The Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings for April, 2008

by
Aloha Y’all! Catgirl Island www.catgirlisland.net & Clan of the Cats www.clanofthecats.com purr-sent a Mike Moon purr-duction of The Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings for April, 2008

Mike (the catgirles’ purr-ducer):

An Appreciation of Gary Gygax (July 27, 1938 – March 4, 2008 )

The late 70’s was an exciting time for motion pictures: from Star Wars to the return of Star Trek and zombies in a mall near Pittsburgh. Aliens landed at Devil’s tower, another in Metropolis, and a less friendly one hitched a ride aboard the Nostromo. In music Led Zeppelin was still together, the KISS Army was never mightier, punk rock had arrived, and It was a golden age of airbrushed album cover art. On TV I discovered Starblazers and Doctor Who. Independently published comic books such as Elfquest and The First Kingdom were changing that medium, and Syd Mead’s book Sentinel had a profound influence on my career path. In hobby shops, I found a neat box containing booklets, character sheets and unusual dice… in a game called Dungeons & Dragons.

Prior to D&D, I knew not of this thing called role play gaming. Sure, as kids we pretended to be cowboys or cops, and wondered if there is a monster lurking under the bed, but this new ‘role play’ game was revolutionary entertainment. when co-created by Dave Arneson & Gary Gygax in the early 1974- along with Jeff Perren’s preceding miniatures rule book, Chainmail, which Gygax would expand upon. Published by Gygax’s company TSR, Dungeons & Dragons would not only prove to be a phenomenon, but help inspire & launch new industries of gaming. After the basic D&D starter set. like many other who discovered the game, I was quickly searching hobby shops for more D&D books, modules, dice, accessories, and miniature figurines to paint.

The early 80’s was the zenith of my initial foray into 1st edition AD&D and in the wake of its popularity, many of us would later explore more wonderful RPG’s in a growing industry spawned by D&D. We would go on to enjoy other fantasy genre RPG’s such as Runequest, Shadowrun, Claw Law, L5R & Seven Seas. We played science fiction such as Mech Warrior, Warhammer, Cyberpunk & Star Trek… horror games like Vampire the Masquerade & Call of Cthulu. From espionage of the James Bond game & super heroics of Champion to the versatility of GURPs & anime style of Big Eyes Small Mouth… where would it all be without D&D ? Were it not for Gygax and other innovators at TSR, how many subsequent games, books, works of art, product lines or entire industries might not have risen?

What career paths might have many artists, writers, and game designers have otherwise followed? I shudder to think of how many dear friends I might not have met, were it not for that hobby that has given us countless hours of creative fun and camaraderie. Even though a shiny new 4th edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons is nigh, to this day people are still avidly playing Gygax’s classic module B2: The Keep on the Borderlands, which is almost 30 years old. At Trinoc*coN I was able to thank Mr. Arneson for what he had wrought, but I never met or thanked Mr. Gygax. The next time I meet with my 3rd edition AD&D campaign group, before we roll those D20, we’ll raise our glasses to his honor. Hopefully, no more Saving Throws will be missed for a while.

An Appreciation of Dave Stevens (July 29, 1955 – March 10, 2008)

When 80’s ushered in a wonderful new wave of astounding comics book talent and independent publishers, Dave Stevens among the most notable stars. Where ever his beautiful work appeared at Pacific, Eclipse, Comico and Dark Horse, from his Rocketeer series to the many gorgeous covers he illustrated- I was there to collect them. Stevens’ award-winning illustrative and storytelling genius is comparable to other comics legends that preceded him such as Alex Raymond, Frank Frazetta, Wally Wood, Al Williamson and Milt Caniff. When my fellow admirers of of Good Girl Art & PIn Up Art fondly discuss our favorite such illustrators, you’ll hear his name mentioned in the good company of other masters such as Alberto Vargas, George Petty and Gil Elvgren.

While much of comics of the mid 80’s was obsessed with mutants, ninjas, and darker gritty violence, The Rocketeer recalled the soaring era of aviation in the 1930’s, and the golden age pulp heroes such as Doc Savage and The Shadow. Just as Speilberg brought Indiana Jones to the big screen, Stevens brought the daring Cliff Secord to a comics shop near you. To make things more even more titillating, Cliff’s girlfriend Betty tagged along to bring the cheesecake, based visually on the real 50’s glamour icon Bettie Page. Were it not for Dave Stevens, I doubt as many of us would have become re-acquainted Betty Page, and thanks to the efforts of Stevens and others, Bettie Page has in recent years begun to receive more financial compensation for her imagery.

Not only was The Rocketeer a superb comic book, but the cinematic adaptation is still one of the finest films to be based upon a comic book. Fortunately Stevens was as co-writer and producer of the big budget film, which was very respectful towards his comics. It is a thrilling movie with a great cast, high production values, lavish special effects, and will make you believe a man can fly (with a rocket pack). At the time in 1991, I thought it was the best live-action movie based on a comic book since 1978’s Superman-The Movie. Years later there have been lots of live-action and animated movie & TV adaptations of comic books, foreign & domestic- some good, some bad- but The Rocketeer is still among my top ten favorites.

