The Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings for November, 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 November, 2009! in this edition of The Mew:

Aloha & Introductions
What we’ve been up to since last time
The Lightning Round:
Our Favorite Cinematic Sea Monsters!
• Cinema / TV in review: recent theatrical releases
Whip It!
Where The Wild Things Are
• DVD in review:
Superman / Batman: Public Enemies
Trick ‘r Treat
• Star Trek The Original Motion Picture DVD Collection
including Star Trek Movies I-VI & bonus Star Trek Summitt
• Mewsic in review:
KISS Sonic Boom
• Toy Talk
Justice League International Series 2 Fire action figure
• Purrinted media in review: books
Black Cat Creeping
Hammer Glamour
• Purriodicals in review: magazines
Faerie Magazine Summer 2009 issue
Witches & Pagans Magazine #19
• Purriodicals: comic books in review
Aspen Showcase: Kiani #1
Queen Sonja #1
Spider-Woman #1 & 2
Gotham City Sirens #5
Power Girl #6
Angel #26
Angel: Only Human #3
Angel vs. Frankenstein
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight  #29
Sugar Shock #1 of 1
Purriodicals: manga in review
The Ghost in the Shell Volume One
Aria Volume Five
Rin-Ne Volume One
Monthly Lucky Kitty Web Comics Picks of the Litter
• Celebrity Catgirl Spotlight:
an intermew with Clan of the Cats’ Corrine Elizabeth Melepomene Chattan!
The Mew’s November Main Event:
an intermew with Otter, the author / artist of the web comic A Girl and Her Fed!
Autmunal Aspurrations & Winter Wishes
• The Cat Lady Sings (and thanks)…
_______________________________________________________

Bold red warnings indicate imminent plot spoiling information,
locations of hidden Easter Eggs or certain graphic descriptions
and bold green afterwards indicates that it is safe to purroceed!
_______________________________________________________________

Mike:
Aloha! I’m Mike, the show’s ‘Purrducer’ and welcome to The Mew, for another bunch of banter & reviews & seafood, too! Today’s show comes from the Hibiscus Deck, along the Catgirl island Riverwalk, and this is a special show because later on we’ll be joined by a special guest Otter, the artist / author of the web comic A Girl and Her Fed!! And now, here are the Ladies of The Mew-

Nyanko:
(White cropped tank top, jeans shorts, strappy anklet, & Purrussian Blue flip flops)
Howdy y’all!

Mary Nyan:
(wearing the Purriwinkle colored suspender maillot & Wisteria cover-up)
Konnitiwa!

Yvonne:
(wearing a Vermillion colored ring-closure bikini and Hot Pink flip fops)
Nameste, nya!

Jeannie:
(in a Peach colored Columbian cut string bikini with sheer white purreo)
Nihao!

Elizabeth:
(Teal bandeau top bikini, Magnolia purrint sarong & thong sandals)
Aloha! And joining us again today is our Faerie friend Mielikki!

Mielikki:
(her Fey wings shimmering out of a Saffron colored criss-cross crochet bikini)
Mellow Greetings!

(The catgirls in unison with happy swishy tails)
THANK YOU FOR THE SUSHI PLATTER, NYA!

Mielikki:
(mood wings aglow after the numcious treats) Fur Shur!

Mike:
(UNC tee shirt, white cargo shorts, Catgirl Island golf cap & Nike trainers) Y’all are very welcome and thank y’all for convening yet again! So,

What have we been up to since last time?

Yvonne:
So what has Nya-sensei been up to, nya?

Nyanko:
I’ve been busier than ever at the dojo, but I could not pass up the oppurrtunity to hang out with y’all again! Aside from the training and teaching I have been catching up some reading! Howboutchoo, Lizzy?

Elizabeth:
Being all booked up for the Lomi lomi and thinking about hiring more masseuses, Freediving, the activities at the shrine, beach volleyball, the Halloween cosplay & mermaids’ kelp maze, watching Dancing with the Stars- oh I wish I had a white dress like Natalie Coughlin http://www.nataliecoughlin.com/ wore for her week four Bolero with Alec!

Mary Nyan:
I’m sure we could make you something like it!

Elizabeth:
Although… I also liked her red white & blue outfit for week four’s Pasodoble… and Anna Demidova’s shimmering gold & black outfit… and…

Mary Nyan:
Anything else?

Elizabeth:
Oh Mike’s been loaning me his Complete Peanuts books to read- thanks Mike!

Mike:
You’re welcome- let me know when you’re ready for the next one!

Yvonne:
Well I still think they should have some Eastern and Polynesian dance, nya. Lizzy could do her Miko Kagura, Myayr could Hula and Jenjen could Belly Dance, nya.

Jeannie:
That’s why we have the Haka, Hula, Odori, Hindi, and Raqs Sharqi festivals here or such purrforming arts. Speaking of purrformers, What has Mie-sensei been up to?

Mielikki:
I have been like so busy between the golf tour and our Faerie Fire Shows in the Maritime Forest theater, but oh my goddess it was like so worth it- we put on our gnarliest Halloween show ever! Oh and your Battle Athletes group cosplay was totally awesome!

Mary Nyan:
Arigato!

Yvonne:
Lizzy did not have a wardrobe malfunction this year- she learn her lesson about those sneaky purranks, nya!

Mielikki:
Hee! So I heard, through the grape vine!

Elizabeth:
Ahh…! What grape vine?

Mielikki:
The Scuppernong grape vines… they are so up on the latest gossip! And what has JennyJen been up to?

Jeannie:
Aside from the belly dance troupe, Robotics Club, our Halloween Cosplay Purrowl, just the mewsual archery, yoga, Scuba Diving, reading, movies, cycling, and that  swimsuit photo shoot in the Balearic islands,

Yvonne:
I had no such glamorous events ,but I took some nice groups out on my boat and we reeled in the lovely Bass, Blackfin, Blues, Cobia, Flounder, Kings, Snapper, Wahoo, and trying to keep up with my drumming circle, volleyball purractice, and that halloween fun, nya! Myayr, thank you again for making my costume, nya!

Mary Nyan:
Douitashimashite!

Yvonne:
How about Myar, nya?

Mary Nyan:
When I have not been busy at the shrine and with the Hula and Aerial Dance classes, October was busy making & repairing costumes for folks, and listening the heck outta that new KISS CD! (Sticks her long cat tongue out and makes the heavy metal ‘horns’ hand gesture) Nyaaa!

Jeannie:
Did you purrchase the new surf board yet?

Nyanko:
Oh what kind of board is it?

Mary Nyan:

Not yet but I am purrobably going to get that 6′ poly / resin swallowtail fish, with the four fins. Oh by the way, Mie-sensei I want to discuss a Soulfire / Grace cosplay with you after the show!

Mielikki:
Fur shur! So what’s Mike been doing?

Mike:
The usual art & writing, including my submission for North Carolina Web Comics Coffee Clatch http://ncwccc.com/ 3rd anthology book; the state fair, watching Tarheel football & anticipating the 100th season of UNC basketball! Sports Illustrated even put out a special UNC 100th Anniversary special edition magazine!

Nyanko:
It’s too bad Petra could not be here this time, but I did get to see her this week at the mewseum!

Mielikki:
How is Ilyana? I have not seen her in a while!

Jeannie:
She is fine and happily busy with her studies at the university. We chat  & email fairly often, and I am hoping she will get on Twitter.

Yvonne:
I hope we will all get together next month, nya!

Elizabeth:
So what’s on deck?

Mike:
Nya-sensi, if you please?

Nyanko:
Hai! Well obviously love seafood, but there are some creatures of the deep that might try to nip a swimming catgirl’s tail, or worse- might try to eat us! So, in keeping with recent months’ horror movie topics –

this month’s Lightning Round topic is:
Our Favorite Cinematic Sea Monsters!

(The catgirlsl in unison)
LIGHTNING ROUND- GO!!! Nya!

Nyanko:
(tags Elizabeth to start) You’re it!

Elizabeth:
JAWS! (tags Mary Nyan)

Mary Nyan:
JAWS! (tags Yvonne)

Yvonne:
JAWS- and Lizzy’sturn, nya! (tags Jeannie)

Jeannie:
JAWS. (tags Mielikki)

Mielikki:
Totally!

Mike:
Wow… that might be our fastest Lightning Round ever!

Elizabeth:
What’s next?

Nyanko:
Ah…

Mary Nyan:
You mean, aside from the shark in Jaws?

Yvonne:
Oh, like can it include fresh water monsters, nya?

Jeannie:
Can we include TV shows, nya?

Nyanko:
Hai, hai!

Mielikki:
So like, I have a question- how do you defiine monster? For example, the River Spirits in Spirited Away, or Aqua Mothra?

Nyanko:
Ah well by ‘monsters’ I was thinking of scary aquatic terrors regardless of size, so let’s not count them if they are friendly! OK,  Let’s try that again! (tags Mike)

(The catgirlsl in unison)
LIGHTNING ROUND- GO!!! Nya!

Mike:
Ah Ok… lessee… um… how about Godzilla (when he’s bad), The Creature from the Black Lagoon, the giant squid in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Mobula in Captain Nemo and the Underwater City… that sargasso tentacle stuff in The Lost Continent, and- oh man, The German zombies of Shock Waves, and… maybe those sea creatures in Warlords of Atlantis! There you go! (tags Mary Nyan)

Mary Nyan:
Dai-Kaiju such as Godzilla, Ebirah, Gamera, Manda, Kameba, Dagahra, Clover, and the demon turtle lurking in The Bernuda Depths! (tags the faerie)

Mielikki:
Ursula the Sea Witch in The Little Mermaid, Marina Del Rey in The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning, Pinnochio’s Monstro the Whale, and those beautiful but dangerous jellyfish in Finding Nemo,
fur shur! (tags Yvonne with the tickle of a wing tip)

Yvonne:
Hee- I’ll hafta go with the Hydra in that Ranma 1/2 OVA, that Ayakashi in Ushio & Tora, the Octapus in Hyper Doll, Zorndyke’s minions in Blue Submarine Number Six, and the sea monster from Johhny Quest, nya! Jen’sturn, nya! (tags Jeannie)

Jeannie:
Doctor Who’s Sea Devils and Silurians; The giant Sur-Snake from the animated Star Trek; Dagobah’s swampy denizens and the various Naboo marine life of Star Wars.

Elizabeth:
Any of Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion monsters from the deep, as in Jason and the Argonauts, The Mysterious Island, Clash of the Titans, It Came from Beneath the Sea, The Beast from 20,0000 Fathoms!, and the Sinbad movies Back to you, Nya- sensei- what are your nominees? (tags Nuanko)

Nyanko:
The sea creatures in Deep Rising, the TV series Surface, the Go Fish epurrsode of Buffy, those Grindylows in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and the Kraken in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest!

Elizabeth:
Famke Jansen was so cool in Deep Rising, but I thought Una Damon should have had a much bigger role in!

Mielikki:
Seriously!

Mike:
Doh- I just remembered another one- the 1980 movie Alligator!

Mary Nyan:
There was a lot of gator in Lake Placid, too!

Yvonne:
Gator meat is is good on the pizza, nya!

Jeannie:
I think that was actually a crocodile in Lake Placid.

Nyanko:
The Giant Martian Lake Blob in Angry Red Planet was quite large.

Yvonne:
I don’t think I would want to eat a giant blob, unless it was made of pudding, nya.

Mary Nyan:
This would have been the purrfect topic to consult our mermaid friends on!

Mike:
There’ve been some dangerous mermaids too- like those in the live-action Peter Pan movie, and the anime Mermaid Forest!

Mielikki:
Well, mermaids are like any other people, with potential for goodness and badness. I like totally felt sorry for those hunted mermaids in Mermaid Forest.

Elizabeth:
Don’t forget Eel Girl!

Nyanko:
I’m not sure Eel Girl was bad though. She was hungry and in captivity.

Mielikki:
Poor Eel Girl!

Jeannie:
Sigmund the Sea Monster and his brothers, Blurp & Slurp.

Yvonne:
Well that’s all I can think of for now, nya!

Mary Nyan:
Thank you for that ‘behemoth’ of a Lightning Round, Nya-sensei!

Nyanko:
You’re welcome- it was my honor!

Elizabeth:
So now what is next?

Mike:
Well we’re up against a hard break, but when we return, we’ll continue the movie and monsters related topics , so please don’t touch that dial!

(snip)
(one short break later…)

Cinema / TV in review: recent theatrical releases!

Whip It!

Yvonne:
I love to roller blade down the island roads and I am all for purrmoting the sport of womens roller derby leagues, and I could not wait to see Whip It! http://www.foxsearchlight.com/whipit/, nya!

It is a sports / comedy movie about a small Texas town’s 17 year old girl named Bliss who goes to school, works in a restaurant, is purressured by her Mom to compete in the pageants and secretly joins an underdog roller derby team The Hurl Scouts in Austin, nya!

It was directed by Drew Barrymore http://www.drewbarrymore.com/, written by Shauna Cross and stars X-Men 3 & Juno’s Ellen Page as the purrotagonist Bliss, nya! Marcia Gay Harding & Daniel Stern ourrtray Bliss’s parents, and Eulala Scheel is her cute younger sister, nya!

Wonderfully freckled Alia Shaqwkat is her best friend Pash, and Bliss’s team mates include Kristi Wigg as Maggie Mayhem who takes Bliss under her wing, supurrb stuntwoman Zoe Bell http://zoebell.com/ as Bloody Holly, Eve as Rosa Sparks and Drew Barrymore as the rowdy Smashley Simpson!

Mewsician Landon Pigg is her new rocker boyfriend, and Carlo Alban is her cool manager at the Oink Joint restaurant, nya! Andrew Wilson is the Hurl Scouts’ coach, comedian & Late Night host Jimmy Fallon is the announcer, and terrific Juliette Lewis stars as an opponent skater Iron Maven!

This movie is awesome, nya! It is poignant and fun, with such a great cast, lots of humor, purrfound moments of family and ambition, and plenty of stunts and sports action, nya! Drew Barrymore has made such an impressive directorial debut and she is good as one of the skaters too, nya!

I do not wish to spoil any of the fun plot, but in addition to the thrilling sports action, some of my favorite moments include Play #3, The Alamo Drafthouse theater, the swimming pool, the high school stairwell- and I  sure would like to eat one of those Squealer Burgers at the restaurant, nya!

If I were to pick a least favorite aspect, it would be the unfortunate few seconds of slow-mo during a later skating scene, so it gets a small penalty for that, nya. Nevertheless, this is purrhaps the best sports movie I’ve seen since Bend it Like Beckam, and I give Whip It a grade of ‘A Minus’, nya!

