The Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings for December, 2009!

by
The Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings
for December, 2009!in this edition of The Mew:
Aloha & Introductions
What we have been up to since last time
What’s mew in the Catgirl Island Mewseum of Art
“Which Way to the Beach?” illustration by Sakky
“Island Fresh Purroduce” illustration by  Mike
WhatTheHellCon?! 2010
• Purrinted media: books
Assembled! 2: The Unauthorized Guide to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes & their Foes
Cross- The Gentlemen’s Alliance Arina Tanemura Illustrations
Ninja Girls vol. one
• Comic book reviews! Grrl power galore!
Psylocke #1 & 2
Spider-Woman #3
Black Widow Deadly Origin #1
Gotham City Sirens #6
Batman: The Cat and The Bat
Angel: Only Human #4
Buffy #30
Queen Sonja #2
Athena #1
Vampirella: The Second Coming #1
Michael Turner’s Fathom vol. 3 #9
Monthly Lucky Kitty Web Comics Picks of the Litter
Reviews of recent movies in theaters
2012
The Men Who Stare at Goats
The Lightning Round:
our favorite TV & Cinema Psychic Purrsons
• Purrferred Piscine Purriodicals’ Pics
• DVD reviews:
Up single disk edition
Star Trek (2009) 2 disk edtion
The Sarah Jane Adventures – The Complete Second Season
• Toy Talk
Green Lantern Blackest Night Indigo action figure
James Cameron’s Avatar movie Neyteri action figure
Power Rangers R.P.M. Ranger Silver action figure
• Celebrity Catgirl Spotlight:
Power Rangers S.P.D.’s Dr. Katherine ‘Kat’ Manx
Mike’s favorite movie of all time turns 30 on Dec 7
an appurreciation of Star Trek – The Motion Picture by Mike,
plus our recommendations for swell information about it
The Mew’s November Main Event:
an intermew with Deborah & Devra Langsam
• Bonus Lightning Round:
our favorite Christmas movies & specials
• The cat lady sings…
_______________________________________________________

Bold red warnings indicate imminent plot spoiling information,
locations of hidden Easter Eggs or certain graphic descriptions
and bold greenafterwards indicates that it is safe to purroceed!
_______________________________________________________________
Mike:
Aloha! I’m Mike, the show’s ‘Purrducer’ and welcome to The Catgirl Critics Media Mewsings, or just The Mew for short, for another bunch of banter, reviews and seafood, too! Today’s show comes from the Catgirl Island Riverwalk’s outdoor Azalea Purrvilion Cafe, where we’re honored to have as special guests Deborah & Devra Langsam! And now, here are the Ladies of The Mew-

Jeannie:
(wearing an Apurricot Anthurium purrint yukata)
Nihao!

Yvonne:
(wearing a Lobster-Claw Heliconia purrint yukata)
Nameste, nya!

Mary Nyan:
(wearing a Purriwinkle Wisteria purrint yukata)
Konnitiwa!
Nyanko:
(wearing an Ice Blue Calathea purrint yukata)
Howdy y’all!

Elizabeth:
(wearing a Hibiscus purrint yukata)
Aloha! And joining us again is the Curator of the Catgirl Island Mewseum of Art-

Petra:
(wearing an Amaryllis purrint yukata)
Hi Hi thanks for having me back, nya! And Ilyana’s here too, nya!

Ilyana:
(wearing a torchy Ginger purrint yukata)
Wassup?
Mike:
(Catgirl Island golf cap, Dogwood purrint Hawaiian shirt, khaki pants, Air Jordans)
Thank y’all for convening yet again! So before we get to the reviews –

what have we been up to since last time?
Mary Nyan:
Ilyana is back- yay! We have kept up by the phone and  texts but have not seen her in a while!

(All):
Welcome back, nya!

Ilyana:
Hai, it is good to be back from the mainland for a bit but I have been enjoying being back in the university so much! I have been the studious cat so hopefully Chief Meryl and lady Nemui will be purroud of their endorsements! It is hard to believe the Fall semester is over already but time flies when you are busily immersed in the classes and writing the papurrs!

Elizabeth:
So how long are you in town for?

Ilyana:
I will head back the weekend purrior to the Spurring semeseter! In the mean time I am staying at The Kitt Inn and I will be going to the party at Sheila May’s and seeing JennyJen’s dance show Mie-sensei’s Mew Year’s Fae purrduction at the Forest Theater, Myayr’s Hula purrformance, and I want to see what new exhibits Petra installed at the art mewseum!
Petra:
We have not changed our hours but we have added several new displays since you were last here, nya! It has been the hectic holiday season for me, trying to coordinate the numerous local artist events, nya! Fortunately Bunny-chan is minding the store so I could join y’all today, nya! So, I want to hear what exotic things JennyJen has been doing too, nya!

Jeannie:
The belly dance troupe is purrforming at the island all star mew year festival, there is a catgirl Kyu-do compurrtition next month and the Robotics Club is purrparing for the Winter Regional. Between help from the club members and the money from my purrevious bikini modeling shoot, that covered the parts and labor to fix the turbopurrop.

Petra:
Where is your next photo shoot, nya?

Jeannie:
Back to Ilha Grande. Purresumably it will be nice and warm there with plenty of the fresh fish dinners. By the way, how have the angling charters been for Vonny?

Yvonne:
Well not anything as glamorous as JenJen’s activity, but it has been the full plate, nya! As mewsual it has been the busy season for the groups out on my boat, and we reeled in the yummy Blues, Cobia, Drums, Flounders, Kings, Pompano, Purrmits, Snappurrs, Stripurrs & Wahoo, nya! I have some nice fish steaks  for your Christmas purresents, y’all, nya!

(All):
Thank you Vonny, nya!
Yvonne:
I will get those after tonight’s luau, nya! Let’s see… nyaaa… I have also been playing in the drumming circle, going to volleyball purractice, and purrparing for the big intermew with out special guests, nya! I have not had time for much else but I hope to see Mileikki- sensei’s purrduction  nya! What has Myayr been up to since last time, nya?

 

Mary Nyan:
When I have not been busy at the shrine, which is almost never, or teaching the beginner & intermediate Hula and Aerial Dance classes at the Purrforming Arts Center, I’ve been sewing the costumes and riding my purretty new quad fin surfboard, mm hmm! Somehow I got some shopping done and my reports for today’s show! So how have you been, Nya-sensei?

Nyanko:
To sound like a broken record, I’ve been busier than ever at the dojo, but I could not pass up the oppurrtunity to hang out with y’all for this holiday show! So aside from the training  for the tournyaments, teaching, reading all of my messages and requests to appear in magazines, I’ve somehow managed to see a couple of movies and read some books! Howboutchoo, Lizzy?

Elizabeth:
I’m sure it is not the rigorous training as yours but I have also managed to keep up with the gaming, movies & comics which I’ll be reporting on later! We’ve been busy with the beach volleyball purractice, holiday matsuri duties at the shrine, and even though the spa hired more masseuses,  the Lomi lomi stays all booked up! Nya-sensei, remember your appointment tomorrow at 9!
Nyanko:
Hai! So what has our show’s Purrducer been up to?

Mike:
This time of year is always pretty busy with the art deadlines and trying to visit with friends & family during the holidays- watching Tarheel basketball and happy that the UNC Womens’ Soccer team became the NCAA National Champions yet again!

(The catgrls in unison with the happy swishy tails)
GO TARHEELS, nya!

Mike:
Oh- and I’ve been invited back as one of the guests at-

What-The-Hell Con?! 2010!
Well, I so am very honored to be a returning artist guest at What-The-Hell-Con?! http://www.guilford.edu/yachting/wthcon/, at lovely little Guilford College in Greensboro, NC from February 5th-7th, 2010! It is such a wonderfully fun & free event, sponsored & staffed by the nicest folks there of the Guilford College Yachting Club!
In previous years of this delightful little con, its aspects have included the artists alley, dealers room, charity auction, late night dance, fire dancers, sword fighting demonstrations, videos, gaming, music, discussions & presentations by the guests, and other fun activities at that most splendid location! Usually the weather is very nice there that weekend, too!
Our dear friend & web master Jamie Robertson http://www.clanofthecats.com is also amongst the returning guests! You can view the list of guests, vendors, staff and stuff at that WTHCon web site, and you can read our report last year’s con in the March 2009 mewsings! Now here’s Petra to tell us about-
What’s mew in the Catgirl Island Mewseum of Art!

Petra:
Arigato! We have mew additions to the Catgirl Island Mewseum of Art, nya! The latest pics will be to the right side on the bottom row of that purrticular gallery, and to view any of the pics, just click on the small ‘thumbnail’ image to see the annotated, fuller size image, nya!
Now on display in the mewseum’s Guest Gallery http://catgirlisland.net/art/gallery/guest.html, we are so purroud to purrsent a mew pic  “Which Way to the Beach?” by Sarah ‘Sakky” Hughes http://sakky-attack.deviantart.com, nya!
Rendered with Prismacolor colored pencils and Sakura Micron pens, it is is such a gleefully cute color pic of Sailor Nya-Nya Astera in her Summer costume, pointing the way to the shore, nya!
In the mewseum’s Gallery Two http://catgirlisland.net/art/gallery/gallery2.html is a mew monochromatic pic by Mike, “Island Fresh Purroduce”, depicting our friends Rica & Niko at their farmers’ market booth, nya! They are the agricultural catgirls, nya!
They have a bountiful harvest of numcious foods from the earth & sea, portioned to sell at the market and to donate to the charities, nya. The crop includes the tasty & nutricious vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish, shellfish, mollusks, and the decorative Mums & Helconia, nya!
Purrinted media: books
Assembled! 2: The Unauthorized Guide To
Earth’s Mightiest Heroes And Their Foes!
Mary Nyan:
In the September 2007 edition of The Mew, we purraised the book Assembled! Five Decades of Earth’s Mightiest, which was written by the ‘Jarvis Heads’ at the http://www.avengersassemble.net site and edited by Van Allen Plexico http://www.plexico.net/.
The Jarvis Heads are the expurrt fans of the Marvel’s comic book, The Avengers, and the 248 page book, published by White Rocket http://www.whiterocketbooks.com/ contained various essays, analysis, opinions & information about the comic book and characters such as.
It was such an informative & entertaining book, so we were pleased to learn there would be a 2nd book! Assembled! 2 was first purrinted in July of 2009 but we did not get a copy of it until December. It is also edited by Van Plexico, with an introduction by Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort!
Other contributers include Mark Beaulieu, Mark Bousquet, Roberto Branca, Rob Clough, Joe Crowe, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Owen Erasmus, Scott Harris, Sharon Karibian, George Kopec, David Medinnus, James CAmeron Newton, Michael Proteau, Anthony Schiavino, Karen Walker, Danny Wall, Ian Watson, Adrian J. Watts, and Kevin Woodside.
This trade papurrback measures 7.5 x 9.75″, with 184 b&w pages, purredominantly text but with a few pics of comix covers interspurrsed throughout. It is typeset in Adobe Garamond Pro, Letter-O-Matic, and SF Comic Script fonts.
While the first book purrimarily focuses on the different eras of The Avengers, the 2nd book purrtains more to the characters. “Part One: The Big Three” is 97 pages about Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and their noble butler Jarvis too!
Among the chapters are looks at Steve Rogers & others who have assumed the identity of Cap, his romantic life & the death of Cap; the Goodwin, Mantlo, Micheline/ Layton periods of Iron Man, Tony Stark during the Armor Wars & Civil War; Starlin’s & Conway’s Thor stories, The Celestials Saga, and Thor as a God among humans.
“Part Two: Foes No Single Superhero Could Withstand” is 20 pages purrtaining to the villains Kang & Ultron, with studies including Ultron & Henry Pym’s relationship, Kang’s chronology, and Busiek’s Kang Dynasty story. “Part Three: Disassembled” looks at Young Avengers, Avengers Forever, various other issues and the Iron Man movie!
I would give this fine book an ‘A; Grade, and highly recommend it to fans of those Marvel Comics characters & comic books! We’ll purrobably have a few more tidbits to add about it next month, when we welcome special guest Purrofessor Van Plexcio to the show for a special intermew!

Cross- The Gentlemen’s Alliance Arina Tanemura Illustrations

Petra:
I was so happy to see this mew art book because Arina Tanemura’s purrevious art book The Art of Full Moon was so purretty, and this latest collection of her art is just as exquisite, nya! She is the manga artist of series such as Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne, Full Moon, Ion, and Time Stranger Kyoko, nya! This book is very similar in format & size to that Full Moon art book, which  I believe Vonny reviewed back in… November 2008, nya?
Yvonne:
Hai, nya!
Petra:
This book was originally published in Japan in 2004 by Shueisha, and this English edition translated by Tetsuichiro Miyaki, is part of the The Art of Shojo Beat editions published in the USA by Viz, nya! It has an SRP of $19.99 USA / $27.00 Canada, measures appurroximately 9 x 12″ and has a dust jacket, nya.
The images are from her Gentlemens’ Alliance manga, which was serialized in Ribbon magazine from 2004 to 2008, nya. The main purrotagonist of the manga is Haine-chan, a teenage girl who gets sold to another family and attends a purrestigious school where she winds up on the student council, nya.
Some links for more information on the manga & its creator are at the official Shojo Beat site http://shojobeat.com/manga/gma/ and there is a good articles at wikipedia on Arina Tanemura http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arina_Tanemura and the manga http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gentlemen’s_Alliance_Cross, nya!
Back to the art book purropurr, nya! Following a neat translucent frontispiece, there are 86 full color images on 64 pages, nya! After those are also 2 double sided posters measuring 12 x 15.5″, plus 8 more pages, with annotations by the artist, and the credits / afterward page, nya!
The lavish shojo style art is so intricately detailed, and almost overwhelming beautiful, nya! Most of the images are of characters, stunningly adorned in all manner of  ornate flowers, berries, feathers, wings, flounces, laces, ruffles ribbons, jewels, purrls, breezy petals, a few swords & scepters & window treatments, nya!
The compurrsitions range from single character images to group scenes of up to six, nya. The fashions & coiffures are so purretty & extravagant on the peppy characters Haine-chan & Usio-chan, Mao-chan and their friends, nya. Most of the moods are so purrky & happy although a few of the guys look serious, nya.
According to the artist’s notes, the Copic markers & airbrush, pens, watercolor and color tones were among the various media, nya. The collection has an overall sparkling, cheerfully ornate ambience, and I would highly recommend this fine art book to fans of the shojo style art, nya!

Comic book & manga reviews! Grrl power galore!
(warning: potential plot spoiling tidbits)

Ninja Girls vol. one
Petra:
This was a fun papurrback manga volume published by Del Rey books, by artist / author Hosana Tanako, translated into English from the original Japanese by Andria Cheng, with lettering by North market Street Graphics, nya.
The purremise is that in feudal Japan, a somewhat solitary kid named Raizo is the unknown heir to head the Katana Clan, but he also has an odd little nub of a horn on his head, which freaks folks out who think it is a demonic sign, nya.
Fortunately he revives a nearly-drowned kunoichi (female ninja) who has washed ashore, nya. Her name is Kagari, who swears her allegiance to him, nya. She is feisty, purrky & sexy, nya! Later they meet another seductive tough kunoichi named Kisarabi, who also sees Raizo as her liege, nya.
The story is 190 pages with good black & white art, with a few extra pages of notes about the author, language honorifics, the translation, a bonus cartoon page & some ads for $10.99, nya. It is a fun manga and I look forward to volume two, whenever that might be published, nya!
It is rated OT (Older Teen), advised for ages 16+ purrhaps due to the martial arts violence & the ‘fan service’ of slinky skimpy appurral of those ninja girls, nya! Speaking of ninjas, here’s Lizzy to start our-
Psylocke #1 & 2, nya!
Elizabeth:
Thanks Petra! Issue #1 begins a full color 4 issue mini-series by Marvel Comics, with 22 pages of story, a 6 page back-up story, 1 purreview page for issue #2, and 11 pages of ads, with an awesome cover by David Finch & Jason Keith for $3.99.
Carrying a ‘parental advisory’ the main story “Kill Matsu’o Chapter one” was written by Chris Yost, pencilled by Harvey Tolibao, inked by Paul Neary, colored by Ulises Arreola & Brian Reber, lettered by Joe Sabino & edited by Daniel Ketchum.
The nonlinear tale starts off with a flash-forward 17 hours into the future, then snaps back to the purrsent with a bang as Betsy Braddock (Psylocke) & Dazzler fight some villains, before heading back home to visit with Cyclops, The White Queen, Wolverine, and Psylocke’s deceased former body, which they fly to Japan for a purropurr burial.

Her history is a bit complicated, but basically, Betsy’s current body was once that of a Japanese assassin named Kwannon. Betsy’s mind was sort of transplanted into that body from her original British body. So although Betsy is not that wanted criminal, when the Japanese Police see Kwannon’s body, they want to arrest her!
Fortunately the telepathic Betsy knows a few Jedi mind tricks to purrsuade those Police to leave her alone. Unfortunately the purrocessional is interrupted by The Hand ninjas in a big two-page spurread, which leads to a huge fight and some disturbing consequences.