Dave Stevens was not only one of the most gifted artists who has had a tremendous influence on others, but when I had the honor of once meeting him at a convention, he was a most kind and pleasant gentlemen who was so gracious and appreciative of us fans. He may have gone on to that great big drawing board in the sky, but here on Earth is left his peerless legacy of story and art that will endure to entertain and inspire future generations of fans, writers, artists, and rocket men. His official web site is at http://www.davestevens.com/

An Appreciation of Sir Arthur C. Clarke (December 16, 1979 – March 19, 2008

Growing up as a fan of science fiction across the mediums, watching the motion picture 2001: A Space Odyssey and reading the works of Arthur C. Clarke were a must. The film is not only one of the most important in science fiction, but one of the greatest films of all time. For 2001’s original screenplay Clarke was nominated The Oscar. The sequel 2010: The Year we Make Contact is a solidly entertaining, captivating tale of space exploration, with a magnificent cast, ingeniously designed technology, and breathtaking visual effects.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke was among my list of the most notable authors to read, and although I have not yet sampled all of his books, I did go on to the Space Odyssey series, Childhoods End, Earthlight, The Deep Range, Dolphin Island, Rendezvous with Rama, The Fountains of Paradise, The Songs of Distant Earth, and the Nine Billion Names of God. Childhoods End is one of the most chilling novels I’ve ever read. Rendezvous with Rama and The Fountains of Paradise won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s contributions have benefitted the world during times of war and peace, as he served in the RAF during World War Two, after which he was credited as a significant advocate for the concept of geosynchronous satellites. The geostationary orbit above the Earth’s equator for satellites is referred to as the Clarke belt. The Apollo 13 command module, Mars Odyssey orbiter asteroid 4923 Clarke, and even a species of dinosaur Serendipaceratops arthurcclarkei, are named after him.

He held prestigious positions in numerous organizations and received many accolades. Among these, he received the CBE and was knighted in 1989, nominated for the Nobel peace Prize in 1994, and received Sri lanka’s highest civilian award the Sri Lankabhimanya in 2005. Two major awards have been named in his honor, The Sir Arthur Clarke Award for the space industry, and the Arthur C Clarke award for Best British science fiction novel.

Here are a few web sites at which you can learn more about the magnitude of his cultural and scientific impact. Wikipedia is a fun encyclopedic starting point for many subjects, and the article on Clarke is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_C._Clarke which has links to other sites about the man. The Internet Movie Database has a listing of his film & TV credits at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0002009/ The official site for the Sir Arthur Clarke Award is at http://clarkeawards.org/ the official site for the Arthur C Clarke award is at http://www.clarkeaward.com/ and the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation web site is at http://www.clarkefoundation.org/

And now, on with the show…

Mike:
Welcome back! Today’s show is coming from Catgirl Island’s Susanowa Beach, where it’s a lovely Spring day here on the Carolina coast! And here are the ladies of The Mew-

Elizabeth:
(wearing an emerald string bikini) Hi Hi!

Jeannie:
(wearing a peachy halter top & Plumeria print board shorts) Hello everybody!

Mary Nyan:
(wearing an eggplant colored cut-out mailot) Aloha y’all!

Yvonne:
(wearing a hot pink tankini while napping, tail twitching as she mumbles in her sleep) nya… more fish… (drool)

(The other three catgirls in unison):
WAKE UP VONNY!

Yvonne:
NYA-I’M AWAKE!!!!

Elizabeth:
I’m surprised your loud Hawaiian shirt did not already waker her up, hee!

Mike:
Hey! (passes the snack platter to Yvonne) So, what have the ladies of The Mew want to chat about today?

Mary Nyan:
How about how a certain catgirl was out way too late last night?

Elizabeth:
Yeah!

Yvonne:
I’m sorry, nya! But we were reeling it lots of fish so tonight we can have grilled fish steaks, nya!

(The other three catgirls in unison):
THANK YOU VONNY!

Jeannie:
YAY! (offers Yvonne a drink)

Mike:
Well then I’d better run to the store to get things for tonight then (starts to make a shopping list)

(all four catgirls in unison)
THANK YOU MIKE, NYA!

While Mike’s Away…

Elizabeth:
Purr-haps we could let Vonny doze a bit longer then… while he’s gone to the store!

Yvonne:
(yawn) Hai… Myayr can talk for two of us… nyaa…

Mary Nyan:
Ha ha.

Jeannie:
That is because of your eloquennce and thoroughness. Why were you not on the boat with Vonny?

Mary Nyan:
Lizzy and I were busy at the shrine… what were you up to last night Jennyjen?

Jeannie:
My belly dance class was purr-forming at the convention center.

Elizabeth:
Doh- that’s right that was last night! We missed it!

Jeannie:
It was a good crowd and after the show, we had cocktails. What are your weekend plans?

Mary Nyan:
The mewsual- shrine stuff and the hula class!

Elizabeth:
I’ve got Shrine stuff to do, and maybe going out on Vonny’s boat or for a run. You?

Jeannie:
The morning yoga and the afternoon my D&D group meets again after two months. We will eat out and then play most of the night. Sunday, I will purrobably exercise and garden and get sleep for the Monday photo shoot at the waterfall.

Elizabeth:
What is your character in the D&D game?

Jeannie:
Linina is a Paladin with a high armor class, magic sword, deadly longbow, and a wonder horse. Before we resumes the game, we must level up and review the prior session.

Mary Nyan:
Speaking of reviews, purr-haps we should start this month’s discussion! Purr-haps we’ll be done by the time Mike returns!

… the Cats Will Stray (off topic)

Yvonne:
Ah… we don’t have nearly as many reviews this month ’cause we’ve been more focused on watching basketball.

(All four catgirls in unison)
GO TARHEELS!

