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Musings of a Blerd: April 26th is Alien Day

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Yesterday, Twentieth Century Fox proclaimed that April 26 will be known as Alien Day.  In a similar notion to last year’s Back to the Future Day, Alien Day will celebrate the science fiction horror franchise, Alien that started with the first film by Ridly Scott that was released in 1979. The date 4/26 is a nod to the exmoon LV-426 where the xenomorphs were first discovered by Ripley and her crew mates.

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To celebrate, Fox has lots of products that will be released commemorating the glorious day. One such product is the release of a limited edition replica of AliensReebok Stompers. The shoes were worn by Ripley and the Android Bishop (Sigourney Weaver and Lance Henrikson) in the films, and will be available starting April 26th at Reebok.com and select Reebok stores around the globe.
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Another product that will be released is an original drama from Audible.com titled Alien: Out of the Shadows.  Written by Tim Lebbon and Dirk Maggs, the  story takes place between Alien and Aliens, and stars Rutger Hauer, Corey Johnson, Matthew Lewis, Kathryn Drysdale, Laurel Lefkow, Andrea Deck, and Mac McDonald. You can read the synopsis below:

As a child, Chris Hooper dreamed of monsters. But in deep space, he found only darkness and isolation. Then, on planet LV178, he and his fellow miners discovered a storm-scoured, sand-blasted hell – and trimonite, the hardest material known to man.

When a shuttle crashes into the mining ship Marion, the miners learn that there was more than trimonite deep in the caverns. There was evil, hibernating and waiting for suitable prey. Hoop and his associates uncover a nest of Xenomorphs, and hell takes on a new meaning. Quickly they discover that their only hope lies with the unlikeliest of saviors….

Ellen Ripley, the last human survivor of the salvage ship Nostromo.

If you want to sample a bit of the story, head over to TheMarySue.com to hear an exclusive clip.

There will be more products and events for Alien Day so head over to ComingSoon.net to learn more.

Bachman’s Best – Daredevil Season 2 ***Spoiler Free Review***

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The best thing I watched last week was Marvel’s Daredevil Season 2 on Netflix. More accurately it’s the best thing I just finished watching today after taking a vacation day from work yesterday during which I watched the first 10 episodes of the new season and finished off the final 3 today pre and post my Saturday morning workout. My original plan was to plow through it all on Friday but I wanted to make it last a little longer just because it is so damn good.

 

This season quite literally starts off with a bang, the first episode is titled “Bang” and it’s fantastic. The solid and detailed storytelling from season continues without a hitch. The story pulls you along screaming from reveal to shocking twist to wicked fight scene to epic shootout and it never eases up. Reaching a crescendo of a finale that makes season 1 pale in comparison. Which I’m not sure I would have thought was possible, but it damn sure is.

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It’s in the trailers so it’s not a spoiler that there are actual Hand ninjas in this season. And all I’m going to say is that Daredevil versus Hand ninjas in live action fights might be the best thing Marvel Studios has ever put on a screen, period. It has to be seen to be believed.

 

In my opinion Guardians of the Galaxy was the best action comedy comic book property we have seen so far, tons of laughs. The Nolan Batman trilogy is the best dark and gritty version of Batman we have ever seen. The Flash tv show is by far the best thing on television and the best straight comic to show translation so far, and my favorite show on tv. But Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix is the best comic property translation. It’s not the darkest and grittiest, though it is dark and gritty and real. It’s not a straight translation of the comic, many things were changed to make this show what it is. It’s not very funny though there is a couple of good laughs each season. But it does have the best fight choreography of any comic IP ever. And it just keeps getting better and better.
And oh yeah, Punisher, Elektra, and more Melvin! Go watch Daredevil now, you’ll love it. Me, I’m going to go watch it all over again.

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Musings of a Blerd: Happy 75th Anniversary Wonder Woman! 8 Facts About the Amazing Amazon Infographic

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Originally posted on my personal blog.

2016 marks the 75th anniversary of Wonder Woman. Next week for the first time, she’ll appear on the big screen in a live action film. In honor of her 75th year, I’ve created an infographic via Piktochart.com that features 8 facts about the amazing amazon.


Musings of a Blerd: A Celebration of Women Aviators Infographic

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As the monthly celebration of Women History Month continues, here’s an infographic I created using Piktochart that celebrates Women Aviators.

