#5FandomFriday: Real Life Geeks That Inspire Me

Welcome to my attempt at 5 Fandom Friday, where I try to contribute to a weekly meme but usually forget. This fun weekly postathon is hosted by The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick. If you’re interested in joining up, check out future posting topics here.

For some reason everyone that came to mind initially (besides Misha Collins) were all television and pop culture critics who have podcasts or blogs that I really enjoy. But does writing about pop culture actually make you a geek? So I dug a little more and found a more diverse list of awesome geeks who I really would love to have lunch with one day. We’d have lots to talk about!

I know a lot of people this week are posting people they know in real life or are other bloggers that write about geeky things. Unfortunately I am terrible at making friends, whether it’s online or off, so I’m sticking to more public figures.

Misha Collins, Master of World Domination

I have done ridiculous things for this man. My entire immediate family attempted to fly a Christmas tree using only helium balloons during the Thanksgiving holiday during the first GISHWHES event. I’ve met geeks from around the world through his annual scavenger hunt and become closer to local friends by joining forces for this madness. He’s the best kind of nerd, who loves everything and everyone. His kindness and support of fans is thoroughly noted, and I wish I could be a little more like him in day-to-day life.

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Joanna Robinson, writer for Vanity Fair and podcaster

I suppose it depends if you think being a cultural critic is criteria enough to be considered a geek. Joanna is a writer for Vanity Fair online, but she’s also the co-host of a podcast called The Thought Bubble, where she discusses comic books and comics with Dave Gonzales. What I love about this podcast is that Joanna is more of a novice to comics like I am, so she makes the show really relatable for me. She also does some Game of Thrones podcasts too, which I don’t listen to, but Fernando loves. She just seems really relatable and she responds to my tweets, so she’s obvious a super cool person.

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Kevin Porter and Demi Adejuyigbe from Gilmore Guys podcast

I have become addicted to this podcast over the last month, starting from episode one and listening to a little bit each day. I’m still way behind where they currently are (somewhere at the beginning of season 5, whereas I’m mid-season 2), but their thorough analysis of each episode, guest hosts, songs, bits and craziness are a welcome listen during my long work days. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to stifle giggles at work because of their iTune review raps or their obsession with Ms. Patty. Gilmore Girls is better watched with friends and I feel like Kevin and Demi have become two of my favorite viewing partners.

Noelle Stevenson, author and artist of Noelle and Lumberjanes

She started off her career by doing fan art for Lord of the Rings, so I’m assuming she’s a nerd. She also did fanart for Supernatural, which I have, Sherlock, Doctor Who and much more. I wish I could be her because she seems so very cool despite her young age. I love her humor, her ability to deal with haters, and her ability to just be all around incredibly awesome. I’m intimated by her, so I’ve never taken the chance at Comic Con to meet her, but maybe one day I’ll get the courage to approach her. She’ll probably be too famous by then, but whatevs…

Zachary Levi, actor and Prince of Comic Con

I will adore him for the rest of time because of Chuck, but he’s amazed me even more through all that he’s done in the nerd community. Nerd HQ raises thousands of dollars for charity each year at Comic Con, and he’s one of the celebrities that seems to truly care about each of his fans. He wants them to be happy and enjoy his events. He’s also just a huge nerd with passion for videogames, comics, movies and film. Hopefully the Heroes reboot will be worthy of his immense talent and bring him onto my television on a more regular basis.


So which real life geeks have inspired you or just give you happiness on a regular basis? Share in the comments!

Review: Lazarus Volume 1: Family & Volume 2: Lift by Greg Rucka & Michael Lark

Lazarus Volume 1: Family
By Greg Rucka and Michael Lark

Image Comics
Released October 9, 2013
106 pages
Comics / Dystopia / Badass Ladies

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

Eisner-winning team of Rucka and Lark's critically acclaimed new series about Forever Carlyle, the Lazarus of the Carlyle Family. 

In a dystopian near-future, government is a quaint concept, resources are coveted, and possession is 100% of the law. A handful of Families rule, jealously guarding what they have and exploiting the Waste who struggle to survive in their domains. Forever Carlyle defends her family's holdings through deception and force as their protector, their Lazarus. Shot dead defending the family home, Forever's day goes downhill from there...

