Tag Archives: Cartoons

Star Wars/Trek Christmas

21 Dec

My contribution to geekify our holiday decorations:

I haven’t made paper snowflakes since elementary school, but apparently it’s just like riding a bike: you never forget. Or, well, learn new tricks despite being an old dog. ‘Twas a lot easier than I expected.

So that you can make them too:
Stormtrooper stencil
Boba/Clone & Vader stencil and instructions

 

And, on a slightly related Christmas note, I give you this cartoon, which made me laugh:

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Justice that is not Old. Yup.

26 Nov

I love DC’s animated universe. If it existed in corporeal form, I’d marry it (regardless of its gender and the law involved with that… although I suspect it’d probably be male just because there aren’t that many major superheroines in DC canon…)

 

Think about it though; DC has definitely had the best run of superhero animated TV shows:

  • the old noir-ish Batman, which is the earliest animated Batman I remember watching, and its setting is definitely one of the first images my mind turns to when I picture Batman
  • Batman-Superman Adventures, where Lois had that ridiculous/cute pink and white convertible and Bruce Wayne looked devilishly handsome
  • Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, which was dramatically mature enough that you didn’t have to be a kid to enjoy it
  • Batman Beyond, which was awesome on it’s own merits because it told a great story of an alternate DC future, but also tied into the Justice League universe with that amazing time-travel episodeBB
  • Teen Titans, with its mix of Japanese anime expressions and American animation that somehow worked to make a quirky, kid-friendly TV show
  • Batman the Brave and the Bold (oh my god, that show is so much fun) which is the campy, sunny-side up version of Batman, reminiscent of the old Adam West TV show but with a self-awareness of its campy nature
  • The Batman, where the animation was beautiful, even if all his gadgets glowed blue and were not at all conducive to stealth
  • Even Static Shock, which was about a side character that was still better than most of the other kids’ TV shows it was aired alongside
  • The Zeta Project! Almost forgot about that one. Only two seasons, but such a great story.

 

Now, I’m looking forward to Cartoon Network’s new Young Justice cartoon.

Its animation looks beautiful and high-quality. The few clips I’ve seen make it look like a quick-witted and action-packed adventure that is both age appropriate and yet entertaining for older geeks to watch.

 

 

My only teeny tiny qualm is that it seems to mix superhero ‘generations’. Robin is Dick Grayson and KidFlash is Wally West, which match…except for the fact that they were never a part of Young Justice, they were in the Teen titans. Plus the costumes that they’re wearing are closer to the ones usually worn by Tim Drake and Bart fromthefutureIcan’trememberhissurname, who actually were in Young Justice. Plus, Superboy’s a member of the team, and he’s supposed to be the same ‘generation’ as Tim, not Dick. (For anyone who actually knows the DC multiverse, the show’s supposedly set on Earth 16. I don’t know, but it might match the team members of YJ in that ‘verse.)

But, I can easily sweep those incongruities aside if the show turns out to actually be as awesome as it looks like it’s going to be. 

It will start to air regularly in January 2011, but there’s a one-hour pilot premiere TODAY, November 26th, on Cartoon Network at 7/6 central. (I’m definitely going to be watching…and practically buzzing with anticipation until then and probably squealing with excitement during the actual show whenever they make any comic book references I understand. Watch it or watch me; either will be entertaining. )

 

33ish Ideas for Simple Geeky Costumes

29 Oct

Unlike The Menace, I’m a lazy geek with minimal sewing abilities. Rather than attempt and fail to construct detailled and elaborate costumes, I stick to costumes that work with what I have in my closet and require the purchase of three accessories max.

Here are some simple, quick, yet geeky costumes that you can put together in time for Halloween (which is only three days away!). These are the ones I thought up yesterday; any other ideas?

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Guys:

Wolverine: Wife beater. Jeans. Dogtags. Leather jacket. Prop claws. Cigar, Sideburns. Five bucks for plastic claws, three for fake sideburns  and scruff (free if you’ve got the hairy genes to grow it yourself).

Superboy: Black T-shirt with red Superman S (can be made out of red tape). Jeans. Sunglasses optional.

Bruce Wayne: Suit. Shirt unbuttoned to reveal Batman symbol underneath?

The Penguin: Tuxedo. Umbrella. Top Hat. Pointy nose. Cigarette in holder. Monocle.

Warren Worthington III: Blonde hair. Jeans. Large angel wings.

Silver Surfer: Silver speedo. Silver bodypaint. Silver swim cap to make yourself look bald. Silver surfboard (can just be carboard cut into the shape and spray painted). Contacts if you want the full effect.

Dr. Manhattan: Blue bodypaint. Blue swim cap to make yourself look bald. Draw in a circle with a dot in the centre of your forehead. Contacts and dark eye makeup. Black biker shorts or speedo or man thong or…you know.

