Images from C2E2 2015: Day Two

While Day One felt like a pretty packed house, it was nothing compared to the activity of Day Two. The floor was absolutly packed to the gills but that didn’t stop folks from bringing their cosplay A-game. I also had the great pleasure of meeting and snagging pics with both Ming Na Wen and Hayley Atwell.

I was however disappointed in myself for missing out on the Svengoolie signing. I’ve been a Svengoolie fan for quite sometime and had really hoped to get a pic with him. However, due to a combination of a dying phone (and therefor lack of a clock) and extremely sore and pulsating feet (due to poor footwear decisions), I missed his allotted autographing time. Since I know in my heart I’m destined to be a great rubber chicken thrower, I hope to someday soon right this wrong and meet the man in person.

Other than unfortunate bad timing, I was treated to a nice variety of cosplay including other takes on Kamala Khan a.k.a. Ms. Marvel! Our friend Emily a.k.a. The Kitchen Tourist also joined us, cosplaying as Agent Carter.

Images from C2E2 2015: Day One

These are images from the first day of C2E2 2015. It was a fun time with lots of great costumes. I cosplayed as one of my new favorite characters Kamala Khan a.k.a.the new Ms. Marvel and my husband decided to cosplay as Starlord. We saw a good amount of Starlords but no other Kamala Khans on Friday, though that changed on Saturday. More pics from Days 2 and 3 to be uploaded soon!

Comic picks of the Week: SpiderGwen #3, Giant Days #1 and Ms. Marvel #13

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SpiderGwen #3, Giant Days #1 and Ms. Marvel #13

SpiderGwen #3

Writer: Jason Latour
Artist: Robbi Rodriguez
Color Artist: Rico Renzi
Publisher: Marvel

SpiderGwen‘s been catching quite a bit of buzz lately and while I found the first two issues did hold my interest I wasn’t as captivated as the hype seemed to tell me I should be. That’s not to say that issues #1 and #2 didn’t have their strong points. Kudos to the beautiful artwork and coloring of Rodriguez and Renzi as well the ridiculously awesome idea of Gwen Stacy in a band with Mary Jane called of course, The Mary Janes. The story, in my humble opinion, just needed a little extra emotional ooomph and by golly, issue #3 certainly gave me what I wanted.

As awesome as it is to watch superheros kick ass and take names, I’ve found that I need that extra bit of emotional connection to really make my read a compelling one. Issue #3 finally has the very poignant and genuine heart-to-heart with Gwen and her father that I’ve been waiting for as well as just the right amount of character introspection due to the loss of Peter Parker. She also does that kicking ass thing I was talking about. It was a well balanced and beautifully written issue that now has me officially hooked on the wonderful and brilliantly drawn world of SpiderGwen.

Oh and because the internet can sometimes be pretty awesome, you can actually listen to The Mary Janes’ hit song “Face it Tiger” online!

Giant Days #1

Writer: John Allison
Artist: Lissa Treiman
Colors: Whitney Cogar
Publisher: Boom!Box

While perusing the shelves at what is quickly becoming one of my favorite comic spots in Chicago, Alley Cat Comics, I stumbled upon a previously unknown but magical gem titled Giant Days. I knew nothing of this comic before picking it up but something about this title’s simple yet eye catching cover of a young goth-tinged girl sitting on a pile of luggage typing into her cell phone convinced me to give it a shot. After-all, about 75% percent of the titles currently holding my interest are superhero-centric so I thought it might be a nice change of pace to try something new.

Giant Days #1 is an adorably fun, genuine and entertaining read focusing on three college roommates, Daisy, Esther and Susan as they navigate college life as well as each other’s personalities and drastically different behaviors. Allison’s writing has such a strong sense of authenticity that it’s certainly not difficult to imagine myself having similar conversations and interactions with my group of friends.  In fact, I’m sure a lot of mine have come remarkably close. Treiman and Cogar do a great job of capturing the array of emotions these three characters go through. This comic has the whole package. I can’t recommend it enough.

Ms. Marvel  #13

Writer: G. Williow Wilson
Artist: Takeshi Myazawa
Colors: Ian Herring with Irma Knivila
Publisher: Marvel

Ms. Marvel is of those comics that had me hooked from the very first issue. Kamala Khan is one of the most captivating and endearing characters that the superhero world has put out there in recent memory. As a teenage Pakastani-American living in Jersey City, she must navigate her new-found powers and responsibilities while learning how to incorporate them alongside her faith as well as her family and social life. She uses the alias Ms.Marvel in reference to her hero and idol Carol Danvers a.k.a. Captain Marvel.