Jeannie:
Speaking of sports, I found another good surfing book: The Girl’s Guide to Surfing, written by Andrea McCloud during a surf safari in Central American countries. It has comments by several famous surfers and is cutely illustrated by Symbolon http://www.symbolon.jp/ This144 page trade paperback book was published by Chronicle Books in 2005, It covers the history of the sport, waves; types of boards, garments, equipment and useful items; the stance, maneuver techniques; travel tips, etiquette,and safety. There is a list of useful resources and a thorough glossary of terminology. This would be a very good book for a surfing collection!

Yvonne:
I would like to read that soon, nya!

Mary Nyan:
Um… That sounds like a marvelous book, but I should remind y’all that Mike cautioned us about straying from the intended genres of science fiction, fantasy & horror with our discussions!

Jeannie:
But he is not here right now, is he? Hee! (tail swishing, kitty fang gleaming devilishly)

Elizabeth:
While Mike’s away the catgirls play- heehee! (also mischievous)

Yvonne:
(sternly) HE’S AWAY ‘CAUSE HE’S GETTING US FOOD AS USUAL, NYA!

(Lizzy & JenJen in unison)
Good Point. WE’RE SORRY! (ashamed ears droop)

Elizabeth:
Um… that was very sad mews about Dave Stevens, Gary Gygax, and Arthur C. Clarke.

Jeannie:
Purr-haps we should discuss their important creations.

Mary Nyan:
Will these be a lightning round or a thorough discussion?

Elizabeth:
Vonny seems to be waking up!

Yvonne:
(big kitty yawn, stretches, tail sticks out, smacks lips) Nyaaa…!

Jeannie:
Since Vonny is barely awake yet, it should be the quick lightning round.

Yvonne:
What are we doing, nya?

Elizabeth:
A couple of lightning rounds to get us going, Vonny! The first one will be…

Lightning Round #1: Purr-taining to Arthur C. Clarke

Lightning Round Go! (tags Mary Nyan)

Mary Nyan:
2001: A Space Odyssey is one of the greatest movies of all time, and one of the ten most important science fiction films in my opinion! (tags Jeannie)

Jeannie:
I hope there will be a good movie version of Childhood’s End. There was one attempt years ago that Neal Adams did conceptual art for but it did not launch. (tags Elizabeth)

Elizabeth:
Mike Oldfield’s The Songs of Distant Earth, based upon the novel, is one of my favorite new age concept albums. It’s very purretty mewsic, and the disk has some fun computer games on it too! (tags Yvonne)

Yvonne:
(almost fully awake) I like satellite dishes, nya… so is Arthur C. Clarke one of the people to thank for that device, nya?

Jeannie:
Based the upon the purr-evious purr-posals of earlier Russian rocket scientists, in 1945 Clarke purr-dicted geosynchronous communications satellites for the purr-pose of relaying radio signals around the world, so he is often credited as the inventor of communications satellites.

Yvonne:
So when did those happen, nya?

Jeannie:
The first satellites were launched in the 1950’s, with geosynchronous orbital communications satellites launched in the 1960’s, that would later purr-vide satellite television. If I am not mistaken, it was in the 1970’s when you could get a home TV satellite dish.

Mary Nyan:
Um, getting back on topic… Vonny, aside from your fondness of the dish, do you have a favorite work by Arthur C. Clarke?

Yvonne:
Hai- I liked Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World, nya!

Mary Nyan:
Okay…

Jeannie:

Next?

Elizabeth:
Lightning Round #2: The Catgirls’ Favorite D&D Purroducts

Lightning Round Go! (tags Jeannie)

Jeannie:
The 1st edition AD&D core books of the Player Handbook, Monster Manual and Dungeon Master Guide are my favorites! They had all the information I needed to play. The illustrations were good, an I think the cover of the Player’ Handbook is a very iconic image for gamers. I was also very pleased with the 3rd edition books, which were handsomely designed and which greatly renewed my interest in the game! (tags Mary Nyan)

Mary Nyan:
I’ll always be sentimental of those basic game modules that I first played, but I was even more impressed by how modules G1-3, D1-2 and Q1 could be played as individual adventures or as a linked, serialized adventure over many sessions! Early dungeon crawls were fun, but I definitely preferred longer campaigns, in which our characters and stories could be greatly developed. (tags Elizabeth)

Elizabeth:
Hmm, I thought the big fold-out World of Greyhawk maps were neat supplements, and how about that vast Undermountain boxed set? I was very impressed with the detail the writers and designers would devote to world-building. Ok Vonny finish this category!

Yvonne:
I like to collect and paint the miniature game figures with detailed colorful costumes, nya! And miniature ponies- which seem to be the closest I’ll get to owning a Water Horse or a banker Pony, nya!

Jeannie:
Some of those figures are barely wearing costumes!

The Catgirls’ Pajamas

Elizabeth:
You’re one to talk, given some of the skimpy outfits you’ve been known to model or belly dance in, hee!

Jeannie:
It is no worse than what I have seen you wear to hot salsa dance! Some of Myayr’s costumes are not modest either!

Mary Nyan:
Aw come now- we wear less than that to the beach on any given day!

Yvonne:
Yes but you’re the only one of us that has worn a chain mail bikini like on my miniatures, nya!

Elizabeth:
That must be cold!

Mary Nyan:

It is, and heavy too- but that’s a sacrifice I make for my cosplay!

Yvonne:
You should have got the magic kind that gives you resistance to cold elements, nya!

Mary Nyan:
You know, once I cosplayed Diana the Acrobat from the D&D cartoon! At least her outfit was light weight.

Jeannie:
I remember that you won a purrize for the purrformance because you demonstrated the gymnastics and aerial dance!

Elizabeth:

At least now we have gotten back to the topic of D&D!

Jeannie:
I could tell more about my paladin character…

Mary Nyan:
What does the character look like?

