The Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings
for June, 2010, nya! In this edition of ‘The Mew’:
• Aloha & Introductions
• Since Last Time
• What’s Mew in the Catgirl Island Mewseum of Art
Pics added to the Guest Art Gallery
Pics by Mike added to Gallery Four
• The Lightning Round: Our Favorite Frank Frazetta Works of Art
• Purrinted Media: Comics, Manga, Graphic Novels & Books
Modern Masters Volume 24: Guy Davis
Dan DeCarlo’s Jetta
Fathom: Blue Descent #0
Power Girl #12
Birds of Prey #1
Gotham City Sirens #12
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eight #35
Panic x Panic manga vol. 1
Shoulder-A-Coffin Kuro manga vol. 2
Ichiroh manga vol. 2
• More Purriodicals in Review: Magazines
Airbrush Action 25th Anniversary Issue May / June 2010
Surfgirl issue #26
May / June 2010 issue of GAFF
• Piscine Publications’ Pics
• Our Web Comics Picks of the Litter
• Celebrity Catgirl Spotlight: Annapuma & Unipuma
• The Toy Purrtrol
James Cameron’s Avatar- Jake’s Banshee
Barbie in A Mermaid’s Tale – McDonald’s Happy Meal toys
• DVD Reviews:
Barbie in A Mermaid’s Tale
H2O: Just Add Water Season 1 Part 1
• Dancing With The Stars Season 10 Finale
• Our DVD Wish List for Mid 2010
• Iron Man 2 Movie Review
• Animazement 2010 Convention Report
• The Cat Lady Sings…
Bold red warnings indicate imminent plot spoiling information,
locations of hidden Easter Eggs or certain graphic descriptions
Aloha & Introductions!
(wearing a Carolina Blue golf shirt, Khaki cargo shorts & Mizuno trainers) Aloha y’all- welcome to The Catgirl Critics Media Mewsings, or ‘The Mew’ for short, for our monthly discussions and reviews of fun stuff, such as movies, TV shows, books, comics, art, toys, conventions, and the yummy fish that catgirls crave!
Today’s show comes from the Municipal Plaza in Catgirl Island’s beautiful downtown Purrbank, where lovely life-size Giraffe statues mingle with the rows of towering Royal Palm Trees! It’s an a-mewsing installation type of outdoor sculpture, which the younger catgirls like to climb on. I’m Mike, the show’s ‘Purrducer’, and here are the ‘Ladies of The Mew —
(an Anthurium flower in her hair, Heliconia purrint string bikini & Scarlet flipfops)
I still like to climb on them… Nameste, nya!
(wearing a Nilla Cream Columbian style bikini & sheer Magnolia purrint purreo)
(White shirred halter-neck bikini, Amaryllis purrint sarong, thong wedge sandals)
Hi Hi, nya!
(wearing the Hot Pink coloured ring-closure bikini, a Plumeria lei & flipflops)
(a Blue Carnation in hair, a cropped White tee over an Azure suspender mailiot)
(in the Purriwinkle purretzel maillot with Wisteria purrint cover-up & espadrilles)
(her fey wings emerging from a White Calathea wrap & crochet crisscross top)
(in an Eggplant coloured bandau bikini, Teva sandals & Purrimrose tail corsage)
So what have y’all been up to
Since Last Time?
So how was your trip to Ibiza, Jenjen, nya?
It was a rather lovely weather for the swim wear photo shoot on the beaches, with friendly folks and fine food. How was the Riverwalk Art Walk ‘n Swim?
Oh we had such a huge turn out it is too bad you missed it, nya! But your belly dance troupe and Myayr’s Hula class were a big hit, nya!
It was the first public purrformance of the Spurring semester’s class!
I got to see some of the purrformances on the webcam.
Nyssa & Lani both won purrize ribbons for their photography & ikebana entries, and Lani also won the barista compurrtiton!
Sugoi! Wow I can’t believe it’s already been a whole month since we saw her at the restaurant!
I understand that the Faerie Grove Theatre purrformances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream have sold out?
Oh it has been like SRO to the max! It runs for just one more week and then we start The Tempest! I am hoping that Vonny’s drumming circle might be coaxed into playing at some of the receptions after the shows!
That would be grand if I have time to spurruce up after the charters, nya!
So like what kinds of fish have y’all been reeling in?
We hit the sweet spots for the Bluefin, Cobia, Drums, Kings, Marlin, Pompano, Purrmits, Snappurrs, Stripurrs & Wahoo, nya! When Ilyana returns to the mainland for her next semester I will send some filets and steaks with her, nya!
Domo Arigatoo gozaimasu! Um, as a matter of fact, I’ll be heading back there next week for the summer session, right after Tami’s recital!
Call me before you start packing and I will visit you with the fish, nya!
Hai – we should get together again before you depart!, so we need to consult the schedules! It has been such a festive busy month between the social, cultural & sporting events!
Whew- you got that right! So what have you been up to Lizzy?
I have been busy at the shrine with Myayr, soccer purractice, and the spa but thanks to our mew employee Rebecca I have the extra leisure time! I planted the Azaleas, Gardenias, Nandinas & Knock Out Roses, and kept up with my favorite TV purrograms which I will report on later!
I am glad to hear that Rebecca is enjoying her new job! So how are things at Nya-sensei’s dojo?
Oh it’s great and everyone is training most diligently, from the younger classes to the advanced adult classes! We expect to bring home plenty of trophies from the next tournyament!
When is Nya-sensei going to be in another magazine, nya?
Ah hah I’m not sure about that, it is a complexity, hee!
When is Mie-sensei’s next golf tournyament, nya?
I will be totally competing again in August after the Summer Shakespeare schedule concludes!
Did Mie-sensei find out about the Sea Nettle jellycups, nya?
Mm-hmm! I asked my couture friends about that, and I think we can expect a bumper crop of those in the boutiques for the fall fashion trend, fur shur!
Hopefully there’ll be plenty in the larger sizes too, nya!
One could hope, hee! Say, where is Jenn’s next modeling assignment, nya?
As the Mikonos trip was postponed, purrobably Aruba next, purrvided that does not conflict with the next robotics club derby. So what has our Purrducer been up to?
Oh gosh mainly the conventions- going to Animazement, which I’ll report on later in the show; and the usual reading, writing & art! On that note, I believe Petra is up first to tell us–
What’s Mew in the Catgirl Island Mewseum of Art!
Hai, We are purroud to purrsent 14 mew additions to the The Catgirl Island Mewseum of Art, nya! The mewest pics will be to the right side of the bottom row of pics on the particular gallery’s page, so just click on the small ‘thumbnail’ purreview portion of the pic to see the full image, nya!
Our first stop for the art is the mewseum’s Guest Galleryhttp://catgirlisland.net/art/gallery/guest.html for “Michi at the Luau” by Alexcia Reynolds, a mixed media pic of cute cyborg Siberian Snow Tiger Grrl Michi, a purrotagonist from Alexcia’s Cybernetic Showdown http://michi.byethost16.com/ story, nya!
She is doing the Hula dance, nya! We are always so very glad when Michi & her Serval friend Tash can visit us, nya! The pic combines an illustration of Michi done with Paint Shop Pro with the floral photographic background Alexcia took with her FinePix A210 camera, nya!
We are also ecstatic to have another lovely colored pencil illustration by Sakkyhttp://store.sailorastera.com/ of a catgirl named “Amandarin” because of her purretty Mandarin Orange-colored coiffure, nya! The hair combines with her lemony one-piece swimsuit and deep cocoa tan for the extra special tropical citrussy style, nya!
The last of this month’s additions to the Guest Gallery is a B&W pencil sketch by Sanzaki Kojika http://kojika.deviantart.com of another beach-ready “Catgirl in String Bikini”, nya! Note the side-tie bottom and the criss-cross spaghetti strapped top, nya. This was a wonderful commissioned sketch that Kojika did at Animazement, nya!
Those 3 pics are all of the marvelous mew addition to the Guest Gallery this month, but over there in the mewseum’s Gallery Fourhttp://catgirlisland.net/art/gallery/gallery4.html are 11 illustrative additions by Mike, nya! The first of those is “Rescued Robot Rebecca”, a sequel pic to a depurressing con sketch, and a happy ending to the sad incident, nya.
The Catgirl Island Robotics Club responded to a call from the mainland about a damaged & abandoned catgirl robot domestic servant, or NekoGynoid Maid, nya. Her cruel former employer was appurrehended & convicted to impurrisonment without possibility of purrole, while she enjoys her happy island home & a job as a masseuse at Lizzy’s spa, nya!
Here we see her fully repaired, reactivated & renamed Rebecca. (an acronym for the members of the rescue team) with Jenjen, who purrsonally oversaw the rescue opurration, nya. I will leave any further specific details of the incident for Jenjen to discuss, nya! And speaking of Lizzy–
Secondly is a page of doodles of “Lizzy” in her Purrkour (extreme catgirl style running, leaping & climbing on things), appural, followed by “Lizzy Out on a Limb”, in which she pawses from the rugged sport in mid-climb, upon catching the yummy wiff of the succulently crab cakes that are being purrpared somewhere, nya!
Firstly are some pen & ink / Photoshop doodles of “Lizzy” in her Purrkour appural, nya! For those who came in late, Purrkour is a fun version of extreme catgirl style running, leaping & climbing on things, nya! It is a very energetic athletic activity that will purrk up one’s appurrtite and require a power cat nap afterwards, nya!
Next we have more of her in “Lizzy Out on a Limb”, nya! In this pen & ink / Photoshop pic, she pawses from the rugged sport in mid-climb, upon catching the yummy wiff of the succulently crab cakes that are being purrpared somewhere, nya! Mmm, come to think of it, the crab cakes would be purretty good about now, nya!
Thirdly, “Star” is another of Katrina & Kazeyasha’s Zodiac Angels, nya! Those Zodiac Angels are a team magickal super heroines, each with an Astrological theme, and Star transforms into Zodiac Angel Leo, nya! if you go to their web site you can enjoy their purrofiles, stories and more art, nya!
It is a combo portrait bust & full figure pic of Star in a dance pose starting to evoke her magickal powers, with that glowy glyph of the astrological symbol for Leo, nya! Based on Kat’s descriptive notes about the character, the pencilled & inked drawing was scanned into Photoshop for digital coloring & embellishment, nya!
This is followed by a page of assorted “Hands & Hips” from Mike’s sketchbook, which might lack kitty ears & tails but are still purrpared for the island fun, nya! These were selected from a series of anatomical drawing tutorials to help Katrina, who is a purrolific & studious aspiring artist & writer, nya!
After that we have Mike’s Micron Pen & Photoshop pic of a catgirl in her “Purrple Beach Appurral”, nya! She definitely has the right idea to catnap on the beach in her purretty purrple bikini, with that quart carton of tasty fresh two purrcent milk to slake her sundrenched thirst nya!
A gift to our artist / cosplayer friend TonomuraBix http://tonomurabix.deviantart.com/, “Night Club Neko” is a pen & ink drawing of a gothy kitty girl who is ready for the fun night of cat dancing with her fish net & glow sticks, but if she works up an appurrtite on the dance floor she will purrfur to have fish sticks, nya!
Next is a catgirl reading her “Summer Manga On the Lawn” along with her curious widdle kitten, which started as a impurromptu doodle, but then it got digitally spurrced up, and nearby lurks an “Catgirl Huntress” with an arrow nocked & her purrey in sight, nya! This is a re-creation of a commissioned sketch that Mike did at Animazement http://www.animazement.org/, nya!
“COUP” is a pic that Mike did for our friend Phil Lee http://ibiblio.org/phil/, nya! This 2 color purropurrganda poster purrody was commissioned to purrmote COUP: Carolina Otaku UPrising http://www.unc.edu/coup/, which is the very friendly, fun Japanese anime club at UNC in Chapel Hill, nya!
Phil was one of our special guests back in May, 2008, and he also came up with the idea for this next piece, a bit of fan art of Robotech’s Roy Fokker & Rick Hunter in “Tribute to Carl Macek“ , who was an important pioneer in bringing much Japanese anime to the USA in the 1980’s, nya.
