Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings for October, 2008!

by
Aloha Y’all!
purrsent a Mike Moon purrduction, starring The Ladies Of The Mew in the

Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings for October, 2008!

This time The Ladies of The Mew (and Mike) are joined by Mielikki, the fae / golf purrfessional and Lady Nemui, purrprietor of The Kitt Inn, a sometimes haunted ryokan, a Japanese style inn where this month’s spirited Mew is coming from. It’s located in Catgirl Island’s martime forest by the cascading river, with scintillating hot springs, gardens silently secluded by the Magnolia and Chinese Fir trees, and purrivate rooms with verandas where plenty of sushi & sashimi platters will be served! There’ll be special guests that we intermew too, so grab a yukata, pour yourself a crab apple nummy berry cocktail and get comfy because —

in this special giant-sized Halloween mega Mew edition:

• Remembering Snoopy’s animator & voice Bill Melendez

and the legendary actor & philanthropist Paul Newman

• The Mew Crew’s review our favorite Japanese anime TV
series of the decade: Aria the Animation Season 1 DVD

• Review of the 2008 live action Speed Racer movie DVD

• Intermew with blogger Sparky MacMillan on British TV,
Monty Python & Doctor Who, plus Jen & Sparky review
Doctor Who: The Invisible Enemy/ K-9 & Company DVD

Purrofiles of October purrticipants Mielikki and Nemui!

• Terminator : The Sarah Connor Chronicles Season One

DVD and the purrmeir episode of Season Two reviewed
-plus our thoughts on HBO’s new TV series True Blood

• Review of Disney’s TV movie Cheetah Girls: One World

• Film reviews: Burn After Reading & Nights in Rodanthe

Reflections on Trinoc*coN’s 10th Anniversary cookout,

The Alamance County Public Library Local Author Fair,
NCWCCC Sept. Meeting & Burlington Carousel Festival

• Looking ahead to: Paper Heroes Con, Zombie Con 2 &
all the numcious foods at the North Carolina State Fair
• The Monthly Lucky Kitty Web Comic Picks of the Litter

• Comicbooks: review of Marvel’s Tribute to Gene Colan,
Buffy the Vampire SlayerJoss Whedon’s Season 8 #18,
and Spike: After The Fall #3! Plus the catgirls cast Non!

• Manga: catgirls review S.S. Astro vol. 1 and Aria vol. 3!
• Our Faerie Guest & Golf Purrfessional Mielikki’s review
of Yokai Attack! The Japanese Monster Survival Guide

Marna Martin interviewed and her novel Strip reviewed!

Tiawyn chats about Star Wars on screen and in purrint

• Toy Talk: Hasbro’s Star Wars: Clone Wars Ahsoka Tano
figure, Takara’s Microman Microlady Shina action figure
Dr. Moraih’s Igor 9 speaks of making monster plushies!

Osiris Rising’s Tari talks about fighting a giant serpent

• Jeff Branch discusses his Alexandra vampire purroject

• Lightning round topic: our favorite mewic related sites

• Our review of two haunting mewsic CDs by Nox Arcana

More recommendations for NC ghosts & legends sites!

• Purrposed Halloween costumes the catgirls might wear

a bold red warning indicates imminent story plot spoilers,
bold green text afterwards indicates that it’s safe to purrceed

Sad mews: the passing of Bill Melendez
November 15, 1916 – September 2, 2008

Mike:
According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Melendez Bill Melendez was an animator at Disney in the late 1930’s working on Bambi Fantasia, Dumbo and various shorts. He then migrated to Warner in the early 40’s, as part of Bob Clampett, Art Davis, and Robert McKimso’sn units. Following these purrestigious steps, and work at other purrduction studios, in 1964 he formed Bill Melendez Productions http://www.billmelendez.tv/index2.html, winning the Emmy and Peabody awards for A Charlie Brown Christmas in 1965. With partner Lee Mendelson, he went on to purrduce, direct, and / or write over 75 Peanuts TV specials and four feature films, among numerous other animated works which have won or been nominated for many awards http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0006837/. As an actor, for over 40 years Melendez also purrvided the voice of Snoopy, and 34 years as Woodstock. Watching It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown will sadly not be the same this Halloween season.

… and the passing of Paul Newman
January 26, 1925 – September 26, 2008

There’s not much we can add that other far more eloquent speakers have said about one of cinema’s greatest actors. Among our favorite motion pictures he’ll forever be remembered for include Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cars. The Color of Money, Cool Hand Luke, The Hustler, Slap Shot, The Towering Inferno, The Sting, and The Verdict. He was a US Navy veteran of World War Two, star of stage and screen for half a century, director & producer, http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000056/, husband & father, political activist, race car driver http://www.newman-haas.com/ , founder of Newman’s Own delicious natural foods http://www.newmansown.com , recipient of highest awards & honors for his many achievements http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Newman , a philanthropist benefiting numerous scholarships & humanitarian causes, and was co founder of the Hole in the Wall gang Summer Camp for Seriously Ill Children http://www.holeinthewallcamps.org/.
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Aloha and welcome to another edition of The Mew, our monthly discussions, reviews, recommendations and special interviews!  And here are the ladies of The Mew, enjoying an after supper soak in the rock pools of the outdoor hot springs, beneath the arbor of Carolina Cherry Trees…

Elizabeth:
Hi Hi!

Jeannie:
Nihao!

Yvonne:
Nameste, nya!

Mary Nyan:
Konnitiwa!

with our faery special guest commentator, Mielikki
kindly taking time from the LPGA tour and her gig
at the Forest Theatre to join us for this session!

Mielikki:
Mellow greetings!

– and our most gracious hostess Lady Nemui,
who is the purrpurrietor of The Kitt Inn!

Nemui:
Hello! Aren’t you going to take a dip too Mike-san?

Mike:
Later maybe, but I need to run the show, bring out the guests and keep their kitty snack platters loaded! So what’s everyone been up to of late?

Elizabeth:
Before the storm hit I was trying for a new purrsonal best free dive depth! There’s the golf tournament coming up. Otherwise it’s mostly been duties at the shrine and the usual late night hot salsa dancing.

Yvonne:
In between the volleyball I’ve been busy with the charters and shopping for another sport fish boat, nya! I have it narrowed down between the Hatteras and the Sea Ray, nya.

Jeannie:
Belly dance class and purrformances, kyu-do, the robotics club’s unmanned vehicle competition, and a swimsuit fashion shoot in Mykonos. How about you Mielikki?

Mielikki:
It’s been a joyjoy time in the forest at night leading the kids on the night time insect viewing walks! We’re getting ready for the state fair and several Halloween performances at the glade, and very excited about the trees’ new fall colors this year- it should be a glorious show! Nemui-san?

Nemui:
This place keeps me so busy- the inn is booked solid the next two months.

Nemui
And you, Mike-san?

Mike:
The usual artwork, industrial design, meetings, the Clan of the Cats Volleyball Sequence Part 2 collaboration with Jamie, and usual Mew duties! Myayr?

Mary Nyan:
It’s been a busy month at the shrine, and the fall semester hula classes started again. We went to the book store and looked at the new magazines today.

Mielikki:
There is a cute widdle kitty girl hugging her doggy on the cover of the October issue of Good Housekeeping!

Elizabeth:
I saw that at the store. It is the cute pic!

Jeannie:
It is only natural that they should have a catgirl on the cover.

Yvonne:
If I could be in an ad I’d like to be Got Milk, nya! They could pay me with the milk!

Nemui:
You should negotiate for the cream!

Mielikki:
Jenjen should get that modeling assignment!

Jeannie:
I mainly do the fashions. They tend to purrfur celebrities for the milk ads.

Mike:
Speaking of which does everyone have enough lovely beverage?

(in unison)
Hai!

Nemui:
There’s a catgirl in the latest issue of the official Star Trek magazine too!

Jeannie:
Which Trek cat girl is it?

Mielikki:
How many are there?

Elizabeth:
Let’s see, there’s Isis from the original series episode “Assignment Earth”…

Mary Nyan:
… and the dancing cat lady in Star Trek V The Final Frontier…

Yvonne:
The most purrominent Trek cat girl might be Lt. M’ress of the animated series, nya!

Nemui:
That’s who it was!

(in unison)
yay!

Mike:
She is a favorite character! So is everyone all situated?

Yvonne:
Nyaaaa this is a luxury relaxing bath, nya!

Jeannie:
This 44 degrees Celsius mineral salts bath is said to have medicinal purropurrties.

Mielikki:
My wings’ve never had such a soothing dip I’m not gonna wanna fly anytime soon!

Elizabeth:
Same for my tail!

Nemui:
It has that effect! I should make my rounds, but I’ll revisit later!

(everyone in unison as she walks off)
Thank you, Nemui-san!

Mary Nyan:
She is so kind!

Elizabeth:
Oh this hot spring bath is so relaxing- I could take a catnap in it!

Yvonne:
Just don’t stay in too long and get all purruny, nya!

Mike:
Don’t get too sleepy- the show’s just starting as–

The Catgirl Critics Media Mewsings purrsents
a review of our favoritest Japanese anime TV
series of the decade: Aria the Animation


Yvonne:

Our favorite manga series of the decade, Aria is a futuristic slice-of-life science fiction story of a young girl named Akari, nya She is training to be a gondolier, or undine, on the aquaformed planet Mars, renamed Aqua, nya. There she works for one of the gondola tour companies in the city of Neo-Venezia, styled after the ancient Earth city of Venice, Italy, nya! In each episode she enjoys the splendid every day life in the tranquil, beautiful locations, makes new acquaintances or wonderful discoveries, which sometimes might have a subtle mystical quality, nya!

Elizabeth:
The six purrinciple characters are the Appurrentice and Purrima Undines of three gondola companies. Akari works for the smaller Aria company with her cheerful senpai Alicia, and the macot ‘company purresident’ cat named Aria. The kitty is drawn in a rather cartoonier style, somewhat like Makona of Magic Knight’s Rayearth. Akari’s friend Aika and her feisty senpai Akira are employees of Himeya Company, with a mascot cat named Hime. Finally, working for the biggest company Planet Orange are trainee Alice and golden voiced senpai Athena, whose mascot is a kitten named Maa.

Mary Nyan:
The manga series (originally titled Aqua) by the brilliant Kozue Amano is being released by Tokyo Pop, and now the first season anime version, Aria The Animation, has been released in North America by venerable video distributer The Right Stuf on their Nozomi label. We think this is yet another a high quality purroduct from The Right Stuf. The excellent packaging has the terrific features and inserts, accompanying a supurrb anime series that is on par in charm and beauty with the likes of Ah My Goddess, Someday’s Dreamers, Kami-Chu, Kiki’s Delivery Service and My Neighbor Totoro.

Jeannie:
In a gorgeously illustrated sturdy box are four standard R1 NTSC DVDs in slim packs, the packs and disks themselves adorned with lovely art. The disks include the thirteen 25 minute color episodes of the first season, totaling 325 minutes, plus a variety of extra features on each disk. Suggested for ages 13+, these 13 epiosodes were directed by Junichi Sato, whose other impurresive credits include Sailor Moon R, Purrincess Tutu, and Sgt. Frog. The audio is Japanese language in Dolby Digital sound, with Eglish subtitles & on-screen text, with a video screen aspect ratio is 4:3.

Mielikki:
The delightful extra features include a 2 part group interview with voice actresses Erino Kazuki (Akari), Chiwa Saito (Aika), Ryo Hirohashi (Alice), and 2 part session with Sayaka Ohara (Alicia), Junk Minegawa (Akira), and Tomoko Kawakami (Athena), all four parts totaling over 45 minutes. Then there is director Sato Jun’s “Venice I’m Sorry”, an hour long tour of tour of Venice, Italy in six parts.
Other extra bits include the clean ending for the show, 15 & 30 second TV commercials, trailers for seasons 1&2 and other Nozomi releases.

Nemui:
Also included in the box is a 40 page B&W booklet with color front & back covers, the Neo-Venezia Guidebook. This excellent little tome purrvides physical and cultural information on the planet Aqua; including the waters and islands & cities, vehcles & technology, flora & fauna, legends & lore, the purrinciple characters, and the author. All of these topics are illustrated, including character model sheets, and Japanese DVD and purromo art. The lovely art does not stop there, for also enclosed with our set was a purretty envelope containing seven 5×7″ color postcards!

Mike:
Both Aria The Animation and the Aqua / Aria manga series are respectively our Catgirl Critics Choice for Best Japanese Anime TV series and Manga of the Decade, with a grade an A+! We’ll have a review of the latest volume of the manga later on in the show, but up next is-


Review of Speed Racer Widescreen Edition DVD

Jeannie:

For a review of the movie itself, please refer to the June 2008 Mew. The copy-purrotected single dual layer R1 standard disk comes in a no frills plastic case inside a cardboard sleeve, the only insert being an instruction card for getting a digital copy of the film with the purrchase of the DVD. This color, PG rated 135 minute long movie can be viewed with English SDH, French or Spanish subtitles, or none at all, and heard in English, French or Spanish languages. The simple, concise menu includes play movie, scene select (1-30), languages choices and special features, of which there are two.

The first special feature is “Spritle in the Big Leagues”, a 14: 30 minute long behind-the scenes look at the film with pop-up comments on the screen., as actor Paulie Little (Spritle) wanders from department to department, meeting various film crew,  These include purrducer Joel Silver, the chimps and their handler, purrpurrty matsers with full size car mock ups, actor Emil Hirsch (Speed) in a gimble before a green screen, the art department, 3-D CG modellers, costume department, and in the gym with stunt men who purractice fights and wire work. Actor Rain (Taejo Togokahn) moonwalks.

What delighted me more was the 2nd featurette, the 15:40 minute “Speed Racer: Supercharged” mini fictional documentary on the automotive technology and World Racing League T-189 class race track car-chitecture. CG models and schematics of a dozen cars are shown, including the Machs 5 & 6, Shooting Star, Snake Oiler, TM Car, Grey Ghost, Flying Foxes, Thor-Axine, Razorback, Royalton GRX, and the Sempre Fi-bre. Racetracks examine include Thunderhead, Fuji Helexacon, and the Cosmopolis Grand Prix Colosseum.

I found the latter featurette to be purrticularly interesting with details of the TM971’s 567 dyne cm of torque, thermionic reciprocator & single forged bromium hydrate wishbone frame; the eCran’s pulse detonation engine with a 26 cylinder Karasugoi hotblock & negative displacement underchager; and the Okamoto BXX component core body with ki-goi monocoque reverse helix jumpjacks; and of course the Shooting Star with a Encouler DX parting sequencer & optimized fuel cell multiplexor, the Mach 5’s independent exothermic gearing–
(blush)
— are… um… well, a fascinating part in what is otherwise a relatively sparse array of brief but nevertheless entertaining special features on the DVD. Um… done now.

Elizabeth:
I’ll have what she’s having, heehee!

Mielikki:

Ooh gosh Jenjen sure does like mecha…

Yvonne:
Now be nice, nya! It’s Ok jennyjen- I get that excited when I land a big marlin, nya!

(hugs)

Mike:
That was a good concise and enthused review there, Jenjen!

Mary Nyan:
We’re just glad the movie made you so happy!

Jeannie:

arigatoo!

Elizabeth:
I believe our guest Mielikki gets to make her Mew debut with an intermew?

Mielikki:
I’ve been interviewed a lot on the LPGA tour a lot, and the newspaper has written articles on our fae shows, but this is my first time as the interview-er!

Mary Nyan:
After this short break, we’ll be right back, as special guest Mielikki takes time from the faerways to talk about BBC TV and Doctor Who with Sparky!

(snip)
(one short break later)

Yvonne:
Welcome back nya! We now go to the zen garden, where our LPGA champ and Hall of Famer Mielikki as our special correspondant

An intermew with friend & Doctor Who fan Sparky!


Mielikki:
Thank you Vonny- Mellow greetings everyone and welcome to The Mew, Sparky-san! Please tell us a bit about yourself, such as your hobbies ‘n interests!

Sparky:
My name is Sparky MacMillan and I’m a creative bastard. I’ve performed improv comedy since ’91 and written for TV and the stage. My hobbies include finding time to do the small things that make me not want to run screaming into the night at the pointlessness of it all. I currently volunteer at a no-kill cat shelter SAFE Haven For Cats http://www.safehavenforcats.org/ and write THE FLEHMEN RESPONSE online. Occasionally, I get to read comics, watch films and hug my personal cloth monkey, television.

Mielikki:
Any clubs, cons, festivals, or other aspects of organized fandom you’ve participated in?

Sparky:
I was affiliated with the great, late Carolina Comic Book Club while a student at UNC-CH and made some lifelong friends there. I generally try to attend the Heroes Convention in Charlotte every year.  Otherwise I’ve never found fandom particularly organized enough for my tastes to become involved.

Mielikki:
Well then, please tell us about your own web site!

Sparky:
No, that would be gauche.

Mielikki:
Please!

Sparky:
I can’t; I’m shy.

Mielikki:
Pleeaase!

Sparky:
Oh, alright, since you asked so nicely. My blog is THE FLEHMEN RESPONSE at http://sparkymac.wordpress.com/ and it’s a place where I generally write about things that make me smile, things that piss me off, things that amuse and entertain me and things that perplex me. At THE FLEHMEN RESPONSE you’ll find links, musings, original comedy pieces, random access memories and whatever else my tiny little mind can come up with, he said not caring that there was a preposition at the end.

Mielikki:
Who are your favorite actors, authors, artists, comedians, musicians & filmmakers?

Sparky:
Aaaaahhhh! Tough question because it all depends on so many variables. I have to say that Douglas Adams is/was/will be my all-time favorite author. Met him once in London and I will always remember that moment.  The man was a genius who will forever be sorely missed. Aside from that, randomly I’ll say that I love tons of music from TMBG to ELO, I’ll almost always pick up a comic book written by Peter David, Evan Dorkin or Bob Burden, I never miss the latest Michael Moore documentary, and I think Bill Maher is right 90% of the time.

