Etsy Crush of the Week & Giveaway: Show Pony’s Fantasy Jewelry

show pony etsy shop banner

I’m a jewelry fiend, whether it’s geeky or not. I’ve noticed when it comes to a lot of geek-related jewelry they get an A+ on the geeky part, but miss the mark on the actual quality of the jewelry design. Thankfully, I stumbled across Show Pony on one of my weekly Etsy binges and fell in love. Her  fantasy-themed references already make the items a must-buy, and then her elegant jewelry designs put them over the edge.

I featured Show Pony‘s “Always” necklace on my Harry Potter & Valentine’s Day Jewelry Post. It’s pretty much one of those, “I need this for reasons.” necklaces. It’s a subtle way to show your off Potter pride. I absolutely adore mine!

Shelby also does custom pieces! I had her make a custom Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire cuff for me with the words, “Valar Morghulis”. It came out just as I imagined. It’s thick, but still easily bendable to adjust to any sized wrist. I’m throwing a giveaway with a few lovely items from Show Pony, check out how to win below!

Get 30% off  Show Pony throughout March using: MARCH30 

My Show Pony Jewelry!

My Show Pony Jewelry!

Interview with Shelby of SHOW PONY STORE

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Show Pony- Hunger Games Holding nightlock IIShelby: My name is Shelby Isaac I’m a college student from Maryland, U.S.A. and Etsy is my creative outlet/moneymaker. I have a pet tarantula and a kitten that keep me company while I run my Etsy business.

How long have you been making jewelry?

Shelby: I’ve been making jewelry since 2010, when I opened my Etsy shop.

How did SHOWPONYSTORE come to be?

Shelby: Oddly enough, I started out making my original items out of frustration. My first purchase on Etsy was an overpriced Harry Potter inspired vial necklace. When it arrived, it was broken, leaking through the package, and no “thank you” note was included. I knew I could make something better for a cheaper price, so that’s what I did.

Which have been some of your favorite pieces to make?

Shelby: My “always” doe patronus necklace is my favorite. It’s subtle and still geeky. That’s not always easy to find in jewelry.

Do you have any geeky obsessions? If so what?

Shelby: Any other geeky obsessions… I love Tolkien and Martin. High fantasy is my thing.

What do you think your your patronus be? 

Shelby: It would be a shark! A little one. Like a spiny dogfish/mud shark.

If you lived in Westeros, what would your house name, sigil and motto be? 

Shelby: I already consider myself to be of House Tyrell, so creating my own house is out of the question. Growing strong!

If you were on a deserted island what video game, comic/book, movie, TV show would you bring?

Shelby: I would bring the Potter series. Television show that I couldn’t live without: Star Trek. The original series.

Where can we find you on the web? 

SHOW PONY STORE GIVEAWAY!

Show Pony Girl Gone Geek Giveaway

L to R: Harry Potter “Always” Doe Necklace, Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Necklace, Game of Thrones “The Wall” Ring (example shown) and Harry Potter Divination Class Tea Cup Necklace

1. Answer the of the following question: What do you think your patronus be?
2. Like SHOWPONYSTORE on Facebook: Facebook.com/SHOWPONYSTORE (if applicable)
3. Follow @BeansCreations on Twitter (if applicable)
* Please state the item you’d like to win, you can say all items if you’d be happy with all.
* Four readers will win one of the items featured.
* Contest ends Wednesday, March 27th

Dining With The Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook

Doctor Who Cookbook

Whether it’s fish fingers and custard, a Jammie Dodger, bananas or celery, food always seems to be involved when it comes to that madman in a box. So it should come to no surprise that a new Doctor Who-inspired cookbook, Dining With The Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook, was created by Chris-Rachael Oseland.

Dalek Ironside Toast Sandwich

Dalek Ironside Toast Sandwich

Chris-Rachael’s a freelance writer by day, and by night she’s creating culinary dishes inspired by different fandoms. She recently self-published Dining With The Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook, her fifth book, through Amazon’s independent publishing platforms, CreateSpace (print) and Kindle Direct Publishing or KDP (e-book). Her first self-published book was a steampunk-themed cocktail book, SteamDrunks. Even though agents felt the book was well written and funny, they didn’t want to take it on because it appealed to a niche audience. Rather than letting it collect dust, Chris-Rachel decided to give self-publishing a go – and readers have been “drinking it up” ever since!

Dining With The Doctor comes out just in time for the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who later this year! This is actually the first Doctor Who cookbook since 1986. A lot has happened in the last 27 years; most importantly, the return of Doctor Who. Chris-Rachael grew up watching Doctor Who and when the show came back her love was reignited. She said, “I knew I wanted to do something big for Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary. As a food writer, I naturally started thinking about dinner parties. One recipe turned into 10, and before I knew it I decided to come up with a recipe for every single episode of the new series.”

The chef watched more than 100 hours of Doctor Who for inspiration and created a recipe for every episode! She has recipes – from “Tardis Wellington” to “Slitheen Eggs” and they are accessible for cooks of all stages and ages, and work especially well for Doctor Who viewing parties!

If you’re still hungry for more you can visit Chris-Rachael’s food blog, Kitchen Overlord, for weekly illustrated geek recipes and sneak peeks at upcoming “geektastic” projects. Chris-Rachael has two other self-publishing cookbooks in the works: Wood for Sheep: The Unauthorized Settler’s Cookbook (due out in May) and The Noshing Dead: The Unauthorized Walking Dead Cookbook (slated for September, with an ebook mini-cookbook version available.)

