Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wytches


If you are looking for a great new paranormal, horror comic, check out Wytches. I just discovered this series at my local store and it is really scary and intense! It starts out with a young girl named Sailor, who has had to move to a new school because she was involved in an "incident" with another student that left her dead. "Sail" has been cleared of any wrongdoing, but her reputation has followed her to this new town, and something more sinister has come along too.  
Within the first couple pages, issue #1 had already given me chills, so you know it is going to be good. Besides, Snyder is behind another of my favorite comics- American Vampire, so I expect great things from this one too.
The first two issues are out now, and the 3rd is due next month!



Wytches #1, by Scott Snyder and Jock
Comic Description:
 "Across the globe, century after century, men and women were burned, drowned, hanged, tortured, imprisoned, persecuted, and murdered for witchcraft. None of them were witches. They died protecting a terrible and hidden truth: witches, real witches, are out there. They are ancient, elusive, and deadly creatures that are rarely seen and even more rarely survived."



Wytches #2
Comic Description:
 "A busload of children disappears in the woods. A strange bite grows on a girl's neck. And the wytches are getting closer, creeping from the woods. Be there for the terrifying second chapter of the new smash hit, Wytches."



Wytches #3- Release date- December 3rd, 2014
Comic Description:
 "A parent's worst nightmare: a beloved child lost in the woods. Behind the trees lurk horrors, and the brush conceals atrocity. No matter how desperate the search, understand that your prayers will fall on deaf ears. There is no escape from the Wytches."

Here's a peek at some of the pages-

 



Yep. This is definitely going on my pull-list!


 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Wicked + The Divine


The Wicked + The Divine, Volume 1: The Faust Act, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
Release Date: November 25th, 2014

 Book Description:

"Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans.

They are loved.

They are hated.

In two years, they are dead.

The team behind critically thermonuclear floor-fillers Young Avengers and Phonogram reunite to start a new, ongoing, superhero fantasy with a beautiful, oversized issue. Welcome to The Wicked + The Divine, where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods.

But remember: just because you're immortal, doesn't mean you're going to live forever.

Collects The Wicked + The Divine #1-5."




Angie's Review:

 Love. This. Comic.

The gods have returned and for two years, they will amass followers, touch souls, and leave their marks on human hearts. Then they will physically die and return to Valhalla to await their resurrection in another 90 years.

This has happened over and over. We don't remember afterwards that actual gods were traipsing around the world, but we retain all of the inspiration, chaos, madness and creativity that they seeded into our consciousness.

But while they are here, it is a crazy ride. While they are here, they are seeking adoration...followers...true believers. And so what better way, in the modern world, to accomplish this than becoming a pop star. Some are singers at clubs, some are underground cult leaders, but all of them are gathering around them, those humans that hear their call and flock to their voice. Gods like Baal, are encouraging the darker elements of humanity, while others like Ameratsu, are bringing creative inspiration.


But there are rules. The gods may influence but not directly affect the humans. So, when Lucifer kills a man in public, she must be reprimanded. She is allowed to be arrested and tried for her crimes. And when the judge at her trial also dies, it sure looks like "Luci" was the one who killed him. But she swears that she didn't. Another god may have framed her. Only Luci's true believer, Laura is interested in uncovering the truth. The rest of the pantheon seems content to let her spend her two years in time-out. Ever the rebel, Lucifer decided not to be content to take her punishment for the greater good of all, and her rebellion against the natural order of the gods has created quite a bit of chaos.


The trade paperback gathers together the first five issues, and they are gorgeous. Every page is colorful and wild and over-the-top. I would expect nothing less from a comic where the main characters are none other than the ancient gods of all cultures. Combine that with an intriguing murder-mystery storyline and you have a brilliant comic that is exciting and funny, and suspenseful, all while dazzling you with beautiful illustrations at every moment.

Five stars from me, and I can't wait to read more!

Check out this comic on:
Goodreads
Amazon
Image Comics





Friday, November 21, 2014

Sweetness #9

Sweetness #9, by Stephan Eirik Clark

Book Description:

"Fast Food Nation meets The Corrections in the brilliant literary debut T.C. Boyle calls 'funny and moving.'

David Leveraux is an Apprentice Flavor Chemist at one of the world's leading flavor production houses. While testing Sweetness #9, he notices that the artificial sweetener causes unsettling side-effects in laboratory rats and monkeys. But with his career and family at risk, David keeps his suspicions to himself.

