I rarely call any show perfect but Steven Universe is perfect. The only other show I’ve said that about is Avatar: The Last Airbender (I still have one season left to watch I was a late bloomer, cut me some slack).
Never heard of Steven Universe? Well it’s about the adventures of The Crystal Gems (Steven, Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl) and the people of Beach City. Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl are intergalactic warriors who get their powers from magical gemstones. Steven is a half-Gem and half-human boy from Earth who inherited his mom’s gemstone, Rose Quartz (who was also a Crystal Gem). Steven is still figuring out how to use his gem and spends his time going on adventures with the Crystal Gems and hanging out in his hometown, Beach City.
Connie, Steven and Lion
The series is created by Rebecca Sugar who was the storyboard artist, writer and composer for Adventure Time. It’s the first Cartoon Network show by the studio to be created by a woman. Go Rebecca! Steven Universe isn’t just cute and funny but also smart, deep and incredibly heartwarming. The feels are very strong in this show.
Because I wasn’t caught up with the show for a while I avoided all internet things related to SU. So I didn’t know about gemsonas until I saw the one my brother Myles made, Hambergite. A Gemsona is a Gem persona that a fan creates, usually with fan art. They are original fan made Gem characters. You can have one or many gemsonas. Of course, I wanted a gemsona too! I’m not an artist, but my brother is and he said he would make me one. Perks of being his sister! I described to him my gemsona’s personality, body type, outfit, gem location and weapon and I was blown away at how beautiful she came out. I love that he made her in the Steven Universe art style, too. Check out more of his art on tumblr: skoots-does-a-sketch.tumblr.com. If you want to see more gemsonas, check out the tag on tumblr.
I introduce to you my gemsona, Black Pearl!
My Gemsona Black Pearl [Art by Myles]
Gem: Black Pearl
Personality: She’s a carefree Gem who loves to swim, surf, sing and dance.
Backstory: Black Pearl is from Homeworld but never really felt at home there. Thousands of years ago she came to Earth for typical Gem business but her ship malfunctioned and she ended up on an island in the South Pacific. She finally felt like she was home and has stayed there ever since.
Gem: Hambergite Weapon: Giant Rocket Launcher Personality: Kind of mean and rude but has a soft side that he tries to keep secret. Backstory: Hambergite is a Homeworld Gem that sort of bought into the goals of galactic conquest from the Gem leaders. Hambergite feels a bit uneasy about all the stuff Gems do to the planets they invade, but he’s just a goon and ultimately wants to keep his superiors happy.
Hambergite isn’t really one for dancing… [Art by Myles]
Every year I attend New York Comic Con more and more fans cosplay. It’s tough picking favorites but the ones that made me squee the most were Death from East of Westand Steven Universe and his mom as Garnet. Oh and here’s my post about my Sailor Moon (aka Sailor Goon), Space Dandy and Spike Spiegel cosplay.
OMFG YOU GUYS! I cannot even deal with how friggin’ gorgeous Sandman Over #2 is! J.H. Williams III is a GOD. I will build an alter in his honor and put food there every Wednesday (because that’s the sacred comic book day). Next door to the JHW3 alter I will build a shrine in honor the letterer, Todd Klein. I will pray to The Endless there and all my dreams will come true.
Williams’ panels in Overture #2 are some of the most creative I’ve ever seen. But he’s been stuntin’ on these pages since Overture #1. Remember that “OMG IT’S A MOUTH! Panel”? Genius!
Well back to #2. I open the first page and there is Daniel Dream looking gorg in all white (Oh hey, boo. *wink*). But peep the panels! I mean can you even call them panels at this point? Well, the pentagon goes all Inception on us because it’s a panel within a panel. The pentagon shape itself probably has some Gaimanesque 4-layer literary meaning. But I can’t figure out because I’m lost in Dream’s beautiful black eyes.
Neil Gaiman’s story is too magnificent to be confined to regular box panels. The rest of the issue is all like, “Panels? WTF is a panel?”
Then you skip a few pages and you feel like you’ve taken some hallucinogen. But don’t worry, it’s just what happens when you combine the awesome power of Klein’s lettering, JHW3’s art and Gaiman’s words. You start trippin’!
Then there’s a freakin’ Dream convention which is both brilliant and hilarious. We meet the very first Dream (holy crap!) and all of the creatures he was/is Dream for (holy crap!). Then all of the different Dreams basically realize that they can be, “self-satisfied, irritating and self-possessed”. I love him, but come on; Dream can be such a dick. If you’re like me, you probably spent like 10 minutes on this page because there is so much going on. It’s so overwhelming! But it makes you happy because it’s so epic. I took the time to marvel at every single Dream.
