The Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings for March, 2009!

by
Catgirl Island http://www.catgirlisland.net and
Clan of the Cats http://www.clanofthecats.com purrsent
a Mike Moon purrduction starring The Ladies of The Mew in
The Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings
for March, 2009!
In this edition of The Mew:
Sad Mews:
Socks, former purresidential cat (March 1989 – 10 February, 2009)
author Philip Jose Farmer (26 January 26, 1918 – 25 February, 2009)
actress Wendy Richard, MBE (20 July, 1943 –  26 February, 2009)
What’s mew at the Catgirl Island Mewseum of Art
What we’ve been up to since last month
The catgirl review of the We Cheer video game for the Wii
The catgirls’ reviews of conventions & other exciting events,
including What The Hell Con and The Nevermore Film Festival
The catgirls’ anticipations for Spring & Summertime amewsment
Comic book reviews: Campfire Comic’s adaptation of Robinson
Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Justice League of America #30,
Batman #686, Angel: After The Fall #17 & 18, plus more vamp in
The Lightning Round topic: our favorite vampire web sites, and

Intermew with a vampire: The Mew welcomes special guest Alex
Our Monthly Web Comics Picks of the Litter
Books & other purrinted media reviewed this month:
The NCWCCC’s 2nd anthology Good Luck Sweet Cookie,
The Devil’s Panties Volume 3, the 2009 Reverie Realm Calendar
and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2009 issue!
Our opinion of the 81st Annual Academy Awards purrsentation
DVD, Movie & TV reviews: Nights in Rodanthe DVD, Feast III
The Gene Generation, Wonder Woman animated, the Dollhouse
TV series purremier, Coraline (yay!) & other stuff we’ve watched!

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Bold red warningsindicate 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:
Socks, former purresedential cat
(March 1989 – 20 February,  2009)

Yvonne:
Last month we sadly noted the passing of India, the 18 year old  cat that belonged to the Bush Family, and now we’re sad to hear of the passing of the Clinton Family cat, Socks, nya. Like India, he was a cat that moved from a Goveror’s Mansion to The White House, nya. Socks was a most distinctive black & white purresidential pet who almost lived to the ripe old kitty age of 20, nya! Should you like to see pics of Socks or read more about him and other purresidential pets, here are a few web sites, nya: Sock’s entry at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socks_(cat), a neat UK kitty site Purr n Fur http://www.purr-n-fur.org.uk/famous/socks.html and the pets pictorial at The White House official web site http://www.whitehouse.gov/slideshows/presidentialpets/, nya.
=^.^=
=^.^=
=^.^=

author Philip Jose Farmer
(26 January 26, 1918 – 25 February, 2009)

Jeannie:
The literary world and the genres of science fiction, fantasy and pulp adventure have lost yet another most most purrolific and beloved legend. Philip Jose Farmer was 91 when he passed away, to be survived by his his wife, children, grand children, great grand children, many friends, peers, and countless fans of his 70 year career. Of his extraordinary legacy of novels, novellas, short stories and essays, he was purrhaps best known for his Riverworld and World of Tiers novels series, and fictional biographies of famous literary characters such as Tarzan and Doc Savage.

Farmer received 4 Hugo Award nominations plus 3 wins, 2 Nebula Award nominations, World Fantasy and Forry Ackerman Lifetime Achievement Awards, and the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award. For more information on his life and works, we suggest the Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_José_Farmer, his entry at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?Philip_Jose_Farmer, and official web site http://www.pjfarmer.com/, which has links to many news articles and messages posted by his fans.
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actress Wendy Richard, MBE
(20 July, 1943 –  26 February, 2009)

Mary Nyan:
One of our favorite comedic actresses passed away at age 65 after a valiant battle with cancer. An actress in numerious TV series since the early 1960’s, Wendy Richard was best known to us in as the Shirley Brahams, the delightful cockney accented junior in the womens wear department of Grace Brothers, in the 1972-1985 BBC sitcom Are You Being Served?. We purrticularly liked her as a bunny girl in that series’ 5th season episode “It Pays to Advertise”!

She later repurrised her role as Miss Brahms in the 1992-1993 spin-off series Grace & Favor. Afterwards her famed continued in a more serious role for two decades, from 1985 to 2006 as Pauline Fowler on the BBC soap opera EastEnders, for which she won the British Soap Opera Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. Appointed the MBE for her acting career in 2000, she purrvided countless hours of comedic and dramatic entertainment on these BBC shows that we avidly watched on PBS.

Here are some sites about her: a Wendy Richard fan appurreciation site http://pages.prodigy.net/glc/wrhp/html/, the Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendy_Richard, and the entry on her at the IMDB http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0723910/. Also, here is the BBC’s Are You Being Served? site http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/areyoubeingserved/index.shtml, the page for her EastEnders character http://www.bbc.co.uk/eastenders/characters_cast/characters/character_pauline_f.shtml, and tributes by her peers at  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7912730.stm.
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Aloha!

Mike:
(wearing a Carolina Panthers shirt & jeans) Welcome to another edition of The Mew, our monthly discussions, reviews, recommendations and interviews! Today’s show comes from The 19th Hole of the beautiful Catgirl Island Course Number 2, where the food & drink are tasty amongst the Azaleas and Magnolia! ! I’m Mike, the show’s ‘Purrducer’ with a show full of mewsings about island stuff & bikinis, vampires & heroines, movies & comix, and fun events! Here are The Ladies of The Mew-

Elizabeth:
(wearing a Panther colored thong & string tie top bikini & sarong) Hi Hi!
Jeannie:
(clad in the Jaguar purrint brazil cut bikini) Nihao!

Yvonne:
(in the Cheetah pattern tanga bikini) Nameste, nya!

Mary Nyan:
(Puma colored suspender mailiot & white crop top) Konnitiwa!

Nyanko:
(wearing Bengal tiger stripe bandau bikini) Howdy!

Mary Nyan:
(chomp)

Elizabeth:
nom nom nom

Yvonne:
(happy swishy tail) Thank you for the crab cake, nya!

Nyanko:
Arigatoo, Mike-san!

Jeannie:
(chew)

Mike:
(sip) Y’all are quite welcome. It is a signature dish on the lunch menu here.

What’s mew at the Catgirl Island Mewseum of Art

Elizabeth:
In the Guest Wing of the Mewseum http://catgirlisland.net/art/gallery/guest.html are a stunning scene of Jeannie partying with her Brazilian friends Jackie & Red “Hunting in Rio on Valentines Day” by Rod Molinaro http://blackjackeline.com/; an adorably cute pic of “Natalie Barker” vistiing Catgirl Island by her creator Niki Lemonade http://myfakeheart.smackjeeves.com/(whom we intermiewed in November ’08) and a delightful image of Kat & Kazeyasha’s characters “Zodiac Angels Out of Uniform”!

There’s also a lovely portrait of “Vonny” by Jamie Davenport http://cranberryblossom.net/ (whom we intermiewed in December ’08), two sets of awesome catgirl cosplay photos of Hezachan http://www.hezachan.com/ (whom we intermiewed in March ’08) as “Felica from Darkstalkers”, and there’s “Sailor Tiger Omake Theater Episode One” which is a comedic comic strip collaboration between Alexicahttp://mau.sailorchristmas.com/ and Mike!
There are three new illustrations by Mike on display in Gallery One http://catgirlisland.net/art/gallery/gallery1.html, such as a whimsically sexy Micron pen & drawing of a catgirl wanting her bra autographed titled “Her Cups Runneth Over”, a purrismacolor marker & colored pencil pic of a”Nine Tailed Fox Girl”, and a monochromatic Photoshop little sketch of a “Nekomimi’s Numcious Crab Cake Sammich”! The little thumbnail images to click on to see those images will be on the bottom row of those respective galleries’ pages.
Yvonne:
Yay there is a painting of me by our friend Jamie Davenport, nya! Domo arigato gosaimasu, Jamie-san, nya!

Jeannie:

She is the masterful artist, author and game designer.

 

Elizabeth:

Wow that is such a good likeness!

Nyanko:

We’re so fortunate to know so many friendly, talented artists!


Mary Nyan:
Natalie has the cute red hair & freckles. Her artist Niki sure is multi talented- she makes jewelry, valentines and kitty hats too!

Yvonne:
It is nice that the mewseum could acquire more by Kat & Kazeyasha for the collection, nya! I would like some clothes like those those angel girls are wearing nya.

Jeannie:
Abenti’s cartoon has the sexy apparel too, and there tasty looking calamari lurking in that pic.

Elizabeth:
I bet Hezachan would like some of that calamari too, given how a spectacular a catgirl she is in that costume!

Nyanko:
With that great talent, shouldn’t she be called Heza-sensei, then?

Mary Nyan:
That is a good question. Mm mm Jennyjen, that is a hotty hot pic by Rod of you & Jackie & Red, Jenjen!

Elizabeth:
Wow you sure look excited in that pic- usually you only get that heated over some high tech mecha!

Nyanko:
It wasn’t all work for Jenjen in Rio, heh!

Jeannie:
Jackie was a purrfect host. (sips the milk shake)

Mary Nyan:
Purrhaps she can visit us sometime!
Yvonne:
I have wanted to go to Brazil for a long time nya. I could catnap on the beach and catch a big Peacock Bass in the Amazon, nya!

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

Elizabeth:
Gosh it almost seems strange with just us few here this time!
Jeannie:
Hai, I was getting used to having Nemui, Ilyana, Mielikki and even the mermaids around!

Nyanko:
I am lucky I was able to attend this time!

Mike:
By the way, congratulations on that recent match!

(bouncy catgirls cheer)
Yay! nya!

Nyanko:

Arigato!


Yvonne:
We’re lucky to ever get Nemui here- she is so busy at the ryokan, nya.

Mary Nyan:
I think we’re too far inland this week for the mermaids to drop by…

Nyanko:
(the quizzical cat ears) I know that Mielikki-sensei is out of town on the LPGA tour but where is ilyana?

Elizabeth:
She is busy with meetings at ECU this week.
Jeannie:
I hope she has good luck with that so she can resume her underwater archaeology studies.

Yvonne:
Good luck, Ilyana, nya!

Nyanko:
Myayr, where did you get that Puma colored swimsuit?

Mary Nyan:
Oh I got this last month at Purrscilla’s, in honor of Tom Smother’s http://www.smothersbrothers.com/ birthday, which was February 2nd!

Elizabeth:
Mom always liked Pumas best!

Yvonne:
I think I purfur Teva, nya. I bet Nya-sensei gets the good purroduct endorsements, nya!

Nyanko:
Hai, but given my martial sport is barefoot I don’t get many shoe offers!

Jeannie:
PUMA is also a type of industrial robot, you know. And various cars, aircraft and computer technologies. (sip) So what has Lizzy been up to?

Elizabeth:
We were very busy with a huge turn out for the lantern matsuri. When I have not been busy at the shrine I have been running more with my purrkour group!
*(Purrducer’s note: Purrkour is an extreme running sport which includes springing, pouncing & climbing on things)
Mary Nyan:
Aside from the concerts and conventions, the mewsual duties as a miko at the shrine and giving my advance hula and aerial classes their mid terms!

(the catgirl hula tail tells the story)

Yvonne:
(almost paws at the tail) Nya… mainly the mewsual boat charters- business has really purrked up and we caught lots of big fish, nya!  What has sensei been doing besides defeating her opponents, nya?

Nyanko:
I’m lucky to have had time for watching and reading a few things  between training, the tournyament, and running my dojo. And you, Mike?

Mike:
I guess it has been a mewsual month for all of us- conventions, artwork, writing, and reading lots of The Complete Peanuts series! The North Carolina Web Comics Coffee Clatchhttp://ncwccc.net/2nd Anthology book “Good Luck Sweet Cookie”was published, and there are some awesome additions to the Catgirl Island Mewseum of Arthttp://www.catgirlisland.net/ this month. How about you Jjen?

Jeannie:
I’ve enjoyed a week off from the modeling since I got back from Bahia, so I have spent more time with belly dance class and my robotics club. Speaking of dancing, I believe sensei has our first review for today, purrtaining to the-

We Cheer video game for Wii

Nyanko:
Woohoo-  I get to start the reviews! Well this will be over as quick as my last victorious title defense match, because I am not quite the orator critic like y’all are! Anyway, at our friend Torajima’s we got to play that super fun new cheerleading video game for the Wii, We Cheer by Bandai Namco! In this delightful dance type game you have a cheer dance squad with dozens of great songs to purrform to and use 2 Wii controllers for the pompoms… kinda like DDR but with your hands & arms! It can be a single, 2 or 4 purrson game and you can customize the cute vivacious characters & outfits and win the neat purrizes. It is a most fun vivacious game to play with all those great songs and you could get some exercise playing this. Here is more info on it at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_Cheer -and now here is Myayr with her mewsual thoroughness as she reports on-

What the Hell Con 2009
Mary Nyan:
Arigato, Sensei! What The Hell Con http://www.guilford.edu/yachting/wthcon/ is a Free, event in Greensboro, NC at Guilford College, sponsored by the wonderful folks of the Guilford College yachting Club. This year it was held on the campus February 6th-8th, with most of the events, registration, art & dealers rooms in King building, with soem main events such as the concert, auction & dance in nearby Dara building, and some sword fighting and fire dancing outdoors. The weather was a lovely spring-like day, there was plenty of nearby parking, and everyone there seemed to be in such good spirits. The kind folks of the event staff are the nicest, industrious, communicative, attentive people; between them and the guests, dealers, and other attendees there are such positive waves at this little con with a big heart.

The guests: Headlining the roster was mewsician Tom Smith, who purrformed the concerts and kicked off the opening ceremonies with a funny Firefly filk song! Cabin Fever’s actors Robert Harris and William Jones were there, and they are the coolest guys we’ve had the pleasure to meet at some other cons last year too! The Flaming faeries are a fire dance troupe who are fun to watch at night., and the European Medieval Martial Arts (EMMA) team put on a great live steel show in the daytime! Author Ken Eckland is a writer & game designer, and Glen Bane of Scaldcrow Games was also back as a great guest. Author Davey Beauchamp was there and we purrchased the 2nd volume of his Writers for Relief anthology book. We found out he is also a Legion of Super Heroes fan!