Collects LAZARUS #1-4 and previously only-available-online, four-page short, "Family: Prelude.”

Lazarus Volume 2: Lift
By Greg Rucka and Michael Lark

Image Comics
Released June 24, 2014
106 pages
Comics / Dystopia / Badass Ladies

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

While Forever keeps watch on her sister Johanna, she finds hints of rebellion brewing in LA. 

At the same time, the Barrets, a family of "Waste," lose their home and land, and must pursue their only chance for a better life - a 500-mile journey to Denver in the hope that one of their family will be noticed by the Carlyles and "lifted" to Serf status. 

Collecting LAZARUS #5-9

I think Greg Rucka is solely responsible for getting me into comics as an adult, particularly superhero comics. I’d heard awesome things about his short run on Batwoman and took a chance. I adored it, not only for the badass action, but the subtle character moments that made Kate Kane a human besides a crazy vigilante. Also JH Williams III’s art was beyond mesmerizing. So I picked up some more comics. Some were hits, but many were misses, especially the ones revolving around a female protagonist.

But I could also go back to Greg Rucka and trust that he would make fully formed women, whether it be in Queen & Country or Lady Sabre & the Pirates of Ineffable Aether or something else. So I was really happy when our local comic book club picked a series of his I hadn’t ever read because it was still an on-going title and a fairly young one at that.

Lazarus takes place in a dystopian future where the world has been carved out amongst all-powerful families. These families control the world’s resources – money, food, transportation, the ability to better yourself in the world, everything. Each of the ruling families has a Lazarus, someone of the family who has been given genetic modifications to become the protector and bodyguard, maintaining the family’s security and power. Forever is the Lazarus of the Carlyle family, who controls all the land west of the Mississippi River and possibly the country’s food supplies.

Volume 1, titled Family, introduces use to Forever and her family of conniving siblings and her father. Forever is a strong woman, able to take on gangs of men in hand to hand combat, while also having a tactian’s head on her shoulders. She’s also near immortal, capable from recovering quickly from gunshot wounds and what would otherwise be mortal wounds. When her family’s seed storage is attacked, she’s tasked by her father to get to the bottom of it and make a deal to prevent future attacks, while some of her siblings have nefarious plans of their own.

The second volume, Lift, brings in a concurrent story line regarding a Waste family – poor farmers in the Midwest who lose everything to flooding. They travel hundreds of miles to attend a Lift ceremony hosted by the Carlyle family in hopes their children can obtain a better station in life. Meanwhile Forever is facing challenges to the family’s honor from the inside and out.

Michael Lark’s art brought the story to life for me. There’s entire spreads of fight sequences with no dialogue and no pesky sound effects. Rather than be lifeless, this lack of cheesy “Smacks”, “Kablaams” and “Whomps” made the images flow more freely for me, turning these sequences into silent movies in my head. It’s not often I read an action comic where I can read it so quickly because the words and the art merge so seamlessly into one another.

The world building Lazarus is a bit sparse in these first two volumes, though a lot of extra material seems to be in the omnibus version, including a time line of how the world got this way. I hope to see that additional information built into future volumes though because it’s an interest political situation that Rucka has created that could have rich story telling through flashbacks. Meanwhile the plot of these two volumes zips by and makes me want more. The characters are compelling, though some of the Carlyle children are a bit difficult to tell apart (though possibly on purpose).

Forever is a badass, but flashbacks to her childhood add great depth and emotion to her as a person. She’s not an adroit killing machine, despite implications that she might not be completely biologically created. In a short time, she feels fully formed, but still with a lot of mystery to who she truly is. Some of her decisions seem a little strange, but I have confidence that Rucka has his reasons rather than just for convenience of plot.

Lazarus is a definite winner for anyone that enjoys comics about women who are three dimension with emotions while still kicking ass. These first two volumes are quick reads with intriguing characters and I definitely look forward to reading more about them and this brutal world that they live in.

WFTM Podcast Episode 12: Zombies Shouldn't Make You Sleepy

In this week’s episode Leslie and Fernando discuss some new pilots that we might be seeing on television next year, whether Fear the Walking Dead is worth the Walking Dead name, the cheesy action of Mission: Impossible – Rouge Nation, and a new Star Wars book plus much more.

Download it from the iTunes store here!