Dining With The Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook is available now at Amazon.com.

Interview with Chris-Rachael Oseland

How long have you been a chef?
Doctor Who Cookbook- Slitheen Eggs

Slitheen Eggs

To me, a chef is someone who works in a restaurant while a cook is someone who prepares food in any other setting. I can’t get up at 4 a.m. to work 16 hour days 6 days a week, so I’m happy to call myself a cook. On a professional level, I’ve also been a food and beverage writer for about 7 years.

What made you want to merge cooking and geek culture together?

Being a lifelong geek sort of forced me to start thinking about food from alternative perspectives early on. For some reason, geek culture seems to attract people with food issues. Maybe geek culture is more open about biological weirdness beyond your control, or maybe people with one weird part of their life are drawn to a culture that celebrates weirdness. Either way, you can’t go to a geek gathering without meeting someone with a lethal nut allergy, another person with Celiac disease, another who is lactose intolerant, etc. To make it even more fun, geeks who don’t have a biological issue are often attracted to extreme diets, like veganism or paleo.

If you want to get all those people to sit down to a single meal together, you’ve got to be creative and ambitious in the kitchen. Once you used to thinking about how you’re going to feed a Celiac, Vegan and Paleo dieter the same dinner, nothing seems weird anymore. So why not write a Doctor Who cookbook? It’s not as strange as an average Sunday night.

Plus, I love having people over for watch parties. Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, or The Walking Dead are all excuses to hang out with good friends and good food. I think a lot of geeks enjoy using geek culture as an excuse to get together. I’m just making it easier.

Do you have any other geek culture cook books planned for the future?
Queen Victoria's Tipple

Queen Victoria’s Tipple

I do indeed! I’ve had such a good experience working with CreateSpace that I’m releasing Wood for Sheep: The Unauthorized Settlers Cookbook with them at the end of May, just in time for the summer gaming convention season. I’m still working on photographing all the recipes. You can see some previews at Kitchen Overlord. I love the fact that CreateSpace lets me keep working and tweaking right up to the point where I’m published, so there aren’t any “I wish I could’ve added…” moments. Working on the Settler’s cookbook has been a heck of a lot of fun. I’m also releasing The Noshing Dead: The Unauthorized Walking Dead Cookbook via CreateSpace in September. Thanks to my mildly scandalous love affair with my new Kitchenaid, I’m also working on a crazy book of geek breads full of things like Starfleet Insignia pain d’epi and cinnamon Wookie pull apart bread. It should be out in time for Christmas.

If you could describe the doctor as a dish, what would it be and why?

I’d say the Doctor is a bittersweet chocolate truffle full of salted caramel. Chocolate, because you’re always happy to see him. Salt for the tears he inevitably induces, cries or both. Caramel because he’s often both sweet and sappy. And a single truffle because, much like the best cholesterol filled desserts, anything more than a taste of life with the doctor will break your heart

Who is your favorite doctor and companion and why?

Rory Williams is, hands down, my favorite companion. I love the Rory as the new Chuck Norris memes. He’s developed so much from being the Doctor’s oft mocked whipping boy to being the platonic ideal of what every woman wants in a husband. (I’m sorry gentlemen. I know it’s an unrealistically high standard.) He’s also the one person willing to really acknowledge that simply meeting the Doctor is dangerous for us mere mortals. I cheered at my screen when Rory told Amy, “Any time the Doctor gets chummy with someone I want to notify their next of kin.”

That said, “favorite” Doctor is a hard one. I really like the direction Moffatt is taking things with Eleven, but since I’d like to live past next Tuesday, if a blue box materialized in my living room, I hope Nine would walk out. Well, Nine or Four. Tom Baker was my first Doctor, so he’ll always have a warm place in my heart, but I also love Eccleston for his ongoing hopeful attitude. He’s the only one who could honestly and sincerely say, “Today Rose, everybody lives!”

If you could invite 5 characters from Doctor Who to a dinner party, who would they be?

Only one dinner party? Gosh, narrowing it down to just five is hard. I’d have to say River Song, Winston Churchill, Captain Jack Harkness, Madame Vastra and sexy Shakespeare.

Oh, and Cassandra – just to make her watch us all eat.

Harry Potter & Game of Thrones Valentine’s Day Jewelry

Confession: Every time I ran across a Snape/Always piece of jewelry on Etsy I wanted to cry. #alloftheemotions


Harry Potter Golden Snitch Necklace I Love You by spacepearls

Harry Potter Jewelry Golden Snitch Necklace - I Love You

Harry Potter Jewelry  After All This Time by chasingatstarlight

Harry Potter Jewelry - After All This Time Always

You are protected in short by your ability to love by chickylovit

Harry Potter Quote Jewelry Necklace- You are protected in short by your ability to love

Harry Potter Lots of Love Lily Necklace by amartone

Harry Potter Jewelry Lots of Love Lily Necklace

Harry Potter Bracelet I love you like Snape by SpiffingJewelry

Harry Potter Jewelry Bracelet -I love you like Snape loved Lily Cuff

Severus Snape Always Doe SHOWPONYSTORE

Harry Potter Jewlery Severus Snape Always Doe Patronus Necklace

Harry Potter Necklace  I heart Harry Potter by SpiffingJewelry

Harry Potter Jewelry Necklace - I heart Harry Potter with lightning bolt scar and glasses