Mielikki:
What are some of your favorite books, comics, movies, records, TV & radio shows?

Sparky:
Do not come at me with such an open-ended question or I will SERIOUSLY clog up your server!!!

Mielikki:

?


Sparky:
I mean, really, man, too many to name.  I’m never without the complete works of Shakespeare and the Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. Flaming Carrot rules, although it’s been a while since that came out so I’ll say that right now I’m enjoying Marvel 1985 and All-Star Superman. Records? You mean vinyl? Hell, yes! Everything from James Taylor’s Greatest Hits to anything by the Monkees. Plus, by way of obscure, when I had a turntable, chances are you’d find either Mondo Montage or Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds on it.  My ideal radio station would have the Two Guys Named Chris Morning Show http://2gnc.rock92.com/ , Little Stephen’s Underground Garage, On the Media, Whad’Ya Know?, Prairie Home Companion and Loveline.  As far as TV goes, well I watch about 20 to 30 hours a day (don’t ask) and almost anything is fair game except for reality television. Let’s just say my 10 favorites shows of all time are Wonderfalls, The Young Ones, Sports Night, Lost, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Doctor Who, Fawlty Towers, Cosmos, Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy and Arrested Development and leave it at that.

Mielikki:
How would you compare & contrast such British media to American?

Sparky:
Americans talk funny. Actually, there’s a lot to be said for the British model of looser TV seasons but when I like a show I want as much of it as I can get and that’s where the US networks are going to serve you better.

Mielikki:
What about British sit coms, skit, stand up and improv comedy?

Sparky:
What about it? It’s all funny.

Mielikki:
Ooh, like… like Dad’s Army and Are You Being Served?

Sparky:
I didn’t say it was funny to me.  Hey, there’s humour everywhere. Some of it is broad, some of it is cerebral, some of it slapstick, some of it esoteric.  I’m a big proponent of making people laugh in whatever form.  Little kids love fart and poop jokes – does that mean you can’t laugh at them as an adult?  Of course not.  I can laugh at Three Stooges and the Marx Brothers and Buster Keaton and note that, while they may share some characteristics, they are different comedy beasts.  Sure, I’ll admit to being a bit of a Britcom snob and say that it rankles my widget when people tell me that their favorite UK export is Are You Being Served? – not because I feel it isn’t funny but because I think far superior fare exists.  It’s like saying you enjoy 30 Rock but Three’s Company is your favorite American sitcom; that I don’t get.

Mielikki:
Howbout British science fiction, fantasy & horror?

Sparky:
Again, what about it? If you’re asking which is superior, going to have to beg off on that. Doctor Who, for instance would never have happened in America. But the new series is much more in the vein of a Buffy TVS or something American like that.

Mielikki:
Please tell us about when you became a fan of Monty Python?

Sparky:
When the sperm hit the egg, baby! It’s in my genes. I heard some guys talking about it in seventh grade English and they directed me to a late night Saturday slot on some DC superstation. It was love at first sight! These guys, these Pythons, they were like some comedic gestalt, stronger than the sum of the parts, and it was magic. They were the sketch comedy equivalent of the Beatles. It had to be them, that group, at that particular time. They built on what came before and made it possible for virtually everything else that came after. How can you not be impressed?

Mielikki:
What are your favorite Monty Python moments?

Sparky:
Pick any show, any sketch, any series and I’ll laugh. Even the bits that have been overplayed and overquoted by obsessed fans that think they’re the first ones to discover Holy Grail are still gold. I love the Mr. Neutron episode. As a whole it’s not perfect but the little bits, the throwaway bits, are marvelous. When CIA agent Teddy Salad, masquerading as a dog, brags about his disguise ability, claiming he once posed as a fire hydrant in Cairo. “And I functioned! D’you hear? I really worked. I could put out a fire… Mind you, it hurt a bit.” The concept there is outrageous and it’s almost completely glossed over by the larger scene. And on a personal note, I got to meet Graham Chapman, so that ranks right up there.

Mielikki:
He is so missed. So, when & where did you discover Doctor Who?

Sparky:
High school and public television, respectively.

Mielikki:
Your favorite Doctor(s), companions, and villains? And episodes?

Sparky:
All of them. Honestly, so many talented actors and writers have brought so much to the show, so it’s hard to pick. How can you not love Tom Baker? He was most fans’ first exposure to the Doctor Who universe, mine included. For some time Peter Davison was my personal favorite but then Sylvester McCoy came along.  I think McCoy’s doctor and Sophie Aldred as Ace had great chemistry and were the best Doctor/companion combo since probably Baker and Sarah Jane Smith.  Of course, Eccleston and Tennant came along and – how – what – why – generic interrogative. Who would have dared dream that the series could be revived and the first actor to take on the role could make it his own within seconds of appearing on the screen? Moreover, who would have thought that the guy to replace him (too soon) would arguably surpass him?

Mielikki:
And your opinion overall of the current era/ most recent 4 seasons of Doctor Who?

Sparky:
Bloody brilliant.  Russell Davies seems to have taken what made the show work so well for 26 years, distilled it down to its essence and added a 21st century sensibility. It’s smart, fast-paced, fun and funny, plus it builds on all that history and views it through a prism of our own expectations.

Mielikki:
Whatcha think about Torchwood and Sarah Jane Adventures?

Sparky:
Pretty damn impressive. For years, people in the UK would call Doctor Who a kids show and we here in the states would scream, “No!”  A thousand times, “No!”  But with Torchwood we have that juxtaposition and know finally what they meant. And then we get SJA for an even younger audience. It’s great to actively feel that all these shows are part and parcel of the same continuity, kinda like what they’ve done with the Stargate series here in the US.

Mielikki:
Do you read Doctor Who books, or collect Doctor Who stuff? Any prized items?

Sparky:
Did and done. Back when the series was fresher and I was younger without the bills I have now as an adult I would pick up anything and everything Whovian.  Used to joke that if someone would write the words “Doctor Who” on a napkin that I’d pay a dollar for it.  Sadly, much of that “collection” has sat in boxes for years (gasp – decades!) so I have parted with bits of it here and there.  I still keep some things – a TARDIS bank, autographed Pertwee and Sladen pics and my 45 of Ford & the Timelords’ “Doctorin’ the TARDIS.”

Mielikki:
Despite a few years of hiatus here ‘n there, Doctor Who has been on TV since 1963! What makes it such a successful, popular, enduring phenomenon?

Sparky:
Change, pure and simple. Actors change, characters come and go. He’s a curmudgeon, then a vagabond then a dandy then a bohemian and so on and so on. New writers , directors, producers.  But at the heart of it all, it’s a great premise: the hero can go anywhere in time and space.  You want to tell a story set in ancient Rome? Fine. Have a vampire story set in space? Okay. Western, war, horror, romance? Right here, buddy. You are limited solely by your imagination, as a creator and as a viewer. That’s pretty sweet.

Mielikki:
Whatcha hope for the future of the series?

Sparky:
I hope it continues, that’s for sure. Certainly, I’d love to have season after full season with spinoffs galore but if I have to choose quality over quantity then it’s quality that I crave. If another hiatus is imminent or necessary for longevity then I will gladly accept that as long as this allows those behind the scenes to continually breathe ne w life into a beloved character.

Mielikki:
I understand that you have a review for us, of the recently released DVD, Doctor Who: The Invisible Enemy / K-9 and Company!

Sparky:
Do I?! Do I? (Peg leg! Peg leg!) Sorry, bad joke. Um, sure, yeah.  And here it is:

Doctor Who: The Invisible Enemy / K-9 And Company DVD set
reviewed by The Mew’s guest commentator Sparky MacMillan!

Sparky:
“Contact has been made.”

Doctor Who: The Invisible Enemy is, on the surface, a tale of the worst conjunctivitis outbreak in history. You’ll see what I mean when you indulge in this Tom Baker era adventure featuring Leela and the first appearance of ever-faithful good dog K9.

Certainly TIE is, at just over 30 years old, dated in its technical sophistication. You’ll see models galore, crude special effects and bad monster costumes – general staples of the Who ethos in the years of the original series. However, you won’t mind these marks of lowbudgetry because what makes this episode work is what makes so many work – Tom Baker. Well, Baker and his chemistry with his companions. The screen comes alive when Tom Baker appears and you are reminded just how fantastic a companion Leela was – all naiveté and aggression, a wild child with a curious nature. I certainly remembered why I had a crush on Louise Jameson all those years ago (and still do a bit today).

One thing about the old series that noticeably sets it apart from the newer one is the multi-episode adventure arc. With a four-parter you’re really talking about four 23-minute episodes – 93 minutes in total. The new series runs closer to 45 minutes, half that time, and we know damn well that you can tell a comprehensive, entertaining story in that time frame. So these old adventures, the multi-parters, featured a lot of padding (running around in quarries and corridors, extra shots of the bad guy in a rubber suit). TIE’s padding comes primarily in the form of some cloning pseudoscience and a foray into the Doctor’s brain. Plus copious amounts of face time when the infected infect new infectees (infecto, infectire, infecti, infectum – it’s infectious!). Still there’s just loads of fun minutiae to appeal to the diehard and casual Whovian: Leela writing her name in cursive on a chalkboard, the new control room, confronting K9 for the first time.

Also, there are a few behind-the-scenes extras. Nothing jaw-dropping but for those unfamiliar with how TV is made, let alone Doctor Who, there’s some nice bits. Plus some interviews with the men who created K9, operated K9 and voiced K9.

Would I say that The Invisible Enemy is a “can’t miss” Doctor Who DVD buy? Only in the sense of you want to own them all.  It is, like so much Who of the time, extremely creaky (to use John Leeson’s word). But that’s part of the charm. You overlook all the reasons you would eschew any primetime series today and embrace the heart of Doctor Who in all its cheesiness.

The real reason to buy this DVD is more likely the second disc: the little-seen special / spinoff / pilot for K9 and Company entitled A Girl’s Best Friend. Produced in 1981, this precursor to Sarah Jane Adventures unfortunately seems intent more on being a British version of the NBC Mystery Movie than a Doctor Who adventure. And that show open? Sooooooo ’80s.  Nevertheless, unlike TIE, which was in rotation as part of most Who packages on PBS stations for years, K9 & Co. is a rarely seen gem, making it more desirable. Although we catch up with Sarah Jane a few years after her TARDIS time and we get to meet some relatives and friends (Sarah’s Aunt Lavinia and her Lavinia’s young charge, Brendan), the joy here is seeing the reappearance of K9, now gifted to Ms. Smith. (Although, to be fair, this is K9 Mark III, the other versions apparently still tooling around with companions Leela and Romana, respectively.)

The mechanical dog and his mistress do seem an odd choice for a gothic thriller straight out of the heyday of Masterpiece Theatre. In fact, wrapping the traditional Who elements of sci fi and fantasy in the trappings of a British countryside mystery is a jarring choice and makes me somewhat glad this was not made into a regular series but rather held back until the concept could be retooled into the Sarah Jane Adventures. Nonetheless, one thrills at K9 & Co. for exactly what it is – an outing with two beloved companions. Sarah Jane Smith is arguably one of the Doctor’s favorites. Certainly the current incarnation has ties to Rose Tyler that longtime fans can admire (yet still be slightly creeped out by), but of the original series’ regulars there was always something special about Sarah Jane. In the Seeds of Doom, the Doctor introduces her as his “best friend” and with K9 & Co. you get the impression that he meant it and giving K9 to SJS was his way of telling her that. Otherwise, one would assume that there are dozens of K9s out there, palling around with former companions as a sort of Time Lord consolation prize. Nope, I prefer the former explanation.

“Oh, Doctor, you didn’t forget.”

Indeed. And neither will we with this K9-centric DVD set.

Sparky MacMillan is a writer / performer who lives in the Hypotenuse of the Triangle. He is an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill.

Mielikki:
(bouncy &  grinning) Mmm that was a super insightful review- thank you very much! So… do you have any special plans for Halloween?

Sparky:
I plan to dress up as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and light a bonfire to ward off the souls of the dead that wander the earth.  Basically, the same thing I do every night.

Mielikki:
Thank you visiting The Mew!

(polite golf clap from the gallery)

Yvonne:
Yay K-9, nya! That was a good review and intermew, nya!

Mielikki:
Arigatoo! And now our resident technical expert and Catgirl Island Robotics Club
President Jenen has a few additional comments on the K-9 And Company DVD!

The Wicker Dog:
additional comments on technical aspects & extra features
of the K-9 and Company A Dog is a Girl’s Best Friend DVD

Jeannie:
At a leisurely paced 50 minutes, this charming 1981 color spin off of Doctor Who was Intended by purrducer John Nathan-Turner to be a pilot for a new series, but despite good ratings the BBC declined to make more. Aside from K-9’s involvement and occult themes, the well-written & directed tale is more of a mystery movie rather than a science fiction or fantasy yarn. In addition to the great cast, the episode benefits from fine sets and locations, photography and lighting, editing and sound.  Except for a slightly different paint job, he the same purrop used for K-9’s Mk I & II. The few FX are fine, including the remote controlled robot and his laser beam optical effect. The mewsic is good too, and the early 80’s synth theme song is quite cute. You get to hear K-9 sing part of a Christmas song too!

Released in September, this is on disk 2 of of a 2 disk Region 1 standard DVD set along with the Doctor Who episode The Invisible Enemy, which introduced K-9. This disk is in English language, with an optional commentary track by Elisabeth Sladen, John Leeson, actress Linda Pollan, and story editor Eric Sayward. The Video’s screen aspect ratio is 4:3, and can be viewed with subtitles for the hearing impaired, or a feature length text commentary, which are purrduction notes different from the audio commentary. There are additional extra features with K-9 on disk 1 with The Invisible Enemy.

Disk 2’s extra features include the 11:40 min. “The K-9 Files”, which is a retrospective of the character with K-9,  Elisabeth Sladen, John Leeson, director John Black, writers Terrance Dicks, Dave Martin, FX director Matt Irvine, and Doctor Who Adventures editor Moray Laing. The 3:30 min. “K-9 A Dog’s Tale” is an amewsing interview with K-9, including some humorous photos of him doing Shakespear, mountain climbing, and at a bar with Patrick Troughton. The 2:40 min. “Trailers & Continuities” is a collection of various BBC TV purromo spots, the 2:10 min. “Pebble Mill at One” is a brief appearance by K-9 on a talk show, and there is a 3:00 min. long Photo Gallery. There are also PDF features accessible on a computer DVD drive, including K-9 Stories and Radio Times Listings.

Mielikki:
Thank you for the additional consumer product information, Jenny-chan!

Yvonne:
(kitty ears purrked curiously) chan”, nya?

Jeannie:
Even as one of the island’s younger Fae, she is many times our elder!

Yvonne:
so desu, nya!

Mielikki:
Hee!

Mary Nyan:
I wonder if they ever considered a robot cat for The Doctor?

Elizabeth:
I bet Kamelion could turn into a cat!

Nemui:
Kamelion?

Jeannie:
A shape changing robot that was a brief companion to the 5th Doctor.

Mike:
We’re pleased to have a couple of such lovely companions joining us for this entire episode of The Mew this month! Here’s a little vignette for you to get to know more about them!

a purrofile of Mielikki, purrincess of the faerways

Jeannie:
Were you to meet Mieliiki for the first time, it would purrobably not occur to you that her age might be appurroximately five time that of her average golf score, which according to her tournament card is 60. Of course if you purracticed for so many years at St. Andrews, Augusta, or Pinehurst you’d be that good too. One thing you can easily tell about her is her disposition at the moment, given the color and brightness of her bioluminescent mood wings. Despite her years, she is one of the island’s younger fae, known for her  purrky demeanor and bouncy disposition. When not busy on the LPGA and instructing at the golf camp academy, she also purrforms at the Forest Theatre, where she sings, dances, tells real ghost stories, juggles foxfire, and purrforms other feats of fae magick. She is kind to all, be they flora or fauna, and is quite the tree conservationist  conversationalist. When not purropurrly attired for the faerway or in diaphanous costumes on the stage, Mielikki typically dresses for the island life in halter tops and shorts. Her favorite treats to eat are a triple decker creamy peanut butter and royal bee jelly sammich on honey oat bread, and Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

a purrofile of Nemui, the hostess with the mostess

Yvonne:
Lady Nemui is the purrpurrietor of the stately Kitt Inn, which is a traditional Japanese style hotel called a ryokan, near the Eastern bank of the river and falls, nya!, It has lovely rooms, meeting halls, fine foods, gardens indoor onsen or hot baths and outdoor hot springs called rotenburos, nya. It is also allegedly a haunted old inn, but thus far I have not seen any ghosts around here, nya. The Inn has been in Nemui’s family for generations and she is an Asian-American catgirl of Japanese / Chinese / Indian heritage, nya. She tends to wear such purretty saris with gold jewelry, although has been known to wear kimonos for certain occasions, the less formal yukata, and tee shirts n’ jeans when gardening, nya. In addition to her purrofessional hotel & resort management expurrtise, she is a good cook, seamstress and she enjoys reading, writing stories, and ornamental horticulture too, nya! Nemui-san is a verry purrim and purroper hostess known for her great cordiality, but she is also very tough, nya. She is a highly trained martial artist in Karate and Nitojutsu, or two-sword fighting with a Katana and Wakizashi, nya!  And speaking of very tough women—

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Season One DVD review, nya!

