July 11, 2008

The Next Chapter

Yes, I have been neglecting this blog for awhile. I was working hard at getting links to it and steady readership, but it never really took off as I had hoped. That, plus work and having to put my dog to sleep (cancer) has really taken me off my game. I just don't have the time I used to when I would read lots of comics blogs and news.

So now I really need to reassess what I'm doing, and what I want to be doing. It has been fun, but if it's only an exercise in vanity, then what's the point really? I'm not about that.

Thanks for reading.

February 17, 2008

Rock Band Songs on iTunes

The folks over at Kotaku point out that iTunes is now offering the Rock Band songs for download at $73.26. Here's a cheaper way to get those songs, tune your FM to Jack FM whatever the radio station chain is called in your neck of the woods. Here in LA its 93.1 Jack FM, and listening to it is just like listening to the soundtrack to Rock Band.

Then, with the money you just saved, buy a new video game and a pizza.

February 13, 2008

Hello Kitty Island Adventure In Closed Beta

Okay, it's not Hello Kitty Island Adventure. But it is Hello Kitty Online, which I just read this morning is in closed beta.

Then I threw up in my mouth a little.

You can see and hear the sickeningly sweet webpage here. Be warned though, you have to click off the sound everytime you switch to a new page.

Now why, you might ask, did I throw up in my mouth? This is a cute little harmless game for ten year old girls. But I know that 30 year old women will play this. The Hello Kitty crowd scares me a bit. Okay the tee shirts are cute, but do you have to have the Hello Kitty toaster oven and matching vacuum cleaner? Really?

Also how many creepy old men will play this to meet little girls? Ew, I know. But it happens. This is just a bad idea all around.

February 6, 2008

Con: The Saga Continues

Okay, so I finally got through on the phone line to the travel agency (Travel Planners) for the con (3 and a half hours later...). Apparently their website crashed around 9:30 PST - which is around the same time I had gotten the confirmation window up. And all the people that did get through booked absolutely all the hotel rooms close to the convention center.

All of them.

The bastards.

So I'm on a waitlist (thank you Andrea!), and Travel Planners is trying to get more close rooms. At least I'm on a wait list. That's three hours of my life I'll never get back.




At hotel reservations.

I have tried to make a reservation for the past two hours online and on the phone. Constant busy signals on the phone. And I keep getting an error after I click "confirm reservation" online.


This sucks.

January 29, 2008

My Readership Scares Me

Apparently after posting "Furries Scare Me," my website views went up. A lot. In fact, that post rates third in page views on my blog. The views come from searches on Google, mostly image searches.

I don't really think this is my target audience. Or maybe it is. Maybe I should be more open.


My blog feels dirty.

January 15, 2008

Gawker Gets it Right: Gaming Journalism's Treatment of Women

Thank you.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Looking Forward to Warhammer Online

First, let me get this out of the way....

Dear EA Mythic,

Please let me into the beta, please, please, please. I will be very good and helpful and good and I'm a woman. You need feedback from women, right? In closing, ...please.

Okay. This is going to be a WoW killer. Having played World of Warcraft for a few years, and quit last year (healing priests were NEVER going to be fixed!!!), Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning (WAR) features the Warhammer universe, which is very similar to the Tolkein, D & D, and Warcraft universes. That's because they were all based on each other. Warhammer has been a tabletop game for years and has a very loyal following, although I have not played it.

That said, this game looks like loads of fun. The mmorpg is in closed beta at the moment, but EA Mythic has been releasing trickles of info regarding the combat, armies, careers, ui, cities, etc. It seems like a more thoughtful version of WoW, with a British sense of humor, and a focus on realm vs. realm combat. Supposedly it's being released in 2008. I think I remember seeing a Q2 2008 release referred to, but that may have changed, since we are still in closed beta.

The armies and careers are very intriguing. I like the idea of Destruction, but the female characters are just not what I'm looking for. They look more like what a teen boy would play. Although the Greenskins (Orcs and Goblins) are asexual, they are very male looking. I'm thinking I might have to go Order just because the female toons look more interesting. It will be interesting to see who the women gravitate toward.