Harry Potter Inspired Lovers Glass Dome by resinapocalypse

Harry Potter Inspired Lovers Glass Dome Necklace

Harry Potter Font Golden Snitch Always Necklace by SimplyHarry

Harry Potter Jewelry Golden Snitch Always Necklace Steampunk

Game of Thrones Quote My Sun and Stars by ChrisClosetCreations

Game of Thrones Jewelry Quote My Sun and Stars Shekh ma shieraki anni in Dothraki

Game of Thrones Khal Drogo Moon of my Life by ChrisClosetCreations

Game of Thrones Jewelry Khal Drogo Moon of my Life Zhey Jalan Atthirari Anni in Dothraki

Game of Thrones Inspired Hand Stamped Cuff Set by JTSkyDesigns

Game of Thrones Jewelry Inspired Hand Stamped Cuff SetKhal and Khaleesi Game of Thrones  Set of Two by emerydrive

Game of Thrones Jewelry- Khal and Khaleesi Set of TWO Dothraki Rings

Girl Gone Geek’s Best of 2012

girl gone geeks best of 2012

2012 has been a pretty amazing year for us fangirls and fanboys. Personally for me it was big in the comic book category. This was the year I had time to read a lot of ongoing series, which will account for why I have several categories for comic books alone. The “Best of” title is a bit deceiving; this isn’t my take on the best of 2012, but rather my personal favorites of the year. And by favorites I mean the geeky things I was completely obsessed with. Beware, baby spoilers ahead.

 

1Avengers-LokiHulkMovie (aka the movie I couldn’t stop talking about after I left the theater): Avengers
I think we can all agree that Avengers was the best superhero movie of the year. It did everything right. Loki and the Hulk deserve their own film.

Honorable Mention: Looper
Looper seemed like it was straight out of a Philip K. Dick novel. It was thought-provoking and timey wimey. I loved every bit of it!

The Walking Dead - Season 3, Episode 1Michonne (Danai Gurira)

TV Show (aka the show I live-tweeted the most): The Walking Dead
I’m a fan of everything The Walking Dead, but not blind to the many faults the TV series has had. I wasn’t happy with the first half of season two, frankly I thought it was quite boring. Everyone knew Sophia wasn’t smart enough to survive… no offense Carol. But season three has been intense all the way through and there’s no time to catch your breath. Much like Game of Thrones, in The Walking Dead no one is safe, and that’s a great feeling to have as a viewer. Needless to say, shit goes down!

Honorable Mention: Game of Thrones

I think Game of Thrones would be a far better show if it had two extra episodes to work with, but with that being said, it’s still one of my favorite shows of the year. To say I’m invested and attached to the characters is an understatement. I didn’t even give Doctor Who honorable mention and that’s saying a lot!

A_Scandal_in_Belgravia_
Episode of the Year (aka the episode that made you proud to be a fan): Sherlock “A Scandal in Belgravia”, Steven Moffat (writer) and Paul McGuigan (director)
One of the most brilliant pieces of television I’ve ever seen.

Honorable Mention: Game of Thrones “Blackwater”, George R. R. Martin (writer) and Neil Marshall (director)

“Blackwater” is what happens when a Game of Thrones episode isn’t cramped with plot or characters. Magic! (no pun intended) Also there was that jaw dropping explosion.

kids-on-the-slope

Anime Series (aka the only new anime show I watched this year): Sakamichi No Apollon (Kids on the Slope), Shinichiro Watanabe (director) and Yoko Kanno (composer)
The dynamic duo Watanabe and Kanno of Cowboy Bebop fame are back! I love jazz so this series is heaven for me. I also reviewed the first episode here.

journey-game-screenshot-1-b

Video Game (aka the game that made me cry): Journey, thatgamecompany (developer) and Sony (publisher)
Journey is a video game that gives you a spiritual experience. This was my favorite game of the year and one of my favorite games of all time. It’s difficult to express what kind of game Journey is because it’s just one of those things you have to experience for yourself. But in short, it’s about life, death and the journey you take in between. Journey is intense and deep without being heavy-handed. Last but not least, it’s breathtakingly beautiful.

Honorable Mention: The Walking Dead, Telltale Games (developer and publisher)

I actually haven’t finished this game yet, but from what I’ve played (and heard) I know I’ll cry. #ForClementine

I met Scott Snyder at NYCC!

I met Scott Snyder at NYCC!

Writer (aka my Comic God of the year): Scott Snyder, Batman, American Vampire and Swamp Thing
Scott Snyder is one of those writers that make you say to yourself, “Where have your stories been all my life?”

I’m a huge fan of Batman, American Vampire and Swamp Thing. How he’s able to keep all three fresh and fascinating month after month is beyond me. But that’s also why he’s my favorite writer of the year. I could go on and on about why I fell in love with Snyder’s work, but I’ll save that for a future blog post.

Honorable Mention: Jeff Lemire, Animal Man, Sweet Tooth and The Underwater Welder
Lemire also takes the award for creating the character I’m most protective of, Gus aka Sweet Tooth.

batman-joker-death-family-dc-face Artist (aka art so good it makes your curse to yourself): Greg Capullo, Batman
Capullo’s art gives me goosebumps. Literally. His leather face Joker is simultaneously beautiful and horrifying. Just look at that gorgeously gory face!

