Who Watched the Watchmen?

I schedule my posts in advance, so I get a nice overview of what my published pieces will look like as they roll out. And I’ve got to say, I’ve been focusing a lot on the Movie/TV category lately. Sorry about that if you stick around for the book stuff or the video game stuff. People told me I should have the blog revolve around a specific thing instead of just going all over the place, but can I help it that I like movies, books, and video games almost equally?!

Anyways, today I thought I’d talk about Watchmen.

It is by far my all-time favorite graphic novel. I first read it when I was way too young for the content, and I remember purchasing the copy almost clandestinely. I don’t think my parents realized how mature comic books could be. I was around seven or eight years old when my dad handed The Sandman to me (which he had received from a friend who did not know my dad wasn’t into comics). And that graphic novel contains some of the most rated-R scenes I’ve ever seen. People stabbed their own eyes out, engaged in a sexual romp with more than four people participating, and admitted to necrophilia, all in one issue.

Anyways, Watchmen appealed to me for multiple reasons, not just because it felt like forbidden fruit. Even at a young age, I could tell that this story was game-changing. It deconstructed super hero tropes while simultaneously telling a gripping tale about the kinds of psyches that would have to participate in such caped crusades.

Side note: I wrote my college thesis on Watchmen’s deconstruction of these tropes and how it features multiple binary oppositions to do so.

When the Zack Snyder film came out in 2009, it was me and six other guys in the theater for the midnight premiere. It was the least-packed premiere I’ve ever particpated in, but you’ve got to appreciate the one man who came into the theater with a “The End Is Nigh” sign.

I enjoyed the movie, but my enjoyment largely came from the fact that the film was practically a frame-by-frame reconstruction of the graphic novel (with a few massive changes due to moviegoer considerations). This movie tiptoed around the original source material, a copy too afraid to alter what wasn’t broken.

In 2019, HBO released a TV series based on the graphic novel as well. It was not a recreation of the story like the 2009 film, but instead would be a continuation of the story, set in the same universe as the events of the comic. When I first heard about it, I was steeped in doubt, yet excitement still brewed within me.

And I’m happy to report that the HBO series exceeded my expectations, doing Watchmen, and what it set out to accomplish, proud.

Written by Damon Lindelof, this new series clearly grasps what Alan Moore did with the original work. Lindelof understands the spirit of Watchmen, perhaps more fully than Snyder. Lindelof took bold risks with the direction of the story, but these risks paid off because instead of telling yet another kick-ass superhero tale, he used the plot to deconstruct these tropes, along with several societal evils.

The original Watchmen spent just as much time pulling the curtain down on superheroes as it did exposing societal mores that are no longer relevant (or are too widely accepted despite being an ill that plagues human connection). Alan Moore focused on the terrors of Reaganism and the fallacies of that era. The HBO series centralizes on a more current cultural context, focusing on racial violence. It exposes this societal evil that still plagues the world today, and leaves viewers with a message that is not easily forgotten by the time the final episode concludes.

Now, this isn’t going to be a show I summarize or spoil. I’ve noticed a pattern in my posts; if I truly love a movie beyond just a normal appreciation, I’m more reluctant to detail the plot as I want you to watch it with fresh eyes.

So the most I want to tell you guys about the HBO Watchmen series is that there was nothing I didn’t like about it. I am almost inexpressibly pleased with it.

I think it’s a shame (an understandable one, but a shame nonetheless) that Alan Moore no longer expresses an interest in adaptations of his work. He has been burned many times by people butchering his graphic novels, turning complex and challenging stories into flashy pop fiction. But Lindelof has shown that he knows what made the original Watchmen tick.

I rate HBO’s Watchmen a jaw-dropping-series-that-captured-everything-I-loved-about-the-original-graphic-novel-and-turned-it-into-a-telling-deconstruction-of-our-times-that-will-stay-with-me-forever.

A Marvel or a Blunder: Captain Marvel Review

Captain Marvel is not as bad as the haters are saying it is, but it’s also not as good as its fans are gushing it is.

It’s somewhere in the middle, and that is totally okay with me.

In fact, I think it’s marvelous.

Side note: MARVEL-ous? Get it?

I went to see Captain Marvel with low-ish expectations. Color me fatigued, but I’m just sick and tired of being blatantly spoon-fed “strong female characters.” Give me strong characters who just so happen to be female. You get me? And Captain Marvel’s marketing campaign seemed to just want to shove that whole message down our throats

Imagine my surprise when the movie gave me what I wanted: a Captain Marvel who was a bag of snark and action. just like your average, ordinary Marvel super hero. Freaking made my day.

