I’m so excited about the new Betty and Veronica comic that Archie comics is launching this July! Archie comics has been really appealing to me lately. They’ve gotten a number of wonderful creators working on their books which has made everything feel new again. I think it’s enticing for people from younger generations to start getting involved in these stories, especially when there are such great artists drawing characters is the most realistic and fashionable clothing. Plus, there’s that Riverdale show that will be debuting on the CW this fall so it’ll be a great opportunity for newbies to have a starting point to jump in from.
I recently read the first volume of the newly rebooted Archie comic (written by Mark Waid with artwork by Fiona Staples, Annie Wu and Veronica Fish) and I was honestly laughing out loud and making Andrew look at certain panels because I loved them so much<3 I also really loved The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina but since there was such a long hiatus between issue #1 and issue #2 (seriously, it might’ve been over year) I’m waiting to catch up on that one until it’s available in trade. Same goes for the second volume of Afterlife with Archie, the Riverdale zombie comic. I have yet to read Jughead but the trade is coming out soon and as a huge Chip Zdarsky fan, I have no doubt I’ll love that series as well.
But anyway, I’m here to talk Betty & Veronica. I love thie frenemy duo and as I previously mentioned, their fashion choices! I’m so happy that Archie Comics is celebrating their launch with 25 variant covers and I wanted to share my favorites here.
Will you be picking up Betty & Veronica? Or have you been reading any of the other Archie Comics series I mentioned?
I read fewer comics this year than I did in 2014, but there were so many amazing titles to choose from that it was very challenging to narrow it down to only 10. Here are my top 10 favorite comics of 2014 in a very particular order! Don’t forget to check out the Top 10 Books of 2014, and Top 10 TV Shows, Top 7 Movies, & Top 5 Broadway/Off Broadway Shows of 2014! What were your favorites this year?
10) The Woods
9) Gotham Academy
8) Silver Surfer
7) Rat Queens
6) Sex Criminals
5) The Wicked + The Divine
3) Sandman Overture
Bonus: Bee & Puppycat
The last few weeks have been on the action-packed side of the spectrum of my social life. Before I delve into what I’ve been up to I feel compelled to not-so-humbly brag about completing my latest Pokedex by catching all 151 Pokemon that were hidden around the world as part of the Google Maps April Fools Day career listing for a Pokemaster. The ending of the challenge was anticlimactic but I wouldn’t have spent those hours any other way (Yes, hours. Many, many hours especially in my quest for Mew).
Anyway, once I rejoined the waking world with other physical beings, the excitement continued. Melissa, Andrew, and I went to this super fun bar in the East Village called Otto’s Shrunken Head where we drank two of these specials* called a Volcano (*it is actually a bowl of alcohol that’s on fire aka our drink was like Katniss **one of these is meant for four people ***this also resulted in Twitter truth or dare ****we all had a rough next day at our respective workplaces). Melissa filled us in on all of the escapades that occurred during Emerald City Comic Con (which Andrew and I skipped to spend on the East Coast visiting the first Cupcake ATM in NYC, seeing The Grand Budapest Hotel, eating dinner at Red Bamboo, marathoning The IT Crowd on Netflix, and devouring the LSP cupcakes I baked). If there’s anything better than a night out with your best friend and your boyfriend, I haven’t found it yet<3 This week also gets points for being warm enough to walk around Manhattan in a leather jacket and drink iced teas from Starbucks.
Friday night was the night that everyone important in my life had been waiting for. It was the theatrical release of Captain America: The Winter Solider. Taylor was kind enough to secure our tickets to a showing on opening night (along with tickets to see Amazing Spider-Man 2 a day early). Andrew and I met Taylor, Katherine, Tom, and Athena at the theater and nearly took up half a row of seats once they allowed us inside. I was really looking forward to seeing Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s Winter Soldier story arc on the big screen and I was overjoyed that the resulting film adaptation did the comic complete justice (not that I had any doubts because Marvel really gets movies). I loved seeing such a major Black Widow presence onscreen and despite The Avengers still holding the number one place in my heart, I feel comfortable saying that Winter Soldier was probably the most well written Marvel movie to date. I went all out with a Captain America themed outfit, like I do, and Andrew and Taylor wore Captain America t-shirts so basically we all looked adorable or whatever.
