My Birthday Haul! Artwork, SH Figuarts Chibi Moon, SideShow Buffy, & an EBook Sale for YOU GUYS!!

It’s my birthday! And I don’t act look a day over 20, right? XD

I’m sharing my awesome little birthday haul from Jason and Adrianna today, which included some cute artwork, an awesome SH Figuarts Sailor Chibi Moon, and a gorgeous Buffy Summers figure from Sideshow Collectibles. So happy with everything! 

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Comic Review: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 – Library Edition Volume 1” [Spoiler-Free]

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As an absolutely enormous fan of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show (I own every season on DVD and have watched and re-watched them each at least a dozen times), it’s actually quite amazing that it took me this long to bite onto the Buffy comics. As someone who, only a short while ago, didn’t have much interest in collecting comics (that’s changed quite a bit!!!) I think I had this idea in my head that the comics wouldn’t be nearly as good as the show because, I expected, the people making it would be unrelated to the show in any way. Goodness knows why I made such an assumption, but I was eventually quite happy to find out that I couldn’t have been more wrong. For one thing, people who worked on the show did work on the comics, including Joss Whedon himself. And for another thing, the talent that was chosen to create these comics was phenomenal, even without prior knowledge of the show, which I’ll get into in a little bit.

There are a few options for BtVS comics, but I chose to go with the “official” continuation of the show, which is “Season 8”. Rather than attempt to track down individual issues (this run is not new…they’re currently pumping out “Season 11”!) I decided to opt for the “Library Editions”, which are large, hardcover compilations of large chunks of the season in question. Season 8 is compiled into four of these library editions, with volume 1 (which I’m reviewing today) bringing together issues 1 to 8, as well as a short entitled “Always Darkest”.

My first thoughts on the library editions were that they are enormous, physically measuring 8.3 x 1.3 x 12.8 inches, which takes up quite a chunk of room on a bookshelf! But with that said, the size ultimately impresses because it means that the comic pages themselves have been printed in a larger size, allowing the reader to enjoy more of the details of each drawing, as well as more easily read the smaller bits of text. This might seem like superfluous information to some, but as an art-lover who also happens to be getting older (ha ha) and gets headaches from reading small text for too long, I thought it worth mentioning.

Second thoughts are that the overall compilation of the book is gorgeous. It’s hardcover – which I’m not usually a fan of, but it works well for this style of book – with gorgeous artwork from the comics on both the physical hardcover and the protective sleeve cover. Inside the comics are compiled by story line, with individual issues separated by pages of artwork from various cover prints. Finally, at the back of the book we have a section of cover images, sketches, and other bits of artwork from the development of the comic, with notes from the artist about the process. All together it seemed like an excellent bang for your buck.

“But,” you’re probably thinking, “What about the important stuff? The story? The art? The pacing?”

Well, I’m pleased to be able to report that it was everything I could have hoped for.

The story begins some time after the destruction of Sunnydale. The gang has gathered more than a thousand new slayers and split into groups in order to train and fight the forces of darkness. Buffy and Xander manage a crew in Scotland, where they’ve somehow acquired an honest-to-goodness castle on the moors. Willow has been MIA for a while at the beginning of the story, and Giles wanders around, searching for more slayers who don’t realize what’s happening to them, as well as effectively commanding the Watcher’s Council. There’s a new Big Bad brewing, the USA military has decided to wage war on the Slayers, and, among other things, Dawn has accidentally become a giant. We also get to see Faith as she’s sent on a particularly nasty mission, and learn a few things about Willow’s time away that are more than a little emotionally jarring.

The story thus far does an amazing job of continuing where Season 7 of the TV show left off. It’s extremely well-written by Joss Whedon himself – as well as writer Brian K. Vaughan – and drips of the signature style of the show. I’ll admit that at first some of the dialogue was difficult to wrap my head around…fans of the show will know that there was always a certain mixture of intelligent articulation and teenage slang/nonsense in the way the characters spoke, and tone and inflection were an important part of the portrayal of those speech patterns. Because of this it takes a bit of getting used to in order to go from hearing the dialogue to reading it. This is a rather small complaint, however; fans of the show will soon enough get used to hearing those tones and inflections in their head as though the original actors are reading the words aloud to them, and that signature style goes a long way in making the comic truly feel like a continuation of the show.

The artwork, as well, is astounding. It must be difficult to translate real people into a comic medium, but Georges Jeanty does an magnificent job, despite apparently having never seen the show prior to being assigned to the project. Each of the show regulars are immediately recognizable, with personality and emotions coming through in the drawings so well that you’d almost feel you were actually looking at cartoon-ized stills from the show itself. One aspect of the comic that actually has a leg-up on the show is that creatures are able to be produced as real creatures rather than guys in suits and makeup, or poorly CG’ed creations. The demons in the comic go from lizard-like to absolutely fantastical, and you’re never taken out of the fantasy for a moment because there are no strings, no costume edges, and no failed computer-generated shading. That’s not to say that the TV show did a poor job with it’s monsters and devils, but it was a television show with a budget that ran in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, with all the limitations that that entails. Artwork, however, has significantly fewer limitations, and that can definitely be seen in the pages of Season 8. Characters are drawn in impressive poses that real-life actors could never hope to achieve, enormous dinosaur-like monsters exist in the same world as tiny fairies, and we’re able to truly believe that giant-ized Dawnie is really there right next to normal-sized everyone else, rather than being enlarged on a green screen. The overall presentation is simply beautiful and everything flows well together in a way that allows the reader to sink into this Post-Sunnydale world.