Years later, Sweetness #9 is America's most popular sweetener--and David's family is changing. His wife is gaining weight, his daughter is depressed, and his son has stopped using verbs. Is Sweetness #9 to blame, along with David's failure to stop it? Or are these just symptoms of the American condition?

An exciting literary debut, SWEETNESS #9 is a darkly comic, wildly imaginative investigation of whether what we eat makes us who we are."


Angie's Review:

 Want to read something scary? This book will make you feel really unsettled. Not because it is paranormal or even really a thriller...no. 

No.

Sweetness #9 feels almost like a dystopian science fiction- like a warning of where we will head if we continue on our current track. But it isn't a future that we might see, it is instead, a startling look at the world we currently live in, and how we got there. Fictionalized, of course- the people, names of products, and corporations have changed, but this is still our world, with our history, and our citizens. Their health problems are the ones we suffer from, their mental disorders are familiar to us.  We share their growing sense that something is a little off about the way we process and flavor and preserve and manufacture and advertise our food. This is about us looking at what we are eating and wondering just what polydimethylsiloxane or carmine or sorbitol is exactly. And more importantly, what is it doing to us?

And on a story level, it is about one man, who was an enthusiastic devotee of the food flavorings industry, who encounters a shocking truth early in his career, but doesn't raise the alarm. His guilty conscience, his denial, and his search for forgiveness are the devices that drive the plot. And it asks the question- can we even fix what has been done? And do we want to? Because there are pros and cons about the way we eat. Do we want to go back to spoilage issues and expensive fresh produce and bland, tasteless snacks? The book asks you to consider these issues for yourself.

You might be thinking that a book about the food industry sounds boring, but you would be wrong. The narration comes from David Leveraux, and this character's voice is compelling. It doesn't read like a non-fiction or a tell-all conspiracy tale. Instead, it feels like the confessional of a man who needs to unburden his soul. At times, it is deeply unsettling, and at other times sarcastically comical. But it is his life, his thoughts and his feelings that are all so entertaining, and that make this story seem even more real.

I really enjoyed the book, and I found it intelligent and thought-provoking. I would give it 4 stars!




Monday, November 17, 2014

Do You Want To Win A TARDIS?

TeeFury is giving a way a life-sized TARDIS.
You heard me, Whovians. You can have your own phone box. Now, it probably won't travel through time and space, BUT you can totally put it in your backyard and sit in it making vworp vworp noises and wearing a fez. And if I win, that's where I'll be.




How cool is that?  And if you don't know, TeeFury is also a really cool place to get t-shirts year-round. And right now they are having a sale on their Whovian tees, to accompany the big giveaway. So check them out: TeeFury






Saturday, November 15, 2014

Terror by Night

This month’s reminiscence departs from my usual focus on fiction: The first nonfiction book on vampires I ever read was TERROR BY NIGHT, by Bernhardt J. Hurwood (1963; reissued in 1969 as THE MONSTROUS UNDEAD). As an avid vampire fan with limited access to my favorite reading material (in the mid-1960s, vampires were a long way from ubiquitous in popular culture, as they have become since the explosion of the 1970s), I was wildly excited to stumble upon this paperback. Hurwood devotes about half of the book to vampirism and related phenomena, the other half to lycanthropy and necrophilia. Regarding both vampires and were-creatures, he surveys superstitions and legends from all over the world, then zeroes in on European traditions for closer, more extended discussion. Along the way he deals with a wide variety of material, from vampires and werewolves of the supernatural type to real-life perpetrators of cannibalism, necrophilia, and blood-drinking. The chapter titled “Vampires and Werewolves Today” wanders into metaphorical realms, such as equating international communism with vampirism. Psychosexual interpretations of the legends abound, naturally, especially in the final chapter, “The Psychological Origins.”

This is blatantly a book for a popular audience, not a scholarly work, although it does contain a bibliography of about two and a half pages. Hurwood retells many of the best-known legends and true-crime incidents, with the obvious purpose of intriguing and horrifying the reader. His later book VAMPIRES, WEREWOLVES, AND GHOULS (1968) goes into more detail on legends, superstitions, and the historical origins of those beliefs. It also explores real-life monsters to a greater extent than TERROR BY NIGHT. The entire second half of the later book, “The Monsters Among Us,” deals with criminals guilty of vampire-like, bestial, or ghoulish acts, including Jack the Ripper. Without bibliography or footnotes, we have to take the author’s word for the accuracy of his retellings. For younger readers, Hurwood wrote VAMPIRES, WEREWOLVES, AND OTHER DEMONS (1972). He’s also the author of many other works on the monstrous and occult, which occupy multiple pages on Amazon, including the edition of TERROR BY NIGHT I have on my shelf (whose cover I’ve copied here).

