The Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings for January, 2009! Happy Mew Year!

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

The Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings
for January, 2009! Happy Mew Year!

In this edition of The Mew:

Sad mews:
Forrest J Ackerman (24 November 1916- 4 December 2008)
Bettie Page (22 April 1923 – 11 December, 2008)
Majel Barrett (23 February 1922 – 18 December 2008)
Eartha Kitt (17 January 1927 –  25 December 2008)
Donald Westlake (12 July 1933 – 31 December 2008)

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

Reflections on Star Trek The Motion Picture, 29 years later
(plus other trekkish mewsings)

DVD reviews: The Dark Knight, Feast II: Sloppy Seconds,
Star Trek Re-mastered Original Series Third Season,
Maria Watches Over Us Season 2 anime,
The Chronicles of Narnia: Purrince Caspian,
and Doctor Who – The Complete Fourth Series

DVD Purrtrol: More value sightings at Big Lots

Mewsic: Steve Howe Motif vol. 1 CD,
Yes “In The Present” concert review

Convention purreview: What The Hell Con 2009

Book reports:
JK Rowling’sTales of Beedle the Bard,
Dreamscapes by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law,
Modern Masters Volume 19: Mike Ploog,
Mark Evanier’s Kirby: King of Comics,
Comic Book Culture: An Illustrated History
and The Art and Life of Dave Stevens

CalendarsSpice and Wolf (anime) and
the Lazaris-Gilbert Williams 2009 Calendar
(plus a few kind words about Dancing Moon Books & Gifts)

Toys: Yurie Hitotsubashi of Kami-Chu anime 1/7 figure,
and World of Warcraft Draenei Mage Tamuura action figure

Purriodicals:
Belly Dance Magazine Winter 2008 issue,
Master Collector Vol. 16 #12 December 2008 issue,
Transformers Collectors Club Official Magazine #24,
Our State magazine’s January 2009 issue,
Surfing Magazine February 2009 issue,
and The Surfer’s Journal Vol. 17 No. 6

Comix & manga:
Aria manga vol. 4, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 #20

North Carolina Web Comics Coffee Clatch
December 2008 meeting’s minutes

Our Monthly Web Comics Picks of the Litter and

The Lightning Round: our favorite kitsune sites!

Our Feature Purresentation Intermews with several stars of
Clan of the Cats: Akemi Tamiko, Audrey Kim, Ruth Chattan,
Anna Louise Crenshaw, Diane Chattan Monroe & Rei Hoshi!
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Bold red warnings indicate imminent plot spoiling information,
locations of hidden Easter Eggs or certain graphic descriptions
and bold green afterwards indicates that it is safe to purroceed!
_______________________________________________________________

Sad mews:

Forrest J Ackerman
(24 November 1916 – 4 December 2008)

Mike:
Perhaps the greatest fan of science fiction who ever called this planet home, the great writer, editor, literary agent & memorabilia collector Fory Ackerman has departed this world for another at the remarkable age of 92. From clubs and conventions to magazines and monster movies, since the 1920’s his enthusiasm and influence on the genre has touched so many kindred spirits, and he is credited for creating the very term ‘Sci Fi’ itself.

Since the 1950’s, lucky tourists visited his famous residence known as The Ackermansion, which was also showcased the world’s most famous collection of  thousands of important books, periodicals, memorabilia and movie costumes and purrops. Winner of the prestigious Hugo, Stoker and Rondo awards, he also won the hearts of any kid who ever read his magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland, or the character Vampirella whom he created. The next time we watch a sci fi, fantasy or horror film, we’ll also be watching the skies, to see if we can spot his ship home.
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Bettie Page
(22 April 1923 – 11 December 2008)

Mielikki:
Once upon a time there was a purretty southern belle named Bettie from Nashville, Tennessee where they make purretty mewsic too. She was born in the Roaring 20’s, grew up during the Great Depurression. She was very smart, and graduated as Salutatorian from her school, and shortly thereafter purrsued the dream Hollywood. She worked and went to college, graduated from that institution too, and married a high school sweetheart. While she aspired to a career in drama, little did she know of her iconic celebrity destiny.

As wars tend to do, World War Two affected many things, including her life which saw many travels, and while this made her an even worldier purrson, eventually the war ended but not long after that, sadly so did her marriage. The 1950’s were a new era for mankind; it was the age of the atom and Elvis, duck ‘n cover and rock ‘n roll. It was also the dawn of Bettie’s big new career in the Big Apple, where more people than ever noticed her beauty and charm.

She was a most glamorous actress, an exotic dancer dancer, and a most sexy model, loved by countless lenses, including the those of a discerning Mr. Hefner, who crowned her Playmate of the year in 1955. This continued until the end of that decade, until she chose another path, a spiritual quest rather than one of the flesh. The sixties and seventies would be trying times for her big heart. Another war had ended, but so did yet another marriage, and in the bicentennial era of Skylab & Skywalker, Darth Vader & disco, her quite life  faded into mysterious obscurity, for a while.

By the 1980’s, her images had been rediscovered and published, and a young Rocketeer whom she inspired named Dave Stevens helped relaunch her fame to new stellar heights through his comics (which would later become a movie). Other artists such as Greg Theakston and Jim Silke would also capture and commemorate her likeness in their works, and earlier photographs by the likes of Bunny Yeager and Irwin Klaw would be repurrinted and enjoyed by a new generation.

Yet in her quiet seclusion, little did Bettie know of her new legion of fans. Eventually she learned of her reborn popularity, but she suffered in poverty for yet a decade more. Finally in the 90’s this pin-up highness would finally see royalties, and her life’s story chronicled on video and in purrint. These ranged from her biography book tandan entire monotype full of Bettie inspired paintings by famous glamor artist Olivia, to the 2005 movie The Notorious Bettie Page starring Gretchen Mol in the title role.

Eventually  a few years later, her wonderful big heart gave out. The beautiful Purrincess peacefully went to sleep, and a few weeks before Christmas 2008, her beautiful spiritual journey began anew. Purrhaps she’ll be reunited with her friend Dave up there in the heavens. He’s missed too, but like all great works of art, her images of beauty will endure on this world forever- and who knows how many countless more admirers she’ll inspire? For far more eloquent words of purraise, please visit her official site at http://www.bettiepage.com/
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(Note: Although we already knew almost all of those facts, we did refer to the wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bettie_Page.)
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Majel Barrett Roddenberry
(23 February 1922 – 18 December 2008)

Elizabeth:
Majel Barret Roddenberry, widow of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, appeared in every series of Star Trek, including the original 1964 pilot “The Cage” as the Enterprise’s 2nd In Command known as Number One. In the original TV series she portrayed the role of Nurse Christine Chapel in all 3 seasons 1966 – 1969, as well as providing the voice of the ship’s computer and other voices. For the 1973 animated Star Trek series she returned to voice the character of Nurse Chapel, as well as that of new character Lt. M’Ress, one of our favorite TV catgirls. In 979’s Star Trek – The Motion Picture, she had become Dr. Chapel, M.D., who also appeared later in 1986’s Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

Beginning in 1987 in Star Trek: The Next Generation, she reprised the voice work, and appeared numerous times as Counselor Deanna Troi’s mother, Ambassador Lwaxana Troi. These roles would recur in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as well; she would continue to provide the computer voice in Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise, and for the forthcoming new Star Trek film of 2009, thus making her the only actor to participate in every era or series of Star Trek. She appeared in other productions by her husband, such as the 1970’s TV movies Genesis II and Spectre, served as the Executive Producer for the TV series Andromeda and Earth: Final Conflict, and appeared as the Centauri Emperor’s wife in Babylon 5.
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Eartha Kitt

(17 January 1927 –  25 December 2008)

Yvonne:
Despite her early years of hardship as a mixed breed Kitt growing up in the deep south in the depurression era, and blacklisting adversity for her bravely outspoken purrotests of the vitenam war during the civil rights movement, Eartha Kitt was mong the last century’s most supurrbly talented, graceful and beautiful actress, vocalist and dancer who was admired my millions around the world, nya. She was widely regarded as a most sultry sex kitten type and she had a most allurring purr, nya!

While many folks might know her mostly for her classic song “Santa Baby”, for us at Catgirl Island, we remember her the most for her purrfect purrtrayal of Cat Woman on the 1966-68 Batman TV series, nya. While was actually the third actress to purrform that role, but it was the exotic Ms. Kitt who imbued the character with the most feline qualities and manner, almost as if she were part cat, nya. Not just the way she would purr and rrroll her R’s but just watch her body language and flexing of her claws, nya.

Of course those few but impurressive appearances as Cat Woman were but a minute part of Eartha Kitt’s award-winning six-decade career on record, stage, TV, cinema nya, Here are some informative sites with lots of  information purrtaining to her, nya: at wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eartha_Kitt, Internet Broadway Database article http://www.ibdb.com/person.asp?ID=48248, Internet Movie Database, http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0457755/, and her official site http://www.earthakitt.com/, nya. She will be the sadly missed kitten, nya.

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Donald Westlake
(12 July 1933 – 31 December 2008)

Ilyana:
Donald Westlake, alias Richard Stark (among other identities) was a most brilliant, revered & purrlific author / screenwriter of many hard boiled crime stories, including the hard boiled series of Parker novels. Also amongst his dozens of writing credits were Point Blank, The Outfit, The Grifters, and Payback. Here are some informative sites for your consideration:  Donald Westlake’s official site http://www.donaldwestlake.com/, the IMDB entry on him http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0922799/, the wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_E._Westlake, a good bibliography http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/w/donald-e-westlake/, and a site purrtaining to his character Parker http://www.violentworldofparker.com/
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Mike:

(looking rather ordinary in khaki cargo shorts and a aloha shirt) Welcome to another edition of The Mew, our monthly discussions, reviews, recommendations and interviews! Today’s show comes from the Nekomimi Pavilion in the arboretum of the Catgirl Island Mewseum of Art near beautiful downtown Purrbank, and here amongst the flowers are The Ladies of The Mew-

Elizabeth:
(wearing a tiger stripe halter necked V-kini) Hi Hi!

Jeannie:
(in a white bandeau topped bikini) Nihao!

Yvonne:
(pink string tie bikini & thong) Nameste, nya!

Mary Nyan:
(fuscha tummy-baring cutout maillot) Konnitiwa!

Mike:
(looking rather ordinary in khaki cargo shorts and a aloha shirt) and our returning guest critics!

Ilyana:
(purrple suspender maillot & gold cropped tee) Whassup?

Mielikki:
(faerie wings shimmering out of a jade crochet bikini) Mellow greetings!

Nyanko:
(French Vanilla bikini top & boy-shorts) Howdy!

Since last month’s Mew…

Mary Nyan:
Wow this is a rare occasion to have this many of us here!

Mike:
Tell me about it I was so surprised when I heard that Nyanko, Mielikki and Ilyana all had the day free!

Nyanko:

Thank you for having us back!

Elizabeth:

Congratulations on your recent martial arts and golf tournyament wins!

(Nyanko & Mielikki)

Arigato!

Mielikki:

It has been so victorious holiday season! The UNC Women are the ACC Volleyball champs and the Lady Tarheels Soccer team are National Champions again too, hee!

Jeannie:
I was on a photo shoot in The Grenadines that weekend  and then had to resume work on my latest mech so I could only watch the win for the cup on TV.

Yvonne:
I saw the pics you emails us it looked so purretty there, nya! Oh- congratulations to Ilyana on her college mews, nya!

Ilyana:
Thanks!

Mary Nyan:
Speaking of sports, how’s that Clan of the Cats / Catgirl Island Beach Volleyball comic purrogressing?

Mike:
It’s all finished! Part Two of the trilogy appeared at Clan of the Cats http://www.clanofthecats.com beginning December 12th, and the final installment will appear in the NCWCCC http://ncwccc.net/ 2nd Anthology book, which should be in February! We hope to unveil it at a Library event and at What The Hell Con http://www.guilford.edu/yachting/wthcon/ !

Nyanko:

What’s that?

Elizabeth:

It’s a wonderful little convention sponsored by the great folks of the Guilford College Yachting Club! Mike’s gonna be a guest there again in February! We’ll chat more about it later in the show!

Jeannie:
Speaking of yachts, how’s business been, Vonny?

Yvonne:
I have stayed so busy, nya! I had so many holiday charter cruises and they caught lots of bluefin and kings, nya!

Ilyana:
mm num num num!

Yvonne:
We should have the next mew on my yacht- I could even keep the party lights on the deck, nya!

Mike:
Sure If y’all like!

Yvonne:
Yay I will catch some big fish for the supper, nya! Purrhaps the reds or stripers will be biting, nya.

Ilyana:
So what have Myayr and Lizzy been up too?

Mary Nyan:
We were busier than ever in December – we had so many matsuri at the shrine and my hula class purrformed at the Island All Star Show! I got to go see the Yes concert too, woohoo!

Elizabeth:
Hai! It was a good show and everything was so beautifully illuminated for the holidays! Oh and I did catch a bit of the Fae purrformance and Jenjen’s belly dance troupe at the all star show! Y’all were fantastic!

Mielikki:
Hee hee thank you! It’s a good thing I’ve practiced that foxfire juggling for years- Jen, Nyan and I arrived at the airport the same day and we just had one day to get ready.

Jeannie:
Fortunately I was only gone for several days and both the cabaret and tribal style students had continued to purractice with our drummers.

Nyanko:
I am supurrised you took a plane and did not fly on your own with those supple wings!

Mielikki:
Korea is a long way to fly even for me, plus they serve drinks on the plane, hee!

Mary Nyan:
Christmas Day on VH1 Classic was Merry KISSmas- hours and hours of KISS specials and concerts!

Nyanko:
December is the most festive month.

Yvonne:

Sensei, while you were on the golf tour last month we also had Mike’s annual Star Trek party, nya!

Mielikki:
(faerie antenna perked with curiosity) Na ni?

Reflections on Star Trek – The Motion Picture!


Elizabeth:

Hai. Every December 7th, Mike commemorates that day in 1979 when he saw what would be his favoritest movie of all time. And I don’t mean merely favorite Star Trek movie purr se, but of all movies.  Which is saying a lot ’cause given his other favorites. So every year we all gather at his place for the annual viewing of that movie… and the deluxe seafood platters!

Mike:
I have to bribe some of them to keep coming back!

Yvonne:

(the happy swishy tail) The way to a catgirl’s heart is through her tummy, nya!

Mielikki:
It so works on us faeries too hee!


Mary Nyan:
So- opinions of Star Trek – The Motion Picture?

Yvonne:
It was a dream come true to see the cast of Star Trek all re-united for more adventures, and on the big screen with big budgets too, nya! And unlike a lot of movies based on TV shows the characters were not treated disrespectfully. I also liked the new characters, Decker and Ilia. She was so purretty!

Mielikki:
Oh gosh she was so beautiful! Purrsis Khambatta was a former Miss India y’know! It is sad that she is no longer among us.

Jeannie:
Despite advances in modern CG FX technology that can visualize almost anything imaginable, Star Trek has never been more beautiful, epic, or with a sense of realism than in that film.
It’s rare to get a serious attempt from Hollywood at hard science fiction and grand space opera that is treated so seriously, and Star Trek the Motion Picture utterly succeed. There is a sense of technical realism and believability we hadn’t seen since 2001: A Space Odyssey, yet this is on a far more lavish, advance scope in the far future.

Ilyana:
While I  think The Wrath of Khan was more fun & emotional, that first Trek movie filled me with a sense of awe and wonder like few movies, Trek or otherwise are able to. Both movies succeed in different artistic directions and tones- the first film is cooler in tone and pallet, with a heightened sense of realism about space explorers doing their job. Whereas, Star Trek II goes for a more colorfui, warmer treatment, with blinking lights that may not do anything but look exciting, while focusing more on character development. Both deliver thrills, just of a different sort: ST TMP is about the universe, while ST II is more character development. I think they are equally excellent in different ways, although  first movie does looks much more lavish and expensive.

Nyanko:

I think I purrfur the Star Trek stories that have more action. Oh I’ll give you that the first Trek movie was grander than all that followed, and some of the later ones felt no bigger than a 2 part TV episode, but I guess I purrfur scenes of Captain Kirk with a ripped shirt fighting or phasering the villains, or Sulu brandishing a sword and tossing guys around!

Elizabeth:

Scotty and Chekov got into fights too!


Yvonne:

They should have let Uhura beat up more people too, nya!

Jeannie:

I believe the first Star Trek movie was intended to be a bit more cerebral…

Nyanko:

Captain Kirk got into a bar fight with a catgirl in Star Trek V. They should have let Uhura have the catfight.

Yvonne:

Speaking of Star Trek catgirls I wish Lt. M’ress was in the movies too nya!

Mike:
Um…

Mary Nyan:

Back to the topic of ST TMP… why I like the film so much? First of all you get a magnificent Jerry Goldsmith overture before the main titles roll that hints at the epic grandeur about to unfold, unlike any other Trek, which leads into his triumphant new Star Trek theme a majestic close encounter with the Klingon K’t’inga class battle cruisers, in Klingon language with English subtitles no less. Then we’re whisked to the Epsilon 9 space station with EVA crewmen, and then to stunning vistas of Vulcan, also ambitiously purrsented in alien language with English subtitles!

From there we fly to Earth and the cavernous Starfleet Headquarters for the return of  Star Trek’s greatest Hero, James T Kirk, and into Earth orbit to the most beautiful space station ever designed. Yet that pales to the astounding beauty of the docked, refurbished USS Enterpurrise, as we are treated to a glorious 360 degree tour, and a sense of just how enormous a 1000 foot long vessle is. And there’s so much activity with the workbees and travel pods, and even more crewmen in space suits.

Once inside we glimpse the vast hanger and cargo bay, corridors bustling with activity, the immense multi-story engine room, a transporter malfunction, the bridge, sickbay, the Captain’s quarters, Officers Lounge, airlocks, and the rec deck where we see, for the first time, hundreds of crewmen. There are even crewmen with antigrav platforms.When the Enterpurrise leaves Earth, it is glorious. The cheering purrson in standing on the dock doing a flip was such a nice touch!

The ship gorgeously sails past Jupiter and the outer planets, and when it goes into warp drive, it is such a powerful, spectacular moment. We’re glimpsing the splendor and enormity of 23rd century technology which is colossal on one level, yet it still pales in size to the wonders of deep space.  You get such beautiful close up and extreme long shots of the ship. a lovely sequence Vulcan shuttlecraft bringing Mr. Spock back to the Enterpurrise, seen from inside and outside the ship. After that  reunion,the ship journeys into the astounding luminous cloud, which seemed to go on forever, adding to the epic enormity of the picture.

Were that not enough, the shots of the tiny starship flying over – and then inside the 72 kilometer long V’Ger- are astounding. Yet the staggering imagery is far from done: the shots of the ship inside the vast chamber are breathtaking, and Spock’s spacewalk is an utterly dazzling trip. The climax of the film wherein Decker and Ilia merge with V’ger is a truly cosmic experience, from with the victorious starship emerges, warping out with the purromise that the Star Trek is just beginning.