SwampThing1
Honorable Mention: Yanick Paquette, Swamp Thing
Simply stunning.

batman-11 Comic Book Series (aka my favorite Wednesday of the month): Batman, Scott Snyder (writer) and Greg Capullo (illustrator)
It was incredibly difficult for me to deicide which series should take the top place as my favorite series of the year. Well… that’s a lie. I knew it was going to be Batman the whole time!

I don’t even know where to begin with Batman. Judge if you want, but this was my first time reading an actual Batman comic. I’d been a fan of TAS other shows and films, but with most mainstream superhero comics I didn’t know where to jump in. Thankfully DC’s new 52 gave me a great starting point.

Snyder got me hooked with the Court of Owls and the current Joker storyline has me on an emotional roller coaster. One minute I want to cry, the next I was scared shitless for the Bat-fam. Snyder’s Batman is dark and seriously scary and I couldn’t be happier.

Honorable Mention: The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman (writer) and Charlie Adlard (illustrator)
Kirkman had me worried there for a while, I wasn’t interested about the series at all. It was the same ol’ same ol’, and I felt I was reading out of habit rather than actually being interested in what was happening in the story. However, that all changed when Negan and Lucille entered the picture (or should I say panel). I haven’t been this excited about the series since the governor!

sagaposter

New Comic Book Series (aka that thing I couldn’t stop talking about): Saga, Brian K. Vaughan (writer) and Fiona Staples (illustrator)
Saga is the new kid at school that everyone has a crush on. This series is what it would be like if BKV wrote a science-fantasy version of Romeo and Juliet, except the characters are believable. What really made this new series my favorite are the raw and brutally honest characters. Fiona Staples also gets the award for making me feel like a creep for having a girl crush on a spider’ish alien. Don’t act like you didn’t think The Stalk was a total babe… for a spider.

Honorable Mention: Hawkeye, Matt Fraction (writer) and David Aja (illustrator)
I confess, I was one of the Hawkeye haters. Compared to the rest of the Avengers, Clint seemed kind of lame. This was before I read any Avengers or Hawkeye comics. I still haven’t read much Avengers, but Fraction came along and changed my mind before I even finished the first issue. It’s genuinely “laugh out loud” funny with an interesting storyline and a character that has, well, character. I’m now a proud member of the Hawkeye fan club because of Matt Fraction.

tumblr_mb4sr6dC7I1r9dsg6o1_500 Mini Series (aka a series I want to talk about but needed more categories): Punk Rock Jesus, Sean Murphy (writer and illustrator)
Punk Rock Jesus combines two fanatical segments of our society: media and religion. Murphy holds nothing back in PRJ, which is part of what makes it one of my favorite series of the year. It’s a candid look on society housed in a captivating story and supported by complex characters.

Honorable Mention: Happy!, Grant Morrison (writer) and Darick Robertson (illustrator)
Happy! is the Grant Morrison I fell in love with. The jarring, post-modern’ish, mind blowing WTFs with themes that make you reflect on yourself and society Grant Morrison. I also didn’t realized how much I missed Robertson’s art (Transmetropolian) until I read Happy!. He does gritty do damn well! The dark and ultraviolent story juxtaposed with a bubbly blue horse work surprisingly well together.

Ronald Wimberly Prince of Cats Tybalt

Graphic Novel (aka more comics I want to talk about but needed more categories): Prince of Cats, Ronald Wimberly (writer and illustrator)

This is the only story I fell in love with visually, sonically, emotionally and intellectually this year. You can read more about PoC and an interview with Wimberly here.

Honorable Mention: The Underwater Welder, Jeff Lemire (writer and illustrator)
Probably the most atmospheric (Is that a thing? It is now.) and eerie story of the year. It also managed to say the most without saying anything at all.

CelebratingWD100_0712 Best Issue (aka the holy shit issue): The Walking Dead #100, Robert Kirkman (writer) and Charlie Adlard (illustrator)
This issue was the comic book version of being punched in the stomach. I’m still too devastated to talk about it.

Honorable Mention: Batman #14, Scott Snyder (writer) and Greg Capullo (illustrator)
Hell hath no fury like the Joker scorned. Batman just keeps getting better… or worse depending on who you are. The Joker’s soliloquy in this issue was close to perfection. He had me hanging off of every word. The Joker is back and he’s pissed at the Bat-fam for making Batman lazy, and he’s going to make them pay. Did I mention he’s doing this all out of love? Don’t even get me started on Alfred…

A_Game_of_Thrones_Novel_Covers

Late to the party (aka the most time consuming obsession): A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin (writer)
Even though A Dance with Dragons came out in 2011 I read it this year, along with the rest of ASoIaF series. I prayed to the old gods and the new for several months (and still do from time to time). This series also has a special place in my heart for having a lot of kick ass female characters. Brienne and Arya are my heroes!

Photo on 2012-04-16 at 11.57 #3

Honorable Mention: Lost
I’m not ashamed to admit my life was consumed by Lost for a few months. I skipped parties, went over my data plan and didn’t hang out with my friends as much because I wanted to be on the island. I watched the series in about two months and wrote all about it here in, ‘Confessions of a Lost Late Bloomer’.

