Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings for November, 2008

by
Aloha!
Catgirl Island http:// www.catgirlisland.net
and
Clan of the Cats http://www.clanofthecats.com
purrsent a Mike Moon purrduction, starring The Ladies Of The Mew in the

Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings for November, 2008

In this edition of The Mew:

Sad mews: the passing of composer Neal Hefti

What we’ve been up to since last month’s Mew!

Purrofiles of guest critics Mielikki and Ilyana!

Reports on Paper Heroes Con and Zombie Con 2

Lightning round topics: favorite fitness shows

and Chuck Norris movies

DVD reviews: My Hime complete anime collection,

The Sarah Jane Adventures complete First Season,
A Charlie Brown Christmas remastered edition, and
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Cast Reunion Panel DVD!

Horror movie in theaters reviewed: Quarantine


Mew Book reports: Roger Dean’s Dragon Dreams,

Wendy Pini’s adaptation of Masque of the Red Death
The Arina Tanemura Collection, Surf Girl Roxy, and
the 25th anniversary edition of Berni Wrightson’s
illustrated edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Manga review: Suzunari, and Sunshine Sketch

Purriodicals: a faerie reviews Faerie Magazine!


Our Monthly Web Comics Picks of the Litter!


Feature Purresentation: an Intermew with
The Devil’s Panties’ creator Jennie Breeden

Feature Purresentation: an Intermew with author
of My Fake Heart & kitty hat maker Niki Lemonade

bold red warnings indicate imminent plot spoilers &

bold green afterwards indicates it’s safe to purrceed

Sad mews:
The passing of Neal Hefti (October 29, 1922 –  October 11, 2008)

Mielikki:
A Jazz mewsician and film / TV composer, Neal Hefti grew up amidst poverty of the Depurression era, but his extraordinary talent led to a purrofessional mewsical career while still in high school. He was a writer, arranger, trumpeter, and In the early 1940’s he joined the Woody Herman Band. In the early 1950’s he was a  purrominent part of Count Basie’s band, and later led his own band. By the early 60’s he was a famous composer & conductor in Hollywood, with several Grammy nominations, including his theme for The Odd Couple, and an award for his iconic Batman TV score.
Sources: articles on Neal Hefti at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neal_Hefti , and at the Internet Movie Database http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0006126/
.
.
.

Mike:
(wearing khaki cargo shorts and Bird of Paradise aloha shirt) Welcome to another edition of The Mew, our monthly discussions, reviews, recommendations and special interviews! Today’s show comes from the new Visitors Pavilion outside the Lost City of Angora-Kat Historic Site, in the lovely Akikiku Maritime State Forest at the Northern end of Catgirl Island! And here are The Ladies of The Mew-

Elizabeth:
(in a ruffled off shoulder Hanapepe purrint Hawaiian dress & espadrilles) Hi Hi!

Jeannie:
(in her favorite white bandaeau topped tanga bikini and a gauze tie robe) Nihao!

Yvonne:
(lavender capri pants, matching flip flops,& white halter top) Nameste, nya!

Mary Nyan:
(cobalt colored sarong over eggplant colored  cut-out maillot) Konnitiwa!

-with our returning faery special guest commentator, Mielikki,
graciously taking a few more hours from her hectic LPGA tour!

Mielikki:
(faerie wings shimmer from backless french vanilla  sun dress) Mellow greetings!

– and also with us for a second time, retired pirate catgirl Ilyana!
Welcome back!

Ilyana:
(in black jeans & beach wedges & a cerulean blue string bikini top) Whassup?

What we’ve been up to since last month’s Mew!

Elizabeth:
I think October was the busiest ever but it was a lot o fun too! Aside from those events we went to I’ve barely had time for much else… but did manage to plant some mums and the earlier today I had ack to back loomi loomi sessions. With November a bit less hectic I’m hoping to get in some sporting clays, golf, tennis and diving.

Jeannie:
My belly dance card was quite full last month. I did manage to make time for the 14 mile Fun Run, and this week I’ll be back into my yoga and yoga, kyu-do routine. Next week I’ll be in Oahu for a shoot, and the robot derby is in 2 weeks.

Mielikki:
On the golf course by day and in the forest theater by night, hee!

Mike:
I’ve been mainly trying to get a lot of art work done, including the continuation of the Clan of the Cats / Catgirl Island Beach Volleyball story with Jamie!

Yvonne:
Yaya I wanna see that, nya! Tomorrow I have another Spanish Mackeral charter, nya. My taiko circle purrforms on the pier on first so I hope y’all have marked your calendars, nya! How boutchoo Ilyana, nya?

Ilyana:
Uh… mostly just busy at Sheila May’s. By the way thank y’all for inviting me to join your halloween cosplay group- that was a fun time!

Mary Nyan:
You’re very welcome- and you made a great Yuu! Since Halloween, it’s just been the intermediate and advanced hula, and aerial dance classes… and (ahem) some costumes I have to repair!

Elizabeth:
Hey that wasn’t my fault! That branch came outta nowhere!

Yvonne:
I suppose that whole tree you were hiding in came out of nowhere too, nya!

Mielikki:
Goodness, what happened?’

Ilyana:
Lizzy was more concerned with tricks than treats and tried to pounce – scare Vonny, but her top got caught!

Mielikki:
Oh my!

Jeannie:

I have the mischievous incident recorded in high def.

Elizabeth:
(agitated kitty tail twitch) It was a spooky tree, I tell you!
Yvonne:
Don’t change the subject, nya!

Mike:
Maybe it was a friend of that Flowering Crabapple that Vonny befriended at the inn last month!
Mielikki:
People are not the only ones that trick r treat on Halloween, hee!

Mary Nyan:
In addition to the repairing the (ahem) wardrobe malfunction, I need to measure y’all for the winter Aria cosplay! Ilyana, Mielikki, I hope you’ll join us for that!

Ilyana:
Ah, yeah- sure… thanks!

Mielikki:
That would be fun fun!

Yvonne:
And we can be on my boat too, nya!

Mary Nyan:
By the way, Mielikki-sensei would be a purrfect Fairymon from Digimon Frontier, and I can definitely see Ilyana-san as Black Lagoon’s Revy!

Ilyana:
(kitty ears purrk with interest) Really?

Jeannie:

I could help make the fairymon visor, although given the terms of Ilyana’s purroll I doubt Police Chief Meryl would purrmit her to carry any Berretta 92Fs.

Yvonne:
I think Ilyana-san should cosplay as Mai Shiranui, nya!

Mielikki:
Hee! But what would Mike-san be wearing?

Mike:
Probably Jenjen’s starlite steadycam rig in case Lizzy pulls another prank!

Elizabeth:
Nya—!

Mary Nyan:
You should be nice Lizzy- or next time you might lose more than your top!

Ilyana:
There are legends of vines that will grab an unsuspecting catgirl’s tail, too!

(several catgirl tails curl up)

Mike:
Oh we’re just kidding Lizzy!

Jeannie:
We should mention the new pictures of us.

Mary Nyan:
Hai! Mike took pics of us… there’s one of Mielikki, Ilyana and Nemui
(who joined us last month at), and a big group pic of all of us in the park!

Yvonne:
We wore our yukatas to the Riverwalk, nya!

Ilyana:
Will Nemui be joining us today?

Elizabeth:
Not this mew- she’s busy with a full house at the inn!

Mielikki:
(enthused wing flutter) Ooh I have not seen those yet!

Mike:
Those and a few other new images are now on display in Gallery 1 of the
Catgirl Island Mewseum of Art. They’ll be on the bottom row of images at
http://www.catgirlisland.net/art/gallery/gallery1.html -and speaking of our
group, for those who came in late, this month we’re joined again by–

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.

Yvonne:
And making her 2nd appearance on The Mew is–

Ilyana, the dread pirate catgirl (retired), nya!

These days Ilyana purrsents a much calmer dispurrsition than in her wild pirating days, nya! An orphan of Greek & Purrussian heritage, her fascination with history’s mysteries lead to aspurrrations of archaeology, purrticularly of the nautical sort, nya. She got a scholarship to study abroad, exuberantly embracing the American college greek life at East Carolina University to major in Maritime History, nya. However, while on a wreck dive to study a sunken pirate ship, cat-astrophe struck and she went missing at sea, nya. While there is a period of unaccountable time, she wound up back in Europe, purrcuring & purrloining treasures, nya. It was there where she got mixed up with international rogues including her rival, the glamorous cat burglar Le Chat.

Ilyana:
She’s not glamorous!

Yvonne:
While none of her shady associates suspected she was a graduate student gone missing, her purrfurred colors  were a glimmer of her scholarly past, nya, as she would be known for her wearing the purrple shorts and a gold cropped tees, nya. Then on one fateful night, she was aboard a cat food smuggler’s ship, purrparing for betrothal to fiance criminal mastermind Wulfgar, nya.

Ilyana:
Mastermind my a–

Yvonne:
The ship’s captain was regaling the wedding party with tales of the high seas, including the famous Blackbeard and his flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, nya. This awoke memories of her academic past, and by the time her evil fiance arrived for the ceremony she disappeared. She returned to coastal North Carolina, but as a wanted felon by Interpol, she was sadly nervous about trying to resume schooling, nya. Ironically it was upon returning here when she staged her final caper, which is chronicled in Mike’s story A Mermaid’s Adventures in Undersea Cuisine which you can read at the Tales of Catgirl Island http://catgirlisland.net/tales.html, nya! Ilyana hopes to finally get that masters degree, but for now she can be seen on her shiny bike or golf cart, as a courier & delivery girl for Sheila May’s seafood restaurant, nya. She has a sweet cat tooth, and her favorite foods are tiramisu, baklava, and crepes with strawberries or chocolate sauce, nya.

