The Big Zombie Tour By Atlanta Movie Tours

Since The Walking Dead is finally back, I decided that it would be an appropriate time to recap one of my favorite Walking Dead related events I have ever attended.  Last Labor Day weekend I had the pleasure of traveling to Atlanta for Dragon*Con with my lovely On Wednesdays We Wear Pink co-creator, Kristin, and her husband Patrick. In addition to our con-going we were also invited to attend “The Big Zombie Tour,” a tour created by Atlanta Movie Tours, which turned out to be my favorite part of our entire trip. Anyone who has visited our site knows that we are both huge zombie fans, and more particularly, Walking Dead fans. This bus tour takes you throughout Atlanta and brings you to all of the places where memorable scenes from The Walking Dead were filmed.  Atlanta is such a beautiful city, mixed with both urban and suburban areas which made for an unique and gorgeous experience.  Throughout the tour, there are trivia questions being asked with prizes for correct answers, photo-ops in all of the locations you visit, and anecdotes from The Walking Dead set. “The Big Zombie Tour” was hosted by a fellow named Charlie who played a zombie on the show with a featured kill, and an awesome tour operator named Patty. Charlie is the zombie in the beginning of season two that Daryl shoots in the eye with an arrow and guts in order to determine if he had eaten the missing Sophia.  It was evident that both Patty and Charlie love what they’re doing, and their enthusiasm and knowledge of The Walking Dead truly enhanced the tour.  Other Kristin also wrote an in-depth article about the specific places we visited which you can read about here.  If you’re interested in attending The Big Zombie Tour, you can book your trip on Atlanta Movie Tours website.  Trust me, if you love zombies, this is a tour that you cannot miss!  Below are some of my favorite photos we took during our trip!

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Books I Read in 2012

Every year I make a list of the books I have read throughout the year by month as a way to keep track of what I’ve read.  I had been really worried about not having read enough books and graphic novels in 2012 because I had felt so pressed for time between all of my responsibilities, but once I tallied my list I  was thrilled to discover that I enjoyed a total of 104 books.  2012’s reading list was very graphic novel heavy as compared with previous years, so another of my 2013 goals is to make sure I have a more well rounded list.  2010 was my best reading year to date.  I had been commuting and for 3 hours per day, and since I didn’t have any close friends at my previous job I also had an extra 80 minutes of reading per day in break times.  That’s a total of 4.5 hours of total literary bliss 5 days a week.  I was much more conscious of switching up my reading as well.  I would alternate between modern fiction, classics, non-fiction (mostly based on physics or nutrition), sci-fi/fantasy novels and graphic novels.  I want to get back into that habit for 2013.  So without further adieu, here is my 2012 reading list! (Some titles are repeated if I had read them multiple times.)
January
1. The Walking Dead Book 7 by Robert Kirkman
2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
3. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
4. Morning Glories Volume 2 by Nick Spencer
5. Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez
6. Kingdom Come by Mark Waid & Alex Ross
7. Batman: Through the Looking Glass by Bruce Jones & Sam Kieth
8. Spider-Island by Dan Slott
9. Green Arrow: Year One by Andy Diggle & Jock
February
3. New Krypton Volume 1 by Geoff Johns & James Robinson
4. New Krypton Volume 2 by Geoff Johns & James Robinson
5. New Krypton Volume 3 by Greg Rucka & James Robinson
6. True Blood Volume 1: All Together Now by Alan Ball
7. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien

March
1. Sweet Tooth Volume 1 by Jeff Lemire
2. Sweet Tooth Volume 2 by Jeff Lemire
3. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
4. The Umbrella Academy Volume 1 by Gerard Way
5. Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh
6. Essex County by Jeff Lemire
7. Sweet Tooth Volume 3 by Jeff Lemire

April
1. Sweet Tooth Volume 4 by Jeff Lemire
2. Feynman by Leland Myrick
3. X-Men Season One by Dennis Hopeless & Jamie Mckelvie
4. Daredevil by Mark Waid
5. Severed by Scott Snyder & Scott Tuft
6. Ex Machina Volume 1: The First Hundred Days by Brian K. Vaughan

May
1.  iZombie Volume 1: Dead to the World by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred
2. Astonishing X-Men Volume 1 by Joss Whedon
3. Fantastic Four Season One by Roberto-Aguirre-Sacasa
4. Animal Man by Jeff Lemire
5. Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane Volume 1 by Sean McKeever
6. Deadlocked by Charlainne Harris
7. Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane Volume 2 by Sean McKeever
8. Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane Volume 3 by Sean McKeever
9. Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane Volume 4 by Sean McKeever
10. Love Buzz by Len N. Wallace
11. Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane: Sophomore Jinx by Terry Moore
12. Daytripper by Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá
13. Marvels by Kurt Busiek & Alex Ross
14. Iron Man Noir by Scott Snyder & Manuel Garcia

June
1. Mystery Men Volume 1 by David Liss
2. Sailor Moon Volume 1 by Naoko Takeuchi
3. Sailor Moon Volume 2 by Naoko Takeuchi
4. Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire
5. Mystery Society by Steve Niles & Fiona Staples
6. Batman: Death by Design by Chip Kidd & Dave Taylor
7. Astonishing X-Men Volume 2 by Joss Whedon
8. Hack/Slash Omnibus 1 by Tim Seeley
9. New York Five by Brian Wood
10. Daredevil Volume 2 by Mark Waid
11. Black Widow & Avengers by Paul Tobin
12. Batgirl Rising by Bryan Q. Miller
13. Batgirl: The Flood by Bryan Q. Miller
14. Spider-Man Blue by Jeph Loeb & Tim Sale

