Build-My-Own Comic Con

Full Disclosure: I have as yet only been to two comic cons in my adult life. Anglicon in Seattle, WA and WizardCon in Austin, TX. They were both amazing in their own way, but the masses of people made fully enjoying them difficult. I am not a crowd person, and I believe I share that trait with many others. Now, since there is no way that attendance is going to ebb at the cons any time soon, even if a plethora of new ones popped up, there is still a way to at least make the situation a bit more chill:

Organizing the Chaos

If there is anything that I have taken away after years of determining what triggers my social anxiety, it is that a disorganized crowd makes me nuts. However, you take that same amount of people and put them into a sectioned and flow-friendly organized building, and I relax into the fan experience with much more enjoyment. Is it the fault of any of the conventions that their floors are not conducive to my wander, browse, and fangirl over all the pretty pretty mech style? Absolutely not! But as a natural slow meanderer that also hates the feeling of being stuck in a tide of people, I can not help but dream of what would make up my perfect comic convention.

Elements of my Dream-Con:

 

1. The EMP Museum in Seattle, WA

My husband and I visited this museum after Anglicon, and it is the embodiment of fandom executed with precision and style. It is to date my favorite museum, and I say this as someone who recently visited the Smithsonian museums in DC. Their sci-fi exhibits were beautifully organized, and I could gaze at everything from Starbucks uniform to the original series Star Trek captains chair at my leisure. Well, a reasonable amount of leisure, enough to get a good look but short of being rude. The fantasy wing was ridiculous, it was housed in a big tree and had Harry Potter and Labyrinth artifacts. So awesome. They had the coolest horror exhibit, and you could tell how much work they put into not just showcasing the displays, but making it interesting and fun.

What I Would Steal for My Con: The horror exhibit.

2. Powell’s Books in Portland, OR

What I mean with this is mainly that I would rather all of the books and comics have their own space. If the nooks and booths with written wares had a special (very large) room set up with a bookshelf system like Powells, and maybe with a couple coffee stands, I would very much like to see that.

What I Would Steal: All of the books and comics! And Shelves.

3. Alamo Drafthouse Showings with Actors etc.

Am I biased toward Alamo Drafthouse as regards any movie watching, actor dialoging, live Mystery Science Theater events, or anything pertaining screens and famous people in person? Yes. Yes, I am. Was I tempted to follow Bruce Campbell to the nearby bar to watch his premiere of Ash vs. Evil Dead after his Austin comic-con panel? Hell, yes, I want to follow that man everywhere! However, it was late, the bar was insanely crowded, and I’m old. I’m too old to be smashed in a bar in Austin on Halloween with scores of people, even for Bruce. Ok, I should have done it anyway, I do kind of regret that. But if it had been in an Alamo Drafthouse, no power in the verse could have stopped me.

What I Would Steal: The theaters, tables, drinks, and menu.

4. The Rule of Three for Big Events/Panels

 

I would like to have three half hour panels/events for the hugely popular ones throughout the day as opposed to one hour long once. There are some conventions that already do this on a certain level and have a couple panels twice, but I want to try three and see what effect that has on crowding and people being able to plan their day.

5. An Empty College Campus

The multi-layered and sectioned Comic Con of my dreams needs a casing, and the ideal one is a college campus. There are some smaller cons housed in a lecture hall of a college, but this is not enough. I need allllllll of it. Every little bit. This way all of my elements will have their own area, as well as the regular convention bits. Artists Alley can have it’s own building, etc.

Well, that is my Build-You-Own Convention, but what would you like to have in your dream the impossible dream con?

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Film Marathon Theme: In Honor of ‘The Interview’ Situation

Sony has resolved all of the craziness happening with The Interview by completely canceling its’ release. I can see their point, especially since most theaters were not even going to show the film as a result of the threats from North Korea, but this also sets a bad example. Several more projects whose plots included North Korea have already halted and cancelled all production, including one with Steve Carell. How can we move forward while voluntarily censoring ourselves to this extent? Why is The Interview not at least going to be released for Video On Demand? That just makes everything more ridiculous than it already was. My mood right now is that I am going to watch this freaking movie! Even if I have to do so by watching a series of films to get the basic elements of it, so be it, and afterwards I will feel so much better because:
To help purge myself of these feelings I have put together a movie marathon as a way to watch the issues, themes, and buddy duo of The Interview without actually being able to see it.
Let’s Do This!