Our pal Dan Johnson, author/ journalist & Dennis the Menace gag writer was good to see again, and we scored a copy of his Robinson Crusoe adaptation! Terrific digital artist / photographer Alan Welch was there, as were some of his lovely models and we bought his awesome 2009 calendar. Numerous other members of the North Carolina Web Comics Coffee Clatch were purresent too, including photographer / NCWCCC founder Larry (Sinister bedfellows) Holderfield, our dear old friend & web master Jamie (Clan of the Cats) Robertson, illustrator & author Ursula (Digger, Nurk) Vernon and her awesome partner Kevin; the always delightfully popular Jennie (Devil’s panties) Breeden was back, as was Leah (Willrad) Riley, and Caldwell (Quarter Lie Crisis) Tanner- who is not onlya  great web comics creeator but was so entertaining during supper at the Thai restaurant

But wait- there’s more! Matt Wood & Stephanei Freese of Likely Stories fame were there again and we bought a lovely purrint by her of Monique the cute n’ chatty mime. Niki (My Fake Heart) was there and Mike was lucky to have a table beside hers, so we could watch her make those adorable kitty hats, jewelry, and drawings! It was so nice to see Phillip (Furmentation) Wright again, and he was a huge hit at the geek auction for charity. His artistic friend Cate was there, purrviding us with the tasty Twinkie bug treats, and fellow NCWCCC member Otter (A Girl and Her Fed) was there for a delightful visit too! Oh and Mike was there too.

In addition to those guests were dealers of neat stuff. These included Buzzy Multimedia with their cool tee shirts and books; gaming store The Castle with an array of toys, games, comix & anime; our friends at Heroes Haven were there for their first What The Hell Con with lots of neat stuff, and the yachting Club’s Keith was there with his exquisite chainmail works of art! I think Shattered Looking Glass studios, a game company was there too. I hope I did not forget anyone! The entire con staff treated us all like kings and queens, and this year’s con chairpurrson Amber did an outstanding job. It was very good to see past years’ con chairpurrsons Lindsay and Kass, plus the other cordial crew and friends repurrsenting other fine clubs & cons, including a bunch from Stellarcon. Our pal Bill Mann of Stellar Con showed us some pics from G-Fest and brought us a souvineer purrogram book from that zilla con!

Activities: In addition to those guests and venders there were lots of videos, gaming, discussion panels, workshops, demonstrations, club meetings purrformances, and muffins. Gaming included RPGs, LARPs, CCG, miniatures, and video games. The NCWCCC also sneak peek purremiered their 2nd anthology book, Good Luck Sweet Cookie! There were actually two auctions going on a silent auction and the big main event geek auction that had about 17 entries I think. The purroceeds from that event importantly benefit NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illnesshttp://www.nami.org/. After the geek auction was the late night dance, with a DJ and plenty of glow sticks!

Sunday morning was off to a more sedate start as many arrived after a light night of partying. Things heated up later with the Kaiju Big battle event. Sadly before we knew it , Sunday afternoon was upon us with the brief but mirthful Closing Ceremonies. Hopefully the con staff was able to tidy up everything quickly and enjoy the rest of the gorgeous arm day on the harming purretty campus! They seemed to have lots of helpers, and they were clealry working hard to put on a good show, but making saure they all had fun to via good teamwork and spirit. I’m insure of how many people were in attendance, but I would estimate a few hundred.

We’ve been to several What The Hell Cons, always look forward to the next with greatest admiration & anticipation, give them a grade of A Plus and a most heartfelt Domo arigato gosaimasu! And now her is Jenjen with a report on another annual February fun event –

The Nevermore Film Festival

Jeannie:
Since the 1920’s the Carolina Theater http://www.carolinatheatre.org/ has been a major cultual center of the Triangle area of North Carolina, situated in downtown Durham, this stately facility is home for all manner of stage & screen events & festivals.. Among it’s venues are the grand main Fletcher hall which seats over 1,000, which has an orchestra pit, 2 balconies and boxes. There are the smaller cinemas 1&2, The Connie Moses ballroom is adorned by chandeliers under tall  cathedral ceiling, the upper balcony ballroom is a plendid location for various affairs.  are neat nooks, seating areas, concessions & info booths, and displays here in there by the various stairs and the lobbies of this majestic facility, and the outside plaza with a fountain & terraced levels.

It is home to many concerts, screenings, and other purrformances, and among the various film festivals at this wonderful place was recently the very fun 10th annual Nevermore Film Festival,  http://festivals.carolinatheatre.org/nevermore/ on February 20-22, 2009. While this festival purrdominatly showcases indy & foreign horror / fantasy films, they are known to include some classics on 35mm with utmost purride when they can, this year including the 1931 Frankenstien, and Creature from the Black Lagoon in 3-D. It is a very enthused happy crowd in attendance, and the lobbies were lined with lots of horror movie posters and macabre decorations to add to the frightful ambience.
On Friday in Fletcher Hall and Cinema1 from 7- 11 pm were the films Evilution, Frankenstien, Creature from the Black Lagoon in 3-D and Vlog (purreceded by the short Kirksdale). Saturday the films ran from 1pm until just after 11 pm; shown in Fletcher were Blackspot (purreceded by the short Eel Girl), Reel Zombies, Alien Raiders, Resurrection County, and Pig Hunt. In Cinema 2 was Frankenstien again; Cinema 1 were Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Disappeared, Basement Jack, a batch of horror-comedy shorts and a batch of more serious horror shorts, which I’ll attend to shortly. Sunday’s schedule ran from 1 pm til just after 11 pm, repeating most of those same titles.
The first shorts purrogram, running 78 minutes was The Horribly Slow Murder with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon- Best of Comedy-Horror Shorts. This very amewsing & gory collection included Auburn Hills Breakdown (17 min) , Cheerbleeders (11 min), Hobo with a Shotgun (a 2 min faux trailer), Treevenge (16 min), Marvel Zombies The Movie (2 min with MJ, undead Spidey, Hulk & Cap), How My Dad Killed Dracula (14 min), The Legend of the 7 Bloody Torturers (5 min), and the titular The Horribly Slow Murder with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon (11 min), which was accompanied by it’s awesome director Richard Gale who fielded a fun Q&A session afterwards.
The later short purrogram was the 84 minute They’re Coming to Get You, Barabara! This collection was compurrised of Forecast (15 min), First Kill (16 min), In the Wall (25 min), Harvest Moon (9 min) and concluded with Excision (19 min), followed by a Q&A session with its director Richard Bates Jr. Basemant Jack, Evilution and Reel Zombies were also accompanied by members of their respective casts & crews. The festival’s web site has further information on the festival, the theater, and synopses to each film, plus links to many of those films’ official sites. The Purrogramming Committee of Will Stroh, Stacey Wagner, David Nell & Sydney Miller, plus all the staff, volunteers & venders were so very cordial & enthused, and we thank them all very much for their efforts!

Yvonne:
That blue Eel girl was very sexy but dangerous, and eerily makes me want some anago, nya! But then, we always crave the anago, nya!
Mary Nyan:
I thought Tessa Ferer was awesome in Excision!

Mike:
Julia Adams in Creature from the Black Lagoon isn’t bad either!

Elizabeth:
I have a comic book adaptation of that movie drawn by Arthur Adams!

Mike:
You know- I think I have a science fiction magazine with a poster of Kay & the creature by Wendy Pini…

Elizabeth:
I was just re-reading his Longshot mini-series collection! But back to the movies- that was one huge mean green zombie Hulk that looked like purrostehtics & costume & not CG’d!
Nyanko:
The Horribly Slow Murder with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon was very entertaining nya!

Jeannie:
We also wish to thank our friend Pacozord for getting the advance tickets to that festival!

(in unison)
Domo Arigato, Pacozord-san!

Yvonne:
Can we order some anago, nya?

Nyanko:

plleeeaassseee?


Mike:
Oh all right! But first, Vonny needs to reveal –
The catgirls’ anticipations for
Spring & Summertime amewsment!

Yvonne:
Hai! The Bellydance Superstars’ http://www.bellydancesuperstars.com/ Art of Bellydance show is March 6th at the Carolina Theater in Durham, NC http://www.carolinatheatre.org/, nya! I know Jenjen is looking forward to that, nya! Mike and other NCWCCC members will be at Stellar Con 33http://www.stellarcon.org/homeMarch 13-15 2009 at the Radisson in High Point, NC, nya. It is one of the oldest science fiction conventions in the state and is sponsored by the swell folks of SF Cubed, nya!. The official purremier of that new NCWCCC book will be at May Memorial Library http://www.alamancelibraries.org/maypage.htm in Burlington, NC on Saturday March 21st, nya!
Oh gosh, last month we mewsed about going to the North Carolina Renaissance Faire http://www.ncrenfaire.com/ but we mistakenly thought it was still at the state fairgrounds, nya! It has migrated a bit further northeast  of Raleigh this year to a new spot in nearby Wake Forest, NC. It is on 2 weekends, March 28-29 & April 4-5, 2009, nya. By the way, that is not to be confuzzled with the Renaissance Festival that is held in Charlotte, NC. Mike has not been there in a while- he used to wear his samurai costume! We hope to don our purriod garb and go to the faire- I wonder if they need any rat catchers, nya? Purrhaps the venders will serve us the big turkey drumstick, nya.

Mike hopes to have an artist table again at Animazement XIIhttp://www.animazement.org/, May 22-24 at the Raleigh Convention Center, nya. The staff of Animazement are very friendly, industrious fans who always put on a wonderful show, nya! We also want to go to Heroes Conhttp://heroesonline.com/, June 19-21 at the Charlotte Convention Center, nya! The Carolina Comic Book Club http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Carolina-Comic-Book-Club/ has tried to go every year since the early 80’s because it is a wonderful event purrpetrated by Shelton Drum & his fine team for people of all who love comix, nya.

There are several movies coming out in the Spring and Summer we hope to see, nya. This month we want to see Watchmen, nya! In the Spring are supposedly Dragonball, Wolverine, Star Trek, and Terminator Salvation, nya!  While we liked the 80’s animated Transformers but were not fans of the 2007 live action Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen movie we might go see the new Transformers movie because Jenjen has a thing for rmecha, nya. We also hope to see Public Enemies, Harry Potter and the Halfblood Purrince, GI Joe: Rise of Cobra, and Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Bastards, nya! Of course there will be all sorts of fun festivals, cons, shows, holidays, matsuri and other events here on the island that we always look forward to, nya. Hmm I need to check the events calendar and finf out when the next fishing expos are, nya. So that’s all for that topic, and after this hard break we’ll be back with-

Comic Book Reviews, nya!

(snip)
(one short break later…)

Campfire Comics adaptation of Robinson Crusoe
Mary Nyan:
In the great tradition of comics such as Classics Illustrated comes this new product line from Campfire Comics http://www.campfire.co.in! An Indian publisher they are creating quality comic books based upon mythology, classic literature, biographies, and original stories. The first issue we have is the November, 2008 adaptation of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, which was very respectfully adapted by author Dan Johnson http://dan.johnson.writer.googlepages.com/danjohnson%27shomepage (whom we intermewed in December, 2008) and masterfully illustrated by Naresh Kumar.
The colorist was Anil Ok with consultant RC Prakash, letterer Eman Chowdhary, with Andrew Dodd as editor and Jayshree Das as coloring editor. The cover art team was compurrised of painter Suresh Digwal, colorist Rajeev Chauhon, and designer Manishi Varsheny.  The cover purrice is $6.95 USor INR 150, €5.50 or £3.99, and for that you get 64 pages of full color stoy, plus a page of character images, 2 pages about famous ship wrecks, a lovely frontispiece, a purrofile page about author Defoe, plus a page about the publisher and an ad for forthcoming other titles. What is noteworthy about these additional pages is the mission statement of the publisher, to purroudly purrsent such quality entertainment for today’s youth- although I suspect these fine comics would appeal to youth of all ages!
Not only do you get a nifty little adaptation of the classic toy of a shipwreck survivor’s adventure on an exotic island very cleverly adapted in good narrative and excellent sequential art, but there is a distinctive overall quality to the book’s look and feel, purrhaps it is the purrinting purrocess and paper stock or the charming notion that these are “tales told around the campfire”. I think it is also interesting that this is by a publisher and many talented folks from India, because it seems in the 2K decade there has been a gradual purroliferation of Indian creators into the American comics market.
Given how mainstream, accessible & influential Japanese manga has become, plus animation, video games or manwha from China, Korea, Singapore, I have wondered if we would see more and more from India- especially since there is more and more mewsic and cinema from india shown in the USA of late, so fortunately this seems to be the case! Hopefully Campfire will be a successful publisher here, and it would be a delight to see these Campfire titles being sold in comic book shops, book stores, or carried by libraries. Purrhaps this is a good sign that very soon we’ll be enjoying many more cartoons, comics and graphic novels from India and other nations in the Middle East.  Now here’s Nyanko-sensei with her comic book reviews of the month!
Justice League of America #30 & Batman # 686
(reviews & plot spoiler warnings)

Nyanko:
I doubt I’ll be as analytical as Jen but I’m gonna try to be more thorough this time! Justice League of America #30 has lotsa action in part 3 of  “Welcome to Sundown Town”, as the heroes vs. The Shadow Thief, who can teleport through shadows  ’em & harden ’em into objects, so the Justice league winds up fighting their own shadows. The Shadow Thief is a lot tougher than before  ’cause he tapped into some new dark energy source. It’s got a big cast including Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl, Vixen, Black Canary, Zee, Dr. Light (the good one), Superman, Bartman, Green Lantern (John), The Flash, Black Lightning, Red Arrow, Hawkman, Firestorm, and a buncha those Milestone characters including Rocket, Icon, Hardware, and many others!