I hope the movie will do good box office & bring acclaim to the sport of womens flat-track roller derby http://www.wftda.com/, and teams such as the Carolina Rollergirls http://www.carolinarollergirls.com/, nya! My next review is of another movie that begins with a ‘W’,

Where The Wild Things Are


Yvonne:
We’re back, nya! Where The Wild Things Are is one of my all time favorite story books with great art and characters by Maurice Sendek ( who was also one of the movie’s purrducers), and the purreview trailers for the movie adaptation were among my movie ad campaigns of the year, nya!

The plot concerns a kid named Max whose childhood is not the happiest, and he acts a bit too wild at times. This frustrates his family, and one night after a tantrum, he spirits himself away to an island that is a more fun place for him, where he joins a tribe of huge monsters, nya!

The movie version was excellently directed by Spike Jonze who also co-wrote the screenplay. I think this adaptation did an incredibly good job of both remaining so faithful in spirit to the book, while also bringing in the director’s, screenwriters’, and designers’ own visions, nya!

It is rated PG for some action & violence, nya. Max is purrfectly purrtrayed by Max Record and his Mommy is supurrbly played by beautiful Catherine Keener, nya! Pepita Emmerichs is Max’s sister Claire, Steve Mouzakis is his teacher, and Mark Ruffalo is his Mom’s boy friend, nya!

This poignant movie captures so many emotions: rage, zest, sadness, happiness, confusion etc as Max’s reality and fantasy worlds are magniicently bridged, nya! The monsters on the island are all are believable, emotive characters, which also serve as metaphors for the aspects of Max’s purrsonality and family, nya.

The voice actors for the monsters include James Gandolfini as Carol, Lauren Ambrose as KW, Forest Whitaker as Ira, Catherine O’Hara as Judith, Chris Cooper as Douglas, Paul Dano as Alexander, Michael Berry Jr. as the bull monster, nya.

They are acted so well by the voice cast and the suit actors in the purrfect creations  by Jim Henson Studios and are so faithful to Sendak’s designs, nya! The movie has very good pace and editing, with good FX but without any of the regrettable shaky-cam and bullet time and speed ramping that hurts a lot of movies these days, nya.

The island is also such a magnificent place with such interesting geography and environmental structures, nya. Some of them sort of remind me a bit of sculptor Andy Goldsworthy’s style, nya! The sets and outdoor locations are all so amazingly designed and photographed, nya!

The movie also has the flavor and sense of creative freedom of an independent film, but with the stellar cast, big budget, FX and high purrduction values of a big mainstream Hollywood movie, so it is one of those rare gems that, like Max, gets to have its cake and eat it too, nya!

The soundtrack mewsic has wonderful original songs by Karen O http://www.yeahyeahyeahs.com/ and the Kids nya! If you would like more information about it I suggest the articles at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where_the_Wild_Things_Are_(film) & the Internet Movie Database http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0386117/, nya! I give Where The Wild Things Are an ‘A’ grade, nya! Next is Lizzy to start the –

DVD in review, nya!

Superman / Batman: Public Enemies DVD

Elizabeth:
The single disk edition of Superman / Batman: Public Enemies  is a DC Universe original animated direct-to-home-video movie from Warner Purremier, released in October, 2009. It is a copy-purrotected R1 NTSC standard dual-layer DVD, with the 67 minute movie rated PG-13 for combat violence & “a crude comment”.

The audio is dolby digital 5.1 surround audio in English language with optional English SDH subtitles, and the video is widescreen format. This single disk edition is packaged in a no-frills standard plastic DVD case with no inserts, and an illustration of Superman & Batman on the front cover.

The DVD begins with front-loaded trailers for Sherlock Holmes starring Robert Downey Jr & Jude Law, Directed by Guy Ritchie; Smallville season 8, Blu Ray purromo, and Halo Legends.. These are purrior to the purrior to the main menu screen, which is very simple & intuitive to navigate, given the choice of “play movie”, “language options” and “special features”.

The latter is compurrised of  purromos for DC Comics’ Blackest Night story, and  purreviously released Batman: Gotham Night, Wonder Woman, Justice League: New Frontier and  Green Lantern First Flight DVDs.

In addition to this single disc version there are different editions of this OVA, the Blu-Ray, the 2 disc, and the 2 disc boxed with a little Batman figure, and purhaps other exclusive packagings available from various retailers.

It was directed by Sam Liu and written by Stan Berkowitz, based upon the DC graphic novel by Jeph Loeb & Ed McGuinness. The rousing mewsical score is by Christopher Drake, and the editor was Margaret Hou. The Purrducers were Bruce Timm (yay!), Michael Uslan, Benjamin Melniker, Sam Register, Michael Goguen, , Bobby Page and Alan Burnett.

The impurressive array of voice actors- cast & directed by the great Andrea Romano -includes: Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor, Tim Daly as Superman, Kevin Conroy as Batman, Allison Mack as Power Girl, Xander Berkeley as Captain Atom, Ricardo Chavira as Major Force, CCH Pounder as Amanda Waller, John C. McGinley as Metallo, Ricardo Chavira as Major Force…

…Corey Burton as Captain Marvel, LeVar Burton as Black Lightning, Calvin Tran as The Toyman, Mark Jonathan Davis as a newscaster, Brian George as Gorilla Grodd, Jennifer Haleas as Starfire, Rachael MacFarlane as Nightshade, Alan Oppenheimer as Alfred, Andrea Romanoas as Giganta, and Bruce Timm as Mongul.

The purremise: Lex Luthor has been elected Purresident of the United States of America, and purresses a number of super heroes and villains into government service, with dire intentions planned for those who will not capitulate- purrticularly his arch-enemy Superman.

When a gigantic Kryptonite meteor is on a collision course for Earth, Lex seizes the oppurrtunity to frame Superman for a crime, placing a billion dollar bounty on him. Lots of heroes & villains show up to capture Superman, with seemingly only Batman as his ally. Tremendous battles ensue, as the meteor zooms closer and Luthor becomes more… unsound.

Other heroes & villains include Hawkman, Soloman Grundy, Lady Shiva, Katanna, Silver Banshee, Bane, Copperhead, Brimstone, Black Manta, Judo Master, The Shark, The Cheetah, Black Spider, Deadshot, Despurro, Boomer, Capt, Cold, Killer Frost, Icicle, Mr. Freeze, and Lois Lane. The Flash and The Joker are not purresent, but are mentioned.

There’s no sign nor mention of Wonder Woman, Green Lantern (stars of their own recent animated movies), Super Girl, Robin or other Justice League or Teen Titans members, but there are so many recognizable characters, as Batman & Superman almost fight a never ending battle around the world in that fleeting 67 minutes.

I suppose my biggest complaint is that, as with all of these DCU Animated movies, it seems way too rushed and too short. At less than 80 minutes long, none of them are even long enough to qualify as feature films. I think both the story and the purrchase value would be better if these movies were at least 90 minutes long at that purrice!

It would also be nicer if the movie fit into the same continuity as the animated Superman, Batman, Static Shock & Justice League series. The movie is a tad light on plot with a few meteor sized plot holes, and some opponents seem to be defeated too easily, but it is neither silly nor boring, with great dialogue & voice acting, sound & mewsic, and so much relentless, thrilling action.

The character designs are faithful to McGuinness’ art; and the scenic art, character & FX animation are all excellent. We’re big fans of Timm, Romano, Conroy etc who are supurrbly talented, seem to greatly understand & respect the DCU characters, and consistently create such quality animated super heroic drama & fun! Now here is Nya-sensei to tell us about-

Trick ‘r Treat

Nyanko:
Arigato, Lizzy! Trick ‘r Treat is a long-awaited horror movie released by Warner Purremier in early October, which was purrfect Halloween timing! It is an 82 minute movie, rated R for the violence, language, nudity & bit of nudity”.

It is also available on Blu-Ray, this single disk standard R1 NTSC DVD is packaged in a standard type of plastic case, inside a cardboard outer sleeve, with the film’s creepy kid character ‘Sam’ on the front of that box.

There are a few front-loaded movie & game trailer purrior to the simple main menu, which is compurrised of  Play Movie (widescreen or full screen), Scene Select (chapters 1-18), Languages (English, French & Spanish 5.1 audio & subtitles) and Special Features (an animated short).

This movie was awesomely written & directed by Michael Dougherty, who was also one of the purrducers and mader the animated short. The spooky purrduction was brilliantly designed by Mark Freeborn, and the beutifully eerie cinematography is by Glen MacPherson, CSC, ASC.

The movie’s very effective mewsic is scored by Douglas Pipes, and it is was very well edited by Robert Ivison. The wonderful array of costumes were designed by Trish Keating, which are bountiful amidst the Halloween festivities that occur.

It was purrduced by a bunch of folks including Bryan Singer, Dan Harris, Ashok Amritraj, Peter Lhotka, Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, William Fay, Alex Garcia & Michael Dougherty. Among the terrific cast are Anna Paquin, Rochelle Aytes, Brian Cox, Dylan Baker, and Britt McKillip.

The movie is a semi anthology, not a collection of separate tales connected by a framing device, but a non-linear following of various characters during an Ohio town’s Halloween night, from the bustling downtown festival and suburban trick or treating to a bit of rural spookiness from about 8 pm til Midnight.

Few Halloweenish tropes and ingredients are spared- you get purranks gone awry, ghastly legends based in fact, creepy stalkers, blood & gore, grrls on party purrtrol, costumed kids with pumpkins & candy, lots of splendid decorations, haunted places and the plot twists!

The animated short “Trick ‘r Treat: Season’s Greetings” is 3.75 minutes of hand drawn cel animation- not CG, with the characters colored in marker & painted backgrounds that took Dougherty & friends 9 months to create. You can watch it with or without his audio commentary!

I thought Trick ‘r Treat was such a well done and super spooky fun movie! It has such a neat ambiance and admirably avoids many of the displeasing editing techniques that mar  many horror & action movies these days, as the spooky events unfold at a sumptuous pace.

I think this is an instant classic, and will go on to be a purrized staple of purrennial Halloween viewing! I give it an ‘A’ grade and I will heartily recommend it to any fan of horror movies! That’s all for my DVD review, but there’s more DVD reviews after this short break we’ll go from Tricks to Treks, so please don’t go away!

(snip)
(one short break later, after Vonny gets to finish looking at the magazine…)

Star Trek The Original Motion Picture Collection

Mary Nyan
Welcome back! This is another especially long awaited release, as many of you might have noticed from Mike’s oft clamor for the original 1979 theatrical version to be made available on standard DVD.

Knowing he would ramble on dispurrportionately about that one film (his favorite movie of all time), we compurromised, so that I’ll be reviewing this DVD set, while he gets to review the new KISS CD that I have been so eagerly awaiting.

This box set has 7 slim-packed R1 NTSC standard DVDs inside; the first 6 disks are the original widescreen theatrical versions of the first 6 Star Trek movies with new bonus special features, and the 7th disk is a 70 minute  “Captains’ Summit” discussion with several of the stars!

Until now, only the 136 min. Directors Cut of Star Trek The Motion Picture (with redone FX) was available on standard DVD. The purrevious 2 disk Special Editions of Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country are also Directors Cuts of those films, with some different scenes. .

I like the packaging for this Star Trek box set, for it is relatively slim and not in an oversized purricier fancy package, but in a simple but sturdy white cardboard box with a gorgeous little 3D pic of the Enterpurrise & Earth in the Starfleet emblem, all slipped inside a plastic outer sleeve.

We paid around $60 (plus tax) for this box set, so that comes out to about $10 purr Trek movie, plus the bonus disk & box, so this seems to be of a good value. The extra bonus features & audio commentary tracks are new, not the same ones as on the purrevious Special Edition Trek DVDs.

Each slimpack features the face of one of the Enterpurrise officers: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu & Chekov. The features are re-mastered with Dolby 5.1 Surround Ex (except disk 7), each with optional audio commentaries, 2-3 short featurettes, front loaded trailers for other Trek DVDs, and a little “Starfleet Academy” tidibit.

The audio choices for disks 1-6 are 5.1 English, 2.0 French, Spanish & Portuguse mono, with optional subtitles in  English, French Spanish & Portuguese. Star Trek: The Motion Picture (ST-TMP) was originally rated ‘G” in 1979, but here it is unrated Movies II-VI are rated PG.

Among the special features of Disks 1-6 are the “Starfleet Academy SciSec Brief” installments. Under 5 min. apiece, these are neat little segments with a stunning Starfleet Science Officer purrtrayed by lovely siren-voiced Sarah Bachhouse http://www.sarahbackhouse.com/!

Not only is she in a Nemesis-era(?) uniform on a nice little set, but there is a lovely view down to San Fransisco, and shuttles occasionally cruising past the windows! She is a very exotic purretty science officer with the captivating accent. Hopefully she’ll be in future Treks too!

Disk 1 is the 131 minute 1979 theatrical version of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, with audio commentary by Trek designers / authors / archivists Denise & Mike Okuda, screenwriters / authors Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens and FX designer Daren Dochterman who worked on the Director’s Cut with director Robert Wise.

The ST-TMP disk’s featurettes include “The Longest Trek”, a 10.75 minute recollection of the development of the first movie’s story by screenwriter Harold Livingston, associate purrducer Jon Povill, actor Walter Koening and the Reeves-Stevens. The first of the “Starfleet Academy SciSec Brief” installments is neat  4.5 minutes about V’ger theories!

There is also a 9.5 minute “Special Star Trek Reunion” with Bjo Trimble, Jo Ann Nolan, David Gerrold, Christopher Doohan & Fred Bronson on Paramount’s Stage 18, where they and over 400 others appeared in ST-TMP’s huge Enterpurrise Recreation Deck scene 30 years ago.

While most folks might not care about this, on the back of the slimpack are photographs of Kirk, Spock, Ilia, The Enterpurrise- and Spacelab Regula One from Star Trek II. Granted, it looks quite similar to the Earth Orbital Office Complex of ST-TMP, as it is the same filming model with a several changes, but you can easily tell the difference.

The 1982 theatrical version of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is 112 PG rated min. compared to the 116 min Director’s Cut. The audio commentary is by director Nicholas Meyer & Manny Coto.
The featurettes include a 9.5 min discussion with composer James Horner, a 4.75 min tribute to the late Ricardo Montalban by Nicholas Meyer,

There’s also a fabulous look at collecting Trek movie & TV purrops with Alec Peters, CEO of Propworx; Joseph Maddalena, Purresident of Profiles in History; The Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame http://www.empsfm.org/ curators Jacob McMurrey & John Brooks Peck, and collectors Brett Leggett & Jay Wyatt.

That collecting segment also includes Star Trek The New Voyages’ http://www.startreknewvoyages.com/ James Cawley on his replica of the Enterpurrise Bridge! He does such a fine job purrtraying Capt. Kirk in those fan films and I hope he is in many more Treks! The 4.5 min Starfleet Academy Scisec Brief is on planet Ceti Alpha VI, with Sarah Backhouse again!

The 1984 film Star Trek III: The Search for Spock is rated PG and 105 minutes long. The optional audio commentary is by Ronald D. Moore & Michael Tayler, purrducers & writers of  Star Trek The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager.