The Marathon Substitute for The Interview:

Team America: World Police

Pineapple Express

The Manchurian Candidate

Tropic Thunder

V for Vendetta

Bananas

This Is the End

Exploring the Medieval Comedy Genre

Anytime the framework of comedy is switched out, it can put something in a new perspective. Putting modern concerns or even just ones that have been plaguing humans since the middle ages and beyond in front of a castle just makes these issues seem more classy somehow. It also comes with an amazing sandbox of kingdoms, fairy tales, singing virgins, and dragons to play with. So why are there so few Medieval Comedies out there? As far as I can tell, to do well in this genre takes vast amounts of writing skill to make the scenes funny yet relevant, demands perfect timing of the actors, as well as staying in the golden cheese/tongue-in-cheek level. Balancing the cheese levels alone has to be maddening, so I understand how certain parts of Your Highness, for example,  turned rancid. The main issue with Your Highness is that I am sure on paper it was all freaking hilarious. Once put on film, however, you have moments that are inspired followed by moments that suck any enjoyment out of you. I was so excited to see that film for the first time, and it still saddens me because it was close to being amazing. Damn you cheese level! Sometimes everyone involved in a project can fall so in love with the cheese that it screws the balance.
There is a possibility that I am overly concerned about this because soon there will be two more entries to this brand of comedy, both of which seem very promising. Into the Woods will be released in theaters on Christmas Day, and then the television miniseries Galavant on January 4th. As an added bonus, they are both musicals! Musical Medieval Comedy, rarest of breeds, and love of my life! Since Into the Woods is remade from the Stephen Sondheim creation of the same name, I have very little to worry about there. The filmed original Broadway production is already one of my favorites, and the movie looks incredibly faithful to it. The only nitpick I have is that I wish Bernadette Peters had come back as the witch, but I can overlook this. Probably. Galavant is more of the unknown quantity. It looks amazing, has Alan Menken writing songs for it, and Timothy Omundson as King Richard is so perfect in the promos I would watch the series just for him. The only pause I have is for the horrible reviews already circling the production. This is not enough to keep me from finding out for myself if I will like Galavant anyway, especially since reviews are not the most reliable source when it comes to predicting my tastes. Here’s hoping for more wondrous comedy with castles in the new year!

The World of Existing Medieval Comedy Movies and the One Miniseries So Far Ranked by My Particular Love of Them

1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

2. Army of Darkness

3. The 10th Kingdom

4. Into the Woods (Filmed Broadway Version)

5. The Princess Bride

6. The Court Jester

7. Ella Enchanted

8. The Sword in the Stone

9. Shrek

10. Brave

11. How to Train Your Dragon

12. A Knight’s Tale

13. Erik the Viking

14. Robin Hood Men in Tights

15. Your Highness

16. Once Upon a Mattress

Exploring the Nerve Endings of My Funny Bone

As a modern lady, I face certain widely differing expectations regarding every aspect of my life. If I paid much attention to this anymore, I would always feel either too girly or not girly enough at all times. This is no way to live a full life, so I have pulled the plug and now simply endeavor to try to be honest with myself about what I actually enjoy, and what I want. Expectations be damned.

Humor is something so universal, yet men and women seem to have their own separate groups that they are meant to enjoy. Actually, men are supposed to watch comedy, and women have had a “women’s comedy” genre made for them. Why the separation? Why not have everything together, and just label the different brands of comedy? Family, Relationship, Sex, Parents, Men ( comedians of both genders talk about the sexes ), Women, Gross, Politics, Religion, The World, etc. There are Women comedians, and then there are Women’s Issues and Experiences comedians. These are different things, because a great deal of female comics talk mainly about the human experience, not just the solely woman’s perspective. In fact, a female comedian that only talks about dating men, waxing, and other various lady activities usually comes across as annoying to us. This actually makes me admire the very few that can take this brand of comedy and bring something fresh and honest to it, and basically do not end up coming off like a frivolous ditz. The rest of the lady comedians I admire because they take on the whole of life, and they grab it by the balls just as thoroughly and hilariously as a man. Here I lay out my top ten Stand-ups, Comedy Movies, and Comedy TV Shows. They encompass both genders, and they define my sense of what is funny. Not as a lady, but as a person who happens to be female.