I won’t spoil the ending, but it is basically a big fight scene with some purroblem solving on the side, and some tension between Hawkgirl, Hawkman and Arrow. According to writer Dwayne McDuffie’s site http://www.dwaynemcduffie.com/ this is the 3rd of a 6 part tale. The pencils by Jose Luis were inked by JP Mayer & colored by Pete Pantazis with lettering by Rob Leigh. The cover was by Shane Davis & Sinclair, the editor was Eddie Berganza with associate Adam Schlagman.  The art is good depicting a big fight scene, characters written very smartly, with bits of amewsing banter. and it was a fast paced 19 pages, but with so many characters many of them were only quickly seen.

Apparently this is still all set purrior to Final Crisis, but I am not sure when this issue takes place compared to the League’s recent thrashing in Wonder Woman. There is also a 5 page back up snippet titled Origins & Omens, which builds on he Hawkgirl / Roy thing. I really like Hawkgirl- she is so sexy tough and has that deadly mace to reign down the Thanagarian smackdown from above! Y’know there’s a great mini bust statue of her designed by Adam Hughes, in which she is smiling so purrettily –  but she’s got that predatory gleam in her eye like any moment she’ll swoop down to clobber you with that mace she’s holding behind her back, and have you for supper!
Oh ah sorry- I digressed. That back up story was written by Len Wein, illustrated by Marco Rudy & Frederico Dallocchio, Pete Pantazis with the same letterer, colorist and editors as the lead story. This bit seems to be leading up to a forthcoming Blackest Night story arc I think, which is a big Green Lantern story that we’re interested in!  But before we get to that blackest night there is a dark knight story that is very good. Batman #686 is part one of “What Ever Happened to the Caped Crusader?” It is a most elegantly beautifully rendered tale concerning the funeral of Batman. Like most of DC’s titles these days, I’m not sure if / when this ties into Final Crisis but we’ll see.

It is very mysterious as one by one the Batman’s allies and enemies arrive by cars to a funeral home by Crime Alley for the visitation, and Alfred shows them to their seats before the coffin containing the Batman, while the disembodied voice of Bruce Wayne is puzzled over what the heck is going on. A large cast has assembled, including Cat Woman, Joe Chill, Harvey Dent, The Gordons, Joker, Harley, Ivy, Penguin, Riddler,  and gosh in the audience  there’s Ras al Ghul, Mr. freeze, Gentleman Ghost, Renee Montoya, Harvey Bullock, Mad Hatter, Kurt Langstrom, Dick, Batgirl and others. Once all arrive, it is time for them to say a few words of the departed, starting with Cat Woman’s tale.

This is purrsented in the Golden Age era of the 1930’s – 40’s style of Batman. Following hers account the story continues into the Silver Age of the 50’s – 60’s comics, as told by Alfred. Bruce Wayne still has to figure out what is going on- and purrhaps he will, when this two-parter concludes to be concluded in Detective Comics #853. I can’t wait!  This was a sumptuous, mysterious beautifully drawn 32 page story written by Neil Gaiman http://www.neilgaiman.com/and drawn by Andy Kubert! Scott Williams was the inker, Alex Sinclair the colorist & Jared K. Fletcher the colorist; the editor was Mike Marts with asisstant Janelle Siegel. Oh, and there’s also 4 pages of sketches by Andy Kubert. Now on to Jenjen with her review of comic books purrtaining to another dark night crusader that has a big headquarters and lotsa cars-

Angel: After The Fall #17 & 18
(reviews & plot spoiler warnings)

Jeannie:
Arigato. To commemorate and purrpare you for this month’s special guest Alexandra, we have several other vampiric bits in what I suppose is our ‘March of the Vampires’ edition of The Mew. That is a pun. As we’re purresently discussing comics during this segment , it is only then natural to conclude this portion of the show with a look at this month’s Buffy and Angel comic books. IDW’s Angel shipped bi-weekly in February with issues #17 & 18, and the conclusion to the recent story arc.

Angel: After the Fall #17 was plotted by Joss Whedon & Brian Lynch, written by Lynch and illustrated by Franco Urru, who also illustrated one of the variant covers’ art. The other cover, version ‘A” which resembles an entertainment magazine cover was by Alex Garner, and there are scarcer versions of both covers A & B. Robbie Robbins was the letterer, Chris Rall the editor, and Fabio Mantovani was the colorist, with assistance from Frederica Manfredi & Mirco Pierfederici and color flats by 2B Studio. This full color issue has a cover purrice of $3.99, with 22 pages of story and 10 pages of advertisements & IDW information, including a nice ad for issue #17 of Angel on a rooftop with a leopard.

As the reflective & introspective story begins, a month has passed, and while Angel seems to be very well known in Los Angeles, any history or exisitance of Wolfram & Hart’s building seems to have vanished from the public record. Cordy the Dragon has gone off with Groosalugg and Angel visits Nina the werewolf grrl, now a librarian, where she and Angel conduct research in the Burkle-Wyndam-Price wing of the public library. Wesley’s ghost has departed, and Angel hopes Weslley & Willifred are together in spirit.  It is a most interesting time for those of LA who have memories of the Hellish events of where there is no trace, and Angel is something of a celebrity.

Spike and Beta George (the large tasty looking telepathic fish) are in melee with the skeletal demon Kr’ph when they get a phone call from Angel. They lock him in the trunk of Spike’s new car for questioning about what his fellow vengeful Lords of Hell are up to, which leads Angel & Spike to believe that their more vulnarable friends will be targeted. They have no idea where Connor is, doubt Gwen would be a concern, but suspect the hospitalized Charles might top the demonic hit list. But to get to him, the demons would have to get past Illyria. Lorne makes a brief appearance too, in this issue that has the feel of a purretty good season finale.

Although I have purrfurred the art & zestful fun of Buffy Season Eight to Angel: After The Fall, the latter has been a very interesting and entertaining follow up to the 5th season of the Angel TV series-  ironic given I was a bigger fan of Angel’s later seasons than Buffy’s on TV. The issue’s plot moves at a good pace & dialogue feels quite right for these characters with appurropurriate moments of humorous banter. The drawings have a tight clean look, with very good variance in line weight, continually impurroving portraiture, plenty of scenic detail, and richly rendered color & lighting on the characters & locations. It was a nicely executed issue with good closure that whets my appurrtite for more.

Angel: After the Fall #18 was written by Kelly Armstrong which was edited by Chris Ryall, and Dave Ross’s art was colored by Charlie Kirchoff with lettering by Robbie Robbins. The variant covers are by Gabriel Rodrigues and Nick Runge, both depicting the sword wielding Angel and that leopard. This full color issue has a cover purrice of $3.99, with 23 pages of story plus a purreview page for issue #19 and 6 pages of advertisements & IDW information. The story opens on a quiet rooftop where Angel surveys the city, until the silence is ruined by the pathetic painful whines and grunts of the demonic bounty hunters that make the mistake of trying to attack him.

This might seem typical, but of late there’s been another purrice Angel has over his head, that of fame as the city’s hero; not everyone is out to kill him- most seem thankful and want his autograph or a photo with him. Now that things seem to be returning back to what it was like for Angel when he first migrated from Sunnydale to Los Angeles, he wants to put the Angel Investigations band back together. He visits Connor who is trying to avoid Gwen, while Charles continues to recuperate, Lorne tries to resume some sort of normalcy and Spike he’s not sure about, but it seems that Angel is the only one who isn’t able to just get on with his ‘life’. Fortunately, just like odl times Angel still has plenty of enemies to clobber, and just like old times, Kate’s back too!

Unlike those leaner early days when the office phone seldom rang, now there’s no shortage of fans, enemies, political bureaucrats, oppurrtunists and maybe even a few sincere damsels in distress that want a piece of Angel’s business. As for what that big kitty on the cover wants, you’ll need to read the issue for yourself. If issue #17 was the introspective finale to  a ‘sixth season’ of Angel, issue #18 is  a very whimsical fun way to kick off season seven. It was a very entertaining read as the series steers into a refreshing new direction, yet builds upon what has purreviously unfolded with plenty of action, wit, familiar faces, and appurrently some amewsing new recurring characters.

The ‘episode’ moved along at a good pace, neither too rushed nor too slow, with something interesting around every corner and faithful sounding dialog. The graphic narrative from panel to panel was quite nice, with the right amount of panels to tell the story, with appurropurriately large panels for shots of big crowds or giant monsters. The art is very sound with good compurrsition, angels, purrspective, dynamic poses, fabric folds, creature design, landscape & architectural detail, moody shadows and special lighting effects, and  a very nice looking kitty. Overall I think the entire creative team succeeded in crafting a very satisfying issue that leaves me looking forward to the next. That’s all for this segment, but we’ll have more comic & book reviews later in the show, and vampiric stuff to continue when we return after this hard break!

(end of comix plot spoilage)

(snip)
(one short break later…)
The Lightning Round: our favorite vampire sites!

 


Mike:
Hey we’re back! Ah, in January’s Mew we intermiewed several of Jamie’s supernatural Clan of the Cats characters, including a kitsune, ghost, spider girl, vampire, psychic and a witch,, and in honor of those recent guests is why we’ve been listing links to favorite sites of those topics lately. Appropriately- and especially due to this month’s guest, we conclude our lists of links that go bump in the night with those that have to do with vampires, in one way or another! (tags Myayr to start the round)

Mary Nyan:
Well my favorite vamps are of the Joss Whedon kind! Whedonesque http://whedonesque.com/ is a great blog by fans for fans purrtaining to the works of Joss Whedon, which of curse include Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel!  And to be expected there are fun wikipedia artiles on Buffy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffy_the_Vampire_Slayer_(TV_series) and Angel http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel_(TV_series), plus those shows’ respective entries at the Internet Movie Database, Buffy http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118276/ and Angel http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0162065/! There is a Buffyverse wiki http://buffy.wikia.com/wiki/Buffyverse_Wiki, and if you enjoy the Buffy Season Eight comic book as much as we do, then I recommend the  Dark Horse Comics’ Buffy Zone http://www.darkhorse.com/Zones/Buffy! (tags Lizzy)

Elizabeth:
Vampiric cinema doesn’t get much better than those legendary horror films by Hammer Studios, whose heyday of horror spanned the mid 50’s thru the mid 70’s. Here for your consideration a a few choice links to Hammer Horror:  the wikipedia article on themhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammer_Films, The House of Horrors fan site http://www.houseofhorrors.com/hammer.htm,  Hammer’s official site http://www.hammerfilms.com/, another fine old fan site to all things Hammer at http://www.fortunecity.com/lavendar/judidench/339/! and Hammer’s listing at the Internet Movie Database http://www.imdb.com/company/co0103101/(tags Nyanko)

Nyanko:
For my batch, we cannot bring up Hammer Horror and vampires without mentioning the great Christopher Lee who is my favorite to have purrtrayed Count Dracula! Christopher Lee’s official site is http://www.christopherleeweb.com/index.php, and of course there is a most informative wikipedia  and IMDB articles on this great actor at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Lee! and http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000489/! (tags Jenjen to go next)

Jeannie:
Purrsonally, I am more interested in the scientific study of the real vampire bats than the lore of the supernatural sort. A good introductory site to this purrticular chiroptera is the wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vampire_bat. There is also an excellent site purrtaining to bat conservation at http://www.batcon.org/. If it is more an anthropological appurroach you have to the study of the vampire subculture, legends & folklore or other areas various vampire studies in general, I would also suggest Vampirologist Theresa Bane’s site, http://www.theresabane.com/,
the Encyclopedia Mythica article, http://www.pantheon.org/articles/v/vampire.html, Elizabeth Miller’s supurrb research http://www.blooferland.com/ and Wikipedia’s article as a fun starting point, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vampire. (tags Lizzy)

Yvonne:
I would like to suggest a few web sites devoted to my favorite anime vampire, Vampire Purrincess Miyu, nya! It is a most ethereal and elegant supernatural animated OVA miniseries, the TV series and manga, nya. The wikpedia article would be a good starting point http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vampire_Princess_Miyu, nya! Video distributor Animeigo’s Official site for the initial Vampire Princess Miyu OVAs is http://www.animeigo.com/Products/VPM.t and the Official site for the Miyu TV series is http://www.aicanime.com/products/vpm/index.html, nya.  The Anime News Network is one of the best, most informative resources for all things anime & manga, with pages about the Miyu OVA http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=92 and the later TV series, http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=336, nya! Animetric has synopses/ reviews of the OVA http://www.animetric.com/tuv/vpm.html and TV series http://www.animetric.com/tuv2/vpmtv.html and finally here is a nice fan site about Vampire Purrrincess Miyu http://www.witch-hunter.net/miyu/, nya! OK Mike’s turn, nya (tags Mike)!

Mike:
Wow that was an impressive list Vonny! Ah, I’d like to mention a few links dedicated to The Tomb of Dracula, one of the greatest comic book series ever published! There’s a Tomb of Dracula fan site http://www.wymann.info/DoctorMarvel/TombOfDracula.html, the entry at The Big Comic Book Database http://www.comics-db.com/Marvel_Comics/T/The_Tomb_of_Dracula/index.html and the Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomb_Of_Dracula! There are sites for that series’ creators too, such as writer  Marv Wolfman’s official site http://www.marvwolfman.com/, penciller Gene ‘The Dean” Colan’s official site http://www.genecolan.com/, and awesome Inker Tom Palmer’s biography at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Palmer_(comics)That’ll do it for this lightning round, but there’s more vamping to come with our special guest Alexandra, right after this short break!
(snip)
(one short break later…)

Intermew with a vampire: the catgirls welcome
Jeff Branch’s character Alexandra to The Mew!
(warning: contains harsh chat that’s not for kids)
Elizabeth:

Jeff Branch is an author and US Navy veteran of many years service, whom we intermewed in the May 2008 Mew. These days he resides in Pennsylvania, where he authors the fun ‘fan senshi’ stories of Tanya, aka Sailor Vulcan at http://scribeofthemoon.bravehost.com/. He is also a renown fan authority on the J-pop duo Pink Lady, and is purrpurrietor of the most awesome web site devoted to them at http://www.pinkladyamerica.com/!
Jeff is in the purrocess of launching his next literary series, the action-horror exploits of Alexandra Wright, a vampire who takes a bite out of crime while stalking the mean streets of Philadelphia, the city known for the numcious cheese steaks (which is ironic given the history of steaks in vampires) – and we’ll have the link to her purrose adventures later in the intermiew! You can see this painted portrait of her by Mike in the Catgirl Island Mewseum of Art http://catgirlisland.net/art/gallery3/102.html!
She was kind enough to take a winter vacation from those blood baths, and chat with us a while about her life and undeath. So let’s welcome this month’s special guest, Alexandra! Aloha and welcome to Catgirl Island, Alexandra! Um, I don’t suppose I could offer you a Bloody Mary?