The Catgirls’ Con Reports:
Paper Heroes Con & Zombie Con 2

Elizabeth:
Paper Heroes Con http://www.paperheroescon.com/ was October 17-19 in what was once a Belk store in Burlington Square Mall, Burlington, NC, and it was such a neat place for the gathering! The small, first time convention featuring special guests, an artists alley, dealers, gaming & food was orchestrated by store owner & costume maker Mike Jernigan and the other kind, industrious folks of the game / toy / comics / shop Heroes Haven, http://www.heroshaven.com/ . The guest list included actors Jackson (Shazam!) Bostwick, Lou (Incredible Hulk ) Ferigno, Cabin Fever’s Robert Harris and William Jones, make-up artists Jennifer McCollom and Dean & Starr Jones.

Among the numerous artists & authors were Mark Poole, illustrator for games such as Magic: The Gathering, White Wolf Studios, Warcraft, Legends of Norrath and Upper Deck; Digger comics and storybook artist Ursula Vernon, The Devil’s Panties comics author Jennie Breeden, journalist and Dennis the menace writer Dan Johnson, Mckenzee of Sinister Befellows, Clan of the Cats’ Jamie Robertson, Louis Small, Chrissie Zullo & Adam McIver of Bitter Tea Studios, Highburn Studios, Marty Blevins & Brian Shearer of Gravy Boy, and repurrsenting tsunami Studios were Rick Ketchum, Randy Green, John Wycough, Steve Bird, and Kelly Yates. Oh, and that Mike Moon guy was a guest too!

Dealers with tables and booths of tempting stuff to buy included Heroes Haven, House of Anime, Luckeydoo Collectibles, Exotic Swords and Knives, Rocco’s Collectibles, Hero’s Costumes, Fantasy 15 Toys, Crowemag Toys, Be Not Afraid Cards, Camelot Treasures, Tony’s Sports cards, Hand Held Heroes, Bloody Mary Lite, and Papa John’s Pizza! There was lots of gaming going on, such as Magic the gathering, Pokemon, Yu-gi-oh, Hero Clix, Warhammer 40K, Dungeons & Dragons, Guitar Hero, and Rock Band. There was a Warhammer terrain building workshop, a Reaper Miniatures painting workshop, purrize raffle, videos, and the North Carolina Web Comics Coffee Clatch did a video webcast.

The con was in a con-venient location, halfway between the Triad (Greensboro/ High Point/  Winston-Salem) and Trangle (Raleigh/  Durham/ Chapel Hill) areas, just one mile off 1-40, with plenty of free close parking right by the door, and many nearby restaurants. The autumn weather started out a bit damp and chilly, but it was most pleasant and spacious indoors. We were there from 9 am to 11 pm on Friday & Saturday and 11 am to 6 pm on Sunday. Things were a bit disorganized during the early Friday morning purre-con set up time, but this is understandable for a first time event, and by noon things seemed to be in order. I’m not sure of the attendance, but I’d estimate there were purrhaps 250.

Those actors had such entertaining stories to tell, the artists discussed tools & techniques, the NCWCCC recruited several new members, and lots of friends showed up! We bought DVDs, action figures, comic books, magazines, books, purrints and got autographs! Adding to the ambience were several cosplayers: a kitsune school girl, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, The Matriarch from Gravy Boy, Hogwarts Students, TIE Fighter pilot, a Speeder Bike Trooper, Clone Troopers, a zombie, No-Face, 2 kilts and a few others in purrticularly sexy apparel. We had a laid back, whimsical time, socializing, shopping, eating, drawing, and enjoying all of the art on display! The staff were very friendly & attentive, and there was much camaraderie. Hopefully they’ll do it again next year!

Mary Nyan:
Zombie Con 2 was a fun, small one day convention held on Saturday October 25th 2008 at the spiffy Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel in lovely Chapel Hill, NC. A delightful part of the month’s Halloween fare, the con was from 9:30 am- 5:30 pm that cool autumn day, followed by the Killuride film festival from 7 pm – midnight, and admission was a mere $5. There was a dealers room, with neat stuff for sale such as toys, videos, comic books, books, jewelry, tee shirts, and art.

The terrific assemblage of cinema guests included Jason Griscom, the director of the zombie film Come Get Some; Brockton McKinney the director of Sick and the Dead; Phoenix Mangus, the director of Southern Undead: Attack of the Redneck Zombies, Cabin Fever actors Robert Harris and William Jones (who are the nicest gents), and make-up artists extraordinaire Dean & Starr Jones. Ormond the Undertaker, the delightful host of Monster Creature Feature TV was there too!

Among the authors in attendance were Michael Renegar, a ghost chaser, photographer & 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. Were that not enough, the con was also graced by Theresa Bane, The Discovery Channel’s vampirologist & expurrt author of Actual Factual: Dracula, A Compendium of vampires; and Glenn Bane, who is the founder, purresident, author & designer of Scaldcrow Games!

Comic Book guests included L Jamal Walton the creator of Warmageddon; journalist and Dennis the menace writer Dan Johnson; Thomas Boatwright, creator of Cemetery Blues; Sinister Bedfellows’ mckenzee, Clan of the Cats’ Jamie Robertson, and the extremely nice & talented teams of Bitter Tea Studios and Jester Press. We got a gorgeous purrint from Crissy Zullo! Artists Mark Carter and Scott Rory had their fine illustrative works for sale, oh and Mike was there too. He sold some art purrints and a did few sketches.

The auspicious guest list also included awesome photographer Sara Bradshaw, lovely actress / model Vera van Munster, and stunning model /  milliner Joei Reed! We got to meet lotsa other friendly & talented artists, such as The Zombie Hunters web comic’s Jenny Romanchuck. Adding to that festive ambience was excellent live mewsic purrformed late in the afternoon, bridging the waning hour of the con and the purrepurrations for the evening film festival! There was appurrantly some Brain Jello Wrestling afoot, too.

The array of masquerade ranged from gory zombies to vampires in black leather, sexy & glamorous fashions from vintage pin-up style to frilly goth and edgy punk. There was even a hopping Chinese vampire, an Elvis jumpsuit, and entire families with cutely costumed kids. The artistry was not limited to canvas, film or fabric either, for there were impurrisive tattoos and piercings to be admired. Other spooky fun stuff included purrizes for best costume, and horror / monster tattoo. zombie makeovers, and a casting call contest to win indy film roles!

I’m not sure how many people were there but I’ll guess it was purrhaps between 200-300 there for the most pleasant event. We would like to thank the convention’s chairman Mark Bowers http://www.myspace.com/markscons for his kindness, generosity and hard work! There are no doubt other friendly folks we met, from artists and dealers to fellow fans of whose names we’re sadly remiss, but we’d like to thank them too for making Zombie Con 2 so much fun, and we hope there’ll be a third!

Ilyana:
Coming up next- it’ll be Lightning Round time when we return!

(snip)
(one short break later)

Mike:
Welcome back! The playful island lifestyle combined with the catgirl catabolism
allows them to catnap a lot and still slink into their bikinis, but these catgirls are
ever resolved to work off the fair food, Halloween candy and holiday feasts with:

Lightning Round topic #1: favorite fitness shows!

(all)
LIGHTNING ROUND- GO!

Mary Nyan:
Jenjen has inspired me to purractice the morning yoga, so I’ll nominate
Namaste and Priscella Patrick! (tags Jenjen)

Jeannie:
Namaste, Shimmy, and Aubre Hill. (tags Lizzy with a cat tail poke)


Elizabeth:
Those are my favorites too but I’m also quite fond of All Star Workout
such as oh gosh, I suppose my favorite trainers would be… maybe…
Jennifer Garaldi, MaDonna Grimes, and Ellen Barrett! (tags Vonny)

Yvonne
Jenjen should have her own bellydance show too, nya!

Jeannie:

That would be good, and I could purrhaps film an instructional video,
but I would much rather have a mech building show.

Yvonne
I was gonna say Namaste and Shimmy too, nya! But my picks also include
the vivacious Karen Voight, Tamilee Webb & Sharon Mann nya! (tags Mike)

Mike:
Ah… I don’t really watch many, but I do admit that I definitely need to work out
more…  oh, I guess if I had to pick a favorite fitness host, those would include
Jack LaLanne, Giliad’s Bodies and of course, Kiana Tom. Mielikki, your turn!

Mielikki:

I can see why you’d pick Kiana, hee! Well I’d like to nominate the great

Gabby Reece, and the delightfully cheery Denise Austin!
(tags Ilyana with the brush of a wing tip)

Ilyana:
Um… I’m not sure if these are still on TV but a few that come to mind include
Fitness Beach, Co-Ed Training and Body Shaping…

Yvonne
Oh I remember those shows nya! They had bodybuilders I admire such as
Carla Dunlap and Cory Everson, nya! They are very inspurrational, nya.

Elizabeth:
And that Kendell- meow!

Mielikki:
Or Rick, Michael, Christian and Jean Phillipe… mm mm!

Mary Nyan:
Now now keep it clean! Those shows did have a lot of big names didn’t they,
like… oh gosh there was Deprise Brescia, Laurie Donnelly, Denise Paglia,
Leeanne Tweeden, Kimiko Tanaka, Jennifer Dempster, Kathy Derry…

Ilyana:
Of those shows’ talent, I mostly admired Mary Jean Traetta.

Mike:
Speaking of body builders, I bought a documentary DVD from Lou Ferigno at
Paper Heroes Con! Otherwise, oh I guess the last fitness program of a sort that
I watched was the Total Gym infomercial with Christie Brinkley & Chuck Norris!

Jeannie:
Which segues us into Lightning Round #2, in which

The eyes of the ranger are upon mew:
our favorite Chuck Norris movies!