The next day we all reconvened at the Lexington Armory for MoCCA Fest which is the Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art Festival. I really enjoy MoCCA because it’s a smaller show with more indie creators which means there’s always something new to discover and read. The one big name that I was really eager to see/meet/buy art from was Fiona Staples and I accomplished that goal within five minutes of entering the building. I was able to buy a print of my favorite Saga cover (issue #15 which features Marko and Alana looking like the characters of the cover of a romance novel), and have Fiona personalize it for me. Some other treasures I acquired are a Sylveon eating a macaron pin, a zine called All my Anime Boyfriends (which I also picked up a copy for and purchased on the recommendation of Betty), and a signed copy of Drama by Raina Telgemeier from the CBLDF booth. After MoCCA and eating, Andrew, Tom, Athena and I met Giovanni at Barcelona Bar which is possibly the most fun bar in NYC for themed shots. My favorite shot I witnessed was the Harry Potter shot which the bartender served in a Gryffindor scarf, and glasses while waving a wand, setting the shots on fire, and screaming “Avada Kedarva” at us. Other notable shots were Doctor Who, Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings, Games of Thrones, and Legend of Zelda themed. Then on Sunday Andrew and I had a Terminator marathon (which obviously means that we watched only Terminator 1 & 2) while eating Cadbury mini eggs because ’tis the season. It’s the 30 year anniversary of Terminator so here are 12 fun facts I found online.
On Tuesday, Andrew and I met his friends Carolyn, Tony, and Nick at Fontana’s on the Lower East Side to attend a recording of the Comic Book Live podcast. Their guest of the week was Alex Segura who was there to speak about the big news of Archie’s upcoming death that was announced earlier that day. Alex and I have been following each other on Twitter for ages but I hadn’t ever met him in person so it was nice to be able to put an IRL face to the Twitter handle. I also hadn’t ever listened to Comic Book Live, but I had so much fun that I am definitely planning on going back for more shows. The hardest part of sitting in the audience and listening to other people talk about comics is getting Muppet-flail-level excited and attempting to restrain myself from shouting and contributing to their conversation. Andrew was lucky enough to sit next to me and hear my whispered commentary throughout the show. I decided to wear a Gwen Stacy style headband for the event because we all know how much I love her. Then yesterday was the long awaited released of Batman Eternal #1! I am so excited for a weekly Batman comic written and illustrated by some of my favorite creators that I could explode. Plus, Stephanie Brown is coming back so I obviously had to wear the Spoiler waffle pin Jessica of Bat-Earrang sent to me last month. You can see more of her adorable upcycled accessories in her Etsy shop. Then I got some awesome mail (like The Complete Adventures of Indiana Jones on blu-ray for $30!) and birthday cake M&M’s which are sinfully delicious. Lastly, Melissa and I saw Divergent which we both loved. The movie was a little bit long but it was completely loyal to Veronica Roth’s YA novel of the same name. I read the book in one sitting on my plane ride to SDCC last year so I had forgotten some of the things that happened in the story. And now you’re all caught up minus my trip to Disney/Harry Potter World which I will probably write about soon!
I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it plenty more times, I love lists. Which is why I also love when the year is ending because it’s the perfect time to reflect on the things you enjoyed in the past 365 days, and compile them into one comprehensive guide (or in this case, one comprehensive guide in two parts). There were so many amazing comics published this year that it was too much of a challenge for me to narrow the list down to ten. I decided to divide my favorites into two parts with 12 on each list. Even with a total of 24, I feel as though I’m still neglecting several series that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this year. The list is overwhelmingly Image and Marvel titles and as much as I adore each of the series I’ve chosen to highlight, I am hoping for more diversity next year.
Batman by Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo
Itty Bitty Hellboy by Art Baltazar & Franco
Rat Queens by Kurtis J. Wiebe & Roc Upchurch
Killjoys by Gerard Way, Shaun Simon & Becky Cloonan
The Wake by Scott Snyder & Sean Murphy
Hawkeye by Matt Fraction & David Aja
Revival by Tim Seeley & Mike Norton
Locke & Key by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez
Mind MGMT by Matt Kindt
Young Avengers by Kieron Gillan & Jamie McKelvie
Trillium by Jeff Lemire
Saga by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written a personal post about what I’ve been up to, so I figured that now is as good a time as any to get back into the groove of weekly updates. It’s kind of a vicious cycle because lack of posts means I’ve been extra busy, which in turn means I have that much more to write about! We’ve had an influx of West Coast visitors in New York in the past week which is part of the reason I haven’t had time to write/sleep/etc. Our first visitor, my Super Villains Comic Book Club cohost, Jen, flew into NYC on Wednesday, aka new comic book day, and since she hadn’t ever been to Midtown Comics, Melissa, Brad, and I made sure to bring here there as our first order of business. Jen was in awe of the amazing toy and statue selection at Midtown, and after swooning over several of the Scarlet Witch Bowen statues, we completed our purchases and headed back to her hotel to film an extra special live episode of our aforementioned club. Melissa has been a guest in the past and I was so happy she could join us again to discuss Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples’ Saga. The three of us purchased our trades together, and had them signed by the creators at the Midtown Comics booth at New York Comic Con last year, so the story holds even more meaning for us. Since we were filming at a hotel and didn’t have our usual home amenities, we forgot all about needing glasses, and a bottle opener. After extensive googling and many failed attempts at using shoes, hangers, hair pins, pens, and the wall, it occurred to us to call the front desk and thankfully they were able to accommodate us. We filmed in what we called, a “slumber party style,” since the giant hotel bed was the only place we could get all three of us to fit in one screen.
