Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Geekanerd Spotter: Inappropriate Sleeping Beauty Ad

Yeeah. That doesn't look wholesome to me. Maybe I'm still all perv'ed out from the Anime Fest this weekend, but seriously. That blood red background juxtaposed with the tag line "SEE MORE THAN EVER BEFORE" and the the very unwisely cropped picture..could this be intentionally dodgy? It could be a specifically New York market ad, maybe they decided to go for the somnophiliac market as long as they were posting stuff in the childless land of East Midtown Manhattan.

Past Editions of Geekanerd Spotter

Monday, September 29, 2008

Panel Discussion: Scans From Blue Beetle, Runaways, Superman/Batman and More

Every Monday, we at Geekanerd rip panels from last Wednesday's comics and post the best, the worst, and the weirdest. Those who didn't read books last week, beware of minor spoilers.

Clearest Example of Batman's Insanity - Superman/Batman #52
In case you need context, Lil' DC heroes and villians have invaded, and the JLA needs to sort it all out. But what you need to know is none of the big heroes ever really lay a hand on the Lil Legion of Doom, I mean they're just so cute, and they're kids, after all, you can't exactly beat up a kid...unless you're a crazy Bat Man, of course. And look at that white-rage expression in his eyes; Batman just sees some Joker-based entity and he goes all "Kill Bill".

On an unrelated note, Catwoman's mid-kiss expression is priceless. This book is amazing.

Awards for Best Actor, Best Coloring, and Most Misleading Cover, after the jump...

Best Actor - Jaime Reyes, Blue Beetle #31

Andrew Coelho is a Blue Beetle artist from around the time the series started, and he's fantastic at wringing sharp, teenager-appropriate expressions from Jamie's armor-abstracted face. Let's examine...

Here we have embarrassed teenager eye-roll. You can really hear the "MooOMM!" intonation of his line.
With just a little lower-lid action, here's the perfect picture of an awkward superhero photo op.

One might call this expression "whedonesque"...

This moment works on the strength of the script alone; this thug just punched Jaime's mom at the hospital she works at, just as Jamie busts in. His expression in the lower panel is a really funny yet touching expression of a young kid who's so angry, he just swings out and doesn't care about having a cool, scrunched up hero face. It's like if " >: O" were a real facial expression.

Best Use of Color - Runaways #2
Last month my only gripe with the new Runaways creative team was that Christina Strain's colors were too "day-glo". But this week I had to eat my words, cause her it's her bright and neon pallete that makes this scene especially remarkable. I can't remember seeing water colored like that before in a comic, but it's instantly evokative of the way the ocean actually looks during a sunset. Great stuff.

Movie Moment - Superman/Batman #52Any fans of The Hudson Hawk out there? In that movie, there are two henchmen named Igg and Ook. And when they are eventually killed with bullets to the head, they grunt out "Igg!' and "Ook!". I rest my case.

Most Misleading Cover - Back to Brooklyn #1 (Variant Cover)How could I not get this comic? That's my subway train stop, and that girl is smokin' hot and looks like she could be a real badass hero/antihero. But you know what? She's in the comic for like two pages, and she's not attractive, tough, or heroic. She's not anything. She's like gray wallpaper, which is pretty much the color pallete of the actual book.

Now That's Comedy - Runaways #2I feel like this is really funny even out of context. Though I've been wrong before.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Photos: New York Anime Fest 2008 Cosplay

For last year's Anime Fest, I tried really hard to catch up on my anime fandom. I haven't regularly watched anime since high school, so I tried to cram my brain with Bleach and Claymore and all that mess, and I still felt totally lost once I got to the con.

So this year, I just said, sca-rew it, I'm just going to take pictures whether I know who these people are supposed to be or not. And the results were about the same. If any actual anime fans are reading this, feel free to let me know who's who in the comments. And non-anime Gnerd fans will find a lot of videogame costumes as well, so stick around.

Since there are Stormtroopers at every convention anywhere, let's get that out of the way first.