Angel: Dark clothing. Leather jacket. Hair gel. Broody attitude. Maybe vampire fangs.

Waldo: Red and white striped shirt and beanie. Reans. Round glasses. It’s so much better if you surround yourself with people dressed similarly but slightly differently so that it’s like you’re actually hidden in a Where’s Waldo book.

Chuck: White short sleeved shirt. Skinny grey tie. Pens in pocket. Nerd Herd nametag. Bonus points if you have a hot blonde girlfriend in a orange tank top or leather.

Shaun of the Dead: Red tie. White shirt. Red pen in pocket. Nametag. Bloody cricket bat. Bouquet of yellow flowers. Zombie best friend a plus.

The Hulk: Purple shorts. Green body paint. Dark hair.

Severus Snape: Long black robe. Wand. Greasy hair. Big nose and Slytherin colours optional.

Captain Hammer: Hammer T-shirt. Cargo pants tucked into combat boots. Welder’s gloves.

Hiro Nakamura: All black clothing. Draw on a soul patch. Samurai sword.

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Girls:

Baroness: Skin tight, all black clothes. Awesome boots, Glasses. Red Cobra symbol on your chest, (can be made using red tape). Maybe a prop machine gun and ammo belt. Wig if necessary.

Catwoman: Skin tight, all black clothes. Cat ears. Broad gold belt at hip level (can be made out of spray painted cardboard?) and gold coin necklace. Mask. Wig if necessary. Or, alternatively, just boots and a whip.

Ramona Flowers: Cute, punk clothes. Several belts. Colourful wig. Rollerblades or cool boots. Those goggles might be a little hard to find, but you could do without them and still be recognisable. Circle purse with a star. Giant hammer is a plus.

Emma Frost: Blonde hair. White lingerie/bathing suit/corset. White boots. White cape.

She Hulk: Suit. Purple undershirt for a hint of who she is. Green body paint. Wig if necessary. Nametag and briefcase optional. (As a law student, it’s my go-to back-up costume)

Smurfette: White dress. Blue bodypaint, Blonde wig if necessary.

Black Canary: Black bathing suit. Leather jacket. Fishnets. Combat boots. Blonde wig if necessary. Motorbike optional.

Poison Ivy: Green body paint. Red wig if necessary. Leaves glued to a bikini.

Starbuck: Backwards black racerback tank top. Khakis. Combat boots. Hexagonal dogtags. Cigar. Short blonde hair. Tattoo on left arm.

Barbara Gordon/Oracle: Red hair. Wheelchair. Glasses. Laptop and escrima sticks optional.

Leia: Extra large white turtleneck. Long white skirt. Belt. Hair in distinctive buns.

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Pairs:

The Doctor and Companion: so many options here, including but not limited to:

  • 9: Leather jacket, Jeans. Dark shirt. Big nose and ears.
  • 10: Blue or brown pinstriped suit. Slight sideburns. Converse. Trenchcoat optional.
  • 11: Bowtie. Suspenders. Fez. Dress shirt and sweater(vest).
  • Rose: Pink or purple. Dirty blonde hair.
  • Martha: Red leather jacket. Jeans.

Mulder and Scully: Suits that look like they’re from the 80’s. Trenchcoats. Red hair for Scully.  You can print out prop X-Files FBI badges.

Lois Lane and Clark Kent: Lois = suit and Daily Planet press pass (can be printed from the internet).

Clark = Option 1: Flannel. Jeans. Glasses. Shirt unbuttoned to reveal Superman Symbol underneath. Option 2: Business Casual. Tie. Glasses. Daily Planet press pass. Shirt unbuttoned to reveal Superman Symbol underneath.

Tony Stark and Pepper Potts: Pepper = suit. Crazy high heels.

Tony= Option 1: Wife beater. Jeans,. Goatee. Glow-y arc reactor hanging around his neck and under the wife beater. (I’ve arc reactor necklaces for sale in Halloween stores so I know it’s available; or you could use two glow sticks and electrical tape to achieve the same effect.) Option 2: Suit with arc reactor glow showing through.

Cloak and Dagger: Black guy with a goatee in a black cloak. White girl in skin tight white clothes with relevant sections cut out. Blonde wig if necessary.

Jay and Kay: Suits. Sunglasses. One black guy, one white guy.


Pumpkin Pi: Orange shirt with pumpkin face (can be made using black electrical tape). Pi shirt.

I’d watch it in theatres

20 Oct

A clumsy salesman, with an arguably hallucinatory steak for a sidekick, who turns super-spy because of a microprocessor implanted in his brain by mad scientists? Yup, best premise ever.