Anyway, let’s start this review off with a brief summary.


Vers is a Kree warrior-in-training with no memories of her past. She’s part of a team that performs covert operations against the Skrulls, an alien race that is waging war against the Kree. Skrulls come across as vicious mother-flubbers, and they have this nasty ability to shape-shift into any form they want. After a rough encounter with some Skrulls, Vers gets separated from her team and crash-lands on Earth. Apparently, there is a person of interest to the Skrulls on Earth, and Vers is determined to get to them before the Skrulls do. However, Vers is immensely surprised to discover that she had a life on Earth. This revelation changes everything Vers thought she knew about herself (including her real name, which is Carol Danvers) and the war around her. She teams up with Agent Nick Fury (pre-eye patch), her old friend Maria Rambeau, and some unexpected alien allies in order to save an entire alien race and her very own sense of self.

Not a bad premise, huh?

I’m going to start with the things I liked about Captain Marvel, then I’ll go into things that didn’t please me as much.

The Positives

  • The Skrulls: I swear, those guys are the best part of the movie. I first read about Skrulls in comic books. I was extremely delighted to learn they were going to play a major role in Captain Marvel. I was even more delighted when I saw the movie itself. At first you think the Skrulls are going to be the ultimate bad guys of the films. Their ability to shape-shift seems to add to their lack of trustworthiness. But that is a total misconception, and the movie handles it perfectly. The Skrulls are on the losing side of the war against the Kree, and they are five hundred times more likable. The lead Skrull, Talos, is by far the most moving character in the whole film.
  • The humor: Ever since Thor: Ragnarok, I’ve been a little bit worried that Marvel movies might throw out moving stories in favor of the ever-present joke. Thor: Ragnarok was in no way a bad movie. In fact, it’s definitely the best Thor movie out there (so far). But I have to admit, I did get tired of all the jokes that were tossed around like party favors. Captain Marvel reached that sweet spot where there were the right amount of jokes. Not too much, not too little.
  • The action: Sometimes in action movies, you have no clue what’s going on. Marvel movies have usually been spot-on in their action scenes. Whereas films like those from the Transformers series end up looking like a mess, leaving audiences extremely confused about the blur of motion on the screen. Captain Marvel included crisp and clear action. It was easy to follow what was happening, and it looked good.

The Negatives

  • Captain Marvel’s reactions: I was wildly pleased with the fact that the movie focused on the indomitable nature of the human spirit more than the indomitable nature of the female spirit. (I don’t mean to offend anyone by that. As a member of the female portion of humanity, I think females are pretty awesome. However, I get annoyed when people keep pushing this strong female message because it feels like another form of sexism to keep mentioning it. No one ever makes a big deal about strong male characters. Strong male characters just are. True equality would mean that strong female characters just are, too.) However, despite the movie hitting this nail on the head, there is something a little too shallow about some of Carol’s reactions to what is going on around her. If I had found out a person I trusted had lied to me and stolen six years from my life, I would be thoroughly pissed and outraged. And I would be hurt. And lost. Brie Larson as Carol never seems to convey that kind of depth of emotion when this happens to her.
  • The soundtrack: Marvel continues to be a disappoint for me with every passing soundtrack that does not include a memorable theme song. DC reigns supreme on this count. After you see Captain Marvel in theaters, I dare you to try humming her theme. You can’t, because it’s not memorable.
  • Plot conveniences: This is a flaw that a lot of science fiction and action movies can have. It’s when certain circumstances are glossed over in order for certain other circumstances to occur. For instance, in Captain Marvel, Nick Fury figures out what bar Carol is travelling to based on…a store she stole some normal clothes from that was miles away? Captain Marvel has these flaws just as much as the next movie. They’re irritating, but they were not too huge.

So overall, the movie was not bad. I’m not going to say it’s the best Marvel movie, but it is definitely way better than some of Marvel’s other movies. (Anybody else remember The Incredible Hulk?)

I rate Captain Marvel a take-the-plunge-and-see-the-movie-so-you-can-judge-for-yourself-whether-or-not-you-like-it-because-it-is-becoming-impossible-to-get-impartial-reviews.

Aquaman or Aqua-meh: Super Hero Fatigue Has Docked

I saw Aquaman last night. It wasn’t terrible. If you remember one of my last movie posts (here’s the link to it in case you don’t), I can get pretty miffed if a movie sucks eggs. I walk out of theaters after the movie is over actually angry. However, I didn’t walk out of Aquaman angry. I walked out of it indifferent.

Spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned.

So for those of you who are just wondering if Aquaman is worth the price of admission, let me tell you right off the bat that it is exactly worth a nine dollar movie ticket. Go ahead and see it if that is the price of your local movie tickets.

The movie is meant to take place after Justice League, or at least I think it’s supposed to. Arthur Curry is still doing his surfer-bro super hero stuff. His plans are interrupted when Princess Mera of Atlantis comes to him for aid. Arthur’s half-brother, Prince Orm, wants to attack the surface world. In order to stop this, Arthur has to reclaim his heritage and take the throne of Atlantis.

And that’s exactly what he does.

The predictable plot points are part of what brings down Aquaman’s story. For example, Arthur’s mom, the Queen of Atlantis, is pronounced dead after she was “sacrificed” to the Trench People, but since we didn’t see it happen, everyone could kinda guess that she actually survived and was living in exile. The whole story has that kind of I-could-see-that-coming vibe.

There is also a lack of character development. That’s one of my absolute favorite thing in movies, when a character starts out the story one way, but then turns out another by the end. Arthur doesn’t really feel like he progresses (or regresses) in any way. Jason Momoa is cool and all. He looks good shirtless. But the character itself doesn’t seem to have an internal struggle. A smarter film-person than me would know if that’s the actor’s fault or the writer’s fault. I honestly can’t tell.

Oh, and Black Manta comes out and just…does super-villainy stuff. He looks neat. But…you kind of get the feeling he wasn’t integral to the story. I mean, Ocean Master was clearly the main big bad.

The movie is at its best when it showcases the alien nature of Atlantean life. Some people might laugh at the notion of warriors riding into battle on sharks, leviathans, and mega-seahorses, but that was my favorite thing about the movie. I have a soft spot in my heart for ridiculously outlandish battle customs in fiction.

But even when I was enjoying Aquaman, it was a mild enjoyment. And I don’t think it was entirely the movie’s fault.

I hate to admit it, but I think I’m suffering from Super Hero Fatigue.

I love super heroes, perhaps even more than the average person. I have a healthy collection of comic books. I’ve dressed up as a super hero more than once for Halloween. Nearly all the posters I have had up in my bedroom are of super heroes. I could spend hours talking about super heroes.

But I also like variety.

There is no longer a drought of comic book movies. There’s a deluge.

Not a year goes by that we don’t have a super hero movie. So in order to grab my attention, a super hero movie has to be pretty special or unique. And Aquaman was just…meh.

See? I couldn’t even be bothered to come up with an actual word to describe it.

It is neither above average or below average.

It’s just…average.

I rate Aquaman a this-is-seriously-just-an-average-super-hero-ish-movie-where-the-most-special-thing-about-it-is-that-it-has-sharks-and-underwater-stuff.

A Hero for Hers: The Wonder Woman Moment

I didn’t walk into the theater to see Wonder Woman excited because she was the first female super hero to get her own big movie.

I walked into that theater excited because it was a super hero movie.

Let me back up a bit.

I’m a woman, but being a woman isn’t the sole thing that defines me. I’m more than my sex, so much more. I’m a coffee lover, avid reader, movie watcher, video game player, struggling writer, and pet bird owner. Those are some of the main things that make me who I am, and I would rather people know me and see me for those things rather than for just having some internal organs that make me a female.

I’m a comic book nerd too, and it was that part of me that fueled my excitement to see Wonder Woman.

Too often, the status of being female is seen as my defining characteristic. And while I’m happy to acknowledge the truth that, yes, I am a woman, I own a vagina, a uterus, and a pair of ovaries, I don’t want to be known for that. Am I making sense? Sometimes I feel that having my femaleness pointed out to me is just another form of sexism. (A low-key form of sexism. Oof, I hope I don’t enrage anyone with this post.)

For example, I love the idea of a female Doctor Who. About bloody time that show demonstrated the Doctor’s mutability in a way that’s different from just changing his age. But it sometimes irritates me that she’s known as the “Female Doctor.” The other Doctors weren’t labeled by the fact that they were men. Do you see what I’m driving at here?

So I walked into the theater to see Wonder Woman simply thrilled that one of the Big Three (Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman) was finally getting her own movie.

Imagine my surprise when the movie made me cry.

And no, I’m not talking about when Steve Trevor dies, even though that’s a sad moment.