15. New York Four by Brian Wood

16. iZombie Volume 2: uVampire by Chris Roberson

17. iZombie Volume 3: Six Feet Under and Rising by Chris Roberson

July
1. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
2. Daredevil Yellow by Jeph Loeb & Tim Sale
3. Fantastic Four Volume 1 by Jonathan Hickman
4. Fantastic Four Volume 2 by Jonathan Hickman
5. Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire
6. American Vampire Volume 2 by Scott Snyder
7. Y: The Last Man Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughn
8. Y: The Last Man Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughn

August
1. Y: The Last Man Volume 3 by Brian K. Vaughn
2. The Guild Volume 1 by Felicia Day & Jim Rugg
3. Speed Racer Volume 1 by Len Strazewski
4. Love and Capes by Thomas F. Zahler
5. Y: The Last Man Volume 4 by Brian K. Vaughn
6. Batman: War Games Act 1: Outbreak by Devin K. Grayson
7. Zatanna: Shades of the Past by Paul Dini & Cliff Chiang

September
1. Ecko Rising by Danie Ware
2. Very Near Mint Volume 1 by Justin Peterson
3. Morning Glories Volume 3 by Nick Spencer & Joe Eisma
4. Locke & Key: Clockworks by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez
5. Y: The Last Man Volume 5 by Brian K. Vaughn
6. Y: The Last Man Volume 6 by Brian K. Vaughn
7. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle, Adapted by Hope Larson
8. Y: The Last Man Volume 7 by Brian K. Vaughn

October
1. Y The Last Man Volume 8 by Brian K. Vaughn
2. Y The Last Man Volume 9 by Brian K. Vaughn
3. Y The Last Man Volume 10 by Brian K. Vaughn
4. The Walking Dead Book 8 by Robert Kirkman
5. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

November
1. Green Arrow: Quiver by Kevin Smith
2. Atomic Robo by Brian Clevinger
3. Batman: Hush by Jeph Loeb
4. Teen Titans Volume 1: A Kid’s Game by Geoff Johns
5. Nightwing/Huntress by Devin Grayson
6. Teen Titans Volume 2: Family Lost by Geoff Johns
7. Namor The First Mutant Volume 1 by Stuart Moore
8. Teen Titans Volume 3: Beast Boy by Geoff Johns

December
1. Birds of Prey Volume 1: Of Like Minds by Gail Simone
2. Teen Titans Volume 4: The Future is Now by Geoff Johns
3. Spider-Man Blue by Jeph Loeb
4. Robin: Year One by Chuck Dixon
3. Teen Titans Volume 5: Life & Death by Geoff Johns
4. Batman Noel by Lee
5. DC Universe Christmas by Various
6. The Adventures of Tintin by Jamie Bell
7. Transmetropolitan Volume 1 by Warren Ellis
8. Transmetropolitan Volume 2 by Warren Ellis

What are everyone else’s reading goals for 2013?  I’d love to hear which characters you’re planning on spending time with this year!  If you ever have any good recommendations, please feel free to share them with me as I am always up for a new adventure!
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2012 in Retrospect: The Good, The Bad & The Beautiful

Every year around December 31st when the weather gets colder and the year is coming to an end, I tend to spend some of my time inside reflecting on what I learned during the year, things I’ve accomplished, and things I want to spend more time improving upon in the coming year.  I’m so pleased to say that 2012 is shaping up to be an incredible year for me.  There is no doubt that it has also been one of the most chaotic and dramatic years of my life to date, but overall the great things that have occurred highly outshone the bad.  I have so much to be thankful for that I wanted to write it all out and document the things that have contributed to my happiness.

Family – Last year was a very difficult year for my family because we had found out early on that my mother had been diagnosed with stage 4 appendix cancer.  As a result, 2010-2011 were two of the most frightening years of my life.  Once we found out, I basically pressed the pause button on my own life because nothing was more important to me than spending time with my mom.  It was heartbreaking that my mother, one of the nicest, most innocent people in the world, could be faced with something so painful.  My dad worked his butt off to get the best doctors and surgeons on my mom’s case at Sloan-Kettering.  He accompanied her to every single doctor’s appointment she had and we all did our best to maintain a positive outlook, even when we were being told otherwise.  My mom had to go through chemotherapy which would make her feel sick and everyday after work I would race home and my mom and I would drink ginger tea and watch Bones together.    She then had to undergo two major surgeries, which left me more stressed than I’ve ever been in my entire life.  Thanks to all of the doctors hard work and persistence, and my mother’s unwavering positivity and strong will to overcome her diagnoses, I am pleased to report that she has now been cancer-free for one full year!  So this holiday we  celebrated her victory!  My family has always been extremely close knit and I love them more than anything.  My brother (who also happens to be a genius) is one of my best friends, and my dad has been my role model for my whole life.  He perfectly embodies every virtue that it takes to be a good person.  He’s hardworking, has an unmatched level of patience, and he goes above and beyond all of his responsibilities, fulfilling every obligation with a smile on his face.  I can’t even imagine where I would be without all three of them!  We also had a minor setback right after Thanksgiving when my father’s company which he worked at for 33 years was purchased by another company and he was laid off.  We were most concerned about losing our health care benefits specifically for my mother’s sake since she needs regular checkups but I’m not at all surprised to announce that my dad has found a new job which he is starting at the day after New Years.

