NYCC 2014: Cosplay Roundup

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 West and 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.

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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’.

Interview with Joe Cornish

I had the great pleasure of interviewing Joe Cornish, writer and director of Attack the Block at New York Comic Con. It was a roundtable interview and I’m an enormous fan of Attack the Block and have proclaimed it my favorite film of the summer and even film of the year.

Attack the Block’s tag line, “Inner City versus Outer Space” sums up everything. It’s like season 4 of The Wire, with a grittier Gremlin and Goonies thrown in for good measure. But this is more than an aliens attack story; it’s a film about redemption, friendship, inequality and social commentary (all without being too politically serious).

Joe Cornish also co-wrote The Adventures of Tintin along with Steven Moffat (Doctor Who, Sherlock) and Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) which was directed by Steven Spielberg is coming out December 21st.

You can check out the spoiler free review of Attack the Block here and the DVD is available now!

There were some spoilery questions and comments in the interview so I moved those to the end of this post in case you haven’t seen the film yet, because I know you will. You must, trust!

Interview with writer and director Joe Cornish:

Question: I found it to be very character driven, I really liked the opening and how it was set in the inner city, which is like war zone in itself.

Joe Cornish: I wouldn’t call it a war zone myself. We were keen to respect the reality of the environment and show actually how important their home is to those kids. They go to great length to protect it because they love it and other people may think it’s a down beat place. Many of the movies show that environment as a depressing signifier of urban deprivation. For the kids that live there it’s home, and they love it and it’s their playground and their childhood. I wanted to show it becomes a war zone because of the aliens, but a fun war zone of aliens versus humans. I didn’t want to make a gang movie about kids beating each other up or stabbing each other. Attack the Block is a pretty fun, in terms of the violence. The worse things that happens is when they try to mug that woman in the beginning of the movie, but compared to the amount of violence you see in the average Hollywood film, this is pretty mild. But at the same time I hope that quite ballsy and dynamic and scary and fun kind of thing.

Q: So you’re talking about how you wanted to portray it as the kids home, was that tied to the decision to have all the colors bright and vivid? Because it seemed to contribute a lot to the warmth.

JC: Yeah definitely you’re right. Similarly like I was saying, that often environment is portrayed in a downbeat way that’s reflected in the cinematography in a lot of films. I’m not saying that’s not how to do it, it’s just something I wanted to react against. A of movies they de-saturate the color and it’s grainy and handheld and it’s super down-beaten and real. The interesting thing about this architecture is it was built in the 50s and 60s in a huge spirit of optimism and futurism. These designs were seen as this utopia that would solve the slum problems in post-war Britain. So if you look at original documentaries or footage taken of the time these buildings were originally opened, they seemed like science fiction and since then they’ve become, heroin addicts slumped in corners and dog shit in the lift and stuff like that. So I wanted to bring it back to that imaginative optimistic futuristic feel and the color has very much to do with that. We wanted it to look like almost a 60s Disney film… to be fluorescent to look like Mary Poppins, more than fish tank you know?

Q: I was amazed in the DVD featured that you used so many practical special effects, was that originally the idea?

JC: No, we never had the budget to do CGI creatures but I didn’t want to do CGI creatures. As a film guru I find digital monsters very samey, they all feel the same and I don’t understand this obsession with hyper-realistic detail. All the movies I loved whether it was Gremlins or ET, or Critters or Predator I believed those creatures, and they felt like they were there. They were simpler and imaginative and hell I could go home and draw them, and you can’t draw the dragon from Harry Potter without a fine art degree. So I wanted to do a movie with a monster that was sketchable and graphic. So we have a guy in a suit and the guy is Terry Notary, he’s a very brilliant creature performer with a long IMDb credits list of amazing films. Spectral Motion, who do Guillermo del Toro’s stuff, made the suits. And then a company called Double Negative and another company called Fido Film, used CGI to actually take away detail and every now and then to help the jaws, but that was it.  In Attack the Block if a kid is being attacked by a creature it’s real, he’s really being attacked by the creature.

Q: Even those suits, those mouths moved really well.

JC: Well we needed that because to get that reflection of the teeth in that environment is very laborious and time-consuming to do digitally. But if you have them there on the set, it doesn’t cost anything apart from the teeth. So it was half to do with resources but mainly to do with wanting to get something original aesthetically and more to do with the old school effects that I love.

Girl Gone Geek: Why did you do the inner city, out of all the other settings you could have done?

JC: Because it’s where I live, it’s where I grew up and Stockwell in South London, and you know the movie wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t about those kids. The movie is about the kids, it’s about the situation they find themselves in. It’s about their energy and power of teenagers in particular, these teenagers are funny, they’re strong, they’re passionate, they have a very particular way of looking at the world and they are very tight when they get together and if you don’t care for them and pay attention to them, you can have problems. And if you do, you can have something amazingly positive and strong and I felt very strongly that especially in the UK, the press and the public attitude towards kids like that is dangerously negative. Even though I start my film with almost the stereotype, the cliché that was our basis then to go 100 miles an hour in the other direction. That’s why the film exists, because it’s the story of those kids. If I set it in a different part of London it might have been a different culture mix… I was also very excited to give young actors of that age from my area the change to be in a movie like this.

Q: John (Boyega) was fantastic I like how you transitioned from a thug mentality, he had no remorse, it was all about disrespect.