Where are all of the women of color in science fiction?

The Underrepresentation of Black Women & Latinas in Science Fiction

Fun facts before I get started: According to “Richard Whettestone of firsttvdrama.com, as of 2005 only 15 science-fiction TV series have featured black women in lead roles. Less than 9% of Science-Fiction TV series have featured black women as main characters… Including recurring characters who were usually tossed in the background.” [Source]

There aren’t that many Black women and Latinas in science fiction and that is a problem, and not a new problem by any means. The fact that we can probably easily name all of the Black women and Latinas in sci-fi that we’re or are lead characters and creators means there isn’t enough. We shouldn’t be able to name them all, there should be so many that we forget. Being a Black and Latina woman and sci-fi fan, I can tell you how important it is to see people who look like me in a genre I love so much.

It does not go unnoticed when people of color are continuously underrepresented in a genre. As self-proclaimed geeks, we read and watch these stories not only because they are fascinating, but because we connect and relate to these characters and their struggles. However, personally, I always seem to hit a wall. I’ll fall in love with strong female characters, but when I try to relate their experiences to my own, I eventually come to a point where I’m not being addressed anymore because I’m a woman of color. My connection to the character I’m watching or reading is over. Their experience can no longer be my experience. This doesn’t happen always, but fairly often. I’m fully aware of women being misrepresented in misogynistic ways in the genres, but unfortunately it’s still a different fight for me. Most of those women being negatively portrayed are white, Blacks and Latinas are barely even in the story. If I fight for women’s rights, or in this case, women being accurately depicted in a genre, I’m fighting for white women because they are what are represented. I have to fight a separate battle for women of color.

Our exclusion from the story is both conscious and subconscious. There are those who say, “Well you have that one black guy or that one Asian, you should be happy.” But in reality there are only a handful of us included and often times, when we are it’s solely for the purpose of adding some color. We’re tokens. You’ll rarely find more than one person of color that’s a lead character, and when they are lead characters, they are often stereotypes.

But then again, we are being represented, but not in the way we’d like. We are “the other” in science fiction. We’re the aliens, literally. Whether we’re being depicted as the Na’vi from Avatar, the wild and violent aliens from Predator or Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars. The fact that undocumented immigrants living in the United States are called illegal aliens has to ring some kind if alarm in your head.

A way to directly change this is for women of color creators to write and direct stories that feature women that look like them. Simple right? Not really. Other than the mountains they’d have to climb to get their story heard, there’s a cyclical problem that even limits them from the genre itself. Women of color are barely represented in sci-fi, so many women who could have become sci-fi creators by first becoming fans avoid the genre because they see it as a “white boys clubs” where they don’t belong and aren’t welcomed. In turn, there is no progress in the amount of women of color being represented in the genre, and the cycle continues.

Science fiction is a haven for us folks of color, the future is one of the ideal fictional narratives we can fit since our past is filled with oppression, colonization and slavery. A lot of us who read, watch and create science fiction see the genre as our possible future. These are worlds that are meant to signify what may come. The fact that women of color, and to be completely honest, people of color entirely, are not included in these futures is scary.

What can we do to change this? If you’re a creator, create fictions that include all people. If you’re a reader and watcher like me, let your voice be heard. A little blog post, email to an author or tweet may not seem like a big deal, but with the the internet you never know who or how many people can come across your words. No matter what anyone says, it is extremely important for everyone to be represented. If we don’t say anything, or do anything, we can’t expect anything to change.

The Bard goes to Brooklyn: Interview with Ronald Wimberly

Prince of Cats, written and illustrated by the talented Ronald Wimberly, is a reimagining of Romeo and Juliet told from Tybalt’s POV that takes place in a samurai-­­­infused Brooklyn during the 1980s. I really shouldn’t have to say anything else to convince you to check this out, but I will, because I can’t seem to stop talking about this graphic novel.

Shakespeare adaptations come a dime a dozen. But Prince of Cats turned me into a devoted fan before I laid eyes on the first panel. (And this is coming from a girl who plans to name one of her future cats Shakespeare.) The opening couplet is part Shakespeare, part Biggie with a dash of Langston Hughes. It’s one of those combinations you never imagined would work so well until it was right in front of you.   

I go around preaching the gospel of PoC to anyone and everyone who will listen. It’s that good. However, it wasn’t until recently that I discovered why I had such an affinity for this story. That’s when I realized that it impacted me on multiple levels. Most of my favorite books, shows, films, etc. only affect me on one, maybe two, levels (yes even Doctor Who). I fall in love either visually, sonically, emotionally or intellectually. It is rare that something affects me on more than two levels. Prince of Cats did.

Visually

I have yet to come across an artistic style with the same energy as Wimberly’s. His balloonless panels explain more than most talk bubbles. The atmosphere is illustrated so vividly that you can practically turn the page and smell the seawater from Coney Island or the rusty scent of the blood dripping off Tybalt’s katana.

Sonically 

Wimberly’s rhythmic illustrations make Prince of Cats look and feel like a song. You can hear the roar of subway car rolling by as your eyes travel across the page. The mashup of the original Shakespeare text and street talk (all written in iambic pentameter) make it sound as if you’re right in the middle of an Elizabethan hip-hop mixtape.