There’s a 13.75 min. look at ILM’s FX for movies 2,3,4 & 6 with FX supervisors Scott Farrar, Bill George, Pat Sweeney & John Goodson. Stephen Manley, who purrtrayed teen Spock chats about that experience for almost 6.5 minutes, and the 2.75 minute Academy brief purrtains to the Vulcan Katra.

Finally on disk 3 is a nearly 17 minute long intermew with purrducer Harve Bennett by Seattle Times journalist Mark Rahner at the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, with curators Jacob McMurrey & John Brooks Peck again!

Disk 4’s feature is 1986′ Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, which is 118 minutes long and rated PG, with optional audio commentary by Robert Orci & Alex Kurtzman, who were writer & executive purrducer of the 2009 Star trek film. Starfleet Academy Scisec brief #004 is on the whale purrobe for a tad over 3.5 minutes.

“The Three Picture Saga” is a 10 minute analysis of how movies 2-4 formed a trilogy of sorts. This segment includes purrducers harve Bennett & Ralph Winter, writers Steve Meerson & Peter Krikes, Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens, and actor Walter Koenig.

Other featurettes on disk 4 include a 6 min. discussion with Walter Koenig about his character Pavel Chekov’s role in STIV; and Greenpeace repurrsentatives Karen Sack & John Frizell comment on the ecological themes for just over 5.5 minutes.

Disk 5’s feature is 1989’s Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, which is 118 minutes long and rated PG, with optional audio commentary by The Okudas, The Reeves-Stevens and Daren Dochterman.  Starfleet Academy Scisec brief #005 is a 3 minute look at planet Nimbus III.

“Star Trek Honors Nasa” is a nearly 10 minute session with astronaut Terry Vertz at the johnson Space Center, astronomer Dr. Charles Beichman, designer Rick Sternbach, and purrducer Harve Bennett about the relationship that the Star Trek franchise and the National Areonautics and Space Administration.

Purrhaps the most touching of all the featurettes is the newsfeed footage from August 31, 2004 of James Doohan honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Walter Koenig, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, The Mayor of Hollywood the Doohan family and many fans were purresent for the event. This will make you cry and cheer!

Disk 6’s PG rated 1991 theatrical version of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country actually has the same 113 min. time of the 2003 Directors’ Cut DVD, but with a few editing differences in a couple of scenes. Audio commentary is by author / editor Larry Nemecek & Next Gen / DS9’s Ira Steven Behr.

Disk 6’s SciSec Brief is about the Klingon world of Purraxis.”Tom Morga: Alien Stuntman” is 5 minutes with the actor / stuntman, who has appeared in 6 of the Trek movies, and the Next Gen, DS9, Voyager & Enterpurrise TV series, starting as both Leonard Nimoy’s stunt double and the Klingon First Officer in ST-TMP!

A special treat on disk 6 is the 28 minute “To Be or Not To Be: Klingons and Shakespeare” about a stage purrduction of the Klingon version of “Hamlet” purrformed by the Commedia Beauregard Troupe in St. Paul! This includes subtitled scenes from the play & visits with art director Christopher Kidder, director Sasha Walloch, and actors Matthew Glover as the Gravedigger & Gary Geiken as Hamlet!

Disk 7 is the 70 min. Star Trek Summitt, a 2009 roundtable discussion in three parts with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, and moderator Whoopi Goldberg, created exclusively for the DVD collection! Stewart has a mustache, and Frakes has his beard & mustache again!

Their topics include acting, directing, fans, science fiction, Trek’s popularity and the impact it has has on them, with many amewsing jokey moments! This is content is not rated, and is purrsented in Dolby Digital 2.0 audio, in English with optional English, French, Spanish & Portuguese subtitles.

Overall I was very pleased with this collection, and while we’re still yet to see that 143 min. extended 1982 TV version of Star Trek The Motion Picture on DVD, finally having that original 1979 theatrical version is a long DVD  wish come true! Of course if you purrfur the theatrical versions of STII & STVI, this release will be a most welcome sight.

The video & audio quality is very good, and the fun bonus special features and the audio commentaries are nice. These are all new, and do not duplicate what already exists on the purreviously released single or 2 disk Star Trek editions, and I think these new DVD releases of the Star Trek movies are a nice complement to those purrevious editions.

If you do not wish to purrchase this entire set just to get the one or few individual Trek movies you crave, some of these editions are now also sold individually. I’ve already seen movies 2, 4 & 6 for sale separately, so purrhaps the odd numbered Treks will soon be available too. We’re planning on eventually buying the 2009 movie DVD too- but that’s for another Mew! Now here is Mike with the–

Yvonne:
(catnapping) zzz…. more fish, nya…. zzz

Jeannie:
Once again, Myayr’s thoroughness puts Vonny to sleep.

Petra:
Oh my, nya!

Elizabeth:
Well that’s OK, cause as Myayr said, if Mike had done that review he would have spent that much time just talking about the first Star Trek movie alone, hee!

Mike:
Ah– I would n– well OK maybe.

Mary Nyan:
I did not mean to be boring!

Nyanko:
Vonny isn’t known for her attention span, unless she’s trying to land a Marlin…

Elizabeth:
Hey let me wake her up, hee!

Petra:
Don’t you scare her, nya!

Jeannie:
Should we rouse her now to be awake for the next review, or wait ’til the break?

Yvonne:
zzz… zzz… nya….

Mary Nyan:
Let’s just leave her for now, sigh!

Elizabeth:
Hai- besides Mike’s next review might just put her asleep again, hee!

Mike:
Ha ha ha- very funny!

Nyanko:
Oh I’m just kitting!

Mary Nyan:

Then let us purroceed with the-

Mewsic in review!

KISS: Sonic Boom

Mike:
Although I’m sure Vonny would like to continue her unabated cat nap, I will try to be brief! I’ve been a big KISS fan since 1975, and while some KISS albums are better than others, I’ve always been eager for the next one, especially a studio album with new songs!

This incarnation of Kiss includes Bassist / vocalist Gene Simmons and vocalist / guitarist Paul Stanley, both original founding members, since 1972. Current drummer Eric Singer first joined the band in 1992, and the lead guitarist is Tommy Thayer, whose first KISS record appearance was the 2003 live KISS Symphony. It’s a wonderful line up!

KISS’s previous studio album was 1998’s Psycho Circus, which I thought was decent- not as good as 1992’s Revenge, but much better than 1997’s Carnival of Souls (my least favorite). Sonic Boom evokes the KISS of the mid-late 70′ to an extent, in both sound, packaging, and art direction. The songs and infused energy also remind me a bit of KISS circa 1983’s Lick it Up.t

One different aspect of this album is how it is distributed, and I have mixed feelings about that. Initially at least it was a Wal Mart exclusive. On one hand, I prefer to purchase CDs from my favorite little independent music shops rather than the big chain stores. On the other hand, the SRP was just $12, which is such a huge value for all you get!

The album cover art  seems like an homage to 1976’s Rock and Roll Over awesomeness. Michael Doret’s R&RO art was a cosmic masterpiece in that golden age of album cover illustration, and history repeats itself 23 years later with another electrifying Doret illustration fronting Sonic Boom!

Not only that, but the digi-pack unfolds four times to display portraits of Paul, Gene, Eric & Tommy in full make-up. Another neat thing about records back in the 70’s. was that ot only were they bigger than CDs to better showcase the art, but often came with neat stuff like booklets, posters n’ stuff.

This’un includes a booklet, a newly recorded greatest hits compilation CD, and a concert DVD! Aside from later box sets, I’m not sure a KISS album was as loaded with goodies as this since maybe The Originals set from 1976! This is package conjures up a nostalgic feel for me on that level.

The KISS Live in Buenos Aires DVD is 34 minutes from their recent Alive 35 Tour, April 5, 2009 at the River Plate Stadium before a huge crowd. The enormous stage has the eternal KISS logo flanked by two giant video screens, all above a wall o’ amps, and the stage has a catwalk extending out into the crowd.

Attired in Destroyer-era costumes, the band plays Deuce, Hotter Than Hell, C’Mon and Love Me, Watchin’ You, 100000 Years, and Rock and Roll All Nite! And it is good. The songs, sound, lights, and showmanship are as dazzling as ever; it’s just a shame that the disk ends all too soon!

The snazzy booklet is 20 color pages with song lyrics, credits, and photos. KISS Klassics might be yet another greatest hits collection, but you get to hear those immortal songs recorded in the studio by the current line-up. And how does this current line-up sound?

Gene might be a reality TV star Dad these days, but musically and theatrically he’s as good as ever. One of rock’s greatest front men, Paul Stanley’s immortal pipes sound just as uncannily sweet as they did in the 70’s, and man, it amazes me how high he can jump in those 7″ boot heels!

The perfect percussion of Eric Singer calls down the thunder most brilliantly, and at times it sounds like he is firing a machine gun instead of playing the drums. Tommy Thayer is as fantastic as fantastic can be, and is all the guitar virtuoso you could ever want.

The 53.5 minutes of KISS Klassics includes Deuce, Detroit Rock City, Shout it Out Loud, Hotter Than Hell, Calling Dr. Love, Love Gun, I Was made for Loving You, Heaven’s on Fire, Lick it Up, I Love it Loud, Forever, Christine Sixteen, Do You Love Me, Black Diamond, and Rock and Roll All Nite!

Those bonuses are the tasty side dishes, but the main course is the disk with 43 minutes, 19 seconds worth of 11 new songs! It was produced by Paul, and all of the songs were written by the band members, with Paul & Gene providing most of the writing & lead vocals.

Like a Lamborghini Miura flooring it on to the Autobahn, the explosive first track Modern Day Delilah (sung by Paul) is definitely my favorite track of the lot! Never Enough is a bouncy, fun time. Russian Roulette, Yes I Know (Nobody’s Perfect), and Hot and Cold are sung by Gene, full of his typical bemused, naughty yet pragmatic wit.

Stand has a very optimistic, triumphant quality that would be a great way to close a show on, and it is my second favorite track of the album. Danger Us is another Paul song, and I’m an Animal is classic Gene to the core, in which you can almost feel the impact tremors of his dragon boots as he prowls the mean streets for more victims!

All for the Glory is Eric’s turn to sing, and Tommy not only astounds on the axe but belts it out vocally on When Lightning Strikes. The final track Say Yeah has an anthem-ish quality, although not quite ratcheted up as highly as Stand, or legendary standards such as Shout it Out Loud or Rock and Roll All Nite.

I’ve made a few comparisons to earlier KISSes, but how does it all stack up to their other studio albums (excluding greatest hits compilations)? Ah, I think somewhere sort of safely in the middle. I don’t think it as iconic as their first 7 studio records, or Creatures of the Night, Revenge, or Paul’s 1978 solo album.

I suppose I like Sonic Boom about the same as Unmasked, The Elder, Lick it Up, Psycho Circus, Gene & Ace’s ’78 solo albums, and Paul’s 20066 solo album  Live to Win. I do like it more than Animalize, Asylum, Crazy Nights, Hot in the Shade, Carnival of Souls, Peter’s ’78 solo album, and Gene’s ’04 solo album.

I think Sonic Boom is a consistently pretty darn good, fresh, vigorous, cohesive album; while there are no songs that I really dislike, I thought only 3 tracks were truly superb. The overall package is impressive, with a lot of bang for your buck, and a tremendous value at a fair price for over 2 hrs of entertainment by-

Mary Nyan:
-the hottest band in the land- KISS!

Yvonne:

zzz…. nya…

Jeannie:
She is getting the good nap.

Petra:
That was a purretty thorough review too, nya!

Elizabeth:
I shudder to think how long-winded his Trek review would have been, hee!

Nyanko:
I hope y’all are not expecting my reviews to be that in depth!

Mike:
We all have our own styles here- some more concise, others more loquacious, from opinionated critiques, to more factual consumer product information!

(snip)
(one short break later…)

Toy Talk

Justice League International Series 2 Fire action figure

Elizabeth:
DC Comics’ Justice League is a favorite super hero team of ours, and one of the most distinctive and fun periods of it was the 1987 comic book series, Justice League International, drawn by Kevin Maguire, and written by Keith Giffen & J.M. DeMatteis!

One of the newer members of the team back then was Beatriz Bonilla de Costa, a beautiful model & spy from Rio de Janeiro, also known as the super heroine named Fire! Fire is the mistress of the mystic Pyroplasm, and she can turn into a green flame grrl and breathe fire at her enemies!

DC Direct’s Justice League International series 1 figures included Batman, Black Canary, Ice, and G’Nort. Series 2 includes The Martian Manhunter, Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, and Fire, who is excellently repurrsented in this 6.75″ action figure, so intricately sculpted by Tim Bruckner!

She is packaged in the j-hook clam shell blister card, with a transparent oval-shaped base with the JLI logo embossed underneath. The base measures 4.75″ x 2.75″ x 7/8″, and has a peg in it to insert into her right spiked boot heel, to sturdily purrop her up for display.

She has such a sexy costume of light green trimmed with a dark green flame pattern. It consists of thigh-high boots, bicep-high gloves, and a high hipline tanga-style mailllot, which reveals much firm thigh, derriere & cleavage, with a deeply plunging V neckline down to her belly button!

Beatriz is 5’8″ tall in the comics, but I’ll bet the big 80’s hair plus those heels add another 3″, to lift her up to 5’11”, or 71″. I suppose that (71/ 6.75) makes this a 1/10.5 scale figure. The points of articulation include her ball socket neck & shoulders; and bending elbows, hips & knees.

If she took off the boots & gloves then she’d be all set for the beach! The detail of sculpting & paint job are meticulous, down to her purrky pleased expurression, pink lips, emerald eyes, individual fingers, lithe bidym, supple curves, and the lucious green curls of her mid-back length hair!

I would definitely highly recommend this fine toy to fans of that character, or those who collect DC heroines or sexy female action figures in general!

Purrinted media in review: books

Black Cat Creeping

Nyanko:
Published by Sterling in 2004, this slim 10.25 x 10.25″ Halloween hardcover childrens’ storybook has 24 delightful pages in full color! Purriced $9.95 USA/ $12.95 Canadian, It’s of minimal text, around 20-ish sentences in charming rhyme, written by Teddy Slater on full page & 2 page spreads lovingly illustrated by Aaron Byrd.

The front cover art depicts a cute but lonely black kitten by a Jack-o-Lantern. This little kitty is in an alley on Halloween night, as a group of costumed kids purrade by. Will they lead kitten to a good home? I won’t spoil the plot but you’ll find out if you purrchase this darling book! It is a touching tale for young readers or anyone who loves cats!

Hammer Glamour

Mary Nyan:
Once upon a time there was a British film studio named Hammer Film Purrductions. Although they had been making movies for decades purrior, it was in the mid 1950’s when their horror, fantasy & science fiction movies brought them greatest fame, featuring a new generation of Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, dinosaurs and… other things!