Jeannie:
Mike drew a pic of her… you an view it at http://catgirlisland.net/art/gallery1/22.html

Yvonne:
That is a very colorful costume on her, nya!

Jeannie:
It is a match of her purrsonality!

Elizabeth:
Purrhaps we should move along to the 2nd lightning round…

Yvonne:
What is the 2nd topic, nya?

Jeannie:

Lightning Round #2: The Catgirls’ Favorite Dave Stevens Purr-ductions

Ready?

(Lizzy, Vonny & JenJen in unison, gathered around the stack of Dave Stevens books Mike brought)
Hai!

Jeannie:
Vonny- Lightning Round Go! (tags Vonny)

Yvonne:
The Rocketeer stories, which were nicely reprinted ‘n collected in these books by Eclipse and Dark Horse, nya! JennyJen! (Tags Jeannie)

Jeannie:
These two poster-size books that Mike brought to show us, Just Teasing and Vamps & Vixens are a treasure trove of Dave Stevens’ art! Lizzy’s turn! (tags Elizabeth)

Elizabeth:
I have admired the images of Bettie- she is so cool! “Betty in the Bath”, “Bettie’s Budoir”, and the “Wow” poster are my favorites I think. Back to you, Myayr!

Mary Nyan:
I was also thinking more along the lines of listing individual illustrations more so than the books- there are so many favorites-

Yvonne:
Myayr’s gonna get long-winded and list a bunch, nya!

Jeannie:
So much for a quick lightning round!

Mary Nyan:
Ahh-! Hey, I’m not the one that strayed off topic earlier!

Elizabeth:
Just kitting, Myayr! By all means, please point out which ones you think are his finest works of art!

Mary Nyan:
I purrticularly like his Sheena art, such as… here (turns pages in the art book)… “Leopard Skins”, perched on a branch with panther, and here, “Jungle Goddess”, which was the cover to the Sheena 3D, oh and this one, “Amazon Queen”.

Elizabeth:
(points to the Vamps & Vixens book cover ) this is a lovley illustration of a jungle girl amidst such lush scenery.

Yvonne:
He drew good big cats- and bulldogs, nya!

Jeannie:

(turns to the appropriate pages) My favorites in this book are purrobably this one, “Space Vixens” and… “Hot Cargo”.

Elizabeth:
Those space girls are up to no good! I hope they got away with the cargo.

Mary Nyan:
Here’s the lovely “Rainbow’s End”, which was a DNAgents cover, this Vampirella pic “Back from the Grave”, and “Aurora’s Flight” from Alien Worlds #2! That was story he drew, written by Bruce Jones.

Yvonne:
When was that, nya?

Mary Nyan:
The Aurora Story? 1983!

Elizabeth:
That was 25 years ago!

Mary Nyan:
The year the Jedi returned!

Jeannie:
Look- at this- It says here that Brent Anderson and Bruce Timm were among Joe Chiodo assistant colorists!

Elizabeth:
Wow- they are all famous artists in their own right!

Mary Nyan:

Speaking of Bruce Timm’s work-

The Catgirls review the Justice League New Frontier animated movie DVD
but be warned, there are plot spoilers ahead!

Mary Nyan:
Justice League New Frontier 2 disk edition DVD! Adapted from the DC comics 2003 mini-series “New Frontier” by Darwyn Cooke, this Warner Brothers PG-13 rated widescreen movie is 75 minutes long. There are single disk and two disk versions available, and some stores have bonuses, such as Best Buy’s exclusive limited edition which comes with a little Hal Jordan / Green Lantern figure.

The plot: It is the 1950’s, a time of space race but still race segregation, sonic and baby booms, McCarthyism in Washington and the Rat Pack in Vegas, and soon a shiny silver age of super heroes. Before Earth’s greatest super heroes united to form the Justice League, they were either fugitives, retired, government controlled, or dead. Wonder Woman and Superman debate politics, Batman and The Flash hunt criminals while they themselves are hunted by the law; Hal Jordan survives the skies of Korea in hopes of reaching the stars, and manhunter from Mars who is green will try to win the hearts and minds of those who see ‘red’ behind every new threat. But in this atomic age of Elvis and television, from Gotham City to Paradise Island a mysterious evil force known as The Center is making its presence known. The police and military cannot stop it alone, but there’s a chance for victory, if they are unified with with the brave and bold few who wear mask, cape, and golden lasso.

The movie can be enjoyed with English or Portuges languages, and there are two audio commentary tracks. Track One is by executive purr-ducer Bruce Timm, supervising purr-ducer Mike Goguen, voice director Andrea Roman, dirctor Dave Bullock, writer Stan Berkowitz, and DC vice purr-esident Gregory Noveck. Audio commentary track two is by Darwyn Cooke! It stars the vocal talents of David Boreanaz as Hal Jordan, Miguel Ferrer as The Martian Manhunter, Neil patrick Harris as The Flash, Lucy lawless as Wonder Woman, Phil Morris as King Faraday, Kyle MacLachlan as Superman, Kyra Segwick as Lois lane, Brooke Shields as Carol Ferris, John Heard as Ace Morgan, Jeremy Sisto as Batman, and Keith David as the voice of The Center. This is a who’s who of DC comics characters, for also appearing- some but very briefly- are Robin, Slam Bradley, Rick Flagg, Iris West, Captain Cold, Gorilla Grodd (sort of), Green Arrow, Aquaman, The Blackhawks, Adam Strange, Abin Sur, and The Challengers of the Unknown. A montage at the conclusion of the movie depicts many other friends and foes of the Justice League to come.

