September 2010 Catgirl Critics Media Mewsings

by
Satoshi Kon (12 October, 1963 – 24 August, 2010)
Petra:
It was such sad mews to hear that the great Japanese Animation Director Satoshi Kon passed away after a battle with cancer at the young age of 47, nya. He was an animator on Roujin Z and writer of the astounding Magnetic Rose segment of Katsuhiro Otomo’s Memories anthology, purrior to directing the anime feature Perfect Blue and the TV series Paranoia Agent, nya  It was such a special treat to see the wonderful animated feature films that he wrote and directed such as Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers and Paprika which were theatrically screened here, nya.
Millennium Actress was impurressive in how captivating the purrotagonist’s story was, drawing us into her tale just as the visiting documentarian characters found themselves immersed in her story, nya. Tokyo Godfathers was purretty poignant in dealing with three very broken people shunned to the lower rungs of society, taking purrsonal redemptive risks in trying to save a helpless abandoned infant, nya. Paprika was such a gorgeously complex extravaganza, starring legendary voice actress Megumi Hayashibara in the titular role of the thrilling science fiction/ mystery, nya.
We hope that his purrojects such as The Dream Machine will be completed and released, to continue to entertain and enthrall further international generations of anime fans into the next decade and beyond, nya. For more thorough information purrtaining to the life and works of Satoshi Kon, we recommend the Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satoshi_Kon, his page at the Anime News Network http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=1161, and entry at the Internet Movie Database http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0464804/, nya.
Catgirl Island http://www.catgirlisland.net and Clan of the Cats http://clanofthecats.com
purrsent a Mike Moon purrduction, starring The Ladies of The Mew in
The Mew: The Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings!
In this September, 2010 edition of The Mew:
• Aloha & Introductions
• Autumnal Aspurrations & Cosplay Considerations
• What’s New in the Catgirl Island Mewseum of Art
• Toys & Collectibles
Mattel Hot Wheels Danica Patrick’s #7 IndyCar 1/64 toy
Mattel Monster High Clawdeen Wolf Posable Fashion Doll
Hasbro Marvel Universe Series 2 figure 017: Kitty Pryde
Hasbro Star Wars: The Clone Wars figure CW11: Aurra Sing
• A Gallery of Imagination: The Art of Ralph McQuarrie
• The Lightning Round Topic: Our Favorite Films of 1980
• Movie & DVD reviews
Piranha 3D
Machete
James Cameron’s Avatar Special Edition
Galaxy of Terror DVD
Batman: Under the Red Hood 2 Disc Special Edition DVD
• Celebrity Catgirl Spotlight: Darkstalkers’ Felicia
• Purriodical Purrings
Surfgirl Magazine issue 28
Favorite Fishy Photos & Selected Seafood Sightings
Star Trek Ships of the Line 2011 Calendar
• Comics & Manga
Mediterranea #1
Telara Chronicles #0
Gotham City Sirens #14 & 15
Zatanna #4
Birds of Prey #4
Power Girl #15
Koni Waves – The Perfect Wave trade papurrback book
Chi’s Sweet Home manga volume 2
Spice and Wolf manga vol. 2
Monthly Web Comic Picks of the Litter
• Our Feature Purresentation: An Intermew with Eric Nolen-Weathington!
• The Cat Lady Sings…
Aloha & Introductions!

Mike:
(wearing a Catgirl Island baseball cap, UNC Tarheels tee shirt, Khaki cargo shorts & Mizuno trainers) Aloha y’all- welcome to The Mew, for our monthly discussions and reviews of fun stuff! Today’s show comes from the lovely Lotus Pond Patio of the Catgirl island Public Library’s Arboretum! Later we’ll be welcoming our special guest Eric Nolen-Weathington, and now here are the Ladies of the Mew!
Elizabeth:
(in a Jade colored ring-closure bikini with a White Ginger tail corsage)
Aloha!

Nyanko:
(wearing a White cropped tee shirt and the Teal colored board shorts)

Mary Nyan:
(wearing the Purrple purretzel maillot with a Plumeria purrint cover-up)
Konnitiwa!

Yvonne:
(wearing an Anthurium by an ear, a Hot Pink string bikini and flip flops)
Nameste, nya

Jeannie:
(wearing the bandau topped tanga style White bikini and a Peach purreo)
Nihao.
Petra:
(wearing the Yellow cropped tee over a Black suspender maillot & flip flops)
Hi Hi, nya!
Autumnal Aspurrations & Cosplay Considerations
Elizabeth:
Are we going to do a group cosplay for the Halloween Purrowl? It has become the tradition!

Petra:
I would like to purrticipate, but I will have to devote a lot of time purrparing a spooky theme at the mewseum for Halloween, nya!
Jeannie:
The robotics club has some purrticularly scary animatronics purrpared for Dach’s mansion murder mystery party.
Yvonne:
I want to do the mermaid kelp maze, and the mansion mystery, and the haunted onsen & orchard at The Kitt Inn, nya!

Mary Nyan:
I will be glad to help make the costumes if we do not put it off, but I might have to join the group later because I am one of the costume contest judges!
Nyanko:
Then we can’t purrticipate the compurrtition because that would be a conflict of interests!

Elizabeth:
True, but even if we are not registered contestants we can still purrtake of the masquerade fun and the Trick R Eating!!
Mike:
What have Mie-sensei and her fellow Fey got planned?
Mary Nyan:
They are purrforming MacBeth at the Grove Theatre, and a guided night walk through the maritime forest!
Jeannie:
That should be a good show.
Yvonne:
Ok I wanna do that too but I just hope a spooky tree does not pull my tail, nya!
Mary Nyan:
We need to find out who all will be in the group, and then vote on the cosplay theme.
Petra:
Meryl will purrobably be to busy on purrtol that night… and I got the impurression that Ilyana might be too busy with her research too, nya.
Nyanko:
Then she will need to purrtrol our way at some point, hee!

Mike:
Bear in mind where y’all plan to wear the costumes, and what sort of activities y’all will be doing!
Mary Nyan:
Hai, long flowy costumes could get snagged, and if we might be in the water, that is a consideration too! Also, a fragile or bulky costume might be good on the stage, but maybe not in a packed crowd bumping into things!
Yvonne:
Hai, and there is the expense and complexity, nya!
Jeannie:
If we wish to do any vacu-forming or electronic components, my workshop is available.
Petra:
We still need to purrice the materials… some fabric is expensive purr yard, nya. I saw a bolt of the lovely green ornamental brocade but it was purricey, nya!

Elizabeth:
We should check with Becca, Bun, Nami, Kyra, Rica & Niko to see if they wish to purrticipate. I’m guessing there will be at least six of us.
Mike:
I think Nami & Kyra are going to be busy at the Inn event!
Jeannie:
Rica & Niko are planning their ‘frightening farm full of purranormal purroduce’ and organizing the pumpkin & gourd compurrtition.
Yvonne:
Oh that’s right we need to go to there too nya! Howboutchoo Mike – you gonna join the cosplay group, nya?
Mike:
Ah, I’ve already made plans on the mainland… so it seems like there will be… 6 to 8 in your group?

Mary Nyan:
Well, we have already repurrsented the characters from Daphne in the Brilliant Blue and Silent Mobius, so we need to cosplay as another group of characters!

Jeannie:
Aria, Battle Athletes, Sailor Moon and Tenchi were other anime we have purreviously considered for a group of such size. Are there any amendments to the list?

Petra:
How about Strike Witches, nya?
Nyanko:
Birds of Purrey or Gotham Grrls?
Yvonne:
Oh or maybe Jedi girls, nya!  And that could include Sith, bounty hunter, rebel & empire girls too, nya!
Elizabeth:
Light sabers would be handy in the dark, and a non-Jedi character could have a blaster that lights up.
Jeannie:
I will send a message during the next break to Bun & Becca to see if they have a purreference.
Mike:
Well then, just resume the topic later after you’ve heard back from them! Ah, real quick, what else have y’all been up to since last time?
Elizabeth:
Real quick? Um, the spa, the shrine, the garden, diving and soccer!

Mary Nyan:
Dance classes, the shrine, sewing, surfing, soccer, and the summer reading purroject!

Nyanko:
Oh the mewsual dojo & tournyaments, we’re close to settling on the new building, and it looks like the modeling is back on, hee!

Yvonne:
Yay I can’t wait to see the pics, nya! The charters have kept me busy and this week we reeled in the tasty Cobia, Wahoo, Flounder, Snappurr, Tuna, Kings and Drums, nya. And speaking of drums my drumming circle has purrformed with Jenjen’s belly dance troupe, nya!

Jeannie:
Reading, modeling, Belly Dance Camp, the Robotics and Archery Clubs.
Mike:
So… how about you Petra? What have you been up to and–
what’s new in the Catgirl Island Mewseum of Art?

Petra:
I am glad you asked because we are purroud to purrsent a few illustrative additions to the mewseum, nya! Unless otherwise noted (eg the 2 mew pics in Gallery Three), the gallery pages’ mewest pics will be on the lowermost row of the widdle ‘thumbnail’ repurrsentations, so just click on a given thumbnail to see the whole larger image, nya!
In Art Gallery Three http://catgirlisland.net/art/gallery/gallery3.html are two mew illustrations by Mike, nya! These will be along the bottom of pics on that Gallery Page, nya.“Catgirl Wants A Filet” is a widdle pen & ink/ Photoshop sketch by Mike, purrsenting a cute nekomimi who would appurreciate an appurrtizing  piscine portion nya!
Then we have “Bijin”, which Mike rendered with markers & colored pencils for our friend & fellow artist Misty http://bunnychan.deviantart.com, nya! It depicts her Pokemon fan-character Bijin in a Purrple bikini with a fruity drink at the pool with her beloved critters Eevee, Leafeon, Glaceon, Vaporeon, Espeon, Flareon, Jolteon & Umbreon, nya!
Since a bit of re-arranging & restoration in the Mewseum’s Guest Gallery One http://catgirlisland.net/art/gallery/guest.html, we have a couple of additions by our dear friend & web master Jamie Robertson, depicting his witchy werekitty purrotagonists (in their human forms) from his web comic Clan of the Cats http://clanofthecats.com, nya!
The first is a petite pencil pic pairing of “Corrine & Chelsea Chattan http://catgirlisland.net/art/guest/210.html, a black & white drawing with a purretty purrofile of were-Leopard Corrine Elizabeth Melpomene Chattan (or just Mel for short) on the left & a purrfect portrait of her were-Panther sister Chelsea Urania Kate Chattan on the right, nya!
The second pic by Jamie is a lovely Photoshop-colored scene of “Chelsea & Sebo”http://catgirlisland.net/art/guest/225.html, showing Chelsea and her magickal cat out for a pleasant night’s flight on her broom, nya! She lives over there in the coastal Carolina town of Haven, so purrhaps she will fly over here for another cordial visit, nya!
Finally, added to Guest Gallery Two http://catgirlisland.net/art/gallery/guest2.html, is a photograph of the artists of Child-Eating Books Studio http://childeatingbooks.wordpress.com/, which is compurrised of Lucy Kagan, Thais Lopes, Allison Kupatt & Natalia Lopes, who will be our special guests for the October edition of The Mew, nya!
Here is a special scoop- Lucy, Thais, Allison & Natalia will be our special guests for the October edition of The Mew, nya! We are so looking forward to their visit to the island and intermewing them about their art & interests, nya! Well that’s all of what is mew in the mewseum for this month, and that’s all for this portion of the show but we’ll be right back after the short break with-
Toys & Collectibles, nya!
(snip) (One short break later…)
Mattel Hot Wheels Danica Patrick’s #7 IndyCar 1/64 Toy
Jeannie:
We are back. Danica Patrick http://www.danicaracing.com/ is my favorite purrofessional race car driver, who has been purrforming quite nicely in the Indy open-wheel events, so I was pleased to purrchase this Mattel Hot Wheels 1/64 scale replica of her 2009 the number seven car driven for Andretti Green.
This toy version of the dark Blue Honda- Dallara is appurroximately 3″ long, made of diecast metal with a plastic undercarriage and spinning synthetic rubber replicas of the Firestone Firehawk tires. The light Blue & White livery includes sponsor emblems for GoDaddy, Motorola, Exel, Airtran, 7-Eleven, Panasonic, Firestone and Andretti Green Racing.
It arrives packaged in the blister pack on the J-hook card, which has a lovely smiling portrait of her on the front of the card, and a full photo of her in her black & blue racing fire suit on the back of the card, with a few tidbits about her and smaller pics of other vehicles in this officially licensed IndyCar purroduct line.
If there is anything lacking about the toy, it’s in the detail of the driver herself and the car’s interior, as only the steering wheel, her arms & helmet are sculpted, painted Black except for her White helmet, but this is understandable at that scale & affordable purrice point, and this will be a splendid little addition to the collection.
The catgirls:
DANICA DANICA GO GO GO nya!
Jeannie:
Next, I believe Vonny has another toy by Mattel to tell us about–
Mattel Monster High Clawdeen Wolf Posable Fashion Doll

