) occurred and I was suddenly really grateful I’d decided not to because it would have been another thing I needed to mourn and get all anxious over.

BUT, this past week, a new comic book movie, The Old Guard dropped on Netflix, so I decided to take Thursday night (my usual movie night), and recreate a home based Movie Season Evening. I made a shrimp roll (recipe will go up on Tuesday) and some moscow mules, and ate them while watching Cracked After Hours (to simulate the pop culture conversations of Aless, Kristi and I at PJ Clarke’s) while I waited for it do get dark outside enough to watch the movie theater style.

The Old Guard is really special. The idea is that some outside force, God maybe? has blessed a group of warriors across time with immortality. The are lead by Andromeda Schythia, played by Charlize Theron with the exact silent badassary she always applies to these roles. Throughout time they’ve fought as mercenaries against injustice.

When they find a new immortal, they also realize their lives are in danger by an evil medical corporation that wants to harness their power. It ends on an excellent sequel set up and I don’t want to spoil too much, because that’s part of the fun. The movie is quieter and more contemplative than I expected, which isn’t to say that the action is fabulous because it is, each set piece is perfect and brutal.

The cast is great, plenty diverse and it was just a whole lot of fun to tune in to a new movie for a change. I’ve been rewatching a lot, and not watching many movies. I miss the movies, but I was able to get something resembling it. I’ve also been doing Drive-In, with the family, which has been a whole different kind of fun. But something new.

Fangirl Loves Star Wars Comics: Darth Vader By Kieron Gillen, Salvador Larroca & Edgar Delgado

Darth Vader is cool.

Like, he’s a very cool villain. There’s no getting around it. Dude’s awesome.

Darth Vader the comics series from 2015-2016 takes huge advantage of the fact that Darth Vader is really cool. Also, magically, Kieron Gillen manages to make this Vader, purely Vader at this point, the series takes place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, feel of a piece with the Anakin Skywalker we’ve come to know from the prequels and The Clone Wars, without betraying how cool and scary Darth Vader is.

Gillen’s Vader is impulsive, single minded (he wants Luke Skywalker. That’s it.), cruel and charismatic. He’s also, oddly compassionate, in his totally and completely evil way. Like, I don’t know how to quite describe it, this is just a wonderfully written series and I was glad to have read it. (Even if I got it my mistake thinking it was Darth Vader: Lord Of The Sith, which we’ll do soon.) There are fun new characters too. The mercenary Doctor Aphra, a sassy rogue archeologist (There’s a particularly fun moment where she fights Han and they are foiled by some snakes…), two evil murderbots, 000 and B2, and a host of cyborgs who have been trained in the Jedi Arts, including two twins who make Vader want to Force Choke things even more (The Force is mysterious that way.)

I was genuinely overwhelmed with glee reading this series. Seriously, it’s a must do for a Star Wars fan digging deeper, if only because it balances fun and adventure in a way that the series does not always do well, and is always a joy to see.

Next time we’re going to take on Resistance Season 2, and I MEAN IT THIS TIME.

Fangirl Loves Star Wars: Poe Dameron (Comics) by Charles Soule, Phil Noto & Angel Unzueta

Um, I don’t know if you know this or not, readers, but I really am fond of the character Poe Dameron.

That might be an understatement…

What’s the word for a character who’s life story you’ve dived into, who you’ve written tons of secret fanfiction about, who you’ve spend hundreds of dollars to create cosplay for, and who’s actor you’ve decided you must watch his entire filmography?

OH! Is the word, obsessed? Yes, I think that’s the word.

Never forget the tagline of this blog is “Saving The World One Obsession At A Time!”

And while my obsessions wax and wane and sometimes go away entirely. (I no longer feel the need to purchase every Billy Joel album, for example! And I never even got The Nylon Curtain or Cold Spring Harbor.) But ever since that night watching The Force Awakens five years ago, Poe Dameron and by extension Oscar Isaac’s have been pretty steady.