Video game costumes, perv costumes, and so much more, after the jump...

Saw tons of these screw-head guys, this guy wore it pretty well.

Here's the kendo battle area, where participants were assigned random matches. Pretty cool. I wish they did this sort of thing at Star Wars conventions.

This is pretty awesome and expensive looking.

I recognize these guys, but I don't know from where. Someone help me out. UPDATE: Reader arashi points out the cardboard guy is Danbo from Yatsubato.

Monkey from One Piece. Gnerd contributor Bishop told me that.

Very impressive Robot Chicken costume. Despite not being anime-themed, this was a big hit on the floor.

Fantastic 2-D Mr. Game & Watch.

There were tons of Links, but this was the only one from Smash Brothers, as signified by the Player 1.

Team Fortress 2 costumes seem to be a go-to for any convention these days, but I only saw one at Anime Fest - this Blue Solider.

Bishop told me to get a photo of these guys, but I forgot who they are. Can you tell why I'm not the usual gamer correspondent at Gnerd? Shaddup.

I really like costumes that create an outfit based on a character, instead of just a big plush or cardboard suit. This kid has a pretty good look based on Sonic, right down to the red sneaks.

Here's that weird Negaverse Pikachu and um....I want to say Lapras or like, Celadon...I fail at Pokemon. Sorry everyone. Who is it? UPDATE: Reader hermitx kindly points out this is actually Umbreon and Glaceon, the Dark and Ice evolutions of Eevee. Just for the record, I knew that. I did. On the tip of my godddamn tongue.

A very bashful looking Peach, with Luigi and V lurking in the background.

Girl Luigi and Girl Mario, taking a breather.

Hey look, something else from an anime movie! A gigantic No Face!

Uh oh, Pedobear alert. And this brings us to the "perv" section of our photo essay...

Tons of free hugs guys all over the floor, with frequent success.

The most popular event I saw all day wasn't an officially sanctioned con event; it was this studly cosplayer, standing in the middle of a crowd, posing amorously with other people in costume. That's it, all it takes is one slashy photo op to gather a huge crowd for hours on end. I saw this at the beginning of my day on Saturday, and when I came back about three hours later, the crowd was STILL THERE. However, they were right in the midst of a fake(?) blow-job photo op, and security finally broke it up. Good times!

Just when you thought it was safe to ever leave the house...sexy cubone cosplay. Yeah, so this is blurry, but maybe it's for the best. Once you see something, you can never unsee it.

Friday, September 26, 2008

But What Does The Joker Think of The Economic Crisis?

There seem to be a great many things happening in this place called America...sure am glad I don't live there. I mean, technically NYC seceded from the union in like, 1988, right? Right? Is it hot in here, or is it just me?

Anyway, we should all probably take a minute out of our busy schedules to watch the debate tonight. Rock Band II will still be there when it's over. In the meantime, here's a little refresher on the Big Bailout from George Bush and his Wall Street cronies, with commentary from everyone's favorite Agent of Chaos.

This is the best DK mashup I've seen since our own Albo created the legend of Patrick Batman.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Snap Judgements: Reviews for New Avengers, Superman/Batman, Runaways, and More

Short comic reviews based on initial, lizard-brain opinions. Arranged from BEST to WORST. Beware some potential spoilers.

Superman/Batman #52 gets an A from AHR

Any criticism I might have about this book is negated by the fact that I read the entire thing with a huge smile on my face. It's part 2 of 2, but here's all I needed to know; cute lil DC characters drawn by former Blue Beetle artist Rafael Albuquerque. Michael Green, he of the both excellent and horrible Lovers and Madmen story, serves up some moments of sheer cute-larity. Even when things go dark, they don't get ugly. WAN MORE PLZ.

Runaways gets an A from AHR

Fun and funny art, plenty of LOLs and :(s. Also lesbians. And you know you're reading an awesome book when you have a gay couple who are being hated on not because they're gay, but because one of them is a skrull. Oh Marvel, you'll win me over yet! I haven't read much of this title, and if you haven't either, check it out; they do a great job filling new readers in on what's going on.