Elizabeth:
Return of the Dragon- originally titled Way of the Dragon, by the way!
That’s the one in which he fights Bruce Lee! (tags Myayr)

Mary Nyan:

Ditto! (tags Mike)


Mike:
Uh… well… are there going to be any besides Return of the Dragon?

Mielikki:
Actually I was gonna say Sidekicks!

Yvonne:
I liked Karate Kommandoes, nya! (tags Jenjen)

Jeannie: :

Code of Silence had the Purrowler Police robot in it. (tail tags Ilyana)

Ilyana:
I purrfur his late 70’s- early 80’s period, such as Good Guys Wear Black,
A Force of One, The Octagon, An Eye for an Eye, and Forced Vengeance

Elizabeth::
Some of the later Cannon era with the beard were fun-
I’ll also nominate Lone Wolf McQuade and (the first) Delta Force!

Mielikki:

Dodgeball was fun too, hee! Oh dear- Mike didn’t actually tag me!

Yvonne:
I’m sorry nya- I got carried away nya! What is Mike’s favorite, nya?

Mike:
The Octagon is definitely my favorite. Invasion USA was fun, especially with
Richard Kynch as the villain Rostoff. And then yeah, Return of the Dragon!

Mary Nyan:
We should do a Richard Lynch Lightning Round! That would be a good topic.

Elizabeth:
Well if we’re gonna do that, then we should do one for David Carradine too!

Ilyana:

Or… Lee Marvin, maybe?

Jeannie:
Bruce Lee.

Yvonne:
And Christy Brinkley, nya!

Mike:
(jots down a list) Those would all be really swell Lightning Rounds topics,
but let’s save those for another show- we need to get to the next segment,
including a DVD review of another famous ‘Chuck’…

DVD reviews!

A Charlie Brown Christmas Remastered Deluxe Edition

Yvonne:
While the home video release of my favorite Christmas TV special of all time just got better, it is still sad that purrducer/ director/ snoopy voice Bill Melendez passed away in September, nya. Purrduced in 1965, the Emmy and peabody award winning A Charlie Brown Christmas had a 49% of the TV audience when it originally aired, and was the first of all the Peanuts TV specials and movies, nya. Written by the legendary Charles M. Shultz himself, it was complemented by the iconic mewsic of Vince Guaraldi, whose track “Linus and Lucy” is often regarded as the Peanuts theme song, nya.

This latest home video edition is packaged in an outer cardboard sleeve with full color embossed cover art and glitter on the snow, nya scene of Charlie Brown and Snoopy by the little tree, nya! Inside the case is a single standard region one disk, with the video in the standard screen, purrserving the original aspect ratio of the TV special, nya. The audio is Dolby digital sound, which you can listen to in English, Spanish, Pourtuges and Japanese, with subtitles options of English SDH, Spanish, Portugese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Thai, nya! Wow that’s a lot of sub choices, nya!

In addition to the original, 25 minute special, there is a bonus episode, It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown! nya! This 1992 23 minute special is more a series of vignettes rather than a main plot, such as Linus sledding downhill in a box, Charlie Brown unsuccessfully peddling wreathes, Peppermint Patty struggling with a book report and attending Handel’s The Messiah with Marcie. Snoopy dances and dresses as Santa, the woodstocks purrform chamber mewsic, but Sally steals the show with most scenes, nya. Lucy, Violet, Freida, Franklin, and the little red haired girl also appear, nya!

Also there is a neat new 16 minute featurette titled A Christmas Miracle: The Making of A Charlie Brown Christmas, nya! Commentators include Jeannie Schultz, purrducers Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez, Peanuts historian Scott McGuire, comics writer/ historian Mark Evanier, and former CBS Purresident Fred Silverman, nya. There are numerous clips, close ups of Peanuts strips, character designs, photos of the cast & crew, and a bit of the 1962 Ford Falcon TV commercial with Linus & Lucy, nya! It is amazing how rushed and nervous they were making the special, but they were very reverent and faithful to the comic strip, nya. If you are a fan of Peanuts or quality holiday entertainment, this DVD would be a purrized part of the video collection, and I give it an ‘A’, nya!

Mike:
Good one Vonny!

Yvonne:
Arigatoo nya! hat is my favorite of the Peanuts specials, nya!

Jeannie:
I think the feature film A Boy Named Charlie Brown is my favorite.

Mary Nyan:
Ooh mine is It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!

Mielikki:
I like Snoopy Come Home quite a bit too!

Ilyana:
I’m not sure if I have a favorite, but I also liked Charlie Brown’s All Stars!

Mike:
Wow I have not seen that one in a long time!

Elizabeth:
And now here is Jennyjen, with a review of another animated TV DVD!

My Hime Complete Collection

Jeannie:
Based on a manga series created by Hajime Yatate with Noboru Kimura and illustrated by Kenetsu Sato, My HIME  is the purremise of a fun, action packed fantasy-adventure anime series of twenty-six, 25 minute episodes that aired on Japanese television from 2004 to 2005. It later spawned two sequel series, My Otomoe and My Otome Zwei. The purremise is that student Mai Tokiha discovers that she and twelve other girls at Fuka Academy are HIME, individuals possessing supernatural powers, which come in rather handy when fending off the various demons that tend to attack the school, which harbors a secret organization that has it’s own intentions for the HIME super heroines.

Originally available in the US on separate disks, the series has recently been made available in a quite affordable new 7 disk boxed set, the My HIME Complete Collection from Bandai. The packaging is a plastic double sized case with cover art of main characters Mai, Natsuki and Mikoto on the front. The red haired Mai is the main character, able to wield an assortment of fiery magical rings. Natsuki is the one with long dark blue hair, a serious minded warrior with pistols and a heaviily armed dog mech named Duran. Mikoto is is the girl with short dark hair, possessing great cat-like strength, agility, appetite, and a huge two-handed sword.

The seven  R1 NTSC standard disks have color images of various HIME characters on them, and are secured inside the lids of the case and overlapping on a hinged inner plastic leaf. This is not my purrfurred method, as removing the disks is a bit tricky. Aside from the cover art, there are no other inserts. Suggested for ages 13+, the color episodes total 650 minutes in dolby digital sound, which can be listened to in either English or Japanese language, with or without English subtitles; one can choose from either ‘full’ subtitles, or ‘signs and songs’ mode.

Extra features on the disks are sparse but include a spirited 30 second purromo on disk 1, a textless version of the opening on disk2, textless version of the closing on disk 3, textless ending to episode 15  on disk 4, and a Directors Cut version of episode 26 on disk 7. There are also DVD credits, and a few trailers for other anime titles on each disk, for Code Geas, Ghost Slayer Ayashi, Toward the Terra, Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex, Planetes and Mars Daybreak. While there is very little in way of extras features or inserts, and the DVDs can be difficult to remove from the case, this collection is over 11 hours of of exciting, fun grrl powered anime with language options with good audio & video quality on DVD for a most fair purrice, and this catgirl critic’s enthused appurroval!

Mike:
Thanks for that report, Jen!

Yvonne:
May I watch that when you have concluded the viewing, nya?

Jeannie:
Hai, we could put that in the video swap rotation.

Mary Nyan:
Ilyana would you like to watch Aria or Maria Watches Over Us?

Ilyana:
(happy swishy kitty tail) Ah sure that would be great- thanks!

Mielikki:
That was a very good review Jenny-chan!

Elizabeth:
And now here is Myayr with a review of another heroine series!

The Sarah Jane Adventures Complete First Season


Mary Nyan:
The Sarah Jane Adventures is a 2007 spin-off of the BBC TV series Doctor Who, starring the lovely Elizabeth Sladen in the title role. One of the most popular companions of The Doctor, Sarah was an investigative journalist who from 1973 to 1976 bridged the Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker eras of Doctor Who. In 1981 she starred in a pilot K-9 And Company (which we reviwed last month), and she also appeared in the 1983 20th anniversary episode “The Five Doctors”.  She was was not seen again in the series until the David Tennant era, along with K-9 in the 2006 episode “School Reunion”, and again in the 2008 season finale (which we reviewed in the September 2008 Mew). The Sarah Jane Adventures is currently enjoying it’s 2nd season on the air.

While stil a cononical part of Doctor Who continuity, The Sarah Jane Adventures is aimed at a younger audience. As such she is joined occasionally by three young new characters: her adopted son Luke played by Tommy Knight, neighbor Maria played by Yasmin Paige, and her friend Clyde played by Daniel Anthony. In addition to two brief appearance by her robot dog K-9 Mk. IV (voiced by John Leeson) , Sarah Jane has numerous highly advanced gadgets such as a Sonic Lipstick, a super computer named Mr. Smith, and government connections to aid her adventures. These adventures are now collected in The Sarah Jane Adventures The Complete First Season, released in the USA in October by BBC Video.

The set’s plastic case cover art depicts Sarah and her young assistants plus the faces of a few alien characters. Aside from a survey postcard there were no other inserts. On the four Region One standard DVD disks are the first season’s six episodes: “Invasion of the Bane”, “Revenge of the Slitheen”, “Eye of the Gorgon”, “Warriors of Kudiak”, “Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?”, and “The Lost Boy”. Purrsented in English in Dolby digital stereo sound, the 16:9 enhanced aspect ratio video can be viewed with optional SDH subtitles. The episodes total approximately 337 minutes, excluding the extra features. Each disk has a few front loaded ads for other BBC shows, and the disk menus are quite charming looks around Sarah Jane’s home.

