Batgirl Beyond Coming Soon!

Batgirl Beyond Coming Soon!
Holy moly —

Batgirl Beyond will be making her official first appearance in her own arc this July. The identity of this future Batgirl is unknown at this point, but according to DC, she’s going to have a healthy working relationship with Commissioner Barbara Gordon. Read More

Could Cassandra Cain perhaps make an appearance as Black Bat? Yes? Please? 🙂
Scott Peterson who was originally involved with the creation of Cassandra Cain and artist Annie Wu will be working on this project. I can’t wait for it because she looks pretty badass in the released cover image — not the typical big boob/big booty super heroine…FINALLY!  Seriously. THANK YOU Annie for making a badass superhero lady look different. like one of the commenters posted, “Also she seems to be wearing a sports bra. Thank you for this.”

 

On Lady Humps

On Lady Humps
Well, these are much tamer than comic book covers which tend to always show ladies in a much more naked state boob-wise..

Avengers” director Joss Whedon is known for treating female characters on par with his male ones, but even the posters for that movie took pains to show off Scarlett Johansson‘s derriere. 

But Whedon’s movie isn’t the only one. A Reddit user noticed a trend in promotional materials for action and comic book movies: Female characters are often shown in uncomfortable positions seemingly designed only to highlight spandex-covered bottoms. (via Huffington Post article Action Movie Butt Shots: Why Must Fighting Females Assume The Same Pose?)

And actually, I was much more offended with Dr. Manhattan‘s peen making its appearance throughout the entire Watchmen flick. But I suppose that nuclear energy would disintegrate all type of underpants and such.

Continuing Hunt for Cassandra Cain

Continuing Hunt for Cassandra Cain
Over the weekend, Mr. Lee and I returned to Bedrock Comics over in Framingham.
Success was met — I found issue #5 hidden amongst the Batman back issues. I always look either there or in Catwoman sections to make sure that I’m not missing anything. For some reason, she always gets shuffled around.  Oh well. I suppose this adds more fun to the hunt.
I also found a 3-issue compilation, but I already have those in my collection. And thank goodness I have a running list of the issues I have so that I don’t double up.
I’m hoping that more back issues will find their way over to Bedrock — there are so many! AND, so many that change over for each visit  🙂
It’s soon become one of my fave shops to visit. Everything is organized well for the most part, people are super nice, and you can find back issues for $.25! Batgirl Issue #5 ran me $.50. FYI Mr. Lee made a huge haul of Wolverine comics.
I was surprised the shop owner remembered who we were.
“Haven’t seen you in a long time,” he said.
It’s just a trek sometimes to get out to Framingham. But then we might be hanging out in the area more often as we also found out about an actual arcade in existence called Game Underground. More on that later.
Anyhow, I’m really bummed that I won’t be around for Boston Comic Con, which runs from April 20-21. That would’ve been a really good show to continue my hunt and perhaps even end it.
But there is Rhode Island Comic Con in November. So I’ll probably be checking that out to make up for it.

 

Think About The Ink [VIDEO]

Think About The Ink [VIDEO]

Mr. Lee found this awesome comic reviewer on Youtube — and the reviewer is a woman, Grace Randolph! hurrah, hurrah 🙂

Grace Randolph is also the host and creator of one of YouTube’s top movie news and review shows, Beyond The Trailer, as well as a comic book writer! Her latest comic is Supurbia published by Boom Studios and she has also written for Marvel, DC Comics, Jim Henson and Blizzard Entertainment. Grace is also the former host of Marvel’s YouTube show The Watcher.

In this particular Think About the Ink video, she even makes a quick mention of Lady Shiva (aka, Cassandra Cain’s momma) as a strong Asian female to feature (rather than Katana, who I know nothing about).

With the amount of reviews that she does, she must be reading a ton of comics! #jealous

Anyhow, get the latest comic book news, reviews, and analysis! This is a definite channel subscribe for me!

“Sriracha, a Love Affair”

“Sriracha, a Love Affair”

Sriracha, Sriracha on everything!

