Life Lately: Reading, Watching, Playing, Anticipating

Last weekend I sustained a neck injury which I am henceforth referring to as book neck.  Everyone I’ve told about it unanimously agrees that I should come up with another story.  I was traveling on the subway and carrying too many bags which forced me to hold my book arms-length from my face at a downward angle.  When I woke up on Sunday, I couldn’t move my neck.  I was Batman-ing to talk to people the entire day.  On the brightside, I was able to film 5 BookTube videos before my ailment and I discovered that if I drink a glass of wine my neck feels much better.  (This also led to me forgetting that I ordered a Funko Smaug and being really excited when I received an email about it having shipped!)  Oh! I also got to wear my new unicorn shoes because it was finally warm enough!

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I’ve been re-reading my true book love, Harry Potter, and it’s made morning and evening commutes so much fun<3  There are so many extra details that I’m picking up now that I’m an adult and I get these intense pangs of emotion when certain characters appear.  Some of my random thoughts have been 1) Hermione is such an amazing character and Harry and Ron are so lucky they ended up being friends, 2) the majority of the most meaningful quotes in the first book are said by Dumbledore and 3) why isn’t real life like Hogwarts?

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My subconscious is truly ready for the Daredevil premiere on April 10th.  Last night I had a dream that I was in a desolate subway station in NYC when I became cornered by the Kingpin.  He was walking towards me and I had no idea what I was going to do when all of a sudden, across the platform, I see that bright red costume and billy club I love so much appear seemingly out of nowhere.  Instead of keeping my cool in front of the Kingpin, I couldn’t help but exclaim “YES!” completely blowing up Daredevil’s spot.  Luckily, he kicked the Fisk’s butt anyway :-)

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Andrew and I went to Sugar & Plumm for brunch (I wrote about how fantastic this restaurant is last week!) and after eating too many sweets, we took a stroll through Central Park.  We visited the Bethesda fountain, saw some mallard ducks swimming in the only area of the water that wasn’t completely frozen, and we exited near the John Lennon Imagine area.  It was really lovely.  We’ve also been utilizing Andrew’s Wii U which has been a blast.  I was incredibly excited for Mario Party 10 because Mario Party is probably my favorite N64 game, but I was sadly disappointed when we realized the game format changed and you barely get to play any mini-games… which is the whole point!  So we switched back to Super Smash Bros. and we’ve unlocked all the characters!  My favorite characters to play as are Rosalina and Bowser.  Oh, and we’ve totally been marathoning The Mindy Project.  I’m not too into the plot but it’s such a strange show and I love so many of the characters.  Danny is my favorite but I also love Mindy and Morgan.  Plus, Mindy’s clothes are super cute!  And lastly, I read an awesome graphic novel about MMORPG’s!

The Comics You HAVE To Read Before Daredevil Premieres On Netflix

This weeks THINKAboutTheINK video is one that I’m super passionate about.  I love Daredevil (the comics, not the awful Ben Affleck film), and with the Marvel-Netflix deal, Matt Murdock is finally getting another shot at live action treatment.  If you’re like me, you may prefer to read more about a character before you see a film or tv adaptation and lucky for you, I’ve read just about every Daredevil comic ever published!  In the video below I’ll be discussing the Daredevil comics you need to read, and the one that you should not even bother with!

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Winter Catch Up Post

I haven’t written any personal updates recently about what I’ve been up to and since I have some extra time I thought it would be fun to catch you up on what’s been going on (mostly through photos because how else would I remember the last few months?) from Christmas to present.  I’m finally back to writing consistently for On Wednesdays We Wear Pink with my BFF other Kristin. I really missed the excitement of finding stories and sharing them with all of our readers.  Now that I’m back to writing I feel totally refreshed and re-motivated about working on our little blog baby.  I spent the winter getting my life back in order after Fangasm ended and spending all of my time with the people who matter most to me, namely my soulmate BFF, Melissa and my favorite little fiery redhead Cassie.  I wouldn’t trade my Fangasm experience for anything, but I would lying if I didn’t say that I’m kind of ecstatic it’s finally over (despite missing Molly like crazy).  Anyway, here’s what I’ve been doing:

CHRISTMAS (obviously the largest collection of photos)!