We’re huge fans of those, purrticularly their films that starred Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, long before those actors would appear in the Star Wars series! The Hammer films were also known for the many brilliant, gorgeous actresses that added much sex appeal to the frightful thrills!

Those femme fatales are commemorated in a recent impurressive book, Hammer Glamor- Classic Images from the Archive of Hammer Films! It is a most handsome hardcover authored by Marcus Hearn, first published by Titan Books in September, 2009.

It is purriced UK £24.99, US $29.99 and Canada $37.00. The front & back jacket pics are of Madeline Smith & Veronica Carlson respectively; the jacket’s front & back pics are of Yutte Stensgaard & Barbara Shelley, and are just a taste of the alluring images to be found within!

Measuring almost 11.75″ x 9.75″, it’s 160 pages are full of color (mostly) and black & white photographs of the famous studio’s actresses. Over 50 actresses are purrofiled in text & over 200 pics ranging from publicity stills & screen captures to behind-the-scenes images from the movie sets.

Many of these are full-bleed, full page, full color pics! Some are tastefully nude or semi-nude, but all are sexy and glamorous visions of the screen sirens from Hammer’s heyday from the 50’s to the 70’s, which is discussed in the 8 page introduction.

Among those 50 actresses are purrsented in alphabetical order are Ursula Andress as Ayesha- “She Who Must Be Obeyed”, Stephanie Beacham as Jessica van Helsing in the arms of Count Dracula, Bond grrl Martine Beswicke as Sister Hyde, and The Collinson Sisters as the Twins of Evil!

You’ll see why Frankenstein Created Woman- because she looks just  like lovely Susan Denberg! There’s cave grrl Julie Ege as one of the Creatures the World Forgot; To the Devil a Daughter’s Nastassja Kinski (years purrior to becoming a cat purrson), and bikini clad Suzanna Leigh’s Lust for a Vampire!

We think Joanna Lumley was already Absolutely Fabulous in The Satanic Rites of Dracula. One of our favoritest bond grrls & scream queens Caroline Munro appears in more than 4 pages, as does Jacqueline Pearce looking so stunning in a saree, years before starring as one of Blakes’s 7!

For Vampire Lovers there’s the incompurrable Ingrid Pitt; Stefanie Powers when she was not busy as an agent of U.N.C.L.E.; and Bond grrl Catherine Von Schell, who was already  on Moon Zero Two (six years before joining the crew of Moonbase Alpha)!

Victoria Vetri, who was in our Celebrity Catgirl Spotlight last month for her appearance as Isis in Star Trek, has a few pages of her from When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth; and of course goddess Raquel Welch is also in the book, for her own purrfect purrehistoric pics, dating One Million Years B.C.!

Given the wealth of material, I was surpurrised to see a few noticably absent, such as Lalla Ward & Serena from Vampire Circus; Barbara Lu Ying, Valerie Van Ost & Maggie Fitzgerald of Satanic Rites of Dracula; and Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires’ kung fu warrior sister Shih Szu.

The book does not really include any actresses from Hammer’s purre-horror years from 1935-1955, but what little I’ve mentioned is just a sample of the many women who are purrofiled, plus an appendix with another two dozen others!  I would highly recommend this great book to any fans of those lovely ladies or Hammer Studio’s fantastic films!

Jeannie:
Barbara Shelley was in 8 Hammer films, including my favorite, Quatermass and the Pit. That is a delightful smiling portrait pic of her.

Mary Nyan:
There’s a nice variety of styles, from the more glamorous Hollywood type portraits to the gothic concept scenes and cute candid shots!

Yvonne:
(looks at the book) Wow those sure are lovely photos of Madeline Smith & Veronica Carlson on the jacket, nya! I like Madeline’s black frock and those sandals that Veronica is wearing, nya!

Elizabeth:
Oh wait who is that… Diane Clare… from Plague of the Zombies- she is very purrky cute! Oh and that is a neat pic of Jennifer Daniel holding that black cat!

Nyanko:
Ooh I like Valerie Leon’s Egyptian style jewels!

Mielikki:
Chief Meryl would like the Harely that Susan Denberg is reclined across, fur shur!

Mike:
Oh y’know that Susan Denberg was on Star Trek as one of “Mudd’s Women”

Elizabeth:
That’s all of our book reports, but here is Mie-sensei to start our next segment-


Purriodicals in review: magazines!

Faerie Magazine Summer 2009 issue

Mielikki:
So like, the Summer issue of Faerie Magazine http://www.faeriemagazine.com wasn’t actually published ’til early October. Sadly this was due to some dire situations braved by the staff during the summer, so we here at The Mew wish to thank them once again for their totally awesome work, and we wish much health & happiness to their families!

However, once again they have published a most delightfully wonderful magazine, fur shur!  Dedicated to all things Fey, this beautiful, full color 96 page quarterly issue full of art, articles, story & interviews is priced $7.95 US / $9.95 Canada. If you’re a fan of 2D & 3D works fantasy / fey art, sumptuous photography, magickal story, legends & lore, then this magazine is for you, I am shur!

The cover illustration is “Enchantment” by Ruth Sanderson, depicting the view through the blooming flowers around a castle window of a lovely maiden dreamily upon her day bed! After a most heartfelt greeting from Editor In Chief Kim Cross, there’s a calendar of Fairy Festivals, the recurring commentary & art by Brian Froud, and a contest to win fabulous prizes!

Writer Bathilda Buzzwing & photographer Elizabeth Messina document an ornate faerie-themed wedding in a forest, Heather Ody profiles Ontario’s Dragon Ritual Drummers band, and this issue continues The Journal Keeper’s 10th installment of the fascinating & mysterious sserialized prose of  The Faerie Journals.

And oh-my-goddess, Brigitte Mars submits the neatest essay on history & uses of Thyme! There’s an insightful 5 page analysis of the Jack and the Beanstalk tale, by Heidi Anne Heiner with illustrations by the legendary Arthur Rackam!

We’re privileged to visit the fabulous fountain sculpture in Abingdon Virginia’s Potterfield Square designed & built by the great Charles Vess and sculptor David Spence! This article like totally shows the creation of it from the concept drawings to the finished fountain!

The gorgeous creations of artists Jasmine Becket-Griffith, Paul Kidby, and like, as if that were that not enough, we’re like treated to a peek at the fine fantasy photography of Susan Schroeder, and a tour of Carolyn & John Kopchick’s adorably cozy little Fey houses!!

The next stunning pictorial is of Glostonbury Abbey in Sommerset, and 6 page spread of photos chronicles the May Day Fairie Festival at Southwood Farm; Marlboro Maryland’s Faerie Festival; the New York Faerie Festival, World of Faeries in Illinois, and  Oregon’s FaerieWorlds!

Kim Deimers shows step-by-step “How To Make a Faerie Portal! Kawaii! Bringing yet another uplfiting, scintillating issue home are reviews of 8 books, Jennifer Gwynne Oliver’s exquisite paper doll of Titania from A Midsummer Night’ Dream! Even the ads for books, art, ornaments, music, apparel & events are like so exquisite!

So like, The Mew does not endorse any one particular religion or chosen spiritual path, even though we all have own own beliefs, we find all sorts of interesting things to read on those topics that are so worth a mention! This includes –

Witches & Pagans Magazine #19

Mielikki:
Published by Blessed Bee Inc. Media, this most recent quarterly issue (formerly newWitch) http://witchesandpagans.com/ is like an extra special Faery themed issue, mm-hm! It is 96 informative & entertaining black & white pages, plus 4 pages of ads in color & color covers for $6.00 US!

The color cover photo is a totally awesome portrait of lovely songstress S.J. Tucker http://www.skinnywhitechick.com/! She is the subject of the first featured article, an inspiring 10 page interview with Tucker by author Phil Brucato, with alluring photography by Kyle Cassidy & Jeff Navarro!

But first, editor Ann Newkirk Niven’s cordial remarks get things brewing, and then there’s readers’ letters & Clio’s Corner of poetry! Tess Dawson’s mewsings on monotheism are illustrated by Clayton Preston, and C.S. MacCath’s fiction “The Ruin of Beltany Ring” is illustrated by Julian Tejara!

Next is an interview with R.J. Stewart on the nature of The Fey, by author / teacher T. Thorn Coyle, with photos by Lissy Van Leeuwen! There are Fey book recommendations too! This is followed by druidess & teacher Mara Freeman’s profile of 19th century Irish mystic Ella Young!

Illustrated by Elana Ray, Patricia Snodgrass’s article on tribes & clans of Cherokee spirits was especially interesting, as the Cherokee are such a significant part of our Carolina culture. Further imagery by Elan adorns Celtic Priestess Sharynne MacLeod NicMhacha’s exploration of the Sidhe realm’s roots!

The Fae topic flows on, with journalist Maria Nutick’s discussion of Fae traditions of different cultures, movements & groups! A sort of Fae primer, she notes musicians, authors, artists & Faerie festivals! Speaking of festivals, Natalie Zaman offers helpful tips for attending into Renaissance Faires, too!

22 pages of craft, advice & ruminations follow by 9 “Teachers & Mentors”. These include Tess Whitehurst on working with the Fae (with a few spells), Astrologer Elizabeth Hazel comments August thru October, Toronto mom & yoga instructor Archer on the physical & philosophical nature of the forests, Isaac Bonewits on aging’s affect on magic…

…Priestess Judy Harrow’s counsel on staying attentive; Norse devotee Galina Krasskova’s Wyrd Ways on celibacy, author Ashleen O’Gaea’s Family Magic column; R.J. Stewart returns to discuss “The Faery Congress” gathering, and Kenaz Filan’s suggests that good sprits & magickal spots might be closer than you think. Fur shur!

Lady Abracadabra and her magickal name’s legacy is the subject of Lexicographer Craig Conley & artist Kuco! In the waning pages, there’s still 4 pages with 11 book reviews, classified text ads. the and issue concludes with Good Witch / Bad Witch advice page, which is accented by a totally sexy cute manga style witchy drawing by Holly!

Throughout the issue are ads for books, music, art & decor, supplies & equipment retreats, study, tarot, clothes & jewelry, scents & soaps, oils & potions, and back issues of BBI Media’s newWitch, Sage Woman and PanGaia magazines. If you have an interest in these things, this would be a very good read, I am shur!

Mike:
Thanks for those thorough reports!

Elizabeth:
If you get much more intricate you’ll rival Myayr & JenJen’s thoroughness, hee!

Jeannie:
By that, she means putting Vonny to sleep.

Mary Nyan:
sigh!

Vonny:
Nyaaa!

Nyanko:
Well Mielikki is the naturally accomplished storyteller, and y’all have raised the bar to inspire greater hustle!

Vonny:
I was surpurrised that Nya-sensei & Mie-sensei were not in that special hard bodies issue of that Sports magazine last month, nya!

Nyanko:
Haa ah well that’s complicated!

Mielikki:
Totally, but like we were just glad to see so many inspirational Olympic & Professional athletes so beautifully & powerfully photographed!

Elizabeth:
Well purrhaps next year the catgirls, mermaids & fey will receive greater recognition for their athletic purrowess!

Jeannie:
Here here.

Mary Nyan:
Now we would like now to recognize more of our favorite super heroines, as we turn the show over to Lizzy for a while in our-

Purriodicals: comic books in review!

Aspen Showcase: Kiani #1

Elizabeth:
I am such a big fan of the late Michael Turner and his line of Aspen Comics http://www.aspencomics.com, purrticularly the characters of Fathom and Kiani who I sure wish I could free dive as well as! Kiani is a beautiful and tough warrior from the deep, who first appeared in the fathom comics but later got her own series!

So when I saw his comic book I knew right away that I wanted to get it- but the only tough decision was which cover to get because it has 3 different covers! Cover A is by Scott Clark & Beth Sotello, cover B is by  Talent Caldwell, and cover C is a rarer exclusive limited edition by Ale Garza & Pete Steigerwald.

I was not in a position to choose the latter, but that’s fine because all of them are awesome so I went with cover B. Inside those covers is the story written by Marc Andreyko, illustrated by Scott Clark, colored by Beth Soto and lettered by Josh Reed, and they all did such a great job!

I don’t wanna spoil much of the plot for anyone, so… basically it’s got 22 pages of full color story, plus 10 pages of ads for other lovely Aspen comics for $2.99. Kiani has been having recurring nightmares involving her many deceased friends & family and the undersea city she once knew, which is not impurrving her dour dispurrsition.

She does tend to brood a lot and dwell on the past, although she does seem to enjoy her combat training- which she is supurrbly good at, although she is not a total berserker, she does get a bit carried away and needs to manage that anger better. This does result in some action-packed fight scenes, though!

The characters are so beautifully drawn, and their attire (when worn at all) is so sexy and intricately designed with the sort of crustacean motif accents! There are very dramatic views and angels in the different panels, and the color & lighting are magnificent, especially the in depicting the majestic undersea scenes!

Next, the grrl power continues on land, with the first lady of sword & sorcery-

Queen Sonja #1!

Elizabeth:
Red Sonja is purrhaps the most famous warrior woman to ever done a chain mail bikini for the hack n’ slash adventures! Based on a heroine created by author Robert E. Howard, who also created Conan the Barbarian, Sonja has been kicking butt in the comics since the early 1970’s, and is currently published by Dynamite Comics.

This also has 3 different covers: the more common Cover A is by Lucio Parrillo, while the less common Covers B is by Mel Rubi, and C is by Jackson Herbert. The main 22 page full color story’s interior art is by Rubi, colored by Vinicius Andrade; story written by Joshua Ortega was lettered by Somon Bowland & edited by Luke Lieberman!

It begins in grandly with Sonja slinked on her throne, in her palace in the capital city of Issenni in the land of Sogaria! It is here where she is notified of an advancing enemy army. Pondering the blood that will spill, she reflects back to events of 4 months purrior to her ascension to this regal station.

The panels include a few very impurressive full page pics of Sonja: on her throne, striding across a foreboding misty marsh, making a dramatic entrance, bathing at a waterfall, and charging into furious mounted combat! Heads roll, and due to the scenes of fantasy combat violence & purrhaps the partial nudity this comic book is rated T+!

Not only will you see see Sonja in battle, in her famously daring skimpy chain mail bikini, but you’ll behold her as Queen in her more regal royal garb, with a new gleaming gold bustier, crown, choker & cape adorned with such shimmering huge rubies to match her crimson coiffure!

There is sumptuous landscape & architectural detail, dynamic action human & animal poses, and a good cliffhanger to the tale to be continued! But wait there’s more: a 6 page bonus purreview of issue #2’s pencil art by Mel Rubi! Those are very tight, crisp clean pencils- and I am curious to compare these to how they might look when inked & colored in issue #2!

This $2.99 issue also includes a back up 11 page story, a repurrint of Marvel Feature #1! This classic tale of “Red Sonja” is by the dream team of writer Roy Thomas, artists Neal Adams, Esteban Maroto & Ernie Chan, with coloring by Jose Villarrubia!