Blue Beetle, New Avengers, and Avengers: Initiative, after the jump...

Blue Beetle #31 gets a B from AHR

This series continues to be really good. Not John Rogers good, but better than 85% of all superhero comics good. It's certainly the best thing I've read by Matt Sturges. I like the border patrol arc, maybe Jamie can take on the housing crisis next?

Avengers: The Initiative #17 gets a B from Albo

As tired as I am of Sectret Invasion, The Initiative does a pretty
good job of telling interesting stories with the mega event as its
backdrop. Ant-Man, stranded in this series after his brilliant Robert
Kirkman solo series got canned, finally gets a moment to shine with
his particular brand of false, cowardly "heroism." There's also a
great pep talk from Nick Fury wherein he goes on about how the
"Greatest Generation" were really just a bunch of scared kids in
trenches, just like you.

New Avengers #45 gets a C from Albo

Man, I bet I would just love this issue if I had read all of that "No
More Mutants" crap a while back. There's a cool alternate reality,
some classic "Back to the Future" style flashbacks where we get to see
a famous scene from a new perspective... All kinds of cool stuff. Oh,
yeah, but I don't know what the hell is going on. My fault, I know, I

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Geekanerd is "Site of the Week" on AMC's Sci-Fi Scanner

Let us bask in the glorious light of internet recognition! Carolyn Koo from AMC's Sci-Fi Scanner "sat down" with AHR and me to get an exclusive first ever interview with the G'nerd crew for use in a "Site of the Week" feature. You can head over there now to hear us chat about the origins of Geekanerd, the challenge of writing for the site, and... uh... Star Wars, of course.

You Too Can Have That Mad Scientist Style

Mad Science isn't just a job, it's a lifestyle. Look at the recent smash web series, Dr. Horrible; Joss and Neil Patrick Harris absolutly nail the fundementals. The egotism. The speeches. The voluminous hairstyles. Unlike this upcoming Adrian Brody movie called Splice; that's supposed to be a mad scientist look? What kind of press still is that? He looks like he's sticking his hand behind the counter of a Baskin Robins. And he's not wearing a costume. No. This is pathetic.

If you're looking to get a piece of that tampering-in-God's-domain style for yourself, see how some of Gnerd's favorite mads have distinguished themselves, after the jump ...

Dr. Victor Frankenstein II, Young Frankenstien

MAD SCIENCE: Creates a frankenstein.
STYLES: Lab coat, welder's goggles, big hair.
DEMEANOR: Mostly quiet dignity and grace, occasional mania.
QUOTE: "HEARTS AND KIDNEYS ARE TINKERTOYS! I'm talking about the central nervous system!"

Dr. Daniel P. Schreber, Dark City

MAD SCIENCE: Creates artificial memories for the unwitting human test subjects of Dark City. It's kind of like the Matrix, but with aliens instead of robots. Also it's much better.
STYLES: Himmler Glasses, labcoat, leather apron, tweed, hair gel.
DEMEANOR: Jittery, stilted speech, cowardly yet subtly rebellious.
QUOTE: "These do bring back memories. This one is still warm. What is it? The recollections of a great lover? A catalog of conquests? We will soon find out. "

Dr. Hubert Farnsworth, Futurama

MAD SCIENCE: Mostly quality of life inventions, and the occasional weapon of mass destruction.
STYLES: Lab coat, incredibly thick glasses, pajamas.
DEMEANOR: Enthusiastically senile, proactive.
Bubblegum Tate: We need some kind of Doomsday device to create an implosion like that.
Professor Farnsworth: Doomsday device? Aha! Now the ball's in Farnsworth's court. [looks over a selection of several doomsdays devices] I suppose I can part with one and still be feared.

