Thursday Giveaway

The Madman and the Crazy Girl earrings from Etsy shop Wensishop.com

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These are worn in Episode 18: Christmas Traditions of my web series. If you haven’t seen it yet, Click Here.

Enter to win these adorably villainous earrings by commenting below. Tell me who your favorite villain is. Doesn’t have to be a comic book villain. All villains are welcome!

Obviously I have a week spot for Joker’s criminally insane girlfriend, Harley Quinn. Darth Vader follows at a close second. I love to laugh and I used to watch Batman: The Animated Series back in the 90’s (who are we kidding, I still watch it!) And Harley always cracked me up. So yeah, she gets my vote over the baddest of the bad, Darth Vader himself. It doesn’t have to make sense. ūüėČ Life is a little more fun when it doesn’t, in fact!!

Incidentally, if you’ve never watched Batman: The Animated Series, then I suggest you do it… now!! And I am personally crying for your lost childhood, cause this series is amazing and also has Mark Hamill doing t

Check out what else Wensishop has to offer by heading over to their Etsy shop. Click Here. They have a lot of other adorable pairings. So check them out!

Contest ends next Thursday, ¬†January ¬†15th when we’ll have a brand new giveaway item! So make sure to check back!

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Love,

Liz Tailor

Once Upon a Comic Con

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Stepping off the subway at 34th and Broadway, you can sense in the air that this is not your typical Thursday in New York City. Something special is going on.

Those in the know are aware of what that something is. But the lay people of NY may be confused by the sight of Gandalf the grey on their train. And really confused by Two-Face Gandalf the Grey and White. But hey… it’s New York. So maybe they chalk it up to the quirks and oddities that come with everyday city life.

But then comes Princess Peach and Darth Vader. A Jedi My Little Pony walks by followed closely by an Optimus-Bumblebee hybrid. (Hybrids were very big this year. Click HERE for a laugh about it from College Humor.) Maybe characters they don’t even have a name for. These are the unique, non-mainstream costumes that only those of the “nerd” persuasion can identify and truly appreciate.

Yes… this is New York Comic Con.

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A place where Harley Quinn and Iron Man can be seen walking hand in hand. A magical land where Bronies and Deadpools and Stormtroopers all belong. And where you can find a unique interpretation of Elsa around every corner. Basically it’s nerd heaven!

The second you walk through those big glass doors, after making it through the never ending line that finally ends and you have your bags and weapons checked at the door, you do one of two things… 1. Quickly race to the first panel of the day or 2. Head straight up to the showroom floor. Either way you head there will be another line waiting for you. But it’s a line filled with Poison Ivy’s, Slave Leia’s, 10th Doctors and Disney Princesses… so is this line the end of the world? Nope! Just another day at the office.

If you have any Comic Con Spidey sense, you brought your snacks, wore the proper footwear and have leisurely mapped your day out, incorporating ample people watching time. Because that in and of itself is a beautiful and fascinating thing.

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Witnessing people in their natural element is an amazing treat and these people, my people, are most at home here at the Con. Among thousands of other like minds who understand their fandoms and passions.¬†I can fall as easily into conversation with the Cumberbitches as I can with the Whovians. And the¬†Trekkies and the Hookers (a newer one for sure.) And even with the DC universe vs the Marvel universe… here at the Con we are all nerds in this together. No warring factions here.

And for the first year ever, we have eclipsed the staggering mythological numbers that SDCC pulls in every year. And why not? After all, we are no red-headed step child. We are NYCC. A tour de force, a tidal wave of nerd culture. And in New York City we never do anything small!!

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Nerd in the City Book Club

A New Dawn

by John Jackson Miller

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Once Disney and co.¬†decanonized all of the existing Star Wars novels, relegating them to “Star Wars Legends” they made quick work of ordering all the new novels that would take their place in the new canon alongside the movies and Star Wars: Clone Wars and the brand new Star Wars: Rebels.