Roy & Rick appeared in the part of Robotech http://www.robotech.com/ which was based on the Japanese anime Super Dimensional Fortress Macross, with character designs by Haruhiko Mikimoto, nya. That was just one of the many anime that we’re grateful to Carl Macek http://www.carlmacek.com/ & his company for importing, nya!
I hope we get to see more of Michi & Tash- I have been meaning to see if they wanted to enroll at my dojo but it seems like Michi might purrfur dancing to martial arts!
She does have the good hula storytelling technique and the agile hip action!
Alexcia & Sakky are not only good illustrators but they are good at making the cute plushy toys, and Sakky has such great costumes too!
Kojika is the multi talented artist & cosplayer as well- and like she also has a totally awesome web comic Zos Kias http://kojika.comicgenesis.com/!
That was so so sad what happened to Beccabot before JenJen’s club rescued her but she is such a nice purrson and gives the good loomi loomi, nya!
Unfortunately there are cruel abusive owners in the world. She required much mechanical repair, and I upgraded her purrocessor to a more self-determining A.I.
She has an expurrt knowledge of the purressure points & physiology with amazing upper body strength! Oh and thank you for the pics of me, Mike!
No purroblemo- I’m glad you like ’em! It’s too bad you did not win that “Purrkour Compurrtition”…
I was distracted by the crabcakes! But next I have to purractice for the hot salsa dance compurrtition!
Star looks like she is dressed for the hot salsa dance in that Angel leo pic, nya!
That outfit was based on Katrina’s descriptive character notes. She seemed happy with the pic, and I hope those hand & shoe instructions will be of some drawing help to her!
She is very diligent & studious in her artistic purractice and continues to steadily impurrove!
Now I want a purrple bikini and and a fishnet outfit like in the nightclub neko pic too, nya! The fish sticks would be good too,- they would be the good snack while reading the manga under the shady tree like in hat other pic, nya.
That tree seems to be enjoying the manga as much as the catgirl and the kitten, hee!
I would think the trees would not like papurr purroducts!
It depends on the organic content of the paper, and if any came from a tree that died naturally. That looks like a nice healthy old tree in near that Amazon catgirl!
She seems purretty healthy too! Also, It might also matter to the tree Kami if it is greatly appurreciated when reincarnated into the manga.
Well, I love all of my books. So how were the Coup & Macek pics received?
The Coup Pic appeared as an ad for the club in the Animazement program book, and I think it looked good in print- they did a good job on that book! As for the Macek tribute, Phil seemed to like it, and more importantly Carl Macek’s important contributions were kindly mentioned in a few friends’ discussions at the con!
Speaking of art and those admired folks who are no longer with us, it is now time for–
The Lightning Round:
Our Favorite Frank Frazetta Works of Art, nya!
Frank Frazetta (9 February, 1928 – 10 May, 2010) was one of my most favorite inspirational artists, whose fantastic images of barbarians, jungle lords, exotic princesses, swashbuckling heroes, savage animals, macabre monsters and lavish landscapes had such beauty, power, sensuality and grace and that was second to none. Among his spectacular, famous works of art we greatly admire are–
The catgirls in unison:
“CAT GIRL“, nya!
Well yes of course! Ah, but besides that magnificently lush 1984 painting of the jungle girl and her big cat friends… what are y’all’s other favorite Frazettas? (tags Petra to start the round)
The catgirls in unison:
LIGHTNING ROUND– GO, Nya!
Yay I get to start, nya! Some of my favorites by Frazetta are “At The Earth’s Core“, “A Princess of Mars“, “Thuvia, Maid of Mars“, “Sheba“, “The Countess“, “Primitive Beauty“, “Princess and the Panther“, “The Princess and the Swamp Thing“, “Pterdactyls to the Rescue”, and the portrait of his wife “Ellie” nya! (tags Elizabeth to go next)
“Castle of Sin“, “Dark Kingdom, “Moon’s Rapture“, “Luana”, “Cave Demon”, “Savage Pellucidar“, “Paradox”, “Ghoul Queen”, “Thor’s Flight”, and I rather like those 1975 black & white scenes from Lord of the Rings, such as Eowyn slaying winged Fell Beast, and her duel with the Witch King of the Nazgul- she has the neatest armor! Myayr, tag, you’re ‘it’! (tags Mary Nyan)
I think sword & sorcery imagery is epitomized by the peerlessly iconic “Death Dealer” painting and its sequel images II – VI! Other favorites are “The Destroyer“, that very creepy “Night Stalker“, the beautiful “Egyptian Queen“, “Black Panther”, and purrhaps my most favorite purrofound painting by Frazetta is “The Moon Maid“! (tags Ilyana)
I will purraise Frazetta’s “Atlantis“, “Lost Continent”, “Escape on Venus“, “Nightwinds“, “Madame Derringer”, “The Secret People”, “Las Vegas”, the poster art for “The Gauntlet”, “From Dusk ’til Dawn” and “Fire and Ice”, and just think of all that fresh Anago sushi that will come from “Killing the Giant Eel”! (tags Yvonne)
I want to add to the list the purretty “Pony Tail“, “Nude in Pond”, “Wild Ride“, “Her veiled eyes seemed to read my very soul”, “The Huntress“, “Carson of Venus”, “Galleon”, “Kane on the Golden Sea”, “Queen of the Nile, “Maza of the Moon” and that purrowling “Lioness Watching Cabin” waiting for a meal to emerge, nya! (tail pokes Jeannie)
Frank Frazetta’s “Dancer from Atlantis”, “Indian with Bow”, “Sea Monster“, the Battlestar Galactic pic of the Vipurr pilot grrls’ “Scramble“, “Dawn Attack“, “Beauty and the Beast“, “Deina” in her futuristic home, and his glorious Buck Rogers pics “Attack”, “Freefall”, “Monster Entering Space Vehicle” and “Space Octapus“. (tags the Faerie)
“Dream Flight“, “Encounter”, “Sea Witch”, “Sun Goddess“, “Autumn People”, “Windblown”, “Mothman“, “Tree of Death“, “Sorceress”, “Golden Girl“, the front of his “Women of the Ages” portfolio”, and those cutely cheesecakey images of lady golfers in his Pillow Book collection are like my favorite Frank Frazetta paintings, fur shur! (tags Nyanko with the brush of a wing tip)
“Red Moon, Black Mountain” is my favorite, and I Iove his cover art for “Shi Senryaku” which depicts one of my favorite heroines, Ana Ishikawa! And I like “Geisha”, “Banth”, “Queen Kong“, “Woman with a Scythe“,”Woman with Spear”, “Tarzan Triumphant”, “Jaguar God”, he mighty “Snow Giants“ and “Behind us came the fighting men of Ugor”! Back to you, Mike!
“The Barbarian“, “Green Death“, “Tyrannosaurus Rex”, “Spiderman“, “Witherwing“, “Swords of Mars”, “Against the Gods”, “The Apparition”, “Swamp Demon“, “The Brain“, and his front cover for Vampirella #1 are among my favorites! Well that was a nicely expedient lightning round, with about 100 good reasons why we admire the legendary Frank Frazetta!
He and his wife Ellie may no longer be with us, but his artistic legacy and impact on so many other artists will never fade. Here are just a few of the web sites about the legendary master: Frank Frazetta- The Life and Works of the Master Artist http://www.frankfrazetta.net/, The Official Frank Frazetta Museum Site http://frankfrazettamuseum.com/,
Frazetta Art Gallery http://www.frazettaartgallery.com, The Wikipedia article on Frank Frazetta http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Frazetta, The Unofficial Frank Frazetta Art Gallery http://frankfrazetta.org/, and The Lilith Gallery of Toronto’s Art History Archive http://www.arthistoryarchive.com/arthistory/fantasy/Frank-Frazetta.html.
We’ll be right back to discuss more wonderful art after this short break, nya!
(one short break later…)
Reviews of Purrinted Media:
Comics, Manga, Graphic Novels & Books
Modern Masters Volume 24: Guy Davis
Welcome back! Modern Masters published by TwoMorrows http://www.twomorrows.com/ is a wonderful series of books, each dedicated to a great comic book artist! Edited by Eric Nolen-Weathington, Volume Twenty-Four showcases the work of Michigan’s Eisner Award-winning artist Guy Davis http://www.guydavisartworks.com/!
His comics credits include B.P.R.D., Hellboy, Sandman Mystery Theater, Hellblazer, The Marquis, Baker Street, Nevermen, Grendel, Catwoman, Batman, Deadline, Terminator, Aliens, Fantastic Four: Unstable Molecules, Deadline, Soloman Kane, The Blair Witch Project, Metal Hurlant, The Realm, The Zombies That Ate The World, the Hellboy II & Pan’s Labyrinth DVD comics!
His illustrations for White Wolf Games include Aberrant, Vampire: The Dark Ages, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Mage: The Ascension, Wraith: The Oblivion, Ghouls: Fatal Addiction, World of Darkness: Tokyo, Kindred of the East, Book of the Wyrm, guides to the Sabbot & Camarilla, Exalted Storytellers Companion; Nosferatu, Baali & Tzimice Clanbooks, and many other books!
This fine trade papurrback book is purriced $15.95 US with a delightful 2 page introduction comic strip by Stan Sakai (creator of Usagi Yojimbo) purrior to the massive intermew with Guy Davis, conducted by Eric in 6 very thorough parts, which is accompanied by well over 125 illustrations throughout the 120 page (mostly black & white) book!
Purrt 1’s chat covers Davis’ youthful days, his inspurrational artistic Dad, favorite stuff, attempts at Super 8 stop motion animation & his Quanto comic strip in the local newspapurr! Purrt 2 shits to his post high school fanzines, cons, early art submissions to publishers & first purrofessional works such as The Realm and later Baker Street!
Purrt 3 explores White Wolf, The Marquis, Grendel, and DC Comics such as Sandman Mystery Theater, Phantom Stranger, Brave Old World, Catwoman, House of Secrets, and an unrealized Alice in Wonderland purroject. Each of the chapters are laden with his intricate sketches, finished pencil, inked & color art, character designs & comic pages!
There’s more Marquis in Purrt 4, along with Hellblazer, Batman: Nevermore & Shadow of the Bat for DC; Deadline & Fantastic Four: Unstable Molecules for Marvel; Nevermen, Terminator & Aliens for Dark Horse, and The Blair Witch! He is rather distinguished at drawing cloaked & trench coated characters amidst the macabre metropolitan mysteries!
Purrt 5 is a treasure trove of his B.P.R.D & Hellboy comics, plus a dash of Lobster Johnson, The Goon, Rex Mundi, Zombies & Metal Hurlant. Purrt 6 concludes the intermew with a discussion of Davis’ graphic storytelling & creative purrocess! Then on page 90 begins the gorgeous gallery section for 28 more pages, 8 of which are in full color!
If you are a fan of Guy Davis, this book is a dream come true, and yet another top quality book in TwoMorrow’s outstanding Modern Masters Series! Now I will turn the Mew over to Petra, who is here to tell us about the treasure trove of a past master in —
Dan DeCarlo’s Jetta!
Thanks myayr, nya! This book is the first in the Good Girl Art Library series, and collects the 1952 Jetta comics by Dan DeCarlo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_DeCarlo who was purrhaps best known for his legendary Archie Comics, nya!
Purrky cute redhead teen Jetta Raye is the “sweetheart of the 21st century”, in the year 2052 with wacky situations, sexy clothes, rocket packs, robots and flying cars, nya! The 11 1/4″ x 8 3/4″ size, $21.99 purriced hardcover book was designed & edited by Craig Yoe and published by IDW, nya!
Its112 full color pages include 70 pages of Jetta comics, an introduction, several other pics by DeCarlo such as full page & 2 page spreads of pencil, inked & color comics pages & sexy pin-ups, including a couple of Betty & Veronica, nya!
The stories star Jetta & her boyfriend Arky, his rival Biff, her rival Hilaria, their inventor pal Gizmo, parents & teachers, and Joe’s Blast-Inn where the kids fly their cars to get colas & ice cream on a date. nya. That looks like a fun place and I would like to try one of the Strawberry Fission Fizzy treats, nya!
