Let’s Read Comics: Mockingbird

dcmarvelHey, I get it.  Comics are hard.

Hollywood can’t seem to get enough superheroes and it would seem that I can’t either.  A few years ago, I wanted to go straight to the source to get my fix, but getting into comics can be… daunting.  Where do you start?  Do you have to start with #1? There are more than 10 different teams of Avengers?!  These are the questions that haunted me when I entered the fray.

In light of this, I thought I would start a new feature here on Fangirly where I try and help you read some comics by highlighting series that are easy to begin.  I am by no means a comic expert, but we can do break into this world together.

My first piece of advice on getting into comics:  Just jump on in.

The good news is that there are new series or runs starting up all the time, but I’ve also learned that you can jump into a series whenever.  They always give a suitable summary at the beginning of each issue and re-introduce characters regularly.  Also, let’s face it, the plots to comics aren’t that complex.  The name of the comic is usually the good guy, they are more often than not trying to save the city from a bad guy, and bad guys are distinguished by some sort of scar, snarl, or furrowed brow.

The most difficult thing about getting into comics is knowing which series to read, but only you can know the answer to that and you can only find out by trial and error.   If there is a character you like from the movies or TV shows, start there.  Go to a comic book store and browse for a character or even art that speaks to you.  Or even better yet, ask your trusty comic book store guy (or girl) for recommendations based on what you typically enjoy.  There is so many different stories, styles, and characters out there that you’re bound to find something. Soon enough, you will find your niches and be into comics!

mockingbirdFinally, on to my recommendation!

For me, I have found that my niche is sassy ladies who kick some butt, so I thought I would highlight my current favorite of that variety: Mockingbird.   This is a great series to help you get into comics because while the character of Mockingbird is not new to comics, this is her first stand alone series and it is soooo good.  The new series, written by Chelsea Cain with art by Kate Niemczyk, features agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Bobbi Morse who was recently injected with some experimental serums. As we know from other comic book stories,  that does not always work out well so Bobbi is being monitored by the S.H.I.E.L.D. medical clinic.  It is a lot of fun to see superhero medical pamphlets and cameos from some familiar faces in the waiting room.

Even more fun is the character of Bobbi herself, who is feisty, tough, but also vulnerable as she deals with the side effects of recent “enhancements”.  The series is “puzzle box” meaning that the issues will jump from story to story in a somewhat disjointed manner but ultimately culminating in an arc that will make more sense.  This could potentially be challenging to read as a series, but the individual issues are fun enough that it doesn’t bother me.  mockingbird2

I can’t recommend this series enough and really just more people to read it so I have someone to talk to about it.  Plus, this is a great series to break into because it is only 3 issues into the series, so go to your local comic book store or online comic reader and pick it up!  You won’t be disappointed (hopefully).

Do you have any favorite series?  What are you reading?  Is there one you want me to feature?  Let me know.

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The Fangirly Show: Episode #6 Fangirling Over the Best of 2015

Ellen and Whitney go through their favorites of 2015, everything ranging from books to music, movies and TV, performances and scenes.  We’ve got you covered.  Will Ellen go a full hour without talking about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?  (Don’t count on it.)  Will Whitney be able to overlook the swooniness of Oscar Isaac?  (Don’t put money on it.)  But still listen to find out.

You can listen and subscribe HERE on iTunes or you can go HERE to listen and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Totally Rad Pop Culture Items from My Childhood That I Wish I Still Had

Life is full of regrets, everyone knows that.  The following are my life’s biggest.

bsc1) Babysitters Club T-Shirt – This was so rare and awesome that even the internet couldn’t help me find it again.  Back in 1994, little Ellen loved her Scholastic book order catalogs.  Many of them featured a special offer at the back where you could join the Baby-Sitters Club Fan Club.  So exclusive.  So VIP.  I begged my mom for months and finally, she caved.  Among the membership benefits was the coolest t-shirt you have ever seen.  It was bright and colorful with hip phrases like “Best Friends Forever” and “Mary-Ann + Logan”, but worst of all, it was big enough on me back then that I could still totally rock it to this day.  Sigh.  This one hurts the most.