Friends – There is no denying that 2012 was a pivotal year for me in the friend department.  As I stated in the family section of this blog post, after my mother was diagnosed I had hit the pause button on my life.  When 2012 rolled around, and my mother was newly declared as cancer free, I was able to press resume.  In my time at home I  had made some new friends online through twitter and tumblr and such and I had a great time meeting and becoming close with many of them in real life.  But I refer to the year as pivotal because as things go, I suppose I have always been a tad naive when it comes to dealing with people.  It’s hard for me to envision or believe anyone to be capable of such terrible things perhaps because I (luckily) could never put myself into whatever mindset is required to commit some of the acts I’ve witnessed this year.  For a long time I have always considered myself to be a problem solver and when I see that someone is in need of a friend or advice I do whatever I can to be there for them.  This year I learned that some people are simply beyond help and no matter how I may feel, it is not fair to myself to shoulder the responsibility of trying to make them happy.  Maybe that’s slightly depressing, but maybe it’s also just reality.  But overall and despite everything, I am so honored and happy to say that I have met some of my closest friends this year.  That is why as cheesy as it may sound, I am still a firm believer in the theory that everything happens for a reason.  When times get tough you find out who your true friends are and I cannot even describe the insanity I may have faced if it weren’t for Melissa, Giovanni, and Cassie.  Others have been there for me as well, but the three of them have really gone above and beyond and I love them to pieces!  I also met my co-super villain, the lovely Jen who means the world (that we’re planning on conquering) to me!  As someone that’s always had a close knit group of girl friends, I’m also really pleased to say that immediately fit in with Betty, Sarah, and Lauren.  They’re such a warm, welcoming and fun people and I’m really looking forward to seeing lots more of them in 2013.  Especially since we realized that we are the Birds of Prey and this community needs us!  And of course there’s Taylor, Tom, and Juan, who have provided endless hours of entertainment with their clever puns and good hearted conversations.  Oh! And I could never forget to mention one of my fondest first encounters this year.  I had planned on meeting my friend Rachael and former co-blogger/new friend Kim who I hadn’t previously met in person for happy hour.  Upon arrival, Kim told me that I reminded her of one of my favorite fictional fairies, Tinkerbell!! I realize this paragraph is getting to be quite lengthy, so I promise I won’t go on much longer.  But I also have to mention Alan, who is a warm hearted and knowledgable close friend, Chris, who is an unbelievably talented fellow with a great sense of humor, Marlene, a genuine and kind comic lover who attended an awesome zombie Quidditch match with me, Dan, a cheerful and awesome friend who shares my love of Doctor Who and pens one of my favorite comics, and my longtime best friend and twin, Kristin, who you shall hear more about in the next section!

Work – Kristin and I created On Wednesdays We Wear Pink in August of 2011 and we’ve been the perfect pair of co-writers ever since.  We have complimentary strengths and in all of our time together we haven’t yet had a disagreement.  I am so thankful to have been blessed with such a fantastic partner. We started our site as a blog where we would each take turns writing a post every other day.  Since then, we’ve redesigned, upgraded, and evolved into a site that we’re both incredibly proud of.  Our baby has blossomed!  In working on our site, we’ve been able to attend a ton of conventions, movie screenings, press exhibits, and even speak weekly on her husband’s hilarious radio show.  It also opened doors for us to other opportunities, some of which we can’t discuss just yet :o)  This year, I have been lucky enough to attend Toy Fair, where I helped Gary film a segment for G4, which is crazy to think about since neither of us had known it would be their final year, Book Expo America, Star Wars Celebration where I modeled for Her Universe, DragonCon, Baltimore Comic Con, New York Comic Con, and Spooky Empire.  And as I also briefly mentioned in the previous paragraph, Jen and I began filming a weekly comic book club called the Super Villains Comic Book Club (@SuperVillainCBC), in which we drink wine and discuss a trade or two each Thursday night.  We had Kyle Higgins as a guest on one of our shows, and we have a lot more  surprise guests planned to appear in 2013!  We’re both so excited to be doing this as it’s a project that we’re both deeply passionate about.  Another amazing opportunity I had was to fill in for Jill, and cohost the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast with Alan where we talked about Marvel NOW, Superman and Doctor Who.  I feel like I’m forgetting so many other things, but I promise to keep better track for next year.  It’s especially much easier now that I’ve launched SuperSpaceChick.com.

I’m going to break up this post and publish my resolutions on New Years Day, so I’ll end here.  I hope everyone has a very happy and healthy new year and I wish you all the very best!  Thank you so much for reading my site, following my other work and for your support, comments, and stimulating conversations on twitter/tumblr and of course in real life<3
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Happy Birthday Stan Lee From Your Friendly Neighborhood Gwen Stacy!