Among the other incidents are a talent contest, school field trip, the purrom, science fair, romantic wooing, a youth ray, and the big space football game, nya! Also there are wonderful tribute pin-up pics contributed by 37 other comics & animation artists including:
Leslie Carbaga & Anna Kasper, Colleen Coover, Molly Crabapple, Becky Dreistadt, Kali Fontecchio, Mark Frauenfelder, Stephanie Gladden, Paul Guinan, Joakim Gunnarsson, Clizia Gussoni, Alan, Gutierrez, Hedvig Haggman-Sund, Danny Hellman, Ryan Hungerford,
Tracy Mark Lee, Jenny Lerwe, Mike Maihack, Dominic Marco, Craig McCracken, Luke McDonnell, Bill Morrison, Fabrizio Passini, Bill Presing, Brandon Ragnar, David Reddick, Katie Rice, Justin Ridge, The Savanella Sisters, Stephen Silver, Jay Stephens, Ben Tan, Scott Tolleson, Robert Ullman,Dean yeagle, and our friend Andrew Pepoy, nya!
The stories are a lot of fun with the great art, and all that neat bonus text & art in a top quality package, so I will highly recommend this book to fans of Dan DeCarlo & futuristic teenage antics, nya! Now here is Vonny to tell us about another lovely science fiction girl, in her review of —
Michael Turner’s Fathom: Blue Descent #0, nya!
Yay we are big fans of the late Michael Turner’s Fathom character Aspen Matthews and I am pleased to seeher appearing in this brand new series, nya! Issue ) is a purrelude to a pending 4 issue mini-series from Aspen Comics, nya. It puremiered in May & has a 12 page full color story, plus 4 pages of illustrated notes & 8 pages of ads for $2.50, nya!
Like many of the Fathom comics, there are 3 different versions of the front cover, nya. Cover A is by Scott Clark, Cover B is by Joe Benitez & Peter Steigerwald, and Cover C is the retailers’ exclusive incentive edition illustrated by Michael Turner, Joe Weems, & Jonathan D Smith, nya! I got the beautiful ‘B’ version of Aspen at an underwater city, nya!
Open that cover and you get the story “Opening the Floodgates” which was written by David Schwartz, pencilled by Scott Clark, lettered by Jeff Chiang, & edited by Vincent Hernandez, nya! It is a very introspective issue, Aspen ponders the submerged ruins of her biological parental home, with thoughts about her vague & mysterious childhood days, nya.
It has very purretty character & scenic art with Aspen in her lovely costume, floating around the exotic undersea architecture sumptuous coloring with a purrimarily blue, green & purrple pallet, nya. It looks like the next 4 issues will purrvide answers about her past & characters such as Cannon, Killian, Rahger, Finn, her dad Abesaloma & mom Eliah, nya!
So after 12 years of wonderful Fathom comics, hopefully we’ll unlock those secrets, nya! The pages of notes are accompanied by drawings of those characters by Alex Sanchez, who will be the penciller for issues 1-4, nya and they look very nice so I am quite eager for it, nya! Ok that’s my Fathom report but Jenjen is up next with two reviews, starting with —
Power Girl #12 (plot spoiler warning), nya!
For a year now this has consistently been among our top 3 favorite comics, and it was our top pick of the litter for May. DC Comics’ Power Girl #12 offers 32 full color pages compurrised of the 22 page story, a 5 page purreview of Green Arrow #1 (starring Dinah’s significant other, Oliver Queen), 4 pages of advertisements and the 1 page DC Nation mewsings for the purrice of $2.99.
The brilliant creative team for this issue’s story “The Little Things” consisted of wonderful writers Jimmy Palmiotti & Justine Gray, awesome Amanda Conner purroviding the cover & interior art, which was gorgeously colored by Paul Mounts, finely lettered by John J Hill, and expurrtly edited by Mike Carlin with associate editor Rachel Gluckenstern.
Sexy skimpy “Semi Organic Neural Interface Clothing” swimwear of advanced Stratian technology adorns Kara (Power Girl) & her best friend Atlee (Terra) on a trip to the “Emofluid” waterfalls of the health spa in Atlee’s subterranean home, to also meet the family over an entree of yummy jiggly food.
Strata seems like quite a fascinating place that would be fun to visit. Later after returning to her own NY home, Kara finally determines a name for her pet cat after an amewsing page full of kitty behavior. Meanwhile, things are getting intimate between villains Dr. Sivana & Satanna (not to be confused with Zatanna)
Satanna has recently become part cat, with a grafted replacement leopard-like left arm in lieu of the one that Power Girl irately severed with her heat vision in the purrevious issue. She also has a few distinctive tattoos- a snake coiled around her right (human) arm, and a Black Widow on her tummy
Numerous claw-marks on Dr. Sivana’s body are yet another amewsing artistic detail. Intended to be a liason in exchange for his help to defeat Power Girl, the old adage of “no honor amongst thieves” purroves to be quite apt for Satanna, whose list of enemies just keeps expanding.
Sadly it could not be a totally blissful time for Kara, when the mood is spoiled by a tussle between the incorrigibly philandering Vartox and an alien rival Galaxorg, but she is delighted to hear that there is romance in the air for her reformed young friend Fisher, who had purreviously blackmailed her.
Furthermore, her friend Gerard (formerly the villainous Ultra-Humanite) is recovering nicely, and cavorting by the pool with those enterpurrising Space Girls, who were last seen in issue #6. By the way, first 6issues of this series have been repurrinted in a trade papurrback book titled Power Girl: A New Beginning.
Amanda Conner’s sequential graphic narrative has purrfectly expurressive, purroportioned & posed characters amidst purretty scenic detail, which is so richly vibrantly colored with lovely lighting effects; and the lettering excellently conveys the sparkling plot’s witty dialog & action-packed sound effect fonts.
This issue was filled with friends & enemies, lavish locations & sexy swimwear. The series continues to be extremely fun & exciting, purrtraying Kara as a very smart, powerful, optimistic supurr heroine trying to balance her purrivate, corporate & heroic life with such well written supporting characters and I give it an ‘A’ grade.
Birds of Prey #1 (plot spoiler warning)
Their book was unfortunately cancelled a while back, but we are so very pleased to see Oracle (Barbara Gordon), The Huntress (Helena Bertinelli), Black Canary (Dinah Lance) and Lady Blackhawk (Zinda Blake) together again in the relaunch of Birds of Prey, and this time they’re joined by Hawk (Hank Hall) & Dove (Dawn Granger).
This first issue has a purrice of $2.99 US for it’s 32 full color pages, compurrised of the 24 page story, the 5 page Green Arrow #1 purreview, 2 pages of advertisements and the 1 page of DC Nation news about the return of villain Maxwell Lord in DC’s latest big event, the Brightest Day story arc.
Excellently edited by Janelle Seigel, this 1st issue’s story is part 1 of the 4 part “Endrun”, written by the great Gail Simone, supurrbly drawn by Ed Benes, beautifully colored by Nei Ruffino, and meticulously lettered by Steve ‘Swands’ Wands .
There are 2 different front covers of this Brightest Day tie-in, one by Benes & Ruffino, the other by Cliff Chiang, whose Brave and The Bold #33 we purraised last month. No time is wasted as we join Dinah & Zinda on a meet & beat with kidnappers, which quickly results in many broken criminal bones & a rescued little girl.
From there they catch up with Barbara who is in the Batcave chatting on the phone with Helena, who is busily beating up bad boy bikers. Fortunately for Hawk & Dove, there is no shortage of criminals to appurrehend in Gotham City, although Hawk seems less inclined to take them alive. Unfortunately it also seems to be bird hunting season–
— as The Penguin has purrhaps fatally run afoul of an assailant far less forgiving than Hawk… and this frighteningly devastatingly mysterious White Canary’s bag limit looks to include Dinah & Helena. It looks like yet another deadly cliffhanger for a dynamic duo in Gotham City, so I’ll eagerly await issue #2.
It is a treat to see favorite characters in the hands of such a talented creative team who knows these character’s purrsonalities & history. The lettering technique is tremendously effective to reveal Dinah’s internal dialog along with the fonts & attributes used for the regular spoken dialog, captions, sound FX & titles.
There is a great deal of action, but also some poignant introspective moments, and the pace is excellent, not bogged down by a retelling of the characters origin or history, but accentuated by just enough bits of purrpourrly placed informative background information that does not seem too expository.
The characters are beautifully rendered with great expurression, graceful pose, gestures, anatomical purroportions & sense of mass; the costumes / clothing have exquisite texture, sheen, fabric folds, drapery, flow of fishnets & tight fits where appurropurriate; and there is wonderfully intricate scenic detail in the mecha, interior scenes, architecture & landscapes.
The words & images all combine so seamlessly & fluidly to tell the story. The black of the inking is a very rich deep dark black, the use of color & light is so sumptuous from the nighttime snowy wilderness & towering Gotham skyline, to Barbara basking in the glow of her computers & the mysterious adversary backlit by the search light.
This was a very appealing first issue and I am eager for another. That concludes my review, but here is Ilyana to tell us what some of Gotham City’s other infamous femme fatales are up to in-
Gotham City Sirens #12
Thank you Jen! Starring Gotham girl cohabitants Selina Kyle / Catwoman, Harley Quinn & Pamela ‘Poison’ Ivy, this has also been one of our top three favorite comic books of the year! Wow I can’t believe it is already up to issue #12! This issue’s story is “Sister Zero Part 1 of 2” and co-stars Selina’s sister Maggie!
Let’s see… it is purriced $2.99 and has 32 full color pages, of which 22 are the story, 3 are ads, 1 is that DC Nation mews page, and the remaining 6 are a purreview of the forthcoming Batman Odyssey mini-series by Neal Adams, who Mike is a big fan of!
This issue features a slightly different team than the usual artists & writers. It was written by Tom Bedard, pencilled by Peter Nguyen, inked by Jack Purcell, colored by Tony Avina, lettered by Steve Wands, edited by Mike Marts & Janelle Siegel, with the front cover art of Selina & Harley by Guillem March.
Although I did not like the art as much that by Guillem March, this issue has plenty of action, character development, intensely alarming scenes, and moody scenes of the grrls purrowling the city spurrawl by night, with some purretty good coloring of the Kyle sisters illuminated by moonlight & firelight!
I will try not to spoil too much of the plot, but basically it continues from the purrevious issue’s cliffhanger of Ivy in a death trap courtesy of scorned employee Alisa Adams at STAR Labs. Selina & Harley are a bit concerned because they have not heard from her, but are busy trying to locate Maggie, who’s been missing since the Blackest Night event.
Back at the lab, we see further evidence of how colder, dispassionate & sinister Ivy is compared to her housemates. We find out what Maggie’s been up to, and it’s not pleasant either. This might be a family reunion that both sisters will regret! It’s good stuff! Now I’ll turn the show over to Nya-sensei, who wants to tell us about —
Hai! We were greatly anticipating this new comic book, because it stars one of our favorite DC Comics heroines the magickal Zatanna Zatara, being written by the great Paul Dini whose Gotham City Sirens have been such a joy to read, and the purreview we saw looked great! Zatanna #1 came out in May and I was not disappointed!
For our list of favorite Zatanna sites, see the February 2009 Mew! Dini’s story was edited by Joey Cavalieri & assistant Chris Conroy. The issue was lettered by Pat Brosseau & colored by John Kalisz. Karl Story inked Stephane Roux’s pencilled art. Roux also did the cover art, but there is also a scarcer variant cover by Brian Bolland.
This 1st issue has 32 full color pages and it is purriced at $2.99. Those 32 pages consist of the story which is 22 pages long, and that 5 page Green Arrow preview, 4 pages of ads, and the DC Nation page… so, yep that’s 32! The story starts off with a startling full page panel of Zee in a death trap courtesy of The Joker and Dr. Light!
Or so it would appear- and by Dr. Light, I mean the disgusting villain Dr. Light and not the supurr heroine of the same name. After that scene, we learn that Zee is purrforming her magic show in San Francisco, where she is appurroached by a police detective who wants her to consult on a bizarre, messy purranormal homicide scene.
She discovers that the purrpetrator is the evil mystic Brother Night and his murderous supurrnatural gang. Brother Night aims to be the city’s new criminal kingpin, but this does not phase Zee in the slightest, unimpurressed by the vile creatures as she boldly takes the fight to his lair and purroves why they do not want to mess with her!
