Gotham, Board Games, The Boxtrolls, Oreo’s & A Medieval Festival

This past week has felt like a breath of fresh air as my social life took a turn for the best.  It all started on Monday night when Andrew, Taylor and I gathered in the living room to watch the premiere of Gotham.  We’re all usually so busy that it can become hard to coordinate at times, so I really revel in the moments I get to spend with my best friends and boyfriend.  Even though we all had other obligations – Taylor has been busy as a bee spending just about every minute in our apartment working on cosplay for NYCC, Andrew has been hard at work creating this beautiful print series of Elsa (Frozen), Spike (Cowboy Bebop) and Link (Legend of Zelda), and I am forever with a laptop in front of me and tea in hand blogging for On Wednesdays We Wear Pink and SuperSpaceChick – we managed to come together for the hour.  I only wish I had had the time to make these Batman chips.  I’m planning on baking them for the finale instead.  Another blogger friend Travis made some for his premiere party along with Joker Juice which looked super fun!  I really enjoyed the first episode and I can’t wait to see what direction Gotham is going to take.  My only issue with it was that there were so many villains and characters crammed into the first episode, but since it’s a pilot, I think FOX deserves some slack for that.  I would rather see a more in depth look at several characters than short bits of too many.  For instance, give us more Montoya!

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On Thursday night, after what had felt like forever (but was probably about a month) of dying to see The Boxtrolls, Andrew and I satisfied my desire.  We would see The Boxtrolls movie poster advertisement in literally every subway station in NYC.  It felt like torture!  So when the night finally arrived, I could not have been more excited.  Before the movies, I went to the grocery store to pick up some Halloween candy to snack on, and I happened upon those Pumpkin Spice Oreo’s I’ve been eager to try!  So here are my brief reviews of each: 1) The Boxtrolls – The movie was adorable and well worth the wait.  I loved the animation style and the story was so charming.  I hadn’t realized that so many actors I love voiced the characters (despite seeing the poster every day, good job Kristin), but Ben Kingsely, Richard Ayode, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost were all wonderful choices.  The Boxtrolls are the cutest creatures and Andrew and I have been imitating some of their motions ever since we saw it.  If you’re interested in animation, you’ll especially enjoy the ending that’s played while the credits are rolling, but that’s all I’ll say about that, and 2) The Oreos – Pumpkin Spice Oreo’s are like autumn in your mouth.  It might just be me, but I felt like the cookie part tasted more like a graham cracker and sandwiched in between was a glorious pumpkin spice cream.  They’re just the right amount of sweet and pumpkin.  They’re now officially my second favorite Oreo flavor thus far, the first being Cookie Dough and the third being Birthday Cake.

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Friday night, Andrew and I met up with Marlene for a catch up dinner at Beecher’s.  Beecher’s is a delicious grilled cheese place in the Flatiron District and I’d only ever been there once before.  It was the perfect evening.  We sat around our table and each of us recounted our tales of the times we met Neil Gaiman.  We also chatted about tumblr, (Marlene works there, how cool is that?!), I made each of them promise to read The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss because it’s been recommended to me for ages and ever since I picked it up I’ve been captivated with Kvothe’s story, and just internet silliness in general.  After dinner, Andrew and I went back to my apartment (where Taylor was still working on cosplay) and my brother Bob and Andrew’s co-worker Ben came over for a board game night and all the pumpkin flavored desserts you can imagine.  We played a new game I had just gotten called Cosmic Encounter and it was SO much fun.  It was recommended to me by Josh Houchin and I am so glad I listened to his suggestion.  The game initially seemed really complicated (poor Andrew read us about 11 pages of instructions for 1.5 hours before we could actually play), but once the game started it was much simpler and way more quick paced than we though it would be.  Basically, you pick an alien race, and then spend the rest of the game trying to be the first person to colonize 5 planets.  Your pieces are spaceships which you use to attack other players with along with attack cards after choosing a Destiny card.  Alliances are formed, and there are plenty of other cards which keep the game interesting.  I definitely suggest playing if you have the chance! Oh, and my Peter Pan teapot came in the mail!