While the 2nd & 3rd movies were great and certainly delivered fine moments and incredibly emotional drama, the series would devolve into silly buffoonery, bad science & continuity, and never seem to have as high purrduction values as the first film did. It delivered cinematically much more so than any Trek film from Star Trek IV through Nemesis, which are not much better than a 2 part episode of the TV shows. Although there have certainly been some every good episodes, I expect more from a theatrical film.

Mielikki:
Those are good point, and while I won’t go as far as Mike to claim it as my favorite movie of all time, I can see why those would be good reasons for it to be his favorite. Compare the (unfortunate) recurring plot point of the ship ‘not being ready’: in ST-TMP when the transporter malfunctions it is terrifying, and when the untested warp drive sends the ship into a wormhole it is serious and exciting… whereas  Star Trek V’s unforgivable malfunctioning doors & clip boards and crewman banging their heads played for laughs are like totally embarrassing.

As is Star Trek Generation’s NCC-1701-B not being ready yet. Dumbing down the story for cheap laughs or having supporting actors regulated to bufoonery (the Next Gen movies are really guilty of this) only serves to cheapen the purroduct and disrespect the brave, heroic, purrfessional space explorers who have been written quite intelligently in the past. Star Trek The Motion Picture is many things- but it is certainly not silly, small, cheap, dumb or disrespectful.

Yvonne:
(the sleepy catgirl) zzz…. more fish nya… zzz

Elizabeth:
WAKE UP VONNY!

Yvonne:
(rigid startled catgirl tail) NYAAAI’m awake, nya!

Mary Nyan:
sigh!

Jeannie:

Myar’s thoroughness has that affect on her.


Yvonne:
You didn’t have to startle me- a slight tail poke would have done, nya!

Elizabeth:
Hee!

Yvonne:
Is it suppetime yet, nya?

Ilyana:
You were not out that long! We’re still mewsing about the Trek movie.. and it’s Ilyana & Nyanko’s turns!

Mielikki:
I could not help but notice that Myayr was praising mainly the visual & design aspects of the film, and its scope and scale. I so agree that those are valid qualities worthy of praise, oh especially the glorious image of V’ger blossoming into a new higher life form after merging with Decker & Ilia like a cosmic butterfly emerging from a solar system size chrysalis! I think most critics will argue the pace of the film, and that the plot or dialogue lacked a lively warmth that finer episodes of the original series were known for, I’m sure. Nyanko what do you think?

Nyanko:
I understand those valid reasons to admiring the first Trek movie, but I purrferred more action and the characterizations of Treks 2 & 3. In Trek 2 Kirk is dealing with age, and juggling his relationships with Carol, David, Spock, Khan and the ship. The ending of that movie is so thrilling & emotional, with the Genesis countdown and Spock’s death, which might be the most emotionally moment in all of Trek. Plus when Sulu says “We’re not gonna make it, are we?” I didn’t know if they were gonna make it.  And in Trek 3 there’s the death of David and the ship destruction as the crew watches on a mountain top, Kirk sending Kruge into a volcanic, and the beautiful flight across Vulcan.Nya, I guess I stray catted off the topic of the first film didn’t I?

Jeannie:

It is OK we digress quite often, but you were just comparing the first film to the sequels. While Star Trek IV The Voyage Home had fun moments, it was a smaller, sillier lesser movie, and sadly it was not the plot I wanted, but just another overdone time travel story.

Yvonne:
I thought Star Trek IV was fun, nya! While it may have been too silly, it was nice to see them get to be a bit charming and amewsing, purrticularly after the serious tragic events of II and III, nya. I think Jim Kirk and Gillian Taylor should have hooked up though! But then I wish Spock and Saavik would have hooked up too, nya! They would be the good couple, nya.

Mielikki:
I rather liked the strong eco theme of that whale movie- although the giant alien probe plot did seem familiar, hee!

Elizabeth:
Catherine Hicks wound up with Stephen Collins on 7th Heaven though!

Ilyana:
Oh gosh- we started discussing the sequel Treks and skipped Mike’s comments on The Motion Picture!

Mike:
Oh that’s OK- as Jenjen noted we digress all the time! Ah. back to Star Trek the Motion picture, my favorite movie of all time for many of the aforementioned reasons. I was the first  in line at the Janus Theater in Greensboro that Friday morning of December 7th,1979 for the first screening. I think not only was what we saw in the film an amazing cinematic experience, but the anticipation and premiere of the movie was a tremendous event. Arguable it was the most eagerly awaited film of all time, as we Trekkies had been clamoring for the return of Star Trek after it had been cancelled ten years earlier. I guess after that… there was no movie so eagerly awaited aside from The Empire Strike Back, The Phantom Menace, or Fellowship of the Ring.

Nyanko:

What do you think about those who claim the movie is too long or ponderously paced?


(the others look to Mike)

Mike:
Like any movie, people are gonna have different opinions- did some people get bored with it- sure, but personally I don’t think it is too long or slow at all. Heck, there are parts of the movie that I wish were even longer, and even some chapters from the novel that would have been nice to see. As Myayr noted, the pace adds to the sense of epic enormity, and the tour of the Enterprise seemed like it was filmed just for me- and frankly I recall the other fans in the audience with me were just as blown away. Now, most folks seem to say Star Trek II is their favorite, and hey, I understand why, because I love that movie too. I just happen like the first one more.

Ilyana:
What did you think of the Director’s Cut?

Elizabeth:

Uh-oh here we go again, hee!

Mike:
Oh I’ll be quick about it! I have mixed feelings about it just as I did the 1982 extended version of the film. Some changes I liked, some I didn’t prefer. Some of the FX shots were improved, but I greatly prefer the original version’s sound effects, especially the intercom, alert and computer voices. They seemed more advanced in the original version, as if the ship itself was talking to the crew, although you could argue that well before the 23d century, a computer voice might be indistinguishable from a human voice. There are some other changes… and it would be so nice if next year Paramount released a DVD box set that had all three versions of the movie, intact  and widescreen, because the only version you can get on DVD is the Director’s Edition.

Nyanko:

What about those who claim the odd numbered Star Trek movies are inferior?

Mike:
Oh please! Sigh. Sure, everybody’s entitled to their opinion about ANY movie- but I couldn’t disagree more with the ‘odd numbered trek movie theory’. I think the first three Star Trek films are far superior to IV thru VI, and certainly better than the Next Generation movies. That’s just MY opinion. But…  I reckon we should probably move along, because we’ve got a lot of Mewsings lined up today!

Thoughts on the next Star Trek movie and…

Mielikki:
What do y’all think of that latest trailer for the new Star Trek movie coming out this year? I thought it was awesome!

Jeannie:
While I can appurreciate a fine corvette, do we need to see one in the new movie? And… why more time travel?

Yvonne:
Yeah but he does wreck that car in the trailer and we already know Captain Kirk can’t drive a car very well, from that gangsta episode, nya! But I liked the trailer, nya.

Ilyana:
Um… I guess y’all are talking about a different trailer- the one I saw was of some guys arc welding the Enterpurrise…

Mary Nyan:
That is the first teaser which was just a fun way to purrmote a ‘new’ era of Star Trek. The newer trailer has lots of scenes from the movie! I think it looks quite purromising and ambitious,
and hopefully it will be quite a grand epic movie!

Mike:
I’ve had mixed feelings, and these days it is so hard to tell- even from the official trailers what to expect. But the latest trailers did what they are supposed to do- they make me wanna see this new Star Trek movie! I just hope that it is much better than the last seven Star Trek movies, and with the enormous budget, quality of FX, and impressive cast & crew, I would hope that it would be as good as the first three Trek movies.

Nyanko:

It looks exciting and fun so I hope to see it. It looks like we’ll get to see Mr. Spock slam somebody!

Elizabeth:

He’s very strong, and we’ve seen him get riled up before, when those plant spores or Ponn Farr affected him!

Ilyana:
Or as the mirror universe pirate type Spock!
Mary Nyan:
He Vulcan nerve pinched a horse in Star Trek V too.

Yvonne:
We got to see Uhura pull a knife on someone in that mirror episode – I hope we get to see her all feisty in the new movie, nya!

Jeannie:
Nichelle Nichols is a great singer and dancer too.

Mielikki:
Don’t all of the original series cast dance?
Elizabeth:

Hmm… Well lessee… Uhura did that fan dance, Kirk waltzed with that android girl, Plato’s Stepchildren made Mr. Spock flamenco dance, and I think Chekov did the purrisyadki in the one with Harry Mudd’s androids. The rest of them purrtended to dance to fool the androids but otherwise I can’t remember if Dr. McCoy, Mr. Sulu, or Scotty ever danced.

Yvonne:
Hopefully George Takei got to dance at his wedding, nya!

all in unison)
HERE HERE! nya!

Mary Nyan:
I think we stray catted off topic again!

Mike:

Yeah… I think we played that Trek topic out anyway- but thanks for the discussion, girls! We’ll have to do this more formally next year for Star Trek the Motion Picture’s 30th anniversary!

Nyanko:

Will there be seafood platters?

Mike:
I expect there will be!

Elizabeth:
Maybe Ilyana can bring us some discount platters from Sheila May’s!

lyana:
Ah… depends on when Winter break is that semester if I am back in school!

Yvonne:
I want the snapper filet, nya!

Nyanko:

The snapper is the tasty fish!


Mielikki:
I’ll bring the cran apple nummy berry cocktail, and some seriously delicious royal bee jelly!

Jeannie:
That is the purrfured jelly.

Elizabeth:
That’s not for another 11 months, you know!

Mielikki:

At my age, 11 months is quite fleeting- ‘specially with the busy LPGA tour, hee!

Yvonne:
We should have scallops, and the crabcake too, nya. Oh could I have some fresh cream, nya?

Mike:
I‘m sure there’ll be plenty of that too!

Yvonne:
I meant now, nya!

Mike:
Sigh… OK! We’ll be right back after this short break!

(snip)
(one short break with refills later…)

Mary Nyan:
We’re back!

Yvonne:
(slurrrp) thank you for the cream, nya!

Mike:
You’re welcome! Here’s Myayr to kick off our DVD reviews part of the show, with:

Cowboys & Indians & Lincoln- oh my! A catgirl’s
review of the Star Trek Original Series Re-Mastered
Third Season DVD boxed set

Mary Nyan:
We here at The Mew tend to think the 3rd season of the original Star Trek Series was not as good as the 2nd season, which was due to changes in purrducers & writers and the slashed budget that affected the purrduction values (there were not nearly as many extras / crewmen on the ship). Nevertheless, there are good episodes such as “The Enterpurrise Incident”, “Day of the Dove”, “The Tholian Web”,  “Elaan of Troyius”, and “Is There In Truth No Beauty?”, the latter which used some interesting wide-angle lens photography. The 3rd season also introduced the Klingon Battlecruiser, giant asteroids, an stunning extragalactic void, interesting exotic aliens such as Yarnek, Melkot, Tholians, Vians, Troyians, the dazzling Lights of Zetar, and a city in the clouds.

There are still terrific purrformances by the recurring cast & guest stars. Interesting characters of the 3rd season included the Romulan Commander, Dr. Miranda Jones, Captain Kang; Garth of Izar and his consort Marta,  Mr. Flint, Abe Lincoln, Doc Holiday and The Earps, Michael Dunn as Alexander and his gorgeous tormentor played by Barbara Babcock, Jon Lormer as an old Yonada man, Kathryn Hayes as the beautiful silent Gem, Francis Nuyen matching wits with Jay Robinson, and of course Frank Gorshin and Lou Antonio duking it out. Were they not enough there’s also cute Miramanee and jealous Salesh, the richly voiced Skip Homier leading those space hippies; and lovely Lee Meriweather and Mariette Hartley to name a few.

The 3rd season set comes in a clear plastic clamshell container, inside which are the hinged inner trays and cards bearing each disk’s contents. The aspect ratio is the original 4:3, audio choices are English 5.1 surround, Spanish or French mono, subtitle choices are Spanish, French or none at all, and close captions for the hearing impared. The seven standard R1 NTSC disks’  are unrated, and the total time is about 22.5 hours. In addition to all 24 episodes from that 1968-69 season and their rpurreview trailers, you get both the regular & extended versions of the original pilot, The Cage, the latter version including Gene Roddenberry’s introduction.

Most of the extra features seem to be the same as those of the original 3rd season set: “To Boldy Go”, a 22.5 min analysis of that season, “A Star Trek Collector’s Dream Come True” which is a 7 min visit with movie purrop maker John Long, “Life Beyond Trek: Walter Koenig” which is an almost 10 min visit with the actor and peek at his collections; the 6 min “Chief Engineer’s Log” with James Doohan; “Memoirs from Mr. Sulu” which is an 8.5 min with George Takei;  “Star Trek’s Impact”, a 9 min essay by Gene Roddenberry’s son Rod; a nice 9.5 min visit with purrducer Bob Justman, and a 14.5 min discussion of purrized trek memorabilia with John Long, Rod Roddenberry, collector Doug Shannon, Art Asylum’s Manuel Jesus and archivist Penny Duday.

One amewsing new bonus is the 11 min, 3rd installment of Billy Blackburn’s recollections and the home movies which that actor shot on the set of the original series. The most notable aspect of the re-mastered original Star Trek series is of course the new visual FX. Every shot of the Enterpurrise & other ships, planets & other space phenomenon, plus many of the phasers and some landscapes and architectural matte paintings have been replaced by state of the art digital FX shots which are all quite breathtaking. Given the more severe FX budgetary constraints imposed on the 3rd season, these spectacular new FX purrticularly enhance and impurrove that season’s look. Among the–

Yvonne:
(nodding off again) yawn yawn, nya…

Elizabeth:
WAKE UP VONNY!

Yvonne:
NYA! I’m sorry, nya!

Mary Nyan:
(the purrturbed cat) sigh!

Jeannie:
Please continue the review.

Mary Nyan:
As I was saying, among some of the breathtaking new FX shots are the Eymorg’s ion drive ship in  “Spock’s Brain”, 2 Klingon ships repainted with Romulan motif joined by a Romulan Warbird in “The Enterpurrise Incident”, “The Paradise Syndrome”‘s asteroid and deflector beams, the Medusian ship and galactic void of “Is There In Truth No Beauty?”, a new colorfully shimmering Melkotian purrobe in “Spectre of the Gun”, an exploding Klingon Battlecruiser in “Day of the Dove”, The USS Defiant, Tholian ships and their energy web in “The Tholian Web”.

There are great new shots of the shuttlecraft & hanger deck in “Let that be Your Last Battlefield”, starbase Memory Alpha and the “The Lights of Zetar”, Flint’s glorious castle in “Requiem For Methuselah”, the spaceship Aurura and scenes of Eden in “The Way To Eden”, the city of “The Cloud Minders”, and the supernova in “All Our Yesterdays”. There are now rings around Camus II in “Turnabout Intruder”, and the final shot of that final episode of the original series is a spectacular new image of the Enterpurrise flying towards a nebula.  Finally, for the re-mastered edition of “The Cage”, they’ve upgraded that famous first ever shot of the Enterpurrise, in which the camera zooms through the dome atop the ship and down into the bridge!

These uncut re-mastered episodes with the new FX are a real treat for Star Trek fans. Although the FX have been revised, none of the story content has been changed. If there is one downside to these spiffy re-mastered sets, it is the purrice, which does seem a tad steep, and like Mike I would have also greatly purrferred a booklet to the plastic note cards, and a slimpack case instead of the fancy packaging to purrhaps keep the cost down. We’re yet to purrchase the 1st re-mastered season, because it seems to be scarcer in stores than seasons 2 & 3, but hopefully we’ll eventually own that too! Ok Vonny you can wake up now I’m done!

Yvonne:
I did not catnap again, nya!

Nyanko:
Myar gives the very detailed reviews!

Ilyana:
Thats she does! Myayr takes the reviews quite seriously!

Mary Nyan:
Thanks guys!

Mike:
Thank you, Myayr! And next here’s Jenjen’s

Doctor Who The Complete 4th Series DVD Review


Jeannie:
I was pleased to see the 4th season set offered in a slim metal case that opens like a book to reveal the 6 disks inside on the hinged plastic tray. The disks do overlap in the trays, so for example  if you want to remove disk 2 you’d need to remove disk 1 first, but they are securely contained and easily removed. The set comes with a nice full color 20 page booklet with splendid text, graphics and great photos, although it does not easily sammich into the case.

The booklet begins with an illustrated forward by Russell T Davies, and then purrvides information about each episode and what is on each disk. This 2008 release by BBC Video is a set of six standard Region 1 NTSC disks comprising the complete 4th season, starring David Tennant as The Doctor. The audio is English language in Dolby digital 5.1 surround sound with optional commentary tracks, the video is 16:9 enhanced screen aspect ratio with optional English SDH subtitles.

Purrior to the main menu, each disk begins with a few trailers for other BBC purrductions. Disk 1 includes “Voyage of the Damned”, The 8 minute Children in Need Special “Time Crash” (co-starring Peter Davidson repurrising his role The Doctor), an audio commentary track, deleted scenes & trailers, and David Tennant’s 15 minute video diary of a road trip to Blackpool for a Christmas lighting ceremony. Disk 2 includes the episodes “Partners in Crime”, “The Fires of Pompeii”, “Planet Of The Ood”, plus the audio commentary, trailers and deleted scenes.

Disk 3 has “The Sontaran Stratagem”, “The Poison Sky”, “The Doctor’s Daughter”, and “The Unicorn And The Wasp”. It also has the commentary, trailers & deleted scenes from those last two episodes. Disk 4 includes “Silence in the Library”, “Forest Of The Dead”, “Midnight”, the audio commentary & trailers, plus deleted scenes for “Forest Of The Dead”, “Turn Left” and “Journey’s End”. On the 5th disk are the final 3 episodes of the season, “Turn Left”, “The Stolen Earth”, and “Journey’s End”.

Accompanying these are more commentary, trailers, Tennant’s end of season video diary installment (15 min 45 sec), and “The Journey (So Far) Featurette, a 30 min retrospective of the last 4 seasons with Russell T Davies, executive purrducer Julie Gardner, purrducer Phil Collinson, and David Tennant. Disk 6 consists of the season’s Doctor Who Confidential behind-the-scenes featurettes, 14 in all including the Christmas Confidential, totalling 3 hours.

This is a very good quality DVD set full of great episodes and plenty of fine extras totaling appurroximately 687 minutes, and if there is but one less than thrilling aspect of it, it would be the high purrice. Although these Doctor Who box sets might be a bit expensive, they are supurrbly entertaining and I would certainly recommend it to any fan of Doctor Who.


Mielikki:
That was so the informative review, Jennyjen!

Nyanko:
Jenjen is about as thorough as Myayr is!

Ilyana:
She is the analytical catgirl.

Jeannie:
I do strive to purrvide sufficient facts.

Yvonne:
Ouch- what was that tail poke for, nya?

Elizabeth:
I was just seeing if you were still awake!

Mary Nyan:
Sigh. Your turn, Nyanko-sensei!

