Random Tuesday: Contests, Bookish Lists, Batwoman and Lord of the Rings

Welcome to Random Tuesday! Last week I failed at Random Tuesday because of a lot of different factors, but this week nothing will keep me away. Not even a barrage of ants attempting to take over my house! But first, just a note to point out, we’re currently have two contests up and running. One is for Just My Type, a book perfect for design nerds (I say that lovingly) and cultural history aficionados alike. You can enter to win a paperback copy or a The Periodic Table of Fonts poster here.

Our other contest is in partnership with the wonderful Anderson O’Connell, author of Kingdom, who is preparing for the birth of his second child. Guess the sex of the baby to possibly win a signed paperback copy of Kingdom here or download the e-book for Kindle here for a limited time.

Now on to some randomosity.

If you’ve been on Facebook at all over the last few days, you’ve probably seen this list of 10 Artifacts from Literature That We Wish Were Real from Flavorwire. It’s a pretty neat list, though I’m not sure how useful an alethiometer would be in the real world. Then again I really didn’t like His Dark Materials, so that might be me projecting. On the other hand, I would pay good money for a fully functional Babel Fish.

Now that I have a job that actually requires me to work during the day, I haven’t had much blog surfing time and my Pinterest account has suffered in result. And yet somehow, I managed to still come across a Darma nursery. That kid is going to fear planes and polar bears.

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Comic Con 2012: Leslie's Five Favorite Moments

Comic Con is a giant jumble of crazy moments, where at any given moment, you’re going to run into a celebrity or find someone in the most elaborate, crazy costume you’ve ever seen. You’re always missing something, but at the same time, you’re having so much fun that you probably don’t care that much. Here are five of my favorite moments from San Diego Comic Con 2012, in no particular order.

Random Celebrity Sightings

A lot of celebrities just sort of roam around during Comic Con. They visit people who sleep outside all night to see certain panels and they eat in restaurants with all the normal people. I’ve never been big on meeting celebrities, but I always get a huge jolt of giddiness seeing one near me. This year we crossed paths with Mark Sheppard and Jim Beaver of Supernatural one night when we were crossing the street back to our hotel. I’m pretty sure Jim Beaver saw my jaw hit the ground when I recognized them, but I was too dumbstruck to say anything.

Seth Green nearly ran me over while filming something with his phone in the exhibit hall. Comic Con isn’t really Comic Con if we don’t have the annual Seth Green sighting. And speaking of people nearly running into me, apparently I nearly had a collision with this dude from Alphas while I was eating gelato and (once again) walking back to our hotel. All I saw was a plaid shirt very close to my face and then he was gone.

I went by the Simon & Schuster booth to talk to my contact there, only to turn to my right to find John Barrowman sitting five feet away from me. I met him during my first Con, but it was still giddy shock the moment I saw him. And then if you follow us on Twitter, you might have seen me mention that one Misha Collins ran by us in the Hall H line on his morning jog Sunday. That just made me grin.

 

Meeting Marissa Meyer

I love Cinder. I loved Cinder before I ever read it and I tell everyone I know that likes YA to read Cinder because it is super awesome and has an android lead character. Marissa has been generous enough with her time to chat with me via email, Twitter and Facebook over the last year or so. She also suggested that Working for the Mandroid be used on her debut author tour, which left me a little dumbstruck and incredibly excited. So it was incredibly exciting to finally meet Marissa in person at her signing of Cinder. Yes, getting a copy of Scarlet also added to the greatness of the moment, but for me one of the highlights of the Con was to finally meet her and tell her how much I love her work in person.

 

The Trifecta that is Fringe, Supernatural and Doctor Who Back to Back

I really hate Hall H. It’s a giant cavernous room that holds about 6,000 people and our first year, I made the big mistake of camping out there all day. By the time the day was over, my inner rage monster had snuck out and I hated just about everyone. From then on, I try to take Hall H in small doses and this year the line to get in seemed to be longer than it has ever been, but I was willing to put in the line standing time and site in that cavernous room to see the casts of three of my favorite shows. The cast ofFringe was delightfully funny and emotional about their last season. The boys of Supernatural did their level best to entertain while saying absolutely NOTHING AT ALL. And of course Matt Smith doesn’t know how to be anything other than charming. All together it was three hours of humor and cast mates showing exactly how much they loved being in the company of each other. Plus we got to see footage of DINOSAURS on SPACESHIPS! So, you know, that’s a win.