The part I cried at wasn’t intended to be a tragic moment at all. It’s that moment when Diana steps out of the trench and onto No Man’s Land. The music swells gorgeously. Then, once past the trenches, Diana clears out the nearby town of German soldiers while her holy-awesome Hans Zimmer theme song pumps out. And that’s when I started sobbing.

It hit me like a lightning bolt, the realization that I had never had an experience like that before.

I had never had a super hero who was a woman like me have a totally bad-ass moment all to herself.

It never mattered to me before, but suddenly it just came home to me. I had never seen a woman fly up and hold a falling helicopter with one hand. I had never seen a woman drive the Batmobile over the rooftops of a corrupted city while escaping from a buttload of cops. I had never seen a woman use her webbing to swing between skyscrapers in a training montage.

And it suddenly occurred to me as I was watching Wonder Woman leap through buildings and bring her vambraces together to block bullets that I had been missing out.

When I was younger, every super hero movie that came out was centered around a guy. And even though that was the case, that wouldn’t stop me from pretending to be one of them on the playground. Kids I played with wouldn’t care, but it would majorly suck sometimes, because no boy wanted to pretend to be Lois Lane or Mary Jane Watson. So who was I supposed to rescue?

And the female “super” heroes I did have? God, they sucked eggs sometimes.

If they weren’t overly sexualized in a way that my knobby, non-curvy, ugly self could not mimic, then they were severely under-powered.

If you ask kids who they want to be from the Avengers, no one says Black Widow. Who wants to be Black Widow when you can be the Hulk or Iron Man?

Wonder Woman’s history is by no means a shining example for a female super hero. Her origin is wrapped up in bondage and female submission. And her TV show? I dare you to watch it and tell me how many times she gets chloroformed and knocked out. I dare you.

But in her first big movie, she shines. She’s just freaking awesome. I wouldn’t be surprised if kids (boys included) want to pretend to be her on the playground now.

I did not walk into that theater looking to feel proud about being a woman.

But I did walk out of the theater that way.


Coffee Is the Spice of Life

Game of Thrones coffee mug and cranberry juiceI love coffee.

I know I’m not the only one to say that. It’s like a hipster must to adore coffee these days. That’s why all those local coffee shops are filled to the brim with fedora-wearing, vest-sporting hoity-toity bragsters who only listen to niche music and drink the strangest alcoholic beverages.

Wow, I don’t know where all that venom came from.

Anywaysies, I love coffee.

However, my tastes run on the sweet side. This is absolutely terrible news for my teeth’s enamel and for my desire to stay more or less physically fit.

Still, I can’t help it. (Well, I could if I wanted to, but I don’t. I let my taste buds wreak their own havoc. I take full responsibility for letting them run amok.)

If you asked me how I like my coffee, I always make sure to say that I like it sweet.

Actually, I’ll say I like it sweet by using some kind of simile. I’ll say something like “as sweet as a stolen kiss” or “as sweet as a Care Bear.” You know, something creative that’ll show off my wit and personality.

This did not go over too well one time when I ordered some coffee at this coffee shop and the barista asked me how sweet I wanted it. This particular little shop sweetened their beverages with lumps of hardened sugar. So when this barista asked me how sweet I wanted it, he wanted me to indicate how many lumps he should shovel into my drink.

Instead, I looked him dead in the eye and said, “As sweet as sin.”

He stared at me for a moment, blinked once, then twice. Then he haltingly asked, “And how many lumps is that?”

I haven’t gone back there since; I’m mortified.

Anywaysies, my point is that I like my coffee sweet.

Those satchel-toting hipsters might look up their noses at me and say that I’m not truly enjoying coffee then if I like it like that. I’m enjoying sugar, they’ll sneer.

This is technically true. I’ve always found it ironic whenever I sweeten my coffee. I mean, coffee is notoriously bitter. Bitterness is its signature taste. Added spoonfuls of sugar are just spoonfuls of betrayal against coffee’s true nature.

Alas, I can’t help it. Have you ever tried to drink coffee straight-up black? My god, it’s disgusting.

There was only one time in my life when I was able to drink pure black coffee.

I was in my first year of high school, and I had an exam coming up on Friday. Unfortunately, Watchmen was set to come out in theaters on that exact same day at midnight. If I wanted to watch the Watchmen, I would need to stay up all night Thursday till 3 in the morning on Friday, wake up at 5 in the morning two hours later (for band practice), and then go to school and take my exam.

But this was Watchmen we were talking about here. I have never loved a graphic novel the way I love Watchmen. 