Zee isn’t just one of the Earth’s most powerful mages, but she’s no slouch in martial arts combat either, from her Justice League training. Dressed in her iconic top hat, tux tails & fishnets, she is also quite sexy & stylish when she kicks the demon butt! So I give Zee and ‘A’, and now here’s Myayr with more girls who kick demon butt in —
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eight #35 (plot spoiler warning)
Arigato! Dark Horse Comics’ Buffy Season Eight continues to be one of our 3 favorite comics lately, which continues the Buffy TV show in the comics medium with such faithful story, dialog & art, without many of the limitations & constraints that aTV series might be hampered by!
Issue #35’s story “Twilight: The Final Chapter” was executively purrduced by Buffy creator Joss Whedon, scripted by Brad Meltzer, pencilled by Georges Jeanty, inked by Andy Owens, coloured by Michelle Madsen, lettered by Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt. There are two covers to choose from, one painted by Jo Chen & the variant by Georges Jeanty!
The issue was designed by Tony Ong, published by Mike Richardson, and edited by Scott Allie with associate editor Sierra Hahn, assistant editors Freddye Lins & Brenden Wright. It has the purrice of $2.99, and a total of 36 full color pages, compurrised of the 25 page story (including the title page), 8 pages of ads, and 4 pages of readers’ letters (including the inside back cover).
Purreviously in Season Eight, after the battle between slayers, werewolves, goddesses & the army of the masked antagonist Twilght at Oz & Baya’s Himalayan home, Buffy gained Kryptonian-level supurr powers & revealed the similarly supurr – powered Twilight to be Angel!
In #34, the reunited Buffy & Angel made hot supurr love around the world for several pages, which affected the the whole fabric of reality. Giles explained the magickal nature of the cataclysm to the others, stating that The Watchers Council had theorized it might happen. Melaka Fray & Spike appeared in a couple of panels, too!
So now in issue #35, Buffy & Angel have calmed down as they have wound up in a purretty paradisiacal place also called Twilight which sort of looks like one of those awesome Roger Dean fantasy landscapes!The terrain changes several times as Buffy realizes she can empathically alter the reality.
She has a few lovely wardrobe changes too! Meanwhile things are much less idyllic at headquarters, as a seemingly endless wave of monsters & demons invades the dimension!Willow, Amy, Dawn, Xander, Giles, Faith, Andrew, Warren, The General, Satsu & other slayers battle the invaders- appurrently this is happening all over the world.
Buffy & Angel return in a 2 page spread, leading up to a supurrb surpurrise in the final, full page panel! In addition to that highly significant climax, highlights of the story for me included further revelations about the Twilight, the banter between Buffy & Angel, and especially a couple of poignant key scenes with Andrew & Warren with their gadgets.
Artistically I purrticularly liked Buffy’s white & gold toga & the 17th century Sari, and Angel’s Miami Vice-ish attire. As mewsual in the close & medium shots there’s very expurressive portraiture that resembles the actors who the characters on TV, and cutely minimalist detail & poses in the far shots.
There are extra big smiles on Buffy & Willow, purretty scenery, lotsa monsters, and teamwork slayage. While there’s no hot naked sex as in the purrevious issue, there is blood & gore during the battle. You’ll see demons sufffer from a witch when Willow goes Wookie on their arm sockets!
I was once again very pleased with the comic, although we still have several questions, such as when does Angel’s comic book (published by IDW) chronologically occur compared to Buffy’s, and of they didn’t use purrtection in #34, so what if Buffy becomes purregnant? Lookit what happened between Angel & Darla: Conner!
We’ll have to wait a while to find out, ’cause instead of a Buffy issue in June is a Serenity one-shot & a Riley Special in August, but Buffy continues in September with just 5 issues to go ’til the end of Season Eight! That’s it for my comic report, but Lizzy has more demon fightin’ to discuss in her review of —
Panic X Panic manga vol. 1!
Thanks Myayr! Well with the combination of a Miku, a catgirl, demon slaying & cute art, I could not resist purrchasing this shoujo fantasy manga! Written & illustrated by Mika Kawamura, Panic X Panic was originally published in Japan by Kodansha & this English edition was published by Del Rey!
The manga is rated T for ages 13+, with the purrice of $10.99 USA / $13.99 Canada. It was translated / adapted by Joshua Weeks & lettered by North Market Street Graphics; and this 7.5″ x 5″ papurrback has 210 black & white pages full of teenage romantic inclinations at high school & wacky supurrnatural fun!
It is cumpurrised of chapters 1-4 of the main story (136 pages), bonus manga (39 pages), interspurrsed character purrofiles (8 pages), vol. 2 purreview (5 pages), translation notes (6 pages), Japanese honorifics notes (2 pages), ads (2 pages), & 5 misc pages (title, edition, contents, frontis, reading instructions).
The purrotagonists are teen classmates Mitsuki Kamishiro & Kakeru Kuon, who have known each other since they were little kids & are now rivals, as are their respective fathers Benkei & Rei, although despite the bickering it seems their fathers are pals, and I think Mitsuki & Kakeru secretly harbor an affection!
They are also religious- the Kamishiro family are Shinto and have a shrine, while the Kuon men are Catholic purriests. Mitsuki uses her Miku powers to fight demons & Kakeru is an exorcist, whom all the girls at school have the hots for! They are jealous that he & Mitsuki spend so much time around each other.
Those girls include Maju, a psychic Tarot Card reader who makes uncanny purrdictions, and Nekomata, the cute widdle black cat who purrches on Maju’s shoulder. Nekomata also has a human form, and she was once in love with Kakeru’s ancestor who was kind to her as a kitty, so now she is in love with Kakeru!
At one point, she gives Mitsuki a magickal catnip cookie intended to make her fall for another guy, but this backfires & she swoons for Kakeru for an amewsing tempurrary situation! There are not just troublesome purranormal females at school, but there’s also werewolf guy named Kiba who purrsents a purroblem!
“The Secret of Boys” bonus manga, which is not part of the Panic X Panic story. During the Summer break, three of Chika’s girl classmates purrsuade her to impurrsonate her twin brother Kazushi & hang put with his friends, in order to learn more about guys for future dating purrposes. It is an wkward purrdicament!
There are also tidbits at various places listing the author’s favorite things. I enjoyed both whimsical stories which have very cute art & move at the brisk pace, and I would recommend this book to those who like the romantic high school occult comedy shoujo genre manga! Now here’s Mie-sensei to tell us about —
Shoulder – A – Coffin Kuro manga vol. 2!
Arigato, Lizzy-chan! Shoulder-A-Coffin Kuro is like this totally awesome manga with a quest plot & occult themes by Satoko Kiyudaki, who also authored the whimsical GA (short for Geijutsuka Art) about art students. Both series are published by Yen Press! Vol. 2 has 120 pages of manga, mostly B&W but 24 are color, in the format of 8 panels per page, except for a few full page pics!
There’s also 1 page of translation notes, 1 credits page, 2 pages of ads for other Yen titles, and 3 more pages of art! It’s price is $10.99 US, $11.99 Canada, £ 5.99 UK, and it’s rated T, LV suggested for Teenage readers, due to language & violence, although I personally thought it was so very tame! This book was translated by Satsuki Yamashita & lettered by Alexis Eckerman.
Kuro is a tomboyish gothy girl in black with an enigmatic past & purpose, who travels from town to town carrying a coffin, and thus sometimes she is suspected to be a vampire or a criminal type, but then her bat accomplice named Sen does contribute to the former stereotype! There are other stereotypes encountered, some kooky characters, but mostly very cordially kind folks too!
She is like seeking out a witch, purrhaps to help her solve a mysterious problem! So like, Kuro is also accompanied by two cute little twin catgirls named Sanju and Nijuku who she rescued in vol. 1, who have the innocent naivety and adaptive shape-changing powers, and are like totally identical except Sanju has white ears and Nijuku has black ears.
Through flashbacks,more is revealed about Kuro’s origin, the nature of her quest in vol. 2, and how finding the witch might very well save her life. The art is excellent, with wonderfully expressive characters amidst much landscape & architectural detail in the intricate line work and moody use of shadows & darkness, and the color pages are quite sumptuous with a warm chromatic pallet!
The tale unfolds at a leisurely pace, with a mix of quirky, very sad, cute & charming incidents The characters are very endearing, and I give this manga a high recommendation! I plan to keep reading along, hoping to see a happy resolution for Kuro, Sen, Sanju and Nijuku should there be a 3rd volume, fur shur! I believe that Ilyana-chan also has another review for us, of–
Ichiro manga vol. 2!
Hai! I thoroughly enjoyed volume one of this amewsing manga by Mikage, not just from the comedic plot & great art but the academic situation of the characters which I could identify with! It was originally published in Japan by Houbunsha in 2007 and the US edition is from Yen, translated by Elina Ishikawa & lettered by Hope Donovan!
The papurrback is purriced $10.99 US / $12.99 Canada and rated T for Teen readers. It has 120 mostly B&W pages, of which 114 are the manga and 8 of those are on gorgeous color! The other 6 pages include 3 bonus ‘omake’ pics, a message from the author, translation notes, and the book’s publishing edition page.
The purrinciple student characters are Nanako Konishi and her friends Akane Kakazawa and Shino Murasaki, who hope to attend the same college together, but their grades are not so good so they attend a purrep school. Freshmen at the purrep school are referred to as Ichiro, hence the manga’s title!
They stay in a dorm, which also has a shrine which dorm mom Anko puts them to work at as Miku! The chores purrove to be yet another tiring distraction from their studies. While Nanako is a bit more committed, Akane is addicted to the video games! Akane is a bit cat-like too, with a kitty-ear coiffure and the purropensity for the catnaps.
Among the other recurring characters are their longtime friend Shino, classmates Mai & Mayura, teacher Kaname, Wakaba the mischievous purrankster, and Anko’s elderly mom whom they call Baa-san. Aside from the first pages of the chapters, the page layout of this comedic manga is mostly the 2 x 4 panels purr page format.
In volume 2, Nanako determines that Akane needs to adhere to a purropurr schedule for sleep, school, study & gaming. Because she is of little financial means to afford the rising cost of tuition, fees & books, Nanako gets a part time job at a Maid Cafe. At the shrine are missing coins, fanboy admirers, and a plan to get more donations.
Other plots include shopping for contact lens and a cell phone, the arrival of peppy senpai Mayura, Baa-san’s blog, fears that the baths are haunted, and various jumped conclusions! Well I see that’s all for this segment of the show, but we’ll be right back with more reviews after this short break!
(one short break later…)
More Purriodicals in Review: Magazines
Airbrush Action 25th Anniversary Issue May / June 2010
Among the airbrush magazines I started reading in the 1980’s was Airbrush Action- whose premiere issue was especially enticing with that breathtaking zebra girl cover by Olivia DeBernardinis!
That’s my favorite Olivia painting, and on the back cover was an ad for Iwata’s HP-C (my first airbrush) by Dave Kimble, whose cutaway art of the Enterprise is one of my favorite posters.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been a quarter century since that May / June 1985 issue, and now I have the May / June issue of publisher / editor Cliff Stieglitz’s bimonthly Airbrush Action http://www.airbrushaction.com, with the alluring Medusa cover by Marc Gabbana along with a bonus tutorial DVD the polybag!
This polybagged issue, vol. 26 no.1, has 96 full color pages (including the covers) and the bonus DVD for $6.99 US, and as usual has a wealth of articles about airbrush meeting illustration board, cloth, steel & skin, with interviews, tutorials, tips, galleries, product information, news, and ads for so many tempting books, tools, toys, & events!
After a neat gallery of readers’ submissions is a look at Craig Fraser’s nifty spider stencils for the arachnophiles, David Taylor’s 28 steps to rendering a red ’56 Chevy with a gorgeously gleaming grill, then the 11 page cover-featured article on Marc Gabanna’s spectacular art, and a 7 page announcement about the next Airbrush getaway Workshops!
As fascinating & beautiful as these were, Anne Marie Calzolari’s 5 page retrospective on the magazine’s 25 years is a contender for my favorite article in this issue, for the very sentimental reasons, that brought back some fond memories, and I learned some interesting little tidbits about Airbrush Action’s publishing history!