Favorite Stand ups:

1. Patton Oswalt

patton_oswaltBrands of Comedy: Star Wars, Geek Life, Depression, Bit of Drugs, Sex, Growing Up, Marriage, Kids

2. Louie C.K.

Louis-ckBeing a Father, Marriage, Divorce, Kids, Sex, Food, Women, Idiots, Money

3. Dylan Moran

0910_dylan_h_208595tVery Irish, Matter of Fact, Family, Alcohol, Kids, Cake, Love, State of the World

4. Eddie Izzard

eddieizzard_1509403c
British, Executive Transvestite, Politics, History, Life, Religion, Star Wars

  5. Garfunkel and Oates

BN-EC794_oates_G_20140814161302Relationships, Sex, Work, Honest Observations of Life, Idiots, Funny Gorgeous Songs

6. Michael Ian Black

michael-ian-black-11-29-2011-5Well Phrased Structure, Frankenstein, Airplanes, Marriage, Kids, Lightweight Reactions to Alcohol, Friendly Sarcasm, Life, Being a Non-Traditional Man

7. Chelsea Handler

1350326674_chelsea-handler-290  Having a Vagina, Men, Alcohol, Traveling, Friends, Loyalty, Life, Dealing with Embarrassing Situations, Chunk, Owning her Experiences

8. John Mulaney

mulaney-picMatter of Fact, Being a Man-child, Law and Order, Impressions, Life, Friends, Growing Up, Relationships

9. Iliza Schlesinger

Iliza_small  Dealing with Girls as Friends, Dating, Sex, Going Out, Men, Snarky Observations of Life, Honest

 10. Aziz Ansari

azizansari2Geek Life, Reality of his Fame, Kanye West, Family, Women, Grand Showman

Favorite Comedy Movies:

1. The Heat

the-heat-1 A Lady Cop Meets a Lady FBI Agent and Becomes My Favorite Cop Buddy Movie Ever, Shit Happens That’s Why You Need a Partner That Has Your Back, Dealing With Bosses, Taking Down Criminals, Paperwork, Alcohol, Family

2. Hot Fuzz

hot-fuzzThe Middle of the British Cornetto Trilogy, Police Movie Satire, Friendship, Small Town Life, Puns and Wordplay, Deadpan

3. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Monty-Python-Holy-GrailMiddle Ages Humor, Superstitions, Politics, People from Other Lands, Magic, King Arthur Legend, Archeology, British

4. Megamind

Megamind-movie-image-12The Ultimate in Taking on the Superhero and Villain Tropes, Satire, Growing Up, Dating, Expectations, Friendship

5. Kung Fu Hustle

kung-fu-hustle-6Stephen Chow Does Buster Keaton and it is Amazing, Kung-Fu Humor That is Actually Funny

6. Super Troopers

2801885-supertroopersCanadian Humor, Broken Lizard at Their Best, The Group of Offbeat but Good Guys Overcome the Assholes

7. Young Frankenstein

1297635399Marty Feldman, Cloris Leachman, Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, and Mel Brooks Play with the Frankenstein Tale, Satire, Family Issues, Workplace Issues, Dealing with the Local Government, Marriage

8. Horrible Bosses

horrible _bosses01Workplace Horrors, Realities of the Current Economic Environment, What Happens When Three Guys Try to Regain Control of Their Lives and Things Do Not Go According to Plan

9. Cold Comfort Farm

Flora and SethVery British, Based on Novel of the Same Name That Made Fun of the Many “Dark and Moody” Novels Popular in the 1930s, Satire, A Balm for People Tired of Downton Abbey

10. Ghost Town

GHOST TOWNBritish, Dry, Some Romantic Comedy Elements, Anti-Social Dentist Kinda Sorta Dies and Then is Forced to Live an Actual Life