Last year I wrote this Happy Birthday blog post/love letter to Stan Lee for On Wednesdays We Wear Pink and I thought I’d share it on my personal blog this year in honor of Stan the Man’s birthday<3!  Stan means a lot to me as he’s created so many of my favorite characters.  I read his biography a few years back and it made him all the more charming.
Today is comic book legend Stan Lee’s 89th Birthday! For those who don’t already know, Stan is responsible for creating the majority of today’s most popular Marvel superheroes.  Some of his brain children include SPIDER-MAN (he’s our favorite at OWWWP), Iron Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Thor, Daredevil (with Bill Everett) and Doctor Strange (with Steve Ditko).  If you have not yet read Stan Lee’s autobiography Excelsior! I highly recommend it.  One of my favorite parts of his book was the story of how Stan Lee created Iron Man.  One of Stan’s bosses at the time remarked about how easy it was to make a superhero because everybody loves a hero.  Stan obviously knew better so he made a bet with his boss that he could create a successful superhero who the antithesis of everything America believed in at the time. During the height of the Cold War, when young American’s everywhere protested and despised the current war, Stan created Iron Man as a millionaire industrialist who developed technology and supplied the military with weapons. And as we all know, Iron Man became a favorite character of everyone. Another thing Stan shines some light on in Excelsior! (which by the way means Onward and Upward to Greater Glory!) is his early life and how he kind of fell into comics. Even after taking a brief hiatus and joining the army to assist in World War II (Stan ended up filming instructional videos and writing manuals for the soldiers going off to fight) he made his way back to Marvel.
With the mere mention of Marvel nearly everybody’s first thought is drawn to Stan Lee. Stan  is truly responsible for making Marvel what it is today. When nobody believed that there was any future in comics Stan just kept working even harder and has ultimately proven them to be very wrong. Last year at New York Comic Con (2010) was the first time I had the pleasure of seeing Stan Lee up close and personal.  I attended his panel about the new and exciting characters to expect from Marvel in 2011. Even then at 87 years old, Stan was one of the most charismatic people I have ever seen.  He thrives on being in the spotlight and he jokes around constantly.  As soon as he entered onto the stage the room took on a completely different ambiance. Everyone was just sitting with expressions of shock and awe on their faces, marveling at the fact that this legend was standing a few feet away from them.  Stan has also gone on to make cameo’s in Marvel Entertainment’s movies (we told you he loves the spotlight).  But our favorite cameo appearance we’ve seen Stan do was when he was on The Big Bang Theory. Stan played himself, signed comics at Stuart’s store and when an overexcited Sheldon showed up on his doorstep, Stan told him off, dismissing him as an annoying fanboy and called the cops.  We loved this scene so much because we know that it is the complete opposite of Stan’s usual fun loving attitude.  So we hope you’ll join us in celebrating Stan Lee’s 89th Birthday today by picking up a new (or old comic) of one your favorite Marvel superheros that wouldn’t exist today with the genius himself.  Thanks Stan, Excelsior!
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12 Best Christmas Themed Episodes on TV

Christmastime is hands down my favorite time of the year.  I always do everything I possibly can to enjoy each moment of the holiday season before it ends and I’m forced to wait until next year to celebrate again.  Some of my favorite traditions include helping my mom bake Christmas cookies (this year we baked gingerbread cookies, raspberry thumbprint cookies, pecan danties, almond crescents, butter cookies, and rainbow cookies in Christmas colors), driving around aimlessly to admire all of the festive lights, watching some of my favorite movies (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Elf, A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Santa Clause, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, It’s a Wonderful Life, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Home Alone, Love Actually), enjoying way too many of Starbucks’ gingerbread lattes while visiting all of the holiday shops and Christmas trees set up around New York City, reading some of my favorite stories (Nicholas Was… a short story by Neil Gaiman, Batman Noel [which Jen & I just did a Super Villains Comic Book Club episode about], Polar Express, Tim Seeley’s Hack/Slash Christmas issue and Christmas Trees by Robert Frost), decorating everything in sight from my house to my desk and even my car, and loudly singing along to the Christmas music I grew up listening to (as Buddy the Elf says, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear).  Well this post has turned into a list of all of the Christmas entertainment I love, but the purpose was to focus on television episodes.  Below are my 25 favorite Christmas themed television episodes in no particular order!
1) Buffy the Vampire Slayer – ‘Amends’ (Season 3, Episode 10) – Amends is the only Christmas episode of Buffy that was made in all eight seasons.  In this episode Angel is haunted by his past by the forces of the The First Evil, and Buffy struggles to get rid of the Bringers.  The episode ends with a beautiful snowfall in Sunnydale.
2) Batman: The Animated Series – ‘Christmas with the Joker’ (Season 1, Episode 2) – The Joker escapes from Arkham Asylum on Christmas Eve on a Christmas tree and begins to wreak havoc in Gotham.  He kidnaps Commissioner Gordon, Barbara Gordon, and Harvey Bullock, and the gives Batman and Robin until midnight to save them.
3) Doctor Who – ‘A Christmas Carol’ & ‘The Doctor, The Widow & The Wardrobe’- In ‘A Christmas Carol,’ my favorite Doctor, the charming number Eleven, attempts to save his companions Rory and Amy who are trapped on a space liner in a strange cloud belt.  The Doctor has to convince the Scrooge, Kazran Sardick, to help and he does so by trying to change his past and make him into a nicer person.  The following years’ special ‘The Doctor, The Widow, & The Wardrobe,” is a Narnia-esque fairy tale in which two children happen upon a present the leads to an alternate universe.  The universe is inhabited by a bunch a treelike people who are attempting to escape through a human vessel.
4) Supernatural – ‘A Very Supernatural Christmas’ (Season 3, Episode 8) – Sam and Dean chase a pair of Pagan gods who have assimilated themselves to society but still require a yearly sacrifice.  The pair sell Christmas wreaths which ultimately ties them to the murders.  All of their victims are mysteriously pulled up their chimneys before disappearing forever.
5) Tales From the Crypt – ‘And All Through the House’ (Season 1, Episode 2) – The episode begins with a woman murdering her husband in order to get his life insurance money.  Afterwards she is chased all through her house by an escaped mental patient who is dressed in a Santa Claus outfit.
6) Smallville – ‘Lexmas’ (Season 5, Episode 9) – Lex Luthor, one of my favorite characters on Smallville, is shot and he slips into a coma.  During the time he is unconscious he is visited by his deceased mother’s ghost and she shows him what his life would be like if he denounced his father Lionel.  Lex sees himself happily married to Lana who is pregnant with their second child.
7) Adventure Time – ‘Holly Jolly Secrets Parts 1 & 2’ (Season 3, Episodes 19-20) – In which, Fin and Jake find the Ice Kings video diary and try to decipher it in an effort to discover the Ice King’s deepest secret.  In part 2 of the special, the Ice King tries to steal his video diaries back from Fin and Jake.
8) The X-Files – ‘How the Ghosts Stole Christmas’ (Season 6, Episode 6) – Mulder and Scully spend their Christmas Eve investigating a haunted house in Maryland where a couple had made a lover’s pact and died together so they would never have to be alone.  Now the ghosts of the dead lovers are trying to convince the new living couple who move into the house to make the same pact.
9) Kim Possible – ‘A Very Possible Christmas’ (Season 2, Episode 16) – Kim is forced to travel around the world searching for Ron after a very thoughtful Christmas gift he plans for Kim goes awry.  Ron and Drakken bond over a Christmas special they both love called Snowman Hank, and Kim and the rest of the Possibles save the day.
10) The OC – ‘The Best Chrismukkah Ever’ (Season 1, Episode 13) – In this very Seth Cohen centric episode, Seth struggles to keep his family together by celebrating Chrismukkah, a holiday he invented as a child which combines Christmas and Hanukkah.  Meanwhile, Seth is also struggling to choose between Anna and Summer.  He makes the same mixtape for them while Anna gives him a homemade  comic book starting Seth as the hero, and Summer dresses up as Wonder Woman.
11) 3rd Rock From the Sun – ‘Jolly Old St. Dick’ (Season 2, Episode 12) – The High Commander played by John Lithgow, prepares his alien family for their first Christmas on Earth by cutting down a Christmas tree from someone’s yard which results in his arrest.  Meanwhile Sally gets a job wrapping presents at the mall, and Harry as one of Santa’s elves.  Although, Harry becomes enraged when he discovers that he is not in fact working for the real Santa.
12) The Big Bang Theory – ‘The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis’ (Season 2, Episode 11) – Shledon, already skeptical about the holiday season claiming that Christmas is just a ripoff of the Pagan holiday Saturnalia, has always been against gift giving.  Once he learns that Penny has gotten him a gift, he struggles to find something for her that will be worth an equal value.  Once he learns what Penny’s gift is, Sheldon is uncharacteristically overcome with emotion, and it is the first time we see Sheldon embrace Penny in a hug.
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Jill’s 30th 80’s Party & the SoHo Hello Kitty Art Show