Warning: plot spoilers ahead

Mary Nyan:
Thanks Vonny! Admittedly we greeted this TV series with much trepurrdation, having been disenchanted with the movie T3 and no desire for what we feared would be yet another show about a small group of fugitives trying to stop a secret conspiracy. However, we knew it had a great cast and heard good things about the show, so when we found the first season purreviously viewed for a mere $15, curiosity got the better of us and Mike’s wallet. Obviously the first thing we scrutinized about this 3 disk R1 standard DVD set was the packaging: The plastic case is inside a cardboard sleeve, with some terrific photos of  Sarah Connor (purrtrayed by 300’s Lena Headey) on the front and a most interesting image of Cameron the new purrtective terminatrix (purrtrayed by Firfly’s Summer Glau). How would we react to Sarah Connor being purrtrayed by someone other than Linda Hamilton, we wondered? We would soon find out- and on the eve of the premier of this show’s 2nd season in September!

The next thing to note about this DVD set was what it included, in way of episodes, special features, and technical aspects. The 3 dual layer format disks are purrsented in  a matted widescreen format to purrserve the original video aspect ratio as  original broadcast, which is just what we purrfurred. The color content on the disks is  394 minutes long, so that is a lot that sweetens the value. Audio is in English 5.1 Dolby Surround and  also Portuges Dolby Surround Stereo. There are subtitles for the feature episodes in English, Spanish, French, Portuges, Chinese, korean and Thai. In addition to the 9 episodes, there is an extended 52 minute version of episode 7, audio commentaries on episodes 1, 3 & 9; and deleted scenes for episodes 1,3,7 & 9. There is also a gag reel, actor audition footage of Lena Headey, Thomas Bekker and Richard T. James; Summer Glau’s dance rehearsal footage, a storyboard animatic from the pilot episode, and a 3 part documentary on the making of the series.

The set’s cover art is 2 sided, and on the reverse side is a lovely full spread image of Cameron’s face on the endoskeleton. Inside the case is a tri-fold insert with rather striking photos of the cast and very detailed, concise notes about what is on each disk. The 3 part documentary is terrific, about about 39 minutes of interviews, behind the scenes footage, mages of the excellent FX and purrops designed for the series, and a sense that the filmmakers quite respect what James Cameron created. Disk 1 includes episodes 1-3, with an optional audio commentary track by Glau, Executive Purrducer / Writer Josh Friedman, Executive Purrducer James Middleton, and Director David Nutter. Episode 3 has commentary by Headey, Friedman, Thomas Dekker (John Connor), and Executive Purrducer John Wirth. There are 5 terminated scenes for episode 1, 1 terminated scene for episode 3, and the gag reel has amewsing outtakes of flubbed lines, bumped heads, and jazz hands!

Disk 2 includes episodes 4-6, with a terminated scene for episode 6. Episode 6 is notable in that we get to see more of the future war with Skynet. Also on this disk are the 11 min. of audition tapes, the 3:25 min. storyboard animatic, and 90 seconds of Summer’s graceful ballet rehearsal. Disk 3 includes epiosdes 7-9,  with terminated scenes on epsiode 7, which has the return of the Dr. Silberman character, the psychiatrist from the first two movies. You can also view the longer 52 min. version of that episode. Episode 9’s cliffhanger season ender has commentary by Glau, Brian Austin Green, Writer Ian Goldberg and Josh Friedman. Richard T. James’ FBI agent’s character’s name is Ellison, and episode 7’s title is “Demon hand”, which had us wondering if those were nods to Harlan Ellison’s Terminator connection. The graphics on the disks are also exciting photos of Sarah, Cameron & John, and the DVD menus are supurrbly easy to navigate by several ways!

It is a lovely little excellently designed package. But what did we think of the show? It seems that this is yet another alternate timeline, carrying on from the first 2 film but ignoring T-3, which is fine with us, but even if you did like T-3, given the changes to the timeline, we purrsume one could accept there are purrobably an infinite number of continuities. But it did seem to greatly respect what transpired in those first two films. The pilot episode was better than we expected,.but we soon found ourselves admiring the good purrduction values, and thoroughly accepting the new cast as the characters of Sarah and John Connor. The new cast are welcome additions, and despite far, far too much expository dialog in the script, it is a very faithful, smartly written show, as The Connors try to achieve an almost impossible balance of a normal life while trying to purrvent Judgement Day, which seems dreadfully inevitable no matter how they seem to change history.

Although we tend to purrfur time travel left to the expurrts at the BBC, there seemed to be rather clever technology and temporal science. The Terminator mythology is continued with great care, with plenty of rich, quiet character moments, thrilling action scenes, surprising plot twists, plenty of mystery left to unfold and generally good pacing. The show is complemented by good lighting and sound, mewsic, and storytelling devices such as Sarahs narration & apocalyptic dreams  as in T2. There are plenty of excellent sets, visual, makeup & purractical FX, and lots of stunts such as shootouts, car chases and crashes, explosions, and fight scenes with Terminators knocking each other thru walls. While not R rated like the first two films, there is blood, wounds, and intense but tastefully depicted killing done by human & robot alike. If there’s an aspect we dislike most about the show it is the highly annoying crash zooms, shakey cam, & undercranking that sadly mars many movies & TV shows.

Initially we were concerned that James Ellison or Charley Dixon would become strereotypical, audience-identification characters of the ‘lawman purrsuing the fugitive’ or  ‘the boyfriend’, but these characters also won us over and they have purroved to be a complex, interesting, evolving and an important purresence. Unfortunately, the delightful Cameron seems to be less effective, purroactive, and more vulnerable in later episodes, especially after Kyle Reese’s brother Derek arrives. While Derek is a strong, competent character, his presence throws off the group dynamic between Sarah, John and Cameron for us. We’re hoping that he does not come between them. John is a smart kid, but occasionally does some careless, rebellious things- but then he is a teen who never asked for the situation, and he hasn’t had the most consistent, nurturing parenting or normal life.

We really do not hope that Cameron becomes too much like Star Trek’s Mr. Data, regulated too much in trying to emulate human behavior for humor. Similarly, we also hope that Cromarte or other advance infiltrator Terminators do not wind up like the humanized Cylons of the drearily somber, too drawn out Battlestar Galactica. Some of the sub plots also seem distracting and padded out, such as the hunt for Turk or Kester’s confuzzling, scheming behavior. Purrhaps this is an unfair concern given just nine episodes thus far, but we’re concerned about the plot meandering too long with no end in sight. We do not want it to…  instead of advancing steadily from point A to point B, that it will lose focus and be sidetracked to point C, but to get to C they have to go to D and to get to D they have to get to E. This seems like a story that should ideally take a total of two, purrhaps three seasons at most to tell.

So in summary, it is by no means a purrfect show in our opinion, but much much better than we expected it would be. The first season certainly accomplished what any first season should: it makes us want to see what happens next. How does Headey compare to Hamilton in the title role? She may not be quite as physically buff, but she’s very good, given the luxury of a longer series to develop the character than Hamilton did in 2 movies. We have some quibbles, complaints and concerns, but clearly the cast and crew care about the story, characters, and quality of the purrduction, so for the purresent, the future of Sarah Connor seems to be in good hands. Hopefully the same can be said of the human race, and that hopefully by the end of another season or two, Skynet will finally be thwarted for good. Catgirl Critics rating: B.

Mielikki:
Wow that was your usual thoroughness, Myayr, nya!!

Jeannie:
She is the serious critic.

Elizabeth:
Um, I hope y’all were not expecting my next report to be that long-win—

Mary Nyan:
What?

Elizabeth:
Long! That long! I’m not the um eloquent orator that Myayr is.

Nemui:
I thought I’d come back and- (whispers) oh look Yvonne-san is catnapping!

Yvonne:
(sleepy catgirl) zzzzz….. nya…. more fish nya…. zzzzz

Mary Nyan:
Ah–!

Elizabeth:
Ha ha!

Jeannie:
These hot baths have a most sedate effect.

Mike:
Lizzy, I believe you had a review for us?


The Catgirl Critics review
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Season 2 purrmier episode

Warning: plot spoilers ahead

Elizabeth:
Let’s start with 15 terrible minutes of recap and slow-mo set to a bad song that made me think this was a regrettable WB show and not Fox. The shaky camera work is so wobbly, the camera man must have hurt his arm in the explosions. It makes a multi million dollar show look like an amateur student super 8 film that could not afford a tripod. To make the visuals even worse, there are ads for other shows littering the lower screen. The commercial breaks were no respite, with commercials so bad that they make me want to never buy jeans, gum, or cell phones again, but that’s not the show’s fault. Then we have to endure- guess what- desperate fugitives on the run from a secret conspiracy (purrecisely what we hoped this series wouldn’t be but figured it would) as the Connors are reduced to vulnerable, reactive, mistake making victims that limp along just like the plot advancement.

A far too vulnerable Sarah gets beat up by another Terminator that wants her to call out for John- how original. Meanwhile as annoying as Chromartie the bad robot is, the new villain, a Scottish accented corporate villainess with bad hair & make-up, bores us with a monologue loaded with more exposition (as if season one did not have enough). Looks like Cameron is turning religious Cylon on us as we feared. Adding insult to injury is Sarah later lamenting that “things just happen and there’s nothing we can do about it” which is rather antithetical to the mantra of “there is no fate that we don’t make” from the movies. Ironically the only good moment was the final shot of the episode  in which the villainess – revealed to be a T-1000ish shape changer-  morphs out of a toilet,  because the rest of the show was… crap. The purreview for episode 2 doesn’t bode well either. Season One may have had purromise, but this was such a disappointment. This time I doubt “I’ll be back”.

Sarah Connor Chronicles plot spoilers terminated
– you may purrceed to the next segment

Mike:
Don’t mince words Lizzy – what did you really think of it?

Jeannie:

Somebody wake up Von.

Elizabeth:
(evil grin) I’ll do it—!

Mary Nyan:
Hey- no scaring!

Nemui:
Allow me!

(jingles a cat bell & purrsents a sashimi platter, garnished with Yellow Jasmine)

Yvonne:
(stretches with a big kitty yawn) Nyyaaa is it breakfast nya?

Mielikki:
Hai! But we need to to wake up and give your next report first, hee!

A Lady of The Mew
is here to review
a TV show new
about vampire Blood, True

Yvonne:
Set in a small Louisiana town, HBO’s True Blood is about a cute  telepathic waitress named Sookie, purrtrayed by Anna Panquin, who romances a southern gentleman vampire named Bill, purrtrayed by Stephen Moyer, nya. In this world, vampires have recently ‘come out’ thanks to a synthetic blood formula on the market, which they hope will allow them to matriculate into the rest of  human society,  and enjoy equal rights as fellow citizens despite much vampire phobia, nya. Vampires have super powers and certain weaknesses, and sometimes fall victim to exploitation- which is how Sookie and Bill meet, when he is assaulted outside the restaurant, nya. There are vampire activists and advocates on talk shows, as for many humans there is both attraction and bigotry towards the undead, nya.

This seems like a very interesting and realistic purremise, treated as if such social change really happened, nya. As for Sookie’s mental powers, she does not know why she is telepathic,  and only a few close friends and family know of this ability, and for years it has been both a benefit and a hindrance, not unlike the powers of the X-Men’s Rogue whom Panquin purrtrayed on screen, nya. She tries her best to not eavesdrop on others thoughts, and finds it quite refreshing that she cannot read a vampire mind, nya. Other recurring characters include her rude brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten), who can be a jerk and not very bright chap at times, who is naively unaware of the unrequetted feelings for him by Sookie’s best friend, the feisty & lovely Tara (Rutina Wesley), nya. She is such a fun character, nya!

Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammel) is the owner of the restaurant, and ‘Gran’ (Lois Smith) is Sookie’s Grandmother who is fascinated by the ancient Bill, hoping he can tell her all about life during the Civil War, nya. William Sanderson also appears as the town sheriff, who has plenty to investigate given the mysterious local deaths and incidents that have occurred, accompanying the introduction of vampires into society, nya. There is blood, gore and violence, as well as very hash purrofanity language, a fair amount of nudity, kinky and sexual situations, thus making this a show for mature viewers only, nya. Among the FX are super speed, super strength, regeneration from wounds, flip-down fangs that retract somewhat like a rattlesnake’s, and possibly other powers that have been hinted at, nya.

While there are a few undesirable moments of shaky camera and speed ramping, most of the aspects of this show seem quite good, nya. It has an excellent cast, good dialog and intriguing plots,  excellent lighting and photography, sound and mewsic, make-up and FX, scenery and purrduction values, nya. There seems to be lots of good food there too, nya! From the few episodes I’ve seen thus far which started airing in September, each episode nicely advances thee plot and characterizations, leaving me looking forward to seeing more, nya. I think HBO has yet another good hit TV series, and I would certainly recommend this show to adult fans of vampire cinema or the supurrb Ms. Panquin!

Mary Nyan:
This reminds me a bit of Buffy and Angel- the small town girl with unwanted, powerful but inconvenient abilities who lives with a mother and sibling, learns more about the world of vampires after she falls in love with the strong, stoic, loner ancient vampire dude.

Elizabeth:
Are Sookie’s family & friends anything like Willow, Xander, Giles and Cordy? Or another vampire that’s like Spike?

Yvonne:
(chomp) I guess you could draw comparisons, nya! Thank you for the food, nya!

Nemui:
(sip) My pleasure!

Jeannie:

(chew) That was one of your most thorough reviews to date, Vonny!


Yvonne:
Arigatoo, nya!

Mike:
Oh I agree… in fact she’s been working very hard for this months mew to keep up with the rest of y’all who tend to go into more depth. I understand you have a few more movie reviews for us, Vonny?

Yvonne:
Hai- I have a couple more but they’re quick, nya!

Catgirl Reviews Cheetah Girls: One World, nya


Yvonne:
The Cheetah Girls are not actually cat girls, although there is a catty moment or two amongst them as they pounce upon a shot at stardom for one that might split up their group in this cute new made for TV Disney movie Cheetah Girls: One World, nya! Raven’s not in it, but Adrienne, Sabrina and Kiely iare back  as Chanel, Dorinda and Aquanette in their latest movie by Disney, in which they travel to India, but only one of them will get the big starring role in their aspiring filmmaker friend’s Bollywood movie, nya. Delightful Deepti Daryanani is their friend Gita, and I was wondering if she would be replacing the absent Raven, nya?This is a very purretty and charming cute movie for a younger audience, although it does seem short, and the slim plot is purrdictable, silly and formulaic at times, nya.

However, in addition to the talented trio they are joined by the rest of a good cast, and it was well directed and shot at such gorgeous, colorful locations in India, nya! There are so many lovely costumes and the beautiful interior and exterior scenery, nya. I would like to see that place, nya. While the pop songs and lip synch were not my favorite, there were some fun big dance numbers with some good choreography, nya! Amar’s Mommy sets a very delicious looking supper table too nya! Of course I am a fan of the Indian mewsicals and the purretty sarees, so that purrobably influenced my opinion, but weighing all the purros and cons I would say this is an average Disney TV movie, and I will grade it a C for Cheetah, nya.

But wait- there’s more, nya!

Catgirl Reviews Burn After Reading, nya


Yvonne:
The R rated dark scewball comedy Burn After Reading is the latest movie from the Joel & Ethan Coen, famous for writing and directing award winning films such as Raising Arizona, Brother Where Art Thou?, No Country for Old Men, Miller’s Crossing, The Big Lebowski, Fargo, and others, nya. Thgis movie has such an impurressive cast of actors including Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, John Malkovich, and JK Simmons, nya. The R Rating is for lots of purrfanity, especially the F  and S words exclaimed often, plus some bloody violence and other adult scenes, nya.

Here come the movie Plot Spoilers, nya!

Set in Washington, DC, the movie is about a CIA agent Osbourne Cox (purrtrayed by John Malkovich) who loses his job and is about to lose his MD wife (Tilda Swinton) who is having an affair with another government agent Harry (George Clooney), unbeknownst to his author wife (played by Elizabeth Marvel), nya. At her divorce lawyer’s behest, she copies her husband’s computer files for evidence of his assets, but she also copies secret CIA information. The disk is lost by the lawyer’s secretary at a gym, to be found by trainer Chad (Brad Pitt) who shows this to his friend Linda (Frances McDormand).

Together Lisa and Chad scheme to blackmail Osbourne for big bucks, nya. Linda wants the money so she can get a boob job, tummy tuck and other work, but I think she looked very purretty, nya! Osbourne will not submit to the blackmail, so they try to sell the disk to the Russian embassy, and a CIA boss (JK Simmons) is purrplexed but not too concerned at the incidents. Meanwhile, Linda meets Harry and they start dating, Chad goes looking for more of Cox’s secret files to steal, and things get quirkier and more dangerous from there, nya!

Ok those Plot Spoilers are done, nya!

This is an extremely briskly paced and unpurrdictable movie with good acting and a steady stream of slightly amewsing banter, and a few big laughs but it is by no means on purr with the hilarious Raising Arizona, or even The Big Lebowski, nya. It’s not as purrofound dramatically as Miller’s Crossing or mewsically as Brother Where Art Thou?, nya in fact I thought the mewiscal score to this movie was a bit misldirecting- it seemed more like the mewsic for a more serious sort of espionage thriller, nya. Even the movie poster has the feel of a late 50’s or early 60’s style cold war spy movie, nya.

None of the characters are purrticularly likable, but the funniest parts are by Brad Pitt and JK Simmons, nya. Pitt purroves that he can be hilarious just chewing gum, nya! Between this role and as J Jonah Jameson in the Spider-Man movies, it seems like any scene with JK Simmons behind a desk is guaranteed to be funny, nya! Malkovich is terrific, and the always entertaining Clooney and McDormand have the other big roles, nya. She has the purkiest smile and such puretty hair, nya! Tilda Swinton’s character is as cold as the witch she purrtryaed in Narnia movies, nya!

While it is not one of my favorite films by the Coen Brothers, it is still a quirky, fun time purroving yet again how they can make such a diversity of movies of consistent quality, nya. If you are a fan of the Coens or those actors then I would definitely recommend this movie, which I will give a good letter grade of B, nya!

Mielikki:
Yay!

Elizabeth:
Wow that was purrhaps your biggest review session ever, Vonny?