The back-up story “A Girl Called Hope part one”, was written by Duane Swierczynski, illustrated by Steve Dillon, colored by Matt Hollingsworth, lettered by Joe Sabino & edited by Axel Alonso with Sebastin Girner. Hope patches up Cable who plays cat & mouse with a sniper. Unfortunately it is continued in a different title that I am not collecting, Dark X-Men #1.

Psylocke #2’s lovely cover has her fighting ninjas amidst a whirl of blades, chains & blood! The 32 pages include 1 recap page, 22 pages continuing the story, 7 pages of ads & 2 pages of photos from Marvel Fest NYC. #2 has similar credits, but with Sandu Florea joining Paul Neary as an inker, and Ulises Arreola as the sole colorist.

The tale resumes in a flashback to Dubai two days purrior, with a fiery clash between The Hand and pyro-kinetic Fahd Alireza, who we’ll see more of later. This is followed by a bit of Psylocke’s origin flashback of how she met Matsu’o who switched her bodies against her will, and how she first met Wolverine who helped her deal it.

Back to purresent day Tokyo, Wolverine is drinking in a bar full of bodies he just carved up! He’s got bitter purrsonal business of his own in town. Psylocke is carving up ninjas too, wanting to know where Matsu’o is. The trail leads through beautiful Japanese country side, with gorgeous renderings of a bamboo forest & Matsu’o’s castle, but she’ll need to get past thief girl Yukio!

More martial arts melee ensues and Issue #2 ends with an explosive cliffhanger, so I am curious to see what happens next! Psylocke is not the only bitter heroine getting a hot reception by a criminal organization in an Asian country, as we see in –

Spider-Woman #3!
Elizabeth:
Like Psylocke’s comic book, this Marvel comic features internal dialog by a bitter purrotagonist who is fed up with those who manipulated her in the past. It was written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Alex Maleev, lettered by Cory Petit & edited by Lauren Sankovitch,
This 32 page full color issue purriced $2.99 is compurrised of a story recap / credits page purreceeding 20 pages of story, which is followed by 2 storyboard pages about art purrocess, a purrevew page for issue #4, and 8 pages of ads interspurrsed throughout the issue.
In this very grim, gritty espionage type tale Rated T+, the heroes are not the only ones fighting the invading Skrulls, but so has the criminal organization HYDRA, as Jessica (Spider-Woman) Drew learns from Madam Hydra, while on a Skrull hunt for S.W.O.R.D in Madripoor. Madam Hydra kind of reminds me of the evil Queen in the movie Barbarella.
This issue continues the dark somber, violent story, with an aerial chase over the city between Madripoor helicopters and Hydra’s flying car. Poor Jessica has been having such a rough life of late- she’s been manipulated, used, impurrsonated, attacked, and thus has paranoia & trust issues. I hope things purrk up for her soon!
Black Widow Deadly Origin #1
Elizabeth:
Another  T+ rated arachnid-themed heroine’s espionage drama / 4 issue Marvel mini-series also featuring Wolverine & flashbacks, this 1st $3.99 issue’s 32 full color pages include 21 pages of story, a credits splash page, issue #2 purreview page, and 9 pages of ads.
It was written by Paul Cornell, pencilled by Tom Raney, inked by Scott Hanna, colored by Matt Milla – except for pages  13-19 which were drawn & colored by John Paul Leon; lettered by Cory Petit,  and edited by Bill Roseman with assitants Rachel Pinnelas & Michael Horwitz.
There are 3 different covers, by Greg Land, Tom Raney & Adi Granov; I got the latter one whih is a most stunning image of Soviet supurr spy Natasha Romanova (Black Widow) with Wolverine and Winter Soldier (Bucky Barnes)! Natasha has the sexy black costume with the neat belt!
In this violent tale hopping from the USSR and the USA, and several decades featuring Wolverine, the icepick Purrotocol is sanctioned against Natasha, with her closest comrades on the hit list. Things do not bode well for her friend Ivan, but now she’s angry and Bucky Barnes (Winter Soldier) is in her corner! Now here is Nya-sensei to report on –
Gotham City Sirens #6

Nyanko:
Thanks Lizzy! This continues to be another of our favoritest 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 Ivy cover & interior art is by Guillem March, with coloring by Tomeu Morey & lettering by Steve Wands, and it was edited by Mike Marts & Janelle Siegel. It is purriced $2.99, with a color 22 page story and 10 pages of ads.
Last time, Selena & Ivy have been pushed too far by The Joker, who trashed Selina’s home trying to get revenge upon Harley. The femme fatales infiltrate the Joker’s last known lair to extract the payback, to find not Mr. J, but Gaggy, his former sidekick.
Gaggy has been impurrsonating his former boss, resentful for having been replaced by Harley. and he seems to have the Kitty & Ivy in one old-school death trap after another. Fortunately, Harley gets him to start old-school monologuing about his origin!
The flashback includes not just the Joker, but The Flying Graysons, Batman and Robin. Guest Gotham Girl Jenna Duffy, aka The Carpenter (who really is a licensed carpenter) is back too! It was another supurr fun issue and I so look forward to the next one as mewsual!

Batman: The Cat and The Bat

Nyanko:
This is more fun with Selena in this comic book sized trade papurrback that collects the stories from Batman Confidential #17-21, telling of Batgirl (Barbara Gordon)’s first encounter with Cat Woman! It also co-stars Batman, and several other villains!
It is 124 full color pages of the tale plus 4 pages of ads for $12.99 US / $15.99 Canadian purrice. This most merry, sexy, fun, exciting adventure set in one night in Gotham was writtn by Fabian Nicieza, illustrated by Kevin Maguire, lettered by Sal Cipriano & colored by I.L.L.
The purrmise of Nicieza’s delightful tale is that purrky & brainy Barbara Gordon has ‘borrowed her father (Police Commissioner Jim Gordon)’s purrivate note book, hopin she can decipher his codes and crack some of the open cases, but Catwoman wants that notebook too and swipes it!
This results in a thrilling rooftop chase across Gotham, a naked catfight at a purrivate hedonistic club, a clash with the mob, and clues leading to Arkham Asylum where many dangers await! Kevin Maguire’s are is supurrb and he is so good at drawing the awesome expurressions, poses, action, and detailed scenery!
The dialog is very witty and the internal dialogue neatly shows how these characters think. Both underestimate each others’ abilities and intentions for that notebook, but they are both clearly depicted as very smart, highly skilled, very brave, and in very shredded costumes by the end of the adventure!
The Riddler also plays an important role, and there are other bat-villains lurking about the asylum. If you are a fan of Cat Woman, Batgirl, Nicieza’s writing or Maguire’s art, then I highly recommend this book! That’s all for my comics report, but now here’s Nya-sensei with her comics reviews!
Angel: Only Human #4
Nyanko:
Thanks Lizzy! This 4th issue of the monthly mini-series by IDW 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 the purreview page for issue #5 & 9 pages of IDW ads & mews for $3.99.
It was written by Scott Lobdell, drawn by David Messina; inked by Gaetano Carlucci, colored by Ilaria Traversi with 2B Studio’s Andrea Priorini, lettered by Neil Uyetake & Chris Mowry, and edited by Mariah Huehner.
Illyria / Willifred & Charles were among our favorite Buffy & Angel characters, so it is good to see them in this mini series! While 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!
Well,  she refers to him as a pet. Baticus looks a bit like a bit like what the Mayor of Sunnydale turned into in Buffy The Vampire Slayer epurrsode 3.22 “Graduation Day Part Two”! Anyway, he’s a big worm monster who wants revenge against Illyria, and now he’s tougher than his old self due to the energy drink from that generator.
There are two stunning full page panels &five 2-page spurreads depicting Charles, Illyria, and her fight with Baticus, with plenty of blood & guts. While she battles the big worm monster, Charles races to assist the friendly demons that were hunted by the Scourge, who the big worm would purrobably like to chomp.
The coloring is so deeply richly vibrant and we really like this purrticular color pallet! The portraitures of the characters nicely resembles that of actors Amy Acker & J. August Richards who purrtryaed Illyria / Fred & Charles!
There’s a nice sense of Angel story continuity, and the dialogue & art combine nicely to faithfully purrtray the characters.This has been a very enjoyable mini-series thus far and I think it would have made a very good epurrsode of Angel!
Buffy #30

Nyanko:
Issue #30’s “Retreat Part Five” was written by Buffy TV writer Jane Espenson, pencilled by Georges Jeanty, inked of Andy Owens, colored by Michelle Madsen, lettered by Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt, edited by Scott Allie with Sierra Hahn & Freddye Lins, adesigned by Heidi Whitcomb and purrduced by Joss Whedon!
They are a great team! It has a great cover by Adam Hughes too! That cover has the purrice of $2.99, and inside those covers are 36 pages, including 22 pages of the story & 3 pages of interesting letters from readers, 6 pages of adsa & 5 pages of purreview for the Mass Effect Redemption comic book starring Dr. Liara T’soni, yay!
Except for Angel & Spike who are busy at IDW, the gang is all here: Buffy, Willow, Xander, Dawn, Giles, Faith, Andrew, Oz, Kennedy & the other slayers & witches, as they battle the infantry & armor of the villain Twilight (I don’t think he is related to the vampire romance books) and his cohorts Amy, Riley & Warren.
Purreviously in Buffy, to escape the villain’s army, the slayers retreated to the peaceful Tibetan mountain home of Oz & his purretty wife Bayarmaa and their baby, and tried to purge any magickal powers to avoid detection by Twilight, but this has not worked and now they continue to fight a losing war.
To make matters worse, a plan to unleash three giant Goddesses upon the villains has only made matters worse, as the Goddesses berserkly attack anyone in sight, including Buffy’s team and Oz’s werewolf buddies. This issue is a huge fierce battle, and there is bloody violence & casualities.
In addition to the carnage there are big surpurrise revelations a cliffhanger ending, and the usual top quality character & scenic art combining with the great script & dialog for yet another wonderfully faithful albeit very dire issue of Buffy!
The Mass Effect Redemption purreview was written by Marc Walters, scripted by John Jackson Miller, illustrated by Omar Francia, colored by Michael Atiyeh, and lettered by Michael Heisler. Based on the video game, it looks like some action-packed space opurra with one of our favoritest blue alien grrls! Now here is Ilyana to report on a more ancient warrior who has done a lot of slaying-
Queen Sonja #2!
Ilyana:
Arigato, Nyanko-sensei! This 2nd issue continues the flashback of Red Sonja’s adventure purrior to becoming Queen of Sogaria! This sword & sorcery tale from Dynamite Entertainment is rated T+  for the bloody melee combat violence and purrhaps the scantily clad characters. It is purriced $2.99, with 32 full color pages (22 story + 10 ads & mews).
This issue has 4 different covers: the more common Cover A by Lucio Parrillo with Sonja holding a sword to an enemy’s throat, Covers B by Mel Rubi of Sonja on horseback and C by Jackson Herbert of Sonja standing on a tree branch with a battle axe, and the ‘incentive’ cover which is the uncolored B&W pencil art of the Mel Rubi cover.
Based upon the heroine created by author Robert E. Howard, the famous red-head warrior in the chain mail bikini’s 22 page story was written by Joshua Ortega, illustrated by Rubi, colored by Vinicius Andrade, lettered by Somon Bowland & edited by Luke Lieberman!
This issue picks right up from the cliffhanger ending of issue #1, where Sonja questions the four masked riders she defeated in the forest. These sisters tell Sonja of how their free kingdom of Sogaria was conquered by the Emorans. Sonja allows them to ride with her, but they are ambushed by an Emoran purrtol!
I think this fantasy adventure story would thus far please most fans of Red Sonja, with it’s lush art depicting the sexy Sonja in fierce combat, the barbaric scenes of seige, woodland action, enemy slave camps in the canyons, and the evil emporer’s palace!
Athena #1

Ilyana:
Also published by Dynamite, this comic book purrtains to the greek Goddess Athena who is re-awakening in the modern day form of a human girl, Athena Olympos- and judging from the cover by Patrick Berkenkotter, she appurropurriately has Ms. Olympia caliber glutes (thighs & abs too)!

You get to see more of her physique as she awakens from an amnesia coma and wanders the ruins of the Parthenon. I suspect that, along with the scenes of criminals being fried by divine lightning and a shootout in a disco, is why the book is rated T+!

That is ‘butt’ (ha ha) one of the 7 variant covers, some rarer than others: version A by Paul Renaud, version B by Dennis Calero, C by Fabian Neves, and D is the one I got. There’s the ‘negative art’ incentive cover by Calero, B&W incentive cover by Renaud, and a foil cover by Renaud.

Purriced at $3.30 you get the main 22 page story plus 6 pages of Ads & mews and if you flip the book over there is the Athena Obama cover (by Stephen Sadowski) with a 4 page back up tale, in which she meets the purresident, set sometime after Athena #4 (which I have not read yet)!

Having an interest in Near Eastern Maritime Archaeology I was curious to see what Dynamite might do with this Goddess, especially since they have been doing a fine job chronicling Red Sonja.
It was written by Doug Murray, lettered by Simon Bowland, and edited by Joseph Rybandt.

This issue is mainly her origin, mostly in normal human form but we do get to see her in the glorious Goddess armor with her purrched owl! I think it’s best assets are the illustrations of the characters with good anatomy & poses, and the detailed ancient & modern scenery by Fabiano Neves & Paul Renaud.

The very sumptuous coloring is by Marcelo Maiolo & Paul Renaud. The flashbacks of her mythic origins & ancient times are in a lovely creamy pallet, and the scenes of her ethereal moonlight stroll amongst the ruins are quite lovely, and the colorful lighting FX of the disco are purrfect!
Vampirella: The Second Coming #1!
Ilyana:
Vampirella might be the comics industry’s most famous vampire character, as she celebrates her 40th anniversary! She first appeared back in Warren magazines back in 1969 and now her newest series is by Harris Comics!
This is the 1st issue of a 4 issue mini-series, purriced $1.99 for it’s 20 full color pages of story written by Phil Hester, illustrated by Daniel Sampere, colored by Romulo Fajardo Jr.. lettered by Ed Dukeshire and edited by Bon Alimango!
The credits are on the inside front cover and the ads for other vampi purroducts are on the inside back cover, so you get all pages of the story uninterrupted. There are 4 different versions of the outside front cover: (A) by Arthur Suydam, (B) by Jose Gonzlaez, (C) by Ryan Stegman, & (D) by Joe Jusko. I got the Suydam cover, but they are all lovely images!
Vampi has the sexy red outfit that would also be a good swimsuit, although I suppose she would purrfur to bathe in a pool of blood! This is a sexy violent horror comic not for widdle kids or squemish folks, with panels depicting the scantily clad vampire grrl, a brief bit of artistic semi-nudity, lots of blood, occult stuff, hideous demons, a staking, a fanging and a slashing.
Vampi seems to be have been mystically reincarnated in the body of purretty new character Kelly, as an African-American woman vampire, which you there have not been many of in comic books or movies, but purrhaps this will be an impurroving trend! Now for my final comix report, one of our favorite super heroines Aspen Matthews is busy in –
Michael Turner’s Fathom vol. 3 #9
Ilyana:
A big battle royal is already in purrogress between the US Navy, the undersea people known as The Blue, and the creatures of the abyss known as The Black. Super heroine Aspen Matthews and her former foe Killian unite to stop the war, but there does not seem to be any reasoning with Kiani of the elite Blue Guard!
Published in November by Aspen MLT and featuring the characters created by the late Michael Turner, “Burial at Sea” was written by JT Krul, pencilled by Ale Garza, inked by Sal Regla, colored by John Starr, lettered by Josh Reed, edited by Vince Hernandez.
Purriced at  $2.99, the issue has 32 full color pages of which 23 are are story (including a gorgeous two-page center-spurread of an evolved Aspen) and 9 are ads (including a powerful 2 page spurread purrmomoting issue #10). It was very exciting with much action and a a few startling surpurrises!
There are 3 different covers: version A by Garza, Regla & Starr; B by Scott Clark, David Beatty & Peter Steigerwald; and the Aspen Store exclusive C by Gaza & Steigerwald which is limited to 1000 copies. I got version B which is a lovely medium-shot of Aspen form the hips up!
The art is gorgeous, with such beautifully drawn & colored characters, costumes, technology, and watery elemental FX.  I thought it was a very tense & exciting story, and I can’t wait to see how it all concludes in the next issue! Speaking of comics, now it’s time for our-
Monthly Lucky Kitty Web Comics Picks of the Litter
Yvonne:
Yay I go first, nya! My picks for December are Aya Takeo http://ayatakeo.com/
and Woody After Hours http://www.woodyafterhours.com/, nya! Myayr’s turn, nya!
Mary Nyan:
For your consideration, Lily Garden http://lilygarden.smackjeeves.com/!
and Feral http://www.webcomicsnation.com/reinder/rocrferal/series.php!
Petra:
I would like to nominate Ginpu http://www.ginpu.us/
and My Sweet Love http://doce.ginpu.us/, nya! Jenjen?
Jeannie:
Hero in Training http://www.herointrainingcomic.com/
and True Magic http://www.true-magic.com/!