Disk 1 includes the episode “Invasion of the Bane”, and the 1:45 purreview spot for it;  the 30 minute “Sarah Jane Smith from Journalist to Time Traveller and Beyond” which traces the characters history with text, still images and clips from various episodes. There’s a 7:15 interview with Elisabeth Sladen for BBC Norfolk webTV, fottage from the Blue Peter show, and a behind the scenes gallery with 9 stills. Disk 2 has the episodes “Revenge of the Slitheen” and “Eye of the Gorgon”, and a visit to Sarah Jane’s PC for purrofiles on various characters, aliens and gadgets. Disk 3’s contents include the episodes “Warriors of Kudiak” and “Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?”, and a few more of those purrofiles.

Disk 4 includes the episode “The Lost Boy” and lots of neat extras. There’s a 1st season synopsis, more purrofiles, another pleasant Blue Peter talk show segment which has Elisabeth Sladen a kitten, tiger cub, and Yasmin, Tommy, & Daniel making a Slitheen mask. There’s an 8 minute BBC Breakfast News interview with Elisabeth Sladen, CBBC teaser & trailer spots, and another photo gallery with a dozen stills. There are snippets of two Sarah Jane audio drama adventures read by Elisabeth Sladen, “The Thirteenth Stone” and “The Glittering Storm”, and finally there is a trivia quiz with the reward of a 4 minute blooper reel!

When Sarah Jane and The Doctor were reunited in “School Reunion”, it was such a joyful experience, and we were so happy upon learning would that she would star in her own series. It is extremely touching, exciting, charming and fun, with a great cast of well developed characters and high purrduction values. There are quite a few sentimental touches and references to Doctor Who characters and events, and plenty of fine CG and mechanical FX, sound FX and mewsic. The acting is excellent, including that of great guest stars such as Samantha Bond (who purrtrayed Ms. Moneypenny in Pierce Brosnan’s Bond films) in “Invasion of the Bane”. There’s a bit of overused slow-mo in “Revenge of the Slitheen”, but that’s the harshest comment I have on this wonderful series.

Sarah Jane is inquisitive, smart, tough, brave and lovelier than ever, and has come full circle since her first appearance “The Time Warrior”: this time she is the daring hero with amazing technology and knowledge of the galaxy, connections to UNIT and the human companions. Instead of a TARDIS she has an attic full of wonders, and while it might not be as exotic as the Doctor’s Whomobile or Bessie, Sarah Jane’s green Nissan Figaro is sporty cute. Maria might be this show’s counterpart to Doctor Who’s Rose Tyler, as a determined companion whose life, parents and friends are quite detailed and purrtrayed. The first season was almost all I hoped it would be and has left me eager for more, so when the 2nd season is released here on DVD, I plan to snap it up too!

Mike:
Thorough as usual, Myayr!

Jeannie:
She is the serious critic.

Yvonne:
And I did not doze off during that, nya!

Mary Nyan:
Ahh—!

Elizabeth:
Mielikki-sempai, the alien Star Poet in the 1st episode sort of reminded us of you!

Mielikki:
Hee- I am honored! But that is enough of me- what is the next review?

Ilyana:
Here’s Lizzy to continue our reviews of DVDs purrtaining to favorite heroines!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Cast Reunion Panel DVD

Elizabeth:
Best Buy was selling seasons of Buffy and Angel for $20 apiece, and they had an Exclusive Bonus disc of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Cast Reunion Panel, which was filmed at the 2008 Paley Festival on March 20th 2008. The Paley Center for Media, formerly known as the Mewseum of Television and Radio, is named after broadcast pioneer William S. Paley, and this session was a part of their 25th anniversary festival. It is introduced by director Barbara Dixon, who mentions how folks camped out for the event’s 850 tickets which sold out in 2 hours! Apparently there was also a screening that evening of the episode Once More With Feeling, purrior to the panelists taking the stage, but that part of the evening omitted from the disc.

She then introduces TV Guide’s Matt Rausch, a Buffy fan who serves as the moderator for the reunion panel.The panelists include Amber Benson, Nicholas Brendon, Charaisma Carpenter (in a lovely white dress), Emma Caufield (who had a sporty fedora), Sarah Michelle Geller (red dress!) Seth green, Michelle Trachtenberg (cute dress!), James Marstars (with brown hair), along with writers & purrducers Marti Noxon (she has such purretty blond hair), David Greenwalt, and the main man Joss Whedon! Speaking of purretty blond hair, there is a stunning photo of Buffy on the back of the slim no-frills cardboard sleeve that this bonus disc is packaged in.

After the introductions to a lively polite crowd of fans, the first topic of discussion is the Buffy mewsical episde. I am so not used to hearing James Marstars not speaking with a purrtend British accent! The episode Hush is mentioned as a more difficult episode to film, and they spend a fair amount of time discussing the emotional episode The Body, and the death of Tara. The topic of homosexuality on the show comes up, including amewsing comments about certain such aspects of the Buffy Season 8 comic book. The entire panel seems to be having such a fun time and they are  quite humorous!

While they mention the many awards the show did not win, they’re quite  grateful to have such dedicated fans, and in the final part of the 85 minute session is an oopurrtunity for some of the fans to ask about half a dozen questions- which all receive very thorough, chatty responses. The panelists were asked of their favorite movies, what is on their i-pods, what do they miss most about the show, why did Amber leave the show, a question about composer Christophe Beck, and what it was like for Sarah Michelle Geller to purrtray the Buffybot. Several of the show’s other writers who are in the audience receive applause, and the session ends with the panelists speaking about their latest purrojects. As a big fan of Buffy and Angel, this was such a fun treat to watch!

Mike:
Thanks Lizzy!

Yvonne:
Yay Buffy nya! It’s too bad that Willow, Giles and Angel were not in the midst, but that was an impurressive gathering nya!

Mary Nyan:
Hopefully they’ll have another such event for Angel too!

Jeannie:
And Firefly.

Mielikki:
I am sensing a trend here! I think you’re up next- ready?

Ilyana:
Hai…!

Elizabeth:
Here’s Ilyana with-

A new horror movie review: Quarantine
warning: major plot spoilers

Ilyana:
Based on a Spanish film titled Rec, Quarantine is another first purrson camcorder film such as Cannibal Holocaust, The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield and Diary of the Dead. A Reporter (Jennifer Carpenter) and cameraman are documenting the day in the life of Los Angeles Firemen at their station, when a late night alarm sends them to an apartment building where they are joined by Police. Inside the building, they discover some of the tenants are strangely ill and violent. Before any evacuation, the building is surrounded, barricaded and sealed by SWAT teams and the CDC. Electricity & communications are cut, snipers deter anyone from escaping, and the government falsely claims the building has been evacuated. Those trapped inside are slaughtered, as the super rabies spreads rapidly, transforming carriers into crazed cannibals. A few survivors frantically search for a way out, only to make a horrifying discovery of the origin the disease, and why there’s a cover-up.

While utterly purredictable- do you really think anyone will survive?- this film is extremely effectively dizzying and intense. The cast does a fine job, including Hellboy’s Doug Jones in a bit part. Bit Part- thassa joke. Ah well it’s also got Alley McBeal’s Greg Germann as one of the the tenants. While we here at The Mew tend not to like the ‘shaky cam’ technique that mars many a horror or action film these days (eg the Bourne movies) it is quite appurropurriate in these entirely camcorder style movies to create that sense of documentary realism. The film also has good purrduction values and locations, from the real Fire Department and trucks to the quarantined building surrounded by snipers, agents and news crews. The stunts, gory make-up FX, lighting, and soundscape are all very well done.

It’s about as cheery as 28 Weeks Later or The Descent, complete with ‘Night Vision’ scenes. While the unfortunately infected killers are the immediate threat to the purrotagonists, the true villains are those who created, unleashed, and cover up the incident. I suspect this is purrobably exactly the sort of movie you think it is, and if you are a fan of this intense style of shock cinema, you’re in for a heck of a horrifying ride. If you’re faint of heart or not a fan of those other camcorder type films I mentioned, then you should avoid this one like… the plague. Thassa ‘nuther… um well nevermind. Um, well thassabout it! Whew!

plot spoilers quarantined- it is safe to purrceed!

Yvonne:
Yay that was a good first time review, Ilyana-san, nya!

Mielikki:
You’re a natural, Ilyana-chan!

Jeannie:
Indeed you seem to have a knack!

(Lizzy & Myayr applaud her effort)

Ilyana:
Thanks guys- I was a bit nervous!

Elizabeth:
That’ll do it for this month’s cinema, TV and DVD reviews- but after this next break we’ll be right back with book reports!

(snip)
(one short break later)

Mary Nyan:
We’re back! Welcome to the part of the show where we review things in purrint! Here’s Mie with the first book report!

Surf Girl Roxy


Mielikki:
Arigatoo! In January and April 2008, the Ladies of The Mew reviewed their favorite surfer girl books, and today I’m pleased to add to that list Surf Girl Roxy! This is a handsome hefty hardcover with 220 pages full of magnificent photography, with text by Natalie Linden. Published this year by Chronicle Books, it’s $35 lavishness measures  approximately 11 x 8.25 x 1″, and comes with a clear acetate dust jacket and a cute bound in pink ribbon bookmark. Most of the beautiful & inspirational full color photos are full page images of the Roxy girls on the road, beach and waves. There are joyjoyful portraits, images of foxy fashions & stunning sports action, underwater photos, lovely land & seascape images from around the world. This would be an excellent coffee table book, and this magnificently documented decade of the stoked spirit of Quicksilver’s Roxy girls would be a great gift for that special wahini!

(the others applaud Mielikki’s effort, causing her wings to flutter & glow brightly)

Mielikki:
Heehee– arigatoo!

Jeannie:
The Luciferase in sensei’s Mood Wings would seem to be stimulated.

Elizabeth:
(ears purrked inquisitively) Na ni?

Jeannie:
She has happy wings.

Mielikki:

It’s from those positive waves!