Side note: Seriously. I’ve asked my sister to take my ashes to Alan Moore’s house (he’s the writer of Watchmen) if I die first and then blow them into his beard.

To not be at the first showing of its movie adaptation would have been sacrilege.

I begged my parents to let me go. I told them I could handle it. My mom was skeptical, but my dad helped me out with persuading her. After strenuously promising that I would get an A on the exam, she relented and let me go.

Side note: I don’t mean to brag, but I was a straight-A student. Getting an A was something I could promise and then deliver on.

So when the night of the premiere came, I was able to ecstatically go watch the movie in the near-empty movie theater.

I came home a bit after three, excited and hardly able to sleep.

I woke up about an hour and a half later, foggy-headed, crusty-eyed, and tired.

My dad came to my bed with a mug in his hand. He told me, “Here, drink this.” I numbly drank what I thought was lukewarm water, and then started to get ready to go to school. As it turns out, my dad wanted to help give me a boost to get me through my day so that I wouldn’t get in trouble with my mom. What was actually in the mug was straight-up black coffee. I just couldn’t tell because my morning breath was in full effect.

That was a long-winded tangent.

Anyways, the point is that I love my coffee sweetened, and aside from being extra careful with my dental hygiene, I don’t see why I have to be less of a bad-ass to like my coffee with a lot of sugar.



A Taste of Venom

Venom movie
via: shortlist.com

I’m definitely a terrible reviewer of movies.

For one thing, I always post about them months after they come out. This is due to the fact that I schedule my posts weeks in advance. So while I may have seen the movie quite promptly, the post I write about it will be published way after the fact.

Also, I am a completely informal reviewer. I am so informal I should put “reviewer” in quotes to further demonstrate how inadequate I am.

I “review” movies.

There we go. That’s better.

I can’t help but be in a perpetual audience state of mind. I don’t have an innate grasp on filming techniques or schools of acting. I just watch the damn movie and then decide whether I like it or not.

But I think there’s something to be said for reading about a movie’s qualities from a total amateur.


In my humble opinion, it was a tad mediocre.

I went to see it with no bias. After Solo, I’ve learned never to judge a movie based on people’s preconceived notions of how it will be. So I went to see Venom with a completely open mind, and it failed to impress.

The movie is about this reporter named Eddie Brock.

Side note: Yes, I’ve read Venom comic books, including the ones where Venom was partnered with Flash Thompson.

Eddie is living the good life with a solid reporting gig and a loving fiancée. Unfortunately for him, he loses it all when he tries to find some dirt on this corporate tycoon. He gets fired in disgrace (because that’s how powerful this tycoon is), and his fiancée leaves him.

Side note: She didn’t leave Eddie because he got fired. She left him because HE got HER fired. She was the corporate tycoon’s lawyer or something like that, and Eddie snooped around on her computer in order to take the guy down. Her law firm put two and two together after Eddie tried to spill the beans about how messed up this tycoon is, and they let her go.

So Eddie loses everything.

Meanwhile, the corporate tycoon has been researching how to pair humans with alien symbiotes. (See? Another reason I’m a bad reviewer. I forget the names of the characters and then become too lazy to Google them.) The results of this research are gory and graphic, so I have no idea why corporate tycoon thinks this is a good business investment.

When Eddie attempts to infiltrate the corporate tycoon’s research facility, he ends up having a close encounter of the symbiotic kind, and that’s how he meets Venom.

Venom is the name of the symbiote that pairs with Eddie, and honestly, their interactions are the best parts of the movie.

Side note: Why do symbiotes have names of their own?

Eddie acts like a total freak when Venom is with him, but even when they do reach some sort of equilibrium in their partnership, it is hilarious. Seriously, if Venom had then become some weird kind of buddy-cop story, I would have been all for it. The absurdity of their interactions are the highlight of the movie. At one point, when they have to leave the top of a skyscraper, Venom offers to launch Eddie to the ground from a window. The scene then cuts to Eddie in a descending elevator, with Venom muttering, “Pussy,” in Eddie’s head.

Instead of the Venom/Eddie action-bromance we all wanted, Venom got mired in the corporate tycoon’s plot.

The corporate tycoon pairs with his own alien symbiote, and the grand finale of the movie is a fight between two CGI goo monsters.

So one of the biggest flaws of the movie is the villain. Corporate tycoon is just too corporate tycoon-y. He’s a caricature, a stereotype. A nonsensical stereotype at that. He witnessed some absolutely brutal failures of symbiote pairings, and he still thinks it’s a good idea to try it out. And then near the end, when he pairs with his own symbiote, he seems totally cool with the idea of that symbiote bringing down more of its kind to Earth and taking over the planet. How the hell is he okay with this?