Disk One’s special features include a 10 minute sneak peak at the forthcoming Batman Gotham Knight animated DVD, which is an anthology by different Japanese animators to be released in Summer of 2008. Commenting on this are Josh Olson, Gregory Noveck, Paul Levitz, Denny O’Neil, and Dan Didio. There is also a 41 minute documentary on the History of the Justice League, which spans the Golden Age of the Justice Society in the 1940s up thru the present Justice League comic books and in animation. The documentary includes many comics creators and experts commenting on the League, such as Michael Uslan, Bruce Timm, Paul Levits, Lein Wein, Roy Thomas, Mark Waid, Stan Lee, Marv Wolfman, Rich Fogel, Stan Berkowitz, Phil Cousineau, Dennu On’eil, Jim Krueger, Mike Carlin, Joe Kelly, Michael Friedrich, Dan Didio, Gregory Noveck, Alan Kistler, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Darwyn Cooke!

Many of those commentators also share insights in Disk Two’s 34 minute documentary, narrated by Malcom McDowell titled “The Legion of Doom: Pathology of a Super Villain” in which some of the the Justice Leaguers’ enemies are profiled, and comparing their comic book versions to the animated versions. Also on Disk Two is a 10 minute look at the animated New Frontier, narrated by Darwyn Cooke, who compares it to the comic book it is adapted from. Finally on Disk Two are three bonus episodes of Justice league Unlimited, which were previously released on the JLU DVDs. They are “Dark Heart” written by Warren Ellis & directed by Dan Riba, “To Another Shore” written by Dwayne McDuffie and directed by Dan Riba, and “Task Force X” written by Dwayne McDuffie and Darwyn Cooke, directed by Joaquim Dos Santos!

As a big fan of the animated Justice league Unlimited, I was surprised and delighted to learn that there would be an animated adaptation of this excellent comic book, especially with Bruce Timm producing it. I eagerly purr-chased the 2 disk edition and wasted no time in watching the movie. Although it seems too short and too quickly paced, I thought this was a very good movie, and the animation is excellent and the voice cast is terrific. . I wish it slowed down and run a bit longer to better develop more ambience of Gotham, Central City, Metropolis, and Las Vegas of that Cold War era, and devoted more time to showing us the lives of those heroes. It’s a quick 75 minutes, however, what you do get is quite thrilling and there were many heroic moments to cheer at

It was very interesting to watch Disk Two’s Homage to the New Frontier, narrated by Darwyn Cooke, in which he compares & contrasts the animated version with the original comic book. He mentions parts of the book that he wish had been animated, and I concur. These include The Losers discovering Dinosaur island during World War Two, a young Hal meeting Chuck Yeager, more of John Henry,
Ted ‘Wildcat’ Grant’s prizefight, and other gems. Although this does not seem to be in the same continuity of the animated Justice league Unlimited, or the 90’s Batman, Superman, Static Shock, or Batman Beyond, it was so nice to see this movie focus so much on Hal, who was barely glimpsed in those other animated series. If you are a fan of the Justice League, Darwyn Cooke, Bruce Timm, Andrea Romano, Hal Jordan or super heroes in general, then I would recommend this fine DVD!

The Catgirls review H20- Just Add Water

Elizabeth:
That was a very thorough review as usual, Myayr- a lot more detailed than the little review I have!

Jeannie:
What is your review, Lizzy?

Elizabeth:
I would like to say a few kind words about the wonderfully fun show that recently began airing on Nickelodeon, H20- Just Add Water! It is an Australian TV series exported to the US in March. The purr-emis is that three Aussie teenage girls Emma, Rikki and Cleo, portrayed respectively by Claire Holt, Phoebe Tonkin, and Cariba Heine, who live on the Gold Coast can transform into mermaids when they are in the water. They have other super powers, which they got in a moonlit magical pool on a mysterious island they were exploring, such as the ability to transform and manipulate water. Although these are wondrous abilities for the cute girls, these can also cause purroblems for them, and as in most modern mermaid tales, they attempt to keep their fishy sitch a secret. Cleo seems a bit more timid than her friends but is very compassionate and kind, and has a guy friend named Lewis who knows of their secret is interested in the scientific cause of their mermaidness. It reminds me a teensy bit of Charmed, in that there are three close girls with a magical secret, but in a more aquatic, coastal type show aimed at a slightly younger audience.

Yvonne:
There was an episode of Charmed in which Phoebe turned into a mermaid, nya!

Elizabeth:
Hai. And in the TV movie Sabrina Down Under, Sabrina the teenage witch mets some merfolk in Australia. Well this is yet another delightful mermaid fantasy show with a terrific cast, excellent purr-duction values, good special effects, lovely locations, and I would highly recommend this fun TV series! I purr-dict it will be a big hit for Nickelodeon!

Jeannie:
How do the fishy mermaid tails look?

Elizabeth:
They are excellent, certainly as nice looking as those others we mentioned, or like in the movies Aquamarine or Splash!

Yvonne:
Don’t forget the sequel, Splash Too!

Mary Nyan:
Do y’all remember the mermaids in the 2003 version of Peter Pan? They were very purretty- but very dangerous!

Something Fishy is going on as the Catgirls Water Down the Conversation…

Yvonne:
OK- new lightning round, nya! Favorite Mermaids- Go, nya! (tags Mary Nyan)

Mary Nyan:
Wait- do you mean any mermaids, including the ones we know purr-sonally, or ones from TV, movies, and print?

Yvonne:
Oh I meant the latter type, nya!