Emotionally

There’s a very special place in my heart for talented black writers and artists, and another place in my heart for fictional characters of color. So immediately, Prince of Cats is occupying quite a bit space. On another emotional level, I felt connected to these characters very quickly which doesn’t happen often for me. Not to mention my mixed feelings about the slightly incestuous relationship between Juliet and Tybalt. Their relationship in PoC reminded me of when I fought with myself for liking Humbert Humbert (Lolita) as a character. Now you know that’s good writing!

Intellectually

When I read a good book, it’s usually left dog-eared and covered in illegible markings and neon highlighter. Or as I like to call it, loved. Prince of Cats is far too beautiful for me to graffiti, but mentally I was tagging it up like the side of a train car. My highlighter finger itched when I would read lines like, “That wooden skeleton doth rattle my nerve. The night is warm, the sky is clear, the spring breeze it whispers Summer’s name. Let’s ride the wheel, eavesdrop on season’s conversation and gaze on Astroworld from above.” Prince of Cats injected new life and a fresh perspective into an old tale. You’re guaranteed to love it, verily.

Interview with Ronald Wimberly

Can you tell us a little about yourself? 

Ronald Wimberly: I’m born in DC and raised in DC and Maryland.

I first came to Brooklyn in 97 and, though I’ve ventured far and wide, I always find myself back here.

I got into comics when I was a teenager. First character I remember liking was Grendel, Hunter Rose…remember thinking he should’ve beaten Batman.

What inspired you to create your graphic novel, Prince of Cats

RW: “My greatest inspiration is my empty stomach.”, he lied to the interviewer.

You retold, or rather, remixed Romeo and Juliet, from Tybalt’s point of view. Was there a reason behind that?

RW: …my inspiration…several things.

I’m often interested in supporting characters or characters that spend a lot of time off screen. The idea that they are the center of a story makes me ask questions.

Mercutio’s description of Tybalt always piqued my imagination. There’s a whole story in that monologue.

Also, when I was a kid, reading Romeo and Juliet, I thought it was the worst of Shakespeare’s work. My young ego preferred Hamlet to Romeo as a reflection or the lurid spectacles of a Coriolanus, Titus or Macbeth; however, when I got a little older, I began to look back and see myself and kids I knew in the child cast of Romeo and Juliet, children with passion that could destroy themselves and each other.. (The language also endeared me to the work long after the first time I read it as a kid; it’s what stuck with me).

Juliet’s reaction to Tybalt and his death also attracted me. It was a strange relationship, and damn if she didn’t get over his death quickly. Hehe

If you could retell another piece of classic literature, with a Wimberly twist of course, which would it be and why? 

RW: I would and I will, but it may be a while.

I’ve played with Theseus for years… Did a Perseus strip too back in the day.

…there are more but I don’t like to tip my hand so soon.

In the end we’re all telling these classics over and over…as were they. After all, Shakespeare wasn’t even the first to tell the story of Romeo and Juliet, nor the second.

What’s your writing and illustrating process like? Do you listen to music, go through several drafts, etc.? 

RW: My process is still taking shape. I’m most likely writing in silence when I’m… with white noise while breaking down…jazz or audiobooks while I ink and color.

…The final IS a draft.

I read you’re also an animator for Black Dynamite. Can you tell us about that? 

RW: I didn’t animate in the truest sense, but I was a part of the animation production team. I was a character designer and assisted the art team with their duties. I worked with Chase Conley and Lesean Thomas to create and maintain the look of the show. I even got to do some layout.

What was the transition process like from illustration to animation?

RW: Fortunately for me, the look of the show was not too far from one of my established styles. Even then, the volume of work made it quite formidable. Lucky for me I was surrounded by capable talent at titmouse and an uplifting producer, Carl Jones.

Are there any future projects that you’re working on that you can tell us about?

RW: I’ve got several things in the works, but for now I can only mention my month long retrospective at Superchief Gallery in Williamsburg on the sixth of November. It will be a retrospective of my work as well as a peek at new series I’m on which I’m working.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers, animators and illustrators? 

RW:  Work hard/smart/often. Observe. The value of the answers are often in the process of finding them yourself.

What are some of your current obsessions? 

RW: Life… My art… Food… People.

If you were to have an author and artist create a graphic novel based on your life, who would they be? What would the graphic novel be called?  

RW:  This question is self indulgent, but I’ll indulge myself. 
Jose Munoz words by Murakami Ryu. Murakami Ryu could come up with a title.

Ronald Wimberly’s work:

Check out Ronald Wimberly on the web:

Tattoo Tuesday Featurette- Sue-Ann’s Serenity, Stargate SG-1 & Discworld Ink

Sue-Ann’s Serenity tattoo & Stargate tattoo

It’s been a while since I’ve had time to write up a Tattoo Tuesday post, so I’m glad I’m back with some awesome sci-fi ink from a reader! Sue-Ann, nickname ysabelkid, is a huge science fiction fan (if her tattoos didn’t already give that away). She shared with me the beginning stages of her sci-fi back piece which includes Serenity and Stargate SG-1 pieces. Sue-Ann and her boyfriend are even planning a Stargate-themed wedding on Pi Day in 2015!