I’m still recovering from what was quite possibly one of the greatest weekends ever, but I had so much fun that I felt compelled to write a blog post about it before attempting to catch up on some sleep!  I only spent a total of 9 hours (including sleep) at my house this weekend but it was worth every minute!  As a long time LOTR and Hobbit fan I knew that I had to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on opening night.  I was overcome with joy at the thought of spending more time with Gandalf and seeing Bilbo’s adventure finally come to life, so I brought my plushies of Gandalf and Bilbo to snuggle with during the film.  But before heading to the theater, I unintentionally stalked my good friend Alan via Twitter who happened to be filming at Midtown Comics.  Melissa and I met him there to buy a graphic novel for Thursday’s Super Villains Comic Book Club and then stumbled into a Ricky’s to buy wigs for the next days festivities.  Before arriving at the theater we met the birthday girl, Jill, her boyfriend Brad, and one of my closest friends, Dan, at an adorable restaurant that was decorated beautifully for the holidays!  Next, we proceeded to stock up on movie snacks since we knew there was an almost 3 hour journey ahead of us.  We all agreed that the film was rather lengthy, but I really enjoyed it anyway.  I did not however enjoy the 48 frames per second 3D aspect of the movie.  It was just plain odd.  Everything looked too real so it was as if you were watching a documentary.  But I adored seeing Gandalf again, and Martin Freeman did a wonderful job playing Bilbo.  Plus Thorin is the hottest dwarf in Middle Earth.  But my favorite scene of the whole film was towards the end when Gollum and Bilbo were exchanging riddles.  The same scene in which Bilbo happens upon the ring.  I was pleased that the film was much more action packed than I was expecting, and I would really like to see The Hobbit again in 2D before it leaves theaters.
By the time I arrived home it was nearly 4:15 am but since I hadn’t eaten dinner/ wanted an excuse to stay up later and watch my current tv obsession, Adventure Time, I did just that.  By the time Jake and Finn finished saving entrapped princesses from the Ice King, I ended up getting close to four hours of sleep for the night.  I didn’t have much time to get ready and pack on Saturday before dashing back into NYC again for the main event of Jill’s birthday, an epic 80’s style prom, that would rival any John Hughes movie.  I tweeted on Saturday about how crazy my neighbors must think I am because I was seen dashing across my lawn in a Batman sweater and carrying high heels.  It was truly evident how much time and effort Jill put into organizing her party from her 80’s mix, which is the best soundtrack I’ve ever danced to, to the deliciously themed drinks (Pretty in Pinks, White Weddings, Return of the Jedi shots, and my personal favorite, Flux Capacitors), to the Save Ferris sign, and of course, the silly outfits we all decked ourselves out in!  Jill’s awesome brother Adam set up a photo station where we took 80’s style prom pics and plenty of other ridiculous photos.  I was also really excited to see Rachael who is one of the kindest and most genuine girls I’ve befriended this past year.  Below is a collection of some of my favorite photos from the night!  After the party a few of us headed to a dinner for a late night snack/ early breakfast, and then Melissa and I watched Bio-Dome before going to sleep.  At 5:30.  Again.
Then on Sunday, instead of spending the day resting before the work week started, I met up with two of the most awesome girls I know, Sarah and Lauren, and we roamed around NYC in the cold, misty rain.  First we stopped at Georgetown Cupcakes, and indulged in our favorite flavors while giggling and catching up on gossip.  Now that they’re both on their winter break from classes I’m really looking forward to seeing a lot more of them :o)  But our main goal for the day, which we achieved, was going to the Hello Kitty art show in SoHo.  They had a bunch of gorgeous paintings by a wide variety of artists.  My favorite was the Simone Legno print.  Simone is the designer for Tokidoki and i simply adore each and every one of his creations.  A close second was the superhero style Hello Kitty and a rock and roll style painting which made Hello Kitty resemble Adventure Time‘s Fiona.  While we were there we saw a girl outfitted in a Christmas style Lolita ensemble, and a giant Hello Kitty cosplayer.  Even though we had been trudging through the rain we couldn’t resist taking our picture with them by the Hello Kitty Christmas tree.  We also met the artist Tara McPherson and had her sign bookmarks for us.  Afterwards, it was back to wandering around in the cold rain and visiting random SoHo boutiques in search of Christmas presents.  Then we had a delightful dinner at Red Bamboo, a vegan restaurant in the East Village, where we drank shirley temples and conversed about the Star Wars expanded universe and all of the endless possibilities Disney has for expanding the franchise even further.  We were having such a great time that none of us wanted to leave, but alas, the Dexter season finale was premiering at 9 and since Lauren and I are avid fans we had to be home in time.  I won’t say anything just yet since the episode only aired last night, but it was mind blowing.  I am so pleased with the way this season has turned out after the lackluster sixth season.
I’m so happy that I was able to see so many of the people and I and care about just before the holidays.  Plus walking around Manhattan during Christmastime is pure magic.  And cupcakes.  Cupcakes make the world a better place.  I hope everyone else had a great weekend as well!  One one more week until Christmas! Wheeee!
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Super Villains Comic Book Club!