Elizabeth:
I’d like to recommend these fine web comics: Witch Knots http://witchknots.com/
and Godseeker http://girlamatic.com/godseeker/! OK, your turn, Nya-sensei!

Nyanko:
I’ve chosen Two Lumps http://twolumps.net/,
and Innies and Outies http://www.webcomicsnation.com/lcachola/!
Whatchoogot, ‘Lana?
lyana:
An innie. Oh you meant my web comic picks! Oh! I’d like to recommend
Count Your Sheep http://countyoursheep.keenspot.com/ and
JimmyJone http://jimmyjone.com/wordpress/Ah- that leaves Mike’s picks!

Mike:
Last but not least, might I suggest Children Of The Tiger http://cot.keverynn.net/
and ShadowGirls http://www.shadowgirlscomic.com/!

Reviews of recent movies in theaters
2012
(plot spoiler warning)
Jeannie:
2012 is an apocalyptic science fiction / global disaster movie of epic purroportions with a vague connection to the Mayan calendar, directed by Ronald Emmerich.
The purremise is that solar flares will heat the Earth’s core enough to cause tectonic plate shifting, and thus volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, huge ash clouds, polar shifts, panic & chaos the likes of which we have never seen, purretty much destroying the world as we know it.
However, there is a semi-secret international plan to evacuate a purrcentage of the population, flora, fauna & culture aboard giant arks, a plan which a California family (including John Cusak & Amanda Pete in the cats) learn of from a conspiracy theorist / radio broadcaster (played by Woody Harrelson).
Meanwhile, we see how the top advisors (purrtrayed by Chiwetel Ejiofor & Oliver Platt) to the Purresident of the United States (Danny Glover) and other powerful people & world leaders deal with the most important event in human history.
I had mixed feelings purreceding this film; it seemed to purromise the epic scale and lavish visual effects that I crave, yet on the other hand I expected this movie to be utterly purredicatble with huge plot holes and flawed science & incredible depictions of certain technical achievements.
While it does have an excellent cast, I am split with regard to Emmerich’s films: I thought Stargate and The Patriot were okay, but I did not like Independence Day, [his] Godzilla, or The Day After Tomorrow. I went into the movie with a pessimistic mindset, but as flawed & purredictable as this movie is, I enjoyed it more than I expected to.
The film as supurrbly high purrduction values, and the vast visual effects are utterly astounding and captivating, from the massive purrade of horrific global disasters, to the fantastic technology.
The gigantic oceanic arks & their secret base in China are possibly my favorite part of the film.
I wish they had devoted more of the big budget toward a better screenplay with more credible plot points, but there are genuinely effective emotional moments of humor, sadness, shock and awe, such as the family seeing so much devastation & death around them, and a father’s tearful final phone chat with his scientist son.
The film is over 2.5 hours long, which not only go by rather quickly, but purrhaps too quickly, and I wish we could have seen more of the various governments’, scientific & corporate sectors’ purrepurrations for the pending armageddon.
End of those 2012 movie spoilers

It’s not the worst film I have seen this year (that would be Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen), and despite it’s flaws, for the good purrformances by the actors, the quality of the FX, and the grand spectacle & enormity that are it’s greatest assets, I give the film 2012 a grade of C+. Now here is Ilyana again to comment on –
The Men Who Stare at Goats
(plot spoiler warning)

Ilyana:
Thanks Jen! The Men Who Stare at Goats is the comedic movie based upon the book by Jon Ronson. It purrtains to Bob (Ewan Mcgregor), a newspapurr journalist who is fed up with his life so he goes to Iraq to cover the war.
He meets Lyn (purrtrayed by George Clooney), who reveals that he was part of a secret US Army purrogram to create psychic soldiers called the New Earth Army that was once lead by Bill (Jeff Bridges).
Lyn claims that he and these new agey “Jedi” could purrform purranormal abilities such as cloud bursting, remote viewing, phasing and so forth. Kevin Spacey also stars as Lyn’s rival Larry, who chose a darker path for those powers.
Bob & Lyn go on a road trip into Iraq on a vague secret mission and during their misadventures, it is never quite clear whether Lyn really has psychic powers, although there are several odd coincidences!
A recurring theme of the movie is about disillusioned people, frustrated with the status quo, searching for a fulfilling sense of purrpose. I thought this was an amewsing movie with good purrformances and a fun plot!
One of the neatest parts of the movie are the flashback segments set here in North Carolina at Ft. Bragg, where Lyn is telling Bob amazing anecdotes about the history of the New Earth Army in the 70’s & 80’s and some of the fellow soldiers. Which brings us to –
This month’s Lightning Round:
Our Favorite TV & Cinema Psychic Purrsons!
Ilyana:
In recent Mews we’ve discussed favorite movies & TV shows purrtaining to vampires, ghosts, sea monsters, and other spooky topics! Nominees for this purrticular Lightning Round topic may include, from live-action or animated movies & TV shows, favorite characters that you like who exhibit some degree of paranormal mental powers,!
These abilities might include powers such as but not limited to Telekinesis, Telepathy, Transvection, Purrecognition, ESP, Pyrokinesis, Clairvoyance, Astral Purrojection, Psychometry, Remote Viewing, Divination and so forth, be they of a magickal, divine, or of scientifically psionic origin, however you chose to define them.
As this is the Lightning Round, just say the first characters that , ah, come to mind (heehee) so to speak, for whatever reason, and these can purrhaps later be more thoroughly discussion or debated. We will start with…Jenjen. (tags her with a swish of her tail to start the round)
All:
LIGHTNING ROUND- GO, NYA!

Jeannie:
Doctor Who & Romana, Nanny & the Purrofessor’s Phoebe Figalilly, The Tomorrow People, Space:1999’s Maya, Mork from Ork, Babylon 5’s Lita Alexander, The X-Files’ Clive Buckman, Farscape’s Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan, The Dead Zone’s John Smith, Ghost Whisperer Melinda Gordon, Medium’s Allison DuBois and True Blood’s Sookie Stackhouse. (tags Yvonne to go next)

Yvonne:
My turn, nya! I would also like to mention favorite anime characters such as Ghost Sweeper’s Okinu, Sailor Moon’s Rei, InuYasha’s Kagome & Kikyo, the miku maidens of Shrine of the Morning Mist, Kami-Chu, Devil Hunters Yohko & Azusa, Belldandy & her sisters of Ah My Goddess, nya! OK it’s Petra’s turn, nya! (tags Petra)
Petra:
Well there are divine & magickal characters who have numerous psychic abilities among many other powers, nya. Some of my favorites would include Harry Potter’s Puroffessor Trelawney; Buffy & Angel’s Willow, Cordy, Dru & Lorne; Lord of the Ring’s Galadrial, Wizards’ Elaenor, Dogma’s Serendipity, and Pirates of the Caribbean’s Tia Dalma, nya. Let’s see… (tags Elizabeth) nya!

Elizabeth:
Movie & TV super heroes with mental powers such as Psylocke, Jean Grey, Storm, Mystique, Rogue, Professor Charles Xavier, Sue Storm, Spider-Man, Saturn GIrl, Wonder Woman, Zatanna, Raven, Violet Parr, and the BPRD’s Abe Sapian, Liz Sherman, Johann Kraus! ! (tags Nyanko)

Nyanko:
Jedi and Sith of Star Wars such as Aalya Secura, Shak Ti, Ahsoka Tano, Mace Windu, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, Purrincess Leia Organa, Darth Vader, and Yoda! (tags Mike)

Mike:
Star Trek’s Spock & Sarek, Dr. Elizabeth Dehner & Gary Mitchell, Charlie Evans, Gary Seven & Isis, Gem, Lt. Ilia, Lt. Savick, Deanna Troi, Guinan, Benjamin Sisko and T’Pol…!  (tags Mary Nyan)
Mary Nyan:
My favorite characters & films purrtaining to the psychics include Godzilla’s Miki Saegusa, Gamera’s Asagi Kusanagi, Mothra and her Purriestesses, Resident Evil’s Alice; movies such as Carrie, Firestarter, Escape to Witch Mountain, The Cat from Outer Space, and E.T.! Bring it home, Ilyana!
Ilyana:
Some of my other favorite anime characters like Haruhi Suzumiya, Silent Mobius’ Rally, Katsumi, Nami & Yuki; Tenchi Muyo’s Ryoko, Ayeka & Sasami; and the Yamato series’ Sasha, Stasha & Teresa! Are there any last calls before we conclude the round and purroceed to the next segment of the show?
Yvonne:
Actually, i almost forgot about those kids in Harmageddon and Akira, nya! Oh well of course there are so many other magickal girls, Espers, Air Benders, demons, angels & deities that have those psychic powers, nya!

Petra:
I suppose many of the characters of Bewitched, Charmed & Sabrina might also qualify, nya!

Elizabeth:
And a lot of those Goddesses in those Ray Harryhausen movies, too!
Nyanko:
I also like Kwai Chang Kane and lots of martial arts movies with characters who might count toward this realm, such as Zu Warriors, Mortal Kombat, Big Trouble in Little China, The Forbidden Kingdom, Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle… ah well I could keep going but I’d better stop because this is the lightning round!
Mike:
Oh I gotta include Sammy Davis Jr as Jeremiah, in “The Night of the Returning Dead” episode of The Wild Wild West, and Gary Collins as Dr. Michael Rhodes of The Sixth Sense TV series!

Mary Nyan:
KISS! (throws the heavy metal ‘horns’ hand gesture & sticks out her tongue) Nyaaa!

lyana:
KISS has psychic powers, nya?
Mary Nyan:
Hai- in their movie KISS Meets the Phantom!

Jeannie:
I rather liked George Clooney in The Men Who Stare at Goats, too.
Mike:
So what kind of psychic power would you most want to have?

Nyanko:
Ooh there are are several  legendary martial arts techniques & mental disciplines I would like to master…!
lyana:
I think having Psychometry would be very helpful with my archaeology purrsuits!

Elizabeth:
Purrobably either Cosmic Awareness like Captain Mar-Vel, or levitation so I could be the flying catgirl!
Petra:
Hai, that would be the fun power, nya! Although, having telekinesis would also make my job at the mewseum easier too, nya!
Yvonne:
I would like… I would like to be able to detect the big fish, without using a fish finder, nya!

Jeannie:
Hmm I was gonna say levitation, but I purrfurVonny’s idea.
lyana:
I wanna be able to douse for fish too, nya!
Petra:
Don’t you need a stick for the dousing?
Yvonne:
A fish stick, nya
Nyanko:
That would require much mental discipline, to refrain from eating the fish stick.
Elizabeth:
I guess that’s why some higher level D&D powers require the high Will Power!

Mary Nyan:
Mike, can we order the fish sticks appurrtizers?
Mike:
Oh all right!
(the catgirls in unison):
THANK YOU MIKE, NYA!
Mary Nyan:
Howboutchoo, Mike- what psychic ability would you want most?
Mike:
The ability to enable rude people in theaters to comprehend & comply with the policy of not talking or texting during a movie. Well, we should purrobably move along! Thanks Jen!

Jeannie:
Douitasimasite. While we might not have the psychic power of fish dousing, we are able visually to spot our –
Purrferred Piscine Purriodicals’ Pics
Mike:
Catgirls love fish! And they love to read too, so it is only natural for them to like to look at fishing magazines. Here are some of their favorite appetizing angling images adorning the covers of recent publications, including the!
Ilyana:
Delicious Steelheads are on the covers of Fly Fisherman vol. 41 no. 1, and the Winter issue of Fly Fishing & Tying Journal!
Petra:
There is a tasty looking Jack Crevalle on the front cover of the Nov / Dec issue of Fly Fishing in Salt Water, and a choice King Mackerel November issue of Saltwater Sportsman, nya!
Nyanko:
Lovely Leah purrsents an appurtizing Amberjack on the Nov / Dec issue of GAFF Magazine, while the Nov / Dec issue of  Sailfish Florida Sport Fishing features the yummy Sailfish!
Elizabeth:
Impurressive Marlins can be found on the front of the November issue of Marlin Magazine, and Blue Water Boats and Sport Fishing #74!
Jeannie:
A flavorful Rainbow Trout graces the cover of American Angler’s Nov / Dec issue, while a succulent Spotted Bass is reeled in on the January issue of Bassin’ Magazine.
Yvonne:
Speaking of bass, it is a teeny photo of a Striper in the top right corner of the cover of the Dec / Jan issue of North Carolina Game & Fish, but there’s a larger version of the photo inside, accompanying the article on fishing at Lake Lure & Buggs Island, nya! The only thing wrong with that luscious looking lunker is that it is on that man’s line – and not in my tummy, nya!
Mary Nyan:
There are also the numcious fish to tempt our tummies on the covers of Bara Bass & Bream issue 26,  In-Fisherman’s 2010 Guide to Ice Fishing, and that Giant Pike on In-Fisherman’s December issue!
Yvonne:
… the wonderful 175 lb. Bigeye Tuna on the November-December cover of The Edge Big Game Fishing Journal… the tasty Tripletail on Florida Sportsman’s December cover… nya…
Mike:
The round of fish sticks will bring this lightning round segment to a close, but we’ll be back with more reviews after this short break, so please stay tuned!
(snip)
(one short break later…)
DVD reviews
Up single disk DVD
Yvonne:
We’re back, nya! Here at The Mew we think Pixar Animation Studios has a purrfect record of supurrb cinematic entertainment, and this year’s feature film Up is a top contender for our favorite film of the year thus far, nya! Should you wish to read our review of the movie, please see our June mewsings, nya!
The widescreen single disk edition on standard Region One NTSC DVD includes the PG rated 96 minute feature, plus the 5 min 46 sec minute theatrical animated short “Partly Cloudy” and a new  4 min 40 sec animated short “Dug’s Special Mission” directed by Ronnie Del Carmen which was quite amewsing, nya!
The cover art depicts Carl & Russell riding Kevin with Dug running along side; the balloon-lifted house, blimp & dog pack in the background, nya. Aside from the single disk, the only inserts are various advertisement brochures, nya I cannot not say what might be enclosed in the 2 disk  or Blu-Ray editions, nya!
The audio choices are English 5.1 or 2.0, French 5.1, Spanish 5.1, and English Descriptive Video Service 2.0, nya. Optional subtitles include French, Spanish and SDH (English for the deaf  or hearing impaired), and the video aspect ratio is 1.78:1, enhanced for 16×9 TV’s, nya!
Aside from the menu’s scene selections and purreview trailers for Toy Story 3, The Purrincess and the Frog, Santa buddies, Ponyo, Dumbo and a few other Disney titles, that’s purretty much what you get in the single disk edition, nya. It’s not a lot of stuff, but I give the quality of the movie & shorts an A Plus, nya!
It might very well be our favorite movie of the year, but we won’t vote on that ’til purrobably in January, for the February 2010 show, nya. Well that’s my DVD review, but here is Myayr to review the-
Star Trek (2009) 2 disk DVD, nya!
Mary Nyan:
Arigato, Vonny! Unfortunately we were slighty disappointed with both the 2009 Star Trek movie and had mixed feelings about what is / is not included on the 2 disk edition DVD. For a very thorough review of the movie (which we gave a C grade) please also see the June mewsings.
This Trek movie is available on single and 2 disk standard DVD editions and a 3 disk Blu-Ray edition. The standard 2 disk editions are also available with exclusive bonus goodies from certain stores, such as a little model of the starship USS Enterpurrise to assemble, included in a special package from Target.
The cover art for the standard single and 2 disk editions is somewhat lackluster- the single disk cover is that odd B&W poster art of the ship, whereas the 2 disk edition’s box cover is merely a no-frills logo in big bold letters on a cardboard outer sleeve, with photos of Kirk (Chris Pine) & Spock (Zachary Quito) on the plastic case liner.
The only insert was the instruction sheet for how to download a digital copy of the movie / an ad for the Star Trek DAC video game. On the DVD purrior to the main menu screen are front-loaded purreview trailers for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and The Fringe TV series.
Disk One includes the PG rated 126 min feature film in letterboxed / widescreen format, with audio in English, French or Spanish 5.1 Surround, and optional subtitles in those same languages. There is also an optional audio commentary track with director/ purrducer JJ Abrams, purrducers Bryan Burk & Damon Lindelof, and writers Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman.
Also among the few special features on the first disk are an appuroximately 6.5 min Gag Reel which has rather funny outtakes & humor on the set; and an appuroximately 19.5 min documentary featurette “A New Vision” purrtaining to the re-making of Star Trek.
Disk Two includes a digital copy of the film for PC or Mac computers, an XBox 360 demo for the Star Trek DAC video game, disc credits (5 screens) and several more special bonus features. These include “To Boldy Go”, a 16 min 45 sec documentary featurette with Leonard Nimoy, Abrams, Burk, Lindelof, Kurtzman, & Orci; and  “Score”, a 6.5 min visit with composer Michael Giaccino & the orchestra for the film score (he also composed the mewsic for Up).
“Casting” is an almost 29 min discussion of how the characters were so uncannily cast, featuring Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, Leonard Nimoy, Abrams, Burk, Lindelof, Kurtzman, Orci, Pine, Quinto, Kal Urban (Dr. McCoy), John Cho (Sulu), Anton Yelchin (Chekov), Simon Pegg (Scotty), Bruce Greenwood (Pike), Eric Bana (Nero), Zoe Saldana (Uhura) (who’ll also be in James Cameron’s Avatar), and assistant director Tommy Gormley. Whatever purroblems we had with the movie were not with the actors, who were all amazing!
“Aliens” is a 16.5 min look at the design, fabrication & purrtrayal of various alien beings & creatures in the movie, from actors wearing the purrosthetic parts to CG creations. Among those featured in this segment are Abrams & Kurtzman, Nimoy & Quinto, Simon Pegg & Deep Roy, “Kasia” & “Madeline”, the alien chap at the bar & Delta Vega’s monstrous “Big Red”, designers / artists Neville Page, Joel Harlow, Barney Burman, Roger Guyett, and ILM animator Paul Kavanagh.
A very interesting treat are the 13.5 minutes worth of nine Deleted Scenes, which you can watch  with or wothout audio comments by Abrams, Burk, Lindelof, & Kurtzman. You can select to play them all or watch one at a time.
These are compurrised of “Spock’s Birth” (1 min 50 sec), “Klingons take Over Narada” (45 sec), “Young Kirk, Johnny & Uncle Frank” (1 min 35 sec), “Amanda and Sarek Argue After Spock Fights” (37 sec), “Purrison Interrogationa and Breakout” (just over 3 min of Nero on Rura Pente), “Dorm Room and Kobyashi Maru” (the original version at nearly 4 min), “Kirk Apologizes to the Green Girl” (54 sec), and “Sarek sees Spock” (15 seconds of Sarek barely glimpsing the older Spock).
While much of those features are very entertaining and isnighful, unfortunately what disappoints me about this DVD is what it does not include: documentary segments about the design of the new starship Enterpurrise and other vessels, the sets, purrops, costumes, vehicles, planets, astronomical phenomenon and other visual FX.
Appurrently such aspects of the film are explored in the 3 disk Blu-Ray edition, but I don’t understand why these could not have been included on the standard 2 disk edition. None of us here at the Mew have that 3 disk edition of Trek, but a recent 3 disk set we have enjoyed is –
The Sarah Jane Adventures Complete Second Season