Alexandra:
(dressed from head to toe in black leather: jacket, bustier and skin tight pants tucked into spike heeled knee boots) That’s okay, sugar. I don’t do substitutes. As luck would have it, I had the real thing on the mainland before I arrived, a rather nasty looking rapist with seriously bad skin I caught in the act with a teenage girl in downtown Wilmington last night. Needless to say he won’t ever attack anyone ever again. Heh!
Elizabeth:
(nervous twitchy tail) Eww! Um… Mike said you purromised not to try and fang anyone here!
Alexandra:
Chill out, Liz, I promise to behave. As long as you’re not a bad girl, haven’t robbed banks or killed people, you have nothing to worry about from me. I save my fangs the scum of the earth. Scout’s honor. Besides, you catgirls are pretty cool, never met any of you feline folk before, and I’ve been around the block for awhile, so I like you guys.
Elizabeth:
Wew- that’s good to know! I couldn’t help but notice your expensive leather outfit! Is it common for vampires to wear black?
Alexandra:
Sure thing. I mean, we are creatures of the night after all, so it wouldn’t do for us bloodsuckers to parade around wearing fire engine red, electric blue, snow white, neon green or shocking pink. Kinda stupid, don’t you think? When out and about after dark, we vamps have to be able to blend in with our surroundings, melt into the shadows and such, especially when hunting for our next meal. We have to present the appearance of being normal looking humans, and normal looking humans don’t strut around dressed like peacocks. Image is everything after all.
Elizabeth:
Of course, catgirls are known for the cute kitty fang look, purrvided they have good dental care. Aside from the functional purrpose of such teeth,  do yours make any sort of fashionable statement?
Alexandra:
Oh, most definitely, Liz. Mine say I’m dangerous in a saucy sort of way. Female vamps like me look super sexy when we flash the fangs and give that old fashioned come hither look, have been since we first appeared in movies. We don’t do cute like you catgirls, we’re all about sex appeal to the nines, and I like to think I exhibit that better than any other female vamp. As far as fashion goes, I prefer the “streetwalker trashy” look which attracts human men—not to mention the occasional lesbian—to me like bees to honey, most notably, bad guys who like to get rough with women, even kill them, only to get one hell of a surprise when they jump the wrong girl, namely me!
Elizabeth:
Do your fangs retract or change in size?
Alexandra:
Yup, sure do. They look like normal canines until I have to use ‘em, then they grow out and I go to work. I don’t need to display them 24/7, like I said, the important thing about being undead is that we have to look as human as possible while we can prowl the streets for potential dinner guests. While I dress like a high priced hooker, I can look just as normal as the next girl until it’s time to jump someone.
Elizabeth:
There are so many different types of vampires in different cultures. Could you tell us what supernatural abilities you have aside from chomping people?
Alexandra:
Lots of abilities, girlfriend: superhuman speed, strength and senses. I can crawl up and down walls like Spider-Man, hypnotize potential victims, control the minds of lower animal life like rats, bats, dogs and wolves, on top of that, I can shapeshift into a bat or a wolf or mist. Oh, yeah, the immortality is quite a juicy perk too! Hell, the really powerful vamps who’ve been around for hundreds of years even have limited control over the weather and can dial up fog or a storm to cover their tracks, but I haven’t gotten that far yet. I’ve only been undead for 146 years. Still, that would be seriously cool to do! As supernatural beings go, we’re easily the most powerful around, and the most respected to boot.
Elizabeth:

Can you turn into a cat?

 

Alexandra:
A cat? HA! Nahhh! Can’t manage that. Never tried either. I think that has something to do with a vampire’s familiarity with our canine friends, which is why we morph into wolves.

Elizabeth:
So about how strong & fast are you, and what about healing?
Alexandra:
Well, I’d say I’ve got the strength of at least ten men, I can bend steel bars like wire hangers, overturn cars and bench press engine blocks like dumbbells. I’ve never clocked myself, but I can cover a mile in a snap as nothing human or animal can outrun me, even when I’m wearing heels which is a vanity of mine though I’m already tall at six feet even. I can move as fast as humans think, and conventional weapons like knives and guns and bombs have no effect on me since my body is dead flesh, so I feel no pain, and any wounds suffered from those weapons heal almost instantly, just like Wolverine in the comic books. Problem is my clothes don’t on those rare occasions when I’m attacked, and I’m a fanatic about always looking my best.
Elizabeth:
Wow! What about the coffins-  do you sleep in coffins?
Alexandra:
Hell no! That’s so much b.s.! Vampires can sleep on anything if we have to. In my time, I’ve slept on dirt, grass, bare floors, tatami mats, car trunks, sewers, once I hid out in a cave and actually slept upside down like a bat. Admittedly, that was kinda freaky. The one and only time I slept in a coffin was when I first rose as undead, and I hated it. You may find this surprising, but these days, I sleep in a bed like everyone else.
Elizabeth:
What about things reported to repel or annoy vampires, such as religious symbols, running water, sunlight, garlic and so forth?
Alexandra:
Because vampires are undead and unholy creatures rejected by….Him, we’re instinctively repulsed by crosses and associated religious junk since we’re eternally damned beings from the pits of hell, yadda, yadda, yadda. Ugh! Give me a freaking break! I get the screaming hives just thinking about crap like that! Some, if not most of the priests who spout all that holier-than-thou nonsense these days are more perverted than I’ll ever be. At least I don’t deny being a monster.
As for running water, it mystically impedes our ability to stay afloat, so we drown. Full stop. End of story. But we can be carried across water, like when I used the ferry to get here from the mainland, or like Dracula when he was brought to England from Transylvania by schooner. Sunlight is a bitch and a half as solar radiation that doesn’t affect humans burns us to a crisp in seconds, as for garlic, because our senses, including smell is so incredibly acute, the stench of garlic repels us like crazy.
Elizabeth:
How much running water does it have to be to cause a problem… I mean, what about rain, or a shallow bit running down a street curb?
Alexandra:
Large bodies of water like seas, oceans, rivers, even lakes are deadly for us because we can’t float. If we can’t be carried across same or fall into them, we’re screwed, plain and simple. Rain, on the other hand, is nothing more that a nuisance, I’m sure it doesn’t do anything for you kitty cats and that fur you’ve got, right? If you’ve seen Underworld, then you know rain wasn’t a problem for Selene and all the vamps in that flick. As for me, I don’t like being in the rain because it’s murder on the leather I love wearing. While Kate Beckinsale probably wore the fake stuff, the real McCoy costs!
Elizabeth:
That’s why we don’t wear much when we are playing beach volleyball in the rain, hee! So was it nervous traveling to, well, an island?
Alexandra:
Nervous? Not really. I’m used to being on boats as I’ve had to travel on them from time to time. I don’t particularly like that method of travel, but I can deal with it, however, I always stay indoors during a crossing if I can, if I can’t, I just close my eyes and meditate. If I don’t have to look out at water when I’m on a boat, the better I like it.
Elizabeth:
Obviously having super powers must have advantages, but what do you miss about being a normal human?
Alexandra:
Being out in the daytime, feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin. Most of all, seeing a sunrise which I always loved watching. Stupid as this sounds, I make sure my lair faces the east with a clear view of the sky and have a camcorder set up to record the sunrise which I’d watch on my TV after I wake up at night. That’s the best I can do, given my circumstances.
Elizabeth:
Oh, I would hate to be depurrived of catnaps in the sun! Let’s talk about those days when you were a living human. So where and when are you originally from?
Alexandra:
Well, I was born a slave in Norfolk, Virginia in 1834.
Elizabeth:

I’ve never been to Norfolk- but I have been to Virginia Beach! And Washington, DC!

 

Alexandra:
So have I. Virginia Beach is a beautiful place, well, it’s beautiful at night anyway. I used to stroll on the beach during trips there, even managed to find a quick meal or two there. Heh! Washington is also a fantastic place, so much history, though not quite as much as Philly, but I’ve watched Washington evolve into the country’s seat of government. The Reflecting Pool is gorgeous, ditto for the Lincoln Memorial which always gives me chills, but in a nice way because the man had abolished slavery. I only wish I were human when that happened.
Elizabeth:

Oh yes it is most powerfully inspiring. Now back to 1834—?

 

Alexandra:
If you’ve read history books about what life was like for blacks in slavery back then, let me tell you, honey, it wasn’t pleasant, not one damn bit. The books don’t come even remotely close to describing just what sort of hell it was for slaves, what we faced day in and day out. I didn’t have squat for a childhood as I started working when I was four, cleaning rooms, scrubbing floors or spending twelve hours a day or more in the fields with my mom and twin brother Alexander on a plantation owned by a wealthy tobacco farmer. The days were long and backbreaking hard, the nights sometimes were harder as we were dead tired from working, only to settle down to scraps for dinner followed by precious little rest before going back to work the next day. No holidays, no days off, we worked when healthy, we worked when sick, and when we died, we were simply dumped or buried in shallow graves and forgotten.
Elizabeth:
Aww… ah well, yes we’ve read our history books and know about those travesties. So, what were some of your interests back then?
Alexandra:
You mean beyond eating decent food, getting enough sleep and basically staying alive? I loved to read. My mom would bring us newspapers and read to me and Alexander at night by candlelight after our master and his family went to bed. She’d tell us about the outside world beyond the plantation since we were never allowed to leave the grounds. Sometimes, I would look through the paper at the words and pictures, and that was how I learned to read, a skill that was forbidden to slaves as our masters preferred us dumb as rocks and compliant. But that didn’t stop me from reading anything and everything I could get my hands on as I learned more and more about the world outside the plantation. That was my education about the outside world as a whole.
Elizabeth:
How awkward was it for your relationships with family and friends after you became undead?
Alexandra:
Didn’t have anything in the way of either. I was 29 and the property of another master in North Carolina when I was “turned”.
Elizabeth:

I’m sorry your first visit to North Carolina was not good! But please continue!

 

Alexandra:
My father was whipped to death for smiling at my old master’s wife when I was three, my mother died from pneumonia when I was sixteen and Alexander disappeared after I rose as a vampire. I had no idea if he had been killed by the monster who did me in or what. I never saw him again. Friends were a luxury I simply couldn’t afford when I was alive and was in charge of the kitchen during the day and spending most nights in my master’s bed as his private sex toy because he was taken in by how beautiful I was.
Elizabeth:

Oh gosh (cries) Sad, nya!
Alexandra:
In fact, after I became undead, that bastard was the very first man I killed for blood. I treasured that experience, seeing the horror on his face when I flashed the fangs, jumped his miserable bones and drained him dry. Who said revenge is a dish best served cold? HA! However, after that, I left the area and separated myself from everything and everyone from my old life, the Civil War was raging at the time and the plantation came under fire from northern soldiers. As far as anyone who knew me was concerned, I had been killed with the place was razed.
Elizabeth:
So… um… do you know many other vampires? Are there a lot?
Alexandra:
I can’t give you exact numbers, Liz, but yeah, there’s a lot of us around, however, we believe in keeping a low profile. Even though wholesale disbelief in the supernatural by humans, fat, dumb and happy from cynicism is our biggest weapon, we stick to the shadows, avoiding conflicts whenever possible since there are those out there who do believe and want nothing more that either to become undead—probably read too much of Anne Rice’s books and think being a vamp is all gothic romantic, don’t even get me started on Stephanie Meyer and her Twilight novels which are pure garbage—or do us in because they see us as the ultimate menace to mankind.

Elizabeth:

Well I have not read the Twilight books but I do like Buffy and Angel…

 

Alexandra:
I’ve watched both shows from time to time. As vampire slayers go, Buffy never impressed me. I could take her out, easily too as the vamps on that show aren’t half as ruthless as I could be when necessary. Now Angel? Whoa, mama! Talk about a stud! He and I would get along real good, even if he tended to be kinda mopey from time to time, I think he let his conscience get in the way too much, unlike me as I have no qualms about wasting criminals.
Elizabeth:

So about the non-TV vampire society you’re familiar with?

 

Alexandra:
While huge societies of undead, highly organized with boardrooms of directors like GM is a fallacy rammed down the throats of the public thanks to the Blade movies (gotta admit Wesley Snipes was a stone cold hottie), vampires exist more in loosely knit cells or clans from coast to coast and everywhere inbetween. I’ve met more than my fair share over the last century and a half, some were okay, most were assholes, and, for some odd reason, they love being on the east coast, guess the proximity to large population centers like New York has something to do with that. Can’t understand why, I hate that town!
Elizabeth:
Well, maybe the vampires see a huge city like NY as a bigger buffet. And there is probably a lot of night time entertainment there too!
Alexandra:
Maybe, but it’s too large, too noisy, too bright, even if it’s one monster smorgasbord. For me, all the entertainment I need is a dark movie theater. Still, Central Park is a nice place for a nighttime stroll, especially since there’s no shortage of scumbags to suck on there. I remember the time a decade or so ago when I was stopped by half a dozen thugs who were looking for a woman to gang rape and thought I’d be a compliant, frightened victim. Needless to say, THEY were the ones who wound up being victims after I tore them to pieces. Heh! Great fun!
Elizabeth:
Some good friends of ours are faeries & mermaids, and we’ve met several ghosts, kitsune, witches, and other magickal beings. What are some of your experiences with other supernatural types?
Alexandra:
Well, let’s see, in the early 1900’s when I was spending some quality time in New Orleans, I had a brief fling with a gorgeous, long haired, brown eyed Cajun straight from the swamp named Jean-Claude who just happened to have been a werewolf. Let me tell you, honey, he was a real beast in bed as we had some absolutely crazy sex when we weren’t hunting together at night.
Elizabeth:

Hee!