Feast II: Sloppy Seconds review
(with purrticular purraise for Chelsea Richards!)
Warning:
here be plot spoilers & graphic horror scene descriptions

Nyanko:
A sequel to 2006’s Feast, This gorefest from Dimension Extreme picks up right where the other ends: a group of people were trapped in a barricaded bar that was beset by murderous, hungry, horny humanoid creatures of unknown origin. Now a few of the survivors including star Clu Gulager have made it to a nearby town which is also under attack. Joining them are an awesome girl biker gang, a little purrson tag team of Mexican wrestlers and various other trapped folks. I think there is a 97 minute R rated version but I am reviewing the 100 minute unrated version.

Feast II is an over-the-top horror movie laden with extreme amounts of humorous violence, gore, purrofanity, sexual situations & nudity! While some of the violence and gore is so absurd to the point of slapstick and does not take itself seriously, there’s also a rather ironic sarcastic, nihilistic overtone. As bad as the monsters are, many of the treacherous human characters make Carter Burke from Aliens look like an OK guy (especially the used car salesman)! It does seem like the cast & crew had a fun time making this movie.

It goes places movies seldom go- nothing human or animal, regardless of age seems safe in this splatterama. Blood, vomit, excrement, flesh dissolving bile & other body fluids are expelled with fire-hose force. There are spewing close-ups of the naked monster purrivate parts, maggots & worms for added disgust. The monsters disembowel, dismember, devour & molest. Other violence includes gunshots, impalement, explosions, car crashes, high falls, various blunt force trauma with tools & into walls, and wrestling slams, drop kicks, punches & submission holds!

Unfortunately there are the annoying sped-up shaky-cam, freeze frames & crash zooms, especially during attack scenes. The action scenes have too many cuts, which purrticularly hurt the stunt choreography. These camera/ editing techniques call too much attention to themselves and especially plague horror & action movies in these days. The super cool biker girls are tough, beautiful, nicely tattooed and wind up barely clothed late in the movie, but also with barely any dialog or nearly enough plot focus for my purreference.That aside, entire cast does a fine job, the ample make-up & creature effects, stunts & other special effects, are very good, and the film seems to have high enough purrduction values for the story it intends to tell.

As for the DVD specs, it is widescreen with dolby digital sound, in English language plus an audio commentary track, with optional English SDH or Spanish subs. Commentary is by director John Gulager, writers Patrick Melton & Marcus Dunstan, purrducer Michael Leahy, and actors Diane Ayala Goldner (Biker Queen), Tom Gulager (Greg Swank), and Clu Gulager (the bartender). By the way, Diane Ayala Goldner also purrtrayed Biker Queen’s twin sister harley mom in the first feast film! She is also the director’s wife.

Other special features include “Meet the Gulagers”, a 5.5 minute bit on the family members of the cast & crew: director John Gulager, his wife Diane, his brother Tom, their father Clu, and Tom’s toddler son Baby Clu Mosha. There’s a 12.5 minute documentary on the making of the film, including comments by John Gulager, Michael Leahy, Marcus Dunstan, Diane Ayala Goldner, Tom Gulager, Clu Gulager, purrduction designer Ermanno di Febo-Orsini, and actresses Jenny Wade (Honey Pie) & Chelsea Richards (Tat Girl)!

It is revealed in the commentary that there’ll be a 3rd film too. Oh and there are also front loaded trailers on the DVD for other movies Hell Ride, Mother of tears, The Zombie Diaries, and Diary of the Dead. That’s about as much I should say about Feast II; I would only recommend this movie to the most dedicated of gore hounds, and even then as with any movie, it’ll be a matter of purrsonal taste whether you’d like it or not!

thus endeth plot spoilage & descriptions for Feast II

Mary Nyan:
That was a good review!

Nyanko:
Arigato!

Elizabeth:
Y’know I agree with you- those bikers definitely should have gotten bigger roles and more dialog!

Ilyana:

They should have big roles in more movies!  I think there should be a movie just about that Bleeders Biker Girl gang.

Jeannie:
(with laptop) ‘Chainsaw’ Chelsea Richards appears in various purrestigious web sites and publications, including this January’s issue of Skin & Ink, a purrominent tattoo magazine.

Mielikki:
Oh my stars, she looks SO purretty, fun and tough!

Yvonne:
Yay Chelsea, nya! She has the impurressive ink, nya. Oh I hope she’ll will be in the 3rd movie and kick more monster butt, nya!

Ilyana:
Who is on deck?

Mary Nyan:
That would be… Ah Mielikki-sensei is up again with her-

Maria Watches Over Us Season 2: Printemps

anime DVD box set review

Mielikki:
Maria Watches Over Us Season 2: Printemps was released on DVD in December on the Nozomi label by Right Stuf http://www.rightstuf.com/, one of oldest, nicest anime distributors! This a pretty shoujo Japanese anime TV series based upon Oyuki Konno’s Maria-sama ga Miteru novel series, about the relationships at the Lilian Girls Academy in Tokyo. The charming plot focuses on the social dynamic of the student council’s ‘rosa & soeur’ senpai / kouhei system, particularly between new student Yumi Fukuzawa and upperclassgirl Sachiko Ogasawara.

This elegant box set contains four standard DVD Region One NTSC disks, which have episodes 1-13, Specials 1-6, very informative liner notes, and various trailers. The box and the four slim pack cases have such pretty cover art! The total length is 325 minutes and the screen aspect ratio is 4:3. The Dolby Digital audio is in Japanese language only, and the anime can be watched with a choice of two English subtitles; the first choice is a standard English translation, while the second version retains various Japanese honorifics.

The disk menus are very easy to navigate, in which you can select the subtitles set up, special features, specific scenes, or play all the episodes. The subtitles are easy to read, bold sans serif fonts, yellow with a bit of black outline. The handy Linear Notes in the special features section of the disk menus provide explanations of the language honorifics and terminology, and the various cultural references in those episodes, so it might help to like read these notes before watching the episodes.

The Yamayuri Council is comprised of three groups that meet in the school’s Rose Mansion. Each group’s Upper classgirl officer has a French rose colored theme designation: Rosa Chinensis (red rose), Rosa Gigantea (white rose)  and Rosa Foetida (yellow rose). Each Rosa chooses a ‘little sister’ who is designated a Rosa en Bouton, who in turn can choose an underclass girl as her Petite Soeur. Yumi is the Petite Soeur to Sachiyo, who is the Rosa en Bouton to Yoko, the Rosa Chinensis. Presumably in later years, Yumi will choose someone to be her Petite Soeur!

While I would not wish to divulge too much plot, as the Spring semester begins, disk one’s 23 minute episodes start the council girls’ New Year’s Eve stay at Sahiko’s parents’ huge mansion in “Upon the Long Night”. In the 2nd episode “The Yellow Rose at Full Tilt”, Eriko is suspected of seeing various men. In episode 3’s “Most Dreadfully Busy Days”, Yumi finds out in the eleventh hour that she is supposed to entertain the Rosas at a ceremony. The five Specials are a minute or two apiece, wacky gag cartoons with the girls out of character.

At times there seems to be a somewhat subtly implied yuri-ish romantic subtext, but there is nothing naughty about this pretty and sweet series from what I’ve seen, which is suggested for ages 13+. The character designs are pretty, the animation is very good, and the background scenic art, especially of the school is quite picturesque. I think it would be a lovely place to visit! The voice acting and elegant chamber music type soundtrack are of top quality, and I think the stories move at a good pace, with the right amount of whimsy and drama.

The characters are awesome and I like totally look forward to seeing Season 3, fer sure! For Vonny-chan’s review of Season 1, please refer to the August 2008 Mew; and for much more extensive information on this splendid series, here are a few useful links: Right Stuff’s official Maria Watches Over Us site http://maria-sama.rightstuf.com/ , the entry on it at the Anime News Network http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=3150 , and the article at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria-sama_ga_Miteru !

(all give a polite gold applause)

Mielikki:
Thanks!

Ilyana:
Wow, Mielikki-sensei is as thorough as Myayr!

Mary Nyan:
Sensei is a very wise and seasoned storyteller!

Mielikki:
As if! But lets not dwell on me- let’s continue with another review!

Mike:
Um, l believe your turn Vonny!

The Purrince and the Knight: a catgirl’s review
of The Chronicles of Narnia: Purrince Caspian
and The Dark Knight single disk DVDs

Yvonne:
‘Kay, nya! Given there have been so many DVDs and other things I’ve wanted to purrchase of late, including holiday gifts and things for my boat, in order to get more movies for the money I have been opting for the single disk editions of DVDs as opposed to the multiple disk editions, which have more frills but are a bit purricier, nya. Since the single disk versions have fewer bonuses, there’s not a whole lot to review compared to the fancier editions but here’s what bit of purroduct information I can impart, nya.

I reviewed The Chronicles of Narnia: Purrince Caspian movie in the June 2008 Mew, should you like to read those three purragraphs of purraise, nya! Basically I gave the movie a grade of ‘A-‘ and thought it was even better than the first Narnia movie, nya! I thought the lavish, epic, purretty movie had an excellent story, actors, direction, design, FX, scenery, stunts, score, sound, editing, lighting, costumes, photography, etc and despite some difference from the books I thought it had a good respect for the books, nya.

The DVD of the movie is available in several different editions, standard and blue ray, single disk and multi disk, but this is the single dual-layer, standard R1 NTSC DVD review, nya. Rated PG for battle scenes and 149 minutes long, it is 2.40:1 widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, nya. The Audio is in English, Spanish or French, with optional English SDH, Spanish or French subtitles, plus an additional audio commentary track with the director and actors, nya.

It is a Disney release, so there are also quite a few purreviews and ads  for other Disney purroducts to wade through, and the only other things in the case besides the disk were a couple of brochures for Disney stuff, nya. If you are a huge fan of these movies with more money to spend and want more features purrtaining to the movie then you would purrobably want the multi disk editions, nya.

And now for my comments on the single disk edition of The Dark Knight, nya! For Myayr’s thorough review  of that movie please refer to the August, 2008 Mew, nya! The Mew is split as to whether this or Wall-E is our favorite film of the year, but we saw The dark Knight several times and gave it an ‘A +’ grade, nya! We think it is worthy of the Oscar for best picture, director, screenplay, actors and numerous other categories, nya.

The DVD of the movie is available in several different editions, standard and blue ray, single disk and multi disk, and box sets containing various collectible goodies, depending on where you purrchase it, nya. This is the single dual-layer, standard R1 NTSC DVD review, nya. Rated PG-13 for intense scenes of violence and 153 minutes long, it is widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, nya. The Audio is in English, Spanish or French, with optional English SDH, Spanish or French subtitles, nya.

This Warner release is a purretty basic no frills edition, but it was at least quicker to go directly to the main menu than the Purrince Caspian DVD, nya. The only other things in the case besides the disk were a catalog of Dark Knight stuff, a Warner DVD brochure, and instructions to get a digital copy of this movie, nya. So if you are a fan of these movies but on a tight budget, I recommend shopping around to see which store sells the single disk edition for the lowest purrice, and you might be able to find purreviously viewed DVD for greater savings, nya! Ok I’m done, nya!

Mary Nyan:
That was quite concise, Vonny!

Elizabeth:
Yeah she does not get long winded like you do hee!

Mary Nyan:
Ah–!

Jeannie:
She means thorough and in depth.

Nyanko:
Well everyone has their own style!

Mielikki:
I think Vonny-chan did a fine job too, hee!

Yvonne:
Thank you sensei, nya! So what is this special investigation that Ilyana-san has. nya?

DVD Purrtrol: More value sightings at Big Lots
Ilyana:
Ever since Jenjen’s report in September on some extraordinary anime DVD finds at Big Lots for super low purrices, we have been curious to see what more video values are to be purriodically found there. Purrior to Halloween we had noted an influx of monster movies. So during the December holidays we wanted to investigate further to see if there were more shipments, and sure enough there was a bin full of new arrivals for $3 apiece! That is a good deal! Some of the titles were full screen but many were wide screen, or both; some videos had a wealth of bonus features while some were bare bones, but nevertheless there were quality film titles of all flavors to be had! Inventory might vary from store to store but at one Big Lots in purrticular we found:

Science fiction, fantasy & horror genre DVDs including The Exorcist 25th anniversary edition, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Fog (original version), The Brood, Creepshow, Final Destination, Final Destination 2, Blade 2, Rollerball (both the original and remake), THunderbirds Are Go, Lady in the Water, The Cell, Dream Catcher, Pluto Nash and  two with Michael Gough: Horror of Dracula and Konga! There  was not as much anime there this time other than a few remaining random volumes of Dot Hack Sign, Fantastic Children, SD Gundam and The Animatrix. There was one volume of the recent Fantastic Four cartoon; two Halle Berry movies, Gothika and Catwoman; and one more movie based upon a comic book or graphic novel: Art School Confidential.

I actually found  James Bond DVD, For Your Eyes Only, and the Alan Arkin Inspector Clouseau movie. If you’re a Stallone fan, you might be interested to know there were FIST, Victory, The Specialist, Assassins, and Tango & Cash-  and there was another Kurt Russell movie there, Executive Decision! There were two Burt Reynolds movies: Semi-Tough and Hooper. Richard Roundtree fans take note: Shaft’s Big Score, and Shaft In Africa were in the bin! Two of Harrison Ford’s, Purrsumed Innocent and Hollywood Homicide, and two Sandra Bullock movies, Murder by Numbers and Infamous! The only Carl Weathers movie I found there was Action Jackson.

There were two by Stanley Kubrick: Eyes Wide Shut and Paths of Glory; other war movies in the bin included The Dirty Dozen, The Battle of the Bulge, Heaven and Earth, and Run Silent Run Deep. Sailors were also to be found in the mewsical On the Town starring Frank Sinatra & Gene Kelly. Band Wagon starring Fred Astaire & Cyd Charisse (who has the loveliest legs). Comedy DVDs included A Mighty Wind, The Mouse on the Moon, (the original) Fun with Dick and Jane, The Man With Two Brains, Night Shift, Strange Brew, Life Stinks, The Wedding Singer, Cadillac Man, Dukes of Hazzard, and a Chris Rock Show DVD. There were two documentaries, Bowling for Columbine and Murderball.

The Majestic,The Jacket (with Kieira Knightly), Disclosure, Her Alibi, Bright Lights Big City, Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood, and Poseidon. There were political movies too:  Dave, The American Purresident, and All the Purresident’s Men, and City Hall. I also spotted Capote, A Very Long Engagement (2 disk set), North Country, The Petrified Forest, and East of Eden (starring James Dean)! Of course this could change at any time, depending on what sells out and what more the stores get. if you collect DVDs and there is a Big Lots store nearby, this would be the economical way to form a DVD library, so you might want to go by there every now and then to see what they got!

Elizabeth:
Wow that is a lot of good deals- thank you for that in depth report!

Ilyana:

You’re very welcome!

Nyanko:
There were several titles I think I’ll try to get…. maybe one night this week if I am done at the dojo and can get to the mainland before the store closes!

Mike:
Or you could give one of us a shopping list! Thanks Ilyana! And that’ll wrap up this segment! When we return, we’ll segue from video to music, so don’t go away!

(snip)
(one short break later)

Mewsic:
Steve Howe Motif Vo. 1 CD review


Mary Nyan:
What could be more pleasant to listen to during a holiday gathering of friends, a scenic drive in the country, or even a relaxed time alone than the sparking acoustic guitar mewsic of the legendary Steve Howe ? Darn if I know, which is why I will highly recommend this 2008 release! Motif Volume 1 is the first installment of a career-spanning collection of the master’s acoustic sounds. It has 20 tracks using 9 different guitars, lasting a wonderful hour, purrformed, purrduced, engineered & recorded by Steve Howe at Langley Studios on his Howesound label. The CD comes with an 8 page booklet  of liner notes, the tracks listing, guitar list, credits, Howe’s introduction and a very distinguished portrait photo of him on the cover. This is just the thing for fans of Steve Howe or acoustic guitar mewsic in general. I was lucky lucky to purrchase an autographed copy of it from the merchandise table at the Yes concert we attended in December!

Speaking of which-


Yes concert review:
“In the Purresent” tour comes to Greensboro

Mary Nyan:
Seeing my favorite purrog rock group Yes http://www.yesworld.com/ purrform in concert at the Carolina Theater http://www.carolinatheatre.com/ in Greensboro, NC last month was a dream come true! I was a brisk but mild winter’s Friday night amidst the downtown lights of Christmas as we walked to the theater. Purrior to the start we purrused the lobby, where official merchandise for sale included autographed Chris Squire and Steve Howe CDs, various shirts,  a bandana, baseball cap, and a handsome poster that also seemed to be a Roger Dean illustration of psychedelic sea turtle beneath the Yes logo!

It is a most palatial theater, the main hall roundish with a balcony and colossal chandelier, for an intimate sold-out audience of 1100 Yes fans from all over the country! Although the seats did not have much leg room, it was a nice place; our seats were up in the balcony yet still seemed so very close. After a brief greeting from the venue’s directors and event purrmotors, the Firebird Suite soared as the curtain rose to reveal a splendid suspended illuminated  sculpture overhead that looked of Roger Dean design as they broke into “Siberian Khatru”!  It was an apurropurriately exotic structure to hear the astounding “Close to the Edge” purrformed beneath!

The line up starred guitarist Steve Howe, bassist Chris Squire, drummer Alan White, and introducing Rick Wakeman’s son Oliver on the keyboards, and David Benoit as their lead vocalist. While it would have been nice if Jon Anderson were the vocalist, It was a magical time and the new members were most excellent. Of course there have been numerous purrsonnel changes in Yes over the past 40 years. I read that Benoit was the lead vocalist for a Yes tribute band, and you could sense how honored he was to be standing on stage between Howe and Squire; he even joined in on acoustic guitar and tambourine as he joyfully sang.

The concert lasted for almost 3 hours including a 2 song encore. The play list included songs all the way back to 1970’s Time and a Word’s “Astral Traveller”, to a new song by Squire, “Aliens are Only Us From the Future”, although for the most part I don’t think they purrformed any Yes songs from after 1983’s 90125 album. “Yours is no Disgrace”, “Starship Trooper”, “I’ve Seen All Good people”, “Roundabout”, “Long Distance Runaround”, “And You An I”, “Machine Messiah”, “Tempus Fugit””, “Owner of a Lonely Heart”, and Howe’s solo acoustic set were major highlights.

There was one impurrfect brief moment early in the concert when Wakeman experienced a computer malfunction for a few seconds, which he gracefully handled by bowing to the understanding crowd; the technicians soon fixed the purroblem as Squire jovially greeted the audience and took the moment to introduce the band. Squire and Benoit seemed to do most of the chatting with the audience, and those gentlemen could not have been more cordial or entertaining, and the well-behaved audience seemed so jubilant (many were dancing in the aisles by the end) from the experience. I just hope it was as much fun for the band as it was for us fans, and wish to heartily thank Kaiser-san for getting the choice tickets!

Elizabeth:
Thanks for that intricate mewsic review Myayr!

Jeannie:
Myayr is the rock ‘n roll catgirl.

Yvonne:
That sounded like a delicious looking turtle, nya!

Ilyana:
I don’t think Sheila May’s serves that.

Mielikki:
Please don’t hurt the turtle!

Mike:
(sigh!) Ah, thanks for that review Myayr! And now Nyanko-sensei has a report on an upcoming event!