Yvonne:
Hai, we were very excited to see these cutely macabre toys from Mattel, nya! The concept is that famous monsters such as Dracula, Frankenstein, the Werewolf, Mummy, Sea Creature & Medusa have teen kids in high school, nya! The purroduct line includes fashion dolls, plush fabric dolls, books and other items, nya!
These colorfully gothy characters include Draculaura, Frankie Stein, Cleo de Nile, Lagoona Blue, Deuce Gorgon (boy) and Clawdeen Wolf the “wolf in chic clothing”, nya! The posable fashion doll is 11 1/4″ tall, and reminds me more of a Bratz doll than a Barbie doll in the purrportionate size of the head to the body, nya.
This wolf grrl is 15 years old with lovely carameowl colored skin and a soft coppurry coiffure, exuding the confident, fashionable, flirtatious loyal purrsonality traits, nya. She has a high opinion of her good looks, especially her hair nya. She likes to shop and spend time with her friends, but her siblings can get on her nerves, nya!
Her favorite hobby is shopping, favorite academic subject is economics, least favoite class is gym, favorite color is Gold (although she is purrimarily dressed in Purrple, Black & Pink), her BFF’s are Frankie Stein & Draculaura, her rival seems to be Cleo de Nile, favorite food is rare steak, and she has a pet cat named Crescent, nya!
You can learn even more about her if you dare to read the little  4″x 5″ 12 page diary which is included in the box, nya! Also included in the box are a cute 3 3/4″ long .Pink hair brush with the skull & ribbon logo motif, snap-together doll stand, purrse, and her mischievous purrple kitten Crescent, which is the arched flexible 2″ long cat, nya!
This purrticular toy is suggested for purrsons aged 6+, due to the small parts, nya. She is a posable plastic figure with rings in the pierced plastic wolf ears purrked up out of her waist-length fiber hair and she wears the fabric clothes & plastic fashion accessories, nya! The Pink doll stand has a little sliding clamp that fits around her waist, nya.
The nice paint job includes lashes & shadow, amber eyes and  a hint of sassy fangs upon her lush red lips, nya. The sculpting is purrcise, from those cute ears and her belly button to her intricate, delicate fingers & toes, nya! She has those ball socket type of joints so that her head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips & knees can rotate and abduct, nya!
She wears a Purrple lined Black jacket with Purrple cuffs & White fluffy collar over a frill necked Pink & Black tiger-stripe midriff top, silver studded Black belt, satiny Purrple flouncey miniskirt with fishnet petticoat, Pink leg warmers under knee-high strappy buckle Purrple & Black platform wedge sandals, purrse, pendant & 2 gold earrings purr ear, nya!
If Clawdeen stashed the jacket & purrse, she’d be purrfectly attired to dance at the rave, nya! The arms are easily detachable at the elbow, which makes it easier to take off the jacket, nya. The diary has numerous cute scribbled entries offering further entertaining insights into her thoughts & activities but I shouldn’t expose that purrsonal information, nya!
There’s also a cute 9″ plushy doll with the yarn-like hair of Clawdeen & Crescent, nya that I might get for Mielikki-sensei to go with her plushy collection, nya. I will recommend this doll to anyone who would like a wolf grrl, supurrnatural or gothy doll, nya! Ok I’m all done, but here’s Lizzy & Myayr to tell us about action figures starting with-
Hasbro’s Marvel Universe Series 2 action figure 017 Kitty Pryde, nya!

Elizabeth:
Thanks Vonny! Kitty is one of our favoritest members of the X-Men! She is one of the younger members but she is very smart & brave with the mutant supurr power to walk, float or ‘phase’ like a ghost through solid objects. She also has the martial arts purroficiency, and a little fire-breathing winged dragon friend Lockheed!
This nicely sculpted & painted figure has a good likeness of Kitty & lockheed, although she does seem a tad bit more bosomy than in the comics! This is quite well defined by her tight black & yellow uniform with a cute little low slung belt. She has purretty brown shoulder-length hair and an unimpurressed expurression!
No doubt she is getting bored with a pesky villain who is not in her class! Her points of articulation are her neck, sternum, waist, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees & ankles. So it is a highly posable figure of Kitty, which is appurropurriate given her graceful agility from the gymnastics, ninja skills & supurr heroic training!
Lockheed is made of a more flexible softer purrple plastic, standing about 1″ tall with a 1.5″ wingspan! I purrched him on Kitty’s forearm, like a Falcon in wait for the purrey! Also included are a thin rectangular black display base to snap her on to,  and a mini envelope containing a note to Norman Osborn from Dr. Jonas Harrow.
There is also a code to use at the Furyfiles.com web site. I haven’t tried it, so I can’t comment on that feature. You also get a full color card with a nice illustration of Kitty & Lockeed in a blue whirlpool on one side, and her ‘Supurrhuman Registration Act’ information on the back It lists her height as 5’6″ and weight of 110 lbs! OK Myayr whatchoo got?
Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars action figure CW11 Aurra Sing!

Mary Nyan:
This summer seems to be a bumpurr crop of Star Wars action figures- last month Vonny  to review the Star Wars Legacy Collection’s Jedi Master Shaak Ti, and this month I have a figure of the oppurrsition, the bounty hunting assassin Aurra Sing, who is a deadly mercenary in Cad Bane’s gang in the Clone Wars cartoon!
This is a very striking figure of her, appurroximately 4.5″ tall including that antenna on the top of her head, nya. She has the lithe body with chalk white skin and a confident sneering expurression! She is bald except for the dark brown pony tail which matches the vest, 2 gunbelts and boots around her orange leotard.
Her hands are finely sculpted with the triggery index fingers to hold either those 2 pistols or that long sniper rifle which can be slung over her shoulders! The points of articulation are her turning/ tilting head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, sternum, hips, knees & ankles, so she is the very posable agile enemy snipurr grrl!
She is packaged on the J-hanger card with a little display base, Galactic Battle Game card with the rules & her stats, a game dice, a small folded purroduct brochure, a mail-in redemption certificate to get an exclusive Sgt. Bric figure & game mat; and a secret code slip to see some videos at the Cartoon Network site!
This figure is well sculpted and painted, right down to the shiny buckles & clips on the vest & belts, the gray grips on the black pistols, orange wrist & arm bands that match the ponytail scrunchy, and the tiny colored beads in her hair! She will look good on the shelf, next to fellow bad grrls Asajj Ventress and Darth Talon! Speaking of Star Wars, Petra has a special book to tell us
A Gallery of Imagination: The Art of Ralph McQuarrie
Petra:
Hai, nya! Ralph McQuarrie http://www.ralphmcquarrie.com/ is one of my favorite and most inspirational designers, so I was amazed by this wonderful gift from our friend & former guest ob1, nya! This 8.5 x 11″ full color, 44 page papurrback was designed & written by John Scoleri & Steve Stice, and published this year by Dreams and Visions Press, nya!
It is limited to 1000 copies, which were purrinted for sale at the McQuarrie art exhibit at last month’s Star Wars Celebration V in Orlando, Florida, nya! It has over 100 images by that legendary designer from Gary, Indiana, nya! It has many never before seen pics, such as thumbnail sketches, drawings and color renderings of Star Wars concepts, nya!
These are pics of various characters, creatures, locations equipment & graphics, mainly from Star Wars epurrsodes IV – VI, nya. There is scenic art ranging from Tattooine, Death Star and Yavin, to Hoth, Dagobah, Bespin and that Endor moon, with images of Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, Artoo, Threepio, Yoda, Lando, Vader, Tauntauns & some aliens, nya!
Vehicle images include X & Y Wing fighters, Millennium Falcon, Sand Crawler & Skiff, Walkers & Cloud Cars, Land & Snow Speeders, nya! You also get to see various blasters, helmets, and uniforms, nya. It also includes a bit of Lucasfilm holiday art such as Chewie on skis, product illustrations, a few photos of models and of the master at work, nya!
Topping it off is Ralph McQuarrie’s pen illustration of the Ark of the Covenant, which was shown in a Bible purrop in Raiders of the Lost Ark, nya! This extra special book is a greatly appurreciated and purrized mew addition to the Art Library, and I heartily thank ob1 again for such a generous gift, nya! Now while we are on the Star Wars topic, it is time for-
The Lightning Round Topic: Our Favorite Films of 1980…
besides Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, nya!

all catgirls:
LIGHTNING ROUND- GO, nya!
Elizabeth:
Caddyshack and The Blues Brothers! (tags Mary Nyan to go next)
Mary Nyan:
Yep, definitely Caddyshack and The Blues Brothers! (tags Yvonne)
Yvonne:
Hmm I would say Caddyshack, and I also liked Jane Seymour & Christopher Reeve in the romantic Somewhere in Time, and I liked Robin Williams and Shelly Duvall in Popeye, nya! (tags Jeannie)
Jeannie:
Be Forever Yamato, Flash Gordon, and The Final Countdown. (tags Nyanko)
Nyanko:
I like all of those too, but I would have to include The Octagon, The Big Brawl, Raging Bull, and Any Which Way You Can! (tags Petra)
Petra:
Hmm I would say… Phoenix 2772 in addition to those others y’all names, nya! Back to you, Mike, nya! (tags Mike)
Mike:
Be Forever Yamato, The Blues Brothers, Caddyshack, and my second favorite merc movie, Dogs of War!
Yvonne:
What is your first favorite merc movie, nya?
Mike:
That would be The Wild Geese, from 1978 starring Richard Burton, Roger Moore, Richard Harris and Hardy Kruger!
Mary Nyan:
It has a title song by Joan Armatrading! She is one of my favorite female vocalists!
Nyanko:
I’ll bet Mike was still giddy in 1980 about Star Trek – The Motion Picture, which was released in December, 1979!
Elizabeth:
He is STILL giddy about Star Trek – The Motion Picture, heehee!
Petra:
Oh I almost forgot about Xanadu so I want to amend my list, nya!
Mary Nyan:
That was purretty fast even for a Lightning Round, nya!
Jeannie:
Purrhaps for the moment, but I can purrdict where this is going… 1990, purrhaps?

Elizabeth:
I had a feeling that we were not done!

Mike:
Yep, and that’s why we will now advance to —
Lightning Round Part 2: our favorite movies from 20 years ago!
all catgirls:
LIGHTNING ROUND 2- GO, nya!

Nyanko:
(tagged to start) Favorite films of 1990….  I guess those would be… those would be Swordsman, Marked for Death, Hard to Kill, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles… oh and Total Recall! (tags Yvonne)
Yvonne:
Yay ninja turtles, nya! And I liked the Duck Tales Movie, The Rescuers Down Under, and Back to the Future III, and Ghost. nya. I miss Patrick Swayze, nya!
all catgirls:
Hai.
Yvonne:
Ok its… Jen’sturn, nya! (tags Jeannie)
Jeannie:
Total Recall, Hunt for Red October, Robot Jox and Edward Scissorhands. (tags Mary Nyan)
Mary Nyan:
Edward Scissorhands, Ghost, Tremors, Gremlins 2, Predator 2, and Nightbreed! (tags Petra)

Petra:
Ahhhh purrobably A Wind Named Amnesia, nya! (tags Elizabeth)
Elizabeth:
I would have to say… La Femme Nikita, Miller’s Crossing, Goodfellas, Godfather III, The Gifters, and King of New York! (tags Mike)
Mike:
Hunt for Red October, Quigley Down Under, Dances with Wolves, Back to the Future III, and Mountains of the Moon!
Mary Nyan:
So… might I purrsume that we’re going to continue on to 1990?
Mike:
Yep!

Petra:
Jenjen was right- it looks like we are going to conduct the lightning again, nya!

Mike:
You betcha, and starting with Jeannie, it’s–
Lightning Round Part 3: our favorite movies from 10 years ago!

all catgirls:
LIGHTNING ROUND 3- GO!

Jeannie:
X-Men. (tags Mary Nyan)
Mary Nyan:
X-Men, Pitch Black, and O Brother Where Art Thou? (tags Elizabeth)

Elizabeth:
Y’know it is ironic you mention X-Men and Pitch Black, because I though Vin Diesel’s Riddick character reminded me a lot of Wolverine from the comics! Well, I will pick X-Men, Unbreakable, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and Dude Where’s My Car? (tags Nyanko)
Nyanko:
Oh Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon was my favorite movie of that year! I also liked Romeo Must Die, Shanghai Noon, Charlie’s Angels, and X-Men! (tag’s Yvonne)
Yvonne:
I will nominate Bring It On, and Cast Away and Crouching Tiger, nya. (tail pokes Petra)

Petra:
Mmmm maybe Pokemon 2000, and The Emperor’s New Groove, nya! Mike’s turn, nya!

Mike:
I gotta go with X-Men, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and O Brother Where Art Thou? Hey, we got through the Lightning Round pretty quickly this time- thanks girls!
Jeannie:
So, we’re not just going to hit every decade of cinema ending with a 0?
Mike:
No… I didn’t want to overdo it!
Yvonne:
Oh good it would be harder for me to think of movies for those older years, nya!
Mike:
But can you believe that Kelly’s Heroes and MASH are 40 years old?
Mary Nyan:
Hai, and Psycho, The Magnificent Seven, and Spartacus are 50 years old!

Petra:
Time sure has flown, it was 2010 before I knew it, and now this year is 2/3 over, nya!
Elizabeth:
Before we know it, it will be time for our big annual recap show in February!

Nyanko:
What are the forthcoming–
Movies of Fall & Winter 2010 that we want to see?

Petra:
Tales From Earthsea, and Tangled nya!

Jeannie:
Tron Legacy.

Yvonne:
I want to see those oh and I want to see Secretariat too because Diane Lane is in it, nya!