Dtv_romancin2) DTV Romancin’ VHS Recording – Back in the late 80s to early 90s, Disney Channel tried to cash in on the MTV cash cow and make music videos to popular songs using clips from their cartoons.  These music videos would often appear between their cartoons and sometimes they would air specials.  My favorite of these specials was DTV Romancin’ (also aired as DTV Valentines).  It had Chip and Dale dancing to Madonna, the cast of Bambi wooing to Lionel Richie’s “Hello”, and just about every clip of a phone from a Disney cartoon played with “I Just Called to Say I Love You”.  Needless to say, I wore this VHS out.

902103) 90210 Blow Dryer – I was far too young to care about this 90210 blow dryer, but I felt like the coolest 1st grader on the black when I would (attempt to) blow dry my hair with this beauty.  It doesn’t matter that it wasn’t a very good blow dryer, it only mattered that it was aqua green and purple and was emblazoned with that zip code.  In my head, it was the blow dryer that Kelly, Brenda, and Donna used.

full house4) Full House Michelle Scrapbook – Have you ever wanted to look at pictures of episodes of Full House?  Then have I got the book for you!  This book has it all.  Michelle gives all the dirt, like how Uncle Joey is so silly!  And how Uncle Jesse is so cool!  Did you know that DJ loves Steve?  Or that Stephanie thinks you are so “rude”?  (Mainly I wish I still had this one so that I could marvel at how obsessed I was with this stupid book).

beauty5) Handheld Beauty and the Beast Game – I blame this game for making me so easily addicted to games on my iPhone.  I was never great at your Nintendos and your Playstations, but even I could handle three buttons.  Dodge left, dodge right, and of course, “MAGIC”!  The premise was pretty basic, because those three buttons won’t allow for much.  At first you hide from the beast, but then you kiss him and then you hide from Gaston so that you can get to the beast and kiss him and finally, you escape the mob led by Gaston so that you can get to the beast and kiss him so that he becomes the “handsome” prince.  It’s a wonder that I ended up with even a shred of feminist sensibilities.

$T2eC16J,!)sE9swm(vm4BS!TdnQu5w~~60_356) Spice Girls Pin – When I was in fifth grade, one of my friends got this set of five pins that spelled out SPICE.  We divvied up the pins, each girl getting the pin with the Spice Girl that they most embodied.  See that “P” with Ginger? That was all mine.  Somehow, as a 10 year old, I was Ginger Spice.  Probably because I had the closest thing resembling red hair, was terrible at sports, and hated Posh.

little mermaid7) Little Mermaid Sheets – At the age of 3, I was so hard core about The Little Mermaid that it was a bit ridiculous.  I had the entire soundtrack memorized before I had seen the movie.  When I finally DID see the movie, I stood on my seat and sang along with the whole thing.  I mainly wish that I still had these sheets because I still have a twin bed and would SO sleep on these bad boys.

giga8) 101 Dalmatians Giga Pet – I was very explicit with Santa.  I am a Giga Pet girl and NOT a Tamagotchi girl.  Also, don’t even think about getting me a cat.  Apparently, this led Santa to a 101 Dalmatians Giga Pet because it was the same Christmas that the live action movie came out, and I was more than happy to receive my little demanding dalmatian.

photo9) Minnie paraphernalia – This girl had a lot of Minnie Mouse paraphernalia.  It is unclear as to whether this was due to an obsession on my part or on my mother’s part, who was buying all of it.  Either way, I loved Minnie Mouse and demanded to see her almost immediately upon my first arrival at Disneyland.  The item I most wish I still had that I cannot find is this tubular neon school folder, but I am pretty sure I wore it to tatters.

disney afternoon10) Disney Afternoon soundtrack tape – I loved Disney afternoon, but what kid in the early 90s with Disney Channel didn’t?  And almost more than the cartoons themselves, I loved the theme songs, mainly because of this cassette tape.  I may or may not have most of these downloaded to my iTunes.  And I may or may not bust them out on a regular basis.  And I may or may not be able to still do the breakdown on the Tale Spin theme song.  “Spin it, let’s begin it, bear and grin it when you’re in it, you can win it in a minute when you spin it, spin it, spin it. So spin it.  Tale Spin!”

What item from your childhood are you most upset that your mom talked you into throwing out?

Ellen

Jane Austen + Doctor Who = Best Thing to Happen to Me EVER?!

Jane TardisSomething you should/probably do know about me is that I am loud, proud, and unabashed fan of all things Jane Austen. And when I say all things, I mean ALL things. You have no idea how much bad Austen fanfiction I have read. Sorry not sorry. (Okay. A little sorry).