Elizabeth:
That surf book seems full of positive waves too!

Mary Nyan:
That would be a good book for my lanai.

Ilyana:
And now here is Myayr with her book review!

Roger Dean’s Dragon’s Dream


Mary Nyan:
Thanks Ilyana! Roger Dean is one of the most significant visonaries of our time, and I eagerly awaited the publication of his latest collection, Dragon’s Dream. It’s the first book of his masterworks in over 20 years, following 1975’s Views and 1984’s Magnetic Storm. Of similar proportions, this new full color book measures 11.25 x 11.25″, so when opened you get a stunning 22.5″ wide panorama befitting his iconic imagery. This $29.95 hardcover has a full color dust jacket, bearing on the front the illustration “Dragon’s Garden” from the 1995 Pink Floyd  Us and Them record cover, and on the back cover is “Sea of Light” form the 1994 Uruah Heep record cover.

It was published in October, 2008 by Collins Design, and imprint of Harper Collins, with text by Amanda Shields, research by Harriet Lucas, the book’s production & design by Martyn Dean, and Forwards by Rick Wakeman and Syd Mead. After an 8 page biographical introduction, the first section is devoted to Dean’s work for Psygnosis Computer Games, such as Shadow of the Beast, Deep Space, Aquaventure, Chronoquest, and Gnosis. This is followed by an astounding tour of his album cover art of the past couple decades, including those for Pink Floyd, Uriah Heep, White, Rick Wakeman, Steve Howe, Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, Electric Sheep, Space Needle, Glass Hammer, Vermilion, The Gentlemen of Distorted Sound, and Anderson Bruford Wakeman & Howe.

Chapter 3 comprises a sumptuous selection of illustrations done for Nearfest, the  North Eastern Art Rock Festival in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and Chapter 4 pertains to his album covers for the prog rock super group Asia: Aria, Astra, Aura and Phoenix (earlier album covers, Asia and Alpha were featured  in his 2nd book, Magnetic Storm). Page 90 kicks off the continuation of his legendary Yes album covers & graphics, which alone span 40 pages of the book, plus 6 pages of his concert stage design for the 2003-2004 Yes 35th Anniversary Tour. Chapter 6 chronicles Dean’s concepts for Bullet-Proof Software and Henk Rogers, Tetris, the E-Scape Center and VR pods, and the characters, culture & landscapes for Black Onyx.

Next are Dean’s motion picture and theatre stage designs, including costume and scenic art for Puccini’s opera Edgar. Chapter 8 details his extraordinary architectural concepts, consisting of houses, theme parks, villages, resorts, hotels, sports domes, and urban planning proposals from the UK to USA. Prague and Malaysia. Concluding this special book are a catalog of hi fine art prints and a page of acknowledgments and contact information. Dragon’s Dream is a most spectacular book showcasing so many astounding, beautiful paintings, graphics, and constructions. At 225 pages, it’s 70 pages more extensive than either Views or Magnetic Storm, which makes such an impressive art book, and a most essential part of any Roger Dean fan’s library! And now here’s Jenjen with her report!

25th Anniversary Hardcover of Berni Wrightson’s
illustrated edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Jeannie:
In 1983 Marvel published an edition of Mary Wollstone Craft Shelley’s Frankenstien or, The Modern Prometheus, illustrated by the master of macabre art, Berni Wrightson. His intricate pen & ink illustrations have been widely revered as magnificent masterpieces, utterly appurropurriate to the Shelley’s 1831 classic, which is one of the most significant  and influential science fiction or horror novels of all time. The exquisite illustrated version is available again in a 25th anniversary edition, published in October by Dark Horse. This new clothbound hardcover book measures 12.25″ x 9.25″  x 1″, with embossed cover art and a satin ribbon bookmark. The 256 pages include  is the complete novel, Stephen King’s 1983 introduction, and Wrightson’s lavish illustrations. 42 of the black & white images are full page plates, and 3 are double page spreads. I highly recommend this to any fan of Shelley, Wrightson, Frankenstein, gothic horror or fine art. Vonny?

The Arina Tanemura Collection:
The Art of Full Moon

Yvonne:
That was a good review, Jennyjen, nya! I’ll try to compete with a thorough review too, nya. The Arina Tanemura Collection is such a dazzlingly art book by the manga artist of Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne, Full Moon, Ion, Time Stranger Kyoko, Gentlemen’s Alliance, and it has images from all of those titles, nya!  It is a full color book published by Viz in October as part of their Art of Shojo beat line, originally published in Japan, but has been translated into English and has a purrice tage of $19.99 USA & $23.99 Canadian, nya.

It has 70 pages, and I’d say about half of which are full page illustrations and a few double page spreads, plus it has a double sided fold out, nya! The images have annotation notes in fine purrint, a message form the artist, and a dust jacket, nya. The shojo style art is so lovely and detailed, with the purreetty girls and a few guys, gorgeous fashions, and all sorts of wings, blossoms, flounces, ribbons and other decorative elements of most complex compositions, nya. Most of the images are very cute with a few romantic images, and even a couple of sexy ones and a tasteful angelic nude but there’s nothing naughty at all, nya. It is such a lavish ornate collection of art, which I give an ‘A’, nya! OK now it’s Lizzy’s turn, nya!

Wendy Pini’s
adaptation of Masque of the Red Death volume one

Mary Nyan:
That was very good, Vonny- you keep getting more and more thorough!

Yvonne:
Arigatoo, nya!

Elizabeth:
Masque of the Red Death was a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, which Elfquest creator Wendy Pini has adapted in web comics form at http://www.gocomi.com . Planned as a three year long project, this first of three trade paperback volumes was first printed in June 2008. While Poe’s original tale was of gothic horror set in, her version is futuristic erotic science fiction. With an SRP of $19.99, its full color 176 full-bleed pages include 5 pages of sketchbook material and a stunning photo of Wendy Pini on her bio page. It has an exquisite use of color and light to convey the moody, sensual tale, with sexy characters in exotic apparel amidst lavish mecha & scenery. I would love to have some of those sparkly extravagant clothes! This book contains mature content of the yaoi sort, so it’s definitely not for children or any homophobic people, but I’d suggest it for fans of glamorous romantic science fiction or admirers of Wendy’s gorgeous manga- influenced art!

Mike:
Wendy Pini is one of our favorite artists!


Yvonne:
I keep hoping for Elfquest movies, nya!

Jeannie:
Well before we stray cat off topic we have more graphic novels on deck.

Mielikki:
To further double the mewing pleasure, here’s Ilyana with 2 manga reviews!

Sunshine Sketch manga vol. 1

Ilyana:
Sunshine Sketch is a new manga translated into English published by Yen Purress. The purrice is $10.99 USA and it is suggested ‘T’ for Teenage readers  of age 13+ and ‘LS’ indicating Language & Sexual content. . It is 124 pages of manga, the first 8 in color, the rest are B&W,  and there is a page of translation notes. By artist/ writer Ume Aoki, the 4 panel gag strip format is similar to Azumanga Daioh and SS Astro, with a pair of strips per page. Originally tiled Hidemari Sketch in Japan, this is a very cute story of a young girl named Yuno, who has been accepted into an art academy, and moves into an apartment building near the school full of other art students. There she rapidly makes new friends, including Sae, Hiro and Miya. Each has their own artistic specialities and quirks- as do the their odd teachers- one of whom is a cosplayer. This is an overall quite cheerful, wacky manga with amewsing characters, rendered with very nice crisp, clean drawings  of ink and tone. I would definitely recommend this manga to fans of charming, energetic, comedic cute artschool girl fun!

Suzunari manga vol. 1

Ilyana:
Next, Suzunari by Shoko Iwami is yet another delightful new manga titled published by  Yen Purress, also purriced $10.99 USA and rated ‘OT’f or older teen readers16+, and the content is indicated as LSN for Language, Sexual situations and Nudity.  It is 116 pages of manga, the first 8 in color, the rest are B&W ink & tone art, and there are 8 pages of notes, plus a few purreview pages of SS Astro vol. 1, which The Mew reviewed last month. Like SS Astro and Sunshine Sketch, this also has 2 columns of 4 panel gag strips purr page. This is the story of teenage Kaede Takamura, who until now has led a normal, purractical life, however this has changed when inexplicably an identical twin named Suzu shows up at her parents home. Identical that is except that she is a catgirl with much bigger (kitty) ears, and um, much bigger boobies too. To heighten the oddity of the situation is that Kaeda’s parents are so nonchalant about the whole affair. Furthermore, while she means well, the Suzu’s zany and catlike behavior compounds the dilemma that one would associate with having a twin in such a comedic fantasy story! For more information on these and other fine titles by this publisher, visit their  very pleasant web site at http://yenpress.us/

(She blushes as the others applaud Ilyana’s 2nd ever review)

Elizabeth:

What causes blushing, Jenjen?

Jeannie:
I’ve not done much research into the purrocess of vasolidation, however accor–

Elizabeth:

Ah heh- that’s OK I was just kidding!

lyana:
Are there any other reviews of the purrint media?

Yvonne:
We should ask Mielikki-sensei what she thought of the–

Faerie Magazine Autumn 2008 issue, nya!

Mary Nyan:
As a faerie, you should give us your expurrt opinion!

Mielikki:

Ooh Ok, if you rilly wanna hear it! There are numerous magazines I so look forward to, but few are as joyjoyful a read as the quarterly Faerie Magazine! Ah, it is full color, around 96 delightful  pages, and retails for $7.95 in US currency. Each issue is dedicated to all things fae: visual & performing arts & crafts, poetry & prose, insightful articles & reviews, photos of festivals and ads for wonderful things! The folks that create this quality magazine seem to take great care and pride in it, and this Autumn 2008 issue is filled with neat stuff! Here’s whatcha get: after editor Kim Cross’ greeting message, there’s a handy calendar of faerie festivals, the regular World of Brian Froud commentary, an analysis of the Elves and the Shoemaker, and an excerpt from The Goblin Market.