We’re now on Stitcher as well!! If Stitcher is your chosen app of podcasting choice, listen to the Working for the Mandroid podcast here

So what’s in Episode 12?

News:

Help Kickstart the US Megabot!

The Second Season of Gotham Will Have a Gender-Swapped Firefly

CBS Is Adapting Luna: New Moon for Television and the Book Isn’t Even Out Yet

NBC Is Creating an Office-style Show Involving an Insurance Company in the DC Universe

ABC Is Really Spinning Mockingbird Off of SHIELD via Marvel’s Most Wanted

What We’re Watching:

Fear the Walking Dead Pilot Broke Cable Records

Killjoys season 1

Documentary Now! Pilot

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

What We’re Reading:

Dark Disciple by Christie Golden (Star Wars Universe)

Comic Con and the Business of Pop Culture by Rob Salkowitz

Up Next: Hawkeye Volume 1 by Matt Fraction and David Aja & School for Sidekicks by Kelly McCullough

What We Predict For the Next Week:

Fernando: He will love the season finale for Mr. Robot

Leslie: She will also love the season finale for Mr. Robot, remain obsessed with the Gilmore Guys podcast and remain very happy about the latest Marvel Collector Corp box.

Follow us on Twitter @WorkforMandroid and @fernborrego

Email your questions, concerns, thoughts and comments to WorkingfortheMandroid@gmail.com

 

Intro & Outro Music is “Robot Army” by Quiet Music for Tiny Robots, provided via freemusicarchive.org through a Creative Commons Licens

#5Fandom Friday: Crossovers That Would Make My Heart Explode

Welcome to my attempt at 5 Fandom Friday, where I try to contribute to a weekly meme but usually forget. This fun weekly postathon is hosted by The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick. If you’re interested in joining up, check out future posting topics here.

This week’s topic is 5 Crossovers That Would Make My Heart Explode. It’s a classic topic of conversation in geekdom, deciding which shows or movie universes you want to smoosh together to create one epic world of insanity. I personally enjoy having my heart all in one piece inside my chest, but these are the five crossovers that would make me really happy if they were done (correctly).

The Boys of Supernatural Meet The Doctor – Supernatural Meets Doctor Who

Because I want to see Dean’s head explode when he learns not only are angels and demons real things, but so are aliens and giant space monsters. Plus he and Sam are good at running already, so they’d make handy companions to fight Cybermen.

Captain Mal and His Crew Run Across a Certain Space Rouge and Furry Co-Pilot – Firefly Meets Star Wars

I really just want to see Captain Mal and Han Solo get into a snark off while Wash stares at Chewbacca in total fear. It would be the best smugglers in space action comedy in all of existence!

The Massive Superhero Crossover No One Wants to Admit They Want – The Avengers Meets Justice League (on the big screen)

We haven’t seen Bat-fleck yet, but I think it could be fun to see Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark try to ruffle Ben Affleck’s stern-yet-cool Bruce Wayne while Superman and Captain America become besties in the background. Then Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman can swoop in and save the day because they are the best ones of all.

All the Leda Clones Run Across Two Dolls With Way Too Many Personalities – Orphan Black Meets Dollhouse

Honestly I would only want to see this if it was Dollhouse without Eliza Dushku. Can you image a half dozen Tatiana’s coming across various incarnations of Enver Gjokaj and Dichen Lachman only to find that they’re each just one person. It would be a new big bad corporation to take down and save all the dolls. It would have to retcon the end of Dollhouse, but that’s perfectly okay with me.

Agent Carter Falls Into the World of Alexia Taribotti’s Airships and Tea Parties – Agent Carter Meets The Parasol Protectorate series

For those of you not so into books, The Parasol Protectorate series is a series of books by Gail Carriger where a badass named Alexia Taribotti manages to fight monsters in a steampunk Victorian London while always making time for tea. I very much want a television series of it made right now. I also really want an Agent Carter steampunk series, so let’s just toss them together and have the most epic made-for-Leslie television show ever created.

Though if I'm completely honest, this artwork from the ever amazing Lord Mesa is all the crossover I really need. Luckily I have this print hanging by my desk every day to remind me of the potential awesomeness that could be.

So those are my five for this Fandom Friday. Which two pop culture things would you smash together to make one epic mega-awesome thing?