Poe Dameron the Comic series was written by Charles Soule who is very good at writing comics. (READ SHE-HULK! He made her comic into a David E. Kelley show and it was great and perfect) He was also very nice to me once at ACBC, so you know, there’s that.

Poe Dameron covers the time before and between movies. First we get the lead up to The Force Awakens where he is trying to find Lor San Tekka (Remember how Kylo Ren killed Max Von Sydow? That guy) because Leia said so.

Seriously, one of the best things about Poe, which is preserved here is that when Leia says jump, his answer is, “How high? Also can I do a barrel roll?” Anyway, our self proclaimed best pilot in the galaxy is not alone, he’s got a great group of friends in his Black Squadron. Snap Wexley (there’s a moment where Snap’s childhood droid friend, Mr. Bones from Aftermath makes a comeback and I said, “Oooh YAY!”),  Jessika Pava, Kare Kun and Suralinda Jones. They’re a good team, and also Snap and Kare are in love and great and now I am even more sad about how Snap died. (This is not even getting into the great tragedy of him being shot down right before his step dad Wedge Antilles showed up on Exagol. My friend Jess warned me of this, but it is ROUGH y’all.) There’s also a bunch of stuff about C-3P0’s spy network, which is BADASS, and BB-8 rolling around being the best.

The art is good. There’s something a little off putting about photo realistic art of characters who’s actors I know well, but the likenesses are quite good, and once I was used to it it got easier.

But mostly it’s a lot of piloting and character building which is cool. It makes Poe’s disposition in The Rise Of Skywalker make a lot more sense. He’s given up everything for this fight, he’s lost friends and he’s kind of done.

Anyway, I’m glad to have picked up this one. Our next visit to a galaxy far far away will be the novel Bloodline. First I’m going to be hanging out where no one has gone before…because y’all Picard starts tomorrow! New Clone Wars not far behind btw. Lot going on at the moment.

 

Crisis Management: “Crisis On Infinite Earths: Parts 4 & 5”

Shut up, you’re crying.

And I mean a lot. While not quite as fun as it’s rising action, the climax and Epilogue to Crisis On Infinite Earths are both quite good in their own ways, and I think we’d be happiest if we just dig into things.

Crisis On Infinite Earths Part 4 (Arrow Season 8, Episode 8)

After this there are only two episodes of Arrow left, and one of them is the backdoor pilot for Green Arrow And The Canaries, which means really, there’s just one. I’m glad I made the decision to catch up for the final season, despite the show never really resonating with me after season 4.

Anyway, we open in The Vanishing Point and it’s been a minute. We know this because Ryan Choi now has a beard and also he tells us in a helpful voice over. Thanks Ryan. Everyone’s a little stir crazy and they sure hate Lex and Barry is missing! OH NO! Barry shows up again, super confused and then we flash to Purgatory where Corrigan is training Oliver to be the best Spectre he can be. HE then goes to The Vanishing Point and tells Barry he has to go to the Speed Force again or something. Basically everyone gets scattered into the Speed Force and needs to learn something about themselves.

The best (and most secret) cameo comes first, Barry confronts, Barry? But Barry as played by Ezra Miller and the whole scene is a damn delight. Anyway, Barry then has a conversation with Oliver/Spectre about finding everyone. Then Kate learns about Trust from watching Ray and Oliver bicker in the past, J’onn learns about teamwork from watching Oliver and Kara bicker in the past.

Meanwhile, Kara, Lex and Ryan are on Mor Nobu’s planet in the past trying to convince him not to go back in time and create the anti monitor. They succeed, but also don’t?

Anyway, they all go back to the dawn of time and fight The Anti Monitor and Oliver dies (for REALS this time you guys.) to restart everything and it seems to work. Hooray! Sara and Barry meanwhile are very sad about it, because of course they are.

Crisis On Infinite Earths Part 4 (Legends Of Tomorrow Season 5, Episode 1)

The worlds have been merged! And Kara for one, is delighted, as is a random dude on the street who approaches Kara and Barry for an autograph. (It’s Marv Wolfman!Hooray!) Sara meanwhile, is still pretty sad because even though most everyone is now back Oliver now isn’t.