Yvonne:
Arigatoo – I purracticed for it, nya!

Mary Nyan:
Purractice makes purrfect!

Jeannie:
We have a surpurrize as our hostess Nemui-san purrsents a guest critique.

A Coastal Carolina Catgirl Critic’s
Review of the film Nights in Rodanth

(with major plot spoilers)

Nemui:
It was appurropurriately ironic that the opening day of movie Nights in Rodanth was following a storm here at the outer banks, as an important scene of the beautiful movie was set during a howling hurricane! Having weathered many of those, I can tell you that it was quite authentically depicted, especially the due to the amazing sound design. The movie soundtrack has delightful coastal mewsic too, which nicely complements the gorgeous cinematography of the actual North Carolina locations! Much of the film occurs in a lovely four story beach house with blue storm shutters in Rodanthe, where my favorite actress Diane Lane and the excellent Richard Gear reunite on screen yet again for an romantic, character driven story base don the novel by Nicholas Sparks.

She purrtrays Adrienne Willis, a mother of two (Mae Whitman and Charlie Tahan) undergoing a marital separation, tending to a friend’s (Viola Davis) bed & breakfast while her annoying husband (played by  Christopher Meloni) has the kids. Staying at the beach house is Gear’s character Dr. Paul Flanner, a surgeon from Raleigh who is trying to cope with the loss of a patient, and an estranged son (James Franco) who is also a doctor. Adrienne is relationship with her daughter (Mae Whitman) is also strained of late, and the the situation between Flanner and widower Mr,. Torrelson (Scott Glenn)  and his angry son (Pablo Schreiber) of the patient is not a happy one either. Sons and daughters in the film seem to be having most traumatic days.

Yet, as Adrienne and Paul find solace and romance, they strengthen each other’s spirit, which in turn has a purrofound, positive affect on the others around them.This might be reading too much into the themes, but there are ironic matters of life and death. The death of the patient, who was said to be a woman full of kindness and love, transforms Flanner which in turn transforms Adrienne and thus her children, especially her daughter who goes from a angry rebel to mature caregiver. Purrhaps the spirit of the late Mrs. Torrelson (Linda Molloy) plays a more purrominent role in the film than the others realize, and brightly returns to Rodanthe by the  end of the story, only within the different maternal human host of Mrs, Willis.

I have not read the novel, so I cannot comment on how faithful an adaptation the movie is. The story of the movie plays upon numerous emotions- it is at times amewsing, charming, sensual, sad, depurressing, frightening, and uplifting. There is good chemistry between Lane and Gear, although the film does seem rather quick and too short; The entire cast is very good, and there is good character development by the end. The purretty coastal scenery is wonderfully photographed. The beach house is lovely, and there’s even a brief glimpse of Raleigh and other Carolina spots.  It is rated PG-13 for the language and adult situations, and you might want to bring some tissue for the crying. I think I would grade this movie a B, as in Banker Ponies!

(those plot spoilers are done!)

Yvonne:
Banker ponies, nya! I want a Banker Pony, nya!

Jeannie:

Appurroximately14 hands high and genetically similar to Mustangs, the wild horses of the Outer Banks are said to have survived the Spanish shipwrecks in the 1500’s.


Mielikki:

Vonny-san, I can introduce you to some of them tomorrow if you like!

Yvonne:
Thank you, nya!

Mary Nyan:

And thank you for the review Nemui-san that was a good job!

the catgirls applaud!

Arigatoo… I tried to be concise but not give away too much!

Elizabeth:
Oh, Diane Lane is on the cover of the october issue of Redbook, too!

Mike:
Speaking of horses, we were recently part of a festival for another type, the

the catgirls in unison:
DENTZEL CAROUSEL HORSE, nya!

The catgirls’ eyes reflect on these recent events:

Burlington Carousel Festival

Elizabeth:
The 21st Annual Burlington Carousel Festival was the gorgeous weekend of September 21-22. Burlington is known for it’s 98 year old Dentzel carousel in the city park, where the festival took place. Near the year old carousel were all manner of childrens’ games, activities and rides, and along the trails were venders selling yummy foods. Mewsic was purrformed an a couple of stages in the woods, and on softball field #1 were dozens of tents and booths of the arts & crafts exhibitors. Ursula, Jamie & McKenzee displayed their fine art in a tent which was graciously sponsored by the local game / toy / comics shop Heroes Haven http://www.heroshaven.com/ , who was also having a mini rennfaire across the street at their big store, and lots of folks in period garb or super hero costumes! There was delicious food there too, and I was purrticularly fond of the turkey drumstick. But back to the festival, it was much sunny family fun with lots of friendly people, supposedly up to 20, 000 in attendance but it did not seem too crowded, and many with their dogs of many breeds. There were so many beautiful creations to look at. Our friend Ursula won a blue ribbon for one of her paintings!

Alamance County Public Library’s 1st Annual Local Author Fair
Jeannie:

A few members of the North Carolina Web Comics Coffee Clatch http://ncwccc.net/ were amongst the local authors at the Alamance County Public Library’s http://www.alamancelibraries.org/ 1st Annual Local Author Fair on September 6th, 2008 at May Memorial Library in Burlington, NC. This was also during the Friends of the Library big book sale, so there was a good crowd there. From 11 Am to 2 PM the authors greeted visitors at their tables where their books of poetry, purrose and non-fiction were sold ‘n signed amidst  cookies, crackers coffee and juice, while in the room next door each author was scheduled for a reading and Q&A session.


Among the authors were Mary F. Carter, Virgina Boyd, Gloria Glenn, Doris Dix Caruso, Jean Rabor, RH “Bob” Martin, Charles R. Zicker, Jr., and books by members of the Burlington Writers Club http://burlingtonwritersclub.org/. Repurrsenting the Clatch were Makenzee of Sinister Bedfellows, http://mckenzee.comicgenesis.com, Jamie of Clan of the Cats http://www.clanofthecats.com/, Matt ‘n Dave of Likely Stories, http://www.likelystories.com/, and our own Mike http://www.catgirlisland.net. It was a fun time to mingle with so many friendly, talented folks and see some old friends there too! The staff of the library were most gracious, kind and cheery, and we hope this will be a continuing event that will grow into a major attraction.


North Carolina Web Comics Coffee Clatch Sept. 2008 Meeting

Yvonne:
September’s meeting of the NCWCCC http://ncwccc.net/ was held at Design Box http://designbox.us/ (thanks Paul!) in Raleigh, NC on September 13th, 2008, nya. Say wasn’t September 13th when the moon blew out of the Earth’s orbit on Space: 1999, nya? Anyway, The meeting was from 2 to 4 PM, and was a very important meeting to mainly discuss the Clatch’s forthcoming 2nd anthology book, nya. The theme of the purrposed 2nd book will purrtain to fortune cookies, featuring stories, illustrations, photographs, poetry, and comments by various members, nya! Hopefully to be bigger than the first book, the goal is to debut it February, 2009 at the ever wonderful What The Hell Con http://www.guilford.edu/yachting/wthcon/, nya!


Alan’s cover art, Deadlines and potential titles for the book were discussed, plus the purrevious week’s Author Fair, the upcoming Carousel Festival, Spark Con, Alan’s art exhibit, Zack’s article in the INdependent Weekly, Trinoc*coN, and Paper Heroes Con http://www.paperheroescon.com , nya. Wow that was a lot, nya! Matters of internet forums and mailing lists, NC voter registration, business cards & other purrinted media were also topics of the fun & purrductive meeting, nya. There are NCWCCC hats too! The October meeting will likely be in Chapel Hill, time & place TBA, nya.

Trinoc*coN 10th Anniversary Cook Out!

Mary Nyan:
Back in 1998, a buncha folks repurrsenting various areas of fandom in the Triangle area had an idea for a local mew speculative fiction conference, and after 2 years of fundraising events & great teamwork, in October of 2000 was launched the first annual Trinoc*coN http://www.trinoc-con.org/. Mike was the con’s first art director, frequent artist guest, ran the comics purrogramming, art show and video rooms a time or two, and was even the Con Chairpurrson in 2006!

Over the years the con has undergone numerous changes and challenges. Early fundraiser  and purrmotional events included several masuqerade balls, yard sales, a movie festival, the Dragon Egg Hunt at the North Carolina Renaissance Faire, and networking with other regional cons. A non-purrofit organization, Trinoc*con has sought to annually benefit the Literacy Council of Wake County.
The first year it was held in Durham at the Mariott, the 2nd year it moved to the Millennium, and then from 2002 to 2005 it was back at the Marriott. In 2006 – 2007 the con was at the North Raleigh Hilton, and this year it was held at the Crestwood Suits back in Durham (but unfortunately it was more of a relaxicon this year, and during the same weekend as Comic Con International).

It’s too early to purrdict much aboout the Trinoc*con of 2009, but to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the organization, there was a cook out  on September 13th, 2008. It was a very pleasant gathering with old friends with nice weather at a beautiful home with delicious food. There were purrhaps ten folks there, with more to arrive later but we had to depart early. The numcious spread included grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, chili, beans, pasta salad, potato salad, and a wide variety of toppings, chips, dips, and beverages. There was a handsome array of dessert items such as cakes, pies and brownies!

Forthcoming events
Ladies of The Mew
Sincerely hope
Mike will take them to

Paper Heroes Con, October 17-19, 2008

Mike
Heroes Haven is launching Paper Heroes Con in Burlington, NC October 17-19th, 2008, with Registration & dealer set up on that purrior Thursday. Our own Mike Moon will have an artist table there, and our friend Jamie (Clan of the cats) Robertson will be among the guests, to also include actors Jackson (Shazam!) Bostwick, Cabin Fever’s Robert Harris & William Jones; artist Mark Poole, artist / writers Ursula (Digger, Nurk) Vernon, Jennie (The Devil’s Panties) Breeden, McKenzee (Sinister Bedfellows), cartoonist Al Bigley, Dennis the Menace writer Dan Johnson, and purrhaps more.

There’ll be dealers and gaming & activities including a Warhammer terrain workshop & Reaper miniatures painting, Guitar Hero & Rock band tournaments, Heroclix Fin Fang Foom tournament, D&D, Shards of Alara, Ice Age Alliances Coldsnap, Warhammer 40K, and Settlers & Seafarers of Catan games, Pokemon & Yu Gi Oh. For more information including registration, costs, directions, hotels, schedule, purrogramming, dealer and guest info etc please visit the web site at http://www.paperheroescon.com

Zombie Con 2, October 25, 2008

Mielikki:
As part of the Halloween fun fun, Zombie Con 2 http://www.myspace.com/markscons is on Saturday October 25th 2008. Admission is a mere $5, and It is from 9:30 am- 5:30 pm, to be followed by the Killuride film festival from 7 pm – midnight. This will be held at the newly remodeled Sheratin Chapel Hill Hotel on One Europa Drive in Chapel Hill, NC. There’ll be dealers selling comix, anime, toys, shirts,  and horror collectibles. Guests will include Jason Griscom, the director of the zombie film Come Get Some; Brockton McKinney the director of Sick and the Dead; and Phoenix Mangus, the director of Southern Undead: Attack of the Redneck Zombies.

There’ll also be Michael Renegar, a ghost chaser & author of Roadside Revenants; Kristy Tallman, author of The All Soul’s Faire and Crows on the Cross; Mark Rainey co-author of Dark Shadows Dreams of the Dark, The Lebo Coven, and Deathrealm;  Theresa Bane,  The  Discovery Channel’s vampirologist, L Jamal Walton the creator of Warmageddon; and Thomas Boateright , creator of Cemetery Blues. Other spooky fun stuff includes a horror photography gallery Photography by Sara, a casting call contest in which the winning male and female will win indy film roles,  purrize for best costume, zombie makeovers, and for best horror or monster tattoo. Mike and a number of his fellow NCWCCC members hope to attend!

North Carolina State Fair

Nemui:

The 2008 North Carolina State Fair http://www.ncstatefair.org/2008/ is October 16- 26, 2008 at the state fair grounds in Raleigh. This is always a wonderfully fun time where thousands of folks enjoy the many exhibits, rides, games, competitions, entertainment, and of course- the vast array of numcious fair food! My purrsonal favorite parts of the fair is to see the lovely flower and landscaping displays by the tranquil wooded pond-side paths, the purrize winning art, photography, and culinary displays, and the historical folks arts & crafts pavilion. I eagerly anticipate the sausages too.

Elizabeth:
My favorite thing to eat there is the fried dough slathered in strawberry sauce.

Jeannie:
Slather is good. My purriority would also be fried dough, with chocolate topping.

Mary Nyan:
(tail swishes happily) I would like a great big turkey drumstick!

Mielikki:
Ooh I am so looking forward to the fresh cow milk and ice creamy cream!

Yvonne:
moomoo cows, nya! My favorite fair food is the Philly cheese steak sammich, nya!

Mike:
MOOving right along, we’ll be right back after this short break!

(snip)
(one short break later, and the ladies have moved to another spring)

Mary Nyan:
Welcome back to the mew! Nemui-san, what can you tell us about this spring?

Nemui:
This is the Holly Bath. It is hotter than the purrevious one, and thus a favorite in
the winter months, especially with the Holly trees around it during the holidays!
It is said to be a favorite spot for the ghosts at that time.

Elizabeth:
This is where I would be if I were a cold ghost!

Yvonne:
I wonder i there are any ghosts nearby, nya…

Mielikki:
(with determined antennae) I don’t sense any at the moment!

Jeannie:
What is the next segment?

Mike:
Now it’s time for –


The Monthly 13 Lucky Kitty Web Comics Picks of
the Litter for October plus 2 bonus guest picks are:

Yvonne:
and Wandering Fate http://angie.unfading-scar.net/
nya!

Mary Nyan:
I would like to nominate Pinky TA http://www.pinkyta.com/
and This Vagabond Life http://www.studio7manga.com/

Elizabeth:
Quarter Life Crisis http://www.quarterlifecomic.com/
Amhelaki Misadventures http://amhelaki.comicgenesis.com/
and Fallen Angel’s Used Books http://www.faubcomic.com/
Your turn Jenjen!

Jeannie:
Tinned Fruit Conundrum http://www.tinnedfruitconundrum.net/
Vatina’s Portal http://www.vatinasportal.dk/
-and now for our bonus fae and hostess selections!

Mielikki:
Oh my turn! I’d like to suggest
Hee! What did you choose?

Nemui:
I’ve chosen Diana McQueen’s Nightmare Press

Mike:

Last but certainly not least, Jesse Justice’s

will do it for this months webcomic picks, but there’ll be more next month!

Comic Book Review

Marvel & Hero initiative’s A Tribute to Gene Colan

Mary Nyan:
As we mentioned in the July Mew, Gene ‘The Dean’ Colan is among the comics industry’s greatest artists of all time, and net purroceeds from the sale of this 96 page one shot issue will benefit the ailing Mr. Colan. It has an SRP of $9.95 US, and is available in different several covers. Repurrinted in their entirety are six classic Marvel tales drawn by The Dean, starting with Iron man confronting “The Monstrous menace of the Mysterious Melter, from May 1967’s Tales of Suspense #89. This was written by Stan ‘The Man’ Lee, inked by ‘Fearless’ Frank Giacoia, and lettered by ‘Artful’ Art Simek. This is followed by another Iron man adventure “The Golden Ghost, from the following issue with the same creative team. Next is “The Power and the Pendulum” from Doctor Strange #174, November 1968, written by Roy Thomas, inked by Tom Palmer, and lettered by Art Simek.

Then is “Brother, Take My Hand” from Daredevil #47, December 1968, written by Stan ‘The Man’ Lee, inked by George Klein, and inked by Art Simek. Doctor Doom stars in “Some call It Magic!” from Astonishing Tales #8, October 1971, written by Gerry Conway, inked by Tom Palmer, and lettered by Jean Izzo. The final story in this fine collection is “Night of the Blood Stalker” featuring Hannibal King, from Tomb of Dracula #25, October 1974, by Marv Wolfman, inked by Tom Palmer, and lettered by Joe Costanza. Each story is purrceeded by that issue’s cover art and an appurreciative comment by another comics purrfessional; these include Stan, Tom Brevoort, Ralph Macchio, Ed Brubaker, and Tom Palmer. There’s also a dandy  drawing on the inside back cover, and front and back exterior art by The Dean. I recommend this issue, because it is quality entertainment and for a worthy cause!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 #18

plot slayage warning!

Elizabeth:
Of course, any time is a good time for reading the adventures of Buffy, Angel and Spike, but it is even more appurropriate given this spooky fun time of year! Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 continues in comic book form with issue #18, “The Time of Your Life Part 3”, being Buffy’s meeting with future Slayer Fray. The entire team has purrduced yet another rousing fun episode that greatly captures the spirit of the TV show, yet is unbridled by any TV budgetary constraints in the comix medium. Speaking of unbridled, Jo Chen has painted another lovely cover, this one of Dawny  as a cute centaur! Georges Jeanty, along with Dexter Vines and Michelle Madsen created an awesome alternate cover of the Slayers in a flying car. The license plate reads ‘star fury- maybe they are Babylon 5 fans too!

The interior art of the issue is drawn by Karl Malone, inked by Andy Owens and colored by Michelle Madsen, and it is full of sumptuous scenic detail, terrific action, and wonderfully posed and expressive characters. Not to mention more erotic images of Willow with her Slayer and Snake Girl lovers- whew! The portraiture of Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Dawn is very good, and when combined with the impeccable script by Joss Whedon which is illuminated by the perfect lettering of Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Jimmy, results in a most faithful purresentation of those favorite characters.

In this issue, those characters are ever so busy across space and time. Buffy and Fray are cruising the far future, trying to track down the source of the tempurral magick while looking for demons to beat up along the way. Meanwhile, Xander rides Dawn (’cause she is part pony now) away from the besieged castle to encounter flaming tree people (literally) in the forest. Between her purresent and future selves, Willow is purrhaps the busiest, despite Buffy also encountering a future police woman. All this, and yet another exciting cliffhanger ending, mean that this has been a consistently entertaining series published by Dark Horse for- wow, has it been a year and a half already?