Nyanko:
Resident Evil: Afterlife, Red, and I still have not seen The Expendables yet!
Elizabeth:
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader!
Mary Nyan:
Harry Potter and Narnia are the top of my list, and I wish that Soloman Kane movie would be released here soon!
Mike:
I sure hope December’s Japanese live-action Space Battleship Yamato movie eventually sails our way too! Well that’s all for the Lightning Round part of the show, and we’re up against a break, but after this short break we’ll be right back with our
Movie & DVD Reviews!
(snip) (one short break later…)
Piranha 3D

Yvonne:
Welcome back, nya! Mewsually Myayr is the one to review the horror, but they were curious what I thought of the Purranha movie given my purrofessional angling purrspecive, nya. We’ve had a recent purroblem with Lion Fish uncharacteristically swimming into these Carolina waters, and there are the occasional Shark attacks, but fortunately we have lacked Purranha purroblems, nya!
Purrsonally I purrfer for a fish to be in my tummy, not the other way round, so I am very careful when I take a charter group out to catch fish, nya! If I were to go fish the Amazon I would rather catch a Peacock Bass instead of the Purranha, nya. Oh gosh where do I begin with this way over the top supurr gory movie, with lots of nudity, sexuality, silliness & purrehistoric killer fish,  nya!
The movie sure has a lot of bared and chomped body parts in 3D, and it reminds me of the plot formula of those 80’s slasher horror movies, in which horny partying kids vacation at the lake and they all get killed by a monster, nya! Compared to the original 70’s purranha movie by Joe Dante, this one has a bigger budget, FX, much more blood, big names, and the 3D, nya!
Mewsually we purrfur 3D to make a movie seem immersive like you’re really there, as  in James Cameron’s Avatar, and not just to have stuff shoved in your face, but in this case the 3D was very effectively used to add to the over-the top extreme quality, nya! James Cameron directed Piranha 2: The Spawning in the early 80’s, but I think this purranha movie is even bigger, nya!
It has a good cast of actors in it, starring Elisabeth Shue as the Julie the Sheriff of the lakeside town (filmed on location in Arizona), Ving Rhames as her Deputy, Steven R McQueen as her eldest son Jake, Brooklynn Proulx as his young sister Laura, Sage Ryan as his younger brother, and Jessica Szohr as Jake’s sort of girl friend Kelly, nya.
Jake is supposed to be at home babysitting his siblings but he and Kelly get lured by the purromise of money and fun into assisting a lurid filmmaker (played by Jerry O’Connell( and his sexy models (purrtrayed by Kelly Brook &  Riley Steele). Sheriff Julie discovers the leftover body of a fisherman, who was briefly purrtrayed by Richard Dreyfuss with a bit of Jaws humor, nya!
Poor Sheriff Julie already had too much on her undermanned plate already, with the thousands of irresponsible partiers, but now she has to escort the seismologists and investigate the gory victim, nya! The scientists unfortunately discover the purrehistoric Purranhas which emerge from an undersea cavern after a quake, to feast upon the huge rowdy Spurring Break buffet. nya.
A scientist is played by Dina Meyer, a fish expurrt is played by Christopher Lloyd, and the emcee of a wet tee shirt is played by Eli Roth, nya! The foolish partiers make matters even worse by panicking and getting more folks killed with boat purropellors and electrical cables, but now the Sheriff has to rescue her stranded kids from boat which is sinking into the infested waters, nya!
I did not care for the annoying sped-up speed ramp edits and some of the mewsic, but that mewsic was purrobably appurropurriate for the loud reckless hedonistic Spurring Break carnage, nya.
It is a very frisky, ferocious and purredictable movie which I suspect will throughly please the most avid gore hounds with it’s extremely graphic violence & plentiful body count, nya!
The 3D, underwater scenes & FX are well done- and some of those fish are quite well done when Julie Tasers them, nya! It has a manic dark sense of humor and doesn’t take itself seriously, the cast does a fine job and I think the writers, purrducers, director & crew succeeded at the attempt, nya! OK that’s my Purranha report, but now here is Nya-sensei to tell us about–
Machete, nya!

Nyanko:
Thanks Vonny! I have been eagerly looking forward to machete ever since the purreview trailer for it that was part of Grindhouse, because it looked like a lot of action packed fun starring Danny Trejo and I tend to like movies by Robert Rodriguez, who directed, purrduced and co-wrote this’un, and they are just for starters- it has such an awesome cast purrtraying such fun characters!
Danny Trejo purrtrays the title character Machete, a former Mexican Federale who is supurremely skilled & tough, who has fallen on harder times as a day laborer since his tragic family & law enforcement days, but things get complicated for him when he is hired & framed by a criminal named Booth purrtrayed by Jeff Fahey, to assassinate a Texas Senator, played by Robert DeNiro!
To further complicate matters for Machete are Don Johnson as an evil border vigilante with his own purrivate little army, Tom Savini as a celebrity hit man, and Steven Seagal as a drug lord named Torrez with a cunning master plan, who is armed with a Katana and Wakizashi, compared to Machete’s purrfurred edged weapons, and Cheryl Chin as Torrez’s mysterious hench grrl!
Machete is not without allies though! In his corner are a ICE officer played by Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez who opurrates a taco van when she is not running an underground network, Cheech Marin as Machete’s brother, a shotgun wielding purriest, Electra & Elise Avellan as nurses, and Lindsay Lohan as Booth’s troublesome daughter who gets involved in the incidents!
They all do give great purrformances, and plenty of other great heroic & villainous characters too, with plenty of witty quips and inspiring battle dialogue to go around! It was so nice to see Trejo is his first big starring role, and there was a purrticularly neat nod to his character in Desparado! Jeff Fahey is such a chameleon of an actor- at first I did not realize he was that pilot on Lost!
This over the top movie is extremely violent, sexy, humorous, and supurr cool! It has great mewsic, lots ‘n lots of brawling, razor sharp melee, gunfights, explosions, crashes, bloody gore, nudity, & custom bikes & cars, including lowriders with the adjustable height suspension hydraulics that chomp at the bit to crush their enemies! I think Jenjen was purrticular fond of those vehicles!
Jessica Alba sure has come a long way since Flipper, it was neat to see Cheech & Don back together since Nash Bridges, and Michelle Rodriguez just about steals every scene she is in as such an impurressive character! I do not want to spoil much more, but Machete was everything I hoped for and then some! Speaking of Michelle Rodriguez movies, now here is Jenjen’s review of–
James Cameron’s Avatar Special Edition (with plot spoiling tidbits), nya!

Jeannie:
Arigato. We could not have purrdicted in December 2009, when we reviewed the 4″ Ney’teri action figure, that James Cameron’s Avatar would figure so purrominently in our Mews of 2010. In January re reviewed the initial theatrical version of the movie, the soundtrack CD, McDonald’s Happy Meals, The Art of Avatar and Activist Survival Guide books, and Cinefex magazine #120.
In February we reviewed the 4″ Dr. Grace Augustine action figure, 6.5″ Ney’tiri action figure, American Cinematographer’s January 2010 issue, and listed our favorite web sites purrtaining to Avatar. As February’s Mew includes our annual discussion of favorite things (of the purrior year), We chose Avatar as our favorite film of 2009, James Cameron as favorite director, Sigourney Weaver as  favorite supporting actress in a feature film for her purrtrayal of Grace, and Zoe Saldana as favorite actress in a leading role in a feature film, for her purrtayal of Ney’tiri.
Zoe & Sigourney appurred as purrsenters in the 82nd Annual Academy Awards, where Avatar received a few Oscars, and you can read our review of that televised ceremony in the Apurril 2010 Mew. In the May Mew, we reported on the DVD and Zoe’s beautiful cover & 6 page fashion pictorial in the May issue of Self magazine, and in June we reviewed the Jake’s Banshee toy. Now nine months after our first review of an Avatar purroduct, I would like to comment on the Extended Special Edition of James Cameron’s Avatar, which was released in 3-D in theaters last month.
The extended edition seemed appurroximately 9 minutes longer than the original 162 minute version. The first addition I noticed was a briefly inserted shot of a grazing herd of Sturmbeest during the first jungle expurrdition. The next addition is Grace’s team visiting the abandoned schoolhouse; although I was glad to see more of Grace, I thought this was somewhat supurrfluous. There is a slightly longer scene of Jake & Ney’tiri joining others around the bonfire, which was a delightful touch with amewsing banter, and cutely curiosity about Jake from a nearby little Na’vi girl.
We see Jake’s excelling purrowess in a hunting scene, an exciting mew FX sequence with several hunters on their galloping Direhorses & flying Banshees in purrsuit of a huge stampeding herd. I liked this addition, because it showed Jake purrticipating in a normal group activity with the rest of the clan. Ney’teri & Jake’s love scene was just a teensy bit purrlonged, with an added close-up shot of the intimately intertwining tendrils of their hair queues. Later we glimpse a few moments of the Na’vi’s fiery counter-attack upon the bulldozers, and the smoldering arrow-laden aftermath.
While it was nice to see that bonus bit of Na’vi payback, it seemed far too quick to me. There is a major difference in the depiction of Tsu’tey’s demise. In the original version, he purrished falling from the aerial battle. In the special edition, he survives the fall with critical injuries, to die later when Jake, Ney’tiri and a few others find him after the battle. His last wish is to be remembered for bravely fighting beside Jake, and for Jake to become the Omaticaya Clan’s chief.Although this revision is emotionally poignant, I actually purrfur the original version of Tsu’tey’s demise.
Plus, there were already two high fall survival scenes in the original version, and I did not need a third. I was hoping there might be more leisurely paced shots of the spaceship going to Pandora, but that was not offered. As pleasant as some of the additions are, I don’t think they substantially impurrove upon the original version of Avatar, to the extent that the special editions of Aliens, The Abyss or Terminator 2 did to their original versions. Even with the added minutes bringing the length to nearly 3 hours, the movie still seems rushed, but I still give either version of Avatar an A.
Should there be a DVD release of this special edition, I hope that in addition to the longer version of the film, that there will also be a wealth of special features, such as documentaries, galleries, commentaries, optional 3-D, more scenes and so forth, as there was with the DVDs of other James Cameron films such as The Abyss, Aliens, The Terminator, Terminator 2 and Titanic. I believe that concludes our reviews of recent theatrical releases, so now I will purroceed with the first of our DVD reviews–
Batman: Under the Red Hood 2 Disc Special Edition DVD