She points out that Oliver was the last person who knew who she was before and this is a difficult loss for her. This is, well, incredibly profound, actually. Sara has lost a lot. (But then I realized, uh, Thea’s still alive right? Thea was young but she knew Sara…) Barry reminds her that Oliver died for all of them but before they can really get it together and giant Beebo attacks Star City.

Hello Legends! Sara calls Eva and Nate to check in about it and they moan about being sucked into another cross over. However, they note there is another Legend besides her and Ray in town.

Mick’s got a book signing and goes to fight Beebo for ruining it. Turns out the Beebo is just an illusion and as they celebrate their victory, everyone is attacked by shadow demons. OH NO!

One last stand off with the anti monitor where Supergirl and Ray save the day stops it. In a quiet moment, the world mourns Oliver Queen, and then Barry, Sara, Jefferson, Kara, Clark and Kate light an eternal flame in his memory. Barry also reveals a round table and the empty warehouse is revealed to be THE HALL OF FUCKING JUSTICE (Well, not Fucking Justice, this isn’t Titans, they’re still on their own world. More’s the pity for my dreams of watching Kate and Kara interact with that version of Dick.)

I look forward to the further bonkers shenanigans of this world, now without unnecessary dimension jumping. (Though Stargirl will still be on it’s own Earth? Good thing The Monitor gave Cisco his powers back?)

Observations

  • The Ezra Miller cameo was such a wonderful surprise I actually fell off the couch. Seriously, such a delight.
  • Lex rewrote things so that the whole world thinks he’s great. He wins the Nobel Peace Prize and everything. Kara is furious. Anyway glad Jon Cryer will be sticking around, he’s a wonderful presence on the show
  • In keeping with Legends being Legends half the episode is just people looking at computer monitors and Sara doesn’t suit up.
  • Kate chills with Alex and Kara at Kara’s apartment, and I’m so happy they’re all in the same world now. I hope Alex and Kate bond over motorcycles and awesome gay lady haircuts.
  • Sara Diggle is back! Hooray! Also, now Lois and Clark have two kids, which will be fun for their upcoming pilot.
  • Things I was hoping for but didn’t get: Digg getting a Green Lantern ring. We did see the Lantern Corp, which I’m assuming is from the upcoming HBOMax show. (I’m going to get HBOMax, purely because of The West Wing so we shall see how that one pans out) Felicity, at all. I know they wanted to save Emily Bett Ricakard’s return for the Arrow finale, but still.
  • While in all reality I want Diggle on The Waverider so we don’t have to say goodbye to Diggle, Rene’s reaction to Beebo (complete confusion) and then interaction with Rory (pouring him champagne) also makes him a good candidate.
  • I mostly cried at the montage of all the superheroes, but especially Routh!Superman flying away and winking at the camera.
  • Best Teamup Of The Crossover: Jefferson Pierce, Killer Frost and Mick Rory. Close second: Nash Wells, Ryan Choi & Ray Palmer (FOR SCIENCE)
  • I’m soaking in every moment of Brandon Routh and still can’t believe we’re losing him after this season.

Overall, I enjoyed the Crisis, the cameos and Easter Eggs were super fun, and I’d rank it third for the big Crossovers (Earth-X, Elseworlds, Infinite Earths, Heroes Vs Aliens, Whatever the Hawkpeople one was) Moving forward I’m going to do my best to keep up and write these check ins. But I’m also trying to watch less TV in general so maybe not. I don’t know yet.

 

In The Face Of Adaptation: Watchmen

Alan Moore wrote Watchmen to be unadaptable.

This is the common wisdom and it’s probably true, since Alan Moore has notoriously hated every adaptation of his work save the Justice League Unlimited take on Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow? (He’s right, it’s both a fantastic episode and a great adaptation. It’s also my favorite thing he wrote, but I’ve never read Swamp Thing…)

I read Watchmen in college, as a burgeoning closeted comics geek, it was an acceptable starting point. Watchmen wasn’t a comic book, (the horror!) it was literature. 