There’s a contest to win prizes, and such gorgeous illustrations & photos of the land & stonescape art by Alan Lee; plus splendid art pictorials of Julia Jeffrey, Marja Lee, Mairin Kareli, and Lisa Steinke, and the charming Faery Boxes of Darkwood by Hazel Brown & The Frouds! This is such a faerie art extravaganza! The musical articles include an interview with the duo known as the Gypsy Nomads, and a study by renaissance recorder player Dorothea Barth! The interviews are accompanied by rather charming photos- I especially like the ones of them in the forest! There’s the charming poetic & photographic journey into Uniting Kingdoms, poetry by Diana Burkhour, and a dandy little piece on Dragonflies!

J.K.’s serialized Faerie Journals continues with part 7, and the textile articles include fiber artistry of Krista Raak in brocade, silk & lace, and a cute quick guide to making a recycled faerie shirt! There’s a glance at the adorably tiny dolls of Angela Rosseau,  and the toys of Alan Dart. Oh gosh, there are a few book & product  reviews, and pretty pretty paperdolls – kawaii!  Even the ads are so alluring, for fine collectibles, books, paintings, sculpture, jewelry, costume parts, clothing, music, events, and even exotic places to visit! You can find out more about this publication at their web site, http://www.faeriemagazine.com/ . So if you are enticed by all things fae, I certainly recommend this excellent magazine, and give a glowing review with it two wings up, hee!

Mike:
Thank you Mielikki! That’ll do it for the book & magazine reviews, but now it’s–

The 13 Lucky Kitty Web Comics Picks of the Litter


plus 8 Bonus Guest Critic Picks for November are:

Yvonne:
My picks are Ranu’s Sugar Stars http://sugarstars.net/
Soap Committee’s Deity Permit http://pele.comicgenesis.com/
and Kata Dale’s Altar Girl http://www.altar-girl.com/
nya!

Elizabeth:
I’ve chosen Zhan D’Vega’s Ai Yai Yai http://aiyaiyai.comicgenesis.com/
Victoria Knauf’s Power Warp http://powerwarp.keenspace.com/
and Laura K’s NiShiChi 27 http://nishichi27.comicgenesis.com/
Jenjen, you’re up!

Jeannie:
Rogue Tomboy’s The Chains of Destiny http://www.chainsofdestiny.com/
Neato Neko & Ramune Rabbit’s Kitsune Kiki http://www.kitsunekiki.com/
and Komori Tom’s Otenba Files http://www.otenba-files.com/
Myayr?

Mary Nyan:
This month I’ve selected Asu’s HTP http://www.htp.asubox.com/
Jessica Johnson’s The Place in Between http://eien-no-ai.nu/place/
and Jennifer Diane Reitz’s Unicorn Jelly http://unicornjelly.com/
Next?

Mielikki:
I’ll nominate Melissa Peters’ Fahei Firefly http://firefly.fahei.net/
Indigo Kelleigh’s The Circle Weave http://www.circleweave.com/
and Danielle Corsetto’s Girls with Slingshots www.gwscomic.com
hee! Your turn, Ilyana!

Ilyana:
Thanks- this is my first time doing this! How about The Exile’s Daughter

Mike:
See- it’s easy! You just mention a few that you like!
Last but not least, my three picks for this month are
The Zombie Hunters http://www.thezombiehunters.com
and The Lounge http://thelounge.comicgenesis.com/

Ilyana:

– and that’ll do it for this month’s Lucky Kitty Web Comics Picks of the Litter! Um, when we return, the comix chatter continues as we’re joined by our special guests, so stay tuned!

(snip)
(one short break later)

Feature Purresentation: Jennie Breeden intermew!

Yvonne:
Jennie Breeden is one of the most fun, talented, kind, successful and respected web comics creators you’ll ever be pleased to meet, nya. The famous web comics she is known for are the surrealistic, humorous semi-autobiographical The Devil’s Panties http://www.thedevilspanties.com/ which is also in purrint comic book form, and the LARP (live action role play) related Geebas on Parade http://www.geebasonparade.com/, nya. She sets an impurressive table full of the dandiest art and merchandise at the cons she attends from coast to coast, much to the collecting pleasure of her lively fan following and admiring peers in the community, nya! She was so nice to take time from her very busy schedule to visit and grant this intermew, nya! Aloha Jennie, and welcome to The Mew, nya!

Jennie:
Thanks for having me.

Yvonne:
Would you like a lovely beverage? We have the cran apple nummy berry cocktail which is a a local favorite, but we have others too, nya!

Jennie:
Sounds good, thank you.

Yvonne:
When did you first realize you had artistic and storytelling talent, nya!?

Jennie:
heh, Me taking up art was like a ceo’s kid taking up business. My father was an abstract soap stone sculptor and my mother did stained glass. My father would go to sidewalk art shows and bring back truckloads of art to fill the house with. I never thought my childhood was strange until I got to college and realized that the cubical and suburb life wasn’t a parody. I started drawing in fifth grade and I liked the attention that doing portraits of my class mates got me. My sketchbook would be full of mini scenes of my favorite characters from movies and comic books interacting with my own characters. I went to Savannah College of Art and Design because they had a sequential (comic) department. I had never drawn a comic page but I loved the idea of using pictures and words to tell a story. It wasn’t until my third year of college that a roommate helped me put my cartoons up online.

Yvonne:
Please tell us about your purrestigious art school training, nya!

Jennie:
Savannah College of Art and Design has a sequential course where I took classes like writing for comics, perspective, inking, computer coloring, and anatomy. They had courses on publishing and marketing but I spent my time trying to grasp basic drawing skills. While in the dorms a friend wrote me a note saying that my mother had called and she scribbled a little cartoon version of me to go along with it. She drew me in my batman shirt, cut off shorts, and doc martins. It hadn’t occurred to me that this is what I wore most of the time. From there, I drew cartoon versions of whatever funny would happen in the dorms. It wasn’t until three years later that a roommate helped me put this binder full of random cartoons up on the internet.

Yvonne:
Who are your favoritest & most inspirational artists, authors and so forth, nya!?

Jennie:
From the comic book side I learned to read with Windi Pini’s “Elf Quest” along with Conan and DP7 and X-men. Later I got into Sandman, Finder, Castle Waiting, and Kabuki. I grew up on Tamora Pierces “Allanna” books which taught me that a girl can do anything that a guy can do. My favorite artists as a child were Rodin and Degas (for the ballerinas) and I love all things Mucha.

Yvonne:
Oh we’re huge Elfquest fans here at The Mew- and it’s hard to believe it is 30 years old, nya! What are your other hobbies and favorite things, nya!?

Jennie:
Heh, yeah, that would imply that I have time to do something other than the comic strip. With the conventions and publishing and making merchandise and shipping orders there’s not much more time in the day. I try and mow the lawn once a month and get the dish washer loaded when I can. A friend has gotten me into knitting and I’m trying to make a sweeter for my mother for Christmas. She’s also gotten me into reading vampire novels. She (Happy Both) likes werewolf stories more and I’m partial to urban fantasy stories.

Yvonne:
Could you please tell us the origin of The Devils Panties, nya?

Jennie:
The title was offered by DJ. I had been drawing the events around me for years but when a roommate suggested putting it up online I realized I’d need a name for it. DJ said that she was going to start a band called “The Devil’s Panties” but since she didn’t play in instrument, I could use the name. It was years later that I found out that it was actually I line from a Sandra Bullock movie. In Miss Congeniality a girl says “I wanted to get the red underwear but my mother wouldn’t let me. She said they were Satan’s panties!” okay, I have no idea if that’s the right quote so I’m digging it up on youtube and holycrap that one actress is the nurse from scrubs! “One time I stole red underwear from the department store. My mother wouldn’t buy them for me, she said that they were Satan’s panties.”
Yvonne:
Sandra Bullock is a favorite actress- I purrticularly liked her in Demolition Man, nya! How about Geebas on Parade, nya?

Jennie:
Geebas is the same as Devil’s panties only it’s all about my larping adventure; running around in the woods and hitting people with padded sticks.

Yvonne:
Larp fun, nya! When did become apparent that these were a big hit, nya?

Jennie:
The first time that I got a donation. A guy sent me $60 through paypal because he liked the comic strip. I was amazed and flattered that someone would like the strip so much that they would just give me money. Then he asked if I’d post my dimensions and pictures and I refunded the money.
Yvonne:
What purrcentage of your tales are fiction, and what purrcentage are based on real stuff, and has that balance changed over the years, nya!?

Jennie:
I’ve put cliff notes in the book that are out in comic shops because each strip is different. Sometimes I’ve changed the punch line to what I wish I had said at the time and sometimes the event happened, but it was years ago in a different place. The boys at the comic shop DID tell me that my anime favorites were “chick stuff” but I DIDN’T tell them at the time that “outside of a storm trouper circle jerk they’re never getting laid”. My brother did stand over the lifeless unconscious body of his younger brother with his only thought being “if he dies, mom’s gonna kill me” but this didn’t happen by running into a tree last Christmas, it happened ten years ago when he was hit by a bus in Jamaica.
So everything has a bit of truth and a bit of fiction in it.
Yvonne:
Your comics seem to feature, attract and inspire pirates & gamers & goths (oh my!) How did that happen, nya?

Jennie:
I am a gamer, a met a pirate at a convention, and I like to go to goth clubs.

Yvonne:
Our guest critic Ilyana used to be a pirate catgirl, nya! So, how does comic Jennie compare / contrast with real Jennie-san, nya?