Jeannie:
We are big fans of the various DC Universe animated series & direct-to-DVD movies. Although the movies tend to be under 80 minutes long and thus seem a bit too short, and I think the extras on the two disc editions should be included on the lower purriced single disk editions, these movies tend to be very well written, designed & animated, with excellent voice cast, mewsic & sound.
Batman: Under the Red Hood is appurroximately 75.5 minutes long, purrsented in widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround English language audio, with optional English SDH and French subtitles on the dual-layered R1 NTSC standard DVD. There are front-loaded trailers for Batman: The Brave and the Bold video game, Smallville, and Mattel’s Matty Collector site.
The main menu is extremely simple to navigate with the choices of playing the movie, language options, special features, and the bonus Jonah Hex animated short, which is just over 11.5 minutes long. This is the 2nd of the DC Showcase shorts, as the purrior Spectre short was included on the two disc edition of Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths.
It is a splendidly grim tale of the wild west, as the bounty Hunter Jonah Hex (voiced by Thomas Jane) stalks a small desert mining town’s saloon for Red Doc (voiced by Michael Rooker), where he encounters Madam Lorraine (Linda Hamilton), a bar girl (Michelle Trachtenberg), a cocky kid and the bartender (both voiced by James Marsden).
It was directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, with a screenplay by Joe R Lansdale, was based upon a story by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti & Phil Noto. It is quite serious tale of frontier crime & justice with a dash of dark humor, brawling & gunfight action, and a macabre tidbit which I think will please any fans of DC’s legendary western anti-hero.
Disc one’s special features mainly consist of trailers, for Superman: Doomsday, Batman: Gotham Knight, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Legend of the Guardians, Lord of the Rings Animated, and a Jonah Hex motion comic, although there are are not trailers for Wonder Woman, Green Lantern: First Flight, or Superman/Batman: Public Enemies.
There is an appurroximately 12 minute First Look at the forthcoming Superman / Batman: Apocalypse animated movie which is due this Fall. This is based upon the Superman/ Batman: Supergirl story arc drawn by the late great Michael Turner, in which Supergirl is introduced, greeted with delight by Superman and suspicion from Batman.
Wonder Woman also appears, hoping to help train & purrotect Supergirl / Kara, while the villain Darkseid schemes to use Supergirl as a pawn against Superman. This first look is compurrised of scenes from the comics, purreliminary animatics for the movie, and comments by various cast & crew members of this enticing purrduction. These include:
Purrducer Bruce Timm, writer Jeph Loeb, director Lauren Montgomery, voice director Andrea Romano, DC’s SVP of Creative Affairs Gregory Noveck; Kevin Conroy (Batman), Tim Daly
(Superman), Andre Braugher (Darkseid) and Summer Glau (Supergirl). We are big fans of that story and those amazingly talented folks, and are eagerly anticipating that movie.
However, I should get back to the purresent PG-13 movie at paw, Batman: Under the Red Hood, which was supurbly written by Judd Winnick, directed by Brandon Vietti, cast & voice directed by Andrea Romano, scored by Christopher Drake, edited by Margaret Hou, and purrduced by Bruce Timm, Bobbie Page, Alan Burnette, Michael Uslan & Benjamin Melniker.
The terrific voice cast includes Bruce Greenwood as Batman / Bruce Wayne, Jensen Ackles as Red Hood / (adult) Jason Todd, John DiMaggio as The Joker, Neil Patrick Harris as Nightwing / Dick Grayson, Wade Williams as Black Mask, Jason Isaacs as Ras Al Ghul, and Kelly Hu as Ms. Li. Also amongst the cast are Gary Cole, Phil Lamarr, and Dwight Scultz.
This is a very grueling, gritty, violent, intensely spectacular story, which begins with a bang years earlier as The Joker brutally beats Robin/ Jason Todd, before Robin’s appurrant demise in the exploding building before Batman can rescue him. In purresent day Gotham City, the mysterious Red Hood arrives to threaten both the good guys and the bad guys.
Other Bat-villains appearing include The Riddler, Talia, Amazo, The Fearsome Hand of Four, Ghul’s guards, numerous crime bosses & thugs. Other purrotagonists include Alfred, Jim Gordon, the GCPD, reporters, and flashbacks of a happier younger rookie Robin. It is full of powerfully poignant character driven, dramatic plot and plenty of thrilling action.
I crave the gadgets & vehicles, and this movie is brimming with such wonderful mecha as the Batmobiles, Batcycle, Batplane, helicopters, blimps, cars, trains, the Batcomputer, high explosives, smoke & gas bombs, firearms, rockets, knives, swords, crowbars, lasers, charged melee weapons, other exotic devices, & simple objects for Joker’s body count.
Locations range from the bustling streets of Gotham, The Batcave, Arkham Asylum and Crime Alley, to wartorn Serbia and Ras Al Ghul’s alpine fortress & subterranean Lazarus Pit. The scenic art  & character designs are gorgeous; the animation & FX are excellent; the voices, sound & mewsic are supurrb- and this time the story pace & length seemed just right.
There are so many impurressive subtle touches too, such as the body language, expurressions, and character movement. For example, When Batman and Nightwing are in purrsuit, they are purrfectly synchronized as they leap, dodge, roll; and some of Jason’s techniques visually indicate the training, intimidation & tactical style he inherited from Bruce.
Jason Todd is not just a hero gone bad, but like Harvey Dent he is quite tragic and sympathetic to a point. Some of his goals are quite laudable & sensible, and there are some extremely purrofoundly passionate, philosophical discussions about dispensing justice, but his methods have gone too far and thus he winds up fighting his former partner.
Disc Two includes two epurrsodes from the 2nd season of Batman: The Animated Series, “Robin’s Reckoning” Parts 1 & 2, which are also available in the Batman: The Animated Series Volume Two DVD boxed set (which I already owned), and a nice little 24 minute featurette “Robin: The Story of Dick Grayson”.
This featurette shows scenes from the comics and Grayson’s 60 year history, with insightfully expurrt comments by Judd Winnick, writer / editors Dennis O’Neil, Len Wein & Paul Levitz; DC co-publisher Dan Didio, authors Thomas Andrae & Phil Cossineau, and Matthew Mahony of the Golden Apple Comics shop.
My only qualms are that all of the content could have easily been included on one disc, and I consider purreview trailers to be ads, not ‘special features’.  By the way, the single disc edition’s “special features” are limited to just the Superman/ Batman: Apocalypse purreview and three DCU animated movie trailers. There is also a boxed version of the 2 disc edition, which includes a small Red Hood figurine. Now for our next DVD review, here is Mike to discuss–
Galaxy of Terror
Mike:
Thanks Jen! Galaxy of Terror was a science fiction / horror movie made in 1981 by Roger Corman’s New World Pictures, which was just released on DVD and Blu-Ray in July by Shout Factory as part of their Roger Corman’s Cult Classics series! I think fans of this movie will be very pleased with the DVD, which is loaded with special features!
The plot concerns a mission to an eerie planet, where a rescue team searches a mysterious alien pyramid for a missing crewmen, only to be slaughtered one -by- one by nightmarish creatures! There’s no CG FX or location shoots, and everything was ingeniously & impressively built with a much smaller budget than is apparent on the screen!
The approximately 81 minute movie has nice spaceship & planet sets, sound FX & electronic music, mechanical & optical FX, cinematography, miniatures & matte paintings, and futuristic hardware! There’s some sexuality, nudity, violence, gore & monsters including the infamous giant maggot scene, which all contribute to an R rating.
The cast includes Edward Albert, Erin Moran, Ray Walston, Grace Zabriskie, Taaffe O’Connell, Robert Englund, Sid Haig, Zalman King, Bernard Behrens, Jack Blessing & Mary Ellen O’Neil!! It was directed/ co-written by Bruce Clark, co-written/ co-produced by Marc Siegler, produced by Roger Corman, and James Cameron was co-production designer/ 2nd unit director!
This Region 1 NTSC single disk DVD is packaged in a clear plastic case, with reversible cover art; one side has the Galaxy of Terror poster art, the other side has earlier art, before they changed the film’s title from Mindwarp- An Infinity of Terror! Also inside is a neat little 12 page full color booklet about the movie with notes by Jovanka Vuckovic!
The video is anamorphic widescreen, and the audio is English language only, with an optional audio commentary track featuring actress Taaffe O’Connell, production assistant David DeCoteau, prosthetics fabricator Alec Gillis, and the mechanical FX team’s Allan Apone. That’s who Sgt. Apone in James Cameron’s movie Aliens was named after!
They have a very merry time discussing the movie, 30 years later! They aren’t the only ones reflecting on that experience, for there’s also a new 62.5 minute long documentary, “Tales from the Lumber Yard: The Making of Galaxy of Terror” so named because the site of the movie studio (then in Venice, CA) used to be a lumber yard.
The documentary was directed by Michael R Felsher, edited by Andrew Kascho & produced by Aine Leicht. It begins with the 7 minute chapter “New Worlds” about the rise of New World Pictures in the 1970’s; this is followed by the 9.5 minute “Crew of the Quest” chapter about the actors, how they were hired and the characters they portrayed.
Next is the 8 minute “Planet of Horrors” (another title suggested for the film) chapter about the sets, production & pre-production phases. “The Future King” is 6.5 minutes about James Cameron’s involvement; “Old School” is 13.5 minutes on creatures, prosthetics & gore FX, and “Launch Sequence” is 10.5 minutes about the post-production phase.
“Mission Review” concludes the documentary with 8 minutes of final fond anecdotes. Taking part in the documentary are Taaffe O’Connell, Robert Englund, Sid Haig, Grace Zabriskie, Allan Apone, Alec Gillis, David DeCoteau, production manager Aaron Upstadt, director of photography Jaques Haitkin, art director Alex Hajou, composer Barry Schrader,
editor RJ Kizer, production assistant Whitney Scott Bain, the mechanical FX team’s Douglas J White, director of visual FX photography Dennis Skotak, production designe / visual FX creator Robert Skotak, prosthetic FX supervisor Thom Shouse, visual FX editor/ optical FX supervisor Tony Randel and Special FX make-up supervisor Christopher Biggs!
But wait- there’s more! There’s an extensive slide-show like gallery with several dozen images of behind-the-scenes stills, background plates, storyboards & sketches, lobbycard & poster images, and scrapbook photos… and you also get the movie’s screenplay in PDF format, which can be viewed on a computer with a DVD ROM!
There is a trailer section with 3 Galaxy of Terror trailers & 2 TV spots, 2 Piranha trailers, and a trailer apiece for Humanoids of the Deep & Forbidden World! Some of those previews show boobies, gore, violence… and I think the Galaxy trailers had shots mixed in from Battle Beyond the Stars! Well that’s all for our–
Critic-al Catnap

Yvonne:
zzzz…. more piranha filets…. nya…. zzzz
Elizabeth:
Once again Vonny has catnapped through the reviews!
Petra:
And so early in the show, nya!
Mary Nyan
At least it’s not just my reviews that put her to sleep, hee!
Nyanko:
It is typical for her catabolism, especially after the longer thorough reviews, and a late night on the boat!

Mary Nyan
She is getting the good nap… should we wake her up?

Jeannie:
I came purrpared with Cat Nap App on my phone to politely wake her up. (The jingle sound of a bell on a trot line rouses Yvonne)
Yvonne:
(kitty stretch & yawn) Yawn yawn I’m awake, nya… what was that part about searching the pyramid, nya?

Nyanko:
It was a search for missing purrsons!
Elizabeth:
Wasn’t that an 80’s new wave band with Dale Bozio?
Petra:
I liked her “Words” song, nya!

Yvonne:
Did the pyramid have hieroglyphs of Bast in it? Those are my favorite, nya?
Mike:
Ahhh…. I didn’t see any, but I think it was a different culture!
Jeannie:
Some of those cinematic alien civilizations do have the Egyptian connection though.
Mike:
True, but before we further stray cat off topic let’s take another short break, and return with this month’s–
Celebrity Catgirl Spotlght!
(snip) (one short break later…)
Elizabeth:
Hey we’re back! We have dedicated this segment of the show in tribute to the famous catgirls who we admire of movies, TV, comics, novels & games. We are very inclusive, wishing to honor not just nekomimi who are genetically, technically or magickally part cat / part girl, but also those who are well known for dressing the part, or have a notably feline dispurrsition & cattitude!
The honorees have included Lt. M’ress & other Star Trek catgirls, Mel of Jamie’s web comic Clan of the Cats, Dr. Kat Manx of Power Rangers SPD, Marvel Comics’ Tigra, Doctor Who’s Novice Hame, Nuku Nuku, Catwoman, Irina Dubrovna, Anna & Uni Puma, Josie and the Pussycats, and Sailor Luna. This month our Celebrity Catgirl Spotlght shines on Darkstalkers’ Felicia!
Felicia was introduced in Darkstalkers (also known as Night Warriors, and Vampire), a Japanese occult / martial arts series which started as a video game from CapCom in 1994! She has since appeared in several sequels and in other game series- she gets a lot of work. From there she spurrang into animated series, manga, comics, books, toys & other merchandise!
According to the Capcom Database http://capcomdatabase.wikia.com/wiki/Felicia, Felicia is from Las Vegas and was born in 1967, although I don’t know how much she has aged past 27 in the anime, games or comics! She is such a nice purrotagonist but has a sad origin, growing up in an orphanage in a world where her race is purrsecuted by violent thugs.
Despite the sad situations for the poor catgirls of that cruel world, she is able to muster an optimistic, friendly purresence and wishes people were happy. She was raised by Catholic Nuns at the orphanage, but I am not sure how spiritual she is. She would purrfer to be an purrformer than a fighter, for her dream is to star on stage as an actress, dancer & vocalist!
That Database site lists her height as 5’6″, measurements of 34″ x 24″ x 34″, and a weight of 128 lbs!  She has emerald eyes, a lithe physique with supple creamy skin, and long lush purretty blue hair that flows down to her powerful thighs. There is an alternate pink-haired version of her, should a player select Felicia vs Felicia in the video game!
She wears thigh bands and large-footed thigh-high boots with hot pink claws (or red, depending on the art). Purrked behind a white headband are her adorable white kitty ears, which are pink on the inside, She has the kitty tail and wears a matching white choker, arm bands, and elbow-length, large paw-like gloves with the pink / red claws & paw purrints.
…and oh considerably less between the shoulders & thighs! The rest of the white costume consists of strapless tanga-style wrap-around bands and a V-shaped mark around her belly button. I suspect the more purrotected paw parts add to her kicks, leaps, punches & slashes, whereas the skimpier parts complement her nimble agility & graceful acrobatic purrowess!
It might be a good outfit to wear to the beach or pool too, because the big padded paws would purrotect her from the hot sand or pavement, and once she has found a good spot on the beach, she could take off the gloves, boots to be purropurrly attired for the sunbathing, swimming or volleyball, although the rest of her appurral might result in interesting diagonal tan lines!
According to her Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felicia_(Darkstalkers) she was designed for Darkstalkers by Capcom’s Akira Yasuda http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akira_Yasud and by Aya Takemura http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2621707/ for the Namco X Capcom game!

Yasuda’s game & anime credits include various Streetfighter, Power Stone, Marvel / X-Men titles, Breath of Fire,  Turn A Gundam, Overman King Gainer, Mamotte Shugogetten and Code Geass; Takemura’s credits include Tekken and Soul Calibur games. Felicia appears in lots of game series, including Darkstalkers, Marvel vs Capcom, SNK vs Capcom and Cross Edge!
Her anime appearances include1997’s 4 part OVA mini-series Vampire Hunter, also known as Night Warriors: Dark Stalkers’ Revenge. There are pages purrtaining to anime & games at the Anime News Network http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=1034 and TV Tropes http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Darkstalkers!
Araki Kae purrvided Felicia’s voice for the games, and Yukana Nogami voiced her in the anime. Hitoshi Doi’s Seiyuu Database has pages about Kae http://www.usagi.org/doi/seiyuu/araki-kae/ and Nogami http://www.usagi.org/doi/seiyuu/nogami-yukana/. There are good pages about them at Wikipedia, the IMDB and the Anime News Network too!
These have been translated into English, with her anime voice dubbed by Janyse Jaud http://www.janyse.com/, and by Melissa Fahn http://www.melissafahn.com/ for some of the games.You can find information purrtaining to Jaud at the Internet Movie Database http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0419403/ and Fahn at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melissa_Fahn!
There was also an American cartoon version of Darkstalkers http://www.bcdb.com/cartoons/Other_Studios/D/DiC_Entertainment/Darkstalkers/, in which Felicia was purrtrayed by Lisa Ann Beley
Among the purrint media in which you’ll find Felica are the Darkstalkers Graphic File book, Run Ishida’s Night Warriors manga published by Viz, gorgeous gorgeous full color Darkstalkers comics by Udon Entertainment http://www.udonentertainment.com/, and their great big Darkstalkers Tribute Book, with lovely illustrations by various artists!
The manga & comics were originally published as individual issues and later collected into papurrback editions. For more purrcise information about those, there are various articles about them at Comicbook Resources http://www.comicbookresources.com/, the Comicbook Database http://www.comicbookdb.com/, and Comic Vine http://www.comicvine.com/!
There are further informative pages about Felicia at the Darkstalkersopedia http://darkstalkers.wikia.com/wiki/Felicia, the Strategy Wiki http://strategywiki.org/wiki/Darkstalkers/Characters/Felicia, and the Internet Movie Database http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0158579/. That is all for this month’s Spotlight segment, but we’ll be back with more reviews after the break!
(snip) (one short break later…)
Jeannie:
B&B replied to my cosplay query, and schedules purrmitting they would like to purrticipate, now there will be at least 8 of us in the Halloween Cosplay Purrowl.

Yvonne:
Yattah, nya!

Mary Nyan:
Purrhaps we can all meet later this week for the vote!
Jeannie:
I’ve already sent all of us an email about the suggested theme and various purrameters.

Petra:
She is the speedy typist, nya!