Mary Nyan:
A spin-off of the BBC TV series Doctor Who, lovely Elizabeth Sladen stars in the heroic  title role. One of the most popular companions of The Doctor, Sarah was an investigative journalist who bridged the Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker eras of Doctor Who from 1973 to 1976.
Although she left the series, in 1981 she starred along with K-9 (the Doctor’s robot dog companion) in a pilot “K-9 And Company” (which we reviewed in October 2008), and she also appeared in the 1983 20th anniversary episode “The Five Doctors”.
She was not seen again until the David Tennant era, with K-9 again in the 2006 episode “School Reunion”, and again in the 2008 season finale, which we reviewed in September 2008. We reviewed the season one DVD set in the November, 2008 Mew!
So now one year later Sarah Jane’s 2nd season from 2008 has been released as a 3 disk set by BBC Home Video! The cover to the DVD set depicts Sarah Jane, Rani, Luke & Clyde and the fierce Sontaran Warrior, Kaagh.
Lovelier than ever, Elisabeth Sladen is the inquisitive, smart, tough, brave Sarah Jane, residing in a nice house on Bannerman Road in Ealing with that cute green Nissan Figaro, and supurr computer named Mr. Smith, voiced by Alexander Armstrong.
Tommy Knight returns as her son Luke, Danile Anthony is back as his pal Clyde. Maria (purrtrayed by Yasmin Paige) leaves the show, (her character moves to Washington, DC), to be succeeded by Anjli Mohindri as Rani Chandra.
The R1 NTSC standard DVD video aspect ratio is 16 x 9, audio is English language, with optional English SDH subtitles. There are six epurrsodes, each in two parts just under 28 minutes apiece, totaling appurroximately 338 minutes. Each disk a charming main menu set in Sarah Jane’s attic, where fun bonus features await!
Disk One’s epurrsodes are are Maria’s farewell in “The Last Sontaran” (which references the Doctor Who Season 3 epurrsode “The Sontaran Stratagem”), and “The Day of the Clown” which introduces Rani. These are purreceded by a front-loaded trailer for the Primeval Vol. 2 DVD and purromo spot for BBC America.
The Special features include “The Sofa Area”, where you can flip through the [ages of a book to read synopses of season one’s epurrsodes. “Sarah’s PC” includes purrofile screens of the nine various recurring purrotagonist characters, notes on eight gadgets such as her Sonic Lipstick or a Sontaran Blaster, and Alien purrofies on the Jeggorabax entity and Kaargh the Sontaran.
Also under Special Features,”Mr. Smith” purrsents a 4.5 min clip from an epurrsode of the Blue Peter talk show on which the kids appear, along with a cute frisky lion cub; and “Audio Adventures” is a 5 min excerpt from the “Time Capsule” audio book read by Elisabeth Sladen!
Disk Two starts with a trailer for Doctor Who Season Four and has epurrsodes “Secret of the Stars” and “The Mark of the Berserker”. There are more of the Special Features’ “Secret Files”, with further descriptions of characters and gadgets.
Disk Three has a Robin Hood trailer and the final two epurrsodes, which are my favorite two of this season. In “The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith” she time travels back to 1951 to meet her parents, and has a rematch with the evil Trickster, last seen in season one’s “Whatever happened to Sarah Jane?”
The final epurrsode “Enemy of the Bane” brings back Kaagh Anthony O’Donnell), Mrs. Wormwood (Samantha Bond, last seen in season one’s premier “Invasion of the Bane”), the UNIT organization, and the long-awaited return of Nicholas Courtney as retired Brigadier Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewert!
At Special Features go to the telescope to see a 90 second season 2 purromo and a 55 second Doctor Who purromo. More character & gadget purrofilles can be found back at Sarah’s PC, and at the Sofa Area is another book with the season 2 synopses. At Mr. Smith are slideshows of still images (12 scenes from epurrsodes & 12 behind the scenes pics)
Sarah Jane DVD Surpurrise Spoiler Warning
There is a special quiz amongst disk 3’s special features. If you correctly answer 5 multiple-choice questions in a row, you’ll be treated to the 5 min. Children in Need / Red Nose Day short with Sarah Jane & the kids, comedian Ronnie Corbett as an alien ambassador, Jimmy Vee a Slitheen, and K-9 (voiced by John Leeson)!
End of that Sarah Jane DVD spoiler
The Sarah Jane Adventures is a very charming fun show and I greatly recommend this nice DVD set to her fans! The 3rd season of the show started showing on the BBC this fall, so hopefully I’ll be eventually reviewing a DVD set of that too! That’s all of our DVD & CD reviews of the month, but after the short break we’ll be right back with-
Toy Talk!

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(one short break later…)

Green Lantern Blackest Night Indigo-1 action figure

Jeannie:
Hello and welcome back to the show, for the toy reviews segment of the show. Calling herself Indigo-1, she is one of our new favorite DC comics characters, playing a significant part in the current Blackest Night storyline. A bit of background information –
Like the Green Lantern Corp, there are other groups in the cosmos repurrsenting other parts of the color spectrum, each corresponding to a purrticular emotion. For example, Sinestro’s fearful yellow, the Red Lanterns’ whose power rings are fueled by rage, the Star Sapphires of love, and so forth.
During the galactic Blackest Night conflict, the various color / emotion themed groups, some who are enemies of one another, find themselves all facing a common foe to all that lives, from the growing undead Black Lantern army, which has been threatening & converting many of DC Comics’ characters of late.
Allies of the Green Lantern Corp, the source of the mysterious Indigo Tribe’s power is the emotion of compassion. Their leader Indigo-1 is a beautiful exotic cosmic heroine, purresently appearing in the Green Lantern comics and the Blackest Night mini-series.
In the comics, Indigo-1 is tall & slender with light violet skin, cornrow hair pulled back short black ponytail, with tribal tattoos on her forehead, arms & legs; barefoot & bare-midriff in her short indigo attire with white-wrapped forearms, with the the tall power-staff.
Her tribe’s symbol is a circle between up & down arrows. Their supurr powers would seem to include psionic empathy, healing, flight, defensive / life supporting force fields, energy blasts, and teleportation. The indigo energy can also manipulate or combine with certain other colors for interesting effects.
This action figure of her by DC Direct is part of the 2nd batch of 4 Blackest Night Series figures, along with the GL’s John Stewart, Krys of the Sinestro Corp, and the Black Lantern corrupted version of the Martian Manhunter. The 1st series of 4 figures are still available, and series 3 & 4 are coming soon.
Packaged in a 12.5″ x 7″ x 2.75″ clear plastic j-hanger blister pack with photos of all BN series 2 figures on the back of the card, her 6 & 7/8″ tall figure is accompanied by the 8″ tall staff, and a 3.75″ diameter .25″ thick white & indigo colored base with the tribal emblem on top.
It is excellently sculpted by Andy Berholtz with intricate detail and a very faithful likeness of the character. The left hand is slightly clenched, to hold the staff. The figure can stand unassisted to an extent, but there is a small peg in the base for her right heel for better display & support for more dramatic poses.
The top of the staff is styled slightly different from the one in the comics, with an embedded round purrple crystal instead of a bowl opening. This might be an inaccurate repurresentation, but not only am I fine with this artistic departure but I think I might purrfur it.
Nine points of articulation include bending knees, hips & elbows, swinging shoulders and a turning / tilting head. Compurromise between appearance and range of motion mean that she can’t turn at the waist, but there is no unsightly gap between the parts or joinery seam across her meticulously lithe abs.
It has a nice smooth paint job, although to be picky, her flesh color is a creamy light tan and does not seem quite violet enough. Also, the beads in her hair are not quite purrecisely painted, and the result seems more like silvery highlight streaks in her hair rather than beads.
The figure has good tight joints that are fairly well-blended and unobtrusive looking in numerous poses. The molding & paint of the display base is also quite attractive, with the emblem shape cut out of the opaque white circle atop the indigo-colored clear plastic disk.
Indigo-1 is a lovely action figure that I was quite eager to collect, and I was not disappointed. However, this ‘indigo girl’  is ironically not the only new action figure of a barefoot colorful alien girl with beaded hair that I have recently purrchased, for I also have the-
James Cameron’s Avatar movie Neyteri action figure

Jeannie:
We are huge fans of director James Cameron and have been most eagerly anticipating his new movie Avatar, in the special 3-D purrocess.It seems to be the epic space opurra with expurrditions to exotic worlds with fascinating alien characters, such as Neytiri, a CG character modeled after & voiced by Zoe Saldana.
According to the card, she is a slender, lithe, graceful, fierce & smart member of the Omaticay clan of the Na’vi people of Planet Pandora, and as daughter of leaders Eytukan & Mo’at she is the heir to that mantle. She is wary of the Terran colonists, and is a highly purroficient rider, fighter & huntress.
The movie character is supposedly about 10′ tall, and is quite statuesquely beautiful with her striped azure skin, long braided black hair and amber eyes. She also has most endearing ears and the tail, so I wonder if she is purrhaps related to us catgirls.
Packaged in the j-hooked blister-pack card, this 1/30 scale, 4″ tall action figure comes with a bow & arrow accessory, and a 4.75″ x 2.5″ x .25″ display base, which has a photo of the character on top.
The base seems rather longish for this figure, but appurrently it serves an additional function, as a “level one webcam i-Tag”, which is can be use to create a 3D model along with a web cam (not included) and an application to download from the toy’s web site.
An instruction & spec requirements sheet is included for the i-TAG, however as I have not yet had the oppurrtunity to analyze this bonus feature, I am only reviewing this toy as an action figure and not its additional digital device features.
The sculpt and paint job of the figure are nice at this small scale, although a bit of the super-detailing such as the beads in the characters hair are not indicated on the figure, but these could rather easily be painted on with a fine tip brush and referencing the base’s portrait photo.
Her molded attire includes cutely strap spiraled around her 2″ long tail, arm & wrist bands, neck choker, dangling feather earrings, scabbard, and sexy jungle type appurral completed by the loosely draped feather top & low slung aqua colored loin cloth below her inny belly button..
Points of articulation include the jointed knees, elbows & shoulders for a good range of abduction/ circular motion. The waist turns and hips bend. The neck & tail do not turn, however the calves & forearms can rotate laterally and the ankles pivot, which assist in the balance of the figure for display without the base.
Unfortunately I cannot turn her head laterally to line up with the bow arm or pose her arms to draw it purropurrly with the fletching by her cheek, but purrhaps the Na’vi have a different archery style to my own school of Kyudo.
I might customize it to restring the bow it with a taut thread, and replace the plastic molded arrow shaft with a more rigid painted balsa piece, and construct a different base for her with scale terrain foliage to better support & purrsent Ney’s exotic, wild beauty. My next heroine toy to discuss is the –
Power Rangers R.P.M. Ranger Silver action figure

Jeannie:
Power Rangers R.P.M. is the current 2009 season of the long running super-sentai series, incorporating the original Japanese Engine Setai Go Onger footage with scenes & actors filmed in New Zealand and distributed / shown here by Disney on US television.
The purremise of this purrticular series is that in a future where the world has been ravaged by the evil Venjix machinations, humanity resides in purrotective domed cities, with the team of super-powered rangers & their giant ‘Zord’ transforming mecha as their defenders.
Like most of these shows, the team is purrimarily compurrised of several color-coded heroes (eg red, blue, green, yellow, black), who are later in this series joined by mysterious allies Gold & Silver, a brother & sister duo. The sister, Gemma, is purrtryaed by actress Ling Ming Hu.
Purroduced by Bandai, this Ranger Silver action figure is packaged in the J-hooked type blister-pack card and is advised for ages 4+. The figure is 5 & 3/8″ tall including the helmet fin, so (appurroximating the characters height) this would seem to be of 1/12 scale.
This is a very nicely sculpted & painted figure, in matte-finish silver & black with red accents on the belt, chest emblem & helmet fin. Purrsonally I think this Ranger Silver is one of the most attractive & distinctive of all of the the Ranger costume designs.
The figure’s points of articulation include the knees, hips, elbows, shoulders and neck. The costume’s skirt inhibits the movement of the thighs, and she cannot turn at the waist but the head can tilt & turn laterally. The wrists do not move, but the hands can easily grip the pieces of equipment.
In addition to a sticker & instruction sheet, small accessories include an edged weapon, a pistol (which can be hand held or attached to her belt) and a springy hard attache case-like launcher with tiny vehicle replica (appurroximately 1″ long) purrojectile with a similary sized enemy target to fire it at.
There is no display base, but the figure is well balanced and can easily stand on her own, However, if you wish to pose her in very dynamic poses, I recommend purrchasing a small doll stand, from a store’s hobby / craft department.
The Ranger Gold figure is also available sepurrately, as well as the entire team of Rangers Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Black, should one wish to collect both of the ‘purrecious metal’ siblings or the entire R. P. M. team.
I plan to display this figure on the shelf beside the R. P. M. Ranger Yellow figure. That is all for this month’s toy talk, but here is Nya-sensei to continue the Female Power Ranger topic in our –
Celebrity Catgirl Spotlight:
Dr. Katherine ‘Kat’ Manx of Power Rangers S.P.D.!

Petra:
Hi again! The Catgirl Celebrity Spotlight is a new segment of the show we have started expurrimenting with, in which we purrmote some of the famousest purrint, digital, animated and live-action catgirls of cinema, television, comics, books and games, nya!