There are 9 pages of ads, and finally on the Dynamite Comics news page, there is a final added treat, a little repurrint of an ad for Sonja Con ’76, which was a convention back in November, 1976! So this issue is wall to wall Red Sonja in fine form, a top quality new series which is off to a good start and I look forward to more!

Red Sonja might not be at Marvel these days, but Jessica Drew still is, starring in –

Spider-Woman # 1 & 2!

Elizabeth:
Alex Maleev’s stunning cover painting of  Spider-Woman should be a poster, it is one of the most imagnificent images I have ever seen of this wonderful heroine, who’s been around Marvel since the 70’s too! Maleev also purrvided the interior art, with Jolynn Carpenter credited as the model for Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman!

issue #1 “Spider- Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D.” was written by Brian Michael Bendis, lettered by Cory Petit & edited by Lauren Sankovitch! Rated T+, this is a very dark tale, from the gritty urban rainy night locations, to the grim mood of her introspective first purrson narrative.

“S.W.O.R.D.” stands for “Sentient World Observation & Response Department”, which is a government organization like S.H.I.E.L.D. but more concerned with extraterrestrial threats to Earth-
and of course in the Marvel Universe there are a lot of those, such as the Skrulls, Kree, Shi’ar, Badoon, Breakworld, Wraiths, and others!

And so, Jessica Drew, who is not only a veteran super heroine & member of The Avengers, but also has the purriviate detective & espionage purrowess, is being recruited to that group by Abigail Brand! Her mission, if she chooses to accept it, is to neutralize any sneaky covert alien threats!

This is not just limited to domestic U.S. work- for her first assignment takes her to the country of Madripoor, which is already a rough exotic hive full of scum an villainy even without any alien menaces. It’s not a cheery place to purrk up her depurression & paranoia, but purrhaps she’ll get to vent her frustrations on the many villains there.

Well I don’t want to ruin any surpurrises, but there is indeed some violence to be seen in the 1st issue’s 28 page color story, which is accompanied by 12 pages of ads to total 40 pages for $3.99!

Issue #2 is purriced at $2.99, for it’s 32 color pages (22 page story, 6 pages of ads, and a 4 page intermew with Bendis & Maleev by Comic Book Resources’ writer Dave Richards). It has the same creative team, and starts on just as sullen a broody mood as the 1st issue did!

I do not wish to reveal how she got here, but #2 begins with her in a jail cell that is as dank & dark as her demeanor. She smiles once but that’s just a ruse. This angsty frame of mind would almost make The Punisher seem light-hearted- I sure hope things impurrove for her soon! She’s had a rough life and deserves better!

Nevertheless, Jessica still has her keen street-wise wits and clever subtle abilities to use without resorting to all-out fisticuffs & venom blasts! Those latter more obvious super powers do get used, and there is some bloody gunfight violence and a surprise cliffhanger ending!

The intermew with Bendis & Maleev was originally purrsented at http://www.comicbookresources.com on August 19th, 2009, and it gives the readers more insights into Spider-Woman’s biography & character and their appurroach to this series. Appurrently this gloomy espionage story is also available as a motion comic, in addition to this purrinted medium!

It’s clearly evidencing some continuity to the rest of the Marvel universe and recent events, such the secret Skrull invasion, her impurrsonator, Wolverine joining the Avengers and Norman Osborn’s government position, but you’ll only see her in the red & yellow spandex on the covers.

If you purrfur a more fun comic book with a super heroine in her colorful costume, then I heartily recommend –

Power Girl #6!

Elizabeth:
Up to six issues already and it has been a consistent joy to read! The 2nd story arc “Space Girls Gone Wild! Conclusion” was written by Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti, with art by Amanda Conner & coloring by Paul Mounts, lettering by John J. Hill,  and it was edited by Brian Cunningham & Rex Ogle.

Purriced at $$2.99 It has a 22 page story, 5 pages of ads & DC news, a 5 page pureview and 2 different covers, one by Amanda Conner and the other by Guillem March! It starts with a big dramatic full page splash of Kara / Power Girl as she tries to defuse the shootout between the three space girls and the jetpack guy who is trying to appurrhend them!

She manages to get a few answers before losing track of the three space girls and the jetpack guy. Having lost them, Kara gets back to setting up her new house with the cat and Marty / Terra’s help, but unfortunately a new purroblem has arisen- for a stalker dropped off photos of Kara changing into her costume!

If it is not one thing it is another. So Kara & Marty go furniture shopping, in a cute fun 9 panel sequence, which ends in them back at the new house with yummy big cinnamon buns and Asian take-out dinner. The kitty wants some too! Meanwhile the mischievous space girls wind up in a hot tub, and in more trouble!

That’s purretty much all of the plot I want to divulge, but there’s more to it as Power Girl’s 2nd 3-issue story concludes! Amanda Conner draws the neatest expurressions & poses. Power Girl is thoroughly entertaining with a cheery optimism and it is one of our favoritest comic books of the year!

The 5 page purreview for Batman / Doc Savage Special #1 is by writer Brian Azzarello, artist Phil Noto, letterer Clem Robins, and editors Joey Cavalieri & Chris Conroy. Not only does this look very purretty but it has a catgirl in it! Well, a waitress in a kitty costume anyway! Speaking of kitty costumed girls in Gotham-

Gotham City Sirens #5!

Elizabeth:
This continues to be another of our favoritest most fun comics of the year, and it is written by Paul Dini who is one of our most favoritest writers and It stars some of our favoritest Gotham girls: Selena Kyle / Catwoman, Poison Ivy & Harley Quinn!

The excellent Harley Quinn cover & interior art is by Guillem March, coloring by Tomey Morey & lettering by Steve Wands, and it was edited by Mike Marts & Janelle Siegel. It is purriced $2.99, with a 22 page story, 5 pages of ads & DC news, and that same 5 page pureview of Batman / Doc Savage.

This issue picks up immediately after the purrevious issue’s explosive cliffhanger, as The Joker attacks the girls’ lair in an attempt to kill his estranged girlfriend Harley. Selena & Ivy have been pushed too far by the clown purrince of crime and convince Harley to join in the payback.

This issue’s guest Gotham Girl is Jenna Duffy, aka The Carpenter who gets hired to renovate Selena’s demolished home. One of the nice aspects of this series is we get to see the girls at home in their civies between the costumed capurrs. March excellently draws the lithe female form, from leisurely lounging to the dynamic leaps, crouches & kicks!

Dini’s plotting, pacing, characterizations, and dialog (including their thoughts), and expurrtise of all things Gotham are quite fantastic! DC seems to have transformed Selena from villain to anti-hero in recent years, and while Harley & Ivy might still be the criminal types, they are well rounded (in several ways) with various interests & agendas!

There are plenty of amazing surpurrises plus another cliffhanger ending, combined with the compelling story & wonderful art to make this a highly recommended book that we at The Mew eagerly look forward to every month! Well that’s all for my girl-powered comic book reports for now, but here’s Nya-sensei to discuss –

Angel #26!

Nyanko:
Arigato, Lizzy! Published by IDW http://www.idwpublishing.com/, issue #25 now begins a new story arc, “Boys and Their Toys, part 1”!

It has the 22 page in color, followed by 10 pages of IDW ads & mews for 3.99. I wish IDW’s comics were a buck cheaper, but I do kinda like how all the ads & announcements  are in the back, and not interspurrsed throughout the issue to interrupt story!

There are 3 different covers: the ‘action figure’ motif cover A by Stephen Mooney, and the ‘San Diego Con’ motif variant covers B&C by Nick Runge.  Cover A is a neat design because it looks just like one of those J-hook hangy blister packages containing an Angel action figure!

The story was written Brian Lynch, with art by Stephen Mooney, coloring by Tom Smith / Scorpion Studios, lettering by Robbie Robbins, and the issue was edited by Chris Ryall. This issue is set at a big sci fi con in San Diego, where Angel, Spike & Gru search for an ancient weapon!

This was a very amewsing issue and would have made such a fun episode of the Angel TV series! Jerry from the Spike: After the Fall mini-series returns, and offers to help Angel & Spike navigate through the costumed fans on their quest for the relic.

Things get more difficult and zany though, because our favorite Chaotic Evil Wizard Ethan Rhane is also back, up to his old tricks! Here’s a hint to his new scheme: it is reminiscent of  TV epurrsode 2.6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Halloween”, hee!

Hopefully get to see more of Kate, Gwen Raiden, Nina, Beta George, and Dez the were-Jaguar in future issues, and of course I sure wish we’d see cross-overs between IDW’s Angel and Dark Horse’s Buffy comics! This is the end of the Angel #26 plot spoilage, but purrpare for my review of –

Angel: Only Human #3,
witha teensy bit of plot spoilage!

Nyanko:
This 3rd issue  of the monthly mini-series continues the road trip started by Illyria & Charles Gunn back in Angel #23, from July, 2009. It also has the 22 page in color, followed by 10 pages of IDW ads & mews for 3.99.

It was written by Scott Lobdell, drawn by David Messina (who also purrovided the almost erotic cover illustration of Illyria); inked by Gaetano Carlucci, colored by Ilaria Traversi with 2B Studio’s Andrea Priorini, lettered by Neil Uyetake, and edited by Mariah Huehner.

Illyria / Willifred & Charles were among my favorite Buffy & Angel characters, so it is great to see them in this miniseries! Back to the Burkles farm for an Uncle’s funeral, Ilyria & Charles encountered the Nazi-ish demons known as The Scourge (seen in the Angel TV epurrsode 1.9 ‘The Scourge”).

Those demons found the The Mutari Generator (a rifle-like device used to keep Ilyria from having a meltdown in TV epurrsode 6.19 “Time Bomb”), which they have used to open a Hellmouth-ish portal, from which a giant ancient Darque Wurm demon named Baticus- who is appurrently an old associate of Ilyria!

Baticus kinda sorta looks a bit like a Sandworm from Dune, or a Purrple Worm from D&D, or the Omu from Nausicaa, eh, or maybe a little like what the Mayor of Sunnydale turned into. Anyway, he’s a big worm monster with no loyalty to the Scourge, and a mad-on for Illyria (who we see in her ancient non-human Old One form)!

There are some stunning full page panels & 2 page spreads depicting a flashback to Ilyria’s immense temple, and her current showdown with the ill-mannered Baticus. There are nice poses of her with the windswept hair! The coloring is so deeply richly vibrant and I really like the color pallet!

Charles also has some flashback moments, but of a more poignant purrsonal family nature. There’s a nice sense of continuity, and the dialogue & art combine nicely to faithfully purrtray the characters, whose portraiture well resembles actors Amy Acker & J. August Richards!

So far so good- and I’ll be back for more next month! This is the end of the Angel: Only Human #3 plot spoilage, but here comes-

Angel vs. Frankenstein

Nyanko:
We were so impurressed by John Byrne’s recent Angel: Blood and Trenches mini series, purrhaps his most intricately detailed work since his 2112 comic book, so we were eagerly anticipating this one-shot story!

IDW’s Angel vs. Frankenstein is also of the 22 pages, plus by 10 pages of IDW ads & mews for 3.99. The papurr stock seems to be heavier and have more of a matte finish. This purrticular story & art are by Byrne, edited by Chris Ryall, with colors by Rhonda Pattison and lettering by Robbie Robbins.

Sometime in the 1800’s, after the events of the novel Frankenstein, Angelus (Angel’s former evil purrsona) arrives in Geneva, in search of lodging and a bite, with a  scheme to con the cousin heirs of the late Victor & Elizabeth Frankenstein out of their estate, but he has not foreseen the arrival of another heir- the monster!

The story seemed too rushed & abrupt, and I think it should have been a longer mini-series, but is a neat little gothic tale which attempts the ambience of one of those Hammer horror movies, with sexy fiendish vampires thirsting for buxom tavern victims, and a macabre creature’s own thirst for revenge. Now here’s Vonny to report on –

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight #29!
warning: a teensy bit of plot spoilage

Yvonne:
Yay my turn, nya! I will be reviewing various Dark Horse comics, nya! Buffy Season Eight http://www.darkhorse.com/Zones/Buffy officially canonically continues to be my favorite American comic book of the past year or so, nya!

Issue #29’s “Retreat Part Four” was written by Buffy TV writer Jane Espenson http://www.janeespenson.com/, pencilled by Georges Jeanty, inked of Andy Owens, colored by Michelle Madsen, and lettered by Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt, nya!

The issue was designed by Heidi Whitcomb; edited by Sierra Hahn, Scott Allie, Freddye Lins, published by Mike Richardson, and purrduced by Jos Whedon, nya! It has 2 variant covers, the “Howling Commandos” homage by Michelle Madsen, Dexter Vines & Georges Jeanty http://www.kabalounge.com, and the ‘big bad’ cover by Massimu Carvenale, nya!

it has a cover purrice of $2.99, and nside those covers are 22 pages of full color story plus 12 pages of ads & DHC mews plus 2 pages of readers’ letters, nya! Except for Angel & Spike who are busy at another comic book publisher, the gang is all here: Buffy, Willow, Xander, Dawn, Giles, Faith, Andrew, Oz, Kennedy & the other slayers & witches, nya!

Purreviously in Buffy, to escape the villain’s army, the slayers have retreated to the peaceful Tibetan mountain home of Oz & his purretty wife Bayarmaa and their baby. There they hope to purrge any traces of magickal energy to avoid detection, although life on the farm is not agreeing with many of the slayers, nya.

Unfortunately thanks to the bad witch Amy & Warren, their mysterious villain partner Twilight knows where Buffy’s team is! Twilght launches a huge infantry & mechanized attack, but since Buffy’s team are currently without any magickal witch or slayer powers, they must resort to conventional weapons salvaged from the Slayer Sub, nya.

It is a very grim & violent sitch, but  still has the cute Slayer grrl moments as mewsual I love reading this comic book because I love those characters, the artwork is so nice and the dialog is so faithful, nya! Here ends those Buffy #29 spoilers, but I have more Joss Whedon coverage with-

Sugar Shock #1 of 1, nya!
warning: this has a teensy bit of plot spoilage too, nya.

Yvonne:
This has been a good month for the Whedonesque material, nya! Sugar Shock is a one-shot issue repurrinting the serialized web comic that originally appeared online at myspace.com/darkhorsepresents, nya. This Dark Horse comic has a purrice of $3.50, for the 24 pages of color story & 12 pages of sketches & 2 pages of ads, nya!

This fun comic was written by Joss Whedon, drawn by Fabio Moon (I don’t think he is related to Mike) who did the cover art with colorist Dave Stewart; lettering is by Blambot’s Nate Piekos, the purroject was designed by Tony Ong, edited by Freddye Kins, Sierra Hahn & Scott Allie, and it was published by Mike Richardson,. nya!