Margaret L. Carter

Carter's Crypt

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Death in Heaven


SPOILERS AHEAD, PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK

This finale, you guys. This finale.
What a roller-coaster of emotions. 

Missy, of course, was delightfully wicked. What a great villain! She's crazy and chaotic and evil and also just a little bit sympathetic. In short, she's a perfect Master, er...um, Mistress.
And I expect her to try and destroy humanity, sure. What villain wouldn't? But she also did some things that hit me right in the feels.


For one, she killed Osgood. I am not ok with this. I loved her character from the 50th anniversary episode, and it was exciting to have her return- this time sporting a bowtie, ala the Eleventh Doctor- and help with the mission to save the world. And she gets a thrill when Capaldi hints that he might just take her for a spin on the TARDIS when this is all over, and you're thinking, "Osgood? Possible next companion? Oooh! Yes please!" And then, only moments later, she is tricked by Missy and disintegrated. Nooooooo! My feels are hurt. Osgood was a great character. She was us- the fans. She was the nerd who knows who the Doctor is, and gets all of the timey-wimey nonsense and would love nothing more than to flit off into time and space with him. She even cosplays, for Pete's sake! Killing her is like killing my dream, Moffat! Darn you.


 And then, there's Danny. Yes, as I feared, he does get "upgraded" into a Cyberman. But because he never actually deleted his emotions before the download, he is the sole Cyber with his feelings still intact. And it is a torment. Danny is dead, and he knows that, and now he's marching around, clutching his own pink death notice, and before he reveals himself, he has to hear Clara give him a speech about how the Doctor is the one person she would never lie to. And of course, it is true. She never really treated Danny well. She gave him half of her attention, at best, and now it is too late. Danny needs Clara to shut off his emotions so that he doesn't have to march around, undead, with all of this pain in his heart as well. The Doctor advises her not to, of course, because once Danny is turned off, he should, in theory, become a complete Cyberman and try to kill her, but Clara refuses to listen. She has not done what she should for Danny in life, and now she can at least do this one thing for him and give him peace. 





Which leads to one of the more uplifting things- Danny becomes a hero. (Again.) 
What Missy didn't count on was a Cyberman being able to overcome his programming- and that's exactly what Danny manages to do. He promises before his emotions are shut off, that he will never harm Clara. And as the Doctor and Missy learn, love is a promise that not even death can destroy. When the other Cybermen obey orders, Danny alone remains by Clara's side. And when the Doctor gets the "control bracelet" from Missy, he gives it to the Danny so that he can save us all. Danny gives a moving speech, and sacrifices himself to destroy all of the Cybermen, and protect the world and the woman that he loves. Does any soldier ever do less? The promise that they make- the vow to protect us all if it comes to that- that is the promise of a soldier, and Danny upholds his oath.



As for the Doctor- this conflict with Missy and the sacrifice of Danny seems to be the catalyst for 12 to change his hardened heart. He has a new-found respect for soldiers, and we see this evidenced when the Doctor gives the Brigadier the salute he always wanted. That was a change I wanted to see. And then the Doctor kills Missy...or did the Brigadier do it? OR...did Missy actually teleport somewhere in the nick of time? I wouldn't count out the Mistress just yet. She/he has a way of popping back up for nefarious fun.

And the ending. Oh my God. Danny still had the bracelet when he destroyed the Cybermen. Apparently, there was enough energy left to send one person back from the Nethersphere. But, Danny is too noble to selfishly save himself- instead he sends back the young boy that he had killed accidentally in the war. He charges Clara with looking after him, and that is the end of Danny Pink, very probably forever. So what of their children? Or at least child? They established that Danny and Clara have a "future together" because Clara met Orson Pink, who was clearly a descendant of Danny, by his looks and by the fact that he carried the toy soldier that a young Danny has in the episode,  Listen. And Orson says that one of his great-grandparents was a time-traveler- presumably Clara. The boy sent back from the dead is not Danny's biological son, so he can't really fulfill this role as the ancestor of Orson Pink. Orson looks like Danny. So, is Clara pregnant then? She would almost have to be, unless they are going to throw away all of that information and chalk it up to altering your own timeline and blah, blah, blah. So we possibly have Clara raising a boy who came back from the dead and about to have her own child when she meets the Doctor at the very end of the episode. 