GLAdOS, Portal

MAD SCIENCE: Conducts human proficiency trials for the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device. Indefinitely.
STYLES: She's a robot.
DEMEANOR: Passive agressive, petulant, explosively indignant, and more.
QUOTE: "Good news. I figured out what that thing you just incinerated did. It was a morality core they installed after I flooded the Enrichment Cetner with a deadly neurotoxin, to make me stop flooding the Enrichment Center with a deadly neurotoxin. So get comfortable, while I warm up the neurotoxin."

Professor Jonathan Crane, AKA Scarecrow, Batman

MAD SCIENCE: Fear toxin, fear toxin, and more fear toxin.
STYLES: More of a theoretical scientist than a laboratory scientist, Crane sticks mostly to academic wear. In some comics and cartoons he has big, one might say straw-like, hair. And of course, he also likes to wear this:

DEMEANOR: He's a comic book character, so he get characterization is inconsistent, but self-agrandizing, cruel, and haughty are good places to start.
(being dragged through Arkham by Batman and Robin)
Crane: I am the master of fear! The Lord of Despair! Coward before me in witless terror!
Harley: Hi Professor Crane!
Crane: (calm) Good evening, child. (back to Batman and Robin) Worship me, fools! Worship me!

Dr. Strangelove, Dr. Strangelove, Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb

MAD SCIENCE: Calls for nuclear shelters to be created hundreds of miles below the earth's surface, to be populated with government officials and a 10 to 1 ratio of beautiful women to men.
STYLES: Black suit, dark glasses indoors, big hair, leather glove to contain his self-destructive left hand (this is a real thing!)
DEMEANOR: Enthusiastic, on edge, fascistic.
President Muffley: You mean people could actually stay down there for a hundred years?
Dr. Strangelove: It would not be difficult, Mein Fuhrer! Nuclear reactors could... I'm sorry, "Mr. President"...

Dr. Drakken, Kim Possible

MAD SCIENCE: World-domination devices, that range from basic to absurd, including a product called Lather, Rinse, Obey: Doctor D's Brainwashing Shampoo & Cranium Rinse.
STYLES: Blue lab coat, facial scar, big hair.
DEMEANOR: Egotistical yet insecure.
Drakken: Oh, just because I do bad things that makes me evil?
Kim: Uh...yeah. You're a villain.
Drakken: Oh, you teenagers think you have it all figured out! Sometimes there are shades of gray!

Dr. Clayton Forrester, Mystery Science Theater 3000
MAD SCIENCE: Used his lab's janitor as a test subject in an experiment to determine how to drive people insane with bad movies. Also creates evil inventions, including a guillotine for chocolate rabbits and pills that are intentionally painful to swallow.
STYLES: Green lab coat, green glasses, big white-streaked big hair and mustache.
DEMEANOR: Cheerfully sadistic, professorial but excitable.
QUOTE: "Your movie today is Pod People. It has nothing to do with pods. It has nothing to do with people. It has everything to do with hurting!"

And finally, one of my favorites. Only featured in one episode of a TV show precious few watched, and voiced by the inimitable Tim Curry....

Dr. Mystico, Freakazoid

MAD SCIENCE: Created a race of superstrong Orangu-men. Who's crazy now, hmm?
STYLES: Blue suit, advanced level facial hair.
DEMEANOR: Suave, paranoid, boisterous.
QUOTE: "You think I've got a clock in my head, don't you?!"

Ah, hell, just go watch the episode and take your own notes. And please let me know in angry detail about which of your favorites I skipped; but keep in mind we're talking EVIL scientists, so Doc Brown doesn't count!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Panel Discussion: Comic Scans From Batman and the Outsiders, All-Star Superman, Criminal Macabre and More

Best Actor - Lex Luthor, All-Star Superman #12
That is a sneer to end all sneers. The low angle perfectly captures the fact that given super-powers, Lex is exactly what he always accused Superman of being; a selfish overlord with no respect for the people below him. Delicious.
Also there's this, my all time favorite kind of panel. That would be the "Bus Smashes Into Superhero Panel", seen on previous Panel Discussions here and here. Bonus points for showing the driver flying out of the car, which is certainly what would really happen.