I didn’t get it. I saw the movie. I liked that fine. But still, didn’t get it.

I read Watchmen again a few years ago, after diving headlong into comics and superhero fandom.

I got it that time.

It’s a brilliant work.

I still don’t quite get the movie.

Also, while recognizing Watchmen’s greatness and even liking the book itself, the way the comics industry learned all the wrong lessons from it continues to piss me off. Not everything needs to be Watchmen. 

Anyway, why revisit this graphic novel that I’ve always appreciated more than I actually liked? Because HBO is airing a TV show based on it obviously!

Rather than adapt that which cannot be adapted (how does one show all of time happening to Doctor Manhattan at once on film? ONE CANNOT!) Damon Lindelof has opted to further explore the deeply interesting world that Moore created.

Watchmen the show, takes place in an alternate 2019, the 2019 of the Watchmen, where a culture shaped by masked vigilantes and accelerated technology and President Robert Redford. Of course bits of our history still happened, so the world is both alien and familiar.

And I was wary. Being not crazy about Watchmen, and even more nervous at attempts to do more with it, I didn’t know what to expect going in.

It’s good. It’s damn good. It’s thoughtful and darkly funny, and opaque, and uses TV the way the novel uses comics.

Also Regina King is the shit.

Anyway, I’m curious how the whole thing ends up, but I’m super intrigued with how things are going. Now that Adrian Veidt and Laurie Blake are in the mix, I’m even more excited for how things are going to progress. Doctor Manhattan’s appearance feels imminent. Or not, an anticlimax of  that sort would be both very in the spirit of Watchmen and Lindelof’s pedigree.

We’ll see.

60 Books In 2019 #53 & 54: The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins & Murder On The Rockport Limited by Clint, Griffin, Justin & Travis McElroy & Carey Pietsch

I’ve got a new (ish) Shibboleth when I’m around fellow nerdy people. Once you get past your standards (What’s your house? Marvel or DC? Wars or Trek?), you suss out if someone is a podcast person, and then, “Do you McElroy at all?”

I’ve decided to turn McElroy into a verb because it’s easier than running down the list of the good good podcasts, from these good nice boys and their various relatives. I McElroy pretty hard, I listen to all the podcasts, and have watched the TV show a few times and I listen to the spin off Smirl Girl podcasts. I was late to The Adventure Zone even by my standards and I’m still making my way through the Balance arc, but I decided to pick up the two (so far) graphic novels based on the podcast which is just the boys playing Dungeons And Dragons with their dad.

It’s not for everyone. I mean, if you’re allergic to JOY you might not enjoy the McElroy brand. Not but really, it’s absurdly silly stuff, where Taako, The Elf Wizard (from TV), Merle The Dwarf Cleric (Devotee of Pan), and Magnus The Human Fighter (Rushes in), go on magical adventures for The Bureau of Balance retrieving artifacts of great power.

But mostly they mess it up, and make dumb jokes, and make Griffin, their dungeon master and best friend sigh in exasperation. I was nervous if the graphic novel would live up to the slightly structured silliness of the podcast and it really did. It’s also so correct that Carey Pietsch’s art seems almost childlike, or at least like a children’s book, brightly colored and thick lined and full of whimsy.

Seriously, if you like the podcast (or want a slightly less time consuming introduction to those Good Nice McElroy boys) check it out.

I know I was supposed to be reading Cavendon Hall but here’s the deal, the book was not particularly well written and had a rape in the first 20 pages. I got too much stuff I want to read to be subjecting myself to poorly written historical fiction with rapes in it!

Up next is Doctor Sleep because we’re halfway through October and I want some ghosts damn it!