Spoilers: The following video includes, in no particular order, the following awesome things: American president zombies, exploding starfish shot from a rather large gun, a thwarted robot revolution, pirates stealing a glowing meteorite that turns things into seafood, a thrilling chase sequence, sewer surfing in a bathtub, mutant human-sea-creature hybrid monsters, action, adventure, a chef getting punched in slow-motion…and all in under seven minutes.

Perhaps, it might be more elucidating to ask (despite grammar considerations) “What cool geeky things does this short animated feature not contain?”

Mighty!Marz’s Top Five Fictional Character LadyCrushes

6 Oct

In no particular order:

Zoë Washburne (Firefly): Of all Joss Whedon’s supposedly strong female characters, Zoë’s the only one I actually like. Strong and practically Amazonian, she still manages to stay feminine while being totally bad-ass. So many similar characters give up their girliness in order to be taken seriously; Zoe doesn’t ask for her position, she doesn’t try to prove herself worthy of it…she just is and there is no room to challenge that. She’s happily married (Serenity never happened; I’m in denial; shush) to a charming man who makes her laugh and loves her just as madly as she loves him. Oh, and she’s got mad gun skillz, great hair, and makes leather vests look even cooler than they already do.

Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins): In case the rest of this list didn’t display it, I really admire competence… and there is no one more ‘practically perfect’ than Mary. She’s good with difficult kids and can easily handle cantankerous adults. She can sing and dance and fly (with the aid of an umbrella or smoke and clouds or just for tea). She is magical and mysterious and can even talk to animals (both real and animated and artificial/attached to said umbrella’s handle). And she’s gorgeous and British and exists in book, movie and musical form because her awesomeness cannot be contained in just one medium.

Ororo Munroe/Storm (X-Men): Her back story is more like a fairy tale than a comic book heroine’s. She’s descended from a long line of African witch-princesses (yeah, you read that correctly: witch-princesses). She’s orphaned in Cairo and becomes a master-thief, is briefly worshipped as a goddess and then recruited to the X-men.  In the 80’s, she temporarily sported a mowhawk and wore all leather…and actually managed to pull it off. I’ve always been impressed by her personality: serene, subtly bad-ass, elegant, and always impressive. Her ability to control the weather makes her one of the most powerful mutants, and I love the way she also uses it in unexpected ways (Ex: breathe underwater through electrolysis, see the universe in terms of energy patterns, flash freeze people, fly, sense the world’s weather patterns, etc). She speaks three languages fluently, once picked a lock with her teeth while having the mental state of an infant, and carries an ancestral ruby that allows for interdimensional transportation when combined with her lightning.

Olivia Joules (Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination): She’s the only chick-lit heroine I’ve ever been able to relate to; I guess it’s just because we’re already alike and I want to be more like her. Instinctively, both of us tend towards ridiculous explanations for everyday things, and then have to talk ourselves back to more rational/less imaginative possibilities. She’s a British reporter (yay, accent!) who then becomes a spy for MI-6; she speaks several languages and has natural spy skills rather than acquiring them through years of special training. She’s also got this homemade emergency kit that she carries around with her but hasn’t had a chance to use much, which I totally admire (Nooo, of course I don’t have a similar ‘In Case of Apocalypse’ bag in my car. That would be silly…I haven’t finished packing it yet.) When the book becomes a movie, I want her to be played by Rachel McAdams.

Diana Palmer-Walker (The Phantom): Although she’s just the wife of a superhero, she’s not just a traditional damsel in distress. For one, they knew each other as kids, before he was officially working as the Phantom, and fell in love with him for him rather than his secret identity. And, yes, as the love interest, she has been kidnapped, like, a billion times (most of which were by cheesy villains who wanted to marry her) but she’s not wimpy while waiting for rescue. She’s got black belts in various martial arts, amazing blue-black hair, an Olympic medal in diving, speaks multiple languages, fences semi-professionally, had twins in skull cave in the jungle without pain-reducing drugs, was a nurse and is now the Deputy Director of the UN.

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Runner-ups: Alanna of Trebond (Song of the Lioness Quartet), Juniper Lee (The Life and Times of Juniper Lee), Polgara the Sorceress (The Belgariad), Lt. Colonel Sarah Mackenzie (JAG), Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies)

Who says I’m grown up?

24 Sep

It would be a lie if I said I didn’t watch cartoons anymore. (I firmly believe that there’s no such thing as being too old for kids’ things).  Lately, I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic, so I spent the weekend watching Invader Zim on the Cartoon Network and I happened upon the pilot episode of Sym-Bionic Titans.

Basic storyline so far: alien princess and her assigned royal guard and robot protector have fled to Earth to escape an alien invasion on their home planet. They’ve got to integrate with human high schoolers, but occasionally use their super-cool alien armour to fight the alien monsters that have been sent to kill them.