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I spent December doing the things I always do which include visiting the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center twice a week or more, drinking as many gingerbread lattes I can possibly consume without getting sick from the traditional red holiday cups at Starbucks, and dressing as festively as my wardrobe allows.  I saw Neil Gaiman perform Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the New York Public Library with my brother Bob and friend Rachael, drank the most delicious white hot chocolate topped with gingerbread spice at Rue 57 with my friend Leo, admired the stars hanging from the ceiling in the Columbus Circle mall, ate my cousin Samantha’s delicious sugar cookies, saw a gingerbread version of the Flatiron building at Citarella, traded presents with my besties, and of course, opened the presents under my own tree on Christmas morning from Santa!

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My love for Disney’s Frozen intensified.  I loved the film so much and I’ve been (im)patiently waiting for March 18th to roll around so I can start watching the blu-ray on loop in my room.  I might’ve sang ‘Let it Go’ about a million times in my room/shower/car, etc.  In glancing through my Instagram photos I also noticed that Frozen subconsciously began influencing my fashion and food decisions.  Many trips to the Disney store in Times Square were made.

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One of the most exciting things I did this winter was attend the New York City premiere of American Hustle at the Ziegfeld Theater.  I have fond memories of the Ziegfeld seeing as my first experience there was to help with the Star Wars fashion show.  As soon as Leo and I arrived at the theater we walked right past Christian Bale and Jeremy Renner, who just so happen to play some of my favorite superheroes.  The director David O. Russell gave us a speech before we watched the film and introduced the cast.  Unfortunately, Jennifer Lawrence wasn’t in attendance because she had Hunger Games obligations so I guess that’s excusable or whatever.  After the film we grabbed a cab to Cipriani and spent the night enjoying the 70’s decor and talking to some of the cast.  I might’ve had a major fangirl moment when Jeremy Renner put his arm around my waist.  Also in attendance were Louis C.K., Bradley Cooper, and Amy Adams.

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2013-2014 has been one giant snowpocalypse of a winter season.  I always read a lot but with the 57+ inches of snow we’ve received this winter, I’ve spent much of my time inside hibernating and reading.  Some of my favorite things I’ve read recently are 1) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell which touched upon my Harry Potter addiction and  told the most endearing story about a fanfiction writer, 2) The Unbound by Victoria Schwab which is the sequel to The Archived and tells the story of Mackenzie Bishop, a keeper of Histories (dead people),  and her relationship with my literary crush Guyliner (Wes), and how she’s dealing with the aftermath of her traumatic experience in the first book, 3) Gotham Central and Daredevil which both fall under my read-all-the-Ed-Brubaker-things kick, 4) The Diviners by Libba Bray which is a supernatural story about a rebellious young girl named Evie O’Neill who moves in with her uncle in NYC during the roaring 20’s and works with him to uncover a serial killer which gave me nightmares, and 5) the last few issues of Young Avengers by Kieron Gillan and Jamie McKelvie which made me want to sob uncontrollably because I was not ready for the series to end.  I also FINALLY acquired the new Harry Potter paperback books with the redesigned covers by Kazu Kibuishi which I’ve basically been coveting and visiting in bookstores since they’re been released.  I feel a re-read coming on.

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I had a very low key New Years Eve this year and it was absolutely wonderful.  I rang in 2014 with Melissa and my brother.  We drank pink champagne and watched the Akira blu-ray I recently purchased.  I couldn’t think of a better way to have spent the holiday.