Vampires get it in the face, Penguin gets it twixt the legs, and Superman just doesn't get it, after the jump...

Most Unpleasant Panel - Batman and the Outsiders #11
That's The Penguin down there, if you can't tell. This looks like an illustration from a fan art no one, and I mean NO one wants to see.

Best Interrogation Technique - Criminal Macabre - Cell Block 666 #1
Man, I love when heroes don't let the villains deliver their big speeches. Some bonuses include the subtle "click click" sound effect of the hammer clicking in the first panel, and the vampire's hilarious self-absorbed posturing as he's about to launch into his speech. Not today, sucka!

The Magic of Comics - DC Universe: Decisions #1
Just a small example of the between the panel magic of sequential art. Wonderful clean work here, from the rustle of the newspaper to the air brushing through Lois's hair. And judging from her expression, Superman is definitely not getting laid tonight. What a nerd.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Snap Judgements: Reviews for Walking Dead, Captain Britain and MI13, DC Universe: Decisions and More

Short comic reviews based on initial, lizard-brain opinions. Arranged from BEST to WORST. Beware some potential spoilers.

Amazing Spider Man #572 gets an A from Albo
Dan Slott and John Romita Jr. continue to deliver an awesome, classic Spidey story. This ish has Norman Osborn getting even more unstable, and even trying on his old Goblin duds. They still fit! And speaking of old costumes, Mac Gargan (the new Venom) slips back into his old Scorpion outfit to create a terrifying Scorpion/Venom amalgam. These developments plus the trashing of New York in their hunt for Spidey makes me feel like pretty soon the feds are going to notice that their team of "heroes" are actually just the new Sinister Six. So good.

All Star Superman #12
gets an B+ from AHR
This book has tons of great moments. Lex is a such a wonderfully brilliant-yet-oblivious bastard in this book, and his brief super-powered reign of terror is a pleasure to read. But this book just wraps up so damn fast; no mention of the Bizzaro plotline, or the insane meta-bottle universe that was actually Earth Prime (or something)? I wanted more of this book, and it bums me out that the incredible mythos Morrison created will likely dead-end with this miniseries, unless of course....there's a sequel....

Reviews for Captain Britain and MI13 #5, DC Universe: Decisions, and The Walking Dead #52 after the jump...

Captain Britain and MI13 #5 gets a B from Albo
While Captain Britain bores the pants offa me, the supporting characters of this book are worth reading. The Black Knight and Faiza make this issue worthwhile, in a scene where they are trying to get the blessing of Faiza's conservative Muslim parents for her new life as a superhero. Black Knight's attempt to ingratiate himself by speaking their language backfires when Fiaza's dad points out that the Knight picked up the language while fighting in the Crusades. Anyway, great stuff. Blade's there, too, but probably not for long so don't let that turn you off of this solid book.

DC Universe: Decisions #1
gets a C from AHR
I thought between a smart writer like Bill Willingham and the aggressively-progressive Judd Winick, this book might actually be a political satire. Nope! The politicians are cardboard stand-ins with no real-world counterparts, and they exist in a completely bloodless political landscape. The Republican nominee is a black woman, and yet the JLA is shocked, SHOCKED, by an assassination attempt...who could imagine a motive for such a crime? And indeed, the perpetrator is being mind-controlled, no doubt by some villain with some sort of non-partisan world domination scheme. We're coming up on the most important election of our lives, if DC wants to cash-in on the hype, can they please grow some balls first? All that said, the JLA interaction is funny and fun, even though Ollie looks like a dumb pushover, that's pretty much par for the course.

The Walking Dead #52 gets a C from AHR
This issue is a perfect example of why this book needs to be read in trades. Some interesting things happen, the writing is good as always, but it's so damn short! There's no satisfaction in reading a detailed, deliberately paced story like this in 30 second bursts. It's not the book's fault, the fault is in comic companies business model that makes everything a serial. C'mon Kirkman, you're in charge now, cut out the middle man and release these as trades! Please?