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Saturday was probably the most relaxing day of my week.  I woke up late (board games had kept us up well past 4 AM) and spent the morning/early afternoon baking Bee & Puppycat cupcakes.  I also spent a good portion of the day watching Birds of Prey with Andrew and Taylor (again, while all three of us worked on blogging, art, and cosplay respectively).  I hadn’t ever watched the Birds of Prey series while it was on television but I really loved what I saw.  Keeping in mind it was made in the early 2000’s and the soundtrack, clothing, and filming style were VERY reminiscent of the time.  For instance, there was some Michelle Branch music and it didn’t feel dissimilar to watching an episode of Dawson’s Creek except our protagonists had super powers and fought crime.  Oh, and Aunt Becky from Full House played Dinah Lance’s mother, the OG Black Canary.  My favorite part of the Birds of Prey DVDs were the animated shorts of the webseries Gotham Girls featuring Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Catwoman and Batgirl.  They were super cute.  Later I took so more photos for my next Outfit of the Day post on Wednesday which I’m pretty excited to share!  Then Andrew and I headed to my brother’s apartment to celebrate his birthday.  We spent hours chatting and drinking before heading to a bar in Williamsburg that my brother claimed was right off the L train (lies), but nonetheless, it was a lovely evening that turned into another really late night.

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The next morning it was much more difficult to wake up but I was too excited to attend my first Medieval Festival to skip it in favor of Arrow and Parks & Recreation (because the last season is finally on Netflix!)  Under different circumstances, I think the Medieval Festival would’ve been a lot of fun.  I say this because according to our calendars it is officially autumn, but the sun decided to radiate heat at 81 degrees yesterday as if it were reverting back to summer.  On top of that, the event was held at Fort Tyron Park by the Cloisters on 190th street and it was not the easiest location to get to.  We went on a Hobbit style journey down several blocks and climbed about 150 steps and walked some more before finally hitting our destination.  Combine all that with the fact that we were probably still dehydrated from the night before and quite honestly, it was not the best of conditions.  Although, it was really interesting to see men jousting, women playing instruments, and a man welding metal.  I would love to attend a Ren Faire in the near future when it’s cooler and I’m fully hydrated.  Then Andrew and I went back to his apartment and spent the better part of the day eating pizza, French fries, pumpkin macarons, and pumpkin cheesecake, and drinking chai tea.  We did get to watch more Arrow and Parks & Rec, but we spent a good deal of the evening playing Donkey Kong Country 3.  I’m 94% completed with the game (after having beat it numerous times in my childhood), and I had been trying to get this one darn bonus coin so I could unlock the next level in the secret world for more time than my mind could handle.

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Lastly, I’ll be recapping some blog things!  Two of the most exhilarating things I did blogwise this week were publishing my first Outfit of the Day post, and announcing 5 Fandom Fridays With SuperSpaceChick & The Nerdy Girlie. We received such a warm reception via Twitter from other bloggers within the network and we were just so pleased with the positive reaction.  I’ve already written a few of my 5 Fandom Friday posts because I can hardly wait to share them with the world!  And here are a few of my favorite things I wrote for On Wednesdays We Wear Pink:

DC Comics: Supergirl Getting A TV Show

Disney Debuts The Pumpkin Spice Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich In Epcot’s France

DIY: Sailor Moon Transformation Brooch Pinata Cookies

Star Trek: The Next Generation A-Line Dresses

Disney: Haunted Mansion Makeup Line

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Reimagined As Animated Series

Cosplay: Kaylee From Firefly

Sailor Moon: Luna and Artemis Cat Tights

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Batman ’66 By Jeff Parker & Jonathan Case Review

A few nights ago I read the first two issues of Batman ’66 and for lack of a better phrase, I’m completely obsessed.  In just 50 pages (30 pages in issue #1, and 20 pages in issue #2), we’ve already been introduced to Batman, Robin, Riddler (the Frank Gorshin version), Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Catwoman, Commissioner Gordon, Alfred, and Circe.  And we’ve already gotten some classic Boy Wonder exclamations such as “Holy Evil Alliance,” “Holy Tightrope,” and “”Should I enter it into the Bat-Computer?”  The first two issues each contain one main story, and a backup story.  Jeff Parker, who writes the series, told the NY Post that he listens to the characters speaking while he creates their dialogue, which you can easily tell while you’re reading.  Parker has a much bigger opportunity to tell grander stories since there’s no budget for effects in a comic book, and it comes through in his writing that Parker is basically telling dream Batman ’66 stories which wouldn’t have been able to be told on the television series due to monetary restrictions.  We haven’t seen a full blown Batusi yet, but hopefully Parker was foreshadowing in the first issue when a bar patron asks “Batman, I was hoping to run into you! Can you show us how to do that dance we heard about?”  Sadly Bats doesn’t have the time because he and the Boy Wonder are investigating a serious crime.