 


Musings of a Blerd Black History Month Infographic: Black Star Wars Characters & Actors

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Previously posted on my personal blog

If you weren’t aware, February is Black History Month. In honor of that, I wanted to mix my love of Star Wars with my love of blackness. So here’s an infographic that I created using Piktochart that lists the black characters in the Star Wars universe. Granted this might not be a complete list but I did scour high and low to find as many black characters as I could. In addition there’s a bonus section listing black actors who appeared via their voice acting, motion capture, or as a member of the many alien races in the Star Wars universe.  Enjoy:

 


Musings of a Blerd: Art From Computer Graphics’ Star Wars Reimagined Contest

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Forgive me my fellow nerds and geeks, it’s been two weeks since my last posting. But I’m here today with a new post, it’s Star Wars related but something a little different. Let’s begin shall we?

Whether it’s a book, movie, video, etc. one of the ways creators flesh out their ideas through concept art. Concept art can be really amazing and at times, we lament about the pieces that aren’t used in a project. Well the folks over at Computer Graphics hosted a contest titled Star Wars Reimagined.  The premise of the contest was basically for those who entered to reimagine their favorite character, creature or vehicle from the Star Wars universe and to be as creative about it as they could.

And the results have been freaking awesome! Behold some of the entrees:

 

 

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By Stepan Alekseev

 

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By Nicolas Gekko

 

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By Jeronimo Gomez

 

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By Marcelo Laborda

 

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By Andrei Pervukhin

 

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By Gregory Vlasenko

 

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By Riyahd Cassiem 

Check out the 3D model over at Kotaku.com

 

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By Pirkka Harvala

 

(Via Kotaku.com)


Musings of a Blerd: Awesome Star Wars Books: The Perfect Weapon

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And welcome back to my column! With Star Wars fever at an all time high, I’m starting the new year off by taking a look at some awesome Star Wars books. These books are either from the official cannon, the expanded universe, and beyond. Today’s book is an short story ebook titled Star Wars: The Perfect Weapon.

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Written by  Delilah S. Dawson, the 52 page story focuses on a character featured in the Force Awakens, Bazine Netal, who viewers briefly saw in Maz Kanata’s castle. 

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The short story gives readers backstory on what Bazine was up to before the events in the Force Awakens. Bazine is a mercenary, highly skilled at being a  master of disguise, and armed with a blade, a blaster, or her bare hands. The story is well paced and goes deeper into who Bazine is and what her motivations are.

The Perfect Weapon is easy to read, consists of 11 chapters, and can be read in one sitting. It’s only available in ebook ($1.99) and audiobook ($2.99) formats.  I highly recommend it.


Musings of a Blerd: Awesome Star Wars Books-Star Wars: The Force Awakens Incredible Cross-Sections

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Happy New Year!

It’s been a long while since I’ve written (life got in the way) but this black nerd lady has returned with her musings. I’m going to try and attempt to post here on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is part of my writing new years resolution so bare with me as I try to do my best to not break it. No let’s get on with it shall we?

In nerd/geekdom, 2015 ended with the arrival of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and there’s been many articles, gifs, fan art, etc. to celebrate and discuss the film. I’ve only seen the film once so far (I know what’s wrong with me?) and I thoroughly enjoyed it. To celebrate, I would like to feature Star Wars books that I find intriguing-I mean just plain awesome. These books come from the now official cannon, the expanded universe, and beyond.

The first book I’m featuring is titled Star Wars: The Force Awakens Incredible Cross-Sections Written by Jason Fy, the book was released on the day that the film arrived in theaters. Inside readers will discover the juicy details of the vehicles and spaceships featured in the film. The book contains a total of 12 profiles each explaining the backstory of its subject.

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Here are few pictures of what you’ll find in the book:

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Pretty awesome right? The price is also awesome as the book costs $12.58 on Amazon.  I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely purchasing a copy. Well that’s it for now, I’ll catch ya’ll on the flip side!

 

 

 


Bachman’s Best – Invincible #123

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The best thing I read last week is the Best Comic Book in the Universe, according to the cover anyways. Issue #123 of Invincible and it’s got a hell of a last page. Invincible has been on my pull list since around issue #20 and it is the #1 book on my pull list. It’s the book I always want to read first and usually the only book I read twice out of a stack of new books. Just like The Walking Dead it is a Robert Kirkman powerhouse and just like TWD I showed up just a little late after the series started but now it is my favorite book. And not just my favorite superhero book, my favorite book. If I had to cut my pull list down to just one monthly issue it would be sad to not read Amazing Spider-Man anymore but Invincible has the top spot.