This Foodbeast video is total foodp()rn:

The cock sauce has been the focus of cookbooks, clothes, has been jocked by Subway, and web-famous cartoonist The Oatmeal even satirically prototyped a Sriracha Beer Helmets. Let’s also not forget the potential health benefits of Sriracha documented earlier in 2012, which may include things like: making people happier, skinnier and generally more amazing. READ MORE

Who knew that the bottled chili sauce found in all pho houses would take on a life of its own? And initially I totally thought it was a Vietnamese invention until my Thai ex-pat friend schooled me on its origins.

Doesn’t really matter since it’s international now — even the office fridge has a communal bottle 😛

Happy Year of the Snake

Happy Year of the Snake
Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and fabulous New Year!

I will be following some of the traditions like going vegetarian for the day, not cutting my hair, and not swearing — which might be hard.

One tradition I refuse to follow? This business of not bathing. Sorry, but personal hygiene trumps superstition.

On another note, they say that the Year of the Snake is not that great. But I was born in the year of the snake and I say that it’s going to be amazing. So there.

Hello and Goodbye Nemo, aka Snowmageddon 2013

Hello and Goodbye Nemo, aka Snowmageddon 2013
From left to right, top to bottom: I should’ve written ‘HELP’ instead; we ran out of spots to dump the snow; MaMa Chan is way too meticulous with her shoveling; my little Fit and all the other cars were buried.
The weather people weren’t lying this time when they forecasted this blizzard.
But that’s to be expected living in New England. What has been surprising were the driving bans and public transportation system being shut down.
Needless to say, my arms are killing me from all the shoveling. It was pretty epic.
Let’s hope that the city will be dug out by Monday. And know that when I leave for work, my shoveled-out parking spot on the street will be claimed by me with a bucket.

 

Snowmageddon 2013

Snowmageddon 2013

It looks like this #Nemo weather situation is going to be a doozy of a blizzard.

The city is pretty much going to be shut down at noon — public transportation will be coming to a halt at 3:30PM. I was wiser this time around and did my essentials shopping yesterday — i.e., milk and a 6-pack of hard cider. I am good to go 😛

Anyhow, apologies for the digital dust bunnies accruing here — work has zonked me out as well as prepping for the Lunar New Year. And by the way, I’m always tempted to refer to it as Chinese New Year like most but Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese and others celebrate it as well. With that being said, please be on the look-out for new comics every Wednesday and Friday.

Paperman – Full Animated Short Film by Disney

Paperman – Full Animated Short Film by Disney

This just made 2013 worth it.

Introducing a groundbreaking technique that seamlessly merges computer-generated and hand-drawn animation techniques, first-time director John Kahrs takes the art of animation in a bold new direction with the Oscar®-nominated short, “Paperman.” Using a minimalist black-and-white style, the short follows the story of a lonely young man in mid-century New York City, whose destiny takes an unexpected turn after a chance meeting with a beautiful woman on his morning commute. Convinced the girl of his dreams is gone forever, he gets a second chance when he spots her in a skyscraper window across the avenue from his office. With only his heart, imagination and a stack of papers to get her attention, his efforts are no match for what the fates have in store for him. Created by a small, innovative team working at Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Paperman” pushes the animation medium in an exciting new direction. 

Dear Disney, please make a full-length animation like this vs yet another princess-with-a-sidekick-musical-who-meets-her-prince production. Thank you.

The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Comic Book Men

The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Comic Book Men
Currently watching AMC’s Comic Book Men thanks to Netflix:

AMC’s unscripted tribute to the collector returns for a new season this fall. Watch Kevin Smith and his crew of fan boys turned pop culture experts live, work and breath comic books. Mike, Walt, Ming and Bryan geek-out over rare artifacts and memorabilia and discover treasures of the comic collecting world. Realize your inner superhero and satisfy your fan boy fantasies by joining their outrageous podcasts where they tackle the burning questions all fans grapple with; what is the ultimate superpower and how best to relive the nostalgia of your childhood.

Love it and am a fan of Ming who is always seemingly getting dumped on. But, it’s a nice inside peek into the world of the comic book shop — how it’s mostly people unloading their comic and toy collection…well, of the episodes I’ve watched anyway.
And now I wonder if there’s a Comic Book Women version out there…? Hmmm….