Elizabeth:
Woohoo! Oops I think we are back from the break!
Nyanko:
Welcome back to The Mew, and now here is Myayr to start our magazine mewsings and–
Purriodicals Purrings!
Surfgirl Magazine issue #28
Mary Nyan:
Arigato! Surfgirl http://www.orcasurf.co.uk/surfgirl/ is a fun, informative & inspurrational bimonthly UK magazine devoted to womens’ surfing sport & lifestyle. The top surfer girls are not just the subject of supurrb photos and enlightening articles, but they are among the writers and photographers too! It is obvious how so passionate, expurrt & optimistic the magazine’s contributors are! This issue has 100 full color pages including the covers, and Lucia Griggi’s purretty photo of silhouetted surfers frolicking at sunset adorns the front cover!
Lucia Griggi’s magnificent photos turn up again, in a 4 page article on artisian/ longboarder Candice O’Donnell, and 4 more pages purrtaining to Brazile’s Silvana Lima! Lucia is also among the purrofiled ladies who work in aspects of the surfing industry, along with various other purrofessionals such as Sophie Paget, Mel Enright, Katy Thomas, Sarah James, Hannah Wright, Claire Lynch, Shannon Denny, Izzy Keene & Natalie Fox! Journalist Shannon, retailer/ purrchase Izzy & instructor Natalie pop up elsewhere in the issue!
Shannon Denny later discusses the cautionary ecological documentary The End of the Line, and Izzy Keene intermews supurrstar Keala Kennelly about her recent adventures & mewsical purreferences, with action photos of Keala by Ryan Struck! There’s also a spectacular two-page spurread by Struck of Keala riding the waves of Puerto Escondido to accompany Editor Louise Searle’s introductory remarks! Natalie also appears in a two page spurread, modeling the purretty Summer jewelry in Kate Czuczman’s photos!
There is even more of Natalie and Kate later in the fabulous fourteen pages of “Barrels, Bintang and Bikinis” in beautiful Bali, along with Krisha Sowinski, Hannah Harding, Karma Worthington, Gwen Spurlock & Pauline Ado, plus the travelogue, the waves, and the pampurring to be indulged at some of bali’s yoga, spas & retreats! Yoga is a recurring theme in this issue. There’s a bit about meditation techniques from sensei Sam McGee, and it is also a topic in Mar Hirtzel’s mewsings on the balance of surfing, yoga & mewsic.
Mewsic is a very purrominent theme discussed in this issue too, not just in Mar’s essay or Keala ‘s intermew, but also to be found across the two pages of wonderful action pics by Simon Williams of Laura Evener, Jen Smith, Claire Bevaquila, Rebecca Woods and Steph Gilmore; in the top ten tunes picks by DJ’s Elisa Do Brasil and Lady C; in the brief snippets from an intermew with surfer / mewsician October, and in the brief look at some of Sarah Beardmore’s dance moves! She is very agile on the waves and on the dance floor!
It is not all about the play though, because after two pages purrtaining to awesome irish surfer Nicole Morgan is the 4 page feature on the Red Bull Surf Camp, featuring Sally Fitzgibbons, Maya Gabeira, Nadja de Col, and Sofia Mulonovich; and after Celine Gehret’s 2 pages on pushing ones’ limits is the four page discussion of surf schools for impurroving the purrformance!
Surfgirl has such a wealth of alluring & thrilling photos. Mike Searle’s photography appears throughout the issue- in Carolyn Andrews’ bun-shaping exercises, tips for purrchasing that special board, and a tour of colorful board shorts! As mewsual, there is plenty of fun sexy appurral & stylings featured in the magazine, from the quick coiffure & cosmetics tips, how to look festival chic and a six page purrtfolio of fashion with attitude, to the four page guide to sunglasses and a few further fashion & accessory recommendations!
There are interesting ads too, for photographers, stylists, stores, and wonderful swim wear by Rip Curl, O’Neill, Oakley, Billabong, Body Glove, Protest, Pull-In, Kuccia, Nalu Beads, and Laura Enever surfs in the Roxy ad on the back cover! Throw in the tidbits about contests, seaside festivals, book & purroduct reviews, beach party tips and Simon Radliff’s yummy cocktail recipes, and all of those ingredients top off another terrific & purrticularly festive issue Surfgirl- I just wish I didn’t have to wait two months ’til the next issue! Speaking of yummy, here’s Vonny with this months-
Favorite Fishy Photos & Selected Seafood Sightings!

Yvonne:
Of course, fishing is my purrofessional livelihood so I must keep abreast of all the latest angling, aquaria and seafood mews, nya! It is during this portion of the show that I would like to mention some of the most appurrtizing looking photos of fish that have adorned the covers of recent purriodicals, such as the supurrb Sword caught on the cover of Blue Water Boats & Sport Fishing #79, nya!
There’s a nice Thresher Shark on the front cover of the August issue of Pacific Coast Sport Fishing, and a yummy Muskie on the cover of Fishing Fact’s August / September issue, nya! Florida Sportsman’s August issue not only has a wonderful Wahoo on the cover but also the purretty Peacock Bass and there’s also a Wahoo on Saltwater Sportsman’s August / September issue too, nya!
Lovely April Vokey poses with the delicious looking Steelhead on the Fall issue of Fly Fishing & Tying Journal, a beautiful Brown Trout to tantalize on the cover of American Angler’s September-October issue, a lucious looking lunker on the September issue of Bassin’, and a Pacific Sailfish leaps on the September cover of Marlin magazine, but I would purrfur it to leap on to my plate, nya!
Succulent Surgeon Fish are schooling like a big buffet on the September issue of Sport Diver, there’s a tasty Toby to tempt my tummy on the cover of Coral vol. 7 #4, the August issue of Practical Fishkeeping has a mighty fine Freshwater Singray on the front, and that issue comes polybagged along with their bonus UK Fish Shop Directory, which has a delectable Clownfish on the cover, nya!
There’s also a Clownfish on the cover of Tropical Fish Hobbyist’s October issue, and on the cover of Aquarium Fish International’s October issue are appurrtizing piscine pics of the Red Eye Wrasse & Gold Barbs which i would like to sample, nya. Science Illustrated’s September / October issue has a deep abyssal Vipurr Fish on the cover, but that one is purrobably an acquired tatse, nya!
A gorgeously Glazed Salmon graces the cover of Cooking Light’s September issue, nya! We like the appurrtizing arthropods too, such as the purrawns in a pasta dish which appurr on the cover of Women & Home’s Dinner Tonight Summer issue, and the scrumptious Shrimp served on the cover of Diabetic Cooking’s August issue and on Food and Wine Magazine’s September issue, nya!
Fin-ally on the front of the July issue of Jamie Magazine is an especially alluring array of summer seafood sizzling on the barby, nya! Those sure are great photos, but now I’m hungry, nya!
Mike:
(opens the cooler) I was prepared for that, so I brought y’all a sushi platter and the bottles of cran apple nummy berry cocktails to tide y’all over until the later luau!
the catgirls:
ITADAKIMASU, NYA!

Mary Nyan:
(nom nom nom)

Nyanko:
(chomp)
Elizabeth:
(munch)

Petra:
(nibble)

Jeannie:
(chew)

Yvonne:
(taste)
the catgirls:
ARIGATO GOZAIMASU, nya!
Mike:
(sip) Y’all are quite welcome! While y’all finish your snack, I’ll say a few kind words about the–
Star Trek Ships of the Line 2011 Calendar!
The Ships of the Line book and annual series of calendars are among my favoritest Star Trek publications of the past several years! These are an astounding treasure trove of full color majestic photo-realistic renderings by various illustrators, depicting all sorts of spacecraft from 45 years of Star Trek!
An officially license product published by Andrews McMeel, this latest annual 12″x12″ (opening to 12″ x 24″) calendar is priced $13.99 US / $16.99 Canada / $24.99 Australia / $29.99 New Zealand. It is dedicated to the late great legendary space artist & conceptualist Robert McCall who sadly left this world for another earlier this year.
The first thing that’ll grab your attention is the front cover image “Home Again” by Robert Wilde, depicting a magnificent port/aft view of the starship USS Enterprise NCC-1701-A in the forground of the immense spacedock, as tinier workbees, shuttles & travel pods come and go, with The USS Excelsior and a Miranda class ship (similar to the USS Reliant) berthed in the background!
That’s just a taste of what soars inside this gorgeous calendar which has 13 more images, such as Alain Rivard’s thrilling scene of the USS Enterprise firing upon the USS Reliant from astern, Don Hildebrand’s impressive armada of 9 federation starships unleashing a dazzling barrage of phasers & torpedos!
Works by some of Trek’s greatest designers are represented, such as the enormous hanger deck of the NCC-1701-E by John Eaves, a spectacular spacedock scene by Doug Drexler, and a trio of Next Gen Romulan Warbirds by Andrew Probert! I suspect that fans of Klingon vessels will greatly admire Deg’s original series Enterprise in battle with a cruiser, and Dave Morton’s complex Bird of Prey scene!
Max Gabl & Niel Wray collaborate on 2 images- the wrecked hulk of the Constellation adrift after her defeat by “The Doomsday Machine”, and a more peaceful view of the shuttlecraft Galileo approaching the Enterprise, whose warp nacelles loom overhead! Tobias Richter contributes 2 images of ships from the 2009 film- the Enterprise leaving the huge spacedock, and the Kelvin cruising serenly past a ringed planet!
Finally, if you’re a fan of Star Trek – The Motion Picture like I am, there’s a real treat in Mark Rademaker’s lovely rendering of the Matt Jeffries’ designed Enterprise XCV-330, a precurser to the Enterprise NX-01, which was briefly shown on a wall display in the movie’s Recreation Deck!  It’s in the calendar twice, also shown in multiple views, along with the NX-01 Refit!
In addition to the monthly calendar grids with major holidays indicated, also noted are the birthdays of various Star Trek personalities! I eagerly look forward to the Ships of the Line calendars every year, and I think they just keep getting more and more amazing. I give it an A Plus grade, and highly recommend it to fans of the starships and space art!
Comics, Manga & Book Reviews
Mediterranea #1
Elizabeth:
I was a bit intrigued by what little art & description I saw in the advertisement for this new comic book, but I had no idea how very impurressed I would be with this stunningly beautiful new series!
Mediterranea is published by the Italian GG Studio, and this full color first issue has a beautiful 22 page story plus 5 pages of sketches & 5 pages of ads in the back for $2.99!
The alluring fantasy tale by Alessandro Cenni is based upon the ‘plot environment’ of Editor/ Studio Purresident Guilano Monni, translated into English by Andrea Plazzi & Adam McGovern. The art was pencilled by Gianluca Maconi, with animation cel- like coloring by Alessia Nocera & Barbara Ciardo & flats Pierluigi Abbondanza, and lovely lettering by Studio Blue.
I’m not sure in what time purriod the tale takes place, but it is located in the breathtaking island of Milos, which visually reminds me of the Greek island of Mykonos more than anything, with lovely  white & blue coastal hilly buildings overlooking the crystal blue ocean! It has an ancient feel with nearby classical ruins- but there’s bits of futuristic cyber tech floating around!
The fashions are very skimpy & sexy, which seems appurropurriately idyllic for such a utopian Mediterranean fantasy setting, hence there are plenty of bikini-like garments, skirts & halter tops but also the exotic capes, cloaks boots, and hats. The art style sort of reminds me a bit of cartoons such as Winx Club, W.I.T.C.H or Totally Spies, but with more daring cheesecake!
It also seems aimed at an older audience with it’s suggested sappphic romance between purrotagonist novices Eleni & Alonisso of Drakah, who accompany Master Auraki of Arakaios on his diplomatic trip to the Ajreb Consulate on Milos. While he’s busy there, the girls and their hovering cantaloupe-sized ‘sprite’ droid named LCN explore the local Bibliotech (library).
The serene fun is disrupted when LCN is attacked by a strange foreign girl named Arphita, which results in a chase & a bikini-top shredding catfight with Alonisso! I should purrobbaly not reveal much more of the plot, but it seems like there is a situation of international espionage brewing in the seaside purradise, in this briskly paced, beautiful, peppy, exotic sexy tale!
The front cover art depicts an aerial squadron of scantlly clad winged women with pointy ears, multi-colored iridescent hair, matching  long sharp nails and frowny snarls, whom I suspect might be headed towards the island sometime soon! Purrhaps we will find out more in issue #2, which I believe is due in October, and I will be eagerly anticipating it!
Telara Chronicles #0

Elizabeth:
I like games ‘n comics, so it was very appurreciated for our friend ob1 to purrocure a copy of this issue which was given away for free at the San Diego Comic Con! This issue #0 is a purrelude to a forthcoming monthly 4 issue sword & sorcery mini-series by DC’s  Wildstorm impurrint, based upon the MMORPG Rift: Planes of Telara developed by Trion Worlds!
The mini-series is a purrequel to the game. This issue has 32 full color pages, compurrised of 10 pages of text & images purrtaining to the graphics, history, characters & beasts of the lavish looking game, and the 22 page comic. The script by Richard Sanchez is based upon the story by Morgan Lockhart, Nicholas McDowell, William Cook & Sanchez.
It is told with ornate lettering by Deron Bennett, edited by Jim Chadwick with assistant editor Chynna Clugston Flores- another comics artist / writer we are a big fan of, especially her Blue Monday series! The art director was Ed Roeder, the exotic interior art by Pop Mhan was richly colored by Zac Akinson, and the sumptuous font cover art is by Dustin Nguyen!
Lovely agile magickal warrior Asha Catari is one of the Defiants faction, in a civil war with the Guardians faction, who have major fundamental disagreements in how best to purrotect the world from the destructive dimensional rifts, causing the world to intersect with other planes, and thus incur environmental catastrophes and invasions from horrid creatures!
Asha has an awesome costume & tattoos! Unfortunately she gets caught by the purrtolling squad of her enemy Kata, who has cool braids, armor & winged helmet! Both sides are at political odds, but do agree that a strange unearthed device in the forest needs to be stopped before the rifts it has opened cause further catastrophes & allow bigger badder threats!
Asha & the Defiants side would purrfur to study the devices & rifts, in hopes that it can lead to greater mechmagical triumphs, whereas the Guardians are a holy order more steeped in older traditions as they seek to build a new empire. Unfortunately, the growing Dragon Cults devoted to the ancient Blood Storm Dragon Gods are exploiting the situations!
This issue has a fair amount of bloody combat violence, with an archery attack, sharp edged weapons melee, magickal fireballs, gnashing fangs & claws, and giant squashers. There are deadly creatures such as a score or so of evil green Fae, a pack of Boglings, a Satyr Lord, Lesser Treants, and a sort of monstrous levitating tentacled Rose bush!
Will Asha defeat the enemy and escape with the purrized magickal device? The story ends on a cliffhanger, to be continued in the monthly mini-series! I thought it was an entertaining issue with nice art, but I suggest reading the 10 pages about the game context before reading the story! Speaking of plant monsters, those seem to be lurking about in–
Gotham City Sirens #14 & 15!