Favorite Comedy TV Shows:

1. Bob’s Burgers

Bobs-burgers-seaplaneLoren Bouchard is The Man!, Animated Family Comedy, Perfect Cast, Hilarious and Well Done Songs, Owning a Small Business, Marriage

2. Archer

maxresdefaultWorkplace Comedy First, Then Spy Comedy, Family Issues, A Sprinkling of Mad Men Moral Satire, Dating, Crazy Rich People, Politics, Sex

3. South Park

s18e03_480Still Going Strong, South Park; Puts Life into Perspective by Laughing at the Ridiculousness of it

4. Red Dwarf

Red DwarfLost in Deep Space Comedy, British, Last Man in the Known Universe and his Driven to the Brink of Madness Ship Computer, Evolved Cat, and Smeghead Hologram “Friend”

5. The Penguins of Madagascar

tumblr_m79nqsoRxX1rx0k2do1_500Technically a Children’s Show but There is More to it for Adults to Enjoy as Well, Superspy Satire Done With Penguins, Genius!

6. The Ricky Gervais Show

rickygervais04-660Animation of Podcasts with Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, and Karl Pilkington; More British Humor, Clash of Minds but in a Funny Way

7. Parks and Recreation

rs_500x250-140109091101-tumblr_mxodppKVSk1syeot2o1_500Government Red Tape, Politics, Being a Female With Aspirations and Ideals, Friendship, Many Workplace Issues, Relationships, Marriage, Making Your Way Through Life

8. The Venture Brothers

GgV5zolSatire of Johnny Quest and Super Science, Family, Being a Complete Failure, Gorgeous Animation of Ridiculous and Fabulous Things, A 60s Style Cartoon With a Naughty Bite

9. Black Books

largeIrishman Who Hates People Opens a Bookshop, Dylan Moran is the Best, Alcohol, Yelling at Customers, Reading, Wanting to Stay in Your Comfortable Corner of Life and Not Be Bothered

10. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

B99.2shot.vert.A.JPGAndy Samberg Does Cop Comedy, The Captain ( Andre ) is Pure Deadpan Humor, Terry Crews is Hilarious in All That He Does, The Cast Gels and Works Off Each Other Crazy Well From the First Episode

Exploring My Feelings About Cecily Stong Leaving Weekend Update as Co-Anchor

The 40th season of Saturday Night Live has had some changes, and I am trying to resolve my conflicting emotions about some of them. After half of the last season had Colin Jost and Cecily Strong manning Weekend Update, Cecily has been replaced by Michael Che. I might need to Pro and Con list my way through this.

Pros –

  • I believe that improvised and live comedy has a well earned place on television.
  • SNL was the springboard for Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, Jane Curtain, and many other women comedians.
  • Even after the mass cast change over the past couple of years, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, and Kate McKinnon have quickly shown that SNL is still a place where the ladies can bring it. It was not just an era of lightning in a bottle that ended with Kristen Wiig.
  • When Cecily Strong first joined Seth Meyers on the Weekend Update desk, they bounced chemistry and wit off each other with ease, and it made them oh so obviously a perfect team.
  • Michael Che is definitely not new to SNL, and was a writer up to very recently, when he went over to The Daily Show. He is a wonderful talent, I am glad he has come back, and look forward to seeing him more. His Daily Show send off was pretty epic:)
  • John Mulaney is getting his own show, and I can not wait, cause he is so freaking funny! One of my favorite stand-ups and I love every single thing he did while at SNL. ( This is more of an general SNL Pro rather than one about the particular issue I am having )
  • Che is the first minority since Horatio Sands to feature as anchor.
  • Cecily has made it fairly clear that she is on board with the change up and is looking forward to having more time for her other characters.