The rules of alien symbiosis were also very shaky. It was fine at the beginning, when Eddie himself was trying to figure out what was going on, but by the end of the movie, I still had no idea how the symbiotes functioned. At one point, they say that symbiotes can only pair with specific people who suit them biologically. If you try and pair a symbiote with someone they don’t match, the results are gruesome. This leads you to believe that Venom pairing with Eddie was a rare occurrence. But later on, Venom pairs with Eddie’s ex in order to go meet up with him. Was she a match too? If not, why didn’t she explode into bloody little bits?

Eddie’s ex also presents a whole set of problems on her own. For someone who was rightfully angry at Eddie, she sure is ready to forgive him by the end of the movie. Plus, she’s not as scared of Venom as any sane person would be. She actually witnesses Venom tear the head off of someone’s body with his mouth, but she’s still okay with letting Venom get inside her later on.

If you’re a big comic book movie fan, go ahead and give Venom a watch. It’s not the worst a comic book movie could be. But it’s definitely not the best. I rate Venom an I-like-Venom-the-character-so-of-course-I’ll-watch-his-movie-once-but-then-I’ll-never-watch-it-again-unless-forced-to.


A Saga To Recommend

It is a stereotypical scene, where a kid who is supposed to be reading a thick novel for class has a comic book hidden within its pages and is actually flipping through that.

I always kind of hated that caricature.

It makes it seem like reading the comic book doesn’t count as real reading. It’s as if whoever came up with that thinks that the stories you can glean from the pages of a comic book are not as meaningful as what you would find in a great literary work.

If you’ve read my stuff before (goddammit, Hurych, just say blog posts already), you know that I love to read books. In fact, I love reading of all sorts.

But I have to admit, comics hold a special place in my heart.

Right now, I’m particularly in love with the comic book series Saga. It is currently still being printed, and it is awesome as fuck! (Pardon my French.)

It is written by Brian K. Vaughan (a fantastic writer) and drawn by Fiona Staples. It tells the story (the saga, if you will) of two soldiers who come from warring planets. These soldiers fall in love with each other and start a family, but they have to be on the run constantly because there are people out in the universe who don’t want it to be known that such a relationship can exist.

I’m doing a piss-poor job of summarizing the plot as I know it, but I seriously don’t want to give too much away just in case someone reads this and decides to check Saga out. It’s that good.

The story of Saga is nothing we haven’t seen before. In fact, I’d say it’s a bit of a classic tale. But that’s not what sets it apart. The setting and the characters are so delightful and diverse; they’re the real draw of the series. There’s a man who can use magic to deal deathly damage to people, but refuses to do so because he believes in nonviolence. There’s a large pet cat that can tell when people lie. There’s the disembodied ghost of a teenage girl who connects her soul to that of a newborn baby.

My favorite character is a bipedal baby seal named Ghüs. He has a pet walrus named Friendo. What more do I need to say about him?

Saga poster with Ghus and Friendo

I have seriously gone out of my way to own every item of Ghüs memorabilia that I can find. (Danny has lovingly gifted me some of them. Most of them, actually.) The sight of him makes me squeal; he is just too damn cute.

Ghus plushie

But Ghüs is more than an adorable face. He has a down-to-earth personality, and he always tries to do right by his friends, even if it means putting his own life in danger. He’s a tough little guy. He’s not afraid of going up against characters who are way bigger than him, including dangerous Freelancers.

I cannot recommend Saga highly enough. Saga is the kind of comic book that transcends the concept of a comic book. It exceeds expectations without becoming snotty. It’s engaging, endearing, and exciting.

If you feel like you can’t approach comic books without having to read a million issues of back history before understanding characters, don’t worry about that with Saga. It is its own self-contained story.

And it is by far the best thing I am reading right now.

Comic Con Saturday: Lines, Lines, and More Lines

Let’s talk lines.

As you’ve probably heard, San Diego Comic Con is a very crowded place. It definitely feels like every year more people are attending. Every single person who goes wants to see panels for their favorite pop culture icons, so the lines for these panels can get pretty intense.

Here’s the way lines work at SDCC:

Panels are scheduled by room, so each room has a pre-assigned collection of panels that are going to appear in it. If you want to go to a panel and you think there is the slightest chance a lot of other people would want to see it too, head to the room to make line at least an hour early. The lines for the room are staggered and will zigzag all over the place so as to not crowd the hallways or block any emergency exits. Luckily, the SDCC guide that they hand out to you comes with diagrams that show you where lines end up.