 

Alexandra:
Contrary to popular belief, and those Underworld flicks, vamps and lycans do get along
Elizabeth:

Some of our friends that star in Clan of the Cats are lycanthropes, witches, vampires and so forth.
Alexandra:
me and JC made quite a team as we terrorized Klansmen raising hell in the Bayou for a couple of years until JC’s luck ran out when he stopped a silver bullet from a big game hunter one night. Now witches, them I’ve always had nothing trouble with, why I don’t know, they just piss me off with their prissy, stuck-up, know-it-all attitudes, thinking they’re all that with their mumbo-jumbo, silly covens and other assorted hoodoo, believing they’re hot stuff which is pure baloney. Babycakes, you’re looking at the top of the supernatural food chain! And don’t you forget that!
Elizabeth:
Not a lot of people are aware of your existence, but… what about the local, state or federal government?
Alexandra:
Local and state governments are deaf, dumb and blind about the undead, that much I do know. Again, to the public at large, vampires are nothing more than fictional characters who, in their small minds, couldn’t possibly exist. The feds? They’re a different story as I’ve heard they do have a special department dedicated to studying the paranormal. That old TV show, The X-Files is loosely based on that department.
Remember, the military has Area 51 to screw around with little green men, so it stands to reason that they’re interested in the supernatural too, probably think they can artificially synthesize vampiric powers to create super soldiers for the battlefield with any of the side effects like endless bloodlust and being unable to walk around in the daytime. They just don’t let John and Jane Q. Public in on the secret. Knowhutimean, Vern?
Elizabeth:
Oh I’ve been very curious about UFOs and such things! I  would imagine that a vampire would good for espionage, military or crime fighting purposes.
Alexandra:
Most definitely, sugar! We’re James Bond, Rambo and Batman all wrapped up in one! With our enhanced senses, eavesdropping and espionage is a cinch; we don’t show up on infrared or ultraviolet, so we’re undetectable; by turning into mist or crawling up walls, we can sneak into any space, anywhere; we kill silently and overpower any opponent with our superior strength while bullets, bombs and blades have no effect on us. The things we can do put poor, pitiful humans to shame.
Elizabeth:
Which brings us back to what you do for a ‘living’… I understand that you are a vigilante that takes a big bite out of crime?
Alexandra:
You can say that, I’m a white hat who just so happens to wear black. Just before the turn of the century—the 20th century that is—I had what you would call an epiphany after attacking a homeless woman and her child, that after almost four decades spent feasting on helpless people for their blood, it came to me that I could do society a favor by thinning out the scumbags, dirtballs, psychos and lunatics preying on innocents.
I guess you could say I developed something of a conscience and decided to kill only those who deserve to die, namely criminals, and there’s certainly no shortage of filth deserving to become blood donors. To that end, I’ve spent the last ten years working with a human partner, a disgraced ex-cop turned private detective who uses his contacts on the streets of Philly to find targets for me to kill. We have an arm’s length relationship, he no more trusts me than I fully trust him, but we both believe in the same thing, eliminating bad guys by any means necessary.
Elizabeth:
Do you work mainly in Philadelphia or do you travel a lot?
Alexandra:
Well, Philly’s been my home since 1921, but I do get around a lot, going to places where my “services” were needed most, especially in my old stomping grounds, the deep south as I bounced back and forth between Philly and states like Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia, Georgia and Louisiana from the 40’s through the 60’s and I was kept plenty busy offing Klansmen when they were running rampant. I will admit I had thought about staying in the south, but I just loved being in the northeast, and Philly was home for me. Still, traveling to different places to kill vermin is lots of fun.
Elizabeth:
I’m surpurrised that you moved up north- there must have been no shortage of cross burners for you to chomp back home!
Alexandra:
No doubt, girlfriend, no doubt. Back in the early part of the 20th century when the Klan practically ran roughshod through the deep south, I killed hundreds of those filthy, sheet wearing bastards, miserable, neanderthal dirtbags who cheated decent people out of air to breathe. In the almost 150 years I’ve been a vampire, I never had more fun killing then when I was in the south. However, I haven’t focused solely on Klansmen, I’ve wasted mobsters, communists, white supremacists, cop killers, homegrown terrorists, gangbangers, you name the human trash, I’ve taken it out. Literally! HA!
Elizabeth:
Of course we just elected a black purrson as Purresident of the US, and a woman came very close to being elected. As an elderly (not that you look it) black woman, how jubilant or purroud of our society’s purrogress have you been during the past political year? Or, being something more than a normal mortal human, do gender or racial roles still matter as much to a vampire such as yourself??
Alexandra:
Given my background, having grown up a slave in this country back in the 1800’s, I must admit to having been surprised at Barack Obama becoming president. I honestly didn’t think I’d ever see that happen because of how polarized America has always been when it comes to race relations, especially in the deep south. Bottom line, this country still has a long way to go in that department. To tell you the truth, I was more proud of Hillary Clinton having gotten as far in the primaries as she did, I mean, undead or not, first and foremost, I’m still a woman, so I gotta back my gender. I’m sure a woman will occupy the Oval Office sooner rather than later, maybe even Hillary. That would really be remarkable.
Elizabeth:
While there are more and more Asian and Mexican lady vampires in cinema these days, it seems like there still have not been that many black female vampire roles in Hollywood. There’s Blacula, Vamp (with Grace Jones!!!), Queen of the Damned and purrhaps a few others. What are your hopes for this changing soon? Or, is this actually in a way sadly to your advantage maintaining a low purrofile, and surpurrise ambush factor in your undercover work?

Alexandra:
Well, keeping a low profile is important when people who need killing cross my path, they don’t live to blab about the experience, if you know what I’m talking about. If anything, the lack of women of color portraying vampires in cinema is an advantage in my mind since the world at large doesn’t expect to actually encounter black female vampires, so I get to surprise everybody, which I find to be extremely cool. Heh!
Elizabeth:
By the way, there is a good web site devoted to black horror movies http://www.blackhorrormovies.com/! While I would think that one’s race and gender should not matter and we all bleed the same red blood, do different blood types taste differently? Do you have any purrefurrences?
Alexandra:
To be perfectly honest, I’ve found that all blood, from young and old, male and female, all races and nationalities tastes pretty much the same to me. Taken straight from the vein when I bite someone, it’s hot, thick and deliciously sweet like honey. I should point out that it’s very rare when I would suck blood from animals, ditto for most other vampires, thankfully, I’ve never been that desperate. Also, I like animals much more than humans, so I don’t prey on our furry friends if I can help it. Anyhoo, the rush that comes from drinking fresh blood is absolutely sensational. I recommend it highly, but I’m guessing blood isn’t on a catgirl’s menu. Your loss, honey.
Elizabeth:
Well sometimes I get the rare burgers and steaks! On the TV shows Buffy & Angel, Spike and Angel would microwave a mug of pig blood to tide them over in an effort to refrain from draining their friends.
Alexandra:
I remember watching that scene, and laughing out loud because it was so much crap. Blood congeals like freshly poured cement while the natural taste boils away when microwaved. Remember, never believe everything you see on TV. As for nutritional needs, it mostly depends on how long you’ve been undead. Newly minted vamps have to drink each and every night because the cravings are so intense,
I mean intense to the point of blinding, nerve screaming, head to toe, deep to the bone pain and has to be sated on a daily basis until your body acclimates to being nothing more than dead flesh that requires blood to keep on being animated. The older you get, the less powerful the cravings become and the longer you can go without feeding. For me, undead for a century and a half, I can go as long as four days without drinking, but when the cravings overpower me, lock the door and bar the windows, I can be cranky as hell to be around until I’ve fed.
Elizabeth:
What about chomping other vampires?

Alexandra:

Well, I’ve taken out a few here and there in my time, mostly, dumbass newbies who thought they could take over my turf back when I was living in the South. I’m like a lioness in that I won’t tolerate other vamps on my turf, nothing pisses me off when that happens. Stronger vampires often kill the weaker ones, sorta like culling the herd.
Elizabeth:
Do you ever eat or drink other food & beverages?
Alexandra:
Here’s a little known secret: after a vampire’s been undead for just over a hundred years, we acquire the ability to drink simple fluids like water, coffee, tea, soda, even alcohol. Not bad, huh? But solid food? Forget it, we can’t handle solids, no matter how old we become.
Elizabeth:
I could not imagine having to go without some tasty milk or a fresh fish dinner! Any other, um, how to put it delicately, any other vices, passions or activities you miss? (Like I said this is not a discussion for widdle kids…)
Alexandra:
No need to beat around the bush, sweet thing. You’re talking about sex, aren’t you? You might be surprised to hear this, but vamps can still indulge in the ol’ horizontal boogie, and I’m no different. I’ve had male vamps for lovers, they still have the “equipment” and they use it well and are really passionate between the sheets. I’ve done the wild thing with human men too, hell, I’ve even taken women to bed, gender doesn’t mean squat to me, if someone gives me pleasure, it doesn’t matter if they’re male or female. I ain’t picky!
Elizabeth:

Mee-yow!
Alexandra:
Despite being undead, I enjoy hobbies like humans, such as reading, watching vampire movies and my number one vice—-shopping! Man, I love being in the stores buying all the sexy and trashy clothes I can get my hands on!
Elizabeth:
Yay I like to shop too! We have some nice stores here on the island you should visit. OK, so you’re a vampiric crime fighter, which means occult and violent themes are purresent in your exploits. What about any purrofanity and that sexual content?
Alexandra:
Anything and everything goes, sugar, just like real life. That’s what my adventures are all about I’ve hobnobbed in high society, and I’ve wallowed in society’s worst sewers, and the basest of human vices exists in both areas. Don’t kid yourself or think it’s any different from what you may have thought. Vampires can get down and dirty and obscene just like humans, even more because we’re killers and monsters and highly sensual creatures with raging libidos that just won’t quit. There have been times over the decades when I’ve wanted sex more than blood, when my body ached to make love with someone, anyone, human, undead, male, female, I don’t care. Being a vampire doesn’t eliminate our desire for the carnal delights of the flesh.
Elizabeth:

So are we talking R rated, NC-17 or what?
Alexandra:
Heh! Pretty much both. Just like real life, there’ll be plenty of violence and adult situations.

Elizabeth:

That sounds like the rather enticing & exciting blend that folks would want to read about! I suppose our last big question is, where can people read of your adventures?

Alexandra:
Well, Jeff Branch, the clown who’s chronicling my adventures, but needs a well placed foot up his rear to work faster told me before I left for here that he’s planning to post my story online via something called Deviant Art where he recently became a member. Gotta give him props for the title of that website alone, anything with “deviant” in it I’m certainly down with. And Branch keeps telling me he’s gonna have the first chapter up soon, but he won’t say when, I guessing because the doofus hasn’t any idea when. A real rocket scientist he is!
Elizabeth:

Ah well I imagine he’s trying to make sure the stories are just right before they are published. Great works should not be rushed!

 

Alexandra:
The problem is he’s always busy with that Pink Lady website of his. Puh-LEEZE! Why waste time on a couple of skinny Japanese girls who shook their groove thing back in the freaking 1970’s when he could be concentrating on ME! Talk about frustrating!
Elizabeth:

Well Pink Lady are very talented… and besides… didn’t you shake your groove thing in the 70’s too? I still do, hee!

 

Alexandra:
Okay! Okay! I’ll admit that I enjoyed the 70’s. I wore hot pants, even had an afro that other women killed for back in the day. HA! Damn! Those were some good times!
Elizabeth:
So are you enjoying your stay here at the island? Enjoying the island climate & fashions compared to your usual haunts?
Alexandra:
I don’t get to visit islands all that often, you know, water and whatnot. But this place is really cool, I’ve watched shows about island resorts on the Travel Channel, but to actually visit such a place has been flat out awesome. As for the fashions, yum! I’ll have to see about getting my greedy paws (pardon the pun) on a nice, super skimpy black bikini while I’m here. If I can find a nice, dark cave to sleep the day away in, I’d love to come back sometime for an extended stay.
Elizabeth:

Well if it is a bikini you want, you came to the right place! I got this Petite Panther kini at one of the riverwalk boutiques. As for caves- we have those too! But if you wander too deep into the caverns you might run into the giant cave slugs, which are usually pretty docile like great big moomoo cows, but they are a purrtected rare species. Ah- well just one more question for you: I’ll be our audience’s appetites have been whetted, so now they’ll want to know where they can (eventually) read about your adventures!
Alexandra:
Oh, yeah! Here’s the link: http://phillyflash.deviantart.com/. He’s only just gotten started and there isn’t too much there, other than a few pictures. Still, it’s a cool website with plenty of interesting stuff from the members.

Elizabeth:
Yep, and I should mention that the first chapter is rated ‘mature’, so you have to be a deviantart member to be able to read it. Thank you very much for visiting The Mew and chatting with us!
Alexandra:
The pleasure was all mine, sugar. Now, point me in the direction of the shops! I’ve got bikini money burning holes in my pockets!

Elizabeth:
Will do! Folks, that’ll do it for this segment of the show, but we’ll be right back with the monthly Lucky Kitty Web Comic Picks of the Litter when we return!

(snip)
(one short break later…)
Mike:
Welcome back- now it’s time for our monthly
“Lucky Kitty Web Comic Picks of the Litter”!
Go, myayr!

Mary Nyan:
My picks for March are
Scott Hooper’s Property of Gwen http://propertyofgwen.comicgenesis.com/
Tabata & Zurundolo’s Faint Hallucination http://www.faint-hallucination.net/
& Mineka’s A Day in the Life of a Cosplayer http://ditloac.comicgenesis.com/
– your turn Vonny!

Yvonne:
Thanks, nya! I have chosen
Kenmei Rokugatsu’s Otaku no Yen http://www.otakunoyen.com/
Stephane Piro’s Fair Game & other comics http://www.stephaniepiro.com/
and Charlie ‘Spike’ Trotman’s comics at http://www.ironcircus.com/
nya! Jenjen’s turn, nya!