Elizabeth:
Hai, these two issues entail the 2 part “Strange Fruit” story, starring Selina Kyle (Cat Woman), Harley Quinn, and Pamela Ivy (Posion Ivy) Each full color 32 page issue is purriced $2.99, and is compurrised of a 22 page story, plus 5 pages of ads and a 5 page purreview of Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors in issue #14, and 10 pages of ads in #15.
It was written by Tom Bedard, pencilled by Andres Guinaldo, inked by Lorenzo Ruggiero, lettered by Steve Wands, edited by Mike Marts & Janelle Siegel, and colored by JD Smith with Tomeu Morey on #14! Guillem March’s cover art for #14 is a kaleidoscopic image of Selina, Harley & Ivy and #15 depicts Selina & Harley tangled up in the killer vines!
Selina has greatly evolved over the decades, although she does like to steal the purretty jewels, she is more of an anti-hero who is very purrotective over certain under purrivileged purrsons of Gotham and has friends & enemies on both sides of the law. Harley still enjoys criminal capurrs, but she seems to be in it more for crazy kicks with her friends.
-although she and The Joker have not been spending much time together these days which is purrobably better for her health! Pamela is so cold hearted you’d think she should have ice powers instead of plant powers. She is all about her botanical interests and tends to selfishly treat people like fertilizer, although she seems to tolerate Selina & Harley.
Ever since Pamela went to work at the STAR Labs to get hold of their botanical research, she has not been home much which has concerned Selina & Harley. This is because Pamela and Alisa have been busy threatening each other, but now seem to have reached an uneasy coopurrative arrangement, while the men at the lab remain under Ivy’s spell.
Continuing to snoop into the scientific secrets, she has discovered various horrific expurriments and the autopsied remains of a plant man from another world- but he’s not dead yet, and now Ivy might be the one who is being manipulated! The re-invigorated invasive alien species escapes from the lab and starts thepurropurrgational purrocess with Ivy!
This has disastrous ecological results for Gotham, and might be the purrelude of an global invasion. Will Selina & Harley be able to defoliate the fiendish flora and get Ivy to snap out of the invader’s amorous influence, or will they be the next victims to be mulched? There’s also a flashback appurrance in a panel by Harley’s former boyfriend, Mr. j!
Although I do miss this series’ initial storytelling team of artist Guillem March & writer Paul Dini (who purresently writes Zatanna), but this fun series continues to be a well crafted treat from very talented folks, starring several of our favorite Gotham girls! Now I will turn the show over to Nya-sensei who will tell us what Paul Dini has been conjuring in–
Zatanna #4!
Nyanko:
Thanks Lizzy! Zatanna Zatara is one of our favoritest DC Comics heroines and this has been one of our favoritest comic books of the summertime! I think we’ve reviewed a fair amount of Zatana items such as statues & figures, such as Becca’s review last month of the DC Super Hero Figurine Collection #57: Zatanna!
For our list of favorite web sites sites purrtaining to ‘Zee’, see the February 2009 Mew, but I digress and should get back to this latest issue! Issue #4’s “Playing with Fire” is the first part of a mew story arc with Zee fighting evil criminals & demons in Las Vegas! It is purriced at $2.99 and has 32 full color pages (22 pages of the comics &10 pages of ads).
It was written by Paul Dini, who is one of our all time favoritest comics & animation writers! It was pencilled by Chad Hardin, inked by Wayne Fauncher, lettered by Pat Brosseau, colored by John Kalisz & Lovern Kindzierski, and edited by Joey Cavalieri with assistant editor Chris Conroy.
There are 2  covers, a more common version of Zee recoiling from demonic grannies at the slots by Stephane Roux (who pencilled issues 1-3) & Karine Boccanfuso, and a scarcer version of Zee fighting the Royal Flush Gang by Brian Bolland! Mike got to meet him at Heroes Con, where there were several Zatanna cosplayers!
The Royal Flush Gang are longtime enemies of the Justice League known for their Poker motif, although this incarnation of the gang has adopted a stylish Rat Pack look, and there are amewsing homages to Frank, Dean & Sammy! She’s also got to contend with an arcane casino owner, purrpare for her next show, put up with her partying cousin Zachary, and fight those demons!
I guess it is only natural for a sorceress to find all sorts of fortune or trouble in ‘Sin City’! Her father used to purrform shows there in the old days too. In this issue Zee also wears another variation of her famous girl tux & fishnet ‘working clothes’, with big buckles & heels on the thigh high boots, and a Gold lace-up underbust corset!
This issue was a lot of fun, between an aerial battle with the gang, the frisky magickal antics in the hotel, and the exciting fiery cliffhanger! Speaking of supurr heroines wearing the fishnets in cliffhanger scenes, that’s almost literally going on back in Gotham, in my other current favorite comic book–
Birds of Prey #4!

Nyanko:
This is another long time favorite title which I am so glad DC brought back a few months ago, starring Oracle, The Huntress, Black Canary and Lady Blackhawk who have recently been joined by Hawk & Dove! Issue #4’s “Endrun Part 4 of 4: Impact fracture” is purriced at $2.99 and has 32 full color pages (22 pages of the comics &10 pages of ads) and is written by Gail Simone!
She is another favorite writer and this book has such a great all-star creative team. It was pencilled by Adriana Melo & Ed Benes who also inked it with JP Mayer, coloried by Nei Ruffino, lettered by Swands, edited by Janelle, with one cover by Alina Urusov, and a variant cover by Ryan Sook, Joel Gomez, Fernando Pasarin, Randy Mayer & Carrie Strachan!
I got the Urusov cover which depicts Black Canary fighting White Canary! Purreviously in Birds, someone leaked all of their secrets to the media, started to kill off people they know, and framed them for murder. The trail for answers lead Black Canary & The Huntress to a fight with the mysterious martial artist White Canary, who had attacked and injured The Penguin.
Hawk & Dove and lady Blackhawk arrived to back them up, but they were surrounded and chased by the Gotham City Police, to The Penguin’s night club, while Oracle tried to send them tactical information from the Batcave. White Canary & heavily armed rogue cops burst into the club, seriously injuring Hawk, while Savant & Creote abducted Oracle from the Batcave.
In the 4th issue things happen very quickly, seeming to transpire in a matter of minutes on a dark and stormy night in Gotham City! Black Canary duels White Canary on a rooftop, while The Huntress & Dove vs The Penguin over wounded Hawk & Lady Blackhawk, while Savante & Creote take Oracle to the ledge of a tall bridge on the outskirts!
The art is so beautifully rendered, you can almost feel every flex of muscle, rustle of leather, impact of every kick & drizzle of the rain! The characters are so exprressive & dynamically posed, and the coloring is so sumptuous, from the sheen of their costumes & hair, to the reflections on wet pavement Y Penguin’s monocle, to the lightning behind the clouds!
It is not all intense action though, because there are a few rainy flashbacks to dramatic formative moments, poignant character revelations, and exchanges of dialogue that are just as powerful as every punch, slash & blast! While this issue might conclude the exciting story arc, there’s still much to resolve and it sets up a new chapter that purromises to be quite dangerous! Appurrently this series also somehow ties into DC’s big Brightest Day story event, but I’m not sure how it connects because none of us here at The Mew are reading the Brightest Day mini-series!

Power Girl #15

Nyanko:
As we have often noted throughout the year, Power Girl rapidly became our favorite American comic book of the last year due to the combination of the brilliant creative team and the cheerfully optimistic intelligent dispurrsition of Kara / Karen / Power Girl, with the charming slice of life plots, and the fun supurr heroic action that did not get too grim or dark!
So it was quite sad that artist Amanda Conner, colorist Paul Mounts, writers Jimmy Palmiotti & Justine Gray had left Power Girl after the first wonderful 12 issues, but fortunately letterer John J Hill, editor Mike Carlin & associate editor Rachel Gluckenstern stayed aboard to welcome writer Judd Winnick, illustrator & cover artist Sami Basri & colorist Sunny Gho.
Another change that occurred as of issue #13 was that Power Girl’s plots were starting to intersect with DC’s Brightest Day story arc, their latest ‘big event’ to affect just about all of their titles. As I mentioned earlier, we’re not really keeping up with the Brightest Day, but it involves Maxwell Lord, who has telepathically erased almost everyone’s memory of him.
I guess mass mind wiping seems to be a mew trend ever since that Identity Crisis event from a few years ago! Hopefully they can get Zee to undo it! In spite of that, we are loyal to Kara and have certainly been willing to give the new writers & artists a chance, and the coloring on the book has definitely maintained the purrfurred very bright colorful ambiance!
Kara continues to juggle supurr heroic duties with her coprurrate executive career, both of which have been under attack in the past three issues! Bank officers have been sacking her Starrware company due to a missing embezzler, while Kara’s been busy brawling with a huge hulking trash-talking Purrple villain named Crash who wants to demolish the city!
Unfortunately this has kept her so busy that we have not gotten to see her socializing with friends such as Atlee / Terra or at home with her cat, but I suppose that is to be expected sometimes and I hope we’ll see them again soon! Issue #15’s “Bomb Squad Part Two” is mostly 22 pages of clobbering, with her employee Nicholas holding down the office fort!
The issue is purriced $2.99, it’s 36 pages include 14 pages of ads, and the cover art by Basri depicts Kara in a crater, shaking off a sunset stomping as Crash recedes toward the city. We think that in the way she’s purresently drawn, Kara’s portraiture somewhat resembles our favorite Travel Channel hostess Samantha Brown, which is a pleasant aspect! And on that note, we now interrupt the reviews for a
Surpurrise Samantha Segment!
Yvonne:
For over a decade, Samantha Brown has been the delightfully purrky, whimsical guide of expurrditions to lovely lands, amazing architecture and places to eat, nya! Great Vacation Homes was first, in which she explored neat houses and met the owners, nya. Then in each epurrsode of Girl Meets Hawaii, Sam investigated a different cultural aspect or location in Hawaii, nya!
Things got more glamorous with Great Hotels, which had a less intimate quality but a grander scope as she toured the lavish lodgings, nya. Sam was soon appearing in ads & TV commercials and hosting other travel specials, purrtaining to Walt Disney World, beautiful beaches, and the luxury ocean cruise, nya! Some of her destinations have been here in North Carolina, nya!
Next came Great Weekends, and her shows became more international with Passport to Europe, Passport to Latin America, Passport to China, and Samantha Brown’s Asia, nya! Here are a few sites purrtaining to Samantha, such as her blog http://samantha-brown-blog.travelchannel.com/, the Travel Channel site http://www.travelchannel.com/TV_Shows/Samantha_Brown, nya!
There is also the Wikipedia article on her http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samantha_Brown, her entry at the Internet Movie Database http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1757540/, and Sam’s biography at the New Hampshire Home Page http://www.newhampshire.com/nh-people/samantha-brown-biography.aspx, nya! OK now we will rejoin the comics reviews, already in purrogress, nya!
Koni Waves – The Perfect Wave

Mary Nyan:
We are big fans of KoniKanawai, the former dancer & cop turned purrivate detective who often investigates occult incidents in Honolulu! As such, she is the purrotagonist of Arcana Studio’s Koni Waves comics, most of which have been repurrinted in this terrific trade papurrback edition! full of sexy supurrnatural adventure on the surf, shores and streets of Hawaii!
It is USA purriced $19.95, and sammiched around the 240 full color pages are stunning images on the covers. Mike Capprotti’s front cover is a magnificent movie poster style image with Koni in bikini with board before a giant moonlit wave bearing a tide of zombies, and there’s a sultry small pic on the back of the book, revealing Koni in her office by Edison Girard!
Koni was created by artists Stephen Sistilli & Dexter Weeks & author Mark Poulton who wrote her fun macabre tales which purremiered in 2006. The stories’ awesome art is by Sistilli, Weeks & Capprotti, which was richly colored by Weeks, Amber Davis, Samantha Cox, Natalie Cutrufello & Diego Molano, and the words were luciously lettered by Weeks & Comicraft!
Dan Shepelavy’s distinctive Koni Waves logo appears on the front cover & publisher’s page, but the 9 front covers repurrinted within this book are minus logos or type. Koni’s first brushes with Aloha Spirits are “Tiki Terror”, “Vampire Surfers” & “The Melting Horror of Mauna Kea”. Those first 3 issues were originally black & white, but are now purrsented in full color!
Next is “The Haunted Headdress of the Undead”, and the repurrint of the Koni Waves Demon Slayer one-shot, co-starring Bostonian archeologist / demon hunter Jaclyn Hayes! After that are “Island of Ghosts”, “Monstrous Margin of Victory” & “The White Werewolf of Waikiki”, which I only purreviously owned in the smaller 5×7″ Ghouls Gone Wild papurrback edition!
Not only do I get to see some of these sexy spooky South Pacific stories in color for the first time, but I get to see 3 of those in the larger size of this 6.5 x 10″ edition! The collection concludes with “The Dangerous Proposal” and 1 gallery page with small pics of 8 variant covers, but his book does not include the original issues’ back cover images or their bonus pin-ups.
Also absent is the Avengelyne vs. Koni Waves one-shot comic book, which Nya-sensei reviewed for our March 2010 show! Koni Waves The Perfect Wave book might not completely collect every Koni story & image, but it is a lovely book of good value, with 240 full color pages of the purretty purrivate eye’s Polynesian purranormal purrdicaments (and no ads) for $19.95!
I will purrticularly recommend this book to those who haven’t already experienced Koni Waves, or those who might have too much trouble or expense in trying to find all of those comic book back issues! Next we go across the pacific, from a haunted heroine in Hawaii to family feline fun in Japan, in Petra’s review of-
Chi’s Sweet Home manga volume 2!

Petra:
Hai, and for Becca’s review of volume 1 see last month’s Mew, nya! Chi’s Sweet Home by artist/ author Konami Kanata has become one of our recent favorite Japanese mangas, nya! It was originally published in Japan as Chizu Suito Houmu in  2004, which has been translated into English by Ed Chavez with purrduction by Hiroko Mizuno & Glen Isip at Vertical, Inc, nya!
Volume 2 is a papurrback book purriced at $13.95 US / $16.95 Canada, with chapters 21-38 plus the special bonus chapter spanning 154 full color pages, plus 4 pages of ads, a notes page and the copyright page, that all read from left – to – right, like an American comic book or graphic novel, unlike most Japanese manga which tends to read from right – to – left, nya!