The events that transpired between Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year were unlike any other I had previously experienced.  We all tend to save up and shop a little more than we probably should during the days following Thanksgiving, but it was a purchase I made this year that quickly snowballed into one of my favorite projects thus far.  One of my best friends, Jen, has always had an affinity for Namor, and seeing as how Amazon had some of the trades on sale, I decided to buy two and see what all the fuss about Marvel’s Atlantean was all about.  Naturally I texted Jen as soon as I placed my order and she wanted me to let her know what I thought about them when I finished reading.  We had been trying to schedule a Skype date for after the holiday (we’re on different coasts) and that’s how the ball started rolling.  We thought it would be great to discuss the trade during our chat, which we quickly decided would be made even more fun with the addition of wine.  We joked that it would be like our own little comic book club.  Both of us possess really enthusiastic personalities coupled with a love of comics, so it was only mere minutes before we realized this should be something we do every week.  As we continued to get excited about our new weekly chat, it dawned on us that other people may want to join in the conversation as well! And so, the Super Villains Comic Book Club was born.  I mean, what could be better than attending a weekly book club from the comfort of your own home?  We filmed our first issue last Thursday, based on Namor The First Mutant Volume 1: Curse of the Mutants.  In case you missed the video, you can watch it below or on YouTube.  And you can even subscribe to our channel and take part in upcoming issues!

Since this was our first episode we didn’t have a planned structure, but we’ve been working on fixing that ever since and our next issue will be far more organized.  We decided to film the first club meeting as a test issue to see how we liked it, and take any feedback from viewers so we could improve upon our club and organize future issues.  We’re going to be broadcasting each club meeting (aptly referred to as “issues”) live on YouTube on Thursday nights at 7:30pm EST (4:30PM for all of you west coasters), and you’ll be able to converse along with us in the Google+ hangout chatroom, or on Twitter with the official Super Villains Comic Book Club hashtag #SVCBC.  At the end of each each issue, we’ll also be announcing the graphic novel that will be discussed during the next issue.  One of the changes we’ve already decided upon is that next week’s trade we’ll be chatting about is going to be one of my personal favorites, Spider-Man Blue by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale.  We had originally thought about continuing with the second volume in the Namor The First Mutant series, but we ultimately decided that two consecutive issues about Namor may be overkill (unless you’re Jen, in which case, there can never be too much Namor).  We also decided that we will be discussing spoilers during the club, so if you haven’t read the trade yet, or you prefer not to have the story spoiled (even though most of our selections planned for next month are older publications), you may want to wait to watch until you’ve finished reading.
In addition to our YouTube channel subscription service, you can also interact with us in a few other ways.  We’re working on developing a website where we’ll recap episodes. It’s currently under construction, but you can view our progress here.  Another way to send us a more private means of feedback, make comments, or offer suggestions for future SVCBC book selections, is to email Nonsense@SuperVillainsBookClub.com.  And newly up and running is out Twitter account @SuperVillainCBC.  In the coming weeks we’ll also add a Facebook page and have several other announcements we’re excited to share with everyone.  So, don’t forget to pick up next weeks selection, Spider-Man Blue by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, and a bottle of wine, and we’ll catch you next Thursday! Thank you to everyone who has already shown support for us this far by watching our video, subscribing, following our twitter and sending us emails.  We love you all!
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Brief Musings on Skyfall

