Five things I’m currently in love with

Like the title says, here are five things that I’m currently obsessing over:

1. The art of Patrick Connan (http://barbarianfactory.blogspot.com/)

Connan is a French illustrator and designer based in Paris who reimagines popular movies as gorgeous minimalist posters. I found his work after someone linked me to his Lord of the Rings trilogy works, inspired by chess pieces (above), but everything on his blog is worth checking out!

2. Nimona, a comic by Noelle Stevenson (http://gingerhaze.com/nimona/)

This is probably one of the best web comics I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading… and apparently others agree: It won Slate Magazine’s 2012 Cartoonist Studio Prize for Best Web Comic of the Year! It follows the adventures of supervillain Ballister Blackheart and his shape-shifting sidekick Nimona as they attempt to prove that the good guys aren’t as good as everyone thinks. Updates every Tuesday and Thursday.

3. This Middle Earth-inspired dress:

Found on this Flickr stream from DragonCon 2012, it was designed and created by user cressiebeth (scroll down to the comments). Stunning work and an amazing attention to detail!

4. Demobaza (http://www.clothing.demobaza.com/)

This is a fashion design team from Bulgaria, I believe, and their clothing is best described as “futuristic” or “post-apocalyptic”. I find some of their designs to be a little too strange for my tastes, but I love their concept art! I truly hope this is what everyone is wearing after the end of the world!

5. Hannibal, the TV show

When I first heard about this show, I was completely uninterested. I’ve seen Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon, and didn’t really want to watch a show about a guy eating people. But then I realized that it’s created by Bryan Fuller (who also did Pushing Daisies and Dead Like Me) and stars Hugh Dancy, with Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal. So I gave it a try, and now I’m addicted! I’d describe this show as both “gorgeous” and “creepy”, although certainly not for the faint-of-heart. And you should probably reconsider eating that hamburger while watching…

 

[Photo credit, in order: Patrick Connan; Noelle Stevenson; Matt and Kristy; Demo and Tono of Demobaza; NBC]

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Review: Iron Man 3

Here there be spoilers.

The San Francisco Chronicle describes Iron Man 3 as “[a] not-bad installment” in the Marvel universe. Compared to Iron Man 2, it’s a cinematic masterpiece. On it’s own, it’s an attempt to humanize the great Tony Stark; a decent attempt, but not entirely successful in my opinion.

But honestly, I just like the explosions and the cool suit effects.

What bothered me most about this movie* was the sub-plot of Tony’s PTSD after the events of The Avengers. The writers took the time to ensure that we, the audience, were well aware of how messed up Stark was after flying through that wormhole; he has anxiety attacks, nightmares, and the mere words “New York City” are enough to send his heart rate skyrocketing. A great way to show that Stark isn’t perfect, that there’s more to him than being a genius, billionaire, playboy, and philanthropist.

[* Rather, what actually bothered me most about this movie was the complete disregard for comic book canon, but that’s a rant for another day.]

Except there was no resolution. Tony talks about his problems with Pepper. He talks about his problems with Harley. (And can I just take a moment to dish some love on Ty Simpkins, who did a kick-ass job and held his own against Robert Downey, Jr?) But the point is that while he talks and talks, there’s never any healing shown. Stark saves the girl (well, the girl saves him, in one of my favorite moments of the movie), he makes a symbolic move to destroy his suits, and that’s it. The end.

[That said, the scene at the end of the credits seemed to be a humorous attempt of showing Stark getting some therapy, although Banner is most certainly “not that kind of doctor”.]

In terms of characterization, this movie just really didn’t do it for me. Stark was both witty and tortured, but never much more than a two dimensional character, and there wasn’t enough focus on Pepper for my liking. I may have been asking for too much, wanting a movie that balanced action with character development!

What did do it for me? Don Cheadle and Gwyneth Paltrow, both of whom needed more screen time to show off their total badass-ness. Jarvis, once again voiced by Paul Bettany, being the most perfect and witty A.I. ever. The final battle scene, where forty-two Iron Man suits went to battle against an army of glowing, thermonuclear soldiers. The Yinsen cameo. The opening music, which cracked me up and confused my 16 year old friend. Pepper Potts in the Iron Man suit.

Conclusion: I enjoyed the movie. Ignoring the inadequate character development, and the disregard of Extremis and Mandarin canon, it wasn’t a bad film. The action was good, the humor and witty one-liners were fantastic, and the effects rocked. On the production side, the directing was great, the acting was superb, and the plot was intriguing. I think I would have preferred to see a different story told here, but I’m content with the story I got.

My rating: A-

[all photos belong to Marvel, and were found via (in order) zap2it.com, mashable.com, and zap2it.com]

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What’s in a name?

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene II

I went ahead and changed the name of my blog; apparently “Geek & Sundry” is a phrase used by others, and I didn’t want to be associated with them. So now I am the Nomadic Geek, which I think is much more fitting.

 Me, sunburned. Hanauma Bay, Hawaii. March 2013.

I decided to start this blog because of a conversation with some friends on Facebook. I’d made a post about an upcoming trip to New Zealand, where I’ll get to visit one of the Lord of the Rings-slash-The Hobbit sets, and a friend mentioned that he was interested to read about my adventures. That’s right, adventures, plural. Because after a two week trip across the Pacific to visit Middle Earth, I’ll be jetting off to Wales to visit the home of Doctor Who and Torchwood, before heading back to the United States for San Diego Comic Con.

Three geek Meccas, in under three months.

But those who know me would say that this isn’t unusual; I rarely stay in one place for too long, and I have a bad habit of getting an idea into my head and then actually following through with it… sometimes with surprising results! In 2010, that idea-following took me to Antarctica, where I proceded to spend much of the next two years at either the South Pole or McMurdo Station on the Antarctic coast.

Sunset at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. October 2012.

Flinders St. Station, Melbourne, Australia. February 2013.

The first trip is less than three weeks away, but I’ll blog assorted geekiness until then. Next up, review of Iron Man 3!

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May the fourth be with you!

May the Fourth, aka May 4, 2013, aka Star Wars Day, aka Free Comic Book Day. Probably not a bad choice of a day to start a new blog called Geek & Misc the Nomadic Geek.

My friend Rue once told me that I was the geekiest person she knows. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was incredibly proud to receive that title. I like comic books and video games and science fiction and robots. I make an annual pilgrimage to the San Diego Comic Convention. I have very strong opinions about fictional characters. I am, in no uncertain terms, a geek.

Thus, a blog. About geek things.

And on that note, let’s talk about Free Comic Book Day.

The first Saturday of May is an international event celebrating local comic book stores. As the name of the event may suggest, comic stores around the world hand out a fantastic selection of free comics (made especially for FCBD) to anyone interested. There are parties, costume contests, sales on regular stock… it’s like Christmas for Geeks.

Last year, I introduced a group of friends to FCBD. They were (understandably) skeptical of what I was describing. They just give you free comic books? they asked. Are you sure this is a real event? It might sound too good to be true, but it’s not! To quote from the FCBD website, “publishers apply to provide comic books at cost to retailers, who in turn give them away for free”. Simple as that!

But the best part of FCBD is getting out and supporting your local comic book store. The last two years, I’ve visited Lee’s Comics in Mountain View, CA.

 Standing in line to get our free comics

 The haul: freebies, plus a couple of regular stock items that I’ve been wanting for a while

I was too distracted by the crowds and the comics to take more pictures, so I’ll direct you to a blog post from last year’s FCBD, written by my friend Pablo.

(And a very happy May the Fourth to you! But don’t party too hard on Cinco de Mayo, or this Monday may be Revenge of the Sixth…)

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