We see Clara trying to tell the Doctor some bad news- presumably that Danny didn't come back. (And maybe more...) And the Doctor, assumes that all is well with Clara, and blurts out that he's found Gallifrey- a lie- and that he'll be going home now, and so go have a happy life, you deserve it, and all that. Clara, thinking the Doctor will be happy now, so no need to burst his bubble, lies back and agrees that she and Danny will be happy. So, both of them lonely and miserable, hug goodbye and go their separate ways- each thinking they are doing the other a favor by hiding their own pain. 

And that's it, and it is all- Oh my God this is so sad I don't think I can bear it!!!

And then, Santa shows up, and it's Nick Frost, and he is saying that "She's not ok, and we have to set things right." so we assume that the Doctor is going to go with Santa to fix things with Clara properly before they part ways for good. So, that was at least one bit of positive we got at the end of a very emotional episode.

Woof.

What a ride.

Here's the trailer for the Christmas special. It looks totally weird, you guys.:


Aliens? A Ghostbusters reference? Santa at the North Pole? Sure, why not? It's Doctor Who- I'm surprised there aren't cowboys riding dinosaurs as well. Maybe there will be. 

Until then, VampChix!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Convention just for Supernatural Fans


Coming to Phoenix in February!

The "Salute to Supernatural" is a Creation Entertainment Convention,  which looks a bit different from your typical comicon. They focus on one fandom for each event, and your ticket guarantees you a seat in the hall when your guest is speaking. This is unlike Phoenix Comicon, where your ticket gets you in the door, but you need to get in line or make sure to be in a ballroom early if you want to hear a particular guest speak. That of course, can lead to disappointment for people who really wanted to hear one specific guest, but didn't show up fast enough to get in the door. So, that is the big upside here, it seems.

One downside that I can see is that right now, their website only sells "Gold" memberships which cost $699. That is crazy. They say more levels will be opening up soon so stay tuned, but at the moment, I have no idea what to expect for general admission pricing. It could be affordable, could not be. We'll have to wait and see. I have never been to a Creation event, so I can't give you any "past experience tips." 

But it looks like a lot of fun and because it is just focused on Supernatural, you know you will get exactly what you came to see. That's kind of nifty. Oh and by the way, there are other Creation cons in the country, and one is a Vampire Diaries event! 



The Phoenix Supernatural Event is February 20th-22nd, 2015
at the Sheraton Phoenix Hotel 240 N. 3rd Street
Phoenix, AZ

Not going to be in the Phoenix area? Or want to go to one of the other themed cons?
Here's a list of Creation Conventions throughout the country:
Atlanta,GA
Mar. 6-8, 2015 - The Vampire Diaries Official Convention

Boston, MA
Oct. 2-4, 2015 - The Vampire Diaries Official Convention

Chicago, IL
Apr. 17-19, 2015 - The Vampire Diaries Official Convention
Jun. 12-14, 2015 - Creation's Star Trek Convention
Aug. 14-16, 2015 - Official STARGATE Convention
Oct. 23-25, 2015 - Salute to Supernatural

Houston, TX
Jan. 23-25, 2015 - Salute to Supernatural
Mar. 20-22, 2015 - The Vampire Diaries Official Convention
Jacksonville, FL
Jan. 15-17, 2016 - Salute to Supernatural
Dallas, TX
Aug. 14-16, 2015 - The Vampire Diaries Official Convention
Sep. 11-13, 2015 - Salute to Supernatural

Denver, CO
Nov. 6-8, 2015 - Salute to Supernatural

Las Vegas, NV
Mar. 12-15, 2015 - Salute to Supernatural
Aug. 6-9, 2015 - Creation's Star Trek Convention
Sep. 18-20, 2015 - The Vampire Diaries Official Convention

Los Angeles, CA
Nov. 14-16, 2014 - Salute to Supernatural
Feb. 20-22, 2015 - The Official Xena Convention
Mar. 7-8, 2015 - Days of the Wolf

Minneapolis, MN
Aug. 21-23, 2015 - Salute to Supernatural

Orlando, FL
Dec. 12-14, 2014 - The Vampire Diaries Official Convention

Parsippany, NJ
Jul. 17-19, 2015 - The Vampire Diaries Official Convention

Phoenix, AZ
Feb. 20-22, 2015 - Salute to Supernatural

San Francisco, CA
Dec. 12-14, 2014 - Official Star Trek Convention
Jan. 16-18, 2015 - Salute to Supernatural

Seattle, WA
Dec. 12-14, 2014 - Official Star Trek Convention
Mar. 27-29, 2015 - Salute to Supernatural

Secaucus, NJ
Sep. 25-27, 2015 - Salute to Supernatural

Toronto, ON
Oct. 9-11, 2015 - Salute to Supernatural

Vancouver, BC
Aug. 28-30, 2015 - Salute to Supernatural
Washington, DC
Jul. 24-26, 2015 - Salute to Supernatural

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Tucson Comicon


Today and tomorrow! If you are in the Tucson area, come on out! Cool vendors, panels, cosplay contest, and much nerdery!