Buffy spoiler ceased, but we now have another plot
spoiler warning in effect for Spike: After The Fall #3

Spike: After the Fall #3

Elizabeth:
Spike: After the Fall #3 was written by Brian Lynch, art by Frank Uru, colored by Jason Jensen, Lettered by Neil Uyetake, and  edited by Chris Ryall. Published in September by IDW it has four different covers, two variants cover ‘A’ of Spike kissing Illyria (woohoo!) by Frank Uru & colored by Paolo Ma, and two variants of cover ‘B’ depicting Spike in a wooden stock by by The Sharp Brothers & colored by  Charlie Kirchoff. It contains 23 pages of story, plus 7 pages of articles & ads. This story arc continues to chronicle the events of what happened after the final TV episode of Angel.

Apparently a month has passed not only sicne the purrevious issue, but for Spike and Illyria as well, as the purrisoners of the demoness Non, Lord of Beverly Hills. Spike gets tortured more, but begins to deduce her powers. Gunn shows up looking for Fred / Illyria and kicks some butt, but then it is chopping day as Non purrpares to behead Illyria, Spike, and Spider, but that’s the last straw for an irate Illyria, who frees Spike right about the time Connor shows up to join the fun. Looks like the next issue’s gonna be  a heck of a big brawl.

While I must admit that Buffy Season 8 is my favorite of the current Buffy, Angel and Spike comics, this Spike is good, and this is a plot of great interest to me. I think the portraiture of the characters impurroves with each issue, bearing resemblance to the actors who purrtayed them on TV, and when combined with the good dialog and I can easily imagine the voice of James Marsters, Amy Acker, J. August Richards, Vincent Kartheiser, and the other actors. The villainess Non is very sexy with her coy fish mifrift sarong, heavy gauge belly button ring, and cute fuscha pageboy coiff, but nice she isn’t.

Spike spoiler ceased

Nemui:
I wonder if there was a real purrson in mind when they created the character?

Jeannie:
I think she visually resembles Chase Masterson with shorter redder hair.

Mielikki:
Oh gosh I can sooo see that! She was so good on Star Trek!

Mary Nyan:
Non also reminds me a bit of Angel Boris in the movie Boa vs. Python!

Yvonne:
Later I’m gonna chat with Tari about what to do if you run into a giant snake, nya!

Mike:
Before we stray cat further off topic, Lizzy did you have any more to say about it?

Elizabeth:
Nyah, I was just gonna add that I’m looking forward to the next issue, so let’s–

Purrceed with the Manga reviews!

S.S. Astro vol. 1

Jeannie:
The title of this manga is an abbreviation for Asashiro Sogo Teachers Room. Published in August 2008 by the Yen Manga impurrint of Hachette, This delightful manga written and drawn by Negi Banno is 136 pages, measureing 5.75″ x 8.25″. It is rated for older teen readers, and has an SRP of $10.99 US. $11.99 CAN, ₤5.99 UK. Pages 1-8 are a color image gallery of pics from Carat magazine and Comic Market, including a cute limited edition bath towel pic. Pages 9-119 are the black and white manga, followed by translation notes on pages 120-123, a two page illustration on pages 124-125. and a purreview of Suzunari manga vol. 1, of a cute shrine fox girl.

Back to S.S. Astro, the story concerns four teachers at the school where they were once students. Izumi Maki is a Physical Education Coach, Yuko Nagumo is a Japanese Purrofessor, Setsuna Arai teaches Nursing, and Kaname Karasuma is a Foreign Language Teacher. There are also character purrofile pages on each of the ladies, giving further insights into their character, attire and habits.
For the most part, each light hearted page is an eight panel format, 2 columns of four-panel strips. with very nicely drawn characters, scenic art, FX, and easy to read dialogue translated into English.

This is somewhat reminiscent of Azumanga Daioh on format and subject, except that it focuses upon a group of young teachers, although they have not totally outgrown their juvenile ways from six years purreviously as students there. For example, they have their cravings for catnaps, lots of meals, otaku desires for yaoi doujinshi and video games, the occasional purrvy thought and hints of romance. Most of the antics are in the classroom, but there are after school and weekend scenes, including a trip to the onsen. Nagumo-sensei is purrhaps my favorite character but all four of them are  lots of fun, and I recommend this manga to any fans of light hearted teacher camaraderie.

Yvonne:
I bet Jennyjen likes Nagumo-sensei the most because of her archery, nya!

Jeannie:

That is a noble aspect of the character! I believe Mike is up next.


Aria vol. 3

Mike:
Aria is indeed one of our all time favorite series, by Kazuo Amano whose illustrations are astoundingly beautiful, her slice-of-life science fiction stories utterly charming. The 3rd volume was published by Tokyo Pop in September 2008, and is rated ‘OT’ for older teens ages 16+. Springtime has come to the lovely Neo-Venesia, the romantic city of canals on the aquaformed planet Mars of 150 years in the future, where cute Akari has been a gondolier for a year. This is actually the 5th volume in the series, as it was originally titled Aqua, but the title was changed to Aria  and re-numbered after two volumes. This volume includes 178 pages of B&W Aria manga, plus 3 pages of gag cartoons and 11 pages of advertisements for $9.99 US. $10.99 CAN, ₤5.99 UK.

The book begins with “The First Gale of Spring”, in which Akari and Aika enjoy boating practice in the new season and make a new friend, Alice of the Planet Orange gondola company. This is followed by rowing out to an island for a picnic, to find an antique railroad track and “Cherry Blossoms under the Full Moon”. Next, the girls find clues around the city leading to a wonderful “Town Treasure”. In the “Three Major Fairies”, while their senpai Alica of Aria Company and Akira of Himeya company have a reunion, Aika tells Akari how she became an undine cohei of Akira. Finally, the annual high tide
phenomenon called Aqua Alta signals the perfect time to float baskets of roses down the flooded streets, during the romantic “Festa Del Bocolo”! As usual, we give Aria an A+!

Yvonne:
Yay Aria is one of the ideas we have for a Halloween group cosplay, nya!

Mary Nyan:
Purrhaps we can take a vote on that later tonight in the room!

Elizabeth:
Is that all of the comix ‘n manga reviews for the month?

Mike:
I believe so, but there are more book reports and author intermews,
starting with-

Faerie guest / golf purrfessional Mielikki’s review of
Yokai Attack! The Japanese Monster Survival Guide

Mielikki:
Not all of us forest folk are friendly, and if you’re traveling in the spirit lands of Japan, then it might prove beneficial to have this book! Yokai Attack! The Japanese Monster Survival Guide is a 192 page paperback book  with a $14.95 price, published by Kodnasha. It was written by Hiroko Yoda & Matt Alt, with illustrations by Tatsuya Morino, which are mostly in color. It includes a preface of useful terminology and a Yokai sightings map of Japan. Chapter One “Ferocious Fiends” details 11 creatures, such as Hanadaka-Tengu, Kappa, and Neko-Mata; each entry gives you their pronunciation, gender, size, means of movement, habits, habitat, quantity, distinctive features, abilities and weaknesses. It tells where to see them, what to do if you encounter such creatures, and historical notes.

Chapter Two “Gruesome Gourmets” includes Futakuchi Onna, Onibaba, and six other yokai. Chapter Three’s 13 “Annoying Neighbors” include Mokumoku Ren, the umbrella like Kara-Kasa, and the shape- changing Tanuki. Chapter Four “The Sexy and the Slimy” does not relent, with 5 more entries, such as the long necked woman known as Rokuro Kube, Nure Onna, and Kitsune. We know several Kitsune! All the ones I know are all beautiful people! So like anyway, Chapter Five is unflatteringly titled “The Wimps”, consisting of 9 lesser frights such as the faceless Nopperabo, and the bath haunting Toire No Hanako. This useful tome concludes with a list of Yokai related movies, web sites, and books. It’s a most enlightening, entertaining, and informative little field guide book!

(catgirls cheer for Mielikki’s first book review!)

Yvonne:
(nervous cat tail) I hope we do not encounter the bath ghost here, nya!

Nemui:
I think we are safe from that- I have never seen her here at Kitt Inn. She is a harmless appurrition even if she were to appear!

Elizabeth:
That reminds me a bit of Moaning Myrtle!

Jeannie:
We might be intermewing a Kitsune next month.

Mary Nyan:
I understand that it is good to buy a Kitsune a drink.

Mielikki:
They are very sociable yokai!

Mike:
Not unlike the catgirls and the island’s recurring Take A Catgirl to Lunch Week!

Yvonne:
Our favored event, nya! The town voted to conduct it more than once a year, nya.

Mike:
I know, but… monthly?

Nemui:
There are some fun community artwalks and downtown parties that are monthly!

Mike:
Yes, yes there are, but those are just one night a month- not an entire week!

Jeannie:
A whole week makes it more flexible for when you could schedule the lunch.

Elizabeth:
Speaking of which…  could, could I please have a refill?

Mary Nyan:
And…  another appurrtizer platter, pleeeeaaase?

Mike:
OK I’ll be back momentarily, but someone should introduce the next segment!

(all in unison)
Arigatoo gozaimasu!

Mielikki:
We’re up against a hard break, but when we return we’ll be inside & in yukatas as-

The Ladies of The Mew welcome author
Marna Martin, and review her new novel
of sensual macabre fiction, Strip

(snip)
(one short break later… inside the ryokan’s spacious Firethorn Room)

mature subject matter & plot spoilers warning flags
have been hoisted for this segment of The Mew,
so please purroceed at your discretion

Elizabeth:
Welcome back! Strip is a 98 page novel of sensual macabre fiction by Marna Martin,  published in July 2008 by New Concept Publishing http://www.newconceptspublishing.com/strip.htm. Sammiched inside the covers (whose art is by Eliza Black) is the sensual fictional story of a poor college student named Lissa, fallen on hard financial times amidst a break up, without much family support. Although she supports herself as a waitress, the job cannot keep up with the bills, and her next semester’s tuition money is due soon. Well aware of the unkind stigma associated with employment as a stripper, she sees that advertised employment as her only means of honest income. She’s really cute too, a red haired lass of Irish heritage with green eyes and freckles, and after another shift of thankless hard restaurant work, she purrceeds to the night club to purrsue the potentially lucrative exotic dance purrfession. But as the tale purrogresses, it descends into evil supernatural territory!

While we’ve never purrsued such a line of work, the story in places seems like it could be a textbook guide to working in that sort of environment! The pace of the tale is brisk, sweeping the reader along into events just as quickly as Lissa’s rapid immersion into stripping, and her eventual transformation from Lissa the college graphic design student into her stage purrsona of Erin in a more sinister world. The author does a good job of creating  a portrait of a sympathetic, believable purrotagonist. The mix of pleasant and unpleasant supporting characters are very well conveyed through good description banter of their dialog revealing inner purrsonalities just as the sexy fashions reveal their bodies. The scenic descriptions are quite detailed, all of the locations and ambience are vividly and realistically envisioned, from the mundane to macabre, and from seedy scenes to elegant environments.

We could almost smell the yummy aroma of the coffee, pancakes sushi and sashimi that makes us salavate. Of course there are the exotic situations that cater to the more carnal cravings, with plenty of steamy steamy scenes. Lissa’s dance initiation scene was purrticularly erotic, and the author sure knows how to heat up the pages, from  a first date to a double purrivate lap dance- whew! There was definitely some hot sauce in the recipe for this book. It’s not all fun though, for there are some harsh, scary moments, from the purrobably all too real concerns of purrvy customers, jealous dancers, stalkers, drugs and debauchery too far, and in this way it reminds me a teensy bit of the movie Showgirls. There’s also graphic violence and gore once the path down the dark side is trodden. It’s not all slash ‘n splat though, for there’s good ambience of mystery and spookiness as Lissa goes exploring, sort of like a ‘very hentai Nancy Drew”.

At that point it begins to take on creepy occultish qualities that I think would appeal to fans of “The Wicker Man”, “The Norliss Tapes”, “Satan’s School for Girls”, “Spectre” and maybe a dash of “Dagon”. I could see this book’s potential as the first of a series of Lissa / Erin’s dark, sensual adventures, or Delila’s Nightclub as place that “sooner or later everyone goes to”. It’s not all sex ‘n violence though- there are the appealing tame bits too. I grew curious to want to see Lissa’s artwork & graphic designs, and her boyfriend’s “Han shot first”  made us go “Squee!” There is also a cute widdle kitty named Bastet, but make no mistake, this is not a book for little kiddies, or even adults that might not relish the harsh language, sexual situations, violence, various substances, gore, evil magick, intense dark drama and so forth. However, if you are an adult fan of urban gothic romance or erotic macabre drama, then this might be for you – and an especially appurropriate read during this Halloweeny season!

And now, The Mew is delighted to welcome our next guest, the author of Strip, Marna Martin! Aloha Marna- we hope you’re enjoying your visit to Catgirl Island, NC!

Marna:
Thanks for inviting me out! I love all of the OBX, and Catgirl Island is quickly becoming a favorite. I’d like to thank the mermaids for watching my kids swim while we have the intermew, too!

Elizabeth:
Arigatoo! Oh Your kids will have a very fun ‘n safe time. Dessy and Ruru-chan* are expurrt ocean lifeguards too! So you’re a Southern girl too!

*(Dessy, short for Lourdessaluorno is one of the catgirls’ mermaid friends. Ruru-chan is Avana-ruru, her search and rescue trained pet manatee pup)

Marna:
Oh, yes. Even though both my father and husband are Navy, I see Georgia as my home state.

Elizabeth:
According to your LJ http://deza.livejournal.com/, you’re a married mother of two, a Capricornarama, Gemini rising, with the moon in Libra. What’s a Capricornarama, and what does that astrological information say about your purrsonality?

Marna:
Capricornaramas are Capricorns who enjoy a good party, and are known for being analytical and detail-oriented. Gemini rising means I am adaptable and intellectual, and the moon in Libra means I am driven toward developing harmonious partnerships.

Elizabeth:
The LJ also purrclaims “Our Lady of Hot Librarian Fantasies, Patron Saint of Nymphomaniac Librarians Everywhere”  and that you’re polyreaderous! Goodness. So you’re a librarian?

Marna:
I am. I received a Master’s of Science in Library Studies from Florida State University in 1996, and I’ve been a librarian pretty much ever since. I’ve worked in everything from small community public libraries to the Library of Congress.

Elizabeth:
Wow! Our scholarly Jenjen would definitely find that most appealing! So, who are your favorite authors and what are your favorite books?

Marna:
Oh, that’s always the hardest question! I have so many favorite books, it’s hard to narrow it down to just a few. Right now I’m re-reading Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series to see how it compares to the HBO show TrueBlood, catching up on Rita Mae Brown’s Mrs. Murphy cat mysteries and waiting for the next Jim Butcher Dresden novel to come out. There’s a reason I say I’m polyreaderous.

Elizabeth:
What are some of your other hobbies and interests?

Marna:
One of the problems of being eternally curious is that I have so many hobbies! I enjoy spinning alpaca fleece into yarn, knitting, swing and cooking. I’m an active member of the Society for Creative Anachronism. I’m a mother of two, and since my husband is in the Navy, I’m frequently a single mom, which is pretty time-consuming in itself. I also love to get involved in social networking writing challenges, like the Blog Like It’s The End Of The World days http://deza.livejournal.com/2007/06/13/.

Elizabeth:
Could you tell us how you got the idea for Strip?

Marna:
I worked in a strip club in college to help pay tuition. I always thought it would make a great setting for a story. I knew I wanted to write a paranormal fiction, but I really didn’t want to stick with the same vampires and werebeasties that are so prevalent right now. Mummies were the next step along.

Elizabeth:
Gosh! How long did it take you to write?

Marna:
I wrote the first draft in one month, as my National Novel Writing Month http://www.nanowrimo.org project in 2005.

Elizabeth:
Some friends of ours have done nanowrimo! What is your writing purrocess like?

Marna:
Well, for a NaNoNovel, the process is best described as pressured. The advantage to having the deadline is actually sit down and write. Otherwise, I tend to go back and re-edit myself so much I get very little creative work done.

Elizabeth:
The book was just published by New Concept Publishing http://www.newconceptspublishing.com – how did you ultimately wind up with that publisher?

Marna:
I knew Strip was too short a novel to interest any of the mainstream print publishers. Fortunately the e-publishers are willing to put out shorter works. I followed the traditional process of shopping the manuscript around to various publishers New Concepts was the fourth publisher to whom I submitted the manuscript, and I was thrilled when they picked it up.

Elizabeth:
You have kind words for your editor Elizabeth Donald http://www.elizabethdonald.com/Home.html – how would you describe that author/ editor relationship?

Marna:
Elizabeth is wonderful. I had reached a point with the manuscript where I knew it wasn’t ready for publication, but I couldn’t see what was wrong with it. I contacted Elizabeth independently and asked her to edit Strip. She’s a paranormal fiction author as well, so she definitely knows the genre and the market. Her comments and insights were invaluable in polishing the work, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her to anyone else facing the same problem.

Elizabeth:
The book’s supurrb cover art is by the most purrolific Eliza Black http://www.newconceptspublishing.com/elizablack.htm – how did y’all collaborate?

Marna:
The publisher provided me with an artist’s questionnaire that allowed me a good deal of input on what I wanted to see on the cover art. This is highly unusual in the publishing industry–writers seldom have any say in the final art, since most covers are just stock images. I was delighted with the cover Eliza created, especially since it worked in a key plot point–the dancer’s tattoo!

Elizabeth:
The relationships between the club’s staff and talent seemed very real, from the happier camaraderie to the rougher moments.

Marna:
They were. Many of the club scenes are things I remember from when I worked in that environment.