60 Books In 2019 #38: Check Please: Book 1: #Hockey By Ngozi Ukazu

I don’t consider this comic Very Serious ArtTM at all, but I do consider it to be something even better: fun. – Ngozi Ukazu Foreward to Check Please

As a woman who has a complicated but deeply loving relationship with fandom, sports and bro culture, I was kind of nervous about reading Check Please. I was raised by a bro, and lived my life surrounded by them. I speak their language fluently, I understand that toxic bros have hurt and broken many people, but I knew only rowdy love and kindness from them all my life. No bro has ever made me defend my love of the Manning brothers or quizzed me about Zac Brown Songs I prefer. They did not say I was wearing that Hawaiian shirt to a Jimmy Buffett concert “for the attention” or scoffed when I couldn’t keep the plots of The Fast And The Furious sequels straight.

Bros are my brother, and future brother in law, and cousins and friends. I will drink PBR and defend Sublime in their honor against nerds for always. (In turn, I will also defend my nerd loves to the bros. I walk between worlds.)

Check Please is a warm bro-ey hug and I was so grateful for it. (I have gotten many of these hugs over the years, they’re great!) The comic is based around the experiences of Erik Bittle, a college hockey player who switched from figure skating for scholarship reasons. Bitty, as his teammates call him, comes to Samwell College in Boston from a smal town in Georgia, with a love of baking and pop songs and a deep fear of being checked.

Bitty’s also gay, not quite in the closet, but not quite out, really into vlogging and has a SUPER crush on his captain, the broody, mysterious Jack Zimmerman.

Bitty is, to use a fandom term I’ve never been particularly fond of, a total cinnamon roll. All I want to do is hug him and tell him he’s wonderful and perfect and deserves love. Luckily, this is what his teammates and friends, Shitty, Ransom, Holster and many others shower him with all the time.

And then there’s Jack. *SWOON*

This first volume ends with Bitty and Jack’s first kiss and it’s adorably well earned, but mostly, I just devoured this book like one of Bitty’s sweet pies, because of the healthy warm masculinity it models. There’s so much talk about toxic masculinity but less talking and modeling about the aspects that are good. The weird bonding rituals and group hugs and SO MUCH BEER DRINKING, that’s largely harmless and delightful and fun.

Ngozi Ukazu didn’t set out to make VERY SERIOUS ART with Check Please but I think she might have anyway.

Also, the book is so stinking cute, and volume 2 isn’t available yet! Which AHHHH!!!!

Up next is Party Of The Century: The Fabulous Story Of Truman Capote And His Black And White Ball by Deborah Davis. Showbiz bios are fun for everyone!

Anyone Can Be Spider-Man

Spider-verse

I remember when I first encountered Miles Morales. I’d been around in the early days of Twitter and the #DonaldForSpiderMan thing. I’d been reading Ultimate Spider-Man on and off for a year or so, when suddenly, and without warning, the guy at the comic book store in Scranton, PA handed me a copy of the book and said, “No, you have to read this month’s, they killed Peter Parker.”

Even in my laregly neophyte shoes of those days, I knew that was big. Death stuck in Ultimate, that was part of the deal. Soon enough though, Peter Parker was replaced by a smart ass kid from Brooklyn. Half Black, half Latino, all heart. And most of us were smitten.

Slowly, because you know, comics, and pre Avengers comics at that, the rest of the world caught on to this kid, and he’s been creeping into the mainstream ever since. And Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is his coming out party.

And what a party it is. This movie has everything! Great animation, stunning action, a heartfelt coming of age story, great pizza jokes, meta humor coming out the wazoo, Batman jokes, two badass teenage girl co-leads, Lily Tomlin, a baller soundtrack, mecha robots, a Batman parody, Chris Pine singing, a scary scary villain and John Mulaney voices a pig!

DO NOT MISS THIS ONE SUPERHERO FANS. It’s doing well enough that it won’t be left behind to be whined over like Mask Of The Phantasm, but seriously, this movie is incredible and not to be missed, OK?

Post Credits: Spider-Man of 2099. So, yeah, there’s that.

Rankings!