Guest Post: Science Fiction & Science by S.H. Jucha

Today we have a special visit from science fiction writer S.H. Jucha. He is the author of The Silver Ships, and enjoys discussing all things science fiction and space related. He stopped by Working for the Mandroid today to discuss a little bit about the connection between science fiction and science fact.

Science Fiction and Science
By SH Jucha

Historically, fiction writers have been the harbingers of our future science. You need look no further than the incomparable Isaac Asimov, a master of hard science fiction, who detailed robotics, artificial intelligence, and space exploration more than sixty years ago. Robert A. Heinlein anticipated the cell phone in his book, Space Cadet, thirty-five years before the technology was invented by Motorola, and Arthur C. Clarke, often called the “Prophet of the Space Age,” proposed a satellite communication system in 1945.

However, in the 21st century, science has been stealing the headlines away from science fiction. New Horizons sent us images of Pluto and its moons—Charon, Nix, Hydra, Styx and Kerberos. Philae landed on a comet, and NASA's Kepler spacecraft has identified another near-Earth planet in the habitable zone of a sun-like star.

Two more significant scientific endeavors are set to unfold in the near future. The James Webb Space Telescope is scheduled to be launched in 2018 into an orbit around the sun. It will be able to view events 200 to 300 million years after the Big Bang. Over the remainder of this decade and the next, the “Mars One” mission plans to establish a human settlement on Mars.

In addition to hard science prognostications, fiction writers have long envisioned mankind’s future encounters with aliens and have portrayed sentient life in a myriad of ways from war-faring empires to symbionts, who ride a human’s brain, to artificial intelligences, which have left their creators behind. Recently, science has been catching up with fiction writers on the subject of life in outer space.

Investigations of carbon-rich meteorites have found evidence of life apart from that of Earth. Amino acids, which are the essential building blocks of life, have been discovered on meteorites. Most telling is that the amino acids were created in both low-level and high-level temperatures.

If you follow the numbers—billions of galaxies and up to 300 billion stars per galaxy—astronomers estimate that there are about 70 billion trillion stars. In our short investigative period, we’ve already discovered 4,696 exoplanets, creating an enormous potential for life. Maybe the science fiction writers have been right about the possibilities of aliens.

While we dream of space exploration far into the future, I would like to express my hopes for the near future, events that might take place in the next few decades. I see incredible potential for space exploration, especially long-term space habitation, which may provide solutions for many of Earth’s critical problems.

Self-sufficient space habitats will require alternative methods of recycling of many material categories. It will be too expensive to ship trash back to Earth. One category, petrochemical products, includes plastics, which are quite durable and slow to degrade, but there are examples of micro-organisms accelerating the degradation processes. Imagine the value of developing bio-engineered bacterium, fungi, yeasts, algae, and lichens to completely recycle plastics. It would be a win-win for space habitation and humankind if scientists perfected solutions which could efficiently breakdown plastics, especially the billions of tons of discarded plastics on Earth, into environmentally friendly compounds.

Science fiction writers continue to envision a variety of futures for the human race, but it will be the duty of science to bring one of them to fruition.

 

S. H. Jucha is the author of the science fiction series, The Silver Ships. For more information, about the author, visit his website at http://scottjucha.com. His books are available on Amazon in several formats.

The Silver Ships
SH Jucha

See more on Goodreads

An explorer-tug captain, Alex Racine detects a damaged alien craft drifting into the system. Recognizing a once in a lifetime opportunity to make first contact, Alex pulls off a daring maneuver to latch on to the derelict.

Alex discovers the ship was attacked by an unknown craft, the first of its kind ever encountered. The mysterious silver ship's attack was both instant and deadly.

What enfolds is a story of the descendants of two Earth colony ships, with very different histories, meeting 700 years after their founding and uniting to defend humanity from the silver ships.
 

Review: Ms Marvel Volume One: No Normal by G Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona

Ms Marvel: No Normal
G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona

Marvel
Released October 30, 2014
120 pages
Comics / Superheroes!

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

Marvel Comics presents the new Ms. Marvel, the groundbreaking heroine that has become an international sensation!
Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she's suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she's comin' for you, Jersey!
It's history in the making from acclaimed writer G. Willow Wilson (Air, Cairo) and beloved artist Adrian Alphona (RUNAWAYS)! Collecting MS. MARVEL (2014) #1-5 and material from ALL-NEW MARVEL NOW! POINT ONE #1.