The animation felt familiar; I looked it up and realised that the series is made by the same guy who made Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack. While it might be that my rose-coloured nostalgia-tinted memories of those shows predisposes me to like this show, I think it’s independently good. (Watching alien observations of high school cliques is always entertaining).

I’m also amused by the fact that the main villain (male) wears thigh high patent leather boots with spurs and has a face like a bearded monkey. And a cape with large orange fur accents. Oh, the Cyclops eye on his hat shoots out green lightning; that’s cool.

The plot is kid-show predictable, but it’s still fun to watch it play out! And, honestly, it’s kinda what you want in a TV show anyway, isn’t it? Enough predictability that you feel satisfied when what you expected happens, but still an entertaining ride along the way? The pilot looks promising, if a little short; so far, I like this show.

Menace’s Top Five Fictional Character Crushes

9 Sep
Li Syaoran - Card Captor Sakura / Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle

One of the good boys out there, Li Syaoran (image via fanpop.com)

5. Li Syaoran – Card Captor Sakura / Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle (by CLAMP) TV Anime

Even though Li hails from Hong Kong, there is probably nothing remotely Chinese about him except his name and his battle attire, which actually seems to integrate some Arabian influence now that I recall it. He was insanely loyal to the sometimes-annoying Sakura, extremely protective, and shy. (But sometimes his loyalty to her is sickening. Maybe I’m just jealous. Whatever.) He also kicked some mischievous Clow Card ass as an elementary school student. Besides the fact I wish his character was slightly more interesting, it’s difficult not to fall for this adorable boy who just wanted to protect his one and only love!

Tuxedo Mask - Sailor Moon

I like masks... (image via propsops.com)

4. Tuxedo Mask – Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon (1992-1993, by Naoko Takeuchi) TV Anime

I don’t know anybody who did not have a crush on Tuxedo Mask when I was in elementary school. He made all of us clumsy, awkward teen girls (like Usagi-chan) feel as though there was hope for us hopeless. Although I don’t think I was as ditsy as Usagi-chan, I was pretty  jealous at the time that he was her soulmate. He was gentler than Batman, far older than Li Syaoran, and humble–the last characteristic generally a rarity among dark-haired anime men.

Roy Mustang - Fullmetal Alchemist

Roy Mustang, keepin' it HOTTTT (image via bonnema-boyd.com)

3. Roy Mustang – Fullmetal Alchemist (2001-2010, by Hiromu Arakawa) Manga/TV Anime

It took me a while to warm up to the ambitious, seemingly “womanizing” (we all know he really wasn’t but he made it seem like it!) Colonel that always gave Edward a hard time, but after seeing his true colors when the homunculus appeared, the Flame Alchemist became one of the characters I was deeply invested in as I read the manga. Extremely heroic and surprisingly thoughtful, Roy’s character arc is one of my favorites in the story, and I found myself rooting for him until the end.

Shinichi Kudo - Detective Conan

Oh so dreamy... (image via friendster.com)

2. Shinichi Kudo – Detective Conan (Case Closed-1994+, by Gosho Aoyama) TV Anime

Detective Conan was an anime I grew up watching with my family, and I still catch a few episodes here and there. I’m actually caught up on all the movies! I have quite an obsession with mystery stories and generally anything involving detectives, so Detective Conan is one of my absolute favorites. Before you call me out on being a pedophile for crushing on this detective, I specifically mean Shinichi, not Conan. Just saying. It’s kind of hard not to like a high school detective who might actually be mentally more adept than Sherlock Holmes, who is also a star soccer player on his high school team–do people in real life even exist like Shinichi?

Terry McGinnis - Batman Beyond

Brooding (kind of) and somewhat mysterious, but mostly just your everyday butt-kicking teenager who wears a leotard with a vibrant red chest design (image via comicvine.com)

1. Terry McGinnis – Batman Beyond (1999-2001, character created by Bruce Timm & Paul Dini) TV/graphic novel

Terry McGinnis was my number one crush as a girl. (I would like to think I’m somewhat of a woman now) I won’t even hide the fact that he’s still my favorite fictional male character of all time. He is the most flawed out of all my picks, but I was always kept on my toes when I wondered how he would continue to balance his personal life with his Batman duties. I buried my face in my hands when he failed, I felt tears swell up in my eyes as he left Mr. Freeze to fate (yes I still remember that moment–one of my favorites ever in animated history), and I winced every time Inque would overpower him. He didn’t have super powers and didn’t fight strange creatures (well, Shinichi didn’t either) but he had enough emotional and past craziness in his life for me to admire him every time he overcame one of his challenges, even if it was just coming up with a new excuse to give poor Dana.

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