  1. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
  2. The Incredibles 2
  3. Bohemian Rhapsody
  4. A Star Is Born
  5. Solo: A Star Wars Story
  6. Creed 2
  7. Deadpool 2
  8. Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!
  9. Ocean’s 8
  10. Infinity War
  11. Ant-Man And The Wasp
  12. Venom

Trailers:

The lack of a Captain Marvel trailer was concerning, but otherwise we got some good stuff here

Shazam! Holy Moly, this looks fun. While I am very much in love with Zachary Levi, the kid also looks great.

How To Train Your Dragon: The Lost World (or whatever): Shut up, you’re crying!

Wonder Park: This looks completely and utterly charming. I am down for animated movies about mothers and daughters being creative together.

 

30 Books in 2018 #17: Grayson By Tim Seely & Tom King

Depression’s a funny thing, when you come out the other side of it. I mean, the disease itself isn’t funny at all. But I’ve always found the odd transformations that occur during one of my “foggy times,” a little bit funny.

I had a rough week, last week. Nothing happened, particularly, I just, didn’t feel well. (Seriously, concerned friends and family, I’m good. It was like the mental health version of a cold or stomach bug!) When the fog lifted however, my mind snapped into place, looking to latch on to some old obsessions.

Plus I’d been doing some heavy lifting in the reading department, so I figured, yeah, let’s take a break with some sexy spy times with everyone’s favorite ex-acrobat, ex-superhero, double agent with buns of steel and a heart of gold.

Agent THIRTY SSSEEEVEEEENNNNN! *BA BOW BOW*

AKA Dick Grayson, AKA Nightwing, AKA Robin, AKA Batman for like a minute (A GLORIOUS MINUTE) AKA The Fictional Love Of My Life.

So, when your depression brain wakes up one day and says , “I miss Dick Grayson,” and the part of you that’s trying to cope thinks, “that’s it? That’s what you want this time? We don’t need to eat our weight in pasta? Or skip work and walk around the Met? Or just lay in bed with the covers over our head wondering what the point of getting out of bed is? You just want to read some comics and obsess about Dick Grayson’s butt? WE CAN TOTALLY DO THIS DEPRESSION BRAIN!” And then your depression brain goes, “Really? Cool! Now about that pasta…”

I’m not suggesting that you negotiate with brain weasels all the time, I’m just highlighting how low level this week’s funk was.

Anyway, I decided that since my crazy self missed Mr. Grayson, I’d reread and finish the spy series that bears his name. (And then probably read Nightwing: Rebirth…but I haven’t done that yet…) I went on Amazon, bought the soft cover collections, and realized I’d previosuly read about half the series, though remembered even less of it.

I enjoyed it immensely. Grayson is a really fun book, even if I can’t quite look at it objectively. Most comic fans have “their guy.” Dick Grayson is my guy, and Grayson is written for people who choose him as their guy. Here he’s the smartest, best, funniest and obviously prettiest boy in every room he enters. (I mean he usually is anyway, IMO.)

But Grayson in particular plays to the character’s strengths and history which makes it a fun read. The spy setting lets his abilities as a performer and man-skank (seriously he’s SOOO slutty. I love him.) shine, whereas the traditional Batman urban setting plays these down, focusing on the acrobatics and quips (Also great) (And in abundance here.)

It’s also got a fun cast, (Helena Bertinelli & Tiger are true treasures. Midnighter’s fun too!) and my favorite series of moments, when Dick reveals to his fellow Bat-kids that he faked his death. Jason punches him in the face while Tim lectures him. Barbara tells him that she wishes she could be surprised by how disappointed in him she is…which ouch. And Damian just flying tackle hugs him, and I cry forever. There’s a decent exploration of identity throughout the series and the way it shifts as we grow up and change. Given how much he’s changed (Robin, Nightwing, Batman, back to Nightwing) Dick’s the perfect character in mainstream comics to explore that with. And it’s explored prtty deeply.

Am I Straight

Also this happens…because FAN SERVICE!