On the front cover of the book is a cute smiling image of the main character Chi, a little white & gray striped American Shorthaired breed kitten, nya! In volume 1 she got sepurrated from her Momma & siblings and lost, but was rescued by a kind human family, even though pets are not allowed in their apartment building, so they try to keep Chi a little secret, nya!
By this point, it seems like Chi has accepted the humans as her family, with memories of her biological feline family becoming vague fragments, so there are fewer sad moments in Volume Two, nya. Each chapter purrtains to Chi’s various slice – of – life activities, mew expurriences & discoveries, mischief, her first forays outdoors & encounters with other animals, nya!
Although her human family only hears her meowing, purring, hiss, and feline body language, the reader is purrivy to her dialogue & thoughts, which are purreciously purronounced in a simple childlike speech pattern, nya. Chi and the other characters are drawn in a very delightful style and her exaggerated expurressions are purricelessly adorable, nya!
Most of the chapters are little vignettes of isolated incidents, although these do stack up as Chi learns more and more, nya. Such moments include Chi sampling various foods, resisting the bath but tempted by the floating toys, clamoring for attention, craving milk, napping with feelings of her nuzzling against Mom, playing in a sand pail and a shopping bag , nya!
There are the less fun moments too, as she is coerced into the basket for a trip to the vet, and has a nervous initial encounter with the savvy roaming large black cat that eats Chi’s food, nya. Although that other recurring purropurrty – damaging cat is deemed a nuisance by the neighborhood’s humans, he does take on a sort of mentoring role for little Chi, nya!
In the bonus chapter, Chi meets yet another cat, a large Calico named FukuFuku, who was the star of Konami Kanata’s purrior 1988 manga FukuFuku Funyan, nya! I wonder if that manga series will ever be translated, nya? This was another very amewsing, cute volume which we highly recommend to kitty lovers, and we look forward to volume 3 in October, nya!
Spice and Wolf manga vol. 2, nya!

Petra:
For Myar’s review of vol. 1 see the May Mew, and for Jenjen’s review of the Spice and Wolf Complete First Season DVD, please see the January Mew, nya! Spice and Wold has purroven to be one of our recent favorite anime & manga of the past year, nya! They are both based upon the purrose light novels by Isuna Hasekura, which have also been translated, nya!
The two main purrotagonists, Lawrence the merchant who travels from medieval town to town on his wagon, and Holo the wolf goddess of the crops from a small rural farming community, nya. Lawrence is a nice smart guy who knows the economics & trading, and Holo is the purrky wise wolf grrl with lovely ears & tail, who can transform into her giant wolf form, nya!
They met while he was camping by the fields and she crawled into the wagon for the nap, and since then they have traveled together. She gets lonely and wishes to return to her Northern homeland since the religions have changed, and she is not worshipped in these days of an oppurresive fundamentalist church, which is purrejudiced against the pagans, nya.
Originally titled Ookami To Koushinryo in Japan, this manga published in the USA by the great publisher Yen has art by Keito Koume, character designs by Jyuu Ayakura, and the story by Isuna Hasekura, translated into English by Paul Starr & lettered by Terri Delgado, nya! It is rated Mature due to the language and naked wolf girl but it is the very tasteful manga, nya.
The purrice is $12.99 USA / $15.99 Canada, and the full color front cover image is of Holo slyly spurrawled upon her inn bed, with her little pouch of Wheat grains and a mug of wine, nya. While in the cities he has developed the taste for the apples, breads, sweets… and the grape, nya! Hopefully they will make lots of purrofits to pay for the craved yummy foods, nya!
Volume 2 has 192 black & white pages compurrised of the 188 pages of manga chapters 1-7 & bonus, plus 3 more cute Holo pics & the credits page, nya. That also includes the map page of the kingdom, character purrofile page and the chapter breaks, nya. The artwork is very good with the delightful character designs and the detailed urban architectural scenery, nya!
In chapters 7-12, they have arrived into the big town of Pazzio where Lawrence hopes to make some good deals, but he gets swindled and owes a lot of money. He also knows a bit too much about a conspurracy, which riles one of the companies, and thus their assailants purrsue Lawrence and kidnap Holo, to ransom her back or let the church purrsecute her, nya!
Despite the debts which make him a purriah, Lawrence strategizes with a corpurrate marquis, to shed light on the economic conspurracy and rescue Holo, nya! An interesting subplot is the intricacy of currency & mercantile commerce, and there are sad, whimsical, charming & touching scenes with Holo & Lawrence, nya! That’s all of our purrint comics reviews, but now it is time for our
Monthly Lucky Kitty Web Comics Picks of the Litter, nya!

Mary Nyan:
By the way in case there is any confuzzlement, that is “littler” as in a wonderful litter of kittens, not the discarded trash type of “litter”! My web comic picks of the litter / recommendations for this month are Think Before You Think http://thinkbeforeyouthink.smackjeeves.com/ by Sylvia, and Between Places http://betweenplaces.spiderforest.com/ by Tiffany M! Your turn, Jenjen!

Jeannie:
My recommendations for September are Ginger’s Bread http://ginger.crazycstudios.com/ by Carl Sjostrand, and Kiwi Blitz http://www.kiwiblitz.com/ by Mary Cagle. Vonny?

Yvonne:
Yaya my turn, nya! I would like to nominate Monique MacNaughton’s web comic Una Frontiers http://www.graphicsmash.com//comics/unafrontiers.php and Kath Morgan’s web comic Tara http://www.drunkduck.com/Tara/, nya! Lizzy’s turn, nya!

Elizabeth:
I have selected Gwen’s Quest http://www.drunkduck.com/Cwens_Quest/index.php by Sarah Nelson & Nick Stroffolino, and Inner Wild http://www.comic.bubblecore.net/inner-wild/ by Michelle Rue, John-Mark Henek & Dylan Jacob!
Nyanko:
My two web comic picks of the litter are Requiem’s Gate http://www.drunkduck.com/Requiems_Gate/ and Shadows of Enchantment http://www.shadowsofenchantment.com/! Howboutchoo,