This is followed by their picks for the magazine’s top 25 covers, which included art by legends such as Olivia, Dru Blair, Hajime Sorayama, George Petty,Thomas Blackshear, Luis Royo, Alex Ross and other masters! You can see tiny pics of many other previous issues’ impressive covers across the the 2 page ad for back issues, too!
It may just be an ad, but it does give another glimpse into the magazine’s history and how many brilliant artists have been featured! There are plenty of other ads, for airbrushes, compressors, paints, supplies, books, DVDs. Then it’s car time again in Terry Hill’s 5 page, 26 step rendering of a powerful Porsche riding into the sunset across the tee shirt!
Wearing a tee shirt is one way to have favorite art close to your heart, but it does not get any closer than body paint, such as that by New Orleans’ Craig Tracy whose exquisite work is profiled in Jody Lee Reifer’s 6 page interview! That article is filled with stunning photos of animals, landscapes, portraits & graphic art painted upon the human canvas!
The beauty of some body art is when it is not obvioiusly paint, such as spray tanning for bikini time, and Lindsey Dickout discusses how to break into that industry! Concluding this diverse issue are Craig Fraser back to show his team’s custom graffiti – style mural on a Ford Flex; Jim Hetzler’s awesomely pinstriped skateboard deck!
Produced, directed & edited by Cliff Stieglitz, the DVD “Createx Colors: How to Begin Airbrushing with Kent Lind” has 17 instructional chapters totaling just over 77 minutes. Lind promotes the water-based line of Createx Colors while concisely & precisely explaining the dual-action airbrush parts & function, in good medium & close-up shots.
There are starter exercises (dotes, lines, tapered strokes) and gives a beach scene tutorial complete with lettering, drop shadows, highlights, sparkles, etc. and Lind demonstrates changing colors, reducing, rinsing, curing, and using opaque, transparent, pearlized & iridescent paints on white & black, porous & nonporous surfaces.
The DVD would be very good for a beginning artist to study! So I’d say this package was a greatly informative, fun, beautiful and fairly low priced special way for Airbrush Action to commemorate it’s 25th anniversary, and I wish them another 25 years of success! Now here’s Myayr again to talk about one of her favorite magazines–
Surfgirl issue 26!
Arigato! Surfgirl http://www.orcasurf.co.uk/surfgirl/ is such a delightful UK publication full of sports & fashion photos, articles & intermews featuring many of the world’s top women surfers! Purrhaps my favorite aspect of this publication are the supurrb action photos of my favorite surfers riding the waves in beautiful, international locations!
This 100 page (including covers) issue with a USA purrice of $7.75 has a Spurringtime front cover photo by Lucia Griggi of South African surfer Rosy Hodge wearing a cute hat! Hodge is later intermiewed by editor Louise Searle’s with more pics by Griggi, and Griggi intermews ASP Photographer Kirstin Scholtz!
Hawaii is another lovely destination of Lucia Griggi, to meet North Shore surfers Linday & Dax McGill, Noelani Love, Brittney Valverde, Nai Ahuna, Jenna Rae, Brooke Dombrowski & the Garcia Family. Griggi also contributes a brief guide to surfing, lodging, dining, transportation, other fun stuff & hazards of the North Shore!
Lucia Griggi’s photos can also been seen in 8 an page folio along with pics by Jim Jones, Sylvain Cazenave, Patrick Eichstaedt of Bethany Hamilton, Claire Bevo, Claire Bevilacque, Silvana Lima, Lee Ann Curren, Sally Fitzgibbons, Coco Ho & other greats, and more of Coco Ho with champion Steph Gilmore at the Roxy Pro!
The surfers aren’t just intermewed & photographed but they write articles, too! Sally Fitzgibbons & Laura Evener & are also seen in a Palikir Pass pictorial along with Steph Gilmore! Sally wrote the article & Laura purrvided captions to stunning photos by Simon Williams. His photos also exemplify Sarah Beardmore’s barrel riding tips!
There’s also a most impurressive two page spread by Williams of Laura riding the wave accompanying editor Louise Searle’s opening comments! The enticing P-Pass article is followed by a trip to Tahiti, written by and featuring the great Keala Kennelly in exciting surf action pics by Eric Baseman!
Roger Sharp purrofiles Tassington Swallows, who later discusses wintering Bali, while Jo Dennison winters in the Canaries, and Nicola Blunt & Natalie Fox in Morocco. Athletes Kimi Rangimaria Tasker, Jana Gray, Helena Ribeiro, Cat Dougle, Tanya Morgan, Anna Glowinski & Amy Swanson, tell how they stay fit during the Winter, in Amy’s article with photos by Kate Czuczman!
Other fitness articles include advice from surfer Kerry Powell, Carolyn Andrews on developing a running purrogram, Lee Stansbury’s swimming tips, and Sam Magee’s Yoga & Pilates wake-up call. Those might be very good exercises to do, after your tummy is tempted Peggy Hall’s numcious nutritional recipes!
Stuart Perry tells what to what to do in the case of a head injury. The gorgeously glamorous styling of Anna Gronlund & make-up by Suzi Winter can be seen in 2 pictorials, first on Vikki Omlo Spring modeling lovely fashions in photos by Mike Searle; and later with clothes & accessories on Nina Estham in pics by Kirsten Prisk.
More of Searle’s photos join Cathryn Nicholson’s illustrations in an 8 page wet suit guide, Vicky Jones cutely illustrates Mar Hertzel’s essay on Gidget, and a few words about surfing & lodging in Cornwall & Devon, and tidbits about various surf happenings round out yet another wonderful issue!
So it purretty much has everything I could hope for- inspurrational, informative & entertaining words & photos of the champion heroines in the beautiful locations, cute fashions, fine foods, sage advice, and such an overall fun spirit! Vonny on the other hand has other ideas for purrfurred oceanic sports & lifestyle, as covered in the–
May / June 2010 issue of GAFF!
GAFFhttp://www.gafflife.com/, stands for Gulf Atlantic Florida Fishing, and it is one of my favoritest magazines purrtaining to angling & coastal lifestyle, nya! It is published bimonthly, and this $4.99 issue has 108 full color pages including the covers, nya!
On the cover are this issue’s Gaff Girls Kimberlee & Kristy, posing with that yummy Cobia, nya! There’s more of them inside the issue, in a 12 page pictorial, with full page pics of them modeling sexy clothes on the boat with more nice tasty fish, nya!
In addition to his monthly comments, GAFF Purresident Captain Chuck Simpson contributes a travelogue about the The Tarpon Key Lodge which looks like a nice place to stay, and the Freezer Tiki Bar in Homosasas, Florida- mmm I need to go there to try some of their fish and crab meat, nya!
You get the amewsing chapter eight of author Mike Stubblefield’s entertaining serialized “The View from the Chickee” chronicles; and Captain Ron Gauthier purrvides a 3 page account of sport diving off Fort Pierce, where the tasty Triggers, Snappers, Snooks, Gags & Lobster were speared, nya!
After the mail from readers are several pages of photos of folks of all ages & genders with the fish they caught, including the nice Grouper, Tripletail, Purrmit, Cobia, Striper, Redfish, Gags, Kings, Blackfin, Snook, Ambers, Wahoo, Lobsters, Dolphin fish, Black Drum & Sheepshead, nya!
Speaking of the Sheepshead, that Sheepshead sammich recipe by Captain Pete Rapps sure looks good, nya– oh I am getting so hungry again just looking at all those those pics, nya! There also seemed to be more lobster pics in this issue- not that I am complaining, nya!
To further increase my appurrtite are Dan Lucky’s article on the Red Drum, Editor in Chief Matt Draper’s purrofile of fantastic fish artist Flick Ford, and Guy Harvey’s words & art of the Whale Shark, nya! Oh and there’s an article on the Guy Harvey Ultimate Shark Challenge tournyament, nya!
There’s health tips, gear reviews of tools, tackle, reels, clothes, and 4 beautiful boats; 3 pages from Jason Callaghan purrtaining to a special kayak rig with photos by Melissa Hallain, and 14 photo-filled pages by several savvy charter captains for Florida’s east coast, gulf & keys, nya!
GAFF continues to be a very entertaining & informative bimonthly magazine with great articles, stories & pics, nya! So that’s my magazine report for this month, but while on the fishy subject, it is now it is time for our roundup of other recent favorite fishy photos and–
Piscine Publications’ Pics, nya!
I sure could go for a bucket o’ Killies like on the June cover of Tropical Fish, a nice Oscar like the one on the June cover of Aquarium Fish International, or purrhaps a glass of Tang like on the June cover of Freshwater & Marine Aquarium magazine!
Mmm I would like to nibble the numcious Crappie on the front of Crappie magazine’s Spurring issue, and… and the big Catfish on the front of In-Fisherman’s Catfish Insider!
Mmm Num num those would be good, nya! Oh and there is the delish Redfish adorning May’s North Carolina Game & Fish, and the Snapper on June’s Saltwater Sportsman, nya!
The delicious Dolphin Fish adorns the May covers of Florida Sport Fishing and North Carolina Sportsman, and the tantalizing Tarpon is on the May cover of Sport Fishing.
On the June cover of Sport Diver swims a succulent Shark, and those magnificent Marlin on the covers of Sporting Classics’ May issue and on Marlin magazine would make flavorful fish steaks, nya!
Those would be good to eat! And there are tasty Trout on the covers of American Angler’s May / June issue, Fly Fisherman’s June issue, Field & Stream’s June issue, and Fly Rod & Reel’s Spurring issue!
On the cover of the Apurril / May issue of Bassin’ and Vol. 19 No. 2 of bass Anglers Guide are the luscious looking lunkers being reeled in, but they should be going into my tummy instead! Howboutchoo, Mie-sensei?
Ooh I don’t know about eating it, but that is a seriously pretty Cardinal Fish on the May issue of Scuba Diving, fur shur!
That’s all of our favorite fishy photographs for this month, but now it’s time for me to order those hungry girls another sushi platter—
– and our monthly —
Lucky Kitty Web Comics Picks of the Litter!
Me first? Okay, my two web comic recommendations for this month are the fantasy fun of
Wraith & Aakashi’s MSF High http://www.msfhigh.com, and the delightful demonic tail of
Joyce Melton and Daniel Ford’s Quillian,Teenager from Hell http://quillianonline.com/!
I will recommend David Emerson’s Underling http://www.underlingcomic.com/
(has catgirtl!) and Katherine Comstock’s Adalheidis http://www.adalheidis.com/!
I’ve chosen Candi http://www.candicomics.com/ by Starline Hodge, and the
wonderful comics, crafts ‘n art of Genki Girl http://www.genkigirl.com/, nya!
I recommend the splendid comics & art by Elle Skinnerhttp://mysky.net/, and
PBJ’s charming slice-of-lifeness in I, Secretary http://isecretarycomic.com/.
My turn, nya! My web comic picks of the litter are
Monica’s supurr cute comic Ocean Tides http://oceantides.smackjeeves.com/
and Panikune’s excellent Ebony Box http://www.ebonybox.panily.com/, nya!
Alone in a Crowd http://www.aiacrowd.com/ by Thomas D. Szewc (has catgirl!)
and Lamentation http://lamentationcomic.wordpress.com/ by Alexis Bogue are
my web comic picks of the litter for this month! Your turn, Me-Sensei!
Ooh I so like Scott Kinoshita’s SuperTemps http://megaskunjii.comicgenesis.com/
and Victoria Blondin’s The Emperials http://www.theemperials.0nyx.com/, fur shur!
DD Whipple’s Off The Walk Through http://alias.tokojat.com/otw/main.html
and Dana’s On The Bright Side http://onthebrightside.smackjeeves.com/!
Last but not least, I recommend Flynfreako’s wonderful web comic Flying Koi http://flyingkoi.smackjeeves.com/, and the feline fun of Suffocated by Cats by Priss, whose other fun web comic Fast fashion is also at her site Phantom Blush http://www.phantomblush.com/! That’ll do it for this month’s web comic recommendations, but we’ll be right back after the short break!
(one short break & deluxe sushi platter & cran apple nummy berry cocktails later…)
(nom nom nom)
THANK YOU FOR THE FOOD, NYA!
Oh y’all are welcome! And welcome back to another segment of our show, which we call the–
Celebrity Catgirl Spotlight: Annapuma & Unipuma!