This page is also where Todd Klein shows why he’s an OG. The thing with lettering in comics is you don’t really notice it most of the time because most speech bubbles are “regular”. But Klein’s lettering in Sandman is legend. My favorites are Dream’s black bubble with white text (and sometimes the opposite) and Delirum’s rainbow bubbles and irregular text size.
On the page below, he goes ham and each Dream gets their own unique speech bubble. This was my favorite part of the entire comic. I had so much a fun coming up with the voices for Dream to match the different types of bubbles.
Then some really cool things happen in the story. Like we find out Dream is going to see his DAD with the Dream of Cats. OMFGWUT?!
The entire Death of the Family arc had me stressed. I was so concerned about Alfred’s wellbeing that I would think about him throughout the day and hope he was okay. Scott Snyder sure can come up with some twisted shit, but I love it!
Runner up: East of West #3
Comeback of the Year- Sandman Overture
I really just made this category to gush about Neil Gaiman. Sandman is one of my favorite comic book series of all time, so when I heard that he was making a prequel I practically had to call out of work because of the feels. Then! Then! They said that the J.H. Williams III was going to be the artist and I just about fell out of my seat. JH3 deserves an award alone for his imaginative panels in the first issue.
Author of the Year- Matt Fraction
This guy! Hawkeye is pure brilliance and I was practically buzzing when I read the debut of Sex Criminals. It’s smart, funny, provocative and included a Lolita reference. What’s not to love?!
Runner up: Scott Snyder
Artist of the Year- Fiona Staples
The characters in the Saga universe are pretty diverse to put it mildly, so it takes someone pretty amazing to make them all blend together. Fiona Staples does just that in a breathtaking way… Even that giant ogre with the dirty private parts.
Runner up: Nate Bellegarde
Colorist of the Year- Jordie Bellaire
I am a super fan of Jordie Bellaire. From the clean lines of Nowhere Men to the expressive and painterly art of Pretty Deadly and American Vampire Anthology, Bellaire is a master of color.
Runner up: Fco Plascencia
Show of the Year- Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad was flawless. I have never been this fully satisfied with a show since The Wire. Every episode, scene and line was carefully calculated and is easily one of the best shows. Ever.
Film of the Year- Gravity
I don’t know what scared me more, The Conjuring or Gravity. It was intense, beautiful and emotional.
Episode of the Year- Game of Thrones, The Red Wedding
Anime Series of the Year- Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)
I saw someone on tumblr describe Attack on Titan as the anime that uses blood like most anime use cherry blossoms. Its first season was fully equipped with enough “holy shit” moments to probably last you the whole series. It’s a lot of fun.
Runner up: Another
Anime Film of the Year- Wolf Children
I may, or may not have cried.
Fandom of the Year- Welcome to Night Vale
Brilliant, eerie and funny! It’s basically Lovecraft without the stick up his ass.
TV Special of the Year- Doctor Who, The Day of the Doctor
Clearly, I just added this category so I could add Doctor Who to my list. The 50th anniversary episode was everything I needed it to be.
I first discovered Welcome to Night Vale during one of my many endless scroll sessions on Tumblr. I kept seeing Night Vale fan art, so I downloaded the podcast and well, my life hasn’t been the same since.
If you don’t know…
“WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE is a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.”
The writing is quite brilliant and very very strange. There’s a heavy H.P. Lovecraft influence except it’s light on the serious and heavy on the funny (despite the odd and terrifying events that happen in Night Vale).
The Night Vale fan community is filed with some of the most creative people I’ve encountered in any fandom. I originally just wanted to share a few pieces of fan art but somehow ended up with 50… whoops!
“It seems that all over Night Vale, books have simply ceased functioning. The scientists are studying one of the broken books to see if they can understand just what is going on here. The exact problem is currently unclear, but some of the words being used include ‘sparks,’ ‘meat smell,’ ‘biting,’ and ‘lethal gas.’ For your own safety, please do not attempt to open a book until we have more information on the nature and cause of these problems.”
– Welcome to Night Vale Episode Three “Station Management” By purinrinrin
If you’re like me, you always wondered what the citizens of Westeros and Essos would look like in the ’80s and ’90s. Alright, I admit, it’s never crossed my mind. But after checking out Mike Wrobel’s renditions of our most loved and hated (Joffery, I’m looking at you) characters, it’s funny how perfect they fit in that era. I wouldn’t mind seeing an episode or two of them in a totally screwed up version of Full House.
Here’s what Wrobel had to say about his series:
What “Game of Thrones” would have looked like if the action had been set in the 80/90s?
What if swords, bows, spears and armors had been replaced with some NES guns, bats and tracksuits?