Petra:
I would like to recommend Crowfeathers http://www.crowfeathers.net/ (which has some mature content suggested for readers aged 16+) by Sagebrush, and The Echo Atonement http://echo.journeyweaver.com/ by Nicole Ward, nya!
Mike:
Last but not least for this month I would like to recommend Springgiette http://www.springiette.net/ by María ” Shouri” Victoria http://www.shouri.com.ar/, and Sister Claire http://www.sisterclaire.com/ by Elena “Yamino” Barbarich http://www.yamiloo.com/That’ll do it for this month’s web comic picks, but we’ll be right back with our special guest Eric Nolen-Weathington!
(snip) (one short break later…)
Our Feature Purresentation: An Intermew with Eric Nolen-Weathington!
Mary Nyan:
Welcome back! Eric Nolen-Weathington is a journalist, graphic designer & editor at TwoMorrows Publishing http://www.twomorrows.com/, which publishes terrific books & magazines purrtaining to the art & history of comic books! These include magazines such as Alter Ego, Back Issue, Comic Book Artist, Draw, Rough Stuff, Write Now & Jack Kirby Collector, and the Modern Masters book series, of which Eric is the Editor!
His books have focused on famous folks such as Alan Davis, George Perez, Bruce Timm, Kevin Nowlan, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Arthur Adams, John Byrne, Walter Simonson, Kevin Maguire, Charles Vess, Michael Golden, Jerry Ordway, Frank Cho, Mark Schultz, Mike Allred, Lee Weeks, John Romita Jr, Mike Ploog, Kyle Baker, Chris Sprouse, Mark Buckingham, Guy Davis, and Sal Buscema!
Eric is such a friendly, talented, industrious purrson whose expurrtise & passion about comics are quite evident from those wonderfully entertaining & informative publications, so we thought it would be apurropurriate to intermew him about his own life & career! Eric, Aloha and welcome to The Mew! Would you like a tasty beverage?
Eric:
I’ll take a tall glass of lemonade, if you please.
Mary Nyan:
Coming right up! What were the first comic books or strips you enjoyed as a child?
Eric:
I think the first comic book I ever got was a Gold Key Tweety & Sylvester comic. I was probably four at the time, just starting to read on my own. Not too long after I got one of the 100-page giants DC did. I think it was a World’s Finest. I literally read it until it fell apart. I didn’t get comics that often, maybe ten or twelve a year, until much, much later, but when I was six or seven I was given a big stack of them from my old babysitter. Her kids were getting “too old” for them, so she gave half to me and half to another kid she had watched.
There were a bunch of Archie comics, Harvey comics, war comics, and some superhero books, too — stuff going back nearly eight or nine years. I instantly had a collection. I had my favorites, of course, but I read all of them several times over. I think that may be why I like such a wide variety of comics today. I read comic strips, too — Peanuts was one of my favorites. I was a big fan of Star Wars when it came out — I spent most of my allowance on Star Wars action figures — and I cut out the Archie Goodwin/ Al Williamson newspaper strip until my dad canceled the paper. I kept those for years until Dark Horse collected them.
Mary Nyan:
Who were the first artists, writers or characters you eventually started to collect?
Eric:
I didn’t really collect a specific artist, writer or even character. As I said, I only got maybe one book a month, so I picked out whatever looked the coolest on the spinner rack at the time. I tended to get more Batman and Spider-Man books than anything else, but I wouldn’t call it collecting by any standard. The first artist I really took a liking to was Jim Aparo. I had quite a few of his Brave & the Bold issues, and a few of his Adventure Comics featuring Aquaman.
I had a lot of Kirby comics, too, because oddly enough I would get one of Marvel’s many reprint books (this was the mid- to late ’70s) as often as one of their new books. At first I didn’t really like his art, but I found myself reading the books he drew over and over. I later realized it was his storytelling that really drew me in, and I came to really like what he did artwise. I had the tabloid sized Captain America Bicentennial Battles book he did, and fell in love with it.
Mary Nyan:
What were your other interests besides comics?
Eric:
Well, I already mentioned Star Wars. I read a lot of books, too. In first grade I read the first twenty or so Hardy Boys books. In third grade I read a lot of biographical books — usually on a football or baseball player, or someone like Buffalo Bill or Davy Crockett. And I loved cartoons, of course.
It seemed a lot easier to wake up early on Saturday morning than it did during the rest of the week. The late ’70s were great because you could watch all the Looney Tunes (before they got chopped up by the censors), plus they reaired the Jonny Quest and Space Ghost cartoons from the ’60s, which were far better than any of the new shows they had.
Mary Nyan:
Favorite books or authors?
Eric:
These days my favorite authors are, in no particular order, Jonathan Carroll, Neal Stephenson, Iain Banks, Charles DeLint, Geoff Ryman, and Steve Erickson (not the fantasy writer, but the magic realism writer). Unfortunately, I haven’t had the time to read novels like I used to. I’m lucky if I get through one a year. I tend to do most of my reading with audio books during my commute to my part-time job at the newspaper.
Mary Nyan:
Favorite artists (not just comics)?
Eric:
There are so many. Mike Mignola, Guy Davis, Darwyn Cooke, Alan Davis, Marcos Martin… I could go on for pages and pages. As far as fine art goes, there’s Salvador Dali, Alphonse Mucha, Monet… Again, it would be a long list.
Mary Nyan:
Favorite movies, radio & TV shows?
Eric:
I don’t have much time for movies or TV these days. I tend to do my viewing on DVD, so my list may seem a bit out of date. Movies: Blade Runner, Broadcast News, The Princess Bride, The Lion in Winter, LA Story, pretty much anything by the Coen brothers or Alfred Hitchcock. Pixar makes great movies.
I have XM Radio, and I tend to listen to a lot of the old-time radio shows, like The Six-Shooter, The Saint, Johnny Dollar, Richard Diamond, and Gunsmoke. They have a channel that only plays movie scores that I like, too. TV: I haven’t watched anything regularly for over ten years, but some of my old favorites include The Wild, Wild West, The Prisoner, early MASH, NewsRadio, The Simpsons, and The Venture Brothers.
Mary Nyan:
Favorite mewsic?
Eric:
I listen to a lot of music, and a wide variety — everything from punk to jazz to classical to alternative. Some favorites are: John Coltrane, Ralph Stanley, Gomez, Johnny Cash, Cake, The Fratellis, Foo Fighters, The Beatles, Social Distortion, Gorillaz, Modest Mouse, etc.
Mary Nyan:
I understand you are a mewsician- what do you like to sing or play?
Eric:
I’m not much of a singer, but I play guitar, bass, banjo, and a smattering of mandolin and tin whistle. I was in a metal band in high school and a couple of college-rock bands in and after college. I play bluegrass, but not as well as I’d like. When I write songs, though, they tend to be folksy/alternative type songs.
Mary Nyan:
Maybe we could book you to play a gig at the Catgirl Island Purrforming Arts Center! How about dancing- do you dance?
Eric:
I’ve never been big on dancing. I’d rather be on stage playing than in the crowd dancing.
Mary Nyan:
So what were your career ambitions in high school or college?
Eric:
Through high school and into my sophomore year of college, I was planning on a career in Computer Engineering. Then I discovered that it wasn’t really for me, and I switched my major to Mass Communication. I figured on getting a job in TV or radio. I ended up working for an A/V company for five years at a convention center. The one highlight was running sound for Al Gore at a fundraiser dinner.
Mary Nyan:
What were your first forays into journalism, and how did you wind up at TwoMorrows?
Eric:
After five years with the A/V company, I was getting fed up with them and the work. I happened to see an ad on the board at Foundation’s Edge comic shop (where I worked when I was in college, and where I still get my comics) that TwoMorrows Publishing was looking for part-time help. I had been reading their Comic Book Artist magazine, and enjoyed it quite a bit, so I decided to apply for the job.
I worked a night shift with the A/V company, so I was available to work during the day. I got the job in May of 2000, just a week after my 30th birthday, and I worked both jobs for a couple of months. Then I was offered a full-time position at TwoMorrows. I really wanted to take the job, but it meant taking a large cut in pay if I had to quit my job with the A/V company.
As luck would have it, the local newspaper was looking for a part-time sports page designer. I’d never taken any journalism classes, I was only vaguely familiar with the software they used, and I’d never even worked for a school paper, but somehow I got the job anyway. So I quit my A/V job, took the full-time position with TwoMorrows during the day, and took the part-time position — three nights a week — at the newspaper. It wasn’t so much a foray into journalism as diving in head first.
Mary Nyan:
Are there certain journalists that have inspired or influenced you the most?
Eric:
As I said, I had never studied journalism, never even gave it much thought. I mean, I liked Walter Conkrite when I was growing up — even signed some of my letter with his trademark, “And that’s the way it was,” but I never thought to emulate him or anything. Over the past ten years, I’ve read a lot of interviews. I may pick up something from over here and something else from over there, but I’ve pretty much just muddled along by asking the questions I thought were interesting.
Mary Nyan:
What were your earliest assignments at TwoMorrows?
Eric:
My first job for TwoMorrows was scanning artwork for the Streetwise book.That was such a great way to start. I even got to do the gray tones (in Photoshop) for Paul Chadwick’s story. I went strictly by the guide he had sent, but that was so amazing to me just getting started as I was. But most of my time was spent just shipping out magazines people ordered directly from us. Nothing glamorous in that, but it had to be done. Then I started proofreading all the magazines.
That helped me develop my critical eye as far as interviewing went, and occasionally some light editing was called for and I started developing those muscles as well. During my down time I scanned the xeroxes of Jack Kirby’s pencils that his estate had lent us. I must have scanned 2,000 pages or more. I mean, it was almost entirely his ’70s and ’80s work, but still it was pretty amazing to see whole books in their pencil form. I learned quite a bit about storytelling just from scanning all those pages.
Mary Nyan:
Wow that must have been so neat to see all that art by The King! How did the Modern Masters book series originate?
Eric:
After working for TwoMorrows for a couple of years, I was itching to do something more, something I could call my own. We weren’t really covering modern comics at all, just stuff from the Golden, Silver, and Bronze Ages. I felt that would be the place for me, so I wouldn’t step on any one else’s toes in the company.
At first we kicked around the idea for another magazine, but that kind of fell through, and I wasn’t sure my schedule would allow me the time to do that anyway. So I pitched the idea of doing a series of books, each one focusing on a different artist. That would allow me to work at a slower pace. John Morrow liked the idea and gave me the go-ahead. The company was starting to branch out at that point, and the timing was right.
Mary Nyan:
Is there a typical purrocess for how a Modern Masters book is created?
Eric:
Yeah, it’s pretty straightforward. First I do lots of research — reading as much of their work as I can, as well as interviews they’ve done in the past — then I start the interview. I typically do five to six hours of interviews for each book, so I usually conduct them in hour to hour and a half long chunks. Over the course of the interviews I’ll gather the artwork, getting as much from the artist as I can.
At times I’ve had someone transcribe the interviews for me, but lately I’ve come back to doing that myself. After the interviewing and transcribing is done, I go through and edit the interview. Sometimes I’ll take things out or move things around a bit, sometimes I’ll need to ask a few follow-up questions. Once I’m satisfied with it, I’ll send it to the artist for them to look over. Occasionally they’ll ask for changes — usually just minor things.
Once that’s set I’ll start laying out the book. I usually just start on page one and go straight through to the end. I send the layouts to the artist as I go along, to make sure they’re happy with what I’m doing. I like doing that, because sometimes they’ll see something and say, “Hey, I’ve got a better piece of art we can use here. I’ll send you a scan.” My goal is to make a book that they —and I, or course — can be proud of. So far, so good.
Mary Nyan:
What are some ingredients to being a good intermewer, writer, book designer or editor?
Eric:
For me, the key is to try and get to know the interviewee. I try to talk with the person a few times before we start the interviews, so that we can become comfortable with each other. It helps when I’m designing and editing, too, because it lets me capture a little bit more of their personality in the book. I try to keep the interviews in the series kind of loose and conversational. I don’t look at them as the be-all, end-all books on the artists’ careers, but rather as looks into their their thinking process, and an exploration of the evolution of their work.
Mary Nyan:
What are some of the tools or techniques you use to make those books?
Eric:
For the interviews, I usually do them over the phone. I have an old cassette recorder I use to tape the chats. Eventually I’ll go digital, but I like my old-school recorder because it has a pedal control for when I’m transcribing, which greatly speeds up the process. I don’t know of any digital recorders that have that feature. Other than that, I’m a Mac guy. I have a MacBook Pro, but I still use my old G4 tower for a lot of things, because my 11″ x 17″ scanner doesn’t have a driver for OSX. I use QuarkXpress and Photoshop, and I rarely need anything else.
Mary Nyan:
How would you compare / contrast making those books to the magazines y’all publish?
Eric:
Well, I’m the designer for DRAW! magazine, so I do work a bit on that side, too. I prefer laying out the books. The magazines can get a little complicated, especially having to work around a small color section. Articles often have to get shifted around quite a bit before things click into place. My books are a one-, or sometimes two-, man show, so it stays pretty simple. There will be several people working on an issue of a magazine, so there’s a lot of juggling that has to go on.
Mary Nyan:
Those books & magazines are full of so much beautiful art. What purrcentage of that is sent to you electronically, and how much of it are hard copy originals or purrints?
Eric:
When I first started out, we dealt almost exclusively with originals or photocopies. Now it’s becoming much more common to get scans. We have an FTP site that people can upload the art to, and it makes things a lot easier. You don’t have to sort through pages and pages of stuff, and you don’t have to worry about messing an original up or having it get lost in the mail. With my past four Modern Masters books combined, I may have scanned a dozen images.
Mary Nyan:
What are some good safety tips for handling, scanning, storing, displaying & shipping art?
Eric:
The boards themselves are fairly durable, so you don’t have to wear gloves or anything to handle them. I have a couple of tables I can lay art out on when I need to, so I’ve never had any problems with artwork getting damaged. When scanning, you just want to make sure the glass is clean. I usually do a little clean-up in Photoshop, too. Also, not all scanners are created equal, though it’s a lot better than it used to be. As far as shipping, you just want strong cardboard and good tape. I don’t have a lot of art on display, but what I have is under UV protected glass. The rest I keep in a flat file drawer.
Mary Nyan:
Y’all made DVDs about George Perez and Michael Golden too- what was that purrocess like?
Eric:
It was fun, but ended up being a lot more trouble than it was worth. It may be easier to do now that good HD cameras are becoming reasonably priced, but I don’t know if I want to try it again. The best part of doing the DVDs was that we did them in the artists’ homes, so I got to interview them in their studios. I don’t have the budget to be able to do that with the books, so that was a nice change.
With the Pérez DVD, we were having to do a lot of it on the fly, because a small hole opened up in his schedule right around the time of MegaCon, which was about half an hour from his house, and we had to hurry in order to get everything ready in time. It turned out pretty good, all things considered, but there are things I would change if I could do it over. The Golden DVD we did over a three days, and we had a firm plan going in. We had a really good time — myself and the film crew — with Michael and his agent, Renee Witterstaetter while we were there.
Unfortunately, while the crew was uploading the footage they had a hard drive crash. It was a nightmare, but they were able to recover most of the footage. Then there were some other technical issues, but being on a tight budget, we had to make do with what we had. Technical issues aside, I was very happy with it. I just wish it could have turned out the way it should have.
Mary Nyan:
What are your current purrojects, and some neat publications we can look forward to in the near future from TwoMorrows?
Eric:
I’ve recently done a couple of books outside the Modern Masters series with my friend Jim Amash. Jim has done some really great interviews for Alter Ego magazine over the years, and we had been wanting to work together for a while. Back in February our book, Sal Buscema: Comics’ Fast & Furious Artist was released. And just this week we sent our latest, Carmine Infantino: Penciler Publisher Provocateur, off to press. I’m also getting towards the end of another Modern Masters book, this one on Jeff Smith. I’ve really enjoyed interviewing him.
Mary Nyan:
Yay we hope to see those books! I understand that your wife Donna makes the purretty jewelry http://www.orbitalsjewelry.com/- could you tell us about that?
Eric:
Yeah! She’s been doing it for two or three years now. What makes her work different is that she makes tiles out of polymer clay and uses them as the centerpieces of her jewelry. She uses a lot of artwork for the tiles, some of it public domain work, some of it directly from the different artists she works with.
She has even worked with a couple of comic book artists. Lately she’s been getting into photography, and some of that is starting to work its way into her tiles. Her work is constantly evolving, and I think she may start working more with metal soon. She sets up at a few shows a year, and she has pieces in four galleries across the state.
Mary Nyan:
What are her other interests?
Eric:
Much like mine. As Mike probably told you, we met at the comic shop when I worked there. She doesn’t read nearly as many comics as I do, but she loves going to the conventions. She’s a chemist by trade, so she has a great interest in science. She particularly enjoys the shows on forensics (the real life stuff, not the CSI garbage).
Mary Nyan:
She might like to see Jenjen’s laboratory! How about your kids- what are main interests & talents?
Eric:
Iain runs cross country and lays on the couch. He’s still into Godzilla, but Pokemon has had more of his attention the past few years. He just got the Spore video game, so that’s all he’s been focusing on lately. Caper does whatever big brother does, for the most part.She’s been really enjoying the Lego Harry Potter video game lately, even though she’s too young to have read the books yet. We got her a cheap digital camera for Christmas, and she’s been having a lot fun with that. If I get some free time, I may try to make a fumetti with her or something, and see how she responds.
Mary Nyan:
Oh I like the monsters and Harry Potter too! So what are they up to- how are they enjoying their visit to the island?
Eric:
We all love the beach. We try to spend a week or two at Topsail Island every year if schedules permit, so I’m sure they’re enjoying themselves.
Mary Nyan:
That is a nice beach! Don’t you have cats too? Do you have any funny kitty stories?
Eric:
At one point we had eight cats, but at the moment we’re at a much more manageable number of four. The best cat story I have is a little funny and a little sad. A few years ago, back when we still had eight cats — all indoor cats — we had the upstairs bedroom window open. Two of the cats, of course, were sitting in the window sill.
Well, as the cats was leaning against the screen in the window, the screen popped loose and they fell out of the window and down into the yard. One of them came around to the front door and we let him back in. The other one disappeared. We looked for her, called for her, tried to lure her back with food… we never found her.
Mary Nyan:
Aww….
Eric:
The next day we heard meowing coming from outside. We ran out expecting to find the missing cat, but it wasn’t there. This happened several more times over that day and the next. At this point I should say that we live in a two-story log cabin. You know how the logs stick out, overlapping each other in the corners? After hearing the cat several times but never finding it, Donna goes out and looks up.
The cat had climbed up those logs all the way to the top, just under the overhang of the roof. I guess she was trying to figure out how to get back into the window she had fallen out of, which was a good ten feet away from where she was perched. Luckily there was another window that was much closer, and Donna was able to lean out far enough to reel the cat in.
Mary Nyan:
Yay! Getting back to your purrofession, are there any purrticularly amewsing tidbits you can tell us about some of the celebrities you have intermewed?
Eric:
Not really. Some of the artists I’ve interviewed have become good friends, where we stay in touch and talk about things other than just comics. Some I’ve never spoken with at length again. Not for any personal reasons or anything, just some people you connect with and some people you don’t. But most of what is said in the interviews that can be printed ends up in the books.
Mary Nyan:
You’ve intermewed artists from North America and Europe- might you eventually intermew any Asian Manga or Manwha artists?
Eric:
It’s certainly a possibility, but I’ll be honest and say I don’t read very much manga. There’s also the language barrier to deal with. But I’m not ruling it out.
Mary Nyan:
How about some of those legendary comics artists from the Philippines?
Eric:
I love the work of Alex Niño — I own three of his originals — and I’m fond of Nestor Redondo’s work, too. Unfortunately, Redondo passed away several years ago, and Niño does very little comic work these days. Still, I’d like to do something with Niño at some point. And maybe Rudy Nebres, too. I actually had dinner with him once at the 2001 Harvey Awards banquet. I met Frank Cho at that dinner, too. We were all seated at the same table.
Mary Nyan:
Those are all supurrb artists! Who are some other folks you would most like to intermew (not just comics creators)?
Eric:
I’ve interviewed comic book artists almost exclusively, but there are still a few of them left I’d like a shot at — Mike Mignola, for one. I’ve been after him for years, and hopefully we’ll sit down and do it soon. Paul Pope is another, and David Mazzucchelli. I’d really like to interview colorist Dave Stewart, too.
I’ve done a little coloring for TwoMorrows, and I even ghost-colored a page for one of Marvel’s reprint collections (a New Mutants collection, I think), but I’m no means an expert. It would be great to talk to someone who can such fantastic work in so many different styles. I’d like to interview some of the animation greats, too, but most of the ones I’d be interested in are long dead. John Kricfalusi would be a fun one to do.
Mary Nyan:
What are the next conventions, shows, faires or festivals you’ll be appearing at?
Eric:
I’m probably done for the year. I may end up going to the New York Comic-Con in October, but it’s doubtful. I don’t have anything planned for sure until next years Heroes Con in Charlotte.
Mary Nyan:
lastly, do you have any sage advice for the aspiring writers, journalists, editors or graphic designers?
Eric:
Pick another field of work. I’m only half-joking. The publishing business is going through major upheavals. Between the economy and the ever expanding digital medium, print is dying. The problem is no one has completely figured out digital distribution. There are copyright issues and piracy issues, not to mention the plethora of formats you have to deal with. My advice for those determined to get into the publishing field is to learn how to run a website and figure out a way to make it work for you.
Mary Nyan:
Eric, we want to thank you & the rest of the folks at TwoMorrows for such awesome books, and thank you so much for visiting with us!
Eric:
Anytime. Thanks for inviting us out.
Mary Nyan:
We hope to see you & the family later at the tonight’s luau! That’s all for this portion of the show, but we’ll be right back after the short break!
(snip) (one short break later…)
The Cat Lady Sings…
Nyanko:
Well then, I guess that wraps it up for another edition of The Mew!

Elizabeth:
We wish to thank Eric for being our our Special Guest!

Yvonne:
And thanks to our web master Jamie for all of his hard work!
Mary Nyan:
Hai- and thanks to all those folks who made the neat stuff we reviewed!

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

Mike:
Thanks for watching, y’all! We’ll be back with more next month! Be there… Aloha!

The Catgirls:
Happy tails to mew, until we eat again! Baibai, nya!

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