Something else that should be readily apparent from reading this blog on the regular is that I also love Doctor Who.  It’s just my cup of nerdy tea.

Now imagine my unadulterated glee when I read this morning that Mark Gatiss, co-creator of another Fangirly favorite (Sherlock) and somewhat regular writer for the good Doctor, has been teasing that he might do a Austen-centric episode.

I.  Would.  DIE.

I wrote enough papers on Austen in college to fill a book, I have read some of her books upwards of 15 times, and if Austenland existed, I would have my ticket. So, it should go without saying that this would immediately become my favorite episode.

Being a Sherlock fan, I know that Gatiss is a total tease, so this could all amount to nothing, but he also wrote the Dickens and Churchill episodes so this is not completely out of the question.

It can and should happen.  In fact, why hasn’t it already?

Ellen

Marry Boff Kill: YA Fiction Edition

If you are wondering why two non-psycho, full-grown dames would actually spend time reading Young Adult fiction, let alone deciding who among YA babe pool  they would marry, boff, or kill, then you are not alone.  At the risk of only further worrying our moms, we decided to bring you our MBK picks for our three favorite YA heroes: Ethan (Beautiful Creatures), Peeta (The Hunger Games), and Four (Divergent).

Whitney’s Answers:

josh_hutcherson_as_peeta_mellarkMarry Peeta: Two words: job security. Peeta is a BAKER in a post-apocalyptic police state where 90% of the population are two reapings away from gnawing off their own fingers. Even if he wasn’t totally dunked in Victor swag, he could pretty much guarantee me a lifetime of rolling in dough (pun fully intended). Also, this kid has been sent to almost-certain death twice now, and I think he finally deserves a pass. Guess what Peets’, the odds are finally in your favor!c654bf54d499db03330d9ff31f69d8b5

 

Boff Ethan: Hot? Check. Eager to please? Evidently. High School Graduate? Well, two out of three isn’t bad.

 

DIVERGENTKill Four: How do you like that, Ells? I’m gonna kill your YA soul-mate. I think this finally makes up for the time you let me make a total jag of myself in front of Zachary Levi at Comic-Con 2011.

 

 

Ellen’s Answers:

Whitney has this so clearly wrong that it is disconcerting.  I will be contacting the authorities after I am done writing my answers.

FourMarry Four:  The beautiful Theo James aside (look at how introspective he is), I have always loved Four (I have serious hang ups with name Tobias, so he is always Four to me).  When you read the books, you don’t even have to physically see him to know that he is a babe, you know?  He’s a Man, with a capital “M”, but he doesn’t take anything away from Tris.  You then throw Theo James in the mix and it is just the cherry on top.  The charming, delicious, delectable cherry on top.

eathanBoff Ethan: This is based on the following 1) I can’t both boff AND marry Four, so I chose to boff him 24/7, because that is how I imagine our marriage.  TMI?  I don’t care.  2) The makeout scenes between Ethan and Lena were hotter than those between Peeta and Katniss.  I get it Hunger Games was about more than making out, blah blah blah.  Social class warfare matters very little in this game of Marry Boff Kill, that should be clear by now.
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 Kill Peeta:  Look, I am Team Peeta before I am Team Gale, but I am also not a card-carrying member of Team Peeta.  I just prefer my YA heroes with a little bit more of a “take charge” attitude.  Frosting oneself to look like a tree does not qualify in my book.

 

Who got it right? Who got it wrong?  Who is reporting us to our respective local authorities?

Whitney and Ellen

Fangirly Exposed: Ellen’s Sexual Tension Workout Regime

"I've seen actual results with Ellen's Sexual Tension Workout" - Happy Lady on Bike

“I’ve seen actual results with Ellen’s Sexual Tension Workout” – Happy Lady on Bike

I am a glutton for sexual tension. That being said, I have decided to put that deadly sin of mine to good use.

In our family, we do this kind of weird thing, Whitney and I in particular. When there is something good happening, we tense up and rub our hands together in excitement. We have discussed why we do this and can only surmise that it is our way of releasing pent-up energy. Seeing as how the thing that we get most excited about is movies and TV, we do it a LOT when we are watching something. And seeing as we are hard-core shippers, we do it a LOT when there is any modicum of sexual tension on screen.

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