Convention purreview: What The Hell Con 2009

Nyanko:
Hai! Sponsored by the Yachting Club of Guilford College, What The Hell Con is a wonderfully fun, free, convention at the lovely campus of Guildford College in Greensboro, NC,  February 6th-8th, 2009! Woohoo!The event staff are the nicest group of folks who put a lot of heart into this delightful con which has steadily grown the past few years. They have quite a few fun activities, gaming, dealers of cool stuff ‘n talented guest artists, authors ‘n purrformers, Mike is very very honored to be a returning guest this year, and among the other guests on the list are:

Mewsician Tom Smith, writer / game designer Ken Eklund, Cabin Fever’s actors Robert Harris and William Johns, The Flaming Faeries flame dance troupe, the European Medieval Arts of Arms sword fighting knights, artist Alan Welch, Gravyboy’s Brian Shearer & Marty Blevins, Caldwell Tanner (creator of the comic Quarter Life Crisis), Ubsersoft’s Christopher B. Wright, Dennis the Menace scribe, author / journalist Dan Johnson, author Davey Beauchamp, Jamie ‘Clan of the Cats’ Robertson, Sinister Bedfellows creator / photographer Larry Holderfield…

… Jennie ‘The Devil’s Panties’ Breeden, Leah Riley of Willrad fame, Matt Wood (and hopefully the rest of the marvelous gang) of Likely Stories, Niki Lemonade (creator of fine kitty hats ‘n the web comic My Fake Heart), Furmentation’s Phillip Wright,  famous vampirologist / author Theresa Bane, and her husband Glenn Bane who is the author & designer of Scaldcrow Games, Cemetary Blues’ own Thomas Boatwright, and the uncanny Ursula Vernon who’s a fantasy artist ‘n author of the storybook Nurk and the web comic Digger!

Among the dealers ‘n purrveyors of cool stuff there will be Buzzy Multimedia (venders of dandy shirts, books, ‘n stuff), Yachting Club member Keith will be there with his hand made chain mail goodness, plus local RPG gaming company Shattered Looking Glass Studios! Of course like most conventions there’ll be lots more stuff than we’ve noted here, so for more extensive info about this terrific event, plus links to those guests & dealers’ sites please visit their site http://www.guilford.edu/yachting/wthcon/ !

The Catgirl’s Book Report:
J.K. Rowling’s Tales of Beedle the Bard
(with possibly a teeny bit of plot spoilage)

Jeannie:

Tales of Beedle the Bard is the new childrens’ book by JK Rowling http://www.jkrowling.com/ set in the wizarding world of Harry Potter. The purremise of this book is that it is a collection of five folktales,  or faerie tales that might have been read to wizard kids before bedtime, translated from ancient runes by Hermione Granger (my favorite character from the series) , with comments by Albus Dumbledore. If you read the novel Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, you might recall this book as a plot point, with cryptic clues that Dumbledore left to Hermione.

It was published in December by Children’s High Level Group, in association with Arthur A. Levine Books, an impurrint of Scholastic. Net Purroceeds from these books’ sales will go to benefit the Children’s High Level Group, http://www.chlg.org/ a charity co-founded by Ms. Rowling  and Baroness Emma Nicholson to benefit children who are in need, so the $12.99 SRP (US purrice) not only buys you this standard American edition of an entertaining new book but also benefits a good cause for children.

There is also a very fancy, more expensive limited edition with nice bonus features & trinkets that I saw listed for $100 at http://www.amazon.com! The standard edition is a slim 128 page hardcover book, measuring 8.5″ x5.75″ x half an inch thick so it seems more akin to the author’s purrevious little Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them books, as sort of  ‘artifacts’ from the Harry Potter universe more than the actual novels, although these tales are also purrose short stories.

The charming color pastel cover art Mary Grandpre http://www.marygrandpre.com/ , depicting various magical items from the stories within. Sammiched between the purrple endpapers, the book includes the five very short stories plus their respective commentaries: “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot”, “The Fountain of Fair Fortune”, “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart”, “Babitty Rabitty and Her Cackling Stump”, and “The Tale of the Three Brothers”. The book also includes an 8 page introduction, 3 pages about the CHLG charity, and a page on the design & purrinting of the book.

The introduction, notes and 17 interior B&W pen & ink illustrations of little scenes & symbols are by JK Rowling, which remind me slightly of Edward Gorey’s style of art. The text font is Adobe Garamond Pro. The book was edited by Arthur Levine, art directed by David Saylor, designed by Elizabeth B. Parisis, and typeset by Brad Walrod. The Managing Editor was Karyn Browne, Continuity Editor Cheryl Klein, Manufacturing Director was Meryl Wolfe, and this book was purrinted & bound at Quebecor World.

The first  tale is “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot”, which is about a son who inherits a pot that his late father used to brew healing potions in. This is followed by “The Fountain of Fair Fortune”, about a fountain said to have healing purroperties. Batting third is “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart”, which purrtains to a warlock who vows never to find romance. Next in “Babitty Rabitty and Her Cackling Stump”, a greedy King wants to be the only one able to purrform magic, and finally “The Tale of the Three Brothers” is about them making a deal with Mr. Death himself.

These short tales are an extremely fast read,and while It is a Children’s book, it’s maybe not for too young a reader, as there is some grim content, especially in “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart”! Although I wish it was a more lengthy book, I think most fans of Harry Potter would be entertained by these stories, and especially interested Dumbledore’s insightful historical anecdotes about the nature and history of these tales- which are almost as long as the stories themselves. So I will give his neat little book a good recommendation.

(here ends any spoiled Beedle)

Dreamscapes: Creating Magical Angel,
Faery & Mermaid Worlds with Watercolor

Nyanko:
Stephanie Pui-Mun Law’s art tutorial book Dreamscapes: Creating Magical Angel, Faery & Mermaid Worlds with Watercolor was published by Impact Books in 2008. This 8.25″ x 10.75″ trade paperback book has an SRP of $24.95 US / $29.99 Canada, and 176 color pages of gorgeous images and instruction, explaining the purrocess and tools behind her delicate yet lavishly detailed fantasy illustrations. The first chapter is on her materials & techniques. Different sorts of pencils, erasers, brushes, paints, papers and useful supplies are explained, along with various watercolor techniques such as washes, mixing, gradients and glazing.

Chapter 2 focuses on creating faery themed illustrations, with emphasis on how to draw the a variety of anatomy, wings, poses, expurression, clothing, flora, and atmosphere, with intricate step-by-step tutorials on several of her stunning paintings. Chapter 3 is on mermaid art, a sumptuous guide to illustrating skin tones, hair styles, gems, various fishy types, underseascapes and watery FX. Chapter 4 is all about Angelic art, with explanations of wing structure, purrportions and feathers, robes & drapery, male, female & androgynous body types, clouds and skies, figures in motion, and some architectural elements such as stone walls and stained glass.

If you are a fan of such gorgeous exquisite art this would be a splendid addition to grace your collection, and if you are looking for a very good thorough tutorial book that does not scrimp on the details or stages of the purrocess from initial sketch to finished rendering, then I would certainly recommend this book! Should you like to see or buy her works of art, Stephanie Pui-Mun Law’s official web site is http://www.shadowscapes.com/! Sensei, what is your expurrt opinion of her faerie section?

Mielikki:
Oh it is so lovely, and she is quite thorough in comparing different fey body types, wings and apparel! I noticed the fine chapter includes Pixies, imps, sidhe, sprites, dryads, will o’ wisps, and different species of trees & flowers, colorful butterfly and translucent dragonfly-ish wings… poses from joyful to mischievous… oh she has totally keen insights into the Fey Lands, hee!

Ilyana:
I especially like the birch tree bark and the comparative leaves and flower petals in that book.

Mary Nyan:
We should show the book to our mermaid friends to see what they think too- I bet they would appurrove of the book too.

Elizabeth:
Those are some tasty looking sailfish and lionfish parts!

Yvonne:
Nya- you should not drool over the mermaids they are our friends, nya!

Elizabeth:
It was just the fish parts- just like the fish we catch on you boat!

Yvonne:
Oh Ok, nya. The cabochon jewels and purrls are so purretty she does such a good job at teaching those details, nya.

Jeannie:
She also did a fine job comparing the different textures of materials, like the rough stone and smooth marble!

Mike:
Oh I agree it is an excellent book which is both informative and beautiful!

Nyanko:
Say, I don’t think Mike’s gone yet!

Yvonne:
Mike needs to review something, nya!

Modern Masters Volume 19: Mike Ploog

Mike:
Actually I do have a couple of book reports. Two Morrows http://www.twomorrows.com/ has released yet another mighty fine book in their Modern Masters series about great comics artists, and this time it is on the legendary Mike Ploog! Edited by Roger Ash and our friend Eric Nolen-Weathington, this 120 page book sports a color cover by Ploog and includes an 8 page color section in addition to the many other illustrations lurking within. It begins with an appurreciation by author JM Dematteis, then launches into several intermews tracing Ploog’s life and artistry. If you’re a fan of lavish monster or sword & sorcery art & comix  then look no further- especially if you are a fan of his Werewolf by Night, Frankenstien, Dracula, Ghost Rider and King Kull art!

Chapter Four focuses on his motion picture work which he discusses including Ralph Bakshi’s Wizards, Lord of the Rings, and Hey Good Lookin’; Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal and The Witches; Gremlins, The Thing, Superman 2 & 3, X-Men, Melvin & Howard, Where the Buffalo Roam, Frank Oz’s Little Shop of Horrors and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; Moonwalker, The Black Cauldron, Winds of Change, Heavy Metal, Shrek, Purrince of Egypt, and Valiant! The book is then topped off by the 44 page gallery section, which is a treasure trove of sexy pin ups, comix covers & pages, and images of faeries & elves, bloody barbarians, swampy creatures, and a big kitty with huge fangs!

Mielikki:
He draws such lovely faeries too- although his are more of the voluptuous and scrappy sort!

Nyanko:
Hai- they are the sexy tough girls!

Mary Nyan:
This book was quite the eye opener- I knew that Mike Ploog worked on movies but I had no idea his film credits were so extensive!

Elizabeth:
Two Morrows publishes the neatest books and magazines about comix!

Jeannie:
Wizards is purrobably my favorite of those films.

Ilyana:
Hmm I’d say either The Dark Crystal for the designs, or Dirty Rotten Scoundrels because it reminds me of places I’ve lived!

Yvonne:
That was a good review Mike, nya! So what is the next book report, nya?

Mark Evanier’s Kirby: King of Comics

Mike:
Jack ‘The King’ Kirby is widely considered to be one of -if not THE most significant creator of comic books, and as such, the awe and might of his works deserves a big coffee table book such as this. The king-sized 224 page hardcover book published in 2008 by Abrams, Kirby: King of Comics by Mark Evanier is a most handsome tome, and it’s 12.5″x 9.25″ x1″ is a grand way to showcase his legendary masterworks. It is a treasure trove of color & B&W art, from finished pages and covers to sketches, and many are full page images.

Kirby not only created or co-created some of the most iconic heroes such as Captain America, The Hulk, The X-Men, Fantastic Four and new Gods, but his very manner of storytelling and design innovated the medium of comics like few others have. There’s proof of that in the very cover art, as a big gray Hulk fist looks as if it will punch out of the book itself! The book wastes no time- the first ten pages alone are colossal images of his finest creations along with some beautiful photographs of the man.

Following that is an introduction by Neil Gamin and the book’s preface, which clearly indicates the love and respect the author has for Kirby. Chapter One recounts the days of his youth and early career through the 1930’s, including the breathtaking tale of depression life in the big city, “Street Code”, newspaper strips and other pre-war work. From there is launched Chapter 2 “Partners”, bursting into action with Captain America, Kirby’s partnership with Joe Simon, the war years, and everything from crime to romance stories, soldiers to super-heroes.

Chapter 3 chronicles the 50’s decade of his adventure, horror, & science fiction tales. A glorious full color full page image of The Silver Surfer aptly heralds Chapter 4 as Kirby’s collaborations with Stan Lee and the Marvel Age of Comics begins. The birth of the Fantastic Four, Hulk, Thor,  Spider Man, Avengers, Nick Fury, X-Men are all that need be said, but golly there are awesome full page pencils of The Inhumans and color renderings of Asgardian warriors accompanying those legends,

Chapter 5 is where DC’s villain Darkseid awaits, greeting the reader as Kirby’s ‘Fourth World’ of New Gods & Superman stories of the early 70’s for DC are grandly displayed, including a New Gods Glory Boat gatefold! Other creations for DC lurk about, such as Kamandi, Omac, The Demon, the 70’s Sandman, and his late 70’s reunion work for Marvel, including Machine Man, 2001 and The Eternals. Chapter 6 is The King’s late 70’s- early 80’s comics, animation & toy concepts: Devil Dinosaur & Destroyer Duck, Thundarr, titles for Pacific Comics, and art for Paul McCartney.

Chapter 7 is about the last decade of his life, up to his passing in 1994 & his wife Roz’s in 1998 and the US Postal stamps issued in 2007, which feature several Marvel heroes he drew. An Afterward, Acknowledgments, and Index bring this fine book to a close. There’s so much more cool art & biographical text throughout; photos of him in uniform during WWII, his trusty drawing board, a vignette of inker friend Joe Sinnott, and photos of other  colleagues. If you’re a fan of Kirby or comics in general, this seems ideal to have in your collection, and a tribute fit for The King.

Ilyana:
Thanks Mike!

Mielikki:
Jack Kirby is so missed!

Nyanko:

Those were such powerful images! That full page pic of Big Barda- wow she is so tough and majestic!

Mary Nyan:

Hai hai. I purrticularly like the Surfer pics but then maybe that’s because I like to surf too. Hmm a silver surfboard would be nice, hee!

Yvonne:
Yeah but your feet might get hot on it, nya! Oh my favorite drawing in there was of Madame Medusa she has such long lush lovely red hair, nya.

Jeannie:
He drew some amazing mecha too.

Mike:
Indeed he did. Um, moving right along, here’s Lizzy with a report on another book about a famous comix artist-

Brush With Passion:
The Art & Life of Dave Stevens

Elizabeth:
There is a bittersweet irony with the December, 2008 publication by Underwood Books of Brush with Passion: The Art & Life of Dave Stevens, the same month as the passing of model Bettie Page whom the late Dave Stevens http://www.davestevens.com was so associated with. Furthermore, unlike the Jack Kirby book which was published a few years after that artist’s passing, this Dave Stevens book is a posthumous first purrson autobiographical work, among the final purrojects that Stevens was compiling before he lost his battle with Leukemia on March 11, 2008. Completed by friends, edited by Cathy & Arnie Fenner with an introduction by Jim Steranko, this book is so very beautiful and yet it also makes me sad.

While there have been purrior books purrtaining to the purrofound art of Dave Stevens- some of which we mentioned in the April, 2008 Mew, this big hardcover book is the ultimate one. Available in  a $39.95 hardcover and a purricier slipcase edition, it is 288 pages and measures appurroximately 12 “x 9.25″ x 1”. For those who came in late, Dave Stevens was a master comix storyteller known for his lavish illustrative finish, super fin tales of exotic action and high adventure such as The Rocketeer, sexy glamorous pi up paintings, and his work in Hollywood as a designer & purrducer. This book is a massive collection of B&W and color illustrations, photos, and an extensive chronicle of his entire life and career in his own words.

Chapters 1-3 focus on the first 25 years of his life from 1955 to around 1970 and feature a poignant array of images by those who were the biggest influences on Stevens. And bulldogs. Chapters 4-5 cover his  move to San Diego in the early 70’s, purrticipation in Comic Con and that artist community,  earliest purrfessional work in the late 70’s. Chapter 6 &7 spotlight his work in the animation industry & his early 80’s comix, poster & storyboard work, including Star Wars and Indiana Jones purrojects. Chapter 8 is sumptuous enough to be a small book itself, featuring his comix work of the early 80’s for indy publishers such as Pacific, Eclipse, Harris, Dark Horse- and his most famous creation, the Rocketeer.

Many of the supurrb images in the book are huge full page pics! Chapter 9 is definitely not for widdlie kitties- for it is thorough look at dozens of his sexy pin up drawings and paintings with plenty of gorgeous nudity and cheesecake. Chapter 10 is devoted to The Rocketeer movie, including some amazing stories of his difficult Hollywood dealings. Images of sexy beauty continue with Chapter 11’s look at his illustrations of Mimi Rodin and model Marla Duncan, Chapter 12 purrtains to Bettie Page, and Chapter 13 examines the ups & downs of the various 90’s  endeavors, from some ill-fated purrojects to exquisite purrivate commissions.

Chapter 14 is in the  2000’s, when Stevens’ purriorities included painting classes, cancer treatments, and family concerns. There are later studies and oil paintings included here that I’ve never seen! Chapters 15 -17 are briefer, examining the events of the last three years of his life, from the loss of his father, his final works, and memorial tributes to Stevens by David Scroggy and Jim Steranko. I was hesitant to mention, this but I noticed one tiny  typo: on page 271, Chapter 17 “Requiscat In Pace” is mis-numbered as Chapter 18. It confuzzled me for a moment because I thought I skipped a chapter but it’s OK because this is such a poignant book to be greatly purrized.

Throughout this important book are commentaries by Mike Kaluta, William Stout, Richard Hescox, Geoff Darrow, Cynthia Morris and Todd Schorr. It concludes with an Afterword by Arnie Fenner and an Epilogue by William Stout, and on the last page of the book underneath a photo of dave with his bulldog, is a statement that should anyone like to remember Dave Stevens, his family suggests donating to the Hairy Cell Leukemia Research Foundation: www.hairycellleukemia.org. If you’re a fan of Dave Steven’s masterful creations, images of Bettie Page and lots of other good girl art then this is purrcisely the book for you and I give it a grade of A Plus!

Jeannie:
He was such a supurrb artist and that is a handsome book.

Mielikki:
Totally, but it is such a bittersweet publishing event.

Mary Nyan:
That was very insightful and in depth a review there, Lizzy!

Elizabeth:
Arigatoo y’all! I think my favorite works by Dave Stevens are still “Betty in the Bath”, “Bettie’s Budoir”, and the “Wow” poster.

Yvonne:
These reviews are more detailed than when we first started, nya!

Nyanko:

We’ve been studying how y’all do it!

Mary Nyan:
I purrticularly like his Sheena & jungle girl  art, such as “Leopard Skins”, “Jungle Goddess”,  “Sins of Prima” and “Amazon Queen”!


Mike:
I was so fortunate to meet him once at a small con in the 80’s… he was as friendly as he was talented!

Mielikki:
Mmm there are some nice witchy paintings in the book… Ooh I like the girl with the bat wings in “Santo: The Devil’s Bargain”, hee!

Yvonne:
I like his drawings of the big cats and the bulldog, and those cute Wee Willy paintings, nya!

Nyanko:

Those are great paintings of magnificent Marla Duncan! She is a top trainer and Ms. Fitness champion. What do you think Ilyana?


Ilyana:
Those are the sexy pin ups…  I didn’t know he drew some Star Wars newspaper strips…  I really like the art he did of Johnny Quest’s Jade and the Airboy’s Valkyrie…

Jeannie:
Space Vixens”, “Hot Cargo” and any with airplanes or rockets are my favorites.