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Many great artists have worked on Invincible as inkers, letterers, editors and colorists and they deserve their due but I’m only going to focus on the 3 main names involved with the comic. Kirkman the writer, and  Walker and Ottley the artists. Robert Kirkman the writer of Invincible is probably a name you already know with his work on Battle Pope, Marvel Zombies, The Destroyer, and a little zombie book called The Walking Dead. And just like The Walking Dead after the popularity of Invincible kicked in Kirkman found that his co-creator of Invincible Cory Walker wouldn’t be able to handle the duties of putting out a monthly book through Image. So just like Charlie Adlard came to the rescue and replaced Tony Moore on TWD as the series continued Mr. Kirkman had to find himself a replacement artist to keep his super hero book going after issue #7. In comes Ryan Ottley, one of my favorite comic artists of all time, a serious work horse that has now done almost 120 issues with very little help from fill in artists. And unlike the clashing difference between Moore and Adlard’s styles Ottley pulled off a feat of artistic brilliance I’ve never seen before in a comic series. He actually altered his style to mimic Walker’s and then phased it into his original style over the course of the next 10-15 issues. Most people have trouble even seeing when the artist changed over on Invincible because Ottley did this so well.

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The writing on Invincible is great in a way that’s hard to explain. The easiest thing to see in Robert Kirkman’s writing on Invincible is that he’s a fan of the super hero genre. You know this kid grew up with comics the way we’ve seen from other fans turned fantastic authors like Dan Slott and Geoff Johns. The book started off with a very simple concept, if you grew up knowing that your dad was a superman type hero named Omni Man and had told you that you would probably develop super powers sometime in adolescence how hard would it be to work that McJob and go to school hoping everyday that your powers would kick in? This is the life we are first presented for are main character Mark Grayson. Through more ups and downs than I can count over the series we see Mark handle all the standard and cliché stories you’ve seen handled in thousands of other comics but presented with the Kirkman spin on them.  And damn, sometimes that spin curls your toes, straightens your hair, or puts a serious pit in your stomach. Honestly some of the issues faced in this comic are as exhilarating as others are hard to read. But neither Kirkman nor Ottley shy away from showing or describing things that are violent, touching, or tough to witness. Imagine if you could write a story about how your favorite hero deals with those stupid cliché superhero moments, that is what Robert Kirkman is doing every month and it is damn fantastic. The only real problem in talking about this book is not giving too much away because it is so full of twists and turns and fantastic stories that spoiling something for a new reader is just wrong. The pictures in this article will go a long way to showing you the unique and diverse cast that Invincible has and hopefully won’t give too much away. Heroes, villains, aliens the likes of which you’ve never seen before in comics, so many great fights, indeed the bloodiest in any superhero comics I’ve ever read. As well as touching scenes of a teenager falling in and out of love and dealing with some of the toughest parental issues you’ve ever seen a fictional character face. Kirman brings you into Invincible’s word and shows you what it is warts and all, and it’s glorious.

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Now the man that makes all that glory beautifully bloody and violent is one talented artist named Ryan Ottley. As you can see from the attached art Invincible is powerfully illustrated superhero book. Ottley can draw a super brawl better than any artist working today in comics. From a very early Omni Man fight that covered multiple pages I thought I had seen the best super fight illustrated ever. Then Ottley topped it. Then he topped it again. And again. The man has magic in his fingers and an eye for violent action like a supernaturally gifted action film director. It’s a thing of beauty to witness as he brings us actual scenes of characters punching planets and makes it all seem to fit in this fantastical world. Yeah planet punching. And dimensional jumping, blowing up cities, visiting alien worlds, all of it drawn in great detail and popping off the page. Ottley’s art has improved vastly over the years and he just keeps getting better. His characters has personality and weight. They convey emotion better than lots of real life actors. And yet he can make you just as interested in a fight as he can two or three people having a simple conversation. He attacks it all with an energy and flourish of skill that I believe to be currently unmatched in the superhero genre. Now I’m not going to tell you he’s the best comic artist in the world, but I’ll fight you if he’s not in your top 10.