Cons –

  • Seth Meyers left to host Late Night, and was replaced as head writer and Weekend Update chair with Colin Jost. This con, to be clear, is about losing Seth cause I miss him so much! Colin is perfectly lovely, so he is not the con, I just love Seth. Sethily!
  • Cecily Strong is longer an Update anchor.
  • I can’t help but wonder how Cecily and Michael Che would have worked together, and I hope that she will be featured as a walk on to Update often to make that feel less like an opportunity missed.
  • Why did Seth and John Mulaney never co-anchor? I kept waiting for that to happen, and then Mulaney left. And then Seth left. And now I really need to let that go. Le sigh.
  • There is no lady energy at the Update desk. Again.
  • Jost and Strong did not spark off each other but this may have improved given more time.
  • Cecily was not the weak link, it was Jost. However, since he is the head writer, I agree that it is important for him to remain on the Update desk. I am sure that he will improve with time, and I guess he needed a partner to better connect with.

What this all boils down to is that ultimately, I understand why they have switched out Cecily Strong for Michael Che. It was a matter of making Weekend Update flow and better serve its’ purpose as the core of the show. As the rapport between the head writer and featured players improves at this core, so does the show as a whole. I am just not going to feel right about it until I see how it is handled throughout this season.

Now that I have written down my more civilized reasoning, I feel that I should include some honest truths about the other side of my reasoning. My, shall we say, lady brain reaction to this development. It went as follows:

  •  They took her off what?! But she was the best part of Weekend Update!
  • Oh, really, so it’s going to be another guy now? Yes, replace the talented female with another dude cause I guess Colin is just not old enough to feel comfortable working that closely with a lady.
  • I mean, whenever I see them together, Colin looks at Cecily with a mix of terror and trying not to picture her naked.
  • He’s like a grown up version of Jacob, the bar mitzvah boy.
Cecily and Jacob
  • No, stop, I am sure he is not that bad, he just looks awkward and stiff because he is new to this.
  • But then why not give it more time, at least let him adjust until they decide to switch her out?
  • I miss Seth Meyers. That was a guy that could really work with the ladies. You know what it was? He saw them as people. Go back and watch Seth co-anchor with Amy Poehler or Cecily Strong. He looks like he is in heaven! Not because he is next to a pretty lady, but because he truly enjoyed working with them. He has a great back and forth with them, and when a joke they say lands with him, he throws it right back.
  • Okay, apparently Cecily is fine with all of this. Such a classy lady.
  • Well, if this ends up with her happy, I can’t be too mad about it.
  • But we shall she, shan’t we?
  • If this ends up with less skits with the girls because Saturday Night Live does not want to deal with women, then I will be very upset.
  • Amy Poehler and Tina Fey won’t let that happen. I mean, they’re busy, but I feel like if they needed to intervene they would make it happen.
  • Watch out Colin Jost, go too far with the exclusive man love as head writer, and you may wake up in the middle of the night with Amy and Tina standing next to your bed in the dark. Just staring at you. Seth Meyers will be out in the hall with your mother, and they will all be judging you.
  • Or more likely, they will smack you upside the head and put Cecily back on Update. By herself!
  • Okay, I’m fine now.

Store-bought Holloween Costumes for Women are a Total Downer

Halloween happens to be my favorite time of the year, and one which I tend to draw out as long as possible. One issue that I have with the best holiday ever, however, is the shall we say….incredibly crappy costumes made available for women. Now, I admit that this is not exactly a problem that affects me since I have not purchased a store bought costume for a good many years now. I just wish that ladies had better options for when we do not have time to put something custom together. Looking at the Halloween Costume websites every year is something that fires my inspiration to beat the new costumes with a quality stick of my own creation that rips their ridiculous, shoddy, yet somehow expensive choices into bitty little pieces. Teeeeny tiny pieces of party hooker-ware. Spirit is the one store that is at least trying to put out stuff that is not basically street lingerie versions of popular characters. They also have the best Guardians of the Galaxy Gamora option that I have seen so far, so I still have an amount of respect for them. Winding down to the end of my rant now. If these sellers would just stop listing lingerie as full on costumes, that would be awesome. We are even charged more than men for a slutted up costume of the same character. Why would we pay more for that bullcrap?

A visual example of why I am annoyed:

Really? This is Bumblebee? Really? And $79.99? No.
Yup, Bumblebee. And $49.99.

Some Exceptions to this Disturbing Trend:

Morticia
Orange is the New Black
Carmen Sandiego!
 Not a bad Gamora