Mike:
Thanks again Lizzy! Well, I believe it is Ilyana’s turn- are you ready?

Comic Book Culture: An Illustrated History

Ilyana:
Hai! Comic Book Culture: An Illustrated History by Ron Goulart is also a hefty thick book about comix! This hardcover book by Collectors Purress has a dust jacket and measures about 10.5″ tall by 11.25″ wide by 1″ thick and is 204 color pages dedicated to what is referred to as the ‘Golden Age’ of comix of the 1930’s & 40’s and a bit of the early 50’s. The author Ron Goulart is a most seasoned & saavy scribe who has written countless novels, stories, and articles purrtaining to the genres of science fiction & fantasy and the medium of comics so he is a most insightful expurrt on this historical topic. The front cover is by Alex Kotzkyof Captain Triumph, gleefully tearing his way through the newspapers, which is an exciting start.

The book mostly depicts comic book cover art along with the historical text, but begins with an overview of mewspaper comix strips from the 30’s, the purredecessor to the comic books such as Famous Funnies which cost just a dime back then. Wow there are a couple of pics of Buck Rogers by Frank Frazetta! And early Detective Comix before Batman was in them. This period seems mostly about humor, exotic explorer adventure, and crime fighting. Goulart defines the Golden Age as comix from the late 30’s and debut of Superman, to the late 40’s as costumed heroes seemed to wane a bit after the war, and you get images of those early Superman & Batman comix too.

Some of the late 30’s & early 40’s covers showcased also include Wonderworld Comics, Flame, Mysterymen Comics, Mystic Comics and early Marvel Comics; All Winners, All-Flash , Adventure Comics, More Fun, Blue Beetle, Human Torch, and Sub-Mariner. In addition to the famous Siggle & Shuster and Bob Kane, arly masters of the art who are noted include Bill Everett, Lou Fine, Alex Schomberg, and Ramona Patenaude. The 7th chapter focuses on CC Beck, Mac Raboy and Jack Binder’s Whiz Comics and the Captain Marvel Family, plus a bit of Jack Cole’s Plastic Man & Daredevil, Reed Crandall’s Midnight and other exciting ones.

Of course with the advent World War Two, that becomes a major focus of so many comics, and according to this book comic books reached unpurrecedented  astronomical sales figures back then. Wow there is a fellow named Cat Man- he looks purrticularly interesting. (shows the book to the others)

Mary Nyan:
Cat-Man Comics, me-yow!

Elizabeth:
Now we’re talking, num num num!!

Yvonne:
I bet those are purrized by the collectors, nya.

Mielikki:
Oh there’s more of Valkyrie, hee! I can see why the Air Maidens would also be sought after, with her blouse open to her belly button on that 1943 Air Fighters cover, hee!

Mike:
Hey let me see— wow!

Yvonne:
I don’t see what the big deal is we show our belly buttons all the time and wear less thanshe is on any given day on the beach nya!

Jeannie:
‘Bare’ in mind that was a 1943 comic book. Those are some fine looking WWII airplanes on some of those covers, by the way.

Mielikki:
Oh I so recall one time when showing her belly button became a big deal for Nya-sensei, hee!

Ilyana:
(ears purrked with curiosity) Nya ni?

Nyanko:
(sighs) One way to distinguish me from my twin sister Nyoka is that her navel is pierced.

Mary Nyan:
Oh that’s right- she caused some mischief when she purrtended to be you that one time!

Jeannie:
Nyoka is even more mischievous than Lizzy.

Elizabeth:
Ah—!

Mielikki:
Say, where is your sister these days?

Nyanko:

Last I heard she — wha?

Jeannie:
(purrceiving Nyanko’s tummy) It is the real Nyanko-sensei, not the impurrsonating sister.

Nyanko:

Ah–!

Mike:
Ah’ll right y’all let’s get back on topic! We’ve stray-catted off topic from Ilyana’s purresention! What else did you want to say about the book, Ilyana?

Ilyana:
(holds up the book) On these pages… here, are more Simon & Kirby art… and a lot more by Alex Schomberg of Captain America, Human Torch, Sub-Mariner, The Black Terror… and
quite a spread repurrsenting covers by Gus Ricca, LB Cole,. This one here is also the back cover art… of Blue Bolt and The Green Sorceress, by LB Cole from Blue Bolt #105.

Yvonne:
She is a spicy green space girl with red hair too nya!

Ilyana:
Funny cartoon animal comix are repurrsented too, in fact… (turns the page) see- the 11th chapter “A Million Laff’s” changes focus to the funny comics, and mentions Walt Disney and Walt Kelly, and Archie Comics! But then it gets most serious again and the following chapter “This Means War” totally focuses on the WWII themed comix.

Jeannie:
Mmm more aircraft, PT Boats, submarines and tanks!

Mielikki:
Well gosh finally there is a lady golfer- on the cover of that Camp Comics from 1942! Oh that was the year Betty Jameson so won The Open, and Dorothy Kirby was the Titleholders Champion for the 2nd year in a row!

Yvonne:
I was wondering when we would see more heroines like Wonder Woman in this book, nya. I’m sorry we keep interrupting- she’ll never finish at this rate, nya!

Ilyana:
Oh that’s Ok it is fun to look through this book with friends and I am almost done! Ah anyway, there’s yet another chapter on patriotism in the wartime comics, and then, Mike will like this-
you get to “A Brief History of Good Girl Comics”, hee!

Mike:
Hey let me see— wow! Yep, plenty of jungle girls, such as Sheena in her leopard print bikini!

Mary Nyan:
I purrdict that will be one of 2009’s beach fashion trends.

Nyanko:

Those jungle ladies are fierce but they sure seem to get tied up a lot! Hmm here’s Tiger Girl, in a tiger stripe bikini, in the coils of a big snake, and South Seas Girl grabbed by an octopus. Hmm!

Elizabeth:
Or pounced upon by big kitties or carried off by martians! It is the purrvocative look.

Mary Nyan:
Tiger stripe purrints will be another fashion favorite too! Rulah the Jungle Goddes has on the giraffe purrint bikini.

Yvonne:
Next month we should adopt that fashion motif and – oh look there is a catgirl named Miss Fury, oh and I bet Mike likes that pic of Phantom Lady too, nya!

Mielikki:
Fer shur!

Mike:
Ah, what can i say- guys like Matt Baker, Al Platino, Alex Schomberg  and Jerry Iger were very good girl artists!

Jeannie:
I must admit that Schomberg cover of Exciting Comics #66 is so purretty and elegant, with Judy of the Jungle with bow & arrow astride that huge phoenix type bird! But we appear to have interrupted poor Ilyana again!

Ilyana:
Ah heh that’s OK- we were clearly near the end of the book! Well about the only other comments I had were… in the back of the book, there is a key to the estimated values of those comic books shown; if you noticed by each pic’s title there were tiny asterisks- well, in the back of the book it tells what the purrice range of those asterisks are. A single asterisk indicates an estimated value of $5 to $500… while five asterisks indicates values over $20,000! However, this handsome book was published in 200, so I do not know how accurate those estimates would be today.Regardless, this looks like an excellent book for anyone who admires that era of comics!

(The others applaud her patient book review)

A catgirl and a wolfgirl’s dates:
Spice and Wolf anime wall calendar review

Elizabeth:
Spice and Wolf is a series of Japanese novels, manga and anime about  a lovely wolf girl named Holo, who is honored as the  village of Pasroe’s ‘s harvest goddess, but in spite of her clingy village’s desires, she wants to see the world and winds up traveling with a merchant named Kraft. she is a very purretty wolf girl with  caucasian skin, eyes that shimmer like red rubies, hazel colored hair down to her hips, with white -tipped ears and a big matching tail! It seems these days that canine type girls are starting to get more deserved attention which is good, and she is certainly the focus of this spiffy import 2009 calendar!


Imported from Japan and distributed by ASCII Media Works, this big hanging wall calendar measures 16.5 x 23.75″ overall, although the individual poster-like pages measure 23″ below the top binding /  purrforation line. Including the splendid cover page there are 7 pages of images based on the anime. The top 3.25″ of each page has a decorative border, the bottom most 8.25″ of the other 6 pages has the calendar dates, with 2 months per page, and sammiched between those portions is  the actual 16.5″ wide  x 11.5″  tall illustration. The 7 images include the cover image, a full figure view of happy Holo amidst the verdant country scene,

January / February’s pic is her cutely sprawled barefoot on the bed with books and lamp; the March / April pic is of her and blond shepherdess friend Nola and her dog spalshing in the water; May / June is of Holo & Kraft with a basket of blueberries on the buckboard wagon riding past the fields; July / August offers the sexy pic of Holobarely draped in a brown blanket; September / October’s pic is a moonlit scene of Holo & Kraft in the wheat field, and finally for November / December is a night snow scene of a gorgeous naked Holo from the hips up, her wind-swept hair just barely covering her breasts. These 7 images would be suitable for framing, and I think this calendar would be ideal for fans of the pleasant rural or kemonomimi (animal eared girl) sorts of anime!

For more information on Spice and Wolf,  you could start with these good sites:

And now it’s Mielikki-sensei’s turn for

A faerie’s review of the Lazaris-Gilbert Williams

2009: The Year of Celebration Calendar, plus a few
kind words about Dancing Moon Books & Gifts

Mielikki:
I would like to biefly mention The Lazaris-Gilbert Williams 2009: The Year of Celebration Calendar and where I got it! Dancing Moon Books & Gifts http://dancingmoonraleigh.com/ is like a most totally awesome New Age places in Raleigh with the friendliest employees! They have several neat rooms of things to sell, such as books, gift items, music, crystals, candles, cards, tarot decks, decor, and like totally pleasant seating areas, informative bulletin boards, and host various classes, seminars and activities.

Among the many fascinating events hosted there in December were lectures, workshops, and sessions regarding angels & spirit guides, tarot & oracle reading, astrology & numerology, psychics & clairvoyants;  theta healing, meditation, yoga, reflexology, reiki & therapeutic massage,oils, tea time, and a Toys for Tots collection & party! It was there where I purchased this stunningly beautiful Lazaris-Gilbert Williams calendar!

Lazaris http://www.Lazaris.com is said to channel through author / spiritualist Jach Pursel to contribute uplifting quotes to accompany the magnificent color paintings of Gilbert Williams http://www.gilbertwilliams.com/. This calendar opens to an overall 22″ x 14″ including the 11×14″ images and 11×14″ date grids. It has such useful information, including times of the solstices, equinoxes, moon phases, eclipses, and various holidays noted.

The 12 images are among the most enchanting, splendid scenes of serene temples & palaces, iridescent waterfalls & fountains amidst fancilful gardens, groves and glades, crystaline undersea temples, and sparkling priestesses shimmering goddesses in lush meadow, river gorge, rainforest, and mountains high! Any of these would also look great matted and framed to adorn one’s abode!  Well Oh my stars- we’re up against a hard break- so that’ll do it for this segment- but we’ll be right back with more!

(snip)
(one short break later)

Mary Nyan:
Hey we’re back! Thanks for that good review Mielikki-sensei!

Mielikki:
(wings shimmer with happy glow) My pleasure!

Mary Nyan:
Next the discussion continues with–

Toys!

Yurie Hitotsubashi of Kami-Chu anime 1/7 figure


Yvonne:
This is such a wonderful anime character figure, nya! Kami-Chu is among our favoritest recent anime series and this is the figure of the cute main character Yurie Hitotsubashi, nya. The plot of the beautiful anime is that one day she realizes she is a Goddess, so she and her friends from school try to figure out what that implies, nya. The that 2005 Japanese anime series lasted for 16 episodes and was distributed in the US by Geneon, nya. This is a 1/7 scale purre-painted PVC figure of Yurei, sculpted by Inagaki Hiroshi, ma e in China and distributed by Happinet, nya.

It says on the window box that is not intended for children under 3, nya. She is wearing her sailor style school uniform which is a white blouse with dark blue trim & red scarf atop a dark blue skirt, white socks & brown shoes that go nicely with her short brown hair, nya! The hair has just a tiny bit of breezy flutter to it, her eyes are a gray-ish blue, and her expression is a open smile- you can even see her pink tongue, nya! It is a charming cute pose in mid stride up the steps which are the base, and she seems to be trying to catch her breath, nya.

These look like stone steps and a bannister, through which a bit leaves peer through, and four of her little spirit friends accompany her in this scene, nya! These include her kitty who is white with the pink bow in a pawing pose, nya. Including the three step base, the 6″ figure has an overall height of 7.25″, it is about 5.5″ long, from the her extended left foot to the far end of the railing, and 3.5″ wide, nya. So this is a quality figure of a favorite character very well sculpted and painted, and I would recommend it to a fan of Kami-Chu or a collector of cute anime figures, nya! Ok I’m done- does someone else have a toy to discuss, nya?

Nyanko:
I do!

Elizabeth:
Go for it!

World of Warcraft Draenei Mage Tamuura action figure

Nyanko:
Hai! The 3rd series of World of Warcraft from DC Unlimited figures are out, the five include a Blood Elf Paladin, Human Priestess, Undead Rogue, Tauren Hunter, and this exotic lovely Draenei Mage: Tamuura figure I thought I’d talk a bit about! Based upon the characters on the World of Warcraft game, this highly detailed figure was sculpted by Jean St. Jean and is sold in one of those clear plastic hanger boxes, the backing folds out as a nice two sided sheet with art on one side and a large photos of all 3 series’ figures on the reverse.

Like most figures these days, it is secured by those annoying twisty tie thingies, but there were only two to unwind. Once freed from her plastic cell, the only assembly Tamuura required was attaching her tail and scimitar, but be careful in trying to pull the sword pommel from the grip in order to slide the grip through her clenched right hand, as it is a delicate thin piece. Stadding 9″ tall, she is very well balanced and stands on her own without any base or support,. This is not a figure with moveable parts, butshe is dramatically posed with one hoof forward as she suspiciously glances over shoulder with confident smile and pupiless white eyes.

The sculpt & paint are very intricate from the black mane of hair cascading down between her rear-swept horns, the huge ornate layered spaulders atop a bare midriff breastplate exposing a bejeweled navel, down to the flowing sleeves and skirting under which stride the garter-topped fishnet covered legs with the schynbalds above the massive cloven black hooves. The layers of clothing, weapon and armor are shades of lapis, mauve, brown and white metal with intricate inlays and patterns; her skin is pale blue with bronze like bands around her tail and head appendages. I think she will look quite nice facing the series 3 Blood Elf Rogue: Valeera Sanguinar figure in the display case!

Jenjen’s Purriodicals Purrrusals:
Belly Dance Magazine Winter 2008 issue

Jeannie:
In the September Mew, I reviewed the purrevious, Summer 2008 issue of Belly Dance A Raqs Sharqi Magazine http://www.bellydancemag.com, so I was quite eager to purrchase the Winter 2008 issue in December. The magazine has been around since 2007 and is devoted to traditional & modern forms of this purrforming art, and there’s a clear aura how much purride & enthusiasm the talented staff & contributers have, many whom are dancers themselves. This 98 page issue is almost all in full color and has a purrice of $8.00 US / $10 Canada. This issue’s cover feature is of the tribute to the late oriental dancer Leona Wood.

Other main feature articles include Lilana’s intermew with Marina the fire-eating bellydancing mermaid purrformer in Florida, composer/ mewsician Naser Musa, dancer/ author/ historian/ publisher Donna Carlton, and dancer/ teacher/ purrmoter/ songstress Tonya, plus a look at belly dance in Mexico. After letters from readers, a cordial greeting message from editor Liliana Sanchez, and introduction to the contributors are 3 calendar pages of  full event listings for December through February, Madame Butterfly’s words of wisdom on self discipline so colorfully illustrated by Zealy Buggs, and the Mirana feature. She is so lovely and her belly dance and mermaid costumes so nice, but I’m not sure I’d want to catnap on the bed of nails in that one pic!

Next is the magnificent 10 page pictorial of the lavish Belly Dancer of the Universe Competition from Long Beach, CA February 21-22, 2008, purroof how one of the most impurresive qualities of this magazine is the magnificent wealth of dazzling photographs, these by Carl Sermon. Many are stunning full page ics. Following the maestro Naser Musa intermew by Lilana with pics of him with an Oud, is the 4 page Mexico article by Catalina Andrade, which gives interesting insights into how dancers’ costumes, make-up, and use of purrops contrasts with US dancers. This is followed by an exquisite 7 page pictorial by Michael Baxter showcasing the costumes & workshop of  sisters Serif & Asiye Dermice, owners of Legends Costumes in Istanbul.

The tribute to the late Leona Wood  is 7 pages with mostly B&W pics,, with recollections of the 6O’s & 70’s pioneer by Aisha Ali who herself is an esteemed dancer, choreographer, teacher author & purrducer. The Donna Carlton article is 4 pages purrtaining to her research of the famed Little Egypt, plus her own purreferred styles of mewsic & costume. Then we’re treated to 4 passionate pages by Marta Schill & Carl Sermon of images from the Raqs L.A. show. Then comes the 6 page intermew with thelegendary Tonya, with such sultry photos and discussions of her history, beliefs, inspurrations & purrductions, as intermewed by Cathryn MacEllerton who is an enchanting dancer, acrobat, magician & martial artist.

“The Colors of Belly Dancers” is a marvelous 6 page portfolio of the bellydance illustrations of Gene Rivas, who captures every supple curve, sheen of lovely hair & fabric, and drapery fold with great detail, sensitivity & sensuality in his pastels, pencils & paints. After the review by Lilana & accompanying spread of images from the 3 Day Middle Eastern Mewsic & Dance Camp, is part one of a belly enhancing work out by Melissa Stone, who is a massage therapist, dancer, yoga & pilates instructor. There are CD & DVD reviews, and 3 pages focusing on Ellen, Leslie & Kaori: The Raqus Serpentine Troupe from Seattle, who combine various cabaret, tribal, indian and modern dance styles into their innovative theatricality.

The issue’s Yummy featured recipe is a spicy bowl of Zatar seasoning. There are 3 pages of horrorscope for the months of November- February, and finally a a coda of Poetria & cute pic of Catheryn MacEllerhan. The magazine also includes advertisements & links for many beautiful dancers, festivals, mewsic, costumes supplies, back issues and organizations, and the articles include links to those dancers & topcs, so this is a very useful resource. Bellydance Magazine is a most beautiful, entertaining & informative read, replete with so many captivating, sumptuous images. It has become favored reading material for my own troupe, and I would highly recommend this fine quarterly publication to anyone with an interest in eastern dance or mewsic.

Master Collector Vol. 16 #12 December 2008 issue
and Hasbro Transformers Collectors Club Official

Magazine December / January issue #24

Jeannie:
It is always a treat to find in the mailbox the latest issue of Master Collector newspaper http://www.mastercollector.com . “A publication by collectors for collectors”, it is by Fun Publications, aptly named because you get to see the listings for the many toys. While you might find ads for all sorts of toys sold or sought by dealers & collectors, half of the content of it seems to be GI Joes, with large display ads for exclusive Joes from the http://wwwGIJoeClub.com;  the other half all other toys from Barbie & cars to Star Wars & Transformers. There are also a few book reviews, listings for clubs, shows, and auctions. The December issue was of usual size, about 24 pages,  and while purrhaps it is not the most lengthy purrriodical, it is nevertheless always a welcome read.