A random thought before I conclude: the “Always Darkest” short that was included in this library edition had me in stitches. I don’t want to ruin anything for anyone who might decide to read it for themselves, but it involves a dream that Buffy has that is equal parts fan-service and pure hilarity, in my opinion, and fans of the show will definitely get a kick out of it.

In conclusion, I am thoroughly impressed with practically every inch of this book. It has allowed me to continue the story of a show that has long been complete, with characters that will always be very dear to my heart, and it has done so in a gorgeous format that I will happily return to gaze upon time and time again. On top of all that, it has done a fantastic job of making me long for the next library edition so that I can further the story and see what happens next.

I am absolutely in love with this series so far, and will definitely be picking up more of it in the future. I emphatically urge anyone who is a fan of Buffy and can enjoy a good comic to check it out. You won’t regret it!


Want to check out Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 Library Edition Volume 1 for yourself? Grab it right here!
Already read it? Feel free to share your own thoughts in the comment section below!

International (Geeky) Women’s Day 2018

The first time I ever heard about this thing called “International Women’s Day” I was working on the Kearl Lake facility outside of Fort McMurray, Alberta. I was alerted to its existence when I was invited by a random HR person I didn’t know to come up to the main control room and have a piece of cake, which was inscribed with the number of women who were working on the site in various roles. At the time, I’ll be honest, it seemed like one of the stupidest concepts I’d ever heard. For one thing, the number of women working on the site at that time compared to the number of men was not all that impressive. I can’t recall the exact numbers, but it was something like 1000 women compared to 7000 men, and a chunk of those women didn’t even actually work on the site (they were in offices, off site, doing things like booking flights). For another thing, it just seemed like an odd thing to be celebrating to me. Yay to Kearl for hiring a bunch of women who’d applied to the jobs and earned them because they were the most suited for the available positions at the time? Go team?

That was more than six years ago, meaning I was still in my twenties, and I may have been more than a little jaded and self-righteous, I’ll admit it. I was the only women on my technical commissioning team of several hundred and I’d never personally experienced any issues, so I may have been a little biased against the plight of women who had. Ignorance is bliss, and all that.

These days I’m no longer outright “this is dumb” in my opinions, but I’m still a little wary about special days that celebrate a specific group of people. In my opinion it’s one thing to use special days in order to bring awareness to serious world issues, but there’s something about singling out specific denominations that never sits well with me. It just seems a little…anti-equality, I guess. I figure, personally, how can we truly fight for equality among all people when we keep purposely bringing attention to the fact that we’re different?

Maybe it’s just me, I don’t know, but if I’m being totally honest, those are my feelings about it. Not to mention, let’s be honest: when you create a day to celebrate a certain group, inevitably there will be members of that group who use it as a way to act like an ass and get away with it. No matter how many women are out there who have good reasons to celebrate this day, there will always be the few (who are always the loudest) who use it as a way to bash men, act high-and-mighty, and start a bunch of crap in the name of “feminism”. That’s why I made this tweet first thing this morning when I realized what day it is:

“It’s , so let’s take a moment to think about how we can make the world a better place, not only by refusing to PUT UP with shit, but also by not STARTING shit. We can all – men AND women – be better people, so let’s keep that in mind. ^_~

Fair enough? I personally thought so. 🙂

And now, because I don’t want this post to be too overly serious…

I went on to celebrate International Women’s Day the way only a total geek with an enormous attachment to fictional characters can do. I asked my Basement Geeks to share a picture or gif of a female character they love, and then I took pics of some of my toys and shared four female characters I grew up idolizing for their brains, beauty, ability to kick ass, and ability to have major crazy fun.

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Sailor Mercury was one of the first characters I can remember truly wanting to be like. She was a superhero who was also sweet, pretty, and exceptionally intelligent, and her intelligence was often a driving point in the show that helped save the team. As a total nerd who got teased for doing so well in school, I absolutely loved Ami Mizuno for this reason. To me, she proved that the “nerd” could be the hero too, and that focusing on the more mental side of things didn’t mean you had to sacrifice in other areas of life.

The Pink Power Ranger struck a chord with me not only because she was also a superhero with an awesome costume and a goddamn Pterodactyl mech, but also because she was a “popular” girl who wasn’t a total bitch. I loved that Kimberly Ann Hart was fun and friendly even though she was also the kind of girl who would be the lead cheerleader and get all the boys. I didn’t see much of that combination in real life, but even seeing it on the small screen gave me hope that there were actually girls like that out there, and that maybe I could even be one of them.