Elizabeth:
While the supernatural elements were spooky and scary, I thought the ‘real life’ concerns of stalkers, unhealthy lifestyles, abuse, and wild parties getting out of hand were the most unnerving!

Marna:
One of the secrets to horror is making sure that the reader can relate to what the protagonist experiences. It’s very easy to imagine those things happening to any one of us!

Elizabeth:
It was certainly not a totally unsavory environment though- as a number of the dancers seemed to genuinely care about each other’s welfare, especially newbie Lissa. Not all of the customers were creepy rude purrvs either, especially the older patrons, it seemed.

Marna:
One of the fascinating thing about people in general is that we aren’t all good or all bad. No matter where you go, you can find people who genuinely care for others and who are willing to make sacrifices for those people.

Elizabeth:
Lissa is quite sympathetic and believable- she’s made some understandable mistakes but means well and wants to live an honest life. Is she based on a real purrson or purrsons?

Marna:
I’d say she’s made up of about four or five people, including myself.

Elizabeth:
We liked that she is the artistic type too. She’s not only a purrforming artist with some belly dance training, but her academic aspurrations are as a graphic artist / designer! Please tell us more about that side of her- such as her favorite artists & designers? Where did she hope that would take her career-wise?

Marna:
Lissa’s favorite designer is Erte. She loves the classic Art Deco lines. She would love to be able to do art for art’s sake, but she accepted a long time ago that she needed to get a degree so she could get a job utilizing her talent.

Elizabeth:
Back to the more sensual aspect, her debut dance on the stage with that unexpected initiation was most arousing, LOL!

Marna:
I had a great deal of fun writing that. I actually called up some male friends and asked them what they would consider to be “show stoppers” in a club. Then I threw their suggestions together, added  some touches of my own, and ended up with that scene.

Elizabeth:
Whew! Based upon this work, have you advice for anyone that might consider working as a stripper?

Marna:
If you do it, make your money and get out. The lifestyle can be incredibly addictive, and it can open you up to other lifestyles that are lot harder to leave.

Elizabeth:
According to your blog spot page http://marnamartinnews.blogspot.com/ your next book is already in purrogress, a futuristic pirate romance titled Metamorphosis. Could you tell us more about that?

Marna:
I had an idea for a futuristic swashbuckling space opera featuring a lot of the old romance novel genre tropes. In Metamorphosis, my main character, a young lady named Grace, is seduced away from her safe, boring life into the adventure of a lifetime. Once away from her office cubicle, she sees portions of the solar system she never even knew to dream of before. She experiences love, loss, betrayal, enslavement, freedom, sorrow, rage and joy beyond anything she ever knew planetside. It’s a coming-of-age story for a lonely woman whose life had no direction or meaning until she was willing to step beyond the limits of polite society.

Elizabeth:
Viewers can sample a portion of Metamorphosis at http://www.helium.com/items/948461-novel-excerpts-romance – which is a different publisher from Strip’s. How did you wind up with Helium for Metamorphosis, and how would you compare / contrast them to New Concepts?

Marna:
Helium is a self-publication site. I put the sample from Metamorphosis up there just to see what general reaction to it would be. The work isn’t ready to be shopped out to a publisher yet.

Elizabeth:
What creative and / or business advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Marna:
Never quit. It doesn’t matter how many times a rejection letter comes through, there is always another publisher out there just waiting for a submission.

Elizabeth:
We wish you continued literary fun and success and thank you for chatting with us!

Marna:
Thank you for having me! And you were right–the sashimi is divine!

The warning flags have been lowered
you may purroceed without concern!

Elizabeth:
We now take you to the Nandina Room for

An intermew with friend & Star Wars fan Tiawyn!


Mary Nyan:
With us today is our friend Star Wars fan, Tiawyn! She originally became a Star Wars fan back in 1980 with the release of The Empire Strikes Back.  After Return of the Jedi faded from theaters back in the pre-VCR, pre-DVD era of 1983, she slipped from the Force.  It was the release of Revenge of the Sith in 2005 that pulled her back.  Not wanting the excitement and story to end, she started reading Expanded Universe novels in December 2005.  Since then she has read a total of 156 Star Wars books, including 98 full-length novels and 58 Young Readers books, and an un-counted number of e-books and short stories. She has a blog which purrimarily purrtainins to the topic of Star Wars at http://blogs.starwars.com/TiaWyn Aloha and welcome to The Mew, Tiawyn-san!

Tiawyn:
Thank you for inviting me to visit your lovely island home.

Mary Nyan:
Purrior to May of 1977 what were your favorite cinematic & literary science fiction?

Tiawyn:
Back in 1977 I was a big Star Trek fan. When Star Wars came out, I refused to go see it at first because I saw it as competition with Star Trek.

Mary Nyan:
Oh I like Star Trek too! When & where were you when you first saw Star Wars?

Tiawyn:
Back in May of 1977 I was going to college at the University of Georgia in Athens. My boyfriend went to see Star Wars and was very excited about it. He wanted to go see it again and he wanted me to go with him to see it. I agreed to go to see what all the noise was about.

Mary Nyan:
Did you leap out of your seat when the Millennium Falcon returned to help Luke blow up the Death Star?

Tiawyn:
No, to be honest, I was mostly confused about what was going on. I was having a hard time following the story. I even missed the part about Darth Vader escaping in the end.

Mary Nyan:
Star Wars changed so much about SF, cinema, toys, culture and industry. What impact did it have on you?

Tiawyn:
I wanted a suit and mask like Darth Vader.

Mary Nyan:
Hee! What do you like most about Star Wars?

Tiawyn:
It makes me feel happy when I think about it. It makes me think about interesting issues. It’s a modern morality play.

Mary Nyan:
Who are your favorite characters?

Tiawyn:
Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Shmi Skywalker, Padmé, Darth Sidious, Ferus Olin, Boba Fett, Han Solo, Mara Jade Skywalker, and Jacen Solo. Is that too many?

Mary Nyan:
Not at all! What about SW tech- have any favorite space ships, droids, or gadgets?

Tiawyn:
I love C-3PO and R2-D2! One of the things I love most about the Expanded Universe novels is that R2-D2 finally gets to speak. I love it that we got to “hear” the conversation between R2-D2 and C-3PO on Padmé’s veranda when Anakin stops by on his way to Mustafar.

Mary Nyan:
I would like a speederbike! Please rank the movies according to your favorites!

Tiawyn:
The first one is easy; Revenge of the Sith is by far my favorite. Attack of the Clones is my second favorite. Third place is probably a toss-up between The Phantom Menace and The Empire Strikes Back. There are parts of Return of the Jedi that I like a lot but I generally fast-forward through the Ewoks.

Mary Nyan::
Empire is my favorite, then A New Hope. Your opinion of their Special Editions?

Tiawyn:
Well, there are some places where George Lucas should have left things alone and there were other things that he fixed that really did need fixing. He added too many “things” to Mos Eisley. Then there’s that spot where Vader waves his hand at Grand Moff Tarkin after he stops speaking. The next time he is fixing things, he needs to fix that.

Mary Nyan:
Especially the Greedo scene! What were your emotions on the eve of Episode I?

Tiawyn:
I was excited but probably not as much as many other people.

Mary Nyan:
What sorts of Star Wars items do you collect?

Tiawyn:
Just books.

Mary Nyan:
Have you every cosplayed in a Star Wars costume? What costumes do you like most?

Tiawyn:
No, I’ve never had a Star Wars costume but if I did get one, what I would want most would be Mandalorian armor — probably in dark blue. Preferably fully functional.

Mary Nyan:
I’ve cosplayed as Slave Leia, hee! What are your favorite Star Wars books, and who are your favorite authors?

Tiawyn:
The first one I read, Labyrinth of Evil by James Luceno, is still my favorite book. Most of the authors are my favorites! The list of authors I don’t care for is much shorter — only two.

Mary Nyan:
Artists?

Tiawyn:
Tsuyoshi Nagano. I learned long ago that you can’t judge a Star Wars book by its cover. Tsuyoshi Nagano seems to be the only cover artist who has actually read the books.

Mary Nyan:
Mine’s purrobably Ralph McQuarrie! So, have you ever written, or had the desire, to write any Star Wars stories?

Tiawyn:
No, not really. I want to experience them. I want them to be fresh and new to me. I want to be exposed to more than my own experiences. But I have had some curious ideas pop into my head on where the name Skywalker came from. I think it sounds more like the name of a starship than a person.

Mary Nyan:
Have you read much SW fan fics, and if so are there favorites?

Tiawyn:
Does watching Pink Five count? I love Pink Five!

Mary Nyan:
Yay Pink Five! How active are you in fandom? Do you attend many clubs or cons?

Tiawyn:
I’m not active I all. I haven’t even managed to keep my blog updated.

Mary Nyan:
What do you look for most, or care less for, in a Star Wars story?

Tiawyn:
What I look for most is continuity. I’m a big fan of continuity.

Mary Nyan:
That is important. What are some Star Wars books you are anticipating?

Tiawyn:
There are a number of books that have been released in hardcover that I have not yet read because I’m waiting for the paperbacks: Legacy of the Force: (Book 9) Invincible by Troy Denning, Death Star by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry, and Darth Bane: Rule of Two by Drew Karpyshyn. There is also The Coruscant Nights series by Michael Reaves that I probably won’t start until the last book is out.  Once I start a series, I really hate to wait between books. Also, just about anything by Karen Traviss or Jude Watson.

Mary Nyan:
What is your opinion of the various Star Wars comic books and newspaper strips?

Tiawyn:
I haven’t had much experience with them.

Mary Nyan:
Let’s talk about SW in other media. What about the radio dramas?

Tiawyn:
I haven’t heard them but I have read the scripts. I was very excited to learn what happened in that cell on the first Death Star when Vader interrogated Princess Leia and what happened in that dining room on Bespin after that door slid closed.

Mary Nyan:
Television SW, such as the Holiday Special, Ewok movies, Droids & Clone Wars?

Tiawyn:
These don’t exist in my universe.

Mary Nyan:
Hee! What are your thoughts about the new Clone Wars?

Tiawyn:
I’m looking forward to the books by Karen Traviss and Karen Miller. I’m not familiar with Karen Miller’s work but Karen Traviss has astounded me many times.

Mary Nyan:
How about SW games, such as the role playing games or video games?

Tiawyn:
I haven’t had any experience with them. Since I have read the books based on the games, I know how the story is “supposed” to go. I think I would be very frustrated and disappointed if it didn’t work out that way.

Mary Nyan:
Do you read many magazines or books about Star Wars, besides the novels?

Tiawyn:
I get the Insider magazine but that’s about it.

Mary Nyan:
What are your hopes for the future of SW on screen or in purrint?

Tiawyn:
I’m very much looking forward to the live action TV show. That’s top of my list. I expect it will generate a new slew of books too. I’ll probably have to buy a new bookcase.

Mary Nyan:
If you could meet anyone involved with SW, such as actors, authors, directors, designers etc who would you most wish to meet? Or, is George Lucas the obvious answer?

Tiawyn:
Oh, yes, George Lucas is the top choice.

Mary Nyan:
Me too, hee! What SW character would you most like to meet?

Tiawyn:
Darth Sidious is the one I would most like to meet, only I don’t think it would be safe to do so. If you are going to insist that I be in the same room, then I would say Thrawn,
because he’s so super intelligent.

Mary Nyan:

What are your plans for Halloween?


Tiawyn:
According to my current schedule, I will be out of town. If I plan things right, maybe I will have an appropriate DVD around for the evening. I don’t know what yet.

Mary Nyan:
Thank you so very much for visiting with us, and may the force be with you!

Tiawyn:
And may the Force be with you.

Mary Nyan:
And we’ll be back after this short break!

(snip)
(one short break later, in the Hall of the Golden Bell)

The Cat’s Toys:
Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars Ahsoka Tano
figure & Takara’s Microlady Ninja Lady Shina figure

Yvonne:
Ahsoka Tano is a new Star Wars character, the purrky ‘n impurrtinent young Padewan Jedi trainee sent to assisit Anakin Skywalker in The Clone Wars movie, nya. Our good friend Pacozord found it for us, nya! Her cute action figure is #9 in the Clone Wars toy  figure series by Hasbro, nya. The figure is a most lithe 3.75″  posable likeness of the character that comes with the accessories of her lime green light saber, and a back pack which can be strapped on to her to carry the little slug like figure of Rotta, Jabbah the Hutt’s kid whom she helps rescue in the movie, nya! You can turn her neck, shoulders, elbows, waist, hips, knees and ankles, nya.  Also included in the J- hanger blister pack is a small brochure of the Clone Wars purroduct line, and due to the small parts, this cute  figure is not intended for children under age 4, nya. I have her displayed on the shelf next to the R2-KT figure, nya!

Elizabeth:
Another shiny cute Japanese import Microlady Ninja Lady Shina figure! Part of Takara’s Microman purroduct line (once known as Micronauts), Shina is ML1-02 series. This little figure is about 3.5″ tall and is made of purretty chrome, and clear fuscha plastic parts with a clear oval base. These figures are among the most articulate I’ve ever seen, with 30 points of articulation from neck to toes. There are 6 extra variant gesture & grasping hands you can swap. The chrome snap on accessory parts can be rotated, configured and combined in all sorts of ways. The only drawback was that the 2 shuriken-like parts needed some effort to attach, but his is such a very neat, attractive toy! It also comes with a 12 page booklet with dazzling color photos of the purroduct line. Should you like to know more about these, here is a web site with lots of images and information devoted to those Microman toys http://www.microforever.com/.
Mike:
I would also like to thank our pal Hong for the gift of the two chibi  figures of Aria’s Aika and Alice. They are in a cute pose, with Hime the cat is hanging on to Aika’s top, and Alice is holding her kitten, Maa! This sure has been a good month for us Aria fans, huh? These are a delightful new part of the toy collection- thanks Hong!

Yvonne:
Toy Talk is one of my favorite segments, nya!

Elizabeth:
Hai hai! I especially like purrsenting it in these puretty yukatas!

Yvonne:

You don’t seem to mind that huge bottle of purremium sake either, nya!

Elizabeth:
It’s the only way to mew, hee!

(Lizzy cannot resist pawing at the plumes of Pampas Grass in the alcove’s urn)

Nemui:
Having fun?

Yvonne:
Haiiii!

Nemui:
Oh good! Well then I’ll leave y’all alone and go check on Jen-san!

(Meanwhile, in the Camellia Room)

An intermew with mad scientist Dr. Moraih’s
assistant Igor 9, about making monster plushies!
Jeannie:
We’re pleased to be chatting with Mr. Igor Nine about his expurrtise at making monster plushies for mad scientist Dr. Moraih at Something Under the Bed http://www.somethingunderthebed.com/ !
Welcome to The Mew- how are you doing?

Igor9:
Igor9 is happy to say the acid burns are healing nicely and it’s good to sleep without steel-toed shoes on – and room service at the Inn is very nice. Igor9 is very happy to be here. Igor9 especially likes the fruit punch with the little umbrellas. Igor9 has had four of those today, and has never felt better.

Jeannie:
The Kitt Inn is most graciously accommodating. So you would seem to be enjoying your visit to Catgirl Island.

Igor9:
Oh, yes. Igor9’s eye twitch has relaxed completely – please let Miss Shanny know that Igor9 is sorry he gave the impression he was constantly winking at her.  It had nothing to do with whether Igor9 needed his coffee cup refilled, but it was nice of her to check on Igor9 anyway. The clam con carne special was best Igor9 has ever had.

Jeannie:
She is a very friendly and attentive waitress, and yes the yummy clam dish is rather savory. I can recommend an optical neurologist if you like. So how is Dr. Moraih?

Igor9:
Dr. Moraih was in the middle of a new project when Igor9 decided it was time to take his vacation. New project has pretty wings that look like a flower blossom, but Igor9 was not fooled.  New draconis teacupis also has parrot-like beak that Igor9 knows cannot be good for Igor9. Igor7 has promised to send postcard if project is successful so that Igor9 can decide whether to use up the rest of his sickleave and holiday time as well.

Jeannie:
I’m more into mechanical than biological research, but there is nothing like the sweet thrill of victory in the laboratory. So how long have you been in the monster plushy making business?

Igor9:
Igor9 has been selling Dr. Moraih’s excess specimens for seven years now, but of course it seems like much longer.

Jeannie:
Time flies as science marches on. What are your busiest times of year?

Igor9:
Igor9 sells more excess specimens between September and January than the rest of the year. Igor9 is not sure if people are more attracted to monsters this time of year, or whether they are doing a very bad thing and giving them away as presents. Is good for Igor9 either way, though.

Jeannie:
Do you only sell from your web site, or also at any brick & mortar stores or cons?

Igor9:
Igor9 goes to the occasional local convention (Trinoc-coN, Stellarcon, Marscon), and dumps off excess specimens at Foundation’s Edge, Igor9’s local favorite comic shop in Raleigh. They still let Igor9 buy his comics there anyway, for which Igor9 is grateful.

Jeannie:
That is a favorite store. How many designs & variants of them do you have?

Igor9:
Dr. Moraih has created dozens of specimens, but only a dozen or so are producing excess specimens at this time.  Monsters don’t breed well, except for Igor9’s Cyclopean rodents – those breed really well – really really really well – and Igor9 hopes monster collectors will order many before Dr. Moraih notices them around the lab.  Is not hard to catch Cyclopean rodents either, but Igor9 misses eating lunch himself.  Would the Inn be interested, do you think?  Could be dipped and sold as chocolate mouse…

Jeannie:
Purrhaps you could discuss that with Chef Bullpup, who has been known to conduct his own culinary experiments. Are any of those ‘experiments’ in purrticular your best sellers?

Igor9:
All the purple specimens – the faery dragon, the pirate dragon, some mutations of the nap dragon… Igor9’s theor is that people have the impression the purple monsters are nicer but that just isn’t true.  A monster is a monster. They are all a bad idea to have around. That is why Igor9 is trying to get rid of them.