 

Gene Luen Yang Announces New Boxers and Saints Graphic Novels

Gene Luen Yang Announces New Boxers and Saints Graphic Novels

One of my favorite graphic novelists ever, Gene Yuen Lang, has just announced exclusively with Wired.com his latest project Boxers and Saints. You can check out a 10-page excerpt of it over at Wired — suhweet!

Now, Yang announces his latest graphic novel project, Boxers & Saints, exclusively at Wired.com. Due out this September from First Second Books, the slipcased edition will contain two volumes that explore the stories of two peasants during the Boxer Rebellion in China who struggle with issues of identity during a time in Chinese history when many were asked to choose between their country and their faith. While Boxers tells the story of a peasant who joins the Rebellion, Saints follows the spiritual journey of a Chinese woman who converts to Catholicism.

I just appreciate what an amazing story-teller/artist he is. And reading more about how he started, inspires me to get my ass off the couch…or something to that effect 🙂

COMICAZI Comic Book Spotlight via Dig Boston

COMICAZI Comic Book Spotlight via Dig Boston
INTERVIEW: BOB BUTMAN OF COMICAZI by DIG BOSTON

This local comic book shop, Comicazi, is definitely on my list to check-out/return to. Dig Boston just posted a great Q&A interview with the owner of the shop Bob Butman:

What are your favorite comics?It just changes so often, so, y’know. I can go from really, really be loving something that’s out this week to digging out some comics from the sixties.

What do you like this week, for instance?The Massive, Brian Wood. I don’t know where it’s gonna go, but it’s a nice introduction to a world that’s kind of refreshing. It’s a little different post-apocalyptic and different take, definitely, cause you’ve got Y: The Last Man, you’ve got The Walking Dead, these are all kind of post-apocalyptic futures, and this one’s far, far from both of those. So far, so good, I’m really enjoying that.

What are the best and worst parts of your job here?That’s tough. The best, there’s tons of good. We have a huge community here. My parents came to visit this past week, and they were staying with us, and I’m driving down the street, and I’m waving to Officer Tom, who comes in and gets his Warhammer. I can’t go far without bumping into somebody that I know through the store, and what a big outstretched community that has become…


Read the full interview here.

Comic Book Shop Hopping Weekend

Comic Book Shop Hopping Weekend
Bedrock Comics and The Million Year Picnic = Batgirl success!

My weekend was pretty much spent comic book shop hopping — searching for back issues of Batgirl / Cassandra Cain. Here was the itinerary:

Bedrock Comics, 371 Worcester Road,  Framingham, MA
Mr. Lee and I first checked out Bedrock Comics out in Framingham. We’d driven by it before many times, but never stopped to visit. Why hadn’t we before?!

The owner (I think he was anyway), Jim was super nice and helpful — he found the only two back issues hidden amongst the Catwoman section!

Other than not being able to find Batgirl issues — for some reason there was no Batgirl section. Maybe someone bought them all out? If so, do I have an adversary in my quest? — everything else was crazy well organized. Issues were grouped together with a note if any were missing. AND, back issues were only $0.50!

This will definitely be a stop anytime I’m in Framingham for sure.

New England Comics, 14A Eliot St, Cambridge MA
Ok. So usually, when Mr. Lee and I hit up comic book shops there are sometimes signs saying ‘no beverages.’ We walk in anyway with our cups of coffee and usually don’t get hassled. But this time, immediately upon entering the shop, Mr. Lee was told to leave his coffee at the register.

There was no ‘hello’ or anything to acknowledge us first. It was ‘please leave your coffee at the register.’

I’ve actually never been to this particular location — usually Mr. Lee and I visit the Quincy or Coolidge Corner spots. Needless to say, we were a bit put off. We didn’t really noodle around. I did find a few issues, but we decided to leave instead and go to one of our fave shops which was just around the corner…

The Million Year Picnic, 99 Mount Auburn St, Cambridge, MA
It’s our tried and true stomping grounds and it proved to be most successful.

First off, the staff was super nice AND I found dozens of back issues — score! It was a substantial pile to carry and when I got to the register, I asked if I could possibly get a price break. It was a great suggestion by Mr. Lee because I received 10% off!

Currently, I have a lot of reading to do, but I’m also compiling a list of what I now have so that I can cross check in the future to avoid doubling up on issues.