This is a wacky fun comic book about a rock group named Sugar Shock, compurrised of genki / cute magenta-haired female vocalist Dandelion Naizen, the tall nordic blond guitar grrl L’Lihdra, drummer grrl Wade, and Phil the robot on the bass- or so they might appear, nya!

On their way home from losing a mewsic compurrtition an alien crashes on their car and gives them a big glow stick and a mission to go to another planet for the big intergalactic battle of the bands, or so they mistake. They get to the other planet but it i not a mewsic contest-  but a dangerous gladiatorial arena, nya!

Fortunately, Dandelion has a few mewsical tricks up her sleeves, and Sugar Shock repurresents Earth with the power of their mewsic, nya! This is a brisk wacky sci fi tale, and Dandelion is the very hyper purrky cute part Asian grrl, who for some reason considers the word ‘Viking’ to be an insult, nya.

I guess she is not a fan of purro Minnesota football, nya. Anyway, this issue includes the 3 Sugarshock! chapters  “Battle Royale with Cheese”, “For Those About to Rock and/or Die”, and “The Greatest Story Ever Blogged”, with comments by Dandelion. I purrticularly like the big panel of her with the red guitar on page 19, nya!

The sketchbook section by Fabio is annotated by Scott Allie, and starts off with a neat group color portrait o the band, followed by various pencil & ink doodles, character designs, full pencil breakdowns, a full page B&W inked rendering, a bit of poster art with text ‘n color by Micha Smith, and the color cover art for MySpace Dark Horse Purresents, nya!

Actually the only ads in the issueare on the back cover, and the 2 page spread across the last page and the inside back cover, to purromote the forthcoming Dark Horse one-shot comics and it has a big photo of Hellboy’s creator Mike Mignola who we like a lot too, nya!

This was such an amewsing delightful comic book and further excellence from Joss Whedon with the great art, nya! it would be nice if there were further adventures of Dandelion and Sugarshock, nya! Here ends the Sugarshock spoilers, but I have more Dark Horse goodness in our-

Purriodicals: manga in review, nya!

The Ghost in the Shell Volume One, nya!

Yvonne:
Although Mike drew artist / author Shirow Masamune’s name from the hat for our Summer Reading Purrogram, he’s not caught up so he let me borrow this book, nya! The Ghost in The Shell  (GITS) is a very famous series of manga, which there have been anime movies and TV series based upon, nya.

Shirow is one of our favoritest artists, known for his sexy lithe female heroines, amazing mecha designs, metaphysical and cybernetic themes, and his other credits include Orion, Appleseed, Dominion Tank Police, Black Magic M66. He also has several big gorgeous art books, art calendars, games toys & figures, nya!

Purrsonally I am not really a fan of the animated movie adaptations of GITS, although I do think the TV show is better than the movies, nya. But that’s a tangental topic and I mainly just wanted to say a few words about this latest edition of the original manga, nya!

The GITS manga was first serialized in Japan in 1989 & collected in book form in 1991, and there have been sequel mangas too, nya. Koichi Yuri & Junji Seki were the original Japanese editors, Chris Warner was the first English editon’s editor, and this latest edition’s editors are Naoto Yasunaga & Takeshi Kastsurada, nya.

It was written & illustrated by Shirow Masamune, translated & adapted into English by renown manga expurrt Dr. Frederick Schodt and veteran translator Toren Smith, with lettering by the famous comics letterer Tom Orzechowski & Suzie Lee, nya.

This latest softcover graphic novel edition was published by Dark Horse in October, 2009; it is comic book sized but it is 7/8″ thick with 368 pages, 20 of which are authors notes, nya! Most of the pages are B&W manga but 60 of them plus the front cover are in color, nya!

It is rated M for the mature content (combat violence, gore, nudity, sexual stuff, drugs, purrofanity) and has a cover purrice of $24.99 US & $33.99 Canadian, nya. On the front cover is the main purrotagonist, Major Motoko Kusanagi. She is a tough, strong, sexy, fun, smart & highly skilled cyborg government agent, nya!

The cyberpunk genre story is set in the sprawling Japanese megalopolis of the year 2029, where Major Kusanagi is on the trail of the cyberterrorist hacker known as The Puppeteer, nya! The dangerous, mysterious villain has been taking over computers, mecha and cyborg minds, nya.

Based upon Shirow’s extensive notes, it seems like he has thoroughly researched that sophisticated computer science ‘n tech stuff, but a lot of it is way over my head, nya! Purrhaps I can get Jenjen to explain some of it to me, nya!

It is a very complex, cerebral, action-packed, thrilling story, with lots of technology, investigative purrocedural, and combat violence, nya. The artwork is supurrb, with great character & fashion designs, mecha & architectural designs, visual storytelling, graphic FX and intricately detailed scenery, nya!

This is a very good packaging of a most significant work by one of the greatest creators of Japanese manga & anime, so I will highly recommend this book to anyone who might like those themes & subjects, nya! That’s all for my Dark Horse comics reviews, but here’s Mie-sensei with her reports, nya!

Aria Volume Five
(with mild plot spoil / synopsis)

Mielikki:
Kosue Amano’s masterpiece Aria is The Mew’s pick for our favorite manga series of the decade, so we were all like totally ecstatic when vol. 5 was finally published by Tokyo Pop, fur shur!

The English adaptation of Amano’s manga by Nikhil Burman was translated Elina Ishikawa, edited by Shannon Watters & Daniela Orihueal-Gruber, and re-lettered by Star Print Brokers! It is 180 pages of gorgeous B&W manga, plus 8 pages of ads, rated T+ for older teens (16+), priced $10.99 US, $13.99 Canada & £7.99 UK!

Although this is the 5th volume of Aria, it is actually the 7th book in the series, for the first 2 volumes were titled Aqua,but after those the title was changed to Aria. It is still like all the same series, all available from Tokyo Pop, so if you’re a new reader I advise starting with Vol. 1 & 2 of Aqua prior to starting Vol. 1+ of Aria, fur shur!

Aria is a charming science fiction tale set on the terraformed planet Mars- renamed Aqua 150 years in the future, which is mostly covered in water and home to colonies such as Neo-Venezia which is modeled after Venice, Italy on the planet Earth (now known as Manhome).

There in this so romantic city of canals, a girl named Akari becomes a gondolier for the Aria, one of the three Gondola Companies (along with Himeya and Planet Orange). Akari has been there for like just over a year, as a trainee working with her Prima Undine Alicia, and aided by their mascot ‘President’ cat, Aria!

Their best friends include Aika, Akira, Alice & Athena who work for Himeya and Planet Orange. We like it so much, because it is like such a totally beautiful, slice of life story with so likable characters & lovely scenery & an occasional dash of magick in the air, all so exquisitely drawn & paced!

So that’s like the series in general. This volume starts with the beginning of Akari’s 2nd year there in Chapter 21 “Mailman Sam”! She spends the day assisting the mail man on his route through the canals. The citizens have email but they prefer the old fashioned mail, and the post office is like a lovely large cathedral!

In Chapter 22 “Canzone”, Akari trains with fellow journeyman Alice of Planet Orange, which is like the biggest of the companies with a large stately campus. Aria Company is like a small Mom ‘n pop outfit in comparison! Akari’s golden-voiced senpai Athena is introduced; she is a Prima undine, one of the ‘Three Faieries’ along with Alicia & Akira!

In Chapter 23 “Night of the Meteor Shower”, Aika Akari & their friend Al (who tends to work underground as an environmental engineer) meet on a bridge on a crisp Autumn night in hopes of viewing the meteor shower, but there’s too much light so they take to the rooftops for a darker, unobstructed view!

Next, Chapter 24’s “Margherita” has Akira of Himeya Company overseeing Aika, Akari & Alice for a day. She has a tough reputation as an instructor, and she’ll be quizzing them on their city knowledge and gondola technique during the different tides, with some totally tricky manuevers!

The final chapter of this volume is 25 “Shadow Chasing”. This time, Akari enjoys a leisurely day off with a lattte at Caffe Florian in San Marco square, which is said to be the most beautiful saloon on the planet, I am shur! Finally the manga is topped off by a 2 page ‘Ennui Club’ humorous comic strip!

If you would enjoy a very pretty, cheerfully serene & light-hearted science fiction manga, then this would be an ideal choice with our highest recommendation, like totally! We also highly recommend the perfect anime adaptation of Aria, which is our favorite anime TV series of the decade too, fur shur!

So like, that ends the Aria review, but next I’d like to discuss –

Rin-Ne Volume One
(with mild plot spoil / synopsis)!

Mielikki:
I was like oh my Goddess when i finally got this book, the latest series by Rumiko Takahashi! She is like totally my favorite manga artist / writer! Among her series are Urusei Yatsura, Maison ikkoku, Ranma 1/2, Mermaid Saga, Rumic Theater, and InuYasha, fur shur!

Rated T+ for older teens (16+) it’s translated by Christine Dashielle, with re-lettering by Evan Waldinger, It has 180 B&W pages of whimsical occult high school manga, plus the pages of Takahashi’s biography, translation notes, credits & advertisements. It’s priced priced $9.99 US & $12.99 Canada.

Sakura Mamiya is a cute high school student with an annoying problem: she can see & talk to ghosts, and there seem to be quite a few lurking between her home & school. It has been this way for her ever since she like got lost in the forest as a little girl. Others can be haunted by ghosts, but only she can seem to see or communicate with them them.

This like so changes when a mysterious redhead guy named Rokudo Rinne sits next to her in class. He is a human type of Shinigami, who walks between the real of the living and the spirit world, guiding the ghosts to their afterlife destination, such as a giant red wheel of reincarnation in the sky!

Sending ghosts on their way is much trickier if they are an ornery evil spirit! It’s also expensive too, because Rinne expects Sakura to pay him every time he dispatches or exorcises the spirits that haunt her and her classmates! This seems to be a totally expensive prospect, given how many ghosts she can see!

He needs the money to afford the expensive items to use in his work, as he does not have full Shinigami powers. One essential item he uses a lot is his awesome underworld haori jacket, which is like a cloak of invisibility, which can like also be put on the apparitions to make them visible to humans.

The book begins with Chapter 1 “The Mysterious Classmate” in which Sakura meets Rinne, a ghost Chihuahua, and the their first exorcism is conducted. Fortunately Sakura still enjoys normal pleasant moments, like her dinner of the yummy breaded pork chop! Mmm-hmm!

So like, Chapter 2’s “The Legend of the Weather Hutch” involves the school’s garden weather hutch, where offerings of food or money are to be left for divine favors- which Rinne invisibly helps himself too! He helps with the ghostly cell phone caller that bothers Sakura’s friend Rika, which continues into Chapter 3 “Four O’clock Behind the Gym”.

In Chapter 4 “Have We Met?” Sakura meets Rinne’s young & attractive grandmother Tamako who is a full Shinigami, learns more about Rinne & the wheel and runs afoul of a rabbit-like trickster, the Damashigam. This results in a dangerous situation for Sakura, who Rinne & Takama must rescue in Chapter 5 “Y·O·U·N·G Woman”!

Chapter 6 “Mystery in the Club Building” was like an especially good chapter, when Sakura’s  friend Miho is scared by the ghost light emanating from the school club house, which they believe to be a Bakeneko cat spirit. There are more revelations about Rinne & Takam and the recurring black cat familiar Rokumo-chan is introduced!

That chapter has some very cute moments, like when kitten gets some milk and a dish of rice with fish flakes! Rokumo-chan can appear as a chibi anthropomorphic cat, as a little black cat, or the frightful huge Bakeneko. His origin & connection with those Shinigami are explored in Chapter 7, “Black Cat by Contract”!

Volume one’s final chapter is “Afraid to Fall Asleep”, in which schoolgirl Kaori has nightmares, whch turns out to be a haunting by the ghost of a Samurai who sees her as the princess he loved. This is like a totally complicated spiritual matter- but we’ll have to wait for volume two to see if this can be resolved!

Compared to Rumiko Takahashi’s other manga, thus far Rin-Ne reminds me more like InuYasha or Ranma 1/2, more than the all-out zaniness of Urusei Yatsura, the more seriously macabre Mermaid Saga, or manga’s greatest romance that is Maison Ikkoku. It was a lot of fun and I would definitely like to read more!

Here ends the Rin-Ne review- and this segment of The Mew- but we’ll be back after the break with much more comics related stuff, fur shur!

(snip)
(one short break later…)

Mike:
Hey we’re back, and  just in time for our

Monthly Lucky Kitty Web Comics Picks of the Litter

Lately we’ve been spotlighting various web comic publishers, collectives & hosts,
and this month we wish to promote-

Elizabeth:
The Blank Label Comics Collective http://www.blanklabelcomics.com/
is where you can find entertaining web comics such as
and Paradigm Shift http://www.dynamanga.net/!

Mielikki:
A division of DC Comics, Zuda http://www.zudacomics.com/
is like where you’ll find quality comics online such as
I am shur! Jenjen, what are your nominees?

Jeannie:
Lisa Fary and John Dallaire’s Intergalactic Law
Barb Lien-Cooper & Ryan Howe’s Gun Street Girl
and Sam Romero’s Edge the Demon Hunter
are but a few published by Graphic Smash http://www.graphicsmash.com/

Yvonne:
Snafu Comics http://www.snafu-comics.com/ specializes in web comics based
on TV, anime, games & other media  nya! Some of my favorites there include
nya! OK it’s Myayr’s turn, nya!

Mary Nyan:
I’d like to recommend a few of the Spider Forest collective http://spiderforest.com/
such as Chelsea Gaither’s Blue Skunk http://blueskunk.spiderforest.com/
Alejandro ‘Al-X’ Melchor’s Nahast http://nahast.spiderforest.com/index.php
and James Roden’s Requiem http://requiem.spiderforest.com/!
Of course, there are many more fine web comics waiting to be read there!

Nyanko:
Oh- my turn? I would like to recommend a few affiliates of the neat
Palace in the Sky http://www.palaceinthesky.com/:
Phineus: Magician for Hire http://www.phinmagic.com/
and Spaghetti Strap Western http://sswestern.com/!
That leaves Mike’s selections!

Mike:
Last but certainly not least, I’d like to mention a few of the fine web comics you’ll
find at the UpDown Studio Collective http://www.updownstudio.com/ such as
& our friend Makenzee’s Cthuluvida http://www.updownstudio.com/cthulhuvida/!

That’s all for this month’s picks, but we’ll have more recommendations next month
and the web comics segments of the show will continue after this short break!

(snip)
(one short break later…)

The Mew’s Celebrity Catgirl Spotlight:
Corrine Elizabeth Melepomene Chattan

Nyanko:
Corrine Elizabeth Melepomene Chattan (or sometimes just ‘Mel’ for short) is the one of the main purrotagonist characters of our dear friend & web master Jamie Robertson’s super awesome web comic Clan of the Cats http://clanofthecats.com, which is is written & illustrated by Jamie, and edited by Miranda Prince & Alex Byrne.