 

Finally Seeing Ian Somerhalder in Person


It seems like I miss The Vampire Diaries panel every year for one reason or another, but not this year! I finally got to see Crazy Eyes, the Boring One, and Elena in person. While they might not have best utilized their panel to appeal to the audience filled with mostly True Blood fans, they managed to – just like the boys of Supernatural – be entertaining and hilarious without saying a single thing about the upcoming season. The True Blood panel might have had more content, but I think The Vampire Diaries panel was more fun.

 

Getting a Commission from Katie Cook 

I love Katie Cook. She manages to make everything adorable, but everybody else seems to love her too. Her booth in Artist’s Alley was always swarming with people. That makes it difficult to get original art from her, but luckily I was able to get to her early Saturday morning and make a request for my very own Katie Cook original:

BATWOMAN!

 

There were so many great things about Comic Con, but those are the moments that will best distinguish this from the ones I’ve attended in the past and the ones I will hopefully attend in the future. Yes, I wasn’t in any of the super big panels, but I feel like I did more than those people who slept outside and stood in line for hours upon hours. Plus now that I’m home, I can catch up on all the giant robots versus monsters news and all the other things I was too busy to see.

A Week of Random: Random Thursday - Greg Rucka on Strong Female Characters, Avengers in Dresses and New Doctor Who

I'm feeling very out of sorts today, so no preamble. Just random.

Greg Rucka wrote Batwoman: Elegy, which is awesome all around. He's also written a lot of spy novels and comics with badass female leads. io9 has a guest post from him about why he writes strong female characters. It's an interesting read with a bonus Joss Whedon video in the featured comments.

 

If you've been having severe withdrawl from lack of Doctor Who, a mini episode was released this afternoon called "Good as Gold". The script was written by a bunch of grade school kids as part of a contest. It is heavy on the Olympics propaganda and super silly. Definitely not part of actual Doctor Who continuity, but fun all the same. Still no clue when the show actually comes back on television.

 

Somebody made design mock ups of dresses inspired by the uniforms of the various Avenger teammates.

 

Weird movie rumor of the day: Robert Pattinson might play Finnick in Catching Fire.

 

That's all the random I have today. I think I'm going to lie down.

2011 Year End Look Back: Leslie's Favorite Reads

Over the next week or so, we'll be looking back at some of our favorite books, movies and televisions from 2011 as well as some of the things that we missed because there's just not enough time in the world to consume everything.

In 2011, I read about 65 books, which is more than I think I have read in a single year since I was in high school and had a lot more time to read.  Then of course there were assorted comics and magazines, newspapers and blogs, but this is only about the books.  I hate to say that anything I really loved is the best of the year because I’m only one person and I didn’t consume everything that came out last year.  I only consumed the teeniest tiniest fraction of what came out last year and still have stacks of books to read.  So these are simply my ten favorite reads from 2011.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

This book doesn’t come out until tomorrow, but after constant pestering of both the publisher and the author, I ended up with a copy.  Though I wasn’t able to sit down and read this in one uninterrupted go when I so desperately wanted to, I still loved every single moment of it.  I’ll have a full review up on Thursday.

Ashes by Ilsa J Bick

This is the first of two books that I received through Netgalley.  Both were by authors I was unfamiliar with, but I requested them because they appealed to one of my buttons.  In the case of Ashes it was a post-apocalyptic world.  Bick did something I really appreciated – she created the post-apocalyptic world while we were watching rather than just pick up when the world has already gone to hell.  Throw in some zombies, some interesting biological anomalies and the creepiest small town, and this became a book that I thought about long after it was finished.  It also helps that the ending made me flail like a crazy person.

Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka & JH Williams III

Confession time: I didn’t use to be a big capes-and-tights comic fan.  I stuck to the horror and dark fantasy of Vertigo titles and avoided the complex and interwoven worlds of the various superheroes.  Then Batwoman came along and everything changed.  JH Williams III created some of the most kinetic artwork while Greg Rucka wrote for a female character that was fully human and not just a poster girl in pleather.  Thanks for being a gateway drug, guys…

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Random Tuesdays: Site Announcements, Television Talk and Other Really Random Things

This week's Random Tuesday post is a hodge-podge of television rambles, website announcements and various odds and ends that have built up in my head over the course of the last few days.  First the announcements!

 

I'm excited (and a bit nervous) to announce that Working for the Mandroid will be participating in its first author blog tour during the month of October.  We will also be participating in our second, third and fourth blog tour over the course of the next month as well.  No one has ever accused me of being an underachiever.