Hopefully this won't turn into another Tabula Rasa, where I was really excited, then I played it and.... Yeah.

December 12, 2007

Review: Angel: After the Fall

So what happened to Angel and his crew in that alley on the verge of the apocalypse? I, for one, was sad to find out that Angel the TV show would be no more. Thank the Powers That Be - now Joss Whedon is continuing the series in comic book form, just like he is with Buffy. Now we have Angel: After the Fall, published by IDW. Yes, I also think it's ridiculous that the Buffyverse is split between two publishers (IDW and Dark Horse).

Well, #1 is out and I didn't even realize it until I happened upon it at the local comic shop. Looks like I wasn't the only one to notice - they are already in the third printing! This comic is "presided over" by Joss Whedon (I'm assuming that means, let's put Joss' name on the cover), written by Brian Lynch and illustrated by Franco Urru. Lynch does have the voices pretty well down. When I read a Buffy or Angel comic I tend to picture the actors and their voices in my head. If those don't mesh it's not a pleasant read. The art is in a style I prefer - the colorful, detailed, almost attempting realism type. Yes, I know I fail at describing comic art properly.

As for the story, I think I find it difficult to judge based on my excitement over continuing the series. I just really want to know what happened! It did not disappoint, however, in bringing in a whole new perspective. No drawn-out rehashing of what took place before. No. We are in for a roller coaster ride, this one is going to be good!

Basically, we join the story after that famous alley scene, and it becomes a sort of where-are-they-now. The main plot (the apocalypse bad juju stuff) carries over from the series. But we have a few new twists involving some old friends.

Now, some may ask if this is good to pick up for someone who hasn't seen the TV show. The answer is, I don't know. I saw the TV show and I liked it. So, um, yeah. It might be pretty confusing though. Even my boyfriend who also watched Angel had to reread it when I explained that the ____ was ____. Ohhhh, that makes more sense.

Well, now that the writer's strike is going to last for at least another two years... maybe Whedon will be able to concentrate more on the Angel and Buffy comics. A silver lining maybe?

In all, this is a must-have comic for any fan of Angel. If not a fan, then you have serious problems and shouldn't confuse yourself with this.

October 16, 2007

My Perfect Video Game

Please check out my article published at WomenGamers.com! My first of, hopefully, many articles to come.

If at first you don't succeed...buy Fables

So the boyfriend and I went for a stroll down to the comic book shop this weekend. I wasn't looking to buy Fables Vol. 1: Legends in Exile, but that's what I did. Actually, the boyfriend did, but I paid for lunch so we're even. Well, not really even. I mean lunch was freaking expensive - like fifty bucks! So no, not even until he buys me the rest of the series....

I really wanted to get Artesia. Ass-kicking historical female with swords and armor and stuff, sure! But not in stock.

Then I asked about She-Hulk Vol. 2: Superhuman Law. I read She-Hulk volume 1 and liked it a lot. But apparently it's out of print and they won't get more until the next one comes out or something.

Was interested in Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures, Vol. 1 (Graphic Novel) since I've started reading the novels. I held off because, I don't know, I thought they would be more Harlequin Romance-y, but they aren't so far. But anyway, no luck there either.

Hey look there's that Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus, Vol. 1 up there on that high display rack. Haven't heard much about that. Well, the comic book guy says it's basically back stories for those who have to have everything Buffy. And I might fit that description soon, but not looking forward to reading a lot of filler just to have the full "background".

So then I came back to Fables. I read issue #1 (the freebie) and liked it. I think I liked the idea of it better than the implementation of it. But there is a great potential there, and everyone seems to love the series. So I'm thinking it may just take a few issues to get into the groove of the characters.

If you don't already know. The basis of the Fables series is the fairy tale characters living in present day New York City, but underground. It really does lend itself to the graphic / comic genre. Plus Snow White is a no-nonsense woman who basically runs "Fabletown", but just don't mention the seven dwarfs to her! Come on, who doesn't love that? Actually, this would make a great TV series...hmm, I wonder if Joss Whedon is reading this....