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I’ve been eating and baking a lot of junk food lately so I’ll have to revert back to my rabbit food like vegetarian diet soon if I plan on fitting in my dresses for the summer.  Cookie dough Oreos may be the greatest thing I’ve ever tasted.  They have a faintly coffee like taste but you can feel the sugar particles in your mouth while you’re devouring them.  Macarons have kind of been my jam this winter.  I especially love Macaron Parlour in St. Marks which has really creative flavors like Cheetos and Candied Bacon with Maple Cream Cheese. Yeah.  I’m also really impressed with the Carrot Cake M&M’s.  They’re no Pumpkin Spice, but they really hit the spot.IMG_0117 IMG_0230 IMG_0425 IMG_0894 IMG_0900 IMG_1277 IMG_1366 IMG_1481 IMG_1598 IMG_2158IMG_2126 IMG_2173IMG_1870

Being a hoarder, I’ve added a bunch of new statues, dolls, clothes, etc., to my collection over the past few months.  The biggest item I’ve added is the life size Daredevil bust by Sideshow Collectibles which I’ve been told freaks some people out but they’ll just have to get over it because it’s my room, my second favorite Marvel hero and he makes me happy.  I’ve also been collecting the DC Bombshell statues which combine my love of superheroes with my love of retro pinup style models.  Unfortunately my Supergirl broke into six pieces after falling two feet onto a carpeted surface (I shudder to think what would’ve happened on a tiled or wood floor), but my Dad superglued her together for me and she’s almost as good as new.  Sideshow Collectibles also sent me the Mary Jane Watson statue which is the first statue released in their J. Scott Campbell Spider-Man collection and I wrote a rave review of her for both of my websites.  Lastly, I’ve been getting into DC Tonner dolls.  My most recent addition is Poison Ivy and my instagram photo of her is featured on Comics Alliance this week!  I also received my first Sailor Moon preorder from Japan so I’m expecting a flood of new magical girl things in the next few months.  Seriously though, I just love these compacts.  And the newest anything I’ve gotten is the Target exclusive edition of Thor: The Dark World.  Obviously it was worth the trip alone to have my lovely Loki on the cover.

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I recently saw Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark on Broadway (right before it closed) with Dan, Marlene and Ali.  It was incredibly silly and we all laughed throughout many of the scenes.  I had been the only one who hadn’t seen the show yet, and I’m SO thankful Dan thought of me when he got some last minute tickets.  Some of the villains had awesome costumes while others were absurd.  I was a little bit nervous when Spider-Man and the Green Goblin would fly above our heads after many actor injuries earlier in the show’s run.  I also saw Cinderella on Broadway with Leo which I totally loved to pieces!  Cinderella was played by Carlie Rae Jeppson (who I hadn’t known sang ‘Call Me Maybe’ until my mother informed me >.<)  They took some liberties from the original fairy tale but it worked for the play and I still find myself humming the songs from time to time.  The evil step mother was played by Fran Drescher who was perfect for the role.  One of her best lines was “I married for love, he died, I cried.  I married for money, he died, I got a house.”

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For the second year in a row I celebrated Galentine’s Day with Melissa.  As per tradition I re-read Mad Love by Paul Dini while I waited for Melissa’s train to bring her to me. We spent the night drinking lots of wine, eating lots of pizza, shopping for books, and having a Twitter battle over who our biggest celebrity crushes are, mine being Michael Cera.  You may think the top photo of Paolo Rivera sketches are of Melissa and I and shockingly they’re supposed to be the Baroness and Gwen Stacy but just compare our likeness!  We must’ve been used as references.

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A few weeks ago, Melissa and I braved the snow and polar vortexes and went to Toy Fair where I MET GRUMPY CAT.  Grumpy Cat is tiny, fluffy, adorable, and definitely heavily sedated since she sat in one spot for a few hours.  We also met Emmet from the LEGO Movie and everything was awesome.  I fell in love with all of the DC Collectibles, especially the Li’l Gotham figures, Pajama Party Harley Quinn, and Bombshell Zatanna.  I also loved everything by Funko, from Marvel blind boxes, to a Harley Quinn plush to their new line of Ha Batman and TNMT soft vinyls.  Kidrobot finally acquired a DC Comics license so I’m also super psyched for that Joker Labbit.  I wrote about Toy Fair extensively for On Wednesdays We Wear Pink.