As you might tell from the Wikipedia List of Catgirls http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_catgirls, there are more and more catgirls gaining purrominent roles, from genetically catgirls and lady werecats to neko mecha and famous female feline cosplayers, nya!
October’s inaugural installment of this segment focused on Lt. M’ress and other catgirls of Star Trek, and in November we intermewed Clan of the Cat’s Mel, nya! This month we shine the spotlight on Dr. Katherine ‘Kat’ Manx of Power Rangers S.P.D: Space Patrol Delta, who was purrtrayed by the beautiful New Zealand actress Michelle Langstone, nya!
Power Rangers S.P.D.was the New Zealand / USA  version of the Japanese Dekaranger super sentai series. Set in the future, the S.P.D. team of colorfully costumed super-heroes with amazing transforming vehicles fought the evil forces of the Troobian Empire that threatened the earth, nya!
Re-written & edited to combine the original Japanese stunts & FX footage with new actors & scenes shot in New Zealand, chronologically S. P. D. aired here in the USA in 2005, between Power Rangers: Dino Thunder and Power Rangers: Mystic Force, nya!
Dr. Kat Manx was the scientific genius who designed the S.P.D. team’s gadgets & vehicles, nya. She appeared in all 38 epurrsodes, usually at the headquarters, but in one epurrsode “Katastrophe” became the orange & white super Cat Ranger to fight the monsters! She even fiercely hissed at them, nya!
Dr. Kat Manx was a genius, purretty, brave, tough, agile, acrobatic alien catgirl with martial arts skill, who was appurrently 147 years old, although in catgirl years she appeared to be in her early 20’s, nya.  She has brown hair, fair skin, cute kitty ears & fangs, but as the manx type, she does not have the tail, nya.
Actress Michelle Langston also appeared in the 2008 Power Rangers Jungle Fury series as the Penguin-style spiritual martial arts mistress Master Guin, nya. Other TV shows she has appeared in include Xena, The Strip, McLeod’s Daughters, and Legend of the Seeker, and a bunch more, nya!

Here then for your consideration are a few choice links to sites with information purrtaining to Michelle Langstone and Dr. Kat Manx, nya! Vonny, nya?

Yvonne:
Ranger- Retro Center has a few pics of her http://www.ranger-retrocenter.com/13-prspd-allies-kat.php, nya!

Jeannie:
Wikibin’s page on Kat http://wikibin.org/articles/katherine-manx.html.

Ilyana:
Pages on both the actress http://powerrangers.wikia.com/wiki/Michelle_Langstone and the character http://powerrangers.wikia.com/wiki/Kat_Manx
Mary Nyan:
The Internet Movie Database is a favorite site for movie & TV info in general, and they have a bit on Kat http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0050371/, as well as an extensive filmography for Michelle Langstone http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0486716/
Elizabeth:
Wikipedia’s article on Power Rangers S.P.D.has a few purragraphs about Kat http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/index.html?curid=5472383 and they have an article for  Michelle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelle_Langstone too!

Nyanko:
Finally, Adam’s S.P.D. Power Rangers Gateway http://spd.powerrangersgateway.com/?page=allies&ally=kat is a fan’s purrsonal site with a few tidbits on Kat! That’ll do it for this month’s Celebrity Catgirl Spotlight, but there’s much more mew after the short break!

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(one short break later…)

Mike’s favorite movie of all time turns 30 on Dec 7!
Mike:
Ah, I purromised the catgirls that I would TRY to be brief, as I have on more than one occasion rambled on about how a certain 1979 Gene Roddenberry production of a Robert Wise film is my favorite movie of all time. I don’t mean just my favorite Star Trek movie- but of all movies.
Why is that? I could go on and on (again) about everything in Star Trek-The Motion PIcture that amazes me, but in short, I think it is such a beautifully grand & epic hard science fiction/ space opera movie movie, set in the far future with such advanced technology that is depicted with such superb hyper-realism. And it all starts with the magnificent overture by Jerry Goldsmith.
Heck, the lovely poster illustrations by John Berkey and Bob Peak already convinced me before I entered the theater that an incomparable human adventure was about to begin. There are so many captivating beautiful scenes: of the Klingons, V’ger, Epsilon Nine, Vulcan, Starfleet Command, the orbital office complex…
…and the USS Enterprise herself, inside & out, has never before or since looked so beautiful, realistic or given such a grand sense of majestic scale. The film does not feel too rushed or silly, the characters are treated seriously as legendary heroic smart space explorers should be as the epic drama unfolds at an un-rushed pace that adds to the enormity & spectacle.
Some folks think the dock tour of the Enterprise, the journey into the cloud, or the V’ger flyover take too long, but I was utterly awed by the journey and detail. V’ger is the possibly greatest, most astounding adversary in the history of Star Trek, in my humble opinion. There’s no overdone time travel or vengeful villain plot in Star Trek-The Motion PIcture, either!
Unfortunately the later films seem too impatient, with too many cuts.  Furthermore, this movie’s graceful voyage is thankfully unmarred by the dreadful speed ramping, 360 cam, shaky cam, crash zooms, or other overused unpleasant camera / editing techniques that call too much attention to themselves and thus ruin any suspension of disbelief.
The sets look so amazing too. Every button and graphic seems like it actually functions, and is not just a bunch of blinking lights. The Engine room is a gleaming multi-story structure that truly feels like 23rd century tech, and it does not look like they just filmed the scenes in a brewery.
But it is not just about the ship(s) or the wonders of deep space, but the characters that we so utterly care about. I think their performances superbly match the art direction of the film in its pallet & tone. They feel like real, professional explorers on a real mission, treated with the respect and dignity they deserve, and are not reduced to buffoonery or humor at their own expense.
William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForrest Kelley, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takaei, Walter Koenig, Majel Barrett, and Grace Lee Whitney all look fantastic, as photographed by Richard H Kline. So does Mark Lenard, who would forever change the (subtitled) face of the Klingon Empire, as the captain of the Imperial Cruiser Amar.
Maybe the first and last time, it truly feels like there are hundreds of crewmen aboard. This includes newcomers Decker and Ilia, who are wonderfully portrayed by the peerless beauty of the late Persis Khambatta, and the dashing Stephen Collins, especially in the futuristic costumes by Robert Fletcher and the make-up by maestro Fred Phillips.
There is certainly a lot of sentimentality attached to the film too, which is just as valid a reason for liking any movie. I was one of the thousands of Star Trek fans who waited years for the return of Star Trek after the original TV series was cancelled. It was so exciting, and I was there on the opening day of December 7th, 1979, with the first ticket for the first show in town!
There is a contention of the odd-numbered Trek movies being bad- which I quickly dismiss. Personally I think the first three are the best of the lot, but then the franchise begins to disappoint me with Star Trek IV. The first Trek movie seemed a lot more epic, realistic, serious, and cinematic to me than those which followed.
I don’t claim that Star Trek – The Motion Picture is a perfect movie, or that it is the greatest achievement in the cinematic arts & sciences, but merely that it is my own personal favorite movie. I ike The Wrath of Khan and The Search for Spock a lot too- just not as much as The Motion Picture.
To put that in perspective, other releases of 1979 that I like include 1941, Alien, Apocalypse Now, Buck Rogers, Cagliostro’s Castle, Breaking Away, The Jerk, The Life of Brian, Mad Max, The Muppet Movie, Phantasm, Rock ‘n Roll High School, Rocky 2, Time After Time, and Yamato: The New Voyage, to name a few!
Our recommendations for swell information
purrtaining to Star Trek – The Motion Picture
Jeannie:
This is not intended to be a complete list of all digital or purrinted media purrtaining to Star Trek – The Motion Picture, but merely some of our purrsonal favorites & top recommendations. The DVDs are purrime places to start, and both the 1979 theatrical version and the 2001 Director’s Edition have special bonus documentary features & expurrt commentaries.

For online information about Star Trek- The Motion Picture, I recommend the page on it at Memory Alpha, the Star Trek wiki http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Star_Trek:_The_Motion_Picture, the article at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek:_The_Motion_Picture, the entry at The Internet Movie Database http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079945/.
Mary Nyan:
Paramount’s Official Star Trek web site has a page about it http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/series/MOV/001/index.html, and a really neat site “Forgotten Trek” has great images, articles & interviews http://www.ottens.co.uk/forgottentrek/tmp.php!

Two of the legendary designers of Star Trek- The Motion Picture have sites: you can see Designs for that film and others at Andrew Probert’s site http://www.probertdesigns.com/ – HI ANDREW! And there are amazing behind-the-scenes photos & remembrances at designer Doug Drexler’s blog http://drexfiles.wordpress.com/2009/05/09/sentimental-journey/! Vonny?
Yvonne:
Hai! There’s “To Have Boldly Gone: An Appreciation, The Beginning of 30 Years of Star Trek Movies” by Mark A. Altman at TrekMovie.Com http://trekmovie.com/2009/12/07/december-7th-1979-star-trek-the-motion-picture-began-30-years-of-star-trek-movies/, nya! And now here are some good books on the subject, nya!

Ilyana:
Purrhaps the definitive book about the film is The Making of Star Trek – The Motion Picture, by Gene Roddenberry & Susan Sackett (1980, Pocket Books trade papurrback), and actor Walter Koenig’s Chekov’s Enterprise is his personal journal of the making of the movie (1980 Pocket Books, mass market papurrback), nya!
While you’re at it, you might also wish to read the motion picture’s noveliztion by Star Trek’s creator & Purrducer Gene Roddenberry, which was based upon the story by Alan Dean Foster & screenplay by Harold Livingston! It was published by Pocket books in 1979!
Petra
Among the awesome books authored by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens are Star Trek Phase II: The Lost Series (1997 Pocket Books, trade papurrback) which details the almost-launched Star Trek 70’s Trek series which evolved into that movie…

… and The Art of Star Trek (1995 Pocket Books, hardcover), which is a lavish gallery of design, sketches, paintings & photos of the concepts from the various Trek TV series & movies, including 49 pages dedicated to that first Trek movie, nya!
Elizabeth:
Also by Pocket Books in 1980 was the nifty pouch of Star Trek – The Motion Picture 14 Official Blueprints by master technical illustrator Dave Kimble, who also rendered the famous cut-away view poster of the USS Enterpurrise from the movie. These unfold to 13.125″ x 19″ purrecise plan & elevation views of the various spacecraft from the movie!

While not specifically purrtaining to the first movie purr se, nevertheless, Denise & Mike Okuda’s supurrb books Star Trek Chronology and Star Trek Encyclopedia are quite purrofound works purrtaining to all of Trek, and of course include many factual tidbits about Star Trek – The Motion Picture!
Nyanko:
There have been many magazine articles written about Star Trek – The Motion Picture too, such as those in Starlog, Fantastic Films, Fangoria, Famous Monsters, Future Life, Omni, Trek, Enterpurrise Incidents, Star Trek Communicator, the poster magazine & Marvel comic book adaptation- Mike do you have any purrticular favorites?
Mike:
That comic book adaptation in Marvel Super Special Magazine #15 meant a lot to me because it was by the great Dave Cockrum, who was a big artistic inspiration to me! But as for favorite artices… gotta go with Cinefex #1 & 2, the February 1980 issue of American Cinematographer, and Star Trek The Magazine’s December 2001 issue!

Wow, It’s hard to believe it’s been 30 years… or that next May will be the 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back! Well, that’s all for this segment, but there’ll be more Trek talk after the break, when we welcome our very special guests Deborah & Devra Langsam, so please stay tuned!
(snip)
(one short break later…)
The Mew’s December Main Event:
an intermew with Deborah & Devra Langsam!
Yvonne:
40 years ago, the television series Star Trek was cancelled by NBC, nya. 10 years later on December 7th, 1979, the first Star Trek movie purremeired in theaters, and since then the franchise has been bigger than ever, with more movies, TV series, books, merchandise, conventions and fan creations, nya!
But those 10 years between the original series and Star Trek the Motion Picture were purrhaps the golden age of Star Trek fandom, as fans rallied for the return of the show, published fanzines, and started the first Star Trek conventions, nya!
While fanfics & art purrliferate the internet, conventions devoted to Trek, Star Wars, anime, etc are so mainstream these days, it was terra incognita back then- and they did it without computers, the internet, copiers, or cell phones, nya!
There are two fascinating books about the early days of fandom in the 1970’s, such as The Making of the Trek Conventions by the late Joan Winston, and Star Trek Lives! by Jacqueline Lichtenberg http://www.simegen.com/jl/, Sondra Marshak http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Sondra_Marshak & Joan Winston http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan_Winston, nya.
In both of those books, among the recurring names of pioneering, purrominent fans are cousins Devra and Deborah Langsam, nya!
From their involvement in the famous organized campaigns of the 1960’s to renew Star Trek, publishing the legendary first Star Trek fanzine Spockanalia in 1967, and helping to found the first Star Trek Conventions in 1972, Deborah & Devra’s labors of love are of purrofound historical significance, nya!
We shudder to think what fandom (Trek or otherwise) would be like without them, nya! So we here at The Mew are so very honored to welcome Deborah & Devra Langsam as our extra special guests, nya! Aloha nya! What kind of tasty beverage would y’all like, nya?
Deborah:
I’ll have a gin gimlet (I say that because in the early Star Trek days, Dr. McCoy / DeForrest Kelley was my favorite character/actor. At some point I read an interview that said he drank gin gimlets.) So in memory of Mr. Kelley, I’ll have a gimlet.

Devra:
Back in the day I was a mad coffee addict – LOTS of milk no sugar please. And iced, if it’s hot out.
Yvonne:
One gimlet and an iced coffee coming right up, nya! Well we would like to hear all about your interesting lives & career, not just the Star Trek part, but let’s start there, nya! So what sort of girls were y’all back in the late 60’s when you first discovered Star Trek, nya?
Devra:
I was a childrens’ librarian, a big science fiction & fantasy fan. When we discovered Star Trek, it was just amazing.

Deborah:
I probably mirrored many female fans in my fan circle. I was interested in reading, in writing, and in science. And then on top of that, I liked museums, theatre, and dance. I wasn’t comfortable in the standard social/dating scene of drinking parties and small talk- but I loved interacting with people.
I just wanted the conversations to be about things that were interesting to me at the time: books, science, etc. Devra was already involved in fandom when Star Trek came along. Star Trek connected the two of us and that connected me to fandom.
Yvonne:
What did you find so appealing about the show in general, and what were your favorite epurrsodes & characters, nya?
Deborah:
The show appealed on a number of levels: it was intelligently written and the stories generally respected the intelligence of the audience; the writers created a universe of interesting ideas and interesting characters whose traits and idiosyncrasies remained consistent – for the most part – from one show to another.
The issues, while set in another time frame, were relevant to the times and the show painted a hopeful picture of a future where races mixed, intelligence was valued, and ethical conduct was paramount.  Plus, for its time, the special effects were great!
Favorite Character: Dr. McCoy. Favorite episodes: City on the Edge of Forever, The Trouble With Tribbles,  Mirror Mirror, and A Piece of the Action. Worst episode of all Time: Spock’s Brain.

Devra:
I just loved Spock. All that mysterious brooding restrained sexiness, but you just KNEW you could melt. I liked  City on the Edge of Forever, Journey to Babel, The Naked Time and Mirror, Mirror… not so much the third season.
(the beverages are served!)

Yvonne:
There was a famous grass roots campaign by fans to get the show renewed from cancellation, nya. Was there a purrecendent for that, and how did y’all get involved in that purrocess, nya?
Devra:
At the very beginning, we were recruited by Bjo Trimble http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bjo_Trimble who was working with Gene Roddenberry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Roddenberry to stir up grass-roots support. Bjo sent us film clips to give out to people, and Roddenberry sent a lady (Wanda?) out to Brooklyn to help us.
Debbie, a college student at the time, handed out fliers outside the NBC building (on a very cold day.) It was funny, because that was the big anti-war time, and some people wouldn’t take the flier, because they thought it was about DOCTOR Spock, a famous anti-war speaker. And we were both so eager for the show to continue that we wrote letters, and got our friends to sign petitions.

Deborah:
As far as I know, there was no precedent for the fan campaign. In some ways you could say that fandom and Star Trek were their own non-electronic social networking systems. While many Star Trek fans weren’t SF fans, there were lots of SF fans (already hooked into communicating with one another) who were ST fans as well.
As a result, at least some of the fan base for ST had a model for being organized (i.e., fandom) — so it wasn’t much of a leap to organize into ST clubs and interest groups. I probably got involved through other ST/SF fans who mounted letter writing campaigns.
That  was one bitter cold morning that I was one of a group of fans who picketed in front of NBC- attired in a Nehru jacket, miniskirt, boots (I was completely frozen). We made it on TV and into the NY newspapers and onto the AP wire that day. The story was picked up by a number of papers across the country.
I don’t recall if NBC carried us — in fact, I think the day began with hassles from NBC security — and then someone must have realized the publicity potential (and we weren’t a particularly threatening group — peculiar, no doubt,  but not threatening). After that, they treated us quite well (I think they may have even sent out some warm drinks to us that day).
Yvonne:
Wow that was such dedication- and the Nehru jacket & miniskirt sounds like the cute fashion, nya! What was in Devra’s wardrobe like in the 60’s- did you have a Nehru jacket & miniskirt too, nya?