This is a fun project i ve been recently starting, imagining all the characters fighting for the throne in a 90s grunge/gangsta era.
Neil Gaiman is one of my top three Geek Gods. (Grant Morrison and Hayao Miyazaki complete the Trinity.) What sets him apart from others is that his work affects me on a much higher level. Just to give you some context of the experience I am about to retell, Neil Gaiman has changed my life in a very real and personal way, as well has how I see the world and my place in it.
I met Gaiman at the Brooklyn Academy of Music for the reading and signing of his new book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. New York wasn’t New York that night. Rather than the usual, “Mind your business and I’ll mind mine.” mentality, everyone was happy and friendly. Strangers were becoming friends. It was beautiful.
We sit down and anxiously wait for him to get on stage and you can practically hear the low buzz of everyone’s excitement in the building. Then, Neil Gaiman comes on stage and you exhale not even realizing that you were holding your breath. You begin to clap, hoot and holler and make sure he knows just how happy you are to be in his presence. The cheers go on for a while. Some people stand. He knows that we’re happy. He knows that you’re happy. And he’s smiling back at us.
And when, he speaks… oh when he speaks! It’s that voice you love. That voice that always makes you smile because it belongs to one of your favorite people in the world. His English-accented voice is layered with so much genuine kindness and warmth that it gives you goosebumps. Then the tunnel vision begins because all of your energy is focused on this one man on stage. It’s surreal. As he begins to read from his new book and it feels like a personal moment, despite being surrounded by 2,000 people.
He finishes the chapter and you are inspired. He makes you want to create. No, he makes you feel like you can create. He’s a master weaver of words, worlds and myths. The same worlds you fall in love with over and over again. There’s something magical about him. He’s not quiet like everyone else. Well, they say you are what you eat, maybe you are what you write as well.
Now you enter the signing room and all sorts of emotions overwhelm you. You are only a few people away from meeting him and you begin to panic and try to figure out what to say to this person you admire so much. Everything your brain comes up with doesn’t seem good enough. It’s as if you’re reenacting that cliché movie scene where you’re talking to yourself in a mirror.
Then it’s your turn and without thinking you tell him that it’s an honor to meet him. It’s an obvious statement, but you’re okay with that because it’s simple, yet true. He looks at you in the eyes like he cares, and you feel that he does. He thanks you and tells you that he likes your Doctor Who shirt and your smile widens, because you haven’t stopped smiling since you walked in the building. More words escape your mouth, but you’re too happy to really care if they make any sense.
Then it’s over. Your encounter was just a few brief seconds, but it was long enough to create a memory you’ll never forget. As you make your way home and the real world slowly creeps back into your senses, you replay the night over and over again in your mind. Just like you reread his stories over and over.
You’ll always have his stories and you’ll always have that moment.
My name is Matt Naragon, and I have been geeky as long as I can remember. I am an avid game player, a Mac enthusiast, a dnd lover, and a husband of an equally geeky wife.
What is your geeky tattoo of and why did you get it?
The tattoo is of hobbit origin, and shows us part of the famous map and an image of Smaug lurking around the side. I have always loved Tolkien, and the tattoo just naturally suits me. The tattoo was created by artist Brooks Blanton from Wildman’s Tattoo in Ft Wayne, IN. He did a fantastic job bringing this tattoo to life, and remains one of the most amazing portrait tattooists I have ever seen.
Any plans for future tattoos?
Future plans for the tattoo are to bring Gollum into the mix on the other side of the map, along with slowly migrating down to the stomach with more tasteful Tolkien art.
Are you a fan of anything else in the fantasy genre? If so, what?
I am a big fan of gaming, especially Assassins Creed as of late. I also love Star Wars and things associated with it. Oh, and zombies.
If you were going on an adventure, which 5 Tolkien characters would you take with you?
I would definitely take Boromir as my first pick. Elrond would be useful, and young Bilbo would come as well. It would be a toss up between Fili or Kili for fourth spot, and I could have no other than Gandalf taking up the rear (to always save the day).
If you were on a deserted island what video game, comic/book, movie, TV show would you bring?
I would bring along Skyrim for gaming, as it would last me the longest. The Hobbit would be book of choice, and probably movie of choice as well. The TV show would be Rules of Engagement, I’ve been watching that sitcom lately on Netflix and love it.
Where can we find you on the internet?
I am not on the Internet in force much, but you can usually find me on Facebook or Deviant Art. If not there, lately I have been going crazy planning out the perfect Connor AC3 cosplay outfit.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Athey: I’m 30, married, and have two kids, age six and three. I live in Central Oregon, where I’ve been for the last nine years. I moved here from Seattle, where I went to college. For eight years, I worked in the video games industry as a production artist. My husband also works in the video games industry, and for the same studio I did. When you’ve got two people, both working full-time for a game studio with yearly crunch hours, it can make things overly complicated, and after a series of events, I ended up at home instead.