Mary Nyan:
I would have to say Madison in Splash! Although I purr-fur the first film starring Daryl Hannah, Amy Yasbeck’s purr-trayal in the sequel was good too! Go Jen! (tags Jeannie)

Jeannie:

I am a big fan of Ariel, Disney’s Little Mermaid. She has a cute daughter named Melody too in the sequel DVD. I read there will will be another DVD sequel later this year… (tags Yvonne)

Yvonne:
Oh I agree with those choices, nya… but let’s not forget about mermaids in comic such as Superman’s Lori Lemaris, Elfquest’s Waveriders, Tokyo Mew Mew’s Lettuce, and Sea Princess Azuri, nya!
(tags Elizabeth)!

Elizabeth:
I would also say either Ariel or Madison, but those H20 girls are off to a good start!

Jeannie:
I must see that show.

Mary Nyan:
There was a mermaid in beach Blanket Bingo, mermen in Madonna’s “Cherish” video… and I read about another recent mermaid movie titled Fish Tales, which will hopefully reach our shores!

Elizabeth:
The Chicken of the Sea Mermaid!

Yvonne:

NOW I’M HUNGRY AGAIN, NYA!

Jeannie:
The river spirits of Spirited Away… and Miyazaki’s next film Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea, which is about a Goldfish Princess.

Mary Nyan:
We could purr-obably go on all day discussing literary works, myths and legends of mermaids, selkies, narfs, nymphs and other undersea characters. We should purr-obably change the topic before we all need a fishy fix, but Jennyjen when does that new Miyazaki come out?

Jeannie:
According to my favorite Miyazaki & Studio Ghibli web site, http://www.nausicaa.net/, it will be a Summer 2008 release in Japan.

The Four Feline Female Folks Fondly Fathom Favorite Feature Films From 520 Weeks Ago (and then some)

Elizabeth:
Before we know it, the summer movie blockbuster season will be upon us!

Yvonne:
I think it begins a bit earlier every year, nya!

Jeannie:
Four of my favorite animated films are 20 years old this year: Grave of the Fireflies, My Neighbor Totoro, Akira and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?!

Elizabeth:
Those are all superb films!

Mary Nyan:
1988… hmm… my favorite movie of 1988 was purrobably Die Hard!

Elizabeth:
Mine was Dirty Rotten Scoundrels! My stars… 20 years old!

Yvonne:
Earlier you said Jedi came out 25 years ago – so what else came out that year, nya?

Jeannie:

There were famous animated films of 1983 as Barefoot Gen, Final Yamato, Fire and Ice, Only You, Rock and Rule and Twice Upon a Time!

Mary Nyan:
Well I can remember most of the science fiction, fantasy & horror films from then… basically by recalling what came out about the same time as Return of the Jedi, hee! And that was the year we got two Bond movies, Never Say Never Again, and Octapussy, although Never Say Never Again was not part of the ‘official’ Bond series. The Right Stuff came out that year. Science fiction films included… Oh Brainstorm- and that was filmed in here in North Carolina, Space Hunter, Metal Storm, Superman 3, Videodrome, Wargames, Warrior of the Lost World, and Yor- the Hunter from the Future.

Yvonne:
(big kitty yawn, starting to doze off again)

Mary Nyan:
Oh come on!

Yvonne:
(sleepy grin) hee- Oh I’m just tired and hungry, nya!

Elizabeth:
If Mike does not return soon, purr-haps we should take a snack break?

Mary Nyan:
I was almost finished! Some of the horror & fantasy films from that year included Cujo, The Dead Zone, Deathstalker, The Hunger, The Keep, Krull, Monty Python’s Meaning of Life, Psycho 2, and Something Wicked This Way Comes- (stares at Yvonne).

Yvonne:
I’M AWAKE, NYA!

Jeannie:
There seemed to be a trend that year of sword & sorcery and apocalyptic type films, which I suppose were inspired by the previous year’s Conan the Barbarian and the Road Warrior.

Elizabeth:
There were famous gun related quotes from that year. In Sudden Impact, Clint Eastwood utters “Make My Day” line while pointing his .44 at a thief. In Scarface, the famous Al Pacino quip “Say hello to my little friend!” and in A Christmas Story, Ralphy is warned “You’ll shoot your eye out!” were he to get the Red Ryder BB gun with the compass in the stock.

Mary Nyan:
Here is a Wikipedia link to a good list of movies from that year, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_films_of_1983 of course, you can go there and look up the lists for other years too!

Yvonne:
What were the big movies ten years ago? I can’t remember all that like Myayr does, nya!

Jeannie:
A Bug’s Life- that is another of my favorites!

Elizabeth:
I think Saving Private Ryan was an 1998 release.

The Insurrection- Let’s Begin The Insurrection- Look Out Sin

Mike:
(arriving with a cooler) Star Trek: Insurrection came out in ’98!

Yvonne:
Mike’s back, nya! What did you think of that movie, nya?

Elizabeth:
Catgirl needs food… badly! (points at Yvonne)

Mike:
Hmm? Oh Ok… y’all can have these snacks to tide y’all over ’til the cook out!

(all four catgirls in unison)
YAY!

Mike:
(handing out fish tenders and drink refills) Well… I think it’s the best of the Next Gen Trek films, but not as good as the first three ‘original series’ Trek films; those later ones just seem like 2 hour episodes and just aren’t grand enough and tend to be way to comedic.

(all four catgirls in unison)
ARIGATOO GOZAIMASU!

Able to Eat Tall Buildings in a Single Bound…

Jeannie:
1998 was also the year of the 3rd Mothra Rebirth movie.