Ysabelkid’s Discworld Grim Squeaker tattoo

She went into depth on her blog about why she chose to have the sci-fi ship and portal, but the short version is, “Each of the ships I will have represent the concept of creating one’s own family, and exploring new places with them. The family idea is most prevalent in Firefly, Star Wars, Star Trek and Farscape, and of course, what better way to immortalise travelling to new worlds than Stargate, Star Trek and Robotech? I’ll also be including a quote from Galaxy Quest – ‘Never give up, never surrender!’.”

Her artist, Ryan ‘Busta’ Bolton from The Golden Tiki specialises in cartoons. She was completely amazed by his attention to detail and intricate shading on these pieces, which she noticed was very different from his normal style. The full back tattoo will most likely take another year before it’s finished. But she’s not done yet! She plans to dedicate a tattoo sleeve of women she adores which will include Wonder Woman, Ripley and Sam Carter to name but a few.
Sue-Ann’s very first tattoo was a Hanie Mohd fan drawing of the Grim Squeaker from Discworld. She plans to match it with the Librarian on the opposite ankle. The Squeaker tattoo was inked by Abigail at Electric Eye Tattoos in Durban. But it’s incomplete since the tattoo artist has since left and she’s still tracking her down.
Sue-Ann tells us why she decided to get the Squeaker tattoo, “Terry Pratchett’s writing means a great deal to me, and with his Alzheimer’s, the world is losing one of the greatest minds that ever lived. So it makes sense to me to immortalise him with some of the characters who mean the most to me.” I can’t wait to see Sue-Ann’s complete sci-fi back tattoo and her strong sci-fi female characters sleeve!
If you’re interested in being featured in a Tattoo Tuesday or Tattoo Tuesday Featurette please email me at jamila@girlgonegeekblog(dot)com.

Book Crush: Review of ‘Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R. R. Martin’s a Song of Ice and Fire’

“Beyond the Wall” covers the series up until “A Dance with Dragons” and season one of the television series, Game of Thrones. This post contains no major spoilers. If you’ve only watched the show or haven’t finished the series you won’t be spoiled.

Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire is a book of essays about our beloved series. After the second season of Game of Thrones ended and I finally finished A Dance with Dragons, I was a mixed bag of emotions. I was happy to have finally completed the massive series, and sad that I had no more Game of Thrones to consume. But then I realized I could finally enjoy my copy of Beyond the Wall without a fear of spoilers.

I’m a huge fan of A Song of Ice and Fire series and the Game of Thrones show. After 16 years since first being published, the conversation still burns as bright as the fires of R’holler. The authors in Beyond the Wall take these conversations a step (or two) further. It’s thought provoking and thoroughly entertaining. Topics such as feminism, sexual violence, outcast/the other, fantasy realism, religion and more are all explored in this book of essays.

Not only does Beyond the Wall break down the world of Westeros and Essos, but it exemplifies, page by page, something that us fans have known for a long time, that A Song of Ice and Fire is not only a great work of fantasy, but also a great work of literature. In the foreword, R.A. Salvatore says, “A writer writes to get people asking questions more than to give them answers, and the ultimate achievement of literature is to begin a conversation. To read [Beyond the Wall] is to recognize the depth and breath of the conversation A Song of Ice and Fire has started.”

This book is filled with essays that analyze characters, events and scenes in a captivating and still very accessible way. If you were to look at my copy you would think it has been through the red waste and back. It’s dog-eared, covered in neon pink highlighter, and graffitied with barely legible scribbles, exclamation marks and notes that only I can decipher. Because of Martin’s POV chapters, you get an even deeper sense of the characters. However, there are essays that I’ve read in Beyond the Wall that gave me a better understanding of characters I thought I knew like the back of my (Quran Half)hand.

One of the more enlightening essays is “Art Imitates War: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in A Song of Ice and Fire” by Myke Cole. In this, Cole describes how Arya Stark and Theon Greyjoy are both suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in very different ways. Not only did I learn about PSTD and the Cooper Color System, but, for me, Cole also focused the lens on these two characters storylines. One of my favorite essays is by Matt Staggs, “Petyr Baelish and the Mask of Sanity”, which basically goes on to say that Littlefinger is a psychopath. Literally.

To say that George R. R. Martin writes strong female characters is an understatement. From Arya to Brienne to Cersei, all of the women are strong in their own way and all embody very different and complex representations of woman. There are several essays that delve into the women of Westeros (because one just isn’t enough). In Caroline Spector’s essay, she can condense in one sentence the role of women in ASoIaF by stating, “Martin has created a subversively feminist tale.”

You can’t talk about Game of Thrones without talking about magic and religion. The two worlds are connected; overtly like R’holler and Melisandre and in more subtle ways like the green-seers and old gods. The aptly titled essays, “Of Direwolves and Gods” and “A Sword Without a Hilt”, by Andrew Zimmerman Jones and Jesse Scoble respectively, explore the fascinating ways magic and religion are portrayed in ASoIaF and how it effects Westeros, Essos and its people.

Whether you pray to the old gods or the new, if you consider yourself a fan of Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire, you should read Beyond the Wall.

Order the book on Amazon

Tattoo Tuesday Featurette- Kaity’s Lord of the Rings Ink

Lord of the Rings Tattoo by Dwayne at The Tattoo Shop Aurora, CO

If you’re interested in being featured in a Tattoo Tuesday or Tattoo Tuesday Featurette please email me at girlgonegeekblog(@)gmail(dot)com. 