A New Dawn picks up about a year before the new Disney XD cartoon, that’s already been picked up for a second season. IT follows future crew mates, Kanan Jarrus an ex-Jedi just trying to survive in the aftermath of the Jedi purge and Hera Syndulla, an impressive Twi’lek pilot with secrets of her own.

Star Wars is always at it’s best when unlikely allies come together to take down a big bad that is doing unspeakable evil. This novel sits comfortably in a world we know and love, employing references to Obi-Wan, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine and even Grand Moff Tarkin. Yet it has it’s own story to tell and creates a lovely lead in to the TV show that is just on the horizon (episode 1 has already aired and will be re-aired on ABC at the end of Oct. with a special scene featuring Vader himself, voiced…of course, by James Earl Jones. Don’t miss it!)

It’s great to see a strong female character, which Star Wars has never had a problem portraying. They’ve only ever had too few of them to portray. A problem I hope to see disappear in the new film as well as in Rebels.

A lovely gentleman at the Del Rey booth gave me a copy of this book, officially making him my favorite person at New York Comic Con this year!!

Get it here.

Nerd in the City Book Club

The Truce at Bakura

By Kathy Tyers

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Granted, the Star Wars Expanded Universe is no longer considered cannon. But that doesn’t erase the wonderful stories that came out of it.

The Truce at Bakura picks up after Return of the Jedi. Luke is, seemingly, the last Jedi in the Galaxy. Vader is dead and everyone is trying to navigate a world without the Emperor in control. As Leia struggles to accept that Darth Vader was her father, the Rebels send out a small group to try and help the Bakurans as they are attacked by the Ssi-Ruuk, a strange new foe for the Rebellion to fight.

This is by no means a new book. It was published in 1994, but remains an excellent and fun addition to the Star Wars Expanded Universe. If you love the adventures of your favorite Rebels and can’t wait till Episode VII comes out, why not read what could have been and start reading all of the Expanded Universe. Not for any other reason than that they are great stories in the Star Wars Universe. Is there any better reason needed??

Get it here.

The Best and Brightest: Captain America 2

I know Captain America 2 is old news by now, but I went to see it for a second time this week and realized I hadn’t blogged about it yet. So here goes…

Captain America is my very favorite Avenger. He represents the best in all of us. He is also¬†the Avenger with the most honest and true heart. And Marvel is at it’s best when it displays an equal amount of action and heart (infused with a seriously epic soundtrack! Provided here by Henry Jackman.) Cap has friends in high and low places and knows just when to call on each. He may be in the dark about what’s going on in the big picture but he doesn’t let that stop him from making the best decisions with knowledge he does have. And when put to the test, Cap always comes out on the side of truth, justice and… you know the rest!

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers / Captain America,  in Captain America The Winter Soldier

Also, this was the first time I actually liked Black Widow for more than just her ability to kick serious ass. Scar-Jo generally comes off as slutty secretary (though a ass kicking one at that)¬†to me, but when heroes go on the lam, there is a certain vulnerability that comes with it that was delightful to watch. Cap, Black Widow and Nick Fury all are “taken down” (we all know they’ll get back up again) by S.H.I.E.L.D. and the sinister efforts of Hydra. They are each confronted with the realities of a world without restraint. Without checks and balances. An agency that believes it can make preemptive decisions with no consequences. What happens when that agency is one you are working for. What happens when that agency is the very thing that saved you. Which side do you choose? Great concepts to explore and deeper than bad guy vs good guy!