Yvonne:
Which one was that, nya?

Jeannie:
That is the one in which Mothra fights King Ghidorah in a prehistoric time. Mothra is my favorite giant monster!

Yvonne:
Jenjen must like bug movies, nya!

Jeannie:
If they are GOOD bug movies!

Mary Nyan:
I like Mothra’s faerie priestess’ costumes! But Godzilla would be my favorite giant monster.

Elizabeth:
Gotta go with Kong!

Mike:
Would V’ger count as a giant monster?

Jeannie:
I suppose you could consider it a giant monster.

Mary Nyan:
Once again Mike attempts to steer the discussion back to his favorite film!

Mike:
It’ll turn 30 next year, you know. Besides, Vonny brought up Star Trek movies this time!

Thirty Something…

Yvonne:
So what movies turn 30 THIS year, nya?

Elizabeth:
Oh gosh hundreds of them, but of our favorites… Superman- the Movie comes to mind.

Mary Nyan:
Two of my favorite horror movies came out in 1978- Dawn of the Dead and Halloween!

Elizabeth:
Was that from ’78 or ’79? I thought it was from ’79…

Jeannie:
We should look that up!

Elizabeth:
I can’t remember if The Deer Hunter was ’78 or ’79… oh, let’s look that one up too!

Mike:
(handing out drinks from the cooler) The Wild Geese is one of my favorite movies- that turns 30 this year!

Yvonne:
Wasn’t Roger Moore in that, nya?

Mike:
Yep- it came out between 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me and 1979’s Moonraker.

Yvonne:
I liked The Spy Who Loved Me, but Moonraker was way too silly.

(all four catgirls and Mike in unison)
Agreed!

Moonraker, Don’t You Mess Around With Me

Elizabeth:
Hey I have an idea for another Lightning Round!

Mary Nyan:
What is the topic?

Elizabeth:
Lightning Round- say something good about Moonraker- GO!

Yvonne:
I liked that Glastron power boat, nya! (tags Jeannie)

Elizabeth:
It had a fine cast of excellent actors- even Drax’s dogs. It’s a shame they ‘de-fanged’ Jaws to the point of buffoonery… I like Richard Kiel! (tags Mary Nyan)

Mary Nyan:
Speaking of animals, although I hated the pigeon doing a double-take at Bond’s silly gondola, there were good special effects in that movie. (tags Elizabeth)

Jeannie:
I liked the mewsic score by John Barry! (tags Mike)

Mike:
Oh, there’s no denying the high purr-duction values and lavish Ken Adam sets- it did look like an expensive movie.

Jeannie:
Hopefully the next Bond movie will not be delayed!

Mary Nyan:
I hope they can use SPECTRE.

Yvonne:
So what is the next pending movie y’all wanna see, nya?

Elizabeth:
Iron Man!

Jeannie:
Pixar’s Wall-E!

Mary Nyan:
Oh yes- and Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian!

Yvonne:
And the new Indiana Jones movie, nya!

The Night of the Cowboy Bounty Hunters and Secret Service Agents:
Comments on the Cowboy Bebop Remix Complete Collection and The Wild, Wild West Complete Fourth Season DVDs

Mike:
So… were y’all all done with any reviews for this month? If so, I have one to add!

Yvonne:
Oh gosh I forgot I do have a DVD comment, nya!

Jeannie:
Tell us the comment!

Jeannie:
Well it won’t be as long-winded as one of Myayr’s but-

Mary Nyan:
Ahh–!

Yvonne:
I would like to greatly recommend the Cowboy Bebop Remix Complete Collection, nya! This has 6 disks with the complete 26 episodes- but not the movie- remastered in 5.1, which you can watch with either English or japanese language, nya. There is a bonus episode “session 0” plus staff interviews and comments, nya. I’m not sure but I think this edition is the first time you could purrchase the complete series in one R1 DVD box, nya. The purrice was around $40, so I think it is a good bargain for 650 minutes of one of the best anime series of the 90’s in my opinion, nya!

Elizabeth:
That was a very concise consume recommendation, Vonny!

Mary Nyan:
long-winded?

Jeannie:
She meant thorough and eloquent.

Elizabeth:
So what do you have, Mike?

Mike:
My review is of The Wild Wild West Complete Fourth Season DVD, but I doubt I can be as thorough as one of Myayr’s reviews! This 6 disk set includes the complete, final 1968-69’s season’s 24 full-color episodes. The team of Robert Conrad and Ross Martin continue to deliver brilliant performances, although this was the season that Martin missed several episodes due to health problems. As a result the character of Artemus Gordon was temporarily written out of the show, with Atremus said to be on a special assignment in Washington while James West was given three different partners, played by William Schallert, Alan hale Jr. and Charles Aidman. One other difference in the final season was the only 2 part episode, “Night of the Winged Terror”. Like the prior three season, the show still offered the terrific thrills amidst lovely sets, rugged Western locations, gadgets, stunts, and interesting villains. Other fine actors guest starring in this season include Lana Wood, Sherry Jackson, William Marshall, Harvey Korman, Kevin McCarthy, Ted knight, Jim Backus, Jackie Coogan, Bernard Fox, Jack Carter, Charles Macauley, Pat Paulson, and Michael Dunn making his final appearance as Dr. Miguelito Loveless. I wonder if the two reunion movies will be released on DVD? This will definitely be a favorite part of my April DVD viewing!

Ape Purr Reel Fools Day

Elizabeth:
Given that April is notorious for April Fools’ Day, purr-haps we tell a few jokes?

Yvonne:
Yay joke time, nya!