I’ve been reading a lot of comics this summer, some more classic ones and some recent ones. Even with new Batgirl comics and things by Noelle Stevenson, by far Ms. Marvel has been my favorite of the bunch. This is just a honestly fun comic without the darkness, grittiness or emotional baggage of many superheroes comics. It’s full of discovery and joyfulness that is really missing even in the Marvel universe overall.

This first volume of G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona’s Ms. Marvel introduces us to Kamala Khan, a girl from Jersey City who has been raised by immigrant parents in a somewhat traditional Muslim manner. She attends gender segregated mosque services, she wears conservative clothing, and has a bit of a suffocating home life for a teenage girl. The one time she sneaks out of the house to disobey her parents and attend a party, she gets caught in some smog cloud of doom. When she wakes up, she suddenly has the ability to transform herself into her hero, the former Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers. What’s a girl to do with these budding powers and how will she use them to do good when she’s grounded?

From page one this book is so much fun. Kamala is the new Peter Parker in the sense that she’s a normal teenage girl with a life who gets sucked into having crazy powers that she has to discover and then decide what she’s going to do with them. She’s stuck attempting to balance school, family and her new extracurricular endeavors while trying to hide her new inhumanness from the world around her. It leads to a lot of sneaking around and lying, which just gets her into more and more trouble while she tries to save her New Jersey town.

I really loved the cultural elements that G. Willow Wilson puts throughout the graphic novel, including moments showing Kamala’s faith and her family life. These things immediately added depth to the character and her world, while providing me insight into a culture I’m not that familiar with. It was different and refreshing to see this side of a superhero instead of the whole story being about which bad guy she’s going to punch next. She’s also a complete fangirl, which is fun to relate to with some as kickass as Kamala is becoming.

Adrian Alphona has a great art style that could pop off the page and become a solid “realistic” animated cartoon. The emotions he’s capable of expressing with the swipe of just a few lines are fantastic, while he’s able to maintain Kamala’s personality even as she’s transforming and wearing a mask.

I loved Ms. Marvel: No Normal for how different it felt while still being a story about a superhero discovering their powers and seeing the world differently. This is a fun story that is great for younger readers in a way that most superhero comics really aren’t. I’m really looking forward to reading more about Kamala’s adventures and how she develops into a superhero herself.

WFTM Podcast Episode 11: Now With Better Sound!

WFTM Episode 11.png

It’s the Working for the Mandroid podcast – now with better sound! Hopefully Leslie and Fernando’s voices are a little less squeaky as we discuss the return of John Constantine to television, some of the news from D23, and review Straight Outta Compton and the first season of AMC’s Humans. We also discuss the latest on Leslie’s reading list and a couple of our personal predictions for the upcoming week.

Download it from the iTunes store here!

We’re now on Stitcher as well!! If Stitcher is your chosen app of podcasting choice, listen to the Working for the Mandroid podcast here

So what’s in Episode 11?

News:

John Constantine will return to television… On Arrow!

First Look at Baymax in Kingdom Hearts III

Baymax and Sorra versus Nega-Baymax!

Baymax and Sorra versus Nega-Baymax!

Disney Announced a 14 Acre Star Wars Themed Addition to Their Parks

A Producer Talks Potential “Female Centric” League of Extraordinary Men Reboot

What We’re Watching:

Straight Outta Compton

Humans season 1 (spoilers starting around 31:42 through 48:54)

What Leslie’s Reading:

In The Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

Comic Con and the Business of Pop Culture by Rob Salkowitz

Swift, Brutal Retaliation by Meghan McCarron (short story on Tor.com)

What We Predict For the Next Week:

Fernando: He will be obsessed with British soccer

Leslie: She will be bored by Fear the Walking Dead and will fall into a deep hole of wedding planning 

Follow us on Twitter @WorkforMandroid and @fernborrego

Email your questions, concerns, thoughts and comments to WorkingfortheMandroid@gmail.com

 

Intro & Outro Music is “Robot Army” by Quiet Music for Tiny Robots, provided via freemusicarchive.org through a Creative Commons License