This weekend was quite the haul and there are many more shops to visit (i.e., JP Comics & Games is a must on my list considering it’s in my neighborhood).

 

Cursed Pirate Girl by Jeremy Bastian Is Frackin’ Awesome

Cursed Pirate Girl by Jeremy Bastian Is Frackin’ Awesome
Cursed Pirate Girl cover by Jeremy Bastian

My latest read and most amazing discovery? Cursed Pirate Girl by Jeremy Bastian.

This epic graphic novel has been around for the past several years — how could I not have known about it before?!?! It wasn’t until the other weekend when I was noodling around the comic book shop that I learned about Cursed Pirate Girl. It was one of the featured books on display.

I picked it up because it looked amazing. A badass girl with an eye patch on the cover? Fierce. And then, I opened the book…

Holy shit.

The illustrations are frackin’ phenomenal.

It’s so very rare to see good black and white artwork in graphic novels. Usually, the balance is so far off where there’s too much black or too much white that it hurts the eyes. But here, I couldn’t get enough of Bastian’s work. His inking and line work technique are exceptional — creating tones of gray even in the night scenes where black is the primary color.

My eyes were overwhelmed in a good way. I wanted to see every single detail — I still do (I’m going to re-read the book but re-read the artwork this time).

crazy,  magical illustrations & textured, frayed paper

Flipping through the pages, you feel as though you’re being transported to another world — think The NeverEnding Story / Alice in Wonderland as drawn by Sir John Tenniel / Peter Pan. The story itself is so well told. A parrot in a fish? Yeah, I believe that. Why wouldn’t I? Of course! Brilliant.

And what I appreciated most? That the Cursed Pirate Girl is so fearless. She can kick your ass if she wanted to. She found out she was missing her eye (I won’t reveal how) and what does she do? She just finds something to cover it. No biggie.

If I had a daughter, this would be tops for bedtime story/required reading.

I am so blown away.

Thank you, Jeremy Bastian for the inspiration and magic!

Process: Goat Cheese is Poo

Process: Goat Cheese is Poo

Mr. Lee asked me about yesterday’s I-hate-goat-cheese comic: “So, how did you do it? Did you do it all with the computer or did you draw it?”

 
I sketched out the goat with my trusty 3B pencil, took a photo of it, Dropbox‘d it (because I’m too lazy to use the scanner since I do all my work lying in bed), and then went over it in Illustrator with my Wacom pen and tablet (the itty bitty Bamboo model because it’s portable). From there, I worked everything out in Illustrator.
 
Now, I tend to inwardly cringe a little when people ask me if I did something via the computer or if I drew by hand. It makes it seem as though drawing with the computer requires no effort — that the computer magically draws everything out for you.
 
Sure, you can make it trace something out, but you can also use a lightbox and do the same thing by hand.
 
I look at Illustrator and my Wacom pen & tablet in the same way as breaking out acrylic paints, brushes, and canvas.
 
It’s a medium. It’s a tool. It is neither better nor worse.

Batgirl, Issue No. 44: My Search Continues…

Batgirl, Issue No. 44: My Search Continues…
Batgirl, Issue No. 44

I’m on a mission to find back issues of Batgirl / Cassandra Cain at my local comic book shops. Granted, Mr. Lee found an eBay listing for a lot of what I’m looking for, but I’d rather have an adventure and search through old boxes — that is part of the fun.

Fortunately, success was had yesterday at New England Comics in Quincy. I wish there’d been more but I’ll take what I can get 🙂

This was an interesting issue. Up until now, I’ve only known of Cassandra Cain as on her own. But, here, I got to see her under Batman’s wing.

Oh well, won’t find out much else until I can find another issue(s) in some random order. Wish me luck next time! Altho, my life would be a lot easier if DC Comics would just compile her earlier appearances into a trade paperback.

P.S.Apologies for being MIA the past week. I got hit with the flu — even rung in the new year all sick and gross on my couch. Only a week later do I feel semi like my old self…which means, comics are on the way!