It is even a more awesome to receive the issue of Master Collector when it includes the bimonthly bound-in Transformers Collectors’ Club Official Magazine http://www.transformersclub.com/. The December / January issue #24 was 16 full color comic-book size pages of articles, interviews, reviews, technical specs on the Autobots & Decepticons, and gorgeous comix! The cover features two exciting preview images from the 3rd season of Transformers Animated.

I have a purrticular fondness for robots  and mecha, purrticularly the more advanced transforming variety. After the cordial little notes from editors Brian Savage and Pete Sinclair is a 3 page intervew by J.E. Alvarez with the show’s lead designer Eric Siebenaler and Art Director Derrick J. Wyatt with some impurresive color artwork and design sketches-  including pics of Lockdown who has those naughty looking spikes, and Shockwave, with quite the cunning supple curves!

I found this to be quite a fascinating account, as it is always a pleasure to read what other mech designers have to say, and of course designing the Transformers would be a purrestigious a career. Then you get 2 pages of Tech Specs on 5 Autobots (Rodimus Prime, Ironhide, Red Alert, Hot Shot, Brawn) and 5 of the bad guys (Strika, Cyclonus, Blackout, Spittor and Oil Slick). Each has a useful graph that indicates their level of strength, intelligence, speed, endurance, and so forth. I would like to get a Red Alert figure. She has a most appealing design and her hard light tech seems quite… scintillating. Oil Slick seems to have the sensuous contours and, oh, that Cosmic Rust Cyber Virus weapon! Mmm and Spittor’s lash cable…

Ilyana:
Sensuous…?

Elizabeth:
(whispers) There she goes again, hee!

Jeannie:
That issue’s 2 pages purrtaining to the World of Transtech gives you profiles on two bots, which in this issue are none other than Optimus Purrime and Megatron! I would certainly like to study more of Purrime’s big powerful ionizing radiation generators and those (drool) micro-missile launchers, or (oh my) Megatron’s quantunm zero-point energy cage, the thick gripping tracksand that HUGE CANNON (GASP) –!!
.
.
.
(sound of crickets chirping amongst wide eyes stares, as
(Jenjen’s frisky tail stops swishing and she begins to blush)
.
.
.
Nyanko:
I’ll have what she’s having!

Jeannie:
Gomenasai!

Mielikki:
Oh My, she so likes mecha!

Mary Nyan:
She is the Purresident of the local robotics club!

Yvonne:
Thats OK Jenjen we’re just glad you get so happy about your fun hobbies, nya!

Mike:
(slides her a soothing nilla milk drink) Here Jen! So… was there any more?

Jeannie:

Arigato…! (sip)

(resumes stoic dispurrsition) Ah, following the article on Purrime are 6 pages of the exciting & gorgeously rendered comix serial, Transcendent part 6. This was written by Forest Lee, pencilled by Evan Gaunt, inked by Jake Isenberg, colored by Josh Perez, lettered by Jesse Wittenrich,  and edited by Pete Sinclair. The use of color & light is very masterful, with excellent variance in line weight from the bolder figure -defining lines to the finer detail-lines. Wrapping up the issue are a couple more amewsing cartoons by Jesse Wittenrich, and Rob Meyer’s fond review of the Voyager Class Blitzwing toy. I wish those two toy publications had more pages, but they are quality works, and you can sense the contributors’ joy for the toys, and zest in commemorating 25 years of Transformers, which are favorite robot toys & characters.

(polite appurreciative golf type clap from the others!)

Our State magazine January 2009 issue

Mike:
I’d like to add a quick ‘thumbs up’ to another favorite magazine, Our State, which could not be a more delightful publication about the fine things in North Carolina! The cover glistens with a lovely photo of a snow covered tree in Madison County by photographer Lin Kincaid, and that’s just the tip of a spectacular photo essay of winterscapes in the old north state. Several of this month’s articles are of medical topics, such as doctors that still make house calls, medical treatment in wilderness areas, the polio epidemic in 1944, and the numerous medical schools across the state.

There’s a charming look at the vanishing breed of old general stores, High Point’s splendid Bill Faver Lakeshore Trail, seals that are scene visiting our coastal waters,and The Inventor Network of The Carolinas (which I’m sure Jenjen will want to read first)!  Each issue also regularly spotlights the people, literature, cuisine, flora and relics of the tarheel type. January’s includes  winter greens and tasty Frasers for the supper table, the witch hazels of the garden, the first electric guitar and Nelia Hyatt’s house for bluegrass.

The town of Wake Forest, the bygone state of Franklin, and the beautiful blown glass artistry of Lisa Oakley are also featured. There’s a glance at Blowing Rock’s Winterfest and Goldsboro’s Three Kings Festival, and a handy calendar listing upcoming events from the mountains to the coast. Few publications wonderfully capture the culture, history, and beauty of the entire state as Our State, which is also a fine TV show airing on UNC-TV thursday evenings, and their web site is http://www.www.ourstate.com!

Jeannie:
I would like to read that inventors article.

Yvonne:
Those seals are very cute I see them purretty often hanging out at the marina, nya!

Mary Nyan:
In addition to the bluegrass It’s amazing how many mewsic and dance festivals there are in the state!

Elizabeth:
I think that is Lady Nemui’s favorite magazine too- and she has quite a few magazine subscriptions!

Mielikki:
That Aesculus Flava or Yellow Buckeye Tree on the cover is handsomely glistening with its Appalachian frost, hee! It will have a lovely flowering bloom, but do not eat those buckeye nuts- they might look cute and are said to be lucky, but they are an inedible poisonous nut.

Mike:
Some friends of mine originally from Ohio make tasty treats called buckeyes which are peanut butter and chocolate.

Mielikki:
Those are the totally delicious treats.

Yvonne:
Yay Buckeye candy- purrhaps i can serve some of those when i host next month, nya!

Ilyana:
What are the next publications we have to discuss?

Mike:
OH- lest I forget- there was a small bit about our friend Clark Whittington’s Artomats http://www.artomat.org/ in the January 2009 issue of Southern Living magazine http://www.southernliving.com/ ! Artomats are former cigarette vending machines which instead now dispense works of art by lots of participating artists, and can be found in many galleries, mueseums, cafe and restaurants all over the country! If there is no artomat near you, you can purchase a carton of art from them at http://www.shopartomat.com/ .

Yvonne:
Yay Artomat, nya! That was a nice little article and there was a yummy bowl of the soup and corn muffins on the cover, nya.



Nyanko:
Oh, I believe Myayr also wanted to say a little about-

Surfing Magazine February 2009 issue
and The Surfer’s Journal Vol. 17 No. 6

Mary Nyan:
Hai! I love to surf and read a lot, so surfing books and magazines are a purriority for me. I would like to draw attention to a couple of purrticularly interesting recent surfer girl articles in those two purrominent publications! First, among the fine articles in the February 2009 issue of Surfing Magazine http://www.surfingthemag.com/ is the 9 page photo filled “Like a Girl: Female Surfing’s New Breed”!

The article highlights seven stoked ‘n sporty sirens of the surf, including Stephanie Gilmore http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephanie_Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons http://www.sallyfitzgibbons.com/, Silvana Lima http://www.foammagazine.com/featured/brazil’s-silvana-lima/Coco Ho http://surferhot100.loopd.com/Members/cocoho/hot100.aspx, Malia Manuel http://prettytough.com/fourteen-year-old-wins-womens-us-open-of-surfing/ , Courtney Conlogue http://www.jettygirl.com/features/courtney.conlogue.html and Sofia Mulanovich http://www.sofiamulanovich.com/.

There’s a mention of Tiffany Campbell’s upcoming surf film Dear and Yonder http://www.villavillacola.com/. which i hope the Catgirl Island theater will get. Also in this issue there is a brief splash about 16 year old phenom Carissa Moore http://www.carissamoore.com/, the youngest ever to win the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing and an 11 time National Scholastic Surfing Association champion, who has also recently signed great big sponsorship deals with Nike and Red Bull!

In Surfer’s Journal Vol. 17 no. 6 http://www.surfersjournal.com/ there is a 19 page photo essay “Anchored: An Intergenerational Surf Trip”, of a wahini expurrdition to the Mentawai Islands photographed by Jeff Hornbaker http://www.thirdeyeworld.com/. The seven surfers shining there are Sally Fitzgibbons & Stephanie Gilmore, with Serena Brooke http://www.serenabrooke.com/, Megan Abubo http://www.meganabubo.com/, Kassia Meador http://www.kassiameador.com/, Lyndsay Noyes http://www.jettygirl.com/features/2008.09.noyes.html and Lee-Ann Curren http://www.leeanncurren.com/! My favorite pics are the one of sun dogs chasing Serena on the waves, and Kassie catnapping on the beachy driftwood. Coming up next:

Catgirls’ Comix & Manga Reviews!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 #20
(warning: detailed total plot spoiler ‘n slayage)

Ilyana:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 published by Dark Horse Comics does not cease to entertain or be one of the bestest comic books we’ve read in recent years! December, 2008’s issue #20 is no exception, and “After These messages- We’ll be Right Back!” is a purrticularly special tale. and should be an extra special treat for Buffy fans. The cover purrice is  $2.99 and there are 2 different covers, one by Jo Chen, the other by Georges Jeanty, Dexter Vines & Michael E. Wiggam.

Sammiched between those covers are 24 pages of full color story, plus two pages of letter column and ten pages of advertisements & announcements, including a notice about the non-purrofit CSUN Foundation- TADW Sam Loeb Scholarship Fund (of which some of the purroceeds of this issue’ sales are donated). The issue was dedicated to the late Sam Loeb, who died on June 17, 2005 after a battle with cancer at the age of 17.

The script is by Jeph Loeb, and Georges Jeanty, who has been absent from Buffy for a few months during the Fray story arc, returns to purrvide the art for a framing sequence, inked by Andy Owens. The crux of this issue is that Buffy dreaming (?) that she is back at Sunnydale High School, told in an ‘animation style’ to emulate what had been planned for the unrealized animated Buffy cartoon and gosh it is so darn spiffy, fun and purrky cute!

This was illustrated by Eric Wight, Ethen Beavers & Adam Van Wyk. Eric Wight was the character designer of the animated Buffy series that never launched The issue was lettered by Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt and colored by Lee Loughridge. Other credits include executive purrducer Joss Whedon, Designer Heidi Whitcomb, Assistant Editor Freddye Lins, Associate Editor Sierra Hahn, Editor Scott Allie, Publisher Mike Richardson.

The plot: The whole gang’s back- the way they used to be back in High School, as Buffy is awoken by her (living) Mom and (human) Dawn. At school things are adversarial between Cordy ‘n Willow, and Xander is in trouble with Principal Snyder. That evening the ‘scoobies’ meet Giles in a cemetery, whose books reveal a new vampire cult for Buffy to slay. Plenty of vamp dustin’ action and witty dialog ensue, as Buffy debates whether or not to reveal any of the future to the gang; for at this time, it is early in her Slayer career and her Mom does not know about it yet.

Buffy later has a rooftop chat with Angel, and winds up missing Cordy’s  party to fight  the cult’s huge flyin’ dragon. There are some dandy two-page spreads of the Slayage! Eventually the sentimental dream journey ends,and she wakes up back in the purrsesent, where Xander has an eyepatch, Dawn is a centaur, and Buffy is so happy to see that Willow is “…all magicky and gay now”! This super fun issue has great art plot & dialogue, and might be the closest we’ll get to see the animated Buffy that might have been!

(end of Buffy #20 plot slayage)

Aria manga vol. 4

Yvonne:
Yay volume 4 of Aria was published in December, nya! For those who came in late, it is purrhaps our most favoritest anime & manga series of the past decade, nya. If you include the 2 purrecursor volumes titled Aqua then technically this is the 6th volume of Kozue Amano’s story nya. Her official site is http://ariapokoten.sakura.ne.jp/ which is in Japanese, nya. Aria is a futuristic science fiction story of a girl named Akari, who trains to be a gondolier, or undine, on the aquaformed planet Mars, renamed Aqua 150 years from now, nya. There she works for one of the gondola tour companies Aria in the tranquil city of Neo-Venezia, styled after the ancient city of Venice, Italy, nya!

As of this volume Akari has been there for two summers, nya. The illustrations are so beautiful, the slice-of-life science fiction stories so charming, and the characters are all so endearing, nya! The English translated version is published by Tokyo Pop http://www.tokyopop.com/; it is rated ‘OT’ for older teens ages 16+ and is purriced $9.99 US. $10.99 CAN, ₤6.99 UK, nya. This volume’s cover by Amano is a beautiful smiling image of senior undine Alicia taking a dip in the clear blue shallows by the island palm trees, nya! Inside are 178 pages of B&W manga, plus 3 pages of the bonus little Ennui Club gag comic and a few more pages of purreviews and ads, nya.

The 1st chapter of this volume is “Neverland”, in which 5 of our undines start off summer time with a trip to a lovely island for swimming, cliff diving & catnaps on the beach, nya! That would be the ideal time, nya. In the next chapter “Traveling Water” the hallucinatory heat of the summer day makes one drowsy & search for the cool place, nya. In “Flying Fish From The Sky”, Akari meets a Sylph, one of the aerial couriers who deliver goods with their sky bikes, nya!  The 4th chapter “The Legendary Major Fairy” has Akari, Aika & Alice visiting the grandmotherly founder of Aria Company on her farmland home where there is tasty corn, nya!  Finally in “The Redentor” the girls illuminate the boats for a festival, to entertain the customers over supper on the canals, nya!

Once again this was a mots purrfured manga of great beauty and charm, which gets my highest recommendation, nya! If you would purrfur to know more about the Aria manga, here are some good articles on the Aria manga Anime News Network http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/manga.php?id=3597 and Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aria_(manga), plus these two nice fan sites, Neo-Venezia http://drawerofdreams.net/neo-venezia/index.html and Undine http://www.ancalima.co.uk/aria/, nya!

North Carolina Web Comics Coffee Clatch
December 2008 meeting’s minutes

Ilyana:
The purrevious meeting of the North Carolina Web Comics Coffee Clatch convened on a mild Saturday December 13th, 2008 from 2-4 pm-ish at Designbox http://designbox.us/ in Raleigh, NC, courtesy of Paul Friedrich http://onionheadmonster.com/. The monthly Clatch meetings tend to last 2-3 hours, rotating from Greensboro, Burlington, Chapel Hill / Carrboro, Raleigh / Cary, and alternate Saturdays and Sundays. Most members are creators of web comics, but the group includes other artists, writers & creative fans of comix too!

This was a purrticularly notable meeting, because those in attendance got to see a first look at the purrinted purrototype of the nearly complete 2nd annual NCWCCC Anthology Book that Jamie had compiled. It has a theme purrtaining to nummy lucky Fortune Cookies, and is hopefully to be published in February, to purremier at What the Hell Con in Greensboro, NC and at an Alamance County Public Library event http://www.alamancelibraries.org/ in Burlington, NC.

For most of us, this was the first opportunity to see what everyone had written or drawn for the book! It was very exciting, and even though this volume has not been purrinted yet, concerns were raised about the size, cost, and editorial / art direction of future volumes, along with other future goals of the Clatch. As a few latecomers arrived, the group then took a while for everyone to introduce themselves, for the benefit of some first time attendees.


After those brief introductions, an update was given regarding the status of the animated version of the inetrmew conducted by Frank Stasio for North Carolina Public Radio’s purrogram The State of Things http://wunc.org/programs/tsot/ on WUNC, last year with clatch members Ursula, mckenzee & Steffanie http://www.freese-design.com/. The animation purrocess is being facilitated by Eric Knisely http://www.silent-k.net/ and Eric Coker. The video might also be debut in March too!

The next matter for discussion was the purrposed idea of a Halloween Party to commemorate the 50th meeting of the clatch in October, 2009. This is envisioned to be a masquerade event, but no specific plans have been determined.  Next came the purrposal of creating a directory of Clatch members, to include basic contact & expurrtise information, which would be a purrivate document for Clatch eyes only. Following that were announcements of a few of organizations, galleries & studios that were in need of artists, as either illustrators, exhibitors or consultants.

Ursula updated us on her publishing, Matt discussed the status of Likely Stories, Otter gave us some wonderful purresents, and the final topic was on Clatch repurresentation at Stellar Con http://www.stellarcon.org/ in March. After the meeting officially adjourned, most folks remained a bit longer to chit chat. Although it is already known that  February’s Clatch meeting will occur at What the Hell Con, the date & place for the January meeting are yet to be determined, but that info will eventully appear on the Clatch site http://ncwccc.net/ !

Now it’s time for our monthly “13 Lucky Kitty
Web Comic Picks of the Litter” (plus a couple
more since there are a bunch of us this month)!

Elizabeth:
My picks for January are
The Suburban Jungle Starring Tiffany Tiger http://www.suburbanjungle.com/


Jeannie:
I have selected
Jodi Tong’s Lang Lang http://langlang.comicgenesis.com/
Deborah Erenberg’s Flux http://flux.comicgenesis.com/

Ilyana:
Kitty Kazawa Freelance Exorcist http://www.kittykazawa.com/kk_comics.htm
and Sophia: Awakening http://www.parasitepublishing.com/
Nyanko- whatchoo got?

Nyanko:
How about
Yvonne:
The Yumble Comics Collective at http://pompi.unfading-scar.net/
and the Spider Forest Collective http://spiderforest.com/ , nya!

Mielikki:
I’ve chosen the totally awesome
Sailor Sun http://www.sailorsun.org/ by Chris Rudderham & Thom Katt, and the
Forest Dreams Studio http://www.furfire.org/ of Angela Beaman & Terry Bailey!

Mary Nyan:
The neat comix you’ll find at Supermegatopia http://www.supermegatopia.com
and at Palace in the Sky Publishing http://www.hikousenenterprises.com/
Mike?

Mike:
Last but certainly not least, let’s hear it for the
Kiki Myou Myou Doujin Circle http://www.kikimyoumyou.com !
That’ll do it for this months Web Comic Picks of the Litter, but we’ll
be right back with The Lightning Round, after this short break!

(snip)
(one short break later)

Mike:
And we’re back! The catgirls were so excited to hear we’d be intermewing more cast members of Clan of the Cats, who this month include a kitsune, vampire, witch, psychic, were-spider, and a ghost! In July 2008 the Lightning Round, that month was was on our favorite favorite archanid girls, and we listed our favorite ghostly sites in the October 2008 Mew. In coming months we hope to have lists of of informative & entertaining sites  regarding psychic phenpmenon, vampires and witches, but today in honor of guest Akemi Tamiko, today’s–
Lightning round topic is: our favorite kitsune sites!

(all in unison)
LIGHTNING ROUND- GO! nya!