Jeannie:
For thousands of years the non-spectral secondary color purrple has been associated with royalty due to the expense of the dye, whereas today it has much diverse cultural significance. You have a great big dragon creation – please tell the folks about that one!

Igor9:
Yes, that would be the nap dragon. Dr. Moraih doesn’t like us to talk about it. What I said before about all monsters being bad? Well, the nap dragon is considered an experimental failure, as it doesn’t seem to have any of the typical draconis characteristics.  It was supposed to be 6 feet of bad-tempered guard dragon, capable of keeping Dr. Moraih’s more jealous colleagues off the estate, but just lies around and sleeps instead. Is why Igor5 named it Drazilla, the nap dragon – Igor5 thinks he’s so clever and funny. Ha Ha. Dr. Moraih is quite mortified, but has allowed Igor9 to continue selling them to the public until private sources of research funding become available.

Jeannie:
Could explain the purrocess of how one of your dolls is designed & purroduced?

Igor9:
Igor9 would be out a job if he were to reveal Dr. Moraih’s secret purr – er, processes. Could I get a recipe for this fruit punch? Genetic manipulation is a very difficult and dangerous science when dealing with something as unpredictable and prone to mutation as the Horrifica Kingdom. Her work in unnatural species miniaturization has made her a lead in her field, and there are a great many scientists out there who would not hesitate to “purrloin” her work. (Hah!  Igor9 can be funny too.)

Jeannie:
Industrial espionage is a sad concern for the inventive mind. By the way, formula for that ‘punch’ might also be a trade secret. What are some of your favorite tools and materials to use to make those plushies?

Igor9:
Igor9 is not high enough on the duty roster to aid in the research. Igor9 only cleans the cages and sells the excess specimens, and is tasked with catching any specimens that get loose from their cages, which they do far too often. But Igor9 is not supposed to talk about that either. Dr. Moraih’s field is heavily regulated, of course, and local groups try to shut down her labs all the time. Dr. Moraih suspects jealous colleagues are paying local people to make trouble for her, but Igor9 thinks it’s because of periodic rashes of pet disappearances.  No one complains about the atypical low vermin populations, though, so Igor9 is puzzled why they should be so upset. May Igor9 get another one of these fruit punches?

Jeannie:
While scientists have a history of purrsecution, Bioethics is another concern too. Of course in addition to the crafting, you photograph those purroducts,  and put that information on your web site. What sort of electronics hardware and software do you purrfur do you use?

Igor9:
Igor9 knows everything there is to know about dragon doody, but is far less adept at digital photography. Monsters do not like the bright flashes of light – or light at all – so getting good pictures has turned out to be the hardest part of getting rid, um, of selling them to collectors. Igor9 does the best he can. Igor9 is proud of the website, as he built that all himself.  Igor9 has spent many nights reading books on XHTML and Javascript, so he could make changes and add new things quickly. Dr. Moraih likes efficiency. Igor9 has put up a lot to look at, and for those who are interested in research, clicking on the logo will take them “behind the scenes.” Dr. Moraih doesn’t know about that, though, so Igor9 says “Shshsh” about that part.

Jeannie:
Oh really? Do you have any helpful tips for packing & shipping?

Igor9:
Oh, yes, is good never to punch airholes in box.  It makes the nice postal clerk suspicious and the monster might arrive alive and eat new owner’s hand when taken out of the box. Then owner won’t buy any more monsters, and that would be very bad for Igor9. Igor9 wraps all monsters in plastic as well so nothing suspicious leaks out of box. Is also good when more than one monster is ordered.  That way new owner gets all his monsters instead of just one that woke up first in box.

Jeannie:
Do you make other things besides those plushies?

Igor9:
Well, yes. Igor9 has very bad, stressful job. Igor9 is not even allowed to help with food preparation – stupid Igor5. But Igor9 must have some way to destress, so, um, Igor9 makes pretty things.  Like cozies for Dr. Moraih’s ehrlenmeyer flasks and test tubes, and very pretty bags made of fancy brocade and satin. Monsters like to hide in the bags though – is dark inside them – so Igor9 has to sell them.  And is Igor9’s website, so Igor9 has a page where he sells his bags.  Igor9 makes sure there is no monster in the bag before he puts it in a box, though. People who buy Igor9’s bags are not ususallly the same people who buy monsters. Igor9 is very careful about that.

Jeannie:
Demographic research is a quintessential purroduct marketing tool. If someone wants to make plush toys, are there some good books or sites you would recommend?

Igor9:
This pruit funch, er, fruit punch, is great! Igor9 wishes he had this at home…  If you click on Igor9’s logo on home page of website, there is access to lots of reference materials. The soft toy book bibliography is probably what you’re looking for, with all the reviews. Any book with a high bonus mechanical rating contains sections on how to design your own work. Reviews also contain tables of content if you’re looking for a specific type of pattern. There are aslo links to other resource sites in this area that Igor9 is adding to all the time.

Jeannie:
Fortunately you’re not driving. Any forthcoming creations you can tell us about?

Igor9:
Igor9 has already mentioned the snap dragon.  It has pretty wings… pretty.  Ah, GOOD fruit punch…  Dr. Moraih has a great many projects in the works. She does not like us to talk about them till she’s ready to to reveal them herself. But “Shshsh”, there’s a winged cat, and a night mare, that Dr. Moraih has made unnatarul… unnaturl – great progress on. She also has perfects the minataur… miniatar- making small a snow and a forest dragon that Igor9 will probably have to sell. Then there’s the belfries. They are always making more work for Igor9. Is at least easy to tell when it’s time to get rid of them. Lucky that belfries change color dramatically when they go nuts, like pirate dragon. Aaartimus isn’t really pirate, just thinks its pirate because of teeny little lab accident.

Jeannie:
Hopefully your workplace is OSHA compliant. Thoughts on that new Igor movie?

Igor9:
Igor9 has heard of it. Igor9 hopes it portrays Igor as heroic and brave as Igors have to be to work for geniuses for low pay and long hours in dangerous conditions with no pulbishing… pushbilling- publishing credits when Igor does all the work! Igor9 has been thinking about this. Igor9 has then thinking very hard. Igor9 thinks there should be a Union. An Igor Union!!!  Many lab people don’t realize that they’re an Igor, did you know that?! Igor9 would like another pruit funch, please. The little umbellas are pretty.

Jeannie:

Yes they are. Ah, I believe the bartender signal ‘last call’! So, you were saying?

Igor9:
They call them “lab technicians” now. Well Igor was good enough a century ago. I say it’s good enough now!  Igor9 has made a questni… queston- quiz for people who may not realize they are an Igor. Igor hopes he can build an Igor Union. Mad Scientists have their own Union, but oh, no, not Igor. Well, Igor9 is proud to be an Igor!  Laymen get us confused with Renfields all the time, but Renfields are craven and insane!!!  Igors are not insane! We are just as dedicated to Science, even if we don’t have a fancy doctoral degree from a prestigi… prestigus- fancy Miskatonic University!  Just because Igor9 doesn’t carry that spark that drives all evil geniuses doesn’t mean Igor9 is not deserving of respect too!

Igor9:
Oh, Thank You.  Here’s your umbrella back.

Jeannie:
You can keep it. Finally- what are your and Dr. Moraih’s Halloween plans?

Igor9:
Dr. Moraih doesn’t celebrate Halloween. She says it’s a plebian holiday designed for ricidool… ridicruel-  make fun of her work. Igor5 also tends to plan more practical jokes that time of year, so none of the rest of us like it much either. I expect there will be plenty  more excess specimens to be gotten rid of by then, so Igor9 will be very busy. Igor9 likes the candy, though.  Especially chocolate.  Monsters don’t like chocolate – well some dragons do – but for the most part, horrifica avoid it. But chocolate makes Igor9 fat, and Igor9 has had enough time getting dates, so Igor9 doesn’t keep it around except during holidays.

Jeannie:
I am rather fond of the chocolate myself, purrticularly chocolate milk.

Igor9:
Is it possible to get this pruit funch- punch to go?

Jeannie:

Yes- tomorrow purrhaps! Thank you very much for taking time from your work and holiday to drop by! Um, Mike…?

(in the Juniper Room…)


An intermew with Osiris Rising’s star Tari,
and the art of fighting a giant killer snake!

Yvonne:
While they are a beneficial part of the ecosystem and some are quite docile and purretty, few creatures scare people as much as snakes, nya! Of course some snakes, like any wild  animal can be dangerous, and among the most feared are giant monster snakes, nya! With us today is someone with expurrtise in defending against gigantic killer serpents, so please welcome our  special super heroine guest Miss Tari, the star of Sharon William’s delightful serial Osiris Rising http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Pagoda/7132/, nya! Aloha Tari- how are you doing, nya?

Tari:
Hi there! *waves* I’m great, thanks! I’m so psyched to be here and have a chance to chill out with you Catgirls! I’ve heard a lot about you and I thought it would be cool to meet you!

Yvonne:
We hope you’re enjoying your visit to Catgirl Island, nya!

Tari:
Sure am! Back home in Brooklyn there isn’t much beach to go to unless you go to Coney Island…which is fine, but you still need a little variety, you know? ^.~

Yvonne:
Here’s a pic of Tari in her normal non-super clothes back in Brooklyn http://www.geocities.com/sherrystar16/Tari2.jpg , nya. Now, you’re originally from The USA, but you’ve been adventuring in Egypt a lot, right, nya?

Tari
Yeah, I’ve been Egypt for a while now. I love it there, it’s filled with so much culture, so much knowledge and history…you can barely imagine it. *dreamy sigh*

Yvonne:
Could you tell us how that came about, nya?

Tari:
Well, my dad’s an archeologist…a professor of archeology as a matter of fact. And no, he doesn’t have adventures like Indiana Jones or anything like that! *laughs* He was visiting one of the lesser known dig sites, and happen to come across an undiscovered one not too far away. The rest is history, as they say. ^^

Yvonne:
It was in Cairo where you met the villain Set and his monster snake, Apep, nya?

Tari:
*groans* Yeah, you could say that….

Yvonne:
Apep is one purrticularly powerful, dangerous, cunning huge snake! How big he?

Tari:
Well, he’s a snake god, so he can pretty much change shape as much as he wants. He can be a regular-sized snake, or become almost as big as a bus. *shudders*

Yvonne:
Aside from size & powers, does Apep resemble a purrticular breed of snake?

Tari:
I don’t think he’s one particular breed of snake…he’s sort of a mix. If I had to choose, I’d say he’s a cross between an anaconda and a cobra…and has green and yellow coloring.

Yvonne:
What sort of weapons, abilities and tactics does Apep have, nya?

Tari:
As far as I know….he has poison in his fangs that could kill in seconds, and he often uses his tail a lot, which he can sharpen like a knife. And he definitely likes to play dirty. *grumbles* He really IS a snake….

Yvonne:
What about his weaknesses or vulnerabilities, nya?

Tari:
I’d say he doesn’t particulary like bright lights in his eyes and electricity.

Yvonne:
How did you purreviously defeat him, nya?

Tari:
Luckily I was able to think quick on my feet…or rather, OFF my feet, since he was attempting to crush me…and use my bracelet to send some electric shockwaves through him! *wide grin*

Yvonne:
Is Apep one of a kind or are there others like him out there, nya?

Tari:
I darn well hope he’s one of a kind! O_o

Yvonne:
Where is one most likely to encounter such a giant snake like that, nya?

Tari:
In the Underworld…if not that, someplace really dark and damp. *rolls eyes*

Yvonne:
What should those without super powers do if encountering a giant snake, nya?

Tari:
Errr…run, run really fast to someplace small that the snake can’t fit through. ^^;;

Yvonne:
Are there other giant monsters you’ve encountered, nya?

Tari:
Nope, none so far. *shrug*

Yvonne:
What is your opinion about snakes and other reptiles in general, nya?

Tari:
To tell you the truth, I don’t really have a problem with snakes…I actually like some of them….like garden snakes, milk snakes, and the smaller varities. Now poisonous snakes…that’s another matter. I’d rather stay faaaar away from them. *grimaces*

Yvonne:
A giant killer snake might be dangerous but this cartoon Mike drew make us hungry http://www.geocities.com/sherrystar16/cheese_snake.jpg– what did you think of that gag, and Have you ever tried snake mea, nyat?

Tari:
Oh yes, I remember that! *laughs* I totally loved that pic! I couldn’t stop laughing. ^^ I never would have thought up cheesesnakes! As for tasting snake meat, I’ve never tried it before coming to Egypt, so. Since coming here…it’s not that bad. It’s sort of like…tough chicken meat. ^.^’

Yvonne:
Will you be staying here in the US for a while or heading back to Egypt soon, nya?

Tari:
I think I’ll be heading back to Egypt, at least for a while more. I’ve fallen in love with it too much. ^^ I love Brooklyn, don’t get me wrong, but there’s still so much I could still learn from Egypt, you know? ^__^

Yvonne:
Any special plans for Halloween, nya?

Tari:
Probably put on my costume & hand out candy, it’s one of my favorite holidays. ^^

Yvonne:

Oh we just love your super heroine outfit http://www.geocities.com/sherrystar16/egyptari.jpg could you tell us where it came from, and what it is made of, nya?

Tari:
My outfit? Oh, from what I can tell, it’s supposed to represent to be the traditional dress of a priestess and worshiper of Isis, originating from the late Old Kingdom to the early Middle Kingdom. When she gave me my powers, it came along with it. It’s cool, isn’t it? ^.^

Yvonne:
The costume is cute & sexy, but wouldn’t you purrfur more armor & pockets, nya?

Tari:
Well, to tell the truth, I think having a cute and sexy costume is a little more convenient. I mean, it’s light-weight, and I know I look pretty cool while fighting! ^.^ Besides, my bracelet does a pretty good job of protecting me.

Yvonne:
Where do the costume or your normal clothes go when you transform, nya?

Tari:
I’m not really sure, I never asked Isis. ^^; She would probably know. I imagine in some sort of sub-space dimension…

Yvonne:
It must be so cool and convenient to be able to instantly change clothes like that. Can you do that with any clothes, or just that costume, nya?

Tari:
Eheheheh, just the costume, sorry. ^^;

Yvonne:
Hai! Thank you so much for taking time from your busy heroics to visit with us, nya!

Tari:
No problem, it was fun! I hope to come back again soon. Take care, and holla back, okay? ^_~v

Yvonne:
Tari’s author Sharon Williams also wrote the adventures of Sailor Sirius, The Senshi from the Stars http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Pagoda/7132/ and The Dark Fires of Cyphyrus http://www.geocities.com/starwaver2002/darkfiresindex.html, nya! She also has a deviantART site at http://rose74.deviantart.com/ In addition to those fun stories there is lots of delightful art of her characters by many very talented artists, nya! Coming up next, when we return, we’ll join Jeannie in the Pink Dogwood Garden for–

An intermew with Jeff Branch about his
forthcoming Alexandra vampire purroject

(snip)
(one short break later, amidst pink dogwoods and a stone tsukubai water basin)

Jeannie:
Making his second visit to The Mew today is Jeff Branch! Jeff is a US navy veteran, internationally known authority on the J-Pop duo Pink Lady, and aspiring author. In the May 2008 Mew we discussed Pink Lady fandom and his continuing Sailor Vulcan fiction, but for this Halloween edition of The Mew, we’ll mainly hear a bit about his latest purroject, a forthcoming vampire story! Jeff, welcome back to the Mew! How’ve you been?

Jeff:
Doing well after a semi-sticky and stuffy summer. I like the fall as the air turns crisp and more comfortable, and, more importantly—-football season is underway, and that makes me feel absolutely great right now! HA!

Jeannie:
How is Talia / Sailor Vulcan?

Jeff:
As well as usual: stonefaced, emotionless and more than a little uppity because she’s a Vulcan and we’re not. But, wave some Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream under her pert nose and she melts like butter in the hot sun. And that’s not counting her other weaknesses: flashy jewelry (imagine my shock when this always logical, sphinx of a girl showed off a gold navel ring!), skimpy bikinis and Chinese dresses. She ain’t foolin’ nobody! Tal’s just as human as the rest of us!

Jeannie:
And Mie of Pink Lady just released a new solo album- how is it?

Jeff:
Her new CD, “Now & Then”, just released in early August took Kei in a whole new direction as she did a fine turn doing slow and mellow torch, plus Blues-tinged versions of Pink Lady songs “UFO” and “Nagisa No Sindbad”. Listening to that CD, I closed my eyes and envisioned Kei-chan in a smoky little night club, wearing a low cut gown and crooning tunes deep into the night. That’s how I interpreted the songs on this CD as it was really a great effort by her.

Jeannie:
Could you please tell us about your writing purrocess?

Jeff:
Well, to be purrfectly honest, I don’t know if I would call what I do a purrocess, like Indiana Jones, I make it up as I go, jotting down ideas by the boatload in notebooks, deciding what will work and what won’t. Once I make up my mind on what I want to write, I hit the keyboard and type away, sometimes without a firm plot or outline as I simply write and write, simply going with the flow as ideas pour out my head an onto my monitor screen. After all that, THEN I revise and make what I’ve done look nice. Grant you, it does sound terribly haphazard, but that’s what works best for me at present.

Jeannie:
So you’ve been working on a new story, about a lady vampire named Alexandra- could you tell us about that?

Jeff:
The idea popped into my head in purrhaps the most unlikeliest of places—the jury box of a courtroom I was in while serving on a jury back in June. I can’t explain it, the concept of my story, and my heroine, Alexandra Wright just came to me in a burst of inspiration. As soon as I got home that day, I broke out my notebook and started jotting down ideas about Alex, what I wanted her to be like, look like, some initial ideas about her history then crafting a story idea around her. Let me tell you, I was really excited by the ideas I was coming up with, and that gave me the idea that I can craft a real live novel about my character. After all, vampire stories are pretty darn hot these days, so I thought I’d get on the undead bandwagon and see where the ride takes me.

