Happy Monday! X-Plain the X-Men & More

GeekCraft Expo

Wait–are GMOs the mutants of food?!? Geeky lunch boxes, photo via GeekCraft Expo.

Happy Monday, everyone! Did you have a great weekend? Mine was packed full of White Elephant and birthday parties (I celebrated my 41st) and talking about the X-Men. You know the usual.

Let’s get on to links!

Nerdy Entertainments

As Jay Rachel Edidin is out of town, I was asked to guest host my favorite podcast, Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men, again with Miles Stokes! As you may remember, I subbed in last year for Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men #47, where Miles and I talked about the Alpha Flight/X-Men crossover! In our upcoming episode, airing January 31, we chat about Pryde of the X-Men, Marvel’s failed 1989 X-Men cartoon pilot, as well as the spinoff arcade game, which we played in its entirety over at Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade.

You can watch Pryde of the X-Men (which is surprisingly solid, although Wolverine inexplicably has an Australian accent) on YouTube:

I was going to wait until an official announcement was made, but I figured I’ll let you guys in on a gig I’ve taken: I’m the Event Coordinator for GeekCraft Expo PDX, working with Daniel Way (Deadpool, Gun Theory) and his fabulous team to bring a handmade, curated, geeky craft fair to Portland! It will be at the Lloyd Center Doubletree June 11-12, it is free to the public, and I’m very excited about it.

Lest you think this is a strictly Portland event, rest assured that GeekCraft Expo is in 15 other cities in the US and Canada, including Austin, Honolulu, Toronto, and more. Make sure to check out their website to find nerdy, cool, unique stuff near you!

I am obsessed with Fargo Season Two and Tom and Lorenzo’s fashion analyses of the episodes. Their interpretations of the colors and fashions that characters are wearing–and what it says about them, and what will happen in the story–are incredibly engrossing. Their Mad Style posts for Mad Men were epic, too.

This week, I’ll be updating you on my Monthly Meal Planning efforts (spoiler: I planned too many meals so far) and my winter 10-item wardrobe! Also: I will be paying tribute to my Geek Mentors, starting with my cousin Danny. Get ready!

 

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Avengers Age of Ultron

Happy Friday! FCBD Links & I Planned Your Weekend

Avengers Age of Ultron

I’m back–and there are no strings on meeeee!

Yay, I’m so glad to be posting again! My apologies for the radio silence. As I wrote earlier, I was super sick, and spent any potential blogging time napping instead. However! We’re going away for the weekend with my parents, and I’m going to use the extra childcare to get some posts (TWIN PEAKS DINNER) ready for next week.

Links! First, as some of you may know, I worked in marketing for Things From Another World, an online and brick-and-mortar comic book retailer, for six years before the baby. What many of you probably do not know is that every year, the first Saturday in May (tomorrow!) is Free Comic Book Day, which for TFAW was like Black Friday, a convention, and a huge party in one–so this is the first time I’ve been out of town on this particular weekend in six years.

But enough about me. What is Free Comic Book Day? It’s that special day each year where your local comic book retailer will be giving out special free comics from publishers like Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Image, and more: everything from superhero to all-ages comics and horror books! You can find your local participating retailer here.

Many shops use this as an opportunity to throw great sales, offer doorbusters, host signings with awesome creators, and more! If you’re in the Portland, Oregon area, you’re definitely going to want to check out TFAW: the Portland location is topping things off with a barbecue with free burgers and beer. Don’t have a local comic shop? You can visit TFAW online. Make a purchase May 2 (starting at midnight PST) through the 8th, and they’ll include two free comics with your order.

If you’re a FCBD newcomer, I have a few tips for you:

  • Get to your shop early. There are often lines, and supplies of the special free comics are limited.
  • Not every comic is free. I know it’s confusing, but the Free Comic Book Day freebies are special comics the stores purchase and give away. Here’s the list of possibilities, but not all stores purchase all comics. Of note: the prequel to Chuck Palahniuk’s new Fight Club 2 from Dark Horse Comics!
  • Ask about your shop’s restrictions. There’s usually a limit of how many freebies you can snag. Don’t be that person.
  • Make sure to check around the store! As I mentioned before, these free comics aren’t free to the stores. FCBD is an outreach event designed to get people and families into comic shops to support their local businesses. There should be lots of goodies available, so pick some up!
  • Come back. Free Comic Book Day is an exciting event, but make sure you come back and check out the shop later. It’ll be less crowded, and you can find out the juicy details about discounts when you sign up for a subscription box and more.