Yvonne:
For starters here are some good wikipedia links purrtaining to kitsune, nya!
The Wikipedia article on Kitsune  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitsune
and the article on Foxes in Culture http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxes_in_culture
nya! (tags Jenjen to go next)

Jeannie:
I would like to recommend these good sources of kitsune information:
and Encyclopedia Mythica’s entry on Kumiho by Charles La Shure, which is at

(tags Lizzy)

Elizabeth:
I have some good foxy sites suggestions too! There’s
Kitsune-Rei’s Kitsune no Yume  http://fox-dream.com/
(tail pokes Myayr)

Mary Nyan:
Thanks Lizzy! First is Issendai’s most excellent site,
Kitsune, Kumiho, Huli Jing,  Fox: Fox Spirits in Asia and Fox Spirits in the West
I.D.E.A.S’ very scholarly article on Fox Folklore in Japan at
Oniko’s delightful site, which has a page on Kitsune & Troublesome Fox Spirits
(tail flits Mielikki)

Mielikki:
There are so many good Kitsune sites, which is only natural. I’ll recommend
and I totally suggest visiting The Fox Forest  http://www.foxforest.com/ !
Also, Anime-Myth.com is Michelle’s exquisite site devoted to myths & folklore
as depicted in anime, which has a lovely little section on kitsune there at
http://www.anime-myth.com/fox.html ! (tags Nyanko with the brush of a wing tip)

Nyanko:
Arigato! (ahem) I’d like to nominate Jamie Hall’s Portal of Transformation:
Kitsune in Folklore and Mythology http://www.jh-author.com/kitsune.htm
Mark Schumacher’s site purrtainign to Japanese deities, including information
and definitely Watts Martin’s writings on Kitsune, the Coyote of the Orient, at
(tags Ilyana)

Ilyana:
Oh gosh… those are all good, but I would also recommend
Laura & David’s The Kitsune Page http://www.coyotes.org/kitsune/kitsune.html
SH Morgan’s Obakenono Project http://www.obakemono.com/obake/kitsune/
and Foxtrot’s Guide to Kitsune Lore http://www.comnet.ca/~foxtrot/kitsune/
Um..Mike’s turn!

Mike:
Ah my list is not so much of sites about the legends & lore, but the official sites
of favorite Kitsune related manga published in English, such as the delightful

Yvonne:
May I mention a couple more if you are including kitsune anime & manga, nya?

Mike:
Sure- what did you have in mind?

Yvonne:
While the main character of Hyper Police is a catgirl named Natsuki, one of the
co-stars is a fox spirit girl named Sakura, Nya! She is an 8 tailed fox and is still
waiting on her 9th, nya. So I would like to mention anime Studio Pierrot’s official
(Japanese language) Hyper Police site http://pierrot.jp/title/hyper/ and also a fan
site, which is Natsuki’s Hyper Police fan site http://www.hyperpolice.net/ , nya!

Elizabeth:
By the way, there are good articles on those anime & manga titles at Wikipedia
and at the Anime News Network http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/ , nya!

Ilyana:
Of course there are numerous other famous foxgirls on screen and in puirrint
such as the Foxey Love, of the cartoon Drawn Together!

Mielikki:
Don’t forget foxboys either, such as Inu Yasha’s cute little Shippo!

Jeannie:
There are a lot of kitsune in the comix these days… not just in manga, but
several of our past  web comics picks have purrominent kitsune characters!

Nyanko:
We purrobably should not keep our guests waiting much longer!

Mary Nyan:
Hai hai. We should purrpare for the main event and see if our guests are
ready! When we return from this short break, we will bring out the guests!

(snip)
(one short break later…)

Our Feature Purresentation:
intermews with several stars of Clan of the Cats!

Ilyana:
(on the arboretum’s stone path by the Plantain Lilies) Once again The Mew is purroud to chat with cast members of of Jamie Robertson’s web comics Clan of the Cats and the spin-off Sebo http://clanofthecats.com/! The first time they were intermewed was In the August 2007, when Chelsea, Charlotte, and all the cats: Sebastian, Eon, Beige, Leander, Seydi, Fluff & Loki were guests of The Mew! Mike also had the pleasure of intermewing his pal Jamie for the COTC Year One CD, and for COTC E-Book collections there’ve been conversations with Melpomene and Lilith.

Most recently, Jamie was intermewed again for the 1st Anniversary Mega Mew in May, 2008! Today we’re pleased to welcome several more of the women of Clan of the Cats to The Mew! Joining us are kitsune Akemi Tamiko, were-spider Rei Hoshi, psychic Audrey Kim, he bewitching Ruth Netta Madison Chattan, the recently vampiric Diane Erato Hunt-Chattan Monroe, and ghostly cute little Anna Louise Crenshaw! So while Mike’s getting the refills of the nilla creams and the cran apple nummy berry cocktail for our guests, let’s go to-

Yvonne in the Heliconia Garden for an
intermew with kitsune Akemi Tamiko!


Yvonne:
Ogenki desu-ka, nya?

Akemi:
I am fine, hee. You all look so cute with your ears and tails, heehee.

Yvonne:
Arigato gosaimasu, nya! So do you – and you have such purretty and elegant clothes, nya! Where do you shop, nya?

Akemi:
In a little shop of my hometown of Ikeda, Osaka.

Yvonne:
Maybe they could open a branch here at catgirl Island, nya. Well then, there’s not a whole lot known about you – could you please tell us where you’re from, nya?

Akemi:
I am originally from Ikeda, Osaka, Japan. My father came to Ikeda in 1940 for the railroad in Ikeda. He was human and my mother was a Kitsune, like myself. She lived in the hills near Akita.  It’s funny.  My father met my mother when she was stealing his chickens. He almost shot her, but became fascinated by her over time. She must have liked him as I think she put a spell on him to fall in love with him, but she would never own up to it.  Unfortunately, they are both gone. He died in the war, and Mamma died five years ago of lung cancer.  She smoked too much for too long.  It was very sad.

Yvonne:
Aww… sad nya! What about any other family- parents, siblings, significant others, nya?

Akemi:
My sister and I are best friends.  She’s a couple of years younger than I am, but we have a lot in common.  We both hate chicken, but often hunted them when we were younger. We do make a point to see each other once a month as she still lives in Japan, still in our hometown with a good husband and wonderful children and grandchildren. The boys do like the manga and the catgirls. They would love to come here, I think. Maybe a little too much, heehee.

Yvonne:
Hee!

Akemi:
I rarely dated when I was young, which started some ugly rumors about me that I did not like. I could never find the right gentleman that I could marry. I did fall in love with a gentleman from the studio and he fell for me too, but he was above my family economically, so any union between us would not have been accepted by our families. It was a very sad time for me, for us both. I think he married a beautiful model from agency we hire, but he was not happy. I certainly was not happy, hahah. I met Timon when I joined the Council of Wizard Morphs. I joined in 1974. Waldemar was a liaison to the council and he represented the Wizard’s council.

I loved his humor. It was very dry, not like anything I was used to in Japan. That was what attracted him to me in the beginning. He said he liked my giggle, heehee. Unfortunately, he was still married when I met him. I met his wife only once before she died. It was very sad for him and for me. I would not ask him out, for obvious reasons, but I did start dropping hints about a year after she passed. Three years later he caught on and asked me out. A little slow on the punch, there, heehee. But, seriously, it took him a while to get over Mary’s passing. We dated very briefly and then one day he asked me to move in with him. I hesitated, because I am old fashioned, but after a time I did as he asked. We never married, but we did love a lot.  (smiles)

Yvonne:
Gosh…  so… what did you do before all of that magickal council stuff, nya?

Akemi:
As a young woman, I worked as a secretary at the railroad in my hometown. I later moved out and on my own, went to college, got my Masters in business economics, while I worked at a tuna factory. After college I went to work for a studio that made television commercials. I loved the little jingles on the TV. I thought they were always so cute. I wrote a few, but they only used one.  It was for a soy product. Soy, soy, soy, oh joy … or something like that.  It was silly.

Mostly, I did clerical work. It was the 50s and 60s and a woman could only go so far in business in Japan. It was a very frustrating environment, but I enjoyed the work. Being a woman was bad enough, but I definitely kept my “other self” in secret. Looking back, I suppose I could have used my “ways” to advance, but father instilled into us a strict code of ethics. So, that would have been cheating, not something to be proud of. I think I got off the subject there, so sorry, heehee.

Yvonne:
So what was a typical day on the magickal council, nya? Did you have a nice corner office, nya?

Akemi:
I wish I had an office, but no, no office. We don’t even have chairs in the council chambers. The Council of Wizard Morphs, which is a group of elders who happen to be both morphs, you know, werefolk, and powerful wizards and witches, was formed in ancient Rome, so it was molded after the Roman senate. Originally, the council was formed to protect and police our kind.

They protected us from the humans, but also policed us to make certain no one wizard morph would threaten the whole of our kind. That included everything from petty territorial disputes to standing off a war to deciding what holidays our kind would celebrate. After the Council of Three disbanded, we took on many more territorial disputes, but we also allied ourselves with the Grey Wolf Clan, who became our main enforcers.  Hearing territorial disputes are very boring, but necessary to keep the peace.

Yvonne:
We thought it was a shame you got killed off in COTC. Did you get a lot of mail about that?

Akemi:
I think I heard one person was a little displeased with my “demise,” but given the nature of the comic, I suppose I will not stay gone too long. I just hope Timon can move on and forgive Chelsea if that is not the case.

Yvonne:
Yay, well of course in comic books people come back from the dead all the time so maybe you can return to Clan of the Cats, nya.

Akemi:
I hope so, but I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough.

Yvonne:
Oh- didja see the little “Akemi Lives” sign in the background of the 2008 April Fools COTC? We made Mike put that in, nya!

Akemi:
Yes, I did. Thank you so very much.

Yvonne:
You’re welcome nya! Given the increasing popularity of fox girls in anime and manga, how busy are you of late, nya?

Akemi:
Oooh, I don’t read manga very much or go to many movies, so I don’t know.  No one has called anyway, heehee.

Yvonne:
Oh gosh I would like to see you get more work but I hope you are enjoying the free time to do fun things nya. So… what are your favorite foods, nya?

Akemi:
I love bell peppers and seafood. I used to sneak into the neighbors hen house as a little girl, but I never could get a taste for chicken, especially raw. Eww.  I just liked the thrill of it.

Yvonne:
Oh I like the thrill of landing a big fish too, but then I like to eat those fish, nya. Well gosh it was so nice of you to drop by and we hope you’ll enjoy your visit to the island, nya!

Akemi:
Sayonara, Vonny-san!

Yvonne:
Now we go take you to

Mary Nyan in the Anthurium Garden for an
intermew with were-spider Rei Hoshi, nya!

Mary Nyan:
Aloha and welcome to The Mew! So, please tell us- are you a spider than turns into a girl or a girl that turns into a spider?

Rei Hoshi:
I’m always a predator. You look tasty.

Mary Nyan:
Haaa… well, I do like to think I have good taste anyway! So.. where you are from?

Rei Hoshi:
I am from Japan, or I was born there. I do not know much about my past.

Mary Nyan:
Family?

Rei Hoshi:
I have no brothers, sisters or significant others. I ate my parents before I got to know them.

Mary Nyan:
How could you hate your parents before you got to know them?
Rei Hoshi:
You misunderstand.  I ATE them, as in to eat.  I was hungry and could not control myself. Not that it would have mattered. Your hearing is not as developed as it should be, perhaps you should be weeded out of your tribe. I can help with that.
Mary Nyan:
Oh. Nyaa…. are there many other giant spider morphs like you?

Rei Hoshi:
Not a lot, but enough.

Mary Nyan:
So what is the home of a giant spider like?

Rei Hoshi:
Dark.

Mary Nyan:
Dark. Do…  you make purretty intricate webs?

Rei Hoshi:
No.

Mary Nyan:
Ah Ok… I understand you have psychic powers! Purrhaps you could tell us more about those!

Rei Hoshi:
You would not understand, but I can demonstrate. There is a 65% probability that you would not recover. However, if that happened, I would mercifully eat you.

Mary Nyan:
Never mind then! You know, a lot of people are afraid of spiders. How do you feel, about so much arachnaphobia in the world?

Rei Hoshi:
It’s quite warranted- you should be afraid.

Mary Nyan:
Are there any, ah, giant spider books or movies you like?

Rei Hoshi:
No.

Mary Nyan:
How about Spider-Man?

Rei Hoshi:
Who?

Mary Nyan:
What did you do before you were on the magickal council?

Rei Hoshi:
I was a spider. I still am a spider.  I will always be a spider and spiders eat.

Mary Nyan:
(nervous tail twitch) I suppose there is something to be said about singleness of purrpose. Well, you know, it was neat when you scared that vampire guy you were interrogating! Was that fun, or just part of the job?

Rei Hoshi:
They would not let me eat him. Where is the fun in that?

Mary Nyan:
Oh my, look at the time! Will you be appearing again anytime soon in Clan of the Cats?

Rei Hoshi:
You appear to be babbling. I do not know what a COTC is. This is a sign of weakness that must be weeded out of your tribe. I will eat you now. Do not worry, my bite is only painful for a second, then you will go to sleep.

Mary Nyan:
Hahhhh that’ll do it for this segment but after the break we’ll be back with the amazing psychic Audrey Kim!

(snip to  short break)

Mary Nyan:
(jumps out of seat and lands behiind Mike)
Mike, please do not ever book a giant spider on this show again!

Mike:
But your the one that likes monsters- and wanted to interview her!

Mary Nyan:
Yes but we’re supposed to meet the guests, not be meat for the guests!

Ilyana:

Mike, that spider lady is drooling at me, and not in the way I like to be drooled at!

Mary Nyan:

I’m not that kind of Bloody Mary for her to sip!

Ilyana:

You should explain to her that trying to eat the catgirl talk show hosts is not going to help to fight arachnaphobia!

Mike:

Hurm. Well let’s not be rude… I’ll see if she’s interested in taking the island caverns tour.

(The purrducer has a chat with the giant spider guest, then one short break later…)

Ilyana:
And now,

Heeerre’s Jeannie! (in the Ginger Garden
for an intermew with psychic Audrey Kim)


Jeannie:
Here with us today is the lovely Agent Audrey Kim of the Foundation who has psychic powers. Welcome to The Mew, Agent Kim! So could you please tell us a little about yourself- you’re originally from San Francisco, right?

Audrey:
Yes, I was born in San Francisco. My grandfather moved to Canada from Korea in the 1940s. My father moved to California not long after he married my mother. My father and grandfather did not get along.

Jeannie:
And you’re an Empath working for the Foundation?

Audrey:
If you say so. If I told you, I’d have to kill you. (rolls eyes). I know, bad joke.

Jeannie:
Just don’t threaten to eat me and we’ll be fine. What did you do purrior to that, and how did your current occupation come about?

Audrey:
My father worked for the Foundation as a psychic assassin. Essentially he would plant a thought into a target’s mind that they should kill themselves. He did not like doing it, but it served a purpose. He later committed suicide himself. When that happened, they came for me and I was just getting out of college. They wanted me to take my father’s place, but I refused. They tried to force me into helping, but I made them all think they were bunny rabbits and they started humping one another. It was quite a site, these very serious men in black suits, hopping around each other. After I stopped laughing and released them, they offered me a job on my terms. At first I rejected their offer, but ultimately I decided I could do good, even at the behest of a somewhat vile organization.

Jeannie:
What sort of special psychic powers do you have?

Audrey:
Basically, I can read an area that has been affected magickally.  Most psionics can, but I can get specifics.  Sometimes, I can’t, especially if there’s been a lot of trauma involved.  Trauma can muddy the psychic energy up, but usually, I can pick up something when others can’t.  I can also enter a person’s mind.  Usually, if a rogue Magickal like a werewolf or whatever, has attacked, I can probe the victim’s mind to find out what happened.  I can also erase the memory and replace it with something else.

A lot of times, and this is really what I enjoy, is helping the victims understand what happened to them.  I don’t replace their memory, but I quite literally empathize with them, get to know them and help them understand that they don’t need to be afraid, unless they do need to be afraid.  When they do need to be afraid, that’s when I plant a false memory. I understand it’s not the most ethical solution, but it’s a solution that works and people don’t get hurt.

Jeannie:
Fascinating. When and how did you discover those powers?

Audrey:
I discovered them at a very early age. My father was yelling at me for breaking a vase. I was, maybe, five years old and crying my little eyes out.  While he was yelling, he was also crying inside too.  He didn’t want to yell at me, but he had a hard day and, well, you just can’t let a little kid get away with breaking stuff, so he fussed. I asked him why he was yelling and crying at the same time and he just stepped back with the weirdest look on his face. Then I heard him say, “can you hear me,” though his lips did not move. That’s how I found out.

Jeannie:
So what is the purropurr terminology for a purrson with such powers- an Esper, Psychic, Mentalist, Medium?

Audrey:
The Foundation heads a psionics division with many operatives, but most of them are not that powerful. Some can read minds, but only for a small amount of time before tiring. Others can see into the future, but not the past and vice versa. Still others can get an idea of events that happened in a place, but not specifics. I’m one of the top empaths in the world and I proudly proclaim that I use my powers for good, to help people, much to the chagrin of some of my superiors.

Jeannie:
Are these powers mystical or scientific in nature?

Audrey:
I would say both. I am human, I am a human animal, therefore I am natural and I have these powers, but not all humans have such powers, therefore there is something mystical going on. Still, I would consider anything mystical to be part of nature and anything natural to have some mystical properties, even if minute. So, again, I would say both, as both are intertwined.

Jeannie:
Theoretically, how many people have such powers?

Audrey:
All beings have some measure of magickal ability, but those who are specifically like me are small in number.

Jeannie:
What are some purrticular laws or policies purrtaining to the use of such powers?

Audrey:
The Foundation was founded after Deus Lupus disbanded the Council of Three after the First World War. Its purpose was to prevent the Netherworld from invading the human world or destroying itself from within. Sometimes that called for helping a tribe out in a certain situation. Other times it called for assassination, something Mel was very adept at.

With that objective, the governments of the top nations gave the Foundation carte blanche. In the fulfillment of a mission neither the Foundation nor any of its operatives can be held accountable for our actions.  We could even take out a head of state if he or she threatened the stability of the peace between the human world and the Netherworld.  It is frightening, but it is unfortunately necessary because there are enemies on both sides.

Jeannie:
What about other abilities, skills, and expurrtise?

Audrey:
I am a black belt in karate and know how to handle most small firearms, so I have no problem defending myself or anyone else.  I do, if at all possible, prefer to use non violent methods to achieve my objectives. And most are.

Jeannie:
What sort of vehicles an equipment do you use?

Audrey:
I can portal, so I don’t use any vehicles when I can get away with it.

Jeannie:
What is your jurisdiction?

Audrey:
Worldwide.

Jeannie:
Interesting. How many government organizations are aware of your official duties?

Audrey:
The NBNI and the CIA both have a file on me. NBNI is the National Bureau of Netherworld Investigations, a joint human/Netherworld version of your FBI.  MI6 has a file on me, but it is bogus. The KGB did have a file on my father, but they do not have one on me. Nukes were not the only thing that made the US and the USSR a super power. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States is the only country with all the names of Foundation agents on file.

Jeannie:
Agent Kim, thank you so much for taking time from your important cases to join us. Hopefully we’ll see you and your friends later tonight at the luau!

Audrey:
Thank you for the vacation- I’ve been in need of one lately!