Batman the Animated Series was an enormous part of my childhood, and I always loved Harley Quinn to death. She might not be the world’s best role model, given a laundry list of issues including, you know…being a completely psychotic villain. But I loved her for how fun she was. She was loud and confident and seemed able to have a blast no matter what was going on around her, which was pretty much the exact opposite of shy, quiet, self-depreciating me when I was young.

And then, of course, there was Princess Leia, the first lady of the Star Wars universe, played by the amazingly wonderful late Carrie Fisher. Watching A New Hope for the first time, I found myself faced with one of the most amazing female characters I’d ever seen at that point in my life. She was the leader of a rebellion, risking her life to change the whole galaxy. She saved the male characters as often as they saved her, and she did so while looking amazing and popping off one-liners like a pro. Plus she was a goddamn princess. I fell in love with her from the moment she stood up to Darth Vader in the opening scenes of the original trilogy.

For the record, I didn’t have a figure I could take a pic of for my all-time most idolized character, who is Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I grew up with Buffy, and to this day I still adore how her character is powerful, yet vulnerable, talented, yet flawed, is able to save the world, but also makes horrible mistakes. She made me laugh like a fool, she made me bawl my eyes out like a total baby. I cheered for her, feared for her, and felt her losses like a knife in my own heart. She’s one of the most genuinely human characters I’ve ever known, relatable at the same time as being untouchable, and I honestly don’t think I’ll ever grow out of wanting to be just like her.

So now I pass the question off to you. Let’s take this day and make ourselves smile with it. Which female characters did you look up to as a child? Which ones do you still look up to? Which ones changed your life? Which ones do you think you’ll never be able to let go of? Share with me, and remember that whether you’re a woman, a man, or any denomination on this planet Earth, we can all be better people and make the world a better place if we’re willing to. 

Viewer Mail! A Box of Awesome Surprises from UK Dave! Comics, Pins, Funko Pop, Mystery Minis & More!

It never ceases to amaze me whenever someone mails a box (or envelope, as the case may be) of goodies to open on the channel, and Dave is a particularly awesome viewer – and friend! – who is amazing for passing on items that are leaving his collection to people he believes will appreciate them. So once again we have a pile of awesome items all the way from the UK, including variant cover comics, a gorgeous art print, enamel pins, shot glasses, and  toys/collectibles. Have a look to see the sweet haul Dave sent our way, and shoot us a comment to let us know which items are your favorites!

February’s “To-Be-Read” List

Thus far, my plans to have a monthly “To-Be-Read” list are working out just fine. January’s list is nearly complete (I got a little behind on A Clockwork Orange because of our massive push to get videos filmed in time for our channel’s anniversary), so it’s time to move forward with February’s list. For the shortest month of the year (and taking into consideration that I still have to finish A Clockwork Orange) I decided to go with a selection of comics. These are trade paperbacks, mind you, and one of them is a full-series manga compilation, with another a giant library edition compilation, so they’re not super-fast reads or anything like that. I’ve also been dying to read all three of them, so to heck with anyone who scoffs at the lack of a novel on the list! 😛

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The first that I plan to read, which was a present from our good buddy Derek, The Border Geek, is a copy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai. Anyone who knows me knows that I grew up with the Ninja Turtles and am a huge fan to this day, but I’ve also always had a soft spot for Usagi, the samurai bunny, since I was a kid. Usagi was always a little bit of a niche character, not as well-known, with fewer toys and other merchandise available for him, but my cousins had toys of him and I loved playing as the Turtles’ furry Japanese friend. Therefore I can’t wait to rip through this book that Derek sent me, as it’s been years since I’ve really enjoyed this beloved character.

Once I’m finished with the sword-wielding bunny, I plan to move on to my complete deluxe edition of Tomie, by Junji Ito. Last month I read through the 2-in-1 deluxe edition of Gyo, also by Ito, and it did not disappoint in terms of sheer madness and horrific gore. Ito is surely a little mad in the head himself, which is why I’ve become addicted to his work. Knowing a little of the story of Tomie in advance from the movies, I’m quite confident that I’m going to be more than (disgustingly) pleased with this book as well.

And finally, once I get those other two out of the way, I’m moving on to the big guns: volume one of the library editions of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8. These are enormous, oversize, deluxe hardcover edition omnibuses, with this first volume covering the first two story arcs of Season 8, plus two one-shots. I’ve been dying to read this for a long time now, as the end of the Buffy TV show left a gaping hole in my soul. Okay, that might be a little bit dramatic, but it does remain one of my favorite TV shows of all time, something that I’m able to go back and watch in its entirety over and over again, so when I first found out that some of the comics were actually an official expansion on that universe, complete with Joss Whedon as part of the creative team, I knew that I needed it in my life. Rather than try to track down individual issues or go for the standard omnibuses, I decided to go with the library editions, as they seem to cram in the most bang for your buck, and are gorgeous at that. I can’t wait to finally sink my teeth back into the amazing world that has captured my heart since I was 13 years old.


So those are my upcoming reads for February! Do you have a TBR list? Are there any comics on it, or are you strictly a novel-reader? Feel free to share in the comments!