Christmas Delight

Christmas Delight
If you’ve been following my trials and tribulations of late then you’ll know that I’ve been resurrecting my 1st generation PSP. I even tracked down the memory stick and everything to get it back up and running.
And then, and then…
A surprise from Mr. Lee on Christmas Day — the new PS Vita AND the latest Lumines game!
It’s such a beautiful piece of gaming — SO much lighter than my PSP dinosaur and I have to say that the touch typing on this thing is better than with the iPad.
Ok and now the downside — but if you’ve ever had any Sony gaming device then you’ll know what I’m about to gripe about — the proprietary memory!
Ughhhh! Ok, I understand that they’re trying to ward off piracy and to also make extra — EXTRA –moola so you’d expect that with the purchase of the PS Vita that they’d throw you a bone and include a dinky 4GB card to get you started. Right? But, no. There were no bones to be thrown.
And so I’ve only been able to update the software and stare at it because I can’t do jack squat without the memory card — I can’t even play Lumines or surf the inna-net. What the pho?!
So, yesterday, I figured that I’d stop by Target after work to pick up a card, but they had none in stock — neither did Best Buy or Gamestop. Again, what the pho?! This is a reason why I hardly ever shop at brick-and-mortar stores…they never have things I need in stock.
When I got back home, I did what I should’ve done in the first place — order from Amazon w/ Prime and with 20% off.
Expected arrival is this Saturday. The wait is killing me.
PS. I pronounce Lumines as LU-MEENS. Apparently, it’s the incorrect way. Oh well.

New Fave Band: The Floating Heads

New Fave Band: The Floating Heads
electro // pop // rock // by jessica sun lee + leo white

It was cold. I was hunkered down for a night of figure sketching when I got the call:

“Let’s check out some bands over at the Radio!” Mr. Lee said.
“Uhhh…but I’m all settled and warm right now…” I whined.
“Come on — it’ll be fun!” Mr. Lee continued.
“Ughhh…ok, ok. Fine, fine. Let’s do this,” I relented.

It was freaking ass cold outside, but I’m so glad that I decided not to succumb to lame-ness by staying in. I did get several good sketches in so all was not lost on that front.

Three bands played that night and The Floating Heads were my fave by far.

The lead singer/guitarist Jessica Sun Lee was cute, funny, and I loved her voice. Definitely reminded me a bit of Sneaker Pimps and Ladyhawke.

Note: Not counting Jessica, Mr. Lee and I were the only other Asians in the house….as usual 😛

End O’ December Reading List

End O’ December Reading List

Can you believe that I still haven’t gotten to these treasures yet? Oiy, what am I doing?!

Anyhow, there are only 5 or so days left in the year…1 or 2 if you believe the Mayan end-of-the-world prediction. So with what little time that’s left either way, I’m hoping that I can power through these:

What’s the rush? The fact that there are a couple Derek Kirk Kim books I want to get at 🙂

So, here’s to getting lost and inspired, especially with the nutshit craziness of the holidays — I mean, I <3 Christmas, but I also hate it at the same time. I mean, Christmas would be perfect if it were exactly like Thanksgiving, but still with the mistletoe, tree, Christmas movie specials, and music…oh, and snow.

*sigh*

If only I ruled the world.

PSP Resurrection

PSP Resurrection
This is the first version of the PSP and even tho it’s SO tempting to replace it with the PSP Vita, I shall hold off considering that the only game I love to play is Lumines — even tho there’s Electronic Symphony…gahhh!
Anyhow, aside from the games themselves, this now-heavy/clunky 1st generation PSP is still near and dear to my heart considering that my bro and I went to the Best Buy at midnight to wait until the doors opened up at 8AM so that we could be the first to get our grubby hands on it.
Lame? Most definitely.
So now, because it’s been so long since I last played, I have to wait for the 16GB memory stick I just ordered to arrive since the old 32MB one is too dang small — so small that I can’t even install the software update.
Anyhow, if I disappear for a bit, you’ll know why. It’ll be because of this most amazing game ever:
FYI, we were first and second in line. AND I had to jet to my art class right afterward.
Good times, good times.