So, without further ado, let me plan a geeky weekend for you!

Go to Free Comic Book Day. Grab some free comics, find a new book that interests you, and maybe grab a T-shirt for later.

Return home and make some pancakes to celebrate your haul. The Pioneer Woman’s Perfect Pancakes live up to the hype.

Read Pajiba’s review of Avengers: Age of Ultron. This will get you pumped without spoiling the movie.

Buy tickets to Avengers: Age of Ultron. You’re gonna go see it. Why not see it with a huge crowd–and early enough that you won’t get spoiled by jerks on the Internet?

Now we’re going to continue our geekfest, but switch tracks to the X-Men. I know I’m behind on my posting, but you heard that Iceman, one of the original X-Men, came out as gay last week, right? My friend Rachel Edidin (of Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men fame) wrote an article for Playboy about why this is so important: One of the Original X-Men Is Gay and it Matters More Than You Think.

Finally, check out Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey and Lana Condor’s Jubilee in X-Men: Apocalypse over at Pajiba. I feel . . . ehh? I’m having a very “get off my lawn” reaction to this. Jean Grey and Jubilee aren’t contemporaries! Where’s Kitty? Wahhh! But I have to remind myself that I was not psyched at all for X-Men: First Class, until I saw it and it blew my mind. Teenage Banshee! Flying!

Okay everyone: enjoy your comics, have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you Monday!

Going Rogue With the X-Men

Finding myself short on blogging time while getting ready for our trip to Massachusetts (laundry . . . so . . . much . . . laundry), so I decided to share another “fantastic” “art piece” from when I was 15 or 16. Ready? It’s . . .

Rogue X-Men

As you can see, as a young teenager, the “assets” I was most interested in were . . . Rogue’s hairstyles. Although there were some costuming elements thrown in! Going clockwise from the upper right, we’ve got Rogue in her Brotherhood of the Evil Mutants phase (when she absorbed Carol Danvers’ powers and psyche), her look when she first joined the X-Men, an early Silvestri look, and how John Romita, Jr. depicted her.

In the center is Rogue circa Inferno, which is when I was first introduced to the character. Memories . . .

Have any art or X-Men (or otherwise) character obsessions to share? Post ’em below!

Kitty Pryde Costumes

The Many “Phases” of Kitty Pryde

I found this in a box of “memories” my parents gave me when they moved to their new house last year, and–well–I felt the need to share it with you.

Kitty Pryde Costumes

I estimate that I was 15 or 16 when I drew this, deep into my X-Men/Excalibur addiction. As you can see, I’ve got Kitty pre-X-Men, in the traditional black/yellow costume, in one of her Sprite (?!) costumes (lower left), as Shadowcat in the John Romita, Jr. days (lower right), and as her Excalibur incarnation in the center.

As you can see, I loved puns even then, because I have always been super cool. I don’t remember, but I must have drawn one of the small faces and traced it? Or I was totally crazy.

Who were your comic book character obsessions? Got any fan art to confess to?

Comics That Changed My Life: Classic X-Men #33 & Uncanny X-Men #245

Like a lot of comics fans, I’ve loved many titles over the years (current favorites: All-New X-Men, Lazarus, and Revival, among others). However, I can pinpoint the issues that literally changed my life forever: Classic X-Men #33 and Uncanny X-Men #245.

Classic X-Men #33

Uncanny X-Men #245

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was the year 1989. I was 14 and possessed by the calm, sure knowledge that someday, somehow, Axl Rose and I would meet and fall in love (I would then join the band on tour as their cook, of course). I was on a trip to Hawaii with my parents and younger brother. But while I was keeping an eye out for Axl, disaster struck: I realized I had read all the Archie comics they had at the convenience store near our rented condo.

This left me with no choice but to grudgingly read the only option immediately available to me: the “boy comics” my brother had picked up, the aforementioned Classic X-Men #33 and Uncanny X-Men #245.

Classic X-Men #33

Classic X-Men #33

Classic X-Men #33

Classic X-Men #33, a reprint of Uncanny X-Men #127, was an action-packed entry into the X-Men. Brief recap: the X-Men are in Scotland, fighting Proteus, a terrifying and powerful enemy who just happens to be the secret mutant son of their ally, Moira MacTaggart. And he kicks their butts, leaving the team shaken to the core, leading Cyclops to instigate a fight with Wolverine and the rest of the team that is visually fun to read and showcases each member’s strengths and personalities.