Once you make it to the room where your panel is going to be, STAY THERE. No one empties out the room after every panel, which means it’s possible for a person to stay in a room all day until the panel they want begins.

This is perhaps one of the biggest issues I’ve encountered while attending Comic Con.

On Saturday, I wanted to attend three panels: a Family Guy one, a My Hero Academia one, and a Batman: The Animated Series one.

I was only able to see the Family Guy one after standing in a line for more than two hours.

The biggest problems that can happen when you try to see a panel is that popular panels will be scheduled in the same room consecutively.

So, if, let’s say, you’re trying to see a panel about Batman: The Animated Series and a Harry Potter panel is before it, those Potterheads might decide to stay in the room and take up all the seats for the Batman panel.

Danny and I getting into Family Guy was pure happenstance. I had gotten my period that day, so instead of walking the Exhibit Hall with Danny, I decided to get in the line for Family Guy extremely early so I could just sit around in a room. Because of that, when Danny eventually joined me, we were just barely able to make it in to see the panel.

Even though we only got to see one panel that day, Saturday was still a fun day. Danny and I went to a party in an office building that overlooked Petco Park. The view was amazing. Some of the guests there…not so much. Nothing is worse than millennial roosters and hens who think that the world should fall at their feet and worship how suave they are. They scoffed more than they smiled.

This is what I heard some of these lame-brains say: “We have the tickets to go in. We are good to go; we are Gucci.”

After the party, Danny and I went to The Whiskey House, had a few drinks with some associates, and then left.

And thus ended my latest sojourn to San Diego Comic Con.

Comic Con Friday: Guilty Pleasures

I have a potentially embarrassing confession to make.

While pet-sitting for my sister with my friend Mia, we decided to binge-watch all the episodes of a show that had caught both of our eyes on Netflix. The show is computer animated, and I’m kind of self-conscious about the fact that I like it. It’s called Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir, and it’s about these two super heroes who pal around the city of Paris. It’s cute, absolutely corny, and both Mia and I couldn’t help liking it. (Who wouldn’t like a show with a melodramatic villain who constantly fails and says NEXT TIME I’LL DEFEAT YOU FOR SURE, LADYBUG AND CAT NOIR at the end of every episode?)

When I found out that Miraculous was going to have a panel at Comic Con on Friday, I thought to myself, ‘Hey! That’s great! This will be a nice little panel that Danny and I can attend while everyone else goes to the more popular ones.’

I deeply underestimated how popular this “little” panel was going to be.

Danny and I entered the room without too much of a hassle. We had shown up pretty early, so early, in fact, that we got to sit in on the panel prior to Miraculous’. 

It was a My Little Pony panel.

Surprisingly enough, that was a fun panel to attend. The voice actresses for the show are all hilarious, and since the room was basically filled with little kids and bronies, the audience was suitably enthusiastic. And when the line-up for audience questions began, a bunch of four- and five-year olds got to go first. Their questions were superb forms of entertainment.

After that, the Miraculous panel started, and holy shit, there are a ton of fans of the show. I seriously did not see that coming. Apparently, the Miraculous fandom is so huge, they even have a name for themselves: Miraculers. (If you felt yourself want to gag or roll your eyes, you’re not alone.)

Despite my utter shock at its popularity, the panel was great. I know I’ve been ragging on the show, but if you like campy good fun, Miraculous is a pretty nifty kids show to watch.

Both Danny and I were hungry after that panel, so he dragged me to this nearby barbecue restaurant/bar that is famous for being the location where that bar scene in Top Gun was filmed. I had a chili dog, and Danny had ribs. I’d give the food a fairly-adequate-for-lunchtime rating, but the atmosphere was top-notch.

Top Gun poster

After our hunger was sated, we returned to the Convention Center to catch a panel about Mexican dubbing voice actors. We got to meet the voices for Marcus Fenix, Spider-Man, and Zelda. The neat thing about this panel is that the panelists (aka the voice actors) seemed genuinely grateful to see us. Often, panelists at Comic Con throw out their gratitude from their stage on high and then rush off once the panel is over. (Understandably so, since some very eager fans try to bum-rush the stage.) But these voice actors just seemed so happy to be there, it’s like they wanted to linger. They asked if they could take a group picture with us (the audience).