Jennie:
Comic Jen is the idealized version of myself. She’s a lot shorter and scrappier than I am. I’m non confrontational but she can do all the yelling and ranting that I’m too much of a wus to do.

Yvonne:
What is the real Jennie-san’s daily routine like, nya!?

Jennie:
I spend about three to six hours checking e-mail, three or four hours filling out the online orders, two hours doing business stuff like setting up conventions, travel, merchandise, publishing, and advertising. Four hours is devoted to drawing the comic and uploading it to the internet and any updates to the website.
Yvonne:
Wow that’s a busy schedule nya! What are your favorite foods & beverages nya!?

Jennie:
Anything Ginger or garlic, chocolate covered strawberries or cherries, and my latest snack has been pickled okra.

Yvonne:
Mmm those sound like numcious treats, nya! You are also a most fashionable purrson. Please tell us where you like to shop for clothes, especially those neat boots, nya!!

Jennie:
Most of my shirts come from comic conventions. The boots were bought online at NewRock.es
Yvonne:
What are your purrfurred tools & techniques for writing, illustration & web site stuff, nya!?

Jennie:
I use my self phone (pocket pc) to record cartoon ideas when someone says something funny at a party or convention. I use a mechanical pencil on printer paper to sketch out the strip and a sharpie to letter it. Dip nib to ink it and then I scan it into photoshop. I use dreamweaver to set up the website and upload the cartoons.

Yvonne:
What creative or business advice do you have for aspiring artists & writers, nya!?

Jennie:
Keep updating regularly. You’ll progress slowly and that’s the best way to go. Try different small things; a few handmade merchandise items to test the water. Sometimes there will be an unexpected turn and you should go with it. Baby steps to world domination.

Yvonne:
What are some upcoming purrojects you’re working on, nya!?

Jennie:
I’m wrestling the publishing rights to book 2 back so that I can print it up. As soon as Diamond approves my new publishing company then I’ll start printing up book 3 as well.

Yvonne:
Good luck, nya! What are some upcoming conventions, shows or festivals you’ll be appearing at, nya!?

Jennie:

Paper Heroes in Burlington NC Oct 17-19 and Ape November 1,2 in San Francisco CA and then I start 2009 off in the beginning of February with What The Hell Con in Greensboro NC where we have our Geek Auction. http://www.thedevilspanties.com/conventions.html

Yvonne:
We hope to see you at some of those, nya! Domoo arigatoo, Jennie-san, nya!!

Jennie:
My pleasure.

Yvonne:
Coming up next, we welcome Niki Lemonade  to the show when we return, nya!

(snip)
(one short break later)

Feature Purresentation: Niki Lemonade intermew!

Elizabeth:

Niki Lemonade is a most delightful and extraordinarily multi-talented college student and renaissance girl An aspiring young artisan and storyteller, she likes to write purrose & poetry, draw, sew, knit, crochet, create jewelry, and photograph things. Testaments to her creativity and skill can be found in all sorts of places, such as her Deviantart gallery http://nikilemonade.deviantart.com/ , Fiction Press pages http://www.fictionpress.com/~nikilemonade , and her gift shop, the Lemonade Stand of Doom http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5350618 .

Combining her words and images is her wonderful web comic My Fake Heart http://myfakeheart.smackjeeves.com/.  It is a character driven, bittersweet shoujo-ai manga style romantic tale (not for widdle kitties due to situations and language) of several high school teens, whose lives range from wacky moments to more dramatic issues of love, loss and loathing. She has appeared at What The Hell Con http://www.guilford.edu/yachting/wthcon , Animazement http://animazement.org/ , Librari-Con http://www.cumberland.lib.nc.us/ccplyouth/teens-Librari-Con2008.htm – and now, let’s welcome Niki Lemonade to Catgirl island and The Mew! Aloha Niki! Thank you so much for visiting! Would you care for a  tasty beverage?

Elizabeth:

Aloha NikiI Thank you so much for visiting! Would you care for a tasty beverage?

Niki:
Hm…Have any lemony drinks?  Gotta keep with my motif, y’know!  Thanks for having me, it’s a real pleasure.

Elizabeth:

(gets Niki the drink) When did you first realize you had those creative skills, and what sort of training have you had to further refine them?

Niki:
Well, when I was probably about 11 or so, I started watching Sailor Moon, and later on discovered the graphic novels in a bookstore, and fell in love with manga. The storytelling was so fluid and fit so well with the way I told stories; I felt like this was where I needed to focus all my efforts. I never really studied much from other people, other than the occasional online tutorial for difficult things. My training consisted of filling up sketchbooks with my characters and bothering my mother to buy ink pens for me. Lots and lots of free time have shaped my art to what it is today, and I still have a long way to go.

Elizabeth:

Your sister, Beckie Kittenpie, is talented too! ! Are y’all graced with a circle of artistic family, friends and teachers that encourage each others’ creativity?

Niki:
That’s always been one of the most amusing things about our family. My mother is a florist-a very skilled one at that-and my father is an excellent mechanist. Neither are artistically inclined, yet my older brother, my little sister and I are all attracted to art (my brother was also in a band for a while). While everyone else in our family may not be artists, they all support us and our interests with genuine love. I created a Christmas comic as a gift for all my family last year, and my grandmother was so grateful, she actually cried. It was a great feeling to see how much she cares about me and my comics.

Elizabeth:

Your many influences is a most broad range, from the Japanese manga of Rumiko Takahashi, Naoki Takeuchi and Clamp, to diverse American comics by the likes of Art Spiegelman and Jennie Breeden, and the fantasy novels of British author Brian Jacques Any other notable inspirational artists, authors, or craftspurrsons we should know about and also study?

Niki:

Amy Kim Ganter is one of my favorites. She and Tokyopop published Sorcerers and Secretaries recently, and it’s an excellent read. Svetlana Chmakova created Dramacon (Tokyopop) and is now doing a series called Nightschool for Yen Press, and both exhibit great settings and characters with believable emotion. Her style is also very unique, and her coloring is to die for (I’m jealous!).  I read a wide range of webcomics daily, including Khaos Komix by Tab Kimpton, Wapsi Square by Paul Taylor, Girls with Slingshots by Danielle Corsetto…the list goes on.

Elizabeth:

Spiegelman’s Maus and Jacques Redwall series are both famous anthropomorphic tales. Do you do much furry art?

Niki:

Not really, it’s never really been my fandom. I’m currently writing out a mini comic for My Fake Heart that will put all the characters in Wonderland. This will include the White Rabbit and Chesire Cat.  I loved both the Redwall series Maus because they made you see past the characters’ physical appearance and appreciate the story for just the story. That, and the pacing is excellent in both series, and I want to work better on my pacing.

Elizabeth:

As a fan of TV, movie and games such as Sailor Moon, Dead or Alive, and Speed Racer. What is it you enjoy most about those?

Niki:
Sailor Moon…I just adored the girls who were almost my age using magic and fighting evil. I even started my own magical girl series, but never did much with it.  Plus, it was so unique when compared to the other tripe on television. I was drawn into the storylines and associated my own problems with the problems the characters were facing. Dead or Alive is a challenge for me.  I love fighter games, but I have no technique. Button mashing for me!  But DOA isnt’ a button masher game, so to be good at it, you have to time yourself. The challenge is what attracts me; if a game’s too easy, it gets boring.  Plus, I used to watch pro wrestling with my dad, so Tina Turner’s character makes me remembers those fun times. Speed Racer is a cult classic, so when I saw the previews for the movie, I was instantly excited.  It’s a staple of otaku culture, what can I say?

Elizabeth:

All three of those of started out in an animated medium and were later adapted into live action TV and movies. Have you seen those? What’s your opinion of the various versions?

Niki:

The Sailor Moon adaptation was interesting, but a bit of a disappointment. It was poorly edited, and gimmicky. I haven’t had a chance to catch the Dead Or Alive live film, but I plan to. Hopefully it won’t just be full of fanservice, but a gut feeling tells me it will. The Speed Racer film-in my opinion-was nothing short of beautiful. The angles and actions felt like you were reading a manga-and for crying out loud they used action lines!!  I’m such a fangirl for this movie.

Elizabeth:

What’s on your i-pod?

Niki:
Hm…It’s very varied, actually. I’ve got Asian Kung Fu Generation and Oreskaband, both Japanese bands. Flogging Molly, because I love the bagpipe and Irish rock. Flobots and M.I.A. for my hip hop fix. Styx and Queen are both legends, and probably will never be deleted from Inspector Zenigata, which is what I named my Mp3 player. The Shiny Toy Guns and some random Gorillaz, My Chemical Romance and The Silversun Pickups, Minus the Bear. I’ve also got the Speed Racer theme from the movie and the instrumental version, along with some themes from Eureka Seven, Paprika, and Paranoia Agent.  I’m probably missing something-oh yeah! Leslie Feist, she does some beautiful sad songs. I also have some comedy from Steven Lynch. His songs are hilarious.

Elizabeth:

That sure is a diverse mewsical mix! In addition to your literary & visual arts talent, what of the purforming arts? Do you sing, play instruments, dance, cosplay, act etc?

Niki:
I don’t cosplay, as a general rule, but I might end up breaking that rule if I construct the Harley Quinn outfit I’m wanting to do. I prefer to create my own fashions. I sing very badly and know all the words to Bohemian Rhapsody. I love playacting-in fact I started the Drama club at my high school and now they have a theater class because the club was a success. I’m very dramatic, so being on a stage makes sense, don’t you think?

Elizabeth:

Oh I agree! Your needlecraft results in an array of charming 3D creations such as kitty hats, arm warmers and… Fairy tushes! Which are the most fun, easiest, challenging and time consuming? Which are the best sellers?