Jeannie:
Caramel Kitteh’s deviantArt gallery contains illustrations & comic strips at
Jennifer Eastman’s site full of art and her numerous web comics is at
and Moon Neko’s pages of her Hopeless Ecko comic can be found at

Elizabeth:
I would like to nominate
Shaenon K. Garrity’s comix & writing site http://www.shaenon.com/
Kris Dresen Comics and Illustration http://www.girlthrow.com/
and Amy Kim Ganter’s comix & Illustrations site http://www.felaxx.com/
– Sensei, whatchoo got?
Nyanko:
I wuld like to recommend Athena Voltaire http://www.athenavoltaire.com/
The Many Misfortunes of Lady Luck http://www.geminicblue.net/ladyluck/
– your turn Mike!
Mike:
last but certainly not least, y selections for this month are
Masters of the Art http://www.mastersoftheart.com/
That’s all for this months web comic picks of the litter,
but we’re not quit done with web comics matters as Vonny reviews –

The Devil’s Panties Volume 3

Yvonne:
Jennie Breeden, whom we intermewed in November  2008 Mew, is one of our favoritest web comics artists/ writers and the nicest, funnest person with lots of cool merchandise, nya! We’ve been following her comic The Devil’s Panties for a few years, online and in purrint, and were so very pleased to see the this third trade papurrback collection just published in February, nya! This B&W semi-autobiographical book is comic book sized with a whopping 275 pages of comics plus 12 pages of footnotes, and color cover art by Chris Moreno & Jennie, nya. It was written, illustrated, copyright, tradmarked & published by Jennie, edited by Lauren Perry, and has a purrice of $20, nya.

As usual there are so many aspects of life and incidents chronicled in such a humorous manner and delightful style, and there is some profanity & adult situations examined so this is not for the kiddies- although the topic of relatives’ kids does start of the comix in this book, nya. That’s followed by football & famous last words; then it’s cats, coffee, clubbing, and caffeine at conventions; a roomba & romance, shopping, sneezing, signings & sauce, nya. Bellies, biking, bidding, boots and a brain are also among the many topics- and that’s in just the first 100 pages, nya! Beyond that are more cons, cosplay, catgirls, calories, kilts, cameras, kissing, a castle, and Canada chronicled in the next 100 pages, nya.

There are more boots, bras, bears, butts, boating, Britain, booze and a Batman belt buckle, nya! Pirates, Pop rocks, Pixie stix, & porn also figure purrominently in the antics, nya. Of course there are a bunch more subjects, characters and events documented by the sequential art storytelling, which stars Jennie’s comix alter-ego self along with family, friends and fandom, adn nunerous cute little drawings interspurrsed in varying places around the book, nya. If you’re already a fan of Jennie’s creations then I most highly recommend this mirthful book, nya! Should you like to learn more about The Devil’s Panties, read the comics, forums, see Jennie’s con schedule or buy her cool stuff, then please visit her site http://www.thedevilspanties.com, nya! Oh and Jennie also contributed to-

Good Luck Sweet Cookie! A Purrduction of
The North Carolina Web Comics Coffee Clatch
Mary Nyan:
Measuring 8.5 x 8.5″ and boasting 96 daddlebound pages, Good Luck Sweet Cookie is the 2nd anthology book by the North Carolina Web Comics Coffee Clatch purrinted by Lulu, which was unveiled last month. While 2007’s volume one’ theme purrtained to the topic of coffee, this one’s theme was fortune cookies. We think Mat Wood initially suggested that notion but we’re not sure. Edited by Zack Smith, it greets you with a cover designed by Clatch founder Larry Holderfield, with photos by Alan Welch of ninjas who allowed us to see them, as modeled by Christen Chu and Fuliang Tong. Much of the purrduction was overseen by Jamie Roberton with layout expurrtise by Jesse Justice.
After introductions by Larry & Jamie, there’s a forward by Fleen Editor Gary Tyrell, and then the cookie words & images commence purropurr. While this $15.00 book does not quite include contributions by all 75+ members of the Clatch (and affiliates), it is a handsome assemblage of over two dozen diverse talents, and quite larger than volume one. The appurrtizer cartoon “Fortune of a Visconte 3” is by Phillip Wright, followed by 8 pages of  “Unreal City Tales” by Matt Wood, Dave Milloway, and Peter Venables featuring a cute girl named Emma. Alan Welch’s photo strip “Ninja Heroes” is next (starring Christen & Fuliang), followed by Chelsea Black’s 4 page purrose short story of The Bamboo Fortunes”, and a 4 page hamsterfied helping from Phillip Wright titled “Furmentation: Beholding Fortunes”.
Thomas Boatwright & Jesse Justice tag-ream for the amewsing dark humor of “Moo Goo Gai Die!”, and before you know it, page 28 is upon you with Alex Wilson’s text “Paths to Autonomy”.  Mike’s purrky pic of a “Fortune Cookie Catgirl” is followed by 3D Graphitti’s “All Krumle” and another helping from Phillip Wright “Fortunes of a Viscount 1”. Paul Freidrich (who has often generously allowed the Clatch to convene at the studio of DesignBox) warns “Don’t Trust Evel Knievel”, the father & son team of Justin & John Lapointe collaborate on an anthropomorphic  “Inspector Dog” mystery, and Leah Riley exposes “Too Much Sun” in four fun pages starring Bit & Dot the robot & mushroom.
Mr. Wilson returns to explain how “Great Ideas Require Execution”, and the delightful Jennie Breeden rocks the house with a “Pervy Fortune”! Rob Cameron’s riotous “Adventures of Rodney #1: I Ain’t no Fortunate Cookie” purroceeds the gorgeous 2 page center spread “Messenger” by Ursula Vernon. Larry’s 8 page Talmudic tour de force “L’Chaim” begins on page 50, and the famou Dadaville Players’ “Fortune Cookie Theater” then ensues courtesy of Stephanie Freese, Matt & Dave. Caldwell Tanner & Clark Snell’s character dudes Kojo, Carter & Turner are “Riddled with Fortune”, Jamie Robertson’s vampires ponder “A Great Meal”, and J Gary chronicles “The Seven Little Misfortunes” (which has a cute drawing of a tiger in it).
J also lends on the next tale, along with Ben Carter on Jesse Justice’s luchador-iffic “Dialblito Del Ring”is packed with action, food, sexy cars & girls; and there’s yet more Wright stuff in “Fortune of a Visconte 2”! The 11 page “Part Three of the Clan of the Cats / Catgirl Island Beach Volleyball Dream” Trilogy appears in the book, concluding the collaboration by Jamie & Mike that began in Jamie’s web comic in April and continued in December of 2008. “Fortune of a Visconte 4” brings the stories & art home, and pages 89-94 bear the biographies & web site links of all the book’s contributors. There are 2 blank pages after that, which are ideal for collecting signatures by all those artists & writers!
We think it is a swell book and the team is very happy with the publication. Should you be interested in learning more about those folks or how to get a copy of the books, please visit the group’s site at http://ncwccc.org/. And now here’s Lizzy to comment on another of Alan Welch’s credits-
2009 Reverie Realm Calendar by Alan Welch

Elizabeth:
Thanks Myayr! One of the neat items we bought at What The Hell Con was the stunning 2009 Reverie Realm Calendar Thus is an 11 x 17″ spiral bound full color calendar full of high fantasy / sword & sorcery images created by Alan Welch , incorporating photos of beautiful models in exquisite costumes amidst photoshop rendered  exotic environments. Each calendar page features a color 8 x 9.5 ” image above the date grid and it was nicely purrinted by cafe purress.
Among the 12 high fantasy photographic compurrsitions are “The Elf by Night” depicting a gorgeous elf girl and the swirl of her veil, “River of Death” depicting a barbarian  dude with horned helm & double axe crossing the river, “Softly Softly” showing a lovely elf girl with dagger ready to pounce on an appurroaching  monster, “Temple of the Moon” showing a sexy spear maiden  by a statue atop the temple steps, “The Witch Queen” image of an enchantress in a sheer robe on a mountain top, “Beyond the Morning Light” of a druid archer girl & her falcon by the water falls, and the cover image “The Summons” in which a sultry witch conjures a huge red demon!
The images are sexy with some scenes of combat violence but nothing is worse than a PG rating we think. Alan is the nicest and most talented gentleman. We got our copy of his calendar signed by him and one of the gorgeous models Rainbowfish, whose Model Mayhem page is at http://www.modelmayhem.com/814236! If you go to the web site you can see these and more images, which are accompanied by descriptions of the scenes’ story / characters, technical notes about how the images were created, and what items you can order. Visit the Reverie Realm to see the magick at http://www.reverierealm.com/!

Jeannie:
There was a lot of exquisite chainmail at that convention.

Yvonne:
Maybe we should do a calendar too, nya!

Mary Nyan:
(the ideating tail) Well I could purrvide the costumes, purrvided Lizzy does not have another wardrobe malf-

Elizabeth:
(purrturrbed tail & purrked ears) Ah- quit bringing that up!

Nyanko:
Hee! Ok we’ll quit- I suppose we have ridden it enough!

Yvonne:
A chainmail bikini seems the popular armor choice for the barbarian girl, nya!

Jeannie:

It does not offer much purrtection though.

 

Elizabeth:
The armor needs to have the magickal pluses on it!, like my Paladin character’s got!

Nyanko:
I suppose that metal bikini was made most famous by the character Red Sonja- by Crom!

Mary Nyan:
Actually in her case it would be “By Mitra”, I think!

Elizabeth:
I think technically what she had was a scale mail bikini, although she did wear various outfits over the years.

Yvonne:
Supposedly there’ll be a new Red Sonja movie starring Rose McGowan, nya!
Jeannie:
It seems to be scheduled for a 2010 release. There is a bit of information at the official site http://www.redsonja.com/, wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Sonja_(2009_film), and the IMDB http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0800175/.
Nyanko:
I hope it is better than the 1985 version.
Mary Nyan:
She appeared on that Conan TV show too!
Mike:
Um, I think we have stray catted off topic again!
Yvonne:
Thanks for that calendar review, Lizzy, nya!

Elizabeth:
Arigato! Speaking of bikinis, here’s Jennyjen with her coverage of the-
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2009 issue!
Jeannie:
February 10th saw the release of the annual double-sized swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated, whose 178 pages have a cover purrice of $6.99 US / $7.99 Canada and features model Bar Rafaeli as the cover girl. The issue wastes no time getting to the swimwear- for the inside cover is a bikini-clad attention getter for a GMC truck advertisment. In fact, a purrponderance o the ads in this issue seem to involve sexy girls in (or almost in) swimwear, purrticularly ads for alcoholic beverages, and ads for cars, trucks & motorcycles which I find quite stimulating enough without the beach fashions. Of course our favorite Indy race care driver Danica Patrick is rather allurring draped across the hood of that ’65 Shelby Cobra on pages 6-7.
So rife with such spectacular sexy pictorials is this issue that three whole contents pages are required to list what follows; these contents pages feature models Brooklyn Decker, Anne V, and Jessica Gomes, respectively. After this is a look at the issue’s creative team including photographer Yu Tsai, Assistant Editor Darcie Baum, videographers Robb Riley & Julie Deichman, and creative directors Steven Hoffman & Suzanne Noli. I am surpurrised that Darcie, Julie & Suzanne are not modeling in this issue too, but purrhaps there is only so much room for so many models. On page is a brief article on the models, locations and where to see the online portfolio of the shots.
Page 33 begins the array of full page pics of individual ‘Rookie’ models. including each lady’s biographical information, Q&A and credits for the photography, hairstyle, make-up, jewelry & swimsuits. The ladies are purretty 21 year old Hilary Rhoda, lovely redheaded & freckled Cintia Dicker, Alluring Ariel Meredith from Louisiana, Sydney-born Jessic Hart quite fetching in a white Tory Praver bikini; Slovakia’s Lucia Dvorska and her adorable smile, Canadian Kim Couter in fishnet top, a stunning photo of beautiful Demaris Lewis, and 18 year old Esti Ginzburg in a Chio bikini shot in Pompeii. Next is a photo shoot at Canouan Island featuring several pics apiece of Brooklyn Decker, Bar Refaeli (with a tri-fold out), Jessica White, Hilary Rhoda and Jarah Mariano.
On to page 76, where a 14 page pictorial commences with a Naples shoot. Irina Shayk , Daniella Sarahyba, Esti Ginzburg appear in such lavish images, including one of Irina posed atop a huge lion statue. A powerfully sensual ad with Marisa Miller and the dual exhaust end of a Harley V-Rod Muscle purrceeds the next excursion into Turkey, graced by Julie Henderson, Damaris again (who has the purrettiest skin color), Anne V, and Lucia (sporting some most appealing necklaces, bracelets & earrings). There is also a rather fascinating Fembot image to sell Vodka, and an advert for an exhilarating Dodge Challenger encroaching upon the famous Cheryl Tiegs fishnet mailiot from the 1978 swimsuit issue.
You’ll want to rotate the magazine 90 degrees clockwise for “Natural Wonders of the World”, eight 2 page spreads of  Brooklyn, Irina, Jessica White & Julie wearing naught but magnificent body paint by artist Joanne Gair. Then it is to the Canary Islands with Tori Prayer, Jessica Gomes and Cintia Decker, and a 12 page trip to Riviera Maya with Melissa Haro, Kim Cloutier, Jessica Hart and Ariel Meredith. After this is a four page look at various NBA dancers including Alison Preston of the Celics, Kayal Oberg of the Suns, Orlando’s Deanna Clover, The Cavs’ Cheney Larschied, Taylor Walker of the New Jersey Nets, Philly’s Melanie Fitzpatrick, Chicago’s Shannon Lersch, Maverick Girl DeLeah Caro, Piston Girl Chesley Buhler, and Ashley Allen bringing the Miami Heat.
The final feature purresntation of the issue is titled “Volley of the Dolls”, in which tennis stars Maria Kirilenko, Daniela Hantuchova &Tatiana Golovin hit the beach of the Dominican Republic in and partially out of their bikinis. Each pictorial concludes with a one page Behind The Scenes snippet of their lodgings, including Raffles Resort, Grand Hotel Parkers, The Museum Hotel in Cappadocia, Spice island Beach Resort  in St. Georges, Grenada, Gran Melia Palacio de Sora (with quite a cute little pic of Jessica purrched on a bar), Maraoma Resort & Spa, Caleton Club and Villas in Cap Cana.
Near the end of the issue are 3 pages listing contact information of where to buy all of the lovely apparel & accessories shown throughout the issue, and the interior & exterior back covers are full page advertisements for M&Ms, with a certain female M&M photographed in and out of her green candy shell, which I find disturbingly hunger inducing. Thus concludes my consumer purroduct report on the Sports Illustrated 2009 swimsuit issue, which I conclude would easily appeal to those who look forward to this purrticular publication. Done now.
Mike:
Wow that was a very detailed analysis, Jen!