This was a great way to “meet” the team, and the drama of Moira steeling herself to kill her own son (who eventually took over the body of her estranged, abusive husband!) was intriguing to me. Chris Claremont’s character-focused writing style appealed to a girl who was ready to graduate from Anne of Green Gables. This issue also began my lifelong love of (some might say obsession with) the beautiful and iconic art of John Byrne.

Note: This issue also had a bizarre, gory backup story by Ann Nocenti and John Bolton starring Havok and Polaris that freaked me out: Havok basically imagines them dying horrific deaths over and over, and then rejects life with the X-Men. Because of this, Havok creeped me out for years!

After reading Classic X-Men #33, Uncanny X-Men #245 was totally confusing. To anyone who hasn’t read this gem, titled “Men!”: this was a comedic one-off–a breather after the drama of Inferno–drawn by a young Rob Liefeld, in which inept aliens decide to take over the planet–beginning with Australia, as you do–while the men of the X-Men have a guys’ night out. Oh, and the aliens have a “Jean Bomb” that looks just like Jean Grey, which they claim will “fatally disrupt any and all relationships.” Since I hadn’t yet read the Dark Phoenix Saga or Inferno (something I would quickly remedy) the humor was lost on me.

Uncanny X-Men 245

These two comics lit a fire in me that caused me to seek out my local comic shop for the very first time. I started a box; first with just Uncanny X-Men, later expanding to Excalibur, X-Men, X-Factor, and X-Force. From that moment on, all of my extra funds were funneled into a back-issue collection I still have today. No lip gloss or tapes for me–I was spending my money on cardboard boxes, bags and boards, and comics; family vacations now meant the chance to seek out new comic shops that just might have that back issue I was missing. I was on a quest!

How did this change my life? My love of comics led me to send a submission to Dark Horse Comics, which led to me becoming their very first marketing intern and introduced me to my future husband and father of my children (16 years before we tied the knot). It also resulted in six incredible years in marketing and public relations at Things From Another World, the world’s best online and brick-and-mortar comic book retailer.

So there’s my secret comic book origin: what’s yours? Post about the comic that started it all for you!

Happy Monday: Links to Make Your Day Brighter

Happy Monday! Here are some fun/interesting/hilarious links to help you transition into your work week–or, if you’re me, finish up the weekend’s laundry and plan a trip to WinCo. Yes I am living the dream, thank you very much.

Coming later this week: more Circle of Chicken recipes (I’m testing a new one tonight!), a post about baby bedtime routines (I swear Sarah’s has made everything better), and probably more X-Men and Murder, She Wrote hijinks.

But first: let’s see how Jessica Fletcher feels about Mondays!

Via Murder, She Blogged, a fantastic and funny MSW recap site.

Via Murder, She Blogged, a fantastic and funny MSW recap site.

I heard about the passing of Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek‘s inscrutable Mr. Spock, with a heavy heart. Not only did Nimoy perfectly inhabit a beloved character for decades, but he was also an incredibly decent human being who believed strongly in loving and respecting others. NPR has a wonderful interview with him here. This weekend we watched Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan (weeping through Spock’s funeral) and  , which was directed by Nimoy. He was proud of the fact that there was no “villain” to kill in this movie–instead, the conflict sprung from human nature.

Another Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men podcast is live! This week, they tackle the Shadow King, Charles Xavier’s inconsistent mobility, and New Mutants #29-34. If you missed my announcement last week, I was lucky enough to be tapped to guest host next week’s episode, in which Miles and I explore the 1985 and 1997 X-Men/Alpha Flight miniseries. Huge thanks to Rachel and Miles!

Want to cook something healthy, cheap, and incredibly delicious? Braised Coconut Spinach with Chickpeas and Lemon gets five stars in my book!

Need something to watch? Here’s The Best and Worst of What’s New on Netflix This Month, according to Pajiba. Best? Secret of NIMH. Worst? Grease 2. Or is that the best worst? I might want a Cool Rider!

I have a confession: I love, love, love Jennifer L. Scott’s Daily Connoisseur weblog and books. Her 10-Item Wardrobe made me so much better organized–and dressed! I also love that she emphasizes pursuing cultural activities and finding enjoyment in your everyday life. However, she’s a bit of a guilty pleasure for me, because she sometimes comes off like Diane Chambers. You know what I mean. I mean, I love my trash, too!

Got any awesome blogs to share–even your own? Post ’em below!