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Next is a collection of friend photos.  I played Cards Against Humanity with my high school friends during a mini reunion one night (I was so happy to have gotten the Batman card).  I co-hosted an event at Midtown Comics for my friend Eric Smith’s book The Geeks Guide to Dating.  We had such a fun time and afterwards we headed to the Red Door with Cassie, Taylor, and Katherine for after book club drinks and chit chat.  The gold photo is of Melissa and I drinking cider at Piano’s where we saw Giovanni’s band perform.  I also took a day off of work and spent the day shopping and drinking extra large green apple cocktails with Betty, Angelina, Lauren, and Nick.  And most recently, I tried on my bridesmaid dress for my friend Amanda’s upcoming wedding in November.

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Last and most certainly not least, I impulsively booked a trip to Orlando to see the aforementioned Kristin and my friend Christine.  I’m SO SO SO excited to leave for Harry Potter World and Disney and MegaCon in a few weeks and it seems like a bunch of my other friends will also be in town during the same time!  I’m going to try not to let as much time pass between posts so I won’t have to write a three month catch up again any time soon.  I hope you’ve all been well and I really hope that Spring weather starts happening soon so my upcoming adventures are warmer.

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Best Comics Of 2013 Part Two Of Two

Without further ado, here is the second half of my best of 2013 list.  If there’s a title you didn’t see on either list that you think I should’ve included, leave a comment below!

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Morning Glories by Nick Spencer & Joe Eisma1

Superior Spider-Man by Dan Slott & Ryan Stegman2

Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction & Chip Zdarsky3

The Private Eye by Brian K. Vaughn & Marcos Martin4

Batman ’66 by Jeff Parker & Jonathan Case5

Daredevil by Mark Waid & Chris Samnee6

Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue DeConnick & Emma Rios7

Manhattan Projects by Matt Fraction & Nick Pitarra8

Captain Marvel by Kelly Sue DeConnick & Jaimie McKelvie9

Amelia Cole & the Unknown World by Adam P. Knave, D.J. Kirkbride & Nick Brokenshire10

Wraith: Welcome to Christmasland by Joe Hill & C.P. Wilson III11

Coffin Hill by Caitlin Kittredge & Inaki Miranda

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HONORABLE MENTION: Harley Quinn by Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner – Harley Quinn gets an honorable mention because at the time I wrote this post, issue #0 is the only book to have been released.

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NYCC ’13: 6 Artists I Want to Give All Of My Money To

Every year, at every convention, my weakness without fail is artist alley.  I’m trying to diversify my list from past conventions, and luckily, NYCC has so many artists coming, that it wasn’t difficult to include folks I haven’t had the opportunity to meet and purchase things from just yet.  My only repeat on this list from my last convention (Baltimore Comic Con), is Cliff Chiang because he had to cancel at the last minute and I wasn’t able to see him.  But this NYCC, I’m totally ready to attack his table!

1Alex Maleev

1Amy Reeder

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Ivan Reis

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Mike Norton

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Ryan Stegman

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Cliff Chiang

Who are you most looking forward to meeting and purchasing artwork from?  Do you prefer to buy prints, or do you like commissioning original artwork from your favorite creators?

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My Favorite Moments: Baltimore Comic Con 2013

Baltimore Comic Con is once again my favorite convention of the year.  Each convention has a specific focus and personality to it and Baltimore’s is strictly comics.  I was so pleased to see how much the convention had grown in only one year.  There were plenty more people in attendance this year than there were last year, but even still the floor was not unmanageable to walk around.  There were definite crowds in some areas, but the floor is set up with enough space between aisles that there isn’t ever a major human traffic jam.  One of the reasons I love Baltimore so much is because all of the creators are so easily accessible.  This year the two longest lines I waited in were to buy artwork from Amanda Conner, and the Starbucks line. But to talk to Brian Bolland, the creator of one of the most infamous and terrifying images, depicting the Joker peering out from behind his camera with that eerie over exaggerated smile, I waited for MAYBE three minutes.