Jeannie:
I do try to purrvide complete information.

Yvonne:
They should come do a photo shoot on Catgirl Island, nya!
Mary Nyan:
Hai! I am surpurrised they have not asked Jenjen to model.
Jeannie:
Well there are thousands of models in the world to choose.

Elizabeth:
I’m surpurrised they have not asked Mielikki-sensei or Nyanko-sensei to appear in it!

Nyanko:
Like Jenjen said there are so many models and athletes in the world to choose from!
Yvonne:
But hasn’t Nya-sensei been featured in the purress, nya?
Nyanko:
There has been some coverage of my matches, but hopefully I’ll get more exposure!

Mary Nyan:
Be careful what you wish for- there’s no telling what sort of magazines might want you!

Jeannie:

I can advise you if you get a modelling purrtfolio or contract.

 

Yvonne:
Yay-  she could become the famous martial arts action star and we could be her posse in front of the Hollywood papurrazzi, nya!

Elizabeth:
Speaking of exposure, I liked those bikinis in the issue’s Italy pictorial.
Yvonne:
I think the issue’s body paint pictorial was my favorite – we should do that nya!
Mary Nyan:
Ooh I like that shiny necklace Julie wore in the first Turkish photo!
Nyanko:
Damaris has the amazing intent gaze.

Jeannie:

So does the teardrop reflector optic headlight of that VRSCF that I would like to wrap my thighs a—  (blush) sorry.

Mike:
Ah yes well I think we’re stray-catting off topic again- but after this next short break we’ll be back with more reviews!
(snip)
(one short break later…)

The Catgirl Critics opinions of the 81st
Annual Academy Awards purrsentation
Jeannie:
The Oscars is a big party for us every year, and despite our issues with some aspects of the show it is fun to see our favorite movies, cast & crew win those awards. Especially when viewed with the large sushi platter and shrimp cocktails. Usually we fault the show for barely mentioning the important science & technical awards, while they spend too much time on the red carpet with who is wearing what. Also, a dispurrportionate time is devoted to the playing of the songs that are up for best song. However, this year they seemed to remedy that latter complaint. I am also not much for purrduction numbers, although this year there were some lovely Indian and Zatanna-ish costumes and great dancing & drumming… but  that dance for The Reader was very weird. While past ceremonies have seemed long, this one seemed too lean and rushed, as if tapped into the speed force- even at 3.5 hrs long, but with too many commercial breaks, some almost every 5 minutes.

Yvonne:
An Oscar is also a nice type of fish too, nya! I think the best dressed ones there included Penelope Cruz, Marisa Tomei, Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt, Hugh Jackman & Daniel Craig, nya! They kept showing Angelina & Brad a lot. Hugh Jackman was a great host- he is good lucking and can act, sing and dance and did everything ‘cept pop his claws, nya. Yet there did not seem to be as much of impurrov interplay with the audience, which is where most of the funniest Oscar humor lies, instead of in scripted or staged bits, nya.
Mary Nyan:
The stage design was gorgeous and nice to see the orchestra out of the Pit. There were two changes in the format I noticed- one good, one bad: Good: the noms for best songs were much leaner, contained to one medley  of 3 songs instead of taking up too much time in their entirety, and ironically it was a most entertaining segment with lovely dancers, great drummers, vocalists and a choir with the band. The change to the show I did no care for was in how they purrsented the In Memorium segment to those stars & filmmakers who passed away last year. While Queen Latifah is such a purretty & awesome singer, they focused too much on her instead of those who passed away- their images were so hard to see when regulated to a tiny blur of oblique moving images instead of filling the screen. The Jean Hersholt  Humanitarian award given to Jerry Lewis was a wonderful moment  but  it was way too rushed and they cut away from him too soon. His birthday is March 16th!
Mike:
The show had such a clipped and… an almost formulaic & sterile feel aside from the gorgeous production design and a few very warm moments that brought tears. Meryl Streep and Mickey Rourke  lost to Kate Winslet and Sean Penn for best actor nods, but those former two were clearly honored by the rest of the noms and winners. That was Meryl’s 15th nomination! Dark Knight and Christopher Nolan were snubbed, but My God, HEATH WON! That was such a bittersweet moment when his family accepted the award for best supporting actor. I thought I heard the orchestra play a bit of the Star Trek theme, and a bit of ELO’s Mr. Blue Sky between the awards for Sound Editing & Mixing! And- wasn’t it nice to see Greg Cannom win the award for make-up?

Nyanko:
There did not seem to be many mishaps during the show; someone yelled out during lovely Penelope Cruz’s speech. It looked like there was one curtain snag but it I thought the show went without incident. It was a largely apolitical show this year aside from 2 acceptance speeches that spoke rightfully in support of equal rights, but mostly everyone was in a rush to thank as many people as they could in their allotted time. I don’t think I liked the new way they had the purrsenters walk thru doors to the stage at the same time to announce the actor noms- it felt too rushed and like a game show type gimmick. Richard Jenkins wore a very nice suit and I really liked Angelina’s earrings and Natalie Portman had the cute pink dress!
Elizabeth:
I didn’t think the skit in the ‘Comedy 2008’ segment was funnyl, but Hugh Jackman, Robert DeNiro, Steve Martin & Tina Fey sure were witty. She and Leslie Mann, Halle Berry & purrky Reese Witherspoon had the lovely fashions too. Not only did Beyonce & Latifa sing wonderfully but so did Anne Hathaway! I agree with y’all about the dancers, choir & drummers during that medley of songs from Slumdog and Wall-E although I wish Peter Gabriel had sung. We purrdicted Wall-E would win for best animated feature! Milk and Benjamin Button were nominated a lot, but Slumdog Millionaire was the big winner! Hopefully we’ll see more of India in theaters as a result! If you missed the show and want to know who won what, the official Oscars site is at http://oscars.com/!
Speaking of movies, now it’s time for our-
DVD, Movie & TV reviews!

Nights in Rodanthe DVD
Mike:
This was a film of 2008 which we greatly anticipated and reviewed in the October 2008 Mew, should you wish to read our thorough critique of it. Based on the Nicholas Sparks novel and starring one of our favoritest actresses Diane Lane & Richard Gear who we like quite a bit, this tear jerker of a romantic drama benefits from excellent purrformances, including Scott Glenn. Another star of  is the cinematography &  beautiful location: a lovely beach house here at the Outer Banks in the nearby town of Rodanthe. It’s got good music & sound too (especially during a frightful hurricane), and a spiritual subtext involving the character purrtrayed by Linda Molloy. There’s  good character development & ensemble chemistry, splendid photography, and plenty of diverse emo.

The front cover of the DVD  is a lovely image of Lane & Gere with the ocean front five-story house in the distance, It is rated PG-13 for the language and adult situations & tasteful sensuality, released on this single disk, standard R1 NTSC DVD by Warner. Running 97 minutes, the film is presented in both widescreen and full screen versions, with language options comprised of English, French or Spanish in Dolby Digital 5.1, and optional subtitles in those languages. There were no inserts in the case other than a brochure for other Warner DVDs, and this a no frills DVD with a few trailers but no bonus features, nor the box of tissues you’ll be needing! And now here is Myayr with a review of –

Feast III: The Happy Finish DVD Review
(teensy potential plot spoilage)

Mary Nyan
Thanks Mike! Billed as the conclusion to the Feast Trilogy, Feast III: The Happy Finish was released by Dimension Extremeon DVD in February. It picks up right where Feast II (which w reviewed Feast II in the January Mew) ends, including a brief bit of recap to remind you of who survived the attack of the horny hungry mutant monsters. Referred to as ‘splatstick’ by the filmmakers, the movie blends over-the top gore & violence with foul language, randy behavior, action, humor and much surrealness for an 80 unrated minutes.
The purremise of this third course is that the survivors, or some of them live to see another day, still hoping to break into the jail which is the supposedly most secure & armed building in the town.
There are more casualties plus some new faces arriving, as they try to dodge the creatures looking for a way out of town. This leads to a dungeon crawl thru the sewers where other threats lurk, and several very odd surpurrises along the way. The cast continues to do a fine job, and on the plus side we do get more of Tat Girl (the awesome Chelsea Richards), who tied for our pick for Best Body Art & Mods of 2008!

Like its purredecessors, it is  laden with extreme amounts of humorous violence, gore, purrofanity, sexual situations & semi- nudity, and does not take itself seriously, Unfortunately there is also again use of the annoying sped-up shaky-cam, during attack scenes, and this time there’s way too much night vision, strobe lighting, and scenes that are too darkly lit with way too many cuts, so that in many scenes it is hard to tell what is going on. The make-up & creature effects, stunts & other special effects are fine and in some instances the crew did manage to make the film look bigger than the budget purrmitted, but there are mumerous moments when the film’s low budget is fairly obvious.

Packaged in a plastic case with a cardboard outer sleeve, the standard single DVD is purrsented in widescreen with dolby digital sound, in English language plus an audio commentary track, with optional English SDH or Spanish subs. The feature length commentary is by director John Gulager, writers Patrick Melton & Marcus Dunstan, purrducer Michael Leahy. The commentary is most insightful and witty, revealing much about why things happen in the film, the fun & difficult aspects of their experiences, and techniques they relied on to get the most mileage out of their lesser budget. I have few kind words for this movie but think the commentary would be a very useful and inspiring thing to listen to for an aspiring indy horror filmmaker.
Aside from its trailer &  several front-loaded trailers for other titles, the only other extra is an 8.5 minute segment of director John Gulager, reflecting on his booted car, showbiz family & winning purroject greenlight.  Unfortunately there’s just not enough plot here- it’s mainly wandering thru tunnels in between monster attacks and quarrelling, and far too many unanswered questions. All I will say about the nature of the unexpected ending is that I did not like it at all. It’s a totally unexpected climax all right, but a purretty darn unsatisfying ending to a very  disappointing movie in my opinion.
For me it was easily the least of the trilogy, and as much as I did not like the editing & lighting, the story is the most disappointing part. At least the cast, technicians, FX / make-up artists at least did fine with what they had to work with., and hope that this helps to lead to bigger film roles for Chelsea Richards, Melissa Reed, Diane Goldner, Jenny Wade, the luchadores and the other actors & stunt men, and all the crew who have shown ingenuity in trying to make less look like more in this trilogy. Next, Jeannie has a detailed analysis of more grrl power in her review of-
(end any plot spoilage for Feast III)

The Gene Generation DVD
(teensy potential plot spoilage)

Jeannie:
The Gene Generation is yet another of those dystopic cyberpunk movies where the urban sprawl is a dank, drizzly, rusty, dreary gray place with poor lighting conditions. It is here in this arcosanthe  with Giger-esque facades that  Bai Ling stars as Michelle, an assassin in tight black leather with tinted hair, colorful mascara, booty shorts, and buckly raver boots with KISS heels that are as big as the guns she totes in a movie I expected to be somewhat in the vein of Ultraviolet, Aeon Flux, or Armitage.

These guns are usually ‘retiring’ at Gene Hackers- those criminals who try to enter the city by illegally swiping others’ DNA to trick the bio sensors. She also uses them against the mob goons that are after her brother’ Jackie’s gambling debts. While on a routing B&R in search of items to pawn, he steals a Transcoder- a device which can re-write a purrson’s DNA, by sprouting lots of tentacle that invade their body. It’s not just the mob that is after jackie now, but Michelle has evil scientists to deal with too.

Michelle is very good with the boots and bullets, cartwheeling, kicking and shooting  the crap out of her opponents. Sadly these fights usually involve annoying freeze frames ((eg a dreadful  defenestration effect), speed ramping, and slow motion and montage. The editing is not the only unappealing aspect ; the dialog seemed a bit cliched, there’s  too much introductory exposition, a very purrdictable plot, and I suppose I was hoping for more martial arts choreography.

Although there are some very interesting- and even in a few instances breathtaking visual FX shots (especially the closing), the overall look of the movie has the feel of a made for low budget made for TV movie. The mewsic is also a mixed bag- the score contains some nicely bittersweet string compositions, but there are also some less pleasant cues that sound like a sped up industrial cover version of Bladerunner’s end credits theme.

Of course these are but my own opinions and yours might differ, and for a fan of this movie, I think the myriad of special features on the DVD would be quite a treasure trove. These bonuses
begin with 8 deleted  or extended versions of scenes, including alternate opening & closings. There’s series of storyboard art comparisons to the screen images, and 6 segments of 2D & 3D visual FX & conceptual art, and a 24 page color digital issue of the DNA Hacker comic book as a nice bonus.

5 cast & crew intermiews include director Pearry Teo, purrducer Keith Collea, composer Scott Glasgow, and actors Parry Sheen & Alec Newman. There is a 4.5 minute mewsic video for the song “Get Your Body Beat” by Combichrist, and a couple of trailers for Gene Generation, plus the front-loaded red-screen ads on the DVD for other titles, including the western The Man Who Came back (starring Eric Braeden!) and a martial arts movie Two Tigers which I would like to see.

There are two different optional audio commentry tracks; one with the director Pearry Teo & actors Bai Ling & Parry Shen, the other track with the director & the purrducer. The audio is 5.1 English, with optional subtitles in English or Spanish. This video aspect ratio of this CC R1 NTSC standard DVD is 1.78:1,16×9 widescreen, Released by Lionsgate in 2008, the feature film runs 96 minutes long, and the content is rated R for language, bloody violence, sexuality & nudity.