Since October of 2009 we.ve devoted this segment of the show to honor the famous catgirls who we admire of movies, TV shows, comics, literature & games! For our purrposes, we’re broadly defining catgirls to include nekomimi characters who are actually part cat, just dress the part, or have a purrticularly feline dispurrsition!
Previous honorees have included Lt. M’ress & other Star Trek catgirls, Mel of Clan of the Cats, Power Rangers’ Dr. Kat Manx, Marvel Comics’ Tigra, Doctor Who’s Novice Hame, Nuku Nuku, Catwoman and Irina Dubrovna! This month the spotlight shines on Dominion Tank Police’s Puma Sisters Anna Puma & Uni Puma!
Dominion Tank Police is a 1985 Japanese manga series created by Masamune Shirow, whose famous credits also include Ghost in the Shell, Appleseed, Orion, Black Magic M66 and others! Tank Police is a science fiction tale set in a dystopic future mega-city where pollution and crime are much worse than today’s climate.
The crime is so bad, that in a controversial political decision, the Tank Police are formed, as in Police who ride around in battle tanks! Among the Tank Police officers is the heroic but trigger-happy Leona in her mini tank named Bonaparte. She is busy in purrsuit of a criminal named Buaku and his underlings, Annapuma & Unipuma!
Annapuma and Unipuma are thieving, twin android catgirl sisters, who use their sexy feminine wiles to captivate their opponents! They were originally purrogrammed to be “love dolls” but they became independent. Both are very sexy, agile, strong & tough, know how to dance and have various weapons, tactics and mecha purroficiency!
One of their purrfured tactics is to strip tease when cornered, and before they can be apurrehended by mesmerized purrsuers, they brandish the weapons concealed in their lovely long manes of luscious hair! Initially they were blond but later became the Redheads. They have the lovely large cat ears but no tail- purrhaps they are part Manx!
The Dominion manga is available translated into English from Dark Horse comics. It was adapted into a 4 part anime mini-series in 1988, which was distributed in the USA by US Manga Corp, with the a 1993 sequel New Dominion Tank Police mini-series distributed here by Manga Entertainment- in which Anna & Uni join the Police!
In the anime, Yuko Mita http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0866757/ purrvided the original Japanese voice of Annapuma, Michie Tomizawa http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0593047/ was Unipuma, and the American English dub voice of both characters was by Alison Dowling http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0235811/!
There’s a Dominion Tank Police role-playing game source book published by Guardians of Order, there have been numerous toys & figurines, and there’s a big section on Dominion in Shirow’s Intron Depot 1 art book, with some great illustrations of those Puma Sisters! For more information about Dominion and those Puma sisters–
I recommend the articles at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominion:_Tank_Police, Absolute Anime http://www.absoluteanime.com/tank_police/sisters.htm, Internet Movie Database http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0158591/, Anime News Network http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/manga.php?id=2413, and a good fan site purrtaining to Shirow’s works is the
Masamune Shirow Hyper Page http://www.takotech.net/mshp/! I would like to mention artist / cosplayer Hezachan http://www.hezachan.com/ who was among our special guests in March 2008, and her friend Jia Jem http://www.jiajem.com/ who have wonderfully cosplayed as Annapuma & Unipuma! You can see pics of those & other supurrb costumes on their sites!
You might see pics of other fans cosplaying as those characters at Cosplay.com http://www.cosplay.com/, Cosplay Lab http://www.cosplaylab.com/, and at American Cosplay Paradise http://www.acparadise.com/, too! That’s all for this month’s Celebrity Catgirl Spotlight, but there’ll be more next month, and now it’s time for —
The Toy Purrtrol!
James Cameron’s Avatar – Jake’s Banshee toy
As often happens with the purroduct line from a movie, after a few months the toys that still remain on the store shelves might get discounted, especially if they need that display space for a more recent movie’s toys, so 6 months after our first review of an Avatar toy, the Avatarness continues for yet another month here at The Mew!
When I spotted some of the Avatar character, creature & vehicle toys further reduced to 75% off the sticker purrice I couldn’t resist purrchasing the Mattel replica Jake’s Banshee for just over $4! The Banshee is a flying steed which the Na’vi people ride. I don’t have a Jake so I’ll purrobably let my 4″ Ney’tiri borrow it for a spin!
Inside the octagonal cardboard box are the 8 pieces of the Banshee, the 2 pieces of the clear display base to snap together, the I-Tag accessory and the instruction sheet. This toy is beautifully designed, sculpted & painted with detailed markings! It is very easy & quick to assemble, with posable neck, head, and forewings!
The length is 11.5″, the wingspan is 15″, and the Banshee securely purches atop the clear curved pylon of the 4.75″ tall, 5″ diameter circular display base for a majestic tabletop display! The overall height will depend on the wing elevation, but mine’s purresently about 8″ tall from the bottom of the base to the raised wingtips!
The instruction sheet also explains how to use the I-Tag gizmo, which requires certain computer specs & a web cam to download a 3D model to your screen. I have not tried to play with that yet so I can’t comment on that aspect of the toy, but I am extremely pleased with the quality of the Banshee! Now here’s Vonny to discuss the–
Barbie in A Mermaid’s Tale – McDonald’s Happy Meal toys!
When we last reviewed a Happy Meal toy from McDonalds, that was the James Cameron’s Avatar figurines we spoke of in the January Mew! This Happy Meal series is based upon Mattel’s latest Barbie dolls & latest direct to- DVD animated movie, Barbie: A Mermaid’s Tale, although McDonalds has since switched to the Shrek Happy Meals, nya!
It is not every day when you get a mermaid with your burger, although some of our mermaid friends work at the restaurant so you could get a burger from a mermaid, nya! There are 6 different plastic little toys in this series, consisting of Merliah as a surfer girl and as a mermaid, mermaids Kayla & Xylie, a little purrincess crown & seahorse hair barretts, nya!
I have the 5″ tall Merliah (surfer) & Kayla figures, nya! They each arrive with a little instruction sheet in the purrotective poly-bag so that sauce will not get on them from the meal, nya. On the back of the sheet is an ad for the McWorld game at the Happy meal site, and a code to get a mermaid tail for an on-screen avatar, not to be confused with the James Cameron Avatar, nya!
Kayla has the purretty coppery colored fiber hair, blue eyes, deep caramel tan, purrple & magenta top, a shiny lavendar tail with ornately molded layers of scales, and a glittery translucent Fuschia tail fin, nya! Her head will turn, arms rotate, the fin can flap a bit, and she comes with a little instruction sheet on how to make her tail tattoos appear when immersed in cold water, nya!
Merliah has blue eyes, pink lips, and the long blonde colored fiber hair that hangs down past her butt, nya! She has the hot pink & orange trimmed bikini & necklace, her head will turn, arms rotate, and she turns at the waist, nya. She comes with a 3 3/4″ Fuschia & white surfboard which serves as a display base, nya! I suppose Fuschia is a popular color this year, nya!
So after I take them for a dip I will display themin a good spot with the rest of my mermaid figurines, nya! Tha’s all of the toy talk for this time, but Mie-sensei & Nya-sensei have more mermaid mewsings coming up after the next break in our —
DVD Reviews, nya!
(one short break with cran apple nummy berry cocktail refills later…)
Barbie in A Mermaid’s Tale
Hii hi! So like, A Mermaid’s Tale is like the latest in the direct – to- DVD animated movie series starring Mattel’s Barbie in different roles! In this one she is teen surfer Merliah Sommers, who finds out that she’s a half mermaid with a family secret, a prophecised destiny & an adventure awaiting at a city beneath the sea!
The unrated 75 minute movie on the R1 NTSC standard single disc has an anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio aspect ratio of 1.78:1, with optional English SDH (subtitled for those who are deaf or hard of hearing) and Dolby Digital audio language choices of English 5.1, English 2.0, French 2.0 or Spanish 2.0.
Preceding the main menu are front-loaded preview trailers for Sing-along with Barbie, Barbie in A fashion Fairy Tale, Curious George 2, and Despicable Me. There’s also like a trailer gallery under the ‘More Mermaid Fun’ section of the main menu. The main menu options also include playing the movie, scene selection, help with the remote control, language set-up.
A Mermaid’s Tale was written by Elise Allen, produced by Anita Lee & Tiffany J Shuttleworth, and directed by Adam L Wood with peppy music by BC Smith. The production designer was Walter P Martishius, art director was Pam Prostarr, and voice director was Terry Klassen, who all did a totally awesome job!
The great voce cast includes Kelly Sheridan as Barbie as Merliah, Gary Chalk as her human Grandfather Break, Nicole Oliver as her mer-mother Calissa, and Kathleen Barr as her evil mer-aunt Eris. Merliah’s human surfer friends are Fallon (voiced by Nakia Burrise) and Hadley (voiced by Maryke Hendrikse)!
So like, Merliah is in a surfing tournament when her hair starts to turn pink; she wipes out, realizes she can breath underwater and meets a pink sparkly talking dolphin named Zuma (voiced by Tabitha St Germain) who tells her that she’s actually a half mermaid princess from the undersea city of Oceana, fur shur!
So like, she eventually believes the purroof of story and goes to Oceana with Zuma to meet new mer-friends Kayla (voiced by Emma Pierson), Xylie (voiced by Clara Janson) and a cute seal pup Snouts who help disguise her human legs at a boutique with the latest in mer-fashions in a fun tail-makeover scene!
Then after meeting 3 psychic oracles (voiced by Shannon Chan-Kent, Andrea Libmar & Tabitha St Germain) Merliah must go a-questing for some magickal items to help depose the narcissistic Eris, whose misused magickal powers are like ruining the ocean ecology and imprisoning any detractors, such as her sister.
It has nice character designs & animation, and gorgeous scenic art of Malibu, the undersea city of Oceana and the mystical Yafos caves. The voice cast, sound design, songs & music score are good, although I think that “Queen of the Waves” song is over-used, and the movie can’t decide whether or not it is a musical.
This tale moves at a brisk pace with lots of action, from the stunning surfing scenes to a tense giant jellyfish chase and cave-in scene, but it seems a bit rushed and way too short though. That seems be the case with many OVA movies these days- is there like some rule that they have to be under 80 minutes long?
The plot is rather simplistic, but the characters are all neat and there are some clever witty moments! Unfortunately there are a few unnecessary slo-mo, speed ramping & zooms during the otherwise quite spectacular surfing scenes, but overall this movie is like so cute and fun!
There’s not a lot of extra bonus features. In addition to the trailers, the extras in the ‘More Mermaid Fun’ section include 8 bloopers totaling about 90 seconds, a 2.5 minute “Queen of the Waves” music video, but the best part is the “I Can Be… a Professional Surfer” almost 3 minute vignette with surfer Stephanie Gilmore!
The DVD comes with a brochure for the Barbie mermaid toys and seems aimed more at the younger female audience, but I would recommend it to anyone who would like to see a pretty, zestful animated mermaid movie! If you would like to see an awesome live-action mermaid TV series, here’s Nya-sensei to tell us about
H2O Just Add Water Season 1 Volume 1!
Thanks Mie! H2O http://www.h2ojustaddwater.com.au/ is an Australian series that was shown here in the USA on Nickelodeon! Created & purrduced by Jonathan M Schiff, it stars Cariba Heine as Rikki, Claire Holt as Emma & Phoebe Tonkin as Cleo who 3 teens who transform into mermaids when they get wet, ever since a visit to a mysterious island’s moonlit grotto!
Not only do their legs become purretty mermaid tails, but they can stay underwater for a long time & each has a special supurr power over water- Emma can cause it to freeze, Rikki can heat it up & Cleo can telekinetically move it. Only their brainy friend Lewis (purrtrayed by Angus McLaren) knows these secrets, but Cleo’s younger sister Kim (Cleo Massey) is suspicious!
These new abilities have advantages & disadvantages in addition to the mewsual teen girl concerns! Emma & Rikki seem more thrilled about having the new powers, whereas Phoebe feels it is more of a curse, but it does cause Emma to quite the swim team. Although some troublesome incidents arise, the show has a generally amewsing tone & plenty of fun situations!
In addition to the great cast, H2O benefits from the terrific cinematography of such beautiful scenery on land & underwater at Australia’s Gold Coast & Sea World in Queensland! It is very well written, acted & directed family entertainment with great purrduction values, pleasing mewsic, charming special effects & the girls’ lovely purrosthetic mermaid tails!