What inspired you to a career in 3D art? Athey: Long long… long, ago, when I was in middle school, a friend of mind got me a pirated copy of 3D Studio for DOS, that his friend’s father had brought back from a business trip to China. This was long before the days of bit torrent and easy software pirating – hah – so this was a huge deal. Half the people I knew didn’t even have a computer at home.
So, I had no idea what I was doing, but I loved it anyway. Looking back, I know I did everything wrong, but it was a learning-blind self-taught sort of experiment. To put things into perspective a bit – There was no Undo option in this program. There was no shaded view, only wireframes, and there was no back face culling. You saved every thing you did, just in case something went wrong, but if you didn’t realize you’d messed up until sometime later, you’d probably already saved over any opportunity to back up before the mistake because the hard disk was so small that you couldn’t afford saving even a half-dozen iterations of your file. And if you wanted to edit a texture map? You had to close the program, exit out of DOS, boot up Windows, load up your graphic editing program, make whatever changes you needed to make and save it – shut windows down, go back into DOS, wait the excruciating long time it took to do all this and load up 3D Studio, and then hope and pray you got everything right.
Despite all this, I was hooked, and years later, when the guidance councilors were pressuring all us high schoolers to decide what we wanted to do with the rest of our lives and apply to a bunch of different colleges, I decided I wanted to go into 3D Animation.
Originally the goal was 3D art for movies, but that eventually morphed into 3D art for games. There was definitely no plan, way back then, to be 3D modeling for a home 3D printer. Definitely never saw that coming.
Warpzone Prints happened mostly because of a guy at my old work named James. James is a mad-scientist kind of guy. He likes to build things. He’s very into DIY stuff, and he built himself a 4ft x 4ft CNC in his garage a few years ago. He’s also made an Egg-bot, and a number of other crazy things. He’d been eyeballing 3D printers for a long while and ended up deciding that, this time, he’d get one that was pre-built, rather than building it himself. He bought a Makerbot Replicator when they were pretty much brand new.
My husband and I had printed things through Shapeways for years at this point, but we’d sort of disregarded the at-home 3D printers because the quality just wasn’t good enough yet.
When we saw the stuff that James was able to make with his Replicator, we caved in and ordered one of our own.
It was, quite literally, nothing more than a toy in the beginning. We thought it was really cool, and wanted one. That was all there really was to it. But we told ourselves that maybe we could make it pay itself off a bit, by printing things for other people, and maybe even selling stuff on Etsy.
At this point, we were both still working full-time in the games industry, so anything done on the bot, was done in our free time.
After my job in video games came to an end early this last fall, I had a lot more free time on my hands and ended up putting a lot more time and effort into the Etsy store and the one item that seemed really popular – cookie cutters.
I made a ton of new designs and started taking custom orders, and things just kind of exploded from there.
Do you have any geeky obsessions? If so, what? Athey: Oh… so many. Let’s see – for a 30-year old mom-of-2, I’m probably unhealthily addicted to Harry Potter. I even made my own full set of Slytherin Robes for Halloween a number of years back.
I love Portal, and 3D Printed my own Portal gun last summer. I started working on the model for making a Wheatley core, but then I got busy and it was kind of a hugely intensive project to figure out how to separate it into pieces small enough to print and then to assemble together.
I -Love- Game of Thrones, and thing Peter Dinklage is absolutely amazing.
All three of my cats, and my daughter, are named after characters from One Piece. My son is named after a character from Final Fantasy 7. Both my kids have the middle initial D, because of One Piece. I intend to wait until they’re much much older, and in a forgiving mood, before I tell them this.
My husband’s ‘man-cave’ is a Retro-Gaming wet-dream of collectables and rare games and consoles, including an actual Neo Geo arcade cabinet that was an outrageous struggle to get up the stairs because it weighs a ton, and is huge.
We have a life-size Master Sword and Shield mounted on the wall of one house along with a huge framed map of Hyrule. We also have a life-size Buster Sword. It is very very heavy.
If Kirby were to swallow you, what power would he get? Athey: Probably the power to speed up time. I seems like every time I start working on something, I blink, and its been five hours.
If you were on a deserted island, what video game, comic/book, movie, TV show would you bring? Athey: I’d probably bring all of One Piece. It’s very… very…. long. It would last a while. Although, I would magically have it be finished, too. Maybe I’d just bring Eichiro Oda with me.