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I spent the overwhelming majority of my convention time walking around with Amy, who I absolutely adore.  The first day of the con Amy dressed as Princess Amethyst of Gemworld, and I was dressed as a casual Stephanie Brown Robin.  We were able to walk the entire floor in less than one day, but we spent a lot of time perusing through artist portfolios and Amy was in search of artists to draw in her new Daredevil themed sketchbook.  I don’t even want to think about the amount of money we spent between the two of us.  We also visited our friend Stephanie at Bill Willingham’s table and she entertained us with stories about cats.  Then we followed her into the two hour long Fables panel which I’m going to recap very soon for On Wednesdays We Wear Pink.  Amy and I walked into the panel slightly late and in the same door and time as Shelly Bond (executive editor for Vertigo Comics), so we were pointed at by everyone on the panel and stared at by the attendees while we tried to move across the room as quickly as Barry Allen to find seats and get out of that awkward situation.  After the panel we went back to the floor and (shocker) bought more art.  I had the pleasure of meeting Jamie Fay and Rich Bernatovech who I were drawn to because of their incredible artwork.  I bought a bunch of things from them including their complete Sentinels series, and I just finished reading their current series, Neverminds, which I totally love and am going to write a separate blog post about.

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Remember how I said the other longest line I waited in was for Amanda Conner?  Well that was because she already had prints with her from the upcoming Harley Quinn series her and her husband Jimmy Palmiotti are working on.  And Harley looks beautiful.  I’m really happy that I decided to commit and brave the long line because when I went to see Amanda on Sunday she was completely sold out of Harley.  I also picked up Supergirl, and Black Cat prints from her as well.  And if she’s coming to NYCC (which I’m pretty sure she is), there were Catwoman and Wonder Woman prints I had my eye on.  Other artists we saw and purchased prints from were Chrissie Zullo, Sean Gordon Murphy, Chris Samnee, and Franco.  I was disappointed that Cliff Chiang had to cancel last minute, but hopefully he’ll be at NYCC as well.  I also bought a bunch of older DC trades for 50% off and a Marvel holiday trade (because the cover has Spider-Man wearing a Santa hat, insta-buy) at the same booth I purchased trades at last year.  If it weren’t for the kindness of Amy’s fiance Thom Zahler, and his table mate Paul Storrie (who I also bought a really cool comic from called Robyn of Sherwood about Robinhood’s daughter), I might’ve ended up breaking my back and needing medical attention (which I how I felt on my commute back to NY).

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I had woken up at 3AM for my commute to Baltimore so I was pretty lame on Saturday night and instead of hanging out in the hotel bar and drinking with my friends I decided to stay in my hotel room and read some more of my book before I called it a night.  I know, such an exciting life I lead!  Still, I started Sunday morning off with an iced Venti Pumpkin Spice Latte and I spent the 45 minutes in line catching up with fellow New Yorker, Heidi MacDonald, who runs Comics Beat before the panel she was moderating.  Sunday is the big cosplay day of Baltimore because there’s a huge costume contest held for all the attendees.  I spent Sunday morning photographing my favorites (including these DC Aquaman/Mera and Green Lantern/Star Sapphire couples).  Afterwards, Amy and I (who dressed as ourselves for the day), attended another panel called Genderizing Comic Books  which was moderated by Christy Blanch, who I totally want to be when I grow up.  She was so inspiring and full of fascinating Superman stories I hadn’t ever known existed.  Her panel was very engaging and interactive, and it was clear the entire audience was captivated by her wisdom.  Amy and I had the longest talk with her after the panel and she told us all about her new comic book shop which I’d basically do anything for a chance to visit.  Then we popped back over to see Steph before she had to rush off to the airport back to Canada land.  And then we too were on our way back home.  I’m so happy I was able to spend the weekend with Amy.  We’ve been internet friends for a while but we hadn’t ever gotten to spend so much one on one time together!  I’m sure there are other highlights I’m probably forgetting from this whirlwind of a weekend because I definitely haven’t caught up on sleep just yet.  But, I’m not planning on getting much sleep anyway until after Fangasm premieres which I cannot believe is only two weeks away! SO EXCITING!