It starts next week with Richard Blunt's Lucas Trent: Guardian of Magic.  I'll have a review up on Monday, and the author will stop by for a guest post next Tuesday.  I just started this book and it looks like it will be an interesting YA title.  More about that entire tour can be found here.

I found out a little while ago that WFTM will also be hosting a giveaway and review of Bloodlines by Lindsay Anne Kendal as part of her blog tour on October 18.  The author might also stop by for a guestpost some time around then as well.

Then comes my attempt to break out of my angel rut with an adult take on the celestial creatures - Nephilim by Mary Ann Loesch.  We're the second to last stop on the tour with a review on October 27.  To see a list of the entire tour, click here.

And finally on November 2, as part of the blog tour for Devil's Hands by John ME Patterson, we'll have a review.  You can find more information about this tour here.

We're also participating in the Spooktacular Blog Hop scheduled October 24-31.  It's another hop hosted by the lovely Kathy at I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and co-hosted by Rhianna at The Diary of a Bookworm.  These have been so much fun that I'm eager to participate again.

 

So I think those things will keep me busy for the next few weeks.  Moving on...  random (and short) thoughts about SupernaturalTerra Nova, Starbucks, audio books and comic books.

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Random Tuesdays: New Shoes and Shiny DC Artwork

I intended to write a review of the mid-season premiere of Doctor Who today or a mini-rant about how Torchwood: Miracle Day is not really Torchwood, but we have bug guys here attempting to rid our home of little black annoying ants.  They've attempted to take over the house and have "The Ants Go Marching" stuck in my head for the last few days.  All of these things make it difficult to concentrate on rational thoughts of television.  Anyway, since it's Random Tuesday, I figured, let's go really random.

Meet my new shoes:

Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah CATWOMAN!

They are awesome.  If you'd like a pair, you can order them from Journey's here.

 

In other random, but quick, news, DC released an example of art from Batgirl #1.  Here's a small version.  Visit Nutopi Agency here to see the full sized image.

Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah BATGIRL!

Nutopi Agency also has the first page of Justice League Dark #1 and additional images from that same issue here.  I'd never heard of this site before today, but I've quickly grown fond of it.

 

Then of course, DC Women Kicking Ass has loads of art from the upcoming books on their Tumblr page, including some new Batwoman art.  I will do my best to refrain from getting my fangirl glee all over the Internet.

All of this is, of course, making me upset that I have to get up in the morning at a irrational hour for work and can't go have fun at the midnight release party of Justice League #1.  

 

And don't forget to enter our comic and reader swag contest.  It ends tomorrow!

 

And now back to my war with the ants...

Review: Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka & JH Williams III

Batwoman: Elegy
Greg Rucka (Author) & JH Williams III (Illustrator)

DC Comics
192 pages
Comics / Superheroes / Bat Family

Buy it from Amazon here

Just when I start thinking I'm becoming a curmudgeon with my bad reviews, I seem to always be saved by something like Batwoman: Elegy.  I think I finally figured out why it took me months to read this comic.  I kept opening it up to the first page and would become so dumbstruck by the absolutely gorgeous art that I would never read the words or turn the page.  The color palette of this book is swathed in a brilliant red and black scheme, a color combination pointed out to symbolize the colors of war.  And if the colors and drawings were brilliant, the panel layouts are mesmerizing, utilized consistently to contribute to the storytelling in a way I don't think I've seen before.  There was a constant sense of movement in the stationary images.  Fight sequences moved so fluidly across the page that my brain turned them into movie scenes instead of pictures on a page.  This book is EPIC!

Batwoman: Elegy compiles a seven issue story from Detective Comics, generally a Batman title, during the aftermath of Bats apparent death.  I don’t usually read capes-and-tights comics, so I don’t know how big of a spoiler that is, except I’m pretty sure Bats has “died” multiple times over the course of his very long history.  Anyway, it focuses on Batwoman, who stepped up to fill in during his absence (which makes the very brief appearance of a Batman at the very beginning a little odd).

Kate Kane, who is the current flame haired Batwoman, is my new favorite superhero.  She is sexy as hell and strong, but completely human and emotional.  While she fights for the safety of the people of Gotham City, she's also currently searching for the reason she was kidnapped and brutally stabbed a year before by a creepy cult called the Religion of Crime.  Of course being a crime-fighting vigilante superhero, she has a tragic past that repeatedly comes back to haunt her, but at least her father, Colonel Cane, is firmly on her side and acts a bit like her very own Oracle.

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