Throughout most of the series’ run thus far, Kamala’s focus was on her first nemesis, The Inventor, but at issue #13 we see the beginnings a new story arc emerge. I don’t want spoil too much of the plot so I’ll just say that this issue has managed to pull together everything I love about Kamala’s personality and makes me love her even more. Additionally, even though I am a big fan of previous artist Adrian Alphona’s work I immediately took to the wonderful illustrations of artist Takeshi Myazawa as he incorporated his own interpretations of Ms. Marvel while managing to maintain the original essence of its characters.


So that’s it for this week’s top comic picks and I hope to continue in sharing my weekly faves with you. I have a nice pile o’ comics in my living room that I look forward to getting through so please keep in mind that my picks may not always reflect the actual new releases of that particular week.

Any titles currently have you hooked? Share them in comments!

Film Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

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When I first heard Marvel was developing a Guardians of the Galaxy film, I wasn’t immediately sold on the idea. Since I didn’t have the familiarity with these characters like I had with the Avengers roster, it wasn’t an immediate hook. This combined with my doubts about a talking raccoon and annoyance with the lack of female lead superhero films, I was initially a little doubtful. As the trailers, posters and insider commentary on the film began trickling across the internet, those feelings dissipated as I found myself getting increasingly excited as every new bit of Guardians info came across my path. By the time July rolled around, I was ready to have this movie in my brain.

While the film begins with a heart-ripper of an opening scene, the rest of Guardians deftly balances humor and action. Guardians is by far the most intentionally humorous of all the Marvel films. Yes, there are huge amounts of lives at stake, people do die and many of the characters have a backstory built around tragic loss. Despite all this seemingly heavy emotional content, it’s difficult not to walk away with a positive feeling.

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Chris Pratt, largely known from his role on Parks and Recreation (apparently only three other people and myself watched Everwood) is charming and charismatic as Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord. Quill is probably the most relatable character of the film as it is easy to identify with his attachment to childhood nostalgia along with his humoristic approach to life’s more difficult moments. Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) definitely comes in at a close second in terms of relatability as he largely approaches life in a similar manner through humor and sarcasm. Despite being a talking raccoon, it is easy to connect with Rocket through his unwavering and loyal friendship with Groot as well as his briefly revealed inner turmoil. Drax the Destroyer (played by Dave Bautista) provided some exquisitely well timed humor playing the straight man role as a character who does not understand the concept of metaphor, allowing for some highly entertaining banter between himself and the rest of the cast. Guardian’s could be the film that helps launch Bautista has a magnetic screen presence much in the way of his wrestling predecessor, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Zoe Saldana’s Gamora was the character I was most curious to see onscreen as I can’t help but pay closer attention to the portrayal of female characters in pop-culture. The result has often been less than pleasing. So when Marvel released the official posters for Guardians, I was happy to see Gamora more inline with the other characters rather than the frequently overused and eye-roll inducing sexpot pose. (If you have no idea of what I’m referring to, take a moment and check out The Hawkeye Initiative to get a better understanding.) I was even more pleased to see that her character was just as interesting, complex, skilled and strong as the others. The scenes in which she plays against her adoptive sister Nebula (played by Doctor Who’s Karen Gillan) were quite compelling, recalling a bit of sibling rivalry reminiscent of Thor and Loki.

Photo: El Diario Del Geek

Gamora and Nebula. Photo: El Diario Del Geek

Guardians also owes much of its positive energy to the film’s nostalgic and all around good feeling soundtrack which played a significant role within the movie itself as it is not only pertinent to Peter Quill’s emotional journey but provides some well-timed comedic character interaction that carries well into the final battle.

Guardians of the Galaxy is definitely one of Marvel’s strongest films to date and perhaps the lack of general knowledge about these characters aid in that strength. While die hard Guardians fans are likely to have qualms about a particular characters portrayal or storyline,  much of the movie-going public will go into this film without the comparisons of its comic origins. In many ways, that’s a good thing, as it results in less specific expectations. Its also refreshing to see that Marvel gave female scriptwriter, Nicole Perlman the opportunity to help write the script along with director James Gunn, which is unprecedented in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here’s hoping that more women will be involved in future films both behind and in front of the camera.

There were many opinions that were of the notion that Guardians of the Galaxy would be Marvel’s undoing and be the first film to break Marvel’s golden streak of hits.  Whether or not that ever happens in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Guardians of the Galaxy is certainly not that film.