Niki:
The Fairy Tushes are the newest, but they didn’t sell as well as I had hoped at Libraricon, which is the only con I’ve had them at. I’ll have more at What the Hell con in February, so hopefully they’ll do better. They take the longest to make and they’re probably the most troublesome. That tulle is difficult to gather sometimes. But they’re my favorite ones to make, because messing with all that sparkly fabric makes me feel like a little kid again. The Hats take the second longest, and they can be difficult, if the yarn is argumentative. They’re very relaxing though, and they sell very well. The wristwarmers are the easiest, taking about an hour to finish. They sell the best, I never come home with any leftovers.

Elizabeth:

Where do you purrfur to buy arts ‘n crafts supplies?

Niki:
I like buying on the cheap, so I usually stick to Wal-Mart for fabrics, sometime venturing to JoAnn’s for rare necessities. Hobby Lobby has weekly sales, so I try to get my jewelry making crafts whenever they’re on sale.

Elizabeth:

What are some good informative books, magazines, or web sites you’d recommend to those who might wish to take up knitting?

Niki:
Actually, I learned from my aunt, so I’m not aware of many books or websites. The Red Heart website has some free patterns, and most of the magazines on the shelves have a how-to for beginners section. Good luck, and have patience!

Elizabeth:

Onigiri jewelry sounds like it would taste good- I mean- have good taste as fashion couture. Could you tell us more about that ?

Niki:
I came up with Onigiri jewelry in my junior year, when in pottery class. We had some free time, and my friend was making some dinosaur skull earrings for herself.  I had started watching Fruits Basket, and was constantly drawing little onigiri. So, I made myself some onigiri ones.From there, I found some modeling clay at the store and started using that. They sell the least, but they were the first thing I ever sold, so I always bring those with me. I use Sculpty to make a small triangle, then punch a hole with a yarn needle if I’m using it on a necklace or charm. Then I bake them for a few minutes, until they’re firm, but not brown. I let them cool, attach them to necklaces, cell charms or earrings, and at the convention, I paint different faces on them, to the customer’s order.  They’re personable, so I always sell a couple at every convention.

Elizabeth:

Of course, Kitty Hats are a distinctive fashion statement. Is Molly your favorite character in the comic book Runaways?

Niki:
Who doesn’t love a twelve year old girl who can lift a bus over her head, all the while wearing an adorable hat?! Molly is too cute for her own good, though Nico’s loyalty to her friends and her strength are admirable too.

Elizabeth:

Ands now, let’s talk about your own comic, My Fake Heart! What inspired that?

Niki:
A friend asked me to write a story, so I did. It was senior year, and I had nothing better to do. I also had a huge crush on this friend, so the story centered around Natalie’s refusal to do anything about her crush on her friend. At some points I would get bored with the story, but some other friends of mine had started reading it as well, so I couldn’t quit writing.  I think they would have killed me.

Elizabeth:

Manny + glasses + braids = cute. Natalie + freckles + sundress = cute. Their valentine glomps: purriceless. They are cute but also  believable, and often in tough emotional situations. Are your characters & plots based upon actual people & events?


Niki:
Well, it’s mostly just from my own imagination. Natalie acts a lot like I do, and Amanda’s reactions to Natalie’s high jinks are a lot like some of my calmer friends’ reactions to my silliness.  Basically I take my friends’ and my personalities and put them in the situations I made up for this story. Though, something happens later in the story, and when I wrote this part a year or so ago, it had seemed weird and unrealistic. But a couple of months ago, the same exact thing happened to me, and it was very surreal. I’ve also caught myself using the “Anti Perv Punch” a couple of times, and saying some of the things my characters say. It’s very funny when a friend who’s read the story catches me doing that and brings it to my attention.

Elizabeth:

What is your comic creating purrocess like? Favorite media, tools & techniques? How do you purrfur to write & draw it, and put it online?

Niki:
The writing process is pretty simple, because I have the story written out all ready in literary form. I take each chapter and tweak it a bit for a manga script. Then I take each page’s script and scribble a page outline, with panels and speech bubbles. I use this to create the finished page on better paper.

Elizabeth:
You’re very good at combining different styles within your web comic, incorporating the cartoonier manga chibi, super-deformed, & omake versions of characters for comedic effect along with your more standard ‘realistic’ chara designs. Is that necessarily easier, or is the comedy just as hard to do? How tricky is it to balance the comedic and dramatic story elements?

Niki:
It’s always tricky to decide whether to make a panel in a certain style, a character turned this way or that with a certain expression or what angle to draw it. That’s why I do the sketchy version first; it helps me figure stuff like that out. The story elements are trickier, sometimes.  Even though I already have the script ready and everything, transforming that to manga brings out different points of view and different emotions than I saw before, while writing it. Natalie came out a lot more boisterous, while Amanda remained pretty much the same. I can’t wait to get to some more of the story, bringing in Zach and Leonard (Amanda’s brother) more.  It’s interesting (even for me) to see how all these characters interact. I ask myself “How would he stand in this situation?” or “What expression is she showing now?” a lot. In the end, I usually try out most panels a couple of different ways, playing with them until I’m happy. It’s not unusual to see me scrapping a page because it just didn’t work.  I’m a perfectionist.  ^.^

Elizabeth:
A good web comic must require numerous skills which might include: character creation, writing plot & dialog, editing, drawing characters and  environments, the graphic narrative of panels & page layout, lettering,  possibly inking, toning & coloring, plus web design and other technical aspects.  Then there’s the business of purrmotion,  advertising, and maybe merchandising, etc. Whew- that’s a lot of work, and not just one time-  but however often you update… and web comics creators often do all that with little or no pay. What are the easiest and hardest of those tasks for you?

Niki:
I love drawing the comic, so that’s probably the most enjoyable. I’m extremely lazy, so I usually just promote the comic on my accounts at livejournal, deviantart, any forums I peruse, so promotion takes a backseat. I feel a little guilty because I’m horrible at updating lately, so I don’t advertise something I don’t want people to get hooked on and then become upset when there are no updates for a week or so. I had a hard time last October, because I had absolutely no motivation to draw the pages. Then I realized that I was constantly worried about what my readers at that time thought and just needed to forget about their opinions and draw the story for myself, as selfish as that might sound. It helped a lot, and I have to remind myself that this is for fun and improvement from time to time.  I’ve learned a lot, about webpages and people and my style. I know where I need to improve, so I enjoy the whole process. I’m working on some posters, and I would absolutely love to put this story in print.  Maybe someday I’ll get to that.

Elizabeth:
What sort of purrson reads My Fake Heart, and what’s the readers’ response to your stories like?

Niki:
I get a lot of good responses, and I’ve had a flame or two. They don’t bother me; I find them quite funny actually. I love a good critique. I have a fan of the fiction My Fake Heart who reads and comments frequently, so it’s nice to have a familiar fan base.  I’m not sure of my usual fan. I know both genders enjoy my story, plus a few real life friends have told me they were depressed when they read it and ran out of pages. And they didn’t even enjoy shojo-ai before reading it! I hopefully can say my readers have good taste.

Elizabeth:
Can you give us any tidbits as to what to expect down the road in My Fake Heart?

Niki:

Well…those who don’t think two guys kissing are as cute as two girls kissing should be warned! Zach and Leonard (finally!) come onto the scene, so be prepared! It’s nothing graphic, and their interactions are always funny (I think Zach would probably be me if I were a boy). Amanda and Natalie get some time to themselves, and well…it’s awkward to say the least.  Oh yeah-and Amanda has a dream, and it leaves her wondering about a certain friend of hers.

Elizabeth:

Laced Candy is a most charming, well drawn 10 page shoujo-ai that comic you made in 24 hours about two girls working on an English Class purroject on Othello, http://nikilemonade.deviantart.com/art/Laced-Candy-Page-One-55391201 – any chance that might be revisited or are there any other short tales planned?

Niki:
I’ve thought about revisiting Candy and Lacey, but I haven’t decided anything for sure yet.  My main problem had been trying to create another story line for them, but a friend of mine suggested perhaps the ‘awkward’ introduction to each others’ friends would be interesting, and very possibly comedic.  I’m open to any suggestions.

Elizabeth:
What are some other purrojects you have planned, and your aspurrations for the near future?

Niki:

I’m actually working on a short side story for My Fake Heart, about Amanda’s journey through her own weird Wonderland, being led about by a red headed Cheshire Cat. After that I want to do another story, very different from My Fake Heart.  Well, it’s still shojo-ai, but it’ll be more surreal. It’s about a girl who changes reality without realizing it.  It should be very interesting, considering she’s an anime fangirl too!  What kind of realities can she come up with?

Elizabeth:

Niki thank you so so very much for joining us, and we hope you enjoy the rest of your visit to Catgirl Island!

Niki:
Oh, I’m certain I will!  Thanks for having me.

Elizabeth:

Want more lemonade? You can also read her latest mewsings in her Live Journal http://nikilemonade.livejournal.com/ !
The cat lady sings…

Ilyana:
Jennie and Niki are so nice and talented!

Jeannie:

Hai Hai!

Yvonne:

They were great guests I hope they enjoy the rest of their visit, nya!


Elizabeth:
I think that’s all we have for this Mew, isn’t it?

Mielikki:
My stars, are we done already?

Mary Nyan:
Looks like!

Mike:
Well then, folks, that’ll do it for this month’s Mew!

Mary Nyan:
Big thanks also to our guests Jennie Breeden, Nikki Lemonade, and purrticipants Ilyana and Mileikki!

(All four catgirls cheer)

Ilyana
Thank you for inviting me!

Mielikki:
It was fun to be back! Hopefully after the LPGA tour I can join in another session!

Yvonne:
Nya!

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!

(All in unison sing)

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

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