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Baltimore Comic Con ’13: Top 5 Writers I Can’t Wait To Meet

At most conventions it’s difficult to meet and spend one on one time with creators because of huge lines and such, but that is not the case at Baltimore Comic Con.  I usually don’t write a “Writer’s I Can’t Wait To Meet” post because chances are, I’d have to spend most of my con floor time waiting in a line, and quite frankly, that’s not why I go to cons.  Midtown Comics often hosts comic signings with wonderful creators in the industry, so I always make my way over to those and I reserve my con time for mingling with friends, admiring cosplayers, purchasing new toys, and swooning over all the prints in artist alley.  But for Baltimore Comic Con it’s reasonable to formulate a mental (and now physical) list of writers you’re looking forward to seeing.  Here are mine!

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Mike Carey – Baltimore Comic Con is Mike Carey’s only United States convention of the year, and I’ve currently been re-reading and obsessing over his Unwritten series for Vertigo.  Carey has an original graphic novel coming out later this year based on Tom Taylor’s adventures and I’ve been dying to find out more information about the story.  You may also be familiar with Carey’s other series Lucifer, which is a spinoff of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman.  He’s also written some Hellblazer, Fantastic Four, and a whole lot of X-Men.

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Joe Hill – I haven’t yet met Joe Hill which is kind of crazy since I admire him and his prose so much!  I was thrilled to see his name on the list of attendees this year and I can’t wait to introduce myself to him.  Joe and I have followed each other on Twitter for quite some time now (ever since I wrote a few reviews gushing about him & Gabriel Rodriguez’s brilliant Locke & Key series), and I’m so excited to get to see him IRL.  I’m also a huge fan of his horror novels Horns, Heart Shaped Box, and of course NOS4A2.  And holy smokes, I am so excited for his upcoming Wraith: Welcome to Christmasland comic!

1Sean Gordon Murphy – You may also recognize Sean Gordon Murphy from my Top 7 Artists I Want To Give All Of My Money To post from yesterday.  Murphy is a jack of trades having mastered both writing an incredible story and illustrating one in his own stylized manner.  I first fell in love with Murphy’s work after reading Punk Rock Jesus, and I’m currently loving the Vertigo series, The Wake, he’s co-creating with Scott Snyder.  I actually met Murphy at a Midtown signing a few months before I left for filming, and again on Free Comic Book Day, but nonetheless, I’m excited to see what he has with him in Baltimore. Oh!  He also designed a super awesome Batman Black & White statue that you have a chance of winning from Comics Alliance.

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Mark Waid – Mark Waid is another writer I’ve met in the past, but I’m still really looking forward to seeing again.  Waid was at Baltimore Comic Con last year and he has one of the best senses of humor of anyone I’ve ever met.  He helped moderate the Marvel NOW panel which was getting ready to launch at the time (oh, memories).  Waid actually made my brother stand up in the middle of the panel because he just so happened to be borrowing and wearing my “I’m not Daredevil,” t-shirt from WeLoveFine which Matt Murdock dons in issue #7 of Mark Waid’s incredible run.  Daredevil is my second favorite Marvel hero (second only to Spider-Man), and I absolutely adore the direction Waid has taken the series in.  He’s also written some other notable stories like Kingdom Come and Superman: Birthright.  So yeah, he’s kind of a big deal to me.

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Bill Willingham – Bill writes one of my favorite Vertigo series of all time, Fables.  I love everything that he’s done with the characters and how he’s modernized their story.  He’s managed to create one of the most fascinating universe’s in comics today, and he shows no signs of stopping any time soon (thank goodness).  I’ve also previously met Bill Willingham at last year’s New York Comic Con and he had plenty of hilarious stories to tell, including one about my best friend Melissa as the drunken Snow White from a signing in Texas a few years back.  Baltimore Comic Con is also hosting the official East Coast Fables panel which is going to include the majority of creators who have worked on the book, and it’s going to be a full TWO hours!

After going back through my list, I’ve realized how many of these creators I’ve already met!  Being the huge comics fan that I am, it doesn’t even lessen the excitement level for me the slightest bit, and I am so thankful for that feeling!  One more day, and to Baltimore I go!

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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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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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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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