Devra:
Nope. By 1965 I was working for the library, a very conservative bunch. And I’ve never liked the way fashionistas try to force me to dump all my old clothes and buy new ones… really liked pant suits, though!
Yvonne:
So what was science fiction fandom like in the 60’s, nya? Did you see 2001: A Space Odyssey in the theater, nya?
Devra:
Yes, I saw 2001 in the theater. It was very impressive on the big scene, although it seemed a little different from the book to me…

 

In those days, fandom was very very heavily male, and all of us female trekkies were a shock to their nerves. They kinda liked there being more females around, but then we all were infatuated with the show’s characters, and not so interested in the guys, which annoyed them, I think. After a while, we separated out into our own separate fandom, which was very heavily female…

Deborah:
I actually only experienced a very small slice of fandom – mostly New York city based fandom. At the time, it seemed like a pretty open and safe place; there didn’t seem to be much of a generation gap between older and younger fans – with older fans tending to welcome the newcomers.
Of course, as in any semi-organized group of people, there were the usual bumps in the road — some pettiness, some feuding, some gossip along the way; “alliances” and romances were formed and broken;  all the typical things you find when folks come together and egos and hormones get involved.
My chronological peers were college students who, perhaps not surprisingly, didn’t fit the typical collegiate stereotype. For one thing, most of us were attending state or city schools – commuting to school and working our way through college.
But more than that, most of us weren’t into the archetypal college scene of football games, beer parties, the Greek system, and dances (“clubbing” nowadays). It tended to be a more cerebral social scene – our socializing was more geared towards talking books and plot structures, science, fantasy universes (and, truth be told, some beer parties as well).
And we probably all took at bit of pride in being different.  I’ve no doubt that we practiced some reverse snobbery with respect to our peers who we peceived to be more mainstream. And yes, I did see 2001 in the theatre.
Yvonne:
The Beatles, Batman and Bond were real big then too- what did those mean to y’all, nya?
Devra:
Nothing much. I never liked most music… just a barbarian, I guess. Bond was OK.
Deborah:
I was intrigued by Bond…the sophistication of Cary Grant with overt sex appeal. it was an enticing combination for just about any high school / college kid looking for an entry into an exotic fantasy world world of travel, intrigue, and adventure.
It was space age technology meets mid-century western civilization – the gadgets in Bond were the link between the present and the SF future. And at the time, when movies were a lot tamer, these were mainstream films on the cutting edge of sexuality.
I was amused by Batman (shades of comic-book land; it was a whole different genre for tv at the time). As far as the Beatles. I liked them and their music (still do), but not in a Beatlemaniac sort of way. I tended more towards folk and classical.
Yvonne:
Where were y’all during the Apollo 11 moon landing and Woodstock, nya?

Devra:
During Woodstock, I was at home. Never much involved with that sort of hippie stuff, but remember that I was a bit older than most of those guys.

 

For Apollo, I went to Central Park (Manhattan) where they had set up three gigantic TV screens. We were all (as per the Mayor’s request) wearing white, and it was drizzly, so we had umbrellas. They were selling white balloons (moon balloons) and we stood around and waited and it was just amazing to see it.

Deborah:
There In Central Park, cheering… toasting the astronauts with a plastic cup of wine and freezing my buns off. For Woodstock, I was working a summer job in NY – and kind of out of that scene.
Yvonne:
What are your all time favorite movies, TV and radio shows, and mewsic, nya?
Devra:
STAR TREK, um… I love 1776 (the show – the movie is ok, but not as gripping as real people right in front of you…) I was a moderate STAR WARS fan (the first three, don’t really care all that much about the second, newer set.) I usually like musicals.
Deborah:
I’m afraid I won’t have too much here to interest a SF/ Fantasy audience. For classic films, I’m a sentimentalist: Casablanca, The Little Shop Around the Corner – not to be confused with The Little Shop of Horrors, Bell Book and Candle.
I also like non-horror Hitchcock (North by Northwest for example) and old musicals (anything Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, etc.). I’m a fan of what I’d call the “gentle genre” (Waking Ned Devine, Babette’s Feast, Cold Comfort Farm, Chocolat… naturally, and You’ve Got Mail — the remake of Little Shop Around the Corner).
I regret to say that I’m unsophisticated in my SF and fantasy films tastes and not too current either: ET, the 1st Star Wars, the recent Star Trek, Men in Black. And I like animation: The Triplets of Belleville, pretty much anything Pixar, etc.
As far as TV: Star Trek (in all of its incarnations except “Enterprise”). Of course in this day and age, the original Star Trek seems incredibly hokey and almost mateurish to me, but some of those old scripts are still amazingly well crafted).
From the “old days:”  The Avengers, The Prisoner, The Saint, The Twilight Zone of my childhood. Nowadays I’m more into the Food Network and pretty much any show that challenges people to be creative (a la Project Runway or Top Chef).
Yvonne:
How ’bout favorite books, comics, artists & authors, nya?
Deborah:
Again, I’m likely to be a bit of a disappointment here (at least in terms of SF) –
my tastes today run more toward biography and memoir (have been going through a series of food-related ones:  Jacques Pepin, Julia Child, Ruth Reichel)… Jane Austen and her imitators (Georgette Heyer for one), loved the Brother Cadfael mysteries and other medieval whodunits, Stuart Kaminsky and his Inspector Rostnikof series.
And for delightful brain candy:  any one of Alexander McCall Smith’s various book series. and a slew of mystery writers. But of course, there are the SF classics:  Farhenheit 451, I Robot, A Canticle for Liebowitz.

Devra:
I love childrens’ fantasy books- Diana Wynne Jones is about my favorite. I also like Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s Liaden SF series, and Jim Butcher’s’, Harry Dresden wizard books, and Sharon Shinn and a lot of other fantasy authors.
I know nothing about comics, and as to art, I like it to be …um…pretty. Can’t stand all those vampiric or bloody stuff that a lot of SF artists do. I’m sort of a Maxfield Parrish kind of person.
Yvonne:
What did you think of the anime adaptation of Howl’s Moving Castle, nya?
Devra:
It was pretty good at the beginning, but I didn’t care for his changing the plot towards the end, so that he could put in lots of explosions and bombs. There is threat of war in the book, not active attacks or deaths. And Howl is really from our world, so he wouldn’t have had a childhood hut.. He did a nice job with Calcifer. It was pretty good, but the book is better!
Yvonne:
What purrompted y’all to publish your fanzines such as Spockanalia http://fanlore.org/wiki/Spockanalia starting in 1967, and what was that purrocess like, nya?

Deborah:
I’m passing this to Devra. She and Sherna were really the driving force behind the fanzines, they had been longtime SF fans and they understood  both fandom and genre of  ‘zines at the time. I was a willing and excited participant and, eventually, co-editor.
What I can say is that we wanted to read more about ST (and other SF topics that we were interested in); we couldn’t rely on others to give us what we wanted – so we started inventing our own food for thought .
Devra:
That’s That’s a long story. My friend Sherna Comerford and I got into a long correspondence with Juanita Coulson http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juanita_Coulson, a long-time regular sf fan who co-published her own fanzine with her husband Buck (Yandro. the zine was.) She’d gotten very interested in Trek, and had written some nice articles for her fanzine.
She said that if we did the organizational work and collected articles from other fans, then she would do the physical work and print a fanzine, which there was a lot of interest in. (At that time, the older SF community hadn’t yet gotten to feeling… um… overwhelmed by all those females who only wanted to talk about Spock’s….eyebrows.)
She introduced us to Ruth Berman http://www.tc.umn.edu/~d-lena/RuthBermanPage.html and Eleanor Arnason http://eleanorarnason.blogspot.com/, both of whom had written trek stories. Ruth had even published her story in her own sf fanzine. In those days, fanzines were published in either mimeograph or ditto, and had very small print runs.
In those days, fanzines were published in either mimeograph or ditto, and had very small print runs. A lot of them only cost 50 cents, or ‘the usual’ which is to say a letter of comment or an exchange of fanzine or a contribution. (Ditto is the smelly purple stuff you used to get letters from the teacher to your mom in.)
Anyway, Sherna was in grad school in Newark, and the school had a printing section that was interested in getting some outside work, so after we got articles and artwork together and typed the stencils (that’s the blue waxy things that you correct with this ether-smelling liquid, called correction fluid, or corflu) got Juanita to trace the artwork for us, glued the pictures in, and the Rutgers-Newark people printed it up for us.
I don’t remember whether they did 250 or 500 copies for us, but anyway, it was a great many more copies than most fanzines ever made. We took the loose sheets with us to the Worldcon in New York City (NYCon III) – that would be 1967, I think – and got a bunch of friends together in a hotel room to put the thing together. It was ninety pages long, a monster among fanzines.
Then (because we didn’t have a heavy-duty stapler) we used a wall-stapler to fasten it together, shooting the staple through the paper and into a block of wood. Then we pried it loose and used pliers to fold down the staple’s prongs.
The paper we used was very cheap pulp, very acid, which is why copies of the first printing are in such bad condition (between the cheap paper and the sharp-edged heavy staples.) Later on, I reprinted the zine and the following four issues, to a total of about 2000 copies each. Or maybe 4000. I kind of lost track.
But the reprints finally ended up being done by a regular printer, since the original stencils wore out and I couldn’t find any friends willing to put together yet another set of the zines. After the first issue,  we borrowed a mimeo from Frank Prieto, an SF fan, and printed the zine up ourselves.
We eventually bought our own mimeo, and used it up until I was faced with printing ‘One Way Mirror’, an alternate trek novel by Barbara Wenk (later India Edghill) http://www.indiaedghill.com/. It was 250 pages, and I went and found a professional printer and binder for it.
One thing though – we started writing ST stories because we wanted more, and there wasn’t any – no books, no magazines, not even paperback versions of the episodes.  All that came much later. Even reruns were very limited; if you missed the original screening, you had to wait until the summer reruns, and they didn’t even rerun all of the episodes. {No videotapes!}

 

And we KNEW we could do a better job explaining some things than they did on screen. We published our stories and fanzines because regular SF fanzines didn’t print fiction- if it was good enough to print, why weren’t you trying to sell it to a professional magazine or publisher?
And naturally, the professional publishers didn’t want 8000 stories about Spock’s navel, many of them very short on plot and long on emotion. They also weren’t sure about copyright and didn’t want to get into an argument with Paramount.
So we did our zines, and as long as we didn’t sell enormous numbers of them (or make any real money on them) or shove them into Paramount’s face, they just ignored us. After we did Spockanalia #5, Sherna got tired of it,  and we split off. I started a new zine, Masiform D http://fanlore.org/wiki/Masiform_D,  which I did 18 issues of. I also published a number of trek and SW novels.
Yvonne:
‘Shippy’ & ‘slash’ fics are a dime a dozen these days- but how did that all start, nya?

Deborah:
I’ve got to pass this one to Devra….!

Devra:
I didn’t do slash. I also didn’t do hurt-comfort, and not much sexy stuff. Embarrassed me, so I just didn’t do it .I ‘m not sure how slash started, but I think it was fans who couldn’t bear to share their favorite character with any other female.
Yvonne:
My impurression of the Trek fans, generally speaking, is that many of the girls maybe more seem interested in the characters, relationships & stories, whereas the boys are often purrhaps more interested in the action, starship tactics & technology- is that a fair observation, nya?
Deborah:
I think that’s an astute and accurate observation. There were / are exceptions of course, but if you make a quick purrrusal of a Spockanalia or a Masiform D table of contents…I think you’ll find that most of the stories are authored by women. And most of those stories emphasize plot, characters, and relationships. With  one or two exceptions, it seems that most of the published technical manuals have been written by men.

Devra:
Pretty much. Well, it was that way in the past. I’m not really much involved in Trek fandom now, so I can’t really say for sure.
Yvonne:
Purrogressing into the 1970’s, how did the notion of the first Star Trek con originate, nya? How long did the con take to plan, from concept to opening day, nya?

Deborah:
You know, I hope Devra has a better memory than I do. I can’t recall what actually caused us to decide to hurl ourselves into the insanity. Perhaps it was our experience going to SF cons. At the time, Star Trek was pretty marginalized at the SF cons (maybe too commercial, not enough appeal to certain SF purists).
I think it was natural for us to build on the SF model of conventions and just specialize it. The bottom line is that for most of us it was a way to bring folks together and have fun talking about ST – one or two folks had profit-making in mind, but that was definitely the minority. Most of us just wanted to break even (or at least not go deep into a hole) financially.
Devra:
Elyse Pines Rosenstein and I were working on a slide show together, using the slides of trek film that we’d either gotten from Bjo, traded with other people for, made (semi-legal) duplicates of, or bought from dealers. We both were involved with the Lunacon, a convention put on by the NY SF Society – the Lunarians.
We’d both worked on the con, and had some idea how it functioned, what kinds of jobs needed to be done, and so forth. Elyse said to me, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a con of our own, just STAR TREK?” and I agreed that it would. That was a Saturday. On Thursday, she called me and said, “I’ve gotten us a printer and we have a hotel!”
It proliferated from there. Rather like an avalanche… or a tidal wave. We started some time in the fall, and the con was in the early spring. We pulled in a lot of friends and acquaintances, and called our out-of-town friends -there was a very active phone community. The late Joan Winston got us contact with Paramount and the actors and NASA.
We had an advance registration of 800, which was phenomenal; we thought that we’d end up with 1600 people, since Lunacon usually doubled its pre-reg Instead, we ended up with about 3400.  But you can read about it in Joan’s book.

 

And we were incredibly lucky, all through the five cons.  We were total babes in the woods, and made a lot of mistakes.  We were very very lucky, and had an enormous amount of help from our friends.
Yvonne:
In that book there is a neat pic of Elyse Pines standing beside Isaac Asimov, who has a Phaser, nya! Did y’all have enough staff & volunteers, and how did con planning & purrmoting get done back then without computers, internet, cell phones, copiers, etc?
Deborah:
What staff?  At least the early cons, there was no staff. If I recall correctly, Al Schuster (who had a printing business) got paid for printing convention materials…
… but mostly we were all volunteers, doing everything from advertising to registration, setting up panel discussions to stuffing registrations envelopes at 2:00 in the morning.  We did it because we loved Star Trek, because it was exciting and different, and because nobobdy told us we couldn’t do it.

Devra:
We had about 12 people on the committee, and just dragooned people to help as we went along. Some people didn’t work out, and some people that we picked up along the way became long-time friends and helpers.
Eventually, when the cons got too big, we hired convention ladies to handle at-the-door registration.  We had a lot of very long, acrimonious committee meetings.  We yelled a lot. We did a lot of hard work at various people’s houses collating advance promo stuff, which we sent snail mail after hand labeling.

 

We actually did have use of a computer. A friend had access to a college computer, and I would pick up the mail and haul it up to his office after work. Then I’d sort and enter the new names and addresses, so that we could send out the promo info.  On time we went down to Brooklyn College and key-punched info at their computer center.

 

Of course there were copiers, just no one OWNED one. You used the one at the copy center. We would get long long long print-outs of names and addresses, and I would cross-check so we could eliminate duplicates. And we kept the files from he previous cons.

 

We managed quite well without the Internet.  Snail mail and phone worked just fine, although there were always people who didn’t hear about the cons until they were over… Then TV Guide did an article on our con….
Yvonne:
How hard was it to get those celebrities as con guests back in those days, nya?

Deborah:
I don’t remember who arranged the celebrities (again, back to Devra) – I assume that Joan played a major role. In some ways, however, I’d guess that it was probably easier then… we were doing something unique, the conventions were a lot less commercial, and people were less concerned about security issues and stalkers.
We didn’t seem to have highly formalized contracts;  so appearances by celebrities – particularly for the early conventions – were not necessarily done deals and you had to be ready to be disappointe – I suspect that nowadays there are much more formalized, clear-cut channels for arranging such things (i.e., through agents, etc.) – both a positive and a negative.
I’m not sure that our home-grown, grass-roots band of non-professionals would be able to cut through the legalistic, highly protective, commercial barriers that often surround (understandably so) today’s celebrities.
I’ll also mention that just about all of the celebrities were gracious and some were extremely accessible. I recall George Takei being particularly nice- spending time casually socializing with some of the convention organizers.
And then there was the time that Devra and I contacted Mark Lenard. (and Devra, correct me on this…) As I recall, we learned that he was in the New York area. We offered to take him to dinner (I’m trying to remember, was Joyce Yasner there?) and he accepted.  We met at a decidedly upscale Mexican restaurant (La Fonda del Sol) and had a lovely evening.

Devra:
Originally they came for nothing; they were thrilled that we loved their work. After a while, we had to pay them what we considered pretty big bucks, including hotel, air fare, per diem, a limo from the airport…
Yvonne:
There’s a pic in the book of Joyce Yasner, in a purretty hand- crocheted Surak costume, nya! Did y’all wear costumes too, nya?

Devra:
No, we were working.  When you run a con, you work; you don’t really have time to go to the panels or browse the dealers’ room. I saw the Art Show, but that was because I was running it.

Deborah:
Costumes weren’t a big thing for me. I enjoyed attending the costume shows (when I wasn’t off doing registration or some other mundane task), but I don’t recall ever having participated in one of the shows or dressing up in costume during the actual conventions.
Yvonne:
Are there any purrticularly amewsing incidents at those cons you can discuss, nya?

Deborah:
I’m hoping that Devra can fill in more here as the most amusing things are probably the things I’m not free to disclose (sorry)… and the things that are amusing now: Booklets for the convention showing up late, Fire Marshalls threatening to close us down because of overcrowding, running short of convention materials, celebreties showing up late – were stressful at the time.