This past weekend I saw the newest Bond movie, Skyfall, and overall I was really impressed the film.  The opening credit sequence was beautifully filmed and the song performed by Adele was perfect.  The movie was about 2 and half hours long but it was so exciting that it held my attention throughout.  I didn’t even look at my phone to see what time it was until the two hour mark, and even then I couldn’t believe that much time had passed.
Javier Bardem was a superb villain.  I hated him during the film.  Just the sight of him and hearing his awful laughter would get me to tense up.  His backstory and his master plan were well thought out and believable.  As for Bond, I also think Daniel Craig did a great job.  Growing up, Pierce Brosnan was always my Bond, so although I’m used to a classier, more refined 007, I still enjoyed Craig’s performance.  (Although, Bond only drank one martini in the film, opting for scotch as drink of choice.)  Judi Dench played M, and Ralph Fiennes antagonized her as Gareth Mallory, the man who would transition into her role after her forced retirement.  Dench was faced with many difficult decisions and shouldered a lot of the blame for the course of events in the film, but she played her part with dignity, a strong sense of pride, and a deeply rooted love for her country.  Ben Whishaw, who played Q was adorable.  I particularly enjoyed the conversation he and Bond had upon first meeting each other.
As with all Bond films, action is what the viewers are hoping to see and Skyfall certainly delivered.  There were explosions, collisions, dangling on ledges, kimono dragons, and William Tell style shootings.  The movie reminded me of a well played chess game.  You always want to be a few steps ahead of your opponent, and Bardem was.  It was up to 007 to change the game.  The only element that was severely lacking from Skyfall was a Bond girl.  There were several girls in the film, but none of them really stood out to me or anyone I saw the movie with as the quintessential Bond girl.  Although Eve Moneypenny has a shot in the next film.  If you haven’t already seen Skyfall, I definitely suggest seeing it in theaters.  And if you did see it, what did you think of the movie?
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Why Spider-Man is Amazing & Why You Should Have Faith in Dan Slott

If you follow me on any form of social media or have known me since high school, it’s no secret that Spider-Man is by far my favorite superhero (Marvel, DC or otherwise).  Marvel’s The Amazing Spider-Man comic series is coming to an end this December with issue #700 which is written not only by one of my favorite Spidey authors, but also one of my close friends, Dan Slott.  A lot of people have been giving Dan grief online about his new series, Superior Spider-Man, that debuts in January of 2013 and as a longtime reader of his work, it’s been driving me nuts.  Personally, I think it’s just silly to be questioning Dan’s storytelling skills after everything he’s written for us so far, so I’ve decided to compile a list of my favorite issues from his Amazing Spider-Man run as a reminder why you should be looking forward to whatever he has planned for us all!  Don’t worry, I haven’t included any spoilers, so if you’re looking to begin reading Spider-Man, below is a great place for suggestions on where to start!  If you’ve read #697, the last page should’ve gotten you PUMPED for the final three issues.  So in conclusion, don’t be mean to Dan, or you’ll have to face me (and I have a black belt in karate)!
 

5. #693-#694 – One of Dan’s most recent story arcs about Spider-Man’s accidental sidekick, a tween named Alpha, comes in at number 5 on my list.  After a school field trip to Horizon Labs, a previously unnoticed kid who was in attendance acquires superpowers.  Peter is tasked with mentoring and training him.  The boy is given the name Alpha because he is the only “Alpha-level” superhero on the planet.  I really enjoyed this story because it was interesting for Peter to see a kid who was in the same situation as him royally screw up and use his powers for selfish reasons.  It served as a kind of affirmation that Peter’s life choice of fulfilling his potential and taking responsibility, was the correct one to make.  Seeing Alpha act as a self centered teenage heartthrob who books an appearance on The Vampire Diaries was in a way, like seeing Peter through the looking glass if he hadn’t had Aunt May and Uncle Ben to instill such noble values in him.   The trade for #693-#694 isn’t out yet, but check with your local comic book store about obtaining the issues! (Update: You can buy the trade The Amazing Spider-Man: Danger Zone on Amazon!)

4. #648-#651 – Dan’s first Spider-Man story arc after Brand New Day ended and the page count per issue increased, ‘Kill To Be You,’ is one of my favorites because it lays the groundwork for the Spider-Man universe we were to expect as Dan’s run continued.  It’s the perfect jumping on point for anyone who is interested in reading Spider-Man comics.  Peter finally obtains the coolest job ever as an associate at Horizon Labs, a job that allows him the flexibility to fulfill Spider-Man’s responsibilities as well as pay his rent.  Basically, Peter is a little older, a little wiser, a little smoother, and a whole lot cooler than his previous incarnations.  The story is quite eventful and includes the reintroduction of the Hobgoblin, finds Spider-Man in a new suit, and has Peter team up with Black Cat to face off with Kingpin and Montana.    You can read the full story in Spider-Man: Big Time.