Natasha Romanoff

And don’t even get me started on Sebastian Stan!! His Winter Soldier presents¬†the perfect dichotomy to offset Cap’s righteous do-good attitude. The Winter Soldier has also been told that he is fighting for the better side. He too has been lied to. Bucky Barnes¬†is equal parts hard hitting assassin and tortured soldier just following orders. The best villains (in my opinion) are the ones that we wish we could save. The ones we still see that glimmer of good in. The ones who push that aside and end up becoming evil anyways. The Lex Luthors (Smallville style, just wants to be friends with Clark and know his secrets), the Loki’s (only wants to be loved and accepted by his father), the Darth Vaders (redemption comes when his son is put in mortal danger), The Walter White’s (trying to good for his family till he realizes he enjoys being bad and embraces it.) Villains with depth and with layers. And The Winter Soldier may as well be an onion. Cause layers… he’s got em!

First shot I've seen of the Winter Soldier from Captain America 2...he looks so badass!!

All the other players in the game brought it as well. Cobie Smulder’s Agent Maria Hill was back and in the thick of the secrets. Now that HIMYM has ended, there should be a place for her over at ABC on Agents of SHIELD, especially now that it is getting unmissable!! Because her character is a great addition to the Marvel Universe. And anytime you throw Emily VanCamp into the mix… you’ve made a good choice. She’s great at duplicity. Turn on Revenge and see just how good. VanCamp’s Sharon Carter is the niece of Cap’s first love, Peggy Carter. Can’t wait to see the progression of her character! Anthony Mackie’s Falcon is a great side kick for Cap. He stands on his own two feet and compliments Cap’s dynamic at the same time. He’s exactly what you want from a side kick. So much good to talk about. Robert Redford as the baddie at the helm of the Hydra revolution is pure logical evil and Samuel L. Jackson’s Nicholas J. Fury has never been better as the dead and revived secret keeping agent in charge of the good guys.

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Agent 13/Sharon Carter poster for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. (So excited for another BAMF Marvel heroine - fingers-crossed that she's as amazing as her aunt, Peggy Carter.)

Movie poster Photoshop fails - Yahoo Celebrity Philippines

Spoilers…

Let’s discuss the easter eggs they threw our way. Anyone else get super excited when they mentioned Steven Strange? Or how about the tag in the middle of the credits with “the twins.” A.k.a… Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch. Epic!! Cannot wait to see them debuted in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

While other franchises lose power as they continue to beat the proverbial dead horse of sequel after sequel, Marvel just gets better with age. And I would put Captain America 2 at the top of the stand alone Avengers films. Only eclipsed by Avengers itself (cause dude… all Avengers are better than just one. But in Caps case… only by a little.)

I Like It and I Don’t Care What You Think!

Here’s the thing… I like Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Spike TV was having a marathon last weekend… as usual. And possibly in lieu of the 30th anniversary of Return of the Jedi.

And sure… it’s a weak installment in the canon and I could write a list of things that didn’t work for me and nothing beats the original trilogy… duh! But I’m a glass-half-full kinda girl and I like to focus on things I like in a movie.

So haters… move along.

1. John Williams returned to score The Phantom Menace and beautifully scored it was. Duel of the Fates is one of my favorite pieces of music not only in the Star Wars universe but in movie music history. It’s powerful and poignant! And I can’t wait to hear what Williams has in store for Ep. VII.

2. Darth Maul holds up as a super baddie!! Ok, so he’ll never be Darth Vader. No one will ever be Darth Vader. But Maul has a great fighting style. He’s fast, looks scary as all get out and weilds a two-sided lightsaber. Pretty dang bad-ass!!

3. Foreshadowing. I love, love, love foreshadowing.

4. Awesomely wild costumes!!

And finally 5. Qui-Gon Jinn. What a great addition to the Jedi counsel. Liam Neeson’s Jinn is part rebel, part devoted member of the counsel. The force flows through him, but he walks his own path. His death was surprising and tragic for the Jedi and for the audience.

There you have it. Agree or don’t. But I am predisposed to love anything and everything Star Wars. The extended universe, the prequels, Star Wars Clone Wars… even the Star Wars Christmas Special. I love it all and it’s all near and dear to my heart. The future films will be no exception!! Can not wait.