Danny and I capped our Friday with Star Wars. We went into a panel specifically for the 501st Legion, which is a group of uber-dedicated fans who make realistic Stormtrooper armor and wear it to special events as a group. After that, a special panel about vacation tours you can take to famous Star Wars-related locations made for the perfect end to our evening.

Stay tuned for my last day at San Diego Comic Con in the next post! (I did not stay for Sunday! Had to vamoose!)

Comic Con Thursday: GO SPEED GO!

Second day of Comic Con!

Boy, public transportation can give you a real appreciation for the smell of sweat. Danny and I went to the Convention Center together on the trolley. Turns out, everyone and their mother, brother, uncle, cousin, and great-great aunt had the same idea. I now know what a sardine feels like.

Once we got to the Convention Center, Danny and I had to rush to get in line for our first panel.

Note: If you’re a first-time Con-goer, make sure you go to your favored panels waaaaaay ahead of the posted starting time. Especially if you think it’s going to be a popular one.

We had pre-selected three panels to go to. (And by pre-selected, I mean that I circled the ones I wanted to go to in the Convention guide book and Danny agreed with my choices.) The first was a panel regarding the 50th anniversary of 2001: A Space Odyssey. That was a total trip to go to. Both Danny and I were expecting the geniuses behind the film’s cinematography to show up, but the actors who played Frank Poole and Dave Bowman were who we got instead. The two of them have gotten up in years, but I could listen to them talk about things all day. I’d also give up my left ovary to hear Dave (played by Keir Dullea) say, “Open the pod bay doors, HAL” one more time.

The second panel we went to was about Bobcat Goldthwait’s new show called Bobcat Goldthwait’s Misfits & Monsters. This was more Danny’s choice to go to than mine, but it was definitely a riot to attend. Goldthwait throws out jokes the same way a shaggy dog shakes off hair. What was super funny to me about attending this panel is that we got an unexpected surprise when we decided to show up to the panel early. Danny and I entered the room before Goldthwait’s stuff was going to show, so we walked into a panel about some vampire TV show. (Yikes, I know, another one.) We were very lackluster in our enthusiasm for this panel, but that all changed when we noticed that one of the dudes on the panel was none other than Owen Teale, the guy who plays Ser Alliser Thorne in Game of Thrones! 

The last panel we attended was one about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. (Shout out to Andreya for introducing me to that show!) Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna are two fantastically witty women, and it really shows itself when they’re joking against each other. I can’t wait to watch the fourth and final season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. 

Just so you guys know, I have never attempted to get into Hall H, which is notorious for being the gigantic room where all the big-time panels are held. Too much of a hassle for my below-average person.

And yes, before you ask, I did dress up.

Drum roll please.

I was Speed Racer!

Me as Speed Racer SDCC 2018
I don’t know what my legs are doing

I’ve been fond of Speed Racer for ages it seems like, and I finally got to display it at Comic Con this year. With the help of my local J.C. Penney, Marshall’s, and hand-me-downs, I was able to cobble together an adequate Speed Racer outfit. I did have to buy the helmet and the driving gloves online though.

I think this was one of my more successful costumes over the years. It got a lot of recognition, and I got asked plenty of times to have my picture taken, which is always fun and terrifying. I had no clue how to pose for these things since I’m not a professional cosplayer. Still, it was cool, and people didn’t mind when I posed like an utter fool.

This one guy was so thrilled to see my costume, he asked for a picture, and then rolled up his shirt sleeve to show me a tattoo he had on his shoulder of Trixie. That right there is some major Speed Racer fandom.

Now, I don’t know for sure if this next bit is true, but Danny swears up and down that it happened. So, he and I were walking in front of the Convention Center, on our way to the Marriott hotel to watch a short film one of his friends had made. (It was a really good short film, called “The Invisible Border.” If you want to check out them and their work, here is their website.) While we were walking, a large group of people were passing us on the sidewalk. I heard one of them say something (Danny later told me it was, “Now that’s cool”) and gesture toward me.

I was distracted with holding onto my helmet, and they walked past us so fast, I could not get a good look at them. As soon as they left, Danny started laughing. I asked him what was so funny, and he told me that it was Seth Green who had said that.

Seth Green, as in the Seth Green who made Robot Chicken, one of my all-time favorite shows.

And I missed it.

Thursday was a real blast for me. Danny and I got into some great panels, walked around the Marriott a lot, and went to a laid-back after-party made by the organization Music Saves Lives. (There was a raffle at the party, and Danny and I won a bunch of stuff by pure luck!)

Stay tuned for Friday’s events in the next post!