Jonathan Case, who illustrates and colors the series, created artwork which perfectly captures the overall tone.  He uses bright neon colors which pop against contrasting backgrounds, and in the first issue with the Riddler, he outlines all of the landscapes with blue lines which creates a kind of 3D effect in a much more attractive version of Gotham.  Case perfectly captures the likeness of the Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar’s ’66 characters, using smooth rounded lines, and hairstyles consistent with the decade to depict the cast of the comic.  And I just have to say this – Case’s Catwoman is purrfect.  I’m also loving the use of the exaggerated sound effects within the comics’ panels.  And the covers are drawn and colored by Mike and Laura Allred, who just so happen to be two of my favorite artists.  I can’t even begin to count the number of times I have flipped through these issues.

According to Comics Alliance, a very classy Mad Men-like version of Harley Quinn will be appearing in issue #7.  If you’re reading the comic digitally, you’ve already seen Harley’s introduction, but since I’m reading in print, I’m only up to issue #2.  Batman ’66 is part of the DC2 initiative to convert readers to digital comics.  I’ve been reading the physical printed copies, which are released on a very delayed time schedule compared to their digital counterparts, but since I loved the first two issues so much, I think I’m going to finally cave in and start buying the series from ComiXology… as well as the print issues… and the trade.  *Makes fist* damn you DC Comics for monopolizing my bank account!

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Batman #13 by Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo

I’ve always deeply loved and adored Gotham’s finest crime fighting Bat team, whether they’re gradually kicking butt across the beautifully drawn panels in a comic, animatedly doing so on my television, or being portrayed by actors on the big screen.  I definitely own more Batman comics and trades than any other title in my personal library and I love each and every one with my whole heart.  I’ve often spoken with people (more recently) that have enjoyed the Christopher Nolan films, but are intimidated by the comics because they’re unsure where a good starting point would be amongst all of the Bat history.  With DC’s reboot of The New 52 last year, it made it easier for some folks to jump in on the story and gain some background knowledge before delving further and exploring the extensive Bat lore.  Many longtime comics readers have been critical of DC’s New 52, but I myself was thrilled to be given the opportunity to introduce my world to a bunch of newbies.  Having already been very familiar with Batman, and with Scott Snyder’s beautiful prose, I had very high hopes for the series and as anyone who has been reading will tell you, Snyder and Capullo’s Batman is certainly a standout in the new wave.  If you haven’t already, you can pick up a copy of the first trade Batman Volume 1: Court of Owlsand the second trade Batman Volume 2: The City of Owls on Amazon.  And you can read my spoiler free review of the issue after the photo ^.^
After tearing through the first 12 issues of Batman, and waiting (not so) patiently after reading all of Scott Snyder‘s tweets, I was extremely anxious and excited to see one of my favorite villains return to wreak some havoc in Gotham city.  After months and months of waiting, it finally happened.  Today was the day that the new story arc began and The Joker himself resurfaced!  I literally counted down the minutes until my lunch break so I could run to my comic book shop and hold in my hands the very issue I had been coveting all along.  If anyone could write a Joker story, it would be Scott Snyder.  Again, the high expectations were set, the pressure was on, and my heart began to race as the first speech bubble appeared at the top of the page.  I read and read until finally, on page 8 his giant face graced Bruce’s monitor.  I don’t want to spoil any of the issue for those who haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I will say that it was everything I wanted in a Joker-centric story arc and more.  And it was only the first issue!  Robin, Nightwing, and Batgirl all were already involved in the story, and The Joker made it clear to Gordon that he has is out for Barbara.  There was even an appearance by my favorite female villain, The Joker’s lovely counterpart, Harley Quinn.  The final page of the issue was so shocking and terrifying, that I’m quite uncertain as to how I will be able to wait until next month to get another piece of the story.  And as always, the artwork is absolutely breathtaking.  Greg Capullo designed gorgeous die cut covers for each of the issue #13’s of the titles involved in the “Death in the Family” story arc which I recently blogged about for On Wednesdays We Wear Pink.  I was pleased to find that I was able to intimidate several of my instagram followers who all admitted that they would be having nightmares after viewing my ‘mask.’  On Sunday during NYCC, my number one priority is to attend DC’s Bat panel, and if the audience dons Joker masks (at SDCC they were all Court-of-Owls-mask-clad) I will simply squee in delight!  What have you all thought of the story so far?!  Tell me in the comments, on twitter, or on tumblr!
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