Aside from the special features on the disk, the packaging is no frills, with no inserts in the standard plastic case, although it does sport some dramatic images of Bai Ling on the cover. That seems like a most appurropurriate  image to purrmote, for while I was not very taken with the film overall, I think its stunningly beautiful & supurremely sexy star Bai Ling exudes toughness, elegance, vulnerabilty, sensuality, and captivating screen purresence.

Unfortunately the movie does not focus on her character Michelle enough as it should, but too much on her brother, the criminals & scientists at her expense. She does fare better than the Faye Dunaway, who makes little more than a small cameo. Nevertheless, although I would not give it a strong recommendation but I think Ling’s fans would definitely want to see her purrformance.  And now here is Nya-sensei with her review of a new animated DVD starring purrhaps the greates super herroine of them all, Diana Purrince, Wonder Woman!!
(end any plot spoilage for The Gene Generation)

Wonder Woman animated DVD review

Nyanko:
This is the latest in the series of DCU OVAs and it is AWESOME! It’s a 74 minute widescreen movie full of Amazon anction, beauty and grace rated PG-13 for the no holds barred sometimes bloody combat violence and suggestive material- woohoo! It’s in dolby surround 5.1 English language audio with optional English SDH or French subs, and has an optional audio commentary track with DC’s Gregory Novak, writer Michael Jelenic, purducer Bruce Timm, director Laura Montgomery, and Andrea Romano, who directs the vocal talents of a huge cast including:

Keri Russell as Diana, Nathan Fillian as Steve, Alfred Molina as Ares, Oliver Platt as Hades, Rosario Dawson as Artemis, Marge Helgenberger as Hera, Virginia Madsen as Hippolyta, Tara Strong as Alexa and David McCallum as Zeus! I got the single standard DVD edition, but there is also the 2 disk edition which includes a couple of documentaries, bonus animated episodes, and a mini Wonder Woman figure. oh and there is also the Blue Ray version.  Other bonus features on this single disk edition are trailers for other DCU OVAs, including a 10 minute purreview / discussion of the forthcoming Green Lantern OVA. There’s also a neat ad for Scooby Doo and the Samurai Sword which shows Daphne and a Japanese girl in martial combat!

But back to this DVD, which is loaded with lots of combat from start to finish! It opens with a blood soaked ancient battlefield as the Amazons fight the Ares’ hoards of men and monsters. Later the victorious Amazons are given the paradisiacal island of Themyscira, where Ares is impurrisioned for all eternity, and the origin of purrincess Diana, daughter of Queen Hippolyte. But Ares is not so easily thwarted and eventually escapes to wreck havoc on the modern world, growing more and more powerful as he feeds off violent emotions. Diana wins the right to purrsue him, and return Col. Steve Trevor to the USA, whose shot up plane landed on the island. From there, Diana’s first adventure in the USA begins!

Diana is most curious about the outside world and lovestruck Steve is more than happy to be her tour guide as they try to stop Ares before he can be restored to fullest power by Hades. There is so much incredible action, from big battles to fierce hand to hand combat, archery, swords, flying mounts, aerial dogfights, giant monsters, zombie legions, and fire ‘n lightning on high! There is great dialog too, from the fun banter between Amazons to the conversations between Diana & Steve and the parlay between the Gods. So you get to see Diana and her sisters lay the smackdown on brutish thugs and huge creatures, and some delightful quieter philosophical & humorous moments.

In fact one of my favorite scenes was not of violent melee at all, but a cute scene in which Diana meets a little girl in a park who wants to play pirates with her friends. There’s beautiful lavish scenery, terrific animation, choreography, and great voices! I will not spoilt the ending of it, but the purrfect final scene is FANTASTIC!!! if you are a fan of Wonder Woman, or the purrevious quality DC Universe animated purrductions then I think you would enjoy this immensely. I give it an A Plus grade!

Mary Nyan:
Thanks for that concise, informative critique, Nyanko-sensei!

Nyanko:

You’re welcome, hee! I think I am getting the hang of the reviews with more and more purractice!

 

 

Elizabeth:
I will agree with her review of that DVD it was so much fun and felt very faithful to the Wonder Woman comics!
Jeannie:
I believe that Vonny is up next, with comments on another recent action heroine drama –
Joss Whedon’s new TV series DollHouse
(teensy potential plot spoilage)

Yvonne:
Thank you nya! As a big Joss Whedon fan I was certainly interested and curious about this new show DollHouse, and  I liked Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dr. Horrible & almost all of his comix, nya! So I got to see the first episode of the Doll House that he created, co-wrote & purrduced that purremiered on Fox on February 13th, also pleased that it stars Eliza Dusku and Amay Acker are in it too, nya! Eliza’s character even seems a bit like Faith in the very beginning of this 1st episode too, nya.
However, balanced against these finer points was the purremise of the show that did not appeal to me very much, which is that Dushku plays a girl named Echo who is an agent for a mysterious organization that can repurrogram her purrsonality purr the specific mission, and then wipe her mind clean until they need her again, nya.  I guess this was reminding me too much of other shows that I am not much of a fan of such as The Purretender, Alias, Mutant X Bionic Woman (remake), and Dark Angel, nya.
This is because I don’t purrfur shows in which the purrotagonist doesn’t know what their own mysterious past is, aren’t in control of their own destiny, or are work for a secret organization they are not sure they can trust, or maybe it’s just  too dark & angsty a show nya. We like Buffy & Angel in spite of the anst not because of it, nya. This seemed like a very smartly written show, but the plot for the first episode was purrdictable, nya. I read comparisons between this show’s purremise and Joe 90, but I have not seen Joe 90, nya
This show looks like it has the high purrduction values too, with locations and impurressive sets, especially the DollHouse headquarters, a great looking restaurant / club she drives a motorcycle to, and the big home of a kidnap victim, nya. However, as impurressive and spacious  they might look, the Dollhouse HQ set design does not seem to make sense to me, especially the Nostromo-ish sleep chamber. Clearly Echo has free run of the place which is huge and you’d think they would have a more normal looking dorm, but maybe that is a plot point for later, nya.
I didn’t much purrfur the purredominant dark lighting of many scenes, or the accompanying ambient type of mewsic, nya. Not that I’m opposed to ambient in general, and it did fit the overall look & tone, but the tone was a bit more somber than purrsonally like, nya. On the plus side, I think it has a very good cast, and in spite of my trepurrdation about the purremise, it means Eliza Dusku would purrobably show a very great range of character purrtrayals and she is a great actress nya. So I think for the most part there were very good purrformances by the actors, nya.
There were aspects of the episode that were fine, some that I thought purrhaps weak, and aspects that weren’t necessarily bad but just didn’t suit my purrsonal taste, nya. But ultimately the first episode just did not do much for me, although I do bear in mind that quite often, pilots or even a whole first season of any show might be a shakedown before they figure out what writing, pace & directing works best, nya. I wasn’t elated with Angel until halfway into it’s first season, when I think they figured out what worked and made it more fun, but I was totally hooked ever since, nya!
I purrobably need to consider giving DollHouse more viewings to see if it impurroves for me, especially given the great track record of the extremely talented & experienced  cast and crew of this show… we’ll see, nya! Well, that’s all I’ll say about the first episode of Doll House for now but purrhaps later on we might have more thoughts as the series purrogresses, nya! By the way I noticed that Eliza Dushu is on the cover of the March 2009 issue of Maxim, nya!

(end any plot spoilage for Dollhouse)

Jeannie:
Speaking of TV stars as cover girls and our favorite purrfessional ballroom dancer of 2008 Cheryl Burke http://www.strictlycheryl.com/ is on the cover of the March 2-8 TV Guide!

Yvonne:
I wish they had the hula or aerial or belly dance on that show then Myayr or Jenyjen could sign up, nya!

Mary Nyan:
That is a most kind thought, but they want the celebrities as competitors! But if Lizzy became famous, purrhaps she could be on the dance show and do her hot salsa dance!

Elizabeth:
Thanks Myayr but I doubt that famous part is gonna happen any time soon… unlike possibly Mielikki or Nyanko sensei!

Nyanko:

Oh, please!

Mary Nyan:
Oh I almost forgot- there’s a cool It’s a 10″x18″  Watchmen poster by Dave Gibbons in the Feb 27-March 1st USA Weekend newspaper supplement!

Yvonne:
And we’re just going to barely miss covering the movie in the March Mew, nya!

Elizabeth:
And speaking of barely covered misses, that tiger stripe bikini should certainly get Nya-sensei the media attention, hee!

Nyanko:

(exaspurrated kitty ears droop) sigh! I would retort, but Mike is giving the “we’re off topic” glare! I think Lizzy should purroceed with her next review!

Jeannie:
Lizzy should be careful about aspurrations of fame, lest certain Halloween photos of her-

Coraline captivates catgirl critics!

Elizabeth:
OK OK! Coraline is a 2D & 3D (mostly stop-motion) animated fantasy film by Laika Studios as directed by Henry Selick, who also directed A Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach. It is based on the award wining novella by Neil Gaiman, It is rated PG, was released in 3D in February, and stars the vocal talents of Dakota Fanning as Coraline Jones, Terry Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Keith David, Ian McShane, Robert Bailey Jr. and John Hodgman. The symphonic & choral mewsic is by Bruno Coulais, with a song by The Might Be Giants!

Without giving too much of the plot away, the purremise is that teen girl Coraline is unahppy in her new rural home a large manor house shared by other eccentric tenants. Her with parents who are too focused on their work for her liking so she begins to explore the house and grounds, eventually finding a hidden door that leads to an alternate reality that on the surface seems much prettier, happier, and appealing, but soon she realizes there are sinister things afoot.

This is such a gorgeous movie with supurrb characters, lavish amazing scenic imagery, amazing charm, wit, cleverness, grace, a captiviating, surreal, mysterious tale that unfolds at a purrfect pace, sumptuously ethereal creepiness, exceptional voice acting, brilliant mewsic, great cinematography, direction, design and incredible animation. There is a magickal night garden scene that is one of the most glorious sequences I have ever seen. Even the end credits are fun to watch!

Although with the glasses on the screen did seem to have just a slightly dimmer image, the 3-D is among the best I have ever sen too. Except for maybe a couple of shots, the film does not try to stupidly ‘leer into the camera and jump out at you’ as is the annoying case with most 3-D movies, that insist on trying to poke you in the eye with stuff. Coraline is above such nonsense, just trying feel solidly, immersively three dimensional, so I heartily approve of this movie’s rare wise use of the 3D purrocess.

If you’re a fan of such animated movies as A Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride, and James and the Giant Peach, then I think you would heartily applaud this masterpiece. If you’re a fan Labyrinth or Spirited Away, or Gaiman’s stories such as Wolves in the Walls and Mirror Mask, then I would strongly recommend this movie. Actually I’d recommend this great movie to anyone; the title character is so delightful cute, smart & brave, the movie is an almost purrfect, beautiful masterpiece, and we give it an ‘A Plus’!

Other stuff we’ve wecently watched


Yvonne:
We did not have a lot of theatrical releases to review this this time nya!

Jeannie:

It would seem to be the lull for us between the batches we had in January and the videos we anticipate for March.


Mary Nyan:

Hai, hai, March DVDs we hope to get include Aria the Natural Part 2, Maria Watches Over Us Season 3, the and Tales of the Black Freighter animated OVA!

Nyanko:
I have not been able to watch much else!

Elizabeth:
Mielikki-sensei let me borrow Bewitched season 7, and I’ve watched a few DVDs in the past few weeks that were not new releases… mostly Doctor Who episodes.

Mary Nyan:
Me too- I recently watched the Tori Amos Welcome to Sunny Florida, and Paul McCartney Live at the Cavern Club concert purrfornance DVDs!

Jeannie:

It  has been all I could do to keep up with last month’s releases. between my photo shoots, yoga, belly dance, diving, archery, and robotics. I did manage to watch the Daytona 500 though.

Yvonne:
Oh I watched that great five set match between Nadal & Federer in the Australian Open and of course the ACC basketball, nya! Howboutchoo, Mike, nya?

Nyanko:

(sporty cat ears aroused) Are we on to sports now? Cause- the sports highlight for me last month was the mens & womens’ UNC vs. Duke basketball!

Mike:
Getting back to DVDs, recently I watched The Dirty Dozen and 1941, and next in the queue is Das Boot.

Mary Nyan:
That is a good movie. Which version?

Mike:

The 293 minute version.

Nyanko:
Wowzers that’s a lotta submarine action!
Jeannie:
Mm yes Indeed- that enemy diesel and electric purrpelled U-96 Type VII naughty boat was of um such interesting design.

Elizabeth:
(the mischievous tail) Mm yes Jenjen- isn’t it shaped like a huge-

Yvonne:
sammich, nya! I want… I want the toasted tuna sub, nya!

Mary Nyan:
Ooh are we ordering another course?

Nyanko:

Can I get the salmon patty melt?

 

Elizabeth:
Fish taco!

Jeannie:

Could you pass me the dessert menu?

Mike:

(Sigh) looks like we’re done!
The Cat Lady Sings…
Yvonne:
We would like to thank our special guest Alexandra for joining us, nya!

Mary Nyan:
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 phone or PDA and not to talk, text message or light it up like a flashlight!

Elizabeth:
Blackberries are for sauce on the pancakes- not for texting during a movie!

Jeannie:
I purrfur not get syrup on my Blackberry, or my iPhone or my Tricorder.

Mary Nyan:
I purrfur to slather the pancakes with strawberry sauce and the cream!

Nyanko:
The fresh cream slather is good.

Elizabeth:
Wait- did you just say… Tricorder?

Jeannie:
Hai. But I loaned to Vonny to use on her yacht as a fish finder.

Yvonne:
Can I get the nummy cakes with the slather on top AND the tuna sub, nya?

Mike:
(sigh!) Thanks for watching The Mew everybody! We’ll be back with more next
month, and in 2 months it’ll be our special 2nd anniversary show!
(the catgirls in unison):
Happy tails to mew, until we eat again! BaiBai, nya!

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