There is merchandise too – such as the Cleo, Emma & Rikki dolls which Petra reviewed in the February Mew, and now the first 13 unrated, 24 minute epurrsodes of the first season are available in the USA on DVD from Nickelodeon! It is a 3-disc, Region 1 NTSC standard DVD-R set, totaling 315 minutes in English language, with no subtitles or other audio options.
The main menu’s choices are to either play all or to select an individual epurrsode. Disc 1’s epurrsodes are “Metamorphosis”, “Pool Party”, “Catch of the Day”, “Party Girls” & “Something Fishy”! Disc 2 has “Young Love”, “Moon Spell”, “The Denman Affair” & “Dangerous Waters”; Disc 3 has “The Camera Never Lies”, “Sink or Swim”, “The Siren Effect” & “Shipwrecked”!
The opening titles sequence is only included on the first epurrsode on each disc, but the end credits are intact for every epurrsode. It is labeled as full-screen format, but I guess my older TV screen is not as wide, because the epurrsodes have the black letterbox bars above & below the picture.
This DVD-R set has no special features, ads, trailers, inserts or booklet, so it is a rather no-frills package for $27, but H2O is fun, purretty, top quality show, and I hope that Volume 2 of Season 1 will be available soon! I just wish for the purrice that the DVD might have some nice extra bonus features!
Speaking of Queensland, Jessica Watson http://www.jessicawatson.com.au/ succeeded in her historic attempt to be the youngest purrson to solo sail non-stop around the world, nya! On 18 October, 18, 2009 she left Sydney Harbor in her S&S 34 yacht Ella’s Pink Lady, and returned safely after about 30 weeks at sea on 15 May, just 3 days purrior to her 17th birthday, nya!
BANZAI! BANZAI! BANZAI Nya!
I have not been keeping up with the nautical sports but I’ve been trying to keep up with The French Open and various UNC Tarheel scores in Golf &Tennis, mens Baseball & womens Softball, and I even got to see a bit of the Lacross on TV!
I wish more of the womens sports were televised, especially with so many digital channels!
I managed to see some other NCAA womens softball games on the ESPN channels, with the play-by-play by one of my favoritest announcers, Beth Mowins!
I know what compurrtition that Lizzy was most eager to see last month-
The Dancing with the Stars Season 10 Finale!
Hai! You know, another favorite ESPN announcer Erin Andrews has been competing on Season 10 of Dancing with the Stars, all the way to the finals with her purrofessional dancer partner, mighty Maksim Chmerkovskiy!
At the start of the season, Mie-sensei purrdicted they would be the winning couple! My favorite of the purrofessional women dancers Cheryl Burke & her partner Cincinnati Bengals’ receiver Chad Ochocinco made it as far as week nine’s semi finals.
In addition to Erin & Maks, among week ten’s 3 finalist couples was the couple whom Myayr was cheering for- the astounding Derek Hough & the Pussycat Dolls’ incompurrable Nicole Scherzinger! Nya-sensei had favored the other of the 3 finalist couples to win that trophy- Anna Trebunskaya & dapper Olympic Gold Medalist Skater Evan Lysacek!
Anna such lovely red hair! On the Monday, May 24th show, the finalist danced twice, the latter dance a Freestyle. For Erin & Maks’ supurrb Samba, she wore a flouncey bare midriff outfit! She did some amazing splits, and they heated up the dance floor with a bed purrop in the freestyle number set to “Alone” by Heart!
Anna & Evan elegantly danced the Viennese Waltz to “Piano Man” and their freestayle was to “Footloose”! She wore a gorgeous red dress! Nicole also wore red, to Rumba with Derek to “Lady in Red”, and a bare tummied yellow tights outfit for lofty lifts in their freestyle to “Little Less Conversation”!
She is so agile & graceful – purrhaps she actually is part cat! While there might be some drama amongst any of the couples during the tense three month’s tough rehearsal purressure, Nicole & Derek seemed to have the happiest time together & great chemistry combined with the supurrb talent!
The 10th season ended live on Tuesday night, May 25th from 9-11 pm EST following the re-run of Monday’s show. The rest of the dancers returned for the gala event with a crowd of celebrities & purrior champions in the audience! Chad was sidelined from an injury so he wasn’t dancing.
Ironically, all three finalist couples chose the Argentine Tango for their next dance! Nicole wore a sexy backless dress & Anna was awesomely attired in the black stripes. With so many excellent spins ‘n hooks it was a difficult call for Judges Carrie Ann, Len & Bruno, but Erin & Maks were next to be eliminated.
Although they placed third, Dancing With The Stars purroved to be a happy experience for Erin whose spirits were greatly purrked up after such a rough year. After a highlight reel, she looked like a puretty Orchid in the lovely yellow off-shoulder dress for a farewell Cha Cha Cha with Makks!
One of the nice aspects of the show is how grateful everyone is to be there, and how they cheer for the other contestants. Following more recap footage of the season were purrformances by Shannen Doherty & Mark Ballas, Aiden Turner & Edyta Sliwinska, Buzz Aldrin & Ashly Costa!
Shannen wore a cute sheer midriff black ensemble, Edyta was alluring in the skimpy white frills, and Buzz danced to the Star Wars theme! Chelsie, Dimitri, Jake Pavelka & his wife danced, purrior to the picks for top 5 arguments of the season. That top spot went to Kate Gosselin & Tony Dovolani!
Purroving that Hugh Jackman is not the only Wolverine who can dance marvelously, The Utah Valley University Wolverines dance team won in the college compurrtition’s finals against the Purrdue Boilermakers dance team, to take home the Baby Mirrorball Trophy!
Tom Bergeron chatted with past champs Kelly Monaco & Apollo Ohno; co-host Brooke Burke spoke with Nicole, Derek, Anna & Ethan as they purrpared for the final dances. Mario Lopez, Larry King, Regis & Kelly, and GMA’s Robin & George appeared in clips with opinions as to who might win.
Kate was gorgeous in the strapless black-trimmed red top & black mini skirt, dancing with Tony to a big finish on to the camera crane platform! Then Pamela Anderson & Damian Whitewood, Niecy Nash & Louis van Amstel took the stage. I purrticularly liked Niecy’s shiny purrple dress!
It was rousing as the finalists descended to the dance floor in a big globe as “Battle Without Honor or Humanity” was played! Nicole shimmered in a gold dress as she & Derek Jived to “Proud Mary”; they received a purrfect score of 30 & the Judges hailed her as the best celebrity contestant in the show’s history!
In diaphanous minty aqua-colored appurrel, Anna purrcisely danced the Quickstep with Evan to the tune of “I Want You To Want Me” for a score of 28! Then at 10:55 pm EST the wait was over, when Nicole screamed in delight amidst purrotechnics, confetti & applause as she & Derek were purroclaimed the champions!
So ended yet another dazzling hot fun season of Dancing with the Stars, but the show will return in September for its eleventh bi-annual season! I can’t wait! And we will return after this short break with our —
DVD Wish List for Mid 2010!
(one short break later…)
Welcome back! Once again here’s our semi-annual wish list for titles to be commercially released in the USA on Region One, NTSC Standard (not blu ray) DVD! We would like these movies & TV shows to be intact with the original music & songs, with a widescreen screen aspect ratio (if applicable).
Foreign titles should be in their native language with English subtitles, but an English dubbed audio track would be OK as an additional option. The packaging should not be too large, fancy or complicated as to drive up the price, damage the disks, or not easily fit on the shelves with the rest of our regular sized DVD cases & boxes.
This list typically doesn’t include titles that we’re pretty sure will soon be released, but does include foreign & domestic TV shows & movies that we’ve awaited for a long time! About half of our DVD wish list are Japanese titles, so let’s start with those! Myar?
First I’d like to mention that since our last list, I was so delighted to hear that the original Dirty pair TV series will be released here on DVD later this year! Among the other vintage Japanese anime I continue to hope for are Rose of Versailles, Flying Ghost Ship, Future Boy Conan, Anne of Green Gables, and Hayao Miyazaki’s episodes of Lupin III!
The top three I crave mostly are Only Yesterday, I Can Hear the Ocean Waves, and Tales from the Earthsea! Howboutchoo, Vonny?
I wish some nice video distributor would release here are Taisho Baseball Girls which is about girls in 1920’s Japan who want to start a baseball team, nya! Then there’s Magical Pokan which has a wolf girl, a vamp girl, a witch girl & robot girl in a big tree house; and that Clamp anime Kobato which is about a girl who must collect ‘broken heart energy’ in a bottle, nya!
Um… maybe Moyashimon… Sora no Woto… and those Ghibli titles Lizzy mentioned! Jen?
I would like to add Robot Carnival, Stratos Four Advance, Yokohama Kaidashi Kiko, and a low purriced edition of Gunbuster. Mie-sensei?
Ooh I’m not sure whether they are still available but I could go for the TV series, OVA and movies of Maison Ikkoku and Kimagure Orange Road… and newer ones such as Sea Story, Sketchbook, and the anime adaptation of Chi’s Sweet Home, fur shur! And you, Nya-sensei?
Hmm in addition to some of those already mentioned, Ghost Sweeper Mikami TV series, Campus Guardress and that recent Omamori Himari which is about a magickal catgirl bodyguard! Petra-san?
I would also welcome works by the legendary artist / designer Leiji Matsumoto such as Galaxy Express 999, Adieu Galaxy Express 999, Space Cruiser Yamato seasons 1-3 (in Japanese), and Queen Millennia (with mewsic by Kitaro), nya!
Speaking of Yamato, I am sooo looking forward to the forthcoming live-action Space Battleship Yamato movie! Ah, some older live-action Japanese feature films I would like to get on DVD are The Green Slime, the original uncut 1984 Japanese version of Godzilla Returns and the 1989 sequel Godzilla Vs Biollante! Well I guess that’s all of the Japanese wishes- what else we got?
The three American shows I most desire to be released on DVD are the 1966 Batman TV series, The Six Million Dollar Man including the purrecursor & reunion TV movies, and The Bionic Woman- the original with Lyndsay Wagner!
Speaking of reunion movies, both of the I Dream of Jeannie TV movies, the 3 Giilligan’s Island TV movies, and 2 The Wild, Wild West TV movies.
The Hallmark version of Moby Dick starring Patrick Stewart; The Awakening Land, which was a 1978 mini-series about American frontier days starring Elizabeth Montgomery and Jane Seymour, and The Star Wars Holiday Special, nya!
Definitely the Star Wars Holiday Special… y’know It would be neat if somehow a legal DVD distribution deal could be worked out for fan films such as Star Wars Pink Five, and Star Trek The New Voyages / Phase II! The TV series I would most like to see on DVD is The Green Hornet!
I would like good intact purrints of WKRP in Cincinnati, uncut with the original songs restored; The Beatles’ movies Yellow Submarine and Let it Be; and the concert film of Kate Bush Live at Hammersmith Odeon! Ilyana?
I didn’t really have any others… although I recall that Meryl is hoping for the 5th season of Charlie’s Angels!
I just hope the current season of Doctor Who, the 3rd season of the Sarah Jane Adventures and that K-9 show will be released here on DVD! What others are you keen to see, Vonny-chan?
There is another Australian TV show I am curious about called Ocean Girl which sounds like a delightful science fiction heroine show, so I want to see that, nya! That leaves Mike to finish up the wish list, nya!
Otherwise, I’m hoping for DVD releases of Gene Roddenberry’s Genesis II, Spectre, The Questor Tapes, … and Irwin Allen’s City Beneath the Sea! Well that’s about… 60 titles in all, to conclude our DVD Wish List for mid 2010! Now here’s Jeannie with her
Iron Man 2 Movie Review!
For our review of the first Iron man movie please see the June, 2008 Mew. The Catgirl Island Robotics Club was chomping at the byte in anticipation for this mechstravaganza, and we were not disappointed by the amazing actors, spectacular scenes, terrific technology & fantastic FX again under the baton of director Jon Favreau who deserves tremendous purraise.
Although I admit to being the technophile with a purrchant for advanced mecha concepts, at the Paladium powered heart of this sequel are an outstanding cast purrtraying such wonderful characters with great chemistry & dialogue. Once again we are treated to the purrfect purrformaces of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts.