Tattoo Tuesday Featurette Interview with Kaity

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Kaity: well my name is Kaity and i’m 18. I am a film major and I work as a waitress, i’m not terribly interesting.

What is your tattoo of and why did you get it?

Kaity: Well my tattoo is the inscription on the ring of power from Lord of the Rings. It goes across my stomach and ribs. I got this because Tolkien is one of my favorite authors and I grew up reading his books over and over. They’re really special to me and the symbolism is fantastic. The rings is essentially the main symbol and the basis of the entire story, so that’s why i got it.

Any plans for future tattoos?

Kaity: …I’m getting a freeze frame from the movie The Boondock Saints. But nothing generic like copies of their tattoos… It’s going on my inner left arm.

Who is your favorite Lord of the Rings character?

Kaity: Well in the books, Gandalf is my favorite character. But I will admit, I had a little crush on Orlando Bloom in that blonde Legolas wig from the Peter Jackson films.

Didn’t we all… What are your other favorite fandom’s?

Kaity: Well I’m a big movie geek, so it varies. I really liked House of 1000 Corpses and the Boondock Saints, but recently my vice has been the AMC series The Walking Dead.

Where can we find you in the web?

Kaity: Facebook and I’m also on Youtube: Youtube.com/kaityrantsaboutstuff . But it’s just what it sounds like, it’s like a diary, but again, I’m not terribly interesting.

The Boondock Saints tattoo done by Josh at The Tattoo Shop Aurora, CO(unfinished)

Etsy Crush of the Week & Giveaway- Beth Yates’ Adorable British Fandom Bookmarks

I’m a fan of many things, two of them being extremely cute things and print books. So it should come as no surprise that I am a big fan of Beth Yates’ bookmarks. She used her graphic design talents to bestow charming bookmarks upon the world in the form of our favorite British fandoms. I’m one of those people who does not want to buy an e-reader (yet), so there are plenty of books that I’m reading that will become a temporary home for the Doctor, Ron and Sherlock bookmarks. Although, carrying around some books will surely give me scoliosis (I’m looking at you A Dance with Dragons), I do it for the love of print. Now my only problem is, how will I get any reading done when I’ll be too busy staring at the bookmark?! Long live print and very cute bookmarks to put them in!

Girl Gone Geek Interview with Beth Yates (giveaway below)

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Beth: Well I’m a Graphic Design student, currently coming up to the end of my second year at university. I live just outside Leeds and I’ve always been a total geek. I love videogames, movies, anything to do with fantasy, superheroes and the like. I also love reading, hence the abundance of bookmarks.

How long have you been designing?

Beth: Well I’ve always been creative; I was always drawing and doodling through school. I really started to get into drawing and design around age 15 – inspired by other fandoms; I was particularly into Kingdom Hearts at the time. It’s only in the last couple of years though that I really started to get into serious design and its completely taken over my life (in the best possible way). I just get the most amazing buzz from designing and creating things, and I’m hopefully going to be able to turn this in to a fully-fledged career.

Why did you decide to make an Etsy shop?

Beth: I’ve always made things for myself and thought it would be cool to share the stuff I make with others, see what they thought. It’s been a great platform to get feedback on my designs, and its also helping to pay my way through university, which is brilliant!

So I think it’s safe to say that you’re pro-print books since your adorable bookmarks don’t work on Kindles, right? What are your feelings on these e-readers in general? Do you think they will eventually make print books obsolete? 

Beth: I don’t think print is ever going to be obsolete, there’s just something about the experience of picking up a book, the feel and smell of the pages, the whole experience is so much more than the printed words. I’m a total gadget nut, but there’s so much about our lives today that’s completely ephemeral; music, photos, even money – its all digital and so transient, there’s a physicality and realness to a book that for me you just cant beat.

Since you’re a fellow Whovian I have to ask, who is your favorite doctor and favorite companion?

Beth: Oh its so hard to pick, I just love the whole program. I think it’d probably have to be Tennant and Catherine Tate as Donna. I didn’t really get into Who till Tennant took over (now I’m completely obsessed) and Donna was just brilliant! The chemistry they had was so entertaining to watch. Saying that I really love the new series too! Fishfingers and custard all the way!

What Hogwarts house would the sorting hat put you in and why?

Beth: I got sorted on Pottermore into Gryffindor! Twice! (I wanted to see if it was a random generator or not) I actually squealed. I think it’s quite accurate really, although I’ve always been quite academic I’ve got a quite strong sense of justice. I see and read so many instances of people being wronged and it really makes me want to just go out and do something about it. There’s also nothing more important to me than my friends, I love spending every day surrounded by such fun and brilliant people.

What are your other favorite fandom’s?

Beth: I absolutely love Sherlock and Merlin. They’re the main two, but I’m also a big fan of Star Trek, Star Wars, so many different video game franchises (old and new), though I don’t really take part in the online fandoms, I tend to just geek out with my mates.

If you were on a deserted island what would video game, book, movie, TV show would you bring?

Beth: I would have to bring the whole Monkey island series, the whole Harry Potter series, Megamind and all the series of Merlin.

Where do you live on the Internet? 

Beth: You can find me on Etsy and tumblr :D feel free to drop me message anytime, any requests for new bookmark sets are most welcome!

etsy.com/shop/bethydesigns

bethybookmarks.tumblr.com

 

Beth Yates Bookmark Set Giveaway!