Well I've only read issues 1 and 2 so far, so I'll post a review when I'm finished. Then if I like it, I think there are only like seven or eight more to go....

October 3, 2007

The Best Female Character on TV?

I was watching Bones last night, which I watch with some kind of frequency, and realized something: Dr. Temperance 'Bones' Brennan, the title character, may be the best female character on TV today.

"Bones" is well-played by Emily Deschanel. She brings a quiet, dignified, yet amusing demeanor to the role. She pulls off "super smart" without a hitch.

The Bones character is a forensic anthropologist who solves murders alongside her FBI partner, Special Agent Seeley Booth, played by David Boreanaz of Angel fame. Not quite a coincidence, Kathy Reichs who is the inspiration for the character is also a forensic anthropologist. She serves as a writer and producer for the series.

What do I love about this character? She is unapologetically intelligent and smart. Not just one of those booksmart bimbos who fumbles through life without any sort of social skills. Sure, Bones doesn't get most pop culture references (I assume due to the fact she poured her whole life into her study and work) and isn't afraid to say exactly what she is thinking. But that only makes her stronger in my opinion. Her fault (and every character needs one) doesn't lie in the fact that she is too smart for her own good - a victim - which would be the easy way to play it. Her fault is that she is so intelligent and so passionate about her work that it leaves little room for a social life.

She is also unapologetically truthful. Saying what she thinks almost to a fault. Not afraid to start a fight with a man twice her size or carry a gun. I love it!

Deschanel was made to play this role. It fits her like a glove. She has that glint in her eye that says, "I know something you don't know." She's attractive, but not overtly sexual. She's not the sexy librarian that becomes a Playboy model when she takes off her glasses and lets down her hair. The casting here is great because it doesn't make you suspend your disbelief to think that she might be a genius.

Perhaps Bones is such a great character because it is modeled after, and co-written by, and actual woman. A woman who is writing herself (or her ultra witty self she hopes to be, as most writers do). Not dumbed down or oversexualized to please the men. Just a great, three-dimensional female character. Really the best I have found on television. Oh, and the show is pretty good too.

September 27, 2007

Bionic Woman: Old Becca vs. New Becca

No, I'm not talking about old Becky vs. new Becky on Roseanne. Although, new Becky is much better, especially on Scrubs.

Why did they recast the sister and recut the pilot episode? I saw the original, condensed pilot at the SDCC 2007, and the recut pilot last night on NBC.

The first "Becca", Mae Whitman, was an angst-ridden, cocky, emotional teen who blamed the title character, "Jamie Sommers" for just about everything that was wrong in her life. Oh, and she was deaf too (although I do not believe the actress is deaf).

The second "Becca", Lucy Hale, is a perky, cocky, cute-as-a-button teen who has the proverbial sisterly fights with Jamie, but all in all is doing okay. Oh and she's a computer hacker, and not deaf.

The episode I watched last night seemed a lot lighter than the original pilot, even though it still had it's dark moments. Whereas Jamie's life seemed really depressing and heavy before, it seemed a bit more casual and slackerly now.

I have to tell you, I was very disappointed when the producers announced at Comic-con that they had recast the sister. As was most of the audience. It was nice to see a hearing impaired character on a major show that was just like any other character. It was also nice to see a female character that was not super skinny and super pretty. She was a normal weight and was a bit goth. I was excited to see that many female teens would identify with her. So no, I was not initially happy about the change.

Hale's Becca is one of those super cute girls that we are supposed to believe is some sort of outcast and computer hacker. Um, yea, right. She isn't a bad actor, it's just that it's too much. Maybe I could see Whitman's Becca as a hacker - she had the loner tendencies needed to make a good hacker. But Hale? No way. It seems like the powers that be decided, "hey the sister needs to be involved in the stories somehow...computer hacker!"

Maybe my opinion was spoiled by the pilot that could have been. Maybe I wouldn't be so critical if I hadn't seen the first version. Maybe I'm just sad that an interesting female character was scrapped for another OC lookalike. Maybe I'm being too harsh on a really great show - looking for something to pick apart.