 
3. #677 – Issue #677 features an unlikely team up between Spider-Man and one of my other favorite superheroes, Daredevil.  After Felicia Hardy, also known as Black Cat, is framed for a robbery, Peter employs Murdock to help prove her innocence.  He knows it to be true because after breaking up with Carlie, Spider-Man spent the previous night trying to mend his broken heart and catch a rebound date with Felicia (who refused his offer).  The second half of the story (collectively called ‘Devil in the Details’) can be found in Daredevil #8 penned by Mark Waid.  Part of what makes this crossover so entertaining is that Daredevil and Spider-Man have less than compatible personalities.  If you’re interested in finding out if they were able to get Felicia off the hook, you’ll want to pick up Spider-Man: Flying Blind.
 

2. #678-679 – Time travel is my favorite science fiction topic to read about.  Because there are so many rules, time travel is a difficult topic to tackle, but when it’s done correctly, the result is something so intriguing, that I am barely able to express my love for it in words.  The time door arc is one of those very stories.  Grady, a co-worker of Peters, creates a time door which allows the person who enters to step one day into the future.  There’s no problem when Grady steps through it, but when Peter does, we see that New York is completely destroyed.  Peter must go back to the previous day to try to stop his ‘day off’ from resulting in the future he foresaw.  With only the help of Grady and the next day’s newspaper, Spidey must heed Madame Web’s warnings and race against the clock to save our city.  Plus there’s a bunch of sweet Doctor Who references.  You can read the story in Spider-Man: Trouble on the Horizon.

 
1. #666-673 (Spider-Island) – It is not uncommon to hear people claim that Spider-Island is the story arc that made them love Spider-Man again.  And trust me, said claim is justified.  Whenever anyone asks me for recommendations of my favorite Spider-Man stories, I always suggest Spider-Island first and foremost.  All you need to know is that the entirety of New York City is infected with a plague, giving them the same powers as Spider-Man.  That means that roughly 8 million people have spider powers.  Chaotic?  That’s an understatement.  Spider-Man employs the help of the rest of New York’s finest (superheroes that is), and they assemble to ward off the Jackal and his newfound army.  The hardcover trade also includes issues of Venom, the prologues to Spider-Island (named Infested), and several other issues.  You can buy Spider-Island here.
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On Fake Geeks And Why Everyone Should Just Leave This Topic Alone

I’ve never written a post about my opinion on the “fake” geek before so I felt like today was an appropriate time given the earlier controversy.  Not that this isn’t a reoccurring topic (sadly).  Every time an article or an ignorant comment surfaces online I feel like pulling out my hair and screaming “WHY?!”  Do the people who say these outlandish things really have enough spare time to be concerned with what others are doing?  If they do, I can’t say I envy them.  They may argue that they’re trying to protect what they love from being ruined by outsiders, but wouldn’t someone who claims to love something be excited to share it with a new audience?  I mean logically speaking, the more people that spend their money in our industry (no matter what their motivation might be), means more money gets invested in our industry.  I like to see my favorite authors and artists become popular and receive the praise and royalties they deserve for their creations.  I’m completely ignoring the gender issue that usually arises in conjunction with said ridiculousness because quite honestly, it’s completely irrelevant and disgusting that it could even be a factor in any argument.  Last time I checked we hadn’t taken a TARDIS to the past when gender discrimination was tolerated.  Guess what, plenty of women are “geeks,” and so are plenty of men.  Which bring me to my next topic.  Some people get very upset over the prospect of “booth babes,” but I do not understand that concept either.  So what if a woman chooses to be employed as such?  Did Chris Evans playing Captain America ruin The Avengers for you since Chris isn’t a geek in real life?  How is an actor getting payed to play a part in a film any different than a woman getting paid to help promote a booth?  Many of the girls that do cosplay and work at cons actually love what they’re doing, not that should have to explain themselves either way.  Should they be made to feel alienated because they decide to wear a revealing costume?  I don’t think so.  Why wouldn’t you flaunt what you have?  I know girls who spend months working out and dieting before conventions just so they can feel confident in their cosplay.  Are they to be punished for putting effort into their appearance?  What gives anyone the right to judge anyone else?  There is always going to be someone who knows more about a certain topic than you do and that’s okay!  In fact, it’s kind of exciting.  It makes for great conversation, it allows us to connect with one another, and it means that there’s always something new for us to discover.  There are so many areas of fandom to explore and years of content to memorize that the prospect of being an absolute geek god in any number of topics is improbable (unless you’re my good friend Alan Kistler [@SizzlerKistler] but that guy is just exceptional ^.^).  And isn’t geekdom all about enthusiasm anyway?  Why turn something that was created to be an outlet for entertainment and enjoyment into a contest?  Being a geek is not like being a member of some elitist club.  One of the reasons I’ve always loved the geek community is because overall, it’s a very accepting and loving group of people.  If anyone is making a conscious effort or showing an interest in one of my passions, I’m the first one to offer up recommendations.  I find it satisfying to get new people involved.  In fact, I get so excited about reading comics that I often force other people (namely my brother) to read them too.   Then I get to talk about how awesome whatever it was had been! It’s a win-win situation.  I can’t think of one negative result of engaging more people in reading.  Call me crazy for being so inviting, but a world with a little more superhero and a little less Jersey Shore can only be a good thing.  Plus, everyone has to start somewhere!  So instead of wasting our time defending ourselves why don’t we move on, continue to have fun, and deny the haters the one thing they crave most; attention.
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