 

Lucky Peach Magazine, Issue 5: Chinatown

Lucky Peach Magazine, Issue 5: Chinatown
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It was a fun-filled weekend and I acquired a LOT of new material to work with. You hang out with a bunch of guys and you’re bound to get “inspired.” With that being said, the usual comic slated for today will be arriving tomorrow instead.
BUT, I do have an amazing find to share with you all — Lucky Peach magazine!
I tell you that it was fate that brought this magazine to me. Thanks to the Yume Wo Katare ramen line, Mr. Lee and I were given the chance to noodle around Porter Square Books, an indie bookshop I’d never visited before (what?!). I spotted the Chinatown cover and started leafing through the sucker. So, basically…

Lucky Peach is a quarterly journal of food and writing. Each issue focuses on a single theme, and explores that theme through essays, art, photography, and recipes.

This particular issue was all about Chinese food.
It’s got some seriously awesome articles and isn’t your typical food periodical — it’s fun and isn’t overly focused on recipes, entertaining, gadget reviews and/or how-to do something food-related. It’s more about the places, back-stories, and people behind the food. Those are the parts that interest me the most. Plus, I already know that I’m a shiyat cook — I generally just roast vegetables, make scrambled eggs, and re-heat things. That is my repertoire.
My favorite articles so far from the issue?
  • photo compilation of how chow mein looks around the world. Like, Mozambique serves chow mein? Really? Really. I love stuff like this. When Mr. Lee and I were in the Bahamas a few years back, we wanted to see what Bahamian Chinese fast food was like. FYI it sucked.
  • behind-the-scenes look into the Asian produce world — from the farmers to how it gets into the supermarkets and then sold.
  • a rant on walnut prawns — which, by the way, I <3 eating as filthy and as disgusting it may be prepared.
I can’t wait to read about other food in upcoming issues. At $12 a pop, it is a bit steep, but considering that I don’t subscribe to anything else, I’ll afford meself this small luxury.
Check it out if you can — it’s published by McSweeney’s, a publishing company based in San Francisco, CA.
PS. Does anyone else hate themselves after eating at Yume Wo Katare? I like my pork fat but jeezus kriste.

The Only Batgirl I Care About…Cassandra Cain!

The Only Batgirl I Care About…Cassandra Cain!
“I don’t kill. But I don’t lose, either.”

In the world of superhero comics, it’s rare that there be any major character that sorta, kinda looks like me — that I know of anyway. Usually, the super hero ladies are blonde, super boobed-out, and prefer to fight in a bikini top and G-string. Which is perfectly fine, but it’s not something I can quite identify with.

Hence, my comic book tastes gravitating toward Sunday comics (i.e., Fox Trot, Get Fuzzy, The Boondocks) and autobiographical graphic novels (i.e., Optic Nerve, Persepolis).

Anyhow, during a trip to the comic book shop awhile back where I was waiting for my Comic Book Amigo to finish going through the latest Walking Dead issues, I — for some reason…perhaps out of boredom — started flipping through an issue of Red Robin. And what greeted me in the opening spread was the above image featuring a kickass lady with short, dark hair — like me, like me! And, get this — she had clothes on to boot!

I did a quick search on my phone and found out the following info about her:

Cassandra Cain is a fictional character in the DC Comics Universe, one of several who has served as Batgirl, a character in the Batman comic book franchise. Cassandra’s backstory presents her as the daughter of assassins David Cain and Lady Shiva (Sandra Wu-San)…Cassandra was the first Batgirl to star in her own ongoing Batgirl comic book series; a Eurasian character who was replaced as Batgirl by Stephanie Brown in a 2009 storyline. She returned in late 2010, where she was now shown working as an anonymous agent of Batman in Hong Kong before adopting the new moniker of Black Bat. Read More >

I still remember that jail cell/lasso scene.

She’s Asian AND she’s…Batgirl!

I mean, the only other female superhero I ever identified with growing up was Wonder Woman.

For one, it was because of the Lynda Carter TV series I’d catch after school, but the underlying factor was that she had long black hair…like me (at the time).

As a little girl, that meant a lot. Even though Wonder Woman is not Asian, through my 8-year-old eyes, she looked enough like me that she became an honorary ass-kicking, Asian super heroine.

So it’s nice to discover many many years later that there exists a fearless comic book hero who I don’t have to misappropriate as Asian because she really is one.

As an adult, it still means a lot.

(PS: Dear DC Comics, please bring back Cassandra Cain whether as Batgirl again or as Black Bat. Do it!)