Truth is, it still is a great show. Michelle Ryan's "Jamie Sommers" kicks major booty. As does Battlestar Gallactica's Katee Sackhoff as "Sara Corvis." The women do rule this show, and that makes me happy. Besides, maybe the new Becca will grow on me. Maybe she'll gain ten pounds and start painting her fingernails black....

September 24, 2007

Can Someone Please Make This Magazine for ME?

First of all, I'm sick of these.

Why is it that men's magazines have cool stuff like gadgets and video games, and women's magazines have crafts and decorating tips? These men's magazines are everywhere. And they are all the same really. There are like a billion men's versions and no women's versions.

I want a women's lifestyle magazine with games, gadgets, films, tv, comics, and other stuff from a women's perspective. Yes, magazines like Play or PC Gamer may be somewhat non-gendered, but they don't go that extra mile. And even so, they err on the side of male, with the all too frequent "girls of gaming" issues.

You may say, "But Karen, there are online magazines like Cerise and WomenGamers that fill this niche."

I think those are both great, but they are not printed magazines. There is something about a magazine that you cannot get online, no matter how hard you try. It's the tactile part of it that makes it appealing, the glossy pages. WomenGamers.com says that women make up 43% of PC gamers and 35% of console gamers. Why doesn't this magazine exist yet?

I would definitely subscribe to that magazine.

September 23, 2007

Kitchen Nightmares Review

Okay, I watched the first episode of Kitchen Nightmares on Fox. This will be a short review - I wish it were more like the BBC version.

All right, I'll elaborate.

1. The premise.

So, the premise is basically the same. Gordon Ramsay, foul-mouthed British celebrity chef, visits a restaurant that's in the dumps and turns it around. How he does that varies in the two versions of the show.

2. The food.

For me, it's all about the food. On both shows Ramsay tastes the (usually) awful food at the beginning.

BBC: Ramsay works with the chefs and owners creating a new menu, and discovering hidden talents in the kitchen. He then usually takes samples out on the street for locals to taste what they are missing.

Fox: Ramsay creates a new menu and about five minutes is spent on the food during the hour-long show.

3. The music.

This may seem silly, but I've noticed it really sets the tone for the shows.

BBC: The musical score (I don't know if you can call the music for a reality show a "score" but I'm doing it anyway) is light and airy. It's happy and would be welcome as the background for a Monty Python skit and the whole thing put together with Ramsay helping people instead of just berating them makes you feel "good".

Fox: The music is dramatic with sharp violins and a heart-pounding bass that would be more welcome on some telenovela. Which makes the whole thing overly dramatic and silly, like a carbon copy of so many reality shows out now.

4. The restaurant.

I hope this is a one-time thing and not a trend.

BBC: The restaurant owners and chefs are the sort of quiet, polite, yet misguided souls you would expect to find anywhere in the UK.

Fox: This first show features the overtanned, teeth-bleached, bulky namesake of the restaurant has some sort of roid rage episode about every ten minutes. I can't help but think that this restaurant was cast not because of the dire state (there were actually lots of people dining there before Ramsay stepped in), but because of the "drama". It makes me sad because I don't care about this guy, and I don't care about that restaurant. I like the honest casting in the BBC version much more.

5. The upgrade.

This is when Ramsay does his thing and turns the restaurant around.

BBC: The menu is revamped, sometimes the owner takes a cue from Ramsay and renovates the dining area, or the outside using their own money. I think this really gives hope to anyone who might be stuck in the same situation that they too can change things around without the help of a "surprise makeover".

Fox: I was surprised when the show sprang for a whole new kitchen. That's right, a whole new kitchen complete with new commercial grade ovens, refrigerators, etc. They paid for it. It seems like such a cheat, just another surprise makeover.

In the end, the mook changes his ways, yippee! And the restaurant seems like it will be a success. Oh how I care. Yes, I'll watch again next week, but if the formula stays consistent I don't know how much longer. Although I will keep watching the BBC version for sure.

Airs Wednesdays 9/8c on Fox.