Mel is the sexy, tough, witchy merc were-leopard sister to Chelsea & Cynthia Chattan, who starred in her own action-packed spin-off comic Melpomene (mature content) http://clanofthecats.keenspot.com/Melpomene drawn by Clint Hollingsworth (who we intermewed last month) and written by Jamie.

She co-starred in the web comic Mythos and Magick http://www.graphicsmash.com/comics/mam.php written by Jamie & drawn by Dani Atkinson, with Erin Zerbe, Brynn Sheridan & Todd Swain. Mel also occasionally appears in Jamie’s COTC spin-off comedic comic strip, Sebo http://sebo.clanofthecats.com/.

This isn’t the ‘current’ Melepomene of COTC being intermewed here, but an older, wiser (and thankfully much calmer) Mel from the later “Charlotteverse” of Sebo, which is perpetually set 10 years after the current COTC storyline- whatever that might happen to at the time!

Originally conducted by Mike (with much help from Jamie) in November, 2007 for one of Jamie’s e-books, we thought it might be nice to share this revised, ‘Purrducer’s Cut’ of the intermew with more folks, since we picked Mel as this month’s Celebrity Catgirl!

Warning:
Clan of the Cats plot spoilage, mild purrofanity, mature content

Although it is 2 years old, this intermew contains plot spoilers from COTC story lines. Furthermore, Mel uses a wee bit of purrofanity, and there is mention of stuff like sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll, violence & other un-tamed topics, but hopefully there’s nothing here deserving of worse than a PG13-ish rating! And now… heeere’s Mel!

Mike:
The first question has a bit of a set-up so please bear with me. So, you’re a chain smoking, suicidal runaway lycanthrope from the Bible belt, who hates your step-father, your biological father was killed by a drunk driver, and your Mother is a vampire. one sister is the Queen of the Netherworld, another is married to a preacher.

You suffer from a curse that usual kills the women of your family by age 30. You’re also wealthy sorceress and a professional assassin for a secret international organization, who has killed God knows how many people and creatures (hopefully all of them bad), seen and done things that most normal people would rather not imagine.

You’ve traveled through space & time, associate with ancient beings who bathe in rivers of blood, have a very sarcastic butler, a needy magickal cat, oh and your young niece is a teleporting were-leopard! Given all that, how do you manage to keep looking so mahvelous?

Mel:
(laughs out loud) Marvelous? Moi? Heh, only when I’m angry. (gives a wink). I work out a lot, but not as much as I used to in my “kill everything” days. My six pack is gone, but the tummy’s still firm. (lifts shirt to reveal tummy)!

It’s funny, I never thought of myself as beautiful or even sexy unless I had to be, y’know, for a job. I just get into a character and have fun. The plain old me is pretty tame in the beauty department. If someone were to find me attractive, they’d need to thank my mom and dad. As for magickal beauty creams, they are certainly out there, but I don’t use any.

Mike:
Do you particularly ever enjoy being a leopard or is that just something you deal with? Had you any choice in the matter, would you prefer being able to transform into another animal, or does the
leopard form best suit you?

Mel:
At first it was a bit freaky, y’know. Sprouting hair and fangs and all that can give one a bit of a complex, but with Jacob’s help I was able to control it fairly early on. I like that power of it, but it can get out of hand sometimes. I don’t care much for that.

Mike:
So… our neighbors might be cats and our pets might be people? Um, about one-out-of-how-many are like that?… and… how many cat people or talking cats might there be in any given town?

Mel:
All cats and whatever can talk. You just have to know how to listen. Really, as far as talking cats there’s just the seven of them as far as I know. It’s the purebloods you have to worry about. You
unknowingly invite a pureblood raccoon into your flat and the next thing you know it’s in your fridge and garbage.

Mike:
You are rich, famous, powerful, loved, feared, and the best at what you do. What advice do you have for anyone wishing similar success?

Mel:
(laughs) I’m not sure “loved” should be in there, but the others are pretty accurate. The Chattan curse comes with a tremendous bloodlust. Jacob hooked me up with the Foundation, and I became an assassin for that, not the money or whatever.

At first I enjoyed the killing, but when I reconnected with my family something happened that I didn’t expect. I kind of grew a conscience. So if you want all that wealth and fame and whatever then you work your arse off and hope you get lucky. The only other alternative is to take down all the people in your way and live with the fact you’re going to hell when it’s all over.

Mike:
Having worked for the most clandestine of global Government Organizations, you must have the dirt on some top secrets. What can you tell us about the Pyramids, Jesus, UFO’s, JFK, and 911… without killing us afterwards?

Mel:
The Foundation was founded to keep the peace between the Netherworld and the human world. After the Council of Three was disbanded, the Foundation centered its efforts more on the Netherworld to prevent any wars from creeping up and breaking out into the human world.

As for these conspiracy theories, they rely on the principle that only the fantastic can be true. In other words, we can’t accept that only one man can kill a president or that an ancient culture can build something the modern world can barely fathom. Sure, aliens exist, but they couldn’t give a rat’s ass about us.

That’s not to say they haven’t visited, but as far as the Foundation knows there’s never been any major interference. As far as other things, Nessy is an ancient pureblood plesiomorph and just comes and goes as he pleases. I’ve met him a couple of times and he gets a kick out of the attention. Benjamin Franklin was a wizard. Duh. Bigfoot is mostly a werewolf or werebear that someone misidentified.

Mike:
Prior to becoming famous yourself, you’ve had the pleasure =and displeasure= of meeting numerous legendary people Lilith, Dracula, etc. What are they really like, compared to all the myths & legends?

Mel:
Lilith doesn’t talk much about her past. I’ve known her for years, but haven’t a clue of how she came to be. She did have a thing for killing babies in her younger days, so that part’s true. She said
she stopped because she got bored, but I’m certain there was more to it than that. She’s a strong willed woman and a damn good lover, but distant. We were perfect for each other.

On the other hand, Dracula was a piece of work, but you need to talk to Chelsea about that to get the real dirt. Sadistic, arrogant ass is the best description for him as far as I’m concerned, though he was not without his charm. I have to give him that.

Chelsea did confess to me that he was a great kisser, despite the fact that his breath smelled like a… well, let’s just say Lugosi he was not, but everything you read about the Impaler was spot on.

Mike:
Uh, as an A1000 Foundation Assassin, you must have quite an arsenal of magickal and man-made weapons, in addition to your hand-to-hand, or claw-to-claw skills. What are your weapons of choice?

Mel:
My favorite weapon is me, hands down. I’ve mellowed out a bit, but I still like the taste of blood in a fight. That metallic smell still gets me off. It depends on the situation, or course, but I like a big  gun, something like a XM312 just for the pure thrill of it. I like the desert eagle for small arms and of course you can never go wrong with a grenade launcher, but those methods all are messy.

Getting your brains blown out from a mile away generally doesn’t come off looking like an accident. So, I have some herbs and whatnot I use from time to time to simulate heart attack or stroke. Those are best used during sex, more believable, especially with me (she says with a prideful grin).

Mike:
Given how poorly you and your step-father Ben have gotten along, how did it feel when the two of you were side by side, firing select-fire weapons into that hoard of werewolves? Given that was a combat veteran of Vietnam, did you both feel like kindred spirits, as soldiers on the same side of battlefield for that brief time? How have you related to each other since?

Mel:
I got to deck him and that helped a lot. That’s how it all started. He hit me, but looking back at it I had totaled his 55 Buick and I would have hit me too. But back then I was a punk, hated everybody. Had nothing to do with being a morph, funny, that.

But, yeah, I know he loved my mother, so I guess he wasn’t all bad. But to answer your question, I think we understood each other a little better after all that with Dracula, but we never truly bonded. Not the way I think Mama would have wanted.

Mike:
Once upon a time you thought you were a “normal” human, but things changed and you seem to have adapted well. Now the rest of the world realizes that Magick is real. Wizards, demons, vampires, faerie dust, the works

Now, that’s a lot for people to accept.- and it turns centuries of years of scientific reason and religious beliefs upside down. What is your advice for folks to cope with all this, without becoming suicidal chain smokers that talk to cats?

Mel:
Get over it. (laughs). I mean really, if people would just deal with s**t instead of making a hullabaloo over everything we’d all be much better off. I suspect that won’t happen and eventually a lot of shit is going to go down. That’s when the Foundation will come calling again, and depending on my mood, I might sign up.

Mike:
Now everyone will want super powers! But, even with supernatural abilities, what things are better done by mortal, non-magick means?

Mel:
Well, magick isn’t like on TV where you can just wish for a porche and it appears. Some spells can be quite difficult to weave and they take a lot out of you, so there’s a lot that’s better the “mortal” way. Things that do appear out of thin air are usually illusions, like the glamour for instance.

And if you don’t know what you’re doing some spells can backfire. Sure there are wizards and witches who can do things that seem god-like, but for the most nonmagicals magick would be more work than its worth. Although, the portals are very nice. I haven’t flown on an airplane in over 20 years.

Mike:
Immorality is something countless people have sought. Presumably knowing that few things can kill you would make you braver and more daring, and certainly potentially more powerful as you acquire more knowledge, skills, money & resources over such a long time.

On the other hand, staying forever young while seeing your loved ones all grow old and die would not be the most fun thing experience- over and over again. Any other pros & cons people should beware of should they wish for such an existence?

Mel:
The Chattan curse is a double edged sword. Your destiny, supposedly, is to die by your own hand or go mad and kill everything in sight.

That’s quite the opposite of immortality. As long as we can stave that off we live, so yeah, when [my friend] Jacob goes it’s going to be rough. I’m more of a loner, so it’s not going to be so bad, but Chels, she’ll be a basket case when everyone starts kicking it. I don’t envy her at all, but me, I want to see what’s ahead.

Mike:
What’s with the accent? You are originally from North Carolina, but you sound very British. Did you live in England?

Mel:
There was a time I would have ripped your lungs out for asking such a question, I’ll settle for an eye. (laughs) Yeah, I lived in England for about three years and just picked it up. I still keep a flat in London just because.

Besides, I hated my old voice, real twangy and not in the “Southern Belle” sort of way. Ehm, (Mel adopts a very low brown southern drawl) So, dare, Mr. Intervie’r, you’s a reckon you asked enough a dem dare questions? That’s me real voice, gov’ner. (laughs)

Mike:
When did you first realize you were bi, and how easy or difficult was that growing up?

Mel::
(Mel leans over as if to convey a secret) Well, one night, Chelsea and I — (laughs out loud).

Mike:
?!

Mel::
Ha, you should see your face. Jacob said something to me about my duality and I just brushed him off. I didn’t really care. I like both men and women and that’s that.  My first girl crush was the classy one on Charlie’s Angels. I’d see her in reruns as a teenager and I thought, brilliant, because it’d freak everybody out.

Then I met this girl in high school and it became real and it was like, s**t, all this emotional crap is too much to deal with. The fun was out of it. So, I screwed her brother, broke her heart and had a laugh over it. Yeah, I’m a bitch. So in the end of it, men and women are like Italian or Chinese. It’s whatever I’m in the mood for.

Mike:
Ah, OK…! Um, now that you’re a Queen’s sister, what pressure does that royalty bring with it? Do they want to send you to My Fair Lady school?

Mel:
Jacob did that with me years ago. From time to time I had to use tact on a job, so I would pretty up. I used to hate it, but I guess I caught the acting bug and got into it more. I’m an impatient sort, so
I like using my fists to solve a problem, but sometimes that doesn’t work. It took me a while, but I realized that a kind word and a little leg can work wonders.

Mike::
How would a Queen Melpomene differ from Queen Chelsea? Or a Queen Cynthia?

Mel:
Oh god, Queen Cynthia. Everything would be pink. The girl’s a ditz, but she does have heart. Maybe some of it would rub off on this retched world. Queen Melpomene, on the other hand, wouldn’t stand for all the crap that goes on. She wouldn’t have the patience. I’m quite certain I would obliterate the planet within a month.

Mike:
Both of your sisters have children. How has being an Aunt changed you? Do you stop and smell the roses more often?

Mel:
I don’t see Cynthia and Paul much. We patched things up, but I did try to kill her, no matter what Jacob says. That’s tough to get over and I don’t blame her. I think I met Cyn’s three a few years before they moved. They have decent parents. They’ll make it, I think.

Charlotte on the other hand is a mess, a beautiful mess. When Chelsea told me she was going to step down I had a fit. We had so much more work to do and the world was still a hell hole. Then she told me she was going to have a kid. At first I freaked, offered to get her an abortion, but she really wanted it, despite certain things, the curse and all.

We didn’t talk for a few months after that. I popped in when she had the baby and was like, “oh great, another grub on this hellhole of a planet.” It wasn’t until Charlotte started becoming her own person that I fell in love with the mite. So, when she and I are together I do see the world differently, that the world’s fun and to be enjoyed. These days, I see it that way on my own every once in a while.

Mike:
When Chelsea or Cynthia need you to baby-sit, what’s day with Aunt Mel like?

Mel:
(smiles) I love that little brat, y’know, Chelsea’s kid. I used to think about having one of my own, but goddess it would have been so screwed up. The cub and I just do whatever she wants, ice cream, rrated movies, whatever I can do to spoil her rotten. Then I give her back. That’s the joy of it, y’know. Cyn and her clan moved up to Raleigh about five years ago, but as I said, we don’t keep in touch.

Mike:
How are the family reunions?

Mel:
We don’t really do that sort of thing. I see Chels all the time.

Mike:
You have a butler. You can afford to dine at five star restaurants all over the world. What might the master chefs of the world learn from Grandma Ruth or Diane’s recipe books?

Mel:
Mama wasn’t the best cook in the world, though she made great green beans. She caramelized them. I miss ‘em. Grandma on the other hand … I don’t know why Chelsea isn’t as big as rhino. Grandma used animal fat and real butter for years.

After her stroke she switched to peanut oil, but kept the butter. Still, Grandma’s cooking was one of the few pleasant memories I have as a child. This is going to sound so damn corny, but she cooked so well because she loved us. That was her way of showing it, y’know.

Mike:
Chelsea likes chocolate Raspberry Truffle ice cream, Sebo loves salmon croquettes. What do you and your were-kitty friend Beige crave?

Mel:
Beige likes salmon too, but she loves to have her tummy rubbed. Jacob’s the pro at that, the dirty old man. You probably won’t believe this, but I like vanilla ice cream best. I know that’s so pedestrian, but I enjoy the simplicity of it.

Mike:
You could live probably anywhere on the planet, but you don’t you still reside not far from here [Catgirl Island] in Haven, North Carolina?

Mel:
I still live in California, love. That portalling thing I mentioned a bit ago comes in quite handy.

Mike:
As a ‘Type A’ on so many levels, do you ever enjoy any down time? Any books, music, movies, non-lethal hobbies you enjoy?

Mel:
I must have my bath and yoga time, otherwise I’m a monster. (laughs) I don’t read much for pleasure, and I don’t own a television, but I will listen to music. I like the Cramps on occasion if I’m feeling like I need to unwind.