JC: But even that was a front. I did a lot of research; the movie is all about trying not to see things in binary times. Because you get in trouble and you oversimplify the thing. Some of the critical reaction is interesting, people who seem to find it impossible to think in this binary way. And when you actually talk to young people like that, yeah they’re capable of doing bad things but they are smart and clever and articulate this movie is an attempt to show the full spectrum.

Q: Towards the end of the movie was totally a 180, he (John Boyega/Moses) was guilty, he started off almost like a criminal and looked like a hero at the end, and even with Jodi Whitaker (Sam) and she said this was my home at the end.

JC: The first ideas I had were the very beginning and the very end. I thought okay that’s my A that’s my Z, can I get there? Can I bring the audience with me? And that was the challenge and that felt like an exiting thing to write. But John Boyega is amazing.

Q: Where did you find him?

JC: Well we saw about 1,500 young people. We found him in a play in the Triangle Theater in London, we saw him on stage for about 10 minutes. He was 17 when I saw him maybe even 16, and he was just great.

Q: A high school play?

JC: No he left school I think, or he was in college. But he was passionate about acting and he had been acting for about 2 years when we found him. He’s quite something, I think he was going to make it with or without us, but I feel very lucky that we discovered him for this.

Q: How much of that hero’s journey was literary and how much was organically based on the character? Because it is in a way a very classical hero’s journey… did that come from an organic progression of the character or taking the literally tradition of the hero’s journey and overlaying onto that character?

JC: The former, I did all that stuff. I did the Robert McKee course and I read all those books and I did the McKee course in my 20’s and it gave me writers block for about 7 years because everything I wrote seemed wrong. It was lie, everything I wrote I had to compare to this paradigm and it always fell short. I was never really good at math’s or sciences and it made it feel like math or science. So what really liberated me was just forgetting all that stuff and just writing what I thought felt instinctively cool.

Q: The end of the film seems to have a little bit of a religious undertone, with Moses bringing his people to safety, was that always in there?

JC: No, I knew shit would be read into it, but I think sometimes that’s a nice thing about having quite a minimalist scenario. That it can become allegorical or metaphorical and people can maybe see stuff in it. That’s always a strength of any good little lo-fi sci-fi movie whether it’s Night of the Living Dead or Invasion of the Body Snatchers or Invasion of the Damned. Beautifully boiled down allegorical scenarios that are capable of containing lots of different interpretations. The name of Moses came from one of the first kids I spoke to in researched and I just liked the name. The other thing I liked about it is I liked the idea of his parents naming him that. And I liked imagining his parents and the hope and faith parents have in their kid to name him that, and I thought it was juxtaposed nicely with where we find him in the beginning of the story. Plus, as I always say my name is Joseph and I’m no good at carpentry, so it’s just a name.

Girl Gone Geek: How’s the writing process been for TinTin, with Steven Moffat and Edgar Wright?

JC: Steven Moffat is a brilliant man, he did the first few drafts then he had to leave and go and be show runner of Doctor Who and Sherlock. So Peter Jackson called Edgar [Wright] and Edgar knew I was a big Tintin fan so that’s how I got involved, Edgar got me into it and it was amazing.

Girl Gone Geek: What about Ant Man what is happening with that film?

JC: Ant Man we’ve written a script we’re really proud of, we love it and that’s in the hands of Marvel now and Edgar really, I’m really a humble writer.

 

This section of the interview has major spoilers about Attack the Block:

Q: You seem to have a little nationalism in there with Jodi Whitaker’s boyfriend who is in Africa, [and the kids say] why isn’t he in Great Britain? And at the end of the movie when Moses blew up all the aliens, and he’s hanging from the British flag.

JC: Cool! It’s not actually supposed to be nationalistic. That’s an interesting example of it’s not didactic it’s not polemical, it’s the character saying it and I thought that’s just an interesting irony that I may have come across in research or maybe I thought myself… That would be insane to not to want to help kids in the 3rd world. Maybe the word is satire; it’s just poking you in the ribs and make you think. And that’s a perfect example of how teenagers say that kind of thing, they know the irony they’re self aware they know they’re being provocative. I find stuff like that interesting and thought provoking and that for me I say a good thing.

Q: It is powerful imagine, this marginalized character holding the flag.

JC: Well if you go to London people do hang flags out of their windows. And you know what? That was always inspired by The Spy Who Loved Me. The parachute in the beginning, and when I was a kid I loved British films with union jacks in them. So you’re right about that, an element of that is to see a union jack in a British action adventure film. But to use it in that way with a black character and that level of irony I thought was and interesting new… a little poke in the ribs, a little thing that might make people think differently for a moment.

Q: There wasn’t a lot of graphic depictions of gore except for Hi-Hatz death … he was obviously a bad character…

JC: Yeah he needed a big death he deserved to have his face ripped off.

Q: And Dennis didn’t do anything wrong and he got it too.

JC: I know life isn’t fair, I know it’s horrible [laughs].

Minimalist Movie Posters- Less is More

Akira

(If you aren’t completely annoyed with minimalist posters by now) I hope enjoy these!

More Minimalist Posts:

Minimalist Doctor Who Posters

Minimalist Street Fighter Art

Minimalist Superheros

Video Game Minimalist Posters


Reservoir Dogs

Pulp Fiction

Kill Bill

Kill Bill

Fight Club

Star Wars

Wall-E

Back to the Future Part III

The Fifth Element

Jurassic Park

Dracula

Memento

Planet of the Apes

The Exorcist

Superhero Movie Posters

[Sources Trendland, Comics Alliance and Urlesque]