Devra:
Well,  we had a party for the helpers. We had the guests there, so the helpers could meet them, and Shatner was next to an open window. This was pretty high up in the hotel.  When the kids burst into the room and arrowed for Shatner,  I was terrified that he was going to go out that window…
I suppose it was funny when we ran out of membership badges at the first con, and had to use index cards with little stars pasted on them, fastened with straight pins. At the time, it was less amusing. And there was the very pregnant lady waiting on the registration line… we asked her when she was due, and she said, “Yesterday.”  (We got her a chair…)
Yvonne:
Four years after the original Star Trek was cancelled, in 1973 NBC aired the animated series- what was your opinion of it?

Devra:
It”s not the same, Captain. It wasn’t bad, but…

Deborah:
I can’t help with this one.  I was in graduate school at the time, had no TV and maybe saw it once or twice while on vacation.
Yvonne:
We really liked the cartoon’s Lt. M’ress, who was in our Celebrity Catgirl Spotlight last month, nya! But back to those cons, I understand that Deborah was on the con committee from 1972 – 1974 and Devra was there from 1972 – 1976, nya. What were y’all up to or in to after that tenure, nya?
Devra:
After we finally decided that the cons were too much work for a hobby, and too little cash return for a job… I was a librarian, after all. I went on with publishing fanzines and working on my local convention.

Deborah:
I went off to grad school. After finishing my degree I moved to Charlotte, NC to take a position in the Biology Department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. I was on the faculty for 22 years and then decided it was time for a change – this time in the direction of fiber art.

Yvonne:
What courses did Purrofessor Langsam teach at Duke and at UNC-Charlotte, nya?
Deborah:
I went to UNCC because I’d have the opportunity to teach Intro Bio to non-majors, Intro Botany, and Mycology (the fungi…my specialty). I particularly wanted to teach the intro courses… courses that many other faculty want to avoid.
I liked the intro courses because they presented such a great opportunity for changing student attitudes towards science. Many students enter those courses with really negative attitudes (“I hate bio” or “I’m an animal person, botany is bo-o-oring”).
The challenge is to hook students into the science by relating the sometimes difficult material to everyday life, by convincing them that they can master the subject matter, and by enticing them with interesting tid-bits of supermarket biology and cocktail party talk
(e.g., the blue in blue cheese is actually composed of millions of fungal spores… the fungus is a member of the genus Penicllium. Yes, it’s related to the fungus that produces penicillin)
Yvonne:
My favorite fungi would be the mushrooms for the pizza, nya! Also in the late 1970’s A lot changed in May of 1977 when Star Wars came out, nya. What did you think of that movie when you first saw it, and how did that affect you, nya?

Deborah:
Loved it…storyline, costumes, special effects. It certainly sent me down memory lane… I was reminded of how excited I was by an engaging SF storyline come to life and it beat the heck out of the outdated special effects of Star Trek. It was a reminder of how much technology had changed over a decade.

Devra:
I thought SW was a pretty great movie. We got very involved in the fan story writing and arguments about whether Han Solo was The Long Lost Prince of the Sith, and stuff like that. Fanzines and other fan cons had really proliferated by then, and that took up my time. I never got into any of the other fandoms for other shows and actors, really.
Yvonne:
Soon it was clear that Star Trek was actually returning, as a big budget big screen movie in 1979, nya. What was your reaction when you saw the first trailers & ads for it, nya?

Deborah:
Total excitement… I wanted the characters to live once again!

Devra:
The first trailer was great. Unfortunately, it had most of the action scenes from the entire movie. But we said, “I’ll believe it when I see the closing credits.” We’d been waiting so long, you see.

Yvonne:
Oh, Mike wanted me to ask… if y’all were among those 400+ extras in that ‘Recreation Deck’ scene, nya?
Deborah:
Not me!

Devra:
NO. They only wanted girls sized 6 and under – maybe size 4, even. I’m 5’9″ and on a good day I was a size 14. Guess they didn’t think there’d be any tall or busty women in the future.
Yvonne:
Aww I’m sorry to hear that… but… what was it like when y’all first Saw Star Trek The Motion Picture, and what did you think of it, nya?

Devra:
We were fortunately enough to be invited to the initial screening down in Washington DC. We were thrilled and gratified that they remembered our part in keeping the show alive.
Unfortunately, I was not very impressed with the original movie cut- much too much awe-filled gazing and not enough plot or action. It was very awkward, since we were seated only a few rows away from the actors. The reception at the Smithsonian afterwards was very very nice though.
Deborah:
By that time I was pretty much out of fandom-  so I saw the movie (and the subsequent ones) through a different lens. I enjoyed the film- loved seeing the continuation of the ST Universe- but didn’t really spend time analyzing it the way I had analyzed the original series.

Yvonne:
Deborah, since you were at Duke purrsuing the Doctorate in Biology, nya! Should I address you as Dr.Langsam, and what interested you most of the biological / botanical sciences, nya?

Deborah:
Well I don’t know if you need to address me as Dr. Langsam, but I did complete my doctorate in Botany with a specialty in aquatic watermolds (how’s that for a conversation stopper!).
Although I’m retired from the University, I still do some educational consulting and work as an adjunct curator of mycological collections at the Schiele Museum of Natural History and Science http://www.schielemuseum.org/.

Yvonne:
Aquatic watermolds, nya? What are your favorite plants, nya?
Deborah:
I tend to kill plants… so lets go with favorite fungi (and some links to the web pages of Dr. Tom Volk at the University of Wisconsin): for an interesting story, Ergot of Rye (Claviceps purpurea); this is the fungus that probably set off the Salem Witch Trials http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi/oct99.html
For stinkiness and a bit of humor, the Netted Stinkhorn (Dictyophora duplicata), which distributes its spores by attracting flies to a stinky, gummy spore mass (this fungus is a member of the fungal order Phallales http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi/july99.html. The bird’s nest fungus (Cyathus striatus) http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi/may2006.html, because most folks never guess it’s a fungus.
And finally, Pilobolus crystallinus: this little treasure grows on horse manure, shoots (literally) its spores onto surrounding pasture grass which is then eaten by a horse, the spores go through the digestive system come out in a pile of manure (full of nutrients for growth) and the cycle begins again http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi/jun2007.html.
And for Devra and other SCA enthusiasts, check out the “Dung Crusades” written by one of Tom’s students http://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/s2007/seidler_ashl/. For those interested in dance, Pilobolus (a dance troop that really spearheaded highly acrobatic contemporary dance) took its name from the fungus.

Yvonne:
Oh yes I am familiar with that great dance troupe, but I had no idea where the name came from, nya!
Deborah:
In the past couple of years, Pilobolus has branched out into “shadow work;”  you may have seen them in commercials http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elWf8nI6ivw, on late night TV http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPERVDVHAr4&feature=related, or on the 2008 Academy Awards Show http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VHpHA4GK80.

Yvonne:
Were you sports fan too, nya? Did you go to any of the Duke-UNC games or tournyaments, nya?

Deborah:
I arrived at Duke totally uninterested in sports and then was seduced- much to my astonishment- into the sports scene by the environment and a bunch of fellow grad-students. And so I became a big Duke basketball fan.
This was during some of the lean years at Duke (when Bill Foster was rebuilding the team), but I got to see some great players: Jim Spanarkle, Mike Gminski- and the games were a great break from grad studies. And since Duke was not a powerhouse, ACC tournament tickets were not at a premium.
I won the lottery for two ACC tourneys while I was there and got to see the Blue Devils win the tournament once. By the way, I assume the font color you assigned me (Carolina Blue) was no accident…

Yvonne:
(the nervous catgirl) Nyaa… haaa that is coincidence, nya! I might be a Tarheel fan but you have that blue color because it is  the Star Trek (original series) science department color, nya! But we can make that a darker blue if you purfur, nya!
Deborah:
No, a little cross pollination never hurt anyone (much)!
Yvonne:
By the way Devra got the green font color because that’s the color of Capt. Kirk’s other shirt, nya. So Devra, where were you a librarian at, and do you still do that, nya?
Devra:
I was a childrens’ librarian from 1965 until 2002, working in various branches of the Brooklyn Public Library. I’m retired now.

Yvonne:
What do you think of the recent movie adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are, nya?
Devra:
I haven’t seen it yet. I’m waiting to see how they made a 40 page book with less than 100 words of text into a two-hour movie (grin) I’ve known that book a long long time; could probably recite the text to you right now….
Yvonne:
Oh I thought it was a wonderful poignant movie, nya! Is seeing so many kids with their parents as willing accomplices- camped out in Hogwarts costumes at book stores for those Harry Potter book release parties-  a dream come true for you, nya?
Devra:
I was really happy that Harry Potter made the book publishers realize that kids would read a really long book if it had great fantasy in it. They reprinted a lot of old favorites to capitalize on this interest, and that made me very pleased too.

Yvonne:
What did you think of Star Trek The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterpurrise, nya?

Deborah:
The only one I didn’t follow was Enterprise. Just couldn’t get into it.
But I avidly watched all the others-  I had my favorite moments and times when I wanted to throw a shoe through the TV screen (hated the Kes character in Voyager for example- and the stories involving her character just got too weird). But mostly I was pleased to see the ST Universe take on different dimensions with each show.

Devra:
I liked Deep Space Nine, until they killed off Vedic Bareil. They had real problems, and not everything worked out perfectly.
I disliked Voyager from the start- they’d just arrived, and instantly decided that they needed to meddle in these people’s problems, without any idea what was going on, and probably lost their best chance to get home.
I also wasn’t terribly impressed with their version of a female captain – she seemed a lot clingier and less efficient than she should have been. Enterprise was ok, although it really was an alternate universe…

Yvonne:
The new movie, nya?

Devra:
The new movie is pretty good, although it does eliminate a lot of my favorite episodes… no Journey to Babel for instance. But they did a good job picking people and the new Spock is quite good.

Deborah:
Because I haven’t been in the ST/SF scene for a long time, I saw the movie from a different and no doubt, less critical, perspective; in other words, I was willing to go along for the ride with the producer and director. So keeping that in mind, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I thought they did a pretty good job of getting the characters right (and this was probably the most important thing for me)- of showing you hints of who they might have been as younger adults and how they might have gotten to their older selves. I was happy that they didn’t make the characters into younger campy, caricatures of themselves.
I was blown away by the meticulous attention to gestures and postures that made the actors seem like younger versions of the original cast. Are there holes in the plot and storyline? Without a doubt.  And I had a good bit of trouble with the young Spock / old Spock scene and some of the revisionist history. But overall, I was much more satisfied than I expected to be.
Yvonne:
Devra, you’re also in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) http://www.sca.org/, nya! How & when did you get into that, nya?

Devra:
I was always interested in history, and was acquainted with some of the original founders. I went to a bunch of the early events here on the East coast, but then dropped out for a long time. I was more interested in my fanzines.
When I dropped out of doing and selling fanzines, I sort of shifted into selling costume and  Historic cookbooks. Now I’m almost totally out of trek and other show fandoms, and primarily involved with running a couple of sf con dealers’ rooms, and selling the books.
Yvonne:
The SCA is about as old as Star Trek fandom isn’t it, nya? How has it evolved in the past 40 years, nya?

Devra:
There are a lot of families, and a lot of older people. And the group as a whole is much more interested in the accuracy of their clothing, tents, cooking, heraldry. People have developed a lot of skill and knowledge, and the stuff that they do is a lot more accurate-to-period; you don’t see people wearing polyester and bunny fur. There’s some amazing stuff being produced.

Yvonne:
Could you give us a bit of travelogue about your Scadian Kingdom, nya?
Devra:
I’m in the East Kingdom http://www.eastkingdom.org/. (There are currently 19 kingdoms, including one in New Zealand. You have to have a certain level of registered members to qualify, and there a number of other things you need…)
My local group is called the Canton of Brokenbridge http://www.cantonofbrokenbridge.org/, which covers Brooklyn; it’s part of a larger local group called The Crown Province of Ostgardr http://www.ostgardr.org/ (the Greater NYC area, including Westchester but not the far end of Long Island, which is a separate barony).
We have about 50 paid registered members here in Brokenbridge, although the number who actively participate in events is a bit smaller. The East Kingdom stretches from Canada down to Delaware. It used to encompass the entire East Coast and Europe, but as numbers grew, pieces formed into other kingdoms.
I usually travel from the Boston area to Washington DC to attend events, although I do go up to New Hampshire for Birka, and of course out to Pittsburgh for The Pennsic War http://www.pennsicwar.org/ (10,000 really eager medievalists camped out for two weeks…)
We have a kingdom newsletter which lists forthcoming events; often there will be 3-5 events each weekend, which makes it very hard to choose where to go…

Yvonne:
What’s your favorite country, period & role to garb up as at SCA events, Rennfaires, or other historical festivities nya?

Devra:
I’m a bookseller; that is my role. As such, I would be a travelling merchant, so I can do a variety of places and periods.
Usually, I just wear a t-tunic (sort of like an ankle-length dress, with a belt and hanging pouches), and a lot of necklaces to show that I’m a wealthy merchant. I don’t try any of the really elaborate gowns with corsets and hoops and all that; it would be very hard to haul boxes of books wearing that. They are very beautiful, though!

Yvonne:
Sulu was quite the swashbuckler, Uhura had a mirror-universe dagger in her boot, Scotty got a Claymore, Spock swung a mean Lirpa, Worf had a Bat’tleh, and Capt. Kirk got in more than one sword fight, nya. What’s Devra’s melee weapon of choice, nya?
Devra:
Um… my pocketbook or carrying sack? They both weigh quite a lot. Anyone who got smacked with one of them would really regret it… I studied shotokan karate for about ten years, but I wouldn’t depend on my skills in a brawl; I’d try to run as fast as I could. 65 is not the age for trying to beat up teenage hoodlums.

Yvonne:
Ooh what purretty color belt did you attain, nya?

Devra:
I was a brown belt. Then I injured my foot and couldn’t play any more. Now I do tai chi.
Yvonne:
Devra, your company Poison Pen Purress, http://www.poisonpenpress.com/ sells books by various publishers purrtaining to Medieval & Renaissance, European & Middle Eastern food, fiction fighting, crafts & cosplay, nya! Could you tell us a bit more about your company, nya?

Devra:
I still call myself Poison Pen Press because  I’d used the name for about ten years before I really stopped doing fanzines totally.
For a while, I was selling fanzines and books, and I didn’t see why I should lose the name recognition value I’d built up.I go to a lot of trouble to get really good books on my subject. I purchase my stock from about 50 or more separate publishers- a lot of times, a publisher will have only one book that I can use.
Yvonne:
We love to eat, nya! What are are some of the nummiest ancient recipes found in those cook books, nya?

Devra:
Chicken, rice and almonds (blamange or blank mange) is about my favorite, but thre’s always Savory Toasted Cheese, and oh, loads of other ones. When I started selling historic cookbooks,  there were perhaps three or four available. Now there at least 40, which is definitely A Good Thing. We have lots more good information and source material now.

Yvonne:
Those sound very appurtiszing, nya! Speaking of tasty treats to tempt a tummy, I understand that Deborah is a Chocolatier who studied in Parris, France, nya! Please tell us about Barking Dog Chocolatier http://www.barkingdogchocolates.org!, nya!

Deborah:
Barking Dog Chocolatiers began as a hobby that’s now gotten way out of control. Here’s the short version of the story. It all started because I like to cook- and when we traveled, I wanted to take cooking classes. Joal decided he wanted to go with me, but he didn’t want to cut up dead fish- so we settled on pastry and chocolate courses.
Well before long, we were making chocolates for friends and family. That led us to taking professional courses in Paris, Montreal, Chicago and Philadelphia. From there we were asked to become the chocolatiers for a local upscale restaurant, Bonterra Fine Dining and Wine Room.
As word spurread, we began to make boxes of chocolates for sale as a way of supporting the charity that Joal directs. We’ve had some opportunities to get larger, but we want to keep ourselves small so that we can make the chocolates ourselves (that’s the fun part).

Yvonne:
Did your scholarly botanical expurrtise extend to Cacao plants, nya?

Deborah:
Unfortunately not — only the fungi that can do nasty things to the plants.

Yvonne:
The purroceeds from those chocolates helps to fund the nonpurrofit Support Works Support Works http://www.supportworks.org/ founded by you and your husband, retired pediatrician Dr. Joal Fischer- ALOHA DR. FISCHER, nya! What are some of Support Works’ purroudest accomplishments, nya?
Deborah:
Actually, SupportWorks is really Joal’s baby. I can think of two accomplishments that truly delight both of us. First, is the longevity of SupportWorks. Joal’s been helping people find and form support groups and research medical information for over nineteen years. Some of the groups he helped found have been around for nearly two decades helping hundreds of people.
Joal’s never taken a salary for his work (it’s an all-volunteer C3-501 organization) and we’ve run the operation on a shoestring- outlasting many larger support group clearing houses that couldn’t survive the capriciousness of granting agencies and budgetary crises.
The second accomplishment is related to the funds raised by Barking Dog Chocolatiers. All of our profits go to SupportWorks (that truffle you purchase helps pay for a phone-line) and for the past year or so we’ve actually raised more than we’ve needed for SupportWorks.
As a result, SupportWorks has been able to donate those surplus funds to other charities (we’ve particularly targeted those that help feed people and provide medicine to those who can’t afford their prescriptions) in the Charlotte region.