Like a lot of tail end New 52 stuff, things sort of fall apart when the book is forced into the massive crossovers and complex retcons happening around it. While the Robin War stuff, which crossed over with We Are Robin and I would assume Robin and Red Hood And The Outlaws and Teen Titans, I guess, (What was even was Tim’s book at this point? But see what I mean about the confusion?) was interesting, it pulled you out of some pretty important Spyral action which then takes another couple of issues to pick up. But it’s a fun mystery with a bonkers conclusion that all ties back to the question of identity. And there’s a fun Coda featuring my new favorite Constantine story. So that’s fun.

I’m trying not not let this suck me down a dark hole of comics reading, because so much time and money. But I was happy to pop in and revisit, especially with Dick. I’d missed him so.

 

Agent 37

And did I mention the fanservice?

Pacific Rim, Flashpoints, And Doing The Work

Because the Pacific Rim sequel is coming soon, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. There are certain moments that our lives turn on, when floodgates open, and while you don’t see it at the time, you look back and go, yeah, that was when it happened.

The summer of 2013 was full of those moments for me. I attribute a lot of that to Aless (no but like really) but also to my unconventional schedule at the time and a dissatisfaction at seeing friends (and former friends) excel at the things they wanted to do while I tread water. It was the first official movie season, when I started reading comics and when I realized that if I was going to be “The Fangirl” titular to this blog, I had a lot of work to do, broadening my horizons and being able to speak knowledgeably about nerd topics.

Pacific Rim was a huge wakeup call on that front.

I walked out of Pacific Rim thinking, “I’ve never seen anything like that before.” I loved that movie. Everything about it, with it’s giant robots, and it’s cool looking monsters, and it’s Charlies, both Day and Hunnam, and it’s dumb character names (WTF kind of name is “Stacker Pentecost?”).

Then I took to the internet. Most of the places I hung out virtually loved the movie.  (Duh) But they had seen things like that before. In Anime, and Japanese monster movies and even less mainstream Western comics.

Of course they had, because these internet nerds hadn’t spend the first 26 years of their life going, “Oh but I’m not that kind of nerd. I don’t got to comic con or anything, I just like superhero movies…and Star Wars…and YA Paranormal Romance…and Joss Whedon’s entire ouevre… and The Lord Of The Rings…and Harry Potter…and Doctor Who…and pretty much any of the kind of stuff you’re talking about that has casually crossed my path. But I’d never look for it or seek it out, because I’m actually a normal. I like sports and I wear pearls and I watch Friends reruns and chick flicks.” This was the first year that “I AM MORE THAN ONE THING” clicked into full view as my driving philosophy. The part of me that wanted to go to comic con, and obsess about The Avengers was not quite yet peacefully coexisting with the part that loves the Yankees and wants a country club wedding, but it was getting there. (Bridging the gap is the part that studied Literature in college and sees lots of Broadway shows, if you were wondering.)

Pacific Rim and talking about it taught me that I needed to do the work, I’d made a good start, but I need to study if I was going to get good at this. So you guys can be damn sure that if it weren’t for that movie, I never would have recapped Sailor Moon or watched The X-Files, I wouldn’t have read The Dark Tower or finally given Star Trek: The Next Generation a shot. I’d never have absorbed into the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend Of Korra.

So much of who I am came out of that summer and the stuff I took in during that time, and I’ve tried since to stop writing things off as “not my thing,” before experiencing them. Which is why in addition to The Epics Project, I’m reading The Dune Chronicles, and opening my world up to more anime (OMG Inuyasha has eaten my life!) and I’m going try, God help me, to jump back into super hero comics. (It’s so expensive and time consuming though…) Cosplay’s back in my life in a big way this year. My next big bridge is going to be horror. I don’t think I’ll ever be into super bloody torture porn type stuff, but I’m going to open my world to more psychological and supernatural horror movies, since I’ve genuinely liked the stuff I have encountered. Also, I’m going to watch all the Star Trek. Finish TNG, get into Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise, and then click in for Discovery.