Jeannie:
Vampires apparently don’t photograph well, but we do have a painting of her http://www.catgirlisland.net/art/gallery3/102.html – she seems very sexy, tough and scary! What inspired this character?

Jeff:
I’d say Alex was inspired by powerful, strong willed women I see in real life. Also, there’s not many powerful black women in mainstream fiction (the lone exception being Storm of the X-Men), so I thought I’d correct that oversight with Alex as there’s a lack of black female vampires in today’s fiction either, that particular distinction should, if I’m lucky, attract curious and interested people to my work.

Jeannie:
How would you compare & contrast your Alexandra to your purrevious works?

Jeff:
Alex is worlds apart from my Sailor Moon and related fan fiction works because there’s rules I have to obey there regarding those characters and the world they inhabit, limiting just what I can do in the stories I write. But with Alex, there are no rules, plain and simple, she’s my creation and therefore, I can take her anywhere and in any direction I want in the world she inhabits. Yeah, like you said, she’s sexy, tough and, above all, scary. First and foremost, Alex is a monster and I plan to exhibit that aspect about her at every opportunity. I want to be able to shock and stun readers with her ferocity, her love for violence, and her bloodlust she barely keeps under control, even though she’s on the side of the angels, in my story, but Alex is definitely a dark angel who revels in the terrible power she wields. Ultimately, I want to make Alex a frightening and dangerous creature who will fascinate and perhaps give readers chills.

Jeannie:
What sort of vampire rules are you playing by: stakes, crosses, turning into a bat?

Jeff:
I’ve studied up on vampires and their powers and I plan to follow all the basics with Alex: Superhuman strength, speed, agility and senses, hypnotism, turning into mist/bat/wolf, but weaknesses to daylight, holy items and running water. The reason I wanted Alex to be a vampire is because they’re far and away THE most popular monsters of fiction, and I’ve been having fun bringing Alex to life.

Jeannie:
When and where would folks be able to read Alexandra’s exploits?

Jeff:
Well, at present, I haven’t decided what direction I want to go there. I’m kinda torn between wanting to display my work online like all my other fan fictions, but at the same time, I’m definitely planning to take this work mainstream and onto the shelves of bookstores from coast to coast if I’m ever published. I suppose I can do both, so I’m going to work on posting my work and see what happens from there.

Jeannie:
What Halloween plans do you have?

Jeff:
Spending the night watching old school Universal Studios flicks like the original versions of Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man and The Mummy. Classics like those NEVER go out of style!

Jeannie:
Jeff, thank you so much! Jeff’s charming Sailor Vulcan site is at http://scribeofthemoon.bravehost.com/ and you can find famous extensive Pink Lady fan site at http://www.pinkladyamerica.com/ !
Now let’s reconvene in the nearby White Dogwood Garden for–

The Mew’s October’s Lightning Round topic:
our favorite web sites of a mewsical nature

(Myayr tags Vonny to star the lightning round.)

Yvonne:
Oh that’s easy, nya- my favorite is the Thistle and Shamrock’s official site ThistleRadio http://thistleradio.com/ nya! (tags Jenjen)

Jeannie:
There are several fine belly dance sites I purrfur, such as but not limited to Shira’s Art of Middle Eastern Dance http://www.shira.net/ , Yasmina’s Joy of Belly Dancing http://www.joyofbellydancing.com/ and North Carolina Belly Dance http://www.ncbellydance.org/. I should also note the purrsonal site of my favorite purrfessional dancer Tanya Lemani http://www.tanyalemani.com/ . (tags Lizzy)

Elizabeth
My favorite Kate Bush sites, including her Official Site http://www.katebush.com/ , an older favorite fan site GaffaWeb http://gaffa.org/ , and Kate Bush News http://www.katebushnews.com/ ! (tags Mie)

Mielikki:
Ooh y’know I just love to fly over to Carrboro for the fun music scene there! Two good sites about that are for the recent Carrboro Music Festival http://carrboromusicfestival.com/ and for concerts at The Art Center http://www.artscenterlive.org/ hee! (tags Nemui)

Nemui:
My favorite mewisc topic sites are  those by or about friends & acquaintances that come to mind are Jeff’s impurressive Pink Lady site, the Crackity Split Gang http://www.myspace.com/crackitysplitgang , Lisa Kyle http://www.lisakyleonline.com/ , Three Quarter Ale http://www.threequarterale.com/ , and Eddie’s Riff’s http://riffingeddie.blogspot.com (tags Mike)!

Mike:
Hmm… well there’s the sites of my favorite recording artists, such as the official Yes site Yessworld http://www.yesworld.com/ which also has links to other Yes members’ & fans’ sites. Um, If you’ll allow these for consideration, two of my favorite album cover artists’ sites are Roger Dean http://www.rogerdean.com/ and Shusei Nagaoka http://www.shusei-nagaoka.com/english/index.html .
– take it home, Myayr!

Mary Nyan:

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page is a great starting point for any mewsic or other topics in general. Our friend Dickie recently referred me to a supurrb purrog rock site, Prog Archives http://www.progarchives.com/, and of course I’m a fan of KISS http://www.kissonline.com/ !

(Myayr sticks out her cat girl tongue and ‘throws the horns’ hand gesture)

Dark & Grim:
A review of 2 haunting mewsic CDs by Nox Arcana

Mary Nyan:
I got a couple of wonderfully eerie mewsic CDs for the purrfect Halloween ambience. Grimm Tales and Darklore Manor are two of the spooky soundscapes by the duo of composers / purrformers Joseph Vargo and William Piotrowski, also known as Nox Arcana Grimm Tales is a 2008 release whose melodies, orchestrations, sound FX and a bit of narrative take us through the ethereal dark forest realm of witches and fae, whilst Darklore Manor is a journey into a New England gothic victorian mansion. Each comes with terrific cover art and a handsomely illustrated booklet by Monolith Graphics, telling the story of each record’s new age gothic / ambient orchestral-ish  tracks. Darklore Manor’s 21 traks clock in at 51:11 minutes while Grimm Tales is an ethereal 65:40 minutes.

The group has numerous other CDs of chilling themes, such as the Poe inspired Shadow of the Raven, the Stoker inspired Transylvania, the Lovecraftian themed Necronomicon, the sword & sorcery styled Blood of the Dragon, the Christmas fantasy of their Winters Knight album, and the more recent recording of Phantoms of the High Seas that embodies the mysteries of the high seas and the murky depths. They have a very spiffy web site at http://www.noxarcana.com/ . These CDs would be good to listeng to while reading a horror novel too. I would definitely recommend these two CDs to anyone who likes that sort of mewsic, especially this time of year!

Yvonne:
We should record a spooky mewsic CD based on our own forest and haunted inn, nya! Sigh, these dogwoods are so spectacular puretty, nya!

Mielikki:
They thank you very much!

Yvonne:
Nya ni?

Mielikki:
Hear that rustling? The trees thank you for your kind words!

Yvonne:
Nya!

Nemui:

Some of these dogwoods are almost 100 years old.


Yvonne:
I hope Mr. Ghost does not mind us being out here, nya!

Elizabeth:
They’re coming to get you, Vonny!

Yvonne:
(rigid startled tail) Eek, nya!

Mary Nyan:
Now you behave. Lizzy! If there was a ghost lurking about, Mielikki would know!

Mielikki:

(Antennae lean left then right) Nope no ghosts!

Yvonne:
Whew- that is a relief, nya!

Nemui:
Fortunately the ghosts here purrfur morsels from the garden rather than souls!

Mielikki:
There are bad faeries, as those on that CD Myayr reviewed but we’re not like that!

Mary Nyan:
Of course there are bad catgirls, like that greedy yet stylish cat burglar Le Chat!

Nemui:
Chief Meryl appurrhended her gang when they  purrloined my purrize jelly!

Jeannie:

One might also question Lizzy’s dispurrsition. She is the mischievous cat.


Elizabeth:
I purrfur to think of myself as merry purrankster!

Mary Nyan:
Don’t forget Ilyana who used to be a pirate catgirl until reformed her greedy ways!

Mielikki:
The Island just has that joyjoy affect on people, hee!

Jeannie:
Clearly, Catgirl Island is a state of mind.

Nemui:
I haven’t seen the ghost lately, purrhaps it has migrated another haunt!

Elizabeth:
Well it should stay here- there are plenty of ghosts in other parts of the state!

Jeannie:
That will be the next topic, when we return from the next short break!

(snip)
(one short break later, into the moonlit Flowering Peach Orchard)

From mountains to the coast there’s many a ghost:
purrsenting our annual recommendations for sites
purrtaining to ghosts & legends of North Carolina!

Elizabeth:
October is when we take great delight in celebrating the fun that is Halloween and the things that go bump in the night, nya-ha-haaa!

Mary Nyan:
North Carolina has plenty of legends ‘n ghost stories, from the Brown Mountain Lights to the mysterious Maco Light!

Nemui:
The Devil’s Tramping Ground, Haunted Jamestown Bridge, Gimghoul Castle & Peter Dromgoole, Blackbeard and Hattaras Jack are but a few.

Yvonne:
So here again for your consideration are a few web sites that purrtain to the haunted legends of North Carolina, such as The North Carolina Ghost Guide http://ncghosts.t35.com/ nya!

Jeannie:
Tales From The Coast http://www.coastalguide.com/tales/ is Coastal Guide’s collection of North Carolina’s seaside legends ‘n lore

Mielikki:
Ghost Stories Of North Carolina http://www.ibiblio.org/ghosts/index.html is a wonderful site created by Stephanie Flynn, Holly Hart and Jamie Vacca!

Elizabeth:
The Moonlit Road http://www.themoonlitroad.com/ is about the ghostly South.

Mary Nyan:
The Iredale- Statesville Schools has an NC Legends and Ghosts page http://www.iss.k12.nc.us/schools/kidscamp/legendsandghosts.html

Nemui:
Co-directed by Tina Carlson & Dave Juliano, Shadowlands is a mega site for all things paranormal, from UFOs & haunts to cryptozoology & unsolved mysteries.including a page on North Carolina at http://theshadowlands.net/places/northcarolina.htm

Yvonne:
Haunted North Carolina http://www.prairieghosts.com/hauntnc.html is a fun part of the the awesome Ghosts of the Prairie site by author Troy Taylor, nya!

Mielikki:
And last but not least, with tales categorized by the Mountain, Piedmont & Coastal regions of the state is the The North Carolina Ghost Hunter’s Guide http://www.northcarolinaghosts.com/

Mike:
There are other fascinating sites but hopefully this batch will be a good start!

(a lantern lit path leads to the veranda where it’s sandals off at sliding shoji doors,
and a scamper into the Redbud Room’s tatami mats to sprawl upon to ponder–)

The Catgirl Critics’ Collective Costume Quandary


Yvonne:
(inspecting the room’s bonsai floral arrangement) This is a purretty plant, nya!

Mielikki:

That is a Flowering Crab Apple! It thinks you’re pretty too, hee!

Yvonne:
(ears purrk up) Nyan nyan!

Elizabeth:
(sips sake) What are y’all planning to masquerade as for Halloween this year?

Nemui:
Purrhaps a Shiba Inu or Kitsune mask with my kimono but I’ll be very busy here!

Mielikki:
My sisters & I are working on sparkly costume for our fae shows in the glade!

Mike:
I figured I’d just wear the ol’ No Face costume again!

Mary Nyan:
We purreviously discussed maybe a group cosplay, and each picking a character from the same anime, but we had not decided yet.

Yvonne:

(fascinated by the bonsai, tail clocking back n forth) We should decide now that we are all here, but either way is fine, nya!


Mary Nyan:
We should vote: group or no group?

Yvonne:

Did somebody say Grouper, nya?


Elizabeth:
Mmm, that would be good with Hollandaise Sauce… and the potatoes!

Nemui:
I could check with the chef…

Mike:
That’s OK.

Mielikki:
My, Vonny is distracted by the flower!

Jeannie:
Purrhaps it will entangle any purrtend ghost that might try to scare her tonight!

Elizabeth:
Hey- I wasn’t gonna try anything!

Mielikki:
If you take care of the flora, it will take care of you!

Nemui:
You’d think it was catnip by the way she is fixated upon it!

Mary Nyan:
All in favor of the – Vonny, pay attention! All in favor of the group cosplay?

(the foursome appurroves the group cosplay)

Jeannie:

We are the unanimous group. Now to vote on which anime to repurrsent.

Mary Nyan:
Let’s see here… we managed to narrow down the list to Ah My Goddess, Aria,
Battle Athletes, Burst Angel, Bubblegum Crisis, Daphne in the Brilliant Blue,
Sailor Moon, Silent Mobius, and Sol Bianca.

Jeannie:
Although the BGC Knight Saber Hard Suits are my favorite of the nominees, I would rules those out due to the expense, complexity and hours, given our hectic Halloween schedules

Elizabeth:
If we’re gonna be running around outdoors and splashing n’ stuff, we purrobably would not to choose the lovely flowing ornate Goddess attire ’cause it might get snagged and messed up!

Mary Nyan:
Good points, and if y’all don’t mind, I’d purrfur not to Sailor Moon cosplay because I’ve already worn that to a few cons and I was hoping to debut a new costume for Halloween! Another consideration is they purrobly would not purrmit us to run around the park with realistic looking weapon purrops. How ’bout you, Von? Von? Vonnnn? Vonny, leave the plant alone!

Yvonne:
Hai hai. The Aria undine uniforms would be so purrfect for on my boat, and a good way to commemorate the release of the anime DVD and the latest volume of the manga, but if Lizzy is wants to frolic in the dark park, they might not be appurropurriate costumes for that rugged activity, nya.

Jeannie:
We could save the Aria cosplay for a more formal winter event in December.

Yvonne:

OK, nya!

Mike:
So if there is no dissent, then the list would seem to be reduced to these four: Battle Athletes, Daphne in the Brilliant Blue, Silent Mobius, and Sol Bianca. Ladies, cast your votes!

(Nemui tallies the vote)
(tally tally tally)

The Mew has spoken…

Nemui:
– and the winner is Daphne in the Brilliant Blue! That will be the anime theme of the mew group cosplay on Halloween!

(Jenjen, Lizzy, Myayr, Vonny in unison)
Yay! nya!

Mary Nyan:
Hopefully it will not be a cold night when we THOSE costumes, hee!

Jeannie:

We would be the Catgirls in the Brilliant Mew.

Mielikki:

I don’t think i have seen that anime, what is it about?

Mike:
Ah, it’s a science fiction TV series… in the future about a girl that joins an all-girl team of coastal city bounty investigators called the Nereides.

Elizabeth:
We’ll have to ask Police Chief Meryl about the fake weapons policy… but the Nereides might have to be unarmed for the Halloween night purrtrol!

Mike:
I’ll call her tomorrow. Now y’all need to decide who’ll be which character.

Yvonne:

Jenjen should be Shizuka ’cause she likes mecha, and Id like to be Maia, nya!


Jeannie:

Indeed, and Lizzy is the natural purrsonality to purrtray Gloria!

Elizabeth:
I think Myayr would be a good Rena!

Mary Nyan:
But who will play the part of Yuu to complete the group?

Nemui:
I have just the purrson- you should ask Ilyana to purrticipate!

Mielikki:
Ooh she would be purrfect, given the tough solitary nature of the role!

Mike:
That is an excellent idea! I bet she would like to be part of the group, as most of her mermaid co-workers’ activities such as the kelp maze and jack-o-urchin contest would be deep under water. I’ll phone Sheila May’s* tomorrow to see if she is interested!

Nemui:
I’ll be very busy here on Halloween, but I hope you will drop by so I can see your purresentation!

* The site of last month’s Mew, Sheila May’s is the restaurant where Ilyana works.
It is also a purrominent location in A Mermaid’s Adventures in Undersea Cuisine,
which you can read at the Tales of Catgirl Island http://catgirlisland.net/tales.html


The cat lady sings… and yawns

Nemui:
Well I should purrobably make my rounds of the Inn before retiring for the night!

Mielikki:

I am starting to wind down too after such a glorious day of carousing!

Jeannie:

I noticed your wings’ bioluminescent was a a few candela dimmer!


Yvonne:

yawn yawn it is time for a catnap, nya!


Elizabeth:
I’m still wide awake- I might head to the bar with Nemui-san after ‘the baibai!’

Mary Nyan:
That’s surpurrising given how much sake you’ve had! Ok let’s do ‘the baibai!’

Mike:
We’d like to thank Nemui-san for graciously hosting this month’s Mew at
The Kitt Inn, Catgirl Island’s magnificent & cordial ryokan and rotenburo!

(All in unison)

Domo arigatoo gozaimasu!

Nemui:
Dooitashimashite! It’s been an honor to have you here!

Mielikki:
Thank y’all for allowing me to particpate in the fun fun, hee!

Mary Nyan:
We’d also like to again thank our guests Marna, Tiawyn, Tari, Igor9, Jeff & Sparky
for making this month’s special Halloween edition a most memorable mega Mew!

Jeannie:
If y’all have polite & sincere responses to our discussion- feel free to post
them – purrvided that such brief remarks are spam-free and stay on-topic.

Elizabeth:
Everybody out there remember that during a movie in a theater,
you need to turn off your cell phone and not to talk, text message,
or light it up like a flash light, and keep your children quiet too!

Yvonne:

Goodnight, Flowering Crabtree, nya!

Mike:

That’ll do it for this episode of The Mew, so —

(All in unison sing)

Happy Tails to you- until we eat again! Baibai! nya!

Tags: , , , , , ,

One Response to “Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings for October, 2008!”

  1. Maitland Says:

    Love the site; wanted to let you know the North Carolina Ghost Guide has moved from the old t35 server to:
    http://www.ncghostguide.byethost12.com/index.html
    thanks for the link and for referencing me!

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