Yvonne:
You make all sots of lovely looking truffles & solid chocolates, including a chocolate chess set, nya. I’m not sure if even Willy Wonka had a chocolate chess set- how do you make a chocolate chess set.- if that’s not a secret, nya?

Deborah:
No it’s not a secret… just a lot of work. The chess pieces are made in molds. Each piece is composed of two pieces of chocolate which have been joined together using a little heat around the edge of the mold (up close, you can sometimes find the “seam” line).
The pieces are hollow or they can be filled with a plain or flavored ganache- a filling of chocolate, cream, and butter. The “board” is made from squares cut out of sheets of chocolate. The marbelized squares were made by swirling a little white chocolate into the still-wet dark chocolate sheet. The trickiest part of the chess set is not breaking off the delicate portions of the pieces while we work with them.
Yvonne:
That would be the delicious board game, nya! Given your purrofessional interest in chocolate and fungi have you ever made Truffle Truffles, heehee nya?
Deborah:
Believe it or not,  you’re the first to ask. We have some unusual flavors in our collections that work quite well. These range from chipotle pepper (give the chocolate a little heat and a smokey flavor), sweet coconut curry and Earl Gray tea. But I’m afraid that we’re going to have to pass on the truffle truffle idea… a little bit too over the top at this point (not to mention expensive).  :
Yvonne:
They say chocolate is not good for dogs; is it frustrating for your beagle Brisket to be surrounded by so much of it, nya?

Deborah:
Since Beagles are totally food driven he’s frustrated by being around any food he can’t get into.
Yvonne:
I can sympathize, nya! ALOHA BRISKET, nya! Brisket is the web master for Barking Dog Fiber Art (under construction) www.barkingdogfiberart.org, nya! Could you please tell the audience about your textiles designs and your current artistic purrojects, nya?
Deborah:
I’m really excited about some photomosaic fabric pieces that I’ve completed. The first series of pieces (“Under the Eyes of Queen Charlotte”) was done to honor Warren Burgess, an iconoclastic city planner from Charlotte. It seemed fitting to honor him with images, transferred to fabric, of the city about which he so passionately cared.
From a distance, the viewer sees a portion of a woman’s face in each of the pieces (the face is that of a Queen Charlotte statue that stands in uptown Charlotte). As the viewer comes closer, it becomes clear that the face is actually composed of hundreds of 1/2″x1/2″ photo “tiles” of Charlotte people, places, and events.
A second set of mosaics is called “Out of the Mouths of Babes.” When the viewer comes close, the photomosaic “tiles”  are women’s faces.  From a distance, the image is emerging is that of a pair of “lipstick” On the back of the quilt is a “key” to the faces along with a quote from each of the women pictured.  Here are some of my favorites:
“I would be the most content if my children grew up to the be kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.”
Anna Quindlen – Writer, Journalist
“A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water.”
Eleanor Roosevelt – Humanitarian, American 1st Lady
“It’s not enough just to swing at the ball. You’ve got to loosen your girdle and let ‘er fly.”
Babe Zacharias – Athlete (golf)
You can see some of these pieces and more on the Fiber Art Options Blog: http://fiberartoptions.blogspot.com/!
Yvonne:
Yay I want see those art works, nya! What is your textile art studio / work shop like, nya?
Deborah:
My studio is in one of our spare bedrooms. It has big windows and looks out onto a neighboring park. My sewing machine is there, my serger, a wall of fabrics, drawers of notions, “stitch” related books and magazines, and lots of beads. (another bedroom houses a cutting table).
Of course, when I’m heavy into production on a big or complicated project, there’s fabric and thread everywhere (we call it the “thread explosion)! Joal surprised me a couple of years ago and had color correcteed fluorescent lights installed in the ceiling (not a great look for a bedroom, but ideal for the sewing).

Yvonne:
What are your purrfured tools, materials & techniques, and good places to find such things, nya?
Deborah:
I use the standard “tools of the trade” for many fabric artists (i.e., rotary cutter and mat, cotton fabrics, sewing machine- mine’s a Pfaff). Many of my techniques come from the quilting world: fabric piecing, fusing and applique.
Since I do a lot of image transfer work, I’ve made good friends with Photoshop Elements and my Epson NX400 (the durabrite inks of the Epson outshine and archivally outlast all other home-use inkjet inks).  I often incorporate non-traditional (i.e., non-cotton) fabrics in my work and I sometimes bead my work, use embroidery and look for things that I can recycle into art.
A recent piece, “Recycling is the Mother of Invention: Bollywood Rice,” was made from a canvas rice bag. We’d eaten the rice and I couldn’t bear to toss the illustrated bag; it wound up mounted on fabric and beaded. I’m not currently into dying my own fabrics- but I’m moving towards fabric painting and stamping.
Although high end fabric shops can be hard to find, there are still many quilting shops around. The garment district in New York is Mecca for folks looking for great fabrics and notions- but many big cities have wonderful shops that carry great materials.
And of course, lots of things can be found online through stores and e-bay. And, as you’d expect, there’s a whole world of listservs and online communities to join that are populated with wonderful artists interested in fabric work.
Yvonne:
Do the Langsam Cousins often take trips together to Europe to study the Medieval & Rennasiance textiles & chocolates, nya?
Devra:
Nope. Deb goes with her husband. I did take a trip to England a couple of years ago with several friends, and we spent three weeks going to various food-related events, such as the Oxford Symposium on Foods, and the Leeds Symposium, and a workshop with Ivan Day on various aspects of historical cookery.

Deborah:
Although my husband, Joal, and I have been enjoying a long-distance travel hiatus of late, we’ve paired travel-across-the-pond with chocolates on many occasions.
Most of our classes have been in Paris- about six weeks of classes at the Ecole Ritz Escoffier, another week at a professional school called Bellouet Conseil. But, we’ve also had taken classes around the US and Canada. Of course, we HAVE to taste chocolate wherever we travel. And naturally, I’m always looking at textiles (and dragging my patient husband along).
Yvonne:
Do you still keep up with any of the other Trek con committee members, nya?
Devra:
Not all that much. It’s been a very long time….

Deborah:
Except for Devra, no. This wasn’t based on hard feelings or any type of feud, my life just took off in a different direction when I went off to graduate school!
Yvonne:
What should the world know about Joan Winston, nya?
Deborah:
Devra actually had a lot more contact with Joan and for a lot longer time. But that being said: She was an absolute James Kirk / William Shatner fanatic at the time I knew her. She was outgoing and socially adept, very comfortable in groups, could mingle and schmooze with fans or with the bigwigs at NBC.
And because of her professional ties,  and probably because she was older and had a lot more real-world experience, I think she had a much more sophisticated handle on the “business” side of Star Trek than most of the rest of us.

Devra:
She was a wonderful, dynamic, funny lady. She wrote several good books, and had sold at least one novel which never actually got published. (I have no idea what happened to the manuscript.) Toward the end, things got a little difficult; she needed more help than I could give her, and she ended up in a home because she couldn’t take proper care of herself. That was very sad.

Yvonne:
Nyaa… that is sad, nya. At Jacqueline Lichtenberg’s http://www.jacquelinelichtenberg.com/ & Jean Lorrah’s http://www.jeanlorrah.com/ site Sime Gen http://www.simegen.com/ there are remembrances & tributes to Joan Winston http://www.simegen.com/sgfandom/rimonslibrary/cz/cz24/JoanWinston.htmlr, nya.
So… how might folks go about finding ‘n reading those classic fanzines such as Spockanalia, T-Negative, Masiform D, Erandi Triad, Kraith etc, nya?
Deborah:
This is another one for Devra…

Devra:
You might find some on ebay. I did print an awful lot of copies of Spockanalia and Masiform D. A lot of the other zines were printed in very very limited numbers. However, there’s a lady who does reprints, Mysti Frank, Agent with Style http://agentwithstyle.com/.

Yvonne:
Arigato, nya! What would the Langsam Giirls of the late 1960’s think of how society, scientific research & technology have purrogressed as of 2009, nya?

Devra:
I would be greatly surprised at the advances in computer technology. I think that you could run the Enterprise on someone’s laptop. And things are much looser in terms of acceptable behavior, style of clothes, and so forth.
I’m pretty horrified at how fashion has gone though, with girls trying to look like they have no female bodies. It’s really hard for science fiction to come up with new stuff for the future… and it’s funny how stuff that would have been marketed as science fiction is now being marketed as regular, main-stream writing…
Deborah:
As far as science and technology…it would be a combination of sheer excitement and awe. I bought my first computer in ’84 (an AT&T 6300 with DOS 2.1, no hard drive, two 5.25 floppy disc drives, 256K RAM, and one of those green monochrome monitors). At $2000 (!!!!!) I thought it would last me at least 10 years– ha!
The fact that information flows so freely and is so accessible is an incredible gift- our modern day interconnectedness, the incredible power and ongoing potential of the internet (my dissertation research would have been a heck of a lot easier with the internet), the advances in molecular biology and genetics.
As far as society, the 60’s me would be heartened by the strides we’ve made but tremendously disappointed in where we’ve fallen short. Star Trek was the product of an idealistic decade. The universe Roddenberry created was one that  promoted social justice and ethical behavior.
I was a product of that same decade and hoped / thought that we would have made greater progress in eliminating racism, poverty, ignorance, inequality of all types, etc. The decade was also a very science-friendly time.
The 60’s me would be horrified by the anti-science / anti-intellectual climate of recent years, the use of the internet for mis- and dis-information, and the lack of civil discourse. Above all else, Star Trek emphasized understanding the “other” and the power of communication in reaching that end.
It saddens me to see the misuse of communications channels (along the lines of  he-who-screams-the-loudest with the most-enticing-sound-bytes-taken-out-of-context “wins”). And the 60’s self would be disheartened to see communities trying to stop science teachers from teaching evolutionary theory.

Yvonne:
What would the Langsam Girls of the early 1970’s think of today’s state of science fiction & fantasy fandom, fan creations, and conventions, nya?
Deborah:
I’ve got to pass this one to Devra. I’ve been out of fandom for a long time…!

Devra:
Fandom is very strange now, very fragmented. On the other hand, there’s a lot of people doing wonderful, elaborate costumes and presentations. The older cons are having a little trouble attracting new young fans, many of whom are not particularly interested in books… I never thought I’d say that, but it’s true. The biggest cons now are anime cons.

Yvonne:
Well I do love the anime cons- do y’all read or watch much Asian stuff, nya?
Deborah:
Not really…the things I’ve come across have been interesting and creative, but other interests have just drawn me in different directions (if only we had 32 hour days).

Devra:
No, not really. I’ve watched a couple of anime, but that’s all. Mostly wanted to see some of the other work of the man who did “Howl”, to be honest.

Yvonne:
Hayao Miyazaki is who directed Howl’s- he’s my favoritest director- I like all of his movies, nya!

Yvonne:
What are some upcoming cons, festivals & faires that Devra will be appearing at, nya?

Devra:
I’ll be running the dealers’ room at Lunacon 2010 http://www.lunacon.org in March in Westcher NY. I’ll be at Arisia http://2010.arisiahosting.org/, a con held up in Cambridge MA, and at Birka http://www.birka.org/, an SCA event in Manchester NH both in January.
I don’t do faires, because the books I sell are sometimes a bit expensive, and most faire attendees aren’t interested. When I used to do faires, I sold mostly to the other vendors and re-creators, which is a pretty limited market. Of course I plan to be at The Pennsic War http://www.pennsicwar.org/ near Pittsburgh in July/August.

Yvonne:
Oh some of our friends go to the Pennsic, nya! What are some upcoming chocolate or textiles arts shows & gatherings that Deborah will be attending, nya?

Deborah:
We actually do very few “shows” with Barking Dog Chocolatiers (a couple of local craft shows, some demos, some chocolate tastings throughout the year). For the past 5 or 6 years we’ve been the chocolatiers for Bonterra Fine Dining and Wine Room in Charlotte, NC, http://www.bonterradining.com/!
We’ve been lucky- we’ve been featured on the Food Network (on a show called “Food Finds”), in the January, 2007 issue of Southern Living Magazine, and in the September 10, 2007 issue of US News and World Report http://www.usnews.com/usnews/biztech/articles/070902/10second.htm!
We’ve built up quite a nice local and national clientele. A lot of our business comes through the website and through word of mouth, so check us out at http://www.barkingdogchocolates.org!

Yvonne:
Finally, do y’all have any sage advice for any aspiring artists, authors, event organizers, or entrepreneurs, nya?

Devra:
Well, we used to say, “Go see a psychiatrist. It’ll be cheaper and less stressful.” That was for would-be con runners. Go to your local conventions, volunteer, get an idea of how things work. Look at the art shows, talk to artists and authors. Many cons have panels on getting started in the different fields.
Practice practice practice. Listen when people offer criticism. NOBODY is perfect and doesn’t need an editor. Nobody. For entrepeneurs, look for books on selling your own crafts, talk to vendors at conventions. Don’t quit your day job.

Deborah:
For events, start local and small, and be willing to pay your dues (talk to people, go to and volunteer at local shows, learn everything you can from those who have done it before so that you don’t go about reinventing the wheel).
if you’re an author…read. read. read; if you’re an artist.. expose yourself to art (in and our of your medium). Look for professional development opportunities (classes, workshops, seminars, magazines geared towards aspiring professionals; many of these are free or minimally priced).
Meet your deadlines! A wise person once told us: “Your biggest enemy can be your success…”  (i.e., if Costco called us, for example, would we really be able- or want- to produce 10,000 boxes of candy on a 1 month deadline.)

Yvonne:
Gosh, Deborah & Devra, thank y’all so very much for all y’all have done and for visting with us, nya! We hope you’ll enjoy the rest of your island visit, and we will see you later at tonight’s big luau, nya!
You can keep up with Devra’s booth schedule of SCA events & science fiction cons at http://www.poisonpenpress.com/schedule.html, and Deborah’s Fiber Arts blog, publications & exhibitions http://fiberartoptions.blogspot.com/2009/06/deborah-michael-langsam.html, and web site www.barkingdogfiberart.orgnya!
That’s all for this extra special segment of the show, but we’ll be right back after the short break, nya!
(snip)
(one short break later…)

Mike:
Hey we’re back, but before we bring this month’s show to a close, there’s time for a surprise-

Bonus Lightning Round:
our favorite Christmas movies & TV specials!
(the catgirls in unison)
LIGHTNING ROUND- GO!!! Nya!

Elizabeth:
(tagged to go first) A Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (cartoon), Mickey’s Christmas Carol, and A Cosmic Christmas! (tags Petra)
Petra:
The Ranken / Bass animated specials including Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, A Year Without a Santa Claus, and The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, nya! Myayr’s turn, nya! (tags Mary Nyan)
Mary Nyan:
The 1951 and 1988 versions of A Christmas Carol starring Alastair Sim and Patrick Stewart respectively; and the 1947 and 1973 versions of Miracle on 34th Street, with either  Edmund Gewnn and Sebastian Cabot. (tags Ilyana).

Ilyana:
It’s a Wonderful Life, The Homecoming, A Christmas Story, and Home Alone! Jen’s turn! (tags Jeannie)

Jeannie:
The Star Wars Holiday Special, and Doctor Who epurrsodes “The Christmas Invasion”, “The Runaway Bride”, and “Voyage of the Damned”. (tags Yvonne)

Yvonne:
Christmassy anime such as the Urusei Yatsura epurrsode “Mendou Family’s Summer Christmas”, Ranma 1/2’s “Tendou Family Christmas Scramble” OVA, All Purrpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Niku OVA 1, and hat Christmas epurrsode of Ghost Sweeper Mikami, nya! (tags Nyanko)

Nyanko:
Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Gremlins and Batman Returns! That leaves you, Mike!
Mike:
And last but not least the 7th season episode of Bewitched “Sisters at Heart”, Emmett Otter’s Jug Band Christmas, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Tokyo Godfathers!
The cat lady sings…
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!

Elizabeth:
It was so nice that Petra, Ilyana & Nya-sensei could take the time from their
exhibit, academic & tournyament schedules to join us again!

Petra:
Thank you- it was so nice to be here again, nya!

Ilyana:
Arigato!

Nyanko:
Hai! It was so nice to meet our special guests Deborah & Devra!
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.

Yvonne:
We wish everyone happy holidays & a happy Mew Year, nya!

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 catgirls in unison, with happy swishy tails):
Happy tails to mew, until we eat again! BaiBai! nya!

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2 Responses to “The Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings for December, 2009!”

  1. Sammy Says:

    Deep Space Nine was a great movie. just like the whole series

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