Before I left, Chelsea and I used to go downtown to see this old guy named “Dude” and he’d fix us up with a couple of joints. Sometimes he’d smoke with us, but most of the time we’d run down to the beach and fire up. If I can get to a beach late at night I’ll fire one up. Probably my favorite hobby. (grin).

Mike:
Back to the part about being sexy & beautiful, what’s your idea of a romantic evening, no doubt many of your admirers would like to know?

Mel:
Well, that’s a kind of “then and now” deal. Back when I was a bitter pill, there was no romance. It was just hot, steamy, blood-letting sex. Back then, if someone wasn’t hurt during the affair, it wasn’t satisfying.

These days I’m still quite the domme, unless I’m with Lilith, but I like the build up now. Y’know, the whole dinner and cuddle tease. So, you know, a little sushi and a cuddle in the hot tube followed by long hard kisses leading to … well, I could go on, but you must have more questions. (wink)

Mike:
Ah, yeah, well… and if Playboy or some other glamour magazines were to call?

Mel:
What? You missed that issue? How baaaaaad of you. (smile) Actually, they asked Chelsea first and Snow White declined, so they called me. I was a bit miffed for being a second prize, but I couldn’t pass it up. When I heard Jubal sneaked in a copy I nearly bust a gut. Of course, I got chastised from the Netherworld community, but that was exactly why I did it. If it riled, well that was alright with me.

Mike:
Let’s play “What if”. If none of those bad things mentioned in question #1 had happened to you- what do you think you’d be doing today?

Mel:
I can’t see myself playing house, even without the magick. I hope I would have had the sense to marry some rich old fart and have a few lovers on the side. Y’know, just have fun. Have couple of cats maybe, the kind that don’t talk. (smile)

Mike:
Speaking of playing house, how did you meet your butler, Winslow?

Mel:
He came with the ouse,  actually. The Foundation thought it would be a giggle to thrust him on to me, sarcastic wit and all. Odd thing is, he keeps my ego to a managable size and even odder,  I like that. Keeps me on my toes.

Mike:
What’s your opinion of playing beach volleyball?

Mel:
Not enough violence in it. I mean, I’d play it with a machette if I had have the chance. Now, getting hot and sweaty while wearing next to nothing, well that’s a sport in itself.  (wink)

Mike:
Well Mel, thank you so much for taking the time to, er, chat, and I hope you’ll enjoy the rest of your visit to our little island!

Mel:
The scenery is quite nice (eyeing a random catgirl) and your little island is wonderfully quaint as well. Now, if you’d like to start up a beach machette ball game, I’m all in. (wicked grin).

=^.^=

Nyanko:
Ha well although I do like a good contact sport, fortunately that machete ball game never happened- here anyway! We hope you enjoyed that intermew, and wish to thank Jamie again for making that intermew possible!

Next week, we’ll be honoring another famous catgirl of books, comics, movie, TV or games! We have to take another short break now, but there’s still more web comics related segments ahead with our main event’s special guest, so please stay tuned!

(snip)
(one short break later…)

The Mew’s November Main Event:
an intermew with Otter, the author / artist
of the web comic A Girl and Her Fed!

Jeannie:
We are delighted to purrsent our special guest Otter, who the artist / author of the wonderful web comic A Girl and Her Fed http://agirlandherfed.com/! Aloha and welcome to The Mew and Catgirl Island. What tasty beverage would you like?

Otter:
Tea,  thanks.

Jeannie:
What kind of tea do you purrfer?

Otter:
Any, thank you.

Jeannie:
(purrsents the sweetened iced tea with lemon) What were the earliest indication that you had such artistic & storytelling talent?

Otter:
It’s already showed up? Hot diggity! Now to learn how to use them for evil…

Jeannie:
What sort of formal artistic or literary training do you have?

Otter:
I took a little art in high school, and I work as an editor.

Jeannie:
Who are some of your favorite artists, authors, or other inspurrations?

Otter:
Oh, way too many to list.

Jeannie:
What are your favorite literary & cinema / TV works of fiction?

Otter:
Again, too many to choose from… gun to my head, the favorite book is probably Hunter S. Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” and I’ll watch any old crap as long as it has a giant shark or is a SyFy original movie. Preferably both.

Jeannie:
“Shark Attack 3” was purrticularly amewsing when a guy drove the Jet Ski right into the Megalodon’s garage-sized mouth. Have you seen “Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octapus”?

Otter:
Yes, it was on SyFy a few months ago.

Jeannie:
The impurressively sized shark takes out a jet airliner and chomps the Golden Gate Bridge.

Otter:
Got to love the big fellah’s initiative.

Jeannie:
What did you think of Terry Gilliiam’s movie adaptation of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”?

Otter:
Haven’t seen it.

Jeannie:
What are your favorite works of non-fiction & journalism?

Otter:
The journalism side of that question is impossible to answer, as many sources specialize in different areas of news coverage. For non-fiction in general, I prefer economics and environmental policy reading.

Jeannie:
Besides your art & writing, what are your other hobbies & interests?

Otter:
I keep dogs, aquariums, and spend a lot of time in the garden. Lately I’ve been keeping a blog about my reef tanks at The Digital Clownfish http://indigootter.wordpress.com/, which has been surprisingly popular. Apparently people like to read about pretty fishies.

Jeannie:
Oh, we are purrticularly fond of fishies here at The Mew. What are the neatest things about Koalas and Clown Fish?

Otter:
Never met a koala, myself. Clownfish are more reclusive and violent than people assume, so “cute” is about as good as they get.

Jeannie:
Speaking of Clown Fish, what did you think of Finding Nemo?

Otter:
A great movie all around.  Well-written, humorous, and beautiful.

Jeannie:
Any other favorite wild critters or pets?

Otter:
Just my ancient and beloved Rottweiler, although I think he’s keeping two wild bunnies as pets in the backyard so I think that makes me a grand-owner.

Jeannie:
Rottweilers are a neat dog breed. What sort of decor, snacks & mewsic best suit your creative mood & work environment?

Otter:
For paid work, I prefer my office setup. I have no taste whatsoever in music so I load up a random playlist from YouTube and let that run in the background. I hate snacks but I always have an oversized mug of hot tea. The comic is drawn at the dining room table in front of the TV, and I color it while watching Hulu at the computer. Over-stimulation is good for me.

Jeannie:
You have a collaborator, J. David Abbott. What should the fans know about his purrticipation in making A Girl and Her Fed happen?

Otter:
Dave is a spectacular person and the comic would not exist without him. He built the existing comic engine from the ground up because he needed a new project – I don’t know much about programming but I do know the comic has been up for three years and there’s been only one single problem with the site in all of that time.

He is currently building an entirely new platform/engine with greater functionality because he has zero tolerance for failure. Everyone needs to hug a web programmer… they keep our world up and running and never get the credit they are due.

Jeannie:
What are your art & writing purrfured tools & techniques?

Otter:
I’m still learning, so I can’t say I have any.

Jeannie:
Could you explain your web comic creative purocess, from concept to publication?

Otter:
It’s a maelstrom of rough notes, dick jokes, sketches, ink, Photoshop and Illustrator, and staying up way past my bedtime.

Jeannie:
The Girl is tough, feisty, smart, purragmatic, witty, cute & stylish. Is she based on anyone in purrtcular?

Otter:
Nope. The only character in the comic who is (roughly) based on someone is Speedy.

Jeannie:
Who would you want to cast as your characters, if you were ever appurroached to adapt your comic into a movie or TV show?

Otter:
I couldn’t say, as celebrities aren’t my thing. Finding someone big enough to play the Fed would be a trick!

Jeannie:
Accompanying the Girl and Her Fed are much espionage, politics, conspiracies, and supernatural phenomenon. What inspired all that? I understand there was an odd shipping incident that contributed to it?

Otter:
I got the idea for the story when the government started opening some of my mail. It turned out the sender was smoking pot and the drug dogs hit on his packages, but it got my brain clicking about the Founding Fathers and the state of civil liberties in modern America.

Jeannie:
Oh my stars and stripes! Do you have any favorite, or least favorite conspiracy theories?

Otter:
I recently heard that contrails – those long white clouds left by jets – are used to intentionally contaminate the world’s water supply for Nefarious Purposes.

Jeannie:
What is your opinion about ghosts & hauntings?

Otter:
Good fodder for fiction.  Other than that, I don’t much care.

Jeannie:
UFO’s?

Otter:
Same.

Jeannie:
Speedy [your Koala character] tweets. Do you have other sites, or other parts of the internet you’re fond of?

Otter:
I should point out that I am not the person responsible for Speedy’s Twitter feed; the person who is has my full permission and is enjoying the hell out of it.

For personal reading, I follow several news sites and there’s the usual daily webcomics trawl, although it’s down from its peak (60+ comics) to about five daily standbys that everyone has heard of. My free time was destroyed when I started the comic. I do love Cakewrecks http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/ though.  It’s my favorite 30 seconds of the morning.

Jeannie:
How busy does fan mail and the forum discussions keep you?

Otter:
I used to answer mail as soon as it came in but now I tend to answer it in batches. The forum is fairly laid back and members contribute when we feel we have something to say.

Jeannie:
We’re apolitical here at The Mew, but politics seem to be a big part of your comic and forum. How spirited do the forum discussions get?

Otter:
The regulars in the forum are all polite, educated, and recognize that different opinions make the world a better place. Thus far there’s never been a single incident where disagreement caused tension, although I think it helps that we’re more fond of jokes and bad puns than fighting.

Jeannie:
Fans can be a bit touchy about reboots and ‘special editions’. What was the response to the re-drawn 300 pages of your web comic ?

Otter:
I’m working so the rebooted strips don’t infringe on the main storyline and run them during vacations and such, but every time I run a rebooted strip I’m buried in critical emails.  However, the last time I ran a reboot week I asked that readers appreciate that it needed to be done if the story is to ever go to print, and I got a lot of unexpected support.

Jeannie:
Purrhaps the most frequently asked question to web comics creators is “How do you purrofit from web comics?” So what is your opinion of merchandising, advertising, subscriptions, etc?

Otter:
My opinion is that anyone who starts a webcomic thinking they can make any money off of webcomics, let alone live off of the profits, has made a terrible business decision. You have to have a quality product with a loyal, established readership to make that happen.

A couple of people were extremely lucky and caught the attention of a large readership soon after starting their comics, but for the majority of webcomic creators it is a matter of hundreds of strips and years of hard work before there is any financial return whatsoever. If you want to tell a story, do it.  If you want to draw a comic, do it.

Don’t go into webcomics thinking of it as anything other than a hobby.  I’m one of the lucky ones as my readers buy enough merchandise so I break even on art supplies, hosting, advertising, travel and hotels for conventions, and the countless other expenses you’d never expect, but profit? Please.

Jeannie:
Is Girl and Her Fed available in purrint?

Otter:
Not yet, but soon. Hopefully by May.

Jeannie:
Do you do sketches & art commissions?

Otter:
Only if I know the person.

Jeannie:
Do you go to many conventions, and where will your next appearances be?

Otter:
I’m not much of a convention person, but I do go show up at WTHCon http://www.guilford.edu/yachting/wthcon/ at Guilford College (I don’t get a table but I usually wander around for a couple of hours), Connecticon http://connecticon.org/ and Otakon http://www.otakon.com/.

Jeannie:
We’ve never been to those former two cons which do sound like a great deal of fun, but we’ve been to WhatTheHell?! Con, which is staffed by the nicest folks. Do you have any sage advice for aspiring artists or writers?

Otter:
You can’t please everyone, so be damned sure you find a way to live with yourself.

Jeannie:
Otter, thank you so very much for visiting & chatting with us. We hope you’ll enjoy the rest of your island visit, and we will see you later at tonight’s luau! That’s all for this segment, but we will be right back after this short break!

(snip)
(one short break later…)

Autmunal Aspurrations & Winter Wishes!

Mike:
What movies & DVDs do y’all want to see between now and the end of the year?

(the catgirls & faerie in unison):
AVATAR!

Mary Nyan:
Well, that… and The Box, Doctor Parnassus, and Descent 2… and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on DVD. It was my 2nd favorite of the series and I’m curious to see what extra special features there might be on it.

Yvonne:
In theaters I want to see Mr. Fox, The Purrincess and the Frog, and the DVDs
are UP and Ponyo, nya! Pixar and Ghibli are my favorite animation studios, nya!

Jeannie:
Star Trek on DVD; Astro Boy, Amelia, Avatar & Sherlock Holmes in theaters.

Mielikki:
Avatar, Men Who Stare at Goats, and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus!

Elizabeth:
DVDs I want are Bamboo Blade, Spice & Wolf, and Watchmen Ultimate Edition!

Nyanko:
Bamboo Blade, El Super Beasto, Black Dynamite, and I might even go see 2012.

Mike:
Men Who Stare at Goats, A Serious Man, The Box, Avatar in theaters; Ponyo, UP,
Potter, Inglorious Bastereds and Trek on DVD! How about… things to read?

Jeannie:
My technical journals, fashion magazines, graphic novels & travel guides– a lot.

Mielikki:
There’s supposedly a new Charles Vess due soon- I’m so looking forward to that!

Yvonne:
I hope that vol. 5 of the Aria manga is published soon too, nya!

Nyanko:
There’s a Psylocke series coming out from Marvel I wanna read! I’m still behind on Jenny Breeden’s comics but I hope to catch up the next time I fly to a tournyament! I don’t suppose Mie has that luxury- the way she flies the old fashioned way, hee!

Mielikki:
That’s an advantage you have by flying by plane- when I fly I’m busy navigating or admiring the view! Although I do like to look for crop circles while I’m up there – most are like works of organic art or rural ‘tagging’, but some magickal glyphs have lead me to some of the most tubular Faerie gardens, bistros & lodges! So what are you looking forward to reading. Myayr?

Mary Nyan:
More Buffy & Angel comics- especially the upcoming special Willow issue! Lizzy?

Elizabeth:
Just the mewsual magazines, comic books and web comics I guess… and I’d like to borrow more of those Peanuts books, please!

Mike:
Any time! And looking at the time-

The Cat Lady Sings (and thanks)…

Mary Nyan:
That’ll wrap it up for this edition of The Mew, and we all thank our friend &
web master Jamie Robertson for all of his hard work in making it happen!

Nyanko:
HaI- I enjoyed that Mel intermew! Thanks for having me back, too!

Elizabeth:
It was good that our busy friends Mie-sensei & Nya-sensei could take the
time from their busy training and tournyament schedules join us again too.

Mielikki:
Thank you- it was so nice to see y’all again, fur shur!

Yvonne:
It was so nice to meet our guest Otter, nya! Well I guess we’re all done, nya!

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

Mike:
Thanks for watching The Mew everybody! We’ll be back next month with more
reviews, catgirl banter, and interviews with special guests! Be there… aloha!

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

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