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So crazy super heroes dealing with violent family issues, dimension jumping villains, secret government spooks, alien wars, punching planets, and wicked hook ups, so what’s next? Invincible: Reboot. A title I have to admit had me as scared as it had me excited when I first saw it. But it’s advertised as a 3 issue arch, I can tell you with the way this issue read it fit into the story in a cool way, and at this point I have to say I trust where Kirkman is taking things. He has made me angry, he’s made me think, he’s made me laugh and almost cry, but he’s never let me down. It’s crazy but for long time fans it’s going to be really cool to see how this story is handled as the last page of issue #123 matches the first page from issue #1. Shit is about to get crazy. If you are a superhero comic fan there is no reason you shouldn’t already have this book on your pull list. If you used to be a superhero comic fan I’d say give Invincible a shot, either jump on right now or go grab the first trade, either way you will not be disappointed.

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Bachman’s Best – A Nightmare on Elm Street

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The best thing I saw last week was the original A Nightmare on Elm Street by Wes Craven. After the recent loss of the talented director it made me pause and take stock of my influences. Three names instantly came to mind; Stan Lee, Stephen King, and Wes Craven. Without these three men I would in no way be the person I am. They are all phenomenal storie tellers and each has made almost unequaled contributions to their individual fields. Having lost one of these gentlemen I took the last couple of weeks to reexamine a lot of his work. I re-watched the Nightmare series. I watched the Scream films. Red Eye, The Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes – original and remake, The People Under the Stairs, and The Shocker. Wes Craven was a fantastic director involved in a lot of the films that taught me what horror could be. He will be greatly missed by this viewer and if you haven’t seen his films treat yourself. I promise you’ll learn something about the horror genre. Today however I’m here to talk about what is probably his most important contribution to the horror genre, and the slasher film specifically, A Nightmare on Elm Street.

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Freddy Krueger was the huge curveball thrown at the slasher franchises of the 80’s. Michael and Jason are both great and I’ve always found them entertaining but Freddy in A Nightmare on Elm Street brought serious dark humor and wit to his kills. In the original Freddy is dark, gritty, and out to terrify each teenager before he kills them. In some of the dream sequences he does odd crazy things like chopping off some of his own fingers and laughing at the blood spurting out. Sneaking up behind someone and then laughing manically as he chases them. To me this was a huge change to the silent stalking kills I had seen of Jason and Michael, and filled with character unlike the crazy loud kills of Leatherface. Krueger will probably be Craven’s longest lasting creation, time will tell. But I mean really, a movie villain child molester and killer that murders children in their sleep became so popular in the 80’s there was a line of pajamas made for both young boys and girls. Think about that for a bit. It was a very different world I grew up in.

 

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The cast of this film was packed with talent. John Saxon as the tough cop father of our heroine puts in a solid performance. Ronee Blakely delivers possibly the best performance of the film short of Robert Englund himself as a mother in denial drinking herself into oblivion as her daughter’s life is falling apart around her. Englund brings the monster to life. His charisma is palpable as Krueger. He’s charming as he’s scaring the shit out of you. In the original film you don’t cheer for him as you end up doing later in the franchise but you are transfixed by him. You want to see what he’s going to do next, how terrifying it will be, and who will be dead when he’s done. Heather Langenkamp is the star heroine of this film as Nancy Thompson, the girl that fights back against Krueger and isn’t willing to go quietly to her doom. She brought power to the role of a teenage girl frustrated by all the lying adults around her that prove to be no help as all her friends are dying. So instead of complaining she takes in upon herself to face, trap and kill Krueger. Langenkamp’s portrayal of Nancy had a lasting effect on me, I think it plays a lot into my attraction to strong brunette females. And last but not least let us not forget the young boyfriend Glen played by a complete unknown at the time named Johnny Depp. He gets a shot from Craven and turns in a strong performance as the great boyfriend of the hero and ends up with one of the most memorable deaths in film history. So all you Depp fans give a hardy thanks for Wes giving the kid a shot.

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The film is currently available on the Netflix instant queue and I can tell you it holds up. Even better is the crystal clean version on the new Nightmare on Elm Street blu-ray box set, super crisp visuals and sound, a very fantastic buy for any horror fan. However you see it you’ll be happily shocked to see the comparison of how old the fashion choices make the movie seem while at the same time the horror pieces make it feel just as relevant as ever. It’s still one of the only films I find scary. You get to see a group of teenagers basically picked off one by one for the sins of their parents as one smart teenage girl Nancy tries to piece together why a dream demon is killer her friends in their sleep. It’s bloody, it’s shocking, it’s funny, and sometimes so twisted you wonder where these ideas came from. In the best way possible. Thanks Wes.

 

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