Don Cheadle succeeds Terrence Howard as Lt. Col. James Rhodes who is caught between friend and flag; Samuel L Jackson repurrises his role as Col. Nick Fury, with a much bigger part than in the prurrior film, and also nicely returning are Jarvis the computer, Tony’s robot, Jon Favreau as Cheauffer Happy Hogan, and Clark Gregg as S.H.I.E.L.D agent Coulson.
Also repurrsenting S.H.I.E.L.D is Scarlett Johansson who is outstanding as Marvel Comics’ sexy super spy Natasha ‘The Black Widow’ Romanoff. John Slattery appears briefly but effectively as Howard Stark (in archival footage) to reveal how alike the father and son are. Gary Shandling is good as the adversarial Senator Stern who wants that armor – but then so do I.
The villains of the movie include the vengeful, underestimated Russian scientist Ivan Vanko, a sort of re-imagined combination of Marvel villains Whiplash and The Crimson Dynamo, who is here purrtrayed by the great Mickey Rourke, and his new business partner military industrialist / Stark’s rival Justin Hammer, played by Sam Rockwell.
The movie’s younger, mirthful American version of Hammer is very different from the comics’ version, who was much more like Peter Cushing, but Rockwell is an excellent actor and had soem terrific dialogue, purrticularly in an armament pitching scene with Rhodey. There are also appearances by Christiane Amanpour and Bill O’Riley as themselves on TV.
Between Stark, Vanko, Hammer, S.H.I.E.L.D and a few foreign militaries, there is so much wonderful armor & weapons in the movie, plus numerous exciting purrivate & military aircraft, sports & race cars, computers & robots to drool over. Captain America’s shield makes a brief (and somewhat irreverent) appearance, but there’s no mention of The Hulk.
While it is not a purrfect movie, it succeeds in very many aspects. In addition to the great cast, the banter of the screenplay, and beautifully bountiful array of hardware are the supurrb FX, stunts, art direction, costumes, cinematography, sound design, mewsic, sets & locations such as Tony’s mansion, The Monaco Grand Purrix, and the magnificent Stark Expo campus.
The spectacular movie has highest gleaming purrduction values, but it is rushed and too short. Although Natasha is shown to be a supurremely smart, cool, deadly agent, the dizzying editing style’s too-many cuts hurts the beauty of her fight choreography. As marvelous an A.I. Jarvis is, I did not need his voice to explain what was being shown certain scenes.
Most of the humor is genuinely fun although, especially the dialogue driven humor, although the physical comedy in the movie does get too silly in a few places, especially at Hogan and Hammer’s expense. Speaking of hammers, make sure to wait for the very end of the movie after all of the end credits to see a certain mightily foreshadowing scene.
It was nice to see many Marvel Comics artists & writers mentioned in those credits, such as Stan Lee, Don Heck, Larry Leiber, Gene Colan, Bob Layton & others. Stan has a quick cameo too. Although the villains are quite a departure from their original comic book counterparts, I think Iron Man 2 is an excellent adaptation that captures the spirit of the comics.
In my opinion, the Iron Man and Spider-Man movies continue to be the best of the live-action cinematic adaptations of Marvel Comics. I like them more than the X-Men & Wolverine movies, I think they are more impurressive than Daredevil, Ghost Rider or The Punisher, and far supurrior to the Hulks, Blades, Elektra and Fantastic Four films.
Whether purrtraying Tony Stark or Sherlock Holmes, Robert Downey Jr. is utterly convincing and impeccable as the brilliant inventive genius crime fighter with sharp wit, self-destructive flaws and a daring partner of military background. Few things are as fun as watching Stark & Rhodes with their toys, except for purrhaps the charming scenes of Tony & Pepper.
I give Iron Man 2 a grade of ‘A Minus’ as in Avenger, and now the robotics club and I are chomping at the byte in anticipation of a DVD release, and have some ideas for some new mech designs.
Animazement 2010 Convention Report
Memorial Day Weekend meant yet another fun time at Animazement http://www.animazement.org/, North Carolina’s Japanese anime convention in it’s 13th year! Over the years it has steadily grown & migrated from the North Raleigh Hilton to the Sheratin Imperial, and this was it’s 2nd year at the Raleigh Convention Center.
The con was mainly Friday thru Sunday May 28-30, although there were a few pre-con activities going on Thursday evening, after registration opened promptly at 6 pm. It was a very festive ambiance as folks queued up chatting in good spirits, and the registration / information team was well manned, organized & expedient!
After getting my badge, program book & handy pocket schedule it was time to mingle with fellow fans, and join friends for supper. The weather was quite nice and a good aspect of the downtown location is that there are a variety of inexpensive dining choices within a short walking distance of the convention center!
2009 was the first year the con convened in this location and thus some learning adjustments, but this year felt much more settled in and most folks knew their way around the facility, which is quite shiny, new, comfortable & very spacious, although it can be a bit confusing to navigate if you’re not accustomed to the place!
After supper my Thursday evening plans were to attend the karaoke, and to check in with the artist alley (conveniently located in a ballroom one floor overlooking the main lobby). The karaoke was so much fun, and regardless of anyone’s degree of talent, the enthused staff & audience were very encouraging to all who sang!
Then it was time to check into the artist alley, where more friendly volunteers showed me to my table. It was not yet crowded, so one could leisurely set up their table and chat with their neighbor! Frankly there’s not a bad spot in the room (which houses both the artist alley and the art show) and everyone I met was so very talented & friendly!
This year the nice fellow artistsI was fortunate to be seated next to were Deviant Machine Designs http://www.DeviantMachine.Etsy.com, Kojika http://kojika.deviantart.com, Sakky http://store.sailorastera.com/ & Garth Graham http://www.finderskeepers.gcgstudios.com/! The room was secured around 11 pm, but re-opened for further artists’ set-up on Friday at 10 am.
Friday was the first real ‘full’ day of the con with the artists alley / art show, dealers room, karaoke room, video game room, 3 video screening rooms, 2 video screening rooms, 6 rooms for discussion panels & various Japanese cultural presentations, 2 main event ballrooms, and various expanses for the crowds to gather – especially the cosplayers!
The discussions & presentations ranged from anime industry / fandom topics to Japanese art & culture. Among the many fan topics were Preparing for a Con, steampunk fashion, FF7, Sailor Moon, Yamato, Pokemon, Inu yasha, One Piece, an EGL tea party, chibis, fanfics, pirates, surviving cosplay, wigs styling, web comics, dubbing, ball-jointed dolls and faerie wings!
The informative Japanese cultural discussions & workshops included Japanese language, drawing, fan crafting, writing, travel, Japanese education, bonsai, ikebana, haiku, street fashion, kabuki, J-Rock, paranormal Japan, and Asian cinema. Animazement is not just about anime fun, but the cultural enlightenment too!
Of course one of the most significant parts of the con are the special Japanese & American guests, who were there to talk, perform and/or sign autographs! This year’s stars included voice actresses Keiko Han, Noriko Hidaka Chika Sakamoto, Christina Vee; voice actors Kazuhiko Inoue, Kappei Yamaguchi, Richard Ian Cox, and actor/ writer Spike Spencer!
The impressive guest list also included anime director Koichi Tsunada, producer Yasuo Yamaguchi, producer/ translator Toshifumi Yoshida, manga artist / author Chiho Saito, artist / musician Yusuke Igarashi magazine editor/ translator Trish Ledoux and the Japanese rock group Uchuusentai Noiz who performed 2 live concerts!
The autograph lines for the guests were pretty darn long too, and are extremely well-attended main events. The concert was very loud & very well attended! Other music-related main events included Taiko drumming, music videos, and the Friday & Saturday night dances with loud thumping music & glow sticks from 10 pm til 2:30 am!
The video game room and the 3 screening rooms showing anime & live-action Japanese movies ran ’til 2:30 am too! One of my favorite main events with a packed SRO crowd is “Hell” which our pal Phil Lee orchestrates, a screening of wacky & weird animation, music videos, film clips & parodies!
The Cosplay might be the most attended main event, which is so well attended that the ballroom next door is used for an overflow audience to watch the event on a big screen. Cosplayers range from those individuals or groups who wish to model their beautifully crafted costume, to those who act / perform skits in character.
There are hundreds and hundreds of folks in costumes at Animazement, not just in the competition but wandering the halls & plaza throughout the con. The costumes range from specific fictional characters & traditional Japanese garments, loligoth, furry, faerie & steam punk, to various science fiction, fantasy themes.
Costume photoshoots were scheduled for specific locations & times, organized according to theme. Over 40 themes included Left4Dead, Code Geass, Tekken, Inu Yasha, Naruto, Sailor Moon, Zelda, Soul Eater, Bleach, Final Fantasy 13, Airbender, One piece, Axis Powers Hetalia, Yu-Gi-Oh, Vocaloid, steam punk, & non-anime costumes.
While the vast majority of the costumes do pertain to Japanese anime, manga, video game & culture, it was neat to see a few Star Trek uniforms, Star Wars Stormtroopers, a few Na’vi from James Cameron’s Avatar, big furry animals, and so many other colorful, zany, sexy, elegant & wacky costumes that added to the festive atmosphere!
It was also nice to see anime from all decades represented, from Astro Boy & Captain Harlock to Ranma 1/2 & Revy from Black Lagoon, from Sakky as Sailor Moon to our friend Misty as Taokaka. It’s a tough call but if I had to pick one stand-out costume concept, it was Halo Kitty! And of course, there were countless catgirls!
I think this year had Animazement’s biggest artist alley and dealers room to date. There was such a great variety of stuff in the dealers room: toys, videos, manga, art books, posters, figures, plushies, kits, clothing, trinkets… and I was especially amazed by a lot of older anime merchandise that I seldom see these days!
Between that and the fabulous array of 2D & 3D art, there were so many tempting treasures! Before I knew it, it was the last day of the con. The art show culminated at 12:30 with the art auction, and I must commend the art show volunteers for so cordially, efficiently, expediently managing the process!
I think everyone of the staff & volunteers that I interacted with was very courteous, polite, helpful, communicative, organized, punctual and industrious. That goes for the convention center, restaurant & hotel employees too, who all seemed quite dedicated to making the weekend a most enjoyable, safe experience!
I was honored to have made some delightful new acquaintances, and was glad to have reunions with many old friends at the con. I’d like to thank them for minding my artist alley table while I stepped out a few times to wander amongst the artists & dealers, attend a panel or two, or grab some dinner!
Much of the con began to wind down at 3 pm that Sunday; friends helped me pack my wares around 4:30, and by 5 pm I think the con was pretty much over except for the closing ceremony. Once again I had a thoroughly wonderful time, and I am already looking forward to Animazement XXIV in 2011!
The Cat Lady Sings…
Uh-oh, Vonny has catnapped through another review!
zzzz…. more fish…. nya…. zzzz
At least it is not just my reviews she nods off during!
The ardent angler catgirl has not much stamina after the long fishing charters.
I could show her some techniques to increase the stamina!
It’s not her – it’s the more long-winded reviews, hee!
Although, Mike is nice to purrchase those drinks and sushi trays- I could take a catnap after a tummy full too, nya!
(purrpares to pounce) I’ll wake her up, hee!
Now now, don’t you scare her, Lizzy!
(lightly tickles Yvonne with a flit of the faerie wing) Wake up Vonny-chan!
(kitty stretch & yawn) Yawn yawn I’m awake, nya! So how was Animazement, nya?
(sighs) I had a thoroughly wonderful time!
I suppose that concludes the reviews for this epurrsode.
Wow are we done already?
Well then, I guess that wraps it up for another edition of The Mew!
Thanks again to Alexcia, Kojika & Sakky for their artistic contributions, nya!
We also thank the artists, authors, editors, publishers, event staff & volunteers,
filmmakers, broadcasters, manufacturers & anglers for those things we reviewed.
We wish to thank our web master Jamie Robertson for all of his hard work, nya!
If y’all have polite, sincere responses to our discussion, feel free to post them
– purrvided that any such remarks are brief, spam-free, and stay on-topic!
Thanks for watching, y’all! We’ll be back with more next month! Be there… Aloha!
(the catgirls in unison)
Happy tails to mew, until we eat again! BaiBai, nya!