Mary Nyan:
Hmm… what about kitty riddles?

Jeannie:
I want to hear Mike tell the first joke.

(all four catgirls look at Mike, ears perked and tails swishing intently in anticipation of being entertained)

Mike:
Oh Ok, gather ’round. One dark stormy night, Kit and Kat were driving to a convention when they had a flat tire-

Elizabeth:
wait a minute…

Mike:
– which they can’t fix ’cause they have no spare, so they go to a nearby farm house for help and-

Jeannie:
(gasp) He mustn’t!

Yvonne:
nya?

Mike:
-the farmer lets them in out of the rain, and after they dry off, they sit down for a hot meal as the farmer tells them-

Mary Nyan:
MIKE’S TELLING THE PURPLE GORILLA JOKE- MAKE IT STOP!

Mike:
– well yeah, uh, y’all did want me to tell a joke?

Mary Nyan:
BUT NOT THAT ONE!

Yvonne:
um, why did you stop the joke, nya?

Jeannie:
Vonny has never heard the infamous Purr-ple Gorilla Joke?

Elizabeth:
Trust us Vonny, you should not endure it!

Yvonne:
Now I am curious, nya!

Mary Nyan:
Look, we’ll tell you about it later, but had he gone on… and on with that joke, it would be a long time before we got to-

The Mew’s Monthly 13 Lucky Kitty Web Comic Picks of the Litter

Elizabeth:
My three picks are: Sorcery 101 http://sorcery101.net/
Come to Believe http://www.aleighjones.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=253
and A Girl and her Fed http://agirlandherfed.com/
Go, Jen!

Jeannie:
Thank you Lizzy! I have selected Willrad http://www.willrad.com/
A World Like My Own http://www.aworldlikemyown.com/
and Furmentation http://xodin.comicgenesis.com/
(tags Vonny)

Yvonne:
Yay my turn, nya! Cafe Stripe Sapporo Manga Cafe http://www.s-mangacafe.com/
Niki Lemonade’s My Fake Heart http://myfakeheart.smackjeeves.com/
and Lizzy http://comics.cyberneticevilstudios.com/
-no relation to our Lizzy, nya!

Mary Nyan:
For this month I’ve chosen Fruet http://mippi.jp/fruet/fruet/
Pascal’s Divide http://pascalsdivide.comicgenesis.com/
and Myk’s Restaurant http://restaurant-comic.com/
-and now Mike gets the final pick of the month!

Mike:
Last but not least, I’d like to nominate The Surreal Adventures of Edgar Allan Poo
http://www.drunkduck.com/The_Surreal_Adventures_of_Edgar_Allan_Poo/index.php
So I reckon that’ll do it for this month!

The Cat Lady Sings…

Yvonne:
So when do I get to hear that joke, nya?

Mike:
Any time!

Elizabeth:
You should receive a large salmon steak dinner if you listen to that joke!

Jeannie:
That would be worth it.

Mary Nyan:
I would like the salmon steak.

Mike:
Er… well we are grilling fish tonight!

Elizabeth:
Tonight, yes. But what about breakfast?

Yvonne:


Are you going to buy us salmon steaks or breakfast, nya?

Mike:
Ahh… looks like the joke- and the dinner- is on me!

(all four catgirls in unison):
ITADAKIMASU!

Elizabeth:
The things we do for food! Next month will be our Mewsic Special, with special guests!

Jeannie:
If you have polite & sincere responses to our discussion- feel free to post them, purr-vided that your brief remarks are spam-free, not argumentative, and stay on-topic!

Yvonne:
Everybody out there remember to turn off your cell phone and not to talk, text message, or light it up during a movie in a theater, nya!

Mary Nyan:
Thanks for visiting- aloha and happy holidays everybody!

(all four catgirls in unison):
BAI BAI!


Tags: , , , , , ,

4 Responses to “The Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings for April, 2008”

  1. doc Says:

    hey this is doc from the itunes podcast: Heroes of Science Fiction and Fantasy, very nice article. Found this off of a google alert. I agree with many things in the article(can’t wait for Ironman, nice info on the Wild Wild West, i watched starblazers when i was young-went all summer long, Played Dungeon&Dragons-Champions-Traveler-Mech Warrior-Star Fleet Battles, and agree with your feelings on the Star Trek movies. Heroes of Science Fiction and Fantasy was exibited at Wondercon 2008 and have many interviews on tap from it. website http://www.heroesofsciencefictionandfantasy.com voicemail 1-206-333-1297 e-mail doc@heroesofsciencefictionandfantasy.com

  2. Jen Jen Says:

    Aloha, Doc. Thank you so very much for visiting the Mew, and for your comments. Purr-haps we will check out your site and podcast soon. Keep on Trekkin’!

  3. Dan Hager Says:

    Hello Mew-sers,
    Or should I say mew-ses? Anyways, you gals sure know your fandom! It’s always fun reading the mew. I remember buying AD&D materials in the Stars and Stripes Bookstores in army bases overseas, despite my parents worry that satanism would be the result. Years after, I found the original D&D and AD&D books in used bookstores. Man, the art in those was great. It looked out of control, somehow, more like heavy metal album art than the fantasy book covers in the bookstores.

  4. Mike Says:

    Thank you for the kind & supportive words again, Dan! Actually as my creative ‘mewses’, those chatty catgirls have told me that they prefer to be referred to collectively as ‘the ladies of The Mew’. Fortunately their parents had WISDOM stats of 18, and therefore knew better than to worry about role play games – or games or books of any sort- corrupting their kittens.

    -Mike, the Catgirl Critics’ Purrducer

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