Find out all the details at: http://www.tucsoncomic-con.com/
Saturday and Sunday, November 8th (10:00 am – 7:00 pm) and 9th (10:00 am-5:00 pm), 2014
Tucson Convention Center
260 South Church Avenue
Tucson, Arizona 85701
Phone: 1-800-745-3000

Some of the cool cosplay from last year:








Friday, November 7, 2014

So Freaky!

American Horror Story recap time!


SPOILERS POSSIBLE!

I enjoyed the two-part Edward Mordrake Halloween episodes. And if you didn't know- the character is based on a real person who actually had two faces and believed that the one on the back of his head said evil things to him. CREEPY!





And the big shocker for me, was that they killed off Twisty! I assumed he and Dandy would be killing and tormenting like an insane little clown posse for at least a bit longer, but nope. Mordrake claimed the crazed Twisty after we saw his origin story, and it was revealed that he was truly twisted. But, in yet another turn, we learn that Ryan Murphy intends to have the clown return later in the series. Hmm. As a ghost? A flashback? I guess we will wait and see.


 We learn that Ethel Darling is dying, and that Dell is Jimmy's dad, and that Elsa got her legs cut off in some horrifying German porn den.
Then we have Stanley and Maggie Esmerelda show up and they are looking for a freak to kill and pickle for the very unethical collector of the macabre and bizarre, Lillian Hemmings. Looks like they have their sites set on Bette and Dot, and that was confirmed in the latest episode, Pink Cupcakes.



Speaking of the new episode- what the heck is going on? It starts off with the Tattler sisters and Paul the Seal dead, and on display in Hemmings' gallery. And then they flash back and show you how the sisters died- by eating poisoned cupcakes that Stanley gave them. Except then- oh wait, no they didn't. WHAT? Was that all just Stanley's imagination? Next thing you know, the twins are alive again, and Elsa is getting jealous and dropping them off at Dandy's house. Um..ok. Whatever, I guess. Is Paul dead then? Was it all just a fantasy? So confused!



And Dandy...oh my god, that boy is 100% Grade A Psychopath. He murders Dora, and he is convinced that he is some kind of pure American specimen of awesomeness or something, and now he is going on the prowl for fresh victims by picking up guys at gay bars and taking them to Twisty's old pad for some murder-y fun. Except the first guy he nabs just won't die. In a gruesome turn of events, Dandy seems to have chosen a different sort of freak for his target- one that has regenerative abilities. Oh man. Even Dandy is turned off by sawing limbs off a dude who just won't stay dead.

And in other news, Desiree is really a woman, Dell is a closeted homosexual, (Although considering that he had relationships with a bearded lady and a hermaphrodite, that is maybe not such a big revelation. Should have seen that one coming.) Desiree is leaving Dell, which is just as well, because now he knows that she is a woman, maybe he won't be into her anymore. Oh, and Desiree was pregnant, but she miscarried. Bummer.



And finally, we saw just how complicit Gloria Mott is in her son's crimes. She covers up Dora's murder, and recalls how she foisted all of his upbringing onto a series of nannies who didn't stay around long. She makes excuses for his violent appetites saying that it is simply an affliction of the rich. She seems somewhat remorseful, but I don't think she is going to stand up to her son any time soon. And guess who shows up trying to find out where her mother is- Dora's daughter, played by AHS Coven cast member, Gabourey Sidibe ("Queenie"). So, will Gloria be willing to kill her to keep Dandy's crimes secret? I would put money on her suggesting that Dandy "clean up after himself" by going after Dora's daughter.



So, I think that brings us up to date. But, have you heard the news? Ryan Murphy has revealed that the seasons of AHS are actually connected. Oh my god. Mind blown. Pepper, we knew was a cross-over character, so there was clearly a connection between Seasons 2 and 4, but now he says they are ALL in the same universe. Que the OCD re-watching of past seasons to look for clues. I am sure somebody will have some insane fan-theories posted already. I just can't even right now. I'm still trying to figure out if Paul and the twins are dead.

Anyone have any thought about the season so far, or fan theories of their own that they want to share? Leave us some comments!