Catching Fire Giveaway Winners!

Catching Fire Giveaway Winners!

Sep 30

Thanks to all you lovely folks who entered our Catching Fire giveaway. Your comments were all delightful and it’s way cool to see so many people with big enthusiasm for this series. We totally share that enthusiasm, as you can see from Sarah’s Next Big Franchise post. For more Catching Fire/YA lit/teen romance talk, come back on Thursday, when we’ll be posting a rambling convo between Sarah and Jeff on these very topics.

Three winners were selected at random! Are you ready?!

Comment #8: Smoakes
Comment #28: Angie
Comment #47: Dan, er, DAN!

Please email sarah AT alertnerd DOT com with your snail mail address by Friday, October 2. If we don’t hear from you by then, we will have to select another winner.

You will receive:

*A limited edition Catching Fire t-shirt, suitable for wearing to cons and post-apocalyptic death battles
*A collectible mockingjay pin, like the one Katniss wears in The Hunger Games
*Your very own copy of Catching Fire

And no, your Team allegiance did not help or hurt you in any way. Though, for the record, Sarah votes Team Peeta 4-evah.

The Next Big Franchise

The Next Big Franchise

Sep 29


Okay, fellow nerds: where’s our next big book-to-movie franchise? Harry Potter’s all but wrapped. Twilight’s cycled through the craze/backlash/backlash-to-the-backlash stages with lightning speed. What’s going to swoop in and give us reason to line up, cosplay, and write obsessive-bordering-on-disturbing fanfic?

I’ve got a few candidates in mind — all from YA fiction, all ripe for big screenifying. Read on and feel free to share your own picks in the ol’ comments.

SPX 2009 Recap

SPX 2009 Recap

Sep 28

Like the Baltimore Comic Con, which is practically its neighbor both geographically and on the calendar,  the Small Press Expo is one of those  shows that I fell in love with quickly.  Both shows are a bit more low-key than the other east coast cons that I hit during the year, and extraordinarily accessible.  I had a very cool talk with Andy Runton about The Weepies – a band we both love – and that’s something I’m rarely able to do at NYCC.  The atmosphere of the show – the main reason to go to a con, I think – is really positive and for me personally, who lives in an area dominated by superhero-centric comic shops, it’s a great opportunity to cast my net out and see what I’ve been missing.

I bought a lot of minicomics (and those are going to have to be their own post, really), along with the first Let’s Be Friends Again collection and the collected Kevin Cannon’s Far Arden, which Top Shelf’s Leigh Walton sold me on when I asked him which one thing I needed to read.  He made the recommendation knowing only that I like Jeff Lemire. Presumably, the insinuation is that I like comics from people more north than I am on a map.  I also got an Owly t-shirt for my niece and a really badass looking print from Brett Muller that Chris Haley informs me is related to Chowder on the Cartoon Network (on Thursdays!).  Unlike some of my small press experiences at bigger shows, there was nobody being pushy or carnival barker-y.  I had some good conversations with people (including a slightly bizarre one with Ami from Glass Urchin about how autobiographical her comic actually is if she is a hedgehog in the comic/is she a hedgehog piloting a girl robot?) and ate complimentary cookies at the Comics Bakery booth (seriously, baked goods are the best gimmick ever) and may have inadvertently angered Raina Telgemeier by getting crumbs on the table.*

Also, I have to apologize to Euge from War Rocket Ajax, because I did a jackass thing where I figured he recognized me and he totes didn’t.  I’m a douchebag.  But I think I recovered gracefully.

I’ve spent 460 words ignoring the elephant in the room, though, and that’s the Critics Roundtable panel that I livetweeted.  Select of my tweets were picked up by Bleeding Cool, and go figure, they were the ones that really make me sound like an uppity prude.  Those of you who know me know that I’m neither of those things.  I just expect a certain level of professionalism and critical discourse to happen in a moderated panel discussion. If I wanted to hear Tucker Stone haughtily equivocate ‘discussion on the Internet’ to caustic YouTube comments (like, and I quote from Mr. Stone, “That b**** is a c***!!!!”), I would have bought him a beer after the show, not spent an hour subjecting myself to he and the other panelists talking about how great he and the other panelists are and expressing an almost universal disdain for their audiences and the eventual next wave of comics pros and for accountability in general.  It was the lowlight of an otherwise great day.

I don’t want people to think that I’m a detractor of SPX or its programming because of one bad panel, though.  It’s a great show with a great community built around it. This year was my first year at the show, but I’m definitely going back next year.

*I don’t think she was really that angry; she was super cool.**

**I was going to grab a Babysitters Club GN for Sarah if there was one she was missing, so I texted her:

Jeff: You like Raina Telgemeier, right?
Sarah: Um YES.

I showed this to Raina. She made me show Dave Roman.***

***I’m completely giving short shrift to Marion Vitus, who I spent the most time talking to. When I do my minicomics post later this week, I will have several charitable things to say about Marion and her comics, don’t worry.

FlashForward Is Ass-Backwards

FlashForward Is Ass-Backwards

Sep 27


The first few things that pissed me off about FlashForward were the two blatant examples of Lostie-baiting, both in the show’s first eighteen minutes.

That portion of the series was made available online before the premiere aired; several of the reviews I read commented favorably on those eighteen minutes and, yes, compared them to Lost‘s opening episode, and the plane crash that kicked off that series.

On FlashForward, we spend about ten minutes “getting to know” a set of still-dusty stock TV characters pulled off the “hour-long network drama” shelf; something weird happens; the world goes batshit; a car explodes.

See? Just like Oceanic 815’s engine exploded! It wouldn’t surprise me if it was timed in the episode down to the second to match Lost‘s explosion.

Then Joe Fiennes, playing an FBI agent who seems shockingly unconcerned with doing his job (protecting and helping people, right?) during a major disaster, goes looking for his wife and sees a kangaroo jumping down the street.

See? Just like the polar bear! A kangaroo in Los Angeles, hoppin’ down the street? How STRANGE. Why, I bet there’s a MYSTERY behind that. (Cue Ralph Dinby nose wiggle.)

Actually, my first thought was that maybe the nearest zoo had experienced some kind of mishap during the weird happening, and the kangaroo cage was open, and the animal escaped. Thank goodness for ABC, who then teased out the series into the next commercial break with a loud close-up of the jumping kangaroo and the announcer intoning coyly, “REMEMBER THE KANGAROO.”

Got it. Thanks, announcer guy! Clearly, if you say something weird is happening, and there are going to be answers, I MUST BE INTERESTED, even if I have absolutely no reason to be.

Stuff We Like This Week: September 25 Edition

Stuff We Like This Week: September 25 Edition

Sep 25

In an effort to combat our occasional…okay, okay, near-constant negativity, we give you a regular feature full of nothing but love — Stuff We Like This Week. Appearing every Friday, SWLTW will recap the things that have set our little nerdly hearts aflame within the past seven days.