That same weekend, Molly McIsaac, who I hadn’t previously had the pleasure of meeting came to New York for a weekend visit. Molly is absolutely lovely in person and I was surprised at how much the two of us had in common from our vegetarianism, to our love of fashion, to our preference for Matt Smith over David Tennant. I met Melissa, Jill, Molly, and Leo, at The Museum of Sex near the Flatiron building and we perused the gift shop before jumping back in Jill’s car, sharing in a traumatic experience, and then promptly heading to The Modern for drinks. After almost an hour of driving around and searching for a parking spot, we finally found one. Little did we know, another woman was going to get out of her car, bang on all of the windows of our vehicle, scream obscenities at us, and claim that it was her spot. After being told we would be in for “a rude awakening today,” the psycho woman realized that Jill had been filming our entire interaction and she quickly drove away. Nonetheless, her behavior was completely uncalled for and all of us were rather shaken. After all of that we realized the spot was too close to a fire hydrant anyway, and we ended up parking in a garage near the museum. It is amazing to me that a person could become so enraged and uncivilized over a parking space that wasn’t even hers to begin with. Once we were inside MoMA we were all really excited to see Edvard Munch’s infamous painting “The Scream,” but sadly, the museum closed before we were able to make our way to the top floor. Next, we headed to Canal Street for some shopping, and to Mayfield for dinner where we met up with Ali, Brad, and Nate. I had the most delicious chopped kale salad, but was ridiculed by fellow dinner goers for supplementing my healthy salad with a side of fries. They were worth it though, so delicious! You would think we’d be exhausted at this point, but the fun continued at The Way Station, aka the Doctor Who bar, where we met Rachael, and Jen (who was still in town until the next day). It was karaoke night, and after several River Songs (the bar serves Doctor Who themed drinks… I know, right?!) we went onstage and joined in the fun.
Then on Wednesday I met up with Rachael, who took me to what is quite possibly the coolest bar I have ever been to. It’s a speakeasy in Chelsea and I have never been so impressed with a bars delicious drinks, service, overall atmosphere, and of course, fantastic company. The bar is located inside an unmarked door, and if you aren’t already privy to location, you would never find it on your own. Even once you manage to seek out the door and open it up, two black velvet curtains hang in your immediate view causing you to wonder if you might be in the wrong place. But once you bravely push back the curtains and overcome the fear of possibly breaking and entering into an abandoned building, you’ll be welcomed by dim candlelight and a very friendly bartender. In typical speakeasy fashion, there are no menus to peruse so you must tell the bartender what you enjoy and he’ll make you something he thinks would please you. He completely hit the nail on the head with my drink order. I usually stick to wine, but the next time I go back to the speakeasy I will be asking for another gingery, citrusy, glass of heaven. After catching up and realizing that neither of us had eaten enough for the day, we headed to the original Shake Shack where I indulged in more french fries, and a mushroom burger. Also! I was so proud of myself because after leaving Rachael at 9:41pm on 23rd street and Madison Avenue, I was somehow able to speed walk back to Penn Station (34th and 7th avenue), where I made a 10:08 train with nearly 10 minutes to spare. (Excuse the grainy quality of the below photo. We may be grainy, but we’re still adorable!)
And finally, all of these events lead me to one of the best stay in girls nights that I’ve ever had! In the wake of the Veronica Mars Kickstarter miracle that launched on Thursday morning and was fully funded by 9pm on Thursday night (you can still donate and reap some of the awesome rewards here if you haven’t had a chance yet) Jill had the brilliant idea of having us over for a Veronica Mars marathon. Melissa, Rachael and I came fully equipped with snacks and various selections of wines, cider, bourbon, while Jill supplied us with tacos and champagne. We watched about six episodes of the show in total, with many, giggling breaks in between (which you may have noticed if you happened to read any of our Twitter accounts on Saturday night). I had seen the least amount of episodes of the show so we stayed within the first season, and Rachael was kind enough to lend me her DVDs at the end of the night… which I’ve now been watching for six straight hours. I deeply admire Veronica for the decisions she makes, the character she possesses at such a young age, and her willingness to help anyone in need. She is quite the detective. I’m probably going to finish the first season by tomorrow night which is why I had to order the second season with Amazon Prime (thank gods for 2-day shipping!). We successfully managed to avoid the overcrowded New York City bar scene on St. Patrick’s Day. The extent of my St. Patrick’s Day attire has always consisted of Green Lantern t-shirts and accessories for as long as I can remember so I’ve continued the tradition this year. A bunch a of other things have happened in the midst of what I’ve already recapped, but due to a combination of 1) keeping this post to a readable length, 2) lack of memory, and 3) being summoned downstairs for St. Patty’s Day dinner with my family (in which the vegetarians will eat salad, and everyone else will eat corned beef), that will be all for now! OH! And my genius brother Bob was accepted to Columbia’s graduate program to get his masters in journalism and I could not be more proud!