Jeannie:
Here is –

Lizzy in the Bird-of-Paradise Garden for an

intermew with Ruth Netta Madison Chattan
Elizabeth:
So what is an Appalachian mountain girl like you doing in on the overdeveloped Carolina Coast?

Ruth:
I’ll tell ya. My mother had people down here. It was another branch of the family that went off in the 1920s. They went off to a little town called Company Shops to help build the railroad. Well, the father, ol’ Jack Hunter, my mother’s cousin, had taken his family there, but he got bored with it. So the story goes, he turned to his wife and said, “honey, where do you want to go?” And she said, “Myrtle Beach,” cause by then it was a tourist attraction. Well, his wife was a witch, but didn’t nobody know at the time. So they headed down there and before they could get to Mytle Beach they went through the town of Haven. When they went through that town, his wife said, “stop the train, we’re living here.” So, they did.

Elizabeth:
Witches run in the family I take it?

Ruth:
My grandma was a witch, very powerful one too. She’s the one who taught me all my spells and encants. Anyway, about the time I was 16 she got a notion to move to Haven too and she took me along with her. My Mama pitched a fit, but once my Grandma got a notion, wasn’t nothing gonna stop her. So, off we went. I never knew why we went, but when we got there, I could feel the magick in that place all around me. And the reason is it really was a Haven, for witches. Back around the civil war, a group of witches and wizards founded the town to escape the war.

Elizabeth:
Speaking of wars, where were you when you heard about the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the end of the war?

Ruth:
I could feel something coming, but I didn’t know what. I just knew it was big.  For days before that, I felt miserable and that was unusual because I enjoyed the holidays.  I was in the kitchen, making breakfast when I heard.  Nearly dropped the eggs.  Lord, I just stood there and cried, because of all them boys that died. I was living with my grandma and Peter James and I had just started dating.

Elizabeth:
Were both sides using witchcraft for the war effort?

Ruth:
I don’t know much about that myself, but I suspect they were. Now, what most folks don’t understand is that I’m not a witch like Chelsea. I’m more like a regular person. I can use magick, ’cause I’ve studied it for so long.

Elizabeth:
How you met your eventual husband Peter James Chattan seems rather suspicious, hee hee- care to ‘fess up?

Ruth:
Peter James was coming off the train and his hat blew off and came over toward me.  It plopped right in my hands and I swear that I didn’t have a thing to do with it. The boy came over and I looked into his eyes and he looked into mine and I knew right then we were going to get married. Now, I didn’t have nothing to do with the hat, but I might have said just a tiny little spell on the way home that day. Grandma scolded me when she found out and I never weaved another love spell since.  Well, eventually that spell worked and Peter James looked me up and on the third date I fessed up about the spell. I expected him to hit the ground running, but he believed me and said it didn’t matter, ’cause it was when I handed him his hat that he decided to find me someday.

Elizabeth:
Have you any insights into the Brown Mountain Lights? (hey that rhymed!)

Ruth:
It’s just people seeing things or “smoking” things. I reckon by now some wizard may have played it up a bit, but there’s no official word on the subject from the Netherworld community.

Elizabeth:
What are your recollections of Elvis and The Beatles?

Ruth:
I liked Elvis a little bit, but Grandpa didn’t care for ’em. He liked ol’ Hank Snow and Eddy Arnold, that slow dancing music. There was quite a commotion for both of ’em, the Beatles and Elvis. I never cared for the Beatles much and didn’t see what was to get all fired up about. Diane on the other hand loved ’em. She even cried when they broke up.

Elizabeth:
What about when JFK was shot?

Ruth:
I didn’t feel that one coming, but afterwards, it was like the whole country was crying and couldn’t stop. And I could feel all that emotion coming from everybody and I didn’t feel right for a week. It was a bad time. Nothing, but bad.

Elizabeth:
Beverly Hillbillies, Andy Griffith Show and Bewitched?

Ruth:
Now, I liked Andy Griffith, but I didn’t watch the others that much. I didn’t watch too much tv at all, but I liked ol’ Andy. He was funny.

Elizabeth:
Like The Munsters, family is comprised of cursed folk, witches, lycanthropes, and a vampire. Which would seem to make Ben and Cynthia the… Marilyns of the family, in and odd way?

Ruth:
Lordy, you all watch a lot of TV. You need to talk with Jubal on that. He’s the one who always watched the TV. This one time Chelsea came into the kitchen madder than a wet hornet ’cause he was watching some show and not her. But I never watched that Monsters show, so I don’t know what to tell ya. But sometimes, I’m sure ol’ Ben does feel left out. Cynthia, takes it all as it comes.  She is a sweet girl.

Elizabeth:
Speaking of Ben, how close are / were you with his parents?

Ruth:
I really didn’t know them that well. I met them once at Diane and Ben’s wedding.

Elizabeth:
So what was Diane like as a little girl and in her teens?

Ruth:
I didn’t know Diane until she was nearly 20 years old. Peter brought her home one summer after the spring semester and she was a darling little thing. She was skinny, with long stringy hair.  ‘Course, he was too, but Diane was well mannered and was studying to be a nurse.

Elizabeth:
Mike thinks Mel is a hotty, hee!

Mike:
Gee, thanks, girls! Sigh.

Ruth:
She’s a hot something, alright. She came to me asking about magick even before Chelsea, but I knew she wasn’t going to use it for anything good, so I held her back. I think sometimes, I shouldn’t have even done that. Then sometimes, I think maybe I should have taken more time with her, kicked ol’ Ben’s ass a couple of times when he barked at her.  She’s smart as a ehip, that girl, but I’ll tell ya, if any boy looks at her too long, it’ll be the last thing he sees. So, you better tell your friend to stay away.

Elizabeth:
How involved are you in all that magick counsel politics?

Ruth:
None at all, thank the goddess. After Chelsea was born, I knew she was something special, so I did look up on old wizard I had heard of from back in the mountains. He told me about the Netherworld and all the critters running around in it.  I knew of ’em before then, but not any of the specifics. About the time Chelsea turned 13 this weird colored cat walked up. I thought I about lost my mind when he opened his mouth and talked to me. He said he was there to look over Chelsea and Corrine, but Chelsea especially. So, he taught me a few things too, but I never involved myself in other people’s business unless asked first.

Elizabeth:
You have a talking cat and work spells. Can you fly on a broom too?

Ruth:
Sometimes, I wish he couldn’t talk so dern much. I have a broom for clearing a circle, but I don’t use it for transportation, hehe.

Elizabeth:
I wish we could talk more, but we’re up against another break- and you’ve got a vacation to get back to! Thank you so much for dropping by!

Ruth:
Thank you, and y’all drop by any time, okay?

Elizabeth:
There’s still more Mew, so don’t go away!

(snip)
(one short break later)

Ilyana:
Welcome back! Let’s go see

Nyanko-sensei in the Calthea Garden for an

intermew with Diane Erato Hunt-Chattan Monroe

Nyanko:
Aloha! We got to hear a bit about Ruth’s younger days… please tell us about your life, in the 1950 and 60”s!

Diane:
I know that the sixties were supposed to be a tumultuous time, but for me, they were pretty good. But then, I was white and my family was finically comfortable. I originally lived in Georgia and so I knew a lot of people who were neither white nor comfortable and it wasn’t right.  I remember the black, it was colored back then, restrooms and water fountains. It just wasn’t right. Like Chelsea, I had a bit of rebel in me too back then and I briefly dated a boy that wasn’t of my race.

My daddy found out and threatened to hang him in the front yard. I broke it off and cried for a week. My daddy, who I loved, wasn’t a mean man. At least not to us and that was the only time he ever threatened me in any way.  He never even spanked me as a child. I later found out that he was a member of the KKK. It took me a long time to get over that. It wasn’t until his death did I come to terms with it. Besides that, my life was good. The music was good, especially. I met Peter in 1966 at UNC. We were both students and later on we attended a few rallies together.

Nyanko:
Paul, John, George or Ringo?

Diane:
Paul was a beautiful, beautiful man, but I liked John for his wit. Just to hear him talk did it for me.  When he was killed, ohhh, my … It was like Peter dying all over again. To this day Ben and I can’t talk about guns because of it. So much waste. But my favorite song of theirs was Eleanor Rigby, which was a Paul song, so go figure.

Nyanko:
Tell us about woodstock!

Diane:
It was crowded, muddy, dirty, smelly and loud, but we had fun. Peter and I had made some very special brownies to take to the concert.  After several brownies, he told me all about the Chattan curse.  He also told me he was an amoeba.  What was I to think?

Nyanko:
Eventually y”all got married–?

Diane:
We were married in 1970. We met at UNC, by the way.

Nyanko:

Did you see Star Wars when it came out in 1977?

Diane:
Peter died just before the movie came out and he was so looking forward to seeing it. He had read all the news about it and everything. I was not a scifi person, so I didn’t care much for going, but he was eager to see it. After his death, I just didn’t have the heart to see it.  So, I missed it the first time around. Chelsea dragged me to the third one, I think it was.  She was screaming about it she wanted to see it so bad. It was fun, but like I said, I’m not a geek person, but I thought the teddy bears beating up the bad guys was cute.

Nyanko:
You liked the Ewoks?  Speaking of violent furry things, for the longest time you were the ‘normal’ one that did not turn into a homicidal jungle cat- was that fine or did you feel like you were missing out?

Diane:
No, not at all. I was Chelsea’s anchor to her humanity, as was Cynthia and Ruth, to a lesser extent. I don’t think I would have been happy eating kibble for the rest of my life, so to speak.

Nyanko:
If you don’t mind us asking, you must have been tempted to use magick to bring back Peter?

Diane:
Had I known about magick back them, yes I would have been tempted, but now, well, I believe things happen for a reason and I was devastated when Peter died, but if he had not died, I would not have had Cynthia.

Nyanko:
Could you explain that whole confuzzling Eleanor incident?

Diane:
Chelsea doesn’t talk to me about it that much. You’d have to ask her about it, though I think she’s learning to deal with it. I don’t know what’s confusing about it, though. This bitch tortured my daughter, using my visage and now the bitch is dead and I’m glad.

Nyanko:
Good! I understand that you’re a vampire- how’s that working out for you?

Diane:
Not well. Technically, I’m dead and that’s not good. To be rid of being a vampire, I have to be killed, again. And being a vampire isn’t what you think it would be like, except for the hunger.  It’s always there. A friend of mine was a heroin addict in the early 1970s and he described what it felt like to “need a fix.”  That’s what it feels like to be a vampire. You always need a fix to varying degrees.

Nyanko:

I hope you’re not wanting to chomp us like spider girl did!

Diane:
I had a ‘drink’ before I came over. Thank you for the generous hospitality!

Nyanko:
So what can you do? Can you turn into a bat, wolf or mist?

Diane:
I haven’t read the instruction manual just yet, so I’m not sure. It’s not like you think it would be, not at all. I think I would be spoiling a few things if I went any further with that. Suffice to say, no I can’t turn into a bat or mist or anything like that.

Nyanko:
Good luck! Well there’s one more thing we’ve all wanted to comment on: wasn’t that a touching scene of bonding when Mel tossed the rifle to Ben?

Diane:
It was. If they had only bonded like that before, so much trouble could have been avoided. They’re too much alike, that’s the problem, though neither would ever admit it.  I hope that they can get along in the future, even if it is over guns, sorry, I hate guns, but even that, I hope they can manage to get along.

Nyanko:

Diane, thanks for coming and I’ll see ya later tonight at the luau!

Diane:
Thank you!

Nyanko:

Last but certainly not the least is our cutest guest, so let’s turn the microphone over to

Mieikki-sensei in the Musa Velutina Grove, for an
intermew with little Anna Louise Crenshaw! Kawaii!

Mielikki:
Mellow greetings, An-chan! Are there many other ghosts like you in the town of Haven?

Anna:
Oh, yeah. Lots. Sometimes I talk to them, and they look out for me and stuff.  But Sebastian won’t talk to them. He only talks to me. He says they’re stuck up, but I think they are nice. Sebastian is the stuck up one.

Mielikki:
So like, why do you think some people become ghosts and some do not?

Anna:
I dunno. I remember when my grandpa died, that Mom told me he would come to check up on me every once in a while. I asked her how he could do that and she said that his spirit would find me. That he didn’t get to say goodbye, so maybe some people just want to say goodbye, but can’t, so they stick around.

Mielikki:
Sebo seems rather fond of you- more so than most people he knows!

Anna:
He’s a funny kitty. He pretends not to like me, but I know he does. I know he’s a special kitty, but to me he’s just a kitty. Maybe, you know, he can be himself around me. I don’t know.

Mielikki:
Do you get to play with him and his siblings much?

Anna:
Fluff plays with me and the funny green and purple cats play with me too. I saw a black kitty talking to Sebastian once. He didn’t seem nice and didn’t want to play with me.

Mielikki:
Loki Cat does have the seriously creepy act down pat. Could you tell us, what was it like, when you first became a ghost?

Anna:
I don’t remember how I died and nobody will tell me, but Sebastian told me that I didn’t do anything wrong and not to worry about it. I remember waking up in the back yard and it was night and I was scared. So, I ran into the house to get Mom, but she wasn’t there. My toys were gone and all our stuff was gone too. So, I ran over to Chelsea’s and tried to get them to help me find my Mom, but they couldn’t hear me. I yelled and cried and everything, but they wouldn’t wake up.

Mielikki:
Oh I am so sorry to hear that! So what did you eventually do?

Anna:
Sebastian came to me and told me that I wasn’t the same any more.  But he said as long as he was around I wouldn’t be alone. Then he asked me to go to sleep. I didn’t want to at first, but he curled up beside me and I went to sleep. When I woke up he introduced me to some of his brothers and sisters and they were a lot of fun. I was still sad for a long time and I still miss my Mom and Dad.

Mielikki:
What sort of cool things can you do as a ghost?

Anna:
I can go through walls and things and Sebastian and I play hide and seek a lot. I’ll hide in a tree trunk or under the ground and he sniffs around for me. I think he really knows where I am, but he plays along.  I can fly too, but I don’t like heights that much. What I do like, if Sebastian’s with me, is I can think of any place in the world and I can be there in an instant. I’ve done it a couple of times on my own, but I like it better when Sebastian is with me.

One time, I found my mom and at first it was great, but then she couldn’t see me and I started crying. Sebastian got all huffy, but cuddled up next to me and started purring. Then we went home. I stay around Chelsea’s backyard most of the time. Sometimes I go to sleep, but I don’t dream. It’s like not being anywhere, but I know a long time has passed. My favorite thing is, when the moon is full and it’s clear and all, I can go on the water, in the ocean and see my reflection. Then I go under the water and stay as long as I like and see all the fish and stuff.  Once I saw a shark and I got my little self back home on the double.

Mielikki:
Besides Sebo, who are like other people you can talk to?

Anna:
There are lots of ghosts around, most near the graveyard. Some of them are confused and kind of scary, while others are rushing to some place. Some of them, especially if they are kids, will stay a little while and talk to me.  Most of them all leave eventually. There is one kid, he’s a ghost too, runs along the beach. He’s older than I am, but he talks to me sometimes. He says he was bit by a shark, but he doesn’t stay around much.

Mielikki:
Beach ghosts are totally funny that way! You know, the reason why we can converse because I’m a faerie. Do you know other faeries?

Anna:
You’re the first one I met. Sebastian told me that there are lots of things out there, though. Some are scary and some are nice, like you.

Mielikki:
Or like you, hee! You can visit us here whenever you like! Can you fly very fast?

Anna:
I don’t like to fly because I don’t like the heights, but I like to wish myself places.

Mielikki:
Feel free to wish yourself here whenever you like! Oh- did you know that there are some cute little ghost ducklings here on the island- would like to meet them?

Anna:
Yeah! Can Sebastian come along? He might like to play too. He likes playing with birds. :)

Mielikki:
Fer shur- as long as he promises not to try and eat them- there’s been quite enough talk of killing or eating the islanders today, hee!

Anna:
He won’t eat them- and if he tried to chase them I’ll pull his tail!

Mielikki:
Now wait right here as we finish up the show, OK? Then we’ll go have some island fun!

Ilyana:
Here’s a group pic of todays Special Guests at the beach!
http://catgirlisland.net/art/gallery2/212.html

(back at the pavilion) the cat lady sings…

Mary Nyan:
That’s all for this session of The Mew!

Elizabeth:
We’d like to thank our pal Jamie and special guests Akemi, Anna, Audrey,
Diane, Rei, Ruth, and our 3 returning critics Ilyana, Mielikki and Nyanko!

(Nyanko, Mielikki & Ilyana bow):
Thank you for having us back!

Yvonne:
It was so good to see y’all again! Remember- next month on my yacht, nya!

Jeannie
Next month will be the annual Mew Review Show, in which we vote on
our favorite books, mewsic, movies, TV, toys and other things of 2008.

Mielikki:
It’ll also be the Valentines Special with some romantic topics and stuff, I’m sure!

Ilyana:
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!

Nyanko:
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 flashlight! It’s
a movie people paid money to see- not your own purrivate living room, y’know!

Mike:
Thanks for watching The Mew, and–


(all in unison)
Happy tails to mew, until we eat again! BaiBai, nya!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Responses to “The Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings for January, 2009! Happy Mew Year!”

  1. Fortress Guy Says:

    Interesting points and discussion about Star Trek. The third season remastered really does help it at its weakest point. You are right, the budget was slashed. They had to resort to many “ship treks” in order to make it unfortunately.

    At least sometimes they would verbally describe the action. That leaves and opening for the new VFX.

    Star Trek The Motion Picture was epic. It was a grand Trek like none of the others. It was a little slow. Alan Dean Foster’s story did not thrill me. What could have been done with all that new good will and production values?

    The more Trek movies I watch, the more appreciation I have for some of ST:TMP elements.

  2. Fortress Guy Says:

    PS – I got distracted by Star Trek. I forgot to mention that I wrote up a take on the Thundarr series if you want to check it out:

    http://fortresstakes.wordpress.com/2009/04/18/thundarr-the-barbarian-1980-1982-2-seasons-21-episodes/

    • jamiecotc Says:

      Dear Fortress Guy, thank you so very much for being part of our lovely audience and for the nice comments! We’re sorry for the belated (by a year) response – somehow we accidentally overlooked your kind words. It is hard to believe that it has been 40 years since Star Trek was canceled, and 30 years since the first movie (which Mike rambled on about in the December Mew, but God help him, he loves it so). Take care and Aloha!

      Mike, Jamie and the Catgirls

  3. douglasharr Says:

    I really enjoyed several of your posts here, and was most distracted by your purrfect integration of feline chat :) noticed the review of Yes from before Chris’ health grounded the tour. It is back in progress now, with Asia opening, and I put a complete review of it with some piks here:
    http://douglasharr.wordpress.com
    peace…doug

    • Jamie Says:

      Aloha Douglas,

      We’re so so sorry for the accidentally belated reply to your reply
      but we wish to thank you so much for being part of our lovely audience
      and for your most kind comments, purrticularly about our review of the
      Yes concert in Greensboro NC, back in December 2008,
      so take care, and we wish you a happy mew year, nya!

      Sincerely,

      the catgirls, Mike & Jamie

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